Happy Labor Day!

I’m crawling out from the rock I’ve been under for the past, well, for all of 2013. LOL.

Just this past week I turned in my book, Pleasing the Pirate, to my editor and wow, I feel like a 335 page book has been lifted from my shoulders.

I really have no more words left in me right now and considering it’s Labor Day weekend I’m sure you all are standing around the grill enjoying summer’s last gasp. So today I will leave you with some Labor Day trivia.

Have a fun day!!!

-Sharon

-The first Labor Day parade to be held in the USA was on September 5, 1882 in New York City

-Grover Cleveland was the US President who signed the bill making it a national holiday

-Peter McGuire – founder of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America–is credited with first proposing the idea of Labor Day as a national holiday in 1882

-There are 155.7 million people age 16 years and older in the country’s labor force as of May 2013 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

LaborDaySign

Reading Pet Peeves

So I’m reading away the other night, totally engrossed in a really good book, turning the pages as fast as I can. When suddenly everything comes to a screeching halt and I’m ripped out of the story.

Why?

Because the author didn’t know her stuff. Didn’t do her research. And I caught it. I had to put the book down. Oh, I’ll finish it because I love this author and I love this book. But for right now I need to take a break from it because the mistake was something that shouldn’t have happened if the author had done the research needed. And it’s a simple thing to do. A quick Google search would have netted the correct usage of a word.

Note to contemporary authors: There’s a HUGE difference between jail and prison. The character, who happens to be a cop, would definitely know that difference, yet he used the wrong term and it pulled me completely out of the story.

So what is your reading pet peeve? What will make you throw the book against the wall and walk away from it?

My Motto for 2013

Expect ImperfectionI had an ah-ha moment the other day while reading a blog post on a weight loss site I’m on.

Expect imperfection.

It really hit me what that really meant. For some it might mean settling for less, but not for me.

When I expect perfection from myself, I inevitably fail. No one is perfect.

No. One.

So why should we expect it from ourselves? Why do we think we’re so awesome that we don’t make mistakes?

I haven’t blogged about this at all, but in 2012 I lost 22 pounds. I’ve lost weight before. 70 pounds ten years ago. Most of it found me again. When I decided to lose it this time, I promised myself many things.

-I wasn’t going to beat myself up when I fell off the wagon.

-I wasn’t going to quit when I fell off the wagon because I WAS going to fall off the wagon. Many times.

-I wasn’t going to let it stop me.

-I also wasn’t going to stop eating the foods I loved–I just wasn’t going to eat them all the time.

In other words, expect imperfection.

It worked for me and my weight loss. I’m at 23 pounds lost, hoping to lose four more so I’ll finally have a healthy BMI and a “normal” weight. No. Let me rephrase that. I’m not hoping to, I WILL lose four more pounds.

But then I started thinking about this motto, “expect imperfection”, in other aspects of my life. More specifically, in my writing.

As I writer, I expect perfection from myself. On the first draft. How silly is that? But what if I started expecting IMperfection on that first draft? What if I was, if not happy, content, with what I wrote the first time around?

What a freeing concept. And what a weight that’s been lifted from my shoulders, both literally and figuratively.

So my new motto for 2013: Expect imperfection.

The Notorious Lady Anne – Sunday Six

Final Notorious Lady Anne“I’m sorry about . . . Well, about what happened in my office.”

Her eyes flew open and she stared up at the stars. Her face grew hotter. Not with embarrassment, as he would probably assume, but with anger. How dare he take her one good memory and taint it with an apology. Now she felt cheap, when before she felt wanted and cherished and treasured.

 

Blurb | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Random House

Birthdays, Bars and Bathrooms

The other day a friend of mine celebrated her birthday by inviting a bunch of her closest friends to a bar she likes to frequent. I went because I like my friend a lot. The bar, not so much. Even in my heyday (read: college days), I wasn’t into the bar scene. At least not the meat market bar scene.

I like me a quiet bar where I can converse with the bartender and nurse a drink (okay, Diet Coke) all night long.

This was not that sort of place.

This was a meat market.

I was out of my element.

So around midnightish I had to make a trip to the little girl’s room. I enter and there, standing in front of the mirror, putting on her lipstick, is a Snookie wanna-be. Blonde. But a wanna-be nonetheless.

Okay. To each his own.

She looks at me and says, “I washed my hands. You weren’t in here when I did, but I did wash my hands.”

Umm. Okay? Good for you? I’m grateful? What does one say to that? I just smile and go into my stall. Blonde Snookie keeps telling me she washed her hands.

Another girl exits her particular stall and Blonde Snookie squeals. “Oh my GAWD, I LOVE your hair! It’s FAB!”

Fab?

“Um. Thanks,” says the poor other girl who is now cornered by Blonde Snookie. I can hear her washing her hands then she asks Blonde Snookie, “Where do I dry my hands?”

“Oh on that THING over THERE. That THING hanging on the WALL.”

I quickly wash my own hands and side step out of there sending up a silent prayer for the poor girl still cornered by Blonde Snookie.

Yeah. Not my thing.

Favorite Christmas Memory

My favorite Christmas memory actually is a fairly recent memory. Normally we celebrate Christmas morning at home, Christmas afternoon at my parents and Christmas night with my husband’s family.

A few years ago I received a teary phone call from my mom. She had the flu and couldn’t host Christmas. My husband’s sister was celebrating with her in-laws that year who happened to live in England. So we found ourselves with nowhere to go on Christmas. We had no food in the house because part of our Christmas was a surprise vacation for the kids and we were leaving the next day.

We played with our toys, laid around in our jammies all afternoon until hunger drove us from our home. But where to eat on Christmas day? IHOP, my husband said. So we piled into the car and drove to IHOP only to find it closed.

We eventually ended up at a Chinese restaurant where we laughed, afraid we were going to recreate the scene in Christmas Story. Turns out others had the same idea because the restaurant was packed.

Even then we knew that was the best Christmas ever. Just the five of us. No hurrying from one place to the next. No hustle and bustle. Just a very laid-back, stress free day.

What’s your favorite Christmas memory?

 

To Card or Not To Card

4169-merry-christmas-rudolphI send out Christmas cards every year and look forward to it. For close friends I take a picture of my kids at the pumpkin farm and get it made into a cute card. I’ve done this for twelve years. This year’s card had two pictures. One of my kids in 2000 when I first started the tradition and one of my kids now with the shot recreated. So darn cute.

However, I’ve noticed that as the years go by I get less and less cards in return. I don’t think it’s because I’ve been naughty and have been taken off my friend’s cards list. At least they tell me that’s not the reason.

The reason is because they’re too darn busy with everything else going on over the holiday.

I love getting Christmas cards in the mail and will proudly display each and every one. I love seeing pictures of everyone’s kids and I even love reading the cheesy Christmas letters.

This not sending cards thing makes me sad.

What about you? Do you still send Christmas cards?

Cyber Shopping vs Store Shopping

Over the past several years I’ve slowly become a cyber-shopper. There is nothing easier than sitting on the couch, in your jammies, scrolling through websites and hitting the buy button. Nothing, I tell you.

However, I will only cyber-shop if there is no shipping and handling or if the product I’m looking for can’t be purchased in a nearby store. If its something I can easily pick up close by, then I won’t waste my money on shipping and handling.

Yesterday my husband and I went Christmas shopping and while it was fun, it was tiring. I got hungry. I got thirsty. My feet hurt. I had to wait in line. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

We picked up quite a few presents and then I came home and finished off my list while sitting on my couch watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Yeah, I’m hooked.

What about you? Do you prefer cyber shopping or store shopping?

 

 

Christmas is Coming!

So you know how I know Christmas is coming? Because all of the Christmas cartoons are on. We probably have all of them on DVD but there’s something about watching it on TV that makes it special. Maybe because when I was growing up we didn’t have VCRs or DVD players and we actually had to wait until it was on TV.

I remember being so excited about Christmas that I couldn’t STAND it. I thought Christmas would NEVER get here.

The other night we watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Shrek the Halls. I’ve never seen Shrek the Halls before but am definitely adding it to my favorite Christmas show list.

So ‘fess up. What’s your favorite Christmas cartoon?