Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Writing on Mon., er, Tues.--Have laptop will travel

Using a laptop to write my novels has revolutionized my writing career. Take today. I was working on the final chapter of my book (35 to be exact), but Teen Son had to have some gnarly dental surgery. So after dropping Teen Girl off where she needed to be, and taking Elementary Girl to soccer camp, Teen Son and I arrived for his appointment. Right away, I took stock of the outlets in the small waiting area and found an empty one to plug my computer in to. After that, I was set. During the nearly 2 hour surgery, I wrote, and wrote, and wrote. Fortunately, I also found a stray wireless signal to hop onto for Internet breaks :) Hey, a girl's gotta find some fun in her day...

This scenario is becoming more and more common for me, and while it's increased productivity, the downside is that I'm, um, exhausted more often than not. Not a lot of downtime when I'm on deadline and momtime. Still, I can't complain. I'm thankful to have the laptop working and making my writing accessible (especially since it's crashed once already, and the power cord lost, well, power). I'm grateful that I can both work and mother my kids during daytime hours (and never ever let him forget he's a man... If you don't know the song I'm referring to, ask your, um, older sister. Lol...)

So, anyway, here are a few quick things I've learned about the mobile writing life:

1. Email a copy of work to yourself, or save it on a thumb drive. Every time. Always!!! (Don't ask.)
2. Do a spell check later, when the distractions are at a minimum. Prepare to laugh. A lot.
3. Investing in a car changer for the laptop isn't a luxury--it's a necessity.
4. Keep your eyes open for those freebie wifi signs. Never know when one'll come in handy.
and 5. Don't leave your radio and fan on while you sit by the side of the ocean writing in your car. (Hint: Bring jumper cables.)

How about you? Has a laptop given you more freedom to work where you want--or has it caused more stress?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fashion faux pas

So I'm in line to check out at the orthodontist's office this morning when Teen Son points at the woman in front of us, and laughs. She's a brunette, and she's wearing jeans, black flip flops, a black and white sleeveless blouse from Ann Taylor, with a black tank underneath it.

I was wearing the Exact Same Thing. I kid you not.

We giggled a lot, she and I, but neither of us mentioned that our blouses, acknowledged to be from Ann Taylor, are at least a year old. Yeah, great minds think alike...

(P.S. Finishing up next novel today, so I'll be blogging about writing tomorrow. Have a beachy day--wherever you are!)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hangin' with Kev

So Hubby, Teen Son, and I took a bike ride through downtown Ventura tonight, and check out who we ran into--Kev, KC...KEVIN COSTNER! Lol... Yeah, Kev grew up in this town, so he threw a 'little' party, which included dinner & movie (Swing Vote) for $500 a pop (money goes to local charities). After the premier, he and his band gave a free concert in the center of town.

We ended up watching the whole thing unfold from our spot at the top of California St., aka the famed 'C' street, known for great surf where it meets the beach. Anyway, there we were, focusing our binocs on the stage below when look who shows up within kiss-blowing distance! He was staring right at me, I'm sure of it...yeah, uh-huh. So I fumbled the camera and only got this profile shot. See him?

He was attempting to make a sneaky entrance when someone in our section called out, "Isn't that him?" That's when the cheering started, and Kev playfully shushed us with a forefinger to his boyish lips. Haha...sorry, started lapsing into scene writing...

Where was I? Yeah, the concert. Here's a pic of Kev with his guitar, and band, Modern West, tellin' stories, and singin' songs. Who knew the guy could sing? Tell me this...!

Here's the theater where the big premier took place. This is a shot of the crowd milling about, you know, just in case Somebody Big stepped out.

Pretty much the population of Ventura, right there on Main and California.

p.s. Click on the last picture to enlarge it, and see the ocean view over top of that stage. Mah-ve-lous.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

All the pretty colors

I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.

~ Winston Churchill

...unless they are chocolate browns, of course ;)

~ Julie Carobini

So in between writing, and a million other things, I've been trying to help my girls--who share a room--pick just the right shade of green for their bedroom walls. They're about to get a fresh coat of paint. Oh, baby, there's a lot of greens! Bright kinds, muted shades, ones that cast a yellow pall in unnatural light. Ack. At the moment, we've settled on a bright happy color that I can only call #430, since I, uh, forgot to write down its trendy name.

Speaking of God's beautiful and varied palette, here are a few pics from our trip up north last week. The top one shows my "office," since this was a working trip. Although it's tough to see in the pic, the view above the tree tops is of the vast and mesmerizing Pacific Ocean, in vibrant blue, no less (translation: I didn't get much written ;)

We had deer. Lots and lots of fearless deer--spotted babies, mommies, and bucks--day and night, all over the place. Loved it, even when I had to hike right next to them to get back home.

And hubby took this picture at rosy sunset as I sat in my favorite spot. I miss that view!!! And the island-time pace...(happy) sigh.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Writing on Monday--a day late--CAN

Did I mention that while on vacation last week, in California no less, there was nearly zero cellphone access? And to get wireless for my laptop, I had to sit in my car, in a restaurant parking lot, and catch a stray signal. LOL... The proliferation of cell phones, etc., has made story writing all the more difficult. I mean, when the heroine gets lost, or her boyfriend turns up missing, don't you sometimes want to say, "Hey, just use your cell phone!"? If it weren't for dropped (or in last week's case, missing) signals, I don't know what we novelists would do...

Speaking of writers (we sort of were, weren't we?), I've recently joined up with a fabulous organization called CAN (Christian Authors Network). If you're interested in the writing field (non-fiction included!), the network offers a wealth of career info from seasoned professionals (how's that for a brochure-worthy sentence?) Feel free to stop by and check them, I mean 'us', out :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Catchin' up

Just checking in. We're back from our little trip up north where we saw deer in the yard of our rented house, heard sea lions barking all night long, and had a killer view that made the dinky rental totally worth it.

Came back to a house in disarray due to some refurbishing we're having done (that isn't done yet), Teen Daughter's b'day celebration (fun!), and a touch of a bug that's wearing me out.

While I recoup, and deal with more computer issues, catch me up on what's going on in your neck of the world. Talk to me!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Happy Saturday! I've been awol, primarily because the humidity in my neck of the coast has turned my mind to mush. Did y'all register the worldwide shock when Deanna picked Jesse last week? (Except you, Mrs. Sidney) We'd been out, so I just caught the end of the show, and what a shocker. Watched it back on tivo the other night though and kept thinking how nice that Jesse cleaned up, lol. Haircuts are a good thing, you know? Speaking of reality shows, sweet Shane left Food Network Star last weekend. Knew that would happen soon, but he's a good kid. Kind of intense, but a sweetheart. I'm rattling on about reality t.v....did I tell you my mind was mush this week or what?

We're off for some r&r along the central coast of California, one of my favorite spots ever. I've told you before that my next three books are set around there. Lots of moonstones, and rocky coves, and foggy mornings followed by sunny days. Can't wait. When I can find a hot spot (and I'm not referring to the fires!), I'll stop in with news. Otherwise, have a beachy weekend, wherever you are!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Summertime 'boardom'

Since Teen Kids are out of town all week, Elementary Girl hoodwinked talked hub and me into a perpetual game of Monopoly. Of course, we don't play your average Monopoly around here, but the Surfing Edition (what were you thinking?). It's been set up on the dining room table for going on 3 days now, and may I say, it's starting to get ugly. Desperation set in last night for one of us (nameless, of course) who began under the table negotiations for property, tsk, tsk.

Aside from that dark moment, this version makes me want to go on vacation--or better, own rental property in exotic locales. So far this week I've been to Waimea Bay, Cloudbreak, Bells Beach, Pipeline and Teahupo'o. Good thing I'm going on vacation in a few days...or else I might become bitter. Lol...

Even if you don't get away this summer, tell me you pull out the ol' games and have some lazy day fun that doesn't involve computers, plasmas, the wii, cellphones or ipods. Quick--what's the last board game you played?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Writing on Monday--Gettin' it done

I'm in the thick of writing my next book, but summer keeps getting in the way ;) This week, Teen Son and Teen Daughter are away at camp, and Elementary Girl has day camp to attend. So I'm upping my daily word count to get this puppy done. Next week we're heading north (hopefully the fires will have subsided) to the area along California's central coast that has inspired this particular book series. It'll be a vacation-slash-research trip, and I can't wait to set up my computer near an ocean view window and edit away...ahhh!

Speaking of fires,
my good pal, Katie Cushman and her family are under mandatory evacuation orders--yikes! Please offer a prayer for them and the whole Santa Barbara community that is once again under heavy smoke. She's been posting pics on her blog, and just looking at them makes me want to cough.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th!

Took this little quiz, and may I just say: "Phew!" I ain't dumb, I guess (first try, I promise!). Go on now and eat some apple pie, take this quiz, then let me know how you do. It's so good to be free, isn't it? (And to my friends outside the US--hope your day is 'spectacular' too!)

Have a beachy weekend--wherever you are!

You Are a Smart American

You know a lot about US history, and you're opinions are probably well informed.

Congratulations on bucking stereotypes. Now go show some foreigners how smart Americans can be.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Miss me?

Had a little computer crash the other day--something that's super fun when you're on deadline. Sigh. But I'm back, and working to get used to the laptop again in its factory-restored state.

Anyhoo, I'm looking for some advice. Just booked tickets for a little trip to NYC for our fam of five for October. We'll have four and 1/2 days there before driving to Penn. to see hubby's family. So. If you know New York, what are the must sees? I'm planning to 'hit the ground running' as if we're on a tour (ala 'Bri' my tour hosting heroine in Chocolate Beach. Sorry. Couldn't help the comparison...;). So far, my own must sees are:

Statue of Liberty
Broadway Show (We already have tickets for Wicked in LA this summer, so any other suggestions???)
Central Park
Time Square (Hoping to stay near there)

Please! Send me your ideas!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Elementary Girl's been keeping me busy these days with trips to Grandma and Grandpa's pool, the local water park, and yesterday, I bought a slip 'n' slide. Remember those? This one's cool with an inflatable landing surface and adjustable water spouts. The one I had growing up provided zero softness, but enough speed to slide me right into one of our rusty sprinkler heads. Tetanus anyone? Lol...yow-zah

Yesterday, June gloom hovered over my morning, but today, the sun's been shining since dawn. Love days like this. Makes me feel like more'll get done, or then again, maybe nothing at all...

Still working away on the great american novel :), and really enjoying this story--especially the romantic thread (be still, my heart). Last night I caught part of the Bachelorette and thought, "You think that's romance? That's nothing compared to my Josh!" (Josh is the hero in my next book ;))

Ah well...off to take advantage of the sun while it lasts in our fog prone section of CA. Have a beachy day, my friends!