Happy Birthday A

My only daughter is 21 years old today. She has become such a remarkable woman and I am so proud of her.
Happy Birthday Sweetheart! 


When she was very young, whenever she got upset she'd tell herself over and over "it's okay, it's okay". I didn't make the connection until I saw her dad comforting her once, rocking and whispering, "it's okay, it's okay".

My husband's mom used to throw water on him when he pitched a tantrum, but the first time P tried that on A, she ran to her room and came back with an umbrella, as defiant as ever.

She rocks out to piano music~~a true head banger at the age of 2.

We once went to a military air fire show. A did not like the loud banging and forever after hid from any kind of fireworks.

She took things very seriously. She was the child that angsted over the 4th grade TAKs test because she knew she would never get in a good college if she messed up at this point. She never did take my word for it to relax about some things.

A likes to stand out. Shopping for prom dresses was always a treat because she would pick out the most unique styles.

Speaking of standing out, she'll admit she loved being an officer on the drill team mostly because their uniforms were white while everyone else's were red.

Her entire HS senior year, A and her friends would randomly break into Russian accents. ANY TIME. It was really annoying.

When her brothers push her too far and she growled at them, it's quickly followed by, "I'm sorry. I love you." But it comes out sounding like, "I'm sorry that I love you." She gets razzed for that.

Have a wonderful Birthday, honey. I love you.

Wuthering Heights

SoHo Publications just came out with a new paperback version of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

I can't help but notice the similarity between their cover and my cover. *grins*
Actually that's the hazard of using stock photos. Once bought, we have the right to use them, change them, but others can purchase the exact image and do the same. 

So am I upset? Gonna panic and change my cover? Not hardly. It's bound to happen, but how awesome is it that I have the same cover image as Emily Bronte's only classic?  Wuthering Heights, people. It's Wuthering freaking Heights.
Can't get much better company than that.
It makes me feel as though Emily Bronte and I are connected now.
Although I will say, I prefer her other covers. *another cheeky grin*


I've become One-dimensional. I didn't mean to. It just sort of happened.

I've thrown all my energies into writing, into educating myself on the craft of it, and into learning how to make a shy person as myself more of an extrovert.

I belong to two writing groups, which I love. I come back from those meetings buzzing with creative energy and so happy to have spent time with people who have become great friends.

But I want to spread my wings a bit and join one or two online communities that focus on something other than writing. The problem?

I have no idea what else I'm interested in. Pre-marriage, I traveled the backyard of the west with my 3 buddies, one tent, sleeping bags, a cooler, and money for gas. We hiked, we explored ghost towns, nearly rolled down a cliff, waterskiied and jetskiied when we found a lake and someone with a boat or a place to rent jetskis.

Nowadays, the thought of climbing a mountain makes me want to hurl myself off of one. And since I moved to Texas--camping in a tent in this heat? Not happening. All that camping fun drained out of me along with buckets of humidity when ignorantly innocently enough I volunteered to be the camp director for the church 14-18 yr-old girls while I was pregnant. NEVER again. NEVER.

As for boating and skiing, I'd do that if I still had a boat or if there weren't alligators stalking Texas lakes.

Early marriage, I got hooked on those DIY home decorating shows and, yes, my house went through many, um, interesting transformations--some we will not speak about.

I did a few crafty workshops with church friends, but I mostly enjoyed the social aspect of working on a project together for a few hours while I speedily finished my ugly project because I knew I would NEVER finish it at home. And they rarely got hung up either because that cutesy crafty look isn't for me. My sister once said my interior reminds her of an old movie set from the mummy or something. Dark woods, old world style, not a cross-stitch sample in sight.

See my delimma?

What am I interested in at this stage of my life? It's a little disconcerting to really have no idea.

Okay, I do love ghosts. I've been fascinated with them since I saw one when I was eight. But that's a story for a separate blog post. And yes, being my one-dimensional self, I've written several things featuring ghosts. How could I not?  

So I could join a group about ghosts maybe? Ghost-hunting? Know any good ones? I have no idea.

I also want to travel, so perhaps there are some great traveling communities I can get into?

Genealogy too. Not that I've done a lot of it, but I have done some and let me tell you, it is a time suck. I get going and hours fly by. I feel like a detective, finding lost souls and connecting them with the right family lines.

So help me out people. I'm determined to take this month and find an online group (outside of writing) that I can connect with.

Tell me about groups you belong to and interests you have so I can go check them out a find a place for me. Even if it doesn't seem like something I'd be interested in, I'd love to know more about you and things you enjoy. Who knows, maybe that will spark a long buried interest I've forgotten I had.

Post your groups here in the comments or on my facebook page. I'll let you know how my search to become at least a two-dimensional person comes along throughout the month.

Vampires~~Born or Created

Vampires come in all varieties.  Some are born as vampires, others must be created somehow.
L.J. Smith’s vampires in the Vampire Diaries series are created. Not from a mere vampire bite, but they have to have drunken  vampire blood themselves and died while it’s still in their systems.
A little different from the classic Dracula myth where a victim becomes a vampire after having been bitten three times.

Richelle Mead’s vamps of her Vampire Academy series, the Moroi are born. They have childhoods, are prone to diseases, age, and die,  however  they can also be turned into their darker evil counterparts the Strigoi.  Best of both worlds.

The vampires of Underworld are created as are Stephenie Meyer’s vampires.

When a writer introduces vampires into a story, all these things have to be considered. Are the vampires going to stick to the traditional mythos? You know, must drink blood to survive, burn in the merest hint of sunlight, and can only be killed with a wooden stake to the heart.

Or will they glitter?

Part of the fun of writing vampires is making your own little twists on the traditional. But whatever myth a writer decides on, she needs to stick to the mythos she created.

What effect does blood have on them? In Twilight, vampires must feed or they weaken. You can tell when a vamp has fully fed or not, by the hue of their eyes. A sated vampire has golden eyes. If a red-eyed vampire is near, you can try to run. The Vampire Academy Moroi use feeders (willing blood donors), and the feeding process acts like a happy drug on the human being fed on. Then there is the blood addiction that can be kicked by a vampire willing to be weaker by feeding on animals instead as in The Vampire Diaries where drinking blood has an effect on how much a vampire can tap into their human emotions.  

How does sunlight affect the vampires? Will they explode like the vampires of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer? Or grow sick as in the Vampire Academy? The enemies of the Underworld vamps created nifty bullets made of liquid sunlight that caused some awesome major effects screen deaths.

How a vampire can be killed—if it’s possible—is a major factor. Old school, a wooden stake to the heart. The vampires of the TV series Supernatural have to be beheaded.  Strigoi and Moroi are killed with silver stakes to the heart while staking will only put the Vampire Dairies vampires into a suspended animation until the stake is removed, but the bite of a werewolf will end them in a horrifically slow manner. The Twilight vampires appear to be killed by any blow that is strong enough to penetrate that hard cold granite shell of a body, so they are usually ended by another super strong being like the werewolves or other vampires.

So what variety of vampires do you prefer?