Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Fill-In and a Moment of Panic

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort." — Herm Albright

Today I'm being interviewed at Home Thoughts From A Broad -- also, Mandy put up "Behind the Story" late, so you can read that one, too, if you'd like. It talks about how "One Love For Liv" came to be.

I <3 visitors, so please stop by and say howdy!


For something a little different, I give you the Friday Fill-In:

1. I'm looking forward to Monday next week.

Monday is my favorite day of the week--yes, really. I am a creature of routine, and that routine is thrown off every weekend. Weekends give me ulcers. I hate them, and dread them with a deep, dark panic.

2. I don't handle change very well.

See the above...LOL...

3. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches are something I could eat every day.

I really love PB&J. But pizza runs a close second.

4. Warmth and sunlight have been strangely missing from my neck of the woods for months!! I want them back, please..

Worse, they're calling for 6 - 9" of snow tonight. We're really, really close to breaking the all time record for snow up here, only 15" to go. We've had more than 100 inches this winter. UGH.

5. NY Times Bestseller List here I come!

Nothing wrong with a little wishful thinking, is there?

6. I dislike tattoo(s).

I don't find them particularly attractive on others, especially in the extreme (like that lady on American Idol, or her boyfriend who has them covering his face like Darth Maul), and the thought of anyone coming at me with a needle just to draw on me? Please... still, to each his own. I have a sister covered in them.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to my husband playing hockey so that I can control the TV for a change, tomorrow my plans include shoveling 6 -9" of snow off my driveway and Sunday, I have to build all next weeks pages for The Long and the Short of It's website!

Learn anything new about me?


Words to make you panic:

An IM from your biz partner, "Um, we may have a problem."

Me, "What?"

Biz Partner, "Our website is gone."


Yes, folks, The Long and the Short of It disappeared for a bit last night. My hosting folks were no help (surprising? I think not), but my DH who was still at work at 8:00 p.m. responded to my IM cry for help and figured out what had happened. I fixed it, all was well. We don't know WHY it happened (and worse, it happened to me again this morning when I uploaded pages), so it could happen at a moments notice.

Did I mention I am really unhappy with my hosting company?


Your Power Bird is a Cardinal

You believe that each day is precious, and you spend your times as best as you can.

You see the wonder in small things, and you are often content with what you have.

You life an interesting, colorful life - and you bring color to those around you.

Confident and expressive, you believe you know how to live a good life. You're living it!

Hmmm... not really me, though I really LOVE the cardinal. He's so purty.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Congrats to Jen!! And the Kindertransport

"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

First off, I'm at Mandy Roth's "Behind the Story" today -- only it's not up yet... of course. Clearly, I arise earlier than anyone else in the known world! LOL... In any case, when it IS usp, come by, visit, say howdy and see how Liv was created.

Edited to add: It's after 1:00 EST and it's still not up. I emailed Mandy to find out what's the haps, and will let you know. Dang it.


A belated congratulations to Jen for finishing the first draft of her mystery!! Woot! She and I had challenged each other to finish our mysteries this month since we were both close to the same number of words completed at that time. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how busy the virtual tour for "One Love For Liv" would keep me, and I only managed to add a few thousand words.

Jen, OTOH, hunkered down and DID IT!!

I'm so thrilled for her. Now, I need to finish so we can swap and crit.

Good news is that I did work on it yesterday and managed to write about 1500 words! I still need to get about 20,000 written, but at least it was something.

I'm working, Jen. Promise!


I took some time to feed my need for information surrounding WWII and got the video and book "Into the Arms of Strangers" about the Kindertransport. As the video was rated PG, I watched it with my DD who finally understood at least a little of the horror of Hitler's reign. She is a fan of The Sound of Music, but didn't understand much of the politics behind the story, even though I attempted to explain.

It's a very interesting and touching video, and the book is more of the same--statements from the children and others who were touched by the Kindertransport. Why were we never told of this in our history classes?


Speaking of vintage stuff, I got a Google Alert in my inbox regarding a new review for an older story, "Miles From You" which takes place immediately following WWII. From Sensual Reads and Reviews it says, in part:

"Miles From You" is a very believable and touching story. Marianne Arkins has created an extraordinary story for all ages to read. Millie has the sweetest personally and Paul is the perfect gentleman. I wish everyone was still like this today.

That was a very pleasant surprise, since this story was out quite some time ago.


You Are a Colon

You are very orderly and fact driven.

You aren't concerned much with theories or dreams... only what's true or untrue.

You are brilliant and incredibly learned. Anything you know is well researched.

You like to make lists and sort through things step by step. You aren't subject to whim or emotions.

Your friends see you as a constant source of knowledge and advice.

(But they are a little sick of you being right all of the time!)

You excel in: Leadership positions

You get along best with: The Semi-Colon

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

When Something Clicks

Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I'm being interviewed by Diane Craver today. Come by and say howdy and get the answer to today's contest entry question.


Judy and I have been toying with the idea of working together on a series of books and have tossed around some ideas. We came to find out that one of those ideas was already stolen by another publisher (though I'm of the mind that we could spin it differently and make it our own), but others feel pretty darn unique.

And, I think they're clicking.

How do I know? Because scenes pop into my head at the strangest times...just snippets that I can see and hear as clearly as if it was a movie playing on the screen before me. It's the strangest thing, but something that happens to me when I'm brainstorming something that works.

I'm still going to be working on my own stuff, but this thought of ours really has merit, and I'm excited. It's been a while since I've been excited about something... about writing. And isn't that sad?

If you're a writer, how do you know when something clicks for you? And, do you see your scenes like a movie? If not, how do they work inside your brain? I'm terrifically curious.


My daughter is utterly hooked on a series of books that are exciting and quite complex and well-written for a middle grade series. Have you heard of them?

Seriously, she is gobbling these up. There are three six-book series thus far, and she's been going nuts to earn the money to buy them all. She has four books so far. She reads constantly (we got the entire series at the library) and can't put them down. She is a big fan of the Redwall series, but complained a bit that those books took a little while to get going. Not so, these, apparently. She says they jump right into the action and it never stops.

A word of warning, though. These books are about warring clans of animals, and many of the characters do die. My uber-sensitive daughter is sad about this, but not to the point she doesn't want to read the books, so it must be handled very well. I've only read a bit of the first book, to test the waters, and can highly recommend them.


Because I haven't posted a picture of the demon-dog in a while:

"So, this is supposed to taste nasty, huh?"

"Can I try some? Yum!"

Yes, folks, the "Fooey" (aka Bitter Apple) doesn't phaze this puppy at all. I, OTOH, dread even coming near the bottle because it is NASTY tasting and a bear to wash off if you get it on your hands.


Your Driving Is is: 50% Male, 50% Female

According to studies, you drive both like a guy and a girl.

This means you're a pretty average driver, with typical quirks.

Occasionally you're frustrated and or a little reckless, but that's the exception - not the norm.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Funny Commercials and English Bulldogs

"You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space." - Johnny Cash

I forgot to tell you guys that I posted what I think is one of the funniest commercials I've seen in a long time, and which is now quoted around our house on a regular basis (because we have a dog). Go to my website fun page and see the YouTube video on the top if you're interested.


I'm at The Romance Studio's book-a-day giveaway today (though they haven't updated the page yet), so if you want another chance to win a copy of "One Love For Liv", this is it!

I'm also at Alex Beecroft's blog talking about writing prompts and one of my favorite TV shows. Go visit and say howdy so I don't feel so alone. Plus, you'll get the answer you need to enter my contest.


It was a lovely day yesterday again! 39 degrees and sunny. Our neighbor with the English bulldog came by and he and Dakota played. I still think it's the funniest thing to watch, though he gave it the old college try this time, actually "running" around on those little legs and trying to leap and jump and keep up with Dakota. He was so tired afterward, I thought his owner was going to have to carry him home! LOL...


I AM going to write today. Just saying...


I've gotten a stellar response on my guest blogging offer, so you guys are going to be entertained by different folks every Wednesday starting next week. It's going to be fun!!

And, hey, if you haven't signed up to guest blog--why haven't you? All the deets are here.


I talked to our library director yesterday about setting up a book signing when "One Love For Liv" comes out in print. She's very excited! Me, too. *G* I figured I might as well start now, and get things set up.

DH just keeps asking when he's going to be able to retire. Ha.


You are a Playful Date

Your dating philosophy?
"Fun first, romance later" You'd rather scream on a roller coaster...
Then stare in to some guy's eyes over dinner.

Guys to look for:
Men with humorous profiles and quirky interests
Sure that business suit guy may look boring...
But if he likes snowball fights, give him a try

I'll have to let my husband know *G*

Monday, February 25, 2008

Miscellaneous Monday

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


Today I'm being interviewed at Silvia Violet's blog -- only, it's not up yet as of this writing. When it is, come by and visit, so I don't feel so alone! My contest is here.


Thought I'd just share some miscellaneous thoughts with you all today (Like that's different than any other day!).

Did you know I couldn't spell miscellaneous until my DD had it on her spelling test last year? She was so overwhelmed by the word that I broke it down into pieces for her (mis - cell - a - ne - ous) and, oddly enough, that worked for me, too! LOL...

In the same vein, did you know that "science" is also an exception to the I before E except after C rule? Some days, I really hate teaching English. It's a screwy language.

Dakota, my darling puppy, head-butted me on Saturday so that my teeth smacked together nice and hard... and I chipped a tooth. One of my front ones. It's just lovely. I seriously look like a hard core redneck now. **Sigh** (I love my dog, I love my dog...)

My webhost for "The Long and the Short of It" upgraded our hosting platform over the weekend. Now it won't let me upload pages with the same name without deleting the old ones--and, of course if I delete, say the "index.html" page well then... hello! The entire website goes down. I've been on hold with their "live chat" feature for 90 minutes thus far. Apparently, I'm not the only one having trouble. Thankfully, I figured out how to edit the pages manually, so was able to get today's changes done, but I am NOT happy.

Ah... just got off the hook with live chat, and they've changed it so I can no longer overwrite the old files. Additionally, I can only upload one file at a time, whereas I used to be able to upload ten. Color me very unhappy. When my contract is up, I'll be looking for a new webhost.

My DD is looking for Barbie clothes. The few sets we've been able to find in the stores are ugly and poorly made. Twice, when I've bought them, they've torn as soon as she's put them on the doll. So, yesterday, I found a Barbie pattern at the craft store and will send it to my mom (no, I don't really sew unless I'm under great duress). In the meantime, I watched her wrap her Barbie in toilet paper and cheesecloth yesterday and call it a wedding dress. I wasn't sure if I was tickled at her ingenuity, or sad at her desperation.

Speaking of DD, she's been working hard at writing a book on her computer. It's called "A Horse Called Wild" and I'm a little weirded out by something: I wrote my first "book" when I was in fourth grade (as she is now) and it was called "A Horse Called Mystery". Hmmm....

I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday and saw two Samhain books and one The Wild Rose Press book on the shelves. Yay!

Ceri Hebert is having a contest to win her book "Sweet Forever"... I'm telling you what, folks, this is an AWESOME book. You want to read it. Actually, I want to get it in print, so I'm going to play in her contest, too. Go over and check it out. It's easy to enter. Just read and excerpt and answer a question.

I decided on which book I'm going to use to learn HTML -- it's from O'Reilly press and I can't for the life of me remember the name right now. Good thing I wrote it down. But it looks complex enough that it covers all the bases, but says it in words for people (like me!) who don't have a strong technical background. And it has pictures. Pictures are good.

It was sunny and warm here yesterday -- about 37 degrees! -- so DH washed all three vehicles (they were covered in salt) and I took the puppy for a nice long walk. Without a jacket.

What did you do this weekend?


You Have a Melancholic Temperament

Introspective and reflective, you think about everything and anything. You are a soft-hearted daydreamer. You long for your ideal life. You love silence and solitude. Everyday life is usually too chaotic for you.

Given enough time alone, it's easy for you to find inner peace. You tend to be spiritual, having found your own meaning of life. Wise and patient, you can help people through difficult times.

At your worst, you brood and sulk. Your negative thoughts can trap you. You are reserved and withdrawn. This makes it hard to connect to others. You tend to over think small things, making decisions difficult.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Rambling, Rambling, Rambling....

Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia. ~Charles Schulz

I got three victims...takers... on my guest blog offer yesterday, and have high hopes for more. I've set up a schedule here, so if you'd like to guest blog, choose a couple of days (sometimes, I might get requests at the same time for the same day) and email me (marianne @ -- without the spaces). If you have an idea for a subject or title, let me know that, too, and I'll include it.

I'm excited! And, Monday, I hit the loops with the offer... so jump in if you want a specific date now.


So... I'm not anywhere on tour today. **sniff**

Yesterday, I filled out two more sets of interview questions. I have to admit to a couple of things. One: I'm really kind of tired of talking about myself! LOL... and Two: I really dislike open-ended questions like--tell us about yourself. Or--tell us about your book. I just don't even know where to start. The last couple of interviews I filled out got a little bit flippant, not in a bad way...more goofy than sarcastic, but my bio was a little different for one. There are only so many ways you can tell people who you are.

So... those of you who still have to interview me? Specific questions, please? And, feel free to make them a little...different *G*. Having said that, I'm a little afraid of what I'll get from Groovy, as she's already a little...different (in a funny, off-center way... I love her blog). Could be interesting.


So, I was flashing back to all the really goofy "joke" songs I loved from the 80s... and had to post some videos.

I have this album on vinyl... if only my turntable wasn't broken. Dedicated to my biz partner, Judy:

Or what about this? I have a silly song being lip synced on Solid Gold--it doesn't get ANY BETTER than that!!


Creature Feature: Quiz Results


You're more comfortable with your animal friends than you are with humans. Ever feel like your dog really understands you when you talk? Well, for YOU, he probably does. You've got a way with the wild beasts--a special touch. Man's best friend has a WHOLE new meaning for you. Sure, physically, you might not be the strongest of the paranormals, but mentally, you're on a whole different level.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Guest Bloggers Wanted

Progress always involves risk; you can't steal second base and keep your foot on first. — Frederick Wilcox


I'm being "not" interviewed at Writing Wrongs today...LOL. And I'm being interviewed at Me, My Muse and I. Come on by! Leave a comment. Say hi. My daily contest is here.


I've been toying with the idea of having a guest blogger here once a week -- maybe on Wednesday -- to give me a break from blogging, and to introduce you to some interesting people. What think you? Anyone out there interested in blogging here? I get a decent amount of visitors and you'd get some exposure that you wouldn't usualy get.

The only thing I'd ask is that the post is actually, yanno, about something. It can be about nearly anything at all, I'm not picky, but ... I'd like it to have a specific subject.

Anyone want to jump in before I post this on all my loops? First dibs?


It snowed yesterday. A lot. GAH. I'm utterly sick of snow. I'm so moving to Hawaii.


Yesterday on the LASR Yahoo group the Friday Favorite question was "what is a favorite food you eat that other people would find strange"... and I had a terrible time thinking of something. I finally opted for extra sharp cheddar cheese with strawberry jam (Judy says that's not weird, cuz she likes it, too).

What about you? Is there something you love to eat that other people find really strange?


Today's Random Quiz (I have to admit to being a little apprehensive when I hit the "random quiz" button and it just brings up a little box for my name and no explanation... I'm never sure just what's going to pop up):

What Marianne Means

M is for Mi Amor

A is for Adorable

R is for Raspberry Lips

I is for Igloo Warmer

A is for Adorable

N is for Nugget

N is for Nut Butter

E is for Elf

Friday, February 22, 2008

Low on Brain Juice

Because I can't think of even one moderately interesting thing to talk about today... I give you:


Have you ever played a practical joke on anyone? If so, what did you do and who was your victim?

The only thing I can think of is the time, oh about twenty years ago when a bunch of us when to a friends house in the middle of the night and did chalk outlines in his driveway to make it look like a murder scene. Really, I'm not into practical jokes because I hate having them played on me, and I'm all about "do unto others".


What do your salt and pepper shakers look like?

They have a Southwestern design and match my dishes--a wedding gift from 11 1/2 years ago! If I wasn't so lazy, I'd get up a take a photo. But I am, so I'm not.


Where is the next place you plan to visit (on vacation or business)?

WalMart. I need to pick up a couple of books for The Long and the Short of It. And DD will not be with me, so it's the perfect time to pick up the stuff for her Easter basket, and maybe even her birthday.

What? That's not what you meant?

Main Course

What kind of lotion or cream do you use to keep your hands from getting too dry?

I sold Avon up until just a few months ago, and when I quit, I stocked up on their Vita Moist hand cream. I love that stuff... nice and thick, doesn't leave an oily mess and has virtually no scent. I'm really sensitive to scents, they typically give me a wicked headache, so I try to keep to the fragrance-free stuff.

When I run out of that? I'll either find me an Avon lady or hit the stores and see what's out there. I sold Avon for almost ten years, so I have no clue what other stuff exists!


Make up a dessert, tell us its ingredients, and give it a name.

Hmmm.... Make peanut butter cookies with oatmeal, throw in some cocoa and chocolate chips and then drizzle with melted chocolate when they've cooled. A name? How about "YUMMY"?


Now, the daily Blatant Self-Promotion:

My tour stop today is: The Long and the Short of It Romance Reviews -- I'm in the author spotlight talking about character quirks. And I'm giving away a free download of any of my stories, including but not limited to, "One Love For Liv". Come on by!

My daily contest is here.


Today's random quiz:

Your Karaoke Theme Song is "Baby Got Back"

You're a total show off who is willing to risk looking like a fool to get a few laughs.

In fact, you'll go for the cheap laugh if you need to... because it's better than no reaction!

Your friends can count on you to get a party started, and you'll party hard until you can't remember their names.

You're charismatic, charming, and a total character. With or without a few drinks in you.

You might also sing: "I Touch Myself," "Oops I Did it Again," or "My Humps"

Stay away from people who sing: "Candle in the Wind"

Hmmm.. I don't know the words to ANY of those songs, so I'd look pretty stupid up there on stage humming along! LOL...

Has anyone else noticed that since I switched over to the new blogger layout thingie, that all my posts are squished together? Is there anyway to fix that??

Thursday, February 21, 2008

WOW! Another great review for Liv...

This one nearly made me cry...

Literary Nymphs reviewer, Bramble Nymph, says in part:

"One Love for Liv" is the kind of book that you never tire of reading and re-reading. This fast-paced and witty read actually made me laugh ‘til I cried in several parts.

Oh man, there's so much more to it than that. Click over and read.

I'm going to frame it.


Yikes... this interview posted early...

I didn't expect this until next week, but if you'd like to read an interview with me, check out Alex Beecrofts blog.

Booking it Hard and Peculiar Puppies

Lord! when you sell a man a book you don't sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue - you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night - there's all heaven and earth in a book, a real book. ~Christopher Morley

All other things (like price and storage space) being equal, given a choice in a perfect world, would you rather have paperbacks in your library? Or hardcovers? And why?

This is actually tough for me to answer because both have their place. I think public libraries should probably carry hardbacks simply because they are more durable and those particular books have a high-level of use.

My own personal preference for reading is actually mass-market paperback because of their size. I really prefer reading a smaller book and owning a smaller book... more room on my limited shelf space, easier to pop into a purse or bag. Maybe the compromise would be to make a mass-market paperback sized hardback!

Or, since price is no object, and the world is perfect, therefore I have unlimited space: one of each format!!


Now, the daily Blatant Self-Promotion:

My tour stop today is: The Long and the Short of It Romance Reviews -- I'm in the author spotlight talking about what I love and hate about writing. And I'm giving away a free download of any of my stories, including but not limited to, "One Love For Liv". Come on by!

My daily contest is here.


So, Dakota wins the prize for weirdest dog. Yes, she's cute:

But the fact remains ... she's strange. I took her for a walk on Monday, garbage day for my neighborhood, and she decided that she was terrified of garbage cans. Absolutely flipped out when we got near them. OUR garbage can was okay (despite the fact that it looks pretty much just like everyone else's garbage cans), but walking past the neighbor's? Heck, no.

So, Monday, we spent quality time with the neighbor's garbage cans. We stood by them. We tapped them with our feet to make a weird noise. We even picked up an empty one and walked with it for a while. I can only imagine what my neighbors must have thought if there were watching Dakota and I out their windows.

On the other hand, she has NO fear of the vacuum cleaner and will not get out of my way. I can even bump her with it and she just stands there, staring.

Of course the blow dryer gives her nightmares. The blow dryer is some horrible fiend that eats puppies. So is the electric razor, unless it's turned off. Then it's just exactly the right size to carry around the house in your mouth.

Ah, the joys of puppy ownership.


I got another nice review on the MBaM site for "One Love For Liv" -- the person (who I don't know, and didn't pay *G*) said, in part (click here for all the reviews at MBaM):

What a fun book! ... Everything just flowed together so nicely I really liked reading it.

Gosh... ((blushes))... they like me, they really like me.

Still waiting to see what Mrs. Giggles has to say, though.


You Need Some Green in Your Life

Green will make you feel alive, renewed, and balanced.

And with a little green, you will project an aura of peacefulness and harmony.

If you want stability, you've got to get a little green in your life!

For extra punch: Combine green with blue or purple

The downside of green: It can promote jealousy in yourself or others

The consequences of more green in your life:

You will be drawn to a new life path

You will feel free to pursue new ideas and interests, no matter how strange

You will be released from the demands and concerns of others

Anyone have some green to spare?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Outlining and My "Writing Process"

Without the playing with fantasy no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable." — Carl Jung

First off... BSP:

My tour stop today is: The Long and the Short of It Romance Reviews -- I'm in the author spotlight. And I'm giving away a free download of any of my stories, including but not limited to, "One Love For Liv". Come on by!

My daily contest is here.


Yesterday, I mentioned that I would have to "outline" my story about Camilla. Brandy expressed surprise that I don't typically outline and Dru asked me if it was the first time I've outlined a story.

Well, yes and no.

When I write a novel-length work (I qualify this, because I behave in a completely different manner for stories that are shorter) I consider the first draft an outline of a sort. Typically, I'll explore the characters before I start to write. I have several character "interviews" that I'll ask them (yes, really... you don't think the characters are their own people? Trust me, they are!) and see what happens. If I get stuck on something (one question was about any traumatic events in childhood... and I knew something had happened to Camilla, but I wasn't certain what it was) I'll write a scene about that and see what shows up on the paper (turns out as a pre-teen, Camilla witnessed three teenaged boys beating a cat, rescues it and it feeds the "nurturer" in her as well as causes her to choose the profession she's in).

After I feel I know my characters well enough to make them behave... well... in character, I'll brainstorm possible scenes. Sometimes I use writing prompts. Sometimes I use "dares" from the NaNo forum. Sometimes I use other writing books that ask things like "will their be a chance that your H/H will do X, Y and Z?" and consider that.

Once I've got at least 20 or so scenes, I sit down and write. And there begins all the things that throw wrenches into the system. No, wait... I didn't expect THAT to happen! No, wait... you don't have your first kiss there -or- conversely, what do you MEAN you don't want to kiss yet? You have to or else this next scene won't work.

I tried outlining once, during my first "real" writing class at WVU. One of the lessons tells you to make an outline. I struggled and sweated through an outline for "Playing House" and thought it was perfect. And then I sat down to write and my characters said, "No way, Jose."

The difference between outlining Camilla's story NOW as opposed to when I started was this: I'm essentially done with the work, and it probably won't change all that much. I'm just having some problems with timelines and need to get it all written down in front of me to see just how long I need to keep Jed bedridden to work in the story. I have the last 15,000 words (or so) to write, but they're already loosely in my brain... which means "outlining" may not be the right word for me to have used yesterday.

And, wow... that was long-winded!

To all you writers out there... what about YOU? Plotter? Pantser? Somewhere in between (like me?).


Jen had nice words to say about "One Love For Liv" on her blog yesterday. Go see!


You Are Black Pepper

You may be considered ordinary by some, but you're far from boring.

You elevate the mood of any discussion, and people miss you when you're not around.

You are secretly very dominant and powerful. Most can only take you in small doses.

Dang... I wanted to be basil like Charity...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Eight Ridiculous Questions...

Lexxie Couper asked me Eight Ridiculous Questions... and I answered them in her newsletter. You don't have to join the Yahoo group to view it, if you're interested. One word of caution, tho -- Lexxie is an erotic author, so may have book covers up with her work and she does have a VERY hot excerpt... my answers are all the way at the bottom, so you could just scroll down to see them.

I hope you'll give it a look!

Blog Parties and Lady Bugs

It is better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for someone you are not. - Andre Gide

First off... BSP:

My tour stop today is: The Long and the Short of It Romance Reviews -- I'm in the author spotlight. And I'm giving away a free download of any of my stories, including but not limited to, "One Love For Liv". Come on by!

My daily contest is here.


It rained all day yesterday. It was WARM -- almost 50 degrees. We had the screen door opened... man, I love me some fresh air.

There was, however, one not so good result from all this warmth, though... a mass influx of lady bugs. Dozens of the little buggers came out from where ever they were hanging out for the winter, and then had issues because of all the water. My DD refused to let them die, so we spent the day collecting lady bugs and then looking online about how to keep them alive sans aphids. Ladybug Lady said to soak raisins and put them in with the bugs. Huh. Well, at this point, I'm game to try anything.

So, we soaked about five raisins in water and then put them into the container. In a matter of seconds, the bits of soggy fruit were positively covered with lady bugs!! Wow!

I have no idea how long they can survive on raisins. If it's sunny and warm tomorrow, we'll let them go... if not, we'll hold on to them until it IS sunny and warm, or until they die.

So, here I am, raising bugs inside again. **sigh**


You know what the worst part of having books out for sale? Not knowing how well they're selling... I wish there was some way to install a "stat counter" to tell me each time a copy of "One Love For Liv" was sold. Thankfully, Samhain does royalties monthly, instead of quarterly like The Wild Rose Press, so I won't have to wait that long.

Patience is not my middle name. Or even my nick name.


Ultimate Blog Party 2008

During the week of March 7-14th, the blogosphere will be party hopping - jumping through our Mr. Linky list of participating bloggers, meeting new friends and partying blogger-style at the Ultimate Blog Party 2008, at 5 Minutes for Mom.

That's where I'll be that week... want to join me?


So, I'd decided on shortening Jed's injury time in my "Camilla" story to two weeks... but now that's not going to work either. I'm so frustrated. I'm afraid I'm going to have to actually sit down and... **gasp**!... OUTLINE.

(((faints dead away)))


You Should Visit Mexico

You can be as comfortable as you want, eating fast food and partying with English speakers in resort town.

But if you're feeling brave, venture out to Mexico City - or explore the tropical Yucatan.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday Morning Meme and Secret Handshakes

"The world is but a canvas to our imaginations." — Henry David Thoreau

First off... BSP:

My tour stop today is: The Long and the Short of It Romance Reviews -- I'm in the author spotlight. And I'm giving away a free download of any of my stories, including but not limited to, "One Love For Liv". Come on by!

My daily contest is here.


February 18th Questions:

1. How did your mother spend her day? Did she have a job or do volunteer work outside the home? How did her outside commitments affect your family? How did they affect you?

My mom alternately worked outside the home and stayed home... depending on what time of her (and my) life you're talking about. She was home with me when I was very small, but had to work when she and my father divorced--about kindergarten age for me. I had a bunch of older siblings who took care of me, so it was never a big deal. Later on, she remarried and stayed home again (about 3rd/4th grade). I don't really remember being impacted all that much one way or the other by whether she was home or worked. I do remember my older brother and sister making me strange dinners, though -- once they put food coloring in everything and we had green corn, blue potatoes and pink hamburgers. I also remember that they were frustrated at not being able to tell when the meat was done, because it didn't turn brown!

2. What’s the most embarrassing moment you’ve ever witnessed, live?

For some reason, these questions are always hard for me to answer. Maybe I blank embarassing things out of my mind? I do remember, in my senior year, my drama teacher cast a girl as the second lead in "Girl Crazy" who couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. Every note she sang was sharp. But it was her "turn" for a lead role (he was nothing if not fair), so he sent her to the choir teacher for lessons. It didn't help. It was awful. It was absolutely horrifying to watch that girl on stage, screeching her way through song after song, especially when the first lead was so amazingly good.

3. If you could add the number of hours in a day, how many would you add and how would this impact your daily life?

Oh... this is a tough question. I am in desperate need of more time. I'd add many... assuming that I wouldn't need more sleep because of it. And I'd add them in the morning. I'd love to have a good... six or seven hours before anyone was awake to work. Now I'm sad, because I DON'T have them. How would it impact my life? Maybe I'd actually get everything done that I needed to!

4. If you had to spend one year living alone in a remote cabin (without Internet!), what would you spend your time doing? Elaborate - what would you typical day look like?

I'd probably spend it pacing back and forth. I do love solitude, but being cut off from the world with no internet? I'd lose my mind. I don't like to slow down, don't like to rest, don't like to relax. I'd be ready for the loony bin after not very long.


Yeah, we know. You do your best to be mysterious, but all those secret knocks, coded messages, and late-night meetings make it pretty obvious. If this quiz could figure out your secret, everyone else is probably about to guess the truth, too. Why don't you just admit it? Put this badge on your blog and tell the world. Your secret society buddies might get mad, but what can they really do? You're the president!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

First Review for "One Love For Liv"

And... I really need to update my website with current reviews. I have a bunch. This one, though, will always hold a special place in my heart as my first official review of my first novel.

Laura at The Good, The Bad, The Unread reviewed Liv's story and gave it a B! I'm tickled by the rating and her review. You can read the complete review here, but I'll share a few tidbits right here:

Ms Arkins has created wonderful cast of characters. Mike is the perfect hero. He’s kind, generous, funny and sexy. Liv, despite her privilege upbringing is sweet. Unlike some other heiress characters from other books, I really liked Liv. Instead of being shallow and as if everyone was beneath her, she was more naïve about how the others may live...

...Add in a mastiff, an abandoned ferret, and a neighbor trying to break various records and you have a fun book that is tough to put down. I’m looking forward to more books by Ms Arkins.

Yay for Liv!!

Cockles and Muscles

Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

First off... BSP:

My tour stop today is: Allie Boniface's blog. Why don't you stop by and leave a comment so I don't feel so lonely?

My daily contest is here.


I got a Google alert last night for "Don't Fence Me In" that warmed the cockles of my heart (I failed anatomy... just where are the cockles again? *G* ... oh, and the "muscles" part of the title? Ignore it, LOL...I didn't move even one yesterday) -- The Romance Studio said very nice things about my story including these:

DON’T FENCE ME IN is a sweet and poignant story of those left behind. It sends a valuable message of the heartache we undergo when we lose someone we love, and the healing power of love. I was captured by the sadness Jeremy had a hard time getting past and felt my heart break a little. Lizzy is a warm and caring young woman, a balm to Jeremy’s battered soul. Her genuine love and compassion comes through loud and clear, making her character come to life on the pages. Jeremy is the antithesis of Lizzy; he is a sad and lonely young man who feels responsible for his friends’ deaths. Survivor’s guilt is realistically presented by the author. The journey to love is a smooth one as Jeremy and Lizzy discover the healing power of their love. I look forward to reading more by Marianne Arkins; she certainly made an emotional connection through her characters.


I had a lazy, lazy day yesterday. Laid around with the dog and the cat on the couch for most of the morning. I didn't get onto the computer until after 6 a.m.!!

Unfortunately, it made me feel behind all the rest of the day. I'm not sure it was worth it.


A few days ago, I made Grandmother bread from Suzanne McMinn's blog. It was yummy!! Now I want to try her lava cake recipe.

Do you bake? If so, you should check out her blog.


Today's random quiz:

You Are a Jam Cookie

On the outside, you project a straight-laced, innocent vibe.

But on the inside, you're complex, exotic, and full of flavor.

That's about right *G*

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Book Meme

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. — Herm Albright

First off... blatant self promotion:

My tour stop today is: The Bandwagon.

My daily contest is here.



Turns out that not only did Charity over at Writing Wrongs use Liv as part of a book meme, but she also tagged me, despite my memo-fast.

Since she used my book for her meme, how could I say no?

Is it cheating if I use my WIP for this, because it IS the closest book to me right now.

The rules?

1). Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages)
2). Open the book to page 123
3). Find the fifth sentence
4). Post the next three sentences
5). Tag five people

Okay... From "The Possibility of Forever" (aka Camilla's Critters):

Pg 123, sentences six thru nine -- ooh... I couldn't have picked a better part if I'd tried!

Camilla dropped her head into her hands. She was a grown woman, damn it all, she could have knock down, drag out sex on her kitchen table if she wanted. There was no reason to feel as if she’d been caught with her hand in the cookie jar.

Tee. Hee.

Okay -- time to tag: Brandy, Tori, Melissa, Sarita, and Dru.


I worked on Camilla's story yesterday for almost two hours... it was wonderful. Now, though, I think I remembered something else that stumped me -- I need an injury bad enough to keep a man bedridden for a week or so, but not longer than that. Botheration...

Still, I really do enjoy this book and want to get it done!! I have 44,000 words and need at least 55,000 (preferable 65,000), so we'll see what happens once I've done the readthrough/edit that I'm working on now.

Then, I'll go back through and do a search for "it" and change them so that my editor won't have to. That always adds words, too! LOL... is that cheating?


Poor Dakota is supposed be kept from too much activity while she heals from her spay, so we haven't been walking her or playing with her, and have tried to keep her calm. But every now and then she just can't keep it in and starts tearing around the house at top speed and there is NO stopping her. It's so funny, I'll laugh 'til I cry, until I realize she might be tearing out her stitches. Then I'll sit on the floor or the couch and wait for her to jump on me, which typically doesn't take too long. Then I just hold her until the wiggles go away. "Just hold her" sounds easy, right? Ha. Try holding a bundle of energy with four legs, teeth and claws.

The doc said ten days. I'm hoping we can make it seven...


You think it's cold there? Here, even our faux Old Man Of the Mountain needs earmuffs...


Today's random quiz:

You Should Play the Guitar

You're very independent - both in spirit and in the way you learn.

You can teach yourself almost anything, even if it makes your fingers bleed.

You're not really the type to sit patiently through a music lesson - or do things by the book.

It's more your style to master the fundamentals and see where they take you.

Highly creative and a bit eclectic, you need a wide range of music to play.

You could emerge as a sensitive songwriter... or a manic rock star.

Your dominant personality characteristic: being rebellious

Your secondary personality characteristic: tenacity

Friday, February 15, 2008

"One Love For Liv" -- the Meme...

Charity over at Writing Wrongs has used Liv as part of a book meme. Go check it out!

Thanks, C.

All Hail the Memo-Pause!!!

I've been taking a journey with author, Kara Lennox, on her blog as she went from making a joke about needing to keep a pad of paper around her neck because she forgets things to the development of THE MEMO-PAUSE.

How can you resist a logo like that?

I have my memo-pause all picked out... with refill paper of course, because I'll be using this sucker a lot.

What do YOU think?

Writing Angst

Sex: the thing that takes up the least amount of time and causes the most amount of trouble. - John Barrymore

And if that wasn't true, romance novels wouldn't exist!


My tour stop today is: From the Heart.

My daily contest is here.



Lately, it seems many, many, many people I know have had computer crashes. It's amazing! There's a rash of that happening, and it happened again yesterday so I quickly backed up all my important stuff onto my flash drive.

Then, last night I dreamed we had a fire and I panicked and ran downstairs INTO THE FIRE because I keep my flash drive right next to my laptop and they were both on the dining table. It was awful. Today, I will give some thought as to where to keep the flash drive at night. Maybe in my night stand, so I can grab it easily in case of a fire. LOL... Fire? Grab dog, grab cat, grab DD, grab flash drive. Hubs can grab himself... so to speak.

Fact is, in the past I've lost everything twice in computer crashes. Yes, it's true.... I didn't learn the first time. I also have an email account set up that I email my WIPs to, but I haven't done that in a while.

To add to my author angst, after I received my galleys for "A Change of Heart" yesterday to proof, I realized that I have NOTHING ELSE currently contracted. This is the first time since I got my first contract for "Now That We've Found You" that I haven't had something contracted.

Gah. I have to admit to feeling just a little panicked. Hopefully, I'll hear a positive back from Samhain for "Kitchen Matches". And then I need to get my butt in gear and get something polished and submitted.


New pix of Dakota -- it's so cute... her feathers are just barely starting to come in. You can see them on her tail and a little around her rear end. I looked at old pictures of Bailey at the same age, and she was just barely getting them, too.

Hey... it's the hubs feet! See, he really does exist, LOL...

And Dakota watching my DD make balloon animals. She wanted those balloons in the worst way:

DD was having a blast! She made a pile of them, and then we took them to the library and gave them all away... Here's a sample of her wares:


Today's random quiz:

Your PMS Disaster Level: Medium

You definitely are a bit of a wreck once a month.

But as long as remember to take it easy, your PMS isn't a major crisis.

You've been warned...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I'm Famous-er


I have a very brief quote in Allie Boniface's fabulous article "Today's Romance Novel: It's Not Your Mother's Bodice Ripper Anymore" at WOW-Women On Writing.

Go check it out!

It's Valentines Day

The course of human history is determined, not by what happens in the skies, but what takes place in our hearts. -- Sir Arthur Keith


My tour stop today is: Welcome To My World of Dreams.

My daily contest is here.



So, it's Valentines Day. Huh.

For me, it's really just another day. I'm, very possibly, the least romantic romance author you will ever meet. Years ago I dated a man who was terribly romantic. I'd open the door for my morning paper, and find a hand written poem and a rose waiting on my stoop. He'd plan marvelously creative and interesting days to spend together. I must have frustrated him terribly because I never really reciprocated in any clever way.

My DH is also a non-romantic. His co-workers think he's terribly lucky because he doesn't have to buy me two-carat diamond earrings or take me out for a fancy dinner on Valentines Day. DH says he loves me the same every day, why should he have to have a special day to show me that?

I don't disagree with him.

So, happy Valentines Day to those of you who ARE romantics at heart. I'll spend my day writing about two people falling in love. Now THAT is romantic.


Yesterday didn't quite work out as planned. No soup, salad and breadsticks at Olive Garden because my other neighbor told me that she wasn't able, after all, to take me to the airport.

This created a bit of difficulty for me, and really made my day ... not so good. My poor neighbors (who sat in the plane on the tarmack for four hours waiting for the weather to clear) trusted me to get their car and the person I'd relied on changed their mind at the last minute. Thankfully, my SIL came through and took me when she got off work.

We won't talk about how much short term parking costs when you stay there all day.


So, I'm working on TWO projects. I do love my mystery, but it's not very "light" and I need light, so I've pulled out Camilla's story, too. I'm having a lot of fun going through that one, AND I've figured something out with it--something that had really been blocking me from being able to finish it. Yay!

Here's the collage for Camilla, if you're interested:

In any case, it does feel good to write. Wish I was doing more!


Today's random quiz:

Your True Love's Name Is

James K.

YIKES! Don't tell my husband...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Day After...

"Rules are made for people who aren't willing to make up their own." - Chuck Yeager

Blatant Self-Promotion:

Today's virtual tour stop is the LASR Yahoo group. Come on over and ask me something!

Today's contest information is here... go forth and enter!


So... it snowed last night. It's icing right now... little pellets of frozen water making Kamikaze runs against my windows. Ick.

I was supposed to take my neighbors to the airport, but I don't drive in ice. Last night, they'd set it up to take a limo. This morning, the limo canceled. She called me at about 5:00 a.m. and asked if I'd pick their car up at the airport. I said, sure -- it's supposed to start raining around noontime -- and I hung up. It was then I realized she'd said "The Pathfinder" and not "The Jeep". When did they get a Pathfinder? So, I have this key (luckily, the electronic kind) and the name of a car "Pathfinder" and I get to go through the parking lots clicking the key at every Pathfinder I see because I have NO CLUE what their car looks like.

Doesn't that sound like fun?

I'm going to owe the other neighbor who is giving me a ride to the airport a nice lunch. In fact, maybe we'll eat first (at The Olive Garden -- I LOVE their soup, salad and breadsticks) and then go tramping through the parking lot.


I don't know if any of you went through the Samhain home page to buy my book (assuming you bought "One Love For Liv" -- though, why wouldn't you?), but my cover looks so stately and austere (and TAME) next to the others. There's a nearly naked woman on the cover to the left of mine, and a the naked torso of a man to the right... It's a little intimidating.

Speaking of which, I was trying to find a bestselling story at Samhain that wasn't a "red hot" or didn't have all the "explicit sex" warnings and failed miserably. I love me a book with some tension, and some sex is okay... but after a while, I'm bored by it. Am I alone in this? Because, dang, I couldn't find a book (outside of the inspirationals) that didn't come with a warning label (except for Allie's book, "One Night In Boston" and Diane Craver's novels, and I already own them!).

Very frustrating.


Today's random quiz:

Your Old Fashioned Name Is...

Edith Cantilupe

Well, I have to say... that's better than "Firecrotch".

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Book Launch! One Love For Liv -- Available Now!


One Love For Liv"
by Marianne Arkins

Liv is out to prove her high society fiancé is cheating on her. Can she do it without breaking a nail—or falling in love with Mike the mechanic?

Olivia “Liv” Leigh, wealthy socialite and spa owner, suspects her fiancé of cheating on her. Drastic steps are required to discover whether appearances are deceiving. And if those steps require a bit of stalking, a change of appearance, a hippo-sized dog named Spike, and sacrificing her manicure to clean house for a sexy-but-sloppy man whose neighbor is determined to break several of the strangest Guinness world records, why should that be a problem?

Mike, a happily single auto mechanic, is more than content sharing his bachelor pad with piles of laundry, dirty dishes, and a sneaky ferret. But when a half-crazed woman in a bad wig shows up on his doorstep, what’s a nice guy to do? Why, invite her in, unknowingly help her in her search for the truth and, in the process, fall head over heels for a woman who’s never been less his type.


Today I am being interviewed at The Long and the Short of It. Come by and visit!



Liv Leigh tugged a faded Boston College sweatshirt over her head, careful not to dislodge the wig covering her platinum blond hair.

“Marissa, you’re a miracle worker.” Liv turned in a tight circle in front of the full-length mirror in her office, alternately pleased and dismayed by her appearance.

The reflection didn’t match the picture of herself Liv carried in her head. Instead she saw a petite brunette dressed in snug, tattered jeans and a sweatshirt two sizes too big. Olivia Leslie Leigh, wealthy socialite, owner of the exclusive Pamper Me Salon and Day Spa and Boston’s Young Businesswoman of the Year, wouldn’t be caught dead in such an outfit. Perfect.

Marissa pursed her dark red lips and gave Liv the once-over with a critical eye. “You’ll do.”

Liv smiled and gave a sharp nod of encouragement to her reflection. Time to start her new life as a private investigator.

“Key?” Liv stuck out her hand.

Marissa grinned when she handed over the single key that dangled from a huge plastic baseball. “Don’t wreck my car.”

“Your car is already a wreck. That’s the whole point of my taking it.” Liv’s fingers closed over the cool bit of metal, and for the first time she wondered if she was doing the right thing. She loved Geoff, didn’t she? She’d tried to confront him earlier in the day, but couldn’t get through his secretary. What other choice did she have? Still…didn’t real love require trust?

Marissa must have sensed her mood because she snatched a pile of receipts off Liv’s desk and waved them in front of her nose—receipts found in Geoff’s jacket pocket only the night before. “Dinner at The Torch restaurant. Roses from Beacon Hill Florist. Lucky Lady Lingerie.” She stuffed them into Liv’s purse and closed it with a snap. “Don’t go soft on me now, boss.”

“You’re right.” Liv’s resolve returned, along with the vision of some sleazy woman draped over her fiancé’s bed, wearing nothing but a slinky teddy purchased at the Lucky Lady and a come-hither smile. “I need to know if Geoff’s a lowlife cheating scumbag or the wonderful man I’m going to marry in three weeks.”

“That’s my girl. Now get.” Marissa shooed Liv out the door with the backs of both hands.

Liv hurried out the rear exit of the spa and into the driver’s seat of the beat-up sedan, trying to ignore the huge crack in the dull brown dashboard and the rips in the vinyl seat beneath her slim legs.

With one last longing gaze at her shiny black Miata, she drove out of the parking lot and headed to Geoff’s home.

When he’d canceled their lunch date today, the day before he left on a short business trip, she’d grown suspicious. Since their engagement three months ago, they hadn’t gone twenty-four hours without seeing each other—except when Geoff was out of town. He should have been desperate to see her one last time before he left.

Surely there was an explanation for this. And yet, when she’d phoned to discuss it with him, his secretary had indicated he could not be disturbed, was in a meeting all morning and then would be at home, but still unavailable until four o’clock. Didn’t Miss Leigh check her voice mail? She was certain Mr. Quigley had called to cancel their lunch date.

Sure enough, Geoff had called and begged off. He was terribly busy, and something unexpected had arisen. He’d make it up to her when he arrived back in town.

A meeting? That Liv could understand. Life with Daddy had prepared her for small disappointments. Business came first, after all. But as long as she’d known him, Geoff had never left his job at her father’s law office early. Why would he do so today, just to go home? Could it have something to do with the receipt from Lucky Lady Lingerie? Maybe he was meeting the lucky lady herself. If so, she intended to find out.



Enter to win this spa set, along with a big Lindor dark chocolate bar and two books of your choice from my Library Thing list (the two pictured are just a "serving suggestion"!) AND either a free download of "One Love For Liv" --or-- if you already bought it (and why wouldn't you?), a $5 gift certificate to MBaM (the Samhain bookstore) or!

See contest details on my website!

Thanks and good luck!

Bouncing off the Walls!

“Such is the state of life, that none are happy but by the anticipation of change: the change itself is nothing; when we have made it, the next wish is to change again. The world is not yet exhausted; let me see something tomorrow which I never saw be. - Samuel Johnson

"One Love For Liv" isn't available on the Samhain site yet.

I have my "announcement" blog all written and ready to go. The moment I know, you'll know... ((bounce, bounce, bounce))


Dakota made it through surgery like a champ. Now I just have to keep her from running around like a crazy dog for ten days ((insert hysterical laughter here)). She slept all day, and all night (half of it in her kennel, and half on the couch where we moved when she started licking her incision), which was nice for a change -- of course she hadn't eaten AT ALL (except a piece of cheese my vet gave her after surgery, which she threw up the moment we got home), so that would tend to keep the runs down.

In her honor, another photo (and a bit of an explanation: she likes to chew on her ears... she'll lay on the floor and chase them until she gets one in her mouth, or she'll actually use her paws to rub them against her face until she can get one in her mouth. Yes, she's a little odd). Here, she's got one ear in her mouth:


Your Rockstar Name Is...

Princess Firecrotch

Nope... not touching that one... and, yes, all KINDS of stuff went through my head.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I Can't Believe I Forgot!

You can enter to win a copy of "One Love For Liv" all week at The Long and the Short of It!

So... go forth and enter!

I Have A Trailer! Dog Surgery... and More.

Hope itself is a species of happiness, and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords; but, like all other pleasures immoderately enjoyed, the excesses of hope must be expiated by pain. ~Samuel Johnson

Allie made up my trailer for "One Love For Liv"! Yay!

And... URGH... It comes out tomorrow. I think I'm going to vomit... why do I never get over feeling this way? But, what if it comes out and everyone (except me and my editor, of course) hates it? And GAH! Samhain submits all their releases to Mrs. Giggles. She's BRUTAL.


Is it too late to change my mind? LOL...


Dakota is supposed to go in to be spayed today. She's still got the runs pretty bad, so I don't know if they'll put off her surgery. I think I'm going to try making her food (like I did for Bailey for a while) and see if that helps her. Of course, I'd just bought a 40 lb bag of premium puppy food. Anyone need some puppy food?

In any case, and because I haven't done it in a while, here are some Dakota pictures:

Don't YOU wish you were this flexible?

"Um... you mean this isn't my chew toy?"

And, for good measure -- my cat (who seldom does much but lie around like a lump, but was beginning to feel left out):


If You Were Born in 2893...

Your Name Would Be: Noos Iara

And You Would Be: A Robot Hunter

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Slow and Romantic Country Music: For Mary *G*

Okay, Mary... slow and romantic country songs.

My wedding song:

Love this song about enduring love, "Remember When" by Alan Jackson:

Not romantic, but slow and has an awesome message -- "Moments" by Emerson Drive:

"Drift of to Dream" by Travis Tritt

This song always breaks my heart a little -- "She Misses Him" by Rushlow:

Sunday & Still Snowing

For books are more than books, they are the life, the very heart and core of ages past, the reason why men lived and worked and died, the essence and quintessence of their lives. - Amy Lowell

Hey! It's snowing! What a shocker...

Two days before "One Love For Liv" comes out. GAH. I will have a fairly nifty giveaway on this blog (tied in my tour), but I need to get my butt in gear and set it all up. I want to take a picture to post...

Dakota still isn't up to par. It's frustrating. She's acting normal otherwise, plenty perky and happy. She lost ANOTHER tooth yesterday, though, so I'm hoping it's just because she's teething and when that's over (soon, I think... she's going to be toothless if this keeps up) so will the runs be over.

Fingers crossed.

I worked on my mystery yesterday! A LOT! I got about 1100 new words (AND, I figured out how to put the word count doo-hickey on the new blogger template -- you know what's funny? It's supposed to be easier to use, and I'm mystified by it. I should have stayed with straight HTML...)

DH has decided snowmobile season is over for him. He almost got killed yesterday when some Yahoo came flying around a blind corner going way too fast. The trail was about fifteen feet wide, steep embankment going UP on one side and DOWN (leading to trees and rocks) the other, so no where to go to get out of the way. DH slammed on his brakes and the other guy panicked and turned sideways, whipping around and missing DH by about an inch... then he (the other guy) teetered on the DOWN edge for a minute, gunned it and took off. DH said he and his brother and cousin just sat for a while and recovered.

That's about it from my neck of the woods. Need to go do some MORE interviews... it's a good news/bad news thing for me. For the most part, people aren't asking the same questions, so I'm having to THINK. Sheesh... my brain hurts.


More videos for Mary! I'm wasting too much time on this, but it's fun...

"Settlin'" by Sugarland:

Here's another one that might surprise you: "Working For A Living" by Garth Brooks and Huey Lewis!

You might also like this one -- Sara Evans "Born To Fly":

This one's older, but it's a hoot: "Drink, Swear, Steal and Lie" by Michael Peterson:


From Charity:

Which Jane Austen heroine are you?
created with
You scored as Elinor Dashwood

You're Elinor Dashwood, the "sense" of Sense & Sensibility! You tend to hide your emotions, but you feel deeply. You also feel obligated to carry the burden of keeping everyone in your family under control.

Elinor Dashwood


Fanny Price


Marianne Dashwood


Emma Woodhouse


Catherine Morland


Anne Elliot


Elizabeth Bennet