Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Home Again...

We're back from Montana. Such a beautiful place to visit. We had a three hour wait in Salt Lake City and as I sat at one of the computer tables focusing on finishing up my column for the newspaper, I looked up and out the window to see it snowing sideways! That good old wind whipping across the tarmac. And it snowed while we were in Missoula, too, sometimes just flurries, sometimes enormous flakes. I can't help but wonder how each and every flake is different. Remember, you learned that in school? That every snowflake is different? Every single one? I can't imagine.

We needed jackets outside and sweaters inside. The mountains, visible from my in-laws beautiful home, were covered in white. On Sunday, however, everyone sat outside soaking up the sun and eating brunch after Rick's two nieces' baby baptisms. By California standards it might have been a bit too cool, but those thick-blooded Montana folk didn't mind it at all. Talk about weather seems rather prevalent in that part of the country.

We saw lots of white tailed deer munching on tasty new buds and flowers they happen to come across. Their long spindly legs, too big ears, Bambi faces and twitching white tails--I was in love.

So, we're back to the grind. Rick racing out of the house this morning for a 7:30 a.m. conference call. Me back to editing Darby Way and determined to finish by the end of the week, which is fast approaching. Jake the Dog under the desk patiently awaiting his morning walk.

I love visiting out of state family, but there's nothing better than coming home. Back to Jake (whom we missed terribly), back to our own "dirt" (of which we left plenty), and back to our own bed (even in not-so-fresh sheets). It's the best.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday Morning Ramble

Ah, another Monday morning -- last week I actually reached all of my writing goals except to finish reading A Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult. Since I read several books at a time, finishing one can pose a problem ... I want to finish it before we leave for Montana because I don't want to lug it on the airplane. I'd rather pack my carry-on case with lots of paper backs. So, I'm focused on finishing A Change of Heart before we leave.

What I like about Picoult's work is that she writes about difficult situations, ones in which you need to think (not quite as dramatic but sort of -- if your husband and child were drowning and neither could swim, who would you save?) The protagonist's daughter is in need of a heart transplant (make that desperate need) and the "perfect match" couldn't be more imperfect. I don't want to give away the plot but it's worth the read. I'm not sure I'd pay full price (I got it at Costco) but I'd definitely get it at the library or in paperback.

We leave to visit family in Montana on Thursday. I am grateful I love visiting my in-laws...they're wonderful. The only thing that's hard about leaving here is saying goodbye to our dog and furry child, Jake, and not seeing the grand kids :-( That's the tough one. I know Jake will be fine. We've found a great sitter who stays here at the house and keeps him company. And, my daughter who lives nearby is really good about email a few pictures of the kids for us to see. My other daughter, the one who works full-time, doesn't have time to be emailing pictures, but I carry the baby's picture in my heart anyway so.

It snowed in Montana on Saturday but then melted the next day -- it will be interesting to see what the weather's like when we arrive. I never know what to pack, and in fact, usually feel under dressed. My husband's family are all great dressers, and frankly, I just don't care about clothes as much as I did say, ten years ago. That said, I did buy a few new things to pack--weather depending. My mind is in grounded in spring, sounds like Montana's mind is hovering somewhere between winter and a frigid spring!

Saw the movie "88" yesterday. It received a D- in the Contra Costa Times, which made us think twice, but they've been wrong (at least in our minds) sooooo many times before that we decided, after Rick looked it up online to give it a try. I just think you can't over think movies the way you can books...when I go to the movies I suspend my critical mind and just enjoy what I see--within reason of course. "88" was good: full of suspense, a good little twist, a little foreshadowing that completely flew right over my head (duh) but that Rick caught..Looks like it came in as the 4th seen movie during the weekend. Would I recommend it? Yup!I'm not the best judge, though, I LOVE going to the movies or maybe it's the popcorn...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Book Summaries/Law of Attraction...

How do you summarize 80,000 words onto one page, single spaced? That's my job this week, to write a summary of my book. And, being the little wordie that I am, I want it to be fun. I reread it a few minutes ago, I decided I needed to take a break because I put something in the summary that didn't even happen! What's that all about! Geesh! Hummmm, maybe I should add it!

Anyway, it's an interesting process and I must say that going to the Times Book Club Gala Tuesday evening did give me a shot of inspiration. I mean, if other people in the world can write a book, summarize it, edit, re-write, find an agent and a publishing house, publish, so can I! Right? No? Yes, right. My brain is working overtime!

Those words--about other people doing it--come straight from the mouth of Michael Lozier, Oprah and Friends Abundance Guru. I love that when I'm doubting something, I can look at other people who've accomplished the same thing and think, well if they can do it, so can I.

He says to remember to ask for what you want, not what you don't. Makes such perfect sense in the eyes of the Universe and attraction, doesn't it? I mean, if you think about it, we're all energy fields, so it stands to reason that whatever we attract, we do so because of that field.

We attract what we think about so if I think I'll write a great book and it will be snagged up by a fabulous agent, it will be. I know it. And, if I go the other way and think no one will ever want it, well then, I only have myself to thank. Really. That's the way it works. I've seen it happen time and time again in my own life. We just have to watch what we think about. Lozier says something about learning how to catch yourself when you say, can't, won't don't...because they're negative. He suggests you turn it around to can will and do! Good, huh? Try it. I'd love to hear how it works. (BTW, I'm not saying I won't receive a rejection--only that the energy I'm putting behind the book, and into it for that matter, is postive and upbeat)

The funny thing about this blog is that I'm not broadcasting that I'm writing it anymore. This could be a huge mistake, but I've decided to use it more as a journal...I love journaling. I certainly won't put things here that would hurt or embarrass anyone, (especially me:-) ) but, it's a good way to keep the juices flowing. Writing pumps me up, and free writes are the best. These are first drafts, untouched, sort of preliminary work that we all do to keep the pump primed. So if any one's reading, great. Leave a note, if not, I hope the cyberspace molecules enjoy~

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Times Book Gala

Last evening, my friend Joan and I, (who bless her soul - was at the tail end of a migraine) trekked to Walnut Creek for the Times Book Gala event. There were four authors...and here's my own personal review.

If you haven't read Beth Lisick's book, Helping Me Help Myself, it's funny and a good read. And, if you have the opportunity to hear her speak, don't miss it. It's like comedy night at the Improv! She was clearly the most entertaining.

Sue Miller, who wrote several books that have been made into movies, is artist-in- residence at St. Mary's College in Moraga was very interesting and unusual. She didn't talk about her book per se, but spoke about the foundation for most of her books, which is home and hearth. I boughtThe Good Mother. Her newest one, The Senator's Wife, is supposed to be excellent. It's still in hardback.

Vendela Vida, a young (oh so young and beautiful) talented lady talked about her book Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name and was quite interesting. She took three trips to Lapland to experience what life is like there in order to write this book. And, she read us the two paragraphs gleaned from her first trip -- long trip for two paragraphs, huh? She got the idea of writing this particular book from memories of pictures she'd seen as a child!

The only man on there, Andre Aciman, who wrote Call Me By Your Name, was pretty impressive too. After listening to him speak his book would be a wonderful read.

All of this brings me to my real point: have you ever known a reader/writer to pass up an opportunity to buy more books? So, now I have an additional two books to add to the collection, rows, and overwhelming pile of books I've yet to read.

I met one women there last night who told me that her son tells everyone she owns a book store, except she never sells any of the books. I can relate!

Lynn Carey said that the venue for presenting authors is going to change -- last night was the last Gala :-( I'm disappointed but she also said that a new venue would include one-on-one with authors which sounds great. We'll see. It's fun to hear several authors together but I like the idea of the one-on-one, too--to get a more in depth conversation going. So stay tuned to Lynn's writing in the paper to see what's up next. I'm sure it will be great!

Friday, April 11, 2008

A New Earth

I'm reading Eckhart Tolle's new book, A New Earth, and listening to the podcast on Oprah every Monday evening at 6 p.m. It is a real eye-opener, so much in fact, that three other women and myself have decided to get together once a week and discuss the principles of his work. The book is divided into ten chapters and each week, one is covered on Oprah's podcast at If you have any interest in changing your life for the better, pop in and take a look. If you've not been watching, all of the past pod casts are available to download for free.

I didn't know much about Oprah until about six weeks ago because if I let myself watch watch TV during the day, I find it difficult to pull myself away from it.

However, watching her on the podcast has given me such joy. She's an amazing, spiritual, giving, loving person ... and so wants to contribute to changing the world, which I must say, is not only a lofty goal, but one that the A New Earth program is doing.

Check it out.