Archive for June, 2009

More Les Fleurs

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

My peony bush has finally lost all its blooms. Man, was it laden with them this year! To think that monster peony bush once hid behind a shrub banking the house. Every spring I’d wonder why the heck a white, bushy flower or two was poking up over the shrub. Then, when we put on our addition, we took out the shrub. Low and behold, El Peony Bush appeared and has been going nuts every since.

Here are two pics of the peony and one of a baby marigold. It’s in a separate garden that didn’t want to get left out.

f_white_peony

I’m Ready For My Close-Up

f_white_peony_2

Not THAT Close!

f_baby_marigolds

Baby Marigolds

Monday Musings

Monday, June 29th, 2009

As the countdown to the RWA National Conference in Washington, D.C. begins, I find myself surprisingly glad that I’m not going. Okay, maybe I’ve just talked myself into it, but after two years in a row of attending National, I’m ready for a break. Typing this, I realize I’ve never attended National three years in a row. I suppose I will some day. This year, given the cost of flying across the continent, the fact that neither I nor Penny sold a project in ’08, and because I’ve attended National in D.C. once before, I don’t think I’ll miss it. I’ll miss seeing my Looney Bin and Scrabble buddies, Tina Ferraro and Diana Duncan, attending the RITA ceremonies as nominees, however. Wouldn’t it be cool if they both won their categories?

As for myself, I’m looking forward to continuing to write instead of going crazy prepping for conference. The money I would have spent on new conference clothes can go toward the new stove instead. Last week, I began a new story for Penny, her first “short.” Wrote 3800 words on Thursday, I think it was. Aside from the year I participated in NaNaWriMo, that’s a record for me. Am revising them now before proceeding with writing new stuff. Target market requires 5000-15,000 words, so I have a lot of leeway.

Meanwhile, my cindpk ST is sitting and gathering inspiration. Depending on how Penny’s short story goes this week, I might dig into revisions on the cindypk in another week. Two at the outside. I don’t want to leave it sitting too long.

I signed up for Carbonite last week, an on-line document backup system. I really like it, it’s easy to use, but my desktop is 4.5 years old, and, alas, I fear Delbert is too slow for Carbonite. I’ll have to allow my trial to expire and return to using flashdrives.

With the weather so nice lately, for the first time in my writing life I’m really feeling the absence of a laptop. Especially now that the household budget has recovered from buying each of the kids a laptop for high school graduation. And, also, the cost of those new netbooks is rather tempting. If I sell something this year, I might indulge in a netbook or a small laptop. I prefer my ergonomic desktop keyboard, but the portability of a netbook/laptop is carroting in front of my eyes.

A heads-up, I’m blogging at Nobody Writes It Better on Wednesday, July 1st, which is Canada Day for those not in the know. I’m giving away a paperback copy of my Canadian-set novel, HEAD OVER HEELS (by the way, if you visit that link, the upgrade to Internet Explorer 8 seems to have affected some spacing issues on my Books pages. I’ll have to fix that one of these days).

I’ll post a reminder about the book give-away Wednesday. How is your week shaping up?

 

#ApplianceFail

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Grrr, I’m noticing a decided lack of performance in major appliances around the 15-year mark! Two years ago, we had to buy a new dryer. This winter it was a new washer. Now we need a new stove. The problem? We haven’t decided yet if this is our Until The End of Time house. So when we bought the dryer, we went for the cheapest unit we could find, the reasoning being that we have finished our major laundry years with one son away at university most of the time and the second heading that way in another year. Sure, it would have been nice to buy the new, fandangled washer and dryers out there, but until we know how long we’ll be in this house (and I can’t imagine we’ll decide that for another 5-10 years at the minimum), it doesn’t make sense to me to buy fancy-smanchy stuff.

So…the stove. It’ll cost so much to rebuild that we might as well buy new. Today, while shopping for computer items, I realized the store also sold appliances, so I had a gander at the stoves. I need a self-cleaning model. It’s like air conditioning. Once you’ve had it, you can’t imagine living without it. I’m completely undecided about coil elements vs. a ceramic cooktop. Well, I’m not completely undecided. I’m leaning toward coil, which is what we already have. Why?

  1. It’s cheaper.
  2. Cats tend not to walk on coils they can easily see are burning bright red.
  3. I need a white stove to match the kitchen, and every ceramic top I’ve seen so far in my extensive search (all two models of stove) have black tops, which I think would look major yuck against my counter tops.
  4. It’s cheaper.
  5. My mother has a ceramic cook top on her cottage stove, and it seems to me that they’re very finicky to clean, although the salesman assured me that boiling over (which occurs quite often in our house) doesn’t create anywhere near the mess as it does with coil elements.
  6. It’s cheaper.

I do believe it’s time for one of my infamous surveys (not so infamous, I guess, considering this is the second one I’ve conducted). Have you ever had a ceramic cooktop, and how do you think it compares to coil elements? Would you ever get one again?

Don’t talk to me about gas stovetops. I might have to clout you. My Liege and I had a propane stove when we lived together before marriage, and I totally loved it. I know I would love a gas stove. But it’s not feasible for our circa-1960 house. The cost to get the gas to the stove faaaaaaarrrrrrr outweighs my desire to play with that cute little dancing flame. As it is, you don’t want to know how the electricity gets to the stove. It’s different, I’ll give you that.

So…coil elements or ceramic cooktop? Which would you recommend?

P.S. In case the title of this post escapes you, it’s a little nod to Twitter.

New Publisher: Quartet Press

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Kassia Kroszer of Booksquare + a handful of her compadres are opening Quartet Press in the fall. Visit their website to find out more, and here’s a great interview with Kassia on Ciar Cullen’s blog.

Twitch Fest!

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Agents Kim Lionetti and Jessica Faust of BookEnds are holding a pitch contest on Twitter (thus the Twitch). (Yeah, at first I thought they were talking about the runner-up from So You Think You Can Dance last year, too). You have to follow them on Twitter to participate (here’s Kim’s page, and here’s Jessica’s). The cool thing is you can pitch your manuscript to both Kim and Jessica at different times this week. But you have to watch their tweets to monitor when each is taking Twitches. They’re tag-teaming, you see.

If you can compress your book into 140 characters, this is a great opportunity. The winner at the end of the week gets a critique of a partial.

Details are on the BookEnds blog.

Les Fleurs

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

I’m finding it really hard to get used to My Liege taking nearly every Monday off work. It shortens my week!

I’m brainstorming a new story for Penny. Pretty much have a title, maybe a setting, and maybe some character names. Oh, and a theme. Or plot. Whatever you choose to call it. Let’s just say it has something to do with the number 3.

Seeing as my mind is otherwise occupied, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some of my flower pics. These are from my mother’s garden, taken 3 (there’s that number again) or so weeks ago. Enjoy!

Dying Tulips

“Dying Tulips”

Don’t you love the feathery edges? (They were feathery before the tulips began their descent into oblivion).

Tiger, Tiger

“Tiger, Tiger”

That bud thing looks like it’s pushing the tiger.  If I were the tiger, I’d snap its head off. This is why I’m not a flower. Too violent.

Bee-Have

“Bee-Have!”

I believe this is called an Onion Flower. All I care is that it’s purple and spiky, and that my monster zoom lens allowed me to capture the bee.