Thursday, December 31, 2009

Random End of the Year Post

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Our trip to Bend was exactly what we needed. Sledding, skiing and visiting with friends. Can't beat that. Both hubby (his first time on skies in over a year due to his knee surgery) and I did fine skiing though by 2 o'clock my legs were tight and cramping.

The only injury suffered was when I hit my foot on a step stool helping my friend Tiffany take down her Christmas tree. I'm not sure if my toe is broken or not, but it sure is ugly. Luckily it's my second toe so I can still wear shoes.

We also managed to get a photo taken for our Christmas/New Years cards. I can pick them up from Costco today!

Yesterday was hubby's birthday! I wish we could say we did a lot to celebrate, but most of the day was spent in the car. We figured our big cats could last three nights alone which meant we needed to head home. We'd left Yoda with my parents since he's too little to be alone for that long.

We stopped off at Red Robin's for dinner. The other place he'd wanted, Claim Jumper, had an hour and a half wait. We got home too late for us to make a cake so that's on the schedule for today.

It's time for me to get serious with the revisions. I have a new conflict for my hero and hoping this one works better than my other ideas. I also need to come up with some goals/resolutions for the new year.

I'm so happy, relieved that 2009 is almost over. This really wasn't a good year for us. I'm hoping and praying 2010 is much better!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


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We're in Bend with my friend Tiffany and her son Henry. We went skiing at Mount Bachelor today. Boy, am I tired and sore. Out of shape am I! It started snowing after lunch and hasn't let up. It's so pretty. I saw on Facebook that it's also snowing where we live. About time!

What are you up to today?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Too Big

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Don't know about you, but I'm feeling a lot like this LOLcat. All the sweets and goodies during the holidays and there's still a few days left. I'm already trying to figure out what diet to try this time. After seven months of little to no activity I need to get in shape!

What about you? Are you happy with the shape you are in or is that something you'll be working on come the New Year.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Day After

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I've spent my morning building a 3 story Barbie Dream House and cleaning. The house is beginning to look like a home again. It was clean on Christmas Eve, too! Yikes!

We had a great Christmas. Just the five of us. We went to Mass in the morning, then came home to open presents. The kids were getting a little wild so took a break for lunch and take stock of what they received. They played with what they'd opened so far. Then it was back to gift opening.

Santa brought Mackenna an iPod docking system that also has a CD player/clock/radio. My parents gave her an iTouch. She was one happy girl. Finn found the Star Wars Lego Venator ship. It's huge and is going to take him awhile to piece together. Rose got the Barbie Dream House. It's pretty cool with lights, sound effects and music! They also got several smaller items and games. Last night we played two of them: Beware of the Dog and Apples to Apples Junior.

Hubby and I only do stockings. We decided years ago to use the money we'd spend on others to do giving tree presents and adopt a family items. Best decision we ever made since we have plenty of stuff and so many others don't.

I was pleased with what Santa brought me. Inside my stocking were lots of little things, but also the Castle season 1 DVD and the Couponizer. Both items I'd mentioned I wouldn't mind having. Hubby found a SIGG water bottle and the Horatio Hornblower Collector DVD set inside his!

After dinner, we put the fondue pot on the ottoman and had chocolate fondue while we watched the original version of Miracle on 34th Street. Once the kidlets were in bed, hubby and I watched Elf. I had never seen it before. Funny movie!

Now it's back to the real world. After cleaning I have a critique to do and then revisions of my own! What are you up to?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

From our house to yours!

Here are some pics from the last 24 hours.

Hope you have a blessed Christmas day!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

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I can't believe it's December 24th! Part of me will be so relieved when 2009 is over. It's been a horrible year health-wise, but another part can't believe how the days seem to be flying by. I mean, Christmas is tomorrow! The cards didn't get done, but I'm not too concerned. With the 12 Days of Christmas, I can still send them out and not feel too bad. Just need to get them out before Epiphany!

Yoda survived his neutering. He's in this blue cone collar. He hates it. I'll take some pics for you. Poor kitty. I also bought him a Santa suit. Insult upon injury. He doesn't like that either. At least there wasn't a hat with it, but I did try reindeer ears!

We celebrate with my family this morning with a big brunch and white elephant gift exchange. Can't wait to see what I end up with this year!

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas Eve. What are you up to today?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


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My youngest woke up and ran into my room with a big smile on her face. "Tomorrow is Christmas Eve!"

Today, Yoda gets neutered. Hubby is dropping him off at the vet's office right now. I'm sure he'll be fine, but I'm still a little nervous. He's so little. They say with a male it doesn't matter when you do it. The Humane Society said to do it before the end of December so here we are. I just can't wait until Yoda is back home this afternoon!

What are you up to today? We have baking and decorating a gingerbread house on our To Do list!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lazy Morning

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This is why I told my kids that they couldn't ask Santa for a hamster or a gecko!

I slept in until 10 o'clock this morning. I can't believe it! The only time that happens is if I'm sick. On top of it, I was delivered breakfast in bed. Chocolate chip pancakes. A pretty good way to start the day!

Of course, now I must get busy. Still trying to find a picture for the Christmas card. We didn't take a lot of pictures the second half of the year given all that was going on. That made me a little sad. We'll have to do better next year.

Better get busy. The cats are out of food so I need to make a grocery list and get to the store!

Have a great day!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Countdown to Christmas

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Can you believe it's almost Christmas? I sure can't.

Yesterday though, my oldest and I got to spread a little Christmas cheer. Her 4H club adopted two families.

It really was a moving experience for all of us. The first family had two young children. As the gifts and food were being carried into their duplex by the girls, tears flowed from the parents' eyes. These are two adults who didn't ask for anything for themselves because they didn't want to take away from their kids' Christmas. The 4H coordinator, however, did manage to get their sizes and wish list during a phone call so they weren't left out.

We'd done giving trees before, but we'd never had the opportunity to deliver the items until yesterday. It also provided a couple of important lessons. My daughter really saw how good she and her siblings have it, as well as how you can make a difference in somebody's life.

Today I woke up to a revision letter! The changes will make the book much stronger. The best part is they aren't due until mid-January so I won't have to kill myself over the holidays!

I'm going to read over my letter a few times and then wrap presents! How is your Christmas prep going?

Friday, December 18, 2009


I still haven't had time to figure out cards. I was supposed to get to the post office yesterday but it didn't happen. Why does this time of year seem to get crazier by the minute?

I saw this yesterday though and wanted to share it. Merry Christmas!


Note: The link should work now. Sorry. Spaces showed up from the place I copied it from.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

eHarlequin Holiday Open House

Today is the annual Holiday Open House at eHarlequin. Prizes are given out, too. There is a forum for each of the lines, but here's the link for the Harlequin Romance topic! I'll be out all day (another crazy Wednesday), but other authors will be hanging out there! Have fun!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

To The Rescue

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As the weather continues to pound Mount Hood and hamper the search for the two missing climbers, I can't help but think of the rescuers and the frustration they must feel as well as the families and friends. A tough situation all around.

But it just reminds me what wonderful people the rescuers are. They are volunteers who use their skills and mountaineering expertise to help people in need whether they are fellow climbers, hikers, snowboarders, etc. That's why they make such great heroes in romance novels! And, if my editor gives me a chance to write a third Mount Hood book, heroines, too!

With all the coverage going on up there, I'm itching to get back into my Mount Hood book but I haven't received a revision letter. This story doesn't have as much search and rescue stuff going on as the first one, but yesterday I saw a picture on-line of the rescue team leader who has helped me with this recent story and immediately knew something I wanted to add to the manuscript!

I've been thinking a lot about a friend, also a PMR member whose fall on Mt. Hood in January, made me rethink (and eventually change) the whole plot of the new Mount Hood Christmas book. He graciously opened up about the fall, his own rescue and his recovery.

Well, better get some more writing in! Hope you are having a good day.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Prayers for Missing Climbers

Saturday morning members of Portland Mountain Rescue started searching for three climbers missing on Mount Hood. It was a little eery given what was happening up there exactly three years ago. That's the climbing tragedy with the three climbers from New York and Texas that inspired me to write Rescued by the Magic of Christmas.

On the climbing forum I belong to was a post from the brother of one of the missing climbers asking if anyone had seen a party of three on the Sandy Headwall. One poster said he thought he saw a group of three leaving the parking lot.

The situation reminded me of the prologue I wrote for my book except that accident happened on the Reid Headwall. Saturday was a busy day, but I kept checking for updates praying for a much happier ending then the one I wrote about.

Unfortunately they found Luke Gullberg's body (the missing brother) on Saturday. Pictures from a camera found near him showed they were climbing the Reid Headwall. Luke was also a member of the climbing forum. From his trip reports, he seemed like a really great guy who loved to be active and outdoors in the mountains. Prayers to him, his family and friends.

The two other climbers are still missing. My prayers go out to Katie Nolan and Anthony Vietti, their families and friends and all the rescuers. Avalanche conditions are keeping the rescuers off the mountain, but there may be a break in the weather today to allow aircraft up like yesterday.

Three friends out for a one day climb and a good time shouldn't end up this way. I'm sure hoping they find them.

If you want to know more, the Oregonian has a good write-up with information about all three climbers. You'll find it here.

Friday, December 11, 2009


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I'm ready to crash like this LOLcat. I taught a group of kids last night at our church in preparation for the First Reconciliation (confession) and then had to get ready for this morning's KidLit Book Club. On top of it, I barely slept. Not a good combination.

But I survived the book groups meeting. We decoupaged ornaments with tissue paper then added an Our Lady of Guadalupe image and pointsettias. They came out really nice. A messy, but fun craft.

Needless to say, I'm dragging now. The house is quiet so I'm going to take a much needed nap. We're going to finish up our Christmas decorating tonight so I want to be wide awake for that!

Hope you have a great Friday!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Yoda and more

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Adding Yoda to our family has been interesting. The older cats really don't seem to like him, yet they've started venturing out of our bedroom and downstairs with the family. Even though they seem annoyed when he chases them, I think they kind of like it. They are moving more and wanting to play with us! A very nice thing. They just don't like it when Yoda tries to eat their food!

We've had the tree up now a few days with no ornaments. I've decided to skip putting all my expensive Radko's on, but we'll put the others up and just be very careful what goes on the lower branches. My biggest fear was Yoda wanting to climb the tree, but so far that hasn't happened.

I am thinking of skipping putting up my Dept. 56 New England Village. They go along the window sills in our kitchen eating area, great room and study. Yoda loves to run along the sill, sleep there, play. All the houses I have are retired and many have little details I imagine would be very attractive to a curious kitty. I think it just might be safer to to wait a year before bringing them out. With my other cats, they went on the fireplace mantle or on top of my computer armoire so they were completely out of reach.

Finally, thanks for all the congrats on the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice nomination. My agent, Annelise, sent me a list of the Harlequin Romance finalists. I've been in continuities with two of the authors, Fiona Harper ( and Myna Mackenzie (Wedding Planners and the upcoming Girls' Weekend in Vegas.)

If you like reading the Harlequin Romance line or are curious what the line I write for is about, you can't go wrong with any of these authors so check them out:

• CINDERELLA’S WEDDING WISH by Jessica Hart (Mar.)
• INVITATION TO THE BOSS’S BALL by Fiona Harper (Sep.)
• A TRIP WITH THE TYCOON by Nicola Marsh (Sep.)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Play Time

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Watching Yoda play has been so much fun! Now that I have some free time on my hands, I've been playing, too! The kidlets and I have been having lots of fun together. I'm still doing some writing, but the focus right now is family and Christmas! Fun times! (I'm just going to pretend my Wednesday schedule isn't as insane as usual!)

I heard this morning from Wedding Planners author, Susan Meier. She told me one of my books was nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best Harlequin Romance. I'm pretty psyched! It's my second time being nominated. The last time was back in 2002 with my Silhouette Romance, In Deep Waters, which won that year. No doubt a little celebration will be in order!

Hope you have a great day. I'll be running around even more today than usual, but that's okay. Now that I'm feeling better I don't think it'll be so bad! Take care!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Random Monday

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Trust the LOLcat on this one!

Big Monday in the McClone house today. My oldest gets braces. She's had a retainer and neck gear for a while waiting for her baby teeth to all fall out. They have so last week she got the spacers. Today she gets the bands. I remember having braces, wearing the neck gear and the little rubber bands. It wasn't fun, but the results and the pain were worth it.

My Christmas decorating is coming along. I'm taking one bin at a time.

Anyone have any ideas on how to kitty proof a Christmas tree? Yoda loves the tree. I have a lot of glass ornaments that I don't want broken. I was thinking of only putting non-breakable ornaments on this year, but the family doesn't like that idea at all. Any suggestions?

Have a good Monday!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Pink Glove Dance

Unless you've been living in a cave for the past month and a half like me, you've probably seen this. But just in case you haven't, I wanted to post this YouTube video. Providence's St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland is near and dear to me. It's where all three of my children were born. So many visits, it's hard to believe. I probably couldn't remember them all It's where Finn had all his tests after getting hit with the baseball in May. For the last couple of years, I've been having ultraounds, CT scans, you name it on my gallbladder there. And recently it's where I was a lot because of that same gallbladder.

I saw the Pink Glove Dance video on Saturday morning and immediately thought of a woman I'd met in my surgeon's waiting room this summer. She has breast cancer. The first time she was so gregarious, non-stop talking and smiling. The next time our appointments overlapped in mid-November, she acted completely different. That light up her face smile was no where to be found. She looked tired, heavy. It might just have been a bad day, but my heart was breaking. It's just an awful disease.

Most of us have had our lives touched by breast cancer. I think of my best friend's mother who is a breast cancer survivor. I also think of my children's godmother's mother who died of breast cancer. But it's not just friends' mothers, but the friends themselves fighting the fight. One of my dearest friends, who sometimes comments here, has lost and continues to lose friends to the disease.

The video features St. Vincent employees. Medline, the maker of the pink gloves, agreed to donate money if this video surpassed a certain amount of hits. That's happened if this is the video they were using to count the views, but breast cancer awareness needs to continue and hopefully this wonderful, fun video will help with that. Early treatment can really make a difference! Enjoy!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Weekend!

My first weekend in months without a deadline! It's hard to believe. I'm uncontracted right now which gives me a lot of freedom time-wise if I wished to take it, but is a little worrisome financially and career-wise at the same time. But there's nothing I can do though except wait to hear back from my editor and write so that's what I'm doing.

I started working on something new the night of the 2nd. I've learned I can't take time off from writing. Once I fall out of the writing groove/routine/whatever you want to call it, it takes me too long to get back into it. Of course what I'm writing might not be requested, but that's a risk I'm willing to take. At least I'm writing!

Yesterday, I finished chapter one of a new project and then went Christmas shopping. It was so fun to turn on the radio to K103.3 and listen to all the Christmas carols. Granted I just finished writing a Christmas book, but except for a few Advent things we managed to get out, our house does not look like Christmas at all. I'm hoping by tomorrow night, it will!

I went to Toys R Us and Walmart. The stores weren't too crowded for a Friday morning, but there was a sale going on and lots of adults with carts full. I think other parents had the same idea as me. Not to wait to shop. I was prepared last year when the snowstorms hit. Not sure that will happen again, but I want to be ready just in case.

The only thing on tap for me today is the kidlets' swim meet. My son and hubby are participating in a food drive this morning so the girls and I will stay home. I hope to get a little work done on Chapter two, too. Oh, and decorate the house!

What are your plans for this weekend?

Thursday, December 03, 2009


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The funny thing about coming off a deadline is realizing how much you've let slide over the last week or so. Because of hosting Thanksgiving (Someone had asked in the comment section, but I made everything except the rolls and pie), the house was clean. (Thanks to hubby, not me!) But everything else has just piled up. Literally.

I slept in a little yesterday, then attacked the laundry. Next was recycling all my expired coupons. And then... You get the picture.

Not a lot of relaxing. I also had two classes to teach and another class to take the kidlets to. Typical Wednesday. I left home at noon and got home around 7 pm. But it felt good to get back to my usually routine. And I made a lot of phone calls since I haven't talked to people in weeks because of the surgery, Denver and then deadline.

I've started catching up on other blogs, too. That's been fun.

What have you been up to?

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

This is me...

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I finished and emailed the manuscript to my editor. I'm too tired to cheer. But I owe my critique partner Virginia Kantra huge kudos for reading scenes as fast as I could wrote them. Yay, V! She's got a January deadline so I'll make it up to her.

Sorry for not blogging as much while living in my dark, lonely cave. I've been completely anti-social, but I had no choice in order to make my deadline. That's why I've done hardly any blog hopping in the last week and no Facebook or Twitter for awhile now.

I've been so good. Let's hope Santa brings me something nice like the Castle Season 1 DVD!

Thanks so much for your support. Give me a day or two to catch up on my sleep and feel better, and I'll be back to my old routine from like a year ago! I'm out of contract now which means no deadlines for awhile. I just need to submit some ideas for new books and wait for revisions to come back on this one and the AAs on the Vegas continuity.

It's beginning to look at lot like Christmas...

December D-day

Today is deadline day. I've been writing and sleeping, that's about it. I'm not feeling great, but I will send the manuscript off at 11:59 pm tonight. Still the first of December, right? I'm really looking forward to tomorrow and seeing the sun again.