Friday, July 1, 2011

Random Updates

I'm blogging from Starbucks right now!  I guess that's not altogether exciting, but I've never posted a blog entry from anywhere other than home.  I did do work from a computer here before, about four years ago when I had to clear my credential.  I remember I had to come up with eleven more items for my teaching portfolio, and my exit interview was that evening around 5:00 or 6:00.  I had to take the whole day off, and I finished all of my work at Starbucks.  But back then they charged for their WiFi; now it's free!  Awesome.  I might come here once or twice a week while the kids are in their karate class.

The rest of this entry is going to be really boring.  I'm just going to give updates on various things.  Here goes:

Bible Challenge: I'm currently on 2 Kings and have officially read 590 pages, although my page-count just jumped up due to switching Bibles.  Yesterday, I went shopping with Teri, and ended up buying myself a brand-new Bible.  I figured it would make a good congrats-gift to myself for sticking with this challenge (one month down, two more to go!).  Thus far I have been using a Bible that my great -grandmother gave me for Christmas in 1988, and for the most part I have been content with it.  But it is a child's Bible, complete with colored illustrations, not to mention the book is absolutely thrashed.  All of John and a chunk of 2 Corinthians completely fell out, and my grandpa had to use his book-binding machine to glue them back in for me about six months ago.  But yesterday, while browsing through all of these beautiful new Bibles, I finally broke down and decided a "grown-up" Bible sounded really appealing.  I found the one I wanted and purchased it for $55.  I know.  Ouch.  But it is so beautiful, and has a larger print that I can actually read without squinting.  Plus it has my name engraved on it in a pretty, silver script.  I might take a picture of it before posting this entry.  I am so crazy about it.  But, like I mentioned earlier, it did change my page count.  My last Bible contained 1,048 pages; this one contains 1,969 pages.  It was thrilling to see my page-count jump up by 150 pages or whatever it was, but then a little bit of a let-down when I realized how many pages I still had left to go.  Anyway, my favorite book of the Bible so far is 1 Samuel. Certain parts of that book actually made me burst out with laughter, like when King Saul is trying to kill David, but everyone he sends to kill him ends up stuck in the city as unwitting prophets (it would be like cursing a really sarcastic, rude person to only being able to say sweet, sugar-coated things).  Finally, he decides to go to the city and kill David himself, but ends up prophesying too.  The whole thing was like the Bermuda Triangle, except for instead of a triangle, it's a city.  And instead of people mysteriously disappearing, they turn into prophets.  So I guess there is really no resemblance between this story and the Bermuda Triangle whatsoever.

Bookworm Challenge: I'm pretty much ditching it. Which is sort of ironic considering that I've finished reading ten books. But I know I'll never get around to writing the reviews. Plus I discovered an awesome site for book lovers: Shelfari, and I'd rather use this as my venue for keeping track of books and reviews. If you love to read, I would encourage you to check it out.  It is SO user-friendly.  I might even have Trinity create a Shelfari account since she loves to read so much.

Manuscript: I'm still at two chapters, plus part of the prologue. Both Shan and Clint have been helping me come up with more ideas, and I'm getting more excited, but still not accomplishing as much as I should.  I'm going to post an excerpt from one of the chapters soon.

Changes on this Blog: You *might* have noticed that I figured out how to swap out backgrounds on this blog. It's just a quick little manipulation of HTML, and now that I know how to do it, a monster has officially been created. Now I'm going to want to change my background every few weeks. The only problem is, I still haven't figured out how to stretch the background from end to end, which leaves an annoying line where the graphic begins to repeat. I have tried every thing I can think of to fix this, so if you are handy with HTML and want to e-mail me with some suggestions, I'd really appreciate it.

Blog Award: The Powerful Woman Writer Award was given to me via e-mail by a YA author who I stumbled upon through Shelfari. The blogging community is obviously a small world, because I came across her again on Kristyn's book blog (offering her a Best in Books award, or something to that effect). I know this fellow blogger gives out a ton of these things, so it's not anything special, but it still made me smile and I decided to display it for awhile. Plus her blog offers a lot of insight for anyone aspiring to publish for the young adult market. I added her button, "A Story Book Blog," to the bottom of my screen.

Art: I worked on my Japanese Maple yesterday, although now it's more of a Japanese Cherry Maple hybrid (those exist, right?).  Since it's been three months since I've painted, I pretty much think what I added yesterday sucked, but Clint assured me it looked good.  And since husbands always tell the truth....

Holidays/Vacations: We’re spending Independence Day at the lake with Shannon’s family (of course), but fireworks and such are actually on July 2nd.   In mid-July we’re going on a week-trip to Arizona. Two of those days we’ll spend at the Grand Canyon. Then, not so exciting, but in August we’re going to Vegas for three days. The only thing that makes this Vegas trip worth mentioning is:  1. By some miracle my entire family can make it (Mom/Dad, Grandma/Grandpa, Shan/Jeremy), and 2. The hotel we’re staying at (Flamingo Hilton) has an amazing pool.

Okay, I think that's it for boring updates and my cafe vanilla frappucino is now empty, so I'll post this now.  I'll try to add the picture of my new Bible later, once I'm at home.