Saturday, January 29, 2011

Distractions


I’ve lost a lot of confidence in my writing lately. I don’t know if it’s just the funk I’ve been going through, or that I just don’t have any faith in myself. I quit allowing my family and friends read until I finish, all except for my mom. She has been the one keeping me writing. Every chapter I finish is sent to her and must pass with her full approval. Lately though it takes me longer to write a chapter and when I am done I’m really unsure on if it truly works, even though I have only had one out of twenty five chapters to be sent back with a try again.
Last night she called to report back on the latest chapter. “Stop doubting yourself! This was great!” and she continued to tell me what she loved most about the whole chapter.
“What you need to do is just write. Finish your book. Start a new book. You’re a great writer, stop doubting that.”
As I lay in bed last night, admiring my son sleeping next to me, I thought about what she said. I write nearly every day, though not always on my book. I spend too much time these days updating my blog babble. So I’m going to try and cut back on the babble, and not post on useless topics…
Instead, I will use my blogging time to finish my book. I hope I don’t find anything else to distract me from my goals…
What distracts you from your WIP?
Ta!
A.McBay

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sleepless nights

This week I have had a terrible time turning my mind off for bed. I tried taking PM meds, reading, and even rainstorm soundtracks (a method that had always worked in the past.) As I sat up well past 1am for the third time this week, I began to realize it was the silence keeping me awake.
All day I listen to my kids laughing, crying, screaming, and deal with the constant mommy, mommy, mommy! With Bubby cutting nearly all his back teeth at one time he has become the little hulk. You don't want to make little hulk angry. He follows me around screaming at me, pulling and pinching my legs, and just being an out right little terror child. As I type, he is pulling my papers from my desk drawer... Ahem, excuse me...
So at night, after the kids are in bed, and the house is silent, I am finally able to hear my thoughts. Unfortunately, I cant get them to shut up long enough to get to sleep, and after so many nights of catching only four hours of shut eye, the thoughts are incoherent and hard to understand.
I think in our new home I will sound proof the walls of my office so that when my hubby comes home I can escape for an hour to unwind my mind...


On a very positive note, I want to congratulate the fabulous Leigh Fallon, an Inkpopper I admire, for getting published by HarperCollins!
Check out the article here
and Leigh's inkpop project to be published here http://www.inkpop.com/projects/5971/the-carrier-of-the-mark/
What a wonderful way to start off the weekend!
Again, CONGRATS LEIGH!!! WHOOOO!!!!

Ta!
A.McBay

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Things we Thay


Since my post this morning I have had a terrible time not replacing all my S's with th. After I mentioned this to my husband, he laughed at me, until he started doing it too. We are accustomed to this type of talk, since our three year old speaks this way. Not only does she have difficulty pronouncing her S's, but her J's as well. All J's are pronounced with a D. Tonight my hubby had a blast getting her to say funny things, like "I like to jump on the couch," which came out, "I like to dump on the couch."
Yep, thilly thuff there!
I have worked with her pronunciation, but her S's, J's, and L's still come out wrong. At times I have to have her repeat a sentence, because it had sounded like something else. Hopefully this is just a phase and will soon be grown out of.
Great news today! We got final approval on our house we are buying! Woot! That's right, I wooted. We are so incredibly excited to be moving! This is like a dream house. Allyssa is ecstatic too. Earlier today when we told her we bought a new house she asked me to go get it, and where was her new house. She helped a lot in the picking out of a new home. Next week will be full of packing and prepping. Bring on the boxes! I can't wait for us to be moved, and unpacked!
We are thuper exthited!
Ok, I'm done.
Ta!
A.McBay

Thuper Thursday

This is new, so be patient while I work out the kinks. From now on here at Wild @ Heart I will be hosting Thuper Thursday. Each Thursday will be dedicated to giving a shout out to a fabulous blogger, writer, reader, artist, or friend. I know you probably wont care how I met so-and-so, but I would like to share what makes them so thuper! That person will receive a shiny gold star to put anywhere on the nets, I would show you but I haven't designed it yet...

Yeah, I just made this up today. I thought it was cute, since this is the way my daughter says super and I really needed something to dedicate my Thursdays to.

That's it. Now I need to go write down a list of stars and why they are so fabulous for future posts. Stars names will then be drawn from a hat, so it will be completely random as to who it will be. Don't worry, I will attempt to contact my star of the week for permission to star them on my page before I post anything about them and to award them their button. Maybe we could even get a few Q&A from our star. This is going to be such fun!


Check back next week to see who will be my first star of the week.


Ta!
A.McBay

Update: The I'm Thuper badge:



Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My yearly dose of dragons



Everyone has that book they just can’t get enough of, the world that calls to them in their dreams. For me that world is Pern. I started reading Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon Riders of Pern series in high school. It was a massive book, having the first three books of the series inside. I instantly fell in love. Who wouldn’t? Anne’s dragons are so much more than the fantasy genre dragons, they are real. Bio engineered from flying fire breathing lizards on a distant planet that the humans colonize. When a dragon hatches it impresses on a lucky candidate and a mental bond is made. From that point on the pair are joined not only by mind, but by heart. How awesome would that be! To have a great fire breathing dragon who absolutely adores you unconditionally?
All things are not perfect on Pern though, and shortly after colonizing, the settlers learn that the stray planet unleashes a terrible menace on their new home. What they begin to call thread falls from the sky and eats whatever it touches, burrowing into the ground and ruining crops. The colonists have no fuel to make it back to earth, and must learn to survive with what Pern has to offer. Thankfully, the planet is protected by tiny flying lizards. If only they were bigger…
Fast forward thousands of years later. The dragons are now the size of airplanes, and fight thread in fighting wings. The humans have lost their technology, and think the story of their ancestors coming from a distant planet nothing more than a myth.
Anne did such a marvelous job in creating this beautiful world of dragons. She delved deep into science, and the human condition, creating a believable world with characters you love. The dragons are just the cherry on top!
It’s a world I don’t think I will ever tire of. Every year I return. I devour the books one by one until once again I have read the entire series. In the time it takes me to read these books, I dream of dragons.
What book do you dream of? Which one calls you back saying, “Read me again, you love me!”
I hope you give The Pern series a read, and fall in love, just as I do every year. Check it out here on Amazon
Ta!
A.McBay

Friday, January 21, 2011

Flashback Friday: Just couldn’t wait

After our trip to the ER this week for Allyssa's busted nose, I did a lot of reminiscence of her birth. Even as a newborn she was impatient, and at 31 weeks, that's nine weeks early, she made her grand entrance into this world… backwards.

At the time her Dad was deployed, and I was still in the military stationed in Hawaii. I had yet to go on maternity leave, and was trying to get away with as much fitness as I could during PT, though I always got caught and was made to walk the track. It was my nephew's birthday. Cramps had started in the afternoon, getting steadily worse throughout the day. I just thought it was something I ate and dealt with it. Women in my family have a very high tolerance for pain, and having no clue what to look out for I didn't know that these were contractions, not cramps. That evening after talking to my mom and getting plenty worried I decided to get my tush to the hospital.

I wasn't able to drive at this point, so I called a co-worker and good friend Mac. Did I mention all my friends were guys and I worked only with guys? Yeah. After Mac had picked me up, he managed to get us lost on the way to the hospital. We finally made it and I got settled in for an exam by one of the military doctors. Have I mentioned what idiots they are? The Doc checked me out, yelled "Oh Bleep!" and ran out of the room leaving me scared to death. A few minutes passed before the nurse came in just as calm as can be, and told me that the doctor had seen a foot and we were going in for an emergency c-section. My mom was contacted and on a plane within a few hours. Having no one else I signed for my friend Mac to be present in the room so I didn't have to be with a bunch of strangers. He had a blast taking photos for my hubby, including a dozen of him in the restroom with scrubs on. He held my hand throughout the whole procedure, until Allyssa was at last out and being cleaned.

To this day he says he will never have children.


I got to see Allyssa briefly, before she was taken to the NICU. I pestered the nurses for hours to see my daughter even though I couldn't even stand to go to the restroom. They finally wheeled me down the hall, and I got to sit beside her for a few minutes. She was so tiny, weighing only 3.2 pounds, and no bigger than a half of loaf of bread. To this day her uncle calls her little baby half-a-loaf. She was hooked up to several monitor, and an IV. Wires ran everywhere. It was a heartbreaking sight for a new mom.

I had visitors from my guys at the shop, my best friends (brothers), the squadron commander and first shirt, and finally my mom. I was so happy to finally have my mom there.

After three days, I got discharged, but Allyssa had to stay for another month in the NICU. Mom stayed that whole time, helping me get back and forth to the hospital three times a day. In Honolulu traffic, that is a chore.

At last I got to bring her home.

Every mom has their birthing stories. It's a grand adventure becoming a parent!

Ta!

A.McBay

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Full Moons and Emergency Rooms

I am a firm believer that the full moon can bring more accidents, and cranky attitudes. It seems the bigger the moon, the more potential for mayhem. It’s been this way my entire life. My family tends to be just a little accident prone. It’s an unfortunate condition my daughter has seemed to have inherit. I thought it was my son (the adventurous thrill seeking adrenalin junkie) that I would have to worry about. I always joke with my husband that he had best stay in the military so that we can keep up insurance on that boy. Now I worry it may be my daughter we need to worry about.
Last night, while I was sitting on the couch reading, my daughter was crawling around on the couch. She is always getting in trouble for bouncing on the couch or climbing on the coffee table. I’m not sure how she managed it, but she got tripped up in her blanket she drags around with her, and fell off the couch head first into the coffee table. Normally I have the coffee table pulled out more to allow for the kids, but I had just shampooed the carpets that day and had it pushed a little closer to the couch than normal. When she hit the table’s edge, she cut her nose along the underside. Of course I freaked out, yelled at my hubby that we needed to go to the ER, and rushed out the door without putting shoes on either of the kids. Allyssa held a damp rag to her nose while we waited in the emergency room for nearly two hours.
My hubby took our son home for a diaper change after he decided to stink up the waiting room. While he was home he called a trusted airman to babysit so that Bubby could go to bed. By the time my hubby returned to the ER, we had already been sent back, examined, and glued. That’s right glued. Like her avatar toys that I had to super glue back together after she broke them, the Doc had glued the cut, saying it was too small for a sutra and that he preferred the glue because it always healed better. Throughout the procedure Allyssa remained calm and quiet. We filled out the required paperwork, and were on our way back home in no time. As we were leaving, I asked Allyssa if she was going to do it again. She responded by nodding her head “yes”.
I ended up sleeping in her room last night to make sure when she woke she didn’t mess with the glue.  I know I’m a little overprotective, but my kids are my world. I can’t stand when they don’t feel well or get hurt.
Thankfully, everything turned out ok last night, and we have all day to relax on the couch. That is just what we are going to do!
Ta!
A.McBay

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Writing Spot

When I got my new Verizon Samsung Fascinate for Christmas, I immediately went in search for a good writing app. There are several to choose from, including the pre-installed Thinkfree that allows you to work on word, and excel documents from your phone. After a lot of looking on the android market, I stumbled across an app called My Writing Spot, previously named My Writing Nook.
The creator of the app is a writer that was looking for an easier way to move his work from one platform to the next, making working on his novel much easier.
Although the app itself is lacking in the ability to change themes, something I hope the creator is working on, the app is shared with the PC, Ipad, Iphone, and android.
Now I write on my phone, sync, and in moments have everything I have written on my desktop. From there I can move what I have typed into my Word Doc.
So if you love to write, and find it handy to write on your phone, I highly recommend The Writing Spot app. Check it out for yourself!  http://www.mywritingnook.com/
Ta!
A.McBay

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lefty

I'm left handed. Odd for an artist, I know. It's something I got from my mother who is also left handed. It's hard at times. I have a tendency of dragging my hand across the page as I draw or write leaving smears that later have to be erased. My mother tortured me for years trying to correct how I hold the pencil correctly, but alas I was far too stubborn a youngster. She finally gave up on forcing me to use specialized pencil grips, much to my relief. The only thing the grips did for me was give me terrible hand cramps.
Finding left handed notebooks is difficult. You can get them from Amazon, but I just don’t see the point in paying more for a lefty notebook. Instead, I use loose leaf note paper and normally just stick it neatly in a binder. Today, however, I dug out an old leather portfolio. It’s perfect. I can still use my loose leaf paper, and clip it onto a clipboard for easier writing. It’s great because I don’t have to worry about the three rings or the binding. So for all you lefty writers out there, the clipboard is the way to go!
Ta!
A.McBay

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Chair

My daughter is a master at throwing a good fit. I may joke about the siren going off, or that I will be putting that child in voice lessons (actually I'm quite serious about that one), but after listening to her wail every day and night, I sometimes find myself running for the bath as soon as my hubby gets home. At least while taking a bath I have two doors separating my poor ears and her powerful lungs. What's worse is she has taught her baby brother to scream and throw tantrums, so he now follows me around crying at me all day long.
I have watched the nanny shows, talked with other parents, and yes, I took my own mother’s advice. What may work in one family does not always work for another. Nothing I tried seemed to work, until one day I saw Allyssa’s princess chair that went with her table set and umbrella. The chair was facing the kitchen wall, and Allyssa was mid-wail. With nothing to lose, I led her to the chair, told her to sit, and said she wasn’t allowed to get up until she could be a big girl and stop crying. A few sniffles later she apologized to me, and gave me a hug and a kiss. It worked.
The next day, she decided to push Bubby. Again, I led her to The Chair, and made her sit. She was instructed this time that she had to sit for two minutes. This time she apologized to Bubby and went on her merry way.
Now when she throws a tantrum, I threaten to make her sit in the chair. If the wailing continues after the count of three (and yes Shelly I do know how to count higher), She goes to the time out chair. I wait for the wailing to stop, and then set the timer on the stove for two minutes. When the timer goes off, she gets up quiet and happy. At the end of the day, she has to tell Daddy how many times she had to visit The Chair.  Now it’s time to start training Bubby who has a jump start on his terrible twos, thanks to his big sister.
On another Allyssa issue, we are also working on potty training. Thanks to the pull-ups commercia,l she is fascinated with the potty dance, and cannot wait for the chance to go use the potty. Way to go pull-ups! Tonight, she would run to her water cup get a drink, and then run back to her potty chair and wait for potty. When she couldn’t make it come out, she would run back to her cup. This process went on for about an hour before I forced her to go to bed. I’m really excited to have her so interested in going on the potty! Maybe no more diapers are in her near future? A mama can dream…
Ta!
A.McBay

This could be the one!

We have been house hunting for a few weeks now. Although the market is on the way back up, and we looked at several houses, there were only two that we really considered as possibilities. Yesterday, after visiting some other houses, we went back to those two and got a fresh look at them.
One was a flip house. Meaning the owner bought it, made it purdy, and is now trying to make a profit from it. The downside to a flip house is that most of the work was cosmetic and the things that really needed fixing went without. Like the ancient AC unit, the hole in the window, and so on...

The second house seemed to call to us. We wanted to buy it up the first time we visited, but restrained ourselves enough to think about it rationally. After looking at everything else on the market, we came back to this one. It still called to us. When we entered the front door, it felt like home. The insulation in the home is so wonderful that even though the setting is set low since no one lives there, the house was cozy warm. The master bedroom is large and homey with a walk in closet and a bathroom with a shower. The living room has a lovely fireplace and is large and open enough for our massive couch, and the other two rooms are clean and spacious for two toddlers to play in. The kitchen is great! It even has locks on the cabinets so I can lock my hubby out of the candy stash. The most amazing part of this house is the office that is just off of the living room and leads to the patio outside. It has windows all around it letting in tons of natural light with a wonderful view of the backyard. The perfect office for me to design and write in. There is also room enough to put up a cutting table later on.
So it's safe to say, I think we have found our new home. Let's see if everything goes well for us this week as we put in our bid! Fingers crossed!
Ta!
A.McBay

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Adult

Last week I posted my indecision on if I should make Wild Fire a YA or an Adult genre book. When discussing my this problem with the writers at TPR (check the door below for more info), they mentioned a new genre that is in the works called New Adult. A good example of this would be Stephanie Meyer's Eclipse. I don't give away spoilers so this is all I will mention on that book.
Though I have no intention on targeting this new genre with WF, it does give the book a place to settle. I don't have to make it YA or Adult. I can target the 19-25yr olds who are unhappy with the highschool drama books, but are not quite ready to move on to full blown Adult books. I can make WF a happy medium for that age range.
It's a relief for me to not have to revise the book once more for a specific genre.
Now if I could ever finish the book.
A plus about WF. Chapter 24 has been finished, and passed the inspection of the Alpha Beta aka Mom. She says it flows from 23 so well, and the chapter itself is perfect. A huge relief on my part, since the first time around the chapter was a disaster. I could only salvage bits of the old writing, and had to completely change the out come of the MC to not only flow better with the latter chapter, but to continue through the rest of the story without confusing the readers. It troubled me for nearly a month, until like all great ideas, it just came to me one day and flowed effortlessly into Word. Happy days! I'm back to writing. On to the next chapter.
Ta!
A.McBay

Friday, January 7, 2011

Flashback Friday

I'm jumping on the band wagon here and posting a picture of my past. I hid most of my embarrassing pictures so well from my husband, that even I can't remember where I put them. Maybe I burned them. Another fish moment for me! In case you are wondering what I mean when I say "Fish!", It's a saying my mom and I made up. We feel we are like two fish in a fish bowl at times, because of how short out memory gets. So when we forget something, or don't remember why we walked across the house to get or do something, we yell "Fish!"
Today's flashback was a toss up between Mom took my brother and I to pet baby tigers, or my Air Force Graduation. I chose the graduation.
 This was a very proud day for me. After weeks of drills, starvation, and dun dun dunnnnn, running, I had finally made it to graduation day! My TI still had no clue who I was (a good thing, and something I tried very hard at), my family was there, and in a few hours I would leave San Antonio for my training base in Witchita Falls. How did I celebrate? Well, the first thing I did was run off to the barber shop and chop off my hair. After all those weeks of having to pull it up into a perfect bun (and my hair is very thick and heavy), It was a relief to have all of that weight off the back of my skull.
I got to enjoy having my family with me. My dad (the long haired hippie) and my Granny Net drove 5 hours to see me. That's quite a trip for Granny. Mom, my step-dad Danny, and my baby brother flew.
I introduced them to my TI, who looked at me in confusion and asked for the millionth time "Who are you? You were here the whole time?", and then we walked the river walk. We were talking about my experiences when we walked under one of the many bridges on the river walk, and a pigeon crapped on me. It slid down my blues cap, and dripped down the front of my dress shirt. I hate birds to this day...
It took the rest of my free time for mom to get the poop from my clothes, and dry them at the hotel. By the time it was clean I had to go back to base.
And that is my flashback Friday presented by Tia's blog.
Join us in our flashback fun!


Ta!
A.McBay

Thursday, January 6, 2011

YA or Adult

Wild Fire started off as a YA book. YA have really taken off, and for those of us that like more story, less steamy, it's been a relief. The downside? Sometimes the author can go a little overboard on the teen drama. There are almost always triangle relationships where the MC must choose who they want to be with between two love interests. I read a lot of YA these days, the latest being Paranormalcy by Kiersten White (great read) but have been caught up in some more mature books since that read.


 
I had been posting a few chapters of WF up on Inkpop.com, but after a while language and violence got a little much for YA. I started to worry that I had gone overboard, but it worked with the story. So I took down the chapters from Inkpop, and decided to make WF an adult book. Now everyone I talk to wants me to put in a steamy scene. I have been dragging my heels on that. I don't do sexy. I'm not sexy, so how do I write it?
This morning I woke with the urge to take out the more graphic content, and go back to the YA genre. I'm still debating on which genre I think WF will succeed in. I hate making decisions…

 
Ta!
A.McBay

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Finally meeting

Nanowrimo was a failure for me. With the pressures of life, I just wasn't able to make the word count I needed to succeed, but the challenge did reward me with a few things, a new friend, and she introduced me to my TPR friends. We would chat online everyday for a few months, though we live only minutes away. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting her face to face. It was so exciting to finally meet someone so much like myself.

While we monitored our kids in a little coffee shop downtown, we sipped our coffee, and got to know each other (Occasionally having to stop midsentence for a few stern words to a child). We talked for an hour without pause, or awkward silence of the newly acquainted. It was great! I'm so happy to have made a new friend here in Abilene where I have only a few. Not only that, but my first writer friend!

As for writing, I am back on track. I have nearly finished chapter 24. It needed some major reworking that I really had to brainstorm in order to revise it to work better with the story and not confuse my readers. I'm happy to be back to work on it, and can't wait to have it finished so I can share the full first draft with all my betas out there. Thankfully, I have a lot of people supporting this adventure!

I have a dozen designs to do today before the next TPR session. It's been a busy day, though I'm still in jammies. It's nice working at home!

Ta!

A.McBay

Monday, January 3, 2011

Nanana!

When I was growing up, I was always the weird kid. I had bullies, and people who just loved to take their bad days out on me. Back then it hurt as you can imagine, and drove me to be quiet and demur. Some people even asked if I was going to blow up the school. I had few friends and major self esteem issues. I hate that side of myself. After joining the military, I shoved that little girl deep down. I became respected, feared, and loved. I got stronger, and learned how to deal with my shyness. Before I got out of the military I had tons of friends, I could scare the crap out of people who wronged me or those I loved, I had visited places my school bullies were too chicken to go to, and I had declared my weirdness of the artistic sort.

Today I watch those people who were mean to me on facebook. They seek me out, add me as a friend, and realize that the weird kid has experienced life far beyond what they could ever have. I have beautiful kids, a loving handsome hubby, great well behaved pets to keep me company, and a supportive family waiting in Oklahoma and now in Arkansas too. I have graphic arts skills, and have even done something with the book nerd side of me by writing. It's rewarding to see those that have done nothing with their life. Karma people, I'm just sayin.

So I think I'm well deserved to say to all my classmates who tormented me throughout school and made my life hell, "Na na na na na! Thanks for helping to make me who I am today."

:P

Ta!

A.McBay