Sunday, September 28, 2008

I Wasn't Bad

I was provoked.

That's always been my story and I'm still sticking to it. Only somehow I've never needed to tell it to anyone.

I have boobs. No big surprise there. You've heard about them before. I've always had boobs. Again, not a shocker. I'm sure you could have figured out that I developed early.

As you know, seventh grade boys are stupid. One day, walking to class one exceptionally stupid boy attempted to cop a feel as he so often did. I'd had enough so I turned around, intending to swat him, with my hand already raised, okay, and clenched. Only problem was the little bastard really was little. His nose just happened to align itself perfectly with my fist.

I stopped, he didn't. Ah, getting the picture, are you? Yes, it was broken. He spent all of, I think it was music class, hiding in the bathroom, trying to stop the bleeding and straighten it back out. Between the next two classes, he changed into his gym t-shirt. Had two black eyes for a week.

I'm not sure why, but the few people who knew the real story of what happened to him never told so I didn't get suspended. The music teacher was unconscious and didn't notice he wasn't in class so he didn't get detention. His parents believed whatever lame story he came up with, I think it was something about getting hit by a basketball at lunchtime.

The stupid boy at least had enough sense to keep his hands to himself after that. In fact, he was a little afraid of me from then on. Don't see why. All I did was turn around. It wasn't my fault he was even shorter than I was.

No blog tomorrow. Eva May and I are off on another adventure. I'll tell you all about it Wednesday.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I Did It!

With a little, okay, a lot of help, badgering, from my friends, it's done. YAY! It's silly and I can't imagine anyone wanting to read this one but then I remind myself that somedays people need silly so why not? I just write, I'm not in charge, thank God for that!

It took a bit longer than I'd hoped to do all that extra stuff I rambled about a few weeks ago, the blurb, the synopsis. Yuck! But it's all done and I pushed the button and now I'm done for the day.

Still enough time for a movie or two and I think there's some popcorn out there so that's it for me.

Writer Day

I'd say "Shh, writer at work" only that's not how I do things. I need background commotion.

Sometimes it's movies or TV shows. Not current ones. They have to be specific ones of my characters choosing.

Disney musicals for Beyond Meddling. MacGyver and Due South for Linked.

Sometimes it's music. My Last Dark Day was non-stop blues, mostly Cedell Davis.

My current WIP, which I AM FINISHING TODAY started out with Warren Zevon. Loud. Really, really, really loud with the porch door open all day much to the dismay of my neighbors. But I limit myself to daylight hours unlike them so they really shouldn't complain or I'm going to start complaining too. Now, however, for this last little bit it seems they want some Jimmy Buffett. Okay, I can deal with that. Neighbors will probably welcome the change.

Yep, finishing this up THIS AFTERNOON. Reading over it tonight then submitting so tomorrow when it rains again I can lounge around with the boys and watch old movies or something. I was going to clean but then I had a discussion with Regina Carlysle who's been having some work done on her house. Due to whatever they're doing to her ceilings she can now make snow angels on her floors. Pretty! I'm jealous so I'm doing an experiment to see how long it takes to be able to do that without the workmen doing the ceiling stuff. Gotcha! Just kidding! Or am I?

Friday, September 26, 2008


As you may know, Mouse and I tend to get up at odd hours and wander around the house. This morning it was 3 AM. After he ate, we went out on the porch. We didn’t stay long because it was too cool for my arthritic old man kitty but I actually like the city at those moments.

It was raining so the usual night noises makers weren’t out. With it being misty, everything had a much softer look. Nicer that way as most cities are.

We sat for a little while, me and my Mouse, me petting him, him purring at me, watching the city, pondering the meaning of life, wondering what the day would hold, each of us lost in our thoughts. I know my day ended up not being how I wished it might have been but realistically, I knew it wouldn’t before it even started. I can’t speak for Mouse.

When he tried to snuggle closer even though I was already holding him, I knew it was time to go inside. Since it was so early we did go back to bed for a few hours. Nothing better than listening to the rain with a purry kitty sharing your pillow.

And the best thing? It’s going to rain all weekend so I know we’ll be doing a lot of extra snuggling over the next few days. Good thing because I have a project to finish up. It’ll be nice to have some company while I’m working on it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Pop-Pop

When I was a kid, pre-teen, we used to go on family vacations to Clear Lake in Ontario, Canada. Various friends and relatives generally joined us for at least part of the time.

I remember one year when my grandparents where with us. There was another family staying at one of the other cabins that had a speedboat. They were nice enough to give all the kids a chance to try water skiing. We were all disasters at it but had a blast anyway. My Pop-Pop sat on the bench by the dock, shouting encouragement, laughing along with us the whole afternoon. While I was waiting my turn, he promised me a chocolate ice cream cone from the lodge if I managed to stand up on the skis.

I think I had either three or four tries and fell each time. Pop-Pop and I had ice cream anyway. We did every day just because it annoyed my grandmother so much. But not chocolate that day.

Years later I had a boyfriend whose family had a boat. He and his father eventually taught me to water ski though I never was very good at it. The first day I made it around the lake I called Pop-Pop and do you know what we did that next Saturday afternoon? Yep, we went out for chocolate ice cream cones! As he told me, a promise was a promise, no matter how old it was.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Have You Heard?

It’s time to mess with pennies. Bad enough almost all our other money has changed so I can’t tell if it’s real or not, now they’ve decided to change the backs of pennies. To four different designs and for a good cause. It’s in honor of the two-hundredth anniversary of Lincoln’s birth.

I have no problem with commemorating the event. The man did play a very important role in our nation’s history. But really, is it necessary to mess with coins that already cost more to mint than they’re worth?

Please do something for me, if you would, over the next few weeks if you happen to be someplace with a few kids. Ask them what’s currently on the back of a penny. See how many of them know that now. Let me know what answers you get.

I hate to say it but I strongly suspect the only people who are truly interested in this one are the coin collectors in the world. Me? It’ll be like when I got one of the new nickels last year and thought it was defective.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Am I Paranoid?

For years, there has been this guy so far on the fringes of my group I don’t think he counts as someone I know. I say hello when our paths cross because I was raised with manners. I’ve never been interested in taking a conversation beyond the ‘hey, how ya doing’ level because there’s something about him that gives me the creeps. Always has.

It’s not what he says. It’s how he says it. I know, difficult to twist “How was your day?” into something sinister but trust me, this guy does it. He doesn’t stand too close and he even manages to look in the general vicinity of my head, though not necessarily in my eyes, when we speak. Still, it’s all I can do not to take a step back. I don’t know why. Other than calling me dear, honey and sweetie even though he does know my name he has never said anything at all inappropriate. Why must men do that, by the way? Women all have names. If you’re not on intimate terms with us, use our name! We use yours.

Sorry, got sidetracked. Lately, this guy has been showing up more and more and it may or may not be coincidence. It’s no secret that I write. I use my own name so finding my website doesn’t take a rocket scientist. There is naturally an email address listed there because I welcome comments from readers. Good, bad, or indifferent – got that readers? What I received was an email from this guy saying cool website sweetie. You’re the best. Keep up the good work. Hmm, okay, encouraging, friendly, just stumbled across it. Nothing too weird but it made me feel creepy.

Then I got a friend request on MySpace. There’s a link on my website so not surprising. It’s a public thing. Readers are welcome to join me there too. The blog I post there is the same as this one only without the pictures because MySpace won’t accept them. I approved him. No real reason not to. I didn’t go check his profile. Honestly not that interested. Also I really don’t want to know if he joined just because he followed me there and I’m his only friend or not.

I do know that I’ve had to start alternating where I do my grocery shopping and what day I go because he was showing up almost every time I went to the store. Not really a big deal. I hate going to the store to begin with and could care less where I shop. It’s just now I have to think about it. The one that really got me though, was the day he mentioned the inspection was due soon on my car. Um, I don’t even know when my inspection is due other than in the fall sometime without checking. I asked three of my closest friends and they looked at me like I’d lost my mind. Nope, they don’t know their own, let alone mine.

So now you tell me, am I paranoid or is something off here?

Monday, September 22, 2008


I was due. Knew it was bound to happen sooner or later and darn if this wasn’t the week for it. Yes, today was most definitely Monday. Need I say more?

What happened? Nothing in particular. It was just Monday. Blah. Perhaps if something, anything had happening it might have been better. Or maybe not because it certainly could have been worse. I guess that’s something. It wasn’t worse.

So how about you? How was your Monday? Sucky? Utterly fantastic? Want a do-over or are you just as happy putting it behind you and hoping Tuesday brings a new and wondrous adventure?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Calm Down

No, I am not suicidal. Seesh. Just about every time I mention how cool I think this demotivator is I get ask that. Haven't you all figured out by now that I'm a smartass with a sense of humor that is somewhat off and to me, this is funny?

Anyway, I thought I'd post this here because I like it. Simple as that. It's what I currently have as my wallpaper again on both my computers. I switch it now and then but before long I drift right back so maybe I should just leave it alone.

Okay, busy day here so that's it. Look at the pretty picture if the saying bothers you.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Breathe In, Breathe Out

Nothing like a little panic to get the blood stirring.

I was sitting in my living room, happily writing away last night. At a really juicy bit too. The hero had just latched onto some recently bared flesh when my house alarm system went off. If you've never heard one up close and personal, let me tell you the thing is damn loud!

After the first eight seconds of "holy crap someone's breaking into my house, what the hell do I do now" wore off so I could move, I checked the panel and saw it was the porch door. Hm, okay, should have heard that. That's an interior door of the enclosed porch. It would take some doing to get there. Granted I get involved when writing, especially the hot stuff but I'd think I'd notice that even though there is generally some sort of noise going on in my neighborhood at all hours day or night.

I finally thought to deactivate the system just as the alarm company called to check on me. Pretty cool how they do that. In a real emergency I either A) don't answer or B) say yes everything is perfectly fine and then give an incorrect password alerting them that it is indeed not fine at all.

Last night the nice woman stayed on the line with me while I went to investigate. After grabbing my stun gun that is. I keep the room to the door where the porch is closed when the porch door is closed because there's too much stuff I think the cats will play with when they don't have the birds to distract them. You should have seen me working up my courage to open that door with the cats lined up behind me. Yeah, they were sending me in first even though they're the ones with the built in weapons and the eliment of surprise on their side. Where were the wild beasts that were fighting earlier this week? Bunch of pussy cats last night! Anyway, I guess I was supposed to stun whoever might be on the other side of the door and then they'd take care of them once they fell. Thank goodness we didn't have to find that one out.

The room was as it was when I'd closed it up an hour earlier. The porch door was closed and locked and in one piece. I peeked out the window and the porch enclosure was intact. The alarm woman checked my records and suspected that the alarm was triggered by the rapid drop in temperature combined with the increased wind. If it had been a gradual drop the unit would have shown low battery instead. See what else happens on Oley Fair weekends? Now I suppose I'll have to remember to change all my alarm unit batteries the weekend before next year.

Anyway, battery changed. House secure. Years scared off my life. Hero's fun interrupted for the night. Yes, he had to wait until this morning to get back to what he was doing. After that I needed to watch a scary movie to calm down so I could sleep.

So, what did you do for fun last night?

Surgery Anyone?

I’ve always had the standing offer of anyone needing anything fixed can come over on a Friday evening after I’ve had drinks and then I’d perform whatever surgery may be required.

I’m good at cross-stitch so stitches are piece of cake. A big enough incision and I’ll even close it up with a little design. Vasectomy? No problem. Anything at all. You name it. I’m game.

I’ve even done surgery on myself and lived to tell the tale. The first time I had a corn on the bottom of my heel. At the time I had a friend with one too. She went to the podiatrist, had a very painful procedure, had it grow back and had to do it a second time. Um, no thanks. I decided to handle it myself.

The corn remover liquid, however, wasn’t working fast enough. So I used the wart remover acid. During the week, I’d keep it covered so it would get nice and soft. Then on Fridays I’d have several very strong drinks, get out my special, extra-sharp surgical knife and pare away the portion that was ready to be removed that week. It only took three weeks for the corn to be completely gone and mine never grew back. I don’t think it hurt nearly as much as hers did either. Of course it did take several months for the ¼” deep quarter-sized hole I gouged in my foot to fill in but we won’t talk about that. The surgery was a success which is what matters and that’s saying something considering it was on the bottom of my own foot.

I made an exception to my Friday’s only rule last night, again for myself. Hey, sometimes emergencies arise. The little boys were fighting something fierce on Wednesday and I inadvertently was bitten on the leg. I know, you’re supposed to let cats fight it out to establish a hierarchy but this one was too bad, I had to intervene. I thought I had the wound cleaned out but last night when I changed out of my work clothes it was a bit pinker and warmer than I was comfortable with. Two choices. One, go to the urgent care center, sit possibly for hours with people infested with germs while being infected with said germs thus requiring a return visit to deal with the resulting illness or two, do surgery myself.

Guess which option I chose? Only problem with this was being during the week, I had to work today so the several strong drinks step needed to be skipped. Didn’t matter, I’m out of drinks at the moment anyway. I know. Hard to believe but there it is. I’ve been too busy to restock. Don’t worry, that task has moved up on the list for this weekend. Okay, step two, reopen the wound. Can you say ouch as in oh hell yes OUCH! How? Trust me, you really don’t want to know other than that nifty little knife was involved again. Step three, or is it only two since I had to skip one, which was the drinks step? Whatever, next came the rescrub, wash and peroxide the hell out of the now open wound. Nope, not open enough to require stitches. That definitely would have needed the real step one. Last step, antibiotic cream and cover for the night. Hm, snag here. Only antibiotic cream in the house is meant for cats. After some thought I decided why not. I’m defending against cat germs. If one of the cats had been bitten instead of me, I’d have put it on them. So I used it.

I’m happy to report that when I removed the band aid this morning there was no pinkness at all. No warmth. No swelling. Another self-surgical success. Who’s next?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Oley Fair

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mark the 62nd annual Oley Fair.

When I was in elementary, my teachers were the judges so school closed Wednesday afternoon. They also worked the concession stands so it remained closed Thursday and Friday. Now I may be wrong, but I think we had a “full school field trip” those days. I think the buses still picked us up at the regular time and dropped us off at school which was just across the street from the fairgrounds. We assembled as classes and went to the fair. We stayed together. We wouldn’t even think not to. It was the late sixties/early seventies and we were under 12. Back then the thought of seeing the principal still meant something. He was also a judge, probably the head judge and roamed the concession stands. If we weren’t with our class it was guaranteed we’d bump into him and there’d be hell to pay. Can you imagine attempting this today?

It was also guaranteed there’d be at least one cow giving birth during fair hours. Sometimes we’d get to witness twins. Before all the avian flu threats, there’d be fowl of every imaginable plumage to see too. In high school, I had a friend, C, who entered sheep and always participated in the sheering contest. C was a rather odd individual. You were never sure if he was entirely there or not with his standard vacant look and sweet smile but put a sheers in his hand and point him towards a sheep and he came to life. It was like someone flipped a switch. In less than two minutes he could have a full fleece in one piece and a naked sheep. And then he’d go back to nodding and smiling as he held both up for all to see. I wonder if he’s still exhibiting.

The Oley Fair was always a small time country fair. Probably still is. There were two main outdoor aisles plus an indoor advertising hall, the livestock pens, the needlework, baked and canned goods hall, the floral and artwork hall, the fresh produce building, the concession stands, the fresh cut French fry stand, the homemade milkshake booth, the Senior stand with fresh cider and baked goods that the senior class begged community members to contribute, a band shell, the tractor display and the rides. You could walk the whole thing in 15 minutes tops, seeing everything there is to see but my friends and I still managed to fill every hour of the entire three days of every year I was in school.

The rides. Enough to make every parent cringe with fear. We were given the “don’t get on the Ferris wheel within an hour of our designated pick up time since without a doubt it broke down” lecture daily. Nope, never paid any attention to that one. We had a standing contest to see who could be latest meeting the parents due to being stuck on the Ferris wheel that ran from the time we started school to the time we graduated. It might still be going on for all I know. I’m not one who has to go back and meet up with former class members as I know some do. Of course I suspect the rides are in much better repair now than they were back then. Or at least I hope they are.

The weather this year is clear and unseasonably cold. It alternates between that and torrential downpours. There were years with honest to goodness snow flurries that astounded the weather men. Heh, you think they’d have learned to check the calendar to see when the Oley Fair was scheduled, wouldn’t you?

If you’re not busy and want a taste of the past come on out. Oley is a pretty little town that time forgot. There’s a tractor pull Friday and a pie eating contest Saturday. The fries couldn’t be any fresher and the milkshakes are made with real milk, no preservatives. See some handmade quilts designed by the ladies who quilted them and incredible artwork that you won’t believe is done by students. Walk along the midway, hold hands with your sweetie, and listen to the high school band, a damn fine high school band at that. I went to school with the director and I know he’d never let it be anything but the best!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Concede

I meant to give you an informative blog derived from a hip hop magazine I've been perusing only I encountered several problems.

After hours of study I still can not make heads nor tails of it. Pure gibberish, I assure you. I was reading bits and pieces aloud, thinking that perhaps that might aid in the translation. Nope. In fact it was so bad that the one individual attempting to assist me in my quest to teach you of this new and less than wonderous world finally asked me to cease and desist. She said such phrases were simply never meant to be uttered by someone such as myself. Frankly, I have to agree.

The other reason I willingly admit defeat with this one is that the subject matter is not suitable. Personally, I live by the do no harm and to each his own philosophy. However, that does not mean I'm going to force this um, how should I put it, material, yes, that's a nice term, material, down your throats. I am not driving a whatever the current car of choice for gangstas is with speakers hanging out the back so I will not leave you with no other choice. It is my blog and I am entitled to my own opinion and in my opinion this material in not fit for the readers who visit here. If you think I'm wrong, go find your own hip hop magazine and have a blast. Email me privately and explain the appeal because honestly, I don't see it.

Some, a very few, of the ads weren't bad. Hot, less than half dressed bods advertising cologne, mostly male with great chests. That's universally acceptable but other than that, give me the Farm Journal or a Birds & Blooms any day.

Quick Reminder

Only three weeks left to register for this year's election. And once you're registered, get your butt out there and vote. If you don't, you aren't permitted to complain or even discuss the state of the country in my house. You get kicked out if you try. So do it! Seriously, it really is a very important privilege that our ancestors fought hard and died for to give us.

Why would you throw that away?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Once Upon A Time

There was a little gray tiger kitty.

He lived in a house with people who taught him about food and being petted. And then one day they let him go.

The little gray tiger kitty ran around the streets, avoiding the big scary cars until he stumbled into a closed in yard with lots of pretty flowers. There were nice ladies there that fed him and petted him. One of the nice ladies put out a weird box. After he walked inside to look around, she closed the door behind him.

She took him inside her zippy little car to a strange smelly place and left him. People at the smelly place acted nice but they poked him with needles, gave him pills that made his belly hurt, put bad smelly stuff on him that made all the fleas run around like crazy, and cut around at his boy parts. It hurt lots.

Two days later the nice lady came back and rescued him. She said they were going home and asked if he would like to be called Quinn. He thought that was a pretty cool kitty name so he purred his acceptance.

Home had other kitties. There were older twin tan tiger kitties that laughed at him but weren’t so bad otherwise. Then there was the black and white kitty. He didn’t seem to like the little gray tiger kitty much and let him know all the time. But the nice lady kept telling him to leave the little gray tiger kitty alone and that she had a big enough heart to love all of them.

The nice lady gave the little gray tiger kitty his own bowl and plenty of food every time the other kitties got fed. There was a big box of toys that the little gray tiger kitty could play with any time he wanted to. There was a screened in porch where he could lounge in the sunshine or watch the birds from when it was raining without getting wet.

Best of all, the nice lady petted him whenever she found him sleeping in the new cool spot that he’d picked out for himself.

The End

Friday, September 12, 2008


They are afoot.

I’ve always wanted to say that. Hehehe! Seriously though there is something I must see to. I’ll be back when I’m back.

Cue mysterious music and maniacal laughter that is so faint you aren’t sure you’re really hearing it.

Feel free to speculate amongst yourselves.

To those of you taking turns hanging on to the string tied around my big toe, thank you. Please don’t let go.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Continue At Your Own Risk

Too much mind bounce today to snare a coherent thought.

Imagine an atomic superball in a pinball machine with the fastest bumpers ever invented and no drain hole. I don’t even need flippers to keep the thoughts zinging around my head. They’re doing it all on their own.

It’s making me very tired but it’s too busy in here to sleep. Besides, don’t want to sleep. I might miss something. You really should be in here with me. Some of it is damn funny and there’s no one to laugh with. I spent the whole day avoiding people as much as possible because it was damn near impossible to contain the spontaneous outbursts of laughter.

And then there were the passing moments of uncontrolled sobbing. Yeah, good thing I have tasks that permit me to work in isolation.

In addition to that fun stuff, there were also the brief periods where I had to bounce physically as well as mentally. I just adore my crocs. They’re such great shoes, all squishy and springy.

See what I mean? Pure nonsense today. I think I’ll go now.

Oh, so you know, no I have not lost my mind. Well, no more than usual. I increased the topamax again. This seems to be my standard side-effect. Three days of mind bounce followed by four days of relative calm. Only two more increases to go before the dosage levels off and I go back for my next appointment with my neurologist. Yeah, that’s going to be a good one! Want to come with me? The good news is no migraines since I’ve been taking this so to me, it’s worth it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Exception

A little bit ago I went on a rant about those emails that request you send them on. Well I got this one today and here I am, sending it on to all of you. Read it and you'll understand why.

To Maintain A Healthy Level Of Insanity

1. At lunchtime, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.

2. Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguise your voice!

3. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.

4. Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch to espresso.

5. In the memo field of all your checks, write 'For Marijuana'.

6. Finish all your sentences with 'In accordance with the Prophecy'.

7. Skip down the hall rather than walk and see how many looks you get.

8. Order a diet water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face.

9. Specify that your drive-through order is “To Go”.

10. Sing along at the opera.

11. Put mosquito netting around your work area and play tropical sounds all day.

12. Five days in advance, tell your friends you can't attend their party because you have a headache.

13. When the money comes out the ATM, scream “I Won! I Won!”

14. When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot, yelling “Run for your lives! They're loose!"

15. Tell your children over dinner, “Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go.”

16. And the final way to keep a healthy level of insanity is to - Send this email to someone to make them smile. It is Called ... THERAPY

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I Was Bad

When I was growing up there was at one point a hair place in the nearby town that had a phone number very close to ours. We often got calls meant for them. My parents, nice people that they were, would take the time to explain to the caller that they had reached the wrong number and to try again.

Me? What do you think? Of course I couldn’t do that. Nope. Instead, I set up appointments. Sometimes I’d make them for when the callers requested. Sometimes I’d make them for times that were close. Sometimes, if I were feeling grumpy, I’d make them wait.

Actually, I was very proficient at it. I never double booked anyone. Well, not on my schedule anyway. I can’t speak for the schedule at the hair place. Heck, I didn’t even know their hours.

As you might guess, this was another of those occasions when my father merely shook his head and sighed. He did not, however, prevent me from continuing to make future appointments. Hm, perhaps this one amused him too.

Monday, September 8, 2008

After Your Book is Written

So you wrote a book. You’re all finished. All you have to do is submit it and you can move onto something new. Right? Wrong! There’s a lot more to it than that.

To start with, you don’t just submit your novel. You have to send a one to two page summary along with it. Shouldn’t be so difficult. After all, you just finished writing the book so you know exactly what happens. Only it is. Condensing something you just spent hour upon hour pouring yourself into is damn hard.

Okay, so now your book is accepted. Congratulations! Guess what? You have to do a slightly more detailed summary, being sure to touch on all the major plot points to send in along with the contract. You may or may not be able to use the same summary you sent with your submission. Me? So far I’ve had to revise mine to some extent. Perhaps if I were better at this part I wouldn’t have to. I have a day to come up with the one for Linked.

Think you’re finished now? Yes is not the correct answer. You still have to write a brief summary for the cover gurus. They need something that gives them a general feel for your book along with a suggestion of what you’d like on the cover. I must have done a good job with Drake’s Rules because I got exactly what I’d envisioned. The problem I now have with Linked is I have no idea of what it should look like so what do I tell the cover gurus? For this stage I have until I receive the contract confirmation from the main office which could be up to a month but I really should have it ready and waiting to send in as soon as that arrives.

No, that’s not the end of it either. You still have to write the blurb. Talk about stressful! A two or three paragraph teaser that will make readers choose your book over all others at that particular moment. Yeah, this one’s definitely not easy. For me, it’s the worst part. Pulling teeth, I’d pay someone if I could, it’s seriously that hard for me hard. Any volunteers? You’d get to read the book before anyone else. I have yet to write the blurb for Drake's Rules and now I have Linked to do too. Ugh! I'm ready to curl up in a ball and cry here.

One more thing and then you can move on to your next project. You have to choose your excerpts. You need one that’s attached to the cover on the publisher’s web page as well as a few to use when doing promotions. You should have both erotic and non-erotic ready to pull out depending on where you’re promoting. These must be carefully selected to again entice readers to pick your book. They have to give a sneak peak at the plot big enough to make the reader want to read more but not so much that you give away too much so they don't have to read to rest of the book.

See? There’s a lot more involved than simply writing the book. Book writing, that’s the easy, fun part.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Good News... I am returning the gizmo to the maintanence guru unscathed. The bad news is my yard is still dark.

Yep. I admit defeat. The aggravation isn't worth winning this one. I went next door and asked the old woman if her grandson could help me when he has a moment. Does that make me the old woman who lives next door who the nice young man helps? Or not, since part of why I'm worried about changing the bulb is because his grandmother has a little dog that she takes out late at night and my light benefits her too?

I'm so confused. I need a cookie.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Look what I got yesterday! Isn't it incredible? I described a scene to the cover gurus and they duplicated it perfectly.

Drake's Rules doesn't release until sometime next spring so I haven't even started on the blurb yet. Truthfully I'm avoiding it. I really, really hate writing those things. They are second only to summaries. What I will tell you now though is that this book is so darn sweet you won't believe it. There's a little girl in this story, Christy, who is going to steal your heart. And yes, there is still a very yummy romance mixed in with all that sweetness.

In other writing news, are you ready for this because I still can't quite believe it, I was offered a contract for Linked! What's that? Well, Linked is a very dark, very twisted, extremely violent horror story with a hot and heavy romance woven throughout. I submitted it with tremendous reservations because it is seriously off and I thought there was no way it would ever be accepted. I'm not kidding here. I wrote it and even I have to wonder. So I have the offer and I'm thrilled but I don't think it'll sink in completely until after I receive my confirmation back from the main office.

I know what you're thinking. One extreme to the other, right? Yes, that's true but isn't that life?

Friday, September 5, 2008

I'm Such a Girl

I have a double spotlight on the side of my house. Two days ago, one of the bulbs blew. Yesterday, I consulted the maintenance guru at work about one of those extender gizmos used to change bulbs up high therefore eliminating the need for the ladder I can’t lift to be maneuvered between wires and the potential of electrocuting myself and blacking out the whole neighborhood. Being who he is, the guru disappeared into the shop for a moment and returned with the aforementioned gizmo.

It was 95 yesterday but I remained fully clothed for this project anyway. I’ve discovered that’s always best when undertaking tasks of unknown difficulty no matter how freaking hot it may be. In theory, it seemed relatively simple. Extend pole to desired length, tighten whatsits at joints on pole, slip cage claw gripper thingy over bulb, remove old, replace with new, loosen whatsits, shorten pole. Simple, right? Wrong!

But first, aren’t you impressed with my technical jargon?

Extended pole, tightened whatsits, no problem. Slip claw thingy over bulb, easier said than done. So glad yesterday was my early day and most people were still at work because otherwise I’d have been entertaining the neighborhood again. My ex installed this spotlight. The location he chose was less than desirable, to put it mildly. It’s about 16 feet up, evenly spaced between two second-story windows so it can not be reached from inside when you need to change a bulb. It’s too high up for the stepladder. The angle is such that I had to stand on top of the side of the big heavy ladder that is resting against the chain link fence and then lean over said fence halfway into my neighbor’s yard to get the claw thingy over the bulb. And no, I couldn’t just go over to the neighbor’s yard. I wouldn’t have been up high enough.

After pulling claw thingy off, tightening whatsits because they weren’t tight enough the first time and the pole was spinning instead of the bulb, repositioning claw thingy while still balanced on the side of the ladder, while wearing my sexy purple Crocs by the way because what else does one wear when doing home repairs, I managed to remove the spent bulb. So far, so good.
Now, the replacing of the bulb. Had to climb down off the side of the ladder, put the new bulb in the claw thingy, climb back on the ladder. Done. By then the sun had shifted and it’s in my face. So I’m looking up, balanced on a 2½ inch aluminum strip wearing squishy rubber, open backed shoes with a 15 foot wobbly pole, fully extended above my head, trying to spear an inch-round tab into a blind socket all the way up there. Did I mention that it was damn hot yesterday? By then the sweat was dripping into my eyes. Yes, my Marine father would have been blushing again and I bet my ex’s ears were burning. Damn man! Who the hell puts things in such positions anyway? Must have been drunk when he came up with that brilliant idea.

So after several attempts, much swearing, and continual twisting of the pole in mid-air, I finally got the bulb in the socket. Yeah me! Girls rule! Hahaha, not so fast. The second damn whatsits won’t loosen properly. I had to take it back to the guru and confess that I broke his gizmo. I anticipated one of those looks reserved specifically for females in just these circumstances and this time I admit I deserve it.

To make matters worse, when I flipped on the light last night the damn bulb was still out. Either the new bulb is defective or I don’t have it screwed in all the way.

As expected, I got the look, complete with sigh. He smashed the pole at the joint and now it doesn’t spin so it’s not useless. It works, it just won’t contract to fit neatly on the shelf as it did. What I didn’t expect was him handing me the second gizmo to try again and offering me a new light bulb if tightening mine more doesn’t work. And this after I sort of broke his tool! Confouding creatures, gurus.

To be continued…

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Funny Cake

Ever heard of it? Somehow I doubt it because I think it’s a regional treat. And no, I do not mean a cake with silly decorations.

Usually you can only find funny cakes at the local farmers markets but Monday when I was at the grocery store, I discovered they now have them too. Of course I got one. I deserved it since I was bruised after my full night out as the masked avenger.

In case you’re not familiar with this delight, a funny cake has a piecrust with a layer of sweet, dark chocolate, thicker than pudding goo and then a heavier than average white cake on top of that. I know what you’re thinking but trust me, it’s really good.

The thing about this is how it’s made. You pour the cake batter directly into the piecrust and then drizzle the thin, watery chocolate sauce over the top. Somehow, while it’s baking the chocolate thickens and switches places with the cake. Or it does when anyone other than me bakes it.

I can bake. Honestly, I can. Just not funny cake. I’ve tried numerous recipes, including the tried and true one from my college boyfriend’s mom. She made them all the time and hers always stayed in separate layers. Mine swirled together every time. Marble cake in a piecrust is just not good.

If you google funny cake you will find all sorts of recipes so give it a try and let me know how it works for you. Hey, here’s an idea. Let’s have a contest. You can all bake funny cakes and ship them to me, say Columbus day weekend. I’ll be the judge. Hm, what kind of prize to offer that will provide enough incentive to get me funny cakes?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pure Panic

Mouse had another seizure this morning.

I think he knew he was going to and altered our routine so I would be right there beside him when it started. What I’m not sure of is if he did that for his sake, mine or both. Normally he insists on eating around 4:30. The boys eat. I check my email and read the blogs I like that I know are posted by then. Sometimes I do some writing or edit what I wrote the night before. Sometimes Mouse, Bixby and I go back to bed for our morning snuggle while the little boys hang out on the porch for the birds to wake up.

Today we slept in. I was checking my emails later than normal. Mouse was beside me in the chair as he usually is only today he had maneuvered himself so his head was resting in my palm with my arm wrapped around him. That’s when the seizure hit. He let out the scream that takes years off my life, I tossed my laptop and was on the floor with my upper body holding him in place within half a second.

This one wasn’t nearly as bad as most because he was right there. I didn’t have to first locate him within the house. I know he didn’t fall off of something and smack his head. I didn’t have to crawl under a piece of furniture and yank him out only to discover later that one or both of us was bleeding. I didn’t have to worry about one of his paws being dislocated because his claws were stuck in the carpet as his body twisted violently. I was there with him, calling him name instantly so this seizure was relatively short.

Still, Mouse was no less disoriented when it was over. His eyes were still unfocused. His limbs were rigid. His muscles wouldn’t cooperate. After he comes out of it, he always wants to pace. I walk along with him, supporting him until his legs work. We stop frequently for Mouse to sit down and purr at me. What a sweetie, purring to make me feel better! Yes, I try to remain as calm as possible but the little cat can see right through me.

After an hour or so of that he will finally curl up and cuddle. The other boys usually join us too. Even Quinn came along although he didn’t make it to the bed. That’s when we have story time. I talk. I think it helps soothe Mouse like his purring helps me. Today I told stories about when he and Bix were the little boys and all the things that they did to annoy the older cats I had at the time. I swear I heard some laughter mixed in with the purring several times.

When I feel Mouse truly relax I know it’s time to let go again. It damn near kills me but I know I have to. So I got up and went to work. I was terribly distracted as I’m sure you could have guessed.

One day I know I’ll get home and Mouse will be gone. I’m so very grateful that today was not that day.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tuesday's Child

Is full of grace. Unfortunately, I was born on a Thursday.

I have a little bit of a black eye. How’d I get it? I’m the masked avenger. No? You don’t believe that one? How about I gave it to myself? Yep, I did it. But it wasn’t my fault.

I was drying off from my shower, minding my own business, humming happily as I do on occasion when all of the sudden there was this horrendous caterwauling in the hall right outside the bathroom door. The little boys, Harry and Quinn, were screaming like they were at each other’s throats about to do serious bodily harm. The towel slipped away from my thumb and my nail caught the top of my cheek just beneath my eye. Hurt like a son-of-a-bitch, let me tell you.

After I determined that the walls weren’t spattered with blood, I stood, still dripping, swearing in a way that would have made my Marine father proud coming from anyone other than his daughter, looking in the mirror at the bright red streak below my eye that made me look as if I’d been in a tussle. Either a not bad one or one that I’d won. I prefer the second. And then I laughed. Only me, right?

So after I got dressed, I cornered the boys who were by then lounging on the porch together peacefully, giving me their matching “yeah, whatever, you’re scaring away the birds” stares and spouted off lecture #834 on crying wolf. Then I iced my face down, decided it wasn’t that bad and went merrily on my way to the grocery store. Hm, guess it was that bad because the entire time I was getting those non-look looks. You know what I mean. The ones where people peek without looking directly at you.

Back home, I practiced my “go ahead, I dare you to ask” stare. Got it down nicely too. If anyone had actually asked I was fully prepared to answer that I have a black eye because I do and leave it at that. Fortunately, or not, it’s not an issue because today it’s just a small red mark and is barely noticeable.

My secret life as the masked avenger is still safe.