Saturday, November 26, 2005

Last Post

Phew--my last blog for a few days at least (maybe 3 weeks if I get stuck without a terminal--and doesn't that sound painful?).

Firstly, I'LL MISS YOU!!!!

Secondly, I'll BE BACK!!!!

OK, what to say? I thought I'd be stuck for words but actually I have too much to say (a common problem I know :D). Pop is out of hospital--yeah!! Hope he continues to recover and takes it easy for a while.

I got my hair cut this morning--looking pretty nifty if I do say so myself, in a razor sharp bob with a flattering fringe (bangs). daughter had that little boy visiting. He said, 'Ha ha. You look like Mrs Milligan in our school--except she's TALLER!' Even DH was laughing, thinking this wee guy has it in for me :)

George Best died :( He was only 59, although given his love of fast living, it is surprising he made it that far. He seemed like a lovely man, if flawed, like all true heroes.

And lastly my CP Kendra Clark's first novel comes out in January. Now let me tell you a little about her. We hooked up on the eHarlequin threads, both throwing ourselves into the fray of letting others see our work for the first time--a very scary big step. She struck me as being a little on the 'sweet' side. I wasn't into cute stuff and she was so nice with all these little hearts everywhere. I felt like a big prickly hog beside her, and LOL--I am a mean critiquer!!! Anyway, now I'm into hearts and cutesy stuff and Kendra's got the whips out :)

So we got to know each other, decided to give each other a try out and then she sent me her first chapter to crit. I basically thought. Oh my God!! I HATE the heroine (Miranda), and this poor wee girl from Tennessee with the 3 kids, military hubby, full-time teaching job for special needs kids is NEVER going to get published.


Now this post isn't about how bad a writer Kendra is--just the opposite. It is about how this young woman crammed every bit of learning and knowledge available and turned herself around from being the clueless newbie to the consummate professional within six months.

So her first book comes out in January and she has many more to come, plus an overactive imagination and a well of energy I totally envy. Spirit Warrior is wonderful and hot and groovy.

I'm not sure why she puts up with me, but she does, and I'm glad :)

So, I'm back on the 17th December, with a tan (he he). I will try to post, and more importantly, try to read everybody elses' blogs!! But if I don't please forgive me and stay warm and safe and I'll see you in a couple of weeks :)

Friday, November 25, 2005


I know they're not real cowboys, and I know there are plenty of gorgeous real cowboys out there (including the football team, I'm sure) BUT these two are my personal favourites!

I do have a problem with mustaches. Did anyone watch CSI last night, with Nick's new mustache? He looked like he was turning into a gay porn star (nothing wrong with gay porn stars either, but it just wasn't how I saw Nick's character--I feel they are about to change the guy).

Sorry dad, I know you often have a mustache, but they look funny on other people :))

And big hugs to my father-in-law, who usually keeps up with my blog but is in hospital :( Get well soon Pop!!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Seriously--I couldn't help it :) I mean why is this man on a horse? Why is he defined as a 'cowboy'? Even assuming he is a cowboy, why would you take a photo of him and store him in the Microsoft archives??

And he looks like a sack of potatoes on that pony. LOL.

Hubba hubba--I don't think so!!!

I am not usually a nasty person, but after lusting after some gorgeous images of working men on working horses (OK, and the Marleborough ads), this seemed like a cruel parody of what women want.

Now somebody will comment that this guy is the bull-riding champion of the 59th state and his jeans are just tight because it's Thanksgiving. If that guy is a cowboy I'll be dog-garned!!


Well I had pancakes for breakfast this morning-YUM! The only time I go out for breakfast is with my mom's group and so twice a year we hit the local Pancake Place. We had one mom from the US so at least she had a mini celebration!!

I need to pack. Well, OK--I am packed, but not everything. I like to pack and then list everything that needs to go in last minute (like the potty)--and list all the last minute 'things' I need to do--like hide the GOPHER DOOM from the housesitter and putting everything in a 'sensible' place (like dog treats next to dog food). And rearrange the garage so our car can be squeezed into a corner and out of the way of the house sitter's see how worked up I get? OK--well as the next few days are already jam-packed with kids stuff I'd better get on and clean the fridge.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Oven Door III

Ah ha!! I did it :) Took some jiggery pokery, but I got there in the end :D
No gin, screwdriver or any other alcoholic beverage in my hand--though I was holding a whisk {:/

Temperature has dropped here to -9C (-19C windchill) and it is bitter out.

Tomorrow is terrible Thursday, the only day we have to be out of the house by 9 am, and the only day the kids sleep in. What is with that???

Oven Doors II

Such an interesting topic for writers, I thought I'd contiue.

This is our life... Having fixed the oven seal (and made the room considerably cooler), DH decided to stick the oven on the self-clean mode for an hour last night. Anyway, now we can't get the friggin' door open and are essentially ovenless!!

Why do these things happen to us? Remember the shower of 2 weeks ago? Took 10 days to finish cleaning it when the tiles fell off! Whatever 'little' job we undertake, snowballs into some God-awful monster that completely takes hold of our lives and costs big money...

I can see us shopping for an oven on Saturday so our house-sitter actually has something to cook with while we're away!! Darn it :/

Still happy though--JIC you were wondering :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Oven Doors

OK--well I think I might be having a few cowboy days in the near future so bear with me.

Last night DH decided to replace the seal on the oven door. First fiasco was trying to get the model number off the 25 year old range. It took Gary about half an hour of making up number combinations on the phone before some wise fellow actually managed to trace the barely legible serial number. So we found the part--which turned out to be even more ridiculous because a seal is a seal and all they really need was the length of the seal, which any idiot, including me, could measure.

So DH drives there and back (about an hour round trip), and then starts removing the old seal. But you have to totally dismantle the door to remove and replace the seal?? Can anyone say DESIGN FLAW??? And then you had to thread this stupid metal tube through the inside of the seal. This should have taken 30 seconds, and instead took us about 90 mins (with two of us), until DH finally started hacking away and somehow managed to make it fit.

Then he had to put the stupid door back together.

Now in my opinion old ladies should be able to replace an oven door seal. It isn't rocket science. I can see my next oven bought on the ease of repairing the damn seal--grrhh!!

Cowboys seem suddenly appropriate :)

Monday, November 21, 2005

I sold!!

Well I actually sold my first story, a single title called Venus' Slipper to Triskelion.

I have no details whatsoever except the lady loved my story :) (I love her already). Isn't that great??? Triskelion is an epublisher, but they are going to do some print runs, so imagine if I actually managed to get my grubby fingers on a real live copy :)

The reason for the picture? Well my story is based around a cowboy hero and an ex-FBI heroine and I'm very attached to this story and the people in it.

Picture me with a big happy grin :D

Picture this...

We leave for Florida next Sunday and because we get back just before Christmas, and because I can't stand someone coming into my house with it all messy, I was cleaning the windows.

But it was incredibly sunny, so I had to get my sunglasses on to clean the windows :D I thought it was hilarious. I'm almost as cool as Bono :D

Saturday, November 19, 2005


I stole this from Cora and, though I'm a little bored of these things, I do like witches. I confess there was a time when my father thought I was into occultism, all because my friend Alice's mother gave me all her Dennis Wheatley novels before she moved to the states. I still don't think I have my dad convinced that I'm not some freaky, witchy, dungeon and dragon type (and I never played D&D, just read science fiction and fantasy books!!!).
Anyway, this is MY witch, so beware *cackle cackle*

Air Witch
You are an air witch. You're very intelligent and
draw your power from the air. Thin and small in
appearance, you're full of insight and
vitality. You probably wish to travel the
world.. and to fly. Your powers of
visualization and invisibility make you a great
observer, thinker and sometimes artist. Your
spirit moves as the wind, giving life to all.

What kind of 'witch' are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Too tired to blog :/

Up most of the night--no brain cells left to blog. Son suffering from a cold/fever and I might take him to the hospital if no improvement. Poor wee lamb.

DH due home again today and so hopefully everything will get back to normal with his reassurring presence.

Snow starting to melt today, hopefully it'll melt off the roof before the ice damns that cause the pretty icicles, cause too much damage.

That's the view from my office window--plus it has lights at night :D

Friday, November 18, 2005


I actually thought this was very sweet :)

Temptress Offering Naughty Indulgence

Are you a multi-tasker??

Tonight I found myself doing a zillion things all at the same time--probably badly!!

Feeding the kids.
Cleaning the silver (we finally found silvo in the local Safeways after trekking around other stores for it--duh)
Washing up
Making my own dinner
Making a cup of tea
Tidying up the kitchen
Going through daughter's school bag
Talking on the telephone
Stoking the fire
Sorting dog food
Tidying house

Now my DH can't make lunch and talk on the phone at the same time, so why do I have to be crazily busy all the time? Why can't I just do one thing at a time? Anyway, I'm knick-knackered and so I'm going to iron in front of the telly. I have tonnes of writing work to do but my eyes are so crossed I can barely see.

Help me--I need relaxation therapy!!!

Freezing rain forecast tomorrow :(

PS. I have a heroine planned who's going to be a world expert on Octopi. Now, as I always over-research you don't even wanna know how many freaking research papers I'll end up reading :( But she's planned after my photographer heroine and my fisheries biologist, so I shan't worry just yet!!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Red Nude

Noel Miller is one of my favourite artists. He is also one of my favourite people :)

I thought I'd brighten up my Thursday by putting up this picture--I love it, but if I could buy any of his works, it would be the new Antarctic pieces he's produced.

Despite my snowy life I have a thing for icebergs.

Have you ever seen an iceberg? They are magical--seriously, eerily beautiful, and me, DH and a friend called Dave once chased them all over Newfoundland. Dave has also been known to climb on them--a deadly pursuit that I'm hoping he's given up :/

Happy Thursday :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Snow hates

I'd forgotten all the things I didn't like about snow.

We cycled over to a friends Monday afternoon and cycled back as the first flakes started falling. The wind was gusting and my son was probably regretting his intense hatred of mittens--what can you say to a three-year old?

I think that's it for bikes--no more cycling to school, no more scooting. I'm thinking about getting a big black sled, one you can fit 3 kids on at a time and drag home. The only problem is getting my son to voluntarily stay on the damn thing. Hmm. Maybe I'll drag him around the aisles of Canadian tire and see how he goes. Or swaddle him in blankets, or maybe I'll just drive LOL.

Things I hate about snow:
Not seeing the lines in the road and not being exactly sure where my lane is when I'm driving. Car skidding (and yes we have a 4-wheel drive).
Everybody else driving like it isn't really snowing (Winnipeg drivers are nuts).
Getting it all over the house, all over the car. All over the dogs.
Poop scooping (damn I wish I'd scooped before I went out yesterday, because now it'll be a mystery till Spring).
Having to dry my hair before I leave the house.
Shovelling the path.
Cold feet (must drag out my fabby snow boots :))
Dressing the kids in all their layers.
Hat hair.

I'll do another post about all the things I love about snow later in the week.

And suddenly the lure of Florida is getting stronger and more attractive :D


Forecast: Chance of flurries
Temp: -15C
Windchill: -25C

Pride and Prejudice

Just because she's gorgeous and I've heard great things about him, and I want to see it, though won't!!! I'll get the DVD and hopefully see the 2 endings people have been talking about. What's all this about Americans needing sugary endings???

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I guess it snowed--huh?

Happy Birthday Grandad

Born in Liverpool in 1920 (and therefore a scouser), my grandad is 85 today. Previously a redhead, he's an absolute star and wonderful character. He served in the war, was a model husband to my granny Sue, a good father to his daughter. A brilliant grandad to his 4 grandchildren, a lovely great-grandad to 12 granchildren and he even has a great great granddaughter by my nephew.

He's perfect.

Happy Birthday Grandad!!! Sorry I'm not there to enjoy the cream cakes with you!!!

Monday, November 14, 2005


This will be a regular feature now!
Forecast: **Snow**
Temp: -5C
Windchill: -10C

Check out Winnipeg Weather for great images :) including polar bears :)

Storm Warning excerpt

If you've read it before--is it faster now? Smoother? BTW--if you've read it before don't feel you have to read it again, it is longer than my average blog LOL :) Honest opinions welcome!!

Waves crashed and pounded the rocky shore. Bitter wind flayed her face and slapped sea-spray hard against her cheeks, but Sorcha Logan didn’t feel the cold.

Black wedges of jagged rock flashed between whitecaps twenty yards out, playing peek-a-boo with the rising tide. Salt and kelp tasted pungent on her tongue as she tossed back her hair and raised her hands to the heavens in reverence and salutation. Gulls dipped and dove; riding the storm's blast and holding position to see what the ocean cast up. The North Sea raged ferociously as Sorcha stretched out her limbs and cooled down from her five mile run.

She couldn’t run anymore.

The rocks and stones that flanked the Scottish coastline could twist an unwary ankle, or break a foolish neck. She might be strange, but she wasn’t stupid.

Balanced on a rock six-foot above the lashing waves, water swirled and hissed before being sucked back out to sea. But rather than scaring her, each pounding wave helped calm the agitation that swarmed inside her mind.

Maybe she was a witch.

The steel-gray sky reflected darker hues in the greenish tinged sea and looked suddenly menacing. Sweat rolled down her spine, chilling her body and she shivered at the contrast, drawing her arms down, tight across her chest.

Unwelcome sensations span through the air, like the tripping of a silent alarm. The pressure of all-seeing eyes probed her shoulders, snagging her glance toward the houses that lined the coast.

A hundred tiny windows stared back blankly.

Old panic fought to burst free. Anybody might be watching. Watching the storm, or the blink and turn of the light beam that guarded the May Isle.

She held her breath, blood pounding through her ears with the cadence of thunder.

A jumble of seventeenth and eighteenth-century cottages, dressed in cold stone or painted cheery white, topped by crowns of bright orange pan-tiles, crowded against the edge of the sea—as if the fishermen who’d built them had staked their claim. Anyone could be watching the gale and the waves piling over rocks with all Poseidon’s might.

Foam frothed and lashed. Wrenching her attention back to the sea, she took a quick step back, slipped and cried out as she banged against cold hard stone.

God, I’m hopeless.

The sky grew darker. Sorcha stood, gingerly rubbing the bruise on her backside and concentrated as she probed for footholds down the slippery limpet-strewn rocks. A sharp outcrop grazed her palm as she let herself down that final step.

Focus. The ground was made up of slick rocks that ranged in size from tennis balls to beer crates. She leapt across a rock-pool that was re-energized by the incoming tide, skidded on a film of green seaweed.

The piped call of an Oystercatcher pierced the roar of the waves. Usually the black and white birds, with their day-glow orange beaks, cheered her.

Except right now. She crossed her arms over her chest.

I don’t feel cheerful right now.

A pair of the little birds danced back and forth just out of reach of the waves.

Maybe scared of a dog or a person I can’t see?

Biting her lip, she scanned the area, but nobody else was out on this wild night—just her, in her sneakers, and spray-and-sweat-soaked running gear.

A voice whispered close-by, words inaudible and just out of reach. The sweat on her body froze like rimed seaweed on a mid-winter’s day. Fists curled into tight balls as she fought the urge to cover her ears even though nothing protected her from the voices inside her head.

The birds danced in agitation and gave a shrill cry of distress. Lured by an irresistible force, Sorcha took another step forward and saw him.

In the rock-pool that was cut deeply into the bedrock of the coastal margin, cut deep enough for children to jump into safely during the summer.

Her heart pounded, the race of it drumming beneath her sweatshirt even faster than when she’d been running. Her breath caught in her lungs, expelled in a huge gasp.

She stumbled, scrambled over the rocks, but kept going.

Going forward.

Toward the man.

Toward the man floating facedown in the rapidly filling rock-pool where the children played in the summer.

Oh please God, not again.

She couldn’t move fast enough. Each second lasted a lifetime as she climbed each rocky steeple, lurched across each wide granite ledge. Blistering icy water slapped her legs as she ran into the pool and slid on the treacherous surface. Hissing out a startled breath, she grabbed at the pale wool sweater that dragged the man down.

He weighed more than lead, the heavy jersey pulling him down into the freezing depths. A wave washed over the top of the ledge, cascading into the pool and over Sorcha’s head as she tore at the man’s clothing and tried to lift his face for air.

Panic gave her strength.

If I can save him, if I can get a breath into those still lungs, pump his heart. He could live. He might not be dead. He might not be dead yet.

Desperate, she grabbed the material, felt the softness of the waterlogged wool stretch and give as she heaved. Turned him over and took an instant to absorb the fact that it wasn’t him.

It wasn’t him.

How many times did she have to relive that nightmare?

He was young, not even twenty, with dirty blonde hair plastered to his skull. He didn’t look like a fisherman, more like a student or a tourist. He wasn’t breathing...

Waves filled the pool, currents trying to steal the limp body from her arms. But she wasn’t letting go.

Teeth gritted, she focused every single fiber of her being on dragging his deadweight clear of the water. If she could get him there, if she could get him breathing, there was a five-minute window where she could run for help before the tide stole him.

Imagine how crazy she’d sound if she claimed to have found another body on the beach...only this one disappeared. Like she needed a reason for anyone in this town to look at her sideways.

No way.

She shook her head, clamped frozen fingers over the stretchy wool and heaved. It didn’t matter what it cost, she would not lose this man.

Slippery seaweed fringed the edge of the pool and made her skid. She went under as the man’s body slid back down the ledge, hit her head on the granite slab. Dazed, she sucked in a breath and choked as seawater entered her airway. Spluttering she rose to her feet, hooked her hands beneath his and dragged him backwards out of the weed infested pool and collapsed clear of the water.

Frantically, she looked around at the waves creeping around either side of the rocks.

There was no time.

Rough granite bit into her knees as she knelt by his side and checked for a pulse. She searched his thick wrist, then the tender wall of his neck for the telltale beat of life. Nothing moved. No flutter of blood, no rise or fall of chest.

His lips were blue. Skin, pale and waxy. Glassy eyes stared up at her, reminding her of another face...

“He’s dead.” The voice came out of nowhere, startling and loud, in spite of the storm’s roar.

Terror shot through her and she cranked out a scream. She didn’t mean to, couldn’t help the sound that screeched from her lips as a stranger loomed in the twilight.

“Take it easy.” The stranger held out his hands, fingers spread wide as if to prove his harmlessness.

But he didn’t look harmless to her.

Tall, with dark hair curling a little in the damp air, shrewd black eyes shone from a face drawn with hard lines and sharp edges. Dark and dangerous.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

What I Got Done (:D)

I edited two chapters on Saturday, thanks to DH taking the kids FAR AWAY!!!! Doesn't sound like much really, but I have been trying to write in Motivation-Reaction units ala Dwight Swain. It's tricky!

First you write a sentence without your character and then you write a sentence about your character.

Sounds easier than it is, but I believe the method has improved the pace of the first two chapters I have worked on. You don't have to use exactly one sentence for the M-R unit, you can have a couple as long as they work together. And I found maybe 2 paragraphs where I couldn't change what I'd written to fit in with the rules, but generally I did it. Now I might have done it wrong, but I guess no one's gonna tell me off unless I publish and then I wont care :D (OK, I'm a liar because I will care, but I'd still be published, LOL).

So I think I'm getting over a bit of a writing bump, because I now feel back in the groove, which means another chapter tomorrow night and hopefully something every night. Only two weeks till we go to Florida, so I need to push to get this done.

I'm going to post the first couple of pages of Storm Warning on Monday. You can tell me if it still reads slow, or if the pace is better. See--I'm being brave, so be nice.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Great Escape Artists

In addition, I have been very kindly invited to join a blog called Great Escape Artists.
The writers are a diverse bunch of talented ladies and I think it'll be a lot of fun :)

I copied this from Kendra's site

Walk down the streets of Rome. Stroll down a darkened alley with a vampire. Take a walk on the Wild Side. Meet an Ancient Warrior. Pick up a special treat at Pandora's Box. Whisper to the Love Talker.

Escape...let us show you how!

I'm pretty sure my specialty is killing people ;-)

Shower Heaven

OK--a short one today because I intend to edit. This is the shower DH (and I) have just stripped, cleaned, regrouted, sealed. Look at all the little tiles!!!! It is about 6 ft x 6 ft x 7 ft tall and I figure if you really tried you could get twenty-five people in there.

It was my idea to replace the tiles on the step with wood (I'm lazy), but DH did a fabulous job :)

OK--enough fascinating glimpses into my life--imagine how much more interesting this will be when I'm famous :D

Friday, November 11, 2005


Eve has a free book giveaway every Friday--having won several books in the last couple of weeks I feel it my duty to advertise and not just keep begging :)


I was going to blog about how knackered and grumpy and dissatisfied I am right now--Thursdays do that to me, and this Thursday was worse than usual. I can't get to write, my kids are cheeky or plain old demanding, I'm cold and I can't shake the sniffles. We have no money and the sky is falling in. And then I realised it is Remembrance Day.

My dad is a military and history buff, who was in the parachute regiment as a young man. I grew up watching war movies and history programs and being barraged with the knowledge he'd gained from historic accounts, plus hearing his own memories of the war from the perspective of a young boy. Both my grandfathers served during the war, as did my granny--she lost her brother Alf, whom she was very close to, and I believe he's buried in MonteCasino. My parents have my uncle Charlie's letters from WWII. I've thought several times about turning them into a book, but my mother is reluctant to release them, even to me. I don't blame her--they're precious.

My husband's grandfather was a Captain during the war and my m-i-l has treasured trench maps and a diary of his everyday life.

I love listening to my grandad retell some of his experiences--especially the ones where he caught his soldiers doing something they shouldn't.

He's 5'6" and shrinking and was a Sergeant Major with the Royal Artillary. He saw my mother for 48 hours when she was a newborn and didn't see her again till she was two & a half years old. She cried the whole time he was on leave and he said he was glad to get back to his regiment. He's 84 now--nearly 85. He's stone deaf (probably because of the big guns) and you have to shout to have him hear. He plays Bingo twice a week and loves to travel. Because he's deaf he shouts too, and a couple of years ago, he climbed out of our car, waved at a German guy who bravely lives in our hometown and whispered, 'I SHOT SOME OF HIS COMPATRIATS IN THE WAR.' hmm... European union?

Another weird/scary fact was Hitler's plans to make Bridgnorth his HQ, and therefore my hometown Nazi central. So winning WWII wasn't just an intangible victory for my grandad and all his buddies--he truly saved his future family from a bloody terrible regime.

My daughter was being taught about soldiers and war at kindergarten. It made me sad to think she's old enough to begin to understand man's inhumanity to man.

God bless the soldiers who serve and those who who die serving. Next time I imagine I'm having a tough day, I'll try to remember...

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Read this question, come up with an answer and then head to comments for the result. This is not a trick question. It is as it reads.

A woman, while at the funeral of her own mother, met a guy whom she did not know. She thought this guy was amazing. She believed him to be her dream guy so much, that she fell in love with him right there, but never asked for his number and could not find him.

A few days later she killed her sister.

Question: What is her motive for killing her sister?
[Give this some thought before you answer]

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Golf joke (thanks Janny)

Four old-timers were playing their weekly game of golf, and one remarked how
nice it would be to wake up Christmas morning, roll out of bed and without
an argument go directly to the golf course, meet his buddies and play a
round. His buddies all chimed in and said, "Let's do it!

We'll make it a priority, figure out a way and meet here early Christmas

Months later, that special morning arrives, and there they are on the golf

The first guy says, "Boy this game cost me a fortune! I bought my wife such
a diamond ring that she can't! take her eyes off it."

Number 2 guy says, "I spent a ton, too. My wife is at home planning the
cruise I gave her. She was up to her eyeballs in brochures."

Number 3 guy says "Well my wife is at home admiring her new car, reading the

They all turned to the last guy in the group who is staring at them like
they have lost their minds.

"I can't believe you all went to such expense for this golf game. I slapped
my wife on the butt and said, 'Well babe, Merry Christmas ! It's a great
morning for sex or golf ' ........ and she said, "Take a sweater..."

Rodent Hell

I think I might be about to burn out!! I'm wrecked. I blame the mice--when I'm not cleaning, I'm suffering from flu-like symptoms which can be caused by mouse viruses. That's it! I'm bringing in the big guns :)


A woman's weapon, and like revenge, best served cold.

Now the trick is to kill the mice, while maintaining the lives of our dumb scavanging dogs and the children, who don't eat much real food, but would be sure to be tempted by chlorophacinone.


My friend just happened to have some at home?? (insert smiley with raised eyebrow, because I'm not sure about her husband either)

I was informed by a former pest-controller called Roche (no joke), that mice outbreed traps and get wise to them. On the other side of the Atlantic, my mother informs me they have a rodent that ate half a cabbage! They are hoping for squirrel and not Rattus norvegicus.

Wish us luck.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Mouses cont.

Damn bloody effing mice!!

Yesterday, after my usual Monday hoovering around the groundfloor, I realized it was almost mouse poop free. My little heart started to soar, and my gut feeling (the one that keeps cops alive and soldiers alert) told me the problem was solved. Little did I know...

We went to bed feeling pretty pleased with ourselves, grout was drying, son was almost potty trained, mice were under control--hah!!

At 1.15 am (I seem to spend a lot of 1.15 ams awake), I heard a scartching sound. I couldn't decide if it was in the walls or in the bedroom, so I listened hard for a minute of two. Basically, this thing sounded like a remote control car zipping though the carpet at high speed with absolutely no concern for the humans above its head (makes you wonder how often the wee devil was around huh?).

I got up and turned on the light in the closet, trying not to wake a peaceably snoring DH. I failed and he demanded "What the hell are you doing?"
"I can hear something," I told him, knowing he wouldn't believe me because he thinks I am completely paranoid (And I am, though I am rarely wrong ;-))
I crawled around the floor for a second and started to laugh. The mouse was under the box that is set on casters, beneath my side of the bed. Totally unconcerned and nibbling something.
I told DH.
"Are you serious?" he asks me--as if I'd make it up??
"Well go back to sleep--what are you going to do, anyway?"
I decided to go fetch a trap from downstairs. I set it up under the bed--trying to tempt the wee mouse, and went back to bed.
DH was awake now--we heard the thing hurtling around again and finally he jumped out of bed like a mad thing, all psyched up for action. "Right, let's get the little bugger."
He tracked the mouse (following plastic bag rustles) to the top shelf of our closet, where all the Christmas pressies are hidden. How the hell did a mouse get six foot off the ground so quickly??? DH stood on a chair (and I was laughing because he looked like the old cartoon character of a woman on a chair) and he flung this thing off the shelf where it landed on the floor and started zipping around again.
Long story short--we chased that thing around our bedroom for an hour. DH cornered it, threw a towel on it, trapped in under a pile of clothes and the little monster just ran to the other side of the room.
I gave up and crawled into bed (after checking my son who was also awake). DH finally went downstairs for the second trap and stuck it in the closet. We went to bed at 3 am.

Mousetrap snapped at 3.15 am and DH (very upset) had to dispose of the still live, but fatally wounded mouse. I hate to see animals suffer--but I hate to have vermin in the bedroom!!

So that is why I'm late starting this morning. Sorry!!

And having murdered 7 innocent mice--I now feel guilty every time I see Stuart Little, Bernard & Bianca, Angelina Ballerina, Maisy, Jerry and Micky himself. Just Minnie to go.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Your Animal Personality

Your Animal Personality

Your Power Animal: Eagle

Animal You Were in a Past Life: Whale

You are active, a challenger, and optimistic.
Hard-working, you are always working towards a set goal.

Oh man, these things are so true it's like they actually know me ;-)

Sunday, November 06, 2005


So I had a comment on my hero's development when Storm Warning was rejected by Harlequin Intrigue, hence my buying Tami Cowden et al's archetype book.

OK--so my Hero, Ben, is both a Lost soul (think Angel/Mulder) & a Warrior (Braveheart), with a layered archetype--just like John Rambo in First Blood. Now that doesn't mean my hero is a cookie cutter image of Rambo--far from it, but they share a lot of the same classic characteristics. (Can you tell I've been reading lots--in between getting on my hands and knees in the shower??)

I think I made my mistake by
1) not making his lost soul history clear right from the start. He was a bastard child raised in a strongly Catholic household by a bitter grandfather who verbally abused his wife and daughter and grandson. So Ben withdrew inwardly, became a target for bullies, though he gave as good as he got. Now he just wants to be left alone, and isolates himself from feelings and aches for what he cannot have. According to Tami et al., that makes him perfect for being an undercover cop (Good--Ben's undercover DEA :)).
2) My second mistake was not making his Warrior instincts obvious. This guy is avenging his dead partner and prepared to do whatever it takes to finish off the bad guys. I need to show his resolve in some definable way.
3) Then there's the transition from tortured soul to redeeemed hero, which was too fast--IMO. So what if he falls for some good looking chick? What's she going to give him that he hasn't had for the last 35 years?? What would make a man like him, believe in a woman like her???

I know the answers, but I'm not sure they made it from my tiny brain to the manuscript. So that's what I have to work on next.

This book is giving me some nice insights into what makes my characters tick. Next time I'm going to start with a basic archetype, before I write the story. Basically it is a method for helping you, help your reader, to identify with your characters early on--isn't that one of the goals we need to achieve?

And then I have a couple of structural issues to address--apart from the shower that is!!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Guy Fawkes Day


Explaining why the British celebrate on November 5th--a great time of year for fireworks because it is dark by 5 pm!!.

Guy Fawkes Day aka Bonfire Night - November 5th

Remember, remember the 5th of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason that gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

The smell of gunpowder smoke and the snap and crackle of bonfires will fill the capital in the run up to Bonfire Night. Thousands of revellers will line London's parks to "ooh" and "aah" as the city explodes into colour, in remberance of Guy Fawkes (Guido Fawkes) and his foiled plot to blow up Parliament and the King in 1605.

Guy Fawkes was born in Yorkshire in 1570. A convert to the Catholic faith, Fawkes had been a soldier who had spent several years fighting in Italy. It was during this period that he adopted the name Guido (Italian for Guy) perhaps to impress the ladies!

'Guy Fawkes Day' also known as 'Bonfire Night' or 'Fireworks Night' by some, marks the date, November 5, 1605, when Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators attempted to kill King James I and the Members of Parliament and to blow up the Houses of Parliament.

Guy Fawkes & Co

This conspiracy arose as a reaction to the persecution of Catholics under the rule of King James, a Protestant. Infuriated by the failure of King James, the son of the passionately Catholic Mary Queen of Scots, to grant more toleration to Catholics. Four other Catholics joined with Fawkes in his plans including Robert Catesby. Catesby made a fatal error and invited other Catholics to join the plot until there were 60 plotters in all, you try keeping a secret when 60 people know about it.

Thomas Percy rented a cellar beneath the Palace of Westminster and 36 barrels of gunpowder were placed in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament. But Francis Tresham betrayed the conspiracy in a letter to his brother-in-law Lord Monteagle, warning him not to attend parliament. Monteagle told the government and Fawkes was caught red handed in the cellars under Parliament, with a box of matches in his pocket and a guilty expression on his face! His fellow conspirators fled but many were killed or arrested and 9 members of the 60+ plotters, including Fawkes, were hung, drawn and quartered in January 1606.

Comedians down the ages have said that he was "the only man ever to have entered Parliament with honest intentions."

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Swashbuckler

I was reading this book last night--see below--and realised, much to my amusement, I am married to a swashbuckler!!!

VIRTUES--Fearless, Exciting, Capable
FLAWS--Unreliable, Foolhardy, Selfish

Obviously, these are the archetypes virtues and flaws, I would never call my husband selfish. But it was the following that sealed it for me...

BACKGROUND--This child kept his parents on their toes. Whether from a settled environment (yep) or following an adventurous family tradition, from an early age he was fearless in his pursuits. His family would often have to tie him down in order to ensure his safety. But he invariably escaped, not wanting to miss the next great escapade.

His family did tie him up--and put bars on the windows, LOL. And they had 4 others just like him, except his sister who was obviously much more refined (honest).

Hot and sweaty

Just been getting hot and sweaty in the shower with my hubby--but it's not what you think...
We've been scraping out the old grout and silicone to redo the damn thing!!! I spent 2 hours cleaning it on Monday to the extent a half dozen tiles fell off!! Yikes! Not much writing done this week because of it and may have to rethink Florida 'vacation'.

On the good side of the week, my son has had no accidents of the poopy/pee pee nature this week. Yippee. He has a phobia of toilets, but a strong constitution ;-) Our car was serviced without a million things being found wrong with it--wayhay!!! And my copy of Heroes and Heroines 16 master archetypes arrived!! I am hoping I can resolve the hero's conflict in my second story, if I can pin down his basic nature. LOL!! I'm a book addict--get me out of here!!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Your Inner Child Is Sad

Your Inner Child Is Sad

You're a very sensitive soul.
You haven't grown that thick skin that most adults have.
Easily hurt, you tend to retreat to your comfort zone.
You don't let many people in - unless you've trusted them for a long time.

Oh man, I'm gonna cry!!! Bad decision to search for my inner child, LOL.
Happy busy Thursday!!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I've been tagged

All about Me:

Three screen names that you've had: Toni, Toni, Toni :)

Three things you like about yourself: Friendly, intelligent, I listen to people (generally)

Three things you don't like about yourself: Hair (just because it needs a cut), losing my temper with my kids, the fact I worry about EVERYTHING

Three parts of your heritage: Irish, Welsh and English

Three things that scare you: Scary movies, rickety ladders, BIG spiders

Three of your everyday essentials: tea, sleep, books (should have said sex!)

Three things you are wearing right now: Stripey jumper, gray socks, wedding ring

Three of your favorite songs: Thunder Road, Long & winding road, Somewhere over the rainbow

Three things you want in a relationship: love, respect, kindness

Two truths and a lie: George Bush is an idiot, Tony Blair is fantastic, Liverpool FC are the greatest football team in the world (not in any particular order and you can decide which is what :)

Three things you can't live without: tea, books, email

Three places you want to go on vacation:New Zealand, Italy, USA

Three things you just can't do: I'm pretty certain I could do anything if I really had to. But...put my hand into a jar of bugs, walk through a lions den, swim the Atlantic

Three kids' names: Jessie, Elvis or Duncan (these are stolen from my nephew, Duncan, as potential names for his baby brother LOL)

Three things you want to do before you die: Publish a book that hits the NYT list, pay off my visa bill, watch my kids grow up to be happy

Three celeb crushes: Richard Gere (aged 15--me not him), Eric Bana, Paul Newman

Three of your favourite musicians:My dad, my brother & Bruce Springsteen

Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeals to you: smile, brain, strength

Three of your favourite hobbies: writing, painting, reading

Three things you really want to do badly right now: edit my second book, read, go to bed

Three careers you're considering/you've considered: Helicopter pilot (too short-seriously), marine biologist (might go back to it), author (I want, I want, I want)

Three ways that you are stereotypically a boy: cursing, action movies, drink beer from the bottle

Three ways that you are stereotypically a girl: love scented baths, hate scary movies, hate spiders

Three people that I would like to see post this meme: Kim, Meretta, Melissa

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


I have had my fortune read several times.

First one was a gypsy in a caravan at the Lammas Fair, in St Andrews. She told me to be careful not to become a mother before I became a bride. Cheeky besom.

Second one was the secretary's father who read my ring (please no sniggering). He said a lot of stuff, but I distinctly remember him saying my future lay overseas--Canada, Australia and Canada.
Now how's that for spooky???

Third one. I was dragged to some guy's house in the depths of a Telford dive with 3 other girls. My friend Deb had made the booking and her sister dropped out at the last minute--so I was the replacement. He told me very clearly that I had psychic powers of my own--I told him I knew that already :)

Fourth one--see image. In the company of Princess Anne (OK, so I wasn't with Anne and actually she'd left. I was with my buddies, Mary & Karen, better looking and safer drivers). I had my psychic reading done using colour & clairvoyance. I think I freaked her out choosing the orange and red to start with, and the purple got me a funny stare. But she told me a few things that struck home, and remember I have a good poker face. First, she said... This seems weird because it just doesn't go together, but I see your job being something to do with love or passion and I see you typing away at a keyboard.

Knock me down with a feather!! Then she told me I had problems finishing things (I denied it, though yesterday I sent off the manuscript I've been working on for 6 years, so I figure she was maybe onto something!!).

Then she said there was a number 3 in there (see image) and my success was somehow tied to a number 3. Well, I guess I did sell a short-story, but that was actually the 4th thing I've written (if I include the short story I wrote for the KOD cookbook). Maybe it will be the 3rd full length novel I write? Or a 3 book deal? Or 3 years (Oh God please NO!). Or payment of $3, $30, $3,000,000??

A girl can dream right??