I lost my baby today.

This is Freckles, my dog of 15 years. Isn't she adorable?

Old age finally caught up with her. I won't go into details, though there are so many. But today we had to take her in and let her go.

I'm at a weird place of calm and misery. The calm is for her, really. I watched her go. Drift into that hazy loss of drug-induced sleep until her little heart finally stopped. I didn't sob hysterically like I thought I might, but petted her until dad finally sort of ushered me from the room. She was gone, and staying there wouldn't change anything.

She was a good dog.

The misery, I know, is more for myself. I miss her. Her dog bowls are still downstairs. Her doggie bed is still there. Unless mom and dad have cleared them away already. I can't write this and not be miserable and using a lot of tissues. She wasn't completely my dog, more the family dog, but as time went by, she was mostly my mom's and my dog. My older sister is far off in Missouri, and in a way, she's lucky because she hasn't seen Freckles in so long, she's distanced to it. Oh well.

Freckles, honey, baby, I love you. We'll meet again, in time.
For those visiting for the first time (as there may be a few of you - you know who you are), welcome to my little bloggy. This used to be just a hub called The Profile with links to everything I was connected to on the web (or just about). Now it's taken over the job that my Life O'Me blog used to have. Here is where you'll hear about the goings on in my life. Not often a big deal, but sometimes I have weird stories to relate.

As you can see, there are links all over, so here's a quick rundown of where they'll take you:

  • Alternative Ramblings ~ My writing blog. All my writing news will be posted there, from what I'm writing now to thoughts on genres to my current agent search.
  • A Bookseller Recommends ~ Previously the Life O'Me blog. Provided I get to continue my job at B&N in Kansas City (...and even if I don't), this is due to become my reading blog focusing mostly on recommending good books for just about anyone. This blog officially rolls out the welcome mat August 1st.
  • LinkedIn ~ I'm on this social networking site as opposed to MySpace or Facebook. It's more professional and can actually work for your career, though I haven't utilized it for such things yet.
  • Epinions ~ The site where I review anything and everything. Books, music, camping/hiking equipment, movies, office supplies, and more. I used to be an Advisor as well as a Top Reviewer in several categories, but my production has really slowed down in recent years, thus the loss of all my hats (as they're called) except for one (which will probably be gone soon as well).
Links on the side are mostly for fun. The first group [Fun and Functional] are links I highly value. The links farther down [Bored? Amuse Yourself] are just for kicks, as are the T-shirt links. You can click those and peruse on your own time. Just be careful of what you might be getting into...

And yes, that is a 30-second clip of music to the right. Just make sure your speakers are low because you never know what I might have stored away in there. You'll be able to see what artist/song I have ready to play, but if you don't know what it is, it's best to be careful as I enjoy a good bit of loud music now and then.

So welcome, enjoy, and feel free to leave comments (you don't have to be a member of Blogger to do so).

Welcome one and all to the new and improved page by moi, Nicole T.

This blogspot will house the goings on in the Life O'Me as the previous blog with that name will either go defunct or towards another purpose. Whatever the case, this is the location for happenings in my life, only this time with less of an R rating (for the kids). Who knows? This may be the starting point for visitors (for when I get published - I always say "when") until I actually purchase a .com with my name involved. After all, why spend the money when I don't even have a book out? That and I'm not even sure how to put together a webpage. Oh, sure, I have some rudimentary knowledge, but overall, I'm rather clueless.

On the homefront, there is big news (semi-big news on the writing front as well, but we'll get to that in the Ramblings blog).

First, I'll start out with: I graduated.


Yes, I graduated on June 28th and now have an M.A. in Writing Popular Fiction. I know, some of you are thinking, "Yeah, ok, so what's that get you?" Better skills in writing, that's what. I'd like to teach creative writing - I think it would be great fun - but that isn't my main goal. I'm frustrating my entire family with this sort of thing, working at Barnes & Noble instead of getting a better paying job and whatnot, but truth is, no one will hire a creative writing teaching until that person has published something. Frankly, I'd love to mosey on back to Seton Hill after getting published and teach in that program. I would love that. Heck, Maria V. Snyder did it! Yes indeed, she graduated from the program in 2007 and now she teaches there. Just for the WPF program, not as a professor the rest of the year.

And if I want, I could even go back and get an M.F.A. since they *just* recently got the okay to change the program to allow people to get that instead of the M.A. Sounds nice, but I just don't have the money. I'd be in school forever and owe the goverment and banks millions (ok, so not millions, but enough) and that doesn't exactly appeal to me. For me, it's time to get something IN PRINT.

That's the first piece of big news. The second?

I am moving.

Yes. Again. I am moving again. I basically follow my family everywhere because honestly, what is out here for me? Ok, that sounds bad and kind of lame, now that I think about it, but I'll explain in a second. The move this time is due to my father's (always my father) new job at Kansas City University teaching Special Education. He's not officially a Dr. with a Ph.D yet, but he's pretty close.

Actually, I debated for a long time about posting this information and, if you want to know the truth, debated for a long time on whether or not to follow my family to Missouri (we'll be living in Blue Springs, so anyone in the area, feel free to drop by and swim in the pool - yes, our house has a pool). I could actually go for one more year here in PA, but I simply don't make enough money to have my own place and the job opportunities are pretty slim. I think maybe if I worked full time at B&N - especially since I'm due for another raise in, oh, 4 weeks or so - then I'd be good to go, but they just don't have any full time slots for me. Maybe if I begged them...I do like working there even if other people (i.e. dad) think it's a lowish sort of job for someone of my smarts.

The other thing though, is that everything going down (and soon) will be going down within MO and the surrounding area. My sister's graduation. Megan's wedding (though I'm still kind of freaking on how I'm going to afford that since I owe bundles in loans and now that I'm no longer in school, the payments have started right up...I guess a credit card may be in order). And of course, my sister's wedding. I mean, just think of all the back and forth that would mean if I stayed here. Ugh.

So I'm just going to go with. I'll see what happens there and besides, I'll be a hell of a lot closer to Colorado than I am now. Just think - from next door to Kansas City to Colorado is about 8 hours. Do you know how AWESOME that is? And besides, for the girl who wants to ultimately live in Colorado the rest of her life anyway, that makes moving there much, much easier in the end.

So we'll see.

That's all for now. We move the first week of August so we'll be packing up quite soon. Hope you guys enjoy the new blog layout (though I'm still not sure about the title...), the side goodies, and are all having a good time, wherever you might be.

Just Finished:

Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich - Crazy killers, Ranger, a lot of cars getting destroyed, and BBQ. Tasty.

Currently Reading:

Libyrinth by Pearl North - A Young Adult novel by my very own Seton Hill Mentor

This Is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin - The science behind why we like the music we do and just how integrated it is with our mental wiring.

On Deck:

Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder - The continuation of Yelena's story in the Study Series.
Right. This blog is shutting down. Yep. I have three blogs right now and one really isn't serving much of a purpose (The Profile). So instead, I plan on moving the general "Life O'Me" concept to the Profile (and the name will change). And since there's a chance that more visitors will come there in the future, it's going to mellow out a bit (i.e. less profanity...heh). Not sure what I'm going to do with this blog yet - maybe I'll turn it into Nicole's Rant Blog or something so if I really need to freak out I can do it here.

Anyway, I do have some fun news to share on two fronts, so if you stopped here first, go visit Alternative Ramblings and The Profile to find out what's going down in the life o'me.