Saturday, March 31, 2007

Time to pack

Hubby and I leave tomorrow for our anniversary trip. I'm very excited about it. I still need to wrap his gifts and buy a card. Why do I always leave the card for the last minute? It never fails. Anyway, I had help from the climbing cutie who'll be teaching me to climb with one of hubby's presents. I hope he likes them!

So today I need to get packed. That means finding all my ski clothing. Normally it's in one place except with the book deadline in January, I never put things back when we got home from Bend so it could be a challenge to find them.

My parents are coming up to stay with the kidlets and cats. Poor Spirit looks horrible with scabs and sores all over her ears and face. We had to take her off the medicine due to the allergic reaction which means she's going to start going downhill again. That means weight loss, fur loss, etc. She goes for the I131 treatment on April 10th though so she won't be off the medicine too long. Fortunately she's gained 1.8 pounds since being on the meds so I'm hoping she won't lose it all before the treatment.

Does anyone want to guess where we're going tomorrow? Here's a hint: It's less than a two drive hour from the Portland Metro area.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Top Cat and Lucky Lab

I had to leave Smalls and Rocket at the vet overnight because they couldn't get one test done, and the behavoirist needs to know that there isn't a medical reason for all of the problems we've been having with their litter box usage and sometimes lack of usage. I thought Spirit would be lonely without her fur siblings. She's not. She's loving being the top cat. She even slept with us last night in the spot where Rocket usually sleeps.

We had to take Spirit off her medicine due to a reaction she had. Her ears and now face is being covered with bloody scabs. That actually sounds better than what it looks like. I've got a call into the place where they do the I131 treatment to see when we can get her in there. Soon, I hope. Now that she's off the medication, they expect her symptoms to start up again.

Last night, we attended the benefit at Lucky Lab for local search and rescue teams. Lots of members of Portland Mountain Rescue were there. I kept looking at all the guys and thinking about my hottie SAR hero. Unfortunately I'm too into the current book right now to get side-tracked into the next one. Too bad this event wasn't in June. I would have been working the room like crazy then!

Instead I bid on a few items and won one-a case of wine and a tour for 8 with tasting and appetizers at a winery in Dundee, Oregon. I also met Matty, who seemed like a really nice guy, and his dog, Velvet, who is so sweet, very good with kids and gives out lots of wet kisses. Only one of the kidlets met Velvet (the others were getting drinks with hubby) so we had a few sad faces and tears when we learned Velvet had left to take a break, but Matty told them they could email her from their website.

I spoke with Christina Redl, a very friendly, approachable young woman who was injured in the fall. She's healing from all of her injuries, but unfortunately had no medical insurance due to being just out of college. I said her bills would be like student loan and she said yes, but she had one of those, too. Not fun. Her friends set up a fund for her and there was also a place to donate money to that last night. I asked her if she planned on climbing again and she said yes. That time on Mt. Hood was her first mountaineering experience, and she said she'd like to climb Hood again.

It was a fun evening. A lot of people showed up to raise money for some great volunteer organizations. The group putting it on had some great packages and things seemed to run pretty smoothly auction wise. The beer was tasty, too. A great event for PDXers.

The kidlets are off school so I'd better figure out what we're doing today since skiing isn't happening. But my anniversary trip is still on. We're leaving on Sunday for two nights. I cannot wait.

What do you have on tap for today and this weekend?

Link for the day: A brief story on where we were last night.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Kitty Road Trip

I need to take two of my furbabies to the vet this morning. It's a forty minute drive one way. Imagine forty minutes of cat meowing and wailing and you'll have an idea what the little one and I are in for once we leave.

Not much else to report except that I love being in this Wedding Planners continuity with the six other authors. We've been uploading our proposals as we write them so we can all see what's going on in the other books. Yesterday, Shirley Jump uploaded her complete manuscript for book one as soon as she emailed to the Harlequin Mills & Boon office. The ultimate in advance reader copy! I started reading it last night and it's fantastic. I can't wait to finish it!!!

I got hit with another cold or maybe it's just allergies. Either way, no link for the day. Now I have to go round up the kitties. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Staying on track!

Since today is my fully scheduled, jam-packed day, I'm making it short. I'm really getting into the new book. I haven't heard back on the proposal so I'm writing as if everything works and there will be no major revisions. Fingers crossed.

I've found two songs that are perfect for the book soundtrack: Keep Holding On by Avril Lavigne and All You Wanted by Michelle Branch. I keep listening to them over and over again.

The resurgence of the muse has definitely helped keep this book on track and the words flowing, too. What would I do without my beloved Hayden? If only Heroes would return to Monday nights, then I'd be a very happy writer.

Is there anything that would make you happy or happier today?

Link for the day: If you're local to the Portland area, I hope you'll attend this search and rescue fundraiser at the Lucky Lab in NW Portland on Thursday March 29th to benefit the organizations that that assisted in the February 19th Mt. Hood Rescue of injured climbers and their dog, Velvet. I'll be there! This is a first hand account of the incident on Mt. Hood by one of the climbers.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Change of Plans

I had today all figured out. I'd drop the littlest one off at preschool, drive down to our vet in Lake Oswego so she could check over our other two cats, drop off and pickup hand-me-down clothes for my son from a fellow romance writer, then be back in time to pickup once preschool was over.

And then I took my youngest to the doctors yesterday. Anytime she gets a fever she has to be checked to make sure it's not a UTI due to her past health problems so I picked her up from school and drove to NW PDX. She's a pro now at going potty in the cup so once that was over I thought we'd see what things looked like under the microscope and be done. And then the nurse took her temperature. Yep, she had a fever again. We're still waiting on the test results, but the fever meant no school today. She's sitting right next to me painting her toenails. I just did her fingernails.

I figured I would just take her with me to the vets this morning since she no longer had a fever, but then we got a call saying our vet had the flu. Of course this means rescheduling since we have to have the cats checked before our visit with the cat behaviorist. That means I just lost Thursday morning. I'm just hoping our skiing on Friday will still be a go.

What are you're plans for this week?

Time to figure out something for the little one to do so I can get at least a little writing done! At least I'll have nap time!

Link of the day: Using real men not models on romance covers. What do you think about this?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sold to bidder 750

The auction was a huge success. Over $200k raised for the kidlets' school. And a whole lot of fun. Yay!

I got to wear my new dress which I love. Put on make up. Even curl the hair! The earrings completed the look and I did have a bracelet that worked.

The best part is we won the package I wanted most of all. Here's the writeup with certain identifying elements marked out.

Titanic Dinner Party for Ten

"Live as they live, fear as they fear." It will be a night to remember as ten guests set sail at the xxx home on Saturday xxx xxx with the actual eight course gourmet dinner served on the H.M.S. Titanic on her maiden voyage ninety-five years ago in April 1912.

Cocktails will be provided, and each dinner course will be paired with a wine. A highly professional crew, who has performed this hugely successful dinner party for others across the country, will serve you for the evening.

There will also be a mystery drama involving why the ship went down which has not been previously revealed. Museum quality boarding passes will be provided for guests. Each guest will be assigned an actual Titanic passenger to dress and acts as for the evening. Violins will even play as the ship sinks.

During the auction, I ran around and found four other couples to go in with us to buy it. I was not going to let this one get by me because I'm a huge Titanic fan. This has nothing to do with the movie, either. Back in high school, I wrote a huge report on it. And my infatuation, okay obsession, has grown ever since. I have a huge collection of Titanic books and memorabilia. In 1996, my husband took me on a QE2 cruise for my birthday that sailed from Southampton to France to Ireland, a similar path that the Titanic. We then spent time going to all the memorable sights and museums related to the ship, crew and passengers after we arrived back in England. I even have part of a Titanic time travel novel written. I sold a book to Silhouette, I never got around to doing more with it. Needless to say, I'm thrilled about the dinner.

So if you haven't figured it out yet, I don't do anything halfway. I either love something (hobby, interest, sport) and it becomes a passion and I learn as much about it as I can or it goes by the wayside. A few examples of loves: skiing, Star Wars, Titanic. An example of wayside: scuba diving. Not that I didn't enjoy diving, but it was a lot of effort since I lived in Arizona at the time. Of course, I lived in Arizona when I learned to ski, too, but that was just so much more fun for me that I put my energy, time and money into that instead of the diving.

What about you? Do you have a few things that you just love to do? Or a lot of things you do but might not love all of them?

Link of the day: Superhunks! The muse is featured, but there are a whole lot of other hotties to check out. After Hayden Christensen, the World Cup hunks' slide show is my fave. What about you?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Catching Up

The birthday party at a jjjump was a success. Mackenna is happy she's nine and thrilled with all the presents she received. All three kidlets are spending the weekend at my parents'. And tonight's the auction.

Today, I've been cleaning. You could barely walk on my side of the room due to all the paper on the floor. I spent an hour folding clothes. Something I neglected all week long. I've been going through piles of clutter, too. Amazing how fast stuff piles up. And once I get back from my pedicure and manicure, I'll start in my office and work my way up trying to get the house back in shape after being neglected for way too long.

I realized before I dove back into the book some general domestic maintenance and catching up was necessary otherwise it wouldn't happen until June. Or maybe December since once this book is done I'll go right into another. I really should get back on the flylady program. Those baby steps, break down cleaning/decluttering into smaller tasks, really worked for me.

A writer friend has a book due this coming week. I emailed her a few words of encouragement and support, adding, "Give me a holler if you need anything?" Her reply, "How about a spare 20,000 words:-)" Gotta love a writer on deadline!

I'm so not domestic. What about you? Are you a cleaner? Organizer? Or are you just a chronic clutterer like me who thinks having a housecleaner is a necessary part of a family's budget?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Nine years ago today... oldest was born. I would have been holding her about now trying to figure out this thing called breastfeeding with help from a wonderful, patient nurse. That night, I held Mackenna and watched the Academy Awards. I don't remember much of that telecast except it was the year Titanic swept everything.

We didn't know if she would be a boy or a girl. We had two names picked out Colton for a boy and Mackenna for a girl. I found the name Mackenna in My Lady's Kiss, a historical romance novel written by Linda Needham, a local author. I liked the way it was spelled since McKenna McClone looked strange to me with the double Mc.

Happy Birthday to my darling daughter! She is growing much too fast, but I'm enjoying every minute of it.

I also want to wish one of my best friends, Kent, a happy birthday, too! Keep cycling, taking those awesome photos and being the kind of friend who drops everything to help me long distance figure out any technical problem. xoxox

Do you have any special celebrations coming up?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Poof go the Proofs

The page proofs/galleys are out of here. Not a minute to soon. Tomorrow (really today already) I must get ready for the oldest kid's birthday party. She's turning 9 on Friday. I won't even bore you with all the auction stuff I must do tomorrow, too. It would be to overwhelming. My sense of humor when it comes to the auction disappeared about a month ago which is the reason a person's "joke" today had me upset and on the verge of tears. Not fun.

The only fun thing I did do yesterday was go downtown. I wasn't planning on it, but realized if I didn't go then, I couldn't go until Saturday which is the same day as the auction. (This explains my late bedtime.) I returned a little pink jacket I'd bought (too much money for something I'd only wear a few times), picked up my purchases from the past few weeks and also bought a pair of silver sandals (cheapy ones since how often would I wear silver shoes. Um, twice. Saturday and in Dallas in July.) I also got a pair of earrings. Silver and clear crystals. I think I have a bracelet I can wear. At least I hope so since I didn't buy one.

The other thing I did was talk gear with the guy who's going to teach me to rock climb. Yes, I'm going to attempt to get over my fear of heights and learn to climb. It'll help with my next book, sure, but that's not the reason I'm doing it. Nor is the reason the 28 year old cutie who'll be teaching me. And no, it's not the hottie who helped me with that rock wall scene in Plain Jane's Prince Charming that I blogged about in Fall '05. Sigh... No, I'm learning to climb for me. I just really want to do it. Probably seems weird at my age, a wife and mom, but there it is. And, of course, my wannabe-climbing-again hottie hubby is playing a part, too. He's very happy I'm going to be giving it a go. No, he's not worried I will hurt myself.

I plan to get back to writing today once I finish my To Do List. I left my hero and heroine in a rather precarious, somewhat dangerous situation. Bad Melissa. Must remedy that ASAP. Finishing the first three chapters felt really good, but I still can't forget the book is due June 1. I plan to take it easy (okay, easier) this next week, then get the page tally going again in April with a definite goal each day. After our anniversary trip, of course.

It's late. I'm tired. I'm going to bed. I will get 4-4.5 hours of sleep if I'm lucky. But hey, I got the proofs done. That's all that matters right now.

What's on your agenda today? How many hours did you sleep last night?

And before I forget: Happy Birthday to my brother-in-law PM! Happy Birthday to my son's godfather Alex!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Almost there!

I finished going through the page proofs line by line last night. I even made it to bed well before midnight! Now all I have to do is read through the book, type in my corrections/changes and check this off the Must Do list.

Nothing else to report. Took the kids to Starbucks while we waited for piano lessons to be over with for oldest kidlet, but that's about it. I'm totally focused on getting the galleys back since they are due tomorrow and if I miss the deadline, no changes will be made. Can't let that happen.

My new ski stuff has been ready for a week (did I tell you what I bought myself for our anniversary?), my dress is ready and I still need to buy shoes for Saturday night. But not until the proofs are back.

I'm going to drop the youngest at preschool and start reading! Are you reading anything today?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Proposal off!

My muse did his job! I am out of the cave. I just emailed my proposal to HMB in London. Of course, I immediately got out of the office replies from the editor. Still, it's off. Deadline met. Huge sigh of relief. Now onto page proofs for Win, Lose or...Wed!

Things I learned with this proposal:

1) Add "so" to my searchlist of overused words. With all the "so"s I found, you'd think I was getting a kickback.
2) Think like a guy when I'm writing Kane. He is not a girly man. He is a hottie. I do not want my cp to tell me he's doing or saying something girly ever again. This will apply to all future books!
3) Dieting is fine, but diet must allow or be modified for chocolate when facing a deadline. Not eating chocolate seriously impedes writing progress and output.
4) Getting sick can't be helped, but I need to take better care of myself so it doesn't linger on.
5) Say no. Even though I don't go to an office and am a stay-at-home mom, I still have a job that takes time and effort. It's time to scale back the school volunteer stuff. We've already put in double our time requirement and it's only March.
6) Never doubt the importance of of a muse.

No link for the day (too tired), but you can check out the excerpt to my new book, Marriage for Baby, on my website if you want.

Thanks for all your support. Comments, emails, ecards. It all means so much to me. You guys are great!

Monday, March 19, 2007

I need my muse!

Here's where I am right now:

1) Proposal due tomorrow
2) Proposal not yet finished
3) I hate writing proposals
4) No voice and coughing
5) Page proofs for other book still untouched

Given those conditions, I'm going to be totally self-indulgent with today's blog in order to motivate myself so I can just get it done! I realized this morning I needed my muse. Not the inspiration for this hero, Gabriel Aubry, who's picture has helped me thank you very much, but The MUSE, Hayden Christensen. (For any new diary readers out there, go to the July 2005 archives and read "Meeting the Muse" and you'll understand!)

So I headed to YouTube. I figure if I get stuck, I'll just pop over here during the day and let my muse inspire me. As many times as it takes until the proposal is finished. So here's what I found:

This first clip is so cute. One of my faves. Sure it's Christmas music, but hey, it's never too early to write to Santa, and so far this year I have been a very good girl and met all my deadlines. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

This next clip is just a montage of Hayden photos. Let's face it, you just can't go wrong there.

You know what I'll be doing today. What about you?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

One done, two to go

I just emailed the final version of the auction catalog! Yippee. Now I can head down into the cave and spend the rest of the day trying to get chapter 3 written. It's in pretty bad shape right now. At this point I'll be emailing the proposal to London at 11:58 pm on Tuesday night. That's still the 20th of March on my side of the pond.

A special thanks to Dru and Lissa who both sent me funny Hallmark e-cards to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. I love them!

Into the cave I go until it's time to teach my class this afternoon. I may have to skip TAR tonight, too. Just can't waste a minute of time right now.

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


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I have no voice. I'm drinking tea with honey. It's not helping. I think what I really need is a good night's sleep but with finishing touches/corrections on the auction catalog and the proposal that's not going to happen for a few more days.

Today will be spent writing. Tonight we're attending a friend's 40th birthday party. Do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day? If so, what do you do?

Of course, we'll be cooking a corned beef in the crock pot. I still need to convince hubby to make soda bread. His is so good. Must be all that Irish in him.

Have a great day! Sláinte!

Link of the day: Click here if you want a quick overview of St. Patrick's day.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Friday's jig and reel

St. Patrick's Day kicks off today for the two older kidlets. I'll be pulling the oldest out at 11:30 to dance down in Portland. The middle one will be picked up at 1:30 to join us for dancing in Battleground, WA. Luckily they only have to dance again on Sunday in Portland again. This is not the weekend I want to be driving all around for shows.

I did not get the 10 pages done even though I was up until 2 am. I had auction catalog work to do earlier and got a late start on the book. This will be the last year I write the catalog. It's impacted the writing way too much. Huge relief looking forward to next year!

So I'm going to run to Pilates and then write until I have to pick up the oldest. Hope you have a great Friday. Any big weekend plans?

Clip of the day: Riverdance. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Productive Evening

I didn't get as much writing as I should done, but I checked off a huge To Do item off my list and attended a very informative slide show on mountain rescue.

Since the slide show was in downtown Portland, I figured I'd go a little early and look for a dress to wear to the auction. A friend had recommended a store in Pioneer Place so that was my first stop. I found a pretty dress, though I wasn't sure about the top part of it. Very thin straps and bodice that showed a lot more sink than I normally do. Still the dress fit and I asked them to hold it while I run to Saks (I was also planning on walking another block up and hitting Nordstrom, too.) At Saks, I perused the racks of cocktail dresses and immediately asked for help as soon as a sales person appeared. I explained what I needed. She showed me three dresses and I said I'd try them on.

The first dress I put on was the one I liked the most. Simple with a satin ribbon to tie around the waist. A very light blush pink. Sleeveless. Two pieces. A silky slip with an organza dress that goes over it. The neckline is high so lots more coverage, but it's also see-thru. I fell in love with the dress. I didn't try on the others. She called alterations and once it was pinned I liked it even more. So YAY! I just have to go back and pick it up next week. Oh, and find shoes.

After Saks, I headed to the Pearl District. (This is the area of downtown Portland where my heroine, Jane, in Plain Jane's Princess, worked at the coffee shop.) The North Face sponsored last night's slide show that was put on by Steve Rollins, a member of PMR and past president of the organization.

I learned a lot about SAR that will help me with my upcoming book. Each time I talk to one of these guys (I've now met two PMR members in person and gotten to know another over the phone) I get ideas for my hero. I can't wait until I'm past the deadline of this book and closer to the end so I can really start figuring that character out!

It was interesting to hear Steve's take on various rescues (including the 2002 helicopter one where he was the rescue leader and the December tragedy where he showed us a few pictures that hadn't been published.) He talked about a couple rescues that dealt with hikers (both had been alone and didn't tell people where they were going.) The lessons learned on each of the missions were applicable to anyone who spends time outdoors having fun. He also had strong opinions about the proposed Oregon legislature that would make it mandatory for Mt. Hood Climbers to carry electronic locator beacons, too.

A couple people who were rescued off Mt. Hood last month were there and talked about a fundraiser they are putting on to raise money for all the rescue groups who got their two parties off the hill. I'll post more info about that next week in case anyone is local and wants to attend. Miss Velvet, the lab, will be there! A good thing that came out of that rescue is that four of the people and the dog were on Ellen's show on Tuesday. A company donated $20,000 to Portland Mountain Rescue and $10,000 to Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital after that!

I came home, worked until after one o'clock, stressed out when I learned about a problem iBook G4's have been having then crashed.

Today I must write at least 10 pages. Wish me luck.

Link for the day: This is who our vet recommended we talk to about our three cats. All of them have been naughty and not always using the litter box. It's not just Spirit so even once she's feeling better, we will still have the problem. I have all my furniture picked out for the house, plus fabric purchased for some of the pieces, but we aren't going to buy anything new that could be ruined by our three furbabies. Needless to say, we have to do something! The testimonials are pretty amazing. What do you think?

P.S. If you want to know about Spirit's test results, check yesterday's comments. That's where I talked about them.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I've been merrily (okay, not so merrily) going along thinking my proposal was due on Wednesday the 20th. This morning I realized the 20th is a Tuesday! I just lost 24 hours. Yikes!

Some good news though. I took Spirit to the vet yesterday and she's gained over a pound. YAY! I'll find out the blood test results today and see whether she's to the point we can take her for the I131 treatment. Fingers crossed!

Okay, I need to get to work. Between all the other stuff I'm trying to get done, I'm still missing a chapter and a scene for the book and have very little free time today.

Link for the day: A word game for those with time on their hands. Wish I had some!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


On Thursday, I'll be having lunch with someone I met on an Internet forum in December. We've been emailing ever since. Hubby isn't too worried this time around based on how we got to know each other. I pm'd her with a question and she connected me a family member who's been helping me research my SAR stories and more. She's "traceable" as he calls it.

But in the past, hubby's been a little concerned when I meet my "virtual" friends face to face. He even went with me when I met a fellow Titanic buff who was male. I understand his concern, anyone who uses the Internet has probably dealt with their share of posers and trolls, but I see nothing wrong with making friends on-line and if the opportunity arises and you feel safe, meeting them in person.

I've been on one email group for so long, well before I had my first child, that I can't even remember when we started. We've been through marriage, divorce, miscarriage, childbirth, illness, death, moves, kids to school, first sales, rejections, you name it. They know so much about me and me them, yet I've only met a few face-to-face. We have exchanged Christmas Cards so I know what many of them and their families look like.

I'd jump at the chance to meet or see anyone of them in person since I consider all of them to be precious, close friends. The same way I'd love to meet a few other people I've met on-line, people I interact with regularly in forums, email, loops and blogs. This boggles my hubby's mind. How could I call someone a friend if we've never met? It doesn't strange to me at all. How about you?

Do you have "virtual" friends? Would you want to meet them in person? Have you met any of them in person.

Instead of a link for the day, I'm posting this You Tube video in prepartion for St. Patrick's Day. It's a four-hand figure dance. I actually know how to dance this one. Though I'm not quite as stiff as these fellows. Enjoy!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Out of the cave

So heading into the cave this weekend was a really good idea. I managed to get the auction catalog written (minus the five or so items I have no info on yet), I revised chapter one so it's now readable and I wrote two scenes in chapter two. Didn't touch the copyedits, but there is only so many hours in a day. I also attended a birthday dinner party at the home of one of the owners of Switch, a cool shoe store in Portland's Multnomah Village, went to Mass on Sunday where I did something to my right oblique when I picked up the wee one (but I still went to Pilates this morning) and taught my class.

Last night on TAR, Rob and Amber winning streak came to an end and they got eliminated. It was easy to figure out this was going to happen from the start of the episode by the way they edited the show. I'm going to have to pay better attention next week and see if this was just what they did with this show or if this is how they do all shows. Still don't have a fave team to root for. Do you?

On the agenda for this week: Write, write, proof, send my webmistress info on new book, send HQ Romance authors webmistress my new info, haircut, vet appt. for Spirit, teach, attend slide show on mountain rescue and another Pilates session. I also need to buy a new dress for the school auction, but that might have to be a last minute thing depending how I'm doing with the writing. What's your week look like?

Link for the day: How much risk do you live with? An interesting article on risk that I found while surfing the Internet researching for my climbing book. I downhill ski and I hope to take a rock climbing course next month. I've also thought about jumping out of an airplane (tandem with an instructor) after writing the last book, but I wouldn't call myself risky. Are you risky?

Friday, March 09, 2007

RIP Brad Delp

Boston has always been one of my favorite bands. In the early 90s, I remember driving to Laguna Seca to watch races with my UAL coworker and friend, Ron, and we'd have Boston blaring from the pickup truck's stereo.

Boston's lead singer Brad Delp was found dead in his house today at the age of 55. Here's a video of Don't Look Back:

Here's a video of More Than a Feeling:

Here's a video of The Man I'll Never Be:

Back into the cave

This weekend I will be heading into the cave and not coming out until I'm forced to. Not only do I have two chapters and a school oral auction catalog to write, the page proofs for Win, Lose or Wed! arrived yesterday. Everything is due within a couple of days of each other, too. Have you ever done this to yourself? What did you do to get it all done?

I started thinking I should have planned better, but when I offered to write the catalog, I thought I'd have the continuity book to write in the first half of 2007, not Win, Lose, or Wed! too. The idea of having to proof a book in March wasn't even on my radar screen. But continuing to whine about it isn't going to help. The only thing left to do is dig in and work my tail off which I started doing yesterday.

Of course, that has its pitfalls. When I get really intense about something I forget about everything else. I woke up at five o'clock this morning realizing I never ate dinner nor took my medicine (you're supposed to take it with food). I was too busy writing and hubby was with the kids at Irish dance. The only reason I managed lunch is that I had to feed Rose, too, and hadn't started writing until I put her down for her nap.

Have a great weekend! I will not be blogging until Monday, but I will pop out of the cave to respond to any comments since I get a little message anytime one of you kind-hearted, much-appreciated people post.

Link of the day: Velvet the dog from the most recent rescue on Mt. Hood has her own website. You can read about the Lucky Labrador beer that's being named after her, see pictures from that fateful trip up Mt. Hood and read her owner's story about what happened up there.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Book woes

I hate writing proposals. It takes me longer to write the first three chapters than it does the rest of the book. For me, the beginning is where I figure out the characters and that's not easy. Needless to say I'm struggling right now.

I just realized I have a book, Marriage for Baby, coming out in April and I've yet to get any info or the new cover to my webmistress. Nor have I come up with a new contest for the website and a hundred other little things. And now, I'm waiting for FedEx to deliver whatever it is they tried to deliver yesterday when I wasn't home. I'm praying it's not the copy edits/page proofs for my December book. If it is, death by chocolate will sound very tempting.

How are things going for you right now? Are you relaxed or stressed out like me?

Link of the day: This is where I'd be right now if I'd won the Mega Millions on Tuesday night.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Romance is in the air

Yesterday I made plans for our upcoming 12th wedding anniversary in April. Yes, I should have been writing, but this needed to be done. I'd been trying to figure out where to go and finally figured it out after talking with someone familiar with the destination. (Sorry, I can't tell you where, but just in case hubby decided to read the blog I don't want to blow the surprise!) I just needed to make sure hubby could take two days off from work. He can so now we're all set.

We'll be going away (not too far if anyone wants to guess in the comment section) for two nights. My parents are going to stay with the kids. I booked a room (we'll ski for free each day since it's a mid-week getaway! Hubby needs to know about the skiing for packing) and made a reservation for dinner the night of our actual anniversary. I can't wait! I already got his present (which I think he'll love!) so I'm pretty much set so I can concentrate on the book. YAY! All that's missing is the card. But I always wait until the last minute for that.

I'm the planner in the family. I finally learned (the hard way) that I was the one who needed to take care of birthday and anniversary celebrations around here. Even my own which pretty much sucks but what are you going to do? Wait and find out nothing's been planned for a special occasion? Or that the list of ideas you gave them was lost or forgotten about? Been there, done that, never want to repeat that so doing it myself just makes life and marriage much smoother around here.

Do you do your own celebration planning or do you split the duties with a family member or significant other? If your partner is missing that planning gene, has anyone figured out how to help them to do better?

Link for the day: Why LOST sucks! This website totally captures what I've been feeling about the show. And no, I will not be watching tonight. I've missed the last couple of episodes and don't miss it at all!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Getting there

I managed to finish chapter one yesterday. It's too short and the last scene is really bad, but at least I have something to work with. The proposal (three chapters and synopsis) are due March 20th. That leaves me two chapters to draft this week so I'll have time to revise and rewrite.

Today I'll work on the proposal before and after our visit to our CPA. Usually we have our taxes done by now, but with the deadline and being sick for so long I'm way behind on everything. Are your taxes done?

I watched Heroes last night. Talk about leaving us with a bunch of cliffhangers! Pretty much every thread left me wanting to know what happened next. I'll admit I was on my feet during the scene with Peter and Sylar. I was bummed that Simone really was dead. From the previews it looked like she was a hero herself, but I must admit how they handled that was a nice twist.

I haven't talked about the new season of The Amazing Race, but I've been the All-Star addition on Sunday nights. Rob and Amber (originally from Survivor) are kicking butt. So far they've won all three legs. It'll be interesting to see if they can keep it up. I'm not rooting for any specific team yet. Are you?

Link for the day: Nostalgia Wars! This blog pits characters from Stars Wars against those from the Peanuts comic strip. Check it out!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Home Sweet Home

We're back from Seattle! I missed my furbaby, Spirit, along with the other two so much. She was meowing when I walked in the door and just wanted to be held.

The feis was great. Even though I felt like I was just trying to get through it with a smile on my face (still not feeling well, but the cough is going away finally), the kids did great. Finn placed in his three dances (two only had two competitors though) and won a third place trophy. Mackenna placed in a bunch of her dances plus she won a fourth place trophy in the Treble Reel Special. Her second time competing in that dance and her first time placing! The best part is she learned a very important lesson during that competition.

She had checked in early and was practicing the second step that she'd just learned. She knew she was competing with older girls (U11 when she normally competes U9) and was a little nervous.

A little background for those not familiar with Irish dance, the treble reel is my favorite competition to watch. The girls line up around the stage. One by one, the come forward, do their hard shoe steps, get back in line and when everyone has danced, everyone does the same step. In the Championship level, people clap and it's just a really fun dance to watch.

Anyway, so Mackenna was in line. The third dancer, if I remember correctly. She stepped out when she was supposed to, started when she was supposed to and then stopped. She'd started with her second step, the one she'd been practicing. She sighed and took a step back to the line, but the judge told her to start over. Mackenna did and nailed the dance.

Some times when things go wrong, dancers lose it right there on stage. Crying and sobbing aren't rare during feis. It happened to my daughter at a feis in California and we almost decided to stop putting her in competitions after that. Our rule-if it's not fun we're not going to do it. This was one of those times where she could have cried, but instead she held it together.

When she came off the stage, she sat down by me. She said she knew she wasn't going to place and wanted to go. I told her that the way she held herself together on-stage and danced after making the wrong start meant she'd won no matter what score the judge gave her, but I explained that it was good sportsmanship to cheer on the other dancers who'd competed against her. So we stayed and waited for the results to be read and she won a fourth place trophy! Afterwards, she told me, "Mommy, I just know if I would have started crying she [the judge] would have never let me dance again."

Link for the day: The Treble Reel! This is a treble reel from a performance, not a competition, but you'll get the idea. In a competition, they don't dance together at the beginning, there are more dancers and the dancers move out from the line to do their steps.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Going Feising

In a couple hours we'll be headed north once again to attend another Irish dance feis in Seattle. I've been trying to get us packed when all I want to do is crawl between the sheets and sleep. But I'm almost ready then I can grab a quick bite to eat (leftover Shrimp Pad Thai) and shower.

I will be taking my computer with me. I'm so far behind writing-wise I can't afford any more days off so if there is a free (key point for hubby) Internet connection I'll post this weekend.

Last night I watched The Lake House. I wanted to like it, but didn't. It might have been my not feeling well. It might have just been a bad movie. Did you see the movie? What did you think? I just felt like I'd wasted a couple of hours. Good thing I was doing my daughter's birthday invitations at the time so it wasn't a total wash.

Link for the day: A-Rod vs Anakin who wasted more talent. Since Spring training is getting underway and after blog commenter Dru's A-Rod booksigning experience in NY, I figured this was a perfect Friday link.

Have a fun Friday!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Second Go-around

I've been telling myself for the last week that I was just at the tail end of the sinus infection, that I was getting better. But when hubby got home from his trip and said I looked and sounded worse than when he left, I knew I'd been kidding myself. The fact I couldn't swallow, hardly breath and had a pounding headache should have clued me in sooner. Anyway, I went back to the doctor this morning and am now on stronger antibiotics plus they gave me cough syrup for which make hubby happy since I kept him up last night. I'm hoping the new medicines do the trick because not only do I have a book to write, but an auction catalog for the kids' school. Both due the same week. Poor planning on my part!

I splurged on some chocolate. A box of Ho-ho's and chocolate cupcakes, actually. I realized I'd seriously been lacking in my chocolate consumption and wondered if that was having a negative effect on my page output. Now I have no more excuses. I'm all set to get back to writing.

Are you a good patient when you're sick? Do you go the doctors when you start feeling poorly or do you wait until you have no choice?