Friday, March 31, 2006

Fridays in Lent

Since I'm Catholic and it's Lent, Friday suppers at our house are either tuna melt sandwiches or pizza. Today we opted for pizza--but it seems that everyone else who is Catholic does the same. Our favorite pizza restaurant (which is right across the street from the church) was filled to capacity. There were plenty of people getting take-out orders of pizza, too. Hubby said that instead of the little fish symbol imprinted on every Lenten Friday of our Catholic calendar, there should be little pizzas.

Despite the crowded restaurant, we enjoyed our pizza and there were a few slices leftover. Hubby loves to eat them for breakfast. :^)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Painless

Until now, hubby has always taken a day to do the taxes by himself. He would sit at the dining room table--insisting on complete quiet in the house. Then he would remain there half of the day, grumbling and sharpening pencils.

This year, hubby decided he needed help in filing our taxes since last year was rather crazy--financially. When hubby learned our local library offered AARP-trained tax help, he signed up. We went to the library this morning with our income statements. Our tax helper filled everything in on the computer and then sent it all to IRS electronically. It did not take long and it was completely painless.

We should have done this a long time ago.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Writing In Another Season

Today the weather outside was gorgeous. There wasn't a cloud in the bright blue sky. The daffodils and forsythia are blooming. Tiny leaves are unfurling on the privet hedge. Hubby and I still had to wear jackets when we took a walk, but no gloves and no hats--which is so wonderful for a change.

We walked around on one of my favorite trails in one of our local parks. The trail goes through a swampy area--and there, too, we saw signs of spring. Skunk cabbage!

But right now, I'm writing a story set in the heat of June. So after our walk, I came inside and had to switch seasons in my head. It isn't difficult for me most of the time but today it was. I guess I had writers' spring fever. :^)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Free Brunch with Me

On Friday, March 31st, I will be at the Middletown Public Library. Free food will be provided. I'll be talking about my books and reading excerpts--mostly from my latest inspirational. There will be print copies of Sea Of Hope, Heaven's Blue, and A Rush of Light available for sale.

You can check out the time and location at the library's website:

Middletown Public Library

The library's program director is brilliant. She is the one who decided food should be provided. When hubby's band played at the library around Christmas, there was a huge crowd--and the food was terrific.

So come for the food! :^)

Friday, March 24, 2006

Checking the Lists

Almost everyday, I check Fictionwise to see how my books are doing. True, that is a bit obsessive, but I do it anyway. I have four books at Fictionwise. Usually, my latest release is my bestselling book. So last year, when Prince of the Mist came out, it was my bestseller. Then when A Rush of Light was released, it was my bestseller.

Surprisingly, this week Sea Of Hope is my bestselling book on Fictionwise. Sea Of Hope was my first book, published in 2001--and an EPPIE winner. My second bestselling book this week is Heaven's Blue, published in 2004 and winner of an EPPIE last year.

I check amazon.com about once a week. I'm a little less obsessive about it, but again, I found a surprise there this week. The Company You Keep was my bestselling book on amazon. That book was also published in 2004.

That's the nice thing about e-books, they have a long shelf life. :^)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Happy Spring!

Hubby placed this egg on the floor. Is the egg really standing up on its own? Or was hubby cheating? He claimed the egg stayed in place due to his steady hand--and the vernal equinox, of course.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Cogitating

Sometimes I do my best writing when I'm not writing--especially when I'm on the road in the car. We had a wonderful weekend with all of our daughters, but everyone had to leave today. Daughter #2 asked if we would take her back to Brooklyn. We did--transporting her door-to-door (okay, so we are terribly indulgent parents in some ways).

Hubby drove. I prayed the entire rosary--as usual when we have a long trip. I read some of a new release from Steeple Hill's Love Inspired Suspense. But then I spent quite a while looking out the window with the wheels turning in my mind just as the wheels of the car rolled along.

Hopefully, tomorrow I'll get some time to type in all the ideas I thought of today as we travelled.

When do you do some of your best thinking?

Friday, March 17, 2006

My Irish Characters

I put up some thoughts about my Irish characters at the NCP blog today. You can find it here:

Irish In America.

Hubby, Daughter #1, Daughter #3, and I went out for pizza tonight--but we had green peppers on the pizza, so it was sort of in the spirit of the day. :^)

Tomorrow I'll be boiling up my corned beef and making the soda bread.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Alpha Hero

I am busy making sure my hero--the trooper--is all alpha male. That was one of the things I knew I would have to check after the workshop on Saturday with Susan Meier.

Do you like alpha heroes?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Workshop with Susan Meier

I have been to plenty of writers' workshops, and I always get something out of each one. But today, the New Jersey Romance Writers had an all day workshop with Susan Meier. It was one of the best workshops ever! I came away from it with tons of helpful ideas for my current work-in-progress.

Susan Meier was amazing! Funny, but right on target, she gave us plenty of nuts and bolts writing advice.

I could not wait to hit the keyboard when I got home. :^)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Favorite Foods

The weather was mild today. So pleasant that hubby and I were tempted to do some yard work which consisted of another round of picking up fallen branches. Then we drove off to ShopRite, which is quite a distance away. We usually shop at the local supermarket, but ShopRite has several items we can't seem to live without. Hubby loves fresh kielbasi. I bought unsalted bread crumbs and McCormick's white chicken chili mix. We found some potato knishes, so we thought we would try those, too. ShopRite has the wild cherry seltzer I enjoy as well.

Hubby studies the soup aisle in every store. He's always looking for bargains, new flavors, and old favorites. He travels to Foodtown now and then just to get Nathan's dill pickles. Fussy guy. :^)

Do you have favorite foods that you would travel out of your way to buy?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

No Snacks

I gave up snacking for Lent. It hasn't been easy--especially since snacktime is a part of my job and at home hubby will sit beside me as we watch the news and have his snack. He is always very generous and offers me some, too. Naturally, when mealtime rolls around I am starving and stuff myself. Still, I have lost a few pounds.

I am not sure this is making me any more spiritual than usual, but I definitely know what it's like to be hungry.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Eyes

I visited the ophthalmologist today. I am not fond of getting my eyes dilated because the rest of the day I can barely see, but since I have only two eyes I do what I can to make sure they are in good working order.

The doctor gave me a new eyeglass prescription. The lens I had for my right eye just wasn't doing the job. I decided to live large and get another frame--the least expensive one I could find, but it does have a few fancy little details. My main concern is being able to see the road signs. I don't want to miss an exit on the Parkway. :^)

My father had to go to the ophthalmologist recently, too. He saw flashing lights in his eye. It was the vitreous gel inside the eye pulling away from the retina--something that evidently happens to a lot of adults. There is a danger since the retina might tear, but his did not. So he got lucky. However, he does have cataracts, but he isn't in any hurry to get them removed. He's going to think about it.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

My Cousin

This is a photo of my cousin Hillbilly. He grew up in a house located on my grandparents' farm in western Pennsylvania. However, he visited with my family for a while and decided he liked the beach--so he stayed. He met his wife on the Parkway--he was hitchhiking and she picked him up. (Hitchhiking is prohibited on the Parkway.) They were married twenty-five years ago. In the photo he is dancing with our Daughter #1 at his wedding.

He was a bit of a daredevil and eventually got his pilot's license and bought his own plane. Twelve years ago, Hillbilly became a paraplegic--in an accident in his own backyard pool. His wife stuck with him until last week when she left him. He went into the hospital with infections in his legs. Hubby and I visited him last Monday. It was a depressing evening. His legs looked dreadful. He was transferred to a rehabilitation center on Friday and today my parents, Daughter #3, and I visited him there. We brought him lots of reading material. His legs looked a bit better. He was talking about selling his house and moving to Delaware--so he seemed to be handling the situation better. Daughter #3 got him laughing.

He may be in the rehabilitation center for a month or maybe two--so we'll be visiting often.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Putting It Together

Hubby loves the King Crab legs and I like shrimp. Every once in a while, we go to a local buffet restaurant where we can both be happy. While hubby was working on his second course, one of my good friends walked into the restaurant. She and her date for the evening had met in the courthouse when they were both getting their divorces several years ago. They were celebrating that anniversary.

After hubby and I had finished our meal, we went over to chat with my friend and her date for a few minutes. As usual, I dug out one of my little book brochures to give to my friend's date. At that point, he began to tell me about his wonderful novel. He had it all organized--every scene all worked out. It just needed to be put together in the right order. He told me it would be easy for me to do.

I smiled and told him that I could not put his book together. My friend, who knows me well, explained to him that I had enough problems just meeting the deadlines I already have.

We went home after that. I wonder if my friend's date will ever put his book in the right order. I know it isn't easy. Writing a book takes time. Writing a good book takes lots of time. I can't write anyone else's book because I am too busy writing my own.