Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday, September

As September (and hopefully the unbearable heat) winds down, I find myself settling into this new writer's life and loving it.  Sure, sometimes I feel a bit isolated and occasionally I long to go shopping, but days like today make me truly appreciate it.

I've been writing while listening to Lady Antebellum's new album.  Romantic, sweeping music.  Great for writing romantic fiction.  My puppy is currently sleeping near my desk.  The words have actually been flowing.  I don't know if they're good or not - I refuse to edit until I'm done with the book.  I'm happy.  Seriously contented.

Today is supposed to be the last truly hot day for awhile.  After today's high near or at 100 degrees, it's supposed to be in the 80's.  I'm hoping soon we'll have this (taken last year). 

Meanwhile, I'll keep working on my book.  When I start missing being around people (and need to exercise), I'll stop and head out to the gym.  And I'll be dreaming of fall.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I did a short guest blog over at Eharlequin today.  If you get a chance, go check it out.

Here's the link

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

As mentioned, I went to see Maroon 5 and Train on Friday night.  The weather was perfect and the show almost sold out.  I love both bands, so I was very excited. 

We got there in plenty of time for the 7:30 show.  Enough time to buy an expensive ($12 each!) beer and a couple of over-priced t-shirts ($35 each!) and find our seats.  The opening act was Matt Nathanson.  He was pretty good, nothing spectacular, though the three teenage girls behind us were surely among his biggest fans.

Train came on next.  They put on a hell of a show.  I realized I am truly in love with Pat Monahan.  Yumm. 

It was interesting to me because he changed clothes several times during their set.  He also came down into the audience for Marry Me, one of my all time sappy song favorites.

He sang some of the old hits too, like Meet Virginia.  Train put on a very good show and made me glad I got a Train T-shirt.

After Train finished, they did the requisite encore and played two more songs.  Then we waited for the set to be changed out for Maroon 5.

Maroon 5 also did not disappoint.  Their show was very high energy, with Adam Levine jumping around and the band going right from one song to another. 

It should be noted that Adam did not change clothes at all during their set.  He also seemed a bit weary.  He mentioned that this show was their next to last show on the tour (the last was done near Houston on Saturday night) and then they'd get to go home.  He said it had been a looooonnnng tour.  Still, he did not skimp on the performance.  Maroon 5 was great, but the one thing I noticed was they did not make an emotional connection with the audience like Train did.  They even speeded up their slower songs and it was all bam, bam, bam.  Thank you ma'am. 

For me, this settled my burning question of who was hotter - Pat or Adam.  I'd definitely say Pat, though a lot of my friends disagree with me.  Adam seemed smaller than I expected, though he had some nice ink on his arms.  Still, Maroon 5 didn't disappoint. 

The entire concert was fun and I enjoyed the show.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

It's the first day of autumn and I woke up to 55 wonderful degrees!  Yay!  My little puppy was shivering as she went outside to do her business, but I was thrilled.

I'm also thrilled to announce I'm featured today on Vanessa Kelly's blog.  Check it out at

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Well we (the hubby, the dogs, the new puppy, and I) are settling into this new routine.  I'm big on routines and schedules.  Without them, I tend to fall into a disorganized mess and get nothing done.  As I've mentioned before, I still get up early and have to be at my desk by a certain time.  I read my blog roll, check my email, and have to start working on my book at a certain time.  Which is, er, now.

The hubster is just as bad about schedules as I am.  Which is probably a good thing, as we don't have to fight about that.  He has to eat lunch at noon, and watch the noon news, and then TMZ.  Libby (the new puppy) has to eat three times a day, so she eats her mid-day meal at noon also.  I'm learning when she has to go out, when to get her exercise (she runs crazy, full out, all around the back yard or the kitchen).  And - drum roll please - last night she slept through the entire night without having to go out!!! I woke up at 1:00 am and checked on her and she was still asleep.  Same thing at 2 am and at 4 am.  Finally, I just gave up worrying about it and went to sleep.  When we got up at 6, she sure had to go potty! 

I had to go to the doctor yesterday (finally) about my ankle.  It's been bothering me since June (yes, June.  I procrastinate, thinking it will eventually go away).  It had gotten to be excruiatingly painful to even go up and down the stairs, never mind do weighted squats or jog on the treadmill.  Well, those things are now out for awhile.  The doctor took x-rays, no bone damage or breaks, but my deltoid ligament is strained and maybe torn.  I have to wear an ankle brace and take prednisone for 10 days.  If the pain isn't better by then, I have to go see a podiatrist and get an MRI.  Dr. Webb just said I have to let it heal.  He still wants me to work out - he went on and on how great weight lifting is for you, which I know - but nothing that involves putting stress on my ankle.  He said to do low, low, impact cardio if I must, but he would prefer me to just lift.  I think I can walk still though, because I like to burn calories.

Anyway, today is the last official day of summer; tomorrow the first day of autumn.  The weather people say today is supposed to be gorgeous - high around low 80's.  I'm ready. Definitely ready.  And, this weekend, I'm going to see this guy - Pat Monahan of Train.  Yes, I have tickets to see Train and Maroon Five!  Can't wait!

Well, since it's now 10:15 and I've only written a few words, I need to get back to it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It's Tuesday and the morning air (at 1:00 am, 4:00 am, and 6:00 am) has a delightful nip to it.  This gives me hope that autumn will soon make an appearance.  Besides that though, I am exhausted.  A new baby puppy is a LOT of work.  Because it's been five years since my last dog was a pup, I'd sort of forgotten this part of it.  Or rather, I'd remembered but in a fuzzy, hazy, yeah it was bad, sort of way.

She is cute and I love her.  She's a bundle of energy, teeth and barks and does everything full out, including when she crashes.  My other boxer loves her (at least when she's not nipping at him) and my Mini Schnauzer despises her with that elder dog passion. 

Between her and working out at the gym every day, I'm sore and tired.  Plus writing and cooking.  But I have to say, I'm a much happier person with this sort of life than I was when I had to go to the day job every day and squeeze in my regular life around that.  Sure, I don't have as much money (as much - heh!  Try no money!), but I think happiness is more important.  I've discovered to my surprise that I don't miss the shopping as much as I thought I would - I may feel differently in October which was my traditional buy an new pair of expensive boots month - but so far it's not too bad. 

I've also gotten addicted to coffee.  As in, I get a headache if I don't get in my two or three cups.

Ah well, these are my musings for the day.  Got to get to work now.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Yay, it's Friday!  When I worked the day job, I always loved this day.  It meant lunch out and dinner out and the end of a long week of helping customers and selling insurance and keeping the office running.
Now... not so much. 

While it's still the end of the week, and I figured my deadlines so I don't have to write on weekends unless I'm running behind (always possible), we aren't eating out so much anymore. 

I was thinking what else has changed since I became a stay at home writer.

I sleep an hour later.  I used to get up at five, be at the computer by seven, and at the day job by ten.  Now, I get up at six and am at my computer by eight.  In between, I wrangle puppies and husband and shower and eat breakfast.

I don't flatiron or even blow dry (most days) my hair.  Nor do I put on makeup until mid-day, when I know I'm going to go somewhere like the store or the gym. 

I love my around-the-house clothes.  For me, these consist of concert T-shirts (Keith Urban, anyone) and terry cloth shorts or running shorts, and flip-flops.  When it gets cooler (please hurry, God), I'll switch to yoga pants and slip on sneakers.

I really, really, really enjoy having the time to get into my writing and not be watching the clock and worrying about finishing up so I can go to the day job.   Now, I can write my scene and remember what I put in the previous one.  I'm loving this!

My dogs enjoy having me around.  And, this new puppy is the first puppy I've ever been able to stay home with.  She has a playpen cage thing in my office with lots of toys, I can take her out every couple of hours, and she gets pretty constant human interaction.  It's fun, if exhausting.

My husband is learning to be less intrusive when I'm writing.  He's gotten way better and doesn't interrupt me as much as he was in the beginning, when I was considering purchasing noise-blocking headphones or going to the local Starbucks to write.

I love my new office (that used to be my daughter's room when she was younger and lived at home).  With the front facing window, I can see the outside world, but it's not too much of a distraction.  It also faces east, so I don't get the blinding afternoon sun.

So, all in all, I'm loving life.  My next Harlequin Romantic Suspense is due November 1st and is going well.  It's cooler here and I'm eagerly awaiting fall.  Life is good.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The new puppy!

As promised, today's blog is all about my new puppy.  Since she turned 8 weeks old on 9-11, we decided to name her Liberty Belle and call her Libby for short.  She's a purebred Boxer from Denton's Kennel in Pryor, Oklahoma.  The above picture was taken on their farm when we went to pick her up.

She's a very good-natured puppy and gives kisses with abandon.  She plays hard, in the way of all puppies, and then crashes.  Today is her third day with us (not counting Sunday which was spent in the car driving 5 hours each way).

She is so tiny compared to my full-grown Boxer - 7 pounds to his 70.  She's a brindle and he's a fawn, which will be a nice contrast when she gets older.

She's already tried to play with him.  He seems willing, until her sharp little teeth nip him.

Due to lack of sleep on my part (taking care of a baby puppy is EXHAUSTING), this post will be short.  One more picture, and you also can check out my photos on Facebook.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Yesterday, because I was on the road for close to eleven hours picking up my new puppy, I didn't do my traditional 9-11 post, which usually is a picture of our flag with the words "Never Forget" under it.
Now, I'm glad I didn't.  Because really, who could ever forget the day our world changed?

I was listening to a radio show this morning (Kidd Kraddock) and he said he'll never forget the moment the second plane hit.  Like most of us, when the first plane hit you had to believe it was some kind of freak accident or something.  But the instant you saw the second plane hit, you realized we were under attack.  Our country was under attack.

I'll never forget the confusion and panic and terror and sorrow of that day.  Neither I suspect, will anyone else. 

On the drive North yesterday, we passed a police barricade in Grapevine.  There were decorated military and police there, as they dedicated a new memorial to 9-11.  I only caught a glimpse as we drove past, but it looked beautiful. 

So today, the day after, ten years later, instead of saying "Never Forget", I'll ask you instead to always remember.  And be grateful for the joyous life you have, with people you love.

Soon, once I recover from eleven hours on the road and interrupted sleep, I'll post pictures of my new and as yet unnamed puppy.

Bless you.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wow, taking three days off from writing doesn't make it easy to get back into.  I've been working all day and have yet to make my word count for the day.  Plus, today is the 29th anniversary of my husband's and my first date.  But I will continue to slog away at the word count so I can walk the dogs and then be rewarded with some sort of celebratory dinner.

Technically, or at least as far as I'm concerned, summer is over.  We had Labor Day and for once, the weather here in Texas is cooperating.  It got to 58 degrees last night and the high today is supposed to be mid-eighties.  It's supposed to be like that all week.  Yay, cuz I love me some fall weather!

This weekend is not only the Sunday I get to bring my new Boxer puppy home, but the tenth anniversary of September 11th.  Like everyone else, I'll never forget where I was that day when the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center.  We were at work and our employee Marilyn came in and told us she'd heard on the radio about some plane crashing into some big skyscraper.  We turned on the break room TV and bewildered, watched as the second plane hit. 

That day was full of tears, shock, and terror.  All the skyscrapers in Dallas were evacuated.  Our phones at work went eerily silent.  I called my Dad, who was at the hardware store where he worked and had no idea.  By then, the Pentagon had been attacked.  He freaked out and had to go so he could call his wife.  I called my mother, but got her answering machine.  I called my daughter, who was attending college at Texas A&M in College Station. 

And when we got home, we sat glued to the television, trying to make sense of a world that had suddenly, irrevocably, changed for the worse.  We didn't understand, how could we guess at a hate so deep, that vicious, that it could do something like this.  All the people lost, the pain , the bravery, our country in mourning.  Even remembering now, ten years later, makes me cry.

Every September 11th since then, I've posted a simple photo of an American flag, with the words "NEVER FORGET".  As if we ever could. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saturday, September 2, 2011

It's a Saturday, a day I don't usually blog, but I have some wonderful news to share.  On Thursday, I accepted a new, six book contract from Harlequin Books!  This is for three more Romantic Suspense and three more Nocturnes.  I am thrilled beyond words as I love writing for Harlequin and this contract will keep me employed through 2013! 

I called or emailed my family.  My dad, who lives in Boulder, Colorado, sent me flowers.

Last night, my hubby took me out to Red Lobster for a feast.  We always go to Red Lobster to celebrate a new book contract.  The timing was perfect because it's Crab Fest there right now.

I started off with a giant, top-shelf, margarita.

Then we munched on those delicious cheddar bisquits while we waited for our appetizer.

Our appetizer was oysters on the halfshell.  I was so excited to get them that we'd eaten them all before I remembered to take a picture. Sorry about that. 

Then came our salads.  Good thing I was hungry!

And finally, the entreee.  I had the Seafood Bake.  One pound of crab legs, baked scallips, and shrimp.  You can't really see the scallops or shrimp because they're under the crab.  As is the potatoes and corn on the cob.

By the time I finished this meal, I was nearly comatose from food and drink, but we still ordered dessert.  Hey, it was a celebration, after all.  We got apple crumble with ice cream, which we shared.  I totally forgot to take any picture of that, so you'll just have to imagine it. 

What a great way to celebrate a new contract! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A new puppy is coming!  We've put a deposit down with a breeder on a female Boxer puppy.  Since she was born July 17th, she won't be ready to come home for a few weeks, so we have time to get ready for her arrival.  We'll be driving up to Oklahoma to pick her up!

The below pictures are her at 4 weeks old.  We picked her out of the litter due to her coloring. (4 girls and 3 boys, I believe)

Isn't she adorable?  The breeder has been calling her Cricket.  It's a cute name and we like it a lot, but we're thinking of naming her Liberty, Libby for short.    We won't know for sure until we actually meet her and learn her personality.

Yesterday, the breeder sent new pictures.  Here she is at 6 weeks old - even cuter!

We can't wait to welcome her into our home and our family.