Sunday, September 30, 2007

Goals in September

You may notice I have abandoned my usual title, "Goals Progress, September." Progress is just way too optimistic a word.

26170 words for September (not counting whatever few I manage tonight), which is up there, but nowhere near where I needed it to be. I've written 182,377 words this year so far. Again, not bad, but kind of dismal for me.

I have seen my lowest weight all year this month, but it's still less than 12 lbs. overall. Obviously, I'm not trying really hard, so I'm lucky it's that much.

I missed 5 days of exercise this month, though I'm still on track for that. Unfortunately, I think I had a record number of days where I did a little arm work and that's it.

I read six books, which was low because I had a LOT of editing/proofreading/critique projects that took some time I would normally have been reading. I'm 5.5 books behind my goal.

I do expect to finish Hummingbird this week, but I'll spend the rest of October working on my web site and preparing for NaNoWriMo in November. I have a new book planned, and a pretty solid handle on the basics of the story, so I just need to figure out what their powers are and why they can't be together. Anyway, the point is, October won't be a gangbuster writing month, either.

On the other hand...

Supernatural starts on Thursday! \o/ I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to this show, and this show alone. Before SPN, there was only one TV show that I actively sought to watch more than once: Firefly. I watched all those episodes, gave the DVDs to a friend to watch, and immediately wanted them back. I've watched them all half a dozen times. And now I've done the same (to a lesser extent) with SPN.

I just deleted four paragraphs of reasons to watch Supernatural. But you don't need them, really. Here are three inspirations for you to TiVo Grey's Anatomy (you're pissed about that whole George/Izzie thing anyway) and watch Supernatural:

Number One (awesome dialogue):

Sam Winchester: Dean, there's ten times as much lore about angels as there is about anything else we've ever hunted.

Dean Winchester: You know what, there's a ton of lore on unicorns too. In fact, I hear that they ride on silver moonbeams, and that they shoot rainbows out of their ass!

Sam Winchester: Wait, there's no such thing as unicorns?

Number Two :

Number Three :

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #18

Thirteen Random Things From This Week

1. There's been a lot of talk (articles, blog posts, e-mail group discussions) about feeling envy/jealousy for authors who are finding success when we aren't. Everyone is saying envy is okay, that's just wishing you also had that sale or good news or whatever, in addition to being happy for that person. Jealousy is bad, because that's not wanting them to have the good thing they just got.

My question is, if envy is okay and jealousy is not, why is envy one of the seven deadly sins?

2. The gag reel on the Supernatural Season Two DVD is quite possibly the best one I've ever seen. Usually gag reels are people messing up lines or being unable to stop laughing. But this nine-minute-plus video has true gags and some highly entertaining exchanges. Plus boytouching.

3. I'm irritated with the people who mentioned the Jared barefoot kickboxing on the DVD (yes, Gail, I'm looking at you!), because I can't find it. I have some interactive map things to look at still, and didn't finish the webisodes, but if anyone can point me to the barefoot kickboxing, I'll be grateful.

4. I love soccer, but I've been spoiled. The problems we've encountered this season have left me with constant nausea and a strong desire for the season to be over. I hate that!

5. Can the Patriots go 16-0?

6. I listened to last week's Pottercast, and they discussed Dumbledore's plan and how he was a jerk, and how he should have just told Harry that the sword of Gryffindor would destroy the horcruxes. I shouted at my iPod a lot. Dumbledore was dying, yes, but he thought he had a year to live. He didn't expect to be killed on that tower. We could presume that as soon as he and Harry got back to his office with the locket, he would have showed him how to use the sword and explained why it would work. He just never had the chance. He never wrote it down because it was of paramount importance that Voldemort not know they were aware of/were after the horcruxes. Anyone else knowing about it, or documents lying around that mentioned it, could lead to someone telling him, either out of loyalty or fear.

7. Supernatural starts in...*checks ticker* days!

8. I decided to do NaNoWriMo again this year. I hope to finish Hummingbird by October 6 and have the rest of October to revise it, with a final polish in December or January or even after that, as I have other projects that can come first. In the meantime, I've been percolating More Than You Know, about a married couple who has to learn to live together for the first time. I have enough to pound that out in November, I think, the way I did Under the Moon last year.

9. I've had several friends in various levels of stress and/or crisis lately, and I think for that reason I've been nursing anxiety off and on all week. It's not my own anxiety, though it is probably exacerbated by fatigue.

10. I can't complain about being tired as it's all my own fault. I've had a lot of work, which I've been focusing on at night as well as during the day, but I haven't given up my vegging time, nor have I taught myself to watch only two episodes of a TV show on DVD (still Gilmore Girls), even if watching four meant going to bed at 2:00 a.m. when the alarm goes off at 6:11 a.m.

11. Fall TV Premiere Week is filling up my TiVo. I have Prison Break, Eureka, Heroes, Reaper, Private Practice, Bionic Woman, and four hours of Dancing with the Stars. Tonight Smallville and Ugly Betty will join them. And I am not eager to watch anything!

12. Waiting does not ever get any easier in the publishing industry. In fact, as hope increases, for whatever reason, waiting gets much, much harder. That's a no-brainer, I know, but it seems like the waits should be shorter (and may be) but it doesn't matter, because it's still torture every minute that the wait is occurring.

13. Captain Black's Grog-Flavored Pirate Mints are not as gross as they sound.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Finally! Progress!

Check out the word meter in the sidebar!

I did most of that at the soccer field, some distracted by practice, some in the complete dark by real touchtyping. Love my Alphasmart Neo.


After I posted on Saturday, the whole family went to see The Game Plan. It looked like one of those typical movies with exaggerated humor that kids love and parents wish didn't exist. But I like The Rock and I love football.

Guess what? It was one of those typical movies with exaggerated humor that kids love etc. But after a wobbly start, and despite the predictability of the story progression, it was really good! Well acted, touching, funny, with an amazingly great ballet in the middle of it. And I don't like ballet. I fall asleep at the recital every year when the ballet pieces come on. This one was dramatic and beautiful, it told a story, and the response by the main character's teammates was perfect.

Okay, I admit, the parallels to the New England Patriots tickled me. The Boston Rebels were heading to the playoffs against their biggest rivals--they played Denver and Indianapolis before playing New York in the championship game. And that's very funny, since it was New York who ratted them out a couple of weeks ago and became our all-time nemesis.

Anyway, it's a good family movie or a decent rental if you like sports/kids/feel-good movies.


Speaking of football...The Patriots scored 38 points again. That's the third week in a row, except this time the Bills only scored 7, whereas the first two opponents scored 14. Forget going 16-0! Let's go for 38 points every single week! LOL

There are only five undefeated teams left in the NFL: The Pats, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, and Pittsburgh Steelers. We play all of them except Green Bay. Gonna be an interesting season.

The attention is, rightfully so, on Randy Moss. A talented yet troubled receiver in the past, he made waves with his ego in Minnesota and even bigger ones in Oakland. Taking what they call a $6 million pay cut (is it really a cut if no one else is gonna pay you?), he has shown up and blown up in New England. I don't know if I've ever seen softer hands on this team.

But honestly? My favorite receiver is Wes Welker. Moss is grace and speed. Welker is an acrobat, snatching the ball out of the air, stepping backward in what appears to be perfect choreography to make tacklers miss--oh, yeah, and tossing ill-advised backward laterals that nevertheless set up four-yard touchdown runs. He may be the most exciting player on the field.


Okay, enough football talk. May I refer you once again to the most excellent word count tracker on the left? I have to do about 10 pages a day for this week and next and then I should be done with the draft. I can't wait! Then I'll have October to revise, and I want to start my next book for NaNoWriMo. It was so much fun last year, I'm eager to do it again. I just need to figure out what powers my hero and heroine have...

Saturday, September 22, 2007


I've never "gotten" the whole Nielsen thing. I mean, so much rides on how many "viewers" a TV show gets, but they extrapolate from such a teeny tiny pool, relatively speaking. I have no idea how many Nielsen families there are, but unless there are over a million, I don't understand how anyone can trust it. Besides the fact that people are a lot less predictable, individually, than the system allows for. I'm 36, a college graduate, a married mother of two under 13. So you'd think I watch Gray's Anatomy on Thursday night, right? Of course, you all know me (even if you don't know me, you read this blog, so you know enough), so you're all going "No Way!" Of course, I watch Supernatural.

So anyway, it's always bothered me, even more so in the last few years when I really cared which shows got canned and which stayed, that what I watch doesn't count. When the critics and showrunners and actors beg the audience to watch their show and get friends to watch, what they really need is to get Nielsen families to watch. Right?

I think I need to research that a little.

Anyway, the times they may be changin'. I just learned about this. Nielsen is starting a new program called "Hey! Nielsen." It's in beta now, going to a public beta later this month, I think. Billed as "Part opinion engine, part social network, and part buzz tracker, Hey! Nielsen is the place to share opinions on your favorite entertainment," it sounds very promising if the networks and advertisers will take the data/comments/info seriously.

So everyone who wants to count, go sign up for an invite!


My husband and I went to see Good Luck Chuck today. Superficially speaking, it was a good date movie. Raunchy, sexual, juvenile humor on one side, sweet romance on the other. A lot--and I mean, A LOT of the raunchiness was over-the-top and disgusting, and the "juvenile" label is an insult to juveniles. The romantic plot was cute, nothing special, but it's difficult to be unique in romantic comedy anymore. Jessica Alba was great, and Dane Cook was surprisingly good. Overall, worth seeing, if only to marvel that one film hired every hot blond chick looking for an acting job.


There are a few moments that completely save the movie. The premise that Charlie was hexed at 10, so every woman he goes out with marries the next man she dates after him. People find out about it, and he's overwhelmed by women who want to have sex with him so they can meet their soulmate. My favorite moment is when his assistant, a widow of generous proportions, comes to him for "help." Crying, she tells him to just close his eyes and think of someone beautiful. Resistant until that moment, he puts his hands on the sides of her face and says, with serious intent, "I'll think of you." And he totally sells it.

Of course, there are a few moments that can be considered to totally ruin the movie, too. The best friend is so horribly lecherous--I swear, it's not possible for a real human to be that obnoxious. The vignette during the end credits makes your whole body cringe in horror. You can't stop laughing that awkward, horrified laugh.

There is little depth of characterization, and little that can't be predicted, but the funny parts and the sweet parts make it a nice diversion for a Saturday afternoon and well worth the price of a matinée.


I don't know if I've talked about the fall TV season here yet. I haven't been blogging very regularly (sorry) and I've posted on other people's blogs, so I just don't know. Yes, I could check. I don't have the energy. Sorry again. :)

So, fall TV.

I'm not at all excited this year. Not like last year, when the Upfronts put my anticipation level way high. Then The Nine and Six Degrees, while well done, just didn't grab me. Didn't make me care. Every comedy I watched except one was flat and unfunny (and yes, that counts 30 Rock, about which I have a highly unreasonable level of resentment, not least of which because of their snarkiness toward my favorite new show of last year). The stuff I liked? Got yanked. The Class was my only sitcom (except for Scrubs, which didn't come until midseason). Gone, though it got a "full" season. Studio 60, Daybreak, Drive, all given a varying level of chance, but all tossed away, some too soon, and one wayyyy too soon.

This year, I'm lukewarm. I haven't watched the season premiere of Prison Break yet and have a pretty low level of enthusiasm for it. Part of that, I'm sure, is because I'm early in season 4 of Gilmore Girls and not wanting to stop that. Part is because Eureka isn't over yet, and that's my "summer" show. Part is because none of the rest of my shows premiere until next week, so it doesn't feel like the season started yet. But mostly, it's because Sarah will be gone and the direction of the show seems to be less about smartness and tension and more about violence and fear.

My other returning shows and my level of excitement, in order of air dates:

Eh. I feel the same way that I did all last season. Eager to see the characters I like, wishing the ones I didn't had been killed off in the finale. I'm excited about David Anders and Kristen Bell, but come on, do we REALLY need additional morally ambiguous characters? I really, really, really don't want Sylar around anymore. So we'll see how that goes.

Ugly Betty
Santos is dead. That really dampens my enthusiasm. As long as Henry has tons of air time, I'll be okay--but would like to put in an order for LESS Alexis/Wilhelmina/Daddy stuff.

I watch this show out of habit now. If they kill Chloe, I'm probably done, especially since I know Lana's still gonna be the focus of the show. Hottie Supergirl underwhelms me. And I've heard Tom Welling is a jerk on set, so...

This show has always been quiet for me, inspiring nothing but positive feelings but little passion. If Colby's character is redeemed and stays on the show, great. If not...well, I'll still watch.

Except for Scrubs, this is the latest returning show, and it figures, because it's the only one I am dying to see again. The teaser photos and trailers have been torture. The direction of the plot and the new element in the brothers' relationship are incredibly compelling. Once again, this will be the only show I don't delete as soon as it's watched.

Possibly the only funny sitcom left on TV--or at least, the only one funny enough to make me watch it.

New shows I'll try, but only after four episodes have aired and they're not in danger of being canceled:

I keep going back and forth on this one. The premise is appealing, the tiny bits I've seen are not so much. Monday is a full day for my TiVo, so I have to VCR this one on the bedroom TV, which is a hassle. The tipper is Adam Baldwin, whom I adore. So I'll give it a try, since it's got critical acclaim.

I have seen more of this pilot than any other show, and it looks very funny. Actually looking forward to it--possibly enough to break my four-week moratorium. After all, The CW has not prematurely canceled any of my shows in the past, and it needs all the support it can get.

Bionic Woman
Pure nostalgia. I was Jamie Somers/Summers/Sommers/however the hell it's spelled when I was a kid. My best friend David was Steve Austin (the six-million-dollar man) and my poor damaged brother was forced to be Oscar Goldman, our handler. I'm skeptical that I can like the show as much as I want to.

Private Practice
I'm totally watching for the cast.

Pushing Daisies
I love the novel premise and the fantasy-level production values, and I'm pretty sure the main promo was narrated by Jim Dale, so that sold me.

Then there's Lost, which doesn't come back until February, but which is the second-most-anticipated show on my schedule.

How about you?


I've refrained from talking about football on here, because the controversy is so painful. Most of you don't care, anyway. :) Suffice to say I'm thrilled football is back, I'm dismayed that the Patriots' reputation is damaged, but I think it's quite intriguing that they have won 38-14 twice, anyway, once against the team that had the second-best Las Vegas Superbowl odds before the season began. 16-0 seems a definite possibility.


What's that? Writing? You're wondering where the status bar is for Hummingbird? Welllll....

I had several nonfiction jobs last week, proofreading/editing, and it took all my time, so there's been no progress. I shall rectify that this coming week. Stay tuned!

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Heat Wave is Coming

Amber Quill Press has posted the rules for their Fifth Annual Amber Heat WaveTM Contest. The entry period isn't until January, but the best time to prepare is now!

This is the only way right now that an author can become part of Amber Quill. If you are lucky enough to win this contest (and there are always several winners) you are then able to submit any work to Amber Quill and take part in their top-selling AmberPax collections.

I sold to Amber Quill as a result of this contest, and continue to feel lucky to have done so. It's a great company with excellent editors and a wonderful staff and team of authors, and a well-run business to boot.

I don't know if I'll be a first-round judge this year, but my experience in past years makes me want to give you some advice, if this is something you're interested in doing:

  1. Make sure your story is erotic. No matter how good it is, if there is no sex in the story, you won't win.
  2. Don't make it only about sex. The best stories are highly emotional and tie the sex into the plot and the relationships.
  3. Don't write something just because it is in demand. Yes, same-sex stories are the top sellers now. But if you aren't into that kind of stuff, you probably don't want to try it. It will show.
  4. Get someone to critique the story in advance, or at least to proof it. Several someones, if you can. Polish that puppy within an inch of its life. The preliminary reviewer is ruthless.
  5. Above all, have fun. These are extended short stories, so you can write it in less time than a whole book. It's an ideal opportunity to try something you've never done before and always wanted to, and you never know where that experience might take you.
Good luck!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Dear Bobby Rahal—You're the Best—Love, Me

No, I'm not adding the Formula 1/CART driver to my lust list. I've never met/seen the guy, and racing is wayyyy down on my "favorite sports" list. Actually, it's not on the list.

But Bobby Rahal owns the Toyota dealership where I got my 1998 Corolla. She has over 120,000 miles on her now, and is mimicking her owners ailments. A couple of weeks ago I took her in for a noise issue. The noise turned out to mostly be rubbing axle boots, a non-issue. But the clanking and groaning that had finally made me take it in turned out to be too much play in the axle bearings of the left front wheel (causing the wheel to not want to turn) and frozen calipers of the left front brakes (requiring a fully rebuilt brake). I became poorer by a grand.

But there was a problem. Now, I trust these people. I've been going to them for 15 years (my prior car was from Bobby Rahal Honda) and they've never done me wrong that I can tell. But when I drove into the parking lot B.R. (before repair), my alignment was perfect. It should be--I had just gotten new tires two weeks before that. When I drove out the next day, my car was going straight, but my steering wheel was cocked five degrees to the left.

I was out of town and playing catchup after that so I didn't get to call until this week. After some mild badgering (just a little, they never actually told me no), they agreed to do a four-wheel alignment at no charge. That was done this morning. The clerk told me when she talked to the technician he didn't think it could have been something he did, but she said it didn't matter, they'd agreed to do it. He found the rear toe was out of adjustment and when he went to inspect it, the tie rods were seized. He heated them and adjusted them, then did the alignment, and I drove out of there perfectly.

And they still didn't charge me.

Now, I have no idea what would have caused such a thing. There's still the fact that I drove in straight, and drove out crooked. But they treated me well, and for that they continue to have my loyalty (except when I can get tires for $150 less somewhere else--other than that, it's my FULL loyalty).

On a similar topic, my husband had to get a new car this week. His company decided they don't want to do company cars anymore, and his lease was up, so he traded his 4Runner in for a Camry Hybrid.

What an experience! Now, I know there's some controversy about hybrid technology. My Honda Civic hatchback was getting nearly 50 mpg over a decade ago. So cars built to minimize gasoline use should be able to get a lot more. I do believe the technology is there and compromise has suppressed it. However, the Camry is a much bigger car than my hatchback was, and I had Power Nothing, not even air conditioning. So the two vehicles can't be compared.

Anyway, this is a pretty loaded car. It has an MP3/auxiliary jack and Number One has already connected her iPod to the excellent sound system. It has dual temperature controls in the front, plus separate controls for the rear. A sun roof. Reading lights in the back (which honestly, is pretty much all the kids care about). The rearview mirror dims automatically and shows compass direction. The head room is what Jim needs, and he actually has more leg room than he had in the 4Runner (which is weird, because he's not a tall man).

The Synergy Drive or whatever it's called is awesome.

I've already incorporated my first experience with the car into my book. It is a keyless ignition system. You carry a key fob that unlocks the driver door when you get close. Then the fob has to be inside the car. So we got into the car, me in the driver's seat, and here's how it went:

J: "If you don't press the brake, when you turn the car on, it runs the auxiliary power." *points to Power button on dash, behind steering wheel*

N: *presses button* Dash lights and radio come on

J: "Now when you hold the brake down and press it again..."

N: *foot on brake, presses button*

Camry: *silence*

J: *points at dash* "Okay, it says 'ready'."

N (thinking ready means "turn me on now"): *presses Power button again*

Camry: *rolls eyes*

*dash lights go off*

J: *slaps forehead*

Seriously, that's how it went. When you start the car, the only indication is the ready light. When you put it in gear, it's still dead still, not even any vibration. It's only when you take your foot off the brake you can hear the purr of the engine kick in.

Driving is totally distracting. The way the system works is that when you're accelerating or going up a hill or something like that the gas engine powers the wheels. When you're driving at a steady pace the battery kicks in to drive the wheels. But if you're coasting, the wheels recharge the battery! It uses the kinetic energy to restore power. I love it! Unfortunately, there's a very cool display that shows what's powering what, and an indicator for your gas mileage that shows your exact mileage at that moment--so it might be 40 when I'm moving along, 10 when I'm accelerating, and past zero, into Eco Drive, when the power cycle is reversed. Yeah, I tend to watch that a lot.

There are a couple of small drawbacks. The battery stuff is in the rear, so the trunk space is probably less than half of what I've got in my Corolla. We'll probably need a car top for week-long vacations. The other thing is that when you're stopped the engine doesn't run, so when you start again a jackrabbit start isn't really possible. We have to allow for more room when pulling into traffic or merging. Except for that tiny hesitation from a standstill, however, the pickup is marvelous. It drives like a dream, and the seats are incredibly comfortable.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Book Trailer Contest!

Have you read one of Megan Hart's books yet?



She's having a contest with amazing prizes. Check out the info below. The first vid is her pitch and explanation of the contest. The second is the trailer she made for the book in question. Give it a try!

and the tempted video itself:

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Goals, Football, and Supernatural Anticipation

I forgot to post my goals progress for August. It was my worst month yet, overall.

Writing: 8293 (waayyyyy short)

Reading: 7 (only 2 on vacation! and 2 behind goal)

Weight: Reached my lowest point yet, then bounced up 1.6 lbs.

Exercise: Skipped NINE days! Amazingly, only one on vacation, and that was the day we came back, leaving at 9:00 a.m. and getting home about 9:00 p.m. Still ahead overall, though.

Football season started today (see my cute countdown thingies in the sidebar? :) The Patriots got off to an awesome start. Not so much the Browns. So things are, in this house, as they are every year. One happy, one grumpy.

But the wings were delicious.

I haven't done any research yet, but every time I have a mad desire to buy a DVD, I end up getting it at the convenient place rather than the least expensive. I heard the lowest someone found it so far was $37.99. I checked the forums but I hate forums, it's so hard to find stuff.

I did find, however, this very awesome video (below). I'd mentioned on a friend's blog that I hadn't seen any yet. She linked me to some, but this one hadn't come up. I know we're more than three weeks away still, but I hope The CW starts showing it all the time.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Word of the Day

I was just reading through the part of my manuscript that I wrote on my Neo over the weekend, and found this word:


It tickled me. :)

Kyle Revisited

Nearly three months ago I wrote a post about the TV show Kyle XY. The comments don't indicate what date they were posted for some reason (maybe my template code?) but the last two were posted this week. So I thought I'd revisit the topic and address the some of those comments.

I agree with a lot of what the last Anonymous said. If you read my original post, it's clear most of my annoyance was with the creative team's attitude, not the show itself. I liked the second season better than the first, and the season finale was better than last season's.

I still find the voiceover redundant and unnecessary. I didn't like Tom Foss--but I'm not sure I was supposed to. Kyle's struggle for balance was definitely compelling, but I actually found Declan's struggle even more so. I think Chris Olivero's a more seamless actor than Matt Dallas. Some actors you can see the mask they are laying over themselves; some internalize the character and don't seem to be acting. But probably my favorite storyline has been Josh and Andy.

Anon says, "I thinks its sad when people see a family that cares for each other and consider it corny. That probably shows how dysfunctional and cynical people have become."

I got defensive when I read that because I don't think the show is corny. Then I realized A) another commenter used the word "corny," and B) my statement that the show would continue with the love and resentment showered by the Tragers could be construed as critical, rather than a simple statement. I love the Tragers and I think the kind of parenting and support they give their children is something real life could use more of.

So...season finale. There's no way we've seen the last of Jessi. I hope something happens to make Madacorp* and its boss less clichéd and one-dimensional. Or maybe they can get rid of that company, too (hopefully not by blowing more people up) and give us a totally different bad guy for Kyle to face. Because otherwise they could drag the Madacorp thing on and on ad nauseum and lose me. At the moment, though, I'm looking forward to January.

*Note: I've also been watching Dark Angel and the way they say "Mahdacore" is way too close to Manticore, which, for those of you who haven't seen DA, was a secret organization that genetically engineered humans--just like in Kyle XY!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Fly Me Away

I want to know what the hell is up with our commercial aviation system.

I mean, out of four flights I took this weekend, every single one was early.


I mean, isn't it conventional wisdom that planes always land late? They're delayed by mechanical issues (that filter needs changing!) and baggage issues (Jim Bob hurt his back with that overweight suitcase--yeah, the one where the woman insisted she had to have eighteen pairs of shoes) and weather issues (fog, storms, wind). Even after having to taxi for half an hour in Dallas, and wait on the tarmac for our turn approaching the gate, I was still off the plane five minutes early.

So what's up with that?

I love to fly. The funny part is that I don't like the "up" part that much. The changing altitude makes me feel funky, and the cabin air is obviously not fresh enough. The seats are cramped (I considered accepting the offer of an upgrade to first class on the way home, but couldn't justify the $90). No, the part *I* like is the takeoff and landing. I love the G-forces pushing me back or pulling me forward, the speed of the plane, the soaring sensation as we lift off and the (usually) gentle jolt when we land. I also love moving through the clouds, especially the cumulonimbus that tower miles high and look solid enough to eat with a spoon.

I like the solitude, when I can keep my seatmate(s) from talking at me. I like having time to write and to read, especially in the half hour before landing when I can't feel guilty for not writing because all electronic devices have to be turned off. I don't mind long layovers, either. I didn't really pay attention to all my options when I booked the flight, just found the departure and arrival times that suited me best, so there were three flights from Chicago to Dallas before mine that I probably could have taken. But I watched two episodes of Gilmore Girls and ate lunch and listened to the happiness when nearby flights called standby names.

If I'm lucky, the next time I fly will be to San Francisco next summer. That will be longer and much more tiring, so we'll see how I feel about flying then.

But for now, I love it. :)