Monday, April 30, 2007

Poetry Train Monday

All aboard for another session of Rhian's Poetry Train.
Gots lots on my mind these days (see Saturday's post) and am not in the mood to write new stuff so here's one from my dusty past.
I was rather angry when I wrote it -- in case you couldn't tell ...


How dare you look me in the face and tell me all those lies

It’s the one thing about you I absolutely despise

You might not think it’s bad

Twisting facts to suit you

But you erode my respect

Shake the foundation

Of our tenuous relation

Look me in the eye

It comes so easy

How much practice have you had

If you though you could hide your dirty tricks

You should have picked a stupider chick

To you they’re little and white

To me their black and oozing

A cancerous growth that eats my soul

You used to have integrity and my respect

Now everything you do, I suspect

My chest squeezes tighter with every one you tell

Because you do it, looking into my eyes

How do you feel inside

What secrets do I harbor

None from you, except my crumbling ardor

copyright P.Watkinson 2006

Gah! Blogger has simply ignored all the formatting!

And I must offer up my apologies -- I've been a bad blog-buddy these past few days... I've been lurking but not commenting.
Hope to be back to my formal chatty self in a few days :(

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Promise Me, A Prayer for Owen

Usual preface: I'm NOT a book review site, yada, yada, yada...

Book 23 in the 50 Book Challenge: Harlen Coben's Promise Me

This is the 5th book I've read by Coben. His talent for fast-pace story telling and twisty-turny plot always seems to keep me reading into the wee hours. Promise Me is the latest in the Myron Bolitar series. I'm not crazy about this series because all the characters, aside from Myron, are like charactures -- too extreme, somehow. But whatever, I still enjoy them, just not enought to run out and buy them all. I prefer Coben's single titles; Tell No One is one of my fave suspense reads, EVER.

Bad things/good people:

Yesterday I got some devasting news. My friend's little 2 year old son has a brain tumor. He's being treated at Toronto's Sick Kids Hospital. I would like to ask my buddies in blogland to please say a prayer for Owen Yee. Thanks

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Sweetness (aka youngest son) has almost mastered THE POTTY. We shopped for big boy underwear today. To encourage him along with his progress, I let him pick out which design he preferred, thinking surely Diego or Scooby Doo would get the honor of adorning his bahookey. But no,... his brothers latest obsession obviously influenced his choice...

Sweetness: "Daddy, look at my big boy underwear!"
My. Wylie: "Oh, wow! What's on the picture?"
Sweetness: "That is Carrots of the Pirabbean!"

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #16 - Lost in the Triangle

13 Facts About Bermuda

As many of you already know, I spent almost 18 years living in Bermuda. Just for fun, here are 13 facts about Bermuda:

  1. Contrary to popular belief, Bermuda isn't located in the Caribbean, but in the Atlantic Ocean, 940 miles north of Bahamas, 650 miles east of Cape Hatteras. It's 770 miles from New York, 3000 from London, England.
  2. Shaped like a giant fish hook, it's only 21 miles long and just over a mile wide at it's widest point, making the whole shebang only 21 square miles total. And it's not just one island! Over 180 islands make up 'The Bermudas', but the nine largest are connected by bridges and causeways to make up the main island.
  3. It's considered a sub-tropical island and boasts the northern-most coral reef system in the world. Bermuda has a year-round mild semitropical climate with temperatures ranging from 68 to 84 degrees. Relative humidity 71 to 84 percent. Average annual rainfall is 57.6 inches. Summer water temperatures reach 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. The island was named for Juan de Bermudez, a Spanish sailor who first recorded it's existence in the 1503.
  5. It was populated in 1609 by British survivors of a shipwreck that was originally bound for the Jamestown Colony in Virginia. Sir George Somers claimed it for Britain and the island was also referred to as Somers Isles.
  6. Bermuda is the oldest British Colony and has the second oldest parliamentary democracy in the world.
  7. There are no fresh water lakes or rivers on the island. The only source of fresh/drinking water is rain, which is collected on roofs and stored in huge tanks under residential homes. In other words, no basements!
  8. Tennis was introduced to the US from Bermuda by an American sportswoman who went on to set up the first US tennis court in Staten Island, NY
  9. Bermuda enjoys the highest per capita income in the world (50% higher than the US). According to statistics from June 2003, the average cost of a house was $976,000 USD (speaking from personal experience... it's much higher now!).
  10. Bermuda is the oldest British Colony and has the second oldest Parliamentary Democracy (after England) in the world. Bermuda’s legal and legislative bodies are fashioned after Great Britain’s – the custom of wearing wigs and gowns for official occasions is still practiced.
  11. Bermuda is mostly famous for three things. The first is the shorts, which were adapted from the British military uniform specifically for the hot climate
  12. The second is the iconic pink sand, which gets its color from the crushed coral skeletons of a tiny creature called a formaniferan. Speaking of sand, Horseshoe Beach is considered one of the top ten beaches in the world. And finally...
  13. No factsheet about Bermuda would be complete without a mention of the Bermuda Triangle, said to be responsible for mysterious ship wrecks, disappearances and air crashes. The other points of the triangle are Miami, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico. As a Bermudian, let me assure you that 'The Triangle' wasn't something that came up often, except by curious tourists. In my 18 years there, I didn't disappear, discover bizarre time portals, or see any strange weather occurrences outside of the expected gales, hurricanes and fan-bloody-tastic sunny days. But what good fodder for my next book!
Join in the fun! Leave your name here:

And please don't forget to vote in the Blogger Awards! I'm up for a Blogitzer!!


Overheard at the Kinsons:

Conversation between me and my 86 year old mother:
Her: "I think I'm getting Alzheimers"
Me: "Again?"
Her: "Don't joke. I'm starting to forget things."
Me: "Like what, your car keys? Name your grandchildren in chronological order."
Her: "Don't be silly."
Me: "So what's the problem."
Her: "I was thinking about France's presidential election and I can't remember the name of that woman. I wrote her name out ten times so I wouldn't forget, but now it's not coming to me."

Does anyone else see the humor in this? My sweet old small-town Ukrainian-Canadian mother is upset over forgetting the foreign, unfamiliar sounding names of the candidates in FRANCE??
I'm 40 years old and on my brightest day call my kids by each other's names, forget some important family members birthday and search madly for my car keys.
Without googling, or clicking this link, can you name the candidates in France's election? Go on... I'll give you a cookie if you can name just three of the bunch (I think there's about 11 in total).

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I AM AN IDIOT or I Have Better Things To Do

So, I'm trying to be hip, young and with-it (my first mistake) and opened up a My Space account.
Hell on fire, I have absolutely NO idea how to navigate, add music, backgrounds, pictures, nuthin!
It took me 6 - 8 months to finally feel comfortable on blogger, and that's fairly easy.
My Space has me in a complete tailspin!!
I've spent the last few days trying to figure it out but by-God, I declare defeat!
I haven't a clue how to get friends (the 2 legit ones I have I stumbled across, emailed them and they somehow knew what to do, whatever... The other two I have no clue who they are. Some dude named Tom appeared as soon as I hit 'enter' with my info, the other, I have no clue who or what they are.)

If YOU have a MySpace account and want to be my friend, feel free to join yourself to my list,... if you know how :)

Oh - and the blog on MySpace? I tried, and finally succeeded after hours of attempts (on my slow laptop) to get my latest blogger post on their as well. Too much trouble for what it was worth!

Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver

The usual preface: I'm not a book review site...

Book 22 in the 50 Book Challenge: Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer

It's another book I've had in my TBR pile for over a year and I'm so glad it finally sifted to the top. Great read. I tried to write my thoughts, but couldn't really do the book justice. When you're writing comments (not a review!!) about a book that sports such rich narrative, it's hard to do it justice. My solution? Cut and paste what HarperAcademic had to say:

Barbara Kingsolver, a writer praised for her "extravagantly gifted
narrative voice" (New York Times Book Review), has created with this novel a
hymn to wildness that celebrates the prodigal spirit of human nature, and of
nature itself.
Prodigal Summer weaves together three stories of human love
within a larger tapestry of lives inhabiting the forested mountains and
struggling small farms of southern Appalachia. At the heart of these intertwined
narratives is a den of coyotes that have recently migrated into the region.
Deanna Wolfe, a reclusive wildlife biologist, watches the forest from her
outpost in an isolated mountain cabin where she is caught off-guard by Eddie
Bondo, a young hunter who comes to invade her most private spaces and confound
her self-assured, solitary life. On a farm several miles down the mountain,
another web of lives unfolds as Lusa Maluf Landowski, a bookish city girl turned
farmer's wife, finds herself unexpectedly marooned in a strange place where she
must declare or lose her attachment to the land. And a few more miles down the
road, a pair of elderly, feuding neighbors tend their respective farms and
wrangle about God, pesticides, and the complexities of a world neither of them
Over the course of one humid summer, as the urge to procreate
overtakes a green and profligate countryside, these characters find connections
to one another and to the flora and fauna with which they necessarily share a
place. Their discoveries are embedded inside countless intimate lessons of
biology, the realities of small farming, and the final, urgent truth that humans
are only one part of life on earth.
With the richness that characterizes
Barbara Kingsolver's finest work, Prodigal Summer embraces pure thematic
originality and demonstrates a balance of narrative and ideas that only an
accomplished novelist could render so beautifully.

But if I had to sum up this book in a few sentences, I'd say it's like a Merchant & Ivory film: slow paced, not a lot of action, but rich, moving and beautiful.

Monday, April 23, 2007

All Aboard!

Rhian invited us on her poetry train...
Here's one that I wrote a bunch of years ago whilst listening to the third straight day of rain on my Bermuda stone roof. It seems fitting since I'm currently listening to the plink-plonk of rain against my windows, punctuated by the occasional distant rumble-boom of thunder off in the distance.

Waiting for the Sun

(April 2003)

And so it begins

The rhythm of nature

Tap tap tapping at the glass

Smothering me in gray

Reaching in to invade my sunny soul

With cold steel needles

Long tendrils of gloom take hold

Wrapping me in despair

But still I fight

I cling to the memory of a bright sky

That feeds the light of my heart

Hoping to feel the warmth on my face

Before I break under the hypnotic pulse of God

Despite the darkish sentiments, I do love me a good loud thunderstorm! (just not for 3 days)
And we need it now to wash away all the dust and grit left over from the melted snow. We had a fantastic sunny weekend. My tulips are high up out of the ground now, reaching for the sun. I have a smattering of wild purple flowers (?) in my front garden and am gearing up for trip to the nursery for my perennials. Does it sound at all like I know what I'm talking about? Cause really, I don't. What I don't know about gardening could fill a farmer's field.

And while you're sitting at your computer, go see West of Mars for more on aging rockstar Walter. He's got a last name, and I'm guessing he likes perogies!!

And don't miss Thomma Lyn's latest musings about drawing from personal struggles to enrich your fictional characters. Awesome post, TL.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Thinking Blogger Award - Yeah, Me!!

Blog buddy Susan Helene Gottfried honored me with the Thinking Blogger Award - aw shucks. Thanks SHG! - for a recent post I did on the naming of fictional characters.

Here a brief summary of what went down:
I questioned the process of creating fitting names for our fictional characters and asked Susan, specifically, because her characters are musicians, if a rockstar could have an un-cool name like Walter and still be credible (with no offense to any of you Walters out there!)
Susan proved that a rocker can indeed be called Walter, and if you visit her latest post over at West of Mars , you'll see exactly how she's accomplished this amazing feat.
Brilliant, really. We look forward to your novel, Ms Gottfried!

It's now my job to tag 5 blogs that make ME think. This is difficult since so many of my fave blogs make me think. I'd better take a few days to mull this over.
Stay tuned...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

When Bad Promos Turn Good

Thursday Thirteeners are an awesome group!

This week was a lot of fun because so many of my visitors were writers/artists and other wonderfully creative people. Not to mention helpful! Thanks so much for your interesting, funny and ingenious suggestions to turn my blank oversized postcards into plausible marketing ideas.
And DESPITE the overwhelming vote in favor of the dildo costume, I think there are better avenues...

I hadn't heard of but will check it out -- Thanks Tink.
Many of you mentioned stickers - thanks, I'm going to do just that, and I'm coupling it with Candy Minx's & She's suggestions to drop them off at various coffee shops, small bookstores, etc...
In fact, it turns out that NOT having the backside printed with the blurb will allow me some added creativity! I can actually tailor the message to the specific location - for example - the cards casually left at Starbucks (which is located in our big Chapters book store) may begin with something like this: "Looking for edgy read you won't find on the shelves ..."
Playgroup drop-offs could go something like this: "Need a brief escape from kids and housework..."
Christine had a very interesting idea for a little handwritten teaser on the back. So interesting, I'm not going to say it out loud. I'm keeping it to myself. My little secret. Go find her comment -- shhhhh!
And thanks to everyone who suggested RT and RWA. I think some of our Toronto chapter members are going. I may ask one of them to cart a few dozen along.
I believe Susan Helene Gottfried mentioned passing them out to drunk Leaf fans? LOL!! - but they'd end up as #13 then!!
Rebecca suggested that instead of pasting them onto Nora Robers books at the library, I could slip them into the pages - and it would look like Nora is endorsing me! Isn't that sneaky?? I love it.


** Ed Note: Just for fun, I wanted to add an image of something relevant to this post.
For the LOVE OF GOD, don't ever do a Google image search on the keywords GIANT + DILDO + COSTUME. My eyes, MY EYES!!

Thursday Thirteen #15 - When Promos Go Bad

Note: Blogger is eating my pictures, including a funky TT banner and the postcard in question. See my book cover in right side-bar for visual...

Today's Thursday Thirteen is inspired by my own d'oh! moment. I ordered postcards featuring the cover of my upcoming release, Destiny by Design thinking it would be a MARVELOUS marketing tool. You agree, don'tcha??
Of course, being a frugal-minded penniless writer, I didn't have the blurb printed on the back thinking I could easily do it on my home printer, thereby saving myself $23.50.
Problem - the postcard stock is too thick for my printer. Let's say it together: D'OH!
Second issue - who the hell am I going to send them to?? The book is digital, so it's not like I can mail them to local bookstores. ALL my friends are on-line and will be sent promos prior to the May 18th release so,.... all together again, double D'OH!
Thanks, Rebecca, for giving me the idea to come up with alternative uses for useless promo material:

13 Alternative Uses for 100 Hot, Sexy Postcards
  1. Wallpaper my office
  2. Airdrop over convent
  3. Don a giant dildo costume and hand out to passersby
  4. Summer's coming -- spread and commense fanning
  5. Or when I can't find a dustpan
  6. One big freakin' house of cards
  7. Add a few staples and make a Destiny by Design haute couture gown
  8. Bottom of the cat litter box
  9. Photoshop "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter - SPRAY!" and leave it on grocery shelves
  10. Give to a senior's home to be used in lieu of heart medication (it's bound to get the tickers beating!)
  11. Add a santa hat and use them as Christmas cards
  12. Tape onto the front cover of all the Nora Robert's books at the library (better order more!)
  13. Honey! We're out of toilet paper...
What would you do?
Leave your suggestion in comments and I'll post the winner here tomorrow. The prize? A copy of Destiny by Design, of course, with a personally autographed postcard :)

Don't forget to leave your name:

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Looking for a good read?

You're in for a treat at CrowWoman's blog today. She's featuring a whole whack of just released and coming soon books, and there's is LOTS of buzz about these gems. (Yes, Destiny By Design is in there too - WOOT!) But the buzz to which I refer is for the works of Annie Dean, Emily Veinglory, Lauren Dane, Jaci Burton, etc... Go check it out and start compiling a 'MUST GET' list!

And THANK YOU to everyone who's voted for me in the Blogger's Choice Awards! If you haven't done so yet, please please do (yes, that's me begging... I'm so pathetic).

Monday, April 16, 2007

and now VOTE for ME!

And now, I'VE been nominated for a Blogizter in the Blogger Choice Awards! Thanks TL. Good thing we can vote for each other, eh?
VOTE FOR WYLIE'S WORDS and Tennessee Text Wrestling and West of Mars, etc...

Such an honor to be nominated. I'm going to buy a new gown for the ceremonies.
What do you MEAN there's no ceremony? I already have a date!


Our own Thomma Lyn's Tennessee Text Wrestling has been nominated for a Blogger's Choice Award!! Go vote for her and tell all your friends to do the same.

Susan Helene Gottfried's West of Mars is also nominated!! Congrats Susan!!

Hopefully, this link should take you to the voting page: Blogger's Choice Award
but if it doesn't, go to and do a search either through the categories on the left sidebar (both of them are under The Blogitzer), or do a search in the top window for thommalyn.blogspot

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* WOO HOO~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Birth House by Ami McKay

The usual preface: I'm not a book review site. If you want honest, nice, snark or a rating, go see Smart Bitches, Mrs. Giggles, Dear Author, Karen Scott, Romance Divas, etc...

Book 21 in the 50 Book Challenge:

The last page in Ami McKay's The Birth House was turned at 2AM yesterday morning. Yes, I'm tired, but the few hours of lost sleep was worth it. The story is a snapshot of life in Scots Bay, Nova Scotia in the years before, during and after WWI. The central theme, I would say, is about the friendship of women, how we provide strength, knowledge and companionship to each other during good times and bad, and how we inevitably band together as sisters when our ways are threatened. Goodness, I just read that sentence back and I haven't really done the story any justice. Dora Rare, the protaginist, is trained as a midwife/healer in a time when science and medicine are becoming popular. Many begin to distrust her methods thanks to a pushy doctor who blames all the ills of women on hysteria and neurosis. Actual medical journals are excerpted (is that even a word?). It's amazing to me, in light of their disgusting misinformation, that more men weren't murdered in their sleep back in those days. How our female ancestors put up with the ignorance of the male species (and accompanying crap!) for so long amazes me. Honestly, it's a bloody wonder we're not a race of cloned lesbians...

But I digress.

I liked this book. It's full of raw emotion, the sadness and joys of being a woman, the struggle of our foremothers, the forebearance of the human race. It reminded me a little of Anita Diamant's The Red Tent.

But... the entire time, I couldn't help but compare it to Ann Marie MacDonald's award winning book Fall on Your Knees, which was also set in Eastern Canada in the early 1900's, but was superior in story and writing. The Birth House was a good book, Fall On Your Knees was a GREAT book. Had I been aware of the similarities, I wouldn't have read them so close together because I don't think I was able to give The Birth House a fair shake.

Seriously, don't read my upcoming book Destiny By Design after a pulizer winning novel, okay?? Perhaps I'll distribute copies of 'The Book So Awful It Shall Not Be Named' to everyone on May 15th, just so mine will look like a literary gem in comparison.

Go buy The Birth House.

Friday, April 13, 2007

On Writing ~ What's in a Name?

Hubby and I were having a convo about marketing recently and he suggested I run a contest and the winner's name becomes that of the hero/heroine in my next book.
No, I said too quickly. A secondary character maybe, but a main character, no way.
But, says he, it would be a far more attractive prize to have your name attached to the mains (or something to that effect...)
Absolutely not! Won't happen. A main character's name is far too important to the story. What if it doesn't fit?

He couldn't understand this - Your a writer... It's all imagination anyway, was his argument.
I insisted this was a ridiculous notion because I don't name my main characters, they name themselves!

I wasn't exaggerating. My characters are alive in my head. They have names of their own, voices of their own and to change their names would betray them as characters. I didn't name Ellis, the heroine in Destiny by Design. To be honest, I don't even really like the name. Especially for a girl. But that was her name, it suits her personality and try as I might (and I did!), no other name would do her justice. I did give her a last name, Strathmore, and I'm not sure I nailed it. I should have gone with my gut and gave her a good ethnic sounding name.
Meanwhile, the villainess, Cynthia Travers, named herself as well. I felt kind of bad about this because I have a cousin named Cindy and she's a charming, lovely woman. Aw hell, let's be honest here... I have issues with her going back to her perfect, shiny childhood.
Oh, shit! Did I write that out loud?

I've had a novel wip kicking around for years (and I do mean YEARS). One of my nastier characters is called David. This poses a wee problem in that my brother-in-law is named David, but I'd never want him or anyone else to think that my bad guy is based on my him. Get me? Cause he's soooo not. My David has lived in my head far longer than the sil-bil marriage.
But the fact that my dear bil is a bit of a tool doesn't help, either.
Oops, there I go again!

My question for fellow writers: Does anyone get this or are y'all backing slowly away from your computer. Before you delete me from your blogroll, please tell me -- do your characters name themselves, too? Do you just pick them based on what's-hot-at-the-moment-as-long-as-its-not-Britney-or-Paris?
Amy Ruttan, are any of your heroes named Gerard, by any chance :) ??
Susan, how do you know a good rock-star name when you hear one? Does it have to sound modern or radical, or can a rockin' drummer be named Walter?

Come on y'all -- spill your secrets for coming up with perfect names...

PS *** Am I violating copyright laws by posting that comic? I found it floating on the web...***

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #14

We interrupt this regularly scheduled feature for actual story writing...
But please leave your link and I'll be sure to visit yours Thursday Thirteen!

Until next week,

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

On Writing ~ Plotter or Pantser

There's no doubt about it, I'm a plotter.
The new short story I'm working on, Elements of Attraction (don't get too attached -- it'll probably change) had to be completely mapped out before I could write a word. Well, that's not exactly true...
I wrote about 1000 words before I scrapped it and went back the drawing board. Literally.

I now have a 3,000 word detailed outline for a 13,ooo-ish word piece and I'm tickled beyond pink. With the chaps laid out in front of me, I can see where and how to add a dose of sexual tension, appropriate foreshadowing, a hint of spooky things-to-come, and (this is important according to author Molly O'Keefe in her recent TRW workshop) leave questions in the readers mind at crucial points to make them want to keep reading. I know it seems obvious, but I never thought about it in those terms before... the dropping of proverbial breadcrumbs.

I even worked out an actual timeline complete with names of ancestors, birth and death dates. (I've done this before, but not nearly in as much detail or thought, because of impatience to just get on with the story!) Most of these details won't even be mentioned in the actual story, but it helps me wrap my head around the characters because events from 100 years ago effect their actions so it was important for me to commit it all to ink.

This morning I sat down to work on chapter one (I'll go back and work on the trashed prologue later) and managed to squeeze out 1,500 words. This is good for me (I'm no Christine!!) as I usually struggle to push out 500 words in a session. And normally, I write by scene, not by chapter. I don't think I've started at the beginning before!
Now, if only I could come up with a good ending. That's always a challenging bit.

What works for you?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Clean Car Drives Better

My car has been dirty for 2 years.
Of course, I exaggerate... slightly.

I'm terribly claustrophobic and the the thought of being trapped in my car at a drive-thru car wash raises my heartbeat to dangerous levels. Seriously... panic attack inducing.
So what's a girl to do when she's tired of endlessly nagging her darling hubby, whose own excuses run to 'lineups are too long' to 'not perfect weather conditions'?
Drive a dirty car. Or at least that was my problem until someone kindly turned this doofus (yes, Rhi, I am a doofus too) on to the DIY CARWASH. I had no idea!! Before you mock me mercilessly, remember if you please, that I spent too many years in water-starved Bermuda (Spend precious drops of water on your car? Think not!) where pressurized water from hoses for 2 bucks just did not exist.
Since my enlightment three weeks ago, I've been to the DIY no less than 8 times (seriously, I've lost count, but I should add, I have two vehicles), have my favorite bay (#1 has the best colored suds foam) and have gotten my pre-rinse, foam-wash, rinse, wax routine down to 2 twoonie cycles from 3. (foreigners: a twoonie is a two dollar coin).
For a twoonie, I get to hold a hose that ingeniously pivots from the ceiling, press gently on the trigger and WHOOSH, feel the power!! *insert manly Tim Allen grunt* I love it! Then I race around my minivan like a woman possessed with the washy brush which spews a rainbow of candy colored foam - cotton candy pink, minty green, blueberry blue - in under 2 minutes (who needs a gym?) Is it hot in here or is just me?
Obsessed? Yes, but I'm making up for two years of filth. Now if only I could catch an obsession for housework.... yawn

Ironically, my folks owned a car wash when I was a kidlet. Not a drive thru, per se, they weren't invented yet. This was a full service, get out of your car while a team of foreigners with green rags polish it inside and out in under 10 minutes kind of car wash. Perhaps it's in my blood?

Supersonic Car Wash ~ A Clean Car Drives Better.
My mother still has a few sheets of the old letterhead stationery, some 35 years later...

Monday, April 09, 2007

Nora's Blue Smoke

The usual preface: I'm not a book review site. If you want honest, nice, snark or ratings, go see Smart Bitches, Mrs. Giggles, Dear Author, Bam, Romance Divas, etc...

Just turned the last page of Nora Robert's Blue Smoke. I've had this book on my shelf for over a year but it kept getting bumped in favor of newer, borrowed or 'hot'. I'm glad I finally got to it. Nora (La Nora, Queen Nora or whatever you'd like to call this prolific author) has written a lot (A LOT) of books. Some are not my cup of tea, others strike just the perfect note. Blue Smoke was in the latter group. Excellent blend of suspense and romance, a sweet family saga mixed with a smokin' hot plot. I like books that offers a little education. La Nora scattered just the right amount of fire facts, police/arson investigative procedure and criminal psychology in this novel to fill a few of my empty brain cells. I highly recommend this one.

That was book 20 in the 50 book challenge.

BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Vicky and Mr. Vicky, who will be welcoming a wee one in 6 or so months time. Another reader will be born!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Check out the HOT, SEXY, BUY-ME cover for
Destiny by Design
coming out May 18th...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Jackpot has been won! But not by me...

I'm as poor today as I was yesterday...

It sure was fun to dream of spending all that money. Two people ended up splitting the almost 39 million dollar jackpot.
(Note to the lottery gods: I would have been happy splitting it three, even four ways!)

Thanks for all your great comments TTers -- Lots of laughs!

Thursday Thirteen #13 - Winning the Lottery

The jackpot in tonight's Canada 649 Lottery has reached $38,000,000!! Besides do one hell of a happy dance, these are the:

13 Things I Would Do With My Lottery Winnings

  1. Set up trust funds for my children and an untouchable retirement account for us (because we're bound to do something stupid with our money)
  2. Pay for post-secondary education for my niece and nephews, with a substantial 'graduation' bonus
  3. Gift 'dream holidays' to extended family members
  4. Buy a couple of acres of lakefront property and built a fabulous, but cozy, cottage so we can spend lazy relaxing summers
  5. Take hubby and sons on a cruise and then to Disney World
  6. Donate generously to my five fave charities
  7. Hire a housekeeper and cook
  8. Install a home gym complete with personal trainer who makes me exercise daily
  9. Buy a bigger house so that my mom could come and live with us
  10. Set up a scholarship in my late father's name
  11. Treat my girlfriends to dinner and a show,... in New York, baby!
  12. Rent a villa in France so that I can do research for a novel I've had kicking around for awhile but can't do much with because a large chunk of it takes place in France...
  13. Set up a Good People Foundation. This is complicated, but it goes something like this: I've crossed paths with some really awesome people in my 29 years (ahem) on this earth. I'd like to give them something - a monetary award, a trip, a car, a house... but when you gift something to someone, they inevitably feel obligated or grateful. Your relationship changes. I wouldn't want that, so I'd set up a bogus foundation and these people would think they won their prize never knowing it was really from me.

What would YOU do with your lottery winnings?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Tagged: Life Balance Meme

I was tagged by Laughing Muse (thanks!) to share my secrets on balancing life. So here goes:

How do you achieve balance in your life? I don't. I'm a mess. I'm either neglecting my writing for my kids, my husband for my writing, or my sleep for all three. And going to the gym is always at the bottom.

What is your biggest challenge in balancing your life? Time. Just not enough of it. But I keep telling myself that things will change. Eventually, there will be time for everything, I just need to be patient and prioritize for the time being. I recently commented to someone that life is all about juggling. If you try to keep all the balls in the air at once, they're going to eventually fall, boinking you on the head on the way down. It's better to let some balls drop and do a really good job with the few in the air. The ones on the floor can be picked up one by one as time allows.

What are your priorities? Kids, hubby, extended family, friends, reading/writing, health, housework. I need to take a page out of Christine's book. She's a wise one, that Christine...

How have your priorities changed over time and why? Absolutely. Before kids, I used to be all about my 'career'. Evenings, weekends, work work work. Imagine all those golden hours I could have been writing! I used to think I was busy before I had children. Ha!

My kids are an absolute priority now. And I'm glad! I waited a long time for them and I'm not an 'at home' mom for nothing. These precious years are fleeting. Before long, my youngest will start school and I'll have all day to create worlds in my head. Or read, go to the gym, do housework, get a (paying) job. Oh goodness. I'm stressing my self out already!

What advice can you share to help all of us balance our own lives? I'm probably not the authority on this, however, it's seems much easier to give advice than to follow one's own, so here goes:

Determine what is important -- decide what must to be done now and what can conceivably wait (yes, I know we all want to do 'it' now! We are the NOW generation!!). Once priorities are established and you only have enough on your plate that you can realistically deal with at one time give each 100% effort. Assess often.

I'm tagging Thomma Lyn and Amy 'cause she doesn't have enough on her plate ;)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Dark Lover

Finished Dark Lover, the first book in JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Having read books 2, 3 & 4 already, I knew the characters and the whys and wherefores of their 'world', but it was nice to know the details of the backstory hinted at in the later books.
The fact that I read this book over a 24 hour period should sum up my addiction to these vamps! I'm still trying to come to terms with what about these books appeals to me so much. Any thoughts?

For those keeping track, this was book 19 in the 50 Book Challenge!

Monday, April 02, 2007


Overheard at the Wylie Kinson household today:

Sweetness (aka almost-3 year old boy):
"Mommy? Where you get those big boobs? Who put them there?"
Me: *speechless*

My Visual DNA

Hell, everyone else is doing it...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Blue Shoes and Happiness

Alexander McCall Smith has a knack for interesting titles. I read The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency about three years back and became an instant fan of the charming series about 'traditionally built' Mma Ramotswe and her adventures in Botswana. Back to the titles -- there are now 8 books in the series, with names like Tears of the Giraffe, Morality for Beautiful Girls, The Full Cupboard of Life, The Kalahari Typing School for Men, In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, and of course, Blue Shoes and Happiness, book 7 in the series. I've found that the titles don't represent the theme of the book nor are they in particular reference to Mma's Ramotswe's pending case. Relevant, yes, but most are derived from a comment or a minor instance in the book. But aren't they catchy?? Certainly better than Tales of a Botswana Detective: The Missing American, or The Doctor's Bad Twin.
If you haven't read No. 1 Ladies, I highly recommend it. In fact, I highly recommend the first four of the series. The writing is uncomplicated and straight forward, mostly from Mma R's point of view (though there is considerable head-hopping, it's done well), and though the stories revolve around her detective agency, there's no high drama, action or suspense. They are gentle stories, interesting reflections about life on the edge of the Kalahari Desert whose main character reflects on her cases by sitting under acacia trees and staring at the sky, who relies on the wisdom of her late father, Obed Ramotswe, and traditional Botswana manners and rules of ettiquette to navigate the sticky situations brought to her. And despite how boring I'm probably making this sound, it quite simply isn't. The characters are so well drawn, such a delight to meet and spend time with... You won't lose sleep trying keep up with the pace of writing, but you'll be smiling from beginning to end.
I've recommended only the first four books in the series because they are the best, or course. Like any new relationship, getting to know the characters and how they affect one another is the most interesting part. Books 5, 6 &7, (I haven't read #8 yet) are a bit like visiting an old aunt: You feel obligated to keep in touch, know you're going to get a cup of tea and piece of cake, but nothing new is really happening. Still, you're glad you visited because it was familiar and comfortable.

I've got JR Ward's Dark Lover on the table beside me and I'm trying desperately NOT to pick it up so I can spend time with my kids today, maybe get some writing done tonight and go to bed at a decent hour. Once that book gets cracked, life will be put on hold 'til it's finished.