Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008: A Look Back

Let's see...I was created in February; I've blogged only a couple of times a month, and wrote 2 books this past year. Not bad for a newbie who's not even a year old (grin)!

This coming year I resolve to:
-blog more
-finish at least two or more wips
-get my first e-contract
-submit my other three completed works, making any changes possible.

As far as personal goals go, I'm going to walk more, in order to maintain my current clothing size or even drop one. I do NOT wish to expand anymore than I have to:)

I will also purchase the Revision and Self-Editing books Kelly recommended, in order to help me with the polishing of my wips before I submit them.

Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve, and 'see' you next year!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Edits Are Arriving...

Finally heard back from my beta reader! My meanness factor is okay, but she's spotted some minor problems with some of the words I used. I'll have to go back and reword those sentances.

And toss some romance into my 1st sex scene, which shouldn't be too hard!

Got a wonderful surprise yesterday morning! Remember my temperamental friend? She emailed me; we met for lunch; she opened up and revealed some shocking developments in her life, which explains her off-the-charts stress level! Our friendship is back on track, and all I can do at this point is pray for her every day. This continued stress isn't good for her, although she said her blood pressure is slowly dropping back into the 'normal' range!

I'll try to post again next week, but in case I don't, have a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year! I'll let you know when I do finally send off that polished manuscript, and of course, report back any news I hear on it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I Did It!!

Wow...I've been averaging 700 words a day since December 1st, and just a few minutes ago, backspaced The End up to the last page of the manuscript!

I'm feeling pretty good about this one.

Now all I need to do is spell-check; run it past a beta reader; resubmit the work and wait.

Happy early birthday!

Now that would be a fantastic birthday gift, my first e-contract??

Keep your fingers crossed they like the additional scenes!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I Don't Get It...

What the Hell...?
I just don't get it. What the hell has happened to people's sanity on the day after Thanksgiving? Yesterday was truly a 'Black Friday' for the families of two store workers, trying to make a living and helping others with the so-called 'Christmas Spirit'. Oh wait a minute....that was NOT an example of true Christmas spirit; that was the sound of selfish GREED!

I have lived in a large town, and I am currently living in a small town, with only three major stores in town: Walmart, K-Mart, and Kohls. Did I get up at some ungodly hour to start shopping? No; I was busy sleeping off my Thanksgiving day of cooking, eating, and visiting with friends.

I did stay in my pj's until noon, and yes, I spent more on than I have in recent transactions. All in the comforts of my home. And when I did venture out, around 2pm, it was first a trip to a small store that advertized Thomas the Tank Engine toys, 40% off. I was one of 4 customers in the store, and not only did I find a gift for my nephew, but I also found a gift for my niece, my parents, and I'll be going back to get another item for my honorary granddaughter.

And then I ventured over to Kohls, thinking if it was too crowded I'd skip it. I not only found a close parking spot, but I went in, found what I was looking for, discovered the boots I want are on sale at 50% off, found an empty check-out line, paid, and left. I was gone a total of an hour.

And then I hear on the radio about a fatality in New York. Have we gotten soooooo desperate to 'get the good sales' that shoppers are now literally breaking down the doors and trampling store workers? Yes, I realize this has also happened on other Black Fridays. But people, really. Is it worth it? I say no.

A couple of years ago, we laughed at a friend of ours who got to Walmart at 4am just to get a DVD player for $20. Well guess what? My mom and dad found one, 2 weeks later, for the same price! That's right; the 'special sale' wasn't so special, after all.

I heard some poor guy whining that he had to stand in line for 2 hours for the store to open. I've got news for you; go in the afternoon, when all the crazies are tired and on their way home, or collapsing in restaurants! And yes, I've done this in the big city, too. Go in the afternoon! You'll be in a much better mood; you'll be rested; your shopping experience will be a hell of a lot more enjoyable. And oh yes, you might even catch yourself humming a Christmas song or two while you shop.

A Change of Heart?
You'd think with the excitement of getting the conditional contract, I'd be writing furiously to get it finished. Well, the opposite has happened. Yes, I wrote the early scene, and the middle scene is still swirling around in my brain, but the words refuse to leave my fingertips.

Is part of my problem the fact I can't shout the news to my parents and extended family? This year on the promotional tour, I met so many people wanting Christian Inspy...has this dulled my desire to break into the erotic genre? I don't know.

Is it simply the fact I'm thisclose to attaining my dream, and now I'm going into self-destruct mode? Is it fear? Burnout? All of the above?

I don't want to blow my chance. Not when I've worked this hard for it!

I had a nightmare last night, that I threw my 3-month-old baby girl away, and spent the rest of the dream sobbing, only to learn she had crawled out and was fine. I woke up in tears, but thankfully, my 4-year-old baby boy was sleeping soundly. (No, I don't have a 3-month-old girl!) But maybe it was symbolic of the 3 months I spent waiting for this particular MS to be accepted. I think I'm going to take the rest of the weekend off, and when my kids return to school next week, I will pull up the document and see if I can at least write for a few minutes.

Baby steps.

I don't have to write an entire scene; I don't have any particular word count to aim for. But if I get back to the basics, and just write something, maybe the words will flow, and open up that dam inside my creativity.

Hopefully. I really don't want to blow this.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I've been offered a conditional contract! I'm dancing around the room...join me? I still have to make changes; the editor felt the plot was rushed and that there could be more fireworks between two characters, but that's not a problem!

I felt it was a bit rushed myself, but then again I had a word count issue to deal with. But now that restriction is lifted, I can go back and fix it; add dialogue; really heat it up. After all, there's nothing better than a grand confrontation scene, full of crackling tension, angry words exchanged, and emotions running the gamut from fear, courage, anger, relief, and of course, love.

And the best part? I opened this email before I drove the kids to school. And on the way home, the creative side of my brain finally 'woke up' and I think I know exactly what I'm going to write! NaNo? What NaNo? I've been offered a contract!

I'm seeing a bottle of plonk coming this weekend, as well as good sales for my alter ego...

Okay. Time to get off the computer, crank up the music, shower, and get to work!

Let me finish my dance first...

Friday, November 14, 2008


Ever wake up suddenly and think 'Oh Crap!'? I did last night. So I checked the submission guidelines. And guess what?

I stupidly sent my submission in the wrong format.


I hope it's not too late to fix it! I'll reformat it and get it sent off again, with an apology.


Remember the weird dreams I've been having lately? I figured it out. My hero and heroine aren't going to work. There's trouble in Paradise. Now if I can just figure out a way to fix it...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Exciting News!

Remember my submission for the EC Caveman, All She Ever Wanted, was rejected two or three weeks ago? I sent the synopsis and the first chapter off to another publisher a day or two later.

Monday I received the email from an editor; she is intrigued and wanted the full manuscript! So I sent it off on its merry way. Keep your fingers crossed!

In other news, my alter ego is thrilled to be a part of the downtown Christmas Kick-off celebration next week. If I get any other good news before her signing, I'm confident she'll be passing out my card and sticky notes to anyone interested! other EC submission was also rejected the other day, but as previously stated, I'm not too upset. I think it was better in the longer format anyway. So now I can redo it the way I originally wrote it. And they also rejected ASEW again! Wow...I guess it at least got a second opinion? Like I said, I'd already sent it elsewhere, so no tears over this. And if it gets rejected from this new publisher, well, I can re-tool it to fit the anthology that DOES want me:) But if it gets accepted...I've got to get over this massive writer's procrastination/slump/whatever- you- want- to- call- it and FOCUS! Time to crack the whip at my muse and get back to work. Do ya think the hubby would let me go to Florida for a week? Or at least check into a motel by myself? Na...I didn't think so either.

Too NaNo word count is pathetic. Week #2 and I'm still below the 5K level.

But other than that, my week's been pretty exciting! How's yours?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Making It Fun Again

I was watching last week's episode of One Tree Hill and Hailey and Brooke were wondering where things went wrong in their careers, and wondering how they could make things fun again.

I guess I'm sort of going through the same thing. When did writing become 'not fun' anymore?

In the 5th grade, we had a teacher who would put on classical music and tell us to write whatever popped into our heads. My first 'story', my take on the movie Logan's Run, was the first 'original' thing I ever wrote. And since the basic story was taken directly from the movie (and a 10-year-old's perception of it!), my second story, a fairy tale about a dragonfly, was more original.

Sadly, the only papers to survive are my Firefly tale and a stupid story about a gentle giant.

My 9th grade teacher announces we are going to spend each Friday writing creatively. Bam! A story based on the song 'One Tin Soldier' pops in to my head, and instead of waiting four more days, I wrote it in Study Hall. I recieved a 'B' on it, because of some spelling errors. Two weeks later, I started boring her with my ending to Star Wars, which I finally finished in early May! And two days later, another fairy tale popped into my head, so I went to my room and wrote it. My mom loved it; it earned me an 'A', and four years later I turned it into an illustrated children's book and read it to kindergartners and 1st graders. They all loved it. Where is it now? Locked in a file cabinet with the original sketches. My finished book? Probably long gone. I don't think I ever got it back. (I could be mom might still have it somewhere!)

I got bored during the summer and started writing down 'what if' I flew to California to see my 'boyfriend'. Three months later, he came back; I kept writing. See my website for what happened next!

My first book is published, and suddenly I'm in a panic and want to crawl in a hole somewhere. What the hell have I done? Everyone is going to yell at me because of the language; the un-Christian-like attitudes; my parents are going to disown me! Surprise, surprise...everyone who reads it LIKES it! Okay...poking my head out. Whew! I'm not going to be publicly flogged!

I get two bursts of creativity and write 100 pages on a wip that is scarily coming true in a friend's life. I can't work on it anymore; I'm too afraid for her! The second writing stint results in my first book, Wild at Heart. I like it; not everyone 'gets' my first hero. Give him a chance! I guarrentee you'll love him by Ch 3! Oh yeah...I also burn myself out during NaNo. I was sooooo sick of this story, I literally didn't even look at for three months. Delete the final 10K words, and hey Kenzie...this story's not half bad! My critique partner enjoys the first 5 chapters before health problems plague her. I'm still wondering whether or not to go ahead and submit it.

Between blogging every day, a husband who resents me spending most of my waking moments at the computer, and a massive case of writer's block, I somehow manage to write two more short stories. I also started 4 or 5 more. Will I ever finish them? I'm going to spend NaNo trying to finish at least one. But I'm not going to turn into the Mad, Screaming, Lunatic Bitch of the Century. No; if I come up against a day where I can't make my daily word count, I'm not going to fret about it. I'll simply do something else until the idea returns. And I've done a much better job of preparing my kids for what lies ahead this month.

So how do I go about recapturing the 'fun'?

I guess I'll start by not putting so much pressure on myself. My goal this year was to submit, submit, submit my work and get my first e-contract. And rejections keep coming. However, I was contacted last week about a possible contract, so maybe things are starting to look up again?

And maybe I'll also get that grant, so I can attend three upcoming conventions this year. Or lock myself in a hotel room until I finish a manuscript or two?

Any other ideas you'd like to toss my way? I'm open to suggestions!

And Happy Halloween, by the way:)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Another Rejection...

I got a surprise over the weekend! One of my Caveman submissions has already been rejected.

"Although the storyline and writing is very good, we don't feel this story is right for us at this time..."

I was definitely surprised...this particular one, All She Ever Wanted, is the one I thought best suited for the anthology; however, I'm wrong. Maybe there is hope for Appetite for Desire? No word on it yet, and it is the one I thought needed to be longer!

Oh well...keeping my fingers crossed!

And in the meantime, maybe Freya's Bower will like it?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Another Dream, and Venting

First of all, the dream.

I'm with my favorite hero, and we are at a party/outing with friends/something like that. Things are going well; he's by my side and making me feel pretty darn special.

But there's another girl who is also being witty herself, and I can't help but feel slightly insecure; after all, I've been in this position before. I was confident of my hero's love and was therefore shattered when I realized the idiot had just dumped me for the other one.

I feel like I need to trust my sweetheart, but at the same time, I can't help wondering if in another week or so I'll find out they've been seeing each other behind my back? I try to stay calm and civil; after all, any show of jealousy will ultimately destroy our relationship, and give him ideas that may or may not be already crossing his mind?

And then the scene shifts...and we are alone, eating breakfast.

"I thought we'd just stay in today, Kenz, and laze around watching football and eating popcorn." He reaches for my hand and gives me that special smile.

My heart melts. I love lying in his arms, sharing a bowl of popcorn while we cheer on out teams!

Maybe I really do have nothing to worry about??

And now the rant.

My spouse has been living with his niece while he's working, and paying half her rent. Fine; I have no problem with that. It is cheaper than the weekly motel and eating costs of last year, and this way he gets to spend time with her and her kids.

My problem? She lost her job last month, and while she's picked up temp jobs and is still bartending, she doesn't have any extra money for her half of the rent this month. And her new job starts next week. She WILL have the money for her half...on Monday!

And her brother, who is ALSO living there, is lying to his father about his living arrangements!


Yes, my spouse is suddenly making good money, and yes, I certainly understand the need to help her out once in a while. But where the hell has all her money gone? My hubby puts gas in her car; he's buying the groceries; he's even made her car payment! So...where did all her extra income go?

And I wouldn't have been so upset about it, except this is the paycheck where we paid for my van to be fixed. So half of it went so I could have reliable transportation again. I now need to put off paying MY utilities for a week, just so her rent is paid on time.

To put this in perspective: I was looking forward to having a $500 cushion, so I didn't have to worry about checks beating his paycheck to the bank, or if he needed gas, the money would be there. After all, next week I'm going to need gas, too, for when I take the kids north! But no...I've been reduced to a little over $300 for the week. And that includes any groceries I have to buy.

I was just beginning to breathe easy again for the first time in three months. I'll just have to hope nothing unexpected comes up. And no, don't misunderstand! The only shopping I do is grocery shopping. But, I still have some medical bills I'd like to get rid of.

Guess they can wait another week too.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Stuck in Time??

I got a phone call last night which boggled my mind.

"Hey...our Homecoming is next Friday, and everyone's going! I was thinking of you and wishing you could go too, and see everybody!"

Heeeellloooo.....I did not go to your high school; I'm really only fond of one of your other HS friends; so why the hell would I even go?

I don't even keep up with my own HS homecomings! Am I the only one who feels this way?

Granted, she still lives in her HS area; I do not. The urge to return to my HS games ended quite a while back; however, when my HS Basketball team made it to the State Finals and my mother had an extra ticket, yeah I went! But that was different; I wasn't there to reconnect with any of my old crowd.

I love my friend dearly; we've been friends for 24 years. But while I've moved on with my life (married, kids, pubbed author), she's stuck in a time warp. She calls me when she can't believe the latest gossip about whatever celebrity; she wants to go to concerts and the latest movies; she calls me every fall to talk about the new lineup on TV. I could really care less at times, but as I'm one of the few friends she can vent about things, I patiently listen to her. Yes, sometimes I've expressed my impatience with her, but this is her life, and she's happy.

And more importantly, she misses me, since we used to get together for lunch every few months or so. But since I've moved 2 hours away, we've not seen eachother in 18 months. She's hoping I'll be able to go see her when I go to my parent's house in two weeks, and I'm going to try.

See there? I'm a good friend.

And speaking of good friends, remember the grouchy one over the summer? We finally connected the other day for breakfast, and everything was forgiven. She even asked about my book sales, without my hinting about it! Will she show up tonight at my signing? Highly unlikely. But at least she's able to laugh at herself again. And yes, she admitted she missed the way I cheer her up!

Maybe her life is finally beginning to stabilize once more?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Kiss Fan...Who Knew?

I ordered the Kiss Greatest Hits album for one simple reason: There were two songs I loved which came out in 1989 and 1990, and wanted to hear again.

Reason To Live and Forever.

When it arrived in the mail, I enthusiastically opened it and rocked out to both songs, including Tears are Falling and Heaven's on Fire, which I had totally forgotten about! And then I decided 'what the hell' and put in the first disk.

Yes, I had recognized 'Beth' and 'I was Made for Loving You', but I was not prepared to recognize more on that disk! Turns out I've been a Kiss fan before I even knew they were the ones singing on the radio!

Just like my Pink Floyd revelation in 1987; turns out I've been a hard rock fan LONG before I ever heard of Foreigner, Styx, and Def Leppard!

Sorry guys...I do remember wondering what you looked like under that makeup, and was thrilled when Kiss: Unmasked came out (wasn't allowed to get it, though!), but it wasn't until I saw the video of 'Reason to Live' and taped it from the hard rock station that I started acknowledging my closet rocker status!

Forgive me?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Timmy the Rat, Pt 2

He pondered on this. She had given him a clue when she gave him this.

She had told him, “May the force be with you”, whatever that meant. He noticed that the pendant had a jewel in it. He touched it and it began to glow. He took it out and stuck it in his mask which had a hole the size of the jewel. The hole had been meant for a three eyed rat but he was normal just had two and never thought about sewing it up. He put the jewel in the hole it fit perfectly. Then all of a sudden he felt like he had the strength of twenty rats.

Timmy flew over and got a really big stick. Then flew over to where everyone was stuck in the mud. Lowered it down and pulled them all out. He had done it. He, Timmy, had pulled the Wonder Pets and Herman out of the mud. They all thanked him. The wonder pets even offered him a job with Nickelodeon studios working as a Wonder Pet. He told them no thank you he was waiting for a job with the Sci-Fi channel doing movies as an experimental rat who could talk, fly, and have super strength. Maybe even go through a Stargate some day as a guest on Stargate Atlantis. That’s where he felt his calling. They all thanked him again. The Wonder Pets climbed into there vehicle and flew back to the class room. Herman thanked Timmy as well and hopped off. Timmy, however, didn’t go back to his moralities.

Timmy looked up and saw this huge dark thing in the sky. He started to fly towards it. The object grew and grew. It was now the size of the moon and growing. Timmy flew then he entered space and continue to fly towards it and it continued to grow he noticed that this object was dangerously close to a near by planet known to him as Flagellum. The object all of a sudden had this bright flash brighter than any Fairy light he knew of. Then Flagellum had disappeared…


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Application Update

I finished adding 5 sample chapters to my 'bank' on the application and submitted it. This morning, I learned that I have to have images, so I've saved copies of my alter ego's covers and will upload them shortly.

I also learned I can have up to 30 samples of my work, so I'll add some more chapters to the 'bank' and resubmit again.

The deadline is October 1st, so the fact I'm already thisclose to the end, and it's only the middle of the month thrills me! Yes...normally I'd be doing this last minute, like I did in 2006! Maybe the fact I'm taking more time and being more careful, will result in a higher score and getting the grant?

Dream Approaching??
I'm also getting excited; I discovered a few days ago a dream I've had for the past couple of years has the potential of coming long as I can get others to envision the dream too. I have one person on board; now to approach the influential one. More on this later. I don't want to jinx myself.

Good News!
I recieved some great feedback on my updated Wild at Heart opener; I'm going to send it off to be critiqued, and hopefully send it off to another publisher within the next week or so:)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Eye-Catching Headline??

I had a brainstorm last night, just as I was settling down. I've been told that one of my stories begins too slowly, and I had the brilliant idea of starting it off with the newspaper headline which throws her into a tizzy for the entire first chapter.

The problem is...I want to make it catchy.

Two years ago, the hero made a stupid move. He got high on X and broke into his girlfriend's house to steal the electronics. He was in the process of unhooking her stereo in her room when she woke up and caught him. She managed to get her brother's attention, who subdued him while she woke up her parents and called the police.

He's the town's Golden Boy; the basketball star. And after 2 years behind bars, he's going free. And determined to win his girlfriend back, plus prove to the community he's changed.

So what should the headline read?

"Golden Boy Gets Parole"?

"Hometown Hero Goes Free"?

"Good Behavior Earns Get Out of Jail Card"?

"Star Earns Get Out of Jail Card"?

"Star Out on Good Behavior"?

Any suggestions would be helpful!

Today, more rain is due to fall. Ike is making his way to the Midwest. We were going to do some more rummaging through the storage unit, but D and K decided to watch Stargate and Stargate Atlantis all day. So yesterday was pretty lazy!

Don't know what's on tap for today, other than Church and visiting the MIL.

The other day, the Deadly Vixens interviewed Cathy Yardley. I went to her site and liked what I saw! If you like updated fairy tales, check out her site I plan on adding at least two of her books to my TBB list.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wedding Ring Issues

Saw a news item this morning about wedding rings, of all things! We've all heard of the slimeball husbands who take theirs off in public, in order to cheat? Well now the women are doing it too.

But not to cheat, although there are those who will do this.

No, the justification behind this trend is to feel single and sexy, to have the freedom to flirt, and then go home to the spouse and 'celebrate' their joy with their mate.


I was floored when I heard the so-called expert say, "If you're out with a bunch of single friends, you don't want to feel like the old married lady of the bunch."

Got news for you: I never took my ring off when I went out with my single friends, and myself and the other 'old married lady' were the ones who received all the attention!

I'm serious! My bff and I, wearing regular clothing (jeans, light tops and minimal makeup), were asked to dance, bought drinks, and even asked if we were happily married. And they brought their friends over, and even one hook-up was made between one of the single gals and the single guy. We danced as a group, played pool, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We had horrified our singe friends, who had dressed to the nines and had asked, "You're wearing that?"

I've even had a guy try to pick me up at the mall, at ten am, and when I flashed my ring at him, it didn't seem to bother him! I got away from him in a hurry.

I can't wear my ring now, because of the weight gain after my last pregnancy. And since hubby and I are at odds over nearly everything, it no longer bothers me. I know I'm married, and right now I'm not in a position to go out dancing anyway. But if I ever do, I'll still let it be known I have a spouse and children at home.

So what are your thoughts on the subject? Is this just another excuse to break the rules, or are there women out there who are too insecure to have a good time without male attention?

I wish I had put this in to practice when I was unmarried...I stopped looking for it and it found me! Think of the fun I could have had twenty years ago:)

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Finally heard back on my Wild at Heart Submission.

It's been rejected.

Sigh...that's okay; I knew it still needed a little work, but I sent it off hoping maybe someone would see the potential and take a chance on me. I'll just have to submit this to my critique group and see if they have any suggestions. And get cracking on my other story, to finish cleaning it up before sending it out.

A setback, yes. But the way things are going right now, I sort of expected this. Hope is vital though, and time to get back to work.

I am in the process of applying for an artistic grant; if accepted, I can use the money to attend a couple of conferences, and maybe even a writer's retreat. Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Is This Nuts?

I've ordered promo items.

Before I've even gotten a contract.

I guess with 4 books written and at least 3 more partials in the works, it's about time I ordered business cards? I've also ordered a free sticky note pad, a free pen, and return address labels. I want to go to the EC convention next year, and I'd like to attend the Romantic Times convention.

There's a grant I'm considering applying for, to help with expenses. If I'm awarded it, I can use the money for the EC conference. The RT is held in April, and the money is awarded in June. Maybe if our tax refund is enough next winter, I'll be able to use some of it for RT.

And hopefully, I'll hear some good news on my submission soon. I also need to get my fingers in gear and start working on the partials! I'm not going to kill myself during NaNo this year. I completed it last year; I've proven to myself that it can be done. So if I don't reach the 50K goal this year, so what? I've already done it.

In the meantime, the patience is firmly in place. Keep checking back for news:)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Quirks Tag

I was sort of tagged, so here's my 6 quirky things:

1) When I fill the ice cube trays, I do it one cube mold at a time. This way I get just the right amount of water in it, and I don't have trouble popping the cubes loose! This drives my family batty, by the way...

2) I open Twinkies length-wise, and then eat them.

3) I've got to chew gum when going up in airplanes, as well as taking a decongestiant an hour before lift-off. The pressure gets unbearable!

4) I made a tape of my favorite sing-out-loud-to songs, and it's my favorite thing to listen to when in the car by myself. Great for long trips!

5) I dip french-fries into ranch dressing.

6) Right now, am having horrible hot flashes, and can be found cooling off in front of the a/c, freezer, or any available fan. Why is this quirky? Normally I'm always COLD when the A/C is on!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Still Waiting...

Sigh. I hope the silence I'm hearing is actually the sound of my manuscript being mulled over, passed around, and being considered for publication! I was told two weekends ago that it was being looked at; I hope the reason it is taking so long is that SOMETHING about the story has grabbed someone, and they are trying to find a place for it in their lineup??? I'd rather have a thought-out acceptance than a simple, rushed, 'Sorry; not what we want.'

But in the meantime, I'm reading, I'm trying to write, and since the financial status in our household has been stressful, I'm spending considerable energy keeping my spouse happy. Not an easy job when he's convinced God is using him for a punching bag.

I thought I was on a roll, and then LIFE happens. And to top it all off? Another storyline popped into my head last night. I just wish I could go off by myself for a couple of weeks and finish SOMETHING! I'd like to get one or two more manuscripts finished by December...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Let's Have Some Fun:)'s harder than it looks! Hit Forward, erase myanswers, enter yours, send it on to 10 people including the one thatsent this to you. Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of thefollowing. They have to be real places, names, things..nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.=====================================





Occupation: Krispy Kreme doughnut manager

A COLOR: Kelly Green



FOOD: Kiwi


A PLACE: Kenya

REASON FOR BEING LATE: Kept hitting the snooze


Friday, August 22, 2008

Some Good News:)

No, nothing on my submission or anything, although I did get a nice note telling me she was reviewing Wild At Heart and would get back to me soon:) That was neat; I've never gotten mail addressed to my new name before, and it was sort of like opening someone else's letter and reading it, while scratching my head and saying "Okaaaay..." And then it hit me. You're Kenzie, and this is good news!

Secondly, my friend emailed me and invited me to lunch! We weren't able to get together though, because I got her email thirty minutes after I'd sent it, and by the time we reconnected (I was having issues with my desktop...I could preview my mail, but couldn't OPEN it!), her boss had emailed her and she had to go into the office. So she told me to call her the next day. So I did, but a client had arrived earlier than expected, so she wasn't available.

"Let's try next week; I don't have a lot of appointments," was what she said before telling me to have a good weekend.

No, there was no apology for her snappy behavior, but the point is, we're TALKING! My patience has paid off, and when we do eventually get together face to face, everything will calmly be discussed. So I'm feeling pretty good about it, and hope our schedules 'jive'.

My son got a 'stupid sayings' calendar, and I thought today's was rather appropriate, given the Olympics are being played.

"I'd like to thank my brother Nicky, who's been like a sister to me."
-Australian swimmer Grant Hackett, after swimming the 1500-meter freestyle at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

If I get any news over the weekend or early next week, I'll post it.

I also finally sent off both Appetite for Desire and All She Ever Wanted to Ellora's Cave. I don't really think I have a chance; there are a lot of wonderful EC authors out there, several of whom I communicate on a daily basis! But it's nice to know it's out of my hands; someone else is going to read my little stories and decide whether or not I'm publishable. And just learned my crit partner did not receive my 6th chapter of Head of the Class. Argghhh...I'll have to send it out again. More delays...I'd hoped to have it subbed by now. Sometimes I don't think electronics like me very much!

Have a great weekend:)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Silence. Maybe she took my no-reply as an 'I-didn't-get-the-email/technology-failed-again' thing?

I did send a polite note stating my schedule this week, which includes being gone for 2 days. I mentioned Friday as being good for me.

That's all I'm sending her this week. If she chooses to call/email, then we'll see where we stand. Otherwise...I'll be patient and continue to do my own thing.

One thing's for certain: I REALLY want that contract now; it would sort of be an 'I Told You So' moment.

Petty, yes. But I'd really like to prove her wrong...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Friendship 101

I'm not the only one having friendship issues. Another author is having them as well.

Remember mine, the one who last year blasted me for my publishing efforts, and basically told me to get a 'real job'? The one who later mentioned something I said would 'make a great line in one of your books', and who later again told me not to invite her to my signings?

Yeah, I know...mixed message there.

I had not heard from her in 6 weeks, and suddenly I receive an email stating she basically could care less about what was going on in my writing life, or marital woes, or even about my kid's tonsillectomy. But she's coming into town today and wants to see me.

It took a great deal of willpower not to hit 'reply' and send a very sarcastic and snotty remark!

I even went back to my sent mail to see what, if anything I said might have been construed as whining or rude. Nothing. I basically had said, 'here's what's going on in my world', and 'hey, I finished that manuscript!' and 'oh, btw, I'm going to be in your town briefly...want to meet for lunch/coffee?'

She said, in large letters, she had a job and a kid to raise, and didn't have as much free time as I do.


Free time?

Let's visit something here:

1) I have 3 kids, she has 1.
2) Yes, she has a job, and works mainly from home.
3) I have a 'job'...I'm a full-time mommy, and I also write.
4) I thought we were friends who CARED about each other. I offered love and support during her divorce; she's heard all about my trials the last 12 years, and we've commisserated on our idiot spouses. Hers decided to become addicted to alcohol and drugs; mine is just a royal pain in the ass. She also offered encouragement when I found myself pregnant again after 9 years, and listened while I cried on the phone! And who held me a year later and calmed me down when I had a 'what the hell have I gotten myself into' moment after the baby was born!

I have decided that IF she calls me today, I will pick up the phone. IF she emails, I'll reply back. IF she comes over, I will remain calm.

But I'm not replying to the snotty one; I will calmly remind her that I cannot get inside her head; I have NO IDEA what she's been dealing with the past 6 weeks, and I'M SORRY if my 5 emails last week was misunderstood as a 'high maintenance' moment. I had good news I wanted to share, and that was all!

I'll admit, I gave into my insecure, emotional side: I was wondering if a) after our chat she decided to not be friends anymore or b) technology was interferring and I wasn't getting the 'hi, how are you' emails she usually sends every couple of weeks. The rational side was telling me that a) she looked extremely stressed and just needed space, and b) not to push her or she'd take my head off again. So, I gave a gentle nudge and she snapped, via email this time.

We'll see what happens today. If I'm not careful, I'll insecure myself out of this long friendship. And after 22 years, you'd think we'd know each other better. But this divorce has changed her; I don't want to join the ranks of friends she's lost in the past 2 years; I'll just have to continue to pray for her. I don't think she anticipated this much stress last year, when she was venting at me once a month over this decision.

I applaud her courage at changing her life; she changed jobs and divorced her spouse, all in the course of 3 months. I've often thought of striking out on my own, but fear holds me back. I've not worked (steadily, that is!) in 14 years. If my publishing efforts were supporting me, I'd probably do it in a heartbeat. But I remember what I was like, working seven hours a day and coming home to clean the house, do my 'mommy' duties, and cook dinner for a tired husband who had worked 12-15 hours. I was tired; I was sleep-deprived; and cranky because I had no time to write. And when I was no longer full-time again after 8 weeks, the words poured from my pen for 6 weeks straight.

My hubby gripes when I'm not working, because I'm not earning any money, but yet when I do work, I hear 'the house is a mess! When are you going to clean it up?'

I finally yelled back, "What do you want, a clean house or a working wife? Apparently I'm incapable of doing both!"

He shut up.

Sorry for the rant; this just royally pissed me off. And I don't want to get into a yelling match.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I finally finished my Caveman submission! And I'm happy with this one.

It was a stretch; it wanted to end two times, but it was too short! 6K the first time, and 8K the second. Thankfully, I was able to get a burst of inspiration and it is 10, 544 words long, just within the word limits.

What's it called, you ask? Working title is 'All She Ever Wanted'. It's similar to 'Recipe for Love', but there are no kids, and they are former lovers torn apart by a scheming parent. I hope it's accepted. The only thing that worries me slightly is, they don't actually get in bed until chapter 2. But there is some groping....maybe the editors will like it?? Or at least, find a place for it, even to publish as a Quickie?

I'll submit both (if allowed!) and see which ones gets accepted, if either of them do. So stay tuned; as soon as I get my desktop to stop throwing a hissy fit, I'll send it on it's way. Otherwise, I'll have to do it from daughter's laptop. And she really doesn't need it on her PC...but then again, it's on my flash drive, so maybe it won't matter??

I'm doing the Happy Dance! The only thing that would make me happier at this point would be an affirmative email from Eternal Press, concerning Wild at Heart...keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Low Motivation

I just can't seem to get motivated this week. I sent of chapter 6, but at my weekly writer's meeting, I looked at 4 of the wips I had with me, and...nothing.


Can't even come up with a single word to add to any of them.

What do you do when the muse isn't talking to you? So far, nothing's working.

Maybe this is a sign I just need a vacation?

I'm taking the kids to the county fair tonight. Maybe the change of scenery will help!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Woo Hoo:)

First of all, my flash drive is virus-free, thanks to the wonderful folks at Circuit City who checked it for me and Did. Not. Charge. Me!

I am back on track, doing edits on my manuscript:) I finished chapter 4 last night, and as soon as I get to the library, I'll print out the corrections for chapter 5.

I'd better send her chapter 6, hadn't I? I'll do that in a few minutes.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Good News:)

I inquired about my submission to Eternal Press, and was told I should hear something by the end of the month; they are just now getting around to reviewing their April submissions. Keep your fingers crossed!

Started another book this past week. I wrote it in longhand during my weekly writer's meeting (I was the only one w/o a laptop...I feel so deprived!); typed it up on Wednesday, and kept going. Friday, I opened the file again and wrote some more, finishing it, or so I thought.

Word count was only 6,693. Too short for a submission.

So on Saturday, I added what I thought was another chapter, plus the first line of a second. And last night, I reread it.

The new chapter's only 2 pages long. Oops! I'll have to expand on it some more.

And I'll have to change the title.

So yes, I still have some work to do on it. I think I'll print off the first chapter and ask the members of my new group to give me their opinion of it. And if Barb would regain her interest in reading, I'll gladly shoot a couple of pages her way!

Other good news? I'm mobile again:) Hubby fixed the van and it works! Next week's repair is the brakes. And then eventually, the fuel pump again.

See there? I need a contract. I need to sell lots of books so I can afford a newer used van! Mine's only 8 years old, but it was used heavily before I got it in 2005!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Closet Nudist

What? Me? A nudist? No way...well, if the truth be told, I guess if walking around naked in my own home, regardless of the other occupants qualifies me as such, then so be it.

Blame it on my parents, ha ha!

Growing up, my parents' bedroom was next to mine. And every morning, my father would would walk past my door, on his way to the shower, carrying his underwear.

You remember those days, don't you? We only had one full bath in the house, and when four people are all trying to get dressed and leave the house within minutes of each other, bathroom time tends to overlap. Many times, my dad would be in the shower; my sister or I would be on the toilet, with the other brushing her teeth or even blow-drying her hair.

So naturally, I carried this relaxed attitude into my own adult life.

My son asked a friend of ours, "How long after marriage can you share the bathroom with that person?" She stated three weeks. I say, if you've been intimate with someone, then the same day!

I've shocked more than one lover over the years by using the toilet while he showered. After I married, it was natural for me to perch on the sink and talk to my hubby about his day when he came home tired and covered with dirt (he's a construction worker...the guy you scream at every summer, because his concrete machine has blocked the highway lane you think you need to be in?)and wanted to clean up before dinner was ready. And after the kids arrived, well, at one time, we would have Daddy sitting in the bathtub; a child perced on the toilet; another one sitting on the covered litterbox, and myself on the sink.

I have a vague memory of my mother running out of the house wearing only her suit pants and a bra, waving her toothbrush at the school bus to stop, as I was late.

My hubby was slightly shocked, when, after my sister's wedding reception, we were all gathered in our parents' hotel room ( they had been married six months before; this was for the friends and family who couldn't attend) and my sis had her husband unfasten her dress, while I turned my back to my dad and asked him to unzip me, as my husband was occupied in changing a diaper!

I shocked my MIL after my hubby's heart surgery; we were all staying in one room at the hospital's motel, and she went into the bathroom to change. When she came out, I had stripped to bra and panties and was preparing for bed.

Even now, I have no problems with dressing or undressing in the living room, if I don't want to miss a minute of the news, or a favorite TV show. And if someone comes to the door, then I'll slip a shirt over my head and poke my head around to answer it. And if you're a friend, I'll let you in. Otherwise, I'll close the door and finish dressing.

So I guess that doesn't make me a total nudist, right?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Friends are wonderful, aren't they? Especially the true ones. You can laugh, argue, fight, make up, and they'll still be there without holding grudges.

I had to remind one of my friends today that I'm here for life.


Remember two weeks ago, this person was very snotty on the phone? Thank god the techonolgy gods intervened and I didn't get her reply. It was apparently not very pretty.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I got an email from her; we briefly met and while she didn't apologize for her attitude, we're still on good terms. We've agreed to disagree on my choice of career paths...she doesn't support my decision to pursue publishing, and she said the crux of her email was to please stop inviting her to my signings.

I reminded her that friends support each other, no matter the personal feelings involved. I reminded her that I don't agree with certain aspects of her life, and while I wasn't expecting her to show up and loudly proclaim me as her favorite author (though...that would be nice!), I was simply inviting her to drop by and say hi. No pressure to buy; just show up and be friendly!

So with that out of the way, we settled back and exchanged info on what was going on in each other's lives. And she's going to set aside some time in the coming weeks so we can have lunch.

I love her; she's constantly in my thoughts and prayers; and I'm looking forward to seeing her again.

Will she show up this weekend? I doubt it. But then again, she just might surprise me!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Panic Attack

I've had a nasty virus invade my home PC, so I've been keeping up with my blog and email at the library. I just had a horrible thought:

What if, when I downloaded all my files to my brand new flash drive, I also infected the drive with the virus?

Or sent the virus to others? After all, I sent off a submission and interview answers!

So far, I've heard from the editor already, so I know her system wasn't affected. And no word from Gracen, either, concerning her PC. So I guess I'm safe.

But I've got two documents that I didn't put on floppy disk; the only copies are on my now-damaged hard drive and the flash drive.

Have I just ruined my publishing chances? Will I be forced to start all over with these stories? Or are they still salvagable?

Time will tell, I guess. I'll get my personal computer geek to solving that mystery when he gets back from Kentucky.

In the meantime, I can do no edits; I cannot chat; all I can do is pray that we will be able to either put in the recovery disk and hope it works, or else buy an external hard drive and recover it that way. Last ditch effort will be to buy a new PC. But for that to happen, hubby needs to return to work.

Or else I need to sell a huge amount of books this summer!

On a good note, I've started a new story called 'Steaming up the Midway'.

And I'm trying out a new title for the chef/customer story, 'Recipe for Love'. What do you think?

'Crazy for the Caterer'?

'Par for the Course'?

'Dishing Up Desire'?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Did It!

I successfully trimmed my short story from 15,800 words down to 14, 670! Now I can have it critiqued and sent on its way. I feel so relieved:)

I'm having issues with a beloved friend right now. She took my head off verbally last night, and instead of losing my temper right back, I bit my tongue and quietly told her I never expected her to drop everything and come see me.

And today, I very nicely sent her an email, stating that I certainly understood her stress level and to please talk to me if she needed to vent. And reminded her I didn't know her new schedule; I had expected to find her relaxing instead of working. So far, I've not gotten any response, but I hope she calms down soon and either emails or calls me.

Especially now that I've completed an interview and finished with a WIP.

Next problem: I need a title.

My story is about a young chef who finds herself involved with a newly-returned member of the country club in which she works.

Taste of Love?

Cooking up Desire?

The Way to a Man's Heart?

Appetite for Love/Desire?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Time Management?

My friends at the Oh Get A Grip! blog were discussing time management last week, and while everyone has different ideas on how to go about it, there's really no set in stone method. Some people list; some schedule every single minute down to the wire; others simply attack the day and hope everything works out well.

Three years ago when applying for a job, I was asked about how I manage my time. And at the time I had just finished an exhausting year with a husband with heart problems, and being caregiver to my young niece and nephew. My answer was to look at what chores needed to be done in any given day and to prioritize.

For example, a typical day went like this:

6am: Shower, drink my coffee, and dress. Start getting kids up and dressed.
7:30: Everyone out out the door to drop off older two at school.
8:15: Return home; breakfast for the younger three.
8:30-noon: Housework, surfing web, writing, mediating 3 toddler arguements/tantrums.
Noon: Lunch
1:00: Movie hour; nap time
2:30: If no nap was taken, leave to go to school. Otherwise, enjoy the solitude and write!
3:30: Older kids arrive home, if rode the bus. Otherwise, home at 3:15. Younger kids usually asleep at this time!
5:00- Start dinner
6:00- Eat; hubby home.
6:30-8: Cleanup, baths.
8:30-9: Younger ones storytime; bed.
10pm: My bedtime.

And yes, I've blown my stack. When my MIL fell and broke her back, I tried to squeeze in visits to see her, which entailed an hour trip both ways, and was frustrated by not getting all my laundry finished. I had to learn the world wasn't going to end if it all wasn't finished by 5pm. And at Christmas, when my husband nearly died, a comedy of errors showed me I seriously needed some downtime.

We were supposed to attend a family Christmas party. I also needed to go to the store for dog food. I invited my 'older daughter' to attend the party, thinking while she was reconnecting with her kids, I could slip out and go to Walmart without taking the entire crew with me. Hubby wasn't feeling well...we'd all gone through a bout with the stomach flu....and he thought it was his turn. So the kids and I left for the party.

My 'daughter' never showed up. At 4 pm, I loaded them back into the car with the intention of dropping them off at home and then going to get the poor dogs some food. We arrived home; all three were fast asleep; I left them in the car to enlist my hubby's help in getting them and the presents into the house.

Curve ball #1: He's on the phone to 911; they think he's having a heart attack, and the ambulance is on the way! We arrange to send him to the hospital where his doctor is. I telephone my aunt's house and fortunately my parents are still there. Yes, they will meet me at the hospital (my 2 older kids were going home with Grandma for a few days). I take off for the hospital.

Curve ball #2: Dad meets me in the parking lot; the ambulance had taken hubby to the local hospital, in order to transfer him better.

Curve ball #3: After 2 hours, he still hasn't shown up. St. V tells me they'll call MC to inquire about status.

Curve ball #4: Turns out hubby had vomited blood and MC decided to keep him.

Curve ball #5: I sent my 13-yr-old to the van to get the car seat. Five minutes after I kiss him goodbye and watch him leave, I discover he still has my car keys! After frantically contacting the State Police and giving them not only a description of my parents' van but a detailed route between here and their home, I kiss my 'daughter' goodbye after losing my temper with her over her inquiry about me watching the kids on New Year's Eve.

Curve ball #6: At 11pm, Dad calls from home and says he will return with the keys. And, oh, by the way, would I cancel the APB on him? An hour later, I thank him, get in my van, and head to the RIGHT hospital. Get hubby settled, and at 3 am, finally head to the store for dog food!

Curve ball #7: Walmart is waxing the floors in front of the pet department! I have to detour all the way to the back in order to retrieve the 40-lb bag, also enlisting a very nice person to help me wrestle it into the cart. I'm finally home at 3:30; feed the hungry dogs, and fall into bed!

But those two solitary hours helped me get my emotions under control; I was able to focus on what needed to be done and not just on my own mounting frustrations.

So now, when faced with a seemingly huge task, I've learned to step back and take of what HAS to be done, rather than what I think needs to be accomplished in a certain time period.

And for the most part, it's working for me. Overextending myself only leads to frustration.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Indy 500 Memories-1982 and 1986

I think this was the year my interest in racing took off. I confess to a certain shallowness in picking my favorite race car drivers. At this particular time, I was 'in love' with a handsome driver by the name of Kevin Cogan. This particular year, he was sitting in the Pole position (ranked 1st for all you non-racing fans...this position has the highest qualifying speed and has the honor of leading the pack of 33 cars for the first two parade laps), but something happened when the green flag appeared, and an accident occured, wiping out several cars. And since this was before the teams could repair the damage and still re-enter the race, several past contenders were furious at my guy.

And those of us attending Band Camp were huddled around the radio, listening and cheering on the final ten laps and taking imaginary bets on who would win, Gordon Johncock or Rick Mears!

In a photo finish, Gordon Johncock nudged past by mere inches and won the thing! Even to this day, even though we know who the winner was, just hearing the sound bite from the final seconds brings back that adrenaline rush!

My second race (1985 was my 1st) was a downpour. We huddled miserably under our rain gear, eating our sandwiches and watching the futile efforts to get the track dry. Everytime progress would be made, Mother Nature opened up the floodgates and the process would start all over again. The next day, it was still raining. We didn't make the trip to Indianapolis; we watched the progress on live TV. Dad said if things looked better by noon, we'd go. But once again, Mother Nature decreed no.

A week later, the weather was bright and sunny. We made fresh sandwiches, repacked the coolers, and off we set again. This time, everything went off without a hitch. Well, okay. Almost without a hitch! We parked in a different place than last time, and my sister and I set our own 'track record' by setting off in the opposite direction of our seats! We walked around the entire OUTSIDE of the track in 45 minutes...and did not beat our parents to the seats:) We did, however, see some interesting sights...we witnessed the Celebrity Caravan taking off; we joked about stealing an unmanned Pace Car (yellow Corvette! My favorite car!) and driving to our seats; and we pretended not to notice the drunk guy who offered to carry our heavy coolers for us.

And the race was awesome! My guy led several laps, and when an accident ocurred late in the race, I was jumping up and down with excitement, wondering if Kevin was going to win under the yellow light, or if the Safety Crew would get the track cleared in time to go green for the final lap or two. And since Dad's favorite driver, Bobby Rahal was in second place, we had a friendly rivalry between us.

With 195 laps down, the green flag waved. The crowd roared; we all got to our feet and cheered as the pace car pulled into the pits and the drivers hit their accellorators. The race was on! Kevin managed to hold off Bobby for lap 196, but the distance between them closed. Going into to 3rd turn, Bobby edged closer, and by turn 4, saw his chance and took it. He passed Kevin going into the home stretch, and even though Kevin continued to chase him for the final 3 laps, it was all over. Dad was jumping up and down and yelling; I was yelling at Kevin for not taking his spot back; Mom and my sister were also cheering for Rahal. But my sister very nicely said, "It almost happened...there's always next year!" Dad looked at me and said, "Experience wins every time!" and popped open another beer to celebrate.

Unfortunately, the following two years, my guy didn't even finish, and I don't think he even races anymore.

This will be the first year since the mid-90's that my sister will attend the race. And we have some hard and fast rules for picking winners.

1) We always cheer for the women! First it was Lyn St. James, and later Sarah Fisher. Now Danica Patrick stands to be the first female to win at Indy. Wouldn't it be great if she were to do it this year?

2) We always pick at least one rookie to finish. And this has been a private joke: For three years in a row, the rookie we picked either blew his engine at the start and couldn't even begin the race, or was the first one out of the race! We'll see what happens on the 25th!

3) And being loyal to our parents, we cheer for Foyt, Rahal's team, or the Unser family. Used to love Little Al's car...his sponser used to be Domino's Pizza! And we always pick the car with the best logo. One year it was a dentist who was driving...his sponser was Crest:)

And what happened between 1982 and 1985? In 1983, I chose to go to Florida with my church choir and skipped Band Camp that year. Took a lot of flack from my fellow Seniors who couldn't believe I was being taught my routine from (gasp! Shock! Horror!) an underclassmen! Yeah, right...get over it...who cared who taught me the routine, as long as it was somebody? They got over it after a few weeks. And in 1984, I spent time with my grandparents, who had come up from Florida for my HS graduation. And I got to spend an entire month with them afterwards!

Well, I'm off to get busy with revisions. Do me a favor? Click on Suazanne's blog and leave your opinion on her decision to stay home with her kids and WRITE! Or, just send her encouragement as she's sending off her first submission:) Tell her I sent you! And for time management tips, click on the gals at Oh Get A Grip. Do you spend the morning in your jammies? Do you let housework pile up when you're In the Zone? Are you super-organized? Give them your input.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Is This Public Knowledge and if so, How Did I Miss It?

Went blog-surfing the other day, and came across one post devoted to Brazillian Wax hygiene.

First of all, ugh! I have a very low threshold of pain, and cannot fathom ripping the hair away from any part of my body with HOT WAX. I do not tweeze my eyebrows; I gently shave away any unwanted body hair under the arms, down my legs, and in the bikini area.

I have a close male friend who told me several years ago that the 'messy look' was out.

"I like the landing strips," he sighed.

Okay. One question: How do you KNOW the 'messy look' is out? He's been married for over fifteen years! Is there a newsletter, a magazine, or was it in the paper? Do you belong to a certain group who keep track of body hair fads?

And secondly, are you SERIOUS? What, can't you find your way without, mmm, uh, a path?

Oh wait...this is a MAN I'm talking to; a MAN who regularly reads Playboy. And yes, knowing him, he looks at the pictures.

But to return to my original thought: What's wrong with simply shaving? I admit to having experimented several years ago, and in the summer time to shaving a little excess off, especially when going to the pool. But wax? Nah. I'll just touch it up in the shower, same as my armpits!

But I have noticed the, uh, clean-shaven trend in my erotica books. So maybe there was an ick factor when describing certain acts? Who wants curls tickling, or loose hairs falling into open mouths?

So maybe there is something to this trend, after all.

Or maybe we're becoming so warped a society that now women have something else to worry about?

Body hair. Who knew? And what's next?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Indy 500 Memories-1977?

My mother's going to laugh at me.


For years, the Indy 500 meant only one thing: We fought traffic along Kessler Blvd in Indianapolis every year, trying to get to Grandma's house. Grandma lived off 30th St, and so my parents would simply walk to the track and leave my sister and I with Grandma.

I don't remember how old I was when they first tried to instill some excitement about open-wheel racing, but I do remember being impressed when we arrived for Time Trials and Janet Guthrie was taking her practice laps.

I remember wandering around the track, eating hot dogs and sitting in various seats. I had a book and was bored after a while. After all, the cars only went around in a circle, and we couldn't see all the action. So what was the point? I went back to my Nancy Drew book. Even when Mom took us up to the seats at the top of the front straightaway, I complained because it was colder and windy up there.

My sister, however, was more impressed, and the next year, saved her money to prove to my father she was serious about attending the race, and purchased her own ticket from him.

I just looked at Race Day as an excuse to skip church. Even when the boy I had a crush on several years later wasn't able to come and get me! Grandma had moved to Florida by then, and I was left alone on Race Day, spending a rather boring day by myself. I've never admitted that until now.

But thankfully, I did 'come to my senses' and I love everything about the 500! Heck, I even showcased it in one of my alter-ego's books! think they'll ever let me join the Caravan of Celebrities either during pre-race festivities or even the 500 Parade?

That would be so cool! I'd get to meet Rupert from Survivor!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Posting Anonymously

I've only done it once, and that was cowardly. But I commented anyway, because the person who wrote it had made it clear she didn't want to be associated with me.

So I commented anonymously.

Now we've had another falling-out, and someone has posted a negative comment on hers without revealing their identity.

It wasn't me; I don't leave nasty comments. If I don't agree with what the person's written, I will either abstain from commenting, or give my polite opinion, depending on how strongly I feel about the issue. But I do NOT leave sarcastic comments when they aren't needed.

In the meantime, I'm continuing to read her posts; I may even resume commenting in a week or so. Just depends on how the wind is blowing, so to speak. If she accepts my private apology or continues to ignore me, well, we'll see.

Moving on....

My alter-ego had some good news concerning a manuscript:) She'll post the good or bad news when the time comes...she doesn't want to jinx herself.

And as soon as I get more ink in my printer, I'll be doing edits on Chapter 4. And I finished the short story I was writing:) Now to shave a couple hundred, or even a thousand, words off somewhere...I think after the 15th (my critique partner's on deadline) I will give it to her and see what she thinks. My submission deadline isn't until September. So no more work on Head of the Class for at least 2 weeks. Don't want to stress out my partner!

In the meantime, it's the month of May in Indiana. And for racing fans, that means Indy 500 time! Throughout the coming weeks, I'll be posting some of my favorite memories. And if you have some you'd like to share, be it anything from fond memories to griping about the traffic, feel free to join in the fun!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Auto Technology

Maybe I should have taken it?

First the computer gods laughed at me yesterday.

Today, it's the automotive gods who are having a field day.

Let's recap the past year:

April 2007: I'm halfway to my convention in Fishers, IN when my van refuses to go faster than 30 MPH. The kind person who let me use her phone graciously took me to my first stop; my friend's house, where my father was waiting to meet me. He was intending to pick up my 3 kids and take them home with him. Little did he know he would first be taking me to Fishers...And later, all it took was a $5 fuel filter repair.

December 1st, 2007: I'm scheduled to go to Muncie, IN, to be a part of the Midwest Writer's book signing. I'm only four blocks from home when I stop to buy oil, and the brakes suddenly lock up. I can't go forward or backwards! Two hours later, hubby gets it fixed and is totally perplexed at why it happened when the phone rings. Forget Muncie; I have to drive to Noblesville in order to get one of my best friends, as her mother just passed away, and she needs a ride to Evansville.

Last Saturday: My son takes my van to Walmart for a forgotten item and calls 30 minutes later to say the van refuses to back up, and the transmission is screaming. Hubby babies it home, and further inspection shows we're gonna need a new tranny. It's okay; Jackie says she needs a day with 'the girls' and says she'll drive.

6:15 am Today: The phone rings. I smile and pick it up, expecting Jackie to say she's on her way. Nope. It's her hubby.

"Got a slight problem. Apparently I hit something last night, and there's a 4-inch gash in the sidewall of one of the tires."

Ouch. And the tire repair shop doesn't open until 9am.

Ouch, ouch, ouch!But, there's a good side to all of this: 1) my kids were early to school; 2) Kelly gets to hold down the fort for the first two hours until we get there; 3) Mikey stayed in his cage all night; 4) I had time for more than one cup of coffee!So just pray everything goes well the rest of the day? Please?

And let's hope that when my next event rolls around, which is the Cincinnatti trip, all vehicles are in good, working condition!!!

Oh, and another piece of good news? My sister and her family are set to arrive on May 17th! She got her visa to cross the border! Woo hoo! For any new readers, she's in Canada and lost not only her work permit papers, but her US birth certificate. Don'cha love beaurocracy? NOT!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Not dreaming about my characters...having trouble writing.

I type a few words and lose interest.



Lack of confidence?

I realized suddenly the other day my word count is at 13 K, and the maximum word count for the submission is 15 K. And my characters have only had sex once, and are back to the getting-to-know-you-let's-see-where-this-takes-us stage.

I need to speed it up. I need to talk to my best male friend, but he's not available for input.

So I guess I'll just have to do what I did during NaNo and rely on my imagination, which is showing signs of disappearing as the stress of having an irate hubby and rising gas prices shut down my creative process.

Which sucks.


Please....let our rebate check come in the mail, so my van can be fixed.

Please...let him return to work so we can pay all of our bills, instead of having to pick and choose.

Please...let me have more recipes for pork loin, hamburger, and chicken, or let us have the income to buy stew meat and beef roasts again. I have a craving for beef stroganoff. And not made with hamburger.

Please...let nothing interfere with my 'book tour' this summer? And let my royalties be a steady source of income for me between now and my next contract??

Please...let the gas prices come down a dollar or two, so my hubby's mood will improve?

Do you think I'm asking for too much?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Dream Pt 2

The dream sort of continued, only it took a weird turn...

I am in New York, on a 'field trip', of sorts, with the girls from One Tree Hill. Brooke was to meet with a fashion designer; Peyton was there for support, except she met a guy we were convinced was a mob figure.

The hotel we were staying at was the same one in which my character had a suite in which he lived.

We dodged the Joan Collins-type chaperone character and I discovered the suite. Nothing happened; we simply talked. But later, as the antics of Brooke and Peyton grew outrageous, I called on my friend for help. It was one of those frantic phone calls in which the only information revealed was 'Help! Peyton's being chased by this unsavory guy and Brooke can't find her...'

But in the end, the guy was miraculously apprehended; the girls were tearfully returned to the hotel; the chaperone and the rest of the crew blissfully ignorant of all actions.

And myself? I knocked on my friend's door and asked quietly, "How did you know?"

"Because I know you, and I've come to expect things like this."

I entered the room. His son is playing a video game, and there is a strange woman and young child sitting on the couch. I introduce myself and apologize for the interruption.

" did it all with one phone call," I continue. "You never left; We never saw you. And yet you still managed to be the hero in the end." I'm thoroughly confused.

"Kenzie...I can't explain it. I've matured over the past several years, but you refuse to see it." He's getting slightly angry. "Now don't you have a plane to catch?"

"Actually, we're leaving in the morning." I shoot another inquisitive glance at the silent woman still in the room.

He shifts in his seat. "I think your friends would like to see you."

"Why?" I challenge him. Somehow, my shoes are off, and my cardigan sweater is unbuttoned. I don't remember doing anything to my clothes.

"Because I have plans tonight." He frowns and leans over to hand me my shoes and pull my sweater together, so my tank top is covered.

Suddenly, the woman pipes up, "That's okay; if your wife needs you..."

I shrug and give her a smile. He is not amused.

"She's not my wife," he snaps.

I fasten my sweater and pull on my heels. "That's right; just an Old and Dear Friend, right?" My sarcasm overflows as I feel my own anger rise. I get to my feet and head toward the door. "Enjoy your evening."

Suddenly, his hands are at my shoulders. "Awww, Kenz..."

And suddenly, I jerk wide awake AGAIN! What is it with these weird dreams? And I wake up just when things are getting interesting? What does it mean when you and your 'soul mate' argue in your subconscious?

Not exactly the ending I wanted, but then again, maybe it will continue again tonight?

Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Do you dream in color?

I do.

Several months ago, my blogmate Kelly interviewed a couple of her male characters, and they said some flirtatious things. Well last night, one of my favorite characters invaded my dreams last night, and I woke up too early!

The dream went something like this:

I let myself into the house. He is sitting on the floor, surrounded by boxes.

"We need to talk," he says, looking serious.

Uh-oh...I don't like the sound of this. "What's the problem?" I set my briefcase down by the front door and make my way over to him.

He stands, and we leave the crowded living room for the spacious master bedroom. I lay down on the bed and curl up on my side, watching him pace.

"I was In front of the stadium. I bought hot dogs for the kids and saw you."

Relief flows through me. He came to the signing after all! But..."Why didn't you come over to the table?"

"You had several people at your table, and you looked so beautiful, so animated, and it hit're going to do well with this! And where does this leave me?" He sits on the edge of the bed, and I see the little boy who just wants to be loved and appreciated.

"I will never leave you," I whisper softly. "I love you."

He get up and spoons his body around mine. "Can we research some more?"

I feel his hands unbuttoning my shirt. "You've been reading Sommer's blog again..."

And all of a sudden, my eyes flew open and I'd slept through my snooze button again. It was 6:30; there was no sexy man trying to entice me to get naked; just a snoring husband and another morning waiting for me. Time to get up, make the coffee, watch the news, and wake up my kids. Thursday morning, and all I want to do is go back to bed and finish my dream!

Maybe he'll return tonight?

This is the second time I've dreamed about someone's blog post. The first one was Anny Cook's, when she was doing research on the nutritional elements of acorns!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Updated Word Count: 8,021 in the past week. Doing 28, ready to start ch 6:)

I can't keep my fingers silent. I read on another blog that she prefers the term 'fucking' over 'making love'.

I disagree. And this is my blog, so I get to state my opinion.

'Fucking' refers to selfish sex. The two partners are only doing 'it' for their own selfish pleasure. And I'll agree with her on this point: You CAN be in love and still 'fuck'.

'Having sex' is a step above 'fucking'. The two partners are somewhat selfish, but they may not necessarily care about their own pleasure. It may be that one partner is only seeking to pleasure the other, and not expecting anything in return.

'Making Love' is unselfish. Each partner cares deeply about the other, or at least shows how much they care, by taking time to put the others' needs above their own. This is a deep, rich experience, and usually draws each partner closer together.

Go ahead; disagree with me.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Earthquake and Edits

Sounds like a strange combination, right?

I finished the edits on chapter 3 last night. Discovered I am overly wordy in some spots, and less in others! Lisa also graciously pointed out where rearranging the wording makes the sentance flow a little better! Thanks, Lisa:) And she also pointed out that when two people are talking on the telephone, the other person cannot be seen. Sorry; I was picturing a split-screen! Too much TV, I guess!

And then this morning, we were rudely awakened by a 5.2 magnitude earthquake. Rare in my neck of the woods! This was my 2nd one; I stayed in bed, wondering, 'What the hell....?" If I'd been in California, I guess the knee-jerk reaction would have been to dive into the doorway. Me, I lay in bed waiting for the house to fall on top of me! Bad Kenzie...

But no damage. And we apparently had an aftershock while I was downstairs and missed it. Maybe I'll feel the next one.

Haven't written anything all week, and I'm hoping to rectify that oversight. Monday...what did I do? Can't remember. Tuesday, I chatted on the Novel Sisterhood and outed myself. Got great preliminary reviews on both of my blurbs...can the writing hold up as well? Stay tuned...Wednesday, I received word that my Wild at Heart manuscript had arrived on an editor's desk, and when it has been reviewed, she'll let me know yea or nay. And Lisa is loving my Head of the Class. I'm getting ready to send her chapter 4. God, there's a lot of sex in the first couple of chapters! But that's what the public wants, apparently! Hope the general story is received well, along with my steamy sex scenes!

I'm living vicariously through my blogmates this week. Kelly, Anny, Brynn, and Bron, not to mention other authors whose books I've read, are all in Pittsburgh this week. I found out next year the Romantic Times Convention will be held in Orlando. Hopefully, I'll be a published e-author next year, and can afford to go? (But will hubby let me is the question!!)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Happy Dance:)

Word Count: 2626 on Monday:) Doing good! I'm on ch 3, page 12:)

I received confirmation that Eternal Press received my Wild at Heart submission, and they will let me know what they think:)

I also sort of 'outed' myself on the Novel Sisterhood chat group. I posted the blurbs to both Wild at Heart and Head of the Class, and several people liked the premise of both:)

Lisa sent me Chapter 3; I don't know if I'll get to it today or not. Depends if I get everything else finished first...long story short, I ended up washing enough laundry yesterday to use almost an entire bottle of detergent. Now, laundry is the one chore I actually enjoy doing. But fumigation is enough to change that attitude...

The temps are going to be in the 70's today. Hubby informed me we will be cooking on the grill. Yay! Easy clean up and prep! So with that said, I'm getting off the internet and opening up the doors and windows to let the fresh air (and the pollen, fun fun!) circulate through the house!

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

New Routine...

Word Count: 1456. Success! They're in bed! And by page 3:)

I hope I don't jinx myself; I've had two fabulous days of reworking my WIP, and all is going well! I typed two pages yesterday, and another two today. While this doesn't sound like very much, it is working with the household routing, and no one is complaining that Mom is monopolizing the computer.

After getting the kids off to school, I have my 'me' time...I shower, dress, do my QT, make the bed, and do a quick pick-up of the house. Next, I fire up the computer and read the blogs. Afterwards, I log off and pull up my wip. I work steadily until noon, when it is time to pick up the toddler. Then it's lunch time, and any errands we have to run. By 2, I'm usually back on the web, posting my blog and seeing if I can inspire a comment or two. Yesterday, I think my alter ego shocked the hell out of some people. Maybe I should have posted some of my questions here; maybe I'll repeat them later. Who knows? Anyway, after I get finished here, I'll make the rounds again and comment. Then it will be time to make way for the teenagers so they can do homework or IM long-distance friends. Dinner. And then TV time. I might be able to get on again after my show is over, but before bedtime. Again, who knows? And if I can squeeze it in, I might even post a comment or two on one of my chat loops. It all depends on if I have something to contribute.

Monday, April 7, 2008


I was inspired last night. I received word over the weekend of a submission call, but as I have never read any of this particular anthology stories (actually, it turns out that one of the stories is on my TBB list!), I wasn't sure I was up to the task.

But guess what?

I've been plodding along with a current WIP, and I'll write a scene here, a scene there, and figure that eventually everything will come together, right? I think it finally has.

Only....I'm getting bogged down in the backstory. I read somewhere an author gave an manuscript to her critique partner, who pointed out her 'story' actually started around page 50 or something like that. I went to bed thinking about where I wanted my characters to go next, and the email popped into my head. Okay...only in my story, the characters haven't even dated yet. So maybe I need to create a scene where they don't know each other, but they meet and the chemistry blows them away, something like what I've created for my story 'Head of the Class'?

I mulled it over while I was soothing my 'I'm-not-sleepy-(yawn)-Mommy' toddler and as soon as he fell asleep, the idea came to me. Nope, not going to tell you what it was; as soon as I get some time to myself, I'll commit it to paper/Word Document and see if it will work. Since several scenes are already written, the conflict is already established and should flow as soon as I get them into bed for the first time!

Wish me luck!

Friday, April 4, 2008


Pet Peeve #5? Complaining all the time! What is my alter ego doing today? Complaining!

But I guess I should clarify; she's ranting about her disrupted schedule. I hate it when I get together with friends and they spend the majority of the time we have slamming their significant other!

A little venting, that's okay. But don't complain to me about what he does or does not do; tell HIM! And if you're that unhappy, seek counseling, or as a last resort, file for a separation/divorce. I don't care to hear it day after day, and I try to keep my own desparaging remarks about mine to a minimum.

On to better news: I received word that Eternal Press was seeking submissions, so I went ahead and submitted my 40K story, Wild at Heart to them! Whoo hoo! Let's hope I hear favorably???

I'll admit; this story could use a little work. I've been putting it off, because I really need to talk to someone in the banking industry to make sure my facts are clear. But maybe the details are vague enough to satisfy the editors? And I'm flexible; I know changes are needed, and I'll gladly do some minor rewriting.

And now I want to reread it myself. I've not looked at this story since last fall, and personally, I think it's damn good! Not to mention, I endorsed my dad's favorite state, restaurant, and vacation place, so if it's a hit, I'll have a great excuse to go back and do some promotion?

Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pet Peeves, Pt 3

How many people have heard this?

"But Mooooooooooooooom!" (Insert whine)

"Okay, dear." (resigned sigh)

Many of today's juvenile problems go back to one main issue, PARENTING.

Do we as a society not know how to parent anymore?

Think back to your childhood. We were given set limits, curfews, and chores, and if we dared test the boundaries, we were spanked, grounded, and shamed.

I'll admit; I received my last spanking at age twelve. I don't remember what it was I did, exactly, but it probably had something to do with the fact I was being horrible to my younger sister.

When I reached my teens, I was disciplined for not doing homework, and had the plug cut off of my stereo. I didn't speak to my dad for an entire week. And surprise, surprise, my grades improved and for Christmas, I received a new cord for my beloved record player again!

I dared to back-talk my mother and got my mouth slapped. Lesson learned; you don't get mouthy with your mother. My sister, however, had a problem with this, and now it is a family joke that she received a 'daily beating' when she was younger! No, not actually beaten; just taken to the garage and spanked for being disrespectful.

Sidebar: Mom was so angry with her at one point, she came into my room looking for the toy with the ping-pong paddle, with the ball and string attached. I told her it had broken and we'd thrown it away. Not that it was at the bottom of my toy chest! Yes, I did protect my sister at times!

I know people who have actually said, "But then s/he'll hate me!"

'Scuse me? The greatest compliment I ever got was one of my kids yelling, "I HATE You!", accompanied by a door slam. Guess what? She was five and is now well-behaved. And yes, she loves me.

Kids need limits, otherwise they will grow into self-absorbed snobs who think they are entitled to everything: New clothing, money, latest electronic toys, jobs, etc. With our economy becoming uncertain, what's going to happen to these kids when there is no way to accommodate their demands? Will they kill, steal, and end up in overcrowded facilities? Oh wait...that's already happening...

There was a stunning plot to kill a teacher the other day. The kids planned how they were going to smuggle the weapons in, and how to clean up the mess later. No, not college students, or even high school kids. These kids were....8, 9, and 10 years old. Shocked? You bet. You can blame TV, video games, or even society as a whole. The experts on the news said that these kids knew about this stuff because it is most likely in their backgrounds; kids who have witnessed abuse or neglect of some kind. And that's sad.

Part of our job as parents is to show them love, provide them with the tools they need to become productive members of sociey, and to respect authority.

But if we're so afraid of offending them, and kowtow to their demands, how will this happen? Kids are crying out for help, all over the world. Are we listening, or are we too busy? Are we too wrapped up in our own selfish lives? Or will we take the time to raise our children to respect the 10 commandments and our society's laws?

And yes, it takes a village to raise a child. The next time you see a neighborhood child doing something wrong, how do you react? Turn away, because it 'isn't your child', or do you call them on it? Or even call the parents? If you see my kid doing something wrong, by all means; call me or put a stop to it! I won't get mad at you; I'll thank you. And I hope you return the favor if I do the same.

By the way, so far two of my three kids are growing up responsible. They are joys to have in the classroom, and everywhere they visit, I'm told they are welcome back at any time. My toddler is still being taught the rules. And I'm also well aware that my teens still need their mommy: I have an adult 'stepdaughter' who is still pushing the boundaries of accepted behavior. But she's finally learning, and we're satisfied with that. Some times it takes the school of 'hard knocks' to get the lessons learned. But then again, this child is only behaving in the way she was shown twenty years ago. And she's grown up a lot in the past six or seven years! Having children of her own has made her realize her 'father' was right, after all!

Why the quotes? There is no blood ties here. Her mother informally adopted my husband's family because her own was so dysfunctional. And since my husband practically raised her from age 18 months to age three, she looks upon him as a father.

Tomorrow: Complaining ALL THE TIME.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Pet Peeves, Pt 2

Either my readers gave up, or they're keeping their opinions to themselves...(sigh)'s okay:)

#2...Cracking the knuckles

Everyone has their auditory limits; some are more sensitive than others. For some, it's gum smacking. Others hate it when chalk squeeks on the blackboard. For me, I can't stand the sound of popping fingers.

A friend of mine does this out of habit. And when he does it in my presence, I want to cringe, grab my ears, and run screaming from the room. Fortunately, he knows me well enough by now that when he cracks the first one and sees me shut my eyes in pain, he stops and apologizes. And then removes himself to finish the job.

I managed to be polite when the Dish Network techi began to crack his. I simply winced and asked him not to do that. He was nice, and complied. But my son...he knows how to torture me, and now my daughter has picked up the annoying habit. But since I took away the cell phones and have threatened car priveleges whenever they start now, Mom has the upper hand again.

#3 Not returning Email questions

Another annoying habit by another friend. It's not like I bombard her with questions or anything, but when I ask a question, please answer it? Is that so hard to ask? And I'm not asking hard ones! Simple ones, such as "Who do you think will win the game tonight?" or "Do you think you can make it on Saturday to the signing?" But noooo. I'm being ignored in cyberspace until she finds the time in her busy schedule to hit the 'reply' button.

And I don't flood her inbox with emails, let me assure you. I email her on a friendly basis, generally once a week, sort of a 'hi, how are ya' thing. (No, she doesn't blog.) We're not CLOSE friends, but we've known each other for over twenty years. And she picks the ones she chooses to answer. Which I guess is her right; it just bugs the crap out of me when I want her opinion on something and it doesn't get answered until the second or third time I ask! Or we'll finally connect in person and I'll ask her then! Okay...this sounds a little whiny. Sorry.

On to happy news...

Finished the edits on chapter 2 and am anxiously awaiting chapter 3:) So far, my partner is very interested in the story and likes what I've written! Now I just hope a future publisher/editor does as well...

Am also in 'blah' mode. What kind of music do you like to listen to when you're feeling lazy? My favs are:

Numb-Linkin Park
I Don't Want To- Toni Braxton
Comfortably Numb-Pink Floyd (actually everything on Momentary Lapse of Reason album!)
Wish You Were Here-Pink Floyd
Reba McEntire
Vince Gill

Okay...wrote those last two artists, and now Reba and Brooks and Dunn are singing "If You See Her" in my head. I'm going to have to dig out that CD and listen to it; the bridge is stuck on a loop right now!

"And I still want her
And I still miss him so.
And I wonder why we let each other go..."

I'm getting off now, before I infringe on any copyright laws!

Next post: Adults wanting to be their children's friend.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pet Peeves

I wasn't challenged on this, but I'll post mine anyway. AJ wanted to know on another blog "What pisses you off?" So far, the Oh Get a Grip ladies have touched on the weight/clothing issue, public assistance, bad table manners, and blowing one's nose.

My big ones include:

1) Being late
2) Cracking knuckles
3) Not answering questions/returning emails
4) Parents who want to be their children's 'friend'
5) Complaining about one's spouse ALL THE TIME.

Being Late:

I'm not talking about being a few minutes late, or running into the occassional traffic problem. I'm talking about chronic lateness.

My mother was habitually late picking me up from events, practices, etc. Until I began driving, I resigned myself to the fact I was always going to be the final person hanging around school, church, or the movie theater, waiting for my ride to show up.

When I began driving, and the job of picking up my younger sister from swim practice fell on me, I made an effort to be on time. And she thanked me for it.

I have a family member with whom it is an inside joke that if a gathering is set to occur at 2 pm, her invitation MUST read NOON, or she'll be two hours late. Last year, our county was an hour behind everyone else's, and we forgot about it. We showed up an hour late. My mother tried to pull this tactic on us this year, and we showed up an hour early, because the time changed again, and we were now back on 'normal' time.

I also have two friends who are habitually late, and I've learned to plan accordingly. I don't like to be angry with people if we make a date for lunch, and I'm left waiting for a half an hour.

And then there is the 'entitlement' issue. These people don't apologize for being late! They act as if it is their 'right' to be late! If I'm late to an appointment, I immediately apologize for making them wait for me. My time is valuable, and so is yours. If I respect your time, please respect mine?

When my husband and I were dating, I arrived at his apartment one evening, and we decided to go out. I grabbed my overnight bag and went into the bathroom to put on my makeup. When I emerged a few moments later, D had taken off his shirt and shoes and was eating a snack!

"Oh...did you change your mind?"

"No; you said you were going to put on your face; my sister takes two hours to putty her face."

"I only take two minutes."

"OH!" And he jumped up, put on his discarded clothing and finished his snack. He learned that day he had a speedy girlfriend whose idea of makeup was subtle, not a total 'face' to produce!

I learned several years ago that I'm a 'time stresser'. I took a quiz to see what areas cause me the most stress, and time was the major one. I have a need to be on time, and the one time I tried to adopt the attitude of 'Oh well, they'll wait for me', as I've seen in others, I was raked over the coals for being disrespectful.

Maybe I should find that person who called me on it and introduce her to a few people?

Next Post: Cracking your knuckles and not answering your mail!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Split Personality?

I'm a people pleaser. Mom said even as a child I was always good natured and willing to do whatever anyone wanted, eager for approval.

And then I grew up. Sort of.

I had definite ideas about certain things, such as what foods I disliked, what clothes I wanted to wear, and even who my friends were. Unfortunately, I often was ridiculed.

For instance, one of my best friends in elementary school was a boy.

"Eeeuuuu! How can you be friends with him? Boys are yucky!"

I liked him because we crawled all over my treehouse, waxed-papered my slide, and even went down to the creek and climbed a few trees. My best girl friend wanted to play Barbies and listen to music. So at the tender age of 8, I decided to quit acting like a boy and be a girl again.

But....times had changed.

I wore dresses; read Little House on the Prairie and tried to be 'ladylike'. And opened my mouth at the wrong time and got slammed again! I didn't want to play sports; I wanted to be a cheerleader. But our school had decided to offer girls' sports, which I had no interest in. I wanted to read, embroider, and spool-knit, not run around and get dirty! Ick!

Consequently, I had only a small group of friends, instead of several. But we all planned our future weddings.

We all wanted the traditional white dress (preferably our mother's), white veil, and traditional white wedding cake. I was alarmed, because all wedding cakes were white, while I preferred chocolate.

"Don't be silly...Wedding cakes are always white!" was what I heard. So while in high school and college, while I secretly agreed with 'the dream wedding', I planned one where my cake would be chocolate, my groom wouldn't be forced to wear uncomfortable shoes, and we'd happily go off to Disney World, to play and ride the rides.

Why the fuss over the cake? I got my chocolate cake at my wedding, along with a tier or two with white. And yesterday on the news, there was a segment about 'non-traditional' cakes becoming more popular. Brides were ordering flavored cake, chocolate icing, and various other quirks. I personally always wanted the huge, multi-layered cake with the fountain in the center! But what I got was a modest, 4 or 5 tiered cake. I've told my kids that for our 25th anniversary, I want my dream cake! (And maybe Duff from Ace of Cakes could make it??)

I'm digressing. Anyway, around age 30, I realized I wasn't so dependant on approval anymore. My parents didn't particularly care for my shoulder-length spiral perm. "It's my hair, and I like it," I announced. Normally, their disapproval would have caused a mild depression to set in, along with me combing out my curls or something. Not anymore.

My parents do not especially approve of what I'm writing. So what else is new? I stupidly took my journal to school in the 8th grade and it was accidentally passed around, causing deep embarassment for about a week. I survived it.

Yes, I crave approval to some extent. I want people to like what I write; I want people to like what I have to say. But am I going to be depressed because I get a rejection? No. It just means the right person hasn't read it yet. Am I going to be depressed because no one comments on my blog? No. I'm just getting started! I know a few people have discovered me, and that's okay. Come next May, when I'm hopefully ready to submit my work and start praying for an acceptance, maybe then more people will be reading this. But until then, I'm content to sit here quietly, writing and trying to find my 'blog' voice. I've been approached about being controversial, and I fear it's just not in me yet.

I still tend to look at all situations from all sides. And that makes it hard to get off the fence.

So why the split personality? I suppose I'm a closet rebel. I do what is expected of me; I'm raising my kids, I'm saying the right things. But on the inside, and what is coming out in my stories, is the ME I longed to be twenty years ago; the girl who knew where life was taking her and how to get what she wanted. Trouble is, I let public opinion sway me in the opposite direction. So I'm reliving my early adult stage vicariously through my heroines!

How did YOU envision your future life when you were twenty? And what stopped you from attaining your dream?