Monday, October 31, 2005

Count Down to Blast Off!

I'm ready.

No, I'm not.

Regardless of which of the above statments is true, NaNoWriMo begins in a matter of hours.

I formatted my page -- I have eye strain problems from staring at the computer, and a wise friend (thanks Pam!) suggested I write with white font on a black background. It helps.

I typed my book title on the first black page (I can do that much, right?) and saved the document under it's working title:

Isn't She Liv Leigh?

Kinda catchy, huh?

I researched strange Guiness World Records this morning and found some that will work (don't ask... you can read about it when it's published), plotted some more, contemplated the fact that this is the first heroine I've ever written about that was more girl than tomboy, and wondered if that was somehow significant. To what, I have no idea.

Tomorrow morning, bright and early (NO, I am not staying up until midnight to begin writing -- with this blasted time change, I'm in bed by eight) I get to write.


I'm telling you what... I may force this kind of build up to every future WIP. I'm so excited to start writing on this book I may end up peeing my pants (or jammies, as the case may be) tomorrow morning.

I can't wait. Keep an eye on the word tracker at the bottom of the right hand column and watch it grow... man, oh man, I better hit 50,000 or I'm going to find a hole and crawl inside come December 1st.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

It's a Love / Hate Thing

Charity, despite her vitriolic response to NaNoWriMo participation, is still a friend whose blog I read regularly. Her last entry is all about "The Name Game", a fun activity that I had to steal.

Actually, I did this fairly recently with "Marianne Needs", but swiped Charity's new verbs to see what would come up in Google:

Marianne hates the sea and wants to go dance in the town.

Right on both counts. Though I love the sound of the ocean, I get horribly sea sick. I happen to love to dance, and would adore an invitation to the ball.

Marianne hates rejection.

But Marianne is a writer, and so must become accustomed to it.

Marianne hates the destructive effects of violence, and gets upset about events like plane crashes and terrorism.

Well. Duh.

Marianne hates the smell of creosote smoke almost as much as the goblins'.

And I can't seem to get rid of those blasted goblins, no matter what I try.

On the flip side, nothing seemed to work:

Marianne loves to Look at the life-size and half-life-size watercolor illustrations of all kinds of shells.

Uh, nooooo....

Marianne loves and marries Brandon.

Just don't tell my husband (extra points if you know what book this comes from).

Marianne loves the rock(music, not the wrestling dude) and to skateboard.

Actually, Marianne loves country and dancing.

Marianne loves to play the piano and her brother is looking into purchasing a new one for the home.

Gee, and Google blew the surprise.

Anyone else up for the fun? C'mon, I only have two more days until NaNo and then I won't be able to waste time on this kind of stuff.

Bailey Update

Just in case you were lying awake, wondering how my dog was feeling, I thought I'd post this update.

She is able to get up and around today. It seems that only her front leg is bothering her this morning. Yesterday, both front and back right legs were lame, so she couldn't stand (since they were on the same side).

She is able to gimp around much better today, and it's clear that she's feeling better because she doesn't just lie in the middle of the floor and bark to get us to come pat her. She actually limps over to us instead.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Dog Groomers...

I took my dog to the groomer yesterday. Not a huge event, though I only do it twice a year and handle the in-between times myself. She has arthritis, and typically can't walk well for a couple days after being groomed.

This morning, she can't even stand. So, yes, I feel guilty as heck... but that's another story.

What prompted me to write this morning were two "huh?" episodes yesterday. The groomer where I take Bailey is about 45 minutes away in Nashua, NH. It takes a few hours for her grooming, so I decided to kill some time at the nearby mall which has a really cool, two story Target with an escalator thingy that will take your cart up and down, too. My daughter, who loves escalators anyway (it's a bit like a ride at the fair for her), thinks that's just amazing.

So, we played on the escalator and the elevator a little, then I remembered I needed cold medicine for her, so I grabbed a box and checked out.

The cashier carded me. Picture me puzzled. I asked her why? Well, for the cold medicine, of course. You know -- the medicine I'm going to give to my six-year-old daughter. She can't buy it, but she can drink it.

This was very strange. I did some research, and discovered you can use it for drug manufacturing or some-such, and I suppose if you drank twenty bottles, you could get a bit of a buzz right before you threw up ... but I still think that's a little extreme.

Maybe that's just me.

The other odd thing happened on the way home. My mom is in need of a new vehicle (new to her, anyhow) and a guy in Nashua had one for sale in her price range, so we decided to swing by. He said it was parked in a business lot and gave us the name - I'll call it "Jane Doe's". I saw the sign and pulled in, noticing the rest of the business name in smaller print: Psychic Studio.


The car's fenders were completely rusted -- no way Mom would be buying it.

Shouldn't he have known that? Sheesh, he could have saved us the trip...

Anyway, I'm facing a day of possible snowshowers and a dog that can't stand up. She's not a little dog, folks, and weighs about 85 lbs. How the heck is she going to pee?

I'm a bad mom... guess I should have let her stay dirty.

My writing? It's going well enough. I have the first few chapters of my NaNo book outlined and am counting on getting about half of my words done in the first week, so when I hit the wall I have more time to work out the kinks.

Man, I'm totally insane to try this.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Oh Rats!

For those of you who get the heebie-jeebies when you think about rats (that includes YOU, Ms. Judge of my last contest), clearly I am not the only person who loved her pet rat -- Check out this article about the Pet Depot.

Even now, I wish I could have a pet rat again... but hubby says "no rodents". *sigh* The sacrifices you make when you marry.

I have a cuter pet in my NaNoWriMo book: a ferret. I think I'm naming him "Rett", but that's still a work in progress.

In my first book (as an adult), the pet was a dog (well, several, actually). *YAWN* While I may do dogs again, and actually have one in Camilla, I think that the ordinary (dog) will always have to be balanced by the out-of-ordinary (rats, ferrets... chickens, or whatever). Everyone has cats and dogs.

Hmmm... I'm going to have to make a list of unusual pets... think, think: chinchillas? Bearded dragons? .... *scribble, scribble*

Thursday, October 27, 2005

My Teenage Heart Goes Pitty-Pat

A friend of mine from way back (let's see... we met in October of's October 2005...counting on fingers...mutter...mutter... carry the -- We've known each other for TWENTY-FIVE YEARS. How is that possible when I'm only 16?) emailed me the other day and mentioned that (ka-thump, ka-thump) Rick Springfield was returning to General Hospital!

I was so in love with Rick. He was my first concert when I was sixteen (I still remember what I wore: peg-legged, acid washed jeans, pink blouse and my pink/blue/yellow striped leg warmers... I was stylin'). I bought all his albums (even went back in time and got "Beginnings", "Comic Book Heroes" and "Wait for Night" ... none of which are available on CD except "Comic Book Heroes" and it's going for $75! Holy Smokes!)

On a side note, I worked on the outline for my NaNoWriMo book this morning and fleshed Liv and Mike out a bit more. But now I'm wondering if I can give her some kind of old teenaged crush, and then fashion her wayward fiance after that person to give her an additional reason why she's so fixated on the loser... come to think of it, my last serious boyfriend prior to my husband looked an awful lot like Rick Springfield... huh...

Guess I'll be setting the old TiVo to General Hospital on December 2nd, just for old times sake.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

New Hampshire: Live, Freeze and Cry

The New Hampshire state motto is one of the coolest, IMHO:

Live Free or Die

Still, there is one thing greatly on my mind right now as I sit shivering in my basement.

I was born and raised in California. I like the sun. I like the warmth. I like that it only snowed in my hometown once every twenty years or so. Incidentally, I am not blond or tan, and I don't know (insert name of famous actor here).

Several years ago, it seemed like a wise thing to relocate to Colorado. That, in and of itself, wasn't probably a bad thing. But then, I met the man who would become my husband. A few years later, I got pregnant. It seemed like a good thing to raise our child amongst family, and since my family is spread all over the USofA, we opted to move to New Hampshire where his family has put down roots so deep, there ain't no movin' 'em. Ever.

What I didn't realize before I moved here is that the winter here is SIX FRIGGIN' MONTHS LONG. Yeah, yeah, there are four seasons.

Spring = May & June.
Summer=July & August
Fall = September & October
Winter= November through April.

It's COLD here. And wet. And soon it will be snowing. The snow STICKS here -- for months, and months, and months.

So, when I saw this bumper sticker the other day (after once again threatening my husband that I was moving away for the next six months to Arizona), I claimed it as my own:

New Hampshire: Live, Freeze and Cry.

Amen, Sister.

Monday, October 24, 2005

NaNo and Writing

I can't write a word lately. I blame it all on NaNoWriMo. Because I can't start writing on my new novel until November 1st, it has somehow morphed my brain into thinking I can't WRITE until November 1st.

I do a lot of sitting at the computer. I've brainstormed some scenes for Liv's story and worked through character profiles. I've played TONS of Bounce Out (I admit, I'm addicted), I've caught up on my emails, have worked on catching up on my writing group posts (it doesn't help that WVU was down for four days).

But writing?

Nada. I haven't even been able to write something original on this blog (hence the plethora of quizzes lately).

Please let November 1st get here soon.

Huh. I Should Be a Novelist... Imagine That!

result 1
You're a Verbal Linguistic.
You're probably pretty good at expressing yourself. You love to read and write and sometimes wish you could become one with your books or pieces of writing. Your strong point in school was probably english. You should become a Writer of some kind, maybe a novelist or a news paper writer.

What Type of Intelligence do you have?
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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Well... No....

...but maybe I am at heart:

You Are 31 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Feeling a Little Cocky

I wonder if someone is trying to tell me something? First, a couple weeks ago, I selected a little amaryllis for my mom -- one that was just beginning to peek its head above the ground. She showed it to me... amazing how it's grown:

And then I was taking a trip through the Lillian Vernon catalog this morning (and, I have to say, they have some kinda cool stuff) when this item caught my eye:

Lastly, I popped over to Blogthings to mess around with some quizzes and opted for The Wacky Fortune Cookie Generator. It asked me if I felt lucky and I had to answer NO (I mean, did I win $350 million dollars in the Powerball???? UH Noooooooo....) and got this response:

Your Fortune Is

Man with hole in pocket feel cocky all day.

Do you see anything in common with these things or is it just me?? Is someone trying to tell me something??

Is This Good News or Bad News?

I was reading through my latest RWR (Romance Writers Report) yesterday, and came across the page on First Sales. I can't wait to see my name there, so I always enjoy reading the information about these newbies to publishing.

Then I got to the announcement of Kelly St. John's first sale: "Good Girls Don't". In the paragraph about her it says, in part:

... and has been writing romance for four years. "Good Girls Don't" was the 20th full-length manuscript she completed before selling.

The 20th full length manuscript?!?!?!? TWENTIETH?

I mean, congratulations Kelly, really... but WOW are you ever perseverance in action.



I'm only on #3...

...the 20th...

mutter, mutter, mutter

Friday, October 21, 2005

Now I Know I'm Getting Old...

Mary mentioned on her blog today about a hottie from the TV show "Invasion". Haven't watched it, but had to know who she was talking about, so I went to IMDB to find a picture of "Russel" played by Eddie Cibrian. In his set of photos, I came across this one (I tried to upload it, but couldn't get it to save... sorry. But you gotta see it.), and couldn't understand why a picture of Shaun Cassidy (yes, that Shaun Cassidy) was in a group of photos from "Invasion". Guess what I found out? He CREATED the show!

In any case, I didn't recognize him -- would you?

I mean, really, compare to the good old days:

At least my one BIG crush (and, I admit, my very first concert) hasn't changed so much.



Well, okay, maybe he has changed a little bit (he's the guy on the right -- from an issue of Tiger Beat magazine in 1973):

Man... I'm getting old.

I'm still shocked, SHOCKED, that Shaun Cassidy created Invasion. Almost as shocked as I am by his appearance.


Planning for NaNo

I've been trying to prepare as best I can for the insanity that is NaNoWriMo. I'm thrilled that several of my writing buddies are joining me -- but was tickled pink when "edeevee" hopped on the wagon (Hi D! -waves).

There have been discussions in the WVU forum I set up at NaNo about preparations. I'm not an outlining kinda gal, so that isn't what I'm doing to prepare. I typically start a novel idea with characters and then figure out what their conflict is. I fill out character sheets and scene cards and brainstorm beginning and end -- and then pray that the middle will fill itself in over time and with some elbow grease.

Today, I checked out Paperback Writer's Blog. She invokes the NaNo name and talks about building characters (and for anyone in the middle of creating their characters, she has some fun ideas). At the beginning of this post, she linked back to an older blog where she refers to the three questions she asks her characters. I thought it was a fantastic set of questions -- simple, but complete.

They are: Who are you? What do you want? What's the worst thing that I can do to you?


Her entire blog has inspired me once again. I was beginning to get annoyed with the usual questions (Where were you born? Where did you go to school? What are the names of your siblings? What are you afraid of?).

A better question -- the question of all questions: What's the worst thing I can do to you.

Muh-ha-ha! Liv and Mike better run for cover... I AM GOD (ducks and looks around for lightning bolts).

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Oh Yeah...

My writing progress, you ask?

That would be pretty much nil. The computer downtime and crash really did a number on my forward impetus.

BUT, I am working on an outline, character sheets and scene ideas for my NaNoWriMo novel, so am doing something at least.

I still have half a dozen short stories out there, waiting for acceptance (I'm thinking positive), but won't hear on those until mid-November, earliest.

That's okay. A good part of writing it thinking. Right? And, let me tell you, I'm thinking.

Again, any funny ferret stories welcome. Come one, come all and have your ferret in a book!

I'm off to clean. I think I got my second wind. Thank heavens.


Today was a busy, busy day.

Breakfast and getting dressed and ready for the day.


Errands (LOTS of errands that were some distance apart from one another).

Tear down the veggie garden and dig up all the root crops (it's finally NOT raining here... well, it wasn't when I was outside, but did just start sprinkling).

I had the bright idea to move my daughters school room from the spare bedroom to a cubby behind the master bedroom (originally, it was supposed to be a reading nook for me, but instead became a place to pile stuff I didn't have any place for). In order to make this shift, I had to clear out all of the aforementioned "stuff". I figured that if I piled it on the bed I'd have to finish cleaning it today so I could sleep tonight.

I also wanted to clear off the desk behind my computer and straighten out the laundry room in the basement so I'd have someplace to hang my clothes to dry during the winter since I can't use my outdoor line.

Ain't gonna happen.

I am so freakin' pooped from digging potatoes and pulling out tomato cages, dead cucumber plants, pooper scooping, etc. that I have no energy left.

This is what I'm facing:

All the taters and carrots we dug up along with a last few cucs (not to mention the dirty dishes from this morning):

All the "stuff" from my nook that I put on the bed:

My messy second desk:

And the laundry room (some of this will be a breeze -- the bird feeder for the winter and all the stuff I've purchased to send to "my" soldier in Iraq -- but some of it's just crap I don't know what to do with, but don't want to get rid of):

Please understand, I'm a good housekeeper and my home is usually quite neat (just ask my friends who think I'm a lunatic about the house), so this is really, really bugging me.

If you have the formula for some spare energy, would you send it my way? Please?

I'm Too Busy Fighting Evil

Sorry for the dearth of original posts, but I'm far too busy fighting evil and chasing those who deserve punishment right now.


You are the Paladin, the ultimate warrior for God. The Paladin represents all that is good in the world. Paladins fight evil at all costs. They do not care for material pleasures of this world. They have sworn their lives away to protecting the innocent, avenging the victims of cruel murders, and chasing after those who deserve their punishments. The Paladin will do anything to fulfill their duties. They will even sacrifice themselves to save another.

Who would you be if you were a character in an epic fantasy?
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Monday, October 17, 2005

What Marianne Needs

I was bloghopping (yes, again... anything to put off trying to reconstruct all the different forms, charts, character sheets, etc that I lost this weekend) and saw this interesting blog challenge: Go to Google and type in your name and "needs" and list the five funniest things that show up. Since my brain is pretty much out of original thoughts right now, I thought I'd try this.


By far my favorite (just don't tell my husband):

The beautiful Marianne needs to be rescued. Marianne needs to marry a (fairly) wealthy man. It's not therapy Marianne needs but a dose of reality.

And, apparently this is all too true:

First, Marianne needs a new computer.

And, cripes! I hate getting tied up in knots, don't you?

Marianne needs some assistance getting in and out of her tight human knots!

Just in time for winter, I've discovered this little tidbit:

I can now report a scientific finding that's much more cheerful: Marianne needs at least 3 inches of snow to make doggy snow angels. She's not getting old, she was just somewhat snow-deficient.

And, well, everyone near and dear to me already knew this:

Marianne Needs Help

So, what about you?? Feel free to try this and share! I expect some funny comments, below, to help get me out of my "the *&^% computer lost all the stuff I need to live" funk that I'm currently slogging through.


Saturday, October 15, 2005


No, not the TV show and, frankly I don't understand why it's so popular. I lost interest after the second episode last year. But that's another story...

The "lost" I'm talking about is my computer hard drive and all its data.


Gone. All gone.

((funeral dirge here))

It was all just a series of errors which, if any one thing hadn't happened, all would have been well.

Hubby said "move everything over from C drive to D drive".

I heard "Cut and paste everything over from C drive to D drive" so I did.

He meant "Copy everything over from C drive to D drive" so that, later on when the new D drive malfunctioned he could reformat it and everything would still be happy and whole on the C drive.

This morning I said "I can't find the D drive on my computer with all my stuff... where'd it go?"

He said "I copied over your old hard drive (C drive) onto your new computer, your stuff is there"

I said "Uh, no, I moved everything over to the D drive like you told me"

He said "Then it's all gone" ((echo: gone, gone, gone....))

First I hyperventilated and nearly threw up (this conversation took place during breakfast -- food that I promptly ended up throwing away because I felt sure I would vomit if I ate another bite), then I ran downstairs to see if I could recover anything from posts to my critique group and I also checked the email account where I send myself my writing as backup. Backup I hadn't done for almost two months.

Good news? I still have the rough first draft of Playing House and Camilla.

Bad news? I have none of the edits, new chapters, contest entries, short stories, character sheets, the outline and character sketches I did for my NaNoWriMo story, my word counter excel worksheet, my submissions tracker and a few other things I can't remember now but certainly will once I need them. I also lost all of my email bookmarks -- this is really, really bad. I have hard-to-find sites that I needed for research on there.

There are days I really, really hate computers.

Leaving now to go curl up in the fetal position and wallow in my sadness.

Back later.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Fuzz Butt?

I'm preparing for NaNoWriMo, and my animal star this novel will be a ferret. He belongs to a pretty rough around the edges, blue collar guy who isn't likely to give him a sweet, meaningful name.

Since I am not a rough around the edges, blue collar guy, I'm wondering what an appropriate name for this ferret would be. My husband -- who IS a rough around the edges, blue collar guy who now has to dress in white collar clothes -- names everything by color or type (usually this is derogatory and typically abbreviations are used). My cat "Pogo" became "Orange", my sis-in-law's cats -- Tilly and Tubbs -- are RC1 and RC2 (stands for "rat cat one" and "rat cat two")... well, you get the idea.

Aside from calling the ferret "rat rat" which is what my hubby would probably call it, I'm stumped.

Fur Face?

Fuzz Butt?

Any ideas? Hey... send 'em along and I'll include you in the acknowledgments when the book is pubbed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Differences In Opinion...

I got my latest contest results back. Didn't final this time, but was ninth out of 42 entries, so don't feel too sad about it all.

What intrigued me was the incredible difference in scores I received. There have been discussions on one of my contest loops lately about judging - and how judges are still just people with opinions and likes and dislikes, and that all comes through when they read your story.

Clearly this happened with mine. A writing friend (Hi C!) warned me that my heroine's odd pet could be a deal breaker for some readers. Camilla has a pet rat named Maynard (along with two dogs) and this is probably high on the "eeewwww" factor for many people (especially women).

Two of my judges loved my writing and gave me really high scores and enthusiastic feedback.

The other? Pretty much hated it. Wrote "Oh Gross" where Maynard was introduced and told me that a heroine who wore lacy underwear and steel toed boots wasn't believable (especially since she let a rat "crawl all over her"). Compared her to Elly May Clampett.


This made me wonder if, on the off chance that Maynard would repulse potential editors or agents, I should change him into something a little cuter - a parakeet or even a hamster (which, honestly, are lousy pets).

But, you know, I think you need to write what's in your heart and in your head. It may take me forever to get published, and Camilla may never be... but, dang it, she owns a rat, wears lacy underwear and works knee deep in cow poop sometimes and that's the way it is.

Unbelievable? Considering that I've walked in Camilla's shoes - lacy underwear, poop, rats and all, I beg to differ.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


First, because it's all about me, Me, ME I'll say that I'm disappointed that I didn't final in the last contest I entered. I just saw a list of the finalists a couple days ago, and my name wasn't there... I have to admit, I checked a couple of times, just in case things had changed (LOL). Still, I'm hoping that the feedback will be worth my entry fee (it was one of the more expensive contests I've ever entered - shhh... don't tell hubby).

Second, I've been bloghopping (yeah, again) and took a peek at Larissa Ione's blog. For those of you who don't know, Larrisa was hit pretty hard by the hurricane - in fact there were a bunch of eBay auctions set up as a relief fund for her.


On her blog she indicates that the Red Cross has failed miserably in their relief efforts - at least where she is. She also linked to another blog, Writeminded, who indicated that (and I quote): "The Red Cross should expect donations from the people in Southeast Texas in the future when hell freezes over."

Very, very sad - especially considering that most relief fund drives (including little kids and their lemonade stands) were sent to the Red Cross. I commented on Larissa's blog - this is what I said (with some updates from this morning):

I won't donate to the Red Cross - ever (UPDATE: Check out This news article). Two reasons:

1. Their CEO gets WAY too much money (Salvation Army guy gets something like $35,000 a year - poverty wages). UPDATE: I just found documentation on charitible salaries on that indicates the head of the Red Cross earned $$651,957 as an annual income in 2004.

The head of the Salvation Army apparently makes only $13,000 a year. Who, of all my readers, could survive on an annual wage of $13,000? But he does it, and the SA is always right there in the trenches.

2. My grandfather served in WWI with the RAF - and said that when the soldiers got in from skirmishes or flying raids or whatever, and went to the Red Cross tent for coffee - they were charged for it. CHARGED. Un-freaking-believable.

I will NEVER give any money to the Red Cross. I only wish there was somewhere else to give my blood.

Monday, October 10, 2005



I took my daughter to ballet last week, and while the little ones were twirling about, the talk between mothers turned to chores.

I mentioned that I was surprised how many children earned high allowances and had no chores to perform. The ten year old kid down my street saved up for his dirt bike in a matter of months, and he doesn't lift a finger (unless it's to beat up on his little brother).

One mom said she agreed, and that her kids (aged 6 & 8) were expected to make their beds and clear their plates from the table every day.

I managed to keep my mouth shut... but I really wanted to utter some supremely sarcastic remark along the lines of, "Really? That much and every day? You slave driver."

But it got me to thinking about the chores I require my six-year-old daughter to perform, and whether I am a slave driver or expect too much from her.

Daily, she must: Make her bed, get dressed and brush her teeth (without help from me - shoulda seen what she was wearing today), clean her room (including under her bed and her closet) and dry the dishes and put them away.

Weekly chores (she gets one "special" chore each day that vary from week to week) include: Dusting the heater vents, wiping off the baseboards, scrubbing the potties (this is her personal fave - really), cleaning the bathroom counters, cleaning out her toy box and donating one toy to the Salvation Army, mopping the kitchen, and some other stuff I can't remember. She does one of these each day in addition to her daily chores.

She can earn extra money by doing other chores around the house to help.

She also works with me frequently to assist with cooking and helps with the pets by feeding and brushing them.

Last week she and I and my mom stacked three cords of wood - and, yes, my DD really helped. In the summer she also weeds, plants, rakes the lawn and helps scoop up doggy doo from the grass. I imagine that, come winter, she'll help shovel snow.

She doesn't complain, but then, she doesn't know any better.

Am I too rough? Or am I raising a child who will become a competent, able woman?

I am Gregg Shorthand... Who Knew?

I love these quizzes. I could take them all day...what I find eerie is how accurate most of them are. While I don't feel obsolete, most of the rest of this quiz response is right on.


It 's comforting to say that 'practice makes perfect'....
You are 'Gregg shorthand'. Originally designed to
enable people to write faster, it is also very
useful for writing things which one does not
want other people to read, inasmuch as almost
no one knows shorthand any more.

You know how important it is to do things
efficiently and on time. You also value your
privacy, and (unlike some people) you do not
pretend to be friends with just everyone; that
would be ridiculous. When you do make friends,
you take them seriously, and faithfully keep
what they confide in you to yourself.
Unfortunately, the work which you do (which is
very important, of course) sometimes keeps you
away from social activities, and you are often
lonely. Your problem is that Gregg shorthand
has been obsolete for a long time.

What obsolete skill are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, October 07, 2005

Computers, a Necessary Evil

So, yesterday I popped downstairs and tried logging in to my computer. While it was still doing its thing in DOS, it popped up with this error message:

Smart Disk has detected imminent hard disk drive failure. Please log in and back up all your files. Replace your hard drive immediately.

I'’m paraphrasing, but you get the idea: YOUR COMPUTER IS ABOUT TO IMPLODE! MAY DAY, MAY DAY!


The most frustrating thing about this is that my computer failed about a year ago - power pack or something (you'd have to check with my tech support aka Hubby) and I lost a ton of data.

Since then, I've learned. Mostly. I have no way to "back up" my data, but I do email myself my stories to a special email account set up for specifically that purpose. I do it every couple of weeks.

BUT... I have some short stories I haven't emailed yet, and the most recent edits on Camilla are still sitting at risk on my about-to-self-destruct hard drive.

I am thankful that I can get on to my husbands computer and access the internet. It's the little things.

Like the fact that my computer gave me notice of it's terminal illness. I had no idea they could do that.

Oddly enough, neither did my tech savvy hubby.

Uh... Hal? Is that you?

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Took this quiz: What Type Of Book Should You Write...and thank goodness I'm on the right track with my writing! I was worried for a minute there...

ROMANCE! - Love, sweet and tender, aggressive and
compelling. You have a story of romance burning
in your heart. Happily Ever After is a given,
but you will tear their hearts asunder before
your Hero and Heroine gain True Love's embrace.
Nora Roberts and Jane Austin are your guides.

What Kind of Novel Should I Write?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

This and That

Paperback Writer has posted an amusing blog today - her cat's New Years Resolutions. And, though hers are quite funny, some of the responses are even better. Enjoy!

I started seriously dieting today. Seriously (she said firmly to the Tupperware container full of chocolate chips... and to the huge can of dry roasted peanuts).

I'm "doing" Weight Watchers. Love 'em. Did it before and it was pretty simple. This time, though, I'm trying to keep track of my protein and fiber as well, to make sure I'm keeping within the proper health parameters. I'm also keeping my mouth full constantly -- not with food, with yummy flavored green tea. It's helping.

It's a combination of two things:

1. I bravely stepped on the scale this morning. Yelped loudly. I'm heavier than I've ever been, excepting my pregnancy (I gained 53 pounds and exceeded 200 lbs then... yikes!).

2. My 72-year-old mother has lost 20 lbs and is showing me that it can, indeed, be done -- even with my slower middle aged metabolism, and that I should stop blaming my pudge on my age. Dang it.

So I'm off and running... I'd like to lose somewhere between 10 and 20 pounds by the time all is said and done (next week, right?).

Why do I always start dieting right before all the really cool eating holidays? Halloween (candy is EVERYWHERE), Thanksgiving (mmm... potatoes) and Christmas (mmm... candy and potatoes).

I think I may need more than luck.

On a positive note, Mary found herself a literary agent!! BIG CONGRATS TO MARY!!

Speaking of agents, one of my writing pals has been querying for a year now - has gotten numerous requests for "fulls" and lots of positive responses - loved your voice, adored your characters, great writing, sat up all night with the book and couldn't put it down - but is consistently turned down for representation.

Does make me wonder just what agents (and editors for that matter) are looking for... if it isn't edge of your seat writing, great characters, good voice and excellent plot.

Huh. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

It's Official...

... I've lost my mind! Well, okay, that's old news.

BUT NaNoWriMo is all fixed and I signed up just a few minutes ago! I'm officially "doing" NaNoWriMo and I can't wait.

Remind me of this the second week of November when I'm pulling out my hair and my husband has forgotten what I look like and is sick of frozen dinners.

I was reading Lani Diane Rich's novel "Time Off For Good Behavior" and discovered when reading the acknowledgments that she wrote it during NaNo! So... I'm encouraged.

BTW, for a good read, try Lani's "Maybe Baby"... I chuckled most of the way through, and it held my attention -- something not many books do now-a-days. My highest recommendation is that I actually read every word.

Incidentally, I'm a little loopy right now. At about 1 a.m., my cat decided to purge herself of a pesky little hairball. I'm grateful that she chose to get off of the bed first. I did manage to leap from my cozy nest, grab her convulsing body and throw it into the bathroom so that the goo hit the tile instead of the carpet (mostly), but the adrenaline rush from jumping out of bed and performing the cat toss was more than I could handle.

I did give it the ole college try, and crawled back into bed. But between my heart pounding, my brain flying and my husband snoring, there was no going back to sleep. I got up, gave the cat her morning Pounce treat and turned on the coffee pot.

I'd better stop now, though, or who knows what these fingers will type. I was working on something in my head about Political Correctness, but better not post it until I'm sure it a. Makes sense; and b. Isn't too offensive

I'm off to write. Camilla is edging toward 40,000 words. Wouldn't it be a hoot to get her finished before NaNo?

I feel like anything is possible.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Oh, And If You Need A Laugh...

... check out Mary's blog today. It's a hoot!

My Day -- Monday, right?

So my day thus far:

Start school late (I homeschool my 6-year-old daughter) because DD can't decide which pink hair band matches her dress the best. We finally narrow it down to two, and she wears them both together.

Do math - simple enough, right? I mean, second grade... really. What's so hard about that? Any moron could teach second grade math, right? So, here are the instructions in my teachers guide:

"Using figures from chalkboard A, student checks all facts in which 0,1, or 2 is subtrahend. Student checks facts in which half of minuend is subtrahend. Last, student checks fact in which all of minuend is subtrahend."

Uh, sure... no problem. I'll get right on that, immediately after running to my computer and putting "subtrahend" and "minuend" into

After we finished school, later than usual - between hair bands and subtrahends, I got a little behind - I ran a few errands.

Went to the local warehouse store - won't say which one, because I'm not saying nice things. Hubby loves General Foods International Coffee - French Vanilla flavor. The cheapest place to buy it is from this warehouse store... until today, when I made a special trip there specifically to stock up on coffee and they, apparently, no longer carry it. And I had so much extra time to waste going to Target instead.

Speaking of Target (and I love Target, so will name names), only two registers are open - but no big deal, even if I am juggling half a dozen little cans of coffee - because there's only one lady in front of me (who had the cutest little boy waving "bye bye" to anyone who looked at him). Evidently, she chose greeting cards with unknown UPC codes because each time the cashier ran the card over the reader a big STOP! sign appeared on her screen. She finally input them manually, and it seemed to help. However, it took me a good fifteen minutes to run what should have been an "in and out" errand. We won't go in to how the &^%$# credit card reader didn't want to read the strip on my debit card...

Went to Wendy's for lunch, cuz by this time we were starving. The lady who helped us is a sweetheart and Wendy's has, by far, the best fast food (except maybe Taco Bell) so, again, I'm naming names... even though my DD was shorted a chicken nugget. That's okay - they gave her a whole new batch when the mistake was pointed out. I had no idea she could eat nine nuggets, a dish of oranges and half a baked potato (mine).

Afterward, my mom (who was along for this wild ride) reminded me that I wanted these cool scented cap erasers from Staples for DD's stocking stuffer (yes, I do my shopping early - sue me), and since Staples is right next to Wendy's, I dropped her off, and sat in the car with DD. Later, mom told me that the display had been taken down and she had to ask if they still had the erasers. They did. But only two!

Then it was time to go Home.

Finally. *sigh* Got home, and started to relax. Then realized that I'd forgotten one very important stop.

I support a soldier over in Iraq that I "adopted" via Adopt-A-Platoon. Turns out he's a BIG New England Patriots fan (don't know why, but there's no accounting for taste -- go 49er's!). I am getting his care package together for this month, and wanted to include a Pats gift of some sort: t-shirt, ball cap, bumper sticker, whatever. Didn't make it to the store to find one. Probably could have found something at Target, since I'm smack in the middle of Patriots-land, but was utterly focused on coffee, so didn't even think of it. Bother. Add this to my list for tomorrow...

Oh, and did I mention that the battery in my 4Runner bit the big one last Thursday? At the YMCA? Turns out it's nine years old (the battery, not the Runner, which is thirteen), so we certainly got our money's worth... but hubby promised to get a new battery on Saturday, and couldn't, then Sunday and didn't, but promises he'll get one tonight (he wants the same brand, since this one did so well for us) and won't let me get it. Why? Because I can't walk up to the parts counter and ask? Whatever... BUT, what that meant was that DD and I couldn't take the dog for a walk around the lake today - BIG dog, small second car.

Bet you think that's all, right? ((hands on hips, chin up just like Peter Pan)) HA HA HA

Got home, put DD in Quiet Time to finish her school seatwork, and settle in to watch Ghost Whisperer that I TiVo'd on Friday. Get about 10 minutes from the end and look up... EEK!

Big. Ugly. Black. Hornet.

Now, I'm not bug-phobic in the least, but a hornet just isn't one of those things you can pick up and toss outside. I slither by it to run upstairs for hair spray, grabbing a big envelope of junk mail on the way. Come down, spray hair spray all over the place trying to freeze it's wings. It finally falls from the air in front of my front door. I smack it with the envelope over and over and over screaming all the while "Die! Just DIE!" I hate killing things, but it's especially bad when it writhes around instead of dying immediately. (I'm going to have nightmares for weeks after this.) There's a rule in this house - no torture of anything living... if you must kill it, kill it humanely.

This blasted hornet blew that plan out of the water. And I'm still waiting for the cops to show up - figure a neighbor must have called after hearing my very loud outburst.

So, is that it?

Well, no.... apparently Mr. Hornet brought a buddy over to play. He was hanging out on the screen of my storm door. I carefully slid the window down over it, walked outside and sprayed it with hair spray, then opened the window and dropped it out on the front step. I ran in to get my sandal, since the junk mail worked poorly as a swatter, but when I got back - he was gone.

I'm hoping he's spreading the word: I have Suave, and I'm not afraid to use it.

So - how's your day going?

Sunday, October 02, 2005

no, No, NO!


I hopped in to NaNoWriMo as soon as I could today, which happened to be right after lunch -- just following apple picking with hubby and dear daughter... one of the few things I like about October (I'm devoting an entire blog post to my feelings about fall soon)...


I clicked on the "sign up" button, so excited I almost wet my pants and ... nothing.

no, No, NO!!!!


See NaNoWriMo's "Breaking News" and shed a tear with me.