Thursday, February 28, 2008

Peace Out

I have some health stuff that must be taken care of so I will be out of the office for the next few days. Leave me some love people!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Books, Books, Everywhere I Look

I finally organized my books last night. It was getting way out of control. I took every book I have off every bookshelf and stacked it on my bed, sorting as I went. What kind of piles did I sort them into you ask?


Women's fiction/romance



Picture books my children would murder me over if I got rid of them, like Ameilia Bedeila, Scuppers the Sailor Dog, etc.

Then I further sorted them.

YA by Arcs
YA signed
YA author groupings
YA classics

Women's fiction/romance
author groupings

Oh, and I also had a to toss pile of books I will never read.

I have one lovely bookshelf in my livingroom and I now have enough YA that I brought them out and used that one. I love my YA books. I also have all of Jane Porter's single title books, which makes me happy cause she is a fab person and writer. I only have two Jennifer Crusie books, which is odd...I know I have more! If anyone wants to give me a gift... that would be it:)

All of my books are now cleaned and dusted, sitting perfectly at the edge of the shelf. What a huge sense of accomplishment. I have been wanting to do that for ages!And I have room for more books!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Get Out of Me House!

I love teenagers. I really do. I have them. I write for them. I've even mentored them. I love their sweet vulnerable insecurities. I love their blustering and posturing. I even love the way they change their minds about things depending on the set of circumstances they find themselves in.

I do not like the way my own particular set of teens expects me to rescue and save them from everything. "Mom, I left my makeup at my best friend's house, get dressed at 5:30 am and run over and get it!" "Mom, I have to be there in fifteen minutes and I know I forgot to put it on the calendar or tell you, but I have to or I'm off the team and I need a fifty dollar check, too!" Or my personal favorite, "Mom, my teacher hates me. Go beat him up!"

I know, I know. I've read the books. It just seems like independence is two steps forward and five steps backwards, right over the top of me. I am ready for empty nest syndrome. Of course, I'll probably bawl like a baby, but right now, it's looking pretty good. I'll probably never leave the house again!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Diablo Cody

Seriously, chick is my new hero. Yeah, I know. Unlikely hero for a woman of a certain age, but hey, anyone who walked the red carpet with both animal print and tats, and wrote an amazing young adult character like Juno, has my loyalty. So she was a stripper, (a profession that pretty much enrages and saddens me), so what... the woman can write and won an Oscar, so this Bud's for you, Diablo, woman who wears thigh flashing animal prints in front of millions of people. You rock. (Of course, if you prefer vino, martinis or a bucket of gin, that can be arranged as well. When it comes to alcoholic beverages, I'm pretty easy)

In other news, the secret countdown ends today. Wonder what's going to happen. And no, still can't tell you. Today is pretty packed. I have a month's worth of blogs to plan for the Class of 2k8, Laguna to go over and send in to my agent, and articles to get started on. Also have a doctor's appointment smack in the middle of it. Woot.

Happy Monday!

PS. Check out the snazzy new icon to the right, if you will... I am excited to be a part of the first annual Pulse Blogfest!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Uh huh

Secret Countdown 64 hours

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Killer Queen

Linda, help me out here... right now I am trying to be Martha/Bri... what did I used to call my perfectionistic tendencies? Martha fly by? What? (Sorry to confuse my most recent readers, but this was back in the day of the humorous tumorous blog)


Like proverbial Proverbs 31 woman (and if you haven't read this, you really should, if nothing else then to give a serious case of the inadequacies, which are kind of like the heebyjeebies with a dash of guilt thrown in.) Martha/Bri performs a series of duties each day that would kill most of us. And I really think our job is much more difficult in modern times because we have a lot of self care shit we're supposed to do too. Let's look at what the Martha Bir's of the world have going on...

*Wake children up with the patience of a saint and make sure they get off to school or started on their homeschool work. (I admit to screaming at my teenage daughter. That scene in Freaky Friday where Jamie Lee Curtis is pulling a comatose Lindsey Lohan out of bed? That's for real)

*Look over that day's to do list, while making coffee, baking up breakfast, Getting dressed (looking together, mind you, not in track pants and a holey t-shirt)

*Do that day's work which includes, making your bed so you have a nice place to relax with your significant other at days end, dishes, planning meals, grocery shopping, straightening up the house, doing some yard work if need be, (I live in Oregon and it always needs be) juggling the calendar,(remember birthdays!) driving, driving, driving, laundry, and errands. And that doesn't include your oh-so-fulfilling career.

*Also, don't forget relational care like spending time alone with and nurturing each child, having a fulfilling romantic relationship with your spouse and having girl time with your best friends. (And I don't think that a rushed thirty minutes for coffee where you both bitch as quickly as you can, counts. Sorry Ann:)

*Don't forget self care such as getting an hour of exercise daily, meditation/devotionals or some other spiritual fulfillment, looking your best, flossing your teeth, taking off your makeup every night before bed, and have I forgotten anything? Oh, right, scheduling your mammagram, pap, and teeth cleanings. Hair appointments, and brow appointments

All that is doable right? Notice it doesn't say anywhere in that list, downtime to watch The Biggest Loser and American Idol. I need my reality TV.

As a side note, not really relevant to anything, but don't you hate it when you can't find your book? I was reading a book while eating lunch yesterday afternoon and couldn't find it when I went to go to bed last night. I swear, I was ready to kill! KILL I tell you!

Secret Countdown: 77 hours

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Books, Books, Fabulous Books

I have read some great books in the past couple of weeks... thought I would share them with you.

Mari Mancusi gets it right with this fun and energetic San Diego romp. Very witty and funny. Love the news stories she comes up with here.

A very different and funny look at love and obsessions. I won this book on a blog and I'm so glad I did!

I think I mentioned that I scored an arc of this one before, but it's worth mentioning again. So fabulous.

Secret Countdown: 112 hours

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Kitchen Remodel...

In my quest to become more perfect I've decided that we need a kitchen remodel. Actually, that's a dirty lie. I've been panting over remodeled kitchens since about year five in our ten year residence in this charming 1970 ranch style abode. "But Teri," you ask, "why would anyone one want to remodel a kitchen with such obvious retro allure?"

"Good question, dear internets. Perhaps I have simply tired of trailer park chic. Or maybe I would like to have a wall without visable wiring plastered and sanded into it. (a little gift we found when we removed the delightful blue and pink farmhouse wall paper, gifted to us by the previous owners.)"

At any rate, we had a contracter in last night and we told him what we wanted and what we didn't want. Would have been easier if we had a clear picture of what we wanted and didn't want, don't you think? Poor guy. So we should be getting the quote from him by the end of the week which will make my husband have a major anxiety attack and will take all my wiles to talk him down.

I really wanted a tuscan look...but now am realizing a tuscan look would look fairly absurd with my transitional/modern livingroom/office/diningroom. There is nothing old world looking about my house except for perhaps the siding and the roof.

I would love to have a kitchen with a more modern design without losing the warmth... and for the next big question... my walls are a very dark/deep red. The kitchen is open so it's really apart of the livingroom and office/diningroom... what color should I make the kitchen???

Secret Countdown: 134

Monday, February 18, 2008

All Over the Place

This is pretty much a random blog filled with random ass notes.

Writing wise, I am kicking butt. After spending three weeks on chapter two of Laguna, I spent Saturday writing and finishing chapter three. Go figure. Maybe it really was just a tough place and not my secret inability to string words together.

Maybe I'm not losing it! I still have quite a bit of polishing to do, but hope to have it out to my agent by next Monday.

Promotion wise, I am not kicking so much butt. I still have to start my contacts data bases (detail work that I hate),plus, I need to follow up and make sure that my school people got an arc. I need to figure out a way to do my own website updates, etc. I am also pretty bummed that I can't do RSS feeds from here to my MySpace/LJ without doing a lot of frightening techie stuff that makes me sick to my stomach to think about. No bueno.

Home wise, I am still working on my bid for the most improved Martha Stewart/Bri Van De Kamp clone. House is clean, cupboards are getting organized and for dinner Saturday night, I created fabulous chicken and black bean quesadillas from Friday night's orange roasted chicken leftovers. Served with mango salsa and icy cold microbrew beer and you have a meal fit for TV.

Friend wise, I had a good weekend as well. Had coffee yesterdday morning with my fabulous CP Kerry Blaisdell and then went back to the same coffee shop several hours later to have coffee with a new friend, a young YA writer who just moved back to the area from New York.

I was uncomfortably caffeinated, but recovered now.

Who wrote the album I used for my title?

Secret Countdown: 184

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

Beyond Words

I am shocked, saddened and enraged by the tragedy at NIU. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. I am beyond words.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Seven tips for Great Soup

So I'm going to have to bail on the soup writing analogy because it would just take up too much brain power that I desperately need for like... making cranberry oat muffins, polishing the bathroom fixtures and writing another article on potty training.

But I will give you some soup tips.

1. Never use straight water. Use stock or broth. Though you can add water if you want.

2. Always saute meat and veggies in olive oil before adding to the pot for an extra layer of flavor.

3.For Mexican or Italian inspired soups, add a fresh tomato at the end. I do use canned tomatoes, but the tomato at the end adds in another layer.

4. You have your meats, your starches, (potato, bean, rice or pasta) and your veggies. You can use any combination of those, but I tend to stick to one meat and one starch. The exceptions are Minestrone, which uses beans and pasta and Italian sausage soups which can call for more than one type of meat. Oh, and Cajun inspired soup can use beans and rice.

5. At the end of almost any soup you can add a splash (just a splash and no, I do not know what a splash actually is) of balsamic vinegar and that adds another layer to the soup.

6. Know your herbs and spices. Fresh parsley and cilantro can MAKE a good soup:)

7. Get some kind of simple chopper. I got one from the Pampered Chef, but rarely used it till my dh showed me that I didn't have to use the rubber bottom, I could used it right on my plastic cutting boards. Now carrots, onions, peppers, etc. are easy to cut. Otherwise, I'd never make soup because it takes too long:)

There you have it. Now pretend I talked about the plot being the soup base, etc and you will have had your analogy:)

Oh, and Rinda, the toscana soup was out of this world and my whole family thanks you!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

No soup today

I must finish my proposal asap and will be working like a mad woman all day. But I leave you with this little prize for not knowing Emmerson, Lake and Palmer was the creater of yesterday's album title.

This article is hysterical and clued me in that Amy Winehouse is just one in a long line of grammy flubs... I mean, giving A Taste of Honey best new artist over Elvis Costello? Or, get this one, out of Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, Pink Floyd and Billy Joel, they give album of the year to... Cristopher Cross????

Snicker... enjoy!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Brain Salad Surgery

PJ got yesterday's album title... I'm going to have to party with that girl.

I wanted to get back to writing a bit on my blog. I've been so occupied with perfection (you should taste my cream scones!) that I've not blogged as much about what I do for a living. That is, write.

Probably because my writing has sucked. I am still stuck on chapter two in Laguna. Lest any of you think it is some kind of writer's block, I hasten to add that I think I can write, my desire to has just lessoned for the moment. (HA! I used lest and hasten in the same sentence. Do I get any points for that?) It's a very odd and disturbing feeling not having the urge to write, to be immersed in your character's lives. I feel like I'm letting them down. Which is pretty much mental. I have enough people to please without worrying about the feelings of people who do not damn well exist. "Shut up, Jaci, I will get to you in a bit, I promise! What's that? I've been promising to get you out of the car for two weeks? I know, I know, I'm trying!"

Ahem. And yes, Jaci Burton, my MC has your first name. I'm sorry. I tried to tell her that name was already famous (or infamous) in the writing world, but she just rolled her eyes. What can you do with teenagers?

Anyhoo.... back to topic. I have learned to make a restaurant quality soup. Honest, I have become the soup nazi. (NO SOUP FOR YOU!) I have learned to layer in flavors, making the soup far more tasty than just regular soup. There are several secrets to making a good soup just like there are several secrets to writing a good book.

Sigh. Okay, I had this whole analogy planned where I likened good soup to good writing and it's really brilliant, but honestly, I am having a hard time waking up and it would make the blog way too long, so you are just going to have to trust me on this. Oh, wait. maybe I will finish it up tomorrow. That's it. A two part blog! So come back tomorrow. It's really good. I think.

And today's album title was before my time, but I thought it kind of went with the blog. Sort of. Okay. I'm gonna go have another scone.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big and Buzzy

This is another patchwork quilt of blogs. The closest I'll ever get to actually making a quilt because I don't sew and have no desire to do so. (Does that mess up my Bri Van De Kamp/Martha Stewart aspirations?) So here goes:

1) Apple Crisp for breakfast is always welcome.

2) I love my agent. Enough said. No, wait. I need to say it again. I love my agent. Jenny Bent is a rock star. There. Done now.

3) Rachel Vincent absolutely rocks. I got a hold of an arc of Rogue and it blew my mind the F&%$ out. Left me almost speechless. I will tell you one thing... it is far more complicated and heart pounding than the first one. Several surprises. Lurve those werecats. You must buy this book. Preorder the sucker. Trust me.

4)Internet scandals blow up quickly. Hope they die down just as quickly. Oy.

6)The Grammys. Amy Winehouse? PUL-ease! My daughter and I were discussing it this morning and I accidentally committed musical terrorism and sang a few lines of Rehab which then got stuck in my daughter's head. Since she detests the song, she was pretty upset about it. So we hummed Gilligan's Island until Rehab went away. See, Gilligan's Island will clear out your mind, but is inoxious enough that it leaves on its own. Rodgers and Hammerstein Show tunes do the same thing. Just so you know.

7. In order to continue on my quest for perfection, I went through my family and work files and reorganized. My dh has the big important home and fmaily files... I generally take care of school stuff, classes, scheduling etc. Instead of having a file for each child, I bought a couple of big binder, put their name on the back and put everything in there. That left me a lot of room to expand my work file into the "home" file underneath it. I got all of last year's tax stuff together and ready to go over and made room for this years tax stuff which was on the top of my desk in untidy piles. I also bought a rotating desk organizer! I love it! I'm now tidy and organized, except I am thinking I need another binder for all the fabulous Internet recipes I'm amassing.

Off to work! Oh, and I saw the band who put out that album twice. Who is it?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Girls! Girls! Girls!

Yesterday was the big boob bashing appointment, also known in refined circles as the mammogram. I've reached the magical age of forty and am supposed to have one every year or so. I'm in the "or so" camp and it took me three years to get up the nerve to go back after the first one. I have one word to say about the entire experience...


Plus, the emotional havoic it wreaks... the tech is just so matter of fact about it. She grabs your nekid boob and just slaps it up on the little shelf, like she does it all the time. Okay, she does, but I certainly don't and would like a little dignity, please. I'm the one standing there with my chest exposed. She moves you here and moves you there and then starts screwing down the top shelf. Her goal is to smash your poor helpless boob flatter than a pancake!

"We have to get the breast away from the rib cage," she says.

But it's attached to me, by way of meat and flesh and nerves!

"Okay, don't breath," she says.

Trust me. I'm holding my breath.

I was complaining to my daughter about having someone manhandle my breasts and she told me, "Come on, Mom, they're just boobs."

Okay, this is NOT the sentiment you want coming from your seventeen-year-old daughter.

"No, they are not just boobs. I hexed yours when you were a baby. If anyone touches them besides you, they turn into toads!"

She raises her eyebrows and snorts. I'm going to have to do something with that child.

Speaking of that child. I want to give my baby a big shout out as today is her birthday.


And today's album title is pretty easy... any guesses?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy

I heart me some Biggest Loser. Those fat people show up on my television and my arse is crocheted to the chair for the next two hours. And no, I don't have a snack while I watch. That would just be tacky.

I just love seeing them pumping iron, climbing the stairmaster, running (running!) on the treadmill and doing core body work. I love to see them with sweat trickling down their foreheads and the intense look in their eyes as they curse every damn cheeseburger they ever chowed on.

And I especially love that they are all fatter than me.

Well, until the next couple of weeks of the show when the women start dipping under two hundred. Then I start getting nervous. What the networks need is a show called, Not Quite Fat Enough. Because I'm too fat to wear those cute little flippy skirts, but not fat enough to get on TV. The no man's land of fat.

And I love the new emotional component they have on the show, where Bob and Jillian dig deeper to find out why these people are fat. What I want is for someone to look at them and say, "Look, I eat because I love food. It's tasty. It makes me happy and it is pleasurable to have something delicious doing the snoopy dance across my tastebuds."

Am I the only person in America who is overweight because I adore food? According to the Biggest Loser and Oprah, I just may be.

And I have to add that it would be easier to lose weight if I had Bob and Jillian with me all the time, though Jillian kind of scares me!

I have been going to the gym and walking, but honestly, it's hard when I'm so busy trying to be perfect (see last weeks post). Of course, being perfect means being in shape too. Sigh. I guess I'm going to have to work on it harder.

Who put out today's title?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Stained Class

So my daughter brings home this history test she is supposed to give her parents. I took mine over a glass of vino. Not because I don't like history or anything, but because it reminded me of school and anything that reminds me of high school makes me run for the liquor cabinet.

The questions came at me fast and hard. Things like, Who shot Ronald Regan?
"Um, Mark Chapman? Oh, crap, no. That was John Lennon."

What country held American Hostages for 444 in the late 1970's?
"Iran" I knew that one cause I kept a scrap book.

What is a pet rock?
Blank stare. "Um. A rock?" My daughter shakes her head. "A fad!" I yell, triumphant.
"No, a marketing scheme," she says.
"Trick question." I take another sip of vino.

The tension increased once I realized that the Dh had already taken the quiz.

Who said "I am not a crook!"

"Richard Nixon."

My daughter giggles. "You know what I put? Mrs. Doubtfire. You know, because at the beginning of the movie when they are making her over she says..."

I take another sip because I'm raising Jessica Simpson.

Actually, I did really good. Out of 40 I got 38. Damn pet rock. I even guessed that Oliver North was involved in the Iran Contra scandal. Where that came from I have no clue. But I did get more than my husband. Snicker.

In other news... I'm going to San Fransisco! It's official. I registered:) I am staying with fellow young adult writer and critique partner, Brook Taylor. She pretty much rocks and her book Undone has one of the coolest covers evah. I have been wanting to go to the RWA National conference for ages. Woohoo!

And what heavy metal band put out Stained Class?

Monday, February 04, 2008

Notes from the Cultasauraus Erectus

Smashing a lot of unrelated events into today's post. We'll see if it actually makes one good post or falls short.

Super bowl: Damn, that was a good game. Even watching them grind against each other without a score for quarters on end was fascinating because you got to watch Tom Brady get flustered. Also worth it to watch Eli Manning look around with his cute little pretend-a-stash as if thinking, "Am I really in the super bowl? Mom? Dad? Peyton?"

The last couple of minutes had us (and the whole bloody country) on their feet. The only problem was I wasn't with my son to watch it. We kept texting each other through the entire game.

Commercials were hysterical. Okay, not all of them. But the tiny head crack had me rolling. Loved the Clydesdales, as always. Who can resist bigass horses with heart? Speaking of hearts, what the hell was up with that heart that jumped out of that woman and stalked across the room with it's little ventricals a waving. That's just sick and wrong, people.

But Eli Manning is adorable. Someone give that boy milk and cookies. He and his team won the super bowl.

Fiction: She loves it, she loves it! My agent is reading Spell and loves it. YAY! Worked more in Laguna over the weekend, but didn't finish chapter two. Am a great big fat failure cause I should have finished it. Bah!

Nonnfiction: Going well. Have what I need to polish off two articles this week and get paid. Hoorah for getting paid!

See, I told you I just had wee bits and peices of a blog. Can anyone tell me what the title of the blog is from?

Friday, February 01, 2008

Do More (Cause you aren't doing enough)

Dh and I were at the grocery store checking out the magazines. Okay, I was checking out the magazines, he was loading groceries cause I can't do it right. (Bummer) And I noticed that 9 of the 13 magazines had a headline about losing fat. Of course, it was January, so that's understandable. But the next most popular topic was efficiency. How to do MORE in the little time you have.

I just want to tell these magazine editors thank you, because I for one, need to do more. I need to be more efficient, so I can get even more done in a day, because as we all know, therein lies the way to happiness. At some point, if I take their expert advice, my home projects will be done, my children will be perfect, my marriage will be filled with romance and great sex and I will have that perfect perky butt.

You know, I could really use a perky butt.

Even MSN got in on it this morning. I logged on and there it was... The Busy Mom's Guide: 50 Tips to do Everything Better and Faster.

I loved this one: Designate 30 minutes after dinner as a cleaning time... have everyone get in on the action!

Sorry, by the time dinner is over, my family is pretty much an inert mass. By that time we have been up since about 5:30 am, went to school or work, fixed food, ran errands, took care of animals, cleaned up the dreaded leaving-the-house-mess and fixed more food. We get the dishes done and collapse in front of the television like any normal American family. The only one who is ready for more action is my 17 year old daughter and it's selective energy... it only appears when her boyfriend is on his way over to pick her up.

As much as I would like to be perfect, I'm not sure I want to pay the price. I'm already tired. But in a Martha Stewart like impulse I did get up at 5am this morning to make sweet cream scones and mock devonshire cream.

I'm never gonna have a perky butt.