Monday, December 28, 2009

Dizzy With Delight

There is nothing more exciting than having the next book come out in a series you have been following for years. It's like Christmas, your birthday, and the prom all mixed into one. Here are a few books I'm dying to get my hands on!

A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner - I have been waiting to find out what happens next in this fabulous series for a very long time. I might lose it if this book doesn't wrap everything up this time. I can't wait another two years for the next one.

Bartimaeus Trilogy #4 by Jonathan Stroud - There is no title listed for this one yet. I really thought number three was going to be the end of this series so it is a nice surprise to realize there will be more. I can't imagine what will come next. I'm dying to find out!

Sammy Keyes and the Wedding Crashers by Wendelin Van Draanen - What mess will Sammy get herself into this time? Will she receive her first kiss? Can't wait to find out.

Moon and Sun Book #3 by Holly Lisle - If her life is anything like mine these days it will probably be a while before she finishes this book, but I'm patiently waiting for that time to come. Hopefully soon.

Black Heart of Jamaica by Julia Golding - I really didn't expect to like the Cat Royal series as much as I do. A couple librarian's that work with me love the series and got me started on it. It drives me crazy that people in the UK have already read it and I have to wait. So rude!

Firecat's Dream by Isobelle Carmody - Read the first two books in the series and loved them. It has been almost two years and still no sign of the third book. *sigh*

As an author myself, I really do understand that these things take lots of time, especially if you have--oh say--a life? But it's so hard to wait all the same.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Life of a Librarian

Today I help a little boy find some books on a certain topic he was really excited to learn more about. He was actually bouncing up and down while I searched for his books then hugged them to his chest with the biggest grin and widest eyes I'd ever seen on a happy little face. He was practically skipping as he went to check out his books. What was this thrilling subject that had him so excited?

The Digestive System.

Yep. That's right. His mom told me he's been obsessed with learning about the subject ever since his dad had to go to the hospital to get his gall bladder removed. Hey, whatever makes him happy, eh?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas for the Rich

Here it is. A Christmas list for those who already have everything, so what the heck, they might as well blow a few more million dollars on useless stuff. (I would not be one of these people, and I probably never will be. Even if I were, I’d be building a school in Africa instead of buying this stuff.) Extravagance at its worst. It just gives you the warm fuzzies all over, doesn’t it?

Teddy Bear with Fur Made of Gold Thread – $84,000.00

14kt Gold Playstation 3 with Matching Gold Controllers - $4,999 Just scroll down the page to see photos of this must have stocking stuffer.

Snow White’s Talking Mirror Security System – This mirror won’t tell you that you are the fairest of them all, but it will tell you if someone is breaking into your home. It will also tell you when your Jacuzzi is at the perfect temperature. If you can afford to buy one after purchasing this, that is. It’s so expensive you have to contact them personally before they will actually quote a price.

Talking Animatronic Cat – The list price for this beauty is $18,125.00. However, this is your lucky day because it is on sale for $2,500.00. Rush delivery is available for Christmas.


A realistic swimming animatronic dolphin, however, will cost you a cool $45,500.00. You might as well get the real thing and save yourself a few thousand.

Working Mermaid Suit – You’ll be the talk of any costume party you show up to in this. Pool parties also an option since this is waterproof. $9,500.00.

Real Suit of Armor – Neiman Marcus puts the price for this at $20,000. OUCH!

And for Fido We Have Luxury Doghouses – $5,000.00 to $7,000.00. My dog will not be getting one of these this year. She can sleep in the dog kennel if she’s feeling the need for privacy.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Eating in Darkness

A coworker told me about these restaurants that make you eat in pitch blackness so that your sense of taste is enhanced. The waiters are either blind or wear night vision goggles that allow them to see in the dark and lead you to your table. I would love to try eating in one of these places. It sounds like a lot of fun. Visiting the restroom might be difficult. Click on the link below to learn more.

So who wants to go with me?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Forbidden Sea now Available for Pre-order on Amazon

My book is now available for pre-order on Amazon!!! *Insert cartwheels here* I'm like 400,000 plus in rankings, but hey, you've got to start somewhere, right? Quick, everyone go put Forbidden Sea on your amazon wishlist. You can always get rid of it later. I'll never know. : ) No cover listed yet. I'm happy with the summary as well, it doesn't give too much away.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

England Here I Come

An old friend of mine and I have decided to go to England next year! I haven't done much travel out of the country so I'm thrilled beyond words to finally be going someplace exciting. (I was supposed to go to Guatemala last year but revisions on Forbidden Sea shot those plans out of the water.) It looks like we'll be staying at an English bed and breakfast. Sounds dreamy doesn't it. I'll have to bring along my laptop and take research notes for a future book set in England. Anybody out there in cyberland visited England before? What are the sights I need to see? Any special foods I shouldn't miss trying out while there? Hopefully I'll be at my goal weight by then and I'll actually get to eat real desserts once in a while. (For those who are interested in the diet update: I've lost seventeen and a half pounds so far.) I'll have to buy a stylish new wardrobe so the English don't chase me back to the states for being the truly unfashionable dresser that I am. My traveling friend lives in New York so I'll probably stop over there a few days and we'll fly out together to England. Maybe I can catch a Broadway musical. If only I didn't have to wait a whole year. *sigh*

Oh well, back to real life . . . for now.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Random News for Random People (Like Myself)

Some random bits of news:

Sammy Keyes and the Wedding Crasher—the next book in the Sammy Keyes series—is coming out sometime next year! Can I tell you how excited I am? REALLY excited! It has been far too long since the last book. Sammy is supposed to be a bridesmaid at Officer Borsch’s wedding. With Sammy as a bridesmaid, anything could happen. Will Sammy finally find out who her father is? (I’m almost positive I know who he is already, but I want to find out if I’m right.) Will Sammy and Casey kiss for the first time? What new devious plot will Heather come up with next? Will Grams and Hudson get back together? Can I really wait until next year to find out? Good question.

I’m still waiting for the next book in the Sun and Moon series to be announced. Write faster Holly Lisle!

A live action movie starring Barbie is coming to the big screen sometime in the near future. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

I meteor blew up in the atmosphere over my home state a few nights ago and I missed it. (How rude!) The explosion was so bright, eyewitnesses said the sky momentarily became as light as day. The sonic boom was so big in some places the sound made houses shake and knocked items off of shelves. People in California, Utah and Idaho all reported seeing the blinding flash of light in the sky. My dog woke me up just after midnight and wouldn’t go back to sleep. I wonder if the meteor is what upset her. Click on the link below to see video footage of the phenomenon.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My Next Big Project

Now that I'm done with the ghost marionette, I'm starting my next big art project for this year. I will be making a sculpture of the mermaid character in my book. I thought it would make a good conversation piece at any signings I attend. As you can see from the picture, I've got all the supplies I need to begin, now I just have to find some time to actually start working on it. I'll take pictures of the sculpture as it progresses over time, so stay tuned for future developments on this project.

And yes, I am a hobbyaholic.

Projects Past and Present

I finished my ghost marionette for Halloween this year. It's taken me quite a while but she is all done. I couldn't posted pictures of the finished project before Halloween because she was on display at the library. The kids loved her. We have a joke at our library that the display with the most fingerprints wins as the most popular. I had to wipe down the glass of the display cabinet at least two or three times a day, so I think the little ghost won. I made her out of glow in the dark clay so when she is under a black light she glows (as seen in the picture).
She turned out even better than I expected. I can't wait to try her out in a puppet show for Halloween next year!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Amazing Clip

There are some pretty bizarre things that go on in nature. They may be perfectly normal behavior for animals but they can sure look strange to us humans. This clip of a swarm of birds is enough to make your jaw drop. Had to share.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

For the Curious (and Those Who Haven't Seen Me in Years)

I've had a lot of old friends who haven't seen me in a long time, asking me to post a photo of myself on this blog. (Yes, facebook friends, you know who you are) I guess my self portait just wasn't enough. (It really does look like me, I promise.) I don't take many photos of myself so I had to go and take one special for the occasion. For those who see me all the time, you can skip this post and move on to more exciting articles, like the one about dancing babies. For those who haven't seen me since high school, don't freak when you see how short my hair is now. I cut it for the first time a few years back. It took a little getting use to, but I don't think I will ever go back now.
If I look like I'm about to burst out laughing, it's because I was. I really hate taking photos of myself.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009


I sold my very first Small Secrets necklace today! (If you don't know what a Small Secrets necklace is click here to see some examples.) This particular piece of jewelry is a pink mermaid sculpture (see picture below). A good friend of mine wanted me to make a necklace for her and I ended up converting this mermaid, I made years ago into one. It turned out rather well, even if I do say so myself. I was sorry to part with her, but I knew she would be well taken care of and greatly apprieciated in her new home. I hope this will be the first in many future sales someday. The first sale is always the most exciting. It means someone other than my mother thinks my jewelry is something nice enough to wear in public. : )

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Adventures in Dieting

I recently started on the Jenny Craig program. Not because I feel I'm fat or anything, I just feel that I need to be a little healthier in my eating habits. And with my bad knee, I figured it couldn't hurt to lose a few pounds and take some pressure off the injury. (Never fall down the stairs and land on your knees on concrete, trust me on this one.)

So I've been on the program two weeks now and many more months of this are ahead of me. To really lose weight that will stay off, you must lose it slowly. (Too bad it doesn't work that way for gaining weight, huh?) I will say this for paid diet programs, during those moments when my body is screaming for something more than carrots and cauliflower--I think about the obscene amounts of money I paid for the privilege of starving myself in style and my appetite is gone in no time. Not to mention the fact I have to report every bad choice I make to a diet councilor every week. They have this paper where you have write down every mistake as well as the reason WHY you decided to cheat. Somehow, "I just wanted to" doesn't feel like quite as good of an answer as it used to before I had to report it to a complete stranger.

My favorite part is the weighing in each week to see how much (or how little) you've lost that week. I almost died laughing when I saw the big piece of poster board propped up in front of the scale with different kinds of Halloween candy taped to it. Next to each one is listed the unbelievable amount of calories each one has. Very effective, I can tell you. Believe it or not they also have an emergency hot line you can call 24 hours a day and talk to someone who will talk you out of any horrendous splurges you might be contemplating. So far I have not had a midnight crisis so I can't tell you if the diet 911 center is effective or not. But it's nice to know they are there if I need them.

I also have to keep track of how many steps I take each day. Seriously. I have this pedometer that I strap on each morning and have to record my findings each day. My main dieting goal this week was to take more steps than last week. Aim high I always say.

They say I can eat as much as I want as long as the foods I choose are on the free food list. (Spinach, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower are a few examples at the top of the list.) There is no reason I should be hungry at all, my councilor says. Yeah, right! I came home to eat with my parents one night and I was so hungry I ate the entire bowl of cooked chard. My parents just sat there staring on in horrified fascination as I dished out my fourth helping and emptied the bowl.

I was still hungry.

So how are my adventures in the world of dieting panning out so far? Here is the report.

1) I'm starving. (How is it possible for me to be so hungry and not be thin as a rail already?)
2) I'm sick of vegetables. If I never saw another vegetable again in my life, it would be too soon.
3) Jenny Craig food tastes much better than I thought it would. Too bad there is so little of it.
4) Did I mention how much I hate vegetables?
5) I've lost five pounds in two weeks!

Number five is the one that makes all the rest worth while. And it better, because the membership I paid for lasts a full year. Now excuse me while I go cook up another batch of chard--I'm starving.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Spooky Books to Creep You Out

Need something good and creepy to read this Halloween? Look no further. Here is a list of great spooky (and not so spooky) children's stories to haunt you this holiday. I’ve started with the least scary books at the top of the list. As you move down the page, the stories get much scarier. The books at the bottom of the list can cause thrills, chills, and sleepless nights so read at your own risk.

Not-So-Scary Picture Books:
Ghosts in the House by Kazuno Kohara
Hush, Baby Ghostling by Andrea Beaty
Skeleton Bones and Goblin Groans by Amy Sklansky
Aaaarrgghh! Spider! by Lydia Monks
Ten Little Mummies by Philip Yates

Just a Little Bit Scary Books:
Drowned Maiden’s Hair by Laura Schlitz
Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Secret of the Seven Crows by Wylly Folk St. John
Doll in the Garden by Mary Downing Hahn
Midnight Magic by Avi

Really Scary Books:
Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn
Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright
Seer of Shadows by Avi
House on Hackman’s Hill by Joan Lowery Nixon
Watcher in the Mist by Norma Johnston
House of Shadows by Andre Norton
Ghost Cat by Beverly Buttler
Hunt for the Seventh by Christine Morton-Shaw

Scary as All Get-Out!
Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan
Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman
Stone Child by Dan Poblocki
Witch’s Sister by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Now get out there and scare yourself senseless!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Great Chemistry Experiments

Truth can be stranger than fiction, especially when it comes to science and nature. Recently the library was putting on a chemistry program and the librarians in charge of it found some really fascinating videos of some experiments being performed on YouTube. I had to share.

Instant Ice

Dry Ice Bubble

Dry Ice in a bottle (Don't try this at home)

Out of Control Mashmallows

Liquid Nitrogen and a Swimming Pool

I’ll never look at Gummy Bears in the same light again.

Ice Bulb

Glowing Water (I am SO doing this for Halloween this year)

Glowing Tomato

Science is awesome!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Halloween Past and Present

I have to work at the library on Halloween this year. Anyone who knows me and my love of all things Halloween, will understand how depressed I am over this. Halloween is a bigger holiday than Christmas in my family. We used to be known as "The Scary House" in our neighborhood growing up. I have more Halloween decorations than Walmart does. Seriously.

One Halloween my sister talked me and some of our friends into being in one of those haunted houses that people pay to go through and get scared to death. Let me tell you, people who are scared are dangerous. We were supposed to hide behind this wall and grab people's feet as they walked by these hidden openings. We learned pretty quickly to grab and move back because people's first reaction when their foot is grabbed is to kick back. HARD.

The other thing we were supposed to do was lay down in this hidden loft just above people's heads and pop out, pretending to grab at them from above. One of the girls who was helping us bent over to frighten a large group of teenage girls and accidentally fell out of the loft right into the middle of them with the loudest thump you've ever heard. Talk about screaming--all ten of those girls hauled it out of there so fast they never did realize that it wasn't something that had been planned. You could still hear their screams in the distance as they ran the rest of the way through the haunted house. I don't think they stopped until they were all the way back outside. My friend got up and dusted herself off and got right back up into the loft as if nothing had happened.

Got any great Halloween memories to share? I'd love to hear them in comments.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Don't be Afraid: Halloween Scares

Okay, maybe it is a little mean to scare the pants off of your loved ones and video tape it, but then we wouldn't have such great viral videos to send around to one another. Click the links below to see some hilarious videos of people getting the snot scared out of them.

The one I love best is where the kid smacks the monster in the face with his trick or treat bag. I guest kids just don't scare as easily these days.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Absolutely Facinating (Part Three)

I love a good mystery which would probably explain why I love learning about the strange but true things that often go on in this universe. As a librarian, I find myself stumbling onto some of the most curious facts and bizarre occurrences. Kids love this stuff, and their enthusiasm has rubbed off on me.

The Mystery Hum - Did you know there are certain places in the world where residents hear a strange humming noise from time to time? The only problem is, the sound can not be recorded on any audio equipment and there doesn't seem to be any reason for the sound. Click the link below to read more about this strange phenomenon.

The Palenque Mask - You'll have to click on the link below if you want to learn about this one, it's too bizarre to explain in five sentences or less.

The Winchester Mystery House - I've actually visited this strange aberration of architecture when I was young. They used to hold charity drives where people would pay to play hide and seek in the house on Halloween. I really wish I could have been a part of that. I did not see any ghosts while there.

Bizarre Meteorological Phenomena - There is some pretty wild stuff going on in nature. Click the link below to see some of the most unbelievably fascinating weather phenomena of the natural world.

Panama Creature - A wierd creature was found and killed in Panama. (Warning: the photos of the dead creature's body are a little freaky looking. The squeemish might want to skip this one.)

It looks like a hairless sloth to me. Poor thing.

Monsters of the Deep - These fish look like something created by hollywood for a horror movie but they are 100% real. *Shudder*

All in a Day's Work

The library I work at has a section of large rooms available for people in the community to rent. We have all sorts of interesting activities going on at any given time. Weddings, company parties, graduations, etc. So this morning when I walked into the building I was presented with a large sign that said:

Due to a death in the family, our chainsaw carver will not be here today.

Uh, okay.

You know what--I don't even want to know.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Hoaxes and Pranks Galore

Everyone loves a practical joke but some people take it a bit too far. Below are some hilarious prank videos I found on the internet. You'll laugh till you cry.

(Warning to viewers: People who are the subject of pranks tend to swear a great deal.)

Ratman Prank

Skunk Prank

Mirror Prank

More Pranks

Best Prank Ever

Here are a few links to some famous hoaxes from history and how the truth was finally discovered.

Houdini vs. The Blond Witch of Lime Street

War of the Worlds

Van Meegeren

Cottingley Fairies

I've got to try that skunk prank sometime.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

News of the Bizarre

Okay, now I've seen it all. This story is about a cellphone that did a lot more than put through a call. The scary part is that this kind of thing can happen and no one will believe it until it's too late. Make sure you click on the video link in the article for even more info about how they figured out the culprit was the cell phone.

What else does my cellphone do when I'm not paying attention? Hmmm?

Friday, August 14, 2009

What's Your Favorite Song?

My fifteen year old nephew and I recently were talking about his favorite song. It was interesting to hear why this song affected him the way it did. What did the lyrics mean for him? (I was very interested to find that it was not the same message the band had written them to mean.) It got me thinking about my own favorite songs and why I love them so much. My very favorite song is by Josh Groban. Don't Give Up (You are Loved) I heard this song and the radio one day and it just spoke right to my heart. If you'd like to listen to this song click on the link below.

This song is to me one of the greatest examples of the human spirit in the midst of life's adversities. Not to give up when things are tough is one of the most important things we can learn in life. We are not alone and can overcome all things if we don't stop believing in ourselves, in others and in God. When I feel like I can't go on, I listen to this song and find my strength once again.

So what is your favorite song? Why does it affect you the way it does? How does it speak to you when it might not for others? I'd love to hear your stories if you are willing to share them. Include a link to your song if you possibly can. If it is too personal, feel free to leave your story anonymously in comments.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

And the Winner Is . . .

Congrats to everyone who voted to name my elf princess doll Aurelia because that is the name that won. Now when kids ask me what her name is I won't have to say, "Uh . . .I don't know." anymore. Aurelia is a much better name by far.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Haunted House? An Early Halloween Treat

This article I found on the internet is a facinating look at a real haunted house that turned out NOT to be haunted at all. What was causing, the unexplained ghostly activity dozens of people were experiencing in the home? Click on the link below to read this facinating story about a perfectly logical explaination for what might be causing many of the hauntings in our country, even today.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Victor Borge

After watching this orchestra play you will never see them in the same light again. I saw this on public tv the other night and laughed until I cried. Enjoy.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Biggest Mistake of Somebody's Life

After watching the video below I don't feel so bad about some of the mistakes I make while on the job. Somebody is seriously busted.

I'll bet the people in the appartments next door saw their lives passing before their eyes.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Make Way for Ducklings

It's stories like this that give you back your faith in humanity. It is heartwarming to see such a small act of kindness effect the hearts of so many. You can see that this crowd of strangers was touched and unified by something sweet and tender that they will never forget.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Most Unusual Car Chase

I saw this clip on the news and was laughing about it all morning. It must have been a real shock to the highway patrolmen to discover who it was they were chasing all over town. Since I'm sure you could all use a good laugh as well, I'm putting a link to a video of the story here.

Here is a more in depth coverage of the story.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I finally found the one hobby I haven't tried yet--making driftwood horses. You have to see this for yourself. Click on the link below to see these works of art. What amazes me is that this artist actually looked at a huge pile of driftwood and saw something more than a pile of garbage. They are life sized! How does she manage to get pieces of wood that fit the shape?! She must have way more time on her hands than I do.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Laugh for the Day

My nephews came to spend the weekend and I heard them playing down in the toy room, so I went down into the basement and found them playing with an army of plastic knights down there. I could hear there was some sort of pretend battle going on. Only the boys were playing with the lights off so it was almost completely pitch black. As I came down the stairs the boys looked up from their toys at me like I'd caught them doing something they shouldn't.

"Why are you playing in the dark?" I asked.

"The knights are fighting in a spooky dungeon," they said in hushed tones.

Of course they were. Silly of me not to recognize it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More Summer Projects

I finally finished my latest summer project--an elf princess to go with my elf prince doll. Don't they make a handsome couple? Once again my amazing coworker and her talented daughter helped me design the dress. (Donna and Diane, you ROCK!) I didn't like the name the doll came with so she is currently nameless. If you have any suggestions for a name for her I'd love to hear them. As a life long doll collector, I have dolls with just about ever color hair imaginable. I thought I'd go wild this time and get pink (one of the only colors I didn't have). It came out quite nicely even if I do say so myself.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Just For Fun

You have to see this to believe it!

(Warning: Clicking on the link below will take you to an outside website whose content I have no control over.)

Wish I could get dressed that fast in the morning.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

That was NOT in the Job Discription

Things that were not listed in the job description when I applied for my job as a librarian.

--Cleaning up Vomit/other bodily fluids

--Finding Lost Parents/Lost Children

--Crawling around on the floor in the back room, clawing my way through mountains of books looking for that one Magic Tree House book a child hasn't read yet.

--Being Sneezed/coughed on by sick children at least half a dozen times a day.

--Smiling and trying to act really interested in a blow by blow account of the fifteenth Pokemon book in a series as told by some really sweet and excited child who has discovered the joy of reading.

--Stopping pillow fights in the reading corner.

--Stopping water fights at the drinking fountain.

--Trying to convince that twelve year old boy who really hates books, that he really does want to try this one because it is SOOOOO different than all the others he's read before. Really!

--Paper cuts. Paper cuts. And even more paper cuts.

--Teaching adults how to find something in alphabetical order without making them feel stupid.

--Evacuating the entire building every time a child pulls the fire alarm.

--Explaining to small children that we really do not have that book in right now--so please don't cry, you'll make me sad. : (

--Explaining to children going to story time that we have to put their real name on the name tag along with the name "Superman" so we can tell them apart from all the other Supermans in that particular class.

--Ooohing and Ahhhing over all the darling princesses who turn up in their crowns and dresses to show them off at the library(which is almost as good as a ballroom, apparently). Have you ever noticed how those fake plastic high heels never fit right?

And that's just the beginning of it. : )

Friday, July 3, 2009

I Don't Feel So Good

I had to stay home sick from work today. If you know anything about me, you know I have to be pretty sick to not go into work. So I have nothing to do now but lie around in bed coughing up a lung, and entertaining myself via the internet on my laptop. Here's a couple things I found. (Warning: clicking on the links below will take you to an outside website whose content I have absolutely no control over.)

Rebel Turkey

Sea Lion Hijacks Boat

Deer Gets Revenge on Hunter

I'd say the human race better look out, animal kind is about to take over.

Monday, June 29, 2009


So I went to use my parent's bathroom the other day and found this HUGE hastily rolled up roll of toilet paper at least twice the size of any normal roll. My mother explained that one day she had the grandkids over and noticed that my one and a half year old niece was missing. She found her in the bathroom standing amid a mountain of unrolled toilet paper. When my niece saw my mom her eyes got huge and innocent as she pointed to her nose and said, "Boogey!"

That must have been some booger.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cover Art!

Go to my book blog and read the post about the cover art for my book!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I Need Help

I need help. More than usual, I mean. I've been concidering eventually selling some of the miniature sculpture jewelry that I'm always posting pictures of on my "Sheila's World" blog, but I would need a really cool name for them if I did. Miniature sculpture jewelry just doesn't quite do it. For those of you who are interested in helping me brainstorm some ideas, click here to visit my artwork blog and leave a suggestion. If not, you can move on down the page and pretend you didn't see this post. I'll never know the difference. Really.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Some Things Shouldn't have a Price Tag Put on Them-- Seriously

People will buy anything on Ebay. There was a haunted teddy bear up for auction a few years ago—Closing bid: $11,100.00 US dollars. My first reaction was—SAY WHAT? Anyone can buy a teddy bear and claim it is haunted, people! How could you possibly prove you had been scammed once you got the item? Excuse me Ebay but this teddy bear doesn’t get up and murder people in their beds after all, I want my money back please.

Here are some other real true items that have been put up for auction on Ebay as well as the original description the seller used to describe the item. With a little imagination and a bizarre sense of humor, you too can make thousands on the internet. Here’s how:

High End Cotton Swab - Up for auction is a very, very bizarre cotton swab. Why is it bizarre, you ask? Well, this is a high end cotton swab. If you do not like high end cotton swabs with a variety of uses then please do not bid. Payment is due within twenty four hours of auctions end.

Goldfish Pancake - Pancake in the shape of a Gold Fish it is one inch long see pic. I’m storing it in a ziplock bag in the freezer I also have a Pancake in the shape of a VW BUG car with the exhaust coming out the tailpipe, Pancake in the shape of the Predator from AVP - Alien vs. Predator it is about three by four inches long.

Five Questions Answered by Teen Genius - Great Advice! The winning bidder of this auction will be able to ask me any five questions and I must answer them truthfully to the best of my knowledge. You can ask me about advice on your car, girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband, job, house, brother, sister.

Chicken Finger that Looks Like a Chocolate Easter Rabbit - Chili’s chicken finger looks like chocolate Easter bunny. Here it is folks! The strangest chicken finger to ever get posted on eBay. I got this chicken finger on my plate at Chili’s. Just seconds before this prized gem almost ended up in my mouth, my eyes caught the amazing site.

Snow Globe that Can’t Snow - Mysterious Snow Globe! Alpine Skier by Perzy of Austria snow globe high collected around the world. This snow globe will NOT snow! There is no liquid inside the snow globe…but there is snow! You can see this in the picture as the globe is held on its side there’s no bubble of air at the top.

Diamond White Gold Ring Evil - This genuine diamond and white gold ring sold for one thousand eight hundered dollars from JcPenney. Since the ring has been in my possession, I have had nothing but bad luck and evil fortune. I believe that this ring is hexed and I want it away from me as soon as possible.

Fly Perfectly Preserved - I found this strange roll of tape over ten years ago and set it aside when I noticed there was a perfectly preserved fly specimen caught between the layers of clear tape. I do not know the species of fly or the exact time it met its fate but it could be well over fifteen years old.

Ghost in a Lemon - We had a bunch of unexplainable things happen to us in our home, we were watching a TV show one day, it said to catch a spirit you need to cut a lemon in half and leave it in a room for a day and the lemon will absorb the spirit. We decided to give it a try, and it seems that this actually worked.

Buy the Right for Bob to Live - We live on a small farm and this spring my husband and I bought two turkeys to raise for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately one turkey died young and one survived, my husband named her “Bob”. Bob is a friendly bird that allows my husband and two year old son to pet.

Area 51 Base Access Pass - Is it Real? This is a replica of the original sticker. Not Intended to be used for access to Area 51. Sticker is manufactured of high quality ultra violet resistant vinyl. Designed to mount on outside of windshield. Great for the Area 51,XFiles, Roswell, UFO-Space Ship Fanatics.

Well I know what I’m asking Santa to bring me for Christmas. How about you?

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's a Girl

Remember that tadpole I wrote about a while back? I haven't said much about the frog it became because it's been on a hunger strike and I wasn't sure it was going to make it. I've been force feeding the the poor thing for weeks because it refused to eat on it's own. So imagine my surprise when I went to feed the frog last night and it had eaten every last mealworm in the tank all on its own. Not only that, but it has now grown enough for me to see that the frog I've been calling "he" is very likely a GIRL frog. Since it is the boy frogs who make all the noise in the middle of the night, I find this a pleasant surprise. All the kids at the library have been asking about the frog and I've been terrified of what would happen if it up and died on me. All's well that ends well.

Friday, May 29, 2009

One of Life's Little Mysteries

Why is it that I always have to drink out of the children's water fountain which is much too short for me while some little child on a stool plays in the big water fountain?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Things It's Better Not to Think About

You want to see something scary? Next time you're on the freeway notice how many skid marks there are all over the road. I noticed it for the first time the other day during my commute to work. I couldn't keep count there were so many. That is a lot of car accidents! At least a dozen of them went straight off the side of the road. Some skid marks went on for two blocks in length. Yikes!

Friday, May 22, 2009

I Can't Believe I Liked It

What follows is a list of books I fully expected to hate when I started reading them, but ended up LOVING. Here they are in no particular order. (Parents: Most of these books are for older readers.)

Homeless Bird—Now one of my all-time favorite books. I cannot recommend this highly enough.

Hunger Games—The first time someone told me what this young adult book was about it didn’t sound like my kind of book. Was I ever wrong.

Ruby Key—As a librarian, I’ve noticed that most of the books with fabulous covers are usually not very good stories. The cover on this one was so beautiful I figured it had to be a flop. Thank goodness it wasn’t.

Sammy Keyes Series—I read the second book in the series first and liked it, but not enough to read the whole series. I decided to read one more—this time I chose the fifth book. After that, I was addicted.

Skeleton Creek—I almost didn’t even start this book because I was so sure it was going to be badly written. I now own it and can’t wait to get my hands on the second book.

The Mennyms—A coworker recommended this charming book to me. When I asked her what it was about she told me it was the story of a family of life-sized rag dolls. I actually gave her a funny look. “I know it sounds bizarre, “she said. “But you have to read it to understand how clever the story truly is.” She was absolutely right. I read the whole series in a week. The last book in the series was the best one.

Amulet of Samarkand—I’ve never been a fan of anti-hero stories, so right from the beginning I didn’t think I would be able to make myself finish this one. I have rarely laughed as hard at anything as I did at this book. By the time I got to the last book in the series, I was laughing and biting my nails until 3:00am, unable to go to sleep until I knew what was going to happen to my favorite characters. If only all books could be like this one.

The Girl Who Could Fly—I made a goal this year to branch out and read more books in genres I don’t normally like. This fabulous book was one of them. Thank goodness for annual work goals.

The Teacher’s Funeral—WARNING: This book could cause damage to your spleen from all the laughter it will induce.

Only Alien on the Planet—The strange but haunting cover on this book both repelled and attracted me. I kept seeing it at the book store and eventually I just HAD to know what it was about. I didn’t think I’d end up liking it. It’s now one of my favorites.

Life As We Knew It—Looking at the unexciting cover of this book, you would never imagine the life and death suspense hiding inside. I sure didn’t.

Stargirl—I got the book on tape for this book because I was so sure I wasn’t going to like it. After I listened to it, I couldn’t stop thinking about this story for weeks.

Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs—This was another of those books I read because I’m a librarian and it’s my job to read a large variety of books. I’m so glad I did. This book made the ordinary seem magical. I wish I could do that with my own writing.

Just goes to show you can’t judge a book by its cover.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Book Blog Update

My publisher finally hired an artist to do my cover. If you want to find out who it is, click on the link to my book blog.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Too Cute for Words

A friend and I recently discovered some old photographs in my mother's storage closet. Among them was this darling picture of my dog when she was just a puppy. She was so tiny in those days that a friend of mine (who was watching the dog for me) actually smuggled her into a movie theater in her diaper bag with no one the wiser. The dog slept through most of the film but managed to crawl out of the bag toward the end when no one was looking. The dog wandered through the theater isles eating stale popcorn, getting petted by people, and occasionally barking at the screen for good measure. My friend finally tracked her down and smuggled the puppy back out of the theater when the movie was over. No one told management about the incident. But then look at that adorable face--how could anyone resist?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Origami Fight

This was so good I had to pass it on. I've seen people do origami fights where they tap the tabletop to make them move, but nothing like this! Hope you enjoy. (Disclaimer: clicking on the link below will take you to an outside website whose content I have no control over.)

Some people have way too much time on their hands.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hobbyaholics Unite!

I'm addicted to hobbies.
Big hobbies, little hobbies, hobbies no one has ever heard of before. Cross stitch, puppetry, sewing, computer animation, gymnastics, ice skating, cake decorating, ballet, miniatures, Dungeon and Dragons, cross country skiing, horseback riding, fishing, jewelry making, beading, sculpture, pottery, scrapbooking, video games--if it's safe, not too expensive, and lots of fun--I've probably tried it at least once. (Except for the bungee jump my sister tried to convince me to try many years ago) I can't seem to help myself. Don't even get me started on the different things I've tried collecting over the years. I haven't got much room for storage anymore so I try to limit myself to hard to find items these days. For example--as a child, I loved mermaids but was extremely disappointed in their lack of imagination when it came to their attire. Fairies had all the best outfits made of flower petals, dew-laden spider webs and brightly colored leaves. Why shouldn't mermaids have something just as fantastic? I collected figurines of fairies for years but as for the mermaids, none of them looked the way I'd always imagined them. It became an obsession for me to find and collect mermaids with fantastic outfits--and let me tell you, it's near impossible--but a lot of fun trying.

The other thing I've been dying to collect is a fine art doll of a full grown man. (G.I. Joe and Ken dolls need not apply) I've searched for years to find one but have had no luck. I recently discovered the perfect doll--the only problem was, I didn't like the clothes he came in. Did I let that stop me? Of course not, I'm the queen of hobbyaholics--hear me roar. Or perhaps beg would be a better description, because that's what I did to one of my dear, uber-talented co-workers who could sew fantastic costumes in her sleep if she wanted. She created the most stunning outfit for my elf prince doll from scratch. I'm including photos of the final product for your perusal. (Donna--you rock! I could never have done it without you.) Now if I could just get around to finishing that glow-in-the-dark ghost marionette in time for Halloween this year . . .

I'll keep you posted. : )

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Can't Stop Smiling : )

This video just made my day. I was touched by her ability to not listen to the heckling and use her talent to bring the crowd to their feet. You go girl! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.(Disclaimer: Clicking on the links below will take you to an outside website. I have no control over outside content.)

This was another video that made me smile. Notice the reactions of those who are watching. There is a little bit of childish wonder and delight in all of us, just waiting to break free. I wish I had been there that day. I would have run out and joined in.

Are you smiling yet?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Have You Broken a Law Recently Without Knowing It?

Click the link below to see some strange laws from around the world. I would have been fined more than once if these things applied to where I live.;_ylc=X3oDMTF2cGM0ZGt2BF9TAzI3MTYxNDkEX3MDMjcxOTQ4MQRzZWMDZnAtdG9kYXltb2QEc2xrA3N0cmFuZ2VzdGxhd3MtMy0yNC0wOQ--

Dang, I can't kiss anyone before getting on a train? I'm taking the bus from now on.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

I recently spoke on a panel at a career options conference at a local college. The reason I was invited at all was because I'm conflicted when it come to my career. I studied illustration in school, became a librarian full time, but also love to write novels. In other words I never did figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. They wanted someone who could speak about keeping your options open. Speaking to college students who are just beginning their own careers got me thinking about why we choose to pursue the careers we do. The jobs we've worked for years aren't necessarily our first choice. I started asking around work what people would be if education, family or money were not an obstacle. The answers people gave surprised me. Among the dream jobs listed were things like criminal profiler, poet, private detective, author, artist, astronaut, women's rights activist, and actor. All of these are a far cry from working in a library. Call me curious, but I'm interested in knowing what you guys in cyberland would be if you could have your dream job. Make sure to list what you are now so we can compare and contrast. Feel free to leave it as an anonymous comment if you want.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Random Weirdness to Brighten Your Day

Screaming frogs. What more can I say? I didn't even know there was such a thing in the universe until I saw this. Had to share.

Toad that likes to be scratched.

Chatty frog responds to his owner's croaking. Cute.

Enormous wild hog. Glad I didn't meet THAT while out taking a walk one day. Even if I had been armed with a gun.

Things that make you go--hmmm. Like minature dancing robots. Doing a fan dance. In unison. Hmmmm. You could end world hunger with the amount of money they probably spent on making these things. But then I wouldn't have such a great video to post on my blog.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

What Your Mother Doesn't Know

One of my coworkers recently told me the story of how she broke her arm as a child. Right in the middle of telling me what it was she was doing when she fell, my coworker stopped and laughed. “You know, I lied to my mother that day about what I was doing when I broke my arm so I wouldn’t get in trouble. She still doesn’t know the truth. Maybe I should tell her one of these days.”

This incident got me thinking about secrets I’ve kept to myself over the years and why I felt I had to keep them a secret. My secrets tended to fall into one of three categories: 1) secrets that would have gotten me into trouble if anyone found out, 2) secrets that were too embarrassing to share, or 3) secrets that might hurt someone if they found out. Everyone has secrets. We never want our own to be found out, but we love to find out what other people are hiding.

Here are some fascinating secrets I’ve uncovered.

1) Disneyland has a problem with people trying to scatter the ashes of their loved ones on the haunted mansion ride. Every time it happens they have to close the ride down and call in a hazmat team to clean it up. I only have one question, for these people. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

2) Apples in the supermarket are dipped in wax before being put out on display so they will look more shiny and appetizing. If you don’t believe me, scrape the blade of a knife against the surface of the apple’s skin and watch as some of the wax comes off. Not very appetizing, eh?

3) The ancient Mayan culture believed chocolate came directly from the gods and considered it sacred. Later on they used cocoa beans (the main ingredient in chocolate) as money. There was a time when it was illegal for anyone but royalty to eat chocolate in Europe. For a short period in history eating chocolate was also officially considered a moral sin. Strangest of all, microwave ovens owe their existence to chocolate. A scientist first got the idea for cooking with microwaves when he discovered a chocolate bar in his pocket had melted when he walked through an experimental machine.

4) When you see those really stupid safety labels on products it is because someone, somewhere actually tried it and the company is legally covering themselves.

Real Examples:
“Remove infant before folding for storage.” – Warning label found on a portable stroller.
"Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly." – On a label found on a child sized Superman costume.
"Do not put in mouth." -- On a box of bottle rockets.
"Not dishwasher safe." -- On a remote control for a TV.
"Do not iron clothes on body." -- On packaging for an iron.
"Do not use as ear plugs." -- On a package of silly putty.

5) Superstores like Shopko and Walmart have a problem with grown people getting rowdy while playing games such as hide and seek and tag in their store. Sounds like fun actually.

Want to hear one of my secrets? My sister, brother and I almost died in a near head-on collision with a semi-truck while on a road trip together. We didn’t tell our mother about it until ten years after the fact. She still got upset.

Feel the need to unburden yourself of a few secrets? Feel free to do so in the comments below.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tadpole Update

Once again the tadpole shows his power to pull on the heartstrings of small children. I took the tadpole home for another little break and had a child come to the desk looking for him. This little boy was extremely sad that the tadpole was not there. I asked him if he would like to draw a picture of the tadpole but he decided to write the tadpole a note instead. With great, great care he proceeded to write the little note attached to this post. When I asked him what it said, he informed me the tadpole would know. He then asked me to place the note against the side of the tadpole's tank so he could read it and know he had a friend waiting for him to return to the library. It just doesn't get any cuter than that. And so Berkley now has his first fan letter. I think he's been enjoying looking at it through the glass. I wish he'd tell ME what it says, though.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Some Great Videos

Here are some more of my favorite YouTube videos. (Disclaimer: clicking on the links below will take you to an outside website. I have no control over the external content of that site.)

Woman Freaking Out After Missing Her Flight - You parents of young children think you have it bad? Here is a full grown woman having the father of all hissy fits. You have to see it to believe it.

Baby Giving the Evil Look - I about died laughing!

Oops! - Remind me never to walk under a loaded crane. One question, where does that guy think he's running off to in such a hurry? Does he think his boss won't catch up with him later?

Validation - I love this video. It just makes you want to smile after watching it.

Gymnastics Bloopers - They always make it look so easy in the Olympics. For those who can not stand to see pain inflicted on others--skip this one.

Squirrel Attacks Deer - You have to see this to believe it.

Halloween Light Show - I would love to have this in my front yard! So how many hours do you think someone spent on programing this thing to make it in sync with the music. More importantly, how much money did they waste on hardware to make this work?

Christmas Light Show - Raspberry, this one is for you!

R2-D2 Chorus Line - That is a LOT of R2-D2 toys!

Talking Animals - No joke.

And this one

Mankind is No Island - This one simply touched me. Had to share.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Do You Like REALLY Scary Stories?

Then the young adult book Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman is the book for you. I had a bout with the stomach flu Saturday so I read all the way through this ghost story in one day. What made it so scary? The videos. As the story progresses the main character's best friend sends him emails with videos she has taken. Videos of a ghost. And this ghost is frightening to look at, believe me. The girl sends her friend passwords that you as the reader can use to view them on line as the story progresses. It gives the story an almost real feeling you rarely get while reading a story. I read/watched it during the daytime and I was scared silly. It was a lot of fun though. The videos are so important to the storyline that the book by itself is useless without them. In fact, you have to watch the last video if you want to find out how the story ends, if you can call it an ending. Unfortunately this is only the first book in a series so the story leaves us in a horrible cliffhanger, I'll be having nightmares about for months to come. There is no gore or violence in the context of the story, but this story is much too spooky for younger children. (Heck I'm an adult and at times it was almost too spooky for me.) The most amazing part is the depth the author is willing to go to in making this fiction feel like reality. There is an "unofficial" website (obviously put there by the publisher), Wikipedia entries with more info about the ghost, and even fake newspaper articles you can find if you follow links. There are hidden goodies that appear on the official website but only at different times of the day. According to one fan, the best stuff comes on after midnight. If you like spooky stories don't miss this real treat. And make sure your laptop is handy.

P.S. Karlene, you will want to skip this one. Trust me.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Like it Never Even Happened

Would you believe this is the same door frame my bird trashed three days ago? Amazing! You can't even tell there was ever any damage. Except for the big hole in my pocket book that is. *Sigh*

Monday, February 2, 2009

Bad, Bad Birdie!

Guess what my parrot did to my parent's door frame last night when no one was looking. He managed to unlock his cage and this is the result.

In case you can't tell from the pictures, the damage is almost a yard in length. There were woodchips everywhere. I don't know if I should laugh or cry. I think my father did a little of both. The parrot has managed to escape his cage before and chew things but never to this extent. Why oh why couldn't he have done this at MY house instead of my parents? I swear I'm cursed.
At least the parrot had fun.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Scary Mary

I laughed and laughed when I saw this video and had to share. It just goes to show that presentation is everything. After watching this you'll never see Mary Poppins in the same light again.

Hide the children and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What a Librarian Will Do in the Name of Furthering Education

Have you ever driven to work with a tadpole in your car? Well I did this morning. Two words. Water everywhere. And why did she have a tadpole in her car, you might ask? Because I'm a librarian. Librarians will do anything in the name of education and learning. Including chauffeuring around a live tadpole so the kids at the library can experience the joy and excitement of watching a tadpole change into a frog. The tadpole was still alive upon arrival so alls well that ends well.

Since I am the one in charge of displays at the library, our regular patrons and staff have grown used to seeing me carrying strange objects in and out of the building. Here is a list of some of the more startling things I've been spotted toting about.

1) A large pink dollhouse (fully furnished)

2) A life-sized robotic pony (You would not believe the crowd of children I attracted that day.)

3) A talking female robot with a pink miniskirt

4) A miniature covered wagon with a team of horses attached

5) A romote controled flying saucer (really flew)

6) A mermaid marionette

7) A live parrot

8) A live poodle

9) A fake heartshaped cake with frosting. (Kids kept asking if they could have a taste.)

10) Three Fairy dolls with wings that move

11) One large stone gargoyle

12) A miniature zoo complete with moving animals

13) A real sword (One little boy made his father come over and ask if he could hold it--please, please, please.)

And my particular favorite: The giant posable skeleton I was caught on the elevator with. Some rather well dressed wedding guests were on their way up to the ballroom and couldn't stop staring at it in horrified silence. It was NOT Halloween at the time.

What can I say, I'm devoted to my work.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Snow, Snow, Go Away--and Don't Come Back!

Where, oh, where is all my beautiful California sunshine? Can I just tell you all how much I HATE driving in snow? This whole week it’s been snowing with a vengeance. It took me two and a half hours to drive home from work one night. I saw no less than three accidents, two ambulances, one fire truck and five police cars on the way. I’d forgotten my cell phone that day and couldn’t call home and let them know I was all right. My family was about ready to jump in the four wheeler and come hunt for me.

On the way to work the next day I found myself slipping and sliding all over the road. I was gripping the steering wheel so tight my knuckles were white. That’s when I noticed the truck ahead of me had a wickedly grinning silver skull attached to its back end. Every time the driver would hit the breaks, the skull’s eyes would glow an evil red. That can't be a good omen, I thought to myself. Not exactly the kind of thing you want leering at you all the way to work as you drive on icy roads with snow pelting down. I only saw one abulance and one firetruck on the way to work today, so people must be getting more cautious. Or stuck in ditches, take your pick.

Now if I can just make it home in one piece after work today. It's enough to make me want to hybernate for the winter! See you all next spring. (I wish)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Absolutely Fascinating: Part Two

As a children’s librarian I have picked up some absolutely fascinating but completely useless knowledge over the years. Last year I made a list of some of my favorite strange but true trivia and decided to keep up the tradition this year by sharing some more. If you want to entertain yourself for hours try looking up information on the internet about these bizarre but oddly enthralling subjects.

Singing Sands –Have you ever heard of the Singing Sands? I hadn’t. Desert winds can cause sliding avalanches which make some pretty eerie, almost musical, sounds. Not every desert sounds like these do because only a certain kind of sand can create these noises. The sand has to be just the right shape, size, and substance to work right. The explorer, Marco Polo, heard these sounds and believed them to be made by evil spirits. The website below is in a foreign language so just click on the pictures and you will see video of the different types of sounds the sand can make when people simulate avalanches (on a much smaller scale) with their hands, feet, or backsides. It’s even spookier when created naturally because all of these different sounds harmonize together. You have to really turn up the volume to get the full effect.

Coral Castle - A man who was jilted at the altar by his young fiancé built an entire castle, all by himself, to commemorate his lost love. It took him 28 years and he never let anyone watch him work, often building at night so no one would see how he did it. Many of the stones involved were so big experts say it would be impossible for one man to have moved them alone.
Hmmm . . .

Lioness Adopts Baby Gazelle – A lioness in Africa by the name of Kamuniak decided to adopt a baby gazelle as her own. She was so worried some other lion would eat her new foster baby she stopped hunting and began starving herself. I would not have believed it if I hadn’t seen video of this story with my own eyes. Neither will you. If you put in the words, “lioness adopts oryx” as a search in Google you’ll get all sorts of great stuff.

The Principality of Sealand - Just click on the link below. You have to see to this one to believe it! Make sure to click on the Picture Gallery and Fact File links as well.

Oak Island Treasure – Millions of dollars and six lives have been lost searching for this hidden treasure no one has ever been able to find. Something was definitely hidden there once, the deep shaft and booby traps left behind attest to that. Is the treasure still there? No one may ever know.

Marfa Ghost Lights – Marfa, Texas has quite a mystery on its hands. Strange glowing lights that have been appearing there since the 1800’s. There are all sorts of theories about what causes the phenomenon. Check out the facts and decide for yourself.

Try not to get a headache while still wondering about it all at three o'clock in the morning. : )



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