29 February 2012

Leap Day

Happy Leap Day, Everyone!  Don't forget to check in with fellow ROW80's today!

Congratulations, Shannan, on your newest release! 
(Available at Evernight Publishing)  Available soon at Amazon!)

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Heat Level: 2

Word Count: 53, 050

ISBN: 978-1-927368-63-3

Editor: Hannah Giersdorf

Cover Artist: LF Designs
A Dark Breed Novel, 2
Tegan Murin has his hands full these days. Feral attacks are increasing, targeting humans, and now he is ordered to find and destroy a deadly artifact known as Oman’s Seal, deal with his estranged step-father and find a missing archaeologist. He’s a bit irritable. Add into the mix a recurring dream of one sexy seductress leading him to his death… well, you get one very pissed off were-panther.
Kyra Navarone is more than what she seems. Escaping from the ferals who captured her, she ends up running into a brooding, irritating man who makes her blood run hot just with one look. Her life depends on the betrayal of this compelling man, but how can she live with herself afterward?
More than their lives hang in the balance. In order to survive they must learn to trust one another before the world they know and the one hidden beneath the waves are destroyed forever.

Bio for Shannan Albright

Lynnet Shannan using the pen name Shannan Albright writes Paranormal Romance primarily. She has been a member of Romance Writers of America since 2008. She became president of her local chapter last year. Her primary focus is to encourage new writers who are focused on making writing their career. She uses oil painting as a way to work through her books and relaxes a good book. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband, step-daughter, a cat and two dogs.

In The News...

GaijinI recently met Shannon through BTS Bookclub  on Goodreads, and I'm wishing her success today!  Also this week, I joined The Questionable Content Reading Challenge, hosted by Pavarti Tyler.  March is reader's choice, and I took a recommendation and read Gaijin, by Remittance Girl.  I've passed my recommendation along to a few friends.  Check out the reading challenge before you delve in, Gaijin is not a book for everyone.  Dark, disturbing, erotic, and horrific, this novella will stay with you long after you've finished.   

Next up, I will be reading Pure, Rebbecca Ray  and The Hunger Games for BTS Bookclub. 

Stop by Medeia Sharif's blog for a chance to win Bewitching, by Alex Flinn!

What Are You Reading?

The editing continues, although it is now a matter of changing the document in my computer and typing in those extra scenes.  I'm moving right along and it feels great!  I also picked up another beta reader, which I'm thrilled about.  My beta readers are across genre - from a sci-fi/fantasy writer to a romance enthusiast - but I did not have a beta that wrote and read paranormal romance.....until now, that is.    

Hope you all have a wonderful leap day!  Happy writing!

~ Nadja

26 February 2012

A Few Words of Wisdom...From ROW80 And Pin-Ups!

A Round of Words founder, Kait Nolan, kicks off this week with ...
'Hey y’all, we’re coming up on a LEAP YEAR!  In our house, that means our youngest dog has her first PROPER birthday (yep, she was a Leap Day puppy!).  For the rest of you (and okay, yeah, for me too) it means we have an EXTRA DAY TO WRITE THIS MONTH!  Take advantage.'

Thanks for the reminder, Kait!  I plan on using my extra day to work on The Third Fate's edits and read throughs.  Woo-hoo!  I'm almost there!

I finally took a serious 'look-see' around Pinterest, and found some great little words of wisdom!  Thought I'd share...

The first, 'Kill Them With Kindness', is a favorite of mine, well...because it's true.  Now...maybe what I'm about to say is not the average response to this saying, but here goes anyway...  When someone is a miserable person, is mean, or bitter, paying them back with kindness inflicts the worst sort of shame on their heads.  It exposes their heart - and yours.  Keep your happy heart this week - even if things get tough!    

salt waterHaving lived near the ocean, I fell in love with this 'pin-up' immediately.  Hearing the rhythmic roll of the ocean in the background is one of the most soothing balms to my soul.  I miss it so much.  And..I've never divested myself of anger or angst better than through a tough workout or a good cry.  I'd like to find this and hang in in my office (when it's finished!)   

 Isn't this quote by Elaine Dalton beautiful?  It touched my heart - and made me think of my dad.  :}  All right, already!  I'm done with the sappy sayings...  On with the

*  Edits are complete!  Now I begin the first read-through.  I do have to finish changing the last few chapter's edits on the computer (I printed a copy of my manuscript and edited on that), so I should begin reading through in a few days.  This edit took longer than my previous edits, mostly due to the speed with which I wrote this story, but honestly, it was the smoothest.  That makes me smile...I'm getting better at this!

*  I joined BTS Bookclub on Goodreads!  Already, I've met a few new friends, discovered four books I just have to read, and read a novella that touched my heart.  Not bad for my first week in the club!  Pavarti Tyler invited me to join the Questionable-Content-Reading-Challenge, and as soon as I get the first book, which is only available in paperback, I'll begin.  I'm really excited about this challenge, as the materials will be deep and thought provoking. 

*  Social goals are going great! 

*  New historical idea is still sitting, patiently awaiting the day I can devote my attention to it properly.  (Hmmm...I'm not sure an idea can be patient...or anything for that matter, but my projects sort of become 'real' to me....ha!)

*  Exercise.  Well, I did work out twice this week, which is better than not at all.  But it's not the goal I set.  I determined to work out at least three times a week.  I may have to bite the bullet and pay the obscene fee for March's CrossFit classes.  I need the structure to keep myself motivated!  A hundred jump-ropes, 30 push-ups, and 80 squats just aren't enough for me anymore.  I barely break a sweat!  I need the intensity of that gym.  Ack!!!  What am I saying....????  Somebody stop me...Please! Heh-Heh.

Wish me luck this week!  I've got some serious work to accomplish...although the read-through is one of my favorite parts of the process!  Nose to the old grindstone....

~ Nadja

22 February 2012

Around The Blogs

Reading Around In My Visits...Thought I'd Share with ROW80 Friends ...

Elizabeth May Writes featured 'Self-Editing Your Manuscript In Eight Steps' this week.  Take a few minutes, it's a worthwhile read.  Honestly, I adore my adverbs and -ing verbs when paired with a strong verb (that's what I call them...i.e. - from -  The dog was running wildly after the frightened hare - to - The hound gave chase, galloping wildly on gangly legs, shadowing the frightened hare's every twist and turn.)  I can't seem to help myself... The mix and match approach appeals to my senses.  (Smiles sheepishly...;}

Here's Wordle, a place you can upload your document and get a picture, a word cloud of the most common words in your text.  Interesting.... 

What about you?  Do you limit your adverb and -ing usage?

Lindsay Buroker posts an interesting discussion about the feasibility of Indie authors maintaining a steady income source, and talks about competition in this growing field.

I happened across a book review site, Great Minds Think Aloud.  I purchased a new historical by Cecelia Grey based on a review I read there, and submitted my own historical for review.  Gosh!  That's a big step for me.  It's part of marketing, I suppose, albeit an uncomfortable part of marketing for me...


*  I edited one more chapter since Sunday's check-in.  Less progress than I'd like, but progress.  Getting The Third Fate into beta's hands by March 10 will be close....

*  Only worked-out one time!  This is unacceptable, and I need to get off my lazy kiester...heh heh.  Maybe today?! 

*  Social goals met. :}

*  Goodreads is a valuable outreach vehicle that I've not used well.  Many avid readers use this site, post reviews, and discuss books.  I plan to better utilize the opportunity this site affords me as an author.  Now if I can just figure out how... Ha!

Pinterest continues to pop up on my radar...This week I'll finally check out the hype.  Not only fellow readers, but also friends in my community are talking about this popular site.  

What's on your agenda this week?

~ Nadja

19 February 2012

A Sunday Snippet...

It's Another Weekly Check-In For A Round Of Words In 80 Days...See What's Going On!

Today, this typical Sunday in February, this bright, sunny, spring whispering sort of day, I discovered that my brother has welcomed some little lambs to his flock!  One sheep even had triplets this year! 

Sweet and fleecy, these babes frolicking merrily across the green brought a smile to my face.  Hope you enjoy the same reaction.

Don't forget President's Day...

The third Monday in February was chosen to honor presidents past.  Maybe slip a biography into your TBR pile on one of the great men in our nation's history.  Always one fascinated with history (and a nosy-Nettie), the stories of these men (and women) of times gone are among my favorites.  I've heard that David McCullough's book on Truman is wonderful.  I keep meaning to check it out of the library...hmmm, yeah, add one more thing to my 'to-do-list'.  One day...one day.  Ha!

On The Writing Front...
   Had to share this little comic I happened across!  Love it!  This guy's got the right attitude...ha...which brings us round to my editing progress...

*  Ten chapters are edited.  The document is corrected, updated, and shiny-new.  Let's see...that leaves about ...100 pages to go.  I thought I was closer to being done.  Oh, Wait!  I was!  I'm still writing, too.  Please, just smack me.  Er...well, not really.  This story keeps coming and coming.  The characters are interesting and exploring them, exposing them is simply more fun than I expected. 

I cannot complain, but sometimes I still do. 

*  Social goals met!  Near the end of last round and into this first round of 2012, I'm seeing a few of my relationships with fellow writers deepen into friendship.  It's really nice. 

*  New story is still on the side burner.  I've been so heavy into the editing that I've not expanded on the historical idea at all.  I still have about 50 pages of reading to catch up on for my research.  There's no hurry. 

*  Finally, I wanted to put out a snippet of The Third Fate.  This will also appear on The Third Fate's page....click the tab at the top of the page!

Meet Cael Maccinnnis...

'Perched on the concrete ledge, chilled night air whirled around his head, not that the cold bothered him.  Fall had arrived.  Dusky shades of twilight lingered in the west, but that, too, was of little consequence.  Breathing in deeply, Cael savored the smell of blood, of humanity pervading the night air.  He needed to feed.

Arriving in Glasgow to attend to business, now concluded, Cael had the city spread below, a pagan offering on the altar of his hunger.  Feeding from mortals offered sustenance.  With little strength to be gained from their blood and the absence of the sensuality found in feeding from another vampire, Cael approached the necessity with resigned indifference - unless hunger grew too strong, as he had allowed this time.'

Meet Paige Kinnell...

'Paige blinked, once, twice, peering about her entryway in hazy confusion.

I really need to get some sleep...

Throwing her woolen wrap over the bench, she slumped down, prying the chic heels from her tired feet with a sigh of relief.  Twelve hour days plus her commute wreaked havoc on her fashionable tastes.  Weariness swept over her, and for once, she omitted her regular habit of sitting with a mug of hot tea to unwind and headed straight for the shower. 

Half-an-hour later, cozy in flannel pajamas, Paige sank into her overstuffed chair, pulling the yellow chenille blanket around her shoulders.  She was alone; she'd checked the doors and windows twice, but the nagging sensation of a watchful presence lingered eerily.  Reaching for her neck, Paige again felt the strange tingling ache surge beneath her fingers.

What is going on with me tonight?

Shaking her head and snuggling into the chair, she stretched her legs on the ottoman and sank into deep sleep.  When her phone chirped much later, she uttered apologies in her dreamlike stupor and returned to sleep like the dead.  As her body rested, her mind came alive, sensual images filling her dreams - images of a man.   

Meet Pilar...

''Pilar,' he ground raggedly, 'in the name of all you hold dear, remove yourself from my presence before I...'

One look at him altered her disposition.  He turned to her, breathing heavily, the green-gold beauty of his eyes hidden beneath fevered blood lust.  She made to leave, to abandon her plan, but his thrall caught her, binding her in place as he slowly approached.

'Malcolm?' she breathed in a hush, no notion of whether this was the same man she loved.

She'd never seen him like this.  He only came nearer.  Pressing his lips to her forehead, Malcolm's hands trailed over her shoulders and arms as he breathed in her sweet scent.  He nuzzled her neck,  lightly scraping his fangs, now elongated in anticipation of tasting her, against her tender flesh.  A whimper escaped her, and Pilar understood without doubt that she had overplayed her hand.'

Meet Malcolm...

'A faint knock interrupted his brooding.

'Enter,' he commanded.

The gold-leafed handle turned silently, admitting Pilar Michaels, her head held high, shoulders straight.  Pride marked her features, the Roman nose, dark mysterious eyes, small bow-like mouth with full lips.

By the Fates she was beautiful.

She was also his enemy.  Supposedly.

Malcolm ceased his pacing, greeting her formally.

'Welcome to my home.  I hope you will be comfortable during your visit.'

Her head tipped in deferential reply, a slight action with mammoth implications.

'You have need of my skills, Malcolm of Clan Gaunson.  I, too, have need of yours,' Pilar reasoned.  'Perhaps we can help one another.'

'Do you propose an alliance of sorts?' Malcolm returned smartly.

'An alliance?' she mocked, yet humor glinted in shining eyes.  'Surely reciprocity is a more apt term, Malcolm.  Or would you prefer we enter into a more permanent agreement?'

Malcolm caught her innuendo, breathing deeply.  He would make no reply.  It was safer that way.'

Meet The Fates...

'Charity, what are you doing?'  Harry inquired, seeking her for a game he and Jael had dreamed up.

'Playing, silly,' she giggled, setting the glowing orb on the side table and skipping off to join her siblings.

'Playing what?' curiosity prompted him to ask.

'What else but a game?' Charity laughed, taking Harry's hand.  'Shall we play something new today?'

'Oh, yes!' Harry exclaimed, distracted from his questioning for the moment.  'But Jael wants to play hurricane!  We haven't played hurricane in a very long time.  Say you'll play, Charity!'

'Well...,' Charity considered.  'It has been a very long time since we played hurricane.  We'll have to convince Old Zephyr to join us.  It's no fun at all unless he blows his hardest.'

Harry ran ahead, yelling for Jael, and Charity smiled, thinking of her own game a moment before giving her attention fully to the upcoming festivities.  She, her brother Harry, and sister Jael had loved games as long as she could remember, since Father Time set the hands of his wondrous clock in motion.  Now, time marched on, but Charity and her siblings remained the same, children ever indulging in their beloved games.' 

The Third Fate,by Nadja Notariani © 2012


14 February 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

February 14 is designated to honor that age old infatuation we have with love....


An intense feeling of deep affection: "their love for their country".
Feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone): "do you love me?".
noun.  affection - fondness - darling - passion
verb.  like - be fond of - fancy - adore

A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.
Ingrid Bergman

Romantic love, longed for and spurned alike, can be salvation when returned freely, torment when unrequited.  Love fills or breaks the heart, inspires or crushes.  With the promise of love, we give all, even foolishly, to please, to win, to display our devotion.  Is it any wonder, then, our fixation on this emotion?  And what is true love?

A woman knows the face of the man she loves as a sailor knows the open sea.
Honore de Balzac

Admittedly, I am no great fan of Valentine's Day.  It's not that I don't love...well...love.  Not at all!  Shall I hang my head in shame at the admission?  Ha!  I'm not against Valentine's Day, either.  Preparing a special dinner for the one you love, writing a poem, a love letter, these all are wonderful ways to honor the animal we call love. But buying a card, a trinket, can all be done without love...hence my reluctance to buy into a set holiday.  

Love is lived, a verb rather than an emotion.  I experience love in the small things.  Rising early to make coffee, setting aside a want to give another their own, taking the time to listen, receiving hugs from little hands that ask nothing in return - this is love.  

May your Valentine's Day be filled with love of the purest kind. 

A man reserves his true and deepest love not for the species of woman in whose company he finds himself electrified and enkindled, but for that one in whose company he may feel tenderly drowsy.
George Jean Nathan

As a romance novelist, crazy, heart-stopping love is my business - or at least my ideas about it.  But deep abiding love and passion, the sort that comes from a true and honest knowing of another soul, unfolds slowly over the course of a lifetime.  To capture that heartfelt sentiment....

12 February 2012

A Strong Beginning

Hello, Hello, Hello! The New Week Is Here...

Working hard or hardly working?  I think a little of both for me today...

 Komal Lewis graciously invited me over to her blog today, where I talk about my favorite subject - Writing Your Novel! 
Believe me, there are methods that will help you achieve your goal more efficiently, adding to your enjoyment.  Many of you seasoned authors have passed these tips on already to newbies like myself, but it's a nice refresher anyway. 

Today, I'll be curled up in my cozy reading nook, busily editing away on The Third Fate!  I've managed to nail down six chapters entirely.  Isn't this spot bright and cheery?  I've decided to go white on white in my new office/reading/writing room, although I'll be adding pink accents. (thank you Ethan Allen)  Here are my two inspiration pictures...

Arent' they great?  I think so.  My husband is slightly less enthusiastic about completing all that work for my newest pet project, but is great enough to agree...

Once again, I've met my social media goals for the week.  Signing up for posts by email is fantastic!  Such a time saver, I should have done it much earlier.  My favorite blogs now show up in my email.  I just started, so I'll be adding quite a few more.  Trust me, this makes visiting around easy-peasy! 

Exercise continues to be a pleasure...I cannot believe I'm saying this, Ack!  I managed three solid workouts this week - and from home it wasn't as easy as I had hoped.  I've got to get more creative...heh heh.  Maybe this is why I'm enjoying it so much...No matter, I'll take it!

A Round Of Words In 80 Days is still my guideline for posting and my hub of community in the writing world.  Make sure to stop by and check out what fellow writers are up to!

I found the idea of a signature image at another blog...and am utilizing it.  I may try to create something where my name is embedded in the picture, we'll see how I fare.... 

~ Nadja 

08 February 2012

The The One That Got Away....

Er...Wait, It's Wednesday Already?  Oh, Boy...

The caption to this image conveys well the importance of 'Keep Your Eye On Time'.  The week is flying by...and I've not accomplished half the work I set out to!  What happened?  I'm sure I don't know.  I'm still in chapter three of my second read-through. 

Yes, this brings us round to the editing.  Obviously, I have very little to report this fine Wednesday.  That will (will, I tell you!) be different on Sunday.  The front end of my week was loaded, and this girl hasn't had the mental energy to tackle any serious reading after stumbling through the door and flopping on the sofa.  Green tea and bed-time have been the only items on the agenda.

Editing, for me, takes a great deal of mental energy.  I've got to be in a quiet space (music without vocals in the background is nice) and comfortable.  I read the paragraph or block of dialogue for flow, then re-read for grammar.  The double reading takes extra time, but I find that separating the facets of editing helps my 'eye' to concentrate on one aspect of the story/writing at a time.

How do you approach the editing?  Do you have a great working system you'd like to share?

Around The Blogs...

This Sunday, Komal Lewis has invited me to share on her blog.  If you have a chance, stop by.  Komal is currently working on her own novel, and she's an avid reader, posting reviews often.  Her blog is a great place to gather reader thoughts on that book you're thinking of buying. 

Deniz Bevan captured my editing mess exactly in her post from earlier in the week.  Oh!  Those 'marked-up-pages'....Here are a few of my own, Deniz.  I'm feeling your pain/joy....

  A few additional scenes added into my handy-dandy notebook.

 My notes cover some pages. 

  Strong openings are important...and as you can see, I've altered a number of words and phrases in my first page.  Here's to getting it 'just-right'!  Anyway...I thought Deniz would like to know that she's not alone in filling the pages with notes, thoughts, verb choices, and so on, and so on....

The Moon Coin (The Moon Realm Series)The Brazen Broads reviewed a book that I have to recommend.  The Moon Coin, by Richard Due is just great!  My boys loved it.  If you're looking for a chapter book that will captivate your kids, this is one you should pick up. 

I'll have to wrap up!  I need to get my buns in gear.  Wrestling meet tonight - which means cooking food and working the concession stand for the Jr. High meet, then watching the varsity match.  It will be another late night.  But Thursday and Friday are all mine!  Er...I think, anyway.  

Have a great Wednesday! ~ Nadja 

05 February 2012

An Unveiling, A Prediction, and Appreciation

How Are All My ROW80 Friends This Sunday?  Are You Ready For A New Week?

An Unveiling...

My wonderful cover designer, Elaina Lee, from For The Muse Design sent the final cover for The Third Fate, my paranormal romance, which is due out in late March, 2012.  I just love it!  Thanks so much Elaina for once again taking my thoughts and ideas and turning them into a beautiful, concrete image. 

The hints of purple repeated in the sky and tribal design, the deep blue of the night-time sky, the dramatic downward view of the Glasgow skyline, and the Celtic touches in the title font hint at the storyline within nicely.  Of course, Jimmy adds that something special...does he not, ladies?  Delish!  His shorter hair looks fantastic - I dare say the new style makes him appear younger.

A prediction...

How could I write a post that excluded a Super-Bowl prediction?  I couldn't. 
Giants, baby.  Let's go, let's go! 

I'd like to see them win... that Eli is as cute as a button.  And after learning about the Patriots 'naughty-business' of a few years ago...I cannot cheer for them. 

Now For That Appreciation...

Here are just a few ways to say thank you - and I'm saying them all!  Thank you to my friends in the blog sphere who are so supportive, who've invited me to guest post, sent that extra email, commented faithfully, entertained me with your posts, and been a constant inspiration. 

Thank you to readers! 

Thank you to my friends who've listened to me, plotted with me, encouraged me, put up with me. 

I wouldn't be enjoying the success I am without you.

Goals and Progress...

*  Two chapters of The Third Fate are 100% edited.  Finished.  Complete.  This makes me smile....

*  The next 10 chapters are nearly complete.  Almost.  Just about. 

*  The ending...Well, the villains are vanquished - and handily if I do say so myself ;}  Now, it's time to tie up all those pesky loose ends flapping around.  Sigh.

*  Cover art.  YES!  I Found A Way To Mention That Cover Yet AGAIN! Ha!

*  Exercise remains a joy, and that's saying a lot for me.  I've graduated to a 20lb strict press with the kettle bell for each arm, admittedly the left arm being much easier than the right.  But still...  I've priced equipment for home and will start adding to my home gym.  For now, its improvising, improvising, improvising.  Creativity reigns and is a fun experiment as I press 15lb sacks of rice, attempt hand-stand push-ups in my living room, play 'wall-ball' with that same bag of rice, jump rope in my bedroom, and set alarms on my phone to signal me to move to the next exercise.  Whew!

*  I've met my social goals this week!

*  Since Wednesday's check-in, I haven't accomplished anything further on the new historical novella idea.  That's stewing on a 'side-burner'...

*  A shiny new idea - from my teen-aged son! - had me writing details down for a future story about an unlikely hero who may or may not be all 'sixes and sevens' (thank you Austin Powers).  I am so impressed by his offering that I will dedicate the book to him - if ever I get it written.  And....my 92 year old Great-Aunt J. called to offer me a fantastic conflict for another future book.

That's my Sunday... How About You? ~ Nadja 

01 February 2012

Mid-Week Machinations & Insecure Writers

Updates From The Crafty, Plotting, and Cunning Notariani...

mach·i·na·tion (m k -n sh n, m sh -). n. 1. The act of plotting. 2. A crafty scheme or cunning design for the accomplishment of a sinister end.

Don't get fashed!  I'm scheming the ending of my current novella/novel, The Third Fate, and oh, what an ending it's turning out to be.  I'm having a great time with this paranormal story, because let's face it, I can craft any sort of un-natural circumstance I want...

Seriously, fellow ROW80's, this is the most fun I've had in awhile. 

What's the 'craftiest' plot twist you've encountered in a paranormal story?  What plot/storyline(s) do you like/not like within the paranormal genre?

Hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh  It's Time For February's Insecure Writer's Post...

Greetings, comrades in insecurity! What troubles you this fine day?  Wouldn't it be great to hear that no one has a singular vexation this first Wednesday in February?

I cannot answer for anyone else, but I find myself unable to conjure the least troubling thoughts.  I'm having a blast, and expect it to continue!  January surpassed any expectations I imagined, leaving me absolutely nothing to dare complain about.  Believe me, if I dared to complain, it would simply provoke bad karma...ha! Not this girl....No Way!

So for the month of love, I'll be the encourager.  Keep writing.  Keep editing.  Keep planning.  Keep publishing.  Good things will happen.    

Progress ~

*  1500-1800 words completed on story ending.  I'll probably add at least ten more pages, adding around 3000 more by the week's end. 

*  Still waiting on cover design.  Sigh.  I'm bursting at the seams...

*  Second read-through/edit will begin tonight/tomorrow.  I want to nail down the areas where the story drags and evaluate for weak dialogue.  Sharpening...it's a good thing.

*  Two hour brain-storming session with my sister has some great details taking form for the new historical novella!  No one can toss around plot options like my Claus...

*  Exercise will continue at home for the next month.  Here's my personal February Visa commercial...
New wrestling shoes for sophomore son : $135.00
Wrestling shoes for 7 & 8 year old whose feet will NOT stop growing: $100.00
Headgear to protect ears : $35.00
Cash to fill belly of starving son at each *&^% meet : $20.00
Cash to fill bellies of two 'practically starving' younger sons: $50.00
Entrance fees per meet/tourney : $20.00
Gas : $Ack!  I cannot even type this number ....

Joy at seeing raised hands of my little men.....PRICELESS.
Alas, I will forgo my CrossFit sessions for the month.  I'll be working from home, though, as I don't want to lose any of the strength I've gained.