Thursday, November 30, 2006

Jack Frost...kiss my ass

I'm dealing with this and this and this. *sigh*
Kids home today and tomorrow. Our work shut down today. And tomorrow there are enough people there that I don't dare try to go in. All the ditches on my road are gone, and I don't want to become part of the scenery.

It's cold Cold COLD! All the furry babies are inside. And I just want to be lazy and curl up. Pitiful, huh? But I do have several ideas and dialogue running through my head. That's a good thing. Stay warm.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

25 days 10 hours 29 minutes...

...until Christmas.

You know. That wasn't right. Even for me. But alas, there it is. *grins* I'm assuming that there are others out there as shell-shocked as I. C'mon. Tell me ALL about it.

Drove to work this morning, and it was 71 degrees. When I leave this'll feel like just the opposite. Literally. 17 degrees. *gasp* *wheeze* Talk about not right.
Okay. I realize it's late November. Yeah. Seriously. But I also realize that I detest driving in winter weather. And the road I live on becomes not so pretty. Fishtailing all over the place, whitened knuckles gripping steering wheel while expletives are uttered through clenched teeth.
That is SO going to happen.

Chickens are all doing well. Had a basketball game the other night, and I took my new digital toy. May have to download some pictures on here this weekend. First...find time. pictures. It's a sequence of events, people. *grins*

Hope you and yours are warm and cozy on this lovely Wednesday.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Got coal?

Okay. I'll admit it. My day has seriously inhaled. Tomorrow I go back to work, and I've done NO writing. None. Nada. Zip. Damn it.

Today the children and I put up the Christmas tree. Because I thought that would be fun. (I'll plead temporary insanity.)

They argued about the color of the limbs they would get to put in. They argued about who would help put the lights on. They argued about who would put the topper on. They argued about who would get to hang up the last damn pine cone. They argued about who would plug the SOB in. They argued about the Christmas stockings. They argued about who would put the damn pipe cleaner candy canes on. They argued about EVERY. Damn. Thing.

Then I had the absolutely brilliant idea of them helping me hang lights on the outside of the house.
Me=blatantly stupid.
We ruined two strings of brand, new lights. Oldest chicken and baby chicken both broke a string. So I'm done. Period. Though the tree looks REALLY pretty.
And then the little buttheads had the AUDACITY to ask if we were going to wrap some presents today. I would rather jab myself in the eye with a sharp stick.

Not only have I noticed how absolutely pissy they were today, I can't help but notice what jackasses other people are.
Yesterday: To the lady who let me cross the little shopping mall lot and then waited until I got halfway to the sidewalk before gunning it around me...the middle finger I showed you does NOT mean "Hi!"
To the sorry SOB who pulled in my parking space even though I had my turn signal on and my van halfway maneuvered to suck.

There. Now that I've vented a bit, perhaps my head won't blow off my shoulders.
I'm off to work on some of my writing.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Got a new toy

Allie. Bitch kitty from hell. And those are my pretty red toes.

And it's a PG toy. *grins*

I've moved into the high-tech world of digital cameras after a lengthy conversation with a photo chickie from Wal-Mart. They obviously don't pay her enough. Especially for having to deal with techno-goobers like myself.
So I've taken pictures of some of my furry babies and will attempt to post them on here.
Adds a whole new dimension, methinks.

That top left picture is Chance. The horse dog. And yes, he IS as goofy as he looks. But he's a good boy. The top right picture is Pumpkin. Pretty kitty of Perfect Timing fame.

Too much fun. Enjoy the weekend. I'll stop in as time allows.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello, my lovelies!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

I'm thankful for many things this year. Family, friends, my writing. And as I age, I become increasingly aware of those around me who may need a helping hand. NOT a handout. A hand up.

Let me give a little background.

I've been through some very difficult times in my seemingly short life. And there have been times when I've literally had not a dollar to my name. One of these times, I worked at a chemical plant in the nearest city. I worked my ass off twelve hours a day and was barely making my bills. It was so damn hard some days. But you persevere because you have to. Because you have kids to feed. Because you need gas in your vehicle and shoes on your kids' feet.
I knew Christmas would be sparse. Even the Dollar Store was a bit too much to ask for.

But I received a surprise that to this day brings a tear to my eye. A lovely, large box at the guard shack to Crystal Inman and girls. From Santa Claus.
Santa Claus.
I was dumbfounded. At a loss for words. And so completely touched by coworkers' generosity.

I never found out exactly which ones put together the holiday care package. I suppose in the long run that it doesn't really matter. What matters is that feeling. That I wasn't completely alone. That I didn't have to worry about providing something for my girls. That someone completely unrelated to me cared enough to give of themselves.

I had some relatives that pretty much told me that no matter my problems, I could deal with them myself. They didn't care. And didn't seem to understand that I wanted help. Not a handout.

So I ask this holiday season for your generosity unto others.
When you see the big, red kettle...empty your change into it. Adopt a family to help. Give to a worthwhile charity. Volunteer.
Make a difference in your community. Even the smallest gesture can have a great impact.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

HUGE news!!!

I've been invited to participate in a Romance Writer's Panel Discussion February 2007 in conjunction with the Norman Arts Council. WOO!!! *pumping fist in air*

And guess who else has been invited? *dancing in my chair*
Sharon Sala, Christine Rimmer, and Merline Lovelace.
Oh. My. God!!!

I will, of course, be the peon. But that's fine with me. Did I spell "peon" right? Hmmmmmm. *shrug* You know what I mean.

Now I have plenty of time to stress out, er...get myself together, before the big event. Friends of the Norman Library also hold a Romance Book Sale the same day. Talking AND shopping. What more could a woman want?

So if you're around Norman, Oklahoma on February 10th...drop by the library. Please.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Cluster Theory

When I was five, I didn't have much of a personality. Life was filled with naps, fingerpainting, and learning the alphabet. I do remember a big ta-do with my kindergarten teacher because I WOULD NOT drink chocolate milk. Thus, I dug in my heels and that was that. Mom had to come down and back me up, of course. I was, after all, just five. *grins*

When I was twelve, we moved to another school district. I had to start all over with making friends and trying to fit in. I certainly felt like I didn't. And one of my best friends was also from another school, so all was well.

Junior high was hell. Period.

In high school, I was into band. And various other activities I won't share here. LMAO
I hung around with a group of girls that were as different as different could be. What brought us together? I certainly couldn't tell you. Perhaps a wicked sense of humor. An overwhelming urge to stand on our own two feet. Loyalty.
But academically? Socially? Nope. None of the above. Family lives? Negatory. But there was SOMETHING.

I'm an adult now. On most days. *wink*
And who is in my little cluster? People who love books. I am blessed both personally and professionally to surround myself with people who love what I do. How amazing is that?
I've got around 140 friends on the MySpace page. And all but about five are readers/writers/publishers. My exceptions would be UFC men (GO TIM SYLVIA!!!) and a couple of people I work with or graduated with.

So the Cluster Theory in a nutshell? It's the inner circle. The ones we let into our lives when we have the chance to pick. We cluster up together and link arms to face the world. The support system that won't ever let you down.

(Loving, wonderful thoughts go out to Betsy. I love ya, woman! You'll be just fine. And if you need to talk about ANYTHING, I'll always be here for you.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Half-naked used to be good enough

I really don't know what it is with the kids. Half-naked used to be just fine. And now they actually think they need clothes.

I spent a LOT of money yesterday on clothes for the little heathens. (I enjoy calling them heathens because the oldest asked me what that meant and I said "strange and uncivilized." You see where I'm going, don't you? *grinning*)

Back in the day...I had to FORCE them to wear clothes. Going au natural was just the thing. And now the oldest is addicted to beanies and hoodies. Middle child has found THE store to get clothes at in the mall. And baby chicken can wear something exactly twice before it becomes stained/torn/unsuitable for wear. *sigh*

It's crazy. Simply crazy. And socks? Holy shit. I swear there must be an alternate universe out there with beings sporting my family's socks. I hope they enjoy them. I just bought a lot more just to even out this whole parallel universe thing.
(I was going to impart my Cluster Theory. But I'll hold off for another day.)
Watching UFC this evening. Writing tomorrow. Hope you and yours have a good one.

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

1000 BOOKS!!!

I received my royalty check today for this quarter. And the number on the lovely check is more than I make for two weeks of my full-time, above minimum wage, paying job. Oh. Yes.

And that's great. But I don't write to make money. Sure, nice perk. But here's the biggie... I have sold almost 1000 copies of What He Wants this last quarter. And all together, I've sold more than that since its release date!!!
Isn't that absolutely freakin' amazing?

I realize that to those of you who sell print books and have an established name that this isn't a big deal. The number may just receive a simple smile. But to me? I was beyond ecstatic! I called my best friend. My mother. My sister. My other best friend. And I am SO not a phone person. But...ya know...I was pretty damn excited.
Still rather jazzed, to tell the truth. *BIG GRIN*
So. 1000. *dreamy sigh* One milestone down, many more to go.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Directionally impaired

Oh. Lord.

Tomorrow I head off to a work-related meeting. In another city. A city that I've never been to. Okay. Once. And I wasn't driving.
I am afeared.

I downloaded directions from our company website. And mapquest.

Hell in a handbasket. This could be very, very bad. However, I do have my cell phone. And my trusty Diet Pepsi. But holy shit.
*heart fluttering*

What little aspect like this scares the shit out of you that other (probably rational) people handle just fine?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Too many? And when is when?

I saw the previews to Spiderman 3 the other evening. One of those "make me sit up and pay attention" previews. Because, you see, I LOVE Spiderman. Probably from the early Electric Company episodes. But I digress.

It's Spiderman 3. Not the first. Not the second. But the third.
I didn't particularly care for the second installment. It was incredibly sad for me to watch. Peter Parker just kept eating it. And eating it. And well, eating it some more. The ending was great. But it was a SAD movie. And as you should know by now, I don't do SAD.
Will I go see Spiderman 3? Sure, I will. The same as I'll go throw down money to watch all the Harry Potter movies. Or Pirates of the Caribbean.

But let's look at this logically. Most movies/books/media of this sort grow weaker with frequent telling like taffy that's been stretched too far and too thin. And that's a shame.

I loved the first Batman. It's one of those movies that has all sorts of lines that I still enjoy to this day. A lot of it was the absolute brilliance of Jack Nicholson. And the brooding intensity of Michael Keaton. Hearing Kim Basinger shriek every five point three minutes? Not so much.
But the second Batman? Or the third? *shudder*
A waste of time. Not to mention money.
The first Rocky? A classic. No doubt about it. The ones that followed? Spare me the absolute painful retelling of the same story over and over and yet OVER again.

And books? Nora has made the trilogy her motif. And three is powerful anyway. As long as you don't let the middle child become a filler.
But series that seem to go on and on ad nauseum? What a waste of time and effort. If all you're doing is making do with the same story and switching names, then you need to move on. Let the characters live happily-ever-after without beating the hell out of them.
Janet Dailey has the Calders. Jude Devereaux has the Taggarts. And I enjoy most of these. But when the family tree has split and has as many branches as there are blades of grass...narrow it down.
Make it worth the telling. And the sharing.
And for God's sake. Know when to say when.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Shrimp exercises--Crystal spews Diet Pepsi

Never, I repeat...NEVER, read weird stories when drinking.

This is what I found on

"As far as I know this is the first time that shrimp have been exercised on a treadmill and it was amazing to see how well they performed," Scholnick told LiveScience. "Healthy shrimp ran and swam at treadmill speeds of up to 20 meters per minute [66 feet per minute] for hours with little indication of fatigue."
To further challenge the healthy shrimp, the researchers designed a small backpack made of duct tape to add extra load to the shrimp. With the extra weight and lowered oxygen, they were active for up to an hour."

Okay. I was good until they strapped on little duct tape backpacks. Then I kind of lost it. Is anyone else having a visual?

And here's one that you seriously need to mentally block after reading:

LONDON - A 22-year-old man suffered internal injuries after lighting a small firecracker he had inserted into his buttocks, paramedics said Thursday.
The man suffered burns and other unspecified internal injuries in the incident in Sunderland, 275 miles north of London.

Though I know there's no ready answer for any of this...I must ask...WHY?

I don't require my shrimp to sprint up and down my plate before I eat them. And I don't need any more holes than I already have, thank you very much. So what possesses these people?


Thursday, November 09, 2006

My day off

Yes, dear ones. I have a day off. Even though I was supposed to work tonight, I took comp hours.
So HA!

Up at the school early getting an updated basketball schedule then back here for writing and whatnot. Working on CC-an Erotic Paranormal short. Also need to look at Water Goddess. My other work is in progress on my work computer.

Chickens fly home around four o'clock. Then dinner. Then off to another basketball game. So I suppose I better enjoy what I have going on right now.
Listening to downloaded songs (Queen/Evanescence at the moment) and typing furiously on the books.

I'm reading Lisey's Story by Stepehen King and listening to his "On Writing" on CD. Utterly heavenly. I've read "On Writing" twice. But to hear it from his lips somehow makes it stick all the better. And perhaps, that's what I need. Because I find myself adding more descriptives (the area I lack). I'm more comfortable with adding them. And I believe that's a good thing.

CC is about halfway through. It's not due until January. And maybe once I put it to bed, I can seriously start hammering away on Water Goddess. Because even now I have bits and pieces of it floating about my cranium.
The funny part being that these items have never really been named by me. These pieces of the puzzle that will eventually fit to become the final work. I don't label them "subplot" or "heroine's trait" or any of those things. These come to me wholly. Not with tags. But somehow they always seems to fit at the end.
I love the process.

And for the insult of the day: Do we really need new episodes of Sesame Street? By now, even Keanu Reeves had learned to read. Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.
Not nice. But funny as all hell.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A message from and to the stars

Yesterday's horoscope:
Your career plans may seem unrealistic to others, but don't let their judgment stand in the way of your ambitions. You might have to work harder than you prefer, but your determination now will likely be rewarded in the weeks ahead. Just remember that success won't come without a price, so make sure you know what you are willing to give up to get what you want.

And to this I reply: Bring. It. On.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Last night...

...was AWESOME! It was the first basketball game for the chickens. Well, oldest chicken and boy child. Middle chicken (leggy heifer that she is) informs me she doesn't like crowds. But she wants to cheerlead. And when I asked the difference, she explained to me that people wouldn't be focused JUST ON HER. Apparently, this freaks her out a wee bit. Go figure.
So. Oldest chicken was told that since she didn't dress out for five practices that she wouldn't be playing. When I arrived, she was up in the stands, huddled in a corner trying not to be seen.
Don't know what changed the coach's mind (don't care). But oldest chicken was summoned down to the court and (luckily) we had the uniform at hand. She changed and joined her team on the bench. Game started.
The other team was pretty good. Had a couple of really tall girls. We were being outscored 6-4 or something of the like. Coach called out the starters and oldest chicken went in. *insert loud hollers from proud Mama*
The VERY FIRST play she had was that she tipped the ball out of tall girl's hand and drove it DOWN the court for a SWEET lay-up. *insert proud Mama screaming her head off and telling oldest chicken she ROCKED!*
Oldest chicken tore it up. Made a hell of a difference. I can really tell the maturity difference from last year. Last year, when she did good, I got the look up to the stand and a thumbs up. This year, she would glance ever-so-often, but basically she concentrated on the game. She had assists, three or four shots, and some great defense.
OMG! I was beside myself. Excellent, excellent game. Final score? 20-8. Our favor.

Now. For the moral part of my blog.
It IS that time of year again. Basketball for us. About the only sport our rural school offers. And it's also that time of year when parents of opposing teams root for their respective kids. Yay for all that.
But four IDIOT women were actually outside talking trash about our boys such as: knocking one's knees out and flattening another. The "flattening" talk was about boy child. My friend informed these hateful witches that boy child was her son, and there would be NO flattening. In NO UNCERTAIN TERMS.
Can you believe that shit? Honestly.
I get frustrated sometimes, too. But talking about harming another child because my kid's team isn't as good as the other one?
Screw that. And these women, who I have mentally and visually marked, had really better hope that not another offensive word is uttered. Because, you know, I won't have that shit. Period.
In fact, being the hateful individual I can be, I waited for them to come down from the stands. I made eye contact. Boy child's mother was right beside me. And not one word was said. But I guarantee I made my point.

If you can't hold your damn tongue when it comes to this...then stay home. Or someone bigger than yourself will be glad to check you.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

And on the seventh day...

...I'm working like mad because it's my only day off. Rest? Let me smite ya! No such thing happening here at the ol' homestead.
Because there's writing, cleaning, organizing, posting, updating, and inhaling Diet Pepsi. ALL in a day's work.
I gave the chickens until ten-thirty, and then we're going to hit the house hard and heavy. Hopefully there will be no casualties besides my sanity. But hey! It's a small price to pay. I have GOT to clean. And write. Everything else is a bonus if I can muck my way through it.

Chicken update:
Baby chicken scored 7 goals yesterday morning at her basketball scrimmage. She didn't walk off the floor. She FLOATED. She's also on the Superintendent's Honor Roll for straight A's last nine weeks.
Oldest chicken watched a movie at the theaters and spent the night at a friend's house. She fell asleep first (no surprise there) and got a bit of canned cheese on her face for her efforts. *laughing* And apparently the girl she shared a bed with was a restless sleeper. So she was fairly comatose yesterday. Good news? Principal's Honor Roll. A's and B's.
Middle chicken continues to crack me up. I swear her mind works like NO ONE else's. Even her teachers agree with this. She drew some designs and entered the Design Bratz Clothes contest. We'll see how that goes. She's also on the Principal's honor roll.

Gotta run.
Desk to clean, breakfast to eat, and children to yell at.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Ho! Ho! Ho! My. Ass.

I love Christmas. Really, I do. *nodding*
The colors. The nostalgia. The time of year I actually LIKE to bake and cook. Ahhhh...good stuff.

But the commercialism? And the fact that I believe I only have THREE paychecks until the BIG DAY?
I'm not so fond of.

For those of you who actually have most (or God forbid, ALL) of your shopping done, let me sum up my feelings by saying-BITE ME. You=bite me. Because obviously you are not right and should be shot so that you may be put out of my misery. Indeed.

The gas station down the road already has their Christmas lights up on their shrubs. The very night of Halloween. Undamnbelievable.

Christmas gets sooner and sooner every year. It used to be after Thanksgiving. Now everyone has the green light after Halloween. Pretty soon I'll be coloring eggs and making stockings at the same time.
Perish the thought.

And what happened to the gifts? Not only are things more expensive when they first come out, but advertisers (demons, I tell ya) are constantly shoving the latest and supposedly greatest down kids' collective throats every twelve minutes on television.
Dammit! I used to like getting fruit and nuts in my stocking! The smell. The glorious smell. *sigh*
Damn hard to smell a PS2 game. That's all I'm saying.

So yes. Let's deck the halls and jingle the bells. But let's not forget two things. One-you can't buy memories. And two-Santa likes butterscotch cookies. *wink*

Thursday, November 02, 2006

New contract and writing updates!

Just received another contract! *dancing* I feel pretty. Oh so pretty!

Programmed for Pleasure (catchy title, eh?) will be available November 2007. It is, of course, an Erotic Romance. Controversial, in case you were wondering about Heat Level. hehehe
It will be released by Whiskey Creek Press Torrid. Where, I might add, I have the #1 bestseller for the FOURTH month in a row. (Can't remember if I've already shared that or not. But it bears repeating. *grins*)

I'm also working on finishing two short stories for Torrid. One to be released in a June Anthology and the other to be released in an October Anthology. IF I pull this schedule will look like this:

February 2007-Whiskey Shots Vol. 2 Whiskey Creek Press
June 2007-Paranormal Short story in Anthology WCP Torrid
July 2007-Fire Goddess Whiskey Creek Press
August 2007-Torrid Teasers (2 naughty short stories) WCP Torrid
October 2007-Paranormal Short story in Anthology WCP Torrid
November 2007-Programmed for Pleasure WCP Torrid
December 2007-Water Goddess Whiskey Creek Press

A review for What He Wants will also be available in the February 2007 issue of RT Magazine. A fact that I am VERY excited about! *dancing some more*

I don't have to go into work until later this evening, so I'll be working on one of my short stories and possibly Water Goddess.
Oh. And downloading music. *smiling* MUST type to the tunes.