Monday, November 30, 2009

Last Day of NaNo!

Sheesh, where did the month go? I've informed the SU I will be glued to the desk chair as much as possible, in order to finish Class Reunion. As previously stated, I can see the ending, but now I just have to write it:)

Green-Eyed Monster or Do I Have A Legit Complaint?
Watched yesteday's CBS Sunday Morning this morning (on the DVR) and am now suffering slight professional jealousy. Why? They interviewed Stephanie Meyers.

She wrote Twilight in three months, stemming from a dream she'd had. That's all fine and dandy; we've all done that.

But she only received nine rejections, a couple of no responses, and finally a letter from an assistant wanting to know more.

Everyone who's with me in the slush pile....can I get a collective 'No Fair!' mini-tantrum? Thanks.

We Interrupt This Blog To Bring You a Special Report...
Got word around NOON: Kenzie's been offered a contract for Teacher's Pet!!!!!

Here's the blurb:
What happens when you discover the man you had mind-blowing sex with three months ago is none other than your son's teacher? Tammy Saunders is horrified when she realizes the man who set her heart racing is her son's favorite teacher. With one bad relationship behind her, will she trust her heart again, or will she continue to deny her feminine side?

And is this particular teacher only popular with his students? Kevin Taylor has made some bad choices in his life, but sleeping with not only one, but now two of his students' mothers has got to be the worst mistake he's ever made. Especially after he realizes he's lost his heart to one of them.

Sound promising? I'll keep you posted on covers, release dates, etc,

Okay; time to get busy and finish Class Reunion!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saturday's Stupid Saying

Yeah, yeah....I'm late with this! I was busy writing yesterday.

Turkey Conducts Bird Flu Investigation
headline on ABC News Online

Thought this was appropriate for the Thankgsgiving weekend:)

As stated, I did laundry and wrote all day long. And if you're my friend on Facebook, you'll notice my status which says I nearly fell victim to the 'forgot-to-back-up-document' monster.

What happened?

I stepped away from the desk to eat some leftovers (it was seven o'clock and I was starving!) and when my youngest was finished eating, he promptly pulled out my flash drive (he did NOT eject it first!) and popped in his Lion King DVD, since Daddy was watching Cool Tools on DIY, and there is no DVD player downstairs (PS2, yes, but I don't think he knows how to use it as a DVD player. Note to self: Must Inform K to Teach Little Brother This Skill....).

How did I discover this?

The phone rang; it was for me. I swallowed my final bite of turkey and noodles and the first thing I notice is my flash not in the drive. I nearly lost it, but K came to the rescue. The document was still on the task bar; he simply plugged in the flash, saved the document, and double-checked to make sure everything was there. I calmed down and spoke to my friend, who was now laughing at me!

In my defense, I am on the final chapter of Class Reunion. And since tomorrow is the last day of NaNoWriMo, I have a lot of work if I hope to beat last year's word count of 19K! At last count, I was near the 10K mark for this year. So unless a miracle happens, this year's count will be waaaaaay short. But again, in previous years, I didn't have the SU at home, griping at me! So according to the pep talk I received via email, I'm in Group 3, but still okay. Besides, the whole point of NaNo is to get words down that would still be stuck in my head! Everyone wins, even if they don't attain that 50K mark.

Tuesday, I start baking (I think). It all depends on if I have to fight the SU for kitchen space. Maybe this year I'll let him do the baking???

Have a good day. I'm off to get dressed for church, and then come home and attack the ending of my book!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friendly Gathering

How do you expect to eat with no teeth, ha ha?

Sampling the goodies before dinner; like mother, like daughter! (Aunt R is to the right!)

J; the birthday girl L; her husband C; Grandma; R. (J, L, and R are siblings; their mom is Grandma)

We put the smaller kids, I, D, and W at a card table in the living room; the teens ate downstairs after we said grace.

Candid shot of K, T, D, and T's dad in the background, next to the buffet table. My SU and D sitting at table.

We dismantled S's bed and set up the two food tables; brought up a third on set it in front of the desk.

Three generations! Grandma, D, and R. (And my messy desk!)

R and myself during the Great Lemon Cream Pie War. The birthday girl loves her mom's Lemon Pie, and cut four slices; two large and two small, thus giving herself and my SU most of it. When she set hers down and went to refill her drink, R grabbed it and started eating it!

You never know what topics of conversation will come up during dessert. SU's beard length was discussed, and asked if he'd ever considered braiding it...I found my Japanese hair clip and gave him an inpromptu ponytail.

(S...what was in those brownies? And what exactly is your 'secret ingredient'?)

You Call This Customer Service? What Happened To 'Customer Is Always Right'??
I was informed my parents may be getting divorced. No, don't panic; this information came from my mother, who was told by a strange hairdresser....

"No, I won't cut your hair that short; your husband will divorce you!"

They compromised; instead of cutting my mother's naturally curly hair to ear-length (where she normally wears it, mind you!), she left it about an inch longer.

Mom went home and asked Dad, "Are you going to file for divorce?"

Dad replied, "No; should I?"

Mom repeated what had happened.

"Maybe you should show her the wedding picture."

The only time my mom's hair reached her shoulders was about age 6! My father has always favored women with short hair, and always compliments my sister and I when we show up with it about collar-length!

For the record, every time I whack mine off, I've been told I look younger. So don't let your hairdresser dictate which length will please your man more; go with your gut. And if your man complains...remind him it will grow!

Happy Black Friday!
Shop safely and spend wisely:)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Hip surgery went well, and she was resting comfortably when we left. SU (spousal unit) was a bit shaken when he overheard the nurse tell the night nurse coming on duty the patient was DNR. We came home to find the kids had not only fixed dinner, but consumed all of it. He and I went to Ponderosa to 'decompress' and eat food already cooked and waiting for us.

Ear no longer hurts, but it continues to leak fluid. I'm also still mildly stuffy.

Due to illness and hospital visits, we're doing a massive cleanup today. K had his senior pictures taken an hour ago ("Mom? You are going with me??!!") and he had an enjoyable time. Male modeling may or may not be in his future, according to the photographer:)

Turkey aka 'Big Boy':
All 22 frozen pounds is resting in a cold bath, awaiting his 'steam bath' in the fryer tomorrow. We still have to go get the ham, and some minor ingredients for tomorrow's feast. For more on the festivities, click here.

I'm under threat of the power being shut off to the computer if I don't hurry up. If I don't end up posting tomorrow, have a happy and safe Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Back Tomorrow!

Spent yesterday in pain; my ear drum chose to rupture in the afternoon. And the hydrocodone made me sick to my stomach. I'm heading back to bed for a brief nap, after I sort and start the laundry.

Need prayers...the MIL decided, for whatever reason, to try to get out of bed over the weekend. They sent her for an X-ray yesterday, and surprise...she's got a broken hip. She's undergoing surgery this afternoon to have it repaired.

Looks like our decision to stay home this Thanksgiving was a good one....

Have a good day:)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weekend Photos

Had a great time at the annual Santa Stroll:) The weather was mild; I handed out several promo items and added many more email addresses to my newsletter list. And yes, even sold one. Better than last year, when the wind was frigid and most people were hanging on tight to their cash. They're still watching their cash, but the artis who painted the picture on the wall behind me sold three of his paintings in the week his work has been on display.
Don't know if you can see it or not, but I'm wearing my Santa Hat/jingle bell earrings! We were all in a festive mood Friday night:)

Saturday afternoon, one of the attractions was a free carriage ride. The spouse and K were on a BSA camping trip (K's final one as a Life Scout; he'll complete his Eagle rank in the next two weeks), so daughter S brought her little brother, her friend A, and A's little sister R downtown. They were too late to see Santa, but they enjoyed the ride:)
And later, after I got home, S and A went to see New Moon and came home both excited and upset that the movie "leaves you hanging! We have to wait a whole year to see what comes next!" Girls, you read the book; you know what comes next!
"But it's not the same as seeing it in the movie!"
Monday Monday...
Woke up with a clogged right ear. I've already taken a decongestant and some Tylenol for the pain. I'm hoping this doesn't turn into another full blown ear/sinus infection! I've not had any problems with this ear since the chronic problem back in 1996 and had to have a tube put into it. I battled a mild sinus headache Saturday night and again yesterday after church. I'm fine as long as I'm either upright or laying down. Don't ask me to bend over or hiccup; pain rushes to my forehead. And since this is Day #1 of Operation Clean Up, I'll do the dusting and vacuuming; the spouse can do the bending-over stuff! And afterwards, I'll lay on the couch and watch the rest of the Law and Order: SVU marathon I ended up DVR-ing while I cooked dinner and later chatted with several authors during Anny's Birthday Bash! Kenzie very nicely posted two birthday excerpts from both books, and received some nice comments:)
And The Next Iron Chef is...
Chef Garseus!
It came down to creativity and basic cooking skills. Chef Meta, the Indian-background pastry chef, had the creativity, but lacked some fundamental cooking skills; one of the judges constantly harped his food was 'too sweet', and several dishes during this ten-week competition were either undercooked or overcooked.
Chef Garseus, who had a Latin American flair to his cooking, had similar problems during the entire competition, but got everything right last night in Kitchen Stadium. His dishes were considered 'safe, yet boring' by the judges, and it all came down to who would blossom the most under the current Iron Chef's tutelege. And since all five of his dishes were cooked to perfection, they decided he stood the best chance.
Have a good day!

Friday, November 20, 2009


Anny Cook asks an interesting question this morning: What's the strangest job skill you've acquired?

In my short working life, I've been:
-Teacher's Aid in 1st grade class
-Teacher's Aid at Head Start
-Dishwasher for small restaurant (hated it!)
-Bus person for same restaurant (enjoyed it better)
-Worker in craft factory; I folded the items and sealed them in the bag along with the instructions. (Routine; I let my imagination take over and wrote like crazy during the breaks! Most of Love Finds A Way was written during this eight-week temp job!)
-Volunteer at Battered Women's Shelter (Showed me how my budding counseling skills were developing in a good way)
-Cashier for parking lot (again, did a great deal of writing during the down time)
-Rivet polker for semi-trailor factory (enjoyed this one; I was only one of three women and the rest were men! Gave me great ideas for Book #4!)
-Wait staff at a country club (Enjoyed my regular customers and became a favorite with the kids)
-'Bus' driver for pre-school (in actuality, it was a station wagon) (Hated driving in ice and snow!)
-DST for Special-needs children and adults (Taught daily living skills to the developmentally and mentally challenged; my group was at the higher-functioning level)
-More babysitting, plus a two-month foray into the 'get-rich-quick' sales (I hated walking up to people to convince them to buy something they either didn't need or couldn't afford!)
-Concession stand manager (Loved, loved, LOVED this one! I got to be my own boss, and did inventory, worked my ass off during games, counted money, and made some valuable friendships.)
-Bus Monitor for emotionally or special-needs kids (More stressful than it seems!)
-Published Author (I absolutely LOVE book signings and talking to people about writing, books, and how to get started/published.)
-Cashier for fireworks store (enjoyed this, as it got me out of the house for a while and away from moody spouse!)
-And most importantly, Domestic Engineer aka MOM (Again, I get to set my own hours:)

But have I acquired any strange skills? As I told Anny, I can now change the tape in a price sticker thingy. And discovered I really enjoy doing inventory.

This Weekend:
I'll be doing my final signing of the year at our local Santa Stroll. The parade begins at 6:30, and the stores downtown stay open until 9pm with special sales. I'll be at a friend's new art gallery, and the weather should be better than last year's Big Freeze:) On Saturday, the kids can have breakfast with Santa; there are free carriage rides and entertainment; and down the street at the Bible Bookstore, a local children's author, Roseann Perry, will also be signing copies of HER new book. I've not met her; I'll be going down to meet her between 11:30 and noon.

And Sunday begins Operation Clean-Up, as we are hosting Thanksgiving. K's girlfriend and her family will be here, as will my 'other' daughter and her family, and my friend J and her hubby. I also have to deep clean the car seats and stroller, since the new arrival will be here in a month. Plus, we always have 'strays' who wander in an out, knowing they will be well fed at Aunt Molly's.

Have a great weekend, and I'll be back on Monday!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


NaNo Word Count: 8962. And with next week's massive Operation Clean-Up, I don't see myself attaining that 50K needed to 'win' NaNo. Note to self: Next year if I attempt this, move out of house if the SU (Spousal Unit) is home for the winter.

Currently Reading: Regina's Highland Beast. LOVE IT! Recommended Read:) Next up: Her Spanish Topaz.

And then the list reads:
Burn by Anne Rainey
First and Ten by Fran Lee (won this lsat week!)
Infidelity by Debbie Gould
Naughty Nooners Anthology (TEB various authors)

Otherwise, I'm coming up blank this morning. Off to update my word count on the NaNo site ( yes James; I'm finally heading over there! Put away that whip!) and figure out what the SU has planned. We DID find a 22 lb turkey yesterday; I think we still need to get a ham. And the verdict is in for the Puff Pastry Chocolate-Filled Christmas Trees: Yes! Make more!

The only change is, I'll slice them open while they're still warm. I only broke two, and of course, we had to sample a couple. So I have twenty tucked away, with some white-chocolate ones and cream cheese ones planned. I'll have to do at least two batches of all three kinds. I may also experiment with phyllo dough.

Anyone else doing any experimenting for Christmas presents?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More Proud Parent Moments

2009-2010 National Honor Society Members.
K is behind the table with the white shirt and tie.
Close up of my NHS member:)

Receiving his award from his principal.

Walking back to his seat, certificate in hand.

With his Dad at the reception following. He said to me, "Several of the guys and I realized we went through this just to make our mothers happy."
Mission accomplished!
Finally bought Debbie Gould's Infidelity and the TEB antho Naughty Nooners! Am adding them to the TBR pile.
Busy Day Ahead:
I'm doing some creative baking. Made puff pastry Christmas trees yesterday; today, I'm melting down some chocolate and injecting some into each. I'll let you know a) if it works and b) how it tastes! With finances tight, I'm trying to expand my usual cookie baking. Dinner tonight will be simple: Chicken and rice in the slow cooker:)
NaNo Word Count: I did manage to write yesterday, but I'll have to type it up first in order to get a word count. It equals about a page and a half, so I'm guessing at least 300??

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hands Off My Health Care!

What the hell is going on? New task force advises women to not have mammograms until age 50, and oh, you can skip the monthly self-exams? Whatever happened to 'Early Detection, Early Cure'?

The report went on to say the self-breast exams only caused unnecessary biopsies and in 19,000 cases, only one case of breast cancer was detected. From their financial point of view, this test is 'worthless'.

Try telling that to the one person who is now in remission. Go ahead; I dare you.

I'll admit, I've been a bit lax in the past three years. I had my borderline mammogram before the move, and while it wasn't the most pleasant X-ray I've ever had, I fully believe these are necessary to women's health. My doctor scolded me for skipping the one at age 41, and since I've still yet to schedule another, I can only imagine what he will say to me when he discovers I've now skipped three. In my defense, I do not have an OB-GYN down here. We started seeing a family doctor until we could move north again, but when I needed to see him last year, I inquired about the female side of the exam, and lo and behold, that's not his field.

I have no history of breast cancer in my family anywhere, but I did have a mild scare back in 1996, when a small lump was detected. An ultrasound revealed nothing. Two months later, it was back, and we discovered I'd done my SBE at the wrong week of the month; it was simply a reoccurring monthly thing.

(To those who know me, I looked down at my chest and shrugged. "Like it's not going to be any great loss if you have to chop it off!" Dr. S laughed and patted my shoulder. "Let's see what the films say...")

So yeah, if you're looking at the financial aspect, mammograms and biopsies are expensive. But if mine had turned out differently? I'm thankful the insurance company gave the green light for both the ultrasound AND my first mammogram ten years later!

NaNo Word Count: Total for two weeks: I'm just over the 8K mark:) Yeah, I'm well under the 25K where I should be, going in to week #3, but at least it's 8K more than I had last month! And given the fact my spouse has hindered my computer time, the fact I've written as much as I have is an accomplishment!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekend Photos

Son K and I were given the opportunity to attend the Purdue-Michigan State football game on Saturday. We arrived in our seats at Ross-Ade Stadium around 11 am; you can see Mackey Arena's round dome in the background, as well as the Neil Armstron building. Hopefully K will be attending here next year, and most of his classes will be in the Armstrong building.

Our seats were Section H, row 69, seats 113 and 114. NOT in the padded seats; we were sort of hoping those ticket holders would fail to show and we could sit in comfort???

11:30 am: Both teams doing pregame warm up. The fans are beginning to arrive.

The Purdue All American Marching Band has arrived:)

After high school, a few of my friends were once in this band; this is for any Purdue alumni who might be reading

Proof Purdue was winning at the half:)

Future Boilermaker K enjoying the game.

Purdue skyline from out seats

Final score: MSU 40; Purdue 37.

Myself, K and the Schroeders, who were amazed to find 'strange people' sitting in front of them, instead of their 'normal weekend people':) We enjoyed their friendliness throughout the game.

"Hail, hail to old Purdue, all hail to our old gold and black!
Hail, hail to old Purdue, our friendship may she never lack.
Ever grateful ever true, thus we raise our song anew,
Of the days we've spent with you all hail our own Purdue..."

Monday Mania
Woke up late; discovered the Colts managed to beat the Patriots after all, 35-34 (I think!) Being the superstitious sports fan, my Colts were down by 10 as I continued to watch, so I opted to take the kindergardener to bed and read him a story.
This morning, Roxie the cocker spaniel is acting listless; she began favoring her right front paw yesterday, and in the late afternoon was not acting 'right'. We're taking her to the vet at 2:30 to see what, if anything, is wrong. She didn't jump up to greet us at the door; she just lays under the kitchen table and only lifts her head when you speak to her. This is not the active dog who left here Friday night with S and returned yesterday morning!
Other than a vet run, it's been a typical Monday. Laundry, catching up on email, and a grocery run.
Found out I did not get invited to join the Examiner family, but thank you Tracy for the referral! Maybe next time.
I'm off to do a quick word count and get Roxie ready for her check up. Have a good day:)

Friday, November 13, 2009

See? It Takes A Meltdown

Currently Reading: Finished Elfin Blood and Blood Line. If you're a fan of paranormal, they're available at Noble Romance Publishing.

Next up: Regina's Highland Beast and Anne Rainey's Burn!

I don't have bad Friday the 13's; I have rough Thursday the 12's.

Yesterday I expressed my drooping morale and later in the day erupted on the family after a careless remark by my spouse.

They were speechless that Mom was feeling overburdened, but it got results: A more even distrubution of chores, plus the assurance that yes, Mom had already planned a massive, in-depth cleaning of the house the week of Thanksgiving. Three days, three and a half rooms. Shouldn't be too hard, and the critics relaxed.

Plus, I discovered the wise words of a dear friend, who reminded me that MOM duty comes before AUTHOR duty. Thanks Anny; I was having a selfish moment. And you helped me snap out of it.

Last night, I dropped in on blogtalk radio and got to hear Regina Carlysle's lovely Texas twang and chatted with her, Anne Rainey, and Kelley Nyrae via the chat room, plus others who stopped by. Great interview, ladies!

Oh. My. God!
You've got to be freaking kidding me! Last night on Survivor, Russell found the immunity idol? For the second time, with no clues? What are the odds of that? And did you see Dave's jaw drop when Russell revealed it right before the votes were tallied?

In the previews for next week, Laura and Dave are following Russell like a hawk. I don't blame them; in order to vote him out, they can't leave him alone for a second, on the chance he'll find it a third time!

Heading North Tomorrow!
K and I have tickets to the Purdue football game tomorrow, so we're leaving tonight and spending the night at Grandma and Grandpa's. We're hoping Grandpa drops us off in front of the stadium and will return for us, so we don't have to fight the parking/traffic.

K has also completed his interview and begun his community service. He should be turning in his paperwork to the Eagle Review Board no later than Nov 30th.

More Disappointment:
I received an email from Midwest Writers, inviting me to the Author's Showcase again in Muncie the weekend of Dec 4th and 5th. I told the spouse whose reaction was 'How are you going to get there?' (That's the week we might not have any income, due to his filing for the unemployment extension.)

I guess I won't be going, after all. Unless a miracle arrives in either email or snail mail form.

On A Good Note:
I did get an offer to join the Examiner family, and I'm nearly finished with the application. Wish me luck? My friend Tracy referred me; she writes for the Chicago Paranormal. I'd be representing Indiana, obviously!

Have a good day and I'll be back on Monday. Maybe this weekend getaway will help my outlook on life!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Trying To Stay Positive

I'm normally an upbeat person. However, circumstances the last year has started to take its toll on me.

First there's the economic situation. 2007 was fantastic; my spouse worked from March until after Christmas. In 2008, he chose to not sign out of the Hall until late May, and while the summer months were tense, he did end up on a job he loved, and worked until Christmas. This year, he's only worked maybe twelve weeks.

The cut-off for a family of 5 to qualify for a middle school child's application to the 21st Scholorship is $47K. We over-qualified in 2007 by $5K, and just $200 over last year. This year, had the child been born in 1995 instead of '04, her college tuition would have been assured.

Secondly, there's my chosen profession. In 2007, I was able to attend a writer's conference and published my 2nd book. In 2008, I worked hard, both at writing and the promotion trail, and managed to out-sell the first book. I also received my first e-contract.

I began 2009 with high hopes; I signed the contract, worked hard on the edits, and rode the tidal wave of early publicity/promotion/sales. Sent off my next manuscript and waited.

I'm still waiting. Now granted, this ms is forty pages longer than the first one, but my emails are going unanswered. I don't want to badger the publisher, but I wish she'd let me know what chapter she was on, or at least her initial impressions!

And I'll admit; I'm not a 'favored author'; there are more authors in the paranormal genre than contemporary, and these are 'hot' right now. I'm also facing pressure from an angry spouse who insists 'you don't spend two weeks at #3 on the Best Seller's List and not make any money!' Apparently you can....and nothing I tell him seems to pacify him.

Remember: This is also the man who gripes about any money I spend toward promotion, or the time I take in order to further my sales. When I worked over the summer, he complained about my hours! I wish he'd make up his mind: Does he want me home, or making money? Apparently he wants both. Actually, he wants Rosie the Robot!

Then there's my health. I want to visit MY doctor, the one who knows my body's idiosyncrasies over the past 18 years, and who I trust. I don't want to have to train another doctor that I do know what I'm talking about when I say I have a sinus infection, even though the only sign is pain behind my right eye. Or that for the past 5 years my system has been screwed up and entering menapaus has thrown it entirely out of whack. And living on Advil for two weeks is definitely NOT normal. And neither is explaining to an already money-stressed household as to why certain feminine items are needed, when in previous years, one trip per month sufficed?
Besides, the spouse has regularly griped the docs in this town 'still practice medicine with beads and rattles!' If it's perfectly OK for him to still visit his cardiologist twice a year instead of getting a new one, why can't I see my OB-GYN once a year? Oh wait...his is life-threatening. How silly of me.

The stress is even affecting my friendships. I have one which has suffered because the other person is fed up with my spouse's attitude. Two others are suffering because the spouse can't stand them and refuses to pass along messages or even answer the phone if they call. I sit down to chat, or attend my weekly writer's group, and he suddenly is incapable of putting a nighttime pull-up on our youngest. Or suddenly feels the need to talk to me, and it absolutely cannot wait one more minute, even though he's not said a word to me in the past two hours!

Forgive the rant; usually when this happens, and I 'blow up' at Life, good news comes. If it does, I'll post it. In the meantime, check out the Writer's Evo blog for what life is like on the high side. I'm experiencing the down side at the moment. Or if you want to see me in a better mood, check out Kenzie's post on the same subject:)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's Wednesday?

That's what I get for being less than chipper the past few days!

A friend and I were comparing NaNo stats, and he's ahead of me at the 4K mark. My last count has me at the 1600 mark. He thought I meant 16K! Sorry J...I have some serious catching up to do.

Another friend treated me to the play 'Lord of the Flies', put on by the National Players at our local college. I've not read the book or seen the movie, but sort of knew the basic plot. Now having seen the play, I want to read the book!

For a more interesting topic, click here for insights on a writer's life. I think you'll find it fascinating! I'm off to write and get that word count up. Have a great day, and hug or thank a veteran today!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Latest Book Releases!

Several friends have new books releasing today! Congrats to Cindy Spencer Pape, Anny Cook, Regina Carlysle, Fran Lee, Taylor Tryst, Tessie Bradford, and Paris Brandon!

I've not read Tessie or Paris' work, or even Fran's yet, but I'm a definite fan of the other authors in the Carnal Reunions series, available today at !

Not much to say today; I've been slightly under the weather the past two days.

And I just realized I never finished the CBS Early Show Time Machine. So let's go back to 1967:
-Cast of Hair
-Beatles "Sgt. Pepper' released
-Thurgood Marshall appointed to the Supreme Court
-Vietnam protests
-"Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" movie and legalizing interracial marriages
-"The Graduate"
-Miniskirts and Twiggy
-Pop Tarts!

I was only turning 2 in 1067, but I still looooove Pop Tarts, especially the chocolate fudge and chocolate-frosted vanilla cream ones! Not a fan of the fuit ones.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Snapshot

"I'm Spiderman!"

'Spiderman', 'Vampira', and a dark Angel going out to scare the neighbors!

My friend M 'Alice' and her daughter C:)

Our house. Can you see our 'Dead Jose Jalapeno on a schteeeeek', lol? He still scared a few kids!

After Halloween was over, 'Spiderman' proved to still be among us!

Thursday night.

J lettered in football....

....and so did K! Darn camera batteries were low; I didn't get the shots I wanted!

The American Legion Football Scholorship goes to JP Hammond, #27!

And finally, my booth this past weekend. No sales, but I did meet three people who want to know more about getting their work published! Two write children's books and poetry; the other self-pubbed her first book through AuthorHouse, but didn't do anything with her second. It has languished on her computer for the past five years, but for whatever reason this past week, she's had the urge to look it over. I invited her to our Writer's Guild on Tuesdays and encouraged her to bring both. I hope she does!

Looking Ahead:
Tomorrow, I'm taking S to the orthopedic dr. We received a phone call from her PE teacher; apparently she's not been dressing for gym and is failing this six-week grading period. When we questioned her, she claims her knee continues to bother her, and even the prescription pain medicine hasn't taken the pain away. Let's hope the answer will be revealed soon, and that our health insurance can cover it!

K said to me earlier, "Mom, I'm going to skip weight training this week in order to finish up that merit badge and start my community service..."

He has 28 days to finish a report; interview someone concerning the issue; and complete 8 hours of community service (he's chosen the local animal shelter and has to have an adult supervisor). We've only been nagging him about this since September...

Oh, and he also asked me on Friday if he could take his girlfriend to both the New Year's Ball and to Prom in May!

"Only when you complete your Eagle rank..."

(Rubs hands together gleefully) Bribery still works on a HS senior!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fabulous Friday

The weather is beautiful! No frost this morning, and we're heading for a high in the 60's, with 70 temps expected by Sunday or Monday!

The Great Printer Hunt
What IS it with me and electronics? All I want to do is print out three sheets of promo labels. I downloaded the template, as my Word program didn't have the right one. I put my info into the template and saved it, both to the hard drive and to my flash. Everything is fine.

I go to Office Max. What? The labels are wrong for your printers? That's okay; I have friends with printers, as mine isn't arriving until next month.

Friends #1-3: Printers are old and not working at the moment.

Friend #4: It printed fine, until I looked at it. There are little 00's and the format is off (something I apparently didn't notice when I hit 'print'); fine, I fix it and hit 'print' again. Nope; same problem. I fix it again and hit 'save', then 'print'. Darn thing goes back to orginal! And then I notice 'wordpad' at the top. Guess what? Their PC isn't Vista. I unplug my flash and go home.

Friend #5: Paper feed is busted. They've tried feeding it manually, but it still refuses to work.

Friend #6: Printer out of ink.

Friend #7: Yes, they have Vista and yes, the printer works. Come on over! I hustle over...but for what ever reason, her laptop refuses to open the file I emailed to myself, in the event the file on the flash is now damaged, due to the non-Vista PC. She doesn't have Word, so we try opening it in Works. It saves it to her computer, but when you click on it, a window pops up the the file 'Can't be found'. I feel like that stupid saying a week or so ago; I'm yelling at the thing, "It's saved on your hard drive! What do you mean, you can't FIND IT???"

I give up and come home; it's time to attend sports banquet.

What happens when my son is awarded his letter? My camera batteries are low and I end up cutting off half his head. AAAACCCCKKKK!!!!

We come home, and I sit down at the computer. Earlier, I'd frantically emailed my crit partners.

Friend #8: "Sorry; printer's not working. Sorry!"

So today, I'm on a quest for a printer that will work with me. I have a few other people I've not tried, including throwing myself on the mercy of a few businesses in town, even the library. Surely SOMEONE can print it out for me? Otherwise, I'll be reduced to hand-lettering 180 labels. And my hand-printing is barely legible, let alone onto a label which is 2/3" x 1 3/4"!

Why am I banging in my head in frustration over this? A new promo idea, for the Vendor Blender and Santa Stroll this month. The Vendor Blender is tonight and tomorrow; there are 35 vendors setting up at the 4-H building in Washington, IN tonight from 4-8:30 and tomorrow from 9-3. The Santa Stroll is the 20th and 21st in our downtown area. I'll be at the Open Art Gallery from 5-9 on the 20th and 10am-6pm on the 21st. Bookmarks are getting expensive, so I'm trying the label-on-the-Smartie route. Call me strange, but I still have the Smartie wrapper from the winner of the Chili Cookoff in September!

CBS Time Travel: Yesterday, 1954:
-Year my spouse was born!
-Transister radio
-Nuclear-powered submarine
-Brown vs Board of Education
-Senator McCarthy's Communism Witch Hunt
-Marilyn Monrow
-Miss America televised
-The Platters, Elvis
-I Love Lucy
-TV Dinners

I wasn't born yet; nor were my parents even close to knowing each other! They were only 11 and 12. However, thanks to radio, I love 'Only You' and 'The Great Pretender' by the Platters (did they also do 'It's Twightlight Time'??), and nearly everyone knows Elvis and I Love Lucy!

To-Do List:
-Aforementioned Great Printer Hunt
-Picking up my bookmarks
-Signing tonight (I also need to locate one or two tablecloths)

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thrifty Thursday

NaNo Word Count: Did pretty well yesterday; 550 words, all in longhand. to type it up...

Why Thrifty? I'd forgotten the Sports Banquet was tonight. That means I don't have to provide a meal for three of us, heh heh heh...Yup, S and W can eat leftovers tonight!

Update on Tuesday's Dilemma:
Unfortunately, the father showed up with the police yesterday, and was allowed to take his daughter. DCS never showed, but did schedule a visit in order to do the foster-care application inspection (they'd applied for this long before the son and granddaughter arrived!). The mother is en route from Tennessee in order to go to court so the grandmother can be given custody of the child.

I'm furious. They were supposed to do an emergency intervention, and royally dropped the ball, IMHO! When I left Tuesday night, I was under the impression that if the father showed up, the police were to be called in order to arrest him for the theft of the pain meds. Does NOBODY care about this child? She's now in a house with a negligable parent; a 40-something woman who's also been caught stealing narcotics, and who can't control her own teenagers. Scrap that; she can't control one of her teens, and gives full permission for her 14-year-old to sleep with her 17-yr-old boyfriend. Fine upstanding environment for a toddler...what the hell is wrong with our system?

CBS Time Machine: Yesterday, 1983:
-Knots Landing cast
-Pointer Sisters
-Boom Boxes
-Michael Jackson's Thriller Album
-Cabbage Patch Kids
-My Little Pony
-MASH Finale
-President Reagan and observation of Martin Luther King Jr Day
-Swatch watches
-Strawberry Shortcake
-Sally Ride becoming the first female astronaut
-Simon and Trivial Pursuit

I never was a fan of Knots Landing; I did love the Pointer Sisters "Jump For My Love", "Slow Hand", "I'm So Excited", and "He's So Shy"; I was watching the Grammy's when MJ performed "Billie Jean" and did his moonwalk; we also eagerly watched the "Making of Thriller", the hour-long documentary on behind-the-scenes look at how the music video "Thriller" came to be. My sister and I wished for cable television, so we could watch MTV.

One of my English Class assignments was a paper about the MASH finale. I still have it somewhere. One of the ironic things I remember the most was that Klinger spent the entire series trying to get OUT of the army, and home to Toledo; in the finale, he'd married a Korean woman and was now staying in Korea, to look for her family (I think was the may have been for something else).

Mom would NOT let us rip our perfectly good sweatshirts. We did sing the song 'What a Feelin' whenever it came on the radio; we were not old enough to see the movie (I think it was rated R; if it wasn't, then Mom refused to let us see it). My sis had the Cabbage Patch Kid and the Swatch Watch. In college, my roommate had one of those boom boxes, and we thought we were 'cool' when we carried it around, blasting either Van Halen's "1984" or Olivia Newton-John's 'Totally Hot" cassettes!

My grandmother had bought the new electronic game Simon, and my sis and I spent many happy moments testing our memory. Trivial Pursuit remains my all-time favorite game (although my kids smoked me on the 90's version!) and I proved best at the science and geography categories. In 1997, a friend and I entered a game-in-progress late, and with our very first turn, answered every single question correctly; had our six pieces of the 'pie', and were headed back to the center. Our second turn, we won the game. No one would play with the two of us as partners after that...

1983 was also the year I had the tickets to go see Styx in concert, 1st balcony, 1st row, in my hand, and my mother made me give them back, because the concert was the same day as my sister's birthday. I finally got to see them in 1996.

To-Do List for Today:
-Writing (duh!)
-Ordering my promo labels for the Smarties
-K's Sports Banquet
-Survivor Night! Tonight they merge...what hell will (Evil) Russell drag the others in to now?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Weird Wednesday

NaNo Word Count: 500 yesterday! It would have been more, had I been able to attend crit group. Maybe I'll do better today and add another 200 words? We'll see:)

Saw on the news this morning the medical profession is encouraging people who wake up in the morning 'not feeling well' to stay home. They may or may not have H1N1, but why take a chance? There is also the financial factor: You go to work and don't do your best. You also infect your co-workers, who in turn go home and infect their families, or even clients.

But say you can't afford to stay home? No sick leave? Simply negotiate with your employer.

Yeah, right. Like that REALLY works. You call in one too many times ( and you'll find yourself out of a job.

So no job vs working sick and spreading the germs. Which do you choose?

Ever since I can remember, I've dreamed of working at home. No having to get up at the ungodly hour of 6am; not having to drive in snow and ice or even cold temperatures.

(record scratch) Wait...I work from home and I still get up at 6, and yes, I have to drive kids to school in freezing temps!

But...I don't have to interact with anyone if I don't choose to, other than via phone or email. And, oh wait...I don't get paid either, unless you count the occassional royalty check in the mail. I get paid in hugs and 'I love you's".

And On That Note...
Parenting is a responsibility. Where do some people get off treating their kids as if they OWN them, instead of having to CARE for them?

If you're single and choose to destroy your life with drugs, alcohol, and unhealthy relationships, by all means, go ahead. But if you have kids, GROW UP!

I made an emergency trip last night to help a friend who is fighting for her granddaughter's right to grow up in a safe environment. The mother is on meth; the father gained custody to get his infant daughter out of harm's way. BUT...he's fallen under the charms of a predatory female, who has him drinking again; stealing his mother's pain meds; and not spending any time with his daughter. Oh, and this woman also withdrew her own daughter from school, in order to 'home school' the child, who now spends the majority of her time at her boyfriend's house, in order to stay away from a brother who regularly beats her up. This is a fourteen-year-old child who was making straight A's and B's, who, if the authorities don't intervene in time (they were called yesterday), will become another unwed, uneducated teenage mother. The brother was removed from the home, but given to the grandparents, who allowed him to get drunk!

I'm waiting for news of what will happen today. We packed up the father's possessions and put them in his car, finding proof of his theft as we did so. He wasn't smart enough to hide the bottles or labels. DCS will assess the situation and hopefully it will be proven that the father is unfit, and the child given into her grandparents' care. She's a sweet child, who six weeks ago, thought Cheeto's were an acceptable meal; wore size 9 month clothing (she's now 13 months old); and barely walked or talked (I'll concede this final point is age-appropriate!). She has gained weight; grown 3 shoe sizes; wears a 2T clothing; and is enjoying the educational benefits of PBS Kids. In short, she's blossomed under Grandma's care. Dad showed up drunk for a job interview two weeks ago, and in an unrelated incident, scared my daughter when she arrived for a visit. S doesn't scare that easily, so for her to call me and request to come home early is huge.

Bottom line: If you have kids, raise them responsibly. Care for them. Love them. But don't let your own selfish desires take precedence over your kids' welfare. You can go back to destroying your body once they've attained adulthood.

CBS Timeline: 1990!
-Vanilla Ice "Ice Ice Baby"
-Murphy Brown
-Gameboy was introduced
-Madonna's 'documentary'
-Saddam Hussain invaded Kuwait
-Hubble Telescope launched
-President George Bush's declared hatred of brocolli (kids everywhere cheered!)
-Nelson Mandela released from prison
-Assisted suicides by Jack Kevorkian
-Death of Ryan White
-Home Alone, Ghost, Pretty Woman
-Infamous Milli Vanilli losing their Grammy Award for lip-synching
-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I was enjoying my first year as an adult, but 1990 was traumatic on a personal level. I had gotten trapped in an emotionally abusive relationship, and broke my engagement, but couldn't get him to stop leaving my alone. It literally took me giving up my job and apartment for him to 'get it'. I vaguely remember the invasion of Kuwait; I remember laughing at the absurdity of spending all that money on a telescope which was now near-sighted; and since I lived ten minutes from Ryan White's house, his death was the newsmaker which had the most impact on me. I didn't know him, but I'd been by his home, and knew those who DID know him.

I still have my cassette tape of the TMNT singing 'Comin' Out Of Our Shells', a collection of songs Pizza Hut offered as a promotional item. In fact, I found it on YouTube; punch in TMNT Pizza Power, and you can find several songs, including more of my faves, 'Sing About It', 'Count On Us', 'Walk Straight', 'No Treaties', and 'April's Ballad'.

Since I still can't seem to copy/paste, here's the URL:

(I hope it works! If it does, Enjoy!)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesday's Tidbits

Currently Reading: Still on Elfin Blood. Didn't get a chance to read yesterday. Too busy.

NaNo Update: Word Count for yesterday, 300. Not bad, considering everythng on my chore list:)

Panic Attack: I cannot find my old return address labels! Did I throw them away, after all? I was planning to attach them to the Smarties I bought for my upcoming signing. I'll either have to buy the Avery ones and find someone willing to print them for me (bribery??) or try Office Max's prices. The good news about my rummaging? I found the rest of Barb's sticky notes!

Also learned something amusing: I called one of the other vendors about the directions to Eastside Park, and apparently someone had Googled me, but emailed the wrong author Molly Daniels! Afterwards, I Googled myself, and still came up #2, 5, and 9 on the first page. I'll be sure to pass around my business card this weekend! I've never been to this venue before, or spent a great deal of time in the town. Lots of new people to meet:) So if anyone happens to be in Washington, IN and knows where Eastside Park is, we'll be in the new 4-H building. Need directions? Email me and I'll give you the same directions I've been given. Let's hope they are accurate!

CBS Time Machine: This entire week, the Early Show is 'going back in time'. Yesterday was 1979:
-The Sony Walkman
-Dallas cliffhanger: Who Shot JR?
-Bee Gees, Blondie, Gloria Gaynor
-Star Wars
-Mean Joe Green's Coke commercial
-Charlie Daniels' "Devil Went Down To Georgia" song

Amazing. An MP3 player can fit into the cassette display of the Walkman, and holds more data than the Apple II computer, also debuting that year! And my kids were amazed when I showed them the 'awesome graphics' of Space Invaders. My parents bought us an Atari and we were thrilled with the black and white graphics and sound effects as we destroyed aliens, helped Pac-Man gobble dots and avoid the ghosts. We also played ping-pong with little 'paddles'; helped little balls break through three or four layers of a multi-colored 'ceiling' (once you broke through, another ball would appear, making it more challenging!); and navigated a 'car' through a night time race course. The spouse and I were reminiscing about these early games; the teens rolled their eyes.

Through A Child's Eyes:
K went north Sunday to attend a Confirmation Meeting (he's sponsering one of his friends) and brought back the two car seats for Sam, as well as five other boxes. Two of the boxes contain our Disney VHS tapes. S and W opened them; W promptly exclaims, "I've been wondering where that movie was!"

S rolled her eyes and laughed. "You don't even REMEMBER these!" She popped in Lady and The Tramp 2 and later, Spirit. Apparently, W was rather impatient when LATT 2 had to be rewound. "Play the movie!"

"This isn't like the discs; I can't just hit Menu!"

Educating a five-year-old on why VHS tapes are different from DVDs....

Today on the To-Do List:
-Writing...I came up with another good idea for an abandoned wip's character
-Going to Office Max to inquire about cost of labels for Smarties and order bookmarks
-Beef Stroganoff for dinner
-Laptop Society/NaNo Write-In meeting

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mad Monday

Currently Reading: LOVED Ashley Ladd's Recipe For Disaster! Another Recommened Read! Next up: Elfin Blood, by Gracen Miller. I've already read a few chapters and I'm not crazy about Nobel Romance's chapter breaks. I'm finding it slightly distracting. If you're a fan of paranormal romances featuring elves and vampires, give it a try:) I'm going to read a few more chapters when I meet my daily word count goals.

November Reading Schedule:
-Elfin Blood
-Blood Line
-Highland Beast
-Spanish Topaz

If finances are good, here's the rest of the month's buying schedule:
Nov 9:
-Infidelity by Debbie Gould

Nov 16:
-Naughty Nooners by Dakota Rebel, et al

Nov 23:
-Unexpected Mr. Right by Kelley Nyrae

I'm off to a slow start. Yesterday, the SyFy channel hijacked my attention by running the original V all day. Why was I so captivated? We own the DVD. Weeeelllllll, okay. We have HALF of the movie, found in the discount bin about ten years ago. And I was outraged when it stopped 'halfway through'!

"Flip the disc over, mom..." Nah...that wasn't even 'The End'! Where was Robin giving birth? The grand finale?

So yesterday, I noshed on Smarties, $1000 Grand bars, and what leftover Three Musketeers and Snickers were left in the bowl, and vegged out to one of the few sci-fi movies I can stand. And my kids finally got to see what Mom was moaning about every time we get the urge to watch our DVD: It wasn't COMPLETE!

Yeah, it seems hokey now, with the 'special effects', obvious plot errors, and crappy dialogue. But as a teenager, I loved it. As an adult, I can appreciate the basic storyline and jokingly speculated the 'New V' series will be about Diana's daughter, coming back to finish what her mother started?? Will Elizabeth be the one who saves the day again? I think we have plans to DVR the pilot on Tuesday; if and when I watch it still remains to be seen. It interferes with my 90210 and spouse's NCIS.

To-Do List:
-Laundry (and trip to grocery store)
-Proofread K's term paper ("Pleeeeeaaase Mom?????" How can I possibly refuse that, lol?)\
-Devote 2 hours to my NaNo wip
-Pork Steaks for dinner

Okay; time for me to get off line; throw another load in the washer; eat lunch; get cracking on the word count (and the proofreading)! I'll check in again later.