Monday, December 20, 2010

Feeling Upside Down

I have a cold
and it's making me feel all discombobulated.
You know that feeling when you're light headed and everything you say sounds like you're talking in a tunnel?
Never fails that I pick up a bug at this time of year when I'm running around like that ol' chicken without a head.

Basically I'm ready for the holidays. There are a few small exceptions. Like I woke up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night realizing I hadn't done the Christmas sugar cookies with the kids yet. No biggie. We'll do that today. I'll try not to cough all over the batter.

For me, "being ready" just means the shopping is done. The rest of the stuff ... cleaning ... cooking ... strangling relatives ... all that just comes in it's own time.

So are you all ready for the holidays? And what does being ready for the holidays mean to you?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Feeling a little Grinched?

Well, it's done. The decorating that is. Every year I say the same thing: "I'm NOT putting up ALL the decorations." Every year my children smile and nod knowingly as ALL and sometimes more than ALL (the extras bought on sale after Christmas the previous year) manage to crowd the house.

Yes, it's true. I'm an excessive holiday decorator. I've found a way to crowd the house with items from all the major occasions; Halloween, Christmas and, yes, even the arrival of the Easter Bunny. Holidays arrive and kitschy crap explodes onto every available surface. It's a sickness that's taken on mythic proportions.

How about you? do you exercise restraint in holiday decorating, or do you get a little carried away?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

And now to hide the body...

Returned from a research trip to Seattle. Brought the kids so I decided to get their input on where to hide a body in my next book.

Their ideas:

Between the rows of an abandoned movie theatre =>

<= The traditional weed choked ditch.

And my personal favorite.
The taco bus =>

How about you? Any personal preferences for hiding a body?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Are you old enough to remember candy cigarettes? Ahhhh yes...the good ol' days! My kids received the more pc version this halloween. They're in tiny boxes and called Peppermint Sticks. There's no red dye immitating a glowing ember on the end though.

My Halloween was a great success. I managed to create a house too frightening for most trick or treaters. Might have to tone things down next year if I don't want to end up with all this leftover candy. I gave away little chocolate bars and gumball eyeballs.

How about you? Was your Halloween a great success? Are you one of the sick people already putting up Christmas decorations??

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Are You in the Spirit?

I tend to lose my head a little over halloween. We had a party last weekend and we're having another this weekend. The house is looking particulary scary and I've had more than a few people afraid to approach my front door without assurance nothing is going to jump out at them. I won't be able to make that same promise on Halloween night though he he he.

Not everyone in the family is in the spirit though.
After trying to convince Bella to try on her dragon costume she took it and buried the thing beneath the blankets in her kennel. I guess she'll be going as a cute yorky like usual :/

How about you? Are you in the spirit?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ahhhh The Classics

Tis the season to start with the classics. You know the ones that make you scream ...
Friday the 13th
The Shining

The one that brings back memories for me is The Creature from the Black Lagoon. I was 10 when I crept downstairs in the middle of the night to watch this movie on tv and I couldn't sleep for a week!

So who makes you scream? Is it Freddie, Jason, or do you avoid scary movies all together?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons ... ask for salt & tequila

Heard back from my fabulous agent and I need to re-work the main character in the new book. I trust her instincts so I'm going to ruminate and reflect about her suggestions ... possibly with some tequila.

No, not right now. It's only 9 am! Need to work up to ruminating and reflecting later.

Right now I'm off to walk the dog. Some of my best thought process is done while being yanked around by a tiny yorkie in the sniffing zone down the street!

How about you? Do you find good thoughts come your way when you're otherwise preoccupied or do you need to completely focus on the task at hand?

Monday, October 18, 2010


A few days ago I finished reading A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read. I recommended it to a friend who promptly asked, Did you figure out who dunit?
Answer? Yes. I did.

For some mystery lovers it’s important to maintain the element of surprise. They really get annoyed if they figure out the perpetrator of the crime before the final moments in the book. Trust me; I’ve got the emailed fan mail to prove it LOL!

When I write a mystery, I personally don’t even know who committed the crime until I’m at least ¾ of the way through the first draft. It’s in the 2nd draft that I go back and weave clues, drop in red herrings and make sure the perpetrator is true to the story. Of course, it’s nearly impossible to truly pull one over on avid mystery fans. Let’s face it, it’s going to end up being one of the characters within the book itself so that alone narrows down the search considerably. It’s not like we’re looking for a murderer within a city wide population of possibilities.

Okay, so I did figure out the criminal in Field of Darkness early on but it didn’t dieter me one iota from my enjoyment of the story. For me, the journey an author weaves in the telling of any tale is more important than the end revelation. I thrive in the little nuggets of storytelling along the way and, in this case, found Cornelia’s literary bend mixed with humor to be something to be savored.

So, how about you? Do you get ticked off if you know in advance who dunit?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Things aren't always as they appear

Yesterday was Canadian Thanksgiving so, yup, I'm full of turkey and exhausted from all the work. That's my defense for my momentary lack of brain power this morning.

You see, this morning I went to Wal-mart to stock up on a few things. Mainly Halloween candy because I'm craving chocolate. Anyhow, I come out of Wally-land after an hour and I start heading for my blue Dodge Caravan. I stop in mid-tracks when I notice that my antenna ball appears to be missing. How annoying is that?! First of all I LOVE my Mickey Football antenna ball because it's cute and I'm a football mom. Plus, have you ever noticed how many blue minivans there are out there? Millions. Probably even billions. And they're all at Wal-mart on a Tuesday morning.

Anyway, so I'm standing in the parking lot loudly cursing at the van and digging in my purse for my keys when this lovely old lady brushes past me and puts her keys in the door of her van. That's right. HER van. It's not even my vehicle. Mine was right next to it, antenna ball intact.

So there you go. A perfectly good temper tantrum and rant wasted there in the parking lot for no reason. On a high note, I laughed at myself all the way home because I'm just happy nobody was with me at the time.

How's your week going so far?

Thursday, October 07, 2010

On My Bedside Table

As always, I’m reading up a storm. In the last month I’ve read three books and I’m working on my fourth so I thought I’d share:

Showdown in Mudbug by Jana DeLeon – If you’ve read Jana’s other Mudbug books (Mischief and Trouble) you already know you’re in for a treat. It was funny and intriguing and the characters were colorful in a way that Jana has down to a fine art.

The Geometry of Sisters by Luanne Rice – This story is about three women all with their own issues (a mom with sister trouble) and her two daughters (one of whom has run away). It was a moving story that reminded me of how delicate our relationships are and it had enough suspense (a haunted school) to keep things running along at a quick pace.

Gloss by Jennifer Oko – I think this one has been on my shelf for 2 years but I finally got around to reading it and I thoroughly enjoyed the story. It’s all about a fluff journalist who becomes embroiled in an international scandal involving cosmetics. It’s chick lit told with a drama, edge and just enough romance to be fun.

A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read – I’m just 90 pages into this book but I’m hooked. This is Read’s debut novel and it makes me wonder how many she had under her belt before she published because it’s so polished and witty. An old unsolved mystery is dragging the heroine out of her comfort zone and I’m enjoying the ride.
What’s on your bookstand?

Monday, October 04, 2010

Updates and Ramblings

Life is funny.
Not always funny ha ha.
Sometimes it’s just funny strange.

It’s not that I totally abandoned the idea of blogging. I just needed to put it on the back burner for a while in order to deal with more pressing issues:

1) Health issues that involved my gallbladder as well as a host of other issues that seemed to suck the life right out of me.

2) My publisher decided not to renew the Ghost Dusters series beyond three books. I’ve received many emails asking about the next book but, unfortunately, it’s not to be. Publishing is, after all, a business and this was purely a business decision and doesn’t affect my opinion of my wonderful agent and amazing editor.

3) I’ve been going through (highlight only if you want to see the personal information that may be TMI for most of you) … the divorce from hell. For all of those who have gone through this, I don’t know how you manage to keep your sense of humour and sanity!

4) I’m working on an amazing new story that I hope my editor and agent will also find amazing. Unfortunately, “amazing” is in the eye of the beholder and the economy being what it is right now, the powers that be must be very picky. The beginning stages of the proposal are with my agent now so in God’s hands so to speak ;)

Now enough about me! How about you? What is the most amazing and or challenging thing that’s happened to you over the last few months?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Disposable Parts

I don’t know about you, but I seem to be made of disposable body parts. Then again, maybe the warranty on my parts is just expiring.

I feel a little like the minivan I traded in last year. I should’ve traded that Ford in two years prior to it nickel and diming me to death. That’s how I feel about my body parts right now. Like they’re nickel and diming me to death. Well, not financially because I’m Canadian so technically I can remove all my body parts for free (unless it’s cosmetic surgery).

As you may have guessed by the beautiful photo above the body part giving me grief these days is my gallbladder. I have never had issue with this part until a few weeks ago. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I could’ve told you where that part was on my body a few weeks ago. Now I could point it out while gasping in pain.

I need someone to blame for all the pain I’ve been in and I’m blaming God and the Catholic church. I know, I know they’ve got their own problems and it’s like standing outside with a lightening rod in a thunder storm to blame God. But here’s the deal. He gave me a part of the body that technically I could live without and now the thing has expired before my personal expiration date so He created a faulty part. I take issue with that.

If He was Ford I’d be asking for a replacement part at His cost but apparently I don’t get a replacement gallbladder when they yank this one because I never really needed this one in the first place. It was like Ford put in an extra spark plug just for fun so that when you complained later they could yank it and tell you it was just a random thing you never needed.

Now the Catholic Church has their own stuff going on but I did need to pause a moment to blame them for my gallbladder issues too. Why? Because I fasted during lent. I’ve done a LOT of reading about gallbladder issues and one of the ways you can trigger problems with your gallbladder is to fast. Who knew? Okay, so maybe I should take a little of that heat myself because I always fast a few days during lent and usually I do it more because it helps as a lead-in to my annual spring diet and not necessarily only for spiritual benefits.

So how about you? Any disposable parts giving you issues these days?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Paperwork will kill you

Yup I've been buried under paper. The fun kind and the not-so-fun kind

- preparing to do my taxes (not-so-fun)

- researching a new novel (fun!!!!!)

The problem with dealing with paperwork is that it will take over your life if you allow it. I started with one small box of receipts and I swear it generated into a week of copying, emailing and faxing. It's sick really.

When I was hired to work at an insurance company in the early eighties I was given a computer (still in the box) and was told to try and make it work because our goal was to become a PAPERLESS OFFICE (my boss always spoke in all caps). Well, when I left the company 10 years later I'm pretty sure I'd personally been responsible for the slaughter of thousands of acres of forest. We're talking landfills of paperwork.

Researching my new book has turned into a bit of a paperwork nightmare too. I'm trying not to abuse my printer and use massive reems of papers so instead I've been using post it notes. I've got them all over my computer, fridge and, yes, even on the dashboard of my car. I need a post it intervention.

How about you? Does paperwork tend to rule your life or do you have the monster under control?

Friday, March 19, 2010

I'm Younger Today

Well, maybe I'm not younger in actual days, but I do FEEL younger. Aside from the fact that the dog decided to wake me at 3 am by throwing up in my bed, I'm convinced today and this year will make me feel younger. And since it is my birthday I can be younger if I want, right? :)

Today is my day for resolutions. Others make them at New Years but I prefer my birthday since that's a new year for me.

- I'm going to ramp up my excerise program (taking my dog for a 5 minute walk will no longer count as a real workout).

- And I'm going to eat healthier (eliminating chocolate as an entire food group).

- Improve my daily writing time.

That's all I got for now but then I'm only a few hours into my actual birthday so I've got the rest of the day to think about it.

How about you? Did you make any new years resolutions and, if you did, how are you doing?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


I went to the closing ceremonies of the olympics and, yes, it was a pretty amazing experience. Even if you put aside for a second that I probably could've gone to Hawaii with a couple friends for the cost, it was still pretty cool.

One of the best parts was the audience participation kits.
<--- Every person was given a suitcase style box attached to their seats. Nobody was supposed to exchange or trade the kits because they were designed to be used in your seat only. The kit itself was a cardboard box made to look like a well-travelled suitcase. The underside of the box was solid blue. Get 60,000 people holding up the blue side and you have a great video blue-screen to bounce images off. Clever, huh?

Inside the box were loads of goodies -->
First you have your poncho that is a blueish white color and made, again, for filming images on the crowd. Then you have a cardboard cut out. Mine was purple and my kids had pink. The cut-outs were folded in the box and once unfolded were about 2 x 4 feet so big enough to cover us with a small slot to look through. This gave the affect of shimmering party confetti in the audience during the party theme section of the ceremonies.
During the part of the ceremonies that talked about the next winter olympics in Sochi Russia, everyone got out their Sochi snowglobes. These snowglobes actually light up red or white and we were told to hold them under our chins at a certain time.
Finally, there were the moose ears with a blinking beacon to attach. You ain't seen nothing until you've seen 60,000 people from babies to 99 years of age wearing blinking moose ears.

All of the contents of the box were orchestrated by the volunteers in the stadium that worked with each section to make sure everyone did things just right.

If you watched the ceremony, did it come off as well as I thought?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Whew! What a relief.

Along with most other Canadians, I breathed a sigh of relief when Canada finally got a gold medal on Canadian soil ... um ... snow.

Well, the olympics seem to be going along nicely despite the fact that there isn't much snow. I take full responsibility for the fact that Cypress Mtn has had to truck in and make snow since I stated months ago I wanted NO SNOW for Christmas. Last year we had record snowfalls and this year I demanded a green Christmas. Things just got a little out of hand, I guess.

Tomorrow I plan to venture from my cozy front row seat in my living room into downtown Vancouver. I don't have tickets for any events but I plan to visit Sochi House - our science museum now converted into a Russian venue. I also hope to see the big torch cauldron. The way the crowds are I figure that little jaunt should take about 6 - 8 hours. Not kidding.

On the writing front, I've been working on my new story but keep getting sidetracked by research. I hate it when that happens. When my brain says, "hold on a second, could that body really be pinned under a pile of lumber for days and be recognizable?" Questions like that lead me visiting body farm websites and posting questions on research loops and before I know it I've stopped writing while I wait for answers. That's more of a 2nd draft thing and I'm still in 1st draft so I need to cut it out!

So how are things where you are? Getting sidetracked lately?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I'm not ready yet ...

The 2010 Winter Olympics are going to start here in just a couple days. I'm feeling a little like I do every Christmas, I know it's coming but I just need a few more days to get ready.

I've already been caught up in torch traffic through my city. Not fun. Sure it's amazing to see the Olympic torch making its way through the streets of your home town but not so great when you're fighting tens of thousands of cars to try and avoid the street closures.

Many of my friends are just ditching the city and travelling. I don't blame them but, still, I'm hoping to catch a few of the sights and sounds of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Will you be watching the Olympics? Are you a fan?

Monday, February 01, 2010

Little Things

It's all those little things that tend to get in your way.

For example, this weekend I was all set to host a double-header sleepover party for two of my boys but things did not run as smoothly as planned. Let's just say that when you find yourself standing in line at the local hardware store buying a plunger and a mop you just KNOW the next few hours are not going to be fun, relaxing or coming up roses.

I've been in the midst of some big personal changes and that seems to be working as well as my main floor toilet. But like the penguin in the picture, I'm trying to act with courage.

Today my main goal is to get a few new pages written without having to go back and delete half.

What's your goal for the day? Does it require courage?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cemeteries and other fun stuff

My trip to Seattle was great fun! I signed a stack of books at the Seattle Mystery Bookshop.

There are many fabulous things about this gem of a book store in Seattle. For example, it's haunted. That's a bonus when you write about ghosts. Also, the staff are fabulous. Every year I come in and ask Fran for her recommendations and she brings me a stack of books that she's read recently and tells me what she loves about each one. I came away with some great new reads. The first I'm digging into is Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell. I haven't been able to put this one down and expect I'll be done in a couple days. There's a definite language warning for this story but, oh my oh my, it's fabulous fun!

In addition to their hand-selling of books and their wonderful personalities, Fran and Bill are always willing to jump up and help me with research. I barely mentioned that after the signing I was going to find a cemetery to visit and within seconds they'd provided the address of a great old Seattle cemetery.

So after the signing I ran off to visit Lake View Cemetery and paused momentarily at Bruce Lee's grave (his son Brandon is buried next to him). I was really there to see the old graves though and they didn't disappoint.

My little stroll through the graveyard proved very inspiring. Hey, you have your fun. I'll have mine lol!

What's inspiring you these days?

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Signing Books in Seattle

I'm heading down to Seattle to do a little research. Looking for a few new nooks and crannies to kill a person or two :)

On Saturday I'll be signing books at the wonderful Seattle Mystery Bookshop. Come by if you get a chance!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Come Over and Visit

I'm blogging over at MUSE INTERRUPTED today about pesky New Year's resolutions.

Come over and visit.

You might win some books :)

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Off Like a Herd of Turtles

Things are not moving as quickly as I'd like this week. Kids are back at school but it seems to be taking me longer than usual to hit my groove.

Things on my 'Must Do' list today:

* Walk the dog. Not a whimpy little walk that I've done lately but a serious long walk so I can get back into exercise.

* Must put away all the Christmas paraphernalia. Even though I've bagged and boxed numerous items, it still seriously looks like Santa threw up all over my house and yard.

* Need to prepare for a research trip to Seattle this weekend. Have to go through points I've made in my wip so I know what locations to visit while I'm there. Hey, I'll be signing Dead & Kicking at the Seattle Mystery Bookshop on Saturday so be sure to drop in if you're in the area!

So what's on your 'Must Do' list today?

Friday, January 01, 2010


Did you stay up late and celebrate the coming of 2010?

Are you happy to see that old, dusty 2009 gone, or was it a good year for you?

In my case, 2009 wasn't so great so I'm hoping for good things in the new year to chase away some not-so-good feelings left over from 2009. I usually leave resolutions until my birthday in March but I definitely have a few things I need to accomplish personally and professionally.

How about you? Glad 2009 is over or was it a good year?