Thursday, January 31, 2008

Long Arms and Lo Mein

Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well-informed just to be undecided about them." — Laurence J. Peter

I've been looking all season for a new sweater or sweatshirt that fits. This shouldn't be this much of an ordeal. I'm an average sized woman ... or so I thought. The sweaters are all, without exception, body-hugging, show-every-roll, snug. Why do people wear those things? Even slim people look fat in them. And the sweatshirts? Is it possible that I have abnormally long arms? Every woman's sweatshirt I have tried on hits me mid-radius.

Is it too much to ask to find something that fits, that I don't have to buy at a boutique? Yes, boutique clothes do fit me properly, as they should, but a $200 sweatshirt isn't in my budget.

I can (and do) wear men's sweatshirts, because they fit me... but somedays I just really want to look like a girl.


I made teriyaki veggie noodles for dinner last night. I made a TON, because they're labor intensive (lots of chopping and separate cooking of things), but they're so GOOD. My DD did a little dance of joy when I told her that was what dinner would be.

Do you ever think you'll die if you don't eat a particular thing? I HAD to have teriyaki noodles last night. Had. To. Nothing else would have worked. Once the thought popped into my head, you could have paraded a hundred different dishes in front of me, and I would have refused every one.

Those kind of cravings don't hit me often, but when they do? Look out...

And, no. I'm not pregnant.


I got my final proof for "One Love For Liv". Nothing like taking it down to the wire. I need to hump it, and get it checked through... but, to be honest, I'm really kind of sick of looking at the story. I've read through it about ten times since I signed the contract. And, while I believe it's a good book, after awhile even good books get a little old. Especially when you're reading for grammar and typos and not for fun.

I also got final edits on "A Change of Heart". I'm ready to put that story to bed, too.

I really need to get humping on something new. Erhm... I mean, I need to finish my mystery. (Really, Jen, that's what I meant!!).


For those inquiring minds... yes, I will post all of my virtual tour stops. The complete list will be on my website, but I'll post a link to that list here in a sticky note AND I'll let you know, day-by-day where I'm going to be so you can come visit. I don't want to be alone! :-)

I still have some dates available, if you're interested in hosting me. Hint. Hint.


The Daily Dakota... keeping up with the big kids!

You can't see it, but she has her leash in her mouth. Baily used to do that, too. I wonder why? It's only when they run... odd...


What Your Dreams Mean...

Your dreams seem to show that you're a bit disturbed... but nothing serious.

You may have a problem you're trying to work out in your sleep.

Your dreams tend to reflect your insecurities.

You have a very vivid imagination and a rich creative mind.

Muh-ha-ha... I am DISTURBED. Actually, I think I'm just a little nuts. Aren't all writers?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

How Could I Forget Contests?

I can't believe I forgot to tell you -- You could win an ARC of "The Undead Next Door" by Kerrelyn Sparks this week at LASR!

You can also win an eBook we gave a rare "best book" rating to: Heatherfield.

Don't miss out. It's simple... just leave a comment :-)

We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming, below.

Books and Bulldogs

"Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for." — Ray Bradbury, On the key to success

So, Julia, who apparently didn't get the memo on my meme tag moratorium (*G*), tagged me. It's a cool meme, but long and requires much thought. Since my brain juice is at a premium currently, I thought I'd compromise and do one question from the meme each day (or however frequently I can manage it)...It's a pretty nifty book meme, if you're looking for blog fodder.

For today:

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

Nearly anything that isn't romance. Fact is, I find little enjoyment in most books that aren't romance. They just don't satisfy me -- like being a chocoholic and ordering cherry pie for dessert. It's yummy, but you still wish you'd gotten the Death By Chocolate.

The one exception to this that I can think of is "I Am the Messenger" by Marcus Zusak. Charity suggested I give this a read, and I LOVED it. It was well-written, a little bit brutal and ended with an amazing message. Oh yeah. I gulped it down, and then proceeded to recommend it to anyone I could think of.

What about you? Do you have a book you refuse to read, despite the great reviews?


So... I have to write two guest blogger posts for my virtual tour. Articles of a sort, really. Blog posts that are coherent and make sense. I'm not good at that. Wish me luck.

Speaking of articles, I'm going to try my hand at writing some. Yikes! We'll see how that new venture goes.

And, no... that old mystery word count hasn't budged this week. I haven't even opened the file. I've been busy answering emails and filling out interviews. Holy Jamoley. Who knew there were so many questions people could ask? By the time the blog tour is over, y'all are going to know everything there is to know about me.



Another photo of Dakota courtesy of the DD:

She's starting to look less like a puppy, and more like a dog.

Oh, I wish y'all could have been her yesterday. Dakota met a new friend. The neighbors down the street have an English Bulldog who's almost a year old. He's wider than he is tall, but friendly as all get-out. I let Dakota off her leash, and Bugsy was let loose and they played. It was hysterical... Dakota (who is all legs) was tearing around the poor dog, running in circles, leaping over him. He just pivoted around slowly, looking a little bemused. Occasionally, when she'd stop for a minute with her rear up in the air, he'd gallop a couple of steps toward her. But, she'd take off and he'd be left standing again. She must have run miles before they were done. I don't think Bugsy moved more than a few feet.

But, hey, they both had a blast.


You Are a Lemon

You have a very distinct personality. And if you're not being sweet, you're a little hard to take.
You're a bit overpowering, especially in one on one situations.

And while you are very dominant, sometimes your power is needed and appreciated.
You can liven up a dull situation, and you definitely bring a fresh outlook.

You are a bit of an acquired taste, and you tend to grow on people over time.
People feel refreshed and rejuvenated after spending time with you.

LOL... this is actually pretty close. Ha.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tuesday... Already?

"Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure." - Oprah Winfrey

How can it be Tuesday? I didn't finish everything on my list for Monday! And, it's not only Tuesday, but it's LATE Tuesday morning (for me). **Sigh**

Hey, thanks for all the comments on my cover yesterday. You know, now that you (many of you) mention it, "Mike" does look like Peter from "Heroes". Huh...

And, Eileen cracked me up with her comment: It's like a "Choose Your Adventure" book, only with men. For those of you who don't know, Eileen has a wicked sense of humor. She also has a book coming out in February ("Unpredictable") that I am dying to read... I read the first bit (posted on her agents blog about a hundred years ago) and have been antsy ever since. If you like a funny romance, bet you'll love her book! Grab a copy when it releases next week.


Worked like a dog yesterday setting up more tour dates. I got an amazing response from the other Sweeter Romantic Notions authors and the Samhain Authors. You know what? With very few exceptions, I've found that other romance authors are really, really nice people!! I shouldn't be surprised, but I am in a way. Consider that we all must have at least a little bit of ego to think that anyone would be interested in reading what we write. Add to that basic competition for sales, and you'd think it would be all dog-eat-dog.

Not so. I'm proud to be part of this wonderful group of people. It's incredible.


Your Daily Dakota -- "Want to play?":


You Are Running on 67% Adrenaline

Your Adrenaline Level: Borderline Dangerous

You're running around so fast, you don't realize how quickly life is passing you by.
While you may be getting a lot done, you're on the go lifestyle is probably wearing you out.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Finally! THE COVER....

After all the hullabaloo regarding the cover for "One Love For Liv" ... here is the final result:

Doesn't the guy who represents Mike... smolder? Here's how I pictured Mike:

Goofy, rough around the edges...

Still, I'm not complaining. All things considered, it really does illustrate the differences between the men, and the two lives that Liv is part of.

Monday Morning Meme and More!

The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away." — Linus Pauling

How's THAT for an alliteration??

Click the picture to play along!

1. What famous person would you most like to have dinner with (living or dead) and what would you ask him/her?

I've never been a fan of this question, because there are SO MANY people. I could be flippant and say "The head of Harlequin, and hit him/her up about publishing my books." -- or I could be political and say "The President." But, if I talked to the current president, or any of our past presidents, the question I'd have to ask would be, "Why would ANYONE want to be president??" because I think it's a rotten job to have. Or I could be current and say, "Heath Ledger -- what really happened on the day you died?" or I could be obvious and say, "Jesus." but, I'd want to talk to Him for a really, really long time.

2. What do you enjoy blogging about the most?

I love to stay in touch with my "virtual" friends-- it's a bit like writing a letter to someone you care about who is far away. I only hope I don't bore you to tears with my gabbing :-)

3. What is your favorite kind of candy?

Super-duper dark chocolate with nothing at all adulterating the taste. Don't put nuts, or fruit, or nugat in it! NONONONO! Just deep, dark chocolate so bitter it makes you pucker. Oh. Yum.

4. Which sibling or relative are you closest to? What makes you close? Similar interests? Or are you completely opposite?

This one is easy: My Mom. I suspect we ended up being close because I was the baby of the family and my brothers and sisters were quite a bit older than I was -- so they were out of the house, and I was raised as *almost* an only child. Plus, my mom and I have a lot of the same interests, and we like much of the same stuff. And, we both like being alone so respect that in each other. We can talk about anything. Really, my mom is less a "mom" than a "best friend".


So... can I just say that setting up promotions is a stinker? Judy, bless her little heart, has been helping me but GAH!! There is so much to do, so little time, and I know I'm going to forget something. There are loops to post to on certain days, with specific rules about how and what to post. There are blog posts to be written. Interviews to do. Contests to set up. Banners to create (actually Judy has already done this for me, I just can't show you because my cover hasn't been officially approved yet! ACK!), trailers to make (THANK YOU ALLIE!!! If you need a book trailer, go see the marvelous Allie B. She's the bomb!)...

I'm pooped.

I don't even want to think about when this is out in print and I have to do things like set up book signings. Holy Jamoley.

The Daily Dakota:

Um... did someone say they needed toilet paper? I'm helping... no really... why don't you believe me?


Today's random quiz:

You Are 22% Evil

A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.
In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Lazy Days

"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

Didn't do much of anything yesterday. I did take Dakota and DD to PetsMart (and Pet Quarters) to look at dog crates. We had originally borrowed one from a neighbor, but she's outgrowing it quickly. It will be a long time (if ever) that we trust her alone in the house, so I found the biggest one I could. She had a great time meeting the other dogs and people at the store. Pet Quarters was quiet enough (until the cranky, snappy, nastly little silky terrier came in) that they told us to drop her leash and let her run around.

Thankfully, that exhausted her for most of the rest of the day and she was *mostly* good.

DD also asked to do a puzzle together, and chose what is possibly the most difficult one we own: a Glitter N Glow 750 piece puzzle that's all done in shades of brown, orange and yellow.

What I didn't do yesterday? I didn't write. I didn't edit. I didn't work on the website.

Today, I will pay for that. I expect to be on the computer all day long today. Oh. Joy. But it's gotta get done.

At least it's snowing, so I won't want to run around outside... and DD may want to. DH is talking about going snowmobiling... it would be good if I was nearly alone--much better to get my work done.

I had seven offers of blog tour posts for my tour -- that leaves a lot of openings! Can anyone help? Know anyone who might want to host me? I'll be publicizing it here on this blog, as well as in the interview at LASR that kicks stuff off. And, I plan on having a giveaway that will require blog comments, so it will most likely drive more traffic to your blog, and help you with YOUR exposure as well. :-)

Thanks to those who have already offered. I <3 you!


Still no word on the cover... I'm itching to show it to y'all.


Dakota in her "den"... it's where she feels most safe. Whenever she's in trouble, it's where she runs to hide. It's very cute :-)

DD took this picture of Dakota in the truck heading out to Osborne's Agway (yes, that's the back of my head):


Today's random quiz:

You Should Travel to Thailand

You may enjoy getting spiritual at a Buddhist retreat...
Or just feasting on a ton of cheap and amazing Thai food.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Is It Naptime Yet?

"All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you." — Walt Disney

So... we ended up getting home shortly before three a.m. -- this is typically when Dakota is done sleeping for the night in her crate, but will usually snooze on the couch with me, so I took her out to potty and then curled up on the couch. She was a good puppy and didn't make a peep. It was the cat who woke me at about 6:45 a.m. with a LOUD complaint that she hadn't been fed yet.

DD woke up about then, too. DH is still in bed.

What a night. I can't believe the wait times for pretty much everyone. Of course, we weren't an emergency, and ambulances were arriving pretty regularly. When DH finally went in to actually get his stitches (about 1:45), he said four ambulances arrived. I knew of two because people came rushing in to find their people. One was an older lady whose 82 y.o. hubby had come in. They were really so sweet to her and escorted her right back. She came out smiling about fifteen minutes later, so I assume everything was okay.

Another was a younger girl, probably 21-ish, who came in and said her friend had arrived via ambulance. I have to assume it was a drunk driving accident or something, because they wouldn't let the girl back until she signed something that said she hadn't been drinking.

For the most part, though, despite the long waits everyone was in decent spirits, so that was good. But, UGH, I was about to take DH home and stitch it up myself.

We won't talk about the rest of the day. It wasn't any better.


So, I have my official release date for the eBook version "One Love For Liv" -- FEBRUARY 12th. The cover artist is checking on the okay for the cover, and as soon as I have that approval, I'll post the cover.


I'm always impressed at how proper and regal Dakota is:


What Your Favorite Color Pink Says About You:

Blissful --- Content --- Romantic
Idealistic --- Expressive --- Artistic
Funny --- Quirky --- Individualistic

Posting from the ER

How cool is it that the emergency room has computer access?

It's 2 a.m. and we've been here since 9 p.m. Nothing serious -- DH caught an ice skate blade in the chin playing hockey.

But, since I'll have been up nearly 24 hours by the time we leave, I won't be posting at my usual time. I'll update y'all when I'm conscious.

Man, I hope he's out of there soon! I'm barely keeping my eyes open.

Now, to give the computer back to DD so she can play some games to stay awake.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Over Sleeping and a Moment of Panic

"Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There's plenty of movement, but you never know if it's going to be forward, backwards, or sideways." — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

So... Dakota woke me at 2:45 a.m. -- pretty typical. I took her out, and then we both flopped onto the couch for some more zzzz's. I figured the coffee pot would wake me up when it went off at 4:30 a.m.

I woke up a little while later, awake but lazy. Didn't feel like getting off the couch. I vegged. I patted the cat, who was asleep on my chest, I scritched the dog and waited for the coffee pot to start.

And waited. And waited.

And... I thought--it can't be that early. I wonder what time it is? I finally got my lazy self off the couch and looked at the oven clock.



I raced around, turned on the coffee (I'd forgotten to put it on timer last night, DUH), fed the pets, stoked the wood stove and worked on getting pages up (LATE!!!) for The Long and the Short of It.

Then, I had to do some other website business.

Then I came here.

Sorry I'm late.


Jen and I are challenging each other to complete our respective mystery novels. We're both at about the same number of words, and both think we can get the first draft done by the end of February. So, I'll post my word count ticker on the sidebar, and you can watch it grow (it had BETTER grow!).


I realized this morning, in a panic, that it's nearly February. I *think* "One Love For Liv" is coming out in Feb. With all the cover bru-ha-ha, I'm not sure, and I haven't gotten a firm release date from my editor (note to self: email editor). But GAH! That's so soon. I'm NOT READY.

So... I want to set up a virtual tour on the internet. Thirty fun-filled days of promoting my book. Who wants to have me on their blog or website for a day? I can confirm dates once I get my release date... I will do my best to say something witty. Or, even better, YOU can ask ME questions!! Short of politics and religion, there is very little I won't talk about.

Either leave me a comment or send me an email to marianne(AT)mariannearkins(DOT)com.



Today's random quiz:
You Have Your Sarcastic Moments

While you're not sarcastic at all times, you definitely have a cynical edge.
In your opinion, not all people are annoying. Some are dead!
And although you do have your genuine moments, you can't help getting your zingers in.
Some people might be a little hurt by your sarcasm, but it's more likely they think you're hilarious.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Booking it -- "huh"?

The decision to kiss for the first time is the most crucial in any love story. It changes the relationship of two people much more strongly than even the final surrender; because this kiss already has within it that surrender. - Emil Ludwig

What’s your favorite book that nobody else has heard of? You know, not Little Women or Huckleberry Finn, not the latest best-seller . . . whether they’ve read them or not, everybody “knows” those books. I’m talking about the best book that, when you tell people that you love it, they go, “Huh? Never heard of it?”

That would probably be "Getting Rid Of Bradley", hands-down my favorite book by Jennifer Crusie. It's the first book of hers I read, I absolutely fell in love with it, I still love it, I laugh all the way through and am in awe at her ability to make the absurd work. Her characters are well-rounded and memorable. There just wasn't anything I didn't like about this book.

How many of you have heard of it?

I'm feeling a *little* better today. Slept in again until about 5:30 (I know, I'm a crazy woman) and don't feel as fuzzy. I think I'm finally over this thing -- I shouldn't complain. It was a four day cold. It's just, I'm seldom sick and it really annoys and frustrates me when I am.


The DD has been practicing her photography skills, so I give the you the Daily Dakota via an 8 y.o.'s eyes:

And here is one of her vulture impression I mentioned the other day -- her head down, shoulder blades up.

She isn't allowed in the basement -- that's where the cat food and litter box are kept, so whenever we go down there, she stands at the top and stares. And stares. And stares.

To be honest, I'm surprised she hasn't tried to go down there yet. Maybe she's not such a rotten dog after all :-)


Hey! Charity gave me the heads-up that "Don't Fence Me In" finally made the overall best sellers list at The Wild Rose Press. It's barely hanging on at number ten, but at least it made it! Yay!

Thanks, C.


You Passed 8th Grade US History

Congratulations, you got 6/8 correct!

The scary thing is that I know most of these because my DD has learned them in her FOURTH grade history class.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Post With No Name

The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more. ~Wilson Mizener

This stupid cold rather knocked me on my butt yesterday, so I can only hope this entry is at least slightly coherent. Today was the first morning in a really long time that I haven't wanted to get out of bed. In fact, when I woke up at three (the dog needed to go out), I reset the timer on the coffee pot to 5 a.m., set the timer on the microwave to wake me and crawled onto the couch. I zonked out immediately -- and slept in until five for the first time in... well, forever. I would have slept later (I was still wicked dopey), but I needed to get the pages up for LASR.

Speaking of our lovely romance reviews site, I have been remiss. We have the most amazing week of contests going on and I haven't spoken a peep about them.

First off, Jude Atkins is giving away a copy of her book "Anna's Secrets" -- you can enter daily at the site OR you can join our author chat today and post a question to enter. Come on... it'll be fun! Jude is a lovely lady--descended from witches (just see her interview to find out more).

Deborah MacGillivray (one of the nicest, funniest, most generous authors I've had the pleasure to *virtually* meet) is in our author spotlight. She has donated a pile o' books for us to give away. So we are.

Not only do we have a set of four autographed books for the author spotlight contest, we ALSO have the same set (broken up into one set of two historicals and one set of two contemporary) we're giving away at the reviews blog. There are chances to win every day this week (so page back through the reviews from earlier this don't want to miss out).

I had the privilege of reading her contemporary books and was seriously WOWed by how good they are. You don't want to miss out, folks. They're funny, sexy, suspenseful... actually, they pretty much cover the entire spectrum of what makes a story great.

Okay. I'm gushing. I'll stop. But seriously folks, you want these books.


I'm itching to share my "One Love for Liv" cover with you, but haven't heard if it's been approved yet. The moment I do, I'll let you know.

I wonder if there is some rule about sharing the "failed" covers... Hmm...

Today's random quiz:

Your Guy Is Not Pretty!

Your boyfriend is more hetero than John Wayne. End of story.
While it may be hard to get him to go dancing or shopping...
You know that he can always stand up for and take care of you.
Which is waaaay more attractive than a few well placed highlights.

Aside from the fact he is my HUSBAND, and not my boyfriend, this is pretty well right on.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Actor Heath Ledger Found Dead at Manhattan Residence

What I'm Working On

What is my loftiest ambition? I've always wanted to throw an egg at an electric fan. - Oliver Herford

So... after much soul-searching, and puttering about in all my many WIPs, I've decided to finish my mystery.

I'm sorry, Jen. I know I said I'd do the fantasy, but the fact is: I don't know exactly where that one is going or a number of other things about it. I need to do some more brainstorming (like, is the Abhaile earth really going to affect the Docar and if so, to what extent?).

The mystery (with the working title of "Return To Stiller Creek") is nearly finished, and I know where it's going, what needs to be done and how it ends. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed it. It's my first mystery, and I don't know how well I've accomplished what I set out to do, but at least it will be finished soon. I'm at about 45,000 words. I'd like to have at least 55,000, but preferable 65,000 words when it's done. I think there could be another 20,000 words, but we'll have to see how it goes. I have a red herring or two I need to weave in so that is going to change some things.

After that? Probably Camilla, though I'm still not certain what is going to tear my H/H apart. I thought I knew, but I can't begin to figure out how to show it without going into a pet rat's POV. See... now you understand my problem. So, still moodling that one, but hopefully I'll get that one figured by the time I finish RTSC.

I also need to finish at least one of my short stories--I have three that are quite aways along. It would be handy if I knew how they were going to end...


And, I still have to moodle the story I want to finish to submit to a print publisher.

But first... Stiller Creek.

Note to Jen: I PROMISE, I will finish the fantasy. I really love my characters and the possibility. But I can't stand not having more stuff out in submission, so I'm doing to simplest one first.


And people ask me if I ever run out of ideas. Sometimes I wish I did.


I hate colds. Today I have begun the "totally stuffed up" phase... you know the one: you can't breathe, your eyes water, your brain is fuzzy... UGH. Tomorrow should bring the "coughing my lungs out" phase, after which it will be pretty much over and just a bad memory.

But today? UGH.


DD was so funny yesterday. We've been having problems with her copying her spelling words in school--they're RIGHT in front of her. She copies straight from the book for her homework, and she's still misspelling some. I told her yesterday, if she misspelled any she couldn't watch any "Little House on the Prairie" for a whole week (Yes, Groovy, my DD LOVES Little House... I still have my eyeball on your season three... do you still have it?).

She stood there, all sad and distraught, and then disappeared. I cleaned house and worked on my writing and wondered what she was up to. About forty-five minutes later, she came back downstairs and handing me a piece of paper. She'd covered both sides, in multiple columns with the two words she'd misspelled.

Awww... but I bet she never, in the whole rest of her life spells "frigid" as "friged" again!


I took a picture of Dakota yesterday, but I'm too lazy to go download it, so you'll have to wait until tomorrow. It's Dakota as a vulture. Yes... she does animal imitations. She's terrifically talented. Last night, she did a nearly perfect imitation of a great white shark leaping from the water and snapping at her prey -- only the "prey" turned out to be my shirt, which apparently can't hold the weight of a four-month-old puppy and now has a lovely slash in the side.

Anyone out there still thinking of getting a puppy? Or have I cured y'all?


Random quiz:

Your Sexy Brazilian Name is:

Gabriela Otelo


Monday, January 21, 2008

A Worthy Cause

From Rhonda Penders -- co-owner of The Wild Rose Press:

Judith Rochelle is a multipublished author at The Wild Rose Press as well as a personal friend. In late summer, 2007 I approached her with an idea of a project that would enable RJ and me to give something back for all the wonderful things that had happened to us since we opened in May 2006. I wanted to find an organization that I felt everyone, everywhere would care about and really embrace. While many qualified, the one that kept coming back to my mind was St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

A few days later, Judith created a synopsis and a proposal for a book incorporating romance, suspense and St. Jude's. It took my breath away at what she'd come up with. Judith wrote the book, RJ and I edited it, and Kim Mendoza did the beautiful cover. None of us, including the publishing company, will receive any compensation; every penny will go to St. Jude's. Children's Hospital. The result of this, is the amazing Crimson Rose book called "On the Run" by Judith Rochelle. The book will be offered in both print and electronic format. The amount raised will be announced on our web site twice a year. The first report to be posted at the end of June

If you've purchased this book, thank you for your contribution to St. Jude's, if you haven't purchased it yet, I strongly encourage you to do so. The download is $5.00 and will go into a special fund to be donated to St. Jude's twice a year.

If you would like more information on this project, you may contact Rhonda Penders at To learn more about the author, please visit To see the amazing work St. Jude's does, please visit their web site at

Thank you for your support of this important project.

Rhonda Penders

On the Run by Judith Rochelle

When Robin Fleming witnessed the murder of her sister, Jamie, her only thought is to grab her nephew and run, from her vicious brother-in-law. Running and hiding, covering their tracks, they eventually settle in Memphis to begin a new life. Robin, now Laura, though still grieving for her sister, is determined to make a good life for her nephew. Then illness hits Andy, and while Laura is dealing with that crisis, bad luck and unfortunate circumstances bring all the players together again and endanger everyone’s lives. Can Dr. Gage Hollander, who has fallen in love with Laura, find a way to save them?

Music Monday: The Movie That Molded My Life

Found this at Jen's and couldn't resist playing along today!

Yesterday, I mentioned that roller skating was one of those things that reminded me of my childhood. I should amend that and say it reminded me of my high school years. Until I was in high school, I didn't know how to skate. At all.

What inspired me to learn at such an advanced age?

A movie. I watched this movie over, and over, and over (seriously--those were the days when you payed for a movie and could sit through as many showings as you wanted, so I went in the morning and stayed all day, every day for like two weeks!). I wore leg-warmers, and tore up a skirt and weaved ribbons into combs for my hair. I memorized the poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (wow! Is it ever LONG). I wanted to BE the heroine of this movie. And the only way I could BE her is if I learned to skate. So I did--and quite proficiently, too.

What movie? A classic... I'm shocked you have to ask.


Here is the classic climactic number from the show--and, oh my word--could this be any more typically 80s? Look at the clothes, the hair...:


Thanks for all your well wishes about my germ-fest. My cold is speeding through its cycle... it seems that, although the oil of oregano isn't stopping me from being sick, it's making me less sick. I've had only mild symptoms thus far and the cycle I go through is taking one day for each thing. Day one: sore throat. Day two: stuffy nose.

So far so good. If things hold true to the usual course, I'll have the coughing today and then tomorrow or Weds I'll be all done. I'm good with a three or four day, mild cold.


I got the cutest picture of Dakota yesterday... so will share with you here... Awwww:


You Are A Realist

When it comes to romance, you tend to take a realistic approach.
You believe that love takes time, and it's something you have to work hard for.
A bit cynical, over the top romance tends to get under your skin.
Your heart is difficult to win ... but it's totally worth it.

I love these quizzes on romance, because it seems I'm cynical. Why the HECK is it romance that I write, then? Hmmm????

I'm weird.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Sanity calms, but madness is more interesting. - John Russell

So, I've gone and done it--caught a stupid cold. I'm trying the oregano oil theory and seeing if it either A. keeps this from getting worse or B. gets me better faster. I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, color me brain dead. So... that must mean it's time for a meme.

Stolen from Tiffany Aller -- who didn't tag me (probably because she doesn't even know me), but who had a cool meme. So there.

1. Name one thing you do everyday.

* Aside from, yanno, brush my teeth and eat? I work on the LASR website in some way, shape or form. I should say "write", but I've been a very bad girl so far this year. Pretend I didn't write those goals at the begining of January. K?

2. Name two things you wish you could learn.

* To speak a foreign language fluently, like a native.

** To write in HTML proficiently.

Am I weird to have those two things listed? Bet no one else who has done, or ever will do, this meme list "write in HTML" as one of their choices.

3. Name three things that remind you of your childhood.

* Tamale Pie (mmm... my favorite dinner EVER as a kid--and my DH and DD don't like it)

** Outhouses (don't ask)

*** Rollerskating (One word: "Xanadu")

4. Name four things you love to eat but rarely do.

* Friendly's Forbidden Chocolate Explosion ice cream

** Tamale Pie (see above)

*** Boneless Buffalo Wings (this is because they only taste really good when you get them at a restaurant... mmmm...)

**** Sweetened cereal (Coco Puffs, Captain Crunch, Lucky Charms, YUM)

5. Name five things/people that make you feel good.

* My DD (most of the time *G*)

** A professional deep-tissue massage. Oh, yeah. (This is one thing I'd do daily if I was a millionaire)

*** A wicked awesome review of one of my stories! (Wish this happened more frequently)

**** A clean house (this gives me the most amazing sense of satisfaction)

***** Going out to eat (I despise, hate and loathe cooking meals)

Anyone else want to play?


So, my cover artist at Samhain worked with me a little more yesterday (didn't I tell you she was a sweetie?) and came up with something that, although I don't LOVE IT like I did my illustrated cover, I can live with and not gripe too much. The only thing that I didn't love about it was the dude she used for my hero--the one she used is HOT and smolders (ooh-la-la). I don't think my poor hero, goofball that he is, has ever smoldered in his life. Still, it's a small thing and the rest of the cover works for me.



Enjoy one more picture of Dakota playing with her huge blue toy:


Random quiz:

You're Not Very Fit

And you're likely to admit that exercise just isn't your thing.
Maybe you need to experiment with new activities to find something you love.
Whether it's roller derby or surfing, just getting out there and moving will do wonders!

Yeah, well... I didn't need a QUIZ to tell me THAT! LOLOL...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Word Verification

"Find out who you are and do it on purpose." - Dolly Partin

I hate them. Seriously. Most blogs or whatever have them so masked now you can't read the stupid things (and, no, that has nothing to do with my eyeballs). Plus, it's just a pain. Seriously.

Thanks to each and every one of you who have taken word verification down! I <3 you in a big way.

Just saying.


So, last night we were watching hockey and there was this commercial... and well, I had to put it on my website fun page -- go forth and watch (turn up your volume first). I thought it was really funny!


That stuff I said about the cover of "One Love For Liv" yesterday? Forget it even came out of my mouth (my fingertips?). Turns out that Samhain doesn't like illustrated (or "cartoon") covers, so this one won't be used. Sadly, I also just found out that the cover artists are only supposed to spend a certain amount of time on each cover, and mine has exceeded hers (wouldn't it have been nice if the moratorium on ilustrated covers had been passed down to the cover artists so that mine wouldn't have wasted her precious time on one we couldn't even use?), and so I'm more than likely going to end up with a cover I don't like very well. We'll see. My really sweet my cover artist (seriously, she's the sweetest, nicest, most patient person who responds to emails in a flash...) says she'll take a little extra time to see what she can work out for me this weekend.

Welcome to the real world of publishing. I've heard from more than one author about how much they don't love their covers.


I really, really loved that illustrated one. I still have it as wallpaper on my computer.


Okay, I worked on my fantasy yesterday. Not as much as I would have liked, but some.

I'm a little busier at LASR than usual, and will be getting even more busy starting today. You see... I have two "AABHs" (all-around-big-helps) who do a lot of the grunt work: uploading blurb requests, uploading the reviews, general correspondence, etc. One is without computer access (since last week) for an unknown period of time, and one has had TWO family crisis's (crises? crisises?) happen to her (poor sweet thing) and will be unavailable for a while.

Life happens.

Still, I have hopes that I'll be able to work on it regularly. Of course, ask me if I have any idea what I'm doing (uh, no), or if I remember all of what Jen and I brainstormed the other morning (un, no again -- I didn't write it down, and I can't retrieve that chat because we weren't in Google chat).



You Are a Dreaming Soul

Your vivid emotions and imagination takes you away from this world
So much so that you tend to live in your head most of the time
You have great dreams and ambitions that could be the envy of all...
But for you, following through with your dreams is a bit difficult

You are charming, endearing, and people tend to love you.
Forgiving and tolerant, you see the world through rose colored glasses.
Underneath it all, you have a ton of passion that you hide from others.
Always hopeful, you tend to expect positive outcomes in your life.

Souls you are most compatible with: Newborn Soul, Prophet Soul, and Traveler Soul

Friday, January 18, 2008

Freezing Friday

"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." - Christopher Robin to Pooh

I just love Winnie the Pooh. Don't you?

Hey... here's a shocker: IT'S SNOWING.

Incredible. Wow. Dru, I'm telling you what, if I could send it to you, I would--in a heartbeat.

DD was sick yesterday. Crikey...if it's not one, it's the other. So far I've escaped all the various creeping-cruds that are running around the house (knock wood), but it's made a mess of my life the past week or so. It's a little tough to run errands, for instance, when you can't leave the dog, or the daughter, for more than 15 minutes at a time...


Oh. Oh. Oh. I saw my cover for "One Love For Liv" and I really like it!! And... I can't show it to you yet. Stupid rules. *G*

I will say this: It's animated. And it's cute. And I really think, except for the lack of a bull mastiff on the front, that it really covers what the story is about. It's currently tiled as wallpaper on my computer, and I keep minimizing this window to look at it.

The minute I have permission, I'll post it here.


Hey, folks... I can SEE out of my left eye, and quite well. It's just that my eyes don't much like to work together any more. I have "20" vision in my right eye, but not my left. Don't worry that I'm going to run you off the road, or that I have a blind spot. And, yes, I'm going to go to the eye doctor... dang it. My DH says I'm lucky that I've not needed glasses this long. I tell him it's almost worse never having had to wear them. Ugh.


Yesterday, Brandy told me to get to work on my writing. She's right. I do have "Kitchen Matches" out, but they're doing the editor shuffle where I sent it, and I'll have to wait a bit until it's assigned. I really need to get some more stuff submitted. Because of my little story at LASR yesterday, I felt the need to take another look at Camilla's story. I still like it. Too bad I have no idea how it's going to end. I know I need to tear the happy couple apart and then put them back together again... I just don't know how I'm going to do it.

So, should I work on Camilla? Or the fantasy? Or the novel I want to write to submit to a print press? Ack... we won't talk about my mystery. Or "Playing House". Or any of the half dozen short stories I've begun.

Focus, M. Focus.


Dear heavens. I picked Dakota up yesterday, and I think she's put on 5 pounds since the day before. I had to loosen her collar AGAIN. She's getting HUGE. And, she's getting better about most stuff. She's not eating my plants any more. She *mostly* stays out of the wood for the fire. She only torments the cat a little...


She's still really mouthy and sassy. And when I tell her no, sternly, she puts her front paws down/butt up in play mode and barks at me. Sharply. Back talk from a puppy--what's up with that?

The Daily Dakota (I'm beginning to run out of original ideas for this... it may become the Weekly Dakota...though I really do prefer the nifty alliteration):


And today's random quiz...

Your Celebrity Baby Name Is...

Starlite Blossom

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Oops... I Forgot

I have a little blurb, masquerading as a short romance story, at LASR. It's **sort of** an excerpt from my novel "The Possibility of Forever (formerly Camilla's Critters)" but messed with so that it stands alone.

Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Doctor, My Eyes Have Seen The Years...

All profoundly original art looks ugly at first. - Clement Greenberg

That quote explains all of my first drafts. *G*

(Extra point to the person who can identify the singer of the song I quoted in my title.)

So...Yesterday, I went to renew my drivers license. Ugh. We won't talk about the 60 minute wait, or the fact that they only have 1 1/2 people to wait on the ginormous line -- though they had THREE people at the registration place that was empty. Go figure.

Anyway... when I finally got my turn, I did the little eye chart whoosie in the fancy-schmancy view master and, badda-boom... read them off like a champ.

I thought.

"Ma'am, there are three boxes of letters to read."

"No there aren't," I said. "There are only two. One in the middle and one on the right."

"Do you wear contacts?"

"No." Should I? "I've always had perfect vision."

She favors me with a pitying look. "You have a weak eye. You must, or you'd be able to see all three boxes."


I'm OLD.

But I still got my drivers license. Ha.


So Jen got back to me yesterday about the bit of "Queen and Assassin" (my NaNo Fantasy) that I sent to her.

She liked it! She really liked it!

Okay... it wasn't perfect, but I knew that already. And there's a lot of brainstorming work to be done (some of which she helped me with this morning -- God bless Instant Messaging), and she thinks it deserves to be much longer than I had planned. That, at least, shouldn't be a problem if you consider it was originally intended as a 20,000 word novella for an anthology submission and I'm 16,000 words in and nowhere near done, or even halfway.


Good news is: She liked it. It has legs. Yay.

Bad news is: I have a LOT of work ahead of me.


Hey... how cool is this? Find out which libraries carry your book or books (or, if you're not a writer, which libraries carry your favorite novels)! Go to; and type in the title. Then you can type in a location to find out which libraries are carrying it.


Your Daily Dakota... Where could she be? AHA! She's eating the couch!

Bad dog! Get down!

Dakota says, "You must have been mistaken. I would never do something like that. I am innocent of all charges."


Your Vibe Is Secretly Sexy

Sexy isn't exactly a word you'd use to describe yourself
But you have a quite allure that certain men feel appealing
You don't need to flaunt your stuff to be sexier
A little more confidence in yourself, and you'll really light up a room!

Look out world... *G*

Tagged! Part Deux...

Keep working hard and you can get anything that you want. If God gave you the talent, you should go for it. But don't think it's going to be easy. It's hard! - Aaliyah

This is the part where I curse Judy... bad, bad Judy for tagging me AGAIN. Sheesh.

I hereby proclaim a moratorium on tags for the rest of the month. I will stick my virtual fingers in my ears and say, "lalalalalala" if you so much as try. Kay?

I've been tagged by Judy and been presented with the Roar for Powerful Words award. The rules are:

* Link back to the person who tagged you. (check!)

* List three things that you believe are necessary to make writing good and powerful. (oooh... powerful? Hmm... okay, we'll say check)

* Tag five others and comment on their blog informing them that they've been tagged with this award. (see... I hate tagging people... I'll let folks choose to play, or not. So, check sort of)

Three things that I believe are necessary to make writing good and powerful are:

1. Vivid characters. I will read a character driven, less exciting plot long before I will read a plot driven story with cardboard characters. I want to know the population of the book so well that I'd recognize them on the street.

2. Cohesive plot. I read a short story the other day that I still don't understand. I have NO CLUE at all about what the heck it was about. Make me understand. I don't want to drift, I don't want things to fly at me out of left-field (or even right-field), I want all the scenes to be there for a reason. And as I read my explanation, it doesn't make sense. So pretend I stopped at "Cohesive Plot".

3. Powerful emotion. Can I use "powerful" to describe what makes writing powerful? Is that like using a word to define itself? In any case, I think people respond to emotion--both positive and negative--and, used well, it can really make a difference in what you read. I am (as most of you know) a strong proponent of the Happy Ever After, and refuse to read something that ends unhappily. Still, I can understand how that can make a piece of writing stronger--IF it has a place and a reason, and isn't done for shock value. For instance, I love the movie "Beaches".

If Charity, Jen, Groovy, Gay or Diana want to play... they're welcome to!


Liana Laverentz, winner of the 2007 New Jersey Romance Writers Golden Leaf Contest for excellence in romance writing, is joining us at Long and Short Romance Reviews Yahoo group for an all day chat. Please come join us and have your questions ready. This is our first author chat and we are very excited to have Liana join us.


So, I took Dakota to the doggy doctor yesterday and she's now on antibiotics and dewormer (again). Would you believe we couldn't get a stool sample? It's like she knew... and crossed her little puppy paws.

In any case, she's already feeling better--she slept through the night last night from 9:00 until I woke up at 3 a.m. In fact, I think I woke HER up for a change!! Yay!!

Your Daily Dakota -- doesn't she look just like a grown-up dog? And, oddly, this picture reminds of the beginning of the old Charlie's Angels TV show for some reason...

For those who asked about DH... I'm telling you, he had a miraculous recovery following the ingestion of oil of oregano. It was amazing.


Your Ideal Pet is a Big Dog

You're both energetic, affectionate, and a bit goofy.
And neither of you seem to mind very slobbery kisses!

Um... that's a big NO on the slobbery kiss thing. Just saying.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons. ~ Ruth Ann Schabacker

Diana tagged me yesterday for a seven things post ... sneaky wench.

I think I've done this before, but it's been a LONG time, so I decided to do it again. First off, let's get this part out of the way:

The rules:

Link to the person who tagged you;
Leave a comment on their blog so that their readers can visit yours;
Post the rules on your blog;
Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog;
Tag 7 random people at the end of your post;
Include links to their blogs;
Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Now, on to the really important stuff...

1. I have NO fear of spiders. In fact, one fell off the bit of firewood I carried inside today and I picked him up and put him on the unfinished side of my basement. I didn't want to put him outside, cuz he would die. He might still... I don't know how much food he'll find in the basement, but at least he has a chance. Truthfully, I prefer that the creatures with more than four legs live outside (and will scoop and relocate), but in the winter--what's a girl to do?

2. If I could have any pet, I would choose a rat. I love rats. Rats are one of the best pets EVAH. They bond to you. They come when you call. You can potty train them. They're wicked smart. They're cute. No, really... stop laughing. I loved my rats: Pouncequick and Roofshadow. Good boys. The only bad part is that they don't live very long.

3. I find weeding cathartic. Really. I'm a compulsive weeder. My neighbors love me. If I'm visiting someone, I can't just talk. I have to weed. I can't NOT weed. if you want to torture me, forget the rubber hose. Just put me in a garden full of weeds and tie my hands.

4. I get up, without an alarm, sometime between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. every day. Sometimes, I make myself "sleep in" (aka stay in bed) until 4:30 or 5 a.m. on the weekends. Of course, this means that I'm ready for bed by 8 p.m. Sometimes, I can manage to stay awake until 9, but by then I'm so low on brain juice I'm all but incoherent.

5. I chew on the ragged skin around my fingernails, and have for as long as I can remember. I took a two-year vacation from it when I had braces, because I couldn't get to the skin with my teeth, but started right back up with the braces came off. I've tried to break the habit, but I can't. It's the only thing I've ever done that I can't stop doing. Except, yanno, breathing. And eating.

6. I collected and showed plastic model horses for several years. Breyers mostly, but I also showed other brands as well. I did quite well at it, but stopped when the cost became prohibitive. I still have most of my horses, photos, tack and other supplies.

7. I had the lead role in my senior high school drama production. The play was "Get Bill Shakespeare Off The Stage" and included some great lines like, "TB or not TB, that is the congestion. Consumption be done about it? Of cough, of cough, but not for lung." or "Out, out, damn Spot! Out, out I say. The living room's not where a dog should play!"

I also messed up a line in a way I'll never forget. I played a teacher, and was counseling a student who was having boy problems with a kid named Roy. I was supposed to say, "I had A Roy once myself." instead, it came out, "I had Roy once myself."

Best memory of doing the play? Getting to say "Bastard" on stage when I told Roy off, and getting a standing ovation on opening night for that scene. Ah... the good old days.

I'm not tagging anyone, but if you'd like to play, please do -- and then leave me a comment so I can come see.


I got BOOKS in the mail yesterday!! And presents! Life is good.

One of the coolest parts about having a reviews site is getting books before they are released. I have THREE!! I'm doing a happy dance because they are books I've been dying to read (and I shamelessly begged very professionally requested them from their respective authors, who then took pity on me sent them to me for a review.

I also spent most of my B&N gift cards on ALL of Lyndsay Sands Argeneau series because I read "The Accidental Vampire" and fell in love with her writing and the entire premise. **sigh**

For PRESENTS, my very, very good friend Kathy out in Minnesota sent me stuff from Ninth Moon! I've died and gone to heaven.

So, despite the twelve feet inches of snow we got yesterday, all-in-all I can't complain.


Your Daily Dakota:

Since she loves to play with my bunny slippers AND DD's fuzzy red pillow, we decided to get her a big hunking fuzzy toy of her very own. She loves it! See? Death to the giant blue bug!! (Sorry it's blurry... action shots, you know):


Another random quiz (I have to put that disclaimer because I SO did not choose this one!!):

Your Drag Queen Name Is:

Sugar Snatch

Um... oh... well...

I'm not touching that one.

Monday Mumbles

Eat right, exercise regularly, die anyway. ~Author Unknown

Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing. ~Redd Foxx

I was looking for quotes about health and/or illness, and found those. They cracked me up. So, there you are...


It's snowing. It didn't start until about 3 a.m., which was considerably later than they'd anticipated, but it did start. I know the start time because, yes, once again my darling dog woke me about every hour to go outside. Poor puppy. We'll be in touch with the vet again today.

DH is upstairs sleeping, really sleeping for the first time in three days. I have just one thing to say: God Bless oil of oregano. He's been congested for days, snarfing and coughing and sneezing... and last night, he got oil of oregano from his sister, put two drops in some juice, drank... and his sinuses cleared up immediately. Literally from one second to the next.

I'm heading to my local health food store to get my own vial of the stuff to have on hand, since it's also supposed to be an immune system booster. It makes me crave spaghetti, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.


A couple of days ago, Jen foolishly offered to read the first 16,000 words of the fantasy I worked on for NaNoWriMo. It's a rough first draft, undoubtedly full of typos and passive voice and poor grammar. I mostly wanted it read to check for continuity and whether it even had legs to stand on, considering it's the first time I've tackled a fantasy before.

Now I'm terrifically nervous, because the more I respect a writer's ability the more frightening it is to share your stuff with them...especially rough draft stuff. And I respect Jen's writing tremendously.

So... (((GULP))).


We have all new contests up at LASR this week -- one here, for a free eBook (at the bottom of the author spotlight), one here, for a free autographed novel and one here, for a free print novel. AND, I updated the "other contests" page as well (just look for the "new" markers). So, go forth and enter.


No Daily Dakota today -- for some reason, Blogger won't let me upload pictures. Sorry :-(


Your Gluttony Quotient: 25%

You have a pretty good relationship with food - you enjoy it, but you don't go overboard.
You've struck the perfect balance between gluttony and self control.

Actually... I really love to eat. And if I was a gazillionaire, I'd have my own private cook. However, since I am cooking for myself, I settle for peanut butter sandwiches much of the time.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Me and My Sunny Disposition!

"People on the outside think there's something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn't like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that's all there is to it." - Harlan Ellison

A quick health update... The hubs is worse, though he says if he could just cut his sinuses out, all would be well. Dakota is, unfortunately, about the same -- though I did get to sleep a solid three hours between midnight and 3 a.m.! She woke me every hour prior to then, but I'm counting my blessings. So far, DD and I have avoided all the creeping crud around the house, and yesterday it was warm enough (and we had a fire in the woodstove) that we opened all the windows and aired the joint out. Bye bye, germs. I hope.

We're expecting 5 - 10 inches of snow overnight tonight. I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I am about this little development.

I'm so ready for spring.


I had to write and polish a synopsis for "Kitchen Matches" recently. Have I mentioned that I hate writing synopses? The hardest part for me was this: "Kitchen Matches" is a little quirky...along the lines of "The Christmas Curse" -- not "Yuck-yuck" grab your stomach funny, but a little...silly.

I wanted to get that across in the synopsis, but it was next to impossible. I have no idea if I accomplished that goal. What do you think? Here's the first bit following my tagline intro (note: Cori is the heroine, Micah is her cooking teacher and our hero):

From the moment Cori met Micah, she turned into a klutz: flying poultry, apron fires and more dotted her inauspicious time in cooking class. And yet, despite his obvious annoyance, Micah consistently treated her like a lady, something few people did. Just because Cori worked as an auto mechanic and tow truck driver, most folks figured she had more testosterone than the average female. Cori’s mother suggested the cooking class as a way to get in touch with her feminine side, and her brothers double-dog dared her into taking it.

I firmly believe that synopsis writing is the hardest part of writing a book for publication.


Your Daily Dakota:

Life is hard...(she's actually sleeping with DD in this pic)...

I need to take some new pictures. I will soon... though at the rate she's purging her body of food, she's going to look like a concentration camp survivor soon considering she's already skinny. Really, I DO feed my dog...


From Charity:

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

You have a sunny disposition and are normally one of the first to show up for the party. You don't need too much attention from the host once you get there as you are more than capable of making yourself seen and heard.

So NOT me... a sunny disposition? HAHAHAHA! And, the only reason I'd be first at a party is because I'm anal about punctuality.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one. ~ Leo J. Burke

Didn't do much yesterday for my birthday (except watch my trailer over and over, LOL). I had a sick puppy again and couldn't leave her alone for any length of time. She was fine in the morning, after being off food for 14 hours, but the moment she started eating again? Oy!

So... for my birthday, I took a "runny" dog outside every fifteen minutes. I also found out that my friend, Michele, has fried her computer modem and will be offline for several days (this is a public service announcement, since many of you who read here also read her blog--don't worry if you don't see a new post for a bit). Also, my DH has a wicked cold and can't sleep. He crawled out of bed about ten last night and laid on the couch so he wouldn't bother me. Of course, the fact that I had a puppy who needed to go out about every 90 minutes was bothersome, too, but at least I got a few cat naps in between. Hopefully today will be better.

I did get some writing done (yay!), but I need to polish up a synopsis for "Kitchen Matches" and get that sent off (yes, I have found a place to submit it that makes me very happy), so this will be a short post.


Your Daily Dakota:

"Hey, this is a cool perch to look down upon you, you peons."


What Your Name Means

You are confident, self assured, and capable. You are not easily intimidated.
You master any and all skills easily. You don't have to work hard for what you want.
You make your life out to be exactly how you want it. And you'll knock down anyone who gets in your way!

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something. You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense. You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing. You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long. You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

Actually, yeah...mostly that's right on except for the "You don't stick with any one thing for very long" bit, because I have pretty amazing "stick-to-it-iveness".

What about you?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Best Gift Ever!

I just found this birthday present in my inbox... Allie, you made me cry... Thanks!

It's My Party...

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional. ~Chili Davis

So the general consensus is: You like to hear me gab. I can do that! :-)

Look what I found in my inbox today: The Cleaning Hunk (thanks, Judy!). Now, if only I could teleport him here, I'd be all set for my birthday. She also sent me an gift certificate (Judy, you really didn't need to do that...) to help me celebrate (with BOOKS--it doesn't get any better than that). My mom sent me a B&N gift certificate... yep, these are the folks who know me best!

So, today at about 2:00 p.m., I turn 41. Holy tamale, how did THAT happen? Do you ever look in the mirror and think, where'd that old lady come from? I always expect to see the me from 20 years ago. It's the strangest thing.

I won't be doing much today because we're expecting sleet. Is there anything grosser than sleet, weather-wise (I add that qualifier, because I had a sick puppy yesterday with goo coming out both ends, so I know FIRST-HAND that there are things grosser than sleet)? IMHO, if there is precipitation, it should be rain or snow. Period.

In any case, my plans for today are to read, write and nap. Good goals, all, don't you think?


So, I sent Judy the first 16,000 words of the fantasy I was working on for NaNoWriMo to see if it has legs. I'm nervous. Will it stink?

And, "Kitchen Matches". Hmmm... I just don't know what to do with this one. I haven't heard back from an editor I emailed regarding proper line placement. Should I look for a home elsewhere? I love this story and, despite the first editor's scathing rejection, I think it deserves its day in the sun. I've changed quite a bit, added quite a bit and am still adding a little each day. We'll see how it goes. I'm trying to be patient.

I'm re-reading "The Possibility of Forever" (formerly "Camilla's Critters" for those of you who've been around since her beginning) and trying to figure out how I want it to end. This is the first novel I've ever written where I didn't have the ending done first. I wonder if that means something? I'd like to get it completed and polished up by mid-March. We'll see how that goes.

And I'm still brainstorming my category novel, working title "The Hammer" (don't ask). I have what I think is a cool conflict set up. Now I just need to get to know my characters a bit better.

That's probably enough to be working on for now, but I still may dust off my mystery "Stiller Creek" and see if I can't get that one done -- I do have the ending written on that one. I just need to get them there.

So many ideas, so little time.


Your Daily Dakota (no, I didn't take pictures of poor, sick puppy yesterday):

"What's this?"

"Ooh... snacks!" ((slurp, slurp))

Yep, can't keep her away from the dishwasher, the little brat. **sigh**


Next Wednesday, January 16, the Long and the Short Of It's public Yahoo group will be having their very first author chat! Liana Laverentz, winner of the 2007 Golden Leaf Award and finalist in the LASR Best Romance of 2007 award and the EPPIE award. Liana will be interviewed at The Long and the Short of It on Tuesday, January 15th and then will be at the Yahoo group the next day for a Q'n'A session with our members. If you aren't already a member, join up! You don't want to miss this chance. And then think up some questions for Liana and be there next Wednesday to welcome her to the group.


Your Birthdate: January 11

Spiritual and thoughtful, you tend to take a step back from the world.
You're very sensitive to what's going on around you, yet you remain calm.
Although you are brilliant, it may take you a while to find your niche.
Your creativity is supreme, but it sometimes makes it hard for you to get things done.

Your strength: Your inner peace

Your weakness: You get stuck in the clouds

Your power color: Emerald

Your power symbol: Leaf

Your power month: November

My strength is my INNER PEACE? ((falls off chair laughing))