Friday, September 28, 2007

If I could be anywhere

Teen Son's learning to use photoshop (the secret of skinny, zit-free models everywhere :) Anyway, he hopped onto a drydocked sailboat, took this picture, worked a little software magic on it and--voila!--he's sailing in paradise. If only, eh?

Ah, well, here's to dreaming big... Have a beachy weekend ... wherever you are!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


So the past couple of days I’ve had a cold relapse. Had a touch of something before my trip last week, kicked it, then it came back on Friday, kicked it again, then yesterday—BAM—felt like dirt that had been excavated, pummeled to a fine dust, then compacted into the earth. So when Teen Son asked if he could drive me around (he’s got a permit that somehow makes this legal), I said, “Sure.”

Loved it. Well, except for the times I had to shout, “Red light, red light, RED LIGHT.” Other than that, it’s all good. There’s something about being chauffeured around that I could get used to. You’d think I lived in LA or NY or somewhere busy like that. I don’t really, but I’m a mom and when your kids begin to get a life you can start feeling like a grossly underpaid and underappreciated (*sniff*) taxi driver whose route feels like one of those British turnstiles that seemingly never end.

So what’s my point? I’ve no idea. I’m sick, remember? I think I’ll just curl up with a good book (got a stack yea high), and wait for my ride to get here.

If you’ve ever been driven around by a permitted-but-not-yet-licensed driver, tell me your story.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tricia Goyer and I met more than 10 years ago at the Mt. Hermon Christian Writers conference and have been friends & prayer buddies ever since. Just love her!

Still reliving the days in Dallas, yet when I spotted my Mr. So Right waiting for me at the airport, I nearly knocked him over. Missed. Him. So. Much. And though I missed the kids too, he picked me up by himself and drove us north along the coast so I could say 'hey' to my beloved ocean :) So ahhh!

A highlight was stopping for Mexican food in Malibu and people watching. Seeing all those hybrids mingled with Ferraris felt like I was in the pages of a Kristin Billerbeck book, lol (Kristin pokes fun at celebrities in some of her novels, in case you didn't know.)

Ah well. I'm home, and the dishes are piled up again, and my conference clothes sit like a clump waiting for some attention, and writing needs to be done. Yeah, it's good to be back.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

You can't see this in the picture, but I'm pinching myself over meeting two of my heroines of the book world, Colleen Coble and Diann Hunt. And they both won Book of the Year honors--woo hoo!

(Unfortunately, I didn't get the memo that name tags were optional. Thankfully they let me in the picture anyway...:)

Congrats, Ladies!!!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Texas Hug

Look what Vader's Mom brought me! My blogging buddy stopped by to visit during the ACFW booksigning in Dallas. She's such a sweetie!

It's evening here, and time to take off the boots and put on some bling. I'm heading off to the end of conference awards banquet where I'll be sitting with editor Karen Schurrer and a table full of Bethany House authors. Then tomorrow it'll be home again, home again (jiggity jig :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Lunchtime in Dallas

Had lunch with my travel buddy, Katie and her roommate, Carrie Padgett (whose book is a finalist in the conference's Genesis contest). That's me there in the back, on the right, standing next to new friend Carol, from Arkansas.

In case you hadn't heard, we're attending the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in Texas. I'm no stranger to conferences, but I have to say, this one's very different. It's all fiction, all the time. No non-fiction writers, please (or at least, keep that fact to yourself :) Seriously, the halls and restaurants are abuzz with topics like POV, and motivation, and lits vs. historicals, and will fantasy ever really be accepted in the CBA???

If you don't know what I'm talking about, count yourself blessed, lol.

Tomorrow it'll be a full day of classes followed by a night on the town. Dallas, be warned.
Superfast post this morning as I've got about 5 minutes left on my prepaid Internet card, but wanted to say hey, y'all, from Texas. Katie Cushman and I arrived last evening and after a fattening dinner (okay, I'm the one who ate a ton), we sat in the lobby of the Marriott people watching. Surreal experience to see so many familiar blogger faces!

I'll try to post pics and trivia from the conference starting this evening. Until then, have a beachy day.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Happy Birthday to Mamacita Figueroa! (LOL That's what we always called Mom as kids, not sure why.)

Last night the whole clan got together to celebrate Mom's b'day with Chinese, chocolate mousse cake (to die for, by the way) and lots of presents. My brother Mikey got Mom involved in a wicked Wii bowling game--then presented her with her own Wii setup to take home. Whoever says this game is for kids hasn't seen my mama squealing after a strike!

Enjoy your day, Mom!


Two days left to pack before the big trip out to Dallas. Got the boots, but not the Stetson. Will they let me in?! And just the other day I realized that I'll be in Texas, the state where bling's the thing. Again, I'm out of my element. Hubby reminded me that I have a diamond tennis bracelet somewhere, and that maybe I oughta dig it out. Poor guy is a fabulous provider of bling, but I forget to wear it. I'm a disgrace to women everywhere. Trips like this make me realize just how much of a beach chick I really am. Just give me a tankini and flip flops and I'm good to go--to the beach!

So ready or not, I'll be there (I'll be the one trying to smuggle a boogie board & a sand bucket into my hotel room).

Friday, September 14, 2007

Book clubs have sprung up all around the world. I love it when I hear that a group has chosen to read my book, and I've even been invited to meet the readers at a couple of these. (In case you missed it, you can read about the Chocolate Beach feast here.)

With my next novel
, Truffles by the Sea, book clubs won't need to come up with their own questions because I'm writing some for them. I got so many requests, that it made sense. Rather than putting them in the book and possibly spoiling the story (ugh), they'll be posted on my publisher's site and my own.

But that's still
a few months off. I'll let you know when it's all spit and polished for you :)

Btw, this picture of a dock rolling out to sea caught my eye because it reminds me of Gaby's home in my upcoming release. Her life may have hit some snags, but God just provided this great place to live--says so in Chap. 1 (no spoilers here!) Don't you just want to dive in? Sigh. Me too.

Have a beachy weekend!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My publisher, Bethany House, is taking a cover survey. Here's a chance for you to take part in the publishing process--and you just might win a free book. Find the survey here.

Now if only they were giving away free chocolate...
There's something about a trip that makes this beachy girl dare to head to the mall. Because of the big ACFW shindig in Dallas next week, I've hit the stores not once, not twice, but three times (Baby!) Actually bought myself a cool pair of dark chocolate boots. That's right, my new boots are made for walkin', so that's just what I'll do...

Ho hum.

This made me wonder why I'm so into shopping sometimes (Teen Daughter would emphasize "sometimes", lol) and other times, well, not so much. So I took a little quiz (naturally). For your mid-week quizzing pleasure, I give you the following oh-so scientific examination. C'mon back and let me know how you fare, alrighty?

You Can Hang With the Guys and the Girls

You've struck a good balance between girlie and laid back.
You can keep it casual but when you dress up, you are as girly as the next girl.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


My pal, Kathryn Cushman, just found her debut novel on the shelf at Borders. You can see a pic of her happy family here. Congrats, Katie!

Reminds me of the first time I saw Chocolate Beach at a bookstore, you know, the day I was nearly arrested. You can read about it here.

To be sure, when Truffles by the Sea releases in January, I'll head to the bookstore in disguise, lol.

Off to the first meeting of new Bible study. Coffee and the Word. What could be better than that?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Rising to the occasion

I read an article in the latest issue of TCW called The Rise of Raunch. In it, author Suzie Eller talks about a recent trip to a lingerie store where she encountered a 15-ish aged girl accompanied by three teen boys. When the boys tossed skimpy outfits into the girl's arms and then nudged her toward the dressing room, Suzie was appalled. She appealed to a sales clerk, who looked away. She then appealed to a manager, who also looked away. In the end, Suzie stood toe-to-toe with the boys and made them leave the store.

And that inspired me.

So last Saturday, I shopped with my girls and our pre-teen friend. When Teen Daughter went to try on shorts in the coed dressing room--and what's up with that, by the way?--I followed along. No way was she trying on clothes so close to guys without mama in tow. So anyway, in the lobby of the dressing area, highlighted in all its raw glory as if it had attained the stature of a work created by Michelangelo himself, we see a nearly naked male mannequin with his pants slouched down to there. Yes, 'there.' The display left little to the imagination, and trust me, this was no work of art.

So out loud I say, that's inappropriate!, and set out to make a change. The younger girls blushed and giggled as I wrestled with the mannequins slouchy jeans, pulling them up to a more appropriate level. Unfortunately, they slipped right back down and we were back to seeing this anatomically correct mannequin's almost-privates.

By now, Teen Girl's out of the dressing room, and gaping at me. "Mom, what are you doing?"

"His pants are ridiculous," I'm saying while tugging up his jeans. Sigh. Undeterred by the scene I'm making, I decide to unbuckle its belt and then I yank, yank, YANK until I can get it tight enough to KEEP THOSE PANTS UP!

And it worked. Yay for me. Yay for mothers and daughters everywhere. But geez, must it come to this?

As the four of us walked away from the dressing room, the teenaged boy manning the area leans toward me and says--and I'm so not making this up--"Thanks. That was bugging me too."

To which I shot back, "You're welcome."

As Suzanne said,
"Together we can stand up for our girls and ourselves." And that includes insisting that dummies everywhere pull up their pants.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Hey, that's nice

"I'd like to thank all the little people..." LOL

Sharon Hinck thinks I'm nice. Nice! If they had an award for sarcastic, I'd get it but...heehee. Okay, I'll take it. (Thanks Sharon, end-cap buddy ;)

“This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award.”

Now it's my turn to bestow this prestigious award upon some of the nice bloggers I know. Hm. How about...

Vader's Mom, who vows to get to Dallas to see me despite the horrendous traffic.

, who sends sweet notes

Tricia Goyer
who's been my writing pal for, like, forever.

Katie Cushman
who's agreed to take a public speaking class with me and commiserate afterward with, as she puts it, post-mortification chocolate.

Vail, who always has something cool to say

C.J. Darlington, who loves words

Jamie Driggers who needs some serious sleep

Thursday, September 06, 2007


We may have record setting temps here in CA, but the cold & flu season has, apparently, begun. Today I'm standing next to Elem. Girl when a boy in the next line over announces that another boy had just "thrown up." So I did what any concerned parent would do...I turned to Elem. Girl and said, "Stay away from that kid." (After making a visual assessment that the boy in question was all right, of course ;)

The funny thing is, when I turned to my daughter, I caught eyes with another mother who had turned to her daughter and was saying, "Stay away from that boy." LOL Yeah, we moms have to stick together.

Off to take a double dose of Airborne and maybe throw in a little Zicam for good measure. Oh, and before I forget, here's a link with more info on that "World's Largest" booksigning that I'll be part of in Dallas. Sixty authors! Come say hi to the lonely girl, okay?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Too busy for a real post. Getting ready for a couple of conferences and prepping the sched. for mi familia. So instead of my frantic meanderings, here's a quiz, which is just so much more worthy...

Only wish hubby had this power. LOL Kidding, honey...

Your Superpower Should Be Mind Reading

You are brilliant, insightful, and intuitive.
You understand people better than they would like to be understood.
Highly sensitive, you are good at putting together seemingly irrelevant details.
You figure out what's going on before anyone knows that anything is going on!

Why you would be a good superhero: You don't care what people think, and you'd do whatever needed to be done

Your biggest problem as a superhero: Feeling even more isolated than you do now

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Congrats to Karmyn for winning a copy of Sushi for One?! (crowd cheers)

To meet Camy and other authors (including me!), stop by the Dallas/Addison Marriott Quorum by the Galleria on Saturday, September 22 from 1:30-2:30. We'll be taking a break from the ACFW conference to sign books and meet our readers. See y'all there :)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Meet my pal and fella blogging chick, Camy Tang!

Camy's book, SUSHI FOR ONE? has just released.

It's the story of volley-ball playing Lex Sakai whose family is "big, nosy, and marriage minded." When her cousin Mariko gets married, Lex will become the OSFC--Oldest Single Female Cousin--in the clan. And that's when the pressure, er, fun really starts :)

Enter a comment and I'll pick a name at random to win a free copy.

Here's my interview with Camy:

So what's a day in the life of debut novelist Camy Tang?

Chaos. No, really. The past few months have been hectic because I bit off more than I could chew. Things are settling down now.

Typically, I'd like to be up around the time my husband leaves for work so I can exercise and read my Bible (I was able to do all that today, so I'm feeling optimistic). I check email first, then dive into whatever work I have to do--edits, freelance editing, writing.

I try to blog one afternoon a week, writing up my posts for the entire week, so I'm more efficient with my time. I also try to read a writing article or a chapter in a writing book or listen to a workshop on MP3 every day, although that doesn't always happen.

Then Captain Caffeine (my husband) comes home around 8:30 pm and we have dinner and veg in front of the TV for an hour or two (right now I'm totally hooked on The Closer). I'll usually have another few hours of writing time before we go to bed.

No, I don't get out much.

Tell me about it! Hey Camy, You often speak fondly of Captain Caffeine and his imported espresso maker. What's your favorite caffeinated beverage order?

Honestly, tea. Strong English Breakfast or Irish Breakfast tea. I'll take Earl Grey if I'm feeling zesty, or Ginger Peach (Republic of Tea) if I'm feeling fruity. In the summer, it's iced. In the winter, it's scalding hot, sometimes with a little soymilk and honey.

However, I won't turn my nose up at a latte, especially if it's from Captain Caffeine or our favorite coffeeshop, Barefoot Coffee in Santa Clara.

How much can you personally relate to Lex?

Lex and I have both played coed volleyball, although I wasn't near as good as she is. I retired from volleyball after I tore my ACL *twice*. Yeah, not doing that again.

I have a camy-o appearance in Sushi for One--there's a ball-magnet who gets slammed by a spike, suspiciously named Camy. That actually happened to me. Also the part about being hit by balls when I'm just walking across the back of a court.

Ouch :) (Funny, though.) Okay, so tell us about any public events you've got on calendar.

I'll be at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in Dallas, Texas from September 20th to the 23rd. I'm selling my books in the ACFW conference bookstore for really cheap since I know writers are, well, broke. I'll have my first public booksigning on Saturday afternoon, September 22nd. That should be fun.

I'm planning a launch party for my church family and volleyball friends in either September or October. Hopefully all the church ladies will cook for the party! Yum! All that yummy stuff in the book--that's the kind of stuff they make. They're fabulous cooks.

Next up for Camy Tang, author?

Book 2 in the Sushi Series, Only Uni, comes out in February 2008. I'm also working on my next series proposal, tentatively titled The Brainiacs. I'm also in the middle of my huge website contest, where I'm giving away baskets of Christian novels and an iPod Nano! It's exclusively for members of my newsletter YahooGroup, so join today:

Any parting words, mi amiga?

Thanks so much for having me here, Julie! I can't wait to read Truffles By the Sea (with a title like that, how could any woman resist?)

Sushi for One? (September 2007)
Romance with a kick of wasabi

Special thanks to those participating in the Blogging Chicks Carnival today!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Sea-ing images

Teen Son's taking a digital photography class, and I'm jealous. I took photography in H.S., you know, 'back in the day', and we learned how to stand in a really, really dark room and take our roll of film out of the camera, then transfer it to another really dark room where we'd dip it in this and dip it in that and wait awhile for something cool to appear on the paper.

In Teen Son's class they take the pic, then download it to the computer where they see it immediately then with some clicks here and there they do all kinds of crazy things to it. Does it need mentioning that I caught him using my website photo for a guinea pig? Yeah, he washed me right out; I was gray from bangs to chin. Lovely.

Anyway, I ran across this pic he took of himself reflecting in the seawater. This was taken at a beach park that is surely filled with tourists this weekend, given that temperatures are soaring (And Elem. Girl had a soccer game at noon, why?) Ah well.

Happy Labor Day to you all. May you find some R&R this weekend and a day at the beach (or the mountains or a quiet garden get the picture :)