Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas

My son's hamster, Hammy, enjoying a forbidden treat on my kitchen counter :)

Well, for me 'tis the season of . . .

Hanging decorations
Attending parties
Frantic shopping
Wrapping presents

Now . . . the calm before the Christmas storm.

Wishing you and your loved ones a joyous holiday season.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Oh Christmas Tree?

In light of the season I'm posting a picture of a Christmas tree. Not your usual tree. Nope. This is a Christmas Tree Worm that lives on coral. I learned something new today and just had to share. I actually think it's beautiful. Not as beautiful as my own Christmas tree in my living room. But beautiful just the same.

I've *finally* finished shopping for everyone on my list. How about you?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Bah Humbug

My thirteen year old daughter pointed out to me that I’m not a normal woman. What she meant was that I don’t share her fondness for shopping. Let’s be clear. I hate shopping at the best of times but Christmas shopping is particularly despicable. This year has been particularly horrendous because I didn’t want to start my shopping until I moved into our new house. Usually, I try and finish my shopping before flipping the calendar to December to avoid the crowds. Today I will find myself in the mall for the third day in a row, my eyes glazed over from the pain. Dealing with surly clerks and pushy shoppers only makes coming home that much better.

Good news! I received my editorial letter the other day so when I’m not shopping I can get my head into work fun. Shopping *ugh*. Now that’s work!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Rain, Rain ... Hurray!

The rains are here and, yes, I'm happy :) True it'll take a while to wash away all the white stuff. And in the meantime there'll be lots of black slushy stuff on the roads. Still. The snow is going and that makes me happy.

Today I spent the day parading a group of second graders around an outdoor museum. It was fun but I froze my toes off even though I wore my warmest boots. I've resorted to wearing slippers at home in an attempt to warm my feet. Even though I hate slippers.

Tomorrow I have a self-imposed stay home day. I'm expecting a delivery and intentionally told them they could come any time during the day. It'll force me to stay home and write. Then unpack. Then write some more. Um, provided they don't make the delivery first thing in the morning and I'm tempted to go to the mall to finish my Christmas shopping. We'll see.

Have you finished buying for all your loved ones yet?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Snow Day

This is a picture of my new back yard. The snow is beautiful, isn't it? Blech. I hate it. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for snow I just believe it should be on mountain tops and not where I need to walk or drive. Double blech.

Since the roads are too treacherous for driving, I expect to spend the day unpacking boxes. However, the kidlets are all home from school. They expect me to dress them to play in the snow. Then undress them and dry their clothes. Then dress them again. Then dry their clothes again. Somebody shoot me!

I'm hoping for the Northwest rains to start again tomorrow.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Ten Things I hate about moving

1. Strangers touching my stuff.

2. Strangers breaking my stuff.

3. Strangers losing my stuff. Where is my favorite, ancient Random House dictionary?!

4. Moving men who wear low-rise jeans that have no right to wear low-rise jeans.

5. Kids asking, “Mom, where is my (insert name of stupid toy that could be in any one of a hundred boxes marked ‘toys’)”

6. Not knowing which box holds the cutlery and dishes even though there should be boxes labled ‘cutlery / dishes’

7. Not remembering that it would be a good idea to have toilet paper available for the bathrooms.

8. Hearing the words ‘oops’ when boxes marked ‘fragile’ are carried into the house.

9. Seeing the new neighbors are popping in ‘just to say hi’ at the moment I’m about to lose my mind.

10. Being too exhausted to unpack the linens and knowing I'll end up sleeping under thin Pooh Bear sheets.

Friday, November 17, 2006

A day in my life

6:00 a.m. – Alarm goes off and I stumble downstairs to make coffee.

6:10 – Coffee at my side, I check my emails. Read two digests, reply to one fan letter and delete three spam.

6:15 – Open Word and read a few paragraphs of what I wrote yesterday. Resist urge to delete everything and, instead, get more coffee.

6:30 – Kidlets wake up and make grumbling demands for food and attention. I make breakfasts and school lunches then drive them to school.

8:15 – I’m sitting in my car with my Alphasmart typing while listening to the weather report. It’ll be cold and raining. Again. I get two pages written.

9:00 – Back home. More coffee. More email. Read my favorite blogs.

9:15 – Upload the two pages from my Alphasmart and find it’s three pages – yay! I settle in and write more.

10:15 – More coffee. Online shopping (Oh good! Son number 2’s birthday gift is in stock.)

10:30 – Back to writing.

11:30 – Go grocery shopping. I hate grocery shopping. I grumble the entire time and complain to the produce clerk they should do home delivery. He doesn’t care.

12:30 – return and read what I’ve written. Decide it’s garbage and delete half. Agonize. Then decide it was better than I thought and re-insert the scene (luckily it was only temporarily suspended in a wait-and-see file).

1:30 – I have a small epiphany about how to make a particularly gruesome scene more tasteful. The scene practically writes itself and I’m pleased.

2:45 – Where has the day gone? I hustle out the door to pick up kidlets from school. Then spend hours doing mommy stuff (homework, dinner, driving to piano, Taekwondo and dance lessons)

9:00 – Kidlets are tucked in. I spend an hour packing boxes (8 days until I move!) while watching My Name is Earl and The Office.

11:00 – Open Word and make a couple notes about what I want to write tomorrow.

11:30 – Off to bed with Jane Porter’s fabulous book Flirting With Forty (Buy it. You'll love it.). I dream of Hawaii . . .

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Party Continues

Ten things I did this weekend to celebrate my three-book sale to Penguin.

1) Answered dozens of congratulatory emails.

2) Made many excited phone calls.

3) Ate ice cream for breakfast.

4) Shared a bottle of chardonnay with my hubby.

5) Watched the movie Cars with my kidlets and ate my weight on popcorn.

6) Enjoyed the fabulous flowers sent to me by friend, author Mary Forbes.

7) Had lunch with my mother and father in-law.

8) Spoke to my website gal about exciting changes.

9) Had more wine.

10) Hugged my local bookstore manager because she was almost as excited as I was.

What's your favorite way to celebrate?

Friday, November 10, 2006


Today is a day to party!
I’m letting down my hair.
Treating myself to lunch (at a grown up restaurant).
I’m basking in the celebratory cheers of my friends and family.

My fabulous agent, Miriam Kriss, worked her magic and I just sold a THREE-BOOK DEAL TO PENGUIN! To say I’m ecstatic is an understatement.

Doing for the Dead (working title) will be the first book in the mystery series that involves a heroine who works cleaning up crime scenes. Oh and she talks to the dead.

Next week I’ll continue writing book two in the series. Today, I’m grinning like an idiot.

Go ahead. Raise your glass, or water bottle, or coffee cup. Whatever. Please join me in my celebration.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Coming soon ...

Check back often. I expect to make a BIG announcement soon!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Blame it on Skippy

Last night I went to sleep to the sound of crickets chirping. All fine and good when you’re camping outside in the forest. Not so much fun when you’re in your suburban home staring at the digital clock and hoping for six hours of sleep.

My home was infested quite willingly because I actually purchase these insects on my cricket account at the local pet store. Skippy, our family tree frog, is supposed to eat the darn things. Usually, he eats quick and, usually, I only purchase female crickets (only males chirp). Last night Skippy wasn’t that hungry and there was at least one male in the list who was bent on serenading me all night long.

By midnight I was ready to pull my hair out. I told my husband if Skippy didn’t eat that cricket soon, I’d do it myself. He offered to pay just to watch it happen. Not exactly a pillar of support.

This morning, of course, the cricket is quiet. I’m unsure if it’s because he exhausted his chirping last night or if Skippy finally got hungry. Either way, I’m doomed to be bleary-eyed and a little cranky today.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Shhh . . . I’m working here.

I met a friend for coffee this morning but I wasn’t very good company. Every once in a while she’d abruptly point out . . .
“You’re doing it again.”
“Doing what?” I asked innocently.
“You’re day dreaming,” she said with a look of exasperation.
But I’m not. Not day dreaming that is. You see this morning I woke up knowing I had to get to know someone and that someone was not my very nice and patient friend sitting across from me at Starbucks. The person nagging my thoughts away from my Starbucks friend was an imaginary friend. Kind of.
My mind has been drifting in and out of thoughts focused on my next book and the physical aspects of a character and her unique complexities. What makes her tick. She’s not the protagonist but she’ll definitely have a big role. She's demanding one. Needling my subconscious in a small, persistent voice. Her whispers haven’t gone unnoticed. Like an actress vying for more lines, she wants me to understand her importance in the weeks ahead.
Shhh . . . I hear her now.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Things That Go Grump in the Night

I try to take control over my writing time. For example, my most productive hours are usually on weekday mornings when my four kidlets are under the care and supervision of their teachers. However, sometimes the muse isn’t content with that. Last night my muse was a dragon (or maybe it was the nachos that gave that illusion). Regardless, I was elbowed awake at four o’clock in the morning while he (yes, it was a male dragon) dragged me to the computer. I fought but he wouldn't give up until I gave in. Giving in to my muse is always good for the story. Never good for my body.

So I dragged my grumpy ass to my computer and managed a massive amount of second draft edits and, as a reward, the dragon gave me the very scene I knew was missing from this book. Bliss.

If the dragon roars tonight *yawn* I’m pulling the blankets over my head. But first, trick or treats!

Friday, October 27, 2006

There's a first time for everything ...

So I'm new to this. No, not new to blogs. I read a lot of them. Maybe too many but *ahem* that's a post for another day.

Mostly, I just thought I'd check out the blogosphere. Hmmm. The air is nice up here but I'm still a little skeptical.

I'll let you know how it turns out.