Honors and E-Readers and Company, Oh My!

I interrupt the progress report nature of this blog to throw a little life update into the mix.

This Saturday, I will don my black, tent-like cap & gown and join hundreds of other crazy adults to attend my college graduation ceremony. It has been nineteen years since I sported this get up, though the last time was bright yellow so this is exponentially better, and I’m still a little dazed. To add to my surreal state, I learned I’m graduating Magna Cum Laude. Upon reading those words on this little name card of mine, my first response was “What does that mean?!” I knew it was good, but I didn’t know specifics.

My next response, upon learning the details, was “No freaking way.” I have since progressed to “Ha!” And I’m ignoring the annoying inner critic in my head who keeps saying, “You know, if you’d tried a bit harder and not waited until the last minute to do everything, you could have reached Summa Cum Laude.”


To mark this momentous occasion, my family is coming to visit. My ENTIRE family. None of them have ever seen my apartment. Neither of my brothers have ever even been to this city as long as I’ve lived here. My dad hasn’t been here in over four years. This is a big deal. And I’m excited, but I’m also a little trepidatious. You see, these are not the happiest people on the planet. In fact, they’re downright miserable and tend to bicker. And fight. A lot. It’s not pretty.

But I’m looking forward to having them visit (partially because I’ve rented them an apartment for the weekend – cheaper than it sounds! – and I can still sleep in my own bed.) We’re also celebrating Christmas while they’re here, since I never sent presents home last December and I want this stuff out of my storage room. Presents always reduce cranky-pants behavior, right? Anyone?

In other awesome news, one of my bosses and another co-worker went in together and bought me a Sony Reader (that’s exactly it to the left). Can you believe that? It’s the touch screen one that reads to you. Seriously! I can plug in my headphones and relax to the robotically soothing sounds of a monotone love scene. Okay, I don’t really know what it’s going to sound like, but it’s still cool. Now, to figure out a) how it works and b) where to find digital books that aren’t priced stupidly high.

To tie in some writing news with this, I’m still waiting on the feedback from the writing coach, though she did say at first glance that it looked “hilarious”. Her word. Can you believe it? Me neither. I mean, I kind of go for funny, but hilarious? That’s just cool.

I also posted my first paragraph in Nathan Bransford’s 3rd Sort-of-Annual Stupendously Ultimate First Paragraph Challenge. Coolest title for a contest ever. But then, I expect nothing less from the coolest man in the writing industry blogosphere. (I can’t believe my Word did not mark blogosphere as misspelled. It didn’t recognize trepidatious but got blogosphere?) While I’m writing this there are well over 2000 entries and still nearly five hours left to enter. I’m not holding my breath at all.

I am participating in NaNoWriMo though not in the traditional sense. I’m not about to start a book from scratch just to appease the rules over there, nor am I willing to figure out how to navigate that site. But I have made a deal with Hellion and we’ll be doing it together. She hits the 50K mark, she’ll finish the first draft. (Freaking show-off) If I hit the 50K mark, I’ll be right around the black moment and that works for me.

So there you have it, what is going on in the life of aspiring-writer, slacker-extraordinaire Terri Osburn. If you think this is boring, you should have read the original post that included my new matching coffee table and end tables, and the exploits of my cat who in less than 24 hours managed to crawl inside my fridge and to the highest point in my closet, which is nearly seven feet off the ground. No idea how he accomplished either feat.

Anyone else doing NaNo?

22 thoughts on “Honors and E-Readers and Company, Oh My!”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Ummm…Magna Cum Laude? CONGRATULATIONS!!!! That’s amazing news. I’m so proud of you, and I know you worked your butt off for this. Go you! I knew you could do this.

    I’ll be sending my happy thoughts and prayers that you make it through this weekend alive and mostly sane.

    I can’t tell you how happy and proud I am of you. You go girl!


  2. MsHellion says:


    Your parents and siblings will be fine. You’ll be fine. You’ll fine you worried over nothing; and if not, there is always Olive Garden on Saturday night.

    I did the paragraph contest too! I am not holding my breath either. *LOL*

  3. Stephanie J says:

    I’m so sentimental. I teared up a bit about the Sony reader. So fabulous! Congratulations, congratulations, congratulations over and over again!

  4. MsHellion says:

    I just re-read this: where do you get off saying you’re a Slacker, Ms. Magna Cum Laude? Take a pill. Seriously.

  5. TerriOsburn says:

    Di – Thanks, girl! And I’m proud of you too. Wish you could be here!

    Hellie – I kept meaning to tell you all day that I’d put my paragraph up there. But I kept forgetting! I wonder how many he ended up with by the deadline?

  6. TerriOsburn says:

    Thanks so much, Steph. I’m wearing the nightshirt you and Mary got me right now! And that robe is awesome. Kiddo is trying to steal the PJ pants. LOL! I love that the Sony Reader is what got you. You’re so cute.

    The slacker part was my way of saying no major writing getting done. It is odd I can feel like such a slacker and yet always be doing three or four things.

    Now, back to cleaning! Thank goodness I found that Dove chocolate in the drawer. LOL!

  7. Janga says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Janga says:

    Congratulations, Terri! You are amazing. I hope the ceremony and the time with your family are memorably wonderful.

    Good luck with NaNoWriMo. I’m thinking about it. I did 30K last month with Unleash Your Story, but I’m in a wheel-spinning stage now. Maybe working on something different will help.

    I entered the Nathan Bradford contest too. After the third try, I closed my eyes and hit “Submit” before I could back out again.LOL!

  9. Renee says:

    You totally rock!!! Wow, not that I’m surprised.

    I’m doing NaNo, I think I’m starting a new project. It’ll be fun.

  10. TerriOsburn says:

    Thanks, Janga! So you’re going to start something completely new? And it’s funny so many of us entered Nathan’s contest without knowing about the others. NOT that would could have gone through all those entries and found each other.

    Renee – Thanks! I have got to finish this first project first. I think everyone I know has at least one if not two or three MSs done. Everyone but me! I’m going to finish this dang book if it kills me, and NaNo seems like as good a motivation as any.

  11. Renee says:

    Yes, but Terri, we haven’t been working hard on our degree like you have. And now that you do, I’m sure you’ll be zooming along with your ms.

  12. Tris says:

    Congratz Terri!! I still can’t get over it… Magna Cum Laude.. oh WOW!!

    An e-reader! Your colleagues must know you so well =D I don’t know what I would do if I got an e-reader…

    I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo this year because it’s smack bang in the middle of my finals nor did I try to enter in Nathan Bransford’s first paragraph challenge – I read your entry and it was so “Celi” =D

  13. TerriOsburn says:

    How silly of me, Renee. LOL! Raising four kids and a husband and starting a running a new business took none of your time or attention. 🙂 Nice try though. LOL! And I am writing more than have in two years, so that’s good.

    Tris! How did you find me in all those entries? LOL! That’s actually a brand new opening paragraph. I finally gave up my “universe is conspiring against me” opening. But I think the craptastic prize adds a nice touch of humor and imagery. LOL!


  14. Quantum says:

    I never bothered with Latin …. its no use at all in science.
    But in my language I think that translates as ‘second class honours’

    A very creditable achievement, especially with all the other stuff going on around you!

    I think I can say we are all proud of you Terri.
    Very Well Done Lass!

    You now have to frame that certificate and hang it in your office.

    I’ll be interested to hear how you get on with the Sony Reader.
    I think that many ebook publishers actually set security codes forbidding reading aloud and printing. I think its outrageous!

    I actually just bought a Sony MP3 player for listening to audio books. I also have a piece of software (tunebite) that legally removes the DRM coding and converts to MP3 to play on anything.I just used it to hear the first of Mary Ballogh’s Huxtable books. It worked like a dream.

    Sony is a great company and I find that their gadgets are more robust than ipods.

    If you think cats are acrobatic you will be really impressed with squirrels. I watched one shoot up a vertical drainpipe to get to the loft of a neighbours house. The little beggars then start gnawing into the electrical cables!

    I hope you will soon post a picture showing us your splendid regalia. I’ll bet you look fabulous!

  15. irisheyes says:

    Wow… Magna Cum Laude!
    Very, very Awesome Ter!!!! I am very excited for you and totally impressed.

    The weekend is almost over but I’ll send up a few prayers anyway. I hope everything worked out and your day was magnificent.

    Lots of writing activity…Busy, busy, busy. Sounds like fun, though. Like you’re ready to tackle the writing thing. That’s great.

    Let us know how the e-Reader turns out. I’m trying to get an MP3 player to listen to some historicals. I’ve only ever listened to contemporaries before and I’m thinking (depending on who they get to read them) the English accents gotta sound really cool. The one contemporary that I did get to listen to is Nora’s Jewels Of The Sun. All those Irish accents were dreamy. Really put in me in the time and place.

  16. Renee says:

    I have something for you on my blog.

  17. Beth says:

    Congratulations Terri! I hope you had a wonderful visit with your family. I just got back from Disney World with the parents. It is nice to spend time with family – most of the time 😉

  18. TerriOsburn says:

    Thank you, Q. And congrats on your new gadget. This one supposedly will read to me. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ll get around to it eventually.

    Irish – Thank you, lady. I’ve never listened to an historical, but that would be something to try. Now I’ll have to check the library for the Nora books on CD just to listen to that accent all the way to Knoxville at Thanksgiving. 🙂

    Renee – You are so sweet. But everyone I know either got the award from you or someone else. LOL! I’ll have to figure out who is left!

    Beth – Thanks and lucky you for a trip to Disney. I still haven’t been. And I would NEVER go with my family. LOL! Even the happiest place on Earth isn’t happy enough to make these people tolerable.

  19. Renee says:

    Terri, over at RWR they had me register and log in. It says my comment is in moderation. Sounds like something in moderating comments got checked.

  20. TerriOsburn says:

    Hey Renee – I approved your comment and unclicked something I *think* should fix the problem. We’ll have to wait and see. WordPress is not very user friendly.

  21. Ericka Scott says:


    Hope the family visit goes well and hope you enjoy the e-reader. I’ve just discovered audio books that I can “read” while I walk 2 miles most mornings.

    I’m gonna shoot for 50K in November, but like you, I’m not starting anew. I’m hoping to finish my zombie historical instead.

  22. TerriOsburn says:

    Hey, Ericka,

    The weekend went better than I expected! Good luck on the 50K in Nov. Zombies, huh? LOL! This is the perfect time to write that!

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