And traded them in for new chocolate tresses! Ivanka is known for her golden blonde hair, but a few days ago via Twitter she showed off her new brunette hair.
To be honest, I’m just not sure how I like it. I’ve grown so accustomed to Ivanka with her blonde hair, this will take some getting used to. It’s not that I don’t like it—she’s a beautiful woman and can get away with many different looks—but this one is so dramatic, I’m still undecided on whether I like it or not. But I will say that she looks younger as a brunette, which can never be a bad thing.
What’s your thoughts? Love it or leave it?
At the end of year I think many people are making New Year’s resolutions. I’ve never done so, but I do like to end the year thinking of what I’ve accomplished the previous year and finding ways to grow or improve as a writer.
When writing, it’s easy to set a goal and to see that goal to get accomplished. Not that writing is easy, but every time you open that document on your computer and see your manuscript grow—even if it’s just one word—you can see growth. You’re one word closer to seeing your goal being accomplished—a finished book.
But when you’re book is finished and it’s been revised, and revised, and revised again, then your goal changes. Now you want that goal to change into something new—a published book. Having your book published shows people what you’ve been doing all these years, it shows your hard work has paid off into something tangible.
But what if you don’t have anything tangible to show for all your hard work?
I finished my book this year. I finally have a book I’m proud of, and eager for my readers to get their hands on. But that goal has not been realized yet, as of yet I can count on my hand how many people have read my book.
To many on the outside it may seem I’ve accomplished little on the writing end in 2012. But re-writing my book really changed me, and taught that nothing worthwhile in life can be had without a lot of hard work and sacrifice.
So for all those writers out there who may feel bad when they open Facebook and see another author happily announcing that their book will be published in Turkey, or that they found an agent, or that they received their ARC’s, don’t despair! Books get built one word at a time. So if 2012 wasn’t the year that a book was published for you, do what you do best—keep writing. And remember that the goal you’re working on in the wee hours of the night or the early hours of dawn, will one day become visible. Keep writing and that book will be published.
Kate Middleton is known for her classic style. And her updated hair is just that…classic! She’s added a few face-framing layers and long side-swept bangs to her chocolate brown locks. It’s a minor tweak, and shows that sometimes something as simple as a few layers can really change your look.
I love her hair! I’m a sucker for layers, and I think she added just enough to frame her face beautifully, without being dramatic. Her hair is so lush and shiny, (due to her lovely colorist) and the layers add loads of body.
See the difference? Yes, just a few inches around her face makes such an impact!
Well, it’s plain to see that I love this look on her. What do you guys think? Love it or leave it?
Writing takes patience. Lots of patience. Currently, I am in the middle of querying agents for my third novel, and believe me it is definitely teaching me a lesson in patience. As I await responses I have to keep busy. And that means—beginning my next novel.
One thing I’ve learned is that I can’t control whether or not an agent likes my work, writing is subjective. But what I can control is what I do with my time while I wait, and that means working on my next novel as I continue to query.
Working on my next novel helps in many ways but two stand out to me:
1. It helps take your mind off the query process.
Anyone who has an agent can tell you that the process of finding one can nearly drive you crazy. You doubt yourself and your ability as a writer as the rejections pour in. And then when you do get requests for your manuscript, you’re on pins and needles wondering if they will love your work enough to represent you. But I find that if I do what I do best, and just keep writing, it’ll keep my mind off the craziness and put my focus on what’s more important—my craft.
2. It gives you the head start you need on your next book.
So when I do find an agent, (notice the confidence—when I do find, not if I find), I’ll have the advantage of having started my next novel. I mean you do want them to sell your next book, right? So having that book almost done shows your agent that your serious about writing and in it for the long haul. It shows your work ethic and dedication to your craft.
So that’s what I’ve been doing, (gives me an excuse for the lack of blog posts this month, right?), working on my next book as I await responses from agents. I don’t know how long I’ll be on this road to search for an agent, but I do know that this is my journey and it will be uniquely mine. I’m not reading about other author’s journeys on the agent process, because that was their journey. Yes, some may be encouraging, especially when you read about a bestselling author who queried for a year, but what about the stories of authors who got their agents quick, sometimes in three months? Well yes, that would bum me out. So while I’m reading plenty of great books, I’m making myself ignore anyone else’s agent journey. This is my journey. And I’m in it for the long haul.
So two weeks ago I reviewed Margaret Dilloway’s lovely novel, The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns. After reading her book I reached out to her for an interview, and was thrilled when she agreed. Keep reading to learn her writing process, how much research was involved in writing her book, and her worst hair experience!
First off, I really loved The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns! How extensive was your research on rose breeding? I bet you could you write another book on just that!
It took a few months of research. I read a lot. I was interested in new and unusual kinds of roses. Some people are breeding roses with stripes or spots and all sorts of cool things. Jim Sproul helped me tremendously—it was he who suggested Gal be developing the Hulthemia. Sproul was actually the first to get the Hulthemia out into the marketplace this year! If you’re interested in breeding roses, look him up. He generously provides a lot of info.
Because of the extensive research, did you use an outline? Or are you a pantser?
I had a detailed outline for this, mostly because my editor bought it based on the premise and she wanted to see it. But, I veered quite a bit as I wrote. The road map was helpful, but it’s important to give yourself permission to take detours, too, if you see a better way of getting there.
Was it difficult writing a book that was so personal?
No, everything I write is personal in some way. Even if think it begins as something that’s not close to me, I am lying to myself. I write about stuff because there’s some nugget in there that really triggers me emotionally.
Both of your novels have strong family themes. Why is that subject such a joy to write for you?
I lost my mother at a relatively young age, 20, and that’s made me appreciative of the short time we have on this planet. And family relationships are fascinating—you can’t choose your family, so sometimes they’re people you wouldn’t necessarily be friends with if you met them on the street, yet you’ve got to form a bond and help each other out.
You’re on Twitter and Facebook. Do you like social media? Do you feel it’s a necessary for an author’s career?
Social media is a black hole of time. I can spend hours on there looking at cute baby photos and people’s vacation pictures. But I think it’s a good way to interact with readers, and let them get to know you a bit as a person.
What’s your writing routine like? Do you write every day?
If I’m working on a project I do try to write every day. I take the kids to school, come home, work, then take a break where I might hit the gym or do an errand, then come back again. I try to do a couple of scenes a day, rather than focus on page numbers. There are approximately 60 scenes in a book, so I know that if I do two scenes per day, in about a month I’ll be done with a draft. When I’m really into a project, I’ll also work at night and on weekends just because I’m in a flow and want to finish.
Okay, and now to the hair! Your hair looks so lush and thick, do you like styling your own hair, or do you go to the salon regularly? What’s your go-to style?
I am awful at styling my own hair. I am so right-hand dominant that only one side looks good. I have very very thick hair with some wave to it, and it’s challenged every stylist I’ve had! I like how it looks long, but it’s really hot against my head. So I like to have it cut at-the-shoulders in a long-layered bob with a side-swept bang. I prefer to have wash and wear hair. I don’t color it yet, though that will probably change soon, as I keep finding new grays every day!
Which celebrity would you trade hair with?
Ha! Just kidding…I can’t think of any. It’s easy to have beautiful hair if you have a team and funds. Cheaters!
Name your worst hair disaster.
I have a lot of those. My mom used to give me home perms. In 8th grade, it went wrong and frizzed the heck out. Also, I was growing out layers, so that added to the mess because I didn’t get it cut first. It was fried! My parents refused to send out my 8th grade picture, it was so bad.
After that, they let me go to a salon.
So big thanks to Margaret for stopping by the blog today! If you haven’t read her latest book pick up a copy, and also don’t forget her amazing debut, How to Be an American Housewife!
I haven’t reviewed a book in a while. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t read any good books, by all means no. But it does mean that if I do review a book, I like it. And so it goes without saying that I liked Margaret Dilloway’s, The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns.
Dealing with a chronic illness is hard, and I find it especially hard to read books about people who have a chronic illness. The main character, Gal Gardner has kidney disease. She’s already had two kidney transplants, and for the past ten years she goes to dialysis every other day as she awaits her next kidney. She’s a biology teacher who lives her life on a tight schedule that barely allows time for anyone let alone her one friend, her estranged sister, and her overprotective parents. Between her life of teaching bored high school students, her joy comes in roses. Or actually the breeding of roses. When you read the book, you’ll be surprised at the level of detail Margaret gives to the breeding of roses, you end the book thinking that you too can put a greenhouse in your backyard and begin to breed a rose or too. (Trust me, it’s not that easy.)
Going to dialysis every other day and her full time job leave Gal little time for anything else, but suddenly she is thrust into a situation she never expected, caring for her niece Riley. And a wonderful thing happens, just as Gal’s roses blossom, so does she.
I’ve never been one to give all the details and spoil the ending and nuances of a novel. I think part of a good review is that you want to read the novel for yourself. But trust me, it’s a great read. Gal is as sharp and prickly as the thorns on her roses, but she is just sweet enough that you root for her, and for her teenaged niece Riley—you root for both of them to stop being so thorny and to bloom as beautiful and rare as a Hulthemia rose. It was just a wonderful read, something you can gobble up in a day. I loved it.
Recently, I’ve moved my writing desk into my bedroom. It’s a secretary desk that was for the Hubby, but didn’t prove functional for him.
I still need flowers on top (straight copying Tayari Jones) but I really like working in my bedroom. To the right of the picture I have a large, bay window. I love to write and have my blinds up letting streams of sunshine in. There are no houses behind us, just an empty field with large white birds (they look like Egrets, but I’m no vet). I like to watch them fly to tree to tree, building their nests and such.
That is until the new street. Now instead of my lovely birds to watch, I will have a street running directly behind our house. I hate it.
The Hubby loves the idea, because the street will make it easier for him to get to work and will make a nice shortcut to get to a major road near our house for shopping. But all I can think of is the traffic noise—right there outside my bedroom window!
So Hubby, brilliant man that he is, says he’ll install a fountain outside.
“I’ve heard that the sound of running water helps distract from traffic noise. We could get one outside.”
And I know it would help…a little. But I’ll miss the peaceful backyard I once had. Now I’ll just hear cars. Lots and lots of cars…
Tia Mowry loves her new pixie-cut—but she did shed a few tears at first!
"I cried! I’m just going to be honest with you, I definitely cried," Mowry, 34, told Us Weekly Thursday. "I really wasn’t expecting the shock value. A lot of people ask me, ‘What advice would you give to women who want to chop it off?’ I said, ‘Don’t think about it because if you do you won’t do it.’ But it’s very liberating and it definitely saves time."
The Sister, Sister alum welcomed her first child, son Cree Taylor, with husband Cory Hardrict, 32, on June 28, 2011. One of the benefits of her pixie-cut is that it saves the busy mom time getting ready in the morning.
"I am so happy that I decided to cut my hair. It literally takes me three minutes to do my hair," she said. "I get out of the shower, put some conditioner in it, and it’s just ‘let’s go’ and I love that! I think it’s very very important to find products that allow us to be able to have more time to do things like that."
Well, I have to agree that having short hair does free up your time. I do like her with short hair, just not a fan of how it’s styled in the photo. But I’m sure she’ll be trying plenty of looks in the future. I hope she was taping her reality show when she got her hair cut. I’d love to see those tears on TV!
Interested in reading the full article? Then click here! And what do you guys think? Love the short or miss the long?
Sorry for not posting in a bit you guys, last week was very busy for me. Well, now it’s finally caught up with me, I’m a bit sick right now. In Houston we’ve had a couple of cold fronts, and it always gets my joints acting up and sometimes will throw me in a sickle-cell crisis. Well, this one is minor but I’m still not up to my usual self. So this week I’ll be resting and letting my body recover.
It’s funny how many of us women feel bad for doing just that—resting. I must admit I feel bad about it, I feel quite lazy when I sit in bed for several hours a day. When you have a chronic illness you have to take necessary steps to keep yourself healthy and resting is a major part of it.
So I’ll try to rest guilt-free, so no blog posts until I’m on my feet. But I promise I’ll be back with great interviews, tales from outlining my new novel, and of course all the hair posts you guys enjoy!
So yes, I’m still writing, and no this is not turning into just a Curl Up blog, there is still much Writing to be had…
I really like Natalie Portman, mostly because of her role in Star Wars. (You guys didn’t know I’m a Sci-Fi geek?) We remember her mostly for her luscious brown locks, but now she is honey blonde.
I don’t hate it…but I’m definitely not loving it either. It’s nice on her, but for me it makes her look too much like other actresses in Hollywood.
But what do you guys think? Love it or leave it?