Friday, April 27, 2007

A hat for every day of the week...

I took today as a personal day. I'll be down in Portland tomorrow for the Rose City RWA Readers Luncheon, so I needed today to do all those little things I usually save for my weekend, like writing, going to the department of licensing,

Buying a hat.

I'm in desperate need of a sun hat for my trip in June because let's face it, I'm so pale, all I have to do is look at a sunny day through the window and I'll burn. Baseball hats simply won't cut it for this trip. So I went to the one store I knew would have plenty of choices: REI.
I walked in, made my way up the stairs to the clothing section, and found myself in front of an impressive selection of hats. The key to hat buying is finding one that is both functional, and cute. Who knows who I might meet on this trip. I may be hot and sweaty, but I can look cute doing it. So I began to try on hats, one after the other. Eventually one of the salesmen came over to help me out. The guy was probably in his early to mid-twenties, which was a bonus. Hey, if the hat can pass his approval, it will likely work for my purposes, right? Also, he was nice and tall, so he could actually reach most of the hats, which for some reason were hung way up high.
So one by one he began to hand me options. "This one has sun protection 50," he announced cheerfully. "That one has a nice wide brim," he offered. "That one is covering your eyes."
One by one I modeled them, and one by one he laughed.
Yes, the salesman laughed at me and the hats. I'm pretty sure it's a bad sign for the hat if it makes the sales guy laugh out loud. Eventually I settled on a great straw hat, with a nice wide brim, that didn't make the sales guy break out into fits of laughter. Hey, at least I don't have to worry about burning my nose.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

My life just got a whole lot more interesting...

Friday afternoon I began teaching our Health unit, which includes hygiene and the ever popular...Human Sexuality.
Oh boy.
This could get very interesting...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A writer's life...

Sometimes the words just flow. I can sit down at the computer and I don't even have to think. It's like I'm channeling the muse directly, and she's simply using my body to get the words out.
Other times it's like drawing blood. The words are stuck behind a brick wall, and I can stare at the computer for as long as I want, but I may only have half a page written. Those are the days that make me want to throw the computer through the window.

Then there are the days when I'm miles away from my computer, but those realizations come. That's the thing about writing, we're still doing it even when we aren't at the computer. Even if I'm not putting words to paper I'm writing. I've joked before about how difficult it is to shut my brain down, but sometimes that's a blessing. Take today for example. Today I had what can only be termed a breakthrough on the current book. Not the kind of break through where I suddenly know what's supposed to happen next, but a break through about how I write.
I sat there last night struggling to get through a scene with my characters. I pushed and pushed the pages to sound the way I thought they had to sound, to stay true to the tone of the book. I think I was trying to keep the book from sounding to "romance-y", and that's a problem considering the book is a romance. So, now I have to go back through the pages I wrote last night, and flesh out the scene with the descriptions I left out.
Too romance-y. *snort* What was I thinking?


Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I think one of the hardest things any writer can do is read a critique of his or her work. Whether you've entered a contest, sent it to an agent or an editor, or given it to a friend to read, it's still nerve-wracking. It's giving your baby away to someone who pray will understand, but you just never know.
I'm very careful about sharing any of my work before it's finished, and even at that point, I'm very picky about who I'll hand it over to. Friends who just want to read my manuscript? Sorry. I love you all, but you'll have to wait for it to come out in book form.
So knowing this, you can imagine how nevous I was when I came home from work to an email from Nadine, sending me back my manuscript with all her notes. Eek! I couldn't go near my computer for almost two hours. Thoughts, "What if she hated it?" raced through my mind, and numbed my fingers. Of course, the longer I waited, the more nervous I grew.
What finally got me to my computer was the mental slap upside the head and the reminder that Nadine is a very nice woman, and she'd already told me she loved the first half. So it couldn't be that bad, right?
So with Ms. K. on the phone, I opened up the document and began to read her notes. And wouldn't you know it, she made sense! She actually hit on a lot of things I already knew were an issue, and planned to take care of in revisions. Having them written out like that, makes it a lot easier for me. I can simply print the first few pages, and have them out with me when I go to do my revisions. Some things she noted as areas of concern, I'm not all that concerned about. Maybe in a few days I will be, but for now? Not all that worried. For now, I'll keep plugging away at it (speaking of which, did you note the page count?) and take care of a lot of her suggestions when I go back through it.


Monday, April 16, 2007

The Kissing Prince...

has been arrested...check it out here.


Geeky joy...

I came home this afternoon to a much anticipated envelope from Ms. M. Inside? The first two issues of Buffy Episode 8...a new comic book series written by the creator of Buffy, Joss Whedon. I know, my geekiness is showing. But I don't care. The comics pick up shortly after the end of the t.v. show, and follow the adventures of the slayer and her crew in Scotland. Mostly? I'm just happy to see Xander again.

What can I say? I'm a geek. And proud of it.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Go Wings!!

The Stanley Cup Playoffs have begun, and the Red Wings lead their series 2-0 against the Calgary Flames. Even better, it's on national television, which means I get to watch my beloved Wings here in Seattle.
And they played good.
So, Go Red Wings!!


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Signing fun...

Hello, my name is Erin, and I'm a geek. A book geek, to be exact. You know the way normal people get when they see a celebrity? That's how I am when I meet an author. I'm still tickled pink that I can claim several published authors as friends, and still others as close acquaintances.

So when Christina A. informed us about a book signing with one of my favorites, there was no way I'd miss it. The catch? The signing began at 3, and I technically don't even get off work until 3. Eh, I'll survive. I packed up my work, (Yes, I'll be a busy gal this weekend. 11 pages left to go on my goal and lots of correcting to do. Take out tonight, me thinks.) and was out the door by 2:59, and at the signing by 3:15...just in time.

The guests of honor included the fantastic Pat White, one of my favorites Suzanne Brockmann, and her husband, author Ed Gaffney. Among the guests were myself, authors Alexis Morgan (fantistic writer, go get her books!), Mary Buckham, and Ann Roth (speaking next month at Eastside RWA's chapter meeting). Let's face it, I was in pure, geek heaven.

Even better, I laughed. After quite the rocky afternoon, I laughed. Suz and Ed stole the show with all their fantastic stories about life as a writer, the cover gods (or devils) and serial killers in Wichita. One of the highlights was watching Ed talk about his wife and her career. Now, Ed is a newly published author (say, in the last few years), so maybe you'd expect professional jealousy. And you'd be wrong. I've rarely seen a man so supportive of his wife's career. You could tell by every word out of his mouth, how much he loved and admired his wife. It was very eye-opening.
So there you have it, my afternoon fun. Sometimes, life is pretty darn good.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I may have to rethink my plans...

After careful investigative work, and a few well placed emails, I'm finally getting some answers about my trip to Israel. Like I have to get myself to New York, it's not included in the total cost. And I now know where to find our itinerary. I also found out some very crucial information...
It appears I'm the only person from the Seattle area attending this trip.
This could get real interesting...

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Monday, April 09, 2007

No one said writing was easy...

But I'm pretty sure my proposed, and self-imposed, schedule this week is insane. Last Monday I made the decision to set a goal of 30 pages over two weeks. I figured that since I'm on Spring Break for three of the days, plus no major plans for the either weekend, I'd have plenty of time.
What was I thinking??
Last week was so nutty, between Passover and school that I didn't get to my writing until the weekend. Sunday to be exact. And in order for me to meet my insane goal, that meant writing ten pages yesterday. Take my word for it...don't try this at home. So this is what my desk looked like yesterday afternoon while I furiously typed away.

Now, I have three days (plus the weekend) to finish off the remaining 20 pages of my insanity. I'll do it, trust me. But if you don't trust me, I'll understand. Just keep an eye on the page counter to the left. Then you'll see.
But in order to get this goal met, I've got to go write. So more later!


Sunday, April 08, 2007

New Online Class!

Topic: A Writer's Building Blocks

Like a child's wooden ABC blocks there are elements that make a story unforgettable, that keep readers coming back for more. This program outlines them all, A-Z.

Dates: April 16th-20th

Speaker: Sandy Blair

Bio: Award-winning author Sandy Blair has slept in castles, dined with peerage, floated down Venetian canals, explored the great pyramids, lost her husband in an Egyptian ruin (she still denies being the one lost,) and fallen (gracefully) off a cruise ship.

Winner of RWA's 2003 Golden Heart for Best Paranormal Romance, the 2004 National Readers Choice Award (3 nominations), the 2005 Write Touch Readers Award, the 2006 Golden Quill, recipient of Romantic Times BOOKClub's 4 ½ star Top Pick rating, and nominated for a 2005 RITA, Sandy loves writing about the past.

Her third novel, THIEF IN A KILT will be released November 1, 2006. Currently contracted to write two more Highlander novels, Sandy is the President-Elect of DARA and resides in Plano, Texas with her tall Scot husband.

For more information, check out Eastside RWA's website here.

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I never claimed...

To have the best sense of direction, as evidenced Friday night. My first mistake was leaving my cell phone at home, where I'd plugged it in to charge the night before.
I left work as soon as possible, and drove into Seattle early, hoping to skip most of Rush Hour traffic. I got into town around 3:30, with about 2 hours to kill before I had to be at a BBQ. I'd checked the map before leaving work, I had the address and I knew, technically, how to get there.
I say technically, because I recognized the name of the street, and another street that runs in to it. I figured I could follow the one street into the other, and I'd be there.
Problem 2: I didn't get full, written directions.
I know what you're thinking. You're sitting there, shaking your head, and wondering where I left my brain. My only excuse is that the week was one of the hardest to get through, and I just wanted to leave.
Problem 3: Drive the wrong way on the road you need.
Yeah, I drove clear to the other end of town, before realizing the street I thought should be there...wasn't. Where was it, you ask? Well, I'd been sitting in U-Village for about 2 hours waiting to head out...and it's within spitting distance of the house.
So, just to clarify, I drove 45 minutes to get to a house 300 yards from where I was. Thankfully, the weekend has since improved.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Top Ten Movies

Yet again, Dona has tagged me, and yet again, I shall answer. I'm a sheep, I tell you. A sheep!
Still, I love movies, as anyone can tell you, so here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Return of the Jedi. By far the best of the Star Wars movies. C'mon! You are finally put at ease that Luke and Leia will not get together, there's the whole defrosting scene with Han Solo. Good defeats evil. Trust me...good movie.
  2. The Princess Bride. "I'm not a witch, I'm your wife!" Hee hee. This is one movie guaranteed to make me laugh, no matter my mood. Love it! And remember, mostly dead is not all dead.
  3. Serenity. Nathan Fillion. Yum. Go watch, trust me.
  4. When Harry Met Sally. Classic romantic comedy. I love the chemistry between Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. Not to mention the eternal question, "Can a man and a woman ever really be friends?"
  5. Charade. Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn. I love this pairing. They play off each other so well. It's a classic caper filled with mistaken identities and almost-high speed chases.
  6. That Touch of Mink. Cary Grant, Doris Day. I love their movies. Are you noticing a trend? Almost all my favorites can be classified as romantic comedies. Trust me on this one. It's good. Go rent it.
  7. Just Like Heaven. Finally bought this one. I love the scene where she realizes she's not really there. I love that you can so perfectly follow the character arcs throughout this movie.
  8. A Knight's Tale. Love the music. Heath Ledger. Good times.
  9. Grease. Grease really is the word. Or is it just the music I love? Hmmmm. I don't know, but I've been listening to the soundtrack for the last two weeks. Maybe it's time for an intervention
  10. Okay, I'll be honest...this will have to be a top 9 list, because I can't think of what the tenth one is. I blame work.
Okay, who's next?

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Passover fun...

Let's be honest. Passover and fun rarely go in the same paragraph let alone the same sentence. But last night, they did. I invited about six of my friends to join me in celebrating the first night seder. I spent most of the weekend cleaning and cooking in preparation. See? Here's what my dining room looked like Sunday night, before everyone arrived.
I have never laughed so hard in my life, during a seder. All I can say is: Cabbage Patch Kids, Evil Troll armies, outstretched arms, G-d v. He, and a darn stubborn bottle of wine. The chicken soup I made came out fantastic, despite not using a real chicken. The charoset? Fantastic. And I have so many leftovers, my fridge won't stop rattling. We even did the whole seder, frankly an unheard of concept in my family over the last few years. Low blood sugar and little patience has led to the 30 minute seder (and tonight might have even set a new record).
By the time everyone left, I was beyond exhausted, but at least I could eventually fall asleep knowing the night was a success.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

More Passover fun...

First off, I should apologize to Ms. K., and anyone else confused by my interchanging of words for Passover. Passover, or Pesach, are the same thing. I tend to slip into the Yiddish for it, simply because it's easier for me.
Anyway, on to the latest. I stopped by our local grocery store yesterday, to pick up a few more items for Monday and Tuesday. As part of the symbolism, we are required to have a Seder plate set up for both meals. The plate includes (I believe) six items, each one is supposed to mean something different. For example, horseradish is used to represent the bitterness of their lives as slaves.
One of the items needed is a shank bone. It represents the Paschal lamb, which in turn represents the blood that was placed around the doors of all the Jewish homes, so that the Angel of Death would know which homes to pass by (pass by, Passover, get it?) during the 10 plagues. So I went up to the meat counter, and asked for the bone. No meat, just the bone. Lucky me, I got a man about 20, who gave me a look that kind of said, "You're odd, but you're a customer, so I have to act like I get this question all the time." Up and down the cooler we walked, looking at different pieces of meat that I might be able to remove the bone from, without having to pay an arm and a leg.
Needless to say, after all that, I decided that I'm not purchasing a bone the size of my fist, just to put it on a plate to look at. Instead? I bought a turkey wing. I still have to pull off all the meat, and I'm feeling very wasteful. But it was the cheapest, and it'll have to do.
It's all about the symbolism, right?

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