Wednesday, November 29, 2006

On Blog Vacation

The day job and the new book are taking up way more time than I planned! Plus the holidays, eeek. So I am putting this blog on hiatus until after the New Year. But I am still at Risky Regencies every Saturday, be sure and visit me there. We have lots of interviews and contests lined up!

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Turkey Day

Hello Kitty says Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the day, and don't get run over at the mall tomorrow morning. :)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

St. Cecilia Day

Nov. 22 is the feast day of St. Cecilia. She, along with Teresa of Avila, is one of my favorite saints. Not because of her typically gory backstory (though those can be fun!), but because she's the patron saint of composers, musicians, musical instrument makers, poets, singers, and, oddly, the archdiocese of Omaha, Nebraska. She also inspired two wonderful pieces of music, Purcell's Hail! Bright Cecilia (1692) and Handel's An Ode for St. Cecilia (1739). For more info on her you can go here.

I hope everyone has a wonderful, safe, and music-filled Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

RR Saturday

I'm over at Risky Regencies today, talking about Twelfth Night traditions. It's the last day to win a copy of Mistletoe Kisses, the Harlequin Christmas anthology, so be sure and pay us a visit!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

DWTS final

So, what did everyone think about the Dancing With the Stars final??? I voted for Mario, but I did like Emmitt, too, so I am not terribly sad. But Karina certainly did not look happy. I was waiting for her to pull Cheryl's hair out while screaming, "Beatch!!! You have a trophy, this one is MINE!" But alas, nothing so uncivilized happened--at least not in front of the cameras....

Now there will be no DWTS and no PR, at least not until next year. I have to get back into the groove of line edits, galleys, deadlines, and publicity. Plus the holidays. I'm sure you'll be hearing plenty of whining from me in the next few weeks (good whining, though!). In the meantime, I may sign up for a samba class.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veteran's Day and RR

In honor of Veteran's Day, I thought I would post a photo of my grandfather, who served in the South Pacific in WWII. He never talked about that time very much, but then he didn't talk much at all. But he did teach me to use power tools, much to my grandmother's chagrin, and told me made-up fairytales about magical snakes who wore tennis shoes. I miss you, Granddad!

Be sure and check over at Risky Regencies for my post today. We're starting a new contest this week, and I announce my book news! Harlequin Mills and Boon/Historicals has bought 3 of my books. The first one will be out in summer '07 (A Kiss of Poison, set in Renaissance Venice!)!!!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Halloween redux

Here are a couple pics from this year's Halloween fest! There's Abigail in her pink tutu--she was so cute and sparkly. :) And me with my dad as pirate and Rasta mon.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Blog Slack Strikes Again!

Wow, I really have not updated here in a while! But I promise to be better. Halloween pics will be up later this week, plus I hope to have some Official Writing News very soon (want to wiat until it all settled before I start shouting from the rooftops!)

In the meantime, I missed posting about Guy Fawkes Day last Sunday! To plan for next years celebration (bonfires in the backyard!) here are a couple good websites:
Guy Fawkes 1
Guy Fawkes 2

And my reaction after seeing the fabulous performances on Dancing With the Stars last night is that they should keep all 3 in the finals, like they did with the last 4 in Project Runway. They are so close there is just no choosing between them at this point. And what was with the complete waste of Il Divo in last week's results show??? I tuned in just to see them (I usually just watch the last five minutes) and they only did one measly song? Shenanigans!

Who are you voting for? Joey, Emmitt, or Mario?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

5 Things

I have been SUCH a blog slacker lately! My only excuse is autumn sloth, and trying to research a new project, plus reading 2 (count 'em, 2!) Marie Antoinette books at once (Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette and Queen of Fashion). Megan tapped me for a 5 Things I Know For Sure challenge days ago, and I just read about it last night! Anyway, here goes--and since I'm running around trying to get my costume ready for a Halloween party tonight, it will have a Halloween theme:

1) Milky Way Midnight is the very best candy bar to get in your Trick or Treat bag (Twix and Kit Kats a close second)

2) The Shining is the scariest movie EVER

3) My favorite costume my mother ever made me was a Dorothy from Wizard of Oz, complete with ruby slippers. Or it might be my pirate costume this year, though since I am a makeup applying dunce I doubt I can get the "Johnny Depp eyeliner thing" going. And I'm going to start working on getting a Marie Antoinette costume for next year...

4) The new Marie Antoinette movie, while flawed in many ways, has the best soundtrack ever! And the best shots of pastry in the history of film

5) Speaking of pastry--say what you will about a Napoleon, an Opera, or a kiwi/strawberry tart, a classic eclair is (almost) always the way to go

Lame enough for you, Megan? Next time I will be serious, I promise, with profound musings on Orlando's dimple and how Laura should have won PR. :)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Monday Musings

If you need a little funny to brighten up your Monday (as I always do--Starbucks Green Tea Frappucinos help, too) check out the Andy Dick parody of thos Audrey Hepburn Gap ads on YouTube.

And I heard Chanel is putting Black Satin back into production and shipping on Monday (today!). I am so going to the mall after work. :)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

RR Saturday

Am over at Risky Regencies today, talking about Casanova and neologisms (and also time wastage and Go Fug Yourself and PR and DTWTS). Back soon to regularly scheduled posts here, once I get this new proposal into editor-ready shape!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Rainy Mondays

So, today is Columbus Day (as I discovered when I tried to go to the post office this morning!). If you don't feel like celebrating, or if, like me, you do NOT have the day off, check out this site.

In the meantime, I'm just slogging through my Monday, looking forward to Dancing With the Stars (could you believe Vivica left last week, while Jerry stayed!!! Admittedly, she was a little too "I'm such a diva" for me, but she was by far the better dancer) and the first part of the Project Runway finale. Onward!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Hello Kitty Friday

Thanks to Bill for today's HK installment--the exploding Hello Kitty toy. That's just wrong.

And don't forget the Huge Pride and Prejudice contest at Risky Regencies! Ending Sunday. :)

Monday, October 02, 2006


We're having a fabulous contest over at Risky Regencies! We're giving away TWO copies of the A&E 10th anniversary Pride and Prejudice DVD/book set. Too bad I'm not eligible to enter--I think my copy is getting worn out from being watched 10,000 times. :) The contest runs through Sunday.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Hello Kitty Friday

In honor of Banned Books Week (see my post at Risky Regencies tomorrow for more on the topic!) here are some of Hello Kitty's favorite books. Not that any of them have been banned, as far as I know, except maybe by some of the irrational anti-Kittyers in the world. :)

And what did we think of the Project Runway Shocker Wednesday??? All four contestants will go to Fashion Week! I like the twist--I think they'll all do very interesting collections. I actually liked Jeffry's dress this week (for the first time!), despite the judges' usual carping, even though I wouldn't have minded never seeing those tattoos again. But Uli was sure a wench to steal Michael's model from him like that. She'll probably do a complete collection of hippy beach dresses and come in last. Go Michael and Laura!!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


So, Saturday was officially the First Day of Autumn. This is my absolute favorite time of year! I love the cooler weather, the colors, the clothes, the better movies in the theaters (theoretically, anyway). I love the feeling of Getting Serious after a lazy summer, personified by the displays of fresh school suplies (I stocked up on various colored pens for editing and the Hello Kitty notebooks I like to do my rough drafts in!). This weekend I indulged two of my favorite Fall pasttimes--Halloween and the state fair. Once a year, I give in to my insane love of fried foods and weird people-watching and make an excursion to the fair, and this year I was not disappointed. I found a booth that featured chocolate fountains (dark, milk, and white!) used for dipping fruits, marshamallows, cream puffs, and (!) cheesecake. I had a skewer of chocolate-dipped strawberries which was absolutely wonderful, and a great compliment to the corndogs and Indian tacos. My jeans didn't fit the next day, but oh well--the fair is only once a year (TG!). For Halloween I began collecting accessories for my planned costume, the nature of which to be revealed in a later post. :)

What's your favorite time of year???

Friday, September 22, 2006

Hello Kitty Friday (and random thoughts)

Sorry I haven't updated this week--have been recovering from the retreat last weekend (Betty has a pretty good account of things on her blog. Scorpions, skunks, etc). No new Project Runway this week, but that's good since I had to recover from the travesty that was the judging last week! Not the winner--I loved Laura's dress, and would definitely wear it (not something I say often about PR designs). But Jeffry's design was MUCH worse that Kayne's. It looked like something a 13-year-old would buy at Charlotte Russe or some such, while Kayne's was lovely from the front. It just suffered from some unfortunate accesorizing in the back. I think he was trying to start a dreamcatcher or something. But then, Kayne was too nice, and it seems they always have to have a designated a**hole in the top three and J. is it this time. Such is life.

Today's Hello Kitty item--The Hello Kitty Tarot. Happy weekend!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Tomorrow (the 19th) is that greatest of holidays (after Halloween)--Talk Like a Pirate Day! To help you get in the spirit, here are a few useful links (argh!)

The British site
The Aussie site
The Official site
The Pastafarian site
Links and products
A translator
The I'm a pirate song

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hello Kitty Thursday

I know it's supposed to be HK FRIDAY, but I'm off tomorrow for a weekend writing retreat and won't be back until Sunday. So here is today's pick:

The HK chess set
The HK laptop

And...What's Your Inner Goddess Color?
Mine is Blue! "belongs to the planet of Venus, the giver of love, devotion, and harmony"

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

TV Heaven

I'm not usually much of a TV person--don't have the time or the inclination (aside from the Food Network). And I'm REALLY not a reality TV person. But my two newest obsessions in life are both on this week! All-new edition of Dancing With the Stars starts tonight, woo-hoo! D-listers in sparkly costumes with snarky judges again! I can't wait. And speaking of snarky judges, new episode of Project Runway tomorrow. Now it's down to 5. Let's recap:

Last week, on the Couture Extravaganza on the Seine or French Women Really Are Skinnier, Vincent was Out. Finally, TG. Does anyone else find him to be more than a little scary? I will never know how he lasted longed than Alison. And really--GLUING a gown together??? Jeffery won, drat it, though I guess I can see why. I personally did not like that puke-yellow plaid concoction, but it was probably the most couture-ish of the bunch in its weird over-the-topness. I liked Ulli's gown the best. Yes, it was another floor-length, braided halter neck gown, but the cut and color were beautiful.

What happened with Michael??? That gown was a mess, and totally not like him. Hope he's not cracking up on us, I'm betting on him to win. And Kayne--bless his heart. He tries so very hard, and he's great at the pageant/prom thing (loved his Marilyn in the "fashion icon" challenge), but now he seems to be out of his depth. His dress was NOT as bad as the judges said, though. I liked the laced-up corset top. Laura--okay, she does annoy me greatly, but I do like her clothes so much. They're crisp, professional, and wearable. Loved that lavender coat from the "ransack your apartment" challenge and the tweed suit from the dog show. Also thought her pageant gown was the best (sorry, Kayne). But this black gown--what was this??? Not so much Belle de Jour, but Insane Cockatoo. At least there was no Angela and her fleurettes, or whatever they were.

Can't wait to see what happens tomorrow!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

RR Saturday

I'm over at Risky Regencies today, talking about a great new book I've read! Check it out. :)

Friday, September 08, 2006

In memory

I don't usually like to get too "personal" here--for one thing my personal life is WAY boring, and for another a space I set up to brag about my books and obsess on cocktails and Project Runway just doesn't seem the spot for venting about my family's annoyingness or the pitiful state of the dating world these days. :) But yesterday marked the second anniversary of the passing of one of my best friends. I've been thinking about her a lot this week, of course, and wanted to share some of my best memories.

Anne and I met when we were thirteen, and I was in the midst of all the horrors of adolescence. Now, someone who knows you through your teenage years and still wants to be your friend is someone worth hanging onto! We knew each other through high school, college, jobs, boyfriends (mine), weddings (hers), moves, parties, craft projects, and even illness and loss. Anne had a brave and kind heart, and was true to herself and others in a way that we humans seldom are. She was messy, and bossy, and opinionated (not always in ways we could agree on!), and there was never a time she couldn't make me laugh. She loved Star Wars, Italy, red nail polish, Eagles songs, music, and football. She also loved the poetry of Yeats, and this was her favorite:

The Lake Isle of Innisfree
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings:
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore:
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavement gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


New Project Runway episode coming up, yay!!! I am so excited now that it's getting into the final stretch, especially since Angela FINALLY got offed. Sweet saints, but if I had to look at one more rosette... She should have been sent home after that Parisian art camp hoochie mama getup she made for the dog challenge, but whatever. And Kayne really needs to get hold of himself when it comes to fabric choices. I hope Jeffrey goes home tonight. Fingers crossed.

OK, I know I'm obsessed. I can't help it. :) But I have been doing a few things other than watching the endless repeats of PR. I've had a very good run of terrific reading lately, including the The Brambles by Eliza Minot (practically perfect, until that unnecessary and gimicky plot twist at the end), the very funny and smart The Bronte Project by Jennifer Vandever (just wish it had been longer!), and the weird and amazing The Keep by Jennifer Egan. It's been a while since I've read so many wonderful books in a row. Now I'm reading Nicole Galland's Revenge of the Rose. Have you read anything good lately???

Friday, September 01, 2006

Hello Kitty Friday

Today's HK product--the Hello Kitty bong (I kid you not)

Be sure and check in with me at Risky Regencies--I've been cleaning out my TBR boxes and will be having a fun giveaway :)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tuesday bloggings

Sorry I missed the Monday post (after I said I'd post Mondays and Wednesdays!), but was having computer problems last night, so finally I gave up and spent the evening watching History Detectives. So, for today, go check out one of my very favorite sites, Go Fug Yourself for Emmy gown coverage far better than any I could provide (Looks I liked--Heidi Klum, and Sandra Oh's dress but not so much the copious necklaces. Looks I hated--Debra Messing--she looked liked a cake. And Ellen Pompeo).

That's it for now. :)

Friday, August 25, 2006

Hello Kitty Friday

Today's Hello Kitty goodies:

The HK tombstone

And Hello Kitty Darth Vader

(I'm not entirely sure what these two things have to do with each other, beyond the fact that they are both very, very strange...)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

At RR today

I'm over at Risky Regencies today, talking about perfume again. And here's a bad scan from Vogue of that Black Satin polish, which I still haven't found a bottle of...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

Happy 35th wedding anniversary, Mom and Dad! (Or actually happy belated anniversary, since it was yesterday...)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Hello Kitty Friday

Today's Hello Kitty products are:

The Hello Kitty Vibrator (there's just all kinds fo wrong going on here, but it's strangely fascinating)

And The Hello Kitty Breath Tester (if only Mel Gibson has had one...)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fashion icons

I finally got around to watching last week's Project Runway episode, the one where they had to design an outfit for whatever their assigned "fashion icon" was (you know, people like Audrey, Jackie--and Farrah??? How did she get in there???) This is the only reality show I watch, and it's cheesily addictive. I liked the Audrey dress, and the pink ruffly hot-pants thing that won, but would Jackie really have worn a rope for a belt?

Anyway, it made me start thinking--who are the great fashion icons today? Audrey is probably mine--I have a closet full of capri pants, black turtlenecks, ballet flats, and full-skirted cocktail dresses. But is there anyone more modern for us middle-of-the-roaders (and not-eighteen-anymorers) to emulate? Siena Miller is in all the magazines, but she always looks like a mess to me (who dresses like a disco ball at the Costume Institute gala? It's sad when Posh Spice outdresses you...) Ditto Chloe Sevigny and Kate Moss. Maybe I've just been reading too many fashion mags this summer.

Speaking of reading fashion mags, I must have a bottle of that Chanel Black Satin nail polish as soon as I can find one. And one of those Russian-looking coats with the big fake fur collars. And a winter-white purse with lots of pockets. I'm going to skip leggings and skinny jeans, though. And ankle boots. One '80s was enough for my whole life. :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Cara's Wedding Dress (Not Hello Kitty)

Here is the pic Cara sent me of her wedding day! I think it looks like a beautiful wedding, and a great dress. :)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Perfume and Memory

"If only there could be an invention that bottled a memory like scent, and it never faded and it never got stale. And then, whenever one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the memory all over again" --Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier

Today, I got a package of perfume samples from CB I Hate Perfume. I already have a scent by them, a white ginger that makes me think of Hawaii every time I smell it. Heavenly. These new scents are Tea/Rose Absolute and Russian Caravan Tea. I'll let you now how they work out, but so far they seem promising.

It's hard for me to find a perfume that works. So many that I love in the bottle turn somehow putrid on my skin. I can't wear anything too heavy or musky or Oriental-y. My favorite is Evelyn, a rose scent from Crabtree & Evelyn. Rose is tricky--so often it tips over into musty and old lady-ish. But Evelyn makes me think of summer. Fantasy summer, not the seventh circle of hell we're currently living in. Plus it still smells like rose on my skin. I also like a lavender scent my aunt sent me from a lavender farm in Provence, and the Healing Garden's Green Tea bath gel. And there's a violet body powder they sell in the gift shops in Colonial Williamsburg I also like.

Like in the quote above, scent really does unlock the most poignant memories in a way no other sense can. My father's mother always wore Oscar by Oscar de la Renta--too much of it usually, because when she would hug me the sticky-sweet smell would stay in my hair for hours! But she also always used Baby Magic lotion on my arms and shoulders when I'd been out in the sun too long, and sometimes I open a bottle of that at Target just to feel like a kid who played outside all day in my Nana's backyard again. My mother's mother wears Beautiful by Estee Lauder. My aunt, who used to have all the great vintage gowns until she mysteriously got rid of most of them, used to wear Givenchy's L'Interdit, and I used to put it on when I played dress-up at her house. She said it was made for Audrey Hepburn, so I always felt very glamorous when I smelled it! My own mother isn't much for perfume, but she used to sometimes wear Youth Dew body powder when she dressed up, so I bought a little bottle of the new "redone" Youth Dew just to remember those times. My friend Kay uses a vanilla-sugar lotion from Bath and Body Works that smells totally yummy, so whenver I go into a bakery I think of her. :)

What is your favorite perfume, or favorite scent memory? How did you find it?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Hello Kitty Friday

And today's Hello Kitty tidbit is--the HK Wedding Dress!

I've been trying to figure out who exactly might wear this dress. I might have, if I got married when I was, oh, say, six years old. That was the year I was totally enamored with Princess Diana's gown, and drove my mom crazy tying her freshly laundered bedsheets around my waist to be my long train. I also insisted on wearing my ballet recital tiara to school.

Maybe it would be for a bride getting married at Harmonyland, the HK amusement park. Hmmm.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Funniest Movies

Last night, I was talking to my friend Rinda about favorite funny movies of all time. I always hesitate to tell people "You must see this movie! It's hilarious!" because humor, more than almost anything else in life, is so subjective. Something I think is fall-down -laugh-aloud you might think is the dumbest thing you've ever seen. This isn't helped by the fact that maybe I have an odd sense of humor. I'm not much for slapstick usually, or potty humor (though, honestly, who doesn't think that scene from Blazing Saddles is funny???). I've discovered that what I really love is something that seems very silly and goofy, but has something smart and even biting underneath. Or something just plain silly. So, here are some of my favorites:

This is Spinal Tap (just like I always cry at the end of Breakfast at Tiffanys, even though I've seen that movie 50,305 times--hey, it's raining, and "Moon River" is playing, and Audrey Hepburn can't find the cat!--so I always laugh at the "Stonehenge" scene in this movie)

In the same "mockumentary" vein, Waiting for Guffman and Best In Show ("We both love soup...")

Office Space (hasn't everyone had a boss like that? "Ummm--yeaaahh..." And Jennifer Aniston flipping off the entire TGIFridays)

The Christmas Story (IMO, the primo Christmas movie. My family and I watch it every year, and can quote the whole movie. I even bought my dad a miniature version of the lamp last year. It's REALLY ugly)

O brother, where art thou? (--"I am the only daddy you got! I'm the damn paterfamilas" --"But you ain't bona fide!" I've often wished I could just say to that to a bad date and have that be the end of it.)

Zoolander (at least the first half hour or so, and then the "walk off". The spectacle of Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson as male models is priceless, until the movie devolves into that assasination plot that is too silly even for me)

And I have an enormous love for '30s screwball comedies. I've often wished life could be like that all the time, fabulous clothes, great repartee, "hilarious consequences," and Cary Grant. Some favorites--Bringing Up Baby, The Awful Truth ("I wouldn't go on living with you if you were dipped in platinum!"), My Man Godfrey, Ninotchka

And my very favorite funny movie EVER is Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It's the epitome of the "silly but smart" idea (warning--these quotes are from memory, geek that I am, and may not be totally accurate):

King Arthur--"The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shining samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. That is why I am your king.
Dennis the peasant--"Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you"

Or the classic French soldiers! "You don't frighten us, English pig dogs! Go and boil your bottoms, you sons of a silly person. I blow my nose at you, so-called Arthur king, you and all your silly English k-nig-hts. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.
Sir Galahad--"Is there someone else up there we can talk to?"
Frenchman--"No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time."

I could go on all day, but I won't. Aren't you glad? :) What are some of your own favorite funny movies? I need to add to my list...

Monday, August 07, 2006

Prom Night

I'm reading a very amusing book by Adena Halpern, Target Underwear and a Vera Wang Gown. It's basically a chronicle of some of the most important clothes she's known in her life. Not exactly Tolstoy, but entertaining. :) One of the funniest chapters concerns her prom dress. She desperately wanted a strapless black dress with a tulle skirt, which somehow could not be found anywhere (and this was the '80s!) She even turned down an adorable blue and white polka dot Victor Costa her mother bought because she "Had a Dream." In the end, she made her own dress, which proved to be, er, less than a good idea.

It all made me start thinking about Clothes I Have Known in my own life, including my prom dresses. Junior year I had a knee-length pale pink satin dress with puffy pink sleeves (a size 4--why, oh why, did I not fully appreciate it when I had it???). Senior year, I had a harder time finding something I liked. Finally, I came across this black taffeta and velvet ballgown, though I can't remember where it was. The salesgirl told me she had seen it on a character on "Days of Our Lives." Wow--a soap opera prom dress! I sort of wish it still fit. Might be nice at a conference. I also had very narrow-toed, pinchy black satin shoes and a '40s style hairdo with red roses.

The other pic is my parents--junior prom 1967. I love my mom's Jane Austen-style dress and bouffant hair.

What was your prom dress like? And, if you were going to the prom now, what sort of gown would you choose?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Atlanta 2

And a couple more pics from the conference! This dress is the one I wore at the NAL party Friday night--it looks here as if my shoes are about two sizes too big for my fet, but I swear they seemed to fit at the time.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Atlanta 1

Here is one pic from the RWA conference, taken at the Beau Monde soiree on Wednesday night. I'm with Deb Bess (a Royal Ascot finalist!), and my sister Risky Regenciers Megan Frampton and Diane Perkins. I even attempted a Regency dance that evening, one called the "Physical Snob" (just love that name!), and didn't knock anyone down, though it was a close thing once or twice.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Back from Atlanta!

I'm now back from RWA! It was wonderful--got to catch up with friends, meet with editors, win the Booksellers Best Award, drink champagne, and all in 4 days. :) Plus my friend Diane Perkins/Gaston won the RITA, just to top things off!

Am still digging out from under emails and laundry, but hopefully tomorrow I will have a longer post and some pics. I also decided one good thing re: this blog, after listening to various advice--since I'm a slacker about updating here, I need to get organized. So Monday and Wednesday will be my "new post" days from now on, with Friday being a "Hello Kitty and Other Goofy Things" day (plus I'm always over at Risky Regencies on Saturday). I'm going to do my best to stick to this new schedule. :)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Dating 101

So, this weekend my mother gave me a book she got on sale at Barnes and Noble--The Complete Idiot's Guide to Dating. Ah-ha, so now the truth comes out!!! She thinks my unmarried state is attributable to idiocy! I always thought it was due to laziness, or the fact that I'm a weird person who just needs another weird person, or something similar. I always thought I was not really a stupid person--I did finish college without my brain crushing under the pressure (except for Statistics, aka Math for Ridiculously Numerically Challenged Liberal Arts Majors, or All Your Knowledge of Medieval Allegorical Poetry Won't Help You Here. But that's another post...). I write books, work a job, keep 4 pets alive, have even had romantic relationships in the past, all sorts of things.

But the plain fact is--dating is haaaaaard! (Insert whiny voice here) Many is the evening I have sat at dinner with some guy I met at a party, or via a blind date, or during my very brief and completely ill-advised stint on, and wondered "What the heck am I doing here? I could be at home watching the Food Network. It's the Ultimate Iron Chef Challenge tonight." I don't like to talk to strangers in bars. I don't even like going to bars.

Yes, dating is hard and I am lazy.

Maybe this book will have helpful tips. I'll let you know once I read it, and maybe try to implement some of it's advice. In the meantime, I'm off to RWA National for the rest of the week. See you next Monday. :)

Monday, July 17, 2006

National Ice Cream Day

Did you know that yesterday was officially National Ice Cream Day??? How did I miss it? I am one of ice cream's number one fans! Anyway, read all about it here.

What other fascinating holidays am I missing?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Vive la France!

"Paris is always a good idea" (the movie Sabrina)

Happy Bastille Day, everyone! Listen to some Edith Piaf, drink some Champagne, eat some brie, and take a look at these links to mark the day a mob stormed the Bastille in 1789 and released all of seven prisoners. :)

Some fun drinks (I think the Marie Antoinette sounds especially good...)

Menus for your party

Official stuff from the French Embassy

How to celebrate in style

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

What's too many?

I was cleaning out my purse this morning, and realized I have 5 lipglosses in there. All of them in various shades of pink. These are just the ones I have in my bag; doesn't count the ones in my makeup drawer at home. Is this too much??? Is pink lipgloss an addiction? If so, surely it must be better than vodka. Or meth. Or books. (Oh, right, I do have a book addiction, too. But still...)

PIRATES was fun! Orlando was adorable (of course), and Johnny Depp hilarious. But--did it really, truly have to be that long? I was getting fidgety toward the end, and starting to wish the mania would just stop. But I wanna be a pirate for Halloween. :)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Busy weekend

So, Friday I went to Betty's big anniversary bash! (Tried to download a pic here, but somehow Blogger doesn't like me to have pics sometimes...) Rinda drove me, and we were lucky to find our way in because she seems to be as directional-challenged as I am, plus the church parking lot was mega-confusing. But we made it, and had a great time! Wine, food, dancing, friends, hilarious stories about Betty and Ben's misspent youth. What could be better? (I still think we should have hijacked the wedding carriage, though)

I also went to see Shakespeare in the Park--Two Gentlemen of Verona. One of the friends I went with said he couldn't figure it out at all, and I have to admit it's not top-drawer Shakespeare. It's a little silly and choppy, not too many great speeches, and some VERY annoying characters (not annoying like Falstaff, just--annoying). I think it makes a bit more sense if you read a book called Shadowplay (interesting book, it asserts that Shakespeare's plays were actually secret Catholic allegories. With some plays the author appears to be really stretching, but this one makes a weird sense). But the actors were good, and we took a picnic and some wine, so it was a nice evening.

Then yesterday, I went to a World Cup final party (see Risky Regencies for more on the ancient art of football!). What the heck was Zidane thinking, with that crazy head-butting incident??? Yes, I know he has lost his temper before, but this was the World Cup final! He was the team captain, his last game before retirement!!! Why isn't this game more popular in the US? It's far more entertaining than American football or baseball. Cuter guys, too.

Tonight--Pirates of the Caribbean!!!! I can't wait! And what I'm reading now--Rebel Angels, the sequel to A Great and Terrible Beauty, which was wonderful (the sequel is so far not as engrossing, but I'm not very far into it) and Mary Lovell's Bess of Hardwick: Empire Builder (she also wrote the riveting The Sisters about the kooky Mitford family).

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July!

"The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America--I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by suceeding Generations, as the great Anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more." (Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776)

(And should be celebrated with, I might add, chile-cheese dogs, beer, and dressing one's Pug dogs up in funny bandanas...)

(p.s. The pic on the right is me at age about 3 with my cousins. What was my mother thinking, matching socks with open sandals???)

Friday, June 30, 2006


"That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time" --John Stuart Mill

"The English like eccentrics. They just don't like them living next door" --Julian Clay

I admit, I have a great soft spot for eccentrics. Those who are strange, odd, unconventional, erratic. Who have their own vision, march to the beat of a different drummer, however you want to put it. They make the vanilla world a more fun and colorful place to live. In my own family, there are members who could be considered mildly eccentric, but really no more so than millions of other people's relatives out there. My aunt who lives in a house with 50 cats and hundreds of plastic grocery sacks, and who wears her old fur coat even when it's 70 degrees outside. My uncle, who has spent almost his whole adult life trying to come up with "get rich quick" schemes only to see them sadly foiled in the end. My cousin, who thinks he's on "Jerry Springer" or something, complete with restraining orders. And my grandparents, who, convinced the Second Great Depression was nigh, stockpiled canned green beans, bottles of Hershey's Syrup, and socks in plastic bags. I myself have habits that I'm sure others would find--unusual. But these are nothing compared to my favorite kooks in history. For example:

You have your usual suspects. People like Lewis Carroll, Edgar Allen Poe, Sarah Winchester (of the famous Winchester Mystery House), Thoreau, Van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, Dali, Bjork (I say hurray for swan dresses! Most of the red carpet habitues look lovely, but styled to within an inch of their lives. Booooring). And then a few who took things a step further.

Nicola Tesla, brilliant scientist but also class A weirdo who obsessively calculated the volume of the food he ate and was deeply nauseated by human hair.

Ferdinand Cheval, a French postman who spent 33 years building a huge palace from random stones he found during his work (Palais Ideal)

Erik Satie, composer of the gorgeous "Gymnopedies," he also had a vast collection of umbrellas and liked to hide musical compositions all over the house.

Alexander Scriabin, another composer, a hypochondriac, devotee of Theosophy. He planned a multi-media extravaganza ("Mysterium"), to be performed in the Himalayas. It was meant to bring about Armageddon. Didn't come off, though. Too bad.

"Emperor" Norton of San Francisco, who proclaimed himself to be "Emperor of these United States and Protector of Mexico" in 1859.

Rudolf II, one of the gloriously inbred Holy Roman Emperors, he was devoted to alchemy, collected dwarfs, and was interested in the Golem legend.

John Mytton, an 18th century English squire, he once rode a bear to a dinner party, and tried to cure his hiccups by setting his shirt on fire.

Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York socialite and perfectly dreadful singer. Subject of the recent "Souvenir" on Broadway.

And, one of my favorites, the absolute and complete kookball William John Cavendish Bentinck-Scott, the 4th Duke of Portland, who lived from 1800-1879. He built a vast network of tunnels beneath his house (Welbeck Abbey) totalling almost 15 miles and painted pink. He filled them with hundreds of brown wigs each packed in individual boxes. He refused to see or talk to anyone, and if a servant happened to encounter him, they had to face the wall and pretend he was not there. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Who are some of your favorite famous/not-famous eccentrics? And happy Friday! :)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

And two more...

And a couple I missed!

Tower of London (don't miss the shopping section! I wish i coudl afford those Six Wives of Henry VIII dolls...)
Shakespeare kitsch

Shakespearean Links

To go along with my post about travel plans, here are a few great links I found to "Shakespeare Country"--just in case you want to plan your own Stratfordian tour. :) (this looks like a nice place to stay...)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

First day of summer

"In two weeks it'll be the longest day in the year...Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it."
--The Great Gatsby

So, today is the First Day of Summer, the official longest day of the year, and unlike Daisy Buchanan I haven't missed it. :) Here are a few links to help you make the most of the exra sunshine.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Lately I've been trying to do a little planning for a dream research trip to England which, if my budget cooperates, will hopefully happen late 2007/early 2008. I have to look into several subjects, including Sir Philip Sidney, the early life of Shakespeare, Tower of London in the 1580s, Lady Caroline Lamb, Nell Gwynn, and the Pre-Raphaelites. You see the problem. Too much to do, too little time, plus my head might explode from all the time-hopping! But I love all this stuff and am so looking forward to it. Right now, I'm scanning the Internet for info on sites related to these topics and trying to come up with a workable plan. This is not hard, as I'm a research geek, and I've found lots and lots of great websites! Will post some here soon. (Also, I'm taking all travel suggestions...)

In the meantime, check out this site, It's given me hours of procrastinating fun (yes, I admit it, I'm morbid and easily amused!). Plus I can find useful tidbits, such as the fact that Caro Lamb is buried in the Hatfield churchyard, adjacent to Hatfield House, where Elizabeth I lived as a young princess. And Nell Gwynn is buried at the St. Martin in the Fields cemetery, though I can't find out exactly where that is at in relation to the church. I wish it was in the crypt, then I could have tea in their cafe down there while I look for her. :)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day!

"It is a wise father that knows his own child"--Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Happy Father's Day, Dad! (Btw, that's him in the color pic above. And the other is my grandfather with my mother, in her younger days...)

Friday, June 16, 2006


Happy Bloomsday, everyone! No, it's not, sadly, a day for all things Orlando. You know, it's the day when we're all supposed to dress up like early 20th century-ers and wander around acting out scenes from Ulysses--if we happen to be in Dublin. And if we're not, we can check out these links! (BTW, I did finally finish the Big U, after many, many years of slogging through. I can admire it as the revolutionary work of art it is, but don't have the feelings of "love it, adore it, can't live without it" I have for, say, Persusasion or Middlemarch. Would love to hear everyone else's view on it, though).

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Who Is Your Inner European?

OK, sorry to keep posting these, but I am just obsessed with these cheesy Blog Things quizzes! Maybe because work (both the day job and the writing) have been a bit stressful lately, and I'm starting to get way too cynical about people and life in general. So, I turn to quiz silliness, and I invite you, my friends, to join me. :)

Today's entry--Who Is Your Inner European?

I am: French
"Smart and sophisticated. You have the best of everything--at least YOU think so"

And to go with that--

I am: Veronique Bellanger

Au revoir for now!
Kisses, Veronique

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

What type of writer?

I should be: A Poet
"You craft words well, in creative and unexpected ways. And you have a great talent for evoking beautiful imagery" (I wish!!!)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Pugs R' Us

What I've been reading: Pug Hill by Alison Pace. How could I resist a book whose cover is filled with Pugs??? Of course I had to get it. Plus the heroine has a very interesting job in art conservation at the Met. The bits about Pugs and art are fun, the bits about dating and a public speaking class sort of dull. And the heroine says she thinks black Pugs are the best. Victoria, of course, gives THAT one paw down. :) Everyone knows fawn Pugs rule!

(What I'm reading now--The Lost Painting: The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece by Jonathan Harr. Only a couple chapters into it, but so far it's intriguing. I love Caravaggio, and I also love "art thrillers"--so far so good)

In Honor of Victoria, here are a few good links: (very funny!) (Pug rescue in Oklahoma)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Which of the X Men Are You?

My result says I'm Jean Gray--"Although your fate is often unknown, you always seem to survuive (even after death). Your mind is your greatest weapon. Your powers: telepathy and telekinesis, the ability to project thoughts into the mind of others, communication with animals."

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

More links!

Just noticed that Blogger didn't post the links right yesterday! So here they are again, along with some cool links to Native American mythology sites (sorry if I went overboard with them--I'm a mythology geek who sits around and watches "Power of Myth" for FUN. Joseph Campbell rocks!!!)

Yesterday's links:

And some new ones:

Monday, June 05, 2006


Yesterday I went to the Red Earth Festival here in OKC. The venue (Cox Convention Center) is far from ideal for this sort of thing--accoustics not so great, and you can't get very close. But the talent, regalia, and shopping (!) were fantastic. Here are a few links in honor of the occasion. :) (a musician I got to hear, great!)

Happy beginning of the week!

Friday, June 02, 2006

June 2

Did you know that June 2 marks the anniversary of the start of the Salem Witch Trials? Me, neither, until I just read it on another blog. :) To mark the occassion, here are a few links:

And for fun:

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Is It Friday Yet?

Here is a great site I found about Buddhism:

That's all I have for today. :)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Bookseller's Best

Just heard yesterday that Lady Midnight is a finalist in the Bookseller's Best Award in the long historical category! Yay, LM! (I love this contest--it's judged entirely by, you guessed it, booksellers, so it's very flattering that they liked it. And I'm not just saying it because one of my Regencies won that category a couple years ago, LOL)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion

My mom bought the newest edition of the "Mary Engelbreir Home Companion" magazine today, because their article on last year's RT convention featured my own cover!!! Above the title!!! Wow, I can't believe it. Though LM does have a lovely cover. If you happen to be at the bookstore, check out the magazine! :)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

What I'm reading now

The last couple of days I've been sick. Or maybe not sick so much as tired out. But it's been hard to concentrate on the biography I've been reading (the very good Mozart's Women by Jane Glover), so I grabbed a book off the top of my TBR mountain and have really been enjoying it. It's called Stupid and Contagious by Caprice Crane (can you beat that name???), and I guess it's chick-lit. Am not quite sure why I picked it up in the first place. I'm not huge on chick-lit, though I have always enjoyed Brit-chick-lit (Bridget Jones' Diary, Marian Keyes, stuff like that). But once I started reading the American variety (Red Dress Ink, etc) I realized that what I really love about those books is the "Brit" part. Where everyone talks like Keira Knightley, goes to the pub and Topshop, says things like "grotty bedsit"and "you really need a PROPER hat for Ascot" (not usually in the same bit of the book, of course). I lurve that. Never could get into very many of the American chick-lit books.

But S&C is very funny. I guess I picked it up because I liked the road trip premise (though I'm halfway through and the road trip is only just now starting), and I also like Nirvana, so got sucked in by the title. I've actually laughed aloud a couple of times, which rarely happens, and the dialogue is so snappy and fun (though, strangely, the man and woman both talk in exactly the same style. And so do their friends). A great book for times when you're sick/have a lowgrade fever/don't want to read historical bios right now. Recommended.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Scents of May

Who knew that the Dove website has a quiz to help you find out which of their gazillion deodorants is right for you??? Very helpful.

My result was Platinum Invisible Solid, but it didn't say whether I should choose Glacier Mist, Mystic Rain, Ocean Breeze, or Powder Fresh. What a conundrum.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

More conference pics

And here are a couple more pics from the conference!

What I'm reading now: Not in Kansas Anymore: A Curious Tale of How Magic is Transforming America by Christine Wicker. I'm about halfway through, and it's very interesting. How could I resist a book with chapter titles like "The Vegetarian Vampire and the Wooden-Headed Death Puppet Have Something to Say"??? Here is part of the blurb: "Hundreds of thousands of Americans are turning toward the supernatural in new ways, blending the ancient and the modern for a hyper-charged spirituality. They are reaching back in time to powers that have sustained the human imagination for thousands of years." Will report back when I finish.

What I'm liking right now: Rimmel's Vinyl Lip lipgloss in "East End Snob" (not just because I'm an Anglophile and like the name, either!). It's a very light, shiny peachy-pink, great for hot days. Their "Snog" is a slightly darker pink and is nice, too. It won't replace my Chanel Glossimer, but for $3.98 (at Target!), it's a good deal.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Conference pics

Here are some (very belated) pics from the women's conference I went to with Betty and Jenn a couple months ago. This was the second time I attended this conference, and it is an absolutely wonderful time. I'm already looking forward to next year's!

These are from the banquet thing Saturday night, where I wore a sari my friend Merry brought me from India. It is fabulous, and if I could I would dress this way all the time! :) (More pics to come tomorrow--for some reason blogger gets mad when I try to download more)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! Thanks for driving me to all those ballet classes, letting me read whatever I wanted, not getting mad when I tore up the backyard making an "archaelogical dig," and a thousand other things. I'm so glad you're my mother.

On the life-front here, it's just more work, more writing, more getting-ready-for-summer. Abigail graduated from her class at Petsmart with a diploma, so she is now bona fide (says the proud "mother"!), and I had tea with my own mother yesterday. Life is good. :)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my "little" brother! Though I suppose he isn't little anymore, being 26 and all. :)

I guess you've noticed I haven't been making any updates to this blog lately. Sorry about that! I've been learning this new job, working more hours, all that, and when I do have some spare time I need to get writing done rather than try to think up something interesting to say here (not that I'm very good at that anyway!). So I am putting this blog on semi-hiatus for a while. If I have anything Really Interesting or some fun pictures to post, I'll do that. Hopefully it will be running on a daily basis again later in the summer. But keep checking back sometimes, and visit me at Risky Regencies!

Friday, March 31, 2006


Learning this new job has been kicking my butt this week, so updates have been few and far between, but now it is the weekend!!! I am so HAPPY. :) I'm going to the theater tomorrow night, and the Medieval Fair on Sunday to eat turkey legs and watch hunky knights joust (hopefully). I also have two great new books I have been dying to read--Mercedes Lackey's "One Good Knight" (the second in her Five Kingdoms series--the first was adorable), and Susan Carroll's "The Silver Rose" (last in her Dark Queen series--I love, love, love these books. They are just what I love in historical romances, lush and dark and atmospheric. Miri was my least favorite of the sisters, but I'm sure she's grown up nicely by now, and Simon is the darkest of dark heroes. Yum).

Happy Friday to me!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Two shout-outs

First, a very Happy (belated!) Birthday to Rinda! (For some reason, her blog doesn't like me to leave comments, so I'm just saying it here). I'll be nice and won't sing, though.

And a Big Congrats to Diane Gaston (aka Diane Perkins) on her RITA nomination for Best Regency (A Reputable Rake, Harlequin Mills and Boon, it's great)!!! I am so excited about this. Diane and I have been good friends ever since we were "matched up" in the Beau Monde mentor program. Not that much "mentoring" went on, but we have roomed together at RT and for over two weeks on the Splendors of the Regency tour in England. If you can room with someone for that long and not kill each other, it's a great friendship. :)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Shallow Sunday

I don't usually wear much makeup (mostly because I'm usually running late in the morning, and do good to swipe on mascara and lipgloss), but I'm a product addict. I'm never happier than when I'm at a makeup counter or the beauty product aisles at Target, digging through lipgloss, bronzer, moisturizer, whatever. And, while I generally stay loyal to my old favorites (Maybelline Great Lash, Evelyn perfume from Crabtree and Evelyn, etc) I will buy and try almost anything. So I was VERY excited to see an article in the NY Times last week on beauty blogs! I checked out all the ones they listed, and here are some good ones:

And, of course, there is always Sephora. And Boots. I discovered their Evening Primrose bath products on a trip to England, and love it. I just need to make another trp to London to stock up... :)

Anyway, what are some favorite beauty sites of yours? Or favorite products? I will probably try them out.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Saturday Outlook

Not many blog updates this week, I know! It was very busy, trying to start the new job, finish the old one, and still get some writing done (not GOOD writing, but words on paper anyway). This morning Abigail has to go to her third obediance class at Petsmart (she's doing very, very well, but she gets far too many treats since she learns things so fast. She basically waddles out of Petsmart when we're done!), and tonight, as per the new job, working at the box office for a concert. I'm a bit nervous about that. What if I lose everyone's tickets in that labyrinthine computer system???

Here is my horoscope for this week: "It's Introspection Season, Capricorn. I encourage you to write copiously in a journal. Here are several themes that would be fruitful to explore: 1) Your most amazing qualities and your worst qualities. 2) The 100 things you want to accomplish in the next 30 years. 3) Your bitter complaints, horrendous pain, and lost dreams. 4) Everything you love and everything that's beautiful and everything that works. In addition to writing your heart out and your ass off, paste in cut-out pictures from magazines, draw pictures, and ask friends to write messages to you."

That's a very tall order. Maybe I will tackle it tomorrow. In the meantime, even if you're not a Capricorn, feel free to borrow any part of this horoscope you want. :)

Monday, March 20, 2006

At Riskies Today

I'm over at Risky Regencies today, talking about ladies-in-waiting at the Georgian court! Check it out.

And happy first day of spring! Though it's so gray and rainy here it doesn't feel quite like spring. It's also Act Happy Day. Who knew? :)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Unrelated Mid-week Musings

The new job is working in the office at the Philharmonic. More hours! Better benefits! And they say they don't mind if I research or work on writing when things are slow, so I think it will be good all around. :)

In totally unrelated news, I spent a little time-wastage going to Quizzilla. I took their Which Goddess Would You Be? quiz, a fun little exercise with fab anime illustrations. Turns out I am "The Goddess of Wisdom" (no, not the godess of procrastination!). "Intelligent and always aware of what is going on...You usually prefer to be alone with a good book than with a large crowd, which means some people believe you are cold. However, this is the opposite, because you are actually a very warm person." Yeah.

And Bill send me the link to an article about the feud between the "Brokeback" people and the "Crash" people. It was quite entertaining, I will try and post the link tomorrow. Anyway, he suggested that maybe a feud between romance authors could get some publicity going. Any of my writer friends out there up for that? :)

Til tomorrow!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

End of the Weekend

So, I come to the end of a busy (and fun!) weekend. Friday I went to a show of "monkey art" with Betty--not art BY monkeys, but art ABOUT monkeys. I think. Some of it could possibly have been by monkeys. But it was very interesting, and some great people-watching! Saturday went to Bin 73 for Kay's birthday, and tasted WAY too many yummy wines. Therefore I didn't get up until late this morning, and got nothing much done except to sit around and read.

But I did finish a very interesting book, "Lord Byron's Novel: The Evening Land" by John Crowley. Historical fiction where Byron's daughter, Ada, discovered and transcribed a "lost" novel by the poet, with a parallel modern story (told in emails) about a scholar who also discovers the work. It was quite good, lots of mathematical skullduggery and historical details. It was better than the other historical fiction I just finished, Sarah Dunant's "In the Company of the Courtesan," which featured terrific historical descriptions but not a whole lot of characterization. I kept waiting for something significant to happen, and it just never really built itself up to it. But I'll read anything about Italy. :)

One passage I particularly liked in the Crowley book:
" one is really a historian, all the way through, just as no one is really a writer, or really a saint. Those things can only be what you do, not what you are: you write, or you conduct historical investigations, or you do good, etc. Let other people call you the big words--Robert Frost says 'poet' is a term, only other people can apply to you. Believe me you can go through life unsure if any such title applies to you, the you inside. Poet. Star. Genius. Criminal."

Tomorrow, back to work. I'm starting a new job soon, so wish me luck.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Oscar thoughts

OK, so I missed on the Best Picture, but other than that didn't do too bad! Maybe next year I'll do what Betty suggests and take it to Vegas. :) Being the movie geek I am, I watch the show every year, the whole show, even though it's usually bored the snot out of me by the halfway mark. This year, it felt more fun somehow. Maybe it was Jon Stewart's hosting, or the lack of silly big production numbers (though they made up for it with all those self-congratulatory montages!). Or the fact that there were only 3 songs, none of them sung by Beyonce (unlike last year, sigh). I'm not a rap fan at all, but that "Pimp" song was annoyingly infectious.

I also thought everyone looked very elegant. I didn't find anything to dislike, except that weird wing/bow thing on Charlize Theron's shoulder (what was up with that?). Even J.Lo refrained from flashing everyone! Some faves of mine were Reese Witherspoon, Keira Knightley, Salma Hayek, Amy Adams, Jennifer Aniston. It's too hard to pick a #1!

Anyway, now that that's over for another year, I'm also over at Risky Regencies today ( Let me know if you watched the show, and what you thought!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

High on a hill...

Last night, I went to the Sound of Music sing-along at the art museum theater. It was the most hilariously ridiculous fun I've had in ages! They didn't just play the movie and let you sing to the songs--there were props (see the invitation to the ball at left!), a costume parade (full of nuns, Nazis, goats, and Ray a Drop of Golden Sun). There were sound effects (we had to hiss every time the baroness entered; boo at the Nazis; and go "ahhhh" whenever little Gretl was cute. I have no voice today, from screeching out the "Do a deer" song (also with actions and sound effects), and from laughing until I thought I would fall off my chair. If this ever comes to "a theater near you" I highly recommend it. :))

And speaking of movies, here are Ammanda's crystal ball predictions for the Oscars tonight. We'll see how I did in the morning. Plus maybe review some dresses, my favorite part of the whole thing!

Best Picture--Brokeback Mountain (some say Crash, but I'm going with the cowboys)
Best Actor--Philip Seymour Hoffman (I haven't actually seen Capote yet, but he seems to be getting the most buzz and he has been excellent in everything I've seen him in. My personal choice would be Heath Ledger, though I would once have laughed in derision at the thought that he might deserve an Oscar!)
Best Actress--Reese Witherspoon (terrific, though I wouldn't mind seeing Keira Knightley win. She may have to settle for just being best dressed, as she was at the Golden Globes--IMO)
Supporting Actor--George Clooney (or maybe Paul Giammati, if they feel bad enough for criminally witholding a nom for Sideways last year!)
Supporting Actress--Rachel Weisz (Roger Ebert's favorite, Amy Adams, was great in Junebug, but Weisz was great, too. Both films, I think, were otherwise unfairly overlooked)
Director--Ang Lee
Costumes--toss-up between Pride and Prejudice and Memoirs of a Geisha. I'm going to go with P&P, by a nose. :)

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Writing things down

At the conference last week, I took a workshop on journaling. Now, I've never been good at keeping a journal. I will start one, keep at it for maybe a week, then get tired of it (the last thing I usually want to do at the end of the day is write some more!). And, despite the interesting workshop, I probably won't start one now. But I did find this great quote, from Joan Didion's essay "On Keeping a Notebook":

"The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself...Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant arrangers of things, malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss"

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

End of the Month

First, I have to call shenanigans on the Dancing With the Stars finale on Sunday!

Second, I posted last night at Risky Regencies. There is a great discussion going on there about writing methods, inspirations, etc.

Third, I had a wonderful time in Fort Worth at the women's conference this weekend, so thanks Betty for taking me along! Pics posted here soon, stay tuned. :)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Weekend prep

Well, my horoscope today says "Think positively and set the stage for your desired results." So that's what I'm doing. :)

Will be gone this weekend, back Monday with pics and updates!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Snowy Mondays

I'm over at Risky Regencies today! Check it out for an account of what I did with my lazy, snowbound weekend. :)

Friday, February 17, 2006

Dancing shocker!

Just finished watching Dancing With the Stars, and I was shocked--shocked, I tell you!!--that Jerry stayed and Lisa went. Now, I think I like them both about equally (and honestly, I was always a bit scared Lisa's lips might burst in a gory waltzing accident), but it was obvious she was becoming the stronger dancer. Ah, well. Now we'll see what happens next week. (My prediction--and it's not a hard one to call--it will be between Drew and Stacey). Now I'm watching ice dancing at the Olympics. Don't you just love the contrast between the ice skating commentary and, say, snowboarding halfpipe?

If it wasn't sleeting out, I might have to go get a Hot Chocolate Choxie bar after reading all the comments! That is one yummy bar. The Choxie Toffee is also great. :))

Dancing shocker!

Just finished watching Dancing With the Stars, and I was shocked--shocked, I tell you!!--that Jerry stayed and Lisa went. Now, I think I like them both about equally (and honestly, I was always a bit scared Lisa's lips might burst in a gory waltzing accident), but it was obvious she was becoming the stronger dancer. Ah, well. Now we'll see what happens next week. (My prediction--and it's not a hard one to call--it will be between Drew and Stacey). Now I'm watching ice dancing at the Olympics. Don't you just love the contrast between the ice skating commentary and, say, snowboarding halfpipe?

If it wasn't sleeting out, I might have to go get a Hot Chocolate Choxie bar after reading all the comments! That is one yummy bar. The Choxie Toffee is also great. :))

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! You know, even though I write romances, I'm a bit of a curmudgeon about Valentine's Day. I like pink roses and chocolates as much as anyone, but come on--it's easy to be romantic one day a year, when there are ads all over the place to remind you. What about romance every day??? Or at least remembering to pick your dirty clothes up off the floor. :)

A couple of years ago, I made the mistake of agreeing to a blind date on this day. This year, I'm doing it right. Watching Shakespeare in Love for, oh, the 473rd time, and eating some of that spicy Choxie from Target. (BTW, a big, sarcastic Thanks A Lot to Kay for telling me about this stuff--I had to try it and now I'm addicted!)

Have a great day, with roses and chocolates and bears holding hearts! Let me know what your best Valentine's story is.

p.s. The pic is of my grandparents when they first got engaged. They were married 54 years, but I don't know if they ever celebrated a properr Valentine's Day. :)

Monday, February 13, 2006

Monday Musings

I'm over at Risky Regencies today, posting a new Jane Austen quiz (and giving a book away!) Come check it out, http://www.riskyregencies,

Sunday, February 12, 2006


I think I got rid of some of the "winter blahs" by going to see Pride and Prejudice for the 3rd time (dollar movies, what a great invention!) :)

And here is a belated birthday pic of my Hello Kitty bash! Have a great Sunday night, everyone, and see you at work tomorrow...

Friday, February 10, 2006

TV and books

Well, obviously I failed to make goals about TV viewing, because I can't decide if I want to watch the Dancing With the Stars results show or the opening ceremonies at the Olympics. What to do, what to do?

I also interrupted my research to read "Spook: Science tackles the Afterlife" by Mary Roach, an absolutely hilarious look at reincarnation, bizarre 19th century soul-weighing machines, ectoplasm, etc. One thing that has me rather worried is a near-death experience report that heaven is occupied by "people of all different nationalities, all working on their arts and crafts." An "it's a small world" ride with glue guns and styrofoam cones? No, thanks. :)

I've also been reading books I'm meant to be judging for the Ritas. I can't say what they are, of course, but I haven't read so many romances in a row in a long time, and now I'm discovering why. I don't want to be "burned out" on romance (either reading or writing!), but maybe I've just been at it too long. In the meantime, the book I just started is pretty good, so maybe my curmudgeonly days are ending! :)

Enough rambling for now. I have to see who the first "saved" couple is on DWTS tonight.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Working and chats

Hi everyone! Sorry I have been a slacker lately, but there just hasn't been much going on this week. Working, reading, doing the blah winter thing. :) Megan says she can stay motivated to write by posting goals on her blog. If everyone else sees it, maybe it's harder to slack off? So, while I wait to hear to about projects "out there" I will research a new project, finish some pages on a new romance I've been thinking about, and try not to worry.

I'm going to be chatting at The Mystic Castle website, 9:00 EST, so if you can make it please, please come! I dread these chats, am always afraid I will be alone there, talking to myself. :) And The Mystic Castle is a fun website to visit, if you're a fan of historical romance.

Monday, February 06, 2006

RR Monday

It's Monday, so I just be at Risky Regencies today! Talking about my #1 favorite winter pastime--eating. Especially dessert. :)

And a Big Thanks to Kay and Bill for the great "Second Birthday" weekend!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

On the shelf

Well, my mom reports that Waldenbooks had 3 copies of A TANGLED WEB, and she bought two of them. So, if you happen to be in a bookstore near you, see if they're on the shelf and report back! :)

Monday, January 30, 2006

At RR!

It's Monday, so of course I'm posting at Risky Regencies! The topic if winter blahs and melancholy today, quite a laugh, so come check it out. :)

In the meantime, I'm recovering from a belated Australia Day party I attended this weekend. Eeek!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Once Upon a Romance

I have an interview up on the Once Upon a Romance site.

Since I've been working the early (TOO early!) morning shift this week, this will have to count for a post until tomorrow. :)

Monday, January 23, 2006

Over at RR today

I (or rather my alter ego Lady Cordelia) am over at Risky Regencies today! Check it out and send Lady C. your most burning etiquette questions. :)

Saturday, January 21, 2006


One aspect of writing I am not good at is coming up with eye-catching titles. Now, I need one for my historical fiction proposal before it goes winging on its way, and nothing is coming to me. Any ideas here??? It's set in Renaissance Italy, features art, murder, and, well, all kinds of Italian things. :)

Any help deeply appreciated.

Friday, January 20, 2006

7 Meme and winter blahs

I think I've had the mindwinter doldrums the last few days, because I haven't felt like doing much except reading (Rita books mostly) and watching pointless movies. And that doesn't add up to much exciting blogging! But I've been meaning to answer a post Kelli made on her blog waaaay back on December 30 (wow--have I been in the doldrums THAT long?). The 7 Meme. So here goes.

7 things to do before I die:
1) Go to Tahiti (actually, most of these ended up being travel-related. This will stand in for all of them)
2) Learn at least the basics of a musical instrument (my disastrous elementary school experience with the piano doesn't count)
3) Learn some Italian (besides what you hear in the ladies' room at Macaroni Grill)
4) Remember to breathe!
5) Take surfing lessons (hopefully with some blond god on Tahiti)
6) One of those audited classes at Oxford (no, not Oxford, TX!)
7) Orlando!

7 things I cannot do:
1) Like Kelli, I can't watch the president on TV. Or listen to him on the radio. Just can't.
2) Get my grandmother to use her $4000 hearing aid, so she can actually hear us (no one can. Impossible)
3) Sing. Much as I would like to. My cats start howling at me when I try.
4) Fly a plane. Or sail a boat.
5) Cook a chocolate souffle
6) Pet a snake. Ew.
7) Watch most reality TV (except for Dancing With the Stars. Or Project Runway)

7 things that attract me to my best friends/significant others:
1) Intelligence
2) Curiosity
3) Acceptance
4) Caring-ness (is that a word?)
5) Compassion
6) Humor (a biggie--they need a sense of humor to put up with me!)
7) Their appreciation of Guiness

7 things I say most often:
1) "So, anyway..."
2) "If you would just do what I say..."
3) "**** computer!"
4) "OK then. Chapter One. Really this time"
5) "***slow driver!" (Note--I usually only curse when alone. But I do hate slow drivers)
6) "You're listening to the choice for classical music..." (at work)
7) "Abigail, stop it!" (I think that the dog must believe her name actually is "Abigailstopit")

7 books I love:
1) Gone With the Wind
2) Persuasion
3) Pride and Prejudice
4) Middlemarch
5) Laura Kinsale's For My Lady's Heart
6) Confederacy of Dunces
7) Killer Angels

7 movies I watch over and over:
1) Shakespeare in Love
2) Breakfast at Tiffany's
3) Romeo and Juliet (the Zeffirelli version)
4) Emma (Gwyneth Paltrow version--it's just so darn cute)
5) Phantom of the Opera (since I got the DVD for Christmas! OK, so the music sometimes gets on my nerves, but it does have #2 boyfriend...)
6) Gone With the Wind
7) Roman Holiday

People I want to join in (not 7--Kelli snatched most of them! If you don't have a blog, just list 'em here):
Kay and/or Bill

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!

OK, it's official--I'm one year older! Will report on giftage tomorrow. :)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Over at RR...

I posted today at Risky Regencies--go answer the question and win a copy of one of my books! :)

I'm pretty much over my nasty cold now, and back at work, which is nice but cutting into my reading time! And, in regards to my movie post a few days ago, I got an email from a friend in LA who actually got to see the "director's cut" of Kingdom of Heaven. It's over an hour longer than the theatrical cut, and he said it fills in so many plot holes it's not even the same film. It's much deeper and full of character and philosophy. For just one example--who knew that the priest at the beginning, the one who bit it in the forge, was Balien's brother??? What were the execs thinking to butcher it like that? Anyway, now I hope that cut makes it onto DVD very soon.

And tomorrow is Friday! My birthday weekend! (Actual date of the anniversary of my 29th birthday is Sunday). Something to look forward to...

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Back again!

As you may have noticed, I've been gone for a week now. I flaked out on blogging, I know, but I've been sick witha cold/sinusitis/who knows what. I feel a bit better now, aside from the medicine head. I'll miss that when they take the cough syrup away. :)

The plus side of being down, and not feeling like writing/researching, is I got some reading done. I read a couple really enjoyable things I picked up at the library:

Kate Harrison's "Starter Marriage", a Brit-chick-lit story. Once all the American pubs started coming out with all their chick-lit lines, their RDIs and Strapless and what-have-yous, I realized something important about this sub-genre. It's the "Brit" part I like the best. The heroines living in the "grotty bed-sits" and popping down to the pub with their mates to gripe about "blokes" and bosses. The American variety just isn't as much fun (IMO). This was a fun read, a bit predictable in the plot but an enjoyable journey.

Maria Snyder's "Poison Study", a hardback from Luna I picked up at the library because (shallow again) I liked the cover. It was a very intriguing fantasy read, and I can't wait for the sequel.

I also read an anthology of summer camp stories called "Sleepaway" (more about that one in a later post) and a travel narrative about Bhutan.

In other news (beyond books and meds), there's a huge Regency House Party week of fun and contests going on at Risky Regencies! Make sure and check it out, there are some fab prizes (if I do say so myself!). And Kelli has worked some of her online magic on updating my website.

Now, I'm off for more cough syrup.