Courtney S. Barr

Welcome to My Kingdom!
Join me, the Princess, on my Royal Adventures in the Land of Writing!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Summing Up a Fantastic Year!

A soft clicking fills my ears as the clock's hands note the seconds passing by. My palms sweat as I stare at the bright screen on my desk. The cursor blinks in time with the clicking and nausea sweeps over me.
How on earth will I ever sum up 2009?

Visions of sandy beaches, ancient stone Temples, diving headfirst into crystalline cool water of a beautiful Cenote & impromptu Jimmy Buffet concerts in Cozumel;

The dark sand of the desert and cacti of Arizona, the laughter at Shannon Hale's witty introductions, the blur as I shake hands and talk writing with Stephenie Meyer, Brandon Mull, Jon S. Lewis, Janette Rallison, Chris Gall, PJ Haarsma, Laini Taylor, Shannon Hale, Dean Lorey & James Owen, the chills as I stand on stage with Stephenie Meyer and take home a precious prize;

The beauty captured in one of my favorite cities: D.C., running through a spy mission with my husband and laughing as I almost fall UP the stairs, understanding that certain places of historic value will always take my breath away, cruising the Potomac, meeting Chef Duff from Ace of Cakes;

The comfortable & familiar Pensacola Beach with its emerald water, white sandy beaches & moments with new family;

Days spent lounging in the sand or on the edge of a pool & devouring some amazing books;

Houston's flare for exemplifying why everything's bigger in Texas & a weekend with a bird trying to climb my skirt and one on Marcus' head;

Birthday celebrations with my favorite sister;

Summer concerts with Eric & Mindy - if it is within a quick driving distance then we were there!;

Summer fun at my parents pool, watermelon, lemonade, fried fish and celebrating the patriotism of the Fourth of July;

Panama City girls weekend to the Spa with my two most favorite girlfriends: my sister Nina & my mom, ALL day spa treatments - watching my mother discover the miracle that IS ALL DAY SPA TREATMENTS lol, the divine sensation of recognizing precious moments spent together;

Celebrating 10 years after graduating high school with my 30 classmates and realizing we are all still just as close as before, understanding the grueling planning it takes to set up a reunion but also acknowledging how much I love to be in control ;

Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Tinkerbell, & Stitch surround me with hugs, seeing my husband labeled as THAT GUY by my favorite Monster: Mike Wazowski, I marvel at sharing all my favorite things that are Disney with my nieces & nephews at my old Orlando stomping grounds;

Sitting down to dinner in a Catholic church that is now a brewery in the eclectic city of Pittsburgh while chuckling at a friend who decides to try his hand at a round of stiff Irish Stout and staring wide eyed at the stained glass windows that now sit above beer tanks;

Winning a blog contest by Janette Rallison that introduces me to some of the most wonderful people I could ever know;

NaNoWriMo and the nerves that accompany finally committing to one's dreams;

Hosting my first blog contest;

Being blessed by fellow writers/bloggers with their wonderful awards and smiling as I in turn get the joy of passing awards along;

Deciding that writing should no longer be a goal that I push away, but one that I embrace with all my heart;

Learning what YouTube & Blog Wars are;

Marveling at being the subject of not one, but TWO Vlog entries on two awesome blogs! (Frankie & the Story Siren);

Weekend football games as the Crimson played a perfect season from opening in Atlanta to closing in Atlanta;

Learning to Tweet;

Discovering yet again, every day how blessed I am to have such an amazing husband, family, friends & dog (Peanut Butter Barr ;o) );

Thanksgiving shared with friends from St. Louis and the cutest curly haired little girl;

Loving the fact that my mother wanted an iPod for Christmas!;

Christmas with all its sparkle never disappoints;

Lists of resolutions for what only promises to be a sensational year...

All these things. All these wonderful moments in my life are more than I could ever dream of yet I still dream. I still have my sights set on goals, I still have my hopes pinned to letters on a keyboard, I still embrace all that the journey encompasses.

I live for these moments. I am stronger for the obstacles that fell in between each thing listed above as well as for meeting these amazing things with open heart & smiling face. Opportunities are everywhere and for years I just watched as they slipped by.

2009 reminded me to embrace life.

Welcome 2010 and all that you have to offer - may I make you proud.

Monday, December 28, 2009

In Between the Holidays & a Special Upcoming Birthday Week!

How is everyone? Here we are in between holidays. This is always an interesting time for us. Our families are in South Alabama and we both work....sooooo... that means that we venture down for Christmas, come back to work then venture back down for New Year's. Yep we head back south this coming up weekend. My sister & her kids will be down to share Christmas with us and well, we have to drop off our dog at my parents after New Year's... Why? you ask....wellllllllll.......


Why, you ask again? Well it just so happens our beloved Crimson Tide is playing for the BCS National Championship. Yes we are those kinds of fans. You know the ones that will travel just about anywhere to see their collegiate team play. Yeah. The University is the reason we ended up in Ttown to begin with. We were both raised to be diehards and our parents did a good job.

Now, some of you may remember that Birthday Week ( is celebrated in my house. Guess what my birthday is January 7 - the day the Tide plays. Meaning my birthday week will be spent in Los Angeles... oh the things I could demand...*grinsmischievously*

So far I have a very eventful week planned. I was blessed to have a client give me tickets to....
.....with Red Carpet Access.....
YES you read that right. I am freaking out right now, people! I just cannot believe how excited I am. Then at the end of the week we are going to DISNEYLAND! OMG! I just am overwhelmed... This will be an epic CourtneyPalooza Birthday Week! I am just jumping for joy & fit to be tied! YIPPEE!!
I always think about celebrities that I would love to meet. I watched Julie & Julia this weekend and it got me thinking again. So if I could meet & talk with any celebrity living or dead it would be (forgive me for not being too deep on these choices) Female - Grace Kelly she was so well, graceful. She also had a way of handling everything with aplomb and a charisma that is unmatched-plus she was a princess. Male - Hugh Grant - the guy just makes me laugh and I love his accent.
Okay so since this was a totally random post I have a totally random question for all of you: If you could have a meet & greet with any celebrity (living or dead) who would it be (name one male & one female)?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Yep... I got Tagged....

Frankie did you realize that there are 26 QUESTIONS? 26?! Yes the double punctuation is for my curiosity at why they stop at the number 26 rather than the stereotypical 25 and also for my shock as I have to answer them all.

Well some of you know me as just the Southern Princess, Royalty of the Blogosphere ;o), but now you just might get a glimpse into Courtney Barr, the Southern Princess, Royalty of the Blogosphere, Crazy Writer-Girl... Here goes -


1) What's the last thing you wrote? What's the first thing you wrote that you still have? Currently working on a manuscript. Hmmm... I was in third grade when I wrote the story The Wind Maiden and I still have it (I had learned cursive the year before - lets just say it can get confusing in some points); but I also loved rhyming at a young age and I have some poems I wrote for my parents when I was REALLY young just learning to write/rhyme/singsong. The Wind Maiden though is a treasure to me. I was reading Shakespeare at a very young age and due to this The Wind Maiden has a tragic ending. It still baffles me that I wrote it. I was in a wheelbarrow out back (yes sitting in the wheelbarrow) it was Fall and I was sketching. Then for some reason I began to daydream and the Wind Maiden was born.

2) Write poetry? Yes. Poetry is actually what I began doing first. I love to sing and rhyming/rhythm was big for me. It was also some of my first published work. I won a few awards throughout school. I also from the 5th Grade to 12th Grade wrote all the Senior Class poems. (I went to a small school that housed K-12) Even my own Senior Class Poem

3) Angsty poetry? sometimes. The first poem I won a contest with and had published was called The Ghost in the Tides and it is a bit angsty. For a 12 year old it is probably pretty angsty.

4) Favorite genre of writing? all of them!!! I really and truly read everything, therefore I write all kinds of stories. I prefer YA but I like all the categories of YA.

5) Most annoying character you've ever created? This one made me smile. Once I wrote a short story for college with a girl named Betsy. Well, Betsy was the girl who never let you finish a sentence without jumping in. Even in those moments where you might be sharing a special moment with someone.Yeah... Betsy really pissed me off.

6) Best plot you've ever created? Welll.... I am going to say my current WIP. I LOVE IT and I actually think it is my best.

7) Coolest plot twist you've ever created? ahhhh... if I told you I would have to kill you. (i.e. it is in the current manuscript...ooohhh its good too!!)

8) How often do you get writer's block? I really don't get writer's block. If I fall out of love with a story then I just let it hang for a while-maybe I come back or maybe it gets saved in my "Might've Been" file

9) Write fan fiction? never... but I will admit to reading some...

10) Do you type or write by hand? Both. I love the 'written' word. There is something about pen to paper. Granted I type more than I write, but when I travel (which I do a good bit for work) then I tend to work on my storylines in pen/pencil.

11) Do you save everything you write? Yep. Did you see Question 8? That "Might've Been" file is pretty stout!

12) Do you ever go back to an idea after you've abandoned it? Again, question 8 answers this one. But I will say that if I go back to a story normally it means my characters just needed to reassess and really, did I ever really leave them?

13) What's your favorite thing you've ever written? My current WIP. Behind that...well, there is one that really sticks out in my mind. Faeries, a duchess, death, ended with the MC losing everything. There was a lesson to be learned and a heart that would never heal. Ahhh... tragic.

14) What's everyone else's favorite story you've written? ooohhhh...I don't know. My family is uber supportive while also being critical. hmmmm. My mother always loved my first story ever written but then she loves everything I write - I LOVE YOU MOM!! My sister, she just wants me to quit sharing only snippets! My hubby - he loves my current but behind it he LOVES a story I wrote about a boy caught in two worlds at once yet only he could see the differences. Very OUTTHERE!

15) Ever written romance or angsty teen drama? I am a girl, right? lol Yes I have written tons of romance and tons of angsty drama... oh you mean stories not my journals ;o) Seriously. Both have found their way into my stories one time or another.

16) What's your favorite setting for your characters? oooh. I love my own worlds, but outside of that the South of course. I adore the part of the country I live in and believe it to hold a magic all its own.

17) How many writing projects are you working on right now? 1. For probably the first time ever. I tend to have at least 3 different things. VERY DIFFERENT

18) Have you ever won an award for your writing?Yes. I won awards all through Jr. High, High School, a few in college and well, scroll down the sidebar - I have been blessed by some of the best writer's out there. Those awards mean so much to me! More than the others. They are from people who would not know me on the street, they only know me through my words on a screen. How amazing, awesome, and wonderful is that? Thank you all.

19) What are your five favorite words? this one could be fun: Wife, Princess, do nothing today. ;o) Okay - 5 faves: idiosyncrasies (because I have many), insolent (it just screams badness), wondrous (for the way it feels when you say it), Silly (well because it is silly), Ruggiero (okay this is a name, but I love it! It means Famous Warrior in Celtic)

20) What character have you created that is most like yourself? My current main character.

21) Where do you get your ideas for your characters? Honestly - everywhere! No one singular fountain of characters

22) Do you ever write based on your dreams? YES! I am one of those very vivid-continuous-can-go-back-to-sleep-and-its-the-same-dream-people!

23) Do you favor happy endings? I love to watch a movie with happy endings do like reading them, but sometimes I find myself writing a not-so-happy ending...yikes

24) Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?I try not to be until I am finished.
25) Does music help you write?OMG! YES!!! I have to have music. I always have some sort of music on in the house and typically it influences scenes pretty well. The worst is when you hear a song for the first time and it is like a punch to the gut. My characters see their story, see their scene and in those painful ones I lose it. I cry for fictional characters and their dumb decisions or I laugh at how fun it would be to see & hear that character belt out the lyrics to a song in a specific yeah. Music is important to me.
26) Quote something you've written. Whatever pops in your head.
"Let darkness encase me."

So I am supposed to tag people:
ahem, here goes - again you should already be following these blogs - they are definitely worth reading with a cup of hot cocoa & good music in the background!

Karen Amanda Hooper of The Kindrily (
Carol of Carol's Prints (
Natalie Bahm (
MaryBeth of Desperately Searching for my Inner Mary Poppins (

Whew... have fun guys! ;o) I hope to post tomorrow night, but just in case the fam gets crazy & I don't get to:


Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Blogfest Kissing Day!

I promise promise that my TAGGED entry will be posted but I could not pass up a good Kissing Day! I mean come on... Kisses! The X's and O's of love letters! These cosmic connections that we have when we are in love or disgust can be dissected in a kiss. Sherrinda over at A Writer Wannabe came up with this amazing concept for all of us writers. Today December 21st is the OFFICIAL KISSING DAY BLOGFEST!
I offer you two kissing scenes.

One of my favorites from a book: LJ SMITH "DARK VISIONS: THE PASSION" (it is kind of an almost/complete/perfect who knows kiss... if you have not read this trilogy you should. I loved it years ago revisited it again recently and still enjoy the tumultous relationship of Kaitlyn & Gabriel)

He'd given her everything that was best in him, everything he was. She wanted to give him the same back again.

"I don't know how you can love me." The words came softly, as if he were thinking them to himself. "You've seen what I am"

"That's why I do love you," Kaitlyn told him. "I hope you'll still love me when you see what I am."

"I know what you are, Kait. Everything beautiful and brave and gallant and...." He stopped as if his throat had closed. "Everything that makes me want to be better for you. That makes me sorry I'm such a stupid mess..."

"You looked like a knigh with the shard" Kaitlyn said, moving toward him.

"Really? He laughed shakily.

"My knight. And I never said Thank You."

She was almost touching him now. Looking up into his eyes. What she could feel in him was something she'd only felt before when she gave him her life energy. Childlike, marveling joy. Trust and vulnerability. And such love....

Then she was in his arms and they weren't separate beings any longer. Their minds were together, sharing thoughts, sharing a happiness beyond thought. Sharing everything.

She never even knew whether he kissed her.

I LOVE that book! Wonderful!!!
Scene 2: My favorite from my WIP-First Draft (so far ;o) )
Meet Analeigh & Damien from my WIP (tentatively named) Sacred:

The soggy ground cushioned my body as he bent over me. His weight pressed against my side. He paid no attention to the dark night and all its tragedy. The wind howled around us as the rain fell against his back.

My breathing quickened as his face moved closer to mine. My eyes followed cool drops of rain as they slid down the coal black hair clinging to his forehead to caress his cheek. I lifted my hand to follow their trail and smiled as he reacted to my touch.

His emerald eyes deepened as he stared down at me. I knew that if I wanted to I could discover his exact thoughts but as usual his eyes held the answers I would seek. A warm sensation slithered along my body.

"You are all wet." I whispered.

His answering grin had me sucking in the cool air as I waited for him to speak; our faces only inches apart. Water pooled at my sides and in the distance I heard the others. Their voices seemed worlds away. It was as though we were the only two people for miles.

My mind raced with what this would mean. Fear gripped me but curiosity was winning out.

On one hand I wanted desperately to feel his lips against mine but on the would change everything. I could not ask him to make this sacrifice.

Before I could speak his lips brushed the tip of my nose. Startled I focused again. He chuckled softly. "I've learned to never let you know my approach." The double meaning was all too clear and my instinct to defend myself came swiftly.

"You arrogant -"

His lips crushed mine in a searing kiss. The hunger I felt in him was like lighting a match to my own hidden desires. My hand moved to the back of his head, my fingers wrapped around the curls at the base of his neck and I responded to his kiss with a heat that burned from head to toe.

My lips, my fingers, my arms, my legs, my heart became alive with a feeling unlike anything I had ever known. No longer did the rain seem to caress. It was as though the raindrops merely evaporated when they touched our skin. I no longer felt the chill or the pain from battle. The only thing that mattered in this moment was Damien and the love I could no longer ignore.

Tears slipped down my cheeks as reality set in. I love Damien.

My heart began to break as the kiss continued.

It would be our first and final kiss. He could never know the truth.

I savored the feel of his lips, the rush of his hands along my sides, and the man that I would forever love for one more second.

I placed my hands against his chest and pushed him away.
This would be our last fight and I needed to make it a good one.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

I'd like to thank the Academy...

Well, this holiday season seems to be falling around me like a blizzard. At first Thanksgiving was that early not really sticking to the ground snowfall but the past week has been a blanket of holiday activities! Shopping has kept me busy as well as Christmas parties and some wonderful evenings out.

Today though was about finishing my shopping list. As I ended up at home this evening I was terrified to look at the list & see if I had even put a good dent into what seems to be a constantly growing list... the verdict: ONLY TWO THINGS LEFT!!! HAPPY DANCE AROUND THE LIVING ROOM!

I realize that I am behind on a few things....

I have to say that again, I truly am grateful and surprised at receiving these awards! I mean, thank you so much! Honestly every time I see someone tell me they honored me with something I smile and feel so touched to have been thought of!

From Shannon O'Donnell of Book Dreaming ( & Courtney Reese of well, Courtney Reese ( (her blog is her name-and what a marvelous first name she has!!) You both are so sweet & I love to visit your blogs!
The Superior Scribbler Award

Rules: Pass it on to 5 deserving blogs!

Lisa & Laura @ Lisa and Laura Write
Sara @SeeSaraWrite
Kate @ The NeverEnding Shelf:
JuJu of Tales of Whimsy (
Simon C. Larter @ Constant Revision (

Second: The One Lovely Blog Award
From Liz @ Cleverly Inked ( Thank you so much Liz!!!

Rules: Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

15!!! OKAY HERE THEY ARE (random order of course):

Briana of The Book Pixie (
Marybeth of Desperately Searching for My Inner Mary Poppins (
The Compulsive Reader (
Anna of Book Nerds (
Kate @ The Neverending Shelf (
Lisa & Laura @ Lisa and Laura Write (
Cindy @ Princess Bookie (
Casey @ A Passion for Books (
Carol @ Carol's Prints (
Sarah @ Sarah with A Chance (
Karen Amanda Hooper @ Author of the Kindrily (
Mariah @ Constantly Risking Absurdity (
Sara @ SeeSaraWrite (
Whew... 15. blogs. whew.
Oh and if any of the above listed weren't already on your blogroll...well I hate to pull rank but *clears throat* By Royal Command Visit These Blogs As Often As You Can! They Are Amazing!
Okay so now I must leave and continue to work on the answers to a certain set of questions sent over by a certain fellow writer *cough*Frankie*cough*....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!!!

Clark: We're kicking off our fun old fashion family Christmas by heading out into the country in the old front-wheel drive sleigh to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape and select that most important of Christmas symbols.
Audrey: We're not coming all the way out here just to get one of those stupid ties with Santa Clauses on it are we?
Clark: No, I have one of those at home
Ahhh National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, my husbands favorite!
Well no I am not handing out overly large Christmas trees or Santa ties - there are presents, err Prizes! I mean I did have a contest the other day and there were winners.
Yes, winnerS - with an S.

So for being the first to correctly answer all the questions is....


*AHHHH THE CROWD GOES WILD** wait we are writers... so the crowd intently observes the winner, wondering if she will later be fodder for character development**

I informed Le Magnadillo of this and he immediately informed his cousin The Holiday Armadillo and he was thrilled! Though he was sad that only one person could win.

"WAIT!"He said.
"I am the Holiday Armadillo, Santa's representative for ALL the Southern States & MEXICO!!! We should not leave the other entrants out!" he proclaimed.

He stopped and thought for a minute. "Um, uh, how many, um, entrants were there?" He asked quietly.
Le Magnadillo informed him there were eight.
"EIGHT!? Only eight were brave enough to attempt to answer the questions! Those eight must be exceptional people! They all MUST be on the Nice List this Christmas!"

He paused for a moment then surprised us all:


"All of 'zem?" Le Magnadillo said in disbelief.

"Yes." he confirmed

So the Holiday Armadillo has spoken! All of my entrants win a prize. Shannon O' you get first choice of the items that were offered.

I know, I know I only showcased 5 items. No worry, the 7 remaining entrants will receive something special too! So email me your shipping information & be glad we southerners have such a sweet Santa representative! Will the following people please stand up & send me your info:

RK Charron of Books (
Sara McClung of Babbling Flow of a Fledgling Scribbler (
Shannon Messenger of Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe ( )
Donnas of Donna's Blog Home (
Karen Amanda Hooper Author of the Kindrily (

Oh & seriously these are awesome bloggers so check them out whenever you get the chance!
*Please do let me know if you already have one of the books/DVD set that I offered so that it can go to someone else.

Email me clsbarr(at)yahoo(dot)com
Please contact me by Friday, December 18 so I can get everything shipped out this weekend!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Silver Orbs of Light....

Soft silver lights blink in the distance as I walk along the road. At first they seem miles away but as I move forward distance becomes irrelevant. The blurry orbs begin to take shape. They bend, they sharpen, they curve, they engulf my senses. My eyes grow strained yet the glow, the silver glow, awards me by highlighting the path at my feet. Other colors break through my vision. On my left I find shades of red, green, and gold. On my right the soft pastel hues of spring float along the wind. The colors are at once muted yet bright. They glisten against shaded shapes of trees and buildings.

My breath releases quick puffs of frigid air while my feet move along the frosted ground. A crunch fills my ears when the life of a pine cone ends by my heel. Sounds flicker in and out of my hearing. Dogs bark, car horns blare, music plays yet I continue forward. My arm brushes against a limb and for a moment I hesitate. As my speed decreases I discover that my path has shifted slightly. I look towards the lights again and find they are right there with me. They have not wavered. It is I who has adapted my footing. I focus again on their beauty.

I have faith that they will be what they are meant to be. It is that faith that surrounds me when the other colors become too bright, when the sounds encase my ears and cause me to stop. It is also that I know, that if for any moment I want to stop moving forward and take a break. A moment to stare at the frost covered ground, to swing from a limb, to chase the sounds or to just sit amongst the overwhelming and beautiful path.... I can.

This is my journey to take, my choice to discover all that I can do, all that I want to try and all that I need to accomplish. The silver lights are not some place I am trying to reach, they are merely a collection of focus points, of people, of moments, of obstacles, of creations. Each one unique, each one with its own direction, yet each one is meant just for me to discover and to live...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Le Magnadillo inspires a FRIENDS Contest! Enter to WIN!!!

Okay my new French family member posed an interesting question...

Now not everyone will understand where this question originates from but for those that do & are quick to comment prizes will be awarded!

So Le Magnadillo was in the kitchen talking to Party Parrot, and his new girlfriend Bride and my husband just happened to overhear them.

Le Magnadillo: "Oui! Oui! I do have a famous cousin!!! He is most famous during ze 'Olidays!!"

Party Parrot: "Who is he? Who is he? Who is he? Want a Drink? Ack! Want a Drink? Want a Drink?"

Bride: "Yes do tell darling. I would love to hear about him." (yes she says this sweetly and inches closer to Le Magnadillo)

Le Magnadillo: "Ahhh!! He is the famous.....the amazing.... the magnifique.... HOLIDAY ARMADILLO!!!"

*collective gasps fill my kitchen as my husband continues to eavesdrop*

Bride: "Oh my! I love him!"

Party Parrot: "Holiday Armadillo? Holiday Armadillo? Holiday Armadillo? Who is that?"

Le Magnadillo: "Ce qui! WHAT! You do not know!" He looked around trying to be sure he was not overheard.

*My husband stifles a gasp as he realizes that yes, our Le Magnadillo is related to one of our own favorite holiday icons! He continued to listen to be sure that it was one and the same.*

The Bride waited for Le Magnadillo to continue and the Party Parrot leaned in to learn more.

Le Magnadillo: " see my feathery friend, he is most important for your...a Noel... um Christmas. The Holiday Armadillo is Santa's representative for All the Southern States & MEXICO!!!!"

*my husband then decided that he had heard enough and came quickly to tell me of the news*
Okay - so tonight I needed a break and seriously the above conversation came from my husband. Well it just so happens that the Holiday Armadillo arrived a few years back and ever since then we have enjoyed stories of Superman, wandering deserts and the Easter Bunny's funeral!
On the spur of the moment I decided that since this particular scenario is in reference to my favorite television show and since I have learned there are many, many, many FRIENDS lovers out here I decided to do a quick contest! Below are 10 questions all from that one episode the first person to get them all correct wins!

*UPDATE: 12-10-09 3 p.m. DEFINITELY WILL BE MULTIPLE WINNERS! The first person with all correct answers will win the book of his/her choice. Then the remaining comments will be placed in a random generator for a few more winners (1 more or 2 more or 3 more... Le Magnadillo will choose how many) Even if you don't know the answers - comment! You could still win!*

*you MUST be a Follower of my blog to win*

1. What character portrays our great Holiday Armadillo?
2. Who usually plays Santa Claus for Ben?
3. Why can't Santa & the Holiday Armadillo be in the same room for a long time?
4. Phoebe senses that 'who' will be uncomfortable with the fact that she might move out of her recently renovated apartment?
5. What is Rachel afraid of? (they freak her out)
6. What does Phoebe think she should teach Ben about this Christmas?
7. What restaurant does Chandler make reservations for?
8. What food item does he 'order' from the Maitre d' ?
9. What is the amount that the coins Chandler drops while trying to slip them to Gunther at Central Perk? (it is the coins that Joey then picks up)
10. What state does the Holiday Armadillo live in?

Get answering all you other Friends fanatics & those of you rushing to look up the answers :o)
What are you winning you ask?

Well again I aim to please so it is winner's choice!
Your options:

1. Blue is for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz
2. The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
3. Virus on Orbis 1 by P J Haarsma *this is a signed copy*

4. Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

5. Friends: Season 7 (4 disc DVD set)

Just answer the questions in the comments section!

Contest runs until Tuesday, December 15 @ 11:59 p.m. CST Open to US & Canada only!

*if NO one gets all questions correct, the commenter with the most correct questions wins 1st choice*

*Please note that any lines directly from the EPISODE: The one with the Holiday Armadillo are copyright NBC/WarnerBros Entertainment

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A French Armadillo & A Surprising "Follower" discovery...

After a long evening of Christmas shopping - no I am not finished yet! I came home to find my husband and dog on the couch watching television.

But then, beside the Christmas tree was a small package.

It appeared to be a simple mailer.
I picked it up and saw the return address: Mallis.

Yes! My heart began to pound with excitement as I tore into the yellow container.

There! Right there in my hands! It is him, it is le charme, Magnadillo stupéfiant!! (He's French)

I immediately begin to scold him for detouring on his journey. At first I am strong, speaking harshly, but then he begins to talk with the most adorable French accent. He uses words like amour, magnifique, doux, desole!

The next thing I know I am sitting on the couch he is in my lap and we are reading Wings by Aprilynne Pike (this book is what took him so long. He claims he stopped only for a minute to read a few chapters, but then he was swept away into the Faerie realm and could not put it down. - You should hear him when he says Faerie *sigh*)

My husband is not pleased with this new visitor on the first day of his Birthday Week. Seems I am catering to an armadillo while he is stuck getting his own water. (Well Le Magnadillo was tired...)

Anyway there is no one like Frankie (!

Seriously, this armadillo is perfect! Isn't he adorable! Oh and here is the book he rode in on...
Not only does he fit in with the other kitchen residents (who am I kidding, he charmed my bride away from my bride & groom magnet and has the parrot on the Margaritaville scene mixing drinks...My husband even overheard the bride say something to the parrot about "he has the most magnetic personality!" *sigh - from the sweetness & the lameness of the joke* So a huge virtual hug to Frankie!!!

On a completely different topic... umm I happen to have another blog (Snippets of a Subconscious Mind ) I created it a long time ago before blogging was really a past time of mine. It was supposed to be a 'locked' blog. ONLY viewable to the creator. Um not so much. How surprised was I to see a Follower listed on that site. Yep. This past Monday 'Okie' discovered the old entries. Thankfully he/she enjoyed reading them. Normally I would have freaked out. Again, sharing my work is not common AT ALL for me. Those pages are exceptionally raw due to they were typed literally after a continuous dream plagued me and I needed to just get the thoughts out!

But as I sat and thought about a comment response to 'Okie' I realized I might want to use the site again. Those snippets were fun. I recently enjoyed writing a quick short story (it was not perfect, but it was quick, raw, & a great mind exercise while working on my novel's manuscript)

So I plan to put some things over on Snippets soon. It can be where I type when I need a break from writing my WIP but still feel the need to creatively write something other than just a blog entry.

I will be sure to link an entry in this site everytime I update in case you want to read it. So thank you Okie, for reminding me of something I had set aside.

Also, thank you Followers - you remind me to just step out here and share my thoughts, my dreams, my stories. You make it worth sharing. :o)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2009 Birthday Week - The Husband

For my readers who don't know, my husband's birthday is in December. Now this year he plans to curl up into a fetal position, suck his thumb, and randomly scream words like "Why God?!! Why?!! We had a deal!! Let the others grow old! Not me!!"

Yes he has decided that on the 8th he will merely turn 29 and 365 days old. Yep and when he reaches 40 he will actually be turning 30. Yes Yes lunacy is one of the reasons I married him, keeps my days interesting.

Anyway... If you were not a follower last year or the year before you may not be familiar with a tradition of ours: Birthday Week. We feel that since our mothers carried us for 9 months enjoying the fun wonders of pregnancy (you can tell I don't have kids) we should get more than one day to celebrate. So we created Birthday Week. Yep 7 days of fun. Now in a relationship this can be tricky. You see the rules are as follows:

1. Birthday-ee can decide what day the week begins so long as somewhere in the seven days his/her actual birthday occurs.
2. During the 7 days, the Birthday-ee does not have to partake in any household chores. NONE.
3. During the 7 days, the Birthday-ee may choose any meal they would like to have. ANY Meal. The Non-Birthday-ee must then make, pick up or go with the Birthday-ee in order to insure they get what they want.
4. During the 7 days, gifts will be given each day. These gifts can range from the unexpected simplicity of doing something for the Birthday-ee that normally would not be done or it can be extravagant.
5. During the 7 days, the Birthday-ee has full control of the television channel selection.
6. During the 7 days, the Birthday-ee can do whatever they want. i.e. sit around, nap, eat, shop, whatever. (the only stipulation here of course is any activity that could damage the marriage - course if you damage the marriage you lose birthday week anyway, sooooo.....yeah)
7. During the 7 days, the Non-Birthday-ee cannot complain about having to do any of the chores, activities without help.

So that is what we do. You must remember that when it is your birthday all of this applies to you, so the last rule is very important. Because if you do complain or make the birthday week difficult the previous Birthday-ee has the right to reciprocate. *yikes*

December is a crazy month for Birthday week, but it also makes it fun. I get to make cookies for Christmas tins & for Marcus. I cook because I love too and he chooses his favorite things which always make me smile. They are typically recipes that my mother taught me and the fact that they are some of his favorites is a compliment to heritage not just product quality.

With the big 30 this year, I am trying to pull out all the stops for each day. We have had an interesting year so I will have to get creative on a few things, but overall starting on Friday 12-4-09 we begin this year's Birthday Week.

So all of this was explained, not just because I like to share with all of you, but because I need a little help. #4 talks of the daily gifts. I need some new creative gift ideas. Like, in the past I have done the love coupons (ladies give these an expiration date or fine print - trust me on this), bought some DVDs and I have done things like wash/clean his car, etc. I need some new ideas or inspiration; plus it is always fun to hear about the kind things we do for those we love! Okay, so let me know of some things your loved ones have done for you or maybe something you plan to do this holiday season.