Friday, May 29, 2009

What I'm Reading...

I started this book the week it came out and then life happened, work happened and I got sidetracked. But I'm back on it now and am looking forward to finishing it. Here's the cover art and the blurb from VLT's website. And don't forget, you can hang out with Vicki and friends each weekday at Soapbox Queens.



Gwen Dubois lives in Indiana, but her heart is in France with Marc Chevalier. Now he's come to Big Knob to show Gwen the real meaning of amour and coax her back to Paris. But stiff competition is coming from another part of the world, if not exactly this world. Prince Leo of the Atwood fairy kingdom has his own plans for Gwen.

As Marc and Leo battle for Gwen's affections, Big Knob's resident matchmaking witch and wizard move in to help true love triumph in the best way they know how: with a little magic. But when the rivalry puts Gwen in danger, the men in her life are asked to prove their love in ways no one could have imagined.


Thanks for all the kind wishes yesterday. Everything went well at Duke yesterday - other than the 4 hour wait for his appointment. The seizure specialist (who we had no wait for) cleared him to drive short distances - like to work and back. The oncologist said everything was stable - no shrinkage, which we've gotten used to hearing, but no growth either. They made the decision to continue the chemo for another 2 months and then re-evaluate things. If everything is still stable at that point, he'll probably stop the treatments and go back to "watch" mode.

However, I did ask her about an alternative treatment I've heard about - using pulsed electromagnetic therapy - and she was very encouraging. She said she's had several patients use it and it's worked. She knows they're having great success with it with other kinds of cancers, and that it certainly wouldn't hurt to try it. So...I'll be upping my research on that.

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!!
Peace and Love,
Alannah

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Update on yesterday's blog

Hey guys,

I don't have a blog topic for today and I didn't get a chance to answer yesterday so.... LOL

I got that video in an e-mail. I did a youtube search for Fairy Tale Ending and pulled it up so I could get the codes for the blog. I have no idea where it came from originally, but I hadn't even thought about it being in a movie. I'll have to research it and see what I can find.

We're off to Duke today for another checkup. I'll give you guys the update when we get back.

Have a great day!!!
Peace and love,
Alannah

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hump Day Humor...

You've probably seen this before but I think it's too funny. Hope you enjoy it!!!



Have a wonderful hump day!!!
Peace and love,
Alannah

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Food For Thought...

A writer and nothing else: a man alone in a room with the English language, trying to get human feelings right.

~John K. Hutchens, New York Herald Tribune, 10 September 1961


This one is kind of along the lines of last week's quote but I really liked it so thought I'd share.

Hope everyone had a fantastic Memorial Day weekend and that the rest of the week is great, as well.

Peace and love,
Alannah

Friday, May 22, 2009

What I'm Reading...

Hey everyone! Well...I got nothin'! LOL

I'm taking two online workshops and have been busy running hubby back and forth to work and kidlet to baseball practice and games and I just haven't had a chance to settle in with a good book.

What about you guys? What are you reading right now?

I hope everyone has a fantastic and safe Memorial Day Weekend!!

Peace and love,
Alannah

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Green Vegetable Marinade

Normally, I try to post recipes that are simple because I usually only fix recipes that are simple. I won't say this is easy, but my family absolutely loves it. I double the recipe and it still only lasts a few days. And honestly, sometimes it's therapeutic to chop the veggies. Kind of a mindless, monotonous thing that's soothing.

8 oz. petite peas, drained
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 chopped green peppers
1 small jar diced pimentos
8 oz peg corn, drained
1 cup chopped celery (my son doesn't like this so we leave it out and it's still good)
1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup sugar (I use Splenda)
1/4 - 1/2 cup oil (I use 1/4 cup olive oil)
3/4 cup vinegar

Dissolve sugar in hot oil and vinegar. Pour over vegetables. Toss lightly and chill. The longer vegetables marinade, the better. Serves 10-12 (HA! not in my house)

If anyone tries it let me know what you think.

Have a great Thursday!!
Peace and love,
Alannah

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hump Day Humor...

Sorry for the late posting...internet issues...again!

Anyway, here's the hump day humor....

A crusty old biker out on a long summer ride in the country pulls up to a tavern in the middle of no where, parks his bike and walks inside. As he passes through the swinging doors, he sees a sign hanging over the bar:

COLD BEER: $2.00

HAMBURGER: $2.25

CHEESEBURGER: $2.50

CHICKEN SANDWICH: $3.50

HAND JOB: $50.00

Checking his wallet to be sure he has the necessary payment, the ole' biker walks up to the bar and beckons to the exceptionally attractive female bartender who is serving drinks to a couple of sun-wrinkled farmers.

She glides down behind the bar to the ole biker.

"Yes?" she inquires with a wide, knowing smile, "may I help you?"

The ole biker leans over the bar, "I was wondering young lady," he whispers, "are you the one who gives the hand-jobs?"

She looks into his eyes with that wide smile and purrs "Why yes, yes, I sure am".

The ole' biker leans closer and into her left ear whispers softly, "Well, wash your hands real good, cause I want a cheeseburger".


Hope everyone has a fantastic day!
Peace and Love,
Alannah

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader."
~Robert Frost

I'm taking Sherry Lewis' "Riding the Emotional Rollercoaster" class and she posted this saying this morning. Very appropriate for the class and it really touched me so I thought I'd share it.

That's one thing I really hope to accomplish as a writer, to make the reader feel. The books I remember the most are the ones that made me gasp, or made my chest tighten with emotion, right along with the characters. And I hope that someday, I'll be able to move a reader with the emotion in my story.

Hope it's a great Tuesday for everyone!
Peace and Love,
Alannah

Friday, May 15, 2009

What I'm Reading...

I'm a class/workshop/writing book junkie! I love to learn. I probably could have been one of those people who is a professional student, you know, always taking one class after another and never actually graduating and getting a job. LOL

I heard about this book several times over the past couple of weeks, and I tend to believe if something keeps being put in front of me, I'm supposed to be paying attention to it. So I picked it up at B&N and started going through it. It has some great tips, and great worksheets. I'm not sure that I'll actually stick to the plan completely, but I'll definitely incorporate some of the ideas into my process.

Here's the information and cover from the website:


About the book:
What Can You Accomplish in 30 Days? If you were determined to make the time, if you could put away all of your excuses just for a month, could you write a book? With a structured plan and a focused goal, yes, you can!

Using a combination of flexible weekly schedules, focused instruction, and detailed worksheets, author Victoria Schmidt leads you through a proven 30-day novel-writing system without the intimidation factor. Book in a Month shows you how to:

Set realistic goals and monitor your progress; manage your time so that your writing life has room to flourish; select a story topic that will continue to inspire you throughout the writing process; quickly outline your entire story so that you have a clear idea of how your plot and characters are going to develop before you start writing; draft each act of your story by focusing on specific turning points; keep track of the areas you want to revise without losing your momentum in the middle your story; and relax and have fun-you are, after all, doing something you love! So what are you waiting for? If you've been putting off your book project, Book in a Month is a fun and useful way to gain momentum once again. All you have to do is start writing!


So what about you guys? Liza - what great book are you reading this week? Silver, Lu, Janet - do you guys have a favorite writing book?

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!!!
Peace and Love,
Alannah

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Easy Chicken Parmesan

And I do mean EASY!!! LOL

Brown 4 chicken breasts in a skillet, then place in a casserole dish.
Pour your favorite spaghetti sauce over top of the chicken.
Place a piece of Parmesan cheese over each chicken piece - or you can use shredded Parmesan cheese and sprinkle it over the entire dish.
Bake chicken and serve over cooked spaghetti.

Enjoy!!

Hope it's a fantastic Thursday for everyone!
Peace and Love,
Alannah

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hump Day Humor...

Today's Hump Day Humor is compliments of my fabulous writing buddy, Lu. She sent this to me yesterday and I had to share it with you guys today. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

THE ZEN OF SARCASM

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me the hell alone.

2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire

3. It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

4. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

5. Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.

6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

7. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

8. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

9. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is probably not for you.

10. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

11. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably a wise investment.

12. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

13. Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.

14. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

15. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

16. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

17. Duct tape is like 'The Force.' It has a light side and a dark side, and i t holds the universe together.

18. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

19. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

20. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

21. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

22. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

Have a fantastic day!!
Peace and Love,
Alannah

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Party Time!!!

Know what's a total bummer...to take about 100 pictures and find that only half of them came out. I don't know what was going on with my camera (or the operator) but a lot of the pictures I took at hubby's surprise party were horrible! His sister took a bunch of pictures too and I'm really hoping hers turned out better than mine.

But...I did find a few that were worth sharing.

Shoot...even the goods ones are harder to see once uploaded. Well, here's what I got. This button says: "I'm not old I'm a recycled teenager"















The wind decided to blow on Saturday...and I do mean blow! I don't know how hard it was actually blowing, but it had been forecast to be out of the west at 25. The kids, however, weren't the least bit deterred by the whitecaps pounding them and they stayed in the water all afternoon. (Just as a point of reference - the river is about three miles wide where our house is located so it actually seems more like a lake than a river)















I really wish you could see this picture better. Each of these guys has three beers. Craig, on the left, has them all in one hand. And I don't think they were getting them for anyone other than themselves! LOL














Our oldest son Dusty (on the left) went all out on wrapping his present. First, he wrapped it in the Target bag he carried it out of the store in. Then, he wrapped it in two sweatshirts! But he tried and that's what counts.


I really wish I'd had a picture of hubby's face when he looked across the kitchen and saw our oldest son standing there. He lives in Raleigh and we don't get to see him nearly as much as we'd like (I think this is the 3rd time we've seen him since Christmas). He was scheduled to work but on Friday night was able to get someone to cover for him so he could come to the party. That was gift enough for hubby!

So tell me, have you ever planned a surprise party? Did you pull it off? Was it worth all the effort? LOL

Have a fantastic day!!
Peace and Love,
Alannah

Friday, May 8, 2009

What I'm Reading...

Wow!! I can't believe it but I'm still reading Lover Avenged! This is the longest it's ever taken me to read one of the BDB books but it's only because I cheated and speed read through to the end. Otherwise, I'd never have been able to put it down and focus on my own work.

So, what are you guys reading?

Liza - I hope you have a fantastic time at the book signing on Saturday night and I can't wait to hear all about it!!

Oh, and I guess I should send a special Happy Birthday wish to my husband!!! He never reads this blogs anyway, but...well...Happy Birthday Hubby!!! I love you very, very much!!!

happy birthday handsome hope you get everything you wish for
Birthday Sexy Women Comments And Graphics


Have a great weekend, everyone!
Peace and Love,
Alannah

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Crock Pot Beef Stew

Crock Pot Beef Stew Recipe

Ingredients:
•10 small new potatoes, halved, unpeeled
•12 small whole white onions, peeled, fresh or frozen, thawed
•30 baby carrots, 8 ounces
•1 red or green bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
•1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
•2 cups beef broth
•1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
•1/4 teaspoon paprika
•1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
•1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1/8 teaspoon pepper
•3 tablespoons cornstarch
•3 tablespoons cold water


Preparation:

Place potatoes, onions, and baby carrots in slow cooker. Add bell pepper and beef. In small bowl, combine broth, oregano, paprika, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Pour over meat and vegetables. Cover and cook on LOW 9 to 10 hrs. Turn pot on HIGH. In small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in water; stir into cooked stew mixture. Cover and cook on HIGH 15 to 20 mins. or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

I haven't tried this yet, but it sounds wonderful and I will try it soon!

Hope it's a fantastic day!
Peace and love,
Alannah

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hump Day Giggle

I titled this the way I did because this story isn't a bust-your-gut laugh, but more of a giggler.

And it involves our very own Silver James! I started to e-mail her about it but then decided...naw, I'd just wait and give her a "hard" time (pun intended) here.

Plotmonkey's Saturday Guest Blogger was Donald Maass. This is Silver's comment on that blog:

I was in the hunt for your “package” on Brenda Novak’s auction for about 10 minutes, Mr. Maass, before it got too rich for my checkbook.

*giggles like a school girl*

So tell me, Silver....just how much is the bidding up to (again, pun intended), do you think his "package is worth it, and how did you know to go on the hunt for it?

Oh, and at what point after you'd hit "post comment" did you think about the way you'd worded that? LOL

Thanks for making me chuckle on Saturday...and beyond!

Have a great day!
Peace and Love,
Alannah

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Food For Thought...

In our writing chat room last night, one of the new writers was talking about what a difficult time she's been having lately. She said she keeps comparing herself to other writers and that she'll never be as good as they are.

Well now, don't we all feel that way sometimes no matter what it is that we're doing.

My house will never be as clean as my friend Tammy's. Ever!
My yard will never be as immaculate as my mother-in-laws.
I will never be as disciplined as Nora or JR Ward or Janet Evanovich. I'm just not.

But that conversation made me think about a great saying that I've heard several different times, several different ways and I thought I'd share it with you guys. Here's the gist of it:

"Never compare yourself to someone else. Only compare yourself to how you used to be."

If you're constantly improving, and always doing the best you can, then that's all you can ask of yourself. Be proud of yourself and celebrate your accomplishments and your advancements.

I look back over the very first thing I wrote and can't believe how horrible it is.

I think about the first novella I sold. I know now that I could make it better. But I did the best I could at the time with the information that I had available. I can't beat myself up for it not being as good as I think it could be now. It wasn't written now. It was written then.

So, no matter what you're doing...don't compare yourself to others!!! If you're making strides and improvements, then you're doing alright!!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!!
Peace and Love,
Alannah

Friday, May 1, 2009

What I'm Reading...

Hi, my name is Alannah and I'm a reading addict. No, really, it's true. I was sick on Tuesday and wasn't able to get to Barnes and Noble for the new JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood book, Lover Avenged. But I was there at 10:10 (they open at 10:00) on Wednesday morning.

I haven't been able to put the book down!

Hubby called me today and said he was ready for lunch. When I got there I called him to tell him I was in the back waiting. Surprise! He'd had something come up and I ended up waiting one hour and forty-five minutes.

Fantastic!!!

Do you know how much reading I got done in that length of time? Then I came home and decided I had to fast-track the rest of the book or I wouldn't get anything done until I'd finished.

I did some speed-reading through to the end and now I know the basics of everything that happens. Now I can relax, read when I have some spare time and get back to my own writing.

I wasn't as excited about this book as I have been some of the others. Rehvenge wasn't my favorite character and I when I saw that the book was available in hardback instead of paperback, I almost didn't get it. I'm so glad I did.

It's amazing to me how she can take a character you wouldn't think could possibly be a hero, and turn him into one. For all Black Dagger Brotherhood fans, it's another definite must read!

Here's the cover and info from her website:




Caldwell, NY, has long been the battleground for the battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the Lessening Society. It’s also where Rehvenge has staked out his turf as a drug lord and notorious nightclub that caters to the rich and heavily armed. His shadowy reputation is exactly why he’s approached to kill Wrath, the Blind King, and leader of the Brotherhood. Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood, even though his sister is married to a member. Because he’s a sympath, his identity is a deadly secret- the revelation of which will result in his banishment to a colony for sociopaths. And as plots within and outside the Brotherhood take their toll against Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in a darkening world- Elhena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has its hold on him- and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction.



I hope it's a fantastic weekend for everyone!!
Peace and Love,
Alannah