Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Day After and A Few Weeks Before

It's November 1st, the day after Halloween and all the M&M's and lollipops and the candy corn are 1/2 price -- like my fat arse really needs more candy. Turkey Day is just around the corner and I have no idea if I'll have company or not. Regardless, I'll be roasting a turkey, making dressing, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy and baking a pumpkin pie. The Iron Bowl is 17 days away and I shall be cheering for #1 son's alma mater. And it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas with tinsel and garland side-by-side with the 1/2 price candy and the big foil pans used for roasting turkeys. I've been looking at trees since my old one is (1) about 15 years old and (2) looks like a sapling in my great room since the tree is 7 feet tall and my ceiling is 12 feet.

It's also the beginning of our month-long birthday celebration at the Writing Playground with our prize-a-day giveaways and lots of fun. Can I get a "Squeeeee?"

Twelve months ago there was no Writing Playground except in the minds of five women. We'd brainstormed the idea at our RWA chapter retreat and developed the theme for the site, the different sections and our nicknames. We'd decided on ground rules, came up with a contest schedule and had several photo sessions to get our photo gallery together. Like any well-run project, each member had assigned tasks and responsibilities, and we all pulled together to make it happen. On November 14, 2005 the Writing Playground debuted in cyberspace -- both the website and this blog.

When we began, our blog comments were pretty much from each other with the Mavens popping in when they could. Now we have a band of merry followers including some lurkers (Hey you! Come out and play!). We've gone from doing all the blogging ourselves to having several guest bloggers pop in and enlighten us with their wit and wisdom. What a difference a year makes.

I'm sure during the upcoming month we'll take some backward glances to see where we were and how far we've come in the past twelve months, both in our cyber presence and in our personal writing journeys.

And that brings me to today's giveaway. It's a "backward glance" with 4 older books by several friends of the Writing Playground: Breathtaking by Rhonda Nelson, Lady in Red by Debra Webb, Jinx and Tracy by Sabrah Agee and Angel at Large by Peggy Webb. I sure hope they don't mind me dragging out some of their older work, but I've enjoyed reading books from earlier in their writing careers to see where they began and to appreciate how far they've come because I certainly know their successes have not come without hard work.

And to show you just how far romance has come in general, there's also a Mills and Boon Romance originally published in 1960 called Nurse Templar by Anne Weale.

So start commenting and tell me what have you enjoyed about the Playground site and blog over the past year? What would you like to see in the upcoming year? What's your favorite Halloween candy? Have you started Christmas shopping yet? Are you roasting a turkey for Thanksgiving or having something else? Auburn or Alabama?

One lucky commenter will be selected to receive the 5 books mentioned above plus a beaded bookthong to mark your place when you absolutely, positively have to put the book down and do something like roast a turkey or address Christmas cards.


Maureen said...

Congratualtions on your anniversary. It's been a pleasure visiting you to see what you have to say about books, writing and life in general.

Problem Child said...

Jinx and Tracy is one of my favorite books!

How'd you find all of these?

Happy Birthday to Us! Squeeeeeee

Smarty Pants said...

How did you get your hands on Jinx and Tracy?? I guess I'm not eligible to win... :(

Happy Happy Birthday!!

Theresa N. said...

Congratulations! If enjoyed all the blogs personal and serious. Choclate is the only candy for Halloween. Shopping for Christmas? Of course, isn't everyone standing in line for ELMO! My first choice is Mississippi State. But BAMA comes in second, ROLL TIDE!

misty wright said...

First off, Congrats on the one year mark!!! You ladies are GREAT!! favorite candy...M & M's with nuts. ;) I will not be cooking the turkey, someone else my mother-in-law or my mom. HAHA! Auburn will be who I'm cheering for or hubby would hurt me. hehe. ;)


Rhonda said...

Congrats on your anniversary! And PM, I don't know where you found that book! That's my he-looks-like-he's-got-gas cover, lol. Still, it was my first ink and paper baby and so, flaws and all, I'm still proud of it. :-)

Patricia W. said...

Congratulations on 1 year! I mostly lurk but occasionally I come out to play. I've gotten some good writing tips and enjoyed the author interviews. I also appreciated the chance to read the "Pass It On" book.

I'm cooking for Thanksgiving too and need at least an 8 ft tree (required when DH is almost 7 ft tall). I'll try to pop over although I'll have less time to blog this month, what with NaNo in progress (Before noon on Day 1 and I have 800 words so I'm off and running.)

Beth said...

I like to come over to website to check up on what is going on.
I love peppermint patties
Yep already started Chrimast shopping and I feel like I'm behind already
Mom is cooking Thanksgiving Turkey
Don't really have a favorite between AL and Auburn sorry

Lori Borrill said...

Happy Anniversary and congratulations on a job well done. You've all created something wonderful here and I hope you keep it going for a very long time!

Jennifer Y. said...

Happy Birthday Month Playfriends!!

I have really enjoyed reading about your journeys and writing and lives.

Here's to another great year of fun on the playground!

I wish I could say that I have my Christmas shopping done, but that won't be happening anytime soon. LOL

Playground Monitor said...

How? Two words: thrift stores. And there's a story behind how I came up with this idea.

Your first book, Rhonda??? Oh, that makes it even more special.

SP, if you want to read Jinx and Tracy, you can borrow my copy. And should I find another during my thrift shopping, I'll pick it up. I also understand it's available at online used book sites.

I bought 2 small Christmas gifts today and got one from the UPS man yesterday. Can I just send everyone a Books-a-Million card and be done with it??? I'd better hush or y'all are going to get me one of those "Bah Humbug" shirts. I LOVE Christmas; it's the shopping I abhor.

Smarty Pants said...

Thanks, PM. I'd like to read it. I have actually done a decent chunk of my Christmas shopping. I have bought everything for my stepdad, sister and mom. I need to get stuff for DB, his parents and brother's family, and my grandma. Oh, and you all, but that's already taken care of.

I cashed in my AmEx miles for gift cards that I've been using to buy presents, so the best part is that I'm not only almost done, but its hardly cost me anything. I love it.


annie said...

Congrats to all of you on your One Year Anniversay. I enjoy visiting your Playground and blogspot. Looking forward to the next anniversary!
My fave Halloween candy??? Chocolate of course!! :)
I love Christmas and shopping and getting together with family & friends (though I have yet to buy a Christmas gift).
Not roasting a turkey this year...we're all heding to my big sister's house to grub out. lol! This way she's stuck with all the before and after clean-up!! :P
I can't choose Auburn or Alabama...I'm a Tennessee fan!!!

Kathy said...

Tried to post earlier but the computer wouldn't let me through. Go Vols!

Happy Birthday, Playfriends! I'm so glad I've been able to come out and play with you guys. I've never wanted to grow up and my DH would agree. Also, to coincide with your festivities, we'll be celebrating the 14th for another reason. My DD #1 will be turning 21. Can you believe it?

Love chocolate candy! M&M's are my fave. Thanksgiving is always celebrated at my FIL's and then we do our own turkey on Saturday or Sunday afterward but oh, how I remember my Grandmother's oyster stuffing and flaky crusts. I love christmas and have already started shopping for a few things. The girls and I usually go to the after Thanksgiving Day sales every year. I'm debating whether or not to go this year, but it's oh, so much fun when we do!

Love it here! Love to play!


Sabrah said...

Happy anniversery, Playmates, and congratulations! I can't believe it's been a year already. I'm thrilled and delighted you chose JINX and TRACY as one of your prizes. It was a fun book to write and, as my very first published work, will always be special to me. Here's a little side note: If it hadn't been for Deb Webb's nagging me to submit it, JINX would never have seen the light of day. So thanks, again, Deb, for your tenacity.

Sabrah said...

OH! I forgot to answer the questions! I love reading the blogs on your web site and I enjoy reading your recommendations for good reads. I can't think of a thing I'd like to see other than what you have. After all, you can't improve on perfection! My favorite halloween candy is chocolate eyeballs, I will probably go to a family reunion for Thanksgiving, so I'll be making a casserole, of course. I haven't begun to Christmas shop, yet, but I'll do most of it on line, and I'll be rooting for my son's alma mater during the Turkey Bowl!


Maven Linda Howard said...

You're a year old! Your Mavens are so proud!

What do I enjoy best about the Playground? The blogs.

Favorite candy? Mmmm, I'm more of a salt person than a sugar one, but I do love divinity candy. Or candy corn. Or circus peanuts. One thing I'm not is a choco-holic. Sometimes I feel left out, but there it is.

No turkey this Thanksgiving. We're grilling hamburgers and hot dogs, just to give the cooks a rest! But the entire family seems to like the idea, so grilling may become a new tradition. As one of my dear nephews says, if you do something twice in a row, it's then a tradition and you have to do it forever.

Roll damn Tide.

Whenever I post, the word verification is the longest and weirdest combination. I never get the five-letter, easy deals. This one is: KXAQKSQP.

krissyinva said...

Happy Birthday!! I have to say I've only been visiting here for about 2 weeks but I love it already!! Favorite candy would have to be white chocolate, but you don't see it much at halloween so I'll go with chocolate/caramel combo and chocolate/peanut butter combo, lol. No I haven't started Christmas shopping, what can I say I love the craziness of starting my shopping on Black Friday. I will be cooking a turkey for thanksgiving and a boatload of other foods. This year will be harder because it's just me cooking with my nieces' assistance(17 and can barely boil water)It should be an eye-opening experience. Auburn or Alabama?? Is this football?? Well I'll pick Auburn because I'm a red-head, lol

blueberri said...

Happy Birthday, Playground! It's been an awesome year! I've enjoyed your blog, your interviews, your talent, your fun!

My Christmas shopping is almost done. Not too much to do this year. My family wants gift cards. LOL Perhaps that keeps them from standing in the return line.

I'm bummed because my DD has to work on Thanksgiving! My mom says she'll cook two small Thanksgiving dinners -one when DD can manage to come home.

Happy Birthday again! I think you've graduated to NASA space walks. :)

catslady said...

Happy Anniversary. I am fairly new to this blog but I'm really enjoying it and plan on staying for a long time :)
No Christmas Shopping 'til after turkey day lol. My 84 yr. old mom is still making the turkey but everyone will chip in with the fixings. Sugar Daddy's. And I have to go with Penn State.