Sunday, August 31, 2008

Did You Hear...

A ten year old boy has been banned from his Little League Baseball Team because he's too good? I'm shaking my head.

The kid can throw a 40+mph fastball. Seriously...they had one of those gadgets on the Early Show that measured the speed of the pitch.

I say, let the kid play! And now he's been on national television, somewhere there's a major league manager with his eye on the kid's progress...

Not much going on right now. I meant to post that story earlier this week and forgot about it. Have a happy Sunday and enjoy your day off tomorrow. As a mom and a writer, I'll be doing the usual Monday things. Except now, I won't be sleep-deprived.

Until the man goes back to work.

Or I do...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Summer Pictures...Finally!

Currently reading: Bound Brits arrived yesterday! I'll admit; I read Barb's and Dakota's stories first. Fantastic:) Now to read the others....

Also finished Wind Song, by Rita Karnopp. I'm going to have to go back and reread some sections, or at least reread when the house is quiet, and no one is vying for my attention:)

Next up: Bad Brad by Cheryl Dragon and (finally!) Mating Stone by Elyssa Edwards:)

My sister, nephew D, my son W, and niece R with her daddy after a day at Holiday World

Indianapolis 500 2008
Front row: My BIL and sis
Back row: Son K, and my mom and dad

Floods in June: Taken from the bridge between Indiana and Illinois

Close-up of the water level. You can tell how far the water had been the week before, when I forgot to take my camera along!

A tiny part of my world to share.

Have a happy Labor Day weekend!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Who Knew?

Currently Reading: Am up to page 93 in Wind Song. Very enjoyable!

Yes, I have a wild streak in me.

Okay, I'll give you a few moments to recover...anyone need CPR?

I'm also the responsible mom, and this wild streak has been contained for several years. But it still pops out every once in a while...

Yes, the food coloring worked. And unfortunately, the pictures of my red bangs (didn't do my entire head; only the bangs) is buried in storage and not in digital format. And it washed out the next day.

What did I learn from the Happy Hooker? Some interesting positions I didn't know existed, along with some terms I HAD heard, but wasn't exactly sure what they meant...until I read the book. Yeah, I had a sheltered childhood...

It surprises me when I look back, because up until age 14, some of my actions were pretty risque' at the time. We went swimming at a local pool, and when we returned to the house, my boyfriend and his brother wanted to watch me get dressed. So I agreed, pulled on my shorts OVER my one-piece suit, and announced I was dressed. And my shorts had a decorative tie...the brother asked what would happen if he pulled on it. I smiled sweetly and said, "Pull it and find out!" So he did....and nothing happened. He was disappointed, I was smug.

And when we went camping when I was 12, my sis and I snuck into the larger tent with our sleeping bags, and I 'slept with' my boyfriend. Actually, we were side by side, in our respective bags. But when my back itched, and he offered to scratch it, he just couldn't get the job done through the fabric of my PJ's. So I unzipped my one-piece pj's, pulled my arms out of the sleeves, and zipped it back up over my just-budding chest. He scratched my itchy back for 15 minutes. It never occurred to either of us to play show-and-tell.

But I think I scared myself. When I entered the 8th grade, I was full of confidence, teasing the boys, and knew I looked good. My hair was golden blonde and fell to my shoulders in soft waves, naturally. Velour V-neck tops with matching color pants were in style, as were skinny gold belts. My ski jacket was white, with no hood. But somewhere, I began to panic. Good Christian girls didn't act like this! They were modest, and certainly didn't flirt! And I began to withdraw.

A year later, I started to peek out from the shell I'd burrowed into, and realized I didn't have to sacrifice EVERYTHING. But my confidence in my abilities with the opposite sex was gone. I'd pushed away my boyfriend, developed a friendship with two senior boys, and discovered I was good at creative writing.

And when I started high school, things were a little better. I was a respected member of our marching band, and as a Senior, I was invited to perform with the elite Percussion Ensamble for one performance, as the practices didn't fit into my schedule. I practiced on my own, joined them for one run-through, and then took the stage and did well. Somewhere, my mother has an audio tape of our 'Sabre Dance'. And if you've not heard the song, it's rather complicated and FAST. My part was on the xylephone.

Oh, and also on that Church Choir trip? I got the 'scoper' award. I guess because I had 3 different 'dates' in one night...went swimming with one, attended Bible Study with a second, and went for a walk on the beach later that evening with a third...oh, and depantsed another on the waterslide...

Also, my best male friend called me when he'd gotten his Senior Yearbook before I did. One of his friends was on the yearbook staff and had given him a head's up.

"Hey Molly...we came in second for Cutest Couple."

"But...we were never a couple!"

"Apparently half the Senior class thought so..."

I gained more confidence in college, and have valuable memories. I got fed up with a pompous ass of a busboy at the country club where I worked, and psychoanalyzed him one afternoon, embarassing him in front of the younger kids he was trying to impress. Another busboy tossed me over his shoulder; I bit him on the hip to get him to put me down. One day, my boss had to pull another waitress from the dining room to help cover my section, because I was stuck in the kitchen making 10 milkshakes for the tennis kids. They didn't want anyone else to make them!

And now that wild streak has been contained in the material I'm writing. As stated before, I've written seven books in my series that shows premarital sex, colorful language (according to my mother! Others laugh and call me racy!), and some highly questionable romances. Why would a 30-year-old man want to date a 19-year-old girl? It happened, and the girl was told she didn't act young. Why would anyone put up with being emotionally abused for a year? It happened; I wanted to show how someone could actually get sucked into that issue, and lose her confidence. Why would someone cheat on their long-distance boyfriend? If she was questioning everything she thought she believed in, it might happen! In fact, it did. Why would someone suddenly decide to give up on men? Read #6 and find out.

And my other books I've written this past year? All geared toward another genre. Maybe they will be published; maybe they need more work. But the fact is, I'm trying. I decided to quit trying to fit into a mold and just be myself.

I was shocked when a friend told me he still considers me risque'. I was like, "Who? Conservative Me?? Are you insane?"

But if he means someone who bends the rules, doesn't kowtow to everything others say, and keeps an open mind about certain issues, then I guess it does apply.

I'm a rebel at heart.

So who knew? I think my mom summed it up very nicely:

"If you wanted something, you went after it, full steam ahead. No one could sway you. It was 'damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead!' I fully expected you to drop out of Marching Band once the temps got too hot. But you hung in there. That showed me if you put your mind to it, you could accomplish anything."

Happy Anniversary:)
One year ago today, I 'met' Bronwyn Green during my first LRC chat. That day, I shocked the hell out of my kids by showing them that Mommy Works...she promotes her work online and offers support to others in the online community. I did not eat with them at the table; I ate at my desk. And I did not do 'mommy duties'...I was meeting other authors who were (gasp!) interested in what I was writing! Imagine that...and because of it, I now network on a regular basis with these talented ladies, and own almost all of their books:)

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Currently Reading: Wind Song, by Rita Karnopp. I'm up to chapter 5 and I love the dialogue between the main character and his nephew!

What's that takes 14 days to make a habit, but only 2 to break it? So true, so true.

My kids have been in school for 3 weeks now. The first two, I was up, dressed by 7:15, with one cup of coffee in me. I took both teens to school, and the baby and I would return home. I'd turn on Nickelodean, get him his breakfast, pour myself another cup, and settle down at the computer for 2 hours.

And then the spousal unit returned.

It's been three days and I've already returned to my bad habit of not getting dressed until 10am. So what's the problem? Probably nothing. I just liked having the house in shape before I sat down at the desk. So why don't you change it? Starting next week, I will. Especially since W might have some separation anxiety again, and I might have to stay with him for an hour. I just have to get back the mind-set that even though he's still home, I still have to do everything. He's too depressed to pick up the slack. I was reminded of this when I dared go to bed early last night. When I woke up, there was no iced tea made (I'd set everything out while K was washing the dishes, and hoped someone would take the initiative to finish it. Silly me...) and no coffee pot set up (again, silly me. I'm the Coffee Set-Up person; not the fairies!). And when I chose to sleep a little late, it turned out he had too, and resented my asking him to take the kids. So yeah, I'm slightly pissy this morning, as is he. But we'll go out to lunch, go get toilet paper, Overnight pull-ups for the toddler, and dog food and things will be okay again.

I was able to do some more writing yesterday, while hubby was engrossed in Stargate. 2 more pages on LIC, and another page and a half on another project:) Baby steps; it's all about the baby steps, and no marathon writing sessions. Yes, he's still complaining about the 4th of July stint.

Today's chores also include laundry. He repaired the porch swing yesterday, and no, I've not sat on it yet! It's held him up, so I know the patch worked.

I got Tagged:)
I should have seen this coming; everyone else has been tagged!

1) Link to the person that tagged you
.2) Post the rules on your blog.
3) List six unspectacular quirks you have.
4) Tag six bloggers by linking them.
5) Leave a comment on each person's blog to let them know they've been tagged.

Six Unspectacular Things...

1) I have a vague memory of chasing 2 boys around the classroom and threatening to kiss them. I was in the 1st grade.

2) I didn't date; I mated. My 1st boyfriend and I 'went together' for 3 1/2 years before we finally 'broke up'. Why? We were also 'dating' other people during the final year...

3) I accidentally took The Happy Hooker on a church choir trip. Caught hell when my parents found out! Apparently, this was NOT 'appropriate reading material' for a church function! Taught me some things...oh wait. Wasn't supposed to say that! And the book mysteriously disappeared from my parents' bookshelves...

4) Dyed my hair with food coloring just for fun. Color? Red.

5) In Biology class, my lab partner and I decided to unravel the IUD to see how long the thing actually was. Teacher was not amused.

6) AJ is talking about breaking the rules on the job; The only one I can think of is the time I wanted to go to lunch; I used the CB radio to ask my boss if a McDonald's was in the area in which I was driving that day! He later took me aside and asked me to only use the radio to call in if I was lost, or there was a problem with one of the children I was picking up or dropping off!

Hmmm...I'll tag Marianne/April; Minett; Suzanne/Trinity; BB, and Jackie.

Want a good laugh? Go to Sandra's blog and check out the church bulletin bloopers! I nearly fell of my chair laughing...And Barb's talking about the chocolate pastry desserts offered by the local pizza parlors Have you tried them? They're delicious! Do you order online, or do you still call? I love the online ordering at Papa John's, but my kids like our local Bobe's Pizza, and we have to call. I want to try the Pizza Hut Chocolate Dipping Sauce either tonight or tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sex Vs Plot?

I'm going to go out on a limb here. There's been several discussions over the amount of sex in a book vs plot lines. How much sex is too much? Is a strong plotline the reason you buy the book? Or is it the interaction between the characters?

Yes, I've read thousands of books. I've read everything from The Happy Hooker to Harlequin; Robin Cook thrillers to Steven King. Jude Devereaux, Danielle Steele, Lavryl Spencer, Nora Roberts. Jackie Collins. Books with minimal cuss words and those that contain the 'F' words and other buzz words.

Last year at this time, I started reading the heavily erotic ones from EC and TEB. At first, I was fascinated with the hot, heavy sex and it took me a while to get used to terms I always thought as gutter language. And excerpts with light bondage, hot sex, and a hint of more to come? That book automatically got a 'YES!' response and got added to a growing list of books to buy.

But after a while, I noticed something. The books which were nothing more than pages after pages of sex soon lost their appeal. Yes, it's good that boy meets girl, they immediately fall into bed, but....what happens when they finally burn out? I've been disappointed more than once when after a three-day (or 3 hour!) sex marathon, the couple says 'I love you' and they decide to get married. But what happens afterwards? I wrote a book like that, and am still not happy with it, even though I went ahead and sent it in. I kind of hope it does get rejected, so I can finish it the way I want, plus add in the details I loved, but had to delete because of word count limits. And yes, I know it's fantasy, but I guess I want to tie in a little reality to the story as well.

Remember the old Seinfeld sitcom? The episode where 'yada, yada, yada' became part of pop-culture? Elaine says, "I'd yada yada sex..." Well in some cases, I'm doing the same. I'll read the first couple of hot scenes; keep reading; skim through the next sex scene; pick it up again after they've left the bedroom. I still love the book; I'm just not that interested in the sex details anymore.

But don't change the way you write! Maybe my tastes are changing again. It all depends on personal mood, the subject matter, and the author. I've only tossed out one book; it got caught in the computer crash and I wasn't thrilled after I read it, so I didn't bother re-ordering it. Maybe at a later date, if I get the urge to read it again, I'll go to the site and get it.

Lately I've noticed the ones I've absolutely raved over have strong, detailed plotlines. Sometimes it's taken me a couple of days to read these books, but I've been very satisfied when I'm done, and want to shout it to all my friends to buy this particular book! Others I file away in my pile of disks and think, "Oh, that was pretty good." And I'll stress again; I've only read one book that I've come to the end and thought, "Why was this written?" Nope, not gonna tell you which one. And no, it wasn't by any of my blogmates.

I've taken some flak over the language in my books. They aren't erotic enough to be called erotic, yet they are too colorful for mainstream. I've been up front with people at my signings about the graphic nature and the fact that the 'F' word does appear in both books (prolifically in #1 and 4 times in #2...I think it's only used once in #3!), only to have people put them down, pray over me, and look disappointed. Some have expressed they actively read other genres. I've learned to live with it. I can't please everyone, after all, and I do have people who absolutely love what I write!

And the four I wrote this year will have to remain on the down-low from my parents. The ones I'm working on now I still haven't made up my mind which language to use. Go graphic and submit to EC or even TEB, or tone it down and make it more sensual? Check back later. Maybe they will be a mix again.

So don't yell at me because I'm skimming the sex scenes? I'll probably reread them later and read every word! But for me, right now, the plotline is what is grabbing my attention. Who knows...maybe next month I'll be back to the sex?

Slow Work Year
Yes, the spousal unit was laid off after 2 months of work. Keep us in your prayers; this happens every election year. This year is turning out just like 1992, when we were just starting out. We survived that year; we will survive this one as well. And after the election...let's hope he's right and next year he'll have more work than he can handle! Just hope he stays healthy!

Yay! My VistaPrint stuff arrived! I love my new magnets and hope others do too. And the oversized Did not think they were that large! Thank god I didn't get very many! I think I'll stick with the regular ones. And another pen...this brings me up to 3:) Gave one to my mom a few weeks back. At this rate, I'll be old and gray before I can afford to hand out free pens, lol:) Oh wait a minute...I'm already going gray!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Let's Have Some Fun:)

Currently Reading: Finished Stone and Earth yesterday, and boy what a page-scroller! Very well done and enjoyable, Cindy:) I can hardly wait to read Stone and Sea! But first, I think Teach Me is the next one of your books coming up in a few weeks. Also bought Her Dangerous Promise by Amanda Sidhe. So far it's very good! I want to shake the heroine for her stubbornness, but then again, that's the entire premise... And Odd Man Out was interesting; I'm going to have to reread it again later.'s harder than it looks!

Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of thefollowing. They have to be real places, names, things..nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.=====================================



BOY NAME: Michael

GIRL NAME: Michelle

Occupation: Maid

A COLOR: Mauve



FOOD: Mango


A PLACE: Michigan

REASON FOR BEING LATE: Mind-blowing sex


Check out Kenzie's answers at

The spousal unit arrived home last night. His job has ended, and he is #35 on the callback list. Let's hope that Rieth-Riley job opens up PDQ! But in the meantime, the baby gets to sleep late and I get to be online slightly earlier!

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Have to Find Another Book!

Decided to be a reader as well as a writer for this months Novel Sisterhood Challenge. The problem? I bought the wrong book.

Cindy Spencer Pape is a member, and since one of her books is up in my TBB rotation, I thought this would be excellent. Problem: This particular cover isn't on the site, so it's not eligible!

So now I have to go back to my list and see which 'eligible' book is higher on the list, or remove my database log in the reader section.

I wonder if she'd upload the cover today it would cover the eligibility factor? Just a thought!
Correction: I read the email wrong. It's okay for me to review Cindy's book! Note to self: Reread original question, before jumping to conclusions, lol???

Plans For Today
Going back to work today on my wip. I'm starting to get excited about this one. I've only been working on it, off and on, for four years, and after steering my heroine to the arms of her love interest, I realized she really wasn't interested in him after all. So I reworked his character and now things are starting to take off for them. See what a little gentle persuasion can do? And next week when W goes back to school, things should really start to move on that manuscript. I may even start posting word counts again.

Monday Morning Hell
This week is off to a rocky start: a) I neglected to tell a neighbor teen about my fuel pump issue, and he arrived on my doorstep looking for a ride. In my defense, he only rode with us twice last week, so I assumed he wasn't riding with us anymore (he likes country music and discovered our choice of stations is the alternative rock!). And b) daughter finally dragged herself off to school five minutes before school started. And since it's a good 10-minute walk...yup; she's going to be late. And I had started the drill seargent routine 90 minutes earlier! When I tried to call the school in order to let them know she was indeed on her way, the school is having problems with the phone system. I was disconnected three times. So I sincerely hope and pray the child actually goes to school today!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Currently Reading: This week's E-books include Claire Thomson's Odd Man Out and Amanda Sidhe's Her Most Dangerous Promise. I also have Kaenar Langford's Absolute Trust, but can't find it on the EC site. Maybe it's not out yet?

I also purchased Cindy Spencer Pape's Stone and Earth! Finally:)

Forgive my temper tantrum. My van's fuel pump died again yesterday. The good news? It was in front of the house, instead of up in Morgan County. The bad news? Some worker gave us misinformation two years ago.

We were led to believe the warrenty on the thing was only 90 days, so when it started to go bad around day #90, we babied it, to make it last as long as it would. Imagine hubby's surprise when told yesterday, "No; the warrenty's always a year on those."

Head slap. We could have put a new one in, free of charge, and maybe we wouldn't HAVE this problem now!

Sigh. Live and learn. Always double-check the warrenty info. So I'm without wheels for another week. We only have enough for half of the cost; the rest will be paid out of next week's check.

Thank God my next signing isn't until Sept. 5th!

Olympic Update: Men's Marathon: Kenya won for the first time! Morrocco took the silver, and Ethiopia the bronze.

Men's Platform Diving: In a miraculous last-round dive, Australian Matthew Mitcham dived into first place! I don't know if China's lead diver thought he was so far ahead he couldn't be caught, or if he choked (after all, the 'weight of China' was on his shoulders for a sweep in the diving competition!). But whatever the cause, he had a horrible last round dive and Matt was perfect. USA ended up in 10th and 12th.

And in the Women's 4x400 relay, USA outran Russia to win the gold. Russia took the silver, and Jamaica the bronze.

Tonight is the closing ceremonies, and the issue with the Chinese gymanstics ages have yet to be resolved. Let's hope there is no controversy in the 2012 London Olympics! But then again, it gives us something to talk about, doesn't it?

Just like the Russian gymnasts in 2000 Sydney (the vault turned out to be incorrectly set, and instead of taking gold, the Russians ended with the silver. I always thought that they should have been allowed to re-vault after it was raised to the correct height!); the French judge in the Winter games (Barcelona??) during the Pairs Figure Skating; and all of the athletes hiding steroid use, and coming clean later. There will always be speculation and controversy over who is the greatest athlete.

At least every two years, the nations of the world put aside the political problems and come together in sportsmanship. And I hope things will work out so we can attend the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver; my oldest will be graduating that year, and we can visit my sister's family at the same time.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

"How Many Chips Did I Eat, Anyway?"

First of all, a huge Happy Birthday to my favorite niece! She is now the big 3! To be fair, her birthday was actually Tuesday, but the party's today. She's having a 'pink' party, and it's being held at Great-Grandma's cabin on the beach up in Vancouver. She's asked me twice if I could come, but honey, it's a long way for Aunt Molly. I'll see you again sometime:)

I was craving chicken fajita nachos last night, so we ate dinner at the local Mexican restaurant. I not only scarfed down my nachos, but I also brought home the leftover chips on the table. After I finiished eating all my chips, and finally satisfied, I settled on the porch swing with my hubby to enjoy the night air.

Ten minutes later, his end of the porch swing collapsed! Neither of us were hurt, and I cracked, "That's what happens when you get frisky on the front porch!"

He said he'd blame it on me, not wanting to stay on my own side of the swing! So today, they are off to get a new hook for the swing.

'Sunday, Monday, Happy Days..."
I had completely forgotten I'd also DVR'd the morning news this week, and I found a Happy Day's Reunion! The Fonze has had a statue erected in Milwalkee, Wisconsin, and almost all the cast members showed up, save for Ritchie, Al, Arnold, and Chatchi. Anson Williams (Potsi) and Erin Moran (Joanie) still look the same! Potsi was my personal favorite; yes, I loved the Fonze, but in later years, it was Potsi I wanted to meet, to have him sing to me.

BIAW Goals
Not doing a whole lot; I managed to re-write the synposis of Forbidden Love, and I've written about a page on something totally new. Wrote two and a half pages yesterday, so I'm a third of the way to my goal for today.

I'm also doing Lundry Goddess duties, of which two loads are already finished. Molly's really kicking everything into high gear today!

Olympic Coverage
Does anyone else find it disturbing that the divers are shown in the shower while they await their scores? I'm just waiting for one to forget about the camera and remove their suit or 'adjust' something. I swear I've already seen some crotch-grabbing during the men's synchronized springboard.

Didn't watch last night, as I was working on my wip!

Have a good weekend:)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Frustrations

Currently Reading: Finished Saskia Walker's Reckless, and now I want to read more of her work! Reckless was fantastic; it started off a little slow, but by the 3rd chapter I didn't want to put it down! Very well done:) And to think I almost simply put it on the shelf and forgot about it, because I read the premise and wasn't interested at first. But, needing reading material I could curl up with, I decided to try it. And boy am I glad I did! I'll be contacting her in a while to let her know.

I'm also diving back into One Touch Beyond. I still have 4 more stories in that anthology.

I'm actually in a good mood, despite the title for this entry:) Yesterday was a fantastic day for me, work-wise.

I sent off both stories for submission. I simply decided to quit stressing over the 'perfect' synopsis and just send the thing on its way. If it gets accepted, great! If not, well then I can either expand the one story (I was not quite happy with the cuts I made in it anyway!) or re-submit the other as a 'Quickie'.

I discovered my revamped Forbidden Love (#3 in my Arbor U series) still needed some backstory in the first chapter, and when I went to make more revisions, the disk wouldn't load. No problem; I'd printed out the first chapter, so I simply re-copied the old document onto a fresh disk and re-deleted the first 6 chapters! I know...ouch! But thank god I'd printed it out! I also made corrections as I re-wrote the first three paragraphs; read the original and made more corrections. I'm now happier with it, and will concentrate on revamping its synopsis today.

Have I written anything on any wips? No. I've kind of dropped the ball on that one. But I plan on working on it today. But thanks to Kelly lighting a fire under my butt, that submission would still be in procrastination mode, as well as Forbidden Love. And I've still got six days to make up for it.

And that brings me to my frustration point.

I was supposed to leave for Morgan County this afternoon, but after having a pissed-off husband hanging up on BOTH K and myself, we have made the decision to stay home this weekend. Apparently, the spousal unit failed to listen to us the past 2 weekends when he talked about doing the family campout and I talked about seeing my friends and promoting at the fish fry. When he arrives home today and looks surprised to see us, I will state that in 2 weeks, I AM attending the festival in Monrovia, and he'd better not complain! This is the second time this year he's done this to me, and frankly, I'm getting tired of it. Last May/June/ and even parts of July all I heard every time I'd bring up the State Fair was, "You might not be able to go..." but the week of the fair, when I decided to only go up on Sunday, his attitude was, "Next year, you ought to sign up for multiple slots..." Excuse me? Will the supportive husband please stay around? I like him sooooo much better!

And yes, there are several people from my old community who also attend the Monrovia Festival. Let's just hope it doesn't rain! And that's another reason why I'm hesitant about going north: There's a threat of rain. Water and Paperback books don't exactly mix. And neither does the prospect of standing in wet grass. Yes, I have a canopy, but that's not going to mean total protection.

But in the meantime, I've got the weekend to make up my 3 pages per day goal. And as I'm already 6 pages behind, and no plans for the weekend (other than Laundry Goddess duties!), I should be able to get moving on at least ONE of the seven unfinished wips!

Olympic Update: Speaking of rain, I watched the gold medal game in Beach Volleyball! Woo hoo! Walsh and May-Treanor did it again! Win number 108! And on the news this morning, they talked about wanting to start families. We'll see what happens in 2012, if any toddlers are watching their mommies kick butt on the sand:)

I also watched the Women's Platform Diving. I felt so sorry for both US women! Haley looked as if she would do well, but dropped a dive or two in the semi-finals and didn't qualify. Laura looked as if she would rank high, but in the finals, two of her dives had her ending her career in 12th place. She's retiring this year; it would have been nice to see her go out with a bang. And what about the Canadian! OMG! She out-dived the Chinese girl in the 5th round, but the other rallied to regain her top spot. China ended with gold and bronze; Emilie ended with the silver. But what an exciting round! And after I went to bed, my oldest came in all excited; said that the US finished 1-2-3 in one of the track events. The only two I saw this morning had BOTH US teams dropping the batons in the relay. How heartbreaking!

So now I'm caught up. Since I'm not traveling, I'll be able to watch tonight and this weekend:)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Olympic Catch-up

Currently Reading: Read the first story in the One Touch Beyond, and it was enjoyable! I'm also devouring Saskia Walker's Reckless!

Watched Monday and Tuesday's Olympics, and am up to Wednesday!

On Monday: Walsh and May-Treanor won their 107th game.
Trampoline: WTF? Is this seriously an Olympic event?
Men's Rings: China won gold and silver; Ukrain the bronze.
Men's Vault: Poland took the gold; France the silver, and Russia the bronze. The Romanians almost caused a 3-way tie for gold, or a 2-way tie for silver. But he fell on the landing, finishing in 4th place.

And now the Women's Uneven Bars. This is not because I'm a US citizen; anyone with EYES could see that China's gymnast (Chung Fei?? Forgive me...didn't write it down!) made more errors than Nastia did! But to quote Tim Daggat and Bela Karoli, the new tie-breaking system is UNFAIR! They should have both gotten gold, or at least re-evaluated the scores! Nastia got shafted, same as Alicia.

And now Tuesday's:
Men's Springboard: China took gold and silver; Canada, the bronze. Dmitry Saudin placed 4th, and the commentators mentioned he has a new 1-month old baby at home. Troy Dumais of the US placed 6th, and Chris Caldwell 12th.

Men's Parallel Bars: China with the gold, Korea the silver, and Uzbeckistan (forgive the spelling??) earned their first EVER medal in this event, the bronze.

Women's Balance Beam: Shawn Johnson earned the gold; Nastia the silver, and China the bronze. The other Chinese gymnist, as well as the Japanese gymnist, fell off.

Kelly's challenged some of us to a Book In a Week, in which we post our goals. It started yesterday; Mine were to finish up my synopsis and send off both stories, and to write no less than 3 pages on one of my wips. I accomplished one goal last night; I'm satisfied with the synopsis, and then I tried to send it on its way. But once again, AOL is refusing to let me view my mail on the desktop. So today I will save it to the flash and hook up the laptop so I can get both stories sent out TODAY! That's one less deadline hanging over my head.

Got a confirmation email yesterday, saying my VistaPrint order has shipped. Yes, I spent a whopping $10 in shipping costs for another free pen, two different colors of sticky notes, a notepad, and some magnets. I think I also got some more oversized postcards with the blurb of LFAW on the back. Let me test this out right now: On the Grip last week, we talked promo, and about branding. My new magnets read:

College. Romance. Life
Molly Daniels, Author
Arbor University Tales

What do y'all think? Sound good? I can't remember if I'm getting 25, 50, or 100. If you want one, send me your addy to and when I get them, I'll shoot one your way.

Tonight is Meet the Teacher night at S's school. I also (stupidly) signed up for a free webinar on how to get my books into libraries. I may enlist my daughter's help and have her take notes while I'm meeting her teachers.

Time to get to work:)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Is It Wednesday Already?

Currently Reading: Finished Sandeflay last night! WOW! I correctly guessed a certain detail, but was wrong on another, and another detail in the ending surprised me. Well done, Linda! My PC is not letting me access my AOL mail; I tried 3 times to email you personally. I'll try again this afternoon. Yes, this book is long, but it is WORTH IT! Very well thought out, and you can buy it through Whisky Creek Press, or Linda's website, (I hope I have that right!) Next up: Still reading Reckless (I'm up to chapter 4) and One Touch Beyond.

I lost a day. That's what happens when you're too sensitive to medication! What happened to Tuesday? Oh yeah...I was in a fog all day. Felt like I was sleepwalking until around 7pm when the Tylenol PM wore off. Note to self: Take this medicine 18 hours in advance. In other words, if I need to take it tonight, take it around 6pm so I can FUNCTION tomorrow!

Woo hoo! Got my BMG music that I'd ordered...Fall Out Boy, 2 Bryan Adams CD's, Carman's Greatest Hits, and a 3-disk Kiss GH that had....(drum roll please!) BOTH Reason to Live and Forever on it! And they're both on disk #2! My day just got a whole lot better...I've been looking for a CD with Reason to Live on it. My favorite of all the Kiss songs!

Now...where's my Bound Brits from Amazon? I just ordered BMG last week. And it's been nearly 3 for Amazon...

Olympic Update: Sunday night, China won the women's Springboard Diving. USA finished 8th and 9th. Russia took the silver and China the bronze, just edging out Canada for a medal. In gymnastics Individual: Men's Floor and Pommel Horse went to China. Team USA's Sasha fell off the pommel, destroying any thoughts he had of medalling. Women's Floor went to Romania, while Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin ended with silver and bronze. Vault was controversial: China's darling, Chung Fei FELL on her landing, yet scored high enough to knock USA's Alicia out of medal contention? Bela was furious. He kept saying it was unforgivable. But kudos to the German vaulter! She is 33(??) years old and won the silver!

Will be watching Monday's Olympics today. Sorry if this is old news to everyone; that's what happens when LIFE steps in.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Suffering and Hardships

Currently Reading: Completely forgot that I'd won Night Owl Romance's weekly contest! I received a package in the mail yesterday and thought 'Finally! Bound Brits is here!' Nope, it was Saskia Walker's book, Reckless. Read the first two chapter last night while waiting for my Tylenol PM to kick in. And I'm up to chapter 18 on Sandeflay:) Sleep deprivation and the Olympics are cutting into my 'free time'...or should I say naps are taking over!

Forgive me if this is long. My QT this morning was a reaffirmation of something I've known for two or more years.

I've stated this before, but don't know if it was here or on my website last year. It bears repeating: How do you react when hardships come your way? Do you scream? Play the blame game? Or do you suck it up and learn something from it?

Sometimes our personal hardships show others how to deal with issues, or to at least recognize the signs and avoid it altogether. Sometimes we discover that our suffering was actually a blessing in disguise...we were being protected from something unforeseen down the road.

My husband's reaction is to get depressed, blame others, and yell. These past two years have been an eye-opener for my teens, that Dad isn't always right. A few weeks ago, my oldest son K attended a youth meeting on parenting tips. And when I asked if there were any he'd like to pass along so I could improve, he told me I basically was doing everything right; it was DAD who needed improvement!

It's not just others who notice our reactions; our kids are 'recording' everything they see, and will use the information later, be it by copying, or doing the exact opposite. I've tried to instill WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) whenever a problem comes up, whether it's financial, spats with friends or neighbors, or even simply respecting the rules.

And I'm not perfect; I've slipped up here and there and later regretted my actions. But a sincere 'I'm sorry; forgive me' usually sets things back on track.

Olympic Update: I'm three days behind. The only thing I've watched is Michael Phelp's interview with Bob Costas Saturday?? And was keeping track of Walsh-May's Beach Volleyball match during the litergasm chat with Ashley and Katie. And yes, I managed to stay awake, but the chat took a bizzare turn and my brain was too tired to keep up.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sleep Deprivation Monday

To quote AJ, it's pukeable.

Didn't get home until after 1am; I had a little too much fun on the Midway.

My lamb burgers were BOGO...Buy One, Get One free:)

Tried the fried cookie dough...YUM! Yes, I even took a picture of the stand to prove what novelties were deep fried. As soon as my desktop stops throwing a fit, I'll upload it and show you.

Brought home cotton candy, the rest of the cookie dough, and chocolate fudge for the kids.

Needless to say, S bounced out of bed when she heard what I'd brought and had a sugar-soaked breakfast. got her out of bed and to school on time!

Sold only one book, but passed out bookmarks and business cards. Oh and Anny, Barb, and Kelly...a friend of mine showed up and I talked up your books. She took a look at Marriage Plot and Dancer's Delight and added them to her TBR list. And Barb, I had taken two pads of your sticky notes with me, and a woman came out of nowhere and scooped one of them up, disappearing before I could say anything. She may visit your website! Gave the other one to my friend, with instructions to check out your books, as Bound Brits STILL hasn't arrived, or even shipped!

I've only had 3 1/2 hours of sleep, so forgive me Ashley and Katie if I either a) fall asleep during yout chat tonight, or b) forget to show up and rave about the excerpts. You have one sleepy cheerleader at the moment. I may try to grab a nap, as I also have 2 meetings tonight.

Computer continues to rebell against me at the moment. Maybe it knows I need sleep and is trying to tell me something?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Scouts Got Talent...NOT!

I was snarky last night.

The scouts put on their rendition of 'America's Got Talent' for the parents again, and the kits were better last year.

My son started off by being 'psychic'. One of the scout's sisters had a birthday, and my scout went into the audience and 'found' the birthday person.

Another scout did a magic trick (he 'won' last year's skit challenge).

Two more sang songs.

And another pair attempted to rap.

The last scout proclaimed to have no talent; however, he happened to be the scout responsible for making sure the fire burned brightly. So when he put another log on the fire during a break between 'acts', I cheered for him. And so they included his 'act' when it came time to vote!

My son was not pleased when only his father 'voted' for him. The audience 'votes' by applause level.

But when the 'fire-keeper' was presented, myself and his parents clapped, earning him a place in the top 3. And when we did a re-vote, I stood up and yelled loudly. And he won!

Afterwards, my child came up and asked me why I didn't vote for him. I told him I liked to cheer for the underdog!

Olympic Update: DVR'd the events again and just finished zipping through them. Dara Torres had a fantastic two events, winning silver in the 50 Free, with Australia's 16-year old Cate Campbell winning the bronze. And in the women's 4x100 IM, USA took silver again, with Australia's Libby Trickett beating Torres by mere one hundredths of a second. In the men's 4x100 IM, Phelps and Co won the gold, and Australia won silver. And in the men's 1500 Free, Australia's Grant Hackett won the silver, with Tunisia's swimmer getting the gold for the first time ever. Well done! And this morning, I also watched the men's Tennis Singles, and Rafael Nadal of Spain took the gold after a very hard set. He looked miserable as he battled to win!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Currently Reading: I'm up to chapter 12 on Sandeflay, and boy is it good! Linda contacted me about changing the font size; it never occurred to me I could do that. So I increased it, and had to force myself to stop; otherwise, nothing would have gotten done yesterday. Plus, I was fighting with my internet connection; it's still throwing a fit, but as I'm multi-tasking again (have to take a side dish tonight for the BSA Court of Honor plus doing D's laundry since I'll be gone tomorrow), it's not throwing me into panic mode like yesterday.

A person's character is defined by how one acts when no one is looking.

Did anyone else notice this last night? Dara Torres held up the meet when she realized a rival was having a swim suit issue. The woman was late to the starting blocks; yet only Dara realized they were short one competitor and went to the officials to explain the problem and ask them to wait for the swimmer. That's sportsmanship. She didn't have to; it would have eliminated another rival in that heat. But she gave the swimmer a fair chance to prove her ability.

Contrast that with what happened in the Women's All-Around Gymnastics.

Was anyone else appalled by what the commentators reported about Nastia's dad said to her? "Gold is the only color to bring home; 2nd place is still failure..." or something to that effect, anyway. Why put that much pressure on your own kid? If she'd fallen, or slipped, how would she have felt? I think that had a great deal to do with what else I observed.

Nastia and Shawn didn't appear to be friendly to each other; even in the team competition. Sam and Alicia were more enthusiastic in their show of support for their team mates; Nastia looked as if she couldn't be bothered. And last night, Nastia deliberately chose to sit behind her main rival during the balance beam competition, and I swear she was thinking, "I wonder what would happen if I de-pantsed her?" The look in her eyes...the way they shifted toward the camera and the looked to me like pure hate. Correct me if I'm wrong; this is how it looked to me. And after she won the gold, she visibly unthawed, but not much.

Can hardly wait to see what happens in the individual events, now that the pressure is off. But will Dad say the same thing about the individual events? Or will she feel like the Swedish wrestler, who tore off his medal and kicked it across the room because he felt he deserved better?

Switching gears, I received an email yesterday. And it took a while to sink in. Why? It was addressed to my other pen name! It was like opening someone else's mail! Go ahead, laugh at me. It's the first communique' I've had in this name. What was it? An apology for taking so long to get to my submission; she's reviewing it now, and will get back to me in a few days. So keep your fingers crossed.

I also received a phone call from Florida an hour ago:) Another one of my friends finally got around to ordering my book, and she called me to tell me how much she's enjoying it:) Made my day. Yes, she's biased, but I've not seen her in a year and a half.

I'm off to the fair tomorrow; don't know if I'll post or not. Everything depends on how tired I am when I get home, or if I'll have time in the morning before church. I've only got 5 copies of my book left; if a couple of friends show up, I'm guarrenteed three sales. But with the Fish Fry the following week, that leaves only 2 copies, and not enough time to order more. But I can always take orders and send them when my shipment arrives! I'll have a 2-week break between signings.

So enjoy your weekend:)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Free Time or Flexible Schedule?

Currently Reading: Linda Mooney's Sandeflay. I finished chapter 2 yesterday. Now I need an e-reader. The print is small, and in one small column in the middle of the page. If I had an e-reader, I could increase the font...It will take me some time to get through this one. It's 410 pages long, and I believe I'm on page 20. Also ordered One Touch Beyond this morning. Don't know when I'll get to it. I may read them simultaneously.

I was teasing Barb last night. She asked me what I was doing with all of my free time, now that the kids are back in school. Before the 'caboose' arrived, school-time was wonderful! I'd take the kids to school and come home, watch my morning news, and head straight for the computer. A slight sidebar: To show just how far our family has come in the past 9 years, PC-wise, I could come home, turn on the PC, and by the time I'd finished my coffee and watched the news, it would be fully booted up and ready for me! Same thing for the internet...we didn't have a local number, so I'd have to dial in to a local number just to get internet access. Sometimes took as much as 10 minutes to load. Ah, I SO don't miss you:)

But right now, I'm trying to keep our much smaller house clutter-free; not a small task when I still have a toddler around until Sept 2nd, and even then he'll only be in school half a day. So I'll still be in 'taxi-mom' mode. But next year when he goes to kindergarten, he will be the only one of my three that attends all-day kdgn.

And I'm also frustrated by another friend who thinks that, just because I stay home, I have all the free time to do as I choose. Well maybe I've developed a bit of OCD, because I function best when the laundry is finished before dinnertime, and the only thing I have to check on, internet-wise, is my email and blog traffic. If I had my way, I'd forgo housework and write the entire time the kids were at school, and take a break to read now and then. But no, the only maid around here is me, unless I get behind and urge the kids to do a chore or two. And yes, there are a few that they actually have to do, like dishes, setting the table, feeding the animals, and putting away their own clothes. So it's not like I'm a total slave!

I prefer to think of my time as flexible. Yes, if I want to go out to lunch, or have to run to the store, I don't have to schedule it in at any certain time, unless I want to avoid the crowd. And I do try to squeeze in visits to the MIL. And last year, when my oldest had joined the swim team, life was hectic between his practice times and BSA meetings. Right now my busiest days are Mondays, when I have my weekly writing group meetings, my son's BSA meetings, and my monthly Parent and Policy Council meetings, all overlapping. And during this week and next, I'm squeezing in time to watch the Olymoic coverage. I've irritated my children by DVR-ing it every night, and then by fast-forwarding through some of the swimming events. If a 200-meter is running, I'll zip through to the final lap. But gymnastics, I'll watch all of it. Unless the time runs out!

As I've said before, my 'flex' time is grinding to a halt. I set myself a time limit this past year: If my books don't show a profit this year, then in November I start looking for the dreaded job, as hubby is getting fed up with having to fund my promotional items and inventory.

Thought this was appropriate for today's Stupid Saying:

"She's got her legs together; she's not giving anything away."
-Gymnastics commentator

Olympic Update: Did you see the Beach Volleyball game between the US and Bulgaria? USA nearly lost the first set, but rallied and finally won, 24-22! And yes, they smoked the second set! Win number 105:) In Swimming, Ryan Lochte won the gold in his event..sorry, my mind just blanked. I think it was backstroke. I'll check and correct this later. I haven't watched Gymnastics yet, but the news reported that Nastia won the gold; Shawn the silver, and China the bronze. I've started setting my DVR ninety minutes past the posted ending time, and it worked for the Men's All-Around. And that was exciting! No, USA didn't medal; Jonathan placed 9th. But one of the Japanese men slipped off the rings; Korea had one of their members sit on the pommel horse (a no-no, and on one of the easiest skills!); France ended up winning the bronze; Japan the silver, and China the gold. Even with all the mistakes.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

It's Thursday?

Currently Reading: Can you believe it? I did not read yesterday. Spent too much time blogging.

Already? Where did the week go?

This cracked me up this morning:

Actual call to a computer-support line:

Customer: Hello? My computer's power just died.

Tech support: Ok. Is everyone else's computer in that room working?

Customer: Yes.

Tech support: What were you doing before it went out?

C: I plugged my curling iron into the power strip.

TS: Really? What else is plugged in there?

C: Well, my radio, my space heater, my cup warmer, my printer, my monitor, and my computer.

TS: Did you unplug anything to plug your curling iron in?

C: Yes, my space heater.

TS: Well, unplug the curling iron and plug the space heater back in.

C: Hey! My computer is working now! Is there something wrong with the power strip?

Writing deadline approacheth:
Typed up my blurb and synopsis of my most recent wip; as soon as I get feedback on the synopsis, which I found extremely hard to write, I'll send it on its way. Don't know why I had a hard time with this one; unless I'm totally wrong about how synopsis are supposed to sound, I usually have no problem writing one. And I'm frustrated because a fantastic workshop is being held on the Novel Sisterhood on Sunday concerning writing the synopsis, but as I'll be driving home from the State Fair, I'll arrive home just about the time it's winding down. So I'll just have to read the posts next Monday, and see what I can glean from them. Got some great advice on the blurbs last month!

And as if I don't have enough unfinished wips lying around, another idea popped into my head last night and insisted I write it down. Since I'd already sent the household to bed, I grabbed my notebook and wrote down the first scene. Satisfied with that, the muse let me sleep.

Promo Ideas
If your clueless about promotional stuff, the authors at the Oh Get a Grip blog ( are blogging about the topic all week. I've found it very helpful; especially in the comments. Marcia James wrote in, and we had a lively discussion yesterday and on Tuesday. And speaking of promo, I forgot my new bookmarks are ready. My spousal unit was supposed to pick them up two weeks ago, but he forgot, and then I left town and just remembered this morning!

High ho, high ho, it's back to school we go!
Filled out the enrollment papers for my youngest child's final year in Head Start, and met his new teacher's assistant:) Turns out she's skittish around large, friendly dogs, so I had to put Lucky out back. Speaking of which, I'd better let her back in! And no, didn't bring up the rats. They were asleep, and W was more interested in showing his teacher his new school clothes! He also brought out last year's pictures to show the new assistant how much fun he had last year. He goes back to school Sept 2nd.

Olymopic Update: Is Michael Phelps on fire or what? Wow...and in Beach Volleyball, Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor won game #104 against Norway. Round #2 looked like it was going to be close, but Walsh and May Treanor soon pulled ahead. Synchronized springboard diving: Kudos to the Chinese, Russians, and Ukranians! Ukranians have never medalled in this event. I thought I had taped it; apparently I did not. I thought I remembered Canada scoring higher than the US; I'll have to check this. According to my notes, USA came in 4th. Haven't watched the Men's All Around in Gymnastics, though I know China's hero came away with the gold. And Australia's swimmers won gold in another event.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Semi-Flawless Morning

Currently Reading: Finished Marriage Plot last night! Very well done! I loved the plot, and am now wondering who Kelly's going to introduce as Marie's love interest. A certain Lord who's taken an interest in a certain orphan? Or someone else? I also enjoyed Puck, and hope to see more of him! Why can't he have his own book, Kell? I love his personality! And will Ester and Marcus return in the 3rd book???

Next up: I won Linda Mooney's Sandeflay. I'll get to it either later today or tomorrow. And will probably purchase One Touch Beyond tomorrow.

I sent everyone, including myself, to bed at 9:30 last night, and for the most part getting up and out of the house on time went smoothly.

S 'crashed' at 9; she's my night owl, who prefers to sleep twelve hours. So when she still wasn't up by seven (compared to bouncing out of bed at 6am yesterday!), I turned on her light; I pulled the covers off of her; I got loud and bugged her every five minutes. As a result, she was up and dressed by 7:30, all but getting some breakfast into her.

K, in contrast, is my early bird/self-starter. He made arrangements to pick up one of his friends, and left the house shortly after 7am.

Despite going to bed early, I had one of those hot/cold nights where you wake up cold, but after piling on the blankets, you're sweating so badly you toss them off again? The alarm went off at 6; I continued to hit the snooze button, thinking, "I'll get up after I get warm again." Uh-uh. Didn't work. Finally when K came in and said, ''s almost seven..." did I drag my protesting, chilly body out of bed and wrapped up in my fleece robe.

And promptly found out K had not turned on the coffee pot.

Proof I'm not a morning person: I pulled out a coffee cup, dumped one packet of Sweet-N-Low into it, and measured my creamer into the cup. Next, I picked up the coffee pot and...oh, wait. It's not hot, and it's rather lightweight! DUH! It was never turned on! The fact that the light wasn't on should have been the first clue. But no...

So I proceeded to wake up the toddler, get him dressed, all the while I'm also doing the 'bad mommy' routine with S, until the coffee finished perking and I could settle down and enjoy a cup.

K arrived with his friend at 7:20; the girl down the street walked over; S came out of the basement and fixed her bowl of cereal; I threw on a pair of jeans, sweatshirt, and shoes; the teens, toddler, and I walked out the door at 7:32 and I drove to the high school. Came back fifteen minutes later and honked for S, who promptly came out and we headed for her school. Toddler and I arrived home shortly afterwards, and I was able to enjoy a second cup of coffee during my Quiet Time.

Let's hope the rest of the day goes smoothly; I'm babysitting a 4-month old later today for a few hours.

Olympic Update: Watched Michael Phelps win the gold in his 100 Butterfly; Men's beach volleyball beat Argentina; and in Synchronized Platform Diving, the Chinese took the gold easily, and the Australians won the silver! Mexico edged out Team USA for the bronze; it's the first medal EVER for the Mexicans in this event! I haven't watched it yet, but according to the news, Michael Phelps competed in the 4x100 Free relay, and at the finish he was 4 seconds ahead of everyone! Can't wait to see that later today...and apparently there were some problems with Team USA in the Women's Gymnastics...Alicia fell off the balance beam at the beginning of her routine, and China won the gold. USA settled for the silver, and I'm not sure who won the bronze. Again, after I watch it, I'll know. I was thrilled to watch the Men's Gymnastics....we had a few problems on the floor exercise, and the commentaters found fault with the high bar, parallel bars, and even the pommel horse, but other than Kevin's wobble on the pommel, I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. ARRGGHH! Just watched it, and my DVR QUIT after Alicia's floor routine!! Another reason to hook up the VCR...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

First Day of School!

Currently Reading: Finished MTW!!! Wow...I was totally surprised by the ending. Did not correctly guess a certain plot twist, and I apparently missed out on a couple of details. I'm going to have to go back and reread it. That's what happens when you read on the fly...Nope, not gonna tell you anymore about it. Go pick it up for yourselves! I'm also halfway through Marriage Plot. I think I know how this is going to play out, but Kelly's fooled me before, so I'm not sure. Now if Barb and Dakota's book would hurry up and get here...

Next E-book? One Touch Beyond anthology, from CP.

Ahhh, bliss! My teens are at school, the toddler is happily watching Dora the Explorer, and I'm ready to spend a couple of hours at my desk, with frequent breaks to check on said toddler, of course!

Olympic Update: The Men's Gymnastic team won the bronze (I didn't see it; it's still on the DVR. I sent everyone to bed at 10 am, including myself!); Michael Phelps won another gold (or two?); Natalie Coughman (I hope I'm spelling her name correctly!) also won gold; Beach Volleyball players Walsh and May-Treaner won game #103; the Men's Synchronized Divers didn't do so well. When I started watching, they were in contention for the silver; however, there were some problems and they landed in 5th place (I think??).

Promo News
Made my phone calls; I'm going to have to give up the Anderson Orchard venue. Why? For one, the booth fee is $100, and secondly, B&N in Evansville is having their huge Author Event that weekend. It's a no-brainer; spend $100 and travel two hours north, or simply drive an hour south and only pay for gas?

So right now, my 'tour' looks like this:
Aug 17th: State Fair
Aug 22-23: Eminence Fish Fry
Sept 5-7: Monrovia Festival
Sept 27: B&N
Oct 3: Blue Moon Art Gallery
Oct 11: Fall Festival

Still haven't heard from IPW, and found out I won't be able to do the Borders stores this weekend: K has his BSA Court of Honor this weekend instead of the 30th, which means I can't leave for the State Fair until Sunday!

Motivation's Back
Got my butt in gear last night and wrote the blurb and synopsis for my submission. I also got mad at the laptop. It wouldn't let me add to the document, so I had to write it out in longhand. Later today I'll plug in my flash drive and see if the desktop will let me continue, or if I've somehow managed to 'lock' my flash documents.

It's Here!
Kelly's book arrived! Now I get to find out about Caroline and Nicholas, as well as meeting Puck:) Who's Puck? According to one reviewer on Amazon, he nearly steals the spotlight from Kelly's main characters. Go over to her website and read her interview with him: He sounds like a lot of fun!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday Stuff

Currently Reading: Am up to ch. 18 on MTW:) Was rudely kicked off the computer by oldest son...he was given a BSA assignment and chose to do it right when his dear old mom was just getting to a good part...the nerve of him! (Sigh...)

Olympic Update: In the Women's Gymnastics last night, the Chinese dominated. One thing I didn't get, however. If falling off the uneven parallels is such a deduction, why did the girl still manage to score higher than the one who was flawless? Was it simply because her routine was more complicated? And with all the problems Team USA had last night (Alicia landed out of bounds on floor exercise; Nastia fell during her uneven parallel dismount; Samantha was only able to perform on one apparatus because of an ankle injury; Bridget had multiple problems), and we still managed to come in 2nd? How bad were the other teams? NBC showed and talked about the Romanian team; what happened to the Russians?

As I told Sandra, my body shut down and demanded I go to bed at a 'normal' hour. But discovered this morning that USA had beaten the Chinese in Basketball:)

Bought school supplies for my teens yesterday and fixed my hubby a fantastic meal before packing him off to work. Today is all about getting back on track. I discovered that my September calendar is filling up FAST and need to make some phone calls, so I don't commit myself to a signing, only to find out I've already scheduled one on that day.

I may also have to order more books; I'm just about sold out. Which is going to upset the spousal unit...

I planned out the next ten weeks of my e-book buying, only to discover that I apparently did NOT SAVE the info, so I'll have to redo it. Argh!

Good news: My oldest has not needed pain meds for two days, and is pretty much eating whatever he wants again. His follow-up is on Wednesday.

Want to see his 'work of art' wall? Go to Jackie's blog and see how hard he worked the month of June! It's become quite the conversation piece in this small town!

I'm off to read the rest of the blogs, get dressed, and start making my phone calls. Have a good day:)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Go USA:)

Currently Reading: Still making my way through More Than Words. Kind of hard to read when we're getting ready for school to start in 2 days, plus coming home from our 'mini' vacation.

Stupid comment of the day: She's not won a gold medal of any color, has she?
-Olympic commentator James Andrew

Last night, I was rather anxious to see how our Men's Gymnastic team would hold up without the Hamm twins, and it was nice to see they are holding their own. Yes, there was a few errors, but so did the Chinese, Russians, and Japanese teams. Going into to the finals, USA made it by being ranked 6th. Definitely room for improvement!

And in swimming, Michael Phelps did not merely show up and nonchalantly win a gold...he shattered the World Record in his event, the 400 Individual Medley. Australia's Stephanie Rice blew everyone away when she smashed the World Record in her event, the 400 IM, causing USA's Katie Hoff to settle for the Bronze. And in the 400 Free relay, Team USA, anchored by Dara Torres (who happens to be the oldest female swimmer at 41!) came in 2nd for the Silver.

Tonight is the Women's Gymnastics and synchronized Diving.

One thing I forgot to mention: At the end of the opening ceremonies, NBC dedicated the show to Jim McKay, who died this past year, and whose voice will be missed by broadcasters everywhere.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Opening Ceremonies

They were breathtaking!

See Anny's blog for more details as I'm too tired to write at the moment.

Housecleaning awaits, as does shopping for school supplies. Fun, fun.

I'm off to pay the phone bill.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Olymics are Back! And the Date...

Twenty years ago, we were thrilled because it was 8-8-88; I was working at the country club, and later that week I discovered that my favorite customer had delivered an 8 lb, 8 oz baby girl at 8:08 on 8-8-88! I can't remember if the birth was am or pm; I'd have to dig through two storage units to find the scrapbook.

Tonight, the Olympics begin. I'm disappointed to learn that the Hamm twins won't be participating, due to injuries. The men's gymnastics should be interesting this year without them...

What are your favorite events? Mine is gymnastcs and diving.

Kids and I are heading home in a little while. As I said earlier, we wore out Grandma with the shopping!

I Can SEE!

Currently Reading: Am up to chapter 14 on MTW! Was a little busy yesterday. If I don't get it finished today (I'm on page 107 out of 220), then I'll finish it over the weekend. I've also been rereading Marriage Mart, and am halfway through it. Don't worry; I'm leaving it here for Mom!

My eyes work again!

For the past two years, the anti-glare coating on my glasses has been slowly peeling off, causing me difficulties in the vision area. And toss in no vision insurance, a hubby who hates to shell out money for anything other than 'essentials' (like your wife's vision isn't important???), and my own phobia of anyone messing with my eyes, and yup, you guessed it...I don't get to the eye doctor much.

In fact, in the 17 years we've been married, I've only gone 4 times.

The first was when my glasses BROKE when I was pregnant with K. I was working on his baby quilt, when all of a sudden, my lens popped out. And when I tried to put it back in, the frame was cracked in two. So off I went, and was able to get an inexpensive frame to fit my lenses.

Two years later, while riding in the car with hubby, he was appalled when I tried to read a road sign and couldn't read it until we were practically on top of it. It had been 4 years since I'd had an exam; he told me to go, and I did. And then listened to him rage about the cost for the next month.

Fast-forward to 2004. I'm having trouble driving at night; when I look at the TV, the characters had no faces. I could barely see the clock across the room. Hubby's union sent a flyer that states a discount on eye exams and glasses. I went....and found out I was borderline needing bifocals. I probably wouldn't need them, but I would in a few years. I told them to go a head and give them to me anyway, since my eyes weren't a priority for my husband's wallet. And sure enough, I had to get them in two payment installments, since they hadn't fallen under the 'discount' price he was expecting.

I've mentioned the past two years that I've had to take off my glasses to read, and to work on the computer. His answer? "I'm having trouble too, and the dr wants me to have the diabetic exam, so make me an appointment."

I did, and he not only had to have cateracts removed, the lens implants, and new glasses, but the insurance picked up most of the cost, and we only had to pay out of pocket $600. Not bad, considering each eye was around $2800!

And during his eye exam, I asked some questions of my own and was told that I needed to make an appointment. Hubby's response? "This summer, when I've got some good paychecks coming in."

Well guess what? It's August and finally my mother shelled out the $400 for my exam and new eyes. Now I sincerely hope my sunglasses will still fit when we head home later today!

My eyes hadn't changed much; my left eye was only slightly worse, but not enough to change the prescription. She did boost the bifocal a bit more, and what's really popping out at me are the colors! For two years, I've looked through yellow-tinted lenses (due to the coating peeling) and all of a sudden, it's like the Claritin commercial. Everything is clear again! Once again, I can read w/o having to remove my eyes, and I have no trouble seeing the computer screen!

The kids got new clothes; I got new eyes and earrings (mine are still in storage, so I purchased some gold hoops and a pair of black and silver dangly ones), and my father met us for dinner. A good day was had by all, and I think Grandma's worn out. We did not see Mama Mia, and the kids and I are heading home today. But first, I'm taking my pictures to be developed, so Grandma can have her copies of her smallest grandchildren at Holiday World, taken back in May.

I still can't comment on the blogs, except my own (go figure!), so when I get home, I'll read them all again. I still can't believe my kids go back to school next Tuesday. It's too damn early in the year!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

"Pop-Ups Have Been Blocked From This Site..."

Currently Reading: More Than Words, by Kelly Kirch. I'm up to chapter 12, and have LAUGHED my ass off in spots! Even read parts of it to my mom, who also chuckled. I had left my disk at home (bad Molly!), so I went back into my email and downloaded it again, on CD this time. Showed my dad how to write a CD, and showed my mom how I actually read an e-book on my daughter's laptop. Don't know if I've convinced her or not, but maybe I'll see an e-reader in my gifts next December??? We're hitting the Mall later today, for school clothes. Maybe I'll get her to go into B&N with me, so I can show it to her?

And when I get finished with MTW, I can reread Marriage Mart (I've already read a few of my favorite pages) or Mom's got a Nora Roberts book I've not read yet.

Greeted me this morning when I tried to comment on my friends' blogs. ARRRGGGHHH! Apparently, my mom's PC will allow me to read, but not comment. And I couldn't even click on Anny's! I'll have to type her addy in manually.

But, since I was struggling for an interesting topic, now I have one! So here are the comments that came immediately to mind. Before I got this idea, I'd already emailed an author with one, because I was afraid I would forget it.

So here goes:

Ashley: Love the toons!

Barb: Glad you and Mouse are communicating on a friendly level! Have you thought of a shifter-story involving him?

Cindy: I'll be reading Stone and Earth by the end of the month!

Jackie: I'm shaking my head. When school starts, I'll bring my teens over after school so they can HELP YOU! Seriously...go to and tell her to stop overextending herself???

Dakota: Glad Mr. is okay! I've been in an accident where my airbag didn't deploy, and had a nasty concussion from hitting the steering wheel. Enjoy your week together! Somehow, I got the impression you were already living together...

Kelly: Did your sales go through the roof yesterday? See blue comment at top of blog.

Mona: Great pics! What are the odds the RWA would ever come to Indianapolis???

OGAG: Nope; being called a bitch, slut, etc doesn't do it for me either. Call me that and you'll get a fight. Just ask some of my ex-boyfriends! And Cindy...which 'light bondage' book are you talking about? I'll be sure to check it out, though most of your books are on my list anyway.

Regina: You go, girl! I'd like to be able to do that myself!

Okay. Want to know what the hell I'm talking about? Visit the blogs to the right and see if you agree with me!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Another Must-Read:)

I've hit the jackpot this week in good books:)

I loved Witch Ball, by Kathleen Coddington (CP).

I couldn't put down Mystic Circle, by Bronwyn Green (EC).

I made my family hungry (twice!) while reading Hint of Summer: Inheritance by MG Braden and Summer's Return, by Cindy K Green (Moonlight Romances).

And yesterday I let the house go while I was devouring Breaking the Rules, by Summer Jordan (TEB).

Today, we're off to my parents' house for a few days. Mom's birthday was last Friday, and I bought Kelly's 1st print book, Marriage Mart, for her. Marriage Plot is on its way, but I want to read it first. So if Mom likes MM, I'll loan MP to her.

Mom also mentioned going to see Mama Mia, as well as taking the kids to the local water park.

I just bought Kelly's More Than Words, and am downloading it to disk, so I can take it with me to read on Mom's PC. I don't dare touch it before we leave; I have too much to do before we go; namely, everything that didn't get accomplished yesterday!

So check in with everyone to the right; if you missed yesterday's 'interview' with my sis and bil, please scroll down and get a view of socialized medicine from a Canadian's POV, and leave a comment. I'm sending it to them later, so stop by and give them a shout (say hi...that's what my BIL always says when my sis is gone, and I call. "I'll give her a shout...")?? And if mom and I see the movie, I'll be sure to let you know what I thought of it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Socialized Medicine

Two weeks ago, the authors at the Oh Get A Grip blog offered their views concerning health care. Several people commented on socialized medicine, and I decided to ask my own 'experts'.

My sister Wendy is a Social Worker, and has been living in Canada for about ten years. I asked her to share her views of the issue, since she is an American citizen who works for the Canadian Health Care. She and her husband Chris are taking over my blog today, to share their views.

I am an American living in Canada. I am familiar with the Canadian medical system both as a patient and as an employee.

As a patient:
1) My employer pays the monthly premium (around $200 for a family for BC medical) so we basically have free health care. That means . . .
2) If I want to see a Doctor . . . I go . . . I don't have to worry about deductable's,etc. We have a Family Doctor who is wonderful but if one of the kids has an earache or something after business hours, I can take them to a walk-in clinic.
3) The Province of BC has a 24 hour Nurses line. If I have a question or concern, I can call them for direction. After the birth of David, I called them several times a day and they were great!
4) My son's birth turned into a C - section (unplanned). I recovered in a private room (given on first come, first serve basis so I got lucky) for five days. I had several consultations with a lactation consultant before I was discharged and I didn't pay a dime!
5) After my children's birth a Public Health Nurse came to our home within a week of my being discharged from hospital. This visit is mandated by the government and all mother's are visited regardless of socio-economic status, age, race, # of babies,etc. The Public Health Nurse weighed the baby, ensured that I was comfortable bathing my baby and was there to help if had problems with nursing and/or bottle feeding the baby.

As a Social Worker who works for a Health Authority, I believe that the Canadian medical system is ethically superior to the U.S.
1) The Canadian philosophy is that medical care is a basic human right; it is not treated as a business.
1) Everyone has medical coverage. Yes, there is a monthly premium, pro-rated based on income ($200 per family is the highest monthly rate). However, most employers pay the premium (it's considered a standard benefit). If you are unemployed or disabled then your medical is covered.
2) I work with disabled adults, most of whom are on disability through the government. Doctor's appointments, medications, medical equipment and medical services (OT,PT, SLP, etc.) are covered.
3) Paid Respite is available for families who are caring for a disabled family member

These are just a few examples that I personally have experienced or have knowledge that the services exist. Perhaps that greatest difference between the Canadian and U.S. systme is this . . . In Canada, you don't have to fear that an accident or serious medical condition is going to result in the lose of your home and savings or create crushing debt.

Let me jump in here a moment, Wendy...what about issues with long waits? James said, in his post, "And we come to socialized medicine. At various points in my life, I had an opportunity to see socialized medicine in action. It sucked. Yeah, the price was right, but the service was lacking. What would normally be a thirty minute doctor’s visit could easily take up to 8 hours of waiting. And if a hospital is only operating on what ever money the government deems necessary to keep the doors open, how well do you think the staff is paid? So, by the time you actually get back to see the doctor, nine times out of ten you find a surly person, who has half their thoughts on how they are going to make that month’s rent and all the patience of a jackal with its hind leg stuck in a trap. Tread lightly, it’s late in the day and they are fed up with all the bullshit they had to put up with from the patients before who came before you."

What's your take on it?

Yes, there is some truth behind the waiting comment. I guess it's all relative though. In a Canadian hospital everyone is triaged and the folks who are truly in crisis get seen first. Waiting is inconvenient, but let's put it in perspective, the person waiting for 8 hours isn't someone who is going to die.

For me, it comes down to ethics . . . in the U.S. the medical system is a business and so yes, you get all the benefits of a well run business . . . and good customer service is paramount (i.e. short wait times) but you PAY for this service. In the U.S. folks who can't pay can be refused admittance to an emergency room. People have died while driving from one emergency room to another because their HMO didn't approve of a hospital or the hospital doesn't take folks without insurance. Refusing to see patients would certainly cut down on the wait time.

As for the comment about the wages of employees, I work for a Health Authority and as a Social Worker (BSW) I am paid well. In Canada, Doctors are not paid millions. Salaries are more equitable as all members of the medical team are valued and compensated accordingly. Let me be clear, Canadian Doctors are making six figure incomes and I'm not. However, on my salary I'm able to maintain a comfortable middle-class lifestyle.

On a final note, be wary of all the reasons and excuses that you have been given for why socialized medicine is bad. In the U.S. the medical system is BIG business and millions of dollars have been put into advertising that is geared to convince you that the U.S. way is the only way and the right way. I love the U.S. and it saddens me that the medical system is elitist. Is a lawyer with insurance who has to have her stomach pumped after a suicide attempt more deserving of care then a 2 year old with a ruptured appendix who's parent's don't have insurance? In Canada it's not a business equation, both people need help and both would receive medical services.

You have sparked a few interesting conversations between your sister and I. We have both worked for the health system in one way or another and also lived in Canada so maybe we can answer a few things. Here goes, in no particular order:

First of all, contrary to what the American Medical Association would like you to think, socialized medicine does work and is the norm in every first world nation on earth. Canada, Australia, the UK, Germany, Italy, France, etc etc. all have had such a system for at least 30-40 years. It is the US system that is odd and frankly, the rest of us think YOUR system does not work.

Health care in Canada is considered an essential service much like water, electricity, emergency services etc. It is not a business. We have 100% healthcare coverage for everyone and can not imagine the wealthiest country on earth leaving roughly 50 million of it's citizens without coverage. That is more than the population of Canada.

Medical staff in Canada and other countries are not underpaid, surly(ok, we have a few grumpy types that would be grumpy anywhere!) etc. at all. Here are a few samples: Care aids: $40,000, Nurses $60,000+, Doctors(standard GP) $200,000++, Specialist Doctors: $300,000+++. Bear in mind that this is US dollars and all are bare miniumums. Most doctors make more and experienced nurses can go much higher. Billing rates for doctors are standardized and it is illegal to bill additionally. I realize that US medical staff (mainly doctors) do earn more but I would hardly call them impoverished in Canada. My understanding is that salaries are similar in most other countries that have socialized medicine.

All billing goes through the provincial medical services plans and there are no additional charges for services. No deductables. If you have no additional medical insurance you will pay for prescriptions but that is all. Furthermore, if you want more medical insurance coverage you can pay for it so that prescriptions, alternative medicine, additional services etc are covered.

Canadian medical coverage covers all basic medical needs including essential dental work. Physiotherapy is covered too along with any other required specialists such as lactation consultants, etc. Home care nurses visit after births and surgeries. Cosmetic surgery is not covered unless it involves disfigurement, visible cysts etc. Dental work will not cover braces etc but will cover pulling teeth etc. Same for eye doctors. You get an eye exam free every couple of years but you buy your own glasses. And again, you can buy higher levels of medical insurance privately if you so choose.

The huge difference between the sytems is that the US system is a business and the Canadian system is an essential government service. Because of this the US system caters only to those that can pay. Customer service is a high priority under the US system since all patients are private customers and expect to be treated as such. Costs are much higher since you have both a profit motive and higher salaries for medical staff, though I suspect it is mainly doctors that reap those rewards. US medical services cost about double what they do in Canada.

Hospitals in Canada are not privately owned. Clinics are most often privately owned and employ doctors for a percentage of their billing. Doctors that wish to make more of a business of their profession can choose to own a clinic and employ other doctors. Since there is no issue as to getting paid a private clinic will never turn away patients. When it comes to services not provided under standard public health care it may be different. I suppose when it comes to different insurance plans for those services they could likely pick and choose. Specialists will have their own offices for their particular specialty though most of them are affiliated with a hospital for surgical facilites.

Costs for medical coverage in Canada are about $150/month for a single person and I believe about $250 for a family. If you are a lower income person it is pro-rated or free. If you are behind on payments you will not be denied services. Kind of like if you don't pay your property taxes the fire department will still come to your house! Also bear in mind that companies in Canada that are not fortune 500 level are more inclined to have medical benefits because they are less expensive than they are in the US. I have not heard of anyone I know paying their own medical premiums in years unless they are self employed.

Some other differences that you would notice is we don't have HMO's. You choose your doctor. You go as often as you want. You do need a referral to see most specialists but that referral is not based on what the insurance company will pay for, it is based on what the GP feels is needed for your health.

As Wendy mentioned, you can have waits at busy times (saturday night for example) in an Emergency Room. However, those waits are generally only for people that have chosen to go there with non emergency problems because the clinic or their GP's office is closed. Emergencies see immediate service and have priority over junior with a splinter! Again, the system is not customer service based, it is based on health needs.

There can be a wait for some services or surgeries that are not considered essential. A bit of discomfort (ie knee replacement) may be let slide when they are prioritizing surgery booking over someone in need of a heart transplant. All will be served but some may wait. You can pay privately if you don't want to wait and I think that some of the additional insurance plans may allow for faster service. Again, always nice to be rich, but your life will be saved regardless of who you are under the Canadian system.

A huge factor that is glossed over is preventive medicine. Many diseases such as cancer have a much higher survivial rate if detected early. If you are poor and must pay for every visit or at least must come up with a deductible you will usually wait longer before visiting a doctor. In Canada you just go when you need to. I suspect that many deaths occur in the US that could be prevented with early detection. You might want to check average life expectancy broken down by socio-economic status in the US. It could be informative.

The upside to the US system is that you have wonderful research facilities and you can provide fantastic service to those that can afford it. The downside is that it does not cover many of it's citizens.

I hope that helps.

Thanks you two:) Kiss the kids for me!

Monday, August 4, 2008


I absolutely loved Mystic Circle:) I had to finally quit scrolling, in order to fix lunch for the toddler, and went right back to it afterwards.

Also read the first book in Summer's Return; forgive me...I'm spacing on the title. I was late getting dinner started because of it. And I predict I'll be reading Cindy's Hint of Summer tonight. I did not realize it was two books in one.

My Amazon shipment should arrive by next week; I qualified for the free shipping, with the two books!

Okay, I was Wrong...

Seems that I'm not the only one in the family with laptop issues. My son got a verbal beating this morning when I discovered he'd plugged the internet into the laptop, and when I described what was happening in the morning, and why I was so furious, he mentioned he was having the same problems and told me how to fix it!

Apparently my daughter's machine is somewhat temporamental. It likes to lock up every once in a while, to 'catch up' with the info load.

'Just leave it alone for 5 minutes, will load the page.'

So I poured myself a cup of coffee and tried to calm down. And voila! I'm having no problems, other than typos or accidentally hitting the space bar too many times (I have a nasty habit of resting my wrists on it!) or even hitting the power button. My sleeves are pushed to my elbow, and only once has this thing locked up on me.

Now...if only I could see the screen without having to take off my glasses or have the overhead light on...

In addition to the e-books I'll be buying later today, I'm also hopping over to Amazon and purchasing the Bound Brits anthology, with stories written by Barbara Huffert and Dakota Rebel, and Marriage Plot, by Kelly Kirch. If you find yourself on Amazon and in the mood to buy these talented ladies' stories, why not swing by and grab a copy of mine as well? Just a thought, since you're already there!

Have a good day:)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Titles for This Week

Breaking the Rules, by Summer Jordan

A Hint of Summer, by Cindy K Green

Mystic Circle, by Bronwyn Green

I may buy a fourth; it all depends after I pay the bills and put food in the house.

I'm Curious...
Does anyone know if fleece clothing causes laptops to freeze up? I've noticed now that I've had the majority of my problems with the laptop when I'm still wearing my fleece robe in the mornings. Very irritating; I don't have this problem with the desktop!

That's all for now; I'm off to get ready for church and finish the chores that weren't done yesterday since I worked the festival. And yes, I'm slightly irritated with the spousal unit for not doing his own laundry, or even cleaning the kitchen!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Not Quite a Truckload...

I sold 5:)

I only needed to sell 2 in order to break even, so I had a successful day! Even BB sold 4 or 5, as well as having a good turnout to her signing the night before at a local art gallery.

The weather was even nice to us; we were in almost complete shade the entire day (we 'walked' the canopy a few inches to stay out of the sun, lol!), and a gentle breeze cooled us throughout the day.

The books I plan to buy this week include Bronwyn Green's Mystic Circle; A Hint of Summer, by Cindy K Green, and one by Summer Jordan...the name escapes me at the moment. I'll let you know when I buy it.

That's all for now; I want to finish reading my mail and see if the TEB birthday chat is still going.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Yikes! It's Tomorrow!

It's happened again! I thought I had plenty of time to get more bookmarks made for my next signing, and yesterday it dawned on me the festival was in 2 days.

I took myself into Office Max and fortunately one of my favorite print shop people was behind the desk, and no long lines had formed. He agreed to run off one hundred more for me, and even offered to do it right then and there.

But with a sick kid at home...I told him I'd pick them up on Friday.

CVS has also had these long aluminum tables for $20; I've had my eye on one for two weeks, and planned to buy one last Friday, but forgot. Went in yesterday to see if they could hide one behind the counter for me, but they are sold out. The worker did call another store 20 minutes away in the next town; they had several left and are holding one for me. Thank you Brooke!

This way, BB and myself don't have to have 2 separate tables; we can share one. And I get to try out my new rolling cart tomorrow morning. The downside is, it's supposed to be ungodly hot, with temps in the mid-90's and a heat index of 100 or so. I believe I'll fill a cooler with ice and plenty of water...I didn't request a booth with electricity, so unless we happen to be close to one with an electrical outlet, we won't be able to run a fan.

And BB has a signing tonight at a local art gallery; I'll be there to lend my support of her.

And how to look professional, yet not melt in the heat? I've sold books while wearing tank tops and shorts; casual dress outfits; semi-dressed up. But tomorrow? I predict I'll be wearing one of my favorite sleeveless shirts and cotton shorts in order to stay cool. And hopefully we'll be under shade. We really had the best spot at the last festival; Even with the canopy, I started out in the sun, but by mid-afternoon, the shade completely covered us, and a light breeze was blowing.

Recommended Read:
Finished Witch Ball last night, and Oh. My. God! Another why-did-I-wait-so-long-to-read-this- book??? It was fantastic! Barb, do you agree with me? I know you read it recently, before you 'lost your reading ability'. Kathleen Coddington did a fabulous job spinning this tale! It will keep you entertained from cover to cover.

To Promo or not to Promo
There's been some speculation lately about promotion. Some people like chats; others like blogging; still others like interviews. How do you know what works?

A lot of the books on my TBB list were put there because of interviews on blogs, and excerpts I've read on various chats. I don't know if it has worked as far as selling my own books; but as I said last week, I've only been in the online community for a year now. I have some favorite authors whose books I put on the list, even if the blurb does not immediately appeal to me. When it comes time to buy them, I've had several months of excerpts and hearing praise, so I'm generally more enthused about the book.

I belong to a couple of chat loops, and in the beginning, I'd read all the digests posts and keep track of the titles which caught my eye. But after a while, it began to be too time-consuming, so now I pretty much delete them unread, unless I know a particular author is chatting, and I want to pop in and say hi. I'm still feeling my way through chat etiquette; I do a lot of lurking, unless I just have to add my kudos about what they've posted. And on one of my chat loops, I've been particularly chatty, and have been mistaken for the moderater at one point!

On another, there are two days a month where members can actively promote their work. When this first began, I was doing heavy promo for my second book, Love Finds a Way, and posted several excerpts of both books. Maybe it was just a slow day, but my excerpts dominated the chat that day, and several people wrote in, saying how much they were enjoying the excerpts. But the second month, I did something different, and again had a lively discussion going. But by the 3rd month, not much was being said, so I posted a few blurbs about what I was working on. I'm not promoting heavily right now; I don't want to sign up for an interview or chat day until I get that elusive e-contract. I still have one submission out there (I know...get off my ass and send the others out already!) and I need to proofread my other two shorts before I send them on their way, hopefully by next week. The deadline is quickly approaching, and my goal back in January was to have an e-pubb contract sometime this year! And I've gotten valuable feedback from the rejections I have had so far.

I did do a couple of interviews on blogs the past couple of months; I don't know if it generated any sales, but hopefully when I get to the point of having books out every couple of months or so, any promo I end up doing will build up a loyal fan base.

Happy Birthday, Mom!
Last year, we met her in Nashville, IN for a wonderful lunch at the Nashville House restaurant, and introduced my children to sassafrass tea. We had originally planned for my parents to arrive tonight, and have them stay for the Watermelon Festival, but with Mom's recent hospital stay, and the pending heat, the kids and I will drive up next week to spend a day or two with her. School is rapidly approaching, and with my kids spending the month of June with Jackie, and helping her landscape her yard, and then this month with K working for the farmer, there just hasn't been a good time for the kids to spend a week with their grandparents this year. And that's a shame, because I call it my 'vacation':) But maybe next year...and the baby will be able to go up as well!

Okay...didn't know I'd get so long-winded! Don't know if I'll post tomorrow or not; it may be late at night. Keep your fingers crossed we have good sales, and that the heat won't keep everyone indoors!