Saturday, December 30, 2006

Still On a Roll!

The way Dash is going, I think I'll need to rearrange the rest of my plotting board because it's veered away from the board so much.

But I am semi following the plot and instead of going back to change mistakes as I think of them, I make myself notes on a sticky. (Now I just need to NOT lose the sticky!)

Oh, and I managed to polish off another 9 pages yesterday in spite of the interruptions. I'm over a third of the way done:)

Okay, off to have coffee with a friend and I have a lot more writing to do today!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Kicking butt!

17255 words on DASH is what I started out with yesterday morning. Ended the day with 20,277! That's 3022 words, people. Fifteen freaking pages! Woot!

That's like Gena Showalter speed! I won't get that much in today as I have to work on some quick nonfiction stuff and get an entry ready for a contest.

Late last night I got my career plan finished, though I have a couple of things I need to check out first. I may post it up here if anyone is interested.

Okay, back to writing so I can get to my novel!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Post Holiday Report

A joyous time was had by all... but the day after is when we all had a ton of fun... spending all the gift card money we got. I got very large giftcards for B&N and Starbucks. (Which, as it so happens, is right next door to the bookstore. I spent a very happy couple of hours browsing and sipping. Bought Jaci Burtons new book (released the day after Christmas) Surviving Demon Island. I wanted Shannon Mckeldons new book, Venus Envy, but even though the computer said they had five in stock, no one could find a copy. Grrrr! But I did have fun.

I have written another eleven pages since my birthday! So Dash is coming right along. I would love to have the first draft done by the first of February, but that may not happen. I need 60 to 65 thousand words. I finished last night with 17,255. Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 23, 2006


19 pages. 2 days.

Friday, December 22, 2006

My Birthday!!

Yeah, I know that I wasn't going to blog anymore this season...but... Today is my birthday. I'm 42. Yep, 40freaking2.

I don't think I have ever felt better in my life.

The next happy thing I wanted to report?

I wrote ten new pages yesterday on DASH! I am almost up to 15,000 words:)

I am going to kick butt today too! Cause it's my birthday and I'm going to tell everyone no!


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Christmas!

I hope you arer all enjoying the break..however you imagine the break to be. For me, it is all about being able to work almost exclusively on my fiction. YAY!

I am going to take a break from blogging for a while. I plan on enjoying the festivities, spending time with my family and writing my butt off. I am at 12,000 words now... I'm going to channel Gena Showalter and hope to have twice that by the time I return!

And just because I am not blogging doesn't mean I won't be reading.

Happy holidays to you all!

Monday, December 18, 2006

One Week...

Till Christmas. Still haven't finished the cards, made fudge, or made jelly ball cookies. But we did get the Christmas tree up. The way it happened really illustrates how my family has changed... remember how I talked about the Brown tradition of going to the Christmas tree farm? Yeah, well, that's no more. I have no time.

The Christmas Tree Timeline

11:00-Ice princess is working. Mom has to finish an article so Dad and son run up to a CHRISTMAS TREE LOT! Since we only had like ten days till Christmas we figured we'd have to compromise.

11:30- Mom and Dad jam it into the stand while Ethan takes off with a friend to pick up his sister's Christmas gift.

1:30- Ice princess comes back from work and she gets the lights on it.

10:30- Son puts on bulb ornaments.

9:am- (next day) Mom puts on the rest of the ornaments.

11:00- Dad pulls the tree topper out and puts it on.

Fun, huh? Well, we all worked on it, though not exactly together:)

Now, dd is at a skate seminar, son and dad are going fishing and I have another article to do.

But since I am alone, I may take a nap:) That would be a cool Christmas treat!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Well, that was fun...

If you consider 70 mile per hour winds and an extended loss of power fun. My teens do. I was less enthralled. Over a million people were without power last night and many of them still are. Luckily, we got ours about 10:30 this morning. We are also lucky in that we have a woodstove, camp stove and our hot water is run on gas.

I made french toast and bacon on the camp stove this morning, much to my children's delight. I have a french press so I was able to drink quality coffee without having to resort to cowboy coffee. I also did a great deal of cleaning. My daughter laughed at me and said, "Mom, you're bored cause the computer isn't on, aren't you?" She had a point. I had nothing to do. I scrubbed and cleaned, read the paper, kept the fire going and made a big breakfast because I had nothing else to do. Gawd, what did I do before I had a computer and Internet Access?

Okay, off to write an article. or take a nap:)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

This and That

Managed to do a little more Christmas shopping last night. Inching closer to being done. Still haven't finished the cards.

Stuffed my face full of the chocolate covered peanuts mom sent me yesterday. Thanks, Mom, you diet killer you. Ah well, today is another day and if this season's Biggest Loser can take off 214 pounds, surely I should be able to manage forty. Gah.

Am having a couple of the children's friends over for a traditional Hanukkah meal this Friday night. We are not able to have a Christmas party this year...when I told my friend that she laughed and said, "Oh, so your changing religions?" I told her I would do it just one night for the food. I know, I know, traditional Hanukkah food is fried in oil. I'll make it olive oil, okay? It's heart smart! Am having latkes with sourcream and applesauce, honey puffs and whatever I dig up. Should be fun.

Am still denying myself all pleasure.

Finished another article yesterday. Have three left. Then I'm going on vacation, baby! Well, not actually going... just taking a break. From nonfiction anyway. Have a bunch of stuff to do in Fiction. YAY!

Okay, I'm outta here.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Kind of a bitchy mood

No, before you ask I am NOT PMSing. Dh asked that and I wanted to pinch his head off. I came to a realization yesterday that does not make me happy AT ALL! (I shared this with a couple of friends yesterday so if you've already heard the rant feel free to run screaming into the night.)

I have realized that:

  1. I can't smoke because it'll kill me and is way too expensive, anyway. This pisses me off because I used to LOVE to smoke. I'm a smoker masquerading as a non smoker and I am going to have to live my whole life like that. That, my friends, is pisser number one. Those of you who have never smoked will not understand.
  2. I can't drink because it will make me want to smoke. (See pisser number 1.)
  3. I can't eat because it makes me fat and raises my cholesterol level which will also kill me. And by eat I mean really eat. Not salads with vinegar and olive oil, or lean peices of chicken or beef grilled on bbq. NO. I'm talking bout eating. Like salads with bacon bits and blue cheese crumbles. I'm talking bout big juicy burgers with cheddar cheese. I'm talking bout chocolate, cheese cake and tiramiso!
  4. I can't shop because I have no money. Our children are way too expensive for me to shop. My 15 yo daughter wears Victoria's Secret and Hollister. I wear K-mart and Pennys. Enough said.
  5. I can't have sex because my dh and I are on different shifts and the kids are almost always here. And when both those things are not happening in tandem, we are exhausted!
  6. Did I mention that I can't smoke?

You know what I can do? What's left for fun? Exercise the experts say. Exercise. Oh joy. Sorry, people, but exercise is not what I would call fun. And believe me, I've tried. Curves, running, walking, weight training, tennis, bike riding, yoga. Nope, not fun. You know what would be fun?

Dirty dancing with the dh on the top of a table, sucking on a peice of chocolate, in shiny new name brand clothes while I held a cigarette in one hand and a Mojito in the other.

Now that, my friends, would be fun.

Monday, December 11, 2006

What a Weekend

I didn't write much at all over the weekend. Got an entry ready for a contest and that's about it. Megs and I did head over to Francis's house to clean. Cleaned for five hours and finished three rooms. her step mother came over, saw what we were doing and cleaned the kid's bedroom which was good cause I couldn't have done it. The kitchen about took it out of me. Kudos to my fastidious daughter who didn't make a single face at how gross it was. She did use rubber gloves and took a shower the minute she got home, but she was a gem while there. And she did say while we drove away... "I feel so much better. We did a good thing." I hope so. Will be going back in a week with some household items and do her laundry. She didn't even have toilet paper. Was using coffee filters. She is really bad off with that knee. She lives upstairs. Gah.

Yesterday, I cleaned my own house and decorated for Christmas. All but the tree is done. Dh and I did a little Christmas shopping. A nice day.

Weekly to do list:

Write Infant Heart
Write Daddy Nursery
Check on sources for Mom heart
Get sources for Downsizing
Write Mom Heart
Get sources for infant Salmonella.

And of course, I'd better finish rewriting the second and third chapter of Dash and finish up the rest. I have entered it in several contests and should I get asked for a full I should probably be ready for it. HA! Then onto the new YA my agent wants to see.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Amazement and a Reprieve

First off, I am still this morning amazed and awed by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert we saw last night. Have you seen them? OMG! The Christmas story was lovely and it brought us to tears several times, but the second half of the show was ... Amazing. There are not enough adjectives to describe it. They played Clapton and Beethovan, the nutcracker and a song from the 6th century in Latin. The musicianship was breathtaking and the light show was jawdropping. My dh has probably been to sixty to seventy concerts in his life and has never seen anything as well produced and awe inspiring as that concert was. My kids were speechless. It was the best fun and just what we needed after yesterday.

We did get a reprieve. After the meeting, the mom wasn't sure what was going on. Then the caseworker called her and told her that they wouldn't be taking the kids... this go-around. My daughter and I are heading over to clean up the house on Saturday and babysit the kids while she gets an MRI. She will have to have surgery on her knee. Which means eight weeks of being pretty much immobile. So we will no doubt have the babies here for a bit at some point. Seeing how no one else is allowed to take them. Sigh. So for the moment we don't have to make a decision. But it will no doubt come. But not right now.

Thanks for the support! Hopefully, I can write now!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

More Drama

As most of you know, we have kept in close contact with the wee ones we fostered last summer. What can I say? We love them even though they drove us nuts and we would have to be insane to do that again.

The condition of their home deteriorated over the last few months. Mom didn't keep herself or the children very clean. The house was gross. Last time we were there (last week) there was human poo on the bathroom floor and slugs and ants weaving their way through it. We thought about calling children's services, but didn't. I decided to go in and clean up the house for her.

Mom had no upbringing whatsoever. In and out of foster homes and parents who were druggies and alcoholics. She simply had no idea how to manage a home, raise children or keep it all together. Of course, raising three children is difficult for the best of single mothers, let alone a woman who was raised the way she was. And now, with no support system (none of the other family members is allowed to take the children except us) no money and no car... I can't even imagine.

Anyway, CSD got there before I did. they have leveled more charges against her and are petitioning to take the kids away from her again. I CAN'T take all three. My children have made so many changes in their lives these last few months... and even in the summer when we could send them out to play, it was incredibly difficult. I live in a thousand square foot house with four people, five cats and two dogs. We are already overcrowed. We could possibly take one. The middle girl who is almost three. The oldest son would fit into our lives better as he is away at school all day, but he has a ton of issues and he drives my own children crazy even though they love him. My beautiful baby Karen... I love her so much, but she just turned one and would take so much supervision. And my dh is head over heels in love with Zoe. She calls him Dad. As in "Dat's my dad!" As she says everytime we see her. We tried to tell her, No, that's uncle, but she would just knit her tiny blond eyebrows together and insist, "No, my DAD!"

So we could save one though my ice princess is a bit resistant. But what would we say to the eldest who is seven? Sorry, auntie and uncle could only take one and they chose your little sister? Chances are slim they will find a home that will take all three. Gawd, what a mess. And there are SO many of these little waifs in the world.

What to do. What to do.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Requiem for a Car

My car is dying. Day before yesterday, I went to pick up a child and it wouldn't turn over. Checked everything we could check, and decided it was the starter. We pushed started it and got it up on blocks. Yesterday, Dh tried to get the starter off. Couldn't. When we had the clutch replaced they had to take the starter off and they bolted it back on with one of those speed guns. According to Dh those guns are the bane of his existance because they make it impossible for him to work on the cars. We push started it again and took it to a scary little place called the Start Mart. Thank Gopd dh couldn't get the bolts off because it turned out that it wasn't the starter, it was something electrical. Gawd. Push started it again and took it to the dealship. $300 later, the car is running. It was the ignition switch. Yay, right?


Twice while driving it yesterday, the clutch slipped. Which means I need a new clutch. Again. Dh says I am hell on clutches because this will be the third time we've replaced it.

Merry Christmas, Teri, you get a new car. New to us, anyway. Dh refuses to buy a new one. Says it depreciates too much.

Currently looking at: Aerios, Kia Sorrentos and Sportages, Jettas (which I really want, but they are spendy!)

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Cure for the Rejection Blues

I have found it! The cure for the rejection blues! It is..... drumroll please......


Yep, three glasses of vino, vin, wein, de wijn, vinho, вино, 酒... or whatever you want to call it, makes rejection letters humorous rather than frustrating!

I loved the character, but not the writing. I loved the writing, but didn't fall in love with the character. A fun and authentic voice, but not for us right now. Too old for us. Too young for us.

Snort, cackle, and hee.

Gotta love how many ways editors have developed to say no.

So remember, next time you get a rejection letter that makes you go "Hmmm." Wine.

In other news, I am smoking right through my December articles. Hoping that I really will be done by the 20th so I can enjoy vacation with the kids. You know, sleeping in, eating too much, etc. Hubby is going to do the Christmas letter. He is one of the best jingle writers evah and is going to choose a Christmas song and rhyme it to that. So I am so off the hook here.

The ice princess is going to be taking a seminar with Scott Brown, who I think was a 2 time Canadian gold medalist. It will be good for her to see how someone else coaches. She will also be getting a 45 minute private lesson with him. Costs a fortune, but hey, we are in it up to our necks, so might as well finish it out. She has been making murmers about college lately, I keep wanting to tell her "NO, that wasn't the deal. We have been shouldering your ice skating which is about as much yearly as a state university costs. Put yourself through college with coaching!"

Actually, I think it is OSU that is near a big ice rink. That wouldn't be too bad and she could teach too. And trust me... coaches make a fortune. Do the math. Meg's coach get $65 an hour. She has about 15 students. That's almost a grand a week for 15 hours of work. At least I think so. I'm not that good at math.

In other good news... I lost six pounds last week. Even with the vino last night. HA!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Oh, Gawd, is it Monday Again?

Was a weird, weird weekend. It was both productive and relaxing and it felt like it lasted forever, though now that it's gone, I can't believe it's Monday. Do I have to make out a to do list?
I don't want to.

Actually, I sorta feel like I've been hit by a bus. I don't think I'm getting sick... I'm just tired. And I can't see too well, either. I think it's because I don't have my new glasses on. I can't seem to remember to wear them enough to get used to them (I've never had glasses before) so I can't see with them and I can't see without them. Double blind.

I have seven articles due this month and I'm going to try to get them finished ASAP so I can have the rest of the month off. Like a vacation or something. Yeah, right. A vacation in which I have to write the Christmas letter, send out the cards, finish the Christmas shopping, decorate, bake and in general make merry. The making mischief, I mean merry, part, I'm good at... the rest of it is kinda making me tired.

The Christmas letter is kinda getting me down. I am "known" for my Christmas letters. I use all of my sarcastic wit and really go off. This year, I have no idea what to do. Last year, I announced that I had a spanky New York agent. What do I say this year? Um, yeah, still have the spanky New York agent... no, I haven't sold a book yet, but by golly, I still have that agent.

Bah Humbug.

Friday, December 01, 2006

To Tree or Not To Tree

My parents are spending their first Christmas in Oregon in years. (Of course, they want us to come, but we don't want to travel 170 miles through the treacherous Columbia Gorge on Christmas day) They have been spending their Christmases in Arizona, so no tree there. They bought a small fake tree and had it out on the patio. (They were snow birds and their little home wasn't built for trees.) They are incredibly excited this year because they get a real tree. A real Oregon Christmas tree.

I have heard all the arguments for fake trees, but I just don't get it. Unless you live in a place where you have to weigh the cost of a real tree against giving presents, all I can think of is, why?
Why have a tree that doesn't smell like Christmas and oranges? Why have a fake funny looking tree in place of a fragrant, dark, magical thing?

One of my daughter's best friends never had a real tree. Mom hated vacuming up the needles till Easter. She used to come and hug our tree before we decorated it. This is a child who will always have a real tree when she grows up.

Did anyone read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn? I will never forget the scene where Francie and Neely win the biggest tree on the lot on Christmas Eve. The guy hucked the tree at them and these two little kids managed to stand up as the tree hit them. The prize was the tree itself which they drug home with pride. They'd never had a Christmas tree before and they stood it in the seldom used front room in their flat. There was no coal to heat the room and no ornaments, but Francie would bundle up to sit in the icy room and stare at and smell the tree. Magical, magical.

Living in Oregon means there are tree farms galore. Most cater to families with hay rides, gift shops, petting zoos, and hot chocolate to warm you up after you choose and cut your tree. One old barn even has a giant barrel wood stoveset in the center. The kids, dh and I go out every year to choose that year's festive tree. My son always says, "Everyone has to agree!" My daughter says, "I want a big one this year!" and my husband says, "Don't forget, when we find 'the one' we have to circle it and go Loo loo loo, loo loo loo, loo, loo." (Ala The Peanuts Christmas show.) But we never do. (What does mom say? "I told you to wear your damn boots!")

Somehow I don't think heading off to the store to buy a new plastic tree would be as fun:)