Archive for January, 2013


Three Things

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 2 Comments

I’m sitting at the dining room table, getting ready for another day of revising/editing and three things in my field of vision caught my eye–all making me smile for a different reason.

#1) The plate of brownies on the hutch that DD # 1 made over the weekend. They’ve got a layer of peanut butter at the top and they are really, really good. 🙂

#2) A blow-up electric guitar that’s still sitting in the living room following the 80’s party DH and I had with some friends a few weekends ago. There were a whole lot of laughs that night.

#3) The as yet to be opened box that showed up via UPS last night. Inside are the postcards I ordered for ASSAULTED PRETZEL’S launch. Seeing it sitting there and knowing I get to start thinking about that soon, makes me happy.

Now it’s your turn. What are three things in your line of vision right now that make you happy…



Different Forms for Different Folks

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 3 Comments

As is usually the case when I finish a book (I typed THE END last night but still need to revise and edit–so I’m not done quite yet), I crave a book that I can read.

So in addition to the peppermint hot chocolate I’ll be seeking out on Friday, I’ll also be buying a book.

But here’s the thing: I love the feel of a book in my hands (it’s part of the whole comfort package that comes along with reading, I guess) but now, thanks to my age/MS/combo of the two, I can’t read a regular book for too long before my eyes kind of blank out on me. A year ago, my DH bought me an E-reader for Christmas. I don’t make the font size any bigger than the standard setting, yet with the backlight feature, I can plow through a book from beginning to end without stopping (my favorite way to read, btw).

I miss the feel of real books which is why I still buy them on occasion. Which, now that I think about it, might be the best way to “read” when I have other things to do. The E-reader is the way to go after deadline, when I have the opportunity to plow through four or five books in a week (yep, I’ll be downloading some books this week–:)–feel free to suggest away).

So what’s your preference these days?




Posted under Dreamer Mondays 3 Comments

With the final stretches of a book comes the crazy hours. Last night was one of them, tonight may be as well, we’ll see. But I’m almost there and that helps me stay focused.

This is also the time when I start to eat a lot of junk food. Some of that, I suppose, is because of the sugar boost. But some of it is alway because it’s easy. It takes two seconds to pour a Milk Dud from a box whereas making a waffle or a sandwich takes me from what I’m doing. Not good, I know, but it’s the way it is (though, I’m happy to report, I’ve been pretty good in this department this time).

I also tend to stay in my pajamas on days like this–again, to avoid the break in focus that comes from doing anything other than writing.

The cat, Angus, of course doesn’t get this part of the process. He sees me sitting at the dining room table and assumes I will be his butler the way I am the rest of the time (he’s watching me now wondering when I’ll fill his bowl).

And me, I’m thinking ahead to the moment I press “send.” I like to think of having a few hours to celebrate the accomplishment, however, I have kids…kids with dance shows, and a FAFSA that must be filled out.

I will, however, hunt down a peppermint hot chocolate at Barnes & Noble if nothing else. 🙂



On the Road

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 8 Comments

Sitting here, at the car dealer, getting some repair work done on the new (used) car. So, we’re going the way of cars for today’s bits & Pieces…

1) Dream car?

2) First car you DROVE (not owned, drove)?

 3) Worst car you ever had/drove?

4) Do you name your cars?



A Little Bit Different

Posted under Writing Thursdays 2 Comments

Sorry I wasn’t around yesterday. Got caught up with my to-do list first thing in the morning and the next thing I knew, it was late afternoon.

I’m happy to report that I’m in the home stretch on my latest work in progress (wip). I sat down with my notebook last night while DD # 2 was in dance class and mapped out the final 6 or 7 chapters. Now, I just have to write them.

This morning, I woke up thinking about cool plot/writing devices I’ve read/seen over the years. Like S.E. Hinton’s Outsiders–the same line that opened the book is the same line that closed the book. And then there was a movie called Momentum, where the beginning of the movie was the end of the story and the beginning of the story was the end of the movie.

So this is where I ask all of you about a book and/or movie that has stood out to you for being different in its presentation. Anything stand out to you?



THAT Place

Posted under odds and ends 5 Comments

I’m off to DMV today (for the second time in as many weeks) and dreading it already.

Here’s hoping it goes smoothly…

What’s a yearly (or so) place/chore you have to do that  you dread?



Dream a Little Dream With Me…

Posted under Dreamer Mondays 2 Comments

Today, I’m dreaming about the moment I press “send” on my latest book (should happen Feb. 1st). Because once I do, I’m taking a total me day…

Complete with a pedicure, a good book to read, and some serious vegging! 🙂

What’s got you starry-eyed right now?



Food Again

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 5 Comments

I think the post I wrote about comfort food for The Stiletto Gang today, has me unable to think about anything else but food.

So, today’s Bits & Pieces are about comfort foods.

1) When you were little, what food (if any) made the prospect of medicine better?

2) When you’ve got a cold, what’s your go-to food?

3) How about food on a cold day?

4) Favorite go-to food on a really hot, hot summer day?

5) What would you pick (food-wise) if you were celebrating a special accomplishment? 



Instinct To The Rescue

Posted under Writing Thursdays 2 Comments

“Your mind knows only some things. Your inner voice, your instinct, knows everything. If you listen to what you know instinctively, it will always lead you down the right path.”

~Henry Winkler

I love that quote. Why? Because I think it’s dead on. Instinct is that voice that tells you not to do something when you shouldn’t. Instinct is that voice that tells you to run when you should run, walk away when you should walk away. And, honestly, I think if we all listened to that voice–even if it only gets a split second of “talking” time–we’d all be better off.

Have I always listened to my instinct? The vast majority of the times, yes. But in those areas where I didn’t? I face the most difficulties.

I don’t believe that’s a coincidence.

Now, just as there’s room for “instinct” in life, there’s also room for “instinct” in the day job. Except there, it’s the voice that tells you not to send the nasty email to the nasty co-worker or boss. It’s the voice that tells you to work a little harder when you’d rather slack off like everyone else.

Instinct comes into play in writing, too. In fact, it’s that instinct that tells me when I need to add another character or change the killer or, in some cases, plant a thread in the story that seemingly means nothing until I get to the end and realize it meant everything (love, love, love when that happens). 

Case in point: In a thriller novel I wrote a few years ago (that remains unfinished to this day), I mention, early on, that the main character was a competitive swimmer in high school. Even mention the trophies. Never say another thing about it the rest of the book. At the time, I even found it odd that I was putting that in, because I hadn’t planned to do so. Yet by the end of the book, I realized there was a huge reason. And by huge, I mean huge…as in being the pivotal ways she gets out of a dire situation at the end.

Looking back, I now realize that whole swimmer/trophy thing that seemed so odd, was my instinct taking over.

In ASSAULTED PRETZEL, the 2nd book in my Amish Mysteries (release date: March 5th), the same basic thing happened. I got to the final two-thirds of the book and realized I wanted to put a spin on the ending. But in order to do that, I had to add things along the way that built to this change. I wasn’t sure, exactly, how I wanted to proceed so I stopped writing and went back to the beginning to read (something I rarely do until the end). Lo and behold, I’d put the beginnings of this “change” I’d just come up with right there in the first chapter or so.

My instinct already knew,a t that point, what would be best for the story. And it knew it before the rest of me did.

Kind of weird, I admit, but also very cool.

So how about you? How does instinct serve you in life?



Snow Day!

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 3 Comments

It’s a SNOW DAY!!!!

Got the call from the school at 5 a.m. and roused the kids just enough to tell them they didn’t have to wake up for school.

According to the weather guys, it won’t last long as it’s expected to start raining. But, in the meantime… 🙂

In 1978 there was a HUGE (and I mean, HUGE) snowstorm that hit the northeast. I think we had over 2 feet. My brother and I built an alpine track (with raised walls and everything) down the side of our hill for our roll-up sleds. I will never forget how much fun we had that day and the many days that followed, whizzing down those trails again and again and again.

Actually got frost bite on my toes that year. Still felt its effects in cold weather for years (though, oddly enough, since starting my M.S. drugs 5 1/2 years ago, I no longer have winter issues with my toes). But honestly, for has uncomfortable as I was whenever the temps dropped the next 28 years or so, the thought of those trails still made/makes me smile.

There really is nothing like a snowday when you’re a kid…

So what were your must-do’s for snow days as a kid?