Archive for June, 2006

The Princess of Pain

For the love of God, if there is a solitary soul out there who cares a fig about me, help! Save me from my youngest child and her single minded determination to make me skinny. I have reached a new level of pain… my blood vessels are even sore. I feel like all those internal parts that normally rest and rub against each other comfortably are now all cringing and scrunching up against my bones screaming for their own personal space. Princess is relentless, a slave driving harpee who has forgotten that I am OLD and put my muscles out to pasture right about the time Bill Clinton took office. As if exercising isn’t boring, hard and exhausting enough; you haven’t really exercised until you’ve done it with two cats and a dog, who firmly believe you’re moving around like that to entertain them. Enough whining, at least she gave me a sticker yesterday for my three days of effort!

Publishing news: Sandra Ruttan’s book, Suspicious Circumstances, is in final edit. Theresa Leighton’s new book, Last, is in production. Both are scheduled to release by November and that will wrap up our list for 2006. We haven’t reopened the submissions list yet, we’re still trying to clean up the backlog, and there are some very promising books on the second reading list. For a small house, I feel like we made a lot of progress this year, but we still have a lot to learn. I still believe strongly in our policy of judging a book by the whole book, rather than query, synopsis or sample chapters. It creates a ton of extra work, and slows the process considerably, but I think we’re finding world class new authors this way. As usual we have the usual cast of skeptics, curmudgeons and overall mean people predicting our failure and maligning us on the message boards sometimes. Comes with the territory, it’s a hard business.


June 29, 2006 at 12:22 pm 4 comments

New Beginnings

Princess and I recently had our picture taken, not professionally, just one of those random shots you take on a day trip. There we are too chunky, short, round faced … ugh. Princess being who she is immediately layed down the law and decided the entire household (excluding Ophelia who doesn’t listen to anybody) was going on a diet. This pronouncement was followed by the creation of three charts (me, her and even poor Papa Bear was dragged into the plan) complete with dates, weights and measurements. The goal is a 50 pound weight loss by December third.

I won’t disagree that a weight loss is in order, a girl can’t live on pepsi and cigarettes forever. And that isn’t really even what this blog is about today. It is the discovery through this weight management plan, that my life is totally out of control. I was looking for an hour to fit in exercise. As a list maker, this hunt started with a list of everything I do: Day job, editor job, writing time, writers group time, pet care (dog, cats and fish), yard work, house work, Prof.squared work, night meetings (council, arts council and writers… narrowed considerably from a year ago), laundry, friends and family, appointments with doctors, dentists and hairdressers. I imagine this list is not so dissimilar from any woman’s list. I logged all this nonsense onto a spreadsheet and as I was bemoaning the fact that I don’t have nearly enough time to write, I thought about how easy it is to put that one most important thing always on the back burner. Since being a published writer is the sparkling dream that hovers in front of me like a carrot in front of a mule, I believe it’s time to truly examine why I consistently let everything get in the way of pursuing that goal.

It’s late, and soul searching is required to find an answer. Tomorrow I start my new life in pursuit of better health and fitness. I’ll think about it while I’m trudging to the day job instead of driving my car.

June 25, 2006 at 11:09 pm Leave a comment


It is in the face of tragedy that we see the true face of the people involved. This has been a horrible day, through a tragic, freak accident, Bean’s kitten has died. That is bad enough, but he died by strangling, on Princess’ watch in a small pet bag I’d purchased. Bean is out of state helping the Profs on their long drive. How? When? Do you tell her that through trying to do the best job taking care of her cat, we ended up failing in the worst possible way? I just sick worrying about what will happend between these two sisters.

June 19, 2006 at 11:24 am 1 comment

Father’s Day

Father’s Day is one of those weird, greeting card, holidays that have no nostalgic memories attached. My natural father is deceased, the Dad that raised me and my husband barely interupt their routine to acknowledge that it’s their day. Pap left for work before dawn as usual and I haven’t heard from him since.

Mother’s Day, on the other hand, has lots of memories attached. When I was a kid it was the day Ben-Dad made belgiun waffles covered in fruit and whipped cream, drizzled with chocolate and delivered to sister-mom in bed. Poems at Sunday School, hand print pictures and profile drawings cut from black construction paper. My own Mother’s Days have been filled with kids plotting and scheming to provide the best presents… gardening equipment, camera’s, flowers for the garden… one year the prof. squared came and fixed little things around the house. Mother’s Day for me is all the fun of Christmas without the work.

June 18, 2006 at 12:05 pm 2 comments

Frustrating Things

With work piling up on my desk by the minute, my faithless computer has decided to freeze up on a whim which really ticks me off. This thing has been repaired half a dozen times this year, I’m beginning to think it’s time for a new one. But ugh… all those files to transfer. It’s enough to send a girl to bed.

I wouldn’t say I’m easily frustrated, but there is a list of things that make me grind my teeth and wish for random lightening bolts: Trying to get to the other side of town and catching every light red. People who chew ice (terrible for your teeth). Trying to clean house around children lounging on the couch, two cats and a dog. People who eat with their mouth open. People who lie.

Tomorrow is father’s day. The kids will descend to pay their regards and … eat. As Bean explained, “we bought him a grill so he could cook for us, duh.” This year it was baseball tickets, two sets, so I will have to suffer through at least one game. Frustrating.

June 17, 2006 at 9:18 pm 2 comments

Be Careful What You Wish For

I have been blessed with the gift of good health. I rarely get colds, much less anything more dreadful. But, from time to time, like today, I catch a bug. Unused to having things hurt, I’m no better than a mewling, puking baby and the world stops for me. I have this theory that if I just stay very still and concentrate on not moving at all, I can will myself well. Most of the time, it works. Today while I was lounging about in my bed, trying to sleep in the stifling heat compounded by the press of one dog, one large furry cat and Princess’ little monster kitten, it dawned on me that you really do have to be careful what you wish for.

Yesterday I was mourning the rejection of Ophelia, my big furry cat. Last night, she decided to come back in the house after 46 days. She hasn’t left my side since. Her hair is up my nose, she’s so fat she makes whatever of my body parts she’s chosen to lay on go to sleep, and when she decides to hop up on the desk, I can’t see my computer screen. Wish granted, thanks.
Several months ago I was hoping that our publishing company would take off and succeed on our terms. Today I have one book to read for final edit, one author’s dream to crush, a contract to complete and several reviewers to chase down and check up on. Wish granted, gee thanks.
Last year at this time I was wishing that the visit from my friend down under would be the fun, exciting, interesting event we’d been writing about for so long. It was, and now I miss her company every single day. Wish granted… I have stopped wishing for anything, the price is too darn high!

June 16, 2006 at 10:58 pm 2 comments

The Elusive Ophelia

Ophelia, my twenty pound cat, has run away from home. She hasn’t gone far, just to the garage, but in consideration of the fact that she was Queen Bee around this place, I’m baffled. What mystical wonderlust could drive a spoiled, pampered, beloved pet to abandon her happy home in favor of the dirty, spider infested garage? When we call her, she runs. So we’ve been letting her have her little adventure. She’s a good ole girl (and fixed), so what harm could she cause? I miss her though, I miss brushing her long hair, and the comfortable, warm lump she was when she deigned to sit in my lap.

Ophelia was half of a pair of twins we adopted four years ago. She and her sister were born in a cage in a cat shelter, and stayed there until they were 18 months old. That Christmas they were selected to be on display in the mall to help the shelter raise money for their new facility. Pap and I always go and pet things when we see those displays. I hate seeing dogs and cats in cages. We fell in love with them on the spot and completed the necessary cooling off period and the two hour drive to pick them up without complaint. Princess and I picked them up from the shelter and brought them home to this sprawling, toy filled house. Olivia, Ophelia’s sister, died after a few months of a type of pneumonia cats get from shelters. The last four months of her life were heaven to Olivia. Ophelia seemed content to be the Queen for three more years until this spring, when she succeeded in escaping to explore the great outdoors. Maybe she’ll come back in when it gets cold.

June 15, 2006 at 5:46 pm Leave a comment

Threats from a Mystery Writer

I recently finished editing the first book of one of the most promising writers I’ve every seen. Sandra Ruttan’s “Suspicious Circumstances”. It happens that Sandra has a blog, an interesting blog that I can’t resist lurking on from time to time. I was minding my own business today, catching up on some mail, playing a few rounds of cubis, lurking on Sandra’s blog when I noticed, not once, but two days in a row the young lady commenting that she’d completed her editing changes and her “editor” was going to die. Hmmm…. under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t give this a second thought, but Sandra is a MURDER mystery writer. Perhaps I should update my life insurance.

Art walk yesterday. We had lovely weather and a good crowd. I love that event. Gets all kinds of people talking and renewing old friendships. Things are starting to sort a little around this joint. Papa Bear is back to work, Princess has moved back home completely (I know this because the contents of her apartment are all over my house). Bean is completely moved into her new apartment and the Prof. Squared are on their way to Oklahoma for some reversal surgery. My audit should wrap up tomorrow, and then I’ll nothing left to do but two jobs, housework, two of my books in various stages of processessing, two books half written. A definate improvement on last month!

June 11, 2006 at 5:28 pm Leave a comment

The free-lance writer is the person who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps. (Robert Benchley)

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Shortly after I learned to use a spoon, I learned to use a pencil. Crippled by shyness as a child, I found that the things I couldn't say out loud, I could say with a pen, and then a typewriter. The shyness was overcome with education and age...but the need to write has never left me.

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June 2006