Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sunday Bloody Sunday

No. Not really, unless you count the scratches and pricks on my hands from one said rose bush.

Today, I found out that my grandmother who passed away in Jan, that her sister-in-law--my great Aunt passed away. So, off to the funeral home Tues. evening and her burial on Wednesday. Marion was 90 years old and lived a long, full life. She was a spinster because apparently, her parents didn't want her to ever get married and they succeeded by pushing her suitors away. A tiny woman, I used to adore her. When I was a child, she'd give me papers from her teachings at Sunday school. I had my first cup of coffee with her and her parents. A tiny woman, she was maybe four-foot-eleven. I'm guilty of not seeing her over the course of the last five years and I'll explain why. I'm sad she's gone. But I think I grieved her passing five years ago when she didn't know who I was. Either that or it was the accusations that I stole money from her and made her leave her home. I don't know who she thought I was--this happens in dimensia. I, apparently reminded her of someone she hated. Because the last thing she wailed was that I stole her boyfriend from her and her baby. *shrugs* To my knowledge, she never concieved a child. But the mind can be a wonderful place. Just ask the characters in my head.

Ah, but alas, the rose bush. My grandmother's house has been sold and for some reason, I got this nagging urge to get a peice of an old fashioned yellow rose bush that sits at the top of the stairs leading to my grandmother's house. I went with no idea what I was doing and no gloves. I took the wrong peice from the wrong rose bush. So, I went back up there with gloves and with the right bush in my sight. It still got me. But, I was able to get three pieces that were rooted. So, with a little luck and a little grace from God, my rose bush will bloom just as beautiful as hers and if we move, that bush is coming with me. I hear they're tearing out all of her bushes and plants. She has irises up there that are almost as talll as me and the flowers are huge. I took a piece of a bleeding heart she has up there and sadly, it doesn't look like it'll amount too much, but I can always go back up there and steal another piece. I'm even half tempted to talk to the people who bought it and ask them if when they dig up the yellow rose bush to let me know and I'll come and get it.

I planted my three pieces and fertilized them and then, I sat there and just cried. I miss my grandma so much some days. I talked to her as I was digging it up and talked to her some more as I was planting. My neighbors probably thought me insane, but they should be used to it by now.

It was a beautiful weekend and I'm hoping it stays that way so that I can clean up the algae bird bath, formerly known as our pool.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Pickle's, Mattresses & Cat Fight

So while I missed the farewell to Kellie 'Pickles Pickler, I'm not surprised. I am however miffed that Elliot was in the bottom three again instead of Paris.

Noel and I ventured to the school to get on a bus and drive back country roads to the place where "Once Upon A Mattress" was playing. It's about a forty minute drive. Loud children always make me smile. Not. We enter the auditorium and I had no idea what to expect. I told you, I'm a musical freak, but I've never seen this one.

I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed seeing the performers playing new roles this year. I laughed at the Jester and while I have to admit there were a couple of times that some of the content had me wanting to cover my daughters eyes and ears--er, should I say I was ready too. She's eleven and while she knows some things, she doesn't--okay, who in the hell am I kidding? She probably knows. But, if you've never seen this, there's a part where the mute King tries to explain to the Prince about...sex. I could see the kids whispering to each other. For all I know, they were saying, "No. No. This is lame. There's no boy flower. What bee dust?"

But, I don't want to know. It was a fun time, the kids enjoyed it, the parents enjoyed it and my daughter is officially a "Prince Dauntless" fan. She got his autograph.
One of her friends said, "He's only in high school!"
Noel shrugged her shoulders and asked, "Did you get his autograph?"
"No!" the other girl replied.
"I think you're jealous." She strutted away.

Then, came the bus ride home. One of the dad's who went came armed with pretzel logs and hugs--the juice in a barrell--cold. He even brought a garbage bag. My daughter stood up to let her friend move to the seat with her mom. Some other woman--a mother, yelled at my daughter to sit down. Okay, so I allowed it. Once. Bus driver didn't say anything to my daughter, but this mother did.

My daughter is a helper by nature, she gets it honestly. She was walking the garbage bag to the back of the bus--we were halfway to the back. This bitch bellows inappropriately at my daughter. Game. On. I can't remember what all I said to this "woman", because I was fighting the urge to walk up and bitch slap her. And, I was making sure that no words came out like: bull shit, bitch or feck you came out of my mouth. The entire bus went quiet when I yelled at her. I do remember saying that I've chaparoned a lot of things over the years and never did I talk to a child the way she did. And when she said "excuse me woman" I said, "There's no excuse for you." I did tell the Band teacher and I had parents from our bus coming up and saying that yes, this woman was very nasty. She made my daughter cry. I still better not see her at a school function or I'll give her another round of what for.

By the time we got back to the school, I had my pretty girl smiling again. I did apologize for flipping out to the bus driver as we walked off and she told me that there was nothing to be sorry for, she'd have done the exact same thing.
br> Noel and I giggled over cheesy-broccoli-rice and she's now tucked in her bed where she is going to hate getting out of in the morning because she just went about ten minutes ago.

And how was your day? =)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

McPhee-ver

And then there were six.

My guy has a theory on reality shows like this. Especially when they make stupid remarks like they did to Katharine. For weeks, these contestants have been told to make the song their own. Kat did exactly that with "I have Nothing". Whitney Houston, I'm sorry is old news--okay, so most of the time when you hear anything about her it has to deal with some sort of alleged drug problem or rehab. It isn't because she won a grammy or made a new record. I did not think the song was too big for Katharine at all. I think she kicked the song's ass and made it her own and shined while doing it. She showed heart and passion and she gave me goosebumps as she sang. So despite Simon saying she sounded "cabaret", she got one of my votes tonight.

Elliot grows on me more and more each week. And it's going to be harder and harder to watch some of these people go. He changed from this gangly looking guy into a smooth operator. I adore the song he sang and I think he was awesome. He also gets my vote tonight. I think Paula cheapened it with her fake tears, but then again, it could be that she pissed me off by what she said to Kat.

Kellie. Hmm. What can I say about Kellie? She's cute as a button, but these past two weeks have shown us that she doesn't have what it takes. Sorry, but when you butcher two songs that shouldn't be that damned hard to sing, you deserve to go home.

Paris. She's cute. She likes her wigs, but she doesn't have any depth as a singer. She takes every damned song she sings and makes it sound the same. She was NOT the best female singer of the night, Simon. Katharine was and YOU know it. Paris needs to join a Cabaret show, not Kat. "Memories" was too big a song for that little girl.

Soul-Patrol, Taylor. I'm a huge fan of the song "Just Once". It's one of my favorites and no one I've heard except for one guy when I was in the Air Force could blow this song away like James Ingram. No one. Taylor is the exception. He gave me goosebumps and I thought it was the perfect choice for him. I didn't think he looked uncomfortable singing it at all. I think Taylor is one of these people who talk and sing with their hands and in a song like that, it's hard to know where or how to move those hands. He gets a vote from me tonight.

Chris. Can I just say that I loved it when David Foster made him lay on the floor to teach him how to use his diaphragm? My senior year in high school, my music teacher made me stand an inch away from the wall and I had a bottle pushed against my diaphragm and the wall. The object was to push it flush between me and the wall so that it never fell the entire time I sang. I thought he was a nut, but it really improved the quality and range I possessed. I think Chris did a great job tonight. I applaud his senstive side.

I think the top four should be: Kat, Elliot, Taylor and Chris with either Paris or Kellie going home tomorrow night. I don't know who I want as the top two yet. This is going to be hard.

Tomorrow night, I'm going to have to call home at some point to find out who left or else tape the show and watch it when my daughter and I get home from her choral field trip. We're going to watch the dress rehearsal at her music teachers husbands school. He's the music director and he allows his wife's music students to watch the musical. The show is "Once Upon A Matress" and I'm looking forward to it. Last year, they performed "Beauty and the Beast" and they were excellent on a High School caliber. Belle actually sounded like Disney's Belle.

I have one more paragraph to write--a transition if you will and round three will be done. *happy dancing*

Fun With Chalk

I'm caffeinated. I'm about to open up the file that contains my next set of edits. And despite my daughter staying home today with a headache and sore throat, I plan on slugging through these with a fury. I want them done. Hopefully the phone won't ring like it did yesterday with people asking if I'm still alive. I think my children would've reported me dead when I didn't feed them. I'm an equal opportunistic, I figured since my youngest made my blog, I'd showcase the other two. Today, is my daughter's day. Most of the time I call her by her middle name--Noel or she gets called Belle, short for Noelly-belly. Her real name is not as unique as my eldest, which disturbs me--lol. She's a last initial kid. Something I never wanted any of my children to be. Because there are a whole lot of Heather's out there. I too, was an initial kid until my best friend got tired of yelling "Heather!" and having every other Heather except me look at her. I became "Rae" in the tenth grade. And although she and my mother were the only ones who used it--now, mostly everyone knows me as Rae. "I didn't know you were a Heather." Yup. I am. Without further ado, here is my eleven-year old daughter with her friend, Faith. They decided to decorate the road--they claimed it needed 'color'. Noel is in the orange shirt


Off to do edits.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Grey's Anatomy

I admit it, I have serious issues with the writers for this show. Why? Because OMG, I wish I could write like that! If you've never watched this show...TiVo or the West Coast @ 10pm is your friend. Tonight's episode is called "Under Pressure". It's like a Grey's for Dummies. I love this show almost as much as I loved FRIENDS. Okay, so I love this show a lot. It replaces FRIENDS--sorta. Is it wrong to want my own McDreamy? I fell in love with Patrick Dempsey as a teen. Sure, he was slightly goofy looking, but the man is all heart. Then, Sweet Home Alabama came and I was hooked in a little more. Enter Derek Sheppard. This season, what hooked me on this show, and yeah, I'm prolly repeating myself...was when I watched the two episodes after the Superbowl and at the very end of the second part, when he's describing he and Grey's last kiss as a couple...He had me at hello.
Paging Dr. McDreamy....Okay, I've decided...Patrick Dempsey will be the next hero model for my next book. I'll let you know when, what his name is and so on.
What's your favorite tv show and why? Is it the writing, the characters...what?


UPDATE:
Round 3 edits came in. I'm on the home stretch, but I have to get these done this week. I'll leave you with McDreamy. =)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Buzzin' Contest

Hop, run, jump, fly on over to my evil editor's blog. She's got a whole new look and blog on Wordpress AND she's trying to make create some noise and it includes free books. All you need to do is bring your tootie horns.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

My new toy

I've been in the market for a digital camera for quite a while. I'd bought a cheapy in Reno--a polaroid, but I couldn't figure it out and the pictures it took left me feeling rather numb. I really liked Dee's camera. Someone had one for sale on one of the local websites here, I called a day too late. I looked on ebay and found the exact bundle Dee had. I bid, bid and bid some more and I won it. It came today. =) It's a baby Canon and it came with a printer. I got it for about $100. Color me happy. So, I'm going to bore you with a couple of pictures. The first is of our bird, Sunny. She's a very whacky and spoiled little thing. Although she wasn't named for my buddy, Sunny, she has her same tendencies. '-) IOW, she might as well have been named for my buddy. She doesn't eat funky things like Eileen's puppies do and you can't cuddle up to her, but we love her. I still want a puppy. The second one is of a bush beside our home. We've had it a year. I can't remember the name of it. But it's purple and pretty.

And the third...heh. This is MY baby. He finally let us pull the dangling front tooth that we've been begging,bribing and bartering for him to pull out. This is J-Man, my seven-year-old cutie pie.



So, now that I have a camera that takes good pictures...I can add some of them to some of these stories I tell everyone. =)

TGIF!

Tonight's The Night

I'm doing my author chat this evening.

Below are the details:

Samhain authors are chatting at Ecataromance April 20th!
Here's the link. http://catanetwork.com/chat.html

Here are the authors participating!

Group one 7:30 - 8:30 pm American EST
Kelly Ethan
Alexandra Rowland
Rene Lyons
Mackenzie McKade
Lauren Dane
Jenn Andrus
Kim Rees

Group Two 8:30 - 9:30 pm American Est
Anne Whitfield
Vicki Gaia
Bianca D'Arc
Ingela Hyatt
Heather Rae Scott
Annmarie McKenna

I hope to see you there. These are some really awesome authors. Plus, you can come and point and laugh at me as I sit here shaking like a leaf. =)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

American Idol

Stacy reminded me that I didn't comment on AI last night--shame on me.

So, I absolutely was blown away by Chris and Kat. They're my favorites. Of course, we love the soul patrol too. Taylor.

SPOILER

So, is it totally wrong that my entire house cheered tonight when Ace went home? Thank you, America!

Wasn't entirely thrilled that Chris was in the bottom three. But he survived. Was I surprised that Pickler wasn't after her performance last night. You betcha. Am I slightly unnerved by her lately? You betcha. I mean, the dumb-blonde routine can only get you so far. But, the people seem to like her. *shrugs*

Mark Your Calendar!

Why? Because I'm doing an author chat with other Samhain Authors tomorrow. *gulps* I've done a lot of author chats as a host on eharlequin, but never, ever as an author. *gulps* I'm a virgin when it comes to this. Below are the details: Samhain authors are chatting at Ecataromance April 20th! Here's the link. http://catanetwork.com/chat.html Here are the authors participating! Group one 7:30 - 8:30 pm American EST Kelly Ethan Alexandra Rowland Rene Lyons Mackenzie McKade Lauren Dane Jenn Andrus Kim Rees Group Two 8:30 - 9:30 pm American Est Anne Whitfield Vicki Gaia Bianca D'Arc Ingela Hyatt Heather Rae Scott Annmarie McKenna I hope to see you there. These are some really awesome authors. Plus, you can come and point and laugh at me as I sit here shaking like a leaf. =)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Stupid Girls

Have I mentioned that it's spring break here? It is. My three lovely children are home with me all week--okay, so they go back to school this Friday--yes, for one day. School system is screwy. They're making up that ONE snow day.

Am I editting like I'm supposed to be? Uh, no. I started when I tossed the kids outside. But then, my daughter came in and she was bawling. Why? Because her so called 'friends' ditched her. She's eleven and starting the whole drama thing--but these girls got mean. Now, I don't usually get involved in these things, because the parents end up being madder than the kids in the first place, the kids make up and the adults are left feeling bitter. So, instead I went out on the porch and sat and listened. These three girls apparently had nothing better to do that sit as close as possible and taunt my daughter while she played with her little brother and his friends. For once, the kid was minding her own business and she was actually smiling again.

Let me digress for a moment and tell you that I hate the use of the word 'retarded'. Unless you are using it to say Mentally Retarded and not in a derogatory way, you'll probably get a weird look from me. And I'll even explain why I hate that word. One of my friends had an Aunt. She's a change-of-life baby. She's mentally retarded. We were at a family function and 'Teeny' as she's been dubbed was doing her thing, not bothering anyone. Something was on the television and one of the guys there hollered out, "Man is that retarded!" Teeny stopped what she was doing, turned around and said, "Like me?" If that doesn't make you stop and think about how painful a simple adjective can be--I don't know what will.

One of the mean girls called my daughter 'retarded'. I flipped out. I walked across the street and gave them 'what for'. I never swore. I just used words like rude, ignorant and disappointed. And I told them to leave her alone.

The mom of the mean sisters, called me and asked me what happened today. I told her I wasn't sure--didn't care what started it, but that I'd gotten upset when it continued later and they taunted her for the rest of the day. Her daughter, the one that called mine that word--she got paddled and grounded. They're to come and apologize tomorrow to my daughter. Because this was all apparently because of the third girl there. She picks and choses who is most beneficial for her to play with. She won't be doing that to my daughter anymore. We had a long talk about who and who is not your friend and why. I think--hope that she finally realizes that people who use you aren't worth the space in your brain.

There's nothing worse than getting bullied. Speaking of bullies--my oldest handed me the phone this morning and guess who it was? It was my g'ma. I glared at my forgetful son--the one who didn't comprehend my orders of, if she calls, let the answering machine get it. I talked to her--but only said one or two words. I'm still angry. I cried today. Why? Because I'm so frustrated. I would love to be able to tell her that just because she's a cow doesn't mean I have to take her bull, like Eileen suggested. But you can't do that with her. She'll twist, stomp, manipulate everything I say and make me look like the biggest bitch on the planet and her the victim. She'll tell her friends, my uncles...whoever will listen that I picked on her. And she will make me feel guilty. I don't know how she does it--but she does. Do you know that I picked up the phone and started dialing my other g'ma's number? The one who passed away in January. That's when it hit me. I miss her so much. I told my mom, I wish my other g'ma had half the patience, half the understanding, half the heart that my Gram H. had. My mom said, well you know that will never happen. *sighs*

Tomorrow is another day--er, I guess today is another day--looking at my clock.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter with the Kranks

Here's hoping that the Bunny was good to you. We had dinner at my mom's. She hurt her back again, so my sister-in-law and I did most of the work. You remember my lovely grandmother from Scotland? I was ready to put her out of her misery and ours today. Yes, I know, not a pleasant thing to say on Easter Sunday, but I don't know how much more of her I can take.

She came to my mom's with an attitude three times the size of her petite self. She blew off my guy and said "Yeah." When he told her Happy Easter. Then came back to him later because she wanted him to trim these insole things for her feet. She started her question with, "Think you can stay up long enough to cut these?" I was proud of my guy for not telling her to feck off. Proud of myself for not telling her as well. She pushed my youngest out of her way. And she made faces at my little brother's ham. Okay, so what if he tried something different--his ham was good.

She ruins our holidays anymore. I told my mom this evening that I'm not sure I want to celebrate with them again like this. We ate dinner is silence. There was so much animosity in that room you could barely cut through it with a knife--why? Because she's Cruella DeVil.

I'd try to take her aside and tell her look, this has got to change, but there's no reasoning with that woman. I love her, because she's my grandmother, but I'm starting to resent her--if that makes sense. I just hate spending holidays on egg shells. She made me curse in my head so many times and then I unleashed on my guy when we finally got home. It's just not fair that she gets away with this shit anymore. This "Elderly Entitlement" she has is horrid. She's the type of person who will deny it til you're sick of hearing about it, or God forbid you piss her off--she holds a grudge. She also knows how to twist things so badly that you're ready to lose your mind.

So, while I'd love to tell you that I enjoyed my meal and the company, I can't. Okay, so I did until she showed up.

The next time she lays the guilt on with her, nobody wants to take us anywhere crap, and says, "We should've never left Florida to come here." I may just buy her a one-way plane ticket back.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Round Two

Received round two of edits this evening, so while the kids are on Spring Break, I'm going to try and dig in and get these done. =) Which means, chances are I won't be rambling around here much, plus with the kids, we have Easter Eggs to color, family to visit and fun things to do. My release date has also been pushed back a week later to ensure that my book is sparkling. =) So, "The Last Thing I Expected" will be debuting on May 23rd--a day before I celebrate nine years with my guy. Double reason to celebrate.

I leave you with this. =)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Bye Bye Bucky

So, the bottom three weren't who I predicted. I got two out of three. I wish Bucky the best, American Idol he wasn't. However, I wanted Ace to go home! Now we get to listen to him butcher Rod Stewart--repeat after me--"Oh! Joy!"

It's storming here. Helluva lightning display a little while ago. I love watching it until it starts getting closer. The smells are heavenly. It smells like Spring and that makes me =).

So, whattaya think about the blog now? Dee fixed me up. The girl reading the book is back and she's featured on my website too. Maybe this weekend I'll get the links page up and running on my website.

Storm is rolling back in. Have a good night.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Show Must Go On

While my heroine, Tory is being a beotch, I took time to watch American Idol. Okay, so I would've anyhow...lol I love Queen. There are certain songs that make me want to get up and dance like...Taylor. They take me back to a time when I lived for the local dances just so I could get out there on the dance floor and sweat my ass off dancing all night long. Tonight my daughter had her last Elementary School concert. They did "Surfin' USA" and it was so cute. I handed her a bouquet of five purple carnations afterwards and I made her night. I was so proud of her. We got home just in time to watch Chris perform. I think he did a great job--then again, rock is his forte'. Katharine did good too--she was a little pitchy in places--but sorry, I just really like her. Elliot kicked ass. He's really grown on me. Taylor, I liked. Perfect song for him and I booed Simon when he asked him if he was drunk. Taylor was classic Taylor tonight. =) And you can boo me if you like, but I agreed with Simon when he said he thought Paris' performance was "weird". She just seems out of her element. Is it wrong for me to judge her on her speaking voice which totally annoys me? I think whatever happens, Paris will get some sort of deal out of this.

As for the other ones.... Will somebody other than Barry Manilow PLEASE teach Bucky about diction? What in the hell is wrong with the voice coaches? I mean, seriously, I can sing better with a partial in my mouth than he can. Maybe it was all those years of having things drilled in my head by school music teachers or something, but that man sounds like he's singing with marbles in his mouth. Spit em out buddy and sing already! Ace needs to be put in outer space. Will everyone stop voting for him? He should've been gone. Constantine he is not. Bo Bice, he is not. Ace, your village called, they want their idiot back. Kellie Pickler...didn't care for her snippet. Of course, I think tonight they pulled the most shittiest snippet they could to air this evening.

My bottom three for tomorrow. Ace, Bucky and Paris. With hopefully Ace going the hell home and Bucky next. At least that is my hope. This American voted and it so wasn't for any of the three mentioned up there.

Website

My buddy Cat did something very special for me. =) Which is why I tinkered with the settings on this and well, it's not going so hot--so bear with me...anyhow...without further ado, I give you my newly revamped website. Let me know what you think--I disabled the guestbook because of spammers.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Never Say Never

Well, I'm going to say it. I will never, never rewrite another book ever, ever again. Ever. I'm not talking edits. I'm talking taking what little bit you can and completely stripping the book down to bare bones and starting over.

This story was already written. I even typed 'the end'. But it just will not work the way it is. Yeah, there's a 'just'. Hard to break. I swear, I was completely high when I signed the contract for this book. Seriously, what in the hell was I thinking?

So, Jodie, those other books you got attached to--never going to see the light of day unless someone more brilliant than I am comes up with an easier way to do what I am now.

People with ADD should NOT be doing this. lmao I swear, I have it. And have I mentioned that my heroine, Tory is so utterly disgusted with me, she's crossed her arms and is glaring at me. Why is she mad?

Because I yanked her out of her happily ever after and stuck her back into a place no woman wants to be.

In other funny news, I told a friend of mine what garbage words were and she looked at me and started howling. She said, and JoJo will know WHO she meant when she reads this. She said, "Can you imagine if poor "so & so" ever wrote a book? It'd sound like this.'I went to the store and bought peanut butter and that. They had jelly on sale and what not.'"

Yes, this person really talks like that!

What are some of your pet peeves? Do rewrites leave you wanting a lot of alcohol? Does something someone say drive you nuts? You can share and what not. No one will judge you and that.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

4 Things Meme

I haven't done this one either, so I thought I would. Thanks, Shannon. =)

Four jobs you have had in your life:
1. Waitress
2. Services Specialist in the USAF
3. Certified Nurse's Aid/ eHQ Host
4. Author


Four movies you would watch over and over:
1.How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days
2. Sweet Home Alabama
3. The Wedding Planner
4.Pirates of the Caribbean


Four places you have lived:
1. Pennsylvania
2. California
3. South Carolina
4. England
(And so many more…)


Four TV shows you love to watch:
1. Amazing Race/American Idol
2.Grey's Anatomy
3. Survivor
4. LOST


Four websites you visit daily.
1. eHarlequin.com
2. iwon.com--holding out to win!
3. Romance Junkies
4. And a whole bunch more listed over there on the right

Four places you have been on vacation:
1. Niagra Falls
2. Virgina Beach
3. Myrtle Beach
4. Ocean City Maryland & New Jersey

Four of my favorite foods: ( in no particular order)
1. Anything with Crab
2. homemade mac n cheese
3. Steak
4. anything with potato's

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. On the beach
2. Camping --away from it all
3. Anywhere but Pennsylvania
4. in bed

Four friends I am tagging that I think will respond…..
1. This one’s been going around a while, so if you haven’t done it and want to—TAG, you’re it!


Saturday, April 08, 2006

Twilight Zone

I swear the whole world is going crazy.
"I'm going off the rails on a crazy train." --Ozzy Osbourne
My daughter had this District Chorus type thing. There were 330 students that attended this from all over the surrounding areas. We decided that my guy would stay home with our boys. This was a good choice. I decided to ride with a really good friend and her mom. They were always doing sweet things for me growing up, so I suggested that we stop for a bite to eat on the way there--just the three of us--like old times. We pass several establishments like Burger King and Subway and a chinese place. Her mom decides that we should get a little closer to the town this concert is located. We stop at this place called 'The Shannon Dell'. It looks quaint. Cute little mom and pop place with soft serve icecream. My friend giggles and says maybe we should go someplace else and her mom argues that usually places like this have really good food.

We walk in and the whole place stops what they're doing. They're looking at us like we have four heads apiece. They're staring at us. I wanted to walk back out, but her mom pushed on and walked to a booth. My friend and I look at each other and we follow. The waitress walks over and says, "Need a menu?" Her voice is gruff and she looks mean. No smile. No hello. If she could, I think she'd have told us to leave. People are still looking at us. We tell her yes we need a menu and she says, "Specials are on the board!" and walks away.

All righty then. She comes back about five minutes later. "You ready?" We order our drinks and food. My friend gets a BLT and asks for cheese on it. I get one of the specials--crab cakes. Her mom gets a bacon cheeseburger. She puts our drinks on the table and brings back this nasty cole slaw. Might as well have been cabbage and carrots diced in a dish. My friend looks at me and says, "I'm afraid not to eat this." I agree with her. So, we eat what we can and set it aside. The placemats had ads on them and I'm looking at this one and I say to my friend, read this. She starts giggling and I am trying so damned hard not to laugh. ( I have a weird laugh.)There's an Ad for "Bubba's Bait Shop" ( that wasn't really the name ) and it has "Hunting, Fishing, All your gaming needs" and then below that in all capital letters it says:
TANNING BED SPECIALS NOW AVAILABLE
I shit you not. Her mom didn't get it, so I said, "Yeah, I need some night-crawlers and while I wait for them, I'd like to tan." Like, how many hunters do you see out in the woods with bright orange attire and a California tan?

Our food finally comes and I look at mine and the waitress is gone. She proceeds to avoid me because what she sets down in front of me is hideous. They burnt my crab cakes. I mean, they weren't slightly brown. The outside of them was black. I wanted to walk back outside the resturaunt and make sure we weren't at the "Crusty Crab" Did Spongebob make them? I didn't eat them. But I never had a chance to get new ones because the waitress conviently ignored me.

My friend never got her cheese on her BLT either. So, I go to take a bite of my fries and this old guy across from me lights a cigarette and blows it in our direction, then proceeds to say, "Yeah, did you all go by so oand so during Deer Season? It smelled like a crematorium!"

Helloooooooooo, Jackass, I'm eatting!

I smoke. Bad habit, I know, but I wouldn't blow it in another person's direction when they're eatting. Then crazy no teeth guy comes in and he's staring at me and smiling. I finally said, enough. But we had to wait for our waitress to finally give us our bill. So, she starts to ring it up and my friend tells her to not charge me for cheese because she never got it on her sandwhich and not to charge me for the crab cakes because they were burnt. Waitress stands there with her finger poised above buttons not sure what the hell to do. She didn't charge me for those things, but never apologized either. So friend holds out a five dollar bill and says in this sarcastic voice. "Thanks for your hospitality and caring about your customers."

Waitress smiles for the first time all frickin' day and says, "Thank you."

"I meant your other ones." She snatches the five away, takes me by the arm and leads me out the door. "We won't be back here!" she yells over her shoulder.

We half bolt to the car, expecting someone to come out after us. And we watch the road because of the scary movies where the locals make a call to the Sheriff and later end up in the crab cakes or BBQ.

Finally get to the school and we have to wait in line to get in and none of us brought a jacket. We forgot this town was in the mountains. The mountains are always colder. They let us in and we have to find a seat and we're in the back. This auditorium seats 840, but it was wall to wall people--literally, with NO AIR. So, my poor daughter is up on stage with bright lights on her with other kids and they start singing and I can just barely see her because the conductor is in front of her. I looked away for one second and I hear this THUD. I look back up, the conductor is still swinging her arms, music is still going and the kids are all looking horrified. I can't see my daughter. Someone passed out. I was in enough concerts to know what that sounds like. It was the boy in front of her, but for a brief minute, my heart went into my chest and I was on my feet.

They sang their songs and walked off the stage with no more incidents and I went out for some air. I saw my daughter, hugged her and she was so hot. So, I walked her to the fountain and made her drink some water as she had to go back up on stage and sing more songs with a combined chorus. IOW, all of the schools on one hot freaking stage.

It's finally over and I'm waiting for my baby girl to come with her stuff and she does and I see this man hugging her. I'm like what is going on. He turns around and I realize it's my guy's brother-in-law. We haven't seen them in over a year. Our faults? Nope. His family just doesn't bother with us. Which, I've learned to live with, even though the cancer in me values family. Here comes my guy's sister. I used to love her like my own sister until she dumped me--three times. Yes, I know--foolish for letting her do it. My friend, her mom and another friend and her hubby are standing there and so she puts on a show like we talk every day.

"I was looking for you," she squeals. "Where's my brother?"

I won't bore you with the rest of our conversation, but I was screaming on the inside. I didn't want her to hug me. I didn't want to be nice to her. But I gritted my teeth and plastered on a smile. I was cordial and I was nice. I won't tell you what I was saying to her on the inside. I'll save it for a book. *gg*

We're FINALLY on the road back home now. I make the mistake of telling my friend I saw her ex. She asked me if I talked to him and I said I told him hello. We were at a birthday party and when he talked to me, he said it loudly and people looked. She gets quiet. Now, if it were any other place or circumstance, I wouldn't have spoke. He did something horrible to her that will take me too long to post. Long story short, he had a psycho moment and held her at gun-point. Did she turn him in? No. He got away with it. We're still at least an hour away from home and she turns in the passenger seat and says: "You know, when you talk to him or any of my friends talk to him, you're essentially telling him that it was OKAY for him to do that to me. My daughter ( who is sitting in the car and who is 11 ) almost lost her mother that day. Thanks, Rae!"

Drama much?

I took two breaths before I spoke. "I said hello. Period. Be pissed off, it's been a long day, so I don't care."

Silence.

Her mom spoke up on my behalf. It wasn't like I invited him over for tea or anything else. I said one word. Hello.

I didn't think I was ever going to get home.

I still have editing to do. Kids are home. My guy invited my brother, his wife and my three-year-old nephew to the house tomorrow to watch movies. My mom will be calling to see if I'll go Easter Shopping with her. If my editor is reading this, they will get done by Wednesday even if I have to poor mass amounts of coffee into my system. I think I've gotten most of the "garbage words" out. I'm half-way searching for "that" I hear it's her favorite word. *gg*

Friday, April 07, 2006

TGIF

Or maybe not.

When my guy comes home early from work and has that look in his eyes...

"Jump right into my nightmare, the water is warm!" Jerry McGuire

His boss went all Norman Bates on him. Technically, he didn't get fired. But he doesn't want to go back and quite frankly, neither do I. He got blamed for something that was completely out of his hands. And when he tried to explain that, Norman just got crazier to the point where he put his hands on my guy and pushed him out the door.

"What we've got here is failure to communicate." Cool Hand Luke

So, he's going to be home with me and he'll want me to redo his resume' and I have edits that I need to be doing before my editor uses her whip on me. *sighs*

*sings* The sun'll come out...tomorrow...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

It just got interesting

Wow.

I didn't see that one coming. Mandisa, Elliot and Paris.... Admittedly none of them were the best last night....but wow.

I'm disappointed that Ace is still there. He needs to go home. This isn't a contest based on f*ing the camera and touching yourself. This is a singing contest.

But that's just me.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I'm going in....

Had a tiny glitch in that my editor left the company. There's a new Sheriff in town who sent me this awesome cheat-sheet. She'd like my first-round edits by next Wednesday. I can do that. I think. Tomorrow, 04-05-06 is my guy's fortieth birthday. So, I'm taking him out to dinner. Me, him and the three darling children. Friday, my daughter is singing at a concert in a town a couple of hours away. The kids will be home all weekend. I can do the no sleep thing. =) American Idol is on. I'll be back with my weekly thoughts. But for now, if I can offer one piece of advice...watch your use of "just" in your m/ss. I'm currently removing all gazillions of them. I'll be back! UPDATE
Do not read this if you haven't watched American Idol. '-)

I disliked: Taylor, Mandisa, and Ace. There are hundreds of blue-sy type country songs for Taylor to pick, but noooo, he picked John Denver and sang it rather badly. I was like where is Taylor? Mandisa--if she wanted to sing a Shania Twain song, there are better ones than that. Yick. I adore Keith Urban. And I love his new song "Tonight I'm Gonna Cry" Ace butchered it. He should've sang a Chris Cagle or Rascal Flatts song.

I liked: Paris--she picked a good song. Katharine did okay. Not ready to see her go home. Kellie did good. I think she should've picked a more recent song--same as Katharine, but I respect their choices. Elliot made "The Dance" his own and I liked what Kenny Rogers said to him. I loved what Chris did with "Making Memories of Us" And surprisingly, I liked Bucky tonight until he slurred his words.

Off to edit and vote.

We have a WINNER

So, "Pittsburgh Prowlers" it is and KimW wins a $5 gift certificate to My Bookstore and More. I'll get that gift cert to you soon!

Congratulations, Kim. I have your email address and snailmail. =)

I may try to move this to word press. ahahahaha. I suck at html. Was trying to figure out how to bring the picture back and won't even tell you the mess I got into. Thank goodness for the preview button. I might figure it all out eventually.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Part One

Today was my day at the Belfry Blog, only for some reason, word press is telling me that my username is all wrong.

Gotta love it when stuff like that happens.

So, what was I going to talk about over there?

Promotional items.

I was talking to a friend this weekend and we were talking about promotional items. Well, that's how the conversation started anyhow. With RT and the RWA national conference coming up, you'll hear lots of authors talking about promo items. They'll make or buy bookmarks, pens, matches, cups, bottled water, book plates, pencils, magnets, mousepads, computer screen wipers, key board cleaners, candy. You name it and they'll have it with their names and website addresses plastered all over them.

I'm a starving artist. *gg* So, if I choose to go to say Atlanta, where the RWA National Conference is being held and say I choose some big ticket item--does that mean that the readers are going to love me more? Does that mean they're going to pick my pen out of a pile of many and say, "Huh. Cool pen. I'm going to read her book based on this very pen."

Because before I became an author or a writer, I was a reader. I never attended a single conference or meeting. Hell, I didn't know there were groups out there with women and men just like me. I thought authors were snobs. I stereo-typed them. Bon-bons, feather boa's. The image I conjured up of them was so far removed from my life, it wasn't even funny. They weren't moms who sat in some corner penning novels while they had baby throw-up on their ratty t-shirt. No, they were too glamorous for that.

So, I grew up. And I got a computer and I found out that I was wrong. Romance writers were just like me. They juggled kids, marriages, careers.

I never recieved a pen from an author and to my knowledge, before I started going to the conferences neither did my mom. But she religiously picked books up off shelves of her favorite authors. Why? Because she read their books and loved THE AUTHOR.

It wasn't any of the items I mentioned above. It was the quality of the story. The author's ability to suck in her reader and keep her glued to the pages from the start to the finish. Am I going to be remembered for that cool pen that says you stole it from me? No. That pen will be long forgotten once the ink runs out and it gets tossed in some drawer or in the trash can. But with a little luck, a whole lot of practice and the knowledge I grasp onto perfecting my voice and my craft, I'll be remembered for the characters I create. The ones that tug on your heartstrings, the ones who make you laugh, make you cry and leave you with a sigh when you read the words "the end" or the final words on the page.

I think the very best promotional tool an author can use is her stories.

What do you think?

PS. Don't forget to vote in the post below this one. =)

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Final Three

JoJo gave me her picks and I agree with her. =)
1. Pitbulls
2. Prowlers
3. Phantoms

I'd like to thank each and every one of you for participating. And I'm trying to get some more magnets made up and have decided that each of you who gave me names will receive a magnet, if you'd like one. Just email me with your snailmail and I'll get one to you asap. The address you need is rae_cy@yahoo.com

So, this is where I need y'all to vote. Pick one of the three and put in into the comments. =) You can do eeeeet!