Saturday, June 30, 2007

Butterfly Wings and Pink Tu-tus

Today, my four year old dances in her end of the year ballet and top recital. They even give out trophies at the end. I thought a trophy for dance was a bit strange when we did this last year, but with all the trophies her siblings have it really made her feel special.

Last night she helped me glue rhinestones on her costume. It was sticky and messy which meant lots of fun for a four year old and lots of clean-up for me. Rose is very excited about the show and getting another trophy. We'll see how she actually does on stage in front of an audience! Last year she was a bit shy.

I forgot to write my Top 5 Moments from May due to the last book deadline, but here they are for June:

1. Finishing my manuscript and emailing it on-time
2. Our Father's Day hike to Beacon Rock
3. Rose hitting the bell after she climbed up the rock wall at camp
4. Meeting my Internet friend in person and having him hit it off with the entire family
5. The smiles on the kidlet's faces when we went bowling to celebrate the last day of school

Hope you're having a great Saturday! Care to share your fave June moments with me?

Friday, June 29, 2007

June Blues

I just realized tomorrow is the last day of the month. Where did June go? In less than two weeks, I'll be in Dallas for the national RWA conference. I haven't even started to look at the clothes in my closet to see what fits and what doesn't, but my dance card is filling up rapidly. Breakfasts, meetings, parties, dinners. I'm going to need a spreadsheet to keep track of it all! But that's part of the fun. Cramming as much and seeing as many friends as you can into the conference.

I didn't make it into my closet today, but I did pull out The Plan. I wish I hadn't. By July 1st, I should be on page 31. I'm nowhere close to that mark.

But I have made a little progress on the book. I finally put the prologue to bed. A PMR member helped me put the final touches on it when he answered a couple of key questions for me the other day. And I started on chapter one. I'm kinda stuck in the where should I open the book. I have one opening, but I'm not sure it's the right one. I just need to write the darn thing and worry about the details later. Not sure why they keep stopping me.

I suppose if I wrote non-stop for the next say forty-eight hours I might get close to the plan. But I must admit, that is not going to happen. I kinda like sleep now that I've gotten a taste of it! So I'll just have to fiddle with the plan. Something I can do because the proposal deadline is two months away. Still not that much time I just realized. Gulp. Proposals always take me forever to write.

But what's a writer mom supposed to do when it's summer? Today I attended a play that my oldest was in as party of her Broadway Bound Camp. They put on their own version of Hansel and Gretel. Very creative.

The youngest finished her climbing camp yesterday and I had to be there all four days. She is only four. She made it to the top of two walls and everyone was cheering her on. I was so proud of her. She's ready to go again, too. Good thing because I know where I want to spend my birthday later this summer--stay in Bend and climb at Smith Rocks in Central Oregon.

I started reading Lisey's Story by Stephen King even though I should be reading the DeMille book. It may take me a while to get through due to lack of time and length of the book, but I'm enjoying it so far. What are you reading right now?

Thursday, June 28, 2007


One of the frequent commenters here, Marianne had a link to a blog rating system on her own blog. I decided to try it out. This is what mine turned out to be because of the words pain and dangerous. (Not sure why, but those words popped up on the screen with the rating.)

Online Dating

Considering I spend most of my time with kids ages four to nine and listen to the Wiggles, Veggie Tales and Radio Disney while driving around, it's probably an apt rating. The following song is the kidlets' current favorite. We play it over and over again in the minivan.

We each take a pirate and sing the respective parts. Can you guess which one the kids like me to be?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hump Day

I've been getting more sleep lately. It's only made me more tired. How is that possible? Maybe it's because lots of little things keep popping up that I need to attend to:

Yesterday, I sent in a few things for my last book. I still need to find out if a Dear Reader letter is needed or not. I may just write one today to be on the safe side.

A few days ago I finally found a little studio apartment to rent at the end of July when I head north to take the second part of the class I started last summer. It has everything I need, including Internet! I figured with an upcoming deadline (8/31) this was better than staying at someone's house. Now I can write and not feel like an impolite guest.

Last week, I found out that neither of my last two releases are available for the Literacy Booksigning in Dallas in July, and I still need to get back to RWA about that. I'm not fond of booksignings, but I like that one because the money goes to a good cause. At least I can donate by walking around, visiting my favorite authors and buying their books!

And finally, I found out that when school starts next year, the kidlets will be having early release on Wednesdays. That's the same day I teach my class, a class that has been scheduled on Wednesday afternoons for years. Now I'm going to have to contact all the families and see what other day will work for them. I was wondering if I should spread stuff around rather than having everything on one day and it seems to be happening on its own!

On today's agenda: Adoration, acting camp drop-off/pick-up for oldest, climbing camp for little one and two piano recitals tonight. Not that busy a Wednesday for once! How does your day look?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Just another day

I'm late posting because I didn't want to get out of bed this morning and start my day. Hubby had to leave early so once I finally crawled from beneath the sheets there were kidlets to dress, feed and one to take to camp. I then passed off the other two to a babysitter and headed to my stylist's salon for a much needed haircut. Ponytails were becoming way too easy so I had to do something about that. Now my hair is above my shoulders. No more ponytail temptation!

I arrived early so headed into Lava Java and drank a steamer while I revised a few pages of the book. On the way home, I stopped off at Costco hoping to find a life jacket for my oldest but ending up buying a cute dress and an even cuter skort set for the youngest and the paperback book Lisey's Story by Stephen King for me. I'd noticed the book before, but had no idea what it was about. Stephen King is my fave so once I read the back cover, there was no putting it down. Even the boxer at the checkout stand said it looked good! I'll let you know.

So the book...

Working title is Christmas on the Mountain aka The Mount Hood book.

I revised the prologue yet again, but since the scene sets up what happens when the book opens six years later it must be right. I may send it off to my critique partner then run it by the SAR guy so I can finally put it to bed.

Jessie may become Carly. I have to try out both names. I still like Jessie, but Carly keeps popping into my head. I used Hannah for the sister-in-law. The name will be perfect for her.

I watched the DVD Catch and Release since it involved a woman losing her fiance like my current project. I have to admit I was very disappointed with the movie. The story was just too much for me (i.e. too unbelievable.) I needed Gray (Jennifer Gardner's character) to have time to get over the death of one love before falling in love with another. I don't buy the HEA at all because of the timing. Still there were some good lines, interesting characters and I didn't feel as if I'd wasted two hours of my life. I just thought it could have been better. That's been the story of most movies I've watched lately.

Hubby's got a couple of boys' nights out coming up. Can you recommend any movies I should pick up at the video store to watch while he's out?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Home From Camp!

We got back from family camp yesterday. Two days of sports, arts & crafts (that's hubby helping the kidlets with their projects), prayer, boating on Roslyn Lake, sleeping on bunks and not-so-good food (with the exceptions of the s'mores!) A true camp experience. The kids fave part was the late night capture the flag game where everyone wore glow-in-the-dark necklaces. They learned if you want to win be on our priest's team.

This is the view from where I critiqued my cp's last chapter. That's Bull Run Reservoir in the background (supplies water to Portland, Oregon.) There was a nice wooden bench to sit on. Birds chirping. Wildflowers growing everywhere. Not one person walked by. It doesn't get much better than this!

Of course being at camp with a four year old is no different from being at home with her. Just the scenery changes. I had the exact same routine, including naptime. The only difference was I actually got some sleep. When she went to bed, so did I since I couldn't leave her in the cabin alone and I couldn't work because she needed the lights out.

This is where we had Mass on Saturday morning. This is as the priest and altar boys were setting up. It's a amphitheater where you sit on logs. The only trouble was kneeling. Got a little stiff from the hard ground. I'm spoiled by padded kneelers! Having Mass outside, however is one of my fave things about family camp. We also say the Rosary around a campfire at night and then roast marshmallows.

This is our priest saying Mass. Unfortunately, it was raining on Sunday morning so we had to be inside, but at least we had Saturday morning out here. During the final blessing, a large bird (looked like a hawk) flew overhead, soaring and dipping, in the blue sky. It was so beautiful.

I can't wait for next year! How was your weekend?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Off to camp!

Today we leave for family camp. It's your typical kid camp experience-sleeping on bunks in a cabin, swimming, sports, hiking, arts & crafts-except for families. Our church sponsors it so we'll also have Mass outside each morning and say the Rosary each night followed by s'mores. Not to mention a late night capture the flag game with glow-in-the-dark necklaces to show what team you're on.

Of course that means I'll spend this morning getting ready. That is after Pilates which is later than usual today. (But that allowed me to sleep in until 9:30! I feel much better today and the hubby is home, too!) I have a sea of laundry needing to be folded on the floor of my room, a pile of dirty clothes still to wash and things to still to buy like bug spray and more sunscreen.

Somewhere in there I'd love to get a page or two written. I'm leaving my iBook at home, but I'm taking my Alphie. I hope to find at least an hour or so of alone time if I can. Maybe during the little one's naps!

Did you ever go to camp as a kid? I never did, but after last year's experience I kind a wish now I would have gone away for a week each summer.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

It never fails...

Hubby goes out of town and something happens. I thought we'd already had our incident on Monday. Think seven year old boy and toilet paper. Thank goodness for plungers!

But last night I got woken in the middle of the night by my oldest. She, who never is ill, was sick to her stomach and in a huge amount a pain. This kid, like all three, has a very high threshold of pain. She once danced with a bad sprain, placed and took home a trophy. All I could think was who do I know well enough to call at 3 am and ask them to come stay with my two youngest while I take the oldest to the hospital. Before doing that, I phoned our pediatrician's office.

We were on the phone with a nurse at Emmanuel children's hospital for almost a half hour. Finally, she said it looked more like a virus than an appendix, but gave me a list of instructions to follow for the rest of the night. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep. My daughter is fine today and bouncing around like normal today. A huge change from her hunched, death warmed over look of last night.

Anyway, no time to blog. Sorry, but I'd rather sleep. But that's not going to happen until the kids go to bed. Plus anything I'd write (probably this, too) wouldn't make a lot of sense with my foggy brain.

Though one good thing happened yesterday on the writing front, I finished my prologue rewrite at12:30 am! Now onto chapter one.

Hope you are having a great day! I'm hoping tomorrow is better for me!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A New Title

Even though I was running late this morning, I managed to check my email and found one from my editor. She said they'd come up with a new title for my continuity book (the one that was due June 1st.) The working title was Mr. Wrong and the Wedding Dress. The new one (not official yet, but they wanted my opinion) is Stranded with the Bad Boy.

What do you think?

Running Late

Hubby is out of town. I watched Music and Lyrics, then stayed up too late writing. The kids need to get to climbing camp now so I'll blog later. Have a great day!

Monday, June 18, 2007

One of My Favorite Things

There are a few things about being a writer that I don't like all that much. Deadlines, not-being-under-contract, returns, booksignings, PR, reserves held against royalties, etc. But none of those things (not even deadlines) are bad enough to keep me from writing. It's the best job in the world next to being a mom to three terrific kids. Sometimes it's hard to believe I'm actually paid to do what I love. Last night was one of those nights.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know I love to do research for my books. I've become an expert googler and have no problem emailing or phoning someone if I think they can help me with a book. I sometimes go overboard (see Win, Lose or Wed!, my 12/07 release for an example), but to me the effort is worthwhile. Anything to make sure things are possible and believable.

Last night I was fortunate enough to have dinner with four members of Portland Mountain Rescue at the Bridgeport Brewery in downtown Portland's Pearl District to talk about my work in progress. A member who's become a friend after helping me with research on all three books I'm writing this year set up the group for me. It was also a chance for us to meet in person after six months of emails and telephone calls.

I took notes but mainly to jot my memory so I could transcribe the notes in my head. I didn't have a lot of specific questions (those will come as I get into the book more), but wanted to listen and watch them interact. The topics ranged from climbing, rescues (three were involved in the helicopter crash a few years ago), relationships, family, etc. Talk about an informative evening!

As I listened to them, scenes kept popping into my head. Characters started coming alive. It was so awesome. Needless to say, I couldn't stop thinking about the book on the drive home. Considering it's been so hard to get my brain wrapped around the book these past couple of weeks, this is exactly what I needed.

Hope you have a great Tuesday! Mine's looking pretty good so far!

Beacon Rock

To celebrate Father's Day with hubby, we went on a hike to Beacon Rock on the Washington State side of the Columbia River Gorge. There is a trail that winds its way to the top. The trailhead (with bathrooms) is right off Highway 14 which parallels the river so its easily accessible.

The kidlets and I on our way up the trail. The kids each brought a backpack, but the youngest only wore hers until the trailhead then I got to carry it.

The weather was typical for the Pacific Northwest: overcast with rain. We stayed dry, but the wind off the Gorge kept the temperature cool. About two-thirds of the way up when we were protected from the wind, the jackets came off. Only to be put back on when we came around the other side of the rock.

I gave hubby the choice of what he wanted to do today. He picked hiking and chose the destination. We've been wanting to do hike to the top for awhile. This picture was taken about halfway up. We saw many other dads with their families who chose to do the hike, too.

The trail offers great views of the Columbia River Gorge. Lots of Kodak Moments to be had on the way up, at the top and back down. Oregon is across the river to the South. The Bonneville Dam is to the East.

Here are a couple of the kids on the way down. The vertical switchbacks help on the way up so you don't get tried. Though the little one started to drag in both directions. We kept a close eye on her because she could have easily slipped through the bars or fallen off an unprotected edge.

Here's another view from the trail. There are all kinds of different railings along the trail. Some, like this one, more decorative than others. We saw lots of chipmunks, too, especially at the top. They came close, probably wanting a nibble of our snacks.

Hubby took this shot of me on the way down. Jacket was back on because of the wind. I slipped on my rain pants to keep warm.

I was anxious to get going because the three kids were in front of us, and I was worried about the youngest being on her own. The most dangerous part was the hike down. She kept wanting to run and we had to hold her back. When she started dragging, hubby pulled out a couple peanut butter crackers. That perked her right up and she made it back to the minivan with no problem.

After our hike up Beacon rock, we drove to Skamania Lodge for lunch. It was a great way to spend Father's Day!

What did you do yesterday?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Last Day!

The kids are thrilled that school will over today. My nine year old daughter asked me if she could throw a going away luncheon for a boy who was leaving the school so she's spent the morning decorating the playroom with streamers and balloons. The menu is simple--pizza, root beer and cake. She made him and another girl (whose last day was Wednesday) cards and had the entire class sign them.

She's always been a compassionate little girl so her actions aren't too surprising, but yesterday I asked her if she wished her former classmates had done something like that for her when she left her old school two years ago. A thoughtful expression formed on her face and she nodded. I just wanted to hold her and not let go.

Yesterday, I went gym climbing and attended son's last Little League game. No writing, because naptime was spent at Walmart buying things for the luncheon today and having my glasses fixed. They literally flew apart while I was halfway up a wall. My whole vision changed in an instant. It was so weird. Luckily the lens was fine, but I never could find the screw that holds the glasses together. I borrowed tape from the climbing wall so I could see to drive. Luckily the nice person at the eye place had a tiny screw and fixed my glasses for free. Good thing because I'm blind without them! Guess it's time to get sturdier (or more flexible) glasses!

Hope you have a great Friday!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Summer's Almost Here

Today is the older two kids' last full day of school. It's also the last day of wearing their full uniforms. Next year daughter graduates from jumpers to skirts. She's excited about that. Tomorrow the kids have a half day and get to wear their PE clothes since it's also Field Day.

I'm looking forward to summer. I love having the kids around, but this is the first time in a few years that I've also had a deadline over summer. I realized one of my problem with The Plan last night. I'm not keeping track of my writing time, just the pages. So I'm adding seven columns to track hours over a week. At least this way I can see if my time estimates are close or not.

I mentioned in the comment section that I need to find inspiration for my hottie SAR hero, Matt Porter. I know who he is personality wise, but what he looks like is still a mystery. I found a picture of a real-life search-and-rescue hottie while googling. He would work great, but I've never really used someone who wasn't well, in the public eye before. This guy is a total stranger and would never know, so I guess it doesn't really matter. I'm going to keep looking though.

Link of the day: For the writers out there, check out this hilarious post on hero archetypes on Romancing the Blog.

Today's schedule: Play with little one, climbing at the gym (a different one than I've gone to before, but they have childcare), writing during nap time, piano lesson for son and Starbuck's visit for the rest of us while we wait. What are you doing today?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wednesday Woes

The Plan is not working. Granted, I exceeded my weekly page goal last week by one page, but that's only because I'd already drafted the prologue. So far no new pages this week and it's already Wednesday. I must get on it!

Yesterday afternoon, I went climbing. Well, really I just practiced my footwork. One of the guys stopped by for a few minutes and he answered a couple of questions I had and reminded me to take off my rings, then he went down to climb the cliffs. I'm not there yet. I'm not sure when I'll be ready for that. Still I had fun and can't wait to get out there again.

The good thing is I can do the easy traverse with only using one hand for balance. The bad thing is when I went to the lower traverse and actually had to try hand holds, it was really, really hard. Much harder than gym climbing. I could get about two feet or so then I'd fall. After scraping a knee on the way down, I stopped going up as high. Of course, that made it harder since there weren't as many good holds down lower.

I met a woman, Karen, who was doing the same traverse, but was a million times better than me. She's been climbing since '98 and was very helpful and encouraging. Once I'd scraped up my fingers and had aching muscles though, I stopped. I didn't realize how hard I'd worked until I sat in the car and went to take off my shoes. I really felt like I'd had a workout. I have a feeling if I ever make the full traverse, it'll be time to pop open a bottle of bubbly!

Today is the last day of preschool for my youngest. I need to make her a lunch and meet her for the end of school picnic. Then the two of us will head up to Mount Hood to pick up our climber friend. Guess last night was really windy up on the hill. He's ready to come down. And then it's back to the routine. Pick up kids, piano, dinner, etc.

My Wednesdays never seem to change. Always busy no matter what. Even when I lose something off the schedule (like the class I teach) other things take its place. I thought I was being smart by making one day a week when I schedule everything for. Now I'm not so sure that was the best strategy and am rethinking it. Do you spread things out over the week or do everything on one day?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Sunny Spring Day

I wish I could say I've been hard at work on the new book. Unfortunately, I'm not. I have six pages. I'm leaning toward the name Jessica/Jessie Bishop for the heroine (works well with her backstory and I love the nickname Jessie) and am drawing a blank on where to go next. Not good.

The weather this morning isn't helping. It's a beautiful, sunny day. All I want to do is grab my backpack full of my climbing stuff and head to the place where I practice traverses. But I have a poetry cafe to attend with my son from 9 to 10:30 and I need to pick up the youngest at noon. I guess there may be time since I get a little tired after an hour and I have a bruised cafe right now, so I'm going to toss a pair of shorts into my bag just in case. Of course, I may feel a rush of guilt that sends me home to write instead. That's probably more likely.

Not much else to report. Drove our house guest up to Mount Hood so he could climb for a couple of days. Critiqued a couple of chapters for my cp. Tried to find a place to stay when I'm back up in Tacoma for a class this summer. Did a couple loads of laundry. Pretty boring day.

What's your favorite thing to do when the weather turns nice?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Eagle Creek

Yesterday we went on on a hike in the Columbia River Gorge in an area called Eagle Creek.

The overcast skies kept the temperature pleasant. It didn't start raining until the drive home. We still got a little wet on the hike since it had been raining all weekend. Being there reminded me of when I hiked through a rain forest in Costa Rica.

This is Metlako Falls, the first waterfall you come to on the trail. You follow a path to a viewing area.

There are four different waterfalls on the hike: Metlako, Punchbowl, Lodwit and Tunnel Falls.

On the way to Eagle Creek, you also drive past Bridal Veil Falls and Multnomah Falls.

Wildflowers bloomed all along the trail. Sometimes just one plant, other times a small field. I really liked these purple ones.

The initial part of the hike climbs above the creek and then flattens out. This picture was taken after we took an off-shoot trail back down to the creek near Punchbowl Falls.

Near the water, people had made cairns. The garden of trail markers looked as if they belonged in a fantasy or adventure novel. Here are a couple near the creek.

From this bridge you could look over into a ravine and see a trickle of water, but no waterfall.

This is Punchbowl Falls. If you continue up the trail, you'll see the other two waterfalls. When we have more time, I want to hike out to Tunnel Falls. We didn't have time on Sunday. Eagle Creek is not a loop trail so you have to hike back the same way you head out. Off-shoot trails take you down to viewpoints and the creek.

Here I am on my way out. It was a great hike and just what I needed. Now if I could take a day off and catch up on my sleep, I'd be a really happy camper!

Do you have a favorite place where you like to hike or walk?

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Weekend Business

We survived the feis and the Texas Hold'em Party. Both went great. The two kidlets danced well. Oldest came home with medals and a big trophy. I had to miss her last dance as well as the award ceremony to get ready for the party. I'm so sorry i missed seeing her get third place!

The party was fun though, but went a little long. I was very tired by the end. For the BBQ part, we served smoked brisket, ribs, beans, Santa Fe salad, tossed salad, corn bread muffins. Lots of munchies and brownies for dessert. Hubby made the final table and won four tickets to a Seattle Mariners game in August!

This morning I've already been to Mass. Now we're taking our houseguest on a hike to Eagle Creek in the Columbia River Gorge. Hope you have some fun things planned!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Feis and flush

Today is the Oregon State Championships, an Irish dance feis where the two oldest kidlets will dance, and the Texas Hold-em Tournament and BBQ, were hubby would love to get a royal flush and win the event! Needless to say, another busy day, but fun. I told hubby I really needed a break and next year we wouldn't be doing this a third time.

I finally pulled out one of the books from by TBR pile to start reading. Wild Fire by Nelson DeMille. It's not a romance. I got the hardcover for Christmas and have yet to have time to read it. I devoured his Night Falls in one night two Christmases ago. I hope this one is as much a page turner as that one was.

Not much else to report. Hope you have a great Saturday!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Huge sigh of relief

I am debating names for my heroine (thanks for all the suggestions in comments yesterday!) and was hoping to figure it out by now, but it's Friday so I am a happy camper. I survived the week. Yay for me! Hubby got home last night. I picked up a house guest at the airport (someone I met via the Internet.) I managed to get to sleep before 1 am and didn't have little feet kicking me all night. A really good night!

Today will consist of: Pilates, finishing up stuff for the party tomorrow night, taking Rose to ballet (and remember to pick her up on time), entertaining our house guest and trying to squeeze in at least one new page. The more I write the more the right name for my heroine might come to me. She grew up in a little town on Mount Hood, but left for the east coast six years ago when her fiance was killed in a climbing accident and has not been back until now.

The kids have an Irish dance feis on Saturday. I can't wait to watch them dance on stage again. It's been awhile!

What are your plans for today and/or the weekend?

Hope you have a great Friday!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Treading water

Hubby gets home tonight and I can't wait. I have had hardly any down time this week. Usually the week after deadline, I get to rest and relax and get back into the routine slowly. Not this time! And sleep time is almost as bad as it was last week. No fair!

Last night, I had three kidlets in my bed and didn't sleep all that well. To fit we slept sidewards. I think it's time to get a king size bed! Even though I'm not tall, 5 4 1/2", I didn't fit too well. But the kids were happy and slept like little angels. Though talk about blanket hogs! Good thing I wore flannel jammies last night or I would have froze.

We are co-hosting a Texas Hold'em Tournament and BBQ dinner on Saturday with two other couples. This was an auction buy-in for my kids' school. Last night, I put in a DVD, A Good Year, and got to work. I made 30 favor bags and organized all the other stuff I need to drop off at one couples house on Friday. I finished in time to just sit back and enjoy the last part of the movie. It was a good flick. Russell Crowe's character, Max, reminded me of one of the kinds of hero I write a lot--wealthly workaholic who doesn't have time to enjoy life until he's forced to take a break and then sees what he's been missing. Oh, and falls in love with a pretty working girl, too.

On the writing front, no new pages for me, but it was Wednesday so I hadn't planned on any. I'm really struggling with my heroine's name. Her last name is Bishop. I looked up the top 20 names for 1980 on the SS website. Still no clear cut winners. On the list are Ashley, Anna, Hannah, Jessica/Jessie and Sarah. The hero is Matt Porter. Any suggestions?

Hope you are having a great day!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Plan

I'm developing a brand new appreciation for the hubby. I've always been grateful for all his help. We're definitely a team that doesn't split household/child duties in a traditional way. But he hasn't had to travel much in the last few years and now I realize just how much I rely on his help. Trying to do it all myself this week is completely exhausting with three kids, three cats and a 3000 square foot house. By the time evening rolls around I'm exhausted! Forget about trying to write.

Knowing this is my new life since hubby took a new position at his company that will require travel, I have decided to implement The Plan. This was shared to me by historical romance author and friend Elizabeth Boyle .

Yesterday while sitting at the Irish dance studio for two hours, I made The Plan for my next book, Christmas on the Mountain (working title). I was way conservative as I filled in the Excel Spreadsheet that Elizabeth had sent me. I cut back on my daily page goal, especially with summer rolling around. I put in everything I could think of that would keep me from writing.

And when I finished, I had my first writing plan. If I do this, the December book would be done the first week of November, allowing me 3 weeks of revision time. The one thing I didn't put into the plan were revisions for the book I just turned in and galleys for that same book, but with three weeks revision time that gives me some padding. And a few weeks I only have to write 5 pages. Even an overachiever like me can realize her limitations especially while trying to recover from a deadline and handling three kidlets on her own.

So as of today, I'm implementing the plan. The page goals are weekly. This will work until I get closer to deadline and start the tally again. The tally is my record for me. My accountability. The fact you all cheer me on is the icing on top! And I love icing. Anyway, I'm curious to see how this works. This year I have not missed a deadline. I have two more to make by the end of the year. Let's hope this helps without all the trauma and drama of this past one!

Do you plan things out? Do you have a schedule or are you more spontaneous?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Only a short stay...

When I got home from dropping off my iBook at Macpac and picking up Rose from preschool, there was a message about my computer. I phoned immediately and talked to a guy who told me it was ready! Two hours after I dropped it off. Granted, I paid extra to be first in the queue, but still I was thrilled. So ecstatic that I told a random guy who happens to fix macs for a living that I loved him. He didn't gasp or laugh so I'm assuming I'm not the first person to have done this. Hubby laughed when I told him. He knows exactly what having my computer back in only a couple of hours meant to me.

I loaded Rose back into the minivan, bought her lunch on the way and picked up my baby! I was so happy. We're talking bubbling, overflowing joy. Seriously, I need to get a life if I feel this way about a computer. But even though I had my baby at home, I spent my day with the kids barely touching the iBook. Hubby's gone so I got to do all the running around this afternoon and find someone who could help me get kids places in two totally different states.

Quick weekend update:
Sunday-spent the morning with the family at church and home, went climbing with a good friend and we bumped into the climbing cutie. I had a great time at the gym and got the highest I've ever been. I didn't quite make it to the top because I looked up and got scared. It was really, really high. So came back down. Next time I hope to do better. We also went to a reception for a couple who got married in CO in December. It was fun and the two girls couldn't get enough of dancing with their daddy. So adorable. When we got home, my computer died so we used hubby's computer to figure out where to go in the morning.

Saturday-took the kids on a hike. We had so much fun. I then went through the kids clothes (with their help) and decluttering. So much paper was everywhere I started going through all the piles in the house. Once that was done, I went to work in my office. I also watched the DVD, The Holiday. Predictable, but exactly the kind of movie I love. Really perfect for rebounding from a deadline. I was a Jude Law fan prior to his nanny-woes (he was actually the inspiration for my hero, Henry Davenport), but he really was adorable as Graham.

Friday-slept. I watched Everest, a video tape from a 1996 expedition. Went to bed at a decent hour for the first time in days.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Computer woes

I'm at Macpac about to say goodbye to my ibook until they can fix it. I will be offline until then with no email access since hubby is out of town, too!

Hopefully I will be back soon!


Friday, June 01, 2007

It's Done!

Final Tally

New pages written: 0
Old pages revised on paper: entire book
Old pages revised on screen: entire book
Pages of revisions typed in: entire book
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: -1
Total page count to date: 215
Days remaining until D-day: 0
Emails from editor in UK: 2 (from another editor about cover art)
Emails from agent in NY: 0
Emails from continuity loop: a few

Chocolate consumed: Godiva truffle
Junk food consumed: none
Diet: pretty easy since I have no time or desire to eat right now
Weekly weigh in: 130 (down 8 pounds total)
Exercise: 30 minutes of practicing climbing footwork outside
Television watched: none
Tears: just couple
Clip for the day: A bit tongue in cheek, but this is how I feel about my manuscript right now. Enjoy!

Okay, I did it. But I only have five minutes to get ready for Pilates so I'll write more when I get back. Oh, and hubby made sure I ate three meals yesterday! Plus I remembered to take a vitamin.

Update at 3:45 p.m.

I emailed the book to London this morning a little after 8. This after waking up at 5 and starting work on it again after a couple hours of sleep. Immediately I got an out of the office reply from the editor. So I actually could have worked all day today instead of most of the night. Argh. Oh, well...

It's off and I'm so relieved. The one thing I didn't have time to do was go through my checklist of overused words. I caught many by hand, but the find function on word works really well for that. I'll have to remind myself to do that during revisions.

The book turned out better than I thought it would. Fingers crossed it meets the editor's expectation.

I got home from Pilates and crashed. I was sore from the traversing I did on the rock and exhausted from non-stop writing this week. I woke up to have lunch. Hubby said he'd take Rose to dance. I went back to sleep. I woke up at 2:30 and checked in Rose's room where she should have been napping. Her bed was empty. I called hubby. He swore said he had to go. Needless to say, he forgot to pick up our daughter. Dance was over at 1:30. I was so mad. Not that a sleeping mom is a stellar example of parenting, but I've never forgotten a kid before. This is not hubby's first time, either. Luckily there was another dance class so she just attended that one, too. No worse for the wear. Wish I could say the same for me!

I got the kids ice cream cones on the way home from school to thank them for putting up with their mommy while on deadline. Good thing this only happens a few times a year or they might need therapy for the rest of their life. Seriously though, hubby takes over during this time so it's not that bad. Still I know this weekend will be lots and lots of makeup family time for me. Because of that, I won't be posting again until Monday, but I will reply to comments. Have a great weekend!!!!

Thanks for the support. I love you all! xoxox