Saturday, December 13, 2008

Book Four of The Jonquil Brothers Series is now available on!! It is Jason's story. Jason, you will recall, is the barrister (a lawyer for us Americans) and Corbin's twin. His story was hinted at in "As You Are" (Corbin's book).

The book is entitled "A Fine Gentleman" and I think it's great!!

Here's the back cover description:

Jason Jonquil can't go anywhere, it seems, without hearing at least one of his many brothers praised to the skies. He is hard working and accomplished, but no one seems to notice. Especially Miss Mariposa Thornton. On the surface, she seems quite empty-headed. But Jason is certain she is hiding something. Initially, he wants nothing more than to be rid of the exasperating lady. But as her mask begins to slip, he finds himself wishing she saw him in the same way the world sees his brothers: as a gentleman worthy of admiration, respect and love.

Follow the link here: A Fine Gentleman

Or click on the "Purchase My Books" link above. Or go to the "Bookshelf" and click on the title.


Friday, December 5, 2008

A couple months ago I entered a short story competition sponsored by the Arizona chapter of American Mothers, Inc - a national organization for mothers. The theme was motherhood and families, so it was right up my alley. I took a few of my own experiences with my kids and threw in a few from my creative muse and came up with a fun little story about a little girl who goes shopping with her mother. I was pretty proud of it and sent it off.

Weeks passed and I assumed I hadn't placed, which was okay. It was a good experience and I enjoyed it.

Well!!! Yesterday I got a phone call from the AZ American Mothers saying I had won the competition!!!! AAAAHHHHHHH!! Let's just say, I spent the rest of the night more than a little hyper.

The story will be published in their newsletter and I get to read it at their Honors Gala in January in front of the whole organization AND, because I won the state competition, I am eligible to enter the national competition.

I am FLIPPING OUT! It has been a tough week or so for me, writing wise - feeling discouraged by a difficult project, wondering if I am even any good at it. This was exactly what I needed to get a little of my confidence back.

YEA!!!!!!!!! (*Happy Dance!*)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I had something of a writer's insight this morning.

I have 13 rosebushes growing outside my house. They are a lot of work but produce the most beautiful, fragrant blooms. During the most active growing season, my house is filled with fresh cut flowers, I give vases of flowers to friends and family. So, while they take up a lot of time, I couldn't imagine not having them there.

Elsewhere in our yard, we have a cluster of goliath-sized palm trees. They may not smell as nice, but they beautify the place in their own way. They give variety to the landscape, provide a home for dozens of birds, insects for the woodpeckers. They also are absolutely laden with seeds. Any time there is a decent amount of wind, the yard and street and most of the neighbors' yards are covered in seeds. Which means, inevitably, little baby palm trees pop up all over the place. Some of them we have left and allowed to begin growing.

A few weeks ago I noticed a tiny blade sprouting amongst my rosebushes. It was tucked between two of the most thorny, gnarled, twisted bushes I have. I knew what it was, I had seen a palm tree sprout many times. But it was hard to get to and tiny. So I left it, figuring I'd get around to it eventually.

Weeks passed, as they often do. And it slowly grew. Until what was once a tiny sprout had become a multi-branched miniature tree. The rosebushes had been an inconvenience before, but now stood as a hinderance. Getting around the sharp, snagging thorns of the roses to pull up the fledgling tree was an overwhelming prospect. But I knew that if I didn't, the palm tree would eventually overtake and kill the roses. And, given enough time, even the palm tree would die, because it was growing too close to the house.

So this morning I put on my heavy gloves, literally climbed into the bed of bushes and pulled and pulled and pulled. The tree eventually came out, but the undertaking left its mark. My hands are scraped and cut, my arms hurt, my back aches.

And as I was pulling, my mind shot back to the book I am working on now. It has been a struggle, being so entirely different from all the others I've written. There has been a lot of painful cutting and I have found myself getting discouraged. I liked what I had written; in and of itself, it was good.

But, I am realizing, it is like a palm tree in the roses. Both plants are good and have beneficial and beautiful qualities. Both serve their own purpose. But each has its own place and its own role. Pruning is necessary for both and, in the end, is the only way they would survive.

So, I plan to approach my next series of vicious rewrites like that rogue palm tree. Cut early. Cut often. Save the roses.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Lest you think I do not do my research when writing, let me address a few questions/concerns that have been brought up regarding Seeking Persephone in terms of historical accuracy. (disclaimer - I do not profess to be perfect, and I acknowledge that I will make mistakes. I simply wish to reassure my readers that I do my research and am accurate to the best of my ability.)

From one reviewer – “The narrative descriptions of Northumberland (a county with which I am very familiar) in no way bear resemblence [sic] to reality. It seems sometimes like the book is set in a remote village in the Black Forest rather than on the wild fells and moorland of Northumberland.”
  • SP takes place in Northumberland in a Castle belonging to a Duke surrounded by a planted forest. Let's review which parts of this description could be considered inaccurate.
    • A castle in Northumberland – The official visitor's information website run by the folks in Northumberland's visitor's department lists multiple castles in Northumberland, including many that would date to the time the fictional Falstone Castle was said to have been built.
    • A castle belonging to a Duke – One particular castle, the name of which you may find intriguing, Kielder Castle, “was the former hunting lodge for the Duke of Northumberland.
    • A castle belonging to a Duke surrounded by a planted forest – When I first set out to write this book, I was looking for a location that was cold, forested and isolated. Trust me, I did a lot of research. I discovered something very interesting. There are very few old growth forests still in existence in England. This was the case in the Regency era, as well. In my searching, I came across an account of Kielder Forest. It covers an impressive 250 square miles, according to the UK Forestry Commission. Phil Lambel of The Journal wrote about Kielder Forest Park and explained its origins, “Kielder Forest Park is the largest forest in England and one of the largest planted forests in Europe.” The “planted forest” part caught my attention.
      Kielder Forest was not created until the 20th century, but the idea was intriguing. If the government could create a forest on such a large scale, could an aristocratic family of means do the same thing on its own estate? Certainly they could, but would they and would this have been done in this time period? Once again I began researching. Multiple trips to the library later, I came across a book published in 1866 in which an account is given of a castle and the changes made to it in the late 18th century.
      “Naked and bleak was the country around Alnwick in the early part of the eighteenth century; many of the forests and woods had been destroyed in the days of border warfare; but this duke began to adorn the lands around his castle. Under the direction of a native of Kirkhale, Lancelot Brown called "Capability Brown," the tops of the hills wre planted with clumps of trees; other clumps mostly of a circular form were scattered over the slopes, and on other parts were long belts of plantations, while in the valleys larger forests were created.” (Tate, George. The History of the Burough, Castle and Barony of Alnwick; vol. 1. 1866.) This Duke “created” a forest to surround his castle. It was not only possible, it was done at the time.
      Thus, Falstone Castle found itself surrounded by a planted forest. A careful read of Seeking Persephone will reveal that Adam, himself, speaks of his family's having planted the forest that surrounds his castle.
    • The reviewer expressed concerns that SP does not describe the wild fells and moorlands of Northumberland. - Bear in mind that the setting never strays from the immediate grounds of the castle which, as I established above, are surrounded by a man-made forest. I realize that one of Northumberland's crowning beauties is her moorland and fells. But let us not ignore the fact that Northumberland also boasts some lovely woodlands. Here are a few pictures of Northumberland trees, woodlands and environs that are not moorland and fells.

    Question: “There are wolves in Falstone Forest. Weren't wolves extinct by the 19th Century in England?”

    "Would Adam really be so sensitive about his scars at a time when scaring and maiming, etc. were more common than today?”
    • Before I delve into the historical aspects of this question, does a "problem" have to be uncommon for it to be a sensitive thing for someone? I don't think so. How many people are extremely sensitive about their weight in our society that has a wide-spread weight problem? Alright, back to the history. Reconstructive surgeries, modern medicine, prenatal care, etc. did not exist in the Regency Era so there were, indeed, a great many people who were born with or acquired “deformities” and “disabilities.” Could a person be really sensitive about those things that made them different from others?
      Let's look at a well-known and prime example from the Regency Era, Lord Byron, who had a clubbed foot – a not uncommon malady at this time. (From Moore, Thomas. The Works of Lord Byron: With His Letters and Journals, and His Life. 1835) “The malformation of his foot was, even at this childish age, a subject on which he showed peculiar sensitiveness. I have been told by a gentleman of Glasgow, that the person who nursed his wife, and who still lives in his family, used often to join the nurse of Byron when they were out with their respective charges, and one day said to her, as they walked together, 'What a pretty boy Byron is! what a pity he has such a leg!' On hearing this allusion to his infirmity, the child's eyes flashed with anger, and striking at her with a little whip which he held in his hand, he exclaimed impatiently, 'Dinna speak of it!'” He was sensitive about it.
      Adam's sensitivity also began in childhood, shortly after the death of his father, the abandonment he felt from his mother, his removal from his childhood home and his abrupt entrance into the world of school (and how many of us can dispute that young children can be cruel to other children with noticeable, even grotesque deformities?) So, could someone at that time be really sensitive about scarring and deformities? Absolutely.

  • From a reviewer: (speaking of the Hewitt brothers) “They are four brothers, the eldest of whom is the heir apparent to the Duke. As they are cousins with a completely different surname to the Duke, explain please HOW any of them could be in the line of (direct male) succession? Major boo-boo."
    • Oh, but it is not a major boo-boo. Let me explain (and of course provide sources to back me up.).
      “But our law does not extend to a total exclusion of females, as the Salic law, and others, where feuds were most strictly retained: it only postpones them to males; for, though daughters are excluded by sons, yet they succeed before any collateral relations: our law, like that of the Saxon feudists before mentioned, thus steering a middle course, between the absolute rejection of females, and the putting them on a footing with males.” (Blackstone, William. Commentaries on the Laws of England 1915) English law allowed for daughters to inherit in some instances provided there was no male heir. I hear you objecting. Daughters could not inherit a dukedom. True, but a Peerage could, depending on the letters of patent that originally created the title, be inherited through a female line.
      Don't believe me? Read on.
      “This, then, is the great and general principle, upon which the law of collateral inheritances depends; that, upon failure of issue in the last proprietor, the estate shall descend to the blood of the first purchaser... 'that he who would have been heir to the father of the deceased' (and, of course to the mother, or any other purchasing ancestor) 'shall also be heir to the son.'” (Blackstone, William. Commentaries on the Laws of England. 1915)
      This establishes that, if the current holder dies without a direct heir, the finding of an heir involves going back into the family tree and tracing down a different family line. If the only line with a direct descendant is a female line, can that descendant inherit?
      “On the death of James, Earl of Derby, AD 1735, the male line of Earl William failing, the Duke of Atholl succeeded... as heir general by a female branch." (Blackstone, William. Commentaries on the Laws of England. 1915, emphasis added.) Depending on the letters of patent, inheritance through a female line could happen, thus accounting for a different surname.
      A major boo-boo? No. A possibility? Yes.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Readers' Poll closed last night and I am pleased to announce the winner...

(I feel like a presenter at the Academy Awards. I just need a drum roll and a really fancy dress)

Harry Windover, "Seeking Persephone"

Can I tell you? I'm excited. His is a fun book.

And, in case you are wondering, I finished Jason Jonquil's book recently and, once my editing team provides corrections, typo info, etc., it will be up and available. So stay tuned!!

And thanks to everyone who voted.

Monday, November 10, 2008

So would you like some hints about the stories you're voting on? You would? Okay. If you say so...

  • Harry Windover - When the lady Harry secretly loves asks his help in choosing a husband from among her bevvy of potential suitors, he takes it upon himself to steer her clear of them all and with a little persistence, turn her thoughts to himself.
  • The Duke and Duchess of Hartley - Adele Beauchene barely escaped the Reign of Terror in Revolutionary France when she was a child. When her past returns to haunt her, she, who has never trusted anyone since the day Madame Guillotine claimed her family, must learn to rely on the stranger she's been promised to.
  • Athena Lancaster - Suddenly well-connected and excessively well-dowered, Athena finds herself thrust into the London marriage mart. How can she possibly know if the men in pursuit of her hand have fallen for her or for her fortune? Only an unlikely ally can help her negotiate the potential dangers of courtship among the ton.
  • Lord and Lady Percival - Lord Percival hadn't intended to marry for years yet. But his Honor as a Gentleman required he offer for a young lady he barely knows. Resentment and frustration soon come between them and it looks like Happily Ever After is impossible.
  • Someone completely new - Good grief! There are multiple possibilities running through my mind - characters you haven't met yet whose stories are begging to be told

Did that whet your appetite? Ready to change your vote? Vote for more than one?

Leave me a comment. I'd love to hear what you think...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

So those of you who have been faithful followers of the Jonquil Brothers Series are, of course, waiting in eager anticipation of the next book. In case you couldn't guess from reading "As You Are," Jason Jonquil is the next brother to traverse the slippery slopes of love. And for him it is not smooth sailing.
It hasn't been for me, either. During the Regency Era, England was at war with Napoleonic France. You will recall that Stanley, yet another brother, is a soldier fighting with the 13th Light Dragoons in that very war. Well this is the book where the war begins to play a more crucial part in the lives of this family. That is where the difficulty has arisen. My own perfectionism had positively required me to be as accurate as possible when discussing or mentioning actual battles and regiments. So I can now say I know about as much about the Peninsular War as I ever imagined I would. And I will know more as the books go on.
It is times like those lately, sitting in the Library pouring over regimental histories, that I begin to wonder what in the world I have gotten myself into.
Give me a few more weeks and we'll see if all that research was worth it....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I had one of those moments the other day that made me think I might not be completely messing up my children. I treasure those moments and save them up to counteract the many, many moments I have when I can vividly picture them going on for hours at a time with a therapist discussing me.

At school my daughter's teacher regularly has the class draw pictures based on directions she gives them and then they write (as best they can, being Kindergartners) what it is a picture of.

The most recent assignment was "Draw something that makes you happy."

This is what my daughter drew.
Her teacher translated the caption.

What makes my daughter happy? "I am a child of God."

It is nice to know that in a world filled with violence and warfare and inhumanity, my daughter has that basic, hope-filled truth to cling to.

And on days when I am a little discouraged, I just look at this picture on my fridge and remind myself that I have something pretty spectacular to "make me happy."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

So one of my hoards of adoring, devoted fans asked me the other day why it is that I post stories about my family on my website, since it is technically a website for my authorifyingness.

Have you read those stories? My life is hilarious! The things my kids say and do and think and wonder about are far more entertaining than a detailed retelling of the four hours I spent yesterday at a desk in front of my computer reworking a really terrible scene in an upcoming novel. (It's not really horrible anymore, by the way. It is now absolutely amazing!)

And, it ought to give any interested party an insight into where I get the ideas for some of the crazier things that go into my books.

Life is interesting. Typing is not.

Perhaps, though, in the interest of satisfying my demanding and ever-growing public I'll try to include more posts that are directly related to my books.

Maybe a few hints about my next novel? Hmm....

Monday, October 20, 2008

My daughter has created in my life the need for an unusual talent: apologizing. She regularly says things that are insulting and/or potentially emotionally injuring to friends, family, vague acquaintances and complete strangers. Well, it happened once again this weekend.

We were sitting next to a lady at church whom I have known pretty much my entire life. This is a woman I admire and look up to and feel like she has been influential in shaping me as a person. So, of course, I had the poor judgment to allow my daughter - yes the insult producing machine - to sit next to her. Things started out nicely.

Then I noticed she was looking rather too closely at the woman's hands. I braced myself.

"What are all these lines?" my daughter asked.
"They are veins," was the answer.
"I don't have veins," my daughter pointed out.
"Because you aren't old," was the explanation.

I breathed a sigh of relief. That wasn't too bad. It also wasn't the end of it all.

"What are all these spots?" my daughter asked, pointing to a cluster of "age spots" on the arm of her victim.
"Those are just spots you get when you're old," she answered.
"I don't have any."
"Because you aren't old."
"I'm five," my daughter objected to the logic.
"That's not old enough to have spots."

I smiled apologetically. She didn't look offended. But my daughter wasn't done.

"Why do you wear those funny glasses when you read?"
"Because my eyes are old."
"My mom wears those, too," my daughter nodded with understanding. Apparently she understands that I am old.

A few minutes later...

Touching the poor, patient woman on her face (I couldn't tell what, precisely, she was looking at). "What is this?"
"I'm sure it's some kind of defect."

Yea. I am a good apologizer.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I am so excited! I have another book "The Price Paid" now available for purchase. I am particularly excited because it is my first book to be available on Amazon! This book is not printed through Lulu so it is not available there.

Now, a little about this book:

From the back: When a distant cousin dies leaving Nickolas Pritchard an unexpected inheritance, the previously penniless young gentleman assumes his troubles are over. Soon he discovers his windfall isn't quite what he thought. Legend has it, the estate's history is filled with war, tragedy and mystery. And, of course, there's the ghost...

"The Price Paid" is a ghost story filled with unexpected twists and turns, mystery and legend, an intriguing historical context and, because it's from me, romance.

Order in the next few days and enjoy it at Halloween. (Although it would be wonderful any time of the year.)

So excited!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I discovered a website that offers a very interesting graphology analysis - that is a new vocab. word for me. Graphology refers to handwriting. So, on this website, you are instructed to write out a specific sentence and then it asks you some multiple choice questions about your handwriting.

It only takes a couple minutes and, trust me, you'll be glad you did it.

Here's the link: Graphology Analysis


Monday, October 6, 2008

I was at the store the other day with my 5-year old. She's the one I do a lot of apologizing on behalf of. She has a tendency to say things that offend people, but she says them in really cute ways.

That's what I thought until she turned the tables on me.

"Hi," she said to the checker. "This is my mom." She pointed to me. "She's almost a-hundred."

So I apologized to myself.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

As my eye-catching announcement above indicates, I am moving my vast collection of printed words to a new printer. This, I am discovering, is something of an undertaking. The book sizes are a little different and the covers and interiors have to be reformatted. Also, this is proving a great opportunity to fix typos in my books. I, along with an editor I trust implicitly (thanks, Mom!) are going through each of the books looking for typos, missing commas, inconsistencies.
It is a little depressing, I must admit, to see how many there are. Oops! It's been a learning experience, I will say that much. Makes me wonder how I missed so many the first time around.
AAhhhh... the joys of self-publishing!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We took our children to a game at Chase Field and our daughter entertained the entire nosebleed section.

The folks down at the ballpark like to keep the crowd entertained by leading us in varying "clap-along" games: different rhythms, different background music. There is, of course, the well-known, ever-popular version involving rhythmic clapping followed by thousands of fans shouting "Charge!" This is, apparently, our daughter's favorite game. After every single "clap-along" thing they did, she would yell "CHARGE!" It didn't seem to matter if the game we were playing was actually the "charge" one.

This went on for some 20 minutes. Finally the actual "charge" one came up. She must have finally decided they weren't going to do "charge" because she didn't yell it afterward. Just sat there looking vaguely bored. Of course, everyone in the section looked shocked that she didn't scream out in unfettered excitement. Instead she looked up at me with a look of complete despondent shock and said, "I missed it."

The shock of that experience must have eventually worn off because she found another way to entertain us all. She decided to sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Our little girl is quite excessively allergic to peanuts and, as a result, she refuses to sing the line "buy me some peanuts" Instead she replaces the word "peanuts" with anything she can think of. Sometimes it wasn't even food. A few of the better versions (and, yes, that's versions, meaning she sang it repeatedly) were: "buy me some muffins" and "buy me vanilla." Except she can't pronounce vanilla. It comes out as banilla. As in: "Buy me banilla and cracker jack."

I have no idea how the game went or who won or anything like that. But I now have a very long list of things my daughter likes better than peanuts. And I can hear her little voice shouting "charge" at inopportune moments.

Highly entertaining.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Every parent dreads it: getting a call from their child's school during the school day. I received my first one of the year a few days ago.

Instinct told me it was my daughter's teacher, and that she wasn't calling to tell me how much she loved my child.

After the caller identified herself as my daughter's teacher, the conversation went something like this.

Teacher: "I thought you would like to know that your daughter brought your wallet to school in her backpack."

Me: "My wallet?" (read with a surprised but not entirely shocked tone)

Teacher: "I have it on my desk now."

Me: "I'll be there in five minutes."

Don't know how she got the wallet. No idea what she had planned to do with it. I drove very carefully to school so as not to be pulled over with my wallet at Kindergarten instead of in my purse.

I've decided to start searching my daughter each morning.

And hiding the jewelry.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My daughter started kindergarten this year. For the first time in her itty-bitty life she has to go for hours on end without being free to talk as often and as much as she wants. This, of course, means that by the time I pick her up after school she is desperate. She starts talking the minute she gets in the car and - I swear! - doesn't stop until bedtime.

The other day on the way home she told me she had moved desks that day. I asked her if everyone switched desks.

"No," she answered. I had one of those maternal premonitions - she had been moved for a reason, and probably not a reason that would make my little mother heart sing.

"Why were you moved?" I asked, hoping I wouldn't regret asking.

"I sat by Hannah," she began and suddenly the end of the story was becoming clear - Hannah is a little girl whose name I hear a lot. "And, she's a great girl and I just like talking to her. But Mom-" the tone had now changed to the 'you're not very bright so I will explain this slowly using small words' tone - "we're not supposed to talk during class."

"Who do you sit by now?" I asked her.

"I don't remember her name," my daughter replied. And then, in a tone of voice that indicated complete and utter shock, "But she doesn't talk to anybody!"

"Genius," I muttered under my breath.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The kids are gone.

And I am not very broken up about it.

All of my children are now in school, all day, every day. And I am free. Free to do laundry, which is sadly what I did on Monday. Free to clean my house - again, Monday. Free to write, which is the best part of all.

No more writing after the kids go to bed and losing out on my own sleep. No more setting up the computer by the stove so I can type while I make dinner - let's just say more than one pot boiled over.

My daughter overheard me telling someone that having the kids at school all day would be nice. Her reply? "Mom," in a tone of complete disbelief, "I won't be here." In other words, how could I possibly think that time would be nice when she wouldn't be around?

It was one of those times where a mom just has to smile and say, "You're right, dear."

The kids are gone.

Time to get to work.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

After a long summer with very little time to write, I have finally finished my latest book, For Elise. This is the story of Miles Linwood - "Cousin Miles" from Drops of Gold.

They were inseparable in their youth, the very best of friends, two halves of a whole. For four years, Miles Linwood, the Marquess of Grenton, has felt incomplete without her.

When a carriage breakdown leaves him temporarily stranded in a tiny town, Miles makes an unexpected discovery that will alter the course of his life, and rewrite the pages of his past.

At just over 300 pages, it's a longer read than most of the others, but (I think) well worth it. Enjoy!!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

All of my fellow mom's out there... have you ever had one of those moments when you are pretty sure you're going to mess your kids up before it's all said and done? I did just last night.
We were a little rushed at dinner, my husband had a meeting to get to and time was short. My son, who is a VERY picky eater, was taking his time with the corn: eating super slowly. I, being the loving mother that I am, nagged at him to hurry up.
After quite a bit of nagging, I had an epiphany. The poor kid just knocked out his front teeth. How in the world is he supposed to eat corn on the cob with no front teeth?
I watched him more closely. He was attempting to gnaw off the corn with his molars. Needless to say, he wasn't succeeding. After much laughter and an apology from good ol' mom, we cut the corn off the cob and things went much better after that.
I can just see him 20 years from now, sitting on his therapists' couch. "I was a well-adjusted kid right up until the day my mom forced me to eat corn on the cob with no front teeth..."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I was at our local fabric store just the other day. This being summer vacation, I was dragging my kids along with me. I discovered that seven year old boys aren't particularly impressed by cottons, silks and fat quarters. He managed to survive... barely. As we were waiting in the check-out line, he happened to spot a small section off to the side. It was filled with chairs, which were filled with men (mostly over the age of 60), and there were newspapers, magazines, etc.
A very knowing look crossed my son's face. "That's where the boys are," he muttered to himself. I guess he'd noticed he was the only male in the entire store.
Next time he'll probably want to be left with "the boys." Poor kid...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wow. We had an exciting Sunday night. My 7 year old decided he was going to see if he could do a flip off of our living room sofa. He very nearly made it. Might have even tried again if he hadn't hit his face.
And it didn't end there. When he hit his face, he knocked out his two front teeth and nearly knocked out the tooth directly to the left (when you're looking at his teeth). His gums are still swollen. It was bad.
Thankfully, they were baby teeth, though one of them wasn't loose before this. (And I didn't realize they were baby teeth for a few minutes. The blood, I think, freaked me out enough that I wasn't really thinking very clearly.) He also nearly knocked out another one but it is still hanging on (literally) by a thread. I can honestly say it has been a LONG time since I have seen that much blood.
He got up this morning and found out the tooth fairy had been very generous. I told him it was probably compensation for pain and suffering.
So, I believe he will walk away from this week with 3 less teeth than he started. I must say knocking them out is sure faster than wiggling them loose.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I have had hundreds of people ask me the same question lately. (Okay, perhaps not hundreds, but "several" just doesn't sound as dramatic. And, let's face it, this post is all about drama)

When is the next book coming out?

An excellent question, I must say.

My kids go back to school in a month. Every last one of them. And then I will have time to sit down and do the final editing on the next book to come out. So... the long and short of it is, I don't know exactly but it'll be a few weeks.

And it will be worth the wait.

(notice the confident-author tone of that last sentence.)

Friday, July 11, 2008

I met with my editing team this last week to go over the novel I finished a few months ago. It's a great novel, I now have that on good authority. But there are some kinks to work out. There always are. But editing, I have to admit, is my least favorite part of writing. It's the part that is the most work-intensive. The creating part is all-but over. The story is fleshed out. The end is determined.
Editing means nit-picking words and phrases. It means having to go back to those parts that were so hard to write that I sort of skimmed over them - and my editors caught-on. And, usually, by the time I get around to a big final editing session, I've already started working on something else and have to break away from the fun part of that project to fix the last one.
But, having said all that, there is a certain amount of satisfaction - a tremendous amount, if I'm being totally honest - that comes with finishing, truly finishing a manuscript.
So, I guess it's time to get to work.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I sat down today to go over the lists we got from the kids' school for school supplies, etc. I'd forgotten how much there is to get before school starts. Pencils, crayons, erasers, and all that. Plus, they will both need clothes as well, having grown over the summer.
So I got to thinking, there ought to be a back to school list for Moms. Things we need for when the kids start school again.

Bubble bath, 'cause it's gonna be crazy.
A calculator, for the math homework that is just a little tricky.
Asprin, for obvious reasons.
New clothes, because that would just make things a whole lot better.

Any other thoughts?

Monday, June 30, 2008

I love apples. Really, I do. But, after spending more than four hours peeling, coring, slicing, spicing, canning and cooling more than 10 lbs of apples, my love-affair is turning a bit sour.
We have jars and jars of apple pie filling, apple jelly, cinnamon-apple ice cream topping, apple slices, etc. If the world's food supply ever disappears, the Edens will be living on apples.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My son and I were talking the other day about people we would like to meet when we go to heaven. God. Jesus. A whole lot of people from the scriptures. I said that I would like to meet Peter from the New Testament.

My son answered, "You mean Peter as in 'Peter, James and Grant'?"

Peter, James and GRANT? Grant?

Time to do a New Testament refresher course.

Monday, June 23, 2008

It was one of those days yesterday. I discovered that my daughter has been listening to at least some of the things I say. And there are a few things that have yet to get through to her. I'll explain...

We were sitting at church and I was ignorantly congratulating myself on how well behaved my children were being. In the pew behind us was a lady I hadn't seen before, and I hadn't had a chance to meet her yet. My daughter, in a whisper loud enough to be heard asked me, while looking over my shoulder at the unknown woman, "Who is that lady behind us?"

"I don't know," I said.

Then my daughter gave her a look one might normally give to a convict or a particularly vile insect. In a voice worthy of The Exorcist she whispered - again, loudly enough to be clearly heard by most people nearby, "You're a stranger!"

So much for "Everyone is welcome at Church."

I have spent a lot of time during her short life apologizing to people. (Sigh)

Monday, June 16, 2008

What is it about the vast openness of a parking lot, be it entirely empty or excruciatingly full, that triggers bouts of insanity in the general driving public?
Even the most logical of people seem to view the parallel, orderly lanes as an opportunity to drive diagonally in an attempt to run over as many parking lines as possible. Perhaps we ought to reinstate the "step on a crack, break your momma's back" rule that worked so well on sidewalks when we were children; only apply it to driving over lines.
I'm preparing a petition to have signs posted at all parking lot entrances -

WARNING: The Surgeon General has determined that entering parking lots may lead to elevated blood pressure, permanent tire tread markings on exposed limbs and temporary mental illness.

My plan is to stand outside a Library with a clipboard and pen asking unsuspecting patrons to sign in support of my plan. Of course, I'll probably never make it past the parking lot.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I drive a small car. Not a Mini or a super compact car, but a small car. I was at the gas station the other day filling up. I'd put it off as long as possible, hoping to make it until payday. As I was standing there watching the gas pump tick off the dollars, I felt my jaw dropping. DROPPING! Like I said, I drive a small car. Small gas tank. It doesn't even hold very much gas.

The grand total? Just over $50. Yikes.

Just as the tears of economic disappointment began to fall, I overheard the driver just across the way speaking to yet another gas victim. This driver owns a motor home and spends the summer driving around visiting his kids and grandkids and he had just filled up a couple days earlier. It took more than one fill-up because the pump wouldn't go above $75. His motor home has a 100 gallon gas tank.

The grand total for that guy? $380.

I felt a little better after that.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

So I was reading through one of my books recently and came across a typo. This is not entirely unheard of, but proved far more entertaining than usual. It was not a missing comma nor was it a simple misspelling. No. It was far better (or worse, depending on how you look at it.)

"genteel, well-mannered and kind" the phrase should have read. Instead it went like this...

"genteel, well-manured and kind"

Well-manured? Not sure I want to know what that means.

Monday, June 2, 2008

So I was sitting at swimming lessons this morning in what little shade could be found, fanning myself with a beach towel and I thought to myself, "Only in Arizona in summer would this be completely normal." Which got me thinking, there are certain things we see or do or smell in Arizona that announce the start of summer. Here are a few I thought of...

The clearance racks at any given retailer are filled with long pants, long sleeve shirts and the scarfs and mittens that never got sold.

You drink from a bottle of water left in the car and the water literally burns your mouth. Tasty. (Done that. Recently.)

You drive with your elbows because the steering wheel is too hot to touch.

Women in bikini tops and Daisy Dukes at the grocery store.

Children everywhere.

Any excuse to visit a mall, movie theatre, library (any place with air conditioning you don't have to pay for) is seen as valid and binding.

The sound of the soles of your feet burning to a blackened crisp when you walk barefoot to the mailbox.

The list could go on.

Ahh.... Summer!

Monday, May 26, 2008

So school is almost out for the year. I have a second grader who is "one and a half school days" from summer vacation and he couldn't be happier. I am already showing signs of mental failure.
Summer vacation was the highlight of my life when I was a kid. It was the highlight of every kid's life. No homework. No school. Swimming. Playing all day.
Not so much anymore. Summer vacation has taken on a whole new meaning. Bored children. Sibling pro-wrestling smack downs. Parental insanity.
My goal for the next two months? Not to sell the children to the circus.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I had a child graduate preschool this week. It was a very dignified ceremony, as you might imagine. Of the twenty children graduating to the big, bad world of Kindergarten, three spent the first part of the ceremony picking their noses. One little girl repeatedly pulled her hair bow down over her eyes.
My child? What, you may ask, did she do during this most auspicious of occasions?
She was well-mannered up until the teacher began reading off the children's names. At that point she began laughing - uproariously, at times - at their last names. She would repeat the name in a tone that left no doubt that she thought their names were ridiculous, and then laugh. Pretty soon the kids near her were laughing as well.
Perhaps a school on manners would be a good idea.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I received a lovely homemade card from my preschooler for Mother's Day. Adorable hand print on the front. Cute poem inside. Questionnaire about me.
The questionnaire was the problem.
"How old is your mom?" it asked innocently.
The answer? 49. That would be a great answer if I weren't actually twenty years younger.
"What size shoe does your mom wear?" Answer: 80. Wow.
"What is your mom's favorite thing to do?"
This could have been answered so many ways. Write. Sing along with the radio. Play games.
What did my loving, supportive child answer?
Not cook.
That's right. My favorite thing to do, according to my own child, is to "not cook."
Wow. I need to work on that answer before the next Mother's Day card.

Friday, May 9, 2008

"I didn't know writers could be real live people, because I never knew any writers." - Rita Dove

Wow, is that true. How many times during career day did one of your classmates' parents get up and say, "I'm Jimmy's mom and I'm an author." Like, never.

Guess what? I get to say that. I have already said that. And it was weird. Especially since my son's name isn't Jimmy.

Maybe I'll get used to calling myself an author someday. But part of me really doubts it.

Monday, April 28, 2008

So, it was an interesting weekend.

My grandparents were in town from the wet northwest and, as always, their visit was an enjoyable and enlightening experience.

My latest book, Seeking Persephone, is dedicated to Barbara and Larry (who are the grandparents mentioned above). The memory I shared in that dedication of my grandmother was of being taught to cheat at solitaire - one of my favorite memories.

I had been playing for some time and couldn't win to save my life and, being probably only about 8 years old, was unbelievable frustrated. Grandma showed me a little "trick" - one I later found out is not precisely permitted under the strictest interpretation of the rules. She has no memory of this. Ah, well...

We also spent Sunday night playing an almost-friendly game of Shanghai Rummy. I did really well until the last round - where the goal is to create in your hand three runs (4 cards of the same suit that run numerically, ie, ace,2,3,4). I was unbelievably frustrated. I just couldn't seem to get it. Guess what? I was trying to get four runs. Again: ah, well...

Lastly, our "missing goldfish" saga. I completely emptied the tank. No goldfish body. I consulted a few experts who all told me the same thing. The goldfish we now refer to alternately as "Hannibal Lector" and "The Godfather" ate his little tank mate. That's just wrong.

Like I said, it was an interesting weekend.

Monday, April 21, 2008

This may seem like a random question, but at the Eden household, we now have reason to wonder. Are goldfish cannibals? And if they are, are they paritcularly thorough?
We woke up this morning and went to the fishtank to check on our two little goldfish, one of which had been acting a little sickly yesterday. A quick fish-head count (extremely quick, as a matter of fact) came up one fish too few. We have checked the entire tank, we've sifted through gravel, checked underneath the little fish-castle, looked inside the filter, between the leaves of the plants.
The fish is gone. Completely. Not so much as a mangled fin left behind.
Fish number one is kind of a nasty fish and has, thus far, outlived three tank mates. We wonder about it. And now we are beginning to be just a little bit afraid. We have seen the survivor fish torment each fish as it has come in, we have seen it hog the fish flakes at meal time. Has it now taken to devouring its companion? Hiding it somewhere? Digging a little fishy-grave in the corner somewhere?
Check in as the mystery unfolds.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008








Search This Blog