Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Story Behind The Story


Funny how you drive by something, year after year, without gleaning even a hint of its existence. To wit: Popotla, which turns out to be a small fishing village just five minutes south of Rosarito Beach, Mexico. In all my trips across the border, I’d never stopped there, let alone noticed it. Oh, I’d seen the white archway just off the “free road.” But there are tons of ‘em along Mexican roads—and they signifiy…um…well, they signify that someone once had a plan—maybe even a muy grande plan—but nothing ever came of it. Except for the arches. So you see all these elaborate entrances…to nada.

Anyway, these particular arches come right after “Foxploration” which is the Fox Studio complex where they filmed a lot of Titanic (more on that later). We missed the turnoff the first time, necessitating not one but two trips through Mexico’s crack security checkpoint (they’re looking for guns, not drugs), then headed down a bumpy dirt road. Said road is bordered by a wall that seems to go on forever, and we noticed the interesting way it was decorated. Colorful, of course, since this is, after all, Mexico, but also, I dunno—quirky in a way. Bits and pieces of tile in oddly shaped mosaics…other unidentifiable “stuff” seemingly stuck to the wall in random fashion. All in all, it looked like a grade school art project that had seen better days (more on this later).

So, we get toward the end of the road and, uh-oh, cars are leaving and we’re in the way. Back-up. Go forward. Back-up. Go forward. How the HELL do we get to that parking lot we can SEE but which there doesn’t seem to be an entrance to??? Finally, we swing around a curve and end up in front of all these shanty-type restaurants perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Outside, young guys, old guys, and really, really, old guys are yelling at us to PARK AQUI. PARK ACQUI.

What if we don’t want to eat at their restaurant?

Well, Kathy gets a bit frazzled at this point, so we park, sealing our restaurant choice, if ya know what I mean.
Now, I don’t wanna say the place was funky…but how often do your dining establishments have NO SINK in the restroom? (Guess it goes without saying there also wasn’t a sign reminding employees to llave los manos before exiting.) Oh, well. When in Rome…

So, we decide to have a beer and a snack, just to warrant the parking spot, and order two plates of fish tacos. Maybe we would’ve ordered more, but the Mariachi group was so loud (we really are getting old) that we figured we’d make it quick.


Next, we wander back outside and, after much pleading, convince Parking Guy to let us lea
ve the car while we browse the rest of the “town.” I say “town” because it’s just a bunch of restaurants serving fresh fish right out of the ocean. And, ya know, gross stuff. Like giant crabs. And whole fish with their heads still attached and their eyes still winking at you.

A cute local guy waves us toward some stairs that disappear out of sight and for some reason this appeals to me, so we make it our next stop. We descend the windy, stone steps and end up in a cute little restaurant right on the sand, overlooking the beach where the fisherman drag their boats up on shore and sell their wares right off the stern. This is where we negotiate the purchase of a red snapper (although from the restaurant). Kath instructs the guy to ditch the head, the guts, and the bones. Next thing we know, he’s about to throw it on the grill, but we get him to foil it up instead. Pretty cool, cuz he’d already seasoned it. I don’t know how much it weighed, but we had plenty of fish for four people and it only cost 16 bucks.

There’s another (more famous) fishing village down the coast, about halfway between Rosarito and Ensenada, named Puerto Nuevo that (I’m told) started out like Popotla. Just a place for local Mexicans to make some money or buy something for dinner. Well, of course, we Americans discovered Puerto Nuevo and pretty much turned it into a tourist trap, complete with restaurants that have numbers for names (Restaurant No. 1, Restaurant No. 2). And, trust me. They have sinks in their restrooms. Not that I’m saying sanitary facilities are a BAD thing, but I dunno. One “improvement” seems to lead to another. Under the dreaded gringo influence, the next thing you know, they’re taking reservations, using sweet ‘n’ sour mix in their margaritas, and putting things like “fajitas” on the menu (Fajitas are an American invention, not Mexican).

So, I really enjoyed Popotla and put it on my “to google” list for my return. Which brings us to the rest of the story. Apparently, Fox Studios sought someplace “cheap” to build their Titanic sets and came up with the land right next to Popotla. Then they built that wall to shield what was going on from view. (In fact, I don’t know what the layout of the town used to be, but according to what I’ve read, the wall cut the village off from the sea—if so, they’ve since somehow re-routed.) Anyway, they (Fox) also managed to chlorinate the seabed where the locals have been harvesting sea urchins for decades. In response, the villagers gathered garbage, junk, and other bits of refuse which they used to “decorate” the wall (hmm…or was it a protest?). Go here, to see the art.

So, that was our Saturday afternoon excursion. More later on the rest of the trip. Oh, and by the way, the fish was fabulous and no one’s gotten sick.

Yet.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Travel Tip

Was gonna blog the entire weekend, complete with pictures, but I forgot to bring the little cable thingy to work. You know, the one that tells the camera to send the data to the computer? Sigh. Hope I can find it.

Anyway, to tide y’all over here’s one of the stories:

It’s about eleven o’clock in the evening, and Nancy’s tired so she goes to bed while Juli, Kathleen and I head for the Jacuzzi. This spot is just too cool the way it’s perched out over the cliff and you can see up the coast to the Rosarito Beach Hotel. (Insert picture here if I had the cable thingy—in the meantime, you’re just gonna have to use your imagination. ‘Course if I had the energy, I could use all my writerly talents to paint word pictures, but alas. I’m a little jet lagged. Well, there was no jet involved, so make that margarita-lagged. Yep, there were plenty margaritas. And Tecate. And Bailey’s. And something called Crème de Grand Marnier…)

Anyway, we trot on down to the Jacuzzi and discover a young couple of the male and female variety, but they’re married and don’t seem to care that we’re spoiling their romantic moment. We hang out with them for awhile, sip our cocktails, ogle the view, get waterlogged, then go back up to the condo (we’re in the seventh floor penthouse).

About ten minutes later, Nancy drags herself out of one of the back bedrooms and asks if we can keep it down. (Damn, she WOULD have to be a light sleeper.) To tell you the truth, I think we were being pretty good. Well, except for when we went to look at something in her bathroom which, well, maybe we were a little loud when we were standing right next to her door.

So, we’re trying to be quiet in the living room, and we’re afraid it’s not working, so we go out on the terrace and shut the sliders.

Flash forward to a half-hour later, and we go to re-enter.

Only, there’s one problem.

Turns out the latch was in the “locked” position when we slid the doors closed. There is no budging them.

Yep. It’s after midnight and we’re trapped outside on the patio. (May I point out the booze is INSIDE?)

Juli takes dibs on the towel hanging over a chair. I claim the bar-b-que cover for my blanket. Meanwhile, two of us try to pry the door open, while the third keeps an eye on the pool down below in case a security guard does a walk-through.

Nada.

Finally, we decide to risk aggravating Nancy further. We pound on the sliding glass doors.

Thank God, she’s a light sleeper after all! Apparently, after listening to this strange noise for five solid minutes, she decides it might be us, so she drags herself out to the living room again.

And sees three desperate faces at the window.

Even lets us in (although I’m sure there was some inner debate involved).

Well, the moral of the story: Never, ever, close the doors of a patio all the way. Particularly when you’re on the wrong side. Of a rental condo. Seven floors up. In Mexico.

Unless you have plenty of margaritas, Tecate, Bailey’s, Crème de Grand Marnier….

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Adios (for the weekend)

Off to Rosarito Beach for the annual girls' birthday/Xmas bash!
Hasta La Vista! (Note: If you are reading this and steal things for a living, please don't take advantage of my absence by visiting my home and robbing me blind)

P.S. MAJOR victory on the scale this morning. Down EIGHT pounds!!! (Soon to be resurrected through mucho frijoles y margaritas).

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Scatching My Head Over This

Geesh. Some people have too much time on their hands.

Either that, or they’re plain nuts.

Here’s the deal: It was announced over the weekend that the winning ticket for the $365 million powerball lottery was sold in Nebraska.

Monday was a holiday so the lottery offices were closed. Up pops a guy who strolls into a restaurant in Lincoln with his “niece” and “son”, claiming to be the winner. Much to everyone’s delight, he springs for lunch all around. To the tune of $2,000.

Must be the winner, right?

Wrong.

But close enough for the media. Good Morning America and World News Tonight (among others) swooped in and put him on TV.

Alas, he was NOT the winner. Turns out he flew in from Oregon to have a little fun, courtesy of some author who lives in Austin Texas who financed the airline tickets, hotel, and lunch-buying spree. There’s a third party involved—some guy in Connecticut who’s described as a professional prankster.

Excuse me, professional prankster?

Where do I go to apply? How do the employee benefits rate? Is there a pension plan?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Mind If I Whine?

I’m in some physical pain today. Not constant. Just when I move a certain way. Like when I look over my right shoulder before changing lanes.

But it’s not in my shoulder, and it’s not in my hip.

I think I sprained my waist.

Can you do that? Is it possible? What kind of physical mistake do you have to make to sprain your waist?

My guess is that it happened while I sat in my unergonometrical (nonergonometrical? Ijust like to say it) chair a couple hours this morning critiquing chapters for writing friends.

Yep, that must be it. Carpal tunnel syndrome of the waist.

Where do I go to file my disability claim?

In unrelated news: it HAILED in southern California today. No, really. Right there on my patio. A little pile of ice crystals that melted about 30 seconds later. Tonight, I'm praying for snow. Hey, it could happen.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A Girl Can Dream…uh…Can’t She?

In case y’all haven’t heard, equality for women took a substantial leap recently.

Heidi Fleiss is reportedly opening a “stud farm” somewhere outside Las Vegas and, according to local L.A. TV station KTLA, she’s hired her first, er, employee. Not that I’d ever pay for sex, mind you, but I couldn’t help clicking on over to see what the guy looked like (you can do the same by clicking here).

Now, aside from the obvious attributes (six pack abs, powerful biceps, etc.) what I like about the guy is that he can take on a myriad of “looks.” Something tells me this might come in handy at ye old brothel.

Say, for instance, Prudence Smalltown comes in with her heart set on a “bad boy.” Yep, this guy fits the bill when he’s sporting facial hair and a “brood.”

Now, what about Lola LaFleur? Maybe she’s tired of the playboys in town and hankers for the Matt Damon type. Yep, our guy’s got that going on, too.

Is there no end to the roles he can play?? Well, he IS an actor, after all. Or was. Not sure adding “stud muffin” to his resume is gonna help his acting career…unless this is just part of a publicity stunt (gee, ya think??).

Years ago, when Heidi had her lingerie shop on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, I popped in just to be able to say I’d, er, popped in. Sure enough, there she was behind the counter, signing underwear. (I had to wonder which career her pops was most proud of—madam to the stars, convicted felon, or tourist attraction oddity.) Anyway, she was very gracious and a pretty good-sized crowd surrounded her. Alas, the novelty must have worn off eventually, hence her latest career (outside of court appearances with actor Tom Sizemore).

But back to the idea of a brothel for women. I have to say I’m all for it. Anyone ever read Butterfly? I couldn’t even remember the name of the author—had to Amazon it (hey, a new verb)—turns out to be Kathryn Harvey and it was published in 1988. The main character ran a secret brothel above an upscale men’s store in Beverly Hills where women could indulge their fantasies. I’m not talking erotica here (or, at least not that I can recall) and each of the characters partaking in the “club” had their own backstories and eventual romances.

As I read the story, I remember thinking….hmmmm….

Again, not that I’d ever pay for sex (ha, that I’d blog about anyway). And you can bet, if I even stepped foot on the premises (ya know…like to keep a friend company or something) I’d have to get plenty liquored up.

Still…the idea of nameless, no-strings-attached, do-what-I-want-when-I-want, oh-sorry-nothing-for-you-today, sex has a certain appeal, doncha think?

Yeah, a girl can dream.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

This Is How It’s Supposed To Work

Having a day job forces me to do my writing at night.
Having confused hormones forces me to exercise at night too.

Decisions, decisions.

Tonight, I got home, put a load of laundry in, answered some email, then conducted a heated debate with myself.

To exercise…or to write. Ah, that was the burning question.

On one hand, I argued, maybe getting on the treadmill wasn’t such a good idea since (sniff, sniff) I’ve got a head cold.

On the other hand, I didn’t write anything yesterday, so MAJOR guilt is setting in.

But…but…my progress toward regaining my old body took such a frickin’ hit last week, what with three nights out in a row (not to mention Valentine’s yesterday—which, don’t get excited, I spent with friends)…I really, really, thought I should knock off at least 30 minutes on the treadmill.

Then the truth hit me. The real problem—the reason I didn’t wanna do EITHER (aside from the fact that I’m an honest-to-goodness slacker)—was that I wanted to get back to the book I’m reading. The Secret Life of Bees.

Somehow, realizing the source of my indecision, made my choice clear.

I got on the treadmill.

And about fifteen minutes into it, as I flipped back and forth between Everybody Loves Raymond and the making of the latest Madonna video, somehow a MAJOR problem I’d been having with my current WIP got fixed. Just like that! Seemingly out the blue!

Hey, that’s what I call multi-tasking…and the way writing should work all the time. Now if I could only squeeze in the next scene before the Olympics come on (not to mention American Idol). Shoot, more multi-tasking.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Walk An Aisle In Their Shoes

To aspiring writers who can’t fathom the latest rejection of their uber-fabulous-sure-to-be-a-bestelling-breakout novel, I highly recommend a quick visit to your local Barnes & Noble. You may find it soothes the soul.

Well, somewhat.

That’s what I happened to do this past weekend. At 10:57 a.m. I equeried an agency with Stealing Amy. By 12:57 p.m. I already had my emailed rejection. Hey, nothing like establishing a new “personal best” for time elapsed between submission and rejection! Can’t say I hold the known record, however. That belongs to a critique partner who, as I recall, got one back in less than an hour.

In some ways it’s nice to be put out of your misery so quickly. On the other hand, it “feels” a little like, gee…they must have taken all of…what…3 seconds to make up their minds? Well, guess what? That’s the general consensus among agents and editors. And that’s why they keep telling us we have to hook them early and completely.

So, back to Barnes & Noble.

I needed a birthday present for the evening, so after licking my wounds (which took about 3 seconds longer than it took the agent to inflict them), I trotted on down to the bookstore. While there, of course, I browsed the romance section.

Guess how many books I picked up to check out? Guess how many I put back? Guess how long it took me to make that snap decision? Right. About 3 seconds.

Over and over again.

Standing in the aisles, faced with all those books, it took something pretty special to get my attention, hold my attention, and transfer it under my arm for purchase.

Just like when agents and editors look at our work.

So what did I end up with? Mostly “buzz” books. Carole Radziwill’s “What Remains”, Sue Monk Kidd’s “The Secret Life of Bees” (talk about a real buzz book ha ha), and Joan Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking.”

Oh yeah, and one romance. Melissa Senate’s The Breakup Club. Mostly because I’ve liked two of her other books.

Apparently, it just wasn’t a day for taking a chance on a new romance author. Not for me, and not for an agent.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Back To The Future

Over the weekend, I was going to visit my parents and I thought how nice it would be if I had something fun to take them. You know, a little giftee. So, here’s the conversation I had with myself:

Me: Gee, what could I take over to Daddy and Annie’s? Hmm…Too bad I haven’t ordered that Il Divo CD Annie wants from Amazon yet. Darn, should have ordered it when she mentioned seeing them on Oprah so it would have arrived by now. If only there was a place you could go and…oh, wait…

Then I remembered. You see, they have these places called RECORD STORES. What a concept! You drive there, park, go inside, and they have the CD RIGHT THERE ON THE PREMISES. No waiting for UPS to deliver! How COOL is that???

Sometimes the Internet, like my brain, is so overrated.

By the way…Happy Birthday to Blog-reader Mindy (a.k.a. my oldest niece). How’d you go and get so old, huh? Thirty-fricking-nine? Geez. I remember when you looked like this:

Friday, February 10, 2006

Love That Bob...Er, Blob...Er, Blog!

(Anyone old enough to get the pun there? Yanno…Love that Bob, starring Robert Cummings? Yikes. Really dating myself.)

Anyway, most of my blog readers aren’t writers, let alone readers of romance. So, as my public service gesture of the day, I point you to the blog of two authors you should be reading. Namely, Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer.

First, a little history.

Jenny was on her way to a Ph.D. at Ohio State University in feminist criticism and nineteenth century British and American literature (which I mention only to prove that romance writers are highly educated!), when she got sidetracked. Long story short, she ended up writing romance novels instead. Now before all you blog readers think “yuck,” try to keep an open mind. I happen to know a non-romance reader who stumbled on Jenny and LOVES her books.

As for a little history on Bob Mayer…well, suffice to say Bob is a West Point grad who, according to his website, “spent twenty years on active and reserve duty in the Infantry and Green Berets.” Guess it won’t surprise you to learn he writes action/adventure. Lots of it.

Somehow (the stars must have been aligned in some weird, wacky way) these two hooked up to write what they’re calling “romantic adventure.” The product of their collaboration, Don’t Look Down, arrives in bookstores this April.

The best part (for us fledgling writers) is that to promote the upcoming release, they’re keeping a “dueling blog” here. Not only are the posts witty and entertaining, they’re downright educational for writers. Hell, for observers of male/female communication!

Even if you don’t read romance, action, or adventure (well, then…what DO you read)…click on over to Jenny and Bob’s blog, have yourself a laugh…learn a little about writing…and maybe even get an insight into the other gender. Oh, and a little tip? Don’t be lazy. I’ve directed you to the January archives, so scroll down and start reading from the beginning. Then click on February and/or Current posts to continue to the present.

There'll be a quiz later.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Breaking News

The pesky little varmint terrorizing me with forays onto my desk (as reported in previous posts) was found dead around lunchtime. Prompted by the growing stench in the front office, workers discovered the unfortunate rodent between a cabinet and a wall where he apparently got stuck and starved to death.

Poor little guy. I almost wish he’d chosen the mousetrap for his end. But at least I can go back to sitting at my desk with my feet on the floor.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Rebecca Webb Carranza, R.I.P.

Most of you probably never heard of Rebecca Webb Carranza. I know I hadn’t. And yet…ahhhhhh…what an impact she’s had on my life.

What contribution, you may ask, did Ms. Carranza make to society? Why is her passing so remarkable?

Well, forget for a moment that the woman was 98 when she died (no small achievement).

Forget for a moment that she was a female entrepreneur back when females were still scrubbing floors and washing diapers by hand.

Forget for a moment that she was a LATINA female entrepreneur….

Yep, while respectable, those achievements pale in comparison with the other legacy she leaves behind.

For Rebecca Webb Carranza, ladies and gentlemen, is responsible for (are you ready???) the TORTILLA CHIP. Yes, betcha thought something so wonderful could only have been invented by a man, but you’d be wrong. According to the L.A. Times, she pioneered its creation and manufacture.

The story relates how in the 1940’s, for a family party, our gal took some discarded tortillas, cut ‘em into triangles, then fried ‘em up and served ‘em (much to everyone’s delight). Soon, she was selling bags of “Tort Chips” for a dime in the surrounding neighborhood. By the 1960’s she was delivering them up and down the west coast.

Now, I could be bitter and point out her role in the extra 15 pounds she’s put on my frame over the years, but when I think of all the pleasure she’s given me …I mean, I could almost LIVE on tortilla chips (and the ‘almost’ is ‘cuz I can’t exclude the melted cheese and salsa that goes with ‘em).

On an ironic note, today marked the announcement of a new study which concludes that a low-fat diet may not, after all, protect us from heart disease and cancer.

I don’t know about you but, personally, I take that as a sign from Above that says:

Bring on more Tort Chips!!!!!

And, God bless the soul of Ms. Rebecca Webb Carranza, may she rest in peace.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Happy Birthday, Blog

Yep, that's right. A year ago today, I entered the rarified world of blogging. I tried to figure out how many posts are on this thing--250 is my best guess. That's pretty damn good, considering. Well, not that all 250 are well-written, scintillating bits of intellect...still...at least I've kept it up. Not bad for a person who sucks at commitment.

So, now that I've made it past the one-year mark, and given that some of my readers are new and have more important things to do than browse the archives, my "birthday gift" to myself is that on days when I'm too busy...or just plain brain-dead (yeah, I know--this happens a lot)...I'll do a "best of the blog" post.

Okay, right. I may run out of those real quick. All the more reason to press onward with new material.

Having said that, here's one of my early favorites, posted last year on February 23.

Confessions of a Former Sports Fan

I liked it better when athletes didn’t have entourages
I liked it better when Chick Hearn broadcast for the Lakers
I liked it better when tennis players had personalities
I liked it better when rivalry was about respect instead of trash talk
I liked it better when performance-enhancing drugs didn’t explain a player’s sudden improvement in stats
I liked it better when teams stayed together and players spent their entire careers in one city
I liked it better when they didn’t televise every game, so you had to listen on the radio and use your imagination
I liked it better when you didn’t have to mortgage your house to take a family of four to a game
I liked it better when Jim Murray wrote for the L.A. Times
I liked it better when I could pronounce basketball players’ names—not because I object to foreigners, but because they’d be better off playing in their home countries
I liked it better when it was about winning, not money
I liked it better when basketball stars didn’t have record deals
I liked it better when winning was about team work instead of ego
I liked it better when tennis players wore all white
I liked it better when there was an even playing field for baseball players
I liked it better when the U.S. basketball team won the gold at the Olympics
I liked it better when basketball players’ shorts didn’t hang to their knees
I liked it better when they didn’t have to put asterisks next to sports records
I liked it better when medals didn’t have to be returned
I liked it better when kids finished college before entering professional sports
I liked it better when stadiums didn’t have sky boxes and fast food chains

I liked it better when kids played without interference from parents…and maybe that’s where it all went wrong.

Okay, take your best shot. What have I missed?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Of Fires and Fools

I’m standing in the front office, staring outdoors.

Something is off, and I can’t put my finger on what it is. It’s nearly eleven o’clock in the morning, but outside it looks like late afternoon. Like the sun is setting, only it’s setting in the east, not the west.

Then I know.

Somewhere, a fire is burning.

I go outside and survey the sky. Sure enough, in the general vicinity of my neighborhood, I see a dull-brown haze instead of clouds. Can’t smell smoke yet. Must be blowing in the wrong direction.

I turn my TV on. Breaking news. Evacuations are underway. Fire is bearing down on a housing community.

Mine?

Nope, Anaheim. Seventy miles away.

False alarm.

In other news…

So, I meet this guy Saturday night. Nice enough guy. Sexy even, in a Simon Cowell kinda way. Only trouble is, he’s not from here. As in, he’s from Israel, I think, and I understand him about 40% of the time. Still…like I say, he’s rather sexy.

We chat, we drink…and when it’s time for me to go home, I let him walk me to my car.

In the morning, I wake up and my first thought is: Crap, I didn’t give him my phone number, did I? ‘Cuz I’m really not interested. I rerun our conversation in my mind and sigh with relief. No, I assure myself. Even though he pestered me for it, I didn’t give in.

Later that afternoon, I show up at the Sagebrush Cantina where I meet about ten friends to do the Superbowl thing. We’re sitting at a round table for ten, right in front of the big screen TV. Much hoopin’ and hollerin’ is going on.

After awhile, I get an eerie feeling like I’m being watched.

I glance over and see a guy who looks a lot like Simon Cowell leaning against a wall.

Crap. Now I vaguely remember using the old “well, I’ll be at such-and-such a place tomorrow,” thinking he’ll never find me in the crowd.

I decide to keep my eyes averted, hoping he’ll give up and go away. Besides, there are a ton of other single women just ripe for the picking.

Minutes later, my friend Sandy comes back from the bathroom with an odd smile on her face. “Do you know someone named, Niel?” she asks. "He asked me to give you a message."

Crap.

There’s really no way out of this.

I walk over and say hi. Between the Superbowl buzz and his accent, I have to ask him to repeat himself over and over. It’s so embarrassing.

We go inside to get drinks, then I detour him to a second table of friends. At least at this one he won’t have to sit next to my old boyfriend. He asks what we’re doing later, after the game.

Excuse me? We?

I’ll be home alone watching Desperate Housewives, I say.

Blah, blah, blah…he tries to talk me into something…I’m not sure what because of the whole language barrier. All I want is for him to leave.

I even give him my phone number, saying: “Hey, not today. But call me sometime.”

To my relief, he announces he’s gotta go. Something about a friend’s house for fourth quarter. Or maybe it was about a lobotomy. Like I say, he was hard to understand.

I walk him to his car and wish him well.

So far, he hasn’t called. Thank God some things don’t have to be said to be understood. I guess the brush-off is part of the male/female universal language.


Friday, February 03, 2006

You Can't Fool Me

I hear writers talk about the joy of writing and I think I’ve landed on another planet.

Joy? What joy? There’s supposed to be joy?

Tonight, I plunked myself down in front of the computer determined to pound out three pages. Three measly pages. Is that so much to ask for? I know of authors whose clickety-clack fingers bang out upwards of TEN pages a day. Tales of those bitches make me feel like such a slacker.

Anyway, one of my on-line writing loops is having a February Writing Challenge. Each day, we post our total pages to a database. So, I ask you, why do we writers need this kick-in-the-butt if there’s so much fricking JOY in writing???

Okay, so I achieved my goal tonight (I’m already behind with two fat goose eggs for days one and two). But, let me assure you, the ordeal was pure agony.

Five more minutes, I told myself. Something will come. (Something finally did.) Five more minutes, I promised myself again, no Seinfeld until you’ve added three more pages of incomparably brilliant dialogue and scathing wit. (Yeah, right.)

It took me until a quarter to Seinfeld to write two pages. Enough, I thought. It’s two more pages than you had before you sat down. I eyed the little numbers ticking away in the bottom right corner of the monitor. Still time to add more.

I did it.

Squeezed out one more page.

Debra Dixon is right. (Paraphrasing here) It’s a whole lot more fun to have written than to write.

And, oh crap. Now, I’m missing Seinfeld with this darn blogging.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

There I am, having a perfectly lovely day (well, let’s not exaggerate—an okay day) at work. I’ve just gobbled up my 320-calorie Lean Cuisine Chicken Club Pannini and 100-calorie pack Cheez-its. I’m feeling pretty smug and satisfied with my meal.

Then I walk down the hall.

There, a 20-something young guy is eating his version of lunch. Two chili-cheese dogs and an order of chili-cheese fries.

Why, why, why?

Why can’t slightly menopausal women over 50 with the tastebuds and cravings of a 20-something still get away with that kind of paradise?

Life just isn’t fair.

God should consider rethinking the aging process.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

My Blah-Blah-Blog

I'm drawing a blog blank.

No, really.

I have almost absolutely nothing to say. Must be the Winter doldrums. I mean, all I can do is update ya on the uninvited office guest situation...aka...varmints invade the workplace.

So, I'm still losing on that front. The other day, I was tapping along on my keyboard and I looked up to see a little guy peeking around the corner of the monitor. By the time I could screech and run around the other side of my desk, he went scurrying down the computer cord. Ten minutes later, he was back. Peeking from the same place.

Geesh. Guess mice have a pretty flat learning curve. (Ha. I should talk. Twice now, he's sprung the trap we set, but managed to elude its evil grip.)

Let's see, what else. Gotta rejection from the agent who requested a partial of Stealing Amy the other day. Enough said on that subject.

I've written about eight new pages on Leftovers after what seems like a long hiatus. Feels like I'm getting back in the groove.

Oh, here's some news: I registered for the RWA National Conference today. It's in Atlanta this year which should be a lot of fun. Hm. I suppose some of you remember my vow to refrain from attending unless I'd procured an agent and/or sold. Well, I still have until July, yanno. Miracles could happen by then.

One of our employees turned 60 today. I've known him since I was about 16 and he was 24. Oops. Right. Those of you who don't know me can do the math. Hard to reconcile that groovy guy in platform shoes with the grey-haired guy blowing out candles down the hall.

Where did the time go?

Off to see Mamma Mia tonight for the THIRD time. Isn't it weird that ABBA songs would turn out to be so fun?