Saturday, September 27, 2008

Commitment


What is commitment? By definition, it’s the act of binding yourself, intellectually or emotionally to a course of action. We’re committed to a lot of things: marriage, family, jobs, churches, organizations, our words, making payments, hobbies, opinions, exercise programs or diets, political parties, anger, etc. I could go on forever. We have a million commitments.

Or do we?

The divorce rates are higher than ever. Marriage is treated like a disposible commodity. While many in the the gay community are fighting for the right to marry, so many in the hetero community are going to court to get out of their vows. Our families are falling apart. Jobs…well, in many cases jobs are either like throw-away conveniences that fund our existence or they own our lives. Is that commitment or forced necessity…

I woke up the other morning and this topic smacked me across the back of the head. If you read my blog it’s hard to miss that I’ve joined a water aerobics class. But Thursday morning, I woke up and I was exhausted. Don’t you hate that when you get up and you’re already tired? It was a rough morning. Thank goodness, I committed—there’s that word again—to a routine this year that makes the morning easier. This would have been a morning for tears and recriminations otherwise. I thought, maybe I’ll just come home and climb in bed after I take the kids to school.

I didn’t. I got there just in time after grumbling that I wished people were more committed to using their turn signals. Boy, and I’m glad I did go to class. I dashed in to the pool area, just as it was time to start. It’s not a good sign when you hear “Oh good there’s Brynn” as you walk in. There were two people there. Two! Thankfully two other people came in right after I did, but it was practically a private class. Usually we have at least ten to twenty people there.

Again the topic of commitment filter through my thoughts. I joined the class because of the commitment factor. Knowing I’m expected gets my hiney there.

I’m not setting out to preach on this subject. I’m hardly a paragon of commitment, so to speak. But I’d like to throw out the question: what are we committed to? How are we doing? Do we need to re-evaluate? I think it truly is the size of our will that determines success. What is important enough to us that we will be successful and use the effort of our will to fulfill our commitment?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Boot Camp: Day Five Thousand Ten

Can I just say…I love water aerobics. After surviving the water nazi on Monday and aching all day from it Tuesday, I feel great today. Let’s face it. I felt great those two days, too. I love going. It’s fun and I just feel good when I’m done. OMG…are these the endorphins I’ve heard tell of? Anyway, it’s doing great things for the body too. I lost six lovely pounds in the last week. Six!!! Whoo hoo! Unofficially it’s more than that, but that would be because of a gain I didn’t count last week…so it’s actually more like ten. I really have been working my rear off (snort). Wouldn’t it be nice if every week was like this?

Well, I guess it’s good that they’re not otherwise there’d be nothing of me left. I’d just fade away… And while some people might not mind, most of the time my family likes to have me around. Anyway, I love the workout. I like the people I’m slashing about with, too. It’s just fun.

Totally changing gears…I entered Tribute for the Goddess in the EPPIES this morning. I also asked my publisher to enter the Legend anthology – which they did. Brit Party was also entered so technically I have four books entered (since two are in Legend). Now I get to be all uber-nervous. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve sent a book for a contest? Probably too long. Years.

Back when I started writing I entered contests all the time. With some of the very snarky comments I got back, it’s a wonder I kept writing. I was just a novice. I was just learning. That’s part of what unpublished contests are for. I didn’t need mean comments. To be fair, I got my fair share of good comments (from other judges) too. It’s a rough gig, the contest circuit. I got better and better. I was a finalist. I became a sought-after judge too. That’s when I made the transition. Entrant to judge. I stopped entering contests. Today I was reminded that I kinda miss it. And at least with a contest like this, no one can say: your hero’s a jerk.

Oh the fun.
Brynn

Friday, September 19, 2008

Boot Camp

Day One Brynn’s Bootcamp

I started my water aerobics class yesterday morning. Man it’s full speed all the time. I was worried when we started because we were really going at it and I thought, wow can I do this for an hour. I guess I could ‘cause I did. At the end I was surprised we were already done. I was not surprised however to discover I have zero coordination. It’s a good thing the water somewhat disguises that. Of course everyone could tell when I turned the wrong way ‘cause I don't know right from left. It wasn’t bad. I decided to do it five days a week.

The bonus was…about five minutes in, I looked over and who should be swimming in the first lap lane? Could it be? Yes, it was the man Dakota has dubbed Ethan. I wonder if he swims five days a week…hmmm…

Day Two Brynn’s Bootcamp

Why yes indeed he does swim everyday. Unfortunately, there was no ogling today, ‘cause he was leaving as I was crossing the parking lot. (Mr. Brynn, just looking really)

So the instructor today might possibly have been a former drill instructor. I think I might die later…but I’ll be back on Monday. I still have absolutely no coordination and apparently no balance either. I swear I must look like a drunk platypus. Anyhow, I worked far harder today than yesterday and this workout was very focused on arms. (Ow…)

I have lots of day job work today, but I’m hoping to do some work on my book tonight. Eleven days to get the puppy finished and wrapped up in a shiny perfect bow. Here’s hoping. I’ve got it all figured out. It’s just a matter of doing the work.

Speaking of work…after four months of being laid off, my husband got the ‘big call’ back yesterday. He starts back to work on Monday. That will be quite the change – he’ll be doing third shift. Blech. Well, at least it’s a job. And he’ll be sleeping during the day while I’m working.

In theory…

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Love of Military Men

I’m such a dork. The littlest things make me happy. I got a DVD set on covert Navy SEAL operations today. It’s almost four hours worth of SEALS and I’m in seventh heaven. Yeah, like I said. A dork. I'm a little bit of a SEAL groupie. I think special ops men are the hottest men around. I've written them several times -- only one pair in a published book, though. Kai and Brian in Tempting Tamera were former SEALS. I love those two.

So in order to get in shape for my own special SEAL op, I joined a water class at the Y starting tomorrow. LOL. I’ll never be that fit. However, I’m looking forward to the class. I hope I don’t regret it. It will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I decided to join a yoga class too, but not until January. The current one started in May and I don’t want to start in the middle.

So back to the SEALS. I’m starting a revamp on one of my early books which dealt with covert ops. I’m looking forward to diving back into that. Of course I have to finish a few other things first…like this Caveman book. I had to do some ripping apart to correct the plot. Don’t you just hate that? I would have prefered watching about ten movies.

Of course I tried to watch a movie the other day… It was new and I had to get off all the security tape. By the time I got all of the tape off (which must have been adhered with super glue) I didn’t want to watch the movie anymore. See I could never be a SEAL. They would never have such a hard time getting open a DVD -- at least not in my world. Maybe I'll watch a movie on Friday night. I think that’s the next free time I have. My husband’s gone all weekend at a gaming conference so I’m planning to work like a fiend. I plan to do a book marathon. I’d like to get 20,000 words done by next Thursday. It’s a covert operation. My real book marathon will happen with Kelly in a few weeks.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Decisions Decisions

Best. Weekend. Ever. I can’t wait for a repeat.

Then I fell into a bit of a depression. It’s okay. I’m okay. I’m fine actually. I made a huge decision this weekend and once the dust settled, I was faced with what is before me over the next few months. It’s scary but it’s also something I need to do. I think my writing career is dependent on it. I’ve had all kinds of signs—some like avalanches, some small—over the last weeks and I think the final landslide of a revelation finally hit with clarity I could no longer avoid.

I know I’m being all cryptic but I really can’t say what it is. Not yet. But have you ever had those moments when you see exactly the wrong turns you’ve made and exactly what you need to do to fix things and been scared to death?

I’ve been walking around going stupid stupid stupid. I feel like I’ve taken a huge detour to where I’m going only to find out if I’d taken a short dirt path I’d have been where I wanted a long time ago.

Just for this much clarity: I’m not going to stop writing. I’m not going to stop doing erotic romance either. These are two of my passions. I don’t regret them. I don’t intend to change them. To cement that part of my decision, I receive another landslide. I always appreciate those fortuitous events.

It doesn’t stop the fear.

It helps that I have people—trusted people near me—who whole-heartedly support my decision. I always appreciate that too. It makes a very good barometer.

I bit the bullet and bought some print books this weekend. One was Jennifer Armintrout’s final Blood Ties book. Congrats Jen on a triumphant finish. I can’t wait for your next book. I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting FOREVER.

One of the other books Sexiest Man Alive by Diana Holquist is exactly the kind of book I was on about last week. It’s not an erotic romance but it has the rest as far as I can tell. More on that later. I also picked up Teresa Medeiros Fairest of Them All. I love Teresa Medeiros. She has several books that I’ve read then called people and said “Drop everything. Read this book.” I mean it. She has fantastic books. Breath of Magic made me cry like a baby. So did Charming the Prince and The Bride and the Beast. Those three books will never ever leave my keeper shelf. Heck, Breath of Magic is falling apart I’ve read it THAT many times. I think it might be time to pick it up again…

See you 400 pages later.

ADDENDUM: I ditched sitemeter today. Their upgrade just isn't working out for me and we had to make a split. I'm now using blog patrol. I like it so far even though it seems to think I've had zero visitors, lol.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wait! This Isn't Football!

"That was one helluva a jam!"

Okay so I went to the Roller Derby yesterday with Dakota and Bronwyn. What an experience that was. When one of the players rounds the track for an introduction and carries a blow-up doll dressed in the other team's uniform, you know for sure you're not at your run of the mill sporting event. Of course the ref dressed in gold lame hot pants might give it away (check him out on Dakota's blog). He later changed the gold for pink ruffle panties. Gotta love a guy with that much confidence.

I loved the outfits the girls wore and their nicknames...Jackie Daniels, Dot Matrix, Lindsay Blowhan to name a few. Of course there was the other team: Psycho Babble, DeRanged, and Count Smacula. And the name that could not be ignored...nor the outfit and accessories...Fanny Fister. One announcer said this was his favourite dirty name ever. He also hoped that Fanny took her blow-up doll to the penalty box with her so the girls had something to do. At this point I realized the announcers at Roller Derby bouts have a slightly different code than at say...a tennis match. Sexual innuendo, off-colour talk and political comments were common fare. And nobody seemed to mind. Seriously the crowd there enjoyed it. There was such a mix of people from goth to grandmothers. Going into this, I was afraid there would be five people there and we'd be three of them. Heck no. I might not have known about our town's roller derby team but lots of other people did and it's quite popular.

I have to say in all truth -- roller derby, there's NOTHING like it. And OMG it's fun. It was a great time and I'm glad I got to share it with Bron and Dakota. It's been an awesome weekend and I hope we have a repeat soon.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

May Contain Nuts

Today is national peanut day. It’s also positive thinking day. I think I tend to be a positive thinker. I know there’s nothing I can’t do if I set my mind to it. Why not think that way? It’s true.

That’s not to say I don’t occasionally have doubts. Who doesn’t? But I try very hard to be upbeat and optimistic as much as I can. Positive so to speak. If you’re always expecting the worst isn’t that what’s going to happen. Some people call that the law of attraction. Some people say I’m setting myself up for a lot of disappointment. So far that hasn’t been true. I expect success—and I do the work to get there—and generally, by some measure, I get there. I think we only undermine ourselves when we expect the worst to happen. I mean, have you ever had the ‘worst day ever?’ It starts bad and just gets worse and worse. I think we get in the frame of mind that we make it worse and worse. It’s little things we do that make the day continue its downward slide.

Have you ever determinedly vowed to make your day better? It’s amazing what happens when you do. I’ve been on both sides. There’s something to be said about the power of positive thinking—even if you fall short of your goal, you often land close enough that you’ll get there with a few short steps. Or you’re happy with where you landed.

Speaking of falling short…I’m not quite there with my caveman book yet. I have about 3000 words to go. I’ll finish it this weekend. I had a plot snafu but I think the end result will be all the better for it. I do have a title now. It’s Tuesday Afternoons.Off to a meeting and spending more time with the fabulous Dakota.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Black Box

How many hours did I spend playing with the black box yesterday?? Way too many. Thank you very much Ashley Ladd.

I bet you might have too. If you landed here via the box, leave a message. Tell me where you're from in blogland.

ADDENDUM: Today is national Chocolate Milkshake day. Have one on me.

~~Brynn

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11

I’m going book shopping today. Ebook shopping that is. I don’t feel like leaving my cushy living room and driving to the book store, plus I don’t have room for anymore regular books. If I get anymore, my husband is going to start rumbling about purging them again. Anyway, I’m looking for feel-good, happily ever after books today. The fairytale kind. Plain old romances. Yeah they’ll be erotic romances ‘cause I like those best, but I really want the basic romance. Boy meets girl. Problems. Heart-breaking, bottom falling out of the world big black moment. Breathless reunion. You know the kind I’m talking about. Do you have any suggestions?

So this morning was the annual 9/11 flag salute for out boys. It wasn’t nearly as cold as last year, but it was a pretty chilly almost 50. Starting at 7:15 (sunrise) we salute the flag continuously until sunset tonight. Each troop rotates in and out at three minute intervals. Let me tell you…try standing at attention and saluting for three minutes straight. You think your arm is gonna die by the time you’re at two and a half minutes. Oh the burn. But it’s a good experience for the boys. We do several rotations then it’s off to school. We will do this as many years as they have the salute. We will never forget the heroes who serve our country everyday. We will not forget what has happened.

I’m past the halfway point on the book I’m working for Ellora’s Cave. I’m writing it for one of the Caveman anthologies…and hoping it gets picked up of course. I’m loving this story. Depending on my day, it’s likely I’ll finish it today. 5000 more words shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. I’ll be thrilled to have it done.

Things to do today:

1. Take a few minutes of remembrance today. No matter where you are in the world, today is a day that affected you.

2. Slow down and appreciate those around you. You never know what tomorrow or the next 46 minutes will bring.

3. Tune later for some Barbie Fun. Pictures are coming...

4. Go to Kelly's blog and pick one... Jason, Kelly. Definitely Jason.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hot Spot

Today was my day at the Hot Spot. Pop over and check out some writers' offices.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

New Cover

Not a lot to say today, but I want to share my new cover. I think it's pretty.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Routines

Roll your eyes at me all you want, but I can’t live without my routines. Seriously, I’ve lived life without and I’ve lived life with. I’ll choose the routine every time. That doesn’t mean I don’t do things spur of the moment—I do. But my routine does save me from having a train-wreck of a morning that leads into an even worse day.

Let me paint the scene. I get up at seven and drag the oldest child from bed for his shower. I then struggle to find clothes for both children only to discover that all their uniforms are in the wash…we have to leave for school in 45 minutes max. I spot clean and vow to do laundry that day. Now running behind, I throw lunches together…no juice boxes. I guess I’ll be a bad mom and the kids can have a pop…then I realize the child has been in the shower twenty minutes, I yell at him to get out. I yell at the other one to get up—he has five minutes. There’s a mad rush of lost shoes, hastily stuffed together backpacks and I hand each child a cup of milk and a baggie of cereal to eat on the road. I’m tired and crabby. I sign papers and hand out pills on the way to school while I drive. Then there’s the discovery that the younger child has forgotten his lunch and the other didn’t bring gym clothes and then the yelling begins…and child one gets sullen and child two cries. We’ve left late so they’re late for school.

Ugly. It’s happened. I’m not proud of it, but it has. Total meltdown mode.

Let me paint you another picture. I get up at six and leisurely read my email while I sip the coffee I set to brew before I went to bed last night. I might even do a little work. A half hour later, I wake whichever child wasn’t the first to shower the day before. He does what he has to and gets dressed in the clothes that he’s laid out the night before. His brother takes his shower and follows the same routine. They both grab their lunches that I’ve made the night before while cooking dinner and put them in their already packed backpacks. Pills are taken, a hot breakfast is eaten because, hey! I had time and I decided what to make, yes, the night before. I send them into the bathroom to clean up whatever mess they’ve made while I wash the breakfast dishes and we actually then leave in enough time that they get to school ten minutes early.

I like version two better. The kids like it because, really, who wants to be yelled at? And they know what is expected of them and what they need to do each night and each morning. If nothing else, they’re being better prepared for their future.

Maybe it’s getting up earlier…I guess that’s part of it. But really, no clothing stress. No homework stress. No lunch problems. No lack of breakfast. I get my coffee which is very necessary. Everyone’s happy and my house is cleaner too. I think the routine wins. I’m not stressing because things are getting done and I’m not doing extra running or having to think up excuses for the office about why the kids are late. Again. I can come home and settle right into work with a sigh of pleasure because today…I was the good mom. And I vow that tonight, the good mom will return so that tomorrow we can have another good morning.

But for now, I open my computer and scroll to the sex scene I abandoned last night and get to work…

Things to do today:

1. Look at your routine.

2. It’s getting cooler. Time for crockpot recipes. Get something started today. At my house it’s beef stew and homemade bread.

3. Check out the discussion about series at Get a Grip.

4. Check out the demotivational posters at Evil Editor. I cracked up. Yeah…I’m a bad person. What can I say?

~~Brynn

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

All System’s Normal

The cute kids to the left are mine…several years ago. I love my kids, I do, so why is that the first day of school is such a relief? I dropped off their sort of smiling faces this morning with no small amount of glee. So what is that? I’m guessing it’s because with the advent of the new school year, my life settles back into its normal routine. Drop of the kids, work, pick up the kids, work, Y, dinner, sleep. It’s not as simple as that but during the school year there are few surprises—and I get a lot more work done. You’d think they were four years old the way they distract. Nope. Eleven and fourteen.

I didn’t even get a little teary when I dropped them off. This year is a milestone year too. One in high school. The other in jr. high. Where do the years go? It seems like five minutes ago the oldest was in kindergarten. How time flies. Wow.

Enough of that.

So now that school has started, I’m getting back on my “normal” schedule. That will be good. Of course, there will be extra things added. Regular Scout meetings and that cute little blond boy in the picture…he wants to play football this year. The other one is into his friends and —oh man—girls. Not that he’s allowed to date. I’m mean that way.

I’m working away at Single White Knight. I’m mean to my heroes too. One of them, Toby, is a hot hot English Prof at an all girls school. Eighteen year old girls have terrible gaydar. I know… You know, every darn guy I fell for when I was 17-19 was either gay or eventually learned he was gay. Every one of them. Then I met my husband…who’s not. LOL. So anyway, poor Toby…I don’t feel bad for him. After all, he has his hero galloping onto the scene to save him. Sort of. He’s more of a problem to Toby’s peace of mind and secretive lifestyle than anything else. Deep down, I don’t think Toby will complain when all is said and done.

I’m off to work…this weekend pushed me behind schedule. I need to make up some words this week.

Things to do today:

1. I’ve said it before, but hug those kids. Man they grow up fast. Mine are now 5’10” and 5’11” and turning into men more and more everyday.

2. Check out Bronwyn’s new cat trick.

3. Check out things we wish from a total (male) stranger at Kelly’s blog.

4. Pssst…the kids are at school. Spend ten minutes purging their room while they’re not looking.

~~Brynn