Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It's in the stars...

I usually don't read the horoscopes. I'm a good, old-fashioned Catholic girl. We're taught not to rely on the metaphysical.

However, over the past week, a few of us in the office have been reading the horoscope of a co-worker who has had to make some extremely heavy life choices. Frankly, I'm scared at how on point the stars have been in regards to his life. Everyday it seems that the words were written specifically with his situation in mind.

I know there are people who'll say those things are written in such a broad, general language that they can be interpreted in numerous ways, and can be applied to an assortment of situations. But this is different. And scary.

Now, does this mean I'll be tearing open the paper every morning to read my own horoscope? Heck no. Good or bad, I'd rather be surprised by what happens in my life. And, does this mean that everything the stars have predicted for my co-worker will come to pass? Who knows, but it's been really fun to watch.

And just for the record, I think said co-worker is going to do great in whatever he chooses.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Who am I to judge?

For the past week and a half, I've had the extreme pleasure of reading some of THE best books for a contest I'm judging. However, I've been asking myself lately, who exactly am I to judge another writer's work? All of the authors whose work I've been judging have been in this writing biz longer than I have, and have published more books than I've published. Who am I to say if their books meet some sort of standard?

Then it hit me. I'm a reader. And I've been a reader for a long time.

These writers get judged by people on a regular basis . Their books are not bought solely by other published authors, they are bought by people (hopefully, many people) who love to read romance. Since I fall into that category, I guess I'm just as capable of being a contest judge as anyone else out there.

Oh, and did I mention that I get to keep the books! Happy-dancing it.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Writing, Music, and Crawfish Bread

Today was a beautiful day in New Orleans. Just about 70-degrees, a light breeze, and plenty of sunshine. That's why halfway through my normal two-and-a-half hours of writing at Starbucks this morning, I decided to pack up and head for Woldenberg Park--this cool little area at the edge of the French Quarters that butts up against the river and is only steps from my office building. Sometimes, usually on great weather days like today, I'll sit in the park with my tablet and write longhand.

I was all set to park myself on my favorite bench, look out at the barges making their way up the Mississippi River, and write my little heart out. So, imagine my surprise when I happened upon the sights, sounds, and heavenly smells of the French Quarter Festival in full swing. I had completely forgotten it was this weekend.

So, what's a girl to do when faced with this situation?

I'm not sure what the average girl would do, but I bought myself a piece of crawfish bread (can anybody say yum!), copped a squat on the grass, and listened to the bands play. I challenge anyone to find a better way to spend your lunch hour.

Surprisingly, I was able to get a little writing done before heading into the office, but it wasn't easy to leave all that great music and tasty food.

Gosh, I love New Orleans!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Farrah Rochon aka Speed Racer

Every year, on the Saturday before Easter, the Crescent City Classic is held here in New Orleans. It's a 10K race that draws runners from around the world. This year, I decided to take part for the first time. Ever since participating in a half-marathon at Disneyland last year, I fancy myself a runner.


You see, on Saturday, I learned that you can't just say "oh, I did 13.1 miles back in September, I should be able to do 6.2 with no problem." It just doesn't work that way. You have to actually continue training if you're going to continue participating in races. Who'd da thunk?

Despite being ill-prepared, I had a great time. The race was fabulous. Even though an unseasonable cold snap had temperatures in the 50s, by the time I reached mile two, things had warmed up considerably. Of course, that could also have been the result of the group of Marine Reserves who jogged passed me around that time. I'm suspecting it was the latter.

The sights and sounds along the route were purely New Orleans. I passed several brass bands, a group of hippies with mega-size hula hoops (don't ask), and a set of generous guys handing out beer and scrambled eggs to run participants. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially when you're running 6.2 miles. Believe me, people, you'll only see this in New Orleans.

I'm already looking forward to next year's Crescent City Classic. I plan to start training early and be in much better shape when next year's race rolls around. I decided to rejoin Weight Watchers after two women, who had to have been in their 70s, whizzed passed me at around mile marker three. They may have gotten the best of me this year, but I'll be ready for them in 2008!
Here's a pic of me after the race. As you can see, I'm still standing...with the help of a fence.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Does this make me a grown up?

Today, I was asked to go back to my old high school as a presenter for Career Day. Now, when I was in high school, those people who came in to speak to us about that vast world out there always seemed to be such...adults.

I didn't realize I was that person. An adult.

However, as I looked at the eight through eleventh grade students that made their way in and out of the classroom where I was stationed, I could tell that's how they saw me, as this adult who knew...stuff. About the world.

Totally weird.

As far as the actually Career Expo goes, I think I did pretty well. I spoke about my days of working a "real" job in the oil and gas industry, then how I eventually left my well paying job to follow my dreams of becoming a writer. I received some are you stupid, or what? looks from a few students, but for the most part, the kids thought it was cool. At least I think they did. Maybe they were just trying to appease me with their nods and smiles.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Cruise Envy

I am suffering from a severe case of what I've dubbed "Cruise Envy".

A couple of years ago, I set sail on my first cruise aboard the magnificent Disney Wonder Cruise Ship. Ever since, I've been aching to take another cruise. I thought it would be great to do a writing cruise, whereas I sequester myself in the cabin for several hours everyday, and enjoy the great fun the cruise has to offer at night. Wouldn't that be perfect? It would. Admit it.

Lucky for me, New Orleans is a port city for Carnival Cruise Lines. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to take advantage of the great last minute cruise deals they advertise constantly on their website. It's depressing. Those little emails that fill up my inbox are like tortuous pricks on my skin. They taunt me with their promises of relaxing cabins, great food and nightly fun.

Because God has a wicked sense of humor at times, I happened to see one of the cruise ships leaving port the other day as I was heading for my car in the parking garage. There the ship was, making its way down the great Mississippi with music blasting and the passengers dancing on the main deck. I assumed it was the kick-off party. I just sat on the hood of my car and smiled wistfully, envying every single person on that ship. Every. Single. Person.

There's still hope that the cruise deals will line up with a week that I'm able to take time off, and have a little extra cash to actually afford a cruise. Maybe, by the end of the year, I'll get the chance to have others envy me while they watch from the parking garage.