I Spy With My Little Eye

My co-worker’s father died last week.  He was a total whipper snapper.  I never saw the man until I went to his service this morning.  However, I did talk on the phone with him a lot.  His features were as I had imagined.  There were lots of pictures of him and his family on boards and in frames placed on various mantles about the room at the parlor.

The funeral service was more a celebration of life.  George, his son (my co-worker) had “Harry-isms” printed on the back of his mass card.  I thought that was awesome.

Some of the quotes were:

  • Animals are people, too.
  • Ah, the hell with it.
  • Sure the coffee’s fresh, I made it yesterday.

There were a few others, but these were my favorites.  Every time he called the office he always had a joke, or would pretend he could see me through the phone.

So when I went back outside the funeral parlor, imagine my surprise when I saw this place across the street.

Not Very Spy Like

I laughed out loud!  Thankfully, none of Harry’s other family was outside when I laughed, but I did tell George and he thought it was hysterical.  I mean, I really thought only in the movies would I ever see a Spy Shop (aptly named SPY SHOP) across the street from a funeral home.  George no doubt got his sense of humor from his father.  The both of them had seen the humor and irony in almost everything.

As for the spy shop… I told my boyfriend and my daughter we are totally going there this weekend.  A real live spy shop!  I wonder what kind of spies they sell? 😉

My ROW80 this week!  I have one goal:

Write my ass off for Nano…

I am doing well so far!  Happy writing.  And try to find a spy shop near you!  Could make for an interesting story. 😀

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NaNoWriMo and the Proverbial Butt Kicking

So I am doing NaNoWriMo this year.  Yay me.  So far I am 36,209 words in.  I am super excited to be a participant this year and love the connections I have made with other Nanos.

I have been to two write-ins which are loads of fun!

Somehow through the whole NaNo thingy… I have to keep doing other non-writing things such as:  spending time with family, working at my full-time job, watching The Walking Dead (and football) … oh, and showering.  I always forget how important showering is!

My boyfriend gave me a bit of crap today.  I wrote over 2,000 words today and was freaking out because I wanted to reach the 40,000 mark today.  But he was right.  My mind was mush, my back was killing me and I am almost to the point where my plot has gone on strike.  Can’t have that.

I even am baking chocolate chip cookies!

We here in the household seem to be quite addicted to chocolate chip cookies these past few weeks.  Now, the three of us are also going to the gym (my daughter and I went today).  Maybe we think that if we do an extra fifteen minutes on the tread, the cookies won’t matter.  In the back of our little minds, however, we know…. those cookies matter.

Me? I am not freaking out about it.  I quit smoking the day NaNoWriMo started.  I hadn’t even realized that this was to be.  I mean, my boyfriend was nagging and nagging and nagging still. “When are you quitting?  Are you quitting soon? Darlene, is today the day you quit?”

“FINE!  I’ll quit the day after Halloween! All Saints Day!  How perfect a day to quit smoking!  All Saints Day!” Yeah, I freaked out a little.  Then it dawned on me.

Crap!!  NaNoWriMo starts on November 1st!  It’s all good though.  Apparently my seething tummy knots and unabated anger are doing my story rather well. 😉  Now, my family and the lady that followed me in the parking lot today to tell me I could “try a little kindness”…. they are singing a different tune.

Happy ROW80ing and NaNoWriMoing my fellow friendly writer peepazoids!

NaNoWriMo and Quitting Smoking – WHAT?!

So I decided to do NaNoWriMo this year.  Nope, no one put a gun to my head and I am not certifiably insane (yet).   I have seen this NaNo thingy around for years… years! I was always too chicken poop to give it a shot.  Or maybe I didn’t have a story idea.

Anyway…. I have a story idea and it is a darn tooting good one.

To commemorate my Nano Insanity.. I quit smoking!  Ok, I did not quit smoking to cement NaNoWriMo.  I actually picked my quit date as November 1st two weeks before Halloween after much cajoling from my boyfriend.  On Halloween he said to me, “Tomorrow is the big da-ay!”

I looked at him completely confused.  “All Saints day?” I said, pitching my voice up in question mode.

“No, babe.  Remember?  You are quitting smoking tomorrow!”

“I am? Oh!  Right!  Yeah, I am,” I tried to sound as enthusiastic as possible.  I was right there along with a squirrel right before he gets smashed by a car.  At least the squirrels misery ends!

So Sunday, Halloween, October 31, 2011 was my last day of smoking.

Sunday, Halloween, blah blah blah was also my prep day to start NaNoWriMo on Monday, November 1st.  Monday November 1st would be my first official smoke-free day.  It would also be a day I had to write at least 1,667 words.

I have to say, it hasn’t been so bad.  I mean, yes, I have purchased a small fortune in gum.  I have consumed about 60 chocolate chip cookies in the last four and a half days along with countless Twix Bars and Snickers.  I am drinking the equivalent of a small creek of fresh spring water each day.

Some things I have noticed that are super smashingly smurfariffic!

a) I don’t stink!

b) I think a little clearer because I am not obsessed with nicotine!

c) I am a little grouchier (this is making my characters not so sissy-like in my WIP).

d) I am drinking way less coffee.

e) I already have extra cash! Weee! 😀

So if I seem a bit snippy at the write-in this weekend at Panera in Bensalem or we’re on Facebook and suddenly you get the feeling a seven horned monster with eighteen green, scaly fingers is typing, don’t be alarmed.  It’s just me.

Happy NaNoing (and ROW80ing!) 😉

NaNoWriMo takes the lead! ROW80 – I’ll be back!

Ok, so anyone and everyone who writes, blogs, reads or owns a computer knows that November is not only filled with days such as All Saints Day (the 1st), Day of the Dead (today), Veteran’s Day (the 11th) and good ol’ Thanksgiving (c’mon Turkey Day!)… it is also a big event in the world of writing.  National Novel Writers Month.  Hence: NaNoWriMo.

This is my first year.  *Cheers and claps abound* *whistles and hoots* 😀 Why thank you so much!

I am starting off with a bang, but like any marathon (which is what I have equated this with), slow and steady does it.  So, I did some extra yesterday and today so that I can have a little cushion in the days ahead.  I will most likely do a little extra each day until my brain becomes mush.  That way should the day come (say a day when I have to work from 8:30 am – 12 midnight) I will have a little leeway.

So, Happy ROW80ing friends and Happy NaNoWriMoing. 😉

If anyone else is NaNoing this year… look me up on the NaNo Page here.

Looking forward to this month with very cool writer and blogging folks!

Darlene

ROW80 and Spooky Towns

Ok, so I am pretty sure this whole ROW 80 thing should be fun and interesting… but lately it is starting to feel like the kind of work I would do back in the 1920’s with oh say… a giant lump of coal and a pair of tweezers.  Yeah, I don’t know.

I have all these dang gone goals and I feel like by the time Sunday goes to sleep, Wednesday is waking up and screaming in my face!  Not to mention I signed up for the NaNoWriMo this year.  NaNoWriMo is a huge goal on my list.

As usual, I continue to read and comment blogs.  Weee! 😀

Also (as not so usual) I am keeping up with posting my blog entries 1 – 2 times per week.

I am thinking of writing a short story of sorts that will be fictional based on facts.  Nope, that’s all you get!  Don’t want to spoil the surprise. 😀

One goal I am putting on my list for this weekend:  ROAD TRIP TO CENTRALIA, PA!  My boyfriend went last weekend with friends and did some dirt bike riding.  I am going to drive up and hoof it to the creepy broken road with the steam billowing out and take lots of abstract pictures.

Kind of like this one:

Ok..So it isn’t exactly abstract.  But I know I can do better than this one here.  I love creepy places… more so I love creepy places with creepy back stories.  I was up here (Centralia) a couple of years ago.  The fact that at one time this place used to bustle with life is amazing.  Now I think less than twenty homes remain.  Sad, really.  The government decided it would be cheaper to make almost everyone leave rather than try to get rid of the fire that burns underneath.

Gotta love the government!

Goals for this week:

*Read/comment blogs

* Go to Centralia

* Write 1,000 words on WIP.

Happy ROWING! 😀

By the way… if you did not know… a creepy movie actually based on a video game confused with being based on Centralia is  Silent Hill. There is definitely some serious fiction thrown in there.  But that’s ok!  ;D  Also, if you are interested in reading more gobs of goodies on Centralia check out The Smoldering Ruins of Centralia.

It’s Better, It’s Worse… It’s Both

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I joined Oprah’s Lifeclass a few weeks ago and I have to say… I love it.  I am about ten classes in and am learning a lot about myself by answering thought-provoking questions that only I can see the answers to.  There is also a Daily Life Question that we have the option of answering.  It is linked to the users Twitter account.

As I read some of the answers (a lot of them anonymous) I shuddered at some of the things a lot of people have been through usually in great part by their parents.  I saw remnants of abuse, both physical and sexual, mental anguish, alcoholism, abandonment… 😦

It just got me thinking.. like.. what the hell do I have to bitch about?  Ok, yeah.. my childhood wasn’t the greatest.. I have always been socially awkward and put a lot of my worth on my physical beauty (but am too lazy to do any upkeep on it).  I tend to talk way too much when I get nervous and yes.. I am an alcoholic.

BUT – I am sober!  I AM beautiful!  I grew up poor.. but I have character.  I have small boobs.. but I have a great butt!  I can be very indecisive, but when I know what I want.. no one is stopping me.

It is so important for me (and you!) to look at the silver lining in the dark, looming clouds that hover over our heads from time to time.

We have all been through our own share of hell.  I remember years of self-pity, beating my head against the wall as I cursed and screamed “WHY ME?!”

Well, why not me?  Bad things have happened to me because I have the ability to help others.  If all I can do is take my experiences and share them with another, then whatever I have been through is not in vain.

Whatever doesn’t kill you – makes you stronger. 

What experiences have made you stronger?

South Street Philadelphia – Where the Action Is!

I was just reading a blog post by Kirkus Mac Gowan about blog topics.  What do we blog about?  What should we blog about?  Anyone that reads my blog knows that you could find anything and everything here.  Hence, the Versatile Blogger Award!  But I do not blog for awards.  I blog for fun.  I try to keep it fresh and interesting.  I do, sadly, blog about my life happenings.  And yeah, that is pretty boring!

So today I am going to blog about one of the locations in my WIP (work in progress).

Where all the cool people go.

South Street!

I have loved South Street since I first discovered it in high school.  There are hundreds of shops, eateries, clubs, bars, book stores, coffee houses, tattoo parlors… Yeah, lots of cool stuff.

The best thing about South Street is the food.  As a native Philadelphian, I am all about great pizza and cheesesteaks.  One of the best places to go is Lorenzo & Sons Pizza. They have giant slices that are absolutely foldable.  You haven’t had a piece of pizza until you can fold it in half and eat it like a sandwich.  Even better than the food is that you can get it up until 3 or 4 in the morning!

If you are looking for cool duds to sport, check out Crash Bang Boom.  Formerly Zipperhead (which was an icon on the 80’s and 90’s) this clothing store has everything your little rocker heart desires!  Leather, spikes, denim and even cute, frilly dresses… if you’re looking for punk, goth or some other outlandish look, this is the store to get your butt to.  There are also a lot of vintage and consignment shops on South Street if you want to go retro.

Oh!  You want a tattoo to commemorate your awesome visit to the City of Brotherly Love?  Well, check out the best of the best and get your butt to Philadelphia Eddie’s.  This joint has been around since I can remember.  One of the more famous artists is Bird.  I got my first tattoo here.  You should too!

There are fifty, yes, FIFTY bars and restaurants on South Street.  Some are fine dining, others are more beer/live band and chicken fingers type hang outs.  Whichever your preference, you’ll love it.  If you are into live music, I suggest hitting one of the bars that have it.  JC Dobbs (Formerly the Cadillac Grille – which was formerly JC Dobbs!) is the BEST place to go check out up and coming bands as well as more famous ones.

If you know of a place in your hometown where you can eat, shop, drink, catch a show and get a tattoo all on one street, please share!  🙂  Have you been to South Street in Philadelphia?  How was your experience?

Photo Credit: By B. Krist