Monday, February 28, 2011

More Phone Love

Recently I talked about writing from my phone. Well, this week I will be taking the long eight hour travel back to Oklahoma for my little sister's wedding, and in order to make sure I can still plug in a few words in between rehearsals and chasing my kids around a hotel, I wanted to make sure my phone was up to date with all the best writing apps I could find. This is like an Easter egg hunt with a cruel family member that likes to hide the eggs in trees out of reach. After a few nights of searching, I finally found all that I needed, a battery booster, a RAM booster, a task killer, a great keyboard,Blogger, music player,Thinkfree,Kindle, and other helpful apps like dictionary, spell checker, mind mapper, and my chat apps like facebook, twitter, Skype, and Gtalk. *takes a deep breath* yeah, it's a lot of apps.

When it comes to writing I have found the best app on the market is Thinkfree (even if you have to buy it because it's not preloaded on your phone.) It wasn't until this morning that I found a new feature for this wonderful little app that made me fall in love. Along with it's ability to make word docs, this app has an online server! You can save your writing on the phone, upload it to your secure server, and access that file from anywhere in the world. This makes it so that I don't have to tether your phone when you change writing platforms, so long as you have an internet connection, but oh wait, my Galaxy S has WiFi hotspot! Oh yeah, I love this phone!
So I'm ready to go, at least on my phone. I still have to pack, ready the truck, make a list for the hubz who sadly doesn't get to go this trip, and get the travel snackers. Well, I guess I had best get to it. Only a couple more days until we are on our way!

Ta!
A.McBay

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mobile Writing




This morning in TPR we got into the discussion about writing on phones. It’s a habit I have taken to simply because it is so easy to pull my phone from my pocket while I sit and watch my kids play, or when I am on one of my 8 hour road trips to visit family. My handwriting is slow, so typing on the phone usually equals the time it would have taken me to write longhand, except when done I don’t have to type it all up. I simply plug my phone into my computer’s USB and drag the file over.
For Christmas my hubby got me the Samsung Galaxy S. It came preloaded with Thinkfree, an app great for making word, excel, and powerpoint files. There are a number of other apps out there for writing but I prefer the tried and true ThinkFree.
I’ve heard of several writers now depending on their smart phones more and more to finish their manuscripts, seeing that most of them are full time workers and must write on the go, using that time on the bus or subway commute to tap out a few paragraphs.
So is it difficult to write with your thumbs? Not really. You quickly adapt, and your fingers soon recognize the movement and keyboard layout. Not to mention the more you write, the more the phone recognizes words you use more frequently. Personally, I would much rather type from my phone than the bulky, uncomfortable keyboard of the ipad.
Top it off with all your favorite writing music on the same platform as you’re working from and you have a dependable, mobile office right there in your pocket.
When I was asked to go to a cooking show (not really an interest to me, but I went anyway for my friends) I was thankful to have my Galaxy S, and went to work on my manuscript while the show went on. The show itself ended up being a bore to my friends as well and they were curious as to what was so interesting to me on my phone. When asked what I was doing I responded that I was working on my book. All I received was a guffaw from my friends. They were amazed that I was happily working while they were being bord to tears with the cooking hostess.
What can I say? I’m a techno-junkie. I’m always looking for the next gadget to play with, and if it helps with me finishing my book, then it’s well worth it.
As technology progresses, it gives writers more ways for creating wherever they may be. How do you write on the go? 
If you want to learn more about the history of mobile phone novels, check out this link: http://blog.dialaphone.co.uk/2009/05/01/history-of-books-written-on-mobile-phones/
Ta!
A.McBay

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thuper Thursday: Mom

I haven't had much time to write lately due to the move, and totally skipped out on last Thuper Thursday due to sick babies and doctor visits. Unfortunately, when you’re in the military a trip to the doctor is an all day ordeal. Thankfully, I knew what Bubby's problems were (ear infections) and was able to order the pediatrician to give me the meds I requested. The move went well, and we are settled into our new home loving every morning that we wake up here. After we get the rent house cleaned out, we will be officially done!
Now, on to my star of the week! As you know, I don't pick the names. I put all the important people in my life names in a box, Bubby shakes the box, and then Allyssa pulls a name out. I think they played favorites this week however, because they pulled their Dramaw's name from the box. Not that I'm complaining. I could talk for hours about my mom! She's such a beautiful, wonderful, special person.
My mom and I weren't always as close as we are now. My teenage years I rebelled like any teen, and always thought I was right and Mom was wrong. It wasn't until after I joined the military that our friendship started to strengthen. I wrote from basic describing every detail of the disgusting females I had to share space with. She sent back letters of encouragement and every letter expressed how proud she was.
When I became pregnant, she was the last person I wanted to tell, only because I hated to disappoint her. She remained encouraging, and when my daughter was born, she took the five hour flight to Hawaii to be with us. It was that month together, at the hardest time in my life, while my baby girl was in the hospital for so long, that we became best friends. My move back home only strengthened that, as we both leaned heavily on each other throughout the trails we were both going through.
My mom is my confident, my supporter in all I do. When I started writing and was nervous to let others read my book, she encouraged me to keep going, telling me that what I wrote was great. Since then, she has been my Alpha Beta reader. Though others have read some of my book, she has read every chapter, and tells me what she likes and doesn't like. It's thanks to her that I have made it this far in the book. She tries to be a critical reader, but sometimes she has little more to say than keep writing.  
I could go on all day about what makes Mom so fabulous. About how she cares so deeply for others, about her fostering animals, about how she would do anything for her kids and her grandkids, but I’ll stop at this, else I will have no room for Q&A!
Q&A
Hi Mom! Were you surprised to have your name drawn from the Thuper Box?
I secretly conspired with my Princess Abby Dabby…no…I mean … “Why Yes, Yes I was…”

What are your favorite hobbies as of late?
Sleeping and playing with my herd of doggies

What is one of your fondest memories of our time together?
Laughing at our own stupidities….

What do you think of your position as my Alpha Beta reader?
I’m honored of course…


What is one of your craziest memories of time we spent together?
That would be running around with the camera taking pics of Abby Dabbys first walk…butt naked….wow…  eating popcorn and candy bars and watchin tv is my favorite times  bunking with abby dabby, feeding bubby, all of the times we have together is crazy and wonderful!!!

I'm the favorite right? (J/K)
You and I are best friends…I can lean on you and vice verse…I can tell you anything…we always have fun together and we even fuss at each other well…You are my fav….

Added notes:  You are my mini-me….the only thing I would change about you if I could….add a lil rhythm to your hips…so we could dance in the living room together to some Bumpin booties music and laughing with the babies….that would be sooooo fun!!!!

That’s all the time I have for Thuper Thursday! I have a house to unpack, another house to clean out, a book to read before noon, and so much more.
Ta!
A.McBay



Monday, February 14, 2011

Home sweet home

I know by now everyone is sick of hearing about the new house,but the excitement has yet to wear off, so yes, I'm going to blog about it some more this morning. First off, I hate moving. We move so often, and I always end up doing all the packing and unpacking. Thankfully, I so stoked about moving into our dream home that I'm actually enjoying the process, but ready to be done with it. We have basically moved the entire house hold in one weekend. Is that a record?
The kids love the new house! It took a couple of nights for them to adjust to their new rooms, but last night they finally slept the entire night. Yesterday we had to get the last of the boxes from the old house and do some cleaning. As we pulled up, Allyssa starts to cry, "No! Not this house!"
Aside from the creaks and pops from the attic as the wind blows, the house is quiet, and oh so comfortable. We love it even more with all our furniture in it. Not to mention, the huge enterteiment center my hubz got from a fellow airman at a bargain price. The guy was so nice he even tossed in a free curio cabinet! Now I finally have a place for my great granny Opals dishes that have been in storage since her passing.
My favorite room of the house? My office! I just LOVE my new office. Its roomy, and well lit. It is surrounds in windows so I can watch the kids play while I work, and its my space in the house. Hubby has the garage and his new shed as his claimed space, and mine is my office. All I have is my desk for now, but I have big plans to turn this space into the best little create space!
Today will be mostly cleaning out the old house and shampooing the carpets for me, and cleaning out the garage for the hubz, but at least I'm done with all the heavy lifting. I would like to be finished today and never have to return to the rent house, so I had best go drink the rest of that pot of coffee. I have a feeling I'm gonna need the energy.
Ta!
A.McBay
p.s. please excuse typos. I'm blogging on my android phone until my internet gets installed tomorrow :-)
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chicken Soup

With all the cold and ickys going around, I thought it would be good to make some homemade chicken noodle soup for my family. Bubby is pretty sick, and could use it. Plus, my family just loves it. Because I love you all, I’m going to share my recipe with you. Well, most of it is mine. I learned the basics from watching my step-dad cook. After my corn bread carmelization incident, I have become a pro in the kitchen.
Here’s what ya need:
2 large chicken stock
2 reg. can cream of chicken
Egg noodles
Whole chicken
Celery
Carrots (I’m lazy and get tired of chopping, so feel free to just get two cans of carrots)

Here’s what ya do:
Okay, you’ve risked life and limb at the grocery store, and purchased your ingredients! Congratulations on your survival. Now all you need is a large pot. Dump all the stock and cream of chicken in your pot. It’s about half full now right? Good. Clean the insides out of your chicken, and place her in the pot. Your liquid isn’t quite covering the chicken? That’s fine, just pour in some water. Most of it will evaporate, or soak into your chicken. Boil for a couple hours, until the legs practically fall off when you pull on them. Picken time! You may want to let Henny Penny cool for a few before you peel as much meat as you can off of the bones. Once that’s done you put your strips of chicken back in your pot. Chop your celery and carrots. It doesn’t really matter how much you use (I like plenty of veggies) but remember that you have to save room in that pot for the noodles. Let your pot boil for about 30 minutes with chicken and veggies before you add the noodles. Again, if your broth is low add water. Continue to boil until noodles are nice and soft. Viola! Chicken noodle soup that will last about 3 days worth of left over’s with a family of 4.
Enjoy!
Ta!
A.McBay

Monday, February 7, 2011

Catch-Up


A lot can happen between Thursday and Monday. So then what have I been up to in all that time? Well let’s see, I watched two extra kiddos for a couple of friends, cleaned my house, got caught up on all my laundry, went grocery shopping (ick) and read two books. No writing, which I had really hoped I would be able to sneak in there at one point, but with extra kids, and then my hubz having airmen over for the UFC fights, it was just a little more chaotic than usual to sit and write. Even my poor kids were so exhausted that they passed out on the couch at six, after their dinner, and I was in bed shortly after unable to muster an ounce of energy to write.


So instead I did something to fuel my writing later on, I read. The first two books of The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot (KB you so knew I would have to blog about this). The Mediator Series is AWESOME! It’s about a teenage girl, who moves to Cali with her new Mom and new step-family, and is slowly adjusting to her world being turned upside down. Not to mention, she can see ghosts. Especially the extremely hot cowboy named Jesse that haunts her new room. Meg Cabot has an incredible story voice that I fell in love with after the first chapter. She draws you in, making you feel like you know this girl you are reading about. Top that off with a cast of absolutely amazing characters (including her out of this world, totally hot male characters. I mean, even the old priest has charm!) I read the first two books on right after the other, but I think for the sake of sleep I will hold off buying the third until I am better rested. You see, there are six books in the series, and I just don’t think my poor bod could handle going without sleep for that long…
As for our new house, our agent was going to try to get our closing bumped up to this Weds, but with all the snow I think we are still stuck with closing on the 15th. Boo, I’m too excited to wait. Although, I suppose it is for the best since my hubz has yet to bring home the boxes so that I can pack. I have been using the empty diaper boxes, to pack away all non-essentials. You wouldn’t believe how stingy Abilene is about boxes. I think all the businesses are in cahoots with U-haul so that we have to pay $50 for a small pack of boxes.
I think the biggest thing about the move I’m excited about is the fact that my mama is going to try and come help us. I miss my mama :P We are best friends, and accustomed to doing everything together. This distance is killing us.
I can’t wait to show off the new house! More importantly, I can’t wait to be moved!
Well, I had best get to work on my writing. My cousin Tim gave me a pretty good butt chewin for not having the book finished like I said I would two months ago. Everyone is so excited to read it! That’s a great thing, having so many supporting me and pushing me along; else I may have given up when the going got tough. Now I’m near the end, and am chuggin right along to that finish line!
What keeps you going through the tough times?
Check back Thursday for our Thuper Thursday star of the week, my mama (I don’t draw the names the toddlers do. I think they were playing favs this week though!)
Ta!
A.McBay

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thuper Thursday: Mac

One of the best things about my military days was having wonderful friends and coworkers. When your family is thousands of miles away, you lean heavily on your friends. Living in the dorms, I had a lot of friends. We were all accustomed to leaving our doors and windows wide open, and whoever wanted to visit just showed up. I spent a good bit of time sitting outside of my friend Mac's room, listening to him play his guitar, or swing dancing with him to southern rock. Mac worked in my shop, Liquid Fuels. Thanks to his spontainiousness, work was never dull. We always found something interesting to do... even when chipping rust off a tank and putting a fresh coat of paint over it.
Mac is from Tennessee, with the redneck attitude and accent to prove it. He's all about living life to it's fullest. We had plenty of dorm parties, and even a run in with the base cops in which Mac fled the scene... in a bathrobe...
We would go mudding on weekends, and camp on the beach, and of course, would drink ourselves silly. I was the only female to drive Mac's truck, since he was so drunk he couldn't even open the door without thinking there was mashed potatoes in the keyhole...
The guys I would hang out with never treated me as a girl. I was just one of them, with a ponytail, and could kick butt right alongside them. So it was a huge shocker when it was announced I was pregnant. I became fragile. I hated it. Suddenly, I wasn't allowed out on job sites. I missed getting to clean tanks with the guys, and my shop responsibility became book work.
As mentioned in a previous post, Mac was there for me in one of the scariest times of my life. He helped get me to the hospital (even if we did get lost along the way), and held my hand as my daughter was born. He's a very special friend!
Last week when my daughter pulled his name from the bucket, I e-mailed Mac with some questions. Here is what he said.


Q&A
Mac, what have you been doing since we last talked?
I've been out processing the military, and by the time you get this I'll be out and a free man.

What are some of your fondest memories of time we spent hanging out?
Working together and all the parties we went to. I'll never forget your art and how passionate you are about it. I remember how you and Clay laughed at me when I wrote signal wrong. HaHa, those where good times.

What is one of your craziest memories of time we spent hanging out?
When SSgt. Stevenson told us you we're pregnat. It was a shock to all of us. Who could also forget when I had to take you to the hospital and deliver your baby. Remember I got lost on the way over there, and the look on your face when they told you they where going to induece you was pricless.

What are your favorite hobbies these days?
Drinking beer and playing my guitar.

Where you surprised I put you in my favorite people can?
Yes, it was a surprise.

And so ends my first Thuper Thursday with my good friend Mac, who truly is Thuper Dooper!
Ta!
A.McBay

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

SNOWPOCALYPSE

After much frantic no snow dancing in my living room, I finally had to admit my defeat. I watched sullenly late Monday night as the snow and sleet started to fall across my backyard. If you haven't figured it out by now, I HATE the cold. Especially wet cold. So far this year I had been able to dance my way out of most of the cold and snow, the temperatures always returning to warm and pleasant. Warm weather is nice, warm weather I can kick double trouble outside where they prefer to be, and watch them happily over my laptops screen as I bask in the sunlight, and work.
On cold icky snow days, they are trapped inside, destroying my house and wearing my nerves to a frazzel. When I did decide to take them out to play in the snow, I spent twenty minutes bundling them up, only to have the wailing to go back inside.
So instead, the adults played in the snow... with a four wheeler!
My husband and his coworkers were off the last few days, and have had a blast pulling each other on a sled behind the four wheeler. I even hopped on the quad, and did a few doughnuts in the street. Our neighbors all looked at us like we were nuts, and they are probably right.
What do you do when snowed in?
Today it was way too cold for me to play. I'm cold nature as is, and just sitting at my desk while I redesigned my blog (you likey?) nearly froze me into a Popsicle. So, no. I bundled up in my warmest clothes, and worked online most of the day. Boring? Yes. Why didn't I write? You try writing with two screamers tugging at your legs for no reason but to get your attention. I do think I will manage to get a few hours this evening, when I dump the kids on the Hubz and hide away in my room with my Ipod cranked up. A mama needs time without kiddos from time to time...
I feel terrible for my family and friends in Oklahoma, who received even worse conditions than we did. I just couldn't imagine so much snow!
For all those that are snowed in, I hope you stay safe and warm over the next few days until this mess thaws out.
As for me, I think I'll join Bubby for some Kindlin (reading).
Ta!
A.McBay

The New Design

Welcome to the new Wild @ Heart's design. I was getting really sick of the dark theme from before and decided the blog needed a little more fun in it. Using old drawings of my self I created the new background and blog title. I hope it's a little more upbeat. Let me know what you like, or don't like so I can make changes, or if it just needs to be put back the way it was.
Thanks!
Ta!
A.McBay

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Create Space

I’m jumping on the bandwagon here and posting for the unofficial show off your workspace day, thanks to Jon, Tina, Kristen, and Marisa (TPR gang). I’ve posted before of my workspace, but being that I had to move from my cozy windows in the dining room, to my bedroom, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to update.
Most of my work is done at my huge desk I got free from my mom, who has connections everywhere in our home town. This thing is heavy. I love it. I have drawer space for all my filing, a scratch resistant top, and extra tables I can pull out for more work space if things get too crowded. My loverly computer, printer/scanner, and TV/monitor all fit on top, leaving plenty of room for keyboard, and wacom tablet (a must for all graphic artists.) I do a little writing from here, but mostly work on designing and art here.
Most of my writing is done on my lappy top. When my Pappy, one of the most amazing men in my life, passed last year, I took his lap tray to use as a lap desk. It keeps my laptop from getting hot on my legs while elevating the computer to a comfortable writing position. It also reminds me of Pap. He was an inspiration to me, and I loved to sit and listen to all his stories, from picking cotton, to living through the great depression, that man truly lived his life. I still can’t be in my mom’s house, where he lived the last years of his life, without seeing him everywhere. I still wait at the door to the kitchen, waiting for him to slowly pass by.
The greatest thing about the lappy desk is its portability. Since most of my writing time is done after everyone else has gone to bed, It is most usually most used in bed where I can watch Ghost Adventures on Netflix, my GA crew being my writing fuel. Then again, I also do some writing in the living room curled up on my favorite spot on our huge couch, with the legs pulled up and my foot warmer Jasper across my lap.
So that’s my workspaces. Where do you like to work from? Hop on this bandwagon and show everyone your create space.
Ta!
A.McBay