Friday, March 30, 2007

Living Loco?

Hubby and I have decided on what type of ranch we want to have when he gets back. We've been racking our brains trying to come up with a business we can do together and we agreed on a ranch cause we love the lifestyle. He has worked with animals off and on all of his life and I've had several family members that raised horses and cattle. But...where is the money?

We both love horses and eventually would love to train roping horses. And we want to raise a couple of Black Angus for our own personal meat supply. But, not long ago I saw an interesting article about Alpacas. Huh?

Well, *clearing throat*

They look like mini-Camels...without the hump, because they belong to the same family. I started researching investment opportunities and what was involved in raising a herd, the herd management and where the money was. I was pleasantly surprised.
Not only are they well-tempered and very low maintenance, but the feed costs are comparable to a large dog. You have to shear them once a year and the fiber is sold, which will cover the cost of their yearly maintenance. The fiber can be milled and is soft...better than cashmere and just as expensive. I've seen blankets going for $2,000!

Now that we've made our decision I have started visiting and talking with local ranches. They are soooooo adorable. (The animals, not the owner.) They don't smell nearly as bad as other livestock and weigh only about 100-150 lbs. SO it will be possible for me to handle by myself. We had already found the acreage needed and the process will begin by the end of the year after our Suburban is paid off and we buy the land. Then...there's building a house, barn and animal sheds...oh boy.

Are we crazy or what? Hard part is getting everything lined up and going as the money comes in. Hopefully by the time hubby is home we will have a working ranch. Or am I the crazy one?

I hope ya'll have a great, relaxing weekend. We will if we can avoid more tornadoes.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Unsung Hero

I was going through my favorite blogs and couldn't quit grinning when I read a post on Pink Ladies Blog by a favorite author of mine, Kay Stockham. It was talking about an article on Harlequin's search for a new kind of romance hero model.

My crit partners at RAH and I have recently laughed at our significant others and the differences in how we handle physical pain. But we also understand the special ways they show their love, without the spoken words. In her post, Kay was talking about the cover models chosen for her. Luckily, they made a perfect fit with the picture she had in her mind. They weren't perfect ~ by industry standards. Oh...but they were hunky and eye-candy, one had a scar similar to the character. The unshaven and everyday, living-life out loud, hunky.

Construction Worker Biker Shaving

She wanted to know what our own personal hero would look like...

Love Letter

In my comment I said:
......I couldn’t agree with you more about the unsung hero. I look at my dh and what he means to me and my boys. I see him on a horse and have to wear a bib to catch the drool. Could it be the well worn, comfortable denim jeans straining against the thigh…? That’s a match with the black hat - tilted low down over the half-closed, love me eyes cause I can wrestle a bull. He can fight a 2000 lb pound bull and will bring me pink tulips for Mother’s Day.........
And my boys are learning from their Dad about being a Rico Suave kinda-guy. The oldest has stepped up with dh gone and is trying to help me corral the youngest. Today, my little one said, "See Mom, my heart is saying 'it loves you'. It wants to give you a kiss."

But while I am writing, I feel my personal issues slipping into my thoughts. I love cowboys and what they stand for. In a synopsis I wrote for my next law enforcement heroes. A physical therapist. I do have a D.A. storyline waiting because Nick has demanded his tale be told, but it is based on a personal friend whom I deeply admire.

What type of heroes do you dream to write about?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Okay...I finally DID IT! I submitted my prologue & first chapter into a contest. A friend who is published suggested I at least try 2 contests, The Molly and The Dixie ~ First Chapter. There have been many debates and opinions regarding contests - the pros and cons. My reasons against consisted mostly of the fact that it is an expensive critique. I finally broke down and submitted because I am interested in what others outside of my critique group have to say. RAH is a very talented, intelligent and creative group of gals, but I am almost ready to submit to a publisher and would like all possible eyes to tell me if I am ready.

Which brings me to a con. One of the complaints I've often heard is the variance of critiques between judges. But The Dixie contest has a specific plan in place for this problem. Contest participants are required to submit an extra copy of the ms for disparity judging if needed. What bothers me is wondering how qualified the initial judges are. Are they published? Does that matter? I don't think so. But it is still an expensive critique.

So. I decided to at least try a few, just on the chance that if I final I can use the info as a reference in my query letters. I am scared to death to do a bio in my queries and simply say...well I want to be published because it is my dream. Yeah, me and hundreds of thousands of other people.

So. Here goes.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Series or Singles?

As I was browsing through my favorite blogs, I read a post on Romancing the Blog by MG Braden about her confessions of being a Series Slut. I have to totally commiserate with her. And for the same reasons.

I got hooked on romance books due to my favorite Aunt Susie and her girls. They were excited about our family, Native American ancestors that were used in a novel they just happened to be reading. I loved to read before this incident...but mainly stuck to Nancy Drew and VC Andrews. Which also goes to show my love of anything dramatic and mysterious.

What makes me a series slut? Well, it is my analytic need to finish. I love knowing what happens after a HEA. I enjoy knowing what happens to brother Bob or crazy best-friend Betty. Fern Michaels was my first and La Nora seems to be the most recent.

I still enjoy the desire for reading series. BUT...I also become bored after reading too many books by a certain author because sometimes it seems too familiar. It gets old when I can read the first chapter and can tell you how it will end...and who is next.'s an addiction. I have to follow through if I know there is another book or especially if it's a trilogy.

I just love to read. Do you prefer series or singles?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Who am I?

First of all...that's a very complicated, confusing answer. I contradict myself. Not just literally, but by my behavior. Huh? I can like something one day and the next thing you know *POW* it's a whole 'nother story. Huh? I'm an explorer. Ever heard 'Try it, you might like it'?'s like books. I love to read historical romance, but I don't like to write it. Maybe one day I will try it. I write contemporary series and my current WIP has a social issue tag about teenage drinking. Is it one I would normally pick up and read? Probably because depending on how I weave the words for a blurb...I would feel a compatible bond as a mother of two boys. One is a teenager and on the edge of peer pressure and social drinking. My little one is a daredevil and will try anything. Which probably means the oldest will be a warm-up compared to what we will have to deal with later.

Who am I when it comes to reading? I don't know. I'd never be able to confine myself to a particular genre. I have very eclectic tastes. But when I am standing next to a bookshelf...where ever...what will I pick up? That can vary. Depends on my mood or life situation. I love historicals but I get tired of trying to figure out phrases or terminology they use trying to date their stories. And because I don't have the time or urge to read much of a particular time period it can get frustrating. Others may enjoy it and consider it as a learning experience. Okay, I don't have enough patience. That's a part of who I am. I can be very anal, and I can be flexible. My Mom likes to blame it on my zodiac sign. I'm a Scorpio. She used to say I was just very strong-minded. Whatever. I know what I like, don't like, what I believe and what I can tolerate. When you have a husband and children, you learn to be flexible.

This post was mainly supposed to be about genre. Not about my Type A personality. Even though in my defense I like to say I am more of a lowercase a than a capital A(nal).

Angel 3
But. What do you read? What do you write? Are they the same? Hmmmm

Monday, March 19, 2007


One of my favorite lines to read is Harlequin SuperRomance. A star that has been shining bright lately is Kay Stockham and she blogs on her website and Pink Ladies Blog. Her first blog was appropriately about romantic gestures. I had a silly grin through the entire post. That is my hubby.

Try, try as hard as he does...I have learned the language. He is a typical man. A big ol' corn-fed cowboy that would sooner shovel horse manure than do the dishes. BUT...if I am sick, behind on something or just stressed out...he will be in the kitchen. He will cook. He may leave a huge greasy mess. He will sometimes clean and will herd the boys away if Mom's hair is sticking up from being pulled out.

Before he left for Iraq, it was a blur of errands and making sure the boys and I were taken care of. He cut down trees at a friend's house and cut firewood so we would have enough to get through the winter. He gave our dogs a bath cause he knew how much I HATE to do it. And he made sure we went to an attorney and filed the right papers so I would be protected while he was gone.

He may not do flowers (he has surprised me and gotten me my favorite pink tulips) and he may not say the flowery prose to be the romantic some females prefer...but he knows how to DO the right thing. I may gripe about what a big baby he can be when it comes down to being sick, or knowing exactly what to do with the house as it explodes when I am sick, but he tries.

Sometimes we need to just look at their gestures, and what it means to them.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Career Day

Remember when we were in school and had a variety of professionals come in and discuss their careers? Come on...I know I've been out for 20+ years (that's all I'm giving away) but most schools did it. My crit group recently discussed men in uniforms. Yum. It was a VERY interesting conversation. We have a family friend who is a Fireman and even with the bulky/baggy pants and suspenders to hold them up...there's something about those boots. Ok, I will wipe the drool away and continue. Your welcome.

A friend recently listed a great alternative career choice website for those of us that are getting tired of CIA, FBI...etc. There seems to be a mass market in the romance industry for the beautiful men in uniform. As much as we love them, we're getting tired of the same format and storyline. Chicki Brown gave us a good link for interesting, but tame professions to look at and consider. She has a ton of insightful hints, tips and articles.

Giving Your Character Gainful Employment:

I have a storyline mapped out for another ms and the veterinarian link will come in very handy. Well girls, condolences to Bella for the loss of her father and mess of red-tape trying to be with her family in Kenya. Congrats to Dee at eHarl for the birth of her flower twins! And hugs to Jennifer for her teeth troubles. Have a good weekend. Happy St. Patrick's Day!! (My Ma's name is Kilpatrick)
Showing Shamrock Pot Of Gold
May you always have
Walls for the winds,
A roof for the rain,
Tea beside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all your heart might desire!
May you be inHeaven a half hour before the Devil knows you're dead!
May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.
May the best day of your past
Be the worst day of your future.
May those who love us, love us
And those who don't love us,
May God turn their hearts
And if he can't turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles
So we will know them by their limping!
As you slide down the banister of life,
May the splinters never point in the wrong direction!
May your neighbors respect you,
Troubles neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And Heaven accept you.
May you have:
A world of wishes at your command
God and his angels close at hand
Friends and family their love impart,
And Irish blessings in you heart.
May your home always be too small to hold all your friends.
May you live as long as you want,
And never want as long as you live.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Gotta love it

Typical Oklahoma weather. We get so sick of winter...idiots like me are excited about warmer weather. But come on! We went from 40's & 50's to 80's. So much for Spring. I love the trees and flowers and everything turning green, but the allergy season has also exploded. They are saying that our region is expected to have a bad allergy year. DUH.

I haven't worn my contacts in two weeks. Not a problem but I still have gunk I'm fishing out of my eyes constantly and going through tissues like crazy. At least my oldest hasn't had a major asthma attack yet. That's usually our first Spring indicator.

But beyond all the griping, I LOVE Spring! The kiddos can play outside more. I really enjoy sitting outside in the evenings and grilling while watching kids and dogs play. I'm planning to go this weekend and pick up early flowers to plant out in front. I love driving up and seeing my blooming, colorful flower beds. I can deal with allergies because I love the smell of fresh cut grass. I love coming in after working outside and taking a shower, laying around on couch with windows open and an evening breeze drifting lazily through the blinds.

Shoot...who am I kidding. That'll last about a month and I'll be ready for tornado season to go away and bring Fall.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Back to Basics

Been a little busy. I didn't realize, until this morning, that I hadn't posted since last Tuesday. But as I look back...what did I do? I got a couple of critique partners caught up. I have a couple more to work for...

Then I get distracted. My SIL will have a baby in Lubbock in May. The headlines the last couple of days blared about a baby taken from the Lubbock hospital. How reassuring. But the positive thing about my SIL having a baby is it's a girl. I have a house full of boys. I get a little Diva to spoil!! Too bad they are so far away though.

And I tried to focus. I even turned off the tv.

But alas, I am one of those writers that needs stimuli. I can't stand the quiet. What a shame. I even crave it, but not for long. I miss the chaos and turn the stupid tv back on. Chapter 5 is killing me.

Brain surge...maybe I should kill someone!!! Bring it on chapter 5. I think a certain rookie DEA agent has died and a mystery deepens. Thank you for the inspiration!

Back to the basics. Did you ever have a Literature or English class where they gave you a sentence or paragraph and told you to write a story? That was my all-time favorite exercise.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Mid-life Crisis

A friend sent me an e-mail with a cute joke I thought I'd share. I'm actually working today on a chapter so this is it for today. I hope it at least brings you a smile! Have a wonderful and productive day.

Mid-life Crisis

When I was married 30 years, I took a look at my wife one day and said, "Honey, 30 years ago, we had a cheap apartment, a cheap car, slept on a>sofa bed and watched a 10-inch black and white TV, but I got to sleep every night with a hot 25 year old blonde. Now, we have a nice house, nice car, big bed and plasma screen TV, but I'm sleeping with a 55 year old woman. It seems to me that you are not holding up your side of things."

My wife is a very reasonable woman. She told me to go out and find a hot 25 year old blonde, and she would make sure that I would once again be living in a cheap apartment, driving a cheap car, sleeping on a sofa bed, and watching a 10-inch black and white TV.

Aren't older women great? They really know how to solve your mid-life crisis. :-)

Chick Flicks

There was an interesting interview on NBC's Today Show. I didn't catch the entire segment, but what I did see was a guy and a girl discussing Chick Flicks and the male perspective. The guy was a typical male and said he didn't really mind going with a girl to see a movie, and he didn't mind the emotions, but very rarely did they portray normal male reactions/actions. It was funny because he asked if a woman has ever really had a man say "You complete me." He said basically the male actor emotions weren't authentic. But the guy said he did actually like the romantic side. Which I'm sure would never be admitted in front of his bud's on poker night. Matt Lauer admitted to crying at the end of The Notebook.

But have you ever gone to see an action movie with a guy and cringe at the gun toting, big-breasted Daisy Duke sidekick? Have you ever laughed and thought "How corny. That's not a realistic female reaction." Or something along those lines.

How many self-help relationship books are written every year? Hmmm. There goes my analytical (read-anal) mind again. A best seller turned female motivational phenomenon out a while back is "He's Just Not That Into You." The man who co-authored the book was a former writer for HBO's Sex in the City. Women (ME) are constantly frustrated by our significant other's behaviour that there is a very large market for women wanting to know what in the heck our guys are thinking.

Biker Mullet Mechanical Bull

I personally have tried asking. Fat lot of good that did me. My hubby will hesitate which means he is weighing out his options...and the consequences his answer may bring. He is teaching our boys to just humor Mom. Sometimes it pisses me off. But not most of the time because it means I get my way the majority of the time.

So how can we authenticate dialogue? Without a male perspective? I know in my writing I try to think about my experiences...good and bad. I also try to think about how my hubby or male influence might react. But to be honest, I guess how I expect them to react. After all...the majority of our readers are female.

Monday, March 05, 2007


I finally took a fellow critters advice and took my chapters completely off my hard drive onto a disc so I will quit editing and move on. I opened and read my next chapter to get it ready to upload to our group and...I'm going to have to completely rewrite the next 4-5 chapters because of me messing around with the beginning.

I sat down yesterday to start working and couldn't sit still. I needed another drink. Sat down. Because I had downed an entire bottle of water...I needed to pee. Sorry TMI. Sat down. Something on news caught my eye. Two teenagers filmed themselves getting high...with a 2 and 5 yr old. Finally quit cussing tv. Settled down to write. Needed to look up something in previous chapter to verify what I changed. Well hell Chelle. It would mean, because I wasn't intelligent enough to print out and put in notebook, that I have to reload disc. I gave up and went outside with little one to color driveway with chalk.

This morning...totally motivated. Sat down to write. But I HAVE to check out my fellow bloggers and tease them. Settled down to write. They showed getting high news story again. Well hell. Sorry. Guess it's time to take oldest to school.

What motivates you? Tantrum