Thursday, June 30, 2005

Waiting, waiting, waiting . . .

The condo purchase continues to go smoothly (which worries me, naturally). The inspection this week turned up only minor problems, mostly having to do with old appliances that need repair or replacement, and furnace/AC units that need tune-ups. Oh, and a hornet's nest somewhere in the crawlspace insulation. That will be fun-time for the hub later this fall/winter. Now, hopefully the radon test will come back clean and we'll be a-okay (we live in the Granite State, hence the necessity of radon tests).

In other news, I'm awaiting word from Ballantine about my proposal for HEART OF THE DRAGON. My agent loved it--that's always reassuring! With any luck, my editor will feel likewise. When we spoke last week, my agent asked for brief write-ups on future projects, so I sent her half a dozen story ideas, including this one. Even though I'm dying to stretch my creative wings a bit and try something *different* I also have this killer idea for another medieval/paranormal series, which I hope will be my next project after the Dragon Chalice books wrap with HEART OF THE DRAGON.

Happy last day of June!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

We might be crazy . . .

. . . but a mere week into our househunting adventure, we made an offer on a condo.

And it was accepted! =:-O

Of course, my life would be nothing without Murphy's Law, so really anything can happen to screw this up, but for now it appears that we will be closing at the end of July. (Excuse me while I freak out for a second, suddenly realizing that this means MOVING by the end of July! Like I said, we might be crazy.)

Regardless of the upheaval and chaos looming on the very near horizon, the hub and I are giddy with excitement over this new chapter in our lives. Okay, to be honest, I'm giddy. He's just trying to keep me away from the Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware catalogs until we're actually in the place and somewhat recovered from the major hit to our finances.

Cross your fingers that nothing wonky happens between now and next month!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Surfer Girl

Fun, Fun, Fun
Wow, leave the blogosphere for a few days and the world goes to hell in a handbasket. Michael Jackson is acquitted. Tom and Katie are engaged. Instead of doing jail time, the so-called "Runaway Bride" inks a reported mid 6-figure book and tv movie deal. And RWA becomes the tiger that eats its own tail (but then, a few days later, wisely coughs it back up).

It's enough to make me run back and hide In My Room for another two weeks!

I Get Around
I've been super busy since my last post, having completed the proposal for HEART OF THE DRAGON, tweaked the back sales page for HEART OF THE DOVE, and also created and sent out 700 copies of a poster/flyer for the book that will be going out through RT's "Bookstores That Care" program.

In addition to all of that, the hub and I are househunting! I've never owned my own place, always rented, mostly because the nature of John's work (software consulting) means he has to be somewhat mobile in order to get the best contracts. We've lived in at least a dozen places in our nearly 20 years of couplehood. We're finally ready to put down some roots, and having a great time trying to decide on our home-to-be.

Wouldn't It Be Nice
Now I'm waiting on word from my agent about HEART OF THE DRAGON, which will be (cross your fingers!) the start of a new contract with Ballantine. I hate this part, the tenterhooks period that will ultimately tell me if I am still loved, and if so, how much.

Gah. Need chocolate. Stat!

BTW. The peculiar Beach Boys theme today? It's all PBW's fault. I noticed that she has me listed in her "Good Vibrations" blog links, and now I can't get that song out of my head!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

One

Night before last, John and I watched the Diane Sawyer interview with Brad Pitt. I learned quite a bit about him, including the fact that his name generates more than 2 million hits on Google. Well, here's one more, Brad!

Although the promos for the interview hawked the fact that Diane was going to ask the burning question: "Why did your marriage end?" (something I knew he wouldn't answer -- I mean, come on!) the bigger purpose of his appearance on the show was evident right away. As a spokesman for the non-partisan charity group ONE.org, Brad wanted to bring some attention to the terrible domestic/health crisis in Africa. More importantly, he was there to shed light on how each of us can make a difference in the fight to end extreme hunger and the spread of AIDS in this impoverished nation.

Did you know that for the cost of ONE music CD--just $16--you could fund ONE FULL YEAR's education (tuition, books, uniform) for an African child? And these are kids who want dearly to go to school. Watching the footage from Africa, I was sickened with myself for all the money I waste every day on frivolous things I don't really need.

A couple of years ago, Oprah did a TV special about the children of Africa. It was humbling and heartbreaking. I watched it with a lump in my throat the whole time--both for the suffering these children endure, and the simple joy they take in things like a new toy or a pair of shoes. These kids--mostly AIDS orphans--literally walked miles to attend the "party" Oprah threw for them. I'll never forget that glimpse into their lives, and I wish Oprah would air the special every year.

Yes, there is poverty and need in our country, too. But not like this. I hope we never know this kind of anguish, and I think we have a responsibility--not only as one of the richest nations in the world, but also as feeling, caring human beings--that we don't turn away in apathy when we see our neighbors suffering.

It's a downer post today, I know. But sometimes life isn't all romance and flowers. And even this can have a happy ending! We have to start somewhere . . .

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Just stuff

I had a great time hanging out with my friends last weekend, although the hub called to inform me that copyedits for HEART OF THE DOVE arrived on Friday with a note indicating they were due back on the following Wednesday. Yep, five whole days to work on them--if I would have been home to receive them, and if I wanted to spring for express mail postage on the return. Thankfully, of her own volition, my editor's assistant was able to squeak out a little more time for me (did she sense I was spending the weekend in a carb-and-mangotini haze?). Anyway, they're done now and heading back out to NYC on the morrow. Yippee!

Now I'm back to work in earnest on HEART OF THE DRAGON, which has a couple of cool new plot twists, thanks to the (ahem) brainstorming session of this past weekend. :-)

In other news, my cat Sammy tried to kill me a few days ago in the kitchen. I'm not the most graceful person on the planet, as those who know me will attest. I once fell off a chaise longue and into a swimming pool--spontaneously, just tipped over and fell in, summer dress and all. Everyone at my uncle's retirement party was quite amused as I spent the rest of the day walking around, sans all dignity, trying to airdry myself and hoping I wasn't flashing everyone my nips the entire time. Anyway. The simple act of walking is tough for me sometimes, but when you add a carton of eggs in one hand and a cat twining around my ankles, well, that's just asking for trouble. After quite an acrobatic stumble across the kitchen, I landed on my hip and free hand. Total wipeout. But I'm proud to say both cat and eggs came away unscathed!

"Who, me?" (Does this look say guilty, or what?!)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Girls' Weekend

No writing on the slate today because I'm gearing up for a long weekend visit with a couple of my friends. Author buddy Gaelen Foley arrives tonight, and tomorrow we head to Manchester to our friend Debbie's house where much partying--'scuse me, working--shall commence. Today I need to shop for key plotting essentials including wine, tequila mix, chips/salsa, ice cream, chocolate, etc. Oh, yeah. Writing is hard, hard work, I'm telling you!

I probably won't surface until Sunday, so have a great week!

p.s. Gael's hot new book, ONE NIGHT OF SIN, hit stores yesterday -- don't miss it! I got an early copy--autographed!--last month (am I gloating? naaah!). All I can say is, the wait for Alec's story was well worth it! Enjoy!