Friday, June 30, 2006


Am I cool, or what?? Didja see how I managed to get my book cover to show up under my picture?

Now, I realize this is no biggie for you computer geeks…but I know as much about HTML as I do regression analysis…or calculus. In other words, to me, it’s all hocus pocus.

Nevertheless, I snuck into my template, figured out where the profile stuff was located, pasted the url from the earlier post where the picture was…and voila!

Pure genius. to find a cure for cancer. Or at least a way to keep Star Jones off television.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Agony At RWA National

This is the time of year my palms start to sweat and my blood pressure shoots up ten points…all because of a moment of temporary insanity back in March during which I foolishly signed up for editor/agent appointments at the upcoming RWA national conference. Y’see, in March it’s easy to con myself: “Oh, how bad can it be? It’s only ten minutes of my life. I’ll be out of there in no time. Besides, they always ask to see a partial, so what have I got to lose? And what am I paying all that money to go for, anyway?”

Yep, that’s what I told myself in 2004 and 2005.

The first time, I totally lucked out. Had a group appointment with an editor for Harlequin’s Next line who announced from the get-go she didn’t want to hear pitches. Instead, she spent the ten minutes telling us about what she was looking for. At the end, she invited questions and, well…y’know…I had a pressing engagement with a cocktail, so I left.

The second time I pitched (which you can find in the archives if you so desire) I had the advantage of meeting with an agent familiar with my work. The third time, it turned out the editor wasn’t even looking for what I write (hey, it wasn't my fault she was listed wrong).

Bottom line…yep, I got “permission” to send a partial on each occasion. But, when you stop to analyze it, all the pitch got me was a free pass through the query route. And in the end, none of them asked to see the full manuscript, so was pitching really useful? Maybe not.

This year, my palms aren’t sweaty and my BP is normal, thankyouverymuch. ‘Cuz I ain’t pitching nuttin. That’s right. I’m gonna relax and enjoy the conference. No sitting at the bar boring my friends with pathetic attempts to rehearse a killer sales pitch. No ditching workshops early to rework said killer sales pitch when something I’ve just learned convinces me my book sucks.

Nope. Fun and games. That’s my motto this year.

And just because I got an email last night announcing numerous editor/agent cancellations accompanied by a list of still-open appointments doesn’t mean I’m gonna cave.

Uh, no sir. I’m not.

At least, I don’t think so.

(Inhales deeply, clears throat). As I was saying, I’m not gonna pitch this year. I think all those cancellations speak for themselves.

A bunch of us are getting hip.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Checking In

It’s nice to be missed…even if only by ONE lousy blog reader who sent me a private email.

Anyway, a half-hour ago, I hit “SEND” to forward the product of another zillion hours of reading, revising, and editing Stealing Amy to my publisher.

Yep, like I’ve said folks. The work doesn’t stop once you sign the contract.

You’re probably thinking, hey−what about her editor? Well, I don’t have one assigned yet. And you know what? Turns out I’m glad. Because I realized something important: I’d been visualizing an editor as a safety net, y’know? Like whatever I missed, she’d catch. Then I started thinking, WAIT. What if she doesn’t? It’s still MY name on the book. It’s not like the old days when editors functioned as copyeditors and really DID fulfill the role of backup.

With that in mind, I looked at revising Stealing Amy in a whole new way−a way in which, I’m learning, I should have been been looking at it all along.

There’s no room for errors. There’s no excuse for sloppiness. Every detail is important.

(Ack. Me! Detailed-oriented. Uh-OH, huh?)

I wish I’d kept track of how many times I’ve gone through this manuscript (and I’m only referring to the times SINCE Triskelion accepted it for publication.) And I wish I knew I’d done it for the last time…but alas, but probably not.

Like I said, an editor hasn’t even seen it yet!

So, here’s what’s kept me from blogging much in the past couple of weeks: the major passes I remember (in random order):

1. Check formatting, including: appropriate spacing between periods and next sentence. Sounds odd, but it’s something you gotta do and, trust me, takes a lot of time and effort, not to mention undivided attention. Yes, you can arrange for your settings to tip you off, but they’re not fail safe. You really gotta focus.

2. Check all Spanish. Stealing Amy takes place in Mexico; hence, a lot of Spanish words. Guess what? I took French in school. This time, not something I could use a Microsoft Word tool for.

3. Do a search and replace with highlight on the word ‘heart.’ Found 87. Evaluate each one and change accordingly.

4. Check continuity. Yikes. These are things that give a writer nightmares, ‘cuz if you don’t find them, readers will. For instance, I discovered my hero, Nick, checks his watch a dozen times throughout the story. Little did I remember, way back when I started this opus, that he’d lost his watch in chapter one.

Or take another character, Jorge Santiago. In chapter seven he’s got a thick swatch of jet-black hair with twin shocks of gray at the temples. In chapter eighteen, he’s nearly bald. Oops.

Worse, I discovered a scene that’s suppose to bridge from another−except a CRITICAL piece of information disappeared in between them.

5. Good old-fashioned spell check. Ah, this one’s a killer. Wonderful as it is (and I thank Microsoft for including it) do you have any idea how long it takes to run a 375-page manuscript through it? Pure agony, I tell ya!

6. Finally, the dreaded passive sentence. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know enough to avoid “to be” verbs like the plague (this blog notwithstanding−whatever that means). But sometimes, when I’m on a roll, they just…er…seem to escape my nimble fingers. THIS particular pass through the manuscript took me DAYS.

Anyway, that’s just a sampling. I’m telling ya, folks. Don’t try this at home without strict supervision.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Color Me Blonde

I wasn’t even gonna blog about what happened Saturday night. I figured this blog already has a wealth of evidence to support I’m either 1) lazy, 2) stupid, or 3) both.

Because somehow…one unresolved dilemma just leads to another, right? Right. Lesson learned.

To wit:

I slip into the driveway around 12:30 (as in after midnight) on Saturday, pull into the garage, hit the remote…and then wonder in dismay why the door doesn’t roll all the way to the ground. I exit the car, walk to the rear and see I’m parked pretty darn close. Aha. That must be the reason. No problem. I re-enter, fire up the engine, edge further into the garage, and hit the remote again.


Okay. Ever resourceful, I think: battery must have died. I exit the car again and try the button on the wall.

Nothing again.

Well, after midnight is not the time I wanna start investigating the whys and wherefores, so−ever resourceful still−I disengage the motor-thingy and roll the door the rest of the way down. No problem. I’ll figure this out in the morning.

Next day is Father’s Day. I get all gussied up and prepare to drive to my brother’s. I roll the door up manually, quietly congratulating myself on my ingenuity.

Only one problem.

Now I can’t get the damn thing down.

I try everything. I re-engage, I disengage, I re-engage again. I do this so many times, now I don’t know which position it’s supposed to be in. I shed my four-inch heels, climb on top of a step-stool (yes, I have one!) and yank, pull, tug…all to no avail.

I try to be happy about the fact I got my car out and can join my family for Father’s Day. I try to ignore the embarrassment I will suffer, knowing EVERY ONE OF MY NEIGHBORS will have the opportunity to browse through the train wreck that is my garage.

No, I decide. I will not suffer this indignity.

I try the circuit breaker box (yes! I know where this is!) but nothing changes. I notice an electrical cord hanging where none hung before. I try sticking it in a random outlet up around the garage door mechanism.

Need I say this didn’t work?

I call my brother. He advises me to do everything I’ve already done. Secretly, I hope he offers to drive out and FIX IT FOR ME, but he doesn’t.

Finally, I consult the logical side of my brain and decide the reason the door won’t come down is because it needs to go all the way up first. (Hey, I understand this kind of logic.) I ascend the step stool one more time and give the door a great big shove, and YAY! It moves! It moves upward! What goes up, must come down, right? So, holding my breath, and sending up a prayer, I yank on it again, and it moves! Not a lot. But it moves. I get it past the curve and…yes…here it comes…yay again! I slam the damn thing shut.

Now, see. You have to understand my thinking here. I’m just so happy that my car is out and the door is down, I figure my work here is done. I can go forever just parking outside.

After all…I have a key to the front door, right?


WELL, I REALLY DO. (Okay, granted. The only reason I have the key is because friend Shari gave me a key chain for my birthday last year and it happens to still be in my car with the key attached.) Details.

So, I’m thinking I have all bases covered.

Only one problem. (Again?) Two days later (after using the front door on consecutive days for the first time in…oh…23 years?) the latch is acting kinda funky. Thinking cleverly, I don’t quite close the door…all…the…way.

I get home yesterday and the door is wide open.

Okay, so maybe not such a great plan. Besides, the maid is coming today. Thinking ahead (AGAIN) I leave a note alerting him to the funky door latch and advise he may have to use the key to lock it.

You know what’s coming, right?


I get home tonight (after a couple cocktails), park in the driveway, insert the key in the door….


Yep. That little thingy? The one that travels from the door into the jamb? It doesn’t move so much. In fact, it doesn’t move at all.

This is the part where I start thinking maybe I should have a man in my life. Even (maybe) one who doesn’t know how to do shit. At least I’d have company.

But, there’s still the garage door, right? After all, I found a way to get it up and down before. Only one problem (do you see a pattern here?) I must have re-engaged the manual thingy because I cram my fingers between the ground and the gasket, and that thing ain’t budging. Now, I’m really up the creek, aren’t I?? In fact, at this point, I start gauging whether I can leap from the roof of my car to the second story because…dammit…I see a window open up there!

Instead I call John. Reliable John who I’ve known all my life and has been there to get me out of tons of jams. (In fact, I’ve just left him having cocktails with another friend.) I call him from my cell, find him in a bar, and he drops everything and is on his way. Twenty minutes later, he shows up with the friend, and his son, Jeremiah.

Okay, here’s the part where I sound like a complete idiot. (Oh. Maybe you thought that before.)

Jeremiah gets the door open practically before his father can even get out of the car. Apparently, nothing more than a little WD-40 and a little more strength are the answers. I feel a bit silly, but oh well. WE’RE INSIDE! YIPPEE!!

Next, John and Jeremiah take a look at the garage door mechanism. Hmm. John tells Jeremiah to try plugging the cord into that outlet in the ceiling. (The one I’d noticed…but hey…I’d never noticed anything plugged into it BEFORE.) Insert plug. Voila. Functioning garage door.

About two minutes have passed since their arrival.

(Let’s not even go into how quickly John fixed the ice dispenser on my refrigerator, okay?)

Bottom line…all is well now, chez Randy.

And the upside (there’s always an upside, isn’t there?) is that I met the new next door neighbor. Hm. Single and verrrry nice.

Ah. See how God works sometimes?

P.S. Got the air conditioning fixed on Monday, so I guess I’m not a total moron.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Caught In The Act Of Writing

Just for fun (and…well…I could use a blog topic) I thought it might be enlightening to go back to the birth of my writing career, trace it through to the present, and see how the old “to do” list has changed. Word of warning: all time spans are approximate and I’m referring to the period in which I’ve truly (as they say) written toward the goal of publication.

Year One−Winter 2001

To Do List:


Ah, this was a blessed era indeed! For in the beginning, a writer writes, and that’s pretty much it. At least, that’s the way it was for me. One day in late October, I saw an article in the L.A. Times about this thing called NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which piqued my curiosity. It was a challenge, really, to all those people out there with good intentions of someday writing a novel who never get past the good intentions. This didn’t really apply to me since I’d completed a couple novels in the past, but it had been ten years since I’d given up after one measly rejection. Surely I was older and wiser now. Why not try it again?

I did, and I finished. I wrote a 50,000-word (200-page) novel in under four weeks. But was it any good? Well, maybe. Maybe not. First of all, it wasn’t long enough. For several months, I thought nothing more of it.

Year One−Spring 2002

I must have been surfing the web and stumbled across RWA (Romance Writers of America). Drilling down, I discovered their L.A. chapter and wow−who could believe the timing?−they were holding their annual one-day workshop that very weekend with someone named Deborah Dixon who’d be teaching something called GMC (goal, motivation, and conflict).

Well, let me tell you. After that day (and all its attendant light bulb moments), I was in the game for real. I joined a Yahoo critique group and made plans to go to RWA’s national conference in Denver the following July.

So within six months of beginning to write, I added to the “to do” list. Now, in addition to

I added:
Critique other people’s work; submit mine for critique
Attend conferences
Read craft books
Read novels

Still…most of the time I just wrote.

Year Two−Winter 2003

I was invited to join a second critique group, I put aside the NaNoWriMo book, and I started Fit For Love.

To Do List:

Write (Fit For Love)
Critique the work of others/submit my own
Attend national conference
Read and study craft books

Year Three−Winter 2004
Finished Fit For Love

To Do List:

Start second book (Stealing Amy)
Write synopsis (Fit For Love)
Write query letters (Fit For Love)
Submit queries (Fit For Love)
Submit requests for partials/fulls (Fit For Love)
Read novels
Enter contests (Fit For Love)−final in second contest entered!

Edit/revise Fit For Love
Critique the work of others
Attend national conference

Year Three−Winter 2005
Finished Stealing Amy

To Do List:

Plot and start writing third book (Leftovers)
Write synopsis (Stealing Amy)
Write query (Stealing Amy)
Edit/revise Stealing Amy
Read novels
Continue submitting queries for both completed books

Continue submitting requested partials and fulls for both
Enter contests for both
Critique the work of others
Prepare pitch for national conference editor/agent appointment
Attend national conference
Attend regional conferences (Desert Rose in Phoenix and L.A. Chapter)
Start blogging almost daily

Year three−Fall 2005
Get serious request for Fit For Love

To Do List:

Write (Leftovers)

Revise and edit Fit For Love for millionth time
Compose chapter by chapter synopsis for unsolicited submission on Fit For Love
Continue submitting queries for both completed books
Continue submitting requested partials and fulls for both
Read novels
Enter contests for both

Critique the work of others
Continue blogging almost daily

Year Four −Winter 2006

Write (Leftovers)
Continue submitting Stealing Amy
Receive contract offer
Attend regional conference
Critique the work of others
Collaborate on web design for author site
Revise Stealing Amy
Reformat Stealing Amy according to publisher guidelines
Read novels
Continue blogging almost daily

Join publisher’s author loops
Submit info for cover art for Stealing Amy
Plot strategy for publicizing Stealing Amy
Study promotion options and begin forming plan
Think about next book
Get nervous about flaunting yourself to the romance-buying public

Okay, I’m exhausted, how about you? The point of this exercise was to demonstrate that at some point, so much of this business is NOT about the writing.

Which is a shame because, for the most part, this writer only wants to write.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Friendly Reminder

Since tomorrow is Father's Day, that can only mean one's time to put away those Christmas decorations.

That's what I did this morning. How about you?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Quote: There Will Be A Hundred More Oops

Let’s get one thing straight from the get-go.

I’m not proud of spending an hour watching Matt Lauer’s interview with Britney Spears. After all, I dragged myself away from something much worthier of my time—So You Think You Can Dance.

What explains our (well, my) fascination?

I dunno. Call it curiosity. Call it the train wreck syndrome. How many 24-year old women do YOU know who are worth $100 million?

Anyway, if I were one of Brit’s gal pals, here’s the advice I’d give her:

1. Honey, bone up on those Jessica Simpson Pro-Active commercials and phone in an order—your complexion looks like you’re hankering for a job at MacDonalds.

2. Surely you must still own maternity clothes from the last pregnancy. If not, invest in new stuff that fits. Big boobs aren’t always sexy, dear. Especially when they resemble globs of flab.

3. What was up with the clump of mascara forming an upside down apostrophe on your right eye? I looked for a matching clump on your left—y’know, thinking I’d missed a trend—but, couldn’t find one.

4. Three words: Ditch the gum. No one—I repeat, no one (except maybe NASCAR drivers and baseball players)—looks good chomping gum like a cow chewing its cud.

5. Check into the meaning of the word responsibility. For good measure, while you’ve got the dictionary out (it’s that big book with words listed alphabetically), flip on over to accountability (it starts with an A). Some day, when the paparazzi are all gone, you’re gonna need a way to explain the boo boos in your life. These two words may come in handy.

You know, to be honest, the more I watched, the sorrier I felt for Britney. (Yeah, pity for someone worth $100 mill always makes me a little queasy.) She may not be a rocket scientist but she’s not evil, either.

At the end of the interview, Matt Lauer asked if she wished the paparazzi would leave her alone. With tears streaming down her face, she nodded and said she just wanted them to give her respect and privacy.

I say, be careful what you wish for, Britney. Stardom is a crapshoot, even when you’ve managed to achieve it once. By the time you release the next album, another Britney will have come along, and unless you reinvent yourself a la Madonna, your days as a celebrity are probably over.

Invest the 100 million wisely. Enjoy your kids in peace and quiet.

And remember this is what you wanted. It’s probably what Tiffany and Debbie Gibson wanted, too.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I Shouldn't Be Trusted...

…with small easily-lost objects.

Yes, folks. My brand new digital camera is missing. I haven’t even friggin’ paid for it yet. In fact, the credit card bill came today.

So, there’s only a couple—well, several but less than you’d imagine—places it could be. My last conscious memory of it was at Zin’s Bistro where Ann and I had dinner Tuesday night. I specifically remember touching the case, giving thought to taking a picture, then deciding it was too much trouble.

I called the restaurant. Yes, they had a Canon digital camera (no case) but it wasn’t the model number I gave the hostess. When I realized I’d given her the model number to my new Sonicare toothbrush (yeah, I hear ya), I physically drove down there. Nope. Still wrong model number.

Next, I went to the market. Maybe I took it out of my purse at the check-out counter while fishing for my wallet. Well, if I did, they don’t have it.

The only other public place it could be is the liquor store near work. The guys in there are friendly and honest…it may be my last hope, ‘cuz I’ve already scoured the house.

Unless it’s on my desk at work….? Anyone who remembers the photo I posted of my desk will recall it’s a possibility. I mean, I glanced around today, but…I suppose it coulda fallen on the floor and been swallowed up by newspapers or somethin’.

Damn, I’m majorly bummed. And re-thinking that great idea I had about carrying my camera at all times so as to never miss a fab shot. Who am I, Annie Liebovitz?

Monday, June 12, 2006


Check it out! I have an honest-to-goodness cover for Stealing Amy! No release date yet, but I'm sure I'll have more news on that soon. The best part is how "readable" my pen name is, doncha think?? Yes, that's my alter ego: Randy Jeanne.

Now...she doesn't make you think of the home alone guy, does she? Or the dingbat who's hearing: "They're calling from inside the house"?

It's a comedy, folks. Truly.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

DWBI--Driving While Being an Idiot

So, picture this:

I swing into the parking lot in front the Rite-Aid and prepare to make a left. I even have my flippin’ blinker on. Coming out of the row (into which I—blinker flashing!—hope to turn) is a big ol’ SUV, driven by a woman. She’s half in/half out of the aisle, stopped, and talking to someone who’s at her door. Ahead of me, a car is backing out of the slots that face the store, so there’s really nothing for me to do but wait. Which I do. Patiently.

Finally, the big ol’ SUV starts to move in my direction, only she miscalculates and can’t quite make the turn, so now she’s facing me head-on.

I wait some more.

She backs up, corrects, and as she approaches, I sense one of those impending sheepish waves with a mouthed “sorry”.

Instead, I get: “Thanks, BITCH!”


I rerun the scene in my mind. Apparently, I—the one forced to wait while she chatted with her friend—I—the one right where I was supposed to be with my bloody blinker on—should have backed up so she didn’t have to.

And for this indiscretion, I deserved to be called a bitch.


All I have to say is that in this day and age, I don't care where you are--bedroom community, downtown L.A., or racing down the 101--screaming ephithets at another driver (particularly one in the right) can have a serious impact on your life expectancy.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Falling In Love, Part II

Just so y’all don’t think I’m totally clueless (well, maybe only 90%) here’s a follow-up to yesterday’s post about falling in love (and an analysis of the comment by Anonymous.)

See, fiction requires conflict and tension. I mean, who wants to read about characters whose lives hum along in perfect harmony? So ROMANTIC fiction, almost by definition, requires a hero and heroine totally at odds, both in terms of how they relate to each other and what’s going on in their worlds. At the extreme (and, in fact, most common) are the two characters who begin the story despising each other. No wonder it’s hard to bring ‘em around, huh? Who actually starts this way in real life?

Anyway, borrowing from Tami Cowden, I like to fashion my fictional relationships on the three-step formula. It’s simple, it makes sense, and it’s workable. First comes respect, then comes trust, and finally, love. Okay, that may be a bit TOO simple ‘cuz it lacks the indefinable leap to love (otherwise, we’d all marry our high school band teachers), but let’s just assume the rest springs from chemistry.

Now, going back to yesterday’s comment by Anonymous (let’s call him Fred and his ladylove, Ethyl): when they met, there was no antipathy—no dislike—no conflict, ergo no traditional romance story (sorry, folks). Their external conflicts were separate and OUTSIDE of their personal dynamic, but they shared similar INNER conflicts. Ethyl was mired in an abusive relationship and Fred--well, he doesn’t go into it, but says there was baggage there was well. Over the course of time, I’m guessing Ethyl poured out her heart along with the afternoon cocktails. Fred probably did a little of the same. Obviously, Ethyl respected Fred enough to confide in him, and vice versa. As the months passed, they must have grown to trust each other as they unburdened their souls. Then came the cataclysmic day when Ethyl knew she had to make a life-changing decision. She reached out to Fred—the man she’d come to respect and trust—and when it was all said and done, she fell in love. Ditto for Fred.

Notice that nowhere in that narrative did the word “tight buns” or “great rack” appear.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Falling In Love

Calm yourselves. I speak not of moi. We’re back in the writing groove, remember?

So, when I started plotting Leftovers…back in the Pleostene Age (made that up, I think)…I didn’t intend for it to be a traditional romance. Well, wait. Not true. I knew there’d be some kinda happy-ever-after but the romance wouldn’t necessarily be the main focus. Still…I knew the heroine would wind up with the hero in the end.

Flash forward and I’m a little more than halfway through the book. It occurs to me, if they’re gonna fall in love, I’m a little behind in getting the ball rolling. Like, the heroine should have noticed a physical attraction by now, right? Okay, that stuff is easy. I can go back and insert it.

But the question remains. By what process do two people actually FALL in love?

Out of all the craft issues romance writers discuss, I rarely see this topic, and yet it’s probably the most important of all, no? The trouble is, what IS love?

Ah. Tricky.

I think I know better what love ISN’T. First, it’s not physical attraction--that’s lust. Too many romance novels take characters who are exact opposites (yeah, yeah—I know, opposites attract), throw them together in a conflict and then, because they can’t keep their hands off each other due to some mysterious chemical reaction, they end up professing their undying love. More often than not, I don’t buy it. I need to see what’s gone on inside their heads to make them commit to a lifetime of putting up with each other’s bullsh*t. (I'm sorry, but great sex just ain't enough for me.)

Another version (better, but still lacking as far as I’m concerned) is where the two characters discover that, although opposites, their union forges some sort of internal balance. Like when the workaholic heroine falls for a guy who teaches her to stop and smell the roses.

But does this happen in real life? Or is it a figment of romance writers’ imaginations?

There’s plenty of evidence in real life to suggest most people don’t have a clue when it comes to love. I have a friend (you know who you are!) who constantly laments how crappy her boyfriend treats her. (And I don’t mean that he leaves his dirty underwear on the floor.) He berates her, he attacks her self-esteem, he undermines her confidence, he takes advantage of her financially…I could go on and on (and she does). Then, she’ll say: “But, I really love him.”


“’Cuz sometimes he does really nice things like bring me flowers.”

Gulp. $1.98 flowers from the liquor store down the block. Yep. That’s love.

Another one of my favorites (different girlfriend, different litany of complaints) ends with: “But he loves me so much.”

Yeah. So what? Is there some law that says you have to love him back?

See? Surrounded by all these shining examples of love, it’s no wonder I face a dilemma when it comes to getting my characters to fall into it.

Monday, June 05, 2006


See, this is why writers are advised to write every day.

I mean, look at me (figuratively, not literally). I went on vacation for a week, and now it’s been two weeks since I’ve made any progress on my WIP. Oh, sure. I hauled my laptop along on the cruise, but that was mainly for its music features (which, even though I’m sure I got a hernia from trying to lift my carryon with the woofer, speakers, and other assorted audio paraphernalia inside, the ambience in my cabin and on my deck was sooo worth it). Anyway, one day I even opened up “Leftovers” and wrote a paragraph. Just so I could pat myself on the back and say, “Hey, you wrote a paragraph. Good job!”

But then I got home.

And I didn’t feel well.

And the laptop with the disk and the rewritten paragraph was downstairs.

Didn't even write much on the blog, 'cuz it was easier to upload pictures.

These are the excuses I’ve used for the past seven days. Pretty lame, huh? See how little it takes for me to procrastinate--to adopt new habits (okay, so they’re old ones) of climbing into bed early to watch TV? (Me: Hmm…think I have a fever. Hey, Seinfeld’s on! Me: Hmm…need to get back into the writing groove. Hey, that new season of amateur dance clods is on!)

No wonder I take forever and a month to write a damn novel. This is not good.

So, without further ado, here is my promise. (And y’all know my blog commitments are golden—well, except for the diet ones.)

1. Tonight I shall remove said disk with its precious new sentences, carry it upstairs, and upload same into computer.

2. I shall write two new pages.

Hopefully, this will all happen before The Apprentice finale. If not, all bets are off.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Just Because

So, I've been having a rough week.

Besides the bye-bye vacation blues, there's this low-grade temp I haven't been able to shake, and I had that stupid tooth pulled on Tuesday. Let's not even talk about the fact my friggin' cable's out.

(Bitch, bitch, gripe, gripe.)

Then, around ten this morning, a flower delivery man arrived in our parking lot. While he went about his business, another gal and I lamented how they're never for us. A bunch of women work upstairs so I didn't even stick around to see him enter the building.

Well, apparently, he didn't.

About two o'clock, my receptionist buzzed me and said (with a giggle): "Randy, can you come to the front office?"

I looked out the window to the parking lot and noticed Flower Guy had returned.

No. Could it be????
Well, yes. As a matter of fact, it could.

The card was from my friend Nancy, and it said: "Just because."
I feel so special today!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Bird Flu?

Maybe that's what it is. Those woebegone birds that appeared out of nowhere on my deck in the middle of the ocean--looking like WTF? How'd I end up here? They must have been carrying avian flu.

Either that or I killed a lot more brain cells than usual with the alcohol consumption on board. Let's see...champagne, wine, screwdrivers...all health drinks in their own way, don't you think?

In any event, I know I'm being lazy, but my head's still too befuzzled (hence words like that) to construct a literate telling of the recent vacation tales.

So, I'll use the go-to: More pictures!

Mahogany Beach, Jamaica

A particularly good night for towel animals in my stateroom

L to R: Mr. Martay With the Partay, his wife Anna Margarita de la Cruz, and The Third Wheel (that would be moi)

My wraparound balcony at dawn. I know. I coulda cleaned up a little. Hey, I was on vacation.