Monday, November 30, 2009

Miss Kitteh Got the Joke.

Okay guys. The trivia this morning was a joke/test, to see if y'all were paying attention. Miss Kitteh was the first to get the joke so BIG good on her.


Monday Trivia

Good Morning!

I've been sleeping much more and much more soundly since the time change. Don't know why. Just have. It complicates things. Less awake time isn't in the schedule. LOL. Inkspot the Infamous is demanding attention. That's complicating things too. He is a very persistent cat.

ANYWAY, on to the trivia. For five points (because it aint a gonna be so easy).


First name of director whose middle and last names are Ford Coppolla.
First name of Sam's sidekick on Quantum Leap.
First name of the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
First name of Agent Dunham on Fringe.

And what doggie name it spells.

Answers to .

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial (Delayed)

Okay, I've been spending the day writing a YA that is a lot of fun but is seriously hormone fueled, high-octane angst. To get my head into this I have been watching the teen drama oevre on Hulu. The OC, One Tree Hill, Everwood, Dawson's Creek, etc. This has made it very hard to shift my head to wrap it back around the serial. But I will try.


Ohmigod. What to do? "I'm fine. Really." Jen turned to smile at Bonnie. Euphoria was beginning to bubble up within her. It was real. It was really, really, real. Ohmigod. OH MY GOD!

She stuffed the tickets into her purse and pushed the cart out to the car. She needed to keep quiet about this until she could turn in the ticket. The bank wasn't open. If it was she'd be down there in a heartbeat, putting the slip in her safe deposit box. But it was closed until tomorrow. So was the lottery office. Where was she going to hide it where no one would look for it.

She was almost to the vehicle when it hit her. THIS was what they were looking for. Somebody already knew. Had to. But who? I mean, the pool of people wasn't endless.

Oh shit.

What was she going to do?

She practically threw the groceries into the car, her mind racing wildly. They'd already searched the house. They wouldn't look again. Would they? Would they think she had it with her. Oh God, was she even safe?

"Calm down." She told herself as she climbed behind the wheel, immediately hitting the door locks. "Calm. Everything's fine. Jake was with you in Hawaii. He's at the house now. He's a cop. You can trust him. Just breathe. Take it easy. You can't drive when you're like this."

She forced herself to take slow, deep breaths. It helped. She wasn't exactly calm, but at least she was capable of driving. She'd drive home, explain everything to Jake. Tomorrow she'd make the long drive to the Lotto office at the capital, cash in her ticket, and start her new life.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Status Check

Hi Guys!

Hope you all had a happy holiday. I did nothing and did it vigorously. Now I am rested, well-fed, and ready to attack the future. RAWR.

This morning I have already done the first draft of a short story for a contest. 1500 words maximum. VERY short. Worked hard to get the entire mystery in and solved. Hope it turned out okay. All I can do is polish, submit, and hope. Just like everybody else.

Today I'm going to work on a second story, by which time I should be warmed up enough to start on the next book. I hope. I still need to exercise, do some e-mails, thank you cards, and pay a couple of urgent bills. Then there's the housework. But I feel pretty good about things because I HAVE been sending out applications. I am feeling physically better, and I am writing

SO, how are you all doing?

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Good Morning All!

Happy Thanksgiving!

One year ago today I was flying out to Denver for a job interview. Wound up that I didn't want the job, and I stayed here another year. I'm thankful I didn't take it. But at the same time, I'm still in Texas, which is a bit frustrating. Still, I do believe that things work out the way they are supposed to. There's a reason for everything. I just don't know what it is.

SO, TEN THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR (because if I go for more than 10, I'll wind up droning on forever, and I do want to do something besides post on Thanksgiving.)

1. God.
2. My son and the rest of my family.
3. My friends (including all the four-legged friends and 1 bird who've ever lived with me).
4. My home.
5. This beautiful earth. (This includes things like starry nights, sunsets, the sound and smell of rain.)
6. My writing career.
7. Laughter.
8. Music.
9. My 6 senses. (Yes, I said six. Don't ask.)
10. The talents I have been given.

Obviously I could go on forever. I have that much to be grateful for. But I'm stopping here.

I wish you all joy and success over the next year. Be happy, be well. When times are hard friends and family can be the rope that pulls you through.

Best always.

Cie/C.T. Adams

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Morning Trivia

Okay guys, this is a little different. You want your 5 points, you'll have to pull a couple of rabbits out of your hat. :)

Three questions. In order. First letter of first word of each spells out the trivia answer. We're featuring

JoAnne Baldwin's career is as a ____________________. (From one of author Rachel Caine's series.)

The first name of the were-bear who worked as Charles bodyguard. (From our Sazi series.)

Name of the Kingdom in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. (by C.S. Lewis.)

As always, answers e-mailed to with TRIVIA in the re.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday (ahem, not-so-morning) Breakfast Serial

Hi Guys. Sorry I'm late.


Jen was almost out the door when the thought hit her.

Nah. Couldn't be.

Could it?

I mean, she'd bought a ticket.

But, no. No way. Bonnie knew her numbers. She'd have looked, would've known.

Still . . . it wouldn't hurt to check. I mean, the ticket was right there in her wallet.

Apologizing to the person behind her, she turned her cart around and made her way back to the checkstand by the service desk where Bonnie was waiting, grinning, extending the little slip of red and white paper that held the winning numbers.

Feeling sheepish, she took the paper from her and glanced down. One quick look would tell her for sure.

She stared. Stunned.

No. She must be reading it wrong. Bonnie must've run her a new ticket for the next drawing or something.

She looked more closely. No. It said "Winning Numbers" and the date from last Saturday clear as day, right at the top.

She read the numbers again, her breath growing ragged.

"Honey, are you all right?" Bonnie looked up from the customer she was assisting. "You don't look soo good."

Jen didn't look up. She couldn't tear her gaze away from the slip of paper in her hand. "Oh. . . my . . . God."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Status

I'm here. A little flaky, a little tired. But I'm hanging in there. Trying to get the house clean and relax enough that I have enough brain cells working to write. We'll see.

Hope you are all doing well. Thank you to everyone who has been encouraging. I'm going to keep moving forward. Hope you are all doing well and are happy. Be sure to post.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled program.

See you tomorrow for the serial. :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009



Okay, 4:18 a.m. and I'm up and at it.

Had things I was going to do yesterday that got eaten by the relocation crisis. BUT I got a call on a job. And in order to GET the job I had to take one of those pre-employment computer tests at the branch office in a town about an hour/hour and fifteen minutes from here -- after the day job. Which pretty much shot my evening.

I took it. And I have NO idea how I did. I hate those kinds of tests. It's all subjective, and depends a great deal on the rules of the company. (Which of course I don't know, not having been hired and trained. LOL) Questions with answers like "offer a discount" may not work if the employees don't have the authority to offer discounts. And in jobs where there are no stated positions do you count your raises as promotions? UGH.

But I took it. And if I did well I have a good chance of getting a job. So fingers crossed, send up your prayers.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Ah, job hunting long distance in a recession era. Aint it grand (NOT!).

Anyway, got up at 4:00 and came in early to send out applications. Got a few done.

May I say that the whole apply over the internet thing is definitely a mixed blessing?
Good -- I can apply from home or office in Texas without having to actually haul my butt up to Denver.
Bad -- They don't give you any room for comments or individualization and it is impersonal as hell.

I have a very colorful and complicated life. My resume is a little odd-looking because of it. But when there's no room to comment, it's hard to explain that "Yes, the dates overlap. I always worked at least two jobs and wrote books at the same time. I'm an insomniac."

ANYWAY, I hope I hear. Because I heard from my landlady, and the home where I've been living may not be available much longer. CRAP.

Keep me in your prayers!


Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Trivia & Posse Stuff

Okay, I'm going to cheat a little. ;) I want y'all to read the posted chapters over on the joint blog (assuming you haven't already. If you have, you get attaperson points--10 BIG attaperson points.) SO, the trivia question is based on the posting.

What does Celia use to seal the breach in the perimeter?

Answers to with TRIVIA in the RE.

Oh, and FYI, getting a good response on the Creature Feature; Double Feature; and Amateur Hour as proposed. SO, it looks like it will be a go. Eventually. When I get my act together a little more (i.e., get myself a 2010 calendar so I can keep better track of when who is doing what for how many cookies.)

Oh, and Posse Members -- Send me birthday greetings in the next week with an updated address (if it's changed, or if you don't trust me to keep track of it without an assistant---and you might not be able to. You know how I am.) so that I can send out the Christmas goodies. I'm actually going to try to get them out before Easter. ;)

And I am still taking applications for new posse members. Posse members get the best goodies (eventually) and generally get lavished with lots of attention by yours truly, the Not-So-Evil-Overlord. Send your application (grovelling is ALWAYS appreciated) and your preference as to: Lackey/Minion/Synchophant (only for those with rhythm enough to do a truly spectacular happy dance)/Other along with any special qualifications and your snail mail address for the forwarding of schwag.

Answers to with POSSE in the RE.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial Catch Up

OKAY, I'm back. Hope you haven't "starved" in the meantime. So, first off, if you want a sneak peek at the first chapter of the first book in the new series go to the joint blog. It's posted.

Are you back? GOOD. Now, if you want to see the first chapter of the upcoming Sazi book, I BELIEVE (thank you Webmistress!! Thank you Webmistress!!) it's available on our website. You can go there.

Back again? WOOO, you're REALLY into this aren't you? Okay, here's the re-run of the first part of the serial since you've probably forgotten it all by now. Posts are separated by asterisks. New stuff is at the bottom.


"Wow Jen, think you've got enough suntan lotion? And whoo hoo, look at the bikini. Yowsa!"

Bonnie, the checker at the local discount store looked over at one of her favorite regular customers. "I'm guessing somebody is headed out of town on vacation. Maybe even with that handsome state cop she's been dating? Hmmmn?"

Jen laughed, "Guilty as charged. We're headed out to Hawaii," she paused for effect "to meet his family."

Bonnie goggled, "Ohmigod, the big family meet and greet. Is it really that serious? Already?"

Jen squirmed uncomfortably. "Maybe. I think so. But I don't want to rush into anything." She really didn't. Her divorce had been finalized less than a year. She was over Todd. That wasn't the question. She just wasn't sure she was ready to be with someone else. And she really didn't trust her judgment when it came to men. After all, Todd had been handsome, and charming, and all sorts of wonderful---right up until the day they said their "I dos." Now she desperately wish she hadn't. But hindsight is ever 20/20 as they say.

"Oh, don't fret. You'll do fine. Just take your time. Enjoy yourself." Bonnie gave a saucy wink as she ran Jen's items over the price scanner. "Not that I have to tell you to do that, what with that handsome hunk you'll be travelling with. He is fine."

Jen couldn't argue with that. Jake was really, truly, all that and a bag of chips. Not only handsome, he was smart, funny, and seemed to instinctively know not to push---to go slow. Jen was almost positive he was as nervous about this whole meet and greet as she was. But his baby sister was getting married, so it seemed logical . . .

"When are you leaving?" Bonnie's question brought Jen back to the present.

"Day after tomorrow. First thing in the morning."

"Ah, then you probably want to buy your ticket now?" The lilt in her voice made it a question.

"Oh, yeah. I should, shouldn't I." Every week, without fail, Jen bought a single lottery ticket, cash option, same numbers every time. It was her little ritual. Probably silly, but worth the money if for no other reason than the number of fantasies she'd had thinking what she would do with the winnings from the prosaic, setting up a family trust, to the exotic, quitting her boring job and going on a world cruise. Not that she ever would win. But then, you never know. Which was the point, after all. "Let me dig out my numbers."

"You're kidding, right. As if I don't know them by heart after all this time." Bonnie waved her hand in a dismissive gesture and walked over to the machine. "9, 15, 27, 32, 48, 54, right?"

"Right." Jen blushed a little, feeling foolish. Just how much money had she spent on tickets over the years that the cashier could rattle the numbers off so easily? Then she shook herself. It was cheap. It was fun, and it didn't hurt a thing. In fact, if the ads were to be believed, she was helping fund the state schools and park maintenance.

Bonnie hit the buttons and the small square of red and white paper popped out of the machine. Handing it across the counter she said, "Now you put that in a safe place. It could be the winner the way you're luck has turned around. I mean, really, a handsome man and a trip to Hawaii? I am sooooooo jealous."

Laughing Jen pulled out her wallet. Folding the ticket in half she stuck it in the coin purse, then pulled enough bills from the wallet section to pay for her purchases. Who knew what could happen? She was certainly feeling lucky.


Jen stared out the window over the wing of the plane. Ohmigawd! That was the ocean. The Pacific. This was really happening. All her life she'd wanted to travel and Hawaii had been at the top of her list. Even the words were exotic. Aloha, luau, lava-lava. Her stomach flip-flopped and she told herself it was excitement and not fear of flying. This was her first time on a plane. She'd never really gotten to travel anywhere. Even her honeymoon "hadn't worked out." The ex had been supposed to make the travel plans, but they fell through because . . . well, honestly, because her ex was her ex. But she was going now.

"You okay? You're looking a little pale." Jake touched her hand, drawing her attention away from the window. He wasn't faking his concern, she could tell.

"Fine." Jen smiled at him. "Just a little nervous. This is my first time on a plane and I'm going to meet your family. It's a bit much, but I figure you'll make it up to me." She winked at him and was rewarded with a heart-stopping smile.

"I'll do my best." He paused, "You really don't need to worry about my family Jen. I know they're going to love you. Almost as much as I do."

She blushed with pleasure at his words, but didn't necessarily believe him. If there wasn't some basis in truth to them the legends about mother-in-laws wouldn't have survived this long. Her own mother was no saint. In fact, she'd been decidedly chilly to Jake. Then again, she loved Todd and was still holding out hope for a reconciliation.

"We'll see."

Sensible man that he was, Jake decided to distract her. It was a long flight, and it'd be no fun for either of them if they sat here worried and brooding. "So, is your mom watching the house and taking care of Obsidian for you?"

Jen pasted a smile on her face. She'd asked her mother. It had been a mistake. Her ears were still blistered from the response. "No, Wendy's watching him."

"Wendy?" Jake shook his head. "Are you sure that's a good idea. I mean, I like your sister, but she's a little bit of a . . ."

"Flake." Jen sighed. "Yeah, I know. I love her, but she is who she is. And Obsidian will be fine. He's not that social of a cat to begin with. I left out a huge roasting pan filled with hard food, and the toilet seat is up. So if she flakes out and misses a day he'll be fine." Actually, her huge black tom cat would probably be fine for a week considering how much kibble she'd left him. And he wasn't particularly social with anyone but Jen and surprisingly, Jake.

"I don't even mind her so much. But her husband . . ." He let the sentence trail off unfinished rather than say something irretrievable. But Jen could guess what he meant. Kevin was a serious creep. Then again, every man her sister dated was, one way or another. Wendy just knew how to pick em. There could be 100 really great guys in the room and one loser, and she'd gravitate to the loser every time.

When Jake and Kevin had met at the family holiday cookout there had been the kind of instant animosity that you see with large, dominant dogs. It hadn't gotten ugly, but only because Jen and Jake had left before it could. But it had been a very close thing. Of course it didn't help matters that Kevin was Todd's best friend in the world.

What a mess. Jen looked at Jake for a long moment, leaned over, and gave him a quick kiss. Nothing big, just a peck. But he'd earned it. Her life was such a mess. But he never complained, never did anything but make her feel safe, loved, and laugh. Lord how he made her laugh. She'd almost forgotten how it had been so long. Now she wouldn't give it up for anything.

"What was that for?"

"For being you." She smiled. Taking a deep breath, she said the words she knew he'd wanted to hear, but she'd never been ready to voice. "I really do love you, you know."


Todd stared up at the television in the corner of the bar. The Lakers had lost. The game hadn't even been close. There went another hundred bucks. Dammit. He knew he shouldn't gamble, but it was a habit. And what the hell else did he have to spend his money on now? He shook his head. She was gone. With JAKE. In HAWAII. Where she and Todd had been going to go on their honeymoon. Until he lost the money. Of course that wasn't what he'd told her. He'd lied. She'd believed him. She'd even seemed to take it okay. Until suddenly one day, she just didn't. And it was over, and there was nothing for him to do except sign the divorce papers and come down here to the bar and get drunk with Kevin.

Kevin came back to the table carrying a pair of beers and two doubles of whiskey. Neither of them needed it. They were both well past tipsy and on their way to wasted, but Todd didn't want to think clearly. Not tonight, knowing she was there, with Jake.

The commercial break came on and the lotto box appeared on the screen with its bouncing numbered balls. Todd watched the screen as individual balls popped out to be placed in a row. Damn those numbers looked familiar. Why? What was special about 9, 15, 27, 32, 48, 54?

"Holy shit. Those are Jen's numbers." He hadn't meant to say it out loud.

"Really?" Kevin got a look on his face. Something about it bugged Todd. A lot.

"Too bad she's in Hawaii and didn't buy herself a ticket." He forced himself to smirk. "Serves her right. " He raised his beer bottle, as if toasting the bitter words. Kevin clicked bottles. But the expression on his face didn't change.

Jen checked her watch, did the math, and decided that it was probably a decent hour to call her sister. There really wasn't ever a "good" time. Wendy kept very irregular hours. She did shift work, and it changed a lot. But she also partied---hard. It was how she'd met Kevin. Jen had always hoped her sister would "grow up," but thus far there'd been no sign of it. Of course, she thought Jen was a horrible "stick-in-the-mud" because she didn't party any more. Hell, she hadn't done it much even back in the day. It just seemed such a waste to get wasted. Why work that hard for a paycheck and then blow it on one night so that you had to struggle and scrape just to get by?

Jen shook her head. She was doing it again, being judgmental. Her sister was doing her a favor. She needed to focus on being grateful. Because she was. Wendy's helping out made it possible for her to be here with Jake having the time of her life. And she was: romantic walks on the beach, playing in the surf, playing in the hotel room. Oh it was wonderful. The wedding yesterday had been gorgeous, and so romantic. Every one of Jake's family seemed to like her too. They were being so much nicer than her family had been to him. Of course they might just be on their best behavior because of the wedding, but she really didn't think so.

She dialed the number to Wendy's cell phone from memory. It rang four times before a very sleepy-sounding voice came on the line.


"Wendy, it's Jen."

"Right, Jen. Hang on a sec', 'kay?" Jen heard Kevin grumbling, then her sister fumbling around in the background, finally there was the sound of a door closing, and Wendy's voice came back on the line. "I'm back." Wendy announced, following it up with a huge yawn. "So, how's Hawaii with hunkalicious?"

"It's wonderful. I'm having the time of my life! Thanks so much for agreeing to watch Obsidian. How's he doing anyway?"

"Um, Jen . . . about that . . . "Jen's stomach clenched at the words, and she closed her eyes, praying silently that her cat was all right. Wendy would never deliberately hurt him. But oh Lord, if anything bad had happened . . .

Wendy started in on one of her long, rambling explanations. "See, I would'a sworn I hung the key on the hook. But when I went to get it, it wasn't there. But I mean, I knew I had to take care of the cat. I mean, you're counting on me. So, I figured I'd just go in through the window. No harm, no foul. But it broke. And while I was waiting for the guy to come replace the glass . . . he said he'd bill you for the work . . . I'm really sorry Jen. But, um, the cat . . . well, he got out. I've seen him. He's still hanging around the house. But he won't let me get near him. So I moved the pan with his food outside. And I'm still going by in case I can get him to come inside."

Jen didn't pound her head against the wall, but she wanted to. Dammit, dammit, damn it! Obsidian was up to date on his shots, and he was smart and tough. But there were raccoons in the neighborhood, and she'd heard an owl hunting just a couple of nights before she left. DAMN it.

"Jen? Say something. Please? I'm really, really sorry. I know you were counting on me. But I'm sure he's all right. And you're coming home tomorrow. He'll come in for you."

"It's all right." Jen lied. It was not all right. She was furious and hurt, and worried. But there wasn't a damned thing she could do about it and there probably wasn't anything Wendy could do. Because Obsidian wasn't going to come to her. No chance of that at all.

"You're mad."

Hell yes she was mad? Why wouldn't she be? Wendy'd lost the key to her house, broken a window, and let the cat get out. The only thing that she could've done to screw up worse was burn the place down or leave it unlocked so that burglars . . . oh shit. "Wendy, sweetie" Jen took a deep breath, fighting to make sure her voice was calm, pleasant even. "Did you lock the house back up when you left? Maybe get mom's key to let yourself back in?"

"Mom's got a key? Why didn't I think of that?" Jen actually heard her sister smack her palm against her forehead. "I'll go get it from her. Then I can lock the place up."

She hadn't locked up. Jen counted backwards from twenty-five. It was supposed to calm her down. It wasn't working. She felt more like she was counting down to lift-off.

"You're pissed. I can tell." Wendy's voice was accusatory. "You're breathing funny. You practically sound like an obscene caller."

Of course Jen was pissed. Why wouldn't she be? It's not like she'd asked her sister to do anything hard.

"Look, it's not like you live in a bad neighborhood or anything. The place is nice. Your neighbors are sweet little old ladies. Nothing's going to happen."

Nothing's going to happen. Famous last words. Well, maybe not last words. Although at the moment Jen would gladly and happily strangle her sister she wouldn't actually kill her. Probably. No. She wouldn't. She loved Wendy. She really did. She just needed to remind herself of that over, and over until she calmed down.

"Are you all right?"

Jen gave her boyfriend a look that would've curdled milk."Okay, admittedly a stupid question. " He shook his head. "God, what a mess." He pulled out his cell phone and dialed a number from memory. The police station, of course. Jen only half-listened as he reported a break-in and presumed robbery.

The place was a wreck. It was as if a tornado had come threw. The contents of drawers were dumped on the floor, her bookcases emptied, their contents strewn everywhere. Her couch cushions and throw pillows had been shredded with a knife. There was broken glass everywhere. And that was just the living room. Jen hadn't even looked at the other rooms in the house. It was too damned depressing. Outside she heard a faint, plaintive mewling.

Obsidian! He wasn't in the house! Oh thank God. He could've been hurt, even killed.

Jen pushed past Jake to stand on the front porch step. "Obsidian. Here baby. Come here. It's all right now. I'm home."

She saw a twitch of movement in the bushes, and the mewling grew louder. Crouching down, she clucked her tongue and started making the little squirrel sounds that never failed to draw him out. Sure enough, he began his approach, warily at first, but crossing the last bit of space in a rush.

"Oh baby, I've missed you too." She petted him, tears stinging her eyes. He was a mess. leaves were tangled in his long, black fur, and there was a long scab running diagonally across his nose. Jen sank into a sitting position, taking him into her lap. As she finger-combed his hair she felt the purr rumbling through his body.

Jake came over and sat down beside them. "The police will be here in a couple of minutes." He told her. "Hey big guy." He reached over, letting the cat sniff his fingers before scratching behind the cat's ears. "Looks like you've had an adventure while we were gone. If only you could talk."

"Next time, he stays at the vet. I don't care how much boarding him costs." Jen's voice was unsteady. "If he hadn't been outside . . ."

"Don't think about it. He's fine. He's safe. You're safe. That's what's important."

"But my house." She felt so violated. And oh God the work it was going to take cleaning that mess up. It made her tired just thinking about it. The vacation had been fun, but it hadn't been restful. She was already exhausted. Damn it! The tears that had been threatening began falling in earnest.

"I know. I know." Obsidian squirmed out from between them as Jake took Jen in his arms, holding her close. "It's going to be all right. It sucks. And it's not the homecoming we would've wanted for you. But we'll get through this."

She felt like such a baby. She was all right. Her cat was fine. There was nothing in the house that couldn't be replaced. Not really. She'd taken all of her jewelry with her, and she didn't have much else valuable. Even her TV was a crummy old 19 inch.

"You know baby, it looks as if the intruder was searching for something. Any idea what?"

"No clue. I mean, I don't have anything worth hiding."

"Well maybe he just got mad and destroyed things because he didn't find anything he could fence." Jake's voice was soothing, but his expression was doubtful. "Are you sure there's nothing . . ."

"Not a thing. I don't keep anything valuable at the house. It all goes in the safe deposit box at the bank. The jewelry is going back there first thing Monday morning." She rummaged in her purse for a tissue. "Why would somebody do this?"

Why indeed.


The police had come and gone. They took her statement. Spread yellow dust around getting fingerprints. They'd also talked rather urgently (and privately) with Jake. That bothered her a bit. Actually more than a bit. Because he'd spent the rest of the time he'd been here looking very worried, and more than a little angry.

He'd tell her whatever it was eventually. He wasn't the secretive type. Unlike someone she knew. But in the meantime there was a ton of stuff to do. First of which, she had to go to the store and buy cleaning supplies and one of those disposable cameras so that she could send pictures to her insurance agent along with a copy of the police report to file a claim.

She'd get reimbursed for most of the damages . . . well, at least the part that was over her deductible. But that didn't help her today. No, today she was going to have to rack up her credit card right to the limit.

The bathroom wasn't too much of a mess, so she cleaned it up and locked Obsidian inside. Then she climbed in the car and drove over to the Discount Palace.


"Hey Jen. Welcome back!" Bonnie gave her a huge smile, "Look at the tan on you. Have fun?"

"Oh the trip was wonderful." Jen forced herself to smile. "It's coming back that's hard."

"Isn't that always the case." Bonnie gave a sympathetic sigh.

"Yeah, but this is worse. Somebody broke into my house. They completely trashed the place."

"Oh NO!" Bonnie stared at the overflowing shopping cart. "That's awful! You called the police, rigiht?"

"Yeah, they've come and gone. And I'm making a claim on my homeowner's insurance. But it's so awful. I mean, it's my home. And now I don't even feel safe. Why would somebody do that? It's not like I have anything worth stealing."

"People." Bonnie harrumpfed. Grabbing the first item from the counter, she began scanning Jen's purchases with practiced speed. "Changing the subject, have you heard?"

"Heard what?"

"Somebody won the big lotto jackpot! They haven't claimed it yet. But rumor has it they bought their ticket here. They told us because the store gets a bonus for selling the winning ticket. I'm so excited. Somebody I know is a millionaire! How cool is that? And who knows, I may have even sold the ticket! Hope they remember me if I did, you know what I mean."

"Bet they will." Jen forced herself to smile, even though she didn't feel like it.

Bonnie hit the button to total Jen's purchases. Jen winced. She had enough on her card to pay for it. . . barely. She ran the little plastic card through the machine, then signed on the line showing on the screen.

"I'm really sorry about your house honey." Bonnie passed over the receipt. "Things are bound to get better eventually."

"God I hope so."

Friday, November 13, 2009


Okay, got quite a lot more done. The packages WENT. (Insert Hallelujah Chorus here). BUT because I am a cheapskate ($11 as opposed to over $30 as an example) they are mostly not going out with the quick delivery. SO, I'm changing my offer of getting yelled at. If you don't receive them in 1 month THEN on 12/15 you get to ream me a new one. :)

If you are interested, the joint blog has the first chapter of the first book in the new series. I believe that the first chapter of the upcoming Sazi book is on the website. Go, look, enjoy.

Tomorrow, barring disaster, I will have a re-posting of the newest serial thus far and a new addition.

Until tomorrow, be well, be happy.

Status Check

Good morning friends and neighbors.

All righty then. For a status check thus far this morning.

__X__ Up. Out of bed.
__X__ Teeth brushed, showered, and generally not physically offensive to the public.
__X__ Shopping done to purchase TP and minutes for phone, cleaning products, and stuff for the critters. Groceries put away.
__X__ Walking done for exercise.
__X__ Minutes loaded on phone.
__X__ Breakfast eaten.
__X__ Posts to internet re status.
_____ Clean out fridge, clean litter boxes and trash out before garbage guys get here.
_____ Find addresses and prepare all shipping labels
_____ Bank for money to pay for postage.
_____ GOTO San Angelo to mail all packages; buy ink so I can produce bookmarks, etc. Start Christmas shopping. (ARGH)
_____ Second pass edits on Book 2.
_____ Copy addresses from ruined address book into new one.
_____ Clean out old purse and shift to new one. Old purse into washer.
_____ Calls/E-mails to writer buddies about possible "Creature Feature" and "Double Feature" entries.
And that my friends, is my day. I'm halfway there at 7:08 a.m. (not really. I mean, the first half items were pretty easy, but I'm thinking positive. SEE. I CAN be positive!!!)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Have You Ever Failed at Something?

Stupid question, right? Everybody fails at something sometime. And yet, silly me, I expect myself to be perfect. To just not screw up. And when I fail, or screw up, I indulge in the kind of self-flagellation that doesn't do anything but make myself feel worse, and certainly doesn't fix the problem. Which is stupid. Which I realize. So I beat myself up about that.

I don't know where that particular brand of guilt/stupidity came from. Nor do I really care. I just wish I could get over it. Life is hard enough without making things worse for yourself.

But there you go. I'm turning fifty very soon. I haven't gotten past it yet. I may not ever. But dammit I am going to try!

OKAY, on to the next thing. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS?

I am committing to doing more with the blogs again now that I'm less ill and less depressed. SO, some of the things I'm considering:

STARTING A NEW THING that is the "CREATURE FEATURE" or sometimes "DOUBLE FEATURE." This would be done randomly where I post an excerpt from an upcoming book with notes from the author. Would you like to have me do this?
1) On Friday, actually post some progress.
2) On Saturday doing a catch-up replay of the new Serial thus far plus the new installment.
3) On Monday catching up the points and doing a new trivia.

And I am hereby asking not only for opinions, but for the posse members to write me and give me encouragement. I need it. A lot. Please. Put RAH RAH in the Re.



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Transmission Trouble

Had some work done on the truck. It is an old truck (but a good one). I am very fond of it, and all things considered, it has run very well for a very long time. BUT the transmission is going. They've done some work that will extend its life, but are now going to have to look for a used one. (Truck is old enough that new parts would be worth more than the vehicle.)


Sunday, November 08, 2009

Vampire Elimination and Other Weirdnesses

Okay, I didn't post the serial yesterday. In fact, didn't do much online yesterday. Went on a run to the city with the co-author and discussed a lot of important stuff and even more not-so-important stuff. The time off has been good for me. Still haven't completely pulled my head together, but it's slowly improving.

The topic of the day is the weird crap that writers discuss. For example. Vampire elimination. No, not the elimination of vampires, (either in fiction or life) but the "if your vampires can only drink fluids, and they use the blood they drink to replace their own, DO they eliminate? Liquid only? Have their digestive tracts died and become useless.

Now seriously guys, who else but a writer would get into a vigorous discussion about (literally) vampire sh** or the lack thereof? Hmnn?

And we wonder why people treat us like we're weird.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

Okay, I've been sick, and pooped, and I am so far behind on EVERYTHING that it is truly terrifying. There are edits that HAVE to get done and the animals are being VERY needy because I've been ill and not able to fuss over them like I normally do. Lucky the Wonder Dog, in particular, needs lots of love, attention and EXERCISE. She's been getting the first two, but not the third, so she is RESTLESS. UGH.

I've been feeling like crap: physically, mentally and emotionally. Sometimes the best you can do is just keep moving forward. (Quote of the day -- If you're going through hell, KEEP GOING.) But I wonder sometimes if I should just play Pollyanna in public -- Everything is FINE, wonderful, etc.? I mean nobody really wants to hear me whine. They have their own problems, many of which are MUCH worse than mine. Also, one of my goals is to help people and encourage them. How encouraging can I be when I'm moping? Seriously.

But I try to be honest. And I don't care who you are, or how many wonderful things there are going on in your life, there are always going to be some not-so-wonderful things and times that get you down.

So the truth? I guess so.

1) Weight loss? Don't make me laugh. You would think with the food poisoning that the weight would've come off and stayed off. Came off abruptly, but not for long. Still, I'm finally feeling well enough that I did my walking this morning.

2) Depression -- still there.

3) Writing -- Lots of wonderful things happening here, but as is the case with the publishing industry they are happening . . . . s . . . l . . . o . . . w . . . l . . . y. Patience is not my best thing, so this is just a teeny bit frustrating. (And yes, I have been nominated for Queen of Understatement. How did you guess?)

4) Move to Denver -- Stalled. I have been trying to find employment at a day job. (All right, here's a bit of truth. The writing pays pretty darn well, but the checks come too far apart and I have to take out my own taxes as self employment and don't have health insurance or retirement. A good day job can take care of this. It also gives me the opportunity to run into people. Interacting with others gives me ideas and helps me with things like dialogue and rhythms.). In this economy at my age it is a little bit tricky. I haven't given up. But I haven't made progress either, which is depressing, distressing, and lots of other essings.

5) Finding a good job. See previous.

6) Catching up on all of the crapola like mailing things, working up the newsletter, etc. Stalled.

Not exactly a passing scorecard. But today is a new day. I'm here. I'm posting. I'm listening to kick-ass music and getting the animals snugged, exercised, etc., the house clean and the edits done. And maybe, if I do I'll be able to be less hard on myself and be just a little less down. Because while I know I'm not perfect, I really do expect myself to be.

Now, how are the rest of you? Be honest. If I have to own up to all this crap you should too. Fair's fair.

Monday, November 02, 2009


I'm trying to figure things out. I've gotten a little lost along the way. Life has changed, and I have changed, and it's not a good fit right now. Also, I'm getting old. Didn't expect to. Kind of a shock.

Note -- the kitties do not like it when I am depressed. They fret quite a lot. But they also snuggle which is really quite nice.