Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

It's New Year's Eve. We're going to do what we do every year - watch a movie, eat a ton of junk food, and snuggle with the kids. :-)

I did get quite a bit of writing done yesterday, but I paid for it this morning. I foolishly had my arms and wrists too high while I was using my laptop on my desk and my neck muscles didn't react well. My headache is thankfully dissipated for the most part and I can enjoy this evening's festivities.

Isn't it a bit strange that we're going to be celebrating the new year of 2006? It always seemed so far away. In fact, the year 2000 always seemed to so far away. Amazing how fast time passes.

I hope all of you have a safe and enjoyable New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Ode to Stuffed Animals

This is my daughter's stuffed animal collection. This isn't all of them since some are lodged precariously on her dresser. But for the most part, they litter her floor, making it impossible for her to even play in her room.

I took care of that a few days ago. I'm trying to find one of those stuffed animal nets to hang from her ceiling and get these things off her floor. Since I haven't been to the store in awhile, the poor animals have languished on my living room floor.

Last night we were into Barnes and Noble (using my gift card that my brother got me for Christmas! Woo hoo!) and she found a Scooby Doo stuffed animal.

"Can I have this, Mom?"

"No. You already have enough stuffed animals!"

She, in a sulking voice, "I do not have enough stuffed animals."

There are actually already two stuffed Scooby Doo's in this pile in the above picture. But the one she wanted was smaller. Sigh...

In Writing News...

I sat down yesterday afternoon and got a page and a half done (single spaced) and was eager to keep going, but my husband came home and we decided to use the gift card my Dad gave us for Christmas to a local resterant. (How come I can NEVER spell that word right?) Unfortunately, I couldn't get to sleep last night due to hubby's snoring and my brain refusing to shut down. I really should have just opened the laptop and kept writing, but as it was already nearing 2 a.m., I didn't think that would be exactly smart. I would have slept the entire day today!

As all three kids are home today, I don't know how much writing I'll get done. I might have to just shut my bedroom door and ignore the crashes coming from the living room. ;-)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Dog's Life

My dog Charlie has been following my daughter and I around all day long. He loves it when I'm home. I wish I could be home more often. I'm really enjoying my vacation right now.

But instead of writing, I've been playing with my blog, doing laundry, taking some pics with the digital camera, and digging into my kids' Christmas candy stash. Whoops.

Vacation Musings

I've determined not to do too much during my time off from work. Of course, you all know how that goes!

But yesterday, I did manage to indulge in a nap. Consequently, I wasn't ready for bed at 10 p.m. and stayed up until 1 a.m. finishing a novel. That meant I slept in this morning!

Today I want to get some writing done. I still have to do some laundry and since our dryer isn't working right, that means I get to dry the same load of clothes for about three hours. It's a pain, but when you don't have the money for a new one, you have to deal. :-)

I want to de-decorate the house, but that means work. And I'm on my vacation, darn it! So I'll wait until after the new year to take down everything. Of course, that might change. I am known to suddenly become inspired to do something, even if it takes me until late at night to accomplish it.

But today, I want to focus on my writing. I came up with a new idea for a story last night and I'm anxious to perhaps brainstorm with it a little and see what I can come up with. It's always exciting to get that initial burst of inspiration and even more exciting to see what that idea turns into!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

More photos

If you've ever seen Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, you know who the white guy holding the star is!

Sorry these photos are kinda blurry - I'm still experimenting with the camera.

My dog, Charlie, is at the top - he's a black Border Collie/Retriever mix.

I also took a snapshot of my Nativity scene - Boyd's Bears. My mom worked at a gift shop and was able to get them for me at cost a few years ago.

Playing with the New Digital Camera!

Before I de-decorate, here are a few images of my Christmas decorations. (And one of my dog just because I love him and he hasn't wanted to leave my side since I got home!)

Here's the Snoopy tree located in a corner of my kitchen and the angel with greenery on my living room entertainment center.

Let the Writing Begin!

Okay. The writing won't begin until I clean this house!!! We got home last night around 9 p.m. and unloaded all the packages and clothes. I've determined that I have to give my daughter's room a thorough cleaning in order to fit her new Christmas gifts.

It was a wonderful Christmas. On Christmas Eve, my grandfather was able to come home from the resthome and be with his family. We enjoyed butterball soup and homemade cherry cheesecake! I went to the Christmas Eve service with my family at the church I grew up in and it was a very blessed evening.

Christmas Day was absolutely wonderful. We went to my brother's house (the family farmhouse and farm that has been in the family for four generations) and ate wonderful food, opened presents, played games, and watched movies. It was so relaxing and I just loved being able to sit back and enjoy being with my family.

The trip home wasn't too eventful, but it was long. It's a 5 1/2 hour drive. Luckily, the kids stayed busy watching movies and playing with their new toys.

I took this week off from work and I slept in this morning. Woo hoo!!! *grin* I'm excited to start using my digital camera (hubby really spoiled me this year!) to share some photos with you all.

I'm also very excited to start writing. Maybe I can ignore the house for awhile and indulge myself. Ha!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Merry Christmas!

May you have a blessed Christmas full of joy and wonder!

Joy to the World!

There's a lot of reasons to be joyful right now!

Reason #1:

I tried on two pairs of jeans that I haven't been able to even button for many, many months. And guess what? I buttoned them. They were still a little snug, but wearable. WOOOOOOO-HOOOOOOO!!!!

Reason #2:

I get off work at 2 p.m. today and I have tomorrow off. In fact, I don't have to come back to work until January 3 since I took three days off next week and our company is closed from the 30th through the 2nd. Major writing time coming up!!!!!!

Reason #3:

We're going to see our families for Christmas. I'm so excited to visit with everyone and can't wait to see their faces when they open their presents!

Reason #4:

It's Christmas!!!! I've tried very hard this year to remember the reason that I celebrate Christmas - the birth of Jesus. It's easy to get sucked into Santa Claus and the commercial aspects of Christmas and forget why I celebrate it in the first place.

Reason #5:

I met my goal of exercising three times a week for the past two weeks. Another big WOOO-HOOOO!!!!

Reason #6:

I have terrific friends, both online and off, and I'm thankful for each and every one of you!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Treats Galore!

It's hard to deny all those yummy holiday treats. Here at the office, we've been receiving gift baskets from companies that we work with and they always include a plethora of goodness. :-) One of my co-workers brought in a ton of cookies and another brought some very yummy Kansas City fudge. My mom is going to be making a lot of treats, too - and I definitely will not pass those up!

What's a girl trying to lose weight to do?

Exercise her tail off! :-)

I've determined that I'm not going to deny myself the treats of the Christmas season. So I've been indulging - a little of this, a little of that, and a lot of sweat in the gym at the end of the day. I exercised three times last week and after tonight, it will be three times this week. I told my husband, "Now when I don't go to the gym, just remind me how good I feel when I finish exercising." Hopefully I won't slip into the non-exercising habit again!

In Writing News...

It was after 10 p.m. last night when I booted up my laptop. I had thought of a ton of ideas for my current WIP while exercising last night and I had to write them down before I forgot. But as usual, life got in the way earlier in the evening and I didn't have time to sit down until after everyone was settled for the night.

Still, I managed to write about a page (single spaced) and I felt rather pleased with that. I would have done more, but I was exhausted. In fact, I really do not remember trying to fall asleep - usually it takes me awhile to drift off, but not last night!

Must be all that exercising...*grin*

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

10 Reading Secrets

Amy tagged me for ten reading secrets. Hmm...this one might take some thinking.

1) I used to keep a journal of all the books I read. I'd put the name of the book, author, date finished, and then a rating. Some books I would read more than once and I would mark it, "VG as always!"

2) I pretty much just read romance. Inspirational and historical are my two favorite genres. I also read history books (although I tend to jump around in those instead of reading straight through). I will occasionally pick up one of my hubby's books - a Clive Cussler, Dean Koontz, or Ken Follet.

3) I'm a pretty fast reader. I've been known to finish a book in a day. But not lately! That was more in my pre-Mom days. :-)

4) I panic if I don't have anything to read. Thankfully, my trips to the library booksale or the bookstore have solved that problem. I have a plethora of books to read and I know I'll continue adding to that pile.

5) I won't finish a book if I can't get into it. My husband told me once that it's my reading time - I should read what I want to and not waste time on a book that doesn't capture my attention. After all, I have a huge stack of other books waiting for me!

6) I haven't read an e-book yet. It's not because I don't want to - I have some friends who have published ebooks. But I stare at a computer screen all day - the last thing I want to do is stare at a computer screen to read a book. And I don't have enough money to print the entire book.

7) I don't sneak a peek at endings, even though I'm tempted!

8) I read a book to my daughter every night before bedtime.

9) I used to have a special bookmark for all my books. Now I just mark my page with whatever I can find around the house. :-)

10) I used to read during the summer vacations in elementary and junior high...well, okay...even high school when I wasn't working! It used to drive my brothers nuts. They'd constantly ask me to go play baseball and I'd say, "No, I'm reading." :-)

I tag Rachel, Dana, and Tess!

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Adventures of Mice and Women

Busy weekend!!!

Before I get to the riveting tale of my mice adventures, I have to celebrate - last night I wrote SIX new pages - single spaced - on my new laptop.



I had an awesome time. Felt so good to sit there and write on the couch with the Christmas carols playing (hubby took the kids to a friend's house to let me write) and my dog lying at my feet. I didn't want to stop writing when bedtime rolled around, so I took the laptop to bed with me and wrote for another hour.

My other stepson flew in (on a plane, of course) from Kentucky on Saturday night. He and his brother and my daughter happily played together into the wee hours of the morning. He'll be here through the 31st.

Yesterday afternoon, my mother and I went to The Nutcracker ballet. Although I am not a ballet fan, I did enjoy the beautiful costumes and scenery and the music. Mom and I went and had supper after that - it was great to spend time together.

On to the mice adventures...

Saturday morning, my stepson ran upstairs. "Mom!" he yelled. "There's a mouse in a box in my room!"

I trudged (somewhat unwillingly) downstairs to his room, grabbed a broom, and kicked the box. Sure enough, a little mouse scurried inside.

"Okay," I said. "Here is what we're going to do. Pick up the box and take it outside. I'll keep guard with the broom."

My brilliant plan to take the box outside, dump the contents, and let the puppies do what they will with the mouse, did not come to be. Instead, as my stepson climbed the stairs, the mouse decided to make his grand entrance. He shot through stepson's fingers and stepson dropped the box on the stairs with a loud crash.

I was screaming, he was yelling and jumping up and down, and I was frantically trying to stop the little grey creature from going up my pant leg or worse, escaping! The little guy hopped up and down the stairs, avoiding my broom, and probably freaking out over my screams and my stepson's frantic yells!

I finally cornered him and stepson and I looked at each other and burst out laughing. What a pair we were! "Okay," I said, "go get your shoes on and find the dustpan. We're going to smack him with it and then put him outside."

When stepson came back with the dustpan, I moved my broom and the little mouse shot out like a bullet. More screaming and yelling ensued. Stepson finally cornered him on the stairs and kicked the dustpan. He checked to see if the mouse was dead and was surprised when it wasn't. He kicked the dustpan again. This happened about three times.


He pulled the dustpan away and groaned.

"I thought it was still alive because it had its eyes open!" he said. But the poor kid didn't realize that he'd smashed the mouse into oblivion. I'm not kidding, either - it looked like the poor thing had exploded.

Yes. You can groan in disgust now.

Last night, I went into the kitchen, turned the light on, and saw a mouse scurry across my kitchen counter and back behind my stove. Grrrrrr....I wasn't happy. Especially since I had two traps set up on the OTHER side of the stove.

Me, being the genius that I am, (LOL!), moved the glue trap to the other side of the stove. And wallah! This morning, the wee beastie was caught on the trap. Unfortunately, he was still alive. That made me feel bad.

"Why can't you just stay out of my house?" I wailed. "Then I wouldn't have to kill you!"

Hubby and I went and tried to find more holes. We insulated every corner of our unfinished basement and it's now a lot warmer. I hope we also dissuaded any more mice from coming inside.

We let our cat inside over the weekend, despite my allergy to her, and she earned her keep by catching three mice.

Now add that up - the exploding mouse, the glue trap mouse, and three caught by the cat.

That's five.

Now we can all say a collective EWWWWWWWWW.

I'm about ready to call the exterminator.

Unfortunately, the cat also had a grand time knocking down Christmas decorations. I'm not at all happy about that. But hey, she caught three mice. She's okay in my book. ;-)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Ten Days!

Ten days until Christmas? Wow. When did that happen?

Thankfully, most of my shopping is done. To make things easy this year, hubby and I decided to give the couples in our families gift certificates to a restaurant. You can't go wrong with those!

I still need to wrap presents for our kids and we're trying to decide when they should open their gifts. Since we're traveling clear across the state in my little Ford Escort (and we're going to have THREE kids since my other stepson is coming Saturday from Kentucky), we don't have room to bring them. I don't know if the kids can wait until after Christmas to open their presents from us, but it might be easier than opening them before Christmas and having them want to bring them on the trip!

I still need to get my hubby a few things - he's always hard to shop for. He's such a guy - he likes tools and home theater systems and new Dodge pick-ups!!! :-) But I have an idea what I'm going to get - I just need to sneak off for awhile and shop.

No writing done - although I did play with my new laptop last night. In fact, I watched a Christmas movie on the laptop's DVD player. That was fun.

I also updated my World War II blog - did a book review for a wonderful inspirational romance series that takes place during World War II. Check it out!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Another Fun Tag!

Tess tagged me, so here goes!

Seven Things to Do Before I Die:

1) Take a European tour
2) Publish several books
3) Build a new house
4) Visit Colonial Williamsburg
5) Go to the London Symphony
6) Meet Matthew McConaughey
7) Learn how to swim

Seven Things I Cannot Do:

1) Drive a stick shift
2) Keep a perfect house
3) Not cry when I'm angry
4) Not sleep in on a Saturday
5) Make fried chicken
6) Avoid chocolate
7) Swim

Seven Things that Attract Me to My Spouse (or significant other, best friend, etc.)

1) His smile
2) His incredible sense of humor
3) His kindness
4) The way he loves his children
5) The way he kisses me - still makes me weak in the knees!
6) His love of books
7) The way he surprises me

Seven Things I Say (or write!) Most Often

1) Oh crap
2) I know!
3) Bloody hell (usually write this, but not always!)
4) When are you coming home? (Yup, to the husband!)
5) Did you feed the dogs?
6) WHAT?!? (usually in response to, "MOM!")
7) Did you hang up your towel? (ALWAYS say this to the stepson!)

Seven Books (or series) I Love

1) Tree of Gold by Rosalind Laker
2) A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
3) The Golden Chronicles series by Patricia Veryan
4) The Liar's Club series by Celeste Bradley
5) My Lady Notorious by Jo Beverley
6) Daughters of Fortune series by Judith Pella
7) The Watchers by Dean Koontz

Seven Movies I Would Watch Over and Over Again

1) Bridget Jones' Diary
2) Under the Tuscan Sun
3) Princess Bride
4) Sense and Sensibility
5) The Longest Day
6) Frenchman's Creek
7) Most of my classic movie collection

Seven People I Want to Join In (Be Tagged)

1) Luanne
2) Michelle
3) C. Rooney (when she gets back)
4) Dana
5) Rachel
6) A.E.
7) Amy Knupp

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Christmas Cards and New Spaces

I wrote my Christmas cards last night. It wasn't a chore, really, because I enjoy doing them, but I think that they are becoming a thing of the past. More and more people decline to send them every year either because they don't have enough time or they would rather send e-cards. I think it's a shame because I love to get mail - actual letters and cards I can hold in my hands.

At work, my department moved into a new office building. It's taken awhile to get the computers up and running, the phones working, and get everything settled in. I decorated my little cube for Christmas, though - and yes, I put up a Nativity scene! :-)

And I have to send a big THANK YOU to
  • Luanne
  • for selling me her laptop! I'm SOOO excited to snuggle under my blanket on the couch and write!

    Tuesday, December 13, 2005

    The Pro's and Con's

    For my job, I write each and every day. I'm a copywriter and I love it.

    This is a good thing and a bad thing.

    The good things:

    1) My writing has improved so much since I started that it's unbelievable. The simple act of editing and revising each and every day has strengthened my skills.

    2) I'm writing every day. This keeps my writing muscle well-toned.

    3) I love my job. I'm writing for a living!

    The bad things:

    1) The last thing I want to do when I get home is sit in front of a computer to work on my novel. Lately, that's been a big problem. It wasn't always this way...I'm not sure what changed.

    2) I don't feel like I have enough time to do the household chores, spend time with the kids, spend time with hubby, and write. Since I try and exercise after work, I usually don't get home until 6:30. That leaves me 3 1/2 hours before bedtime. And time absolutely flies in the evenings!

    I told my husband last night that I'm incredibly hard on myself. I've given myself a mental lashing for not writing lately and perhaps that is contributing to the problem. Instead, I think I should just give myself permission not to write right now. But I'm not too comfortable with that, either, because I want to be writing.

    I wish I could find the solution to all this. It seems like I struggle with this issue every few months. Maybe I need to quit making it a struggle. Maybe I'm taking myself entirely too seriously and need to take my own advice - to write for the joy of it.

    I'm thinking of buying another laptop. The one I have is pretty ancient - I can't use my jump drive on it and floppy disks are so unreliable that I don't want to try and transfer data to my desktop with one. Maybe I'll look into the Alpha Smart. I don't need a fancy laptop - just something to write on and transfer to my desktop. I wouldn't mind sitting on the couch at night while my daughter colors and writing. Of course, when I write at my desktop, she usually drags her stuff downstairs to work next to me. :-) But having the comfort of a soft couch and a blanket with the lights of the Christmas tree surrounding me...ah, yes. That sounds quite perfect.

    The kicker is that I really really WANT to write. But it's finding the time. I know we all struggle with it. But if you want to make writing your career, you make time, right? But what else is sacrificed in the meantime? I refuse to put my writing above my family. My daughter and stepson will only be young for so long. I want to cherish these times. On the other hand, I cannot deny myself the pleasure of writing.

    Balance is the key! Implementing it is another story!

    Monday, December 12, 2005

    Relaxing With a Cup of Tea

    My Victorian tea party was great. My friends came over wearing Victorian hats. It was so much fun! We had tea, scones, rasberry tarts, and crackers and cheese. I wanted to make cucumber sandwiches, but I didn't get around to it.

    My whole goal in having the tea was to just have everyone relax in the midst of the holiday season. We sat around and talked, laughed, and had a wonderful time. I am truly thankful to have such caring friends.

    Since I spent most of Saturday cleaning and then hosted my party, I had wanted Sunday to be a day of rest, which is what the good Lord intended! Unfortunately, that didn't happen. We have a mouse problem again, which I suppose isn't too surprising considering the cold weather. But I cannot stand the little bastards. We went searching for holes again in our house and found plenty. The former owners didn't do a very good job of remodeling - they did it themselves and boy, can you tell. They remodeled the kitchen and the bathroom and put in a basement. Since the house was built in 1909, we have to deal with everything that comes with it. The former owners didn't touch our bedroom and as a result, it desperately needs a facelift. Our closet is basically a big hold in the wall and the plaster has fallen off in chunks. We hope to get it remodeled by the time we want to sell.

    Strange thing happened last night...I was commiserating over my lack of writing once again and why I can't decide which manuscript to write on. And out of nowhere, a voice: "Work on both of them, girl!"

    So I shall. :-)

    Friday, December 09, 2005

    Friday Tidbits

    It's Friday! The weekend is nearly here and I can't wait.

    —As I am a big Snoopy fan AND a writer, I love Snoopy as the Literary Ace. And that makes what I found today even better... Literary Ace merchandise!!! Sweatshirts, t-shirts, mousepads,, fun! Now I'm trying to decide which one I want to order...

    —I'm having a Victorian Tea at my house on Saturday. Since my living room is decorated like a Victorian Christmas, I'm quite excited. I'm going shopping after work today for food and little goodies to give to my friends. It's just going to be six of us, but my whole idea for this party was to give everyone a time to relax during this stressful holiday season. We're just going to sit back and visit, sip our tea, and eat some goodies!

    —I have my ring! It is just gorgeous. A round emerald with three diamonds on each side. My husband was so sweet last night. He came home and we talked for a bit, then he got a very serious look on his face. "My beautiful wife, love of my life..." and then he pulled out the ring box. Talk about romantic! It was all the better because I'd completely forgotten about it!!!

    —Thanks for all your comments on my writing dilemma...I am determined to get out of this particular "funk" and be good to myself and write!

    Thursday, December 08, 2005

    What is Wrong?

    Last night was sheer misery for me. Oh, not that I was physically miserable, but I was emotionally bent out of shape.

    I've wanted to write for weeks now. It's become particularly bad this last week, especially with the beautiful snow we've received (well, it's more beautiful when I'm at home, nice and cozy!) and the cold weather. Perfect time to write! And it's the Christmas season!

    But I am so frustrated. It's been so long since I've worked on this particular novel, The Rake's Lady, that I feel like I need to review my GMC's, re-read what I've already written, and look over my character sketches to get a feel for the characters again. But I can't seem to drum up the enthusiasm. Or maybe it's the motivation.

    Here's the kicker...I want to write. I want to sit down and indulge myself.

    Why can't I? What is holding me back?

    I've discovered something about myself lately...if I don't write, I am miserable. I get cranky. I feel a lack of peace. I feel disconnected from myself. In general, I am not happy.

    Knowing all of this, why can't I make myself sit down and write? It's not writer's block. I know where I'm going, I know the characters, and I am not writing myself into a wall.

    I'm thinking it's my lack of exercise the past few weeks. The weather has been bad and tons of other stuff has come up (yes, excuses, I know) and I've really missed my work-outs. I plan to go tonight, come hell or high water.

    But it's not just husband works very long hours. When he gets home, I want to spend time with him - it's often only an hour or two - and I feel like I should not spend that time writing since we see so little of each other. And then I feel guilty for not spending time with my kids. To top it all off, I sit in front of a computer all day and write for my job. Usually that doesn't bother me, to come home and work on my own stuff. But lately, that's the last thing I want to do - sit in front of a computer. I'd rather snuggle on the couch with my daughter and read a book than do anything.

    Yet this nagging feeling won't leave me alone. I'm restless. I'm edgy. I snap like an ice-covered branch at the slightest thing. And no, it's not my hormones! *grin*

    I'm at a loss. I want to write, yet can't make myself sit down. I need to write for my own sanity. Then why am I struggling?

    Wednesday, December 07, 2005

    Christmas Carols!

    Just a quick, fun post for today - work is busy!!! (And yes, I'm really at work today! Hubby brought home my keys and made more!)

    What is your favorite Christmas carol?

    Here are my top five:

    1) God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman

    2) Christmas Eve in My Home Town

    3) White Christmas

    4) Oh Holy Night

    5) Jingle Bell Rock

    Tuesday, December 06, 2005

    A Couple Days Off!

    Ever heard this great Huey Lewis and the News song? "All I want is a couple days off!!!"

    Well, I really did want a couple days off. But today, I got one whether I wanted it or not.

    I was on my way out the door to pull the car out of the garage when I noticed my keys were missing. No big deal, I thought. Hubby probably put them on the table or in my purse. But after I checked both places and didn't find them, I started to worry.

    In fact, the more I checked, the more empty-handed I became. I called him and asked him to look and see if he'd accidentally taken them. Nope, he said. He couldn't find them anywhere.

    Keep in mind that I had a persistent feeling that he HAD taken the keys, but had spaced off just WHERE he put them.

    A few minutes later, he called back.

    "I found them in my pocket."

    Big eye-rolling session ensued. Hubby is working 88 miles away from home and of course, he discovered that he had my keys AFTER he made that hour and a half drive. He also had the spare key on his own key ring.

    Guess what? No keys!

    Since we do not have another available (i.e. working) vehicle, the kids and I stayed home today. I didn't have much of a choice. But really, it's okay to take a break from the routine during the working week. I think it does everyone a bit of good.

    Not that I've been taking a break. I'm working just as hard here at home as I do at work. That's the benefit (or lack thereof) of having a computer at home.

    On the plus side, I've got the laundry started, I don't have to leave the house (or rather, I CAN'T leave the house) to go pick up the kids or do anything else, and I just might have time to write tonight!

    Monday, December 05, 2005

    Christmas In Connecticut

    This movie just came out on DVD and it's an absolute treat! Made in 1945 with Barbara Stanwyck, this is a classic holiday tale full of love, laughter, and good food.

    Stanwyck plays Elizabeth Lane, a popular magazine food columnist that isn't what she seems - in fact, she's made everything up about her farm in Connecticut (she lives in a New York apartment), her husband (she's not married) and her baby (nope, she doesn't have that, either!). And the best part? She can't cook!

    When the owner of the magazine arranges for a World War II veteran to visit her house for the holidays, Elizabeth has some quick thinking to do, especially when she finds out the owner himself will be her guest, as well! She'd got to come up with a farm, a husband, a baby, and culinary skills!

    A delightful romp full of holiday cheer as well as a great romance, Christmas in Connecticut is a perfect way to spend a cold, winter evening.

    Sunday, December 04, 2005

    And It's Off!

    What do you do when you and your husband get into an argument and you really just don't feel like being in the same room as he is?

    Why, you go downstairs to your office, turn on the space heater, grab a Diet Pepsi and some Hershey's Kisses, and start writing.

    I just sent off a query letter to a history magazine. I have high hopes, but we'll see what happens.

    I figure if I'm not in the mood to work on the novel (which I hope to be by this evening), then I'll work on other writing projects.

    We went to the Christmas parade yesterday morning. Wow. Talk about freezing your buns off! A gentle snow fell during the entire parade and while it was positively beautiful (have you ever stopped to look at a single individual snowflake? It is absolutely AMAZING how intricate and detailed they are), we were all so cold that we really couldn't enjoy the parade. A lot of entrants canceled, too - only one marching band out of twenty showed up. Ah well.

    Also went Christmas shopping last night. I tell ya, some of these sales people are REALLY starting to bug me. You know the type - the ones that have the little booths out in the middle of the mall, selling nail products or hair products or whatever. Every single time I go to the mall they try and snag me. And here's how they do it:

    "Can I ask you a question?"

    And if you say, "Sure," then you're in for it.

    Lately I just say, "I already have that stuff" which is true, only I bought it last year and hardly ever use it on my nails simply because I type too much and do not have time to have long nails.

    I know it's their job, but it's really really annoying me. I've been to the mall probably so much lately you'd think they'd quit trying. But no...every time they try and "ask me a question."

    Tomorrow is Monday already...not ready for it at all. That means another week of work, work, work. I must admit, most of the time the whole routine doesn't bother me. I just try not to think about it too much. But lately...well, lately I wish I could just take an entire week off. And that will happen the week before Christmas. Unfortunately, I'll also have THREE children in the house since my other stepson is coming from Kentucky to celebrate Christmas with us. But they should have enough Christmas presents to keep them busy while I work on my writing, lounge on the couch, or read a good book.

    Thursday, December 01, 2005

    A Tag: What I Love About Books

    I've been tagged by Dana for a Book Meme. Fifteen facts and personal preferences about books. Oh dear. Where to start? Now I've got to think a minute...

    1) I love history books. I own tons and tons of history books, from the eighteenth century through World War II and everything in between. I never know when I'm going to get a particular story idea set in a different time period.

    2) Old bookstores are AWESOME. I love to find out-of-print treasures, especially those I've been looking for for awhile.

    3) I've worked at three bookstores and a library in my lifetime.

    4) I want to own a used bookstore someday after I sell. That way I can have an income from the novels since used bookstores rarely make a lot of money! But I would have such a cool bookstore - like a combined coffeehouse/bookstore.

    5) I used to be very obsessive about my books. I kept them in pristine condition. I NEVER bent pages. If the cover got bent, I would about blow a gasket. (This was all pre-marriage and pre-kids, of course).

    6) I used to keep a list of all the books I'd read (and I still have it somewhere) and I'd give every book a rating.

    7) My husband and I share a common love for books. Our basement walls are literally lined with bookshelves. When we move, it's really going to suck. ;-)

    8) You can ALWAYS get me a book for Christmas or my birthday! I can never have enough.

    9) I mark the annual library booksale on my calendar and my husband actually took the day off for it!

    10) I've recently started collecting the books I read as a young teenager - mostly Patricia Veryan and Rosalind Laker, two of my all-time favorites.

    11) If a book doesn't capture my attention within the first few chapters, I'll move on to something else. As my husband told me, it's my time to read and I should read something I like! No need to suffer through it if it's not good.

    12) The first time I walked into my undergrad college's library, I nearly fainted at all of the wonderful history books I found. Coming from a small town (1,600 people), I didn't have access to books like that. Now I have access to my university's library and our city library is great, too.

    13) I love good cover art. Gorgeous, well-done covers immediately catch my attention, no matter what genre.

    14) My daughter loves books, too! Every night we read a book before bedtime.

    15) My brothers used to get upset with me in the summertime when they'd ask me to come play baseball with them and I'd be reading a book (I still remember reading every single Nancy Drew book and all the Wizard of Oz books during the summers). To this day, my brothers still give me a hard time about it. But I truly believe that all the reading I did as a child helped contribute to the writer I am today.

    I tag Kelley, Michelle, AE, and Amy from WriteMinded.

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