Monday, June 30, 2008

Fun Water Time!

The belated birthday celebration for my son who turned eight has arrived. We drove up to Grand Wolf Lodge yesterday and will be spending today enjoying water park. It's all indoors so we don't have to worry about beating the heat wave that's hit the Pacific Northwest.

How do you beat the heat if you don't have a/c?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

You are what you eat

I put on a few pounds (not sure how many, but my waist band is tighter) during deadline time so my Crossfit trainer Nichole is helping me to eat healthier. I came across this video on one of my lists and thought it was really cool.

Better make sure all of these are on my grocery list!

How are you doing diet wise? Eating whatever you want or are you trying to watch what you eat?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Random Saturday

I'm limiting my online time due to my hands, but it had been awhile since I checked one of my fave sites and look what I found this morning...

more cat pictures

It really fits with yesterday's post, don't you think? I enjoyed reading all your comments, too!

Well, hubby is home. He missed his connection in Frankfurt, so instead of flying directly to Portland, he had to go via Vancouver, BC. His luggage, however, never made it out of Frankfurt. Needless to stay Lufthansa is not his favorite airline at the moment. And he's very, very tired.

What do you have going on this weekend?

As for me, I'm trying to come up with a new story to write. My editor asked me to put the prince one on hold due to the royalty stories they bought while I was writing the trilogy book! Plus, I'm going to try and stay cool. It's going to be really hot today. I want A/C!!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Backcountry Heroes

With the research I did with SAR for my two 2008 releases, I find myself following SAR operations in the Pacific Northwest. In December, three snowboarders went missing at Crystal Mountain while backcountry snowboarding. Their bodies were never found. I can't imagine how the families would deal with such a tragedy. To make matters worse, all the snowfall this year kept official recovery efforts at bay though a friend continued searching on his own.

Back in December, a few backcountry skiers and boarders saw the three and that memory, no doubt etched in their minds, prompted one to organize a search when he started this thread on the website Turns All Year.

It's a great read to see how things literally snowballed into twelve strangers from an Internet forum joining forces to look for the three. They were joined by a couple friends of the missing and supported by the families. The ski patrol got involved, too.

What's even better? They found them, bringing much needed closure to family and friends and, I hope, to those who had seen the three that day back in December, too.

Here is an article about what happened as well as a link to a thread about the article.

When I was researching my books, all of the mountain rescue volunteers said they weren't heroes. One told me he was trained for this so it's no different than being a policeman or firefighter. That's their job. I disagreed with him, but that's worthy of another post.

In the case of the twelve who found the three snowboarders... They prove heroes aren't just found between the pages of romance novels. Real heroes are out there and may be as close as some person posting on an Internet forum you read.

The deaths of the three snowboarders was a tragedy. I pray for the three as well as their family and friends, but something positive did come out of this. The recovery effort shows the goodness of people and what can be achieved with a little heart and effort.

Like the dancing video I posted earlier this week, this story put a big smile on my face, too. And made me wonder... what kind of romance could I write with a backcountry skier or snowboarder hero?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Win A Book!

If you head over here and post a comment at The Wedding Planners blog, you could win a copy of Virginia Kantra's Shifter anthology.

My daughter's finger is not broken! They said it looks like a bruised knuckle. I opted to skip the x-rays. The kidlet's had quite a few already. They splinted it because it kept hurting when she was playing or doing stuff outside. They said it could hurt her for up to a month or more. Her brother stepped on her hand. He feels really bad about it!

My hands have started acting up a little more. A different kind of pain so I'm back to wearing the braces more and limiting computer time once again. I will look into making a doctor's appt. and my friend Elizabeth Boyle emailed me about seeing a hand OT person. I didn't even know they existed!

But right now hubby is in Tel Aviv and things are a bit hectic. But relief is in sight. I met my mom in Woodburn last night and she took the three of them for a couple of nights. It's just me and the furbabies and a horribly messy and dirty house. I need to get it straightened up before hubby returns and cleaning is not a strong-point of mine!

How are things in your life right now? Hectic or calm?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday Weariness

I ended up with two kidlets in bed with me last night. At one point there was a dog and a cat there, too. Needless to say, I did not sleep well.

I realized when I woke up that I never finished my blog for The Wedding Planners. Oops. I'd started it pre-deadline mania and totally forgot. Oh, well, it's there now.

Time to get going. I think my oldest broke her finger so guess where we're going today? It never ends...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dream jobs

I saw this video a couple of days ago and it put such a huge smile on my face especially since one of the clips is from Tel Aviv where my hubby currently is!

This guy Matt started doing his little dance for fun during a trip a few years ago. It caught on and now he's continuing his dancing all over the world, but with the help of sponsors! Imagine having that much fun and having it paid for!

It got me thinking of things I love to do that I wouldn't mind being paid for. What about you? If you could be paid to do what you love, what would that be?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Carpal Tunnel Strategies

A while back a few of you asked what hints/suggestions I'd received to help me deal with the CTS during deadline. Here's what I found helpful.

Please note: I still haven't seen a doctor so I have no idea whether these are actually sound practices or not, but they helped me get through a grueling two weeks at the keyboard.

1. Ergo Keyboard - this was the item that improved my hands the most. A climber on a forum I belong to gave me this link. Hubby had it sent next day delivery and it wasn't quite immediate relief, but close enough. A couple other climbers recommended other keyboards but they were too expensive not knowing whether it would work or not.

2. Hand exercises - the same climber who gave me the link to the keyboard also said I should warm up for 5 minutes before long spells of typing using these. They really helped from the get go and have become part of my routine now.

3. Wrist braces - I wear them when I sleep and at the height of the pain was wearing them two hours on, one hour off. I have yet to get back to work on a new book but will use them as I type for part of the time until my hands have healed.

4. Redoing work area - I was writing in bed on my iBook or on the couch or wherever I could find quiet. Hubby set me up on a table with a chair at the correct height. This was the first thing we did and like the keyboard helped right away.

5. Limiting keyboard time - this was the hardest. I stopped blogging and doing whatever wasn't related to the book. Thanks to blogger scheduling, I had most of my Wedding Planner posts at least drafted so just had to finish those up. I'm still trying to limit my time since I still have lingering symptoms.

6. Massaging arms and hands - a writer had told me to look for any sore spots and rub them hard. I tried that, but then went a step further thanks to my oldest who decided to open her own "spa" called the Lava Sun Spa. She would come to me with her bucket of spa equipment and rub my arms and hands with lotion.

7. Limiting activities - I took a break from climbing. I didn't think I could safely belay a partner. Now I feel I can. Amy had asked how this was affecting my working out. I also cut back crossfit to twice a week and we only used PVC pipes, little to no weight. Funny, but these non-weight workouts really kicked my butt. I also had to drop out of boot camp which is starting tonight. My hands couldn't take it five nights in a row.

On Friday: 2 400m runs, 1 burpee to plank position (no push-up), 5 lunges down Martin Luther King Blvd during rush hour traffic and the broad jumps all the way back.

On Last Wednesday: 800m run with squats and good mornings, practice all lifts with pvc pipe. WOD: 3 rounds - run/sprint, 15 - 10# medicine ball wall toss

I can't remember my other workouts which is why I post them here so I can keep a record. Oh well!

If the symptoms don't go away completely, I will see a doctor. But so far, self-care has worked pretty well. And spending the weekend away at camp with no keyboards in sight was a big help. Plus I got tons of sleep and even managed to read most of a book I've been dying to read, Garden Spells. Only 80 more pages to go. I'm planning to finish it tonight!

How was your weekend?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Fun

Here's an entertaining video that I got from a post by Maggie Shayne on one of my loops. It's from a few trash-talking RITA finalist romance writers. Enjoy if you haven't already seen this!

I went to the library with the kidlets. Found a book called Me and Mr. Darcy. The Amazon reviews on it are mixed, but the concept is cute so I'll give it try. But I was too tired to even read today. Scary.

I paid another visit to...urgent care again. Finn fell on his bike to avoid hitting his little sister and really hurt himself, but luckily his wrist isn't broken just sprained. That's two Thursdays in a row he's paid a visit there. Not fun! Seriously though, enough is enough of these injuries and illnesses. It's got to stop.

I've got Crossfit this morning. We're off to family camp later today. It'll be fun to get away for a couple of days. In between I need to check more off my To Do list.

Be back on Sunday and hopefully not be so brain-dead writing/blogging-wise. I still don't feel as if I'm all here. I was on google reader yesterday, thought about commenting for about a nanosecond then the words blurred. I will be visiting my fave blogs and getting into the routine again when I get back from our trip. I think I'm just tapped out creatively right now and don't feel like typing or thinking up one extra word! Sorry to my wonderful friends who blog. But this deadline really did me in! And if you've emailed me, please be patient. I am way, way behind there, too!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


What does it mean to not be a writer on deadline?

1. I slept in until after 8 am

2. I made the kidlets breakfast (my five year old can now make her own toast or heat up a frozen waffle on her own. Yikes!)

3. I talked to people on the phone (i.e. I actually dialed a couple of times and answered when it rang!)

4. I folded laundry and cleaned up the reams of paper strewn across the floor of my bedroom

5. I took the kidlets out to lunch, ate there and let them each have a 25 cent ATV ride

6. I napped and didn't feel guilty

7. I rubbed and loved my pets

8. I ordered refills on cat's Hyper T medicine

9. I went to Crossfit and made it through 3 rounds (WOD: run, 15 medicine ball throws 10#) even though sweat was running down my back and I was sure I'd stop breathing any minute and die

8. I went to the grocery store. Boy, have prices gone up since the last time I was there

9. I ate dinner with the family instead of at my computer

10. I watched a movie with my family, National Treasure, which none of us had scene before. We loved it! Now we want to see the sequel

11. I started reading a book that arrived a couple of weeks ago, The Latin-Centered Curriculum (a homeschooling book)

12. I critiqued an online read for a Steeple Hill author

Next up, finish sending all those blog contest prizes out! I'm way, way behind! Getting info for my new author page to LASR. Commenting on all my favorite blogs. Figuring what to work on next. Sleeping as much as possible!

When you have/feel a newfound sense of freedom, what do you do?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The End!

I just emailed the complete to my editor. Yippee!

Of course I'm too exhausted to celebrate. But I have my life back. That's the most important thing. I can hang with the hubby, play with my kids, run with my dog and rub my cats. I can also rest my hands, start The Zone, crossfit and climb.

Right now though, all I want to do is sleep!

Thanks for all your support!

It really helped. It always does :-)


P.S. And even though the last week of my deadline sucked and I appreciate all the hugs so much, I have to admit it could have been worse. I'm actually very fortunate because no one died. Friends and families of a couple climbers here in Washington can't say that. My prayers go out to them. And to all of you!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The dog ate my manuscript...

Sometimes writers have valid excuses for falling behind on a project. Sometimes not.

I'd lost two weeks when I got sick in April, and more days due to hubby's non-stop traveling. But I was still making progress by following The Plan. Until the carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms started. Then all bets were off. I stopped blogging here, looked for advice everywhere and tried to muddle through the best I could.

You'd think that was enough for a writer on deadline to have to deal with, right?


Here's what last week looked like for me:

Monday: kids out of school at 11:45 pm, princess tea party for 12 girls ages 5 - 10 that I donated last year not knowing I'd be on deadline. Writing until wee hours of morning.

Tuesday: catch up on writing missed due to tea party. kids out of school at 11:45

Wednesday: Adoration, kids out of school at 11:45, trying to write on keyboard but not really working due to pain, desperate for solution, Crossfit session with little weight due to hands, call from my closest friend to find out I will not get to see her before she leaves to move to London on Friday. Feel like worst friend ever. Cry in minivan while kids at CF kids and try to write something by hand, go home, put kids to bed, write, okay I will still be able to get this done, hubby hobbles home from his Crossfit boot camp session. His knee is the size of a bowling ball. He can't move let alone walk. I realize I am totally screwed now.

Thursday: Hubby in so much pain. Take Spirit to Animal Eye Doctor and cry the entire drive there and back. Hubby goes to Urgent Care. His knee is too swollen for a diagnosis, but they give him medicine. Kids out of school at 11:45. Typing still difficult so hubby orders me ergo keyboard that a climber recommends. Attend volunteer appreciation dinner at church by myself. Come home and hubby tells me Finn can't swallow. I take his temperature. Yep it's gotta be strep. I'm even more screwed. Off to urgent care we go. Four hours later, I carry a 72 pound sick and sleepy kid to the car. Thank goodness for Crossfit or I wouldn't be strong enough. Write until the wee hours of the morning.

Friday: Up at six to write before kids get up. My throat is starting to hurt. I soldier on, but send an email to my editor saying the ms won't be there the morning of the 16th. I'll get it to her that evening. Kids to school. Hubby to couch. I write. Pick kids up at 11:45. Rose says her throat hurts. Off to urgent care. Yep, she's got step too. My life totally sucks. Why did I ever think I could be a writer and a mother at the same time. Ergo keyboard arrives. Perhaps not all is lost. Cancel dinner on Saturday we had bought at church auction. There goes $70, but time is more valuable plus we have sick kids and I'm coming down with something. Get voice message from friend on her way to London. Cry more. I take healthy kid to Crossfit. I work with Nichole first, then during CF Kids I manage to revise a chapter by hand with no pain. Progress! Dinner with kidlet then drop her at Irish Dance. Write more. Try to get used to ergo keyboard. Stay up way too late.

Saturday: Woken up by phone call housecleaner/babysitter/housesitter extraordinaire. She fell and broke her write and needs surgery. Can't help me for the rest of the month perhaps longer. How many times can a person get screwed in a week? Ergo keyboard is helping. Finish manuscript. Rough draft that is. Write, write, write. Of course, I'm sick now. Write some more. Skip final little league game and picnic afterwards. Yep, worst mom ever. Write more.

Sunday: Wake up and realize I never bought hubby a card or present. Worst wife ever. Should have picked on up when I was getting antibiotics for kid. Church, breakfast out to celebrate Father's Day, remind myself to call my dad. Send hubby an e-card. Write some more. Try to stay awake. I don't feel good and so sleepy. Rewrite chapters 7-10. Print out entire manuscript. Gotta call my dad, but he's on the coast, not at home and I need to find the number. Write some more. Start polishing from page one. Oh, no it's midnight and I never called my dad on Father's day. Worst daughter ever. Stay up until wee hours of morning polishing.

Monday: Sleep through alarm. Barely functioning. Relying on neti pot to see me through whatever bug I've caught. Email from editor. I can have an extra day or two if needed. I'd really like to get this done on time cause the kids miss me. I gotta try. Work all day. Polish chapters 1-9. Rewrite way more than I thought I would. Add a much needed 1500 words to manuscript. Realize I need to get a decent night of sleep or I might collapse. Email editor that I'll take the extra time she offered. Worst writer ever.

So what was your week like?

Saturday, June 07, 2008

On Hiatus until June 17th

With the deadline, the carpal tunnel problems with my hands and being in charge of The Wedding Planners this month, something has to give. It's going to be this blog for the next couple of weeks.

I'll be a guest blogger at The Pink Heart Society on Thursday, June 12th.

Other than that, you can catch me at The Wedding Planners blog. I'll be posting there on Sundays, Mondays and Saturdays. I have some fun guest bloggers lined up, too! And there is a also a contest there you can enter to win a $30 Amazon gift certificate and a book.

Thanks for all your support and good wishes on the book and my hands. See on the 17th!


Friday, June 06, 2008


I've had to scale back the keyboard time. Just no other choice. The hands are improving though so that's a good thing! I'm hoping I can get back to my daily page goal. According to The Plan, the complete should have been finished today. Because of my hands, it isn't. This next week should be interesting!

Don't forget if you want to win a copy of my upcoming release, SOS Marry Me!, to go to Liz Fielding's blog and post a comment. The winner will be selected on Sunday!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Whatever It Takes

I posted a video of my heroine's song Slow Me Down and yesterday realized I'd never posted my hero's song Whatever It Takes. The song is by my favorite band, Lifehouse. Every single one of my stories since The Billionaire's Wedding Masquerade has had one of their songs on the book soundtrack! I just love their music. And this song is no exception. It's perfect for my hero, Bryce Delaney. Here are a few different versions of the song.

First the official music video:

Next an unplugged version of the song:

A concert version:

And finally a fan video featuring my go to guy, my inspiration extraordinaire, my muse, Hayden Christensen as Anakin:

In case you haven't figured it out I just love this song!

My hands are still hurting so I'm skipping the tally again. I managed Crossfit on Tuesday, but cancelled this morning's session. I'll see how I'm doing later to figure out if I should go on Friday.

Thanks for all you comments and well wishes. I hope you know how much that is helping me!


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Guest Blogging Today

Thanks all! The braces are helping, but my hands are still hurting. Luckily, I'd sent a guest blog to Harlequin author Liz Fielding before they got to the point they are now so I'm sending you to her blog today for my post! I'm also giving away a copy of my upcoming release SOS Marry Me! there!

I'll post a catch-up tally tomorrow. I want to save my hands for writing!

Have a great day!


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

Monday Tally

New Pages Written: 5
Pages revised on paper: Chapter 5, 6 and 7
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: haven't typed in changes yet
Total page count to date: 160 pages
Days remaining until D-day: 13

Chocolate consumed: some chocolate donettes
Junk food consumed: none
Diet: Need to start The Zone, but with a deadline it just doesn't seem doable
Exercise: None. I had to cancel my climbing date due to my hands
Television watched: None
Tears: yes. My hands really hurt
Link/Clip for the day: If you want to get to read an interview with my editor, she's blogging on the Wedding Planners today.

I managed 5 of my 10 pages before bursting into tears and begging for more Advil because my hands hurt so bad. I resorted to revising on paper. This didn't hurt as much.

By evening I was in so much pain, I went out and bought two hand braces. I've never had to wear them before, but with so much typing still to do in the next two weeks, I figure they can't hurt. Crossfit this morning should be interesting.

How are you doing?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Tap, tap, tap...

I managed to squeeze in trip to the rock gym yesterday after Mass and will be hitting it again today, but other than that I've been locked away in my bedroom typing. My hands are starting to hurt so I have to take breaks and revise the earlier chapters by hand. Not sure when I'll be able to type in the changes. Tonight I needed to do a couple of blogs for the Wedding Planners so that did in my hands.

Anyway, it's time for the return of the tally. If you're new here, when I'm on deadline, I keep a running tally of my writing for each book that's due. This one I'm doing late because I was didn't want anyone to know just how far I was behind. I'm still behind, but not scary behind. And yes, I'm very freaked out.

Sunday Tally

New Pages Written: 6
Pages revised: Chapter 6
Pages lost or gained due to revisions: +3
Total page count to date: 155 pages
Days remaining until D-day: 14

Chocolate consumed: some M&Ms mixed in trail mix
Junk food consumed: none
Diet: Need to start The Zone, but with a deadline it just doesn't seem doable
Exercise: 1.5 hours of workout in weight room at rock gym, bouldering/traverses, top-rope climbing
Television watched: Yeah right. I can't remember the last time I watched TV or visited my Google reader or opened a book or picked up the telephone or...
Tears: none, but after writing the line above I think I deserve a few ;)
Link/Clip for the day: If you want to get to know the heroine in my upcoming release, SOS Marry Me!, she's blogging on the Wedding Planners today.

And just in case you are a big confused why chocolate is it's own category and not considered junk food I wanted to explain that in my world, especially on deadline, chocolate is as necessary as air, water and climbing. I can't live without any of them if I hope to finish a book. Besides, dark chocolate is good for you! There are medical studies that show the benefits. So it's really not a junk food after all!

Please tell me what you been doing so I can live vicariously through you! Thank you!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Another winner!

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2008-06-01 07:26:59 UTC

This week's $5 Amazon gift certificate goes to Dru. She won with a comment on, A new winner. Congrats Dru! If your email is not readily available on your blogger profile or you don't have a profile, please email me your email address via the contact link on my website and let me know via the comment section that you have sent it. Thanks!

Last week's winner was Brandy. I checked at the beginning of the week, but you hadn't emailed me. I haven't been back to that account so that's why you haven't received your gift certificate yet. I'm on the once a week visit plan to that email account due to the deadline!

I'll be guest blogging on Liz Fielding's blog from June 5th through 8th. That's where I'll be holding this week's contest. Sorry, but with a deadline and being so far behind, I don't have time or energy to run two. The prize is an autographed copy of my new book SOS Marry Me! The book doesn't isn't released until the 10th so here's a chance to get one early.

Also, I'm in charge of The Wedding Planners blog this month. If you check my post for today, you'll see the contest I'm running there for the month of June. The prize is a $30 amazon gift certificate and a autographed hardcover version of one of my books so be sure to comment.

Hope you have a good rest of the weekend. I'll be spending my day writing and trying to get caught up.

Crossfit Skills Day - medicine ball cleans

On Friday I had a session with Nichole. I was oh-so-sore when I started and remained sore the entire day.

Warm-up: 400 m run, 750 m row, 3 rounds of Medicine Ball throws (front, side, under)
Skills: Medicine Ball Cleans
Workout: 2 rounds (run, 10 medicine ball cleans, 10 air squats)
Cool down: Roller

It's been nice having a break this weekend, though with our party on Friday night I barely sat down at all that day. The party was a big hit, too. Everyone enjoyed the food. It was fun, but as soon as everyone left and we'd cleaned up, I had to write. That wasn't a lot of fun.

Since crunch time arrived, I've been so disciplined with this book. It's not like me at all, but I'm not complaining. It's the only way I'm going to get it done. Though I may go climbing in the morning after church. I haven't climbed in two weeks and miss it so badly! Then it'll be back to the book!