Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Writer Wednesdays: Intro

Last week I mentioned my new series, Writer Wednesdays (name inspired by a Twitter hash tag) was starting in April. Here's a brief description of what it is and why I'm doing it.

As a writer, I know how hard it is to make a living in today's writing market. Not to mention that we enter this market with our hearts on our sleeves, well, embedded into our manuscripts anyway. It is a personal rejection every time, no matter how many times you're told otherwise.

Rejections are something all writers have to learn to deal with. It's part of the business. I can say from experience that it does get easier, but it never completely loses that sting. And, to be honest, it shouldn't. How do we write with passion day after day and then not care when it is rejected?

Learning the craft of writing is a process, and so is learning the business of writing. There's a lot of trial and error and a lot of rejection. It can be overwhelming, especially to new writers, but I've talked to some seasoned authors who still find it difficult to switch gears from writer to book marketer. So I wanted to take a day a week to put that aside and focus on something positive.

That's why I wanted to start this series. Not to complain about the state of publishing, not to cry about rejections, but to remember the good parts of writing. Why we started; what made us want to write in the first place, and what keeps us writing despite all of the other stuff.

I want to celebrate the writer. Whether we're aspiring, newly published, or seasoned, we all have our own writing story. I hope that this series inspires us all to keep writing with passion and keep heading toward our writing dreams.

So, please stop by next Wednesday for the first guest post and cheer on a fellow writer, and if you would like to share your own writing story let me know.


Kristin : )

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Blog Vacation

I am taking a brief blog vacation to get organized. I will start posting the new blog schedule on April 1. Until then I will continue working on my 40 Posts in 40 Days challenge underground, or would that be undernet? I am excited about the changes coming. Thanks for all your support and I hope that you stop by to see all the new things going on for April.


Kristin : )

Monday, March 22, 2010

And the winner is...

Thanks to all who stopped by to read my review of The Beautiful Dead. One of you brave commenters has won my review copy of the book and a signed copy of my book, The Truth Lies in the Dark.

I won't keep you guessing any longer. The winner is...


Congratulations. I will mail both books to you as soon as you email the address you would like them sent to.

Thanks again everyone.

Kristin : )

Friday, March 19, 2010

Book Tour: The Beautiful Dead

Beautiful Dead: Book 1- Jonas is the first story in a new YA series by Eden Maguire. I'll have to admit, initially I had a hard time with the whole limbo idea of being caught between life and death. I was worried that it would promote more recklessness in teens who haven't fully grasped mortality. Then I remembered that this book was not written for me, a mom of teenagers and tweens. This book was written for them.

Once I faced that simple fact reading became easier and more enjoyable. By the end I loved the story and found that instead of encouraging recklessness in teens it actually offered insight into losing someone close. And yes, a nice cushion between that loss and having to let go. That is not such a bad thing.

The story begins with the tragic deaths of 4 teenagers (Jonas, Arizona, Summer, and Pheonix) in less than a year. Everyone at Ellerton High is devasted, especially Darina. Her boyfriend Pheonix was the most recent loss. She begins to see the deceased teens. Are these sightings just figments of her grieving mind or was she chosen to help them find out the truth about their deaths?

Darina learns that the teens are part of a group called the Beautiful Dead. They each have only 1 year to discover the mysteries behind their deaths. She must come to grips quickly with both her own grief and the unbelievable miracle that has brought part of Pheonix back to her. Jonas only has a month left to his time in limbo and Darina is the only one that help him find the answers he needs to pass on to a peaceful eternity.

I finished this book looking forward to the next in the series, Beautiful Dead: Book 2 - Arizona. Eden Maguire writes about the intensity of feelings teenagers experience with respect and understanding. I think this series will be very popular.

If you have read Beautiful Dead or plan to I'd love to hear your opinions. For more reviews you can check out the Blog Tour schedule posted on the Teen Fire website. Other blog stops today are Bookalicious and the Portland Books Examiner.

You've made it to the end of my review. Now it's GIVEAWAY time!! That's right, one lucky commenter will receive my review copy of Beautiful Dead: Book 1- Jonas. And...

Yup, there's more...

As an added bonus I will also send a signed copy of my book, The Truth Lies in the Dark along with the copy of Beautiful Dead. 2 books! All you have to do is leave a comment below and you could be the winner.

Thanks for stopping by and good luck.

Kristin : )
* My review copy of Beautiful Dead was sent to me by a publicist from Sourcebooks. There was no payment nor promise of a positive review exchanged.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

10 Things You Don't Know About Me

When my Twitter friend Dani whipped sweetly presented this award to me I was honored. Then I started thinking, what could I possibly say that I haven't all ready? So, after some time I came up with these. A few may shock you, while others you may already know or guessed. Whatever the case, after all is said and done, if you think differently of me I'll understand ;)

10 Things...

  1. I am a loyal friend.

  2. I can be a royal pain in the a** (this is one that may shock!)

  3. I am a fierce protector of my family. I will rarely post personal info about them (& always ask before I share a story) It is my choice to live out loud on line, not theirs.

  4. I am a hands on person & love restoring furniture. I occasionally get carried away. Turned a canopy bed into a baseball bat post bed for my son.

  5. I have my own tools (2 sanders, jig saw, power drill, and an assortment of hand tools) & I know how to use them :)

  6. I love to laugh (another shocker!) I love sarcasm, snark, and all types of silliness (as long as it's not hurtful. I may aggravate people with my humor but it's never meant to be malicious. All in good fun. Life is too short to be serious all the time.

  7. I am in my 30's. I had to add that because in 3 months I will never be able to say that again. I am in my 30's...I am in my... ;)

  8. I don't like routines, schedules, charts (pie or otherwise). I follow them when I must, but it hurts my inner free spirit :)

  9. This one is not yet released for public knowledge (inspired by Dani) Have to leave some mysteries ;)

  10. I use way too many smiley, winky, frowny faces on line. I can't help it. It's an addiction, an emoticon addiction (I'm sorry you have to suffer through it). :) ;) :( :0 :~)

So that's it. I hope I haven't scarred you with any of this. I'll understand if you can't look me in the eye for a while. Just keep stopping by, the awkwardness will pass ;)

And my chosen victims I mean nominees are...

Leah Braemel: Author of steamy love stories ;)

Jen Knox: Author of emotionally raw memoir

Lisa Pietsch: Author of kick a** military novels

Nick Daws: Author, freelance copywriter, & all around good guy

Denise Robbins: Author of techno-romantic thrillers

Feel free to share some TMI about yourself below ;) I dare ya. I double dog dare ya!

Thanks Dani. It was fun and only slightly painful. For Dani's list of nominations and to see her 10 Things stop by her beautiful Haiku blog Haiku Love Songs .


Kristin : )

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Script Frenzy

As I hinted yesterday, I'm thinking about joining another writing Challenge. I know, it's crazy. I can't help myself. In November I did the NaNoWriMo (50,000 words in 30 days). When I was finished I hated what I had produced. It was mainly dialogue and every time I tried to expand on the scenes it was like throwing a wrench into the story's flow. It took a lot of stressful hours, and a few close calls with the fireplace, for me to realize that maybe this WIP was not meant to be a book at all. That is when I started looking into turning it into a script for a movie. I know, once again, it's crazy. But, why not?

I knew nothing about script writing, but that's what google is for right? I googled and I bought a few books and eventually was comfortable enough to download a script writing program. I have been slowly (very slowly) plugging along since. Recently all progress has stopped. Turns out my inner critic for script writing is a tough cookie. It couldn't wait to remind me on a daily basis that I know nothing about writing a movie. Just when I start believing this, I come across an email from the fine (albeit insane) people who brought NaNoWriMo to life. There's a new challenge coming in April. It's called (of all things) Script Frenzy .

My inner critic read this email, contemplated, and hit delete. Next thing you know I'm pulling it out of the virtual trash can and thinking... I really don't know what I was thinking. Still don't. But I know I love the story and the characters so this could be just the push I need to finish this. Then, and only then can I really know if I can do this or not.

I won't be able to officially win this contest since I started the script before the April 1st date, but I can use it to kick me into gear.

Wish me luck. I could use all the cheering I can get. If you have lost all senses like me and are contemplating trying this challenge you call find me on the website under KCBOOKS.


Kristin : )

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Life after Monday

Whew! Yesterday was a tough one. I'm sure it was obvious by my post. A lot of little things went wrong, but it was all amplified by the fact that I am very frustrated with my current computer situation. When the new laptop arrives I will be so happy. It will be liberating to be able to take my writing out of the house again. My old one (the dinosaur) had to be kept within 4 feet of a plug at all times. Even after trying new batteries, it just refused to hold a charge. So to say I'm excited about the new laptop is an understatement. I'm running to the door every time I hear a large truck approaching.

The Ides of March was not just tough for me. It seemed that everyone I talked to was having an off day. My kids came home from school with stomach turning news about a rat being found in a fryer that was used to cook lunch. You can imagine the thoughts that come to mind. It's not just gross, but extremely unhealthy. Thankfully, my daughter's version of the incident was more dramatic than the actual story. The school principle said there was a mouse found in one of the heating dishes. It was under the pan that held the food. Gross, YES! But, not likely to get anyone sick.

My daughter will not be eating hot lunch for a while. She did return to school today looking only slightly green. My son, on the other hand was fine with it all. He just assumes there's mouse in every school meal now. This is certainly proof that the male brain works so differently than the female's. My daughter and I are dry heaving and he's upset he wasn't allowed to see the remains. His day was not all fun though, he came home with a nasty knot on his head from bending over too fast and too close to his desk.

These are just some of the things to go wrong. But, enough about yesterday. Kids are resilient and mishaps will happen. Onward with today. The sun is out, which is great to finally see, and it's another day closer to one when the Fed Ex truck actually stops and places my laptop into my hands.

While I wait for that day I'll share what's going on in other areas of my writing. My new blog schedule will begin within the next few weeks. I'm very excited about the new series and hope you can make it back to check them out.

I've been working on some ideas for children's books and have recently started querying agents (holding breath). I will continue writing adult fiction, but have always wanted to write for children. I've worked with kids as a preschool teacher, volunteering, and more recently as a substitute for years. I am sending out some writing to children's magazines, in a effort to build my portfolio in this area.

Another big project I'm working on has to do with the WIP I started during last November's NaNoWriMo. I will be blogging about this more tomorrow.

April is going to be a busy month for me, but I'm starting to think I perform better under complete chaos :)

Have a great day and thanks again for stopping by.

Kristin : )

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday, I'm through with you!

It's a trifecta of gloom today. The date is March 15, the Ides of March we have been warned to be wary of by Shakespeare (& we all know what happened to Caesar when he didn't heed that warning). Some of us have lost an hour due to daylight savings time. Which seems to take a perfectly planned schedule and toss it upside down, leaving it there to struggle like a turtle on it's back. Not to mention that it's Monday, the day that always comes as a shock to the senses after a nice relaxing weekend. As if all of that was not enough, the Connecticut skies have decided to match this ominous date with a bone chilling, wind driven rain.

This vortex of dismality (is that even a word?) has spread through my house. The kids woke up cranky, clothes have mysteriously disappeared (or are stuffed in deep dark crevices), my old laptop is circling the drain while the new one is lost somewhere in shipping land, and that cute little saying, What can go wrong will go wrong, is running around like a 2 year old swinging a pinata stick.

So, what is there to do but plod on, through the dark clouds, around the venomous warnings, over the stereo typical Mondayness. Gently pick up that turtle and set him on his feet again and take a deep breath.

It's going to take more than the fall of a Roman Empire and some storm clouds to stop me, slow me down yes, but it won't stop me ;)

I'm going to look toward sunnier skies, toward kinder days, and leave this one here to sulk by itself.

Who's with me?

Thanks for stopping by and listening to me vent :)


Oh look who just showed up. It's my dearest old friend Brutus. He looks like he's having a bad day too.

"Et tu Brutus?" heh heh

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Daylight Savings

I'd like to blame yesterday's missed post on Daylight Savings Time, but I can't. I will blame it for other things though. Why not?

If I had that hour back...

I would have one more load of laundry done.
I would have walked around the block twice.
I'd be 50+ pages further in my book.
I would have eaten more fruit.
I would have learned some new Spanish words.
I could have cleaned out the garage.
I could have baked a cake.
I should have went grocery shopping for the week.

So, I guess after looking at what I would have, could have, and should have done I'm kind of glad for the time change. Because what I actually did today was so much more relaxing. Hope your Sunday has been good.

What could you have gotten done if you had that extra hour back today?

Thanks for stopping by,

Kristin : )

Friday, March 12, 2010

New Blog Schedule

Happy Friday! I feel great today. Had the best night of sleep since before I had kids. It's amazing what a full, uninterrupted night of sleep can do for you. I feel so good I'm not even that upset with myself for skipping yesterday's blog post. Well, I do feel a little bad. But it is just a blip in the 40 Blog Posts in 40 Days challenge.

But, on the bright side for you loyal readers (you know who you are) it probably wasn't going to be anything blog worthy anyway. I was too tired to think yesterday. I'm back on today and the gears are going at full speed.

Here's my tentative *new and improved* blog schedule. After my 40 Day Challenge is over I will not be posting everyday at first. I'd like to focus my energy on the new series I'm starting and on the existing ones.

Monday - Will remain Memoir Mondays. There are endless amounts of inspirational memoirs out there. My only problem is finding the time to read and get them up on the blog. My goal, and part of my new year resolution, is to post at least 2 a month.

Wednesday - Writer's Wednesdays. A new series highlighting all types of writers (beginners, freelance, published and seasoned authors). Inspired by the kind people on Twitter who do a special shout out to writers every Wednesday. More details on this soon.

Friday - Raising Kids in a High Tech World. This is another new series. It's something I deal with everyday with my kids and think it needs to be discussed. Click Here for the post that explains more. Notice that the title and the week day has changed. Originally this series was planned for Tuesdays and was going to focus on Teens. But as I write the first posts I realize this involves kids of all ages.

Saturday & Sunday - This will be reserved for reviews and blog tours for books I've read.

That leaves Tuesdays & Thursdays as free days to talk about my own writing or new book news. Basically whatever I want, or nothing at all. It's kind of nice to leave myself a few days like that. I admire the writers out there that can post something new everyday, but have to be realistic with my schedule and how I choose to split my writing time.

I hope that you stop by for some of these discussions. If you are a writer and want to participate in the Writer Wednesdays series let me know.


Kristin : )

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

If you give a wife a chef...

I love a good home cooked meal, but I get tired of being the one who makes it every night. I often fantasize about having my own chef to prepare meals. Ahhh... but then I thought about one of my kids' favorite childhood books, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.

If you give a wife a chef
She'll smile and jump for joy
But soon she'll want a dishwasher
She won't mind if it's a girl or boy
When the dishes are cleaned and put away
She'll probably want the perfect accompanier
That will bring out the flavor of the meal
For that she'll surely need a trusty sommelier
Next she'll put her feet up
A kick off her Jimmy Choos
So you better get the phone book
and look up the best masseuse
So remember this silly ditty
The next time your wife wants a rest
Cook a dinner now and then
But don't get your wife a chef.

*This poem is not for my husband. He is free to get me a chef* ;)


Kristin : )

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tech Teens: Raising Kids in a High Tech World

Anyone with teenagers knows it's a different world from when we were teens. The biggest change is the ever growing field of technology.They have computers, IPhones, Ipods, xbox 360, Playstation3, Wii, cell phones, etc. All of these devices and systems allow them to interact with the entire world. Their influences stretch well beyond their families and school friends. The scary part is how young this interaction begins. Just when I think my older boys have matured enough to understand the positive and negative aspects of all this technology, my 10 and 12 year children are asking when they get their phones and why they can't have their own online XBOX account or Facebook.

How much technology is too much? And a favorite question of my kids, How old do I have to be?

This is something I wrestle with constantly. It's a whole new ballgame for parents today. Used to be you could teach stranger danger to your kids and it covered every person that walked within their scope of life. Today their scope is widening and most predators can hide safely behind a monitor or a microphone and neatly behind the profile of an innocent child their own age. My kids know not to give personal information willingly online, but look at me like I'm crazy when I explain how they can easily baited into giving this information without even realizing it.

This is a on going battle in my house and since there are endless topics, I'd like to start discussing technology and teens weekly.
Join me next Tuesday for the first part of Tech Teens, when I'll start with the subject of age. How old should a child be before allowing full access to the virtual world?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions on this.
Kristin : )

Monday, March 8, 2010

Just for LOLs!

Just popping to share a funny commercial. It was my favorite out of this year's Super Bowl ads. So happy Monday and hope you enjoy!

Etrade baby: Milk a what?


Kristin : )

Sunday, March 7, 2010

40 Posts in 40 Days: What are you reading?

It's Sunday, and I have not opened a book since Friday. I blame the weather. We had a sneak peek of Spring and we didn't waste a moment of it. We got back into our daily walks around the block and played a lot of basketball with the kids. I am feeling the effects of that tonight. The weekend is over and I'm relaxing with a book.

I finished The Time Hackers by Gary Paulson with my daughter. She thought it was funny that one of characters was always trying to use the time traveling technology to go back and catch famous women bathing :)

I'm still reading The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris. It's taking me some time to get through this one.

A new memoir I'm starting is Growing Up Mostly Normal in the Middle of Nowhere by John Sheirer. The author was also my English Professor in college. I actually had a table next to him at a book event in November. This is the first of two memoirs he has published. He was a great teacher and I look forward to reading his work.

What are you reading?


Kristin : )

PS: I posted this entry from my Ipod, which I have never tried before. So please be patient while I it out.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

40 Posts in 40 Days: Spring Blog Cleaning preview

It's Saturday and it's feeling very Springish here. Makes you want to uncover the grill and have friends over for a cook out. That's the plan for us :) So, today's post will be quick. I've got some salads to make.

I mentioned that I have been planning a new daily schedule for my blog. One of my ideas is really starting to take shape. It's a series that highlights all kinds of writers, from beginners to seasoned authors. I love hearing why other people like to write and what inspires them. More details about this coming soon.

My laptop crashed the other day and I am now in the process of ordering a new one. This is a good time to make all of my blog ideas a reality.

That's about it for now. Hope you all have a great weekend. I'm going outside.


Kristin : )

Friday, March 5, 2010


As promised, with my dance opponent's permission, here is a recap of the Dance Off on Twitter. I'll warn you, it is silly. We had a lot of fun making up virtual moves and I can't thank Dani (ddh77) enough for bringing it ;) I honestly thought she had it with the Pink trapeze move. You'll notice we mention adamslisa (Author Lisa Adams) through out, she was the judge.

KCBOOKS: *happy dancing*

ddh77: *dancing on toes*

KCBOOKS: *twirl* ~shuffle, shuffle~ LEAP @ddh77 it’s your turn :)

ddh77: i need music

KCBOOKS: @ddh77 oh funny, I was thinking the Black Eyed peas new song lol ~ Imma Be ddh77: @KCBOOKS {Imma be} *swaying hips to the beat**shaking my hands

KCBOOKS: shaking my tush, *shake, shake* WHat? Yup, huh uuh *shake, shake*

ddh77: *lickin’ my lips* *swinging my hips* *arms lifted high* *fingertips touching the sky*

KCBOOKS: Oh no, here it comes… busting the Travolta disco stance. Finger pointed NW other SE… ah ah ah aaah stayin alive :)

ddh77: *doin one-handed flips* *shaking my pom poms* {imma be..imma be}

KCBOOKS: *cross feet, spin. Take three steps… ~*~ leap ~*~ land in a split (ouch)

ddh77: *swaying my hips as I spin round in circles* *shimmy~shimmy* *flipping my waist-length hair*

KCBOOKS: feet moving fast in rhythm, beads of sweat forming… (whew) spins back to chair, sits back… waterfall *~*~*~ LOL

ddh77: *bouncin’**bouncin’**bouncin’* *shakin’ my booty* *shakin’ my shoulders* *swayin’ my hair*

KCBOOKS: *cartwheel, running backspring…hip check to the right…then the left. Fake gun comes out *poof* Oh yeah

ddh77: {Imma be… Imma be… Imma be the flyest shit…} *whirling**whirling**whirling* {{loud crash off to the side}}

KCBOOKS: ok LOL, final move from each. Then we’re done. My virtual heart is beating out of my chest :)

ddh77: {imma be… imma be..} *grabs the rope**spinning up/out/around/upside down as the rope lifts me**water pours over my nearly-naked body as my hair streams down**twirling round & round as the rope rises* {imma be..imma be}

KCBOOKS: @ddh77 oh my, that’s impressive

KCBOOKS: I’m bringing in my back up dancers, “come on boys.” All together now..hand to head, then the other…hand to hip, then the other hands to hip, shake that booty *shake* Running …front hand spring lands in split (RIPPPP) oh…er. Costume malfunction @adamslisa

ddh77: Hmmmph! Back up dancers! *still hanging upside down from rope, slowly spinning, dripping everywhere*

KCBOOKS: @ddh77 back up dancers are half men/half horse dudes from Old Spice commercials…just saying @adamslisa

KCBOOKS: @ddh77 & we rocked the macarina…who can say that? LOL @adamslisa

ddh77: {screaming rather hysterically} HEY! @KCBOOKS @adamslisa @americannanny Will someone please come lower this rope? I’m getting dizzy!!

KCBOOKS: @ddh77 I’ll send a horse man. Oh, he can’t climb. Bet you wish you saw how Pink got back down, huh? :)

KCBOOKS: @ddh77 *running with scissors to the rescue* this could end badly

ddh77: RT: KCBOOKS: @ddh77 really, who would want to say it ;)<< color="#006600">adamslisa: @ddh77 @KCBOOKS @americannanny I think that @kcbooks is the winner. The ripping costume malfunction got me… @bsain @jdistraction

ddh77: @adamslisa Thank you for judging. {feelings only mildly hurt~that was a pretty amazing costume malfunction} @KCBOOKS @americannanny

I hope you could follow along and that you enjoyed this as much as we did. It's not easy dancing in 140 characters or less. Have a great Friday.


Kristin : ) aka @KCBOOKS

Thursday, March 4, 2010

40 Posts in 40 Days: Challenge Update

It's been about 2 weeks since I started my 40 Blog Posts in 40 Days personal challenge. This is what I've learned so far and what I hope to achieve by the time the challenge is finished.

It's not as tough to post everyday as I originally made myself believe. I'm not saying each post offered ground breaking information for the virtual world, but it helped me to get more comfortable with writing on the spot. I tend to be a tough critic in my novel writing. Most days I have no idea what I'm going to write for my blog (like today) and next thing you know I'm typing away (like right now).

Sometimes an idea hits me while waiting in the car for one of my kids to emerge from an activity and I can't wait to get home and put it on the blog. That's how my short story, The Perfect Resolution, came to life. Sitting in the school parking lot watching other parents waiting impatiently for their child. Some outside pacing, talking on the phone loudly about where they're going or what they still need to do. Other parents sitting in their cars, engines running, watching the doors for movement as they drink their bottled water and check their hair in the mirror. We are all in a rush to get to the next thing and following daily rituals to achieve some form of perfection in ourselves or through our children. That's where Jenny was born. She is a combination of myself and the many parents I see and talk with each week.

I am happy with some other changes blogging every day has brought on. It made me realize that if I plan to continue after my challenge is over I'll need to develop a schedule so that blogging doesn't take over too much of my writing time. So, as I type I have ideas percolating. Over the next few weeks I hope to have newly organized blog schedule up.

That's it for now. Thanks to those of you who keep coming back, whether you choose to comment of not I appreciate you giving some of your time to stop by.


Kristin : )

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

40 Posts in 40 Days: Tax Time

It's tax time again. Not my favorite time of year for sure, but we all have to do it. This year there is the added stress of making sure my own records and receipts for writing expenses are in order. Keeping a ledger for these expenses and profits is new for me so I'm open to tips and suggestions to help me organize better. Writer's Digest had some great advice. Here's the link if you're interested. Tax Tip For Writers

So that's it for today. I've got to get back to my pile of paperwork. A tip from me during tax time. Do all paperwork in front of the fireplace. Whatever is not needed makes great kindling :)

Tonight, after I have finished, I'll pour a glass of wine and say a toast. Here's to next year's profits outweighing the expenses.


Kristin : )

BTW: Our Twitter DANCE OFF was canceled last night. Real life took over. We will reschedule sometime next week.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Twitter DANCE OFF!

For today's post I'd hope to have the transcript of something strange and hysterical that happened on Twitter last week. What started out as a joke turned into a full blown DANCE OFF (virtual, of course). A fellow twitter friend @ddh77 and I agreed on a song (Imma Be by the Black Eyed Peas) and made up virtual dance moves. We even had a judge! It was so much fun that we decided to to do it again.

The next DANCE OFF is tonight at 6PM EST. As soon as I receive the transcript of our last battle (which I won...hehe) I will post it. My opponent was very imaginative and I had to share my virtual award with her for her rendition of Pink being hoisted above the crowd :)
I'd also like to take a moment to give a heart felt thanks to all of you who stopped by to read my short story The Perfect Resolution. I'm sending out virtual *hugs* to all who commented, but do appreciate all of my readers.
Kristin :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Perfect Resolution (The End)

Hi and thanks to all you adventurous souls who keep coming back for more. If you are just now stumbling onto this, here are the links to the first parts.

The Perfect Resolution Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3

This has been fun to write each day, but also so different from the style of writing I'm used to. Usually I write with the door closed, as Mr. King so accurately puts it. I don't show anyone my work till I have gotten at least the first draft down and know how the story is going to play out. With this short story I am posting as I write, allowing for little edit time (or as I like to call it - bang my head on the keyboard and change it time). Although I know how it's going to end, it's always interesting to me to see how the characters arrive there. I hope you are finding it interesting as well :) Please feel free to leave me a comment (good/bad). I'd love to hear what you think.

Kristin : )

The Perfect Resolution (The End)

Jenny stood, marker in hand and a renewed sense of hope for reaching her goals. She found it strange to feel so upbeat, especially after the way the day had gone so far. Her kids were banished to their rooms and busy cleaning and her husband had left to the hardware store to get a new garbage disposal. The house was quiet, which helped Jenny maintain this brief illusion of control.

She looked over the list, once again wishing she had used paper and not her bedroom wall, but what's done is done. She would make the best of it. Clearly she started with too high of expectations. Achieving perfection was still possible, she just had to whittle her ideas of perfection down a bit. She went to work crossing out and replacing affirmations with ones she could look at and not want to scream. When she was done she stood back and smiled. Now this is a list I can do.

To be PERFECT I must do the following EVERYDAY:

  • DO NOT PROCRASTINATE Don't put off what you can do today.

  • drink 640z of waterliquid

  • exercise for 30- -60 minutes

  • 5 servings of fruits & veggies a day

  • read & write for 4 hours each (TY Stephen King)

  • Sleep for 8-10 hours whenever you can

  • Power nap in the afternoon

  • Cook healthy meals at home (NO TAKEOUT!) Eat healthier

  • Eat dinner as a family (AT THE KITCHEN TABLE!)

  • No alcohol, No coffeeNo sugar (THINK HEALTHY!)

  • Keep up w/house cleaning Make family help more!

  • Stay on top of laundry

  • get/give at least 6 hugs (TY Becky Sain)

  • Take time for you! (YOU DESERVE IT!)

  • Finally, when perfection is achieved... repaint bedroom wall!

The laundry is one load away from being done. Already almost halfway there on the hugs with my kids and dinner is thawing on the counter. All there was left was getting some reading and writing in and finding time for herself. Jenny thought about her article for the local paper that was due by Friday. She had planned on working on it tomorrow, when everyone was back at school and work. Why not now? The house was quiet and the revised first line from her list was encouraging.

Jenny headed for the den and her sacred corner delegated as her office. On the way past she called out to make sure the kids were still working on their rooms and had not drifted into video game and text comas.

As she wrote, she listened to gentle sounds of progress in her home. She could hear the different styles of music wafting from the kid's rooms and the tell tale movements of cleaning and organizing. Her husband returned and was busy removing the old disposal. The clanking of wrenches against pipes seemed to dance with the tapping of keys.

Jenny stopped typing, sat back, and looked at the computer screen in amazement. She had finished the entire first draft of her article. She still had to give it a day to rest before polishing it, but the first draft was done. She let out a long relieved breath. She sat and looked it over again, letting the feeling of accomplishment fill her, then moved the cursor over the save button.

The lights dimmed in three quick successions and then went out completely. The screen went blank. Jenny hit the power button with panicked hope. It did nothing, the screen remained black, her article gone. She opened her mouth to scream, but her husband's yell echoed through the house.

"What happened? Are you OK?" She asked as she rushed to where his legs and lower torso stuck out from under the sink.

He pulled himself out, wire cutters in his hand and a crazy expression in his eyes.

"Did you shock yourself again?" Her worry melting as the hair on his arms visible began to lie back down against his skin. He only nodded. "Why don't you ever shut off the power when you're working near electricity?"

"Power's off now." He smiled sheepishly.

"So is my computer. I lost the article I was working on."

"Oh, sorry. I'll go fix the breaker."

"No, I'll do it. I'm going to throw in the last load of laundry anyway."

Jenny reset all the breakers but the kitchen and switched over the laundry. As she put in the last piece of clothing off the floor into the washer she sighed. It felt like a hollow victory after loosing her article. Being perfect at laundry alone was not what she had in mind. Something caught her eye. Jenny looked up to see a sleeve sticking out of the laundry chute. It must have gotten stuck. She unlatched the door and was assaulted by a mountain of clothes. Shocked by the attack she stood there, underwear hanging from her shoulder, a rogue sock flopping into her face, the rest piled up around her as high as her knees.

The opposite end of the chute creaked open and another collection of dirty clothes fell. Peering down, framed by the bathroom light behind her and looking as surprised as Jenny, was Vanessa.

"Mom? What are you doing there?"

"What do you think I'm doing?"

"Are you looking for something in the dirty clothes?"

"Yes, my sanity." Jenny mumbled.



"Dad's calling you. Sounds like something exploded in the kitchen, besides him." Vanessa smiled.

Back in the kitchen Jenny stopped in the doorway and watched her husband stand over a pile of metal pipes, plastic rings, and an open instruction book. He turned with a look of frustration on the verge of rage.

"Want some help?" She couldn't help but feel bad. He was a mess, his head and shoulders soaked and his knuckles bruised and bleeding.

"Please." He handed her the thick booklet. "I'm going back under. Read out how this thing goes together."

Jenny hopped up on the counter and started reading, jumping down to hand him the next part and the tools he would need. It took a few hours but they had the new disposal up and running. They both stood back and listened to it hum.

Jenny looked at the time. Already six o'clock, too late to start cooking the pork roast she had planned for dinner. She poked it and shook her head, it was still frozen anyway.

"What's wrong? We did it." Her husband asked, still smiling from his accomplishment.

"I failed." Jenny said quietly, a tear escaped and ran down her cheek.

"No you didn't. Look at what we did." He pointed to the sink.

"I failed at everything. I even crossed off most of my list and still failed. The house, the laundry, the pork."

"The pork?"

"Yes, our healthy dinner is still a frozen block on the counter. I'm just one big failure after another." More tears fell.

"No you're not."

"Have you seen that list on the wall?" She took him by the arm and led him into the bedroom and pointed angrily. "Look. I can't do anything of this right. I've failed."

"Ok, I've had enough of this list." Her husband announced. He left the room on hard footsteps. Jenny sat on the bed and buried her face in her hands, unable to look at the wall. Unwilling to face her failures.

Jenny could hear her husband banging things around and then it sounded like water was running in the bathroom. It lasted for a while. Jenny just sat there.

Jenny heard her husband's determined footsteps getting closer. She didn't look up. She felt bad enough about the way the day had gone and didn't want to cap it off with a fight.

"Come here." He said too stern. Jenny did not move. "Jenny, look at me." He said softer.

She looked up and then sat straighter. He was standing there with her pink plush robe and a huge glass of wine. Confused, she just stared. He held out the wine. Her eyes went from his to the list.

"Forget that stupid list. Here." He said again and put the wine into her hand. She took the stem into her fingers and looked up at him through we lashes. "Come on." He pulled her gently by the arm.

He walked her to the bathroom. The tub was full of bubbly water. There was a small stool set up next to it with the book she was reading and a few of her favorite magazines. Jenny smiled.

"What's this?"

"This is for you. Get in and relax." He ordered with a smile. He kissed her on the cheek, hung her robe on the towel hook, and left the room.

An hour later, a rested relaxed Jenny emerged from the bathroom. She felt so much better and ready to face her dreaded wall again. I won't give up. It was a only a bad start. She took a deep breath and turned toward the wall when she entered the room. It took her a moment to register what she was seeing, or not seeing. It was gone. The list, her resolutions, they were all gone. The wall was back to the crisp white blankness. What? A noise startled her and Jenny spun around to see her husband, son, and daughter standing in the doorway.

"What happened?" She said, pointing at the wall.

"I painted it." Her husband said as he came to stand next to her. He waved the kids over. That's when Jenny noticed they were both holding something. Timmy came closer with a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers clutched in his hand and Vanessa held out a card.

Jenny opened her mouth, but no words came. All she could do was smile as tears filled her eyes. She wiped them away and tore the envelope open. The card was sweet, but what really got her was what was inside.

Inside was a picture of all them on a water raft, soaking wet and smiling. Jenny remembered the day at the park that past summer. She dragged them all there because she was writing a review for a family vacation magazine. They all protested, saying they were too old for an amusement park. It turned out to be so much fun. Her husband put his arm around her and flipped the picture to reveal writing on the back. It simply said:

You have always been perfect to us!

Jenny wrapped her arms around all three and squeezed them tightly, wanting to remember this perfect moment forever.


I hope you enjoyed The Perfect Resolution. Jenny learned that perfection comes in many forms. It's not always about doing everything just right, it's about doing the best you can and never giving up. At least that's what I thought she learned. What did you think? I'd love you hear.


Kristin : )