Sunday, December 28, 2008

Cousins - keeping it straight!

From Wiki - thanks to Matt Leidholm see the wiki link
Ever wonder whether you're a first cousin, second or once or twice removed.
check out this handy diagram.

Are you from a big family?
I am! Just my 'immediate family' (brothers/sisters and their children) alone is over 30, maybe even over 40 now, I'll have to count.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

When being a beta reader hurts!

Another fun novel is in my hands! Having read 2 of Tia's and left longing to have not only the hard copy in my hands, but desperately wanting the next in the series, I find myself already wimpering to myself as I read Kristin's because I suspect she'll likely hold off on writing the next in the series until she has a book deal, which means that Lisa will be left waiting. To that I say "Bugger!"

She's considering self publishing and I'm ready to tell her to go for it so that I don't have to wait - ha - aren't I bad!

Her novel (am I allowed to mention titles?) is a witty and fun Young Adult. (I haven't read many YA novels, although I enjoy watching YA oriented movies, so I figured I'd enjoy it and I am.)

I've also reads bits of novels from writers on crit groups, Carole McDonnell has a great story line (ask her for further details). I've only read bits of that novel, but what I've read I love and want to read it all!

In any case, I find myself getting quite annoyed that all these great novels haven't been published yet. I realize that competition is fierce but it really irks me when I read inferior stories that are published and I wonder why not these.

Back to reading! I'm reading it on my iPhone - isn't that cool! (Although I couldn't read it on my flight because I was using google, which, of course, couldn't connect from above.)

If Agents/Publishers were swayed by Beta readers AND the Beta authors approved, I'd go on a letter writing campaign!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow, then ski in it!

Oh so lovely!
We had an excellent snow fall the past 2 days and I had a chance to go XC skiing today - soooo lovely. Just love snow. I took the photos with my iphone so not all of them came out due to either my glove in the way, or jittery hands.

Do you enjoy skiing? If so, where do you ski?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Upset about a lost kitty

While exiting off the freeway this evening there was a kitty that was on the exit ramp who then ran into the trees between the circular exit ramp and freeway - blocked in by roads all around. (No, I slowed in time and didn't hit the kitty)

I went in and called for 1/2 but the kitty never showed his/her face.

I don't know what to do. I can't imagine he has a home as he was in an unusual spot.
I really adore cats and I find this most upsetting.

If I trap him and he's feral, where will he live - he can't live there.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Big ugly cold sore!

I'm bummed, I have a holiday party to go to Friday night and My husband and I are hosting a big holiday party this Saturday and I have a big ugly cold sore.
It started Tuesday morning. I put ice on it and went right to the pharmacy for some Abreva after work and have been regularly apply it.

In the grand scheme of things, I realize a cold sore isn't that big of a deal, but since it's the biggest issue for me 'right now' - I'm bummed that any photos of me will have a swollen lip with a big ugly cold sore on it.

I hear other people get cold sores but it seems like I don't see them around and do wish I could hide my ugly cold sore at home.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Some wacky holiday decorations

Fun with Holiday Decorations!

Out door decorations. A bit scaled down this year since 3 of my pieces were broken thanks to my cats crawling around in them.

Mr and Mrs Singing snowman. Mrs sings "Santa Baby" and Mr sings "I'm Mr White Christmas"

Front Room decorations. The Duck and snowman move but they don't sing.

Rockwell Village - I had to put it in the Sunroom, away from Catzillas as they'd run off with the people and trees - not to mention sleep in the middle of the village.

My Family Room holiday lights. My friend of 30 years painted the houses over the fireplace.

Meowing Christmas wreath!

If you look to the far left, you'll see "sisters on a fence" - my sister made it. The Green and Purple Frogs sing hip hop music and bounce up and down.

Scarlett- she isn't a holiday decoration but isn't she cute!

Anyone have tips on how to line text up with specific photos?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dress up with my iPhone

Oh it's just too much fun. here is my newest app: Suzy Dress Up

Cool Apps on my iPhone

Here's a list of the cool apps I currently have on my iPhone. Along with what it is, and how I rate it.
1.Count it Off Monitors calories and weight: 5
2.SMS: Text Messaging: n/a never used
3.Calendar: Calendar! 5 – cool syncs with iCal!
4.Photos: Photos what else 5 – cool syncs with iPhotos
5.Contacts Address book 5
6.Camera A camera – what else 5
7.YouTube can you guess 5
8.Maps GPS/Mapping system 5
9.Weather the weather 5 (Ican set several locations)
10.Clock a clock :-) 5 (I can set several locations)
11.Calculator 5
12.Notes 5
13.Settings 5
14.App Store Connect to apps 5
15.iTunes Music is at my finger tips 5
16.Safari Web Browser 5
17.Dialing Cat A kitty paw dials my numbers 4 – adorable but the interface needs some work
18.Google Earth Images right down to the street 5
19.Eureka Wiki for iPhones 5
20.Calories Shows BMI 5
21.Urbanspoon Slot like machine restaurant locator 3 – fun but not I don't like the interface
22.AroundMe Restaurant/coffee shop . . . . 5 – Locator of what's around
23.Nutrition check calories for starbucks and .. . 5
24.FoodIQ Calories in restaurants etc 4
25.Little chef Measurement converstion 5 – too cool
26.Units Distance, computer measurement conversion 5
27.Translator Translate between language 5 - works
28.Stocks 4
29.Kitten Jump GAME- kitten jumps from cloud to cloud 5
30.Trace GAME – tracing a path 5 – LOVE it
31.Easy mail Mail in landscape mode 3 – not fond of how I activate it
32.The Secret Garden Book n/a
33.MiniPiano piano 4 -fun sound – small keys . . .
34.Bejeweled GAME 5
35.TictacTouch GAME 3
36.CometBuster GAME - Blasting comets 4
37.Amazing Maze GAME – moving balls through a maze 4 – Needs different mazes
38.Checkers GAME 5- Still haven't beat it
39.MazeFinger GAME 2 – not much point other than cool effects
40.JellyCar GAME 3? haven't played it much.
41.KittenEscape GAME – puzzle 4 – stuck on level 8
42.Solitaire GAME 4 -lots of choices
43.FS5 Hockey GAME 5 – can even play with 2 people
44.Driving Test Quiz 5 – Answer laws about driving
45.Hangman GAME 5
46.Enigma GAME 3 – Haven't played it much
47.MakingAFace GAME - make funny faces 5 – will make you laugh, see the more 'serious one here'

48.GalaxyImpact GAME 2 – might remove
49.iBowl GAME 2 amusing but might remove
50.Fuzzle GAME 4
51.Shazam Hold it up to a song, learn artist/title 5 – isn't this brilliant
52.Mail My gmail at my finger tips 5
53.Phone Standard contacts etc 5
54.iPod All my music, on my iPhone 5

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Great Tools for your blog or website.

Tia over at Fantasy Debut has offered some great points on tools for writers and bloggers. (While you're at it, check out Tia's writing blog.)

Like Google Analytics to monitor traffic to your site. She does an excellent job explaining it so I won't repeat it.

Be sure to read the comments because Mulluane of Dragons Heroes and Wizards also provided some great suggestions.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Name your favorites:

Your favorite sound(s): Mine is the sound of my cats purring, my husband or Ankitha laughing.

Your favorite site(s): Blinking array of christmas lights, Ankitha smiling, or nature (blue skies, with green fields/trees and lush blue lakes/rivers/oceans and many colorful flowers/trees/shrubs.

Your favorite smell(s): Honeysuckle outside in its element, scented flowers, and I'm afraid I love the smell of gasline, although I avoid sniffing it.

Your favorite toy(s): My iPhone - hands down!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fun with my iPhone

Never been one to play games but since my iPhone and iTune Apps I've changed.
In particular I really enjoy an game called Trace and another called Kitten Jump.
Trace is a game where you draw your own path through a series of different courses.

Kitten jump is a kitten that jumps from cloud to cloud moving up to I don't know what since I haven't gotten that high yet!

iPhone's are so cool - I have a GPS, calorie counter, language translater, weights/measure/distance converter, and the list goes on and on what can be found. (Many are free.) I've synced my iPhone with my Google Calendar, my iPhotos and my iTunes.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

iPhone - woo hoo

Just bought an iPhone - LOVE it - so cool. I've synced with my gmail, iTunes, Google calendar and bookmarks - wooo HOOOOOO

It's party time.

Here's a link for an 'how to' sync Google Calendar with an iPhone

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Delicious Biscotti

Peggy's Almond Biscotti - try two free. I found Peggy's Biscotti online - I was on a quest for mini biscotti as I have trouble finding them in the stores and I don't care for the 'dipped' ones. Peggy's offers a try to free option - just pay shipping - worth it! Although you'll scarf them down and be quickly back online ordering more.

Peggy's offers a discounted one pound ends and pieces bag of which I tried so I could sample some of them. My bag included chocolate almond, apricot, and almond biscotti. my husband and I loved them - we're just about done and I 'm ready to go back and order more!
Several gift package options are available so I might just order a bag for my family and friends . . . especially the ones that live near me!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A cat on the lap - or not

I have five cats, yet here I sit, without a kitty on my lap.

I scoop their poo, feed them brush them, clean up hair balls and vacuum cat hair, yet her I sit without a kitty on my lap!

I need a lap cat. I wonder if my husband would agree to cat 6 . . . somehow I doubt it.

Not likely the 5 cats that I have would be interested in another cat around!

On a happy note, I went to a fund raiser today and put my name in for several different raffles. I won a pair of earings from Silpada and a $100 gift certificate from Lia Sophia - woo hoo.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cat shelter needs your vote!

Please vote to help the Pat Brody Shelter for cats to win $10,000 - all you have to do is vote.

Spread the word!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dinner at Bubba Gumps

We had a fun and fabulous dinner with Nick's family at Bubba Gumps in NYC Time Square. Food was good, atmosphere, location and service were the biggest pluses. Well worth a visit.

Where's the funnest place that you've eaten recently?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Harley- my daughter's cat died

My daughter called me last night - she found her cat, Harley, dead. He didn't have any known illness, although I suspect he was starting with diabetes. She had no warning though. She went to work that morning, came home after class that night - he was gone.
Poor thing!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Forging a Legend

I just finished Forging a Legend by Tia Nevitt of the Fantasy Debut fame.
WOW! I lapped down 462 pages in under 3 days and ended up skimping on the house cleaning because I just couldn't stop reading. The concept is such a clever idea and Abriel is charming and lovable character - you feel her pain and joy. Some wise agent/publisher will surely soon see what a gem Tia is and snatch up her work. It can't be too soon for me as I wait for the sequel. Forging a Legend is a 3 book set although one can read the first book and be quite happy with its ending, that is, I didn't feel like I was left hanging.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Nuttin But Stringz is out

I'm so disgusted. Nuttin But Stringz didn't win - I turned off America's Got Talent after seeing that. The other 2 people could sing, no doubt, but Nuttin But Stringz was new, fresh and amazing. Their playing inspired and touched me. They even wrote their own music. HOW could America have voted them out.

Don't we get enough singing with American Idol?

I SOO hope Nuttin But Stringz gets some other tour deal, maybe better than Vegas, they can tour the US, come to Boston, then I don't have to fly to Vegas to see them.

What a shame!

Monday, September 29, 2008

up and coming author - woo hoo

I just finished reading the manuscript that Tia Nevitt is working on to get published, Starcaster. The story is action packed and takes some unique concepts that are morphed with high society which makes for a fun and intriguing read. I can see this series really taking off with readers. What a cool movie it would be! Think James Bond crossed with Xenia Princess Warrior.
Summary - it's fantastic, I loved it. I hope that I don't have to wait too long to see it AND its sequel in print.

The only problem, now I'm moping because it's over and I want more.

Friday, September 26, 2008

New Airline rules

Been busy lately! A friend had her baby and I spent some time with her eldest - what a treasure that little girl is!
Thought I'd share this little not so far off the mark joke about airline rules.

New Airline Rules

Attendant: "Welcome aboard, sir. May I see your ticket?"

Passenger: "Sure."

Attendant: "You're in seat 12B. That will be $5, please!"

Passenger: "What for?"

Attendant: "For telling you where to sit."

Passenger: "But I already knew where to sit."

Attendant: "Nevertheless, we are now charging a seat locator fee
of $5. It's the airline's new policy."

Passenger: "That's the craziest thing I ever heard. I won't pay

Attendant: "Sir, do you want a seat on this flight, or not?"

Passenger: "Yes, yes. All right, I'll pay. But the airline is
going to hear about this."

Attendant: "Thank you. My goodness, your carry-on bag looks
heavy. Would you like me to stow it in the overhead compartment for

Passenger: "That would be swell, thanks."

Attendant: "No problem. Up we go, and done! That will be $10,

Passenger: "What?"

Attendant: "The airline now charges a $10 carry-on assistance

Passenger: "This is extortion. I won't stand for it."

Attendant: "Actually, you're right, you can't stand. You need to
sit, and fasten your seat belt. We're about to push back from the gate.
But, first I need that $10."

Passenger: "No way!"

Attendant: "Sir, if you don't comply, I will be forced to call
the air marshal. And you really don't want me to do that."

Passenger: "Why not? Is he going to shoot me?"

Attendant: "No, but there's a $50 air-marshal hailing fee."

Passenger: "Oh, all right, here, take the $10. I can't believe

Attendant: "Thank you for your cooperation, sir. Is there
anything else I can do for you?"

Passenger: "Yes. It's stuffy in here, and my overhead fan
doesn't seem to work. Can you fix it?"

Attendant: "Your overhead fan is not broken, sir. Just insert
two quarters into the overhead coin slot for the first five minutes."

Passenger: "The airline is charging me for cabin air?"

Attendant: "Of course not, sir. Stagnant cabin air is provided
free of charge. It's the circulating air that costs 50 cents."

Passenger: "I don't have any quarters. Can you make change for
a dollar?"

Attendant: "Certainly, sir! Here you go!"

Passenger: "But you've given me only three quarters for my

Attendant: "Yes, there's a change making fee of 25 cents."

Passenger: "For cryin' out loud. All I have left is a lousy
quarter? What the heck can I do with this?"

Attendant: "Hang onto it. You'll need it later for the

Friday, September 12, 2008

Jonathan given the boot

Oh no, Jonathon Burkin was voted off America's Got Talent - I'm so upset. I loved him. He's what the show is about.
Although the singers on the show are good, moving even, I feel like we have American Idol for that so I'd rather not see (ok hear) the singing.

The little 4 year old Katlin, although is adorable, really shouldn't have made it as far as she did. I think the judges screwed up by bringing her to the next round. She sings cute- but like a 4 year old would sing. The troubling thing is that I find it disturbing seeing that little girl on the stage by herself as her fate is decided if she is to go forward or not. And a group of kids: Wright Kids made it, oh please, Jonathon Burkin was way better and who are they kidding, I just don't believe a group of children would be a big Vegas pull. I think they need to put age restrictions for who can audition!

As I said, it also disturbs me to see the children on stage - alone - without their parents. I think that they're too young!

I might not continue to watch the show as I'm not impressed with the final 10 contestants.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Great talent on America's Got Talent!

I just LOVED Jonathon Burkin and SickStep on America's Got Talent - so much so I made a point to keep watching the show live so that I could vote for both of them.

Jonathon twirls,juggles and is quite the gymnist. Sickstep is an amazing theatrical dance team. I'd love to see them all win.

I think America's Got Talent is usually on Monday and Tuesday night but this being a holiday week, the schedule was a bit off.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Newron Skate update

I used the Newron Skates on Sunday - I skated a total of 16 miles on a trail.
They really aren't skates meant for distance skating. Even their website compares them to ice skates, and it does say they are good for skating distances. I found them to be slow and hard to push off on.
The two front wheels are smaller than the two back wheels. The glide is slower too. My husband was skating with me he'd quickly and easily roll by me on his K2's.

I can see that someone who wants to dance skate, or play ice hockey might really enjoy them.
A friend is going to try them out soon and I'll be sure mention what she has to say about them.

I prefer to use a heal brake and the design of their brake, between the wheel and the chassis isn't a reliable braking system for me. Even on the trail skate, there were at least 2 occasions where I went to brake and my skate rolled out from under me as the brake didn't engage.
I know how to T stop but I'm not that fond of it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Newron Sport Skate Demo that I received!

I received a demo pair of inline skates from Newron Sports I haven't gotten to try them out yet.

They have a different sort of breaking system. Rather than a heal brake that is dragged on the ground to slow, it has a brake that is in between the wheel and the frame and has weight is applied, it slows the wheel.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Nooks and Crannies Tour- Beauport Sleeper McCann house

The Beauport Sleeper House in Gloucester

Yesterday my sister and I toured the Beauport Sleeper McCaine House in Gloucester, MA.
We took the special Nooks and Crannies tour and we able to view almost all of the rooms, go up many different stairs, see behind hidden closets, it was amazing!

I understand better why tours of historic homes can't often show us everything. This tour took three houses, we had a refreshment break at the half way point.

Vicki and I on the grounds of the Beauport.

Vicki and her husband Tom were visiting all this past week, they left today. We went to the Nantucket, and had a great time!

Vicki and Tom on the widow's walk on top of the Martin House in Nantucket.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fun interview 'test'

Ever thought an interview could be fun? Well I've been on two so far that I've really enjoyed. The first gave me a programming problem to solve and wanted to see design solution (not the code.) The second interview gave me a 'logic test'. Something were given a list of rules, one must answer questions.

Monday, July 21, 2008

SkateBoston Group photo - Sunday Morning Skate -2006

SkateBoston is 2008 is fast approaching - August 1-3, so I thought I'd share this group photo after the skaters had on lunch during the Sunday morning skate. (Or it might have been after the Saturday morning skate.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I joined Facebook. I've been having fun with it however, I really believe we have too many forums and groups we can join but it's hard to say no! Keep getting sucked in!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hancock and Get Smart

I just saw Hancock and Get Smart at Mendon Drive-in which is just the best drive in ever!

I loved both of them. Laughed so hard at times I had tears running down my face or I couldn't hear what was said.

Hancock surprised me since I didn't think the advertisement for it was all that nice.
That is, just the close up of will smitths face. You really don't get a sense for the comedy from that advertisement.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Invisible Ring by Anne Bishop

I received a copy of the Invisible Ring that I won in an online drawing.
I started reading it last night and have been finding excuses where I can keep reading it today - clearly I sign that I find it captivating.
The only thing I really don't care for is seems like every page has something sexual on it and it does get tiresome.

I would not have purchased this book, based on what it's about but since I won it, I thought that I'd read it. From the back of the book: "Jared is a Red-Jeweled Warloard bound as a pleasure slave by the Ring of Obedience. After suffering nine years of torment as a slave, he murdered his owner andescaped--only tobe caugth and sold into slavery once again."

I'm torn between wanting to rush out an buy all her books, or not. Is this common for Anne Bishop? Are all her books so ladened with sex? I feel like the use of sex in books is a cheap way to fill up pages with words. She has a fantastic story line here shame she had to riddle Invisible Ring with so much sex!

The story also repeats thoughts quite a lot, which is surprising. I would have thought that an author of so many books would have learned to be more compact with her wording.

Yes, in spite of my comments, I have my nose in this book none stop.
The sex scenes are short and not too graphic so I can read them quickly and get to the meat and more interesting parts of the story!

It's a cool story, be great movie, well . . . if they can pull out some of the sex crap, otherwise it would be a XXX rating!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Lovely inline skate!

I had a wonderful skate around the streets of Boston - ok, mostly Cambridge - with the Inline Club of Boston.
The routes are determined by a volunteer who figures out a fun and safe skate route ahead of time and then leads us around on the weekly skates!

Check out SkateBoston - a weekend skating event in Boston from August 1-3. weekend of skates, lunch, snacks, dinner, a regular party on skates.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Do you outline? If so, how much/how detailed?

Curious, do you outline your entire story first?
For a given 'chapter' how much of the plot for that chapter is part of the outline?
Do you even outline 'conversations'?

Happy 4th of July!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Comedy of errors!

My husband (Nick) and I are attending a wedding in Bar Harbor, we arrived here on Thursday. Part of the weekend planning includes a Maine BBQ on Saturday night, also the same night that they are having their rehearsal dinner. On Friday afternoon we get a note that says "Rehearsal dinner, 8 pm, QuarterDeck" so, we believe that it must be for the dinner Saturday night. Saturday we take the shuttle in to town, show up at the Quarterdeck at 8:05 pm and they tell us that the dinner was the previous night!

I'm really irritated with myself because I felt uneasy about the entire thing, when we got the invite, didn't have a date or day on it. I thought it odd that they would change the venue, although the weather here has been iffy so I could sort of understand as it was supposed to be outside or in a tent. but sigh, we never asked.

We didn't rush back to the hotel as we suspected by the time we got back it might have been over/close to over.
So we missed 2 nights of fun socializing . . . sigh. Today is the wedding, let's hope we manage to get there on time!

Lovely up here - in Bar Harbor.
Nick and I biked on Friday and hiked up Cadillac Mountain yesterday - we went up the Gorge Trail, climbing up boulders and jump over rocks - fun! tiring both days.
I have a great kitty sitter - (several good ones) the one I'm using this weekend stays over night at the house :-) and spends most of the day there.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Maeve Binchy's novel - drowning a cat

I've been reading Maeve Binchy's novel, Glass Lake, I rather like her stories, although I find she DOES go on and on a bit so I tend to read over and read ahead quite a lot.

I just read a section where they drowned a cat and I found it VERY disturbing and I'm contemplating throwing out this book. At the very least, I won't waste any more money on her. I'm glad that I bought this book at a second hand store.

She tried to write the scene like the little animal was struggling, almost drowning, so the idea was to hold the kitten under to put the kitten out of its misery. Either in this book, or another one she referred to one of the sick expressions, I think it was the 'swing a cat' one.

It's disturbing as her novels usually have a tranquil sort of easy read and this was most upseting for me, especially me.
I don't think drowning an animal is a humane way to put it out of its misery. Fiction or not, I loath to see such cruelty written as being humane!
I'm off to find her website and complain.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Mother-in-law's visit, birthday and cats

Happy birthday to me :-) My birthday was this past Friday - a lucky day - Friday the 13th. Given I was born on the 13th, I view the number as a lucky date!
I had a BBQ at my house and a group of friends over, although I didn't say it was a birthday party, just a BBQ for a lucky day. Many knew it was my birthday.

My Mother-in-law left to visit her daughter who lives in England on Friday - the morning of my birthday. She arrived around May 22 (one of my last posts). It was a lovely visit. She's a real sweety! Easy to deal with, entertains herself, is helpful! She visited for 3 weeks. While she was visiting her sister and spouse came down from Canada to visit with us, the three of them went on a 3 night excursion to the cape.
My daughter visited the following weekend. I've known my husband since 1994 and my daughter has never met any of his family.
They used to all live in S. Africa, now his sister lives in England and his mother still lives in S. Africa.

Mum's sister, Pixie arranged silk flowers in a planter that my brother-in-law Chuck made for me. Looks lovely. I'll be sure to take a picture some time. If nothing else, I promised my sister that I'd send her a photo of it.

The foster cats have returned to the Pat Brody Shelter for Cats. I'm certain they'll find wonderful homes. They all have fun, friendly personalities. The Pat Brody Shelter is great because the cats aren't locked in cages and the cats have a contained outdoor area that they can run around in.

No surprise but I haven't gotten much writing done lately!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Preditors & Editors NEEDS You!!

Preditor & Editors needs our help! Please donate to their legal fund as they are being sued!

This site is most invaluable for writers to get the inside scoop on publisher or agent.
It adds up so don't be afraid to donate just $5 or $10 -whatever you can manage.

I feel like if we don't help to bail out those who run Preditors & Editors it's like turning our back on them!

Please! Spread the word! Post a link to their site on your site!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Crit Group!

I'm so excited, I've joined an online Crit Group. I was, at first, nervous about how to process information from so many sources, but what I found was that the payback in having so many suggestions from other writers was that each person often picked out something different, or asked a question that helped me realized that I wasn't making the point that I thought I was.
It's also reading the future bestsellers!

Being involved with the Crit Group has helped me to stay connected to my own writing.
I always thought it would be a time draw and I'd find that I wouldn't have time to write. yes, it does take time, but it serves to be a motivator. I've been charged and ready to write all week!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

After first Chapter

I've completed the first chapter of the Flower Wars, the general idea needs modifications. Some of my input was based on input from my sister who read the first chapter, given she doesn't like the idea to begin with it was no surprise she really hated it.
But I've been feeling a bit out sorts with some of the concepts.
Furthermore, everyone who has read the first few paragraphs think that the focus is on finding the lost baby, and it isn't - so much, but that because the baby is missing, because the tremors, and because someone else days, the wars start over.

That's another point, one baby goes missing, another chid dies, all in the first chapter. that was one of the reasons I didn't think that this was suitable for YA.

It's a lovely day outside, this actually irritates me since I feel like I should be outside but instead I'm inside - typing . . . sigh . . .

Friday, May 9, 2008

Opening paragraph - Flower Wars - what do you think?

Here's the opening paragraph to Flower Wars. OK so I did say that the fire was out . . . seems like I can't extinquish that stupid fire. eeerrrrr I DO keep trying though.

Some said that it was her screams that caused the walls to vibrate, some thought it was her mounting rage because she didn't believe enough was being done, and yet others felt it was her despair as each moment ticked away and still no sign of her son. Regardless of what caused the vibrations, everyone in the Inner Realm Mega Market felt the energy building up. For those familiar with the sort of fury that kind of energy can expel made quick exits from the Market, or if an exit wasn't available, they took shelter under sturdy objects hoping that it would pass before the Market tumbled all around them. The unfortunate ones, looked on perplexed at the frantic display over nothing more than the Bage Pounder that was being used to clear out more land adjacent to the market.

What do you think? All opinions/thoughts/suggestions welcomed!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Flower Wars - fire's out?

Not so sure about my idea. At first I was super pysched as it's quite unique, however, I'm not so sure how much the market really goes for such ideas.
A bigger concern is that the idea might cross too many boundaries between young adult and adult fantasy.
Time to rethink

Friday, May 2, 2008

Shelving Into This Mind - next in the series

I have many different book ideas, one of them has been gnawing at me to write it more so than others. I found myself wanting to hurry and finish Into This Mind: Talia, so I could commence writing the Flower Wars (although it has nothing to do with the someone having the last name flower and fighting (ie, War of the Roses) and nothing sweet and pedal like about it. It's more dark and sullen. I might change the name)
I finally decided it was time to shelf Into This Mind: Talia and start something new.

Maybe by doing that I'll be able to kick start my motivation. It's been low to nearly non existent at late, even worse, I've been trying desperately to convince myself to give up writing which has been like trying to put out a fire that's started on a field with batches of dry kindling. I stomp out one, and two more start up.

On a separate note, I hired someone to come out to my house for spring yard clean up, edge, weed, mulch, and pull out 2 dead plants and replace them.

Back to Flower Wars, right now I'm writing more about the plot and characters.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Magic Lost, Trouble Found- my thoughts

I just finished reading Lisa Shearin's Magic Lost, Trouble Found. I enjoyed the story line as it had quite a bit of action in it. She creates a different world with common fantasy characters (goblins and sorcerers) but in MLTF, the goblins can be sexy and have costumed balls!

It would be awesome movie, and I for one, would be waiting in line at the cinema to see it.

As I'm often guilty of reading over text as I get bored and impatient rather easily--rare is it the case I don't. I found some parts a bit too chatty for my taste and I wasn't super fond of the voice used. It's first person the characteris often making wise cracks. I've little doubt that I would be a minority on this and I can well see that many others would find it quite charming.

Her sequel Armed and Magical was just released on the April 29! The Barnes and Noble that hosted her book launch party is offering signed copies with NO shipping but you need to follow the instructions Lisa on her blog. She'll even personalize them.

Lisa also asked that you purchase the book from Barnes and Noble. If enough readers purchase from B&N, she can get on the bestseller list!

She also seems like a geniune sweetheart of a lady. She not only autographed the copy of MLTF that I won, but she personalized it just for me. (The fact that she has 2 cats probably helps too . . . !)

I think Lisa is going places so you'd be wise to get your autographed copy and visit Lisa's blog before she's too big and famous and doesn't have time for us.

Seriously! I might have been impatient reading it, but that doesn't alter it's a great story and will be a fantastic movie.

Read what Fantasy Debut has to say!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Image stuck in your head?

Do you ever have this image that you are trying to describe and the word combination alludes you. You write, they don't work, you delete, and you puff out your cheeks and blow out air in frustration.
Do you then question yourself and try to tell yourself that maybe you've no talent after all? I guess I do this. I start to reason that if I can't write about this image, it must be me!

Even though I try to squash it, the yearning sits quietly rising up whenever I hear about some debut author getting some 2-4 book deal.

My sister, artist Diann Izzie said that talent is a curse. People look at her creations and tell her how lucky she is, I was surprised when she told me how much work might go into some of her pieces and she doesn't always enjoy it.

Are there many times in your writing when you really aren't enjoying yourself?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Does your writing prevent you from reading?

I've heard published authors say that they don't have any time to read. Do you find that you don't have time to read?

What else do you give up so that you have time to write?

Do you do any sort of volunteer work? If so, doing what? where?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Feeding baby kittens

The mother's milk seems to be drying up some so I bought some cat food formula to supplement their diet. Here they are snuggled with my husband after a feeding.

3 of the 5
The kittens range from 10.5 ounces to 13.5 ouncees. The black and white one in the photo is about 11.5 ounces the other 2 are about 12.4 & 12.7 ounces.
Interesting that the 2 lowest weight ones are the 2 black and white ones.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Ebay fundraiser - please pass on!

Some bloggers are hosting an ebay auction to help out a woman who is battling cancer and has a 7 year old son. The 2 watercolors by Diann Izzie are just a few of the items for sale. Please post the following link and/or pass on to your friends and family:

Click here to check out the items and to bid.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


At last, I've managed to pick up not just one, but 3 of the kittens. (not at the same time!)

They were walking around a few feet from their mother and I was able to grab one and run out the door AND return with them without being shredded! This little kitty is sitting on my hand.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Wind Follower - My thoughts

I recently plowed through Wind Follower by Carole McDonnell. Even the opening line snagged my attention:
I will tell you first how Krika died.

Often is the case that I must motivate myself to keep trying, to give the book a chance, but I didn't need to do that with Wind Follower. I'm also guilty of 'reading' over text with most everything I read and I hardly did that with Wind Follower. That's a big compliment coming from me.

It's a love story written from the first person point of view from her two main characters: Satha and Loic. Each chapter takes turns between Loic and Satha, where the scene continues, from a different point of view. When there is a minor overlap, it works well.

Although they were both born into different wealthy clans, Satha's was destroyed by the Angleni so that Satha and her family are living in poverty when she meets Loic. Loic is instantly smitten with Satha and wants to marry her.

The evil third wife hatches a devious plot to seek her revenge on Loic's father and his clan, and from there Loic and Satha's life unravel and their lives are torn apart, and from each other.

At this point the story takes a different turn and we learn what the spirits are truelly capable of doing. Satha and Loic are now battling different demons and time begins to pass leaving you wondering if they'll find each other. As I'm one of the rare ones who will read ahead, I knew what would happen. (So please, if you read a book, see a movie, tell me everything, I really do want to know.)

Carole invented an amazing labyrinth of new terms, traditions and beliefs, that truly complimented her story. At times I did use the glossary in the back as there are so many characters, traditions, clans and different names used to describe the same people. I think, in life, we encounter many people so a complex story needs many characters and it worked out nicely in Wind Follower.

My only gripe is that I didn't completely like the way it ended, other than that, I highly recommend Wind Follower by Carole McDonnell! The story doesn't bore you with needless chatter and page fillers, it moves quickly, and will keep you engaged.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My Dollhouse- The Garfield

I built this dollhouse from a kit nearly 9 years ago. We recently moved it to our basement and some of it was damaged because we had to force it through the doorway, and we had to cut some of it off. For some odd reason I didn't think to save the piece we cut off.

All the art work in this dollhouse are miniaturized photos of actual paintings by artist Diann Izzie. All the photos of people are from my family.

I put up a fence all around my dollhouse because my cats were playing in it. As it happened, the fence didn't help.

First instruction in the kit:
1. Don't Panic.
2. Second stated the measurements of the dollhouse and to make sure it would fit through the doorway. The size of this dollhouse forced me to leave it in my dining room for 8 years. When we finished our basement, I wasted no time moving it, although it was damaged in the process.

If I ever built another dollhouse it would have to have pre-cut pieces and not the punched out die-cut in the Garfield. I wish I had known better then because I don't see myself investing another 1/2 year of my life hanging around indoors, building a dollhouse!

I've made many purchases for my dollhouse from I've always been happy with their service and merchandise.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wind Follower - a must read!

I've started reading Carole Mcdonnell's Wind Follower and I love it!

Driving home from work there was heavy traffic on the freeway, but I remembered that I had Carole's book so I whipped it out and read it each time I stopped. Made the wait go so much more quickly.

Carole's created an entire world of people, languages, traditions and naming conventions.

There's quite alot to remember while reading but a bit of thinking never hurt us!

I must get back to reading! Need to see how Satha's pre-wedding party goes!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pissed off mother cat!

The mother cat really went balistic on me this morning. I had touched the outside of the enclosure she was sitting in and she hissed, swatted, spat and flung one of her kittens away from her in the process.
I called the Pat Brody Shelter for Cats and they told me to avoid looking her in the eyes and to give her some time.

When I came home this evening she wasn't so angry anymore.

It's killing me having these darling kittens around and not being able to touch them.

When she flung one of her young away, it wasn't the fear of being sliced and diced that stopped me from reaching out for the baby, it was a concern that the mother would not only take her anger out on the kitten when I returned her, but that she'd continue moving around and walking on her other kittens. I quickly exited the room!

Monday, April 14, 2008


Someone with user name Kazilar left a hyperlink on my blog to a ajrsc dot com which appears to be a virus. DO NOT CLICK On this. Please warn everyone NOT to click on anything from kazilar. I'm trying to jump through the hoops to request that blogger remove this person from their system.

PLEASE warn people and do NOT make the link a hyper link, do NOT click or go to the link.


I'm fostering a mom and her 5 11-13 day old kittens for the Pat Brody Shelter for Cats. The mom seems semi-feral. Prior to her giving birth, an elderly woman was feeding her but the mom cat wouldn't come in the woman's home. One day the woman opened her door and the mom cat ran into the house and gave birth! The woman called the Pat Brody Shelter for Cats.

So far the Mom cat has allowed only one person to pet her from the shelter.
If she continues to be anti-social they'll need to seperate the kittens from her.

I tried to put her food bowl within a few feet of her and she hissed and swatted at me.

For anyone who is interested in adopting the kittens, you'll need to contact the Pat Brody Shelter for Cats.

Right now I'm sitting in the room with the mom and kittens hoping that she'll get used to me and allow me to pet her and her kittens. If you have advice that's worked for you, please share!