Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Stuck in my Head

After a day spent finalizing the stuff in an author information questionnaire (apparently I am a complete stranger to me when the word "bio" enters the equation) I have one thing first and foremost on my mind: what the sam hill is the song in my head?

I first encountered mystery song while a friend had CMT on. I haven't listened to the radio for years, so while I know darned well the song must have a real title and the gent who sings it, a proper name, I am drawing a blank.

What I remember for sure:

Video is in black and white, blondish guy in tuxedo wanders beaches and bars while looking utterly miserable, singing about his beloved who has apparently either died or split (personally, I like to think that she's passed on and he's gone round the bend, but you know me) Searching scenes interspersed with smoochy From Here to Eternity type (memory?) scenes of narrator and aforementioned beloved.

Lyrics list several places in California, where the thing is apparently set.

Chorus has a refrain of "I been looking for you baby/I been looking for you baby/all night long."

What I'm fuzzy on but think I remember:

I *think* the title is "El Cerrito Bay" but could be wrong.

My instinct is to say that the singer's first name is Jimmy, but I'm ninety five percent sure it isn't.

Big help, huh? Thanks in advance for any light you can shed.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The weekend that was...

Oh boy, was it. The fact that I'm only able to blog about it on Tuesday evening should give a clue. Though heat and humidity were a common theme, we did get variety in the forms of illness, injury, panic, shopping, shoe euphoria, and a good UBS haul.

Illness: dh had to call in sick from work on Friday. I should have known this was a sign. He was fine the next day, but it did set the tone.

Injury: me, tripping in a friend's bedroom, going for a ribbon bow destined for another friend's present. Went down on of all things a videotape (which is now more like a pile of pointy plastic things, one of which decided to do some exploratory surgery on my knee) Ow, blood, ew, wash, treat, bandage, fine now. Another portent.

Panic: purse went missing for a couple of hours -- thankfully only my voter registration card was in there in way of ID, but also keys to my dad's house (no identifying details, though.) The main thing was the purse itself, which I made from a mini lunchbox. This is the purse store clerks keep trying to ring up. People have offered me money for this one several times, and I sell others like it, so I could make nother, but dangit this was my first, and therefore special. Finally found it in a very weird place in abovementioned friend's car, which I attribute to disorentation from the heat and humidity.

Shopping & shoe euphoria: was a good girl and got the sport bras I was supposed to get, but bypassed the boring white sneakers for glittery Cinderella shoes. Pink sparkly mules with clear high heels. Figured since I have my prince charming already, I needed the shoes. Old sneakers will do; these are happy heels.

UBS haul: end of day, so titles elude me, but picked up about five quite intriguing prospects at the lovely UBS where I have mucho credit. All historicals save for Pamela Morsi's By Summer's End which I devoured before lunch today. Two thumbs up and a big toe, too. (note: toenails now painted white to better complement sparkly pink shoes)

Forgot to mention the craft haul, too. Back to school sales are a delight for those in paper arts. Somewhere in the middle of all that, I got unstuck on the scene I need to have done by tomorrow, so I can now transfer all my writerly angst and panic to my author information questionnaire.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Today was a patchwork day. I knew the scene I was supposed to be writing, but it wasn't there. Would not connect with my brain. Stuck its fingers in its ears and went "la-la-la-la I can't hear you" when I called it. I hate when scenes do that. Still, determined to break out of my rut and write, I figured I'd open the document and read the scene right before it.

Which was not there. Nor the one before that. In fact, the green stink fumes scene was there, the one I thought I'd banished from the planet. Which means that I had once again neglected to patch in recent work into the actual manuscript. Heavy sigh and hunt about desktop (because I oh so cunningly name things written out of place as "new scene one" and "new scene two" never minding that two might take place before one, or might actually be two and one in one document.) Finally found it all, and added about forty more pages to the ms. Now that's a day's work.

Okay, so they weren't new pages (mostly) but I did get to fix things I wanted fixed, and that new page count looks so darned impressive that I swaggered on over to the plate of peanut butter chip brownies I baked this morning (for the sole reason that I must be productive if I'm baking) and indulged. Also showed me that of course I can't work on that scene because I have to fix one of the patchwork scenes that will be the difficult scene's destination. I always have to know where I'm going at a few points in the book, and this is one of them.

Monday, August 22, 2005

I've heard this last weekend was the last hot one of the season. I hope so. We're all more than ready for fall over here. I've already broken out the autumnal stationery, and written to letters on two of the different designs. I keep an eye out for brown, red or yellow leaves on the ground. If you happen to be a tree surgeon who could name the disease that sent them there, hush. I prefer to think of it as pre-fall. Not having to thoroughly chew the air before one can fully take in a breath is more than a luxury, it is a right.

Every year when the first snap of fall hits the air, I go into overdrive. This will not be matched until the first significant snowfall of winter. Should this overlap with the official fall season, it might be best to bring the small children inside. I will be so bouncey that Tigger will look comatose. The fact that I have the end of the current MS in sight may hasten this. Add cider -- the real stuff, from farm stands or the local produce section of the grocery, not the factory bottled apple juice that was once shown a picture of a cinnamon stick-- and pumpkin pie and the scent of woodsmoke and thar she blows.

Whoops -- real life intrusion. Must go do wifely things involving groceries. Talk amongst yourselves. I'll be back in the AM.

Monday, August 15, 2005


I have no idea how I managed this, but both my main guys, my husband and my dad, have birthdays back to back. Dad's was yesterday, August fourteenth, and today is Rheuben's, on the fifteenth. I usually spend the rest of the week on a frosting-induced high, which is only brought down by the fumes from any solvents used to make gifts. See, it all balances.

Too hot for any sugar to cut through the sludge this year, and with the humidity, all I'd have to do to make soup would be unwrap a bouillon cube. The air has been that moist. Left Dad's celebration before the cake (Oreo cake, too, darmit, and it was my friend who brought it, so I claim unfairness. Oreo cake, people!) to go rescue dh who needed errand run, and then promptly stripped down to one of his oversized t-shirts to spred a towel on the bed and lie in front of the fan, next to my current read. Listened to him play World of Wonders (he did not kill me when I dubbed it --affectionately-- World of Weasels so he still gets his gift) for a few hours.

But that's not the point. I give you a gift from my dad; the story of how his birthday fell on VJ day (no, not the MTV kind, the WWII kind) while he was on active duty. He told us this for the first time yesterday, and I thought it was hysterical, and very dad, so am sharing.

Dad had been looking forward to celebrating his birthday with his Army buddies, and had saved his beer ration so he'd have a full case on his birthday. Everything was going according to plan right up until the day. With only hours before he'd be free to celebrate, this was going to be the social events, as the full case of beer was a well-known thing...and then...the news comes in. War over. Case got raided by understandably ebulllient soldiers, Dad got bupkus.

This year, he got Oreo cake (and all of it, grumble grumble grumble) DH is getting peanut butter brownies.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Art Day

Didn't plan on it, but today turned into an art day. This is the week of The Birthdays -- Dad's on the 14th and the dh on the 15th plus a dear friend's package perched atop Mt Mailme. Combine that with the shape of a piece of cardboard that came in the packing from Amazon and a comment dh made the other night while we were watching a decorating show, and long story short, I am covered in antique stain, paint, and would not be at all surprised if I've crackled the fingers of my left hand.

Yesterday was too hot to move so it was great to be excited and focused today. The aforementioned piece of cardboard turned into a vintage-looking sign the dh said he wanted "someday" (hey, today is someday!) and playing with it reminded me how much my loved ones are a gift to me all year long.

I love giving presents, and if it's something I can make that reflects the recipient's personality, all the better. It's extra quality time spent, if not with them, then about them. Time to think "what makes this person special?" and "what would they like this to be?" Which is, come to think of it, a lot like writing.

How would this character see the situation at hand? What would be their projected best and worst outcome? What might they try doing instead of what I have planned?

It's not so much a day spent away from writing, but approaching it from another angle. I come back from art days refreshed and ready to roll. Which is another gift.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Kid on the bus

Figuratively, that is. Book kid. Sent in my errata sheet (really small -- Awe-Struck is gooooood) for MOH and no turning back now. That's what goes out into the wide world. Or at least the ARCs. I can collapse now, then back to OitS in the morning, after commenting on ECT's fabulous story.

Waiting for my dad to call when he lays hands on the old (think 70s orange and gold brocade) photo album that has many pictures of Bedford in winter so I can scan some and send them to Tim so we can get the final cover stuff rolling. Dad thought he had the album when I visited on Sunday, but it was the wrong one -- an album of records from way way back, in paper sleeves, in Italian (must've been Mom's) -- very cool, but not helpful for illustration purposes.

One of the things I'm enjoying most about this journey is that good ol' dad, longtime romance novel decryer is now a huge supporter. As in blabs to everyone. Conversations often begin "I saw/talked to X today and I told them about the book." I told him I'm going to make him a "My Daughter is a Romance Writer" bumper sticker and put it on his car. He said he'd let me. Yay dad.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Had a great night at nag group last night, and the book is definitely in beginning end stage. I've prewritten a bunch of scenes already so this last bit shouldn't take long at all. I'd love to get it out by summer's end, maybe end of Sept at the latest. Then on to the other ones.

The edits are in for MOH, and Awe-Struck seems pleased. Time for me to look over things one more time and then off into the wide world with it. Exciting and scary all at once. I feel like I'm chasing the school bus that has my very first kindergartener on it. Wait -- she's not ready. I need her at home just a little more. Though I know it is time, and she'll do well. This is what books do, and it's time for others to love this one. At least I hope. This book--baby had her time with me and now her younger siblings need my attention.

At least I'm feeding them right. My TBR includes Candace Proctor's (moment of silence due to CP's genre switch) Whispers of Heaven (current read) as well as Jane Feather's Almost a Bride, Lauren Royal's Lost in Temptation, Veil of Night by Lydia Joyce (finally!) and Elaine LeClaire's debut title. Blanking on title, but it's a seafaring book, tropical, and set in the Georgian era, so I know I will be happy.

Monday, August 01, 2005

It occurred to me while going through my usual Mondayness that I haven't blogged in a while, so here I am, dusting off things and opening windows. Maybe it was the heat and crazy schedule. The stress of *not* going to National? Though it barely registered. See above heat and schedule stuff.

For Sims2 fanatics, I found Bella last night. Yes, I did a happy dance around the bedroom, and fortunately my dh was in another room (where the furniture is porcelain) so I didn't have to explain it. Though he might have thought I was writing. Which I kind of was.

The S1 Bella didn't appeal to me much, and I had a time or two entertained the thought of having her play with fireworks in a 2x2 shed. So of course when S2 came out, and I found that Mrs Goth was not with her family in Pleasantview, but could be found as an elusive townie in Strangetown, I started thinking about what I would do if I found her, which I probably wouldn't, knowing my luck.

Last night, when I saw her strolling oh so casually past the Beaker family home, whambang, it hit me. This could be my chance to play with an amnesia storyline. Because Strangetown Bella has no memories, you see. She wouldn't know or care that her husband, Mortimer, had remarried, had another child, grown old and died. She wouldn't know her daughter Cassandra was married with four sproglets of her own, or that son Alexander was about to tie the knot with that nice Lucy Burb from down the street. No, Bella was still at the beginning of her adult stage, footloose and fancy free (except for her fancy for Nervous Subject, but hands off, missy, I'm saving him for Chloe Singles; and don't talk back to me, either, because I'm the one writing...ah, playing this. I meant playing. What? Why are you looking at me like that? I am the giant hand and I control you.)

Ahem. Can you spot the romance writer? Same one who spent some time this AM copying the original Goth house layout to graph paper so I can recreate it in S2, because wouldn't it be interesting if Bella wondered why her new house seemed oddly familiar.

I hadn't meant to blog about Sims today; I'd meant to talk about trad Regencies and the iminent demise of, from the position of an interested outsider, but that will have to wait for tomorrow. Must go write, and no, not about Sims or Bella. Actual book work. Very much looking forward to getting this puppy done.