Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More NPH

..... >Because NPH is awesome. I think we all know that.

Snippet Tuesday

So I've been working hard these past two days. Being alone is productive, but I still have a way to go. Since my brain is focused on whipping this book into shape, I've got nothing even semi-coherent to blog about. (Except! Holy crap! It's the last day of August!) Let's do snippets...
(This is the contemporary Frankenstein book set near the Appalachian Trail.) (And remember, I'm still editing...)

"Porter came out of the bathroom as she stuck her head into his room. He wore only a towel, slung low around his hips. Her mouth went dry and her knees wobbled a little. He stopped, looking uncertain until she stepped into the room. Maybe it was a mistake, but their time was so limited and he’d become nothing more than a memory once this was over. He grinned and dropped the towel."

And one more from the hero's point of view.

"He’d thought being away from Sage would help clear his head and help him put whatever was between them into some kind of perspective, but his gut twisted into an anxious knot. He wanted to get back to her, needed to get back to her. He’d gone against his own rule and at this moment, he couldn't care less. If Sage died, it would be because whatever hunted her was unstoppable, not because he hadn’t done his job. He took a deep breath and tried to push away the feeling of dread and concentrate on what the bartender was saying."

So there you have it.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Summer Survival: Year Two: Entry Seven

The educational camps have started.
I was blessedly and remarkably alone all day. For a short while, I did not know what to do with myself. I even put my headphones in - the headphones that restored my sanity during the hot days. Then, I realized I did not need them. The only noise was that of the large four-legged beast whining her disapproval that her children were not here. On second thought, maybe it was good I had them in.
It felt strange being the only inhabitant of our camp. Strange, and yet gleeful. I cannot say how long it has been since the natives have all been away at the same time. Weeks, maybe. Months, perhaps. Though, I can say with great pride that I didn't let the wonderment of the situation stall my efforts. I achieved more today than I have in the last week.
They go back tomorrow, so we shall see if this newfound sense of achievement and progress last. Before I can find out, I must travel to far off camps to replenish the rations. As usual. It is a trap I have yet to learn how to avoid. But first I must decide how to appease the natives without procuring the same old stew.
I am doomed.
And yet, I am not.

Woo Hoo!

.../>I can't wait!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

And That's It...

The end of summer vacation.
I'm not afraid to tell this supposed "vacation" good riddance! And while I'm partially sad to see school start again, I'm not. And I'm not sorry this summer is over. This was quite possibly the worst summer vacation in the books. And, a warning're really not holding up your end of the bargain. Remember our truce? Well, you pretty much suck so far. And you're almost over, so let's get busy with enough good stuff to change my opinion of you. Okay?
School starts tomorrow.
Book bags and lunches are packed. Clothes are laid out. Excitement is high. K3 for his last year in middle school, and K4 for her last year of elementary school. Wow. I'm getting old. K2 has settled into college and other than a few financial aid snafu's (expected, but annoying), she's doing great. And we miss her. A lot.
And that is all for now.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Feel Good Friday - The Saturday Edition

A day late, but here goes:
1. K2 settling into college.
2. The beautiful weather.
3. Getting stuff done, even if it means staying up really late to do it.
4. Fresh tomatoes.
5. Chicken Pot pie for dinner.
6. Getting the school shopping done.
7. One car fixed, one to go.
That's all for today!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Clip Man...

As requested...
Here is beer can clip man.

And a close up of his homemade beer cans....



...>'nuff said...

Caution Tape...

As the days of my employment wind down, so has my ability to remain serious. Last week I fashioned a paper clip man sitting in a recliner complete with beer cans strewn around him. Yesterday, I caution taped the entire area - the chair, the computer, the keyboard, the switchboard. And I put traffic cones at the end of the desk, telling anyone who asked that it was dangerous behind my desk. I'm sure they all think I've gone crazy, and I'm not sure I haven't.
School starts on Monday. I'm not sure any of us are ready. I know I'm not ready for the outlay of cash in shoes and supplies, especially considering the vehicle disasters going on here right now. I'm not ready for the routine yet either. We're getting in one more sleepover rotation this week, though it seriously cuts into the bedtime routine we've been working to re-establish.
Speaking of vehicle disasters...
My truck has some problem - several actually - but something is draining the battery. B spent all evening last night trying to pinpoint the drain to no avail. Hopefully he has better luck today. In the meantime, I've been driving his mom's car since she's still in rehab. On my way home yesterday it started making this horrible racket and the alternator light came on. Well...yeah, you guessed it. Her alternator is broken. Not just dead, broken. I think it's me. Whatever car I touch breaks. Which is bad considering I'm driving B's car today.
And that is all for now.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What Day Is It?

I have no idea anymore. I think it might be Tuesday, but it feels like Wednesday. Though it feels like Monday, too. See what I mean?
It's raining here and finally much cooler. I love it. I'm looking forward to fall, though I do have to say this year is going way, way too fast. Almost September already? For real?
Last night I dreamed K2, K3, and K4 were hanging out with a bunch of homeless guys. K2 was sure they were honest guys and wouldn't bother her if she decided to sleep on the street with them. I was mortified and knew they were really zombies with a different agenda and made her come with me, and grab her stuff, because she was going to leave it there. And I had to make K3 and K4 come with me, too, because they'd completely fallen for the lies they were being fed. We got into my big, black SUV, (which just happened to be full of newly purchased groceries) and were swarmed. Like zombie swarmed. All I remember is food being thrown out of the sunroof and me thinking I was going to have to make the decision to just hit the gas and run over them all and I couldn't decide if it was okay because they were really zombies or bad because what if they weren't?
...then I woke up and was disturbed for a long time.
I think it's kind of obvious where the dream came from, but that didn't make it any less troubling.
And that's all I have today.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ha ha!

.....Last one, but it was too funny not to share!


....Really want!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Off To College...

Here is what I learned yesterday:
1. The same kids who can't be bothered to take their dirty dishes to the sink at home, will jump up from the lounge couches and rush to unload your car. With a smile and what seems like boundless energy.
2. Pack a cooler. That quick run you thought you'd make upon arrival is not going to happen.
3. Wear comfortable shoes. There is a lot of line waiting for first timers. And there's a lot of walking, too.
4. Make copies of everything and take them with you. Two copies - leave one at home for your files and take one along just in case they haven't received the one you mailed and insist you fill out the information again. And irritate you because they insist you fill it out completely when you don't have the facts with you and don't seem to hear you when you say you mailed it.
5. Re-read the school's immunization policy and get the shots done a few months before. Because no matter how prepared you think you are, you might miss one and then have to wait in another line, and then finally reach the end and find out you were supposed to pay first and now you have to go back to the desk, pay, and get in line again. Mail the health form to the school at least a month before so you can skip that line, but take your copy along just in case.
6. Be prepared for your college kid to become cranky and irritable at some point. Whether it's because she didn't think she had a roomie and upon re-arrival in her room discovers that, in fact, she does have a roommate and that the roommate has four times as much stuff, and has claimed the closet and the desk you wanted. Do not take this crankiness personally.
7. She does not want your help to set up her room. The only thing she needs from you is your skills at hanging cork boards and white boards and pictures.
8. Don't cry when she texts you to tell you she's kind of lonely.
It was a long day. A long, tiring day. The dorm does have air conditioning, which is good. Her room is the smallest one in the building, which was fine when she was alone, but now that she has the uber-stuff roomie, they might be moving to a bigger room today or tomorrow - a bigger, cheaper room. And she likes her roommate. The "kind of lonely" text turned into hanging out with her RA's until midnight and laughing so much she barely has a voice.
This is definitely a learning experience for all of us.
...and that is all for now...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Feel Good Friday

Everyone I know says this was a really long week. It was. I don't know why.
Here's the list:
1. Hanging out with family that came to say good luck to K2.
2. Holding my granddaughter, even though she had on her cranky pants.
3. Good books to read.
4. Friends going above and beyond in an effort to help my kid.
5. My mother-in-law's improvement.
6. Air conditioning.
7. The truck being loaded and ready to go for our early departure.
8. Not running out of gas.
9. The people doing their best to convince upper management that letting me go is a bad idea.
...and lastly...
10. Helping K2 get ready for her new adventure. And tomorrow we'll see her off. And we'll cry a little and laugh a lot.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Summer Survival: Year Two: Entry Six

We are under siege!
This morning I surveyed our cooking area with utter shock. Mess does not even begin to describe the filth and disgust I discovered. I, again, cannot help but wonder what goes on while I am otherwise occupied. How does an entire storage container of drinking devices become empty in just a few short hours? For that matter, how does the cold storage become empty so quickly? I just filled it!
I stood there with the cold storage door open, looking for the spice for my morning caffeinated beverage, and nearly fell over. There is nothing left except a few jars of pickled things and condiments besides the ground pork gravy that ended up being a huge culinary mistake. And the lid was even off of that! Like someone had decided to give the poor gravy another shot and, once again, found it to be lacking as they emptied the rest of the contents of the storage box. There are a few spills, brown puddles of stickiness and a dried up carrot near the back, oh, and a bag of shredded cheese with only a few tiny pieces of cheddar left. I am perplexed.
As I was considering how this happened, I took the time to sanitize the eating utensils and dishes. Which is, technically, not my job, but I took pity on the native who was assigned this task because it was monumental after last night's burnt offering. And yes, they should have been done before the sun went down, but there were other things that took precedence, and well, whatever. Anyway. My back was turned since I was near the water and when I turned around again, there were more dishes on the counter. And empty boxes of morning sustenance. And the bovine juice that had somehow gotten out of the cold storage without my knowledge. And I scratch my head. I call for the natives to remove the debris, watch them as they do, and then go back to work. And...believe it or not, when I turned around again, there was more.
How does this happen? I believe we are under attack by a wild band of starving natives. That is the only answer. There is no way the natives that inhabit this camp with me could possibly consume that much.
Is there?
I must watch this. It is, perhaps, time to bring out the monitoring devices once again.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Random Wednesday Nonsense

Today was trash day around here and sometimes our trash guys leave a mess behind. Today was no exception. I noticed an object in the road as I pulled in. It looked like some kind of fruit. And yes, I aimed for it. Call it taking out my frustration over my truck not starting again today, or whatever. It kind of squished, but not much since I don't think I hit it square. Anyway. When we left a little while later, here's is what I dealt with:
K3: There's some kind of fruit in the road.
Me: I know. I ran over it earlier. What is it?
K3: I couldn't tell. What do you think it is?
Me: I have no idea.
K3: Is it an orange?
Me: No. It would have squished flat when your dad ran over it just now. I don't know what it is.
K3: Is it a grapefruit?
Me: No. It would have squished flat. I don't know what it is.
(This Q & A lasted for at least another minute with various fruits and even vegetables. And the same answer from me)
K3: Could it have been an orange?
Me: Yes. It was an orange.
K3: Or a grapefruit.
Me: Yes.
K3: You're just saying that. You don't even know what it was. Are you going to say yes for everything now?
Me: Yes.
I think I know why I have to be so vigilant with my sanity. Obviously, it could slip away pretty darn quickly.
That is all for now. I think I need to rest. Or something.
*Updated: Obviously I'm not doing so well with the sanity watch considering I labeled this post Thursday instead of Wednesday. Gah!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In Four Days...

K2 leaves for college.
I never cried when any of the K's went off to kindergarten. Yeah, certain birthdays and milestones have affected me emotionally - how can they not? But even though there's that little twinge of "my baby is growing up" *sniffle*, there's also the pride and elation of seeing your child succeed and grow. Even mastering their first day of school is a source of significance, despite the maternal worries. (And we're not talking about worry here. That's a whole 'nother subject.) seems different somehow. It is different. I will no longer get to hear about everything that went on in her day at the end of each one. There will be no more last minute runs to the store for project supplies. No more friends singing Disney songs, dancing, and trying to bake the cookie dough bits from the ice cream. No more constant chaos and hysterical stuff.
She's leaving. Embarking on her life and new experiences that will take her away from the core of our family and put her firmly into the adult world. I know she'll come home, but that won't be as often as any of us hope because she'll be working, hanging with her friends, and that boy she loves.
And I'm going to miss her more than I can say.
I know I will cry. I tear up just thinking about saying goodbye. Her dad will be no better - is no better.
At the same time I am so proud of her and I look forward to going through this college thing with her - even if it's only from the sidelines. I look forward to this next phase of her life and how our relationship will change and grow.
As proud as I am of the young woman she's become, as excited as I am for her, I miss the little girl she was.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Storm Troopers!

There were Storm Troopers at the booksigning today!
Storm Troopers!
(Yes, I'm a geek) (More pictures later)
As you can see, as usual, Misty got herself into a little bit of trouble. They even handcuffed her, (it was necessary, trust me) but they finally let her go, which was good since she was my ride.
I had a lot of fun - sold a couple of books, talked to a bunch of great authors, networked future possible speakers for meetings, and hung out with the bff's. Met Byron Morrison who is Misty's male counterpart. (I laughed so hard) Didn't get a chance to buy his book, but he writes right up my alley so I'm looking forward to being able to read his work. You should check him out. I also met Jannette Kortman, an author and breast cancer survivor. She was very nice and we had really good conversation. And, bonus, she didn't run away screaming after being seated next to us. Go check her out and buy her book. As usual, Heather and the great folks at Waldenbooks treated us all like royalty. 20% of the proceeds were being donated to the library and we did better than last year from what I've heard so far.
I came home to fresh cornbread and bean soup (Yes, I put it in the crockpot before I left this morning, but K2 made the cornbread), and once the rest of the family returns from various errands we will be playing a knock-down-drag-out version of Monopoly. Be jealous. Ha!
All in all a very good Saturday!

Feel Good Friday - The Saturday Edition

Yesterday was a Crappy day - yes, crappy with a capital C. I'm not going to go into it, but let me see if I can still find some good stuff.
1. Friday!
2. Having dinner in the crockpot so I didn't have to cook.
3. Rain. And cooler temperatures. (see? two things right there)
4. Random text messages that made me smile.
5. Rants and the people who let me.
6. Hanging out with the K's.
7. Comfy pants instead of shorts.
8. My kid doing dishes without being asked.
9. My bed.
10. The booksigning today. Come out and see us!
Maybe a recap of that later!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Don't Forget!!!!

at Waldenbooks—Lebanon Valley Mall
20% of the proceeds will benefit the Lebanon Library. Storm Troopers will also be appearing. Various merchants from the mall along with local businesses
such as Longaberger and Partylite have donated raffle items. For every book purchased you will receive a raffle ticket. Pre-purchased books not eligible. Raffles to be held around 1:30 p.m.

Storm Troopers!!!! And I'll be there, too!!! So will many of my friends! Come out and say hi!



is something I miss very very much!!! ....Behave!

My Summer...

Stole this idea from Natalie because my head hurts too much to think of my own topic.
Things I did this summer:
1. Watched my daughter graduate from high school.
2. Planned and hosted a graduation party for about 50 people
3. Co-hosted a baby shower for K1 and S.
4. Took care of my husband while he recovered from knee surgery.
5. Helped surprise my sister with a fun 40th birthday party.
6. Camped twice.
7. Went to see Jason Manns with the bff's.
8. Visited our awesome new retreat site.
9. Dealt with B's mom and her illness - including the ambulance call.
10. College paperwork (that's good for at least twenty items!)
11. Attended graduation parties, baby showers, bridal showers, birthday parties, and baptisms.
12. Watched my granddaughter enter the world.
13. Worked on edits and novellas and cultivated new story ideas.
14. Worried about my spider bite sister and hung out with her whenever I got the chance.
15. Found out I'm losing my job.
There's more, but I think that's enough. I'm amazed at how quickly summer has gone! Some of the things on the above list prevented us from doing stuff I'd wanted to. Time is moving too fast! School starts in 9 days for K1 and 18 days for the younger K's. That's nuts!
...and that is all for now.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I Miss....

6 weeks, 3 days before it comes back.
That's too long!! I might die!
Just sayin'

Summer Survival: Year Two: Entry Five

Things were going so well in the encampment. I do not know what has happened, but once again I fear for my life - at the very least, my soul. This change seemed to begin upon the oldest girl native returning, though I cannot be sure. It also may have occurred due to the looming educational structure. The only thing I am confident in is that chaos has taken over our once relatively quiet camp.
And it's scary to be here.
Since I am in charge of the food supply, I have tried to be ever vigilant in my planning and inventory. Short of locking the refrigeration device, I have little control over what happens after I have retired for the evening. Imagine my terror when I discovered the chaos that occurs during the small hours of the darkness. They try to cover their tracks, but alas, they need more training in the art of trickery. Food crumbs and dirty dishes alert me to the presence of hungry beasts who ravage the food stores without care. I am stunned and overwhelmed at the constant trading of shells and pretty bits. The only hope on the horizon is the traveling to other educational camps that will occur in the very near future.
I wonder if I will maintain my sanity until then.
Besides the provisions, it has once again become a challenge to perform my other duties. Constant interruptions have me considering a name change. No, I cannot proof read your document. Nor can I help you with that. But they never stop. Even when I am terse and impatient and respond with "I am working". They do not seem to be able to make the connection. It is an interesting occurrence and one I will begin studying in the very near future. My research might hold the key to the reason the most frequent answer I receive to any type of question is "what?".
Then again, maybe not.
I only hope I am able to maintain the illusion of superiority.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Not a Bad Idea...

.....Though it's a toss up. Or a really hard decision. Okay, a really hard decision.
Who would you take?

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Weekend Stuff

Yesterday was my monthly writing group meeting. First we had a fantastic breakfast and a board meeting, then we had our regular meeting that included a recap of the National conference from those that went. I'd missed July's meeting thanks to a bunch of different reasons and I really, really missed my writing friends. So, again, I will get on my soapbox and say, if you write and you don't belong to a writing group, find one and join. You won't be sorry. I'm never sorry.
Last night was a graduation party. Her parents are very good friends of the "so close we're really family" variety. She and K2 have been friends their whole lives and the two of them have provided the parental units with much laughter and joy. We had a good time and enjoyed hanging out with everyone.
Today is a surprise baby shower for the same family's oldest daughter. I used to babysit her. And she's ten weeks away from having a baby boy. I feel so old. And I find it amusing that their weekend parties lined up exactly like ours did - graduation party on Saturday, baby shower on Sunday. I guess it just proves that great minds think alike, or crazy people do, I'm not sure which.
Writing when I finally get back home. Maybe more snippets, too. We'll see...
That is all for now.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Coming Soon!

at Waldenbooks—Lebanon Valley Mall

Authors scheduled to appear(subject to change without notice)

Frank E. Bittinger
David Boyle
J.F. Gonzalez
Brian Keene
Ron Malfi
Joe Schreiber

Arthur Ford
Thomas Lipovsky
Robert Vogel

Vicky Burkholder
Natalie Damschroder
Lucy Finn
Megan Hart
Savannah Russe
Misty Simon
Victoria Smith

Sandy Asher
Kelly Ann Butterbaugh
Jeff Clineff
Olga Jaffae
Dana Smith-Mansall
Murphdog® and Company
Ruth Zavitsanos

Young Adult
Ellen Jensen Abbott
Cyn Balog
Beth Fantaskey
Charlene Haines
A.S. King
Jeri Smith-Ready
Maria V. Snyder

Byron N. Morrison
Andy Pete

Historical Fiction
Gene Gomolka

Janette Kortman
Joan Landis

Amaryllis Santiago
Doris Washington

John Sabol

Dr. Lazslo Geder
Dashaun Jiwe Morris

20% of the proceeds will benefit the Lebanon Library. Storm Troopers will also be appearing. Various merchants from the mall along with local businesses
such as Longaberger and Partylite have donated raffle items. For every book purchased you will receive a raffle ticket. Pre-purchased books not eligible. Raffles to be held around 1:30 p.m.

Feel Good Friday

Ahhh! Friday!
Here's the list:
1. Friday! Duh!
2. My meeting tomorrow. I can't wait.
3. Not boiling in my own juices. I'm so glad it's not sweltering right now.
4. Weekend plans! Graduation parties and baby showers.
5. My kid coming home this weekend. (I think I might have mentioned that before. ha!)
6. Watching funny shows with my kids.
7. Writing time! As soon as I finish this blog.
Umm...and everything else is repeats.
So...Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 05, 2010


I do not like.
1. Having to find a new job.
I don't think I've ever mentioned my job - and I don't know why because there's tons of blog fodder there, but as of the end of the month, I will no longer have a job. *Sigh*
2. Trash that smells.
With this heat it doesn't take long for the garbage to begin to reek. I almost puked.
3. Marinating in my own fluids.
Not too bad today, but yesterday the heat index was so insane! And the humidity! Yikes.
I think 3 hateful things are more than enough, don't you?
There are positive things. Always. And let's focus on them.
1. Not having to cook dinner.
2. Having the ability to retreat to air conditioning.
3. My kid coming home this weekend.
4. My mother-in-law improving.
5. My sister going back to work.
See? More good stuff than bad. There's always more good stuff than bad if you look hard enough. And I think it's important to do that. Otherwise the bad takes over and leaves you a quivering mess.
That is all.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Ah ha ha!

....../>I miss Firefly!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Work in Progress Tuesday

Tall Tale Tuesday will be back. Just not yet.
I've been busting my hump today - editing, writing, editing...
It feels good to get back into the swing of things and actually have a productive day without many interruptions.
So, I guess that means it's time to share.
Remember, this is a rough draft, which means unedited (yes, I said I edited, but this is the first major run through and all sentences are considered unedited until I say so. ha!)
This book is the kinda-Frankenstein one. It takes place in a fictional town in Pennsylvania, just off the Appalachian Trail. The heroine is a park ranger whose parents were murdered when she was a child. we go.
"Sage left out the details of her parents murders for now. Her memories were blurry and fragmented. She knew what killed them in her nightmares, but that didn’t make sense – to her or to the dozens of psychologists she’d seen after her foster mothers had found the pictures she used to draw. The police and the psychologists believed whoever killed them had to have been someone Sage recognized. They said she blocked the identity and replaced it with the scary monster. Otherwise there’d be no reason for her not to give a description. A bunch of psychological bullshit as far as Sage was concerned, but she still didn’t know who, or what, killed her parents."
One more from the nature hating hero.
"Porter hung up and shoved the phone into his pocket. He was supposed to be enjoying the next six days off – sleeping in, drinking beer with his brother at the beach, maybe doing a little surf fishing not tramping around in the wilderness. Damn.
He found Sage in the bathhouse, beating on a rusted water heater with a wrench. Bathhouse, his ass. Why anyone would chose to shower in the mostly open structure was beyond him. The only things completely private were the toilets located behind a door, even though there wasn’t a ceiling. People were crazy."
So there you have it. And remember...rough draft.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Rambling Monday...

1. The gnomes have continued their assault on my plants. Nothing but Hostas are living in their garden. I have tried to appease them with various bribes, but they're holding out for the full list of demands. Don't think it's going to end well.

2. The college paperwork and worry never seems to end. With K2 being away at camp without the ability to call me except on the weekends, it's been really tough to get everything done. She still has to pick classes and fill out a bunch of forms. We're still working on the financial aid paperwork (I've been told we're fine as far as timing goes). I've been on the phone will her college all morning so far and still have people to talk to.

3. Summer is quickly ending. That makes me sad. I feel like we haven't had much of one. There's been way too much going on and while there's been some fun stuff, summer hasn't gone the way I'd hoped at all.

4. I'd planned to hang towels on the line today. But it's raining. And I'm okay with that. I love a rainy day.

5. It's August! I cannot believe that. Four more months left in this year. That is insane! Christmas will be here before we know it. I know. I know. I've smacked my own mouth...or in this case...fingers.

That is all for today.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Just Because...

And, by the way, it's August 1. What the heck?