Monday, February 28, 2005


Alas, no one has taken me up on my offer to post humiliating moments. Can't blame you. Doesn't matter. I have plenty of my own. (Sadly, what I posted was only the tip of a very large ice burg. The best way I can explain it is that Lucy Ricardo has nothing on me. It is why, dear friends, I have been forced to develop a very hearty sense of humor and of the ridiculous.)

Didn't get much accomplished this weekend. I'm hoping that now that they've upped my meds I'll be doing better in a few days. We'll see. Right now I'm definitely having symptoms which makes getting things done a little bit trickier than I'd like.

Had a good meeting with Cathy though. Got a lot more detail ironed out for the Antoine book. This is a good thing. Also, someone was selling a "hard back" copy of Hunter on E-Bay. This was news to us since Hunter wasn't supposedly PUT OUT in hard back. AND it had the old cover. Cathy did a little sleuthing. Apparently it was issued as part of a book club. So we're checking with the publisher to find out WAZZUP?

Cathy got her copy of the copy edits for Moon's Web. Mine haven't arrived yet. Apparently (judging from what Cathy says) they aren't all that extensive. But it's frustrating. Dang that mule! I think the delivery to Yo tuckered him out!

Yolanda, I hope that life down under is treating you well. Jim, I hope that the fact I haven't seen any posts from you for a couple days doesn't mean you've had a relapse or more bad luck. You're in my thoughts. Everybody take care of themselves.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Happy Sunday

Writing is trickier than it looks. (Of course I would say that, I'm a writer.) Seriously, though, if you write characters that are going to act like "real" people with "real" motivations they're going to want to wander off and do their own thing and not necessarily follow the plot you've mapped out for them. If you change one thing, it causes a domino effect. Very tricky. Makes consistency a real bear. Add on top of that multiple books in a series format and you have to keep track of weird little things that you can have forgotten about. ("Oh hell, what's the scent for fear again? How 'bout jealousy? Oh, and did you say what kind of car Tony is driving now?") You get the idea.

Don't get me wrong, I love it, but it's not easy.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

OK You Asked for It.

OK fair trade. You asked and I'll post. BUT, I want you to post in return. Seems only fair.

It was my first day of work for a new job, but I had a stomach virus. Still, if you don't show up for the first day, you don't GET a second day. I showed up.

Now the bathroom was down a LONG slickly tiled hall (length of about a football field) from the desk. The women's bathroom is to the left. There is a large "dressing room" area, then the stalls are around the corner.

I have just settled in, the boss hasn't shown up yet and WHAM.


Coming through the door it's Adams in the lead. Undo the belt. Two steps into the bathroom I've got the button undone and am working on the zipper. I drop trou as I turns the last corner and dive backwards into the first stall bent over double...


I grab the partition at the last possible instant and SWING into stall two.

You see apparently EVERYBODY knew that my new boss (Rachel) was claustrophobic. So badly claustrophobic that she couldn't stand to close the stall door. So EVERYBODY knew that stall one was Rachel's private turf so to speak.

So, as my very first act, on my very first day of my new job. I mooned my new boss.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Your Most Embarassing Moment

I believe I hold the world record for most embarassing work moment.

I'm not positive, mind you. But I've trotted the true story out there a few times, and nobody has beat it yet. The sad part is, I may even have the second place entry (or at least one of the runners up.) Yolanda -- if you're interested in the story, it's posted on Katie Mac's site on the thread about "What Happened to Me on President's Day" (or something like that). Jim, you could probably go there if you're a member, but it's kind of a "girlie" site so I doubt you are. ;)

Anyway, it got me thinking. If you're going to LIVE you're going to screw up sometimes. Since I don't just want to exist, I've had some wild and woolly experiences. And you know what -- I'm not sorry.


What Am I and Other Stuff

Friday again. Wow. (I know, I say that every week. But I really do mean it. Just add a few immovable deadlines to your schedule and it speeds everything up!)

OK, first thought -- If I was an animal instead of a person I would be: solitary mostly, VERY aggressive when necessary (but not when not), not very big compared to the other guys so I don't LOOK intimidating. Have you guessed yet -- Bobcat or lynx. Probably bobcat, because while the lynx is more solitary, they like the cold (which I SOOOOO don't), and they just aren't as aggressive (they'd be more likely to move if another cat came into their territory, whereas a bobcat has been known to drive a cougar out if they have to). I look like an ordinary housecat (only bigger and sturdier), but I am SOOO not a housecat.

I'm making progress on my "To Do" list. Slowly, but progress nonetheless. It is a cause for celebration in my mind.

Very little time this morning. I may pop back if things are slow at work (but they're not likely to be). SO, just in case - everybody have a great weekend.


Thursday, February 24, 2005

HI (waving happily)

Hi guys!

It's Thursday morning, do you know where you muse is? Mine's out there running around. I'm trying to get her to settle down long enough for me to do a little writing. We'll see. At least I woke up with ideas running through my head. (Sound of feet stampeding across hardwood.) I'm actually feeling really happy and goofy, so my thoughts seem to be leaning toward providing sound effects and sarcastic comments. I can SOOO do that.

Listening to Cheryl Crowe and trying to just get "in the zone," awake and capable of coherent thought. But its gloomy and rainy and my mind and body are both saying "don' wanna. Let me SLEEP da** it!"

On The Werewolf Cafe site they were talking about, if you could be a werewolf, what kind would you want to be. They were talking about different movie wolves. But frankly, given a choice, I would SOOOOO be Sazi, which is part of how the world came into being. Sort of a WHAT IF game. What if... shapeshifters really exist? What kind of culture would they have? What rules? Would they stay hidden? Why? And it just kind of goes on from there. The "What if" game gets me a lot of my book ideas.

When I was in high school one of the things I started doing (now remember folks, this was WAY in the dark ages before everybody got all new agey with totem animals, etc. [although the Native Americans were doing that, I was from central Illinois farm country and SO not exposed to that sort of thing.]) I started playing a psychology game I made up in my head (which I believe may already have been in use, but I sure didn't know it. )

If you were an animal instead of a person, what would you be? (Not what would you WANT to be, but what animal really and truly most exemplifies your actual personality.)

OK guys, I'm curious here. If you're willing, play along and post what and why in the comments. If you've been reading the blog steadily you might even make a stab at what I am. Tomorrow I'll write what I think.


Cie (still waving happily!)

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Hi Guys!

Got up early this morning and made real progress (I think) on the mss. Also found some paperwork I need to mail, which I will do at lunch today. I'm listening to my motivational CD's to try to get back into the game. I want to get things DONE and out of my way. SO... I'm off to do. Sorry this is so short, but I really want to kick butt. (Crossing toes: fingers are for typing).

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Distractions/Good and Bad

Good morning guys. Today's lesson (lol) is about distractions. Timmy, put down that comic book. Sarah, leave John alone!

Seriously, I'm writing Cat. It's going slow. And I'm having to fight some distractions. Some of them are good. Some of them are bad. It doesn't help that so much is going on right now. But that's how life is. It tests your mettle. Please consider my mettle as having been tested. I would say it's somewhat above average. Thank you.

ANYWAY, back on track. Two of the distractions that I hope to deal with today are:

A very short story that I want to get the bare bones of down before it leaves my head forever. (I forget ideas. I get too many of them. This one is way too cool to lose, but will be a real challenge to write and, alas, probably not very marketable).

Find some cartoons I drew/wrote back in HS. Why? Because MAD Magazine is actually looking. I don't KNOW that it's the right kind of humor. But I don't know that it's not. I've got to stop by the library and pick up a couple of copies of MAD to be sure. But the strip is kinda juvenile obvious humor with an edge. So... we'll see.

Then of course there's the filthy house and the taxes and laundry and...... (NO, I am GOING to write. I AM GOING TO WRITE)....

Later guys.

Monday, February 21, 2005

About Change

It's inevitable.
It's not always a bad thing.
It can be scarey.
It can be wonderful or awful.
It generally is what you make of it.

Change is inevitable. Every day there are so many things outside our control. Like it or loathe it, they impact our lives just as the actions we take change the lives of others. In a lot of ways living is a little bit like surfing. The goal is to stay on top of it, ride the wave, and have a good time while you're at it. Occasionally, however, you're going to "wipe out." It's ok. Just get back on the board and try again.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Self Confidence/Self Esteem

The problem with self confidence and self esteem are the first word of each. You can't GIVE someone self-confidence or self-esteem. Much as you try, it's theirs. You can be as supportive as you know how, and it really does matter, but it's not enough.

There is so much in this world that drags you down, so many people who really believe that they can make themselves look better by making someone else look bad. It doesn't, but you can't convince some people of that.

Raising kids is so terribly hard. Because you can see the best in them always, and they sometimes just can't. (Which is probably best since they'd turn into huge egomaniacs if they did). And you know that the current crisis won't last forever, because you've gone through it more times than you can count. But those were your crises, not theirs. It sucks. Because you'd really rather it *was* yours, because you don't ever want to see them hurting. Ever. But its their life. You can't live it for them. Wouldn't be good for either of you. And they wouldn't get the chance to learn the lessons they need to.

Had a shrink (more than one) but she told me that the big thing for a parent of an experiential learner is letting them have enough experiences to learn, but making sure that they aren't life threatening experiences.

ANYWAY, James is fine. I'm fine. It's just Sunday morning, and I've been up a few hours without eating. Low blood sugar makes me... thoughtful and just short of bummed. So I got myself a Pepsi and some breakfast. In about a half hour I'll be SOOOOO much better. But I figured I'd write down the thoughtful stuff while it was running through my head.

Have a good Sunday folks.


Saturday, February 19, 2005

On Being Hit by Lightning

OK, got a couple of questions about the lightning thing.

When I was 14 and moody as only a teenager can be. (Let's hear it for hormones guys.) I got into it with my mother... again. So I went for a walk to cool down. A whole day walk. (I really do have a temper.) During the course of said walk a really wicked storm came up. One of those nasty summer storms that breed tornadoes (and yes, I've been around more than one of those too, but not really bad ones -- whole different story thanks). So I ducked into an apartment complex doorway to wait it out. I had one of those "bubble umbrellas" (for those of you who aren't old enough to know what they are, they were clear, made of rubbery stuff and were really in a deep upside down U shape to cover most of the bod and had LOOOONG ferules.) ANYWAY, I waited until most of the storm had blown over and decided that, as bad as it was, my mom was probably worried about me. So I decided to walk across the street across the huge nearly-empty parking lot to the Baptist Church and use the phone.

(OK SIDE NOTE HERE -- I have since learned that immediately BEFORE the storm and immediately AFTER the storm are when lightning is the most dangerous. I didn't know that then. I was 14 and apparently, an idiot.)

So, I get half-way across the parking lot and WHAM. Felt like I got hit on the head with a ball bat. Staggered me and almost knocked me off my feet. I figured I must've gotten beaned by a wind blown tree limb -- but there was nothing on the ground. My head hurt like... well, like I'd been hit on the head with an oversized tree limb. So I made my way toward the church where a few stray Baptists who were hanging out after a wedding were acting a little weird and hysterical. I asked where the phone was, and was told there wasn't one. All they had was a pay phone. "Rats. Oh well..." I turned around and was getting ready to go, but one of them started pressing money into my hands and they all kept asking me if I was all right. "Fine. Why?" Nobody answered, they were just being kinda weird, so I went to the pay phone. When I set the umbrella down to call my mom I noticed that the ferrule (all 4-6 inches of it) was GONE and the rubber/plastic was singed from the point down a ways.

Anyway, had a headache for about three weeks, but it eventually went away. (There must be some significance to 3 weeks in my life. Most of my worst recovery periods from bad injuries run about 3 weeks). I still have some really weird side-effects that nobody really believes if I talk about them (until they see them, then they kinda weird out on me). HOWEVER, I found out that the CU Medical Center was doing a study on lightning victims and had a website. Guess what? My weird symptoms actually aren't all that unusual. WHOO HOO. (I am all in favor of things that tell me I'm not as nuts as most people think I am.) They had this survey with symptoms and it was like: Yes, yes, yes, no, no, yes, no, yes, yes yes YES. So I guess I'm a fairly typical lightning victim.

Oh and guess what else. Once you've been hit by lightning once, you're way more likely to be hit again. SO, if we're out in the rain, you might want to stay a little ways away from me and some of those golfers. Really.

Good Morning

It's Saturday again. Already. WOW. OK, I know I keep saying that, but this year has gone faster than I ever knew time could go. I'm not the only one who thinks so either. My son's been commenting on it, and he's only 21. I think it's just that there is SO MUCH going on all the time in my life that the time just gets gobbled up.

Today I've set fairly lofty goals for myself. We'll see if I can achieve them. (Wish me luck!) I've been limping along on Catherine going PAINFULLY slowly. It's moving along, but not nearly at the rate I'm used to. Usually the words just flow out of my head and through my fingers. The characters sort of grab me by the imagination and drag me through their world per force. Maybe it's because I've written Catherine in so many previous drafts (many of them truly awful) but she's approaching me much more cautiously this time. Too, little frustrations keep breaking my concentration, so that I never quite get my rhythm going. I would love to say that I can work under any conditions. I can't. I go wooka wooka if my desk gets rearranged and I can't find things. The office is my territory. If it gets disrupted even a little I get pissed and can't work.

Since Catherine is now Christmas themed (don't ask), I'm playing the Trans Siberian Orchestra's Christmas CD. I'm not big on Christmas, so it's just about the only Christmas music I truly love. I'm hoping it will help get me in the proper frame of mind. Wish me luck!

Hang in there Jim!


EDIT -- It's working -- and I'm less cranky. Let's hope what I'm getting on paper isn't total dreck.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Double Take on the Day

(Hums... double your pleasure, double your fun...)

Hi guys. I'm back. Had about ten minutes before I go to lunch. Not enough time to do anything productive, too much to sit on my hands. SO, you lucky devils get to hear from me again.

I am pondering the difference between small town life and city life. There are things to recommend each. Since I've lived in three different sized burgs I figure I have a little perspective.


+ negligible commute time
+ negligible traffic
+ generally lower cost of living
+ quiet.
+ lower crime rate.

- BORING. (Sorry guys, you can only make so much of your own fun. Trust me on this).
- Everybody knows EVERYbody's business. What they don't know, they guess. Badly.
- Not a lot of selection on available romantic partners. Which means that at a certain age the town starts to look like a square dance where half the people have switched partners.
- The sidewalks roll up and everything except the quickie economarts and fast food joints close at 9:00. Even fast food joints close at 11:00.


+ 24 hour pretty much everything.
+ Lots of cultural and fun opportunities.
+ WHOO HOO, let's hear it for local bookstores.
+ An airport.
+ Variety of restaurants of all economic levels.
+ The occasional people who really DON'T CARE what you're up to and who you're up to it with.
+ Actual diversity. Really.

- Traffic. Commuting. UGH.
- Noise, pollution, (and did I mention traffic?)
- Cost.
- Paranoia about potential romantic partners. (Nobody's more paranoid than a city dweller who has been repeatedly burned. Nobody.)
- Actual crime, including gangs, robberies, burglaries etc. (Drugs are everywhere, they don't really count.)

I enjoy both. I really do. The tricky part is, wherever you go, there you are. Most people bring their problems with them. And there are gossips in the city (they're just more spread out) and there is crime in the country too. But based on my experience (admittedly limited) both have their ups and downs.

Ah... ten minutes up. Lunchtime. Later.

Friday/You may want to skip this one after para. 1

Hi Guys! Jim, I left you a comment yesterday. I don't know why, but the comments seem a little more private than the actual blog, so you might want to pick it up. Again, I'm sorry.

It's Friday again. Amazing. Time is a blur. Every day is so busy that I look up and suddenly the whole week is gone. I'm not getting nearly as much done as I've been wanting to, but I'm doing the best I can. Sometimes that's all you get.

I was reading a thread yesterday in a group that I used to belong to but no longer participate in. In fact, it had gotten so VERY negative that I usually delete the e-mails without reading them. See, aggressively nasty people really p'o me. I know that there are people out there who just LOVE stirring up trouble. I don't personally choose to "hang" with them, either physically or online. Particularly if you can't reason with them.

ANYWAY, I decided to look and see if it had gotten any better. It hadn't. A couple of people are actively drooling at the prospect of going to a conference I'll be attending in St. Louis -- primarily to "show" the famous author that they got into a big flame war with. ARGH! That is so petty and so high school. (Which, by the way, is one big reason I graduated early. I couldn't STAND that kind of crap).

Cathy teases me sometimes that there are things about people I just don't understand. I ask her about them and she says she'll add it to the list of things "you'll never really get." It's a long list, folks. I'm not an innocent. I know a lot of things exist. I just don't understand how people get to such a negative place, or why they'd choose to stay there.

For example: When I was a teenager I DESPERATELY wanted a Camaro. It was the car of my dreams. When my best friend got one first, I really honestly wasn't jealous or pissed. There were a lot of Camaros in the world. Attagirl for her. I was waiting for mine. Never doubted it would happen. Just a matter of time and circumstance. When I got mine and it was exactly what I wanted nearly everybody TRIED to be happy for me, but they were catty and po'd. I didn't get it. If they want one (of whatever) - get one. Same with when I was dating the guy of my dreams (still love him after all these years, but in a different way. It was doomed, but it was the Romeo and Juliet tragic kind of doomed. I know now that long term, that's just a hard way to live). They didn't even particularly like him. They certainly didn't want him. But the fact that I had gotten exactly what I wanted drove them NUTS. I understand the concepts of envy and jealousy, its the practical aspects that confuse me. I mean I wanted it, I worked for it, I got it. Shouldn't that be encouraging? To me it says, if you want it, and are willing to work for it, you can get it too. (We're talking the car here, not the relationships. They're a whole different ball of wax.)

Another thing I don't get is "settling." If you really want something, it's the thing you want. Why settle for something you *don't* want because it's easier or cheaper? It's not what you want. It won't make you happy. You'll always be bugged, every time you look at it.

I'm not sure where this was going other than I believe people are entitled to be happy. I also FIRMLY BELIEVE that if you want someTHING enough to work hard and consistently for it, you can get it. Note that I said something and not someBODY. There's that whole free will thing going on. They get to choose too. Besides, too many people base their happiness on someBODY they think they have to have. Somebody important (don't have time to look for the quote book at the moment said approximately) "If you can't be happy alone, you're in bad company." Amen to that!

Ah well, rambled all over the place as usual.

Anyway, have a great weekend. Jim, hang in there! (assuming you read past the first para ;) And hang in there even if you didn't and never read this.)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Good News

Good News, we got nominated for another big award. The RIOs are international reviewer awards. The competition is really fierce! We're up against really big names in the business (Katic Mac, Feehan, Kenyon). Ironically, the same ones we're up against for the other awards. It's pretty consistently the same books.

Whether we win or not (and let's face it, that competition is TOUGH) the nomination is liable to help sales. That makes me very happy.

Having a tough time concentrating today. I've cut down on my caffeine AND need to refill my meds, so I am a serious space cadet. It'll get better.

Review copies of Moon's Web were shipped out yesterday. Contracts for the book deal should be arriving any day. Need to send back the contract on the mystery anthology. Life is busy -- but that's a good thing.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Strange Luck

Hi Guys. Middle of the week again already. SCARY.

I've been thinking. (Always dangerous). See, there's something about me you don't know. (Actually there are LOADS of things you don't know about me -- and you're better off for it no doubt). However, moving on, the thing I have been thinking about is "luck."

I have very strange luck.

My mother has said that if I ever wrote my biography they'd put it in fiction because nobody'd believe it.

My sister puts it more succinctly. Things happen to people. THINGS happen to you.

They're right. I have been hit by lightning. (Which has left some very interesting lingering side effects). I've had my kidney out. I've had enough medical weirdness to qualify for my own textbook... and very much more. But the thing about it is, that for every piece of BAD luck I get, I also get a piece of GOOD luck that's just a TEENY WEENY bit better, so that I wind up just a bit ahead of the game.

I joke about it. I say that in heaven, you're standing in line and an angel with the checklist is standing there and asks you if you want a nice, safe drive through the flatlands of Kansas kind of life; or an exciting, wild, roller-coaster kind of life. "Silly me, I didn't want to get bored."

Thus far, I haven't been. At all. Exhausted yes, but rarely ever bored. And I'm kind of looking forward to the future. I mean, according to studies, you have as much chance of winning a lotto jackpot as of getting hit by lightning (and a couple of other weird things, one of which I have also experienced), so I'm buying the tickets. If I win though, I think I should take a road trip instead of flying. See, the odds of winning a lotto jackpot are apparently also similar to having your plane hijacked. Knowing my luck...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Thanks Everybody

Thanks everybody for a great celebration. I appreciate it. The tagalongs and cheesecake are gone, but we have enough liquor left over for next time.

Seriously, I'm glad folks came by to read the blog and had enough of a sense of humor to participate.

Today is going to be a good day I think. It's sunny, clear, and the temperature is expected to be in the 70s. Can't beat it for mid-February.

I have a "to do" list that is as long as my arm, but I'm hoping to accomplish some of it today. I've been sleeping way too much to get much done during the week, but I'm feeling a little bit better. I think being in pain has been contributing to my being tired.

Anyway, everybody have a great day! I'm off to start writing.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day/Congratulations

OK - I'm not big on Valentine's Day. A guy on one of the boards I visit referred to it as a holiday designed for couples and if you're not a part of the coupleness you feel like some sort of a "defective" (I'm paraphrasing, but not by much). I'm not sure he's all that far off. Our culture tends to subscribe to what I refer to as "The Noah's Ark" principle of life.


Because 19 years ago today I went into surgery to take out the kidney that had become necrotic and was killing me. And I survived. (I hadn't really expected to -- the doctors didn't SAY I wouldn't, but they acted... nervous.) That's nineteen years I didn't expect to have. I got to see my boy grow up into a really cool man. I had approximately 6,937 days (I'm not sure how often leap year comes... so sue me) during which I have done such things as: Go on a train ride, travel by plane, take a cruise, move to Denver, move to Texas, write books that actually are on the shelves, raise a really cool person into adulthood, buy and sell houses, dance, sing, ride several different bikes, lose (and regain some of) enough weight to probably make a whole 'nother person, laugh, cry, and generally LIVE. It hasn't been perfect, but baby, it's been GOOD. So break out the virtual bubbly, lift your glasses, chomp down on that chocolate, we are celebrating!!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Writing Today

Hi guys! Writing today. Still a little sore and stiff. (Oh, who am I kidding, still REALLY sore and stiff). But hey, considering the German judge only took of .2 points for foot position (otherwise it was a perfect dive ;) ) I'm lucky to be moving around at all. Heck, I'm lucky I didn't break my foolish neck. Years and years of roller skating taught me how to fall (oh, and I drink my milk -- it does a body good!).

Anyway, James is at work, the cats are (thus far) behaving, so I am at the computer. I'm working on Cat. It's actually coming along fairly well. Not perfectly mind you, but better than I would've expected. It is, however, going to be weird writing a holiday themed book in the spring and summer.

I don't know if I posted this before, but the middle book for 2006 is not going to be Lucas after all (we'll tell his story, but it will be later). Instead, we'll be in Europe with Antoine (a cougar who is on the Sazi Council and is one of the infamous Monier siblings). The publisher really wanted the middle book to be a stand alone and not part of the Tony books or the Boulder pack series. So Cathy and I have been having a wonderful time in the mornings discussing all of the things I knew in my head about Antoine (before he was always a background character) and some things we hadn't previously explored. We've come up with the plot, a couple of serious subplots, the evil villain(s), and generally gotten it ready for her to start the first chapter. Cathy is going to be the primary on that one. I'm very excited about it, and since Cathy and I are both operating in the same reality I'm not having continual brain farts trying to travel between worlds. (Good thing too, that sort of thing makes me SOOOOO grumpy).

You'll get your first glimpse of Antoine in Moon's Web in August (Keep an eye out for him).

Jim, I hope Mardi Gras was a hoot. I read that it wasn't as crowded as usual because it came early in the year this year. If you get a chance, post a little comment about it. I'm hoping to go next year and would like to know the best things to do (and not). Yolanda, I'm hoping the remodel is moving along swimmingly. Everybody and anybody else who stops by, feel free to comment. I get lonely. :)

Later guys.


Friday, February 11, 2005

General Stuff

I am going to set a couple of appointments today. (1) With the chiropractor (explanation below); (2) with the eye doctor; and (3) with a regular doctor.

(1) I fell. Hard. Stupid, stupid accident. I was in one of those honkin' high trucks they seem to love in Texas, going to lunch with a friend. I'd opened the door and was turning to grab the handle and lower myself out -- BUT -- my heel got caught in the strap of my purse on the floor and pitched me through the open door down head first to the asphalt. Face didn't take the impact (YEARS of roller skating in my teens taught me how not to fall) but my momentum was too great for me to take it very well. Hips, knees and wrists are all bruised, everything got jarred. BUT nothing got broken. For an overweight middle-aged woman, that aint so bad.


(2) and (3). I've been REALLY clumsy. It's getting worse. I think I need (a) new glasses; and (b) a renewal of the flonase prescription so that my ears aren't constantly congested (used to have to do that for a while in Denver. I'm also having some symptoms that make me think my body's decided it's ready for a major change. Natural process. Kinda looking forward to it. But I need to check with the doc to make sure all's well.

None of this is serious really, but MAN am I sore and stiff. It amazes me. Little kids hurt themselves. I remember falling down, jumping from trees I'd climbed (up was always easier than negotiating down) and doing all the serious tomboy things I loved. I had constantly skinned knees (still have a layer of scars, which shows just how much scarring there was). But I do NOT remember it hurting for more than a day. Now it hurts, and it isn't for just a day!

Anyway, means that I will probably be spending a very quiet weekend with my aspirin and my computer. Which is really not a bad thing at all. I do love writing. I really, really do.

Did an informal survey here, and on a website I visit about people's views on psychic phenomena. Very interesting stuff. I have this weird dichotomy myself. I have actual evidence in my life of its existence, but because of what I had been taught (that it really didn't exist, and if it was, it was bad/evil) I have a really hard time acknowledging it. It's HARD holding two diametrically opposed opinions at the same time. But by golly if anybody can do it I can!

Later guys. Have a great weekend. (I can't believe I'm saying that again already!)

Hey Yolanda, if you get a chance, post pictures of the new tile!


Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Pursuit of Happiness

I recommend it, highly.

I just deleted a long rant. It was my usual "Play nice and don't pick on other people" rant. I deleted it because, if you read this blog you've read it before. And people who are angry and bitter are not going to change their behaviors just because I say so -- any more than the average teenager.

So, I deleted it in favor of The Pursuit of Happiness.


Travel -- I want to see (In no particular order):
Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, Europe, Hawaii, another cruise to Grand Cayman, MAYBE the Egyptian pyramids, an African safari, Stonhenge, the city in China with the drum temple (can't remember the name), the Great Wall of China, the remainder of the Berlin Wall, and so many, many more.

Attend Mardi Gras.

(In the future maybe I'll just list one per day.)

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

100 Things

OK, once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away I had to have my kidney taken out and it was bad enough that I thought I'd probably croak. (Obviously, I didn't, but the surgeon did say it was "the worst kidney I've taken out of a living human being.") This is a long and boring story all by itself, which I'll skip for now. ANYWAY, I had a long recovery time and a lot of time to think. One of the things I thought about was if I have 100 things I want to do/accomplish before I die, and I live the average lifespan (estimated by me at that point to be about 75) then I would need to do 2 per year to get everything done before I was pushing up daisies. So I made "THE LIST." 100 Things I Want to Do Before I Die. And I started ticking them off.

I have not done 2 per year. Some years I've knocked off whole bunches. Sometimes I've gone for years without doing anything I wanted. (The Dark Ages which we also won't talk about).

But an interesting thing has happened. My 100 things keep changing. Things that looked spectacularly cool to a 25 year old have NO appeal to a 45 year old. Things I wouldn't have even considered suddenly come to mind.

Another interesting thing (at least to me). Listing my 100 things made me THINK about what I actually want, got the juices flowing, and got me moving in the right direction.

In listening to my motivational CDs (I do this quite a bit when I start getting tired and/or depressed) they said that a study was done of a particular generation of Harvard graduates comparing those with written goals to those without. Apparently only 10% had written goals. Fair enough. But interestingly some years later (I think 20) they followed up with the guys from the study. Those with written goals had mostly achieved them and moved on, AND (drum roll) the ten percent with written goals were financially worth more than the other 90% combined. The theory is that writing things down has power and tells your mind that you mean business.

Cool. Glad my mind was discerning enough to realize that some of the goals weren't as serious as others. (I.e., that partying backstage with my favorite hair metal band did not rate the same level of energy as becoming a multi-published author of book length fiction. ;) )

Anyway, going to Mardi Gras was one of the things on my goal list that I haven't done yet. (Jim, I'm a little jealous here, but maybe next year). But it made me think that perhaps, at this stage of the game, it's time for me to make my new list and start checking those puppies off. Yolanda, since one of my wishes is to go to Australia, will you at least have lunch with me when I do?

Toodles. I'm off to write and make my lists.


PS. I got rested, I read a bit, and wrote a bit. Taxes, alas, will have to wait until this Saturday. (SIGH) Thanks to those of you who asked.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

C'est Tres D'omage

If I recall my junior high French (basically this comment came from the teacher after I flubbed yet another quiz) this comment roughly translates to "It's too bad." But I could be wrong.

I have two possible blogs running through my mind today. Totally incompatible. Weird. One is light and fluffy -- about why I dragged a handbasket on my tour of Grand Cayman. (I have a photo of me standing in front of the City Sign in Hell, Grand Cayman standing in my handbasket. I just had to "Go to Hell in a Handbasket." Had to. No choice. My sister fully believed me to be insane. She may even be right. But I have the picture on my buffet with all the family photos to prove I actually did it!

The second blog is a serious "On My Soapbox" authority kind of thing. Not nearly so much fun, but something I need to get off of my chest.

So, don't say I didn't warn you, as I'm unloading it below.

Really, you have time to turn back. Now is your best chance.

You don't want to read this and be grumpy all day do you. Turn around. Close your eyes and hit exit with your mouse!


Life is like a grocery store. (OK run with me on the metaphor here. It's a little weird, but I have a point, however dull, to make). You choose what you want, check out the price, and decide whether or not you can afford it. If you can, good. If it's too expensive, pick something else.

More and more I keep seeing people who want "instant" everything. Or who think they have "paid their dues" once, so that should cover everything forever. Sorry, renewal dues, every year. Sometimes even every day. I got really REALLY pissed when someone said to me "Well that's fine for YOU..." EEEEEWWWWW, blood pressure rushed up into stroke territory.

Now this isn't just one person, it's almost a cultural epidemic. It's as if prime time television has trained everybody to expect that any problem, no matter how complex, should be able to be solved to everybody's satisfaction within the length of time of a 2 hour movie. It doesn't work that way. Some things are irretrievable. Some things take years for folks to recover from. (And yes, there are some things that can be resolved in a couple of hours).

Anyway, Cathy and I have recently achieved a certain amount of success. More to the point, it's (YIPPEE) growing. So a few folks have been talking to us about our "overnight sensation." Guys, this "overnight" success has taken about 10 years for Cathy and longer than that for me. It's involved work, study, failing, picking ourselves up and starting again, sacrifice, etc.

So when I was talking to a friend of ours I talked about "the tough questions." These are the questions you have to ask yourself if your serious about "making it" at something... anything much. You have to answer yourself honestly, even if you don't ever tell anybody else. (I'm putting some of my answers here.)

1) What do I want? REALLY.
(I want to be a multi-published author of book-length fiction making a lot of money.)

2) What are you willing to do to get it?
(1) get in a partnership with a business whiz who I respect, (2) relocate to Texas, (3) get up at
4:30 or 5:30 in the morning to write when everybody's asleep... etc.

3) What AREN'T you willing to do?
Completely ruin my health, ruin my relationships with my family, God, and my friends, do
anything immoral or illegal.

4) What are you capable of?
Consistent hard work, creativity, determination, planning, study and compromise.

5) What AREN'T you capable of? What are your limitations?
OK, the body isn't going to be doing 20 hour days any more. Ever. Isn't going to happen.
I'm not capable of blowing off legitimate requests from my family, so sometimes family stuff
may get in the way of business stuff. When I'm stressed out of my gourd I don't write well at
all.... (There are lots more of these.)

6) Can you work around #5? How? What are your plans? Because if you don't plan, it aint-a-
gonna happen. Sorry.

That's the basics. If you can be completely honest with yourself on those you'll have a pretty good idea whether or not you're really willing to make the effort to make your dream a reality. If not, don't kick yourself about it. Most people aren't. I discovered that because of my nature I'm not good at maintaining an intimate relationship AND pursuing the life I want. That doesn't mean I don't WANT one. But I don't maintain one worth a damn when I'm working, and I haven't managed to find a man who's willing to do the maintenance when I'm preoccupied. There may be one out there. I just haven't found one. Then again, I've been happy alone and haven't been looking. Either it will happen or it won't. But I'm not making a plan, and so I don't expect it. A book I read said. "You can have ANYTHING you want, you just can't have EVERYTHING you want." I think that's more true than most of us want to believe.


Saturday, February 05, 2005

Cats and Love

I love my cats. I really do. And they love me too. I know this for a lot of reasons. Most of them are good and involve snuggling and purring. Some other ways cats show affection, however, are less of a joy to me. These include:

Hi Mom, I killed something and I want to share. Aren't you proud! (not inside, thank goodness).
Mom, I want you to pay attention to me NOW, so I'm going to walk on the keyboard and make the computer make funny noises.
Hi Mom, I want to sniff you and want you to sniff me HERE.
Hi Mom, I want to show how much you mean to me, so rather than leave the room I'll go to the nearest litter box and make the maximum stinky mess I can.
Hi Mom, I want to be with you, so I'll burst open the bathroom door in front of all the company.

"What," you ask, does this have to do with writing. Not a darned thing. But some of it is covered by what has been happening with the little darlings this morning while I've been trying to write. And no, shutting them out of the office doesn't work. Unless, of course, I loved the sound of wailing animals acting like they're undergoing torture who will leave little "presents" for me outside the door if I keep them out.

And people wonder why I have a hard time getting things done.

Friday, February 04, 2005


It's Friday again. Can't say as I'm sorry, but the week went by in a blur. As a matter of fact the last few MONTHS have gone by that way. So much to do, so little time. Most of the time I'm busy and happy. Could use more rest and more alone and "down" time. Not likely to get it for a couple more months until James has gotten his own place again. I love having him around, but living alone is just more quiet than living with somebody else. I really need quiet. It's when I'm alone in my head that I can actually hear "the muse" and play the "what if" games that lead to story ideas. I know other people who don't require that. But I pretty much do. I guess its that whole introvert/extrovert thing. Introverts take their energy from being alone. Extroverts get it from interaction with others. Takes both kinds to make a world. I know which kind I am.

Cathy and I had one of our really good planning sessions yesterday. It didn't start out well, because I'd thought we'd come up with one thing the day we talked, she thought we'd agreed on another (doesn't it just figure - we both thought our ideas had "won" [grin]) When we found out that the other person was still of the original opinion, we started over.

(She hates it when I use the word hate about an idea, and I know it, but sometimes that's the only way I can make sure she understands that I REALLY AM INVESTED in not using it. And sometimes I just really DO hate an idea. That's all right. She hates a lot of mine too.) And usually at least one idea I really hate makes it in to every book (and vice versa). The fine art of compromise at work. So, anyway, I was already tired (and the day had just started) had endured one of those sequential household vortexes that suck away time and stress you out. (Cie vs. the sewing machine for 3 rounds. Cie won. The sewing machine was defeated. The new and reigning champion over reluctant household appliances...[pumps fist in victory while wearing a shiny satin robe with "The Irish Mother" emblazoned on the back] but I digress, a lot).

So we walked and talked (over the sound of the floor polisher at the grocery store). But the ideas really started flowing after I actually got some food in the system and the body decided to let the brain wake up. Over the course of a couple dozen e-mails we hashed out WHY we'd suggested what we had. Why we did and/or didn't like it. How we would be better off with using THIS as a main plot point and THAT as a subplot and "OOOOH what if we?" the other thing. Cathy teased me a little via e-mail about how "just feed her a little and all heck breaks loose!" Ta dah! A plot. Subplots. Characters with actual motivations. An EEEEVIL villain (who, of course, doesn't think he/she is evil at all and has his/her own motivation.) All in all, a great day's work. Whoo hoo!

I'd reached a sticking point on the Cat book: figured out a solution and had started to write through it. Then life intervened. I don't know about the rest of the world, but I get tired of life intervening. Yes, I can triumph as "The Irish Mother," but I occasionally wish I could accomplish what I want without such a battle. Anyway, I'm going to take some time to read this weekend, but I'm also going to WRITE on CAT and get past that da**ed section done and move past it.

(Oh, by the way, that passage was again interrupted when Tips pulled over the pole desk lamp and "The Irish Mother" had to get cats from the room, put on her shoes, and sweep up the broken glass from the bulb that had scattered all over the office).

I have four goals for the weekend:

1) Rest
2) Get my tax stuff organized and faxed to the accountant (HUGE job).
3) Read
4) Write that section on Cat.

There are allkinds of "life" things that are also calling themselves to my attention. But those are the 4 biggies.

Wish me luck.


OK deleted a litle whining and NOW I have a question for folks. Yes or no, do you believe in psychic phenomena? Which one(s)?

Telepathy (talking head to head)
Telekinesis (throwing stuff around with the power of your mind)
Empathy (not just I feel FOR you, but I actually feel what you're feeling and STOP IT).
Precognition (seeing the future).

Anything else you can think of. I'm really interested, so please make some major comments. Of course, Jim's on vacation, but maybe after Mardi Gras he can get back to me on it. And who knows, maybe somebody new will comment too.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

I Like Quotes

I like quotes. Little quips from extremely clever people that are both memorable and (hopefully) apt. Judging from some of the things she said, Dorothy Parker was a HOOT. John Lennon apparently had a wicked sense of humor and a serious dark streak. I have said a few clever things, but I suspect the only person who'll be quoting me down the road is my son. Things like when I was trying very hard NOT to swear when describing to a friend what happened when a jerk mechanic tried to cheat me (Little pitchers have BIG ears and her little darlings were in earshot):

"He made some disparaging remarks about my probable parentage and heritage, so I made a suggestion as to an uncomfortable anatomical impossibility he could perform with the car."

Or in another instance how I told someone "Where to go, how to get there, and what to do when they arrived."

(NOT that I have a temper. Certainly not. Not ME.)

Like I say, the only person quoting me is liable to be my son James. But, hey, at least HE finds me funny. I really do love that kid.

Everybody have a great day.


Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Getting Back in the Groove

When I'm tired and weary it's really hard to get in the groove. But I've found that if I do sit down and write, once the ideas get flowing, the pain dissipates (or I'm better able to ignore it), and the energy flows in with the creativity. Writing is truly my joy.

Cool thing happened yesterday. I don't know if it's the kind of thing that would impress anybody else, but it was a big thing for me. You see, I got my tax form from Writer's House (our agents), that shows the income we made from writing the books last year. Looking at the amount I realized that writing was truly the second most significant income I made (and darned near the first!). And THIS year, there's a very good chance that it will be my primary income source.
DRUM ROLL -- Writing has become my career! Not just a hobby. Not just a "what I wanna be when I grow up" but a real, honest to God job. (I mean that in the best possible way). Sometimes I have to step back from the day-to-day grind long enough to take a real look at how far I've come. It's like going on a long hike up a mountain. Each step doesn't seem like much, but when you look down from the destination you realize just how significant the distance really was and that each step DID matter.

I think that's the hardest thing to get across to folks who seem mired in the negative. It's not an overnight thing. You don't just wave your magic wand and have the "Great American Novel" magically appear fully formed on your hard drive. Instead, it's doing the little things every single day and watching them add up. Some days it's a paragraph, some days it's 20 pages, but if you do SOMETHING that moves you forward you'll eventually get a 'finished' product. (THEN you get to start editing. [grin]) I know a lot of folks who say they want to be writers and how "lucky" I am, but they don't think they'll be able to write unless they can do it on perfect equipment, full time, with no distractions. Sorry to say, if you're waiting for the perfect time, you're liable to be waiting forever. We're how many books in and I still have a full-time job as a legal assistant to keep the bills paid and my health insurance, and no interruptions? In my dreams!

OK, I did this long rant that I just deleted. Because I'm actually in a good mood, but occasionally I wind up on my soap box by accident and you SOOOOO don't want to hear it.

Gotta get to work.



Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Hi Guys.

Hi guys. This will be very short. It's cold, wet, and I'm having some serious symptoms. But a friend back in Denver just wrote that she got engaged and (surprise! just found out) is expecting twins. I'm very happy for her! Cathy and I also may have some more good news coming up in the next week or so. (LOVE to keep having good news to share). So hang in there. Don't give up on the old blog.

Hope you're all doing better.