Showing posts from April, 2010


I have a couple posts half -written.  They were supposed to get posted last night but as usual time is escaping me.  Will get them up by the weekend, promise. 

cheers all,

Selfish Teenager

Selfish Mom?

Oh the delightful sound of stomping feet up the stairs and a door firmly slamming.  I'm going to miss that in three years, seven weeks, four days and thirteen hours.

Funny how I've been putting off this blog 'til I had time and after I very politely asked for one hour on the computer and fifteen minutes of cleaning up supper dishes I was rewarded with new motivation and material. 

I originally began thinking about this topic when I was talking with another mom about her son.  (NOT gossiping!)  She didn't give me any details, just explained that it was Tough Love Week at her house.  Things had been locked down and locked up.  Steps had been taken.  Phone calls to friends parents had been made.  "He's just being so selfish," my mom friend said.

I've long thought the role of unpleasantness in the average North American teenager is to get themselves kicked out of the nest.  I'm a clingy mom, but there are days when the umbilical cord …

No Pressure

On Easter Sunday, there was a twitter post from an agent saying she'd take queries on Young Adult novels for ONE HOUR.  This is how busy these people are.  They virtually never open their doors to aspiring writers.  

I made a comment to the kids about it and one said, "You could write a Young Adult novel, Mom."  Not in one hour I couldn't.  Still, the idea began to perc and last night I ran it by my son when I had him trapped in the car without any other distractions.  He was a little cool on the project and recommended I ask the girls in his class, not him.  He's a big reader, but apparently not of what amounts to a romance novel for pre-adolescent females.
Nevertheless, a few hours later, I overheard him talking to his big sister.  "You know what Mom's doing?  Listen.  It's important."  Awww.  He WAS listening.  "Mom's writing a book about..."
"Wait!"  I didn't say I was writing it.  I said I had an idea and wondered i…


Loving Mercury in Retrograde....
Here is the comment I wished to leave on my own blog in response to one left by a reader:
"Sister" can appear lame anecdotally, but she has honed a rapier wit from her incessant watching of Gilmour Girls.  (Also off the air)
But for some reason I can't leave comments on any blog, not even my own.  Perhaps someone thinking of starting a blog on recommended viewing could reach out and advise how she managed to leave a comment on mine.
Plus the formatting is making me crazy and yesterday's post never posted and it really needed to be there to explain why I'm not posting today.
Which is what I'm doing now.  Tsk.
Will try to get it together by the weekend.

No Time For A Sexy Title

On the heels of yesterday's blog about wanting a life, mine is getting away from me. 
Yesterday I 'came home from work' at 8:30 pm because the three times I walked through the door prior to that, I turned around and walked right out again.  Golf lessons, picking up children from thither and yon, evening walk/run...  By the time I sat down, it was on the pilates mat.  Yawn!
Meanwhile, I've started getting up before six a.m. so I can write before work.  You'd be amazed how little gets done in that amount of time that early in the morning.  And this after I said I wouldn't give up sleep to pursue publishing.
I'm such a liar.  One teensy, encouraging email from an editor and I'm up at the crack of dawn, grinding away at my quality of life in hopes of manifesting enough genius to impress her.  Frankly, I fear I'm not up to the challenge.  I'm tired!
Which is the long way of coming around to saying, I know I owe you a blog on PMS.  I'm actually reall…

How Bad Do You Want It?

Or, How Bad Do I Have To Be?

I recently read yet another "If you want it, you have to be willing to sacrifice" pep talks. 
I get it.  If you want to be in the Olympics, you have to spend the time on the ice.  You have to forego a few things that your peers are enjoying--like a life.  Your body is a temple, no late weekends, no goofing off on the couch with the six-hour Pride and Prejudice mini-series. 
Note that I didn't reference Sons of Anti-Christ or whatever it is that my sister recently started watching.  I don't watch a lot of TV.  I'm a Mad-icct, because my sister the enabler got me hooked by sending me home with Season One of Madmen.  "First one's free, Dan." 
I regularly watch Dave and wish I could see more of Craig, but he's on too late--and here in rural BC he comes on at 9:30.  I justify my little bit of TV viewing by doing pilates while I watch.  See Dani multi-task.  Dani long ago sacrificed enjoying pop culture in order to find time…

Embracing the Digital Age

I had a conversation with my massage therapist not too long ago. (Let's be serious, I see her more than my husband some weeks, depending on his shifts. She and I converse all the time.)
This particular day we were talking about learning to wear make-up and she said her daughter had started. "If this continues," she said, "I think I'll take her to a professional for some tips."
I cleared my throat. "Here's news, my friend. It's gonna continue. Kids don't go backward."
Sort of like the digital age. Gadgets leap ahead of me and disappear before I even know what they are. I'll fess up that I don't know what the difference between blue-ray and bluetooth is and HDTV escapes me completely. I just know I'm supposed to nod my head and tell my husband of course we should get it.
This comes on the heels of my Dad giving us a TV as big as the bed his grandfather built quite literally a hundred years ago.
The TV needed a new b…

Saucy B*tch of a Draft

Or, Even Technical Writing can be Sexy if You Do it Right

Recently I had a conversation that went something like this:
"Here it is.  Read it and slip into a coma."
"Is that your first, bare-bones, rough and dirty attempt at a draft?"
"No!  That's my..."  I'm at a loss for words I've worked so long to get that draft ready to be looked at.
"It's your saucy b*tch of a draft?"
Yes.  That small tome of non-fiction was full of attitude and thinks-she's-right.  It was a three dressed up as a nine, but it was not wasting anyone's time.
I quite regularly beat myself up for not having sold a romance fiction novel yet.  It sometimes kills me that I rely on a day job to pay the bills, but at least technical writing is technically writing.  The funny thing is, a few years ago I began begging the universe to pay me to write all day.  Voila!  This gig fell into my lap, so I really can't complain.
(Dear Universe.  Please pay me for all the wo…

Mason Bees

Or Why My Kids Are Lucky To Be Alive

Apparently bee populations are in danger.  I'm going on record as being part of the problem, not the solution. 
My intentions were good last spring when I picked up my kids from my mother-in-law's.  Uncle had dropped by for quality time with them.  Being a member of his community garden, he had put the kids to work building Mason Bee Houses.
Allow me to describe these worthy abodes.  The size of your average birdhouse, they were built from sturdy, weather-resistant, BC cedar and partitioned into two floors of two rooms each. A hinged, 'single-shake' roof over the attic gave them West Coast flair.  After the kids painted them up, they were very smart indeed.  Any upwardly mobile bee of any variety would covet such a condo.
I was thrilled to see they'd done something literally constructive with their Spring Break.  And so good for the earth!  Thanks, Uncle.  I'll put them in the car right now so we don't forget them.
Wait, says…

Why I'm Qualified To Offer Advice

Or Didn't you read my blog on horoscopes?
So I resisted blogging for a long time, mostly because I feared I wouldn't have anything to say.  As it turns out, there's plenty of nonsense in me willing to spew onto the page. However, in my fear of having nothing to say, I began to conceive of starting an advice column.  In the end, it seemed like too huge an undertaking to do it formally, however, I still like the idea of developing a dynamic, interactive conversation with my readers and offering up seed-like pearls of wisdom on any topic you might care to hit me with.  What the heck.  I've got a sense of humor.  This could be fun.
Disclaimer:  I am not an expert in anything except telling people what to do.  Typically I boss around immediate family especially siblings because my kids sure don't listen to anything I say.  I am a wife, mother, daughter and sister--practically a crone.  I live a relatively charmed life, but recognize that many don't.  I try not to judge…

Don't Gossip About Your Kids

Or Don't Gossip About Your Kids
In my eagerness to blog and not fall on my face right out of the gate, I've been prewriting posts like crazy.  One of them is a five-day series on goal setting which I put together so I would have a plan of attack for launching this, maintaining it for the next month, and still attending to the novel-length romance writing career I'm trying to nurture.  Within that list of goals, I wrote, "Write a magazine article."  I'm officially striking that from my Things To Do.
See, I'm starting to sense when I'm setting myself up for failure and I really don't know if I would be able to get that done along with everything else.  Plus, as nice as it would be to get paid for an article, I couldn't include a byline with it.  It was a parenting magazine and I wanted to write about one of my recent parenting experiences, but I couldn't do it without advertising some of my children's private bidness.
However, one of the cor…

All You Need Is Love

I promised a post on parenting today, but that’s been poned ‘til tomorrow (post-poned, get it?)  It’s Sunday and I’m prepping my posts for the week and I simply must mention the wedding we attended last night.
Not that I’m at liberty to say much, (like exactly who was seen dancing to a certain Abba song) but it was such a fun night and played out everything I said motivates me to write romance.  I should point out we had two amazing family weddings not quite two years ago, but they were smaller, intimate events.  Last night was the first formal church wedding we’ve attended in a very long time filled with a ton of extended family, heartfelt speeches, food that kept coming, dancing and much, much celebrating.  
I should also mention they weren’t exactly our family.  Not directly.  We felt a bit like Wedding Crashers actually, but we were invited and after three years that can best be described as an Eco Challenge, we appreciated a night of lighthearted fun.  And fun it was.   The food al…

Welcome Presents Readers!

If you're dropping by after reading my post on iHeartPresents, thank you!  A big Thank You to everyone who drops by today or any other day.  I appreciate it.
I promised a list of some of my favorite teas.  It follows at the bottom and I'd love to hear yours.  Meanwhile, let me give the newcomers a ten cent tour of the place.
Writers and readers alike may enjoy my blog on Why Romance back in March.  I've also just finished a series of blogs on goal setting that writers may find helpful--although I tried to make it generic enough to appeal to anyone trying to squeeze more out of an already busy life.  There's a big shout out in there to Lucy Monroe for her online workshop on goal setting some five or six years ago.  She's one amazing lady.  When I consider how much networking she was doing at the time, offering this very intensive course and also finishing manuscripts for two different houses...well, she's an inspiration for anyone who wants to complete anything, e…

Goal Setting - Step Five

Reward yourself

Okay, this process was rough and dirty, but I needed an action plan to carry me through April, especially now I'm shoe-horning self-promotion into the rest of my life.

Each week I will review what I've managed to accomplish and move any outstanding tasks into the next week. At the beginning of each month, I look at the bigger picture and see where I stand, modifying as necessary.

On a daily basis, I take a great deal of pleasure in firmly check-marking the completed items. This is not reward enough, however. At the end of each week, I list out my accomplishments on a Victory Log. (Thanks Cathryn for this tip!)

The Victory Log is hugely helpful for keeping your motivation up. Go ahead and record all the stuff you weren't intending to do, but got done anyway. (Dinner cooked! Taxes organized!) Then reward yourself.

Watching a movie is often my reward. Sometimes it's just a glass of wine. That Macbook Pro is making a heckuva carrot lately. Figur…

Goal Setting - Step Four