Friday, February 26, 2010

AI says goodbye and a beach break!

Sad to see Joe an Janelle go, since both have nice chops, but wasn't surprised about the other two. Although I have to say, Tyler in a bathrobe and short boots make good television...Fox'll probably lose a few Nielson points for letting the 70s throwback go. Btw, Kris Allen's getting better and better, don't you think?

On to other things...

Yesterday I got super STUCK on the novel I'm writing. Unusual since I'm nearing the end and this is the spot when, normally, I'd race to the finish. But there's been a lot going on in our family lately, plus a cold last week, and I think my brain had all it could take. So yesterday afternoon, I threw on sweats and running shoes and hit the beach. Only for a little while, but woo-hoo, it opened things up for me. I realized that sitting alone in this tiny office every day doesn't exactly dredge up incredible creativity. Other than text messages with my kids all the livelong day ;), I was beginning to feel closed in and unimaginative.

But all that ocean spray awoke my senses. I watched waves crest like jade walls and fat plover skitter at my feet and the tide wash over glittery, smooth rocks. Ahhhh! It was good to get out of this office and go somewhere other than the grocery store and my kids' schools.

Here's hoping YOU can find a way to take a break at one of your favorite spots. Have a beachy weekend, my friends ~ wherever you are :-)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Idol Season begins

Watched American Idol in its entirety last night. Those of you who've been around awhile here on this blog know the obsession that Idol season usually brings. This year, though, I've been rather 'meh' about the whole thing. And I realized why: I miss Paula.

I know, I know, she was sometimes hard to figure. She could be wishy washy, and vague, and speak in purple prose ( me). Nothing against Ellen. She's also someone who takes a more pollyannish view of the contestants, something they need after being pummeled by Simon and the others. But Paula's work in the music biz gave her an edge in the credibility department.

So on to the show... Last night, the Top 12 women sang and it was ... just okay. If I had to wager ~ haha, don't be accusing me of promoting gambling now ~ I'd say that Lacey and Michelle will go home. Third guess is Ashley. I liked them all, but two have to leave, so those are my guesses.

Mi favorita of the night was Katelyn Epperly in her 80s hair singing Oh Darlin.

What did you think?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Doesn't he look angelic?

Found this picture of Charlie the Dog on my iPhone. My daughter likes to dress him up occasionally, and he always complies. You'd think he had the sweetest disposition ever, you know, to put up with all that fussing. But you'd be wrong. We adopted Charlie over a year ago and he still doesn't like many people, but for some reason, he puts up with all of us. Go figure.

He was actually my model for Moondoggy in A Shore Thing (see sidebar). Moondoggy is irresistible too, but friendlier to strangers. Although maybe he'd rethink that if his family kept putting funny hats on him.

Ah, well! Have a beachy day, my friends ~ wherever you are :-)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Julia and Julie II

Sorry for the delay in posts. Been writing on deadline while juggling too many other hats, and it's taking longer than originally expected. Can you relate?

As I've said before, I'm working on a book set in and around the famed Hearst Castle, designed by architect Julia Morgan. Morgan was the first female to graduate from UC Berkely with a degree in Civil Engineering, and later, the first woman to receive a certificate in architecture from Ecole Nationale et Speciale des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

On a recent tour of the sprawling castle, we were shown this lean-to off one outer wall. This was Julia Morgan's office. She spent nearly 30 years working on that hill with some of the most expensive pieces of art from all over Europe, creating a lavish castle that hosted A-list celebrity guests ~ and she worked in a tiny, nearly windowless office. Phew, that woman got a lot done!

With the hot breath of this deadline scorching my neck, I'm looking for a non-distracting place to get my work done. So, I'm you think they rent that thing out?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Heart thoughts

People often ask how long it takes to write a book, and don't hate me, but I usually pull a number out of the air. That's because in addition to the writing, there's also the research, and the plotting, and the editing, etc. I'm too unorganized to account for all that time, hence the reason I can't come up with a hard number on that.

So I'm in the thick of writing Otter Bay Novel #3. Love the story, but I'm oh-so-tired of sitting on my derriere. And frankly, I'm just plain, oh-so-tired.

Thankfully, my hubby makes me a latte every morning (yes!) Here's the one he made the other day, complete with his first attempt at creating a heart on top. I set it next to a book about the sea that sits on my nightstand, patiently waiting for me to crack open its pages and give it a look. I figure as soon as I'm done writing this book, then I'll have the time.

Just don't ask me how long that'll be... ;)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Maddy Curtis sings

Sadly, or maybe not so sadly (according to the fam), Maddy Curtis didn't make it through Hollywood Week on American Idol. Her mama's been a longtime friend, and a writer who many of you may know. Read Barbara's post on her Mommylife blog.

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

Monday, February 08, 2010

After hubby's conference on Friday (and my marathon writing session in the hotel room), we were planning to head home for our daughter's soccer tourney. Because of rains, though, the tourney was canceled (Ok, all you in the east...go ahead and get your laughs out. We'll wait.)

So anyway, since we were no longer pressed for time, we stopped in Cambria on the way home. Cambria is the inspiration for my Otter Bay Novels, by the way. While there, I finally took Tour #2 at the famed Hearst Castle. You may remember this post when my girls and I got stuck in a 'gulley washer' up there on the central coast. We had tickets for the tour then, but due to dangerous winds, the castle had to be closed.

So glad the rain didn't close up The Ranch (as it's sometimes called) this time. Loved the tour! On the way up we spotted barbary sheep and black-tailed deer. Took gobs of notes for my work-in-progress, due out next year. You're gonna love it!

Hubby took this pic of me at the castle gift shop. It could be anywhere USA, but he thought it most appropriate to take my picture next to a glass dolphin. Lol...I agree :)

Friday, February 05, 2010

Pass me a hanky

I'm holed up in a hotel room far north of home today, writing as fast as I can. My hubby's attending an all day seminar, so I jumped at the chance to get some undistracted writing time. Of course, since I've been here I've been in touch with two out of three kids several times, played on the Internet, and eaten butter cookies for breakfast (a courtesy of the hotel). Lord, please help me write that killer scene today!

No view of the beach from here, but the mountains are pretty and I've got a late checkout (woo-hoo!). So here I go (again). Off to write a scene that's sure to break my heart...any wonder why I keep avoiding it?

On another note, Dear John comes out today. It's based on Nicholas Sparks' novel, which teen daughter and I loved. It also broke my heart into a million pieces and I can't wait to see it with her when I return. I'll try to save some Kleenex for then! (If you have a chance to see it, leave me a comment!)

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

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Cry your eyes out

Sit back and enjoy this touching, beachy video.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

still wingin' it

I do not miss all the smoochin' that former Bachelors relied on for ratings. There's nothing worse than a guy who tells a girl he's totally into her, makes out with her, then does the same thing with another girl the very next day (or next hour). Rinse, repeat.

That said, this season's a tad boring. If I wrote this kind of dialog into a novel, I'd never write again. Most overused line: "How are you?" blah, blah, blah. Maybe the other bachelors were boring too, but I was too busy being grossed out by all that tongue bathing to notice.

On the flip side, my daughters can watch with me without having to fast forward a hundred times. (I do, however, still remind them that when it comes to finding your man, "This is not how it's done." Yeah, and they love me for my reminders...)

Seriously, Jake seems like a genuinely nice guy, even with that smile that at times resembles the Joker's. He's kind-hearted and that's a good thing in a prospective husband. And I'm glad he had at least one semi-deep moment when Tenley asked him what he expected from a wife. He said "that she's always got my back" and "Respect." (On a side note, I called out to my husband, "Hey, do I always have your back?" Hubby: "Yeah, yeah, back." Me: "And do I respect you?" Hubby: "Hm? Yeah, respect. Yeah."

But my favorite moment came after Tenley asked Jake about pilots and cheating. He said, "Cheating's a choice. The woman I marry will be the last woman I look at."

Okay, now that was good.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Here birdy, birdy

A friend emailed this picture over. Apparently this little guy arrived on his deck looking sickly then took refuge on the rocks below. Due to storm run off oils that stick to their feathers, pelicans here on the west coast have been getting hypothermia. Our friend was able to catch the birdy and hold onto him until Pelican Rescue arrived. Good job!

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