One Year

Friday, February 27, 2009
One year ago today, I uploaded my website,, and began my official Internet presence. Since then, a lot has changed, but a lot has also stayed the same. Returning to the first blog I ever posted, I realized I still have submissions out to Harlequin and The Wild Rose Press for a couple of different books... just as I did February 27, 2008. From that perspective, it doesn't look as if much has happened at all.

But in only 365 days, I've joined a second writing group, becoming PanLiason in one of them. I've gone from having one critique partner to five. I've won second in a writing contest and I've contracted my first book. After ten years of pursuing publication--the last two and a half of those full of serious, intense pursuit--I'd say that's pretty good progress for one year.

I couldn't tell you if it was all this blogging I've done, or the bigger role I've taken in writing groups, or the critique circle I've joined, or the contests I've entered, or the constant submitting that's brought me this far, but I'm sure each endeavor has helped nudge me along. And I can't give up now because there's so much more to accomplish. So, it's onward with the blogging, and networking, and critiquing, and submitting.

One year down, a hundred more to go (okay, maybe not quite a hundred, but you get my point, right?).

Strange Facts

Tuesday, February 24, 2009
You can tell I'm totally out of good blogging topics when I turn to copying strange facts off other websites. Actually, you could just go to to read these odd tidbits (and more) if you want. But if you're feeling particularly lazy, like me, you can just scroll down to view some of their discoveries.

So... enjoy the strangeness:
"During your lifetime, you'll eat about 60,000 pounds of food, that's the weight of about 6 elephants.

In space, astronauts cannot cry properly, because there is no gravity, so the tears can't flow down their faces.

There are more plastic flamingos in the U.S, than real ones.

More people use blue toothbrushes, than red ones.

Your ribs move about 5 million times a year, every time you breathe.

Lightning strikes about 6,000 times per minute on this planet.

The average American/Canadian drinks about 600 sodas a year.

There wasn't a single pony in the Pony Express, just horses.

It was once against the law to slam your car door in a city in Switzerland."

Feathered Husbands

Friday, February 20, 2009
I’ve married a feathered man—and I’m not talking about feathered as in trivial or unimportant, I mean the actual plumage kind of feathers.

Or so he’s convinced.

Some of you might take part in a nightly mirror-inspection ritual… you know, where you stare at your face in the bathroom mirror, tilting it this way and that, looking for new pimples or growths, discolorations, or wrinkles. I actually do this to myself in the in the morning before taking my shower. My husband’s more into scrutinizing himself at night, right before he crawls into bed.

So, I guess he was checking his face last night to make sure he was still the same guy he was that morning when he found an unusual discovery, which he promptly brought to me. So, he approached me where I’m sitting at the computer, typing away in my little fiction world, and held up his hand to show me what he had trapped between his thumb and index finger.

It looked like a splinter to me.

Fat lot I knew.

“It’s a feather,” he claimed, sounding amazed by the idea.

I blinked, clearly clueless. “A feather?”

He nodded, looking very sure of himself. “I pulled it out of my chin.”

It was exceptionally hard for me not to drop to the floor and roll around with a belly laugh here. But come on. A thirty-two year old, usually sane man is utterly certain he’s grown a feather out the side of his chin? I don’t think so. I blinked a couple more times like there was really something caught in my eye as he proceeded to prove his point, showing me the hollow unified base and numerous little strands sprouting out the top.

“That’s a split end,” I explained. The hairs on his goatee were growing split ends.

But my words of wisdom were obviously the wrong answer. I gained a dirty scowl for my response. “It’s not a split end,” he muttered. “It’s a feather.”

Oh, for the love of God, I wanted to throw up my hands and cry. When did my husband lose his mind? He seemed perfectly fine five minutes before.

But, hey, I decided to roll with it. “Sure,” I agreed dryly. “You’re growing feathers and molting.”

Now he looked at me as if I was the insane party. “I’m not molting,” he said. “I pulled it out.”

Oh, gee, sorry. My mistake.

I just nodded and smiled, though. But what else was there for me to do at this point? Check him into the nearest insane asylum? Deciding I’d be utterly bored if I actually shipped him off, I patted his shoulder and kissed his feathered cheek.

“Yes, dear,” I said. “You must be right. It's a feather.”

Hey, he might be a fruit loop, but he’s my entertaining fruit loop.

So, there was my evening last night. I discovered I was actually married to a weirdo. And here I thought the stories I made up were unusual. But fact can definitely be stranger than fiction.

Yep, I thought I’d tell you that story since my casino adventure wasn’t worth writing home about. We lost our hats… not literally. But we certainly didn’t come home with anything extra. At one point, I put a twenty-dollar bill into a slot machine and instantly won sixty bucks. But then I was so excited about such an easy score, I kept playing and ended up losing the entire eighty. Whoops. Guess gambling isn’t quite the life for me.

It was actually an okay experience, though. I thought the place smelled like a movie theatre. My husband (yeah, the weird guy) said it smelled like a bowling alley. I figured it must be a mixture of the type of carpet and the hoards of people that put off that distinct aroma. It was nice and warm inside the huge place, though, and there were cushioned swiveling seats in front of every single machine and at every black jack table. The mixed drinks were a bit pricy and too watered down, but the circular bar in the center of the room was beautiful with these colored lights shooting up toward the ceiling that changed their hue every few minutes . Amazing.

It was loud, sounded like an over-done video arcade, but I must say the valet parking was well worth the entire trip. Mmmm! Simply divine. My husband kept worrying the valet drivers would pull a Ferris Bueller on our car and take it for a little joy ride while we were inside. But the other couple riding with us convinced him no one was going to be too concerned about absconding with our bland ol’ Honda when there was a shiny, new Hummer waiting in line right behind us. And I did like the uniformed gentleman opening my car door for me and saying, “Have a nice evening.” I might have to go back just to feel like royalty again and drive through the complimentary valet line!!

My Valentine

Saturday, February 14, 2009
I watched vh1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s on TV this week, and I heard a line I loved. "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls came in number 39 and someone on the show made the comment that this was a good couples song. They said, "Couples who came together with Goo, stuck together." I was like, "Oh, yeah! Rock on," because of course that was me and my man's song back in 1998 when we met and, yep, we're still together, and, yep, that's still our song. Good memories. Good memories.

Being that this is Valentine's Day, I say it's an excellent time to recall how I met my one true love. So, we digress way back to November of 1998, my freshman year of college. I came home for Thanksgiving break and made plans to meet my school friend Susan (hi Susan!) and go do... something. She made some comments beforehand about me meeting this guy friend of hers, but I didn't think too much of it at the time. I was more excited about getting to see Susan again.

So, the night of our reunion came. We, plus another friend of ours, piled into my 1990 Nissan Sentra and headed toward a honky tonk bar not too far away called Twisters. There, this guy friend of Susan's had already arrived and was playing pool with a group of his buddies. Susan introduced us, we all played pool for a couple of rounds, and then he asked me to dance.

I couldn't tell you what that first song was. It was probably some country tune. But after that, Garth Brooks "To Make You Feel My Love" came on and I oohed and awed over it because I'd just seen the movie Hope Floats with my sister. So, he asked me to dance again. After that, he hurried to Susan and told he he'd like to go out with me sometime. Susan relayed the information to me, and instead of giving her an answer back, I walked over to him and felt obliged to tease him for being unable to ask me out himself. He blushed, I told him Id' be delighted to go out with him, and the rest is history. We went on our first date.

The next afternoon, before I had to drive back to college, we caught a movie at the local theatre, watching Will Smith in Enemy of the State, and then we went to Sonic Drive-In for a fountain drink. Since that day, Sonic has become "our special place". We usually go there every Valentine's Day to celebrate... Except this year.

Being that 1999 was our first Valentine together as a couple, making this officially our ten year anniversary, we're pulling out all the stops. It's off to Down Stream Casino for us. I'm excited because I've never been to a casino before and am ready to get some good research in to hopefully be able to write about it in a book someday. He's just ready to get out of the house for a while and socialize with the other two couples going with us. All around, I think it'll be an experience.

Who knows what we'll do in 2019, but I'm certain we'll do it together. Because we've been stuck together by Goo and our romance is one of those "for the long haul" doozies.

This Post is dedicated to my Valentine. Thank you so much for ten wonderful years. I love you!

Wedding in the Family

Sunday, February 8, 2009
It's official. My brother bought a ring and, today, I got to see it on his lady love's finger. I'm so happy for him. He'll be giving me a new sister-in-law in April. Wow. I haven't seen him this content in, well, probably forever. This true-life romance is a great source of inspiration for my writing, so... I'm off to write now! Toodles.

Edit Land

Thursday, February 5, 2009
Today, I received my second round of edits for The Stillburrow Crush, and I must say, progress is a beautiful thing. I keep getting one step closer to holding my very own book in my hands, clasping it to my chest, and reverently breathing out the word, "Wow." I'm so excited it makes me feel all bouncy inside. It's too bad I have to deal with editing and marketing and promoting to get there. Though I must say I have a grade A editor. She's been very good to me.

However, it's funny. A writer will work and rework their story before they ever show it to anyone. Then, everyone that reads it henceforth will have a comment to add and the writer will once again revise and edit, reworking their story from that new perspective. What's so ironic about this part is that each person will see your story from a totally different viewpoint. You might think it's all written out there, plain as day, on a flat, single-sided piece of the paper. But for some reason, your manuscript turns into this multidimensional being that has a heads and a tails, like a coin, and every other person that reads it will chose their preferred side.

It gets very complex and confusing, and the humorous part is most of the main disagreement centers on wording, not the actual story. "You're using the word was too much." "No, you should keep was in there." "No, was is used twenty-seven times in the past five pages. That's way too much." "But was helps show the action and movement of the sentence." "Was is too passive tense. It should go." I swear I've heard all these comments on critique sheets. Now, tell me honestly, what's a poor girl to think? What's really the right way? Sadly, there is no correct answer, no definite "right" way, and nothing to do to satisfy every reviewer.

Not that I'm too bothered by all the conflicting comments. It lets me know my original version wasn't necessarily wrong, which is always a relief. Plus, I think it's interesting that such a dispute actually exists in the writing world. Yeah, okay, how you say something is important, but what you say is really what the story is all about. A reader's going to be more concerned about the characters and the plot. They're going to remember actions and dialogue more than sentence structure and how many times you use was. So, I'm actually very honored to have my editors and critique partners obsess about how I worded this or that. To me, that means the meat and potatoes portion is going good. Either that, or I need more brutally-honest reviewers. Yikes!

Fav Commercial

Monday, February 2, 2009
Happy Groundhog Day. I guess we're getting six more weeks of winter. The Groundhog has seen its shadow. But honestly, who here is surprised?

Anyway, I have to say my favorite 2009 Super Bowl Commercial was the Doritos Snow Globe Commercial. I always like the funny ones, but there didn't seem to be as many this year. It was kind of a disappointment. Good game, though. It had an exciting last two minutes. I'm partial to close endings where you have to sit on the edge of your seat because the win could go either way. That's what I call entertainment.