Monday, July 31, 2006
Argh. Busy weekend. DH and very very best buddy shingled part of the roof (a large dormer) Saturday and Sunday. Of course, when they took the old stuff off half the roof was rotten so they had to redo fasher and something else I forget the name of. And yesterday it was 35C and ******* hot. I thought they'd keel over and fall off. Poor babies.
We are eternally grateful Jim :)
They thought it would take 5-6 hours and it took two days. Oh did I mention the BBQ? The one we invited eight adults and five kids to? On Saturday? when DH is on the roof and I have the kids to look after, house to clean, food to buy, cook...??? I was Taz for the day and everything went wonderfully but it was bloody hard work.
Not as hard as roofing mind.
Then there was the packing for our trip. Five weeks in the UK and 2 weddings. Anyone who's been to the UK knows the weather can be anything from 30 C to 5 C and raining. So I have had to pack for all occassions. It needs tweaking. I have too much stuff but I have a 4 day period where I won't be able to do laundry and when you have sticky kids that can be a disaster, but this is the bit I like, the packing, as opposed to the air travel. However a direct flight, Winnipeg to Gatwick will be a new and hopefully lovely experience.
I'm up to my neck in details -- so not much blogging time. Sigh.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Listening to Kirsty McColl. 'Guy works down the chip shop swears he's Elvis' and all that :) Did you know she died tragically in a waterskiing accident a couple of years ago? Very sad.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Friday, July 28, 2006
I am going away on holiday and I need someone to come over to water my plants while I am gone. In this hot weather they'll probably need water twice a day.
Thanks a lot. I'll send you a postcard.
I've attached a photo for your reference.
PS: The ladder is in the Garage..
Thursday, July 27, 2006
1. When did you first start blogging and why?
After I moved to Canada--I thought it was a good way of keeping in touch with my friends, but actually ended up making a whole new set of buddies.
2. What don't you talk about?
Religion, politics, and I don't like to slag off anyone's books.
3. Are you and your blogging persona the same person?
I'm afraid so. Except I'm probably bossier!
4. How do you use blogging to build friendships?
Just by keeping up with peoples' daily lives (although I haven't been anywhere daily in ages).
5. How would you describe your writing style?
Errrr.... Blogwise--terrible :) I write the same way I think. Disjointed and pitiful. Storywise I think more about the flow and rhythm of words. I like to create a time and place and memorable characters.
I tag Meretta, Loreth, Bailey, Rene, Melissa
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I have an addictive personality. Most people wouldn't know it because I am also a control freak. So I get addicted to stuff, but I can usually control it.
You know I'm addicted to books, right?
Maybe you don't. But I am.
Before I started to write I read a book a day (almost) and still held down a demanding job and demanding man (if he played his cards right). Now I only read 1-2 books a week, most evenings being tied up with writing until 10-10.30 pm. But there is one woman I can not resist. Suzanne Brockmann. Read excerpt here...
So Suz has a new book coming out in August 15th. A terrible date as it happens. Because I'm in the UK.
I joined the Doubleday bookclub with the proviso they sell Suz'a books. But I checked the website and it isn't there yet:( I ordered a $25 Chapters voucher with airmile rewards so I could go buy it, but who knows when that'll be here. I ALMOST ordered it to arrive at my parents-in-law when we are back in the UK in August. I got to that last button stage in Amazon dot uk and stopped.
Tomorrow my addictive personality will be tested again when I think how good it would be to know the book is sitting waiting in Scotland. I can feel myself wavering already, just thinking about it...
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
This is hard going today because I'm feverish. Not sure what the matter is. Maybe the bug the kids have. Whaever, I finished my major love scene :) There will be more later in the book, but this is the one right smack in the middle of the book and defines the main turning point in the relationship. Anything follwoing this one will be frosting on the cake--so to speak .
This is for normal people like you and I, not government people with all those resources.
It seems quite simply really. Basically confuse everyone and then, don't return to your old habits. Frank puts it much better than that :) He's a lovely man--very willing to answer my endless questions and he was featured in an article in GQ last month. I have the mag somewhere but I think DH has run off to admire the suits (not).
Anyway, during the course I said, 'You know, it is a shame you're not going to the RWA National Conference in Reno.'
He said, 'Invite me and I'm there.'
Fortunately for the people going to Atlanta, the woman setting up workshops for this years RWA also took the course--and Frank is doing a workshop there this week.
Am I jealous?? You betcha.
I wonder what it would be like to actually drop off the map? Think anyone would notice?
Monday, July 24, 2006
Ten things that scare me...in no particular order
1) Stupid horror movies
2) Big cats without the view of a fence
3) Spiders too close to me and insects--generally
4) The state of the environment--please go lobby for geothermal heating/cooling to be installed as the norm in new houses and put pressure on government for grants to retrofit older homes with geothermal.
5) Someone driving too fast with me in the car
6) Being followed
7) Grizzly bears
8) Being out of my depth in water without some sort of flotation device nearby
9) Gas cylinders (the main reason I quit diving)
10) The thought of my kids dying (number one horror scenario)
I had a weekend of busy-ness--hence no blogging or visiting, I will visit today though :)
- Painted the front steps again, but DH helped me this year :)
- Got my page count done (major love scene being written so that is always weird when the kids are around. Have to wait till they go to bed else I'll be writing about Franklin the turtle, or Little Bear half way through.
- DS was sick again.
- Went swimming a couple of times in the neighbors pool
- DH and I helped the neighbors' housesitter get her car out of the ditch ??
- Got my hair cut
- Bought DS a shirt for the weddings and new trainers (First time he's ever gone into a shop and willingly taken off his old shoes. He grabbed these 'carz' ones and that was him, sorted)
- DD had her feet measured but she hasn't grown, much to her disgust. We get by on 2 growth spurts a year for her generally. DS is now the same foot size and has a bigger head.
- Bought new paint for vile pink hallway.
- Cleaned both bathrooms
- DH did tonnes of stuff too.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
OMG. Just watched this and I never watch horror movies because I am a sucky coward. This was all chillingly real. It is about a serial killer in Australia. I'm writing about a serial killer right, so I thought, 'watch the damn movie chicken' but now I know it was a mistake and I will stick to when Harry met Sally because gritty TV is too much. I like dark romance, but I have found my limit and if I don't get my happily-ever-after I just hate it!
By the way. My kids are never going backpacking, never leaving home for that matter.
Friday, July 21, 2006
Isn't that life!!
I have kids here so chaos reigns!!
Plus--my computer has been going slower since windows did some recent updates so I might revert to an older operating system, which I may screw up and never see you guys again!! So if I disappear you know I was thinking of you all. Hey--have I told you how GREAT you guys are?? Well you are all wonderful and excellent people.
Be good to yourself today--you deserve it!!!
Thursday, July 20, 2006
I found this film fairly unbiased. The arabs were portrayed as real people, with families and feelings (as they are). The Israelis were portrayed as real people with family and feelings (as they are). The killings were cold-bloodedly planned and executed by both sides.
But there was humor in the movie--and love--and an emotional strength that evolved from the weakness that eroded the stability of the central character (how about that for a contradictory statement?). And a gritty reality that didn't come from how much blood was shown on screen--but more from the emotions of the actors, depicting yet another terrible time in our history.
We never seem to learn--as a human race we never seem to move on from the cycle of violence.
Daniel Craig was phenomenal as the South African, and Eric Bana? Well, I happen to think he's a terrific actor. Really really good--like Oscar good. Really good.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
I am having a momentous week. Getting so much done. Except housework LOL.
DH turned on the hob and when it started to smoke, he sent me this glare that translated into, 'why the hell haven't you cleaned the cooker?'
Hmm. He reassures me he didn't marry me for my housewifely skills--but that look doesn't back it up?
Maybe I should add it to his bill?
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Monday, July 17, 2006
And so are you :)
Sunday, July 16, 2006
All of a sudden my characters end up on Liberty Island? What's with that? Turns out my heroine went there every summer with the woman who raised her.
So I have found out a lot about the Statue of Liberty. Hopefully only a tiny bit goes into the book. So I'm sharing the research and spreading the love :)
Most people know it was a present from the French, celebrating the liberation of the Americans from the wretched British--and though I joke, Britain was no better than any other conquering nation in history.
The sculptor was Frederic Bartholdi and the engineer Gustave Eiffel (any guesses what else he is famous for?)
The Statue has 354 steps to the crown and the arm holding the torch was closed in 1916 because German collaborators blew up a wharf in NJ and several rivets popped. It was never reopened to the public.
The seven spikes on the diadem represent the seven continents and/or the seven oceans. 25 windows of the crown represent the natural minerals.
She's 150'2" high (not including the pedestal) and weighs about 225 tons and I have to say, she looks absolutely beautiful. I'd love to go visit.
Blade Hunter Progress:
Saturday, July 15, 2006
by Andrea Hill
More beautiful than roses
Much deeper than the seas
Stronger than a hurricane
But timid like a breeze
Real as in a picture
But yet it can't be seen
More beautiful than anything
As vivid as a dream
Precious as rare jewels
A bond between two hearts
A symphony of feelings
When time is spent apart
Sharing common interests
Working through all fears
Looking at yourself
As if two were in the mirror
Finding common ground
On issues not agreed
Giving into arguments
Tending all your needs
Being there for always
Is all I want to do
Holding you forever
Because our love is true
Friday, July 14, 2006
I'm working on it. Honest.
Writing-wise. Nothing new put on paper but I did block out most of the rest of the plot on index cards and the romance too (thank you, Loreth). I also went back over what I'd written so far, getting ready to move ahead tomorrow? maybe. If you want the truth it is all tosh, but I think it has a chance of coming together.
It is as hot as hell here. I know it is hot down south and in many other places, but why do we (Canada) get both extremes? Hot and cold. Really, I wonder how they survived during pioneer days. Not only having to clear the land, but work in the fields? No air-con? No fan?
I am a wuss. And thick. And I can't write. And the dog is better looking.
Just kidding (not about the dog) and I am a wuss. And the other stuff... Hmmm....must be Friday :)
Thursday, July 13, 2006
And junk email. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?
All these secret shares out there--why does anybody assume I have money to spend on shares when there's a lawyer to pay?
I'd like to write back and put rude comments on their blogs--but none of the buggers allow comments.
What a world *rolls eyes*
I know I could put word verification on *sigh* I don't want to!!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Before I read single title romances, I read fantasy. The reason being, in the UK it was hard to get the type of romances that I really like, but easy to find quality fantasy.
I cut my teeth on Orson Scott Card, Stephen Donaldson, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, but I left them behind when I discovered romance.
I picked up this book in the Post Office across the street (and being in North America the street is a six lane highway, however...) I didn't start it straight away because it is the second book in the series and I haven't read the first, but a week ago I got stuck in and totally fell in love with Elizabeth Vaughn. The book is fantasy, in that the people, place & time are conjured by the author, but not enough to confuse even the most traditional reader.
It is written in first person--I HATE first person LOL, but obviously Elizabeth knows what she's doing because it didn't bother me a bit here. I'm not going to spoil the plot just say I will go out and buy the first book now and gnaw my teeth waiting for 2007 when the last book comes out. My only hope is it is the last book. After that it would be a bit like reading Diana Gabaldon's books, which are wonderfully written but...
...well to keep the reader interested you have to torture your characters and there is only so much torture any Hero/heroine should have to go through!
I want them to enjoy their happy ever after, darn it!!
Blade Hunter Progress:
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
My three and a half year old son holding his sister's make-up kit in one hand, his foot in the other and complaining, "I need more nail polish, mommy."
Don't forget my chat :) Or sign up for my newsletter and email me with the name of who introduced me to romance (website bio--hint)...without her even knowing it!!! And you could be in the draw for a prize too :)
No purchase necessary *vbg*
Monday, July 10, 2006
We are going to have some giveaways for people who sign up for our newsletters (for me this will be an announcement only newsletter with contest or release information--insanity will remain on the blog :) So nothing that will clutter up your already chocker inboxes. Plus we'll have excerpts and answer any questions you want to post LOL.
You can always unsubscribe afterwards if you just want to keep me company :) Please, pretty please :)
One of the prizes I'm giving away is a Love Actually soundtrack CD.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Well the Wimbledon final was pretty darned good. Roger Federer won his fourth consecutive Wimbledon title.
The world number one, who had lost the last four matches against his closest rival, held off a Nadal fightback to win 6-0 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (2-7) 6-3.I hadn't realized they were such rivals and it was a great match to watch--even though I only saw the last set. I saw some of the women's final too, though it is never as exciting as the men's for me--is it the tennis?
Or is it a gender thing?
I mean why did sport evolve? Is it a continuation of the gladiatoral contests in Roman times--showing who is the fittest warrior and therefore the most attractive in a world where protection, is still a survival thing? Is it a way of letting off steam? Is it the way we should solve our conflicts? Some big tournament that decides the fate of mankind?
It'll be interesting to watch the soccer final, Italy versus France and wonder what the world would be like if we chose our world leaders based on prowess on the pitch as opposed to prowess at political manipulation--although given the referee scandal in Italy this year, that system won't work either!!
Come on France :) Two very passionate teams playing this afternoon!!!
Blade Hunter Progress:
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Friday, July 07, 2006
I have two books that I use a lot.
Practical Homicide Investigation, tactics, procedures and forensic techniques, by Vernon Geberth and Malicious Intent a writer's guide to how murderers, robbers, rapists and other criminals think, by Sean Mactire (part of the Howdunit Series by Writers Digest).
Neither make for a restful night's sleep. I have a lot more research to do--and the research builds as my plot builds.
I found out one aspect of Vermeer's background for instance, that lends itself very well to my story--he was famously forged in the 1930's by Hans Van Meegeren. The only reason the art establishment discovered their mistake was Van Meegeren was arrested and charged with collaborating with the Nazis because he sold Goring a painting--he admitted his deception and instead was charged with fraud. Vermeer's painting often have terrible provenance. Just what I need to make my story interesting :)
As far as the backstory for my killer goes...well that's for me to know and you to find out.
Blade Hunter progress:
Thursday, July 06, 2006
I was in the back yard planting DH's tomato plant in the flowerbed because the leaves have gone all yellow and dry (despite of, or maybe because of, lots of water). The kids were in the house, moaning loudly for lunch and TV and basically being complete whiny mongrels. Anyway, I was hot and sweaty and my temper was a millimeter from breaking point.
So I'm filling the hole I'd dug with water before I plant this poor tommy out, and because the hose tap is in the front yard, the gate was open, dogs with me, hiding from the whiny kids.
Ben started to bark and ran towards the gate. I told him to stop and he did, just lay down. Then the postie gives me this big speech about how the gate should have been shut and no matter how friendly the dog they can still bite. Blah blah blah.
I know you have to be careful with dogs. I am completely anal about having the gate closed, more for the kids than the dogs. My dog was telling me there was someone on our property. That's what dogs do. He stopped immediately when I told him to--I was right there.
I know the guy was scared. I know dogs bite way too many postpeople, but I did not need a lecture on responsible dog ownership, thank you very much.
It ruined my day, took all the pleasure out of seeing my name in the first sales of the RWR. Took all the joy out of everything.
The only real happiness I experienced was France beating Portugal in the World Cup. Hah!! That'll learn ye (as DH says).
I have a very funny picture of Wayne Rooney and Christian Ronaldo that Deb sent me. Decided it was slightly too risque for you guys ;-)
Blade Hunter Progress:
106/320 pages (ish)
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Wright observes with unrelenting eloquence that our planetary civilization lives precariously, far beyond its means. "Hope drives us to invent new fixes for old messes," he acknowledges, neither claiming nor wanting to be a prophet. We certainly have the tools for change and remediation; we also know what our ancestors did wrong and what happened to them. We're faced, our author observes, with two choices: either do nothing--what he calls "one of the biggest mistakes"--or try to effect "the transition from short-term to long-term thinking." --Ted Whittaker
Ok, a very, very good friend of mine--Dave--sent me this book last year and both DH and I have finally finished it (only 130 pages long). It is well thumbed--scary as hell because I really can't see us (human beings) changing our ways that much. However, there is always hope!! In the spirit of spreading the word and learning the valuable lessons that history has to teach us, I'm going to pass this copy on to anyone who wants it. It is dogeared because I am a page turner by nature.
You just have to promise to pass it on when you are done. I'll try and get another copy and pass that on too.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
And here is something a very good friend of mine sent me--it is hilarious and in the spirit of Monty Python. Those who offend easily, leave now :)
BRITS REVOKE USA INDEPENDENCE
(A Message from John Cleese To the citizens of the United States of America):
"In light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and territories (excepting Kansas, which she does not fancy).
Your new prime minister, Tony Blair, will appoint a governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.
A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.
To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then lookup aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and "neighbour.'
Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix -ize will be replaced by the suffix -ise. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels -- (look up vocabulary).
Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.
There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of -ize.
You will relearn your original national anthem, "God Save The Queen". July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun; Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more
dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.
All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) -- roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.
You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all; Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys; Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in /Four Weddings and a Funeral/ was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.
You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).
Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable.
You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.
An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
Thank you for your co-operation
Monday, July 03, 2006
1. Go to Wikipedia.
2. In the Search box, type your birth month and day (but not year).
3. List three events that happened on your birthday.
4. List two important birthdays and one interesting death.
5. One holiday or observance (if any).
6. Tag 5 more people - if ya feel like it.
Three events that happened on my birthday...
Tags... Who to tag??? Sandra, Scott, Siobhan, Susan, Diane--if you're around :D
Sunday, July 02, 2006
What peed me off was the behaviour of the Portugese throughout this tournament and the disproportionate refereeing decisions.
When Portugal played Holland (the game before the England match), it was a brawl--more akin to a hockey game than soccer. Luis Figo headbutted another player in full view of the ref and got a yellow card (so he stayed on with no further disciplinary action). The Portugese are also renowned for fabulous diving antics and theatrics.
Wayne Rooney apparently stamped on a player (it really did not look that serious to me) and he got the red card (have to leave the pitch and miss the following FIFA game). This left England defending for an hour with 10 men. I really really believe the refereeing decisions have altered the course of the World Cup. Had Portugal been rightfully penalized in the Holland match they might have had to play with 10 men. They might have lost that match. So it matters, right? Getting it right, matters.
I know refereeing is the hardest job in the world to do and no one ever appreciates them because only one team can win--but this sucked.
So I'm annoyed. I'm annoyed with the refs. I do believe players should set good standards for young people watching the game and be good role models. I'm annoyed at the Portugese for playing dirty soccer. If they win the world cup... I'm going to be really annoyed :D
Blade Hunter Progress:
Saturday, July 01, 2006
Don't say I never show you pictures of the family :) What do you think?? Look at those lips :D
I LOVE THIS PICTURE!!!! My daughter has obvious talent *vbg* She informed me that 'you're not fat mommy, that's your dress'??? No wonder I don't wear dresses!!
As therapy and to celebrate a perfect report card (though how could she have anything else in kindy?) we let her choose dinner out (McDs) and then DH and I had a little frantic retail therapy in a nearby outlet mall. I discovered Reitmens (sp?) and got shorts and 2 skirts (I have suddenly decided I like wearing skirts plus the upcoming wedding etc...) DH lunged at Tommy Hilfigers for navy shorts. God bless him, he likes his designer stuff. Good job we only shop once a year. Must now clear the closet of anything pre-Cambrian.
Have a lovely LONG weekend everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!