Wednesday, April 30, 2008


My Personality
Openness to Experience
You are a calm person who is considered almost fearless by some, however you feel strong cravings and urges that you have difficulty resisting. You tend to prefer short-term pleasures and rewards over long-term consequences. You tend to feel overwhelmed by, and therefore actively avoid, large crowds. You often need privacy and time for yourself. You are not interested in the arts and do not display aesthetic sensitivity. You dislike confrontations and are perfectly willing to compromise or to deny your own needs in order to get along with others, however you feel superior to those around you and sometimes tend to be seen as arrogant by other people. You have strong will-power and are able to overcome your reluctance to begin tasks. You are able to stay on track despite distractions.

Take a Personality Test now or view the full Personality Report.

The best Buying Pet Gifts.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

What I Did This Weekend

Soccer. Lots and lots of soccer.


9:00 a.m. Number Two plays, wins game, moves into first place

1:30 p.m. Number One plays a very aggressive, physical game, very well, and loses 3-2 to remain in last place.

7:05 p.m. Harrisburg City Islanders once again amaze me with their speed and agility and wild play (hey, is that head lock legal?)--game was called, scoreless, at 41 minutes due to major lightning storm


12:00 p.m. Number Two plays, ties, barely remains in first place

2:00 p.m. City Islanders resume, tie game

You'd think I'd be soccered out, but I'm surprisingly excited for the tournament next week and didn't want the Islanders game to end.

That wasn't all I did this weekend, though.

I don't mind physical labor while I'm actually doing it. Getting me there, however, is a chore. There are a million things I'd rather do than housecleaning and yardwork. As a consequence, my yard usually looks like this:

Without the trash can sitting in the "garden," of course. That was only there in preparation for additional activity today, which didn't occur because of the aforementioned storm and there's no freakin' way I'm hauling around wet mulch.

Anyway, yesterday I spent a few hours on it between games, and this is what half my front yard looks like now:

I'm so proud. :)

Of course, I couldn't manage to get all the maple sprouts pulled out by the root, and I have a feeling the wild strawberry is hardier than wood chips, so this won't look so good for very long.

This is how much mulch I still have to move (I think the pile got a little smaller when it got wet):

What did you do this weekend?

Friday, April 25, 2008



Apparently posting at 11:17 p.m. means totally butchering what should be a really funny exchange. I swear, I didn't think I was getting old, that staying up late was becoming less workable for me. But it seems it is.

Oh, gee, lookee here, I'm posting after 11:THIRTY this time! Yeah, this will go well.

Anyway. I know you're all rolling your eyes at each other over my insistence that this thing at the restaurant (see, I just started typing "grocery store"--I SO should be in bed right now) was funny. I know that explaining it in more detail is going to be excruciatingly embarrassing.

But I'm gonna do it anyway.

So we went to Red Lobster for dinner for Number Two's ninth birthday (yes, she's nine and yes, she ordered off the main menu--crab legs--and yes, that's part of the reason for the gigantic bill). We treated my in-laws, so there were six of us for dinner.

Two appetizers, three adult beverages, an average meal price over $17, two desserts, and a big tip. The bill was $198+. I was lamenting the record-setting size of it when the waiter, Sam, brought Number One a box for her dessert. I thanked him for the box and handed him the folder thingy, saying "You can have this." And since I was still shocked at the total (not really, it was expected, but it had an impact), I offered my firstborn.

I'm not witty, so "You can have this. Along with my firstborn. She's right there." tickled me, because it flowed so well and made people laugh.

And then my MIL picked up the thread, though what she said was funnier than what I could remember.

And then my 12-year-old! Bringing the funny! Without missing a beat!

Anyway. I apologize for the weird attempt to share. :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Laugh and Laugh and Then...Whoa

Overheard in a dining room last night:

Setup: Six people for dinner, with appetizers, drinks, and dessert = nearly $200

Me: Thank you [for box he gave Number One for her dessert leftovers]. And you can have that. And my firstborn, she's right there. *motions to Number One*

MIL: Don't worry, he'll wait for you!

#1: I may be studying the Middle Ages, but I don't want to live them!

Waiter: *Laughs and laughs*
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
This followed a discussion with Sam, the very personable server at Red Lobster last evening, wherein I shared Number One and Number Two's debate over whether he looked more like Mario (R&B singer currently seen on Dancing with the Stars) or Tony from Dance Wars. Sam chose Mario, 'cause he figures he makes more. That was fine with me. If I'm going to pass off my firstborn, I want to make sure she's going to be taken care of.

Supernatural was awesome tonight. I'd complain there wasn't enough Sam and Dean, if Harry and Ed et al weren't so freakin' funny. I started snickering when he was running his finger over the totally silent "crystal" brandy snifter and pretty much didn't stop until Corbett died.

Poor Corbett.

But overall, what an excellent blend of...everything. Just enough mention of the Winchesters' reason for being there ("it's our Grand Canyon!") and Dean's reality (two months, whaaaaa!). Creepy, scary stuff (the dead people, the killer ghost, Corbett's murder, Sam disappearing, then being approached by the killer ghost). And OMG the humor. Sam with a party hat! The boys getting thrown against the wall AGAIN. Pretty much everything Ed and Harry said. The beautiful way Dean destroyed the evidence (they're getting more proficient with their rigged tech!). The acting was spot on. The show always has excellent guest stars, but this was more than excellent.

I think my favorite part, though, was Dean being able to say the F word because of the bleeping. They had to have a lot of fun making this episode.

Then I watched Lost.

I can't even wrap my mind around everything. Ben manipulating Sayid...Ben miscalculating with Alex...Ben and Widmore's past/present/future...I get it all, and can see, suddenly, this magnificent tapestry that goes back to Ben's gassing the Dharma people (Charles' people?) and ahead to Sayid turned assassin, and encompasses the Oceanic Six and even, hopefully, the far future, when those Six return to the island (maybehopefully). But I can't articulate much, not without writing three times as long as the show lasted.

How about Sawyer and Hurley heroics? Sawyer being so protective and fierce about Claire and Hurley, and Hurley willing to do anything just to keep them from turning on each other. And Hurley so comfortable with that baby. Ahhhh...Uncle Hurley.

I think the next four weeks (five, counting the gap week) will be one wild ride!

Comic Perfection

Comics are not my thing. I used to read some when I was a kid, but my taste ran more to Archie and Friends than any of the superheroes, generally speaking. I admire modern comics and graphic novels as artistic wonders, but I find it difficult to concentrate on both visual and story at the same time. So it takes a lot to make me read them.

A lot, like, maybe continuing one of my favorite TV shows?

I wasn't thrilled with the Supernatural: Origins series. The art isn't to my taste (not disparaging the skill, just saying it doesn't speak to me), and the story didn't fit with my interpretation of the mythology. Nor was John Winchester ever the big draw for me. Therefore, I only got about halfway through the series.

A new series, "Rising Son," starts soon, and that looks more to my liking, as the story focuses more on young Sam and Dean. I've subscribed to it at my local comic book store so I can easily get all the issues, so we'll see.

I liked the Serenity comics that came out before the Serenity movie. They filled in gaps between the show and movie. The art was okay, the covers excellent.

The new miniseries blows those away! Called "Better Days," this three-issue series is Spot. On. The art is so true to the actors, and the writing to the original tone of the show. And by writing I mean not just story and dialogue, but layout and reaction. I laughed at about half the panels, and the lovemaking panel...well. Very nice. I can't wait for the third issue, and I'll be very disappointed if they don't do more. I think I read that they are, and that the next set will focus on Book. I know I'm not the only person eager to get his story!

How about you? Anyone reading, say, Buffy Season 8?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I really, really need to be in bed. But I knew if I went to bed, I'd forget about posting this stuff.

Yesterday (hey, it's after midnight! I can call this two days of posting in a row!) I did a bunch of linky shout-outs to people I know. Today it's people I don't know but crave to meet.

First, Jason Manns, my favorite singer, announced that Supernatural will be using his song "I Remember" on the May 1st episode. He says it's a short bit, but I still love the synergy of favorite singer/favorite show, and close friends sharing.

Second, not only is The Sarah Connor Chronicles coming back, Brian Austin Green has been promoted to series regular! Woo hoo! You can read an interview with the show creator here. Apparently, the renewal is no longer an unofficial certainty, but an official done deal.

Okay. Now I'm going to bed. Tomorrow (Thursday!) maybe I'll talk about comic books, since now I've hit TV, movies, books, and music. :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Anyone Still Here?

I woke up this morning from a bad dream.

I was at a conference, I think National, and somehow I'd become the person no one wants to be around. Non-writer friends from my past hooked up with long-distance writer friends from my present, and all blew me off. No one wanted to go to events with me or work on my pitch. I went to a workshop or planning event, and I was early, but it had already started and no one wanted me to sit with them. No one was mean or anything, but the only person who was really nice was the gay guy Mary lived with.

I don't know what that dream is really trying to tell me, but I decided I need to start blogging again, before I lose connections that are important to me.

Some things that have been happening while I've been failing to maintain my relationships:

Jody/Ellie/Writer & Cat has some really exciting, unique, squee-worthy news to go along with her recently released not-ready-for-Disney fairy tale.

Mary released not just one, but TWO first books.

Trish is running an ongoing contest while she works on her upcoming Harlequin American and YA books.

Speaking of Harlequin American, Cathy's next one is soon to be out, and The Family Plan is still available. She just met her deadline for her newest, but I can't remember the release date for that.

Lisa also turned in the proposal for the third book in her trilogy--first one is here, second one to be released this summer.

Vicki, Vicky, and Misty, the Un-Vicki(y), are going gangbusters in sales of their domestic shapeshifter anthology.

Kitty Keswick has a really cool Lipstick Personality Analysis thing up on her web site, in preparation for her first YA book release.

And Megan, while between books for a little while, has a collaboration with Lauren Dane up next, followed by Stranger, my favorite of her Spice books. Somewhere in there will be a novella with Avon Red, a Spice Brief, another Spice novel, and a non-magic fantasy collection with Berkley.

So what have I been doing while I've been neglecting all my blog-related relationships? Mostly editing work and running in circles with my kids (you know, the whole chauffeur/cook/housekeeper thing.

But I've also finished Renegade, a novella that should be a summer release:

Trex Samuels has lived her life for her best friend, Jake. Her job as an information broker allows her to stay in one place and keep tabs on Jake, who travels the world using his unique gifts to save abducted children. Trex is the closest thing to a home he has, and she waits for his infrequent visits that always bring both joy and pain.

Things change when this time, Jake is on the run from the law. This time, he is haunted by his failures, tormented by waking nightmares.

This time, he’s brought a partner.

Dan awakens in Trex a new craving, but one that doesn’t eliminate the old. When she realizes the men need her, that she has the power to banish their demons—however temporarily—they embark on a journey of sensuality and desperate pleasure. In the end, she not only has the power to heal them, but to set them free. And only one will come back to her.

And I'm working on Letting Go, a May/December erotic romance with a cougar (as in older, not shapeshifter) heroine! That one should come out in September.

I also have:

  • Agent-recommended revisions on Fight or Flight (previously known as Unbreakable and still without a final submission title)

  • A new novella to write and submit, working title Afterlife

  • First revisions on Hummingbird

  • First revisions on More Than You Know

  • At some point, agent-recommended revisions on Under the Moon

  • Then I can start a new novel-length manuscript. That will probably be November. Hey, NaNo! Maybe I can three-peat!

    I've seen a bunch of movies lately. I won't launch into a long review on each, but briefly:

    Forgetting Sarah Marshall: About what you'd expect from the Apatow-related club. Made me laugh a lot.

    Nim's Island: Decent. Well enough acted and shot so that you don't think about all the stupid plot holes until after you've seen it. Kind of disappointing resolution.

    Premonition: Not the ending I would have liked, but it fit the story, which was twisty and intriguing. Sandra Bullock could act out the phone book for two hours and make it wonderful.

    Smokin' Aces: Bloody. Kind of flimsy plot. But wow, what a cast. Jason Bateman continues to freak me out (also saw The Kingdom, which was much better than I was led to believe--LOVE Jennifer Garner!).

    The Devil Wears Prada: I don't know what all the fuss was about. It was fine. Predictable. I did like the non-stereotypical characterization, or maybe I should say the stereotypes that broke out of their boxes.

    The Assassination of Jesse James...: Slooooowwww. Beautiful, and well acted, but verrryyyyy slllooowwww.

    House of Wax: Because of Jared Padalecki, of course. Freaky, and I hated the way he died, but Chad Michael Murray was surprisingly heroic. He'd make a good action hero.

    I just got the Entertainment Weekly summer movie preview, and, as usual, there are a bunch of movies I can't wait for. A sampling:

  • Wanted: Angelina Jolie! Kicking ass! Bending bullets! So hot.

  • Iron Man: I adore Robert Downey Jr. And speaking of...

  • Tropic Thunder: Looks very funny

  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

  • Made of Honor: I love best friend romances!

  • Journey to the Center of the Earth: It's got Brendan Fraser! Long-time readers might remember that he was my first obsession. And speaking of BF...

  • The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

  • Get Smart

  • Wall*E

  • Hancock

  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    This is a big week, TV-wise. Not only has Fox reportedly (but still not officially!) renewed The Sarah Connor Chronicles for 13 episodes this fall, we get three shows back this week:

    Reaper, which I won't really miss if it doesn't get renewed (and it's not looking good), but enjoy muchly when it's on.

    LOST, which is getting so much hype for its three-hour finale we're all doomed to disappointment, except this show never disappoints me. Nope, not even with Nikki and Paulo. I liked Nikki and Paulo.

    And, biggest of all...

    Supernatural! You knew I was gonna say that, didn't you? Yes, the Winchesters are back to fill my soul, except of course one 42-minute episode won't be enough to do that. Before the preview for next week rolls, I'll be craving more. But if you ignore the fact that they ended on a pretty down note six weeks ago, this episode, "Ghostfacers," looks wonderful. I saw a clip, and had to stop it before it was done because I was laughing so hard and loved it so much and didn't want to spoil any more. These guys are the best guests from the first season, and crack me the hell up.

    SPN trivia: The actor who played Ben in "The Kids are Alright" is the young Speed Racer in the upcoming seizure-inducing movie.

    Okay, that's probably quite enough to be getting along with (I'm listening to Harry Potter again [Prisoner of Azkaban at the moment] so you're lucky that's the only British turn of phrase I've used today. :)

    I promise I shall endeavor to blog more often, and less windily.

    Wednesday, April 09, 2008

    We Interrupt This Silence...

    I'm sorry, I totally owe a huge update post, but I can't seem to get here. A million little topics flit through my mind every day, but are gone before I can type them up.

    Anyway, the Part 4 of the Tales of the Brotherhood of the Tearaway Pants (Made Up of Guys Who Don't. Tearaway Their Pants.) is up.

    And I also got this to show you:

    Sunday, April 06, 2008

    SPNA March Madness, Final Championships!

    The final game is ready! Go to the SPNA Championships here.

    "Born Under a Bad Sign" and "In My Time of Dying" are running neck and neck for the best episode of Supernatural.

    There is also a "consolation" game for third place, which the NCAA no longer does (in basketball, for those of you who don't know the origin of March Madness :) ). "What is and What Should Never Be" is handily beating "Mystery Spot," but the last time I voted early, the trend reversed itself. So it will be very interesting to see who perseveres!

    Friday, April 04, 2008

    The Second Tale of the Brotherhood

    After a long, busy day complicated by a sleepless night and a sick kid, I'm late posting this. So you can find the original Brotherhood of the Tearaway Pants post here and Part Three here, and my Second Tale is coming after Part 3. The final tale isn't up yet, though, so I'm not a total loser! LOL

    I won't repeat what they said there. That would be boring.

    But I will rant a little:

    1. A bar with nowhere to sit is a horrible venue for a show where hot muscled guys writhe on the floor. I'm just sayin'. It's also a horrible place to stand in hard shoes with a bum knee for three and a half hours.

    2. If you're a six-foot tall woman and can see the frickin' stage from the back of the crowd, then go there. It's totally rude of you to stand up front. And you can't touch them, anyway, so THERE.

    3. If Devin Michaels said "ladies" once in the first 30 seconds, he said it a thousand times. Oh, wait, he DID say it a thousand times! The only saving grace was that the microphone kept cutting out, so we didn't have to hear a few of them.

    4. Apparently, being in business for 30 years makes you greedy, avaricious, and blatant about it.

    5. I got more boob in two hours than most guys get in a lifetime. On the other hand, that waiter that looked like Jake Gyllenhall probably didn't need the tip I gave him (without buying anything) just 'cause he's so cute. I'm sure he was happy enough sliding back and forth through the crowd with his tubie things. But I liked the kiss on the cheek I got in response. :)

    Okay, I guess I the ranting didn't last too long. On to the pictures!!!!!

    First, I made an LOLstripper!

    Megan's actually the one who said he was squishy. I didn't notice, really. I was too busy thinking about arms around waists and smelly oil (I love the smelly oil!).

    Half-naked men are more fun in a group.

    What? Half-naked guys? Oh, sorry...

    Oooh, watch the fingers there, Stevie-boy!

    We talked to Bobby K briefly. Had to corner him to get his signature, and got to ask about whether or not he cover models, which, if you read the first Tale, you know he does, he's an Ellora's Cave model. I could have sworn he did Kensington, too--I can totally picture him on a specific book, but can't remember it, and he didn't say he did. He blew us off pretty quickly, too.

    But other guys didn't. Mr. Squishy seemed content to take multiple photos with us, as did the so-called youngest Chippendale dancer. We felt kind of bad for the one we dubbed "Crew Guy." He had to go back and forth through the crowd, dressed like the other guys (cowboy, firefighter, naked torso) but only moved chairs and gathered discarded clothes. At the end, while the dancers were mingling, he was hustling to get the van loaded. So we tried to give him a little sugar:

    We thought we were being nice (and hey, he was cute! And very tall!), but I think he was all, "Shee-it, man, they're gonna bust my ass if I don't get stuff loaded!"

    Lots of hugs, several cheek, kisses, and...oh! The topper! Misty gets credit for thinking of this, but I joined in heartily:

    I've never been signed before.

    So, that was our night. A complete blend of the boring and annoying with the gleeful and the delightful. The best part was certainly the women I was with, far more than any beefcake...though that was okay, too. :)

    Wednesday, April 02, 2008

    Final Four!

    Make sure you go vote in the Supernatural tournament Final Four!

    The episodes that made it don't surprise me, but my choices are losing!

    Pursuing "Happy"

    I have a pretty controversial opinion to voice.

    People often talk about how obtaining Things or achieving Success won't make you happy, that being happy has to come from inside you, blah blah blah.


    Happiness is not a Life Goal, like buying a house or raising children to be good people. It's not something you Achieve and then Have. And no one has a right to say what should or should not make you happy.

    Happiness is an emotion. ALL emotions, not just bad ones, are transient. They don't last. It's against their nature to be ongoing. So it's foolish of anyone to think there's a status to be achieved, and that once we do, we're all set.

    If my happiness is contingent solely upon what's inside me, I'll commit suicide. I'll be so freakin' BORED I won't be able to avoid it. Here are some things that make me happy (in no order at all):

    1. A warm cat on my lap and a good book in my hand.

    2. New, fun gadgets, like my iPod or a new laptop.

    3. When my kids display maturity or responsibility or compassion or intelligence or just say "I love you, Mom."

    4. Time with my husband, sharing things we both enjoy.

    5. A really kick-ass, emotional TV show or movie. With hot guys who are also tremendous actors.

    6. Spending a day with my closest friends.

    7. Finding an item of clothing that I think actually looks good on me (a rarity nowadays).

    8. Writing an awesome scene or passage that evokes emotion, either in myself or someone else.

    9. Getting a great review by someone I don't know.

    10. Having a kick-ass agent (and she doesn't read this blog, so I'm not kissing up) on my side.

    11. Spending an entire day writing.

    12. Popcorn. With real butter and lots of salt.

    13. Sunshine.

    14. Lots of money in my bank account (relatively speaking).

    15. The beach, with big waves in the ocean.

    16. Speed (the fast kind, not the drug kind).

    87.5% of those things are external. Some things that don't make me happy (or that I don't care about) include religion, politics, fashion magazines, designer labels, purses, shoes, being popular, having perfect makeup, having a big house and fancy car, having a high-paying job (I want to make a lot of money, but won't do a particular job just for that reason). However, those things make lots of other people happy, and I say, good for them.

    Yes, getting a new iPod made me super-happy for a day. Its use beyond that is mostly functional or moderate enjoyment, but that doesn't invalidate the moments when I had joy.

    Similarly, I am married to a fabulous guy, my kids are awesome, and I have the best friends I could ever ask for. That doesn't mean I'm not sometimes pissed off at any one of them, or need space from them, or are made sad by them.

    I'm reading Jim Butcher's new book, Small Favor. It's making me extremely happy to be doing so. I'm laughing my way through it, and really hate not being able to read it nonstop. Once I'm done, it will stop making me happy. But that doesn't invalidate the happiness it makes me feel right now.

    Happiness is worth striving for, possibly the whole point of living these lives we live. I don't think anyone has to apologize for what things make them happy, nor should anyone judge others for being happy with things the other person thinks aren't worthy. In that sense, yes, it's entirely personal and internal.

    Popcorn, anyone?