Sunday, March 30, 2008

Plotting party and violence

How's that for a title?

The plotting party was at my fabulous CP/best friend's house. Kerry is as hospitable as she is talented, so a great time was had by all:) Four of us gathered together with notebooks, storyboards and all sorts of other plotting devices and discussed our plots for many hours. Was really fun. Not to mention, the mimosas, brownies, popcorn, and pastries consumed added to the whole afternoon! I think we really helped one another with some sticky plot problems or in my case, characterization. We all had a blast and didn't even get to the hot tub!

I also finally watched A History of Violence last night. It blew me away. The acting, script and story all worked together with an amazing director to send a short, realistic shot of adrenaline to the system. Fabulous. Sick. But Fabulous.

One more thing... Everyone goes back to school and work tomorrow! YAY!!!!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

This is why I read Romance

Go buy this book. The best romance I have ever read.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fabulous picture

PIX taken by Eliot Elisofon in 1941. © Time Inc.

I stole this off of Heather's blog. I love it. I printed it out on photo paper and framed it. This is Gypsy Rose Lee. There were charges that her novels were ghost written, but most people believe that she wrote the largest portion of them herself under the mentorship of an editor named George Davis. But I do love this picture.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

An Invite and a tea party

Wanted to let you know that the Rose City Romance Writers are having their annual Reader's Luncheon A fundraising event for Oregon Literacy. At the moment, we are in desperate need of more books for goody bags and raffle baskets. Please contact our coordinater ( you can donate some gently used books or if your publisher would like to donate some. The luncheons are huge and a ton of fun, so we would also love to have you join us. This year, we have the awesome Suzanne Macpherson speaking. And you won't believe the raffle baskets!Other signing authors include Elizabeth Boyle, Diana Duncan, Lucy Monroe and many more.

Speaking of parties...

My wee foster girls, actually, now my best friend Ann's wee foster girls, are going back to their "real" Mommie in the next two weeks. Ann and I are trying to get everything in before they leave. You know, all the stuff we wanted to do with them. This tea party was one of those things. Please forgive the fact that I look like I'm on speed. This was a week after the operation and I think I was medicated. HA!

KK (AKA The Destroyer)

Me and KK

My own daughter, Megan (who looks like she was born for hats) and Zoe. (AKA The Z-Monster)

Our wee Zoe never really looks happy...

See, put Megan, (on the left in the cream colored hat,) in a walking suit from the 1800's and she would look totally natural. The rest of us look a little off, like, Yes, We know we are wearing funny looking hats, but we are having fun, fun, fun! In the middle is my best friend Ann, and her gorgy daughter, Miss C.

And of course, nummy tea...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Stuck (In which a writer goes to the doctor and gets stuck in a hospital bed)

Once upon a time there lived a very busy writer. She had a few health issues over the years including a very odd tumor on her pituitary gland that was surgically removed and radiated. Because of this, the usually happy writer went in for a yearly MRI that was so traumatizing, she often stopped for drinks on her way home. (Which was unusual, because at all other times she was a very serious and sober minded writer. Shaddup Ann.)

One day, after five years of nice clean MRI's the writer got the bad news. It looked like the tumor was back, or perhaps a new one, or maybe it was just a mucus sac. A surgery was scheduled for two months later, because everyone knows how wonderfully patient this writer was.

She went into surgery, with her husband, best friend and mother by her side. (The mother was not invited, but you know how mothers are) Turns out it was just snot. Yay! thought the writer, now I can buckle down and get back to work.

Then one night the writer got a nose bleed. Not your every day, ordinary nose bleed (though the writer had not had a single nose bleed her entire life so even an ordinary nose bleed would not be so ordinary) But a gushing, streaming, choking, nose bleed. Considering she just had surgery in that area and had never seen quite so much blood, the writer thought that calling the ambulance and going to the emergency room was more prudent than bleeding out in front of her family. Hours later, she was back at home with a clamp on her nose and instructions on how to deal with it.

That night it happened again. Armed with knowledge, she fought it for two hours before finally allowing husband to drive her to a different emergency room where they cautered it and packed it and sent her home. That afternoon she got yet another nose bleed. Now more angry than afraid, the dashing writer took on the whole health care network and was allowed to see her own ENT doctor. That blessed man tilted her back, and said, you are hemorrhaging from the surgery site and no one else even came close to getting that far back. He than used ghastly instruments and told her to lie still. After doing unspeakable things to her nose he said, I want you in the hospital for two days. You've lost much blood and I would rather have you here in case it breaks loose again.

And that is the little story of the writer who ended up hospitalized for a bloody nose. Without cable or WIFI. They did, however, have many good meds that kept the writer pleasantly occupied by the size and shape of her hands.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Gonna be out of touch for a few days. Who knew that nosebleeds could be so terrifying and persistant? So voracious. Or would turn my great-in-an-emergency husband into a blithering idiot looking for the phone? HA!

Gonna go look at my franken-face.

Peace out.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Spyware and New Book

So I spent the day downloading and ultimately ditching several different spyware programs that wouldn't fix my computer. Finally downloaded Spy Sweeper and it got tons of things other programs missed so I bought the damn thing. It got rid of everything... most promptly... except for one little popup from trx66.lbann that I can't get rid of. I have my pop up blocker all the way on but that is kind of a pain because it is hard to do things with no pop ups at all! But I did have trojans on my puter and a ton of spyware and spy sweeper got it, so hey, I am happy.

Check out Elizabeth Bunce's debut novel, A Curse Dark as Gold. It's a retelling of the Rumplestiltskin story and looks fantastic. We are having a party at the Class of 2k8 blog for her, so join us and send some love:)

Saturday, March 15, 2008


I have some spyware on my computer and I can't get rid of it. Tried my Panda, tried my Lavasoft Adaware and even downloaded Spybot on a friend's recommendation. I changed my pop up settings, upped my cookies settings, and dumped everything I could think of. Still there.

Please help. Stupid thing not only brings up annoying popups, but hyjacks my google when I do searches.

Any ideas?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Manicotti, Books and Joshilyn Jackson

After an amazingly busy day filled with kids and my parents, I was able to slip out of here to meet the hysterical, rock my world talented, Joshilyn Jackson. As some of you may recall I got my hot little hands on an arc of her newest at a booksellers fair last fall. The book, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, made my head explode with it's greatness and when I saw that she was coming to Portland, I had to go see her. I knew Joshilyn slightly from a list we are both on and had exchanged a few emails, so I felt I knew her well enough to pin her down to have dinner with me so I could do a little fan girl gushing.

We went to Pazzo but the kitchen was closed. Joshilyn was starving so we had barfood... and yes, Pazzo Ristorante is good enough that their barfood includes mannicotti and amazing bread. The meal also included a fabulous flight of three different pinot noirs. After fine food, I walked over to Powells City of Books and relaxed until it was time for her to go live.

I gained a lot of pointers from watching her related to the crowd and people adored her. Picked up Gods in Alabama and Between, Georgia and had them signed, as well as the ARC I got last fall. I now have a complete set of Joss Jackson books... how is that for cool??

All in all, a fabulous evening. A writer's evening:)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


My eighteen year old son was robbed on the bus yesterday. No, there wasn't a weapon involved, but the punk threatened him, took his money and bus pass and stole my son's sense of safety.

My son is a pretty big kid, 6'2 and 220 pounds. The guy who robbed him was shorter, but he was also high and wearing a jacket that made it hard to tell if he was armed or not. So E opened his wallet, handed him his money and the guy told him he wanted his bus pass, too. So E gave it to him and said, "This is my stop, can I get off?" The guy moved out of the way and E asked, "Where are you getting off at?"

The idiot told him.

E was on the phone before the bus was out of sight and the cops got the guy as he got off the bus.

As a mom, I'm proud of the way my kid handled himself. He didn't try to play the hero, but was smart enough to take in the details of what the guy was wearing and ask where he was getting off. I am also angry that my son isn't sure how to feel about riding the bus... his sense of safety has been breached. This from a kid who loved the sense of freedom the mass transit system here gave him. We live in a suburb of Portland where the cops are so bored that six of them showed up for a petty robbery. This doesn't happen here. Except, I guess it does.

Pretty sad.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Funny Stuff

Thought I would post a few things just for fun.

Dh saw on bumber sticker: I don't have hot flashes, I have power surges. LOVE IT!

Another one: I don't skinny dip, I chunky dunk.

How about: I gave up jogging because my thighs kept rubbing together and setting my panty hose on fire.

Aging is fun, isn't it? Luckily, I'm still in the prime of my youth.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Wonderful Weekend

Dh took me to Starbucks on Saqturday morning. He read the newspaper while I did writing practice. It was amazing... like what it will be when the children are gone. Then we went grocery shopping and then started on the yard.

You know how sometimes you start a project and say you are only going to work on it a couple hours and the next thing you know you're in Home Depot buying stuff? Yeah. It's kind of like that.

The upside is that the front yard is almost finished except for the mulching and we made somewhat of a dent in the backyard. I know many of you still have snow on the ground, but here in Western Oregon, spring has sprung. Last fall, we left our backyard a semi-tidy area. For the past four months we've done nothing but rushed out to grab firewood, ignoring the torrent of water running through our yard. Now that the sun is peeking out on occasion, we step out to see what is left after the winter's flooding. And it's a jungle, because nothing except the flowers have stopped growing. Nothing. Weeds, grass, unruly vines, you name it.

We go to the mulch place to drop off our fourth load of clippings of the season and there are fifteen other people dumping the winter's load of growth as well. How unnatural is that? And now that it's almost spring, everything grows even faster. it's a never ending chore to chop, pull, hack and otherwise try to keep the vegetation in line because it WILL EAT YOUR HOUSE! We have to demoss our roof every year! I've seen people with trees growing from the gutters... it is a never ending race against plant growth.

So it was a wonderful weekend, because we got to spend time in the yard together and put up a good effort in our fight against the green stuff.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Coming At You Live!!!!!

Last night they rocked PORTLAND!

So my hubby and I were totally exhausted, he from working all day, me from a combination of surgery and a cold from hell and we just weren't up the the concert. But hey, it was Tesla and we aren't too old yet, though we felt like it. We figured we could listen for an hour and head home if we were too tired.


From their opening power chords, we felt as if we had been transported back to 1988. The quality of sound spoke volumes (no pun intended) to the expertise of the sound men and the fact that they rocked without falling into trash mouth and stupidity testified to their class.

I completely abandonded myself to the music and head-banged beyond belief. It was fabulous seeing other people our age rock out. They opened with Coming at You Live and finished with Signs. After throat ripping screaming from the audience, they came out and finished with my personal favorite, Little Suzy's On The Up.

She sure was. This is an original video... couldn't find a live one that had as good of sound quality as they showed last night. Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Natalie Goldberg/Writing Practice

I have been rereading Natalie Goldberg's books, Writing Down the Bones and Thunder and Lightning: Cracking Open the Writer's Craft.

This makes me happy for several reasons.

1. She's a fab writer and it's fun to read her work.

2. It makes me feel like I'm digging deeper into my craft. You know, a serious writer.

3. It's very inspirational. Makes me want to write.

But the whole writing practice thing is creating a bit of anxiety. Writing practice as she portrays it, includes heading for a coffee shop or other venue and writing for thirty minutes without stopping. I haven't started practicing with topics yet. I kind of just wanted to let loose for a while. I have discovered several worry-causing things about myself.

1. Damn, I'm self centered!

2. My hand won't last for thirty minutes of nonstop writing with a pen. Now thirty minutes of typing is a whole nother ball game.

3.I'm afraid that I'm just not really that deep and this seems to be for deep literary types who get off on phrases like, "the ball rolled," and make it all metaphorical, while I'm just like, "Well, yeah, that's because it's round, dumbass.

But it is pretty cool to cart her books into my fav stbux (next to the book store), along with my notebooks and set up shop.

Just the fact that I care about cool makes me uncool doesn't it?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Violet by Design

Isn't that an amazing cover? I am dying to read this book. Melissa Walker is a great writer and a fab person. I am delighted to showcase her work today!

The girl next door is going places…
VIOLET BY DESIGN (Berkley Jam Trade Paperback; March 4, 2008; $9.99) is the second in a three part series by former magazine editor Melissa Walker about Violet—the sweet wallflower who blooms within the glamorous world of fashion and modeling.

Last year Violet made a decision to get out of modeling for good, but then the lure of international travel changed her mind. Now she’s thinking that she should have stuck with her original decision. If she had, then she never would have caught the eye of a hot guy like Paulo, she never would have gotten into trouble with the press for speaking out about eating disorders, and she never would have anguished over her body the way only runway models do.

But she also never would have seen Brazil or Spain—or now, France! Violet wouldn’t know the thrill of international runway and maybe most importantly, she’d always wonder, what if?

Melissa Walker has created a character that teens as well as adults can embrace and relate to. Readers will follow Violet though the highest highs and deepest lows of the modeling industry. This wonderful series is a fresh take on the real voice of one girl in the designer spotlight.

As a former editor at ELLEgirl and Seventeen magazines, Melissa Walker knows first hand the ins and outs of the fashion world. She hails from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her at, or at

Monday, March 03, 2008

I Wanna New Nose

Because this one is pretty much broken. Don't get me wrong,I'm grateful to have a functioning nose AT ALL! The fact that I have no tumor deep in the recesses of my nasal passages delights me to NO END! I just wish that they had left the only nose I have feeling a little less like something the crypt-keeper sleeps in and a little more like a breathing device.

Honestly, I think they used a cheese grater to get up there.


In writing news... Spent the weekend in a happy stoned state of creativity. I knew stringing words together would be dumb since my language skills had been reduced to that of a visiting martian, so I went another route. This is what I came up with-- My Looking for Laguna collage.

In the center, I have some key plot points and chacterizations that I inked out with my Inspiration program. Then I did cut, paste, and pin for the rest of it. I had a blast doing it, but with the amount of pain meds I was under, I would have been happy doing almost anything.

In other writing news, I have several articles that need to be worked on this week. I'm in a holding pattern on my fiction until I get some feedback from my agent, but that's okay. I have enough on my plate. Maybe I'll make some pie. Only problem is... I can't smell anything!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Dodging the Bullet

I dodged the bullet this week. Last November, I went into my regular MRI appointment to see if my brain tumor had grown. The same one that we "removed" and then killed with radiation five years ago. It has been dead for years. But this time they found a mass. It could have been the same tumor, a new tumor caused by radiation or a mucus sac. Last Thursday, they put me under, opened up my little nose and went on up to find out. I am pleased to announce it was only SNOT! Trapped behind a wall of scar tissue left behind after the original surgery.

No new tumor!

I feel like I dodged the proverbial bullet.

I was so sure it was the tumor again, or perhaps another, more lethal, tumor. But it was not. I'm good to go except for the pain in my face, which is made more bearable by copius amounts of pain medication.

So I can begin writing again, knowing that my books will see the light of day, that they can be submitted, and that all is well in my world.