Friday, January 20, 2017

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Can you believe Valentines Day is just around the corner? 2017 is already moving and grooving. Just as I did with Christmas, I mentioned a few things that I'd love to have for the holiday. Since Valentine's day isn't the same level of Christmas, I kept my list short with just a few options in each category. Now before you think I'm all about stuff just remember I will fine with only getting a card. Who doesn't love a cute card from their husband and mom? With that being said here's a few things on my wish list for the year.

1. Books.
Found here, here and here

I love books. I could just read and read. I've been wanting this Mars fiction book for awhile (I love anything with going to Mars). I've recently discovered the classic series: The Dana Girls Mysteries and I'm loving how cute they are. Then of course Harry Bosch books.

2. Movies.
Found here, here and here

I am a sucker for a good Hallmark movie! I especially love their Christmas movies but they also have some other really good ones!

3. Weekend Getaway.

I've been wanting to go to Portland which is close to us so that could be a weekend. I've also been wanting to go to Wyoming which is a little further away but hey... Portland is close so is Seattle which I really liked! I can always make Pigeon Forge a weekend :) I keep hearing about all the updates to the Graceland area in Memphis. I'd love to see all of the changes!

4. A New Scarf.

Found here, here and here
I love wearing a scarf in the winter when it's cold. I usually wear it all day at my desk too. I only have a few so it's tricky to incorporate them into my wardrobe. I'd like to add a new one or two or three.

5. Christmas Village Pieces.
Found here, here, here and here.

I put my first Christmas village up this past year and I loved it! I want to add more pieces to it in 2017 and to do that I'll need to acquire more houses, accessories and lighted buildings. I saw this little set when I was with my mom in Pigeon Forge and thought it was so cute!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Two Movies for Tonight

Looking for something to watch tonight? Time is precious and you don't want to spend time searching for a movie to only be disappointed with it in the end. So that's why I've brought you two movies for tonight. The movies I review here give you an idea of what's good to watch any time you want to quickly get a movie and start watching it. This week I'm giving you two movies that are totally worthy of your time. 

The first movie... Criminal.
This movie came out in early 2016 and I had never heard of it until about a week ago. I was surprised because it has so many big name actors in it. It stars Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman and Tommy Lee Jones. I thought the movie had a really original story line and enjoyed the movie. I'm really surprised it didn't do better in the theater to where we heard more about it.

Ryan Reynolds is living in London with his family as a CIA agent Bill Pope. When he comes into contact with a man known as the Dutchman, his life soon becomes unstable. The Dutchman has hacked all of America's warhead codes and can launch a missile anywhere and at anytime. He comes to the United States and to Pope because he wants asylum and money. Pope takes him to a safe location and is the only person to know where he's located. When he becomes incapable of telling the CIA where the Dutchman is located they bring in  lifetime career offender- Jerico (Costner).

Jerico has never been able to have feelings due to a frontal lobe injury as a child. So living a life of crime has never bothered him. He's never cared for anyone or anything except money. When the CIA does an experiment to give him Pope's memories and feelings in effort to locate the Dutchman he doesn't understand the feelings he feels. He also wants no part in helping the CIA. He does however, want the bag of money he saw in a memory of Pope's. While he goes out in search of the bag of money, he comes across Pope's wife and child and begin to cares about someone for the first time in his life.

Watch this interesting movie and you'll be entertained for sure.

The second movie... Duff.

I laughed so hard during this movie. It really reminds me of another hilarious movie... She's the Man. I can't wait to re-watch this movie that's how funny I thought it was. I had never really heard of the term DUFF until now but it's totally true! Duff stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend. When you think about it... everyone has a Duff! Watch this movie, trust me... it'll make your cheeks hurt from laughing.

Bianca is a senior in high school living in the suburbs of Atlanta. Her two best friends are Jessica and Casey who when she describes them are labeled as more popular and better looking than her. Bianca's next door neighbor and childhood friend, Wesley is a star football player and wanted by all the girls. Bianca only has eyes for Toby, a guitar player/singer whom she can't bring herself to talk to because she's so shy. When Jessica and Casey persuade her to attend the most popular girl in high school, Madison's party she goes in hopes of seeing Toby there. The party turns out to be the worst night for her.

Wesley without realizing it as first informs Bianca that she's a DUFF. He quickly tries to explain to her that the duff doesn't have to be ugly or fat. It's just someone less popular in their group of friends who is more accessible and people go to when they want to date or hook up with their hotter friends. Bianca is shocked and then realizes that she's Jessica and Casey's DUFF. She's so upset she unfriends them and vows to get Toby to go out with her. To accomplish this she enlists the help of Wesley in turn for tutoring him in Chemistry so he can keep playing football.

Bianca and Wes begin to fall into their old pattern of being childhood friends once they start hanging out to study and he gives her lessons on how to get Toby to go out with her. Along the way they have their ups and downs and hilarious events take over Bianca's social life.

Watch Duff. You won't be sorry!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Not Just Reading Books but Writing

Over the years, I've read a lot of books. I love reading. Once a book draws me in, I could sit all day and read it until I finish it. For the past few years, I had toyed with the idea of writing a book. I just couldn't decide what I would write about. Then of all days on the day of my wedding rehearsal, I was telling my bridesmaids about this idea I had about what I would do in a disaster. Then it hit me. That's what I could write my book about. This crazy idea of sitting down and actually writing a book didn't seem so crazy anymore. I had the idea and I could move forward now.

After my wedding and after getting some rest, I sat down and actually started writing my book. The first few chapters flowed easily and came naturally to me. It was like it had been in my head all along. Then about half way in the hard part came. I hit a major writers block. I knew how I wanted my story to go but I couldn't think how to continue. I didn't know how to get them to the end. It was the in between that was hard. I keep going though. I wouldn't write everyday because honestly some days I couldn't. I would be tired from working or I would have things I needed to go out and do. Then of course, I had my ornament business and traveling for work.

I started writing my book at the end of December 2015. Once June came around I was more than 50% to my final word count goal. Then I slowed down some. I had told the majority of my plot and just needed how to end the book. I wanted it to end on a cliff hanger but wasn't for sure how I really wanted it to end. So a few more weeks passed by on the calendar and I still hadn't finished it. Finally in November after Thanksgiving, I finished the book. I got to my final goal word count. What I'm learning now is that writing the book might have been the easiest part of this entire process.

At the start of December, I started looking into how to go about getting published. I know a lot of people promote self publishing but that's not the route that I would like to go. I want a company to buy my book and publish it. So I started the next step in making that happen. A lot of the big book publishers wont just take your book, read it and then publish it. You need to have an agent who can submit it to them so I started looking into literary agents. To get an agent you need to Query them. So you have to have a query letter, often a synopsis and your biography. So I started working on those items. Then finally I started submitting my work to literary agents.

It's been a month now I'm still in the process of trying to find an agent. I was told by someone I know who has a literary agent to query several and then query more as you get rejections. And yes before you ask.... rejections are very common. Currently, I've queried about 38 agents and I've got about 8 rejections. Thankfully the agents haven't been like YOU SUCK GIVE UP! They've just said my work isn't the right fit for them. So the hunt continues. I like to say that I have a lot of irons in the fire. Once of them is going to come out hot!

I know that this year, I will find a literary agent. Someone who believes in this book and knows that they can sell it. I want to get a literary agent, put the finishing touches on my book and sell it to a big publishing house and see my name on the front of a big in print! I can feel it! I know it can happen. Look at all the people who have written a book and got it published.

You have to ask. believe and receive. That's exactly what I'm doing! I'm believing that an agent is going to snatch my book up to get published. I'm ready to receive it! I'll keep you updated on the process. In the meantime, I'm just over here becoming my own Joan Wilder!