Monday, November 30, 2009

November 30!

We had two Thanksgiving gatherings, put up all the Christmas stuff (or most of it), had two soccer practices and two church services this weekend. How about you? Today's the last day of the month, so the Christmas season is officially here ~ I love it!

My son did the Black Friday thing with friends, well, they actually started on Thanksgiving night at 11. That's so crazy, I think, but maybe I'm alone in that. It's just that I'd choose sleep over shopping ANY time, Lol. Of course, it wasn't too easy to sleep when you're kid's out at a shopping mall in the middle of the night. Ah well. Maybe he got me something...ha.

How about you? Did you brave the crowds and early mornings (or late nights), just to get those mukluks for a buck? Or were you home snoozing like I was?

Well, it's Monday,
and for now, the last of the ornaments will have to wait. I've got A LOT of writing to do. My car's in the shop, which means I can't go anywhere ~ so I've got NO EXCUSE. I will, however, be peeking in on the beach shop periodically because today's the last day of my pre-Christmas sale. Lots of fun stuff in there (the signs are the most popular), so if you've got a beach-lover on your list, you might want to check it out. Julie's Beach Shop

Have a beachy Monday, my friends ~ wherever you are :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Under a beachy sky

The wind's whipping the waves and the air's turning colder. Feels very holiday-ish and I just loved this pink & blue sky from my evening walk.

Hope you all had a beautiful Thanksgiving and continue to enjoy the weekend, my friends ~ wherever you are :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm determined to get more writing done, despite my youngest being off school this week (and despite the thawing turkey in my fridge which'll need to be buttered and browned in just a couple of days). Yesterday, though, she had a forever-friend over and how could we not head to the beach on such a sunny November day? Unfortunately, I left evidence of that excursion all over the couch when I slipped off my shoes last night and realized just how much sand I'd brought home, haha. Reminded me of this sign that I carry in my beach shop. In addition to sand, I've been known to carry back a shell or two from the beach (sometimes not finding them until they've taken a spin through my washing machine, Lol...)

Ah well. Have a beachy Thanksgiving week, my friends, wherever you are!

Monday, November 23, 2009

No shave November

Apparently it's No Shave November, evidenced by this picture of my son. Mothers of teen boys who take part in this ritual know what I'm sayin'! Although yesterday I was chastised by a dad at church for complaining (not so) bitterly about this new look. "He's not doing drugs or partying or drinkin', so a little hair rebellion is all right." But I maintained that I was just doing my job, Lol. We already picked up his senior portraits and you wouldn't ever recognize him--he's as clean cut as can be. Even the guy at the photography studio did a double take, haha.

Ah well, December's coming. (And I'm putting new batteries in the electric razor. Love you, kiddo ;)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Feeling 'glee' ful ;)

Happy Wednesday (the weekend's a-comin' ;). If you're a writer or interested in marketing, I've posted over at the CAN Blog today. Feel free to stop by.

My elves have been busy filling beach shop orders while I've been researching/writing my next book. I'm taking a break, though, because my youngest made the honor roll, and there's a ceremony soon (such a smarty, that girl). Then it's church small groups tonight, complete with hot apple cider to usher in Thanksgiving. Busy times, but life is good, eh?

Have a beachy rest of the week, my friends ~ wherever you are! I'll stop back in when something fabulous happens. Feel free to tell me about your week~I'd love to hear it!
p.s. Glee's on tonight, yippee :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Internet's up ... & new interview

Our Internet connection went down last Friday so I took that opportunity to cancel that service and go with a faster one. This meant no Internet all weekend. I thought we'd go crazy. My youngest looked at me all moon-eyed yesterday and said, "Life's so boring without Facebook, Mom." I told her to go read a book (although it took everything within me not to opine about the old days when the TV had ears and my bookshelf overflowed with the Nancy Drew series...)

I have to say, though, that it almost felt like a vacation. A productive one because I got a lot more done around the old hacienda without the Internet beckoning. I know we could have gone to Sbucks for wi-fi, and admittedly, three of us have iPhones, so it's not that we weren't occasionally checking for that all-important-super-urgent email that just might come through. But all in all, we survived the weekend just fine.

Ah well. The main connection is live, but I'm off to buy a router so the whole fam can be back in business. T'was fun while it lasted...

One more thing! Rel over at Titletrakk interviewed me the other day, and some of the questions were, uh, out of the norm ;) You can read that interview, including how my kids describe me at Titletrakk.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sweet Waters giveaway

Cathy Bryant posted a brief interview of moi over on her blog. Stop by and leave a comment...you might win a copy of Sweet Waters.

Cheers!
--Julie

Holidays are coming

Hey Everyone, Everything in Julie's Beach Shop has been discounted 10 to 20% for the entire month of November. Feel free to pass along this link to those with beach-lovin' friends & family on their gift lists. A portion of all proceeds goes to Compassion International, one of my favorite charities ever. We've sponsored children for about 20 years through this organization that provides meals and education for those in need.

Happy Thursday...and have a beachy day, my friends ~ wherever you are :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

mental holiday

All of my Otter Bay Novels mention Hearst Castle on the coast of California, but the heroine of the book I'm currently writing (book 3) spends a lot of time there. A lot. Which makes me want to blow this popsicle stand and head on up to Hearst's 'castle on the hill', you know, for research. I can only write so much from memory, people! What I really need to do is tour the castle, maybe take a stroll along the San Simeon pier (where Hearst's famous guests often disembarked from yachts), and then grab a bite in nearby Moonstone Beach.

Is this so much to ask???

***
On an exceedingly more important note, Happy Veteran's Day! Get out there and hug a vet today. Dad, I'm on my way over...;)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Where's a slushie when you need one?

Had an incident in the grocery store yesterday. It's hard to explain, exactly, because I'm still not too sure what was going on in the mind of the woman behind me in line. What I do realize, though, is that I am S-L-O-W when it comes to people dissing me.

For some reason, something set her off, and as we waited for the cashier to finish ringing up my order, she kept muttering nastiness in a low voice. Maybe it was because the lines had grown long or maybe it was because she didn't like my jacket. Eh...who knows? What I do know is that I kept giving her the benefit of the doubt and let her comments roll off, keeping my voice and reactions upbeat.

But when I took my receipt and pushed my cart away, she said something particularly nasty and my mind froze. Surely she didn't mean that the way it sounded. But the more I thought about it as I walked to my car, the more clear her condescension became to me.

At that moment I glanced around the parking lot, wishing I could find her and toss a full slushie on her, ala GLEE (see pic for clarification :)

Truth is, I wouldn't have done it even if I'd had the chance (or the icy beverage in hand). Instead I spent the next few minutes beating myself up over not having a snappy comeback. Of course, to have a comeback, I would've had to realize that she was snarking at me in the first place. Again, I'm slow sometimes.

But this is where writing comes in. An antagonist in Chocolate Beach was based on someone I once knew, someone who liked to tear me down on a regular basis when I was younger. One reviewer commented that people aren't that mean and all I could think was, "Lucky you." At the end of Chocolate Beach, readers (and the heroine) learn what was driving that particular antagonist to act the way she did. And I think that's key to character development: getting to the root cause of a person's ways.

So I'm confident that Angry Shopper Woman will show up in a future book. By then she'll have a back story for all her nastiness and she'll garner our pity and some sympathy for her troubled past. She'll be peppered with grace and who knows? She might even change a stripe or two.

In the meantime, though, I can't promise she won't escape a slushie shower...;)

Monday, November 09, 2009

Celebrity sighting...sort of...

We're back from a whirlwind trip to Las Vegas where my brother, Danny, and his fiancee, Darcy, decided to...elope! We watched on as Elvis officiated the ceremony complete with a hearty rendition of Can't Help Falling in Love.

As Fools Rushed In to watch, I kept thinking that D&D had been dating so long that It's Now or Never. My parents seemed All Shook Up about the dancing Elvis on the altar yet they are THRILLED to have a new daughter-in-law. (Was that Dad I saw tapping his Blue Suede Shoes?)

Okay, that was a lame attempt, but I'm exhausted from the trip. So that's my excuse ;) Congrats to D & D! Now make me an auntie already, haha.

Friday, November 06, 2009

fog has lifted

Took this picture of the pier a few days ago (squint and you might make it out). Lots of fog in the area at the time, but today is clear and sunny. I guess you could say the fog's lifting over me as well cuz I've been sick with a cold for much of the week. But today I'm better and very glad because my fam's going on a top-secret mission this weekend and I'm going to need the strength!

I'll try to bring back pics. Until Monday, have a beachy weekend, my friends ~ wherever you are.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

ah-choo

Been feeling puny since Saturday, but I'm pushing through. With so many people falling ill with swine flu (one of our friends got it!), I'm thankful it's only a cold. But still...hate being sick. Blech. On the upside, I'm reading a fun and very chocolaty romance novel for possible endorsement, so at least I have another reason to curl up with a book (and ignore the dustbunnies around me).

So what do you do when your sick? Do you tell your fam to fend for themselves, then crawl under the covers and pout? Or paint on a stoic face and trudge on through? I've got one foot in each camp, I think.

Tried to find a picture of Meg Ryan as Kathleen Kelly with a cold in You've Got Mail. Couldn't find one, but this one works. Remember how she had this cute little sneeze and hardly looked sick? Yeah, that's realistic (not).

Monday, November 02, 2009

Angels singing & pre-holiday sale

Do you hear that aria? Or is it my imagination? All three kids are back in school this morning after 1-2 weeks off (2 weeks for one of them, 1 week for the others). LOVE my kids, but oh!, it's hard to get any writing done when they're, um, needing me.

This week I'm going to try super hard not to get too caught up on twitter, facebook, email and all the other favorite ways to waste time chat with my friends. Instead, I'm hunkering down to do some serious writing on my 2011 release, which is due to B&H Publishing by March (the gasp you just heard was mine).

Ah, well. It'll be fine...! (I always tell myself this. Can you relate?)

Later this morning, though, I'll also be sending out a newsletter with some brief updates, but wanted to let my blogging friends know that I just reduced the prices of everything in the beach shop by 10-20%. I'm doing this for early Christmas shoppers all November long. So if like me, you'd like to shop early and breathe easier this December, take a peek at my little shop. My elves are standing by (or will be once they get home from school, Lol...): Julie's Beach Shop

Have a beachy day, my friends ~ wherever you are!