Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Little Before and After

I've been a slug about posting any pictures from my remodel. I can't seem to keep any of the rooms clean long enough to take a nice picture. The first shot is a before, I dare you to find description that doesn't include the word "igloo." The second is the after. The picture is one I bought in Hawaii and had the space above the fireplace designed to fit. The firebox was replaced with a wood burning stove which has had a lot of use lately. Hopefully I will be getting some more photos up.

I did get some good news last night. My housekeeper was able to slot me back into her schedule so she will be coming this week.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Reading Revolution or Evolution

This is a photo from the mountains behind my house (I found it at the L.A. Times website. It would take me about 20 minutes to get there from my house. Isn't it pretty? That's about the only nice thing I can say about the weather right now. I'm a weather wimp. I don't like the cold. Winter for me means I have to put on a sweater. And when you have kids, rain sucks. They spend the entire time at school inside their classrooms and they get home so wired and obnoxious, they could be mistaken for rabid chimpanzees.

I hate going out in this weather. I just want to cuddle up with a book and a cup of tea. I have a stack of books calling my name and little time to read right now. I could sit and read at night, but by the time evening rolls around, I'm so tired and my brain is so numb, I just want to watch t.v. However, previous to this, I had been reading quite a bit and I've noticed how much my reading has changed. My choices have broadened considerably. I notice I go through changes periodically. When I was young, I read nothing but romances, historical romances, nothing else. Even in college that's what I read. Then I moved onto techno thrillers a la Tom Clancy. Then I moved on to Robert Ludlum. I slipped there into John Steinbeck and into non-fiction adventure. Then somehow I slid back into romance although I moved away from historicals and read other sub-genres. I discovered paranormal romance and that was it, I read paranormal romance exclusively. But that has petered out. I think I got tired of angsty vampires searching for their soulmate. I moved onto dark urban fantasy, but I choose books with little romance. And that isn't my exclusive reading. I've been reading cozy mysteries, literary fiction, horror and whatever else strikes. Except for romance. I have no taste for it. Odd considering I'm a card carrying member of RWA, a board member of my local chapter and have a stack of Golden Heart entries to judge.

Of course I haven't been writing romance much lately either. Perhaps as I start writing in the genre again, my interest will pick up. I have nothing against the genre, but perhaps a break is necessary to bring a fresh perspective?

Does your reading tastes change on a regular basis or are you stalwart of your favored genre?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Other Blog

I blogged over at Villa in Tuscany today about the heart and soul of our stories.

I was going to post here as well but I had a lousy morning and I have a ton of stuff to do before the end of the afternoon. I would rather take a nap right now but there are about three loads of laundry crying my name in piteous tones.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Would You Like to Buy Some Cookies?

It is that time again. Girl Scouts are out to ruin our diets with their innocously named cookis. A "Thin Mint" doesn't sound dangerous right? How can an "All About" be harmful? Every cookie has a Girl Scout virtue baked right in.

Last year I was the cookie manager for my daughter's troop. I've retired. Once was enough, I was far too stressed. The leader is taking it over and I told her I would help. I much better in a supporting role. Each girl has a goal to sell 200 boxes of cookies. My daugter wants to go out door to door and sell cookies. Ughhhh....Which means I get to go door to door selling cookies. I'd rather get a root canal.

Oddly enough I still have cookies from last year. I got real tired of cookies. But I don't think it would take much to get me hooked into the cycle again. And they've introduced the "Lemon Chalet" cookie, a sandwich cookie with lemon cream. Yum. Course this little thing has 80 calories per cookie. Yikes.

Do you like Girl Scout cookies? Do you have a favorite? Were you in Girl Scouts?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sometimes We Get What We Deserve

Have you ever heard a song on the radio that digs itself into your skin like a tick and you aren't satisfied til you own it? This happnes to me pretty frequently but with the power of iTunes I'm usually pacified rather quickly.

The other day the radio played an old song from the early 80's that I loved. Nothing would do, I had to have that song. For those interested, the song is "Nowhere Girl" by B-Movie. Not a big top ten in this country or anything but it was one of my favorite songs back when I was in high school.

Anyway, I downloaded the song from iTunes and synched my iPod, preparing to start the rest of my afternoon. I had plenty to do. There's laundry, sweeping, dinner, heck, even writing to be done. But I my song and I was ready to go. I get upstairs and decide to fold a small load of laundry before I went back downstairs to do some writing.

It was the wrong version.

Totally sent me into a tailspin. I spent the rest of the afternoon looking for the right version. It couldn't be found on iTunes or Amazon (Amazon offers downloads for use with iPods now). I finally found it on Yahoo and downloaded it (a total pain, I might add). So of course I tried to move it into iTunes so I could play it on my iPod. No such luck, the damn song is protected. I can listen to it on my computer until I can think of some way around it or the song finally gets offered on iTunes.

But there is a lesson to be learned. I lost valuable time looking for something silly like an obscure pop song. That time could have been used for a multiple amount of other activities. Anytime that I complain that I don't have time to do something, I can remember the parable of the pop song. I can never have that time back and the rewards are limited.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Long Time No Post

Where has the time gone? Nowhere fun, I can tell ya. I'm no longer an SAHM. My hubby's secretary moved to Las Vegas and lucky me, I get to take her place. I work four hours a day at the office. It totally sucks. Luckily I have Yahoo messenger there and I can chat with Melissa and we can figure out who's day blows more. I should probably install MySpaceIM so I can compare rotten days to my other chat friends.

It isn't hard work but it is boring. My dh is an attorney and he does most of his own stuff. I pretty much do all the filing and make sure his documents get filed with the court and served on the interested parties. I also answer the phone but fortunately hardly anyone calls him. Most of his clients communicate by email. You would think this electronic form of communication would save on paper. BUT NO...Mr. Sustainable prints out the damn things.

Of course I'm still expected to do the same things that I did as an SAHM. Volunteer at the school. Clean house. Cook. I end up doing three meals a day essentially. Breakfast in the morning. Making four lunches (which is a mighty pain) and then dinner. As you can imagine, I'm not getting much free time to do a whole lot else. I've worked outside the home before, but things were different then. I had two kids and a smaller house. Neither of them were in school yet. My husband came home and did the cooking at night. I had a housekeeper.

I'm probably going to hire someone to come in and clean. But the house still isn't done. Yeah, I know, a familiar refrain from my blogs. They are working on the outside of the house. We are having some stone work done and getting the house re-stuccoed. We decided to bite the bullet and just get it all done now. Then we will never have to do it again.

I'm back to writing again. I should be doing laundry or something but I'm squeezing in some time. I've gone back to writing a romance and I'm doing it in 3rd person, more to see if I still can. Romance writing is so hard. Making a relationship the focal point of a book is tough. In the last few years I've written more about one character developing with the romance being a secondary element. I write a lot of action with fight scenes and magic. Switching that concept the other way around is a lot harder. Which is why I'm doing it in third. I can get into more heads that way.

I'm going to try and visit y'all throughout the day. I'm home right now waiting for a fireplace to show up. Long story.