Saturday, May 30, 2009

At Last I Blog!

Who knew it would be so hard to get online in a hotel, when I've done it a thousand times before??? At last, I managed.

BEA (Book Expo America) has been exciting, glamorous, fun--and hard work.

I arrived on Thursday evening, and my wonderful editor, Joan Marlow Golan, was waiting here at my hotel to take me out for a lovely dinner at a wonderful restaurant called The Blue Fin. She had some great news for me, too--I have a little more time to finish "Tate", and she loves what I've written so far. (I'm about halfway through the book.)

Sally came in later that night, and although she's never been to New York, she really took to this town right away. Today, she rode the subway to Queens and back, on her own--how's THAT for adventurous?? But I'm getting ahead of myself.

On Friday, I had a little time to sleep in--I wasn't due over at the convention center until 12:30. At one pm, I signed "Logan" in Harlequin's fabulous booth--decorated by lots of beautiful covers for books being published over the next year, including a HUGE poster of Gideon Yarbro, the hero of my upcoming Stone Creek novel, "The Bridegroom". (Now that the show is over, Harlequin is giving me the poster, and that means the Creeds will be joined on my office wall by another of my hunky heroes!) Following my signing, I returned to the hotel and Sally and I went out exploring--as promised, I headed straight for Kate's Paperie and McKenzie-Childs, and I sure picked up some great stuff.

Last night, there was a wonderful party in Soho--at the OpenHouse Gallery. Now through June 12, this gallery is exhibiting the original paintings of many vintage Harlequin novels, and it was such a kick to see them all and read the blurbs. Of course it was all very glam--they served champagne and all sorts of little nibbles, and I sneaked outside once to have my fortune told by a gypsy. :) That was---interesting. She actually got some stuff right--and we'll have to wait to see if any of the rest comes true.

This morning (Saturday) I was up early again--Joan (my editor) picked me up at 8:15 and we returned to the convention center for another signing. This time, it was advance reading copies (arcs) of "The Bridegroom", and I was out of books in half an hour. At 11:30, I left for lunch with Donna and Loriana, executives and very good friends from Harlequin--they took me to a fabulous Italian restaurant and we swapped yarns and ate linguini and talked a little business, too. I've said it before, and I don't mind saying it again--Harlequin is wonderful to me. They've spoiled me completely. :)

Following lunch, I signed "State Secrets", my 1985 book re-released with an updated cover, as part of the "Famous Firsts" program.

Phew! I sure had fun talking to all those booksellers and librarians (God bless them all) but by the time this event was over, I was one tired cowgirl. Sally and I took a walk, had some dinner here at the hotel, and then I set my mind on finding out how to get this laptop online. A nice man walked me through it over the phone and here I am. :)

Tomorrow, Sally and I are sleeping in. Then we're going to get on one of those double-decker tour buses and see the high-points. This is, as I said, Sally's first trip to New York, and it's my umpteenth. But she'll have to teach me how to navigate the subway, because I've never done it before. :) She's turned into quite the traveler, my sister Sally.

More tomorrow. We're having a blast here in the Big Apple.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New York, New York!

It's a heck of a town. (The Bronx is up and the Bowery's down.)

OK, got the old song out my system!

I leave tomorrow morning, early, so I don't know if I'll get a chance to blog again before I leave, but I will do my darnedest to blog while I'm there.

Today? Writing and packing. These Texas McKettricks are something else--I need to take extra B-12 just to keep up with them. :)

I managed to get a few licks of paint onto my whimsy-table--there's a scene of houses and trees in the center, and I painted in the sky and sponged on some clouds. Still need to water my deck garden, and then I'll be heading for Blue River, Texas, to see what the wild bunch is up to on this beautiful Spring day.

I am under HUGE pressure with this book, and yet I'm enjoying it so much, I can hardly put it into words. I guess this is what it's like to be Not Depressed. :)

It occurs to me, though, that those many cycles of depression, difficult as they were, were a gift, a valueable part of my development. Even if that isn't true, it's more fun to think so.

Stay tuned. I'll be back.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Becoming Myself

Greetings from the book factory! I'm telling you, the first book in next year's Texas McKettricks trilogy is flowing like crazy--I can barely keep up. It's literally as though the story is being downloaded into my brain, and all I have to do is be there to watch it unfold and write it down. The experience is remarkable--with all my years of writing, I've never seen quite this phenomenon before. Some books are easy, some books are difficult, and "Tate" doesn't fall into either category. I'm working hard--probably too hard--but it's so magical. I am filled with exhausted joy! (The Texas McKettricks will be released by HQN in February, March and April of 2010.)

My deck garden is thriving, and I managed to plant my dinner-plate dahlias and some shasta daisies over the weekend. I also put a few more touches on that whimsical table I was telling you about. It is gloriously imperfect and lookin' good.

Recently, my wise mother said I am becoming myself, with all this planting and watering, painting and planning. I like that. My first reaction to this sudden fascination with flowers, herbs and vegetables was, I'm getting old. Well, if this is getting old, I like it. (Don't forget, I'll be flying a fighter jet sometime in August--my daughter's gift to me, for my 60th birthday in June. Old? I don't think so!)

Last winter, during my meltdown, I wouldn't have thought it was possible to be this happy. Every day is a joy to me now, a celebration, an adventure.

I am beyond grateful.

What is happening to me? I'm developing so many new interests--and deepening old ones. I'm determined to brush up on my Spanish so I can converse with the locals in their own language next March, in Barcelona. Barcelona! Yee-haw.

I'm learning to make soap and those fizzy bath "bombs" I love.

I've ordered a second tomato tree to grow squash and cucumbers--there's a salad growing on my deck, except for the lettuce! Jitterbug and Cha-Cha are getting high on the catnip I planted--funny to watch them cavort like kittens again.

On Thursday, I'll be off to New York for BEA, and although I plan to blog, there might be a gap, so hang in there. I will keep you posted on all my adventures. I'm so excited to see Wonder Editor, Joan, KO and Marleah, Donna and Craig and Loriana, and all the rest of my Harlequin pals. Truly, there isn't a better bunch in the business! I hope to cross paths with Debbie Macomber, too, and catch up on all that's been going on in our busy lives.

Yes, I'm becoming my true and authentic self--or, more properly, more my true and authentic self--a direct result, methinks, of getting older and thus more mature. (And, please God, wiser.) I'll always be a cowgirl--that's in my blood. But I'm discovering so many things I didn't know about myself--I am a gardener, a fighter pilot (!), a future speaker of Spanish. (Rosetta Stone.)

Heaven only knows who ELSE I am.

To be continued!

Friday, May 22, 2009

It's REALLY Friday? ALREADY???

What a week this has been. There are things I would change about it--like coming down with a one-day flu bug and losing a whole day because Sadie was listless and needed to visit her regular vet--but hey, it is what it is.

I just learned that Sally is coming to New York with me--I'm going there for Book Expo America, hereafter referred to as BEA. :) My writing schedule is absolutely break-neck--I will probably be writing in my hotel room in between signings, lunches, dinners and, of course, shopping. I will definitely hit my two favorite stores in the Big Apple--Kate's Paperie and McKenzie-Childs. Having my travelin' buddy along will make it all even better.

My flowers are flourishing. I was guilty of some overwatering, a common beginner's mistake, but I've got that under control now.

Yesterday, on breaks, I met a small but important goal--I've learned to upload photos and will soon be setting up a place on the web to show my art work and some general photographs, so stay tuned.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. Most of us will be honoring loved ones who have passed over the river. While I certainly miss my dad, I intend to focus on how grateful I am to have had him for a father. I will remember the times we laughed, his strength and pride in his home, his family, his friends and his country. He grew the best flowers, waves of color all through the season, and took bouqets to various "girlfriends" in Grand Coulee--bank tellers, store clerks, and anyone who happened to be struggling in some way, especially with illness.

I love you, Dad. Semper fi.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Sally Jean!

Today is my "baby" sister Sal's birthday--because I love her (and because she's nine years younger than I am) I won't tell you her age. :)

Sally is a beautiful woman, inside and out, and a great travelin' buddy. We visited London and Paris last year, and Prague this year. Next March, we're going to Barcelona (sunshine and warmth) and wherever else we can travel from there via train or bus. We are adventurous! Prague was beyond beautiful, and we had so much fun--you should have seen her face when we ordered lunch at an outdoor cafe near the city's famous clock and her trout came with the head still on! She tried to cope--draped her napkin over the fish head so it wouldn't stare at her and forked in back by the tail. :) The effort failed, but she gave it the old college try.

As a little girl, Sally had golden hair and huge blue eyes. I was so proud of her that once, during a church program, overhearing the women in the next pew commenting on how cute she was, I blurted out, "That's my sister!"

After all these years, I still feel that way.

I want to tell the world.

That's my sister.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's So Good to Be Back

You never really appreciate something--in my case, internet service--until you lose it!

Things are perking right along on my part of this glorious planet--I've got two varieties of tomatoes and a zuchinni growing in my Tomato Tree, and the pines down in the draw are glowing with the richest, shiniest green imaginable. The lavender has already had to be transplanted once; I think it plans on taking over the whole deck.

I was in bed with a minor flu yesterday--I watched "The Strange Case of Benjamin Button" on my video iPod and really enjoyed it. (I'll watch Brad Pitt do practically anything.) It's been a long time since I've liked a movie that much.

The plants are flourishing in their pots, and time allowing, I will put my dinner-plate dahlias in the flowerbed, eager to see them make a spectacle of themselves. :)

It's all good.

I'll be spending time with the Texas McKettricks today--and I'll be sure to tell them you say hello. :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Internet Restored!

I haven't been able to get online since the weekend. Today, my friend Chris fixed the problem.

I was down with the flu all day (not the Swine variety) and feel better.

I'll have a blog up tomorrow morning.

Thanks for your patience.

Friday, May 15, 2009

P-Day at Last!

TODAY I can finally plant my tomatoes and dahlias as, presumably, all danger of frost is past. Of course it's always a crap-shoot--a beloved cousin and highly experienced gardener once told me she'd seen a freeze on August 18!

An intrepid sort, I plan to live on the edge and go ahead with my plans. Rest assured, there will be an accounting here on this blog on Monday. :)

Today--which is beautiful here, by the way--is first and foremost a writing day, but I've got some art projects underway as well, and I sneak off to my humble but spacious studio on breaks, to slap a dab of paint on this or that. My table is coming along so well--the legs and sides are finished now, and I'm putting (very carefully) a black and beige checked pattern around the edges of the top. I definitely plan to paint a scene in the middle--houses and trees, methinks. Maybe some flowers. I bought 2 chairs yesterday, and they will be painted to coordinate with the table. I do LOVE the unfinished furniture store. I also purchased a small, sturdy table that will be perfect for my polymer clay work. I will paint that table, too, probably in bright colors, although I may not do any decorative work on the top.

My office/studio area is quite large, and there is a little kitchenette area (I don't cook, except to make coffee, and use the sink to wash brushes)where I plan to put the table and chairs. Many a cup of tea will be sipped at that table, and many a story plotted. My giant picture of the Creed boys will provide plenty of inspiration, I'm sure.

Stay tuned for updates on the tomatoes and the zuchinni, the dahlias and the zinnias.

I hope you will make the most of your weekend, and enjoy it as much as I intend to enjoy mine.

Keep smiling.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Showers for Flowers

I'm being philosophical today. It's raining. AGAIN.

I've decided to see these showers as the blessings they truly are. As one of those wildly fortunate people who don't have to commute, I certainly have no room to complain. The rain will water the trees and flowers and decrease the fire hazard that is always a consideration for country folks like myself. It will soften the ground, making it easy to dig tomorrow--P-Day! (P is for Planting) Tomorrow I can finally put my zinnias and hydrangeas in the ground. I can load up my tomato thingy and start looking forward to decent tomato and Miracle Whip sandwiches, which I love. The tomatoes in the grocery stores taste like cardboard to anyone raised on the fruits of a good old-fashioned garden.

I have declared this day: COZY. I will light a fire. Between drafting scenes of "Tate", I will dab paint on my whimsical table, perhaps put a touch of color here and there on a new piece I've started. I will drink tea, play with the dogs and cats, and look forward to the four days of beautiful weather the man on TV promised this morning. If I meet my page quota, I might even visit the unfinished furniture store again. After all, what good is a whimsical table without whimsical chairs to match.

Deciding I need a little more twinkle in my life, I ordered a beautiful silk bamboo plant. It is standing in a corner of my bedroom right now, and I plan to string lights on it. I might use the little 'fairy' lights, or the larger ones I found at Target.

You just never know with me.

I'm wild and I'm crazy.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Seeds and Soil

As you regulars know, I've been planting things like crazy lately, and getting the biggest kick out of the whole messy process! My tomato stand arrived, and it's all put together, ready for two tomato plants and a zuchinni start--according to local gardening wisdom, it's safe to plant on Friday, with all danger of frost hopefully behind us, and I can hardly to wait to start my upside-down vegetable growing career. :)

I planted two zuchinni seeds in an aluminum can about a week and a half ago, and waited breathlessly for the shoot to break ground. Since the plants are in a sunny window in my kitchen, in direct view of the place I sit to write my Morning Pages and journal my prayers, I suppose it was inevitable that a simple but profound insight would eventually come.

It did. It occurred to me that while the surface of that dirt didn't change for days, that didn't mean nothing was happening underneath! From there it was easy to spot the correlation; lots of times, our hopes, dreams and goals are like that. We've planted a mental seed, a prayer or an intention or a desire, and we watch for it to sprout, eagerly at first. Nothing changes, or so it seems, because we don't have x-ray vision, and we may start to lose interest. We are conditioned to expect instant gratification, what with all the technological advances we enjoy, but the truth is that all of nature, from galaxies to the humblest seeds scattered by the wind, works by PROCESSES.

It makes sense to me that spiritual 'soil' functions in the same way. We plant a seed, and the magic begins--usually a SLOW magic. The Bible says there is a season for every purpose under heaven--seed-time and harvest. Let's try keeping the faith in between, shall we? Let's weed and water, but not hover, trying to will something to happen.

Plant something today. Tend the soil with prayer and calm faith. Pull up the weeds (negative thoughts, doubts, etc.), and water with the knowledge that the universe is a place of staggering abundance. Most of all, have patience.

Although I've had a lot of quick answers to prayers, for the most part, God doesn't seem to be into Instant Messaging. :) He doesn't text.

But when a seed is planted in good soil, it GROWS.

Think about it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Whimsical Table

I spent last weekend potting plants purchased on Saturday morning, at Lowe's. The place was a madhouse. :) Still, I ended up with mini-dahlias, a pink azalea, some lavender, a few marigolds, etc. The next day I was at Fred Meyer, purchasing more potting soil. As a newbee at this gardening thing, I have trouble estimating how much dirt I'm going to need. According to this morning's weather report, we're going to get a freeze tonight, so I'll be hauling all those pots into the kitchen late this afternoon. Good thing I resisted the urge to jump the gun and plant things in the ground.

I bought an unfinished wooden table some time ago--I think I mentioned it on this blog--and it sat in the garage for weeks. Finally, I asked members of the ranch crew to bring it downstairs, to my office, where I'm writing this, and MORE weeks passed. I was waiting for just the right idea, though I had a vague concept that I wanted it to look McKenzie-Childs-ish. With lots of bright colors, stripes, checks (I am passionate about checkerboard designs) and polka dots. Once I basecoated the table with antique ivory, the floodgates opened! Now it has one blue leg, one gold, one green, and one pink. I applied polka dots (blue on green, etc.) with the eraser end of a pencil, a trick I've seen on many a craft show. The sides are the forementioned colors, with gold stripes, painted freehand and (I like to think) charmingly folksy. (Read: uneven) The top will be black and cream checks, and I may or may not add houses and trees. :) Although the piece is far from finished, it lifts my heart every time I look at it.

One thing leads to another. Now I'm thinking: chairs. :)

Sadie has lost 11 pounds even, as of yesterday!

And now, to work. Those Texas McKettricks are up to mischief.

Tomorrow: what I learned from my zinnia seedlings.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Daughter

I have the best daughter! She and beau-Jeremy sent beautiful pinkish-peach roses and luxurious bath gear for Mother's Day, and we talked for well over an hour on the telephone yesterday, catching up. She's a writer, too, so we always talk shop and sometimes commiserate, I admit.

Wendy is wonderful for many reasons--she was a sensitive, creative child--once, at about nine years of age, she put on a black nighty of mine, placed an advent wreath on her head, and danced around the kitchen until I was laughing so hard, I cried. (It was a time in my life when I needed a laugh.)

She loves animals--always adopts. Her cat, Quintan, of undetermined age, has been with her since she attended theatre school in New York many moons ago. He has to have an IV once a week, administered by the stalwart Jeremy, but is otherwise amazingly healthy for such an elderly gentleman. She is still mourning the passing of her 11 year old dog, Bailey; he's been gone for nearly a year now but of course lives in our hearts and memories. He was such a sweet soul.

Wendy and I are close, as you might already have ascertained. :) My birthday is coming up in a month, and she's giving me two great presents. The first, what I most wished for, is a visit. The second, brace yourself, is an adventure and the fulfillment of an old dream. I'm going to be a top-gun! Going up in a fighter jet, with a trained ace, naturally, where I will learn to dog-fight!

Surprised? When asked what I would be if I could be anything at all, my answer is always, "A Jedi knight." I am thrilled with this gift, but even more, I am touched that my daughter remembers it and is taking steps to make it come true. For one day, I will be an ace. There will be a video taken, inside the cockpit, and by hook or by crook, I will get that up on the website so you can participate, too. It doesn't happen until August, though, so you'll have to be patient. And so will I.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

A salute to all the mothers out there--especially mine. :)

Thank you for always being there when I came home from school, and for listening patiently to all the chatter as I recounted my day.

Thank you for the Nancy Drew books, for "Jane Eyre" and "Girl of the Limberlost" and "Anne of Green Gables". Because of you, I love to read, and there are few greater gifts.

Thank you for letting me stay home sick when Michael Landon was on "Hollywood Squares"--even though you knew I was faking it and for bending the 'in bed by nine on a schoolnight' rule when "Bonanza" moved to Sunday nights. After all these years, not counting Dad, Little Joe Cartwright is still my great love.

Thank you for making me go to Sunday school and memorize Bible verses. Those verses have come in handy ever since.

Thank you for macaroni and tomatoes, and Lipton soup with those little noodles in it.

Thank you for not telling me to get out of your hair when I was writing "novels" in pencil, in all those spiral notebooks.

Thank you for shimmering, magical Christmas trees and warm chocolate chip cookies and juicy watermelon in summer.

Thank you for all those candy bars tucked into suitcases when I was away from home, and missing you.

Thank you for paper dolls and homemade Halloween costumes and all the things you did to foster my wild imagination.

Most of all, thank you for loving me--even when we had our differences. Especially then.

I love you.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Busy, busy, busy!

And I love it that way.

As usual, I wrote my Morning Pages as soon as the dogs had been out, come in again, and given their strange but healthful breakfast. What a mixture! Green tea, canned pumpkin, string beans, kibble, and lean ground turkey. Yum-O, as Rachel Ray would say. (Not.)

Being a writer, I write my prayers. I guess this means God reads, instead of listens, at least in my case. :) I had to smile, remembering a prayer I once read: "Lord, keep Your arm around my shoulders and Your hand over my mouth." Good advice for me--right up there with Thy will be done.

You might wonder what I pray for, since I am already so blessed. I pray for peace and plenty for all living creatures. I pray that the oceans will be healed. I pray for strength and wisdom and a quiet mind, for ideas. I pray for the courage to speak my truth, but do so kindly, and with fairness and respect. Mostly, I say Thank You.

Once I've finished talking to the Boss, I write a little letter to the band of angels who watch over me and mine. Today, I asked them to pass on some thank you's to loved ones who've gone on to the other side. I asked my dad to take special care of the Buckaroo when his time comes, and make sure he knows where the good and faithful horses are supposed to stand. I told Gramma Wiley how much I loved her stories and her home-baked pies and the way she made a place for everybody in that tiny ranch house outside of Northport, and I told Grampa thanks for the limericks (he made them up off the top of his head, custom-designed for the recipient) and for the mischievous twinkle in his blue eyes. And you know what? I really think they got the messages.

Today, I will write. Sadie will go to swimming lessons. The zinnias will get a little taller. :)

I can't help drawing parallels between prayers and seeds--I'm a writer, it's what I do. Draw parallels, look for connections. A prayer is like a seed--something beautiful and useful can grow from the tiniest of them both, if loved and nurtured. A smile is like a seed, too, and so is a kind word. We might never know what a difference it made to some person or lost and helpless creature.

Make a difference, today. Say a prayer.

Plant a seed.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Sunflower Bouquets

As I write this, I am looking out over the beautiful draw behind my house. Wild sunflowers are blooming, all over the place, in perfect clumps that look like bouquets. I don't remember them from last summer, which just goes to show you how easy it is to take natural beauty for granted.

And who knew there were so many varieties of sunflowers? I am particularly intrigued by a kind called Mexican--the petals are bright orange. There are many kinds of zinnias, too, I am discovering. I have pinwheels, puffs, and 'cactus flower' seeds. I sure hope my deck doesn't collapse under the weight of all those planters!

This morning, it was time to thin out the zinnia shoots. It was hard for me to pluck those poor little green sprouts out of their pots, but it's necessary, of course, if the strong ones are to have room to grow and thrive. I think there is a bigger lesson here--for me, at least. I have a lot of plans and goals, but as I get older, I'm beginning to realize that I need to weed some of them out, if my highest priorities are to be fulfilled.

I'm getting to know Tate, the eldest of the three Texas McKettrick brothers, and I like what I see. This is a man with a lot of challenges to deal with.

Us to Tate:
Join the club, cowboy.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Spring Weather

I am much more reconciled to the weather than I used to be! :) OK, I love sunshine, but we're having rain in Spokane, both today and tomorrow. Rain to make my dahlias and tomatoes and zinnias grow! My upside-down tomato growing thing-a-majig is on it's way--YES!

When I discover a new passion--in this case, gardening--I tend to get carried away. I'm already casting a speculative eye over an area of lawn over by the shop. Thinking of having the grass rototilled under, replaced with a row or two of corn, some salad makings, and a LOT of flowers. Because of the deer and the moose, I would need a high fence to protect my garden, and the big question is, would I actually garden? Would I water and weed? Well, I can't exactly say right now, so I've decided to see how I manage the smaller projects this year and, if the passion holds, till and build the fence in the fall.

If that sounds like I've changed my mind about moving, well, maybe I have. I still plan on being a snowbird, along with my dogs and cats. (The horses would be tended by my cousin, Steve, or sent to a certain stable I have good reason to trust, as it's too dangerous to transport them any real distance, and Buck couldn't manage it.)

Miss Sadie-beagle has her therapy today. Honestly, she looks so good. Trim and energetic--except for the graying in her muzzle (she'll be 10 this October), she looks like a pup.

I believe the economy is on the upswing. I believe we will come out of this bigger and better than ever, as a nation, and hopefully a little wiser, too.

Great gifts often come to us disguised as challenges. Fortunately, as a people, we thrive on challenges. We keep on keeping on. We show up.

It's who we are.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Farmer Linda

I am really getting into this planting thing! I've marked the 15th of May on my calendar as the day it's safe to transfer bulbs into the good ole Washington State dirt. (I was raised on vegetables grown in this rich soil--my dad, as I've mentioned, was an avid gardener.) I've ordered one of those Tomato Trees (it's on back-order, so lots of other people must have the same idea) that grow things upside down, on the deck, and have two plants waiting on a sunny windowsill to go in. I even started a zucchini plant in a tin can so I can grow squash from the third part of the tree-thingy. And my zinnia seeds are already sprouting in their little plastic greenhouses. I have 30 acres here.


What wealth! With all the worry in the world today, it's good to remember that when you plant a seed in the Good Earth and tend it properly, something nourishing, either to the body (vegetables) or the spirit (flowers) WILL grow!

I see by the news that the Swine Flu isn't going to turn into a Biblical-scale pestilence after all. I knew all along it wouldn't, despite some interesting symptoms of my own, attributed to insipient hypochondria . :) The media probably got tired of droning on and on about the economy, which will, I promise, recover, and decided to scare us all with a plague instead. Honestly, those people should think about getting real jobs. :) It all makes me think of that Charlie Brown cartoon, where all the kids and Snoopy are going over a waterfall in a rubber raft, their heads turned straight up, their mouths open wide, shouting, "We're all gonna die!"

Poppycock. We will thrive, because we're Americans, and that's what Americans do. A dose of adversity every once in a while only makes us stronger.

Be happy today. Be grateful. The earth is still turning. Seed time and harvest are still rolling right along. Get your hands dirty; plant something. As my old daddy used to say, any day when you can roll out of bed and put your feet on the floor is a GOOD day. So many people would give anything just to be able to do that.

I have another radio interview in half an hour, with Butch Bare of radio KBSN-AM, out of Moses Lake, WA. I always enjoy talking to Butch. After that, I will write.

Life is good. Jump in there and be part of it.

Monday, May 04, 2009


I received lovely ATCs from Sharon Lee Johnson, Sally Corbett, and Nina Petry.

Thanks, cowgirls! Your cards are on the way....

Good Morning, Book Fans

We are having the most beautiful weather imaginable here in Spokane! I am LOVING it. The big blizzard of 08 seems like ancient history.

Some of my zinnia seeds have already sprouted, and one of my dahlia bulbs has shoots on it already, too.

The party for Aunt Billie didn't happen. I'm not sure why. Crossed wires, I suppose. In any case, I will call her tomorrow, on the day, to wish her a very special one, and Mom and I plan to drive up to the ranch one day soon to sit and visit with our favorite cowgirl.

I did three radio interviews this morning, all before 6:30 a.m. Good thing I'm an early riser--I had the best time. I'll be working on the new book today, and that's just the way I like it. Sadie has her exercise program--she is downright SVELTE!

I bought a Wii this weekend, and plan to play virtual tennis for some exercise of my own. I hear it's a lot of fun, and gives one a real workout.

I'm a fan of the television show, "Ghost Whisperer", but I've got to tell you, I'm disappointed in the storyline, big-time. The central relationship, the marriage between Melinda and Jim-the-perfect-man, has been botched. Jim was shot and now he's in some other guy's body. Yeesh. I'm hanging in there until the season finale, but if they don't fix what's wrong, I'm so out of there, it isn't funny. Why is it that Hollywood doesn't 'get' romance? Why don't they try consulting romance novelists? We know that, whatever else you do, you just don't mess with the love interest.

Go figure.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Chicken Soup and Spring Fever

There's a lot of truth in the claims that homemade chicken soup is theraputic. I made a pot yesterday, and feel lots better.

The weather here is glorious, and it gave me quite a case of Spring Fever. I bought zinnia seeds yesterday--my dad used to grow them in fabulous splashes of vivid color. They make wonderful bouquets, too. Maybe I'll do some container gardening, like my beloved editor and dear friend, Joan. It would seem that my gardening genes are finally kicking in--past a certain age, most Laels become avid growers of flowers and vegetables. My uncle, Larry Lael, runs a wonderful nursery near Olympia, Washington, with his lovely wife, Bethany.

Svelte Sadie is off to her exercise class--she gets the weekend off, and I'm sure she's looking forward to some beagle-snoozing. :)

I plan to polish my prologue and first chapter today, and shop for a new microwave tomorrow. Sunday, of course, is Aunt Billie's 90th Birthday Bash. She's going strong--my cousin caught her rototilling the garden recently. There is nothing that woman doesn't know about horses and things that spring from the soil.

She's definitely someone to celebrate.