Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Cooking Class

Hubby is out of town so I did what any mom on her own with three kidlets would do on a Tuesday night...hire a babysitter and attend a cooking class. The class was called "Healthful Cooking: The Quick Vegetarian" cooking. Somewhat of an oxymoron since I think in most cases unless you're cooking everything in a stick of butter that vegetarian=healthy.

The instructor had been trained at a well-known cooking school and worked in several of the higher end NY restaurants. She had some good stories about what it was like, including one time where she had to skin (not shell) peas because they were going into a "delicate" dish.

I took the class to get some ideas for Friday meals during Lent. Pizza, enchiladas and baked Ziti get old after awhile.

We learned how to make five dishes. My favorites were the Pumpkin polenta with cranberry/blueberry chutney and roasted root veggies and this new pasta dish they came up with last Saturday night. It's so new they haven't named it yet, but it has rice noodles, toasted bread crumbs, spinach, pine nuts, currants and some other yummy stuff in it. I can't wait to try it.

The thing I really enjoyed about the class was learning how a dash of paprika could deepen the flavoring in the chick pea-roasted tomato soup and a dash of line really balanced out the other seasonings. Adding some lemon zest to the two pasta dishes she made really added to the flavors. I realized I need to experiment more when I'm cooking and not just follow the recipe verbatim.

I really enjoyed the night out and can't wait to try another class. Have you ever taken any cooking classes? Would you like to?

Link for the day: This is where I took my class.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Heroes Rocks!

A big ::smooch:: for the creative team behind Heroes. Once again they raised the bar on what good television should be. Last night's show was incredible. We found out that Claire's daddy wasn't the bad guy we thought he was, but really someone trying to give these special people a normal life. Instead of turning them over to the whoever was in charge, he was tracking them and trying to keep them hidden. Yes, HRG has done some bad things, but still he's a hero in his own right. And that last scene. WOW!

This is what X-Files should have done. It's what LOST must do to save itself. Give the audience some much needed answers.

Last night's episode brought in both Hiro (as a boy) and his father (he's the evil one) as well as the Invisible Man (who was bad in the past.) It answered questions, but raised others. The difference between Heroes and LOST is that the new questions raised by this episode make sense. They fall right into the overall plot/arc of the show, not plucked out of the sky or sea, and I know we'll get the answers when it's time. I also know I don't have to play some stupid online web game or Internet search or carry an AMEX card to learn more about the show. Sure, Heroes has extras on the website, but you can still just watch the show (like me) and know what's going on.

Writers, especially those who add action/adventure or paranormal twists to their books or write a series of books, should take note!

Link for the day: Heroes reference page! Here's the wikipedia write up on the show for those who might want to catch up or learn more about the show.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Crash Course in Hyper-T

Results for both Rose and Spirit came in this morning. Rose is fine! YAY! Spirit isn't.

As the vet suspected, Spirit has hyperthyroidism. Something I know nothing about. I posted on the climbing forum asking if anyone knew anything about the disease, and a kind soul provided me with a link to join a yahoo groups. This person had found help with a yahoo group when his kitty was diagnosed with CRF and thought I could, too. I joined and the members helped me figure out what I needed to know, ask, you name it.

Luckily Spirit is a candidate for a radioactive isotope treatment that can actually cure the disease. This treatment won't happen right away, but it's given us a lot of hope. And hubby is having a lot of fun talking about our upcoming radioactive kitty.

Needless to say, no writing yet today, but I'll get back to the book once naptime rolls around.

Don't know if you watched the Oscars last night, but it was great to see Martin Scorsese finally win. The kidlets were thrilled that former AI contestant Jennifer Hudson won. George Clooney looked handsome, as usual. And I loved all the gowns.

Were you rooting for any movies or actors last night?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Chicks Dig Scars

Last night I wanted to watch something that would make me laugh. I was surfing through all the channels and came across the movie The Replacements. I love this movie. It was just what I needed after a very long couple of days. Even the hubby joined me on the couch to watch.

Toward the end of the movie, Keanu Reeves, who plays the quarterback, gives a pep talk to his team in the huddle. That's where the title of this post comes from and I must admit I'm one chick who is partial to scars. Ben Mendoza and Chase Ryder jump to mind as heroes of mine who have have scars. More might actually now that I'm thinking about it. And, of course, there's always Anakin Skywalker.

Here's a clip from one of my favorite scenes in the movie. Enjoy!



Hope you have a great rest of the weekend! I have to teach tonight. My first time back since classes started the second weekend in February. I've missed all the kids.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Spirit

This is my furbaby, Spirit. She'll be ten years old in April. This picture has been my screen saver for the last year or so. Everyone has been spoiling her rotten.

So not only do I have a sick kitty, but a sick kidlet. The youngest crawled into bed with us and coughed most of the night. She didn't have a fever then, but has one now. The fun never ends around here.

Update on Julie and Hayley Resk: Both are out of the hospital and staying in an apartment complex near Stanford. I know where they're staying well since friends lived their both during and after we graduated.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Sick Kitty

This morning I took one of my three furbabies, Spirit, to our vet down where we used to live. I knew she hadn't been feeling well and had lost weight. We were also very late on her yearly exam. Anyway, she's sick. Very, very sick. They kept her for the day to run more tests. I'm home now so I can pick up the older kids (half-day at school) and hand-off all three to hubby so I can then head back down there (40 minute drive w/no traffic.) We won't have results until Monday, but I'm nervous and worried and very scared.

Hope your Friday is going better than mine.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sidetracked

Once I get my writing routine interrupted, it's really hard to get back on track. Although I managed a few words (maybe two pages) over the past week and a half, I wasn't working toward a daily page goal or even trying to write a specific time each day. Now, I'm struggling to get back into a routine, to reclaim that productivity that saw four, five or six pages a day. My current one to two pages is not going to cut it.

I've decided to come up with a daily page goal again, but I'm leaving off Wednesdays (finally realized meeting any sort of page goal just isn't going to happen) and Sundays. I'm starting slow. Four pages a day until March 20 when the proposal is due, then I'll up it to make sure I finish the book (due June 1) with time to spare.

As for Lent, I'm giving up ice cream and donuts. Two things I absolutely love. I decided, along with hubby's wise counsel, that giving up chocolate would not be good for any of us. Writing = chocolate around here, especially at deadline time. I'm also not going to lose my patience with hubby. He's the one who usually ends up taking my wrath if something goes wrong and that's not fair to him so I'm going to try not to let that happen these next 40 days.

I didn't watch LOST. I figure I can always watch it on the ABC website if I absolutely have to see it. But they've reached the "jump the shark" point for me and I don't know if I can go back now unless things changed drastically.

Are there any television shows you used to love that you finally gave up on?

Link for the day: Nora the piano playing cat! I saw this on the news and thought you cat lovers out there might like it if you haven't seen the clip already.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Telluride MountainFilm Festival

Last night I attended an event at Portland State University put on by their Outdoor Program to benefit PMR. They showed a bunch of outdoor related films, everything from climbing to a spoof on a guy who's passion was tubing (water, not snow.) My favorite was called The Good Fight about a man who helped save The Grand Canyon when they wanted to add a second dam and is now fighting to save the Sequoias in California.

During intermission I met two people (a very friendly and nice couple) from a climbing board I've been using for research. It's always fun to put a face to a name! I also won the "grand prize" of the raffle: a ski rack for my car, belay/rappel device, $25 gift certificate to The North Face Store, 2 day passes for The Circuit (some sort of bouldering place, I think) and a T-shirt from The Circuit. Not bad for an $8 ticket.

Have you ever won a raffle or contest? What did you win?

Link for the day: Eight Below clip! In keeping with the outdoor theme of today's blog, here's a video from Disney's Eight Below. My entire family loved this movie! Well, except for the leopard seal part.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Surprised

Last night's episode of Heroes really surprised me. Kudos to the writer(s). I thought they'd done a good job of foreshadowing something bad happening to Simone, but I thought that it would be Nathan doing something to stop her from taking what she knew public. I sat stunned at the end of the episode. Was not expecting that to happen. Great twist. And loved the key motif that's been used through several episodes. But it raises quite a few questions... Where does this leave Peter and Isaac? And what are they going to do with the body? Not sure the police would buy, "But officer I was trying to shoot an invisible man."

Also loved the little reference that Nathan made to LOST when he told Simone they'd put them all on an island and do experiments on them. I hope the LOST writers are watching Heroes and getting inspired.

I finally thought I had the perfect reason to convince hubby we should get a dog. I told him about Velvet, the lab-shepherd mix on Mount Hood, and that if we had a dog, it could keep us warm if we ever got lost hiking. First, he said we wouldn't get lost. Second, he said we still weren't getting a dog. Oh, well, it was worth a shot!

Back to writing today. Not much time, however. I have to help out at the kids' school and cut Kings Cake for their Mardi Gras celebration. Still haven't figured out what I'm giving up for Lent that starts tomorrow. Are you giving anything up?

Link for the day: : Mount Hood Rescue. An article from a local paper summing up what happened up there.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Finally...

I'm starting to feel better. The medicine really kicked in yesterday. Still going to take it easy though.

I've been following the SAR (search and rescue) operation on Mount Hood for three climbers and their dog. Great research opp since there is a SAR operation in the continuity book and my hottie hero in the Christmas book is a SAR guy so even though I'm not writing I can still feel as if I'm working on the books. Portland Mountain Rescue is up there along with PJs from the 304th, the Crag Rats and a whole lot of other people, working in freezing and white-out conditions. The rescuers are angels on the mountain with helmets instead of halos, skis and crampons instead of wings and ice axes and picks instead of harps. My prayers are with them and the climbers.

Hope you are enjoying President's Day!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Thanks!

I wanted to thank everyone who's posted get well comments and sent emails. ::smooch:: They are much appreciated. I'm going to take it easy again today and hope this is the day I start feeling better.

Update on Hayley and Julie Resk: Julie's doing well, but Hayley didn't have a good day yesterday. Please keep her and her family in your prayers.

Hope everyone has a great Sunday!

Love,
Melissa
xoxox

Friday, February 16, 2007

Arrgh...

The kidlets are off today and Monday. We had big plans to hit the mountains this weekend. The ski slope and snowshoeing, but I'm still sick and so is Rose which means we're going nowhere.

I feel almost as if someone punched the left side of my face all the way to my teeth. Guess it's time to go to the doctors. I've lost an entire week. Hardly any words let alone pages on the new proposal because my head is so fuzzy and just hurts. Not good. I can't afford not to write with the upcoming deadlines. I must get better ASAP!

Hope all of those on the East coast are staying warm and enjoying the snow! I bet the powder's amazing.

Have a fun weekend wherever you are! Anyone have any plans? If so, please tell me, so I can live vicariously. I have a feeling I'm going to be stuck in bed myself.

One more thing...

No link for the day. Instead, I thought I'd tell you about this Telluride Mountain Film Festival fundraiser benefiting PMR that I'll be attending on Tuesday night at Portland State University. Tickets are $8. If you're from the Portland area, think about going and supporting Portland Mountain Rescue.

Update: I do have a sinus infection. I now have two prescriptions to take. The doctor also said if I get another one only on the left side, he wants to do a cat scan to see if there's something on that side causing a blockage. He said it would be easy to take out if that's the case. Yep, that's exactly what I needed to hear when I feel so lousy.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Wasted Week

I survived our Valentine's dinner date. Sudafed helped. So did champagne. Seriously the dinner was lovely with a blood orange salad, mussels in a tangy curry sauce, filet mignon with mashed potatoes and a brussel sprout hash and two desserts, chocolate molten cake (can't remember exact name) and a chai caramel with pistachio crisp. They started out with appetizers and the much appreciated champagne. Each course was served with its own wine, too. They served port, tea and coffee with the dessert.

When we got home, I went straight to bed forgetting LOST was on at 10. I spent most of the night coughing. I don't get it. How can I feel worse today than yesterday? I guess this entire week is just going to be a wash. Oh, well...

Hubby loved his chocolates as well as the card I made him. I wasn't planning on making a card, but I wasn't feeling up for going to the store. I realized at 2:30 that I had to do something because he was picking up the two older kidlets at 3:00 so I cut up a bunch of my covers and made a collage. On the inside I glued the names of my heroes and wrote: No matter what the title of the book, the picture I use for inspiration or the name printed on the page... You will always be my hero.

Update on Julie and Hayley Resk: Both are out of ICU and doing well. Julie visited Hayley yesterday. That must have made for a great Valentine's for both of them.

Link for the day: The Cutting Edge! I love this movie. Anyone remember "toe pick"? I didn't include it yesterday since no one had set it to a song, but I did find this clip of the final scene. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Still not feeling good, but oh, well... I'm not going to let a little head cold ruin Valentine's day.

When I got home from picking up the youngest kidlet from preschool yesterday, I found two dozen roses waiting for me on our porch. That really surprised me. Hubby hasn't had flowers delivered in a very long time! They are gorgeous and very sweet smelling and I love them. I hope he likes what I got him!

I was wondering what to do with the blog to celebrate this 14th day of February. Here's what I came up with: Youtube videos with a few of my favorite romantic couples from film and television coupled with some of my favorite songs. Enjoy!


From Pride and Prejudice: Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett
Song: Faraway by Nickleback


From The X-Files: Mulder and Scully
Song: Keep Holding On by Avril Lavigne


From Titanic: Jack and Rose
Song: Wherever You Will Go by The Calling


From The Sound of Music: Maria and Captain Von Trapp
Song: A Whole New World from the Aladdin Soundtrack


From Star Wars Episodes 2 and 3: Anakin and Padme
Song: My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion

I hope your day is full of laughter, romance and, most importantly, love!

Melissa
xoxox

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Doggies Galore

One of my cats, Spirit, has been causing a lot of problems around here so I'm really in need of a doggy fix. Today is the second day of the Westminster Kennel Club's big dog show. This year I have a dog I'm rooting for, an old English sheep dog, who belongs to the wife of one of my goldrush buddies from trivia chat. Today's competitions will be televised tonight.

Sorry for the short post, still not feeling that great. Not even good enough to talk about Heroes!

Update: Julie and Hayley are in their respective ICU units and doing well!

Link for the day: Westminster Dog Show!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Prayers for the Resk Family

I used to belong to a bookgroup with other women from Lake Oswego, West Linn and Wilsonville, Oregon. One of the women was Julie Resk, a wonderful mom, wife and friend. We would sometimes meet once Friday a month for scrapbooking at our mutual friend's Suzannah's house.

At this moment Julie is undergoing a live liver donor operation at Stanford Hospital in order to save her daughter, Hayley, who is in need of a new liver. If you could spare a moment, please send a prayer, good wish, whatever, the Resk family's way.

For more info on Hayley and her incredible family click here. Be sure to read today's journal entry from Julie's husband Jim.

Seattle

I knew it was coming. I've been fighting it for the past week. But on the way north, the head cold from Hell hit. Hard.

I couldn't let it stop me. The kidlets have been looking forward to Seattle since last year when we couldn't go due to them changing dance schools and some stupid rules about transfers in Irish dance. So on Friday I ignored the sneezing, the runny nose and headache. We parked the car at the hotel in Lower Queen Anne, walked to McMenamin's for dinner, walked to the Seattle Center to pick up the kidlets numbers and then walked home through the Seattle Center. It was after 7 pm and over 60 degrees. A beautiful night. The kids played in the giant fountain and got soaked. We went back to the hotel and I crashed.

The next day at the Feis I felt worse, but what's a mom going do? We don't get sick days. The kidlets did great at the dance competition. Finn placed in two of this three dances. Mackenna placed in six of her nine. So I forged on. Through another walk around the Seattle Center, to Mass and to dinner at T.S. McHughs, an Irish Pub. We went back to the hotel and I crashed.

On Sunday, I didn't even get up. The plan was to go to the science place at the Seattle Center. I told everyone to go. Have fun. I'd meet them in the lobby at noon. They came back at 11:30. I felt better. Good enough to stop by and drop off my upcoming April release (a box of them arrived last week) to the woman who's house I stayed at during my class in August and September. Of course, by the time I got home, all I could do was crawl into bed leaving hubby to help out in the class I teach at church on with nineteen 3-6 year olds.

I woke up this morning feeling a little better. I'm hoping I'm through the worst of it.

So that was my weekend. How was yours?

Link for the day: The Amazing Race Sweepstakes! My favorite reality TV show is giving away a trip. All you have to do is find the Travelocity gnome and figure out the mysterious destination. It's easy. I figured it out with only a couple clues. Try it. You might be the winner!

Friday, February 09, 2007

A new 'do

I finally got sick and tired of my hair and managed to get an appointment for a haircut yesterday. Called around 12:30 was in there at 2:30. The first thing my hair stylist asked me about was my college reunion. That meant I had not been there since the beginning of October. Yikes! No wonder I was having so many bad hair days and had resorted to a ponytail. I really have no concept of time when it comes to some things. My hair being one of them. The kidlets noticed the new 'do before hubby. Not sure if that's a good sign or not. But he says he really likes it. She left the length and did a lot of layering. I'm just happy the ponytail is gone!

More pages written! I rewrote a couple of things in the Christmas book scene after consulting with my SAR expert. I also worked on the second scene in the Wedding Dress book.

I managed to connect with the Forest Service person in Idaho and talk about the wilderness setting for the Wedding Dress book. She gave me a great description of the cabin. It has a wood stove so I won't have to worry about Serena and Kane becoming hypothermic! There are also bunk beds. Not exactly romantic, but I'll make it work. She also provided me with a website with pictures that I still need to check out.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I love researching things. I go totally overboard, but I've learned that a lot of the good stuff in my stories and especially my characters come from things I find out in the research phase. Some little tidbit sends the gears in my brain off in a totally new and unexpected direction. I love when this happens.

My research notes are usually hand-scribbled. I go over them a few times filling in the blanks. Sometimes I transcribe them. More often not. For the race book, I would cut and paste things into my manuscript so when I got to that part of the story I'd have everything I'd need.

Speaking of research, I watched an amazing movie last night. Touching the Void, based on the book by Joe Simpson. An epic climb flick, but it's more about the will to survive than it is about climbing. The ultimate in man against himself. Climbing, at least from what I've learned so far having never tried it myself, seems to be more about challenging one's self than anything else. A climber cannot conquer a mountain any more than a sailor the sea. Both are merely guests and should treat their hosts with the respect they deserve. The one part of the film I found most disturbing was when Joe, raised Catholic, talked about his lack of belief in God. Still I highly recommend the film whether you like climbing or not.

We're heading north to the land of the original Starbucks and the Space Needle. Have a fun weekend! I'll talk to you on Monday!

Link for the day: The trailer for Touching the Void!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Getting Lost?

Another good writing day (five pages) even though I didn't get started until after the kidlets went to bed. I wrote the opening scene (prologue, actually) to the Christmas book after speaking with the PMR member, who was such a big help on the last book.

He helped me figure out how to take out my climbers and also explained what that search and rescue (SAR) operation might be like. Most of this is backstory, but listening to him and hearing stories about his own climbing experiences really helped bring my hottie SAR hero to life. Of course, I've yet to name the hero and heroine of this book so they were tagged "hottie" and "heroine" throughout the scene!

I picked up my new camera and have the battery charging. I can't wait to take some shots and see how they turn out.

I also watched LOST. I wasn't impressed. I'll give it another show, maybe two for nostalgia sake to redeem itself or I'm getting lost the next Wednesday night. I don't have an hour to waste on bad television. It's hard enough to find an hour for good television. In case, you're wondering what constitutes good television for me: The Amazing Race (premieres really soon!), Heroes & The Office.

Today, I need to write, pack and contact a couple of friends up north. We're off to Seattle this weekend for an Irish dance feis. It's that time of year. Again. At least I may finally have some time to read (in between the dances) so that's something to look forward to! I really do enjoy watching the kidlets dance. Nothing can put a bigger smile on my face than seeing them reel and jig! Just wish it didn't take so long to get through all the various dances and awards. That's the hardest part. Especially with the youngest one who's too little to dance herself.

Link for the day: Pure power! Watch this video and you'll see how I've decided to kill the two climbers in my Christmas book.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

LOST Returns

I met my NaNoWriMo friend at Papacinno's again on Tuesday morning. We wrote until noon. By they time I walked out and crossed the street to have lunch at Chez Jose, I had a scene and a half written! Six pages in case you were interested. I need to fill in some stuff, especially continuity elements and characters, but still a very productive day.

In the afternoon, I did a little research on the two upcoming books. Learned a few things about avalanches that I didn't know. Decided what flowers my heroine, Serena, might have at her wedding thanks to help from floral designer and friend Anne Ryan who wrote the book Design on a Lime. Tried to figure out how to kill two climbers for the Christmas book. Meant to call the Clearwater National Forest Service to talk to a different person for more information about the cabin, but by the time I remembered it was too late.

Since it's Wednesday, the busy day of my week, my only goal is to make it all the places I need to be on time. I also need to get down to Lake Oswego and pick up my new camera. A friend bought it for me at a camera store in Portland.

I almost forgot that LOST returns tonight. It's been off for so long, I'd forgotten about the tailies and others. I'll be interested to see if I like it as much as Heroes.

Don't forget, Valentine's Day is only a week away. Start thinking about what you might want to do for your sweetheart. I have a babysitter coming that night so I can take hubby out for dinner. Usually we don't go out, but he took such good care of me during my deadline I want to take care of him!

Link for the day: A movie trailer for the upcoming Shrek 3 that will be out in May. I just love Puss in Boots. Those big eyes of his get me every time!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I knew it!

Monday turned out to be an all-around great day.

First I got to watch Heroes. A week ago I told you who I thought was Claire's father. Turns out I was right! Of course, any fan could have seen that one coming a mile away. Still I was happy to have figured that one out.

Loved the episode. Again. I know I'm sounding like a broken record. Sorry, but... Hiro outsmarting his father was classic. The painting of Isaac and Simone turning out to be the one of them on the building was cool. Peter crashing into the taxi took me by surprise. The whole Sylar thread was just sick. Nikki being locked in the mirror was freaky, but as soon as I saw the tattoo I knew it was Jessica. The previews for next week looked great.

Another reason Monday turned out to be a good day was I finally have a setting for my plane incident in my book. A pilot friend has been helping me. He'd recommended a site, but when I googled it today, I realized it wouldn't work. However that lead me to Clearwater National Forest in Idaho and one phone call got me to a wonderful woman who helped me find a setting complete with wildlife, fauna and an abandoned cabin where my characters can take shelter from the cold!

The final reason Monday was a great day...my AOL Goldrush T-shirt arrived. Yes, I won one! Even though aol woes struck and I thought I'd never be able to finish fast enough. Still I never gave up hope. Melissa = hopeful optimist. And my reward arrived today.

If you're new to the blog, in the fall AOL ran an online game called Goldrush, a joint venture with Mark Burnett of Survivor fame. I was addicted to it. Completely. So winning something, even an XL black shirt with a small gold bar on the front and a website url on the back, is just so cool to me. Now I'm just hoping they do a Goldrush2!!!! Not when I'm on deadline, either. Can you imagine? When would I have time to write with a game to win?

Link for the day: Shameless bragging! Yes, my name is on the list. Top 100 player for round 11. They never posted the Top 100 for rounds 12 and 13. I wish they would because I had really good times for those rounds, too.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Where could it be?

The kidlets are in love with the Mt. Bachelor Avalanche Rescue K9 Dogs I posted a link for last week. They each named a stuffed dog after one of the real dogs. Mackenna = Salcha. Finn = Kenai (the boy dog, of course). Rose = Kasha.

I emailed the BARK dogs webmaster and asked if he would add kid-sized T-shirts to his BARK dogs CafĂ© Press store . He did, so I ordered three on-line. Everything was going great with until I went to pay. My credit card wasn't in my wallet. I knew I'd seen it somewhere (during deadline time which meant it could have been anywhere) so I had to go through…well, pretty much everything in the house. That included my purse.

I couldn't remember the last time I'd cleaned my purse (I'm so not a cleaner) and this is what I found inside my red Prada knock-off:

- Our Lady of the Lake Raffle Order form dated 2001 (old school, but we didn't attend then since our oldest would have only been 3!)
- Child release ticket from My Bachelor that you need to turn in to pick up kids from ski school (they're home with us so I guess we didn't need the ticket after all!)
- 30 hairbands in a zipper compartment on the outside (variety of colors)
- Earphones for new phone
- Pink Prada-knockoff wallet (didn't clean this out)
- Car keys
- 2 $100 Safeway gift cards ($39 left on one, $7 on the other)
- 1 $50 Pottery Barn gift card
- 1 small candy cane (still in wrapper thank goodness!)
- 1 pair of knit brown gloves
- 1 pair of Pendleton lambswool red gloves
- 2 lipsticks (Dusty Rose & Clearly Rose)
- 1 Plump your pucker lip balm
- Lots-o-receipts and business cards
- Prayer cards
- Rosary
- 3 free kid-treats coupons for Dairy Queen
- 1 $2 gift Baskin Robbins gift certificate
- 2 cards good for 1 free taco at Who-Song & Larry's
- 4 movie stubs dated 11/27/04 for the 7:25 PM showing of Bridget Jones Edge of Reason
- Email address for a woman named Katherine from Vancouver B.C. who I sat next to on an Alaska Air flight in June 2005. I just remembered… I need to send her a book. Her father had died (like my heroine Jane in the book I'd been writing at the time) and I talked to her about that from SJC to PDX.
- Beading sample for my daughter's first communion dress (May 2006) that I think I was supposed to return
- Downtown Portland parking receipt from 4/2/06. Our anniversary.
- A note to buy the screenplay writing book "Save the Cat" by Blake Snyder
- 4 USPS delivery confirmation slips from December
- 2 packages of double antibiotic ointment from when Rose got stitches in 8/05
- Way too much loose change

Needless to say, my credit card was not in my purse. I finally found it in the front pocket my organizer. Not sure what it was doing there, but I got the T-shirts ordered. I have three happy kidlets who will now get a lesson in patience waiting for them to arrive.

I really can't let my purse go that long again. Granted, many (but not all) of the really old stuff was hidden away in zippered pouches, hidden pockets, but still... Why am I carrying around two pairs of gloves at the same time? And all those ice cream gift certificates? That's not going to help the diet now that I know they are there. Do you know what's in your purse?

Link for the day: A day in the life of a bestselling suspense writer. Check out this great clip from the oh-so-talented and funny Lisa Gardner.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

At least it's not broken...

We ended up at Urgent Care last night. At the end of the season swim team party, the oldest kidlet hit her hand against hubby while swimming and did something to her finger and hand. We were concerned she'd broke something, but the x-rays didn't show a fracture.

This is the same kid who sprained her ankle at age 6, shook it off when hubby said she was fine (no one told me about the fall!) and still competed at an Irish dance competition and placed so obviously her level of pain toleration is different than many.

The youngest was worried they were going to cut her sister's finger off so Rose was much relieved all five digits were still attached to Mackenna's hand when we left!

This weekend is jam-packed with birthday parties, soccer, dance and of course, Super Bowl Sunday. No big game plans, but hubby will be glued to the tube.

Me? I don't really care that much. My die-hard-fan-sit-in-the-pouring-rain-at-Candlestick-49er-season-ticket-holder-days are long over. Now I'd rather spend three hours reading a book. Or going on a hike. Or shopping.

But I'm still rooting for the Colts. I'd like to see Peyton Manning get the ring.

Link for the day: The power of love... I found this romance (people, not books) related article while doing research. I was looking up recent mountain climbing deaths (need to kill off a couple of climbers for the book due after the continuity one) and this article about love was a link on the page.

Have a great weekend! I'm taking tomorrow off. Talk to you on Monday!

Friday, February 02, 2007

A new story

It's going to be interesting going from one project to another with no down time in between. I've never done that before.

I've been doing a little research so I could dive right into the story once the other book was finished, but I'm still a little nervous. Here's what I know about the story:

Working Title: The Wedding Dress and Mr. Wrong
Heroine: Serena (looks like Sienna Miller)
Heroine's occupation: Wedding dress designer
Hero: Kane (looks like Gabriel Aubry)
Hero's occupation: Pilot (has own plane and flies people around)
Proposal: Due March 20
Manuscript: Due June 1

It's part of a six book continuity series called THE WEDDING PLANNERS that six of us former Silhouette Romance authors came up with. It's set in Boston, though some of my story takes place in the wilderness of Northern Idaho. I'm book three.

I rewrote the synopsis last night. It's still not right so that means I probably don't know the characters well enough to figure out the true black moment/resolution. There's only way for me to get to know them better and that's start writing the book. Character interviews and worksheets no longer cut it for me. I need to hear them in my head and see the words on the page.

I actually watched an entire movie last night. First one in a while. I was watching it for pseudo research for the book due in December. I'd been given a couple of titles to watch by a guy who runs a climbing forum where I've been hanging out and reading posts. This movie was not on the list, but the others weren't available so I picked it up.

The movie was called Vertical Limit. It was predictable and over the top, but had some interesting stunts. I'm not a climber so I have no idea how realistic it was or not. My favorite part was actually the opening sequence as brother, sister and father were rock climbing and what happens there sets the characters up for the rest of the story.

The movie's redeeming factor was the yummy eye candy Chris O'Donnell and Nicholas Lea. Of course, they were wearing parkas, hats and backpacks most of the movie, but Chris had great hair and ya gotta love Krycek (X-Files fanatic here!)

Link for the day: Vertical Limit Trailer!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Win, Lose or...Wed!

Last Man On Earth has been accepted with no revisions!!! Huge sigh of relief on this end, and I think I'll have to break out the bubbly tonight to celebrate. Here's a snippet of what my editor had to say:

"I went through a number of different emotions whilst reading; I felt Millie's fear before the abseil, and her exhilaration when she skydived, I felt absolutely gleeful when Millie stepped out in a bikini and saw the men's reaction (one of those "yeah!" moments!) and I cried at the end. And THAT tango seen is hot!!"

This book, which takes place in eight countries, took lots and lots of research. Thank goodness for google and some people, experts really, who offered me help.

My best friend's husband provided info on South Africa and his experience at the Monza racetrack outside of Milan. A Portland Mountain Rescue member, who I had contacted about research for the two upcoming books, also helped me with the skydiving scene and told me how Millie could end up stumbling while wearing crampons and be caught by Jace on the Argentine glacier. My wonderful critique partner, a fan of Dancing with the Stars, told tell me I had to make the tango scene sexier and provided some helpful advice and links. And I've already mentioned the great help I received from PortlandHikers.com on the Mount St. Helens recreation area.

The book also has a new title: Win, Lose or...Wed! It'll be out in both the US and UK in December 2007!

That's about it today. Still playing catch-up so I can get to work on the next book!

Link for the day: Now this is a really fat cat!