Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Wake up, sleepy head

Remember that movie Awakenings from the 90s about a group of folks who suddenly snap out of their catatonic state? Couldn’t help thinking about that odd little film this past weekend when people from all over emerged from their cocoons to descend upon The Beach.

Here along the California coast we’ve had more than our share of fog and drizzle over the last few months. Can anyone say yuk? I’m all for the sleepy beach town feel, but hey, even I was starting to wither from the May Grey, as the weather’s been called. But—yippee!—So. Cal. snapped out of the haze this past holiday weekend, blanketing us with heat and a warm, rippling wind.

Rode my bike down to the beach and just watched the parade. Teens dragging surfboards toward the shore, guys in board shorts holding hands with chicks in aloha wraps, older folk sipping frothy coffee drinks while taking in the sun and waves. Ahh—heaven. Early though it may be, summer has come. The sun has blasted apart those dense clouds and for the first time in months, I’m feeling more awake then ever.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Girl Meets World

Learned some funny things about tracking systems this week. I can look and see how people are finding my humble little blog. I know who you are. Haha…actually, unless you tell me, I really don’t, but I am finding out what’s sending some of you here. For instance, one visitor recently Googled “swimsuits” and the poor thing found my whiny post about swimsuit shopping with Preteen Daughter. Another visitor, and you know who you are, Googled “seagull poop” and found my meme last week on Works for Me Wednesday when I pooh-poohed the use of plastic bags at the beach.

I feel like Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life as he paced the sidewalk with Donna Reed’s robe in one hand while tapping his chin with the other saying, “This is a very interesting situation…”

Make no Bones about it, I’m learning ways to be a Survivor, and I don’t even have to leave my House, like a Desperate Housewife. Nope, I can stay away from The Office, and have some Good Eats on less than $40 Dollars a Day, and watch American Idol while burying all kinds of popular words into my posts. More than I Everwood before. I’m not Lost about this at all. Oh, no, I’m like a doctor climbing into my Scrubs, ready to do whatever it takes to give my blog an Extreme Makeover.

I guess you could say that the blog world is my oyster, and I’m in 7th Heaven at the moment. Even if you have to Google “seagull poop” to find me here.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

You Gotta Have Friends

It’s Honor Frequent Visitor’s Day at Beach-Lit Writer. I’m (supposed to be) writing today, but wanted to take a minute to point you toward some of my friends who show up here regularly. Stop on by, won’t you?:

Camy Tang, the loud Asian chick who writes Asian chick-lit (I am not making this up):

Jamie Driggers, writer, reviewer, and adoptive mama:

Geekwif, married to a Geek…and proud of it:

Kelsey Byers, hysterical mom to 4 (who seriously doesn’t need anymore cyber traffic, but go anyway):

Praying for a prodigal, a mom whose blog will drive you to your knees:

Rebecca LuElla Miller, fantasy writer, friend and worldview blogger:

Monday, May 22, 2006

Latte 101

It's Monday and we've got water!

Because of so many disasters in our world last year, we stocked up on drinking water. I'd forgotten that until yesterday morning when we woke up to NO running water. Actually, I would've forgotten about it completely until my husband asked if I'd picked up coffee after dropping our son at church (see yesterday's post).

Hub: Didn't you pick up coffee?
Me: Starbucks is closed. NO water.
Hub: Wha????
Me: Yeah, NO water, NO coffee.
Hub: Hey, didn't you get an emergency supply of water last year???
Me: Um, yea. I think it's in the garage somewhere.
Hub: NO coffee. Sounds like an emergency to me.

Like the spa bath from yesterday--and yes the entire family ended up taking one so as not to offend those sitting in the pew behind us (oooh, bad pun)--another crisis was averted.

Enough of this frivolity :-) It's "Writing Monday" in my little home office. The coffee's flowing, so I'd better get to it.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Squeaky Clean

NO running water in my neighborhood today ‘cuz of a broken water pipe or something. Not one trickle. All day. Found this out in the early a.m. when I awoke my teenager to take him to church. Had to drop him off early because he was going to be “interviewed” at two services, and could not imagine letting him do that without a shower. Oh, I know what you’re thinking. It’s not about image; it’s about serving God. Yeah, but have you ever taken a whiff of a teenage boy who hadn’t showered in 24 hours?

So while the rest of the fam slumbered, I paced and fretted—without the aid of coffee, mind you—until the heavens opened and down trickled the perfect plan: the spa.

So around 7 am., my teen took a dip in the spa—and did I mention it was raining?—and came out smelling like, um, chlorine. But hey, it was better than the alternative.

Update: As of 9 tonight, no water still. We could send a man to the moon, but...well. Maybe Monday. (Lots of chlorine going in that spa tonight, let me tell you.)

Friday, May 19, 2006

Sandy Dollar

Found this while beachcombing today. The tide was out leaving behind leftovers from the ocean's tumult: dried out crab shells, separated bivalves, driftwood, and this, an intact sand dollar. I brought it home for my youngest who often appeases her mama's love for the sea by joining me as I sift the sand for treasures such as this.

Have a beachy keen weekend :-) See ya Monday.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A Moment of Silence

...for Elliott Yamin. Voted off American Idol this very night. The Carobini family will need some time to recover.

We love ya, Elliott!

Works for Me Wednesday: Beachside Noshing

You know, I've never done a meme in my life. Haha--that sounded kind of funny. Anyway. I got this idea from Holymama! who got it from Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer. With summer oh-so-close, I thought I'd give it a go.

I'm a beach girl. Flip flops on the porch. Sunblock in every drawer. You get the picture. So here are some of my ideas for easy picnics by the sea:

1. As the name suggests, 'sand'wiches go crunch at the beach. Don't pack them.

2. Pack fruit, but not the kind you have to peel, slice, pit or otherwise mess with while there. Instead, bring cut up melon, strawberries, apple slices (with lemon juice on them to keep the brown away!) or grapes (cut in half if kiddos are small.) Carry them in a Rubbermaid-ish type container. Include some ice in a baggie to keep fruit cold.

3. Mini-burritos! Smear beans on a tortilla. Roll up, cut in half and wrap each mini-burrito in foil. Ole!

4. Other protein boosts: cheese chunks, peanut butter crackers, jerky.

5. Doritos. (I just like them).

6. Forget sugary drinks or dehydrating diet 'pop' (for my back East readers :-) There's nothin' like ice cold water on a hot beach (unless there's no bathroom nearby. Bummer).

7. Thinking of bringing a plastic grocery bag for your trash? Don't. When rustling in the wind, those bags sound like they're calling out, "Here birdy, birdy." Think: seagull infestation. Picnics and bird poop do not make for happy lunching...unless you're, uh, a bird.

After lunch, baste self with sunblock, and turn over every 1/2 hour or so. Can't ya just hear the waves?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Wanted: A Few Good Books

Rang up my local B&N Booksellers today to ask if they had any copies of the new release, The Secret Life of Becky Miller. What? None on hand? Would I like them to order one for me?

But, of course :-)

This reminds me of a recent trip to Vegas. The B&N there was sorely lacking in good Christian fiction (it is called sin city after all). So I did what any true fan should do: I asked the manager. Do you have any Colleen Coble? Any Lisa Samson? Any Kristin Billerbeck?

Sadly, they had none. The manager did seem surprised that the titles were so easily found in the computer yet not on their shelves. So maybe there's hope for Vegas after all.

Of course, other stores have such books readily available, as evidenced by this post. You gotta love that. Granted, not everyone wants to read novels with a Christian theme woven throughout. And I’m not suggesting that these be the only books available. Just that they simply be on the shelves for those clamoring for them. Given the recent growth in CBA fiction, that should be a no-brainer.

By the way, B&N will be calling when my order comes in, and I'll be posting a review of Miller right here on this site. Maybe even an interview with the author toward the second week of June. Join us, won't you?

Title Search

Have been mulling over a few title ideas for my next book. Forget the story, titles (and/or book covers) can launch a book into the right hands--or not. Sad but oh so true (sorta, anyway). So I found this funny little website of titles, you know, just get the brain juices flowing. Not saying I'll be borrowing any of them, but you never know...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Feliz Dia de la Madre!

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all my mommy friends.

Let your family pamper you today. Your mission? To milk it for all you can :-)


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Count Down To Idol

Oh, the hand-wringing, the pacing, the suspense! Yes, it's that time again. The night of the week when America once again dashes the dream of one of the final Idol hopefuls. Except for a lone holdout, our little family has been rallying around Elliott these days. Gotta just love that voice and sweet attitude!

We don't know who's going home tonight, but one thing I'm not going to do is visit Holymama! before 9:30 pm. pacific time. She knows I love her, but ever since she spilled the beans an hour before AI was broadcast awhile back (she's on Texas time, y'all), she knows I won't be venturing her direction. At least not until 9:31 pm :-) I do forgive ya, ya know, HM!

So who are you rootin' for?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Review of STORM created by Bill Bright & Jack Cavanaugh

First-year student Asa Rush enters Yale College with Christ in his heart and lofty goals in his head. It’ll take a revolution of sorts to bring Yale back to its faith-filled roots, and to help Asa discover what it truly means to be a follower of Christ.

Now I’m a chick-lit author, meaning I write books about chicks. I read books about them too. The protagonist of Storm is a guy—Asa Rush. Other main characters include Yale president Dr. Timothy Dwight and the charismatic Eli Cooper. The novel, a third in a series, was created by two men, Jack Cavanaugh and the late Bill Bright. What’s a chick to do?

Not to worry, for one thing.

Storm sucked me into its vortex and spit me back out thinking deeply not only about my own personal journey with Christ, but our country’s as well. While this may look like just a story of two prideful men pitted against each other, it’s also about two worlds, both spiritual, fighting for top billing.

On the brink of the Second Great Awakening, Storm profiles young America’s first divisive president election—between Adams and Jefferson. The political waters are murky with rumor and accusations (Hm—kinda like today). Supporters of both candidates won’t let the spilling of blood get in the way of their candidate’s victory at the polls, and Asa and his nemesis Eli find themselves caught up in the whirlwind, one pursuing the other’s soul for Christ, the other seeking his pursuer’s very life.

It’ll take an outpouring of the Holy Spirit to head off what looks like certain massacre.

This chick got caught up in Storm, and highly recommends that you do the same.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


We're back! Had a fabulous 3-days with my daughter and her classmates on Catalina Island. We stayed at Campus by the Sea, a "rustic" site three miles from touristy Avalon. For those of you outside of CA, Catalina is true island. It's about 22 miles from the mainland. There's a small town (Avalon), but the rest of it is rugged cliffs and canyons. Our camp was situated in one of those remote spots.

Just so you know, no tents were involved in this excursion. We had electricity-free cabins instead, and yes, I'd take that over sleeping on the ground anyday. Besides, our cabin was right next to the fully electric, fully plumbed ladies restroom. So all in all, my kind of camping (although, sad to say, no Starbucks in sight.)

The Long Beach Marine Instititute ran the show for our kids' three days there. Program highlights: Squid Dissection (just before dinner too :-), ocean kayaking, snorkeling and s'mores on the beach. I've kayaked quite a bit in a local harbor but never out in the big bad ocean and let me tell you, it was fabulous! Launched right from the shore into itty-bitty waves (thank you Jesus!) and paddled over past bird rock (named that for obvious reasons), and saw a spotted sea lion, couple of gorgeous blue herons, one lone cormorant and tons of kelp. Thankfully NO SHARKS. Can anyone say YAY?

On the last morning of our trip, I took a walk on the beach at low tide and offered up a prayer of thanks. Afterward I looked toward the water and caught sight of a school of flying fish. They made three dips into the ocean before disappearing from view. Kind of like God answering, "You're welcome!"

Although the trip was a 6th grade grad trip for my daughter and friends, I've come back refreshed and amazed at what I saw. My Chocolate Beach revisions have been turned in, and I'm ready to hit the keyboard again, my mind fully recharged. Hm. I'm thinking something on a deserted island, a handsome surfer, a beautiful kayaker, and lots of chocolate.

Whaddya think?

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Skinny on Swimsuits

Pretty soon I'll be boarding a boat to Catalina island to chaperone my daughter's mid-school trip, and all I have to say is hey, somebody's gotta do it.

So, of course, in prep for this upcoming jaunt, Pre-teen daughter and I hit the mall for the obligatory new swimsuit. We were looking for something with a little style!, some pizazz!, a spandex miracle! What we found was too flimsy, too tight, too risque!

Sigh. Stuffing myself like sausage meat into Lycra skins amazingly made me think of Photo Shop. Seriously. Wouldn't it be cool if software could do more than erase stray bangs and facial creases, but also produce swimsuits that truly do smooth away rolls and bulges? Yeah, Baby! That's what I'm talkin' about!

Alas, after much bitterness and gnashing of teeth, I found one that would do. So I'll be packing it--along with a big ol' terry cloth robe.

Look closely!

There on the rocks see one of the elephant seal pups born, probably in late January, near Cambria. Throughout the year, seals of all sizes show up on the shores in various stages of life: birthing, weaning and molting. We spent an entire day just strolling around the rugged cliffs. In addition to the elephant seals we also came across bunnies, hawks, and of course, squirrels all living in the wild. Who needs the zoo anyway?