Saturday, July 29, 2006

Ritas and Golden Hearts Announced

The Ritas and Golden Hearts are posted on the RWA web site!

I scanned the names real quick and it looks like we have 2 cherry wins!

Alesia Holiday and Barbara Samuel. Woo hoo!!

::tossing confetti:: and passing out the champagne!

Also, a special congrats to Kathleen Beaver, my OCC/RWA chapter sister for her Golden Heart in the Fiction with Romantic Elements Category.

I'm also happy to see that LaNora w/a as JD Robb won for one of her In Death books. They are fabulous!

Congratulations ladies!!!

Current Mood: Pleased


Last bit of nostalgia for now

Here's one last photo from National last year. Cherries all dressed up for the Rita/Golden Heart Ceremony. L to R is Stephanie (who I don't know, but she seemed really nice), behind her is an unknown person I can't quite tell who she is, Kay is in the black dress, Cory (my third roommate) is in red, behind Cory and Kay is Chris, next to Cory is Katy (in her faboo black dress with pink flowers embroidered on it) & behind Cory & Katy is Robin.

I wish I had a good picture of Robin to post because she's fabulous. Funny how that works out. The only picture I have of myself in Reno someone else took with her own camera and none of mine even turned out. All were blurry. I guess I'll just have to attend another RWA National and take many, many pictures. I'll make the sacrifice. :)

Now out of this hothouse and off to lunch for a bit. Somewhere with air conditioning. I don't care where. We're stilll waiting for the AC repairman. I wish he'd hurry.

Current Mood: Hungry...not really a mood, I know, but I am...

Labels: ,

Still more nostalgia

And this is Michele (one of my other roommates and road trip partner) and me (R) sitting at our table at the awards ceremony. We had such a great time. I couldn't talk for hours after the ceremony because I screamed so much.

The following morning Chris, Michele and I & maybe some othrs too) were in an elevator and I had on a cherry tank top. Someone made a comment to us, asking us if we were cherries. I said "yes" and that I'd forgotten I was wearing the top. She commented I had a cherry purse as well. I always use that purse so it didn't even register.

Then Chris said, "Yeah, but you'll never be rid of the cherry we've tattooed on your ass." Which made all of us bust out laughing. (For the record, I do not have a tattoo of a cherry on my ass or anywhere else on my body. ) I love Chris! She's presenting a Golden Heart tonight. I wonder what she's going to wear!
Current mood: silly

Labels: ,

More nostalgia

Here's my favorite picture from last year's RWA National. It expresses not only the pure joy of winning, but the pleasure of being together and having a wonderful time.

Cherries Triumphant.


Labels: ,

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today I was in Reno and we were planning on what we were going to do and wear to the Golden Heart/Rita ceremony. I had 3 roommates, which was hectic, but fun. Like a nightly slumber party.

One of my roommates, Chris, was up for a Golden Heart and helping her get ready for the ceremony (as I've often said) felt very much like getting Cinderella ready for the ball. Her fabulous blue gown with matching wrap added to the feeling. You can see her in the above photo along with the other Cherry winners of the evening. L to R Christine Merrill, Lani Diane Rich, Lorelle Marinello and Jennifer Crusie. A good time was had by all. :)

Current mood: Nostalgic

Labels: ,

More Atlanta

Hi. I'm still here in Notlanta as someone on another blog said--which is much easier to type than Anywhere-but-Altanta, so I stole it. Here's a nice atricle on the National Con in Yesterday's

Current Mood: OK.

Labels: ,

Friday, July 28, 2006

How Lovely!

I won a prize on Jude's wonderful Blog. That was so nice if her. If you're at home and wishing you were at RWA National in Atlanta, hers is the blog to check out.

Current mood: tickled

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 27, 2006

My latest obsession

I can't stop checking this blog every 5 minutes. Thank you Jude Griffin for keeping all of us here in Everywhere-but-Atlanta updated on National news and Cherry activities. You deserve an award. Big Cherry Love goes out to Jude.

Current Mood: Melancholy-- but Grateful too

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Bon Voyage, Au Rivior, Via Con Dios & Farewell!

This is a special note to all my friends in Atlanta attending the RWA National conference. Not that they'll read it. They're too busy traveling and settling in right now. I won't whine about how badly I wanted to go because there are plenty of people like me who stayed home. I hope they all have a great time.

I'd attended a handful of local chapter conferences before my first and (so far) only National Conference in Reno last year. I'm an introvert, but I wasn't the least bit nervous. After all, I had a driving buddy with me, the wonderful Michele. She and I took turns calling each other Thelma and Louise on our 9 hour drive through some truly picturesque and book-worthy scenery. Chris and Cory, our Cherry roommates would be arriving the same day and we'd never met them in person, so anticipation levels were high.

Michele was feeling shy and made me promise not to leave her side during the conference, so we stuck together like glue. The funny thing is that she ended up being quite outgoing once she'd settled in, while I got shyer and shyer after the initial excitement wore off. I realized later that my introvert self just needed some alone time. After a few hours alone in our room Fri afternoon I was good to go.

I met so many cool Cherries while I was there. Old friends: Barb T, Betsy, Cory, Chris (who took home a Golden Heart!), Heidi, Katy and of course, Jenny herself, who also took home a Rita! New Friends: Jill, Sue, Molly, Rox, Ellen, Lani (who took home a Rita!), Barb P (who got "the call" while we were there!) and so many others. I saw some Cherries I'd met before, old friends: Robin, Pat and Kay. Gina, Carol and Lorelle from my local chapter too. Susan and Harry--not cherries, but fabulous people--also from my local chapter. I missed a couple of Cherries I really wanted to meet: Deb and Pokey.

Are you getting the idea that National conferences are more about people than about anything else? To me they are. I have a wonderful local chapter, OCC/RWA (and we have fabulous workshops every month) and don't get me wrong, National did have some super workshops! Jenny and Bob's on Collaborating was great, Barbara Samuel's PRO retreat was wonderful. JAK and SEP were informative and fun. The workshop committee did a bang-up job. But the thing I carry with me is a mental snapshot of the smiling faces of my friends. I hope that they are all having a fabulous time.

Huge hugs,

Labels: ,

Monday, July 24, 2006

Another Movie Recommendation

I saw Who Killed the Electric Car this weekend and I learned so much. I remember when the cars came out and I never heard any of the positive things about them. All I heard was that there were hardly any plugs to recharge them and that they'd only go 30 miles before they needed a recharge. At the time I worked 36 miles (one way) from home and a car like that was out of the question.

They never told us that they had a battery designed to go 120 miles at that time. They didn't tell us that the electricity to charge the car was equal to 60 cents a gallon. They now have a battery designed to go over 300 + miles between charges, which is about what I get on a tank of gas. A car like that would be perfect for the everyday commute. It might not be good for road trips (unless you planned ahead) but each family could own one of them instead of a gas guzzling car.

These electric cars have no emissions and cost less to maintain and to drive. The car companies were losing money on car repairs and the oil companies were losing money on gasoline. So they called back each car when its lease was up since the car companies purposely never sold them. Once the car manufacturers got the state of CA to lower the standards for the percentage of low emission vehicles each car company had to sell in the state (the requirement is what helped create the electric car in the first place) they were able to kill them.

How greedy can a company be? Oil is finite. We need to do everything we can to conserve it for future generations. Killing the electric cars was a sin that we will all pay for in the future.

I want an electric car!

Current Mood: Steamed

Labels: ,

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Earthquake Weather

They say there's no such thing as earthquake weather, but I don't believe them. I've lived in Southern California my whole life and we always have the wierdest weather before an earthquake. These last couple of weeks qualify.

After a hideous heatwave--yesterday was the hottest, most unbearable day yet--thunder roared all night long and this morning we had a HUGE downpour of rain. A little while later it rained again and then it stopped as if it never happened. And you'd think we'd have the benefit of a little cooling off afterwards, right? (After all this isn't D.C. or the deep south.) But no, it was awful today. No sun, but still hot and horribly humid. I soaked in a tub of cold water for an hour and read a book this afternoon and still--yuck! And yes we do have air conditioning but it was just so humid it didn't seem to help.

Mark my words, there will probably be an earthquake very soon.

Current mood: wary and cranky

Friday, July 21, 2006

Eagle Eyes

I had Laser eye surgery (custom Lasik with intralase) in January and today was my 6 month check up. The miracles of modern medicine. In January my vision was 20/450 in one eye and 20/475 in the other. Today my eyes are 20/15!

My husband had Lasik 5 years ago--or is it 6 next month?-- and they have made many improvements since then. His vision is perfect and he's never had a problem and I seem to be just as fortunate.

I got glasses when I was 9 and contacts when I was 12 (the doctor wanted me to get contacts at 9, but I was afraid) and my eyes were just so tired of having hard or RGP contacts jammed into them every morning. So, let's hear it for
Dr. Tooma and the wonderful staff at TLC Newport Beach who I can't recommend highly enough! The TLC group of surgeons (all over the US and Canada) offer a LIFETIME guarantee, which as far as I know, is unequaled anywhere else. If you've ever wondered about Lasik, check out your local TLC office. Consultations are free.

Current mood: happy and clear-eyed :)


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Yet another birthday update

I forgot to mention that J (my fabulous work officemate) bought me some wonderful gifts for my birthday. This girl really listens when I talk.

At RWA National in Reno last year, Michele and I each dropped a buck in a slot machine. I won $10 and spent it all on some rocks for my WIP. (My Protagonist is a Healer. They were more for her than me.) So I have this collection of beautiful rocks and I've been looking for a bowl to put them in. J remembered this. She found me a pewter bowl with these curly decorative feet at a local antique store. When I opened it she said, "It's for your rocks." at the same time I said, "It's for my rocks." which really was the coolest thing ever. :) They look so pretty in the bowl with it's lovely patina, and there's even room for more rocks. I can't wait to get some more!

She also bought me two tea cups and saucers. But not just any teacups and saucers--oh no--these are made of ruby red glass. And they're square! I just love square plates and dishes and things and she remembered that. Even the dainty little tea cups are sort of squared off. I love them!

Current mood: Pleased. There is really nothing sweeter than someone putting so much thought into a gift. Awww...

Labels: , , ,

Enough with the heat already...and stuff

Here in Southern Cali we have been having a heatwave that's been going on far too long. It makes me cranky and sleepy and it's very hard to make myself get up at 5 AM to go to the (muggy) gym when I wake up in a muggy room. It should not be hot at 5 AM. There aughta be a law.


I finished Step 2 of the Snowflake Plotting method last night and made a list of all the characters I need to use in Step 3. The list is huge. I think it's time to think about just how important all these characters are anyway. If I did a profile of everyone on the list it would take me forever to move on to step 4. There are 8 steps. I need to get this thing done so I can get back to re-writing the WIP. Again.


And finally, I just thought I'd say that I am really bummed that I am not going to RWA National in Atlanta next week. Seriously, majorly bummed. I'm so going to miss seeing all my friends and I've always wanted to see that part of the country. Have the best time C, C, H, K & P. You have a faboo time too Brooke girl. And everyone take lots of pictures so you can share them later.


Oh! And one last thing... I'm sending out major hugs to Michele. Tuesday 7/18/06 was her 6th and final chemo treatment! Yeah! She's got one last week of fuzzy-head to go through and then she should be feeling A-ok. ((((((((((((((((Michele))))))))))))) Hugs girl. Tell Barb to take good care of you.

Current Mood: hot & cranky and missing Michele

Monday, July 17, 2006


I cut the cake and walked into the breakroom (next to our dept) to wash my hands. There was someone from another dept in there, so I offered her a piece of cake. She said, "No. Thank you."

Current mood: Baffled. I mean, who turns down cake?

Birthday Update

So we went to see The Devil Wears Prada yesterday and unlike my pal Brooke we all really enjoyed it. I will admit that I didn't read the book first and I'm not sure if Brooke has. I thought it was interesting that Brooke and C. thought that Andi was whiney, while Abner and I thought her boyfriend was. I also really enjoyed Meryl Streep's character. I didn't go into the movie with any great expectations, though, just to laugh. Like Andi, I don't take the fashion industry seriously, so I related to what her character went through. I recommed the movie. A couple of lines (paraphrasing here) I really liked were:

"I'm one stomach flu away from my goal weight." (I related to this one)
"Size 6 is the new 14." (I was horrified by this one )

On dinner, as predicted I did order Combo One. It was delicious and I still have half of it left over for tonight's dinner so I don't have to cook, which makes me happy. I have an appt tonight and won't get home till 6, and I hate eating too late.

My Mom gave me a lovely day planner with cherries on it + Nora Roberts's newest release and baked me a small cake. She also gave me an IOU for a gift of my choice when we go out shopping. She knows I have my eye on a professional ceramic flat iron my friend can get for me (she owns a beauty supply) on the cheep. The hubby ordered me a pair of fabulous stilettos I've had my eye on. A co-worker broought me a huge bouquet of flowers today.

I did pretty well all in all.

Current mood: ready for cake (Yes. That's a mood.) As soon as I punch back in from lunch, we're gonna eat it. Gotta go!


Sunday, July 16, 2006

July Catch-up

I can’t believe I haven’t posted one Blog this month. Wow! What a slacker. I’ll start out by saying that today is my birthday, so go easy on me. I’ll continue on and say I’ve been very busy at work and at home, though I know these are not good excuses, but there you go. So… here’s a few things I’ve done in July so far:


July 4~ The hubby and I spent an enjoyable Independence Day with his family. His aunt is visiting (as she does every summer) and her daughter (his cousin) came along for the holiday with her two daughters who are very cute. It was nice to see them. While we see Aunt Lucy yearly, we hadn’t seen his cousin and her kids in a few years. We did typical stuff: a BBQ, fireworks, took photos, and a good time was had by all.


July 11~ My mom has some time off from work this month, so she met me for lunch on Tuesday. My boss is very good about letting me come in early/stay late and take a long lunch so we had 2 hours. It was really nice because I usually eat at my desk and play on the computer. It’s not that I’m anti-social, but between moderating the Jenny Crusie Bulletin Board, E-groups and now this Blog (which I’ve been woefully neglecting, I’ll admit) I try to get stuff done during the day so I’ll have more writing time at night. Mom and I ordered our favorite California Citrus Salads (Yum!) and talked about birthday plans.


July 12~ I went to a Tea (I figured I might was well capitalize it since it was an event and not just a drink) that was given by a member of my local RWA chapter. She had never given a Tea and the dozen or so of us who were there had never been to one before, so we all enjoyed eating little cucumber sandwiches, “biscuits” and jam, and of course, tea. Since it was a million degrees outside, we all opted for iced tea, though beautiful teacups were placed at each of our places and array of teas were available.

Our hostess often wears hats and had a variety of them available for those of us who showed up hatless. I chose a black fedora-type hat and it was fun to look around the table at the hats the others chose. The ladies are all people I see at monthly meetings, but because we have over 200 members, I don’t usually say more than “Hi. How are you?” and that kind of thing to most of them. It was great to chat with them and get to know them better. We discussed ways to make guests and new members feel more welcome at our meetings and it was a constructive as well as enjoyable afternoon.


July 13~ I had lunch with Michele. Yes, another long lunch day. I told my boss this is my “Popular Week” with my three invitations to lunch/Tea. I met Michele at a hot dog place that I knew she’d enjoy being that she’s a Jersey Girl. She looked GREAT! She had on a short, sassy burgundy-colored wig that suited her to a T. I was pleased to see her looking so healthy. She actually glowed. She gave me a lovely birthday gift, a book bag made by her wonderful daughter Nikki. The inside and outside were made out of 2 different fabrics that coordinated nicely. The inside fabric is pink with hot pink ribbons (breast cancer symbol) and the outside was pink, lavender and blue with hearts and ribbons and a little “sketchy-watercolory” looking. It’s very pretty. There’s even pockets inside. Nikki is going to make some more of them for our craft auction for the Michelefund, but I own the original. Eat your hearts out.

Inside was a gorgeous card, two paperback books and my favorite candies (Junior Mints and Jelly Bellies) so what more could a girl want? It was so great to spend time with Michele—we don’t see nearly enough of each other—and just to talk and hang out and look at her while I’m talking to her, to hear her while I’m talking to her. Neither of us are big on telephones, so we mostly communicate though e-mail. Though, since she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she and I have talked on the phone more than we ever did in the past.


July 14~ The hubby and I had dinner with friends and they ended up treating us for my birthday which was really nice and unexpected. We ate at the greatest little Mexican place and sat outside under a big umbrella in comfy chairs. It was so relaxing to just lazily sit outside and hang out after a long workweek and gab until they put up the closed sign.


By now you’re probably all thinking that if you want to spend time with me, all you have to do is feed me, and that’s actually fairly accurate. I’m a foodie. I’ll admit it. Case in point, for my birthday tomorrow afternoon (actually THIS afternoon since it’s after midnight) we’re going to see “The Devil Wears Prada” and go out for Italian food at a little place we really love but don’t visit often enough. I will probably order the Combo One because I always do, unless I decide to go crazy and try something new, which I don’t often do.

Are you like this too? I have one or two items that are my favorite at each restaurant and I always order those. Creature of habit? I dunno, but I always do this. Combo One is small portions of spaghetti, ravioli and lasagna with a meatball. The dinners come with soup or salad (I always get salad), a glass of wine (I get rose`), garlic bread (I order mine with no butter) and a choice of ice cream (I get Spumoni). Yum, yum, it sounds good right now! Anyway, I’ll check back in and let you know if I was adventurous. Unless they have a killer ravioli special (Like something exotic with lobster and goat cheese in it), I probably won’t be. And I think I'll wear my new pink shoes from my "Shoe Love" post. :)
Also, thanks to Katy Cooper's recommendation, I am doing Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake Method of plotting. I'm so not a plotter, but this has been quite productive for me so far. Step one is to write one sentence discribing your manuscript and in step 2 you expand it to a paragraph. I'm nearly done with that part now. IIRC, there are 8 steps. What I like about it is that you start small and get larger. The thought of plotting a manuscript is a huge-scary undertaking for an organic writer like me and I appreciate the idea of starting with baby steps. I'll be too busy tomorrow (today), but I'll finish up step 2 on Monday and move on to step 3. I'll keep you posted on this.

Current Mood: not-so-sleepy and somewhat talkative, but the hubby is asleep, so here I am