The Sweetie Chronicles

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

Free Wi-Fi at Barnes & Noble!

Crazy that this kind of news could make me happy, but free wi-fi anywhere makes me happy these days. You would think that all places like Starbuck's, for example, and maybe even McDonald's would have free wi-fi since so many people go there with their laptops. And since they are HUGE corporations that can probably afford to have free wi-fi. Imagine my disappointment when I was visiting a friend last year and we walked to the Starbucks... only to find that they charge exhorbitant amounts to use their wi-fi... unless you are a T-Mobile customer or some shit... and seriously? T-Mobile? No thanks.

I got an email this morning though from Barnes & Noble saying that all of their locations now offer free wi-fi. And since they usually also have a starbucks inside with tables and chairs, I might start going there for some of my writing days. Not to mention going there when I'm out of town and needing an internet fix. That is my happy Friday news! Now I have to get my ass in gear so I can finish my novel and try to actually get one of my own books on the shelves at Barnes&Noble :).

More to Love - Fox's New Reality TV Show

More to Love. It's basically the Bachelor with so called "real" people. Plus-sized is the P.C. term. Obese is probably the technical term for many of the people on the show. Yes, big girls need love too, we all know that. But something about the show comes off as too much of a gimmick to me. Also, I was expecting voluptuous women with confidence who ate what they wanted freely and without guilt and who loved themselves despite their weight. I don't know what dream planet I was living on there for a minute, but apparently Fox couldn't find 20 such women in the plus-size category who were willing to go on this tv show. (I, of course, have decided to blog about More to Love on my long ignored reality tv worth watching blog, now housed at blogspot instead of wordpress.)

Instead, so many of the women told sob stories about how they never went to prom or have never once had a date because of how fat they are. Seriously? Didn't they go to college? As long as alcohol is still in fashion, anybody can get a date in college. Big women who are confident still find love, so obviously some of these women have some serious self-confidence issues. And honestly, if that's the case, are they really going to be able to handle the cut-throat world of reality tv dating, where rejection is the inevitable outcome for 99% of the girls? I see a lot of upcoming teary episodes.

On the other hand, one episode of more to love showed more honest conversations than an entire season of The Bachelor. Any show that has two or more women high-fiving over SPANX is alright with me. Unfortunately, both of those women were eliminated... shit. Oh well. I think the show will prove to have some worth, even if it only lasts for one season. What I really would rather see is for producers to go for actual, real normal girls.

They say on their commercial for More to Love that the average dating show contestant is size 2, but the average woman in America is size 14. Then, they proceed to cast their show with women who would KILL to fit into a size 14. Most of them have to be size 18 or higher. 5'5" and 235 pounds? No way that's a size 14. That's obese people. Unhealthy, 70 pounds overweight, size 18 or more. So don't tell me that is what's normal. That's just taking it to the opposite extreme. Give me some 5'5" 170-180 pound women who wear size 10-14 or even 8-14 and then I'll start to believe you understand what 'normal' really is. Then again, it's show business. Will people really watch a show about 'normal' people dating? I say yes, but I also say we'll probably never get to see that show.

Vitamin D Deficiency

I have a doctor's appointment this morning. Last time I went to the doctor for my annual physical, they did a blood work up and found that I have a high vitamin d deficiency. This was something I had never really heard of before, but apparently, not getting enough vitamin d is a problem.

After looking it up online (where, yes, I know you can't believe everything you read, but still, most sites tend to have similar information on this subject), I found out that lack of vit. d can result in cancer, osteoporosis, and other diseases. It can also mean fatigue, which is something I have a problem with.

There are two ways that my doctor suggested I increase my vitamin D intake. Number one was dietary supplements, which I ran out and bought right after my appointment last month. She told me I should be taking twice the normal dose... which I did... for about two weeks. Then I just sort of forgot and stopped taking it, which probably means that my blood tests from Friday are going to still show a terrible deficiency and today's appointment will be pretty much bullshit with her just telling me to take the damn pills. Anyway, the second way is to get out into the sun more often. The problem there, however, is pretty obvious. Too much sun can also lead to cancer, so I don't want to stay in the sun too much without sunscreen... but most types of sunscreen these days "protect" our skin from the UVB rays that give us vitamin D.

Anyway, I have to get going so that my doctor can tell me that my vitamin D levels are still way too low...

Jazzercise Morning

Determined to get back on track with my fitness and my goals for the year (okay, really goals for my life), I actually got up early this morning and went to Jazzercise class. I have missed it, really. Sure, it's sweaty and hot and hard work, but now that I'm home, I feel great! And by going to the earlier class at 8:20 (I used to only go to the 9:30 class), I'm giving myself an extra hour to work before lunchtime.

My life has been filled with starts and stops... starting on a path towards my goals and then stopping when I don't feel like moving forward anymore. There's always some excuse or some immediate complaint that becomes more important and always deters me from the path that I know leads to success. I don't know what it is, but there's always something that makes me steer off course... be it chocolate cake or a headache or just being plain lazy.

But the good news there is that it's never too late to start over and try again. Every day is a struggle, but if I could just struggle through it for one solid year of eating right, exercising, and writing every single day... I know that by the end of that year I would be thin and healthy and on my way to being published. Isn't all that worth a year of daily struggle? Maybe by the end of that year, I'd have new struggles, because I know that life is never easy, but wouldn't it feel amazing just to reach those goals and know that I accomplished them through perseverance and dedication to myself and my future? Yes! I want that feeling. So today I started in a small way with an earlier morning and a Jazzercise class. Every day is a new beginning and a new chance to live the life of your dreams. I truly believe that.

Janette Kicked Off SYTYCD

I am so pissed off. I cannot believe Janette was voted off 'So You Think You Can Dance' last night. This is the first season I have watched the show all the way through, and truthfully, it's more difficult to watch some of these people get voted off than it is on American Idol. Last night I found myself desperately wishing the judges had a 'save' like they do on AI, because I know they would have used it for Janette. What the hell went wrong America? I thought she was going to win it all. Every week I have faithfully dialed her number, confident that she would be moving on. I just don't understand.

Here's the thing that really pisses me off: If Melissa had not been handed a fucking breast cancer sob story routine, Janette would still be there and Melissa would have been voted off. Sure, she's got skills, but she isn't quite as versatile as the other three. I admired her portrayal of a breast cancer victim on Wed. night, but there's no doubt in my mind that she stayed out of the bottom two solely on the merit of the idea, not her dancing. If that routine had been given to any other girl, they would have been safe, regardless. It's just like people feel they HAVE to vote for the cancer routine. To NOT vote for the cancer routine would be heartless, right? Bullshit! She doesn't have cancer! She didn't choreograph the simple routine! Melissa made it through this week by default because of that sob story, and it pisses me off. Does that mean I like cancer? Hell no! But it does mean that I loved Janette. If her choreographer had said his piece was a portrayal of the fight against HIV and AIDS, she would have garnered sympathy votes and been safe. Regardless of her dancing. And that just isn't fair. If you want to do a sob story routine about breast cancer, either leave the explanation off or put it as a guest routine that isn't judged, but no one should ever gain an unfair advantage because of the TOPIC of their dance. And if you voted for Melissa and Ade simply because of that dance, shame on you, you easily manipulated American sheep.

Do I sound angry? That's because I'm fucking pissed. If you don't watch the show, you are missing out on some of the most creative and fun to watch dancing I know I've ever seen, and Janette was the cream of the crop. She put energy and spice into every single move she made on that stage, and she simply didn't deserve to go. She deserved to win. If you're curious, go watch her on youtube and you'll see what I mean. Janette, you will be missed!

Cat From Hell Attacks!

Last night, G and I experienced a rare but terrifying event. We got stalked and attacked by a kitty cat.

We live in a community of townhouses situated side by side, and it just so happens that one of our neighbors about 4 townhouses down has a cat. They seem to let this black and white cat roam the neighborhood, and it has often been seen hanging out under our cars or around our doorstep. I don't particularly mind as long as it isn't attacking me. It's just a cat.

From time to time, I have tried the old method of saying "here kitty kitty" to this black cat, hoping it would come to me and let me pet it, but the cat has never come close to me in the past. It usually just looks at me and either runs away or decides I'm not worth its time and just goes to sleep or something. Last night everything changed.

Around 10 pm, G and I decided to take a quick walk out to the mailboxes. Snickerdoodle likes to walk no matter what time it is, so the three of us went for a very short walk. Apparently, the cat was hiding out in the darkness beside my car and when we walked by, it decided to approach my small dog and hiss at her. I pulled Snoodle away and made sure she kept up with me, but the damn cat followed us! Stalked us! The faster I went, the more aggressive it got, trying to get to the dog.

I quickly picked my dog up (since she is, after all, smaller in size than some people's cats are) our of fear for her eyes and her health... but the cat kept coming. It was like the Kujo of cats, I'm serious! G yelled for it to leave us alone, but it still hissed and raised up threateningly. As we moved toward the mailboxes, the cat ran up and scratched and bit G on the heel of his foot.

While G had its attention, I made a break for our house hoping the cat would stay by him. As I moved, however, the cat saw me and started running towards me. I was terrified. I made it to the house, but G had the house key, so I opened up our outer door and squeezed between it and the main door, holding onto Snickerdoodle for dear life. The cat didn't come closer, but continued to hiss and moan.

I have never had a cat act so aggressively towards me and continue to stalk me like that. I really think that if it had attacked me, it would probably be dead right now. We went to the owner's house even though it was after 10 and told him what happened. He said he will keep the cat inside from now on, but we'll see. It would suck to have to be afraid to walk to the mailbox for fear of a cat attacking me.

Understanding My Process

When I decided to try my hand at writing books, I started reading things and hearing things about "finding your process." Everyone talks about how every writer has their own process, or way of producing. For some people, the best thing to do when you have a solid idea is to sit down and start writing. Pantsers, they are called, because they fly by the seat of their pants. They know that eventually a story will be formed out of their ramblings and that is all they need to know when they start. They don't care usually if they have to cut 30,000 words later, they just write like the wind.

Plotters are different. They sit down and plot out their story ahead of time, making sure they understand where the conflict is and who the characters are. They spend days and weeks working on the details of how the story will unfold and how their world will be formed before ever writing a single word of actually story.

I am a plotter for sure. I tried the pantser route, but it's just too scary right now for me. When I came to the end of the novel, I had no idea what to do with it or where the story could go, because I had never visualized an ending or planned a plot line. Now, I try to work it all out before I start writing. That way, I have a plan, and i feel like I am in control. If something needs to change because I decided along the way to change the plot, that's fine. I'm free to make adjustments. I just like to have an idea of where I am going when I start so I know that somewhere there will be an end to the story.

Of course, not all plotters have the same "process". Some people get up early and work from 5-10 or something (a.m.) while others work into the late night hours. Some have full time jobs and have to work in the evenings and on weekends. But figuring out the ideal process is not something that comes overnight. As for me, I am still trying to figure it out. I think the main thing for me is just to set a word count goal or some other production goal for myself every single day. Sometimes giving myself rewards when I reach a milestone seems to work. Like, for example, when I get to 25,000 words (which is halfway through this current book), I get $10 to spend at Staples on post it notes or something. Or when I get to 50,000 words, maybe I get a special Hello Kitty prize or a new cd I've been wanting. That's part of my process. Goal and Reward.

I am up a bit early today to try my hand at writing earlier or at least not sleeping in as late. I need to get started with the writing though to see how it goes. My goals right now include revising and rewriting my 50,000 word manuscript targetted toward Silhouette Desire so that I can get it to an agent and the senior editor both by August 7th. My more specific goal is to get 5000 words a day revised and on the final copy. I know I can do it.

Home from RWA Conference

Wow, what a week it was!! I can't believe how amazing my trip to National RWA Conference went overall. I met some fantastic people, learned a lot through the many workshops, got fifty three new books (most of them free, which is the best price ever), and had both an agent and an editor request my full manuscript! It could not have gone any better, honestly!

I even got to meet Nora Roberts face to face, which was amazing. Just standing there knowing that the woman next to me makes sixty million dollars a year on her writing was mind boggling. She's so talented, yet she seemed so down to earth, just standing there smoking a cig with me. It was very cool. I stood there beside her and thought, 'That'll be me in twenty years.' Minus the cigarette of course. But I believe that I could really make a difference the way that she has. Maybe I'll never be making sixty million dollars a year, but I'd happily settle for one million :P.

Unfortunately I only took my camera around with me a few places on the first couple of days, and then it spent the rest of the conference in the hotel room, but here are some of the pictures I took while I was there.

Linda Howard, author of more than fifty novels, was the keynote speaker for our luncheon on Thursday. She blew me away with her humor and her very down-to-earth persona. She is from Alabama and sounded like she could have come off the streets of Hawkinsville Georgia. She writes mostly romantic suspense, and I'm anxious now to read something of hers. My friend T let me borrow a book of hers called "To Die For" plus I have a free one they put on our seat at the conference called "Death Angel", so I've got two books to read!

Heidi Betts, author of many Silhouette Desire books as well as a series for St. Martin's Press called Chicks with Sticks, about women who love to yarn and knit and stuff like that. Her ideas are very original and cute, and she is such a fun person to hang out with. My critique partner, Karen, is BFF's with Heidi, so it was great to spend some time with her and her mother over the week.

Wednesday night there was a 'literacy signing', which basically means that 500 published romance authors were all in one giant room lined up side by side with stacks of their books in front of them. If you bought a book, you could get their signature, so naturally I got many books. All of the proceeds of the night go to helping to fight illiteracy, and I am proud to say that in 2 hours, RWA raised over $60,000 for literacy. Here is a picture of two of my favorite Silhouette Desire authors who share the same last name, so were lucky enough to get to sit together. On the left is Maya Banks who wrote, The Tycoon's Rebel Bride, one of the best recent Desires I have read. Leanna Banks is on the right, and she has written TONS of Desires. I grabbed up her most recent Billionaire of the Month title and had her sign it for me. She wrote "To Sarra: Good luck with Krista! Leanna Banks". (Krista being the senior editor from Desire that I met with and pitched to on Friday). She must have really brought me some luck so I will be eternally grateful!!

Okay, just one more Nora Roberts picture! I went to workshop after workshop trying to learn more about the business of writing and the process as well as the publishing process. One of the first workshops on my list, however, was called "A Chat with Nora Roberts". I am sure some of the more seasoned authors aren't as in awe of her as I am, but just knowing what this woman has accomplished in her life blows me away. The chat workshop was basically just her standing by a mic, answering questions from the audience. My favorite q&a went like this:

Random Person: Do you write when the 'muse' strikes you? Or do you write every day?

Nora Robers: I hate it when people talk about a little muse flittering over their shoulder. This is your job. You go to your job every day the same way you would if you worked as a teacher or at the seven eleven. Writing is your job, so you get your ass in the chair and work. Forget the fucking muse.

That being said, my ass is in the chair this morning, and I'm going to work.

RWA Conference, Here I come!

Well, here I come tomorrow! Haha. After a very happy weekend of celebrating wonderful events like G's 30th birthday and the one year anniversary of our engagement, today is all about getting ready to go. I am actually packed up more than halfway, but there is still work to be done. Plus, I'll probably take everything out of my suitcase to double check my outfits and such anyway.

I know that RWA national conference is not the be all end all of my career. If nothing amazing comes out of this, it doesn't mean that I am hopeless. On the other hand, it's my first real opportunity to be a professional part of the writing community and to get my ideas heard by people who can make things happen. If my pitch session goes well, I could have a full manuscript of my novel on her desk in New York in less than a month. This is really huge for me, and I want to make the most of every minute I'm there.

As for the Sweetie Chronicles, this will be my last update until next week, where I will share pictures and fill you all in on my amazing trip! Until then, wish me luck!!!

Clearing the Way

Sometimes the hard part is figuring out what you want out of life. My parents always said to me, "You can be anything you want to be in life." I'm sure a lot of parents say that to their children. But while they are telling you that, they are also secretly telling you that what you want is this: to graduate from high school and go to college; to graduate college and get a good career for yourself making good money; to find a husband who also has a good job; to buy a nice house and collect nice things; and then to have babies so your family is complete.

And it's not just parents that are hoping your path is like this. It's pretty much the whole world and every advertisement and most things tv and magazines and even books try to shove down our throat. It's a form of brain washing that we barely realize is there until it's so deeply ingrained in our existence and our psyche that there's no possible way to escape. House+Job+Family = Happiness. Right???

I was almost 30 years old before I realized that wasn't true. It wasn't even close to true. No, I didn't have the babies part yet, but no one could ever convince me that adding a baby to the fucked up thing that was my marriage would have suddenly made me happy. And even if it had made for a happy year or two, what comes after babies in the formula? Just a lifetime of working the same job and living the same life until you die? No thanks.

In my 30's, I'm finally coming to terms with the fact that having those 'things' doesn't equal happiness. It is more of a trap, and it's harder to get out of than prison sometimes. The problem is, no one ever really taught us how to figure out what we truly want deep down in our gut. Strip away the fact that we all want money and we all want love, what else is there? It took me a long time to figure out that what I want is two-fold:

1. I want to make a difference in the world. I want to make an impact. Yes, teaching was doing that for me, but on a smaller scale that what I think I am capable of achieving. I think I can make a larger difference by writing novels. Maybe I'm not good enough yet, but someday I'm going to get published and I am going to write something great that makes a difference in people's lives.

2. I want to learn to truly love myself. I want to wake up in the morning and be proud of myself, and I want to go to bed at night knowing that I accomplished my goals for the day and worked hard. I want to be able to look in the mirror and love what I see.

Combine those two things with the love I have found with G, and I know that I will have my own home-built recipe for happiness. Not that I will be happy every second of every day, but just that my life will mean more and be more than it ever has been before.

So, now that I've figured out the first tough part: what I want out of life. There's more. The next part is figuring out how the hell to get what you want. For me, it's all about getting out of my own way and clearing the path and the rubble of my wrecked past in order to get where I want to go. One step at a time.

SYTYCD: Kupona and Kayla's "Addiction" routine

I have been watching "So You Think You Can Dance" religiously this season, and I really think the dancers this year are some of the best ever. Last night's show was the top 12, so after tonight, we will know the top 10, who, like American Idol's top 10, will go on tour once the show is over. I don't want to rehash all of the performances, but I just wanted to mention the show today because of one specific routine from last night's show.

Let me preface this by saying that although I don't always like Mia Micheals' personality, her choreography is almost always amazing. She's a contemporary choreographer who always puts an interesting spin and a great story to her dances. Last night's routine that she choreographed for Kayla and Kupono was amazing! I think it is my favorite SYTYCD routine of all time... not that I've seen every episode mind you, but of the ones I've seen, this is the best. And it wasn't just the choreography. It was also the dancing.

Kupono just has something special. And yes, I know that on the message boards, he's been getting a lot of hate lately, but I for one see an amazing talent there. And Kayla... well, she's fantastic. The emotion that both of those dancers put into their performances takes my breath away. Their first routine last night was all about Kupono portraying 'addiction' and Kayla being the 'addict' who just can't seem to escape. How they were able to pull off every detail of that relationship with their bodies is beyond me, but they certainly did it, and it touched my heart. I have loved every routine they have done so far as a couple, and it will really make me sad tonight if they are sent home.

I just wanted to put that out there and let them know that regardless of what the results are tonight, you have my vote and you touched my heart. If there's any justice in this world, it will be Evan and Caitlin heading home tonight. I like their personalities, but it's a dance show and out of the 12 amazing dancers, they are consistently the weakest imo. We shall see.

How do you get rid of someone?

No, I'm not talking about murder or anything so drastic. I'm just talking about your run of the mill, "I don't really want to know you anymore" kind of thing.

Let me explain.

There's this girl that I was friends with for a while... until I started to realize she was bat-shit crazy. For a while, the merit of her crazy relationship stories was enough to keep me interested, but I honestly didn't enjoy spending time with her. Now that she's suddenly married, I just really don't have any interest, you know? I know it's rude and mean of me to say, but I don't want to be this person's friend anymore. There's just too much going on in my life right now and in my head to worry about her.

Frankly, she annoys me. At restaurants, she's always rude to the servers, but when we get together, it's usually for lunch or something so I have to put up with it. Even last time I saw her when we went shopping, she got a bit of an attitude with one of the sales people. It doesn't seem to occur to her to be nice.

I hate to just call her up and say, I'm sorry but I don't want to know you anymore, but what can I do? She calls me all the time! And I just don't pick up because I'm busy and I don't want to hear her whining about me never answering the phone. I honestly thought that after a few weeks of me not answering the phone and not calling her back, she would just sort of get the hint... but it's not happening! She's just becoming more persistent! Yesterday, she called me at 7:30 am. Seriously? Then again at 10:30. Then she texted me. But I know that if I answer, she'll just rag me about not being available, and I still won't have the nerve to tell her I don't want to really talk to her anymore, so the cycle will continue. Does anyone have any suggestions here? Besides just being brutally honest?

I hate confrontations, but I guess I need to tell her how I feel. Or just put up with it. Annoying.

The Waiting Game

The world of publishing is insane. I think most people just don't realize how long it can take to get a book published. What comes out as a new release today was probably written two years ago. How can fiction writers possibly keep their finger on the pulse of the times with turn arounds like that? Sometimes it's more than two years.

Let's look at my first submission attempt... a novella of about 23,000 words called 'Steal My Heart'. First, I sent it to Brava, a romance publisher who is print only and very well-respected. I got a response within a month even though I'm sure their editor is extremely busy. Then, I sent it to an online publisher. That was around christmas time, so it took just over a month before I heard back from them. I sent it out again, and yet another month went by before I heard back from the third editor.

All told, the story was finished in November, so at the point I got my third rejection, I had already been sending it out for about 4 months. I put the novella away at that point and let it sit, but when I got a chance to pitch to an editor at Wild Rose Press, I took it. I reworked the story and sent it out again. Now it's been about six weeks and no word. It's possible that this time it's taking longer because they are actually considering giving me a positive reponse, which would rock.

But the truth is that even if I do get a contract and they buy my novella, they said that their time from acceptance to actually publishing the novel on their website is right around 9 months. Sooo... even if I got an acceptance today, that would mean it took 17 months to publish it from the time I finished it. And this is just a short story for a small online press. Yikes, huh? It can take even longer to get a full length novel published with a big publishing house.

Then again, I have read some accounts of agents getting a query letter about a novel one day, requesting a full manuscript right away, and then selling it to a huge publisher within one month and getting it on the shelves in less than six months. It doesn't happen often though, so for the most part, what you read and think is 'new' is really a couple of years old. So, a word to anyone wanting to be a writer: beef up your patience and get ready for a long ride.

Six Flags

When I was younger, I used to get so excited about going to Six Flags. I usually got to go with our band and chorus at school every year. The first time I went was actually with the high school band one year that my sister was going. I don't remember why I got to go exactly, but it seems like maybe our Mom was a chaperone. I felt so cool at the back of the bus with all the popular kids. (my sister was always more popular in school than I was) And I definitely remember hardly being able to sleep the night before from excitement.

Later, in middle school, I got to go with the chorus and I remember staying up late at a sleepover the night before looking at the map of the park a thousand times and talking about what rides we were going to go on first. The funny thing about it was that I probably never got a good night's sleep the night before a Six Flags trip. We always left at the crack of dawn and got on a school bus for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, spent the entire day in the hot sun, running around, walking all over the place, and then 3 hours back that night when the park closed, which was probably at least 8 or 9 at night. How in the hell did I have that much energy after not sleeping? I wish I could call that energy forth right now, damn.

For me, this whole week is like a Six Flags night in some ways. With my first RWA National conference only a week away, I can't stop thinking about my pitch, my novels, my outfits, and asking myself questions like: Will I meet new people? Will I learn a lot? Am I going to fit in? Is there going to be as much networking as I am hoping for? and so on. But at the same time, just like with Six Flags, I know that in order to get the most of it, I really should get some sleep. From what my other people have told me, the conference ends up being a whirlwind of activity that starts every day at 7 or 8 and doesn't end until about midnight. Even though I stay up late now, I certainly am never up by 7 (or even 8 really), and I'm not in a constant state of activity all day for more than 12 hours at a time. This conference is going to be exhausting! But amazing at the same time, hopefully.

If last night was any indication, however, this is going to be a rough week. I had nightmares and tossed and turned all night long. Maybe a key difference I hadn't considered before between those years when I used to get excited about Six Flags and now, is that now I can just pop in a few drugs like Tylenol PM and force myself into a good night's sleep. Maybe I'll try that tonight.

Happy Independence Day

Yes, I know it's not until tomorrow, but I don't blog on Saturdays, so here's my fourth of July post :).

There are so many things I love about our country. Watching something like what happened in Iran after what should have been just a peaceful vote, it makes me realize just how great it is that we have the power to vote without being beaten for it. On the other hand.... I have to say that our voting process isn't all roses and happy smiles, either. Sure, it seems fair and everything, but when you move higher up the food chain in politics, how many poor people do you know that hold an office? It's all about just how much money you can raise before you can run. It's also so much about Democrat vs. Republican rather than issues or values. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm happy I didn't get beaten to death for voting for John McCain in the last election.

If I go back to what I love, I can also tell you that I love living in a country where you can make something of yourself with hard work and dedication. I was one of those kids whose parents constantly said, "You can be anything you want to be in life." And I believed it. In fact, I still do. I haven't gotten rich from these gems of wisdom, but I know that now I am finally working hard towards a solid goal, I am going to be happy in my career now, rich or not. But I love the fact that a poor person can raise themselves up to be rich. It does happen here in America still. I'm not saying it's easy, but it's definitely possible. We have to remember that in some countries, you can work as hard as you can and never make a dollar more than what your government wants to give you. In some countries, entire villages care about nothing more than figuring out how to find food and how to avoid raids by government or other military-type troops. Thank God that's not where we are here in America.

At the same time, however, let me also say that this economic 'bail out' shit is just that.... complete shit. I understand that it's complicated, because hundreds or thousands of jobs and certain pieces of our economy are counting on some of these huge businesses to survive, but since when did rewarding people for failing become part of the American dream? I saw a damn commercial the other day touting free cell phones for those who "can't afford one". They said it's for safety reasons. Now, I don't know what kind of service they're offering, but seriously. Free cell phones? So, basically, if you're poor enough, you can have free cell service, a free or close to free apartment, free health care, free food... AND if you were irresponsible enough to have a bunch of kids when you can't afford to feed yourself... you get EXTRA money.

Meanwhile, people working their asses off with minimum wage jobs or even above that are ineligible for those benefits and STILL can't fucking afford food and cell phone service. All we're doing as a country is telling people that if you work hard and take pride in taking care of your family, you deserve less, not more, than those who sit on their asses and pop out babies all day. Plus, those babies are gonna grow up and know that if they just sit back and do nothing, the government will take care of them. It's their RIGHT to get taken care of. Well, where's my fucking bail out? What happened to the RIGHT to make something more of yourself? It really makes me sick to my stomach.

Not that I wanted this post to be a bitchfest, because I do love my country. I guess I'm just scared of my country turning into the land of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged... a country where the poor suddenly have a "right" to everything that never belonged to them and businesses that can't make it suddenly have a "right" to be as successsful as those who have worked hard to develop new strategies and products. I don't want to live in that world. And, if you read that book, you know that a country like that doesn't last forever.

Happy fourth of July and let's try to make this country better by next year than it is today.

Hello Kitty Back To School

It's that time of year again! The local Sanrio store stocks wonderful Hello Kitty back to school items like spiral notebooks, new pencils, pencil boxes, special student planners, and of course, my favorite, notebook paper!

The year before last, I went and got some paper, but I was so late getting there (August I think) that they only had a few left, so I think I got one packet. It was gone quickly. Last year, I went nutso and bought something like 6 packets. I still have 2 unopened of that kind. This year, I just can't afford to spend that kind of money, since the paper is, shamefully, $6.50 a pack. Yes, yes, I know, it's insane and how could anyone spend that kind of money on paper?? But I love it and it makes me happy, so to me, it's worth it. I bought two packs. One of each of the two kinds they have this year for Hello Kitty. They also had Kuromi and Choco Cat, but I just don't think I'd ever use 150 sheets of those.

I realize that my love for stationery is an obsession, but I can't help it! Someday, I hope that I have the money and the freedom to start my own store stocked with all kinds of cutesy stuff like stationery, pens, beaded jewelry, cute flip flops, candles, etc etc etc. Just going in there every day would make me so happy. I would love to design my own stationery, honestly. And if someone was crazy enough to let me get ahold of a Hello Kitty design license... to put her image on some of my own stuff... that would be insane.

Anyway, it's back to work, and with T out from work this week, my readership is slim today I'm sure, considering that she's usually a large part of my "regular crowd". Oh well, nothing is going to make me unhappy today when I have the very cutest new paper to write on as I work. Have a good one all, and if you're lucky enough to have tomorrow off for the holiday, Happy Fourth of July!

Ahh, Sleep

Last night was glorious! Okay, so I had crazy dreams about some kind of wedding and then a sort of high school class reunion where I was forced to remember people that I'd rather forget forever, but that's okay. I was asleep! I can feel the energy coursing through me today, and I know in my heart that this will be a good day. I can be productive and excited today. I will get work done and even, perhaps, tackle that mountain of laundry and the spaghetti pan that has been in the sink for twenty four hours. Today will be a good day.

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!

Sarra's Works in Progress


Sarra's bookshelf: sarra-s-favorites

Beautiful DemonsThe Time Traveler's WifeLoveroot: PoemsFear of FlyingWe the LivingAnthem

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