Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Where have the days gone?
The post below was one I thought I posted on Sunday. Apparently I didn't.

Things are pretty crazy around here. Keeping up is a stretch right now. So if I disappear for a few days, you'll know life is trying to squash me flat. I'm not going to let it, but the blog might have to be patient while I wade through the backlog.

I don't know what's going on, but the calendar is filling up again already. I don't know why. It's not like we're huge social people or anything, but there it is, every weekend and lots of weeknights, some different kind of commitment. Honestly, most of the stuff is the kids. Usually we get through until about April without the the obligations that are already there waiting sucking up all the weekend time.

Yep. That's life.
And that's all I have for today.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Natalie tagged me! So here goes...

Contemporary, Historical, or Paranormal?
Paranormal and contemporary. I have a whole stack of Historicals on my to be read pile. That used to be all I read, but now my tastes are more varied.

Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback?
I always try to get my favorite authors in hardback if possible. Otherwise, I have no preference.

Heyer or Austen?
I haven't read either.

Amazon or Brick and Mortar?
Both. I love book stores, but the convience of Amazon is wonderful.

Woodiwiss or Lindsay?
I know I've read both. But that's all I can remember.

First romance novel you ever remember reading?
Hmmm...can't say for sure. My mom was an avid reader and I can remember reading the Harlequin's of old. I do remember reading a Native American hero and captive heroine and something about her taking a bath in a waterfall, but nothing else. I wish I could remember.

Alphabetize by author Alphabetize by title or random?
You can't be serious!

Keep, Throw Away or Sell?
I usually keep or give away. I hate to throw books away and will only do that if they're damaged badly.

Read with dustjacket or remove it?
It depends on where I'm reading.

Sookie Stackhouse or Anita Blake?
No clue.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
I try to stop at chapter breaks.

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?

Crusie or SEP?

Buy or Borrow?

Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse?
I don't read reviews. Browse mostly and occasionally recommendation.

Tidy ending or Cliffhanger?

Tidy ending. Cliffhanger only if I have the next book in the series - otherwise I'm apt to wait until I do have it.

Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Nighttime reading?

Series or standalone?

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
Good question.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Colder than a...

Holy cow it's cold outside!
23* and with the wind chill it feels like 12*.

This will be mostly ramblings as I don't have anything much to say. (Besides it's cold outside.)

Hey, it's Friday! I want to kick back and relax, but I can't yet. I have to run some errands and I'm dreading that because of how cold it is. What I want to do is change into comfy clothes and curl up on the couch with either my laptop or a book - either writing, research or pleasure reading. I'm leaning toward the last.
I realized the other day that reading for pleasure is something I've pushed to the back of the "to do" list over the past couple of weeks. Don't get me wrong, I've read some great books - but at the same time, I'm checking for errors and consistency because I'm critiquing them for writing friends. There's something very different about curling up on the couch with a book in your hands and shutting the world out for a while. Reading is essential for a writer. The right book will remind me why I work so hard to put my book in someones hands. It'll resolve my commitment to write a story that's hard to put down. A book I'm not fond of will push me the same ways.
I think I've made up my mind.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


My edits and synopsis are done!
Now I'm researching possible information for my new book. That doesn't seem like it should be a pain, but it is. As of right now, I have 3 pages of notes - typed - and a bunch of stuff I found on the 'net. And I'm still not sure exactly what is driving my characters. I guess I wouldn't get so frustrated with the research, if there wasn't so much nonsensical information to wade through before finding what I'm looking for.
For example: I'm researching Norse mythology. Who knew all the mythology references in the gaming world? I google searched my key words, and 99% of the hits were all related to gaming.
Kind of frustrating, but yet, my brain is working overtime with the information I did manage to absorb. Now I have to figure out the rest of the why's and the how's and I think I'm good to go.
The direction I'm going is a little different than what I intended, but I'm happy. It makes sense to me. And if I do my job right, it'll make sense to you too.
Hopefully new writing will come shortly and the word meter will start to move again.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Headaches and Parking Tickets

I have had a brutal headache for the past two days. One of those crushing, stabbing, painful things that felt like my brain was separated at the hemispheres and then hacked up with a dull chainsaw. I wanted to poke my own eyes out with an ice pick. Yes. It was that bad.
Today it's gone. Mostly. I can still feel the pressure - back there...waiting...

Anyway, that's not the purpose of today's post. Actually I'm not sure what is. My last posts have been really short, mostly due to time, the headache and the lack of something interesting to say. Not that today will be any different in the interesting department.

After a couple of days of being able to do nothing writing-wise, I'm back to my edits. And very close to the end. Which is good, because I'm itching to get back to new writing.

Oh. Parking Tickets...
The other day when I dropped the younger K's off at school, I noticed new signage up along the block in front of the elementary and high school. I won't go into my opinion on this - suffice it to say I might just have to hike my tail to the next town meeting. Anyway, after I saw the younger K's safely into school, I went on my merry way home. And passed K1's car (technically not his yet. The car is Bob's, but is registered to me) parked right underneath one of those new signs.
I knew he was going to get a ticket. And he did.
Then he got all macho and said he shouldn't have to pay it because he didn't see the signs. Um...yeah. Okay. I laughed and he didn't find the humor in it. He still insisted he wasn't going to pay it and that there was nothing they could do to him. Yeah, I'm still laughing, but remember the car is registered in my name. If it wasn't, I might have let him learn his lesson the hard way, but I had to be the mom and insist he take care of it (and loan him the money). I even made him go downtown to the police station by himself. He still insists nothing would have happened. I'm still laughing at that - not a joyous, carefree laugh mind you, but a laugh that's more of a groan and a worry.

Monday, January 22, 2007

"Typical" Monday

Today was one of those Mondays.
Yeah. One of those.
No snow delay. And I have to admit that kind of bummed me out too. I could have used another hours sleep. K1 lost his car keys and by the time we found them he was late for school. Which threw the rest of my morning off-kilter. K4, despite me asking her not to, decided to "fix her nailpolish". Uhhh...yeah. Red nailpolish. On her face. On both hands. And on her teeth. Don't ask me. By that time, we were late leaving too.
I don't know how I got them to school on time. The rest of the day passed with similar events. And relaxation is nowhere on the horizon.
So, is this the trade off for a little winter weather?

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Mother Nature finally cooperated and we got a light dusting of snow!
The grass is covered and the roads are a bit slick.
The kids are hoping for at least a delay tomorrow morning. (Ha!)
I'm happy. It'd be nice to see more, but this is a good start.

Friday, January 19, 2007


I need to re-name one of the major characters in the book I'm revising.
And I'm a tiny bit stuck.
Really, I like his name. It suits him. But I have to change it. I think.
A friend of mine is much different than me when it comes to names. She gets the names first and they have to be just right. Which is awesome. And so totally not me. I often leave a blank or just (name) - not usually for main characters, but sometimes. In this same book, I changed the name of the establishment twice (much to the dismay of my critique partners) before going back to the original. Another friend just did a spreadsheet of all her main and secondary characters names. That's organized. I keep a list of names as well, ones I want to use, but it's seriously outdated and I'm not sure what kind of mood I was in when I compiled the page. Let's just say some of the names are a little odd and leave it at that.
So, my brain is working overtime trying to come up with a suitable replacement name. And if he fights me too hard, I might have to leave things alone. We'll see.
Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

We're there that time of year.
The holiday's are over. The decorations (or most of them) are stashed away for next year and if you're like me, the past few months are just a faint blur. It's cold out. The day's are short. And those resolutions (if you make them) are like an ever-tightening rope around your neck.
Now we're at the point where there's not much going on. Calendars that were previously packed full are now wide open. There's not another holiday on the horizon for ages.
(Well, Valentine's Day, if you count that.)
Sports sign up sheets are coming fast and furious though. Softball, Volleyball and various other costly endeavors. I don't even want to see them yet. I can't fathom the thought of softball practice right now - sitting in a lawnchair while the little kids watch clouds float over seems years away instead of months.
Spring will be here before we know it.
But first we have to get through the long sleep of winter.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Random Thought Wednesday

Middle of the week and I don't have many coherent things to say. I'm edting and itching to get back to my wip (work in progress).
American Idol:
I never, ever thought I would watch it. K2 has a great love for the show and we are forced to watch. I'm not a huge fan of reality television and have never watched Survivor. Ever. I feel bad for the people who believe they have a shot and clearly don't. And then I'm appalled when they come out cursing and talking trash about the judges. I know most of it is there just for the entertainment value, but I'm not entertained by watching people's dreams crumble - no matter how horrible they sing. But, K2 and I had a really good conversation last night about following your dreams. That if you believe in yourself enough, how you could take even the most sarcastic and mean comments and use them to make yourself better. It was good. And for that, I love American Idol.
Static electricity:
The cat shows up with fuzzies all over, his fur stuck in directions it doesn't belong. He is not happy. And the shocking has started. Lot's of fun there. Not.
This week:
The older K's have mid-term exams all week. Their schedules are weird. Both kids are in and out of the house at the strangest times. They only have to go for their tests, and then are free to leave. Today, K1 was exempt from mid-terms, but not the double detentions he somehow earned. I expect him to come barrelling in the door anytime now and completely throw my routine off kilter.
That's all I have for now.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

What I Live With...

Yes. That's an albino rat. Her name is Spanky and she's really sweet. Spanky belongs to K2. We've only recently discovered that K2 is probably allergic to Spanky. Every time she holds her, she breaks out in welts. Her tail is a little freaky, but I have no problem with her. At least she's not a scorpion or a spider or a snake.
Of course, we were told she was a white mouse. You see, when we agreed to let K2 adopt Spanky, K2's cat, Angel, had just died a horrific and terrible death. Her class was doing some dietary study on the "mice" and when she brought the paper home for adopting the "mouse", we couldn't say no.
Then we went to pick her up. The first thing B said was, "That's a rat." Yeah. Rat. Not mouse. The dog is afraid of her. The cat indifferent. Most of the time, there's a fight over who gets to hold her.
Our pet population is dwindling some. The hermit crabs have all gone home to their big sandbox in the sky. We've had gerbils who have met untimely ends. (That's a story for another time). Of course, K1 wants a puppy, or a snake, or a spider. K3 wants a kitten. So do K2 and K4. Heck, even B wants a puppy.
And I usually have to be the bad guy and say no.
One day they're going to get to me though and I'm not going to be able to say no. (Except to the spiders and snakes. Not. Ever. Happening.)
What then?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Dear Mother Nature

Dear Mother Nature,
I am sorry I stupidly put all my snowman decorations away with the Christmas ones. If you'll note, I did leave one and he's waiting for snow so he doesn't look like an idiot standing on the front porch. Yes, Santa is still standing with him, but that particular Santa really just wants one good snowfall before he takes his long seasonal nap.
Is this my fault? Is it because I put all the snowmen away prematurely for the second year in a row? Or is it because I accidentally left my "Let It Snow" sign hanging all year? Have I jinxed winter weather?
I know it's not nice to question you, so I would like to offer my humblest apologies if my eagerness in putting the decorations away have offended you enough that you are now withholding snow. One good snow? Please?
Your biggest fan

Saturday, January 13, 2007

What do you think?

This was taken on our last beach trip with the gang.
Do you see the face?
A knot in the wood of the upper deck railing, but man, it's freaky!
And it makes me think. (You should be used to that by now.)
What if that face represents an evil spirit trapped in the wood? What if the person was cursed long ago, his soul transferred to a tree by some magical power? Would cutting that post he's on in half release his vindictive spirit? I'll stop now.
Even if you' re not as odd as I am, you have to admit that is one weird picture.
Happy Saturday!

Thursday, January 11, 2007


I'm not sure I have anything even remotely interesting to say again today.

If you've noticed my word meter, you'll see I'm making good progress on my new story. Only now I'm at the point where I need to step back, evaluate, edit and make sure I'm going in the direction I want to. The characters fleshed out better than expected and the challenges have to be true to who they are and worthy of them. I'm not much of a plotter, but I do need a good direction. It might seem like a set back, but it's not.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Nothing to Say

I don't.
Nothing interesting or thought provoking.
Don't know why.
It's Wednesday.
Doesn't feel like it though, but I can't tell you what day it does feel like.
We had a smattering of snow last night. A light dusting on the cars - enough to make the younger K's go nuts and scare the dog.
Yeah, she's like that. Anything different or new in her environment and she gets a little freaky. Rearranging the furniture will upset her for days. You can only imagine how she felt over the holidays with two living room re-arrangements.
And a tree in the house.
I can't help but wonder what dogs think about that. My sister and I discussed this because her dog acted all offended when they put their tree up. Here we tell them not to bring sticks in the house and then we bring in a live tree? And then tell them not to touch it?
That's all I've got for today.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


This morning I put a turkey in the oven for dinner.
Then, I went about my business of taking the K's to school and making a quick grocery store run. By the time I returned, the bird was far enough into the cooking cycle to notice. Man, does it smell good in here.
And I started thinking...
About smells and how they create moods.
Like this turkey for example. It's a comforting and homey smell. As soon as I walked in the door and took a whiff, the stress of morning traffic and rushing around for the previous 2 hours dissipated.
A lot different than walking in and catching a whiff of the cat box.
Everyone already knows that certain odors can lift your mood, or put you in a worse one. That's not really my point. What smells good to me might make you sick and vice versa. I hate the smell of bubble gum and spearmint. B hates butterscotch. Mostly that kind of stuff is related to prior trauma, as well as the history behind the odors you find comfort in.
I guess what I'm thinking about is creating those same mood in my books.
What if the hero came home for Thanksgiving dinner only to find his entire family murdered? He wouldn't think the smell of turkey cooking was pleasant because it would remind him of that awful day.
What if the heroine found freedom from an abusive relationship thanks to a skunk? That smell would remind her of all she gained, even though she might not want to breathe it in too deeply.
In my current work in progress, one of the heroines is a motorcycle mechanic. (Actually, she customizes and restores motorcycles, but you get the gist.) To her the smell of grease, exhaust and parts cleaner means her world is right.
Then again, if you're reading a book and you have an aversion to say, chewing gum, (ha ha) and one of the characters finds comfort in that smell, would if deter you from really liking that character?
Anyway, before I continue to ramble and totally lose track of my thoughts, my little brain blast this morning makes me aware of how, even between the pages of a book, smell can affect us. That's something I need to pay attention to a little bit more. I think as writers (at least for me)we tend to overlook adding that sense because no one can smell it anyway. But we all know certain smells - like the turkey, the cat box and coffee brewing. Just mentioning them can evoke emotion. And I think that's my point. Yeah, I'm pretty sure it is.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Winter is Back

Saturday it was almost 70* here. We had the back door open, did car maintenance and took a walk - without a coat. The kids played outside and though we knew the feeling was totally false, that sense that you get when spring comes filled us. We talked about outside projects, gardening and different things that will need done once warmer weather comes for good. Even Sunday's temps weren't too bad. But it looks like the winds have changed. I'm freezing. There's even a little tiny bit of snow in the forecast. I like the snow part, hate the cold. I'm a firm believer that if it's going to be cold, it might as well snow. Anyway...

If you haven't noticed my word meter on the side there, I started a new project. I can't tell you much about it, mainly because I'm not entirely sure what the book is about besides some spooky stuff. Feels good to write something new again. The last 2 months have been spent mainly editing and revising, and trying to get through the holidays. Which was part of my plan and completely necessary, but I still couldn't wait to get to this point.

I did have a few brief moments of anxiety when trying to decide what to work on. When I was trying to come up with my writing goals for 2007 (and yes, I did come up with a logical plan), I went through my idea file. Nothing jumped out at me. Then that title you see there came to mind, along with a very sad back story. For about an hour, I had nothing but "chapter one" written, but then the words came. And hopefully they'll come back this afternoon when I can put my full attention back on my own writing.

I hope you're warm where you are.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A Great Honor

Today was my RWA chapter meeting.
Always a great time with a great group of people who always make me smile. And laugh. And laugh.
Today they made me cry.
The January meeting is when our chapter service award is given out.
Yep. That picture there...
I was the honored recipient this year and most will laugh, but I was speechless.
I'm still stunned. It sat on my laptop all day and every time I walked past, I smiled. Seriously, I can't believe I was chosen.
CPRW has given me so much. More than I can ever give back. I went to my first meeting as a totally clueless, completely overwhelmed newbie writer. They accepted me, tutored me and held my hand (sometimes both) as I journeyed down this path to publication. I'm still journeying. And they're still holding my hand. Only now, I have a hand to offer as well. This group of writers are some of the most incredible human beings and I'm proud to call them my friends.
So to all my chapter mates, Thank you.

Friday, January 05, 2007


At least you're not this guy...Imagine having to carry your head with you everywhere you go.
Okay, so I'm not as funny as I like to believe.
I think I mentioned the mannequin heads before. Maybe not. K2 brought them home after a career workshop at school. They were the focal point of several interesting practical jokes in this house, until K2 and her bestest friend, E, gave them makeovers. I did find one in the freezer after that. It had a mohawk and gave me somewhat of a scare. The darn things are pretty creepy. You try walking into your kids room to find a head perched on top of the dresser. You're trying to restart your heart because you were certain you were alone in the house. And that happened every time I ran across one, no matter how long they'd been here. I found this pic while looking for something interesting to post. I think that's K1 under the hood.
I realized I used the word "weird" two days in a row in my post title....that's stupid.
Anyway, on to the multi-tasking.
That's what I'm doing right now. Working on this blog, a critique and my own stuff, in between taking care of some household items. It's not pretty, but I feel like I'm making progress already this morning. It's still early though...all that could change rather quickly. But I do have an impressive "to do" list today.
Tomorrow is my writer's group meeting. I'm really looking forward to it. I do, however, have to semi-publicly reveal my writing goals for the coming year and though I've thought about them, I haven't quite come up with a plan yet. I met my 2006 goals, which is an awesome feeling.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Weird Pictures

Found this on my camera.
Actually, a whole series of pictures of these two. I'm not sure of the purpose. Sometimes it's better not to ask. Yes, that's Captain Jack Sparrow. I really don't think that chick is the right girl for him though. My opinion. Someone seemed to think they made a good pair. Good enough to pose them like they were going to a dance.
The other pictures are all just as bad. There's a shot of the crockpots holding our New Year's Eve feast. Several of the dogs. More of K2 and her cousins acting like rockstars and gangsters than I ever care to see again.
Next time I will be hiding the camera.
Then maybe I'll have better pictures.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Weird Week

So, it's Wednesday already.
I just realized that.

Getting everyone up and out the door this morning was not as traumatic as I feared. Don't know if that's because we were organized and in the "school" frame of mind last night, or if they were all just ready to go back. We only had one minor incident over something that's beyond my control - probably a record, even for a regular morning. But the house is quiet again and I'm trying really hard to get myself back into my routine. So far, I've spent the day doing research and making plans and goals. My stuff is spread out through 2 rooms right now and I don't feel like I've made a bit of progress.

And I realize I haven't posted any pictures for a while. I'll see what I can do to change that over the next few days. I haven't really taken any new pictures. K2 filled the camera with odd shots of hair, some acne and my sister's breezeway floor during our New Year's Eve shindig. The only other pictures on the camera are of K1's dazzling flamingo pink hair. And a few of Christmas morning, but you don't care about those. Still, I'll see what I can do.

Nothing big coming up any time soon. No snow in the forecast and no major events to plan. That's January for you.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year!

Better late than never!

I'm playing catch up now and trying to get things organized for the crew going back to school in the morning. That's not going to be pleasant after so much time off. Having the routine back will be nice though.

And I'm still working on my writing goals for coming year. I'm not sure if I'll post them here or not. If I do, it won't be until after I'm forced to write them down for my writer's group on Saturday.

Oh, New Years Eve.
The usual suspects at my sister and brother-in-laws. The usual fun. The usual deflating of B and I's air mattress. (Don't ask me. It happens to us every year!) No usual movie this year, but we did do a synchronized Lord of the Rings viewing. Which is pretty silly, but still fun. We started the movies at the same time, took breaks at the same time and ate dinner at the same time but in different houses. And we watched the extended versions, so we only got through the second movie before total exhaustion ended the synchronicity.

May your dreams come true this year!