Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Revisions and Me

I’m busy working on revisions for TROUBLE! Yay! My hubby is even doing the laundry for me so I don't have to. He's actually better at it soooo maybe he can keep that job? Hmmm, that would be niiiiice.

And, thanks to my awemazingtastic editor, I’m learning so much. She rocks it seriously. Ever hear of talking head syndrome? Pfffftttt, I have. And no, it’s not a new band. It’s a volleying back and forth of dialogue making it hard for the reader to keep track of who’s speaking. And guess what? I win the prize for too many stage directions! Who knew?

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Writer's Journey

Sometimes when I'm stuck, I find this helpful. It's from The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler. Hope you find it helpful too.

1. Hero’s are introduced to the ORDINARY WORLD, where

2. they received the CALL TO ADVENTURE- - -

3. They are RELUCTANT at first or REFUSE THE CALL, but

4. are encouraged by a MENTOR to- - -

5. CROSS THE FIRST THRESHOLD - - - and enter the Special World.

6. They encounter TESTS, ALLIES AND ENEMIES. - - -

7. They APPROACH THE INMOST CAVE, crossing a second threshold.

8. Where they endure the ORDEAL --- Black moment filled with tension.

9. They take possession of their REWARD and ---

10. Are pursued on THE ROAD BACK to the Ordinary World. ---

11. They cross the third threshold, experience a RESURRECTION - - - Black moment, life and death again. - - - and are transformed by the experience.

12. They RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR, a boon or treasure to benefit the Ordinary World. - - -

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Word to the Nice Cashier Lady

Dear Cashier Lady,

You seemed nice. You smiled. You were friendly. It did not matter to you that I didn’t have my little discount card, you gave me the discounted price anyway. BUT, but, but-- that doesn’t mean I don’t mind you putting your spit on my bag or on my change as you count it out. Please, for the sake of the Oink, Oink Flu and other nastiness, keep your spit in your mouth where it belongs, unless of course, you’ve read one of my manuscripts and can’t help but drool due to the genius of my written word. I’d excuse you for that and perhaps slap a bib on you.

Thanks for your cooperation in this very hygienic matter.


The Lady in the Car Rubbing Hand Sanitizer on Her Hands Like Mad.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Klingons and Noodles

Me and my hubby, Captain Kirk, fighting Klingons on Halloween.

My Noodle aka, Devil Dog.

Friday, October 30, 2009


I've been away too long. I have a good excuse though, I've been working on my new wip. It's called, THE MEMORY SWEEPERS. It's different for me and I'm really liking it.

So, tomorrow is Halloween. And, I. don't. like. it. I know, who doesn't like free candy, right? Let's face it though, it's like the day/night of beggars-- my kid included. I have three giant bags of candy from COSTCO. Why can't my daughter just eat that? Why must we risk eating things from STRANGERS? Hello? What's the number one thing we tell our kids? Yup, don't take candy from strangers. Don't even get close to them. And here we are encouraging this behavior. Even going so far as to allowing them to walk right up to a stranger's door and ring the darn bell! Come Sunday, we'll be back to, GET AWAY FROM THAT STRANGER! Sheesh!

You know what? I married a man who LOVES Halloween. My kids love it too. How did this happen? I have no idea.

When I was little, I got sick on Halloween. Turned out to be the Chicken Pox. First bad memory. Somebody probably wiped their germs all over the candy before dropping it into my Pathmark shopping bag. Then, when I was a young adult, I was invited to a Halloween costume party. My father, who always made us up in the best possible way, made me into a scarecrow. It was awesome. Second mistake. You know who won the contest? Some girl in high heels and a short skirt calling herself--- errr--- a lady of the night. Ugh!

Halloween, Schmalloween ...

Monday, September 21, 2009

That New Manuscript Smell

Oh man, I'm sticking my toe in and testing new waters. I'm writing something totally new and different and, psssst ... it scares me but also gives me a butterfly belly. I'm taking that as a good sign.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Summer Reading

Read some great books this summer. Here's a list in no particular order:

How To Steal a Dog by Barbara O'Conner
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
My Brother Abe by Harry Mazer
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Neil Armstrong Is My Uncle & Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me by Nan Marino
Paris Pan Takes the Dare by Cynthea Liu
The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Next up: Donut Days by Lara Zielin

Friday, September 4, 2009

Stuff and Junk

My soon to be fifteen year old has always been a collector of junk------ I mean stuff. The other night, at an end of summer event, someone was selling light-up junk------ I mean stuff. You know, light-up necklaces, sabers and other dust gatherers that parents throw out the first chance they get.

Then it happened. It was there, in front of the hopeful vendor and underneath the stars where I received a sign that my STBFYO was growing up. You see, when my husband asked if she wanted a light-up thingy she said, "NO."


Holey smoles. That has never, ever happened before. So, I guess this is goodbye, Summer and goodbye to you too, fourteen.

Monday, August 31, 2009

All Grown Up

My daughter is settled into her dorm and I am unsettled in my house. I was doing just fine until I hugged her goodbye. *Cue water works.* It was not a good ride home. Eighteen years is just NOT enough time. If you have young ones at home, trust me on this.

That is all.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Cover For LIAR

In Good News, LIAR is getting a new cover! Good move, Bloomsbury. Check it out here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


In my book, TROUBLE NO SET LIKE RAIN, one of the characters is a little boy who never has enough to eat. Growing up, I knew people like this. It broke my heart then and still does.

I came across this today and needed to share it. This man is truly an amazing human. Click here to check him out

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Have I Done Good?

My daughter (aka: My Buddy) is off to college next month. I have always taken every opportunity to point out safety issues/life lessons to both my kids (yes, I’m sure that maybe on occasion I’ve gone overboard. I said maybe). To me, everything is a lesson. And now that my oldest will be on her own, I wonder what I’m not telling her. What am I missing? What am I forgetting? Have I done my very best to prepare her for her new life?

My head hurts. Where’s the Advil?

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Bodies Exhibit

Yesterday, we went to the Bodies Exhibit at the South Street Seaport. I knew what it was about. I knew. But, but, but—I didn’t expect to “think” about who these people once were. A woman somewhere gave birth to a person who was (hopefully) loved and cared for. A person who went out in life and maybe raised a family, had a dog, held a grandchild. A person who had dreams … And, where did all of that take them in the end? On exhibit stripped down to bones and hanging flesh.

Caution! Gross examples up ahead!

For example, picture a full sized skeleton, arms stretched out in front holding hands with someone of the same size as though they are playing Ring Around the Rosie. This person is made up of skin, muscle and organs. These two are the same person. The bones were taken out and reassembled. Can you feel the weirdness and strange sadness of it?

There was a complete flap of skin taken from a woman’s breast area (breasts still attached), a sheared off tattoo, a complete person cut in half from head to toe, another sliced exactly the same but only in threes, fetuses, embryos, babies (all of which I skipped—didn’t feel like crying and blubbering all over the place). The crazy list goes on and on.

I get the medical aspect of it. My 14yr. old pointed out things she learned in Bio class (yes, I was impressed), I even heard a couple of people around me who sounded like they were studying to become a doctor. That’s all good, right? But, but, but … it left me sad.

Maybe it’s because I’m a writer. We all think too much. Both a gift and a curse? Could be.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Going to the Chapel

I just saw this on the Blue Boards (my second home) and think it's absolutely awesome. Check it out here.

Speak for Yourself

I ask again, what year is this? What is so hard in understanding that if you don't like what a book has to say, don't crack the cover. Leave it alone. Walk away. Hide your eyes. Just don't decide for me.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Breath is Being Stolen

My breathing is short and quick
My stomach is suddenly home to butterflies trying to find a way out
My ears have stopped hearing
I'm hating a man made of words instead of blood and bone
I'm reading The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams and I think you should too.

What Year is This?

Things like this make my stomach sick. Check it out: http://editorialanonymous.blogspot.com/

Here is the author's response: http://justinelarbalestier.com/blog/2009/07/23/aint-that-a-shame/comment-page-1/#comment-82330

PW's response: http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6672790.html?nid=2788&source=title&rid=1000205892

No Ice!

No breaking ice at my daughter's college (did I just say, "college?" *sigh...) orientation! Goody, goody gumdrops! And, the mattress was bad but no buggy's. My daughter did click with someone and they decided to become roomies, that is very good news. Less to stress about.

Also, there is a company who will rent the students a micro/fridge combo and a safe like they have in hotels. This means my husband's back will be saved-- there's lots of stairs in her dorm.

Here's my new thing, looking at pictures from when my daughter was little makes me tear up. I even had to look away from a mom and her little daughter the other day in a store! I'm hoping this passes very quickly. What kind of shape will I be in three years from now when my youngest goes? It's a scary thought ...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

And the Second Book is ...

SAVING BABY DOE out in 2012 by Putnam. WhooHoo!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


That's what my credit card has been saying lately. My daughter is starting college in the fall and we’ve been out stimulating the economy all on our own. Yes, it’s hard for just two people to tackle such a large job but someone has got to do it. We needed two shopping carts while in Bed Bath and Beyond. They do have a program where we could’ve had everything sent to her school but come on, that would’ve been no fun.

I have to admit the thought of her using the school mattress is freaking me out. During the tour some time last year, I was the mother who asked if we could bring our own mattress. Yes, that was me. Those poor kids looked at me like I had something crawling around on my head. We bought a mattress pad and a foam/alternative down mattress topper. I did see a special mattress pad especially for bed bugs but let’s face it, at that point, they are all over everything in the room so what's a "special" cover going to do? Jump off the bed and stomp the little suckers? We’ll do the bed bug check and layer the mattress like it’s an open sore.

Tomorrow is orientation AND ice breakers! Yikes.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sports and Me?

My family and I went to a Mets game last night at the new Citi Field. Apparently, it has replaced some other field called, Shea Stadium. I don’t know a flea’s worth about neither baseball nor any other kind of sport. I mean I know you have to hit the ball to kingdom come then run for your life. Or, you might have to get the ball in the basket, through the goal net thingy, over the net or, get a very odd shaped ball to the other side of a very long field while like, fifty giant tight pants wearing guys try to violently throw you to the ground BUT, that’s it. No, who’s, what’s or why’s. Is that sad? Nah, because I don’t care. What did I care about last night? People watching and eavesdropping.

The guys behind us talked the entire time. I mean really, I didn’t know men gossiped. They were going all Seinfeld back there. It was pretty funny. Then there was the big guy next to me who kept yelling, “Find a seat!” to every Tom, Dick and Harriet who paused trying to find their seat. I did take notice that he didn’t yell at anyone who was larger than he was.

I wondered about the people walking around balancing bags or boxes on their heads while trying to sell snacks. How do they do that? Do their heads hurt? Have they ever dropped anything? Do they like their job? Would I ever be able to balance anything on my head? Maybe I should
try …

Then there was a mom and her three kids sitting two rows ahead of me. She had a Farrah-do and was looking all sweet and like, “Honey, darling, what would you like to eat? Mommy will get it for you,” until she asked her son, who was about fourteen, to come closer to her-- then she cursed his butt out. I could swear I saw her head spin. Her pretty blue eyes tried to snatch a year or two off his life. When it was all over, she sent the boy back to his seat and she resumed her honey and darling’s.

Baseball sure can be interesting when you’re really not looking at the guys swinging those wooden sticks!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

This and That

I’m fleshing out a story. It’s like watching for an opening in traffic then jumping in when you see your chance. It’s a little scary at first but then, after you stress a bit, it’s actually okay.

I haven’t watched any television today but I know Michael Jackson’s funeral service was covered all day from top to bottom. Here’s my thought on Michael Jackson. I think of him as that sweet, talented, beautiful little boy who had his whole life ahead of him. I see his little face and wonder what happened. At what point in his life did he come to the fork in the road that led him down his sad path? Where are our forks? Our children's?

I don’t mourn for the man Michael Jackson became but the young innocent boy he was.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Baby, I Need More Time

June has been a yucky month for me. I mean besides it being my birthday month which brought presents and cake that is. I just haven't had the chance to sit and write. I've been revising an oldie but a goodie but even in doing that it's a start and stop thing. I'm not sure why but it's like the days are just not long enough. What is up with that? I'm hoping July proves to be better. MUCH better, you hear me Mr. July?

I went to a street fair in Brooklyn on Sunday and I have to say it was the perfect day. Good music and good food. What more do you need? Oh, yeah. That's right, More Time!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Jumping the Line

Sometime last month, I got an idea for my next book. I started reading up on the subject and couldn't wait to get started but since I'm revising an oldie but a goodie and am not done on my current book, my new idea was forced to the back of the line. Here's where it gets interesting- at least to me since this has never happened to me before. I got another idea for a book but this time it was in my sleep! I woke up thinking of two words and haven't let them go all day. At first I thought maybe the words were the mc's name but no. I think they're the dad's embarrassing nickname.

So first idea, please don't take this the wrong way but, get to the back of the back of the line. And yes, I still love you.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I Live!

Holey Smoley People! Hanging around in your robe all day going from couch to bed is not what it's cracked up to be. I longed for the day I'd be able to run around like a nut getting things done. My girls did some laundry-- which was great, don't get me wrong-- but there was a tiny problem with wrinkling and since I don't do that weird thing people call ironing, I'll have to throw lots of stuff back into the dryer in order to force the wrinkles back where they belong (I don't care where that is really, as long as it's not on my face).

While I was out of my feverish mind, I had all these great thoughts for the blog. Yeah, they're gone with the fever. Maybe that's a good thing!

My mother in law made me chicken soup I think on day two or three (the week is so fuzzy). She's the best cook around these parts. I've learned a lot from her. Okay, maybe not that much but you know, I try. She's the best!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Doctor, Doctor!

It's been busy around here lately. My car broke down again, my oldest attended her prom, my car broke down again (Lemon Law, here we come), my oldest graduated high school and I'm sick! I never get sick. I blame it on the gross-sneezing-out-in-the-open-guy who works at Shoprite. Hey nasty dude, cover your big mouth next time!

I'm off to the doctor.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Me likey good news ...

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Really Mr. West?

"I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book's autograph." --Kanye West

Awww Come on Kanye, that's not right.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Buying a New Car?

2007 Saturn Outlook + NO Customer Service/Satisfaction from Saturn Uppity-Ups = Big Headache and Upset Stomach.

Remedy: Run Away From Any Saturn Dealership. Scream if you have to. Save. Yourselves ...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Dieting Noodle

My puppy must go on a diet! It's a beautiful day so we went for a walk. Well, we humans did. Noodle went for a ride ... in my arms! He couldn't make it the whole way, not even half the way. The little sausage. His Bologna tongue hung out like he was on a deserted island! Is there such a thing as, Puppy Craig? Puppy Weight Watchers?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

American Idol Baby

.... KRIS! I'm blogging in secret cause my kids are upstairs freaking out. They wanted Adam to win. Honestly, they're both great and I know Adam will have a long career to look forward to.

Tonight, American Idol put on a great show. Kiss, Santana, Queen, Rod Stewart plus others. The strangest I have to say was Steve Martin on the banjo. Different, but okay. All in all, it was a very entertaining show.

Sushhhh ... I think they're still up there ranting. It's hard being the only Kris fan around here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Barking Your Cuteness Away in Two Not-So-Easy Nights

We puppy sat for my mother in law’s cutie pie Shitzu, Poochie, last weekend. His full name is, Joe Pooch! He is so tiny, holding him is like holding a skinny kitten. He’s a barker but since he’s so cute, you try to ignore the barking thing. Until it’s bedtime then, cuteness becomes invisible.

Poochie does not like to be left alone. Have I mentioned that he’s a barker? After the first sleepless night, I decided I’d leave the television on for him, so that, you know, he’d think the people in the strange box were talking to him. Worked for a little while, I even fell asleep all happy that my plan had worked. But then, in the middle of the night, it started to thunder and my puppy, Mr. Noodle, is petrified of thunder so he started his own barking frenzy. There went sleep for night number two.

What have I learned? Being cute means squat when you’re sleep deprived. THE END.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

No High School Memories

My girls were laughing at the people in my high school yearbook the other day. Sure most of the guys had serious facial hair and looked fifteen years older than they were. And, of course the girls had whacked out hair-do’s and bad eyebrows (weird hair for me but nice brows), after all, it was the 80’s but did they have to laugh so hard? Apparently, they had to point too.

The pictures weren’t the things that got my attention though. It was the signatures and well wishes and promises to stay in touch. I don’t remember who these people were! Was I really like a sister to someone named Monica? And Theresa, wherever you are, I’m glad I was such a good friend to you that year. To Laura, I’m sorry for not calling you— who are you?

There’s only one person I did keep in touch with and we’re still good friends today. I wonder why some stick and others don’t?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Eight is My New Favorite Number

Oh, man. Today I had a routine doctor’s visit. And guess what he said? He said I look at least eight years -- not days, not hours, not seconds -- younger than I actually am!

After I put my reading glasses on to read the prescriptions he'd given me, I thanked him for the wonderful compliment. Such a nice boy ...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Things That Makes Me Go, Oooh

Couple of things.

Saw Star Trek on Mother’s Day and loved it. The theater was nice and quiet. No one sneaking in and no rude people talking on cell phones or just plain talking out loud to the people next to them. I’ll probably always go to a movie on Sunday’s now. Oh, yeah. Tyler Perry had a part! I love him cause I think he's nuts and I love nutty people. I mean nice nutty. NOT scary nutty.

Wore out my re-dial button for Kris on American Idol tonight.

Watched the season finale of Fringe. Awesome. Peter is an alternate reality dude. Didn’t see that coming. Weird how I got to see Leonard Nimoy again-- he was also in the Star Trek movie. Sad to see how old he got though …

And the biggie. The one that makes my stomach roll up and my heart skip a beat. I sent my newest to my agent.

One last thing. How can it be that parts of my books sometimes make me cry? Didn’t I write the story? Didn’t I make- *make* the characters up?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day everyone! Got a nice comfy desk chair. My butt used to go numb with my old one. So, yay!

My oldest used this day to make me cry! She wrote something so beautiful in my card, I had to take a break from stuffing my face with homemade Belgium Waffles to wipe my eyes. Sniff ...

I confess, it's hard to watch everyone else clean up without lifting a finger to help out. I had to walk out of the kitchen. I'm sure with practice, this is something I will be able to overcome.

Enjoy your day people 'cause tomorrow, it's back to normal!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Signs and the Big Guy

Tonight, a fellow writer spoke of prayer on his blog and how he’s happier since he’s started praying. It got me thinking of my own story and how/when I got the push to keep going when I was on the cusp of giving up the writer’s dream.

Due to an agent’s revision request via telephone, my hopes were way up and flying around my house like they were crazy. I mean, it was hope on crack! Then one afternoon, I sat down to open an email from the agent who had launched my hopes. It was a rejection.

I pulled my hopes in, told them how dumb they were and stuffed them away. I was willing to keep them locked away forever but, not without some proof. I don’t give up easily. My mother can attest to that. I plopped my head down on my desk-- actually, my head felt too heavy for my neck at that moment, and had a heart-to-heart with the Big Guy Upstairs. I needed to know, right then and there, that this, my writing, was what I was supposed to be doing. If it was meant for me to do something else with my life, I was willing to drop-kick my keyboard to the curb and pursue whatever my true purpose was. My heart was more open than I’ve ever felt.

Do you know what happened next, while my forehead was still one with my desk? I mean, the last word wasn’t even out of my prayer yet when the phone rang. It was another agent. She had one of my manuscripts and wanted to see what else I had. Though that didn’t turn out to be a yes, I had my sign. I had my answer and I pushed on.

Do I believe in the power of prayer? An editor, an agent and a two book deal later, Heck Yes.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dear Mother Nature, Read My Lips

Okay Mother Nature, that’s enough. You’re so not on my good list! I’m soggy. It’s gloomy. It’s chilly. I need sun. I need warmth. I need to frolic!


That is all.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Battle of the Books

Just saw this and loved it so I thought I'd share. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MB-dQYmCQdQ


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Theater Talk

Ooooh, I want to see Beyonce’s new movie, Obsessed. I really like her. Not only because she’s talented and her music gets my butt moving on the treadmill but because she seems to like pizza. She’s been spotted a couple of times in a pizza place near where I used to live. You know how much I like--- love--- pizza. If I weren’t already married and pizza was a person, I’d marry it. I mean me and pizza, we go way back … oh heck. This isn’t a pizza post! It’s a post about Beyonce’s movie.

Now, as I was saying, I want to see Obsessed but I know I’m going to be the annoying person yelling back at the screen between mouthfuls of popcorn and chocolate covered raisins from Costco. And, it most likely won’t always be between which will be UG-ly.

Me and suspense just don’t get along. You can ask the people I shared the theater with when we went to see, I am Legend starring my man Will Smith. Or, you can ask my husband. He knows. Poor guy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I Love This Part Right Here ...

Finished my wip! Whoo-hoo. Now it's time to read and revise a hundred times and also for wearing out my hubby's ears!

This is one of the parts I love. The last sentence is resting comfortably on the page, it's all printed out, it's nice and clean and crisp. A sharpened pencil and I happily get to work.

I have an idea for my next book and it involves some research, which I really enjoy. I also have two older MG's I want to go over and tweak 'till there's no tweak left in me.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Playing it Cool

We were in Manhattan yesterday and the girls went into Pinkberry for some yummy frozen yogurt. My oldest came out saying, “Guess what? Guess what?” and I knew she’d seen someone famous. I thought it would be a member of a band she likes, but it wasn’t. She held the door open for Naomi Watts and her baby. My daughter’s played it cool which was, um, cool.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sigh ...

This is one of the pools at the hotel we stayed at in Puerto Rico. I've been clicking my heels all day but it's not working!

Puerto Rico's rain forest! This skinny path goes all the way to the top of a mountain. It took a half hour each way for this route. There's another route which takes an hour and 45 min. Yeah, right ... don't make me laugh. It didn't rain while we were there though, go figure.

I have a couple of other pictures I wanted to post but they're taking forever to load and I'm thinking maybe that's a good thing. I don't want to bore you to tears!
I'll leave you with my most favorite part of the trip-- the water. How awesome looking is this? It's a long, long, longggg cry from the waters off NYC.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Medium or well?

I'm back. and I'm burnt thanks to Carrie Ryan's great book, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, I didn't notice the beautiful breeze on the Puerto Rico beach I was lounging on was actually masking the sun's strength! Yes, I'm well done. Ouch!

Food was awesome and I will miss it. Our hotel, El conquistador, is a gorgeous place. Room was very clean and really comfy. No Puerto Rican food there though, big disappointment. We did find two restaurants five minutes from the hotel that were beyond excellent. Service was excellent as well. If you don't rent a car, which we didn't, you have to get a cab, more like car service. Our driver for most of the time we were there was Carlos Rosa. He was very friendly and very funny. He also plays guitar and sings beautifully. Since I'm Puerto Rican but cannot speak it and have never visited before this trip, he called me a Newyorkrican.

Carlos really helped us enjoy this trip. Not only did he call his kids on his cell phone to pick fresh mangoes off the trees in his backyard for us, he's full of PR's history and can point out all sorts of things including teeny tiny ferns that close up when they're touched and how when you gently tap the seed pods of the Impatient flower it will pop sending small seeds flying. When he placed one into my hand and told me to gently touch it, I had no idea what it was. When it popped, I thought it was a bug and I kinda punched him in the arm. It was a light punch, I swear!

Oh, I embarrassed my kids on the plane ride there. You know how the airlines give you a snack then come around holding garbage bags open for you to toss your stuff into? Well, when they came to us, I had nothing to drop into the bag so I said, "No Trick or Treat." What? I thought it was funny. I don't think the steward (is that what they're called?) got it. He kind of just looked at me with that fake half-a-grin you give someone when you have no idea what they said but you know it was supposed to be something funny. My kids are still talking about it.

I'll post some pictures soon. Now it's pizza time and bed!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Up, Up and Away

We've managed to squeak out a mini spring vacation! I'll see you on Sunday.

Vigilante ... Out!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tree Love

This is my favorite tree. It’s a Weeping Cherry and it was given to me about eight years ago by my hubby and girls on Mother’s Day.

All winter long, I look at the naked branches thinking, soon, soon. As winter winds down, I search for baby buds. When winter is finally done, it seems the blooms pop overnight.

Many things make me happy but my tree is near the top of the list.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Back it Up Lady

Something strange has been happening to me while I’m out shopping lately.

Me: “Oh, that’s nice.” Picks it up. Checks it out.
Elderly person standing next to me: Checking out same piece of clothing.
Me: Throws item down and moves on.

Me: “I like these shoes, they look comfy.”
Elderly person standing next to me: Checking out same darn shoes or, wearing said darn shoes.
Me: Throws shoe down like it has burned my hand.

Me: Either I’m getting older or –
Elderly person: “Uh-huh …”
Me: “Oh be quiet! And, why are you following me?”

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Home is Where You Make It

I have a new favorite television channel, HGTV. One of my favorite shows is House Hunters and House Hunters International. This show features people who are looking to move either out of the country or around the corner.

The people involved are taken around to different areas and shown houses that fit their criteria. Then they choose one of the houses shown. It is so interesting to see what other parts of the country/world look like and how the people there live. For instance, tonight there was a woman who came from New York City (I believe it was Brooklyn) who wanted to move to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. She was tired of the cold (me too!), the chaos (me too!), and the crowds (you said it, sister!). I was so jealous! She bought a condo on the beach for $125,000. The place was beautiful.

Last week, a couple had been renting a place in Santa Monica California and now wanted to buy there. They had a million dollar budget. Did you know that a million bucks in Santa Monica does not buy much? The places were ridiculous. One “yard” was an L shaped path and that was it. Can you imagine?

Another of my favorites is a show that “stages” your home in order to sell it quickly. People come in, point out all the negatives then help you fix them. I love this show because you really learn a lot about design. I have to admit though, I now walk around my house making note of all the negatives and wonder what the stagers would think of it …

Monday, April 6, 2009

Chicken Soup for the Soul Man

This past Saturday I attended a Jack Canfield seminar. If you don’t know who he is, he’s co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. By the way, the first Chicken Soup was rejected over one hundred times. Well, helloooo, persistence.

I read Canfield’s, The Success Principles a couple of years ago and got a lot out of it. If you get the chance check it out.

Back to the seminar. I’ll admit, some of the people I went with were afraid they’d be offered, The Kool-Aid (did you know Kool-Aid was originally called Fruit Smack? Now you do). I figured the only thing I was going to drink was water and as for everything else, I’d take what I wanted and leave the rest as I do in all things.

Here are some of the things Canfield teaches:

Take responsibility for your life and your results. You have to give up blaming others, circumstances, etc., Hold yourself accountable.

Be clear about why you are here- Clarify your purpose.

Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want.

Believe in yourself.

On paper, create effective affirmations. Start with, I am. Use present tense. State it in the positive. Keep it brief. Include an action word ending with, -ing. “I am enjoying my time on Oprah.” (Hee-Hee)

Use the power of visualization.

My favorite- and the first thing I learned from reading Jack Canfield stuff years ago- ASK. Nothing happens until a request is made, an offer is made or an action occurs.

Reject rejection. This should be a every writer’s favorite. When someone says, “No!” you say, “Next!” Say it with me now …

Here are some things I jotted down while listening:

· Act as if.
· Hate weakens you. Negative thoughts about yourself weakens you.
· Don’t concentrate on failures. Learn and MOVE ON. Helloooo, writers …
· Thoughts travel.
· Look for opportunity.
· Success leaves clues.
· Visualize yourself being successful at the thing that makes you uncomfortable.
· Trust when inspiration comes.

I’ll leave you with this quote from General Wesley Clark, Former Head of NATO:

“It doesn’t take any more effort to dream a big dream than it takes to dream a small dream.”

Now, that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mmm, Mmm, Good!

Went to my new favorite pizza place tonight, Sal’s of SoHo. The pizza is thin and crusty and made in a coal oven. It is the best pizza I’ve ever had, and I know pizza people. I could seriously eat four slices at Sal’s without a problem (but then I remember how long it takes on the treadmill just to kill 200 ugly calories and I back off).

I wonder if I could make money being a Pizza Tester … Yes, I’m the new PT in town and I’m here to do my job, now give me the goods before I write you a summons or something.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I’m a little less than half-way through my wip and I find myself standing back looking at it, thinking and circling. The whole time I’m wondering if I can do this again. Will the magic come this time?

I know in my heart it’ll be there, tapping its foot and pointing to its watch.

It always is.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I Know Something and It Ain't Nice

This past weekend we went to see Nicholas Cage in his new movie, Knowing.


I love Nicholas and have even seen him in Peter Luger’s Steakhouse in Brooklyn a few years ago. He was much cuter in person and had better hair back then, btw. On my way into the bathroom I almost slammed into a wall because I was staring so much. Once I actually made it into the bathroom and in front of the mirror, I spied a nice piece of spinach between my teeth. Oh, how lovely I must’ve looked to him as I grinned like a cat eating firecrackers.

ANYWAY, I Know one thing about Nicky’s new movie and I’m sorry to say this but, I should’ve stayed home. This movie made me feel so low, I wanted to drag my head along the ground on the way out of the theater and all the way to the car. Come to think of it, I don't think any of the actors smiled at anytime. Yikes. Can you say, DEPRESSING?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Please Don't Poke My Face

Okay, Lady Gaga. I don't mean to insult you but, could you please keep your Poker Face song out of my head? I know it's catchy and all, but really, it's a bit annoying. Thanks for understanding.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Like to Move It, Move It ...

I confess, I like the smell of Home Depot. It means progress.
Build it, fix it or improve it.
I have to move, move, move.
Standing still makes me itch.
I’m thinking of getting, “Where There is a Will, There is a Way” tattooed on my forehead.
For better or worse, I’m filled with Will.
It’s just how I am.

That's a wrap, I mean a rap.

Just saw this on the Grammar Girl site. Well done, ladies! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tt-WIdmCVQ


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Do Like Your Mama Showed You

SAVING BABY DOE should be going out this week and, I’m so excited—WooWee—and I just can’t hide it cause, I know, I know, I know …

Oh, sorry. Sometimes I do that.

As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted by song, I’m excited. One of my babies is striking out on her own. I hope she’s treated well. I hope she minds her manners and most of all, I hope she knocks the lint clean out of somebody’s socks just like her mama taught her!

Monday, March 23, 2009

No Can Do

Most times when I start a story, I have no idea what it will be about. It just takes shape on its own—which can be a scary thing especially when you’re asked what you’re writing at the moment. It’s hard to look someone in the eye, shrug your shoulders and say, “You got me!” or, “Sheesh, how should I know?”

Recently, I tried to work with sort of an outline and even though it was a real jello-y type of an outline, it stopped me dead in my tracks. I rubbed my forehead so much, the smoke detectors went off. Okay, not really, but they were thinking about it.

I guess I’m just a go-with-the-flow kind of person all around. I don’t know what I’m cooking for the week until I’m walking down the grocery store aisles. That explains why I’m always talking to myself while I’m there. But hey, at least I don’t leave my cart in the middle of the aisle while I go roaming around. That's got to count for something, right? And then there's having to get dressed up for a party or a fancy dinner. Don't know what I'm wearing until the very last minute. Works for me but, for my husband? Notttt so much.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I love to brainstorm. When I get to a certain point in my writing, I tie my husband to a chair, errrr, I mean, I ask him so very sweetly to please sit so that I can read to him.


Every writer should do this. I mean brainstorming, not tying your spouse up, silly.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tardy Birds and Spring

Did you smell it in the air today?
Hear it?
See it?
Feel it?


Every year around this time, I hear a bird that sounds like it is saying, “come here, come here.” I have no idea what kind of bird it is nor have I ever seen it. Still, I’d go home and happily announce that the Come Here birds have arrived. I knew it meant spring was very, very close.

Tonight, I realized I have not heard my happy birds. All of the other signs are here though ... come on birds, you’re late!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yummy Old Boots and St. Patrick's Day

I married into an Italian family and let me tell you, my mother in law can cook an old boot and it’ll be so tasty, you’ll ask for seconds and maybe thirds.

Since my mother in law was busy today, she cooked St. Patrick’s Day dinner yesterday. And as usual, it was delicious.

My eyes may have been Irish for just one day but, you can believe they sure were smiling.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Paging Jack Bauer

I refuse to watch 24 any more. It started to drive me out of my mind. One thing after another exhausted my brain. I need closure and Jack Bauer refused to give it to me. Would it have killed him to like, smile and maybe go on a date or to a party? Noooo, he just gets involved with some other kind of craziness.

And speaking of craziness, I hope the real FBI has a much better grip on things than they do on the show. I’m just saying.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sleep and String Cheese

This week felt like it was one day too long. You know that ahhh feeling you get when you wake up in the middle of the night thinking it's time to get up only to look at the clock and realize you have like four more hours of sleep coming your way? Well, I had that feeling yesterday only it was the exact opposite. I kept thinking it was Friday, but then it'd hit me like a cold slap from a stick of string cheese, nope, one more day. The weird thing is, it just didn't happen once.

Sometimes, it's just like that.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Noodle and Wallpaper

Wanna see my boy?

This is Mr. Noodle. He's my puppy and a giant love hog. I can't get hugs and kisses from my family members unless he's involved.

He's very well behaved my Noodle is but, there was this one time ...

I was out walking him not too long after we brought him home. I came across this woman and her two kids. We started talking and she mentioned how she had a dog but recently gave him away. Apparently, he was nuts. She told me how he ripped-- RIPPED the wallpaper off the kitchen wall. "Goodness," I said in horror. "That's unbelievable!" Inside I was thinking, what an animal! My puppy Noodle would never do a thing like that. What a little freak her dog must've been. Humph.

Uhhhh ... guess what my sweet puppy Noodle was doing TWO days later?

Yeah, wallpaper must be mighty tasty 'cause he had a full five course meal that Noodle did.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I Dream of Jeannie and the Perfect Dress

I'm. Feeling. Beat. Down. People.
I took my fourteen year old DRESS shopping for Semi-Formal.
I wish I was I Dream of Jeannie.
I'd snap my fingers and smile as big as the sun.
The dress would be perfect.
No sour puss.
No huff or puff.
Just a dress.
The perfect one.

Sigh ...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Nugget

I’m in love with the characters in CHASING ORDINARY. So far, they’re leading me around quite nicely. And, while I was driving today, the last scene popped into my nugget. Just like that, out of no where. Of course I didn’t come to any red lights so I grabbed a pen and wrote on my hand as best I could. First time that’s ever happened to me and I likey. A lot.

Monday, March 9, 2009

James McBride and Me

I'm taking a short break from reading children's books to read, SONG YET SUNG by James McBride. He and I grew up in the same housing project in Brooklyn only not at the same time.

I'm only on page forty something but man, I'm loving this book. I took it with me to read while I got a pedicure and one scene had my toes curling up! Now how can feet be worked on with toes looking like little nubs? Well, maybe they weren't all that curled up but I was on the edge of my seat. And that's the truth.

James McBride is a wonderful writer to say the least. I like to think there was something in the water, making its way out to us through those old pipes. I can only hope and pray my water was spiked with the same stuff his was.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My Bag and Boilers

My husband is a Licensed Master Plumber. He can wire a giant boiler in his sleep with one hand tied behind his back and the use of only one finger from the other hand. He can go into a customer’s house, practically sniff the air and diagnose the problem.

There is one thing he can’t do though and to be fair, it has nothing to do with wires or pipes.

He can’t find anything in my bag.
It flusters him.
Turns his brain into mush.
Gives him bad dreams.

Makes him stutter even.

I think he’d rather throw the bag out the window and pretend it was stolen just so he won’t have to dig out my wallet.

What’s up with that?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Suzanne Summer and My Cat

I’ve always wondered if Suzanne Summer’s Thigh Master thingy worked so I went out to look for one.


But, I couldn’t find one. Are we all thinking about bathing suit season at the same exact time?

I did see something similar to it though. I don’t remember what the name of it is because I threw out the packaging and since it was only ten dollars, there’s no name printed directly on it. It’s shaped like a wide V and you’re supposed to put it between your knees somewhere and push it closed using those pain in the butt, almost non-existent poor excuses for inner thigh muscles. I tried it once. It kept slipping and I was afraid it’d pop out at break neck speed and kill the cat. She kept looking at me all like, ‘I know you’re not trying to kill me right? ‘Cause I will slice you up when you’re sleeping. That’s right, you heard me. And besides, it’s a waste of time. The only way those things will ever tighten up is if you pin them from behind or hack them off.’

If you knew my cat, you’d know she meant business. She doesn’t play.

Into the garbage it goes.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Singing and Writing

Tonight, I’m voting for, Ju’not, Jorge and Lil. I loved how Jorge got so emotional and said when that happens to him, he can’t think in English. I also like the crispness of his voice. At least it’s crisp to me. I think Ju’not’s voice is smooth and I’d really like to see more of him. As for Lil, I think she’s just got it. I love those big voices.

In writing news, LOVING BABY DOE is now, FINDING BABY DOE. It’ll be going out into the world soon and I’m very excited and a bit nervous. Since I’ve done my best with it and it's out of my hands for now, I give myself permission to concentrate on my newest,

Monday, March 2, 2009

Daffodils and Soapy Carrots

Whew! My daughter made it home just as the snow storm was starting. So glad to have her home.

And, all that kissing I did in the post office a couple of weeks ago at the risk of looking like a wacko, paid off. My agent likes LOVING BABY DOE but, we need a new title. I thought coming up with something new would be a breeze … uh, yeah right. I was breeze-LESS big time. I could only come up with two and the same word was in both. Yikes.

So, there’s a ton of snow out there and it is suffocating the daffodils just starting to make their way into my world, I mean the world. I hope they’re okay.

Anyway, I did a big grocery shopping last week and we had everything we needed for dinner except a vegetable. I like fresh veggies but too bad, I wasn’t getting them today. Like I said, I’m snowed in. I did, however, have a bag of mixed frozen veggies in the freezer. Okay, we can do that I thought … until I put a carrot in my mouth! Tasted like soap. My mama told me it isn’t nice to spit things out at the table but, c’mon, she didn’t have an old soapy carrot in her mouth. Did I mention that I have no idea how long they were in the freezer? No? Well, let’s just say, I don’t remember buying them.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

One Empty Wing

This isn’t funny. My oldest is leaving tonight for a leadership conference in Chicago. Eighteen years isn’t a long enough time to keep them under your wing and tightly protected. Give me at least another five years.

I think I’m gonna be sick …

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Alicia Keys and TROUBLE

I listened to Alicia Keys every minute while writing TROUBLE way back in 2004. I don’t know why but she just helped me along.

Something has changed though and I'm not so happy about it. I have to have quiet while I’m writing now.

I have this crazy idea that if TROUBLE ever becomes a movie, Ms. Keys will do me the honor of supplying the music. How cool would that be?

Stop laughing. Tell me you don't have crazy thoughts of your own. Yeah, keep trying to hide that smile!

Yup. I miss the music. Maybe I’ll pick another artist tomorrow and see how it goes.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Under the Sea and on the Stage

I’m enjoying a middle grade book (what else?) and I’m finding that it mentions many things that are “in” at the moment like, SpongeBob and Fergie.

I’m wondering if doing this will date a book. I don’t even like mentioning cell phones! Makes me go, hmmmm …

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Some Serious Words to Live By

If you can't fly, then run. If you can't run, then walk. If you can't walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, keep moving.

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

M&M Me

Looky, I'm an M&M ... or close to it! (Click on it to become one too.) Thanks, Rena!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Some notes taped around my computer screen:

He did not bring me this far so that I can fail - Me

The Mastery of self-doubt is the key to success - Will Smith

You have to make them laugh and then, as soon a possible, try to break
their hearts - Tom Spanbauer

What’s the conflict? - Everybody

All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence
you know – Ernest Hemingway

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tight Pants and Names

I can’t write a story if I don’t know the names of all the characters. I’ll even stop writing to find a name. If I need a last name, the white pages are always good. Most times I just need a first name and will use Babynames.com.

On Valentine’s Day, a whole section of the newspaper was dedicated to children. Each little face was snuggled inside the middle of a heart. Underneath was a short love filled sentence for that child written by a family member. What I found in this section, besides adorable baby faces were awesome NAMES! Sweet, sweet names. Like Lucie, Larissa, Rosalia and Mason.

So, you see, other than tight pants and extra calories, Valentine’s Day brought more to me this year! I heart you Valentine’s Day!

Whoda Thunk it?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Beautiful Liar

Every time I sit down to write, I wonder whether or not I’ll be able to do it again. Can I reach my hand up into nothingness and capture words and situations? Will I be able to invent people with feelings, whole lives, hopes and dreams? Can I then assemble it all so that it makes sense?

What this all really comes down to is whether or not I can LIE. Oh yes, you know it’s true. Us writers? We’re all liars.

Either that or we’re gods and since I don’t feel like getting struck down, I’ll take liar.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Phone Calls and Goosebumps

If you are a writer and in the mood for some goosebumps, check this out:


Thursday, February 12, 2009

To Agent with Love

If you saw a woman in the post office today cradling and kissing a large envelope, that was me. I sent, LOVING BABY DOE to my agent and I’m shaking in my slippers. There’s a piece of me traveling in that envelope. Does it ever get any less scary?

I’ve already started something new. Not quite sure what it’s about yet but I think I’m off to a good start. Going up …

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Never Too Early

I was looking through some old pictures today and came across this one. It is the beginning of my youngest daughter’s reading habit caught on film! I remember being so thrilled that she wanted to hold the book by herself. She’s fourteen now and still likes to have her nose in a book. Yay!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My brain out getting a tan?

Of all the nerve. My brain went on vacation without telling me. Imagine my surprise as I sat down this morning, eager to get to work when it didn’t show up.

All I know is when I sit down tomorrow, my brain better be there with bells on. Blank pages ain’t pretty.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Writers, ever been asked if you work outside the home? I was asked this the other day and my automatic answer was, no. Then I realized I should have said, I work from home. I had a vision of chasing the guy down in order to clear things up but, that would've just been weird. Especially after explaining that I work in a basement office with imaginary people making up lies. Yeah, that would've gone over really well, don't you think?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Dream Giver

One of my favorite books is, The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson. Here’s part of what it says on the flap:

You may not be able to describe it. You may have forgotten it. You may even no longer believe in it. But it’s there.

Meet Ordinary, a Nobody who leaves the land of Familiar to pursue his Big Dream. Once the Dream Giver convinces him to escape his Comfort Zone, Ordinary begins the journey of his life—overcoming Border Bullies, navigating the Wasteland and battling the fierce Giants in the Land.

This modern-day parable will get you started on your own daring adventure. What may first seem like a road full of obstacles is actually a series of opportunities to help you along toward your destiny.

This book helped me to keep climbing toward publication even when my heart hurt from rejection.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

American Idol and my puppy

I’m an American Idol fan. If I had to trade writing in for something else, it would be singing. It just amazes me that something so beautiful and goose-bump inducing can come out of someone’s mouth.

Don’t get me wrong. I. Cannot. Sing.

Confession: I sing made up songs to my dog. But, don’t tell anybody. I’d be too embarrassed.

One of the contestants said something that struck me last night. He did a pretty good job singing and during his ramblings after the song, he said, singing was like on his skin. I so can understand that. I understood the tears that made their way out as he spoke those words too. That’s how writing is for me.

Here puppy, puppy. Time for your nightly song … No, no. Don’t run! Here boy …

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I got visitors!

WhooHoo, thanks for stopping by everyone! Happy you enjoyed the notes.

Yeah Megan, I only get gross sometimes! Denise, glad I didn't hear any snoring from you! Danette (go ette's) Haworth, living our lives as, "The Net!" Glad I'm not alone.

Now back to writing stuff. I'm thinking deep here people. Not by choice. I think it's partly due to some of the things I heard at the conference. Tell the truth, hold up the mirror, take chances. Can't wait to start my next book.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Conference notes

Not only did I survive my first conference, I had fun. Here are some notes. Enjoy!

From, Kathy Dawson's (Dial Books) breakout session:

  • Write what you don't know.
  • Write something you'd want to know.
  • Write about something that happened to you as a kid.
  • What do you wonder about?
  • Details should advance plot or reveal something about the character.

She looks for the gasp factor and for truth.

The story should have ARIA. Action, rhythm, intrigue, adventure.

She says the picture book market has been hit the hardest in this economic climate. She likes 1st person. Profanity in a story is okay.

From Michelle Nagler (Bloomsbury)

She is not looking for fantasy. Debut fiction is strong at this house. Historical girl books have done well. Picture books should be strong and bold.

She looks for:

  • Surprise
  • Captivating- hook first
  • Realism of character voice
  • Hooks like, BOYS ARE DOGS

What she is NOT looking for:

  • High fantasy
  • Quiet literary
  • Early readers
  • Non-fiction
  • Biography
  • Anything close to curriculum

Her wish list:

  • Books with mystery elements
  • Suspense
  • Fast paced
  • Chapter book series
  • Contemporary middle grade
  • Edgy YA
  • Big on series

What she looks for in an author:

  • Professionalism
  • An author she can help develop
  • An author who edits his/her work
  • Someone who is open to revision
  • Someone who is passionate
  • Someone who is respectful

What she really likes:

  • Urban fantasy
  • Contemporary

Swearing in a book is okay. Responds only if interested.

Jennifer Rees (Scholastic):

What she likes:

  • Distinctive voice
  • Memorable real characters
  • Secrets
  • To be kept guessing
  • Out of the box
  • Writing that takes risks
  • Lyrical writing

She says your cover letter should read like a jacket flap. Know the market. Satisfy your inner child.

My favorite, she says to, "Write as though you're writing a love letter to yourself."

What Bruce Hall says about first lines:

  • Should have humor
  • Surprise
  • Plunge in midstream
  • Pose a question
  • Foreshadow

He says to remind the ready of beauty. Make them laugh. Say what is forbidden. My favorite: "Hold up the mirror."

Character musts:

  • Strong desire
  • Be active
  • Be flawed
  • Make them squirm
  • Get gross

He says, tell them the truth. Go the extra mile. Dig deeper. Take chances. Write what you love.

My favorite: "Hope triumphs over despair."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Where evil lives

There is something evil living in my basement. Something that is constantly growing with each passing day. It beckons me while I write. It dares me to either, cut it down cold/warm/hot or throw a tablecloth over its highest peak and use it as though it were born to live the life of a coffee table.

I fear it.

I loathe it.

It is the Laundry.

And it haunts me like there's no tomorrow.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Book News and Smiley Faces

... And, I'm back. For some reason, I was locked out of my blog account and since I'm far from computer savvy, I had to suffer until I could get back in.

Today I got word that my middle grade book, TROUBLE NO SET LIKE RAIN has been pushed back to 2011 and my 2011 book to 2012. Upsetting? Yes. Understandable? Yes. The economy is stinky and just couldn't help from bugging the publishers. Darn you (my fist in the air) economy! The good thing is my publisher, G.P. Putnam, hasn't had to let anyone go. Food and shelter are good things. Very good things.

A little while after getting my book news, my daughters and I went to Barnes and Noble. I bought Celeste's Harlem Renaissance and Tell Me Who. Can't wait to dig in. Anyway, on our way home, I looked down at my coat and saw a green smiley face sticker that said: Awesome! Well, thanks, I surely needed that. I took it as the universe's way of telling me that I'll be okay and so will my book.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Man Paul

I am down to the last steps in going over my newest book, Loving Baby Doe. I love this part. One of the tools I use to make sure everything sounds right is called NaturalReader. My hubster installed it for me and I simply couldn't live without it. This program reads your work back to you. You can choose different voices, male or female. I chose Paul and he's all that and a bag of chips. You wouldn't believe the stuff you can catch using such a program. If you don't have something like this and you're a writer, I suggest you get one. You won't regret it.

I must admit, my dear Paul does have one flaw. Instead of reading the word us, he reads it as United States.

Hey, we all have our faults, right?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Feathers and Conferences

I'll be attending the Society for Children's Writers and Illustrators conference at the end of the month. This will be my first conference ever. I was always too chicken. I felt like I wasn't a published/real writer so I didn't belong there. But now with a book deal in hand, that whole excuse should have flown out of the window, right?

Don't make me laugh.

When it came time to register for the conference this time, I felt feathers starting to sprout again. I tried to stop them but then I started to cluck.

How can this be?

Then a dear writer friend of mine suddenly turned into --- A Conference Pusher. She's brave with a capital B and registered right away. Before I had a chance to dip my toe in and think about it, she pushed me over the side! Yes, this sweet girl turned into the Hulk. And you know what? I am thankful.

Sometimes you need to be pushed.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I got up this morning thinking about this blog and how I needed something to write about today. And you know, I almost got through the whole day without something when it hit me-- literally. A woman driving on my right suddenly needed a White Castle burger REALLY bad and decided the fastest way to get it would be to make a left turn from her lane and crash into me. It wasn't that bad but still, you know? Are the burgers even that good?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My First Blog-o-licious Post

Oh yeah, this is the place to be if you want to find out just how interesting and exciting my life really is! Disclaimer: Bring a blanket and pillow though. If you happen to nod out and bang your head on your computer screen, you can't say I didn't warn you.

I hope you come back and see me 'cause I don't wanna be alone in this place called, Blog Land.