Friday, May 30, 2008


makes you think. About people who aren't plagued with insomnia. As I'm hanging around, wide awake while the world around me sleeps, I can't help noticing the nightlife of my neighborhood. I live in a small subdivision, and I'm not the only one awake in the very wee hours.

We hardly ever see movement from the house across the street. Folks--maybe one folk, come to think of it--moved in last fall. We saw the contractors getting the house ready for it's walk-through. We saw moving vans and lots of people who looked like family. One day a car full of those family-looking people let an older man out at the bottom of the driveway, which resembles Everest a little. He made it up that driveway, which taxed me as I climbed it when we looked at that house.

Anyway, we looked forward to a busy family in our small selection of neighbors, but no one goes in, and no one comes out. Until about midnight-to-twelve-thirty each night/early morning. When a car starts up the driveway and then hits the gas about midway, finding it less easy to climb that man did.

About the same time, a kitty drops by the front door to taunt our kitty with its freedom. My family is often long since asleep, but Kitty, shouting abuse at the free spirit flaunting its liberty can wake them up.

Around two-to-two-thirty, a car comes into the neighborhood, circles the cul-de-sac, and goes back out. I always mean to station myself at the windows to see if the police are doing a patrol, but I never have.

I'm so used to this cycle that I notice when it's broken by a strange visitor, or when the usual arrivals are early or late. It doesn't sound like a lot when I write it down like this, but to someone waiting for sleep, it feels like a lot of life outside my windows, and I'm always glad for the company--for anyone who's also awake while most of the world sleeps.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Late Start/Writin' Duds/Story Decisions

I've tried to be more constant about blogging, and I'd love to do it early in the day, but today, I'm meeting a friend, and I got distracted at the sweater clearance rack. Temps dropped after I left home, and I got chilly. ;-) Who can resist sweater clearance racks?

This sweater is short, black, swingy, and it has a rolled neck. It's also a small, which I haven't worn in such a long time, I may take a photo of the tag and post it! It's soft and warm, comforting and cuddle-worthy. I think it may be my new writin' sweater.

I have certain clothes that feel so comfortable I feel more creative in them. I also feel more creative in the fall and winter, when it's raining, and when it's cool enough to wear a sweater. I ought to take advantage of all these propitious conditions!

Hey--does anyone else watch Top Chef? I'm hooked, and last night's final five-into-final-four episode leaves me bemused. I seriously don't respect Spike or Lisa, but I'm not sure whom I wanted to go home.

The mistake that led to the loser's leaving seems like such a foul lapse in judgment it has me thinking of the creative decisions I've been making in my burgeoning proposals. It turns out that chefs are as quirky as writers any day, and they have to feel certain to really carry out a tricky recipe. And they rarely play it safe.

Sounds like the writing life to me. Why did the person (trying not to "spoil" for anyone who hasn't seen it yet) make such a strange decision? (I'm one of the world's worst cooks, and I could see it was a mistake.) And how many strange story decisions have I made/defended/survived? ;-)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How'd it get so hot?

The girl and I were chatting the other day about our abrupt entrance into summer. One day, we grabbed sweaters as we ran out the door. The next, we hung the sweaters in the closet for the duration. Over night, the quality of the heat and the light changed. It's summer around here. Nice for the pool temp; not so nice for hanging around in the heat.

I wish I loved summer more. My dread of the constant sun seems not only "not fun," but a little unnatural. (I mean most people love summer.) The beloved comes to life again. He basks in the heat. I'm not sure he has a concept of too hot. But that's the way I feel in winter, so I guess it shouldn't seem so bemusing.

Gotta move furniture. New sofas are coming, and the old ones have to be out of the way.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Meeting with writer friends today. I love to chat writing, but the time always flies when we meet! Which is bad for the person who drives 45 minutes in neverending road improvement traffic--but I'm ashamed to admit that despite her traffic pain, I always have such a great time.

My girl starts her first job today. She's nervous because she doesn't care for change, the unknown, or a first day. I always loved the first day at a new job. New pencils, a new desk, new paper and pens. New product to write copy for, software to explain, or books to edit.

Oddly, even though I still love the first day I'm working on a new book of my own, I'm always a little anxious, too. That I won't do justice to the story--that I'll get to the end and realize all the places I went wrong, but won't know how to fix them--that I'll realize three years from now just how I should have fixed the problems. (That could happen to anyone, right?)

I have a couple of errands to run before I meet my buddies. Gotta go!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day

I don't like being so far from my mother's family on this day. I tell myself I'll be able to visit them soon. Last fall my cousin showed us the various family cemeteries, and I'm seeing those leafy, quiet, hard-to-reach places in my mind today. I guess it's a day to "visit" with those members of my family. It was called "Decoration Day" when I was a kid.

We're hanging out with friends later today. The beloved has made two--count 'em, two--kinds of ice cream. Yummo--except that I'm not wild for either flavor--which is sadly a good thing. Now, if he'd made vanilla or peach (both of which, he considers bland, thank goodness), I'd be in trouble. I still have to do up the salads, but the girl and I are going to Wally world for floaty things.

Floaty things for the pool--yay! We both swam yesterday. There's a moment when all I can think is COLD, but that goes by. Eventually. Seriously, I forget swimming is exercise because something so wonderful can't possibly be good for you!

Hope everyone's having a wonderful holiday.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hello, Friday!

Looking forward to the weekend! Rain expected today, and I'm either hearing thunder, or someone's throwing a wheelbarrow up and down the street.

We're hoping the pool water will be warm enough to swim any day now. Monday, we're having fun with our friends up the street. And, good heavens, National Treasure 2 is out on DVD! Who knew?

No time to blog much. I have a few more errands to run with the girl. She starts her job next week, and I have to be more constant about mine, too.

Wishing everyone a happy, peaceful Memorial Day!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Testing on Tuesday?

I never pass on these tests, but this one's Shakespeare. I love Shakespeare, and I was surprised at my score.

Which Sheakespeare play are you? I turned out to be A Midsummer Night's Dream, my favorite, and I'm still startled.

Your Score: Midsummer Night's...

You scored 33% = Tragic, 51% = Comic, 39% = Romantic, 38% = Historic

You are A Midsummer Night's Dream. Blending elements of comedy and romance, A Midsummer Night's Dream tells the story of mischievous fairies who conspire to make everyone fall in love with everyone else, often with disastrous, yet humorous consequences. You are most likely haphazard in love, but good natured and friendly. While you may also have a mischievous side to you, it is most likely all in good fun. We have no doubt that you are an outgoing person, who may also be a bit of a klutz. And while you may not always get it right, you always try to do the right thing. We applaud you!

Link: The Which Shakespeare Play Are You? Test written by macbee on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test
View My Profile(macbee)

Monday Tasks

Since the girl's home we're catching up on tasks we've put off while she's in school. Not all work, though. We need new furniture for the family room. Tables with drawers. Lots of drawers. That's my priority. Drawers in which my clutter-bound husband can store his clutter and clutter to his heart's content.

After so many years with the beloved's clutter, I fear I'd sterile up the house fit for operating if left to my own devices. It's good to marry someone so different from yourself.

Gotta keep going on proposals, too. My friend and I talked writing all weekend, watched my Bette Davis marathon and perused the "writing books" at the bookstore. I was tempted, but held back because I actually need to write, vs. reading about writing. However, my friend bought a couple, and we had some good chat about what we both took away from the ideas in each. We both love exercises, but at this point, the only exercises I can afford must directly pertain to the stories I'm writing. Any other time, I love the challenge of writing "out on a limb." Just flying with an idea that changes the way I approach work.

Right now, I must approach work with the idea of submitting new stuff.

Friday, May 16, 2008


The baby's home from college. One of my best friends is coming to stay the weekend. We've planned writing and movie-watching and talking. I hope everyone has such lovely weekend plans!

Now, if only my garden would plant and weed and nourish itself.

I keep staring at the pool and sticking my toes in. And then running inside to warm my toes before they shatter and drop off.

Off to stock up on coffee and "healthy" nibbly things. I'd rather it were ice cream and marshmallow-topped cookies. I'm craving a Pinwheel! My much healthier-minded daughter actually looks upon pinwheels with the horror most often reserved for--well--you know--horrible things.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Stranded with Bette Davis

My girl's car is making a "funny" noise. ("Funny" to us. I doubt the beloved, our first-line car guy is amused.) Anyway, he's busy this week, so she's taken my car, and I'm somewhat stranded till Friday. Perfect writing time, you suggest?

It should be, but I had myself a Bette Davis marathon. Not her more well-known stuff. A Stolen Life, where a "good" twin takes over a "bad" twin's life, and Glenn Ford turns out to be surprisingly attractive (though one must suspend disbelief to think he wouldn't catch on). The Letter, which is just an amazing movie. Woman shoots in self-defense, although I don't ever remember believing her self-defense story, so I'm not sure you're supposed to. And The Great Lie, in which Mary Astor has Bette's husband's baby, but Bette becomes his mother. This may be my favorite. It's a good story, but also, it feels like a slice of 1941 life.

What an actress. These are definitely not all a-list movies, but there are moments in each of them where I forget Bette's acting or someone's telling a story. That's the funny thing about telling stories for a living. Forgetting you're watching/reading/hearing one grows ever more difficult--even though that's any storyteller's goal.

To get out of the way and let the story live its own life.

I put that on its own line so I'd remember. "Pretty" writing can be so seductive! ;-)

Note to self: No movie marathons today!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Got a little distracted

I've been writing like crazy. I'm just supposed to be doing proposals, but I fell in love with my hero and couldn't stop! What a lovely feeling. It's the best thing about writing.

We've had a busy week. Uncovered the pool. Had pool trespassers. Learned how to take a padlock apart to change its combination. (I couldn't believe that actually worked!)

Someone has been impersonating me around the web. Very annoying. If I suddenly send someone a nutty/cranky or nutty and cranky email, please come here first and ask if I actually sent it. (What kind of person does stuff like that?)

Have been dodging tornadoes. (Must learn to spell the plural of tornado.)

And I finally broke down and bought the new laptop. It's beautiful and fast (and it waits for me to ask it to do stuff--and it's not trying to self-combust) and I'm totally in love. All writers should use a MacBook.

So--back to my distraction! :-)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Company for Breakfast

The beloved, who's an amazing cook, is doing breakfast for our friends up the street. We've fallen into the habit of going out for breakfast at least once a week with them. (Getting to know them has been one of the best parts of this move back home!) But today, the beloved is showing off his skills with the kitchen stuff.

I could never cook breakfast for anyone except our family, and frankly they prefer the beloved's cooking. (Wise, wise family.) I need recipes, time--plenty of time, and a plan. How do you manage all that before at least six in the evening?

Then again, the beloved knows he can yank a few things out of the fridge, weave some magic with the spice cabinet, add some heat, and there you go--deliciousness!

I have access to all the same stuff, but oops, there you go--a fire!

Friday, May 2, 2008

A Review

I never remember to put up reviews, but I'm gonna this time. Romantic Times gave Her Reason to Stay a 4. Yay! And here's the text:

Raised in foster care, Daphne Soder is thrilled to find the twin sister she never knew she had. But when she meets Raina Abernathy, she learns Raina was raised wealthy and isn't sure she needs a sister in her life. With attorney Patrick Gannon's help, Daphne soon convinces her sister that the only thing she wants from her is a relationship. Anna Adam's HER REASON TO STAY (4) is a heartwarming tale about finding family, even when you're sure there's no one left for you.

I believe the reviewer is Alexandra Kay, and I'm so glad she liked Daphne and Patrick!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

DVD's are Wonderful, Wonderful!

I'm watching a movie I love, that I haven't seen in about a year. Are you also one of those folks who can watch a movie over and over and over? It's called Undercurrent. Robert Taylor and Katharine Hepburn, and not beloved of all critics, but my friend, Kath and I have shared many excellent Undercurrent hours. Don't you love the people best who love the things you love?

Our VHS players stopped working when we moved, and I didn't want to spend the bucks to buy this movie in a collection of which I only really love one other movie. However, I finally realized I'd have paid for it many times over as often as I watch it. So, today I bit the bullet. It's actually going to be my Mother's Day gift, but I couldn't resist opening it early.

I had to report to Kath that I finally undertook the purchase, and she sent back the image in her head, Robert Mitchum (also in the movie) at the piano, looking so gorgeous. And he does! I suggested to her that I might have to skip ahead to that scene. Except I'm savoring!