Thursday, November 30, 2006

I think I've come down with a case of notknowingwhentostoprevisingitis, a condition that is preventing me from finishing the last bits on my Golden Heart entry. Mainly because I'm not allowing myself to finish.

Even the promise to myself to take a few weeks off and then rework the novel into an even stronger story in 2007 has had little effect. Each night, I find myself staring at the computer screen, wondering if I should add in that flamenco dancing sequence that came to mind on the subway ride home.

So yesterday I tried a self-intervention and printed out the final copies of the synopsis and partial manuscript pages. So I wouldn't be tempted to revise them. It's been 24 hours and that seems to have worked.

But I'm still tinkering with the other 300 pages. And that's not good. The time has passed for tinkering. (Hey, that's a pretty cool slogan for a life coach or motivator, dontcha think?) I need to finish this because all of the other projects waiting in the wings have due dates fast approaching and I may actually want a full night's sleep sometime soon.

So I'm giving myself until midnight tonight, just like NaNo, to complete this manuscript and print it out. Then I'm packing the whole thing up and sending it on its way to Texas.

And this weekend we're going on a safari in the dining room to find the Christmas ornaments! Woo hoo!

posted by Bonnie Staring at 1:02 PM 1 comments

I heart this ad

The only reason there is sadness in the world is because everyone hasn't seen this commericial yet. Enjoy!

posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:05 AM 2 comments

An art history lesson

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I'm going crazy on revisions, but I know you're all longing to see something new from BonnieLand. So here's a little artistic humour for you.

Van Gogh came from quite a large family, and most of us don't know anything about the others. Just in case someone asks you about the others sometime, this may help you.

His dizzy aunt: Verti Gogh

The brother who ate prunes: Gotta Gogh

The brother who worked at a convenience store: Stop n Gogh

The grandfather from Yugoslavia: U Gogh

The cousin from Illinois: Chi-ca Gogh

His magician uncle: Where-diddy Gogh

His Mexican cousin: A Mee Gogh

The Mexican cousin's American half-brother: Grin Gogh

The nephew who drove a stage coach: Wells-far Gogh

The constipated uncle: Cant Gogh

The ballroom dancing aunt: Tang Gogh

The bird lover uncle: Fla-min Gogh

His nephew psychoanalyst: E Gogh

The fruit loving cousin: Man Gogh

An aunt who taught positive thinking: Way-to Gogh

The little bouncy nephew: Poe Gogh

A sister who loved disco: Go Gogh

And his niece who travels the country in a van (you guessed it!): WinnieBayGogh

And there ya Gogh!

posted by Bonnie Staring at 5:09 PM 0 comments

Shopping centre workout

Monday, November 27, 2006

I woke up this morning in pain.

When you carry too many packages through a crowded shopping mall for a few hours, your arms will never forgive you. My biceps are none-too-gently reminding me with every move that I really don't have any upper arm strength left.

I had to ask the DH to get the full juice carton out of the fridge for me this morning. I have achieved total 98-pound weakling status, with a ton of pounds to spare. ;)

And, as I look over all the lovely got-it-all-on-sale items, none of them stand out as being all that heavy. Then I remember the two manuscripts from the betas that were added to the pile. And the fabulous shoes that I just had to get. Oh, and then I just needed to pick up a few books for the TBR pile.

At least I bought the gifts for other people first.

The quick rewrite and polish is moving along well. The panic attacks aren't quite as frequent as I expected, but the day is still young. Yeah, we'll see how I'm doing on Thursday with all the NaNoWriMo folks freaking out as the deadline approaches.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:01 AM 1 comments

It doesn't completely suck

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Have actually survived the meeting with the betas. Here's a shout-out to Michelle and Lara for taking time out of NaNoWriMo and all the other crazy stuff going on to give me the feedback I sorely needed on Suds.

And when two betas totally agree on things, it usually means that they could be right. Crap. ;)

Good news: they like my voice and most of the characters. Bad news: the puppy needs major surgery and the vet has limited time to make it happen. In other words, a rewrite is in order, and it's gotta be done rather quickly so that I can meet the deadline for RWA's Golden Heart competition. All I can do is try my best at this point, and I'm cool with that.

Once that version gets out the door, it'll be time to take on the major honkin' rewrite where a few characters disappear and things change around quite a bit.

The hero with the comb-over may have to go.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:06 AM 0 comments

A fine whine

Friday, November 24, 2006

I must admit that I rarely pass up the opportunity to complain. I'm not sure if it's because I'm a "glass is half-empty" person or just find it easier to spot the crummy stuff instead of the praise-worthy fabulousness.

And for the past week I have neglected to follow my golden rule:

If there is something I want to bitch about, I can only complain about it to another person three times. This can mean bitching once to three different people, making some poor sucker suffer with the same story three times or, if you prefer new math, finding two people and giving one of them extra kvetching.

It works too, when you remember to follow it.

I've found that it takes three times to get most of that angst, disappointment, anger -- insert favourite negative emotion here -- out of your system. The rest is taken away when you have super-weird dreams involving spray cheese and David Hasselhoff videos.

The DH gently reminded me last night that I wasn't telling him anything new when I started to whine and complain about either Howie Mandel not calling me or not having enough time in the day to take over the world. Talk about a case of CrankMaster Flash.

So I'm gonna try to bottle the negativity for at least...three hours. ;)

posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:44 AM 3 comments

Deal of No Deal by the numbers

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Just when I thought that phoning the DH every five minutes to see if the producers had called or not was being a tad obsessive, I came across this forum where everyone in Canada is waiting for the call. Some have even received a few calls already...and I hate them for it.

One woman took the time to post all kinds of DOND statistics to keep us entertained. Enjoy!

112,767 - total number of Deal or No Deal applicants in Canada

95,054 - online submissions (with over 17,000 of these received at on deadline day from last-minute-loving Canadians)

17,713 - hard copy applications sent via Canada Post

1,500 - applications received at a single outlet of Canada Post in downtown Toronto on deadline day alone

212 - applicants who wanted to know if their dog could be one of their supporters if chosen - supplying bios and photos of said pooches, no less

107 - parcels attached to applications in the mail - including baked goods, briefcases of chocolate loonies, layer cakes in the shape of Howie Mandel's head, hand knitted toques, scarves, socks (for Howie), and various handmade replicas of the signature D.O.N.D briefcase

39 - number of questions - all mandatory - on the Deal or No Deal Official Application Form (craziest question? We pick number 19: "Write a short poem or rap about yourself.")

26 - number of Deal or No Deal models

23 - number of production staffers tasked solely with reading and reporting on each and every application.

18 - number of days the Deal or No Deal application process was open (October 31 to November 17)

7 - applicant hometowns that we have never been to, but nonetheless think are cool: Inukjuak, Quebec; Escuminac, New Brunswick; Iqualuit, Nunavut; Bay Bulls, Newfoundland; Kindersley, Saskatchewan; Delbonita, Alberta; Williams Lake, British Columbia

3 - average number of hours entrants spent online filling in application

1 - The number 1 answers to application form questions,"What would you do with a million dollars?" (pay off mortgage) and "Dream vacation spot?" (Disney World)

Hey, at least this kept me entertained. Now I'll go back to checking my email and voicemail.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 4:25 PM 0 comments

Giving thanks

While all of my American friends are stuffing themselves full of turkey, I thought I'd take a moment to share a few of the things I'm truly thankful for:

1. Finding my soulmate. I'm a very lucky woman to share my life with a man who is just as weird as I am, can cook a mean grilled cheese sandwich and knows to leave the vicinity when I'm "focused" -- his term for when I've turned into a possessed Linda Blair at the computer.

2. Awesome parents. They have done so much for me and, as an only child can do so well, I totally took it for granted. As I get older (in my mind I'm about 23 now) I've come to realize that I had it pretty darn good: support, love, a stable diet including all food groups and a sense that I was special -- in a good way.

3. Great friends. The ones who understand if I don't call for months at a time because I'm a loser. The ones who don't mock me because I'm still living in the 80s. These people are the siblings I've always wanted, even when they're being freaky-weird or telling me I'm wearing my ugly pants again.

4. Finding work that I love. This is something I wish for everyone because life is too darn short to hate your job. Do everything you can to figure out what work you can get excited about every day and do it. Start today. Tomorrow at the latest.

5. Being Canadian. We've got it pretty darn good up here. And I just love the free healthcare. After watching Shut Up and Sing, I realized how tolerant our big-hearted country can be. Not that the U.S. isn't a cool place, I just prefer to be on this side of the border. With my passport in case I want to visit.

6. Puppies. There may be a lot of things in the world that need improvement, but nothing lifts my spirits more than cute little puppies. In television commercials. Walking down the street. On greeting cards. When someone is driving you crazy, just pretend they're holding a puppy. Then take it away from them and run as fast as you can. ;)

There are oodles more, but I'll leave it at that. What are you thankful for?

posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:45 AM 2 comments

It's my destiny

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanks to Demented Michelle for posting this cool quiz on her site! I guess I should try out for that show too. ;)

You are The Wheel of Fortune

Good fortune and happiness but sometimes a species of
intoxication with success

The Wheel of Fortune is all about big things, luck, change, fortune. Almost always good fortune. You are lucky in all things that you do and happy with the things that come to you. Be careful that success does not go to your head however. Sometimes luck can change.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 9:26 AM 0 comments

Panic! At The Synopsis

Yep, that's my band name. It feels like it's been a week already and I'm feeling all sorts of "lack-o-musal" pain. In spades.

It could be that I missed seeing Mr. T's ever-so-not-inspirational I Pity The Fool on Monday night, but I blame my synopsis for Suds. It's getting there, but in no way is it there yet. I think it's because I'm struggling with what to keep in and what to take away, knowing full well that it's all going to change after I meet with the betas this Saturday. :::calls pharmacy for vallium:::

There is a lot of work to be done on the book as well as this pesky synopsis, but I know I can do it. I just have to remain focused and avoid the online scene...which so won't happen.

Oh, and I sold another magazine article today that's due December 15. Stop the insanity!

And, just because it's now Wednesday, let's celebrate with an upbeat song by The Smiths. On oxymoron, I know, but I just love this line:
I would go out tonight, but I haven't got a stitch to wear.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:10 AM 3 comments

Just ducky

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The work week arrived much too quickly, and the huge pile of work is distracting me from some very important projects:

1. Polishing the synopsis of Suds
2. Making the final revisions on Suds
3. Waiting for Howie Mandel to call me
4. Trying to find a market for a really cool magazine article I have in mind (two very encouraging letters from editors already, but alas, no sale)
5. Finding winter boots that are waterproof, warm and actually look nice
6. The second book, which I had to forcibly cram back into the shiny new idea box until novel #1 has been shipped off to RWA's Golden Heart awards

and lastly

7. Finding the dining room

I don't know how it happens, but every time the DH and I turn our backs, somebody shoves a bunch of stuff into the dining room. The funny thing is that it's our stuff, but neither one of us remembers how it gets into that particular room.

This it the room that Christmas dinner will be appearing in. :::dances with glee that she didn't/doesn't have to deal with Canadian/American Thanksgiving::: Somehow all of this stuff has to find a new home by December 24.

And it can't be the basement because we finally cleaned that up this summer. Hey, could these two areas of the house be connected somehow?

After a careful inspection of a few items shoved behind the buffet, most are in that "we might need it someday" category. Like the bolts of leftover upholstery fabric when we had the offensive orange floral couch join the world of tasteful home furnishings. Or the popular unidentified crystal item we received from a British relative - it's either to hold icing sugar or plutonium, we're still not sure.

Each item has a reason for being somewhere in the house. But it's when they all get together in one area and have a big clutter party that I start wigging out and getting all minimalistic: throwing out all of the DH's cherished belongings when he's not looking. And a couple cow items too.

So instead of clearing out the clutter, I'm online again. And that's just ducky.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:04 AM 4 comments

Too many movies

Monday, November 20, 2006

Dear Hollywood,

Is there a reason why, after a long dry summer and fall, you decided to bring out a whole bunch of terrific films all at once? To make things worse, you have your mitts full of other cool flicks scheduled to appear in the next few weeks.

This has got to stop.

I've never been one to catch films on an opening weekend, so I chose this weekend to attend two films that had been out for awhile (The Prestige and Stranger Than Fiction). Little did I know that a whole bunch of upset Casino Royale fans would be sent into the theatre with me, as all screenings of the new Bond flick were selling out an hour before their respective start times. Oh, and don't even go there with the ones denied the chance to see Borat during its second weekend on screen.

So I get to deal with long lines at the box office, concession stand and a theatre filled to the rafters, just because Bond and Borat fans can't plan ahead. They're cranky and tend to mutter to each other about the cruel twist of fate that forced them to see their third choice of film instead of the cool one they really wanted to see.

Lucky for you, they ended up buying a ticket and not going home with their tails between their legs. Of course, I get to sit beside them. And I don't know about you, but I'm really tired of people who don't care if you can hear their conversations, cell phones or candy wrappers.

So here's what I propose: an even distribution of movies that don't suck.

Could you please limit yourselves to opening just one great movie a weekend? This doesn't seem to be a problem the rest of the year, but gets out of hand during November and December.

If you could, I'd really appreciate it. Oh, and if you can do something about those candy wrappers that would be great too.



posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:36 AM 6 comments

Free bagels

Friday, November 17, 2006

Just when I thought life couldn't be exciting enough, they were handing out free bagels in the subway station this morning from Dempsters. All hermetically sealed and packaged with jam or peanut butter and a little spreading knife.

I was pretty darn happy to get something for nothing (the coupon queen reigns again) until I noticed that if I ate it all in one sitting, I'd consume over 600 calories and 60 carbs. Which is about 1/3 more than I really should.

But I ate it anyway and upped the insulin dose. No big.

Except now I kind of feel like I've had a Thanksgiving dinner and my eyelids keep on wanting to park themselves closed. Not good when I have eight hours of proofing and editing to do.

Add in that I had to read up on restrictive versus unrestrictive clauses this morning and it's as though I'm having the party of the century right here at my desk. All we need is a pinata!

The audition went well yesterday, but I'm not expecting much. It's for a web-based show on aging and beauty. There were a lot of us there who were approaching or had vaulted over the big 4-0. Some more elegantly than others.

It's funny, but I don't feel old until I'm standing next to a 20 year-old. In my mind I'm still about 23 - even when I have my fat pants on.

How do you feel about getting older?

posted by Bonnie Staring at 9:21 AM 4 comments

Shoot I'm cranky

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Of course, why should you care? You probably came here looking for something slightly wacky or even on the humourous side and here I am, whining and bitching like an old maid again.

Not that all old maids are like that, I'm mainly referring to the woman with 200 cats who wonders why her neighbours want her arrested. Or Febreezed.

There's a lot of stuff going on over here in BonnieLand, the theme park where everyone's a winner, and I just happened to get stuck on the Tirades of the Caribbean ride a few times too many. I'd much rather be on Pigs in Space Mountain right now. ;)

Good news items:
1. I had an article rejected, yet was invited to pitch it again in six months if I haven't sold it to anyone else by then.
2. I have an audition for a new adventure. It's a documentary type of project about aging and beauty. I will be playing the part of the forehead wrinkle. (Just kidding, I'm not sure what it involves, will share the deets once I get them.)
3. The next novel is spilling out of my head faster than I can type, which really is a good thing. Will update word count tomorrow.
4. Deal or No Deal has not rejected me yet.
5. Tomorrow is Friday! Woo hoo! It's been a busy week and I'm really looking forward to a day filled with absolutely nothing on Saturday. Hang on, do I have plans on Saturday? :::searches for calendar and comes up with a napkin instead:::

Restraining myself from strangling complete strangers takes a lot more out of me than I realized. ;) Let's see how I can use this in the novel.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 4:44 PM 2 comments

Too good not to share

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

This is one for the TBR pile:

Hopefully the authors don't mind, but this site had me howling. Click here to see all of them. Thanks Longmire!

posted by Bonnie Staring at 3:16 PM 2 comments


I'm in that yawning chasm of waiting. Waiting for responses on queries. Waiting for the confirmation of assignments. Waiting for feedback from the betas.

Of course, none of these are due today. In fact, some don't even have a clear due date. But it's the waiting that kills me every time. This is when the Penguins of Panic do their little happy dance.

I bet this is how the film Happy Feet got its start!

And now, to add fuel to the waiting fire, I now pine for word from Deal or No Deal. Okay, it's been less than 12 hours, but I'm really excited about this. What am I gonna wear?

But before I can even plan my accessories, the nagging doubt-filled questions plague my thoughts. Will my media whoring of the past prevent me from appearing on America's favourite game show (well, it is according to the press releases)? Will my total failure on You Bet Your Ass keep me away from the ability to lose even more money?

And I don't even have Lost to console me this evening, just America's Next Top Gherkin. :::sighs and adds pickles to the grocery list:::

posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:56 AM 3 comments

This just in...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Here's what the text says:


Thank you, your application for Deal or No Deal has been successfully received. You will be contacted if you are selected for an audition.

Now I can have a nap. That thing took me over two hours to fill out!

posted by Bonnie Staring at 2:37 PM 1 comments

Holiday shopping

It pains me just to read this post's title, because I used to be one of those people who shopped all year long for the holidays. I'd find the perfect doodads and baubles for every person on my list and pack them away into Rubbermaid tote boxes. Then, on a chilly December day, I'd pull them all out and start wrapping, overjoyed that I had too much stuff for everyone.

Yeah, that lasted until the whole "cow decor" thing became unbearable.

Allow me to explain. Back in the dawn of time, I kept on telling everyone I knew that I wanted to have a black and white kitchen when I finally had a house. Not just any old black and white kitchen, mind you, it was going to have a Hershey cow theme.

Hey, if you're gonna dream, dream big.

When the DH and I were married, some items we received followed the theme. A cow-shaped milk pitcher, bride and groom cow salt and pepper shakers and a very cool cow clock were just a few of them.

Next thing you know, every occasion resulted in a cow-themed item. Soon I had multiples of Hershey stuff because all of my relatives shopped at the same stores. The worst part was, we hadn't even painted or renovated the kitchen yet, so most of the stuff simply a bunch of cows. I didn't even want to drink milk anymore. It was a bad scene.

Still, the stuff kept on coming.

I'd pack it up in boxes and tuck them into any available space. Soon word got out that I wasn't really in need of cow kitchen accessories anymore.

So they started giving me cow-themed bathroom stuff. And clothing. I'd even get mooing jewellery.

It got to the point where I'd be afraid to open a package. Especially if it had Hershey-patterned paper. I started holding yard sales in secret, praying that relatives wouldn't be in the neighbourhood to spot me selling off all the unwanted cow stuff.

After more than a decade, I can honestly say that 99% of the cow gifts have stopped arriving. There are still the odd things that people find that they forgot to hand over back in 1995. And I'm fine with that.

Oh, and we finally painted the kitchen. Bright yellow.

Then I started thinking, if I felt that way about receiving cow stuff, imagine how my friends and family felt about getting the same types of things (with completely different themes of course) from me? Something clicked and I've stopped collecting on behalf of other people.

It's probably more fun for them to do on their own anyway.

Creepy cousin update: He's fine and has been sent home. He also doesn't want any cow-themed stuff. Rats, I had a toilet brush and everything.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:15 AM 6 comments

Computerless for the weekend

Monday, November 13, 2006

Wow. I can't believe I (and the DH) survived. As in most cases, some new software needed to be installed into our computer, which should only take a half-hour or so.


So when the DH announced the arrival of new software, I tried to get everything I wanted to get done on the computer late Friday night. The rest of the weekend I finally faced the piles of stuff that have taken up residence while I wasn't looking.

It was amazing! I now have a couch in the living room, a desk in the spare bedroom and, get this, a kitchen table! Bonus! Other finds include over $23 in non-expired coupons and this poem that I wrote back in 1991:

Job from Hell

The din of traffic reports causes unwanted consciousness
A mad scramble down the stairs
Then tea
Stretch to reach the pale green Bic
For five minutes of nicotine

Fast dash back up the stairs
Dried, dressed, ready to go
Don't forget the lunch prepared the night before
Quicken the pace as the bus approaches
The journey begins
A bus, subway and bus again
Sprinkled with flirtatious glances
Limbs entwined, chests heaving with each breath
Fold the corner of the page to mark my place

Alone, surrounded by cool grey walls
Waiting for a drop of colour to make it all better
Non-smoking regulations keep me outside
Rain makes me angry

Eight hours of solitude, interrupted by the odd phone call
Or even some work to do
Proofreading old mistakes, Happy Hoidays comes to mind
Phone calls to friends as I complain
Longing to be one of the many unemployed
In old files I find copies
Duplicates, triplicates in the hanging files and docket bags
The boss can never find it, and makes another copy

My boss? Relatively ethical seems appropriate
Family on the payroll, outrageous rates being charged
And he thought he offered me the world with an extra grand a year
Cold lunches at my desk with no microwave in sight
Just the thought of Cup-a-Soup leaves me weak
I could always eat outside
Rain makes me angry

Procrastination becomes my best friend
Unfold the corner and get swept away
By tall dark men with chiseled features - Steele, Drake or Seth
Fingers blacken as I scan the want ads
Thoughts of freelancing come to mind
With no security, no guarantees
I lose courage and stay at my lonely desk

Words by Dale Carnegie have no effect
I read, re-read, the read again
Stranded in the land of extra bus fares and rush-hour service
Hoping I don't have a midday appointment

Resumes are faxed and mailed
Letters of recommendation litter my desk
People call looking for work and I bite my tongue
I wouldn't wish this job on them
Open the blinds for a weather report
Rain makes me angry

Okay, I need to go find a few beatniks and have a jam session.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:09 AM 2 comments

Recipe for a Friday

Friday, November 10, 2006

Cool dance moves,

a leftover tablecloth,

unintelligible lyrics and

a funked-out horn section.

Mix all ingredients well until the back beat takes over. Then get up offa that thing.

Sorry guys, have had this song in my head all week. I heart YouTube.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:28 PM 1 comments

Not-so-gentle reminders

Got a call from Mom last night with some rather disturbing news: one of my cousins was taken to the hospital after experiencing what "really felt like" a heart attack.

Things seem to be okay now. They're running a whole bunch of tests and he's already complaining about how bored he is. Apparently they don't have online poker tournaments in Ontario hospitals yet, the losers.

Then it dawned on me that my "creepy little cousin" wasn't a 16-year-old anymore; he's a grown man. Headed into the back half of his 30's with a wife, mortgage, two psychotic cats and a ton of other stuff -- including what appears to be a heart problem.

This terrifies me, and not just because he'd make a great addition to my Deal Or No Deal support team.

I mean, he's the youngest one on my father's side of the family. The baby that got into so much trouble in his teens that anything I had done in previous years paled in comparison -- including the dying-hair-black debacle of 1985.

He'll be okay, I'm sure, but it does make me stop and think about the people I haven't seen, spoken to or emailed in a while...

posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:41 PM 0 comments

Fog warning

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Imagine my utter dismay when, at a pivotal moment when two characters are about to profess their love for each other on one of my favourite shows, the TV station decides to issue a fog warning, effectively cutting the audio of the show while text scrolled across the top of the screen. Just in case people in the effected cities didn't notice that it looked really - how you say - foggy outside.

Of course, I didn't have to hear what was being said, because I could feel it in my heart of hearts. :::grabs another tissue:::

But puh-leeze people, a fog warning? That doesn't quite rank up there with hurricane warnings, major honkin' snowfall warnings or, the super-important out of Halloween chocolate warnings.

And to make matters worse, they did it TWICE.

I won't even go there with the whole "wait over two months to see what happens next" action. Hopefully I'll have purchased my own tropical island by then. ;)

And did anyone else witness the ever-shrinking self-esteems of the contestants last night on America's Next Top Gherkin? Everyone appeared to be in some sort of pickle. I hope Caridee wins, Melrose bugs the heck outta me.

Tangent alert! Sold another article yesterday to an online pub! Woo hoo! Will get the link up here once it's up there. Did anyone understand that? STOP THE VOICES.

Ah, that's better.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:51 AM 3 comments

We're stalkers

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

The DH installed Google Earth a few weeks ago. Since IT means something completely different to me (intestinal trauma), I stayed away while he would stare at the screen intently, letting out a small chuckle every now and then.

Tonight, after a particular harrowing day after dealing with corporate communications with only the Chicago Guide of Style to protect me, the DH said he wanted to show me something on the computer.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking: British motor parts gone wild, the Doctor Who fan site or :::shivers:::

Instead, we went on a trip around the world. Started at our place, which had a little cloud cover over the horking neighbour's place across the street, then headed south. Manhattan is awesome, all done up in 3-dimensional (or as close as you can get to it) splendour.

It was very cool. And the discount ticket line didn't look too long.

We crossed the pond over to Duxford airfield in England, where some vintage aircraft was positioned on the field for an air show. Neat, if you're into that kind of thing. Then, DH told me to keep my eyes peeled, and we flew back across the Atlantic and the U.S., hovering over Area 51 ever-so-briefly until we hit pay dirt: the set of The Price Is Right.

Now I know just how to get there if I pick up a transporter on eBay. ;)

Of course, this makes me wonder what places other people are looking up on Google Earth. Could it really be considered spying? I mean, it's not like it's a live feed or anything. These are just satellite images from all over the place...that have been up there spying on us for quite some time, I'm sure. It's just that now we have access to them.

Oh, hang on, I think that's Big Brother on the line...

posted by Bonnie Staring at 9:56 PM 1 comments

No rest for the wicked

Last night I decided to step away from the computer to do something different: find the couch in the living room.

I'm a piler. Any flat surface will soon get covered with all kinds of crapola as soon as I clear it off. When guests are due to arrive, I grab everything and shove it into a plastic bag, knowing I'll find it tucked in another room three months from now, after all of my magazine subscriptions had expired and the power had been turned off.

Not like that happens too often.

So I tried to actually sort some of the stuff out. It was strange. I actually felt like I had things under control when I took take things to their proper storage place. That's when I came across three more piles of stuff that needed to be cleared out in order to get to the filing cabinet. Sigh.

Then I opened the shiny new idea box, mistaking it for my receipt holder. Didn't realize how much power that cute little box could hold; it totally blew me away.

While a bunch of ideas burst forth, one clamped its little hands around my neck and screamed at me for the rest of the night, even disturbing my quality before-bed reading time.

"You're not ready yet, get back in the box," I said.

"No!" She stomped her feet on the bedside table. "You've been ignoring me forever. I refuse to let that continue."

I closed the book I was trying to read, The Pact by Jennifer Sturman, and turned off the light.

"I'm still here," she said.

"I know," I replied, then put my earplugs in.

"That's so not fair!" she wailed.

Then I had crazy dreams, which forced me to write four pages before leaving for my client's office.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:17 PM 0 comments

I was a makeover babe

Monday, November 6, 2006

Just in case you didn't know, and because I promised Mike ages ago that I'd put up photos, I was on a show called Style By Jury back in 2005.

It was a lot of fun, since I am a media whore and take every opportunity to get myself on the small screen, no matter how embarrassing the results may be.

On Style By Jury, women "applying to be on a makeover show" are put in front of a one-way mirror where a group of evil people make nasty comments about their current appearance. Then, just when the unsuspecting woman has revealed to the host her sad Cinderella story of why she feels she needs a makeover, they show her some clips of the worst comments.

It's enough to make someone cry...or want their home addresses so she can "thank them" personally. :::checks to ensure she has enough ammo before leaving:::

So they tell you that you're absolutely right about wanting a makeover, and offer to change your life through a new wardrobe (which they don't give you), hair, makeup and some "non-invasive" treatments. I ended up with some Botox, a lip enhancement, veneers and a haircut that made me look fabulous. They also took me to a really neat clothing store where I couldn't afford to buy anything.

And, in a case of the world being too small, Lara's sister helped me through the selection of really expensive designer duds.

The Botox was really cool as the DH could no longer gauge my mood since my forehead and eyebrows didn't move. It made him extremely nervous and he thanked the day when the wrinkles finally came back. I may do it again just to keep him on his toes. ;)

The lip enhancement hurt. A lot. I didn't care that my lips could enter the room 45 minutes before I did; I will never do that again.

The veneers are lovely...and they're mine to keep.

And my hair...if only I could afford to see my Francesco more than twice a year. I always feel like a million bucks for at least six weeks after each haircut/highlights. He's awesome, even if he does think so himself. ;)

And you can see the before and after photos here.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:45 AM 3 comments

Novel is now with the betas

Sunday, November 5, 2006

It is done. Sent my baby off into the world today.

This week was hellish, to say the least, as I spent most of it behind the 8-ball. But it got done. And I'm feeling pretty darn good about that. It's also nice being in regular clothes again. ;)

My fear earlier this week of not having enough work that pays for my master plan to take over the world has been silenced by the appearance of two new projects - right when I was doing the final round of edits.

Holly Lisle is absolutely right: you can edit something forever, but revising it 17 times does not make it a masterpiece.

I have a TBR pile that is blocking out all the natural sunlight in my living room. Time to take a wee break from writing and lose myself in another author's words.

Oh, after I sign up for Deal or No Deal of course. ;)

posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:45 AM 5 comments

A message to the cast of Lost

Please note that I have done my best to refrain from putting any spoilers into this post. But a character named Boone died in Season One. And I thought he was really cute.

Dear cast of Lost,

When you are filming in location on Hawaii, please be careful when you are driving. The Hawaiian police force, not unlike the angry black smoke and polar bears, don't want you on the island. Search for all the hatches you want, go for a swim and enjoy the oasis that surrounds you - but if you're coming home from a rockin' luau, take a cab.

You don't even have to be under the influence - you can get nailed for speeding, driving without a seatbelt on, maybe even spitting out the window - just don't press your luck!

Because all it takes is one little itty bitty traffic infraction and you'll find yourself out of a job. This isn't like the Amazing Race where someone "may" be eliminated, when the time comes it's America's Next Top Unemployed Actor.

No one is safe. No one. It's not like on Star Trek where you knew the guy in red transporting down to the surface wasn't coming back.

Drive safe people. Seriously.

Your fan,


posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:31 AM 0 comments

Finishing touches

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Funny, but putting the finishing touches on my novel feels like I'm taking part in NaNoWriMo. My eyes hurt, my hands are cramped and it's only the second day of the month-long event.

I'm just adding in stuff I already should have about describing where the heck my characters are and those other pesky details like time of day, atmosphere, names of people...

Just checking.

I'm totally freaking out, but handling it well by staying in flannel pajamas until all of my edits are done. You should have seen the look on the deliverywoman's face when I opened the door to accept receipt of a package around lunchtime today. (It was the blender I won last month - woo hoo!)

I have also not allowed myself to watch last night's episode of Lost, nor will I complete an application form to be on Deal or No Deal when it comes to Canada for a week in January. All will have to wait until the pages are printed out and placed into funky binders for the betas.

Oh, I better go pick up some binders. ;)

With all this novel writing though, I have not been as dedicated to generating new magazine ideas and sending out a minimum of two query letters a week. It was down to two a month for October, and I only have three articles on my plate to complete over the next month.

This is not good news if I wanted to use this additional income to take over the world. Or even a tiny corner of it.

Of course, the holiday season is when most companies need a freelance editor, proofer or writer to come in and cover vacations, shopping spree days or even tackle all the stuff that they want off the list by the end of the year. My inbox is slowly filling with questions about my availability for the weeks around Christmas and New Year's, so that's good.

Too bad I'd rather work on some magazine articles instead. ;)

Oh, and I can't forget about the Golden Heart entry deadline of December 4.

Shoot, forget I said anything about wanting more writing projects to drop out of the sky, I think I'm good.

P.S. My You Bet Your Ass episode airs tonight at 7:30 p.m. EST on Canada's Comedy network.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 3:12 PM 4 comments

Falling behind

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Sadly, my deadline of October 31 has been missed and I have entered that terrifying stage of "I absolutely hate this book."

Oh, but the kids totally loved the toys last night. Our next-door neighbours report that most kids informed them that we were handing out toys, expecting them to try and top that with a bicycle or PSP.

The best was the young girl who was so excited by the slinky toy I gave her that she dropped her bag of treats to start playing with it right away.

Luckily her mother was there to retrieve the bag from the porch. ;)

I have about 20 pages to go, which I should be able to polish off by tomorrow. Luckily I booked my meeting with the betas on Saturday, so I have some time to...stress out some more.

And the shiny new ideas kept on coming up to the door last night with the trick-or-treaters. It was quite distressing, especially when I returned to the computer at 8:00 p.m. to do come more edits - and completely forgot what I was supposed to be working on.

My father called to speak to the DH about something technical and IT-related last night, and he casually mentioned my self-imposed deadline as I was waiting for the DH to pick up the phone. I responded with something I thought was appropriate...for a sailor.

Seriously though, I do like this gathering of 80,000 words on the whole. Some parts I'd just rather not think about right now.

Demented Michelle had fretted about her voice ages ago, and I too feel her pain. Sometimes you want your words to be able to cross into other genres and styles as easily as slipping on a fabulous new coat. Only for writers like her and I, it doesn't work that way.

I've tried to write stuff that's serious and filled with mind-altering truths. Yeah, it was totally lame. But I learned the lesson: don't write annual reports.

So tonight is going to be a late one. Thankfully I can sleep in tomorrow.

Still want to feel spooked out? Check out this story by Mike.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 1:07 PM 4 comments