Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Blue Nile Branch Necklace Giveaway Winner

And the winner is...

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Congrats, Susan! I'll be emailing you shortly to collect your information.

Monday, December 9, 2013

My Husband Hates This Sweater

And my mom's not crazy about it either.

But hey, it perfectly matched the Inspiration Monday picture for today, so I had to wear it.

Sweater: Yoki via Zulily; Scarf: H&M; Jeans: Kut from the Kloth; Boots: Madden Girl

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Blue Nile Branch Necklace Giveaway

My first experience with Blue Nile was back in college when I used their Build Your Own Ring® feature to create my dream engagement ring and freak out my boyfriend at the time. So I had a nostalgic chuckle when they contacted me about participating in their holiday-inspired "Get One, Give One" jewelry campaign. I chose this adorable and somewhat whimsical branch necklace to keep and give away.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Rules:
1. Open to residents of the United States and Canada only.
2. After the giveaway ends on 12/10, I will announce the winner on the blog and email the winner on 12/11. If the he or she does not respond to my email with his or her address in 48 hours, I will select a new winner.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Literary Stylings - Flowerantha

This is the last time I'll mention my NaNoWriMo novel for awhile, I promise. I admit, it's a little (a lot) presumptuous and self-serving to use my own unpublished book for Literary Stylings, but the alternative was Nick Carter's self-help book, and I didn't want to make light of his situation. Plus, I'm still jazzed I finished a first draft of the thing, so I wanted to share a bit of it.

In one scene, the male main character's mother lent dresses to the two girls traveling with him. One of the dresses was pink with puffy short sleeves, and the girls wore tall leather boots.

Dress; H&M; Blazer: Narciso Rodriguez for Kohl's; Boots: Madden Girl; Necklace: c/o Blue Nile (giveaway coming tomorrow!)

When Bridget saw me in my pink dress, she insisted on matching.

Novel Excerpt:

Bushraal’s mother looked slightly agitated. “You may borrow some of my things. I am not sure if we will be able to find anything to fit,” she said, eyeing Beverly in particular, “but at least you will be clothed. Follow me.”

Beverly and May Lynn followed Bushraal’s mother up the stairs and into her bedroom. A giant canopy bed stood against the back wall with a dressing table on another wall and three wardrobes lined up side by side on the third wall to the left of the door and across the room from the bed. Bushraal’s mother dug around in a trunk at the foot of the bed first. While she dug, Bushraal wandered back in and sat backwards in the dressing table chair. She looked over at him. “Have you no decency, son? There will be women changing in here.”

His cheeks turned a little pink, but he said, “I am simply making sure you do not pick anything too fussy. They need to blend in and look like Floweranthans.”

“Bushraal, I am a Floweranthan,” his mother reminded him. “They will look just like me.” She returned to her digging and pulled out a long, green dress with white lacy ruffles at the sleeves and neck and an empire waistline. She looked at the dress and then at Beverly. “You may be able to squeeze into this. I wore it when I was pregnant with Bushraal. I was absolutely huge back then.”

“Mother!” Bushraal hissed under his breath.

Beverly’s face was beet red. She took the dress and mumbled, “Yeah, I’m really tall. Thanks,” and she disappeared behind the dressing curtain beside the wardrobes in the corner of the room.

Bushraal’s mother left the trunk open but rose from her knees to open the middle wardrobe. “Here are some more things I kept from when I was younger in case I ever had a daughter. I want to keep the nicer things for Rosie, but I am sure we can find something in here.”

“Anything is fine,” May Lynn said. Bushraal shot her a sympathetic glance, and she returned it with a sweet smile. 

Bushraal’s mother pulled out a dress similar to the one she had pulled for Beverly except that this one was much smaller and had short sleeves and a lower waistline. “Here, try this one,” she said, handing it to May Lynn. Taking the dress, May Lynn joined Beverly behind the curtain. Bushraal averted his eyes, looking anywhere in the room besides that direction.

When the girls walked out from behind the curtain, Bushraal stood. The pink dress suited May Lynn perfectly. Beverly’s green dress was a little more of a problem with the hem falling to the top of her boot and sleeves hitting just below her elbow instead of her wrists as intended.

“Well, these look better than expected,” Bushraal’s mother said. She stood up from the bed and fluffed out May Lynn’s sleeves more and smoothed the waist of Beverly’s dress, tugging it down a little. “Really, other than the length, you look lovely in this,” she said, looking up at Beverly and trying to atone for her harsh earlier comment.


By the way, I recently saw a tip on Twitter that said that "look" is one of the words overused by novice writers. I used it nine times just in that tiny excerpt. If you didn't notice, bless you. If you did notice, and if it made your eyes bleed like it did mine, I apologize, and I'll fix it in the rewrite. Heh...

I'm also linking up with the Fashionista Style Hop.

Monday, December 2, 2013

NaNoWriMo Wrap-up

Another year of NaNoWriMo has come to a close, and I can officially call myself a winner again!

Thank goodness for write-ins because I'm not sure I would've caught up otherwise. I was too shy and too busy last year to attend any write-ins (which are basically a bunch of NaNoWriMo participants in a room together with laptops), but I'm so glad I made it to three this year, including the one I hosted! I met three creative, like-minded ladies (who are all writing very different novels, which is a good thing) that live nearby, and I hope I get to read all their finished products in print some day very soon. At the write-in on Friday, they even gave me a great plot idea when I got stuck. Thanks, ladies!

Sunday, I attended the Happily Ever After party, and it was a lot of fun! Going into it, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I'm really glad I went. My s'mores bars I brought were a hit. (They always are, even when I forget to add the vanilla, d'oh!) I'm already look forward to next year.

I also got to FINALLY finish a work in progress that I began when I was 11 years old. Except this time, I wrote it from a different character's point of view, and I think it took the story in a completely new direction that I was pretty happy with. My brother (who remembers me writing the story the first time around) said I should put it out on its 20-year anniversary next year. So maybe I'll give the self-publishing thing a try.

But for now, my next plan is to go back to last year's novel and continue revising because I think that one has better potential to actually become something. Then I have to decide if I'm going to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo in the spring and thing at a time.

Here's what I wore to the party and for Inspiration Monday. I did consider wearing leather leggings like the inspiration picture shows, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Not in broad daylight. I went with studded instead.

Sweater Dress: H&M; Leggings: Target; Boots: Payless