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February 2010
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April 2010

Writers...the Best Part of Writing!

Writers understand one another.  We get how our minds are easily transported into the imaginary world.  How our hiking can become a dark, precursor to a murderous discussion.  How a prayer request can become a plot.  Here's a picture of my gorgeous writing sisters at Mount Hermon for the writers' conference.  Deb Raney took this photo on her iPhone:

Dineen Miller, Camy Tang, Kristen Heitzmann, Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck and Deborah Raney.  Pancakes and peeps, it does not get any better than this. 

Writing in California...

Cupertino, home to Apple Computer, is all about education.  The library is literally the most popular place in town.  You have to get there early to get a table.  I'm surprised they don't have a doorman checking IQs at the door behind the velvet rope.  Since I hate to write in my hovel, I head to the library -- which I can't do on Monday or Tuesday because they don't open until 1.  But Wednesday, ten is the time.  This morning, I got there at 9:45 and there was a substantial line to get in.  It's a heavily Asian community and lots of Chinese grandmothers are there with their little ones for a day of fun and learning.

But at 10:10, the library had yet to open. Finally, a man walks up to the door and there's a taped flier that says, "Closed Wednesday for Caesar Chavez Day" -- I love the response.  All the Asians look at one another and are questioning, who the heck is Caesar Chavez?  Considering my kids have not one day off for Easter or Good Friday and considering I don't think they have one Hispanic in their school, I find it odd that we have this day for a library closure.  Diwali, I could understand.  Chinese New Year, I get it.  But Caesar Chavez day?  He's not exactly known for education, you know?  He's about migrant worker rights -- so this affects the library how?  

I made the best of it.  I'm at Coffee Society having an espresso con panna (espresso shot & whipped cream).  I'm fortified for Chapter Six.  The iPad comes out on Saturday.  I wonder if that's a Holiday too.  

I Miss Reaganomics...

I miss the 80's when too much was the norm.  It's rough out there.  It's hard to NOT know someone hard-hit by this economy.  There are so many men here out of work (in Silicon Valley) and having been through layoffs, it's depressing to watch them and their families struggle.  You would think it would make me grateful for my dump, but let's not get crazy or anything.

Usually, I'm a pretty giggly lady.  There's not much that gets me down, but lately with all the needs, it's hard not to deeply concerned and burdened by it.  Which is why we have to try harder to remember that it's Easter.  I bought my girlfriend a very tacky Easter card that made me laugh out loud in the store and I'm working hard to find the funny in my day.  

I've heard lots of people say that the Psalms cheer them up when they're in the pit.  Not me.  They depress me.  I don't know why, but seeing someone else struggle and cry out in agony doesn't make me feel better.  I prefer Ecclesiastes -- the whole "it's all meaningless" viewpoint when life is coming at you fast.  A chasing after the wind, so don't get too caught up in yourself, right?  It's a valley.  We'll come out the other side eventually.  Any tips for how you stay up?

My current list includes seeing "Shutter Island" which I LOVED.  Watching old movies (A Portrait of Jennie is up!), listening to my 40's station while I write about my heroine in New Orleans whose hero does NOT have a money issue.  Except maybe too much of it.  Okay, and I shopped for a poppy colored sweater to match my new handbag, but that doesn't count because that's 80's coping.  What else can we do, but pump up the volume of our hair?  Anyone?  Bueler?  

Dancing with the Stars...I don't get it

I watched five minutes of Dancing with the Stars last night and once again, I have to say, I don't get it.  Granted, I tuned in when Pamela Anderson was channeling Marilyn Monroe so maybe it wasn't the best time.  But I loved the original and I loved it when Madonna channeled her in "Material Girl", but the Pamela thing, I didn't get.  For one thing, that poor girl just looks uncomfortable.

Then, I watched the judges, who I also must admit to not understanding.  It's like three Paula Abduls. First, you have the gal who takes everything so seriously and it's not like we haven't just watched Pamela Anderson channel Marilyn, it's kind of hard not to be the Russian judge.  But then, you have the English guy, and I can't understand a word he says.  He told me to "google" his words, but if I could comprehend them, I'd have a shot at it.

Then, you have the Italian.  Believe it or not, I understand him, but even if I didn't, I like his personality. He brings a little life to the show. But I still don't get it. Only 14 more days until Glee!!

Hiking with Writers...Not for the Squeamish

Marlo Schlaesky, Deborah Raney, Colleen Coble proving Writers are Socially Dysfunctional 

This weekend is the Mt. Hermon Christian Writers' Conference near Santa Cruz, CA.  Since I live a mere 35 minutes away, and since DH was entertaining the kids this weekend, I spent the days with Colleen Coble and other great friends I rarely see.  Sure, they were going to a writers' conference and teaching.  I was merely hanging out and bumming free snack foods. 

Kristen Heintzmann and I went to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and ate at a seafood restaurant on the pier.  Deb Raney and I gabbed in their room while Colleen taught.  And Colleen Coble finally got to eat at the restaurant, the legend that is, "The Pot Sticker King".  We're always making fun of each other's restaurants.  In Indiana, they have the "Cork and Cleaver" and in CA, we have the PSK.  We've now had the opportunity to make each other believers, that a stupid name can still be a great restaurant.

Today, we hiked and since everyone else (Colleen, Kristen and Karen Ball) write some kind of suspense, our beautiful Redwood Hike was filled with terrorizing ways to kill someone off the thin trail.  Considering one of the ideas involved vertigo, and I have vertigo, this conversation was unnerving to say the least.  Especially since we passed an outdoor chapel and meditation area and they could have been sitting and praying.  But NOOO.  This group is contemplating murders.  

I managed to write a chapter while everyone worked and tonight I'm editing, with a cup o joe from "Jack in the Box" -- and it's good.  Go figure.  

And to add to my murderous weekend, I saw "Shutter Island" and I LOVED it!!  I don't generally see R-rated movies or anything violent, but this was that great kind of scary.  The Hitchcock kind, where your sick mind does most of the work.  I liked it!  Everybody else have a good weekend?  

Cute Couple Alert

Taylor Swift and Cory Monteith from "Glee".  I approve.  How cute are they? 

Yesterday, we went to Laserquest for my son's birthday and my daughter chose her "fighting" name:  Lea Michelle.  She's a little gleek.  These photos were taking in Studio City, LA and that's where we're going to see the Glee crew.  Too fun.  

He's Just Not that Into Me...NEXT!

Jennifer Love Hewitt, called a "serial dater" by some, is releasing a new book today. It's called "The Day I Shot Cupid: Hello My Name is Jennifer Love Hewitt and I'm a Love-aholic"  a title that just rolls off the tongue! 

Judging by this quote, I think I may have an answer for her:

"You can allow yourself 72 hours of wallowing time," she says. "Then you've got to get into the gym, stop eating the ice cream and move on."

People are not recyclable.  Can you really be committed to a relationship you can be over in 72 hours?  Wallow?  And then hit the gym?  Okay, first off, I'm NOT into gym rats.  If some guy belongs to a gym, that's not Gold's, that's a big red flag to me.  Maybe it's not this way across the country, but here, the guys I see going into the gym (when I'm hitting the breakfast place with coffee cake the size of my head to write) the guys I see going on, are balding convertible drivers who are WAY too into their image for my tastes.  So maybe she should steer clear of making her own body perfection and find someone who cares about the INSIDE.  Just a thought.

I like the idea of exercising off the pain.  Revenge is best served HOT (as in you look hot, he's filled with regret -- just sayin')  But if you haven't worked the inside and done a thorough search into how YOU failed at the relationship, I think you might be writing books about the single life for a long time.  Sometimes, I think being that pretty is a curse.  How many women do you know who look like that, where you'd want their husbands if you had the chance.  I know, huh?

You can't make this stuff up:

Lesbian bride spends wedding night in jail after baring breasts at bouncer and attacking him with stiletto

This is the headline in a Daily Mail story, and I'm sorry, but I don't care who you are, that is a load of issues in that headline right there.  If that doesn't give you a giggle, you're just not honest with yourself.  Because that is funny.  You don't even know where to start.  Is it the idea of the bride baring her breasts?  The fact that she's a lesbian and has a stiletto --  that she uses as a weapon?  Daily Mail  I don't know, it all sounds like a bad episode of "The Real Lesbian Housewives".

And what is our fair maiden doing at a place with a bouncer on her wedding night?  Just loads of questions.

My favorite part of the article though is someone from Bangkok commenting that they act like ladies over there, and an English woman saying, "Yep, you sure moved where there are a lot of "ladies"." Okay, I'm going to the coffee shop to work now.

Teardown on Freeway. Yours for only $669,000

Yesterday, I went househunting.  I'm trying to decide if we should redo the kitchen or move.  We live in the "right" neighborhood for schools, so we looked closer to the high school since our kids will be transitioning.  Oh. My. Gosh.  

Silicon Valley prices are down, but still absolutely ridiculous.  I don't think I can bring myself to pay those taxes ever again.  So we looked at this house yesterday.   The picture doesn't begin to do it justice for what aPicture-uh=3fcfb0477a229459ce6fddff73b6bee-ps=eb29ed1f1c38764f325937077874f0 

a dump it was.  It doesn't bring to life the overwhelming STENCH of musty, moldy ICK.  And it certainly doesn't allow you to walk on the uneven surfaces they call a floor.  I literally had to hold my breath in the house, it was that bad.  It's also on a busy thoroughfare, so the noise is incredible!

The garage you see isn't actually a garage.  It's a open carport FILLED to capacity with crap.  This outbuilding ends with your full-fledged lovely LAUNDRY room, complete with circa 1964 washing machine and no dryer.  

The lot was lovely.  However, each bedroom had a different color carpet.  Each with its own distinct smell.  They had bought and put on a brand new red door, that was so cute.  It was like, hey, this could be doa--oh no.  Oh no, no, no.  My husband and I were laughing so hard, we were glad the realtor was busy with some young suckers, I mean couple -- who were convinced a house in the right school district was worth it.  Even if it made a double wide look like heaven on earth.  

There's a house for rent on my old street.  It's GORGEOUS and I want to run back home!  But it's $4200 a month to rent with a $6000 deposit.  That kitchen is looking prettier and prettier.  What do you think?