I am not Procrastinating – Much!


I am on the final leg of Lachlan’s Curse and I can’t seem to stop procrastinating!

Cats don’t procrastinate. They sleep with purpose.

You may have noticed, the blog’s new look. The result of last Sunday’s bout of avoidance. Hey, at least the blog has a new, cool post slider! I’ve been wanting to figure that out for ages.

Older son, knowing me so well, wanted to share this all with you. It’s pretty damn funny. Sadly, I recognize myself in here! I bet you can relate too.

Harry Truman – Whip Master and Yet More Snow!

I know I shouldn’t complain about the snow since it’s February. But c’mon already.

Anyway – today over at the Scribes I talk about being accountable – The Buck Stops Here. Need motivation when you’re slacking off or have tips to share, stop by! And don’t expect me to go easy on anyone. No one cracks the whip like me. And believe me, I have no problem chastising myself when I deserve (which has been quite a bit lately!).

For those of us in the storm’s path, I wish tomorrow looked like this:

Stonington Point, CT

And doesn’t end up like the horror show of October 2011.


Stay safe everyone!

Stop Thief!! Beating the Time Bandits

Hi everyone,

While I work my fingers off to finish the first draft of Mystic Storm, you can find me over at the Seven Scribes where I’m sharing tips for beating the Time Bandits –

Stop Thief!! Beating the Time Bandits.

American Restoration, Pawn Stars and a Web Hunt!

Happy Friday everyone! Be sure to visit me over at the Scribes – My Fortress of Solitude.

I don’t normally watch a ton of television when I’m actively writing. And here’s why, over Memorial Day weekend, I made the mistake of checking out one of my favorite channels – History. I stumbled across the show American Restoration. After about five minutes, I was completely hooked. The show is about Rick Dale and his business – Rick’s Restoration in Las Vegas. I fell in love with the mix of history, nostalgia and the quirky cast of employees.

It didn’t take long for youngest son to be sucked in as well. Before we knew it, we were entrenched in an American Restoration marathon. For hours. When it was over, we were a bit bereft and bummed to have to wait until the following weekend to watch more.

Of course, I couldn’t leave well enough alone. Right after the American Restoration marathon ended, Pawn Stars began. Now, I know this show has been on for a few years, but I had ignored it. It wasn’t a “history” program, per se, so I lumped it in with the likes of Ancient Aliens, Ice Road Truckers, and Swamp People  – not for me.

Wrong. I couldn’t resist the old school toys, antique weapons, the haggling (which I’m terrible at), Americana, and the deluded people. Soon, I was talking to the screen  – “You want how much? Why are you even going to a pawn shop if you think it’s worth so much – try e-bay!”


And the History Channel was kind enough to run a marathon for two days! Like a black hole, the show latched on, not only to me, but my hubby and younger son. The only one able to resist – Older Son – his dislike of history battled Pawn Star’s gravitational pull.

At one point, I even told hubby – “The show is research. See, Devlin Ward, my satyr in Mystic Ink, he owns a pawn shop. And all this knowledge will come in handy when I write his book.”

I know. I know. I should hang my head in shame. Pathetic excuse.

Needless to say, I didn’t write very much.

I had resolved to mend my ways. Until younger son informed me – “Hey Mom! Did you see the commercial? Cajun Pawn Stars!”

NOOOOOOO! Curse you History Channel!

So in the spirit of Pawn Stars and American Restoration, consider a hunt of your own.

Today is the start of the Night Owl’s Summer Fun Web Hunt! So what’s a web hunt? Participating authors (like yours truly) have a clue hidden within the pages of their blog. The web hunt runs from June 1 – July 15th.

I’m giving away a $15 Amazon gift card! If you’d like to join the hunt, click on the picture below and follow the rules. Good hunting!

So, what television shows tickle your fancy? And if not television, what are your favorite distractions?

So I was Like….

Happy Friday everyone. Don’t forget to stop by the Scribes. My guest today is Sharon Buchbinder! Don’t miss a chance to say hello.

So here’s how my week has been. I’ve had this stuffy nose (either a cold or sudden allergy onslaught after the freak warm weather here in New England).

Needless to say, I’ve been dragging my sorry carcass around with a box of tissues and a grumpy attitude.

And when I attempted to write, my characters decided to give me crap.  Kind of like this:

Me: “Zephyr, I’m so sick of you.”

Zephyr: “Who me? I haven’t done anything wrong.” He spots a bag on the dining room table and reaches for it. “Is that a new book?”

Me: I ignore the question.  “Why are you making my life so difficult?”

Z: “Don’t look at me. It’s all in your head.” <plastic crinkles>

Me: “Sure be a typical man. Deny that you have any part in all of this. Why did you have to go and piss off the Fates? You’re making my life hell.”

Z: “If I hadn’t you wouldn’t have a story to tell, now would you?”

Me: “I don’t appreciate the cheek. If I wanted that, I’d go find Devlin.”

Devlin: “Did someone mention moi?”

Me: “No Devlin. I’m too stressed out to deal with you today.”

D: “Well pardon me.”  He turns to Zephyr. “Has she been like this all week?”

Z: “You have no idea.” He pulls out  J.R. Ward’s Lover Reborn and brandishes it in my face.

D: “Hey, she’s reading about those vampires again. What? We aren’t sexy enough for you?” He flexes his muscles. “And you have the nerve to complain that your word count is bad.” <wags finger> “For shame!”

I sit in the corner, chanting, “I’m the Author Goddess. I’m the Author Goddess…”

Zephyr, examines his nails. “Yeah, keep telling yourself that, sweetheart. Devlin, up for a round of drinks?”

Devlin says, “You bet your windy ass I am. Oh, mighty Author Goddess, have fun with the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  Too bad they aren’t going to write your book for you.”

They leave me muttering to myself like an idiot. I’m so pathetic even The Doubt Monster feels bad for me this week.

And on that note, I leave you with this great comic. Thank you Toni Andrews. You don’t know how badly I needed the laugh!


The Daily Grind

Happy Friday everyone. Don’t forget to visit me at the Scribes today for – Whip it Good!  

Now that the holiday season is in the rear view mirror, I’m mostly back on schedule. Taking the week off after Christmas is a double-edged sword. I always think I’ll be so productive, but in the end all I do is shop and have fun with my sons.

Not that I’m complaining. We had a great time last week doing fun things like seeing a movie (the new Sherlock Holmes – much better than the last go around). I cherish every moment, since they’re teenagers and I’m lucky they still speak to me. My oldest is eighteen now, so I realize that one of these days, he won’t have as much time for old Mom.

Needless to say, I didn’t make much progress with my writing goals. But, I did purchase a single serve coffee maker. See the lovely photo – that’s my new favorite appliance.

I’m a relative late-comer to coffee. For years and years, I drank tea, eschewing all coffee. I didn’t try my first real cup until I was in my thirties.

Yes, I survived college and young motherhood with no coffee. I’ve always loved the smell of coffee. Growing up, my Mom’s Mr.Coffee machine would dutifully gurgle every morning in our house. But, I never drank it. I didn’t want to become a coffee junkie, always needing caffeine to function – like my mother.

I’m naturally caffeinated and a morning person – who needs it, right?

Before you think I’m a complete freak, I do love tea. And for many years I drank it black, no milk or sugar. Until I discovered flavored tea and Splenda. Suddenly french vanilla tea tasted a whole lot better with sweetness. Around the same time, I tried flavored coffee.

Hated it! I always drank it with milk and Splenda (or sugar).

One day, I realized that the coffee wasn’t the problem at all. It was the milk. I didn’t add it to tea, so why was I adding it to my coffee. Because everyone else did. DUH!

As soon as I eliminated the milk, I liked coffee much better. And, as an added bonus, when I joined Weight Watchers a few years back, black tea and coffee are zero points!


Which brings me to the lovely Keurig  machine. I’m the only tea and coffee drinker in my house, so it made sense to purchase it (nice rationalization, I know, I know).  I don’t need a big coffee maker for one person. It never ends well when I drink an entire pot of coffee. And hot water from the microwave and instant coffee isn’t as much fun.

Besides, I love to relax with a nice mug of tea or coffee while I brainstorm. Yes, I realize that caffeine is not ideal when in the creative mind – but it doesn’t seem to hamper me one bit.

I can’t think of a better way to enjoy a hot drink and have an endless variety of flavor choices.

I love my nifty machine.  It makes hot water too. Is there nothing the Keurig can’t do?

Ahh technology. . .

Sadly, the Keurig can’t write my next book. Only I can do that. Back to the grind!

What is your favorite guilty pleasure beverage? And what specialty gizmo has caught your fancy?

Attack of the Lazies

Happy Friday everyone! Please be sure to visit me over at the Scribes.  Fantasy romance author, Kinley Baker is sharing her 7 Secrets to Surviving Publishing.

And, I’m also blogging today with my fellow Soul Mate Authors – for those who’ve missed it before – I’m The Author Goddess.

Gorgeous days are meant to be savored.

Lately, I’ve been suffering from extreme laziness. I blame some of it on grieving for my doggie (understandable) and some of it on the beautiful weather we had this past weekend in New England.

I’m a firm believer of carpe diem (seize the day). So on a gorgeous, sunny 80 degree October day, my youngest son and I visited one of our favorite places – Old Strubridge Village.

Since we’re members, we can enjoy our time. There is no rushing, no need to beat the crowds. Even though we’ve seen it all a million times, it doesn’t lessen our enjoyment.

How could you not stop and relax here?

We walked our favorite  trails and visited all the historic homes. We even watched the naughty pair of young oxen being trained. Last time we visited in June, the oxen “babies” broke out of their pasture pen and took a tour of the surrounding fields.

Overall, it was a memorable day. I was sad to see it end.

I enjoy spending time with my fifteen year old. I know, sooner or later, we won’t spend the same quality of time together, so I plan on savoring each moment we have for as long as I can.

Tell me, how do you like to spend your down time? What is your favorite place to visit?

Welcome to the Broken Hearted Club

Hey everyone. Please be sure to visit me over at the Scribes for my post on Chocolate Cupcakes of Doom (and our new recipe page) . And Saturday, be sure to read part two of Lynn Kurland’s interview.

So you may have noticed, I’m not my usual cheerful self.

Another beloved pet has left our family. It’s been  hard to lose three pets in less than a year. Granted, they were all in their elder years.  My cat Ollie was almost 19 (see here)! And there was Sparky (almost 14 years) back in October 2010 (more on him later).

This time we lost Oreo. Our beautiful dalmatian. Our girlie! The love muffin.

The spotted love girl
We adopted her the day before Thanksgiving in 2003. My husband and I decided many years earlier to adopt all our Dalmatians. They are a mischievous breed and not for everyone, so many of them are given up for adoption. She came from New Jersey and was a little freaked out to be left behind by her former owners (who wanted the best for her). I’m glad they decided we would be her new family.
She was six years old at the time. Super lovie and naughty, naughty. Like all Dals, she loved to steal food. She once ate an entire bowl of apples. Later, a brand new loaf of rye bread from Panera was consumed in one sitting. 
Ah, good times. I could tell you more stories, but we don’t have all day.
Eventually, she chilled out. But we were always vigilant. Dalmatians never forget food and will forever swipe anything you’re dumb enough to leave at nose length.
She loved all of us, but her most favorite person was my husband. And he loved her right back. Sometimes, I teased him that he loved her more than me.
Her number one human buddy
In 2005, we adopted Sparky from a shelter. He had been abandoned and was a little loony. He really wanted me to be the only person in his family (I was his number one girl). We made the painful decision to put him to sleep last October, when his body just crapped out on him.
Sparky boy - big dog crammed on little chair.
We faced the same dilemma with Oreo. No matter how sick or decrepit, it never makes the decision any easier. 
I still have two cats left – a brother/sister pair and I know when their time comes, it will hurt just as much. Here’s hoping, I won’t be writing that post anytime soon.
Come visit me next week when I hope to have much better news to share. 
Feel free to leave me a comment your furry loved ones, past and present.

Knit One, Write One

When I’m not writing or reading, my other favorite hobbies are knitting and crocheting. I like them so much that I have to be careful not to use them as an excuse to avoid writing. Earlier this year, I created a series of food themed scarves from Twinkie Chan’s Crochet Goodies for Fashion Foodies.

I’m now the proud owner of the following scarves: buttered toast, rocket pop, bacon & eggs, and a much admired candy dot scarf (which a few folks have offered to buy from me!).  I also have bags full of knitted socks, gloves, mittens, hats, scarves, crocheted amigurumi (little animals), and even crocheted food (my favorite is my hamburger).

With each cluster of projects, there’s  often a corresponding novel, query or synopsis that was being created at the same time. Not thinking about writing all the time, frees my mind so new ideas can float in.

One thing that I’ve noticed is that knitting/crocheting and writing are more alike than they seem. They both weave a thread into a cohesive whole. From out of nothing recognizable, you create something that didn’t exist previously.

With knitting or crocheting, if you don’t have a good, solid cast on (or chain) as a foundation, the end result won’t meet your expectations. Writing is similar. If the beginning of your story isn’t solid, then ending won’t be that satisfying either.

The other thing I like about yarn craft is that with patience and perseverance, you will be rewarded with an item that you created. One that you can wear, give away or display. And if you’re brave, you can branch out and experiment with new patterns and techniques to create something all your own. If your project goes awry, you can “frog it” (rip it, rip it – get it?) and start again.

Computers are a wonderful thing. They let you easily delete, copy or save your work. If there are bits I need to remove, I create a scene graveyard. I often go back to the graveyard and harvest ideas, wording or scenes as needed. And like my favorite needle crafts, I can either share my work or keep it in a bag hidden from sight.

What other hobbies do you enjoy? Leave me a note. I’d love to hear from you.

Also, please visit me at Writing Secrets of 7 Scibes. I post there every Friday! This week’s topic – Contest Feedback!