Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Surprise Review!

“Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.” -- Boris Pasternak

I opened up my inbox and found a surprise! I got a review of one of my very old stories, "Miles From You" (and, if you haven't bought it -- it's on sale until the end of today, only $1.35... what a deal!).

From The Romance Studio:

Ms. Arkins has done a great job with this book of memories of a different time in our history. Even though I'm sure there are still people like Paul and Millie around, we don't hear about them much. I'm glad the author reminds us. This is a sweet read. But remember what I said about needing tissues handy!!

It impressed me so much, I had to pull it out and read it again. And, yeah... I got a little sniffley.


I did quite a bit of my pre-plotting workshop for my cowboy story (maybe I should just call it "Bode"??) yesterday. My "workshop" is actually something I put together buy smooshing a great deal of info from "Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook" (seriously the best book I've read on getting your work in shape) and some of "No More Rejections" and "How to Write a Damn Good Mystery". Lots of tough questions, and I didn't finish it all, but I got scene ideas popping up all over the place. Food fights, and crazed bulls and .... well, I don't want to spoil it for you, but I'm excited.

Wonder if I can get it done before NaNoWriMo?


You Are a Plain Bagel

You are hardworking, honest, and down to earth.
You don't like surprises, and you need security to feel happy.
Of all the types, you're the most likely to eat for comfort.
You tend to have the same thing for breakfast every day. Why change what works?

Ah... YEP. All of it. You?


Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday Morning Meme and More

The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. ~Benjamin Franklin

(As a sidenote, Karen is also participating in the Buy a Friend a Book Week promo -- and is giving away a book of your choice -- up to $15 -- to one lucky person who comments on her post, so click on the picture and comment!)

September 29th Questions:

1. How do you define happiness?

That depends on the day... and sometimes even the moment. Keep in mind, I strongly believe "happiness" and "joy" are two completely different animals. I think happiness largely relies on external stimuli, while joy comes from within.

And that was way too deep for a Monday morning.

2. What did you have for breakfast? (If not this morning, tell us what you had the last time you had breakfast).

I've only had coffee so far, and breakfast yesterday was a long time ago... um... scratches head and thinks... I believe I had apple waffles with homemade strawberry syrup?

3. On a scale of one to ten, how sick are you of the presidential campaign? Do you talk about politics on your blog? What about in real life? Why or why not?

I'm TOTALLY sick of it!! I wish the vote was today so it could just BE OVER. This has to be one of the loudest, most annoying campaigns I've had to live through -- and it's not so much the actual contenders that are on my nerves (though that does happen from time to time), but PEOPLE. I am sick to death of the mudslinging and the name-calling. Why (WHY WHY WHY) can't people talk about the positive reasons they are voting FOR a candidate, instead of all the reasons the rest of us SHOULDN'T vote for the other one?? Hmmm???? Is anyone really voting FOR anyone? Or is it more voting against?

And what you just read is as political as I get, despite the fact that I am VERY, VERY politically active and have some extremely strong opinions. This blog is not the place for them.

4. What about your life today would surprise your teen-aged self?

That I'm living in New Hampshire. Otherwise, not much, really.


So... this weekend. Rain, rain, rain and more rain. This meant DH was stuck INSIDE all day, every day.

It's amazing we all made it out alive.

Friday, he rebuilt a computer for a cousin and then delivered it (and they live an hour away, and he got gabby so he was gone for quite some time).

Saturday, he rebuilt his old desktop for DD to use because it was a better machine than MY old desktop which she was currently using. And (THANK EVERYTHING HOLY), he was able to pull the automatic database backup off the old system and put it on the new one, so I didn't have to manually transfer scores.

My neighbor brought her black lab by to play with Dakota, and asked how DH was doing with all the rain keeping him in (see... she's fairly new on the block and ALREADY knows how nuts he gets). I said he was rebuilding a computer, and she as amazed at his handiness. Thus far, she's seen him: install hardwood, repair various vehicles, winterize and repair his boat, and now rebuilding computers.

Why do you think I keep him around? *G*

Saturday night, I was awakened from a nice, deep sleep by thumping noises. I was far too dopey to get up, so just dropped back off into dreamland. The next morning, I came downstairs, under orders from Judy to watch "Eureka" because she wanted to talk about it. I didn't bother turning the lights on, just flopped down into the recliner...

...and landed on my butt on the floor. Seems the thumping was DH rearranging the furniture.

Sunday was more of the same. Puttering. He did some minor cleaning of the chimney, then had to mop (for a guy who can rebuild computers, I laughed at how long it took him to figure out how to attach the Swiffer pad to the handle...lol). And since he was mopping, he opted to move more furniture.

Thankfully it cleared up for a couple of hours, so he mowed. And puttered outside, but the rain did drive him back in.

Today was supposed to be sunny and warm (thankfully... Dakota is bouncing off the walls), but there's an awful lot of liquid sunshine out there right now.


I spent the many moments prior to falling asleep last night thinking about my two possible stories for the Samhain call-out. I figured out a logical conflict for my cowboy story, but I need to figure out how to work around it. The problem with it is that the hero will be out of town. A lot. And, that makes it hard to build their relationship.

For my shifter one, I know the hero has something the bad guys want... I just don't know what the something IS. And all the moodling I did last night didn't help.

Oh well, the cowboy story deadline is first, so I suppose if I have to have one of them further along, that's the one it should be anyway.

The only odd thing? It's the sequel to "A Change of Heart". Is it weird to submit it to a different publisher?


Sunday, September 28, 2008

How Can You NOT Smile?

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. ~Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays

Sunday... a day of rest, so I'm taking it off from blogging -- except this:

How can you not smile at this song (or how much fun the lead singer is having)?

Or this one:

Don't you LOVE Doo-Wop? It always makes me feel happy.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Funnel Cakes

Tori... tell your mom they are easy-peasy. Check it out:



3 eggs
2 cups milk (whole tastes best)
1/2 cup white sugar
3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder

You can also add:


Or other flavors you enjoy


* In a medium bowl, mix salt, baking powder, and half of the flour. Set aside.

* In a large bowl, cream eggs, sugar and milk. Add flour mixture and beat until smooth. Continue to add remaining flour, but use only enough to achieve desired consistency. Batter will be thin enough to run through a funnel.

* In an eight inch skillet, heat the oil to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

* Put your finger over the bottom opening of the funnel, and fill the funnel with a generous 1/2 cup of the batter. Hold the funnel close to the surface of the oil, and release the batter into the oil while making a circular motion. Fry until golden brown. Use tongs and wide spatula to turn the cake over carefully. Fry the second side one minute. Drain on paper towels, and sprinkle with sifted confectioners' sugar or cinnamon sugar.

NOTE: Oil must be HOT before you start, or the cakes will soak it up and be soggy.

Fair Photos

You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What! Is it nothing to be happy? Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy again. ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile, 1762

It rained all day yesterday. It's supposed to rain today and Sunday, too. My DH is bored silly and is threatening to remodel the basement. I wish I could loan him out to people who need work done, lol. He doesn't sit still well.

In any case, it's sad because it looks like the fair is going to be a big washout this year. Stinks for the vendors, especially. (Note to Tori: I'm going to make funnel cake here... figured it was easier than making real fudge).

In any case, a few photos:

DD enjoying her cotton candy

Llama with a 'tude (I swear, they look perpetually annoyed)

DD's new hat!

And feeding the pigs...I mean goats!


My bread flopped yesterday, darn it. I think my yeast is old. I proofed it, and it passed, but the bread still didn't rise enough. Oh well...

Today -- funnel cake! LOL...


You Should Live in Alabama

If you don't want to live in Alabama, you might also consider:

South Carolina

I think the quiz is calling me a redneck... lol... And, Judy is voting for Georgia.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Pooped Out and Another Review

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. ~A.A. Milne

Don't you just love Pooh? About a million years ago, I read the book, "The Tao of Pooh" and it was so interesting! Who knew the bear with very little brain could be so deep?

No photos of the fair yet. I was just too pooped last night to download, and this a.m. DH is still sleeping and my camera and camera dock are in the bedroom. I should have them this weekend.

DD and I had a good time. She, of course, wanted to go on more rides -- and she wanted me to go with her, but fact is... the cost is absurd. We got 25 tickets for $20 -- and then 3 more at $1 each (because the rides take 4 tickets... think they do that on purpose?). So, that's only 7 rides! The penny-pincher in me just can't stand the thought of spending nearly $4 a ride. Oy.

We went to an open, in-hand horse show where I managed to pick the winner more often than not. Guess my horse knowledge isn't as rusty as I thought. DD moaned about wanting to get a horse and how she can't wait until she's grown up and can buy one. Yep... good luck with that.

I had more comments on my sweatshirt than I've ever had (and I've owned it for... well, many years). It's a St. Cloud State University shirt I got from my old roomie. Her dad was the dean there briefly, and got us all shirts. Apparently, there are more people from Minnesota here than I realized. I kept hearing, "I'm from Alexandra!" ... um, okay. I got this shirt when I lived in California, and I don't even know where Alexandra is. But I nodded and smiled.

We ate a ton of junk food (I'm pretty sure I'm at least 15 pounds heavier today) and the evil woman at the cute little shop near the exit of the fair grabbed me and forced me to buy two pounds of fudge to take home (it was buy one pound, get one free ... how could I resist??).

We looked through the exhibits, where DD announced that she could do better than most of those kids who had projects there, but fact is -- I can't get her to get off her hiney and DO something. Maybe next year.

I bought some amazing goats milk soap, and we patted a llama and various other critters.

All-in-all a good day.


Found another review for "Kitchen Matches" in my inbox this morning. Always a nice way to wake up!

From The Romance Studio (5 hearts!):

This Marianne Arkins manuscript was my first by her but I definitely do not intend for it to be my last. She used humor and an abundance of comedic relief to show the tendencies of her characters. There was a myriad of minor characters who all worked to make the story its best.

I believe that anybody would enjoy this manuscript. It is a quick-read, fast-paced and so romantic and funny that it has something for everyone. I highly recommend it.


Okay, time to play catch up -- I didn't get diddly squat done yesterday. DD and I are going to spend a good deal of today's rainy day baking bread, so I need to get a move on now! Have a great weekend.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fairs and Reviews, or Fair Reviews

"It is a happy talent to know how to play." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Originally, DD and I were going to attend the Deerfield Fair on Friday because it's "bracelet day" -- which means I can buy her a bracelet for $16 and she can ride rides on the midway until she pukes.

Sadly, it's going to rain on Friday (I've checked six different weather sites, and they all agree -- a very unusual happening, which leads me to believe that it is, indeed, going to rain on Friday!), so we'll be going today. This means I can buy $20 worth of tickets for DD and she can ride about 6 rides. Stinks, but there you are.

She's happy -- she'll still get cotton candy (she gets it once a year and looks forward to it all year long!) and curly fries and will be able to watch horse shows until she doesn't want to see another horse. We'll walk until I'll feel like crying and then we'll come home and I'll collapse.

Dakota will be in doggy day care, since DH won't be home (he would have been home on Friday -- but he doesn't like the fair, so would have stuck around to dogsit). In any case, I'll most likely be a vegetable for the rest of the day, so planned ahead and already have dinner done. I just have to pop it into the oven for an hour.

Here are some pix of the fair last year (most have the front of DD in them, so I can't post):

DD the crazy girl:

DD and SIL patting a baby cow:

If I'm incoherant on tomorrow's blog, you'll know why.


Two new reviews for "Kitchen Matches" -- again, they like my voice and Cori, but the hero, Micah? Not so much. **sigh** Here are excerpts of the reviews --

From CK2S Kwips and Kritiques (3 1/2 clovers):

While an enjoyable read overall, I see potential for improvement with Kitchen Matches work had it been expanded to a longer format, thus allowing for more depth of character development and more chances to experience some of the earlier kitchen encounters that offer the promise of some great slapstick humor. Marianne Arkins is a new author worth watching for.

Aside from the fact that I don't really feel like a new author (I feel like I've been doing this for fifty years...lol), at least she liked my writing.

And from Book Utopia (37/50):

When I read the excerpt for this short novella prior to buying it, I laughed. In a good way. So when I bought it, I had high hopes. Not every story can maintain a level of charm and wit from start to finish, but happily, this one does. Cori is sharp and intelligent, and if she’s a klutz in the kitchen, that just gives her an imperfection that’s relatable. The events of the class are played for laughs, but it’s not over the top, not unbelievable. Add in the fact that the dialogue sparkles when Cori and Micah are going at each other, or when Cori is with her family, and reading this was fast, fun, and furious.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Welcome Guest Blogger: Deborah MacGillivray

"Right is Wrong...Strangely Enough"
By Deborah Macgillivray

Historical authors really love history. We can easily obsess over details that are endlessly fascinating―at least to us. However, do readers really want that deep of an understanding of the past? After all, you are not writing a non-fiction, historical book, not even a historical fiction novel. It’s Historical Romance. As when you pronounce a word, certain syllables are spoken softly while one is accented; when you say Historical Romance always put the stress on ROMANCE. Never lose sight of that. My wonderful editor at Kensington Books, Hilary Sares, says readers are tired of “clanking swords, that history is stale, cold, while romance is timeless.” In this, she touches on the heart of what historical romance is―history is the lesser of the ingredients in the mix, while love carries the story.

Once a romance author accepts these boundaries then they are left with just how much history do you add? History is a background for the tapestry you weave. It should give the reader a sense of period, but never intrude upon the romance, never stall the story out pausing to explain historical details or to give a history lesson. After the author reaches that level of what will be good threads and elements to craft into the story, they next face a final hurdle―to weigh the importance of details, the minutiae that draws the historical authors to share their love of the past.

Only here is where it can get tricky. Sometimes, what readers believe is accurate often is not. “Bad” history, incorrect word usage, or even how time has changed the meaning of words can stymie the author. Take the word acquaintance. Noun – “a person known to one, but usually not a close friend.” That is how it is accepted in today’s usage. However, years and years ago the word meant something different. Surprisingly, when a man was “acquainted” with a woman, he was saying he had been physically intimate with her. See the problem? If you are going for historical accuracy and you say “Mr. Overton was acquainted with Miss Marple.” in the historical sense you would be saying Mr. Overton had indulged in sex with Miss Marple! Will today’s reader understand without you having to stop the story and TELL them that? Will a reader, lacking this crumb of knowledge, understand what you said, or will they just believe you are saying Mr. Overton has met Miss Marple, but they are not good friends? If the author puts that sentence out there and wants the reader to comprehend what they are saying, then they must stop the flow of the plot and the scene and say, “Of course, we know acquainted means he has had sex with her.” Even then, the reader might scratch their heads and go, hum, it does? In that instant, you have taken them out of the story simply by using a word correctly, but not “right” in today’s eyes. Right is wrong. Rarely is one single word ever that important to risk using, when it can pull their reader away from the imagery to ponder if you are correct or not.

If a historical romance came along and used Irish Gaelic spellings instead of Scots Gaelic, and this book using the wrong form of the language was a bestseller, then people often assume that book to be correct. Then other authors come along using the correct form and people automatically presume they are incorrect. So when readers hit the difference they often believe the right spellings to be wrong! Okay, what then? Do you knowingly use the wrong spellings of words to conform to what the readers have accepted as correct, or do you go ahead and be accurate and have readers think you are wrong?

Another complexity in to be or not be historically accurate―authors who set their novels in real places, such as the castles of Scotland. Often, instead of world-building and creating their own castles, some pick out a very famous castle for the setting of their stories, even put the wrong clan living there, totally disregarding most castles have a very detailed historical record. For someone not familiar with Scotland’s past that might not be a problem. However, the author runs into the sticky wicket of having readers who do, and once more, are taken out of the story because they know the true history. We must remember it is fiction. Authors are allowed to bend history a wee bit if it serves to make the story stronger. I won’t go as far as Randall Wallace did when speaking of the many historical inaccuracies of his screenplay for the movie “Braveheart” and say history should never get in the way of a good story. Still, authors should be able to present a romping tale without worrying about being 100% accurate on every single detail.

Another is nationality. It can come into play in perceptions of what is wrong and right. Take the simple way you name the floors of a building. In Britain and Europe, even today, the first floor of a building is the ground floor. In America, you work on the first floor in New York, while in London you are working on the ground floor. The first floor in Europe is actually the second level. When Regency and Victorian periods were in flourish and they had their Seasons in London, they lived in fancy townhouses. The first floor (second floor to Yanks!) was where they did most of their entertaining. So if a woman entered the front door, and went “upstairs to the first floor” many Americans would assume the author is making a booboo, despite her being entirely correct!

These are just a few of the bumps facing historical authors when trying to keep the faith with history, yet also do a balancing act with the readers and just how accurate does readers truly want their historical romances to be.

Deborah Macgillivray writes Scottish Medieval Historical Romances for Kensington Book (A Restless Knight, July 2006 and In Her Bed August 2007. They have been sold for translation in Germany, Japan, Brazil and Russia. The next in the Dragons of Challon series is One Snowy Knight to be released in October 2009. She also writes contemporary romances for Dorchester Love Spell (The Invasion of Falgannon Isle; December 2006; Riding the Thunder, October 2007; and A Wolf in Wolf’s Clothing, June 2009). She also penned a collection of her short stories and novellas out Cat O Nine Tales (October 2007). Half of the royalties from this book are donated to Alleycats.org.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


“I deal with temptation by yielding to it” -- Mark Twain

First off, I forgot to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my DemonDog, Dakota, who turned ONE YEAR OLD yesterday.

"I did what? Does that mean I get a cookie?"

And, yes... she's amazingly skinny. She eats (are you ready?) ... SEVEN CUPS of food a day (!!!) and I still can't keep the weight on her. She's 45 lbs and holding. Does that tell you how high-strung she is?

Now, on to the temptation portion of our program:

Samhain Publishingrecently did two calls for submission that are tempting me something fierce. One is for cowboy novellas and one is for shape-shifter novellas (which isn't on the page, but trust me... it happened, lol). They will be released separately as eBooks, but together in print. It just so happens that I have a shifter story started (it was intended for the TWRP "Got Wolf" contest, but I just couldn't get it done in time) AND I have plans for another cowboy story (a sequel to "A Change of Heart").

I'm trying not to be led astray... BUT... these are shorts that would be released in PRINT. Yanno? And I already have stories either started or planned...

Dear heavens.

I KNOW I should focus on one thing and get it done before I begin something else, but these are really, really tempting.

And, aside from NaNoWriMo (and, yes Charity... feel free to do your annual post *G*), I haven't been working on much (well, except the sequel to "One Love For Liv" about a heartbroken Geoff, and that's really in the brainstorming process... though as I think about it, I can't help but wonder if I should do THIS story for NaNo since Liv was a NaNo book. My HQ American isn't going to be quite as silly... and wouldn't lend itself to the odd dares I take during NaNo... Hmmm....)




Your Autumn Test Results

You are a dynamic, vibrant person. You aren't afraid to pursue your passions.

When you are happiest, you are calm. You appreciate tradition and family. You enjoy feeling cozy.

You tend to be afraid of change. You are never ready for things to be different.

You find abundance to be the most comforting thing in the world. You love shopping and having nice things.

Your ideal day is active and full. You like to keep busy with your favorite things, and you appreciate a routine.

You are very impatient. You spend more time waiting for something than actually enjoying it.

That's **mostly** true. There are some incorrect assumptions, but it's pretty darn close. I find that a bit eerie.


Comments to the comments from yesterday:

Ceri, I watched "Xanadu" a couple years back (I got the movie as a Christmas present from someone), and I couldn't BELIEVE how awful it was. But it really made my teenaged heart swoon.

Groovy, the trees were all perfectly healthy. My DH just doesn't like trees too close to the house, so when they get tall enough that they could fall on us, they come down. That, and he likes to play with his saw. I've spent years trying to reason with him, to no avail.

Amy, I know... I know... I wish I could have at least sent him boating, but the boat has been winterized and put away. Yes, already. Welcome to the Northeast. UGH.

Tori, I LOVED "V" ... watched the movie and the mini-series religiously. And, I've never heard of "My Chauffeur"... hmmm... maybe I should check it out.

I think I answered all the questions... Have a great day!


Monday, September 22, 2008


From Brandy:

Chocolate Lovers Pained by Candy Changes

Dear heavens... now Hershey's is going to taste like those cheap chocolates you can get for a buck at Christmas and Easter... the ones you could stick a wick in and burn?


Monday Morning Meme and More

Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless. ~Bill Watterson

I wasn't entirely certain I'd do this today because I wanted to share a little goofiness from the weekend, but the first question lends itself to that, so I figure it was meant to be! LOL...

1. What did you do over the weekend? (Saturday and Sunday - be specific, please. Remember, this is a journal about your life, so, tell us about your life. *smile*)

If you give a man a chainsaw...he's going to want to use it. And after he uses it on the smaller trees, he's going to raise his sights a little.

Regardless of whether it's leaning toward his neighbors house or not. That's easy to fix. Simply attach a cable to the tree and hook it to your truck.

Have BIL get inside while DH cuts and I video (sorry, it's too big to upload here):

And then congratulate yourself when it doesn't hit either house!

That was actually one of FOUR quite large oak trees he took down over the weekend. DD and I spent the weekend lugging brush and stacking wood. We discovered yet another yellow jackets nest in a rotten tree DH took down. BIL was the only one stung, though, and that was simply a miracle considering the sheer number of bees flying about.

So, we have our firewood for winter 2009-2010. We are nothing if not forward thinking. *G*

2. Which are scarier to you: ghosts or aliens? Why? Do you believe in either/both? Why or why not?

Aliens by far... I saw "V" and the Alien movies. Enough said.

3. I can’t live without my _______________. Now, please tell us why you can’t live without it.

I can't live without my Internet connection.

Okay, I probably COULD survive without it... but only if the entire world was off the grid after some massive terrorist attack that took out all power to the earth. Otherwise, I'd drive myself loony wondering what was going on in the WWW.

4. What is the cheesiest movie you ever saw, and secretly enjoyed? Why did you enjoy it so much?

"Xanadu" -- my fave movie of ALL TIME from when I was younger. That was back when you could stay in the theater as long as you wanted if you paid once AND when they had double features. So, I'd go in the morning (first showing) and stay until dinner time... for days on end. I saw "Xanadu" and "Somewhere In Time" more times than I could count.

And just to torment you, here is the preview/trailer:


Just in case you wondered... I still love my coffee pot.



The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to those who are unbridled, untrammeled, and free.

In love, you feel the most alive when things are straight-forward, and you're told that you're loved.

You'd like to your lover to think you are stylish and alluring.

You would be forced to break up with someone who was insecure and in constant need of reassurance.

Your ideal relationship is open. Both of you can talk about everything... no secrets.

Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.

You think of marriage as something that will confine you. You are afraid of marriage.

In this moment, you think of love as something you thirst for. You'll do anything for love, but you won't fall for it easily.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!

In Seattle you haven't had enough coffee until you can thread a sewing machine while it's running. ~Jeff Bezos

When I told DH my coffee pot was busted (and he tried to fix it, of course -- he's pretty darn handy, but this was beyond even him) he said, "Don't buy any more junk (it was a Target special, lol). Buy what you want and something that's going to last. Merry Christmas."

So... I didn't even stop at Target or WalMart... nope -- I went straight past them and on to Bed, Bath and Beyond. DD kept wanting me to get an espresso machine, lol. I have to admit to being tempted, but just didn't want to go there. Too much of a learning curve *G*.

So, after agonizing (the one thing DH did suggest was that I get something stainless) for quite a long time, and reading all the features (and the warranties!) and touching and caressing all the display models, I selected this (not my picture --it's from Cuisinart.com -- as a side note, does anyone else remember when Cuisinart meant food processor? "Can I use your Cuisinart?"... yanno, like "Kleenex" means facial tissue?):

**sigh** Isn't it beautiful? It grinds my beans (or would, if I had any... I've been grinding at the store because my coffee grinder also broke, some time ago, and I hadn't replaced it), it filters my water, it has a thermal carafe... my new love.

And, even better... it wasn't an arm and a leg. Just an elbow and my left heel.


Yesterday, my "all promo, all the time" day didn't go as planned. It was DH's fault. And, once I download pictures, I'll tell you why.



Saturday, September 20, 2008

Coffee (pot) Break

A morning without coffee is like sleep. ~Author Unknown

What do you do when you wake up at the crack of dawn, turn on the coffee pot and... nothing happens?

1. Cry.

2. Try to get your brain to think minus its first jolt of coffee.

3. Boil water on the stove.

4. Ladle boiling water into coffee pot filter basket while balancing it carefully over the carafe.

5. Watch the coffee drip slowly, agonizingly through the filter.

6. Drink.


7. Make plans to go to the store immediately for new coffee pot.


Pix DD took of the flowers currently blooming outside:


Marigolds (I plant them around my veggie garden, and didn't have the heart to pull them up when I took down the garden):

Chrysanthemums (as an aside -- I never understand why people don't actually PLANT the mums in their gardens here... they just plop pots all over the place and then throw them out. Mums DO come back every year -- they're like weeds... ah well, the frugal me will never understand):



Happy Saturday. I have today set aside for "promo" day -- today I work on all the stuff I need to do for me as an author to get my name out there. I'm going to work on creating bookmarks and possibly a trailer for "Kitchen Matches" and "Stiller Creek", and I might do some loop and blog hopping. We'll see. I don't honestly know how much time I'll have as Judy is going away for the weekend, and I'll have to be both of us at LASR.


Friday, September 19, 2008


Things are never so bad they can't be made worse. ~From the movie The African Queen

My first blog this morning was very cranky... so I've deleted it. If you've read it already, you'll understand. And, if you're on Google reader, you'll see it anyway. Sorry, a really bad day and sleep deprivation does that to me.

So, instead of the crankies, I'll give you some totally random pictures:


Is it wrong to lock my cat in the basement (that's where her food and litter box are) for the night so I can sleep? Not only does she want to sleep on me at night, but she wants to be fed far earlier than I want to get up in the morning.

I am SO tired...


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tagged and Submitted

"Take chances. You will succeed if you are fearless of failure."
- Natalie Goldberg

First: I sent in my query and synopsis for "Return to Stiller Creek" to my editor at Samhain. We'll see what she has to say (((fingers crossed))).

Second: Jennifer Shirk tagged me on this meme (don't worry, I'll get her back someday when she least expects it). I'm pretty sure I've done it, but it's been a while, and I most likely have more than six quirky things to write about. I know. Shocking... but true!

Here are the rules:

Link to the person who tagged you.
Post the rules on your blog.
List 6 unspectacular quirks you have.
Tag 6 bloggers by linking them.
Leave a comment on each person’s blog to let them know they’ve been tagged.

Here are my quirks:

1. I hate being breathed on. I bring this up first, because I'm wearing a V-necked shirt and the way I've been sitting at the computer (and breathing through my nose), I've been BREATHING ON MYSELF. ACK! I can't stand being breathed on... ever, by anyone. I finally buttoned up my sweater all the way to my throat. And, yes, changing was just too much work. I will probably never wear this shirt without a turtleneck again, however.

2. I don't like fruit in my chocolate (or chocolate with my fruit). Chocolate-covered cherries? Yuck. Strawberries dipped in chocolate? Never. I love fruit, and I love chocolate... just not together. Ever.

3. I'm a nut about order. I alphabetize my CDs, my books and pretty much anything else I can put in alpha order. My DD cleaned and rearranged my spice cabinet and I can't STAND it. Eventually, it will have to go back to the way it was. She also did the silverware drawer, and now all the big, loose stuff that doesn't fit in the organizer is on the RIGHT hand side, and it's always, ALWAYS (!!!) been on the left. Dear heavens, I may lose my mind right this minute. You should see what I do when DH puts the salad dressing on the shelf in the refrigerator. Does he not remember that HE GOT IT FROM THE DOOR????

4. I am a compulsive weeder. Even today, as I sat on my neighbor's front steps while our dogs played, I had to pull up the small tufts of grass that had the audacity to grow between the bricks of her walkway. It's a disease. I can't help myself.

5. I won't answer the phone if I don't know who it is. Period. So, if you call me and you have a private phone number, you'd better leave a message if you want me to pick up. Just saying.

6. I'm very nearly always cold. I think I've been well and truly warm six days this year. I've never slept on top of the covers ... not even once, though I will be honest and say that may be partly because I don't like being breathed on and the covers keep that from happening. But also, because I'm cold. Always.

Who to tag? Who's bored? If you're bored, and you need something to blog, choose this! And then tell me, so I can come see....


I believe I have Linden Loopers on my Bailey's red dogwood...

I probably should kill them... but I just can't. And, hey, the leaves are going to die soon anyway, right?

We had a mass monarch migration today, too... bunches and bunches of them stopping at these yellow wildflowers that aren't goldenrod, but look an awful lot LIKE goldenrod (except the flowers aren't droopy). DD stood amongst them and held really still in the hopes one would alight upon her. Alas, none did. But I don't think I've ever seen her hold still that long!

It'll be sad when all the critters are dead, gone or sleeping...


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Welcome Guest Blogger: Nancy Lindley-Gauthier

Blending Genres I

How ‘High risk’ can reading be?

Let’s face it, even as a dedicated reader, my time is limited. Funds only go so far – so I choose my next read carefully. OH! The To-Be-read pile might be huge, but that is the pile to peruse – and who knows where those books come from? Discards discovered at yard sales; these are only the nothing-better-to-do books. I might –someday – be willing to risk a few minutes on these.

The books we flip open as fast as possible? Those are the ones we already believe will bring us joy. And, some of us are bigger risk takers than others,.

As readers, we may become somewhat – shall we say (?) attached to our favorite genre. (OK, ok – that’s the royal ‘we.’ I mean me; I admit it, but perhaps a few of you can identify with me.)

We may perhaps go further, looking first for our favorite authors…then perhaps widening the search to those most personally popular of publishers… and only later… grudgingly… (if we haven’t yet located something to read) casting our net wider. How do we become bigger risk-takers? How do we wander into a sea of text, and risk it all on some unknown author – perhaps from some previously untried genre?

Internet bookstores are good and bad for those of us who are just such readers. I want a romance – well, I can see with perfect ease if my faves have anything new out, and not only that but when I DO expand my search, can follow handy links to a bazillion products (or authors) offered as somehow ‘similar.’

I am particularly dedicated to Anne Perry (not just a mystery but those oh –so-tantalizing moments of attempting to convey great depth of romantic feeling while maintaining that stern Victorian formality!) I must confess that I never had a big interest in that particular time period – but now find myself buying the occasional regency, just to get that proper, drawing-room perspective on the world. My reading world expanded – because that very Victorian in what seemed a mystery, that then harbored a romance, also involved me in a historical.

The best part of many E publishers is that willingness to blend generes. This reduces predictability – OK, MAYBE we all DO want every romance to be a “Happy ever After’ – but when we start on page one, we don’t really want to KNOW that, do we? Many literary genres are blending. This is nothing new – check out practically any movie , play, or tale – and it’s a rare thriller /adventure/mystery/choice of label – that does not also have some touch of romance going on, some remembered tragedy, some hint of intrigue. No story is really just one thing – but the most long-lasting are very thoroughly more than one. Let’s face it, Indiana Jones might be one fast-moving adventurer – even in his later years – and it is fun to cringe when a scorpion lands on his toe, but when he admits that what’s wrong with all the ‘other’ women in his life, to charming freckle-faced Karen Allen, is that “they weren’t you, dear…” Now, that sends chills down the spine.

Blending genres keeps readers guessing, because things just might not turn out the way you think, or the way you want. Then again , they might. Either way, you keep on reading.

It probably doesn’t make a lot of sense that we, as readers, seek the ‘new’ in among our conventional ‘old’ favorites –but many readers do go by a certain ‘label .‘ That label might be a specific author, publisher, or genre; but a reader of romance might be more likely to pick up a mystery – if elements of romance are promised in there, as well. Some of the best romances are hidden around the corners of mystery or adventure novels… and are all the better for being a surprise! For just that reason a select group among the Anne Perry Victorians are my favorites ...do you have faves that blend more than one genre?

Help me take a big risk here : If you’ve read this far, take another minute to leave a book or story recommendation in the comment box!

And if you are interested in mine, where some sort of intrigue always manages to gum up a perfectly good relationship -- or is it the other way around?-- take a look at “The Painter’s” short story series – (on a special Sept Sale right now) at The Wild Rose Press.

I am also lucky enough to have a full-length mystery out, just this month… and what could be more romantic than a few days at sea with a handsome sailor?

Nancy Lindley-Gauthier

Friend me! www.myspace.com/amomentincrime

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Woe is Me

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop. ~Lewis Carrol, Alice in Wonderland

Or should that be "Woe is I"? LOL...

Yesterday was a bust. I couldn't write a word. **sigh**

Why is it when I set aside all kinds of time for writing, I end up blocked? Oh well, writing day comes again soon *G*.

DD found the COOLEST caterpillar yesterday!! The thing was HUGE -- easily 4 - 5" long and thick as my finger. He was just cruising across the road and she nearly ran him over with her bike. Of course, we had to stop, examine, and realize we didn't know what kind it was... so we brought it home. What else would any normal person do? Check it out:

So, after a great deal of research with decided it was the Hummingbird "sphinx" moth larvae. Those are my absolute FAVORITE moths -- they diurnal (active during the day) and look like little hummingbirds because of how their wings work. Check out this page for some really neat pictures of the critter.

And, no, we're not raising it inside... We put it out in our backyard because, odds are, it was looking for a place to make its pupae and we are very bug friendly.

We also found this weird looking creature:

My camera doesn't do close-ups well, sorry... but it was some sort of beetle on our green bean leaves. The leaves weren't nibbled on, so I don't think it was eating them. And it looks like a tiny turtle sprawled over a white spot -- and when it moved, it moved FAST!

Anyone have any ideas?


It's been so cold at night that I pulled up my garden and put the flannel sheets on the bed. That can only mean one thing, right? Yep... it warmed up immediately!! LOL...


What Your Handbag Says About You

You are a low maintenance person. You can adapt to a variety of situations.

You are an organized and together person. You are competent and successful.

You are practical and down to earth. You tend to be a rather reserved and quiet person.



Monday, September 15, 2008

I <3 LOL

Win a $15 Amazon GC

I almost forgot!

Judy and I -- as LASR owners -- are in the spotlight at the Whipped Cream part of the LASR site this week in honor of "National Shameless Promotion Month"! Not only do we have a picture of the two of us posted... BUT -- we are giving away a $15 Amazon.com gift certificate!


Go forth and check it out (but do remember, Whipped Cream is the erotic side of the reviews site... though I don't believe there are any particularly graphic book covers up currently):


Good luck!

Monday Morning Meme

The world is governed more by appearance than realities so that it is fully as necessary to seem to know something as to know it. ~Daniel Webster

1. Are you brunette? Blonde? Auburn? And is it natural? If you could pick any type of hair you wanted, the style and color, what would it be? (Can you link us to a picture?)

Brunette with red highlights. And, yep... it's natural. I went blonde (or nearly blonde -- I did some really heavy highlights) for a while back in ... the late 80s and it actually looked pretty decent. I like having naturally curly hair BUT I wish it wasn't so freaking thick and frizzy. Honestly, I can't do anything with it and I've been trying different things for 40 years now. It's worse here in the NE because of the humidity. In CO I could actually get it to behave for the most part.

See... one more reason to move!

2. How did your car get that little scratch/dent? (Because let’s face it, we ALL have car stories, right? If, for some reason you don’t, tell us about how someone else’s car got that scratch/dent).

Actually, the vehicle I have is in pretty decent shape (especially if you consider it's 16 years old and has 250,000 miles on it -- and still runs like a charm!). I do have one scratch that I made... a year ago, when my mom moved, I got rid of a rug she'd put in her house. I rolled it up and stuck it in the back of the 4Runner, but it was a tad long, so I rolled down the window and it hung out a big. By the time I got to the dump, it had rubbed a pretty bad scratch into the top of the tailgate.


Thankfully DH has a little tube of paint (looks like lipstick) that is for repairing spots like that. We painted it and then waxed the pogees out of it and it looks like new!

3. In your opinion, what is the worst-tasting candy? Now, what is the best-tasting candy? How often do you eat candy? Do you keep it around your house? Do you allow your children to eat very much candy?

Worst? I don't like black licorice. Blech.

Best? Dark chocolate, of course. And do I keep it around the house? Not regularly. Do I let DD eat much candy? Not really, though she does typically have a little every day (like 5 chocolate chips, lol).

4. Are you easily agitated? What really makes your temper soar? Do you stay angry for a long time? Or do you get over it pretty fast?

That depends. Some days, I'll fly off the handle in two seconds with little provocation. Some days, I'll be the most mellow and tolerant person you know. When I do get mad, though, it can be ugly. And I do admit to holding grudges. **sigh**


Today is writing day. Wish me luck! I'm going to work a bit on my NaNo novel, and then see if I can't get a short story finished, finally. I've been working on the dang thing for-freaking-ever!


Your Taste in Music:

Country: High Influence

Classic Rock: Low Influence

Eighties: Low Influence

Adult Alternative: No Influence

Alternative Rock: No Influence

I think I checked off five bands... I haven't even HEARD of most of them. Oy... am I really getting that old?


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Intelligent Toads

Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills. ~Voltaire, letter to Count Schomberg, 31 August 1769

I saw the neatest thing yesterday. While I undertook the glamorous job of pooper-scooping, I noticed that the anthills we have in our lawn (and there are TONS despite our use of insecticide... I hate using it, but if we don't we have ticks and nasties in the lawn. Ick) were teeming with life, ants--both with and without wings--were crawling from them in massive numbers. I don't know what message had gone out for hill evacuation, but someone surely sent the news.

Anyway, after being both fascinated and grossed out, I started looking for dog bombs when something else moved in the grass near the hill. A toad. I laughed a bit, figuring he was having quite a snack from all the ants, but moved on.

Found another hill in the midst of the ant exodus, found another toad. This happened a few times and I have decided we have the smartest toads around! It was one toad to a hill, and they were having a marvelously good time with their snack!


Okay, so no Sawyer Thomas for my little boy. Finn Huckleberry? *G*


You Are the Father

You are a strong, powerful figure in the lives of your friends and families.

In general, you value justice and fairness. You appreciate structure and rules.

At your best, you protect and guide those close to you.

You are a born leader. You are good at establishing order in chaotic situations.

At your worst, you are a tyrant who rules through intimidation and criticism.

You are quick to condemn other people as pathetic losers not worth your time.

Hmmm.... I wonder if my DH knows this?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Food For Thought Friday ... on Saturday

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright, quoted in Reader's Digest, June 1995


If you were to choose a new name for yourself what would it be and why? Were there any other names your parents almost gave you?

Dear heavens... I've already done that (and more times than I can count -- Judy is laughing at me). All my pseudonyms (and, yes, I have more than one... maybe I'm a spy?) begin with M. It's just easier that way. And, no, I'm not telling you what they are. Sort of defeats the purpose, doesn't it? In fact, many days I forget who I am because I am so many. *G*

How do you usually spend your Sunday afternoons?

Wishing it was Monday. Yes, really.


What would be your last meal if you were about to walk the green mile?

I have a nervous stomach, so can't imagine having an appetite in that particular situation. However, assuming that I did? I'd have a buffet: Some pizza with extra cheese, a little Chinese food, fresh baked bread, and... chocolate mousse or french silk pie. All the things we tell ourselves not to eat because they'll kill us, lol.

Midnight Snack

Have you ever broken any bones?

Yep. Broke my left wrist in fourth grade when I was thrown from my pony. By rights, I should have many, many more -- if you count how many times I was thrown from various horses (once over a jump... lost a fingernail on that one, but no bone-breaking), and just being a tomboy growing up, it's a wonder I survived moderately unscathed.

Recipe for this Week (instead of your recipe for life - what is it for just this week?)

Gah... I'm so not deep. Um.... Maybe: We need to realize and accept that much of what happens in our lives is simply out of our control.


Do you think Sawyer Thomas is too obvious for my precocious boy with the pet turtle? *G*

The neatest thing about this upcoming book for NaNo is that... I'm excited about it. I like the general premise, I like the characters so far. I only hope the excitement can carry me through. Guess we'll find out in (counts on fingers)... 48 days! (Side note: you realize if NaNoWriMo starts in 48 days, that means Christmas is only 103 days away. Just saying).


For those of you who enjoy fall: I notice that most of you (with the exception of Ceri, who --though technically south of me, is still in the same state) are in more tropical areas. If you were buried under record-breaking snowfall for months and months, I'd be willing to bet you wouldn't much love the end of summer either.

Note to Melissa: WE'RE TRYING! (To relocate, that is). DH says if I can replace half his income we're good to go. Where is that NY Times best-selling novel when I need it? **sigh**


Started reading Linda Howard's "Death Angel" yesterday. What an interesting H/H she has! It's one of those "it can't be done in romance" plots: The hero? An assassin (and not one who works for the government... a real, honest to goodness murder-for-money assassin). The heroine? A big-wig cartel's lady (and not one who is there because she was forced or didn't know what she was doing -- this lady knew exactly what she was doing, and did it for the money). I'm only a couple chapters in, but am fascinated by the idea.


Your Punk Band Name Is...

The Intrigued Iron

Friday, September 12, 2008

Welcome Fall....

A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water. ~Carl Reiner

Summer is definitely over... I don't think it got warmer than 65 degrees in my house all day yesterday. I do admit it was warmer outside than inside (and I opened up my front windows--the ones that get full sun all day--to help heat up the house), but still. Brrr....

I'm planning to take down my veggie garden this weekend. The cucumbers are busy making seeds, so they are bottom heavy and bitter and the tomatoes are beginning to crack even before they ripen, all signs that the nights are too cool. I can't believe how quickly the summers fly by here. How did the settlers ever survive with a growing season so short, and a long, brutal winter? I know, many of them didn't survive, but many did and I am always amazed.

In other news, I did manage to finish the first (very, very rough) draft of my synopsis for "Stiller Creek" (I really should think of a catchier title, lol). I really hate synopsis writing, and fully believe that it's more difficult than writing the actual book.

I also created three new characters for my NaNo novel. One is a little boy who needs a name... naming is really tough for me. He's eight and has a pet turtle and in my head he looks and behaves a little like Tom Sawyer. Any thoughts?

Today is LASR day, and it's a good thing. There is a TON to do on the site. But, even so, I might try to eke out a little writing time. I'm really beginning to love this new book. When it's done, I think I'll work on the sequel to Liv next, while brainstorming my fantasy. I really love that story and, IMHO, the characters are strong and clear...but not the world. There needs to be a reason for some things that happen, and it's not clear in my mind what the reasons are. World-building is tough, and is why I tend to not write fantasy despite my love for the genre.


You Are 55% Left Brained, 45% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.

Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.

If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.

Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.

Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.

If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.

Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

Okay, so almost balanced... good for me! LOL...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Patriot's Day

This and That Thursday

Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours." ~Robert Byrne

Taking DD to see a movie... one of our theaters just became a discount one that play older stuff, so we can see something we missed: Prince Caspian.

Today is writing day. Will be working on my synopsis for "Stiller Creek" and work on more characters and scene cards for my HQA.

It's freezing cold here already, getting down to the mid-30s at night. Winter is around the corner. Yuck.

Sorry... already in a time crunch today. I really need to get more disciplined at write my posts the night before.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Welcome Guest Blogger: Elaine Cantrell

I wrote my first story somewhere between the ages of three to five. Well, I didn’t actually do the writing because I couldn’t write yet. I dictated the story to my father who wrote it down and read it back to me. It was a great story. It must have been-I can still remember how my father laughed when he read it.

He kept it too. After he died in 2002, my stepmother found it in the cedar chest where my parents kept important papers. What was it about? Oh, it was a story about Woody Woodpecker. Where did I get the idea? From a storybook my mother bought for me. I liked the little book so much I decided to write my own story using the same characters.

I didn’t do any more creative writing for many years. I did a lot of reading, though. My mother loved to read, so she took my sister and me to the public library every week. I can also remember saving my weekly allowance to buy special books that I wanted for myself.

So, how did I become a writer? My son inspired me. He came to see me one day and told me he had written a book that he wanted me to read. Naturally, as a mother I was totally thrilled to have such an exceptional son. “How did you know you could write a book?” I asked.

I’ll never forget his reply. “I make up stories in my head to amuse myself when I get bored, so I thought I’d write them down.” Wow! I did that too.

Armed with the encouragement of my friends and family, I set out to write the next Gone With The Wind. Yeah, right. Nobody liked my first book. The heroine was wimpy, the hero handicapped.

Undeterred, I tried again. This time I decided to TAKE STEPS. I submitted my second novel to a small publisher who sponsored a contest for romance novels. Publication of your book was first prize. To my great and utter astonishment, I won, and my first novel, A New Leaf, was released by Oak Tree Books in 2004.

Since that time I’ve become addicted to writing. I do it all the time. I even took my computer with me on vacation. If I can’t write I get antsy. I’ve been known to get up in the middle of the night to write down ideas or super great sentences. (Some of ‘em didn’t look too good the next day.) I become totally absorbed in my character’s lives and hate like crazy to let them go when their story is finished. It gives me great satisfaction to create a world and move the characters where I want them to go. So, what’s the cure for this addiction? I don’t know, and I don’t care. I like it.

Where has my addiction taken me? I have four books that have already been released, two books coming out in October and November of this year, and I’ve sighed one contract for a 2009 release. And I’m still writing. I’m waiting right now to hear from two publishers to whom I’ve submitted manuscripts.

I hate to miss a chance to plug my new books, so let me say that The Sentence will be out in October of this year. It’ll be available at http://www.bygracepublishing.com. The Best Selling Toy Of The Season will be out in November and will be available at http://www.midnightshowcase.com.

If you’d like to read an excerpt from the books, you can find them at http://www.elainecantrell.com

Thanks, Marianne, for having me.

Thanks for reading!

Elaine Cantrell

Hope. Dreams. Life… Love


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

What's up with Me

"Write what you care about and understand. Writers should never try to outguess the marketplace in search of a salable idea; the simple truth is that all good books will eventually find a publisher if the writer tries hard enough, and a central secret to writing a good book is to write one that people like you will enjoy." -- Richard North Patterson

I got a Google Alert in my inbox yesterday ... Kimber Chin said nice things about "Don't Fence Me In" in her comments on a post at Romancing the Blog. It was a pleasant and unexpected surprise. Thanks, Kimber!

Yesterday was my "writing day" according to my new schedule. I worked on characters sheets for a new novel, specifically aimed at Harlequin American and well as a Pre-Plotting exercise I'd made up some time ago that helps me understand the "why" behind my H/H's motivation AND helps me brainstorm possible scenes. One of my favorite questions on it is:

What is one thing your heroine would never say? Do? Think? Now... Find places where she can say, do and think those things and list them here.

This novel may end up being my novel for NaNoWriMo this year. I should be ready to really hunker down and write the thing by November which -- frighteningly -- isn't THAT far away. I find myself returning to the idea of HQA because I love the fact that they encourage lots of strong, quirky secondary characters. That's the kind of book I enjoy writing AND reading.

I also spent some time with "Stiller Creek". A week or so ago, I'd mentioned that I wanted to submit this to HQA, but after a thorough read-through, it's clear that it simply won't work without a massive overhaul that would seriously affect the storyline. I have some violence and language which is unacceptable to HQA, but I'm not willing to change, not to mention the fact that the book opens at a murder scene.

So... I emailed my Samhain editor to see if she'd like a look, and she said yes. Today, in between LASR work (that's what's on my schedule today) I hope to get working on the synopsis and query.

And so are the days of my life.



Monday, September 08, 2008

How to Spend an Hour Getting Eggs

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity. ~Voltaire

Yesterday... I had a sudden craving for cookies and started mixing. Melted the butter and peanut butter (yum), added the sugar. Creamed. Added the eggs... uh... nope. Out of eggs.

Okay, I'll run up to Agway -- a five minute trip to get nice, inexpensive, local eggs.

Turns out the road was closed at the corner. K-Mart shopping center, as well as the entire road was under water from the remnants of Hannah Saturday evening and night. Okay, that's pretty standard. They always flood when it rains. Well, I don't really want to spend $6 on a dozen eggs, but I don't have a lot of choices, so I'll go to the Natural Foods store near my house.

They're closed.

Fine. No problem. I turned around and headed up the other way, by McDonalds. I can go around on the other side of the Kmart Plaza. That's never flooded before.

Nope. Surprisingly, that road is flooded and closed, too. I not only have no way to get to Agway, I can't get to Walmart or the grocery store either. No problem! I go straight past McDs and take the back roads to the second grocery store in the area. I pull in, surprised to see so few cars in the parking lot. But folks are coming out of the store with bags, so it must be open.

Yes... it IS open. But...

They have no electricity. They're allowing people to shop (in the dark), but they've closed off the aisle with all the perishables to keep the cool in until the power comes back on. So, no eggs for me there.

Okay... I'll hop on the highway and go to BJs one exit up. I go out the front of the store, and look to my left.... the entire street's intersection is underwater! Now, THAT I've never seen before. Obviously, it's shut down so I can't get on the highway.

Now what?


Now, I do what I should have done from the beginning -- I call my SIL who lives down the road from me and ask if I can borrow two eggs.


Today's random quiz:

You Are Betty Grable

The ultimate girl next door

You're the perfect girl for most guys

Pretty yet approachable. Beautiful yet real.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Time Off...

Folks, I hate to do it, but I'm taking a short vacation -- no posts this weekend except for this one. I should be able to be back on Monday (though I'm not making any promises), but there's too much going on here for me to do anything but the absolutely necessary.

I'll leave you with this cute pic (still my fave of Dakota):

Friday, September 05, 2008

I'm On Sale!

All art is solitary and the studio is a torture area. - Alexander Liberman

Okay... I'm not on sale, but some of my stories are! It's Vintage Rose month at The Wild Rose Press, and all of their vintage titles are discounted. It just so happens that I have two vintage titles with them, so if you haven't purchased them already, now is the time!

Don't Fence Me In -- only $2.70
It's June, 1953 and Lizzie Scott recently lost her brother, Seb, in the Korean War. When his friend and unit buddy, Jeremy McMasters, brings her Seb's "goodbye" letter, little does she know her life is about to change forever.

Click to read reviews on this here.

Miles From You -- only $1.35!

It's 1948, and thirty-four year-old diner owner Millie Townsend is well on the shelf. Millie's fallen hard for regular customer, Paul Whittier, a veteran of World War II and a civil engineer. When she discovers he's accepted a new job out of state and it's their last evening together, how can this ultra-shy spinster find the nerve to show she's interested in more than just friendship?

Click to read reviews here.

Additionally, I'm going to get an interview with at least one of the Vintage Editors at TWRP -- got any questions you'd like answered? Here's your chance to ask an editor! Just leave me a comment.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.



DD is thoroughly enjoying her curriculum now that it's working. It offers games and pictures and sounds. She's learning Spanish and walks around the house speaking various phrases and words she knows. I only know enough Spanish to be polite (I can say "How are you" and "Very well, you?" LOL... OH and I can count to twenty), so she's teaching me and thinks that's a hoot.

I tried to enroll her in art classes yesterday, but for some reason the art center was closed -- no explanation, just a handwritten sign on the door. **sigh** I'll try again next week, I guess. Frustrating.

DH and DD might go up to his uncle's place today to do some end of season stuff. Well, DH will do the chores, DD will play in the lake. And that will hopefully give me some alone time. I love my DD, but spending every minute of every day with her can be wearing. She's a very good girl, but exuberant and talkative which doesn't mesh well with cave-dwelling me.


Stole a quiz from Anno. It's the Color Career Counselor test, and it evaluates your personality based upon color preferences.

My primary career path, according to this is as follows:


Key Words: Independent, Self-Motivated, Reserved, Introspective, Analytical, and Curious

Yep... that's about right.

Funny thing was my secondary:


Key Words: Tactful, Cooperative, Generous, Understanding, Insightful, Friendly, and Cheerful

Doesn't that seem the polar opposite of the first? Judy says I must have used her half of our brain for those questions, because it fits her much better! *G*


Your picture of the day:

DD and Dd playing board games...

Tee hee.... I wonder who won?