Archive for October, 2011

Halloween Costumes People Other Than Me Have Been

Monday, October 31st, 2011

It’s been a couple of years since I posted about Halloween Costumes I Have Been. So I thought I’d do it again. Except this time it’s Halloween Costumes People Other Than Me Have Been. I won’t reveal who the someones are, except to say they are related to me. I also won’t reveal the decade, because then I might be killed. I will reveal that the person standing beside the Caveman is Aphrodite. In the flesh. Just in case you didn’t believe she really existed.

If you’d like instructions for Halloween costumes for Pond Scum, the Chewing Gum Family, Robot Boy, or The Three Witches of Macbeth, check here and here. And don’t give me any grief about the Pond Scum costume. It made sense at the time!

Here we go…



  1. Marry Aphrodite.
  2. Go hunting. Don’t give me any grief about the hunting! It wasn’t me who did the hunting, and the hunter had hunted all his life, beginning with hunting deer for food as a 13-year-old in the decade following the Great Depression. People lived on farms and hunted for food and then later hunted for sport. And then realized maybe they should stop hunting for sport. And so they did.
  3. While hunting for another animal entirely, get stalked by a wolverine (this is tricky, but I assure you it can be done.)
  4. Shoot the wolverine before it pounces on you.
  5. Have your brother-in-law by marriage, who happens to be a taxidermist, create a wolverine skin.
  6. Have this same brother-in-law give you a beaver pelt, because what home is complete without one?
  7. Wait a few years.
  8. Get invited to a Halloween party. Decide to be a caveman.
  9. Strap beaver pelt to your chest and secure with a wide leather belt at the waist.
  10. Take no notice that the beaver pelt is no longer than a mini-skirt. Trust that your friends expect this sort of behavior from you and will accept you, with or without mocking.
  11. Hang wolverine skin down your back so that the head hangs over your butt. Prepare to stand around all night so you don’t sit on the wolverine’s head. Or, prepare to lift the wolverine’s head to sit, revealing what you may or may not be wearing beneath the pelt.
  12. Considering the length of the beaver pelt, you’d better be wearing something beneath it!
  13. Coax Aphrodite into stitching the wolverine paws over your shoulders and onto the beaver pelt. Because it looks super cool.
  14. Strap a diving knife onto your belt…because it makes total sense that a caveman would go diving. In case he encounters a shark, he needs a knife. And he can pretend the knife is really a hunting knife. Because it’s a knife. Who will argue with him?
  15. Wear a fancy watch to detract from the length of the beaver pelt.
  16. Clasp on ONE earring. Make sure to choose the correct ear. Choosing the wrong ear might lead people to think you’re really Hagar the Horrible.
  17. Hey, maybe you ARE Hagar the Horrible. This is an adaptable costume!
  18. Ask a teenage person who lives in your house to take a photograph to commemorate the costume for all time.
  19. Thirty years later, consider choking the teenager.
  20. But, for now, hie thee to thy Halloween party and have a blast!


  1.  Wrap sheet or other cloth around body toga-style.
  2. Secure with Grecian rope at your waist and a broach on your shoulder.
  3. Spray paint leafy crown thing with gold leaf.
  4. Look amazingly hot.
  5. Remember how much you love the teenager who took this picture.

Have you designed any creative Halloween costumes for this year? Too many people buy store bought costumes these days. Why, when it’s so easy to make your own?

Giving the Cold Shoulder

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

The good news is I don’t have a frozen shoulder. My doctor admits I have a bit of a chilly one, though.

It’s been 7 weeks since I last went to see him about my rotator cuff injury. Since then, I’ve been attending weekly massage therapy sessions. A couple of weeks ago, we had a breakthrough—I can now sometimes, depending on the day, undo my bra behind my back! After months of slipping the straps off my shoulders, this was a real coup.

The bad news is that while I WILL recover, I’ve had this injury about a year now and then the super-duper injury that exacerbated the first injury, for about 4 months. So, I will recover, but the process is slllllllllllooooooooww. I’m to continue with my strengthening exercises and the massage therapy treatments, although my therapist has been given the green light to extend the treatments to ten days or two weeks between, depending how I do. If I don’t progress, it’s back to weekly treatments.

The fantastic news is that I don’t need an MRI or surgery. My rather excellent massage therapist’s hard work has helped my chilly shoulder from developing into a frozen one, for which I am thankful.

My personally set progress meter about being able to undo my bra behind my back has led me to discovering that not everyone can do this, whether they have an injured shoulder or not. My husband definitely can’t undo his bra behind his back. Well, he doesn’t wear a bra so that would partially explain it. Also, he used to have very flexible joints and could wrap his right arm around his head and touch his right ear:

Plus, he was heavy into sports. Maybe I asked him to wrap his arm around his head one too many times (I could NEVER do that), or maybe it was all the basketball and golf and skiiing and curling. Whatever, his range of motion is now more limited than mine, as far as the bra test goes. Which got me to wondering…do men lose the flexibility to undo their nonexistent bras behind their backs because if you don’t use it, you lose it? Any men out there reading this? Can you undo your imaginary bra behind your back? Can you zip up your imaginary dress zipper behind your back? Can you hook the little hook at the top of the zipper behind your neck? No? Well, welcome to womanhood. Or womanhood with sucky flexibility. I used to take those little things for granted. Now, my left arm mocks my right one. But I shall persevere. My goal is mutual arm mocking.


McBeagle Birthday

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011


Two months old, December 2001.

Allie McBeagle is ten today. Unlike my previous pets, I have never forgotten her birthday because we brought her home from the kennel on December 18th and she was exactly two months old. Over the last year, she’s made a big deal about turning ten. She wants a “baby burger” and a kiddie cone from Dairy Queen. Here’s where I confess that she eats the kiddie cones once or twice a month. It’s not my fault. My husband started it. That dog can inhale a kiddie cone, cone and all, in 3 minutes. And that’s holding back.

So…the “baby burger.” I don’t know if such a thing exists. I’ll probably order a cheeseburger instead and let her have 1/4th of it. Bad, bad, bad. But the beagle made ten, and so she deserves it. Our last dog, an Alaskan Malamute that lived to 13.5, had pizza on his tenth birthday. We’re big on ten!

Allie between 4-6 months. All the black is gone from her ears and her face is entirely brown.

Allie’s goal is to live to 16. So that’s six years to go. The average lifespan of a beagle is apparently 12-16 years. She’s been running three times a week for the last two, so is in better shape at 10 than she was at 7. But that’s not the reason she wants to live to 16. No, you see, there’s competition. Every pet of ours since my dh and I got married has lived longer than the preceding pet. Slink, the first cat, lived to 6 (got run over). Kanik, the first dog, lived to the aforesaid 13.5. Seiki, the most evil Siamese cat that ever existed, who nearly died (the first time) when he was four, lived to 15.5 years. And now Allie wants to outlive Seiki. So I hear. I mean, it’s not like the dog talks to me. Well, she tries. But it’s not like I listen. Creativity does have its bounds.

"A Walk in the Park" at ten years minus 2 days old. She began turning white in the face when she was four, but lately there's a lot of white! Happy dog.

Do you celebrate animal birthday milestones, or do you think I’m soft in the head? Come on, admit it, if you were a dog, you’d want to live with me.

WHERE SHE BELONGS Available for Pre-Order!

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

My December 2011 contemporary romance (and Golden Heart finalist in 2007), WHERE SHE BELONGS, is now available for pre-order from Amazon and Amazon Canada. Woot! You know the wonderful thing about pre-ordering, don’t you? It helps build buzz for the author, as in it makes her look good to her publisher. The more pre-orders, the more books that get shipped from the publisher’s warehouse on or around December 16th (my book’s release date), and then the greater likelihood that the print run will sell decently, or even (in my dreams) sell out, and then the publisher might be in a position to think, “Hey, we’d better do a second print run.”

Also, if you pre-order and then the price goes down, Amazon will honor the lower price between now and the shipping date. Plus, if you’re looking for Christmas and/or your-holiday-of-choice prezzies that you’d like delivered before, say, December 25th, considering the release date is December 16th, pre-ordering heightens your chances of receiving your copy in time. In fact, I’ve pre-ordered books that arrive before the official release date, so there’s another bonus in pre-ordering.

WHERE SHE BELONGS is releasing in library-edition hardcover, and I know it’s not the cheapest format in the world. There’s a chance that large print and/or trade paperback editions might release within the next year or two, but that’s not up to me. It’s up to the publisher. And the publisher most likely decides these things depending on how the first print run sells (hint, hint). I’d love to say a digital edition of the book will be available within the next six months, but, in this particular case, that won’t happen. The digital edition won’t release until December 2012. Yes, that’s a year. So if you love digital, you’ll just have to be patient. (Well, that’s taking for granted that you like my writing, or are willing to take a chance on a contemporary drama rather my usual romantic comedy fare).

But let’s just say there’s no way in Hootenany that you’re pre-ordering or buying or even pretending to buy a hardcover copy of my book. All is not lost. Because Five Star Expressions publishes library-edition hardcovers. If you look real close, you’ll notice the word “library.” That’s because the books are targeted primarily to the library market. But whether or not a librarian decides to order a copy of my book for her collection CAN depend largely on her clientele. The readers who frequent her library. She’s more likely to order a copy of my book (that you can then check out and read for free) if, say, a reader goes to the library and asks her to order it (hint, hint). Information about the publisher, Five Star/Cengage, and ordering for libraries can be found here. As a reader, you could print out the page of information and take it your librarian.

Your library might routinely order Five Star Expressions romances and women’s fiction novels from Five Star/Cengage (as in the library has a standing order) or they might not. However, the Five Star Expressions line is ending in December with the publication of my book and another by Western romance author Stacey Coverstone. You know what this means, don’t you? WHERE SHE BELONGS is a collector’s edition! Yesiree, you heard it here first.

Visit my WHERE SHE BELONGS book page to read an excerpt and check out reviews as they come in.

Blog post brought to you by Shameless Self-Promotion, which, after all, is the reason to have a website, so don’t give me any grief. 

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Pardon My Dust!

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

I’m currently updating my website and blog to reflect the December release of WHERE SHE BELONGS (don’t worry, I’m not tampering with the style sheet, which is what led to the hacking two years ago). My blog design is based on a very old WordPress template to match my website, and until I needed to add a new book cover to the blogroll, everything was working fine. WordPress has made updates to the way the blogroll works, and there must be some glitch happening because once I opened the drop down window in the dashboard to look at the book covers and URL links under Cindy’s Books, my blogroll widget decided that if I’m going to show Link Names for categories other than Cindy’s Books, then Cindy’s Books needs to show Link Names, too. Yes, the blogroll decided this all on its own. It’s quite evil.

I can’t get my old blogroll to show only the book covers (Link Images) under Cindy’s Books while only showing Link Names under the Categories called Cindy’s Sites, Fav Author Blogs, etc., etc. I’m supposed to be able to, but the selections aren’t sticking. So, for now, Cindy’s Books shows only text links to Amazon. I figure the only way around this is to delete Cindy’s Books from the blogroll entirely and create a new Cindy’s Books in a text box that I am hoping I can link to images of my book covers.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t fear, neither do I. I’m completely winging this, so if the blogroll looks like a mess for the next couple of weeks, items keep disappearing or look like they’re repeating, don’t blame me. It’s the evil blogroll widget.

All will look pretty again…someday before my new book releases…I’m sure. In the meantime, I’m only working on the website and blog changes on the weekends, so it’ll be a bit messy around here.

And, if anyone knows the best way to insert book covers into the Text box widgets so they will look nice (example, take a look at the book covers on Alison Kent’s blog or HelenKay Dimon’s blog), please email me!