Saturday, July 29, 2006

I wrote a book about my favorite things: the beach and chocolate. Yeah, it's called Chocolate Beach and will be out next year. But life's not always a day at the beach, so to speak. Like the other day, when I'm moseying along, minding my very own biz, and I'm accosted by another beach lover.

Yep, my daughters and I are biking along a narrow, windy path together when I'm attacked. By a seagull. STOP laughing! It's not that funny. Actually, the seagull almost got me. It came at me from the right, I screamed, and it flapped two massive wings backward while I swerved to avoid it, wrenching my shoulder in the process. I spent the rest of the day on Advil and ice, but other than that, it was a nice day at the beach...

If you get a chance, head on over and say 'hey' to the other chicks blogging about their fave things today. Hopefully, none will involve a scene from a Hitchcock movie.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Get it Write

We're back!

As beautiful as Lake Arrowhead was, there's nothin' like the beach, people! Last night Dan and I sat on a wall watching boogie boarders ride the waves and young builders create structures of driftwood. Despite the fog and muggy air, it's good to be near the ocean again!

WANT TO WRITE A BOOK? I thought I'd give a little plug today for the Fall Mentoring Clinic at Mt. Hermon. Check it out here. Last year I attended the spring conference and participated in the mentor clinic there. It's a harrowing few days of placing your work-in-progress (WIP to those in the know) and allowing them to publicly ridicule it (as opposed to publicly ridiculing you).

Much more stressful going into the process than coming out of it. In fact, my mentor group, led by Randy Ingermanson, helped me figure out where to go next with my WIP. I left the conference with a ton of notes and hope, and thankfully, sold Chocolate Beach to Bethany House soon after.

If you're up for the "abuse", why not give them a try?

Monday, July 24, 2006

In the Treehouse

Still have another day up here at the lake and I've learned a few things:

My laptop is super slow :-(

French fried potato salad prepared by my chef-kid is great (read about Matt here.)

There's a Christian camp across the street from the house we're renting. We're in the "noise-zone" so we were invited with the "real" neighbors to a swim party and BBQ. First of all, it's not really noisy here at all, and second the folks at the camp really walk the talk, if you know what I mean. More on them later...

Lakeweed tickles.

I love the sound of wind through pine

There a bugs here that we just don't see at the beach (thankfully :-).

I've got more fodder for future stories (yay!)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

To the Lake

It's been muggy along the coast here in California lately. So sticky that by mid day I'm ready to sit and do nothing but sip a tall iced tea & lemonade. Sometimes the winds whip around way too much but today? A little breeze would be nice.

Had this scathing post to share with you all today, but I cooled down and didn't post it after all. I was inspired by this funny, sad, outrageous post over at Holymama! a while back, and thought I'd share a gripe of my own.

Anyway, I was so peeved that instead of posting my missle I sent it to the Sales & Marketing VP of the company that had done me wrong. THAT worked! I think. Anyhoo, I received a couple of calls after that and a promise (with a tracking number, thank you very much) that a refund check would be overnighted to me. If it doesn't come, you can bet I'll be posting a play by play of the whole thing.

Btw, the anger I felt over being ripped off fueled a writing streak this morning as well. All is not lost!

I'm off to a lake retreat (and yes, there is a 'beach' there!), so see ya when I get back.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Dream Weavin'

From my perch this morning on a dew-covered bench I watched the tide gliding onto shore. Only 8 am, yet gobs of beachcombers meandered along the sand, as if the call of warm sun and gentle waves proved just too perfect to pass up. Dog lovers pitched tennis balls to zealous pups, while a few die-hard surfers prayed for surf while bobbing on the relatively flat sea.

As for me, I longed to walk off the extra lattes (with whip!) I'd consumed during the week, but couldn't pry myself away from the view. So I sat, my track pants soaking up the dew, and giggled at the early morning frivolity (and yes, for a night owl like me, 8 am is defined as "early morning").

These are the days I dream of, when the weather bites, and the children fight, and the deadlines loom. So I chose to linger awhile longer, to take a snapshot of the moment--not with my cell camera, which thankfully was tucked safely at home--but with my mind. Hopefully I'll find that image there the next time I find myself just too busy to dream.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Beachy Keen

Just found my upcoming novel, Chocolate Beach, listed on, Amazon and Borders. How exciting is this? No cover, reviews or excerpts yet, but rest assured, you can preorder :-).

Btw, Chocolate Beach is set in Ventura, a real place along the California coast. Heroine Bri lives close to Marina Park, and I decided to stop by there on a recent fogless day. I found this cool new mural at the entrance. Pretty, don't ya think?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Face It

Yesterday Pre-Teen Daughter had her first voice lesson (American we come!) I sat in and all I can say is FASCINATING. The teach likened singing to not only playing an instrument, but building one too. She commended my kiddo for being brave enough to try something that most people would run from, ie. performing! (Yeah, I'd run!)

Frankly, PT Daughter was nervous, but she did it anyway. Isn't that what it's about? Facing down those hideous fears, knowing that a higher call beckons? I knew PT Daughter was scared, but deep down, I think she also knows that God has gifted her. That's how it is with writing (or anything else you may be 'called' to do.)

I've written non-fiction articles for years, but to open up my mind and pour a made-up story onto the page, in front of strangers, feels kind of like bungee jumping during the prom: exhilarating, crazy, and, frankly, a little embarrassing. But, whoo-hoo, what a fun ride!

What are you facing today?

For My Writing Compadres

Happy day after the 4th!

Today I'm working on an article assignment, and two book proposals, in between shuttling kids here and there, and of course, sitting on the beach--(at least, I'm wishing for that last one). Hope your summer's a blessed mix of fun and productivity!

Here's a note for you from my friend, writer Camy Tang:

"I'm having a Story Sensei Summer Sale - A writers' summer event! From now until July 15th, I will be holding a fabulous contest for my Story Sensei critique service. I will draw the names of TWO lucky winners! They will each receive:

A free synopsis critique – up to 10 pages single-spaced, a $40 value! AND

A coupon for 25% OFF any manuscript critique – whether full or partial manuscript, any number of words. For a 100,000 word manuscript, that's a savings of $250!

In addition, EVERYONE WHO ENTERS will receive a 10% OFF coupon for any service, whether synopsis, query letter, or manuscript critique (full or partial). For a 100,000 word manuscript, that's a savings of $100, just for entering. Go to my Story Sensei blog and post a comment to enter the contest!