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The Men of Love Actually

red christmas balls
My favorite holiday movie is Love Actually. It’s not in the same league as the classic, It’s a Wonderful Life or White Christmas, but I love it anyway. The movie touches on all the good and bad parts of a romance.

If you haven’t seen it this is your spoiler alert.

The movie has a wonderful message, but the best part is the men. Come on, a movie where recently dumped Colin Firth plays a sexy writer. It’s worth it just to see him typing in a gorgeous place. Makes me want to join him there. You can’t help but laugh at the language mangling he does with his lovely housekeeper. Love can overcome.

Hugh Grant’s dance scene is worth it all on its own. His boyish charm shines through in this piece. He’s loveable as the public figure unsure if his feelings for the untypical politician’s date are worth the risk. Love better shaken.

Liam Neeson cries at the loss of his wife. But despite his pain helps his stepson find love and heals them both. Who wouldn’t want Liam for a dad? Love lost, love found.

Alan Rickman as the wandering husband is brilliantly played. I mean how could any man resist such an open invitation to stray. And even though he fails at messing around he realizes his error too late. Love is not always greener.

Andrew Lincoln is heartbreaking in this piece. Every time I watch it I want Keira to throw off her hubby and run away with Andrew. He’s so adorable. His come clean moment is a delightful must see. Unrequited love.

Brazilian Rodrigo Santoro as Karl is so hot. He and Laura Linney would have made cute movie babies had it worked out. Alas, all we get is a look at his bare chest. Love is never going to happen.

Martin Freeman is a sex scene stand in. This is a British film after all. He’s just a nice guy trying to figure out how to get a date with the girl. Love is sweet.

Kris Marshall reminds me of a romping puppy. He believes that if he goes to America he will have better luck with women. And boy does he. Love is believing.

Thomas Sangster plays the stepson of Liam. He’s fallen for this girl in his class and goes to great lengths to get her attention. First love.

This movie caters to the young and old. Bill Nighy is the naughty rock star trying to make a comeback. And even though he makes it big, he realizes one person always had his back. Brotherly love.

So that’s the ten men of Love Actually. Now you see why I watch this movie every year. In fact, I’m curling up on the couch to enjoy it right now. Hope you’ll check it out.

What’s your favorite holiday movie and why?

 

 

 

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Writing About LOVE—Ditch the Cliches & Turn Up the Heat in Your Romance

Great advice.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Rings Image

Today, we have Alex Limberg guest posting with us once again. I’d already recruited Alex to do some guest posts for me because I just love his wit and style and he’s being a huge help because yes, I am seriously sick. I’m pretty sure Hubby tried to assassinate me with Ebola and make it look like “the flu”. I think I have Swine flu…NO! LAMB FLU!

I see a rainbow bridge and a light! No! I can’t go to the light! Not yet, Grandma! I am doing NaNoWriMo and I and on par for word count!

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 8.27.33 PM

Actually, I don’t know if my husband is really trying to kill me, I think the Mucinex is making me paranoid. I called the White House though and told them that Lincoln totally shot first and that if the Secret Service would just return my probiotic gummy bears I will stop ordering pizza…

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What Makes a Romance? Seven tips.

Great tips! Just what I was looking for. Always great information from this blog.

Writers In The Storm Blog

Just a quick announcement – the winner of the drawing for the online course at Lawson Writer’s Academy is . . . Jamie Beck!

Writers in the Storm welcomes Shannon Donnelly to clarify what a book needs to land on the romance shelf. If your WIP a genre “fence-sitter” or if your romance could be shelved in another area, Shannon has answers and help.

by Shannon Donnelly

This recently came up on a message thread. A writer had her manuscript kicked back for not being a romance. I also just read a book recently that billed itself as paranormal romance, and while it was paranormal, it wasn’t a romance. Just what makes novel a romance?

The confusion comes in that you can have sex in your story, you can have a relationship in your story, but you still might not really have a romance novel. Why is this?

1-The most important…

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Consolidation, Nooble & Agents Who CARE—What’s Ahead for 2014 in Publishing

Great food for thought.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

I promised yesterday, I’d offer up some predictions for publishing in 2014. I don’t know if these are “predictions” or “suggestions” but I am, at heart, an eternal optimist. As I’ve said many, many times, this is a WONDERFUL time to be a writer. It’s a Golden Age of Publishing if we’re willing to embrace the new. Yes, there are challenges. I might be an optimist, but I’m not a moron (okay, that time I accidentally drove to Missouri doesn’t count).

There are new perils ahead, ones we won’t know about until we step both feet in them. In ways, writers are The Lewis and Clark Expedition Literary Edition unfolding in 0s and 1s. This part of why I implored yesterday for writers to be involved in their social media communities. This new paradigm is awesome, but predators abound.

Sadly, there will be more wanna-be publishers, more bad books, more…

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

christmas-animal-lights

The ABC’s

I am trying to take responsibility for my health by entering a weight loss competition. The kick-off offered several exercise demonstrations and booths with healthier eating ideas. While enjoying a delicious low calorie dinner the moderator went over foods we should and shouldn’t eat.  Having all these tools should fire anyone up to get started losing weight.

Considering all the years I’ve wrestled with the pounds, the usual stuff wasn’t going to do the trick. Stronger medicine was needed. The medicine came in the form of a 65-year old ex-football player with a story, an against all odds type story. And boy it was a doozie. This man got a chance for a do over. How many of us would love a chance to do over something in our lives that haunts us?

He was given the golden opportunity to finish out his last year in college football at the age of 59. Unbelievable. I’m 51 and could never physically consider redoing activities of my youth. He did it by staying fit. He became a strength training coach and never stopped working out. We all could do this but life offers too many temptations. Our jobs are sedimentary and exercise; takes effort.

His speech centered around three main ideals. The A.B.C.’s

Attitude. 
With the right attitude anything can be achieved. It’s all in how you look at it.

Belief.  We have to believe that what we want can be accomplished. I always think my favorite child hood story,  The Little Train That Could as the epitome of that idea.

Commitment. Without this one the other two are just ideas. To commit to accomplishing a goal is the final step to realizing the goal. That requires looking at the whole picture, all the variables and figuring out how to plug the holes.

Listening to his speech I realized that I was applying some of this to other areas of my life. Something this year has put a fire under my feet. Things I have procrastinated on in the past are getting done. Maybe the wisdom that comes from turning 50 has been the catalyst. So while the fire is hot I’m adding get healthy to my list of to-dos. This time I’d like for it to stick.

Maybe the saying wisdom comes with age has merit. Or maybe I see that time is not as infinite as it use to be. Obviously age is not a deterrent for this man. I came away from his uplifting speech determined to make staying healthy a long-term lifestyle choice.

Check him out-  http://www.cbn.com/700club/features/amazing/mike_flynt110508.aspx            http://www.mikeflynt.com

So what motivates you to stay healthy?

To choose or not to choose. That is the exercise question.

Walkers' Feet

As I get older, exercise becomes a very important choice to make. Choice being the important word. Knowing what can happen with inactivity I can decide not to get up early to walk before it is too hot. I can choose to hit snooze and watch the scales slowly climb higher.

I can choose to watch what I eat, make healthier food choices. Despite the fact that chocolate cake is composed of milk and eggs and ok for breakfast, at least according to Bill Cosby. Oatmeal with fruit is a better choice.

My friend and I have decide to enter a local lose weight challenge. Hoping that together we can keep enough momentum going to see some progress. We have two months to get a jump start on what will hopefully be a lifetime journey.

To change an attitude takes determination. To stay for the entire hour of exercise takes perseverance. To eat differently when all you really want is a burger takes a different mindset.

It all circles back around to choice. I choose to get healthier for myself and my family. Ultimately I’ll be  happier. I’ll need to remember this as the aches and pains try to slow me down.

I’ve found these links to be useful.
great recipes–http://www.sparkrecipes.com/
motivation–http://www.healthywriter.com/

 

The Packing Frenzy Begins

9-08-3This is my first year to finally attend the RWA national conference. I’ve watched my friends and chapter mates attend year after year. The whole time I just kept saying as soon as I’m in the right place with my writing I’m going.

Right place or not I signed up this year to go to Atlanta.  And even though it is technically 38 days till I leave the packing frenzy has begun. What type of clothes do I wear? Does anything still fit me? How can I downsize my packing?

I’m a stay at home writer/homeschool mom/domestic goddess who normally dresses in yoga pants or this time of year shorts. And yeah sometimes I stay in pj’s all day. I’m at home 90% of the time and except for the poor mailman no one is going to see what I wear.

Now I have to find professional attire that fits and is comfortable. And figure out how to pack it all in a case I can schlep around without pulling a hernia. The girls I travel with  know I normally take more than I need on a trip. Seems like I have forty bags by the time I have my suitcase, a hanging bag, my laptop bag and a purse. Obviously I don’t fly much. The girls manage with far less than me every time.

So I turned to the net for packing help. So many tips on how to pack a bag. Most are on putting everything in one carry-on. The thought of stuffing all my must haves in one bag gives me a headache.
For packing tips:
http://thefeministbreeder.com/why-subscribe/how-to-pack-a-carry-on-like-a-boss/
http://www.smartertravel.com/photo-galleries/editorial/how-to-pack-for-a-week-in-a-carry-on-bag.html?id=372

After learning how to pack lighter I turned to tips from those who have gone before on what to bring. I’m not a dress girl so it will be dress capri’s or light weight slacks. And even though I’m hot natured I’ll bring a cardigan or two in case of a chill.

Past RWA packing advice:
http://adcmagazine.com/Articles/2012/rwawithcathytully.html
http://jamigold.com/2012/07/the-ultimate-conference-packing-list/

And since I’m lost without my lists here is a great packing list:
http://www.smartertravel.com/blogs/today-in-travel/the-ultimate-packing-list.html?id=13784603

So any conference advice on what to wear? Packing tips?

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