Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Brothers and Daughters

What a lovely day! I've spent time with my girl and time with my brother and we ate boiled shrimp. I'm not sure you can ask for a whole lot more.

Oh, yeah--finishing those galleys!

Tomorrow--more shimp, and choosing the house and the neighborhood in which my ghost and his family will live. ;-)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Is it Tuesday Already?

I'm working on galleys for my June book, Her Reason to Stay, and I'm still hard at the deadline for my November book, tentatively called Forbidden. I'm enjoying the holiday flourishes, there.

Back at the coffee shop today so I can post. Can't stay long. I'd love to finish the galleys in a hurry.

It's always a relief to read the story at this stage and find it sounds smooth. Although, there are always occasional mistakes that make me wonder how I missed them in all these reads.

It's a lovely day. The clouds are moving in. The courthouse is being dismantled so I'm a little distracted because I wonder what comes next with it.

I'm sitting in the front of the coffee shop and across the way in the fabric store, a vintage Singer sewing machine, complete with treadle and case is showing off quilt fabrics in the window. My mother made my school uniforms on one just like that when I was a little girl. I was so tall and skinny she had to make them. If the waste fit, the skirt was too short, and if the hem was right, the skirt fell to the floor. But Mom made them perfectly.

And I'd better get quit hanging around in the past and head back to my own what-comes-next!

Saturday, January 26, 2008


When I started this blog, I thought, how tough can it be? I yammer so much, people get sick of listening to me. What fun to toss all this extra yammering into cyberspace, where no one can roll eyes, or offer the ever popular whirring of fingers, meaning "Any chance we'll get to the end some day?"

Well, I've been staring at this blank screen for some time. So, without any further ado, or whirring of fingers, hope you're having a fun weekend and you aren't reading my excuse for saying nothing.

Friday, January 25, 2008

What makes you love a character?

Obviously, I want readers to love the characters I write. I read books. I watch movies. I listen to songs. There are characters I love. Columbo, of all characters, gets under my skin. I'm a huge fan of the running quirks. Quirks make me empathetic. Emma, in Jane Austen, gets me, even though, in the book, she's not a kind character. But she learns to be human. Human gets me.

Last week I watched a movie I've been avoiding. We are Marshall. I didn't want to see it because I'm not a big fan of death and grief for entertainment, but I jumped to a conclusion that was totally wrong about this movie. My brother-in-law said I should try it, and he's kind of a smart guy, so I thought I'd risk a few minutes.

It was a writer-changing experience. When you work with stories every day, you have a hard time letting go of those instincts to enjoy one someone else is telling. Somewhere during this amazing, tender, beautiful, true story, I realized the writers, the director, the actors all loved this story the way I was loving it.

It could have been melodramatic, heroic to the "look, I'm a hero" degree, symbolic, whatever. But it was a retelling of an event that happened to people who found a way to live despite more loss than I can even conceive, and they did it with the kind of courage only life can summon. And dignity.

So, maybe the key to sharing that kind of love is feeling it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Icy Cold, and Yet...

Heading back to the beach! Yay. I'll be working. My girl will be reading. In between, we'll be eating. ;-)

Now, to persuade her to drive, so I can work on the way!

Monday, January 21, 2008

What to do in case of a disaster?

Not a big disaster. My headphones are broken. Well, just in one ear, but I'm working mostly at the coffee shop these days because the deadline's roaring this way and the beloved's afraid to go out in the cold. :-) And he's lovely, but distracting.

Well, I must have noise to work by, but conversations tempt me. Turns out when I'm really busy, my first instinct is to eavesdrop. (A shocking self-revelation because normally I believe in minding my own business.) Anywhooo, I take along a movie I've seen a billion times, so I can hear the comforting noises in my head without listening, or I put in music, but I have a feeling I'm listening with one ear and listing to the good side.

They should be paying for the show! Gotta get back to the book! I wish there were a lopsided writer-woman icon. ;-)

Ohhhh, a firetruck, and several folks running out of shops to see where it's going. Here's a hope that the place and people they're going to rescue fare well.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

This may be an all-day affair

I'm blogging from home. I won't whine again about our service.

We may have snow today. The sky is blue-gray and full of possibilities. Snow and sleet and rain, everything you need in a drought. I promised a friend I'd stop the please-snow dance, but I can't help hoping my previous efforts have already done their work. Actually, we're sure to have rain, but I'd love a few flakes of snow, too.

And I think I'll make chili.

Well, now to hit post. And go take a shower.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Falling behind again

My Internet service at home is so slow, I sometimes give up when the page takes a couple of days to load.

However, I'm in the coffee shop by the square. (The one that didn't close.) My daughter and I are sitting beside a window, where she's attracted the slavish devotion of two adolescent males. And I was just trying to stretch my tired back muscles, but apparently the man walking past felt I was attempting to drag him inside with a display of bosom. I'm thinking we're not good with windows!

Oh--my girl's admirers have just completed yet another circuit! We might have been all right if we'd just taken different sides of this table.

I love being part of this community, but I wonder if we should pack up for today before the decent folk run us out of town on a rail!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Harlequin on TV

Dreams Lost, Dreams Found is playing on TV right now. It's one of the Harlequin movies from the 80s--my favorite, actually. I can't resist Scotland, and the actor who plays the hero is gorgeous. Something--Robb. Oh, David Robb.

I've always wanted to read the Pamela Wallace book to see how true the movie was to the original story.

I've also always wanted to live in a castle in Scotland! (Or even a hovel in Scotland.)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Unable to Sit Quietly

I didn't know I had this problem. My beloved gets antsy when he's at home two days in a row, but I love being home. It's my sanctuary--it's where my stuff is--favorite books, movies--snacks! ;-)

But I get antsy if I don't have something to do while I'm hanging around at home. I have about three books going at any time--one by my bed, one by my desk, one somewhere in the family room. I have crocheting (infant caps are amazing--they go so fast--and you get to feel all virtuous because they're going to a good cause), and always a notebook of some sort. Usually, the laptop is close at hand because I never know when I'll have to look something up on the Internet real quick (well, as quickly as our deplorable service works)!

I'm going to make myself sit quietly, doing nothing for a few minutes sometime today. I'll bet I'm not the only one who can't do it!

P.S. I've linked to a new site--my friend Elaine's blog on recovering after great loss. Not only is she an amazing and interesting person--whom I assume never sits still--she offers great resources, including her book, A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A bad surprise

My favorite coffee shop is the one on the square. I love the "regulars" who greet each other with big smiles and even bigger slaps on the back. I love the old, worn, blackened-with-age counter and the courthouse rising above my table at the window.

But then there was the upstart, the place where my daughter and I always run into the kids her age--in baggy pants and extremely painful-looking piercings and hair like a hat that hides their eyes and their intentions.

Did you notice I said "was"? I went over there today because I'd had some errands in that part of town and I wanted to get some work done outside our house.

I saw a truck at the curb. There was a microwave and an ice cream freezer on the back, boxes of cups and paper goods on the ground beside the back tires. I thought they must be restocking.

Then I opened the door and stood there, for probably ten seconds. No one spoke, though there were probably ten people, pulling down posters and paintings and fixtures, packing away more paper goods, pushing chairs and tables to one side.

Finally, a guy said, "We're closed."

I still stood there because the girl and I had stopped at that shop several times in the past three weeks. The square was traffic-riddled, and she's particularly fond of this shop's coffee. The place had been filled, each time. I needed a large table to work on line edits. I had to juggle pages until one opened up. We needed a large table for her to haunt Facebook and me to work. Again, we had to wait.

When a Starbucks opened nearby last fall, we worried about this shop. Goodness knows, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling at a glimpse of that handsome green sign through traffic, but this place is part of our short past here. The girl started studying there when she moved in at school. It's in her first memories of our new home, of her new life as an adult.

All that went through my head, and finally, I backed out, thinking of the one young woman who happened to work most often when I was there--and then she came out.

I asked if they were quitting. She said that she and the others who'd worked there had been assured they were not, just a week ago. She said, "They lied."

What a bad time to lie.

I wish her and all the others who worked there good luck in finding new jobs, and I hope my girl and her friends and all those kids in baggy pants and strange pins and shiny, but unmanageable hair, find a new place to drink coffee and play board games and study.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Oooooh, a cold new year!

The weather outside is icy! And the sun is pouring into the family room. Kitty finally got disgusted with sharing my lap with my laptop and has hopped down to sit with his back to me and his ears twitching (a sure sign of Kitty-displeasure).

A new day in a new year filled with new possibilities, and yet, I always miss the old year a little, too. There were nice memories. Our trip to Savannah, hanging out in the fall with my aunts and cousins and the beloved. Old friends, I've reconnected with since moving home again. New friends, Elaine and Kim, whom I met at the retreat, who have become so important. I feel so lucky to have literally stumbled into them. (I wasn't planning to go, and then I couldn't find the address, so I veered into the driveway as Elaine was climbing out of her shuttle.) Perfect timing!

My son sounds happy. I miss him and his wife so much, but each conversation reassures me that they're doing well, and "happy" is vitally important thing. And I love talking books and movies with that guy! He always makes me think.

I've known my daughter was growing up. Yeah--that's pretty obvious. But suddenly, I can see she's a woman, and I admire her. Even while I worry about this and that (her inundating schedule, the fact that her campus isn't as safe as it was when she first started at school, the little, troubling things that come up), I'm so proud that she handles it all--and well.

So--taking stock of the new year. I'd like to spend more time with my brothers and my aunts and uncle and my beloved cousin, Debbie and all our other cousins. I'd like to work smarter. I'm still working hard at treasuring each day for what it is.

Mostly, I want to feel as content as I do at this moment. And I wish that for you as well.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Years!

It's a cold, sunny lovely start to the new year. The beloved is off on a motorcycle ride. The girl is sleeping cause she stayed out way past her usual, more sensible bedtime. I'm sprawled in a chair, working and longing for the string of Law & Order: Criminal Intents I DVR'd yesterday.

As time and the series goes on, I'm aching for Goren. And the other characters just keep deepening as well. I was so upset when Dekins left, but I'm loving Captain Ross. Mustn't think about it. Mustn't be tempted! ;-)

Oh, and speaking of temptation, my friend, Kate Walker has a beautiful new kitty. You should take a look. (Mustn't wonder if our family also needs a new addition!)

Here's hoping the new year brings success and health and most of all, joy!