Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I Should Know Better

In the Fall, my youngest Rose joined Cat 4-H. I thought this would be easier than Dogs. A weekend (well, three days) showing cats at the county fair vs. seven days with dogs. It had to be easier right? Well, the weekend is fast approaching which means it's been a mad scramble to get everything ready.

You see, Rose can't decide if she wants to compete in all the events or not. When I left for San Diego she didn't want to so that meant nothing was done over the weekend. But now she might want to. That means we still have to be ready just in case.

We also keep finding out more and more stuff we need such as a 5x7 of Rose and her cat. They told us that last night at 7:30 pm. Oh, and they need it by Friday. I must admit that the dog project, even though the week was an utter hell for me with my writing schedule, was more organized. But I keep going back to three days vs. seven.

Beauty received a bath yesterday. She looks pretty and smells great. We also got all three kids' photographs entered. Today is all about cage decorating. Fingers crossed that goes well. 

Last night hubby happily told me I'd brought this upon myself when I dragged myself through the front door at almost 9 pm, tired and hungry. I know he's right. I should know better, but what was I going to do? Say no to my daughter? I couldn't for a very good reason. At least I think it's good, others, like my hubby, might disagree.

Rose is the youngest of three. She plays soccer and Irish danced because her brother and sister were doing those activities. Same with her swimming and dog showing, including dog 4-H. Why not have her join in when otherwise she'd just be sitting there watching?  Sure she loves swimming and soccer and dog showing (her activities now) but I think it's important to let her explore things without her brother and sister. Other than her hip-hop dance class, Cat 4-H is the first thing she's done that her siblings haven't.

And really, how bad could three days be? Well, once we're finally ready for them to start! Wish me luck!

Monday, July 29, 2013

I did it!

Smiling cause it's downhill!
Yesterday, in San Diego, I ran my first 5K, the Joggin' for Frogmen run!

I began training 5 or 6 weeks ago using an iPhone app called c25K. I stuck with it until last Saturday. I wasn't going to get all eight weeks in so instead of cramming trying to do weeks 7 and 8 in one week, I ran mock 5Ks on Saturday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Each time I jogged more and faster.

Even though I trained on hills, the course at San Diego State University was still tough. My legs didn't burn on the hills, but I felt it in my breathing and was really tired.

I was there with a bunch of people I knew from the Internet who became real-life friends after attending a fundraising gala on Friday night at the Air and Space Museum. All I can say is really great people.

I'm slow so was just going to place myself somewhere toward the back of runners and go from there. But three of my friends, Scott, Chris and Christy, joined me so we could all start together. Christy dropped back first (she's totally kickass but as of the night before hadn't even registered so not sure she had trained). I lasted with them a little longer then realized I needed to slow my pace if I was going to make the entire race.

I'd heard the course was hilly so I trained on hills, easy to do where I live. But there's hilly and then there's hilly. This was the latter. My legs didn't burn the way they'd done a week ago, but boy was I  feeling it all over and especially with my breathing. My goal was to run the entire 5K. I'd say I ran, well, jogged, all but a couple minutes of it, in particular the last portion of each uphill slog.

My friend and roommate for the weekend, Mary, took the above pic of me. She was walk-running the race with another person and behind me. At two points in the course you can see people going up while your going down. That's where she took this pic of me. I had to laugh when I showed hubby the picture. The first thing hubby he said was "Where'd you get that headband?" I'd purchased other headbands to run in, but they were narrow. I bought a wider one when I picked up my race packet at a running store on Friday afternoon. I can't believe he noticed that!

After the race
Around the last third or so, I met up with Chris who I'd started the race with. He'd told Scott to go ahead without him. We stuck together for a while, then he dropped back. I kept going because according to my timing app I was doing pretty well even though I was feeling it. But then I came to a big hill. I slowed down. Next thing I know Chris was back. He'd caught his breath and was good to go. I told him to go ahead. He said he wanted to run with me.

Sweet guy!

As we headed toward the end, Chris kept encouraging me. I was really tired at this point. I still couldn't see the finish line. Then I saw Scott who was wearing his finisher's medal. I waved. Next thing I knew he was right next to me, running. He wanted to finish the race us. He pushed me to kick it up a notch and finish strong. So I did.

My initial goal was to jog half, then run half. I changed that to run the entire thing in 45 minutes. Yesterday my time was 39:07, faster than any of my mock 5Ks! I did walk a little but only on the hills so I'm okay with that.

I love my finisher's medal. I wore it all day yesterday, except for when I walked through airport security. I'm not bitten by the running bug yet, but I have to admit it's really good exercise. Today is a rest day, but I plan to go for a jog tomorrow!

And I'd love to do Joggin' for Frogmen. A great cause for real life heroes who provide much inspiration for romance writers like me. And a great event. We hung around after the race, visiting with people and then watching a parachute team drop in. Very cool!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

San Diego

I'll be in San Diego until Sunday. This is a break from family and writing, too! My MacBook Pro is staying home! This is going to be a total vacation. Sightseeing, meeting folks from a website I belong to, spending time with someone I've known a long time who was a big help with Miss Mousie's fundraising, attending a fundraiser for SOF and their families and running in the Joggin' For Frogmen 5K.

There's another reason I wanted to go San Diego. My trips there in 2012 were all about my friend Elizabeth who was dying of breast cancer. I cherish each moment I spent with her, especially that last trip when I was there for eight days. I know she would want me to remember the better times we shared. So it's time to make some new memories in he town she loved so much.

Not sure I'll blog. I am bringing my iPad, but that's mainly so I can read and watch videos of my son's swims this weekend!

Have a great weekend and I'll post a trip report when I'm home!

Take care!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Under the Dome

Is anyone watching Under the Dome, a 13 episode summer series on Monday's at 10 pm on CBS?

I am.

The kids introduced me to the series when we were in Sunriver on vacation. I caught up on episodes via Amazon Prime and Comcast On-Demand.

The series is based on a Stephen King novel, but according to readers the show is different from the book. Some is good. Other parts silly. The rest falls in the middle. But we're enjoying it.

I like the idea of a show not dragging out for years. I find the actual dome thingy interesting more so than some of the drama going on, but maybe that's the engineer in me. The show's focus is the characters reacting to being under the dome, but I'm still trying to figure people out on the show. I will likely read the novel once the miniseries is over just to see how King wrote it. I'm curious to see the characters in the book vs. those in the show.

Are there any summer shoes you're watching and would recommend?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The New Prince

Social media has been ga-ga over the birth of the third in line for the crown in the UK. Some people are thrilled. Other's don't get it. I love reading about royalty and writing about them, too, so for me yesterday was a fun day full of happy news. And in honor of the royal birth, here are a couple things for you:

1) USA Today released a royal name generator based on your initials. Click here. My name is The Grand Empress Victoria The Mostly Victorious. I'm kinda wondering what the whole "Mostly Victorious" means. As a friend posted to me, it doesn't sound like a compliment. What's your royal name?

2) My Teaser Tuesday on Faceback is from my royalty themed book Expecting Royal Twins. Click here to read.

3) A story and the video of town crier announcing the royal birth at SF Gate. Click here. Turns out he "crashed the party."

Hope you have a great day!

Monday, July 22, 2013


Chaos and Rose on Saturday
This weekend the girls competed with Chaos and Cato at the Portland Stumptown dog show.

This was Cato's first indoor show and beyond wanting to play with the other Elkhound in the ring when he went back in the first day, he did well. He and Mackenna look good together! The only problem is he isn't as into treats as Chaos so on Sunday morning she didn't feed him breakfast. That fixed the problem! A good thing they showed at 8 am!

Rose hadn't been in the Junior Showmanship ring since February, I believe. Back then, she was using our friends' Australian Shepherd, Piper, because Chaos was still getting used to her seizure medication. Well, Chaos is back. And she and Rose did fantastic. On Saturday, they won the Open Junior Class. That was Rose's first win as an Open. On Sunday, they received third place. Pretty exciting for them and us!

I bumped into a handler who'd helped Mackenna at this very show three years ago and planted the seeds for writing a romance about the dog show world. I'd forgotten to bring a copy of The Man Behind The Pinstripes to give her, but on Sunday (I stayed home to write) my hubby did!

How was your weekend?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Goonies

Hey, you guys! Last night, I introduced my two youngest kids to The Goonies. I'm not sure they knew what to think when I suggested we watch it (free on the Xbox360 via Amazon Prime) but Finn was a trooper and took his spot. Rose said she would pass (then after she got a glimpse of the movie and sat next to me to watch the entire thing.)

They loved it. I knew they would! What kid wouldn't?

I've been thinking about The Goonies a lot lately. In my upcoming November release, A Little Bit of Holiday Magic, I mention the movie. Astoria, the film's setting, is where the heroine is heading when she winds up stuck in Hood Hamlet on Mount Hood.

Astoria is an easy day trip from where we live. I think we might have to take a road trip this summer and do a little Goonies sightseeing. With the magic of the Internet (i.e. Google) it's easy to figure out where you need to go. Here is a list of the movie locations in Astoria. And this is blog by someone who did a tour of some of the sites. Sounds fun, don't you think?

For all things Goonies, check out the Goonies website. I also found fun this article that has 10 Things You Might Not Know About The Goonies. And just in case you forgot what The Goonies was about or have never seen it, check out the original trailer from the film made back in 1985.

Don't you think the trailer might be made a little differently today?

Hope you have a nice day and remember, Goonies never say die!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


This weekend my two youngest competed at the State Games of Oregon. Each state runs these. You don't have to belong to a USA swimming team to compete though our team was there. It's a fun meet, limited to two events each day, and everyone gets a T-shirt. They also do something not a lot of other meets do...have an awards ceremony complete with podiums for the top six finishers.

My kiddos did well. Finn placed in three of his four events. Rose placed in all four of hers. Here's pics of them getting medals. Finn placed 2nd and Rose placed 3rd. Very proud of both of them for how they swam this weekend!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Staying Home

Many authors I know are going through an annual tradition of shopping, dieting, ordering business cards and trying on every pair of shoes they own. Yes, the RWA National Conference is starting this week. Last year I had a blast attending the conference held in Anaheim, CA so thought about going this year, but I just couldn't justify going to Atlanta so I'm staying home.

I'm happy with that decision since I'll be heading to San Diego for four days next week! I don't miss the frenzy of getting ready for RWA. At least that's how it felt to me and based on the Facebook posts from this year's conference-goers, some of them feel the same way.

But I do enjoy reading about everyone's preparation and packing. The pics of shoes crack me up. How many pairs of shoes does an author need for a four day conference? The number would surprise you!

So I'll be around this week and blogging. What will you be doing?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Book Giveaway!

I'm doing a giveaway on Goodreads. Three copies of my latest release THE MAN BEHIND THE PINSTRIPES are up for grab. Either click here to be taken to the entry page or use the handy widget below.

I've been on Goodreads, but haven't used it much. Any suggestions or hints on how to make the most of the site both as a reader and author!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Man Behind the Pinstripes by Melissa McClone

The Man Behind the Pinstripes

by Melissa McClone

Giveaway ends August 09, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Is it Friday yet?

Where has the week gone? I've been playing catch up since returning from vacation as well as bus driver. From a little after 5 until around 9 pm, I drove kids to swim, from swim, to soccer and back to swim. Crazy! And very little down time for me to read or write. But we survived and I crashed hard only to be woken up at 5:30 am by barking. I wonder if Barbara Cartland's little dog ever did that to her?

On the good news front, my oldest's shoulder is just a sprain. She should be back to her activities in a month, six weeks at the longest! Just in time for high school swimming. They gave her a sling to wear when she's out and about as well as exercises to do and a referral for PT. We celebrated with lunch at a new-to-us place on the Columbia River called the Puffin Cafe. Best part for the kids-snow cones for dessert.

On the TV front, we've started watching a summer show, a 13 episode series called Under the Dome. The kids found it on Amazon Prime, watched the pilot and said I'd enjoy it. The series is based on a Stephen King novel. So far it's interesting, but there's this whole kidnapping thread that I wish wasn't there.

On the movie front, Sunday was family movie night at the theater. Of course, that meant seeing three different movies at the same time. Sigh... Rose and I saw Monsters University. It was cute. Finn saw The Lone Ranger with a bunch of his swim team members. He was more interested in being with his friends so couldn't tell me much about the movie which makes me think it wasn't very good. Mackenna saw White House Down with a swim buddy and enjoyed it.

Well, it's time for me to jog. I'm on week 5 of my training app. I keep thinking I should be farther along, but at least I'm now not dying when it tells me to run for 5 minutes. Today's run is for longer and there's a distance involved. Most likely while I'm still inside blogging instead of outside getting it done. Haha!

Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013


I gave up blogging during vacation. That was the closest thing to writing I was doing and I decided I wanted a complete break from "work."

Of course, Mackenna going over the handle bars of her bike and ending up injured changed up our vacation a little. Out was whitewater rafting. In was mani-pedis. Though we probably would have had our nails done anyway! But she couldn't go down the water slides or play tennis or do a lot of the things we had planned. A good thing we plan on going back next year! We see a specialist tomorrow. Fingers crossed this won't impact her swimming too much!

Outside of the bike accident, the vacation was exactly what I needed. Relaxing rather than running around. Hanging out as a family. We met up a couple of times with friends that were there. Watching fireworks on the Fourth of July. Fun times.

On the drive home, we stopped by my parents' house. The three kidlets decided they wanted to spend the weekend there so we were kidless until Sunday. That meant going out to brunch on Saturday after our jog and just spending time together (and with the furbabies)

Now it's back to the same old same. Hubby is back to his traveling. I'm back to my writing and driving the kids all over the place! But now we're not so tired! A little R&R can make such a difference!

Hope you had a great Fourth and week!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Sun and H2O

SHARC at Sunriver
Yesterday was all about water! We spent the morning at SHARC. Fun times. The picture is my son making his way across the pool using ropes and floaty log thingys. It was a little too easy for him so hubby decided to tip the logs to make it harder for him.

Not sure if you can see all the blue sky in the pic, but it was a gorgeous, clear day. Another hot one, too. High nineties.

On the food front, we discovered a great place in the village. The Sunriver Brewhouse. It was being built when we were here last year. We ate lunch there. Great atmosphere and food and customer service. Our meals took a really long time to arrive so the manager gave us our drinks for free as well as 10% off the check.

In the evening we went to the Juniper Swim and Fitness in Bend so the kids could get in a swim practice with Current, a local USA swimming team. The pool is 50m long so it was a great opportunity for them to train given the long course state championships coming up later this month! The coach and team were very welcoming and friendly. Finn met them at another pool this morning at 5:15 am to get in more practice and had in spite of the early hour.

Hope you're having a great day!

Monday, July 01, 2013


Dinner in Sunriver Village
The family and I (dogs included) are taking a much needed vacation this week. The cats are at home with our housesitter extraordinaire, my dear friend Jenny, who takes such good care of them I don't have to worry one bit.

We arrived in Sunriver, Oregon yesterday afternoon. It's our same time, next year vacation. We're staying at the same house we stayed this time last year. The kids already had sleeping arrangements planned and didn't need any help getting settled.

The weather is gorgeous, but hot. So glad the house we rented has a/c.

 My kids are big on traditions so we ended up eating dinner at the same place we did last year our first night here, El Caporal. Something new this year was the kids having to take pics of their drinks and food. We've been invaded by Instagram!

This morning hubby and I went for a jog before the kids woke up. We'll be spending the morning at the pool before it gets too hot. Of course, with state swim meets coming up, the kiddos will be doing a few swim practices with a local USA Swim team in the area. But I think they're looking forward to that. At least Finn!

Hope you have a great day!