Saturday, May 31, 2008

Computer Probs and Other Thoughts

I've been battling my computer for two days. AJ's 'promptel' problem has spread; only instead of shutting down my internet, my computer simply refuses to cooperate.

A page loads and gets frozen; becomes 'non-responsive'.

I go to type a comment and nothing appears for several seconds. With my dyslexic fingers, how am I going to know if 'wioth' appears instead of 'with', or 'asw' instead of 'was'? And when I correct it, well, a simple sentance turns into a frustrating composition.

And when I get to the point where my patience runs out, and my computer parts are in danger of being smashed, I try to exit the program and reboot the system, except the icons are now missing from the screen. Nothing to do but shut the thing down cold. Even 'Ctrl' 'Alt' 'Dlt' has no effect.

Jackie says it's because everyone is trying to load that page at the same time. Okay; but explain my computer problem when I've shut down the internet? Virus scans and spyware scans reveal zip, and they are supposedly up to date.

At any rate, I'm having no trouble now, so maybe I need to a) Quit staying up late and sleeping past 7:30 am or b) Not attempt internet at all until after supper?

Outdoor Education
Saw an interesting ad on TV: Spend an hour each day outside. And for ideas on what to do, go to the website for creative ideas.

Excuse me?

Ask any child under age 6 and they will tell you the Great Outdoors is full of things to do! You can ride bikes; pretend your swingset is a tower; jump rope; go for a walk; smell the neighbor's flowers (just don't pick them!); lie on the grass and see the shapes in the clouds; play any number of sports...volleyball, baseball, kickball, croquet...anything that gets you moving.

Has an entire generation of people forgotten the joys of using their imagination? Play hide and seek with any group of kids. Go play miniature golf. Get a bucket of sidewalk chalk and take turns outlining each other. My sidewalk looks like a crime scene; remember the three extra kids I had yesterday? They were 8, 7, 5, and my 4-year-old. They spent an hour taking turns lying on the concrete while the others drew around them. They outlined the dog. They drew a flower garden. They even wrote a large "Welcome" on my porch.

In short, they had FUN. And without the use of electronics.

Jackie has a fence!
My older kids have been having a ball this week, putting together a chain-link fence with their dad. There has been little or no quarreling; no tears because of feeling left out; and best of all, no complaints because Mom's tying up the computer.

And Aunt Jackie even bought a Diego Slip 'N' Slide so they could cool off in the water after a hard day's work. Got some great pics of them! Jackie's dogs are thrilled to be let loose and not have to be on a leash.

The next project is a smaller pen, plus the patio. Best of all, they are doing something constructive and not just lying in front of the TV. And my son leaves for BSA summer camp in two weeks.

Missed it!
I forgot to call my mom before she left, to tell her about Jamie Carie's book signing. I hope she went! I wanted an autographed copy of her second book, The Dutchess and The Dragon. Otherwise, I'll just have to buy it and hope she returns to her home town again soon. Her 3rd book won't be out until January.

Wine and Art Fair
There's someone new in charge of the festival this year, and when I contacted him about being a vendor, he welcomed me with open arms, and was thrilled when I told him BB Walters was interested as well. If she's able to make it, she and I will both be selling our books on June 14th. More on this later.

Am I the Only One?
Have you heard Kid Rock's "All Summer Long". The kids swear they hear 'Sweet Home Alabama' in the background. I hear 'Werewolves of London'. Anyone else hear this song? Just like there's a Jessica Simpson song that I hear 'Jack and Diane', and Vanilla Ice's 'Ice Ice Baby' has 'Under Pressure' in the background.

Kids just walked in:) Have a good weekend!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Lazy Friday

Currently Reading: Both Servant of Magic and Fairy Dust are fantastic! I'm diving into Bronwyn's book later today. And hubby bought me a flash drive, so I can now put all my e-books onto it, rather than have several floppy disks. As he said, the next computer may not have floppy drives; I'd better get with the times! So....where's my e-reader? $20 or $200...yeah, he made the right choice for the moment!

I had such a productive day yesterday! I sent off another submission and made the final edits to another one. What sparked the burst of creativity? My family went to help some friends build a fence around their yard and left me alone for ten, uninterrupted hours! I cranked up the music, shut down the internet, and wrote.

I missed out on pizza, but I ate a peanut butter sandwich and kept going. Now I understand how people forget to eat when they are working!

In all fairness, I was expecting the family home around 5, so I'd laid out a pork loin. I've not had to cook for a week, and thought I'd dust off my culinary skills. But when they called and said they wouldn't be home, I went ahead and cooked it anyway. I just didn't eat any of it. It now sits in the fridge, sliced and marinating some more until tonight. Or I may serve it for lunch.

Today, I'm watching 3 small children until later this afternoon. Since I need to get off of here and give them my attention, check all blogs to the right and see what everyone else is up to. I discovered I won one of the prizes in Mona Risk's contest, and the news brightened my day!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

How to Handle a Critical Remark

Currently Reading: Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer. It started off a little dry; I had no problem putting it down after the first chapter, but I wanted to keep reading after I finished the third one! But as it was nearly midnight, I put it down. I'll probably have it finished by this weekend.

E-book: Finally finished Cheryl Dragon's book, Sorority Girl Pledge Time. I enjoyed it, and was thankful it ended happily. I was wondering about a certain plot twist...Next up is Servant of Magic, by Elyssa Lynne. Just finished reading SOM, and boy is it GOOD! It's definitely a 'must read':)

I'm having some difficulty processing a remark made by a loved one yesterday.

I happened to call at the wrong time, and was very snappishly told, "Some people actually work for a living."

I started to lose my temper, but checked myself (thankfully!) and was able to end the call on a civil note, instead of tears and slamming the receiver into the cradle.

This person and I have been close friends for over two decades; she is going through a difficult life-change, and is probably over-stressed. She's changed jobs; moved; and we really haven't connected in several months. But this was after office hours; I just wanted to reach out say 'hi', and instead, got a grouchy, snarly person who took my head off for calling at the wrong time.

I'm just going to back off and give her space for a few more weeks. Maybe she's waking up this morning, regretting her choice of words. Or maybe she thinks she's justified. At any rate, should I send her a quiet email, reminding her I cannot read her mind; I did not know she was working late; and all I wanted was to let her know I was thinking of her? Or should I just let it go and see what happens in two weeks?

How do you handle friends who have apparantly gone over to the dark side, or had aliens take over their bodies?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


There's nothing that infuriates me more than to have people imply I do nothing all day. My own niece said this to me a couple of years ago, when she was trying to start her own business: "It will give you something to do."

Excuse me? In between my-then Mommy chores, which included changing diapers and encouraging a toddler to play by himself; my daily housecleaning chores; my writing time; and cooking meals, when did I ever have nothing to do?

I rarily get bored by myself. Give me access to music, a computer, and a stack of books and I'm completely happy.

I used to have a neighbor who cried when her youngest child entered school. I didn't understand that at all; I treated myself to an aqua massage, lunch, and power shopping the day my daughter entered 1st grade. And the next day, packed her off to school and wrote nonstop for several hours.

My kids are now out of school for the summer. I cherish the early morning hours before everyone is awake. I can write; read; answer emails at my leisure without hearing, "Mom...can I please use the computer?" If their grandparents want to kidnap the kids for a few days (weeks??), I gladly let them go, because that means more writing time for me.

So what does that have to do with downtime? I have to schedule it in. Don't laugh; if my hubby wants me to sit on the front porch and waste time with him, I consciously have to give myself 'permission'. Otherwise, I'm inwardly fretting about all the things I 'should' be doing.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Currently Reading: Sorority Girl Pledge, by Cheryl Dragon. I think I'm on chapter six or seven. Haven't read it since Friday.

I missed the workshop/discussion on the Novel Sisterhood on Sunday, because my mom's computer refused to let me sign in to my Yahoo account. Which is weird, because I successfully signed in Saturday night for Anny Cook's chat, even though I'd forgotten about it and only 'chatted' for the final 30 minutes! And didn't have access to my TBB list, so I'll have to go back and reread the excerpts. sidetracked for a minute. But it's the first day of Summer Break; I arrived home to a messy house and no coffee or tea bags. I had to make an early morning run to the store so I could have breakfast! So forgive me if I wander all over the place.


1) What is the first thing you do to research?

First of all, I write about what I already know. But last summer, when the character of a man who had spent time in prison entered my head, I did have to ask a law enforcement official about prison term lengths, and how long certain offenses warrented different prison sentances.

When I was writing my eating disorder book, I actually called a clinic and spoke to a therapist about how someone with anorexia would be 'rehabillitated'. And it took her several minutes to realize I was not just someone in denial; I really was doing legitimate research on the disorder! For the record, I was blessed with a wonderful metabolism in my teens and early 20's and could eat pretty much whatever I wanted. 3 kids and twenty years later has slowed it somewhat, but I like food too much to ever do that to my body. I'm somewhat comfortable with my extra 30 pounds, and as long as I exercise and don't go too crazy with certain foods, I don't obsess over my weight.

My bff knows to expect the random phone call with the dreaded words 'stretch your memory' when I get stumped about when certain events happened. She was also better at flirting, so when my characters need great comebacks, she's the one who supplies them.

So far, the book that I did the most research on was my alternative lifestyle one. I actually went to the library and spent several hours looking for articles on microfische about gays in the late 1980's, so I could present both the prejudiced view and the arguments my heroine was making to justify her choice. And as that particular book gets closer to publication, I'll probably conduct some more interviews, and I've already read some gay fiction to see how those authors handled the issue. So I expect to do some revisions in the next couple of years.

2) How do you research a town you've never been to?

Good question. The only place I've not visited, yet written about, was in Love Finds a Way. I interviewed my AF guy extensively on the layout of the George AF Base and Apple Valley; I also pumped a Marine friend who lives in 29 Palms, California, for information about Los Angeles and military men in general.

3) Do you research differently for 10 years or older time periods?

My series takes place twenty years ago; I visit to check for movies, songs, etc so I don't, say for example, having my characters going to see Pretty Woman before it appeared in theaters. And watching reruns of old sitcoms and teen dramas help to stay in touch with the teen mindset of the time period.

4) Any tricks you can share?

I just write as the story flows. If I get stuck on a certain detail, I stop and do specific research. And if I know a certain storyline is approaching and I see literature or an article, I'll pay attention and take notes or cut it out of the paper. For example, in 2003, while visiting a friend in another city, I saw a pamphelt on gambling addiction. Even though this story is still swirling around in my brain, I picked up the booklet and tucked it away for future reference. This seems to work for me; I know other authors who research first and write second. When you find what works best, then stick with it. My sister used to do tons of research, but would have no idea of how to start putting it all together. I spent two hours with her, listening to her describe what she wanted to say and looking at her large pile of notecards. I went through them; put them into piles; and organized her outline. I also started her off with a terrific opening paragraph, which she then developed into a 'B' or 'A' term paper. I did the same when she applied to the JET (Japanese Exchange Training) program which got her accepted and sent to Japan for 2 years. Incidentally, she also met her husband there, so you could say if it weren't for her older sister's written skills....

Okay, maybe that's not quite the case. But it's a thought!

So, what are your research issues? Which comes first, the research or the writing?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Scott Dixon, Winner

The race was an interesting one. The weather was beautiful, and we had an unobstructed view of Graham Rahal, Justin Wilson, and Buddy Rice's pits. A little farther down, we could see Tony Kanaan's pit crew in action.

Julianne Hough (Helio Castraneves' partner on Dancing With the Stars) sang the National Anthem; Jim Nabors sand 'Back Home Again in Indiana'; Kristy Yamagucci waved the green flag, and they were off.

A series of crashes kept several laps under the yellow light, but no one was seriously injured. And a couple of crashes happened in our line of vision.

Our rookie this year was Graham Rahal; Favorite car was a tie between Marco Andretti (Indiana Jones) and Alex Lloyd (Wii Fit). Marco finished 3rd; Alex crashed around mid-race. We cheered on Danica Patrick and Sarah Fisher, and groaned when Sarah and Tony collided. And again when, with 30 laps to go, Ryan Briscoe collided with Danica as they were leaving the pits and Danica's rear suspension broke. Her day was over, and she angrily stormed over to Ryan's pit to give him a piece of her mind. But the PR people were able to restrain her before the confrontation took place.

The end of the race felt anticlimactic. After all, Scott began the race on the Pole, and he pretty much stayed with the front runners the entire race. Aukland, New Zealand is very proud of its native son, and this is his first Indy win. But at least it didn't end under the yellow light. But the excitement of cars jostling for position just wasn't there this year.

Wonderful Visit
Today the kids and I are heading back home and my sister and her family will fly out tomorrow. Both D and R 'love their Aunt Molly' and R even shared my breakfast this morning. S had no problems watching the three toddlers while we were at the track; the toddlers played well together and I'm sure there will be tears when we have to go our separate ways later today. R wants me to come to her birthday party next August, but I think we're trying to arrange another get together in October. Maybe in Colorado?

Memorial Day
Saw on the news this morning there is only one remaining WW1 veteran. He is 107 years old, and a photographer is trying to get support for a WW1 Memorial. I hope his project is met with enthusiasm and success.

May we never forget those who gave their lives for our country.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Indy 500 2007

This was the only picture I could find from last year. Peyton Manning, practicing waving the green flag before the start of the race. I have better ones, but in order to find the CD requires much digging through my photo box. And I'm not in the mood to do that right now.

Wonder who will be the entertainment this year? Last year it was Daughtry. I aimed my camera blindly to the podium but can't tell if Chris is even in the shot! I'll try to do better this year.

I'm off to watch my Saturday morning shows and pack. As I stated yesterday, I'm not sure if I'll post tomorrow or not. Just depends on if I have access to the computer and when we're returning home.

Just hope hubby DVR's the race so I can see the parts I miss from the front straightaway! He thinks I'm nuts...I attend the race, and then go home and watch it all over again. But not all of the action occurs in front of me!

Have a safe and happy Memorial Weekend:)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Fantastic Day:)

I know; I said that already. But it was late when I posted, so I'm doing it again!

First stop after arriving in the park was the stroller rental. I had my stroller, but since it's only a single-seater, my BIL rented a wagon for the other two kids. Let me restate: My nephew D is 5; my son W is 4; and niece R is 2 1/2, which made it very handy as R was free, and I'd gone to the website and found out if we brought Pepsi cans, it knocked $7 off the admission price.

Computer is throwing a fit. I'll be back.

4PM- After fighting with the home PC, I gave up and came to the library. So if I exceed my time limit, forgive me and I'll continue later.

We first took the kids to Rudolph's Ranch, the kiddie area, and R and W went on practically everything in sight. D is slightly shy and was content to stay with his mom and watch his sister and cousin having fun.

We then ventured into the Halloween area and got something to drink. Wendy, W, and I rode the scrambler. R wanted to come at first, but had left the line to hang out with her dad and therefore missed out on the fun. She wasn't happy about it at first, but as my BIL says, her attention span is about the size of a gnat's, and was easily distracted. We were able to ride the antique cars twice, and the kids 'drove'.

My son was wearing his Pangnirtung t-shirt and the attendant commented on it. She was astonished to learn that two of the three adults used to live in the Arctic and while the kids were riding, got the condensed version of life among the Inuit.

We tried to have lunch at the Plymoth Rock Cafe in the Thanksgiving area, but they were closed. We all went on the Gobbler Getaway ride twice...turns out we were using our turkey guns incorrectly! The second time through, we all managed to get at least 200 points (Gobbler Wannabees!)

Lunch was finally accomplished back in Christmas town, at the Kringle Kafe. Then we headed to Holidog's Treehouse to turn the kids loose on the playground and have some ice cream. Everyone but myself rode the kiddie coaster, and we also went on the Freedom Train and Holidog's cars.

I wanted to ride the Revolution, which is a roundup. You stand in a cage; the whole thing spins and tips on its side at a 45-degree angle! I rode it twice in a row, although I had to close my eyes at the start and mentally tell myself, "I like this ride...I like this ride!" The kids with me were asking each other if they'd ever thrown up on a ride before; I was seriously considering waiting until they got off before riding it!

The last thing ride was the Raging Rapids, and poor R and I got the wettest! And that water was COLD! We dried off in the sunshine and bought souveniers before exiting the park. I had to physically drag my child out of there....I was hoping to get a picture of us all in front of the Santa Clause statue, but a large crowd was gathered, and R was asleep so we skipped it.

Drove home and picked up my family. Ate dinner at Long John Silvers...there is none in either Canada or the state of Washington, Wendy says, and she's been craving LJS for 5 years now. Returned to her motel room and let the kids go swimming in the indoor pool until 9pm.

Needless to say, all the kids slept very well last night!

And found out my family took bets on when my sister would get on my nerves. So far she hasn't, but I did tell her good-naturedly to 'shut up' when I wanted to buy her kids T-shirts, and she tried to talk me out of it. But later, R's came in handy when Wendy forgot to pack her PJ's!

They went back to our parents' home this morning; I'll be seeing them again when I drive up tomorrow. We have a graduation party to stop at in the late afternoon, and the race on Sunday, so don't know if I'll be able to access the internet. Wendy, Chris, and D will be in my old room; R will have the den; K will be on the couch; S the loveseat; W and I will be on the blow-up mattress on the floor. So mom's house will be stuffed with people! K's talking about pitching his tent in the backyard; we just hope it doesn't rain! So don't panic if I'm incommunicado for a few days!

Have a great Memorial Weekend, and go Danica and Marco!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fantastic Day:)

No, this isn't us....we didn't get a chance to have our pictures taken at the Santa statue. Just giving you a glimpse into what kind of music we listened to all day!

Enough said. More tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Indy 500 Memories-1992

Currently Reading: A Falcon for a Queen by Catherine Gaskin. I probably won't be reading today, as I've got to get the house straightened up for my sis and her family; trip to the store for ingredients forgotten yesterday; and most importantly, a memory card to download to CD so I can reload it with pics of my niece and nephew!

The Coldest Race?
The forecast wasn't great. Maybe 35 degrees? Rain? Snow? Either way, we bundled up in thermal underwear, layers upon layers of clothing, and stuffed raingear and blankets in a large duffel bag. The coolers were stocked with the usual sandwiches, soft drinks, and beer. As a person whose ideal weather is bright and sunny 70+, this would be a Race Day long remembered.

During the pre-race festivities, my sister and I kept active by constantly moving. We went to the concession stand for hot chocolate. We enthusiastically greeted friends who had bought our extra tickets. And we took walks up and down the stairs and around our Paddock area, looking at the various Pits across the front straightaway. And we decided, most of all, to remain positive.

Mother Nature decided to bless us by holding off on the rain, and the race began. But the temperature, combined with the cold wind, kept us jumping up and down no matter who was leading. And after 450 miles, my shivering body no longer cared who won; I wanted it over so we could get in our warm car and go home to a hot tub of water.

Lap 198 found me standing up, surrounded by cheering fans standing on the bleachers....and the wind was blocking me! Imagine own little pocket of warmth, finally! I was cheering for Little Al Unser, and the only way I knew he crossed the finish line was the fact I had a clear view of his pit crew between the shoulders of the people in front of me. I don't know how close the victory was; all I saw was his pit crew jumping for joy and running toward Victory Lane!

I think that year was the only year we weren't some of the last stragglers to leave the area; I think we left as soon as Little Al took his Victory Lap in the Pace Car after being kissed by the 500 Queen, the obligatory drink of milk, and the interview. I know conditions were ideal for the cars, but for the fans, this was one race I believe I would have enjoyed better from the comforts of my living room!

Switching Gears (pun intended!)
I received an email saying a nice young Arab man has decided to let me have his 18 Billion dollar fortune. Isn't that nice? Think of all the lives I could help make a little better...and the e-books I could buy...and the e-reader, the laptop, and fuel-efficient vehicles....

Hey, I can dream, can't I? I sent it to my Spam folder.

Dinner Plans
My culinary arts will be put to the test tonight. Why? I've never cooked a meal for my sister before. I've treated her to pizza and taken her out to restaurants, but I'm fixing the Wolfgang Puck chicken recipe that my kids rave about. Here's hoping everything goes well; the sauce alone takes no less than 30 minutes to prepare, since I have to double and triple it; otherwise, it's a battle over who gets to scrape the last bit onto the rice!

I don't know if I'll post tomorrow; we'll be heading for Holiday World, which an hour away, and I'm not exactly sure when we'll be back. But in the meantime, all blogs to the right are good reads until I return. Hopefully I'll be able to post a picture.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Super Tuesday:)

Currently Reading: Just bought Servant of Magic by Elyssa Lynne, Sorority Girl Pledge by Cheryl Dragon, Fairy Dust by Tielle St. Clair, Demon Wind by Kay Wilde, Redemption: Fallen by Brynn Paulin, and Solstice Seduction: Celtic Fire by Bronwyn Green. That ought to keep me busy for a while...

First, Barb's 'Totally Tasteless Limerick'
There once was an author from Reading
Whose latest release Beyond Meddling
Is about Evan and Be
She's more confident than he
Will they ever go farther than necking?

Or this version...
There once was an author from Reading
Whose latest release Beyond Meddling
Is about Evan and Be
She's more confident than he
Will he whip it out and show her his ding-a-ling?

Other Publishing News:
Forbidden Love got another rejection.
"...while I find your story compelling, I am not enthusiastic enough about it to offer you a contract at this time. "

That's okay. I had it sent to a contemporary romance editor, and as I stated last week, my book is not a romance book! So I'm not upset; I'll simply send it off with the label 'women's fiction' and see how it does with a new publisher!

I'm off to the fair!
Well, not until August, anyway! Just got word that I will be a part of the Author Showcase at our Indiana State Fair:) I'll be exhibiting on August 17th, from 5-7 pm! I noticed there are some open slots still available...wonder if I could do another day as well, if they let me? I love the State Fair, and used to go every year. And when I was published, a few friends wondered if I would be at our local fair. But the booth rental was waaaaaay out of my budget! But the only thing I'll have to pay out of pocket will be parking and food expenses. And if I can get my mom to meet us, she can take the kids to the Midway while I'm working!

Thank You US Treasury!
Our check arrived yesterday! That means...
-license plates for the van
-Transmission replaced
-a few medical bills paid
-ink in my printer
-the pictures in my camera printed and put on CD; memory card wiped
-E-books purchased...maybe another 6??
-freezer stocked with meat!

And my sister and her family will be arriving tomorrow night for a 3-day visit! I'm not sure if I'll be cooking tomorrow night, or if we will go out. I'll call her later today and see what she wants to do. Thursday, we're off to a local amusement park with just the toddlers. My daughter went last week with her class, so I don't feel guilty for leaving her behind. But my older son has finals and absolutely can't go. I'll have to bring him back something special, or make it up to him this summer. Maybe a return trip later this summer?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Breaking into Song

This one's for Barb. Enjoy:)

(Tune: Hey There Delilah)

Hey there Miss Barbara, what's it like in Pennsylvania
Your new book's released today and your friends are all excited
Don't you know.....
I just wish I had the dough.....

Hey there Miss Barbara, Beyond Meddling sounds so steamy
You've only posted just one excerpt but you sent me three in private
Can't you see.....
The world will love Evan and Be...
It's not just me....

Ohhhhhh Evan and Be......
Ohhhhhh Evan and Be....
Will they marry....
We'll just wait and see.....

Right now he's shy but she'll get by and help him see that she loves he
And fans across the globe will make them go.....
Right to the top.....

Hey Total E Bound, bet you're proud of all your authors
And your readers, they all love the books they write along with others
Don't you know....
Keep up the good work we love you so....

I already know what you're thinking, AJ...don't worry....Day Job is safe:)
Don't throw too many tomatoes at me!
No need for the hook....I'll go peacefully:)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Restaurant Rant

To the manager of La Fiesta:

I am only 25 pounds overweight. Why did your waiter feel it necessary to cut off my food intake? I still had two nachos, semi-loaded with chicken and cheese, on my plate. I looked away for a moment to discipline my toddler and when I turned back, my plate was missing.

I would have appreciated a gentle, 'may I take your plate', or even an 'are you finished with that?' but no, he assumed incorrectly that I was finished.

Just because the rest of my family had finished eating did not indicate that I was too. I'm a mom with a 4-year-old (who has the attention span of a gnat while eating in restaurants sometimes!) and sometimes it takes me longer to eat than the rest of my family. Especially since your restaurant does not supply crayons or speedy kid service.

In fact, your waiter forgot to bring his child's plate. We had to ask for it twice. He also was not very prompt in offering refills on drinks.

So do not look for a return visit from us anytime soon.


A disgruntled (and still slightly hungry) customer.

She's Home!
In other news, Operation Cross the Border apparently went smoothly. Mom reported last night my sister and her family were in the air, and headed for Chicago to change planes. They should have arrived in Indianapolis around eleven-thirty last night.

Let's just hope their luggage arrived as well!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Random Saturday Thoughts

Currently Reading: The Boston Strangler, by Gerold Frank. So far, it's not that gory. It's more of what the investigation was all about.

Woo Hoo!
First of all, I was scrolling down my 'Favorite Links' list last night when I noticed Wednesday's post had another comment. Imagine my surprise when I clicked on it and discovered an old girlfriend of Kevin Cogan had been surfing the web, looking for articles on him, and found my little trip down Memory Lane! I left out something in my reply, however. Yes, I got into the Pits in 1988, but I did not get to meet him or get his autograph. I was excited, however, to see his garage in Gasoline Alley. But no one was around. So I guess that's the closest I'll ever get to that man!

"Dude, your car's totaled!"
Is it just me, or does anyone else find those Nationwide commercials disturbing? If you were watching your friends new cars destroyed by furniture being thrown out of buildings, or paint spilled, or being pushed out of the way for the emergency vehicles and into oncoming traffic, wouldn't you scream (or at least gasp!) and let them know what was happening? Or would you calmly query your friend about their automobile insurance coverage?

There's No Place Like Home...if you can get there...
Keep my sister in your prayers: Mom called and said they went to board the plane and were denied because the kids didn't have passports. So they are driving to Seattle in hopes of boarding the plane there. I can't believe no one told them the kids had to have passports in order to cross the border! Surely someone would have mentioned it? But then again, I certainly never thought to query her on it, so maybe it was an honest oversight. After all, 4 years ago, all one needed was the birth certificate. But since they changed the rules, I've stayed in the USA. I guess I'll have to get us all passports now. Especially if my books start doing well, and I can afford to return to Canada, or maybe even a trip to Australia?

"It's in the mail...we promise!"
Still waiting for that rebate check...gonna have to have wheels next week! Our letter on Monday said the 16th. So....where is it? Several years ago, we owed a whole dollar to the IRS. Guess what they did? They actually sent us monthly bills until we sent it out on April 15th. So the next year, our refund was a dollar. Did they pay up immediately? was electronically deposited into the account ten days later.

"No Respect"
What's the difference between staring at the TV for eight hours and 'staring' at the comuter/internet for an hour or two? Depends on who you're talking to. If the hubby stares at the TV, he's 'relaxing.' If I'm staring at the TV, I'm 'goofing off' and can be interrupted for any little thing. If I'm at the computer, I'm working. If you ask him, I 'don't care about the rest of the family'. The kids at the computer are either talking to their friends or doing homework. TV time...that's their relaxation. Grrrr....

Have a good day:)

Provisional be changed tomorrow!
Row 1
1. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara, 226.366 mph
2. (10) Dan Wheldon, Dallara, 226.110
3. (6) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara, 226.080
Row 2
4. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara, 225.733
5. (7) Danica Patrick, Dallara, 225.197
6. (11) Tony Kanaan, Dallara, 224.794
Row 3
7. (26) Marco Andretti, Dallara, 224.417
8. (4T) Vitor Meira, Dallara, 224.346
9. (27) r-Hideki Mutoh, Dallara, 223.887
Row 4
10. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara, 223.835
11. (12) Tomas Scheckter, Dallara, 223.496
12. (99) Townsend Bell, Dallara, 222.539
Row 5
13. (06) r-Graham Rahal, Dallara, 222.531
14. (14) Darren Manning, Dallara, 222.430
15. (18) Bruno Junqueira, Dallara, 222.330
Row 6
16. (02) r-Justin Wilson, Dallara, 222.267
17. (15) Buddy Rice, Dallara, 222.101
18. (22) Davey Hamilton, Dallara, 222.017
Row 7
19. (16) r-Alex Lloyd, Dallara, 221.788
20. (17T) r-Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara, 221.579
21. (24) John Andretti, Dallara, 221.550
Row 8
22. (67) Sarah Fisher, Dallara, 221.246
23. (8) r-Will Power, Dallara, 221.136
24. (41) Jeff Simmons, Dallara, 221.103
Row 9
25. (5) r-Oriol Servia, Dallara, 220.767
26. (33) r-E.J. Viso, Dallara, 220.356
27. (23) Milka Duno, Dallara, 220.305
Row 10
28. (19) r-Mario Moraes, Dallara, 219.716
29. (36) r-Enrique Bernoldi, Dallara, 219.422
30. (34) r-Jaime Camara, Dallara, 219.345
Row 11
31. (98) Roger Yasukawa, Dallara, 218.010
32. (91) Buddy Lazier, Dallara, 217.939
33. (25) Marty Roth, Dallara, 215.506

If it doesn't rain, things will definitely get interesting tomorrow! Just wish I could watch it!

Friday, May 16, 2008


Currently Reading: Still on The Mallan Girl. Didn't read yesterday, but my TBB list grew a page and now stands at #98 books. I've got to stop reading excerpts for a while...or my friends have got to stop writing for a few months...or I just need to buy them faster?

I'm thankful it's Friday for several reasons. First of all tomorrow is the day my sister and her family arrive after 5 long years away inside the arctic circle:) all fairness, they've been in Vancouver for the past nine months! But next week, I'll get to meet my niece, whom I've only seen in pictures and spoken to by phone. And rebond with my nephew, whom I dubbed 'the cutest nephew west of the Mississippi' and later 'north of the border', ha ha:)

Secondly, this has been a long week! I worked on revisions on Monday and Tuesday; Wednesday I goofed off (blame Cindy Spencer Pape, ha ha! Couldn't put her book down!); yesterday I posted 11 various excerpts and attended a networking webinar that was very informative.

Lastly, it's noon and I've kicked the housework into high gear. Laundry that's not been done since Monday; cleaning Crayola marker off walls and doors (toddlers helped!); and getting my kitchen back under control!

And I hope that rebate check gets here so we can take my van to the shop! Plus, hubby's already said he has a taste for Long John Silver's tonight. Means I don't have to cook! More music to my ears!

What's on your agenda for the weekend? It looks as if I'll be spending some time on the phone on Sunday:)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Promo Day:)

Come join me and several others at the Novel Sisterhood today! We're posting excerpts, reviews, contests, etc on the chat loop:) To join, click here:

Didn't do a whole lot yesterday. I spent most of the day reading Dragon in the System! Fantastic book! Another highly recommended one!

I know...didn't use my time wisely yesterday! Am making up for it today. I'm promoting my books and I have a conference call/webinar later tonight. Hubby's going to love that...right in the middle of our dinner hour. I'll have to move dinner up an hour...or push it back...

Stop by Kelly's blog and tell her your opinion of series books. Do you like them, or do you prefer the stand-alones? Me, I like both!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Indy 500 Memories-1982 and 1986

Currently Reading: The Mallen Girl, by Catherine Cookson. And will probably start on Cindy's book later today! Enjoyed Wedding Jitters...and now I think I know how to fix the ms I'm working on...

Anyone read The Boston Strangler? It's up next in the dead tree book box...

I think this was the year my interest in racing took off. I confess to a certain shallowness in picking my favorite race car drivers. At this particular time, I was 'in love' with a handsome driver by the name of Kevin Cogan. This particular year, he was sitting in the Pole position (ranked 1st for all you non-racing fans...this position has the highest qualifying speed and has the honor of leading the pack of 33 cars for the first two parade laps), but something happened when the green flag appeared, and an accident occured, wiping out several cars. And since this was before the teams could repair the damage and still re-enter the race, several past contenders were furious at my guy.

And those of us attending Band Camp were huddled around the radio, listening and cheering on the final ten laps and taking imaginary bets on who would win, Gordon Johncock or Rick Mears!

In a photo finish, Gordon Johncock nudged past by mere inches and won the thing! Even to this day, even though we know who the winner was, just hearing the sound bite from the final seconds brings back that adrenaline rush!

My second race (1985 was my 1st) was a downpour. We huddled miserably under our rain gear, eating our sandwiches and watching the futile efforts to get the track dry. Everytime progress would be made, Mother Nature opened up the floodgates and the process would start all over again. The next day, it was still raining. We didn't make the trip to Indianapolis; we watched the progress on live TV. Dad said if things looked better by noon, we'd go. But once again, Mother Nature decreed no.

A week later, the weather was bright and sunny. We made fresh sandwiches, repacked the coolers, and off we set again. This time, everything went off without a hitch. Well, okay. Almost without a hitch! We parked in a different place than last time, and my sister and I set our own 'track record' by setting off in the opposite direction of our seats! We walked around the entire OUTSIDE of the track in 45 minutes...and did not beat our parents to the seats:) We did, however, see some interesting sights...we witnessed the Celebrity Caravan taking off; we joked about stealing an unmanned Pace Car (yellow Corvette! My favorite car!) and driving to our seats; and we pretended not to notice the drunk guy who offered to carry our heavy coolers for us.

And the race was awesome! My guy led several laps, and when an accident ocurred late in the race, I was jumping up and down with excitement, wondering if Kevin was going to win under the yellow light, or if the Safety Crew would get the track cleared in time to go green for the final lap or two. And since Dad's favorite driver, Bobby Rahal was in second place, we had a friendly rivalry between us.

With 195 laps down, the green flag waved. The crowd roared; we all got to our feet and cheered as the pace car pulled into the pits and the drivers hit their accellorators. The race was on! Kevin managed to hold off Bobby for lap 196, but the distance between them closed. Going into to 3rd turn, Bobby edged closer, and by turn 4, saw his chance and took it. He passed Kevin going into the home stretch, and even though Kevin continued to chase him for the final 3 laps, it was all over. Dad was jumping up and down and yelling; I was yelling at Kevin for not taking his spot back; Mom and my sister were also cheering for Rahal. But my sister very nicely said, "It almost happened...there's always next year!" Dad looked at me and said, "Experience wins every time!" and popped open another beer to celebrate.

Unfortunately, the following two years, my guy didn't even finish, and I don't think he even races anymore.

This will be the first year since the mid-90's that my sister will attend the race. And we have some hard and fast rules for picking winners.

1) We always cheer for the women! First it was Lyn St. James, and later Sarah Fisher. Now Danica Patrick stands to be the first female to win at Indy. Wouldn't it be great if she were to do it this year?

2) We always pick at least one rookie to finish. And this has been a private joke: For three years in a row, the rookie we picked either blew his engine at the start and couldn't even begin the race, or was the first one out of the race! We'll see what happens on the 25th!

3) And being loyal to our parents, we cheer for Foyt, Rahal's team, or the Unser family. Used to love Little Al's car...his sponser used to be Domino's Pizza! And we always pick the car with the best logo. One year it was a dentist who was driving...his sponser was Crest:)

And what happened between 1982 and 1985? In 1983, I chose to go to Florida with my church choir and skipped Band Camp that year. Took a lot of flack from my fellow Seniors who couldn't believe I was being taught my routine from (gasp! Shock! Horror!) an underclassmen! Yeah, right...get over it...who cared who taught me the routine, as long as it was somebody? They got over it after a few weeks. And in 1984, I spent time with my grandparents, who had come up from Florida for my HS graduation. And I got to spend an entire month with them afterwards!

Well, I'm off to get busy with revisions. Do me a favor? Click on Suazanne's blog and leave your opinion on her decision to stay home with her kids and WRITE! Or, just send her encouragement as she's sending off her first submission:) Tell her I sent you! And for time management tips, click on the gals at Oh Get A Grip. Do you spend the morning in your jammies? Do you let housework pile up when you're In the Zone? Are you super-organized? Give them your input.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

2 Down, 2 Left

Currently Reading: Am buying Dragon in the System by Cindy Spencer Pape, and Wedding Jitters by Brynn Paulin. Had to push back Cheryl's book because I couldn't afford both. So I'll get it next week. I try to stay within a $10 budget...but we should have that rebate check by the weekend, so who knows how many I'll get next week?

Yes, I found out my manuscript did not make it through round #2 of the contest. Am I upset? No. Disappointed, sure. But there are several factors which come into play on this particular MS.

1) Round #2 rules state the manuscript would be judged on the entire work, and in particular romances would have the requesite HEA. So strike 1, because the one I submitted doesn't have it. Closure, yes, but the heroine goes off into the sunset to nurse her wounds after having her eyes rudely opened that the love of her life lied to her. Fast-forward nine months, when he shows up at her graduation, and she decides to get on with her life without him.

2) Strike #2 occured when, it was brought to my attention, via a very nice rejection letter last week, that my series better fits the criteria for Women's Fiction, rather than Romance! So, I labelled it the wrong genre.

3) And strike #3? There are six other authors who did not make the above mistakes, and have moved onto the final round. And five others who are sitting back and thinking how they can better improve their manuscript and send it on to another publisher.

I do have two more submissions out there; one which I should hear from by the end of the month. The other one was subbed in April, so I will probably know something by late June or July.

And as for other work in progress, I'm still trimming a short story and my critique partner is about to get another chapter of a steamy TRUE romance! I've also done some research on the fourth book, and received some helpful information.

Calling Dr. Freud...
Ever psychoanalyze yourself while sleeping?

I had a weird dream that a friend and I were taking a road trip, and all of a sudden he looked over at me and said, "So, when are you going to start complaining?"

"When the timing is right."

He gave me The Look (you know the one...all friends give you this Look when they know you're either lying or in denial!).

"I know...I said that back in 1990, and look how that turned out!'re right...time for the confrontation. Can't I just eat chocolate and not rock the boat for once?"

"You know what you have to do."

I hate it when my subconscious is right! But I still don't wanna. I can live with this for at least another year...

Oh, kids haven't found my Dove chocolate stash:)

Today is the toddler's last day of school for the year! I thought he got out NEXT Tuesday! There will be tears tomorrow...then again, maybe not. His best buddy will be here while her grandma works, and since they play well together, I can still get some work done!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Good News??

Currently Reading: An Accident of Love, by Mary Ellin Barrett. I only have two more boxes of 'dead tree books'. Maybe by the time I'm finished, hubby will be back to work and I can buy more e-books??? Or simply quit reading so fast?

I received word this morning that I was being recommended for a place on the Policy Board at our Head Start. If memory serves, this is the slot I wanted back in September, but since another parent also wanted it, and wasn't a 'newbie', I let him have it instead. I may even run for Parent Council Secretary next year. Just depends on if the current secretary gives it up.

We received what we thought was our rebate, it was just a letter STATING how much we were getting, and when we should expect the actual check. Talk about getting one's hopes up...

Finally convinced my hubby to investigate how much it would cost for the dealership to replace the transmission.'s only going to cost us $100 more for THEM to do the work! So, we should be hauling the van in by Friday...hopefully....

My friend is back in the hospital again. And his wife is severely stressed out. The good news there is no, he did NOT have another heart attack. But they've admitted him for observation and to get his heart rate under control.

I had a good Mother's Day yesterday. My family took me out to lunch; we all watched the Survivor finale...Parvati won; I was hoping it would be Amanda...and since my computer threw a fit, I worked on my cross-stitch. Very quiet day, unless you count the 25mph winds blowing outside! Our power went out sometime during the night, but we found it at 6 am, and were not late for church.

We're having an end-of-the-year picnic in the park tonight. I'm making a Bistro Chicken Twist sandwich for us, and we bought a bag of chips. Head Start is furnishing the drinks. Since it is already past 3pm and the picnic starts at 5:30, I'd better get busy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day:)

One of the most memorable Mother's Days was the year my sister and I decided to make Mom a pizza. Remember the Chef Boyardee pizza kits? Mom used to make them on Sunday nights when a particularly good Wild World of Disney program would be on, and we would be allowed to eat in the living room while watching it. And since we always had to get up early for church on Sunday, my sister and I decided we'd surprise her with lunch on Saturday.

Since I was the oldest, I got out the ingredients and made the dough. First mistake: The dough refused to rise. Ever the optimist, we divided it into to pans and spread it out the best we could.

Second mistake: Letting my sister loose with the parmesan cheese. She had watched me spread the pizza sauce, so she dumped the entire tiny can onto one spot and tried to spread it out before I could say anything.

We got the rest of the toppings in place with no further problems, and put them into the oven. And then it was time to wake up the parents.

They were pleasantly surprised by our efforts, and when the pizzas were cooked, we enthusiastically began to eat.

My father got the slice with the entire can of parmesan and promptly left the table after drinking his entire glass of iced tea! And while my sister and received hugs and kisses from Mom, she requested that we not cook her pizzas at ten o'clock in the morning?

So the next year we baked her a cake instead, and took her to the track for time trials!

Pole Day Results:
1. (9) Scott Dixon
2. (10) Dan Wheldon
3. (6) Ryan Briscoe
4. (3) Helio Castroneves
5. (7) Danica Patrick
6. (11) Tony Kanaan
7. (26) Marco Andretti
8. (4T) Vitor Meira
9. (27) Hideki Mutoh
10. (20) Ed Carpenter
11. (12) Tomas Scheckter

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Memory Returns:)

Currently Reading: Nethergate by Norah Lofts. And yes, still reading Jodi's book. I'm halfway through it:)

Velvet Song! That was the name of the book! The others were Highland Velvet (Bronwen and Stephen) and Velvet Angel (Mary and Miles). I'm still blanking on Gavin and Judith's title, but it had Velvet in it! Loved that series! Hell, I love all of Jude Deveraux's books....

"Hey Mom...Look what I Found!"
My daughter arrived home last night with a friend...a baby black labrador puppy. Why?

"The owners weren't home, and the neighbors said she always gets out of her fenced-in yard. So I brought her home so she wouldn't get hit by a car."

Wouldn't the neighbors take care of her?

"They didn't offer. Can we leave a note on their door?"

HELL YES! We have more than enough pets!

So I wrote the note, and she stuck it on the puppy owner's door.

And throughout the evening, our 9-year old black lab, Lucky, growled whenever 'Puppy' got too close; 'Puppy' piddled on the kitchen floor and left S a 'present' in the utility room; 'Puppy' nipped at everyone's heels and got her little nose smacked; 'Puppy' happily curled up under S's bed. Mikey and Pinky felt neglected and kept S awake with their nocturnal chattering.

This morning, 'Puppy' decided I was up way too early and woke up S when I made coffee. Lucky was highly offended the newcomer used her feed bowl to eat breakfast in; I ended up putting Lucky outside so the rest of the household would stay asleep! And even after two trips outside to do her business, 'Puppy' still piddled on the floor again. By this time, everyone else was up and enjoying pancakes. S and my toddler got dressed and took 'Puppy' back to her owners, who were happy to have her back, and apologized for the delay; they hadn't returned home until late last evening and were just about to come get her!

My question is, now that 'Puppy' knows where we live, will she become a frequent visitor everytime she decides to tunnel under her fence? She now has a chew toy at our house; she's been disciplined by an Alpha Female of her own breed; and my daughter is totally in love with her. 'Puppy' could almost be a clone of Lucky...she even has a patch of white on her chest, just like Lucky! But I really don't want to house-break another puppy...even though we got started again last night...

And the bad part about it? I found myself coming up with names: Pepper, Rascal, and Feisty.

Time will tell, I guess...

New Word:
There's a new word at our house.


Any guesses? The toddler came up with it.

"I want a peanny butter swammitch."

And Happy Early Mother's Day to all you moms out there! May you be blessed with all the 'swammitches', 'pantakes', and 'frowers' tomorrow and everyday!

I've already received a pretty purple azalea that the toddler picked out. And since the dandelions are flourishing, I've been blessed with many beautiful bouquets. Hubby just realized, after 17 years, that yes, our anniversary and Mother's Day are a week apart.

"You mean I have to take you out to dinner AGAIN?"

Yup. Oh, and I get to spend the afternoon either at the computer or watching the DVD of my choice! And housework? Isn't that why we have teenagers now?

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Crown has been Passed!

Currently Reading: I'm doing a no-no. I'm reading Darkness Brings the Dawn by Jodi Leisure Minton. Why a no-no? I was supposed to watch Phantom of the Opera first! But still haven't made the time to sit down for 2 hours and watch a DVD. I met Jodi at a writer's conference in 2006, and bought her book last year. I'm on chapter 4, and it's bringing back memories of one of my favorite Jude Deveraux books (and I'm blanking on the title!'s the one about Alex, who's a songwriter, and ends up being forced to masquerade as a boy...there are 4 book in the series...Judith, Bronwen, Alex, and Mary. Ring any bells?).

Critter Watch: Our baby purple finches have all flown the nest! Hubby gently took down the hanging basket to check on them, and one looked up, panicked, and flew to the next house! He hastily put the basket back, and then watched Mama Finch coaxing her youngling to fly to her on the fence. The next day, the other two babies ventured out, and they have not returned. It was fun watching them grow up!

Pinky and Mikey: Pinky had an adventure...he disappeared into the couch! After five minutes of chasing him, he was finally caught and returned to the cage. And Mikey is putting on weight; he has trouble wiggling his hind end through the wires of the cage.

Just when you thought you were safe at Tribal Council...
Oh, the treachery of four older women! Ganging up on poor, gullible Erik last night on Survivor!

I was watching, and thought, "Yep...Erik's a goner." But all of a sudden, he wins Immunity. But wait...the promos and TV Guide both said a 'shocking tribal council'. So...????

I turned to my hubby during commercial and said, "I wonder if someone convinces Erik to GIVE UP the necklace...and they vote him out?"

And you know? That's EXACTLY what happened! We were cheering and laughing at the poor kid, being duped like that. You have to admit; they played him well last night! As James crowed, "My reign as 'Dumbest Survivor Ever' is over!"

Welcome, King Erik...NEVER, EVER, give up that immunity necklace, unless you KNOW you have the immunity idol in your hot little hands!

Whew...with all the blindsides this season, I wonder what next season has in store? Or maybe they are already shooting, so I'll have to wait until next winter to see if anyone learns from this one?

Sunday's finale should be a good one!

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Currently Reading: Did I mention that Eight Cousins is a 1st edition? There's no copywrite date! And written on the inside cover is a note that says it was given to my great-grandmother in 1936. God I love that book! I also have another copy (in storage somewhere) that is illustrated. Also finished (okay, skimmed!) Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi. Also a 1st edition, and was given to my great-uncle for his 7th birthday in 1940. Sadly, I found the original boring. I prefer the Disney version. I know...poor Carlo is turning in his grave...Next up is The Black Box by Thelma Lientz, copywrite 1929 (I think...MCMXXIX?) And I'm going to have to consult either my mother or my grandmother as to who Warren is. And the last name is misspelled, but I know at some point, one branch of my father's family decided to change the spelling.

My thick skin is growing:)


One of my manuscripts was rejected today, and I'm rather cheerful about it!

Before you drag me off to be committed, let me just say this was the maiden voyage for this particular MS. It really wasn't ready to be submitted; it was an unexpected request for it. And it came back to me today with something it really needed:

Constructive comments:)

Not just the "No, not interested. Best of luck!", but "Here's how I think you can improve upon it..."

So I'm inspired again. This is the MS that I want to change the title, and if memory serves, every time I used to read it, I want to skip to chapter 12. But that could have meant I was sick of the idiot my heroine was trying to please!

Hitting Close to Home:
There was a commercial the past week or so, telling voters it was getting hard to decide what to buy: A gallon of milk or a gallon of gas. Around here, it's more like, should we get a prescription filled, or get the printer ink filled? Buy staples or live on pork loin and chicken and noodles? Fix the transmission in the van or pay the growing stack of bills on the desk?

My personal answers? Ink, so I can do my edits...okay, that's selfish. I have a kid with tonsilitis who needs to get well. Ink can wait until next week.

Staples. I'm getting tired of pork, and have a craving for beef. And we missed the sale on beef, darn it...

Transmission! If and when the husband returns to work, I'm going to have to have wheels...okay, so we live in town and can walk/ride bikes if necessary. We are paying the's the medical bills which are piling up again.

Want a joke to cheer you up on this rainy day? Visit Sandra Cox's blog and check out the updated Abbott/Costello routine! And don't forget to scroll down to my earlier post and read the 'witty ditty' I came up with for AJ. She needs rain and we're getting buckets of it. But it's still better than snow!


This one's for AJ...

Rain, rain, I hate you so
To Brisbane, Australia you must go
And sprinkle AJ with your water
So her writing does not falter.

May the techno gods prevail
And fix her phone line without fail
Internet too, will soon be fixed
Because her blogging has been missed!

I'm off to shower and start my day. Toddler fell asleep in my bed and no one moved him to his own last night. Laundry, fun.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tidbits of Yesterday

Currently Reading: Finished Kaenar's Jude's Choice and enjoyed it! I need to go back and reread the last two chapters, though...I was trying to hurry before dinner was ready. Next week, Dragon in the System by Cindy Spencer Pape and Sorority Girl Pledge by Cheryl Dragon. I've not been on the Loose ID site, so hopefully it will be as kind and user-friendly as Total-E-Bound and Ellora's Cave.

Also finished The Magic Formula, and I probably would have enjoyed it when I was ten! As an adult, I was able to figure out the mystery quickly; just needed the details! Next up is an interesting one called The Real Book of Spies. The only two I recognize are Nathan Hale and Mata Hari. So this should be educational.

7pm: Finished the spy book, as well as Sky Girl, by Nellie Graft, and am now into Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott, another one of my favs by her!

The month of May is an important one for race fans. The Indianapolis 500 events take precedent over almost everything except for our primary election day. Yes, I did vote, and yes, the race is still tight.

With election day behind us, attention shifts to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Qualifications, track records, the Parade, and of course, the RACE on the 25th:) I'll be sharing some of my memories over the past 23 years. Yes, this will be my 20th race. I missed out in 1997 due to having to baby-sit; 2004, due to having a 2-month-old who was still breast-feeding; and 2006 when my parents gave my ticket to a relative. But with my sister and her family arriving in ten days, and the fact that Danica Patrick has already won an Indy race in Japan, plus the fact she's nearly won the 500 twice, there is no way I'm missing this year!

Indy 500 Memories- 1977?
My mother's going to laugh at me.


For years, the Indy 500 meant only one thing: We fought traffic along Kessler Blvd in Indianapolis every year, trying to get to Grandma's house. Grandma lived off 30th St, and so my parents would simply walk to the track and leave my sister and I with Grandma. I don't remember how old I was when they first tried to instill some excitement about open-wheel racing, but I do remember being impressed when we arrived for Time Trials and Janet Guthrie was taking her practice laps.I remember wandering around the track, eating hot dogs and sitting in various seats. I had a book and was bored after a while. After all, the cars only went around in a circle, and we couldn't see all the action. So what was the point? I went back to my Nancy Drew book. Even when Mom took us up to the seats at the top of the front straightaway, I complained because it was colder and windy up there.

My sister, however, was more impressed, and the next year, saved her money to prove to my father she was serious about attending the race, and purchased her own ticket from him. I just looked at Race Day as an excuse to skip church. Even when the boy I had a crush on several years later wasn't able to come and get me! Grandma had moved to Florida by then, and I was left alone on Race Day, spending a rather boring day by myself. I've never admitted that until now.

But thankfully, I did 'come to my senses' and I love everything about the 500! Heck, I even showcased it in one of my books! think they'll ever let me join the Caravan of Celebrities either during pre-race festivities or even the 500 Parade?That would be so cool! I'd get to meet Rupert from Survivor!

Neutral Territory
My sister and I agree there are two venues in which we actually get along without an argument. One is Disney World; the other, the 500. I spoke to her on the phone last night, and she is very excited to share with her husband the craziness associated with Race Day. It's the day we laugh at drunks; scream ourselves hoarse, and pig out on junk food. We've also perfected the art of pushing our way through crowds, because in this venue, being too polite will cause you to lose your place in line; get shoved toward the wrong entrance; or even have your pocket picked! You also have to watch out for beer being spilled from above.

Switching Gears...
I went shopping with Jackie yesterday. She bought tomato plants, potting soil, new sandals, and even a child-sized lawn chair for my toddler. She even bought me a new pair of sandals and a much-needed Reecee Cup. Why the sandals? They were on sale for $6 and I'd opened up my big mouth and mentioned how I'd wanted a red pair to match one of the shirts I wear with my Capri pants. And there was no trying to put them back on the shelf, so I finally gave in. My toddler has now fallen in love with them, and was happily clomping around the house in them last night.

I was also asked why the Prom memories. The CBS Morning Show has been doing Prom Memories for the anchors, and Monday was Julie Chen's trip down memory lane (1987); Tuesday, Harry Smith took us back to 1969; today was Russ Mitchell's turn, 1978. Tomorrow will be Dave Price (1983??) and Friday, Maggie Rodriguez (1987). So yeah, my mornings have been full of good music and what was happening in the world in these years.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Prom: Mixed Reviews

Currently Reading: Finished Winter Hearts last night. WOW! I especially loved the last scene in chapter 9...and Quill's character...I'm fanning myself. He's now up on the pedestal of favorite heroes! Kaenar's book is next. And I've only read the first chapter of The Missing Formula.

First of all, to all my readers in Indiana...Go VOTE! I did something rather rude yesterday. I hung up rather emphatically on a pollster.

"Can we count on your vote tomorrow?"

"ABSOLUTELY NOT!" and I slammed the phone down.

Nope, not going to tell you which candidate it was.

Prom Memories:
My son said, rather snottily the other day, "Oh, I suppose your Prom was a fairy-tale and all moonlight and roses."

Actually, he couldn't have been more wrong. My original date had cancelled out on my four days before the event; he couldn't get out of a prior committment to his Community Theatre group. Not a problem; I actually did have a back-up. So after being stunned by his news before school started on Monday, I went promptly to the guy I'd worked in the library with for two years and asked him to take me.

But there were problems.

-He'd had his driver's license suspended the previous week. "No problem; my mom will drive."
-He had a girlfriend in another town. "Call her and ask her if I can borrow you for a few hours."
-I needed a definite answer by Wednesday, as I was going on a field trip on Thursday, and wouldn't see him.
-"What am I going to do about a tux?" "Just wear a suit; I don't care!"

We ate dinner at a pizza place; my mom followed us around in all of the corners, snapping pictures (she was one of the chaperones). Neither of us really knew how to dance, and since he was a junior, he really didn't know anyone except by reputation, and being a rebel, he was not impressed when the majority of people we mingled with were either on the basketball team or the band!

And the kicker? We skipped the after-prom and went home. My mother gets a phone call at 3am, informing her that her daughter is not at the school!

"I know...she's home in bed! Yes, I'm sure...we're six miles out of town; she doesn't have her license; I guarrentee she's in her room, sound asleep!"

And out of all the college formal dances I attended, the one that came the closest to the 'fairy tale' ended in a shouting match between my two best friends, because one was dating the other's brother. My date, for whatever reason, decided to get in the middle of their fight, and cut short our romantic evening.

Some of my favorite books in jr high and high school were written by Rosamund Du Jardin and Anne Emery. Forgive me...I can't remember whose characters where whose, but I loved reading about Tobey, Marcy, Pam and Penny, and Sally and Jean getting ready for their respective formal dances with the love of their lives. Did anyone else read these authors? What were your favorite books that made you look forward to certain future events?

Monday, May 5, 2008

I'm Busy

Currently Reading: I highly recommend By the Light of a Thousand Stars!! Go to Amazon or your local bookstore and see if they carry it! It is an inspirational novel; no romance, but it carries a wonderful message! I'm also beginning a box full of old children's books. Tom Sawyer, which I'm not reading as I've already read it several times; Sky King, which I may try; and the one I just pulled out, The Missing Formula, by Ann Wirt. Written on the inside is a loving note to my great-grandmother and dated Dec 1939! I just checked the copyright...1932!

E-book: Winter Hearts! Finally:) Oh, and I finished Gracen's book, The Devil's Den. Dakota, you might enjoy it! It's violent, and definitely not for the faint at heart. Read in the light of day, and happily munching on Chex Mix (I know...odd choice for reading vampire novels!), it didn't creep me out as much as it did the other morning! I liked it, and am glad I kept reading. Also bought Kaenar Langford's Jude's Choice.

I woke up in hausfrau mode. I stripped my bed completely and have already completed three out of maybe nine loads of laundry.

I went walking with the Head Start group and walked 5 miles.

I've answered five personal emails.

I paid bills (fun, fun...).

We're doing leftovers for dinner. There's spaghetti, pork loin, and tacos.

The weather is the 70's!

And as soon as I get through posting, we're heading to the store for dog food and other household items, including getting my ink cartridge refilled so I can do my edits! Plus, I get to finally buy Anny Cook's Winter Hearts!

TV tonight: One Tree Hill.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Prom Night

Currently Reading: I'm on p. 102 of Gracen's book, and I reread Celestine yesterday. I enjoyed it, and I should not have read it semi-tired. I'm also loving By the Light of a Thousand Stars!

Critter Watch: Our robin's nest either fell down, or was knocked down. We found only one fledgling on the ground. And what we thought were cardinals turned out to be purple finches. The babies are growing!

Around here, it was last night. While we were at dinner, many young people entered the restaurant in tuxedoes, beautiful evening gowns, and sporting corsages.

My son's eyes nearly popped out when he saw the cleavage; my youngest son liked the sparkley gowns. And the one gown which mainly consisted of a flap of fabric for a bodice, held in place with two strings tied at the back, while the rest of the gown flowed around her ankles earned the comment, "Thank God she had it on the right way!" from my hubby.

My tomboy daughter didn't say much. But then, she's not fashion-conscious yet.

If I'd had the camera out, I would have taken a picture of the Johnny Depp-look-alike who held the door for me when we left! But the baby had decorated the front of my shirt with ice cream, so I was in a hurry to return home.

My oldest will be eligible to ask a date next year. But he's showing a strong tendancy to take after his father..."What's the big deal? I'd rather stay up all night and play Guitar Hero!"

Think he'll change his mind in the next two years?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Anniversary Plans...

I also forgot to mention yesterday that one of my favorite rock bands was on the CBS Early Show! Hubby and I...well, okay, just me...rocked out to their tunes through out the newscast! Just wish they'd instigated 'no commercial interruption'...

Tonight we're dining at Applebees. I plan on drinking a chocolate martini; eating mini-chicken sandwich appetizers; Tyler Florence's Bruschetta Burger; finishing dinner off with a mudslide, since they no longer have their 'death by chocolate' cake.

But daughter thoughtfully made a Pampered Chef Brownie dessert that melts in your mouth...yes, she's already given me a sample!

And maybe I'll finally watch one of my 'chick-flick' DVD's?

Barb asked how I've managed to not maim him after 17 years. For one thing, he's taller than I and outweighs me by 250 pounds. I've often thought of the iron skillet to the head while he's sleeping, trust me! But he is the one who's providing the income; he's also a good father, and even has days when he professes to love me. After 17 years, we've settled into more of a companionship type relationship, and have days where we're really better off not speaking to each other for several hours. But he is the man I married; the man I chose to father my children; the man who admits he wishes my books would hit the shelves ala Harry Potter.

Yes, we've had our problems. And yes, I've often thought of getting out of the marriage. But I was blessed (cursed?) with a stubborn streak, and the ability to see all sides of an arguement. And part of the reason I've stayed is the fear I wouldn't be able to write, work a full-time job, and still provide a good home for my children. So my stubbornness kicks in, along with my easy-going attitude, and I deal with whatever happens.

Even when friends question my sanity.

But when I had the life-threatening car wreck 8 years ago, he was in tears, apologizing for everything he'd ever said wrongly to me.

And I remind him of this from time to time, when Life is stretching us in opposite directions.

Sleep Deprivation Takes Its Toll

Currently Reading: By the Light of a Thousand Stars, by Jamie Langston Turner. I'm recognizing people's attitudes, including my own at times, and am striving to do better! Still reading the e-books mentioned yesterday as well...with fresh, awake, eyes!

Neglected to mention yesterday:

Happy 5th birthday to my nephew David! I can't wait to see you in two weeks!

Jackie called me a saint the other day. But after yesterday, I'm sad to report my 'halo' is tarnished and around my ankles.

PMS or Blonde Moment?

Sometimes when I'm writing, I just let the words flow and in the moment, they sound fine. But several hours later, when others have read the same words and are outraged, the same innocent-sounding words take on a whole new meaning.

How do we handle adversity when we feel wrongly judged? Do we yell about it, sulk, go into depression, vent, or get even somehow? Or do we rise above it?

I'm choosing to handle it the same way I always have. I'll lie low and let it blow over. And try to remember Ephesians 4:29 "Let no evil talk come out of your mouths (in this case, fingers!), but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear (or read)" as well as vs 30 "...and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." (RSV)

In the meantime, chocolate and ice cream are the cure-alls of depression.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Friday Stuff

Had insomnia again last night. Got up at 3 to let the dog out and my brain decided to churn in fifteen different directions. So after an hour, I decided to quit fighting it and just got out of bed. Read AJ's Seducing Celestine, and while I love all of her books, I found myself skimming over most of this one. Don't get me wrong; the writing is terrific. But I liked Theif of Mine just a little better than this one. And yes, I promise to reread it again, when it's not the middle of the night! I usually read all my e-books several times; I just don't document the rereads. So don't take my word for this one. I know others have read it and loved it. I just happened to love the first two or 3 chapters and then my brain apparently went to sleep again.

I also started Gracen Miller's The Devil's Den, and I started out confused at first. But as I said, I think my brain was finally trying to go back to sleep, so I did the unforgivable...I scrolled down to the last two pages and read what I suspected was going to happen. Come on...don't roll your eyes...surely I'm not the only one to admit I've read the ending before getting all the way through the book! Only this was the first time I've done it to an e-book. So forgive me, Gracen...I promise to go back to page 54 and read all the way's dark and violent, and probably should not be read at 5am, before the sun comes up!

One of our robins hatched! Only...there's no sign of the fledgling. Of course, we haven't really looked in the do so, we have to hoist the camera up and record it. No one is tall enough to see into it, and it's in an awkward spot, under the eaves, and since a bush is in the way, a ladder is useless.

Tomorrow is our 17th wedding anniversary. With the disappointment of yesterday, I've been promised a nice celebration meal. I wonder if I can persuade him to take me out of town? I'm thinking either Texas Roadhouse or Olive Garden. Of course, Applebees here in town would also be nice. I could use a chocolate martini.

I'm not much of a drinker these days...two White Russians or one glass of wine before dinner and I'm Very Mellow...but I was pissed off/depressed enough yesterday to seriously consider taking myself to the liquor store. But since it was Survivor night, the urge passed.

But I've never been seriously drunk. Which is probably a good thing. I've never experienced a killer hangover, or spent time 'praying to the porceline goddess', as we used to call getting sick afterwards. I've never passed out from drinking, nor not remembered what I did. I have, however, not CARED what I was doing, but that's another story!

No, I'm the responsible one who makes sure everyone gets home in one piece, and fills in the sordid details to everyone the next morning. And yes, I'll admit to the night I drove home from a staff party at 2 am and stopped at a green light, but drove right through the red one!

Where was I going with this? I have no idea. Yesterday was enough to drive me to drink massive quantities of alcohol.

But my adult side kicked in and I took my daughter to the store for one last notebook; we watched Survivor and I did two batches of laundry.

I'm functional when I'm depressed and pissed off at the world!

Time for a nap...oh wait...I've still got laundry to do. And some more writing on my short story. I'm thisclose to the end:)

Have a good weekend everyone:)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Auto Technology

Critter Watch: We have 3 baby cardinals on the front porch, along with 4 robin's eggs. The cardinals are growing! We can actually see 3 individual babies, rather than one ball of gray fluff!

Currently Reading: Brynn, if you're just checking in, I posted my opinion of All Chained up on the 1st post yesterday. No reading today...I'm off to the signing:) Or am I....

Word Count Yesterday: 502. Really bad, but consider the computer probs, forgivable:)

Maybe I should have taken it?

First the computer gods laughed at me yesterday.

Today, it's the automotive gods who are having a field day.

Let's recap the past year:

April 2007: I'm halfway to my convention in Fishers, IN when my van refuses to go faster than 30 MPH. The kind person who let me use her phone graciously took me to my first stop; my friend's house, where my father was waiting to meet me. He was intending to pick up my 3 kids and take them home with him. Little did he know he would first be taking me to Fishers...And later, all it took was a $5 fuel filter repair.

December 1st, 2007: I'm scheduled to go to Muncie, IN, to be a part of the Midwest Writer's book signing. I'm only four blocks from home when I stop to buy oil, and the brakes suddenly lock up. I can't go forward or backwards! Two hours later, hubby gets it fixed and is totally perplexed at why it happened when the phone rings. Forget Muncie; I have to drive to Noblesville in order to get one of my best friends, as her mother just passed away, and she needs a ride to Evansville.

Last Saturday: My son takes my van to Walmart for a forgotten item and calls 30 minutes later to say the van refuses to back up, and the transmission is screaming. Hubby babies it home, and further inspection shows we're gonna need a new tranny. It's okay; Jackie says she needs a day with 'the girls' and says she'll drive.

6:15 am Today: The phone rings. I smile and pick it up, expecting Jackie to say she's on her way. Nope. It's her hubby.

"Got a slight problem. Apparently I hit something last night, and there's a 4-inch gash in the sidewall of one of the tires."

Ouch. And the tire repair shop doesn't open until 9am.

Ouch, ouch, ouch!

But, there's a good side to all of this: 1) my kids were early to school; 2) Kelly gets to hold down the fort for the first two hours until we get there; 3) Mikey stayed in his cage all night; 4) I had time for more than one cup of coffee!

So just pray everything goes well the rest of the day? Please?

And let's hope that when my next event rolls around, which is the Cincinnatti trip, all vehicles are in good, working condition!!!

Oh, and another piece of good news? My sister and her family are set to arrive on May 17th! She got her visa to cross the border! Woo hoo! For any new readers, she's in Canada and lost not only her work permit papers, but her US birth certificate. Don'cha love beaurocracy? NOT!

UPDATE: I ain't gonna make it...even if I were to leave now, I wouldn't get there until 4...I'm sorry, Kelly! I was sooooooo looking forward to meeting you! Damn cars...and my teleporter isn't working...Where's Hiro when I need him? Oh wait...he's on hiatus. Let's see....Tucker's been cancelled; Scotty's retired; and DS-9 and TNG have both been cancelled too...I guess I'm just SOL at the moment...Sure Out of Luck! Oh yeah...and the private jet is in the shop, SNORT!