Sunday, July 30, 2006

Thinking: Fiction

The record company I work for was recently bought out by a larger (read: Ginormous) company which means I now work in a big building full of people. For the past five years I've worked in a small building with few people, all of which knew all of my stories. Now that I'm in the new shiny building with the all the new shiny people, all of my stories are new and interesting. least new. I forget sometimes that I've had a semi-crazy life - but I'm reminded when my new friends say "YOU WHAT?" Let's review....

1. Met a guy in Maine via a close friend.
2. Fell in love with said guy
3. Got engaged to said guy
4. Gave up fabulous life in Nashville and moved to Maine to marry said guy
5. Said guy dumped me weeks before our wedding
6. Moved back to Nashville with my head hanging low
7. Got a publishing deal by accident
8. Wrote a book about Said Guy in Maine and how he broke my heart
9. Turned thirty
10. Kissed the intern who was eight years my junior (and still a college student at the time)
11. Fell in love with the intern
12. Married the intern

The other day, someone mentioned that I should write a novel loosely (or closely) based on my life from that past few years. I laughed. Then I thought....a novel? Could I do that?

I know some of you who read this blog are I'm asking. Do you think it ridiculous to attempt such a feat with no formal training as far as fiction goes? I mean, I have a manuscript (non-fiction) already doing this would mean chucking it and starting over. REALLY starting over. could be fun.
Or a nightmare.
Or insane.
Or awesome.

So let's hear it...reasons why I should/should not try my hand at fiction.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Be Fri vs. st ends

I just read on Amazon a new review of my first book. Here's my favorite quote from that review:

However, I did have a couple of minor issues. First, it was a bit much to read about how absolutely perfect her girlfriends are. I'm glad she has some solid comrades, since that fits with her advocation of community for bearing one's burdens. But c'mon - everybody's screwed up some way, and it bugs me to see folks portrayed as so great that Christ could've outsourced His crucifixion to them. That bit of sugarcoating detracted from the book's honesty.

Guess what I say to that? HOGWASH.

My friends are consistantly the lights of my life. So much so that tonight I cried at Bunco. You should know, there's no crying in Bunco. But. My friends, some of which are the very same ones I talked about in my book, all of which I COULD have talked about in my book because they are THAT SUGARCOATED AWESOME.....those same friends took time out tonight to pray for me and my struggling heart. Because they are selfless and know what friendship really means.


As I was sobbing and it was awkward and no one knew what to say, Angela said:

"Yaaaa'llll....did ya'll know that some people don't have tear ducts?? It's truuuuueeeeee."

My friends can beat up your friends.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Fatty Fatty Two by Four

Hey remember The Boot? No really, do you remember that? And remember how it was so annoying and came at the worst possible time? Remember the crutches that cut into my armpits and how much I complained and grunted and sighed and heave ho'd around? I do. I don't think fondly of those days. Instead, I say Fiddle Dee Dee and walk around in flip-flops like I'm the Queen of the Shoe Carnival. Guess what?

The Boot. Is Back.

While Ryan and I were in Las Vegas my left foot started hurting again. And what I mean by "hurting" is that I limped through three casinos and almost ripped Ryan's arm off trying to make it back to our hotel room while crying and freaking out. It hurt. Now, two weeks later, still hurting. Sometimes it's just an annoying pain, sometimes excruciating. So I went back to the 'ole foot doctor to see what the problem is. Turns out, I have Plantar Fasciitis (PLAN-tar fashee-EYE-tiss), which is basically a fancy way to say my foot hurts. So, I'm back in the boot. And therapy. And such. When the Doc said I couldn't wear flip-flops anymore I laughed and said Good One Doc. He inhaled severely and emphasized that he was totally and completely serious. WHAT? You might as well tell me I can't have children or that I can't drink Diet Coke. Preposterous!

Just for kicks I googled Plantar Fasciitis to see what I could see. I found a site that listed several treatments for my condition, including this:

*Losing weight if possible, especially in overweight women because our survey of 5,000 visitors shows overweight women are 6 times more likely than men to get plantar fasciitis. This is probably because fat deposits lower on the body in women than in men. This lowers the center of gravity which will cause excess tension in the planatar fasciitis if there is not also greater flexibilty in the calf muscles.


That cheerful paragraph was followed up by this:

I would rank losing weight higher, but it is too difficult for most Americans to reduce the amount of food they eat.

Oh. My. Word. I have a CAST on my FOOT because I'm FAT.


Apparently the sheer girth of my thighs has caused my feet to just give up. I could address this issue in several ways most of which would involve lettuce and bans on ice cream and anything that tastes good.

I've decided to address it in this way.
Concerned co-worker: Jo what happened! Were you in an accident?
Me: Nope. Just fat.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Warning: Do Not Read This Post

Why am I sitting here watching some re-run episode of House about some crazy woman and all her crazy problems that are turning out to be liver cancer? This can only lead to me thinking I have liver cancer. There. Now I'm thinking it. You see why I should shut off the TV and vacuum the carpet....oh, the carpet.

I keep trying to climb this rickity ladder, trying to make it a little higher. Every time I seem to miss a rung and trip over myself and fall back down. Since January I've been climbing this ladder. Trying to get to the top. Waiting for the woosh! of the slide down. When will the woosh come? I've been climbing and climbing and so far, no woosh. Since January, the following has happened.

-Mystery injury to toe which resulted in boot cast, crutches and very large bill that insurance wouldn't pay
-The pointless surgery that left a gaping hole in my heart, a scar on my belly button and another hefty bill
-Job drama you don't even want to know about
-Got dumped by my publisher
-Have to go...

Look....I'm done with the list. Who needs to read a big long list of my woes when you've got your own. The point is...I need the woosh. Bad. This climbing is wearing me celebrity thin.

So thin that last night for dinner I ate two ice cream cones.


Deal. With. That.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Duck Says:

The Duck says...Summer's hot. Keep cool.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006


This is the face Minnie makes when she's in trouble. Or when Ryan is out of town.


She's been making this face a lot lately.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday: As Sad

This month's SPT theme is "As". So this is me as...a sad girl who lost her publishing deal.


Sure...I'll hopefully find another publisher. doesn't necessarily mean that I'm a failure. Sure...there will be more opportunities and more books and more words. It's not the end.

But the truth is, I'm sad.

For more the nifty button in the sidebar (since I don't know the link and don't have time to look it up.)

Monday, July 10, 2006

But Did We Become Wayniacs?

Sooo......Vegas. In true Illingworth style, our trip out to Vegas was a bit bumpy and included irritating waiting and flooded floors of hotel rooms and exhaust inhalation and the usual travel drama. But there was some other stuff too.

We stayed at the MGM grand they put "grand" right in the title!
MGM Grand

Then we went to New York City, ya'll!
New York hotel

Then we went to Paris France and saw a big fountain.
Paris Fountain

Then we were caged like the wild animals we are.....

Then Ryan fought a mighty dragon!

Then the mighty dragon forced Ryan to play the Slot Machine So Big only Dragons Can Play It.
Giant Slot

Then I won!........................(one cent)

Then Ryan lost.....................(all our money)

We also ate free Nathan's Hot Dogs and watched the fountain at the Bellagio and walked 52 miles and gawked at the high rollers and were crushed by all the idiots on top of the Eiffel Tower and saw a bizarre show in the middle of the Forum Shops at Ceasar's Palace and went to the Shark's Reef and almost got suckered into a two hour time share presentation and saw a dude drinking two beers on the elevator at 9am and ordered room service. It was definitely better than our original honeymoon which is another story for another lifetime. We laughed a lot. We ate a lot. We lost a little.

But friends....there's more. Perfect Ryan did something for me that will get him out of trouble for the next ten years. Something so out of character.


And now....I can die happy.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

One Down...

Wedding 103

Ryan -

It's hard to begin a post like this one...a post about our first year as man and wife. I was 31 when we wed. I had heard all of the stories about how the first year is the hardest, how it's difficult to adjust to marriage. Even Tom the Frightening Marriage Counselor warned us that it's not all romance and sex.

Turns out, crazy Tom was right. This year has been so unexpected. I've experienced intense physical and emotional pain that has shaken me to the core. We're broke. We've had car troubles and yard troubles and family health troubles and let's not forget the honeymoon from hell. We've been through things that would cause other couples to throw their hands up and cry annulment. We've had some days that would cause some to end the night with slammed doors and hurt feelings.

But not us.

Wedding 101

If someone asked me to pick the best year I've had so far, I would have to say my first year being married to you. Even in the madness, the ugly parts of life that show up at the worst moments, I've never been happier. Every single day with you is the best day. There's never been one single second in this crazy year that I've wanted to throw in the towel. In fact, the reason I survived this year is because of you. Because of your love. Because of your face. I truly didn't know someone could love me so much and that I could love someone else so intensely. All those easy listening songs are right (you know, the ones they play all day at your work...the ones that stab you in the ears and make your vision go blurry). Love conquers all. We go together like a hand in glove. Love lifts us up where we belong. When I see you smile, I can face the world, ooohhhhh.

You get the idea.

Wedding 110

You are my best friend. You are the one person I run to when life gets too overwhelming and scary. You are the calm in the storm that is me. You are wise and sure and safe. You hold me and you hold me up. You are a hard worker and so unbelievably thoughtful. You are the nicest person I know.'re hot. You surprise me every single day with just how amazing you are. I am blessed beyond words.

On our wedding day, when they announced us man and wife, hundreds of red and white streamers burst out over our family and friends. And to me, that's how it's been ever since. Every day is a sudden burst of color. A surprise of delight falling down around us. I can't help but smile. I am more in love with you today than I ever have been before...and I can't wait for tomorrow.

Wedding 83

So in the words of Snow Patrol: All this feels strange and untrue and I won't waste a minute without you.

I love you
I love you
I love you