Friday, January 29, 2010


My blog has moved. Please follow me to my website. Thanks!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Characters and planning and soundtracks, oh my!

In addition to my current WIP (work in progress), I've decided to write a short novella aimed at Nocturne Bites. A couple of my first steps when I tackle a new story are, well, finding characters for the story, duh! But I have them. They need backstories--histories. Then I work on their GMCs (Goals, Motivations and Conflicts). What they want out of life ties in with what has happened to them in their past.

While all this is running around in my head, I'm also playing with the story idea. The story has to be about something, right? Sometimes that part comes first, sometimes the characters come first. In this case, I have characters, now I have to decide what their story is.

Before I can write the story I have to write a blurb. Sort of what you'd see on the back cover of the book. That part kills me. It's hard to nail down the heart of your story in just a couple of paragraphs. But if I can do that, then I know that I have a really good grasp on the heart of my story. I also like to make a "soundtrack" for my story. Having a mix of songs to put on when you're writing can be a signal to your brain that it's time to stop being mom or maid or chauffeur and begin being a writer. So I'm spending some time digging through my iPod, paying close attention to the feelings a song evokes looking for that something that makes me think, "yeah, this fits my story!" I'll be sharing some songs with you this week. They may go on my soundtrack or they may not. Just sit back and listen and enjoy. Here's your first one, unusual video and all. :-)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Unscheduled Lazy Blog Post

Thanks to Holly, I have found the perfect tool for those days when I don't know what to say here in the blog. Check out the Lazy Blog Post Generator. Here's the post I generated with it:

Dudes I just opened mine eyes, and lo! I have not updated this since long before Shakespeare wast a boy... You would not believe that my hands were chopped off and I was waiting for bionic ones. Unbelievable.

I am tied up with setting fire to people wearing Crocs, driving from one end of the city to the other, just generally being a pain to society in general. My day starts with the dawn patrol, from the time the light through yonder window breaks to the point I am begging my kid to go to sleep or so help me God that kid will be decorating my wall, 'Duct tape still life'. I am putting money aside so I can run away. My kids think I don't make sense any more.

I won't promise anything to you, but I will make more of an effort to blog more often--at least until the nice men in the white coats come back, or until I need your shoulder to cry on. The Piccaninnies say I have to!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Lazy Video

Yeah, it's Friday and I'm feeling kinda lazy, so you get a video. I'm a child of the 80s and I believe that this song was out in the 80s or early 90s. Anyway, I thought this new take on the video was funny, so I'm sharing it with you. Aren't you lucky?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

mp3 players

We all have iPods, all of us except my husband. I have a full size iPod, my daughter has an older Nano and my son has, well, not the newest Nano, but the one before that. They came out with the new design about a month after he got his. Doesn't that figure?

Anyway, while we love our iPods, they don't allow us to listen to audiobooks that we check out from the online branch of our Public Library. It seems that Overdrive Media and Apple don't play well together. It's never been a big problem for me because I can download the audiobooks onto my smartphone and listen to them that way, but the kids don't have smartphones. So today I picked up an inexpensive mp3 player at the store that says it will sync with Windows Media Player and will play DRM protected files. (My daughters phone will sync with WMP, but won't play DRM protected files--WTH?)

I'm sitting here listening to the radio on our new RCA Pearl mp3 player. I think it's going to be a pretty good investment. But I'll have to remember to keep the AAA batteries charged!

P.S. Someday I'll have to tell you all about taking my malfunctioning iPod to the Apple store, and how the "geniuses" behind the Genius Bar were oh-so-helpful, NOT!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Better late than never?

My intention was to re-awaken this blog in January. Somehow I didn't quite make it. The truth is, I guess I didn't have much to say. Or I didn't bother to think of anything to talk about. In all honesty, I'm a procrastinator. One of the world's best! It's a problem I've been trying to overcome for years, but I don't ever seem to make progress. Or if I make any progress, it doesn't last and I slip right back into my old bad habits.

Why is it that bad habits are so hard to break and so easy to fall back into, yet good habits are so hard to establish and so easy to let go of? It's a question that has no answer, I believe. So if anybody has any new ideas or ways to break bad habits or establish good ones--please share!! I need all the help I can get.

Oh, and if you've never visited, it's a fun place to procrastinate. :-)

Friday, December 19, 2008


I'm on temporary hiatus. See everyone after the beginning of 2009.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Once again

I find myself having to backtrack in my manuscript, because this is where I am:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Scary future?

more animals

My daughter and one of her friends were talking the other day. Since they're really too old to dress up and go trick-or-treating, but not too old to want candy, they said they were going to not dress up and trick-or-treat anyway. When anyone asked what they were supposed to be, they would reply, "The future of the country." Now that's a scary costume!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Hey, what happened to September?

It's October. Where did September go? I don't think I was through with it yet!

My RWA CDs are in and I've transferred them to my iPod. I have hours of listening ahead of me. Some of you may think I'm crazy to look forward to them so much, I know my kids do! But I get so inspired by the talks, it's almost like being a conference again--only much cheaper. And I can listen to them in the car, or while cleaning house, and when I sit at the computer later, I am more inspired to write. Sometimes when I sit at the computer it's far too easy to waste my writing time surfing, playing games, or blogging :-) . And before you know it, writing time's been frittered away and I have to get up and do something else. So anything that makes me want to sit and get to my writing right away is a good thing!

What tricks do you use to drive away the procrastination demons?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Apparently, I'm somebody...

Thanks to Julie Kenner, where I found this video in the first place. But I don't have a Facebook page. hangs head in shame

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Time Flies

I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted! We're well entrenched in our school routines now and busy with soccer practice and games. On the writing front, I'm working on my partial, getting the chapters polished and writing my first synopsis. I'm also taking a few online workshops. What can I say, I'm a glutton for punishment! One of them is on plotting (an area where I need help), one of them is on writing a synopsis (what! I thought it would help and it has) and the last one is on writing a paranormal novel (again, thought it would help).

I also updated my MySpace page. Mom's chemo is over so I traded the pink background for one with leopards on it, since my current WIP features a leopard shape-shifter. Today momma told me that she's supposed to begin her radiation treatment soon. Oh, well. I like the leopards, so I'll leave them for now.

And I've become completely addicted to Twitter. Come on over and follow me. There's a link in my sidebar.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Twilight, Teenagers and Movies

This summer my copies of the Twilight trilogy by Stephenie Meyer made the rounds. Several of my daughter's friends borrowed them, passed them around, devoured them and wound up buying their own copies. I am currently reading Eclipse, book number 3. It has been on my shelf since its release, but I put off reading it, because I have a book to write, and really--once I start with Bella and Edward, I don't want to stop until I've finished. For that reason, I haven't bought Breaking Dawn yet (which would, technically, make this no longer a trilogy).

Anyway, I have promised these eager young readers that I will take them all to see the movie when it opens. The original date was in December, but the Official Movie Site list the date as 11/21/08 now. Suits me, I'm impatient by nature. But we'll be going to see the movie without my daughter.

No matter what anyone says, no matter how much her friends beg or bargain, she won't touch these books, or the movie. Because I read them first. Because I mentioned, after reading the first one, that she would probably enjoy it. I didn't insist that she read it, didn't try to force it on her, just commented in an offhand way that I thought she would like it. I should've known better. Nobody can get her within 10 feet of these stories now.

She doesn't know what she's missing. And I've learned to keep my mouth shut.

What about you? Are you addicted to Edward and Bella too? Do you even know who they are? Are there other books you can't put down or movies you can't wait to see? (I'm also waiting for the latest Harry Potter movie!)

Monday, August 11, 2008

I know I promised

that I'd keep a detailed journal while I was in San Francisco, but I didn't. What I can tell you is that I had a fabulous time, my editor appointment was wonderful and resulted in a request for a partial, I decided not to turn in the partial to the agent who met with our chapter, because after his talk it was apparent he wasn't looking for my type of work--and on the second day I was there I was awakened at 4 a.m. by a phone call. Momma had fallen and was taken by ambulance to the ER, where she was later transferred to another hospital and admitted to ICU. She remained in ICU for most of the conference, so I was torn between enjoyment of my time away and a pressing need to be home.

Of course, my family didn't want me cutting conference short to rush home, as Momma wasn't in a life or death situation, and when Mom was finally responsive again, she didn't either. Still, I couldn't help but be worried, and looked forward to my daily updates on her condition. She is much better now, but still in the hospital. A lot of her problem at the moment stem from infection she most likely picked up after the ruptured ulceration which led to her last stint in the hospital. But she is getting stronger every day and is looking better than she has in a long time.

This has been such a long year for her. For a woman who has never had to deal with being sick to go through so much in such a short period, well, I'll just say that she's a trooper.

Now, I should take advantage of the kids being gone and get to work. I've got a submission to get ready!! I'll be back soon with pictures!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I can't believe it

I really can't believe it's been so long since I've blogged. I've been so busy. Writing, the day job, the kids, helping mom out when she needs it, and summer. There's something going on all the time. And now I'm getting ready to go to the Romance Writers of America National Conference in San Francisco. Okay, it's not for a couple of weeks, but I have a lot to do to get ready. I'm pitching a book to an editor while I'm there, submitting a proposal for a different book to an agent, seeing friends that I only see at these conferences, attending workshops and doing as much sightseeing as I can. It's going to be a busy, busy week and I absolutely can't wait! So if I'm scarce between now and the first of August, please forgive me! I do promise to keep a detailed journal of my time at conference and share lots of pictures when I get back!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Momma went back to see her oncologist yesterday. She will not have to undergo anymore chemo treatments. It's a huge relief! We were worried that she'd have to begin the chemo all over again after such a long hiatus, but the doctor won't even consider it. He said she was obviously too highly allergic to the chemo to try it again. She will, however, most likely have to have radiation treatments in about 3 months.

I'm just so happy that she's still with us. The chemo did it's best to kill her, but she didn't let it. And we're going to do all that we can not to let the cancer have her, either.

I don't know if any of you remember my post a few months ago when I wondered how her hair would grow back. I know the answer now. Dark. My born blonde mother has a lovely cap of nearly-black, very wavy (and very soft) hair. I love to rub my hand over it and feel how soft and fine it is.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe used to be on Susan Meier's website, but the last time I was over there, she had revamped things and the recipe was gone. So, since I have spent the past couple of hours making Susan's Mother's most awesome Cinnamon Rolls, I'm going to share the recipe. If you try it and love it, be sure you thank Susan for sharing it in the first place. I'll be posting the recipe just as she did.

Cinnamon Rolls

If you've read more than two of [Susan's] books, you've probably noticed that [she] love[s] to throw in a scene with cinnamon rolls for breakfast! That's because [her] mother makes the best, mother-watering cinnamon rolls on the planet! Believe it or not, people wait for her rolls to arrive at picnics and for bake sales. [She's] seen small fights break out over these tasty treats.

But they're best served warm, with the maple icing sliding through the layers of sweet cinnamon coated dough...
If you bake, here's the recipe. Icing, too. You'll note that some of these measurements aren't carved in stone. That's because you may prefer a different amount of cinnamon and sugar or may need more or less flour depending upon humidity. You good bakers know all this though!

1 qt. milk
3 level tbsp. of yeast (or one 3-package strip)
4 egg yolks
1 lb. oleo
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. salt

10-12 cups of flour. This amount varies. You add flour until dough is very soft. (Remember dough loses stickiness when it rises.)

Cinnamon and sugar blended for shaking onto rolled dough. (This should be a ratio of cinnamon and sugar that suits your taste!)


Heat milk until it's hot to the touch, but not so hot you can't keep your finger in it (though I'm not sure why you would want to) and add yeast.

After yeast has grown "fuzzy" and milk is cool, add egg yolks, oleo, and sugar.


Begin to add flour until dough is very soft--remember you must be able to roll it, but it should be very soft.

Knead well.

Set aside. Let rise until double in bulk. Knead again. Let rise.

Take about 1/3 of the dough, roll out on flat surface (some people can do this with their fingers, others will need a rolling pin), then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Use your fingers to spread the sugar and cinnamon evenly. Remember: This is to your taste. If you like more cinnamon feel free to add!

Roll into a jelly roll.

Cut into 1" segments.

Place segments on greased cookie sheets, leaving at least one inch of space between rolls.

Continue until all dough is used.

Let rise on cookie sheet until a little more than double in size. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.


1 lb. powdered sugar

4 tbsp. non-dairy creamer of your choice ([her] mother uses Coffeemate...but it's your choice...and shhh...don't tell the other manufacturers [they] have a favorite!)

1 stick oleo

1 tbsp. maple flavoring

Enough water to make spreading consistency you desire.

Blend powdered sugar and non-dairy creamer in mixing bowl. Blend in oleo with hand mixer. Once sugar and oleo are creamed, add maple flavoring. This may be "spreadable" as is. If not, add water to the icing in increments of one teaspoon until you have the spreading consistency you need.

Then spread this wonderful icing on your rolls. If you spread on when the rolls are warm, icing will melt between the layers. Some people (like [Susan]) love this. Other wait until the rolls are cool for a less sticky roll. Especially if you plan to serve them to company!



Now it's time to add my own notes to the recipe. I use real butter in all my recipes. I always have, it's just my personal preference. When making the icing, I never have any non-dairy creamer on hand, so I use evaporated milk to thin the icing instead of water. It doesn't take much. And I always make extra icing. For me, this is not enough for all those yummy rolls!!!

Lastly, this makes a LOT of cinnamon rolls, so I bake them in round aluminum cake pans, then slip them in gallon zipper top bags and freeze them, after they've cooled. I also put some (sorry I don't measure this, I just plop some in) icing in a zipper top sandwich bag and put it in the gallon bag too. When we want cinnamon rolls for breakfast, I pull a bag out of the freezer, take out the pan and pop it in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. While the rolls are warming, I put the bag of icing in a glass of hot water. When the rolls are warm, I cut the corner out of the bag of icing and squeeze over the warm cinnamon rolls. Talk about quick and easy!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

did I say I'd be back?

I really did mean it, but my internet provider had other ideas. Yes, we were internetless for a few days. And since we use Vonage phone service, we were also phoneless. Well, almost phoneless--we do have our cell phones, but very little signal here where we live.

I guess you'll just have to wait a few more days to find out what I'm reading. Oh the suspense. Do you think you can stand it?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I know I said I was back

but between writing and the migraines that have been plaguing me, I just haven't found time for blogging. Besides, y'all really don't want to hear about how bad my head's been hurting, now do you?

I will do better in the future, I promise.

I'll try to get back this weekend with a list of what I'm reading now. After all, I'm sure you're dying to know what's on my nightstand this week. <g>

Monday, May 26, 2008


Hope everyone had a great weekend and a wonderful Memorial Day Holiday, for those whom it applies to. Mom has been home for about a week or so now and she is doing fairly well, though she is still weak, as you can imagine after such a long hospital stay. I will admit that she wasn't in the hospital all this time, but spent about 3 weeks in a recovery center where she underwent physical and occupational therapy, but returned to the hospital for another procedure just before she came home. Chemotherapy has not been kind to her body. Unfortunately, she will most likely have to start her chemo treatments over, once she has fully recovered from this illness.

I have continued to try to write through all of this ordeal, but it's been hard. I've slowed my pace considerably. And cooking and cleaning have been done only sporadically. I long to get back to some semblance of a schedule, but probably won't see one until school starts back in August. Yes, the kids got out last week and are officially underfoot 24/7 now. But that's ok. Means I don't have to rush them out the door everyday now.

I'm up too late. I have to work tomorrow and should be sound asleep by now!

Monday, March 24, 2008


I'm putting the blog on vacation until Mom gets out of the hospital. I hope I'll be back real soon!

Monday, March 17, 2008


The world has tilted on its axis again! Yesterday Momma had to have emergency exploratory surgery. They found that she had a dime-sized rupture in her stomach wall. It has been repaired, but she is in ICU for the time being. They took her off the ventilator today, but the doctors say that they will just take it one day at at time as to how long she will be in ICU. She will be on a feeding tube for a while, too. Until her stomach heals. She looks so frail, lying in the hospital bed, hooked to so many tubes and wires. You've heard it described countless times. But as cliche as it sounds, it's entirely true. And all you can do is stand helpless by the bed, stroking an arm, forehead, holding a hand, spending your twenty minutes trying to swallow around the fist lodged in your throat, then you wait until they will let you in again. It sucks!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

topamax adventures

Well, I've been on the topamax for a week now. The doctor warned me that carbonated beverages would lose their taste, they would taste flat while on this medication. When hubby came and sat next to me on Tuesday night with a glass, I grabbed it and took a drink. Flat. Completely flat. But hubby said it came out of the bottle that way. I don't know why he was drinking it.

Thursday night our daughter had a band concert. He wanted to run through Taco Bell before heading to the concert. Again, I grabbed his Coke (I'm in the South, down here they're all Coke). OMG!! I've never tasted anything so foul in my life! You know how the carbonation mixture can get off sometimes and make the cokes taste funny? It was sorta like that, magnified about 100 times. Plus, it burned.

And you know what I was worried most about? What will I drink at conference in the bar? I generally stick with beer, because it's cheaper. But it's also carbonated. Other than that, my drink of choice is Turkey (Wild Turkey) and Coke. Again, carbonated. Looks like I'll have to stick to screwdrivers or something. Got any suggestions?

On the up side, my appetite is fading. Just a few bites at mealtime and I'm full. But if I'm not eating much, I've got to make the little bit I do eat count, nutritionally! I don't need to get run down, on top of these migraines!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Did you know

that if you don't spell your name right, you won't be able to get to your own blog?

A friend of mine pitched her Harlequin American aimed WIP this morning and got a request for a partial! I'm buzzing with excitement for her!

I'm still having troubles getting up in the mornings. I'm beginning to suspect the culprit is something other than the time change. I think I'll investigate the side effects of my new migraine med and then call my doctor, see if he thinks that may be the problem.

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, March 10, 2008

spring forward

Anybody else suffering extreme exhaustion from losing that hour of sleep this weekend? I feel like I lost an entire week of sleep. How can one hour seem to make such a difference? I'm going to take a nap!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Back again.

I knew I hadn't posted in a while, but it's been longer than I realized. What can I say? Life, ya know?

Hubby is deep in the middle of an English Comp class. He's finding it a bit frustrating, being so long out of school, to have to re-enter that world. And the same goes for me. I've been trying to help him out, but haven't really been much help beyond some grammar suggestions.

Mother has had her second chemo treatment. She is doing fairly well. This time she's been a bit sicker than the last, but she continues to go to work most every day. She doesn't always stay all day, but she does what she can. She's very tired, though. The chemo has sapped her energy.

We had a great time at the "Look Good, Feel Better" class, sponsored by the American Cancer Society . She got all sorts of makeup tips and a bag chock full of high end, and skin friendly, cosmetics. It was really a lot of fun!

My son's basketball season is over, my daughter's soccer season starts this weekend. It never ends. *smile*

My appointment with Kathryn Lye was postponed, due to bad weather. I will meet up with her in San Francisco this summer to pitch my book, and hopefully she will want to hear about more of my stories!

Oh, and I got new glasses today. I like them, they're a bit bolder than my last pair. And it seems that my right eye is trying to catch up with my left eye. When looking at my old glasses, it was obvious that the magnification for my left eye was more than the magnification for my right. In this pair, I can't tell any difference between the two. Guess I'm just getting more symmetrical.

I will do my best to get back to my M, W, F posting schedule.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Nothing new

I really have nothing new to say today. Nothing old to say, either. I'm knee deep in writing my paranormal romance and it's coming along at a slow, but steady pace. I'm also attempting to help my hubby through an English Comp class. Boring!! But a lot of work.

Unfortunately, when I'm bored, I like to eat. I'm trying not to do that today, because I need to shed some pounds. What do you do when you're bored?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Farewell, Friends

This week we've said a sad goodbye to Toni and Aurora. I'll miss their little wheel squeaking all day. May they Rest in Peace.