Friday, September 30, 2011


What a week this has been.

I am exhausted.

I am exhilarated.

I am officially finished with "Big Sky Country" and now I can start a new book.

But first, a little art.  A little reading.  A lot of sleep.

See you Monday!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Image Transfer Technique Using Gel Medium


I must have been tired, because I rarely oversleep, but I did this morning.  :) It was almost nine a.m., which, as my dad would have said, is "the middle of the damn day!"

I spent yesterday goofing off and it sure felt good.  That new story is already bubbling up in my busy noggin, though, so I'm making notes, etc.

As for right this moment, I've got one of my gel transfers soaking in a bowl of water downstairs.  It's like Christmas when I roll that paper off and see the image.  For those of you who are curious, I'll post a link to a demonstration of the process.

Bernice has had not one walk this morning, but TWO--evidently, there is an illegal gathering of field mice in one of the culverts she patrols.  Yesterday, there was a whole flock of turkeys out by the back fence, and she didn't even know they were there.  That's my vicious guard dog for you.  :)

I'm off to putter and perhaps even do something constructive.

Be kind, be brave, be YOU.  (Everybody  else is taken.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

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Goof Off Day

Today, I'm doing art--okay, more properly, I'm experimenting with the supplies I bought yesterday, at Hobby Lobby, where I got into a wonderful conversation with a gentleman visiting from England.  He and his wife have friends in Spokane, also artists, and the two couples trade visits.  Anyway, I told him about my latest passion, doing gel transfers on little metal sheets, and he showed me a set of vinyl letters for his project--said he'd come 7000 miles to find them.  :) 

Conversations like this one often happen to me, because I always have such a wide variety of stuff in my shopping cart.  Everybody wants to know what kind of project I'm working on.  Hard to explain, because the end result doesn't matter nearly so much to me as the process.  I love to try something I've seen on TV ("That's Clever" is back!  Reruns, alas, but still my favorite.) or on Youtube.  Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine has a website with free tutorials on all sorts of things, and that's where I got hooked on the transfers and of course there are all sorts of online art courses, too. 

Yes, it's a goof off kind of day, but I'm also doing some brainstorming for the next "Big Sky" book, which I intend to start next Monday morning.

Special note to Judy, sister of Bill Scott.  Did you email me?  I didn't receive it.  Please try again, with your name in caps on the subject line.

That's the news for this gloriously beautiful September morning.  Oh, that sunshine, gilding every needle of every pine tree.  Throat-catching beauty.

Be kind, be glad, be grateful.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The News from the Triple L

"Big Sky Country" is finished!  Whew!

And, to make the day even more exciting, "A Lawman's Christmas" hits the stores today.

Now, I'm off to celebrate.  :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Finished! (Almost)

I spent the weekend revising "Big Sky Country"--not a lot of changes, as I rewrite continually as I go along, but a word here, a phrase there, a story fact my editor and I had agreed to change--the usual.  That brought me to this morning--and the last chapter, and possible epilogue, of the book.  I'll be winding the story up today, and I'm both excited about that and sorry to let go.  :)  As always, I've come to love these story people of mine. 

Yorkie-Bernice insists on two walks a day now that she's grasped the concept, so she and I toured the property twice on Saturday and twice more on Sunday.  I did a little bit of art work, too, but not much.  I need some gluing and painting every day, though, the same as Neecie needs her walk.

I'm behind on everything, it seems.  But I'm happy, and I'm grateful.

More tomorrow. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Book Club and Other Things

A fine time was had by all at Shirley Allings' book club meeting last night.  Few things are more fun than enjoying food (it was my free night) and congenial conversation about one of my favorite subjects: books! 

Thank you, Shirley and Matt and all the attendees.

This morning I woke to find that I had--picture me uttering gasps of dread here--No Internet Service.  I checked every router and even called my bookkeeper to make sure the bill had been paid.  :)  Whatever the problem was, it's been fixed.  It scares me a little to think how dependent I really am on being able to go online--and makes me grateful for the easy convenience that is the norm.  :)

Today I will draft the last chapter of "Big Sky Country", and do my polishing and revisions over the weekend.  On Monday, I zap the works to my saintly editor, Joanie, via--yep--the internet.

My new book, "A Lawman's Christmas", will be in stores on Tuesday, the 27th.  This is the story of Clay McKettrick, who founded the Texas McKettricks dynasty.  If you loved Tate, Garrett and Austin, here's your chance to see how it all began.

We're enjoying lovely fall sunshine here in Spokane.  We're all hail and hardy, people and critters, and the internet is working.

Who could ask for anything more?

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Today, writing is just about all I can think about.  I am SO CLOSE to finishing this book.  I will probably complete the draft tomorrow and spend the weekend doing the revisions and polish.  

Yesterday, they laid the new hardwood floor in the guest room, and there was lots of hammering, sawing, and vacuuming.  :)  Today the workmen will be back to add a layer of varnish, but that's pretty quiet work as I understand it.  :)

Under 2 pounds lost on the D.I.E.T. this week, but that's fine with me.  I love the convenience of this program, and have no problem staying on it.

Tonight I'm going to a meeting of a good friend's book club--they read "The Man from Stone Creek", a personal favorite of mine, and we're going to discuss it.  How much fun is that?  It's a good thing this is my free-night, because there will be food.

Jean, it was great to run into you at the hair salon the other day.  :)  See you soon--I can only resist Barnes and Noble for so long.

The sun is shining and Bernice thinks she's a big star on Youtube, Twitter, this blog and Facebook. 

It's all good.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One Determined Yorkie

That Sound You Don't Hear---(You Lucky Thing)

Is the thump of hammers and other tools as workmen replace the ugly carpet in the guest room with hardwood to match the rest of the house.  Mary Ann and Jen have been busy removing wallpaper these past few days.  Now that the new floor is going in, the cats are hiding under my bed and Bernice has finally stopped yapping but is sticking pretty near my feet.  :)

What a day to be working on the final stages of a book.  :)  (Why did you schedule the project, then, you ask, as you well might.)  It's simple:  I thought I'd be finished by now.  Instead, it's going to take all of today and all of tomorrow and probably Friday for the polish, but then "Big Sky Country" will be ready!

There are some great contests coming your way--one of the prizes is a trip to Vegas for the big rodeo in December!  I'll post links right here on the website.  (Hint: start thinking about your favorite holiday cookie recipe.  :))

For today, that's the news.

Make it fabulous.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Spaced Out the Blog

I was so busy writing on "Big Sky Country" yesterday that I didn't even remember the blog until I was too tired to write it.  :)  Something was off with the number of pages I'd written, too, so I went back and sure enough, I'd skipped Chapter 14 completely.  Yikes.  I had to renumber everything which, of course, meant I had one less chapter written than I thought I did.  Mayhem!  Confusion!  I am essentially right-brained, and things like that tend to throw me more than they should.  Alas, I'm writing Chapter 18 today--though I thought I was writing it yesterday.

Oh, never mind.  :)

Hair cut today--I look like a walking haystack.  Of course when I'm this close to finishing a book, I hate to interrupt the process in any way, but my hair is about to be declared a federal disaster area, so off to th shop I go. 

I'm downloading a ton of new audiobooks from the iTunes store.  Tuesday is new book day. 


Time to go and eat my breakfast.

More tomorrow.

Friday, September 16, 2011

So Close

I am so close to finishing this book!  And I'm already chomping at the bit to get on with the second story in the series.  :)

I continue with the D.I.E.T. and, this is amazing, but I don't miss being able to eat whatever I want, whenever I want.  The BistroMD plan is so varied and so easy--I just microwave and eat.  No thinking about calories, or fat grams, or carbs, or anything like that.  I lost another 2 pounds this week and I'm pleased with my progress, but it's the convenience of it all that makes me love it so much.  The food itself is usually great, and if you don't like something (Tofu Curry Stew for example), you can just go to the website and say, "Please don't send me that, Ever Again."  :)

I finished listening to "Becoming Marie Antoinette", by Julia Grey, last night.  Zounds!  There's a whole second book, continuing the story (okay, we all know how it ends, but the getting-there part is fascinating.)  I can't wait to get my hot little hands on the sequel!  Nook-wise, I'm in the middle of "Mrs. Tom Thumb"--quite an interesting story. 

Our weather is cooling down as we approach the autumn (my favorite season, by the way) but we're still getting lots of glorious sunshine.  Bernice went out with Jen this morning and hiked all over the property, lookin for turkeys.  Alas, they continue to evade her.  :)

That's the news for today, my friends.

Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It's All Good

I got Chapter 16 drafted yesterday, and today I plan to polish it and draft 17.  Since there are 19 or 20 chapters in my books, I'm nearly finished!  It doesn't seem possible, what with all that's been going on.

Jen is under the weather this morning, so I took Yorkie Bernice out for her walk.  There is no way I could disappoint that little dog--from the time she sees me put on my shoes, she's ready to go out the door.  So off we went.  We checked the culverts, of course, and the bushes along the driveway.  We went around by the barn and had a look at the horses, who were enjoying their breakfast.  Finally, we patrolled the perimeters to make sure no wild turkey invasion was imminent.  Bernice doesn't trust those birds any further than she can throw them.  :)  Which, of course, she can't do at all.

The weather is cooling down, headed in the general direction of fall, but we're still getting lots of sunshine, which is fine by me.

Work awaits, so I'm out of here.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Have I ever mentioned that I love Tuesdays?  Why?  Because they are so deliciously ordinary, for one thing.

And because new books and movies come out on Tuesdays, for another.  Even as I write these words, I'm downloading new audiobooks to listen to on my indispensible iPod.

I'm writing Chapter 16 of "Big Sky Country" today and, even though I'm off to a slow start, I can barely wait to get back to Parable, Montana, where the situation is red-zone between Slade and Joslyn.  :)

I did my five-minute stint on the new Treadclimber today--and it nearly killed me.  I had to lower the "climber" part to its flattest position, but hey, I am undaunted.  I'll work up to the climbing part once I've worked up to the time goal.  (30 minutes, 5 days a week.)  Exercise, of course, helps with the D.I.E.T., but that isn't my main reason for finally biting the bullet and getting it done.  I'm hoping to stave off the winter blues, at least partly, and have more energy.

Bernice and I took walks on Saturday and Sunday, since Jen was off duty, and that was pleasant.  She has to check out every culvert, in case there's a turkey in there, trying to hide from the fiercest Yorkie on the ranch.  :)

Although time won't allow me to address all your comments, I'll be picking out the ones that seem to appear most often and commenting in response.  Right now, the question of the day seems to be, "Will there be more Mojo books?"  The answer: yes, but not right away.  I'm up to my eyeballs in hunky cowboys (it's a tough job but somebody has to do it) and I will remain so for the foreseeable future.

What I'm reading on my Nook: "The Butterfly Cabinet", by Bernie McCall.  Creepy.  But I'm in the mood for that right now.  :)  Must be the rapid approach of Halloween.

That's the news for today, my friends.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Blog

Since I usually don't blog on Sundays, there was no entry yesterday.  Still, September 11 is too important not to mention.  Truly, none of us will ever forget that otherwise beautiful early-autumn morning, and we shouldn't.  Many innocents and courageous rescuers were lost, all of them loved by someone, or by many someones.  All of them missed.  Just the same, it lifts my heart to think of the new towers rising proudly, bravely, against the sky.

We, the people, will always pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and keep on keeping on.  We differ, sometimes loudly, in our political opinions and religious views, but when trouble comes, we stand side by side.  That's who we are.

Plans for today--mainly, writing.  I'm on the homestretch with "Big Sky Country" and already looking forward to diving into the next book in the series.  It's been a long pull, but I wouldn't change a thing about it.  (Okay, I might have made it go a little faster.)

The D.I.E.T. continues to work well.  This morning I had pancakes, made of sweet potatoes.  I overcooked them in the microwave, so they were a bit chewy, but they'll definitely stick to my ribs.  :)  My treadclimber arrived and it's up and running.  I started yesterday,with five minutes--at the moment, my plan is to increase the session by five minutes a week until I'm doing thirty minutes, five days a week.

Someone asked in the comment section about my CPAP machine, the one I use to treat sleep apnea.  I rest a hundred times better because of it, though it did take some getting used to in the beginning, like most things.  

And that's the news.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Greetings from a (slightly) skinnier woman!

10 pounds gone!  Yeehaw!  And I expect the pace to pick up a little when I get my Treadclimber--it's on the way.

I was thinking you'd all be bored silly by my latest diet--it isn't as if we haven't been through this before, after all--but looking at the comments, I see that some of you are curious.  So, here it goes.  (Bored people, skip to the next paragraph.  No guarantee you'll like it better, though.)  I'm on one of those admittedly expensive prepared diet plans, called BistroMD.  The food is good and very innovative, though I drew the line at Tofu Curry Stew.  (Need I say more?)  The portions are ample and filling and, most important, I feel good, because my blood sugar never gets a chance to dip.  When that happens, I'll eat anything that doesn't fight back.  :)  Although costly, the diet is around the same amount I would spend at the grocery store, and you can't beat it for convenience.  Why didn't I want to give the details here?  Because I get the occasional snarky email from somebody who thinks I'm bragging.

I had another good writing day yesterday--I am within four chapters of being finished.  (I'm sure my beloved editor, Joanie, who is the soul of patience, will be happy to hear that.)

I'll be at the Wellesley Safeway this afternoon, right here in Spokane, from 4 to 6, signing books.  My good friend Sam Smith will be there, too, and he's a fun guy, so it's worth it to come just so you can meet him!  Hope you can stop by for a howdy.

Either way, have a great weekend, and keep putting one foot in from of the other.  No matter how the talking heads on TV may paint it, we're going to be okay.  All of us.

Because we're pardners.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

More Miscellaneous Chatter

Maybe that should be the new name for the blog.  :)

I'm feeling better every day, though of course I still miss my Sadie-bean something fierce.  I'm so grateful for every moment we got to share, that beagle and I.  She was a joy to me the whole time she was here, and I treasure every memory.

Bernice had a big adventure this morning on her walk with Jenni.  They met up with a family of wild turkeys and suddenly this Yorkie was a mighty hunter.  :)  Of course she couldn't catch them, but she sure tried.  And then there's the question, "What would she have done if she had
caught one?  Most of them are three or four times her size.

I'm reading a memoir called "Breaking Night" on my Nook.  *The author's name escapes me, but it's absolutely riveting, though sad.  If you like memoirs, as I do, I highly recommend this one.  My all-time favorite of the genre is still Jeanette Walls' fabulous, "The Glass Castle", though, with Lisa See's "On Gold Mountain" running a close second.  And then there's John Grogan's wonderful "Marley and Me"--well, I could go on all day.

I'm off to write a new chapter--Slade was on a roof, shirtless, when I left him.  :)  Mama mia.
He looks mighty good from any angle.

And that's the news.
*Liz Murray

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Miscellaneous Chatter

I wrote yesterday, and was I ever into the story (Big Sky Country)--this is the part of a book I most love to write, the last third.  By then, things are really rolling, and there are lots of loose ends to tie up, and the work is usually fast and furious (in the energetic sense), the words tumbling out of my brain.

My good friend Debbie Macomber and I are planning a girls-only get together for November--neither of us have a free weekend before then.  I'm looking forward to the long talks and the laughter and even the tears. 

I'm also looking forward to the big rodeo in Las Vegas this December!  WOW.  It's going to be more fun than ever and, thanks to the D.I.E.T. and the Treadclimber I just ordered, I might even be into some (fairly) skinny jeans.  :)   My fabulous, wonderful, amazing publishers--Harlequin--have all sorts of great stuff lined up for me to do while there, and I'm already chomping at the bit to get started.  Also, I'll be seeing my buddy, Steve Miller, "the buckle guy", and his lovely lady, Sammi, the inimitable Flint Rasmussen, and hitting Cowboy Christmas at LEAST twice.  All I've got to say is, BRING IT ON!

And that's the news.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Welcome, Tuesday

The holiday weekend is over and, even though I enjoyed it, I'm glad it's time to get back to Real Life--which, for me, includes writing.  :)

I finished listening to "The Language of Flowers", and enjoyed it, though for some reason I thought it was set in Victorian times, and it was modern instead.  Good story, well told, though.  Now I've started, "Becoming Marie", a novel about Marie Antoinette, ill-fated queen of France.  She's very big in the mixed media art world at the moment--lots of artist trading card swaps feature her, for instance.

My new book, "A Lawman's Christmas", will be released the last Tuesday of this month, and I'm excited to tell you that my friend, Josanne, is pitching it to Hallmark for a holiday movie, next year.  Cross your fingers!

The D.I.E.T. continues to go well.

I continue to miss my Sadie-girl, but the other critters certainly keep us all busy.

This Friday, I'll be signing books at the Safeway store on Wellsley, here in Spokane, from 4 to 6 pm.  If you live in the area, stop by and say howdy.

That's the news from my kitchen table.

Friday, September 02, 2011

I'm Just Sayin'...

6 pounds.  That's all I'll say about the D.I.E.T.  (Picture me doing the happy dance.)

Or not.  :)

It's Friday, the beginning of a long weekend.  I'm going to be working, except for a probable dash to Hobby Lobby--like I need more art supplies, see yesterday's blog--but there you go.  I love all that visual stimulation. 

Anyway, I'm thrilled to be working--August was a tough month, but September is off to a promising start.

Our weather is beautiful, sunny and warm, but with that faint crisp snap of fall in the air.  Fall is my favorite season--sometimes I wish it was year-around.

I just finished listening to, "The Kitchen House", by Kathleen Grissom, and was it EVER good.  One of those books that make you want to flip right back to the first page and start all over again.  LOVED it.  Next up for a listen is, "The Language of Flowers", by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.

Books.  What would we do without them?

Have a good weekend, and be safe.  I'll be blogging Monday morning, though of course I can't promise I'll have anything sensible to say.  :)

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Invasion of the Art Supplies

It's official.  My art supplies, half finished paintings and unused sketchbooks are taking over the house!  They've already conquered the basement, and now they're encroaching on the kitchen.  Yikes.  This can't be good fung shei.  :) If that's how you spell it, and it probably isn't.  Unless I want my own episode on "Hoarders", and who needs that kind of publicity, I'd better start using my evenings to sort out all this infernal stuff-- there will be three categories: Throw away, Give away, and Keep.

I would be better off, I suppose, if I specialized.  One woman, one hobby.  Crocheting, say.  Or watercolors.  But NO.  That would be way too easy.  Trust me to choose mixed media--which means I love to experiment, as I said yesterday, with practicaly every new product I can get my hands on, which means, in turn, that I have a little bit of everthing and nothing
is organized.  The fabrics are over here.  The paints--some of them--are over there.  There are stacks of collage materials, which, of course, resemble clutter to the casual onlooker.  :)  (It's all a matter of perspective, I guess.)  There are teetering piles of art magazines....

Well, you get the picture.  Unfortunately.

But I am a writer.  I am a creative person.  I can envision what now looks like a badly-planned yard sale as a spacious, well-lit area with clear surfaces to work on and everything in its place.

I can dream, can't I?