Thursday, July 31, 2008

RWA Conference - Wednesday - Evening

After the signing, I headed to Harlequin Presents author Sandra Marton's hotel room for the annual HMB author pizza party. Last year in Dallas was such a blast, I couldn't wait to see how this year's party turned out. Talk about a fun time! Sandra graciously provided soda, water, wine and snacks. Here are three talented Presents Authors: Sandra, Jane Porter and Jennie Lucas.

Lillian Darcy, pictured here with Presents author Sharon Kendrick, brought leftover yummies from her agent's get together and several authors brought regional treats aka desserts. I tried something called an Idaho Spud that Jennie brought. Imagine a marshmallow center, chocolate and coconut covering! Not a potato at all.

So many authors showed up this year for the pizza party. Many more than last year. The room was a little crowded, but a fun time was had by all. Unfortunately unlike last year I didn't get a chance to meet and talk with everyone who was there.

Sandra also ordered pizza for us. We invited the pizza delivery guy inside for a few pics, too. I don't think he knew what to make of the room full of female romance writers but I think he was pretty brave for agreeing and a good sport!

After the pizza party, I headed downstairs to a gathering of authors who belong to a loop I'm on. Most are refuges from the old Romex days on GEnie. It's a great and supportive group of women!

Here is a picture of the amazing Anne Stuart who is one of my favorite writers and people!

I've been looking forward to this party because I was being awarded bling! I belong to a group called Pursuit. For every 100 days of consecutive writing, you get a piece of sparkly jewelry. Unfortunately, I rarely have 100 days to write a book so they created the lightening bolt award for those of us who write faster. I got one as did Anne Stuart and Katherine Garbera received two!

Mary Jo Putney received a special gift from the uber-talented Jo Beverly. Check out the adorable cat apron. Isn't that great! I want one myself.

I'll hopefully be caught up by tomorrow morning. I must admit I'm having so much fun, a lot more fun than I thought I'd have. And I've even managed to find a little time to work on the revisions. So yay!

RWA Conference - Wednesday - Daytime

Today was a fun day! I spent the morning getting registered and visiting the goody room, then met my friend (and Finn's godmother, Jen) for a day shopping at Union Squre.

Me, Harlequin Presents Author Jenny Lucas, Harlequin Historical Author Michelle Willingham

This is the statue Victory in Union Square. If you read Win, Lose or...Wed! this is where I started the race with Millie!

Jen took me to her favorite stores. She also introduced me to several sales people in case I ever need info for future books. Some of the shops we visited today: Prada, Hermes, Barneys, Tiffany's and Neiman Marcus! We had lunch at the Rotunda at Neiman's.

This is another shot of the Rotunda. It's a lovely spot to have lunch.

This is me at the Literacy booksigning! My family stopped by so the kidlets got to see their mom being a romance author! There were so many authors there and all the proceeds go to fight literacy!

It's late so I'll post about Wednesday evening later. Right now I need to get some sleep!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

RWA Conference - Tuesday

I'm at the Marriott in San Francisco for the Romance Writers of America's national conference. It was so strange to make the drive into the city. I used to do that drive every single day when I worked at SFO for United Airlines. Somethings have changed since then. A lot of things hadn't. It felt very strange to head downtown instead of to the Marina District, too!

The sun was shining and it was warm. Not usual summer weather here in the City, but since I was wearing shorts and Tevas I was happy!

I checked into the hotel a little after three o'clock and bumped into people I knew immediately. Love Inspired author Terri Reed, Medicals and Desire author Olivia Gates, Linda Hill, from my old critique group in San Jose, and Berkeley author and fellow Rotrosen Agency client, Christie Ridgeway. I also bumped into HMB author Trish Wylie who traveled from Ireland and writes for HR, Modern Extra and Presents. I met Trish for the first time last year in Dallas and she's so much fun.

I didn't do much else but chat with people. I also unpacked and caught up with my roomie, Avalon author Shirley Marks, who I hadn't seen since we roomed together in Dallas. After exploring the hotel, we went out to dinner. Yummy Thai food - chicken pad thai and chicken pumpkin curry.

The night was spent working on revisions! Aren't I a good girl?

Today will be spent with one of my closest friend's Jennifer. She's meeting me at the hotel and we're going to spend the day together. This will be our first time to hang out sans kids in over ten years! Of course, my family will be staying at her house for the next four nights so it's probably good she gets time away from her family before mine invades, I mean, arrives.

The Literacy Autographing runs from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Be sure to stop by and say hi if you're attending! I plan on having chocolate there, too!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Hubby downloaded photos for me. Over one thousand of them if I'm counting correctly so it's a bit overwhelming to go through! But here are a few of the recent ones I never got around to posting that I said I would.

From the Gilroy Garlic Festival:

You could learn how to weave garlic stalks. I'm not exactly sure what you would do with the weaving, but I'm sure it would be an interesting conversation starter!

You could buy a garlic dude. The kidlets thought he was very cute. I wondered if he was one of those scratch and sniff type toys.

You could try all kinds of yummy garlic food. I tried a garlic stuffed olive. Others with us tried the garlic salsa. I wanted no part of the garlic chocolate.

Angus and Chaos:

Isn't he adorable? I miss him so much! I'm hoping he can come stay with us before he heads across the pond in the fall.

This picture was taken right before Angus had to leave. The two doggies were getting along great at this point, but Chaos wasn't too happy to have to sit for a picture. She needs to work on "Stay." Don't they make a cute couple?

Countdown to Conference

The kidlets and I had a great time at the Tech Museum in San Jose. Our OMSI membership got us in free, too! Can't beat that.

We saw all kinds of cool things, got to do some hands-on science including an experiment where you insert jelly fish DNA into bacteria to make glowing bacteria that shows how they make certain medicines like insulin. They watched a show with pirates, then got to go figure out how they would survive on a deserted island with only a chest containing limited items. They had to tell the guy in charge how they would make shelter, get water, find food, cook food, fix a broken arm, etc. They loved doing that!

The best part is they got to see the equipment the company where my hubby works makes. And the big piece is one he actually worked on when he first started there years ago. All three recognized the company's logo and were so excited when they saw that.

As for the RWA national conference, it starts tomorrow. I head to San Francisco later today to check into the hotel. I will have dinner and then work on my revisions! Yes, I brought a little work. I figured I couldn't waste a hotel room with an adult roomie.

Yesterday I went for my pre-conference manicure and pedicure. I figured it would be better to wait until I got to California than have it done back home in Washington. Good call on my part.

My friend Debbie found a great place for me to go. Splendor in San Jose. They do a wonderful hot rock massage on your hands, arms and legs. It really felt good, especially my forearms. They did a French Manicure on both my fingernails and toenails. I've never had that done on my toes, but it looks very nice. And it'll match all my various outfits better than just one color.

At the salon, I was drying my nails when my cell phone rang. I couldn't answer it so just let it go. A couple of minutes later it rang again. I knew something was up then (and a little worried it might be one of the kids) so asked the woman sitting in the pedicure chair next to me if she could answer my phone. She wasn't having a manicure so her hands were free.

First she had to find my phone, not an easy task, in my purse which has several pockets and zippers and flaps. The worse thing is I never put my phone in the same place twice, but thought I knew where it was this time. She finally found it. I told her it would be my hubby calling. She read the name on the screen. It was him.

She explained who she was, which was quite humorous in itself, and I could only imagine what my hubby was thinking at that moment. She told him I couldn't talk because of my nails and would call him back in a few minutes. Unfortunately he needed to talk to me now since I was in charge of the veggie for dinner and he needed directions.

So I gave the instructions to her and she relayed them to hubby. There was a slight mix up with the salt and pepper, but we got that straightened out. I think she makes the dish, too, so was giving her recipe! And wouldn't you know why she was on my phone, her phone started ringing. We both just started laughing. I introduced myself and learned her name was Stephanie. I really appreciated her help. It was one of those random acts moments that just puts a smile on your face.

Have you ever needed to ask a stranger for help?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Gilroy Garlic Festival

We drove south to Gilroy yesterday and attended the Garlic Festival. It's an event I've always wanted to go to, but in all my years of living in the Bay Area just never managed it.

The Garlic festival reminded me a lot of a county fair except with garlic. Garlic head hats, Mr. Garlic walking around, garlic food, even garlic ice cream! They had three stages with non-stop entertainment and a children's area with rides and games. That was a huge hit with the kidlets!

I have so many pictures to download so will add those and write more later. I've got to take the kids to the Tech Museum in a few minutes.

This morning I had breakfast with my good friend, Kent, who I went to Stanford with. We went to Hobee's which is my absolutely favorite breakfast place in the world. They have this delicious orange-herb blend tea and blueberry coffee cake. I'd been craving that coffee cake for weeks! So yummy. I also ordered my usual, a florentine scramble - eggs, cheese, spinach and mushrooms. I think I may have to go back there tomorrow before I head to San Francisco!

What's your fave breakfast food?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Feis Wrap Up

The Silicon Valley Feis was a little different from any of the feis we've attended so far.

First, there were three ballrooms where the competitions were being held. I had three dancers. Wouldn't you know it all three were in different rooms. Two at the same time. At least those two were right next to each other. The other wasn't so we had to keep walking to check where they were on the schedule. The good thing was I got plenty of exercise yesterday. Unfortunately hubby never got to see our youngest dance. I managed not to miss one dance, but I was happy I'd worn my Tevas!

Second, this was the first feis we've attended where they didn't list all the dances on the wall, pulling off the numbers of completed dances so you could see what was coming next. They only listed the current dance so if you didn't have a schedule (which you could print out at home) or pay $5 for an approx. 10 page program, you were out of luck of trying to see when your dancer should check in and would dance. My hubby did ask the guy with the microphone if he could announce when dancers should check in since he was in charge of our son.

Third, the dancers went backstage, out of sight, to check in and were walked out for the dances. This was a tad disconcerting with my five year old, who competes as a four year old since they go by their age as of January 1st, but I didn't see anything really wrong with this method until Mackenna didn't come out for her slip jig. She no longer has to dance the light jig so was sitting out that dance. The other dancers started lining up, but she didn't come out the door. I started getting worried.

Some stage moms (this is the person who checks in the dancers and gets them out on stage) in the other rooms would call out missing dancer numbers, but not these one. I quickly realized there had to have been a problem or something going on backstage, so I asked a dancer from another school if she could run back there and she did, but she doesn't know my daughter. When two dancers stepped on stage and the music started, I bolted back there, found Mackenna chatting with another dancer totally oblivious to the fact she should be dancing and told her to get on stage now. She hurried out and got at the end of the line as the others were already dancing. At another point during the hard shoe dances, she went backstage when she should have stayed on stage, but remembered to come back out before the music for the next dance started.

I plan on filling out the feis feedback questionnaire and bringing up the stage management issue. Seems each room should have used the same procedure if a dancer was missing (i.e. do a final callout of the missing dancers numbers before the music begins.) Though in my daughter's case, it was her lack of attention that was the real problem. Still a quick number callout or next dance would have helped. At the end of the day, I saw another dancer doing her solo dances alone in front of a judge. I wonder if she missed some of her dances.

Fourth, the feis wasn't crowded. This was our second California feis and the first in Southern California in 2005 was packed. This one had plenty of seats which was so nice. Sometimes you have to stand or sit on the ground. Not at the Hyatt. There were comfy chairs and lots of them.

Fifth, this feis gave out beautiful Galway crystal bowls to the first three places in the trophy dances. I love this idea because my daughter has so many trophies already and this bowl is something she can keep forever. (She got third in her Treble Reel Special.)

Overall it was a good day. The kids all placed in at least one solo dance. Finn and Mackenna each placed in a special trophy dance. And my friend and her son got to experience an Irish dance feis.

But my favorite experience of the day was when my youngest danced. She was in the youngest age group and the only dancer in her competition. She danced on stage by herself, quite a feat in itself. During her last solo dance, the single jig, she got confused and started doing some of the steps from the light jig, which is her fave dance. You could see the moment of realization of what she was doing on her face. The judge helped her get back on track and she ended the dance at the right time.

The disappointment on her young face was heartbreaking. Tears welled in her eyes as she ran off the stage to me. Mackenna and I were sitting in the front row of chairs behind the judges table. Rose cried as we told her how wonderful she danced. She was too upset to listen to us.

The judge didn't have any dancers on stage after her dance so he turned to Rose. He told her how great she did and just plied her with compliments. The way he talked to her was so wonderful. He explained what she needed to work on to improve her dancing, too. And then he lowered his voice and told her, as if sharing a special secret, that he'd placed her first in all the dances. Rose sucked in a breath and sat taller. All the tears disappeared and her smile returned. She was so excited, so happy and couldn't wait to get her medals. Granted, she was the only dancer in her competitions so got first by default, but that didn't matter to her. She wore those medals around her neck the rest of the day, telling everyone who asked that yes, she placed first.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Everyone was sound asleep by 9 o'clock last night. Even hubby! I spoke with my friend, Debbie, at 9:30 and then called it a night myself. I can't remember the last time I was in bed before midnight!

This morning is the Silicon Valley feis! Rose is excited except there's no one but her signed up for her dances. I'm hoping whoever didn't pay yet will show up anyway so at least she can dance with someone and not alone. The competition in California is supposed to be a lot harder than in the Pacific Northwest. (And the east coast even harder!) At least that's what "everyone" says. We'll see. I told the kidlets to do their best and have fun.

I spent part of last night doing what Irish dance moms do before a feis - taping the bottom of hard shoes. If you don't tape them (using black duct tape), the dancer can slip which is no fun. Finn just got two new (well, used, but new to him) pairs of shoes this week. His feet are growing so fast he needed both hard and soft shoes. The two used pairs only set us back $130.

Every time we have to spend money on Irish dance, I tell myself (and hubby) it could be worse. My kids could love ice skating or competing with horses instead. Horses would be really expensive.

Tonight is the big Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus concert in 3-D on The Disney Channel so that's what we'll be doing come 8 o'clock tonight. We made a special trip to Walmart just to get our free glasses! I was asked a million times if I'd packed them.

Will you be watching anything today?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Do you know the way to San Jose?

We're here! Santa Clara, not San Jose, but they're right next to each other. We left a little before 4:30 am and got to the hotel a little after 4. Not bad with three kids in the back. The timing was perfect. We hit zero traffic! And the hotel is very nice!

Nothing going on tonight, either! Maybe now I'll have time to upload all those pics from this week! Hope your day is going well.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What was I thinking?

Okay, back in 2005, I planned our family vacation to coincide with RWA's National Conference and that went great, but for some reason this year things aren't going so smoothly. Okay, I had total hair trauma with the bad highlights, which is thankfully over. All blond is gone replaced by a caramel brown color. But it's more than that. Between my hands, the revisions and life, I feel like I've lost weeks of time and suddenly the end of the month has snuck up on my. My mother told me it's just because I was getting older. Gee, thanks, mom.

Maybe the reason is we're not only going on vacation, but attending an Irish Dance Feis. So not only do we need to pack for 10 days. (Guess who's packing for four of us???) I also have to bring all the Irish dance costumes. Since all three now compete that's quite a bit of extra stuff. I don't even want to think about my conference clothes either. I bought myself some new shoes yesterday though. I finally realized pretty much my entire wardrobe has brown in it and I don't own any brown shows except for my boots.

Another reason I'm having so much trouble this time around is hubby's car broke down last Saturday and he decided to wait to fix it until we get back from our trip which means we've only had one car this week. Last night when they went to watch my nephew play at State, I was stuck at home unable to do any of the errands on my Must do list before we leave. I still haven't gotten around to it yet and we leave in oh, fourteen hours or so.

Needless to say, I'm a bit freaked at the moment. I know I'm forgetting things. I know there are things I'm not going to be able to get around to. I know I was suppose to call friends in the Bay Area ahead of time, but it's just not going to happen until I get down there now. To be honest. I really wish I were hopping on a plane and flying somewhere with no people, no phones or Internet. Alone.

But instead I'll have a few days with my family and friends and then I'll hit the conference where I'll be overwhelmed by all the people (I'm shy and a loner so conference week pretty much sucks for me) and talk to hundreds of people in 3 minute snatches while wearing heels and make-up and wishing I could be climbing instead. But I'll survive and take loads of pictures so you can see what's happening in San Francisco, the way I did when I conference blogged in Dallas last year. And then I'll come home and try to figure how to recover from my "vacation."

If you live in the Bay Area and want to save, I mean, see me, I'll be signing at the RWA author booksigning for Literacy on Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the San Francisco Marriott. It's a free event and there will be over 500 romance authors in attendance. I'll be signing SOS Marry Me. If you want more info, go here.

We leave super early in the morning to try and beat the traffic so I won't be posting until we arrive or on Saturday. I hope you have a great day today and on Friday. I hope you have fun plans for the weekend, too.

BTW, who are your fave authors? The one's you like to read so I can try and snag some of their books to giveaway when I get back.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fun time and bad hair

When our friends arrived yesterday, Angus bounded into the house and screeched to a stop when he saw Chaos. He looked confused and maybe a little perturbed. What was another dog doing here?

The two doggies didn't seem to remember each other from their walk back in May (at least that's when I think it was!). Chaos was the more cautious of the two, but who could blame her? Suddenly, her kennel, her water bowl and her toys were being overtaken by another who seemed to feel very comfortable, almost too comfy, in her house.

Her son and my son disappeared upstairs and the girls followed them. Legos and lightsabers were the toys of choice yesterday afternoon. Pretty soon the girls were back downstairs.

While Tiffany and I talked, we put the dogs outside. Angus had great fun chasing Chaos around the patio table. That is until, she became fed up with the game stopped and growled at him! But they ran along the stone retaining wall, through the yard and seemed to warm up to each other after that.

It was great to see my friend in person. I've missed her so much. We haven't been emailing much. My hands and she wasn't been on line due to a vacation in Corsica so we had a lot of catching up to do. She was back in town for a funeral of a friend and both of us ended up in tears as she talked about the woman's son's reaction to her death. So heartbreaking. But the rest of the time we had fun. She was here for a long time and I only wish it could have been longer.

She gave me a book, Acting up by Melissa Nathan, that has a Pride and Prejudice theme. I can't wait to read it.

I'll add pictures to this blog once I have time to download them. I'm trying to do revisions and pack at the same time!

The one thing I didn't blog about yesterday was my hair. I was in denial, but the truth finally hit me. The highlights are, in a word, horrific. I'd ask that they not be as blond as the last time so she decided to put chocolate lowlights. So now I have dark brown streaks and blond (almost white though Tiff thought they looked more green). It's so not me.

The kids were the ones who first said they didn't look good, though they liked the cut. Son's first words, "You got highlights." Sorry, but an 8 yo boy should not notice things like this. I appreciated their and other's honesty since I knew something was wrong (some streaks looked white to me and so much lighter than the last ones) and had taken to wearing a baseball cap right away. I've been told I look 1) like a tiger 2) older 3) urban.

When I removed my baseball cap to show Tiffany, her expression said it all. She said it was a professional job, but if I wanted to pull it off I'd have to change my whole look. Sorry, but I don't do black. Or tattoos. I'm heading back to the stylist today, but Tiffany wondered if I should just cut my losses. Unfortunately, I can't go to National looking like this.

Hubby can't understand why these highlights came out differently than the ones I had before (with a different stylist who got pregnant). I told him she only did 9 foils. The last two times with the new stylist my head was covered in foils. He said he didn't see anything wrong with the color of my hair in the first place which is a typical guy response, but maybe he's on to something there. I would love to have my hair color, prior to May, back right now.

Please cross your fingers that my hair looks somewhat better when I get home this afternoon. Otherwise I don't know what I'm going to do and we're leaving for California on Friday. Not a lot of time to figure it out!

Have you ever had a bad haircut or color? What did you do?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


My friend Tiffany who moved to London without me getting a chance to say goodbye is back in town and I get to see her today! She, her son and our beloved Angus are coming over. I can't wait! I need to check the battery in my camera so I can get doggy pictures for the blog. We're going on a hike around the lake this afternoon.

Other than that I'll be working on my revisions and trying to rest my hands. What about you?

Monday, July 21, 2008

A busy Monday

I have been running non-stop since the wee hours of this morning. I'm finally home after what feels like and was hours. I have a new haircut and highlights, two birthday gifts I purchased for a friend I'm taking out to breakfast on Thursday and my agent and hands that have been hurting since I started typing in revisions. Ouch!

This weekend I watched two more DVDs. The difference between last week's movies? These I can actually recommend!

The first is The Spiderwicke Chronicles. All five of us enjoyed this one. I'm relieved we didn't see this one on the big screen. I'm sure it would have been more scary to the youngest, but she actually enjoyed it, only wanting to sit between hubby and I toward the end.

The second is a movie I'd never heard of until seeing previews on a DVD. It stars Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings) and is called The Final Season. It's a baseball movie based on a true story about Norway High School in Iowa. Sentimental and fun, the way a sports movie should be! Hubby really enjoyed this one, too.

Speaking of baseball, my nephew's team is currently playing at State. They are 1-1 and have two games today. The boys are thirteen/fourteen. I found some of their names very interesting: Caden, Caleb, Connor and Cody. Sounds like a bunch of romance heroes, don't you think?

How was your Monday?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Guest Blogging

I'm blogging at the Wedding Planners today. You can read my post about wedding movies here.

I spent yesterday at Amy's and had a great time. So did the kidlets. We hadn't seen each other in a couple of years so we had a lot of catching up to do about life, family and, of course, writing. Her pool is awesome, too!

Last night, my movie watching continued. I watched the special features from The Other Boleyn Girl which were very interesting. I loved hearing how Phillipa Gregory discovered the relatively unknown Mary Boleyn and listening to the history of the Tudar period.

Once I'd had my fill of historical trivia, I put on The Jane Austen Book Club. Hubby and I liked it. Of course, how could I not enjoy a movie that had one character comparing Austen to Star Wars Episode 5, The Empire Strikes Back. I have the book and will probably read that one next. I'd like to see how the characters from the movie compared to the novel. I have a Jane Austen thread in my book, too.

Now a pet peeve about the movies I've been watching. In two of the last three movies there were rock climbing scenes on an indoor rock wall. One in Fever Pitch and one in The Jane Austen Book Club. In both, the climbers fell. But the scenarios were so far removed from the reality of climbing I don't know if it was shoddy research or a convenience factor. Either way, it made me roll my eyes and wonder what the director and writing were thinking. Why? Both scenes were so wrong it wasn't funny.

In Fever Pitch, the belayer was just holding onto the rope. That is, she wasn't wearing a harness or have a belay device. In the Jane Austen Book Club, no one was even holding onto the other end of the rope. In case you've never climbed a rock wall at a rock gym, this is not how you do it.

Granted this could happen at some random playground wall or even a crag itself if the climbers were 1) totally inexperienced and 2) stupid, but not at the kind of gyms portrayed in the two movies.

No gym would ever allow these scenarios to happen because someone could easily injure themselves or die. There are rules that must be followed. I've climbed at three different rock walls and at all three you have to pass a belay test before you're allowed to belay anyone, so the scenario out of Fever Pitch is totally ridiculous.

I'm not quite sure what they were thinking with Jane Austen Book Club because anyone who'd climb without a belayer (unless they were self-belaying which may happen in gyms, but I've never witnessed it) is a total idiot. Granted that character was rash and extreme, but this definitely crosses the TSTL line. (To Stupid To Live.)

Okay, rant over.

Have you noticed mistakes in books or movies that just really get you mad? What were they?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I read through the first hundred pages of my book yesterday. It was fun to revisit the characters and story after nearly a month away!

Dru asked what was in the comment section yesterday. is what we called our trilogy. It's a fictional on-line dating site (though if you type it in, you'll get our blog!) that ties the three books together and where our heroines meet. The trilogy is about three on-line friends who live in three different countries who have never met in person, but become close while emailing, chatting and IMing with each other.

Last night I watched two more movies with the hubby. Fever Pitch, recommended by my sister, which I liked and The Other Boleyn Girl, which is worth a watch for the scenery and costumes, but the movie, especially dialogue, could have been a whole lot better.

This morning I'm picking up the kidlets and heading over to Amy's! (For those of you who don't read the comments here, Amy is a frequent commenter on this blog and has an entertaining blog of her own.) I met Amy on-line years ago. We belonged to a writer's group and when I came up to visit my family (I was living in California at the time) I met her. Her oldest was a toddler then!

BTW, I joined Facebook recently. If any of you are on it, let me know. I'm listed under my name so should be easy to find!

Hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Revisions on my book arrived in my email box this morning. Considering I was supposed to be off-line and camping, maybe it's not such a bad thing the trip got cancelled. The revisions aren't bad at all. My editor's suggestions will strengthen the story and I can't wait to dive into them. I just need to buy paper first.

Wouldn't you know it, I'm down to only a few sheets. Not enough to print the entire manuscript! I learned not to print ahead of time. I either lose it or the kids think it's scrap paper and draw on the back!

Last night we drove down to Oregon to watch my nephew win District 7 in Little League. His team is off to state now. He's a really good baseball player, but I still remember him as a toddler who I would take for the night and push all around Lake Oswego in a stroller! Boy, has he changed since then. He's very cute and has to his shoulder shiny locks that the girls all love. The way he whips off his batter's helmet as soon as he can is so funny. Guess he doesn't want helmet hair!

The kidlets spent the night with my parents and may stay again tonight. This took some of the sting out of the cancelled trip. And tomorrow I'll be taking them to Amy's to swim in her pool! Fun times ahead!

A good thing since I'm going to be working today. I will be taking advantage of being sans children by going on a hike with Chaos and working on my revisions. What are you doing today?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Yurts and dogs, oh my!

I found out about 10 pm last night that pets are not allowed at our site. I made the reservation back in December (pre-Chaos) but had thought dogs just weren't allowed inside. Wrong! It's Oregon, not Washington that allows dogs at the yurt site. Big oops! I'm not sure what we're going to do. We had only planned housesitting for the cats so the person not cats and dog so at this point I don't know whether we'll be going camping or not. We haven't told the kidlets, either. They were so looking forward to taking Chaos to the beach and going themselves. I guess they could go and I could stay home with the dog if worse comes to worse. I'll keep you posted.

Hope your day is going better than mine!

Update: We're not going. I found someone to watch Chaos, but hubby's workload exploded and he can't take the time off as planned. The kids are totally bummed, but I'm going to try and make it up to them somehow.

Monday, July 14, 2008


This picture made me smile.

more cat pictures

I need to finish packing. It's so hard to be organized with camping. I know some people are, but I'm not one of them. Any suggestions on how to bring what we need, but not make your yurt look like a bomb went off inside?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Research Fun

Besides cleaning, I spent some time researching settings for the new book. I wanted to find out where billionaires go on vacation. Wow! Some pretty cool locales came up. Now to figure out what my billionaire hero would be doing! At least I have a better idea of what he might be doing and where.

Today is our church picnic. That's usually a fun time. I also want to start packing for our trip to the beach. We don't leave for a couple more days, but with five of us, it takes time!

Did I tell you my son served at Mass as an altar boy last week? It was so funny. Cute funny. Watching these young kids up on the altar for the first time was pretty amusing. Lots of hesitation, looks passing between them, forgetting things, little gestures and signs going back and forth. Finn was up there with one of his best friends and the two had me almost laughing at moments. But both looked really sweet up there.

Thanks for the movie recommendations yesterday. I have to second the recommendation for 27 Dresses. I watched that when hubby was in Israel and loved it. I thought the characters were fantastic! If you haven't seen it, do!

Hope you have a great Sunday!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bad Movies

Last night after we finished watching a movie on DVD, hubby asked me how I'd chosen the last three DVDs for the two of us to watch: Atonement, Rendition and Awake. He did not like one of them, and I have to admit except for Hayden Christensen, I didn't like the three much, either.

With Atonement, I had know idea what it was about. I just knew the movie had received tons of nominations and the DVD box mentioned something about a great romance. Needless to say, the payoff I'd waited for never happened and as the ending played I sat there feeling shell-shocked like one of the soldiers from the Dunkirk scene.

With Rendition, I figured if we were going to watch a good romance (i.e. Atonement) then maybe I could get something hubby would enjoy. Uh, no. I think the movie could have been a lot better. And there was one very odd story/time technique used (a little reminiscent to Atonement) that totally had me shaking my head and wanting to go back to an earlier scene to take a closer look. Except I really didn't care enough about the movie to do that.

Last night with Awake, I'll be honest, I really just wanted to see Hayden Christensen. Let's face it, I'd rent a DVD of him reading the phone book and happily sit through the entire thing with a dumb smile on my face. I'd wanted to see the movie when it opened, but never got around to it. I'd been trying to rent the movie for awhile, too. And I really wanted to like the movie. The problem with Awake, at least my problem, is there was no hero. **Spoiler alert** Strike that, there were two heroes, Lilith and her doctor heart surgeon friend, but I wanted the hero to be Clayton (Hayden's character.) Unfortunately, he may be awake, but can't move so all he can do it react to what's going on around him. He can't take action. He can't save himself. He can't be heroic. That's left to his mother who figures out that people are trying to kill her son, calls her doctor friend to tell him what's she's discovered and makes sure there's another heart available for her son. When the heart surgeon arrives, he takes charge and doesn't give up on Clayton when his new heart stops beating. Justice is served in the movie (unlike Atonement), but again I didn't get that payoff I'd wanted.

I misplaced my list of DVD recommendations I'd had and need to search harder for it. I did realize something all three movies had in word titles. I think I'll avoid any more of those for now.

At least I'm better at selecting movies for our Family Night! We watched National Treasures 2: Book of Secrets on Thursday night. I liked the first one better, but the kids liked this one. They thought it was funnier and liked that Riley played a bigger part. Of course I just want to know what is on page 47! Guess they'll be another one coming out to tell us!

Do you have any movie recommendations for me? Please repeat any you've posted before, too. I want to put together another list in case the other one remains missing.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Yay for Friday

I'm so happy this weeks almost over. It brings us that much closer to our trip to the beach next week! I've had a yurt booked since December and am so looking for a few days break from the routine.

I climbed again yesterday. It's coming back. Yay! My hands gave me no trouble while climbing, but Wednesday night and yesterday my right forearm hurt (a different kind of pain that I'd felt before) that I'm pretty sure is a result of the lifting I did at Crossfit on Wednesday afternoon with the shoulder presses. So... I put on the right brace, didn't do Crossfit yesterday and limited my online type. It's feeling better today.

It was also cooler, so cool Chaos decided it was time to sleep with us again. Hubby wasn't too thrilled by that, but it's so cute how she burrows between us and lays her head on my pillow. One of those awww moments. At least for me.

Today will be checking more items off my To Do list in order to start preparing for San Francisco at the end of the month...trip to dry cleaners, drop off new dress to have it altered (a little bit on the top) and make a hair appointment for sometime in the next two weeks. I'll also be working on my new story.

What are you up to?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Crossfit - a hot day

It was 93 F when I started my workout. By the time I finished it felt a lot hotter!

Warm-up: 500m row, pass throughs

Skills: Shoulder press

WOD: 3 rounds (only managed 2 cause of heat) of 15 box jumps, 15 jumping pull-ups, 15 kettle bell swings (30#)

Cool down: 30 situps

I was working out at the garage gym. All I could think about was how nice it would be to have A/C right now! But I made it through two rounds. My face was tomato red though. It stayed that way for a while.

Do you change your exercise routine when it gets hot or does temperature not matter to you?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A Milestone!

My youngest rode without training wheels last night! She decided to do this on her own. Well, with a little impetus from her brother after one of her training wheels got bent. She rode with it like that and then said to hubby, "Just take it off, daddy." She had no trouble riding without them. None at all. A bit of a difference from the other two. Within a minute, she was speeding down a driveway into the street. Exciting, yet sad. My baby is growing up!

This morning I went climbing for the first time in a month. It felt sooooo good!

I also took Spirit to the animal eye doctor. She's healed so no more visits for us! I have to keep up the medicine for a few months, but we're down to one time a day. Great news

Not sure if I mentioned it, but my book idea with the Lancelot hero got the go-ahead so I'm working on a new proposal to submit.

And, yesterday, I mailed off all the books that have been won! Finally. Sorry for the delay and it's a huge check mark in my To Do list. Some people may get two packages instead of one if they won more than one book. It was just how the envelopes worked! They were sent a combo of media mail and First Class, depending on which was cheaper. I was pretty careful to double check all the winners against my blog, but if you don't get anything in the next two weeks and you won, please let me know!

It's going to be 93 F today. Is it hot where you are?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Contest Stuff

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July and weekend! We had fun though Friday night I woke up and heard rain hitting the top of the tent. It stopped the next day but things were a bit wet! I made the mistake of leaving my bag under the screen portion of the tent which was only partially covered so some of my clothes were a bit damp!

I spent part of today figuring out who still needed books shipped to them. I'm way behind! But I have all the print-outs with addresses and enough envelopes. Now it's finding the books! I can't remember where I put the box with everything in it. That's what I get for trying to declutter! I have sent all the gift cards though, including the one for The Wedding Planners contest so at least I'm caught up there.

For this month, I'm going to keep things simple. The contest will be a drawing on August 3rd (when I'm back home from the RWR National Conference) for a $20 gift certificate. Each comment gets you one entry into the drawing. Anyone who posted a comment in June is automatically entered. I saved all the comments because your support during deadline meant a lot to me!

So tell me about your weekend?

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Fourth of July

We'll be spending the day with family and friends, eating and playing in the creek at my sister's farm as we celebrate our country's Independence Day. What do you have going on today in your part of the world?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A New Project

I sent my editor an idea for a new book now that I've put the royalty one on the backburner. I'm still waiting to hear back from her, but as I mentioned in a post in May, this is who will provide the physical inspiration for my new hero:

I have no idea what the words say since I don't speak French, but the pictures speak for themselves. I just need a way to justify the facial hair without it being a yuck factor for readers like me who normally hate it! Maybe he starts with it, then shaves? All these little details I get fixated on! It probably just means I need to head back to YouTube and watch some more Lancelot videos as my new hero comes alive in my mind! A rough job, I know, but what's a writer to do?

Speaking of YouTube, I finally signed up for an account a couple of months ago mainly so I could save videos I liked and those I might want to put on here someday. Tonight, I noticed a new feature (new to me at least) where they recommend videos to you based on what you've watched in the past. A couple had funny cats, but a few others were down right bizarre choices including one about the most ridiculous death scenes in movies! I have no idea how they thought I'd want to see that one.

Has that ever happened to you? Either on Amazon or YouTube or iTunes (or another site), where they recommend something "you'll like" but it's totally off-the-wall and so-not-you?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Mountain Athlete

The Climbing Cutie attended a seminar at Mountain Athlete last weekend in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It was about how to train to improve your climbing. He said it was great and I can't wait to hear more about it. This picture of him ended up on the home page of the place's website!

I'm still a newbie, sucky climber, but I've learned one thing as I've used Crossfit to get in shape. Too much Crossfit actually hurts the climbing. At least my climbing. A body needs time to recover. The key is finding the right balance between climbing days and workout days. And that's where I need help so I'm thrilled Cutie went to this seminar. My hands might still hurt, but they aren't all tingly and numb anymore so it's time to start climbing again. I spent all winter and spring gym climbing a couple of times a week to get ready for this summer only to have to stop completely in June. It's a bummer and I know I'll have a lot of ground to make up.

I can't wait to sit down with the Climbing Cutie and talk to him about what he learned. I need a solid workout routine that will help me get stronger and improve my climbing. And I'm hoping what he learned is scalable based on fitness level ala Crossfit!

Speaking of Crossfit, I had a session with Nichole yesterday.

Warmup: 400 m run
Skills: Back Squats 45#
WOD: 3 rounds (21, 15, 9) Deadlifts 65#, Push ups (on rounds 2 and 3 I did ring rows instead of push ups)

I was dying. It was hot and I was hurting. But I did it! My max deadlift is 95#, but Nichole said it will be higher based on the reps I've been doing lately. I can't see what it is!

I'm also losing weight. Finally. Nothing like getting off deadline, stop eating donuts and chocolate and get the butt off the chair. What's really helped though is I stopped eating anything with gluten and sugar. That's pretty much put me onto a Zone diet without too much effort and planning. Already people are noticing, so that's good. And the pants that were too tight are starting to feel looser. I am allowing myself one dessert a week. On Sunday, I had a ice cream sundae with Butterfinger sprinkles at Great Wolf Lodge. Oh-so yummy!

I'm going to start taking the kids on hikes. Chaos needs to get out more and though the kids are having a fun time at Crossfit kids a couple of times a week, they need more fresh air than just playing in the yard and riding their bikes.

What physical activities will you be doing this summer?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Kitty Wars Continue

more cat pictures

It's been a couple of months now since Chaos arrived and things still aren't going that great with the three cats. They take great joy hiding under the bed and attacking the dog whenever she walks by. There have been a couple nice moments where Spirit and Chaos will be sleep with me. One on each side mind you. If Chaos crosses the imaginary line, the hissing and growling begins.

Spirit still rules the roost. Even Chaos realizes this and gives her a wide berth.

Rocket is finally learning that running away from Chaos is stupid. She will chase him. He's starting to stand his ground though eventually cowers. Considering he's a huge, mammoth cat, it's kinda funny that he's the biggest scaredy cat of the three.

Smalls wants absolutely nothing to do with the dog. She won't run, but she does everything in her power to avoid the dog.

And then there's Chaos, who just wants to have kitty friends to play with. She's so tolerant of the feline fits and except for the chasing when they run and a few nibbles into their food has been such a good girl.

I guess we just need more time!

How are you're pets doing if you have any?