Wednesday, August 29, 2007

They cleaned my carpets...

Every year when I renew my lease they offer to clean my carpets. Since I'm no dummy, I take them up on their kind and generous offer. They were supposed to clean them while I was off on our family trip, but I came home to bone dry carpets, and no sign they'd been recently washed despite the fact I moved all my chairs and moveable furniture into my kitchen.
So I called up and nicely enquired as to the reason (we'll gloss over the fact I called when I'd had about a 2 hours worth of sleep total thanks to the teenager kicking my seat the whole flight home). Thankfully my managment staff likes me, and rescheduled the carpet cleaning to today. So I came home to clean, wet carpets.
Not damp. Wet.
Wet to the point where I put on my slippers to avoid moist feet, only to slide through my kitchen and almost land on my tush as soon as I stepped on the linoleum because they were so wet.
But they are clean...and I can't argue with that.


Monday, August 27, 2007


Why is it that when I return from my Tiara's meetings, I always feel like I should thank them for their time? These gals are some of my dearest friends, and they understand a part of my life that only a few can grasp with any real understanding. Like me they live on a regular basis with their characters floating threw their heads. Like me they struggle with how to make the next book better, bigger, stronger, etc. Like me, they fight to find the time and energy to write.
So when we all get together and share our stories, whether of our writing journey or of our lives, I feel like I need to thank them for those stories. For including me in their lives.
Tonight is no exception. Tonight I left our gathering excited by our conversations, and by the help I received in how to pull my characters back from the corner I stuck them in. But I also left with a bit of sadness, almost a let down. It was over. Sure I'd see most (if not all) of them at the next Eastside meeting in two weeks, but it wouldn't be the same. Was it melancholy? PMS? I really can't say, but part of me wanted to run back to Christina's house and gather everyone back up. (Of course, Christina was probably already asleep by the time this hit me, so maybe not such a good idea.) I wanted to pull together the laughter, the energy, the push I get from these gals, bottle it and stick it on a shelf to pull out for those frustrating times.
Of course, now I'm home and that desperate urge has faded somewhat. Still, thank you. Thank you to my girls, and to the rest of you who give me so much on a regular basis. I may not say it often enough, but the sentiment is there.

Labels: ,

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Book updates...

As we close in on the end of August, and the end of summer but we won't talk about that, I thought I'd update you on a few books I've read recently. Not to mention an update on my own book.
Devil May Cry by Sherrilyn Kenyon. What can I say? This book represents all that I love about Sherri's writing. More secrets are revealed about Ash and his family. Simi returns in all her BBQing glory. Not to mention we finally get the full story on Kat, our resident mystery lady. This book was definitely worth the wait.
Then we have Force of Nature by Suzanne Brockmann. I cried, that's how good this book is. Suzanne is the queen of the secondary plotlines, and secondary romances. She created a cast of characters so true to life, you feel like you know them all intimately. Which is why when she introduced Jules Cassidy so many books ago, we all fell a little bit in love with him. In a strictly platonic way, of course. I'm sure there are some out there who will argue with Jules's story, and even try to say it's not romance, and they'd be wrong. His story was beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
I also picked up the first in Christina Dodd's new paranormal series, Scent of Darkness. In this book a very real battle between Good and Evil wages on, with our hero and heroine caught in the middle. Christina's books never disappoint, and this book is no exception. I even had to rush out to get book 2, Touch of Darkness.
As for my own book, sorry I haven't updated the meter recently. I'm actually a fair bit further on, but I'm struggling with finding the will to sit down and write the last few scenes. Not sure if it's fear of ending the book, or a case of my personal life interfering with my creative one. Either way, I fully intend to finish before school starts...which is in just over a week. Yikes! Guess I better stop blogging and get to work, huh?

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Human Nature...

It really is human nature to want to blame someone when things go badly. We don't want to believe that they can simply happen, without anyone being at fault. We don't want to acknowledge that it's okay for something to not work.
But the truth is, sometimes things just don't work out. They aren't meant to be, whether for a time or forever. And we have to accept that reality, whether we want to or not. We can try to fight, we can try to force things to change, but in the end Doris Day had it right.
"Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be."

See? This is why I shouldn't blog past 10pm. I get all philosophical on you. I think it's best if I just go to bed now.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hurricane Erin...

Sorry for the gap, ladies and gents. I just returned yesterday from a family trip to Hawaii. 14 of us gathered to help celebrate my grandmother's 75 birthday. The good news? I managed to escape without any embarrassing questions about boyfriends, when I'm getting married, or providing great-grandbabies.
Thank goodness.
Of course, if you've paid attention to the news, or the Weather Channel, you already know this was no simple vacation. No, not my family. We like to throw a measure of danger in, when we can. So here you go, a list of our "adventures": narrowly missed Hurricane Flossie (which went over the Big Island where we stayed, just in the south end), Tsunami warnings thanks to the earthquake in Peru, an earthquake in Hilo (on the other side from where we stayed)...I'm sure I'm missing other natural disasters.
Then there was the getting stuck in an elevator with my cousin. We left Mom & Co. in the lounge to head back to our rooms on the other side of the hotel. Since we were on the 5th floor, we took the elevator. It stopped at the third floor to let off one lady, then continued up to 5. I think. It stopped at 5 but the doors didn't open. Then it moved, maybe back down to 2? Again the car stopped but the doors remained shut. We went up and down for what felt like 5 minutes, trying to call various relatives, before I found the phone box on the elevator. At this point my poor cousin was curled up in the fetal position rocking back and forth. Thankfully they got a maintenance man up to us pretty quickly, but we still don't really know what happened. Needless to say, we took the stairs up after that.
I promise, there were good times too...but those will have to be another post.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Day 9 - aka our last day...

Despite what the time stamp on my photos says, our last day was July 4th, which in Israel isn't really considered a holiday. Can't blame them, really. Why celebrate an American holiday? Our last day took on an "independence" theme in honor of the event. In the morning we visited Old Jaffa, an neighborhood of Tel Aviv known for it's art galleries. The art has expanded past the walls of the individual galleries, and spilled out into the streets.

After our gallery wanderings, during which a friend and I managed to get lost in the not-so nice section of Jaffa (yeah, don't really know how it happened. We were trying to find the meeting place. Good thing we left extra early.), the group visited Dizengoff House, also known as Independence Hall. This one-time home belonged to the first mayor of Tel Aviv. It was from this house on May 14, 1948 that David Ben Gurion announced the establishment of the State of Israel.
His radio broadcast was heard around the world, and celebrations took place all over: New York, Detroit, L.A.
Then it was on to lunch, finishing packing and relaxing before our final party and flights home.
And party we did. We partied all night long...or at least until the buses came to pick us up for the ride to the airport. We had our own personal 4th of July celebration, complete with fireworks and dancing.

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Day 8 - onwards to Tel Aviv

Day 8 dawned with The Mutt Bus splitting up for the day. Members of our group from San Diego and Los Angeles went off to meet with their Federations' sister cities. The rest of us visited a place called Suzanne's House, a program helping at-risk and abused teens. In this program they are taught artisan skills, as well as business and management skills. They make some of the most beautiful glass work I've seen. They make beads, plates, jewelry, and a ton of other stuff.
After our visit, we debriefed on the trip (think group therapy session), and found lunch. Yes, ladies and gents, more food. Can you tell how much Steve and Andrea enjoyed lunch?
Then it was on to a walk through the shouk, a farmer's market in the middle of town. It reminded me a lot of Pike's Place Market, actually. Well, except even noisier.
From there we were back on the bus to head to Tel Aviv, one of the more modern cities in Israel. Reminds me a lot of New York City actually.
On the way we had our requisite Potty Break, but this time our guide and driver made sure to find a very special place. I give you, The Elvis Cafe. I even convinced our guard to take a picture with me. And before you ask, yes we are both standing on level ground. And no, neither of us are wearing heels.

Labels: ,

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Day 7 - Yad Vashem

I know you're all hoping for witticisms here, but sadly I'll have to disappoint. I also have no photos to share, as I could not bring myself to turn on my camera this day.
Yad Vashem is the Israeli Holocaust Museum. It is chilling in the telling of the story of 6 million men, women and children murdered. The last time I visited Israel, I barely made it through the door without breaking down and spent the rest of the visit on the bus, waiting for my family.
For this visit, I challenged myself to see how far I could make it through. I spent much of the morning mentally preparing myself to face the devestation and horrors to come. Like many Jews, I've grown up with the stories. My dad's parents were survivors. They met in a displaced persons camp in Austria after the war. Growing up, my bubbe shared her stories, believing that only through telling these tales could we hope to avoid repeating the past.
It was with these stories rolling through my head that I approached the museum. With the support of several friends I made it through the two memorials set up at the beginning of the museum (weeping, true, but I made it). Surprisingly, by the time I entered the museum proper, I had calmed down enough to view it from an academic standpoint.
That being said, I think I may have set a landspeed record for how fast a human can move through the exhibits
The day became one of reflection to me. Many of the survivors have died in recent years, as their generation grows older. It begs the question: Who will be around to tell their story? Who will bring the human face back to the academic knowledge? Who will continue to say, as we do every year on Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day), "Never again,"?
The answer is all of us. It is up to us all, regardless of religious background, to remember what has happened and to do everything within our powers to keep it from happening again. My bubbe recently asked me to write her story one day. I don't know that it's a story I'm ready to tell, but it's one that has to be written. One day I'll put fingers to keyboard and share her voice with my family, and maybe even the world.
Until then, I can only pray and remember those who are lost.

Labels: ,

Day 6 - Diner and Dancing at the Israel Museum

Following our fun at Masada and the Dead Sea, we returned to our hotel to dress for dinner. Our group had rented out the Israel Museum for the evening. Too bad they forgot to let the weather goddesses know. Our outdoor dinner was made way less comfortable by all the wind. At one point several people at my table had pulled the tablecloth up to cover their shoulders. Isn't Israel supposed to be warm? What in the world??

After dinner our entertainment came in the form of a private concert by the band Ethnix. Considering I couldn't understand a word they sang, the closest description I can come up with is "Israel's answer to U2". The place was rockin'! Once again I got to dance and enjoy the evening with some friends I made earlier in the day.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Here's your proof...

that Romance Writers aren't all sitting at the computer in their pajamas, eating bonbons...Check out the Rita ceremony Red Carpet here. My only question? How did they miss Christina and Kelli?

And if you dig further into their website, you can find interviews with several fabulous writers.


I have a problem.

A big that I know many of you share with me.
Hello, my name is Erin, and I'm a book-a-holic.
I just checked my TBR pile, and not including books that I should read but will probably never get to, I have 27 books waiting to be read. Three more I've started and would like to finish. One that I'm actively reading.
And this doesn't even include the books I bought for my class that I should try to read.
You'd think with all these books to read, I'd be all set...but I'm not. This month alone three books come out by some of my favorites:
  • Force of Nature by Suzanne Brockmann
  • Devil May Cry by Sherrilyn Kenyon (This is one of those times I wish I still lived in Michigan. She's having a Midnight release party at the Borders Headquarters Store in Ann Arbor on Monday night.)
  • Blacklisted by Gena Showalter

*sigh* I really have a problem.

Labels: , , , ,