Monday, October 30, 2006


Okay, now that I have that off my chest, I have to brag. I have, in my not so hot little hands (my apartment is currently hovering slightly above freezing), an official, signed copy of Fangs4Freaks. Yes ladies and gents, it's Serena's latest book. You cannot even get this book in stores yet, it's so new. Wahoo!!
*snoopy dance moment*
Okay, I'm better now. See? Calm.
Yeah, right. Me? Calm? Not unless it's prior to 6 a.m., in which case I'm likely to only speak in single-word sentences that sound strangely similar to the language spoken by the Cavemen. Any other time? I'm usually wired. But it's what you all love about me.
So I'm going to go read...or sleep. Can't decide which. But in the meantime, go to and order your own copy today!

I've been tagged!!

Well, I survived the "driving" weekend, and even managed to have fun in the meantime. Of course, I survived, only to be informed at tonight's monthly Tiara meeting that I've been tagged by Lacey Kaye, to participate in Truth or Lie time.
So here we go. Among the 5 items listed below is a lie. You get to try to determine which it is, and post your answer in the comments. And to sweeten the deal? Yeah, I'm going to enter all those who guess correctly into a drawing to win an awesome prize. What that prize is? Yeah, I'll have to figure that out. But by the time I do the drawing I'll know. And it'll be cool. You know you want it...
  1. I not only attended the same university as such luminaries as Lawrence Kasdan but I lived in the same dorm the Unibomber once lived in. As a matter of fact? My room was the room nextdoor to his old room.
  2. I speak two languages fluently, can read two languages moderately well, and can throw around phrases in a third.
  3. Growing up, I wanted to live in the jungle and study monkeys.
  4. I've been sent to sleep-away camp twice in my life, both times were miserable and I'm convinced I've been scarred for life from the emotional trauma.
  5. My high school boasts the following famous alums: Robin Williams and Chris Webber. There are others, but their names escape me at the moment.
Now, for let the tagging commence! I tag...Ms. K., Lisa P. and Dona S. Why? Because I can. Your turn ladies...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I love my car...

Really, I do. I may whine and moan every now and then about her, but she's a good car. She's been with me for 7 years, and is still going strong (more than I can say for some other relationships). She carries me many places and rarely complains.
I, on the other hand, hate to drive. I'd be happy if I could just beam myself places, like they do in Star Trek. So why, if I hate to drive, do I almost always offer to be the one to do the driving?
Because I like to be in control. And there is no greater metaphor for being the one in control than to be the driver.
Of course, there are the usual drawbacks. I end up sitting in traffic more often than I'd like, while trying to get to various places I'd really rather not be. Never has this been more apparent than the 4 (count 'em, 4!) hours I spent in the car yesterday, only to get back in again this morning.
I'm a good friend.
Of course, this becomes more challenging, as the friend I'm helping out, left his cell phone behind, and does not have a way to get a hold of me to pick him back up. *snort* This could get entertaining. I'll give him until this evening, then I'll take pity on the guy if he hasn't figured out how to track me down, and call the place where he's at. But no reason to call just yet.
I mean, really, I don't want to get back in the car. There's no rush here...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

And something to celebrate...

After longer than I'd care to admit to, I finally finished revisions on Meshugenah...also known as the book I'll never finished. I cannot tell you the relief, joy and excitement that comes with being able to say that. Up next, I plan to start the book that shall be known as TMI early next month. I need to give myself a few weeks to get some requests sent off and deal with the measly paperwork involved in all of that first, then I can start the new book. Woohoo! I can't wait to get's time for a fresh story. Keep your eyes peeled for the new word count meter to appear soon over on the sidebar.

More pics from the Emerald City Conference

Yes, yes, I realize it's been a few weeks, but what can I say? I'm really lazy about taking film in to be developed. Plus, add in that I had to kill off a few frames, it's really no surprise it's taken me this long.
So here is one with Krista and I. By Saturday afternoon we were both a little punchy...but at least she didn't kiss my shoulder again.

Lacey wasn't sure which song to do for karaoke...but she sure looked intense trying to find it, didn't she?

And we were all very jealous that Kelli won the weekend trip to Rosario Resort. A weekend away in the San Juan Islands? I think we could all have used that one.

Go...get free books!

My friend Kelli is giving away free books on her website. Anyone who helps her out with some research questions for her new book will be entered into a drawing for free books. It's totally worth it, and an awesome premise for a book. So go here and help her out!

Friday, October 20, 2006

A Night with a Dashing, Older Gentleman...

See? I knew I'd get your attention. Ms. K and I went to see Garrison Keiler (Prairie Home Companion fame) last night, down at the Paramount Theater. Mom and Aunt had bought tickets, but then went out of town, so I reaped the benefits. I do love when I get to take advantage of their favorite past times.
The show itself? Fabulous. I can't even do it justice with a decent description. Especially not in the time I have before leaving for work. Let's just say there was a story about a green bowling ball, a naked flying man, Lutheran priests on a pontoon and a man named Raoul. 'Nuff said.
There were only 6 people (incl. Ms. K and I) in our row. We had the two end seats and another couple was somewhere around the middle. But the last couple? Yeah, right next to us. As in so close, I could have smelled her breath if I wanted. Made no sense to me why they didn't move over. I mean c'mon! It couldn't have been that fun to sit all cramped up next to me anyway. But no, they stayed in their "assigned" seats the entire time. Wouldn't have been so bad, except the woman (who sat next to me) expanded throughout the evening. It started subtle-like. A shift here, a shift there. But before I knew it, she'd slumped down in her seat, spread her arms out onto both armrests, and eased her legs out in front of her like a 45 year-old divorced man watching a ball game with a beer.
I almost said something, but I figured it was safer not to. She was bigger than me after all.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Go Tigers!!

I come from the Detroit area, where we take our sports very seriously. Even those people (like myself, but shhhh...don't tell anyone) who aren't big sports fans know who to root for when. We call ourselves hockey town, and it is not a misnomer. We love our hockey, and our Red Wings. We love our Red Wings even when they choke in the playoffs.

We love our Tigers too...that lonely baseball franchise who almost beat the record for most consecutive losses in a season only a couple of years ago. According to a friend, they couldn't even do that right, winning the last three games of their season. But now here we are, in a race for the pennant. The Tigers are on their way to the World Series!!

Go Tigers!!

Friday, October 13, 2006

And let's not forget the Romance Karaoke

After you've spent an entire day in workshops, and pitch sessions, every writer needs the opportunity to unwind a bit. To really...let loose and shake her booty. So what does any good writer do on such an occasion? Romance Karaoke of course!

Most of the Tiara's got up on stage with a little help from Steve to show the world how the song Love Shack should really be sung. Can't you see us shimmy?

And don't think that was my own opportunity to sing. Oh no. I got up there quite a few times. Kelli joined me for Friends in Low Places; Serena and I help start the evening off with a bang, even though we forgot half the words. And no, at the moment the name of the actual song completely escapes me. Nothing however, could take away the image of the karaoke leader dancing to Transvestite from Transsexual Transylvania (yeah, I know, I've likely butchered the name), while wearing leather pants, with scenes from Rocky Horror Picture Show played in the background.

Because I know you've all been waiting...

I finally have some pictures to share from conference. I'll have more just as soon as I finish off this roll of film.
Here you have Shannon, Heather Davis-Koenig and I smiling at the literacy booksigning. All the proceeds from the signing went to D.A.W.N, a community organization bringing awareness to Domestic Violence.

Saturday night we all went to dinner at Maggiano's Italian Restaurant in Bellevue. There I am with the rest of the Tiara's, and fellow writers Dona Sakar-Mishra and Marcella B.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

It's truly the little things in life...

Like the fact that I left work before 7:30 (sadly, this is not always the case). Or that I found a salon in Virginia that sells my face cream. The salon/spa I go to here in Washington can no longer get the products I use, which means I either go without and find something new, or find a new source. Thankfully we live in a world of internet and information at our fingertips and I found my stuff online. Yippee! I should receive them in the next couple of weeks, and I'll be set for even longer!
Hear that sigh? Yeah, that's the sigh of a content woman...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Drive-by blogging...

I promise a longer, more detailed post soon, but right now my brain is fried. I returned from ECWC this afternoon and have been acting out my imitation of a cucumber ever since...chilling on my couch.
Highlights of conference include:
  • literacy booksigning on Saturday. Books! More books! I was so proud. I only bought 2 books at the signing, and they were ones I really wanted, not just ones I thought would be fun. Killed that pride this afternoon when I stopped in at B&N to get my teacher discount (gotta love Teacher Appreciation Week), and walked out with 4 more books. In my defense, though, I've been waiting for these. They were the new Sherrilyn Kenyon anthologies, the new Cathy Yardley anthology, and the new Erin McCarthy. All are essentially on my auto-buy list. In my defense, I went in to pick up a couple of writing craft books, but they didn't have what I wanted. Sadly, I still have about half of the books I bought at National Conference still on my shelf, not to mention the ones I'd bought before that. Hmmmm...
  • Awesome workshop on goal setting. But it wasn't simply goal setting, it was following through and not cheating yourself on what you really want. I came out of this one on a total high.
  • 2, count 'em 2, requests from agents for partial submissions. Yippee! Conference goal achieved!
And now, back to our regularly scheduled program of decompressing. Tomorrow is new teacher training at the district level, so I won't actually be in with my students. Should be interesting...

Friday, October 06, 2006

But the morning started off so good...

Last night, in anticipation for Emerald City Writers Conference, I busted out 3 chapters of revisions/edits. I did NOT prepare for leaving earlier than usual this afternoon and being in training on Monday. Ah well.
So I woke up this morning anticipating the wonderfulness that is conference. I just have to get through today and I'll be home free for the weekend.
Yeah, if this morning is any indication, it's gonna be a tough weekend. I've already managed to spill tea on my white sweater, leading to costume change #1. I don't have time to change again before this evening. Maybe I should just cover myself in that plastic they use to cover furniture? Yeah, that might work.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The problem with working...

As I see, there's only one small problem when you earn a regular paycheck. All the things you want to do with your hard earned money, when you know you should save it and build back up the savings account ravaged by grad school. I'm not earning a ton, but it's more than I've had for 2 years now. It's like all the sudden I have options.
Some things I could put the money toward:
  • pay off student loans (slowly but surely...I'll be doing this one for years)
  • new bedding (I'm getting really tired of the stuff I've had for 5 years now)
  • new bathroom stuff (Again, it's getting old)
  • new dishes (ones that aren't hand-me-downs)
  • a massage
  • a pedicure
  • new alphasmart (the old one isn't working so well any more)
  • books!
  • more books!
  • an iron and ironing board
  • a haircut (good grief I need one of those)
I'm sure there is more, but the reality? I'll talk myself out of at least half of this list for at least a few more months. I'll talk about them, and talk about them. But I won't do a thing about it. Instead I'll be good just a little bit longer. Really. I will.
You'll see. I can be good. I can be patient.
Stop laughing at me! I can!

*sigh* You're right. I'm weak. I'll break sooner or later. But for now I'm going strong.

No really, I am!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Cell phone fun...

Those of you who have followed this blog for the last year may remember the saga of the cell phone from last winter (I believe. Frankly, the pain and horror are still fresh in my mind, and so it may well have been before or after that). Needless to say I've been in cell phone hell ever since. I have a horrible phone that people can barely hear me through. The battery hardly holds (though it was better than its predecessor), and the list goes on.
Since that day I've waited patiently for my cell phone service agreement to run its course so I could leave the company who shall not be named but begin with a C. Anyway, that day has come, loyal readers. After services this morning, where we were enlightened on what it means to forgive, I changed clothes and hurried over to Car Toys to see what kind of deal they could make me. It was a bit like a game show. What would they show me? What would he try to talk me in to buying? What extra nonsense would I end up shelling out half my life savings and my promised first born child to?
It was painless. I am the happy owner of a new phone, new contract, new company, same number. The biggest frill is that it has a camera on I can take pictures of the people I know and care about, and attach those photos to their names. Ha! I see hours of enjoyment right there.
The worst part? I couldn't port over my phone numbers. So I've spend the last 3o minutes re-typing in all the phone numbers of the important people in my life. Or, I've at least been entering numbers for the people who were in the phone before. Gone are those names and numbers of people I haven't talked to in over a year. No more shall they clutter my phone. Mostly because my hand was starting to bother me, and I needed to stop.
So there is my exciting day. What about you? Please share while I'm off trying to set up my voice mail.

How evil am I??

Apparently not evil enough.
You Are 18% Evil

You are good. So good, that you make evil people squirm.
Just remember, you may need to turn to the dark side to get what you want!

What about you?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Mothers and Daughters...

Here's the thing about mothers and daughters, that only the really lucky ones understand...we often know each other way better than we even realize. Take Mom and me. We *gasp* actually enjoy spending time together. It's harder for us to do so in the fall, because it's usually too wet on Sundays to bike. But we go for walks, or meet for coffee. We talk on the phone or go to a movie. We're friends. There are times, however, when this can get very...umm...interesting. Yeah, that's the best way I can describe it. Interesting.
For example, take our phone conversation this afternoon. Mom was telling me that she and H had been chatting about me. In particular, a new friend and me. She was laughing because apparently they both agree that simply by what they know about me...they would have expected my sister to have this particular friend and not me. She likened it to my very secular sister bringing home a rabbi's son. *snort* Now there's something I'd like to see. So what am I to do? Take offense? Argue? Shrug it off? None of the above? It's hard, because I do respect Mom's thoughts and opinions. Heck, our relationship (or a bastardized version of it,) was the inspiration for my current WiP. She's kind of like my own personal Jiminy Cricket, that little voice of reason I so do not want to hear from at the moment. She points out all those little things that I already know, but am choosing not to think about yet. See, I'm a notorious worrier. And I've been known to sabatoge the present because of what I fear may happen in the future.

"So what am I going to do?" you ask. Enjoy myself. Take it one day at a time. And put away my crystal ball. I don't need to know what's coming just yet. I'd like to see where the ride is gonna take me, first. If Mom wants to worry let her, but I'm finally learning that it doesn't do me a whole lot of good, and wastes a lot of otherwise good energy.

Sunday afternoon funny...



There's a fine line between my responsibilities as a teacher, and those as a writer. Both require me to make additional time to devote to my work. Both require me to prioritize and organize.
Both drive me to insanity, on occasion.
This morning I'm torn between reading and responding to my students' reading journals, and working on my own writing. I have many more chapters to finish revising, and I'd like to be ready to send them out after the conference next weekend. Somehow, I don't think it'll be quite that done yet. But at least the first 3 chapters will be polished and mail-able. In the meantime though, I alternate between grading homework, revising my story, and adding the necessary chapter headers for each chapter. Usually this last one falls by the wayside until I notice I've revised and edited 5 chapters without inserting the headers. Then I have to go back, find the beginnings of each chapter, sum them up in my head and create appropriate headers to set the tone. Some are better than others, some will have to be played with down the road.
All of them have to be somewhat original.
The problem of course, is that I'm torn between wanting a catchy idea that will grab the attention of editors and agents, and simply getting rid of all of them for the sake of ease and less work.

But since when have I ever followed the easy route?