Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Years!

Have I got a NEWS STORY for you!

An eighty-eight year old woman is hanging in her home one morning. The door flies open and a naked man rushes in. This old woman (God bless her quick thinking soul) yells, "Lord Almighty!" grabs his "cahoulies" (her words, not mine) and squeezes. The man runs away (slowly, I'm sure) and the police catch him. His name is...

Wait for it....

Michael Dick.

Fabulous. You can't make that stuff up, people.

And as a gift for all of you, I offer the most fabulous of boozenog recipes.

3 cups whole milk
3 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
6 eggs
1/2 cup rum
1/2 cup brandy
3/4 cup bourbon

Separate eggs. Beat yolks with sugar till thick. Pour in milk and two cups of cream. Add booze. Chill for 2 hours. Add vanilla. (I use a regular spoonful)Add nutmeg to taste. Beat egg whites till they have stiff peaks and gently fold into nog. Beat last cup of cream until it has stiff peaks. Fold into nog. Imbibe freely. Don't climb on scale for at least a week.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Week After

It's the week after Christmas and all through the house...


After a lovely weekend during which my husband and I confirmed our commitment to one another (or maybe just proving we should both be committed considering the amount of cash spent, food consumed and alcohol imbibed)I woke up to a Monday morning, hungover and with a to do list as long as my arm.

To top it all off, I have no driver's license. Turns out the silly thing expired on my birthday when we were all stuck at home because of TONS of white frozen stuff on the roads. The DMV's were closed too, so it really wasn't my fault, per se. And during the ten years since I last had it renewed, you have to do a lot more to prove that you are who you say you are. And no, Virginia, I do not have a birth certificate. I lost it sometime during the eighties, along with my virginity and girlish figure. So I spent hours on the phone tracking it down and getting everything set. Then I spent hours more being ferried around by my daughter who is obscenely delighted that mom can't drive our car.

Teri's To Do List:

1. Lose the &*%#@ pounds I gained during the holidays. (Damn boozenog)I tackled this one the way any red-blooded American woman would... by spending a ridiculous amount of money on new running shoes and workout clothes like the word recession had never been uttered. (They are so cute though!)

2. Write overdue article

3. Finish the last twenty-five pages of my proposal by the fifth.

4. Finish Painting Bathroom I hate painting!

5. Throw traditional New Year's Eve party together. (Egads, more booze and food!)Honestly, if I never party again, it will be too soon. My poor liver concurs.

I'm getting a headache just thinking about it, so I'm going to go for a run. Or maybe to bed.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Living Large

In celebration of our twentieth anniversary, the DH and I are taking 24 hours to live it up.

We are heading downtown here:

And here:

We will be staying here:

Checking out art here:

Having drinks here:

And dining here:

We got one another no Christmas gifts so we could do this. I didn't go out on my birthday so we could do this. For the next twenty four hours we are living large, people! After all, not many marriages last twenty years!

Friday, December 26, 2008

GCC Presents... Laurie Faria Stolarz!

I cannot WAIT to read this one!

Hyperion Books for Children

Some secrets shouldn't be kept...
Until three months ago, everything about sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at an art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes far from ordinary.

Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe he's trouble, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. Instead she's inexplicably drawn to Ben...and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help – but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something...but he's not the only one with a secret.

Advanced Praise:
"A boy to admire from afar, a girl you want to befriend, a novel to keep you turning the pages because you won't know who to trust. Laurie Faria Stolarz's DEADLY LITTLE SECRET is a blend of mystery, chills, and forbidden touches--one captivating story you have to experience." - Kelly Parra, author of INVISIBLE TOUCH.

“The book was full of shocking surprises and revelations, earning the book five stars. This is a must-read for fans of romance, suspense, and mystery because it won't disappoint.” – Teens Read Too

"...lively first-person narrative.... CW-worthy dialogue, quirky secondary characters, romance and suspense: a winning combination" - Kirkus Reviews

"An engaging, eerie tale about the darker side of relationships - when it becomes a matter of life and death to know who your friends are." - KLIATT

Laurie Faria Stolarz is the bestselling author of the BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES series, which has sold over 500,000 copies worldwide. The series comprises Blue is for Nightmares, White is for Magic, Silver is for Secrets, Red is for Remembrance, and the forthcoming Black is for Beginnings. Stolarz's titles have been part of the Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers list, the Top Ten Teen Pick list, and YALSA's Popular Paperback list, all through the American Library Association. Also the author of Bleed and Project 17, her most current work, Deadly Little Secret, the first book in the TOUCH series, is due out in December 2008. Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts, Stolarz attended Merrimack College and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston. For more information, visit Laurie’s website at

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

I just want to say that I have been waiting my entire life for a white Christmas and have discovered it is highly overrated! for the last twelve days we have had some kind of frozen precipitation here in the Portland area. Because of the weather, we didn't go to a single planned holiday event, including a wonderful Christmas eve Celebration at my father in laws home. We are going to try for Sunday.

So instead I put together an impromptu celebration at my house with my family of four and my daughter's boyfriend. I picked up some brie, dip, and a bottle of wine. I made a special dinner of chicken breasts, pasta, and bbqed roasted pepper salad. Yes, you can bbq in the snow! Then we ate the chocolate cake we were to take to the family party and we didn't feel guilty at all. You never feel guilty eating a cake from the Beaverton Bakery! After stuffing ourselves, we had homemade boozenog and watched The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. We hadn't seen it before. What fun!

Then the kids wrapped the last of their gifts while Alan and I watched Rick Steves European Christmas. That show always makes me cry. So lovely. Then we all had to go to bed because it was time for Santa to come!

We scaled back on gifts this year. It seemed crazy not to with the economy the way it is, to say nothing about not being able to get out much due to layers of snow and ice!

This morning was wonderful and am waiting for the jam cakes I whipped up to be done so we can eat breakfast. Thank God my parents are close by so we don't have to cancel our Christmas dinner plans!

Have a wonderful holiday everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Quick Post!

It's my birthday and I'll blog if I want to... or not:)

We have fifteen inches of snow here. We are lucky if it snows at all here in Portland. So the city has pretty much stopped working. But my dh let me sleep in, made me breakfast, gave me a gorgy shell for running in and took me to starbucks. Actually we walked and it was wonderful.

Am going to go work!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ah, The Plot!

It happens to me in the fifth chapter. The proposal is polished, the synopsis done and I have to actually figure out the nuts and bolts of the book. I know my characters,though they will continue to reveal themselves to me as I write, and I have a vague idea where the book is going. After all, I wrote the synopsis right? This is where I run into trouble because basically, the synopsis is a two page book blurb. No nitty gritty. And I flounder. I have spent a month or more on the fifth chapter trying to figure things out. This go round, I don't have the time as my agent is ready and waiting for this one. So...

I have tried many different ways to plot out a book. Diana Peterfreund swears by the plotting board method with notes on each scene written out on sticky notes. I tried it and loved it... for a while. Then my book veered so far off what I had originally planned that I would have had to replace almost the entire last half of the board to keep it relevant. Then I tried the collage method. Jennifer Crusie swears by it and though I loved doing it (both computer collage and hard collage,) I still ran into chapter five plotting issues. I've tried keeping a hard copy notebook with all the information in it, but that didn't work either. Yesterday, one of my fabulous cp's mentioned that she worked on a mac and absolutely loved Scrivner. She spoke about it so glowingly, she almost made me, a PC, want a mac. Then I started thinking about what my friend told me about One Note, a program that came with my 2007 word program. I started playing around with it and OMG.

I'm in LOVE. I created a notebook just for Speed.It looks EXACTLY like a digital binder with each page having it own tab. I have a page for the synopsis and every chapter. I have a page for a point by point plot outline. I have one to track each character and their cars, that even contains a pix of their car! It automatically tracks the website the pix came from, and the file where I pasted each completed chapter. I took each point in my plot outline and pasted them in the chapter on where I think they will go. Each point will then become a scene. Today I am going to do a character treatment on each character. So instead of having a doc file containing a dozen different word docs, I will have all the pertinent info all in one very user friendly place. AT MY FINGER TIPS!

This gives me so much freedom, I can't even believe it. It makes plotting a JOY!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Inclement Weather

I feel such a cad for complaining. Compared to what they're going through in the Midwest and the east, four inches of snow is nothing, but frankly, it's sure putting a crimp in my holiday plans. I was ahead of the game and now I'm not. I know, I know, WAH. It could be worse... I could be without power. (In which case, I'd simply put my head in the oven and END IT ALL. Oh, wait, I have an electric oven, not gas and it's not like I'm going to bake my head to death. Plus, I wouldn't have electricity and if I did, I wouldn't be ending it all in the first place. So scratch that.)

But I am getting behind, people. I have a few gifts but nothing for my OWN KIDS at all. Plus, I'm rather concerned about the whole lack of Christmas booze. Right now, my booze shelf holds a couple bottles of wine and about a shot of vodka from my Fourth-Of-July booze stash and nothing more. Where's the rum for Hot Buttered Rums? Where's the tequila for Spanish Coffees? Where is the cognac for BOOZENOG??? I WANT MY BOOZENOG! (deep breath) Okay, better now. I would walk because the booze store is only about a couple of miles from here, but me thinks carrying $100 worth of alcohol across glare ice is a bad idea. (Not to mention a little desperate.)

In other news, I'm finishing up chapter five in my WIP. It's time for a bit more plotting. Chapter five in every book is like pulling teeth for me. WITHOUT anesthesia. It's that place where I start to think I don't have enough for a book and-what-the-hell-was-I-thinking. I actually have tons of ideas, but I don't think my agent would appreciate me throwing in a piebald horse named Mr. Chips.(Don't ask.)So today, I'm breaking out the plotting board and I'm gonna figure out the last ten chapters or so of my book. So send prayers, good thoughts, writing mojo and a couple of muses my way. Chocolate would also be appreciated.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Preparations

After almost having a nervous breakdown last week because of work, writing, and the holidays and having almost nothing done, I have managed to kinda get on track. Here's my list:

Christmas shopping: I actually have some of it done.
Baking supplies procured: I have everything I need to make a plethora of delicious Christmas treats.
Christmas Tree: Is up and decorated. (See pix)perfectionist daughter wouldn't let us put our old ornaments on. Instead she created a HGTV tree that looks like it came right out of a magazine.
Christmas Cards: The cards containing my yearly tongue in cheek holiday letters, are all signed sealed and sitting on the counter ready to go.
Christmas Craft: Made a Christmas Card Tree (See Pix)I can't remember where I got this idea, but by the end of the season it will be covered with Christmas cards.

I also finished a chapter in my WIP, (am behind, but hoping to catch up today), one of my articles and all my work related stuff.

BIG DEEP SIGH OF RELIEF. Christmas will NOT kick my butt. I am FINE.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Simon Elkeles-Perfect Chemistry Rap Video

One of the most inventive trailers, promo ops, rap videos I've ever seen. So so so cool. If you love books, check this out.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Book Club!!!

I only have a few minutes away from my writing and cleaning to give a quick update.

The book club met for the first time last night. We had six girls and one guy.... they were so excited they were there 30 minutes before it was time. I brought Brie, grapes and little toasts and served it on a silver platter, much to the delight of the girls who thought it was the most elegant thing ever. CPAH provided pizzas and pop and we ate with much hilarity. Then we discussed book club and the schedule. When they got their books they were so excited they wanted to start reading out loud. I wasn't going to have them do that because I didn't want anyone to feel put on the spot, but they insisted. Lisa Schroeder's book, I Heart You You Haunt Me, is perfect for reading out aloud because it's a novel in verse, which none of them had experienced before. The only one who passed was the boy, because he can't read. I'm not sure if he meant he can't read in English or can't even read in his own native Somali, but I didn't make a big deal out of it. His sister said she would help him. only three of the kids are native English speakers.

The girls want a tea party and the boy said he wouldn't care if the food was good! Not sure how I'm going to pull off a tea party, but I am already thinking ahead to our next meeting and what I can surprise them with then... maybe cheese and chocolate fondue? Any ideas? And Lisa Schroeder her coming to sign their books and answer questions!

This is going to be a blast!!!!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Check me out

I'm being interviewed by my chapter mate, Genene Valleau here. Also my friend Barry Summie is celebrating her debut release here. I So Don't Do Mysteries sounds like a great book!

And I need you all to help me... I have to have fifty more pages of my WIP by the 5th of January. Yes, through Christmas, my birthday, anniversary, work, etc.... but I can do it.

Anyway. That's the plan.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Fast Cars and Linoleum Glue

The title says it all, folks. Somehow my weekend plans of finishing chapter four got lost between the car show and remodeling. Oh, not to mention putting my husband's five gazillion fishing poles up on craigslist, (Yes, he is aware of this, I'm not doing it in a fit of marital pique)and loading my father in laws digital picture frame which was supposed to have been done in September on the date of his actual birthday.

Yesterday, I spent the morning trying to peel up, inch by painful inch, the gluey linoleum backing still stuck to the bathroom floor. This is the same substance used by NASA to put together the space shuttle. I also think it's the base for that horrifying diaper rash ointment, Desitin, that once rubbed on a baby's bottom, NEVER EVER, comes off. In fact, I think there's still traces of it on my daughter's seventeen year old tush. At any rate, I worked for hours on the floor and only managed to get off a 2 by 2 foot square, even with the help of another toxic substance that had me seeing pink elephants by the time I was done, Krud Kutter. (And no, I wouldn't make that up. That's it's real name.)

Then there was the car show where I got to see all my Xcessive Speedz peeps. They took home four trophies! Woot! Including Most Charitable Club, which is something they really wanted. I know for a fact they are the greatest people on earth because not only are they helping me with my WIP, they are also giving a mini car show at the community center and bringing all the kids toys! The show was a blast. Loud, exciting, and I got my first glimpse of some car hos... I wanted to go interview them, but my daughter wouldn't let me., In fact, she pretty much kept a tight grip on my arm the whole time. I was like a kid in a candy shop:) Here's some car pix...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Topic Everyone is Talking About

Finally, a topic that overshadows the Stephanie Myer phenom: The Doom and Gloom of the Publishing Industry. I have few opinions except, "That's just freaking great," and "Please buy my books." But here's a list of what other people are saying. (A short list, because I have no time for a comprehensive one... I have writing to do people!)

Kristin Nelson asks "When is a freeze not a freeze," here.

Nathan Bransford asks writers to please not tell him how desperately they need the money in a query here.

John Scalzi mentions that it might be a bad time for debut authors here.

Jennifer Jackson wonders if she is fiddling while Rome is Burning here.

There's more, but I don't have the heart for it. I have a book to write.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I Love Me Some Christmas Movies!

I watched the Miracle on 34th Street last night to get me in the Christmas mood. I love me some Miracle. Then I watched the Hollywood Backstory on it... Did you know it won three Oscars? and they released it in June and the trailers didn't mention that it was a Christmas movie? And it ran longer than any other movie until that time... over six months, all the way till Christmas? Like I said, I love me some Miracle. When Santa sings with that little Dutch girl...chokes me up every time.

I have a Christmas story in mind... not sure whether it's a whole book or a novella. Maybe I'll actually work on it someday when I get time.

So I am looking forward to the Christmas season... and more Christmas movies like The Santa Clause, It's a Wonderful Life, The Little Drummer Boy, Santa Clause is Coming to Town, Nester the Christmas Donkey, Love Actually, and soooo many others. It's the one time of year I actually get sentimental.

So what are your favorite holiday movies?

Monday, December 01, 2008

December First

Where did the time go? Thanksgiving is over, turkey soup is finished and ready to eat and Christmas is approaching at the speed of freaking light.

Dh and I decided not to give one another gifts this year. We will stuff one another's stockings(cause Santa doesn't usually bring to grownups) and put a bow on our bathroom which is COSTING US A FORTUNE! In fact, we may just end up spending our twentieth anniversary (12/27) in the BATHROOM.

I had to work on Saturday... took the center kids to the ballet, stopping to get the kids from another center on the way. it was fun but a bit of a nightmare. (I just reread that and it sound like an oxymoron, but it was fun after the fact),I didn't know the other children and was freaking out, thinking we were going to lose someone else's child which is, I'm sure, an offense worthy of burning in the fiery pits of hell for all ETERNITY! I kept herding other people's children into our group to the concern of their mothers. Can you imagine taking your child to the Christmas ballet only to find a wild-eyed woman grabbing your child by the arm and hissing, "I told everyone to get into line according to size!"

Yesterday, I ended up taking my brother to Kent, about a 3 1/2 hour drive down I5. I hate that drive with a passion, but what could I do? The trains and buses were full and he had to work today. I told my Mom, "I'll never make this drive again except if someone dies and maybe not even then." She laughed, thinking I was kidding. I was so NOT.

So back to work today. I have articles to do, fiction to do and I have to rip out the bathroom floor and get to work. Tra la la la laaaa la la la la.