Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Fun Christmas Survey

I was tagged by Carol.  I tag: anyone reading this who hasn't done it.  *g*

Insert your own answers and pass it on to whomever you feel would respond – including the person who sent it to you

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper - I consider wrapping gifts an art form, and oddly-shaped packages a special challenge.

2. Real tree or Artificial? I grew up with a real cedar tree cut from my grandparents' farm every year, but these days it's a pre-lit artificial.

3. When do you put up the tree? The weekend after Thanksgiving, but this year we were a little delayed because of the Golden Heart deadline eating up ALL my free time.

4. When do you take the tree down? Usually New Year's Day.

5. What do you do with your tree after you take it down: Back in the bag, and out to the garage until next year.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? A "Pound Purry" I named Love.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My husband's step-family that I barely know.

8. Easiest person to buy for? DH and Little Boy - I always know things they will love.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?  Several.  The main one in the front hall, LB's Fisher Price version, and a few small ones scattered around.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Usually mail.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?  Anything that I have no use for and get no enjoyment out of.  Really, what's the point?  I'd rather get no gift at all than something completely useless to me.  Then the giver is out money, and I'm stuck forcing gratitude.  (Yes, this is directed at a particular person, who shall remain nameless.)  Here's the thing: I'm a gift person.  I take pride in picking gifts people will love.  But just in case, I always include a gift receipt so they can take it back and get something they really want if I miss the mark.  People who buy random stuff and "throw it at the wall to see if it will stick" because they don't take the time to get to know me and what I like get on my "gift person" nerves.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Siding with Carol here: It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually around November, but sometimes earlier if I find a good gift.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yeah.  (See #11 above - what else was I supposed to do?)

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Bourbon Balls (recipe coming soon!) and Father-in-Law's Crispix party mix.

16. Lights on the tree? Lots of colored lights.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Carol of the Bells.  My favorite version is Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?  Travel 2 hours to the in-laws' on Christmas Eve, at home Christmas morning, and to my extended family's get-together Christmas afternoon.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's?  You mean you can't?

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?  Right now an angel.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Eve: new pajamas.  Christmas morning: everything else.  (We do gift exchange with the in-laws before this, however, so we've been opening something.)

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?  That the stores put Christmas stuff out in freaking October.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?  I guess cats/kittens, by default.  (I'm kind of a "cat lady"...)  For many years now, my yearly ornament has been a cat.  I'll have enough to do an entire tree soon.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?  We don't really do Christmas dinner, but we have a big Christmas breakfast with cinnamon rolls and sausage and biscuits and gravy and eggs and toast and all that stuff.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? So far I've gotten 2 purses (I ordered them, so I knew in advance) and Trans-Siberian Orchestra tickets (saw them Friday: AWESOME concert) and I'd like some cologne and maybe some cash.  I wrote a list, but I forget what's on it!


I've been bookwormed!  By a few people by now, I think.  *g*  Anyway, I'm supposed to find the nearest book, open it to bage 56, and copy down the 5th sentence and the following 2-5 sentences.

Nearest book to my computer was When the Duke Returns by Eloisa James, which I finished a few days ago.  (Highly recommended!  It's moved from my TBRead pile to my TBReviewed.  Someday…)

Anyway, beginning with the 5th sentence on page 56:

He arrived in London the night before, woke up at dawn, and waited for the appropriate hour to pay a call on his wife.  It was all easy.

And nothing was easy.

For one thing he had to tell his wife, who already thought he was cracked, that their wedding had to be delayed.  Again.

That ended up a nice little teaser snippet.

Because this is fun, here's the book I'm actually reading right now – The Bride by Julie Garwood:

"Oh, all right.  I'll take him."  Turning back to Jamie, she muttered, "There, sister, are you happy now?  You've forced me to lie to a man of the cloth."

"I forced you?"

The gasp in Jamie's voice wasn't due entirely to her sister's outrageous comment.  Alec's hand had curved around the base of her neck.  His fingers were stroking her sensitive skin.

Another Alec!  And he's up to something, apparently…

Speaking of men named Alec, here's page 56 from my MS, One Highland Night by Rebecca Clarke.  (Yes!  You read it here first!):

"So you believe me now?"

"Aye.  I dinna want to, not really.  But I do." He crossed the narrow space and pulled a stool up next to the cot, laid the bag beside her with shaking hands.

She knew the contents, what he must have seen: the guidebook.  No wonder he was unnerved.  How would she feel if she read a book saying that within a hundred years from her present, the United States would be torn by war and its people conquered, their way of life changed forever?  To see pictures of places she knew in ruins?

Lesse…I think most everyone's been tagged by now, but if you're reading this and haven't been, consider yourself "it"!  *g*

Monday, December 01, 2008


Reporter: So, Jenny - you just finished a massive overhaul of your MS by deadline!  What are you gonna do now...?!?

Me:  Forget Disneyworld, I'm going to....SLEEP!!!

Actually, not yet.  I did just finish revisions, but I still have to get everything together to actually submit for the contest.  That means formatting the MS into a singular document (LSB keeps chapters in separate files) and burning it to a CD, pulling and printing 6 copies of my first 50 pages, and revising my working synopsis into something suitable to show people.  That, too, needs 6 printed copies.  Then it's off to the Post Office in the morning on my way to work.  Express Mail delivery is guaranteed by noon on Tuesday (deadline is 5 pm CST).

Then I have a full day of work, and my Scottish Country Dance class.  THEN I'll sleep.  *g*

In a bizarre twist, I guesstimated my wordcount at 95K on the Golden Heart entry form almost 3 months ago, before really starting revisions.  I would have been happy with anything between 95-99K, and made no specific attempt to cut it down to a certain length. 

Final wordcount?  95,098.