Sunday, July 25, 2010

Got Books?

Over 100 book bloggers and sponsors got together to kick off the Got Books? event.  I had a blast visiting all the book blogger sites and entering the great giveaways.  I must say, my to-be-read (TBR) list is now bursting at the seams and it's absolute heaven.  I will be announcing the winner of my giveaway tomorrow (Mon.) over at Bitsy Bling's Book Review.  However, the best news is that I am a WINNER!

I want to thank my fellow book blogger over at Fiction Flurry and also the author, Susan Gee Heino for providing a signed copy 'Damsel in Disguise.'  I look forward to reading the book and blogging about it!

A Flurry Storm of Fiction Genres

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What's For Dinner?

Over the years I've come to dread the 5:00 p.m. phone call from my family that inevitably includes the statement, "What's for dinner?"  For the past 18 years now I have been cooking meals at least five nights a week.  Since I am in charge of the task, I want to make sure my family gets a well-made and balanced meal.  This includes charting out a meal plan:  varying beef, chicken, pasta, pork and fish.  Each week I make a grocery list and menu plan which I use to ensure that I don't fall into the bad habit of making the same meals over and over.  I've become the master of the crock pot and surfer of cookbooks, even going as far as cataloging all my 'thumbs up' recipes in a computerized database for efficient meal planning.  Then, as the kids grew and their social demands had me running in a billion different directions, I began preparing all my meals on Sundays, bagging and freezing them.  All this has brought me to where I am today, marking the days until I don't have to cook another meal!

After learning of my prep work, planning and organization, many of my friends assumed that I must love cooking.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Honestly, the reason I manage the task like I do is because I HATE cooking.  However, I want to make certain my kids get a well-balanced and homemade meal each night.  It is also great to sit down to a descent dinner and have conversations.  Providing the meal is just another way to accomplish the most important thing, spending time with my family.

Although it may seem like a lot of work, actually organizing my meal plan, creating a database of family approved recipes, preparing multiple meals and freezing lessens my stress and saves money.  For me, cooking is no different than a heap of dirty laundry.  No one likes doing it (okay, someone might) but it needs to get done, right?

I readily admit that I HATE cooking even though I'm really good at it (or so I've been told), but if I have to do it, I'm going to do it in the most efficient, painless and healthy way possible.

In the coming weeks I am sending my oldest off to college.  I've managed to nourish a little boy into a ripped Division-1 football player for the University of Nevada.  I will tearfully turn over my son and grocery bill to the coaches of the wolfpack!

Good luck!  P.S.  He needs to eat every 2 hours.

In honor of my family, I recommend this awesome book!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Taking Another Perspective

I find myself discussing perspective a lot lately.  In this case, when I talk about 'perspective,' I mean the interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed point of view.  It's a person's capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance that most interests me.  Of course from a writing standpoint, point of view is an essential part of communicating a story to a reader and also, in developing a character whether they are credible or not.  How a character perceives their surroundings is vital to plot, psychological state and setting.  Interestingly, most people do not perceive any place quite the same.  Why is this?  Mostly, because each person's perspective is enhanced or distorted by personal experiences that are related, stored and referenced by our minds.  

When I awoke this morning, I went through my ritualistic procedure of stretching followed by an exhaled groan.  However, this time I decided to take note of the day's weather by viewing it upside down through the window located above my headboard.  The angle of the treetops framed by the window pane and accompanied by the diffuser, framed pictures and glass bottle (all upside down) was fascinating.  The objects that I'd grown indifferent to and hardly noticed took on an entirely new perspective and instantly retrieved a childhood memory that I had stored somewhere in my brain.  

When I was little I remember taking my mother's hand mirror and holding it so it reflected the image of the ceiling.  Then while only looking in the mirror, I walked through the house stepping over ceiling fixtures and archways.  It was as if I was defying the laws of gravity.  The entire house was upside down and in that moment became the most amazing, imaginary place in the world.  When I put the hand mirror away everything, including the upside world of my house, returned to normal.  It was the perspective of this experiment that often inspired my creativity and imagination.  So, I encourage everyone to take a moment to look at something you view everyday from another perspective.  If you're like me, you will find the mundane extraordinary even if it is just for a moment.   

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