Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Home at Last

My class finished at 4 pm this afternoon. I was at the Irish dance studio in Portland two and a half hours later! The kidlets were happy to see me, but I think my parents, who have been watching them, were happier. Of all the times for hubby to have a big meeting in the Bay Area, it would be this week!

All three little ones are nestled in my bed. I found leftover corned beef and cabbage in the fridge so I can finally eat. And I finally have a night without homework so I can write.

It's good to be home!

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Office

Congrats to my new favorite television show, The Office, for winning the Best Comedy Emmy last night. If you are not watching this show, please do. I can't have another fave show cancelled this season like Invasion. Trust me, I really can't.

Reasons to watch this show:
1) Top notch writing
2) Spot on acting (The entire cast is amazingly talented)
3) Office romance (more than one, actually)
4) It's laugh out loud funny (you may laugh so hard you cry)
5) Jim (who really deserves to get the girl)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

On the Road Again

I'm going to be heading up to Tacoma tonight. I didn't like getting up so early on Thursday, making the drive and attending class all day. I was just too tired.

A great birthday. Yummy dinner. My cake said, "May the Force be with You." Finn thought of that one. I can't get the picture downloaded from the camera so I'll see if I can do that another time. It was really cute.

This was actually my second cake. They gave me the most beautiful German Chocolate cake complete with candles at my training class. I was so touched I nearly cried!

As for presents, I can't complain! I got the Invasion DVD, a gift certificate for a Spa Pedicure, hand weights (for when I walk in the morning), earrings, two mugs from a friend, a book called A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken from another friend, a bookmark and $$$ from my parents. The kids raided their rooms for my presents. Mackenna gave me the clay cat she'd made at the Children's Museum, Finn gave me a birdhouse he'd made and painted and Rose gave me her white and yellow unicorn. She told me to take it with me to Tacoma!

Speaking of which, I need to pack.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Another Year Older

My cell phone buzzed at 6 am this morning. Not a phone call but a text message from hubby wishing me a Happy Birthday. He called a few minutes later. I managed a "hi" before the battery died. He usually keeps my phone charged since I never remember! Oh, well...

I went for my morning walk amazed at the beauty around me. The sun looked as if it had spilled liquid gold onto Constellation Bay. A mass of small fishing boats dotted the mouth of the Bay where the river met the sea. Only the faintest wisps of clouds in the bright sky. The only sounds were a passing car every now and again, the clanging of a bell somewhere below and a random dog bark. It was truly glorious.

Hope you have a beautiful, blessed day!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday Fun

Today is one of those days I wish could go on and on. It was as close to perfect as I could have asked for. Even the weather cooperated! After a great day of class, my rommie and classmate for the week Luz Maria and I walked along the waterfront and ate dinner at a place called Harbor Lights. Our table was on the deck outside over Commencement Bay. Yummy grilled wild Alaskan Salmon. Oh, and the pirate ship made another appearance.

I spoke with my family, too. Things are going well on the home front. At least that's how it sounds via telephone. Rose, however, thought I was on my way home tonight. She was a little upset that I wasn't, but she was more upset about the baby mouse our cat Smalls left by the door this morning. Rose did tell me that they had bought me a birthday cake. (YAY!) Something about ribbons on it. Unless she was talking about the mouse again. She then went into great detail about the birthday cake she wanted with all of the Disney princesses (who she named individually) on it.

The other two were excited because their Daddy was finally letting them watch television. The world premiere of The Cheetah Girls 2 was on The Disney Channel tonight so neither of them wanted to talk to me except to say hi and I love you. I think I got a glimpse of adolescence.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Cannon Fire and Pirate Ships

I made it to Tacoma. Early, in fact, due to no traffic. The class was great. So great I didn't think today could get any better until I arrived at the house they'd arranged for me and another classmate to stay. It's 4 blocks from Commencement Bay in Tacoma with breathtaking views from every window. You can see planes and ships and trees and Mt. Rainier if you look East. Needless to say, it's absolutely gorgeous.

We took our host to dinner tonight to thank her for opening her home to us. As we were getting out of the car afterward, I heard cannon fire. One, two. We hurried out on the balcony. Sailing on the bay right in front of us was a pirate ship. It seemed so familiar to me. I immediately thought of the Isabella, the Spanish Galleon that I used in my book IN DEEP WATERS. All I needed was the sexy Ben Mendoza and it would have capped off a perfect day.

There was another ship that resembled a clipper ship. The two ships seemed to be having a battle. All of a sudden two more cannon's were shot and smoke appeared. It was so very cool and I wished the kidlets could have been with me.

Our host pulled out the newspaper and showed me the ship on the front page. I read the caption and understood why the ship looked so familiar. It was the same ship used as the H.M.S. Interceptor in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.

All I could think about was my son, Finn. He lives for pirates. I think I posted about his pirate birthday bash back in April. He saw the DVD for the first time this summer. I imagined his reaction, his excitement, his running around with his cutlass in hand. Not having access to a transporter device to bring him to me, I did the next best thing and called him on my cellphone. As I described what I was seeing to him, I could hear the awe in his voice, the longing, too. He asked me to take a picture. Unfortunately I forgot to pack a camera. He asked if he could come. I told him to talk to daddy and be sure to tell him they are giving tours of the ship. Hubby's a sailor who keeps talking about us sailing around the world. I told him sailing around the San Juan's for a summer was about all I thought I could handle without totally losing my mind. Yes, his idea is romantic and adventurous, but only for about thirty seconds. And then reality hits. Think about it. A boat. Five people, three of them kids who could barely handle a three hour raft trip. Three neurotic cats. Book deadlines. And homeschooling. A summer might actually be too long.

Anyway if you're anywhere near Tacoma, the ship is here until Sunday. They're giving daily tours onboard, too. It heads to Olympia on Monday.

Now it's time to finish tomorrow's reading assignment.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Tearful Goodbye

I'll be leaving around 6 am on Thursday morning and driving to Tacoma for a class. That meant saying goodbye to the kidlets at bedtime. They've never had a problem with me leaving before. It's not that I leave them overnight much. A couple of times a year if that. The longest time was when I went to the Denver RWA conference in 2002, but I think I missed them more than they missed me during that trip. So the tears, sobs and total anguish at my going away took me completely by surprise. The two oldest ones do not want me to go. The baby doesn't really know why they are crying, but she's crying along in sympathy. I've been in to see them twice now since tucking them in, but it's not working, and my heart is just breaking. I still need to read my assignment for class tomorrow and pack. It's going to be a late night. Again.

I've been assigned a place/family to stay with while I'm there, and I have no idea if they will have a wireless internet connection. So I may or may not post again until I'm home on Saturday night.

In the meantime, checkout my website. There's a link on the left. The new cover for my November release, PLAIN JANE'S PRINCE CHARMING, and an excerpt from the book are there. I finally sent info so the site could be updated! About time, I know. I also sent a revised bio since the current one has a living in our old house and fails to mention kidlet number three except in utero. Poor baby. I never did send out birth announcements for number three. I just bought one that I could print out and stick in her baby book.

Until later or maybe Saturday. Take care! xoxox

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I think I may have mentioned before that without deadlines I don't get anything written. Whatever time I'm given is how long it will take me to write the synopsis, the proposal or the entire book. There's something about feeling as though a loaded gun is pointed at my head that ups my productivity. I thrive on the pressure. I can't help it. So when my editor reminded me we didn't set a deadline for the proposal and we should, I actually got excited when I had the date. (September 7th if anyone cares.)

It's sad really.

I mean, seriously, if one of the kidlets pulled this with a school project, they would be in big trouble. What kind of example am I setting for my children?

So besides asking for the Invasion DVD and a spa pedicure for my birthday, I'm going to see if I can give myself a dose of discipline. Not sure how I will do this so if anyone has any suggestions or advice, please share!

Monday, August 21, 2006

What Should I Ask For?

Hubby wants to know what I want for birthday. It's coming up in a few days. Last year, it was so easy. I wanted to see ROTS (again) and a life-sized Anakin cut-out. This year with the new house and everything we still need to do and buy for it, I just don't know. So please, if you have any ideas, post them in the comment section. I'd love to hear what you think!

I did tell hubby the birthday dinner menu I wanted. I'll be driving home from Tacoma that afternoon (we get Sunday off from the class I'm taking) and hope to find enchiladas (w/goat cheese and a tomatillo sauce) on the table and a birthday cake (store bought, not homemade because I love buttercream frosting!) and chocolate chip mint ice cream for dessert.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Lost and Found

This morning our checkbook turned up missing. We searched the house, the backpack, my purse and the minivan. No sign of it. I was the last person to have it. On Tuesday. I was sitting in my minivan waiting to pick up the kids from their trip to the zoo and wrote a check. But today was Sunday. Surely I couldn't have lost it then and not realized it until now!

But after checking everything over and over again, we still couldn't find it. I told hubby to call the health club where I had parked. Yes, the checkbook was there. I guess this would be a good reason to put a phone number on your checks. At least we got it back and are thankful for the kindhearted person who found it and turned it in.

Oh, and more losses today. Teeth. Finn lost two teeth today. He actually had hubby pull them out. It will be a busy night for the toothfairy.

I also read a book called LOST AND FOUND by Carolyn Parkhurst. I'd heard about it on a TAR forum and wanted to see how she handled writing about the filming of a reality TV show. I really enjoyed it and thought the writing was great. I particularly liked how she handled the POVs throughout the story with each character having their own distinct voice. If you're a fan of shows like TAR, you might want to check it out!

Okay, back to work. I decided I want to open the book in San Francisco instead of Portland. The first leg of the race needs a major international airport nearby. I'm thinking the Marina Green would be a good starting locale. I lived a couple of blocks from there. I'd use Seattle except I've heard that TAR10 begins there. I'd already decided to go west around the world instead of east when I heard the new season does that, too. I may have to check out the spoilers to make sure I don't duplicate any locales. And I bought this big world map for my office today. It's one that I can write on and figured who these people are going to get around the world in thirty days. Once I get the race legs and locales figured out, I'll take a picture of it and post it here.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Girls Just Want to Have Fun!

It was just the female kidlets and me today. Son and hubby had two birthday parties to attend. I gotta admit, it's been a great day! Not that I mind the boy stuff like tossing a football or playing catch or having a lightsaber fight, but girlie stuff is just so much fun!

Today the three of us went to the pool, saw a play (The Monster), painted nails (purple toes, pink fingernails), went out for Mexican food (enchiladas all around), listened to The Lion King soundtrack (playing the song Can You Feel the Love Tonight over and over again), learned dance steps (using this Bella Dancerella Popstar thingy/video) and watched Hannah Montana on The Disney Channel.

On the writing front, my critique partner read my first chapter. I told her I didn't think my hero and heroine were together enough. She agreed. I've already shortened the first two scenes now I just need to rewrite the last one! I want to finish this proposal. I'll be attending a class in Tacoma for a week and would really like it out of here before I leave.


Friday, August 18, 2006

Naptime No-No

It's after 10 pm. I should be working on the proposal, but my three year old is wide awake. As I type, she's talking about being a tiny baby and playing with the cats. This after performing her versions of a Light Jig, a reel and a hardshoe routine for me and hubby. She's not yawning nor showing any signs of sleepiness.

And it's 100% my fault.

We had a busy day. The Children's Museum. Toys R Us. Lunch out. By the time we got home it was well after 2. So I put Rosie down for her nap. And she slept. And slept. And slept.

I took advantage of naptime. I checked email, got a little writing done, worked on spelling with one kidlet and worked on reading with the other.

When she finally woke up, she'd slept for over three hours. Normally this isn't a problem when she goes down for her nap on time. Needless to say I learned my lesson.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Book Soundtracks

One of my favorite things to do is find songs that fit the book I'm writing. It used to just be one song for each book, but now I've got mini-soundtracks for books that I put together using iTunes. I'll play the songs when I'm brainstorming, revising and doing copyedits. It's a quick and easy way to get my mind in the book, too. Something that comes in handy for a mom writer who often has to turn writing on and off like a switch due to the family.

These are the songs I've come up with so far for the proposal (working title: Last Man On Earth):

What's Left of Me by Nick Lachey (Jace's theme)
Dreams to Dream by Linda Rondstandt (Millie's theme)
Here Without You by 3 Doors Down
It's My Life by Bon Jovi
It's My Life by No Doubt
If You Could Read My Mind by Gordon Lightfoot (one of my favorite songs of all time!)
Theme from Amazing Race (still haven't found it to download, so I listen to it on the website!)

I'll probably add more songs as I get deeper into the book.

I'm still waffling on Far Away by Nickleback. I really like the song, but I think it might actually be for the next book, the one I've been researching and jotting notes about at 1 am. That's what happened with Here Without Out You by 3 Doors Down. I thought it was for Marriage for Baby, but it was actually for this new book!

What do you like to listen to while you work?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Another Line Bites the Dust

Rumors have been circulating since the RWA National Conference, but the fate of the Bombshell line was announced yesterday. Bombshell will cease publication after January 2007.

Having been through this myself with the Yours Truly line (my first book was the last YT published in April '99) and more recently with Silhouette Romance (the last books of that line will be out in January 2007, my heart aches for all the Bombshell writers. I hope they and their kick-ass heroines find homes with other lines or even better single title houses!

And now to end on a happier note, here are some pics from our vacation! I saw the mule deer during my morning walk the last day. There were two does and three of the cutest fawns I've ever seen. The kidlets liked riding on the bike trails. Me riding my pal Dennis.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Reality TV Hotties

I've been surfing the Internet looking for good looking hero-type guys who've been on reality TV shows. Tough job, isn't it? But I need some inspiration for my new proposal and I'm very visual when it comes to the characters in my books. And this one is a little tougher. I not only have my hero to figure out, but a pair of hotties who are competing against him and the heroine.

Tori, who often leaves comments (which lets me know someone is actually reading this thing! Thanks, Tori! xoxo), suggested Hunter Ellis from Survivor Marquesa fame. I googled him today, and I see what she means. But I need more.

Here are my requirements:
1) Athletic (must look good without a shirt on. Image google Hunter Ellis if you want to know what I'm talking about!)
2) Attractive (doesn't have to be pretty boy type, though I love those kind. Rugged will do for this book.)
3) Someone you would want to spend thirty days racing around the globe with (i.e. tense, close, dangerous, adventurous situations.)

If you have any suggestions, please speak up!

Oh, and now for our final day of Sunriver. This one is easy since we were on our way home after lunchtime. While Mackenna and I went on a one hour trailride, the rest of the family rode bikes out by the marina and stables.

Mackenna looked so tiny on this big chestnut horse named Hoover, but she had no trouble riding him. Her pony camp and birthday parties at Once Upon a Horse in West Linn served her well. I know it's just a matter of time before she starts talking about riding lessons on a more regular basis. I think most little girls go through a horse stage. (The same with a dolphin stage!) I took lessons myself. Some girls just don't grow out of it though. Other's are forced to. (Raising hand!) I think it might be time to bring my horse collection up from my parents' house and see if Mackenna and Rose want any of them for their rooms.

As for my trailride, I rode Dennis, a horse who obviously had a mind of his own. As soon as I got on, the guide told me he liked to drink water and eat grass so rein him in if I have to. But Dennis wasn't so bad. In fact, he was better behaved than the horse right in front of us. Doodle did nothing but eat grass, fart and go to the bathroom. For the entire hour. I did mention he was right in front of us, didn't I? Both Dennis and I got very tired of it so we tried to keep our distance. But we bonded from the experience and I was sad to say goodbye to him. Of course, my legs were as wobbly as linguini when I climbed off. And they hurt, too! I hadn't ridden in years, and I'd forgotten what it felt like.

After the ride, the kidlets each got to pick a souvenir. Any guesses as to who picked what?

1) A toy rifle
2) A purse with a stuffed horse in it
3) A purse with a stuffed cat in it

Monday, August 14, 2006

Too many cooks

This week there are no camps, no trips, nothing except our normal outings. Today is speech therapy for Finn and our farmshare pickup. An easy day!

Especially since my house is pretty much spotless. We were gone all day yesterday to hubby's company's picnic at Oaks Park, the oldest amusement park in the USA. It's in a part of Portland called Sellwood that's right along the Willamette River. The kidlets had a blast riding the rides, eating sno-cones and all sorts of other junk food and just being with other kids.

The house blessing went well. The kidlets thought it was hilarious that Father tossed Holy Water everywhere. He even got the cats! The only embarrassing moment was when he was about to open the door to the garage. (I would have needed a week to unpack the piles of boxes and organize it.) I told him to close his eyes. He smiled and said he'd seen the worst a garage could look. He opened the door, tossed in water and said this was pretty much the worst he'd seen!

We, however, averted a huge cooking mishaps which relates to the title of this blog. My darling hubby and I have divided up the cooking chores. He does most of the everyday dinners. I do the big meals, holidays or when we have guests. He always teases me that I don't know how to cook, goes on and on about that he's such a good cook, yadda-yadda-yadda.

Anyway, I made lasagna for our dinner with the priest on Saturday night. Between grocery shopping, the house and the kids, I was running a little late. I finished the lasagna, turned on the oven and told hubby I needed to grab a shower. I told him when the oven was finished pre-heating to put the pan in for forty-five minutes and I dashed upstairs.

When I came back downstairs, I made the salad dressing and prepared the appetizers. I didn't think to check the lasagna, after all, hubby is such a good cook. Besides all he had to do was stick it in the oven, right?


For some reason, a reason he could not explain to me except for a "that's the shelf where I cook everything", he placed the lasagna on the top shelf which meant the top layer of mozzarella burned. Badly. He said no one would notice. Yeah, right.

Needless to say I wasn't happy. (That's putting it lightly!)

Luckily we had extra mozzarella. So I scrapped off the burnt layer, added new cheese and put the lasagna in the oven on the right shelf. This time the cheese came out fine, a light golden brown color. I think hubby will now think twice about what shelf he cooks meals on!

Oh, our Sunriver trip report. When I said I never opened my computer at Sunriver again in my last report, I didn't so I never wrote about the last couple of days. But here's a quick rundown for Tuesday. We rented a raft and floated down the Deshutes River. It was a very relaxing time, though about an hour too long for the kidlets. We stopped around the 4-5 mile mark for a picnic lunch on the shore. My arms got a good workout rowing. After rafting, we went to the South Pool for a couple hours of swimming. They have a great baby pool complete with water jetting out from tall tubes like a big sprinkler. Then it was off to the village for an Italian dinner at Bella Cucina. We ended the evening with a dip in the hot tub. I think all three kidlets were asleep before their heads hit the pillow that night!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Home Before Midnight

I'm still getting used to being home. Vacation laundry is finally finished, but I was on craigslist today looking at the various vacation rentals that are available. We can't go away again right now. Still it's nice to dream. Especially when I had to put writing on hold today. We're having our house blessed on Saturday and I was warned that the priest blesses the closets, too. So guess what I did today?

I have a great book to recommend. Home Before Midnight by Virginia Kantra has it all--suspense, mystery and a very satisfying romance. It's the story about a true crime writer, his research assistant and a widowed, single-dad police detective. When the writer's wife is found dead, the writer and his assistant are the main suspects. But soon that murder is the least of their problems! Virginia is a talented, award-winning author who writes amazing characters and packs her books full of emotion and suspense. It's on the shelves now so be sure to look for it!

Sunriver trip report continues...

Monday, August 6th - I went for my morning walk (great time to brainstorm and think about the book especially since I had yet to write a word since arriving.) As I rounded a curve, I saw a buck. He stood four feet away from me and was absolutely gorgeous. Velvet covered his antlers. He munched on a shrub, his dark eyes never leaving mine. I watched him for the longest time, neither of us moving. I kept thinking "Why didn't I bring the camera?" He was truly a breathtaking animal. I sure hoped he lived in Sunriver all the time, especially during hunting season!

When I got home, we went for a family bike ride over the Deshutes River. One thing I love about Sunriver is the 37 miles or so of paved bike paths. It makes it so easy to ride or walk without worrying about cars. We met a cute black lab (aka Waterdog) who kept the kidlets entertained by chasing after a ball in the river. Rose wants a dog (a real one as she keeps telling us) so badly. She asked Santa for one for Christmas and he brought her a stuffed one. Not good enough so she's decided she will save her money (our question is what money?) and buy a real dog herself.

After the bike ride, we headed to the Marina to reserve a raft for tomorrow then took the two youngest for pony rides. Mackenna and I made a reservation to go on a trail ride on Wednesday morning.

We explored the Sunriver Lodge and paid a visit to the village where we stopped by Goody's for more candy and picked up a pizza for dinner. While the little one napped back at the house, we taught the two older ones to play Texas Hold'Em. They, of course, kept winning hands! Gotta love a six year old who goes all in on a pair of twos and ends up with a flush!

Once everyone went to bed, I actually wrote. I downloaded my pages from my Alphie. I'd been procrastinating about that! Part of me was happy with what was there, another part wished there had been more words. Still I kept going, liking what I'd written in snatches of time last week. Good thing, since that was the most work I got done the rest of the trip!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

What day is it?

Getting home from vacation usually happens on a Sunday, not a Wednesday so my interior clock is all screwed up. Today feels like a Monday.

I had a moment of panic when I couldn't find the opening scene to my new proposal. It was the one thing I knew (or at least hope) needed little work. I'd searched my iBook for it when I was at Sunriver, but couldn't find it. I checked my Alphie, not there. So I turned on my other mac today and... It wasn't there, either. I totally panicked. I searched through everything. Checked the alphie again. Went back to the iBook. Of course, the file was there. Right were it should be. I had just named it with the book titles initials and the word "proposal" instead of "prologue."

Of course my "panic" got put into perspective when I read an email from a group I belong to. We started on GEnie and migrated to yahoogroups, but we've been together for years. I joined in 1995. Anyway, one of the member's husband died last night. She didn't give any details except to say she wasn't alone and would post more later.

So while I try to work on the new story and attempt not to check my email every five minutes, I'll leave you with our next day's Sunriver vacation...

SUNDAY, August 6th: Sunday was all about having fun. The day started with an hour plus morning walk for me where I saw three different groups of mule deer and tried to figure out what the theme song of the new book would be, and a bike ride to the Fort Rock playground for everyone else. I've really been trying to do some sort of exercise every day so I didn't want to lose my momentum while on vacation. Hah! Little did I know everything we did would be working muscles I forgot I had. Or maybe I didn't have which is why the hot tub got lots of use!

We met our friends, who were visiting parents, at the Crosswater pool for an afternoon of swimming. Crosswater is just outside of Sunriver and the kind of place I could live. That is if I were rich and could afford a $750K to a million dollars on a vacation home. (Maybe I'll have to buy a lotto ticket this week!) The development is beautiful with breathtaking views and stunning houses. I had serious house envy. What my hubby saw of the golf course made him drool. The pool was even gorgeous with classy locker rooms complete with fluffy white towels and whatever beauty products you might need.

After nearly three hours of swimming, we thanked our friends, bid them a safe trip back to Washington state and headed to the village for a round of miniature golf, candy at Goody's, dinner at El Pescador and a jaunt for the kidlets through the inflatable obstacle course.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Sunriver Serenity

I'm home. I'll be honest, I wish we were still in Sunriver. It was the perfect vacation. Great weather. No injuries (last year we spent one morning at St. Charles ER with youngest kidlet.) Just simply a wonderful time.

I did not have a Wi-fi connection, and I was too busy (okay, lazy) to go find one. I was having too much fun to worry about email, etc. Of course, I came home to over 400 emails and I've yet to check the email account attached to my website. Oh, well... whatever I have to do to get through them all will be worth it.

But I did keep blogging in case I ever made it to the village with my computer in tow. So here goes:

SATURDAY, August 5th - We made it to Sunriver in time to unload the minivan, put away the groceries and change clothes for Mass. Making it to church was the only must accomplish item on our itinerary this week so we got that checked off on day one!

When we arrived at the church, we saw a family from our parish and school. The kidlets were so excited. Then during communion, we saw a family from our old parish and school. Watching my daughter's wide-eyed gaze meet her former classmate's was so heartwarming. And I was proud of both girls for not losing sight of the solemnity of the moment (receiving the Holy Eucharist), either. After Mass, we talked with both families. A sleepover with one was quickly planned once we get home. We agreed to meet the other family for swimming on Sunday. Needless to say, a good start to our vacation.

That night I finished a book that I'd been starting and stopping for the last couple of months due to life getting in the way. My good friend Tiffany had given me an autographed copy. I'd enjoyed what I'd read so far so I decided to just start over and read it straight through. That's my favorite way to read a novel even if it means staying up all night.

The Traveling Death and Resurrection Show is by Ariel Gore, who also wrote Atlas of the Human Heart. The protagonist is named Frankka (real name: Frances Catherine.) Her stage name is Saint Cat and her "trick" is the ability to bring on the stigmata during a performance. If it sounds a bit out there, it is, but I enjoyed the story. The well-written book is spiritual, irreverent and thought provoking all at the same time. I loved the saint book stories, where Frankka writes about different saints. If you are looking for something a little different, be sure to check it out. But be warned, it's nothing like any Harlequin/Silhouette you've ever read!

So that's day one. More tomorrow! Right now my furbabies need some attention.

Friday, August 04, 2006


We survived. The kidlets and I. Irish dance camp is over. The blistered feet will heal. No rolled or sprained ankles. Only a minor breakdown on mommy's part. All in all, a success. The best part? Six whole days before we have too drive back down there!

To celebrate Friday's arrival, we ate dinner at our friend's house. This friend is also a professional chef who did the food for my daughter's first communion in May. Talk about yummy food. She even made homemade blackberry ice cream! Of course now it's our turn to invite them over, and that's an intimidating thought since she's such an amazing cook. But I'll deal with that when we get home.

Now it's time to prepare for our departure tomorrow. Only one more load of laundry to do and I can finish packing. We have a cat sitter staying at the house to make sure my furbabies don't go wild while we're away so I need to leave instructions. And I really do need to download my alphie and see how much I've gotten done on the book. My goal is to come back with the proposal completed so I need to know how much I have left.

If there's wireless access, I'll blog, but if not I'll be back on Wednesday! Take care and have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 03, 2006


At approx. 1:37 am, an earthquake hit Southwest Washington State. We weren't near the epicenter, but we still felt it. The door to our bathroom rattled and creaked. The bed felt as if we'd inserted quarters to turn on the magic finger machine. The entire structure seemed to shake. I was, of course, awake. Hubby woke from a deep sleep and thought it was one of the cats.

Having been through the Northridge quake in 1971 (me) and the Loma Prieta quake in 1989 (hubby) and lots of little ones in between and since then, it was nothing new. But it was a bit strange feeling one here and not in the San Francisco Bay area where we used to live. I figured one (a bigger one) must have hit Seattle. Glad I was wrong.

The kidlets slept through the entire thing. The cats didn't seem particularly disturbed except our outdoor cat, Smalls, wanted to sleep inside and that's the first time she'd done that in weeks.

But there were a couple other cats who sat on our patio howling last night starting at 1 o'clock. Guess they must have wanted inside, too!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

When will it end?

I want this week to end.

Not only are we going on a much needed vacation in three days, but this has been the worst week of the summer. Forget the hundred degree plus days without a/c. This is worse. Two of the kids are in Irish Dance camp. Not so bad one might think, like me when I registered them in June. But Finn has class from 9-11 am. Mackenna has class from 2-4:30 pm. It's far enough away that we can't drive back and forth. Which means we are gone all day long. Meals are eaten out. I've discovered parks I never knew existed, the carousel at Jantzen Beach and how glad I am we have a membership to OMSI. Of course, that also means there's no time for writing. And I have a proposal to write. And another story idea to research. I should have been done with the proposal this week. What I have written is still on my Alphie. I'm afraid to download it in case there isn't much there. Pathetic. But I can't help it.

I really want to scream. Through a tantrum. Pull one of Rose's drama princess routines big time.

Okay, I pretty much did the last thing this morning. A couple tears may have been involved. Sniffles definitely.

But it worked.

Tomorrow I only have to make one trip down there. My adorable hubby is going to do the other one.

Of course, I'll still have two kids to keep me busy, but that's easy to do here. And I won't have to eat junk (dieting, remember) or starve. Maybe I'll even get another scene done. Or two. And start packing for our trip!

I'll even do the dishes (hubby's chore) if it means staying home for a morning!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

National Night Out

Tonight, August 1st, is National Night Out. The only reason I know that is because the kidlets and I just got back from the one thrown in our town. We were on the way home from the library when the kids saw a bounce house in the park. We stopped and had a great time.

The event was sponsored by Target and local police forces and is going on nationwide. Crash test dummies, Larry and Vince, were on hand to great the kidlets. I was surprised Rose wanted to meet them! Of course, my three kids, the perfect Pump It UP consumers who were ever born, only wanted to get into the bounce house. I finally managed to pull them away when I said there was food--hot dogs, chips, popcorn and soda. The kidlets got to check out a police car, get a jr. Deputy badge and a tattoo. I picked up a first aid book put out by the Red Cross. Had we arrived earlier, we could have been part of a door prize drawing for Target gift cards and a paper shredder.

As we were leaving, I thanked one of the Target volunteers. She said they plan to do it next year! So if you find yourself at home, next August first, you might want to check it out.