Thursday, March 30, 2006

Just when you think you're done...

They reel you back in. Remember my lovely announcement about 2.5 months ago? The one where I jumped up and down screaming that I finished my book?
Yeah, I was wrong.
To be fair, the book was done, and I made my way through the first round of revisions. This week I planned to start inputting them. Unfortunately fate had another idea. Today I learned about an editor who is looking for Paranormal Romance...specifically JEWISH paranormal romance. So what does this mean for me? It means I'm going to try to revamp my current WIP to see if I can pull it off as a Paranormal. Ms. K and I walked tonight, and talked out some important plot changes that will have to occur for me to pull this off, not to mention some major characterization stuff. *sigh* Just what I need when I'm in the middle of working on my final Portfolio for my Masters, huh?
Yes, feel free to say it...I'm crazy. But at least I'm a good kind of crazy :D Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Online Class Announcement!!


Isn't That Book Done Yet? with Kara Lennox

April 17-21

Eastside RWA is proud to present their new online workshop, "Isn't That Book Done Yet?" with Kara Lennox where you'll learn How to Get the Thing Written No Matter What. (Even if you're battling procrastination, writer's block, burn-out or time-management issues)

Any writer who's been in the business for more than, say, a week will at some point face the problem of not being able to write. Whether your deadline is approaching or you can't stand the thought of missing the Golden Heart deadline yet again, the practical guidelines and techniques presented here will help you recognize what's keeping you from writing and get you back on the road to full productivity.

Karan Lennox (a.k.a. Karen Leabo) has written more than 50 contemporary romance novels for Harlequin/Silhouette and Bantam Dell. Since her first novel was released in 1989, her books frequently appear on romance bestseller lists. They have been translated into 18 languages and published in twenty-plus countries around the world, with over six million books in print. Kara is the recipient of a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice award, and her books have finaled in several romance industry contests including the National Reader's Choice Awards, the Holt Medallion competition and the RITA.

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

Classes are free to Eastside RWA members. Join Eastside Romance Writers for $30 and get all our 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 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 98004-4292

Everything I need to know about writing I learned from my students

Here are some common thoughts from my students while working on their Fantasy Story projects:
  • Revisions are not fun.
  • But I don't feel like writing!
  • Do I have to?
  • Why can't I just leave it like this?
  • What do you mean, it doesn't make sense?
  • Where is Algeria? Is it hot there?
  • Do we have to?
  • Why can't my character die?
  • Can there be a big fight?

Here are my answers to the above:
  • No they aren't, but you still have to do them.
  • Sometimes I don't, but I still have to. So you do too.
  • Yes.
  • Because I said so.
  • Well, if your character fell through a whole in the floor, but wound up in space, can you tell me why he's in space?
  • Look on a Map. Yes.
  • Yes.
  • Because I said so.
  • I don't want to read any violence (c'mon people! These are 4th graders). You can show the beginning of the fight and the results.
And here is what I learned:
  • Sometimes you just don't want to write, but there's always someone there to tell you to do it anyway (even if it's just that little voice in your head).
  • Because I said so.
  • Revisions stink, but we have to get through them anyway.
  • If it doesn't make sense, you have to fix it. You can't just leave it there and expect your reader to know what you're talking about.
  • Colorful illustrations make everything better.
  • Do work you are proud of, even if no one but your teacher and you ever see it.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

And did I mention he's local?

How did I not know he was local? I miss all the news...

Northwest Women's Expo...

To say Mom and I had a good time this morning is putting it mildly. We laughed, we (didn't) cry, and we saw many exciting, enticing and plain intersting booths. In between our Numerology readings and our Intuitive readings (I'll get back to you on the accuracy of both), we wandered the booths looking for little treasures. We found jewelry, purses, snacks, juice, some kind of weird spinal cord exerciser thingy, urban striptease videos, edible undies (for men and women) made out of the same little round candies they used to make those candy necklaces with (in Mom's words, "These are just wrong."), and...duh, duh, du-uh! The men of Seriously, I though they were a joke a first. They were a combo of younger and handsome, and older and okay (think Magnum PI in a flannel shirt), all in town looking for a date...or maybe more. Since the ratio of men to women, in Alaska, is something like 35:1 (maybe a bit of an exaggeration), the men apparently have to look elsewhere for their lady loves. This website is supposed to help them find these women. Of course there is a have to live in Alaska. Needless to say, once we'd seen them, we'd seen it all.

Celebrity Sighting...

I should preface this entire post with a little will come off a little bit like the thoughts of a pre-teen girl. Deal.
Christina and I went to the movies this afternoon. On our way to find a restaurant for dinner, we passed two very good looking men. It wasn't until he was almost fully past me, with his million-watt smile, that I realized who we were looking at.
Me: *elbow nudge*
Christina: I know, I saw.
Me: Do you know who that was?
Christina: No, who?
Me: That was Rob Estes!! (insert mental 13-year old girl squeal here)
Christina: I didn't even notice. I was too busy looking at his friend.

Now for this to have it's full impact, you should also know I've had quite the crush on this guy since he did the show Silk Stalkings on USA back in the day. And let me tell you, he's never looked better.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Shadow of Prophecy...

Book 2 in the Ilduin Trilogy left me crying over the fact that it will likely be January before I read the end to this saga. After defeating the evil Mage Lantav, Tess and Co. realize that this is just the beginning. Theirs will be a long battle, toward the truth and freedom. Along the way they take up the fight to free the Anari people from the Bozandari, the race of people who have enslaved the Anari for more than three generations.

But before you dismiss this book as simply a tale of war, it is so much more than that. It is a tale of a people who were created so that they would never wage war, only to realize that their peaceful ways have in turn destroyed their freedom. It is a story of a prince among men, who must atone for what he believes are the grievous wrongs of his past. In Tess we have the story of one who is lost, only to find that she may not want to know her past...or her future.

If possible, Shadow of Prophecy may be even more beautifully written than Shadow of Myth, though it is difficult to tell. I encourage you all to go out and read them. But be warned, we'll have a wait on our hands for Shadow of Destiny, Book 3.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The apocalypse?

I think I've seen it all. I have The Today Show playing in the background as I get ready this a.m., and what do I see? A guy made a documentary about guys growing mustaches. Seriously! I kid you not. Even worse? Apparently this guy is trying to start a movement to get more younger men (in their 20's) to grow 'em. Yikes! I'm afraid. Seriously...mustaches are just wrong. It's like kissing a broom, gentlemen.

Shadow of Myth

On my trip, I took two new(ish) books with me. One I picked because of the pretty colors, the other because it was actually the first in the series (and the pretty one was the second). See, I have this problem where I cannot read a book in the middle or end of the series without having read the beginning. I'll buy them and wait until I can find the first. In the case of Rachel Lee's Ilduin Trilogy, I had to find both at the library...but they were worth the wait.

Book #1 Shadow of Myth opens with an unknown woman awakening, only to discover she is the only survivor of a brutal caravan attack. Worse yet, she has no memory of who (or what) she is. The backcover copy does little to actually tell the heart of what this story is about, but it'll give you an idea. Courtesy of Amazon:
Book Description
No memory, no future, and only a white rose to identify her. . .

The Ilduin Bane are myth and legend: assassin mages whose blades drip poison and whose minds share a common purpose-one of death or control. All who have gone against them have been lost, unable to penetrate their powerful protections.

And so Archer Blackcloak gathers a small band to bring about the downfall of the Bane. From Archer comes strength of purpose and an indomitable will. Ratha and Giri, the Anari warriors, give the group a fighter's skill and temper. They are joined by Young Tom, whose unwavering loyalty is matched by an insatiable curiosity, and by Sara Deepwell, who has a surprising talent for magic. From their last member, Tess Birdsong, the only survivor of a brutal attack that left her with no memory, comes the power of one who has nothing left to lose.

But the road to freedom is long and twisted, and before they are finished their old sorrows may destroy them. Yet once started, they cannot turn back--no matter how high the price to be paid. . .

I cannot tell you how quickly this book roped me in. The characters are a rich and full, as well as full of secrets that they don't even know. I sat on the edge of my seat eagerly reading for the next twist, the next turn or the next discovery. Definitely this is one to read.

Tomorrow I'll have a review of book #2

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I've returned triumphant!

I'm back from Florida, minus the lovely tan I will never be able to actually have. For those not in the "know", I went down to visit the grandparents for five days. The beach was lovely (sorry girls, have to throw that one in). The water was beautiful to look out on to and relaxed me to the point where a nap was wa-ay more appealing than actually working on revisions. Of course, to enjoy all that lovely weather and location, there's always a catch. In this case, it was listening to my grandfather go on (and on and on and on) about some new political pamphlet/book he just finished reading, and while all good members of the "X" party should read this book. I then got to listen to him quote the book over the phone to the answering machines of several friends, coin his own phrase for those horrible politicians from the "Y" party (please, don't ask what it was, it's really a memory I'd rather let slip away thank you), and discuss loudly with my grandma the agenda of Y party for the 3 hour round trip drive to the outlet mall.
On the upside, I got an awesome dress for Nationals this year, as well as some new stuff for work/summer.
Check back in the next few days for a report on this awesome new series of books I discovered.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Two to Tango...

Just when I thought it was safe, I may need to sign up for therapy. Went to see 'Forever Tango' with my grandparents and their best friends last night. This is a couple who have watched me grow up, and have attended practically every major family type event I can remember. For as long as I can think back, they have been there. When my grandma told me we were going to a show with them, I couldn't help but look forward to it. Now, dinner was fine, oh yes. Yummy food, good bread, fun conversation. And we looked forward to the show with anticipation. The show itself was stunning. The dancers were amazing, the music beautiful. I loved it! Except for one small thing. Not sure if you all realize this, but the Tango is basically like watching a live sex show, except fully clothed with no actually sex. Yeah, and there I was sitting between Grandma and Grandpa. you see part of my problem now? Seriously, the male dancers kept feeling up their partners, and on our way out one man commented how he'd never seen a guy hold up a lady by her chest before (okay...seriously, I think he had problems with his vision. She was clearly locking her arm with his in order to stay up there). Seriously, the conversation only deteriorated from here. When we got in the car, everyone began to recap what they loved about the show, or what they were amazed by. Of course, the inevitable comments about the beautiful women popped up (including one comment from the male half of the family friends, "I wouldn't kick the blond out of my apartment"). AAAHHH! Do I really need to hear this? These people are in their 70's! I do not need this. Seriously, I think I'm traumatized. Now I need to go find a good therapist...

Thursday, March 16, 2006's not just for fun any more!

Today I went to the local Police Department to update my fingerprints for Washington State Patrol. All certified (or about to be certified) Teachers must have their prints on file. The kicker here, is that you must update your prints every two years (and pay $65 to do so). Um...did I miss the memo? Since when do prints change?
Anywho, I went down to update mine. Strolled up to the little window, rang the little buzzer and waited for someone to help me. The woman (we'll call her ironically Ms. Happy), took my print card, informed me that I had to pay an additional $9.45 to the city for the pleasure, and sent me off to City Hall to pay. Wait. I can't pay here? Nope. I had to walk all the way around the building to the new City Hall, make my way to Finances on the third floor, and write my check out to a woman of very few words. Oh yes, they were THRILLED to see me ;)
After I paid, it was back to the Police Station to wait in line to have my prints done. They sent me to a little room, not unlike a doctors waiting room, where I waited for the lone fingerprinter to finish with the man ahead of me and his three print cards.
Finally it was my turn, she took my prints, left me with inked up fingers, and sent me on my way. *sigh* I'm pretty sure some of the ink is still there. Won't they be thrilled at the security station tonight?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Books, books, books...

If you've been reading this blog long enough, you know I love books. You also know that I love reading them, as well as writing them. I try to keep you updated on the ones I really enjoy, so as to share the love. So here you go...books I've read recently that I recommend:
  • Sex, Lies and Online Dating by Rachel Gibson
  • Time Off for Good Behavior by Lani Diane Rich
  • Tales from the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird by Viviane Vande Velde (because really, who doesn't enjoy a good fairy tale?)
I'm currently reading and enjoying:
  • Champagne Rules by Susan Lyons
  • Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
And I'm eagerly awaiting:
  • Braced 2 Bite by Serena Robar (out in May)
  • Aussie Rules by Jill Shalvis (out in June)
  • Turning Japanese by Cathy Yardley (due out in November)
  • Flirting with Forty by Jane Porter (out in July)
  • so many more I can't remember them all...
What about you? What are you waiting to read? Or what are you reading now that you'd love to share. Speak up!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Courtesy of Mom...

If there is no self, whose arthritis is this?

Be here now. Be someplace else later. Is that so complicated?

Drink tea and nourish life. With the first sip... joy. With the second...satisfaction. With the third, peace. With the fourth, a danish.

Wherever you go, there you are. Your luggage is another story.

Accept misfortune as a blessing. Do not wish for perfect health or a life without problems. What would you talk about?

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single "oy."

There is no escaping karma. In a previous life, you never called, you never wrote, you never visited. And whose fault was that?

Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkes.

The Tao does not speak. The Tao does not blame. The Tao does not take sides. The Tao has no expectations. The Tao demands nothing of others. The Tao is not Jewish.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this and attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems

Let your mind be as a floating cloud. Let your stillness be as the wooded glen. And sit up straight. You'll never meet the Buddha with such rounded shoulders.

To Find the Buddha, look within. Deep inside you are ten thousand flowers. Each flower blossoms ten thousand times. Each blossom has ten thousand petals. You might want to see a specialist.

To practice Zen and the art of Jewish motorcycle maintenance, do the following: get rid of the motorcycle. What were you thinking?

Be aware of your body. Be aware of your perceptions. Keep in mind that not every physical sensation is a symptom of a terminal illness.

The Torah says, "Love thy neighbor as thyself." The Buddha says there is no "self." So, maybe you are off the hook.

The Buddha taught that one should practice loving kindness to all sentient beings. Still, would it kill you to find a nice sentient being who happens to be Jewish?

Though only your skin, sinews, and bones remain, though your blood and flesh dry up and wither away, yet shall you meditate and not stir until you have attained full enlightenment. But, first, a little nosh.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Language Lessons...

Whenever I get together with my friends, I always learn something new. In some cases, it's a recipe or a new way to look at writing. Some teach me more about design or business. Others about marketing. Sometimes they learn from me...usually what they learn has to do with language. My other language to be precise. Hebrew, Yiddish, they sound the same, heck Yiddish uses the Hebrew alphabet. Both have found their way into the everyday language of most Americans, whether we know it or not.
So the other night I had some of my friends over for dinner. Nothing fancy, but definitely entertaining (yes, and often at my expense). I was telling the story of how I went to Shabbat services on Friday night, but rather than sit in on my usual guitar lead one, I went up to the more traditional service, just to see what it was about. My only complaint (beyond not really knowing any of the melodies), was that the prayer books up in the traditional services are all in either Hebrew (which I can read, but slowly), or English (which I can read fast, but would have sounded very odd chanting along with everyone else). You see, down in the guitar lead services, we use books that include the transliteration of the Hebrew...or what has commonly (and fondly) become known as Heblish.
Yes, Heblish, aka hebrew using the English alphabet.
Well, this got them going. Before I knew it, we were back to the hairball-hacking up as Ms. K and Christina both tried to say words like chutzpah or challa. Now, I admit, Hebrew is not always the most beautiful of languages. It has a lot of gutteral sounds to it that often can be mistaken for someone dying. Still, I've grown to love it. And really, I thought I'd heard it all. But when I tried to explain what, exactly, Heblish was one gal had to have her say. "Oh! Is that like Jewbonics?" *snort* HAHAHAH!
I know, this is probably the most un-PC conversation that should never be posted on the internet, but I had to share. See, you have to have a sense of humor about these things...cuz let's face it, there's a lot of humor to be found in religion and culture.
So to all my readers, please remember one thing...It all comes down to the biggest hair ball!

By request: Yiddish Word of the Week returns!!

Sorry ladies and and life have gotten in my way (as well as a serious lack of interesting choices for words). I know, I know, you don't want excuses. You want your here it is.

Freg nisht! a phrase meaning: Don't ask! Often used when one Jewish mother asks another Jewish mother about her good for nothing son. The response? "Freg nisht..."

But seriously folks...

Where, oh where did I hide that wand of mine. I have much to do, and less time to do it in. Among the project awaiting completion on the next 3 days are: finding a class to replace the Integrated Arts class I'm supposed to take next quarter, getting my fingerprints taken again (must be updated every 2 years. No idea why, it's just the rule), packing, working, and...? I'm sure there are items I've forgotten on this grand list of mine. They are likely highly important items that will remain forgotten in the Swiss Cheese that has become my brain as of late, until I'm half-way across the country, unable to do a darn thing to fix them.

Really, is a little magical help too much to ask?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Three wishes??

Do you ever wish you had a magic wand? That you could just wave it around the room and everything would clean itself, a la Fantasia? I know I do. The closest I come is when Mom offers to come over and help me clean. She brings rags and her vacuum (though I do have my own) and before I know it, everything is gleaming and I can breath again. Not that I sit around doing nothing. I clean counters and windows and mirrors, etc. And the bathroom is all mine.
Of course, now I have to put everything back where it goes again. *sigh* Where did I leave my magic wand?

A new, old drug in town...

They're back. Just when you thought it safe to go to the grocery store, those evil pushers are back. They're back, and their wares are more dangerous than marijuana or cocaine. They are...duh, duh, du-uh! The Girl Scouts. They have returned to a grocery store entrance near you with their sweet, innocent, guiless smiles and their sing song, "Would you like to buy a box of cookies?" Run, do not walk, as fast as you can away from these little girls. They seem innocent, sure, but they know what they are doing. Their goal is to sell you as many boxes of cookies as they can, without you even realizing you've bought them.
So far I've held strong...but I don't know how much more I can take.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The dangers of email and phone...

No one ever really discusses the dangers of multitasking. No one talks about what can happend when you answer a phone call from your father while checking emails from various friends and lists. No one mentions what can happen...

It's bad. Dangerous. Treacherous even! I answered mails about fabulous purses (*snort*), directions to parties, retreats, and various other items in need of attention. Problem is, when all was said and done and I went to log out, I couldn't say if I actually mailed the correct response to the correct people. I may have mailed Christina about services and Mom about directions, or maybe I emailed Ms. K about the retreat when it was supposed to go to Josh? Dang...I swear, my head is attached. Really!

Check it out!!!

An awesome new set of websites courtesy of the intrepid, talented, okay fantastic! Serena Robar. The first is a promo site for her book Braced 2 Bite, due out in May. Both B2B and author Mari Mancusi's Boys that Bite will make for a summer of vampire fun. Check out it here. It's chock full of games, celebrity gossip, bloggish activity...and more than I can remember. Bloggers for this fabulous new site include: Serena, Marianne Mancusi, Gena Showalter, MaryJanice Davidson & Anthony Algoni, PC & Kristen Cast and Bev Rosenbaum.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Is it over yet??

No? Why not? I feel like it should be over. Like it should be time for rest, relaxation, sun and sand. What do you mean I have to wait?

Okay, seriously? I'm not crazy (at least, not crazier than the rest of the world). Today was my final observation, by none other than the principal of the school and a high-up in the district. It went swimmingly, though I had to laugh when the kids (who managed to keep it all together through the 30 minute lesson) went nuts about 2 seconds after both women left the room. Apparently 30 minutes was about as long as they could contain themselves. And that's all I needed. I have the good word, and it is...I'm in the hiring pool!! Of course, this does not guarantee a job, but it's a step in the right direction. Career Fair thingy on Thursday is yet another step...hence the rush to update my resume (which is looking pretty darn sparkly if you ask me). Now all I have to do is finish those darn revisions (8 chapters left I think), and I'm golden! Now, where's my Pina Colada?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Popping in just for a minute...

I feel like I've been remiss in my posting this week, but I only have a minute to remedy this.
My life seems to be moving at a very rapid pace at the moment. Tomorrow I'll spend the day observing in Language Arts/Social Studies classrooms at one of the local Middle Schools. This is my way of getting it known out in the world that I want to teach Middle School. Beyond this visit, I have an observation on Tuesday by one of the high-ups in Bellevue School District. When it's over, I'll know whether or not I will be put into the hiring pool for the upcoming school year. Yeah, no pressure there. Strangely enough, though (and especially if you know me well), I'm not all that nervous about this. I figure it's going to be whatever it's going to be, and all I can do for it is my best job. Which of course leads into this weekend's activities. Yesterday was spent editing (only 1 chapter), updating my resume (what exactly is my objective here?), looking into what I wanted to teach for my lesson on tuesday, and not going out to buy a tape to video tape one of my lessons later this next week.
Of course, I'm making up for all this school focus by joining our monthly GK meeting on its special day and time for the Oscars! Check back later in the week for what happened.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

March Online Class

Eastside RWA is proud to present their new online workshop, "A Very Good Place to Start," with Nancy Warren on March 20-24th

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a single man of good fortune must be in want of a wife…

There are some men who enter a woman’s life and screw it up forever. Joseph Morelli did this to me – not forever, but periodically…

A Very Good Place to Start

Beginnings are important. We all know how many books there are out there and how little time consumers have to make their choice. How many manuscripts hit an editor’s desk and how little time she has to decide whether she wants to see more, or wants to work with this author. The author’s job is to grab the reader’s attention from the first line, first paragraph, first page and hook them.

How do you do this? This hands-on workshop offers practical techniques for discovering where your story really starts and for making that beginning stand out. You'll look at different ways to open a story and how to make your writer’s voice emerge on the first page. You’ll study a few wildly successful beginnings and study them in depth, then you’ll work on our own. Participants are invited to bring the first few pages of their work in progress.

Nancy Warren is the USA Today Bestselling author of more than twenty sexy, humorous novels and novellas for Harlequin and Kensington publishers. Nancy has won many awards for her writing, including the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Blaze of 2002 and the Laurel Wreath. In 2004 she was a double Rita award finalist. Nancy holds an honors degree in English literature and lives in the Pacific Northwest.

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 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