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October 2010
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December 2010

With friends like these...

My pastor captured a screen shot last night of our brush with fame. We meet at a certain coffee shop on Mondays and Thursdays and we write together, while wearing headphones. When someone needs a break, you pull out your headphones and look wistfully at your friends to see if they'll give up their writing time to appease your needy self. Sometimes, we set goals: 500 words and then we'll talk! There are about ten of us and someone always shows up, so you're never alone.


My pastor, and fellow writer, took this shot and noted that there was not a finger on a keyboard. Well, YOU try and concentrate when there's a camera in your face, and you're wearing your daughter's pink sequin hairband.

Today I got all the "rules" for proper radio etiquette for my book interviews. Which right there, makes me want to giggle, and so it goes...Karen Kingsbury, I'm not.

Oh hey girls, thanks for the Psych recommendation. I have tried to watch it, but the dialogue moves so fast, and my daughter never shuts up (can't imagine where she gets that) so I tend to avoid shows that I have to "hear" -- Glee being the exception. That's what I love Ghosthunters. I can knit, and never have to look up until they say, "Wait! What was that?" Tomorrow the Atlanta Housewives are on Ghosthunters. Boo. As in that's bad, not scary. Bring back Meatloaf.

I need a vacation. I seem to need a lot of vacations in this house. Hmmm.

Mindful Living...Toxic Numbness

Okay, granted, it includes remembering your hairbrush. I'll give you that perhaps I'm not the best person to talk about this. However, I'm up after having helped four kids with homework that is far too difficult to me and I needed brain-free time. So I turned on Hoarders. I was going to include a picture, but they literally made me sick to my stomach and I thought, no one wants to wake up to that. So I'm giving you its opposite...mindful living.


One of the things that always amazes me, is whenever the spouse of the hoarder is interviewed, they act innocent. I'm sorry, I don't understand this. When you have a walkway through your house, and garbage, cat urine, etc. strewn up to eight feet in YOUR were asleep in your life. You were enabling. The fighting over the stuff is the only connection these couples have and anger the only emotion that's available to them.

The woman on tonight's show has to be bipolar as well as OCD and oh my, the language! She is worried about the neighbors and doesn't want the trucks outside, but she's on the driveway dropping F bombs. Avoidance is an ugly thing. Facing life ain't pretty, but living in a dump might be the result. Go...spend time on yourself today. Live in the moment. There is so much blame on this particular episode and the only "normal" one left is being vilified. Dang, I hate this show. Why do I watch it? Even when the house gets cleaned, the manipulator is still left, the dysfunction goes on, what good is it to clean up the house? mindful while I find something mindless and relaxing to watch. How do you fix that kind of interaction when it's been going on for decades. Do you think that's a family curse? I have the urge for a pedicure. Avoidance...or mindful living? You be the judge.

IT's Cyber Monday!

Do you know what that means? There are apparently deals to be found online. But if you know where to shop, isn't that everyday? Just sayin' Anyway, the girls and I are at the coffee shop writing, and the same guy who interviewed me for the news on coffee prices going up, came and interviewed us about Cyber shopping. This was bad. Because I forgot my hairbrush this morning.

So I got up to get a drink, waiting patiently until they were done interviewing a soul so that my BUTT would not appear on television. But as I come back with my coffee, they're at the table, so there is no escape for my bad hair. I should have promoted the devotional I wrote on bad hair days, but as it was, my vanity was speaking and I only knew escape.

I got interviewed about shopping online, and I'm not telling anyone what station because I had bad hair, okay? But then, get this...ANOTHER TV station comes into the same coffee shop and interviews us all over again. The point? NEVER leave the house with bad hair. You will be found out. My fellow writers looked good though!

Okay, we watched it. ALL MY KIDS said, "MOM, what is up with your hair?" LOL Kids will tell you the truth. Here's my bad hair on NBC:

And ABC:

I'm calm now...

Seriously bad morning, but I have exercised, I have sewn my son's comforter. I have watched an old Anne Bancroft/Anthony Hopkins movie, and I am calm. But you may not want to push it. Just sayin'

So I'm thankful for getting paid today, for a new contract arriving in the mail, for the red candles scented with cranberries that line my desk, and for friends like Nicole, who know ALL the way across the world that Kristin is in need of a timeout.

Love and Kisses world. And Happy Thanksgiving. Two of my kids are still in school tomorrow. Apparently, the school district isn't grateful either. Listen, at least I didn't take a shotgun to my TV over Bristol Palin still being on Dancing with the Stars. Right? Right?

Okay, I'm reaching perhaps.

Bristol Palin Dancing With the Stars

Kate Middleton enjoys a break from planning wedding...

Okay, really? Miss Princess needs a BREAK from planning the wedding she's obsessed over for eight years. Really?

She got a night out ice skating? Okay, as I sit here dealing with a family crisis in this crackerbox house, I want to hear about Kate's problems like I want you to drill a hole in my head. I'm not usually the jealous sort, but as we head into Thanksgiving and I am still living in this dump that I hate, it's hard to feel thankful. Yes, I AM thankful I have a dumpy roof over my head, but I am never going to feel thankful to live in this dump. And I am LIVID that someone else's choices put me here. Okay, thank you for letting me rant. Tomorrow maybe I'll be thankful that I'm not marrying some balding prince and find more joy in the day. Today...not so much.

I love Research!

Okay, research in writing is all about your curiosity for living, and what better reason to interview people, to get to know different cultures, to experience life, than research!

So my third YA is set in Buenos Aires, and I selected that because it's a very Cosmopolitan city, it's called the Paris of South America, and it has a lot of Italians, so what's not to love, right? Even Calabrese! (which I am, so even better, GREAT Italians!) Anyway, at this coffee shop I write at with the girls on Monday, the same people are always there, and two of them are professional soccer players (or futbol as they would correct me) So today, Mr. Bolivia tells me all I need to know about Buenos Aires and introduces me to that Latin flair. Research well on its way.

Then, this afternoon the girls and I all have our ideas for "Smitten" and I created a map of the town that we can add to, but we were joking around and I ended up naming the mountains "Brokeback" because...well, it was just funny at the time.

When I came home, my son had this great photo taken on Google Earth, and I thought what a great scene it would be for Ashley living in Pennsylvania -- it captured two guys having a sword fight on the street:

Twist it around until you see them. Hysterical, and so random!,+Pittsburgh&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=61.328812,113.203125&ie=UTF8&t=h&layer=c&cbll=40.457616,-80.007732&panoid=r4tDjo_x6CdB1--gBhzNXg&cbp=13,9.9,,1,14.11&hq=&hnear=Sampsonia+Way,+Pittsburgh,+Pennsylvania&ll=40.456662,-80.008836&spn=0.005731,0.012767&z=16

Gosh, my life is so much bigger than Dickens -- I wonder if he would have accomplished less if he had access to so much world. What do you think?

Shopping with Dogs...

Elle and I went to Stanford after church. I haven't been there in years. I did send my mom a pic of where the ugly Buster Browns were purchased, but that's not the point of this. We were in Gap Kids and there was this gorgeous, stuffed Airedale. Elle goes, "Mom, look!" And when she went to touch it, it moved and scared the daylights out of her.

Every store we went in people shopped with their fancy-breed dogs. Are people that pathetic that they can't leave their dogs at home to shop for clothing? We saw tons of fancy little dogs, but also big ones, and bulldogs dressed in coats. I should explain that Stanford is on the Stanford campus and it is VERY expensive. Its made up of Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and lots of specialty shops like Kate Spade and Louis Vuitton.

Doesn't it say a lot about how we worship money though? It's okay for you to break rules and bring your dogs wherever you please because you're wealthy. There was even one in the specialty French bakery. Isn't that illegal? I'm a dog lover, but dogs belong at the beach, not at the shopping mall. That's just weird.

Once when I was in a shop getting a gift for a wedding at Stanford, my son nosedived into a frog water fountain and his father plucked him out and shouted into the store that we had to go (It was November and freezing out.) I noticed today that they'd built it up so it wasn't as deep and I thought, okay, maybe I had something to do with that. I will say, the dogs were better behaved.

Favorite Movies, Defining Oneself

At Writers' Group this morning we discussed how only we can write a certain thing. We were created to write something different, and encouraged to find people "like us" who would like our books. The example given was that our speaker, John Olson, admitted to loving teen fiction and its adventure and romance, and that his favorite movie was Pride & Prejudice (the BBC version, as if there IS another one. I own BOTH BBC versions and consider the giggly Elizabeth a travesty!)

Anyway, I had one of my favorite movies in my bag as I'd lent it to someone -- who returned it with the "that was interesting" look I'm very used to. The movie? "So I Married an Axe Murderer" - I make no apologies for this movie as I can watch it again and again and laugh. I love that it's set in San Francisco, my beloved City by the Bay, and that I could show Mel and Cheryl "The Palace of Fine Arts" with the admonition for their not having seen the movie.

I think my favorite movie though is "Notorious" followed by "As Good as it Gets" and "Gone with the Wind", maybe "Moonstruck" too -- do you see a pattern? Because I don't really, so I'm not sure if this magic of the movies works for me. They're passion-driven I suppose. The hero/ine is in need of redemption, but I don't know, does your favorite define you in some way?

Hear that Beth? Passion! My best friend was shocked by the fact that I don't like Christmas music and asked if I had a heart of stone. I may buy the Glee Christmas album anyway. I like Disneyland at Christmas, that makes me warm, right?

Glee Does Thriller!

Thank you to Valerie, who sent me to a link about Ghost Hunters International being picked up for another season, and what should I come across? But news that Glee is going to do Thriller. Okay, THAT made my Friday. Not that having the lovely Irish bloke from Ghost Hunters International doesn't make my Friday, but this...this is like Christmas. It's the Superbowl episode.


And Sim sent me to see Jake Gyllenhaal on Letterman. ENOUGH. I have enough junk in my steady diet of crap entertainment, k? LOL