Monday, March 27, 2006

A Hubby Who Shares...

No news on the fire bug front. They do think the fire on Saturday was the same person, but there's been nothing since then. Wacko. On a good note, one of the people whose home burned had their cat found and returned. So now we're still on the watch for a missing Daschund, but at least kitty is back home with her momma... Well, with her momma at least.

As far as my peace of mind, there's a bright side. I'm sick... No that's not the bright side. However, I get to stay home because I'm contagious (there it is). So I don't worry about our house as much. Am I paranoid or what?

Hubby went to the doctor on Thurs and was told he had a virus. Over the weekend, he got worse and I got it. So we went together today. Ever had a joint doctor's appointment with someone else? It's weird. We felt like little kids. But it was nice not to sit in the exam room alone.

The nurse was questioning us on all our symptoms. And when my hubby said he got sick first she joked, "Oh, so you brought this home." We both smiled and said, "Yeah." She commented that she bet I was real happy about that. And I said, "Well, I've gotten him sick, so I guess it's only fair." Then, she turned around and said, "You might not say that when I tell you that you have Strepp." My hubby gawked and said, "We have Strepp?" And she said, "Nope, you've still just got your virus. Hers turned into Strepp."

Well, how do you like that? He feels bad, so I've been milking it... :-) The bright side is that I get to stay home. The wife of one of our office staff has Leukemia and so we try really hard not to take anything communicable to work. The doctor gave me Z-Max which is some one-time dosage of antibiotics and said that on Wednesday I should be safe to be around. So I have a free day at home tomorrow!

The only problem with that is I have a hard time writing when I feel crummy. Maybe I'll feel better enough to write. What about you? Do you have a hard time writing when you feel crummy? Or are you able to get loads done?


Saturday, March 25, 2006

Fire Bugs...

My father-in-law, the ex-firefighter calls them fire bugs. Police and investigators call them arsonists. I call them insane.

On my way home from work Thursday, I was keeping my best friend company via mobile phone. She too was on her way home. We live about a mile apart. About the same time, we both noticed really black plumes of smoke coming from the general area of our homes. And like the typical paranoid women we are, we panicked thinking it had to be one of our homes.

I got home first, relieved to find my home still in tact and Buckley cheerfully waiting for me at the door. The smoke was in the general direction of my friend's home, so I stayed on the phone with her. I could hear fire engines and sirens.

She got home to a perfectly intact home as well. It turns out that the fire was directly between our homes. Even worse, it turned out that it was six homes on fire. Then we got the news that it hadn't been some stupid error, but a case of arson. In fact, authorities believe the arsonist (a woman or a man dressed aas a woman) struck another home in our general area several hours before. However, that fire was stopped before it got out of control.

I live less than a mile from the closest fire department. There's another just over a mile away. So, obviously it took a while for this fire to be caught and an accelerant had been used.

Now, today there's been another fire. This one a little further from our homes, but no less upsetting.

As I watch these families grieve their losses, which include pets that were seen running from the flames, and pets that have not been accounted for, I have to wonder what makes a person do this sort of thing. It's not just a need to make sense of it. It's also a deeper need to understand what makes someone like that tick.

I took a few psych courses on criminal profiling while in college. And I realize there's a difference between an arsonist who sets fires to occupied homes and one who sets fire to unoccupied buildings. But I just can't fathom what was going through this woman's or man's head when she/he did it.

And now I wonder what made her/him pick those homes? Both targets on Thursday were in the middle of established neighborhoods (unsure of today's, details are stilling coming in). Much like our home. It's sort of creepy and it makes me wonder if it was a personal issue or if it was random and anyone could be next.

So, what are your thoughts? What sort of mind set drives a person like this?


Friday, March 24, 2006

Wouldn't You Know It...

Finally I'm getting some writing done, my day-work is settling down and what happens? Hubby gets me sick. He came down with an icky virus and of course, I have it now. Which means I'm barking louder than Buckley. I swear, I think I may cough up an important organ!

But that sucks and there's no point dwelling on it. I think there's certainly more interesting things to discuss. Such as what you read. It was Emma I believe who issued a challenge at the beginning of the year, to keep up with everything you read this year. I think that's how it went. So, I have been. As you may have noticed, there's a series of images in my side bar. That's what I've been reading.

And I thought it funny to see Judith McNaught next to Susan Johnson. A little different there :-). But I've been working on my book-buying addiction, so I've been re-reading some of my old favorites and then borrowing from friends. Boy, I love friends who read. Of course, they love me too. And it helps me convince hubby that I need all my books. They're useful for bartering. Sure, you can borrow my Karen Marie Moning, if I can borrow your Vicki Lewis Thompson, and so forth.

So, I thought I'd ask. Have you been keeping up with your reading? Find any interesting combinations? Tried something new you didn't foresee liking?


Thursday, March 23, 2006

And The Winner Is...

My heroine of course. We women have to stick together after all. Plus my hero is hot and it's fun to see him sweat. Really fun!

Thanks to everyone who chimed in with an opinion. It really helped my heroine's cause. Of course my hero wishes you all to perdition. Mwahahaha.

So, he must wait. Which works out well, cause I think the reader needs to get back in his head in order to get a better sense of his motivations. So, this gives me a better opportunity to do that.

Oh my, I'm definitely having issues with talking to myself.

This is for Cole (and anyone else who wishes to browse):

How's your writing going?


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Yes, No, Maybe So...

I'm attempting to get some writing done tonight. Attempting being the operative word. My hero and heroine are arguing. Not in the story, but in my head.

He says they should sleep together now. She says it's too soon and she wants more trust built between them before it happens. He says that sleeping together will help build that trust. She says that's stupid, that sleeping with him wouldn't make her trust him at all. He says we'er over 1/3 of the way through the story and it's time to get it on, that way they have more time for doing it more later. She says she wants to wait until the tension is built to a snapping point, meaning quality over quantity.

Argh! Will I ever get any writing done?

What about you? Whose stand would you take?


Monday, March 20, 2006

Welcoming Spring...

Today was the first day of spring. And after getting a sunburn on the next to last day of winter, I froze my tush off on the first day of spring. Go figure...

While doing a little procrastination surfing, I found a place on Romance Junkies where Jade Lee has been doing critiques for people brave enough to submit something. She's not doing any right now, but the ones she has done are there for everyone to read. I found them to be very enlightening. Also, Cat, the devine host of Romance Junkies assures me that Jade plans to return for more critiquing. If you get a chance, you should check it out!

Now, in the honor of the impending heat, I thought I'd post a refreshing picture to start the season off right!

How was your first day of spring?


Sunday, March 19, 2006

And Now I Rest...

I'm exhausted. Really. It's been a long, but nice weekend. I am feeling a little guilty right now, because I should have my behind planted in a church pew. But my eyes are red and swollen and I keep sniffling. I wouldn't want to scare any other parishoners. I guess that's what I get for being outside for over twelve hours during peak pollen season.

Even worse, I can't take my favorite medicine anymore because it got a black box warning. Which means I can't take it unless I'm dying... because taking it could kill me. You'd think they'd figure that out before I had been taking it for over a year. So now I'm stuck relying on the old standby meds which only half-work. Argh!

But at least my day went well. In fact I had such a good time at the festival, no drunk people did stupid stuff to bother me (which usually happens at festivals). My friend who recently had serious surgery even made it out in her flashy wheel chair. I told her I wanted to do thumb war for her seat :-).

I hope your weekend went just as well. Who knows maybe I'll even get some writing done tonight. Stranger things have happened!


Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Here's some holiday fun...

Your Irish Name Is...
Chloe Fitzpatrick

You're 65% Irish

You're very Irish, and most likely from Ireland.
(And if you're not, you should be!)

I hope everyone has a great Friday and St. Patrick's Day weekend. We're heading to a festival here in our town. I enjoy the music although some of the people can be obnoxious. Cutting out early usually helps that though! Anyone else have any plans?


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Happy Thursday...

Pops-in-law got to go home today... It seems that there was a complex chain of events going on with his meds. So, some were taken away completely and others were adjusted and now he's all fixed and ready to go camping. He's a camping kind of guy! Which is really a good sign, because he hasn't felt that good in a while. We told him to pace himself...

And today is my brother-in-law's birthday. So, in honor of Patrick who was born so close to St. Patrick's day, I thought I'd pop in a little fun.

Your Luck Quotient: 66%
You have a high luck quotient.More often than not, you've felt very lucky in your life.You may be randomly lucky, but it's probably more than that.Optimistic and open minded, you take advantage of all the luck that comes your way.

I can agree with my results... How lucky are you?


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Pit Stop...

Can you hear my squealing breaks? I can. This week has been pretty wacky. I'm having a hard time recalling what day I'm on. I think today is Wednesday, but I've been thinking it's Thursday all day!

Hubby has been swamped at work. He got a promotion last week and they are determined to see that he works for it! And then last night, my fil was admitted to the hospital with blood sugar problems again. They're still working on figuring it out, but he looks good, he's got fluids going in and he gets to wear his own clothes, so I guess it could be a lot worse.

Then today my mom found out she has rheumatism. Apparently she's had it for over 20 years and no one ever caught it. Instead they've been treating her for allergies. Her physician's assistant caught it. Since it's so advanced, she has to go to a specialist to see what treatments they're going to do. At least we know now why she has swelling and horrible pain every few months. And at least she can stop thinking she's allergic to everything. Talk about learned helplessness...

While things aren't just as I would have them, I realize they could be so much worse and I'm thankful that they aren't. It's just that my week has been turned upside down and inside out.

But I'm sitting here gearing up to get some major writing done tonight. How's your week going?


Sunday, March 12, 2006


Buckley has finished taking the course of antibiotics the vet prescribed. Now we're in a wait and see mode. He's acting normal. Well, normal for a nutty puppy. The doctor says there's only a 1 in 1 million chance the organism will survive. But it could be a month or more before we know. So thanks for allt he thoughts and prayers, please keep them up!

On the writing front, this has been a decently productive weekend. I've gotten about 3,000 or so words down. Which is a lot compared to my recent progress. Hopefully
I'll be able to add more to it.

Eloisa James spoke at our rwa chapter luncheon on Saturday. She really gave me some inspiration. It's helped with getting me back moving on my wip.

I hope you all are having a good weekend too. Has it been very productive for you?

Friday, March 10, 2006

I Belong...

I have this wonderfully thick grey book that my father gave to me before he died. It's a history of my grandmother's family. My grandmother's maiden name is Reagan. She's distantly related to Ronald Regan in some way, I'm unclear where the connection is, but he used to send cards on holidays, so I guess it was close enough.

Anyway, when my dad got sick I really lost sight of tracing my heritage. The present times required my attention. When he lost his battle with heart disease two years later, the book was long forgotten.

Recently I was cleaning out my bookcases. For some strange reason, hubby thinks I need to go through my books and get rid of some. Apparently he's lost his mind. I digress... I found the book again. And I started tracing through it. And all of a sudden, I found someone familiar. Then, I found me! Yeah, me! And I thought... hmm... I know these people! So, I read on.

I discovered that my roots have been traced back to Timothy O'Raigan. He was one of five brother's who migrated to America from the province of Munster in Ireland after Cromwell's invasion in the mid-1600's. And then I discovered there's an entire organization for descendants of O'Raigans. By the way, Raigan, Ragan, Regan, Reagan, and numerous others are all the same, just changed by someone along the way.

And I thought, I belong! I've known I had Irish ancestry. I mean without the name even, all you have to do is take a look at the gazillion freckles and you know I'm from somewhere in the region. (Well, part of me is at least.)

Here's our family arms:

It was sort neat to trace it back like that.So, I thought I'd share that with you all too. What about you? Ever traced any lineage? Are you wearing a Claddagh and singing along to Danny Boy? Or are you from another place equally intriguing?


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Still Going...

Sorry it's been a few days since I last posted. Ever feel like you've been lost somewhere deep in a time-space continuum? Me too!

This weekend flew by at the speed of light. Then a good friend went into labor on Monday and had to have an emergency c-section (umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby). But I'm happy to report that both mother and child are doing splendid!

Also, Buckley is doing well. He's taking his medication like a good little puppy... I'm sure the peanut butter coating helps. And the vet says there's only a 1 in 1 million chance the organism will survive the round of treatment. So at least the odds are in our favor!

On the writing front, well let's just say I'm not getting 3 pages a day done... But I have gotten a little done and I'm still plugging away. If only life didn't get so hairy sometimes!

How about you? Getting everything done you meant to get done?


Saturday, March 04, 2006


I'm not talking about the thing speed skaters do to cut down on resistance and pass someone, I'm not talking about drawing up plans for something either (despite what my hubby says this word means). I'm talking about writing drafts...

When I initially decided to write with the intention of getting published, I did my usual routine... Research, research, research. Somewhere in the research process I read that Lori Foster doesn't do more than one draft. She simply writes and edits at the same time and is done. I thought, Sounds like a plan to me. Mwahahahahaha... If only.

For a while I struggled to make my first draft as perfect as possible. But it took me FOREVER. Then I realized, I needed to get the story down and then I could go back and rework what needed to be reworked, erase what needed to be erased, and thump myself on the head for using the same words over and over and over and over and over.

And I've found I'm a much happier writer that way.

What about you? Are a single pass perfectionist, or do you do a couple of several drafts?

Oh yeah, and here's a treat for the weekend:

April (who isn't Lori Foster, but enjoys reading her single draft books just the same)

Friday, March 03, 2006

Not Pretty...

I'm popping in to post the picture of Buckley's mark. It ain't pretty, but it's there. It's the bullseye mark that looks like we stamped him with an ink pad. Strangest thing! Never bothered him a bit. But he loved that we kept rubbing his tummy to get a look at it!

If you see a similar mark on your pet, get them to the vet asap!

April (who promises to blog more when she isn't running around the office like a fruit cake!)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Fast and Slow...

We all read and write for all sorts of reasons. Ok, that sounded stupid. We all read and write because hopefully we were taught to do so in grade school. What I mean is, we all read stories and write stories for various reasons. That still didn't come out perfect, but you get what I mean, don't you?

I've always done both in one fashion or another and to one degree or another. And given my recent discussion of how s. l. o. w. I'm writing, I thought it interesting that I have read 4 books in the past 3 days. When I realized this today, I thought... What the heck have I been doing? Sitting on my butt all day? And I realize, no I haven't. I've worked, dealt with a sick doggie, cuddled with my hubby, dealt with my hubby getting robbed by his dentist... All sorts of things. I'm not really sure how I fit those 4 books in, but I did.

Then I thought, why the heck can't I write that fast? And well, I'm hoping I'll get faster. I mean, let's face it, I didn't start out reading 4 single title books in 3 days. Well, not unless I was home sick. I hadn't noticed I was reading so much until I kept having to put pics over in the side bar since I accepted Emma's challenge to keep track of what I read.

Then I thought, why have I read so much. And the answer slapped me in the head. Literally in the head. It was a thought after all. It's because I've been stressed. It's like a coping mechanism. And it's GREAT! It's such an escape from stress and reality and everything... I love it! I read for enjoyment too, I won't deny that. I don't have to be stressed to read a book. But I might read a lot faster when I am, I don't know.

So, my question to you all is this: How much do you read, and why?

April (who is now off to write like the wind too... I hope! And who in hind sight thinks she could have covered a much more interesting, subject given the title of this post. Argh!)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Not My Best Day...

So, I took Buckley to the vet. With the assumption that everything would be just fine. Maybe he'd pinched himself somehow or maybe a bee sting (although there was no swelling or pain). And what I found wasn't exactly what I would have liked to hear. Although it could be much worse.

The vet believes poor Buckley got bit by a tick. Yeah, those vile, blood sucking pests. However, the very strange coloration pattern leads the doctor to believe that the tick was most likely infected with Lyme Disease. Yeah, Lyme Disease. The problem with making the diagnosis is that it takes a while for a test to pick up the disease in the system. And by the time it does, it has gotten a strong hold on the victim.

So, the doctor went ahead and started Buckley on the course of antibiotics he would normally prescribe if a test came back positive. His hope is that since we caught it so fast, we can nip it before it has a chance to set in. So, Buckley gets a pill popped down his throat twice a day for now.

The doctor told me to watch for signs of lethargy, lack of appetite, etc... But you have to remember, Buckley is only about 1 and a half. So, he's still got a lot of puppy in him. Which means he bounces between bouts of extreme energy and sleep. He can be running and growling and playing one minute and out cold the next. All day, I found myself going, is he lethargic, or just his normal sleepy time?

My craziness aside, 90% of cases such as his, which are caught early and treated survive. That's a good statistic. Not the 100% I would like, but the odds are in our favor. Damn ticks.

I'm going to post a picture of the spot tomorrow so that you can see what it looked like and hopefully be able to spot it better if you see one on one of your pets. Apparently this happens a lot.

So, please keep little Buckley in your prayers!



I reached 25,000 words tonight. I know, I shouldn't break out the champagne flutes yet, I still have another 75,000 or so to go. But I was really happy to reach this because it had been my goal and I really wanted to make it!

I just ran some calculations... And in order to complete my first draft by June which is a mere month before nationals, I need to write 3 pages a day straight through till June. Now it's after midnight, so my math may be screwy, I'll rerun the numbers under the light of day. That sounds manageable. It's a bit more writing than I've been doing lately, so I'm going to have to really hunker down.

In the mean time, I'm taking my precious Buckley into the vet tomorrow morning. My hubby was home from work today and he called me about a spot on the inside of Buckley's leg. Now, my hubby freaks at the first sign of anything with our doggie. Which is funny, because our dog reverse sneezes and it sounds like he's choking to death and my hubby gets all upset which is sweet, but he wants to rush Buckley to the emergency clinic. All you have to do is mutter the word "treat" and miracle of miracles Buckley is all healed. So I thought this would be a similar deal. I told him to call our vet (who is great about trouble shooting problems over the phone)

Well, the vet wants Buckley to come in. And when I got home, hubby showed me the spot and it's not like anything I've seen before. It's this large red spot, under his skin. But it's not swollen at all. Then tonight it started fading around the middle, so it looks like a target sign. Mr. B doesn't seem bothered by it in the least. He just doesn't like being put on his back if there's no tummy rubbing going on.

So, tomorrow morning Buckley and I are heading to the vet to have him checked out... I'm guessing it's a bite of some sort and I know it's not a brown recluse or black widow which we do have here, so at least I know that. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Here's a picture of Buckley studying me while I type. It's one of his favorite activities. Well, that and chasing the mouse arrow on the screen. Oh yeah, and barking at the orange cat who prances across our porch. Can't forget that.

How much do you write most days?