Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Holidays and Good Riddance 2008!

It’s the end of the year and a time of reflection, and my overriding thought is, THANK GOD 2008 IS ALMOST OVER!!!

For those of you whom I haven’t bored to tears with my tale of woe, 2008 has sucked pond water for my family. In June, my youngest daughter was diagnosed with leukemia and my entire world changed in the matter of a half hour. I went from getting ready to go on vacation for two weeks to spending a week in the hospital while my six year old underwent an operation and several painful treatments.

And that was just the start.

The last six months have been a blur of hospital stays, chemotherapy, and constant worry. Oh, and I started a full time job which essentially put my writing career on hold for the time being.

But, there is good news!!! As of last week, my daughter has finished the worst of her chemotherapy and will be on much lower doses of chemo for the next two years. Her hair is starting to grow back and she shouldn’t miss much more school. I’m on vacation until January 5th, and I have a book coming out in print in January. So bring on 2009 and let’s hope it’s better than 2008.

Have a safe and happy New Year


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas!

So here we are on the 21st of December, the shortest day of the year here in the UK and 4 days from Christmas. Are you ready yet? Done all your shopping, wrapping and preparing? I have (well almost). I don't have much choice since I'm working over Christmas. Unfortunately babies are still born on Christmas day (I myself am living proof of that) so I am doing a twelve hour day shift on Christmas Eve and 3 nightshifts after that. And it really sucks to work on Christmas Day AND your birthday.

In view of that I thought in this blog I would ask you all to spare a thought for the millions of people who are working over the festive period. Nurses, Doctors, Police officers, Firefighters and all the rest who are keeping you and your family safe and healthy while you enjoy your holiday celebrations. Perhaps even take a minute to drop in a card or some biscuits or sweets or something similar to your local emergency room, fire station, police station. I know it helps to see that people are thinking of you and are grateful.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Oh, For The Love Of Freaking Shopping

With the holidays looming ever closer, I recently made that dreaded trip to Wallyworld. You might want to click on over and read this week’s resulting “The Vultures Are Circling” post at the Samhain Blog, which sort of goes along with this topic here. But not quite. Over there, I went into my unique “method” of shopping and emphasized my shopping pet peeves. Here, I’m just going to…how shall I put it?…muse (heehee) about my feelings on shopping in general. Strong feelings. Really strong feelings. :D

Okay, I am woman hear me roar, but I must confess… I totally. Completely. Despise. Shopping.

Any kind of shopping.


There, I said it. And yes, for the second time, I’m definitely a woman if you can believe it. But somehow, I didn’t inherit the OMG-I-lurve-shopping gene.

Food? *groan* I’d rather throw it in a food fight than shop for it. Shoes? Uck. Just give me my worn out old sneakers or hiking boots, thank you very much. Jewelry? Love it, but I just don’t have the patience to shop for rings and necklaces and baubles and such. (Most of the jewelry I wear, hubby, bless his sweet heart, gave me as gifts.) Clothes? Eeeek, I’d rather be yanking splinters out of my gums than spending my day trying on shirt after jeans after dress (even eeckier!) after hat after panties after…well, you get my drift.

And worst of all? Shopping at the mall—the Mall of America (near where I live), no less! *shakes uncontrollably with anxiety* Whoever invented that city-in-itself-madness-under-one-roof concept should be jailed. I go there maybe (kicking and screaming in protest) once a year, and it takes me two to recover.

*sigh* If only there was some way to make items I need magically appear in my house without having to drive hours, go price-compare, color-code, fashion-coordinate, coupon-clip, stand in looong lines, or make use of the chaotic fitting rooms.

Oh, wait…

There is a way: The Internet! Squeeeeeee!

Ah, now there’s a concept. Surf around, sip coffee in jammies, a few clicks here, nibble on a cookie there, a few credit card numbers entered here, and baby, do you ever have me at “Let’s go shopping!” Mmm, yeah, here I am in the privacy of my own quiet home, and voila! The next thing I know the loot’s sitting on my doorstep. Awesome. Amazing. Stress-free. Oh yeah, this kind of shopping I can definitely hang with.

Now, wait! Please hold the hate mail. I’m not a bah-humbugish Scrooge kinda gal, really, I’m not. In fact, I LOVE the holidays! If I could go to the mall and *just* stroll leisurely around gazing at all the gorgeous decorations and listening to the fun and cheery holiday music over the speakers (well, okay, throwing in a glass of wine wouldn’t hurt either), I’d be one happy camper. I adore the feel-fuzzy-inside kinda holiday movies, listening to the 24-hour Christmas music radio stations, baking yummy cookies and fattening candies, family and friends get-togethers, snow and a cozy fire roaring, yes, all of the above. It’s just that dang shopping part that gets my nerves all in a bunch.

So what about you? Did you inherit the love-to-shop-at-the-crazy-malls gene? Do you prefer Internet shopping instead? Or like me, would you rather just have a root canal than go shopping, period? LOL

Titania Ladley is a multi-published, best-selling erotic romance author. Her newest release, KABANA HEAT (Samhain Publishing), is a contemporary ménage set in Hawaii. Don’t miss this HOT love story! Mrs. Giggles on Kabana Heat: 90 and a Keeper, “…most charming naughty romp.” Please visit Titania at for more.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Are you a Twit?

The Social Network Pick-Up
Setting: present day bar

Him: Hey, babe – what’s your SN?
Her: I’m a Facebook gal, so if you’re on MySpace, don’t even talk to me.
Him: It’s cool, I’m more a Twit, myself.
Her: Oooh…Twits are fun – buy me a drink?

Twitter anyone? How about Facebook? MySpace? IMVU? What’s your social networking choice?

For better or worse, online networking is here to stay. And it doesn’t matter what age group you fall into, either. Baby boomers have embraced the technology, perhaps more slowly than their younger counterparts, but they are making it all their own. Want to meet up with other people your age? Talk about grandkids and swap pictures? Check out the Grandparent’s Network based in Australia. Social networking isn’t just a young person’s game anymore, it’s a way of life.

There is a limit, however, as to how many sites one can actually keep up with. I keep a MySpace page, that, admittedly, I don’t do much with. Most of the networking there seems to be focused on the blog and, as many of you already know, I’m not much of a blogger. I prefer commenting on other’s blogs over writing a post of my own. So my MySpace page sort of just…sits. While I accept friendship with nearly everyone who asks, I rarely go out and search for others.

I like to Twit now and again – sound bites are easy to write. But then I have to ask – who cares if I just did the laundry? Isn’t there such a thing as too much information? Don’t I run the risk of becoming…mundane? And so I try to post everyday so people know I’m alive but not so often that people grow tired of my little bon mots.

Facebook is cool – I have an account there under my real name (sorry to disillusion you, but I’m afraid “Diana Hunter” is a nom de plume) and I do like all the applications one can get. My daughter and I are currently embroiled in a snowball fight (she’s winning), we talk like pirates just because its fun and I’ve caught up with people I haven’t seen in years. I’ve been thinking Diana needs an account there. Of course, then I’d run into the danger of spending time playing on Facebook instead of writing books!

IMVU is a new place I’ve just recently tried. A reader sent me an invite and I checked it out yesterday. It’s as if they took IM technologies, borrowed the social networking concept and then made it look like Second Life. You create an avatar that you can customize, but mostly all you do is visit people and have chats. I talked with a 20-year old yesterday who told me I shouldn’t lie about my age on my profile. I told her I hadn’t lied, I really am 51 years old. She told me I didn’t talk like any 51-year-old she knew and that old people don’t really get into this like I do. I took it as a compliment.

Web 2.0 will morph into something else in another five years and several of the sites I mentioned will either die or evolve. What will be fun to watch is how each one is used and whether everything blends together to become one huge social network. I’m of mixed feelings about having just one over having many, I have to admit. While there are too many now to keep up with, I’m also not sure I’d like a monopoly. Nor would I like networks divided into age or interest groups. Right now it’s sort of a wild west atmosphere out here in Social Network Land – and I for one, enjoy it.

After all, we don’t want our poor hero to have to develop a new pick-up line!