Sunday, November 30, 2008

To Sleep...?

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

So... I forced myself to sleep in this morning. I got up with the dog at 3:30 and curled up on the couch because I knew the cat would just come sleep there instead of demanding her food at 4 a.m. It worked. I didn't get up until almost 6 a.m., but now I feel... off. DD got up at 6:30, I lost all of my "alone" time and I haven't even had a cup of coffee.

I think I prefer lack of sleep.


Well, DH got caught up in something yesterday and couldn't get the tree... at about 3:30 he told DD and I to go get it without him. So we did :-)

I let DD do the choosing for the most part -- "we" narrowed it down to 3 or 4 and then she made the final selection (after being reminded that we couldn't have the nine foot tree with our seven foot ceilings). And, when we got it home, it was much complimented -- and she spent the evening saying, "I picked it out." with a proud smile.

We didn't decorate it though. We'll do that today.


DH and I watched "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" last night on PPV. It was cute... not stellar, but good. I had a hard time warming up to Shia LaBeouf -- his character was a bit off-putting, IMHO. Still, I enjoyed the movie.


You Are a Gingerbread House

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

Okay... I'm good with that.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

It's Starting to Look A Lot Like Christmas...

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home. ~Edith Sitwell

Today we get our Christmas tree... normally, we do that the day after Thanksgiving, but we were busy (busy, terribly busy ... Sorry, had a Veggie Tales moment), so today it is.

My DD is all but jumping out of her skin, she's so excited. Even better, in her opinion, is that we're expecting snow. It iced yesterday, and then cleared up, but snow falling while we decorate the tree will just be icing on the cake.

Last night, Dakota woke up to go potty, so I staggered downstairs (it was about 11 pm -- and yeah, I know that's not late to most folks, but I'd gone to bed at 8!) and discovered that my DH had brought a friend home from hockey and was gabbing with him in the living room.

There I was in my granny nightgown and funky hair, I probably had sheet marks on my face -- I was mortified. I hope I never have to see that guy again, but I can only imagine the talk in the locker room. Okay, I'm probably overreacting, but OY VEY. Ranks up there on my "most embarrassing moments" for certain.

DH goes back to work on his regular schedule starting Monday (well, except he's taking the week off between Christmas and New Years), so I have high hopes of getting some writing done (editing, actually). And then comes January, and JaNoWriMo!


You Are Cereal

Playful and lighthearted, breakfast is likely your favorite meal of the day.

(In fact, you're probably the type who sneaks cereal as a midnight snack.)

Your culinary skills are probably a bit lacking... and you are a sucker for junk food.

Some people accuse you of eating like a kid, but you prefer to think of yourself as low maintenance.

That's SO off target, lol...


Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

The only reason a great many American families don't own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments. ~Mad Magazine

It's Black Friday... and I'm staying home. We actually buy very little for Christmas (my in-laws are weird about getting gifts -- in fact, one of the little ones who is five y.o. told my DD yesterday that it was rude to talk about what you wanted for Christmas), and there are seldom any sales big enough on something I actually really want that can incent me to join in the madness.


We had a quiet Thanksgiving. DH, DD and I stayed home for dinner and then DH and DD went to his folks for a couple of hours to hang out with the rest of the family. Dd isn't feeling well again (still?) and has been vomiting again (still? And, mostly she does it in the middle of the night, **SIGH**) so I stayed home with her and watched several of the 23 episodes of NCIS (repeats... USA is having an NCIS marathon) and worked on self-promotion for a change. I'll have several guest spots in December and January -- some interviews, a guest blog and more. I really don't love self-promo, but you gotta to do what you gotta do!

Speaking of self-promo, am I the only person in the world who can't figure out how to upload and utilize my own images in Vista Print?

I have most of my office put together, and should be able to take pictures of it in the next couple of days. Amazingly, I think I might be okay without the missing bookcase, at least until I buy any more books... not sure yet, as I still have some stuff to put away, but *maybe*.


You Are a Reluctant Shopper

You really don't enjoy shopping. For you, it's just another chore.

You approach shopping systematically. You research what you're going to buy and come prepared with a list.

Of all the types, you are the most likely to not buy things you don't need.

You try to de-emphasize stuff in your life. You find shopping and buying things to be a rather empty experience.

And that is why you won't find me at the Black Friday sales...


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I didn't use a quote today, because I think that picture says it all!

I hope all my American friends have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I'll be busy most of the day, cooking and cleaning -- but it'll be oddly relaxing, I think. Then, it's time to get serious about Christmas.

And to get you ready for the Christmas holiday, a video I stole shamelessy from Shauna because it made me laugh:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Welcome Guest Blogger: Liana Laverentz

Two Great Deals, Ending Soon…

November is Crimson Rose Month at The Wild Rose Press…hurry to get in on the last of this Crimson promotion…

This in from Lori Graham, Senior Crimson Editor: First, we are doing a submission call. We are calling for “Men in Uniform.” To back that up, we have a special free read and some opportunities for prizes. The free read is “A Girl, A Guy and A Goon” (by last week’s guest blogger here at Marianne’s blog!!), Cindy Green, and it features a man in uniform. Next we have opportunities for prizes. For those downloading a free read, their name will go into a random drawing at month end for a free coffee mug.

Another opportunity is in the polls. Our Marketing Director is posting polls periodically. Folks have to go to the website and check out the covers and blurbs for the books of the poll and then vote for their favorite. The winner of each poll wins a free download of one of the books in the poll. I do believe Cindy’s NovelTea Next Door won the 4th poll, and the 8th poll is up right now. All in all, it’s a great time to check out our incredible Crimson writers, especially since Crimson titles are 10% off this month only. (I’m all fired up about Crimson, because Ashton’s Secret is a Crimson, and I just got a release date of June 26, 2009.)

The second great deal is part of the Wild Rose Press Sony E-reader Giveaway.

Here's your chance to win a SONY E-reader, between now and December 15, 2008. Every time you buy an e-copy of my Champagne Roses Thin Ice or Jake's Return from The Wild Rose Press website, you will be entered in a drawing for one lucky winner to receive a SONY E-reader and a bunch of nice goodies from an even nicer bunch of Wild Rose Press authors.

So do your Christmas shopping early, shop often, and tell your friends! More details on the Wild Rose Press website, here.

Or mine.

Liana Laverentz Thin Ice (NJRW Golden Leaf and EPPIE Award Winner) Jake's Return (NJRW Golden Leaf Winner) Now through December 15... Purchasing one or the other enters you In a drawing for Sony E-Reader check it out at The Wild Rose Press

Now THIS is a Contest

Sin a little…And Win! www.cynthiaeden.comEnter Today!Share Image


Tuesday, November 25, 2008


A good snapshot stops a moment from running away. ~Eudora Welty

A few pictures as promised:

The new bathroom tile (that's really stone)-- I really like the small size. If I could talk DH into it and we won the lottery, I'd have DH do the entire kitchen area in the same thing:

My office -- pretend there are bookcases on those scatter rugs:

Looking into my office from the "craft" area:

I'll be filling it with furniture and plants today (hopefully), so will have more pictures for you tomorrow (again, hopefully).

A picture of DD, Dd's friend whom we call The B-Man playing in the leaves:

And Dd being her usual graceful, feminine self on the floor of the office prior to de-and-reconstuction:


Swiped from Charity's blog:


I ran it on this blog and got the following:

The analysis indicates that the author of is of the type:

ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

The end isn't true IRL...though I do tend to avoid conflict here. Actually, I've been in management positions before, with a measure of success. I don't particularly like bright colors, unless you count flowers :-)


Am I entertaining and friendly? You'll have to ask those who know me best!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Morning Meme... and Miscellaneous Mumbling

What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving? ~Erma Bombeck, "No One Diets on Thanksgiving," 26 November 1981

1. Thanksgiving is this week! Where are you going? Besides eat, what do you do on Thanksgiving? Do you have any family traditions you’d like to share with us? Don’t forget to take pictures! (You’ll be asked to show them next Monday! This will also prove handy for Coffee Chat!)

We'll eat... just the three of us, which -- even after nine years here, I still find odd. My inlaws all have dinner at their own homes, and then gather for an hour or two somewhere after eating. My memories of Thanksgivings past are of utter chaos, zillions of family members, the "kids table" and just a lot of fun. Not so here. It's sad and I miss the chaos. I'm sad my DD won't have those kinds of memories.

The only tradition we have is getting the tree the day after Thanksgiving. We used to go cut one down, but the inlaws have decided that the Friday following T-Day is too early, so THEY all go in mid-December. So, last year we went to Agway and bought a tree, and this year I imagine we'll do the same.

I'll take pictures, but -- sorry Karen -- I won't post them here. No photos of family faces on my blog. Sorry. Only mine and the dog's, and you're probably sick of those! LOL...

2. What is your favorite gadget? Why is it your favorite? If money was not an object, what gadget would you buy for yourself?

Unless I consider my laptop a "gadget", I don't have one. No iPod, no Blackberry... my cell phone doesn't even take pictures, nor do I use it to text or email (shockingly, I only use it to, yanno, make PHONE CALLS).

I'd probably buy a Wii, because my DD wants one so badly (but DH is opposed to gaming systems), or a treadmill (which isn't really a gadget... but...) for the dog. Yes, the dog. How the heck am I going to wear her out this winter without one?

3. You’ve been chosen to be a contestant on “Survivor” and you leave in 6 weeks. How will you spend the next 6 weeks to prepare for the challenge?

Well. Hmmm... I've never watched "Survivor", but I imagine I'd need to be fit. And I think the chickies wear a lot of revealing clothing. I wonder if I could lose 35 lbs in six weeks? Could I go on "The Biggest Loser" first?

4. How many times a week do you visit the ATM machine? Do you normally carry a lot of cash? How often do you use credit cards? Are you pretty good at paying off your balance every month? How do you control your credit card spending?

I use the ATM for deposits, mostly. I seldom carry cash -- it's too easy to spend thoughtlessly. I use the CC for everything and, yes, pay it off every month. We're big believers in not carrying debt and living within our means (unlike half the rest of the world... but don't get me started on irresponsible people who expect other people to bail them out when they get into trouble, okay?).

Your turn!


Today I get to sweep, mop and dust the area that will be my office. I bought the scatter rugs and felt pad thingies yesterday, so will start moving in the furniture again. Hopefully I'll have some pictures for you tomorrow. I took a picture of the tile in the bathroom (it's actually stone (!!) and turned out really well).

We're having a heat wave today -- 47 degrees. I'm going to get out, run the dog, scoop poop and let the fire die since the chimney guys are coming today to install the cap. Good timing on the warm (HA!) weather.

That's about all that's happening in my exciting life, other than trying to get to Tractor Supply Company today to buy DH's birthday present -- his birthday is TODAY. Nothing like waiting until the last minute... I might pick up a new bird feeder while I'm there. My birds need something bigger -- they're eating me out of house and home.


You Are a Siamese Cat

You are a very communicative creature. You're eager to express yourself - and do so often.

You are very dependent and love attention. You will complain if you are not getting enough affection.

Even though you are very loving, you can seem aloof, unpredictable, and stubborn in relationships.

A relationship with you takes a lot of patience.

That first part? Totally wrong... but the second? Yeah... that's kind of right on.


Sunday, November 23, 2008


Antisthenes says that in a certain faraway land the cold is so intense that words freeze as soon as they are uttered, and after some time then thaw and become audible, so that words spoken in winter go unheard until the next summer. ~Plutarch, Moralia

The floor is finished! And, yes, Charity -- I'll take pictures. First, though, I have to go get stuff to protect the floor before I move everything back in. I need to get some small rugs for under the bookcases, and some pad thingies for under the desk and a rug AND a plastic rolly thingie for under my chair. I'm down one bookcase, though -- it broke because I thought I could move it half full... ha. I gave it a tug and tipped it a bit and it fell apart. **sigh** Books are heavier than they look.

It's bitterly cold here. It's not so much the temperature, per se, but the high winds. On the weather site, it says we'll have a high of something like 27, but the real feel is in the single digits. It's miserable. We all have cabin fever, especially the dog. She's all but literally bouncing off the walls.

I'm taking the turkey out of the freezer today, and thawing it in my garage. One good thing about the cold weather: we have an extra fridge! LOL...

I'll brine the turkey overnight on Weds and then hopefully figure the baking time correctly. We have almost never had it done on time. You'd think with as many years as I've been cooking turkeys, I'd have that part down.

In any case, I'm behind again because of the flooring project, so will hopefully be spending the day working. It's tough -- both DH and DD (and Dd) have been VERY needy the past couple of days.


You Are a Purple Crayon

Your world is colored in dreamy, divine, and classy colors.

You hold yourself to a sky high standard, and you are always graceful.

People envy, idolize, and copy you without realizing it. You are an icon for those who know you.

And while it is hard to be a perfectionist, rest assured it's paying off!

Your color wheel opposite is yellow. While yellow people may be wise, they lack the manners and class needed to impress you.

All of these quizzes make me sound like a stuck-up snob... I don't think I'm a stuck-up snob... lol


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Winners, Hardwood and a Very Unclever Title

The repose of sleep refreshes only the body. It rarely sets the soul at rest. The repose of the night does not belong to us. It is not the possession of our being. Sleep opens within us an inn for phantoms. In the morning we must sweep out the shadows. ~Gaston Bachelard

The winner of the drawing for a copy of Jeff Rivera's book from my blog post yesterday is.... (((drum roll))).... DRU!

Dru, would you email me (authormariannearkins AT gmail DOT com) your address, please? I'll have that sent out to you shortly.



DD woke me up the other night around 10pm... she opened the door to the bedroom and stood there, whispering. I kept saying, "What? What?" and then she walked away and went back to bed.

I followed and asked, "What were you saying?"

She replied, "Go to the belltower and wake me up."


The next morning, upon my questioning, she said she vaguley remembered doing that (but thought it was a dream) and said that she must have "Doomwyte" by Brian Jacques on the brain.



Amy, I'm using Dynamic Learning Dreamweaver CS3 for my Dreamweaver tutorial. Judy is using the Photoshop equivalent, and we are both liking them. My DH (aka my Tech Support and computer nerd) always suggests using the O'Reilly books -- though some of them are absurdly complex if you're not a total techie.


Yesterday was demo day upstairs. All the old carpet and edging (it's called something else, but for the life of me I can't remember the right word) was pulled up and the boxes of hardwood moved upstairs in preparation for today.

Today is the day it will be put down. We have 200 sq feet of wood. We have 164 sq feet of area. Please, please, please let us not mess up any of the cuts, because that is really cutting it close. (((fingers crossed)))


It's freezing here. I know, it's the stupid frozen north, but this is ridiculous. Actually, it would probably be at least bearable if we didn't have frigid, gale force winds whipping through.


What Your Cupcake Says About You

At parties, you tend to be laid back and even a bit shy. You are an observer.

You have lots of restraint in your life. You never are victim to your desires.

The most important thing in your life is passion.

You are dominant, vain, and a bit of a show off. To know you is to worship you.

HAHAHA.... approach me, oh minions, and bow down! **snort**

Okay, so the party part is right, but the rest? HAHAHA...

Sue me. I like chocolate... lol...


Friday, November 21, 2008

Welcome Special Guest: Jeff Rivera

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. ~Winston Churchill

I'm tickled pink to have Jeff Rivera on my blog today -- his story is one we'd see in the movies -- rags to riches -- and he's here to talk a bit about it and the novel that did it all. Read to the end, where you'll find a special treat -- the chance to win a copy of his incredible book!

Jeff, tell us about your release "Forever My Lady" ...

Well, what I can tell you is that I'm so excited to have the support of Grand Central on this because I spent years self-publishing it and building an audience online. It's definitely a dream come true. In fact, I remember when I got "the call" I had to shake my friend, Chris' hand in order to believe I wasn't dreaming.

Your writing is filled with characters that most people would ignore on the street, how do you break through those stereotypes to get readers invested in the characters in your books?

I think that was my greatest challenge and honor. No body likes to be judged but let's get real, people make first impressions. I've found in my life that some people you may think one thing about but when you get to know them then you see so much more. I wanted the same experience to be for readers when they read Forever My Lady.

Give us the deets - release date, where the book can be purchased... you know the drill!

The mass market edition was just released and you can get copies at, or your local bookstore, of course.

I love that cover ... were you able to have input on it? Or did the marketing department do it all?

The first edition was actually the same cover I used with the self-published version, this new cover on the mass market paperback was designed by the marketing department but they did run it by me to see my thoughts.

Your "Will Write For Food" picture is so true... tell us a little about your publishing journey.

It wasn't easy but it was fun. Lots of work. If I had allowed myself to be bogged down with all the work that goes into self-publishing a book, promoting it and pitching it agents and editors I would have given up. Instead, I decided to make it fun and enjoy the process of doing it. I was already winning all along just by doing it. I had a goal and I kept going until I reached it.

Have there been any surprises along the way?

Yes, getting "the call" was definitely a surprise that Warner/Grand Central wanted the novel but also getting used to the way things work in the corporate publishing world has been a great surprise and wake up call.

Writing is so solitary that I think you have to have a huge support have your friends and family reacted to your becoming an author?

All my family has been very excited for me because even when we were dirt poor in Oregon and Nevada we stuck together. So, this success I'm having is not just my success it's "our" success. My friends are happy for me but some really aren't that interested. To them I'm not this big author, to them they're like "Oh, that's just Jeff, so what?"

Okay, tell us about that next project -- do you have anything in the works right now?

Yes, I'm really focusing on writing more stuff for Young Adults with elements of love in them and yes, I have been tinkering with Forever My Lady Part 2 for quite some time.

WIN A COPY OF JEFF'S BOOK! One lucky person who comments today will win paperback copy of Jeff's book. So talk to Jeff and tell your friends to come and check it out.

Drawing held Saturday morning, 11/22/08.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Free at Last, Free at Last!

Freedom is the oxygen of the soul. ~Moshe Dayan

I mean no disrespect in stealing Mr. King's words, but it's how I feel. DH went back to work yesterday. He's only at work for two days, and then he's off for four again (**sigh**), but for two days, I don't have to do any of the following: lay hardwood, shampoo carpets, clean up sawdust, run to Home Depot on multiple errands, cook a full lunch AND dinner every day, deal with someone looking over my shoulder and making suggestions on my website building ability, and so much more...

At least not until Friday... when the hardwood starts going down in my office (after I spend the next two days cleaning it out -- anyone have some boxes?).


Has anyone started Christmas shopping? Just curious...


Diane Craver has a free short story up at LASR. I love her writing ... you should take a look.


I haven't heard back from Womans World yet on my submission... I think that's good. The last time they took a long time, I made it all the way up to the head honcho before being rejected. Maybe this time, I'll make it up to the head honcho and get accepted!


I sent out an email yesterday to everyone who wants to participate in JaNoWriMo. If you didn't get one, let me know. It had instructions on how to sign up for our new group blog (grog?).


My latest creation:


A great comic:


I'm trying to get back on schedule visiting everyone again, but despite the fact that NaNoWriMo is over for me, I have recently had a couple projects appear. It seems I'm building two websites for a lovely lady who needs them. Oy.

Speaking of websites, I think I really like Dreamweaver. I'm going through the "lessons" in the book I have, and it's kind of making sense! LOL... I'm only on chapter two and, although it seems odd the order in which they are teaching me things, I imagine they'll all fall into place. I've learned about spry widgets and how to add pictures from Photoshop so far.

The good news is that Front Page documents convert over pretty neatly, so I won't have to rebuild everything unless I want to (knowing me, I'll want to... heaven forbid).


You Are Somewhat Approachable

You are a fairly friendly person, and you're definitely not scaring people away.

You do tend to have your guard up around strangers, and rightfully so.

How approachable you are depends on who is trying to approach you.

You're friendly to people who seem harmless and nice. But you also know how to give creepy people the cold shoulder!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Welcome Guest Blogger: Cindy Green

Contemplating Murder
by Cindy Green

The other day I came down the stairs with a book in my hand. Not exactly unusual for me, but my 10-year-old son asked me what I was doing. I flipped through the book in my hand and said to him. “I’m trying to figure out how to kill someone.” I gave him a smile and walked away. Being the curious boy that he is, he followed me into my room. “Who are you trying to kill, Mom?” he asks as if this was something he inquired after everyday. I laughed and showed him my book on Forensics. “It’s for the book I’m writing.” This time he smiled and said. “Yeah, I figured.” It’s good to know that my son knows I don’t carry homicidal tendencies—outside of the fictional world, that is. Then he sat down and together we figured out how the victim in my 3rd NovelTea series book would die and how the leads of the story would figure it out.

Romantic Suspense really is a fun genre to both read and write, especially when it comes to the villain as he contemplates murder, deceptions…even treason. I’ve found the exercise of getting into the head of a psychopath completely freeing and exciting. Why is that? Why is it so fun to be bad? I know my latest villain was just deliciously evil. But I wasn’t sure if I was ready to kill him off because his whole past hadn’t come to the fore just yet. It is a series after all. To write a really good villain, you have to understand why he does what he does. You don’t just wake up one day and decide to rob a bank or commit murder. You aren’t just evil to be evil. Something pushes us to that point. If an author can show you that path, it makes the villain that much more believable and real to life and the story becomes that much more engaging.

Think of some famous literary villains like Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes, Iago from Shakespeare’s Othello, Javert in Les Miserables, the Sherriff in the Robin Hood tales and ballads or even Voldemort in Harry Potter. Many times, the villain is the driving force of the story and your hero doesn’t shine as brightly without the reflection of that dark villain off in the shadows.

So, tell me, do you love to hate the villain? Isn’t there just something exciting in reading and writing a good villain? Why do you think that is?

To experience more of the villain in my NovelTea Series come by my website and read the Prologue from the villain’s POV. You can purchase A Night of NovelTea or NovelTea Next Door at The Wild Rose Press. They are both on sale through the month of November.


Cindy K. Green is a multi-published author with degrees in History and Education. Previously a middle school English & History teacher, she now homeschools her own children and writes in several genres: Inspirational, Contemporary, Fantasy, Suspense and Historical romance. Find out more about Cindy and her books at

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hardwood and JaNoWriMo

Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then. ~Katherine Hepburn

DH has decided (dear heavens...) that since we have 8 boxes of hardwood left over from the project in the foyer thingie, we should hardwood my new office. I don't disagree with him, exactly. The carpet is a mess (truthfully, the carpet in our house was "five year" carpet and we've had it for almost ten years ((!)), which is one reason we're replacing it all) and the hardwood will look lovely... except...

Except, I'm finally getting it all set up in there. I've unpacked boxes, filled up four books shelves, hung Dru's quilt on the wall... and I dread undoing all of that (especially the bookshelves). OTOH, it would be something to keep him busy the next set of days he has off (this coming Th-F-S-S) or the next set (the following Th-F-S-S).


Okay folks, JaNoWriMo is a go! I'm pretty certain I have all of y'all's email addresses, so I'll shoot a joint email off today at some point to discuss the deets. Dru asked if non-writers would be able to join whatever group we have in order to cheer us on, so that's one thing to bring under discussion (though I'm certain all of us will discuss our amazing progress on our respective blogs as well).

This is who I have down as probably going to participate (feel free to tell your friends, the more the merrier):

and... me!!



You Are Scissors

Sharp and brilliant, you can solve almost any problem with that big brain of yours.

People fear your cutting comments - and your wit is famous for being both funny and cruel.

Deep down, you tend to be in the middle of an emotional storm. Your own complexity disturbs you.

You are too smart for your own good. Slow down a little - or you're likely to hurt yourself.

You can cut a paper person down to pieces.

The only person who can ruin you is a rock person.

When you fight: You find your enemy's weak point and exploit it.

If someone makes you mad: You'll do everything you can to destroy their life

Muh-ha-ha.... don't make me mad! LOL...


Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday Morning Meme and JanNoWriMo

“When birds burp, it must taste like bugs.” - Bill Watterson

1. How is burping seen in your family? Is it rude? Humorous? Applauded? And do you ignore it, apologize or hide it? Okay, same questions for farting. (Come on, don’t be shy! We’ve all done it!)

All passing of gas is frowned upon by me... if you must do it, then at least excuse yourself. I've been known to say "excuse me" even when I'm totally alone, lol. If the dog does it, I'll let it slide. DH never says "excuse me" unless someone besides DD and I are around. Drives me nuts (though I read on another woman's blog once that she was thankful that her DH was comfortable enough around her to pass gas ... um, me? Not so much). DD does say "excuse me", but that doesn't make her try to be in the least bit circumspect.

I had a friend whose mother was so freaky about gas-passing, that the kids could only do so in the bathroom. My friend, as an adult, was unable to tell if her "need" was gas or solid, so always had to adjourn to the potty. That's a little extreme.

And that was all more than you probably wanted to know about gas on a Monday morning.

2. How long was it from your first date until the proposal of marriage? How long until the wedding? What do you think the shortest amount of time is acceptable between the first date and being engaged and getting married?

We started dating in November, were engaged a year later(shortly before our 1 year anniversary and, no I don't remember the date -- DH was not exactly romantic. He took me ring shopping, saw what I liked, bought it and shoved it at me, saying "Here." I may have to use that in one of my stories...) and married the following August, so nearly two years from start to finish.

I've always had a problem with whirlwind courtships. OTOH, I've seen them work ... but I think those are more the exception to the rule. Don't you need to get to know each other a little? To get past all the posturing and good behavior that happens at the beginning? To see the warts and decide whether you can live with them?


Maybe that's just me. Yanno, for someone who writes romance, I'm not very romantic.

3. What do you have in your glove compartment? Show us a picture!

No picture for two reasons. 1. I'm too lazy to go get the camera, snap the pic and then download it. And, 2. My truck is up on a jack with the rear axle removed, and I'm a little afraid to touch it.

But, in my glovebox: napkins, cell phone charger, deodorant (what? You've never forgotten to put it on?), extra little bags for garbage, user manual for the truck and the hub lock key.

4. Which do you dislike most: pop-up ads or spam email? Do you think either “marketing” strategy is more effective than the other? Have you ever clicked on a pop-up ad or followed through with a spam email? What was the result?

I hate them both. And I make a point of never, never, never, ever clicking through on either. I wish I could send little electric shocks -- the number of which would equal the number of spam emails sent out -- to all the spammers in the world. And pop up (and pop under) boxes should be outlawed. Blech.

Not that I have strong feelings or anything.


Okay, folks -- we're having a JanNoWriMo!! Come one, come all and join the party. So far, Amy, Sarita, Melissa and maybe Ceri have mentioned being interested. We could set up a Yahoo group, make a little database whoosie to log in our word counts, allow comments for encouragement or complaints... Or we could make it less formal and just say we're doing it and note our word counts on our blogs each day.

I do think that one exception should be made -- I say we make it our intention to write 50,000 new words in January, 2009 ... but they can be part of a WIP. I say this partly because I have 10,000 words on my NaNo novel and partly because I have three other novels begun, and it would sure be nice to finish one before I start something new.

See... it's all about me.

If you want to start something new, that's cool, too. But 50,000 new words (not editing) should be the goal, IMHO.

Thoughts? Any other victims ... volunteers?


You Are a Lace Bra!

Dreamy, romantic, and ultra-feminine

You're a womanly woman who makes guys feel like men

Your perfect guy is strong, determined, and handsome

With a softer side that only you can draw out

Oooh... kay... if you say so.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Giving Up The Ghost

I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once. ~Jennifer Yane

I've fought the good fight... and lost.

I just can't finish NaNo this year... DH has chores scheduled for us the rest of his days off, (he's working only five more days this month). Yesterday, we finished sticking the tile down -- now the adhesive stuff has to dry before it's grouted. Then the grout has to dry before it's sealed. We also put down about 3/4 of the hardwood in the foyer thingie. The house is a disaster area (dust EVERY-FREAKING-WHERE) and Dakota may be traumatized for life because the smoke alarms kept going off due to the dust. She did not know what to do... so she ran around the house barking. The cat was smart enough to hide the entire day. But Dd got so freaked out that she started shying away from everything and everyone. I couldn't touch her unless I sat on the floor quietly and let her come to me.

So, between day-to-day life and the LASR website, I am only able to find a few moments a day to write. I can manage a couple hundred words, but not thousands.

Amy said she'd be up for a NaNo in January. Jen said she and a friend were doing one in March. I'm fairly certain DH will NOT be taking off 23 freaking days in either of those months. Anyone else interested in a private NaNo in either of those months? And, heck, it'll give me December to do some drastic editing on "Return to Stiller Creek", ramp up the suspense a bit more and add some more heat, and submit to another publisher I'm eyeballing -- HQ again, but a different line.

I'm also trying to work my way through Dynamic Learning Dreamweaver CS3, which makes my head hurt. But, doggone it, I'm a pretty smart chick... I should be able to figure it out.

Next year, I will FORCE DH to take vacation throughout the year so this does not ever EVER happen again.

How was your Saturday? LOL...


You Are a Bran Muffin

Some people have accused you of being all work and no play. And that does describe you most of the time.

You are very career oriented. When you're not working making money, you're working to improve yourself.

You have very little room in your life for fluff. You want to live as good of a life as possible.

You are competitive and driven. You like to surround yourself with other motivated people.

While you are a go-getter, you are by no means self centered. Quite the opposite.

You are a caring, together, and stable friend. You are grounded enough to be there for people.

Um... yeah... that's pretty much spot on. Huh.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tiling, Flooring and Trailers R Us

A life spent in constant labor is a life wasted, save a man be such a fool as to regard a fulsome obituary notice as ample reward. ~George Jean Nathan

Yesterday, DH and SIL and DD and I spent the day tearing out the flooring in the upstairs bathroom and foyer thingie at the top of the stairs. Dd helping by eating anything bite sized that came anywhere near her (tile, carpet fuzz... whatever).

DH repainted the bathroom to match the tile (which is not what I had hoped for, but is still lovely).

Today: tiling the bathroom.

Tomorrow: putting hardwood down in the foyer thingie.

He's off Monday and Tuesday, too. I wonder what other projects he'll think up?



Judy and I are busily starting something new and exciting (I imagine I'll officially announce it in the next few days), which requires me to get the whole book trailer thing down to a science. So, I've been hard at work:

I also spent time this morning updating my MySpace page (I hadn't been there since October 13th!!!) and uploading some trailers to Preview the Book.

I'm awfully bad about promoting my own work... I need to be more on the ball. Shame on me.


There Are 2 Gaps in Your Knowledge

Where you have gaps in your knowledge:



Where you don't have gaps in your knowledge:






Yep... they're pretty much correct! LOL...


Friday, November 14, 2008

My Pebbles...

Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain. ~Author Unknown

I have almost 200 blog posts in my Google reader. I'm afraid, very afraid. If I haven't visited, it's not because I don't want to... swear. And, in all honesty, I may end up deleting everything in Google Reader and starting fresh soon.


My DH is proving to be the straw (bale of straw, perhaps?) that broke the NaNo camel's back. Today, he decided we would spend Fri/Sat/Sun tiling the bathroom and putting down the last of the hardwood in the little foyer thingie at the top of the stairs.

Yes. All three days.

And the simple fact is this: I have other duties that I MUST do before I can write. I have all the LASR/WC pages to build, just for starters. That is my "day" job and isn't negotiable.

The story is bouncing around in my head, but I just can't find time to get more than a couple hundred words a day (which is better than nothing, but still...), and it makes me want to scream.

DH is off quite a bit in December, too.

Anyone up for a January NaNo?



What Your Home Says About You

You don't come across as very intellectual or serious. You seem like a bit of a goofball.

You have amazing hygiene, and it shows. You are sparkling clean!

You are a very domestic person. You enjoy decorating, cooking, and making things homey.

You are not a nurturing person by nature, but you can easily take care of someone you truly love.

You feel settled in your life. You have enough time to focus on little details.

You are a somewhat self sufficient person. You can do fine on your own if you have to.

Your friends see you as honest, humble, and responsible.

Some, yes... some, no.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bookin It By Buying

Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book. ~Author Unknown

I’ve asked, in the past, about whether you more often buy your books, or get them from libraries. What I want to know today, is, WHY BUY?

Even if you are a die-hard fan of the public library system, I’m betting you have at least ONE permanent resident of your bookshelves in your house. I’m betting that no real book-lover can go through life without owning at least one book. So … why that one? What made you buy the books that you actually own, even though your usual preference is to borrow and return them?

If you usually buy your books, tell me why. Why buy instead of borrow? Why shell out your hard-earned dollars for something you could get for free?

This is a timely question, actually... as an author as well as a reader, I've been concerned by the downswing in the economy. Still, I really believe that *most* of us, while having to tighten belts a bit, still have a little extra for the things we love most. For you, it may be bath salts, or cappuccino, or designer hand bags (which I just don't understand -- I didn't get the gene that cares about shoes or purses). For me, it's books.

I don't buy every book I read or I'd go broke. I do buy books I know I'll reread (I'm a BIG rereader), books from authors I want to support, and books for gifts (this Christmas, I don't know that I'll give much except books as gifts. Read this blog post, and you'll see one reason why).

Most recently, I purchased "The Hiding Place" by Karen Harper (because she mentions LASR and because she is a talented and gracious author) and "Rescued by the Magic of Christmas" by Melissa McClone because I love her heartwarming stories, and because she, too, is a talented and gracious author.

I don't buy hardbacks, because I can't swing it... but I can shell out $6- $14 for a paperback at least once or twice a month.

What about you? What books will you buy as opposed to borrowing? What is it that causes YOU to shell out your hard-earned dollars?


I wrote 64 words on my NaNo book yesterday. I can give you a litany of excuses, but I won't. I haven't given up... I'm still plugging away, but I'm not entirely certain I'll make it this year!


The Ultimate Color Test

When you are at peace, you are:

Giving and unselfish

When you are moved to act, you are:

Unorthodox and idealistic

When you are inspired, you are:

Flexible and experimental

When your life is perfectly balanced, you are:

Connected to nature and the world

Your life's purpose is:

To reach enlightenment

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Welcome Guest Blogger: Paty Jager

Why We Like Cowboys
by Paty Jager

Who hasn’t thought about the cowboys of yesteryear driving cattle across the prairie, a lawman riding for justice, or a modern rodeo cowboy or the cattle rancher down the road and sighed. There’s something about a man in boots, denim, and a cowboy hat that makes a woman’s heart increase speed and her mouth go dry.

Is it their manners, chivalry, sense of justice, or the fact they take off their hats and say, “Thank you, Ma’am.”? All I know - cowboys have the ‘it’ factor for me and many women.

The swagger of the rodeo cowboy after he picks himself up off the ground. The set jaw, cool demeanor, and stance of a lawman in a movie standing up to the bad guy. The easy way a rancher leans over the corral fence taking stock of his herd, with one foot resting on a rail.

Sigh, there’s something about cowboys.

I write about cowboys both in the past and now. I try to capture the honor, justice, manners, and that raw maleness that seems to ooze from cowboys. I don’t know how else to explain it, but they have a side that would fight a man twice their size, barehanded, to defend a woman or child’s honor. That is what makes a cowboy or any hero in a romance stay in my heart.

Any man who doffs his hat and opens doors in this day and age gets a smile and notch on my hero meter. And you’ll find most cowboys do. They respect women. I think it harkens back to the days when women were few and far between and cowboys were so tickled to have a female to cater to, they bent over backwards to make them want to hang around.

What is the “it” factor about cowboys that makes your heart skitter with excitement?

To read about a cowboy some reviewers have fallen in love with, check out my latest release, “Outlaw in Petticoats”. You can purchase it in e-book at or in print at any book store. To find out more about Paty Jager and my other books you can go to:

Marianne, thank you for having me here today, it’s been fun to talk about a type of hero that so many people enjoy. The Cowboy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Wrote...

I did... not very much, but I'm barely over 10,000 words. I should be at 18,172 to be where I need to be for NaNoWriMo goals. I'm the slacker amongst my friends, as well. But I did write.

Now... My NaNo excel spreadsheet tells me I need to write at least 1992 words a day to "win".

DH is home for the next eight days.


YIKES! That one is depressing with all its red... let's try this:

Much better.


Hug A Veteran

I did! My DH... *G*

But the freedom that they fought for, and the country grand they wrought for, Is their monument to-day, and for aye. ~ Thomas Dunn English

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. ~Elmer Davis

It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you. ~Dick Cheney

In other news... my cold knocked me on my butt yesterday. That and nearly no sleep the night before... I spent a good part of the day either staring off into space because of the "non-drowsy" cold meds I took in desperation or laying on the couch because I felt so disassociated from my body.

I hate medicine. Now I remember why I almost never take it.

So, no writing. But I'm feeling better this a.m. -- not WELL, but better and functional and I can even feel my legs and the world isn't spinning, so I'm hoping to accomplish something.


Our microwave broke Sunday night. Not earthshattering news, but I never realized how much I rely on the stupid thing.

Monday morning, I had to--are you ready??--boil water ON THE STOVE for DH's yuppy coffee (he won't drink real coffee, silly guy). And, then later that day I went to make some tea for me. I plopped a bag in my mug, put in some cold water, turned and ... **sigh**

I didn't plan dinner early enough, so pulled frozen stew meat out for DH and... put it in a dish of tepid water to thaw.

All day I kept turning to where it should be... how did we ever survive without them?

What appliance do you think YOU would miss the most (excepting your oven and fridge)?


How cool is this?

The Long and the Short of It (LASR) got a nod and a sound bite in Karen Harper's latest novel, "The Hiding Place"... go hie yourself to a bookstore and check out the reviews at the beginning.

I feel so special... like we've arrived. *G*


Okay... I'm about 5'9 1/2" ...

Here's 5'9":

What Your Height Says About You

You are a true adventurer, and you live for the thrill.

You have a lot of charisma, and you're good at convincing people to join you in your schemes.

You are open to the world, and you make connections easily. You have lots of friends.

You are likely to have many life paths to choose from. There are many possibilities open to you.

You are about as tall as the average British man.

And here is 5'10"

What Your Height Says About You

You are a gifted communicator, and you understand other people well.

You are compassionate and empathetic. You feel other's pain a little too easily.

Because of your open heart and open mind, many people admire and adore you.

You are classy and well mannered. You have the art of charm mastered.

You are about as tall as the average Australian man.

Which do YOU think is closer? LOL...


Groovy, re: wanting my mom closer... you forget, my mom actually lived with me for twelve years until September 2007. I want her back.


Have a great day everyone!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday Morning Meme and Misc.

Happiness is your dentist telling you it won't hurt and then having him catch his hand in the drill. ~Johnny Carson


1. Do think it’s okay to bring your own snacks into the movie theater? Why or why not?

Yes and no... lol.

I always bring my own candy, but I buy popcorn and soda there. I figure I've supported them with the popcorn/soda buy and I am VERY picky about my choice of candy, so I gotta bring my own or be annoyed.

Now, folks that bring everything? That's not right.

2. If someone were following you, would you:
A. Attempt to lose them.
B. Turn around and confront them, asking them what in the heck were they doing??
C. Nothing.
D. Something else (do tell!)

Tell us about a time when you thought someone was following you. (Don’t we all have those stories? I do!)

It depends. Am I on a busy street? A dark street? A mall? If I don't feel safe confronting him, I'm going to take off running of course, or duck into a store or whatever. But, if I'm in a crowd of people, I would (at least) turn and stare just to let the person know I'm on to them.

And, no... oddly, I don't have any stories about being followed. Am I unobservant or lucky?

3. What is your highest level of education? What were/are your thoughts about school? Would you ever consider going back to school? If so, for what? If not, why not?

I have some college education, but I never finished. Would I go back? The only reason I've been tempted is because there have been whispers that eventually they will only let folks with teaching degrees homeschool their kids. It hasn't happened yet, though, and my DD is getting old enough that, should I HAVE to put her in school, I wouldn't feel as uncomfortable doing so. Also, we have a great private school nearby that just opened up, and an even greater private high school down aways. So, at this point would I go back? Nope.

4. Do you order photos online? Do you print your own photos or go someplace to print them off? And do you order photographic gifts too?

Yes, I order my photos online. I don't print my own (I don't like the quality). And I seldom order photographic gifts because I'm too cheap, lol.


Don't even ask about NaNo... yesterday was the day from hell in so many ways. Today, though, DH is back at work. YAY.


You Are Checkers

You are very logical and rational. You are able to understand what is and isn't a factor.

You're able to compartmentalize and focus on the essentials.

You appreciate simplicity. You can see the layers of complexity and beauty in anything.

You are also playful and good natured. You don't take life too seriously!

Um... yes and no -- about 50/50...

As an aside, however: I hate checkers. I'm more a Trivial Pursuit kind of gal...


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Follow The Bouncing Ball..

... Inside my head.

Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again? ~Winnie the Pooh

This morning, when I woke at 4:14 a.m., I gave myself permission to go back to sleep. Sundays are the one day I don't have to upload pages to LASR, so are really the only day I CAN sleep in. Ever. That's why I'm running late today.


For some reason, I recalled how my friend's mom used to get her stubborn dog to take pills. I think I was thinking about Amy's dog, Indy, being on anti-anxiety meds (and I have no idea why THAT popped into my brain -- my brain is a scary place). My friend's mom, Joan, couldn't stuff a pill into the dog's mouth. It would NOT take them no matter what. But, it did tend to gobble anything she dropped on the floor. So, while she was chopping something for a meal, she'd "accidentally" push the pill (and a bit of whatever food) onto the floor. "WHOOPS!" and the dog scarfed them all down before Joan could pick them up. Ha.


My niece is engaged to marry a boy who is very unlovely on the outside (IMHO). But he showed her the only unconditional love she's ever known. The entire family is against their marriage, and I'm not certain it's the best relationship in the world (he's quite irresponsible), but maybe he'll grow up. In the meantime, the adore each other. He would lay down in front of a moving train to save her. There's something to be said for that. Still, it got me to thinking about the beautiful people we populate our romance novels with. Hmmm...

And that thought impelled me to click through on an article at the top of my gmail page entitled: Who Are The 50 Most Gorgeous Singers Of Our Time?. I have to say that I disagree with 90% of their choices, and am horrified that more country artists weren't chosen. They did select Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift ... But what about Martina McBride, Shania Twain, Faith Hill??

Clearly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


One more day until my DH goes back to work. Praise God and all that's holy, even if it is only for three days.


Yesterday, I was so overwhelmed with everything, I almost decided to quit it all. Judy will be relieved that Chris talked me down off the edge... and probably didn't even realize she did so.


I miss my mom. There ought to be a law that moms can only live a certain number of minutes away from their kids. Though, considering my mom's kids live all over the country, that could be tricky.


My NaNo book feels like a glorious waste of time. It's kind of fun to write, but I can't imagine anyone, anywhere publishing ever.



I'm still steamed that "One Love for Liv" comes out in print four days after Christmas. Y'all could wrap up an I.O.U. for your friends, and then get the book after! That's what I'm doing. **sigh**

It's like they thought, "How can we make marketing this novel even harder?"


My DH went to the Tractor Supply Store and bought me pink and gray snow boots yesterday! They're so cute and soft and nice... my Sorels that I've been using I got my first year in Colorado (1994), so they're a little worn out. Sometimes, he's very sweet. That doesn't mean I don't want him to go back to work, though.



Only got about 400 words on my NaNo book yesterday. Still haven't broken 10,000. Maybe today. Of course, the bathroom still needs cleaning.


The Castle Personality Test

You are scared of new experiences. It's hard for you to break outside of your comfort zone.

You like to think that people are impressed by you. You know that you have a lot to offer.

You are a very realistic person. You see the world as it is, flaws and all.

Right now, you feel very trapped in your life. You often feel like there is no way out of your rut.

Overall, your life is very peaceful - if not a little solitary. Much of what goes on goes on in your head.

You feel like the fate of the future partially rests in your hands. You believe you need to help make the world a better place.

So...are y'all impressed with me? Apparently, I like to think so. The rest, though? Mostly true...

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I'm Loved...

There are big ships and small ships. But the best ship of all is friendship. ~Author Unknown

Lookie what I got! And... from TWO PEOPLE. I feel so loved... really... for once I'm not being sarcastic.

Jennifer awarded it to me a couple of days ago, and Dru did so yesterday. And, guys, I love your blogs right back. Just saying...

Now for the rules:

1) Add the logo of the award to your blog
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs

Okee dokee... I can do ALL that, even as busy as I am. The hard part is choosing only seven blogs I love and visit regularly (I'm not going to use folks I know already rec'd the award like Diane, Sarita and Dru)!

1. Melissa's Diary -- I read her daily. She posts about herself, her writing and frequently uses LOL Cats (I <3 them).

2. Writebrained -- Amy shares recipes, funny stuff, and anecdotes about life in general. She's made me laugh, cry and think. It doesn't get better than that. Plus we and our cats are twins. Ha.

3. Allie's Musings -- I've known Allie (virtually) for... a long time. I'm thinking six years or so! I keep up with her daily via her blog. It's easier than email, lol.

4. Ceri Hebert -- I "met" Ceri my first year doing NaNoWriMo, and we've become good virtual friends (despite living in the same state -- we haven't managed to get together... maybe someday!). She's a talented author and all around kewl chick.

5. Groovy -- Groovy is just an all around hoot. She's a Christian, homeschooling mom and aspiring author. I honestly don't recall how we "met", but I read her blog every time she updates her blog. Sometimes, I go back and read more than once, just because she cracks me up.

6. Maria Zannini -- an author I met through Samhain Publishing, and just thoroughly enjoy her blog. She has industry news, books stuff and personal stuff. Plus... she's a dog lover. What's not to like?

7. Writing Wrongs -- Charity is another virtual friend from a long time ago. We "met" in an online romance writing class at Writers Village University. She was a big help then, and is a terrifically talented author (Note to C: I still want to read "Cold Comfort" from beginning to end).

There are a TON more that I should mention, but the rules say seven... so there you go. I won't say anything about Brandy or Tori or ... *G*



So... okay... I ended up stopping at 1000 words yesterday because I had so many other things I needed to do. But I have ideas, and I'm excited, so I have great hope that I'll get a bunch more words done this a.m.

I'm currently at a total of 8,928 words for the story.

So... for town names, I'm torn between these (feel free to vote!!):

New Hope
New Genesis (or even Genesis)


Okay, off to write!


Friday, November 07, 2008

Engergized... but I Need Help!

"Change your thoughts and you change the world." — Norman Vincent Peale

I think I've finally remembered my goals for this novel. I looked back into all my prework, not just the scene ideas, and stumbled on all my kooky characters I'd forgotten about! It absolutely energized me, and I've been writing all morning. I'm up almost 1000 words, and hope to double that before anyone wakes up.


I've decided I need to create a fictional town name. I've been using "Fair Play", but that's a real town in California (I know, I used to live a mile away from it, in another little town called Mount Aukum) and I'm messing with the place so much, I don't want to annoy any of the 32 people who might know about it.

So... names.

It's a tiny town in the Sierra Nevada's, about 30 miles from Placerville. It's got the bare minimums: general store, post office, etc., plus a few extras like a hair salon and cafe.

I want the name to mean something, though I'm not sure what. Maybe something about being reborn, or starting over. Maybe believing in oneself or others?

Any thoughts?

Okay... back to writing.... wish me luck!


It's DH's Fault...

Day, n. A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent. ~Ambrose Bierce

How does ANYONE work with their husband home????? Dear heavens to betsy... if he's not finding things for me to do ("You need to take the truck to be inspected." ... "Would you go get me these light bulbs?" ... "Can you come out here to help me bleed the brakes?" ... "I'm hungry. What's for lunch?"), he's inside talking, which would be nice I suppose, if I wasn't so FREAKING BEHIND in absolutely every aspect of my life. I'm behind in writing, LASR, homeschooling, housework, training the dog... you name it.

I'm trying to be patient, but we've had way too much togetherness of late -- I don't do well with togetherness with anyone -- and I'm going nuts.

I've decided that he is never going to be allowed to retire.


Just saying.

And now my word count for Thursday: 7734.

Yep, a whopping 232 words more than Wednesday. I'm officially behind 2482 words. Considering that DH isn't going back to work until Monday and then only working three days before another ten day vacation, I'm a bit concerned... **sigh** ...


Look what I bought at WalMart yesterday while purchasing light bulbs for the license plate holder:

Now... to find the time to actually read it!!!


Thursday, November 06, 2008

One Great Mystery of the Universe

You have a cough? Go home tonight, eat a whole box of Ex-Lax - tomorrow you'll be afraid to cough. ~Pearl Williams

Why does only one side of your nose stuff up when you have a cold? AND... why can you blow... and nothing comes out, but you perpetually have to keep snarfing, or it'll run down your face?

Huh. I guess that's two great mysteries.

Got an "R" in my inbox for "Stiller Creek" with some revision suggestions and an invite to resubmit. I'm not entirely certain I agree with one of the suggestions... Judy didn't seem to feel that way when she read it. I may have to solict another reader in order to get their opinion and then decide if I want to revise, or look for a different home.

I got a note in my inbox a couple of days ago about "Kitchen Matches" --

Marianne – I read Kitchen Matches last night and absolutely loved it. I laughed so hard. Do you have any plans for Cori’s three brothers that are still single? I would definitely love to read them.

This is not the first request I've gotten from someone for a sequel involving Cori's brothers. So, I've been running possible scenarios in my head. One involves Nick, an Amazonian woman and a rival tow company...

But first, I need to finish NaNo and that's moving along painfully slow. I do love Thea, and did she ever embarrass poor Spence, but still... I'm just not sure how to get where I want to go. I feel like I'm writing "a day in the life" and little of what I've written validly moves the plot along.

Ah well. You can't edit an empty page. And so I'll push forward.

Total word count?


I should be at 8333 ... I'm not. 800 words isn't too far behind, though. Now, to get the word count for Thursday started!

Have a great day.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Welcome Guest Blogger: Abbey MacInnis

Muse Versus Inspiration: What’s Your Motivation To Write?

Okay, I know, not a very inspiring title for this post. *g* But honestly, to me, there is a difference between finding inspiration to write, and waiting for your Muse to come along and inspire you. I personally love finding inspiration. It’s everywhere. You just have to look and listen to your environment.

The Muses originated in Greek mythology. There were nine water nymphs in all, fathered by the king of the Gods, Zeus. They served as a way to inspire those with artistic tendencies. Today, artists who believe in the idea of the Muse, use an object or person to inspire them. I’ve never had a Muse before – something coming along and saying “Hi Abbey, let me be your source for inspiration.” Lol Maybe it’s not like that, but I’m curious. What’s your Muse if you have one? Share it with me.

I’ve had some writers ask me if I believe in the idea of the Muse. My answer has always been, and will always This is not a criticism of those who do believe in their Muse inspiring them. If you’re writing and happy with what you’re doing, that’s awesome! From my experience, however, some writers I’ve known in the past rely on their Muse to inspire them, rather than finding the inspiration and the drive to write on their own. They use the excuse of not having their Muse around as a method for procrastination for not writing. They keep waiting for their Muse to show up. They’re disappointed when she doesn’t come around. Hence more time passes without getting words on the page, and losing out on all the opportunities for finding new ideas.

Most writers I know don’t rely on a Muse. They’ve found she’s unreliable. They’ve learned to only rely on themselves to go and search for inspiration, rather than waiting for their Muse to hand it to them. I have to write. It isn’t I think I have to. I need to. I cant’ wait around for my Muse. There are dozens of stories, slivers of scenes, and character profiles stashed away in my head. I get new ones all the time. I couldn’t imagine using one object or person as my main track for inspiration.

Instead, I prefer to seek out inspiration in the world around me. There’s a plethora of it to be found. You just have to be open enough to recognizing it. There are endless opportunities for ideas. From hearing something on the news, a song on the radio, to overhearing a conversation you’re not supposed to. From reading an article in the newspaper that might trigger an idea, surfing the internet, to smelling fresh-cut grass on a warm autumn day. Hearing a child’s playful laughter, watching the seasons change, and eating your favorite snack that invokes memories of happy or sad times. Snapshots of scenes, characters, or stories can hit you when you least expect it.

For instance, for my latest release, Delighting Miss Daisy a Wayback Texas story, I had the idea that my heroine, Daisy could own her own bakery after grabbing a chocolate chip cookie. Lol... I don’t know if there’s something in chocolate, but I felt much better after eating the cookie – and I thought that my heroine was the kind of woman who loves making people feel good inside. She loves bringing people together and her baking does just that. She’s gone through some hard times, but expressing herself through cooking makes her feel completed. I don’t actually say that, but you hopefully get the idea from how I tell her story. *g*

Weird, huh? *g* There’s a lot more to Daisy and her hero, Sam, which I won’t go into. You’ll have to read the book to see how things turn out for them. *g*

So, tell me, where do you get your ideas? If you have a Muse, what or who is it? To me, inspiration and motivation are closely linked. What motivates you to write? How do you get through those days when it seems to take you eons to just write a single page? Are you a glutton for punishment like me, insisting on just plowing through the tough times until you’re writing full speed ahead again? Do you have those moments where it’s your characters who inspire you? Does the light bulb flash in your mind showing you a piece of their past that you knew was the missing element in your story?

Whatever you do, I hope it keeps you writing, happy and fulfilled.

Bio: Abbey has always been a sucker for a good love story. She’s been a reader for nearly all of her life. When she first decided to make an attempt at writing down the stories and characters vying for her attention, she had no idea how quickly she would fall in love with the writing process. It’s been a while since then, but since that day, she’s discovered what she’s meant to do – creating heartwarming and passionate romance, and characters to fall in love with. She lives in south east Michigan with her family and black Lab, who, along with friends, give her all the love and support in the world, and sometimes, inspiration with their adventures.

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Delighting Miss Daisy, a Wayback Texas story now available from The Wild Rose Press


When Sam Howard, CEO of Sam’s Smooth Sliding Ale, arrives in Wayback to advertise his product for the rodeo, bakery entrepreneur Daisy Porter goes on a crusade to tear down every poster in town. Can Daisy look past the businessman to the compassionate man underneath, or has the lock to her heart finally rusted shut? Sam is a patient man, who doesn’t force his way through the walls she’s placed up to guard her heart. With the threat of someone from her past shadowing her, can Daisy reclaim her self-confidence and strength to find happiness with Sam?

Click here to purchase the book

Delighting Miss Daisy trailer