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Friday, March 25, 2011

A Blog Holiday

Hi Everyone! You've probably noticed that my usual monday-wednesday-friday posts have been a little sporadic of late. I'm sorry about that! Nope, nothing is wrong here, I'm just a little snowed under between my non-fiction deadlines and fiction work. So, I've decided to take a little bit of a blog holiday to get things caught up and back on track.

The blog will be back with fun topics, Q&As and author interviews on April 10, 2011...see ya then!

Posted By: Kristina Knight @ 2:16:53 PM

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What Are You Reading Wednesday

Alrighty...time for another installment of... What are you reading Wednesday? This is a regular blog feature in which we share some lines from the books we're reading, talk about why we like the book/characters/author and get some ideas for books to add to our To Be Read piles. Because don't we all need more books to read? Yeah, I thought so.

So, turn to page 150 in the book you're reading, go to line 15 and write the line in the comments section. I'll start us off:

"He was shrugging into the suit jacket he was holding when he got a look at his car. Not so much at his car as as what somebody had done to it." ~~ Indecent by
Tori Carrington

Oh, Tori Carrington, how do I love thee? I love how you wind characters up into a fever and then don't. let. them. relax. I love how two simple sentences make me want to read even faster to get to this part of the book! Don't you want to know what's going on with the car? Did someone go all Carrie Underwood on it? Or is it a teensy fender issue? Or is it spraypainted? The options go on and on...and now I need to go read.

Your turn! Let's share some lines...it's What Are You Reading Wednesday!!

Posted By: Kristina Knight @ 12:09:49 PM

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Monday, February 14, 2011

So Romantic

Okay, hands up: who has had a truly romantic moment? I mean movie-worthy, name in lights romance? Personally, I've had more comedic-romantic moments than pure romance.

Example One: I couldn't get the ring box open when my husband proposed. In my defense it was a rose-shaped box and it was kinda dark. Still, my husband likes to torture me with that story at least once each year.

There are many more where that one came from, but we'll save those moments for another day.

In honor of Valentine's Day, I want to be a romantic and, for me, nothing is better than the following letter. Written during the Civil War by a soldier to his love back home. Ahhhh...the romance. Here's a clip:

But, O Sara! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladdest days and in the darkest nights...always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.

Wow! Powerful. The letter, which can be found here in full, actually makes me sad - and not just because he died in the war soon after writing the letter. But because we don't write like that to our loved ones any longer. Now it's quick texts or a tweet or two. Maybe a mix tape. No long letter filled with feeling.

So, I think today I'll write my love a letter...how about you? And while we're on the subject: what is the most romantic thing you've done or have had done? Come on, let's share the love today - it's Valentine's Day!!

Posted By: Kristina Knight @ 1:12:52 AM

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Funny Line But What Does It Mean

It's probably just me, but I realized a couple days ago that I don't get commercials. I'm not just talking about the recently finished Super Bowl XLV, either, although...really, where was the creativity? Here are just three commercials that don't make sense to me.

First, the shake weight. Yes, they are interesting, but have you seen the shake weight commercial - the one with all the guys? Don't they look a little...not PG rated? I mean, it's exercise equipment. But they don't appear to be exercising in a family friendly way....

Second, Payday. It's a candy bar. Been around for ages. But a couple weeks ago I saw a new commercial - hawking it as 'the world's first energy bar'. Really? Jittery sugar bomb, maybe, but energy bar? Uhhhhhh.... 

Finally, and I can't remember which male enhancement/whatever product it was. I'll call it Viagra-esque. No, not the double bathtubs one. This one was different, a bunch of guys talking or something about their women. With the tagline: 'don't give her a diamond this Valentine's day...give her the family jewels'.

Before you ask, so I'm not watching adult channels, just your average primetime stations. The commercials aren't bad, I just don't get 'em. And if I don't get the message, obviously I'm not attaching to the brand. But I remembered the products? Yeah, technically. Although I actually remembered the Payday commercial and then had to wrack my brain to think up two more examples.

This, of course, made me wonder if readers will get my message - once I'm published. I think so. I hope so. I can't know, though, until I'm at that point because I don't have focus groups or test pods or...wait! Yes, I do. We all do - they're called critique partners! Once we're at submission stage, they are the responses from agents or editors. Our job is to listen, really listen, and then make the changes that make sense.

Don't you think?

Posted By: Kristina Knight @ 12:46:58 PM

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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

What are You Reading Wednesday

So, I've decided to do a new regular Wednesday post - about books. Why? Because I find books fascinating. Okay, and I'm nosey. So, here's how it goes. I'll grab a random book off my desk (I usually have 5 or 6), turn to page 150 and scan down to line 15. Then I'll post the line from the book here. You do the same (in comments) and we'll have a line-a-palooza going on. Fun, huh?

Today's book:
Paper Marriage Proposal by Red Garnier. The line? "The tension thickened between them, black like tar in an equally black silence." Is that some great emotional description or what?

By the way, I'm bloggin about genre and reading and books at WordWranglers today! Stop in, I'd like to know what keeps you reading (or not):

Posted By: Kristina Knight @ 9:03:01 PM

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Monday, January 24, 2011

I Need Better Notes

Do you ever have a note-to-self that you can't figure out? I have about a million. Some are story related, some are life related and some...I have no idea. But it is a new year, so why not do something about these random things written on my calendar, post-it-ed to my computer, desk and fridge?

I've decided I need a better note taking, note jotting system in my life. Who's with me? Yeah, I just saw a bunch of hands raise. What brings me to this lightbulb moment at the young age of 36? My calendar.

I have notes all over my calendar. Arrows from days pointing to other days with nothing else written down. What was that for? Things like 'good stuff' in the middle of a random Tuesday. Was I excited about the microwaveable Weight Watchers pizza I had for lunch that day? There is the note on 1st January that is just gibberish - "MishWilSty". Another reads 'Shop Boa Shop'. Was I intending to buy a boa? Constrictor or feathered? I have no clue now and I don't know why the thought struck me on a Monday. On December 31 I wrote '4got Laundry'. I'm  not sure why I needed to write down that I forgot the laundry. And where did I forget it? Was it in the washer too long? A reminder to check the dryer? I'm pretty sure I didn't leave the house with it so I'm certain there aren't bras or socks hanging randomly around our town. Or there is this one: Clutter FX Paps. I have no idea what that means. Normally I would look at that note and pass by it in about ten seconds. As I was looking at my calendar today I noticed that it was originally written in blue ink. Then traced over in green, red and orange. So it must have meant something.

The list goes on. Three full weeks into the New Year and my calendar is littered with little notes. I just threw a hanful out and I'll probably regret that when I remember what I forgot. 

So I've decided I need a better note taking process. Ideas? Thoughts? Do you ever look at the notes on your calendar, desk, kitchen writing board and wonder what you were thinking?

Posted By: Kristina Knight @ 12:53:17 PM

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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

What Are You Reading

Snagged this from WordWing. It's a list of books (compiled by asking librarians across the country) that you should read before you die. The books I've read are in RED and I still have a few to go before I read all 30, so I'm adding a few to my TBR for 2011. Speaking of 2011 and things I'm going to do, I'm blogging over a WordWranglers about the right attitude and a few goals for the year. Stop by, okay? 

I thought I would have read more since I read a lot, but I guess I've regimented my reading into contemporary romance (the stuff I write) for the last few years. Guess it's time to dust off the old library card...see if I can find a few more books for my Keeper Shelf.

BTW, have you ever seen a more diverse top 3? How about y'all? How many of these must-reads have you read?

The Top 30
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - want to read it again--without the threat of my H.S. Lit teacher hanging over my head.
The Bible (by God!) - yep. cover to cover. Did a Bible In A Year course so it was little bits at a time.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien - does watching the movie trilogy count? okay, didn't think so. In my defense, I did start the series once...
1984 by George Orwell
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
All Quiet on the Western Front by E M Remarque
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Middlemarch by George Eliot
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzenhitsyn

Posted By: Kristina Knight @ 8:03:26 PM

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy Adoption Day

Dear Baby, I have no idea who you are. I don't know what you look like. I don't know who you look like, although I'm certain you don't look like me or your future daddy. Here is what I do know: I love you. Women always say they loved their babies before they saw them, some before they felt them kicking in the womb. I've never felt a baby kicking inside me, never felt that horribly consistent pushing on my kidneys, never felt like my body wasn't under my own control. And yet I love you. I don't know who you are yet or where you're from or who you look like or who you will be once you're all grown up. But I love you.

I wrote those words in my journal, actually my future baby's journal, almost three years ago. It was written the day that my husband and I began our adoption journey, before we'd been matched to a child, before we'd even finished our home study. It was written from the heart, unknowing of the mountain standing in our path. A mountain that we couldn't see in the fog of our excitement at finally taking charge of our family plans. I wrote those words because I wanted our child to know how special she or he was to us. I wanted our child to know that, even before we met, we loved.

And then, one year ago today, my husband, daughter and I stood before an Ohio judge, held hands and pledged to be a family. She was sitting between us when the judge asked us to raise our hands and make our pledge. She reached up one little hand to hold my husband's hand and one to hold mine. It was the sweetest moment in what is the most anti-climactic event of my life. Don't get me wrong, it was beautiful, but in the 18 months leading up to it, I expected more than a judge asking a single question - do you swear to be a parent to your child no matter what? - and then pounding her gavel.

In the past year, we've had a lot of firsts. bebe's putting together full sentences, she's getting ready to start pre-school, we had our first, official family vacation, our first 'official' Mother's and Father's Days...the list goes on. But today is, I think, the best first - our first anniversary as a full-fledged family.

Happy Adoption Day, bebe and husband...I love you both!

Posted By: Kristina Knight @ 2:56:31 PM

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Friday, November 19, 2010

The Things We Do For Love

I'm a lucky woman. My husband follows me around malls, the grocery store, the book store...he even waits in the Man Chair while I'm trying on clothes every season. So I think it's only fair that every now and again I throw him a bone.

No, this is not a post about weird sexual stuff. This is a post about the things we do for love. Okay, sometimes sexual stuff is included, but this is not one of those posts, get your minds out of the gutter, mmmkay?

When we first started dating, my then-new-boyfriend cooked for me. Steaks on the grill, mashed potatoes, green beans (although he abstained...he swore he was allergic to veggies), rice...he went all out. Didn't let me help. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven because I didn't cook. I was okay with a jar of spaghetti sauce or boring eggs and toast but, at that point, it didn't get much better than that. We had a few more dates and one Sunday he decided to cook again.

He pulled out a strange looking contraption, grabbed a few slices of bread, some cheese and ham slices and proceeded to stack them up inside and then shut the lid. I had no clue what was going on so I read the directions. I learned that this magical being was a fried sandwich maker which doubled as an oh-so-cool dessert maker. In addition to sandwiches, you could shove in a slice of bread, a can of apple pie filling and you'd have instant apple pie. I had no clue that things like this existed but as a non-chef, I decided to withhold my judgment.

The sandwiches were actually good. The instant apple pie tasted like a$$. (I actually tried the apple pie thing on my own because at this point, in addition to being allergic to veggies, I learned that my future husband was also allergic to fruits. It's a family illness, he got it from his father.) Unfortunately, the sandwich maker was not a good traveller and somewhere between our move to Kansas City and Nebraska it broke.

Oh, the sorrow in our house when he plugged in the magic maker and it didn't heat up. Me? I figure I can do the same thing in a regular fry pan, but apparently 'regular' grilled cheese doesn't compare for my husband. For the next few years he looked valiantly for a new sandwich maker, but no luck.

This week, wandering through WalMart, he grabbed my arm and nearly ripped it out of the socket. He jumped up and down and pointed and got all drooly because....Rival has started making fried sandwich makers! And our WalMart carries them! And they only cost $6! Oh, can we get one! (not a typo, he didn't ask and yes, those exclamation points are needed because that is how he was talking! And he got bebe excited! And she pointed and she jabbered and 'please mommyd' me!)

The thing I did for love? Before he could come down from his magic sandwich maker high, I put one in our cart and then added a second...just in case. Yesterday he made me a grilled cheese in his new sandwich maker. It tasted exactly like a grilled chees from the stove, but I played along with his 'mmmmms' and 'ahhhs' and 'these are so much betters'.

Life is good again in our house. At least until we destroy two more sandwich makers...

Posted By: Kristina Knight @ 3:52:35 AM

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Just A Phone Call

So, I know it's October and technically probably past sandal season.  But we're in the midst of Indian Summer in Ohio most days are at least hitting 70...so sandal season is getting extended this year. 

The problem?

I Need A Pedicure.

The other problem?

I scheduled one, showed up and the shop was closed -- no phone call to cancel the appointment.  Just a handwritten note left taped to the door, "Had to close.  Call back to reschedule."

It really irked me the shop was closed and they just left a note on the door to reschedule.  Uh, okay, but what if you close again?  Will you at least CALL ME to let me know you're not there?

My guess on that one is a big, fat no.  Nuh-uh.  Nope.  Not gonna happen.  And I don't get it. 

I realize things come up, but whatever happened to good old customer service?

sigh

So, I pulled out my handy-dandy home mani-pedicure kit, but it's just not the same as relaxing in that chair while someone rubs your feet.  Tried to get DH to do the foot-rubbing thing but he declined because football was on.  Hey, it was half-time.  At least I waited that long!  So, I've got painted toes.  They're filed and shaped.  But it's still not the same.

I want a pedicure and I can't get one.

Oh, the humanity!

PS - Over the weekend, my writing buddy D'Ann and I had a mini challenge...I ended the weekend with just over 8,000 words. Yay!!

Posted By: Kristina Knight @ 1:21:46 AM

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