Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween:)

Currently Reading: Finished Inking Aaron; I need to ask Cheryl if this is a sequel to Sorority Girl Pledge. Some characters sound familiar. I'm also loving Rose Quartz! I think I'm on Ch. 4.

I love living in town. Why? The kids get to trick-or-treat two nights in a row!

To be fair, it can be hard on the parents, providing candy both nights. But I remember being a kid and not ready for the evening to be over.

We had about twenty houses in our neighborhood, so in two hours we'd made the rounds. I always wanted to put on another costume and make another loop! But Mom always said no.

Some businesses had the Safe Trick-or-Treating last night; others along a particular stretch of road are doing it tonight. My daughter and her friend took the toddler around a three-block area, and returned with bulging sacks.

Then, the toddler decided to hang out on the front porch and hand out the candy.

Every time our 'Jose Jalepeno on a stick' (talking skull on a spike) would go off, my four-year-old would yell, "We've got customers!" and run down to the sidewalk with his jack-o-lantern, which he filled with candy when Mom refused to let him carry the cauldron which held the rest of the candy.

And when there was a lull, I caught him down on the corner, handing out Nestle Crunch Bars to anyone who would take them. (Yes, I hauled him home and put him in Time-Out for not staying on the porch!)

Tonight, he and I will make the rounds in the opposite direction from where he went last night, and afterwards, I might pop in Phantom of the Opera and settle down with a White Russian or two.

NaNo starts tomorrow; how many are participating this year?

Be safe tonight everyone, whether you're at a party or making the rounds with your own children. I'm ordering pizza at 4 pm, so be here early if you want to hang out!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cold Thursday...and a Recommended Read:)

Currently Reading: I loved Vicki Burkholder's Danger on XY-One! It's nearly 200 pages, but believe me; it keeps you scrolling! Definitely hop over to Cerridwen Press and pick it up! I've got her Prime Time coming up in a few weeks; can't wait!

Next up is Cheryl Dragon's Inking Aaron. And since no one has responded about Lesli Muir Lytell's book Kidnapping Romeo, I'll delete it from my list next week. I'm going to toss out the question on the chat loops and see if anyone there knows. I found a Leslie Muir who writes picture books; I emailed her to see if she was the same one, but she's not responded yet. I checked with EC, CP, and TEB. Nope; not there. Haven't checked Loose ID or TWRP or even Resplendance yet either.

Thank you for the kind words yesterday! I gave myself permission to ignore my wip. What ? Are you crazy? No; I simply wanted a day to catch up on my TV stuff. I had 3 One Tree Hills and 4 90210 (3 original, one new) to watch. And now I'm caught up and can DVR Saturday's shows with no guilt!

We've had frosty windows the last two days. Thankfully, it will end tonight, as lows are only supposed to be in the high 40's again, and our 'Indian Summer' will kick in this weekend. Bring it on! I could stand low 70's the rest of the year! Does this mean I belong closer to the Equator?

We did NOT go to the pumpkin patch. Why? Toddler got a pumpkin at school. I was all set to go anyway, but my teens suddenly lost all interest. Daughter wanted to work on her costume, and oldest son decided to hang out with his friends. And as I wanted this to be a FAMILY thing, we'll do it next year.

We did go over to storage and get our light up Casper and large pumpkin. And daughter had bought a spiderweb, so we stretched it over the entire porch front. Now if we can just locate the pumpkin's light source...we either left it in storage or stole it for one of the Christmas displays. We'll return to the storage unit if we can't find it with the Christmas stuff. Or rig up something else. I know I have a picture from last year; I'll try to post it tomorrow.

Update on Allergy Test
He's highly allergic to grasses, pollen, trees, weeds, and dust mites. Yeah, that much we already knew. And he's also showing a sensitivity to goose feathers. Uh-oh...time for him to quit sleeping on top of his goose-down mattress cover! The good news? Our new home has hardwood floors. Perfect for his allergy problem. The bad news? I'll have to encase his new bed in allergen-control material. Pretty pricey for his double-bed. And the kid likes his pillows; he sleeps with three.

Hop over to Dakota's blog and cheer her up. Her vamps don't want to play with her right now. And while you're over there, speculate on what Mr. Rebel has planned for her on Saturday! And check out the Grip; they've been posting pics of their office areas. Also visit Mona Risk and see her beautiful pictures from China! She's running a contest too.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Drum Roll Please...

You just never know what will happen at signings, do you?

When I first began promoting my book, waaaay back in 2003, I typed up a two-page general overview of my Arbor U series. In it, I briefly described all fourteen books. Now, five years later, I found out someone important has read it.

A friend of his picked it up, read it, and said ' this.'

I was contacted last week with the news that a publisher is interested in my entire series, even to the point of rereleasing the first e-format!

My first reaction was, ' I can correct my title and the huge mistake!'

My second reaction was 'Proceed with caution.'

I have yet to meet him in person; he wants to read Love is Sober first. But he does want to sit down on a professional level with me soon, as he is projecting the release date for February.

I asked questions last night to the person who brought me the news; all about copywrite, format, royalties, etc and all were answered to my satisfaction. So keep your fingers crossed; say a prayer that this is the opportunity I've been waiting for.

The other piece of good news is I've been offered a slot in an anthology released by the same publisher. One of the novellas I wrote over the summer would fit the theme; I just need to hear back from the other publisher I sent it to! If it gets rejected, then I can use it. But if it gets accepted, and the other one refused, I've still got material. But if both are accepted...Molly needs to get busy!

Check out the links to the right; I have a busy morning ahead. Oldest son is finally getting his allergy test at 10am and I have to pick him up at 9:30. Now we'll find out if there is something else he's allergic to, or if we just need to switch his meds.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Flashback to Childhood

Currently Reading: Am buying Vickie Burkholder's Danger on XY; Sandra Cox's Rose Quartz; Cheryl Dragon's Inking Aaron; and Miss Cindy Spencer Pape's The Cowboy's Christmas Bride. Has anyone else read these? I'm looking forward to all of them! Next week, I'll post my November reading schedule. Since I'm not going to kill myself with the NaNo word count, I'll still be able to read. I probably won't read as many though. It all depends on the length of the books, and how quickly they keep me scrolling!

HELP! I cannot find Lesli Muir Lytell's Kidnapping Romeo anywhere! If you know where I can find it, please let me know? I can't remember if I got this from a blog or a chat somewhere!

"You're not gonna be on my TV, are you?"

Saw this on the news this morning. Michelle Obama was on Letterman last night, and when she and her husband were discussing their latest political strategy (Barak Obama purchased air-time on several networks for Wednesday night), their ten-year-old daughter piped up with this question! And while everyone laughed and the presidential nominee assured his daughter he did not buy air-time on either Disney or Nickelodean, I remembered something from my own childhood.

Remember 'back in the dark ages' (according to my own children, ha ha!) when we only had 3 channels to choose from? We could choose between 6 (ABC), 13 (NBC), 18 (CBS) and for whatever reason, in BAD weather (snowstorms!) we could pick up channels 4 (ran cartoons, Lone Ranger, and other 'fantastic shows') and 20 (PBS).

For whatever reason, during a particular time in my life, it seemed every time we wanted to watch Happy Days, or The Wonderful World of Disney, or Charlie's Angels, the President was on the air, giving a (boring) speech! There was NOTHING to watch! And half the time my parents didn't even watch it, though they read the newspaper.

As an adult looking back, I think I remember it now having to do with our hostages in Iran. But my most vivid memories were to 'get Carter out of office, because he's always on TV!'

The news anchors this morning joked that if Barak had bought time on Disney or Nick, then he would have lost his own daughter's vote. As my own memories of age 10, 11, and 12, they're not that far off the mark! Good thing kids can't vote, right?

And while I'm on the subject, what does everyone think about those insane Paris Hilton 'For President' videos that keep popping up?

Okay, enough of that.

My boys are well this morning; I have a quiet house again. I only have 3 loads of laundry to finish; I knocked out another page on my wip yesterday (yay!), and if everything goes the way I hope tonight, I should have a nice announcement for everyone tomorrow. Okay, maybe two! So be sure to check back tomorrow.

Gas Update:
Hubby filled up for $2.17 in Franklin, IN last night!

Woke up to a low of 41 degrees. Wind chill was 37. Anyone want to travel to Florida with me?

And Speaking of Florida...
Check out Ashley Ladd's blog; she's been addressing some veeeeery interesting issues concerning writing/publishing/industry in general. Wonder what she's got up her sleeve for today?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Change of Plans

Life Happens.
Kids get sick; Boy Scouts make plans and parents find out at the last minute. So all we did yesterday after church and satisfying my craving for Nachos Fajitas (stop laughing at me Regina!) was come home and rest for two hours. Hubby watched his two weeks' worth of Sanctuary while I finished his laundry.

Toddler continued to run a temp; my oldest left for a BSA planning meeting. We picked up our daughter and went grocery shopping; came home and after putting away everything, I fixed a delicious meal and packed hubby off to bed.

Now this morning, I have two sick boys. Daughter wasn't at all thrilled to learn she was the only one going to school this morning, but she'll get over it. One thing I like about sick days; it slows the toddler down. And with his big brother home, I may actually get some more writing accomplished!

Now, plans are set for Wednesday to go get pumpkins. Hopefully the weather will cooperate!

Update on Mom:
She's home! She came home at noon yesterday and was in good spirits. One thing about being a popular nurse; one of her nurses had done their Student Nursing at the high school where Mom worked; another had been a student at the high school. Both took excellent care of 'Mrs Mac' as she was known! Thanks you two!

Now we're waiting for the results of the culture test. Initial tests revealed no pus or blood in the fluid, which is good.

And even my dad is feeling slightly better.

Falling Gas Prices
Gas is currently $2.45 here; what's the price in your town? Hubby said he got it for $2.22 in Martinsville, In. So I guess that's the place to be for cheap gas!

And cold weather has entered the state. It is only supposed to be a high of 45 degrees today, and dip below freezing tonight. I broke down and turned on the heat last week, when overnight temps dipped into the 40's. But hopefully by Halloween, the temps will be more comfortable for the trick-or-treaters!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Family Fun Day

Currently Reading: Finished Going Down? by Tea Trelawny yesterday, and it was great! A fantastic twist on a ghost story, but more geared toward Valentine's Day than Halloween. Another recommended read!

Today we're taking the kids to the pumpkin patch. This will be my 4-yr-old's first real time (the first, he was only seven months old!) to pick out his pumpkin, take a hayride, and possibly navigate through a corn maze. Should be a fun day.

Check back tomorrow for any fun tidbits.

Update on Mom:
I spoke to Dad yesterday; she had an ultrasound which revealed fluid in her lungs. The extracted some of the fluid and were running tests to determine why she has had reoccurring pneumonia this past year. They might have released her yesterday, but my dad has come down with a nasty sinus infection, so I don't know if he was well enough to go get her! I'll find out more tonight when we get home.

Stop by Barb's and offer hugs. She's hurting with the loss of a beloved pet.

On the Creative Front...
Writing is slowly coming along; I managed to also write for an hour yesterday, and as always after a 'drought', it felt pretty darn good. If I can keep this up, I ought to be well into the rhythm by NaNo, which begins next Saturday. Now I just need to figure out how to get that widget on my blog...I think I'll do that on Monday. Anny, Kelly, and Dakota have them for their wips.

I also labelled all my pictures from last weekend. I still have to pick up some more either today or tomorrow, and put them into the photo albums. This is usually my 'rainy/snow day' project, so who knows when I'll actually get it done? Depends on which muse is visiting, I guess.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Anniversary Party

These are the advertisements from an October, 1963 paper. I wasn't able to really get a good picture of it, but you get the idea! Everyone loved seeing the old ads.

The poster reads:
-First date: Fireworks at Butler Bowl 1961
-Sally broke off an engagement to date Mike
-Sally worked at Kreskie's lunch counter; Mike went every day for lunch before finally asking her out!
-Mike worked at Dairy Queen and he made the best chocolate sodas
-Sally's parents took bets on when Mike would finally kiss her
-Mike drove a 1963 Plymouth Fury to the wedding
-Mike and Sally were married at 7:30 pm so the hands of the clock would sweep upwards
-Mike was working at Lilly's to earn the money to go back to Purdue
-Sally was a senior at the IU School of Nursing
-Mike and Sally honeymooned in Washinton DC...2 1/2 years after they wed!

My parents. Mom thought she had her cake topper, but after tearing the house apart twice, she conceded she may have gotten rid of it after all...She did find a few of the original napkins!

Red roses from my parents' closest friends; 45 yellow ones from Dad and us kids.
Have a great weekend! My spouse and I will soon hit 18 years of (cough) wedded (cough) bliss, and my sister has been married for nearly 12.
And in five years, we've decided to do the whole thing again at a hotel banquet hall!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Personality Changes

My sister complimented me last week.

We were eating lunch at Panera Bread when she thought she spotted someone she recognized from our days in church Youth Group.

"Molls...isn't that Julie Williams?"

I didn't recognize the name. "Who's Julie Williams?"

"You know...from Youth Choir. And you went to school with her. Over there."

I look; the blonde woman looks vaguely familiar. And then it hits me...yes, it IS Julie, but I knew her as Julie Kuipers! So I got up and went over, disregarding my sister hissing at me frantically not to worry about it.

"Excuse me...are you Julie?" I introduced myself; she seemed happy to see me; I indicated my sister, who smiled and came over. We had a swift 'so-how-are-you-what-have-you-been-up-to' moment, where twenty years of info are exchanged in ten minutes, and then we said goodbye and left.

"Boy, have you changed! I can't believe you went over and introduced yourself like that! Where do you find the courage?"

I thought about it. "She and I had been friends at one point, and I guess being on this promotion kick has spured my confidence in myself."

And it has! Twenty years ago, my sister was the one who approached people confidently, and waved me over with the 'it's-who-we-think-it-is' signal. She was the one who took chances. And if I was daring enough to do something, she convinced me not to do it, out of fear of embarrassment.

"More power to you! I admire you for having the guts to get out there and do what you're doing!"

And when I admitted I was terrified of large group situations, she laughed.

"I'm just the opposite! I'm more comfortable in the large group! But one-on-one scares the hell out of me..."

So we've both changed. And we're working to overcome our insecurities:)

Fall Break
My daughter is at a friend's house; the toddler is happily watching Franklin; my oldest is sound asleep. And it is raining.

Today is also Chore Day, as my teens made a mess in the living room last night, watching CSI (DVR) and Supernatural. I have one more errand to run this week, so when I return the LR is getting picked up, dusted, and swept. And the rat cage cleaned.

Washington DC, Here We Come!
Attended the meeting last night. About a dozen parents showed up! I'm excited by the trip, and spoke to my spouse about it this morning. He gave me the go-ahead to sign up as a chaperone, and agreed that this trip is important for our daughter's education. Our oldest was able to go to Chicago with his school band, and on Boy Scout trips to the Boundary Waters and Challenger Learning Center. S has been left out, since she dropped Girl Scouts (long story!) and is no longer in band. Finding something she is interested in has been discouraging; but watching her eyes light up when she was telling me about it made me determined to do everything in my power for her to be able to go. And if I'm able to go along as a chaperone, then fantastic! There's a lot I didn't get to do back in 1983, as we were only there for one day. This trip is 4 days. I expect to have a fabulous time and have a memory card full of pictures.

Internet Problem Solved!
Our router/modem/whatever that box is called needs replaced. AT&T is replacing it at no charge, and our new (and newer model!) box will be here next week! And hubby just asked me if I wanted a laptop for Christmas. I said yes; either that or an e-reader. How many books does the Sony hold, anyway? Will it hold the 100+ I already own? Or will I have to pick and choose which ones to put on it? Guess I'm going to have to take a look at them seriously now!

Have a great weekend; I'm going to try to post some pictures tomorrow from last weekend's anniversary party. Stop by and see what Ashley, Anny, Dakota, and Regina are talking about today!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Water, Water Everywhere!

Currently Reading: I now have a new favorite AJ book! I loved Mad About Mirabelle! I also read Ashley's Confessions of a Nympho and enjoyed it! Both books were page-scrollers. And as I was having internet issues, and creative blockages, I read all afternoon in between laundry loads. Next up is Going Down by Tea Trelawny.

How, you ask? It's not rained; my drain clog has been removed. What's the latest problem in this old house?

The washer hose detatched itself. And I didn't find it until the fourth load.

The washer and dryer are in my basement. The first three loads were jeans, colors, and my oldest son's sheets. The fourth included towels, which I keep behind the shower, at the very back wall. The washer sits near the middle of the room to the front of the shower. So when I put the towels away, I noticed water all over the back section of the basement, which is usually pretty dry! No one had showered yesterday morning; the toddler hadn't been in the basement; I decided to wait to see what happened when the washer drained.

And fifteen minutes later, found the geyser spraying out of the back of the washer.

I pushed the hose back into the pipe, and all is well again!

Now we have another section of the floor to clean, as well as the carpet.

What a week it has been!

Meeting, Take Two!
Did I mention that five children in my daughter's class FAILED to inform their parents the Washington DC meeting had been cancelled? It's being held tonight. We'll see how many kids actually TOLD their parents about it. And since there's another opportunity next week, I may attend it out of curiosity. Are my daughter and her four classmates the only ones with a selective hearing ability, or does it affect all eighth-graders? Stay tuned...

Today on the To-Do list:
-Finish laundry (1 load)
-Pick up pictures from Walmart
-Vacuum the upstairs
-Dry out the basement floor

Update on Mom:
Apparently all the beds in the hospital are occupied; Mom is still in CICU, where, even though she's doing better, it is the only bed available at the moment. Which means all our communications are through Dad, as she has no phone in her room, and we can't seem to catch our father in the CICU. So as of yesterday, she was still doing well. My sister DID arrive back in Vancouver safely, and in fact is looking forward to her first parent/teacher conference with her kindergartener. I'm sure word will come back that he "is a joy to have in the classroom":) Even though he does tend to tell long-winded stories! No joke: If he starts to tell you something, be prepared to listen for at least fifteen minutes! Takes after his great-grandmother, lol!

Or maybe it comes from his dad's side. Who knows?

Have a great day! And thoughts and prayers to Brisbane...I thought it took place last week.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Woo Hoo:)

Currently Reading: Finished Daffodil, by Anny Cook last night. I'm laughing at myself; normally I've been skipping the sex scenes and reading the plot? In this one, I discovered I was hurrying through the plot to get to the sex scenes! This entire series of hers is fantastic! I can't wait to see how she ties in Magnolia to it. And my favorite scene has to be the exchange between Pansy and Bart as they figure out the intricacies of 'dragon mating'! My kids asked me twice what I was finding so funny! Good job, Anny:) And since Magnolia comes out before my birthday, I may make that my gift to myself...Am I now caught up on all of your books? I'll have to check.

Next up: Confessions of a Nympho, by Ashley Ladd; Mad About Mirabelle, by AJ; and Going Down, by Tea Trelawny.

For a day that certainly started off on the sucky side of things, it ended on a very good note!

-The plumber came out and fixed my drain; mass personal grooming followed by everyone in the household. I also did two loads of laundry, as clean jeans were in short supply.

-Got word that my mother has been moved out of Critical Care and may be going home today! Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers:)

-An exciting thing is about to happen in my publishing efforts; I don't want to jump the gun and start yelling about it, because details still need to be hammered out. I'm superstitious enough to not want to jinx anything. So bear with me; more details will be coming soon!

-And so far today, my internet/PC is cooperating with me. I've not had any problems logging on or even posting this. Will it let me check my AOL mail? Probably not, but that's okay. I'm getting used to the laptop now.

-I even managed to write two full pages last night! And I have an idea of where the story might lead. I officially signed up for NaNo again (since I talked my friend Travis into doing it, I might as well do it again too! I'm just not going to kill myself in the process like I did last year. But you never know; watching his word count rise might spur me into action!) and might make this story my NaNo project. Or any of my other wips. Not in the rules, you say? I don't think they'll quibble over a 500-word count head start!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pukable Tuesday...

I need a handyman.


Found out yesterday that my sewer drain is clogged; I've poured two bottles of Drano (one small, one large) down the basement drain, and nada. Can't do the laundry, can't shower, can't hardly even flush the damn toilet! And I'm playing phone tag with the plumber.

On top of that, my internet connection is throwing a fit; I was able to get on briefly this morning, but now it won't cooperate. I'm on the neighbor's computer at the moment, and then I have to go back home and see if I've been 'tagged' again via the phone line.

And if that wasn't enough, I received word that my mother has been admitted to the hospital with pneumonia in her right lung. Please keep her in your prayers? I guess we partied her out this weekend...

UPDATE: She may get to go home tomorrow:)

But my MIL is out of the hospital; she was released last Thursday with a clean bill of health. I'm going to try to visit her this afternoon.

After I throw myself on the mercy of a friend and borrow their shower!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Weekend went very smoothly! There was a steady stream of people for the party, and we had a ton of food left over. We had unearthed Mom and Dad's wedding album, guest registry, and their 25th anniversary announcement. Everyone loved the 'Did You Know...' poster my daughter had made, full of fun facts about Mom and Dad's early dating and marriage trivia, and we all enjoyed the ads from 1963. For example, ground beef was on sale for 39 cents a pound; dresses sold for $12; a used 1959 Ford truck was offered for $549; a complete living room suite was only $130. My how times have changed!

Yesterday after church, we ate at The Trails buffet, and the younger kids especially enjoyed the pancakes. And for dessert, ice cream. Afterwards, we returned home and I handed out the Memory Albums I had made for the 3 toddlers, my parents, and my sister. I had gotten the photos developed (finally!) of our trip to Holiday World last May and put them into albums. Now the three toddlers can 'see' their cousins anytime they want to, and not depend on family trips.

Around 3, we had the family portraits taken. Grandma and Grandpa were in white shirts, and the grandkids stood around them in a rainbow of colors: Dark blue, Light blue, Red, Pink, and Orange. And then the Purdue shirts were donned, and that picture turned out to be the best of the bunch. So much for the 'colorful' one my sis desired!

We left around 7pm last night and drove home; my sister and her kids fly home later today. When I had the pictures developed from the party and brunch, I forgot to put them on CD. I'll do that later this week and post a few for everyone to see.

What has everyone else been up to? I read the blogs Friday morning, but then something happened to Grandma's computer, so I didn't read any over the weekend.

Have a great day; I'm off to unpack and get back into my normal routine.

Oh yes...I managed to sell two more copies of my books over the weekend as well! Does this mean I get to claim the weekend as a 'business trip', ha ha?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Busy Day...

"Happy Anniversary to you...
Happy anniversary to you....

He loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah...
He loves you yeah, yean, yeah..."

And with this bad rendition, we delivered 45 yellow roses to our mother this afternoon!

The food has been bought; the decorations are ready to be put into place.

All we need now is for everything to go smoothly tomorrow!

I don't know what happened to the date yesterday; I posted after midnight!

Oh well...I'm off to bed. More later.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

TGIF...I Think...

Answers to yesterday's question:
-A Zipper
-A Pencil

Did you guess correctly?

We have arrived; today will be all about errands and secrets. My oldest will be exploring Purdue University with his grandfather; my daughter will be babysitting her two young cousins and her baby brother. Grandma has a meeting, and my sis and I will hopefully be getting everything we need w/o having any problems.

Enjoy your day! Full details in the coming days ahead...I promise!

Thursday Madness

Currently Reading: Wow! Office Politics is HOT!! It's another Must Read:) I also finished Witch's Moon by Tabitha Shay, and this series is not your typical warlock-meets-witch- they- fight- they- make- up- all- is- well. Nooooooo...this series throws more twists at you before you can breathe! No word on when #4 will be out yet.

Next week, I'll be reading Confessions of a Nympho by Ashley Ladd, Daffodil by Anny Cook, and Mad about Mirabelle by Amarinda Jones. And speaking of whom, thoughts and handshakes to her.

On the To-Do list:
-Get rat food
-Remind neighbor to feed and water rats
-Pick up toddler from school
-Visit MIL
-Check in frequently at forum, to see if any questions or comments
-Clean kitchen, or make daughter do was her job last night and she 'forgot'.
-Remember to pack dog food (Lucky's going on trip w/us)
-Stay calm.

Today's Riddle:
Does anyone know what the following items are?
-interlocking slide fastener
-portable hand-held communications transcriber

Answers will be available tomorrow!

I'm leaving town (duh!) tonight, and will post from my mom's computer the next 3 days. Check the links to the right and see what everyone else is up to.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday Stuff

Currently Reading: Read Isabella's Diary yesterday, and if you enjoyed Isabella's Story, you'll enjoy this conclusion! Also dove into Regina Carlysle's Tempting Tess, and it's a MUST READ! If you like the OW/YM stories, this one is fantastic! And I'm not just saying that because she's a friend. This is the first one I've read by her, and I'm looking forward to Killer Curves in a few weeks/months.

Next up: Tabitha Shay's Witch's Moon and Katie Blu's Office Politics. I read OP's first chapter, but had to stop because the heat level was causing an inappropriate reaction while all three children were in the same room! I'll have to read this one in private!

I don't know if Leno ever did this for a Jay-Walking segment; if anyone out there knows, let me know. This is priceless!

Talk Show Host Steve Allen (doing on the street interviews): If a person went on television and-um-running for presidency and admitted to being a heterosexual, could you vote for him?

Woman: Yes.

Allen: Good.

Woman: Yes.

Allen: On what grounds?

Woman: I don't know, but I would.

Allen: You don't know, but you still would?

Woman: Yes.

Allen: Have you ever voted for a heterosexual, do you think?

Woman: Oh, no, no! You're talking sexual. No, no, no! I'd never vote for that!

(This was labelled, On People Who Perhaps Shouldn't Vote)

2008 Muse Conference
Is going well! I've met people who are giving great advice with queries; e-pubbs I hadn't known of; people sharing ideas on how to make your pitch to editors better...all sorts of stuff! Scroll down for the link on yesterday's post and browse around!

Health News
I'm getting ready to head over and check on my MIL. I popped in to see her yesterday afternoon and she seemed back to her normal self, tormenting the nurses about everything. Hopefully the news will be good today, and she'll be out by the weekend?

UPDATE: She's going home tomorrow:) EKG is normal again! PTL:)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Time Out...

Currently Reading: Finally finished Witch's Brew by Tabitha Shay. Wow! She does a good job of setting up this world and the series! I also read Witch's Heart (considerably shorter...160 pages) and liked it even better. I'm going to wait a few days before diving into Witch's Moon.

Also read Cheryl Dragon's Black on Blonde, and I think this one is my favorite of Cheryl's that I've read so far! And just got word she's got a new one out..Best in Bed. The excerpt sounded fantastic! Next up is Isabella's Diary by Anita Birt.

Just as I was loading the kids into the car this morning, the phone rang. My MIL is being sent to the ER with chest pains. I'm heading that way in just a few minutes.

More later.

Before I forget, here's the link to the forum. The password is 'conference'.

They've admitted her; her EKG is showing something different than 2 weeks ago when they put in her pacemaker. She didn't want to stay, but I talked her into it. Maybe this is going to sound extremely selfish, but I would like to attend my parents' anniversary party, and advised Mom to 'stay and let them observe you. This way, we won't have to make a mad dash this weekend when we're 3 hours away.'

When my teens arrive home from school, I'll go back and check on her again, before it's time for my weekly writer's meeting.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Busy Week Ahead...

First of all, my sister made it safely back to the States, two small children in tow:) She and I are planning our parents' 45th wedding anniversary, which means having group pictures on Friday, a small informal party on Saturday, and a family dinner on Sunday. Mom didn't want to wait 5 more years; fine, this suits us as well! And in 2013, we can do the big one:)

I had jokingly suggested this party take place in Colorado, hoping that my Wild at Heart would have been accepted, and we'd be also celebrating the release of it! But no...that's not happening...yet.

I am in the process of getting all my pictures downloaded from my memory card, so I can start with a blank one on Friday. Not gonna tell you my plans; with my sis home, there's a chance she'll read this! So if you're reading, Wendy, you'll just have to wait a few more days for your birthday present!

2008 Muse Online Conference
I had forgotten the date for this conference; imagine my surprise when I opened my email this morning, and I had signed up to chat every day this week!'s still okay; I said 'off and on all week'...whew! I'll chat heavily from now until Thursday, but will only be able to pop in Fri and Saturday night. The Novel Sisterhood is having a weeklong forum; I'm not sure exactly what the address to log on is. When I find out, I'll post it. I don't want to send you to the wrong place!

Festival News
I was invited to be a part of another county's Fall year. Their vendor booths are full this year. I'm thinking of going over and doing some networking, as I'm not familiar with this particular county. I know there is a huge Amish community; Kelly, if your books are pubbed next year, this may be a great venue for you. Just think about it? It's the first weekend of November.

That's all for now; I've got to get busy. Have a great day, and check out The Grip; they're talking about older women/younger men this week:)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday Stuff

Today's Stupid Saying:
"Rabbi is on vacation. Massages can be given to the secretary."
-Sign on synogogue

Things to do today:
-Finish laundry (3 loads)
-Visit MIL
-Grocery shop (for 3 days' worth of meals...more later)
-Fix spouse's lunch for tomorrow

I got a head start on the laundry; dog woke me up at 6:45am to go outside. Tried to go back to bed, but couldn't sleep, so fixed a cup of coffee and went downstairs to sort and start the laundry. Knocked out 2 loads before family showers and church:)

Be back tomorrow! Check out the links to the right!

Go Colts!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Festival Wrap-Up

Currently Readidng: Finished 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover last night; I had to finish it before I went to sleep. Wonderful book for this time of year! I'm also up to Chapter 14/page 100 of Witch's Brew. Slowly getting through it!

Had a great time; only sold one. However, I passed out ALL my bookmarks and people were also interested in Bound Brits, Dancer's Delight, and Marriage Plot! So Barb, Dakota, and Anny, I hope I sent some traffic to your websites! And Kell, I told another person to email me if she decided she wanted to order all 3 of yours. Here's hoping she does:)

have a good weekend; I'll be back tomorrow.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Back Rubs and Dating

Currently Reading: I'm up to Chapter 7 on Witch's Brew (sorry Tab...I've been spelling it wrong!) and enjoying it! It's a long one; over 300 pages, so it will take me a couple of days to get through both, if W-Heart is the same length! Linda Wisdom's 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover arrived in the mail, and I forced myself to put it down when I reached Chapter 5; else I'd be up all night reading it!

I also went ahead and bought the following books: Anita Birt's Isabella's Diary; Cheryl Dragon's Black on Blonde; and Regina Carylsle's Tempting Tess. These 5 books should carry me through till next week:)

For as long as I can remember, I've loved having my back scratched.

I'd sit on mom's lap while watching TV and be in utter bliss while her fingertips gently soothed my itchy back. When her arms gave out, I'd go across the room to dad. And back and forth, until told to go to bed, or that neither of them wanted to scratch it anymore.

My great-grandmother had a tub brush with wonderful bristles; she once said she felt as if she were taking off my skin with it, but I'd beg her not to stop!

Sitting in church, I loved it when my mother put her arm around me and lightly stroked my shoulder. Her nails would lightly touch my skin, and I'd hike my shoulder up and down if she stayed in one place too long.

When I began dating, and thought I'd found 'The One', I would always ask him to scratch my back. Sometimes they did; sometimes they declined. The ones that did ended up sticking around longer, especially if they liked their own backs rubbed. I happen to give fantastic back massages, and a few of my boyfriends appreciated me straightening out the knots in their muscles.

When I began writing, I added this concept into my books. Imagine my surprise when the critique came back that my heroine asking her boyfriend to scratch her back was surmised 'too childish'.

My question is, 'She trusts him to help her with her homework, kiss her until her knees buckle, but she can't ask him to scratch her back while they're still being non-sexual?'

I ended up cutting the scene, but I do have others in other books where it's the heroine rubbing the guy's back. And I should point out the above scenario took place between a 30-year-old man and a 19-year-old college sophomore. These new scenes I'm talking about, the h/h are roughly the same age. Is that the difference?

And my children also love having their backs scratched. But in our household, it's DAD who has the best fingernails. My 'one bad habit' is I tend to bite mine. They love going to see my parents, who cheefully accept a grandchild either on the lap or beside them on the couch, their shirts hiked high, and those words echoed from long ago..."Will you scratch my back please?"

Survivor News (spoiler alert if you've not watched it yet...)
OMG! Is Feng the stupidest tribe in Survivor history? Why the hell did they keep Kelly? She didn't even try to paddle her raft last night! I'm going to predict they will go down just like the season where Stephenie ended up being her own lone tribemate until the merge. I can't remember where the location was; the next season they brought her and Bobby Jon back (Guatemala, perhaps??) The only good thing is, Ace and Sugar will still be together, since he's the only one who knows she's got the secret immunity idol. Kind of enjoyed watching her laze around yesterday, enjoying the fruit and the sunshine! And boy can the wedding videographer play water lacrosse! (Sorry...blanking on the name here!)

Sorry Ashley!
I'd intended to pop in to the LRC chat site last night, but I was busy getting dinner ready and keeping an eye on the clock for Survivor and CSI. And my son decided to spend some time on YouTube and finding parodies of songs on another site. I'll read the posts after I finish blogging, if Yahell will let me into my mail! A screen keeps popping up with 'error'.

Additional Info about Yesterday
My stepdaughter called me by mistake yesterday; she hit the wrong number on her number list. (We laughed about it; I teased her about subconsciously wanting to talk to me in the first place!) When I asked if anymore had been said about her ex's idiotic statement, she said that when he tried to say it again, she threw it back at him that 'fine...then I get the right to approve your new girlfriends...' and the jerk was actually OK with it! I'm shaking my head. What's wrong with these two?

Have a great day; I'm off to spend a quiet day with my toddler; I told my oldest he could drive the van to school and back. Tomorrow I'll be up bright and early for the Fall Festival, so I probably won't post until late tomorrow night.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Say What???

Currently Reading: Finished Boji Stones last night! I LOVE how she ties Bella (the heroine in book #2) into the storyline! Now I'm veeeery anxious to read Rose Quartz! Great job, Sandra!

Also read One Good Man by Lacey Thorn and Cindy Spencer Pape. I had to step out of the room to finish the laundry, and my daughter started reading where I'd left off, and now SHE wants to read it! Since she's only 14, I may make her wait a few years. Maybe I'll give her Sandra's book!

Next up: Won Tabitha Shay's Witches Brew and Witches Heart yesterday in a chat. It really is true what they say about have to get your material in front of people 10 times! I'd seen Tab's excerpts on the digests, but wasn't that interested. And then she joined me in a chat last week, and I liked her other pen name's books. Yesterday, she had an author day on the Novel Sisterhood, so I popped in to say hello, and got caught up reading her Witch excerpts, and LOVED them! She ran three contests, and voila, I won two of them! Thanks Tab!

"Since we've had children together, I have to approve anyone you decide to date..."

My stepdaughter came home with this announcement from the father of her children. After I picked my jaw up from the floor, I asked her if she'd said the same to him.

"I didn't even bother with a response. I just rolled my eyes and left."

Can you believe the arrogance? Yes, the man fathered her two children. But he also tried to kill her four years ago; he's got an internet girlfriend; no job; and yet expects J to drive him to school once a week.

And she's not entirely blameless, either. She welcomes taking him to school, because she can use his computer while he's gone. No, they don't live together. And haven't since before he pulled the knife on her a month after she officially left the relationship.

I think that statement belongs in my 'Stupid Sayings' file.

In Other Happy News...
I have a new niece/granddaughter!

Baby Ava Tatiana Diane made her appearance Monday night! Her big sister Joanna (I call her Jodi) will be two at the end of this month, and her proud papa's birthday is on Saturday. If she'd been born ten minutes later, she'd have shared my sister's birthday! No pictures yet; they'll probably come in the Christmas card.

I know...big name for an 8 lb, 2 oz baby girl!

Even Better News...
(I know...what can possibly top a new addition to the family?)
My van has been fixed!

We still need to fix the rear heat vacuum valve, and the lower intake gasket. Those repairs will be taking place later this month. But in the meantime, I'll have wheels again, and won't have to ask my neighbors for a ride to my next signing, or the bank, or even to pick up kids from school.

On a down note, I'm going to have to give back my loaner car. And I just discovered the radio displays the title and artist of what is playing on the radio! Think they'd let me swap out the stereos, ha ha? I've discovered I like Incubus. Don't know what the song was called; I heard it yesterday before I found out about the display. The lead singer sounds like Tommy Shaw; I'll have to look up the band.

In Politics...
The Democrats called me yesterday, and was surprised when I voiced my concerns about both presidential candidates. At the end of the conversation, I simply said, "I'll just have to pray that God leads me to the right decision when I cast my vote. I'm still trying to decide which one is the lesser of two evils."

Flash News:
Good news! There are only two defective files on my flash; one is the brainstorm I told you about yesterday, and I'm still irked over having to recreate the second chapter. But it could have been worse; I might have had to redo the entire thing! The other one is my rewrite of another book, and...(happy dance!) I found it on my hard drive:)

Note to self: Save all documents on hard drive, floppy disk, and flash until I get a new CDW drive...

Okay. I'm finished rambling. Time for me to go get my van!

Check out the links to the right and see what everyone else is up to!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Computers Problems...Grrr...

Currently Reading: Boji Stones, by Sandra Cox. Oh. My. God. Another why-the-hell-did-I-wait-so-long-to-buy-this-one-head-slap moment. I'm on page 37 and if it weren't for the following issue, I'd be reading more right now! In other words, I'm loving it! If you've not read it, go get it! I guarrentee I'll have it finished by tonight! And my Amazon order shipped! I may get Linda's book sooner than I thought!


A young writer furiously types as the words flow from her fingertips. She lifts her head as the scene ends; wow! 5 pages have elapsed on her previous document that was stuck on line #2 of page #2.

Satisfied with her brainstorm, she hits 'save'. And then decides to reread it. Oops, it is saved on her hard drive, not the flash drive. She saves it to the flash, and rereads.

Another idea sparks; she hits the 'enter' key and moves to the next page. She types 'Chapter 2' and soon more words, about half a page, appear on the screen. She hits 'save' and checks the time. Time to quit writing and fix dinner for her soon-to-be-hungry children.

An hour later, she exits the house and is soon seated at her favorite cafe. She boots up the laptop and plugs in her flash. She is eager to show her brainstorm to the person who challenged her to write the damn thing in the first place.

But there is a problem. ERROR appears; she does the logical thing and tries to restore it. Nope, nada, nothing happens. When her friends arrive, she explains her trouble and they try to find the document. No luck either.

Several hours later, after the impromptu birthday party, she arrives home and contacts her favorite computer geek.

"Your problem is your desktop is in XP, and the laptop is VISTA. The two are not compatible..." He tells her how to possibly retrieve it.

She remembers she DOES still have the first chapter still on the desktop, so all is not completely lost! If the file cannot be opened, surely she can recreate the half a page that is actually missing?

Check back; the problem may be solved as soon as the young author quits blogging and gets back to work!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"But I Looooove Him!"

Currently Reading: Loved Cindy's Between a Rock and a Hard-On!! I'll be reading Sandra's Boji Stones later.

Forgot to Mention: Happy Birthday to my sis and Travis! Wendy is coming home next weekend; I think our 'Laptop Society' is celebrating Travis' birthday tonight:)

There was a domestic disturbance across the street Sunday night. I was getting everything settled for the evening, when all of a sudden we heard shouting. My hubby muted the television, and then we saw the red and blue lights. Like all nosy neighbors, we opened the door and stepped out onto the porch.

We saw two police motorcycles and the car with the flashing lights parked across the street. The policeman got out of the car and headed for the rear of the house, where a spotlight had the alley lit up like a stage.

As we watched, as second car with flashing red and blue lights appeared and parked in front of our house. He too got out of the car and walked across the street to offer assistance.

We saw them talking to a shadowy figure; we couldn't tell if it was the owner of the house or someone else. But soon the cuffs were being put on, and the owner of the house was being led to the first police car.

By now, four of us nosy household had gathered on our porch. The nosier of the bunch, a gentleman who lives a couple of doors down, went over to talk to the lone policeman writing up a report beside his motorcycle. He came back..."Domestic Battery".

Since this is also the household that a few weeks ago the owner was arrested for dealing drugs, we had speculated on his being busted again.

He was hauled away dociley, but statistics prove his wife will not press charges once she's calmed down.

Why? "Because I love him; he said he's sorry; he'll get help."

Yeah, right. And in a few weeks, he'll either get drunk/high/stupid and do it again. Maybe even put her in the hospital.

Ladies, even though your fist is the size of your heart, his fist connecting with your face or any other body part is NOT an expression of love! (Unless, of course, it's not a fist, and the marks are consensual in your sex-play. That's not what I'm talking about here!)

When I was little, one of my favorite Broom Hilda comics had Broom Hilda reciting that fact about fists and hearts. Irwin, the troll, promptly looks at his fist, and rams it into Broom Hilda's mouth. While she's lying there with the comic stars swirling around her head, Irwin childishly says, "I love you!"

That was funny.

What was not was seeing the bruises on the women with whom I interacted at a battered women's shelter while in college. (I had to volunteer and put in so many hours per semester for my social work classes) I discovered I was very good at getting the women to open up and talk about their experiences; however, it boggled my mind about WHY they let themselves get caught up in the abusive relationships in the first place!

I always said if a man laid a hand on me, I was out the door. Period. No questions asked. My safety came first.

But what if the bruises are internal? Where do you draw that line?

I gave an idiot an entire year before I finally got tired of his putting me down. When did I 'wake up'? Maybe it was when he started ridiculing my friends. Maybe it was when he forced me to end a friendship (didn't soon as I made the phone call and informed the answering machine I could no longer associate with them, he left and I promptly called back and left a SECOND message letting my friend to disregard the first one!)? Maybe it was him telling me my dreams of being a writer was idiotic? Or maybe it was simply the night I couldn't get him to stop yelling at me and put on the whole 'you're right, I'm-lower-than-dirt' routine where I was thankful the lights were off and he couldn't see me laughing?

Whatever the wake-up call, I got out of it.

Now counseling DID work for my bff. All it took was her physically leaving her hubby for 4 days and not coming back until he sought counseling. And they are still married ten years later. She called his bluff and the thought of losing her scared him into behaving. And I've made it known that if he starts to slide, she's welcome in my house until a) he returns to counseling or b) she decides to permanently leave him.

So in the meantime, I'll be keeping a close eye on my neighbors, and maybe even go over and offer friendship. They've only lived here for a couple of weeks. Maybe she could use a friend?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Generic Vs Name Brand

Currently Reading: Just bought Cindy Spencer Pape's Between a Rock and a Hard On, as well as One Good Man. Also bought Sandra Cox's Boji Stones and ordered Linda Wisdom's 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover. It should be here within 2 or 3 weeks:)

I finally got Dreams to open, but after the first several pages, my eyes were tired. I'm moving on. I might read it later on.

I'll confess; when I was younger, it was all about the Name Brands.

Paper towels? Had to be Brawny or Bounty.

Pudding? Snack Pack.

Peanut Butter? Peter Pan, Skippy, or Jiff (grandma's brand!)

Canned pasta? Frank-o-American or at least the Spaghetti-o's brand.

Toilet paper? Mom bought White Cloud.

Cereal? Trix, Fruit Loops, Fruity Pebbles, Honeycomb, Boo-Berry or Count Chocula. My sis liked Raisin Bran.

Laundry Detergent? Had to be Tide with Bleach.

But since becoming a mom, and living in an income bracket that is less than what I grew up in (what's up with that? I married for love, not money. What was wrong with me? Don't answer that...), I've discovered that some generics are just as good as the name brands.

For instance, cereal, canned veggies, frozen veggies, ice cream, box potatoes, bread, laundry detergent, medicine, and even fabric softener I'm perfectly happy with the generic.

But don't take away my Peter Pan peanut butter, Snack Pack or Jello pudding, Spaghetti-Oh's (yes, I still love 'em!), Charmin Toilet paper, and Bounty paper towels. Same for my toiletries. The generics just don't match the name brands.

One exception is the trash bags. I tried the Ruffies, and hated them. I switched to the Walmart brand, and loved them! I could get 50-ct for $6. But...they're slowly disappearing. They dropped to 45-ct...and then 35-ct...and now I am stuck paying $7-8 for 28-ct in the Hefty Brand. The nearest Sam's Club in an hour away, so I let my membership expire. And the trash men in this town will only take the black plastic trash bags; not white, and no paper bags.

What name brands do you firmly believe in? Which products are better in the generic? In today's economy, with everyone tightening their belts, will you give up taste or effectiveness over cost? I've begun planning my name brands into my weekly budget. I've been trying to keep my weekly food bill under $100. But sometimes when dog food, laundry detergent, toilet paper, kleenex, and cold medicine are needed in the same week, I'm looking at a start value of $30. And that means a week of 'How many ways can we disguise hamburger or hot dogs?'

With the holidays arriving, I'll be slowly adding baking ingredients, candy, and the occassional Christmas gift. This Walmart does not offer Lay-A-Way, which sucks. I could put $1000 in LAW and pay $20 a week, getting it out the first week in December. Now I have to buy it all year long, or here and there, or wait until the last minute. And the problem with all three of those methods is I either lose half of it, due to stashing it in various hiding spots, or the kids see that some boxes have mysteriously been shifted in the basement! Hmmm...did Mom do that deliberately? What's hiding back there?

So tell me; how have your shopping habits changed?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Ways to Say 'I Love You'

Currently Reading: Nothing. I dowloaded Dreams of Chimborazo, but it won't open! I'll have to try again. I also won Elaine Charton's EZ Lovin', but the attachment she sent me won't open either. I'll have to contact her later today:)

Ever notice how it changes over the years?

Age 12: A look, a smile, a 'hi, how are you?' from your crush, and it's instant love.

Age 15: Your boyfriend gives you his HS ring. "He loves me!!"

Age 16: "I'm falling in love with you."

Age 19: Sex for the 1st time. 'Nuff said.

Age 25: "Will you marry me?"

Age 30: Bringing flowers w/o being asked.

Age 35: Letting you sleep in while he takes the kids out to breakfast.

Age 42: Bringing home 40 lbs of meat because your favorite butcher is now 90 minutes away and the prices in your new town are outrageous, due to the economy!

Have a good day; I'm off to get ready for church, finish the laundry, and spend time with my family! MIL is out of the hospital, my van is in the shop, and my deep freeze is about to be stuffed with meat, repackaged into meal-size portions:) As soon as I go get some more freezer paper, Ziplock bags, and storage containers.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I Need New Friends:)

Currently Reading: Just finished Fearful Secrets by Donna Martin Geiser. Wow...I'm soooo glad I bought this! It was her grandmother's story, growing up in a small, judgemental town in the early 1900's. I loved it, because it shows the how a person can rise about their circumstances and not sink to the level of closed-minded, bigoted people. I'd like to think we've evolved in the last 108 years, but somewhere, these mind-sets still prevail. And it's sad. I'm heading over to check out Donna's site and let her know how much I enjoyed it.

E-book: I found Leigh's book! Am buying it in a few minutes. I'll have to scroll down and see what I'm buying this coming week:) Or simply pop in my flash...

In this town, at least:) The only ones who showed up last night had already BOUGHT my books!

But that's okay...I met other artists and handed out promo material. Vista is going to love me this week when I have to order more! At the end, Anita and Carol invited me back next spring; maybe the downtown traffic will be more active, since the night I'm scheduled is also the first 'Fresh Air Flics' (outdoor movies) to be shown in the 2009 season. They also took one copy of each book (all I could spare for now!) to display in the gallery, and if you want to see me on the Blue Moon site, click here and click on the third character (with the beret) and you'll see my name to click on. Bear with me; I'm still getting the hang of this hyperlink thing, and I may later figure out the link that goes directly to my info!

Was I disappointed that I had little support? Not at all. I had ordered pizza for my kids; they were safely at home; I got to talk about my series, writing, and other authors for three hours. Plus eat all the chex mix, sausage-stuffed mushrooms, and Krackel candy bars I wanted:)

Sex vs Plot
Apparently I'm continuing to mind-boggle people about why I buy erotic books, and skim over most of the sex. I do read the first sex scene; it's just that sometimes, I'm more interested in the conversation/conflict than what takes place in the bedroom. And I like my friends' books; otherwise I wouldn't bother! But once again, I read them multiple times! I'm not a person who simply forgets a book once I've read it (unless, of course, I've absolutely hated it- very rare for me!) and this explains why I don't particularly like to check out books from the library. Sometimes I will, but I'll also go buy them. This is evident in my school's library; remember when we actually had to sign our names on the card? There were several in which my name took up the entire card! God I'd love to have some of those titles I read in Junior High...for some reason I was fascinated with the 'I was a Teenage Alcoholic' one. And no, I didn't start drinking until I was 19, and only rarily. After I hit 21, well, that was a different story!

But getting back to the point, I'm not reading these books and complaining about the pages of sex. I agree with Regina on this point...if you're a professional reviewer and don't like erotica, don't review the book! Or at least, try to remain objective?

Send hugs over to Dakota. She's feeling down today.

Update on my Sat am viewing: BH 90210 is in their senior year of college, and this is when the series began to get tired, in my opinion! I'm still watching it; it's being DVR'd as I type. The teens are still asleep; the toddler's watching Dora. I'm taking advantage of the fact I can use the computer w/o hearing complaints!

Have a great weekend:)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Decisions, Decisions...

Currently Reading: Finished Ashley Ladd's The Perfect Gift yesterday, and aside from finding a small wardrobe detail, I enjoyed it! I'm looking forward to her other books as well!

Also read Brynn Paulin's Redemption: Incubus, and found it highly enjoyable:) Thanks for explaining what exactly an incubus is, Brynn! I wasn't exactly sure from reading other incubi books. And it was not at all predictable!

Print book: Read Steven C. Scheer's Hollywood Values, strictly because he examines both Dead Poet's Society and Erin Brockovich, two movies I absolutely love. Wasn't that thrill with the rest of his movie assessments, but as he says, 'No two people see the same movie' and the same goes for books. Everyone has their own interpretation.

Several books I've read are now up for "Best Book...." awards over at Night Owl Romance. I went over and some categories were easy. I'd only read one author. No brainer there! But I had a tougher time in other categories! Hmmm...who to choose....

I settled on one book I'd loved...and then as I was scrolling down, oops, there's another! ACK! And a third...HELP! So I stopped and considered the three books. And one of them was just slightly more memorable, so I voted.

Nope, not gonna tell you which ones. I know it's mainly a popularity contest, and if I ever get lucky enough to be nominated, I know I'll be wildly excited and hope I get several votes, or even win:)

So go vote for your favs, and who knows? Maybe our authors will win, after all!

Book Signing Tonight
I'll be on display tonight at the Blue Moon Art Gallery, here in town. I've sent out several personal invitations; will anyone show up? I hope so! Maybe I'll even sell a copy or two.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Busy Moms

Currently Reading: Finished Anna of Byzantium last night, as I was unwinding from a chat. Still haven't gotten to the e-books yet; I've been too busy. Given the content of the following, today will be a lot slower!

I happened to watch a disturbing Oprah yesterday. This mother of two, on a hectic first day back to school, accidentally left her two-year-old in her car all day.

In her defense, she had broken her normal routine: Her husband, who would have normally dropped off the toddler at daycare, had a dental appointment and was unable to do so. The mother left at her normal time, completed what she normally did, and since it was still too early to drop the child off, ran another errand before heading to her job as an assistant principle at a middle school.

8 hours later, someone ran into her office and reported seeing the child in the car.

I couldn't watch anymore, because they began to play the heartbreaking 911 tapes, plus my MIL was returning from surgery at that moment. My first reaction was, "My two-year-old was perfectly capable of unfastening his seatbelt and unlocking the car..."

My second reaction was, maybe her little girl wasn't as precocious as my three.

As horrific as this sounds, I believe the rest of Oprah's show (had I watched it) was about how moms can get so over-stressed about getting each member of their family to where they need to be, and sometimes that stress can have deadly consequences.

I saw this in myself back in 2000.

I was running a baseball concession stand, and during the tournament season, I literally fell out of bed running. I raced through my morning routine, loaded the kids into the car, and took off for the stand. I took inventory, counted the money, made the deposit, and then was off to Sam's for restocks. In the afternoon, it was run through McD's for lunch, and return to the stand to unload.

Then it was return home, do any laundry that needed to be done, feed the kids a quick meal, leave a plate for my hubby in the microwave, and back to the ballfield we'd go.

My son was involved in Cub Scouts and their 3-day Day Camp was about to start; I was asked to be a walker on the first day. Stupidly, I said yes, because my son's team had been knocked out of the tournament, and I was looking forward to my first day when I didn't have to rush rush rush!


Monday morning, I looked at the schedule and realized we would be returning too late to run by the house for the cash box, so I took it with me, burying it under a blanket in the back of my van. I picked up the other scouts and we headed to the park. Rain was threatening; I was whole-heartedly hoping they would call it off for the day, or at least cut the day short! But no...this is the Scouts. When rain came, they bundled us under the shelter and sang songs. I was miserable and wishing I was home!

It hadn't helped that the minute we began our activities that morning, I stepped in a hole and nearly broke my ankle. An hour later, my six boys decided to run down a hill to the next activity and I fell down while following them. The other adult managed to stay on his feet!

After the day camp was finally over, I said goodbye to the other adult; found the parents of the extra boys in our group, and herded my 5 scouts toward my van. I'm not a person who's fond of the a/c in the car, so I rolled down the windows, called out, "Everyone buckled?" and put the van in gear.

I checked my watch; we were doing fine on time, and there would be ample time to warm up hot dogs for myself and my son before setting up for the tournament and going home when the workers showed up.

We were just about to pull onto the county road which led to our small community when a farmer pulling a bale of hay turned onto the road. I mentally fumed, because he was going slower than I normally drive on that road, and I wasn't in the mood for any delays.

If I'd listened to the little voice in my head five minutes earlier, the following wouldn't have happend. I nearly rolled up the windows and turned on the a/c, but it is cool in the woods, so I kept the windows down.

About a mile from passing our house, an insect flew in the window and landed on my leg. I slapped it, and then lifted my hand to see what I'd swatted.

It was a bee. And it was still alive.

Alarmed, I took my eyes off the road to try to blow the bee off my palm. We were on probably the only straight section of that twining county road, and I was fairly certain I could get rid of my unwanted passenger and stay on the road.

Wrong. My third puff, the scouts let out a yell. I put my eyes back on the road and realized we were not longer on the road, but in the cornfield! Instead of instantly stopping, my second mistake was to jerk the wheel to the right, to get us back on the road.

BAM! We connected with a tree. My head hit the steering wheel; the scout in the front seat beside me bit his tongue when his airbag deployed; I looked up and there was a scout clutching my headrest and looking relieved he hadn't gone through the windshield!

I swiveled around and everyone was accounted for. The passenger door was wrenched open by the people who owned the house across the street from where we were, and they began to unload the boys.

I climbed out and went around to help, but suddenly I was being led across the street to sit down. I was concerned for the boys, and wanted to stay and help get them out, but my son appeared, looking scared.

"Mommy, you're bleeding!"

I did notice at that point blood was running into my eye, but I reassurred him,

"Mommy's okay, honey. Head wounds always look worse than they are." We went over to the grass; a phone was brought out. I tried to call the sitter who was watching my daughter; no answer. So I looked at the time and called the neighbor at the entrance to our street, letting her know my hubby would be passing her house soon, and to please flag him down and let him know we'd been in an accident?

I then tried my house again; success this time. I relayed the information and all of a sudden felt faint. I handed the phone to my son, and put my head between my legs to ward off the spinning world.

The ambulances arrived and we were taken to the local hospital. I had a concussion; the scout who had bitten through his tongue needed three stitches in his tongue; the scout nearest the passenger door had a broken shoulder bone from the seat belt. My son had hit his head on the window, but no injury. The scout who had landed on the one behind me had a chipped ankle. The fifth scout was uninjured.

It was a warning: I needed to slow down! I didn't have to do everything, and my three days of bedrest showed me my concession stand workers were perfectly capable of running the stand without me doing everything. My kids were a heck of a lot happier the following year, when we only made stock-up trips twice a week. If we ran out of pretzels, it wasn't going to start a boycot or anything; customers would understand. I didn't have to be perfect.

Moms need to learn that while yes, we are valuable to our families and responsible for getting our kids here and there, we cannot put our own needs last. We need to prioritize, and to have friends willing to say, "You're doing too much! Let me help..." Or slap us across the face with a reality check every once in a while.

I'm not saying we should slack off. Just watch out for your friends, and if you see a train wreck about to happen because yourself or friend is scheduled too thin, offer to lend a hand if you can? It should have been a huge sign when I had everything scheduled to the exact minute, and would feel myself stressed if I hopped out of the shower and noticed I was 5 minutes behind schedule already. If you find yourself cutting your 'Me' time to do something for someone else, take a breath and ask yourself, "Is this really necessary?"

And maybe your warning won't be a bee in the car.

Or worse, have no warning at all.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


It pays to be patient. Over the summer I had a stressed-out friend, and I decided to give her time, and not get angry with her.

It paid off. She emailed me yesterday, and while dinner last night was out of the question (her meeting, my writer's group), we got together for breakfast and TALKED. She even asked about how my books were selling:)

Will she show up on Friday at the signing? I highly doubt it. But the fact she asked, with no prompting hints dropped from me, and even praised my efforts, was a sign she regrets her snappiness a few months ago. She even promised to let me know the next time she was free for lunch, since I'm the one with the flexible schedule.

And yes, I teased her gently about her 'I have a life' statement, and we laughed about her meltdown. She told me she's missed my ability to cheer her up!

Baby steps to rebuilding a friendship.