Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Best of 2010!

Check it out!!

Odd Stuff got listed as one of the most recommended books of 2010 on Happily Ever After Reviews!!

So exciting and soooo flattered!! Check it out here.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Yes, Virginia

Since I am a Virginia, and in honor of my long ago namesake, I am reprinting the original Virginia letter.

I love the line where Santa says, "It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginia's."

Without further preface... Virginia.

Thanks to http://www.newseum.org/yesvirginia/clipping.htm for this image.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New Years Resolutions...

The kids were asked about their New Year's Resolutions... it ended up being more of an 'I want list'
See conversation transcript below.

Jordan shouts, "The yearly Blooooog!"
Ash- Why do we have to do this every year?
Can't you just write a blog about a blog?

Me- What are your new years resolutions?

Jordan- Not to be a whiny 'b.'

Me- Don't swear or hint at swearing...

Jordan- Yeees, Virg. Not to hit children, to be nice to my mom and you and my last resolution is to eat steak!! Ha, David!

David- I want to build the biggest lego set ever built and earn myself a Kindle from Santa and beat Sirius Sam. Oh, and to not beat up Ash.

Ash- What is with everyone wanting to beat me up?

Jordan- You are just beatable.

Ash- I want to stay out of sites I am not supposed to and collect as many comics as David does. Especially rares like Morbius. And to get a Kindle from Santa... and to not hit my sister. I also want to learn how to pick my nose with my toes.

(Jordan sits picking her nose with her toe.)

Justice- Mine are to get good grades, try hard and NOT FAIL and plus get Bakugon. I don't care which Bakugon..

Ash- No you don't! You just want to be like us.

Jordan- points her finger at the sky proudly then complains because Ash ate a booger... apparently she has already forgotten her toe was just up her nose....

Kids all surround computer and giggle.

Jordan- I say the next thing we talk about is the MEANING OF CHRISTMAS! (then falls on chair, squashes her dog and laughs hysterically)

Me- okay... what is the meaning, Jordan?

Jordan- The meaning of Christmas is Jesus's birth and it is all Saint Nicholas being a symbol for joy for Children!! And that is all I have to say!

Then me and Shell threaten violence...

Jordan- So what is martyred? Stuck to a pole, right?

David- Jesus went to heaven for our sins. That is really the important part.

Then the kids begin discussing calling David Dave...


Jack typed the above when I didn't pet him...

Kids all back to reading my screen and laughing and poking me with their little jabby chins...

Me- Quit it!

Michelle- Silence!

Enough bloggie for one day...

Snow day

You might live in the snow belt if...
  • You don't measure snow by the inch, you measure by the foot.

  • You know what the phrase 'white out' means.

  • You have ever gotten stuck... not in a ditch... on a road.

  • Your school doesn't call off for roads buried in snow but instead has drivers that grin back at the kids and say, "Hang on. Things are about to get interesting!"

  • You have ever compared your drive to work to a video game... "So it was a level three snow... Drifts blowing... So I tugged on the ebrake to make the turn..."

  • You have ever stood across the road from someone... and not been able to see them.

  • Your dog goes outside... and you have to get a shovel out to find him... and he is a grand mastiff.

  • You have thought to yourself... I just want to follow the plow.

  • Your neighbor plows their front yard.

  • Walking out to get the mail is a major event that requires snowsuit, cross country ski apparel and perhaps a rope between you and the box.

  • You set a bottle of water on the porch and wait for it to pop... because you are snowed in and have nothing better to do for the next ten minutes.

  • When you let the dog out he was black. When you let him back in, he has transformed into the abominable snowdog.

  • You know why there is a flare, a candle and kitty litter in your trunk and blink in surprise if someone you know doesn't do this. Also, in the back of the truck, you have bags of sand but no sand box...

  • You have ever shrink wrapped your house...

You can ride a snowmobile down Main Street and not shoot off any sparks because the road is a foot deep in snow.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Letter

Ash- Mom, have you written the Christmas letter yet?

Me- No.

Ash- Do you have the picture you are using to send out.

Me(annoyed)- No.

Ash- Don't you have to mail that stuff out?

Me(Glaring now)- Yes!

Ash- So you are a writer and you haven't even done the Christmas letter yet?

Me- I have written many books this year. And edited them. Four got published. Four. In one year. That is four more than I have ever published before. Plus I work full time. And you haaaad to homeschool. And there are THREE of you guys. I am lucky I remember to wash my hair.

Ash- So is that some lame excuse why you haven't done it yet? Because you told me we don't make excuses when we haven't done what we are supposed to.

Me- *glare*

Ash- I will shut up now.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Terrific Tuesday!!

Snowed in, I have one little boy running around with ants-in-the-pants underwear and a teeshirt and a little girl in her Nightmare before Christmas tee and shorts. And I feel it is that time of year again...

To discuss the true meaning of Christmas!!

Me- Ash, why do we celebrate Christmas?

Ash-Pretty much it is for Jesus's birthday and it is a time for sharing.

Me- Why don't we share everyday?

Ash- I don't know! We should. Then everybody would get presents everyday.
Me- What about Santa?

Ash- He gives us presents.

Me- Why?

Ash- I don't know! Are you writing another blog?

Justice- Santa comes to give us presents like love joy and hope.

Me- How do you wrap love joy and hope?

Justice- The love joy and hope is watching others enjoy their gifts.

Me- Does that mean if he doesn't bring you anything, you would still feel love, joy and hope?

Justice- Happiness would be in your heart. I would rather have family.

Me- So do I have to get you a present? Or just show up?

Justice... You don't have to but it would make me happy.
Me- But you said you would be happy without presents.

Justice- I would be happier with presents. Maybe without presents I would be as happy as a gnat.

Me- A gnat?

Justice- Or a fat lazy cat.

Me- A gnat? (ponders what story included the Christmas Gnat...)

Justice- No. A cat. But a gnat because they are small.

Me- So... you want a bug for Christmas?

Justice-No. Aughh.

Ash- Someone hides a pickle in our tree and you get a free present. Like an extra life in a game. But a pickle. I know that about Christmas.

Me- Why a pickle?

Ash- It's a German thing. German's like pickles.

Me- Is there any meaning to the pickle?

Ash- Yes. It means it's glass. If we used a real pickle it would stink. I like nutcrackers.

Me- What do nutcrackers have to do with Christmas?

Ash- They don't do anything. They are decorations. They talk.

Me- What do they say? (there are medications for talking decorations...)

Ash- "Hello. My name is nutcracker."

Me- So decorations talk to you? What does the pickle say?

Ash- "My name is pickle. If you find me on Christmas, you get an extra pickle." All the decorations talk. If you have the magic of Christmas.
Me- What is the magic of Christmas?

Ash- Joy and Happiness. I want presents. *dances around the room... wiggling his butt*
Me- Why?

Ash- Presents make me happy. I want Draganoid Collosus and DSI. That's all.

Me- But that's expensive.

Ash- Santa gets the presents from the elves who make them in the North Pole.
Me- What do the elves get paid?

Ash- They don't. It said so on Rugrats. They do it for joy. Just like the Easter Bunny.

Me- So the Easter Bunny doesn't get paid?

Ash- No. Just joy. That is all they get.

Justice- They work for joy for making kids happy and for Christmas-sake. It is joyful for them to make stuff because it is what they are good at and what they love. I think the pickle is there because you hide it.

Me- So how does Santa get in since we don't have a chimney?

Justice- He makes one with his magical nose.

Ash- If you don't have a chimney he touches his nose and walks through the door with his big red sack. And quiet as a mouse he sticks presents under their tree. And then the children wake up and find the pickle and Santa eats cookies because they are his favorite. Sometimes Santa goes through heaters because he is waterproof and can climb like Spiderman.

Me- So Santa is like a holiday superhero?

Ash- Pretty much. He and Spiderman are probably friends. Maybe he has things on his hand like Spiderman to climb walls. And then eats cookies and milk. Spiderman and Santa probably plan Christmas.

Justice-Santa is a superhero in a way. He makes children happy and helps them believe.

Me- So Spiderman makes children and happy.

Justice- Duh. With comic books.

Me- Aaaah.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Clothing Optional Released!!!

Clothing Optional is available now on Sapphire Blue Publishing!!!!

On the rebound, Brie is thrilled at the idea of a vacation on the beaches of Florida. It will be especially great since it is with two men who are absolutely irresistible…and equally unattainable.

Murphy and his boyfriend are offering the escape and maybe, if she spends enough time with them, maybe she will be able to resist wanting to strip them every time she sees them.

Murphy has always been oddly attracted to his best pal, Brie. But he has never touched a woman in that way. When his lover and boyfriend Andy suggests they make love to her, that she is perfect for them to experience a ménage, Murphy wonders if he is not enough somehow.

But the temptation of having them both…

When they get to the resort and find out that “Clothing Optional” should have been in bold print on the brochure, the three of them are in for the weekend of their lives.

Read an excerpt here.
Or pick up a copy here!

Warning: This one is an erotic. So be prepared; naughty fun abounds!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Winter Holiday Party!!

Mark December 6 on your calendar! That's the date for the Book Brew With The Coffee Crew Winter Holiday party! It will run basically all day from about noon EST to at least 8:00 pm EST and you can stop by anytime. We have over twenty authors to share excerpts and holiday stories with you to include Opal Carew, Amber Kallyn, Berengaria Brown and many others! Various Coffee Time staff members will be there too.
It's at www.coffeetimeromance.com/coffeethoughts/ which is our private blog site. We will have a special drawing for a great holiday gift basket which contains a hand made reversible lap robe with a western theme featuring hunky cowboys, a canister of Godiva cocoa mix, some mugs, a CD holding several ebooks and some small surprises! One lucky reader who posts comments will win this very neat gift. There will be a few individual author giveaways also. It's a fun time you do not want to miss. Be sure to post at least a comment or two to get in on the drawing! We hope to see you there!! Feel free to repost.

Monday, November 29, 2010

12 days of Writing

On the first day of writing my characters said to me,
This book will rock!

On the second day of writing, my characters said to me... two giant plotholes but don't worry because this book will rock!

On the third day of writing my characters said to me... three undeveloped characters, two giant plotholes but don't worry because this book will rock.

On the forth day of writing my characters said to me... four drafts of a synopsis! Three underdeveloped characters and two giant plotholes but don't worry because this book will rock.

On the fifth day of writing my characters said to me... we aren't getting enough stage time!
Four drafts of a synopsis, three underdeveloped characters, two giant plotholes but don't worry this book will rock.

On the fifth day of writing my characters said to me... Should you be writing without coffee??
We aren't getting enough stagetime and you've written four synopsis. Three characters undeveloped falling into giant plotholes but don't worry because this book will rock.

On the sixth day of writing my characters said to me... Put down the bottle! Should you be writing without coffee?? We aren't getting enough stagetime and you've written four synopsis. Three characters undeveloped falling into giant plotholes but don't worry because this book will rock.

On the seventh day of writing my characters said to me... You have told and not shown... Should you be writing without coffee?? We aren't getting enough stagetime and you've written four synopsis. Three characters undeveloped falling into giant plotholes but don't worry because this book will rock.

On the eighth day of writing my characters said to me... eight delusions of grandeur. You have told and not shown... Should you be writing without coffee?? We aren't getting enough stagetime and you've written four synopsis. Three characters undeveloped falling into giant plotholes but don't worry because this book will rock.

On the ninth day of writing my characters said to me... Nothing, I will ignore you...Forget delusions of grandeur. You have told and not shown... Should you be writing without coffee?? We aren't getting enough stagetime and you've written four synopsis. Three characters undeveloped falling into giant plotholes but don't worry because this book will rock.

On the tenth day of writing my characters said to me... Wake up it's three am!! You should be writing, not ignoring us. You have told and not shown... Should you be writing without coffee?? We aren't getting enough stagetime and you've written four synopsis. Three characters undeveloped falling into giant plotholes but don't worry because this book will rock.

On the eleventh day of writing my characters said to me... Edit eleven times!! Send out to betas... you have told and not shown. Lay off the coffee. What about that stagetime? Ha! You call that a synopsis? Those characters are cardboard!! And we all fell into plot holes... but don't worry because this book will rock.

On the twelfth day of writing, I hovered over clicking send.... Edit one more time. Could you please beta? What do you mean what is she feeling? Pass me the coffee... Stupid characters aren't going to tell me what to do... Oh, no, now I have to write the query?? I developed the characters!! Oh... come on! ANOTHER plot hole? Oh, yeah!!! This book will Roooooo-oooo-oooock!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Please help...

Please help: Tina Gerow/Cassie Ryan has been taken suddenly and seriously ill. She has an affliction called Arteriovenous malformation or AVM in her brain which has led to multiple surgeries and an extended stay in ICU. No family is ever prepared for such a thing and Tina's is no exception. In times like this, every dollar helps and her friends in the writing community are banding together to ask you to open your hearts (and wallets) to help get Tina's family through this. Tina is well known to readers and authors across the country who have embraced her books, most recently, (writing as Cassie Ryan) Seducing the Succubus (Berkley/October 2010) and coming in April 2011, The Demon and the Succubus. Please send your prayers, positive energy and love out into the universe with Tina's name on it. Cards can be mailed to: Tina Gerow, c/o SBP PO BOX 42255, Phoenix, AZ 85080. Any donations you would like to make to Tina Gerow/Cassie Ryan to help with the burden of mounting medical bills, can be given by visiting: https://sites.google.com/site/tinagerowandfamily or by sending a check toTina Gerow, c/o SBP PO BOX 42255, Phoenix, AZ 85080. Help spread the word—please post on your blogs and websites.

It's HUGE!!

I am probably not alone in this either. Sometimes... Okay, a lot... Tasks come along and I look at them and think to myself,

"I can't do this!!! This is tooooo MUCH!! Why did I think I could??? This is an ImPoSsIbLe TASK!!! AH, the foolishness and arrogance of ME!!!"

And then I force myself to grit my teeth and begin the project. At least for the first little while, I am still berating myself...

"You Foool!! Now look what you have done!! I knew nothing good could come of this!!!!"

And then I get it done. And I am left blinking. I did it!! I knew I could. Why did I blow this out of proportion to begin with? That was simple! It's not like I was trying brain surgery or rocket science. Why did I freak out?

And then I do the same thing five minutes later.

Query letters and synopsis are great triggers for this method of thinking. I have been known to put myself through more edits in an attempt to avoid the dreaded query/synopsis.

And then I write them and wonder why I freaked out.

But I still... STILL do it every single time.

Do you have anything that you blow out of proportion or panic over that you are capable of?

Off to edit.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sleep with the fishes...

I guess it is a common thing for writers because I have noticed most of them online.

Insomnia is defined as difficulties initiating and/or maintaining sleep, or nonrestorative sleep, associated with impairments of daytime functioning or marked distress for more than 1 month.

Since I am going on about thirty three years of random spurts of insomnia... I will go with I have it.

The thing with insomnia is that it rarely affects how I feel the next day. I am wide awake and then eventually I sleep and then when I get up I am up again. I think it started when I was a kid because I was afraid I would miss something. Now, as an adult, I would love to miss something. Catch me up later. Let me roam off to the world of dreams where anything is possible. Where my stories have a shot of coming to life for a moment...

But biology or maybe physiology or some other logy keeps me from sawing loggies with irksome regularity.

I mean, it is great because it increases my productivity by a few hours... but then again, I don't trust anything I do after a certain hour. So I reread it and double check that it wasn't complete garbage before I can use it.

This I do out of paranoia. So far, regardless of the hour, the writing seems pretty much the same. Ditto for edits. But there is always this chance that when tired, I will do something stupid... Make some error that my wide awake mind would have caught...

Do you ever have this problem?

Oh, and if you try to go to sleep, you end up lying in bed, eyes closed, pretending to sleep as if someone is going to come catch you faking it. Like the sleep police are going to come banging on the bedroom door and spirit you away for the travesty of sleep you were committing.

Actually, to be honest, if I do fall asleep, I am one of those people who will jump up, bleary eyed and tongue tied, and try to convince you I wasn't sleeping at all. Usually as I wipe the drool off my chin.

So probably I have some sleep issues.


I refuse to take any of the meds so readily available now to 'treat' this condition. My feelings on this, and don't judge me because I know others feel differently hence prefacing it with MY feelings, are that if my body really needed the sleep, it would go to sleep. Since I am not falling asleep...

The body must not be that tired.

I am probably wrong.

But logic and insomnia are not compatible.

Sweet dreams and alert 3ams...

PS... Look, I drew you a picture!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give Thanks for Free Stuff!!!

Free read of my paranormal short story, Wolf Bait, is available in volume two!!

Enjoy my story and a whole lot more free on ARe!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

See, just one more thing to be thankful for ;)

Free books!! Find Just One Bite, Volume Two here http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-justonebitevolumetwo-484626-139.html

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Brilliant inventions

So my maternal skills may not be the very best.

For instance, when my thirteen year old daughter, who is best known for her ability lately to roll her eyes and go into lengthy diatribes on how little I know and how lame I am in general, advised me she was losing her voice...

I said, "Well, then honey, don't talk. It will come back faster if you don't use it."

Which, by the way, is totally true. Being a big choir geek, I know that the vocal cords must be rested or they will stop working. So resting them... totally valid.

The happy dance I did at her silence probably wasn't entirely helpful, but dancing is good for the health. It builds up endorphins and is exercise...

And when I sent her to school and figured if it was really bad... they would send her back...

Well, I have to go to WORK.

And she had no fever, said her throat didn't hurt and was otherwise okay...

And if her mysterious loss of voice was passed along to other kids... really? Don't we want to silence adolescent America? I mean if they spent as much time listening as they did speaking...

The teachers should have sent me a thank-you letter. And maybe chocolates.

Guiltily, I did shuffle her into the doctor's office. Guiltily because part of me wondered if I wanted to FIX it... I mean, it would run its course... why rush it?


So I got to give a lecture on washing her hands and not putting things in her mouth...

Of which she was silent and attentive.

Because she has no voice.

Her facial expression didn't look pleased but the loss of voice rendered her speechless.

Having done my parental bit and lectured her... and having not been interrupted twenty times and diverted from my topic, I felt much better about the whole thing.

And I think from her furrowed brow I could also surmise that she really got it and was ruminating on my words.

Or she was pissed she couldn't tell me off.

Either way... I feel better about the whole thing.

Off to shove more zeeepack down her throat. And chamomile.

And then to enjoy the fun of her company.

Yeah, she sure is fun when incapable of speech.

And I am drawing up plans for the adolescent mute button.

Don't worry. I won't forget you when I am famous.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chaos is my mistress

Today was supposed to be fairly mellow.

What I mean by that was that I wasn't triple booked.

Woke up to the Ghostbusters theme song and Justice shrieking at me that she must have missed the bus and why didn't I wake her up and what was she going to doooooo?

Clutching a pillow over my head, I mumbled out that she wasn't going right away. She had an appointment with Doc Pirate.

When she took my pillow away and I stared up at her with bloodshot eyes she shrieked that if I simply let her know what the plans were, we could avoid this kind of thing.


"What did you say, mom?" Again with the shriek.

"Coffee. Or death. Pick one."

Sighing dramatically, she stomped to the kitchen to hit the button on the pot.

Burying my face again, I advised her to wake up her brother.

Next thing I knew, a hundred pounds of DJ landed on my back. "OOooOOf!"

"Good morning, Mom!"


"What did you say, Mom? I can't hear you with that pillow on your head."

So, up I got. Clicking away on my cell, I got hit with morning hugs from Ash which nearly burst my bladder as he is bladder height. Patting him absentmindedly, I mentioned, "Clothes."

"You want me to get dressed?"


"How come you can't talk in full sentences before coffee?" He chirped it and smiled up at me. I scowled darkly back at him.

Within a half an hour, I had mainlined enough coffee to make full sentences, since apparently that is required or some crap. I shuffled David out the door and the rest of us loaded into car. Kicked out Cat as he acts like he can't see the parrots... but I know he does.

Off to Michelle's. Short visit to Ashton's and my day on the computer. Off to Doc Pirate.

Discussed Justice. Dropped off Justice.

Live Lesson Ashton.

Back to Michelle's.

Grabbing coffee I remembered I hadn't gone to the store.


Well, on the upside, I have a brand new WIP and no name for it.


Off to hide under another pillow...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Quit playing with my nutcracker...

David, my middle kid, woke up grumpy for the second day in a row today. He grumbled while he got dressed. He grumbled while he got his shoes on. He grumbled over to the door. He opened the front door and gagged and hurled on my porch stoop.

I said, "Come here."

Checking his forehead, he was burning up. I guess this wasn't surprising. David is my even tempered kid most of the time. When he erupts into temper, it is explosive but as a general rule, he is my even keel kid.

"I guess we are staying home today."

"What! Why? I can't miss school! I just spit." This was said at a decibel intended to shatter my eardrums and make me agree out of frustration.

"Well, you are sick, buddy."

"No! I can't miss school!" His shriek was followed by him pitching his bookbag into the nearest corner. "I have band today! I have been looking forward to this all week!"

With this positive start to our day, I proceeded in calling the sitter, the school, the doctor and texting my best friend with the news.

David continued to walk like a dark cloud around my house. I dosed him with ibuprofen. Ashton sniffled with the cold and cough that has been plaguing him for days, and since we were going to the doc anyway, I scheduled him an appointment as well.

When the time rolled around to haul the boys to town, David looked me up and down.
"You aren't going to the doctor dressed like THAT, are you, Mom?"
Me- "Why, David?"
"Ummm... you don't look as pretty as you could..."

Me, "Why, thanks, Dave."

Obediently, since apparently I was being judged, I ran a brush through my hair and changed my outfit. *grumble me. If I am not working, I should be allowed not to brush my hair and wear pajama pants. I think there is a rule somewhere... Or perhaps I lack basic hygiene... whatever. I am a writer. No one can SEE us.*

Shuffling off to Doc Pirate, we waited our turn and then sat with him in the office.

Doc Pirate, "David, your lungs sound clear."

Me, "So Ashton's didn't?"

Doc Pirate, "Umm, no. His are full of fluid. Bronchitis or pneumonia."

Fanfreakingtastic. The kid I thought wasn't very sick is about an inch out of lying in a hospital bed (Ash has asthma and upper respiratory kicks his butt. We have at least one hospital stay a year which is how he found the chick button... what he calls the nurse call button. In a previous post I mentioned he loves the button because he presses it and another girl will come in... So when he is in the hospital, I have to take his button away or else it is a constant stream of nurses... so Ash can look at them.) and the kid I was freaking out over has a 24-48 hour flu. Once his fever is gone, he is better. Ash... different story. We wait for the antibiotics to do their work.

So off we went. Collected meds. Now back home.

I have WORK backed up and a job to go to and instead I am on Mommy detail. So there I was, grumpy at a day that has gone down the proverbial pooper shoot and David looks at me from the couch. He is scowling back at me.

"Yeah, Dave?"
"You are ruining my week. I had plans."
I burst into laughter. It was so close to why I was scowling, it is like he is reading my mind. Aside from that, I am amused that an eleven year old has PLANS.
"Really?" I ask.
"I had band and you made me miss BOTH days."
"Well then you shouldn't get sick."
"I tried." He flops his hands in frustration. "I tried to act okay. You are the one who has to go and take my temperature!"
Still laughing at the silliness of it all, I ask, "So what would you have me do? Let you get sicker?"
"You don't get it, Mom. There are times in life when a man just has to work through being sick. There are times, like days when I have band, that I can't miss. Now, if you wanted to call me off on Friday, okay. We can work with that. But band days? Mom, you can't just go and do this to me."

I pulled him into a hug and said, "I love you, my Davey Jones."
Sighing heavily, he hugged back. "I love you, too. Just don't do this too often."
"I will try. But when you are sick, I gotta take care of you."
"I guess that is okay. Sometimes. But do I get to play video games?"

Ah. Men. Priorities in order. All is well. And Justice has drunk all of the juice off my pickles.
Just another day in the barn.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Kids say odd things...

Last night, I was sitting at my best friends house and she was grading papers and I was reading a review book that had my eyes crossed and the kids were dispersed around the house. The two girls, I believe, were laughing uproariously in JFAB's room and David was playing Angry Birds (BTW whoever invented that cell phone app game, I LOVE YOU. Not only does it occupy my fingers when I am brain dead but my sons are addicted... explosive birds... Good Times.) and Ashton was on his computer, supposedly working on school.

Since both Shell and I are up to our eyeballs in alligators just now, she glanced at me from her recliner to mumble, "You should go make the dinner."

Before I had a chance to snark back how much better she is at cooking (Which she is, really. It is not only my abject laziness that leads me to say that...), Ashton piped up, "But my mom can't cook."

Which sent Michelle and I into gales of laughter. Well, I have one of them convinced.

(Side note: I did have to make dinner. *sigh* I made alfrado from scratch. Shrimp. It was good but it would have been better if I hadn't had to cook it.)

It made me think of the funny things my kiddos say on an everyday basis.

Justice often advises me that she doesn't have to be anything when she grows up but a wife. Her husband will support her. Only ugly women have to work.

I find that hilarious. Especially since she is a walking talking mini me looking thing at that age.

I usually advise her that a backup plan would be good and also... good luck with your thighs.

Then I pass her the Doritos.

They contain corn. Health food. (You know you think that, too.)

So David is my suck up. Whatever everyone else says that is mean, my little diplomat has a quick reply. I am so hoping he goes into politics. Vote for Dave.

For instance.... Ashton asks me, "Mom, could you buy us more Bakugon?"

Me, "Christmas is coming. Ask Santa."

Ash, "But you are the mom. You are supposed to buy us stuff we need. That is why you go to work."

Me, "Our definitions of NEED are apparently not the same. You need food. You need housing. You need clothes. You need to have a safe place to run. You do not need toys. You have toys."

Ash, "Not any good toys! I need Bakugon."

Me, "Ashtooon--"

David interrupts, swinging an arm around his brother, " Mom needs to not have a headache because you are bugging her. Just listen to her. She takes good care of us."

Ashton rolls eyes and walks away.

David, "But if you want to get me Bakugon, I will take good care of them. I won't bother you with it or hound you, but I figured I am such a good kid that you might want to know what I want. Just trying to help..."

He looks at me hopefully and I smile. "Thanks, Dave."

David, "No problem, Mom. I am here for you."



P.S. Yes, David got Bakugon. Admit it. You would have bought them for him too...

Friday, November 12, 2010

A blog about Blogs...

My best friend shakes her head when I discuss my blog. She is a very busy teacher creature and, to paraphrase, doesn't understand how people have time to read all that stuff.

I have been addicted to blogs and blogging from the moment I discovered the medium.
Since I am a writer, I guess this isn't too surprising. Writers in days of yore were known for their correspondence to family and friends and the mass of said correspondence. Today, we have blogs.

The blogs I follow are an odd mish-mash of things. Some are obvious. For instance, I follow the Sapphire Blue Blogs and the blogs of the authors of Sapphire Blue. Since I write for SBP this is an obvious. However I read it because the women who write on this blog are genuinely funny and real and I like their writing. From Lisa Pietsch to KF Zuzulo... Heather Long... ah, you guys. And as they add authors... I keep getting addicted to more blogs... So much good stuff.

I also read Nathan Bransford's blog pretty religiously. Since he was *tear* a literary agent, this was probably not surprising. However although I read Kristen Nelson's blog because she is an agent, I read Nathan because he was very real... very inspiring and for the same reason, he stays on my blog list today even without the title of agent *another tear.*

I follow world famous authors I love. For instance I don't know what I would do without my update on how the rose garden is doing or how the hellhounds are or the most recent escapades at bell ringing that I expect to find at Robin McKinley's blog. If you are a fan of her, which I am, or in general like women who say what they think when they think it... her blog is amazing. I also know a lot about Laurell K. Hamilton. Birdwatcher. I know, she writes blood, sex and mayhem but did you know she loves birds and has a handy set of binoculars for this purpose by her writing desk? It is all in the blogs.

Another author I love I found because of QueryTracker. I will probably do a blog at some point just on the wonders of QueryTracker and how I used it and still use it religiously. However, Elana Johnson is funny and inspiring and altogether very real with her love of bacon in her blog and facebook. And if you haven't picked up Possession yet... You are very behind on your reading.

I read a bunch of paranormal/romance author/reviewer blogs. SmartBitchesTrashyBooks is awesome. Also have to get my dose of Paranormal Romantics. But not everything I read has something to do with the writing world.

Anna Seckman and I went to school together. Her blogs leave me in stitches... literally. Currently she runs one of the best shops on Etsy and this lady is going to be so brilliantly famous I am never sure when I turn on Martha Stewart if she will be sitting there smiling back at me getting interviewed. Aside from being a clever creator of all that is crafty, she is funny as hell. Her perpetual battles in office land ring familiar to my beige and khaki day job ears and her adventures in motherhood are touching.

Oh, another non literary blog that I recently became addicted to was TrickyDame's MPL (Magic Passion Love) art tour blog. This lady is traveling the country and manifesting art and spiritual awakening as she journeys. I think it must be truly fascinating to just pop off to where ever the wind blows you each morning and her bravery and daring truly are something special to read.

What blogs do you follow and why do they fascinate you enough to get a minute of your busy day?

Oh, and the picture is my mask. I picked him up at a rummage sale because he was so darned cute. And for links to these blogs and more, hit me up on facebook :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Work Art

I have been drawing and making jewelry at work... Here is some of my draw-rings.
This first one is called The Garden and is inspired by my newest WIP Back to the Garden...
The second is called I love u....
The last is called Dead Bunneh and it is my fave.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Back to the Garden Excerpt

I am working on Back to the Garden, my retelling of The Secret Garden. Here is an excerpt from Chapter Three of the WIP.

Maybe I could just climb the wall.

The stones were set in a way that would allow for foot and hand holds. I tugged myself up, with some assistance from a vine and tried to scale it.

It turns out I am not all that great at climbing. In the movies it looks easy. When faced with a wall, it was a struggle.

Breathing hard and sweating, I managed to get most of the way up. Then as my hand closed, finally, on the top of the wall, a crow landed on the top and looked down at me with beady black eyes.

Screaming, I jerked my hand away from him. I think it startled me more than scared me but then I was falling. Landing on my back, my head bounced on the stone and I twisted one ankle under me as I hit and all air was removed from my lungs by the impact.

Gasping, trying to breathe, a face appeared over me, blocking the weak sun.

“What are you doing out here?”

Blinking, I studied the old man. His face was worn from time outside, all wrinkles and crevices and dark. He was glowering down at me from gray eyes that nearly matched the sky haloing his face. I tried to suck in enough air to answer but the multiple injuries had me curling into myself, near tears. Ow.

“You don’t belong out here and you stay away from that wall!”

My mind whirled past the pain to consider his words. Everyone had said I could go anywhere that wasn’t locked or the east wing. Why was I getting reamed for trying to go into a garden?

“I couldn’t find the door,” I managed finally.

“The door is locked to keep people out. And you can stay out. I don’t care who you are, you kids should not be on this property!”

Rolling, I looked up at him again. He was carrying a small shovel and had dirt on his knees. Gardener.

“I live here. And I can go wherever I want that isn’t locked.”

“Well that garden is locked so stay out!”

“I fell off the wall and got hurt!” I stuck my chin out in defiance.

“That should teach you to stay away from it then.” He nodded to himself and turned to leave.

“Why is the garden locked?”

His head snapped back at my question, his glare returning with enthusiasm.

“It is locked to keep people out. Why else lock a door?”

I found it suspicious that he hadn’t answered me. Why lock a garden?

He had disappeared around the corner, into the maze. I dragged myself to my feet, hopping to keep my weight off the sore ankle. Tilting my head back, I again studied the wall… and the crow who was still looking down at me. I would have thought he would have squacked and flew away when I had screamed and tumbled off the wall like some maniacal Humpty Dumpty, but instead he sat studying me as curiously as I studied him.

“Thanks.” I said to the bird. “I almost made it.”

He tilted his black head at me and the rays of the sun shone blue against his feathers.

“What is over the wall, anyway? You can see, what is there, you stupid ugly thing?”

He seemed to understand, somehow because he glanced over the wall then looked back at me. Sadly, he didn’t share what he saw.

I bent and picked up a rock, intending to throw it at him. But as I stood, a shadow crossed the walk. I turned my head quickly to see who was there, thinking it was the arrogant gardener again but instead caught a glimpse, just a glimpse, of who was running into the maze.

It was a boy, probably a little older than me. And he was cute. He had hair that was very nearly silver it was so white and broad shoulders. Wearing jeans and a dark coat, he disappeared into the maze before I could see more of him.

Darting after him, I raced into the maze. I turned a corner and caught another glimpse of him turning another corner. “Hey! You! What are you doing? Who are you?”

The boy didn’t stop or slow and I heard him rustling around in the maze. I ran to keep up, to catch up but the most I caught were glimpses of him. My ankle throbbed at the exertion and I panted and wheezed and sweated trying to catch up.

When I came to the end of the maze, I stumbled into the clearing that was the kitchen garden and looked around. No one was there. I was alone.

“Where did you go?” I turned and looked back into the maze but I heard nothing from that direction and although I hadn’t caught up to the boy, I wasn’t that far behind either.

“You can’t have disappeared into thin air!” I wheezed.

No one answered me and suddenly I felt as if I was being watched.

It wasn’t a comfortable feeling at all.

I turned in a circle, searching for the eyes I felt drilling into me but no one appeared.

Pulling on my last reserves of strength, I hustled it into the house and closed the glass door behind me. Leaning on it, breathing heavily, I looked into the gardens from the safety of the house.

No one appeared but a crow wheeled above the patio, finally landing on a chair to peer at me.

I had a feeling, perhaps a paranoid one, that it was the same crow.

Realizing I still held the rock, I wanted to open the door and pitch it at the bird. Something stopped me.

I didn’t want to go back out there.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day Two NaNo ~ A kid at heart

A writing I have been but the numbers just aren't as outstanding as on my adult works. I have noticed that when I write YA, it always is a slower go as it requires both more for me to stay in the head of the character and more editing how I speak. Adult books are written in the format I think in... a kid doesn't think like that.

Also, they tend to require more research because although I read a lot of YA (McKinley, Pearce, Cast, etc), I read waaaaay more adult. I even read and write erotica. Since I don't live erotica nor do I live YA, it is a darn good thing I write fiction. (Although the Zombie Survival Guide for some reason is categorized as non-fiction children's... a thought that boggles the mind.) But I have a harder time, as I said, even with reading and once being a young adult, writing it.

Where is the line in the sand that says you are saying something a kid wouldn't? Where is the line that crosses between too much slang dialogue and enough to be realistic kid speak?

There isn't one. So it takes time.

Picking this for nano was challenging myself to up the pace.

Word vomit in Converse.

It is an interesting challenge so far.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day One NaNo

Since I am clicking away at the keyboard, I just wanted to share what some others have said about writing. Here is hoping one of these passages inspires you as much as they do me...

Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster. ~Isaac Asimov

Easy reading is damn hard writing. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

There is nothing to writing. You just sit down at your typewriter and bleed. - Hemingway

I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top. ~English Professor (Name Unknown), Ohio University

Be obscure clearly. ~E.B. White

When you are describing,
A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don't state the matter plainly,
But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things,
With a sort of mental squint.
~Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll)

If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad. ~Lord Byron

What no wife of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he's staring out of the window. ~Burton Rascoe

The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes. ~Agatha Christie

The coroner will find ink in my veins and blood on my typewriter keys. ~C. Astrid Weber

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live. ~Henry David Thoreau

Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. ~George Orwell

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cover art, cover art, cover art!!!

I have been sent cover art for the soon to be released anthology that will include my short story, Wolf Bait. They plan to release the anthologies (of which there will be three) for free read and download in time for Thanksgiving. When the links become available, I will share them. Isn't the cover art amazing???

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Thanks to everyone who voted for "Wolf Bait" in the All Romance Ebooks Just One Bite contest! I appreciate your support. If you didn't get a chance to read it while it was up on their site, --it's going to be released in three separate free anthologies published by ARE soon. I will post the info when it becomes available and am still honored to have my story side by side with so many other talented authors!

If you haven't had a chance to check out the contest, it's still going, and the remaining stories are accessible as free reads at the All Romance Ebooks website.

Again, I will share the anthology info as soon as it becomes available and thank you all so much for taking the time to support Wolf Bait and me!!!


Friday, October 8, 2010

Just One Bite...

Wolf Bait has made it to Round Two and is one of the top 16 finalists!!!!

To say I am excited is one of the biggest understatements I have ever made. I really want to shout a big thanks to everyone who voted in round one (and I hope stick around for round two...) because I never would have made it this far without ya.

To make it this far is a huge success and I am thrilled to spread the word. If you want to read Wolf Bait or vote, visit ARE, All Romance Ebooks Contest page here. They will ask you to register if you never have before they let you in, but registering is free.

Thanks again to all of you who voted. You guys ROCK!!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Naa Noo Naa Noo

Ah... Mork.

Well, not quite. NaNoNaNo.
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo which always makes me think of NaaNooNaaNoo... Mork?? Too old of a referance? Eh. Whippersnappers...) is almost upon us which means...

Yes. It means I will be writing a book in a month. Join me on this epic *cough* journey.

Okay, maybe not epic. Pathetic includes all the same letters as epic... did you ever notice this? I did. It was during a night of particularly evil writing blockage.

Which is probably how I will feel on the days that I don't hit goal. But I know I can hit my 50k and I hope you will follow me on my journey and maybe try it with me.
To quote the letter sent by NaNoWriMo...

The new site has launched in preparation for the festival of noveling about to be unleashed upon the world.

Come on over to NaNoWriMo.org today to check out the all-new resources awaiting you, including an amazing crew of pep talkers, bright and shiny web badges, NaNoVideos, sweet noveling goodies in the store, an updated homepage with even more fun information from NaNoland (including the expanded OLL blog!), and more forums than ever! And that’s just the beginning…

Also, if you know any kids or teens who love writing, be sure to send them over to NaNoWriMo's Young Writers Program!

So check it out and friend me if you are over there...
And I will be blogging and facebooking my experience. So you can watch me suffer and sweat firsthand...

Ah... first row seats to agony... what more can you ask for?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Siren's Song Gets Reviewed By Night Owl Reviews

Siren's Song, Book Two of the Odd Stuff Series was reviewed by Night Owl Reviews and they gave it 4.75 stars and a Top Pick award!!!
You can view the whole review here:


Excerpts of the awesome review:

"Siren's Song is a fabulous continuation of Janie's story. This was a definite, don't put it down read, that had me laughing out loud at times."

All in a all, a very enjoyable read and I look forward to the next book (or two!) in this series."

I will do my best to keep 'em coming! :)

Halloween Party Happening Now!

As seen on Coffee Time today... "This is the final reminder to all you readers! Join us now for a super fun discussion and samples of a wide range of paranormal, magical, spooky and spine tingling tales! Here's the URL: http://coffeetimeromance.com/CoffeeThoughts/

Here are a few of the authors who will be featured and joining us: (alphabetal order!) Courtney Breazile, Ambrielle Kirk, Mindy MacKay, Ann Tracy Marr, Cate Masters, Virginia Nelson (moi!!!), Deirdre ODare, Sonnet O'Dell, Gloria Oliver, Chris Redding, Kate Richards, Victoria Roder, Kari Thomas and Jane Toombs. Several will be giving away books, both downloads and some autographed paperbacks. We expect to have some surprrise visitors as well. All the above have provided a fun interview slanted toward our theme for the month and most have excerpts of their current or theme-related books to share as well. Some of the CTR staff will be chatting about their fave paranormal books and sub-genres too.

You can't miss this one! We'll be open and chatting from about 10:00 MDT (noon on the east coast) to about 8:00 MDT (10:00 pm on the east coast) and every hour there will be something new to check out. Even if you are working, check in when you can and add some great titles to your TBR list and maybe win one of them too! Tell your friends; they will thank you for sharing the news!

C U There!!


Starbooks Barrista for Coffee Time Romance and More"

See everyone there!!