"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fairy Tale Blogfest (with a twist)

That is fairy tale with a twist, not blogfest with a twist...

So this is Emily White's amazingly fun blogfest/contest and I'm so excited to go around and see everyone's entries. You can check the links to all of them here.

Pete's sake, but I had a hard time getting this down to 1,000 words, but here it is, on the nose. Hope you enjoy :D
P.S. The copy/paste wasn't working well and the formatting is a little weird. So sorry about that. I'm putting spaces between paragraphs because it won't let me tab like usual. Weird. Anyhoo...

“Fool’s Gold”

I was in love with the sheep baron’s son. Unfortunately Pa was a poor farmer. Fortunately Frank loved me back. We’d meet under the tree at the border-line and talk for hours, dreamin’ about going west and staking a gold claim.
What are the odds we’d be sittin’ there when our pas both happened along? I’da bet money against it, but I woulda lost.
“What’s going on?” Frank’s pa didn’t like us holdin’ hands all cozy-like.
“Mr. Smith...”
He cut me off. “My son’s not marrying just any girl.”
“She’s not just any girl.” Frank was goin’ all red.
Pa started in with his tall-tale voice. “She’s got a special talent.”
Mr. Smith went glowery, but stopped bellowing.
Pa spread his hands. “Jodi spins wool into gold thread.” My jaw flopped. I couldn’t spin yarn, much less gold.
Mr. Smith was rightfully suspicious. “Then she’ll prove it.”
“I’m gonna marry her,” Frank announced. ‘Twasn’t the best timin’, but ‘twas nice to hear.
“If she succeeds I’ll consider it,” Mr. Smith said.
So I got locked in a barn with a mound of wool and a spinning wheel. A glance at that mound and I figured runnin’ was my only chance.
There was a cellar, but the door was so heavy I could barely lift it. As I was pullin’ this man pushed it open and climbed out. His skin was like a sun-baked riverbed. “What are you doing?” he croaked.
“I have to spin wool into gold.” Why was he askin’ the questions?
“What’ll you trade me to do it?” He rubbed his fingers together real odd.
I slipped Ma’s locket off. I didn’t have much choice.
He took it and started right in. Wool whizzed through his fingers and gold shot out like lightning. The rhythm put me right to sleep.
Sunlight woke me when the doors opened, a mound of gold thread sparklin’ like crazy. Frank swung me around all giddy-like.
Till Mr. Smith cleared his throat, his eyes all greedy. “Prove it’s not a trick. Do it again.”
“No.” Frank pulled me close. “Now I’m gonna marry her.”
“She’ll do it tonight or you’ll never see her again.” The straight-out threat made my stomach twisty.
“See here,” Pa started, but Mr. Smith cut in.
“I’ll visit the bank about your loan.”
Pa couldn’t lose his farm. “Fine,” I said, “but that’ll be the end. Pa keeps his farm, Frank and I marry.”
“And her pa gets half the thread,” Frank added.
Mr. Smith went all red, but agreed. I smiled at Frank. Pa could pay off his debt.
I swear the second pile of wool was twice as big. First thing I did was run for the cellar where the man climbed out again.
“I’ve nothin’ more to trade,” I said.
His eyebrows shifted.
“I could give you some thread?”
“Promise me your first child.”
‘Twas awful, but what could I do? “Alright.”
He leaped to the wheel and I fell asleep listenin’.
Next morning Mr. Smith didn’t know what to do. Frank did though. He ran right over and kissed me.
So Mr. Smith had his thread and even bought Pa’s share. Gave him enough to pay off the bank.
We got married, built a little house by our tree, and made plans to head west. We were ready to go when I found out I was expectin’. Frank was over the moon. I tried to be happy, but the man kept comin’ in my nightmares.
The baby was a beautiful girl. Then one night Frank answered a knock at the door. When I saw who ‘twas I grabbed Annie from her cradle. “You can’t have her!”
“What’s going on, Jodi?” Frank asked.
“She promised me the child in exchange for my help.” The man never took his eyes off Annie.
“I had no choice,” I said.
“You did. You’ll have more children. This one’s mine.”
“I don’t think so,” Frank said, steppin’ between us.
The man pulled a pistol from under his coat. Frank reached for his own gun.
“Stop!” I was tremblin’ scared.
The man twirled his pistol. “I’ll give you one more chance,” he said. “Guess my name by noon tomorrow or I take the child or the challenge.”
I nodded and he disappeared.
Annie started cryin’ and I joined in. Between sobs I told Frank the whole awful story.
“We’ll figure this out,” he promised and we made lists of every name we could imagine.
Next morning I went riding, hopin’ it would clear my head. As I watered my horse I heard the man’s voice. I ducked into some scrubby bushes and crept close.
He was sittin’ by a fire, talkin’ to himself.

“Thinks she can take back a promise
A solemn deal made in the night.
Doesn’t she know you can never go back
When you’ve sworn on a life – it’s not right.

The babe shall be mine
This isn’t a game
Or Rumpelstiltskin
Isn’t my name!”

I scooted right out and galloped home, where Frank was dressing all up.
“What are you doing?” I gasped.
“He’s not takin’ Annie,” Frank said, buckling on his holster.
“I know his name.” I took the gun and gave him a kiss and we went outside, leavin’ Annie in her cradle.
The sun was right overhead when the man appeared. “We’ve guessed your name,” I said.
He cackled, grinnin’ all sure-like. I listed the names we’d thought up. He kept shakin’ his head.
“Is it,” I breathed deep, “Rumplestiltskin?”
His face went so still I thought it might crumble away when he finally spoke. “I’ll abide by our agreement, but payment will be had.” He disappeared for the last time.
It didn’t take long to learn what he meant. Frank’s Pa came by that night. The thread had all tarnished green. Fake as fake. He was pretty angry so Frank and I decided to head west. No more gold for us though. We weren’t rich, but we were happy and that was enough.
Yeah! That was challenging and quite fun! Thanks for hosting, Emily!

Come back!

I will have the blogfest up soon! I promise! I've got class until 10, but then I'll be in my office and have a chance to put it up, so it will be here by noon (she said giving herself an ultimatum so she has to follow through)

It's almost done. I just have to cut a few more words to make the 1000 word limit. But it's all written. Just editing XP

I'll see you all soon!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


I finished MockingJay yesterday. The beginning of this post isn't spoilery in ruining specifics of the book. I just want to share my experience, particularly with others who have read it. If you don't like any kind of spoilery stuff, then you might not want to read this at all, but it should be safe until I warn you otherwise. About half way down :)

This book shattered my heart into a million pieces.

It gave me the hope that I could put it back together.

I cried till my eyes burned and my head ached.

I laughed and sobbed in the same breath.

It broke me.

It inspired me.

It wakened something in my soul.

It's not a book you can read and then walk away from.

It will eat into your mind.

The thoughts and ideas will haunt you, affect you, make you really think and ponder and consider things you never have.

All in a marvelous way.


I'm glad it wasn't a book with a straight-up "happily ever after" ending.

For one thing, it wouldn't have fit with the tone of the over-arching story, it wouldn't have made sense for Katniss.

The society is so rife with trouble and a terrible history that it can't be changed overnight. It can't be changed in a generation. Great strides can be made, but a complete turnaround isn't going to happen. The entire thought process of an entire civilization has to be altered. It isn't easy and Collins never tries to hide that fact.

I've heard some people say that some of the details were too explicit.

I'm reading it as an adult, so I honestly would have to go back and read it again thinking about this, but I never felt that she was gratuitous. It is a terrible period in this nation's history. Revolutions are not easy and are rarely bloodless. There is nearly always a high human cost. Collins puts a face on it so that we mourn deeply as each of them falls.

I am tearing up as I type this. The deaths of Boggs and Finnick affected me nearly as intensely as the death of Prim.

Watching the hatred eat at Gale and seeing the depravity of Peeta's hijacking made my heart ache.

This is not an easy book and it is not meant to be. If there is one thing that I have seen with Collins, whether in the Hunger Games series or in the Underland Chronicles, it is that she is not afraid to tackle these intense and deep issues. War, poverty, government control, death, loyalty, sacrifice and so many other universal themes are dealt with, but through the eyes of the individual. Whether with Katniss or Gregor we take the journey with them, we love with them, we hate with them, we struggle with them and we see how the bigger issues affect a single community, a single family, a single person.

Yet in the midst of all that pain and grief there are the beautiful gems of hope and love that make you realize that all is not lost.

The return of Prim's cat.
Peeta planting the primroses.
The birth of Finnick's child.

So I am glad that Suzanne Collins didn't take the "easy" road and wrap everything up nicely. I'm glad that she left the people in pieces, just trying to continue their life after infinite tragedy. I'm glad that I will be thinking about this book for days and months and years. That I will want to go back and read it again and again and be able to glean something new from it each time.

I am glad that a couple of years ago I discovered this little book titled The Hunger Games.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Calling All Entries!

Hi there! Officially, the last day to submit something for the

is Friday.

However, I have only gotten 1 lonely, although sure to be spectacular entry.

Naomi and I talked about it and because of vacations and stuff (I was gone the last week and a half myself) we are extending the contest a week or so. So if you haven't sent something in, now is your chance. So let's say have your entries in by September 7.

Click HERE to refresh yourself on the exact rules and I look forward to getting more entries soon!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


First the bad news - no Retail Wednesday today.

But that's because it's time for the:

*loud cheering and applause*


since I set this up, we have decided to go on vacation, but I should be able to get on and visit all of you. There's only a handful of us, so it shouldn't be too hard. But I AM excited to see what everyone has come up with! Click HERE to go to the link that has the list of people! Check them all out, it's sure to be fun!

here's my entry:

Lightning sizzled through the sky, thunder chasing just behind it. I shivered as I approached the mansion. No, make that the enormous mansion. Fat raindrops began to pound the ground just as I stepped under the protection of the entryway. Fingering the stiff, formal invitation that had led me to this lonely place I pressed the doorbell.
A deep gong sounded, echoing through the house beyond the closed double doors. Within moments the door opened and a tall, thin butler eyed me coldly.
"Yes?" he said.
I held up the invitation. "I got this in the mail. It said I was supposed to come here tonight?" I didn't mean to say it as a question, it just came out that way.
"You are early," the butler said, looking at me with disdain. "Very well. Please step this way, SonshineMusic."
"No, that's..."
"That is what you will be called while you are here. You will call me, The Butler."
I could hear it just like that, capitals and all, in his voice as stiff as the paper. I narrowed my eyes at his back as we went inside.
"You will wait in the library," he said, showing me into a vast warm room and then immediately leaving.
It was like I had stepped into a dream. Every wall was floor to ceiling books. I wandered over to the closest wall and brushed my fingers against the spines.
The doorbell sounded again and I turned around to face the door. The butler passed it on his way to the foyer. I heard a bit of a commotion, some swearing, some loud voices and The Butler's cold tones.
"You need to see a doctor," The Butler said and I stepped toward the hall just as a man and woman, supporting each other burst through the door. I stumbled back to get out of their way.
"My good sir, I am perfectly fine," the man said. "Merc will fix me up here. Fetch me some vodka and leave us alone." Blood dripped onto the carpet from a gash in his side and I gaped at him and the woman.
She was wearing stilettos so high I wondered how she didn't fall off them. They looked sharp. And painful.
"Simon, you idiot," she said.
The Butler had stalked away and was just returning with a bottle of vodka and some glasses on a tray when the doorbell gong sounded again.
"I'll get it," I said and all but ran from the room. What on earth was going on here?
I opened the door and a girl leapt inside. "#HI!" she said, then turned around and waved her hand at five lurching figures that were trying to get up the stairs. "#honestly," she said, bouncing back out and pulling them up and through the doors. "I tried to get them to stay home, #butWOULDtheylisten #No #IamMIAbyTHEway" She gave me a hug and then pirouetted into the middle of the foyer. "#DOyoulikeMYshoes?"
"I DO," said another female voice and I jumped, because I hadn't seen anyone else out there. I spun back around, but all I could see was a pair of stylish shoes, the rest of the girl was hidden in the shadows, but somehow I knew she was smiling. "I'M TAHEREH! LET'S BE BESTIES!" she said and danced through the foyer so quickly I just caught the flash of her shoes and her big, bright grin.
Mia herded her zombies into the library and I was about to close the door when three more figures appeared on the path, scurrying through the rain.
They hopped up the stairs and skidded through the door, breathless and laughing. A small white dog I hadn't noticed at first ran in circles around the one girl. They all shook the raindrops from their clothes.
"I'm telling you, those weren't sunflowers!" The tallest of the three said.
"Yes, they were!" the other two girls exclaimed in unison.
The first girl rolled her eyes. "Okay, so they looked a little creepy, but honestly Han..."
"Her name is Palindrome," The Butler broke in, marching into the hall. "And you are Falen and she," gesturing strictly to the third, "is Dangerous With A Pen."
"I certainly am," Dangerous with a Pen said, her eyebrows furrowing as she reached into her pocket and whipped out a ballpoint pen. She slashed it through the air like a sword. Then the three of them burst into laughter again.
"You will wait in the library," The Butler commanded, glaring at me. Apparently I had broken some sort of rule by answering the door.
The little white dog barked and Falen scratched the top of its head.
"Come on, Yvie," she chuckled.
"Oh sure, leave me to park the car by myself."
This time it was a male voice that surprised me. I spun back to face the door. Man, was I jumpy. Palindrome waved her hand. "You found the house just fine," and she stuck her tongue out as she and the other two girls left the foyer.
The man shut the door and then brushed at the shoulders of the brown jumpsuit he was wearing, sending raindrops scattering to the floor. I recognized the octagonal symbol and smiled.
"That's a Dharma suit!" I said.
"Ah, a fellow Lost afficionado," the man said, holding out his hand. "I'm..."
"Teebore," The Butler cut in. "And you can both wait in the library." He was glaring at me again.
I threw up my hands in a sign of surrender. "I was just trying to help," I said and I followed him and Teebore back to the library.
We had just stepped into the now somewhat crowded room, when the door gong sounded once again.
"How many people do you think were invited?" I wondered aloud. Then I looked around the room.
Mia's zombies were on the far side of the room, sprawled on the floor. It looked like they were coloring. Mia was chatting animatedly with Tahereh, but she must have seen me watching her zombies, because she gestured to them. "#iALWAYSbringsomethingFORthemtoDO #itKEEPSthemfromBEINGbored."
I nodded, not really sure what to say.
"Here, have an Oreo," Tahereh offered, pulling a bag of them out of her purse.
I smiled and took one. Nothing like cookies to break down an awkward silence.
There was a curse from the other side of the room and I turned my head. Simon was sprawled on a low reading couch, one hand on his face and the other outstretched with a glass of vodka clutched in it. Merc, if that was her name, bent over the wound on his torso.
"Quit being such a baby," she smirked and he snarled something inaudible back at her, which only made her laugh.
Palindrome, Falen and Dangerous With a Pen were perusing the bookshelves, talking in low, but animated voices. Teebore moved to join them. I continued to stare around the room.
Why on earth had we all been called here?
The Butler reappeared, leading two more people into the room. There was a man with dark hair and a woman next to him. There were two things I noticed immediately. One was that the woman seemed fascinated with a dimple on the man's cheek and kept poking it with her index finger. The second was that the woman didn't have a cheek. The lower half of her face was rotting away.
Mia's zombies also seemed to have noticed and one of them lurched to its feet and staggered over to peer up at her.
"This is Blam," The Butler gestured at the man, "and this is Joan Crawford," he pointed at the woman.
"Not that one," Joan clarified and I had to grin.
It looked like The Butler was going to say something else, but the doorbell rang. Again. And he disappeared.
There was the sound of loud giggling and then a small shriek, followed by more giggling. Two girls stumbled in, tripping over each other's feet and nearly tumbling to the ground. One of them was my sister and I rolled my eyes. She might look drunk, but she had probably just had coffee. Either that or sugar.
"I swear, I saw something move out there," the other girl said, clutching my sister's arm. "This is the perfect place for spakes."
"Maybe, but..." my sister started to say, but The Butler cut her off.
He seemed to do that an awful lot. "This is..."
Now it was my sister that cut him off.
"...AchingHope," she finished.
"And I'm BlackRoseofLight94!" the other girl said, waving her arms and stretching the words out like a grand announcement. Then the two of them dissolved into giggles again. They tried to move out of the doorway, but this time actually did fall to the ground where they stayed in a laughing heap.
The Butler ignored them and announced loudly, "I believe you have all arrived now. Dinner will be served in ten minutes." Then The Butler left and we all stared at each other, uncertainty clear in each gaze.
I was glad to see that I wasn't the only one that seemed mystified by this strange meeting in this creepy house with all of these people that I had never met before. Well, except my sister of course.
What on earth was going on?

Oh my werd, but I had way too much fun with that. I might actually do a 2nd part to it at some point, because it took a lot longer just to get everyone into the house than I anticipated.

Hope you all enjoyed! and those are all links to everyone's blogs, which you should definitely check out, because they are all amazing!

and go read everyone else's posts! they're sure to be a blast!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Don't forget!

Wednesday is the ever spectacular, sure to be hilarious:

I can't get the linky thing to show up here, but if you click on the button, it will take you to the post where it is.

So if you haven't signed up yet, there's still time. I managed to get my post done and ready to go early (I'm shocked at myself).

It really should be a blast, so if you want to join in, please do. And if you can't do it on Wednesday but can get it up some other time this week, then just join and leave a comment to that effect. It's not a big deal :D

Can't wait to see what everyone's come up with!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Much OVERDUE Thanks!

I am HORRIBLE at doing this whole award thingie. I LOVE getting them. But then I start THE PROCESS:

  1. Look at the pretty, pretty award! Wasn't it so nice of so-and-so to give it to me?! They're the sweetest thing ever.
  2. I will save it onto my computer so I have it.
  3. But I'll just wait to post it until I have a couple and then I'll do it all at once.
  4. Crudniks. Now I have like 5 awards and I still haven't thanked the people that gave them to me.
  5. But I really don't have time to do ALL that linkage right now. I don't want to do a half-way job.
  6. Look, there's someone else thanking people for their awards. Why can't I just DO that?!
  7. Well, now it's been SO long it would almost be insulting to put it up.
  8. FINE! I'll do it! Sheesh, self, quit being all judgmental and stuff.
So that's where I am now :) sorry it took me so long to work through the stages, but here it is, honest!

I THINK I got all of them *crosses fingers and holds breath*

I got this one from the lovely Southern Princess herself, Courtney. She is a fantabulous blogger and a lovely commenter herself who has done me the courtesy of linking to some of my contests and such. You will always enjoy a visit to her kingdom :)

She didn't say there were any rules for this, so I will just pass it along to some people that always leave loverly comments for me :)

1. Mia Hayson @ My Literary Jam and Toast - She's the sweetest and we are the queens of TMI when it comes to leaving comments on each other's blogs. Besides, I want to keep on the good side of the zombies *nods fervently*

2. Hannah @ Musings of a Palindrome - One of my very first bloggy friends. She always has something funny or random to say. :D

3. Sarah @ Falen Formulates Fiction - Another one of my first bloggy friends. I love how she just pops her head in to say hello. Makes me feel like we're next door neighbors or something :)

4. Jemi Fraser @ Just Jemi - Her comments always make me smile. Always :)

5. Raquel @ Raquel Byrnes - She has been supportive of my blog for a long time, even when I don't always make it back over to hers as often as I'd like.

I love ALL of my commenters and, seriously, you guys support me so much and I am eternally grateful for it!

This one came from the fantastic Melanie Sherman. Oh, look, she thinks my blog is lovely :D

I don't make it over there as often as I would like, but she's always got a whole lot of great writerly stuff going on, so go check it out :)

I'm supposed to pass this on to 8 more people, so here goes!

1. Courtney @ Southern Princess - fun, sweet, generous and an amazing writer. nuff said.

2. Simon @ Constant Revisions - because it's such a girly award. No, but really, because the Monday Mahem series with Mercedes is totally making the beginning of my week. And his snark on Twitter keeps me chuckling.

3. Lindsey @ Dangerous With a Pen - she's been on a summer hiatus to spend time with her family, but I loves her and can't wait for her to come back :)

4. Tahereh @ Grab a Pen - She's talented, hilarious and oh, so, sweet. Every post she does makes me smile. Most of them make me laugh and some of them hit me right in the heart.

5. Naomi @ Writing: A Soul's Way of Breathing - All right, I know she's my sister, but I would seriously follow her blog even if she wasn't. Totes.

6. BlackRoseofLight94 (aka that girl I know, but whose name I can't reveal) @ The Thoughts and Adventures of a Mindless Innocent - An amazing girl whose blog is always entertaining and you should totes go check it out. Besides, we picked the same background, it must be a sign!

7. Joan @ Things I Yell at You - I challenge you to read any one of her posts and not snort milk through your nose (of course, you should be drinking milk whilst reading. Because if you can just snort milk through your nose then ewwwwww...) She was another one of my first bloggy friends and oh my werd, but she is hilarious.

8. Patricia @ Patricia Stoltey - She's always thought-provoking and enjoyable to read. I love the variety of people I get to meet whilst blogging!

And finally,
3 marvelous bloggers awarded me this. Aww... you're all so sweet!

Al at Publish or Perish. He's got the most gorgeous pictures to share on his blog, plus a lot of other really interesting stuff!

Melanie Sherman awards this one to me as well. Thanks!

And the fantabulous Cynthia Reese whose blog is helpful, entertaining and great fun to visit!

Now for this one I'm supposed to tell you 7 things about myself and then pass it on to newer blogs I've discovered. One said I was supposed to pass it to 15 people, one said 8, so I'll just throw it at people until I run out of time :)

First, the things about myself (these are completely random, just so you know):
  1. I have never had a cavity. Not once. Never had to get Novocaine or have anything drilled or filled or anything. I love my teeth and I guess I totally lucked out, because I'm the only one in the family that can claim this!
  2. I graduated from college almost exactly 10 years after I graduated from high school (I graduated from high school early - at 16, and waited a while before I figured out what I wanted to do with myself, plus we moved from VA to NY and I did a bunch of other useful stuff in that break)
  3. My favorite singer of all time is Steven Curtis Chapman. From about the time that I was 12, until now, I have loved his music and his lyrics. I finally got to see him for the first time in concert a few years ago and since that time I've been to 3 more of his concerts (it's nice having a job and money :)
  4. One of my favorite words is SESQUIPEDALIAN which means someone that loves big words. I love the fact that it is such a long word :D
  5. I love movie posters! I've been collecting them from work for the past 4 years and I probably have enough to wallpaper a basement. They are all rolled nicely in my closet until I have a place where I actually have wall space.
  6. If I was going to be something other than a mom or a professor, I think it would be fun to be a video editor - one of those people that puts together the montages for shows like So You Think You Can Dance or something like that. I do it with lame equipment that came on my computer and have SO much fun with it. Either that or I want to be a Muppeteer. Seriously. How cool would THAT be?
  7. I have a potassium absorption deficiency and it makes my legs get all weird and crampy and twitchy like my leg is doing right now. scuse me whilst I go take my potassium supplements.
And now I'm supposed to pass it on. Phew. I need to do these one at a time from now on. This is exhausting!

1. Catherine @ The Writer's Notebook - I met her through TWITTER and we were bemoaning syllabi writing together, which was SO cool, because I couldn't express the pain to anyone around me since they weren't writing one. Plus she's got a great blog and she's pretty funny and she loved Joss Whedon so GO. Follow.

2. Amber @ aLmYbNeNr - she has the most adorable picture blog thing over at tumblr and you have to see the post she did about her trip with Sage, the owl she won in my contest! So great!

3. J. M. Neeb @ Ducks Out of a Row - seriously, if you haven't become an avid follower of "ducks" then get yourself over there now. I am never disappointed with one of his posts and always entertained.

4. Mercedes @ A Broken Laptop - I discovered her through Twitter and through Simon, mainly because of the Monday Mayhem feature (which is hilarious and you should totally go read it) But then I stayed around, because I liked the place :D

5. Mireyah @ Mireyah Wolfe - another Twitter friend that I roamed over to her blog from there. (that sentence made no sense whatsoever). Anyhoo. She's sweet and fun and you should go check her out!

AND we're out of time. Gots to go get ready for work!

I Love you all, my blogger lovelies and I shall see you all later!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Haha! I'm Writing This Retail Wednesday at Work

No, I'm not actually working, but I'm on my break and so I decided to at least start on this!

Yeah, so I lied. THIS is actually my last post as a supervisor. No one has yet been hired to replace me, so, I'm still here!


Saturday I leave for the wilds of Pennsylvania with my Mom to visit my Grandma Sweetheart, Papa, and various aunts, uncles and cousins. Haven't seen them in a year, so that will be nice. Then Tuesday we leave there to visit some friends in Virginia for a week. It will be great to just not have to DO anything.

I am going to try to preset a Retail Wednesday for next week (I've been saving some stuff up for all y'all) but I won't be around the interwebs too much for the next couple weeks.

Then school starts and I have NO idea how all THAT is going to go. Interesting to say the least.

I cannot STOP laughing at this!

Grrr! I can't get it to save/show here, so CLICK ON THIS LINK! You WILL laugh!

Enough preamble, on to the awards!


I answered the phone and the customer asked if we had a title by Magriel. When I asked him to spell the author's name for me, he did so. All was fine until he got to "L", which he announced was "L as in Llama". It took everything in me to keep from snort laughing at this odd choice of words.

It kinda reminded me of that episode of Friends when the woman interviews Joey for the Soap magazine and she decided to quote Phoebe and asks how to spell her name:



A woman approached J and handed her a list of books.

Woman: I need you to find these books for me.
J: Sure, no problem.

Woman: I'm going to go sit down and drink my coffee in the cafe. You can bring them over to me.

and then she walked away, leaving J to stare after her in disbelief.
And when you're done with that you can wash my car...

J gathered the books (which were all weight loss related [oh the irony]) and brought them to the woman.

Later that day I was straightening and came across the entire stack shoved onto a random shelf near the cafe.


A guy came up to the information desk and said, "Excuse me, do you have booger books?"

B and I looked at each other in confusion. Seriously?

"I'm sorry, what was that?" I asked.

The guy replied, "Booger books. You know, for playing cards?"

It then dawned on me that he had said POKER

Not Booger.

But B thought he had said booger too.

You know, Booger is a fun word to type.

And apparently there ARE Booger Books.


I was helping a woman with ordering some books for a school. She had her grandson with her, who was probably about 4 years old. She had hoisted him up to sit on the counter while we looked at the order and he was very well behaved.

He recited her name and phone number when I asked her for them and told me that he was visiting his grandma. I told him I was going to visit my Grandma on Saturday in Pennsylvania.

His eyes lit up. "I went to BOTH Pennsylvanias!" he announced proudly. "Northern Pennsylvania and Eastern Pennsylvania. I went to the Crayola Factory and to Sesame Place. The Crayola Factory is in Northern Pennsylvania and Sesame Place is in Easter Pennsylvania! And there's a hotel with a shuttle bus that takes you to Sesame Place!"

At this point we had finished with the order information and they were ready to leave, so he waved good-bye and said (with a little prompting from his grandma), "It was very nice to meet you."

So adorable.

SO CUTE It�ll make your head explode.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Proud and Prejudiced or the Jane Austen Convert

I have not been a Jane Austen fan. I tried to read Pride and Prejudice about seven times, starting when I was around 12 up until a few years ago when I gave it up as a bad business altogether and declared my dislike of Jane Austen.

Now before you get all huffy and wonder how on earth any English major and romantic worth their salt can dislike Jane Austen let me continue.

I read Emma about 3 years ago and it was agony. I only finished it so I could say, I have read a Jane Austen novel. And I still don't like her.

I've always felt like there was something wrong with me. I love the movies based on her books. Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Pride & Prejudice - but I just couldn't get into the novels. Besides which, even in the movies I have NEVER liked Mr. Darcy. He seems so condescending and stuck up and rude and I could never understand why women swooned over him.

(Oh admit it, some of you reading this HAVE swooned over him)

Then I was informed that I had to read Pride and Prejudice for one of my grad classes in the fall, so I started reading it now.

To my surprise I am enjoying it. Quite a bit. I'm only about half way through (I've had a lot of other reading that I've been doing) but I am actually looking forward to having a chance to sit down and finish it.

Not only that, but I LIKE Mr. Darcy. All right, I'm nowhere NEAR swoon territory, but being able to see some of his thoughts, especially the way his regard develops for Elizabeth, have actually made me LIKE him. Something I never thought would happen.

There has to be a way for them to translate this better in the movies. To read that he respected her intelligence and wit and liked her activity and healthy attributes makes him SO much more interesting and likable.

And now I would like to go read some of her other novels and see if I enjoy them.

How about you? Are you a Darcy fan? A Jane Austen fan? Ever had a book that you tried to read, but didn't like only to come back to it years later and really appreciate it?

Thursday, August 5, 2010


UPDATE: Extended to September 7th :D

August just happens to be the month in which Naomi and I BOTH have a birthday! Isn't that amazing?! We are 9 years apart. THAT is crazy. And probably more than you cared to know. But we are the queens of TMI over here. Okay maybe not. ANYHOO...

We wanted to CELEBRATE! WITH YOU! Because you, my blogger lovelies, are what keep us going out here in the big bad interweb world. You make it fun for us to post and to read and to write and to go a little crazy!

Hence enter the:
Because we wanted to celebrate by giving YOU presents!

But, this is no ordinary giveaway *shakes head emphatically* because there are


yes, you saw that right


different contests - one HERE at Sonshine Thoughts and one THERE at Writing: A Soul's Way of Breathing.

HERE you get to give US a present and have a chance to win some spectacumondous prizes.

THERE you get to do one of those boring easy drawing type things with also spectacumondous prizes AND a BONUS prize.

And guess what... YOU CAN ENTER BOTH!

I know, crazy right?!

All right, all right, let me get to the point... Here's what you have to do:
  1. You have to be Stalker LamNams (aka be a follower of BOTH my AND Naomi's blogs)
  2. You CAN let other people know about the contest and we would LOVE anything you did like Tweetering or Bloggering or Skywriting (dude, if someone did that I think they would win by default. Werd.) But it's NOT necessary to enter. Though I'm thinkin' that if I hit 150 and/or we get Naomi to 100 followers before the end of the contest then I'm gonna add on a prize :)
  3. Um... that's it for this part, but I had already hit enter so... BE EXCITED! Yes! That's what you have to do.
Naomi shall explicate the rules for HER half of the contest over THERE.

I shall expound upon the rules for MY half of the contest HERE.

First I shall tantalize you with the prizes. There shall be 3 (maybe even 4)

1st place shall receive:
  1. A SIGNED and PERSONALIZED hardcover copy of Michelle Zink's Prophecy of the Sisters - she hosts a book club at our store every other week and is one of THE sweetest, MOST amazing people ever.
  2. A SIGNED and PERSONALIZED hardcover copy of Michelle Zink's Guardian of the Gate Just released THIS week.
  3. Revision and Self-Editing by James Scott Bell - pretty much THE best book I've ever read on editing. It has been SO helpful and inspiring.
  4. Be Happy That... This Book Isn't Covered in Poison Plus 100 Other Reasons to CHEER UP by Melissa Heckscher - Honestly, this is the FUNNIEST book like this that I have seen in forever. Every page is outrageously ridiculous and the illustrations by Del Thorpe totally MAKE the book.
  5. Crazy for Chocolate cookbook. Seriously. Chocolate.
  6. An amigarumi owl. Yup. You read that right. :D
  7. A SEKRIT surprise.

Okey dokey. Are you drooling yet?

2nd place will get:
  1. A SIGNED and PERSONALIZED hardcover copy of Michelle Zink's Prophecy of the Sisters
  2. Revision and Self-Editing
  3. Be Happy That... This Book Isn't Covered in Poison Plus 100 Other Reasons to CHEER UP by Melissa Heckscher
  4. An amigarumi owl
  5. A SEKRIT surprise

3rd place shall be imparted
  1. A SIGNED paperback copy of K. L. Going's The Garden of Eve - She is another local author and is also amazingly sweet.
  2. Revision and Self-Editing
  3. Be Happy That... This Book Isn't Covered in Poison Plus 100 Other Reasons to CHEER UP by Melissa Heckscher
  4. An amigarumi owl
  5. A SEKRIT surprise

If one of the winners happens to be international we shall work out a prize package for you, but I'm sorry, as much as I LOVE you it is just too expensive to ship things. But I'm thinking Amazon gift card or a book ordered and shipped to you that way. We'll work it out if you win. In that event there would be 4 winners!

Now, you want to know what you have to do to WIN all of this marvelousness?!


I had SO much fun with Sarah/Falen's contest back a while ago that I knew I wanted to do one myself. So we are going to!

So please write something because otherwise I will feel lame. But no pressure. I'll just die of mortification. That's all.

The writing prompts are taken from Be Happy That... and are in NO way of our own making.

You will have 6 to choose from - think of them as jumping off points. It doesn't have to end up resembling the original prompt.

Here are the rules, because I am an English teacher and I CAN. But really. We want to do as "blind" a reading as we can so we won't be prejudiced one way or the other so please follow the rules so we don't have to disqualify you. because that would just make us sad :(
  1. Write a piece of flash fiction that is 801 words or less. Why 801? Because it is 108 backwards and I am THAT much of a LOST geek.
  2. e-mail it to me @ sonshinemusic(at)gmail(dot)com as a Word attachment.
  3. Title the Word document: Super Sister Celebration
  4. Do NOT put your name on the document.
  5. Put the TITLE of the story AND the PROMPT at the BOTTOM of the page. (this way when we open it up to print it, we won't as easily associate the title with your name)
  6. BE ENTERTAINING! We will be judging it on entertainment value and good writing. Not necessarily FUNNY, but something we really ENJOYED.
  7. Be aware that I will be posting the 3 winner's stories HERE when I reveal who WON, so hopefully you're up for that.
Here are the prompts:
  1. "Be happy that... you aren't suddenly allergic to pants."
  2. "Be happy that... blinking doesn't change the channel."
  3. "Be happy that... grass isn't sharp."
  4. "Be happy that... stepping on your shadow doesn't hurt."
  5. "Be happy that... your new neighbors aren't cannibals."
  6. "Be happy that... you don't have a nervous habit of eating important papers."
  7. Hey, I'll throw in a bonus, because it was the title of this book that caught my attention so... "Be happy that... this book isn't covered in poison."
I can't WAIT to see what you make out of those :D

So, Naomi's birthday was on the 3rd (we were going to put this up then, but we both had to work and we kinda forgot it was coming up so fast, but hey, we're CLOSE)

And my birthday's on the 31st SO we're going to let this run from NOW until midnight EST Friday August 27th so we can announce the winners on the 31st!

And please feel free to steal/borrow/obsquatulate one of our happy buttons to promote it on your blog or whatever.
created using BannerFans.com

*runs to sit by inbox and await entries*

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wednesday, How did you get here SO FAST?!

Yet another week has come and gone with the usual insanity that retail affords.

This is my last Retail Wednesday as a supervisor. I feel so strange about it!

Most of me is excited to be moving on to something new.

Part of me is absolutely terrified.

Retail is all I've known for about 12 years (crazy! Almost HALF my LIFE!) So I guess it's normal to feel a little weird about it.

But you didn't come over to hear me talk about this, you came by to laugh at stupid people!

Just because...


I passed by a chair and saw two titles that someone had been looking at together:
I'm afraid I've just witnessed the next biological attack planning session


An elderly woman came up to coworker J.

Old woman: Can you Google something for me?

J: No, I'm sorry, we don't have internet access.

Old woman: Well, how do you look books up then?

J: We can look them up by title or by author or keyword.

Old woman: Under keyword look up "diseases of the Jewish"


I was answering a question that P had when J came into the office and announced, rather breathlessly, that there was a man at the table who was writing in a book.

P went out to investigate and it turned out that he was, indeed, writing in a book. A book that he had not purchased. ONE OF OUR BOOKS.

When P questioned him about it he got annoyed and said peevishly:

"I'm going to buy it!"
Angry puppy is not amused.


I got called up to the register for a possible damage discount. A woman was purchasing an Ingles language box set. It was one of the lower end language learning sets and the flip top was opened.

M said that the customer wanted a discount because it was opened.

Woman: I checked and everything is in there.

Me: Is there anything wrong with it.

Woman: No. It's just opened. So the CDs might be scratched.

Me: (looking at the box. It doesn't look like it had those tape circles holding it closed) I'm sorry. If it has everything I can't give you a damage discount.

Woman: Well why not?

Me: Because nothing is damaged.

Woman: But the CDs might be!

Me: Well, then you would want to return it. If you would rather we can see if there is another one or order one for you.

Woman: I need it now. It's open. Why can't you give me a discount.

Me: Nothing is damaged.

Woman: I don't know that the CDs are okay.

Me: If the CDs aren't okay, then you would want to exchange it for another one.

Woman: Well, I only get down here every couple weeks so you can understand why I want the discount on this one.

Me: (no, I DON'T understand) We can order another one and ship it right to you, but I can't give you a damage discount on an item that isn't damaged.

Woman: Okay, whatever.


A woman approached me and said she was looking for a book called The Unaccomplished Earth. I looked it up, feeling like it wasn't quite the right title.
Sure enough, nothing came up. The woman didn't know the author.
I stared at the screen for a moment and then it came to me.
I asked her if she meant The Unaccustomed Earth?
The woman shook her head and said she didn't know.
I typed it in and BINGO! That was the book. She was happy, I was happy and as I walked away after delivering the book into her hands I realized, these are the moments that I will miss and that most customers take for granted. The moment when I know what the customer wants and (sometimes) pull it out of thin air. There's a satisfaction to that, to knowing that my knowledge base is broad enough that I can figure it out.

funny pictures of cats with captions

Tata Lovelies! Come back tomorrow for our (finally) announcement of our SUPER SISTER CELEBRATION!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Naomi! And other obtuse consequences to having a blogging buddy sister

Today is August 3rd...

*runs to double check calendar*

Yup, August 3rd.

Which means that my baby sister is now fully legal and officially OLD.

She will not be celebrating with a drink (at least as far as I know) but she is going out to the after show cabaret at the theatre where she works and so will not see this until it is far too late for her to kill me.

I've said before that I have 2 sisters and 2 brothers and I love them all dearly and they all have a special place in my heart.

But Naomi and I are soul mates as well as sisters and I honestly don't know what in the hay bale I would do without her.
She's the cheese to my cracker
The chocolate to my chip
The crazy to my cake
The blueberry to my muffin (mmm... bluffins!)
The peanut to my butter
The bread to my jam
The Tonto to my Ranger
(had to throw Tonto in there, Naomi :)
sorry, private joke
The squash picker to my pumpkin harvester
(Yeah, yeah, another private joke)

So Happy Birthday, NAOMI!

(If you want to pop over and wish her a happy birthday on her blog, clickity HERE). She'll be glad to see you. And while you're there, go ahead and follow (she's pretty hilarious) and then you'll be all set for our Super Sister Celebration, which we will be (finally) posting on Thursday.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The System

So I was over at Hannah's mah-velous blog and she asked the question: How do you decide what to read next? Do you have a system? Do you just go down your list?

So I was about to leave a small book as a comment and then decided it would be ever so much more fun to write a post about it.

And since it's Monday and I'm supposed to do literarily related stuff on Monday and I've been horrible about keeping any kind of consistency, I thought it would be good to go ahead and do it.

Besides, this allows me to procrastinate from finishing my syllabus like I'm supposed to be doing. haha!

So here is my approximate system for deciding what to read next:

  1. Oh Look! I just finished this book. Wow! It was great! (or hm. It could have been better. [or snort. why did I just waste my life reading that?]) I will write it down in my notebook and find a picture to add it to my slideshow on my blog!
  2. Ooh Look! A pretty cover! I TOTES wants to read Book A!
  3. Oh yeah. I've got four other books that I've started and still haven't finished. Maybe I should read one of those.
  4. But THIS cover is AH-mazing! And So-and-So said it was really good! I should read Book B!
  5. Oooohhhh! The new book in X series came out! I've been reading the series, so I should do that one next.
  6. But I did promise Hannah and everyone that I would read The Stand and I've only read like 5 chapters. I should pick that one up again.
  7. But I'm going on vacation soon. I can read it then. It's just SO THICK!
  8. Hey, what did I step on? Oh! I forgot I picked up this ARC at work! Hm. Maybe I should read that one.
  9. But I really need to finish Mountains Beyond Mountains before school starts.
  10. Speaking of school. I have to read Pride and Prejudice for class, so I should probably do that one.
  11. But that is RESPONSIBLE and it is SUMMER! I REJECT the responsible!
  12. Let me go on the blogs and see if there's anything interesting.
  13. I now have 4,267 more books that I want to read! Why does everyone have to talk about these fantastic books? *pouts*
  14. Oh forget it. I'll just go watch a movie.
  15. Hey! I didn't know this movie was based on a book! I want to read it now!
  16. Oh fine, I'll just read *closes eyes, spins in circles and chooses a book at random* THIS ONE!
Unfortunately this IS quite possibly VERY close to how I actually do end up choosing what book to read next.

So I will pass the question on to you: How do YOU decide what to read next? Is there anyone that keeps a list of TBR? Are you spastic and just grab whatever tickles your fancy?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ooh! Pretty and New!

So, as you've PROBABLY noticed, I kind of did a massive change on the look. I loved the lighthouse, but I was just ready for something different. I think I like this one. I liked it best of all the ones I looked at. I may play with it a tiny bit more at some point. If you hate it PLEASE tell me. I don't want to drive people away just because the orange hurts their eyes. But I thought it was fitting for SonShine Thoughts. Cheerful and happy. Because everyone needs some more cheerful and happy :D

Hope your weekend is great. We're going to see Singin' in the Rain on Sunday (which is kinda tomorrow and kinda today) (shh. I know I'm up late. Bloggy changing is IMPORTANT)

That should be fun! Any exciting things going on with you?