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November 2006
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January 2007

Podlishing & EFG Publishing

A shout-out and hurray for my publisher, Elaine Floyd.  She recently entered the blogging world!  Yea, Elaine!  You can check out her blog here: Podlishing: Book Industry Trends & Commentary.

She also recently revamped her website, EFGPublishing.com -- looks very clean.  Love the book border at the top. 

She has revised her services listing, so be sure to check her out:

  • if you are thinking of writing a book that shares your unique approach in a way that attracts and retains clients, call or e-mail Elaine at the outset of your project. Do not wait until your manuscript is completed because she can guide you to resources that will greatly speed your writing time while exponentially increasing the quality and effectiveness of your finished work.
  • If your company wants guidance on how to use a book attract business or
    support that pays for the book tens or hundreds of times over. Ideally
    clients include contractors, manufacturers, financial planners,
    consultants, service firms—any organization who must educate clients,
    prospects, members and supporters before a sale can be made.

I can't say enough good things about Elaine, and working with Elaine.  When you work with Elaine, on any level, you're working with a true professional.       

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Blog Quiz/Meme: Which Superhero are you? Quiz

Too fun!

My Superhero results:
I am Spider-Man (tied with Superman, actually)

You are intelligent, witty, a bit geeky and have great power and responsibility.

Spider-Man: 70%
Superman: 70%
Wonder Woman: 65%
Robin: 58%
Supergirl: 50%
Green Lantern: 40%
The Flash: 40%
Iron Man: 40%
Hulk: 30%
Batman: 25%
Catwoman: 15%

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

My Villainous results:
I am Mr. Freeze (tied with Riddler, actually)

You are cold and you think everyone else should be also, literally.

Mr. Freeze: 47%
Riddler: 47%
The Joker: 41%
Lex Luthor: 39%
Dr. Doom: 39%
Poison Ivy: 35%
Apocalypse: 34%
Dark Phoenix: 34%
Magneto: 31%
Kingpin: 30%
Venom: 30%
Green Goblin: 28%
Mystique: 28%
Juggernaut: 24%
Catwoman: 20%
Two-Face: 16%

Click here to take the Supervillain Personality Quiz

(Sidenote: interesting that Catwoman was actually featured on both Hero and Villain lists...)


Book Recommendation: Breakup Babe

Breakup Babe I just finished an entertaining read: BreakupBabe by Rebecca Agiewich.

Cute story.  Very entertaining.

From the back of the book:

"Blog: an online diary.

My Blog: How I got over the worst, most humiliating breakup in web-recorded history–and became stronger, smarter, and better off without the biggest Loser on the face of the earth.

Life is sweet for Rachel. She’s living with her boyfriend of two years in Seattle and is starting a new high-paying job at the same snazzy computer company where he works. Then Rachel’s system crashes. Her supposedly adoring almost-fiancé cheats on her, lies to her, dumps her, and hooks up with someone else–specifically, her own boss’s boss’s boss. Talk about tacky.

Heartbroken, beyond depressed, and stuck in nine-to-five hell, Rachel follows a recovery regimen that features an arsenal of meds (including General Celexa: "the holy pink pill"), deliciously detailed daily entries in her newly inaugurated weblog Breakup Babe, and a string of dates–from the irresistibly bad Little Rockclimbing Spy, who proves to be full of surprises, to the high-flying ladies man Sexy Boy, who loves weed almost as much as he loves women.

With her shoulder-perched alter egos Sensible Girl and Needy Girl vying for her sanity, and a growing legion of supportive online fans threatening to snap her out of her grand funk, Rachel somehow survives, thrives, and discovers just how risky and liberating love, loss, and blogging can be."

I mean, seriously, how can you not enjoy a snappy quick read that features blogging??  Then to see some actual character depth and growth...  I was actually a bit surprised by the ending, but was proud of her for it (both the main character, and the author). Good stuff.

Reading this book led me to realize a few things things...

Continue reading "Book Recommendation: Breakup Babe" »


Digital Scrapbooking Resources from About Graphics Software

Some useful resources posted to About Graphics Software recently...

Polaroid01 Frame a Photo Like a Polaroid (which a free frame to download)

Top Digital Camera Newbie Mistakes to Avoid

How to Fix Pet Eye in Your Photos

And don't forget to check out the general resource library, Working with Digital Photos & Scanned Images

Good stuff!

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Scrapbooking Resolutions: The Great Purge contest

Rockester has posted a challenge on her blog, My All:

Purge all the old stuff you no longer want, use, or like and make room for the best of the best. Keep only what you LOVE. Your home and your life will feel so much more in control.

Purge the old stuff to charity, ebay, friends, new college students, or wherever you feel it needs to go that is OUT of your home. Start in the craft room and scrapbook area and work your way around the house. Let's start GATHERING UP STUFF for our great purge for 2007 RIGHT NOW!

Now that's a challenge I can get behind!  (Mostly because I can barely see over the stacks of stash I have in my office, "behind" is where I already am!)


An Invitation to Christmas Dinner

I would like to cyber-invite you all to Christmas Dinner at my house.  For the past eight years, I have hosted 10-12 family members at my home on Christmas day for a fabulous feast.  I would like to invite you to join us.

The Pedersen's Traditional Christmas Dinner Menu

Hot Apple Cider
Pizza Dip with baked chips
Spinach Balls
Mustard Gardetto's

Mandarin Orange Salad

Beef Rib Roast with Red Wine & Mushroom Sauce
Delmonico Potatoes
Ginger Glazed Carrots
Green Beans with Bacon Bits
Hot Fruit Compote
Dinner Rolls
Beringer White Zinfandel

David's Dessert
Specialty Dessert

Sounds gooood, hey?  It is!

Well, I would like to invite you, but don't really have room for all of you in my split-level suburban home, so all you really get to 'enjoy' is the menu.  And many well wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  ;)

(I'll Edit to Add links to the recipes later!)


Digital Photography Tip: Turn Your Camera Upside Down!

Via Christopher Null at Yahoo! Tech, a link to Digital Camera University, where they suggest that you can take better pictures of people's faces if you turn your digital camera upside down.

Huh!

Believe it or not by turning your camera upside down impacts how the light from the flash illuminates your subject. Most people have circles under their eyes and when you turn your camera upside down the flash hits the skin at a different angle and helps diminish the circles and makes them look younger.

The commenters are a little wary of the advice, chiming in with what appears to be significant photography experience.  (Just goes to show that when you read something startling or "iffy" in a blog post, also be sure to read the comments, for further enlightenment.)

One thing about taking pictures upside-down is that the kids in a picture are probably going to laugh at you, meaning you may get the candid shot you were hoping for!  I'm going to try this with my 12-year-old son this weekend - he's forever fending off the camera these days!

Want more tips?  See also Digital Photography School's 16 Christmas Digital Photography Tips.

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Meme: Christmas Interview

I love meme tags (definition) as "scrapbooking fodder".  They make layouts so easy.  Enter your answers, print out the list, slap it on some background paper and call it done, baby!

I found a Christmas one on Wendy Smedley's blog, then got another variation emailed to me at work. So I smushed them together, and am posting it here.  Anyone can play!  Feel free to answer on your own blog.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? combination of both

2. Real tree or artificial?  Artificial (we have allergies)

3. When do you put up the tree?  first weekend in December

4. When do you take the tree down?  sometime in January ;)

5. Eggnog or Hot Chocolate?  Either/or is fine.  My Egg Nog is actually MilkNog, though -- 1/2 regular Egg Nog, half fat-free milk

6. Favorite gift received as a child?  Sunshine Bear (which I can't find even by Google-ing it)

7. Do you have a nativity scene?  no, but I'm thinking I'd like one

8. Hardest person to buy for?  My father-in-law - he has everything, and is very picky

9. Easiest person to buy for?  my daughter

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I don't remember anything truly awful for Christmas

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? snail mail, plus a webpage with photos.  Haven't gotten to that this year

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?  Muppet Christmas Carol

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? December, unless I see something fabulous earlier

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Nope, but I've reused plenty of gift bags!

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?  My grandma's recipe for Chocolate Balls (terrible name, I know)

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored (though I'd prefer white/clear)

17. Favorite Christmas song?  God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by the Barenaked Ladies and Sarah Mclachlan, then Silent Night at the midnight service at church

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home with family

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers?   Sure - shall I burst into song?

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?  Star

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? One Christmas Eve, the rest Christmas Morning

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?  traffic and the crowds

23. What I love most about Christmas?  Traditions -- special ornaments, Christmas Eve at my in-law's, Santa's "footprints" on the carpet, baked oatmeal for breakfast, my Christmas dinner, and the nap after it's all done!

24. What is your favorite holiday tradition? the 24-hours of Christmas -- from about 6pm Christmas Eve to the following evening: (see traditions in #23)

25. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
wraps them, then sits them under the tree

26. Do you hang mistletoe? no (but I sneak kissed anyway!)

27. Favorite holiday memory as a child: the distinct sound of "Santa's sleigh bells" down the street

28. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? About third grade, but I don't remember how.  Must not have been that traumatic

29. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Lights, one rope of tinsel, and a variety of ornaments from over the years-kind of the hodge podge look

30. Snow - Love it or dread it? I can deal without the dirty mushy mess, but it's pretty when it first falls.  I prefer a White Christmas, and love snow days off from work/school.

31. Can you ice skate? not very well.  I haven't been skating in years

32. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? I love planning out thoughtful and inspired gifts to give, but if someone wants to give me something, I'm happy to allow them that pleasure.

33. Candy canes?  Sure.  But they gotta be mint -- none of those fruity or bubblegum ones.

34. What do you leave out for Santa?  2 cookies and a cup of Egg Nog on the fireplace


My Son, the Kid-napper

Today was a half day of school, in honor of the looming holiday break.  I received a call on my cell phone shortly after 11am, and was greeted by a deep, raspy voice.

Deep Raspy Voice: Your son has just gotten off the bus, and we are holding him for ransom.  Please bring $50 to the following address: [our home address].  Give the money to the boy at the door.

Me: You're going to trust 'the boy' to give you the money?

DRV: Who said he would give us the money?

Me: Well, if he doesn't give you the money, it's not really ransom, is it?

DRV: <pause> Our plan is far too complicated for you to understand.

Me: I guess.

DRV: Just bring the money and the boy will not be harmed.

Me: Uh-huh.  I'm not sure he's worth $50.

DRV: He is.  Bring the money.

Me: Well, thank you for letting me know about the situation.  Can you tell 'the boy' to make lunch for himself and his sister, and that if he has any questions or problems he can call me on my cell phone?

DRV: OK.

Me: And tell him I love him.

DRV: OK.  We have to go abduct other children now.

Me: OK, thanks.  Bye.

DRV: Good.  Bye.

About 40 minutes later, my cell phone rings again.

DRV: We have the girl.

Me: I suppose the ransom is up to $100 now?

DRV: Actually it's five BILLION dollars.

Me: So the girl is actually worth *more* than the boy.

DRV: You simply do not understand.

Me: Do you want fries with that five billion?

DRV: No. The cash will do.

Me: I'll see what I can do.  Thank you for the update on the situation.  Love you.

This is, of course, totally going in the family scrapbook.


Book of Me Idea: Fat Girl Confessions

Kathy Cano Murillo has produced a(nother) wonderful podcast episode, and boy, can I relate to this one. This episode is called Fat Girl Confessions.  In it, she shares several anecdotal essays about living the "fat girl" life, a life that often seems like it revolves around food.  Been there, tasted that.

Kathy has a fabulous writing/speaking style.  It draws you in, makes you feel like she's speaking to you as a friend and confidante.  She shares her insights and wisdom, not seeming to mind that these life lessons are often hard-gained.  She's witty, charming, and full of life.

What I love about this "Fat Girl" episode is how "relate-able" her essay topics are.  She talks about the lure of Starbucks' Red Cups, and wanting a little extra sugar rush from wedding cake.  Listening to these entertaining essays made me think of what a priceless theme albums they would make.  Probably one without photos, or perhaps with stock photos of gorgeous food displays.  While these kind of "confessional" essays about food may seem to be a negative reflection on the writer, think about how valuable they could be for the reader.  Say that you struggle with weight and food issues, and may have for most of your life.  Say you journal these kinds of thoughts in a "confessional" album.  Say your daughter also struggles with her weight.  She reads your thoughts, and realizes she's not alone.  That she's not some kind of freak because she thinks about food often.  That her mother struggled too.  That someone who is not happy with her weight can still be happy with her life.  Embrace your inner Fat Girl and help someone else feel more acceptable and confident, too.

Of course, I'm not saying to give up working on a healthy lifestyle, or that if you're overweight that it's hopeless to want to lose weight.  I'm just saying that at this time in your life, perhaps, this is who you are, and what you are.  It's worth loving.  YOU'RE worth loving.  People in your life DO love you.  Writing about your thoughts, and sharing your intimate food-related stories can help someone else realize they're loveable too.  Just as they are.  Fat Girl or not.

This Fat Girl thanks you for that, Kathy.