Saturday, March 31, 2007

Blog Tour: A Valley of Betrayal

Inspirational novelist Tricia Goyer's latest book sweeps you to the heart of the Spanish Civil War before Hitler unleased World War II upon the world.

The first in her Chronicles of the Spanish Civil War series, A Valley of Betrayal tells the story of artist Sophie Grace who wants to find her love, Michael, who is a news photographer in war-torn Spain. But Michael is perhaps not all that he seems. And who is the beautiful Maria? And then there's the American soldier who comes to Sophie's rescue...

Meticulously researched and brimming with rich, historical detail, Goyer does an amazing job of transporting you to this time and place. Read the first chapter and immerse yourself in this inspiring story of love and faith.

Tricia Goyer is the author of five novels, two nonfiction books, and one children's book. Her novels include Night Song, which won ACFW's Book of the Year for Long Historical Romance in 2005. Dawn of a Thousand Nights also won in the same category in 2006. Both are set during World War II.
Visit Tricia's blog and get to know this talented gal!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Writer's Self-Criticism

The Writer magazine had a special writing booklet you could buy for $4.95 full of interviews with well-known writers in their monthly "How I Write" section. Of course, I bought it. $4.95 for a bunch of writerly wisdom? I'm there.

While reading Chang-rae Lee's interview - author of the novels Native Speaker, A Gesture Life, and Aloft, - something caught my attention.

In his advice to writers, he said, " kind of stubborn about your writing and very critical of it. I know immediately if the younger and beginnings writers I meet are not good writers because they tend to like their stuff. Most every professional writer I know is very critical of their material, even after it's published, even after it has won prizes, because they're constantly looking for other possibilities to push their form." (p. 6)

Are you critical of your writing? I most certainly am. In fact, while reading through my first ten chapters tonight, I kept thinking, this isn't good enough. It's just not good enough. But I've thought that about a lot of my stuff that's been published and people apparently like it (so far!).

So here's an interesting question. If you absolutely love what you've written - does that mean it's not any good?

For me, when I complete something, I usually have a feeling of general satisfaction. There may be certain parts of the piece that I absolutely love, but I generally do not absolutely love the entire piece. Does that make sense? I remain critical of it, knowing that I could have done this, or said it this way or that. But at some point, you just have to stop editing.

What about you? How do you view Lee's comment? Do you believe it is possible to completely love a piece you've written and for that piece to be good? Or do you strongly disagree with Lee and think that such an attitude is self-defeating?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

"They Do Kind of Eat You"

My daughter gets into dinosaurs every once in awhile. We go through phases. For a month or so, it's Scooby Doo and she watches movie after movie of Scooby Doo. Then it could be Clifford, the Big Red Dog. Or Balto, the half-wolf, half-dog. Or tigers. The list goes on, but it always involves animals. Last week when we were into Barnes & Noble, though, she wanted a drawing book about dinosaurs. She is quite the artist, so I went ahead and found her one.

We were talking about them the other night and she told me that dinosaurs weren't very nice. I wisely agreed.

"And you know," she said, tilting her head in that I-know-all-about-dinosaurs fashion, "they do kind of eat you."

"Well, yes, I suppose they do," I said, trying not to laugh.

I wasn't laughing earlier, though. There was a strange—and very bad—smell coming from her room. I searched and searched, thinking that perhaps there was some old food hanging around. But when I opened the little cubby on her bed, I found the culprit - a huge pile of worms.

Worms. And they were still alive, wriggling around in their container of mud. Some had even fallen out. And I don't mean just one or two worms - I mean fifteen or twenty. Wow. And did they ever stink! I ran outside with the container and promptly threw them into the muddy soil (thank goodness it was raining).

That's my daughter, the nature lover. She loves to capture things and study them. I've found bugs, frogs, rolly pollies, you name it, sequestered in her room. But this was the last straw. I told her that it was fine to look at worms and other types of animals, but they had to stay outside. We'll see if she remembers. ;-)

Writing News

Figured out the ending of my chapter and I'm ecstatic with how it turned out. Now I'm delving into the "detailed synopsis" and trying to just write it and not worry too much about it.
Happy Wednesday!

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Writing Life

This is one of our four new kitties. Already a week old, I can't believe how big they are! Mama Cat (Katie) is quite the mother and even when I moved the kitties for a few minutes to try and take their pics, she would have none of it and immediately started moving them back to their spot. I did manage to snap this pic of my daughter with one of them, though.

Saturday and Sunday, I edited. And edited. And edited some more. I almost felt like I was chained to the desk on Sunday afternoon. The weather was perfect. Slight breeze, gorgeous temperatures, and sun! It was hard for me to stay at my computer - especially since I couldn't use my laptop. But darn it, I was determined to get this done.

Unfortunately, this one chapter took me both days to do. It was a pivotal moment for my characters and thus, it had to be exactly perfect - or, as perfect as I can get it. I think I slaved over each and every word. I deleted a lot, then started again. I'm still not happy with how I ended the chapter and I think I'll work on that a bit more before declaring it a done deal.

It's funny how the writing process works. In writing the novel, we're supposed to ignore our inner editor, to not worry over whether or not what we write is crap - after all, we can fix crap, right?

Well, when it comes time to fixing that crap, it's hard. I told my husband today that the scene I was working on was extremely difficult. All the elements had to fall together in these few pages - emotions, characterization, pacing, etc. And if they didn't, the reader wouldn't be satisfied. But until I'm satisfied - i.e., I'm feeling what my character's feeling and holding my breath while I read it - it's not done.

But, even though it is hard when it comes to editing, I love it. This is the time when I can play, where I can tinker and make it exactly how I want it (but not tinker too long, or else I run the risk of over-editing!).

In fact, this whole writing process is hard. Very hard. If you want to get it right, you have to do your work, put in your time, study the craft, write, write, write, then write some more. It's not easy. It's nerve-wracking. It takes away time from your family and friends. It gives you back aches. It makes you drink loads of Diet Pepsi and eat dark chocolate (funny - I now prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate). But oh, the rewards! I wrote a piece tonight for this scene that I thought was so good, I couldn't believe I'd done it. And you know what I did? I emailed it to myself - just that little scene - just in case something happened to my file. How bizarre is that? I also used to stuff my hard copy of my first novel in my freezer - that was before my Mom bought me a fireproof safe - to make sure it survived any calamities.

If you're a writer, celebrate! Embrace your calling! Yeah - it's a strange, difficult, wonderful, awesome job. But really - would you have it any other way?

Not me!

"God created me to write. I will write no matter what."
~Madeleine L'Engle

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Weekend

Sorry I disappeared for a few days. Work was brutal this week and that could very well have contributed to the massive headache I suffered on Friday. My ears even hurt. In fact, it still hurts, so I'm not sure if it's just a headache or something more. Guess we'll see.

On the agenda for the weekend - editing and more editing. I have to also work on a "detailed" synopsis. Ugh. Funny how different agents are. Some ask for a one to two page synopsis, others want something much more. Well, I've got the two-page synopsis, but not the ten page! So will need to do that next.

Another idea hit me for my Italian-set novel. I had originally wanted it to be a very breezy, fun novel. But then this idea appeared and it's not even close to being breezy and fun, but it would work very well with the story. So I'm not sure what I'll do. It may be that I will write two novels set in Italy - maybe a sort of "duet" of novels. Hmm...can you hear the wheels churning?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


As the esteemed Brain from Pinky and the Brain would say, "Yessss!" (In a "I'm-going-to-dominate-the-world type voice).

Remember the last part of my novel that a few friends of mine felt was "tacked on"? Last night I figured out how to fix it. And it works perfectly.

Sigh of pure, utter bliss.

Hubby also was in charge of the children last night, allowing me to work on my edits. More bliss.

Today is a rainy, cloudy, and cool day. Perfect for staying at home and writing, but unfortunately, there's that new toy sitting in my driveway that requires payments, so the day job has to come first.

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


You may remember the winter Olympics held in Turin, Italy. Nearly a hundred years ago, my great-grandparents came from this area, got on a ship in Le Havre, France, and came to America. They left the village of Volpiano behind and started a new life on the prairie of western Nebraska.
Pietro (Pete) and Domenica (known as Minnie) Amateis didn't have it easy. They spoke no English and farming was a tough life to live. But they went on to have eight children - three girls and five boys - owned their own farm, and built their own house.
I've always been fascinated by my Italian heritage. My grandfather and my great uncles used to sit around the table after a cattle branding at my house while I was growing up (the homestead where my great-grandparents settled) and tell stories about their childhood. I listened, fascinated by the antics of my great-grandfather in chasing a thief from the chicken coop or how he used to eat eggs and bacon every morning for breakfast, but never worried about his cholesterol.
I have pictures of my great-grandmother, but she never looks very happy. I think she had a hard life here in America. When she was a girl in Italy, she worked in a silk factory, tying thread. My great-grandfather used to take marble across the border into France and have to watch out for attacks from the gypsies. They wanted a better life, so they left everything they knew behind and came here where they knew nothing - not the language, the customs, or even how vast this country was. But they especially didn't realize how tough life would be.
When my father was in the air force, he had an officer tell him that our last name - Amateis - was an old French name. We were puzzled by this for awhile since we are an Italian family. But it turns out that we come from the Piedmont area in northern Italy, an area that used to be under the French House of Savoy.
I still have plenty of relatives in Italy - especially in Volpiano. And I can't wait to meet them, which is why I'm tentatively planning a trip to the "mother country" with my two brothers and my father for next year or the year after. We've all wanted to visit for a long time - and I think now the time has come. Not only will I be able to research my roots, meet my family, and bask in the Italian sunshine, but I'll also be able to soak in the culture of my ancestors and hopefully be able to transfer that experience into my novel. It's the perfect combination!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Cat Drama

Friday morning brought a bit of drama to our household. Our cat, Katie, was pregnant and we'd been waiting for the babies to show up. Since she looked ready to explode the last few weeks, we knew the kitties' birth was imminent. (This is the proud Mama up above).

Well, one little kitty showed up at approximately 9 a.m. And then we waited. And waited some more. Katie came and entwined herself around my legs, meowing and wanting to eat. I thought, "Surely there's more than one in there!" But no other kittens were forthcoming.

Being who I am, I researched this rather unusual phenomena on the internet. Turns out a cat can be in birth for several hours. But by that evening, I grew frantic. I could feel the babies still moving in Katie's tummy, but she didn't appear to be in any hurry to push them out. After a call to the vet, they said they could either do an ultrasound or an X-ray to see what was going on, or I could just keep a close eye on her. I opted for the latter.

At about 9 p.m., Katie strolled upstairs and lay on my lap. Those of you who know me well will find this a feat in itself since I am not a cat person - not only am I allergic, but their claws have appeared in my dreams on more than one occasion - and not in a good way. But this cat has wormed her way into my heart (probably because she is an excellent mouser and very affectionate) . Fortunately, my allergies don't bother me with her anymore.

Katie promptly went to sleep on my lap and I felt her babies rolling around and kicking inside her. And still, she had no urge to go into labor. She dutifully took care of her other kitten and we just decided to let her take her time.

By the next morning, she still hadn't had them. I thought for sure she would have taken advantage of the quiet in the house during the night to pop out the rest. But no. In her typical unique Katie fashion, she waited. About an hour after I got up, I discovered another kitty had been born. And probably three hours later, two more came. We now have four adorable kitties and I'm almost ashamed to say we're all gaga over them. Why? Because we've always been staunch dog lovers. We have three monstrous dogs in the backyard outside. But this cat is special. (And don't worry! The cat is getting fixed after this! No need to add to the over-population.)

She's a good mom - all four babies are doing well. But Katie has a voracious appetite and has been eating quite a bit. I've indulged her. I know what it's like to give birth to one child - I can't imagine four. Animals amaze me - they can give birth all on their own - no human interference needed. :-)

On Writing...

In addition to the cat drama on Friday, I had a burst of inspiration for a new novel. Since it was the dead of night, I had to get up and write it all down, and now I can't wait to start researching. It's not WWII, even, but takes place in contemporary Italy. The problem? I'm worried I can't pull it off. Not the story so much as the whole Italian atmosphere. I want to get it right. After reading Peter Mayle's novel, A Good Year, I felt like I was right in Provence, France. And of course, he can write about Provence so well because he lives there. How am I ever going to write so eloquently about Italy? More on this topic later this week...

Also got back to editing the novel and it felt great. I'm hoping to be done with it by the end of April, if not sooner.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Fun Friday

It's been a great, relaxing week. Even though I've still been working just as hard as if I was in the office, there's been a relaxing atmosphere to it all. Maybe it's because I was able to take breaks sitting on my front porch swing and watching the kids play. All I know is, I could get used to this. (And yes, my daughter played dress up again - I have no idea what she's supposed to be, but notice the tiger tail? I'm thinking some sort of animal superhero...)
Since it's been a week for reading and relaxing, I thought I'd ask you all what you've been reading.
Here's my two:
Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley
A Good Year by Peter Mayle

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Recharging the Batteries

These past few days I've been recharging my writing batteries. We've had such nice weather that I couldn't stand the thought of being inside all day. Besides, I've been in my hermit mode since, well, probably December. But over the weekend, I wasn't at home much. Yesterday I ended up raking leaves on the front lawn and playing "I Spy" with my daughter on the front porch. The sun was almost hot and there was a slight breeze - it was perfect.

I've felt a twinge of guilt over not writing, but just a twinge. Why? Because I can feel the joy and anticipation start to build inside me. I can't wait to get back to the novel. I can't wait to dive into my characters' lives again. Instead of feeling a bit of reluctance to get back to work, I am excited - and I attribute that excitement to me taking a break.

In my opinion, we all need to step back from the computer or the notebook once in awhile and "recharge" ourselves. If we don't, our writing goes stale and we can get burned out. Even a few days can make a lot of difference sometimes.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring's Here!

I'm not sure if spring is officially here on the calendar, but it's arrived on my front doorstep. I even had to get out the spring Snoopy flag.
Weather is gorgeous. I sat outside yesterday on my front porch swing and just basked in the mild temps, the birds' chirping, and the sun. No more snow! No more ice! It has all melted, thank goodness.
I'm home all week with the kiddos - they're on spring break, so my boss graciously allowed me to work from home this week, cutting daycare expenses and maybe threatening my sanity. But hey, it's worth it.
Must run and buy Casino Royale at some point today - and you all know what I'll be doing tonight! :-)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

My New Toy

My car has been on its last leg for awhile. I've had it for two years and when we bought it, let's just say we didn't have much of a choice - we needed a vehicle, period. It was a little white '97 Ford Escort. Good car, all in all, but it was time for an upgrade - especially since it's going to cost a bundle to fix everything that's wrong with it.

Since hubby works at a car dealership, we were able to get a good deal on this '07 Jeep Liberty. I love it. I love driving it around. In fact, I wanted to go to the grocery store just as an excuse to drive! It fits me perfectly.

I've never had a brand new vehicle before - we're doing a lease with this and I really like that option right now. Hubby was determined to get me into a safer, more reliable vehicle and this is what he came up with. And even though I was a little in awe of what he picked out for me, he said, "You deserve it, hon." Awwww, what a guy!

Movie Reviews

I watched Flags of Our Fathers on Friday night. It was different than I expected. It follows the lives of three soldiers who were part of the flag raising at Iwo Jima. During the war, the government pulled them back to the States to do a war bond tour since the country was in dire need of money to finance the war. It flashes back and forth to the Battle of Iwo Jima and the war bond tour. Touted as the "Heroes of Iwo Jima" during this tour, these three soldiers knew the true heroes were the ones who lost their lives on that volcanic island. What director Clint Eastwood accomplished, quite briliantly, with this movie is to show the vast difference between the homefront and the battlefield - average Americans didn't have a clue as to what it was really like overseas. And it was difficult for soldiers to return home and try to adapt to society once more. The 1940s classic, The Best Years of Our Lives, also portrays the cifficulties of servicemen coming home from war.

On Saturday night, I watched A Good Year and it was like (I would say a fine wine, but really, I am no wine expert - actually can't stand the stuff, so I'll use a chocolate analogy instead) a piece of rich, dark chocolate - luxurious, decadent, and just plain delicious. It sort of meandered along. It wasn't an action-packed movie, but rather just a nice stroll through Provence, France, and the lives of Max and his memories of Uncle Henry. Russell Crowe is an absolute delight - of course, I've always been a huge fan of his, but he is rather endearing and loveable in this film. The scenery is gorgeous and even though the story may be a bit cliche, it doesn't matter. You'll want to watch it to the end.

Friday, March 09, 2007

A Movie Weekend

Thanks for all your advice about my manuscript conundrum. I've decided that the "tacked on" section is imperative to the story and thus, I will be making revisions throughout the rest of the manuscript that will lead my readers to want to read the end. I'm anxious to get to it!

Last night hubby rented me two movies I've been very eager to see - Clint Eastwood's WWII movie, Flags of Our Fathers and Russell Crowe's new on A Good Year.

So on tap for this weekend: revisions and movies. And since we're supposed to be having great weather, I plan on taking the dog for lots of walks, too!

Have a happy Friday and a terrific weekend!

(Edited to add: Just read a great article on writers trusting your readers over at The Master's Artist by J. Mark Bertrand. Read it if you get the chance!)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

What to Do?

Two of my friends have read my novel, and while they really did like it (yay!), they both thought the ending was sort of "tacked on" and that it should have ended much earlier than it did. Here's the set up (though I will try not to give too much away in the event this novel is actually published some day!)

The end of the story (a WW2 novel) takes place after the hero and heroine get married. Since he is a German POW and she is an American, he goes back to Germany, and she follows. I wanted to show him finding his parents, since he had no idea if they were dead or alive, and also show the relationship between the hero and his father since his father was an ardent supporter of the Fatherland. I also wanted my heroine to find her "purpose" in life - this is an inspirational novel and God's purpose for our lives is one of the major themes - and that purpose is helping the people of Germany recover.

Now here's my problem. I love, love, LOVE this part of the book. I love showing the dynamics of how this woman deals with living in a country whose soldiers killed her first husband at Normandy; I love showing the relationship between the hero and his father and how his father reacts to his son's American wife; I love showing how the two deal with their growing faith in this broken country.

My two friends commented that this section felt "too rushed", anticlimatic, that it looked like I needed to up the word count, so I wrote more. But that's not it at all. In fact, I was worried I would go quite a bit over my 100K goal. Maybe I wrapped things up too quickly.

So what to do? I really feel this section is necessary and to be honest, they read my first draft and I've made some major changes in the story since then - weaved together some imperative plot lines and emotional entanglements, etc.

I guess this is what the editing stage is for.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Make the Commitment

Isn't this a beautiful picture? It's by Caroline Bochud and it makes me long to grab my notebook, my dog, my hat, and travel to a nice, calming spot by the river. Or a still lake. Maybe in Italy. Or England. I'll take either.

One thing I like about this painting is that this lady looks committed to whatever it is she's writing.

And even though it's not the most direct correlation to what I want to talk about - commitment - it works.

If you're struggling on the road to publication, I want you to ask yourself a question: are you committed to your writing?

It's a hard question for some. It was a hard question for me for many years. Why?

Because while I was in love with the idea of writing, while I devoured writing books and talked about writing on message boards, etc., and read lots and lots of "finding time to write" articles, I wasn't really writing a whole lot. Oh, I churned out a novel and edited and reedited it over the course of (gulp) five years. I wrote a few short stories that got published. But it wasn't a nose-to-the-grindstone, Larry the Cable guy "get 'er done" type commitment. It was half-hearted. It was "I'll write... when I have time...when I have the energy...when the kids are all in bed...when I feel like it...when I earn the graduate degree in a few months...when I get a fulltime job."

Sound familiar? Sure it does. We've all had those thoughts at one time or another. But have they gotten in the way of "getting it done?" Now, if "getting it done" is finishing a novel or short story and putting it away in your desk drawer while you start another one, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you're a writer, you write. It doesn't necessarily mean that you get published or even want to get published. The process of writing may be enough for you and I completely understand - there is a magic to writing that is hard to describe.

But... for all those writers out there whose ultimate goal is to be published, you have to have a commitment to the writing, to "getting it done."

Two years ago, before I started my current job, I was stuck. I was working on a novel, the same novel that I'd been working on for years - ever since the birth of my child - and I had revised it over and over again. I refused to let it go until it was perfect. Well, after several rounds of sending it off to the agents - of requests for fulls, requests for revisions, it ultimately got rejected. And thanks largely to the butt-kicking of my dear friend Rene, I put it away and worked to finish my next novel.

But there was something different this time. I completed that novel in a year. Compared to the last novel, it was like writing with lightning. What was it that made this time different?

I finally committed to "getting it done." I didn't want to endlessly polish one manuscript forever and ever, I didn't want to just write and put my stuff in a drawer - I wanted to be published. I still want to be published. That is my ultimate goal. And that decision, the decision to commit, changed my writing life.

I don't make excuses any more. I don't endlessly patrol the internet for articles on how to beat procrastination and writer's block (even though those are both completely valid topics that I have experienced numerous times), I don't belong to message boards where I find myself involved in flame wars instead of writing, and I cut out the stuff in my life that took away from my writing.

Will I ever be published in novel-length fiction? I am confident of it. And my confidence has only grown in the past two years.

I made the commitment and it takes a lot of hard work and tough love on myself to keep that commitment. But it's what I want. It's what I've wanted ever since I was a sixth-grader typing madly on my mother's manual typewriter on lined notebook paper. Will it all be flowers and chocolate once I'm published? I'm pretty sure it won't. But I still want it. And that's why I've made the commitment to it.

What about you?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Writing the Novel

If you're a novelist, have you ever stopped to wonder exactly how hard it is to write a novel? I'm sure you've pounded your head on the keyboard a few times when the muse refuses to show up, but I'm talking about the entire process as a whole.
You have characterization. Character arcs. Black moments. Goals. Motivation. Conflict. Pacing. Voice. Description. The list goes on and on.
I'm editing my novel and realizing that this is the time where I try and make all these elements work together to create a compelling story. And for some reason, I'm much more aware of it now than I have been in the past. I'm noticing how much every single thread weaves together to make a story. And it's not easy!
When I first started writing a novel - back in sixth grade - I had no idea about everything that entailed. But I still kept going, determined to tell my characters' story. It's amazing how my writing journey has been one full of learning, and I'm not done yet. I received my April issue of The Writer magazine - and they are celebrating their 120th anniversary - and just devoured it Friday night. Perfect way to spend a Friday evening! There's so much out there on craft - and you can just skim the surface of it if you choose or dive down deep and really dig into it. But the best part is seeing the craft come alive in your manuscript.
No, it's not easy. But it's not supposed to be. Those of us who write novels have an incredible job - and incredible jobs are seldom without challenges.
So if you're struggling with a particular aspect of your novel today, just take a deep breath, remind yourself that it's not supposed to be easy, but that you're learning and growing as a writer with each word you write.

Friday, March 02, 2007

How To Make Me Put Your Book Down

I picked up a book off my shelf the other day that I bought at Barnes & Noble a long time ago. I finally felt in the mood to read it, and things were going along just fine. It's by a New York Times bestselling author and it's set in World War II, so I was pretty sure I'd like it.

Well, I did like it. For awhile.

And then the author pulled something on me that literally had me slam the book shut. Here's the scenario. The main character is about to go out on a secret mission. Granted, I know he's going to make it through because the story is about this main character's son who researches his fathers' past to see what caused him to get a court-martial in the army during the war. Fine and good. I know he's going to survive.

BUT...the author ends the section with the main character writing a letter to his fiancee, telling her that he's going out on this dangerous mission, but not to worry, he'll come out of it just fine. And I eagerly turn the page. Yes, I know he's going to survive, but will he be injured? Near death experience? What?

No worries. The very next paragraph tells me, yes, tells me, that he's just fine and then proceeds to explain how the mission went.

Wait a minute! What happened to the suspense? I felt like I was dangling off a cliff by my fingernails only to discover that there was a nice piece of land inches from my feet. By telling me that he had survived, everything intact, the author effectively wrenched me out of the story. I'll be honest. I haven't picked up that book since I read that. That's how badly it hit me. Do I still want to find out the whole mystery behind the characer's court martial? Sure. And I'll skim through the rest of the book just to find it out, but I won't finish it.

Ever had this happen to you?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Snow Day!

This is the view from our backyard. We got a good six inches or more of the white stuff this morning. The entire school district is shut down as well as the university and all the other colleges in town. But of course, our office is still open, despite having a late start. But thankfully, I can work at home today since my kids are here.
I wish I could just work on my novel all day! But alas, the paycheck must be earned.
If you could have a "snow day", what would you do all day long?

New Digs

I've got a new home on the web - stop by if you get a chance!