Friday, September 28, 2012

Immersion Class

I'm in Colorado in a charming log cabin on a mountain. Yes, it's pretty great! A perfect birthday present.

The flight was uneventful until the landing. I'd taken a nap, opened my eyes and looked out the window. We were on our way down. Next thing I know we're climbing. We'd been waved off and told to go around. Funny how the energy in the aircraft changed and suddenly people started talking to one another! Turns out the aircraft before us was too slow getting off the runway.

I was the last of the Immersion class to arrive, and they were wall waiting for me when I got off the train and Denver International Airport. Margie Lawson is our hostess extraordinaire (along with her husband Tom who made us a delicious dinner.) Lori Freeland and Elizabeth Cockle are the other participants and super nice.

We went from the airport to do something a little touristy—Red Rocks Amphitheater. It was so pretty out there. We walked around and took pictures and enjoyed the views and the nice weather. The perfect way to unwind after a flight.

The cabin was next. I walked in and saw all the moose decor and felt right at home. (Norwegian Elkhounds are called Moose Dogs!) There were two little daschounds, Thalia and Calypso, to greet us. We spent a little time getting settled than it was straight to work.

The assignment:  Find cliches in your manuscript.

I opened my binder containing my work-in-progress Bachelor of the Year. Guess what? It opens with a cliche, but I got the Margie stamp of approval because I'm playing off a cliche. Huge sigh of relief because I like the opening! For any writers reading this, Margie used some of our examples (including a couple before and after rewriting last night) in a blog she has out today on axing cliches. Go here to read more.

Lori and Elizabeth are from Toronto and Texas so they were ahead timewise. They called it a night while I kept working. A deadline bearing down on my also helps keep me awake and get me up early this morning.

I can't wait to see what we're going to do today!

Hope you have a great Friday!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Leaving on a jet plane

Miss Mousie loves to play!
For my birthday last month, my husband gave me a writing Immersion course in Colorado. I leave today. I've been looking forward this for weeks now!

Of course, I still have my cold and the manuscript isn't finished, but that's okay. Yesterday I found out we've raised enough money for my foster cat Miss Mousie's surgery!

I'm so happy and relieved. That trumps everything else. You can read more about the fundraising here in a post titled Woo-hoo.

I'm not sure what the next few days hold in regards to time. I know I have a lot of work to do for the class, but I also have to write the rest of the manuscript somehow. I'll blog if I can!

Take care!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Call Me Maybe Star Wars Style

A friend sent me a clip from YouTube. I thought it was just another take on Carly Jepsen's song Call Me Maybe like the one the USA Olympic Swim Team. But this one is a little bit different...

Someone is not only a big Star Wars fan, but has some editing skills as well as a lot of time on their hands. Wow! I can't imagine how long it must have taken to make that.

I still have a cold, but today begins my crazy Wednesdays. I also have to get ready for my trip. I leave for Denver tomorrow! Must pack and write and so many other things!

Hope you are doing well!

Monday, September 24, 2012


Still not feeling well so this will be brief. Chaos is a grandmother! Her daughter, Tango, gave birth to four puppies between last night and this morning. Unfortunately, the youngest pup didn't survive. But the other three are doing well! I can't wait to visit them. Norwegian Elkhound puppies are the cutest things!

Hope you have a nice Monday!

Sunday, September 23, 2012


I'm still dragging and trying to write. But I managed to blog over at Miss Mousie's blog. It was her birthday yesterday. Look what the family made her.

You can read the post here, and see a better picture of her cake there, too.

Hope you have a nice Sunday!

Friday, September 21, 2012



I can so relate to the LOLcat above. It's exactly how I feel at the moment! I could really use some halp. I mean, help!

Whatever head cold I had last week is coming back even worse this week, had an emergency with our dog Chaos yesterday afternoon (she's going to be fine and is already feeling better with the meds the vet prescribed) and I have been orphaned by my editor. Second time this year it's happened to me.

The good news is my old and new editors like the direction of the proposal. Just a couple of tweaks which is so much better than a total revision. I'll work on those this morning and then keep moving forward with the story.

What are you up to today?

Thursday, September 20, 2012


It's been a crazy week. Between school, writing, and life in general, I feel like I've been treading water. No time for anything!

Yesterday, I took Miss Mousie to a different surgeon and received a better estimate for her TECA surgery. Just waiting to find out how much money we've raised to see where we are fundraising wise.

This trailer came across my Facebook Newsfeed yesterday...

My kids love Legos and Star Wars. I'm guessing they'll love this!

If you like government, military, conspiracy stuff and hot Navy SEALS (character James King), watch this premiere of Last Resort...

Well, I need to get running. Another volunteer shift at the school and I need to get some pages written before we take off!

Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I've mentioned the magic box aka the pantry before. The cats and dog love when the door gets left open or even cracked so they can check out what's inside.

Beauty (featured in the pic on the left) has been known to climb the shelves in search of treats. A good thing we keep them in a basket up high or they would be gone!

I watched my first show of the new season last night...Revolution.  Interesting concept. I definitely wanted to know the rules though. The technology rules of the world post-blackout. Yeah, I'm still a geeky mechanical engineer. I just can't help myself. But seriously... After 15 years, they couldn't have designed a steam engine or other stuff that doesn't require electricity?

Definitely action packed. Loved the Return of the Jedi lunch box. I'll keep watching and hope some questions get answered.

The other show I want to check out is Last Resort. I love government conspiracy type stuff. And let's face it...submarine's are cool! In college, I spent a summer working at NUWES, the Navel Underwater Warfare Engineering Station in Keyport, Washington.

Any new shows you're going to watch?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Links

I survived the trip to the Puyallup Fair with two fourteen year olds and a thirteen year old, who had qualified to compete in 4-H Dog Judging. I had one moment of total frustration though. They'd gone swimming while I wrote. When they'd come back and changed into pajamas, the three of them sat on one bed. Instead of talking and having fun, they were all on their various cellphones or iPod Touches interacting with people who weren't there. All I hear is how my daughter doesn't get enough time with her friends, yet this is what they do? I talked to them about the importance of creating memories with each other while they were together. But I think it fell on deaf ears.

Here are a two links for you to peruse:

The first is from BuzzFeed and is called A Love Story in 22 Pictures. Definitely worth a look at one of our military heroes and his girlfriend. Click here.

The next is about a cat named Bob-Bob who went on vacation with his owner. The only problem? He was suppose to stay home! Read NY Daily News' Cat becomes trapped in suitcase... here.

Hope you have a great day!

Saturday, September 15, 2012


I haven't been feeling well so am taking a couple days off from blogging. I have a manuscript to finish and I'm driving three teens up to the State Fair so they can compete in 4-H dog judging! Enjoy your weekend. See you on Monday!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fundraising Friday

Miss Mousie thanks everyone for their help!
I've got two fundraisers for you to check out.

1.  I've posted about the fundraising effort for my foster cat, Miss Mousie, before. It's been live for two weeks now, and I'm so touched by people's generosity and support. Those who aren't in a position to donate, have been spreading the word about her.

In case you missed the earlier posts, Miss Mousie is an almost 14 year old foster cat with the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society who needs an expensive surgery. I set up a blog called Help Miss Mousie where you can read posts about Authors &Their Cats, as well as donate. Most of the posts have pics of the cats and are fun to read. Check it out here.

The authors who have written about their beloved felines to help Miss Mousie are:
2.  I'm also participating in another fundraiser to help a family adopt two more children from Eastern Europe. Emphasis on the more. Lots of great prizes and books have been donated. The winners will be chosen from people who who donate. (Each amount gets you a certain number of entries.) The story of these boys and this family is definitely worth a read, even if you aren't in a position to donate. Go here.

Hope you have a great Friday. I'm excited. Hubby will be home. He wasn't supposed to be away, but he got a call one day and was on a plane the next. Disappointing, but at least it was only for a couple of days this time!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

School Time!

Miss Mousie is so happy we're back to school. She has a favorite spot with my nine year old during homeschooling and homework time. It's pretty sweet to see the two of them together.

I'm still not used to the early mornings though. It's one thing to get up to write. Another to have to shower, dress and be out of the house by 6:45 am! A good thing it's only two days a week for the younger two. Three days a week for Mackenna and I have an 25 minutes on those mornings.

Not much to say this early! Hope you have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Three hundred forty three

Program from Tribute
 Last night, we attended a 9/11 tribute at a local fire station. It's something we've done before. We hope they decide to continue it each year. It's one way for the kids to understand what happened and how we were all so affected and touched. The kids were so little when 9/11 occurred they don't remember anything. Rose hadn't been born yet.

But they were old enough to remember their uncle showing them around Ground Zero when we were in New York last summer. Of standing where he stood when the things were happening. Of seeing where he was evacuating people. Of reading the various memorials for those first responders who lost their lives.

The tribute opened with a choir of bells playing while a slide show was shown choreographed to the music. An invocation was read then a recap of the day eleven years ago.

Next came the reading of the names. All 343 names of the NYFD firefighters who died on 9/11 were read.

 A luminary for each firefighter lost
This year they added the names of those on the flight crews of the four aircraft because one of the people who work for the fire station used to work for the airlines. Hubby and I appreciated this because we both worked for United. We also worked on the types of aircraft lost that day, the 767 and the 757. Hubby was in airframes. I was engines/propulsion.

Following the names, a presentation was made by a motorcycle group—a donation to the firefighter's widows and orphans fund and a granite statue that is being designed to mark 9/11. Then bagpipes played Amazing Grace. A haunting tune while the luminaries lit up the darkness.

We walked through the luminaries and read the names on some of them.

So much light. So much life snuffed out that Tuesday morning eleven years ago.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Never Forget

Always remember them. Some of the Portraits in Grief profiles have been updated since they were published by the NY Times in 2001. Worth a read, if only to remind ourselves of those who lost their lives on 9/11.

And here's a montage of pictures from that day. Some are graphic and may be hard to take, but it's what happened and shouldn't be forgotten.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Back to School

I TOLDZ you! I already HAZ a coat! -

Today was the first day back to school for my two youngests. We already had a "discussion" about coats being worn given it was raining this morning. That added five minutes to our departure time. Why don't boys (and some girls) like wearing coats? Drives this mother crazy.

Even without the coat issue, this should have been much easier than it turned out to be. But no one was ready to start school today, especially since classes start an hour earlier this year. Yikes!

It's a half hour drive each way, too. That means a very early morning for all of us. The only ones who are pleased about this change are the dog and cats. They are thrilled!

I was at the school from 7:30 to 10:30. I have to go back at 2:00 to see about Rose's last class, but I'm hoping once I know what's going on things will settle down a bit!

Now it's time to finish up reading my page proofs for Winning Back His Wife and get some new pages written on Bachelor of the Year!

Hope you're having a nice, relaxing day!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Top 10 Posts

funny cat pictures - You'll see! You'll all see !!!
see more

Busy day in the McClone household. Soccer begins and we officially end the summer season of swimming!  I'm also busy trying to write a manuscript and the youngest two starting their school year on Monday, so I decided to do a Top 10 Posts on my blog for this weekend.

 I used the stats from google to determine this list and recycled the top LOLcat (from the #2 post) above. So here they are:

10.  Rulers of the World - 390 Views

9. Best Mom Ever - 440 Views

8.  Being a Writer - 441 Views

7.  I think I want to marry you - 474 Views

6.  CATvengers! - 487 Views

5.  Reading - 723 Views

4.  Mr. and Mrs. Harder - 743 Views

3.  Crossfit - Lynne - 1819 Views

2.  Hunger Games - the Day After - 2019 Views

1.  Norwegian Elkhound Puppies - 8145 Views

What does this list tell me?  Just because I don't get a lot of comments doesn't mean people aren't reading posts. Not one post about my books made the list. My blog readers like cats especially LOLcats. Movie posts are popular. And I should be doing lots more posts with Norwegian Elkhound Puppies! LOL!

Does that list tell you anything I should know?

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 07, 2012

High School Swimming

If not for sits... why is it made of warm? -

It seems like a kitty is sitting on my keyboard with the amount of writing I got done yesterday, but I realized with the start of school I'm just back to the same-old-same nine months of the year. Sigh...

I attended my first high school swim meet yesterday. I had no idea they charged you to get in. I've been to State, Sectionals, tons of local meets and never had to pay admission, even at the same pool I was at yesterday. I rarely carry cash. I had only change in my purse. Oops! Given I'd driven our team (bus driver mom) they let it slide otherwise I'd have been searching a town I don't know for an ATM machine! Note to self: keep at least a ten dollar bill in wallet during swim season!

It was a relay only meet. Muggy. Hot. Lots of screaming girls. Crowded stands.

I managed to revise about a chapter so was happy about that!

The hardest part of the meet wasn't the hour long drive there and back, but when we arrived home. It was almost nine o'clock and there was still homework to do. I felt so bad for my daughter. She's exhausted this morning. Poor kid.

But I suppose time management is part of her education and maybe laughing and talking the drive up or the entire time at the meet when only swimming three events wasn't the best use of her time. Lesson learned. Like carrying cash!

Hope you have a nice Friday!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Guest Blogging

Author Roxanne Rustand invited me to tell her readers about Miss Mousie today. You can read my post here.

I've been busy working on Bachelor of the Year. I knew the end of the week was going to be bad time-wise, and that starts today. Carpooling, 3 hour registration at the alternative school, high school swim meet an hour away. When does summer start again?

Harlequin author Christina Hollis sent me a link to this cat video this morning. I'd never seen it before, but I sure laughed. I didn't have time to do a LOLcat, so I'm posting this instead. I hope you enjoy it.

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Random Wednesday

No time this morning to make a LOLcat. A late night writing last night! So today will be a random post.

The first day of high school went well for my daughter. She loves it and can't wait to go back this morning! So happy. I must admit I was worried most of the day since this was going to be so different from what she's been used to!

I'm in the midst of figuring out car pool stuff. Between school, after school high school swim team, the two-day alternative school for the younger ones that's a 30 minute drive away. I'm going to need a spreadsheet to keep track of what I need to be doing when!

The Larkville Legacy, the continuity I'm in with His Larkville Cinderella in November, got a mention on the Harlequin Blog here.

Cats and the Internet go hand-in-hand, right? I'm one of those cat crazy folks who post and pass on posts, videos, etc.  Well, Wired has done a pretty in depth (this puppy is long!) article on Cats and the Internet. Did I mention how many pages this is?  Anyway you can read it here.

I've been uploading more Author & Their Cats posts on Help Miss Mousie. You can read about the following authors' cats:

We're hoping to get lots of small donations (2500 people donating $2 would get us to our goal!) All donations go to the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society. You can donate here.

Anything random going on in your life?

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Big Day!

After four years of being homeschooled, my oldest, a ninth grader, will be starting high school full-time today. This will be a huge change for all of us.

As you can see from Yoda on the right, not all of us are as excited as she is.

I know this will be a good thing for her. When she said she wanted to be homeschooled (her idea, not mine) she always talked about going to high school. So this has always been there on the horizon. But the reality is a little, well, nerve wracking.

Two days away at the alternative school the kids have attended the last two years has been perfect. Five days of school a week sees like a lot!

But we'll survive.

The younger two, the cats and the dog will keep me busy today. But I'll be waiting to hear how her big day went!

Monday, September 03, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

I wish I could spend my Labor Day napping and relaxing, but I'll be writing. This weekend has been all about spending time with my oldest before she starts high school tomorrow and working on my current manuscript I'm calling Bachelor of the Year.

I've stayed up late each night trying to get more words written. That means sleeping in each morning which is a total luxury for me. I expected to do the same this morning. After all, it is Labor Day!

Imagine my surprise when, in pitch blackness, I saw hubby sitting on the edge of the bed putting on his shoes.

Me:  Where are you going?

Him:  The gym.

Me:  What time is it?

Him:  Five.

Me (annoyed I'm awake so early): It's Labor Day.

Him:  I know.

Me: Holiday hours.

Him: There's nothing on the website.

Me: It's not open this early.

Him: Why wouldn't it be open?

Me (wanting to go back to sleep): Just call so you don't waste a trip over there.

I roll over to try to get more sleep. Trying and failing. A short time later, the mattress depresses next to me. It's hubby.

Him: The gym doesn't open until seven.

Seven. That would have been a much better wake up time than five. Oh, well.... Happy Labor Day!

Sunday, September 02, 2012


On my quest to figure out what to do about LOLcats with the changes to, I decided to do some more googling. This morning I found this article on 10 Popular Meme Generators on Number 9 on the list was something called iMeme.

iMeme is an app. An easy to use app which is key for a non-techie like me. I made the pic to the right in less than a minute. The longest time was spent figuring out how to upload a pic ("Open" does it!) In my defense, my brain isn't functioning on all cylinders yet after sleeping in following a late night writing!

I wanted to share this with you, because it's pretty cool! I like it better than that other one I'd found because you have a lot more option with the text. And there are built in memes you can customize. It's a free download, but there is a donation button if you like using it.

Hope you have a great Sunday! I'd like to be doing what Miss Mousie is doing, but I'll be writing instead. How about you?

Saturday, September 01, 2012

August Contest Winner!

Oops! I just realized I never posted a pic of what August's winner will win. So sorry! But it's a bunch of books that I picked up at the RWA conference in Anaheim in July.

This month's winner is...

Maria Zannini with her comment on my post A Nice Time!  Maria, please use the contact button to send me your snail address so I can get everything boxed up and mailed to you. Thanks! If I don't hear from you within seven days, I'll pick a new winner.

Thanks, everyone for entering. The September contest will be a $10 Amazon gift card. To enter, just comment. Each comment gets you one entry. I'll choose a winner at the beginning of October so check back to see if you won!

Hope you are enjoying your Labor Day Weekend!