Thursday, September 28, 2006


I think I'm finally getting the hang of my new schedule. My son will start carpooling with another college student next week, so I will get some relief from the to and fro school gig. So things are definitely looking up.

Except of course, I have to get up at 5:40 am. That's not so good. But I have about an hour and 30 minutes before I have to have the ice princess to school and I use that time to wake up, check my email, check a few blogs and figure out what has to be done for the day.

At 7:10 I take ice princess to school and stop at the gym on my way home. Fisher boy isn't awake yet and I usually workout for about an hour.

Get home, wake up the boy and start on working. I usually grab an instant breakfast that can be slurrped while I work. This is my favorite time of the day. The DH is still in bed(he doesn't get home until about 3am, sometimes later) and the boy is usually finishing up some homework, so we sit and work quietly, sometimes talking about what we are doing and sometimes just sitting together companionably. It's nice. Warm.

At 11:30 we break for lunch and he gets his work together for college.

At 12:15 I run him up to the college and come home to wake up the dh. Or sometimes, like I'm going to today, I run over to the highschool and take the ice princess some lunch and we sit in the car and talk about her day while she scarfs.

I get home about 1:20 and chat with the dh while he gets ready for work and I clean house. I also try to work a bit, but it depends on how talkative he is! LOL

I go get the ice princess at 2:40, about the same time the DH takes off for work. We come home, watch part of my soap and we talk until she starts school around 4.

Then I go get the fisher boy around 4:20. Come home make dinner and we all work until TV comes on or they have somewhere they have to be. I like it when they don't have to go anywhere... then I kick back and try to fit a chore or two in before I have to help with homework.
Then reading until I fall asleep between ten and eleven. It will be really nice when I don't have to take the boy to school!

But I seem to get a lot of work done in that time. Not so much on the house... I told my son today that our house isn't cluttered... its dirty! I like the new schedule because I get a lot of alone time with most everybody. Nice.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Letting Go

I've been thinking a lot about letting go lately. My son's first day of college was last Monday. He's in a program where he will earn college credit as he finishes his high school diploma. Great program. They want all their kids to be a success so they get lots of support. With the ice princess in high school that means I have no children at home to homeschool, so in a blink of an eye, I am done being a homeschooling mom, an identity I have had for the last 12 years or so.

I loved being a homeschooling mom. I watched as my children learned to read and understand the basic concepts of math. (turns out that was all I could teach them!)While other moms put their kid on the bus for the first time, my children and I snuggled up in the bed to read some books. I was a homeschool Mom and my life was good. (This is about writing, I promise)

About halfway through my journey, I discovered the Internet and a way to make my long dormant dreams of becoming a writer true. I threw myself into writing with a passion. I had always written, but the Internet allowed me to rub virtual elbows with other writers and learn about the business and when I chose to write, I wrote about homeschooling. I wrote essays for homeschooling magazines and hit upon a column or two. Soon, I had a book out. As my children grew, I branched out and wrote of other things. When my next book was in process, I decided to make it for all moms and Day Tripping was born.

You can't be a writer and not learn how to let go. Ideas and articles are rejected, magazines and markets fold. Books don't sell. The letting go process should get easier, but it doesn't. When I scored my agent, a couple months shy of a year ago, I thought I would be a published author by now. It didn't happen and I find myself having to let go of On the Edge and the Rink Rats series. No, it's not completely dead, but its getting there. LIPS went out almost three weeks ago and it still hasn't sold yet. I know, it usually takes longer than that, but so many of my friends sold within a couple of weeks of their manuscript going out that I just assumed... It's good, better than anything I've written. But it's time I let go of the idea that LIPS would sell right out of the starting block.

I look down the road and I only have a few more years until my children are both gone. Even as I've had to let go of being a homeschooling mom, I will have to let go of being active mom... the one in control. But I'll always be a mom. Just like I will always be a writer... even if I have to let go of manuscripts, I will always be a writer.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Monday's To Do, Plotting and Other Issues

Yes, plotting revisited. After Cherry Adair's workshop, I had some big ideas concerning plotting and planning the novel. I went out and bought a bunch of brightly colored post its, a cork board and a poster board. It's still all sitting there waiting for me to complete. I want to do it... I'm just... stalled. Read a great post over on Diana Peterfreund's blog about plotting and am ready to go... except I'm not. I understand the concepts, it's the actual act that gets me. Plus, I need to go back and rewrite chapter two of HOT because my hero's motivation doesn't show through and my Cp's believe there is too much backstory. Okay... I can see how the suggestions might be true. So I'll play with it for a bit. How much do you plot? Usually, I just make a few chapter notes on index cards and go to it, but I get to the middle and stall that way too, so I'm trying something different.

I had a heck of an evening yesterday. Could have sworn it was Monday morning not Sunday night. First, one of my fav editors has left her job. Not sure why. Heard from the big boss that I should send the articles due to the editor to her. Okay. So I tell her I have been unable to find anyone as an anecdotal source for one of them. Heard back and that was cool. Not ten minutes later, I hear from another anecdotal source that she has decided that she doesn't want her name published. GAH! This is an article the big boss was already looing at so I had to tell her, "Psych! I know I turned it in but I have to rewrite. So sorry." Talk about looking like an idiot.

I could really use some good news this week!

This weeks to do

Send questions to old dads' sources
rewrite potty plan and resend
Finish computer games and submit
Write potty peers
get sources for choline
get old dad's anecdotal sources
write old dads
plot out first five chapters on plotting board
rewrite chapter two of HOT
get started on HOT three
Figure out how writer's support is going to go

Friday, September 22, 2006

All About TV

I have managed to get some of my list whittled away and thought I would take a moment to talk about another passion of mine besides writing. TV.

I admit it, I love TV. I am not one of those people who prefer to listen to classical music rather than watch the soul destroying, mind sucking, boob tube. Not that there is anything wrong with classical music mind you... I often listen to it in my car, but I am a self admited TV freak. I was raised with it and adore it and for the most part my kids do too. Neither one of them has a TV in their bedroom and TV has become a family thing. Something we do together.

Anyways, this is a big week in TV. Season premiers and series premiers galore. This is a list of shows my family and I have already watched or are looking foreward to.

Men in Trees: This got lukewarm reviews, but I loved it anyway. Sort of like Sex in the City meets Northern Exposure. Both two of my favorite shows. And I spend most Fridays sitting at home waiting for a child to call for a pick up so it's something I can watch on a regular basis.

The Biggest Loser: Awesome as always. Except where did Jillian go? And I really felt sorry for all those people who traveled there with hope and then told to go home and do it themselves... we all know how difficult it is to do that!

Gray's Anatomy: Luscious, luscious, luscious. Met every expectation.

Gilmore Girls: They must get rid of Logan this year. Ditch him. I liked Jess and the Dean much better.

Heros: This looks so intriguing! I can't wait to see what they do with it!

Desperate Housewives: Love this show! Don't care if last season wasn't as good as the year before... I still love it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

My Characters

Okay, I was over at Jenna's blog... no, I haven't got her link up... but I'm working on it! Anyway, she has pix up of her characters... who she thinks they resemble and I decided to do the same thing.

So here's Cally. Rachel Bilson isn't a perfect Cally as she looks about 3 years too young, but hey... I procrastinated long enough.

And here's Weston. I know he looks like Heath Ledger, but work with me people!

He could be a chef right? I think he's hot enough!

Now to finish plotting!

Box of goodies!

Got the most fabulous box yesterday! I won the seasons contest put on by Jill Monroe, Crystal Green, Jennifer Scully and Stephanie Fegan. The box was so fun! Lotions, potions, books and doodads. Woohoo! Can't wait to read the books!

In other news, it was MRI day yesterday. Absolutely hate them. They always ask, "Are you claustrophobic?" and I always say, "Well, I wasn't the first six or seven times I did it, but now? A little bit!"

They blew a vein getting the contrast in and then I went through the roof when they finally found another one. GAWD! And after the scan my hubby took me out for Lemon drop martinis. That's my MRI day thing. Good stiff drinks.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I have a confession to make. I am MS word ignorant. It does all these strange things and makes me nuts. My CP's are always telling me, "one inch all the way around!" WTF? I thought I did! What's the difference between a bloody tab and a margin? How come when I paste in some text from an email it double spaces itself, yet when I go to format/paragraph to fix it, it says that it's single spacing? WHY? And the only way I can get it to do single spacing is to push the space bar in front of the sentence or word and then it crawls across the page and single spaces itself. WHY? Oh, and in one crit I found this little gem in a comment box:

Indent: Left: 0", Right: 0", Automatically adjust right indent when grid is defined, Adjust space between Asian and Latin text, Adjust space between Asian text and numbers, Tabs: Not at 0.5

Well, that's clear as mud. Asian text? WTF? I'm not writing in Asian text. What are they talking about?? Also, when I make a header and enlarge it, sometimes when I move the curser down a few spaces it is 12. font and sometimes it is the same big font as the header? WHY? How come when I do bullet points in one part of the article and then try to do it three paragraphs down, the bullets are in different places? WHY? And how come the margins sometimes change on me when writing? Is it me? Should I take a class? Get a degree in Microsoft word???

Also when I try to paste the stupid article in the body of an email I get a warning that says I don't have Active X enabled and the formatting won't be correct. Sometimes it does that with web pages. What the heck is Active X?

Monday, September 18, 2006

A good weekend and Monday's to do

Went to the Cherry Adair workshop... It was fabulous. It was on layering your plot and I learned tons about plotting. Am going to try some of her methods with HOT. Went out to lunch afterwards. One of my chapter mates insisted that I try a hazlenut mocha martini. OMG... so fabulous. Like a dessert. Then we went to Cherry Adair's book signing at Borders. Mega cool. I have found my RWA membership to be invaluable. Nothing like talking to other writers in person to kick start your mind and imagination. How do you like being a chapter member?

Yesterday, we went to a family birthday and bbq. It was fun, very kicked back and they had good vino. What more can you ask for? Okay, on to the to do list.

Weekly to do

Write games and special needs.
Get anecdotal sources for potty plan.
Check on all expert sources on articles due next week.
Do plotting and research on HOT.
Get sources for vaccine story
Write Vaccine story
Make new articles due list
Pitch a few articles to editor.
Start on chapter three HOT(notice this was left over from last week!)
Send sources their articles
Write Potty Peers
Get info for old dads and Autism
Write Potty Plan

Guess who's going to be on the computer a lot this week!

Friday, September 15, 2006


READ MY LIPS is officially out in the hands of editors. Am so excited! Everyone they pitched to wanted to see it and my agent said they were very interested and excited! Cross your fingers for me!

Have a great weekend. My chapter meeting is tomorrow and we have guest novelist Cherry Adair speaking and Theresa Meyers from Blue Moon communications will be there as well. We are all going out to lunch afterwards:)


READ MY LIPS got third place in the Pasic Book of Your Heart Contest! I placed, I placed:) YAY!

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I just finished reading an old book by Dame Roberts. I've never read her before and when the dh brought a bax of books home for me, I was quite pleased to see that it included several of Nora Roberts books. The story was sweet and the romance electric. But the headhopping made me dizzy. I guess she can break whatever writing rule she pleases?

But this post isn't about headhopping, it's about back story. As you know, I am working on a category romance, one that I am targeting for HQ's Amercian Romance line. The first chapter is pretty damn good, if I do say so myself. One thing I've noticed about Cats is they have more backstory/internals in them than most other books I've read. They probably have to have more internals, especially, because they have such a short amount of time to invest the reader in the characters lives.

But again this post isn't about internals, it's about backstory. I have a couple of questions. My story is about a chef who enters a cooking competition and one of the judges is the man she loved and jilted six years prior. He doesn't know why she jilted him and I am not letting the reader know for several chapters either. But the backstory is very important to this book. There are times when the heroine, thinks about her choice, wonders whether she did the right thing, etc. How much is too much? A huge part of the conflict between the hero and heroine is because of their former relationship. Now, I elude to it often in brief flicks, but I have a scene that is about a page of the heroine remembering how her family reacted to the news that she was not only running off to get married, she was moving to Italy to study cooking. The family crisis this caused is the reason she never showed up. Again, I elude to the actual event that caused her to jilt the man she loved, but I don't come right out and say it. (I am trying to build a little tension here by leaving the reader in the dark. Of course, the reader will know before the hero does and hopefully by that time they will be thinking, tell him, tell him!)

My question is... how much back story is too much? Keeping in mind that this is category romance, how much will slow the story down too much? I Know the rule is like NEVER. But in reality authors use it all the time. Any opinions on backstory?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

An Illicit Deal

"I have a confession to make."

My husband had just woke up and I was lying in bed with him. My stomach tightened. In my experience, no good can come from a conversation that starts out with, "I have a confession to make."

"Mmmhmmm?" Noncomittal.

"I bought something yesterday."

I relaxed a bit. It wasn't one of "those" confessions. But then my mind whirled. He'd been checking out vintage Les Paul guitars on ebay. Had he bought one? We were trying to save up enough money for a trip to Hawaii. Had he blown the trip?

"What's that?" Cautious now.

"I bought an eighth."

I am a child of the eighties. An eighth means only one thing in my book, an indulgence we gave up years ago when we decided to stop partying and raise children. I sat up in bed.

"You what?" Imagine my voice raising five octives on that last word.

"An eighth of coffee."

I lay back down. An eighth of coffee?

"You know my friend Andy? He went and bought a half a pound of coffee and I bought an eighth of it. Amazing coffee. The best coffee in the world. Like incredibly expensive coffee. I felt like I was doing a drug deal."

My brow furrowed. "Just how expensive was it?"

"You don't want to know."

"Yes, I do. Just how expensive can it be?"

"Almost 200 a pound."

"What?" (the octive thing again) "That means you spent like 25 dollars or something on an eighth of coffee!"


"It better be damn good coffee."

It was. Drop dead and die good coffee. Now, I love me some coffee. I drink it black except for my Starbucks, but other than that I am a purist. And this coffee was to die for. Rich, nutty, dark on the tongue, it left an amazing aftertaste that's hard to describe.

But in order for coffee to be worth that much it would have to hop out of my refrigerater, grind itself and leap into my cup fully made.

But that doesn't keep me from enjoying it!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Mondays To Do

Woohoo! My first to do list since the kids left. A sign that things really are getting back to normal. So without further ado... Monday's to do!

Finish revising chapter two in HOT
Finish synopsis for HOT
Write chapter three in HOT
Send out questions for TBI anecdotal sources
Write TBI
Make new files for articles due
Make articles due list
Get sources for Potty Training Plan
Get sources for computer games
Get anecdotal sources for Potty plan
Get anecdotal sources for computer games
Get sources for pneumonia
Get anecdotal sources for pneumonia

What's top priority on your list?

Friday, September 08, 2006


I did something. Not sure what. But now my browser is showing font the size of Mt. Ranier. I really hate it. I feel like a third grader stuck reading those horrid large print reading books about Jane and Mark when all I really wanted to do was get back to The Yearling or my latest biography on Louisa May Alcott.

Any ideas on how to fix this?

UPDATE: Yeah! All fixed. Thanks Bonnie!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

First Day of school

Yeah, I know. Usually the first day of school is Kindergarten or first grade and you are holding the hand of a little gap toothed wonder. Turns out my daughter's first day of school came when she is a lovely, poised fiffteen year old. You see, I chose to homeschool my kids. A choice many more people are making these days.

I remember those years with fondness. Making claypots and learning sign language for our native American studies. Stitching together raccon caps for our study on mountian men. Countless field trips, classes and learning experiences. I wouldn't trade them for anything.

Many people choose to homeschool all the way through highschool, but my daughter wanted to go to school. At first, I was opposed, but as I saw her maturing, I knew she was going to be okay. I trust her. So at fifteen, she is heading out. When my son goes to college in a couple of weeks, I will officially be finished homeschooling. That part of my life, a part I enjoyed so much, will be over. It's time to really start letting go. Sniff.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Not quite back in the saddle

Saturday was spent celebrating. Sunday was spent getting ready for a garage sale. Yesterday was garage sale and today, I have an article due.

Yeah, I already contacted editor and begged forgiveness, because today I am heading to the beach with my family... the first time we have been out together all summer. The ice princess goes to school on Thursday, so we are going to go today. I plan on lounging, eating clam chowder and watching my kids. Not because they will eat sand, bug other people or hit each other, but because I love them and never tire of watching them. I am blowing off another board meeting to do it, but I'm not going to let my life get out of hand with commitments again.

Steve Irwin's death really hit my family hard. My sixteen year old son cried for a half an hour when he heard and this kid cries over very little. It wasn't so much that fisher boy loved Steve Irwin, fisher boy wanted to be Steve Irwin. Much of what my son knows about animals he learned watching the Crocodile Hunter. His love of conservationism is due in a large part to watching Steve. No matter what you think of his methods, Steve did a lot to inspire children to want to know more about the natural world. I know my son is not the only young person who grew up watching Steve.I feel for his family.

Oh, I read a book over the weekend. Fantabulous. The Summer House by Jude Deveraux. Wow, is all I have to say. It was my first book by her and I'll be on the lookout for more. The story swept me away so much I couldn't tell you what the writing was like! I know that nothing jarred me out of the story, so it must be pretty good.

Okay, off for the last day of summer!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

They're gone!

The wee ones left yesterday to go back with their momma. I didn't know until she showed up if they were going to a interim foster care place or their what. Mom had so many hoops to jump through. She got the apartment and then they said she had to have beds and groceries. But they are with their mom now and I am a happy camper. Both of my children are so happy and grateful. Fisherboy said, "I have my family back!" Ice princess said, "My life is wonderful. I don't ever want to forget that again." In celebration, ice princess and I went and had pedicures, then we dropped back by the house and picked up the boy and went out to dinner. Then we all went to a Tigard High Football game. It was wonderful.

Next week I begin my career anew and no telling what might happen.