The Sweetie Chronicles

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

Home for Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving will be G's first turkey day with my family. Now, I know that almost everyone has good food on Thanksgiving day, but I think that the spread my family produces has to be one of the best in the world. First of all, my aunt's dressing is amazing. It's not some horrible Stove Top Stuffing (which I can't stand). It's a completely homemade stuffing that is absolutely amazing.

My Mom bakes her signature bread, which is honestly the best bread ever. Also, my aunt's sweet potato souffle is to die for. I couldn't ask for a better Thanksgiving meal than the one we've been having at her house since I was a small child.

Then there's the people. This year, it seems there will be a ton of people. My aunt and uncle's six grown children with their spouses and children of their own will all be there. My brother and sister with their significant others and my sister's daughter will be there, along with of course, me and G. My aunt from Indiana is coming and possibly my cousin. Then Lord knows who else will be there, but there's always various people from the community. I'm hoping that the more people that come means the less I have to bullshit with people I barely know or barely like. I can get lost in the crowd, enjoy my food, and cuddle in the corner with my fiance. Haha! Not to say I don't like most of the people, because I do.. just that there are a few choice people I don't particularly want to get stuck talking to for very long. Aren't all families like that when you are being honest about it?

Anyway, I am most excited to just be going home to spend time with my closest family. My brother is having a cookout in our honor tomorrow night, and as long as traffic isn't so bad it takes us twelve hours to get there, that will be lots of fun :). My sister in law is now 7 months pregnant and I can't wait to see her and talk to her about the baby! I know it will be a wonderful time! I wish everyone a wonderful, happy Thanksgiving.

Oh, by the way, if you're wondering what the picture of my dog Snickerdoodle has to do with this post... she is coming home with us and she went to the groomer yesterday to get a gussied up for it. Doesn't she look super cute? G thinks she hates me for putting her in that outfit, but I think she likes it! Safe travels to all who are traveling, happy times to all who are not. Sweetie Chronicles will be back up with new posts on Monday next week. Until then... peace out.

WriMo's Final Week

There is so much to get done this week! I'm going to have to write up a major to-do list today so that I get every little thing done before we have to leave for Georgia on Wednesday morning!! Stuff like *take the dog to the groomer *clean out the car *do the laundry, etc.

Then, on top of everything else, this is NaNo WriMo's final week! As I look back, I am truly amazed that I have been able to write 37,500 words in just three short weeks. I was even sick several of the days last week and didn't write hardly at all. But I wrote like crazy at the end of the week to make it up, so here I sit... less than 13,000 words from my goal. It's a very exciting feeling!!! Before this, the only other project I had completed was a short story of less than 20,000 words. And believe me when I say it took a lot longer than a month to finish the damn thing! Now, in just one little week, I will have a full 50,000+ word novel!!

Sure, the editing is going to take some time, but that's the fun part. The creating of the thing is fun too, don't get me wrong, but it's also excrutiatingly painful at the same time. An infinity of choices can leave you feeling restless and doubtful at every turn of the story. But the editing process is at least somewhat contained because the story already has a life of its own by then.

My challenge now is that Wednesday through Saturday is family time and travel time, with very little writing time in between. That means 13,000 words need to come between right now and Wednesday morning. If I don't finish it before we leave, that will make for an anxious me stealing laptop time in the hotel or a very caffeine-driven gallop to the finish on Sunday the 30th before midnight :) Either way, I know that I will finish, and that makes me so very proud of myself.

The Cookie Monster

I just wanted to make mention that even after .. how many seasons? 15? more? ... Survivor is still one of the best shows on Television. Last night, the season was down to the final 8, and although the challenges and the survivor auction were pretty normal for Survivor... it's the players that really make the game.

It was hilarious to watch an almost 60 year old man throw a fit over a damn chocolate chip cookie. If you didn't see it, you missed out, let me tell you. Then, the sheer joy of watching that bigot of a hateful little man get played by Sugar and Bob and the rest of the original Fang alliance, was pure happiness. I have never laughed so hard in my life at a tv show! It was awesome!

If you didn't watch it, just take my word for it. I wrote up a short recap on my Survivor blog... which btw, I have not kept up with this season, but could not resist posting on last night. I was not expecting amazing things from this season because honestly, I didn't think you could top Fans vs. Favorites last season. But the more time that goes by, the more I love Survivor Gabon! I definitely can't wait to see what happens next!

OH, and by the way, Happy Friday :)

Holiday Shopping

It's that time of year again, where everyone stresses out about the "perfect gift" and picking out cute wrapping paper and beautiful christmas decorations. I have always loved Christmas, but there are flaws in the whole gift giving system, don't you think? When I start to think about the perfect present for someone, I have to consider what they really would use or want. BUT, I also have to think about how much they are probably going to spend on me, or how much they spent on me last year, reducing their present into a mere exchange of money in the form of a pretentious gift that fit into the right monetary category. And what do you do when someone is obviously going to spend more on you than you can possibly afford to spend on them? Your only options are to buy something you can't afford or to buy something you can and be embarassed by it instead of happy. In some ways, I think Christmas would mean more if we all agreed to give thoughtful sincere gifts that we either made or whatever instead of having to worry about how much everything costs.

This year, for example, some people can barely afford to pay their mortgages, but I bet they will still find some way to spend hundreds of dollars on presents. It's just simply expected in our society today, and parents and family feel obligated to spend money on presents. Of course, there are different groups around town that will happily donate to families in need, but in order to get help, you have to admit you ARE a family in need.. which is humbling and can be embarassing.

Christmas, at its roots, is supposed to be about joy and happiness. Christmas is supposed to be about families coming together and being grateful for what you have. When I walk through the mall and staqrt to think about presents and how much I should spend on who, I start to feel as though we're all missing the point.

Prestiq: My New Medication

So, when I went to the doctor last week, I told her about some problems I'd been having with prozac and wellbutrin. I was wondering if maybe I should try something else, and she agreed. That landed me with a two week sample pack and a prescription of Pristiq, a relatively new anti-depressant. One of the side-effects that it lists in the very long list of possible side-effects is "vivid dreams". Let me tell you, this is a side-effect that I am definitely having.

Okay, so I often have vivid dreams, I know. But the past few nights have been super vivid, like live in HD kind of vivid. Last night, for example, I was leading a group of people on a trip of some sort when I realized I had to go pick up my brother from the house. When I went to pick him up, however, Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt were blocking the way to the house on my dirt road, threatening to kill me if I tried to pass. Now, to make things worse for me, they had giant trucks while I was driving a four wheeler. The rest of my dream was focused on rescuing my brother from the house and trying to sneak around the Freeman-Pitt death trap. By the time I woke up this morning, I think I had almost won, but who can say for sure? All I can tell you is that it was so vivid, I believed it was happening.

As far as side effects go, that's not such a bad one, I guess, for a writer to have. Maybe one of these nights I'll dream of something that will end up in the pages of my first best-selling novel. You never know.

The Common Cold

Even with medicine's amazing triumph over diseases like polio and certain types of cancer, no one has yet to figure out a cure for the common cold. Continuing this very sad cycle of late posts, I am just not up and moving around at 11:00 in the morning. Why? Because I have a cold. Yesterday was the worst of it, I think. Very sore throat. Ear ache. Tiredness. Nausea. Yucky. I got a ton of rest, but when I was asleep, I dreamed I was in a talent show but could not sing because my throat was sore. Ha! I guess you know it's bad when it invades your dreams, right?

Today is much better though. I slept in and am starting to feel more like myself again. My nose is still stuffy and my ears still ache, but my throat is much better and there's no nausea, thank god. I just wish there was some type of vaccine against colds, you know? Just go into a doctor's office when you're like five years old, and get a single shot that will keep you from getting colds for the rest of your life. Ahhh, that sounds good. I think I'll try to dream about that next time.

Not On Strike

No, I haven't been on blog strike. I've just been a bad girl. Well, good in some ways. I didn't write a blog yesterday morning because I was sound asleep. Now, normally, you could scold me for that, but I had a really really good reason this time. I stayed up the night before all through the night to write, and I actually ended up with almost 7000 words in one day! I finally made it to sleep around 7'ish, which is when G was getting up. It was definitely productive, but I was Tired.

This morning, I don't have a good excuse. I had a doctor's appointment at 9:30, which should have given me plenty of time to update, but when I woke up and looked at the clock is was already 8:45. I knew I had to take a shower, dry my hair, and get dressed in less than 30 minutes... there was no time to write! But here I am, making it up somewhat. Get off my back! jk :)

Tune in Monday for my regular morning sweetie chronicles. Meanwhile, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Peace out homies.

New Expansion for EQ2: The Shadow Odyssey

Once a year, Everquest II devotees like myself look forward to the release of a new expansion. This year, it happens next Tuesday... or maybe Wednesday. G and I went in to Game Stop to pre-order two copies and they told us to pick it up on the 19th. Officially, however, the game was supposed to come out on the 18th. So... it comes out on one or the other.

Anyway, the expansion is the fourth for EQ2 and is called "The Shadow Odyssey". For the first time, there is no character level increase included with the expansion and I am anxious to see how that plays out. I just hope there will be enough content to keep us all busy without the goal of getting new levels. Maybe they partially did that to give any newcomers to the game more of a chance to catch up. I heard that originally, the developers planned to take the character level cap all the way up to 200 eventually. Right now, the highest level you can get is 80, so we're a long way from that yet.

Everquest 2 also officially just celebrated its 4th year, and both G and I have been playing pretty much the whole time, with small breaks here and there. Of course, four years ago, we didn't know the other one existed. I remember very clearly that when this game came out, I was living in a Days Inn with my ex-husband because of a house fire. We didn't have enough money at the time to get two computers, and of course he insisted that he had to have one. How much work he ever did on that computer, I'll never know, but I have a feeling it was less work than it's taken me to write this entry. He certainly played a lot of EQ2 though. When we moved back into our house in December, I got a new computer and also started playing. If someone had told me back then that I would someday meet the true love of my life while playing that game, and that being with him would make me truly happy, I would have never believed them. Yet, four years later, here we are. It's amazing how life can change so much in such a short period of time.

Happy Veteren's Day

Veteren's Day definitely means more when you know there are thousands of Americans overseas right now serving our country and protecting our freedom. When we first went into Iraq in 2003, I never dreamed we would still be there in 2008. And it doesn't appear that we'll be leaving anytime soon really. Unlike a lot of people, I don't really blame President Bush for this. It's not like he's a freaking oracle who can see into the future. Sure, oil probably had a lot to do with it, but I also think that Sadam Hussein was an evil man and needed to be brought down.

People say that Bush "lied" to us by saying Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction. I don't know. I realize that we didn't find anything specific, but their country is a damn desert with tons of underground bunkers and hidden shit everywhere. I don't think you can totally rule it out just because we didn't find anything. I personally think some things were either hidden extremely well or else were moved before we got to it. But that's just a gut feeling and not based on any facts, so it could be total bullshit.

Besides who could have anticipated the amount of suicide bombers and terrorists that would be so unwilling to accept freedom and a new lifestyle in their country. Do these people honestly enjoy living in fear and murdering hundreds of people? I'm not saying America's living the perfect lifestyle either, but at least we aren't in mud huts with no clean water and no satellite TV strapping bombs to our bodies in the name of our God.

Wow, I guess I am in a slightly judgmental mood today. All I really wanted to say was that I support the troops in Iraq, and even though I wish they weren't still there, I still believe that they are sacrificing their lives for my freedoms, and that's pretty humbling. Anyone who has ever been willing to lay down their life for America's freedom deserves more than just a day. We should celebrate them and pray for them every day.

I totally overslept today. Not only did I turn off the alarm this morning instead of snoozing, causing my fiance to get up late, but I also went back to sleep when he left and didn't get up until 9:45. That means I missed Jazzercise. I've got so much to do today, so on top of that now I feel guilty that I slept in when G had to go to work. Everything would be so much simpler if I could just sell a novel and then get a movie deal and make millions of dollars. That way, I could sleep in and never feel guilty. Haha!

Week One Results

NaNo WriMo is officially one week in, and I have really enjoyed it. Right now, I am sitting at around 9,000 words, which means that I am a little bit behind. In truth, I had more written, but then I deleted half a chapter. I know that is against the rules because we aren't supposed to be editing ourselves just yet, but honestly... that half a chapter was complete crap. And once I cut it out, the writing came much easier.

By midnight tonight I need to have 11,669 words. If I do, then I get a little reward I set aside for myself. I know that I can do it! This time around, I have been taking Stephen King's writing advice, and instead of plotting everything out, I have been letting the story sort of tell itself. At first, I was really scared, thinking what if I end up staring at a blank screen all day? But I have deadlines, so I pushed along. The past couple of days have just gotten easier and easier. And... more fun to tell the truth.

I am writing with no limitations. I don't correct grammar mistakes. I don't worry about the ending and everything in between. I am just telling a story. When November is over, I may have a slight mess to clean up as far as spelling errors and grammar issues, but at least those 50,000 words will be there to fix. It is a wonderful feeling to look over at the end of each day and see a small stack of pages that didn't exist that morning. Just to know I created that is one of the most satisfying things of my life. It's been a really good week one.

Can We Ban Christmas?

Well, as of Halloween, it is apparently now Christmas Holiday Shopping time. All of the commercials are starting to have that little holiday theme or the little message thrown in that "This is a great gift for the Holidays!!". Just thinking about spending all that money makes me nauseated.

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas. I love the music and the beautiful decorations. I love Christmas trees and putting up lights and ornaments. I love seeing my family and eating great food.

It's just that this year, somehow, it seems cumbersome. There's so much expectation involved, and now that I am 30+, I feel like I should be shelling out for the "good" gifts. The way that TV and malls and every store you walk into these days seems to be shoving Christmas down your throat, desperately trying to get tight consumers to spend money despite the recession, is just a bit much this year. In some ways, I wish that we could ban Christmas this year. Well, ok, not BAN it. Maybe just ban expensive gifts and crazy expectations. I would be totally happy with just the decorations, food, and family time.

I don't see that happening though. So, I guess I need to sit down soon and figure out who all I need to buy for and what we can afford to really spend. Hopefully I can come up with some great, very personal ideas that will be meaningful and useful, yet inexpensive and easy to find. Yeah, right.

Obama Wins

For a while, it seemed as though it was shaping up to be a close race. People were discussing tie scenarios and such on TV in anticipation of Nov. 4th. But when it came down to voting day, Americans as a whole made it clear who the next President of the United States was going to be. Barack Obama will be sworn in on January 20, 2009 as the first African-American President. I can say that I am definitely happy that "first" has been achieved and that this year a black man and a woman were both on the ballot. That in itself opens a lot of doors for our country and the people who will lead in the future.

I hope that he is a great President. I hope that he can help to turn things in the right direction. I hope he gets rid of this "No Child Left Behind" bullshit. I hope...

Only time will tell what is to come. I keep thinking of Atlas Shrugged, wondering if this new trend towards sharing the wealth and every man being responsible for his neighbor is leading us down that path that will ultimately be the end of our Freedom. I am wondering where we might go if things start to go that direction in our lifetime. Maybe last night's choice will slow that outcome, or perhaps it will expedite it. Time will tell, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared.

Election Day

The first thing that popped into my mind this morning was this: Today our nation will elect a new leader. McCain or Obama? Either way, history will be made.

McCain - Palin


At age 72, John McCain would be the oldest president ever elected to a first term. I personally think his age and "old white man" look has hurt him more than anything in this election race. People are ready for change, and the race for President has become more about show business than fact. Some people see this old stiff white guy and just assume that he's a relic of the past, unable of bringing significant change.

What if the Republican candidate had been a 50 year old John McCain? That might have been a completely different story. Of course, we won't know for sure until tonight, but I personally voted for McCain. His service in the Navy and survival of the torture he endured as a POW in Vietnam mean a lot to me. He has a reputable political history, having been a Senator in Arizona since 1987. No matter how often Obama tries to say McCain is just like Bush, McCain's history proves that he is not afraid to disagree with the Republican party.

The other part of the McCain team is also a historical first. Governor Sarah Palin is the first woman to run for VP on a major party ticket, and if elected, will be the first woman Vice President. She has taken a lot of shit in the media lately, and everytime I read forums and CNN comments, people are really railing on her, calling her evil and saying nasty, untrue things about her. I don't understand it! I think Palin is the best candidate in this entire election.

At just 44 years old, she is young and energetic. Family is obviously a huge priority to her. But what I also love is that she's not afraid to get her hands dirty. She's tough physically and mentally. I also appreciate the fact that she is the daughter of a school secretary and a science teacher. She's middle class, just like most of the rest of us. People in the media are going berserk about her accepting a $150,000 wardrobe from the Republican Nation Party?? Give me a break! Basically, they are railing on her for not having enough money of her own to dress in the designer labels that today's show-biz TV world demands of its politicians. If she hadn't accepted the wardrobe, we probably would have seen articles bashing her appearance.

Ethics are a huge concern to her and I truly believe that she would be great in the Whitehouse. She understands what a lot of families are going through. Not because she's researched it and looked at numbers to figure out what she thinks people care about. But because she's actually experiencing it herself. And that means more than any amount of research.

Obama - Biden

At only 47 years old, Obama is one of the youngest men to run for president on a major party ticket. If elected, he will also be the first African American president. I guess his African American heritage is the one he chooses to identify with, even though his mother was white and his black father actually left him and his mother when Obama was only 2. In some ways, I wonder if the black community would see this as an empty victory. Obama wasn't raised in a black community by anyone who is, in fact, African American. He just happens to have that skin color (sort of) and half of his genetic makeup came from that race. Why that makes him more black than white, I don't know that I will ever understand.

But I digress... Obama's experience is, well, not much compared to McCain. He served in the Illinois Senate from 1996 to 2004. In 2005, he was sworn in as a United States Senator, and basically began gunning for the Presidency right away. As I'm sure you can tell, this is in no way a non-biased blog post. I don't like Barack Obama, and I'm not afraid to say it. He talks about change and reform. He talks about reeling in the spending and getting America back on track. Yet, he thought it was acceptable to spend over 5 million dollars just to get a 30 minute spot on major television networks. This guy strikes me as all show-biz. He is the type of politician who has made a very careful study of the American people and has figured out what to say that will please the most people. He strikes me as a manipulator. His knowledge comes from strategy, not experience.

However, that doesn't mean I think that he will lose today. In fact, I think he will probably be the next President of the United States. Only time will tell if that is the right thing for our country or not.

Obama's VP runningmate is Joe Biden. In a reverse of the ages on McCain's ticket, Biden is the older one on the Democratic ticket. He is 65 years old (almost 66), and has quite a bit of experience in the US government. He was elected to the US Senate when he was only 30 years and has been reelected five times. I don't know much else about him, but he seems like an okay kind of guy.

One of his earlier statements when he was running for President himself, was that "The Presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training." And yet here he is running with the least experienced candidate in our history. Hmmm. Biden has run for President several times, and I think he's just glad to be included in Obama's campaign. He said, "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy, I mean, that's storybook, man." Sounds to me like Biden saw Obama's selling points (good looking, well-spoken minority, a symbol of change regardless of what he says... it's about how he looks and how well he speaks) and jumped on the gravy train.

I will definitely be watching the election coverage tonight to watch history being made. I would love to see McCain win, but we'll just have to wait and see. Either way, the next President/ Vice President of the United States will be making history, and it is at least exciting to see new doorways opening for minorities and women in our country.

Reunion

This weekend we went to G's ten year High School Reunion. We didn't have to drive too far, only about an hour from home, and we had a really nice hotel room for the night. The event itself was fun, even if the food was a little bit disappointing, but the best part was just being with G.

We had quite a bit to drink, but not so much that we were sick (not that night anyway), and we got dressed up. After staying in most nights or only dressing in casual clothes for a long stretch of time, it was really nice to dress up and go out like that. I think we make a really attractive couple!

We ended up leaving the party (a term I use loosely since no one was dancing and everyone was just standing around mostly) to go back to our room around 10. We stayed up talking, snuggling, watching TV and just hanging out, and I loved every minute of it. There has never been a man in my life that I had such pure joy being around, even when we aren't doing anything in particular, until now. With every passing day and each thing we experience together, we only find ourselves closer than ever. I honestly never knew love and companionship like this was possible. Now, I know that settling for less in a relationship is selling yourself short.

Sarra Cannon

Young Adult Indie Author

I always secretly wanted to be a cheerleader. And a witch. Now, I write about both. The first five novels in my Peachville High Demons Young Adult Paranormal series are available now in ebook!

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