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August 2010
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October 2010

Gag Reflex & Eye Candy

So I have three boys and an outdoorsman girl (my lot in life!) and so naturally, Survival shows are big in our house. Last week, I talked about my gag reflex and how it is not strong. When the homework is done, and the dinner dishes started, what better way to relax than try to keep our meal down by watching Bear Grylls eat a delicacy like raw octopus. I literally do not watch, and I'm ready to wretch just HEARING him eat these creatures. The worst image is him tugging on a snake with his teeth. ACK!

Sometimes, I'll look up and Bear has some sort of insect leg hanging out of his mouth. Or he's crunching some kind of beetle. In short, it's NASTY and tonight they had a compilation of all the nasty stuff he's eaten. Thank goodness, they did not show the water he drank from--- nope, can't even say it. Let me just say, even if I was dying, I'd be saying my prayers and my goodbyes. I would never be that desperate.

But thank goodness for Dave Pearce tonight. He's apparently a rope specialist and former commando, and may I just say, he gives Colin Firth a run for his money among the Brits. I could only find a picture of him that's not very flattering, but tonight, he provided a reason to look up. And I live through another night of my kids' "reality" shows.

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Now my son is watching a Marine training show on snipers. From Glee to all this testosterone. Sigh. What did normal people watch tonight?


Why Moms are Necessary


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Do you remember when poor Rachel had to go to Lady Gaga day with stuffed animals stapled to her dress? This morning, my son, a sophomore is heading out the door with his sister's Renaissance Princess gown from last year's Halloween.

"What are you doing with that?"
"Dad made it look like a cape."
"It still looks like a dress. What are you doing with it?"
"I have to read my report on Louis the Fourteenth."
"In that getup?"
"You weren't home!"
Great. Now I have guilt.

Listen, I thought it was bad when their father tried to get them to wear a Poncho to high school because it was raining. My exact words, "Did you ever actually GO to high school?"

But this. I hope my son is like me and is missing the embarrassment gene. It will make his life easier.


Brad Womack the New Bachelor...


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I seriously think the Bachelor franchise has had one too many alcoholic beverages before their decision-making meetings. First off, Brad was THE most hated Bachelor after turning down both women -- including Deanna Pappas. Not to mention, his season was boring the first time. Do they think he's suddenly grown interesting? Are they planning for HIM to be jilted publicly so we can get some vengeance on? What's the game plan here because this guy could not be less of a catch.

He owns a bar in Texas. Do you want to marry the guy who owns a bar in Texas? Because I'm thinking not. I'm picturing the kind with peanut shells on the floor, but I could be wrong. It's hard to root for love for someone who thinks he's above it all and that's my impression of him. Player. Commitment-phobe. Not to mention, owning a bar doesn't exactly lend itself to family life.

My dad's friend owned a bar up in San Francisco and one night after a Giants' game I was there as a child -- we were waiting for the bus. I think this is where I decided that I was never going to be a barfly. I believe it was the Hispanic male in the red leather pants dancing that did it for me. My fate was sealed.

If women are dumb enough to go on this version of the Bachelor, I hope it's to get famous or be the next Bachelorette because I think looking for love might be futile.


Family Night -- Gleeks 'R Us

Remember when family night included Monopoly & Battleship? Well, I have an aversion to board games, unless it's Trivial Pursuit or something that involves interaction. I can't play Scrabble with my family because I don't have the patience to play with a certain engineer. I'm not naming any names here, but my mom does a load of laundry while she waits for him to take his turn.

So tonight, we had a family night my style. I made my Nana's pasta and marshmallow brownies, and we all settled in for the "Glee" premiere. Now, I have to say, as an avid chick of the 80's AND a Broadway fan, I was not happy with the ode to popular music from today. First off, who's going to download it? Kids will want the real rapper, not some Broadway version of it -- and let's face it, there ain't NOTHING wrong with the 80's people. Journey, Styx, Queen, Michael Jackson...when you can all improve on that, you give me a call.

Today I was listening to the 40's station and Artie Shaw came on. He once was performing at the Fairmont when I worked there and I got to see him, and my son goes, "He's still alive?"

"Well, no, that was in the 80's, 20 years ago."

To which my son says, "THIRTY Mom!" Oh, the humanity! You know, this kid is old enough to drive, he needs to go get his license and leave me alone to my inner thoughts reliving the glory days.

So back to Glee. Is that Coach Beast, Coach Ken dressed like a woman? Or is that really a woman? Loved the one-liners tonight. Loved the Asian camp scene, as I saw that with my own eyes: Math camp over the summer. Ugh. We called that summer school and you got it when you failed. Just sayin'

Here's Elle's take: "The guy who sang billionaire was HOT!" Emphasis on hot. Lord have mercy, she's only ten. She also is dressed in her Rachel outfit for the event. We're nothing if not enthusiastic around here. So what did you think?

I'm looking forward to Britney Spears' week, but I'm a little worried about Rachel. She's too skinny, didn't you think?


Glee Starts Tonight! And other musings...

Elle just informed me Justin Bieber is supposed to be on next week. Ugh. Isn't his fifteen minutes up yet?

I saw a woman who needed her espresso more than me. She'd put it on the ground to get into her car, and then, left it there. I tried to chase her down, but she was gone...I just felt her pain...reaching over and there is no cup of comfort beside her. Tragic.

Also tragic? THe barista I prefer was doing counter work today, so I got HER. The one who makes my soy mochas weak. Love her. She's very sweet, but she needs to take my order. Just sayin'

I got my Kindle while I was gone. I mean OUR Kindle. It's supposed to be for the family. Yeah, when they wrench it from my cold, dead fingers perhaps. I downloaded my first book. At the Revell dinner, I sat next to Andrea, an editor from New York and she was supposed to be at the launch of a new book called "Holy Ghost", a memoir about an unbelieving Catholic boy living in a haunted house. I'd heard about this book before, so I took that as a sign and that was my first download. I'll let you know how it is, but I do love me a good, Gothic ghost story. HEEEAATHCLIFF!!!

I'm ready to write today. I started a new story in first person. I have to check with my editor, but I'm just better in first. Must be that heavy dose of narcissism. You think?

This picture is kind of random, but here's my favorite publicist Jeanne Wynn and her husband Tyson with award-winning author (twice over this weekend!) Jenny B. Jones.

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I lost my cute, travel straightener in Indy. It was expensive! I am currently a good advertisement for the Bad Hair Day book. Sigh. Last kid just left. The time has come to pray and work baby!


Dancing with the Stars

I've never made it through a full episode, but I watched it. All of it. I still don't get it, but three more nights until Glee baby! WOOOHOOO!!! Except I heard Gwyneth Paltrow might be on as Mr. Schu's love interest. I hope that isn't true. I like the neurotic redhead. Back to Dancing...

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Tuned in kinda late. Some sports guy. Don't know him. Don't care.

Margaret Cho. Love her. She has one of my favorite lines about "our" music. Someday, we'll all be sitting in the nursing home saying, "Play Hungry Like the Wolf again." Her dancing leaves a lot to be desired, but maybe if they bring out the Duran Duran, who knows? She'll probably get the Korean vote and stay in, I hope!

Bristol Palin. She's so cute, and I have a heart for her because she kept believing that tool who fathered her child. I'd like to see her get into great shape and start fresh. So I hope she'll stick around.

Brandy. Snore. The "Situation" -- I do not know what to think of this train wreck that is the Jersey Shore. How does someone with nothing to offer gain that much confidence? He danced like he belonged in the special class. Did we really make someone famous because he has abs and gets in an icky hot tub weekly? We are like one step away from the gladiators at the Coliseum.
Is it just me or does that host's dress make her look like a Barbie? I swear the bodice hits her plastic boobage just like it does Barbie's. It's not even sexy because I just picture her knees making that horrible rubber bumping sound when they move.

Mama Brady looks great. Is that smile permanent though? She can move for her age. I'm impressed, but I'm still bugged how she always took Marsha's side, so I can't vote for her.

Michael Bolton looks an awful lot like Barry Manilow now. Dang, from mullet to Manilow. He. Can. Not. Dance. He reminds me of my old Italian uncles I was forced to dance with at weddings.

Jennifer Grey: My favorite and let's face it, nobody puts baby in a corner!

The Hoff. Three words: I feel violated.

I knit half a scarf while watching. And I wrote a chapter today and got 9 loads of laundry done, my house cleaned after a weekend away (does no one else get that the floor is not a place to hang things?) and helped my daughter with math. She's in fourth grade, this is about my limit, then her brothers have to step in. Happy dancing people! You know, I would love to see MC Hammer on this show.


ACFW Conference Highlights (Continued...)


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So I didn't get to do nearly enough classes, but Michael Hague's class on bringing screenwriting tips to your novels was definitely my favorite, and I bought his DVD on writing romantic comedy, so I'm anxious to dig into that. Even though, it's not popular to call novels romantic comedy from a genre point of view, it's basically what I do, so call it what you like.

I met with my editor about my "brand"
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I, people, am a Tiffany's Box. Open my books, and you will find something of a luxury. Substantial, but perhaps unnecessary. Now I have to beg to differ with that last part. Luxury, be it in love, espresso, or a good handbag, is what makes life worth living.

Ate out with two of my publishing houses. Revell took us for a lovely dinner atop the hotel in a restaurant that spins. Albeit slowly, but still, the bathroom moves, so you have to keep your eye out for when it comes around or you may have a trek. Thomas Nelson took us to the Alcatraz Brewery where I sat next to an Amish writer and drank a margarita. Do you think that's a sin?

Actually, I think the chocolate-covered espresso beans were more of a sin because I did not shut up for two hours. I read James Scott Bell's "The Art of War for Writers" on the way home, and he's done it again. I love his writing books, he's really great at honing in on what writers need to hear. Again and again.

So now I'm home. I miss my friends, who I didn't get nearly enough time with, but my dog slept on top of me last night, so I guess she wanted to make sure I wasn't going anyway. Life is good.


Sometimes, I think I leave California only for the sheer pleasure of returning. My writers' conference was filled with the usual. Aspiring authors, anxious to learn. Old dogs needing some new tricks and anxious to learn and the usual know-it-alls preening for agents and editors trying to impress, stepping in front of others, and annoying the likes of decent folk who play by the rules. (And I have to confess here I did interrupt lunch with an aspiring author to freak over my cover and she was VERY nice about it. Sorry!)

Didn't get enough time with friends. In fact, barely at all! We had a short brainstorming session this morning, but I had to miss the end of Michael Hague (bought the DVD) who teaches screenwriting without STAR WARS! I finally get it. The reason I didn't get plot points is not because I don't know the plot points in Star Wars, I don't see why they're important because I don't care if the Death Star gets annihilated. It is clear to me now. Thanks to Michael Hague and The Titanic and Shrek.

Anyhoo, Colleen Coble got us a suite that was bigger than my house -- with four bathrooms! And still we didn't get any time together. We all had just a few things to do, but they all overlapped. Here we are signing a contract for our new Novella Collection with Thomas Nelson: Smitten about a town with a heart for romance and four women desperate to save it.

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More tomorrow, when I'm actually awake and back on California time.


I am an author!

I'm in Indiana at the ACFW conference. It's odd to come here and people know my name, and what I do and it's very disorienting. You see, no one cares in Silicon Valley. I mean, no one. Our Christian section is pathetic at best, and so I forget that I'm a writer when I'm home. When I checked in, the gal got all excited because she was a journalism major and had read my books.

Then, I was approached today by a gal who wanted to tell me how much her husband enjoyed my books -- that it was like spying on the other side for him. I walk into the bookstore, and I don't have any books here. I am not doing the signing because I neglected to sign up, and I'm not going to the award ceremony because they changed the night, and I neglected to notice.

So it's time I started living consciously and remembering that I am a writer, even if it doesn't feel like it in California. The girls and I from the GirlsWriteOut blog have a HUGE suite, that is seriously bigger than my house and has more bathrooms.

I am overlooking Indianapolis -- which is flat, but does have a Nordstrom. So there's that. I look fat in last years' pics, so I wore skinny jeans to overcompensate, which I may or may not regret. Time will tell. The important thing is that we had fun taking the pics and it's our personalities coming through. The conference hasn't started yet, but I'm sort of ready for a nap. I am not a social bug, I'm always worried I will offend someone with some outlandish comment that goes by without a hitch in California.

So I'm off to bra shop with a friend (don't ask!) Happy Friday everyone!


Indiana, here I come...

Thursday, at an ungodly hour, I leave for Indianapolis for the ACFW Conference (American Christian Fiction Writers.) YAY!! The last time I was in Indy was February, and it was FREEZING and I made everyone go out in the blizzard conditions for a picture. LOL. But the purpose is always worth any kind of weather. I get to be with all my best friends, all of whom for some reason, live in middle states.

I read that women who take two vacations a year are happier. Really? They needed a study for that. Doesn't that fall under the DUH grant? "They" also say it's better to plan more little trips than one great big one a year because the anticipation for the trip is what gets people in good moods and excited about life.

So this year I've been to Disneyland, Cabo San Lucas, the live "Glee" in Universal Studios, Indiana, saw David Crowder in both Sacramento and Monterey. I would say, by now, I am downright giddy!

But Australia is calling, and I'm annoyed that Danny Zucco is flying Oprah's audience to my country. (Did anyone see Oprah yesterday? Man, that chick loves herself.) Oh I have to give a shout out to Nicole in Oz for the gorgeous earrings and scarf she sent for my birthday. How can someone I've never met in person know me so well??


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So I'm packing my great, big zebra suitcase (so my gown fits) and I am off for my last planned trip of the year. My editors will be there. My publishers. And of course, my beloved friends: Colleen Coble, Diann Hunt, Denise Hunter and Cheryl Hodde. We're going to take new pictures and Amber Zimmerman (Diann's daughter) is going to take them. She's incredible! Life. Is. Good.

I just have to put one of Amber's photos here:

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