Sunday, October 31, 2010

New Kind of Halloween

My husband and I have been married 23 years. With four daughters, holidays have always been a special kind of busy. Dresses, costumes, pictures, and parties have marked the celebrational journey. Halloween, of course, is one of my favorite holidays. Now that our girls are older, things have changed a bit.

My oldest (22 1/2) has a two year-old son. He is the most amazing little guy. I picked him up very early this morning. Stopped at the grocery store on the way home to get some laundry detergent. My grandson insists on riding in the huge, blue race car shopping cart. No problem.

As I'm trying to push this thing through the aisles withouth running into someone, my cell phone rings. Daughter number two (almost 21) calls. "Hey, mom. Did you get the picture of us in costume last night that I attached to my text?" I had. Somehow, my daughter had convinced her boyfriend to dress up like an airline pilot. She was a stewardess. They looked great.

"Cool. So, we were thinking about stopping by...what are you making for brunch?" I decided on something quick and easy. She loved the idea. "We'll be over in an hour." Ladies, food will always bring your grown children home. Especially if they never learned to cook. I turn the race cart around and grab extra eggs, cheese, linguica, and bagels...then headed home.

My two younger daughters both received texts while I was cooking. Daughter number three (15 1/2)reminded me she had plans to go to a friend's house and hand out candy. Daughter number four (14) had plans to go trick-or-treating with two friends, assuring me this IS their last year.

We made ten dozen Halloween cookies, caramel apples, roasted pumpkin seeds, and I made chili for dinner. Then my grandson left to go trick-or-treating, and all my daughters went about their own business. That left hubby and I home, alone. How utterly strange to have the house to ourselves...on Halloween. I think it's a first.

Hubby just called for me to join him on the couch. Movie's cued up. Grabbed my favorite blanket for snuggling. Not a bad way to spend Halloween...just different. I kind of like it, though. Started out just the two of us. Glad we both like each other enough to look forward to it again just being the two us...eventually!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Car Shopping...Grrrrrr

So, my third daughter is 15 1/2. She's ready to get her driving permit. You'd think since I've been through this twice already I'd be ready for the whole study the driver's handbook, practice driving, and shopping for a car routine. You'd think. Personally, I'm having a harder time not an easier one. Not sure why.

But in the spirit of teaching our children to, drive, I'm a team player.

Which is why hubby and I were at a local car lot looking at cars this afternoon. Now, I won't mention the lot by name (just think King Arthur and a certain magical sword!), but it was the first time we'd ever visited this particular business. An ad ran in Saturday's paper and enticed us, I must admit.

We stopped by the lot last night on the way home from hubby's birthday dinner. It was dark, cold, and late. Hubby looked at the car, spoke to the "Sales Manager." He tried to immediately interest my hubby in a different car. Hubby told him he was inerested in this specific car. Then spoke to a different salesman, made an offer, and shook hands on the price. We made plans to come down today to drive the car. If it drove as well as it looked, we'd buy it.

Imagine our surprise when we showed up, after calling our salesman "Ted" to meet us at the lot (on his day off I might add!), and the car was gone. No, it hadn't been sold. The car had been sent to auction!!! WTH?

"Ted" apologized profusely. Apparently there was a miscommunication about which car we were interested in. It was sent to auction by mistake. Huh. We began to wonder. The "helpful" sales manager tried to deflect our interest in the original car by suggesting a couple of others. One was an absolute no. Older with more miles...right, like I'd want that car for my daughter. I'm trying to help her get through high school and college without having a car payment or huge mechanic bills.

The other car was a decent deal. It had possibilities. Unfortunately, the sales manager wouldn't meet our counter offer (a difference of only 50-100 bucks). That was surprising considering the error they'd already made in dealing with us.

It also was telling in regard to the dealership and its "customer relations" practices. After we turned down their offer, the sales manager rudely yelled, "That's what you wanted." My husband responded, "No, what I wanted was the car you sent to auction." The owner stepped toward us and said, "That car's not coming back from auction. It's already been sold to the guy running the auction. I'll bring it back if it doesn't sell, but it's going to sell."

No frickin' kidding it's gonna sell. It was a great deal.

Interesting that a guy running an auction bought the car less than 72 hours after the ad came out. Then considering the "Sales Manager" was immediately trying to pitch us another car the night before made us wonder. We figured the owner ran the ad to get people in, knowing it was already sold. Shady and unethical business practices. Unbelievably crappy customer relations.

Consequently, we're still looking for a car. That's okay. We're patient.

As for the "King Arthur's magic sword" dealership, we'll never go back.

Business transactions require trust.

Never trust a liar.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Teenage Girls

Wow. Had one of those mornings with my youngest daugher. She's 14 and in eighth grade. Need I say more?

I'm lucky. Let me say that right up front. She's a good kid. Intelligent, happy, nurturing. And independent, strong willed, and stubborn. All traits she gets from me...I didn't mention humility for a reason!

Anyway, she decided she wanted to wear a pair of skorts that she had no business wearing in public. The tye-dye tights under the skorts, in her mind, excused the fact that if she sneezed, the back of the shorts wouldn't cover near enough of her hiney.

We've all been there, my female counterparts.

That cool outfit only WE could pull off. You know the one I'm talking's sorta sexy, a bit edgy, and guaranteed to generate attention.

Oh, yeah. I busted her.

She tried to play it cool. Changed into another skirt without an argument. That was my first clue she had other plans. Did I mention my daughter is also a purse hound? Nice, big, suitcase-sized handbags. I asked her to bring me her purse.

After a couple of minutes, during which she pulled the short skort out of it I'm sure, she brought me her purse. Nothing unacceptable. Then she announced she needed to use the bathroom before she left for school. I told her, "Okay. Just bring me your purse again when you're finished."

I heard the steam hiss between her teeth. She turned into her bedroom instead of the bathroom. I followed, trying not to smile. Since her every effort to sneak the offensive garment out of the house had failed, her frustration at hating the skirt she had to wear morphed into a pitch of whining only dolphins would understand.

Needless to say, she left wearing a pair of long jean shorts over her tights. Still cute...just without the sexy. I won this round. Go me. Unfortunately, it won't be the last one. My only consolation: I survived my teenage years intact. So will she!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


So, tonight is my first reading at a book signing. Am I nervous? You bet. Knowing it's my story doesn't really help. I mean, all those people staring at me, waiting to hear the words I wrote...yeah, that's gonna be nerve  racking.

I just have to remember to read slowly, enunciate my words, and keep the story in mind. I did write it after all, right? I know where the inflection goes. Where the emotion reaches a pitch. When the snark announces its arrival.

Okay, I'm feeling a little better. I can do this. I'll just suck on a cough drop and have a bottle of water nearby. Oh, and my honey will be there for moral support. And some of my best friends. Why was I nervous again? This will be a breeze!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Holy Wow, what a crazy ride promoting a book can be!

Let me start at the beginning. I was on Amazon's site, ordering a friend's book. Decided to see if Moonlight Bleu was listed. Now keep in mind, the official release for Bleu was scheduled for Labor Day fixed date yet. Anyway, I searched the title and, surprise, my book popped up. I thought, "Cool. It must be listed as a reserve." I went through the purchase process, assuming I'd get a "book will be released on" message. Imagine my surprise when the I got the, "Congratulations on your purchase. Your book will arrive on Friday, Aug. 27th." Yikes! I'd just accidentally ordered the first copy of my own book. No problem. That was actually pretty cool.

(The book arrived on time, by the way!)

Well, my co-workers threw a potluck/book signing party during our lunch hour Wednesday, Sept 1st. Had a blast. One of my friends grabbed the announcement and gave it to our courthouse beat newspaper reporter. I got a call, and a fantastic picture and article made its way into the newspaper Labor Day, Sept. 6. Stay with me, things will pick up...I promise.

I next received an email from the owner of Whitstran Brewery. She had read the newspaper article and asked if I was interested in doing a reading and signing at their pub. Was I ever! How cool is that? Plans are set in motion. I had my first book store signing at The Bookworm on Sept. 18th. Had a blast. Before I can plan a date to appear at the pub, I was contacted by the Historic Downtown Prosser Association. They wondered if I'd be interested in doing a reading and book signing during the social hour at the Princess Theater Oct. 16th. Um, yeah!

Things are really moving now. Oct. 2nd I attended a book fair at the Emerald City Conference in Seattle for a book signing. Met some phenomenal people, and learned tons of helpful information. Oct. 9th I did a book signing at Borders (amazing!) with friend and fantabulous author Marilee Brothers.

During this 30-day period I'd also guest blogged on four different sites.

But again, I stray.

The Historic Downtown Prosser Association published their press release for the reading on Friday, Oct. 8. I received a phone call Saturday evening, Oct. 9 letting me know KVEW TV had read the press release and wanted to do an interview...holy yikes!!! See what I mean about crazy movement? I spoke to Crystal from KVEW Oct. 11th. I was in the studio at 5:45 a.m. Oct. 13th. The interview went off without a hitch.

What an incredible ride...and it's not over yet.

To think this all started with a quiet get-together with my friends!  =D

Monday, October 11, 2010

No Good Deed

No good deed goes unpunished.

Truer words were never spoken.

So, a month ago this little kitten ran under my car at the library. My two teenage daughters were with me, so as you guessed, the kitten came home with us. "Mom, we'll find her a home. One of our friends will take her." After dozens of phone calls and see this coming, right? takers. We now have a new kitten.

I take her to the vet. She's got a respiratory infection, eye infection, and ear mites. But she's so sweet. So we give her the medicine twice a day. Brush her since we can't bathe her. A few weeks go by. She's feeling much better. In fact, I'm beginning to think she's got ADHD. My husband keeps reminding me this is normal. Roo is just a kitten. We named her Roo because she has long legs and jumps like a kangaroo. It's the funniest thing to watch.

Anyway, a couple of days ago I realized I had bites on my legs and feet...right where Roo likes to snuggle. Oh yeah, it's fleas. Unbelievable. Not really, but still. So we're doing the flea dip, collar, check her for fleas twice a day thing. My husband hasn't been bitten once. Just me. Gotta love it. I save the little thing, and get turned into a blood buffet for my efforts.

I know I'll look back on this and laugh, but right now I itch too much to see the humor.

Anyone got any calamine lotion?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How Sweet

So, last night I'm in the grocery store, pushing my cart toward the exit. In walks this little old lady. When I say little, I mean tiny. Five feet tall...when wearing heels...and less than a hundred pounds. Itty bitty. Anyway, I notice her because I see this large curler peeking out from under her scarf.

You know the curler I'm talking about. Those older sticky ones that your grandmother used to put in her hair at night so her bangs would be curled the next morning. Of course I immediately thought of my own Nana. I couldn't help but smile. Memories of watching my Nana brush her hair and show me how to pin the curler so it wouldn't fall out in her sleep played in my head.

Nostalgia is a strong catalyst. I could even smell the flowery scent of my Nana's lotion.

Until the little old lady in the grocery store walked past me. I'm not sure if she washed her hair in a tub full of alcohol or drank the bath liquor, but holy WOW! I got a buzz from the fumes wafting off her. Thankfully, she kept moving and I could finally breathe again. I turned, not sure if I'd imagined the whole thing.

Than, as she made her way through the produce section, I watched other people smile when they spotted her...then cover their mouth as they choked on the alcohol fumes. Yep. Little old lady was plastered. And walking just fine. Which brought a scary realization: she drove to the store. Didn't see that one coming!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Author Gazing

This last Saturday I was part of a book fair for authors signing at the Emerald City Writers Conference in Seattle, Washington.
Since this would be my first major book signing, I wasn't sure what to expect.

I got there early. Those of you that know me, quit laughing! Though I left home later than I meant to, I made up the, driving.

Anyway, I'd been told by author Richelle Mead some time back to always have a box of my own books on hand, just in case of an order snafew at such events. Glad I listened to that advice. The bookstore hosting the book fair had not ordered any of my books.

Problem averted. I had a box with me.

So I set up my books, pictures, and promo items. Then the other authors started to arrive. Now don't get me wrong, I had gotten the list of author attendees ahead of time, but seeing them on paper is NOTHING like meeting them in person.

Sorena Robard sat next to me...and she is the kindest, funniest person. I had so much fun talking to her. She gave me a couple of pointers I'll remember for the future, and I learned other valuable networking tips from just listening to her interact with others.

Alyssa Day sat directly across from me...unbelievable, right? I can top that. Yasmine Galenorn was at the next table on my right. How freaking cool is that? Oh, and behind me, Elizabeth Boyle. Her laugh is so infectious, everyone else couldn't help but join in.

Brenda Novak, Cherry Adair...the list is incredible. I'll post it below just so you get the idea.

As for me, well, I had a great time. I met fantabulous authors, made some very cool connections, and learned some valuable writing advice. All in all, the weekend was a success!

Cherry Adair
Allie Adams
Ann Aguirre
Elizabeth Amber
Viv Arend
DaniJo Avia
Mimi Barbour
Hanna Rhys Barnes
Lynette Baughman
Jenna Bayley-Burke
Teresa Bodwell
Marie-Claude Bourque
Elizabeth Boyle
MG Braden
Asa Marie Bradley
Meljean Brook
Susan Colleen Browne
Mary Buckham
Marcella Burnard
Katherine Chloe Cahoon
Tera Childs
Rebecca Clark
Jennifer Conner
Cait Connelly
Eileen Cook
Megan Crane/Caitlin Crews
Lauren Dane
Lacy Danes
Jami Davenport
Heather Davis
Alyssa Day
Bonnie Edwards
Kimberly Fisk
Eilis Flynn
Amanda Forester
Susanna Fraser
Yasmine Galenorn
Jan Hambright
Jackie Ivie
Paty Jager
Christy Karras
Kris Kennedy
Anthea Lawson
Linda Hope Lee
Rose Lerner
Jeannie Lin
Katie MacAlister
Margaret Mallory
Josie Malone
Delilah Marvelle
Crista McHugh
Alexis Morgan
Elisabeth Naughton
Laura Navarre
Dawn Nelson
Brenda Novak
Terry Odell
Liza Palmer
Renee Rearden
Serena Robar
Sheila Roberts
Gina Robinson
Jacquie Rogers
Gerri Russell
Laurie Ryan
Deborah Schneider
Amber Scott
Jessa Slade
Shelli Stevens
Marie Tuhart
Myne Whitman
Gayle Ann Williams