Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Final Tally

New pages written: 0 (goal: 6.2 pages per day)
Old pages revised on paper: 217
Pages of revisions typed in: 217
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 0
Total page count to date: 217 (goal: 200) for sure closer to 215 now.
Days remaining until D-day: 0 days
Emails from editor in UK: 2 (title brainstorming)
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: 2 chunks of a Hershey bar
Junk food consumed: Burgerville meal
Exercise: none
Television watched: none
Tears: none
Link for the day: Meet Salcha! She is a member of the avalanche rescue K-9 team at Mt. Bachelor. I saw her on Friday when I was skiing. What a beauty! Check out the website while you're there. Very cool dogs doing important work! They need donations, too!

I just emailed the book. I'm so tired, but today is my busy day so there would be no time to write.

Thanks for all your supportive comments and chocolate! They really got me through the crunch time.

Now I'm going to sleep!


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

One day to D-day

Monday Tally

New pages written: 0 (goal: 6.2 pages per day)
Old pages revised on paper: lots
Pages of revisions typed in: lots
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: -5
Total page count to date: 217 (goal: 200) for sure closer to 215 now.
Days remaining until D-day: 1 days
Emails from editor in UK: 2 (she wanted to know about the ending since they are coming up with a new title, plus I told her three scenes that could be possible covers.)
Emails from agent in NY: 0 (but I got a phone call from her touching base as to where I am with projects and letting me know they received the contracts.)

Chocolate consumed: Nestle tollhouse semisweet chocolate chips
Junk food consumed: bubble gum
Exercise: Pilates session
Television watched: Heroes
Tears: A couple for Barbaro. Such a beautiful animal! I was so into horses when I was younger.
Link for the day: Check it out! This really put a smile on my face.

I managed to revise Chapter nine before Pilates class and rewrite chapters ten and eleven afterwards. I spent the rest of my day trying to tighten and cut pages from the entire manuscript.

I did take a break and enjoy Heroes tonight. Lots of questions arose from tonight's episode though.

The invisible man is very cool. I'm so glad Peter has someone to help him.

I was also happy to see Claire and Zack becoming friends again. She also needs someone to help her. Someone she can trust and rescue her from her strange father.

I am curious as to who Claire's biological father is. My initial guess is Nathan Petrelli. I'm only guessing due to his shirt. It looked like something the future congressman who flies would wear.

I'm wondering what's going to happen to Claire's dad. Did you think for one minute that Sylar was dead? I sure didn't. It's sort of like all those teenage girls in horror movies who either walk into scary looking houses or stay in them when the electricity goes out and they hear a strange noise. They get exactly what they deserve.

I'm wondering what power the cop's baby will have. Also, how does his wife know it's her husband's and not the other police officer she was sleeping with? I guess if the kid has no super power we'll know who the biological dad really is!

Biggest surprise of the evening next to Claire finding her mom was Hiro's father. Who is he? And what makes him so powerful?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Almost there

Ski Weekend Tally

New pages written: 6 (goal: 6.2 pages per day)
Old pages revised on paper: 0
Pages of revisions typed in: none
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 0
Total page count to date: 222 (goal: 200) for sure closer to 215 now.
Days remaining until D-day: 2 days (YIKES!)
Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: ice cream
Junk food consumed: McDonald's filet of fish meal with ice tea
Exercise: none (legs still store from skiing)
Television watched: none
Tears: None .
Link for the day: These guys rock! If you want to see my fave new site, check out this link. The wonderful members here helped me with a setting for the final scene of my manuscript.

We're home. I have a complete. I now have two days to turn it into something a whole lot better than what's there now.

Of course, I need to sleep first. It's 2:30 am and I'm tired.

Wish me luck. Send lots of virtual chocolate. I'm really going to need it!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Update from Bend

We had another beautiful, sunny day of skiing. Blue skies at the top of the mountain, but a blanket of fog over the town of Bend. It would have made a great picture had I had a camera. We stopped at three places on the way down here to buy the camera I wanted, Canon SD800is, but all three were sold out. After doing the research (me, not hubby) I knew what I wanted and decided to wait.

My legs are more sore today. Turns out my friend used to be a member of the Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Team when she was in high school. Even though that was twenty years ago, she's super fast. Keeping up was a near impossibility for both hubby and I, but it was fun to try! I'd love to be that excellent a skier someday.

Last night we dragged the kids from the slope to Mass. Poor Finn fell asleep. Afterwards, we met our friends for dinner at a Mexican restaurant in downtown Bend then it was home to hot tub and then crash. Everyone slept very well.

Everyone is going sledding this morning. (Once they are all up!) I'm staying home to write. Better get to it!

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday fun

Friday Tally

New pages written: 6 (goal: 6.2 pages per day)
Old pages revised on paper: none
Pages of revisions typed in: none
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 0
Total page count to date: 212 (goal: 200) for sure closer to 215 now.
Days remaining until D-day: 5 days
Emails from editor in UK: 1 (asking me whether I would have the manuscript done by the 31st. I said yes!)
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: Peanut m&ms at lunch, German chocolate cake slice at dinner
Junk food consumed: soda and wine
Exercise: Skiing!
Television watched: none
Tears: none
Link for the day: Mt Bachelor! This is where we are skiing this weekend.

I managed to get a scene written last night after everyone went to bed. I'll try to do the same thing tonight.

We're having a blast. Skiing has been so much fun. My legs are sore and I realize just how out of shape I am, but it's been a blast. The kidlets are loving ski school. Mackenna moved up a level; Finn moved up two levels. Rose didn't hate day care, but she didn't exactly love it, either, and cried the last hour.

Had a wonderful dinner with our new friends tonight. And our other friends arrived safely and all four kidlets are sleeping together in the loft.

I still have some writing to do so that's about it for now.

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

And we're off...

Wednesday's Pathetic Tally

New pages written: 5 (goal: 6.2 pages per day)
Old pages revised on paper: But rewrote a scene and cut another one
Pages of revisions typed in: none
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: -5
Total page count to date: 206 (goal: 200) for sure closer to 215 now.
Days remaining until D-day: 6 days
Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0 (contracts read, signed and to be mailed on way out)

Chocolate consumed: none (how sad is that!)
Junk food consumed: ice cream
Exercise: Pilates tape (broke down and bought one at class on Monday. Couldn't remember what to do at home.)
Television watched: A little of AI while I folded laundry and sorted socks
Tears: None!
Link for the day: Hiro's blog! This is a blog by Hiro, fan-favorite from NBC's Heroes.

Not as much writing as I'd liked, but it was Wednesday (plus trying to get ready for trip) so I knew not to expect a lot. I managed to get all the laundry done so now I can pack. I also asked for help on a hiking forum I belong to to come up with the locale for the final scene and got back a few really good suggestions! This was the final missing piece of research I needed. So yay! Now I just have to pick one.

Hubby came home from work a little before I had to leave to pickup Rose and surprised me with a new cell phone. It's very cute. Much smaller and lighter than my other one. Hot pink with iTunes and a camera.

I'm so excited to be heading to Bend today. Yes, I feel a bit guilty, but I will be working while I'm there. Just at night, not during the day. I should be able to blog, too. At least last year I could.

I bought myself a helmet. Back when I skied before kidlets, nobody really wore them but I want to set a good example for the kidlets. Plus it just seems like a good idea given some of the recent accidents I've read about. The helmet is pretty cool as far as helmets go. It has built-in speakers with a hook-up for your phone and iPod so you can listen to tunes on the lift ride. I probably won't use those features, but it was the helmet that fit the best so I bought it.

All these new toys! I still need to buy a camera on our way out of town. Thanks to everyone who posted review sites! Just wish they'd tell you exactly which one to buy! I've got a list though so hopefully it'll be an easy choice when I see them.

I wanted to mention something NaNoWriMo is doing for 2007. They've got a new challenge going called the year of doing big, fun, scary things together. We've got until October to accomplish at least one of them to get a certificate. Here's what I posted:

1) Finish NaNoWriMo 06 novel
2) Make all contractual deadlines (no extensions in 07!)
3) Conquer fear of heights - climb, skydive or something else vertically challenging
4) Participate in Script Frenzy in June
5) Finally hit the 50K mark of NaNoWriMo 07
6) Get back on skis this winter

I'll be checking off #6 on Friday! Do you have any big, fun, scary things you want to try to do in 2007? What are they?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A week to go

Tuesday Tally

New pages written: 7 (goal: 6.2 pages per day)
Old pages revised on paper: none
Pages of revisions typed in: none
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 0
Total page count to date: 206 (goal: 200) for sure closer to 215 now.
Days remaining until D-day: 7 days
Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0 (still haven't read my contracts)

Chocolate consumed: 2 small pieces of Hershey's bar
Junk food consumed: Non-fat Vanilla steamer, part of muffin, Tillamook cheeseburger, fries and Sprite
Exercise: none
Television watched: A little of AI
Tears: A few. I'm definitely stressed.
Link for the day: Invasion! A recap of an amazing show that ABC should have never cancelled and replaced with The Nine. Wednesdays at 10 o'clock just aren't the same without my weekly Invasion fix.

I need to write so just a quick recap today.

In case you're interested in the book, the teams have left Seychelles and are at the Monza racetrack north of Milan. I'm having fun with this scene even though my heroine is only driving in the background while the hero chats with two male competitors! Still I wish I could do this part of the research in person. I'd love to drive the track myself.

I met my NaNoWriMo buddy at a coffee placed called Papacinno's in the Burlingame area of Portland yesterday. They have comfy chairs that are perfect for writing. This is where we met in November for NaNo. Not sure how the coffee is since I don't drink the stuff, but my friend seems to like it. The baristas are very friendly. I should have gone there when I was writing Plain Jane's Prince Charming!

I ordered my usual non-fat vanilla steamer. Boring, but tasty. I'd forgotten to eat breakfast again so I ordered a raspberry crumb muffin. Really dry. Not worth the calories. Won't do that again. I wished I'd brought an apple with me and was seriously craving a piece of Hobee's coffee cake (my fave from the SF Bay Area.) Papacinno is a WiFi hotspot, but since I needed to write not fool around on the Internet I left the iBook at home and brought my alphie instead. I really can be disciplined on occasion.

I'm hoping I can be disciplined today. I not only need to finish the complete, but pack, read my two contracts and touch base with the house/cat sitter who'll be coming tomorrow. I don't like leaving my furbabies alone! I unfortunately never know what I'll come home to. Of course, I'm back to my impossible-to-write Wednesday schedule so it should be interesting how I squeeze it all in.

A local radio station K105.1 is giving away a man for a week. Sounds interesting, but what I really need are an extra couple hours each day between now and D-day.

Anybody have any time saving tips they want to share?

Right now I'm just not sleeping, but it's starting to catch up with me and that's not a good thing with another week to go.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Heroes Love Fest

Monday Tally

New pages written: 4 (goal: 6.2 pages per day)
Old pages revised on paper: Chapter 8 (this actually took most of my time yesterday)
Pages of revisions typed in: Chapter 8 (it's much better now)
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 0
Total page count to date: 199 (goal: 200) for sure closer to 215 now.
Days remaining until D-day: 8 days
Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0 (though I really need to read my contracts tomorrow)

Chocolate consumed: ice cream
Junk food consumed: powdered donut
Exercise: Pilates session
Television watched: Heroes (see below)
Tears: None
Link for the day: My new cover! Sorry for this BSP, but I was so busy writing (imagine that!) I didn't have time to find a fun link so I figured I'd show off my April release that just went up on Amazon.

Although I love each and every one of the heroes from my books, I'm not love festing over them today. I am, however, loving the NBC show Heroes. Great new episode. Best show on television hands down.

Isaac the painter is so hot now that he's no longer a heroin junkie. That whole drug thing was a real ick factor for me so I'm happy he's clean, healthy and gorgeous. Definitely hero material sans the glowing eyes when he paints the future, of course. Unless one is writing paranormal romance.

The invisible man was so cool, too. I didn't see him coming. Gotta love Peter. He is the heart of the show along with Hiro.

Loved Claire trying to get her best friend Zack back, too. So sweet.

My biggest question is about Linderman. Who is this guy? And why do all roads seem to lead back to him in Las Vegas? Guess we'll find out, but probably not soon enough for me. Still I'm avoiding all spoilers for this show. I do watch the previews but that's it.

What about you? Do you like spoilers for your favorite shows or do you wait to find out what happens?

I'm meeting my NaNoWriMo bud and writing at a coffee shop in Portland this morning. Hope you're having fun wherever you are!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Nine and counting

Catch Up Tally

New pages written: a lot (goal: 6.2 pages per day)
Old pages revised on paper: none
Pages of revisions typed in: none
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: none
Total page count to date: 197 (goal: 200) might need to be closer to 215
Days remaining until D-day: 9 days
Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: Birthday Cake, chocolate covered strawberries
Junk food consumed: a beer on Saturday, not sure if Baja Fresh for dinner tonight counts or not
Exercise: Pilates on Friday, not really exercise but danced a lot Saturday night, too
Television watched: The Office on Thursday, last three minutes of Colts-Patriots game
Tears: None
Link for the day: Hold on! This video clip gives a glimpse of what it was like for rescuers on Mt. Hood with a Chinook helicopter hovering above them.

A treat for me! My new favorite show Heroes returns tonight. I love that show. The writing, the acting, everything about it. I want to be able to watch guilt-free so that means I will get the required pages finished before 9:00 p.m. I've never missed a broadcast episode yet. That's how I was with Invasion, but Heroes has better ratings so it won't be on the network chopping block. Do you have any must-see television shows?

Not much else to say. All I can think about is the book. Here's a recent exchange between me and hubby.

Hubby: That's a cute smile on your face. Thinking about me?

Me (distracted): Uh, no.

Hubby: The book.

Me (imagining my and page down to see him): Yep.

Hubby: It's always the book.

And unfortunately right before a deadline, it is all about the book. I can't shut it off. That's just how my brain works.

Do you get tunnel vision about anything you do?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Into the Cave

My writing goal today is to rough out the remaining parts of the book so I can spend the week rewriting instead of writing. I'm a much better rewriter than writer.

Yesterday was almost a total wash writing wise though the princess tea party was a success (our camera broke 1/4 into it) and the hubby's company party at Greek Cucina in downtown Portland last night was so much fun. We even won a $300 gift certificate from American Airlines, who we affectionately called the Evil Empire when I worked for the Friendly Skies.

I'll post the tally tomorrow. I'm down to single digit countdown to D-day. Panicked, stressed, craving chocolate and wishing there was a hottie hero here to massage my tense shoulders.

Anyone have any recommendations for a new digital camera? That's something I need to get by Thursday and don't have time to do a lot of research! Thanks!

Have a great day!

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Caped Kitty

Since I have a book due in twelve days I figured I'd totally waste precious writing time by putting together today's blog.

Yes, I am insane. Yes, I am stressed. And no, I have not been drinking, just writing a kissing scene from the hero's POV and the sequel from the heroine's POV that comes next. So procrastination was totally justified. Or maybe not. You decide.

Please click on all links as you read.

This is a story about the Caped Kitty?

The Caped Kitty looked like your typical kitten growing up, but this cat was special. This adorable fur ball had amazing superhero powers.

As an adult cat, the Caped Kitty discovered its special abilities, and now wearing a flowing red cape performs breathtaking rescues with no regard for its own safety or aversion to water. After all, what good are nine lives if you can't use eight of them to save others?

Besides the gratification of being a super hero and buying additional capes with proceeds from its own line of Cafe Press items including T-shirts and coffee mugs, the Caped Kitty has been voted the number one crush by felines across the globe. It even has a fan club and groupies.

Other cats may claim to have super powers, but they are just wanna-be super heroes.

There is only one Caped Kitty.

The end.

Note: I found the photos on I do not know any of the cats, their owners or the individuals who took the photographs. I just thought they were fun shots so I hope they don't mind!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Not another...

Snow day.

Yep. The kidlets have no school again. That's no school so far this week if anyone was counting.

Of course, hubby made it into work today. He fed the kids, turned on the television and left. I never woke up. So now that I am awake, I'm taking off my writer hat. I can't complain. The last two days were so great. I didn't have to cook or clean or any of that other domestic stuff. I only had to write and give out hugs and kisses as required.

I'll try to post a tally later, if not tomorrow.

Last night, I managed to get a lot of the upcoming princess tea party stuff done while I watched American Idol. Gotta say, they really made Seattle look bad talent wise. Not sure if they edited the show that way or if not many talented singers showed up, but it was really bad. Funny though. Just when you thought it couldn't get any they were. Even hubby, who only likes watching talking heads and sports, was into it.

Did you see American Idol last night? What did you think?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Winter white

Catchup Tally

New pages written: 4 (goal: 6.2 pages per day)
Old pages revised on paper: Chapters Prologue, 1-3 on paper; Chapters 5-7, half of 8 on screen
Pages of revisions typed in: 50
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: +5
Total page count to date: 178 (goal: 200)
Days remaining until D-day: 14 days (YIKES!)
Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0 (but my contracts arrived on Saturday)

Chocolate consumed: Hershey's bar, chocolate ice cream
Junk food consumed: none
Exercise: Pilates Session on Monday
Television watched: a little American Idle on Tuesday
Tears: None.
Link for the day: Slipping and sliding in Portland Check out this snow day video taken from someone who lives in downtown Portland.

School has been cancelled once again. I don't even want to think what this will mean at the end of the school year. With the MLK holiday on Monday that means the youngest kidlet misses an entire week of preschool.

The only good news is hubby can't get to work, either, so I actually got a lot of writing done yesterday. I went through the entire book. Well, all that I'd written so far except for the last chapter.

Today, which is usually my busiest day of the week so I normally don't write, is now totally free. Everything has been cancelled so I get to write. Hmmm. Maybe this snow thing isn't so bad afterall!

If you want to see what driving conditions can be like around here when it gets really bad, check out the link for the day. Why didn't they put on chains or just stay home? That's my questions. I really wonder what's going to happen to those people's insurance premiums!

I learned to drive in Eastern Washington. Liberty Lake, outside of Spokane near the Idaho border, to be exact. Driving in snow was a requirement if you wanted to go anywhere in the winter. Once my friend high school friend Becky was driving a bunch of us somewhere. We hit a patch of black ice and spun. I still remember all of us screaming. Luckily we didn't hit anything though we were in one of those huge, gas-guzzling made of steel kind of parent cars from the 1980s. We all laughed and went on our way. No big deal.

Here in the Portland metro area though, you have many people who have no clue how to drive in snow, a city that at least yesterday seemed overwhelmed by the amount that fell and most importantly, ice. Ice just sucks.

During one of the big ice storms (1996, I think) hubby and I had flown up from SF to visit my parents. The ice storm hit as we were driving back from the coast. I didn't want my parents to take us to the airport so we took a shuttle from the Salem Airport. Near the Portland Airport (PDX) there was a chain reaction accident due to ice. We hit the shuttle van in front of us, someone else hit us. The vans stopped. We were sitting on I-205 right by a patch of ice watching semi trucks slide toward us. Not fun. And very scary. One came really close. I was sure it would hit us. Hubby told me to get off. Even though the driver said no, we did anyway. Another man explained to the driver that we were nothing more than a sitting target. The driver didn't care. Those were the rules. That guy and his wife got off too. We all climbed high up this cemented incline and waited under an overpass. When another truck brushed by the van, the rest of the occupants joined us. We finally made it to the airport where a lovely customer service rep for Alaska Airlines, upon hearing what we'd been through on our trip to PDX, put us on an earlier flight with no additional charge.

How is the weather where you are? Sunny, wet, snowy?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Another snow day. No school for the kidlets today.

No tally today. Hubby's got the kids outside playing and sledding in our front yard. Must take advantage of every minute I get.

Panic is setting in. 15 days until D-day. The virtual deadline gun pointed at my head... the safety just got released.

I really gotta get the book done. Either that, or have one of my heroes come to life and take me away from all this!

Monday, January 15, 2007


This tally is for the entire weekend:

New pages written: 4 (goal: 6.2 pages per day)
Old pages revised on paper: Chapter 6 and 7 on screen
Pages of revisions typed in: 0
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: +6
Total page count to date: 169 (goal: 200)
Days remaining until D-day: 16 days
Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0 (but my contracts arrived on Saturday)

Chocolate consumed: Slice of cake, Mint chocolate chip ice cream, two pieces of a Hershey's bar
Junk food consumed: None, unless you want to count a glass of Merlot on Sunday and a pint of Hefeweizen on Saturday.
Exercise: Danced
Television watched: A few minutes of the Seahawks-Bears playoff game
Tears: None.
Link for the day: The Husband Store Check out this funny from the talented Carly Phillips.

Not much to report except I wrote and wrote some more. I ended up with 10 additional pages between revised and new ones. YAY! And I even critiqued two chapters for my critique partner! A very productive day in the cave, but it's late and I am very tired.

I did learn something new during dinner from the kidlets.

Finn: Mommy, did you know that Will Turner has the same birthday as Rose.

Me: Really?

Hubby: Will Turner?

Me: Pirates of the Caribbean.

Hubby: Oh.

Mackenna: It's not Will Turner, but the actor who played him. His birthday is January 13th.

Rose: That's my birthday.

Me: Orlando Bloom.

Three blank stares from kidlets.

Me: He's the actor who played Will Turner.

Kidlets: Oh.

Rose: I want to have a playdate with him.

Me to myself: I would't mind one myself!

The dinner conversation got me thinking. If you could have a playdate with anyone, fictional character or real person, who would you choose?

Anyone want to guess who I would choose?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Birthday Day Recap

Yesterday was a fun, but full day.

The oldest kidlets had a swim meet. Both placed first in a race, but Finn blew everyone away in his individual freestyle and his freestyle relay leg. This was a kid, who last year had to drop out before the first meet because he just couldn't make it 25 yards without holding onto to the lane ropes.

One of his coaches came up to hubby and wanted to know what had gotten into the kid and where he'd come up with that stroke. Someone behind me heard me cheering and told me his time. This meant nothing to me, since I know nothing about swimming competitively, so she explained he had cut seconds off his qualifying time and would now be grouped with the fastest swimmers. A good thing, I guess. Hubby was all smiles.

After the meet, I asked Finn about his swimming so fast. "It's Rose's birthday, Mommy," he said, smiling. "I wanted to win a ribbon for her."

My heart melted. Such a good big brother. A hero in the making!

After swimming, we had dinner at Joe's Crab Shack. The birthday girl's choice. Then we went home for cake (chocolate with pink icing) and presents. Next week is her birthday party with friends. A princess tea party. I managed to get the invites out on Monday, but that's all I've done so far. Better get on that!

I finally got some writing done once the kidlets were in bed. Considering in two weeks I want to be skiing on Mt. Bachelor, I've really got to get writing.

Today should be a more productive writing day. The entire family is at swim practice. When they get back, we'll attend Mass and then I'll spend the rest of the day in my cave.

Please think pages, pages, pages. Virtual chocolate appreciated, too!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Four candles for Rose

Today is the youngest kidlet's birthday. I'm having a tough time with it. Four sounds so much older than three. Not that I want another baby. But it's hard to watch that youngest child grow up. Harder than I thought it would be.

Each baby was special, but I found myself relaxing more and more with each one. (That probably explains the Birth Order Book-certain personality characteristics based on your order in a family-I read awhile back more than anything.)

By the third baby I'd gotten over so many of those neurotic mother worries. That meant I could stop getting up in the middle of the night to make sure she was still breathing. I could take her to Disneyland when she was only three months old and not freak out about the germs in the air on the plane, in the hotel room or at the amusement park. I didn't feel guilty when I finally put away the cloth diapers and put her in a disposal one. I no longer felt compelled to sterilize everything, and the five-second rule actually sounded a few seconds too short.

Not that I didn't cherish the time with the oldest, but I came to enjoy the overall experience more each time because I was less worried and more confident in following my own mommy instincts. Sure, I was still a worst-case-scenario thinker. I think that comes with being a writer. But I'm certain I would have dealt with and been affected by the second child's speech difficulties and the third child's heath issues differently had they happened with the first child.

I've found mothering to be a lot like writing. There's a steep learning curve with the first few books I wrote. You rely on writing craft books the way a new mother relies on baby books. I haven't stopped learning or developing as a writer, but the process becomes more organic with each manuscript. It doesn't become easier, but by no longer sweating every little detail or following so-called "rules," I've enjoyed the experience of writing subsequent books so much more.

My little one just ran into our bedroom. We wished her a Happy Birthday! She couldn't believe she was now four. Her words, "I got older when I slept?"

Happy Birthday, my beautiful Rose! You have been a true blessing and joy in my life.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Hitting a wall

New pages written: 0 (goal: 6.2 pages per day)
Old pages revised on paper: 6 page scene that's still not working
Pages of revisions typed in: 0
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 0
Total page count to date: 159 (goal: 200)
Days remaining until D-day: 19 days
Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: Mint chocolate chip ice cream
Junk food consumed: None.
Exercise: Walk with the kids in the snow
Television watched: The Office, United 93 DVD
Tears: A couple during movie
Link for the day: Mt. Hood Rescue Photos. Some interesting shots of what was going on up there in December taken by a member of Portland Mountain Rescue.

Not a lot to say about yesterday. No school. No Pilates. No pages. Though we had a blast playing in the snow.

Eldest kidlet wanted to make a snowman, but the other kids wanted to go for a walk so she decided to bring her snowball with her. At each house we passed, she rolled her ball in the snow. It kept getting bigger and bigger. Pretty soon, she couldn't carry it. Guess who got to do the honors? What's a mom for other than to lug a giant snowball around neighborhood!

Instead of writing last night, I decided to put on United 93, a compelling and I must admit, painful film to watch. Why was I watching a movie while on a deadline? Especially one that would bring back memories of that fateful day in September and of years spent working and flying the Friendly Skies?

Well, I was stuck on a scene that needed to be rewritten. What I was doing wasn't working. Even my brilliant critique partners comments weren't helping. I felt like I was banging my head against a wall. I needed to be pulled away/distracted from the book for a couple hours. United 93 did that.

This morning I woke up with a new way to approach the troublesome scene and I can't wait to get back to the book. Of course, it's still five hours until naptime when I'll have time to write!

Fat Cat Thief Goliath Update: If you saw my fun link yesterday, the cat's owner has claimed him. His real name is Hercules . He's been missing for months and is actually five pounds lighter than he'd been. Don't you just love happy endings?

Thursday, January 11, 2007


The kidlets love snow. When we were driving up to sled on Mt. Hood, my son got all wide-eyed and said, "It looks just like Narnia."

This morning the kids ran into my bedroom. "Mommy, it's a Winter wonderland outside. It's so beautiful, you have to see."

Yes, it's pretty, but it's also icy so school was delayed by two hours. I just got a phone call. They've now cancelled school for the day.

That scream you may have just heard. That was me.

Not much accomplished

New pages written: 0 (goal: 6.2 pages per day)
Old pages revised on paper: Chapter 5 on screen
Pages of revisions typed in: 0
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 1
Total page count to date: 159 (goal: 200)
Days remaining until D-day: 20 days
Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: English toffee
Junk food consumed: Tillamook Cheeseburger, fries and Sprite (hubby brought home dinner since I wasn't feeling well.)
Exercise: Pilates homework
Television watched: None
Tears: Yes, when I heard the song Wherever You Will Go by The Calling. It's so perfect for the Christmas book I'll be writing this summer and really got the gears cranking. I downloaded it on iTunes! I now have two songs on that book's soundtrack.
Fun link for the day: The fat cat thief! If you like cats, even if you don't, check it out!

I'm not feeling that great and the kidlets have a two-hour late start due to the weather, so I'll make it short.

My productivity fell off sharply. I can't blame it on revisions. I never have time on Wednesdays to write. The day always looks the same.

Kidlet drop-off at 8. Kidlet drop-off at 9. Home for a few minutes. Eucharistic Adoration from 10-11. Home for a few minutes. Kidlet pickup at noon. Lunch in the car. Teach a class in NE Portland from 1 to 2. Kidlet pick up at 3. Home.

There was supposed to be a dance class, too, but due to the weather we chose not to make the drive to Portland tonight. I ended up taking a two-hour nap after dinner, instead. The kids tucked me into bed and kissed me goodnight after their showers. So sweet!

Plan for today: enjoy the morning with the kidlets who don't have school until 10, play with youngest since she doesn't have preschool, write during naptime if I don't sleep myself, Pilates and write while the kidlet are at dance tonight. If there's dance, since Portland schools cancelled school for the day!

What's your day look like?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Good news, bad news

New pages written: 0 (goal: 6.2 pages per day)
Old pages revised on paper: chapters 1-4 on screen
Pages of revisions typed in: 0
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: +2
Total page count to date: 158 (goal: 200)
Days remaining until D-day: 22 days
Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: English toffee from a candy store in LA's Farmer Market
Junk food consumed: Grande non-fat vanilla steamer from Starbucks, pizza
Exercise: Pilates homework
Television watched: None
Tears: None.
Fun link for the day: For Hayden fans! How would you like to wake up to him bringing you Starbuck's in the morning?

Tuesday was one of those good news, bad news days.

First, I had a nice visit with my friend in Lake Oswego who gave me the yummiest English Toffee to take home. Toffee is my fave candy. I have to force myself to stay away from Sees' Candies every time I'm at the mall due to my addiction to their Victoria Toffee. It's just too tasty. The toffee today was comparable. Maybe even a tad better. I'd need to do a side-by-side taste comparison to know for sure. I'm tempted, but the scale is finally moving in the right direction and I'm not ready to negate that with a toffee binge.

When I got home, the first five chapters of Last Man On Earth were back from my critique partner with her comments.

The good news? She could tell it wasn't a first draft and the writing is solid. So yeah! That cuts out a lot of work when I go back through.

The bad news? She wanted me to go deepen the emotion and character development in Chapters 4 and 5. Deepen a lot. Many, many pages of deepening.

I panicked. How was I going to do this? What should I do? How deep should I go? Should I finish the complete first or do this? Eating a piece of toffee helped calm me down a little. At least until the sugar kicked in. Then I got to work.

I rewrote a passage she said was really all about the race and had nothing going on with the characters, etc. I reread what I'd written. And reread. Still feeling panicked and now clueles, I pasted the passage into an email addressed to my critique partner. The subject line was brief and to the point, "Better?"

We usually don't resend revised work to one another, unless 1) we're on a really tight dealine or 2) wigging out. Since I qualified for both, I hit send without a moment of hesitation. I wanted (okay, needed) to know I was on the right track.

I got this reply: This is great. Yes. They're confiding in one another, he's noticing details. The tie to the past is significant because it impacts the here and now AND he is challenging her to grow. Really good job!

Huge sigh of relief. On a roll, I forgot about adding any new pages for the day and started at the beginning of the book. I made it through the first four chapters until tiredness took over. (It's after midnight now.) After the rewrites, I only increased the page count by two pages, but the book is stronger now which is all that matters in the long run. I'll revise chapter five later today, then go through chapters six and seven before moving forward again.

One more bad news item... a snow storm has been forecasted to hit the Portland area sometime this morning. I love snow. Snow=skiing. At least it did before kidlets, but I'm hoping soon that will be true again. But for now, snow=no school. That means no writing for me. Something I can't really afford right now because not only do I have a deadline at the end of the month, but a ski trip planned. The skiing falls before the deadline so that means I have to be pretty much done with the book before I head down to stay with my friend at her place in Bend. Plus I promised her she could read the book so it must be done! Early. Yikes.

That means if it really is snowing when I wake up, I want it to snow enough that hubby has to stay home, too! That's the only way a snow day's going to work around here. Time for a snow dance!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


New pages written: 6 (goal: 6.2 pages per day)
Old pages revised on paper: 14
Pages of revisions typed in: 14
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 0
Total page count to date: 156 (goal: 200)
Days remaining until D-day: 24 days
Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: Another chunk of Toblerone
Junk food consumed: Tall non-fat vanilla steamer from Starbucks
Exercise: One hour of Pilates
Television watched: None
Tears: Yes, but friend-related, not writing-related.
Fun link for the day: For romance readers. A short story written by one of my fave Loveswept author's Debra Dixon.

I survived my first Pilates session yesterday. A little sore, but not as bad as I thought it would be. Most of the session was spent on the mechanics/technique, the how-to-do the various positions without hurting oneself. It's harder than it looks trying to get everything doing what it's suppose to: contract/release, inhale/exhale, head position, neck, etc. I felt like I should be taking notes. I did something called the Reformer machine, too. Cables provide resistance. I could really feel those exercises in my legs. My instructor even assigned homework to do before my next session on Thursday! I liked it enough that I scheduled five more sessions.

Last night, my six-year-old son received a call from a girl, who invited him over for a playdate. I guess they worked out all the details at school today and just needed to confirm with the moms. He's very excited. Of course, he didn't appreciate his older sister bursting out with the "…sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G" song and teasing him about his "girlfriend." I don't even want to think about what it will be like when they actually start dating.

On the book front, it's coming along. They are in Seychelles. My shy heroine doesn't want to wear a bikini for the water challenge I still need to think up. I'm trying to figure out what the hero should tell her so she will wear it. A million dollar grand prize is at stake, and the other teams are nipping at their heels.

Any ideas on what he could say? Please post in the comment section, if you do. Thanks!

I'm visiting a friend this morning down in my old stomping ground in Lake Oswego and need to get going so I can be back in time to pick up the youngest kidlet from preschool. I'll write my pages during naptime and finish them up later tonight.

Have fun today!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Three to go

New pages written: 15 (goal: 6.2 pages per day)
Old pages revised on paper: 0 but revised a lot on screen
Pages of revisions typed in: 0
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 0
Total page count to date: 150 (goal: 200)
Days remaining until D-day: 23 days
Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: Chunk of chocolate
Junk food consumed: Cheesecake, wine, port after dinner on Saturday, Chips on Sunday
Exercise: Yes
Television watched: None
Tears: Yes, not book related. As expected, an uncle lost his battle with leukemia this weekend.
Fun link for the day: A blog I found discussing HEAs. The comments are interesting, too!

Not as many pages this weekend as I'd hoped, but I didn't want to skip the kidlets' swim meet on Saturday. I even brought my alphie so I could write in between their heats, but hubby had to work at the meet so I got Rose duty.

I'd hoped not to write on Sundays, but since I got little done on Saturday, I had no choice. I was so into the writing that around 3:30 pm, I realized hubby wasn't back with the kidlets even though he'd left at 10:30 am. (This is why I cannot write if I'm the only one home alone with the kids. I shut everything out and lose total track of time.) Worried, I called his cell. Turns out my mom had fixed them lunch and he was watching football with my dad. My sister and brother-in-law had shown up to watch the games, too.

He asked what I had for lunch. I said nothing. He asked if I had moved from the spot where he last saw me. I said yes. I'd taken a shower. I'd also had to get the phone. He told me to get something to eat and take a break. So I grabbed some chips (nothing else looked good) and went to Target to buy a pair of black sweat pants. Mine were looking pretty bad.

Unfortunately, I just can't go into Target for one thing. Tonight my impulse purchases consisted of two pairs of tights (both light brown, but one is fishnet style) to go with my brown Franco Sarto boots, Love Actually DVD, two T-shirts (white and hot pink), two sports bras and a new warm-up suit. At least most of those things were on sale.

I forced myself to walk past the book section without taking a peek. My TBR pile is about to fall over, but that's never stopped me before. This time, however, I had two good reasons--the deadline and the books I'll be judging for RWA's RITA contest will be here arriving soon. The RITA books have to be read before anything else.

But first I must finish the book. Three chapters (approx. 60 pages) left to write until I have a complete manuscript. That means I need to get writing. And I'll do that. Just as soon as I get back from my Pilates intro session! I sure hope it's not too hard.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Kids and pets

There's something I don't get about kids or cats. Offer them food, and they aren't interested in even tasting it. Put that same food on your own plate, and everyone wants a taste.

The other morning it was scrambled eggs. Hubby doesn't like them so I'm the only one who eats them. By the time I got around to my breakfast, the littlest one was hungry for her snack. She wasn't interested in the red peppers on the plate, but wanted a taste of the yellow stuff even though she'd never wanted to try them before. She loved the eggs. Couldn't get enough of them. That meant my breakfast consisted mainly of red peppers.

My gray cat, Spirit, is the same way. She only wants to eat what I'm eating. Forget whether or not it's food a cat should want to eat or not. Mommy's food = Spirit's food. She also likes to drink water from my glass, something hubby has a real problem with. We've finally gotten her to skip my glass and drink out of a saucepan we put on the hearth. Note "pan" not "bowl." I really don't think Spirit realizes she's a cat.

Good thing because the kidlets, in their quest for a dog, have decided that Spirit is now a dog. So what if for all biological purposes Spirit is in actuality a cat? They've now got the "dog" they've been dreaming about. Gotta give them points for going after what they wanted. Their "dog" barks (when she's unhappy about something she really does bark), meets us at the door when we come home, cries for attention, begs for table scraps and never leaves our sides when we're home. At least this "doggy" uses a liter box. Hubby's very pleased about the turn of events!

I love my cats, but I still want a dog. When I was younger I wanted a wolf-hybrid so bad. I imagined us hiking through the woods, skiing, going on all sorts of adventures together. Today I saw a post about someone who was giving a wolf-hybrid away. It was the cutest thing you've ever seen. When I mentioned it to hubby he stared at me as if I'd lost my mind. I told him I didn't ask him if we could have the dog, I just wanted to tell him about it. He fell back on his standard line, "If we're going to get a puppy, we might as well have another baby."

You see, the first time I asked if we could get a dog was just after we'd moved to Oregon from the SF Bay Area. We'd purchased a cute little cottage in the heart of Lake Oswego and I was ready to add something furry and cuddly to our family of two. Hubby said we weren't ready for a dog so we got our two furbabies Rocket and Spirit instead. Of course, a couple of week later I found out I was pregnant with the eldest kidlet. All I could think is he doesn't think we can handle a dog, but we're having a baby???

Anyway getting a pup is on hold for now. Probably a good thing with all the deadlines.

Speaking of which, the kidlets spent the night at my parents' house so we could attend our church's Epiphany dinner and auction. That meant sleeping in late this morning! Since I'm kid free for a few more hours, I better get working on the book.

Hope you're having a fun weekend!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

We saw a star in the east...

Today marks Epiphany, the feast celebrating the Wise men's visit to Jesus. The kidlets are excited because the final three gifts under the Christmas tree can be opened today. We always save three gifts from Christmas day until Epiphany to represent the three gifts given to Jesus by the Magi. We also start taking down our Christmas tree and decorations. Do you have any special holiday traditions?

Friday night was the kick-off for a three-day Epiphany elebration at our church. Each religious education class performed a part of the Nativity story. The show had all those funny moments you hear about with Christmas pageants with kids' forgetting their lines, Mary not coming out when the angel appeared, out of order scenes and singing so quietly no one could hear them. "It's a lot like herding cats," our priest said when talking about putting on a show with a bunch of kids.

The oldest kidlet's class performed the Annunciation. The middle kidlet's class put on the Nativity scene. He got to be Joseph and was so excited. He wore a cool costume, though I must admit his headband was more reminiscent of Mike Reno, lead singer of Loverboy, than a carpenter from Nazareth. Still he looked really cute. The youngest was too little to participate, but she got lots of attention because of her black eye.

As for the book, I wrote but I'm not posting tallies on weekends. I left my characters in Johannesburg, South Africa. I can't wait to get them to Cape Town. Things are heating up, though neither wants to think of the other as anything but their teammate! It's going to be so much fun to write.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Ready for the big push

New pages written: 6 (goal: 6.2 pages per day)
Old pages revised on paper: 0
Pages of revisions typed in: 0
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 0
Total page count to date: 135 (goal: 200)
Days remaining until D-day: 26 days
Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: peppermint bark
Junk food consumed: Vente non-fat vanilla steamer at Starbucks
Exercise: Yes! Total Body Toning Workout with hand weights. Short, but sweet!
Television watched: Exercise TV and the last 10 minutes of The Office. I forgot it was back on.
Tears: none
Fun link for the day: For romance writers and readers!

I managed pages each day this week, but not enough. I need to crank up the productivity and produce pages. Lots and lots of pages to keep the panic at bay. We've got a ski trip planned for the end of the month. Last year due to a sick kidlet, I didn't get to ski. I don't want to have to stay off the slopes this year again. Enough about the book...

I did it! I phoned the Pilates studio and will be taking a one-hour intro session on Monday morning. The time works perfectly with preschool, too. Even though that is my prime writing time, I need to do this for me.

I don't think I mentioned that the youngest kidlet woke up with a black eye on Wednesday. It's so nasty looking I screamed when I first saw it. Totally purple and swollen. My poor baby. We've been getting some funny looks from people when we're out. Even our priest asked her about it after morning Mass. I think she must have run into a door or the staircase railing when she went to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I'm surprised she didn't scream her head off though. It looks like she must have hit hard.

I've been debating whether to take her to the doctor or not. I asked if her eye hurt. She said only when she touches it. Anybody want to guess what I said to her?

Thursday, January 04, 2007


New pages written: 5 (goal: 6.2 pages per day)
Old pages revised on paper: 0
Pages of revisions typed in: 0
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 0
Total page count to date: 129 (goal: 200)
Days remaining until D-day: 27 days
Emails from editor in UK: 1 - see below
Emails from agent in NY: 1 - reply to my update on Book #3

Chocolate consumed: peppermint bark and ice cream
Junk food consumed: none
Exercise: none, but I got the number of a Pilates studio.
Television watched: none
Tears: none
Fun link for the day: Even non-Star Wars fans might like this one! Vegetable and fruit lovers for sure!

I almost made my page goal for Wednesday. A first so I'm calling the day a total success! Woeful Wednesday actually turned into wonderful Wednesday this morning when I received an email from my editor.

Right before Christmas, I sent her an idea for Book #3, the blind book they'd purchased along with Last Man on Earth. It was one of those ideas that just came and those kind are true gifts. The best part about this one is that my editor likes it. She actually called it a "cracking idea." I'm guessing (hoping) that means a good idea if you live in London. So I now know the story I'll be writing this summer. And it's a Christmas book, too!

Someone else I know got really good news too. Michelle Willingham sold two more historical romance novels to Harlequin! Yippee! Michelle and I have the same fabulous editor.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Woeful Wednesday

New pages written: 8 (goal: 6.2 pages per day)
Old pages revised on paper: 0
Pages of revisions typed in: 0
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 0
Total page count to date: 124 (goal: 200)
Days remaining until D-day: 28 days
Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: m&ms
Junk food consumed: none
Exercise: none, but I thought about it. Progress!
Television watched: none
Tears: none
Fun link for the day: For any writer out there!

I took advantage of the kidlets going back to school on Tuesday and descended into the cave to write. Hubby picked up they youngest from preschool, fed her (and me) and put her down for her nap so I didn't even have to come out.

I finished the day with eight not-so-rough pages, including a first kiss and a tango dance. I could handle writing the kiss, but the dance took a little help from google.

Did you know the tango is really about improvisation, not the steps? Did you know there is more than one type of tango? (I'm writing about the Argentine Tango since my characters are in Buenos Aires) Did you also know the tango is the vertical expression of a horizontal desire? I knew none of these things. And I've even had tango lessons.

Back in college, my buddy Chris and I took a ballroom dancing class. Once we learned all the dances, we went to one of the ritzy hotels in San Francisco to try out our new dance skills. It was so much fun to dress up and dance like that, and I'm not sure why we stopped. Probably because Chris graduated and went to med school!

Anyway, Tuesday was a very productive writing day, and I was even in bed before eleven o'clock. I'm just worried about today. Wednesdays are always so busy, and it's a struggle to find a moment to myself let alone write a word. But I want to make my goal somehow. Even if it means staying up late.

Wish me luck please! I'm going to need it.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Catch-up Tally

New pages written: 21 (goal: 6.2 pages per day)
Old pages revised on paper: 0
Pages of revisions typed in: 0
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: 0
Total page count to date: 116 (goal: 200)
Days remaining until D-day: 29 days
Emails from editor in UK: 0
Emails from agent in NY: 0

Chocolate consumed: A piece of chocolate birthday cake
Junk food consumed: none unless you count a glass of red wine with dinner
Exercise: none
Television watched: none (though hubby OD'd on an Everest: Beyond the Limits marathon)
Tears: none (though I got a choked up when we were going around the dinner table with our prayer petitions and my three year old prayed for the two climbers on Mt. Hood. She asked that they come down from the mountain safe.)
Fun link for the day: This is a new addition to the daily tally. Sometimes the link will be serious, other times silly. Check this out!

I think I've mentioned my writing process before. I usually write the first three chapters, then the last chapter. With this book, however, I tried something different. I wrote the first five chapters (struggling immensely with chapters four and five.) Instead of moving on to chapter six, I spent the last two days working on the last chapter. I roughed it out on Sunday night. Monday morning, I started revising and suddenly, things clicked and words started flowing. The conflicts became clarified. I knew exactly where I needed to take these people. Guess I should stick with my original process the next time!

On Sunday afternoon I reworked my synopsis for book two, current working title is The Wedding Dress and Mr. Wrong. I came up with a way to strand the hero and heroine in the wilderness without requiring (I hope) a suspension of disbelief from the reader! Of course I'm stuck on the black moment and resolution. It's just not there yet. Unfortunately that means I need to reexamine the internal conflicts.

It's only taken me ten (maybe it's eleven) sold books to realize if I'm stuck, I took a wrong turn somewhere. The tricky part is figuring out where I made the mistake: character, plot, conflict, motivation, fill-in-the-blank-here. But knowing where the block comes from has been a huge step forward for me as a writer. Plus it cuts down on the chocolate consumption. Melissa + writer's block = chocolate.

One more thing I need to add...

In keeping with one of my New Year's resolutions, I wanted to email a friend today but couldn't find his address since my aol imploded along with my address book a while back. I know he reads the blog occasionally so I'm doing it here.

Happy Birthday, JK! I hope it's a great one! xoxox

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

We had a great time at Zoolights last night. A great way to say goodbye to 2006 and hello to 2007! Of course a new year means new resolutions. I went back to the archives. Here's what I wrote exactly one year ago today:

2006 New Year's resolutions:
1) Write everyday
2) Exercise regularly
3) Lose weight
4) Keep in better touch with friends
5) Be more patient with kids

How did I do? I wrote everyday though not always on a book which I'm assuming was my intention. I did great exercising, once I got around to it summer until I did something to my knee while walking hills. I lost weight for my college reunion only to gain most (but not all thankfully!) back. I did better than I had in the past keeping in touch with friends, but that's not saying much. I actually was more patient with the kidlets this year. So yay! Not all the resolutions were a total loss.

Here are my 2007 New Year's resolutions:
1) Write everyday on a story (blogging and email do not count!)
2) Finish my non-category novel by the end of the year (this is the story I worked on during NaNoWriMo)
3) Exercise three times a week (need a set number of times so I actually do it!)
4) Lose 15 pounds (being more specific should help me!)
5) Keep in better touch with friends (this one should always be there, IMHO)
6) Be even more patient with kidlets (a good one to have again with all the deadlines I'm facing this year) and the hubby (I'm adding him this year due to all the deadline dementia coming up.)

What are your New Year's resolutions?