Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Princess Erin Take II

(And I'm still a princess now)

Princess Erin

(See? Even back then I knew I was a princess)

Online Class Announcement!!

The Art of Story Telling with Allison Brennon

February 20-24

Eastside RWA is proud to present their new online workshop, "The Art of Story Telling,"

with Allison Brennon.

Take a trip through the Hero's Journey and understand why romance writers already intuitively "get it," and how to analyze your own work to take it to the next level using the advice of writing "experts." In this workshop, Allison uses examples from popular fiction, movies, and classics to illustrate her points. The Art of Storytelling touches on all aspects of the writing craft, but specifically characterization and conflict.

Allison's debut romantic suspense novel, The Prey (a January 2006 release from Ballantine) is a USA Today Bestseller and hit the New York Times extended list. The Prey is followed by The Hunt in February and The Kill in March. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers.

Price per class:
$ 15.00 (RWA members)
$ 30.00 (non-RWA members)

Classes are free to Eastside RWA members. Join Eastside Romance Writers and get all
six online classes at no cost. In addition, members can attend monthly meetings for more fabulous workshops.

Register for online classes or for Eastside Chapter Membership at www.eastsiderwa.org or send payment with name, e-mail address, class preference, and RWA number (if applicable) to:

Eastside Chapter RWA
P.O. Box 333
Bellevue, WA 98009

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Yiddish phrase of the week...

Why use only one word, when you can use two? It makes it sound that much more impressive, to be sure. So without further ado, your yiddish phrase for the week is Keyn mol, meaning: never. Use it wisely my students...

Oh! And while we're on the subject, why would my Yiddish Calendar include dates for Cuban celebrities' birthdays? Huh? I'm sooo confused.

A Day in the Life...

I'm hurting. Seriously. I don't want to whine here, but I'm a-hurtin'. This would be because of the P.E. seminar that I am forced to take by the teaching program. WTF? Do I look like the type who is going to be a PE teacher? Heck, anyone who knows me, knows very well how I handled gym class (or sports teams) growing up. And those were with decent teachers! So I went to the seminar (day one of two), and I sat on their hard gym floor (damn, I need more padding), and I played their games. I even had fun. But now I'm paying for it. Why oh why must my body protest so much? I'm not in bad shape. I could stretch more, sure, but overall I'm in okay shape. I could go hiking or biking right now even!

So there you have it, a day in the life. Now where are the Epsom Salts??

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Public Service Announcement

There is only one thing in this world that is worse than having to see some perfect stranger's thong because her pants are too low and she's decided it's necessary to share. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "What? Something worse? Impossible!" However, you'd be wrong, and I have Ms. K to confirm this one. So what is worse than a thong with pants that are too low? Why, wearing granny panties with hip hugger pants, so that the wasteband of the panties comes up about 2 inches past those of the pants. Oh! And don't forget to make sure that the shirt and jacket you're wearing are not quite long enough to cover this gaff.

And yes, this was an actual sighting at the movie theater last night. Worse? It was a kids movie, so now all these child witnesses are probably questioning their mommies as to why they can't wear their undies so high that all can see.

This has been a Public Service Announcement. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Last night I decided to try something new. A group of acquaintances were going Salsa dancing, and since I've always wanted to try it, I agreed to go. I convinced Christina to join me, and we were off. Okay, we were off after 2 phone calls to discuss wardrobe choices and the nitty gritty on the Century Ballroom.
Now, most of you will have already guessed at the biggest problem I faced last night. No, not wardrobe malfunction (I leave that to Janet Jackson, thank you very much). No, my problem had more to do with my inherent grace...er, my lack of inherent grace. I have to watch my feet when I walk, to ensure I don't trip over nothing on the sidewalk. Usually I'm okay when I'm out dancing, mostly because there are no steps to remember. At least, not until you try something like Salsa. 123 and 567...And 123 and 567 (does anyone else notice that the instructor missed 4?)
The lessons were okay. At least I would know what to expect when the free dance started, right? So, first we try the steps on our own. I can do this. I'm even having a good time. Until the instructor calls out the dreaded words, "Now, find a partner". I move across the room, trying to find a guy who does not appear overly creepy to dance with. Find him, settle in, and we start dancing. So far doing a good job of not trying to lead. Then the instructor informs us that we have to switch. No longer am I safe from the creepy old men in the room. Or the creepy young men in the room for that matter.
Thankfully, the lesson did not last all that long. But long enough for me to meet a variety of men who were definitely not comfortable on the dance floor. After that I danced with some men who were fabulous (they even made ME look good), some who were creepy (the back scratcher comes to mind) and some who probably wondered what they were thinking when I didn't move the way I was urged to.
The best part of the evening had to be the people watching though. From the sparkly dancing shoes, to the fabulous skirts, to the amazing moves, I had a blast! Of course, then there were the ones who you ended up watching much like you would a train wreck. There was the gal who danced fabulously, but her arms resembled that of a chicken being electrocute, the woman who's partner bent her over like Gumby (and she popped right back up!), and the drunk one...who still managed to outshine me on the dancefloor (except when she tried some more, um, interpretive moves that made me think she was having a seizure). All in all, a fab time. I will definitely be going back (right after I sign up for some lessons, that is).

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Yiddish Word of the Week...

Mamele: term of endearment meaning Mother Dear. What I find interesting about this one, is that it is less often used when talking to a mother, and more often used when your Bubbe or Nana is talking to you. In this case, the meaning becomes more like: darling, my love. Please note: it is not a good idea to use this word when talking to your girlfriend or wife. She will mostly likely freak out, bean you over the head with a plate, and refuse to take you to the emergency room for the much needed stitches after you have removed all the china from your scalp.

I touched a crayfish...

So, the science unit I'm teaching is entitled Structures of Life. We start with beans (and other seeds) and eventually we'll look at snails. Of course, before the snails come the crayfish. Now, some of you know me well enough to know that I do not handle creepy crawlies all that well. In fact, they freak me out. There's no good way to say it. I shudder at the mere thought of having to touch one. Can I get away with scooping one up in a cup to show the kids? No! No, I have to pick it up (to show them how to handle them), and then I have to hold it while I point out the various features on the dang things. Yuck! I'll have about 2 days next week to get myself used to them. Thursday I managed to pick one up for a whole 15 seconds. Unfortunately, they skittered away on Friday, and that just creeped me out, so I didn't even try.
*sigh* This could make for a long week. Cross your fingers for me!


Why is it that some men (okay, more like boys) feel the need to shout out the window of their cars at women walking? And I'm not talking about the woman walking by in the short skirt, killer heels and legs up to there. I'm talking about the women in the sweatpants, fleece jackets and baseball caps out trying to get some exercise. What goal does it further to scream out of your window, "Hottie!! Ho-o-o-ttie!"? Hm? Now, granted, this is not the first time for it to happen. In fact, about once a month or so, Ms. K and I are startled by the bellowing yell of an adolecent male. But last night? It happened twice! (Okay, technically I think the second time may have gone more like, "Hey, pretty ladies!!", but you get the picture.) What the heck? Was I wearing a neon, blinking sign that read, "Easy"?
For all my male readers, yes, to some degree this can be flattering. However, in pitch dark, with only headlights and traffic signals to light your way, it's unlikely they could see anything beyond a blog of beige and black. So really, should I be flattered?

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Do the snoopy dance everyone, because I just finished my book!!! Wahoo!! If you take a look to the right of your screen, you'll notice that there's been a bit of a change in the total page numbers. The book ended up being 374 pages (97,286 words), still my longest manuscript to date. Now it's on to the revisions and edits, then I pimp the thing out to within an inch of my life.

Go me!!!

A moment of perfect irony...

What is the prime time television show you are least likely to see as the main topic of conversation at a Shabbat dinner? I'll give you a hint, it's not the 700 club.
The conversation began innocently enough. We were talking about television, and guilty pleasure television at that. The kinds of shows you rarely admit to watching, for fear of the years of teasing you may be subjected to. One of our table mates admits to enjoying really bad television. I asked what he meant by that. The answer? Seventh Heaven.
Yup, you read that correctly. The next 30 minutes were spent as every Jew in the room (and really, we were all Jews...so all 9 of us) must pipe in. Of the 9 at the table, I believe 7 of us admitted to watching the show about a Minister and his dysfunctional family on a regular basis. We discussed the bad acting, the bad plotlines, what might happen in the final few episodes. There was more, but I won't bore you.
The humor (and irony) in all this was that the conversation didn't end there. No, it moved into the living room after the meal, while we all stood around for the Jewish Goodbye (see earlier post) and continued to discuss the non-virtues of this strangely addictive show.

So for all you Jews out there who watch Seventh Heaven, and lament over how whipped Lucy's husband is, you are not alone.

Maybe we should start a support group?

Yiddish Word of the Week

Futz (verb): to mess around, to screw around. Commonly used when someone asked what I did on a Sunday morning. As in, "Not much. I futzed around on the computer, then cleaned the apartment."

The Jewish Goodbye...

I've spent a lot of time thinking over this phenomena over the last few days. Really, it's an event in and of itself. Please note: anyone with a large family may find they are also subject to a Jewish Goodbye upon leaving a family gathering.

"What is a Jewish Goodbye?" you ask. It's very simple really. When at any kind of event with more than two Jews in attendance, you will see that it takes all of them at least 30-45 minutes to actually say goodbye and walk out the door. This is the reason we will often stand up and say, "I should get going," 30 minutes before we plan to leave. It's a safety precaution, really. This is how it usually all goes down: you check your watch and notice that it's going on 9:45 and know that you still have to drive across a bridge to get home and are working the next day. You stand up and tell your nearby companions you should get going, but first you have to say goodbye to a couple of people. You walk over to table #1, "I'm leaving, but I just wanted to say goodbye". Here is where it gets fun. At this point one of two things will happen. The person either looks at you like you're nuts and turns away, or follows your statement with, "Already? I'm sorry we didn't get to chat more..." From here, a brand new 15 minute conversation begins. Repeat steps as necessary as you make your way around the room, trying to catch the people you know, and who you actually want to know you're leaving.

This is part of the reason an hour after I originally said, "I better get going," I finally made it out to the parking lot.

***In other news, yesterday was day 27 of rain. And not your nice, drizzly Seattle rain, either. No this was your freak of nature, Michigan rain. Will today make for day 28? I swear, I think I need to build an ark. This is ridiculous!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

News Alert!!! Online classes to begin next week!

Resolve to Write: Year of Craft 2006
For the second year, Eastside RWA is excited to announce an online conference, featuring monthly workshops to help you keep your New Year's resolution to publish. In addition, a series of speakers are lined up to address all aspects of writing. Topics include (but are not limited to): Goal Setting, Extreme Pitch Makerover, The Art of Storytelling and many more. Chapter meeting topics include: Point of View, Voice, Scene, Revision and more.
Cost per class:
$15 (RWA member)
$30 (non-RWA member)
Eastside Chapter members are free.

For information, plase see our website at www.eastsiderwa.org

The gig is up!

The secret is out...
I'm not as sweet and innocent as I seem. But shhhhh! Don't tell anyone.
One of the members of Eastside RWA (my writing group), came up to me tonight to tell me she as on to me. She knew the truth!
Duck! Hide! Quick, before someone else finds out.
This all came when I innocently tossed (read: fired like a missile) my nametag to our new chapter secretary. Unfortunately, I misjudged the velocity and angle of my throw, and ended up almost knocking a fellow chapter member out (okay, so I would have only taken out an eye, but that's an important body part). M then came up to me and said, "I'm on to you..."
Uh-oh. Not good.
Apparently she's started putting two and two together...and came up with four. Darn.

So remember, if anyone asks you, I'm as sweet and innocent as they come. Really...I am.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Jewish Humor...

courtesy of my cousin back in Michigan. Enjoy :D

Jewish telegram: "Begin worrying. Details to follow."


Yiddish Word of the Week: Two for One deal...

Okay, because I'm pretty sure I flaked on last week's lesson, you get two words for the price of one!
Bubele (pronoun) meaning: darling, sweetie. This is a term of endearment, not meant to be confused with Bubbe, or grandmother.

and, just because it's always made me giggle a bit...Pupik (noun) meaning: belly button (as well as chicken gizzard). It's especially funny when said with a Transylvanian accent like when my Bubbe says it. Try it...you'll like it!

Am I losing my mind?

No, don't answer that.
I've been pretty quiet when it comes to the saga that my walls have become. Mostly so as not to bore you all with the details, but also so as not to upset myself, but I feel the need to share, so you all have to listen.
My walls are still leaking.
Actually to be more precise, one of my walls is still leaking, and I really don't know why. Apparently neither do the maintenance men. For a while, I'm pretty sure they thought I was making it all up. I'd call them, tell them water was coming in again, they'd come by the next day (don't ask on that one), only to see no water, and no evidence of the water having been there. This of course means they probably think I'm looney tunes.
The most recent exchange involved me leaving yet another message about my walls on the manager's machine. Today I came home to a note from the guys telling me the porches are all dry, and nothing is dripping. BUT...my carpet is wet, so the head maintenance man will be by tomorrow.
At least I'm not crazy. I know there's water. I have no idea where it all came from, but it's there.
I swear!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Who the hell told me knitting was relaxing?

Who ever it was that convinced me knitting is relaxing, thank you. Thank you for my cramped fingers, my thirty minutes of trying to figure out a damn slip knot, and my developing headache.
Thank you Mom, for telling me that I would be able to start such a large project, and that it would be fun.

In case you can't tell, I've picked up knitting again. I say again because it has been about 15 years since I last knit. Growing up, my Bubbe taught me all kinds of needle work: knitting, crocheting, needlepoint, crosstitch (I learned to latch-hook at camp, so that doesn't count). Now ever since I received my lovely scarf from Megan, I've been compelled to pick up knitting again, and when Mom told me she was going to learn, I told her I'd do it to.
So today I began my first project. It's rather ambitious, but should be beautiful when it's done. It's a soft buttery yellow, and it could take me a very long time to complete considering everything else I try to do.

But see, there's always a catch. Today's catch is that while knitting itself can be relaxing, actually beginning the project (especially one as large and ambitious as mine) is a bitch. First off, I forgot how to actually start the darn thing. Mom told me she'd help me tomorrow, but as many of you know I'm impatient. Rather than wait for tomorrow morning, I decided I needed to know NOW. What do you do when you must start a new project at this very minute?
You look it up on the internet.
Three websites later, I finally find one with instructions I can follow...complete with handy dandy (read: useless) pictures to aid me. Three tries later, and I manage to get a good start on my first row of stitches.

And so here I sit, at almost midnight, fingers aching, trying to finish casting on the last stitches so that I can begin my project in ernest tomorrow. All I can say is this, the recipient better frickin' appreciate this.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Feelin' a bit run over...

by 24 nine year olds. Most of the time they are sweet as nine year olds can be. Other days? I swear, they want to see my Darth Vader impression (before he tried to redeem himself at the end of Return of the Jedi). I even had them sit on their hands to keep them from playing with their pencils...and yet they still seemed to find a way to not pay attention to me. Now, I realize this was only one day, and another teacher came through later and said they were all being nutso, so it wasn't entirely me. Still, makes me less inclined to cheerfully wake up at the butt crack of dawn...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I'm awake way too early...

I often hear about people claiming to be morning or night people. Some thrive at waking up at 4 a.m., running a mile, eating breakfast and going to work. These people are usually in bed by about 8:30 at night. The other type struggle to wake up before 9, but by 8pm they are raring to go.
I'm neither.
I'm a middle of the day kind of gal. Which I always find interesting, because I often have to pretend I'm a morning person. Like the year in college when I opened the coffee shop 4 days a week. Or like now, when I have to leave my apartment at 0 dark thirty in order to be at school by 7 to begin planning and getting myself together. It fully explains why I'm in desperate need of a nap by 2pm.

In other news, I'm preparing myself for email withdrawal again. I suffer from it whenever I'm in the field, as I can't access any of my personal emails from the school. Sadly, after spending two years constantly online and on email, this becomes rather difficult for me to handle.

So happy first day back! I'm off to find something to wake me up.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Some movies...

Are made to bring you to tears. Mom and I just finished watching The Notebook. Definitely an 8 hanky movie. So beautiful, yet so sad. Of course, you're pretty much guaranteed to come out of it thinking, "Why don't I have someone who loves me like that?" *sniff*

Of course, I also learned a very interesting tidbit about the book. Warner Books offered Nicholas Sparks (the author) $1million for his book, as a pre-emptive strike against other offers. Between the movie, and word of mouth, I'm sure they've earned back that advance many times over at this point.