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Category: Random

Random, because otherwise I’d have to acknowledge how long it’s been!

Can you see the tiny snowflakes?

Shocking! All I can say is that there’s a lot going on around the abode these days.

Not all of it, watching the Great British Bake-Off over and over. 🙂  For some reason, my girl and I both find that show so comforting. We should be able to recite the recipes for Swiss Rolls, Baked Alaskas, and all manner of continental cakes in our sleep. I told a friend the other day that the warming zone on her oven would be perfect for “proving” bread.

I live in the USA, and we let bread rise here. We don’t prove it. (Which I actually think is our loss. Isn’t prove a more interesting word?)

Anyway, what else?

We had a hint of snow this week! I ran around with my phone, taking pictures and a video because what if I never see snow again? You may need to zoom in on the attached photo, but there were snowflakes!

And–I’ve entered Harlequin’s Medical Romance Blitz. My submission may come to nothing, but I saw it was happening, and, as my girly said, I’ve written a few books with a medical slant–the novella in Christmas Actually, and a few other stories I’ve written for Super. I enjoyed doing them, and she can help me with any medical background, so why not? I absolutely loved writing the submission, and I’ve downloaded several of the books.

Reading Fiona Lowe’s A Daddy for Baby Zoe right now, and having submitter’s remorse, going, why did I think I could write as beautifully as that? So–I’m hoping! Because I’d be proud to have books with a line as well-written as these stories are. I’d read several of them when they were being tried out in stores, got hooked, and then they got so hard to find again, that I haven’t read any in a few years. Whatever happens, I’ve found new books to read because they’re easy to order online or on my Kindle now! 🙂

Now–off to finish reading my book, run to the grocery store, and prepare for friends who are coming over for coffee and chitchat today. (Perhaps I should attempt to bake something. Nope–no time for the firefighters to rescue me before company arrives!)



Randomly, Monday!


Some random thoughts on a Monday morning.

First–I wasn’t sure it was Monday. I thought Friday was Monday. I’m just asking what comes next. Cooking, shopping, and when I’m lucky, some writing. This story is working in my head, which is good, but I could really use some time at the laptop to get it on pages. But–I’m also working on enjoying each day before it flies by. (Not always my best skill!)

Have you done any holiday shopping yet? I am ashamed to admit–I shopped for myself. I recently had a bday, and my brother-in-law gave me the best gift a reader can own–an Amazon gift card! I love to read outside. I visited a friend at the beach this past summer and had to read with my hands around my eyes–and I really could have used a tent because my beautiful Kindle has a terrible glare. Same thing happens when I try to read by the pool, even beneath the shade. So, when the no-glare Kindle went on sale last week, I leapt on the deal! The dang weather here has been so warm, I’ve already been enjoying reading in the wild!

Writing–I’m at the stage where I’m getting so little time at the laptop, the words fly, but then I think–are those words good enough? Part of the joy of a creative job. You want a certain picture on the canvas, but the picture you paint never feels perfect enough. My paintings just happen to be words. (That sounds so pretentious, but you know–words, instead of pics!) That’s the way I see a story–a film in my head.

This dang heat. I cannot stand it. Bad enough during the day, but at night–these temps are ruining the sleeping. My cold-natured husband believes one should not turn on the ac in November, no matter what. But that’s because ice literally runs in his veins. And I envy him that!

I have a few free minutes. Our company is napping. The house is almost clean. I don’t have to be anywhere at all today. I’m headed to a quiet corner to write!

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Friday at Random

Even here, autumn will come–slowly!

I love the phrase, “at random.” Don’t know why. Some words just feel good and sound good.

It’s Friday, and I have too much to do, so this is going to be a random post. Just things that pop into my head.

The clouds have rolled in. I love cloudy days. And the leaves are changing. Fall is on its way. I guess it’s technically here, but it takes so long to arrive in the south, and then, if you aren’t careful, the winds blow up, and autumn is over. Well, autumn is all over the ground.

But I do love to walk through the leaves, so even that is good.

I’m working on a synopsis and feeling not good enough. Writers are a funny mix of “look at my words” and “please don’t notice I’m here.” It’s like having two trains running full steam in your head at one time. The trick is to turn those trains into workhorses that carry your words and your characters and your plots where you want them to go, and then to have the wisdom and the assurance to button it up and call the trip well started.

Several months ago, I started doing Yoga with Adriene. I’d tried yoga before, but I’d never loved it. I find Adriene so peaceful, and then a friend suggested a class. Normally, I’m so klutzy, classes can be a mistake–you know–as if the zombie horde (still stuck on iZombie!) has descended on your building in the guise of a woman taking yoga. But for some reason known best only to the mysterious universe, yoga class and I get along. I love it. Absolutely love it. I’ve been busy and stressed and traveling so much I haven’t been home on class days.

You lived! I’m so happy I’ll have food in my dish!

Until today! Yay! I’m picking up a friend. We’re going to warm up on the treadmill, and then go to class. That is a perfect day! Even with exercise.

So, a last, random note. I tried to take George, aka the writing assistant, out to take a look at the start of our fall leaves. Georgie isn’t a normal cat. He prefers to do his outdoor hunting from behind the glass of indoors. So, he didn’t really thank me for getting near the threshold to the deck. We agreed he might prefer to wait inside. He likes to keep an eye on anyone foolish enough to venture outside, and he was glad to see me survive and return.

Wishing you a happy weekend!

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Random Friday

Georgie, the Charming

It’s early, and I’m relishing coffee, trying to come up with a coherent blog post after such a long time away.

Clearly, random is the way to go. I’ll start with a photo of Georgie, the kitten, who’s growing up.

My beloved friend and critique partner, Karen Whiddon, is enjoying winter today. We share weather reports with each other because we both have issues with never-ending summer in the places where we live. Today, she gets ice and sleet, and right now, it’s 28 degrees. I have turned on the air conditioner.  And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

I’ve been writing like–a writer. I have a good portion of my cozy finished, and I’m almost ready to start editing. Yesterday, I was doing some revisions on the romance proposal. Today, I hope to work a little with both.

When I started Nano in November, I had a few goals I wanted to keep–writing as much as I could–which I did. Exercise–which I did. Blogging. I did not. There are writers who journal and do what Julia Cameron calls morning pages every day. I can’t do that without feeling as if I’m expending my writing energy. To some extent, that’s what the blog is for me. If I can’t manage to reel off a pretty quick post, I’m giving my writing energy to a location that doesn’t really need it. As a reader, I like to know what my favorite authors are doing, but I want their best writing in the books they publish!

A little more on the goal I kept best. I’m at almost a year of exercising pretty much every day. I was feeling all fancy, thinking I’m in much better shape, but yesterday, my neighbor–an Army guy–asked if I wanted to walk with him. I usually walk at the gym, or in our neighborhood because I live on narrow roads, where everyone from the most genteel little ladies, to the dump truck drivers speed as if they’re practicing for Le Mans. However, the Army guy walks a loop of those crazy roads that took us an hour and twenty-four minutes. I’d already done almost a lap of the neighborhood, so I’d been walking around twelve minutes.

Santa’s duds washed here!

I am not in great shape. At one point, I actually felt dizzy. (Big hill.)  For every step my friend took, I was taking two, so I know I held him back as well as alarming him with my natural shade of exercise-fuschia. My girl turns bright red, too when she exercises. It can be terrifying to people who don’t know us. Anyway, it was a great walk, despite being a sign that I’m still a slug. And we passed this excellent Christmas display. I’m adding it in case Santa needs a quick scrub-up on his way across the world later this month! These folks will wash his suits for free!


Random Thursday

Random Photo: My Makeover Makeup Man!

Time for a random post. I’ve stared at the screen, which is as empty as my head for too long already.

What I’m reading:  Several things–Write Away, by Elizabeth George, Raven Black, by Ann Cleeves, and last, but so not least, Heirs and Graces, by Rhys Bowen. Loving them all, for different reasons. I’m curious about every writers’s methods, and Elizabeth George is one of my favorite authors. Her writing is just as engaging in a how-to! Raven Black, amazing because it’s the kind of gritty, emotional story that appeals to me in British procedurals. And Rhys Bowen’s Heirs and Graces–the latest in her Georgiana series–which I wait for with excitement. I’ve actually been stretching this out because I finish them too fast–like a delicious slice of my mother-in-law’s irresistible pineapple cake.

That was a random analogy, which won’t make sense if you haven’t had Ma’s cake. One of those things you can’t resist–but you also can’t stop! I can eat one chocolate covered cherry and throw the rest away. Ma’s cake? I cannot eat one slice and toss the rest. I must see how it ends!  🙂

What I’m writing: Still waiting for news on the Heartwarming submission. Writing like a fiend on the cozy. I love working on it–when I don’t wander off on a talking-head tangent. I did end up cutting that and getting back onto a good path that makes sense for the story. All that talking head stuff? Culled to a paragraph–but I’m still hoping those words might fit elsewhere. Never throw away words!

Exercising: I was going to stroll the neighborhood last night, but even though it’s chillier, I’ve run into a bat or two in the near dark. Ugh–pardon me while I shudder!

I ended up going to the gym. I don’t love walking on a treadmill as much because I get bored and start checking the time. (Time passes so much faster outside.) However, I love my gym. It’s like when you buy a house and you walk in and go–this one is home. This is the first gym I’ve ever felt that way about. I could move out of my house. (Itchy feet after this long in one place!) Cannot leave my gym!  😉

A George report: I found him in my sink in the bathroom this morning. Which was cute and funny, and kind of a good thing. Had he shown up with moist paws elsewhere, and I didn’t know he was in my sink, I might have been a touch anxious! (After my poor, beloved geriatric Kitty, who had certain issues in his golden years.) But, also–I know where else those paws have been, and they’ve also been on my bathroom counter and sink!  The worries of a germaphobe!  (Which, not so oddly, have evened out a bit after all this habitual exercising!)

A tiny, PSA moment here: Back in February, I was really depressed–really. Depressed. For various reasons, but I couldn’t dig out of it. Exercise usually evens out my mood, and I had somehow stopped doing any. I joined the gym and I’ve been steady as breathing about it ever since. For the first time in years, I encountered a germy sitch–my kitten, who regularly visits his litter box visited my sink–and I thought, yikes–yuck, and then–oh, well. And he gave me something to blog about! Yay–that’s the value of moving one’s person!

Have a lovely Thursday–and I hope you enjoy some random observations of your own!

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Random Thursday

George Takes Charge

A second before I took this pic, I was working away, typing despite the cut on my index finger where George decided he needed to hang from my hand. He’d fallen asleep just beside my laptop. I don’t know if I smacked the keys extra hard and woke him, or if he’d been brewing a nefarious plan (inclined to consider the latter), but suddenly he hoisted himself up and sprawled across the keyboard. His teeny, tiny bulk makes stuff happen, and the screen went blank. I’m mailing myself my file pretty often these days.

I wonder if we’ve adopted a Maine Coon/Tasmanian Devil mix. He looks kind of sweet, doesn’t he? Be afraid. Be very afraid!  🙂

This week, I’ve been walking in our neighborhood at night. Even when the temps are not as cool as I’d like, the humidity’s down, so it’s comfy and I don’t have to drive. (To the gym.) Last night the sky was layered like a rainbow. Or a trifle. You know, in case you’re starving, and a trifle appeals to you!

I’m about to read the latest in one of my favorite series. Tonight, when I finish my word count, I’m going to start Heirs and Graces, by Rhys Bowen. I’m way behind on my RIP reading. I’d been saving this book, but I sort of forgot about it because I’ve been buried in my own work. I’m pretty excited to pile up today’s words, so I can read someone else’s for a lovely, refreshing change!  🙂 You gotta refill the well and refresh your energy! Might be worth a drive to the gym! (I tend to tumble down hills when I try to read and walk at the same time in the street outside.)




Random Thursday

46 Minutes. Right here. Because it rained.

First of all, how is it Thursday already? The days this week are flying by. I think because they’re cooler, and prettier–what with leaves falling on my windshield as I drive. Except for yesterday, when it rained, and I literally sat in the same spot for 46 minutes. Same spot. One unholy spot!

I’ve been working on a cozy. I’m usually pretty certain of character names before I write a story. At least the protagonists. The others, I can make up on the fly and live with them–unless I suddenly like a secondary character’s name so much I need to steal it to use with a later protagonist.

Today, I had to choose a hero’s name. Not so much a hero in a cozy. The possible love interest for later in this book. You can only go with “guy” for so long before “guy” needs a name. I’m not in love with the name I’ve chosen. I appear to have been influenced by my overload of Big Bang Theory viewing. (My girl and I have been watching rerun after rerun after rerun! They just never get old.)  Anyway, Finn Garren sounds a little like a superhero’s mild-mannered alias to me, but for now, he’s working in my book!

A last bit of random–I need to buy quilt supplies today. Well, border and binding. I need it to match/contrast with backing and fat-quarters I’ve bought. I’m not that good with color. So–I’m a little afraid of busting into a class of people I’ve never met–brandishing my bad color choices.

No–wait–one more bit of random. We are finally searching for a new kitten. We want to adopt, and I’m having a bit of a time finding one that’s both on the available-to-be-adopted lists and still available. Which is good–kitties don’t go waiting for homes long around here!

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Monday, my old friend…

I love Mondays! A fresh new week filled with days and new stuff. Yay!

And–autumn is on the way. Right now, we’re only experiencing the harder part of autumn–fall allergies. My head is splitting. Summer actually arrived in September. The temps soared four to five and more degrees above average for this time of year. And the humidity climbed with the heat. That always makes me a little crazy. But, despite being hotter than the proverbial hinges of hell during the day, the mornings cool a bit. I suspect not everyone lives and dies emotionally by the weather, but it really does affect my mood. I cannot stand being so dang hot!

Writing–I’m doing a cozy and a romance. I love them both, but I need to submit one and mount up enough pages to submit the wholly new effort to an agent. I’ve been a little distracted lately with family things and friend things and a little distress, but I’m starting this fabulous Monday by recommitting to making my page count goals. (And hoping the past couple of weeks have been due to this unexpected heat)!

And–one other thing. Every year I join the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril challenge. I’d forgotten about it this year until right now. I’m going to decide which peril I’ll read/watch and tomorrow I’ll post my plan. I’m so excited. The RIP challenge means fall to me!

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What day is this?

Clean Desk! Shocking!

Is it still yesterday? Insomnia, my best friend, and I have been awake too long. I’ve already written 1,412 words today, and it’s only 5:58. So, I remembered my neglected blog. Actually, I took a look at Twitter. Maybe I’m following the wrong people, but remember when Twitter was more fun than a constant promo stream? I try not to be too negative, but–seriously–the promo does not tempt me to buy. Cleverness tempts me to investigate an author’s writing or a product.

I miss Twitter cleverness. I used to laugh a lot as I read the stream.

While I’m on the negative roll here, the heat has come back. (An explanation for my crankiness.)

Other random bits:

I’ve cleaned my desk.

I need something called Iron Off, which allows you to draw veins on leaves for quilting/embroidery/working with wool. (The drawing fades with time.) Can’t seem to find it here in the wilds of the back of beyond. However, I have come across so many beautiful, vintage-looking embroidery patterns, I’m lucky I haven’t put us in the poor house with my needlework compulsion!

I need to clean my closet. I can’t stand cluttered surfaces, but I have no issue with cluttering a closet. You know it’s overwhelming when cleaning it doesn’t even seem like a viable procrastination-from-writing exercise! I could go into that closet and bust out the other side into Oz!

I’m sleepless and scatter-brained, and suddenly, breakfast would not mean I’m eating in the middle of the night. Need to go check the bacon situation in this abode!


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Friday Again?


A whole week went by? I haven’t been a slacker, but I may have forgotten to blog.

I’ve taken a class on working with wool–in a quilting sort of fashion.  Can you tell I’m new to this craft? I don’t even know what to call it, but this is a photo of the class project. I’m finishing on my own, but I’ve joined the local quilting guild, so I’m hoping to learn to quilt. At long last.

I’ve signed up for an all-day class next month that’s supposed to result in a quilt top. Guessing the total newbie shouldn’t be so sanguine about making that happen in one day, but I’ve ordered fat quarters in an autumnal theme, and I need to pick up border and binding material, and off I go. I’m so new, I couldn’t choose 8 fat quarters of dark and another 8 of light that I thought would match, so I picked up a bundle. Surely they’ll all match!

I’ve also been writing like a woman with something to say. Some friends and I are proposing a holiday anthology to Harlequin Heartwarming, and we’ve been putting the pieces together. (That kind of quilting I understand!)  I have the synopsis and about three versions of the story’s first scene. Today, my plan is to take Alphie out to the pool and just bust through to the end of a first scene that works.


That worked for me yesterday, when I took a day to work on a new(ish) project. I’m taking a class on writing a cozy mystery. I love cozies. They’re like sitting by a fire with a hot mug of cocoa and a kitty in my lap. I’ve always wanted to write one, but I doubted my plotting skills. The truth is, I’m not a bad plotter. I have more issues with self-confidence, actually, so I’m taking the class to arm myself with knowledge, and I’m writing. After about four tries at a first cozy chapter, Alphie and I wrestled one to the ground!

Do you notice the towel between Alphie and me? Yesterday was a little chilly. If only the water would cool down as well. I love swimming when a coming storm ruffles the water and cools the air on my shoulders. So pleasurable!