Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday Fun Stuff

Sometimes it's important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow. ~Douglas Pagels, These Are the Gifts I'd Like to Give to You

That quote is for me. I'm talking to me. Now, if only I would listen.

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Okay... I have to admit. When Lori Foster agreed to an interview with LASR, I had a "squee" fan-girl moment. I love, Love, LOVE Lori Foster's books. Judy doesn't read much in that genre, and couldn't understand why I was so freaky excited about it.

But, c'mon: Lori freakin' Foster! Woo!

So, if you're into her, and want a "squee" fan-girl (or guy!) moment, head over to the author interview at LASR today.

I'm still just tickled. And that Lori, what a wonderful, gracious lady. If I wasn't already ga-ga about her, I would be after this.

Also, it's the last day to enter to win at Allie's contest.

AND... we have a really BIG giveaway at LASR today as well. So, go forth and enter!

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Martin and Rose, our occupants of Pillar Place: Swallowtail, have grown tremendously. They are well over an inch long, and about as thick as a pencil. It's just incredible. I think I might be able to actually watch them increase in size. I imagine they'll be making their pupae next week. And then, I swear, PP:S2 will be done until May. No more pillars.

Unless DD finds them, and shames me into bringing them inside.

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You Are Apple Red

You're never one to take life too seriously, and because of it, you're a ton of fun.
And although you have a great sense of humor, you are never superficial.
Deep and caring, you do like to get to the core of people - to understand them well.
However, any probing you do is light hearted and fun, sometimes causing people to misjudge you.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Booking It With Friends and Family?

A good book is always on tap; it may be decanted and drunk a hundred times, and it is still there for further imbibement. ~ Holbrook Jackson

If it's Thursday, I must be Booking It!



Booking It Through Thursday

There was a widely bruited-about statistic reported last week, stating that 1 in 4 Americans did not read a single book last year. Clearly, we don’t fall into that category, but . . . how many of our friends do? Do you have friends/family who read as much as you do? Or are you the only person you know who has a serious reading habit?

My mom and my daughter read as much (well...lately...it's far more) than I do. Most of my siblings read, at least a little. My husband doesn't read much beyond the newspaper and technical manuals, which I find very sad. Some of my in-laws read, but not many -- it wasn't a highly encouraged activity for my husband's family, which is probably why he's not a reader. How sad. They didn't have pets, either. ((shakes head))

Pretty much all of my friends read - though not always the same genre as I. My best friend, Cathy, always has a book with her -- typically Dean Koontz or Stephen King. She's a big mystery / horror fan.

I can't imagine not reading as a regular habit. Apparently most of the folks I hang out with feel the same!
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Hey! I have a free short story up for your reading enjoyment over at The Long and the Short of It. Head on over, and click on "Free Short Stories" and you'll be on your way. Hope you enjoy it.

There are still more prizes waiting for you as well. Today, you can win an eStory and a print novel. Tomorrow is the biggie: books, gift certificate, and a tote bag! Don't forget to swing by.

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Your Gemstone is Topaz

Comforting, considerate, and stable.
You are down to earth and grounded.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What's Up Wednedsay

"Desire is the key to motivation, but it's determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek." — Mario Andretti

The LASR grand opening week bash has been a lot of fun! And yet, we're still giving stuff away! Like books? Have you checked out our contest give two away? What about Allie's contest -- books, gift certificate and sweet treats? Mmmm....never mind. Don't enter hers because I want to win.

I love me a good contest.

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Dru, I'm glad Pillar Place is interesting to you. Some days I feel like I'm boring folks to tears! LOL...

In Pillar Place: Swallowtail Part 2 (S2), Martin shed his skin yesterday, and now has finally graduated from "bird poop" pillar to mini-swallowtail. He's still small - about 3/4" long and 1/8" wide - but he looks like a grown up.

Rose hasn't moved for two days. I hope it's because she's going to shed her skin, and NOT that she doesn't feel well.

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Hey! I just looked at the front door of The Wild Rose Press, and my stories are bestsellers! Woo!

Magic is number two OVERALL -- that's every story/book that TWRP sells.

Pregnancy Cravings is number four overall.

AND...I got a "great" rating on Magic at Fictionwise. That's pretty cool.

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Because of the craziness that is LASR, I haven't had much time for writing lately and that's starting to wear on me. I will take some time to do something this morning after I'm done gabbing with you guys.

I helped a friend yesterday (at least I hope I helped!) with a short piece she'd written, and it made me a little homesick for my own writing. I've been doing a lot more editing for friends and other folks than I have working on my own stuff. Frustrating.

Oh well.

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What is your element? (Girls only\ with pics)




You are the earth element!

You can be shy sometimes and that's the way you like it. You'd rather blend in with your surroundings then be in the spot light any day. Even though you don't say much you have a lot on your mind... sometimes things that you rather not share. Your very opinionated and narrow minded... you like seeing things one way and rarely ever change.

Being alone doesn't bother you much however its nice to have friends around at times when you need them.

Strongest during: the afternoon
Your power core: Plants
Take this quiz!








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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Too Tired Tuesday

"If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be." — John R. Miller

Crazy day yesterday.... did y'all visit LASR for the Grand Opening bash? Lots of people did -- and we have more exciting stuff going on today. More books to give away. What are you waiting for?

Did you also go to Allie's blog and see about her HUGE gift basket of books, candy and more that she's giving away, along with a download of her book? If not (why not?)... go! It's awesome.

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In Pillar Place: Swallowtail part two, the pillars have grown like mad. DD wants to name them Martin and Rose from her beloved Redwall series, so Martin and Rose it is. I just hope I can keep them in carrot greens long enough for them to make their happy little pupas.

And, Dru, I assume they hibernate over the winter inside there. We know Jill is alive (or was a couple weeks ago), because I set her out in the sun, hoping to encourage her to hatch and she wiggled and squirmed. I don't think she liked the heat.

I find it truly amazing that they can spend the winter outside, freeze, thaw and become such incredible butterflies.

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For Anno :-)

You Are 45% Addicted to Blogthings

You're a Blogthings fiend - addicted but not totally dependent.
So what if you know your personality type by heart?
And while you may feel like Blogthings is crack...
There are people much worse off than you!

Monday, August 27, 2007

At Long Last LASR and New Pillars

"It is not stress that kills us. It is effective adaptation to stress that allows us to live." — George Vaillant

WE'RE OPEN!!


The Long and the Short of It website is up and running. Go take a look... and enter to win a great prize. We're giving stuff away every single day this week!

As the technical person in this operation, I discovered all kinds of stuff that needed fixing on the site pages yesterday. I worked, found more, worked, found even more... gack!

This was me (warning graphic animation that many of you have probably already seen).

I watched that guy over and over. Strangely, it made me feel better. Ha.

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Allie is having a great contest at her blog, too! Go over there, say howdy, and find out how you can win a gift basket with books and a GC and sweet treats worth more than $50!!

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Pillar Place: Swallowtail has taken a surprising new turn. Yesterday DD found two teeny, tiny "bird poops" pillars on her carrots. For some amazing pictures of what these critters look like when they're tiny, check out Bird Chick's post on Swallowtail Ranching. Amazing.

Anyway... I was firm. We didn't need anymore pillars. They were so small, we were guaranteed they'd overwinter as pupa provided they got big enough prior to our first frost (coming soon!), and I didn't want any more hanging out all winter.

But, she argued, these could be descendants of MOE or EENIE. We can't let the die. Please, mommy, I'll take care of them all by myself. ((much subdued sobbing occurs)).

So, yes. I'm a sucker. We now have carrot greens with two tiny pillars (I want to call them Frick and Frack, but the DD isn't going for that. They currently remain unnamed.) sitting in the box with Jill's pupa.

Someone asked (Dru? Was that you?) if we really had to wait until spring for Jill to hatch. Yup. And the pupa needs to be kept COLD. I'll probably put it in the bulkhead of our basement -- it'll be as cold as it is outside all winter, but she (oops...make that "they") won't have to deal with the destructive potential of snow, wind, sleet etc. Once the threat of frost is past ... sometime around the end of May... I'll put the box with the pupae outside in the sun and they'll hatch in a matter of hours. It's pretty incredible.

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Your Heart Is Blue

Love is a doing word for you. You know it's love when you treat each other well.
You are a giving lover, but you don't give too much. You expect something in return.

Your flirting style: Friendly

Your lucky first date: Lunch at an outdoor cafe

Your dream lover: Is both generous and selfish

What you bring to relationships: Loyalty

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Whatcha Reading?

He that loves a book will never want a faithful friend,
a wholesome counselor, a cheerful companion, an effectual comforter.
By study, by reading, by thinking, one may innocently
divert and pleasantly entertain himself,
as in all weathers, as in all fortunes.
~ Barrow


NOON TODAY -- that's the deadline to enter to win the LASR tote bag and bag 'o books. Have you entered yet?

Because I'm dopey this morning, I'm hosting a meme... but it's a good meme. And, hey, since I'm not tagging anyone, feel free to tag yourself if you're interested. I have no idea where it originated, but I saw it a bunch of blogs -- though I originally saw it a Melody's Reading Corner. And it interested me.

So here you are: the "What Are You Reading Meme"

What are you reading right now?

"Agnes and the Hitman" by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer

I admit to liking this one better than their first collaboration, "Don't Look Down". It's fast paced, funny and quirky as all get-out. I suppose I'll need to do an official review of it.

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?

Yup. "The Bourne Identity". I would have read it first but it was checked out at the library. How RUDE. But, HA! I showed them. I checked out "The Bourne Supremacy" and I get to keep it for FOUR WEEKS. So, there whoever you are... you have to WAIT LIKE I DID. **grin**

What magazines do you have in your bathroom right now?

No magazines in the bathroom... those, I keep on my nightstand. I'm usually so tired when I go to bed, I can't focus on a storyline, so I read the mags. I have "Family Circle", "Womans Day", "Good Housekeeping", "O", "Natural Health Magazine", "RWR" and "Readers Digest".

What’s the worst thing you were ever forced to read?

Anything by Ernest Hemingway or John Steinbeck. Could you get any more depressing??? And, geez, if you're going to depress someone, could you at least write something more interesting? After all, Edgar Allen Poe wasn't exactly cheerful, but I LOVED reading his work.

Admit it, the librarians at your library know you on a first name basis, don’t they?

Um... yes. If I bought everything I read, I'd go broke.

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone?

My favorite book, and one that I always turn back to for a smile, is "Getting Rid of Bradley" by Jennifer Crusie. I love that book.

Do you read books while you eat? While you bathe? While you watch movies or TV? While you listen to music? While you’re on the computer? While you’re having sex? While you’re driving?

Wait... while you're having sex? First off, could you do that? And second, if you wanted to read during sex, then what would even be the point? **shakes head**

Okay, back to the rest of the question. I read when I eat. I read when I cook. I read when the TV or radio is on. I read in the tub. I don't read in the car, when I'm driving or otherwise. I get motion sick. Blech.

But, sure, I read whenever I can.

When you were little, did other children tease you about your reading habits?

Nope. My friend, Cathy, would always let me start series we were both reading, though, because I read so fast. It made her crazy when we read that series by John Jakes (The Bastard, The Rebels, The Seekers, The Furies et al), because I was nearly finished with the whole thing before she finished book one.

I did have some teachers question whether I really read some books because of my age, and the complexity of the books.

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?

It was too many years ago, and I can't remember the name of it -- but it was a mystery that took place on a thoroughbred farm and it was about 500 pages, and I read until just after three in the morning in order to finish it and find out whodunnit.

Work was a little tough that day.
=======================

Your Toes Should Be White

A little funky and a little fresh, you're constantly evolving your flirting style.

Your ideal guy: A witty brainiac with hottie potential

Stay away from: Overly dorky guys who become obsessed with you


So, I guess the dark burgundy polish with glitter that I have on there now should go?

WIN A TOTE BAG FULL OF BOOKS!

** This is a sticky post. Scroll down for new entries **

Want to win a Tote Bag full of books??

Go to this post , leave a comment and you're entered to win. Make sure you look closely at the post, because there are several ways you can enter. Good Luck!!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

This and That For Saturday

"To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time." -- Leonard Bernstein

Next week is gonna be a busy one for me. Because launching the website for LASR wasn't enough -- with all the contests, author interviews, and more -- I signed up to be the guest moderator at The Wild Rose Press author/reader loop. At the time, that move made sense... it's one year since I signed my first contract with them so I figured it was a great time to celebrate, and we hadn't even come up with the idea for LASR.

Now? Not so much. I need a daily question to post -- seven in total -- and I have three. Any ideas? They can be related to writing, or not. Serious or funny. Some ladies have asked about phobias, or most exotic place you've lived. I could use some help, folks!

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Hey, all. If you've happened to read my latest stories, Pregnancy Cravings and Magic (and heck, even if you've read my earlier work) and haven't left feedback/comments at TWRP, why haven't you? Did you like it? Then go tell someone :-)

C'mon, please?

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The official end of Pillar Place: Monarch came yesterday, with the hatching of Clarisse. She had some issues, didn't cling very well and fell a couple of times -- this was one of those cases where I wonder if she would have survived had she been in the wild. Regardless, she DID survive and flew off in the early afternoon. Gorgeous.

Pillar Place: Swallowtail ends on a cliffhanger -- is Jill still alive in her pupa? Will she hatch in the spring? Or is it all a cruel hoax, and she died at some point in her development? Stay tuned for next May... the season premier of Pillar Place: Swallowtail.

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This one's for Judy, who says I'm a "Type A++" ---

You Have A Type A Personality

You are hyper, energetic, and always on the mood
You tend to succeed at everything you attempt
And if you don't succeed at first, you quickly climb your way to the top!

You could be called a workaholic, but you also make time for fun
As long as it's high energy and competitive, you're interested
You have the perfect personality for business and athletic success

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday Feast



FRIDAY FEAST


Appetizer
Say there’s a book written about your life. Who would you want to narrate the audio version?
Phoebe from "Friends" when she has a cold, and uses that really sexy voice. Anyone else remember that episode?

Soup
Take the letters from your favorite kind of nut and write a sentence. (Example: Perhaps every avenue needs understanding today.)


People everywhere always need underwear, too.

Salad
If you could go back in time and spend one week in another decade, which decade would you choose?


This one is tough for me. Can we make changes to something that happens, or are we just observers? Could I go back to when my father was fourteen and tell him not to smoke? Could I go back to bad decisions I made, and advise myself? Could I travel back to the origin of the universe?

To be honest, if I was given this opportunity, I'd probably spend the rest of my time trying to think of the best time to go so I didn't waste it.

Main Course
Name a song that brings back memories for you.


"You Are So Beautiful" by Joe Cocker -- My dad used to sing it to me, and it still makes me cry.

Or "The Living Years" by Mike and the Mechanics -- a song that came out the same week my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Dessert
Do you prefer to wash your hands in cold water or warm water?


Warm, warm, warm. I'm all about staying warm in all circumstances.
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Only three more days until the Grand Opening of LASR! Have you entered to win a bag of books yet?

I hope we're ready :-)

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Your Inner Muse is Thalia

You are most like this playful muse of comedy.
Life is all about laughter to you, and you're a natural comic.
You make people laugh until their sides split.
And you're always up for some play time!


I find this answer seriously ironic, considering that of three of us at LASR, I am considering the least funny... of course, I'm in good (silly) company, so that may be why.

:-)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Booking It As A Family

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~Anna Quindlen, "Enough Bookshelves," New York Times, 7 August 1991


Booking it Through Thursday

When growing up did your family share your love of books? If so, did one person get you into reading? And, do you have any family-oriented memories with books and reading? (Family trips to bookstore, reading the same book as a sibling or parent, etc.)

Yes... and no.

My oldest brother? A big time reader... Me? A big time reader. The kinds in between (four of them)... not so much. Weird? Yes. But then, I've never claimed to come from an entirely normal family, LOL.

My mom did use books as a reward -- those Little Golden Books, remember? And I'm not certain, but I may have been reading in utero. I seriously can't remember a time I didn't read.

Absolutely, I shared books with my mom (my brother -- now an astro-physicist -- was all about science fiction, which was okay, but I did like to branch out). That's half the fun, isn't it? Reading and talking about books? Maybe that's why I had to do something like LASR.
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Speaking of books, I got the cover for one of the three most recently contracted stories. This one is a "yellow rose" -- a cowboy story. Cute cover, huh?



Here's the blurb:

Returning to Wyoming after a six-year absence, Jake Langley finds more than just changes in the now run down family ranch. His warm feelings for a former girlfriend have cooled, and he finds himself drawn to her sister and his former best friend, Emily. His discovery of the sisters' well-kept secret, however, upsets his long-term plans and sets duty against his heart's desire. Now, four hearts and four lives will be changed, forever.
==============================

So, yesterday... I was a little melancholy because my mother, with whom I am very close, and who lives in a apartment over my garage (and has lived with us for thirteen years), has advised me that she can't do another winter here in the frozen north and is winging it back out to California. Home. Permanently. Three thousand miles away.

I'll miss her. So will my DD.

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You Are a Carousel



You are young at heart and a truly playful person. No one would ever accuse you of taking life too seriously.

You are definitely in things for the fun. You find joy easily, and you are often building up anticipation for your next adventure.

In relationships, you tend to want to be babied and taken care of.

And while you may be a bit high maintenance, you are incredibly loyal.

Your life is simple and satisfying. Each day you treat yourself to something you enjoy.

You have a lot of emotional attachments, and experiences are extra vivid to you.

You tend to be nostalgic and sentimental. The past is important to you.

Comfortable around all living things, you have a special connection to animals and children.

At your best, you are whimsical, free spirited, and creative.

Even if your schemes seem a bit strange, they usually work out wonderfully.

At your worst, you are spoiled, demanding, and impossible to satisfy.

You've been known to act like a brat if you aren't getting your way!



Okay... some of this is right on, but some is so far off it's laughable. I'll let you guess which is which.

What ride are you?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wordless Weds

A mother never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn't take them along. ~Margaret Culkin Banning

I'm not officially playing, because I don't have the energy to visit other folks today ... but I also don't have any words, so I'm posting a(n almost) Wordless Wednesday.



Love you, Mom.



=========================

And because Judy wants to steal my daily quizzes, I feel obligated to put something up for her (LOL).

You Are Totally Like Your Mom

You and your mom are practically clones.
You think alike, and you even seem to read each other's minds.
You're definitely you're mother's child... and that's just fine with you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Spam Meme

Technology... is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ~C.P. Snow, New York Times, 15 March 1971

The Super-Duper Grand Opening of The Long and the Short of It is less than a week away. Dear heavens. Yes, Judy and I are swamped with stuff to do. Yes, we spend a couple hours online together everyday. Yes, my brain is fried :-)

That can mean only one thing -- It's time for a meme!

Tuesday Twosome

Canned Meat

Do you check your email once a day or more? Explain:

I check my email constantly -- several times a day -- because I'm now running a business online and that's the only way we communicate. I don't check my personal email anywhere near as often...maybe once a day? But the one I use for my writing and LASR? All the time.

When you receive SPAM emails, do you just delete them or take the time to mark it as SPAM? Explain:

It really depends on which email account I'm in -- some are easier than others to mark spam. If it's easy? You betcha. If it's not, then not always.

When a friend/acquaintance emails you a “forward” email like a joke or chain letter, do you forward it to your friends or just delete it? Explain:

I almost never forward these... they have to be pretty stupendous. The other day, I was cleaning out my desk, and I came across a manila file FULL of jokes/emails that I'd printed off from my last job (from nearly ten years ago!). I must have had a REAM of paper in there. And that's just what I thought was good enough to keep. Sheesh...

Who are two people whose emails you look forward to receiving? Explain:

This one is tough, because there are more than two. My friends, Cathy and Kathy would be in there. Soon, it'll be my mom -- who is leaving the nest and flying west in a month or so (*sniff*). I also look forward to all the folks who comment on my blog, and Judy and Michele.

I'm also a big fan of those emails from my editors :-)

Do you believe that email has completely replaced other forms of communication?

Have you seen how much people talk on cell phones? OTOH, with the price of postage nowadays, email sure is handy for sending short notes. Nothing, though, replaces the thrill of getting something in the old mail box. Just ask my DD. She LOVES getting mail.
==============================

In other news, I got a request for the full manuscript of my novel yesterday!! This one came through faster than I would have thought -- less than a week -- and it's from a publisher I haven't worked with before, but have heard great things about. No, not saying who. Don't want to jinx it.

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Your Inner Eye Color Is Brown

You're smart, thoughtful, and the ideal woman for most men
You are kind and easy to trust. Men open up to you like no one else.
It's this inner warmness that attracts guys - and makes you an instant soulmate.


Odd... that's my "outer" eye color, too.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Bourne Again

This is, hands down, the best action movie of the year so far. I know I said that Live Free or Die Hard was my favorite not long ago, but Paul Greengrass (who also directed The Bourne Supremacy and United 93) just plain makes smarter, tougher movies. - review of The Bourne Ultimatum from Movies.com

This past Friday was the DH's and my eleventh anniversary. I didn't mention it here because... when I wrote my blog, I thought the day was Thursday (remember how I got all my days skewed?). I even told the DH that morning, "One more day and we've put up with each other for eleven years." and he said, "Uh, our anniversary is today." My reply? In a completely shocked voice, "IT'S FRIDAY?" and then in a smaller voice, "I thought today was Thursday..."

Anyway...we didn't do anything in Friday because he gets home late AND he plays hockey on Friday night, but we finally managed to get out last night for dinner and a movie.

We saw "The Bourne Ultimatum". This freakin' movie starts, and NEVER slows down. Finding a good point to go potty (and I always seem to have to go at least once) was impossible. You simply didn't have time to even take a breath. Amazing. And I WANT MORE. The DH and I have watched one Bourne movie each week leading up to this -- he hadn't seen the first two -- and I feel a little but lost now that they're over. Matt Damon is truly outstanding in the part -- and when the first movie came out, I seriously questioned the casting director's sanity -- and I hope they decide to continue the franchise. At least, as long as they can continue to do them well.

I haven't read the Bourne books in about twenty years... and I know there are new ones since I read them. I think I may have to go hit the library and read them all again to get my Jason Bourne fix.

======================

Your Love Life is Like Pretty Woman

"I want the fairy tale"

You believe that love is truly blind, unpredictable, and surprising. Two very different people can easily find true love. At least, that is how it will happen when you marry a gorgeous billionaire someday ;-)

Your love style: Sensual and flirty

Your Hollywood Ending Will Be: Surprisingly happy

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Better Day

"Get up from your desk and wander outside occasionally. To be a good writer one needs to be a good observer, and there isn't a lot to be observed at desk level." - Jane Yolen

We finally, FINALLY figured out what was making the dog act so weird at night (pacing, whining, breathing in my face) over the past week or so -- the smoke alarm IN THE ATTIC over DD's room had a low battery, so it would give off a little "beep" every thirty seconds or so. During the day, there's too much residual noise to hear it, but at one in the morning, if you were really quiet and alert, you could just barely hear the beep.

It's a sound that flips the dog out. No wonder when I'd go away somewhere, she'd be in the basement when I got back. Poor puppy -- tortured by a beep for more than a week.

Last night, though, since DH climbed up and replaced the battery... we all three slept like babies. Life is good...

So, anyway....

I worked a little on MY OWN writing yesterday. I'm trying to edit the first novel I ever wrote as an adult. It is, truly, the book of my heart. I love these characters and want this story to be told. I sent the first, edited chapter to a couple of people who haven't read the story before because I wanted fresh eyes. I heard back from one of them (thanks, Gay!) with some great feedback. Someday, I'm going to get just the right beginning to this story.

I also worked a little on designing a website for my friend, Judy. And even though I did a little work for LASR, I mostly stepped away from it yesterday. I needed the break.

The good news there is this: We have six new reviewers ready to come on board and I'm THRILLED. We're making a few changes to the reviewer policy, and once that's firmly in place, these ladies will be coming on board. Look forward to even more reviews every day.

So, yes, it was a pretty good day yesterday. I feel much better this morning. Thanks for your well-wishes yesterday. They worked!

========================

Your Birth Month is January

You are a natural leader who is able to stand up when no one else can.
Strong and powerful, you tend to overshadow those around you.

Your soul reflects: deep love, fascination with life, and a distinctive persona

Your gemstone: Garnet

Your flower: Snowdrop

Your colors: Black, dark red, and dark blue

Saturday, August 18, 2007

So Tired

If we are lucky, we can give in and rest without feeling guilty. We can stop doing and concentrate on being. - Kathleen Norris

I am beginning to burn out... I need a break, guys. Just for today. The dog woke me up at 1 a.m., then the cat got me up at 4:30 -- and I am fried. No witty words, nothing of the slightest interest.

I will say that, at Pillar Place: Monarch, we had another successful release. Anne is now footloose and fancy free and her release was without mishap.

And I'll give you this:

You Are Lightning

Beautiful yet dangerous
People will stop and watch you when you appear
Even though you're capable of random violence

You are best known for: your power

Your dominant state: performing


No power today...

Back tomorrow.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Why

Finish every day and be done with it... You have done what you could;some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it...serenely, and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

So... got another agent rejection today in the old inbox. This means I need to send more out, but it does get hard. At least this one was personal, so that was something. Still, this rejection thing gets really old. I've also had one publisher rejection of my novel. It's still out at two and one agent has the full. So, it's not as though things aren't still viable.

I often wonder, though, at the kind of people writers are. This goes for other folks who willingly open themselves up for the possibility of constant, subjective rejection -- actors, singers, etc. Why do it?

My DD told me she wants to be an artist when she grows up. Of course, she's only eight, and last year she wanted to be president (or a firefighter). Still, I told her if an artist was what she wanted to be, that was wonderful and she should work hard at her skills. In my head, though? I was screaming, "Don't do it! People will hate your work and point and laugh." Of course, look at Picasso... I still don't understand why he's so famous.

People can be scathing of the work of another person's heart. And that hurts. And yet, we keep writing and keep submitting and occasionally get published. And then, we'll do a Google search on our names or the titles of our stories and find out Mrs. Giggles gave it a 9, or that someone on Fictionwise rated it poor. And it's devastating.

And yet we keep writing, and keep submitting and occasionally get published. But mostly, writers are rejected.

And sometimes it doesn't matter that your work is good, or even great. I know of many writers who are some of the best I've read, who are -- only now -- beginning to get a little recognition for their work. And some of the worst stuff I've ever seen has been published.

Writing and reading... very subjective. What I love, you may hate. And the same goes for agents and editors. Despite the fact that they have the power to publish and make household names of some authors, they are still, in fact, human. With human thoughts, and human feelings and human failings.

And THAT is why we keep going. We know -- because we love our work and we keep learning, and striving and getting better -- that somewhere, there must be at least ONE other person who will feel the same way. And just like we looked for that one person out of billions to marry, we look for that one agent, that one editor who will read our work and think, "Yes! This project I love. This project I can get behind and sell and promote."

And so, I write. And I submit. And sometimes, I get published.

===========================

Pillar Place: Monarch has only two residents left. We released three more butterflies yesterday. Two had hatched when my DD got up to check them, and one (Bob) was black and ready.

The first two were fine and went off into the world without a hitch. Bob, alas, had some man-made problems. First off, DD got to see him actually hatch. I got there about half a second too late, but did get pictures of him still all scrunchie and weird looking (and, no, I don't have them to share.... maybe I'll do a photo montage when all this is over). In a matter of seconds, his wings looked normal -- but were still floppy and fragile.

It was at this point DD thought it would be a good idea to pick him up off his chrysalis. Um, not such a good idea. He fell and his wings bent. She grabbed him up. When they first hatch, they hang so that gravity assists their wings. So she hung him from her fingertip. I advised her that it take a couple of hours for his wing to be strong. And, for some reason, he wouldn't use his front legs to cling, so we couldn't get him back on his chrysalis shell or on the netting of the box. He just kept falling and bending those new wings.

She was sobbing and generally feeling awful, certain she had condemned poor Bob to death. Meanwhile, I found a slim, bark-covered (therefore ROUGH) stick and taped it inside the box lid. Finally -- something he could hold on to. We left for our errands, and when we returned... he was no longer there. Yay! Bob had flown.

Turns out, we weren't entirely correct in this supposition. A little while later, I was out front watering some new bushes. I hate rolling and unrolling the hose, so I put the nozzle on "jet" so it would reach farther and sprayed a bush.

And hit Bob.

Apparently, he figured he would be safe hiding inside the bush. Normally, in the event of a natural rainstorm, he would have been. Most of the time, rain doesn't fall sideways.

Poor Bob fell out of the bush and onto the ground. I cried out and dropped the hose, running to his side. I scooped him up and shook him off a bit. In a matter of moments, he was flapping away.

When I shared this with Judy, she said, "The next time you see a monarch flying near you, and it stops, stares and then flies rapidly the other direction, you'll know it's Bob."

=========================

Your Dosha is Kapha

Calm and grounded, you are not prone to mood swings or anger.
However, once you do get angry, it takes a lot to cool you down.
You tend to think a little slower than most people, but your logic is astounding.
Overall, you very loyal and trustworthy. You're not scared of being who you really are.

With friends: You enjoy their company, but often listen more than talk

In love: You crave connection and affection. It's hard for you to be single.

To achieve more balance: Exercise vigorously (especially in the sun) and let go of attachments.


Dear heavens, this couldn't be more wrong. I am mood swing central! Sheesh...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Booking It One At A Time?

“Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere.” -- Mary Schmich

The winner of the drawing for "The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes" or a free download of any one of my stories is ELLE FREDRIX!!! WOO! Thanks for playing everyone.

I'm happy to report that, as of this posting, my newly released short story, Pregnancy Cravings, is number eight in overall sales at The Wild Rose Press! Magic is number one in its category, Pregnancy Cravings number two AND for their length (rosette), they are number three and number five, respectively.

I'm obsessed by stats. Just ask Judy. :-)

Thanks to Allie, who left reviews for both stories. If you're interested in reading what she has to say, you can look here.

Now... it IS Thursday, and you know what that means! Time to book it:



One book at a time? Or more than one? If more, are they different types/genres? Or similar? (We’re talking recreational reading, here—books for work or school don’t really count since they’re not optional.)


Oh, definitely several at a time! I usually have at least one fiction and one non-fiction book going at the same time. Right now, I'm reading "Up Close and Dangerous" by Linda Howard and "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver. I'm also in the middle of editing my friend, Gay's book "The Learner's Permit" and have to keep reminding myself that I'm not reading for pleasure. I am also making time to do reviews on a few short stories for posting at LASR. And, I have a pile of magazines on my nightstand that I'm working through.

Either I have a really short attention span, or I like to multi-task. What about you?
========================

In Pillar Place: Monarch, we successfully released FOUR butterflies yesterday!!! One was Judy, one was Andy and we aren't sure who the other two were... but they were gorgeous. We expect 2 - 3 to hatch today. Amazing.

What is, IMHO, one of the most incredible things is that those huge, fragile wings can fit inside that tiny chrysalis. We haven't actually seen one hatch yet, which is frustrating, however. Maybe today.

==========================

It appears my roots are showing:




You're California!

In many ways, you are larger than life and almost defy description. You certainly love to shake, rattle, and roll with the best of them. You have a generally sunny disposition, but are capable of resorting to harsh extremes when pressed. You are more likely than most to become rich, or famous, or perhaps both. While you have the golden touch in so many regards, your respect for actors is a little over-zealous. This endless faith in actors needs to be terminated.


Take the State Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.



Yes, I am -- born and raised -- a California girl. Glad to see, despite my (hopefully temporary) relocation out east, I'm still me at heart!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

RELEASED!! ** Win a Book!! **

"When I am dead, I hope it may be said: 'His sins were scarlet, but his books were read.'" - Hilaire Belloc

Woo!

Here are my new stories, released just this morning -- One lucky person who comments on this post will win a copy of "The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes" or a free download of any one of my available stories at "The Wild Rose Press", your choice (Contest ends 8/15/07 at midnight eastern time). Feel free (in fact, consider me on my knees begging) to spread the news of both the contest and my new releases!

Pregnancy Cravings

Patrice would do anything for her pregnant friend, Cathy, even if "anything" includes running to the convenience store daily to indulge her cravings. On one excursion, Patrice meets Joey Sousa, the cashier at the store. Their attraction is undeniable, but awkward: he thinks she's pregnant, she thinks he's dating someone else. Will the misunderstandings keep them apart, or will their chance meeting give birth to happy ever after?


Magic

For fifteen years, seven friends have gathered for a vacation at Lake Wentworth, NH. This year is no different -- except this time, Cass Edwards has trouble looking at her best-friend-since-forever Ben Wilson as just a friend. Can two people in search of a future find it in a mutual past? Will love strengthen the bonds of their friendship or destroy them?


Also, if you do happen to purchase one or both of these and then, of course, READ them-- would you please leave a review at the TWRP site?

And, Dru, I haven't a clue if you can download these stories to your PDA, not owning one myself, but I would assume so. Can anyone answer that question for Dru?

Thanks!!

=========================

Pillar Place: Monarch is getting very exciting! We hatched and released our first butterfly yesterday (yes, I have pictures, but getting them downloaded is difficult)! DD is certainly it was "Cutie". Finally, success!! It appears that we will have somewhere between 1 - 3 more to release today. One is Judy (poor Bob... he's a couple days behind), and DD will have to decide who the others are. What a thrill for all of us. Holding a butterfly in your hand is an amazing thing.

=========================

Your Power Bird is a Vulture

You are always changing your life and the lives of those around you.
You aren't afraid to move on from what holds you back.
Energetic and powerful, you have a nearly unlimited capacity for success.
You know how to "go with the flow" and take advantage of what is given to you.

I have to admit to not knowing exactly how to feel about being compared to a bird who eats rotting meat...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

In The Pink... Not.

“Pink is the color of romance and a friend tells me that the girl with the pink dress at the party is the one who is selected for each dance” - Alfred Carl Hottes

Is it possible that I am the only living person who wants to print something on pink card stock?? Because I have looked and looked, and can't find pink card stock anywhere -- except in a set of four other colors (green, blue, yellow and white) I don't want.

Pink isn't that uncommon a color, is it? I think pink is lovely. Quiet. Romantic. Pink, in various shades, is my favorite color for my flowers. Pink is nice. I have many shirts in pink. My bathroom is pink (well "rose" technically).

So, why can't I find pink card stock? Staples doesn't have it. Neither does Office Max or Office Depot. I have to admit, I've come close with Office Depot -- they have "salmon" which is oh-so-very-close. I may end up with salmon.

Does pink offend people? Does it make them violent? Ill? Hungry? Tired?

Why is there no pink out there?

I'm looking for pink business card stock as well. Does it exist? Apparently not. I found "butterflies & roses" which happen to be printed on pink business card stock... but PLAIN pink? Nope. Not there.

ARGH!!

I don't have the time to waste on this. It's absurd.

It's pink, office supply people... it's not a crime to like pink. Or is it?

==========================

Charity is finally dishing on the Super Secret Hot Dish Project at her blog and congratulations are in order. Go give this MOST talented author the congrats she deserves.

==========================

In Pillar Place: Monarch -- Otto is definitely a goner. He turned black and fell off the roof :-(

We moved Curly (of the black chrysalis) into his own abode (aka GladWare) just in case he, too, is stricken with the Black Death. All the other chrysaliseseseseses are a nice, healthy green color -- so, so far, so good. Fingers crossed for a huge crop of pretty butterflies.

It does make me wonder how they ever survive in the wild. Geez.

===========================

Tomorrow is the big day! I have TWO stories coming out with The Wild Rose Press!! It's been tough -- I've been so wrapped up in the LASR site, that I haven't been in the least bit prepared to really promote these stories, and I LOVE THEM. I still haven't a clue what I'm going to do. I always have some sort of contest... any thoughts? What can I do to induce each of my readers to post about my stories on their blogs and get the word out? You decide what my contest should be.

Here are the stories:

"Pregnancy Cravings" (Coming August 15th)
Patrice would do anything for her pregnant friend, Cathy, even if "anything" includes running to the convenience store on a daily basis to indulge her cravings. On one of her excursions, Patrice meets Joey Sousa, the cashier at the store. Their attraction is undeniable, but awkward: he thinks she's pregnant, she thinks he's dating someone else. Will the misunderstandings keep them apart, or will their chance meeting give birth to happy ever after?


"Magic" (coming August 15th)
For fifteen years, seven friends have gathered for a vacation at Lake Wentworth, NH. This year is no different -- except this time, Cass Edwards has trouble looking at her best-friend-since-forever Ben Wilson as just a friend. Can two people in search of a future find it in a mutual past? Will love strengthen the bonds of their friendship or destroy them?
=====================

You Are Expressionism

Moody, emotional, and even a bit angsty... you certainly know how to express your emotions.
At times, you tend to lack perspective on your life, probably as a result of looking inward too much.
This introspection does give you a flair for the dramatic. And it's even maybe made you cultivate some artistic talents!
You have a true artist's temperament... which is a blessing and a curse.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Win a Tote Bag FULL of Books!



Finally, things are really starting to move! The Long and the Short of It is almost ready to launch! If you haven't visited over there, why not? And... go... but then come right back. You don't want to miss the big news. You see, Judy and I have been working diligently and now we feel like celebrating.

Not only will the new website have the reviews you all love, we will have a whole lot more. The website goes live on Monday, August 27th with a super Grand Opening Party (have I mentioned we'll have lots of great prizes?). And... we want to give YOU a chance to get in on the fun early, so we are having a pre-Grand Opening contest.

Contest? You know how I LOVE contests! Well, this is a MONSTER giveaway and I'm having more fun than usual!

There are THREE ways you can enter this wondrous contest:

1. Some of our reviewers are promoting this contest on their blogs. Head over to The Long and the Short of It, the blog and click on their names. If you leave a comment on their sticky note announcing the contest, you'll be entered. Only enter one time please, per reviewer, but you CAN visit more than one reviewer. Oh... and don't forget me and Judy. ALSO: Please don't forget -- we need a way to contact you if you win. Anonymous posts, posts with no blogger profiles or posts without email addresses will have to be disqualified.

2. You can share the good news about the contest on your own blog. Simply link to us in your blog entry then fill out the Mr. Linky here. Please use the url to the actual blog entry, so we can find it easily.

3. You can sign up for our newsletter here.

And, that's it.

What? I haven't told you the prize yet? How can I forget the most important thing???

We're a book site, right? What else would we be giving away but... books? We will be sending to one lucky reader in the USA or Canada this gorgeous tote bag plumb stuffed with books (new, gently used, or ARCs), along with some wonderful sweet smellin' bath goodies so you can lay back in the tub and relax while you read all your new books. Our international readers are encouraged to enter the contest as well, however due to postage cost restraints, the winner will be sent a $30 Amazon gift certificate.

So... you know the prize, you know the rules... go and tell everyone. And... remind them to check out The Long and the Short of It on Monday, August 27, for our Grand Opening Bash... and to find out the winner of the contest.

This pre-Grand Opening Contest ends at noon, Eastern Time, Sunday, August 26, 2007.

Monday Morning!

I've watched you now a full half-hour;
Self-poised upon that yellow flower
And, little Butterfly! Indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless! - not frozen seas
More motionless! and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!
~William Wordsworth, "To a Butterfly"


Today will be a busy day, but I wanted to stop in long enough to say "howdy"!

Yesterday was certainly eventful. First thing that happened was, we found a little white dog wandering down our street -- cute little thing and friendly to people. He wasn't sure what to do about our dogs, though, so simply turned his back on them and didn't move when he got sniffed and nudged. DD promptly named him Fluffy, and wanted to keep him.

Anyway... I called some neighbors and no one knew who he belonged to. We don't have a shelter in our town, so I couldn't call to see if anyone had reported him missing. So, we started the trek down the road. I knocked on doors, door after door. Oddly, no one answered any of them. I don't think I look like a serial killer...

Poor puppy with his stubby little legs was pooped out. I carried him much of the way, and when he was set down, he just laid on the ground. Finally, we turned onto the next street. I saw a little Miniature Pinscher and headed that way. People with dogs usually take note of other people with dogs -- so I thought that person might know who the dog belonged to.

She did. It was hers! Yay. Tigger (not Fluffy) went home.

Later that day, DD got to drive our lawn tractor all by herself! She was so excited. DH put it in "1", a speed so slow, I walk faster, and let her go. What a great time she had! She thinks she's ready for her drivers license. I told her she had a few years yet.

And, lastly, we're getting a little concerned about our black chrysalis here at Pillar Place: Monarch. He should have hatched by now. And some online research revealed that there is something called "black death" for monarchs. Seems there is a bacterium in the soil that infects the milkweed and can cause the pillar to die -- or the chrysalis, if the pillar eats it right before pupating. It's highly contagious, as well -- which horrifies me, as I put most of the pillars together in the same box.

Fingers crossed the rest will be okay. I'm not sure what I should do with the black one... leave it there or move it, though I imagine at this point if it was going to infect the others, it would have already.

==========================

You Have Good Manners 70% of the Time

Your manners are quite excellent. You are well versed in etiquette.
Of course you have the occasional slip up, but you even apologize with grace.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Book Trailer By Brenda

Because I'm a contest junkie...

Want a free book? Check out Brenda's blog.

====================

A SEASON OF FORGIVENESS
by Brenda Coulter
Available in stores September 25.
Order now from Amazon.
Read most of the first chapter at BrendaCoulter.com

=====================

And here's the really nifty trailer:




Happy Sunday!

I Love the 80s

Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn't stop to enjoy it. ~William Feather

I'm so ashamed. I forgot to post a happy thought yesterday.

((hangs head))

I'll make up for it now.

Time for day twelve of:



I'm happy with the weather! It's been just gorgeous -- highs in the low eighties and no humidity. Makes me want to do the Dance of Joy.



I'm also happy so many of my favorite shows from the eighties are coming out on DVD!

DH just bought the first season of "Hardcastle and McCormick".

I'm more of an A-Team fan myself.



But we both like watching "Magnum P.I.".

That makes me very happy.

============================

Thanks for all your comments on "A Christmas Curse" yesterday! It was a hoot to write, and I hope it will be even more fun for you to read. I don't have a release date yet (I only finished the first round of edits yesterday), but I imagine it'll come out sometime in November.

Don't worry, you can get a sample of my goofier writing when "Pregnancy Cravings" is released this coming Wednesday. If you read both "Pregnancy Cravings" and "Magic" (also out on Wednesday) you're going to think I'm seriously bi-polar. They are completely different types of stories.

============================

Groovy asked in comments yesterday whether LASR pays its reviewers. No. I wish we could! They do an amazing job... but their only pay currently is the free eBooks and, eventually, the free print books that they review. We have plans, OH do we have plans... But for now, we are DESPERATE for reviewers.

So, come on folks... come for the books, stay for the fun -- we have a great group of ladies!

===========================

In Pillar Place: Monarch, Clarisse has made her "J" and will most certainly become a chrysalis today. These lovely butterflies will make the journey to Mexico in a month or so -- they actually live about 9 months and migrate a gazillion miles. When they reach their overwintering destination, they will mate, lay eggs and eventually die. Their children will be the ones who return next year and start another year of Pillar Place. Monarchs are one of the longest living butterflies, and I believe they are the only ones who migrate.

Amazing.

=============================

Your Summer Ride is a Jeep

For you, summer is all about having no responsibilities.
You prefer to hang with old friends - and make some new ones.


No responsibilities? So why am I getting ready to launch a new website? Speaking of which, stay tuned tomorrow for more news!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Writing, Reviewing and Wings

"Success is achieved by developing our strengths, not by eliminating our weaknesses." - Marilyn vos Savant

Just cuz it was a cool quote. It really has nothing to do with my early morning babbling.

Woke up early, early, early today. I hate it when my brain wakes up before I'm ready. I tried to go back to sleep on the couch, but no doing -- I kept getting the strangest songs in my head. "Are You Ready?" by KC and Terry Desario. "Someone To Love" by Queen. And different thoughts zipped around in there, ideas for promotion, thoughts about writing, wondering about how I can create more hours in my day, wondering why my dog is so weird...

You get the idea.

So, about 3:30 a.m., I heaved a sigh, threw off the throw (it's a throw, it should be thrown don't you think?) and turned on the coffee pot. Even the cat gave me the evil eye when I turned on the dining room light. She clearly has no problem with her brain buzzing...

I checked email, puttered around on a few of my fave sights and then realized I should probably do a blog post. For all the things buzzing around in my brain, not one of them has to do with something to put on this blog.

Is it possible that, after nearly 1,000 posts I've run out of things to say?

You're right. I never run out of words.

I got my first round of edits on one of my newly contracted stories, "A Christmas Curse". Have I posted that blurb? If not, here it is:

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.
Is it on your Christmas shopping list? Feel free to get a copy for all your friends and family. It's a fun story (she said humbly).

It's been fun messing with the new website, too. Have you checked out my cool new navigational buttons? I actually liked a different one better, but was out-voted. Judy, my mom and my 8 y.o. DD voted for the new ones. They're growing on me (the buttons, not Judy, my mom and DD). We have big things happening, and the first of them will be announced both here and at the website on Monday!!

We're still in desperate need of new reviewers. Even if all you can do is one or two reviews a month, we need you. We have far more work than my eight current reviewers can handle. I have two good sized ePresses sending us their new releases, and one has said we can review any of their backlist. Though romance is the central theme in all the books and stories we review, they are in all genres -- from Young Adult to mystery to paranormal. What are you waiting for?

=======================

Pillar Place: Monarch may be in for some excitement soon. One of our chrysalis' is turning black! This happens right before they hatch. Like this (photo swiped from Bird Chick, once again -- I adore Bird Chick):



You can't *quite* see the wings on ours yet, but it's getting there. DD insists that it's Curly hatching first. Once all nine (ten?) went into the box, I lost track of who was who, but I'm good with this one being Curly. We'll keep you posted.

My first monarch. I'm tickled.

===========================

What Your Pizza Reveals

Your appetite is pretty average. You don't go overboard - but you don't deprive yourself either.

You are a very picky pizza eater. Not any pizza will do. You fit in best in the Northeast part of the US.

Your taste is rather complex and sophisticated. You consider yourself a gourmet - and a bit of a snob.

You are generous, outgoing, and considerate with your choices.

You are definitely unique and artistically inclined. You should consider traveling to Prague.

The stereotype that best fits you is hippie. You knew it was coming.


If I don't blog tomorrow, it's because I've donned my love beads and am off to Prague.

Peace.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Available: Your Very Own Pillar Place

We should give as we would receive, cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation; for there is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers. ~Seneca

Ironic, isn't it: when it rains, it pours. I got the release date for my story, "Magic". It's AUGUST 15TH! Not that I'm not excited, but that means I have TWO stories being released the same day.

I wonder if that is better or worse for me?

In any case... mark your calendars! August 15th will be a crazy day. Especially since on August 13th I'm going to ... well... I can't tell you YET or it would take all the fun out of it.

But don't forget to check back.

===========================

Pillar Place is quiet still. I'm beginning to grow worried that my last swallowtail pupa, Jill, is planning to overwinter that way. This doesn't make me a happy person. I've done that once, I don't want to do it again, and swore I wouldn't this year. Ha. Jill is snickering inside her skin, isn't she. *sigh* It's not as though I could just throw her away. Botheration.

I have an idea, however. My milkweed plants, and the ones down the road where I've been harvesting leaves, are PACKED with seed pods. I certainly don't need any more milkweed in my small butterfly garden, and the existing plants will spread without seeds anyway, so I wanted to offer to send them to people.

Anyone want to start their own Pillar Place? If so, I'll send you milkweed seed pods and directions on how to cultivate it. It will need A LOT of space, so I don't recommend planting it unless you have a bit of room.

I may also throw in some seeds for flowers that butterflies love: coneflower, zinnia, etc., if I have enough. And some parsley, rue and dill seeds for swallowtails.

If you're interested, email me at marianne (AT) mariannearkins.com with your address.

==========================

Time for day nine of:



I'm happy my friend, Allie Boniface had two books accepted for publication this year! And, to celebrate my happiness, I'll share her book trailer with you. It's as classy and well created as her books are.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Booking It Multiple Times

A book is to me like a hat or coat - a very uncomfortable thing until the newness has been worn off. ~Charles B. Fairbanks

It's Thursday, so let's book it:


Do you have multiple copies of any of your books?

No.

If so, why? Absent-mindedness? You love them that much? First Editions for the shelf, but paperbacks to read?

See above.

If not, why not? Not enough space? Not enough money? Too sensible to do something so foolish?
I have been known to read a book until it falls apart, at which point I'll buy another one... but I don't see the point in keeping more than one copy. Can anyone tell me why you would?

WAIT. Stop the presses!!! I DO have two copies of one book: One of Nora Roberts In The Garden trilogy books (I don't recall which one). I had purchased the book, and then a friend of mine (HI PAM!) saw her at a conference and got one autographed for me. Nora wrote MY NAME. That one is on my autographed shelf and will never be read. I touch it now and then, hoping the magic will rub off.

And, hey, if you're looking for something to buy two of, you can check out the book reviews here.
==============

Time for day eight of:



You know, I didn't love "My Best Friend's Wedding", but I've watched it several times for one scene. In the theater, I died laughing and even now it makes me chuckle.

I give you -- my favorite scene (and now that I've found it on YouTube, I can come back and visit it whenever I want):


=================

No news on Pillar Place.

==================

Got my galley's in the email inbox this morning and will get those done ASAP. The DD (that's "dear dog" not "dear daughter") was restless and whiny all night again. I think something was outside, because I finally took her downstairs and crashed on the couch, but opened the back door cuz it was so freakin' hot inside. She galloped over and whined, so I joined her. And sure enough, something was crashing around out there... it sounded like they were on my DD's (yes, that's "dear daughter") swingset, but I turned the like on and didn't see any glowing eyeballs.

Raccoons?

Bears?

Deer?

The Boogieman?

You decide.

Regardless, I am once again... tired.

Have a lovely Thursday.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wednesday? Really??

Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils. ~Louis Hector Berlioz

I really loved that quote -- it made me laugh. Is that wrong? ...but, moving on...

Monday, DH stayed home from work to hang out with the well pump people -- and, yes, we have our water back and it didn't cost us the farm. Hallelujah! It's amazing how much I missed not having running water -- washing hands, brushing teeth, flushing potties -- I'm so thrilled to return to this century.

So, anyway... DH stayed home on Monday. So my whole view of the week is messed up. I had something I was supposed to do on Tuesday... but, in my brain, yesterday was Monday. I called the lady at 5:30 p.m. when I remembered that is was, indeed, Tuesday. The good thing? She'd taken a long weekend, and had had the same problem! LOL...

I was so tired and discombobulated yesterday that I forgot to post my happy-ness. I figure I need two things today. So, without further ado, I give you day six and seven of:



You know what else makes me really happy? I'll even give you MORE than two! Contests!!

I found this at Judy's and thought I'd share:

Over at Ashwin’s blog, you will find one crazy blog owner!! You can win $2500!! To enter just copy this text and paste it in your blog!! But hurry, this competition will not last long! So get posting!
How cool is that? Talk about your viral blogging!

And Melissa is giving away books from RWA every week to her commenters commentors people who comment. Check it out!

And... if you tune in HERE on Monday, August 13th... I'll be giving away something for a some reason. It's a cool prize, (she said modestly), you'd love to be the winner AND it's easy to enter multiple times! How's that for really cool?

Feeling happier already?

Here's a video that always makes me nod my head in agreement -- and, yes, folks it's Country Music, because... well... that's what I listen to mostly. But it IS an American Idol finalist... :-)



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I got a note from one of my editors today telling me she doesn't have my approval on the galley's for "Magic". That would probably be because I've never seen the galleys! Oops. This story takes place on Labor Day, so they want to release it soon (yeah, can you believe Labor Day is coming up already?? How did that happen?). Hopefully, she'll have it to me today, and hopefully it'll be perfect and not need to go back to production.

Fingers crossed.

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All quiet at Pillar Place. Consider no news, good news. Clarisse is eating like crazy and shedding her skin and growing. I had to move her downstairs, though, because I kept forgetting to feed her since she's the only one left not looking like a dangling green blob.

Brandy asked, yesterday, if I would do this again next year. I have no idea if I'm up to it again. Ask me after the monarchs hatch and I get to handle flowers that fly.

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Your Brain is 60% Female, 40% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female
You are both sensitive and savvy
Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed
But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve


I have to admit to being a little worried, because I know I'm not terrifically female-ish. I don't care about clothes, or hair, or cute boys (except DH, of course). I'm glad to see I'm *mostly* female. LOL...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tired Tuesday

There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast. ~Author Unknown

Wow! Late post... sorry. I wasn't actually up until 5:30 - wowza! Nothing like sleeping in. Too bad that didn't add up to eight hours of sleep. I stayed up until almost 10:30 watching a movie with DH. Finally put earplugs in around 11:00 because the dog's heavy panting was driving me nuts. Took them out thirty minutes later, because I hate wearing ear plugs (I need to be able to hear when the serial killer comes into my house, right?). Finally dozed off. Was awakened by the dog at a little after midnight, and I still don't know why because after she huffed in my face she stood in front of me -- didn't want to go out the door of the bedroom and outside, and wouldn't get out of my way when I shoved her.

Back to bed. Dog panting. Finally dozed. DD at the door an 90 mins later -- "Mommy, I had a bad dream." I stumbled into her room, put her back to bed and snuggled with her for a while, back to bed, dozed off. Dog was restless and pacing, "oofing" at the window and won't settle down. Bear? Neighbors? I listened and heard nothing, so didn't get up. Dozed off. Cat leaped up on my chest at 4:20, purring. She knows when the coffee pot finishes downstairs (it starts at 4:00) I'm supposed to be up. I get up, stumble to the couch and collapse, until 5:15 when the cat finds a scrap of paper on the floor and starts wrestling with it. It's light, and the birds are ready for their food.

*YAWN*

I love all my kids, both the two- and four-legged varieties... but there are times...

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I have to write a blurb for my newly contracted TWRP Yellow Rose (Woot! Let's hear for a hot cowboy!), "A Change Of Heart". Normally, I use a slightly edited version of the first paragraph of my query letter. But this time, I can't find the blasted thing. The one I have in the file is the query for "Pregnancy Cravings". I emailed my editor and she can't find it either. It's not in my email folder "sent queries", it's not in my Sent link. I searched gmail and found nothing. GACK. I really hate writing blurbs, and now I have to do this one TWICE.

Any blurb writers out there?

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Pillar Place -- both of them -- are very, very quiet. No hatched swallowtail. Maybe today? It's going to be nice, warm and sunny today. That would be good. All the little "J"'s became nice, perfect chrysalis' -- for a total of nine thus far. Anne crept up to her ceiling last night and is a "J" this morning. That only leaves Clarisse to feed (YAY! I never realized how hard it is to keep thirteen pillars in milkweed... voracious little buggers). I imagine in a week or so, she'll be a little green oval hanging from her ceiling, too. And then a week of absolute peace and quiet -- unless Otto somehow survived his bad chrysalis making. If so, he's due to hatch next Monday (or so). I hope so.

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Which Positive Quality Are You?
Your Result: Charity

You are Charity. The spirit of giving has been promoted by every religion. Charity is kindness. It is compassion for our fellow man. Charity doesn't ask anything in return, and in this way it serves as the opposite of greed. "Be charitable with many."

Friendship
Love
Courage
Faith
Peace
Which Positive Quality Are You?


Well... cool. I've always wanted to be Charity. She is a fantastic, insightful writer and has a wicked sense of humor, is thoughtful and generous with her time. As I said to a friend, via email, the other day: Charity is THE BOMB.

And I'm Charity. Woot!