Friday, June 29, 2007

Five Reasons the Best Writers Come from Tifton, GA

1. We're such a small community, there's nothing to do but write.
2. Everyone knows everybody else's business, so there's plenty of material to write about... after all, the rest of the world doesn't know our business.
3. We're only three hours from Atlanta, from whence we can jump a plane to NYC any time we want.
4. We have high speed internet connections, which allow us to communicate with our writing buddies in the rest of the world.
5. I live here.





Tied to the Tracks
by Rosina Lippi. July 3, 2007. ISBN: 0425215326

"[This] is a hilarious, smart, sexy novel with a heart of gold." -- Susan Wiggs

"[Lippi] turns her buoyant creative talents to the romantic comedy genre with an effervescent tale of a trio of offbeat Yankee filmmakers plunked down deep in the heart of Dixie." -- Booklist

Read an excerpt. (Adobe Reader required)| Watch the book trailer

You can find Tied to the Tracks at Amazon , Barnes & Nobel, Borders, Powells, or at your local independent bookseller.

This meme has been entered in the Tied to the Tracks contest, originating on Rosina Lippi's Storytelling2 weblog. If you'd like to enter the BUCKS & BOOKS meme contest, get the rules here.

Monday, June 25, 2007

First and Last

I found this meme at The Daily Meme. Monday mornings are not the best time for my brain to be working (especially on only one cup of coffee) and Monday Madness isn't up yet... so.... here's "First and Last" for your viewing pleasure. If you want to play along, feel free to go here and grab the already coded format (I love already coded formats) and let me know you are playing along. I would love to come and visit you!

First
  • First job:babysitting. Oh, you mean a real job? I worked one summer in the bookstore in the mall: Mr. B's. It was great fun.

  • First screen name: same, pretty much, as now: maracuja

  • First funeral: I may have been to others but the first one I remember was my grandmother's funeral. I was 15.

  • First pet:We had a dachshound named Greta... my grandparents bred them. Unfortunately, she was stolen from our fenced in yard one weekend

  • First piercing: I had my ears pierced when I was 18... as soon as I could without my mom's permission. She didn't mind me doing it, but she said she wasn't going to sign for me to have any more holes in my head

  • First tattoo: still hasn't happened

  • First credit card:I got some kind of store credit card while in college. I don't remember the name of the store, but the first thing I bought was a stereo system

  • First kiss:Boy, do I remember this... and not in a good way. His name was David and he liked me. I didn't like him so much. We were at a church adult choir party (both our moms were in the choir) and he asked me to walk around the house with him. When we did, he stopped me and gave me a kiss...not a sweet little kiss. Tongue and all... right off the bat. I nearly gagged! (note: it got better... but not with him!)

  • First enemy: I don't remember ever having any enemies. Does that make me a boring person?

Last
  • Last car ride: Saturday... we had to go look at a tree we're taking down this week

  • Last kiss:Last night, from my husband. (much better than the first kiss, in case you were wondering

  • Last movie watched: My Favorite Wife (what can I say... we like old movies)

  • Last beverage drank:still drinking.. my morning coffee

  • Last food consumed:Strawberry pie, last night for dessert

  • Last phone call: our daughter, Beth, called yesterday afternoon to chat a bit

  • Last time showered: yesterday morning

  • Last CD played: Andrew Lloyd Webber's Songbook

  • Last website visited:<"http://www.reading-writing.blogspot.com">Marianne's blog

Now
  • Single or taken:taken

  • Gender:female

  • Birthday:March 22

  • Sign: Aries

  • Siblings: one sister

  • Hair color:blonde

  • Eye color:blue

  • Shoe size:5 1/2

  • Height: 5'2"

  • Wearing: too much

  • Drinking: coffee

  • Thinking about: finishing this and getting dressed to go to work

  • Listening to: the hum of the refrigerator

Sunday, June 24, 2007

How Can I Afford All Those Prizes?

I've been asked how and why I offer reasonably large prizes on my contests. Normally, I offer the book of choice up to a $20 value. I may start giving out $20 Amazon gift certificates as well. Which would you like?

Anyway, some of you may have noticed that the tag on some of my posts reads PPP. Those are posts that I am being paid to post. That doesn't make them any more sincere, it's just giving me a way to offset some of the Amazon prizes I offer through my contests.

There are a lot of benefits to Pay Per Post. You aren't tied down to writing a certain number of posts… and you only write about things that already interest you. I've not been a member long, less than two months, and have already made over $40. That's prizes for two contests! And, we all love contests.

Thanks to Pay Per Post… we can enjoy many more contests and my husband's wallet won't go completely flat! What do the rest of you think about ads on blogs?



Friday, June 22, 2007

A Sandcastle .. just for you

It's SUMMERTIME! And to celebrate, I made something special for you:


I had the most fun today. As most of you know, I love the beach. I like most everything about it... the waves, the sunshine, the salt air. I enjoy laying in the sun and reading, swimming in the water, even playing in the sand. However, there are things I don't like about it: sand in every crevice, being hot (well, I know I am, I can't help that, but I meant sun-wise ;-)). I was able to do something special today...I built myself a sandcastle and I didn't have to get hot, sandy, sticky or sweaty to do it! I was able to sit in the comfort of my living room. Go and check this site out:
Build A Sandcastle. There are so many forms and accessories you can use. If you have a little one in your house, they would love moving the stuff around too. I only wish I could make sandcastles this good in real life. Alas and alack (is that a real word?), the best I can manage is something like this:

Go to "the beach" and have fun making your own sandcastle. Email it to me at maracujabr at hotmail dot com. I would love to see your creations!



Friday's Feast 149

It's that time again. Join us as Friday's Feast and let your blogging buddies, as well as the rest of the world, know a little bit more about you. After all, the more we know about each other, the more we realize we're the same.... or that some of us are REALLY weird! :-)

Appetizer
Name a funny habit you have. As I'm perpetually on a diet, I always use sweetener in my coffee and tea. Whenever I tear the top off the little yellow, blue, or pink (in order of preference) packet and pour the contents into the beverage, I stick the "torn off" piece (don't you love the scientific terminology?) back into the empty packet.

Soup
If you could instantly know how to play a musical instrument, which one would you pick? The harp. It's an instrument I've always wanted to learn.

Salad
How long is your hair? This long. Actually, just a little longer. That picture is almost four years old and all I've done is had it trimmed.

Main Course
When was the last time you forgave someone, and who was it? I had a blog friend who hurt my feelings (and probably didn't even know it). I forgave her because I realized it wasn't meant in a harmful way (and that part of the problem may have very well been my hormones.)

Dessert
What is your favorite kitchen appliance? Before this week, I would have said my stove, because I really enjoy cooking. HOWEVER, my microwave died Sunday. Monday... we went to the store to buy a new one. How on earth did we ever exist before microwaves were invented?

Let me know if you play along. I'd love to come visit.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Need a Reservation?

I mentioned we might get the chance to go to Raleigh in August. I was checking out some hotel reservation sites to see what kind of deals I could come up with. I found this site and couldn't believe the deals they had. Bo b and I really like staying in Hampton Inns. We've always found them clean, comfortable, secure, and… even though the prices are sometimes on the high side… we've discovered over time that in many things you truly DO get what you pay for. So, I was thrilled to find out I could get a room in the Hampton Inn close to where our daughter lives for under $70/night. I don't think we've ever gotten such a good deal at a Hampton before.

Hotel Reservations doesn't limit themselves to JUST hotel reservations, though. You can also book flights, rent cars, book vacation packages. It's an all-in-one service. And, it's easy to use. Just for fun, I checked out flying into Raleigh, renting a car for our stay there, then driving to the Outer Banks, staying there a few days and flying home. I don't think we'll be choosing that option. It was a bit pricier than we would be wanting to pay.
We MIGHT fly, though. I just checked and, round-trip, we can make the flight for just over $300. I'm not sure we could drive it for that, with the price of gas! Of course, that would leave us without a way to go while we're there, so there is that to consider. It's 510 miles and, at around $3/gallon for gas, that can really add up! Bob and I will talk about it, but truth be known, we'll probably drive because we enjoy our road trips. It's not unusual for us to take side trips, just because we can!

It is nice, though, having options. And, it's super finding a new site to be able to figure out some of the best ways to go. If you are planning a trip or need to place to stay, check this site out and see what you can discover. I'm a firm believer in shopping around and the Internet makes it too easy NOT to compare prices.



This post is sponsored by Cheap Hotels.

A New Weekly Meme

I'm in the midst of reading for pleasure and for reviews. (NOTE: We are looking for guest reviewers for The Long and Short of It. It means (a) a link back to your own blog and (b) FREE ebooks! Who can turn down free??? Hurry over, click on the link, and let Marianne know you would be interested. She's the lady with the loot :-))

Anyway, when I read, I have trouble writing. It's like all my limited, blonde brain cells get used up. I've recently discovered that... strange, huh?

Because I'm busy reading and don't have the imagination right now God gave a gnat AND because there's nothing particularly interesting going on in my life right now, I've discovered a new Tuesday meme to hopefully entertain you. Check over at Tina's Tuesdays for interesting questions to answer on Tuesdays.

Topic: Summertime

1. Do you have any plans for the summer? We are hoping to spend a week down at the shore for 4th of July. We might also go up to visit our girls in August. That's still to be determined. More updates later on that. Other than that, we plan to work.

2. Do you prefer to relax on a beach and swim, or go camping in the outdoors? The beach, preferably with a book and a nice long cold drink. I enjoy camping as well, but not during the summer. It's too hot.

3.If you could name three things you wanted to accomplish this summer, what would they be? a. get our bathrooms finished (we've been remodeling them for months b. by the end of the summer have three short stories submitted (one a month) and one of my novels finished.... I guess I should stop reading! (not really) c. lose another fifteen pounds... that would put me within fifteen pounds of my goal.

Come and play along, if you like.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I'm Brain Dead...

... from allergy medicine, so here's a meme I stole from Margie

***************

Here’s how it works:

1. Open your library (iTunes, winamp, media player, iPod)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that’s playing
5. New question– press the next button
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool



***************

Here is the soundtrack to my life:

Opening Credits:

Symphony #3 in E-Flat Major

Waking Up:

Mrs. Robinson-- Simon and Garfunkel

First Day At School:

Jailhouse Rock-- Elvis Presley

Falling in Love:

For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her-- Simon and Garfunkel

Breaking Up:

Despetar--Aisha Duo

Prom:

Love Me Tender--Elvis Presley

Life’s Okay:

All Shook Up-- Elvis Presley

Mental Breakdown:

Don't Be Cruel--Elvis Presley

Driving:

Scarborough Fair--Simon and Garfunkel

Flashback:

The Music of the Night-- Phantom of the Opera

Getting Back Together:

Wind Beneath My Wings--Dino

Wedding:

Song of the Sea-- Dino

Birth of a Child:

Good Luck Charm-- Elvis Presley

Final Battle:

Tell Me on Sunday--Andrew Lloyd Webber

Death Scene:

Memory--Andrew Lloyd Webber

Funeral Song:

I Am a Rock--Simon and Garfunkel

End Credits:

Too Much-- Elvis Presley

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

3WW



Welcome to another installment from Bone.
Welcome to Three Word Wednesday. Each week, I will post three (or more) random words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything. I'll also attempt to write something using the same three words.

Leave a comment if you participate. Many fun and interesting people might visit your blog.

This week's words are:
Magic
Repeatedly
Forty
Admit
(Yep, you''re seeing right… this week's 3WW has four words. A challenging milestone!


Julie Townsend ran her fingers through her tangled red hair, pulling it back into a messy bun and securing the mass of hair with a pencil. She had told herself she would cut it all off when she turned forty, but forty had come and gone and she still had her hair. It was just easier than dealing with hair dryers and curling irons. So what if some people said she was too old to wear her hair that long? It was her hair and if she wanted to look silly, so be it.

She picked up the list of ingredients and studied it carefully. It would not do to forget an essential ingredient. Her teacher told her that every item was important when trying to produce a magic potion. It wasn't like cooking where you could toss in any old thing and make a success. Well, in a way it was, but what you made might not … no, probably wouldn't… have the effect you were after. She giggled as she thought of making a potion which would turn you into a frog instead of merely making you green. It seemed a silly homework assignment, anyway, she admitted to herself. Why and when would you WANT to turn someone green? She could easily think of people she wouldn't mind turning into a frog, though.

Let's see:
"half a dropper essential oil of patchouli". She only had oil of almond, but surely that wouldn't make much difference. The oil was only used as a carrier, anyway. "half a dropper essential oil of black pepper." Check. "a pinch of valerian root." Check. "a pinch of black poodle dog hair." Check. " a pinch of black mustard seeds." Maybe not quite a pinch, but surely it will be enough. "a pinch of spanish moss." Check. "a pinch of mullein." Mullein? What the heck was mullein? She checked her botanical. Oh, yes, now she remembered. Velvet plant. Check. "a pinch of powdered sulphur." Ewww. That stinks! "nine whole black peppercorns." She had seven. Well, that will have to do. She was running too late and she needed to get to class.

She repeatedly chanted the spell she'd been given as she added the ingredients one by one to the boiler on top of her stove. Steam and smoke billowed as she added the last ingredient, causing her to choke and cough. As the smoke cleared, she caught sight of herself in the mirror.

Oh, dear, she thought Maybe she shouldn't have used the oil of almonds after all.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Blog Fodder #20

Blog Fodder is back! Actually, it was back last week, but I had a hectic hectic week and flat didn't get to it. (Forgive me, Moogie?) Anyway, here is the latest edition of Blog Fodder:

This week's question is brought to us from Kevin, a new Blog Fodder participant. Hop over and tell him hello. And, if you decide to join us at Blog Fodder this week, go here and let everyone know so they can come and tell you hi!

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up and why?

I always wanted to be a writer and a teacher (with a brief spell of thinking maybe journalism...that didn't last long). What changed was what ages I wanted to teach. When I got old enough to start thinking seriously about it, I first wanted to be a high school teacher. I dearly loved all my high school English teachers and I wanted to be just like them. However, something happened to the kids between the time I got out of high school and the time I did my student teaching. I did my student teaching in a high school in a bigger city than I grew up in and the classes I was in... well, they ranged from remedial English (do they use that term any more??) to an honors drama class. I LOVED the drama class. The other classes... not so much. The attitude of the kids was horrible. They didn't want to be there... and unfortunately I was not "Sir". I may have given up too quickly, but after going back to the dorm crying every night, I dropped the last two education classes I needed and got my undergraduate degree in strictly English. Teenagers are fine in the individual sense, but I don't enjoy them in large groups. I admire those like Allie who choose to work with them.

I found in teaching my first and best love is the preschool and early elementary years. Give me a 3-8 year old and I have the most marvelous time! Maybe it's because I've never really grown up... what do you think?

I fulfilled my dream of teaching and am working on my dream of being a "rich and famous" writer. I'm writing and submitting (not as often on the latter as I should... which my good friend, Marianne frequently reminds me of).

And, speaking of my good friend, Marianne, don't forget to check out The Long and Short of It if you are looking for hints on some good reads.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

An Announcement

Happy Sunday, all! I have some exciting news to share… well, it's exciting to me and I hope it will be to you as well. I want to introduce a brand new group blog: The Long and the Short of It: Reviewing Long and Short Romance, One Story at a Time. It is the brainchild of Marianne Arkins, who has graciously invited me to join her.

The purpose of this group blog is simply to share with our readers stories we enjoy. For the time being, we are limiting the reviews to women's fiction or romance, mainly because that's the majority of what both Marianne and I read. If you are interested in becoming a member of LASR (what a nifty anagram), email Marianne and she'll be sure to hook you up with all the criteria.

We do welcome guest reviewers and will gladly provide a link to your blog. If you have read either a short story or a novel which would fit in those categories and you would like to review it, write it up and email it to either Marianne or me.

Go over to LASR and check out Marianne's review of "Montana Hideaway," by Jessica Joubert.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Friday's Feast 147

It's time, gentle readers, for the new edition of Friday's Feast (and, no, I don't know why I'm suddenly channeling Miss Manners). Play along and leave a comment here to let everyone know. It's interesting to learn more about people we know (and meet for the first time) in the blogosphere.

Appetizer
What do you consider to be the ultimate snack food? chips and dip, of course! I've been known (she says, blushing) to eat an entire bag of chips and container of homemade french onion dip at a sitting... and then wonder why I've put on weight!

Soup
On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 as highest), about how popular is your last name? Current name--- probably a 9. Maiden name--- maybe a 2. Actually, I've never met or talked with anyone who has my maiden name that I wasn't related to.

Salad
Who is your all-time favorite sitcom character, and why? This one is hard. I would have to say probably Marlo Thomas from That Girl! She was a klutzy woman going out on her own... and I identified with the klutzi part.

Main Course
Do you shop online? If so, name some sites you like to browse for goodies. Of course I shop online. When do I have time to shop any other way? And, my favorite store is (I hope this doesn't stun and shock any of you TOO much) Amazon.

Dessert
Fill in the blank: I think ___________ should be ___________. I think chocolate should be considered a health food. After all, it's great for MY mental health!!!

Let me know if you've played. I would love to come visiting!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

3 WW and A New Contest



Welcome to another installment from Bone.

Welcome to Three Word Wednesday. Each week, I will post three (or more) random words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything. I'll also attempt to write something using the same three words.

Leave a comment if you participate. Many fun and interesting people might visit your blog.

This week's words are:
Endless
Ought
Shadow




Fiona slowly pulled out of Gary's embrace. No matter how wonderful his kiss…and, she had to admit, it was like nothing she'd experienced…it didn't solve the shadow that hung over them.

"I ought to go," she said, walking over to the table and picking up her coffee cup. She made a face as she tasted the lukewarm liquid. She poured it into the sink and rinsed the mug with water. She rinsed it, knowing she was keeping herself busy on purpose. If she didn't, she was afraid she would return to Gary's arms.

Gary touched her hand. "How can you go…now? Just when…"

She turned to look at him. Anguish showed through his eyes and she could hear the pain and desire in his voice.

The raindrops running down the window mimicked the tears running down her cheeks unchecked.

"It doesn't change anything," she said, regret tingeing her voice. "There is still Claudia. Until that is solved…"

"I've told you…she means nothing to me. This engagement is… well, it's not an engagement. It's all in her mind."

Fiona reached up and caressed Gary's cheek, feeling the slight stubble beneath her hand. "I think I believe you… but you have to clear things with her. Until then, it will just be one endless problem after the other."

The thunder crashed outside again, but this time the storm in her heart was stronger. She closed her eyes and turned away from him. Her heart felt pulled in two. But, this was the right thing to do. Until Claudia was convinced that Gary didn't love her… that they weren't engaged… there was no future for her with the man she loved more than life itself.
***



I found The Blogroll Game through Marianne. What a wonderful way to waste time. No, not waste time. What a great way to get to know new and interesting people.

If you are familiar with Michelle, you are already familiar with the basic premise of this game. One thing that distinguishes The Blogroll Game, though, is that for The Blogroll Game… PRIZES are offered. Now, we ALL know how I feel about prizes. And, to make it even better… the prizes are… (are you ready for this??)… BOOKS.

What could be better? You will get to meet some really neat people AND you might have the chance to win some books. The more you play, the better your chances. There will be prizes for the people who visit the most, but there will also be random drawings… so even playing the game once gets you in the running for goodies.
I'm off to play now… come and join us.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Tuesday Musings

I woke up early this morning and was reading this article about a time capsule that was found over Memorial Day. It made me think... if I were to plant a time capsule, what would I include?

First, I would want to include a letter... telling who I was and the meaning behind what I left.

Second, I would probably put the headline from the day's paper.

Other than that... I'm blank. What to include to show future generations what life was like in 2007? A cell phone, maybe... I have a few of them lying around that are not used any more. A computer disk. Heck, if the box is big enough I have an old computer or two I could put in! Maybe a popular DVD from this year.

Any other suggestions? What would you put in a time capsule for the future?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

June is Bustin' Out All Over

... with contests, that is. (BTW... who knows where the above line comes from? A free book to the first person to email me the answer...maracujabr at gmail dot com)

Hurry over to A Simple Kind of Life and enter the "Colleenie Weenie Contest." Colleen's giving away not one but two prizes: (1)Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl on DVD AND Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man’s Chest on DVD; as a booby prize you might win (2)a Cheech and Chong DVD. I mean... how can you lose even with the booby prize? Who can forget C&C before they were mainstream?? My hubby would like that one better than he would the grand prize!

And, not only is this new blog friend of mine giving away these great prizes, she's having ANOTHER contest on her other blog: Geeky Speaky. Sign up here for a chance to win the grand prize of a 1 gb usb flash drive, or the booby prize of a Futurama DVD. Personally, I would really like the flash drive for my writing, but Ashley would LOVE the Futurama DVD. It's a win-win situation.

I dearly love contests! Let me know of any others... :-) I'm always glad to share the news.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Great Gift Exchange


Kailani is doing it again! She sponsored theValentine's Day Swap a few months ago and now she's sponsoring The Great Gift Exchange. All you need to do is go here, sign the Mr. Linky, and tell her in the comments you want to play. Make sure you sign up before June 7, because on June 8 she'll be announcing the swap partners.

Jill and Pink Chihuahua Princess were my swap partners for the Valentine Swap and we've become good friends. I'm hoping to meet and make new friends through this new Gift Exchange as well.

Rush over and sign up. You'll be glad you did.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Friday's Feast 146

.... and it's actually on a Friday! Can you believe it??? ;-)

Without further ado, I present this week's version of Friday's Feast. Join us in playing, click on the link, and leave a message so we can find you. You can also let us know here so we can go and enjoy playing with you on your blog.

Appetizer
Name something you think is “the best.” My family, to be sure. I have the best husband, the best kids... what more could any person ask for?

Soup
On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 highest), how stressed are you today? maybe a negative 5? Unless things are manic around here, I rarely get stressed. We stay very busy with our work and there have been times I would get a bit depressed because I couldn't seem to find time for my writing. I've been getting up a little earlier, though, and doing the writing... so that's working out well. I think having the best husband (see number one) is one of the key's to remaining relatively stress free.

Salad
What kind of cleanser do you use to wash your face?
I recently discovered Age Perfect, by L'Oreal. It feels so luxurious on my face and it smells good to boot!

Main Course
Tonight is a blue moon! What is something that you believe only happens “once in a blue moon.” Hmmmm... eating fried oyster po'boys and not putting on the weight you had diligently been losing? Nope.. that's not it. Trust me.. it happens EVEN in a blue moon! Sigh. If you are ever in Apalachicola, Florida, go to The Grill and try it. If you like oysters... which I do!

Dessert
When was the last time it rained where you live? We actually had our first rain since February 1 yesterday afternoon. It was wonderful. I wanted to get out and play in it! And, they are predicting afternoon thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon as well. Let's hope. Our county had just instituted a Category 4 response to the drought as far as watering goes. Fortunately, home gardens are exempt, so my tomatoes, peppers and herbs are doing well. I have the feeling I'll be making lots and lots of salsa in a few months. If you want a jar, let me know!