Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Saturday

Okay, so I'm a day late--all that tryptophan tired me out ;) Anyway, for all of you who stayed in yesterday unwilling to face the marketing-induced crowds at the mall--and even for those who braved the madness--I'm repeating my offer from a couple of weeks back to make your Christmas shopping easy peasy. In case you missed it, here it is:

I'm signing copies of Chocolate Beach for the holidays at the super low price of 7 bucks each. Lower than Amazon! And signed too! (Hopefully that doesn't devalue it much, ha.)

Anyway, if you'd like to pick one up for a friend (or yourself ;) this Christmas, please stop by and place an order. You'll be able to note who to sign the book to on your order form, and they'll be priced this low while the supply lasts.

As for us, we survived the fabulously fun Thanksgiving Day at my house: 22 guests and a new doggie who growls at boys. Ca-razy! Currently, we're obsessed with Cesar Milan aka The Dog Whisperer. Guess which DVDs top my Christmas List this year??? Haha. (Seriously, we've already tried a few things that both our trainer and Milan suggested and we're making progress--yay!)

Have a beachy weekend--the rest of it anyway--wherever you are!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sailing away...

About 22 family members and friends will arrive tomorrow to feast on turkey and all the fixins. Teen Son--who's studying to be a chef--and I just cooked up the first round of vittles. I'm pooped! It's just too much work to do it all in one day, ie. tomorrow, so I'm trying to get a head start. Anyone else do this?

Anyway, I'm plopped on the floor, trying to catch my breath, when I read this article about some entrepreneurs who decided to open up their local harbor-docked boat as a B&B. How cute is this? The 34ft. Villita, the article says, was commissioned in 1936 by cinematographer Ed Lyons, for his wife, a starlet named Violet Schram. This is especially news because even tho' our economy's in need of a transfusion (or several, actually), business for the floating B&B has been super strong.

There's something about the call of the sea that's awfully inviting to me at the

How about you? If you're having the big shin-dig at your home tomorrow (if you're American, that is), what do you do to relax in the midst of the craziness? I'm open to new ideas :))

Chances are I'll be too buried in turkey juice to check in on the blog tomorrow, so here's wishing you a beautiful--and beachy!--holiday.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Writing on Monday--Brainstorm

So we adopted our beagle-mix, Charlie, on Saturday...and he keeps growling at Teen Son. His foster parents tell me poor Charlie was probably abused by a boy or two, because they experienced the same thing on occasion. We're working through it (God Bless Teen Son for trying), but if anyone has some fabulous advice, then in the words of Frasier Crane, "I'm listening."

Other than growling at Teen Son,
Charlie's been easy peasy, playful, and funny too. Reminds me why so many people write dogs into their books. Don't be surprised to find one in an upcoming book of mine--my mind's a whirrin'!

Speaking of brainstorming, how many of you writers think about your stories during church? Go on. Be brave, and be honest. I certainly do. ( not to mention this to my pastor). During yesterday's service in particular, the ideas were swirling, the plot solidifying, new characters yakking...yeah, I'm heading into a new book.

And not the book I'd planned.
See, I'm writing a series of three stories set in picturesque Otter Bay, CA. Until a couple of weeks ago, I was heading into book 2, but after much internal debate, I've decided to move book 3 into the 2nd position, or 'posish', as Teen Daughter would say.

All the more reason
to be storming my brain with new thoughts and twists and plot points. Time is of the essence, especially during the holidays (not to mention the doggie-training days), so when I'm seated in church, and away from the hub-bub, I seem to hear God better about both life and books.

Maybe I should've asked His advice about the growling doggie...;)

p.s. For those who have asked, I'm juliecarobini on twitter.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Just poppin' in before dashing off to take Elem. Girl to school, but we just heard a few minutes ago--Charlie's coming home with us tomorrow!

Talk later :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dog Daze

Elementary Girl and I wandered into the local animal rescue shelter the other day--and fell in love with Charlie the dog. Wanted to take him home right then and there, but I've learned, this isn't how it works. First we had to fill out an application. Then we were interviewed. And today? The home/yard inspection. Oh my goodness--who knew? I just hope they don't check under the beds, LOL!

Hopefully, our little pal
will be coming home with us in a day or so. Anyone else ever adopt a pet? What else might we expect?

In other news,
I bought a turkey yesterday. Anyone else find this exciting? It's just that actually plunking down moola for the bird makes the approach of the holidays that much more real, know what I mean? I think you do!

Other than prepping for our new pup
, I'm putting up some new pics in the hallway in time for Thanksgiving. My parents' hall is full of pictures, and we 'affectionately' call it the "Wall of Shame." So, yeah, it's time we had our own shameful display too.

I'm off to sweep the porch! Elementary Girl's beside herself with anticipation of Charlie's arrival. Pray we pass inspection :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Writing on Friday--Fire and the CAN Blog

It's hot and dry this November day along the coast where I live. Just to the north of us, residents of Montecito could use your prayers as a fast moving fire has already consumed 100+ homes. I also learned that my good pal's niece had to be evacuated from Westmont College, where already several buildings have burned. I've got soft spot for Westmont as I've taught there for the Santa Barbara Christian Writer's Guild. From what I've heard, the students had to hide out in gym all night until they could be rescued--and it was quite tramatic. Many of the students are from out of the area, and cannot get to family right away. Keep them--and all of Montecito--in prayer, okay?

On another note, I posted about group book signings over at the CAN blog today. If you're a writer (or even if you're not, but interested ;), please pop by and say, hello, would you?

Have a beachy weekend, my friends--wherever you are!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Busy, busy today, but I wanted to drop in and let all my techy friends know that I've joined the masses by twittering and facebooking. Fun! Feel free to look me up.

Have a beachy day--wherever you are!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Christmas shopping made easy peasy

I'm signing copies of Chocolate Beach for the holidays at the super low price of 7 bucks each. Lower than Amazon! And signed too! (Hopefully that doesn't devalue it much, ha.)

Anyway, if you'd like to pick one up for a friend (or yourself ;) this Christmas, please stop by and place an order. You'll be able to note who to sign the book to on your order form, and they'll be priced this low while the supply lasts.

Speaking of the holidays,
I usually post some kind of list of quirky gift items around this time. Each year I get a ton of hits looking for some wacky tape dispenser I'd mentioned once, isn't that a hoot? So what unique gifts have you come across this year? (Other than a signed copy of Chocolate Beach, that is...ha)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Tuesday

So my brother, Mikey (Navarro), the animator, attended the cast party for the film he's been working on for the past year: Disney's BOLT. As with other movies he's worked on (Spy Kids, Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow, Night at the Museum...), he's received an animator or artist credit at the end. This time, however, because so many babies were born to the crew during the making of the film, the credits have a twist. When you watch those ending credits, be on the lookout for the Other Productions category, and there you'll find a list of those new little ones--including my nephew, Enzo. Isn't that cute??? I talked about Enzo's entry into our family last January here. Ten months old and he's already brother and wifey are in for it now, Lol...

And it's an offical holiday, so hug a Veteran today, and thank them for serving our beautiful country!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Writing on Monday--School Holiday

Happy Monday! Elementary Girl's home from school today, and teen kids will be home tomorrow. Ahh, the holidays are upon us...;)

With Elementary Girl home from school, writing is pretty much on the back burner for the day. That's really okay because at times like this I tend to let my mind run free with ideas, and jot them down for later review (i.e., when kids are in school :) With another couple of books coming due, my mind can't completely take a break, so it's a matter of grabbing the ideas when they appear...

The weekend, however, was pretty much work-free (yippee). I managed to finish reading a novel, watch Austen's Mansfield Park (Bliss, I tell you!--the rest of the fam was at a football game between our city's rival high schools), watch Elem. Girl's playoff soccer game, peruse an art show, and attend a special celebration event at church. Super nice weekend out here in CA (although windy enough yesterday to spray our small patch of paradise with palm fronds...)

How about you? What went on in your neck of the world over the weekend? And how do your days change when the kiddos are home from school?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Start Spreadin' the News

It's been a few weeks since our trip back east, but I was just looking through some of the pictures and getting nostalgic. So I took this little quiz, several times actually, because I wasn't quite sure if the description works for me. But I did love Greenwich, and actually took this picture of a purple door in the village. Just struck me as cool and funky.

So maybe this non-scientific quiz does have its Let me know how you fare.

You Belong in Greenwich Village

Avant garde and bohemian, you're quick to adopt new ideas and lifestyles.

And while you're a bit less weird these days, you still have a "live and let live" philosophy.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I'm happy that...

today's a new day.

That I had the opportunity to hop on my bike and work off some calories in brilliant sunshine.

That I've got fun kids and a hunky husband.

That my votes were counted and that several of them went my way.

And that God created chocolate.

I'm currently reading a soothing balm of a book called Chocolate Covered Friendship by Artisan Chocolatier Bethany Thouin and Angela Fox. Let me just say--and I know this might be a cliche--but it's delicious.

It's a book you can leave on your nightstand and pick up anytime to just feel...what am I looking for here?...well, to just feel good. Really good.

The book's filled with stories behind the names of Thouin's beloved truffles. There's Tina's Dark Chocolate Truffle, named for a tried and true friend. And the one named for her sister--Sarah's Frangelico Truffle--because of her sweet devotion. I really loved the story of the truffle she created for her friend Julie--Julie Anne's Orange Truffle. She said it represented her friend's talent for being human, a great person who can be taken at face she made the truffle a little happy and a little dark to represent her sunny side and her biting honesty.

Oh, how I'd love to have such an honor bestowed upon me!

In addition to the great stories of friendship are recipes and quotes and decadent pictures. This is a great one to curl up with as the days shrink and the nights grow. Thanks to Angela for sending it my way. Bloggy Friends, you can read more about this beautiful little book here.

"The world is bursting with beauty that begs to be interpreted artistically. As a chocolatier, I use chocolate as my medium." --Bethany Thouin

Monday, November 03, 2008

Writing on Monday--er, Wednesday

To my American readers, How can we be thinking of anything other than tomorrow's election? I'll get back to writing on writing this coming Wednesday. In the meantime, please make time to cast your ballots tomorrow--and expect the lines to be long (bring a copy of one of my books or something ;)

1 Samuel 16 says, "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”