Wednesday, October 31, 2007


When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam, may luck be yours on Halloween. ~ Author Unknown

We don't celebrate Halloween. I know, I heard a gasp of dismay from the collected tens of you. We tried last year, but DD did NOT like Trick-or-Treating. She did like giving out candy until the kid in the Scream costume showed up. She still remembers it ("Mommy, that gave me nightmares").

So, I buy her a bag of candy corn (her choice) and we go out for dinner during the two hours our town Trick-or-Treats. That's way more fun... for both of us.

What do you do to celebrate?


Tomorrow NaNo begins. I'm completely unprepared (though I do have my first line already written in my head... if I write it here, does it mean I'm starting early? Will the NaNo police come and get me? I'll risk it...). Here's the first line of of 2007 NaNo novel:

When the doorbell rang, Ben expected to find a salesman, not a dog.
Now, because it's NaNo, and all about word count, that line will probably end up looking more like this:

When the doorbell's shrill call echoed through the nearly empty house, Ben lifted his head and glared at the oak door. "Damn salesmen," he murmured under his breath and slammed down his pencil. "Made me lose my train of thought." He stood and stalked to the door, yanked it open and prepared to let loose a stream of abuse. No one stood before him. He looked left at the cat lady's house and right toward town, until a gentle snuffle pulled his attention down to the stoop.

At his feet sat a gorgeous German shepherd, one paw up in greeting.
Man! That was a hoot!



Aww, you think you're evil? That's adorable. We could just pinch your not-so-evil cheeks and pat your friendly little head. You seem like someone who feels massively guilty if you have even the slightest negative thought. If you were really evil, you'd lie, cheat, and hatch diabolical plans without feeling the slightest hint of remorse. It looks like your conscience is leading you down the "good" path, which is great… unless you're planning to take over the world someday.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tuesday Tuesome

Because I can't think of a thing to say... I give you:


1. Do you take vitamins and if so, what?

Yep: Multi, calcium, B-complex, Flax oil, St. John's Wort and Iron (I only takt that twice a week).

2. Do you make an effort to eat healthy, or you eat whatever you feel like eating?

I try to eat healthy: whole grains, lots of veggies (yum!), almost no sugar or refined foods, etc. I also try to choose mostly organics -- especially when it comes to dairy and eggs, because to earn the label "organic" you must also treat your animals humanely, so it's a two-in-one!

3. What two types of food do you have a hard time staying away from?

Chocolate. And French fries (or potato chips -- same thing, really).

4. What are two food items you refuse to eat?

Cow and pig.

5. Are you pleased with your daily diet or do you think it could be better?

It could always be better, but I think I have a healthier diet than many.

You Are the Ace of Hearts

Youthful and playful, you love life and the world.
You have a kind spirit, and you bring happiness to everyone you know.

Artistic and bold, you see the world in bright colors.
And you certainly aren't afraid to express everything you see and feel.

You are sentimental, and your emotions are very deep.
You are easily swept away and easily hurt.

A gamble you should take: Blackjack

Your friends would describe you as: Unique

Your enemies would describe you as: Weepy

If you lived in Vegas, you would be: An up and coming chef or fashion designer

Ha. Easily swept away? Weepy? Not. But, sentimental? You bet.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Monday, Monday....

Where there is no imagination there is no horror. ~Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr.

My DD discovered Sherlock Holmes this weekend. We went to the library book sale where I found several books, and she found three: two Redwall books she's been wanting (25 cents each!!) and a Sherlock Holmes anthology. She read that first and said to me, "Mommy, I think Sherlock Holmes was the best detective ever." I, of course, agreed.

We're going back to the library today, because NOW they'll put boxes of books outside that didn't sell, and we can help ourselves :-)


I'm not sure if my personal website has ended up on some sweepstakes page or what, but I'm getting bombarded with emails for my contest. The thing is, few of them have bothered to see they have to do more than send me an email. They have to answer a question. So, into the trash they go. But, it's frustrating and time-consuming. And I want to know where I got listed. I tried Googling, but can't seem to locate it. Grrr....


In other website news, I sneaked in a back door to post the website for LASR this morning. I still can't access my control panel, which isn't good. And I have to actually work the website live -- which means I'd better not mess up (eek!) and the pages I built early aren't really helping me. This makes for a lot more work on my end. BUT... At least I got it up (I have this vision of computer viagra, LOL).

We have all kinds of contests once again. We're giving away a free eBook from our spotlight author, and a free eBook from the lovely lady we're interviewing tomorrow. We are ALSO giving away a print novel over on the romance reviews blog. Go check it out, tell a friend and good luck!


NaNo starts on Thursday!!! Yikes!! I've been so busy, I've given little thought to my story. I might want to give it some now.


I (finally!) won a book over at Melissa's blog. Yay me! Now that my good luck is starting to pour in, I should go grab a powerball ticket.

The Rockies could have used some of my luck. UGH. I'm so sad the Red Sox won. More than I like the rockies, I DON'T like the Red Sox (sorry Ceri and Michele and any other Sox fans... but there it is).


You Should Be a Mechanic

You are logical, calm, and detail oriented.
You're rational when things are chaotic, and for you, reason always prevails.
And while you are guided by logic, you aren't a slave to it.
You're flexible when it counts. You are always open to being wrong.

You do best when you:

- Work with your hands
- Can use tools, machines, or equipment

You would also be a good architect or carpenter.

Although the description of my personality is pretty close to spot on, the thought of me as a mechanic is frightening. I have no brain for that AT ALL. My DH was one, and still works on our cars and there are times he'll have a thousand parts spread all over the garage floor. I can't imagine knowing where they all go.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dog and Cat Diaries

Your cat will never threaten your popularity by barking at three in the morning. He won't attack the mailman or eat the drapes, although he may climb the drapes to see how the room looks from the ceiling. ~Helen Powers

I love this!

Excerpts from a Dog's Daily Diary:

8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Excerpts from a Cat's Daily Diary:

Day 683 of my captivity:

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.

They dine lavishly on fresh meat while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets.

Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape.

In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the floor.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. The audacity!

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow - but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches.

The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded!

The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe.... for now.


Once again, on As The Website Turns, I have been unable to login to the control panel of LASR since Friday morning. It's still keeping me out today. Is there some sort of dance, or way I can hold my mouth, or broken website company God I can pray to? I'm really, really starting to get nervous. I used to praise this company and highly recommend it to folks, but they're doing a server migration of sorts, and uploading everyone onto to a new control panel -- and so far it's tremendously unsuccessful. My DH, who does stuff like this for a living, tells me there has probably never been a successful migration in the history of computers.

Maybe not. But this is the first time I've ever had something like this affect me so adversely. Grrr... It had better be up by Monday Morning. We have a great Halloween week planned: book giveaways (three this time), a free short story, and more.

I just need to be able to upload the site.



You Are: 30% Dog, 70% Cat

You and cats have a lot in common.
You're both smart and in charge - with a good amount of attitude.
However, you do have a very playful side that occasionally comes out!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

In Which I Ramble...

Don't knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn't start a conversation if it didn't change once in a while. ~Kin Hubbard

Welcome to stream of consciousness writing. I don't have anything specific to say, so you get to hear whatever comes to mind as I write.

It's raining. UGH. I supposed it's better than snow, and I suppose we need it, but why did it have to rain on a Saturday? This means my DH is trapped inside the house and he doesn't do well on these types of days. Bother.

One set of neighbors with ATVs that they ride behind their house, on the road or pretty much anywhere they like at any hour -- has moved! Yay! And, though I certainly wouldn't wish foreclosure on anyone, my next door motorcycle riding (at 2 a.m. -- vroom, vroom), drug dealing, heavy drinking, acid rock listening (at top volume) loose dog owning neighbor's house is going up for auction in the next few days. Please, please, please let us get some quiet, sweet neighbors in. Please?

I did better on my diet yesterday. The first couple of days were tough because I'm a snacker, and I like to snack on things like peanuts, triscuits, etc. And I couldn't. So I did a lot of pacing and looking at the pantry door with deep longing. Yesterday, though, I pretty much forgot about snacking. And I wasn't as hungry. A breakthrough (break-through?)!

I hate hyphens. Typing the one before this reminded me how much. Ha. There has been talk around the blogosphere about them as well. Nice Mommy~Evil Editor had something to say about them last week. I curse them quiet regularly in my mind. Hyphens should be outlawed (NOT out-lawed).

My neighbor's daughter (not the neighbor I referenced, above) had a science project to do: find and murder forty perfectly innocent bugs for a pin board. She asked me for help. I told her I didn't believe murder was acceptable, but if I came across one already dead, but in reasonable condition, I would get it for her. I ended up providing her with a monarch corpse -- one of the bugs from last year that DD had gotten attached to and named "Mr. Butterfly". His wing was deformed and he couldn't fly, so we fed him and kept him alive for a while, and then put him in a little box to bury outside. But, we decided that his life would have some meaning if he helped another, healthy butterfly not die in the name of science. And we donated his corpse. In my opinion, having children kill bugs is inhumane. If my DD was in school and asked to do that, I would have complained and refused.

Next week is Halloween week at LASR. Check out the romance reviews blog on Monday for a review and giveaway of a Halloween romance. An author spotlight with a paranormal author -- and a free download of one of her books. And lots more fun. We don't have candy for the Trick-or-Treaters (ACK! hyphens!!), but we do have books. And that's even better (though, I do love candy corn).

My DD discovered the joy of "Calvin and Hobbes" this week. She found a book chock full of the comic at the library and has been tee-heeing (HYPHEN! EEK!) all week. I loved "C&H"...

Gah... I could ramble for days. I'm worse in person. Blah, blah, blah. So I'll stop! Have a great day. I'll be building an ark.


You Are Apple Cider

Smooth and comforting. But downright nasty when cold.

That's very true... I am downright nasty when I'm cold. I HATE cold weather. Grr...



Edited to add:

I'm part of the Sweeter Romantic Notions authors and we're having a Scavenger Hunt this week! Here are the details:

SRN is throwing a Halloween party! Join us on a scavenger hunt. All the answers can be found through our main site:

It kicks off on Friday October 26th and will end on Halloween!!

There will prizes, books and goodies, and maybe some chocolate too!

Here are the rules:

Answer the following questions and email the answers to with "contest" in the subject line.

The winner will be announced on the Group Loop October 31st and in the First Friday News Blast!

So, let's get scavanging!!

1) In the October News Blast what was the title of Edita Patrick's release from New Concepts Publishing?

2) Who has the picture of a dog on their cover art?
Elle Fredrix?
Kim Watters?
Adelle Laudan?
What is the title of that book?

3) What branch of the military is Sela Carson's husband retired from?

4) Cindy Green is published by By Grace Publshing?
True or false?

5) Diane Craver has three titles listed on her author page at SRN?
True or false?

Friday, October 26, 2007

If I Must

Grammar is the logic of speech, even as logic is the grammar of reason. ~ Richard C. Trench

I had some interesting comments, yesterday, in regards to MY comments on the overuse of "that" in writing. Please note, its isn't that I'm opposed to using that word when it is necessary. The point was, that sometimes its use isn't necessary. The Long and the Short of It actually had a lovely article about that word last week, that may help clear up what I meant.


Judy and I were gabbing the other day, and somehow (I don't remember how) we decided to go on Weight Watchers together. I must be out of my mind -- I'm going to attempt NaNoWriMo without the benefit of unlimited chocolate! So, to help keep me accountable, I'm putting up a weight loss ticker. Yikes!

Today, the ticker is here. But tomorrow, it will be on the sidebar. Heaven help me.


My eyeballs were killing me yesterday -- too much computer, probably. So I opted to write, last nigh, in longhand. Shocking, but true. Judy suggested a new idea (and, Judy, you were right, it's easier to *ahem* write a lot than none, LOL...) and I ran with it, to the tune of seven handwritten pages. I need to transcribe it, now, but at least I'm writing again.


ANIMOLOGY: What Animal Are You?
Your Result: Tan Giraffe

Loner. You're a sort of a loner, but you are very brave and a quick thinker. You have a little secret: you like to help others. Soul Mate is the Red Jaguar, but you hate the Marroon Panda.

Gold Falcon
Ocre and Gray Dolphin
Red Jaguar
Silver and Red Wolf
Teal Cat
Blue Fox
Yellow Trout
ANIMOLOGY: What Animal Are You?

Grrr.... Just THINKING about a maroon panda makes me angry...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Booking It Through Wall-Bangers?

"I would rather be poor in a cottage full of books than a king without the desire to read" - Thomas Babington Macaulay

I would enjoy reading a meme about people’s abandoned books. The books that you start but don’t finish say as much about you as the ones you actually read, sometimes because of the books themselves or because of the circumstances that prevent you from finishing. So . . . what books have you abandoned and why?

Oh, good heavens. I probably abandon more books than I finish. I wouldn't have enough time in the day to list them all!

I have very, very little time to read any more. Between writing, editing, promoting, Yahoo-looping with my publishers, co-running this romance reveiws site and homeschooling my daughter, I have *maybe* an hour a day. Since it is precious to me, I spend it carefully. If I don't fall in love with a book in the first chapter or so, I'm done. Sometimes, if it's an author I've loved in the past, I'll give it a little more time in the hope she'll come through for me again, but not too long.

You gotta hook me, right off the bat. And, for me it's mostly about the characters. If I fall in love with your characters, I'll stick it out through a murky plot.

I also have a tendency to read as an author/editor now, too. So, if your book is poorly edited, has far too much passive voice, or telling, or infodumps, or "that and it-itis"**, I'll spend so much time mentally editing it, I'll lose any possible enjoyment of the book.

You'd be better served to ask what books I've actually finished lately!

Edited to add:
Geranium Cat asked about **That or It-Itis: an affliction that many authors suffer from.

She looked at the book THAT he gave her. --- This would be a much stronger sentence without the "that".

And, overusing "it" (or any pronoun, I suppose) weakens the writing. Which would you rather read:

She stepped to the hearth and warmed herself in front of it.


She stepped to the hearth and warmed herself in front of the dancing flames.


Speaking of LASR, our romance review site, we are in DESPERATE need of reviewers. I'm groveling, here. If you like romance, please, please, please read what we look for in a reviewer and then contact me! I'll be forever in your debt.


My Samhain Publishing book has gone to the final line editing folks to catch all those pesky typos and mis-used hyphens (can I just tell you how much I HATE hyphens??). I'm excited! I can't WAIT to see my cover, though. That will make it seem so un-freaking-believably real. I will be squeeing so loud, even Melissa will hear me!


I edited a short story yesterday, changing it from an Easter theme to Halloween. Then I heard back from the author who had subbed a Halloween short to LASR and she's agreed to the edits we asked for. Hmmm... Oh well. Guess y'all don't get to read my story after all!


Your score on this personality test was 67%

Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing, practical, and always interesting; someone who's constantly in the center of attention, but sufficiently well-balanced not to let it go to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding; someone who'll always cheer them up and help them out.

Personality Quiz
Take More Quizzes

Gosh... I'm blushing. You're so sweet, saying all those nice things about me. But, just ask Michele -- I'm not nearly this nice. I'm Fish... remember?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

New Fun and Rice Grains

I know I already posted, but I stumbled across this and had to share. Check out the YouTube video on my website "fun" page, especially if you have or have ever had a cat.

And, you may have already seen this -- but if not, check it out. You can improve your vocabulary and feed the world, ten grains of rice at a time!

Free Rice.

And that's about all the fun I can handle today.

Prayers Please...

Fire, water, and government know nothing of mercy. ~ Proverb

First off, I'd appreciate prayers for one of my writing friends, Gay Walker, who lives in California and is under evacuation for the fires. For the average person, evacuation would be stressful, but Gay runs a boarding stable, so has 50 or-so horses (as well as cats and other critters) to worry about on top of everything else, and her ranch has been threatened by fire already.

Gay... hang in there, girl.


No writing yesterday, but did clean up "Kitchen Matches" and submit it the Sweetheart line of The Wild Rose Press. Hopefully they enjoy it as much as I did. I also finished my edits for "One Love For Liv" and sent them on, though I forgot to include my author bio (oops). Took care of that this morning.

Stayed up too late again. DH worked late, and didn't get home until about 9:00, so I waited up and watched NCIS with him when he got home. Can I tell you how much I love Tony on that show? I also chatted for half an hour at The Wild Rose Press, but finally couldn't keep my eyes open.

I hope to get some writing done today. I haven't heard back from one author about a Halloween story she submitted, so I may end up writing a short for next week's free short story at LASR. Y'all are going to be sick of reading my stuff, if this keeps up. I did have a wonderful author come through for me on a Thanksgiving story (thanks, Alisha!).


Your Power Level is: 60%

There's a good chance you feel pretty powerful, and with good reason, you're already fairly successful.
Keep developing your goals and skills, and you'll be surprised by what you can really achieve.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ups and Downs

It's good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy.

No writing yesterday. :-(

I did get about half my edits done on Liv -- this set is easy, peasey. At least so far. I did have to laugh, tho. I was helping Michele on one of her short stories and talked about the whole "stand up" or "sit down" -- that those end words are implied and not necessary.

Guess what my editor caught THREE times so far? "Squat/ted down". As if you can "squat up"? Made me laugh. We can sure see it in others, but not in ourselves, hmmm?


My DD has been reading about Greek and Roman mythology lately. She's enjoying the stories (they're a big soap opera, who wouldn't enjoy them?), but has struggled with pronoucing the names something fierce. Oedipus was one ("He married his mother!?!"), but she said one last night that had me in stitches: Aphrododo™.

I laughed, and laughed and then after I came up for air and looked at her puzzled little face I said, "Aphro-DYE-TEE". She nodded. And I wrote her original word down. Because I'm using that somewhere in some bit of writing. So, I'm trademarking it -- you can't have it. LOL...

I'm still laughing.


When teenage boys get famous and unbelievably rich, we get to see the inner workings of teen boys' heads everywhere. And inside those teen boys' heads, two things are prominent: 'I like video games; no, I LOVE video games' and 'Chicks dig palaces.' Bow Wow and Aaron Carter both have a little bit of that Elvis in Graceland vibe going on; the palatial, richly decorated home where almost every room is a Game Room. Maybe if you get unbelievably rich some day, you guys can compare notes.
Um.... no.

SO "no" it's not funny. Games? Good grief. I'm probably the only person in NH who doesn't own a gaming system of any kind. Palatial? No... richly decorated? Please. Give me a modest house with my own office and I couldn't care less about the rest.


Monday, October 22, 2007


I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see. ~John Burroughs

I wrote 968 words yesterday and have finished my short story, "Kitchen Matches". Phew!! I was so worried, and I didn't know how I wanted it to end. I hope it's believable that the H/H fell madly in love so fast, as I'm not a big fan of that particular plot point, but it seemed to be what the characters wanted.

So... 12,658 words long. And I'm sending it off to my wonderful writing buddy shortly to tear apart. If it doesn't work, she'll let me know.

Just wanted to celebrate.

Note to Dru: You asked me, "After you've finished with the two writing challenges, what do you do with the stories? Do you send it out to publishers?

My answer? Sometimes.

My 2005 NaNoWriMo novel is the one recently contracted by Samhain. It needed much editing prior to submission, but NaNo helped me get down the bones -- a sh***y first draft (to quote Anne Lamott). My 2006 NaNo novel was finished, but just didn't work for me. I didn't like the heroine. And if I didn't like her, it's doubtful a reader would. BUT, I loved my hero, his roommate and a few other secondary characters. I even loved the town I created. So I'm giving him a new lady (A cat lady, to be precise) and he will once again star in my 2007 NaNo novel, with a working title of "The Cartoonist and the Cat Lady".

This short story I just finished will be submitted to The Wild Rose Press. I think it's a good story, and I want to share it. Do I submit them all? No. But I don't ever completely abandon something. There was a reason I liked it, so I just have to dig around until I find it and then use that particular thing in another piece of writing.

And that was probably far more than you wanted to know!!


I just got my second round of edits for Liv, so I'll be working to get those out by the end of October (pre-NaNo... my editor **waves to Eve** is very understanding about my desire to NaNo, so is helping to work around that. I owe her flowers and chocolate--deep, dark chocolate). Don't know what I'm going to work on for Sven today -- instead of one of my novels (I've been away from them for a bit, so would really have to reaquaint myself, and I don't know that I want to do that for only 8 days of work), I may pull out one of my many unfinished short stories and see what happens. 8000 words on a short or two could be a big deal!


There's a new contest starting today at LASR Romance Reviews -- the author we are interviewing tomorrow has donated THREE things for the weekly giveway! What a lovely lady. And, psssttt.... one of them is an AUTOGRAPHED book!


What Your Halloween Habits Say About You

The scariest thing on Halloween is you! You definitely don't want any kids in costumes crossing your path - and you're willing to scare away any who do.

You like to think of yourself as naughty. But compared to most people, you're actually quite mild.

Your inner child is open minded, playful, and adventurous.

You truly fear the dark side of humanity. You are a true misanthrope.

You're prone to be quite emotional and over dramatic. Deep down, you enjoy being scared out of your mind... even if you don't admit it.

You are picky and high maintenance. If you wear a Halloween costume, it's only when you really feel like it. And it has to be perfect.

Okay, some of this is true. I DO fear the dark side of humanity -- deeply. I do tend to be emotional and dramatic, lol. I don't think I'm naughty, tho. And high maintenance? Ha. Not even. My DH tells me regularly that he's glad he's married to me and not to most other women because I'm easy to deal with.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Funny...

Above all else: go out with a sense of humor. It is needed armor. Joy in one's heart and some laughter on one's lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life. ~Hugh Sidey

Despite an unbelievable number of distractions, not the least of which was doing three days of work on the website (!!) because I can finally access the blasted thing again, I still managed to eke out 756 (750 words being my minimum daily goal). DH is planning to be gone a good part of the day today, so I have high hopes -- even though DD will still be here. Still, I have a grand total of 5,008 words since I started Sweating on Monday, so I'm not complaining.

Now that I've nearly completed "Kitchen Matches" (our heroine is no longer pinned against the side of the tow truck, she is collapsed in a heap at the hero's feet instead!), I need to work on something else until NaNo. I have two novels that are currently incomplete: "Return to Stiller Creek" (my mystery) and "The Possibility of Forever" (Formerly "Camilla's Critters"). Hmmm... eight days left of Sven. That's 8000 words. Not enough to finish either one, but it sure wouldn't hurt to add that much to either either (funny -- "EYE-ther" "EEE-ther" -- I almost didn't put it there, but it's what was in my head, so I had to do it *G*). The mystery is at about 45,000 (I need 65,000) and TPOF is at 41,000 (I need at least 55,000, but would prefer 65,000 words). Decisions, decisions....


Did you vote for LASR -- our romance reviews site yet? If not, go to this blog and see the poll on their sidebar -- we'd appreciate your support!


A funny for Sunday (from one of my TWRP message boards):

How many online messageboard/forum posters does it take to change a light bulb?

1 to change the light bulb and to post that the light bulb has been changed.

14 to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs and how the light bulb could have been changed differently.

7 to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs.

27 to point out spelling/grammar errors in posts about changing light bulbs.

53 to flame the spell checkers.

41 to correct spelling/grammar flames.

6 to argue over whether it's "lightbulb" or "light bulb."

Another 6 to condemn those 6 as anal-retentive.

2 industry professionals to inform the group that the proper term is "lamp."

15 know-it-alls who claim *they* were in the industry, and that "light bulb" is perfectly correct.

156 to email the participant's ISPs complaining that they are in violation of their "acceptable use policy."

109 to post that this forum is not about light bulbs and to please take this discussion to a light bulb forum.

203 to demand that cross posting to hardware forum, off-topic forum, and light bulb forum about changing light bulbs be stopped.

111 to defend the posting to this forum saying that we all use light bulbs and therefore the posts *are* relevant
to this forum.

306 to debate which method of changing light bulbs is superior, where to buy the best light bulbs, what brand of light bulbs work best for this technique and what brands are faulty.

27 to post URL's where one can see examples of different light bulbs.

14 to post that the URL's were posted incorrectly and to then post the corrected URL's.

3 to post about links they found from the URL's that are relevant to this group which makes light bulbs relevant to this group.

33 to link all posts to date, quote them in their entirety including all headers and signatures, and add "Me too."

12 to post to the group that they will no longer post because they cannot handle the light bulb controversy.

19 to quote the "Me too's" to say "Me three."

4 to suggest that posters request the light bulb FAQ.

44 to ask what a "FAQ" is.

4 to say "Didn't we go through this already a short time ago?"

143 to say "Do a Google search on light bulbs before posting questions about light bulbs."

10 posters to claim the light bulb failed because of George Bush's policies.

20 to denounce those 10 and blame Hillary.

1 to say that if you were any damn good at all you wouldn't need the freaking light bulb.

3 to say that those of you talking about light bulbs aren't working and should get back to work.

1 forum lurker to respond to the original post 6 months from now and start it all over again.

Your Beauty Element is Earth

You are the epitome of a natural beauty. Your look is definitely effortless.
And while you shy away from a lot of make-up and accessories, you're no granola girl either!

That's very, very true.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Tow Trucks, Webhosts and Five Things

There are three kinds of death in this world. There's heart death, there's brain death, and there's being off the network. ~Guy Almes

To those of you who wonder just why the hero in "Kitchen Matches" (Micah) has the heroine (Cori) pinned to the side of her tow truck... well... you'll just have to wait. That's a secret between me, Judy (who will crit it for me) and my editor. Muh-ha-ha....

Unfortunately, poor Cori is still there as I only wrote 138 words yesterday. I place the blame squarely on the hosting company for the reviews site. First I spent almost 20 minutes waiting for help in their live chat, only to be told to send an email to support. I did so, and rec'd a request back from them for my user ID, password and screenshot of the error screen. I sent it. Waited, waited -- for SIX hours, I waited. Nothing. So I emailed them again and asked if they had a status, and got a request for my user ID, password and screenshot.

Color me unhappy.

Unfortunately, this happened about two minutes before I had to leave for the field trip. So I shot them the info and asked them to confirm they had rec'd it.

I got back back four hours later. Checked. Nothing.

So I called. I got a fairly reasonable and literate human being on the phone, who spoke clearly (for a change). I told him my story, he apologized, looked in to it and actually came back with a reason and an ETA! Woot! The reason, one I had seen in an email: they are changing the control panel. Apparently all the bugs haven't been worked out and it crashed the server and database for my website (lucky me). ETA? 24 - 48 hours. Thank heavens it's the weekend.

So. 138 words.

I'm going for 1862 today. Wish me luck!


BTW, if you like LASR -- our romance reviews site, then go to this blog and see the poll on their sidebar -- feel free to vote for us!


Avery tagged me! So, yay, I don't have to think about what to blog. Of course, this meme requires a different kind of thinking. Which makes me think this: does blogging count toward words in 70 Days of Sweat??

What were you doing ten years ago?
1) Living out west (yay!).
2) Raising a puppy.
3) Commuting an hour one way.
4) Country Dancing regularly.
5) Trying to get pregnant.

What were you doing one year ago?
1) Celebrating the release of my first published story!
2) Writing like a fiend.
3) Being active in my writing group.
4) Teaching my DD third grade.
5) Watching "Heroes".

Five snacks you enjoy:
1) Fire Roasted Tomato Triscuits
2) with salsa *G*
3) Dry roasted peanuts
4) cheese and crackers
5) chips and guacamole

NOTE: Actually I'll eat almost anything with salsa and guacamole.

Five Songs you know the lyrics to:
1) "Renegade" by Styx
2) "Music of the Night" from Phantom
3) "God Blessed the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts
4) "Jesus Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood
5) "Purple People Eater" by Sheb Wooley

NOTE: Huh. I'm a little eclectic in my tastes.

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1) Laser all the hair off my legs, pits and *ahem* bikini area.
2) Pay off my house.
3) MOVE back out west.
4) Take a week at a ritzy health spa.
5) Get regular massages and chiropractic care.

**NOTE: Yes, it's all about ME! Now, if I was a billionaire? Because, yanno, a million doesn't go so far anymore...okay, truthfully, one of the thing I love to do is shop for gifts for other people and to give money to every single Salvation Army bell ringer I see. THAT would be a hoot with a million dollars!

Five bad habits:
1) Losing my temper.
2) Waiting 'til the last minute to plan dinner.
3) Eating too much and not exercising.
4) Getting impatient with my DD.
5) Needing to check my email constantly throughout the day.

Five things you like to do:
1) Write
2) Watch good movies
3) Sing
4) Talk with friends (usually via IM -- HI Judy & Michele!)
5) Laugh

Five things you will never wear again:
1) Gauchos
2) A bikini
3) Nylons (yay!)
4) Pumps with lacy, turn down socks.
5) Bell-bottoms (yes, I HATE the current trend)

NOTE: I admit, I copied some of Avery's. It would appear we are from the same general generation...

Five favorite toys:
1) My computer
2) My DVR
3) My digital camera
4) Balloons
5) My dog

NOTE: I do play with my dog. That counts, right?

Five things you hate to do:
1) Cook dinner
2) Shave my legs
3) Iron
4) Pooper scoop
5) File

NOTE: I haven't filed anything in an entire year. You should see the stack... but, tax time is coming. I'm going to have to break down and do it soon. It's all in a neat, chronological stack, but not filed.

Five people to tag:
1) You
2) And you, too.
3) And you, if you can find the time.
4) Maybe you?
5) and Judy.



You're sweet (but not too sweet) and you fill other people's lives with tasty bits of awesomeness. You're no perfectionist – in fact, you're a bit disorganized – but your friends find your easygoing personality irresistible. You're so popular and loveable that even when you're having a bad day, people still like having you around.

Uh, no.

Must as I'd like to be a chocolate chip cookie, I AM a perfectionist at heart (it may not reflect on this blog, since I tend to ramble...), I'm NOT disorganized (I live for organization), and I'm NOT easy-going. And me on a bad day? NOT fun to be around.

Oh well... You?

Friday, October 19, 2007

I'm Just a Rambling (wo)Man

Coffee is a beverage that puts one to sleep when not drank. - Alphonse Allais

Yanno, I've noticed that little quirk about coffee. *G*

DD I and are going on a homeschool field trip today, provided it doesn't rain. We'll be going apple picking with a group of other kids at an orchard that also has a petting zoo (she'll be in heaven) AND she gets a hayride to the orchard. It'll be touch and go about the rain, though, since the activity isn't planned until 1:00. Fingers crossed.

I'm fighting with my webhost again this morning. I certainly hope things go better today than they did yesterday. At this point **looks at watch**, 5:02 a.m., I am unable to access my account in any way. I can't upload files, check stats or anything else. I'm not a happy person. This is NOT a good way to start my day. Fingers crossed on that as well, thought it's awfully hard to type with my fingers crossed. Maybe I'll do toes instead.


I got 1058 words written yesterday -- and have left my poor heroine pinned to the side of her tow truck by the hero. He's a little upset right now, poor guy. And, he has every right to be. I'll get back to them in a few minutes.

Since this story has grown a bit more than I had planned, I'd like to grow it a little bit more. Right now it's bordering between the rosette and miniature rose at TWRP (where I'll likely send it). I'd like it to be a solid mini-rose, which will take at least 2,000 more words. I think I'm good for that.


Your Uncommon Name Is:

Mahalia Divina Crooker

Yes. I'm beginning to run out of quizzes. I may have to stop this fun little doodad at the end of my blog.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

My Free Short Story is Up!

Finally -- the website is working properly and you can access my story if you're so inclined!

I have a free short story over at The Long and the Short of It today. Yep, another Womans World reject.

Hope you like it better than they did!

Release Date and Dripping Sweat

"The truth is you don't know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed." - Eminem

I know. I can't believe I'm quoting Eminem, either!

First off... congrats to the folks who guessed the song yesterday! It was, indeed, the theme from Rawhide. And, just for grins, I give you the Blues Brothers version:


I got the official release date for my Christmas story "The Christmas Curse"... after a bit of wrangling by my editor (you're a peach, Nancy!), I got the release date I'd hoped for -- November 19th. Mark your calendars, folks!

For Molly Scott, everything bad in her life has happened during the Christmas season, from training bras in her stocking to being jilted by her fiancé. This year is no exception.

Ten days before Christmas, she arrives at work to find her department closed down and everyone laid off. Desperate, she takes a job for a singing telegram service and, dressed as Mrs. Claus, meets the man of her dreams--who turns out to be a nightmare--in a broken down elevator. The Christmas Curse is right on track.

And, to whet your appetite, here's an excerpt:

Late as usual, Molly jogged toward the elevators. The one on the left was just closing, so she hollered, "Hold the door!" and leaped forward, slipping her arm inside the crack. She took a step and jammed the stiletto heel of her boot right into the crack where the elevator car met the floor. She teetered unsteadily, praying she wouldn't break a bone.

The doors lurched open and she lost any hope of staying upright when they did. She tumbled inside, heard the snap of her boot heel breaking and then tumbled onto another occupant, knocking them both to the barely padded floor.

"Oh no, I am so sorry!" She rolled to one side before sitting up to see who had cushioned her fall. The best looking man she'd ever seen lay on the floor, grinning up at her, and making no effort whatsoever to get to his feet.

"My pleasure." He propped his arms under his head. "Truly."

She jumped to her feet, forgetting she'd lost a heel in the door, lost her balance and fell again. At least she managed to land on her hands and knees above him like a bridge and didn't squash him.

"Sorry." She crawled to the door and wiggled the broken heel back and forth until it came out, wondering why the doors hadn't tried closing on her fingers. She glanced over her shoulder to find the man sitting up with his finger on the "Door Open" button.


"No problem. What floor?"

"I need the penthouse, please."

"That's where I'm heading, too."

She pivoted away from his lopsided grin and nearly stepped on a rather small, ashen-faced man leaning in the corner. His body shuddered when the doors closed and the car started to move.

"Oh-kay…" She was stuck between drop-dead-handsome man and pasty-face man and had to figure out how to do her routine with a broken-heeled boot. She tucked said heel into one of the many pockets in her slicker lining and left the coat hanging open. She hoped the boot could be repaired. But because it was only a week before Christmas, she doubted she'd have any luck with that.

It was a little like the time, eight years before, when she'd performed an aria for the school Christmas program, unaware that two buttons on her dress were undone, thereby flashing the front of her ancient white bra, complete with holes and safety pins.

"So, you were invited to the party upstairs?" Handsome man broke into her thoughts. He climbed to his feet and moved beside her.

Molly nodded.

"I wasn't aware it was a costume party."

She crinkled her nose and shook her head. "I wouldn't know. I'm only the entertainment."

"Ahhh." He reached out a hand and flipped the bells on her collar. "So, Mrs. Claus, is the mister showing up tonight? Because, to be honest, I haven't been very good this year."

She had just opened her mouth to speak when the lights cut off and the elevator ground to a halt. Oh, dear heavens, she'd done it again.


I sweated successfully again yesterday! My daily goal is at least 1,000 words, and I managed 1,058!

My favorite line from yesterday's writing? It's this:

With one last, long look, he turned and left her sitting in the gutter with nothing but a lump on her skull and a broken heart.
Though this was a close second:

She burned for him—moth to flame. Part of her knew she should fly away from this inferno that would devour her, but she couldn’t do more than hold on tight.
Have I mentioned that I'm having a BLAST?

An interesting note: I went through the document and searched for "it". I then replaced about 85% of them with better nouns and descriptors. You know what? I gained almost 200 words! I was shocked. Happy, but shocked.



Your Karaoke Theme Song is "Margaritaville"

You are a true party animal, but your style is mild and chill.
Kicking back with a few friends and a few drinks is all you need to be happy.

You certainly don't feel pressured to be a part of any party scene. In fact, you avoid trendier spots.
You've been known to kick loose anywhere and everywhere. All you need is a cooler.

You might also sing: "Gin and Juice," "Love Shack," and "Red Red Wine"

Stay away from people who sing: "Wind Beneath My Wings"

Hey... I like Buffet! I DO NOT LIKE Red, Red Wine... GAH. Bores me to tears.


This looks pretty sharp, yes?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rollin', Rolllin', Rollin'

It is impossible to discourage the real writers - they don't give a damn what you say, they're going to write. ~Sinclair Lewis

Can YOU name that tune? Go ahead, give it a go...

I am rolling. My getting-to-be-not-so-short-story, Kitchen Matches, is at nearly 9000 words thanks to Sven making me sweat!! Today we should hit 10,000 -- but I think it's almost done. Maybe not.

You know what's weird? I know, I know, you could probably make a list a mile long. But you know what's weird with me and my writing that I'm going to talk about right now?

When I write a novel, I always know the ending. In fact, I typically write the ending before I've gotten very far -- sometimes I write the ending immediately following chapter one. This is a nifty trick I learned from a romance writing class I took many moons ago (F102 for all you WVUers). In the third or fourth lesson we had to write the ending and I hadn't even written the first couple chapters. I found it so beneficial (like knowing where you're going when you get into the car), that I do it all the time now.

No, that's not what's weird (is it?). This is:

When I write a short story I never have the slightest clue how it will end. Ever. I have never known the ending on one one of my short stories. Never, huh-uh, not no how.

That's weird. Isn't it? You'd think a short story would be WAY easier to figure out. They aren't. In fact, IMHO, a short story is harder to write than a novel. So there you are. I know they're harder for ME to write. But I do love me a good short story.


I'm feeling good, really good, about doing 70 days. I've managed over 1000 words the last two days, and should be able to do it again today. I'm moving right along and having a blast. It's a good warm up for NaNo, when I'll have to write 1657 words a day. Yahoo!

Seriously. I can't wait for it to start. If you've never done it, you should give it a try -- it's like the worlds best legal drug for writers. I'm so glad I decided to do it again this year. Now, if I could just decide which story to use.


We're gabbing about romance in here. You should come on in and join the fun! We're some wild and crazy gals and the more, the merrier!


Did you know you are eligible to win the LASR weekly contest AND an gift certificate just by signing up for our monthly newsletter? Have you done that yet? The link is right on our front door in bright blue! You can't miss it.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Baseball is a game where a curve is an optical illusion, a screwball can be a pitch or a person, stealing is legal and you can spit anywhere you like except in the umpire's eye or on the ball. ~Jim Murray

Not much to say... I'm busy!

borrowed from Writertopia


This is very cool: ROCKIES WIN THEIR LEAGUE!!

The Colorado Rockies are the ONLY team in Wild Card history to win their first seven playoff games. They've won 21 of their last 22 games and are now headed to the World Series. Un-freakin'-believable.

And for Allie: Go Indians!


There's another ARC being given away at our romance reviews blog. Head on over and comment to enter. Also, you have another chance today to enter to win a free eBook from Marcia James and a free eBook from Liana Laverentz. Whatcha waiting for?


You Are a Werewolf

You're unpredictable, moody, and downright freaky.
You seem sweet and harmless, until you snap. Then you're a total monster.
Very few people can predict if you're going to be Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde.
But for you, all your transformations seem perfectly natural.

Your greatest power: Your ability to tap into nature

Your greatest weakness: Lack of self control

You play well with: Vampires

That's all for now, really. Sorry -- busy, busy, busy!!


Monday, October 15, 2007

First Day of Sweating

See, the human mind is kind of like... a piñata. When it breaks open, there's a lot of surprises inside. Once you get the piñata perspective, you see that losing your mind can be a peak experience. ~Jane Wagner

And when Sven talks, I listen. Keep an eye on the word counter on the sidebar to see what I've done on my short story, "Kitchen Matches". I also plan to do some more brainstorming on my fantasy, though the more I do, the more I think it's unsuitable for NaNo, so I may end up back with "The Cartoonist and the Cat Lady". NOT that I'm shelving the fantasy... I just think it might be tough to write it for NaNo. We'll see. I have fourteen more days to decide.


It's a big week full of giveaways at LASR! First, we are spotlighting Liana Laverentz who recently won the Golden Leaf Award for best long contemporary novel. We'll be giving away one of her books this week (including the one that won the contest) in conjunction with the spotlight -- go take a look.

We're also giving away a HOT (rated "R" for risque) eBook from the lovely lady in our weekly interview, Marcia James. She also donated some great thumbcuff keychains, so we'll have not ONE but FIVE winners for our weekly contest this week.

And, as if that wasn't enough, we have TWO print books that we've reviewed for Sourcebooks and we're giving them away in conjunction with the reviews on our blog. One will be posted today, and one tomorrow -- but the contest lasts ALL WEEK! Go see.

AND, if you post a link to any or all of these contests, I'll give you an extra entry into each contest you posted!! Just let me know in the comments here.

Phew. I'm breathless. I love to give stuff away.


Well, DH didn't quite get my new office flooring done yet, but it's close. By next weekend, everything should be done: flooring, paint, etc. Then I get to move. I don't have all the furniture I'll need (LOTS of bookcases!!*G*) but I have some. I want to get a DVR for up there as well, so I don't have to worry about DH cancelling one of MY programs because there's a hockey game and American Chopper on at the same time, LOL.

I can't wait to set up the schoolroom either. Finally room to put up my maps, and the math charts and so much more. Yay!!


Sunday, October 14, 2007

106 Most UnRead Books

"A true friend freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably." - William Penn

What a lovely quote. And my DD would be quick to tell you all about Mr. Penn, how he came to settle Pennsylvania and what "sylvania" means. We learned about him last year in history, and she's been re-reading her history reader from then.


Following on the heels of my confession that I've only read five of the top 100 most meaningful books, I give you this meme I stole borrowed from Allie, because I wasn't embarrassed enough about my reading habits.

These are the top 106 books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users. Bold what you have read, italicize books you’ve started but couldn’t finish, and strike through books you hated. Add an asterisk* to those you’ve read more than once. Underline those on your TBR (To Be Read) list.

Jonathan Strange & M. Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One hundred years of solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveller’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A heartbreaking work of staggering genius
Atlas shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury tales
The Historian
A portrait of the artist as a young man
Love in the time of cholera
Brave new world
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A clockwork orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons
The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One flew over the cuckoo’s nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The curious incident of the dog in the night-time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes
The God of Small Things
A people’s history of the United States : 1492-present
A confederacy of dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The unbearable lightness of being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The Aeneid
Watership Down*
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit*
In Cold Blood
White teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers
Does it count that I've seen a TON of these movies?

Anyone else want to chime in? If you do, let me know so I can come look.


Had a small brainstorm for my NaNo Fantasy novel... still not sure if it's practical for me to work on it. I'll know on November 1st.

I set up little word count whoosies on the side bar near my weather pixie if you want to watch. Yikes! 70 Days of Sweat starts tomorrow, and my goal is to finish my short story "Kitchen Matches" before NaNo starts. Fingers crossed (well, maybe toes, because it's hard to type with your fingers crossed).


Saturday, October 13, 2007

It's Official

"The "what should be" never did exist, but people keep trying to live up to it. There is no "what should be," there is only what is." - Lenny Bruce

I got news from my editor at Samhain Publishing -- we finally have a title for my story (formerly "Isn't She Liv Leigh"). It will be "One Love For Liv"! Still cute and clever. I can deal with it... but I'll still be wearing black over my original title's death for a bit.


It's ALSO official that I'm insane. As well as making plans for NaNoWriMo in a couple of weeks, I joined "70 Days of Sweat". Because 30 days of sweat wasn't enough for me. Dear heavens.

Y'all will visit me in the looney bin, right?


DH and my BIL and SIL will be putting down the hardwood floor in my little art / schoolroom / office area today. It's painted and once the floor is down, there won't be much more to do before I can move in! Yay!


My cat is driving my crazy. She and the dog get a tiny bit of soft food morning and night. I gave the cat food originally so she could help me remember to give the dog her glucosomine twice a day. Let me tell you what... the cat never forgets. She is, even now, winding about my feet and crying, "Time for my food. Feed me!" She starts about an hour before I do it and it drives me nuts. Bad cat.


Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!

I don't feel like Pooh. I really, really feel more like Rabbit. I love Tigger, but I'm not a Tigger -- he's too exuberant and happy. And Piglet is sweet, but timid. Not me. Neither sweet nor timid. Not Kanga -- Judy got Kanga and it's not me at all.

Yep. Really. I'm Rabbit. Gardener. Cranky. Loves veggies. Prefers to be alone.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Book Meme and Post 1000!

Big shots are only little shots who keep shooting. ~Christopher Morley

I can't believe it -- this is my ONE THOUSANDTH POST! Wowza. I'm shocked. I don't feel like I've been blogging this long.

A book meme from Anno:

Total number of books

Not as many as I used to have -- marriage to a neat-freak absolute NON pack-rat will do that to you. Still, I have about 50 - 100 (?)...maybe more if you count my writing books. Don't make me go count. The best part? I'm getting a whole new area soon, complete with more bookcases I can fill up *G*.

Last book read

Mystic and Rider by Sharon Shinn. What a fantastic fantasy! I blame it for getting me on the kick of writing a fantasy for NaNoWriMo. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and am halfway through the second book of the series. I'm impressed with Ms. Shinn's writing ability, and will surely seek out books from her other series when I've exhausted this one.

Last book bought

In the same Amazon order:

Daily Life in the United States, 1920 - 1940; and

How To Do Everything With Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003

I'm a laugh a minute, aren't I?

Five meaningful books

Oh, good heavens, Five?? I don't typically do "meaningful". Let's see...

1. We Had Everything But Money - I discovered this book at my library while researching the depression era. I wrote a story set in 1946, and another (forthcoming) set in 1953 and I am planning two more -- one in 1933 and one in 1942. I love this time period... this book is on my wishlist, and I hope to get it for my bookshelf someday. It's a fabulous look at how the people then didn't see themselves as poor and how they opened their hearts and homes and lives to those in greater need. It's a shame we don't -- or aren't able to -- live the same way today.

2. "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch. Judy introduced me to this one, and what a truly amazing book it is. Despite how it is advertised, I think it's more for adults than children, and guaranteed to make every mother cry. Wonderful. Wonderful.

3. Food Revolution -- a must read for anyone who wants to see what really happens in the industry of raising animals for meat. It's written by the heir to the Baskin-Robbins throne, who is now vegan and eschews dairy products. Amazon describes it thusly: What can we do to help stop global warming, feed the hungry, prevent cruelty to animals, avoid genetically modified foods, be healthier and live longer? Eat vegetarian, Robbins argues. Noting the massive changes in the environment, food-production methods, and technology over the last two decades, he lambastes contemporary factory-farming methods and demonstrates that individual dietary choices can be both empowering and have a broader impact. I recommend it.

I've hit the wall... can't think of anything more "meaningful". In fact, in desperation, I turned to this site: "The 100 Most Meaningful Books Of All Time". It's now official -- I am TRULY a shallow person. I always suspected this, but the list proves it. Why? Because I have read... are you ready?... FIVE BOOKS off the entire list, and one I read because I had to for my college philosophy class ("The Death of Ivan Ilyich" in case you wondered). I have NOT read: Moby Dick, Wuthering Heights, Lolita or many other "classics". I know of them, and I recognized most of the titles and could probably tell you a smidge about their plots. But, I have NOT read them. And to be honest, I have no desire to do so.

So... there you have it. My deep, dark secret. Actually, I've never made any secret of my dislike of most classics. They're so tragic. Real life is too full of tragedy to waste my precious reading time on it. If you must give me a message in my books, do it in something happy. I think many children's books do that admirably: All the Narnia books, "A Wrinkle In Time", The Prydain Chronicles and more. They contain a message, but they also end well and make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I suppose those could count toward my quota, right?

So... want to play? Judy? Michele? Allie?

Anyone who reads this and wants to play, feel free. Just let me know, so I can peek!


You Are Buffy the Vampire Slayer

"We saved the world. I say we have to party."

How cool is that?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Not Booking It Today

"Sometimes it's to your advantage for people to think you're crazy" - Thelonious Monk

Normally I do Booking It Through Thursday today, but the simple fact is this: She wants to know all the facts about me meeting a famous author, and I haven't met any. So it seemed silly to participate...LOL.

Of course, I was counting on that for my blog today, so I have nothing much to say.


((think, think, think))

*scratches head, sips coffee*

Some random thoughts, I suppose. Are you scared?

1. I can't find any slippers this year. I like the "boot" kind and all I can seem to find are the slip-on kind. I don't LIKE slip-on slippers. I want my entire foot kept warm, not just the toes. So, in the meantime (because it is finally getting cold here), I wear the silly, floppy bunny slippers I got for Christmas last year. At least they go all the way around my foot. But it's like wearing clown shoes, and I trip constantly, though so far I have managed to not trip going down (or up!) the stairs.

2. My DD was sure she was going to vomit (I was going to say "yack", but that was just a little too... something) last night. She stripped off her shirt (so as not to get any stray goo on it -- her idea, not mine) and hugged the potty for a good half hour. Finally, after lots of swallowing and prayers to not vomit, she went to bed... her garbage can nearby. I am happy to report that we made it through the night yack-less. Hope she's better when she gets up today.

3. We're supposed to get our firewood delivered today. I'll believe it when I see it. Two weeks ago, they showed up when they shouldn't have, and I was gone to the fair. Last week, they didn't show up and they were supposed to and I wasted my entire morning waiting for them. Fingers crossed.

4. My birds (the wild birds, so I suppose they aren't really "mine", but I do feel a bit protective of the critters) are eating me out of house and home. I have flocks of them every day -- mostly finches and juncos, but I have plenty of titmice, nuthatches, chickadees and woodpeckers as well. Oh, an my cardinal couple who show up at dawn and dust each day. There are some afternoons I have to go refill the feeders because they've cleaned them out. It's amazing, and in all the years I've been feeding, it's never happened before.

5. We have a mole in our yard. DH is furious and wants to throw down poison. I'm trying (in vain, unfortunately) non-lethal ways of eradicating the cutie. Still, if it does come to murdering the unsuspecting, only-doing-what-God-built-him-for creature, I want something targeted so we don't just randomly kill other critters. DH doesn't care what I do as long as the mole goes away... anyone have any ideas?

I mean -- look at this face. How can I want to kill something like this:

6. I finished the galley's to my holiday story, "The Christmas Curse" yesterday and it's off to production. I imagine it'll come out sometime in November, but I'll certainly keep you posted! Why is it, though, that after reading this thing through... oh... fifteen or twenty times, I don't think it's nearly as cute and wonderful as I did originally? Seriously, I loved this story. LOVED it. Now? Sheesh...

I could probably go on, but it occurs to me that I overslept this morning (didn't get up until 4:45!!), so I have work to do. Lots and LOTS of work. Ugh.


You Are Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

A classic and an original, no wonder everyone snakes your style!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Something Fishy....

A person given to barefaced flattery, will usually balance the account with interest in your absence. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

So, last night, my friend and AABH (All-Around-Big-Help), Michele gave me the nicest compliment. She said I was better looking than a fish. No... wait. Better looking than Fish. Yanno... FISH:

No wonder I keep her around. She's so good for my ego.

But, hey. She said Judy reminded her of Murphy Brown. So, Judy -- Marketing Maven and Banner Babe extraordinaire made this:

I'm told that Judy was like Murphy cuz she's smart and blonde. And I'm like Fish cuz I'm nice... but NOT.

You've been warned.


I have thrown in the towel temporarily on my worldbuilding questionnaire - I got so stressed about it all I wanted to cry. I have the basics down, and a general idea of "stuff", and will add to that "stuff" as I write and/or brainstorm.

Right now I have to figure out why it's important that my heroine has the particular ability she has. I mean, I know why... but not, well, WHY. Argh. I'm sorry, but I don't want to give anything away yet.

So, I spent my "free" time today brainstorming. Basically, I have a document open and do stream of consciousness stuff... what if's and why not's and if that, then thising. It's pretty amusing to look back on, but it really helps. I especially like when I argue or question myself. It's a long drawn out conversation full of statements, questions and then -- hopefully -- answers.

After this, I'll start having my characters talk to me. I like to make them do something routine and "everyday" to see how they behave. After all -- you don't brush your teeth like I do, right? Anyway, I tend to find out a lot about my character's that way. Could be fun, and doesn't count as writing -- so I'm not breaking NaNo rules.

I'm getting excited.


Your Inner Gender is Male

You are rational, matter of fact, and quite dominant.
You like to get things done, without any emotional messiness.
You truly don't understand most women. And you definitely feel more comfortable around men.
No doubt about it. You're a guy - at least on the inside.

Yeah, well... (look, Michele, THREE dots!) -- I knew this already. I'm Fish. Remember?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Worldbuilding and A Call Out For Stories

“We must build a new world, a far better world..." - Harry S. Truman

I'm switching horses, not exactly mistream, but just prior to the stream. I've changed my mind about my NaNo story. (Yes, I'm still planning on participating in NaNo. Yes, I'm crazy) There's this fantasy story I've had rattling around in my brain for...oh... a couple decades or so. And, I just got something in my inbox about somewhere that's looking for that type of story and I thought -- what the hay. Easy, peasy right? I mean, I've been moodling it over for years. I know my heroine inside and out. No problem.

Except, when I originally moodled this -- it was a science fiction novel taking place on four different planets. But I decided I'd rather write fantasy. It's more along the lines of what I like to read. Great. But, that kind of messes up the whole conflict (not to mention the title, "Galactic Assassin", is no longer applicable. Dang it -- I hate thinking up titles).

So, I brainstormed with Judy this morning about some stuff, and we got some good ideas (incidentally, Judy is just as crazy as I am, because SHE'S going to do NaNo this year, too) and I decided I needed to do some world-building. Still thinking -- yeah, easy. And I found this great article on world building, and started copying the questions down to answer over the next week or so (because it shouldn't take that much longer, if I apply myself, right?) and I got through the first page, and clicked "next". Got the second page, clicked "next". And again. And again. And again. Holy COW! There are EIGHT pages of terrifically complex questions. I don't need to answer all of them before I start writing, but still...

Wow. After I cut and pasted them into a word document -- it turns out there are THIRTY-TWO pages (half inch margins, Arial 12 pt font) of questions. As of this writing, I am on page three. And I've skipped some of the questions.

Yanno, this seemed like a good idea at the time, even though I have a perfectly good light romance already worked through, character sheets done, scene cards brainstormed, beginning scene figured out.

But, Noooooo. I have to do a fantasy.

**shakes head**

Wish me luck. I'm going to need it!


It's that time of the year -- holiday after holiday on the horizon. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Christmas. Fall. Winter. Valentine's Day. Easter. You know what that means?

Seasonal Stories...

In case you didn't know, The Long and the Short of It offers a free romance story every Thursday. Well, we'd like to offer ones appropriate to the season. Do you have a great holiday (ANY holiday!) story to offer? Send it in. And, because we aren't a paying market (yet!) we're going to sweeten the deal by offering one free month of banner/book cover advertising to every author who has a story or writing article accepted by us through the end of 2007. Is that deal?

So, check out our submissions guidelines and send in your stories and articles. We want YOU!


What Kind Of Music Are You?
You are a respectable, simple and kind person. You're an American classic who enjoys fishing, hunting, and driving big trucks. You're deeper and smarter than most people think and the highlight of your year is Countryfest. You're not bound by love, sex, or any other kind of commitment. You just plain enjoy life.

Take the quiz!

Yay for me! And I get Kenny Chesney on my webpage, too. Isn't he a cutie? I love his grin. Yep... country works for me - except, well -- I don't hunt or fish or drive a big truck (a small SUV). And, well, I'm kinda all about committment on all fronts - home, business, friends.

But still. I get Kenny. *G*

Have a great day!