"There's no point in spending your life in the pursuit of something that's easy." - Alice Kuipers

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Beauty of Interruptions

Sometimes when you don't feel like writing, life lines up just right so you end up doing it anyway. Most of the time I'm the worst procrastinator in the world, but this weekend things really worked out for the best.

First of all, it was incredibly hot and our house doesn't have air conditioning. The bedrooms in the back of the house are always cooler than the rest of the house but it's also away from the TV. It didn't matter though, it was so hot I hung out in the bedroom where there was nothing to do but scribble in my notebook. It was perfect.

And on Sunday, my husband spent the afternoon watching a three hour long movie I couldn't stand, once again forcing me away from the TV and back to my writing. Sure, I could have been annoyed, but instead I really appreciated the interruptions to my usual weekend routine. They forced me to get some actual work done. Sometimes, when you can't motivate yourself, it helps to have others do the motivating for you.

So here's to the interruptions! Personally, I'm hoping my husband finds another long, boring movie to watch this week. I've got some writing to do.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Perseverance

This week, work has been bat shit crazy. So, I'm being honest when I say I'm really glad it's Friday. And what better way to kick off the weekend than with Five Sentence Fiction? If you'd like to find out what it's all about, or if you'd like to give it a try yourself, just visit Lillie McFerrin Writes. This week's prompt is perseverance. How fitting, after the week I've had. Enjoy!

Did he really think he was going to get to her, holding that strange woman's hand? She gritted her teeth at the smug smile on his face, keeping her outward appearance calm and unreadable. She picked up her purse and strolled past, refusing to cast another glance in his direction. She could feel his eyes on her back as she walked away, but she wouldn't give him another chance; it was time she put herself first.

There you have it! If you're still jonesing for more Five Sentence Fiction, just check out the links below. Please feel free to follow this blog and find me on twitter @MelanieKCole. Have a great weekend!

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Scarlet
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Composure
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Pirates
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Harvest

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Speaking of Catching Up...

... here are the long awaited Before and After pictures of my office. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, a few months ago I proclaimed on this blog that I was going to clean up and redecorate my room of shame - my office. It had become the room where I put everything I didn't want to deal with, a true horror show. And I did it! But, I've been holding off on showing the Before and After pictures because it's not completely done. I wanted the room to be completely finished (knick knacks and all) but, I've realized that's still a long way away and there's no point in holding out. So, without any further ado, here they are.


Horrifying, isn't it?


Much better, yes? Still not finished, but it's getting there. As you may have noticed, Widget and Poppet are in separate cages, as I've discovered they're both boys. Although they love each other like crazy, they're also just a little too young to get fixed, which makes them too competitive/aggressive to leave in the same cage. But that willl change as soon as they get fixed. And there we have it! I'm actually very proud of myself for following through and getting it done. After all, you saw the Before pictures. You can't tell me they weren't terrifying.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Day Late

I know what you're thinking, you can't believe I'm a day late with a blog post yet again. I have fallen so behind lately. Would you believe I still haven't completely unpacked from my trip to Palm Springs? My half empty suitcase is still sitting on my bedroom floor, waiting to trip anyone that passes by. It's become a real safety hazard, especially when the lights are out and you're half asleep in the middle of the night.

I really did mean to post on time yesterday, but a family obligation called me away at the last minute and ended up lasting way longer than expected. I ended up getting home at eleven, exhausted. I'd completely forgotten about posting and just fell into bed. I don't mean to complain, it was entirely worth it, but I do apologize for my scattered behavior of late. It's time to rally my mental faculties and get caught up, starting now!

So please bear with me, and I will see you all tomorrow. Hopefully with something more interesting to say.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Scarlet

It has arrived! Friday is finally here, bringing promises of a sunny, peaceful weekend. I plan to spend the next two days soaking in as much summer as I can, writing whatever I want, and taking the alarm clock out back and smashing it to smitherings. Okay, that's not true. The alarm clock will survive the weekend. But I do plan on turning it off. And to kick off a weekend filled (hopefully) with creative expression, here is this week's edition of Five Sentence Fiction. The prompt this week is SCARLET. If you'd like to see what it's all about and maybe give it a try yourself, just visit Lillie McFerrin Writes. Enjoy!

Scarlet. It was the only word he could think of to describe her; from the hair that spilled out over her shoulders in relentless waves, to her soft, beckoning lips, to the spreading pools around her feet. The front of her dress was stained with it, as were her hands and fingers. She looked up at him from amidst the mess, confusion and sorrow making her eyes shine with unshed tears.

Voila! I hope you enjoyed my latest excursion into Five Sentence Fiction. If you'd like to read a few more, I've posted a few links from previous weeks below. If you particularly enjoyed this post, I hope you'll share it with friends and relatives who might also like to read it, and of course, please feel free to follow this blog and come find me on twitter @MelanieKCole. Have a great weekend everyone!

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Composure
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Pirates
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Harvest

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts

Yesterday I finished a fantastic book, but surprisingly it wasn't on my summer reading list. I saw this one while I was on vacation in Palm Springs, wandering through a Barnes and Noble. I was walking up and down the aisles, fingers trailing along the spines and covers, the taste of Mrs. Field's cookies still warm in my mouth. And that's when I saw it. The cover of this book.

Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts by Lucy Dillon

I don't know if it was due to the aching of my heart, being away from my own beloved Great Dane, Maddie, or if it was just my innate love of the breed, but I saw that adorable Great Dane on the cover and I plucked it from the shelves immediately. When I read the back, I realized the Great Dane on the cover had not steered me wrong. It sounded fantastic! So, of course, I bought it, took it home and read it. The result?

The book was fantastic! Although the story does not actually contain a Great Dane (boo!), it does contain Bertie the Basset Hound, whose hijinks reminded me of my own odd little darling. The book features multiple characters, each dealing with secrets and problems of their own, whose lives become intertwined through their dogs. It's one of the best books I've read all year. Not only do I highly recommend it, but I INSIST that you read it immediately. You won't be sorry you did, although I must warn you, it may cause you to pull your own dog a little closer for a hug.

Monday, July 16, 2012

New Schedule

Hi All,

I don't know if you've noticed, but over the past several months I've been posting every other day and always on Fridays (can't miss Five Sentence Fiction Fridays!). But I've been thinking that I should have a more consistent schedule. So, from now on I will be posting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, leaving my weekends free to catch up on other projects (sleeping). 

I'm hoping that sits well with you, my readers, as you're the reason I keep writing this blog in the first place. Just let me know what you think in the comments section!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Composure

Today's prompt seems especially fitting, probably because it's Friday and I'm counting down the minutes until the weekend. I don't know why I'm so excited; I have no big plans. But I am. I keep glancing anxiously at the clock, trying to force time forward with narrowed eyes and focused attention. Unfortunately, it appears that time refuses to be moved forward by pure force of will, so I've turned to Five Sentence Fiction instead to distract me. This week's prompt is composure. If you'd like to learn more about Five Sentence Fiction, or how you can participate, please visit Lillie McFerrin Writes. Okay, let's do it!

She took a deep breath, letting her jitters fall away like an old bath robe. Remember the rules, she told herself. Always be levelheaded. Always stick to the plan, stay in control and always have a backup plan for every contingency. She tucked her hair up under her wig, tied the scarf over her face and walked into the bank.

There we have it! Enjoy your weekend, everyone! As always, I welcome your comments below in the comments section. If you've enjoyed this post, I hope you'll share it with friends and family that might enjoy it as well. If your craving for Five Sentence Fiction is not quite satisfied, please feel free to peruse the links below and check out my Five Sentence Fiction from previous weeks. Enjoy!

Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Pirates
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Harvest
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Faeries
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Medicine
Five Sentence Fiction Friday - Lost

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service

One of the things I love most about being on vacation is the extra down time it gives me to catch up on my reading. For example, when I went to the Bahamas, I read eight books in ten days. Pure bliss. I didn't do quite so well this time (probably due to the enormous amount of shopping), but I did manage to get in enough down time to read three books and a collection of short stories. The first one I read was THE LUCKY DOG MATCHMAKING SERVICE by Beth Kendrick. And it was positively lovely.

I'm a dog person, but I don't usually pick up books that center around dogs. Why? Because there seems to be some sort of unwritten rule demanding that all dog stories must have a sad ending. And I just can't do it. When I was little, I started reading WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS and never finished it. I could tell what was going to happen so I just put it down and walked away. Not so with this one. It was lighthearted and fun, with a quirky and sympathetic main character. I found myself unable to put it down and devoured it in a single afternoon.

It was the perfect holiday read. I recommend it for anyone that enjoys a good book, likes dogs or just wants to read something with a happy ending.

What about you? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Things I Learned On Vacation

All last week I was in Palm Springs, on a vacation with my sisters and my mother. My older sister is pregnant with her first child (my mom's first grandchild!) and my twin sister is getting married in two months, so this was kind of our last hurrah. We spent most of the time shopping (is there anything better than outlet malls?) with a decadent spa day thrown in for good measure. We had a lovely time, and I thought I'd share a few of the lessons I learned along the way with you all.

1. It's Cruel to Take a Pregnant Woman Shopping.

I should preface this by saying that my older sister was a total trooper. She kept up with us and never complained once, despite the heat (42 degrees Celcius!), the long hours and the cement floors. But I think you see where I'm going with this. It was ridiculously hot and she was walking around with a furnace on her stomach. We shopped all day (and I honestly could have gone longer), so she was on her feet, in the heat, for way too long. Despite how well she hung in there, I don't think I'll subject her to it again any time soon.

2. Never Separate a Bride From Her Fiance.

Again, I'd like to preface this by saying that my twin was a fantastic travel companion and really kept the sighing and mooning over her fiance to a minimum. But it wasn't the same as when we used to travel. She was constantly distracted, and I'll be honest, I seemed to irritate her to no end. I may as well have been an itchy sweater she was forced to wear for a week. It shocked me, as we're very close and we've always made excellent travel companions before. But what can you do? She's in love and about to be married. There's no substitute for a fiance when you're head over heels in love and, in fact, anything else is just insulting.

3. Do Not Attempt to Write Your Blog Posts Ahead of Time.

When I'm on vacation, I'm on vacation. I don't bring a cell phone, I don't bring a computer. I'm on vacation from my life. So, I didn't want to have to worry about my blog while I was away. I wrote out my blog posts ahead of time, typed them up and showed my husband how to post them for me while I was away. The problem? Blogger sucks. Instead of showing the date of your post as the date it was published, it sticks to the first time you typed it. So, even though my husband posted them in the right order, they showed up in the order I'd typed them. Very irritating. And they all showed the dates I'd worked on them, instead of the date they were published. I was busted!

4. Don't Put Too Much Pressure On Your Vacation.

A few days before we left, I was talking to my older sister and couldn't help but ask if she was as excited as I was. She responded with a hesitant, "yes, but I hope we can all get along for that long." I was flabbergasted. The thought never even occurred to me! These were my sisters, my mother! How could we not get along? We got along famously. But her comment hung with me, and ended up creating a self fulfilling prophesy. Although we didn't fight, there was an undercurrent of tension through the whole trip that didn't let up until we were in the airport and on our way home. Suddenly, we were getting along the way we were supposed to the whole trip. If we hadn't been so worried about getting along the whole time, I think we would have had even more fun than we already did.

In the end, we did have a great time, and I have a whole lot of cute new clothes to show for it. But I think it's important to look back on our experiences and see what we can learn from the experience. These are the lessons I took away. What have your vacations taught you?

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Little Something Funny

I originally found this picture on Pinterest, and it led me back to Rachelle Gardner's website. I thought I'd share it with you to help us all through another work day. I'm sure every writer has felt like this during the editing process at some point or another.

Charles Dickens And His Editor