Saturday, September 30, 2006

Fantasy Football

Each year, my brother-in-law sets up a fantasy football league for friends and family. Hubby and I coach a team called The Ratdogs. It was either that, The Yip-Yips or The Ankle Biters. A Chihauhau on a helmet is our team symbol. Our team motto: This is where the fun begins.

Last year, the Ratdogs came in last. No one ever expects much from our team. Sad to say, but true. We often get busy and forget to change our line-up. But this season is different. Going into Week #4 of this season, The Ratdogs are tied with the Havocs for first place. YAY! Let's hope our guys keep it up for the rest of the season. I'd like to win the whole thing this year. I'm sure hubby would, too.

Here's our team:

QB Trent Green KC
QB Chris Simms TB
QB Charlie Frye CLE
QB Chad Pennington NYJ
RB Michael Robinson SF
RB Mike Anderson BAL
RB Kevan Barlow NYJ
RB Tatum Bell DEN
RB Clinton Portis WA
RB Shaun Alexander SEA
WR Ernest Wilford JAC
WR Eddie Kennison KC
WR Deion Branch SEA
WR Plaxico Burress NYG
WR Santana Moss WAS
WR Anquan Boldin ARI
TE Itula Mili SEA
TE Kellen Winslow CLE
PK Mike Vanderjagt DAL
PK Jay Feely NYG
DF Phi Eagles PHI
DF Nyg Giants NYG


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

RT Review

A very good day. Fellow SR/HR writer Shirley Jump emailed me my Romantic Times review for my November release Plain Jane's Prince Charming:

Asking Chase Ryder, the CEO of Cyberworx, for his help organizing a fundraiser for her friend's leukemia-stricken daughter is a gutsy move for barista Jane Dawson, but it pays off. He becomes personally involved in the project -- and in Jane's life. Everything's fine, until Chase realizes how deep his feelings run and he pulls back. He offers to finance Jane's education and a business, which only adds to her heartache. She wants Chase's love, not his money. Melissa McClone's Plain Jane's Prince Charming (4) is a lovely blend of fantasy and reality. All of the characters ring true, but Chase in particular is well handled.

Reviews are one of those double-edged swords for writers. You want to look, then sometimes you wish you hadn't. But it's sure nice when they like the book, especially the characters.

I was head over heels with Chase, flaws and all. I figure if I can't fall in love with the hero then how can the heroine (or the reader!) Of course, having met his real life inspiration helped, too!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Last night I watched two shows: Heroes and Studio 60. I liked both of them, but I was laughing over the countdown clock in Matthew Perry's office in Studio 60. The clock counted down the time to the start of next show. That is, the time left for him to write the script and get it all put together. He'd stared at the clock with a look of horror on his face. I know just how he felt.

Last year about this time, I was in the midst of a really tight deadline. I posted daily updates as I tried to make my November 1 deadline for my book Plain Jane's Prince Charming. That day was also the release day for the Star Wars Revenge of the Sith DVD so many Star Wars and Hayden Christensen websites had countdown clocks.

I'd watch the time click off the counters thinking I could have written three words. No four. Five. I finally stopped going there. Of course, as the deadline got closer and closer, I stopped going anywhere on-line except this blog. I crawled deeper and deeper into what I call the cave, the place where most of my writing takes place. It's not a real place or at least it hasn't been since we moved last year. My cave is actually a state of mind where nothing distracts me (with the exception of kidlets bleeding and smoke alarms.)

After that deadline, I haven't gone there too much. But with revisions on this proposal to get done I think I may have to pay it a visit soon! Do you have your own cave you escape or go to?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Back home

I got home tonight and had about an hour to myself. I gave the furbabies some love, ate dinner and put on Thursday's season premiere of The Office that hubby taped for me. It wasn't what I expected, but I was happy Pam broke up with Ray and that hope exists for her and Jim. Of course, Jim now works at a different office with totally boring, not to mention one psycho full-of-rage coworker.

I also watched The Amazing Race. Important rule to remember if you are headed in a different direction than another team, make sure you're the ones going in the right direction. But even without getting lost, I think the shooting flaming arrows archery roadblock would have knocked the rah-rah girls out of the race.

Tonight I asked my brother-in-law tonight if he'd try out for TAR with me. I'd convinced him to do it once, but then I got pregnant with the youngest kidlet. This time he said no. So did my best friend Debbie. Darn. I can't ask my hubby. He's way too competitive. We'd fight and argue and it wouldn't be good. When we were dating, I went sailing with him during a practice race on the SF Bay. I saw a completely different side to him. I ended up with a broken thumb when I couldn't tail the line fast enough and got hit with the wench handle. So much for the race being practice!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

In Tacoma Again

I'm back in Tacoma attending the second part of the class I started in August. My power cord died so I've been sans computer until last night. Besides finding a place that sells mac stuff, I also drove through the beautiful Pt. Defiance Park and had dinner at Duke's. The grilled salmon with blueberries and goat cheese was to die for. The combo of tastes incredible. So if you are in the Seattle are go to any one of the many Duke's and order that. You won't be disappointed.

On the writing front, my editor asked for revisions on The Last Man on Earth this week. Need to add more characters and emotion, need to take out a lot of the reality show. I'm not surprised so it was easy to come up with a plan to fix it and she agreed. Now I just have to get it done, but that hasn't been easy.

Friends from our former parish lost their son this week. He was a freshman in high school. It's been and will continue to be a difficult time for all those who knew and loved him and now must go on. If praying is something you do, please add William and his family to your prayer list. And also if you have kidlets, give them a big hug and tell them how much you love them. I'm really missing mine right now. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Amigas Cheetahs

Cheetah Girl fever has hit our house. The eldest kidlet attended their concert on Sunday (Everlife and Hannah Montana also performed) and is now the proud owner of a pink Cheetah Girl warm-up jacket that she'd wear to bed if we let her.

If you don't have any tweeners or cable, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. Or why I know that one of the Cheetah Girls celebrated her birthday on Saturday.

But ever since the Cheetah Girl 2 movie premiered on The Disney Channel last month, that's all we've heard about and listened to at home and in the car. Our youngest kidlet, age 3, can sing all the songs including a sweet lullaby in Spanish. Our boy kidlet, age 6, does his own version of Cheetah hip-hop dance moves.

It was the same when High School Musical premiered. Marketing genius, I tell you. I wonder if there is anything PR wise that authors can learn from this!

Busy, busy, busy!

Sorry for not posting. Life's getting in the way. And I've been writing. Which is a very good thing. I'm sure my agent would agree!

Did you catch the premiere of The Amazing Race on Sunday? Eliminating a team midway through the first leg caught me totally off-guard. But wow! I like the unexpected. I can't wait to see what else they have in store for the season. As for the teams, I haven't picked my favorite yet. I need to know a bit more about them, but I was proud of the single moms for making it up that wall. I don't think I could have done that!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Gold Rush

Okay, I'm hooked. AOL has this new online competition called Gold Rush and I am having so much fun. I love puzzles, codes and trivia so this is right up my alley. Reality TV for us stay-at-home moms. You can find the game at I finished the final challenge of round 1 today and it was so hard. I had to get help since I can't read Braille. Is anyone else playing? I need some gold buddies!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

It's here!

It's after 6 pm, but my UPS guy is still hard at work. He just delivered a box to my door. I knew from the box size and familiar diamond pattern exactly what was inside. Not one to wait, I ripped off the tape as soon as I got inside the door. And I must admit, I got a little misty-eyed when I pulled out a copy of my November release. I saw the same picture that was on the Mills & Boon hardcover, but this was a paperback with a teal edge and the words Silhouette Romance. My last SR. It's definitely a bittersweet moment.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

American Idol Live

I attended the AI Live concert on September 1st at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. I've watched the show since the first season and have wanted to go to one of the concerts since Kelly Clarkson won. Now that the kidlets are getting older, watching has become a family affair. They aren't allowed to watch the entire show due to bedtime, but they pick their favorites and tell me who to vote for once the polls open. So far, they are two for two. Last year at the beginning of the season, Mackenna picked Carrie. Finn picked Bo. Carrie Underwood won! This season, Mackenna picked Katharine. Finn picked Taylor. And Taylor won! It'll be interesting to see their choices this year.

Our good friends, Rita and Steven, invited us to attend and watch from their suite. Talk about getting spoiled! Appetizers, a fajita dinner, desserts, snacks and a person to get you drinks. The experience reminded me of flying first class when I worked for UAL. Once you were back in coach, you knew what you were missing when the flight attendant closed the curtain and it was never quite the same again.

First on stage was Mandesa with her booming diva voice. She belted out a couple of tunes and then sang a nice duet with Ace. What can I say about Ace? I love Ace. Give me a pretty boy who can sing (and yes, people, he can sing) and I'm in heaven. I was in heaven that night. As hubby (who truly is the most understanding and fantastic husband in the world) said every time Ace got on stage, "There's your boy." (To any new readers, check out my Meeting the Muse post from 7/05 just to see how cool my hubby is with all my crushes!)

Next up was Lisa who sang a wonderful cover of Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me while playing a keyboard. She and "her best friend" Paris sang a duet. Paris looked all grown up. She'd slimmed down and styled up, but her great voice was the same. Bucky did his cowboy rocker thang and a cute duet of Grease's You're the One the I want with Kellie Pickler. Kellie looked great. I loved her boots. I want her boots. Black. Heels. Gorgeous. Unfortunately hubby didn't get a shot of the boots. After a break, Chris rocked the house. Elliot sang, too. The four guys (Chris, Elliot, Bucky and Ace) did a great rendition of a Guns N Roses that my mind has gone blank on the title. But it was one of my favorite performances of the night.

Katharine sang Under the Cherry Blossom and Somewhere over the Rainbow. Good, but a bit old since it seems like that's all we ever hear her sing. Taylor entered through the side, came down through the audience and was just so much fun. That man has so much energy. He really had people moving! During one song we got to hear him play the harmonica. The crowd was going crazy. He sang the very touching Do I Make You Proud, too.

All ten of the finalists sang We Are the Champions during the encore. Seeing everyone together on stage was great and I do think this was the most talented bunch so far. I was amazed at how far the contestants had come since their first auditions in front of Randy, Paula and Simon. They were all seasoned pros now. I can't wait to see what next seasons contestant are like!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I'm Back!

The proposal for LAST MAN ON EARTH is off, and I'm no longer grounded. Of course, I must remained disciplined and really figure out a doable writing schedule so this doesn't happen again.

I can't even remember the last time I posted so I won't bore you with what's been going on. Think first week of school, back to all the extra-curricular activities and writing if you really must know. I have a feeling that's my life for the next fifteen or so years.

The youngest kidlet starts preschool in the morning. She'll be gone three mornings a week for three hours each day. I don't know what I'll do with myself! No, wait, I do. I'll write!

As for the proposal, I had fun writing it. I struggled a bit with the hero, Jace Westfall. He's still a bit rough around the edges and had too many girly thoughts in the intial drafts, but he's finally coming together and more man-like. I really do like my heroine Millie. But I made the big mistake again, forgetting the romance, and it took a bit of revising so my hero and heroine didn't come across as hating each other in the second scene of chapter three. There was so much conflict there, but they were also very mean to each other. Thank goodness for the delete key. I just got rid of, oh, about four pages, and started over. It's much better now. I really do need to stick another Post-it note on my screen that says "It's a Romance, Stupid!" You'd think by now, I wouldn't forget. Oh, well... It's probably because I'm having so much fun with the reality TV aspect.

I've been putting together the race (South/North around the Globe) and writing clues as I figure out stops. If anyone wants to see the one I used in the proposal and solve it, let me know and I'll post it in the comment section.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Hubby has gotten tough on me and threatened to do something to my computer to keep me off the Internet if I don't get the proposal finished. Since I'm a technophobe and he's a technogeek, I know he can do it and I'd be off-line completely.

The reason for this tough love? I spent a bunch of time on my AI concert report only to have it disappear when I tried to upload it. Of course he thought I was writing at the time until I asked for his help. Needless to say, he thinks I need to be more disciplined. I know he's right since I just blogged about that recently.

So until the proposal is done, I'm grounded. No blogs, no gossip sites, nothing I normally do on a daily basis except email.

Wish me luck!

Friday, September 01, 2006

So Excited!

Hubby made it home yesterday. Guess who was on his flight? Taylor Hicks!

I'm excited because tonight we will be seeing Taylor and the rest of the American Idol finalists in concert at the Rose Garden! I can't wait!! I've been watching the show since it premiered and have always wanted to see them in person. Full report tomorrow!

Does anyone have a favorite idol?

Oh, and I wanted to tell you about the launch of a new blog: It's for lovers of category romance. Today is the big launch!