Thursday, September 30, 2010

It Can't Be Thursday Already!

Can it? :)

Very much looking forward to this weekend's family reunion. There will definitely be stories to tell.

I worked yesterday, and enjoyed it immensely. Bought some yellow long stemmed roses at the grocery store, just because they're beautiful. That color! Anyway, ChaCha kitty likes them, too--to eat.

Fall. It is SO gorgeous. No wonder it's my favorite season. Today is sunny, but so far cool, with that special crispness in the air that always makes me feel festive.

Today: more writing, possibly some art work, and Sister Sally arriving this afternoon or tonight. Sister Pam is already in town, at our mom's house, and it sounds like they're having fun ahead of time. Jerry can't make it this year, but 3 out of 4 isn't bad, I guess. :)

That's the news.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Blogging On

The weather is lovely today--even as I write this, the Canadian Wrangler is out mowing my lawn. :) Don't you just love the smell of fresh-cut grass?

The new office is working out very, very well. There are no distractions, even though the former dining room is in the flow. Bernice loves to hang out with me in there--she's always happy when I light somewhere and she can keep an eye on me.

I'm writing Chapter 5 today, of "Creed's Honor", that is. I'm having so much fun with this book--and I can't believe how fast it's going.

I'm looking forward to seeing my big unruly family this weekend at the reunion, as you know. They're crazy, but they're mine.

And that's the news.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

There's a Lot to Love About Tuesday

Here are some things I love about the second day of the work week:

1. "That's Clever" records on my Tivo. :) There are SO not enough arts and craft shows on TV. Now that Carol Duvall is gone, it's a pretty barren landscape. What's that about, DIY and HGTV? There are one or two viewers out here who are not renovating an old house to "flip", you know.

2. New books and DVDs are released on Tuesdays. "Willow", for instance. :)

3. Having started a new writing week on Monday, I'm usually rolling by Tuesday. I love the new office--and the New Book.

4. Sadie doesn't have to go to her exercise program. I miss her when she's away from home.

5. Tuesday, like the other six days of the week, is a DAY. A precious gift from God, to be lived to the fullest and deeply appreciated. Not everybody gets one, after all.

And that's the news.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Willow Etc.

Tomorrow, one of my early books, "Willow", comes out with a new cover and some updating and revision. It's essentially the same story, but longer and more in depth.

On the home front, I'm learning to take my blood pressure every morning. And I'm a wimp--it hurts. Sometimes, though, a cowgirl's got to just tough-up, as my dad would have said. :)

I had a very relaxing weekend. Mostly, I played with my art supplies, but I confess I did play a few slots over at Northern Quest, too.

Today will be a writing day.

Looking forward to the annual Lael Family Reunion next weekend. I hear cowboy-cousin JayDee will be there, with his guitar and some CDs. Yeehaw! I'm a big JayDee fan. :)

And that's the news from my kitchen table on this promising Monday morning.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Beautiful Friday

More sunshine! Yes!

Today the new office I told you about yesterday will be outfitted with a desk and chair. Starting Monday, I'll be writing in the former dining room. It has a window looking out toward the pasture, but the main reason I like it is because it is both in the flow of things going on out here on the Triple L and yet a little out of the way, too. The reality? I write wherever I feel like writing--sometimes downstairs, sometimes upstairs, sometimes right here at the kitchen table.

I haven't mentioned the d.i.e.t. recently, so here's a report. I'm following the Common Sense Plan. :) And it's working.

Here's wishing you a wonderful, happy weekend.

May you be blessed--and be a blessing.

And that's the news.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday? Already????

Time flies when you're having fun. And I am definitely having fun writing "Creed's Honor", which is book 2 in the 2011 trilogy. I haven't had much extra time for art, because by the time I finish, I'm pretty much worn out--but happy.

Sadie is snoozing away beside me, on one of the many dogbeds scattered throughout this big house. :) Bernice is probably upstairs, on my bed, and the cats are somewhere plotting mayhem. :)

I'm changing offices--again. Trail Boss Mary Ann repainted the dining room, which hasn't been used more than once since I moved here, and we're bringing in a desk and some other furniture from the lake house. The long, heavy dining table is in the living room now, and it looks great! The new computer will be moved in, too, of course--the one that is for writing ONLY and has no internet connection. (I confess that I sometimes waste time checking out eBay and etsy.) The original computer remains downstairs, near the craft room, and definitely online. I have an enormous collection of digial collage images and an Epson printer that I love, love, love. And now that I've found those cool new apps I told you about, on my iPhone, I'll be having some fun turning photos to sketches, etc.

For now, though, I'll be journaling and heading for the computer to meet up with Conner Creed and Tricia McCall in lovely Lonesome Bend, Colorado.

The sun is shining. YES!

And that's the news.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I'm Really Rolling!

This new book is SO much fun to write. I can hardly wait to get to my computer, and it's hard to tear myself away when I'm finished. That's the way I like it. :)

The weather has been all over the map lately--this morning we have another lovely blast of sunshine. By afternoon, there may be rain, and a cozy fire blazing on the hearth. Who knows?

Bernice and the kitties and I are holding down the fort today. Sadie went off to her exercise class with Mary Ann, Jen is on holiday in Canada, and Larry the Wrangler is out in the barn. Banjo isn't making so much noise now that he has a special boot on his sore hoof and doesn't have to stay inside the stall. He really did NOT like that. :) The other members of the band were out there having fun and eating hay. He felt abused.

As if.

I spent a couple of hours last night playing with photo apps on my iPhone. Amazing. My favorite so far is Sketchme, which turns photographs to drawings. HOW much fun is that????
Soon I'll be posting some of them for you to see, and they'll be great on ATCs. (Artist trading cards. Someone always asks what an ATC is. :))

So that's the news from my kitchen table for Wednesday, September 22, 2010. Be happy.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


This Tuesday is off to a beautiful, sun-splashed start. This is the kind of weather that makes me LOVE the autumn season. I won't rhapsodize, having already done so in a previous blog, but suffice it to say, I feel almost festive today. I'm eager to get back to Lonesome Bend, Colorado, where Conner Creed and Tricia McCall are already striking sparks. :)

Banjo came home from his second stay at the veterinary hospital yesterday, this time with an abcess in one hoof, and he's been raising a fuss in his stall ever since because he wants to run around the pasture with the rest of the herd. Vet says no, however. Banjo Man needs to do a little more healing first. The way he whinnies and complains, you'd think he was being poked with a stick. Larry, the Canadian Wrangler, is happy to have his little band all together again, for sure. Horses have such powerful energy that when one of them is away, I can actually feel it. I think I'd know, even without looking, if one of my hayburners went missing.

I've been decorating--sort of a combination of Halloween and Thanksgiving. :) It's a lot of fun, and Hobby Lobby is more than happy to supply me with cute accent pieces. So far, the big theme is pumpkins, but there are also some pilgrims and natives hanging around.

My buddy Chris has been straightening out the craft room downstairs. Yeehaw! I can actually FIND stuff. Right now, I'm working on ATCs, as always, and a journal made from an ordinary composition book. As I've said before, the fun for me is in the discoveries, the experiments, whether they fail or succeed. It's a win-win.

And that's the news from my kitchen table.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hello, Monday Morning

We're having another overcast day here in Spokane, but I don't mind. It's the kind of day when one might put a pot of split pea soup on the stove, light the fireplace, and give thanks for warmth and shelter and plenty (often too much) to eat. The dogs are snoozing, having had their breakfast, and the cats have retired to some remote part of the house to plot kitty mischief. They love to bring me presents in the night--I often awaken to find a packet of stickers or buttons or some other small item from the craft room (two full flights of stairs must be traversed to accomplish this), a bit of packing tape, or an empty ziplock bag. It touches my heart and invariably makes me smile.

Over the weekend, I bought groceries, visited Hobby Lobby, and played some slots over at the casino. I also did some work on the current crop of ATCs. (Artist trading cards.)

Today I'll be working on "Creed's Honor" and having my photo taken for an article in Spokane's own "Prime" magazine.

And that's the news from my kitchen table.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Again?

I started the new book yesterday! YES. "Creed's Honor" is underway, and I will be forging on.

There was a blog clog yesterday--between the excitement of starting another story and a fairly routine doctor's appointment, I just plain spaced it out.

I'm having a ball making Halloween themed ATCs (artist trading cards)--it's lots of fun. I'm in a big trade, the 20 card mega-trade on Swapbot, and I've been working on those cards in my spare time for days. I started by cutting 20 pieces of that faux-tin-tile wallpaper I found on eBay, and gluing it down to the cards, then weighting them. I've applied three different layers of slow drying glaze--if they turn out, I'll post a picture here. If they DON'T turn out, I may take up drinking. Just kidding, folks.

Finally solved the dog-pill problem--Sadie and Bernice can't resist pill pouches.

The Banjo Man, my gelding bad-boy, was back at the vet's again, as he developed a hoof abcess. Little (big) stinker. He loves to worry his mama and cost her as much money as possible. I'm glad to say he'll be back home later today.

Folks and critters are always coming and going around here--Jen is off to Canada for holidays with family and friends. After the summer she's put in, schlepping me to the ER and back and forth to clinics when I broke my wrist, among other duties, she's definitely ready to get off the ranch for a while.

We have cloudy skies today. I love it.

Make it a good weekend.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hair Emergency Handled

As I've mentioned, this is a catch-up week for me. I'm doing a lot of things I put off while I was finishing the book. Yesterday, I wrote up a quite extensive outline for Book 2, "Creed's Honor", and sent it off to my beloved editor, and then headed for the hair salon.

Now, I've gotta tell you, I HATE anything that involves sitting in one chair for a couple of hours--and dental work and hair poofing are at the top of my list--(odd, considering that I earn my living on a computer, but that's different, because I can get up and walk around, do something else for a few minutes, etc.) It's a case of "This too shall pass". When it's (finally) over, I have healthy teeth or decent-looking hair to show for it. One doctor appointment to go--the other is being rescheduled because the surgeon has a conflict--and I can check off those items.

I guess this is my day to ramble. Did I ever mention that I LOVE lists as much as I HATE sitting still for long periods of time? :) When I can check something off a to-do list, it gives me that gold-star feeling from grade school. Go figure.

I made a log book to keep track of my ATC trades--I belong to several different groups--and it's very handy. Now, I'm thinking I need one for the new book...

I may end up organized after all.

Or not.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Another Beautiful Day

Fall has always been my favorite season, at least here in my home state of Washington. There aren't many leafy trees on the "ranch"--in my mind, 30 acres isn't a ranch--but the drive to Northport, around endless curves in the mighty Columbia River, is breathtaking when the leaves are changing. And that road, wherever I live, will always be the road home.

I love fall because:

School starts. As a student, I was always happy when it was time to wear new shoes and crack open a new notebook. I loved everything about it. As a mom, it was exciting for different reasons. :)

The weather is perfect. Sunny, but not hot.

Crops are harvested. We live in such an abundant country.

Halloween is approaching. I love the whimsical decorations, and I'm participating in at least one ATC swap with a Halloween theme. I have so many happy memories of trick or treating in Northport--it was safe to visit every single house in town, and some of us did just that. When the treats ran low, people gave out things like slices of apple pie, advertising premiums, whatever they happened to have around the house.

When I was young, there was a rummage sale/chili feed every year, near the end of October, and folks looked forward to it for the other eleven months, lining up outside for the door to open so they could snatch up the stuff their friends and neighbors had donated. I forget the cause they were raising money to support. I bought a pair of cowboy boots for 5 cents once, broken down and a size or two too big, but my mother made me throw them away. ("You'll ruin your feet!"--the shoe equivalent, evidentally, of "It's all fun and games until somebody puts out an eye!")

I'm including some of these elements in the new book. Can't wait to welcome you to Lonesome Bend, Colorado.

And that's the news from the ranchita.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Good Morning Everybody!

Welcome to Monday. I'm happy to be here, aren't you? :)

It was a quiet weekend here--just what I needed. I didn't get much reading done, but I did some art work and some grocery shopping and a LOT of thinking about the new book.

I'm off to California next month to speak at Orange County Romance Writers of America--they always put on a good shindig. Looking forward to that, big-time, and daughter Wendy will be joining me. Have I mentioned (bragged?) that Wendy is a talented writer in her own right--her first movie, "Truth Below", will appear on MTV next spring. I'm so proud of her.

My wrist still gets sore sometimes, especially if I overdo it, but I'm grateful to have it in working order again. Not so long ago, I would have had to wear a plaster cast for 8 weeks. Yikes.

Lots of appointments this week--if I don't get my hair done I will be eligible for Federal Disaster Funds--and I'm also seeing two doctors and one dentist. Not to worry, pardners. It's all routine stuff--the kind of thing that piles up when I'm 100 percent focused on a book. :)

The dogs are snoozing and it looks like we're in for one of those beautiful autumn days, bright sunshine, but not too hot.


That's the news from this end of the ranch.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Late Start

I admit it. I was out on the town last night--so to speak--Sylvia Brown appeared at the casino out in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Since the place is in the middle of nowhere, 'out on the town' would be stretching things.

It was a fun evening, and very entertaining. Whatever your opinion of Ms. Brown may be, she is funny, and I enjoy her.

I'm gearing up to start the new book, "Creed's Honor", which stars one of my identical twin cowboy-hunk heroes--Brody will be next, with "Creed's Legacy." I just love to write about twins, especially the identical kind. They fascinate me.

Also, I'm catching up on some ATC trades--got behind on those, as I probably mentioned.

If I have any spare time left over, I plan to spend it reading Tony Blair's book.

Tomorrow is September 11, and I will be observing that day with reverence and with an ever-growing appreciation for the spirit and courage of the American people.

Still ourselves, after 9 years. Go figure.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Pedal Blog

Believe it or not, I can now exercise while I blog! I bought a nifty little elliptical machine from QVC (you KNOW I love gadgets) and I placed it under the desk where I'm writing this entry--and I'm pedalling away even as we "speak".

Still celebrating around here--"A Creed in Stone Creek" is finished, and I'll soon be moving on to the second book, "Creed's Honor." I went to the casino yesterday and I've got to admit, my right wrist is paying the price for pushing all those buttons.

Working on ATCs--I got behind on that just as I did on virtually everything else--and looking forward to attending a special event tonight.

I hope those of you who are so inclined will join me in offering a prayer that September 11 will pass peacefully. Seems to me, this year it's particularly dangerous, with tempers running high. May God's peace prevail.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


"A Creed in Stone Creek" is finished, as of today, and I must say, as many obstacles as I had to surmount this time around, I wouldn't change a thing. (Okay, maybe I could have lightened up on the creative angst a little!) But I'm a firm believer that, most of the time, things turned out exactly as they're supposed to. As I've said before, saying good-bye to the characters in a book I've poured my heart and soul into (and that's ALL of them) is a lot like sending a child away to college. There is joy and a sense of accomplishment, but there is also a bittersweet feeling of, "Now what?"

A new book, of course. :)

But for today, I'm resting on my laurels. (If having a dental appointment can be counted as a form of celebration.)

The weather is cool and overcast--perfect, after long weeks of unrelenting heat.

There's a new episode of my favorite TV show, "That's Clever", waiting on my Tivo, to watch tonight. There used to be all kinds of arts and craft shows on HGTV and DIY, but for some reason, they've mostly gone away, replaced by bathroom crashers, yard crashers, flippers, etc. But good ole "That's Clever" still runs every Tuesday morning, and a surprising number of the artists turn out to be living right here in Spokane.

Maybe I'll be on that show someday. Or not. I'd have to clean up my studio, and that is a daunting prospect. :)

My wrist still aches, and won't turn in some of the ways it did before (I WAS double-jointed), but it works, and that's all I ask.

It's all good.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you'll come back again tomorrow.

I certainly plan on it.

Friday, September 03, 2010

My Face is Red!

I promised to blog yesterday, and then I didn't. YIKES. What was I doing???

Well, I had a doctor's visit to make, and I guess that just filled up my whole head. Nothing serious, so nobody worry. :) (Sally Jean and Mom, this means YOU.)

Of course, since I was already out and about for the doctor appointment, it only made sense to visit my new favorite store, Hobby Lobby. :) Mary Ann and I made a quick pass, and then it was on to another favorite store, Barnes and Noble, out in Spokane Valley. I wanted Tony Blair's new book, "A Journey". So far, I haven't had time to read anything but the introduction--I got right in at the doctor's office, so no time for waiting-room reading--but I must tell you, I LOVE what the former Prime Minister of England says about America and Americans--it's so eloquent, so honest and so insightful that I plan to go back and highlight the paragraphs so I can find them again. Between bouts of writing, I will be reading this book over the holiday weekend, for sure.

I do love history, and I'm fascinated by key players such as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, FDR, and Churchill. All these people were truly great, and all of them had many human flaws.

I find that comforting.

Have a great time this weekend, and stay safe.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Watch This Space

No blog today--my wrist is acting up and I have tons of work to do.

Be back tomorrow, I promise.