Saturday, October 28, 2006

Back!

We're back in California...blue skies, warm sun, not a drop of moisture anywhere. Although the weather turned cold while we were in Pennsylvania--it was below 44 degrees the entire week!--tons of red and yellow leaves still gave us the color we'd been hoping for, and we managed to bundle up, pick some, and bring them all the way back to CA.

Just wanted to give a shout out to our friends at the Ridgway Public Library, the only place in town with a free wireless hotspot--a favorite stop of ours during our stay back East. Here's a pic of me, tapping away, on a cold fall afternoon.



Forget modern steel and glass. IMO, this is what libraries should look like. Makes me feel smaht, somehow. :)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Fall into Reading

I'm back in this lovely old library with its creaky floors and high ceilings. I could stay here all day; I really could. Makes me want to tear down our house near the California coast and put up something that at least looks old and charming and full of books (but, you know, with a new kitchen and all--lol)

Just noticed that Amazon posted my cover. Exciting stuff. Now when all my fans--all of them!--visit Amazon, they'll see Chocolate Beach's cool cover instead of that annoying "no image available" notice. Yay!

I'm learning that although it starts with the writing, there's much more to actually getting the book out on shelves--or onto cyberspace bookstore sites. That beautiful cover will hopefully catch eyes (one reader told me she'd want to pick it up and take a bite out of it!) Then there's the editing being done, and the marketing and advertising stuff--lots of folks behind one book. Makes me want to switch off this computer and dig into some of the many, many volumes surrounding me in "this old house."

Here I go...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Greetings from NW PA

Been in Pennsylvania for three days and finally found my way to the town's library, which is in a restored mini-mansion. Big windows, hardwoods everywhere, sweeping staircase...and the only public wi-fi connection for miles!!! Right now I'm sitting at an oak table on the second floor looking out at a tree with leaves the color of sunflower, and I'm surrounded by books...what could be better than that? (Other than the ocean, that is :0)

Did I mention it snowed today? Actually, they call it snow flurries around here. But for my California kids, it was just plain old snow. Watched my 8 year old stick out her tongue to catch as many flakes as her cute little self could hold.

Have to admit we were looking forward to fall color walks and hikes, maybe even a canoe trip down the Clarion river, but alas, the weather's being fickle. Any of you in the cold country, what can a fam of five do for fun when the air outside turns chilly? And please don't suggest a game of Clue--been there, done that!!!

As for me, now that I found this miniature Gone with the Wind era house with books galore, I'm going to attempt to put in a good hour or two of writing each day. The kids'll have to wear down dad and the grandfolks, begging for fast food (in the next town over since there isn't any here), while I sweat it out in this quiet place. Hey, we all have our crosses to bear :)

I'll check in when I can. Do say hello!

Friday, October 20, 2006

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

...to my Daniel, the love of my life--who woke me with a kiss and a new suede jacket from Ann Taylor Loft (Yessss!)

16 years of FUN!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

For those interested in the publishing process...

While I flesh out book 2, I've been receiving tidbits about book 1's debut. Since I'm a newbie in the book publishing world, I'm continually being surprised (the happy kind) by the bits of info/questions/suggestions that crop up. Like today when I found new copy about Chocolate Beach on Bethany's website--copy that I helped write! Woo-hoo! Soon I'll get the galleys, and promo materials, and then the finished book wrapped in all its chocolaty goodness.

Btw, I just tore through a bag of chocolate beach pebbles that I purchased over the Internet--no joke. I'm thinking of giving some away during Chocolate Beach promos. Then again, I think I'll have to do more research on this...

:)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Did you see her?

My aunt Celie popped up on last night's episode of The Unit. She was playing one of the ten patients left behind during a hospital's evacuation...even got carried off to a helicopter by Dennis Haysbert.

How cool is that? (I'm so proud :)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

WWBD

So we're packing up for our trip from the California coast eastward to Pennsylvania, and it occurs to me that I haven't actually packed a thing. Instead I've been cleaning out drawers, wiping down baseboards, and other piddly things that have absolutely nothing to do with our travels.

My friend Angela says she and her sister play a similar game, except before they hit the road, they embrace the need to return things to various stores, like those bathroom rugs that really didn't match or whatever. Odd, isn't it?

Bri wouldn't do that, I'm sure of it. Bri's the heroine of Chocolate Beach. She's a laidback beach chick and I'm pretty sure she'd just throw a few pairs of flip flops into a bag with a stash of casual wear and be on her merry way. I'm a beach lover too, but our similarities just about end there. I mean, doesn't Bri know it's like 30 degrees in Pittsburgh right now? That's how you get sick!

Then again, I'm the one rubbing a splat of of stress relieving lotion into my skin at the moment, hoping to get myself focused on the task in front of me: packing for five. Sheesh. Bri's carefree attitude looks pretty good right now, as opposed to, well, all those windows that need washing. Sigh. Time to pull those suitcases out of storage and get crackin'. Wish me luck--and hey, one pair of flip flops for the trip wouldn't hurt, right?

Friday, October 13, 2006

How I lost my passenger seat

It's Friday near the beautiful southern California coast. Drizzly outside, but the weekend's nearly here, so who can complain? Anyway. I've got to get to my kids' school for an event, so I have exactly 3.2 seconds for a post. As I sped out of the driveway this morning, my coffee, purse and miscellaneous stuff strewn about, it struck me that I've lost my passenger seat. That's the place I always used to--neatly--store the "stuff" that had to come along on the ride for the day. I've lost that special little storage spot to my kids, who are big enough to sit up front, yet young enough to fight over whose turn it is. I lose things now on a regular basis. Like lipstick under the mat, papers shoved between the seat and gear shift, and my cellphone that mysteriously disappears after Pre-teen daughter or Teen-son borrow it (it's not like they don't have their own. sheesh.)

Anyway. I realized today that although it seems like I'm losing my marbles most of the time, it's really just a product of the lost passenger seat. If you're a taxi driving mom, you know what I mean.

Off to school... Rain or shine, have a beachy weekend :)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Kinda like The Wedding Singer

At the risk of dating myself, I got a kick from this crazy fad site, where I found all kinds of fun stuff from my childhood. Remember break dancing and Rubik's cube (the champ was in my chemistry class--no joke!) and jelly shoes? Yeah, me too. Thank the good Lord I was too level headed for a mullet (pun intended :-0)

What takes you back?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Heading for the 'burgh

When I lived farther inland, a former neighbor who hailed from upstate New York planted a liquid amber tree in his backyard. It was his way of bringing a bit of east coast fall to our very west coast neighborhood. Now that we've moved even farther west, fall colors are even less evident. Yeah, the sun shadows the lawn a bit differently, and my white birch trees are dropping their leaves, but frankly, I kayaked today, so it might as well be summer.

In a couple of weeks, though, we'll be heading east to visit family in Northwestern Pennsylvania (north of Pitt). I hope the leaves wait for us! If you live in that area, look for our little family of five, eyes all agog at the blindingly brilliant displays of orange and red and yellow. Though I love the beach (you knew that already, didn't you?), I admit that this coastal girl is giddy at the prospect of viewing another fall in the east.

Just wish I could bring my kayak :)

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Friday, October 06, 2006

"A good story is life with the dull parts taken out."

Alfred Hitchcock said that, and it's posted in my office. Alas, the story is that I spent most of today (and yesterday) doing the marketing thang for Chocolate Beach. Had no idea how time-consuming "getting the word out" could be--seriously! (And the book won't be out until February!)

Not that I'm complaining, though. No way. I'm livin' my dream, writing novels set in pretty locales, and lovin' it. Still, today tired me out. So this afternoon, Elementary Girl, Elementary Friend, and I hit the beach. Think blue sky with cottony patches of white mixed in like a dollop of cream. Picture wind rippled water and daring kayakers. All else paled in the shadow of this afternoon's God-invented surroundings. After an hour or so of making softballs from wet sand, and listening to the cry of seagulls as they discovered the arrival of dinnertime, the week's craziness melted away, taking the tightness of stress with it. So today had its dull, monotonous moments? The contrast of time spent away from the office made it all worthwhile.

Have a beachy weekend!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Wordy

It's Field Trip Day for Elementary Girl, so I have to dash off. But I thought some of you wordsmiths might like this post by Brandilyn Collins. Like Rory on Gilmore Girls, newly discovered words intrigue me. Et tu? Can hardly wait to use 'garbology' in a novel...

Have a beachy Wednesday!