Monday, October 16, 2017

Missing in action

I have completely neglected the blog for a couple months, but with good reason.

Life!

Kids, dogs, school, football games, trips to Colorado, flood, knee surgery (upcoming), book (okay, not much book, but I'm back on that, too).

As of two minutes ago, Chapter 38 is in the bag. It's been slow going but I'm happy to report that the book is over halfway finished. Now if I could just pick up some momentum on the backside and finish the darn thing.

I'm trying!

Some happy news: Middle was officially accepted at Superman's and my alma mater.

Another Aggie! WHOOP!




Friday, August 18, 2017

One summer, two more summits

This summer is speeding to an end this Sunday. All three kids start school Monday. Oldest back at Colorado School of Mines, Middle and Youngest back to high school.

As much as I'm ready to get my schedule and routine back, it's a little sad to let this summer go.

There were trips with family and friends to Colorado, to the lake, and back to Colorado again. There was a mountain to summit (twice) and rivers to play in, s'mores to roast and new restaurants to try.

There were plane rides, boat rides, rafts and cars. Dogs, elk, mountain goats and a bear.

Until next summer . . .


Monday, August 7, 2017

OMG finished the chapter from hell!

It was Chapter 34 and it took at least five days to finish. Granted, they weren't five full days, only an hour here, a couple hours there, but it seemed like forever!

It was the classic 'gather all the suspects in one room for questioning' scene, and it kicked my butt.

But it's finished! Whew! Now on to Chapter 35 (but not until tomorrow).

It's almost 5 o'clock, but I'm thinking it's not too late for a quick power nap. Penny makes it look so inviting.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Oh summer, where are you going?

It has been a whirlwind of a summer. Two trips to Colorado, one long and one short, a couple trips to the lake, a family reunion, now one more trip to Colorado.

The book has definitely taken a backseat to all the chaos that comes with three kids at home for the summer, and that's okay. I've managed to squeeze writing in here and there, and am on Chapter 34 now. Chapter 34! Yay!

There's been three murders and at least one more to come. There's been a bit of research into the minds of serial killers and a bit of research on the Colorado mob. Yes, the mafia--in Colorado! Who knew?

Yoga at Summit Lake with Youngest...






Friday, June 30, 2017

Making progress

I'm finally getting somewhere with the book. Thirty-one chapters and 35,461 words later, I now see substance in the rear-view mirror. The road that lies ahead no longer seems interminable.

Lily is celebrating with me. See how happy she is.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Birthday in my happy place

I had been writing nearly every day up until my birthday break--a trip to Colorado.

We hiked a few new trails, tried out a few new restaurants, took care of some maintenance issues around the house, but no writing.

I had planned to write--took my laptop and spiral notebook with my outline and character sketches--but never got around to it.

But now I'm back in Houston, and back to writing.

Excited to be starting chapter 26 today!

Here I am in my happy place:




Thursday, May 18, 2017

Snow in the middle of May

Here is a picture of our backyard in Colorado today. I think Mother Nature is confused. It's almost 90 in Houston today. How can it be snowing in Colorado?

I wish I were there!


Friday, May 5, 2017

Bad Lily

She was trying to get the plastic electrical outlet cover that's on the table. I put it there after she ripped it off the wall and started chewing on it.

She wanted it back so bad I thought she was going to jump.

Thank goodness she didn't. That wouldn't have been pretty.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

I might try this

Here is Youngest surfing at the lake a couple weeks ago. I'm tempted to try it this summer, but just tempted. (That means I'm still a long way from actually doing it.)




Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Finished Chapter 7

Yay! It's been a productive day. I finally settled on a working title and I just finished Chapter 7.

Lily is excited.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Lake weather

Ahh, a sunny spring weekend at the lake. Not too cold, not too hot. It was perfect lake weather.

And finally, the grass has almost completely grown over since it was destroyed by the construction of the new bulkhead and sundeck last year.

And talking about the sundeck . . . that's where I spent most of the weekend.

Ahh, lake weather.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Blessings

I've scored some real treasures at auctions--antiques, paintings, old books. When it's online auctions, which is what I typically do, you cross your fingers that what you see is what you get. And when you get something for 1/10th the price you would have paid, because nobody else wanted the darn thing, worry creeps into your initial excitement at having won.

Last weekend I bid on a Chinese chair. I've wanted one for a long time but couldn't ever find just the right one, or when they did look good, they went too high.

But I'm finally done hunting for just the right Chinese chair. The pictures online looked great, but nobody else bid on it. I was initially ecstatic--I got it for a song. Then then the worry crept in.

But I picked it up Monday, and worry no more!

It's even more beautiful in person than its pictures. It has a gorgeous glossy finish, and there are two intricate carvings that pierce the back splat. One is of lotus flowers, the detail is stunning; the other is a Chinese symbol that I had no idea what it stood but was determined to find out. 

I was over the moon to discover the symbol carved at the top of the splat means "blessing". 

I'm in love with my new chair. Each time I look at it, I'll be reminded of all life's blessings.





Friday, March 31, 2017

New Beginnings

Scrapped the old book, started the new one.

Finished Chapter 1 yesterday. Hallelujah for new beginnings!

On a side note, this one is at the vet's for surgery. Nothing serious, just being spayed. But miss her. :(




Sunday, March 26, 2017

48 hours

We were in Colorado for the Mines spring football game this last weekend. Now back in Houston.

In 48 hours we went from this . . . 


To this . . .



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Switching gears

This writing thing is frustrating. I've ditched the manuscript I was working on (don't tell Superman, he thinks I'm halfway finished with it) and started a completely different story.

I wasn't comfortable with romantic suspense. Call me old-fashioned, I didn't want to write a book I'd be too embarrassed for my kids or my mother to read. And since my favorite part of a romantic suspense is the suspense, I've decided to write a straight mystery--no sex.

I'm about halfway through the outline and am finding it much easier not having to worry about the romance part of the plot. I guess I'm more Mary Higgins Clark than Sandra Brown. But I'm having so much more fun!

C'est la vie!

A little writing research . . .


Friday, March 17, 2017

Super spring break

We've had another fabulous spring break in Colorado. We leave tomorrow and I'm going to miss it, even though one of the clan sustained a minor skiing injury.




Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I won!

Auctions are a funny thing. I've always thought it a misnomer when someone says they "won" something at auction. Doesn't that just mean they were the last man standing, willing to shell out the most money for something when everyone else thought the price had gotten too high?

But full disclosure, I have participated in my share of auctions, and not just eBay. This last weekend I purchased a couple oil paintings by Dave Stirling in an online art auction. They are both Colorado landscape scenes, and I'm taking them to our Colorado house.

Sure, I was willing to pay more than the other bidders thought the paintings were worth, but somehow I still feel like I won. I won!



Friday, February 17, 2017

Write every day

I. Must. Write. Every. Day.

(Then I must wash windows.)


Thursday, February 16, 2017

White roses for Valentine's Day

I'm not sure if it's universally true or if it's just a stereotype that women love getting flowers, because I don't, not always. At least not the typical floral arrangement that shows up unannounced with a delivery guy who rings the doorbell and sends my three dogs into a tizzy.

The arrangement is usually pretty (never as pretty as the picture online), but not as pretty as the price Superman paid for them. And I say 'paid for them' a little facetiously. As usually it's a click click of the mouse and he thinks he's made this super romantic gesture, yet I'm left to deal with the dogs going berserk while I wrestle the arrangement from the delivery guy and try to get it into the house without one of the hell hounds escaping.

However, I do love roses--red roses, yellow roses, white roses. And I love them hand-delivered by the giver. It's more personal--he picked them out and got them home, giving them to me himself. Now, I love that.

Here are the beautiful ones he brought home for me this Valentine's Day.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Ouch!

We were supposed to go to the lake last Friday, but instead I caught a red eye to Denver.

Oldest called late that afternoon, just as I was finishing packing for the lake. He was lying on a ski slope somewhere on the backside of Keystone mountain. He had just separated his shoulder.

So I took out the clothes I had packed for a warm weekend at the lake and replaced them with warm socks and sweaters. A few hours later I was at 14,000 feet and headed to the Rockies.

I spent the week icing his shoulder, cooking for him, icing his shoulder, running him around town, icing his shoulder--well, you get the point.

But I did get to spend six days in one of my favorite places in the world--our house in Golden.

Oldest's clavicle, not where it's supposed to be:


The place where I rehabbed him, and where I love to be:


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Crazy eyes

No one told us bulldogs were obsessed with food. I mean really, really obsessed with food.

Here's her crazy-eyes face when she thinks she's about to get a little something tossed her way.



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Who knew it could be this easy?

If I'd known a plain green tree with lights would be fine with my kids (and so darned easy to take down after Christmas), I'd have used one a long time ago.

Seriously, this was my easiest Christmas take down ever! And it really did look pretty, especially at night, and from outside. No ornaments to block all the lights. Less is more!

I'm sure I'll put up the standard tree with all the glass and homemade ornaments again sometime, but maybe I can get away with this for at least another year.

In my defense, I just couldn't bring myself to unpack all our Christmas stuff two months after we moved in the new house and packed it all away. So I ordered this 10-foot pre-lit tree from Frontgate. Bless my children for not caring!

See how pretty.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Gotta stop reading

Okay, I've tried it both ways and have come to the conclusion that I'm not able to read other novels while I'm writing my own.

I've read that some authors do (Stephen King, Nora Roberts), while others don't (Danielle Steel, Janet Evanovich). I have recently come to the conclusion that I fall into the latter group.

I will keep reading (re-reading really) a couple of my favorite how-to books (Elizabeth George's Write Away and Somerset Maugham's The Summing Up). After all, those should help, right?

It's the fictional stories I find so distracting. It's much easier to sit down and read someone else's book than write my own, especially when it's a really good one like the one I just finished (an oldie by Sandra Brown).

So, I'm not reading fiction; I'm immersing myself in my own story. Here's a picture of Charleston I found on the internet that I thought reflected the mood of my book.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Been distracted

I've been distracted from writing and blogging by this (home from school):



And this (trip to Colorado):



And these (these are always a distraction):



But I'm back at it now. So, nose to the grindstone...