Friday, November 30, 2007

Forgetful Friday

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Now that my head is beginning to get screwed back on correctly, I've spent some time in my email inbox and realized how much stuff I was supposed to do this week and haven't. For instance, working on the edits for "A Change Of Heart", my cowboy story coming with the Wild Rose Press. I emailed my editor and explained. There were some other editing issues and some website stuff and bills... none of which were addressed this week.

I hate being late or feeling incompetent. I suspect I'm going to be VERY busy for the next few days. I hope I can find the time to get done what I need to.

I've also decided to expand my story "Kitchen Matches" (yanno, the one that was rejected last month) because I think it will be a much more fun and strong story if I do and I have some ideas of some (hopefully) entertaining scenes to add. We'll see how it goes. Who knows? Maybe I'll end up with another novel length story to tell...

I bought "Blood Brothers" by Nora Roberts this week. I'm about halfway through it. It's pretty creepy and not as "romancy" as her usual work. Still, I'm really enjoying it (except for one head-hop we did for two paragraphs into the hero's father's head -- I can deal with leaping between H/H, but secondary characters make me nutty). When I finish, I'll post my review at the LASR reviews blog.

BTW, did anyone go look at the review posted on Wednesday? It's a great book, and you can win it! Go check it out... just click on that link above.

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

Did anyone besides Dru read my short story at LASR yesterday? It's VERY similar to how I met my DH... the funny thing was, Womans World rejected it for being unrealistic. LOLOL!

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

What The Holidays Mean to You

For you, the holidays are about emotional connections and bonds. You are happiest being around those you love.

You celebrate the holidays in a minimalist style. You are likely to only give one great present and decorate your house with a few special items.

During the holidays, you feel happily busy. There's so much do to and not a lot of time to do it. But you enjoy every minute of your holiday chores.

You think the holidays should be nostalgic and sweet. The holidays bring out your inner child.

Your favorite holiday memories strongly evoke your senses. You are vividly aware of all the tastes, smells, and sounds of the holidays.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Free Short Story

I forgot!! I have another Free Short Story up over at The Long and the Short of It, entitled "No Place Like Home" (yet another Womans World reject! LOL).

And, hey, if you're sick of reading my stuff, feel free to submit one of your own! You get a free months advertising of a banner or book cover if we accept your submission. Guidelines are here.

Release Date: Don't Fence Me In

I have a release date on my next Vintage Rose short story, "Don't Fence Me In" -- January 2, 2008!



Lizzie walked down to the place where a soldier leaned against the bar.

"Hello." She stopped a foot away and smiled. "I hear you asked about me. Do I know you?"

He turned his head, whiskey-brown eyes so sad she nearly cried for him. "No, ma'am. But I know about you from Seb."

Her knees wobbled at the sound of her brother's name, and the soldier's hand shot out to keep her from falling. The warmth and strength from his touch helped her to straighten and stand steady. She didn't realize that just the sound of her brother's name could make her so weak.

"You knew Seb?" she whispered and sank onto a stool beside the soldier. "Who are you?"

"I'm Jeremy McMasters, Miss Scott. I served with Seb until the day he died." His gaze lowered for a moment before he looked at her again, an intensity burning in his eyes. "He was a good man."

"Yes." She smiled though her heart ached. She missed her brother something fierce. "He was a very good man. He spoke of you in his letters, said there was no one better to guard his back."

Jeremy's mouth tightened. "Didn't do too good a job of that, now. Did I?"

"Oh." She grabbed his forearm, squeezed it tightly. "Seb's dying wasn't your fault. You didn't blow up his Jeep."

Jeremy stared at her hand for a long moment before shrugging off her touch. He reached inside his uniform pocket and pulled out a folded envelope. "I have two weeks before I'm redeployed, ma'am. I had to come here, to see you. He gave me his letter to deliver."

Lizzie shivered at the sight of that worn white envelope. The letter. The one all the soldiers wrote to be delivered in the event of their death. She couldn't reach for it. Didn't want it.

"Keep it." She jumped to her feet and took a step back. "I can't… I can't read it. Not now. Not yet."

"But--"

"No!" She turned and ran away to the powder room. When she'd composed herself enough to return, he was no longer there. She flopped down at the bar, distressed that the last bit of Seb, his last words, last thoughts, was gone.

One Last Post on Bailey

Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made. ~ Roger Caras

Judy made me cry again this morning... she made up this little banner and emailed it to me:



DH and I were talking about the fact that we got Bailey as a puppy on almost exactly the same date as we lost her. Eleven good, solid years. I want another eleven.

Yesterday was tough. We stayed away most of the day, but once we were home... it was the little things. Slicing food on the chopping board always made Bailey run to the kitchen. She loved fruits and veggies, and always got the bits I didn't use: the core of the tomato, the ends of the cucumbers, etc., and frequently got a little more than that because she was just so darn cute.

Opening a can was another thing that always got her attention. Cans = food of some sort! She loved to lay at my feet when I cooked, and I'd forever be tripping over her, but I never made her leave because I enjoyed having her nearby.

"Whoops!" was a sure way to get her attention. Again, it usually meant we'd dropped food on the floor. Last night, while we were having dinner, DD dropped a bit and said, "Whoops!" automatically (because, hey, having a dog is like never having to clean up the floor) and then burst into tears.

Bailey was, without a doubt, "MY" dog. She loved everyone, but I was pack leader. She hated being away from me, and would follow me everywhere. When I got up in the morning, so did she. When I went to bed, so did she. If I was on the second floor... so was she. As she got older, it was harder for her to do stairs, so she would watch to see where I would settle down before she decided where to go. I keep expecting to trip over her, to turn and run into her, to automatically pat her on the head as I pass by.

Even my cat it confused. DH cleaned up all things Bailey... so no doggy bed by our bed, no food dish by the entry way, no toys all over the floor... and the cat has been wandering around sniffing, meowing...

DH, though, is taking it the hardest. He's this big guy who never lets anything get to him. But he has been felled by this. He can barely function... it's the most painful thing I've ever had to watch.

And that's all I'll say here on this blog. I promise.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Present and Accounted For

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~ Roger Caras

Thanks so much for all your well-wishes. They are truly appreciated!

I'm here. I'm tired. I slept about three hours last night. At some point, I'll probably write a long, and interesting only to me post about my darling dog, but not now. The hardest part of this is watching my husband fall apart. Okay, maybe not THE hardest part... but so hard.

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

You Are the Thumb

You're unique and flexible. And you defy any category.
Mentally strong and agile, you do things your own way. And you do them well.
You are a natural leader... but also truly a loner. You inspire many but connect with few.

You get along well with: The Middle Finger

Stay away from: The Pinky

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Heart Hurts

Dogs' lives are too short. Their only fault, really. ~ Agnes Sligh Turnbull



My dog woke up this morning and wouldn't put weight on her front, right foot. After giving it some thought, and noticing how the swelling increased as the day progressed, I took her to my vet -- the best vet in the whole world.

He took x-rays.

Then the vet tech came in and offered to stay with my daughter while I talked to the doctor... never a good sign.

I was told that my dog, the light of my life and my first baby has bone cancer. Incurable. Inoperable. Painful. And that the only choice I had, really, was when (not if) to put her to sleep.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

She's not even gone, and I miss her already.

I'm devastated.

Tuesday Meme

"I love the movie previews... you know... Why is it whenever you're watching a movie preview you always feel like you have to comment on it to the person you're with? 'Yeah... I'm not gonna see that movie. I'm gonna wait for that on VIDEO.' I mean when you think about it, it's just a commercial for the movie. You know, you never sit at home watching tv-- "Yeah... I'm not buying that cereal. I don't like cereals with raisins in 'em. ...What's your take on that commercial? Where you goin'?" - Jim Gaffigan

Can't think of an original thing to say today, so I give you this meme:

Tina's Tuesdays

Topic: Going To The Movies


What was the last movie you saw at the theater?

The Bourne Ultimatum...I was going to say more, but then I saw the next question, so I'll say more down there! LOL...

Did you enjoy watching it? Why or why not.

I enjoyed it so much, I wrote a blog post on it. Much like the guy whose quote I used in that post, I figured "Live Free or Die Hard" was going to be the most exciting movie I saw for the year -- I was dripping sweat by the time that puppy was done. But "Bourne" beat it, hands down. It wasn't just top-speed exciting, but it made your brain work, too.

Just a really great movie.

What's the next movie you wish to go see in the theater?

I'd like to go see "Enchanted" -- the trailers for this have just tickled my funny bone to no end. But, in reality it will probably be either "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" or "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything"... the joy of being a mom.

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

Your Movie Buff Quotient: 44%

You are well on your way to becoming a movie buff.
You've seen many of the great films, and you have even probably developed an expertise in a few genres.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday Madness...

Housework is something you do that nobody notices until you don't do it. ~Author Unknown

My husband claims I am not organized. This is because he looks at my personal areas in the home and sees clutter (my desk, for instance). He doesn't realize that I know what and where every last bit of paper is, and when it bothers him to the point he tidies it up (usually by stacking everything in one big pile) he doesn't understand why I get angry... It's "neater" isn't it?

I am also very nuts about laundry. When I take off my clothes, they are ALWAYS right side in (unless they need washing inside out, as is the case in very few instances). My socks, my shirts... everything: right side in. My DH? Nope -- and if he's wearing layers, they all come off, together and inside out, and are put in the basket the same way.

DD's fave laundry quirk is taking off her pants, undies and socks all together so that the socks and undies hide inside the pants until it's too late...

If I lived alone, and if I were struck blind tomorrow (no, God, this was NOT a suggestion) I would be able to find anything in my house. I know where my dishes are, I know how I organize my junk drawer. I even fold my underwear (something that mystifies my husband who, before we were married didn't own a dresser, just two laundry baskets: clean and dirty).

The odd thing is this: My DH considers ME the untidy one. He believes my clutter is a "mess" and will stuff it places -- not where it belongs (in the closet, the drawer, the nightstand), just off the flat spaces so that things look neat.

Our house is frighteningly tidy. He and I compliment each other -- where I am neat, he is not. And vice versa. It may create frustration on both our parts, but it does make the house look good!

What about you? Organized? Tidy? A pack rat? Clutterbug?

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

I have given up the ghost on my NaNo endeavor... that said, I really, really enjoy the story I'm writing, so it will be completed. Just not by the end of November. That frustrates me to no end, as I am all about setting and reaching goals. I probably could have done it if I had had the occasional day alone with no DD or DH around. That just never happened. And, DH was here more than he was gone -- he took many, many days off for hunting season, and then frequently decided to NOT hunt and hung around home.

I'm sad. It's the first time I haven't "won" at NaNo... *sniff*

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

You Are 65% Real

You know who you are, and you're pretty darn comfortable with yourself.
Like everyone, you struggle with the parts of yourself that aren't so great...
But you're good at accepting who you are and not dwelling on your faults.
As a result, you're confident, optimistic, and very real.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

My Christmas Prep (or lack thereof)

Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall. ~Larry Wilde, The Merry Book of Christmas

For the first year, ever, I don't already have my Christmas cards in the mail. Yikes!! I don't even have them pulled out (I always buy them the day after Christmas for the next year). Shame on me. I also don't have my shopping done -- another first. And last night, about midnight (when my sick DD woke me up to ask what she could do to stop coughing, poor baby) I lay awake thinking that I needed stocking stuffers and I didn't know when I'd be able to go get them without DD tagging along.

Oh the drama.

At least we got our tree this weekend. We'll decorate it today. Sadly, there are no packages to put beneathe it (Mom, I'll wrap the ones you sent so it's not empty under there!).

What about you? Are you a last minute shopper or card-sender? Are YOU ready for Christmas??

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


Have you entered Allie's contest for her latest book. "Lost In Paradise"? If you haven't, skedaddle over there -- you won't be sorry to win that book, I'm telling you!!

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

You Are a Minimal Christmas Tree

You're not a total Scrooge, but you feel no need to go overboard at Christmas.
Less is more, and your Christmas reflects refined quality.


Yep... that's about right...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Leftover Woes

As a child my family's menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it. ~Buddy Hackett

So... DH had the audacity to ask me what I was making for dinner yesterday.

HAHAHAHA....

Since we have NO room in the fridge because of the piles of turkey and ten pounds of mashed potatoes, what do you think?

He made himself hot dogs.

*sigh*

I am apparently the only one in my family who does't mind eating the same thing a few times in a row. I love it. I probably wouldn't mind having one or two things for dinner for the rest of my life.

I'm the kind a person who always gets "the usual" when I go out to eat. Going to new restaurants always stymies me.

But now I have to figure out what to do with all the leftovers, because I can't eat them all before they spoil. And, you can't freeze potatoes.

How about you? Are you adventurous when it comes to food, or do you typically stay with the things that work? What are you doing with YOUR leftovers (if you have them)?

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

You Are a Gingerbread House

A little spicy and a little sweet, anyone would like to be lost in the woods with you.

Get A Little Lost This Weekend...

Get A Little Lost This Weekend...

Prize: Free download of Lost in Paradise, a Champagne Rose full-length release with The Wild Rose Press

Visit Allie Boniface's blog to read excerpts and answer trivia questions about her new release, Lost in Paradise. One winner will receive a free download of the novel! Winner will be announced on Monday, November 26.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Ack! I Almost Forgot!!

I've been waiting for EVER for this book to come out!! It's written by one of the most talented folks I know, Allie Boniface, and has a hot guy who likes kittens -- how can you resist???:

Lost In Paradise
by Allie Boniface

When high-society, Harvard grad Ashton Kirk moves to the sleepy town of Paradise to escape a family scandal, Eddie West, the town’s most eligible bachelor, takes notice. In one steamy summer, two people from different worlds discover that, sometimes, you can find your soul mate in the place you least expect.

Reviews: A Diverse Opinion

“My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right.” - Ashleigh Brilliant

I have a tendency to haunt my Fictionwise page after a release to see what people rate it over there. Because it is anonymous, I suspect people feel very free to be brutally honest.

What amazes me (besides the fact so few folks actually bother to rate stuff -- I know what I sell there, and the percentage of reviews to sales is exceptionally low) is that there is such a diverse opinion range on my stories. For my "Recommended Read" from Fallen Angels Reviews, "Miles From You", I have rec'd a "good" and an "ok". My most recent release, "The Christmas Curse" has rec'd two "Great" ratings and one "ok". I suppose I should be thankful that I haven't rec'd any "poor" ratings yet. Plenty of fellow authors have.

It shouldn't surprise me, I suppose, when I consider how I don't like so many very popular authors (Diana Gabaldon and Janet Evanovich to name two), so it's clear how different people can be.

Still, it's heartbreaking when someone thinks your baby is plain. But, that's the price you pay for getting your work out in front of people. I suppose it's a decent tradeoff.

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

Anyone going shopping today? I considered it, but there just weren't big enough deals on anything I wanted to entice me into that mess. PLUS, many places are offering free shipping today for online orders AND have their same specials online. Can't beat that!

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

How smart are you?
Am-I-Dumb.com - Are You Smarter?

If you take this test... stop after you give them your email address -- you DON'T have to do the Giveaway thingie. But, you do have to give out your email address...

See how smart I am?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

It is literally true, as the thankless say, that they have nothing to be thankful for. He who sits by the fire, thankless for the fire, is just as if he had no fire. Nothing is possessed save in appreciation, of which thankfulness is the indispensable ingredient. But a thankful heart hath a continual feast. ~W.J. Cameron

New Review for The Christmas Curse

I just discovered my story reviewed at Cocktail Reviews. I got four flutes! She said, in part:

A quirky, enjoyable read with a great voice, The Christmas Curse made me smile and root for Molly to have at least one Christmas where things didn’t go completely wrong.

Did you see that? "A great voice"... made my morning...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Funny



Cross posted on my website's "fun" page...

Funniest Turkey Craft -- EVER

You MUST go see Eileen Cook's blog today for a very interesting Thanksgiving craft.

Pre-Thanksgiving Post

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. ~H.U. Westermayer

What I will be doing today:

Turkey Brine

INGREDIENTS:
1 gallon vegetable broth
1 cup sea salt
1 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried savory
1 gallon ice water

DIRECTIONS:
1. In a large stock pot, combine the vegetable broth, sea salt, rosemary, sage, thyme, and savory. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to be sure salt is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.

2. When the broth mixture is cool, pour it into a clean 5 gallon bucket. Stir in the ice water.

3. Wash and dry your turkey. Make sure you have removed the innards. Place the turkey, breast down, into the brine. Make sure that the cavity gets filled. Place the bucket in the refrigerator overnight.

4. Remove the turkey carefully draining off the excess brine and pat dry. Discard excess brine.

5. Cook the turkey as desired reserving the drippings for gravy. Keep in mind that brined turkeys cook 20 to 30 minutes faster so watch the temperature gauge.

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

I will ALSO be reviewing my galley's for "Don't Fence Me In".

You remember, the story with the GORGEOUS COVER!



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

You Are The Stuffing

You're complicated and complex, yet all your pieces fit together.
People miss you if you're gone - but they're not sure why.


Oooh... complicated. Nifty.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Don't Fence Me In

I was going to wait until tomorrow... but I couldn't stand it because I love the cover. This is my second Vintage Rose story, set in 1953 and should be released next month (or maybe January, depending on the number of holiday stories).



It's June, 1953 and Lizzie Scott recently lost her brother, Seb, in the Korean War. When his friend and unit buddy, Jeremy McMasters, brings her Seb's "goodbye" letter, little does she know her life is about to change forever.


I can't stop looking at it. It's just lovely...

What do you think?

Go check out the rough draft of Allie's new book trailer -- it's for her upcoming book, "Lost In Paradise". She's asking for feedback. Help her out!

An Interview With ME! *G*

The words "I am" are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to. The thing you're claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you. ~A.L. Kitselman

I have finally gotten around to answering the questions Jen sent to me over the weekend (along with very kind words about "The Christmas Curse" -- thanks, Jen!). Here's what she wanted to know:

1. What is your writing/homeschooling day like? How do you fit it all in?

We start school quite early, because the DD and I are both early risers. So, the moment my husband walks out the door, we're in the school room. I'm fortunate that my DD catches on to stuff quickly and has quite a good memory, so daily review goes by quick and easy. Math, language, handwriting, etc. are pretty simple. Where we spend the majority of our school time is on history or science -- this is where she learns something new EVERY DAY, and there is much memorization required (we're actually memorizing The Declaration of Independence right now). Again, I benefit because she is a BIG reader and because I'm naturally an outdoor-sie person, so she interacts regularly with bugs and plants and dirt ... and we talk about why things grow and what animals do. History is fairly easy because she loves the "Dear America" type books, and reads them voraciously.

The hard part for her? Homework. She fights it. She hates it. She'll sit still for two hours when I'm teaching lessons, but she does NOT enjoy homework and papers and worksheets. She does them, but she grumbles.

As for writing, I typically work when she's off grumbling and doing her homework! And it's mostly website work in the morning, before anyone is awake. But, again, all that takes second place to homeschooling her. That's my priority. It is my major "job". Nothing else is more important.

Still, my days are crazy -- every day. I don't take weekends off, ever. So, "How do you fit: homeschooling, writing, cleaning, cooking, and running the reviews website?" --- to that, I answer, "I have NO IDEA."

2. What is your favorite thing about homeschooling your DD? What is the most frustrating thing about homeschooling?

I love being able to give her the special care she needs. I love being the person she turns to with questions. Frequently, I enjoy learning new things with her. When she struggles with a concept, I am thrilled we can stop everything and work on it until she understands. I love that we can skip over the easy stuff and not bore her to tears. I love that we can expand on the curriculum and focus on what she enjoys. I love that I get to go on every field trip and can plan some based simply on what we enjoy.

Frustrating? When I can't seem to teach her a new concept (we did this in second grade with subtraction). Or, when she says that she hates (insert subject here). Or when she moans that she doesn't want to "do" school today. Most of my frustration stems from sometimes feeling inadequate.

3. It's no secret you'd like to move. Where would be your ideal place to move to and why?

My ideal place is actually a place and a time -- so it's not going to happen. But, boy, if I could move back to Northern California thirty-five years ago? I'd go in a heartbeat. Now? I just want to be back out west somewhere. I love the western atmosphere. People are utterly different west of the Mississippi and south of North Carolina. I don't enjoy the attitude of most New Englanders (there are certainly exceptions: Ceri , Allie and Michele being three!). If I wasn't married, and didn't have to take my DH's needs and wants into account, I'd most assuredly move back to California, just because I love the climate, and it will always be home (regardless of how messed up it is nowadays).

4. If you could achieve anything you'd like, what would you like your life to be like five years from now?

After I won $381.9 million in the powerball, I'd be able to fly hither and thither in my private jet and visit my friends and family all over the world without worrying about canceled flights or where to leave my dog and cat while I'm gone.

I'd be able to write daily on my top-of-the-line laptop with no interruptions if I so chose. I'd have a cook and maid and five residences: California, Upstate New York, Arizona, Ireland and Australia.

I'd have fun stuffing hundred dollar bills in the Salvation Army bell-ringers buckets and leaving absurdly large tips when I went out to eat.

I'd have my own masseuse and horse breeding farm, and would squeeze in time speaking at various writers conferences as a New York Time bestselling author in between running my horses in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

Because, if you're going to dream, dream big!

And, hey, if you want to have a self-interview, leave me a comment saying you want to play, and the moment I have a minute, I'll think up some questions to ask you.
==================

I posted yet ANOTHER contest at LASR. This week we're giving away a TON of stuff!! An eBook from Marisa Chenery, an autographed print book from Maureen Fisher, a copy of "Thanksgiving" by Janet Evanovich, AND -- for you YA fans, a "best book" earner: An ARC of "The Luxe" by Anna Godbersen.

Good luck!

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



You'd look bey-ond bey-eautiful in the dress Beyoncé wore to the 2007 Oscars. She looked absolutely magical in the mint green gown with floral appliqué detailing, but we think it's just as perfect for you. In a dress like this, you'd definitely cast a spell -- this style is just as enchanting as your personality. Even if Beyoncé's Oscar dress isn't exactly your kind of thing, getting this result means you don't need bright colors or sequins to stand out from the crowd.
...enchanting as my personality.... Oh, yeah *G*

Monday, November 19, 2007

"Virtual" Friends

A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even if you are half-cracked. ~ Author Unknown

Okay, so I know I was going to do interview questions today, but I didn't have time to get to them yesterday. Tomorrow will be the day. I hope.

Yesterday, I spent the a.m. with my DH and DD and then headed out to the Barnes and Noble store in Nashua to meet Michele (!) -- and do a bit of shopping.

I had DD with me, because DH was going hunting, but had promised her a new book and a big Starbucks cookie. We got into town about 12:20, so hit the bookshelves. DD couldn't decide what to buy until we hit the classics rack. B&N were having a deal -- buy 3 for $19.95 (a little more than I had planned to spend, but... books... I can't resist). DD's eyes got big: THREE BOOKS? She could choose THREE?

She selected The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Robin Hood, and The Adventures of King Arthur. And, a triple chocolate chunk cookie. *G*

Michele showed up just before 1 p.m. and her DH took her kidlets off to a guy thing, saying he'd be back in two hours. WOW! We'd have forever to talk. Whatever would we find to talk about?

We found plenty. We gabbed, and gabbed, and gabbed... we even called Judy for a few minutes since she couldn't be there. And then Michele's DH and kidlets showed up, grabbed some snacks and gave us another half hour, and THAT flew by, too.

I suspect we could have had the entire day and still never shut up. Ha. It was a good time. I can't wait until we can do it again. It just won't be at the B&N cafe again -- you'd have thought it was a library, the way folks were giving us hairy eyeballs if we talked too loud. Sheesh.

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

HELP! The Long and the Short of It is in DESPERATE (did I mention that we're desperate?) need of reviewers. We have tons and tons of review requests and nowhere near enough folks to read and review them. Do you have time to read and review two stories a month? Short, novella, long... we have them all! Mostly eBook, occasionally print... all the romance you can stand. If you can help out, drop me a line.

Please. Help.

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

Reeses Peanut Butter Cups

Very popular, one of you is not enough.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

So Excited!

That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed with profit. ~ Amos Bronson Alcott

First off, I got my first spam comment since ending the word verification on the comments of my blog. If it happens again, it'll go back up (as much as I hate to do it because I, personally, hate typing them in).

Second... I'm excited! There is a very, very, very good chance I'm going to get to site down and have a cup of coffee with Michele today! We live a few hours apart and have wanted to get together but kids and jobs and life have interferred. But, now, VERY spur-of-the-moment, something came up that is getting her to my neck of the woods (albeit the farthest south neck!), so we may have an hour or two to gab. Judy, we wish you were closer!

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

So, I know reading eBooks can be tough. I've read around the blogosphere that many folks just don't like to do it -- they like the feel of a book in their hands, or their eyes don't take to staring at the computer, or the want to be able to take it with them in their purse. And while I agree to a point (I'm asking Santa for an eBookwise for Christmas to help with that last point), I also like how inexpensive they are -- makes me more inclined to try new authors. AND, I like the idea of an eBook reader loaded up with a ton of books to take places (especially on vacations -- no more carting around heavy books!).

Still, regardless of which camp you fall in, I have a couple of reading suggestions for you. I can recommend these stories from The Wild Rose Press:

Five-year-old sisters Boo and Lindy want a daddy – and anything goes in their quest, including a secret spell known only to the twins. On a lonely country road, Chad Applegate appears out of nowhere to help the girls and their mother rescue an injured dog. Robin Harmon's stubborn independence and breathtaking curves mesmerize the handsome pumpkin farmer, and her daughters charm him. They, in turn, are fascinated by his tales of pumpkin magic.

Despite Chad's captivating blue eyes and tender kisses, Robin cannot believe his happily-ever-after promises. Experience has proven those kinds of dreams never come true. Will Robin deny the possibility of forever or will her daughters' daddy spell work its magic?


This is a sweet story and a steal! No, it's not a literary treasure, but it's well-written and highly enjoyable. It's 219 pages long, and only $3.50 for an eBook (AND it's also available in print, if you'd prefer). I even have to admit to getting a bit choked up at the very satisfying Happy-Ever-After.

****

Becky Richardson’s motto is love ‘em and leave ‘em. The only man she trusts is her best friend Louie, the local computer shop owner and resident geek. When a mysterious man shows up at a masquerade ball and sweeps her off her feet, will she remember that men are good for only one thing or will she let down her guard and open her heart?

Louie Hanson has adored Becky since they were in junior high. He lives under no illusion that the former prom queen will ever see him as anything but her geeky friend. In disguise he arrives at the Valentine’s Day Ball and manages to take her breath away. Now he’s playing a dual role, knowing when she finds out it will be the end of any hope for a relationship with her and the friendship they once shared. How could he ever have thought this was a good idea? How can he stop fulfilling every one of his own fantasies by having Becky in his arms?


Hot, hot, hot! And so well-written. A wondeful read from first to last page...only $5.00 for the eBook (and also available in print, if you're interested).

And, no, in case you're wondering -- the author's didn't pay me for these endorsements! LOL...

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

I got a set of interview questions from Jen, and am working on answering them. I'll hopefully have an interview with ME (*G*) tomorrow. Hope it doesn't bore you to tears!

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

You Are a Chocolate Cheesecake

Rich and greedy, you're attracted to the dark side of life.
Nothing ever quite satisfies your inner beast. And somehow, people find that sexy.


Okay... that totally made me laugh.

*snort*

Saturday, November 17, 2007

1004 words, for a total of 16,246

DH was home all morning and DD is antsy today. So almost no writing got done. Maybe tonight? Still, while 1000 words isn't enough, it IS better than zero words. Still inching forward...

It's a Cold, Cruel World

There are many things that you're not supposed to eat, especially children. -- Mary Margaret McBride

That struck me funny, so I had to share. It really doesn't have much to do with today's post (and, a good thing, too).

I probably have an overly rosy view of the wild -- a little Snow White-ish, with bird singing, and raccoons dancing. And I do hate the idea of killing a critter for what I think is no good reason. Hence this story:

Over the past month or two, our lawn has been the lumpy home of a mole. We have a healthy, green lawn and is probably full of yummy bugs (most likely earthworms, since I bought a passel a couple of years ago and I'm sure they've multiplied), so it's almost like we put up a "welcome" sign to the critter.

My DH, who is a fanatic about the lawn, demanded I kill him. I said I would look into non-lethal mole eradication, but I didn't figure we should kill him. Moles are awfully cute and fuzzy. We found one out a couple years ago (actually, I think my dog dug him up) and I carried him far, far away a released him (to the horror of my DH who thought, again, I should have killed him). My luck, this is the same mole.

Anyway... I tried those little stakes that beep (Mole Chasers), and it worked fairly well. They have a much smaller range than the package claims, but the mole didn't come into that area. Until DH lowered the mowing deck too far on the mower and shattered the top. The moment that thing was broken, the mole came back.

I kept hoping the ground would freeze, so I could ignore the problem until next year. But we've had a very mild fall. DH declared I had to buy poison, he'd had enough. I was supposed to go get it last week, but couldn't *ahem* find the time.

Well... Thursday, something happened that took that right out of my hands. As you probably know, I have lots of bird feeders. Now and then, unfavorable birds come by to join in the feast -- grackles, crows, etc. We have a local murder of crows (I love saying that!) who visit regularly. I let them be because they clean the mess on the ground (them and my gray squirrel -- I don't chase him because he doesn't get on the feeders like those rotten red squirrels do). On Thursday, one of the crows was pecking, chowing down on all the seed those sloppy finches and chickadees leave when he did this weird hop, grabbed and flew off.

With the mole.

It's amazing we were even watching (what are the odds? It's not like I spend all day looking out the window!) and amazing the crow found the sucker (who must have stuck his head up for two seconds... bad timing on his part). We weren't sure at first that it was the mole -- it happened pretty fast. We knew it got something small and gray. But I went out later and stomped down all the mole hills and they haven't come back.

So, though part of me is sad for that fuzzy little critter, at least his death served a purpose AND absolved me of the lifetime of guilt I would have felt if I'd poisoned him just so our lawn could be pretty. I never thought I'd be thankful to a crow. Ugh.

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

My latest story, The Christmas Curse, is in the bottom spot of the overall bestsellers at The Wild Rose Press. I was worried for a bit that I wouldn't hit this time (for the first time!)

It's also number three in the short stories, and number four in all general contemporary sales. So, I can't complain. And Dru sent me the nicest email about it yesterday. Warmed the cockles of my heart. Thanks again, Dru! It's always nice to know that your work is appreciated!

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

You Are a Chick Rocker!

You're living proof that chicks can rock
You're inspired by Joan Jett and the Donnas
And when you rock, you rock hard
(Plus, you get all the cute guy groupies you want!)


Thank goodness for that! When I was in high school, the Go-Gos were all the rage ("We Got The Beat!") and I wanted to be in an all girl band like crazy. I had a friend who played the drums, and I would sing (not much call for the flute in a rock band...) but we never did manage to find anyone to fill out the numbers. Oh well.

You?

Friday, November 16, 2007

2480 words, 15242 total

I managed to write again today after TWO days off -- according to my excel spreadsheet, I need to write just over 2500 words a day to meet my NaNo goal of 50,000 words. Can I make it? I have no idea. But I'm still giving it the old college try.

Today, the H/H finally shared a kiss, but were rudely interrupted by an intruder in their camp. And, dang, that blasted dulin sure did come in handy.

Friday Feast and Depressed Dogs

I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren't certain we knew better. They fight for honor at the first challenge, make love with no moral restraint, and they do not for all their marvelous instincts appear to know about death. Being such wonderfully uncomplicated beings, they need us to do their worrying. ~George Bird Evans, Troubles with Bird Dogs



Feast One Hundred & Sixty Nine

Appetizer
What was your first “real” job?

I had work experience my senior year of high school -- the school set up interviews, and you could actually take it as part of your credits. We had two hour classes T-F (1-3-5 periods T/TH and 2-4-6 periods W/F), so I had my job in 5th and 6th periods. I took the bus (yes, it's TRUE! I didn't have a car, even as a senior. My unreasonable parents thought I should actually, yanno, earn the money for one myself. Go figure.) to a restaurant called "The Old San Francisco Express" and worked as a hostess.

I can't tell you how grateful I am to have never had to work in fast food. I went from hostessing there to becoming a waitress at eighteen, and then taking a second job as a teller in a bank.

I still LOVE to wait tables. And, if I ever go back to work, that's most likely what I will do.

Soup
Where would you go if you wanted to spark your creativity?

Good heavens -- anywhere. If I'm alone, I think things. If I'm out, I people watch. I find creativity driving down the street or watching TV or weeding the garden. I honestly don't think there is one particular place that would do it for me.

Salad
Complete this sentence: I am embarrassed when

Hmmm... I don't embarrass easy. I don't care if I have broccoli in my teeth, or if I stumble down the stairs or say something silly. I spent my entire growing up years in drama and choir and have no problem being in front of people. And, I really don't care much what people think about me -- and isn't that a requirement to be embarrassed?

Okay... how about, I'm embarrassed when I complain about bad grammar on my blog, and then use it! LOL...

Main Course
What values did your parents instill in you?

The Golden Rule. It sounds trite, but it's true. I do tend to think as much as possible about how I would want to be treated when I interact with people.

Also, a deep respect for life -- all life: human and creature. So, yes, I scoop up spiders and throw them outside, and feed the squirrels. I will admit to killing black flies and Japanese Beetles with great abandon, but otherwise, I pretty much leave critters alone.

Dessert
Name 3 fads from your teenage years.

I grew up in the late 70s/early 80s so I could totally, like go to town here. #1: Valley Speak (remember Moon Unit Zappa?). I'm from California, where we totally thought it was gnarly to talk that way. You didn't? Well, gag me with a spoon!

#2: The Saturday Night Fever dance -- we actually learned it IN SCHOOL in one of my classes.

#3: Shoulder pads. OMG. Remember Linda Evans on Dynasty?? Was she styling or WHAT?


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

My dog is off her food. I think it might just be that she'd depressed. Her medication for the urinary track infection (see Monday's post) requires that I split a pill, and the sound from the pill splitter scares her (*snap*!). She wouldn't eat yesterday, even when I doctored her food with meat and gravy. This morning, she watched as I pulled out her pills. She was good when I got her usual arthritis meds, but the moment I pulled out the envelope with the anti-biotic, she ran away and WOULD NOT come back.

She sat at the top of the stairs and refused to budge. I pulled, I grabbed, I called her a shameful-bad-dog and still she just sat and wouldn't move. She had the good grace to look embarrassed, because she really doesn't ever misbehave, but those pills have pushed her over the edge. I finally picked her up and carried her downstairs (understand, she isn't a small dog -- she's 70 pounds) and made her lie down. Then I got out peanut butter (something she doesn't associate with her pills) and rolled up the antibiotic inside. She took it. Then I put her glucosomine in the wet dog food and gave it to her and she took it. But... she still won't eat her regular food.

Looks like I'll be calling the vet AGAIN.

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

Your Preppy Name Is...

Sexton Goodloe Vanleer the Fifth
But most people know you as Gigi

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Booking it With Preservatives

A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man's mind can get both provocation and privacy. ~Edward P. Morgan

BOOKING IT THROUGH THURSDAY:
PRESERVATIVES

Today’s question comes from Conspiracy-Girl:I’m still relatively new to this meme so I’m not sure if this has been asked yet, but I’m curious how many of us write notes in our books. Are you a Footprint Leaver or a Preservationist?

ACK!!! If it's not a school textbook I never, Never, NEVER write inside. I'm one of those freaky people who even try to keep from breaking the binding on my paperbacks. I don't dog-ear the pages (dear heavens, I feel faint at the thought of it). I have a definite book buying budget, and since I'd prefer to not have to rebuy books that I love, I treat them with deep respect.

You?

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

First off, thanks to everyone for your kind words about my latest release! If you did purchase "The Christmas Curse", feel free to return to the Wild Rose Press site and leave a review...

And, did you enter the contest to win "The Christmas Curse" or any of my backlist? It was easy-peasy to do! Simply join the LASR "Let's Talk About Romance" Yahoo group and post a message--any message--between now and Friday, midnight eastern time. I'll draw a name from the posters to win, Win, WIN!!! If you already own all of my stories (and, hey--why wouldn't you??), I'll buy your choice of any other short story (miniature rose or rosette) from TWRP.

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

So... yesterday I took DD to the mall. She's in need of new pants (this is quite an ordeal that I won't get into, but suffice it to say we didn't find any to purchase). By the time I left however, I was about to smack someone -- forget road rage, I'm talking mall rage.

What is UP with those blasted vendors who rent carts in the middle of the concourse in the mall? Why, WHY do they feel the need to grab at me as I go past and slather various lotions or whatever on my hands. Why, WHY won't they take "no, thanks" or "I'm all set" or "I'm not interested" as an answer? Why do they keep talking and follow me halfway to the next corner???

If anyone from those little carts is reading this, I have one thing to say: Leave me alone. If I am interested in your product, I'll come look. I even bought something from one of you yesterday -- this person simply sat at her register, answered my question when I had one, and LEFT ME ALONE. Most of you, though? You're worse than telemarketers. You're worse that those little buzzy no-seeums that pester me all summer long. Worse than the tick I pulled of my dog last night. I wouldn't buy your product if I was dying a long, painful death and your product would give me immortal life.

It makes me want to never, ever go to the mall again. In fact, if the store had an outside entrance, I would never walk down the Concourse of Annoyance again. Truthfully, I will give it much thought before I return. I can't express to you how truly awful my entire experience was. I took to ducking inside stores and lurking a the window until I saw those people busy attacking someone else, and then running out as quickly as possible.

Geez.

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

Your Brain is Green

Of all the brain types, yours has the most balance.
You are able to see all sides to most problems and are a good problem solver.
You need time to work out your thoughts, but you don't get stuck in bad thinking patterns.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the future, philosophy, and relationships (both personal and intellectual).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Christmas Curse -- Released!

The Christmas Curse

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.
================================

WIN your own copy of this -- or your choice of ANY of my stories! It's easy...

Join the LASR "Let's Talk About Romance" Yahoo group and post a message--any message--between now and Friday. I'll draw a name from the posters to win, Win, WIN!!! If you already own all of my stories (and, hey--why wouldn't you??), I'll buy your choice of any other short story (miniature rose or rosette) from TWRP.

How's that for easy?

Just to whet your appetite, here is the excerpt from "The Christmas Curse":

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.

"Thanks."

"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.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

659 words, for 12762 total

I may get more done tonight... I'm not certain. I have a great setup going, and I'd love to follow it through. I suspect it will lead to the first kiss between my H/H, which is always fun to write, but I've thought that before and the hero didn't cooperate, just shut the whole kiss thing down hard.

In any case, the problem is this: Yesterday, I got edits back on my secret baby cowboy story, "A Change of Heart" and I really want to get cracking. I also have some other projects that need working on, and this NaNo fantasy story was only ever meant to be 20,000 - 30,000 words, which I'll hit easily before the end of November. So... I may not officially "win" NaNo for the first time since I've done this crazy thing, but I will get a complete story out of it.

Simple fact is this: I can't quit working on the contracted stuff in order to achieve 50,000 words, no matter how much I'd like to.

Still... I haven't given up hope yet. Some days, the words just flow like crazy. If I have enough 3,000 word days, I'll hit the goal I want.

And, now... off to editing this book:

Memories...

Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days. ~Doug Larson

Funny how, when you're a little down, you want your parents. I'm forty-years-old, and yesterday in the midst of my pity party, I missed my mom (who is in California) and my dad (who passed away seventeen years ago) so badly it surprised me. Because it's been so long since my dad died, I don't miss him (consciously) on a daily basis, but sometimes it sneaks up and blindsides me out of the blue. Usually it's music that does it, and yesterday was no exception.

I was already thinking about him a bit, because it was Veteran's Day, and he fought in WWII. I've been writing stories in and around that era, and have been doing research into it, and wished he'd talked about it a little more. He never did talk about it. In fact, I didn't know he'd met and married a German woman (and then, subsequently divorced and married my mom) when he was there. I didn't know that until after he died and I got all his things, including letters he'd written and received during the war.

Yesterday, while he was already floating in my consciousness, the song "Leader of the Band" by Dan Fogleberg came on the radio, and my DD asked me what it was about. I told her a bit about the singer following in his father's footsteps, but then the lyric came on about, "The leader of the band is tired, and his eyes are growing old..." and I started to ball like a baby. This wasn't good for two reasons -- DD is freaked out when I cry (because I don't do that often), and I was driving (LOL).

So, I miss you, Dad. And, Mom (because I know you read this blog), I miss you, too, and wish we were closer (in miles) than we are.

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

Hey! I've been so busy, I'd almost forgotten: My latest story, "The Christmas Curse" comes out from The Wild Rose Press TOMORROW!!



There are broken elevators, and singing telegrams and so much more! What better start to your holiday season? I'll post the link (and some kind of contest... not that I know WHAT! -- oh, publicity director?) tomorrow.

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

So, DD now has a crush on Donny Osmond. LOL... she saw him perform on YouTube, and said he's very handsome (at, yanno, ten-years-old). I, OTOH, think he's aged marvelously (he's a GRANDFATHER!! You think that doesn't make me feel old?) and I much prefer this version of "Puppy Love" (sorry, they disabled embedding).

Yep... I still have a crush on that man.

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

You Should Be a Joke Writer

You're totally hilarious, and you can find the humor in any situation.
Whether you're spouting off zingers, comebacks, or jokes about life...
You usually can keep a crowd laughing, and you have plenty of material.
You have the makings of a great comedian - or comedic writer.

Monday, November 12, 2007

1967 words for 12,103 total

Not as many as I'd have liked, but more than I expected. I'm a bit stuck... You see, I think they need to go into a nearby town and procure horses for the long trek to the royal city, but that's going to be a bit dicey since they have both a dulin AND an enemy soldier with them.

Hmmm....

I'll let the brain work it out tonight and write more in the morning.

Going To The Garden To Eat Worms....

“A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.” - Bo Bennett

My darlin' dog made it until 3 a.m. before she had to go out so, despite that early hour, I am grateful. I had visions of getting up every hour all night. I might still be a bit blurry-eyed, but not as bad as it might have been.

So... I got my first rejection from The Wild Rose Press yesterday on a shortish story I'd submitted. It was from an editor I've worked with before and whose opinion I value, which is probably why it really hit me hard.

One thing about TWRP -- they try to issue constructive crits with their rejection. You won't just get a "it's not right for me" letter. Typically, they'll at least tell you precisely what didn't work, and many times, they will actually edit a few pages of your story or book to show you exactly what they mean. I think that's one thing that sets them aside from so many other publishers.

Still, ouch. Even this morning, I'm still bleeding a bit. Because, of course, I got all the information on why the story didn't work for her...and there was a lot! Too much passive voice, not enough emotion, an unsympathetic hero... and that was just the beginning. There was plenty more where that came from.

Wow.

Oddly, I really like this story. I don't think my hero is unsympathetic. The other stuff? I'll have to go look. In any case, it was pretty demoralizing. And what else should I do with something that makes me look (and feel) really awful? Well... share it with all of YOU, of course. Misery loves company.

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

Going to go write, now. I suspect I'm writing about another unsympathetic hero, but c'est la vie. He is who he is, and we'll see how it goes. If I change him, the story changes dramatically. And, the only other men in the story are either out to kill the heroine or related to her by blood. Not a lot of romantic choices for her, there!

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

OH! I almost forgot!! We're giving away stuff, again at LASR: a free autographed book, a free eBook and, on our reviews blog, ANOTHER free eBook here and here (and not your usual romantic fare, either). Go forth and enter!

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

Your Pilgrim Name Is

Desire Moore


Yes... yes I do. Don't we all?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Things That Impact Word Count...

I just realized I didn't update my word count today...

it all started when my dog started having issues -- be prepared, I'm going to talk about bodily functions in some detail.

As I said in my last post, she woke me at 12:45 to go out. She whined, which is something she never does. Then she woke me again, whining, at 5 a.m. and it didn't get any better after that. We noticed she wanted to go out A LOT, and that she would squat to pee several times each trip. Finally, around eleven, she dribbled about two drops inside on the floor... and it was pink. I wiped her little doggie bottom, and the tisse was also pink. Blood was in her urine.

So, it was off to the doggie ER where we discovered she has a urinary tract infection. Since we've been home, she whines to go out about every ten minutes. She's so uncomfortable, poor furbaby, but I have to admit to getting a little crazy. PLUS, it's hunting season and there is hunting in the woods out back of us, she's having an unusual tendency to wander, so I have to go out with her and it's FREAKING COLD OUT.

While, I'm not the kind of person who likes to make excuses, this is the reason my word count for the day is a mere 888 today, for a total of 10,136.

BTW, my heroine stumbled across a juvenile creature in the woods -- a made up one, sort of a cross between a cougar and a black bear. I call it a "dulin" and it's very fierce. I think it will come in handy later on.

So, tomorrow... I need 3200 words. Of course, at this rate, I'll be up all night letting the dog out, so maybe I'll write then.

Choose Your Adventure

A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an answer. ~Karl Kraus

I have to admit to feeling a bit like my NaNo novel is one of those old "Choose Your Adventure" books. I'm at a spot right now where my heroine is on her own in the woods and I want something to happen, but I'm just not sure WHAT. And in my head I see:

1. If you want her to be kidnapped by the bad guys, turn to page 47

2. If you want her to be attacked by an unknown stranger, turn to page 102

3. If you want her to find an abandoned bear cub, turn to page 83
The problem is, I can't just flip ahead and see which of these has the desired outcome. I have to write it. And I don't want to write all three... so... ACK! Which adventure do I choose for my girl?

Speaking of which, I need to get back to her. I "overslept" this morning -- didn't get up until 5 a.m. (probably had something to do with the dog waking me up at 12:45 a.m. to go out -- messed with my internal clock) and haven't done any writing yet.

Have a great day!

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

You Are Marcia Brady

Confident yet kind. Popular yet down to earth. You're a total dream girl.
You've got the total package - no wonder everyone's a little jealous of you.


Ha! Marcia, Marcia, Marcia... LOL...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

WOO HOO! 3000 words today, total of 9248!

I'm so tickled. I wanted to make 3,000 words and I did -- exactly! It was fate. I couldn't believe it when I put my word count into the NaNo spreadsheet I have and it showed exactly 3,000.

I can't believe I made it. I have more words in me, too, but no more time to write. Maybe tonight. For sure tomorrow. Yes, I am very much enjoying this story. My hero just explained that he didn't wake the heroine to share in the watch because she was a woman.

She didn't like that very much. Ha.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Wardrobe Malfunction

Just around the corner in every woman's mind - is a lovely dress, a wonderful suit, or entire costume which will make an enchanting new creature of her. ~Wilhela Cushman

I wrote quite a bit this morning on my NaNo novel, but had to laugh at one point. I have the heroine gathering wood for a fire, but she stumbles upon a few things that are edible and I decide she can use her shirt as a makeshift basket to carry them ... and it occurs to me: I have NO CLUE what she's wearing! LOL... I've never said she's in pants, a dress, a suit of armor, a swimsuit. I never even alluded to it. Worse, I didn't even have a picture in my mind.

So, I need to go back and add that in somewhere so she can now tug out her blouse and use it to carry the food she found.

I'm at 1200 words so far this morning, but want to hit 3000 total for the day. DH is home, though, so unless I get it done this morning, I'm probably not going to get it done at all.

And, on that note, I'm going to get writing!

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

What kind of Fairy are you?
Fire Fairy
Fire Fairy
You are A Fire Fairy! You stand up for what is right. You say what is on your mind. You may not be the most friendly, but you are a good person. You are independent and you don't let anyone knock you down.

Take the quiz!
myYearbook.com

1255 words, for 6248 total

I've left my heroine face down in rotting leaves, sobbing like someone ran over her puppy... WAIT... someone killed her entire family. I guess that's even worse...

And DD finished her seatwork early, so I can't write any more until later tonight or tomorrow. Dang it.

I've Seen This So Many Times

The quantity of consonants in the English language is constant. If omitted in one place, they turn up in another. When a Bostonian "pahks" his "cah," the lost r's migrate southwest, causing a Texan to "warsh" his car and invest in "erl wells." ~Author Unknown

Most recently seen on a publishers blog...

Something to the effect of: "Take a peak inside."

NONONONONO!!!

Dear heavens.

**sigh**

For future reference, one and all, please note the following:

PEAK = The pointed top of something, the highest point, the maximum point, degree, or volume of anything.

PEEK = to look or glance quickly or furtively, esp. through a small opening or from a concealed location; peep; peer. A quick or furtive look or glance; peep.

Edited to add: Thanks to Sarita for pointing out another misuse of "peak" (as in "It really peaked my interest"):

PIQUE = to arouse an emotion or provoke to action.

Please, for the love of all that's holy, do not mix them up anymore. This little problem has been my first impression of more than one writer. Usually, this means it will also be my last.

Edited to Add: In light of the above, I do have to admit to a few grammatical failings. Mostly spelling issues, to be exact. I have these blocks against certain words and I sent one to a friend just now.

Devastated is one. I most frequently spell it devEstated, and I did in that email (are you laughing, Jen?).

I also struggle with marriage and carriage (I tend to invert the ai/ia thing), independent (I like to spell it "independAnt", but then I remember in "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" when Herbie the elf says, "We're In-Dee-Pen-Dent." and I can spell it correctly).

The thing is, even though I know I struggle with these words, I just can't remember what the correct spelling is, despite years of trying. I always have to look them up.

Do you have words you can never spell?

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

Time to write... I've gotten about 200 words done, but I need another 1800 words. Wish me luck!

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

Your Travel Personality Is: Easygoing

When you travel, you're looking for a lot of downtime. Vacations are your chance to recoup.
All you need is a scenic spot and plenty of time on your hands. You'll figure out the rest.
You're not one to make lots of plans when you travel. You just follow whatever path seems right.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

1845 today, for 4993 total!

I'd like to have done more, but there was simply too much going on around the house. Still, I'm not unhappy with the results from today.

I know I need more world building. I've got mostly dialogue and not so much narrative, and in a fantasy, I don't think that works. I'm going to post an excerpt... hang on, I'll go do it right now...brb...

Okay... it's up. It's rough, but it's right here if you're interested.

968 words so far ...

... but DH is home today, so don't know how much more I'll get. I'm shooting for at least 2000 words a day, so I would like to have an hour or two more for writing.

**fingers crossed**

No Booking Today

"Death and taxes and childbirth! There's never any convenient time for any of them" - Margaret Mitchell

Well... I actually remembered it was Thursday, and was going to Book It, but at the time of this blog post, there wasn't one up for today. That's sad. Worse, now what do I write??

I splurged yesterday and did something I don't do very often: I bought myself some new clothes. Shocking, I know.

Fact is, I have no problem buying clothes for my daughter or my husband... but I always feel like buying stuff for me is an extravagance. I don't really need it. We should save the money for something more important. I'm sure Freud would have a field day with that.

But, I actually DO need clothes for the winter. I went through my stuff, and I don't have all that much -- not even enough for a different (warm) outfit each day. So, yesterday I went to the LL Bean outlet (and, I will admit, I actually went to see if they had something for my DH's upcoming birthday) and found a turtleneck, a long-sleeved shirt and a sweater. All very nice, solidly made and pretty (Mom, I got a sweater in that neat coral color I love!). Better -- I scored a deal! So, I only feel a little bit guilty...

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

Writing went well yesterday, as I'm sure you can see from my post below. I admit to horrifying Michele, though. I mentioned that the really bad guys killed off an entire family, including a *gasp* BABY! She said I couldn't kill off babies in my story. I told her that it happened off screen (off page?) and you never get to know the baby, if that made her feel any better.

True, it was very unlike me--I'm all about protecting kids and critters. But, this had to be done.

Today, my heroine faces the man who lead the charge against the family who was killed: a family that belonged to her.

That man? Guess what? He's my hero.

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

Okay, off to write! Have a great day (and check out the blog (you'll have to page down to older reviews), the site had two contests here and here, and many other author contests. And, if you see an author with a contest, send 'em my way--I want to list them on the site!

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

Your Inner Pop Princess Is Hilary Duff

"I'm shedding
Shedding every color
Trying to find a pigment of truth
Beneath my skin"

You're sweet and cute, but a little more complex than that.


Who knew??

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

Edited to add: I took off word verifcation from the comments, because I find that I HATE TO DO THEM, so I don't figure I should make others do it. We'll see if the spam increases. If it does, I suppose I'll have to put it back on.

Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

3148 on Queen and Assassin

I'm fried and done for the day. But ... WOOT!

Three thousand, one hundred, forty-eight words today.

**doing the Dance of Joy***

Can I keep it up? Tune in tomorrow to find out.

1204

I worked on my fantasy/paranormal this morning to see if I was more inspired by that story than my current one.

I was.

I got 1204 words written, and according to my NaNo excel spreadsheet, I'd need to write about 2,000 words a day to reach the 50,000. I'm going to finish out today on the fantasy and see what I think.

Discouraged

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, or a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. - Fr. Alfred D'Souza

Not much to say. I'm very, very frustrated with my NaNo book -- it's rather dull and I'm not feeling inspired by it. Have to admit to thinking about changing over to my paranormal and wonder if I can play catch up since I'm only a week in ... you'll know when I know.

Ben is my hero from my NaNo novel last year. I love him, but didn't love my heroine and--although I finished the book, it didn't work for me. So, I took him from that story and gave him a whole new start and it's still not working.

Frustrating.

*sigh*

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

Check out the LASR Romance Review Blog -- we're giving away two books over there this week. Just read the reviews and find the two with contest entries at the end!

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

What Your Face Says

At first glance, people see you as strong willed and stubborn.

Overall, your true self is passionate and physical.

With friends, you seem dramatic, lively, and quick to react.

In love, you seem mysterious and interesting.

In stressful situations, you seem sad and helpless.


Except... I don't know if I've ever seemed helpless. The rest? Okay...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

6497 words

DH has been home and inside ALL DAY today, so no writing to speak of. I got just under 500 words finished, for a grand total of 6497 words in my story. I left off with Ben walking Sheba (Cassia's dog), down the street while Cassia fills her birdfeeders. I think Ben's going to have a run-in with someone... I feel it in my bones. I just don't know who it will be.

Guess I'll find out tomorrow when I write some more.

Daring Girls

The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think - rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men.

Someone (Tori?) recommended I check out "The Daring Book For Girls" for my DD (It was on the post about string games). So, I did! LOL... My library had it available in the YA section and I picked it up yesterday. Some of it's silly, but most of it is pretty darn cool. I have to admit, though, I don't think most "young adults" today (i.e. tweens and teens) would be interested in most activities in this book. I do think, however, they would find the other information: famous women, letters from Abigail Adams to her husband, etc., quite interesting.

My DD is terribly excited to look through it. There are directions for climbing trees and how to be a spy and camping in your backyard. It's cute. Thanks!

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

Okay, I know I'm not dyslexic. I read fine, was reading younger than most. But, I think my fingers are dyslexic. I frequently type words backwards. Completely... not just mixing up a couple of letters. One will be eno, for instance. And I do it (that originally came out ti) without thinking. It's the strangest thing. Tell me I'm not alone in this?

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

I'm not sure about the release date of my story "The Christmas Curse" -- it may be November 14th, or it may be November 19th. I'm inclined to think it'll be the 14th, since that's when they typically release this length story. Tune in next week to find out! I haven't a clue what I'll do to promote it, but will think of something by then.

Promotions aside, it was a really fun story to write. You should grab a copy. I think it'll make you smile.

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

Gotta go write, so that's it for me for now. I'll update the word count later!

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

You Are Pumpkin

Realistic and practical, you see the world for how it is.
You know what it takes to succeed in life...
And you're happy to help others reach their goals.


Well... yeah. That's about spot on.