Wednesday, January 30, 2008

mid week meltdown

Finally got a copy of the photo from our $16,000 grant to the library presentation. What a motley crew:)

Yesterday morning it was a balmy 50 outside, today, after a Dorothy-esque wind blew through, it is a frigid 26. Just have to love those 30 degree temp drops. The wind was blowing so hard our basketball hoop fell over. Thankfully, our neighbor/friend saw it and helped me to move it out of the driveway. Yikes. Where did I put those ruby slippers??

Off to a bookstore committee meeting today. We have a fair amount to cover, but I shouldn't take more than an hour of their time.

I was a bad girl yesterday and didn't edit one word, other than my daughter's three writing prompts. I was trying to help her prepare for her writing assessment test next week. No wonder I woke up with a headache.

I did, however, finish reading Yasmine Galenorn's three sisters trilogy. Not quite sure what to think about these. The spine says paranormal romance, but I have to tell you, the romance is more along the lines of Laurell K. Hamilton than most. Galenorn isn't as dark as Hamilton in tone, but she crosses some boundaries that most who have the romance tag on their spine don't cross. The books are about three sisters who are half fae and half human. As a result of their mixed blood, their magic is a bit wonky. This oddness tends to land them in heaps of trouble. They all live in Seattle, what is it with so many paranormals being set out there? The citizens of the Otherworld (fairyland) mix freely with us Earthside folk. They are out of the 'closet' so to speak. And that is where the conflicts arise....some bad Otherworld folk are out to invade Earthside and the three sisters are the only folks standing in the way of total annihilation.

The series has its moments, but Galenorn infuses her world with every possible paranormal element and it makes for quite a salmagundi of a story. Can you say everything but the kitchen sink?? Huge lesson to be learned there.....

The first book, "Witchling" isn't as good as the second and third..."Changeling" and "Darkling."

Final verdict, I got these from that box of paranormals at the store and I will be returning them to sell....they aren't making it to the hallowed bookcase upstairs.

Friday, January 25, 2008

friday recap

Pretty fun cover, huh? I read two books this week, this one being the second one. Finished it up last night before we sat down with the kids to watch the first Terminator movie. They watched the Sara Connor Chronicles and wanted some back story. They got a real laugh over the current governor of CA's performance.

I totally enjoyed Frost's book. Lots of action, some romance, good world building and the potential for many more stories about Cat in the future. My only complaint, the ending seemed a bit rushed and the introduction of one of Bone's vamp friends seemed a bit forced, sort of like, I need to work this guy in so he can appear in book two and three.

What I loved best was the deft way Frost combined kick ass urban fantasy with romance. Usually you get one or the other. This was a perfect blend.

In other news.....the Friends helped the Library out yesterday and all went well. We survived another week of soccer conditioning, basketball, music lessons etc. Hubby is sick...enough that he actually went to the doctor without prompting. Rare indeed.

Up for the weekend is finding and purchasing new cross trainers for the daughters, a basketball game and firming up plans for the Super Bowl party we are hosting. Who knows, I may even find some time to edit a bit. I'm off to work in the bookstore today....should be busy, Friday's have seen an increase in traffic of late.

Good weekend to all:)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

gourmet junk food

After I finished reading The Book Thief I experienced that oh so rare moment of, "What do I read next?" Some books make it real difficult to move away. The book lingers like a music note in your soul. Again, I can't say enough good things about that book, but I needed to move on.

I sat down yesterday and sorted through the paranormals I bought last week at the book store and came up with a title that looked like a good 'junk food' read. Boy did I guess right. Think a big old bag of nacho cheese Doritos, followed up by a package of Oreos.

I can only imagine the excitement when Rachel Vater signed this writer....because Jeaniene Frost has got it going on in a major way. Finally a paranormal romance with the grit and mystery I'd been craving. I probably would have stayed up last night to finish "Halfway to the Grave" but the hubby is sick and my reading light was bothering him. I set the book down, snuck in a half hour of reading time this morning and have every intention of finishing this story when I get back from the library. Laundry be damned. Cat and Bones rock:)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

the book thief

One of the gals I volunteer with at the bookstore gave me her copy of The Book Thief to read. After hauling it around in the van for two weeks and reading a few pages here and there, I finally managed to carve out an afternoon to sit and read that book. I knew after reading the beginning 25 pages I wanted a block of time to sit and immerse myself in the story. This isn't a book to be read in a waiting room, at a sports practice etc. This book deserves some undivided attention.

It is hard to put into words just how amazing this story is. The writing is beautiful, dare I say lyrical. The characters are incredibly vivid. The plot, one of the most 'familiar' in some ways, is delivered in a stunning way. I don't want to recap the story as in some ways I'm too close to the book to focus on how to describe in a sentence or two the plot.

Liesel is haunting me.

Buy or borrow, but find a copy and read this book. My next trip to B&N will be to purchase a copy for my house. My girls are going to read this over the summer.

Monday, January 21, 2008

new week

School holiday today, so the normal routine will be tossed out the old window into the frosty air that descended upon us over the weekend. Brrrr. The darn dog dilly-dallied retrieving the paper and I nearly froze on the front porch this morning.

I did spend some time this weekend editing Maddy, but not nearly what I wanted to. I think I worked through 20 pages. I also didn't get to read as much as I'd hoped. I was all set to dive into The Book Thief last night then the phone rang with a problem at the bookstore and then the football game started. Sort of bummed Favre and Co. didn't shut down Manning and Co. I think the Pats will devour the Giants. Another blowout Super Bowl. Bummer. I wanted to see Favre take the Pats to school.

Off to the soccer store to buy the kids some new shorts. Then off to the department store to buy the same kids strappy sandals for the big dance. Quite the dichotomy we have running around here of late. Oldest kid rocked as a guest player and managed a shut out in her game Saturday....stopped 10 shots on goal. Wow. Also came home sporting yet another bruise.

Doubt I will edit today, but who knows. I really need to finish The Book Thief. Good book....just can't carve enough time to read it. Not the sort of book you can just requires attention and immersion.

Happy MLK day.

Friday, January 18, 2008

friday recap

For some odd reason I've stopped blogging in mornings and find myself typing my entry mid or late afternoon. Anyway, here is the daily recap:

Worked the store this morning and did some amazing business, the lady who bought 31 books on tape helped things along.

Managed to edit 20 pages and folded two loads of wash before I went to the library.

Stopped by the store and picked up a few things to get us through the weekend.

Up next, taking the oldest to the library to interview for a summer volunteer job. Wowsa. It will be here before I know it.

Hope you have a productive weekend....mine will be spent, I hope, at the keyboard.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Today's agenda includes attending the oldest kid's academic awards ceremony. Cleaning my fur ball infested house. Editing some more pages in the WIP. Reading more in "The Book Thief." Attending the PTA meeting so I can watch my youngest perform his three skit lines. Taking the other two to b-ball practice. Coming home and collapsing.

I read an interesting op-ed piece today written by one of the local editorial board folks for our newspaper. Her take was which presidential candidate better understood the multitasking mothers do. She decided that either Obama or Clinton would best understand. Not sure if I agree with her reasoning, but I can understand her concern, and I'm not a 'working' mom.

For me it all boils down to choices and what I can and can't live with. I can't live in a dirty house after a certain point. If that means I don't edit, then so be it. Better to be sane than not. I brought my kids into the world, and I'm responsible for raising them. If that means I'm at awards ceremonies and PTA meetings instead of home reading or writing, then that is okay.

The beauty of it is that given time, everything ebbs and flows. The demands on my time will change, and my choices will change as my kids leave the nest.

I used to want to be published before I was 45....unless I become super-human, I doubt the choices I make will encourage that. Just part of my reality. And it is okay.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

ta da

I trotted off to the middle school this morning for the middle daughter's academic awards shindig. A good time was had by all...and I bypassed the donuts, even though they were calling my name.

Came home, fired up the laptop and plopped my rear end down at the kitchen table. Yes, I edited my way to page 100. I'd set a goal of page 80, but things were going so well, I kept at it until it was time to leave for my lunch appointment.

I also finished one of the romances/paranormals I nabbed this weekend: Erin McCarthy's "My Immortal." Way more erotic than grit in tone with lots of steam and not a lot of suspense.

Ta da...that is my Tuesday.

Monday, January 14, 2008

bookstore bonanza

Writers need to read and when a box full of urban fantasy and paranormals was delivered to the library on Saturday, I received an immediate phone call from our treasurer/inventory control gal. I spent a glorious few minutes sifting through a packing box full of new releases, and I mean virtually every title was published in 2007. Wowsa.

Needless to say, my nightstand now has several piles of books stacked on it. Several of the books, I'm happy to report, are by authors I've never read. A few are more 'romance' than I have been reading, but I thought I'd give them a whirl and see just how gritty paranormal books with the romance label are becoming.

Also on the bookstore front, we had our best week ever last week and made over $1,000 in five days.

On the writing front, one of the Teen Advisory Board kids I worked with at the library sent me his latest edit on his epic fantasy....that should be fun to dig into for a bit.

In my own writing, zilch. I actually opened the laptop with the intention of editing over the weekend and then realized that the middle daughter needed to be carted to the mall for a dance dress look-see. Glad to say we found one at Macy's on sale. So, by the time I got back home, made dinner and such, it was time to watch the Sarah Connor Chronicles...pretty entertaining.

I'm hoping to start back on the WIP, page 42 look out, I've got you in my sights tomorrow for 10:00-12:00....

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I added a new book list on the blog to keep track of what I'm reading in this new year. Thus far, I have four titles completed. By genre they are two urban fantasies, one action/thriller and one literary fiction. What they all have in common is demons. Granted two of them actually have the horn touting hellish variety, but the other two include a good share of internal demons, the sort most of us are more familiar with.

Internal demons can range from imps who tempt us to eating a fourth chocolate chip cookie to the full fledged fallen angels who tempt us into the things that cause true strife with our fellow humans.

When I'm writing, I try and give my characters demons, and resist the temptation to make them too perfect, even the good guys. Of course, I can mine my own treasure trove of inner conflicts to color my fictional worlds, but sometimes I hijack the conflicts of folks I know and use those issues. Then I hope that nobody does the math.

Of the four books, each one got an "A" in my review book. I really was stunned by McCarthy's "The Road." I received that book as gift and once I started to read, I was up way past my bedtime to finish it. Just incredible. To say more than that, wouldn't do the story or the writing justice.

Lee Child's book, as always, was a roller coaster and I adore Reacher more and more.

I may well be off to B&N today to get Richelle Mead's sequel to "Succubus Blues." Really, really a fun read....demons, angels, vampires, hunky humans. What's not to love?

And of course, the final Dante Valentine book from Lilith Saintcrow. I do admire her 'take no prisoners' approach to story telling. Gritty and good and oh so flawed. Yum.

That's it for today...I hope the paper is here. I'm ready to digest the New Hampshire voting analysis.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


So, I didn't manage to blog much last week. Pretty pathetic if you ask me, and I do have to use the old I'm not feeling well excuse. I caught the crud my kids have been passing around. I'm feeling better and ventured out to B&N to meet K. today and hash over her edits, her plans and of course what I need to get done in my writing life.

First off, I am typing this on my new laptop. Yes, I took the plunge and am now the proud mama of an adorable HP Pavilion. Please, no comments on how computer "x" is better....I had a budget and no interest in doing major research on the latest and greatest offerings.

Second, the bookstore is doing really, really well. We've sold over 6700 items and brought in over $8400 in our first three months. We will be in the 'black' on this venture in under 6 months.

Third, the holidays are over as of today. The kids head back to school, the hubby to work and my world will return to the normal routine. This means I need to set some goals for myself. The first being that I will plant my butt in a chair and fire up this pretty machine and finish the edits on Maddy Blue. I will also find some time each week to write something new, because if I spend all my time editing MB I might lose my mind.

I will also read, read, read....and not just for fun. If I'm entertained, that is certainly a perk, but I need to read with a more critical eye, fiction and nonfiction alike.

That is it for me, other than I will lose the detested five pounds I put on last month and get back on track to be within striking distance of pre-baby weight.