Sunday, May 31, 2009


What happens when you put a boy on TV restriction and it's a cruddy day out? He makes a flashlight out of a battery, an Altoids tin, some wire, a bulb and tape (and a very handy electrician-neighbor - thanks Marta). Pretty cool - maybe we should kill our TV.

On this date: In 1990, Seinfeld premiered.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Stuff and Stuff

I haven't been blogging much lately because I just haven't felt like I've had a lot to say. Then I got to thinking about it and if you add up all of the little things going on, there is kind of a lot going on. Here in no particular order are recent highlights:
* My publisher decided to get a little fancy on the Dirty Little Secrets chapter titles and I love them. Still can't show you all yet ;(
*I'm working on a book trailer for Six O'clock in San Francisco. If you don't know what one is, you will when I post the finish product.
*I should be getting a typeset copy of Dirty Little Secrets in the next two weeks. I can't wait!
*We scheduled our annual camping trip. In August. I couldn't get out of it.
*I got an email from a wickedly cool possible freelance client - I'll let you know who when it comes in for reals.
*Despite all of my protests, I'm Twittering. But only because I got hired to. Yes, I'm a Twitter whore. A Twore?
*We got rid of the turtles (to a good place - no, we didn't make soup). Never, ever pick a new pet lightly. Especially one that is dirty and smelly and lives something like 50 years.
*We are going to leopard gecko-sit for the third grade class this summer to see if we want to get one of our own. See turtles above.
* We picked our first yellow squash from the garden today. Gotta love California in May.
*My son's baseball team is now out of the cellar in the wake of the death of Coach Mike and currently resides in third place - Go Brewers!

I'm going to try to blog more often. Even if I have nothing interesting to say.

On this date: In 1903, Bob Hope was born.

Friday, May 22, 2009

It's So Cool...And I Can't Show You!

As a special Friday surprise, my editor sent along a jpg of the first cover try. A sharp intake of breath accompanied opening the file - there was nothing I looked forward to/dreaded more than the moment where I would see their vision of the cover of my book. So I open the file...and I like it. After another second of taking it all in...I really, really like it. And I can't post it or even really tell you about it until it's finalized. It's killing me!

I can post this though:

After over a month of trolling eBay, it finally arrived. There's nothing like a boy's first Les Paul. Walk by our house now and it sounds like teenagers live here. Teenagers with a huge thing for Led Zepplin. He even named it The Blimp.

On this date: In 1966, Bill Cosby won an Emmy for I Spy.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Bad News, Good News

I've been AWOL this week because it's been a tough one around here. Breaking it down:

Bad News: Techie hubby got laid off.
Good News: I got a new freelance gig.

Bad News: We had to cancel our Disneyland trip.
Good News: The June Hawaii trip is already paid for ;)

Bad News: I haven't written a word on the new WIP in a week.
Good News: I've made a lot of $$ freelancing this week.

Bad News: I can't eat when I'm stressed out.
Good News: I've already lost 10 pounds (see Hawaii good news above).

On this date: In 1970 the Carpenters released Close to You.

Friday, May 8, 2009


I had a funny conversation with my son's third-grade teacher yesterday. We were talking about the book that is coming out in July and the copyedits for the novel that I'd just finished. Like a lot of adults, particularly those in education, she was pretty impressed that I'd been published and can't wait to get a copy of my book. Then she said that she imagined that the kids were thrilled. Um, actually, no.

I mean, they're happy for me and all, but the fact that their mother will have not one but two books out in the next twelve months is about as exciting as the fact that we're having tacos for dinner. Nice, but nothing to write home about. They were more excited that they got no homework this week because of testing.

While it was a completely surreal experience to read an actual copy of When It's Six O'clock in San Francisco to my son at bedtime last week, he just shut it and said, "Hmm, good book. What's next?" "But look," says I, "there's a picture of all of us in the back! You're going to have your face in a book that will be all over the world!" "Cool," he says. "Can we read The Lawn Weenies again?" My older son refers to my writer friends as "Those author-geeks." The last time he did that, I waved a signed copy of Ellen Hopkin's Identical in his face and ranted about "author-geeks". "Whatever," he said, and left the room.

I started to think that if any of my books actually take off and become popular, then maybe they'll be impressed. I mean, Stephenie Meyer's kids are probably totally stoked to have her as their mom. And then I got to thinking - I'm sure that when she's not being a fabulously famous writer, she probably has to tell them to pick up their socks and to try to pee IN the toilet rather than in the approximate LOCATION of the toilet. She can't spend all her days sitting in a throne and pounding out bestsellers- at some point, she must turn into a regular, nagging mom.

So, success may finally impress my kids. Maybe when they see a book written by little old moi on the store or library shelves they'll realize just what a big deal this is for me.

But I doubt it.

On this date: In 1945, VE Day was celebrated in America and Britain.

Monday, May 4, 2009

We're Gonna Miss You Coach Mike

We lost my son's baseball coach, Mike Shannon, over the weekend to a short and unexpected illness. He wasn't just a baseball coach, he was the motivator and the jokester that had the kids learning the game while they laughed at his antics. He didn't even have a kid on the team - he did it for his nephew - but he put his heart and soul into the games, and more importantly, into the kids. New parents weren't sure what to make of Coach Mike - he'd stand on the sidelines and yell about how his grandmother could hit harder than that. One parent commented about how harsh he was - "See how they're all laughing at him?" was my reply. The kids knew what he was about. He never talked down to them and made them all feel important.

He was the kind of coach who would call in the off season just to see how things were going. He'd show up to J's soccer games in the fall just to keep in touch and encourage him in whatever sport he was playing. Mike was a fantastic coach and one in a million. The season is never going to be the same.

We miss you Coach Mike.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

What I Learned from my Copyeditor

1. I leave a lot of things dangling. Modifiers, participles, etc.
2. There are a LOT of commas in a 200 page manuscript.
3. Sixteen year old girls don't usually speak grammatically correct English.
4. You can STET (meaning, leave it alone) incorrect English if it affects the character's voice.
5. Green pencils have to be sharpened every time you write something.
6. When you write "Blah, blah, blah," she said, "you blah blah blah.", the word after said is NOT capitalized. Who knew? (Apparently all copyeditors).
7. Spell check really works.
8. I enjoy copyediting.
9. It's scary to know this will all be set in type for all time soon.
10. UPS charges $49.50 to ship a package to NY 2-day. Luckily, I had three days.

On a completely different note - please help the literary community raise money for a talented, upbeat, aspiring young writer named Bridgit Zinn. In one month she got a great agent, a new husband and diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. There is an auction that has some great writerly items to raise money, you can donate through Jone MacColloch at or simply drop by her blog. Even postive thoughts can help!

On this date: In 1991, the last episode of Dallas aired.