Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

I feel soggy.

I know my yard is.

Besides being soggy, the grass is tall – waaaay tall.

I was able to mow the yard on the 14th. I don't think we've had two straight dry days since. All it seems to do is rain.

And rain. And rain. And rain.

In lighter news – the daughter and I went and saw "No Water for Elephants" last Saturday. I enjoyed the movie. So much so, now I want to read the book, which my daughter owns. It is now in my stack of books to read (which seems to be growing instead of shrinking. And I'm reading – honest!).

Editing of "Memories" is moving along. I set a goal of ten pages per day. That should get it finished by June 1. Then I get to see how badly I screwed up when I read the results from my critique partners. This will be a first for me (having someone other than family or friends reading it first). I'm excited and nervous at the same time.

Tonight the Penguins play Game 7 of Round 1. They better win!

So – how are things with you? Seen any good movies lately? Read any good books (not that I need to ADD any more to my pile)? Are you staying dry? If so, I envy you!

Monday, April 25, 2011


In the past I have had problems with using up vacation time. Well, not using it up (I've never lost a vacation day), but using it up for a purpose other than just taking a day off. Not so this year.

Two conferences (RWA Nationals & Dragon*Con), one cruise (to the Bahamas & Key West), and one trip (to TX) has used up more than my allotted vacation time. In fact, I have to take some days without pay. Then I found out I've used those allotted days, too. Who knew I was only allowed five days of time without pay. Gee – what happens if I get sick?

I don't have sick days. We have paid time off. 15 days to use as either vacation or sick or whatever. I don't normally get sick, and any doctor appointments I have are scheduled either early in the morning or late in the afternoon so I can make up the time during the week.

I wouldn't have been in this situation if I had remembered we wanted to travel to Austin, TX to see the US Australian Football Tournaments (in which my daughter will partake) before we booked our cruise (which was free since we cashed in our miles). But I guess I don't really care (I know – what an attitude!).

We're already planning vacations for 2012, too. Ireland may be a destination in the early Fall (provided our friend can go and her family doesn't mind a houseful). And it looks like I'll be heading to Chicago for the Romantic Times Convention (in April).

So this year is a busy year for me, vacation-wise. I've never had that happen to me before. But I'm not complaining. No siree. Far from it. I'm relishing it!

You going anywhere interesting this year?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hockey & The Stanley Cup Playoffs

Does the NHL (National Hockey League) seem to have the longest season of all the sports? The season starts in October and goes all the way into June (when you include the playoffs).

But when you love the sport, the season doesn't last long enough, does it?

I became a fan when my daughter did. Maybe I was looking for something to have in common with her. Hockey never interested me before, that's for sure. But once I started watching it, and understood the rules and calls, I got hooked. Well, hooked on one team – The Pittsburgh Penguins.

It's hard to love a sport when you can't find them on television, though. Going to the games can get expensive (even one game is expensive!), so I have to rely on Versus or NBC. Unfortunately, they don't always air the Penguins games, even during the playoffs.

Doesn't seem fair. If it's between Washington DC vs the NY Rangers game or the Penguins vs Tampa Bay game, why the heck wouldn't Versus show the closer of the two? Pittsburgh is closer to Dayton than DC or NYC. So frustrating! I'm glad has the details, but it just isn't the same as watching it live (and that's nothing compared to actually going to a game – I love the energy there!).

So, are you a fan of the game?

Go Pens!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Motivational Monday

Need help with meeting your writing goals? Check out Motivational Monday. It's a new blog to encourage you to meet your goals. At least that's what I THINK it's for. Ha ha! Since it's brand new, I'm not totally sure. But I thought I'd give it a try. Why don't you, too? What have you got to lose?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What I Read Last Week

Last year at the Romantic Times Convention, my name was drawn to be a character killed in the next book by one of the authors on the panel I attended (Whew! Try saying that three times fast). My name was drawn (yea!) and I picked Brett Battles (who is becoming one of my favorite authors).

Lucky me, he had a book that was close to being finished and was able to select one of the characters and use my name instead. And I finished reading that book last week (pretty much devoured it).

THE SILENCED is the fourth book in the Jonathan Quinn series. I think it's the best of the bunch, too (and I'm not just saying that because my name is in the book several times – starting on page 23!!!). I highly recommend them all, especially if you love suspense.

So, if you want to see my name IN a book (I'm still working on getting my name ON a book), go out and get THE SILENCED. But if you want to read a great series, start with THE CLEANER, then THE DECEIVED, then SHADOW OF BETRAYAL before reading THE SILENCED. I promise, you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What I Do

I know I should write about myself. As if I'm writing into a journal. At least, that's what I set out to do when I started this blog. But how can I write about myself when NOTHING happens?

Well, not NOTHING. More like nothing INTERESTING.

Who wants to hear about my day at work? Who needs to sleep?

I do not have an interesting job. I enter orders. When I'm not doing that, I'm preparing proposals for clients to upgrade their older (obsolete) system to the newest system (the company I work for sells access control systems). On top of those, once a week I enter time (for billing purposes). Apparently I did it faster than the girl who was hired to do it, so I got the job back (lucky me).

Sort of confirms what a former boss of mine said: "You do good work, your reward is more work."

Funny thing is, I wasn't hired to do all that stuff (except for the proposals). I was hired to create databases (via Access), to aid in reporting. I did do that at first, but not so much anymore (Because I did such a good job and they don't need anymore help? I don't know). So they look for more stuff for me to do.

I'm okay with it as long as I don't have to talk to the customer. I work in sales support, not sales (I don't sell). And as much as I bemoan the job (because let's face it, I'd rather write), it sure beats working in accounting. I don't think I ever want to go back to that life.

I guess I should just be glad I have a job. A job that aids in my future retirement. But in eight years (when the house is paid for) or the day I hit the lottery or when I've sold multiple books (whichever comes first) is the day I can say "I quit!"

I sure hope I can say it before eight years have passed.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Happy Birthday, Stephanie!

Today is my daughter's birthday - my youngest. Twenty-six years ago I gave birth to someone who didn't want to come into the world. Or at least, wanted to make a big stink about it.

The C-Section team was on stand by. Every time I had a contraction, her heart rate plummeted. Finally, the doctor just decided to go in a get her with his hands (I think I might have pushed once - I wasn't even fully dilated).

He's the one who called her a little stinker. Everyone was afraid the cord was wrapped around her neck. Instead, her hand was wrapped around the cord. Everytime there was a contraction, she had grabbed it, cutting off the heart rate monitor and any other vital signs that were being monitored.

We like to tell her she's been ornery ever since. I think she likes to hear it, too.

Yes, she's her father's daughter. And I love her very much.

Happy Birthday, Steph!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I sort of know what I want my next book to be about (I won't plot it out, because I just can't.). I sort of know how it should start. The only problem is getting it to start with a hook.

So now I'm wondering if I started the book in the right place. Or maybe I don't know how it should start. It wouldn't be the first time I've started a book wrong.

Beginnings are a pain in the *ss! Books 2 & 3 spoiled me, because I knew exactly how I wanted/needed them to start. I re-wrote the beginning of Book 1 more times than I can remember. It's starting to look like Book 4 will be the same.

So you writer folks out there – how difficult is it for you to start your story? Do you get lucky all the time, or only sometimes? I do know that when it's right, I'll know it (it's when it stops niggling at me). I guess I'll just have to keep at it until the niggling feeling goes away. I just hope that happens soon. I want to get on with the story!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

I received my second award. Don't know if my blog is stylish, but it functions for me. Anyway, the rules for receiving this award are as follows:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award on.

So, thank you, Piedmont Writer, for this award. To check out her blog, click HERE.

I've shared information about myself with the other award I won, so I may end up repeating myself. If I am – oh well…

1. I am a direct descendant of Susannah Martin (she was one of the first women accused of being a witch during the Salem Witch Trials – and she was hung). Genealogy can uncover some interesting family members!

2. My favorite radio stations are KYSR-98.7 FM out of Orange County/Los Angeles (I listen to them on-line while at work) and AltNation (channel 43?) on Sirius/XM radio (which I get in my car). I can't find any local stations that play the music I want to hear (which started out with Muse and has grown from there).

3. My favorite color of car is YELLOW. Do I own one? No. My Xterra didn't come in that color anymore. Made me sad. Not too sad, since I did purchase one (only it's dark grey). Maybe one day I'll get it re-painted.

4. I bought my Xterra because it became a feature in my first book (a yellow one, of course). Doing all that research made me want one of my own! And now I have one.

5. I hate shopping. Doesn't matter what kind. Shoes, Clothes, Groceries. Maybe it's going to the store I hate. I don't seem to have much problem buying books from Barnes and Noble on line, though!!

6. Two years ago you wouldn't have found me on Facebook or this blog. Heck, I didn't even text two years ago! See what writing has done to me?

7. I bite my nails. Yes! I said it. But I'm better now than I used to. Maybe because I'm not as scared as I was when I was younger. Don't know. My nails are still short, though.

I pass this award on to the following blogs:

Linda Leszczuk at
Erin Kane Spock at
Nicole MacDonald at

Now go check them out!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

More Photographic Art

I got lucky and found some more photos. If anything, this little project of mine is gathering up all my pictures so I can put them all in one place!

Long before I started my photography degree in 1985 at Brookville Community College (Lincroft, NJ), I took a photography class at Cochise Community College (Sierra Vista, AZ) in 1979. I loved my camera, but this class began my obsession. These are two photos I took during that class.

I love contrast. I love the shapes of things – like trees. Especially tress without leaves. Like this big one located at Ft. Huachuca, AZ. I know I took numerous photos of this tree. All on different days. Trying to capture the right light. It wasn't until I developed the film (and didn't burn it – I was good at that, too) that I found the perfect shot, though. At least, perfect for me. It's one of my favorites.

I don't remember what my assignments were, or if I even had any, so I'm not sure what I was accomplishing with the creek picture. Possibly movement? Something with nature? Who knows! My mind's fried. I like it, regardless of what I was going for.

Since that class, people hated me taking their picture. I took too long to set up the shot. I was more concerned in making it look nice than just snapping a picture. I probably still do that, too.

Next time I get in the scanning mood, I'll scan some of my cemetery pictures. Those statues didn't care HOW long I took. Of course, they were the cause of my pneumonia, but that's a story for another blog.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Day!

I loved this day when I was a kid. I even gave this day as a birthday to my cat, Penny, since I didn't know what day she was born on (who, by the way, was named after Penny from Lost In Space – yeah, I'm THAT old).

It's nice to know you can play tricks on people and not really get into trouble because the day allows it. Nothing physically harmful, though. Telling fibs, making up stories, that kind of stuff. (You know, like telling your husband you're pregnant, when it's impossible, but he believes you and panics, because you make it sound so real, so it makes it even more funny when you tell him "April Fools!" because he hasn't checked the calendar and has no idea what day it is).

Yeah, I like tricking my family more than friends (because I get into less trouble that way). I think it works for me because I'm usually such an honest person (I once belched loud enough that people in the other room heard, so I blamed my husband, who was sitting next to me. He denied it vehemently, but no one believed him. That either tells you the type of person I am, or the type of person he is!).

I did laugh at the suggestion I saw on an e-mail to glue magnets to your coffee cup and place it on the roof of your car, right where you might put it as you climbed inside. It would be funny if you could see the expressions you get, but that's not so easy when you're driving, now is it? Plus, I'm not so sure it would withstand my freeway driving, anyway! April Fool's is only fun when you can SEE the reactions (and then say "April Fool's!"). Or am I the only one who believes that?

Here's hoping you have a nice FOOLISH day!