Friday, August 31, 2007

Me and Joan

I was thinking about my apartment the other day and how it’s full of books – I have to go through them and donate some (many?) to a book sale – and cats – well, not a lot of cats; there are only three but three make up a lot of cat hair as in the arms of my dark green sofa look grayish.

I mean I was really beating myself up over it. I did houseclean my bedroom – even put down new rugs and got a new bedspread. Granted, I couldn’t get all the cat hair off the thin velvet curtains, but the room was clean.

So in the middle of this beating I was giving myself, I remembered Joan Wilder, the character played by Kathleen Turner in “Romancing the Stone”. In one of the first scenes of the movie, Joan is finishing her romance novel. She is so moved by her own prose that she begins to cry. She gets up from her desk to search for tissues. There’s nothing – not even toilet paper – she has been so absorbed in her writing.

I’m absorbed in my job during the day and my reading and writing at night.

I figure if it’s good enough for Joan Wilder, it’s good enough for me.
I just buy extra toilet paper and ignore the cat hair.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wednesday Evening and I'm.....

...spending it with two of my favorite guys.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ideas Come at the Worst of Times

My brain is actually reeling - doesn't know which way to go.
An editor from Samhain publishing read my full manuscript and although she liked it a lot, she gave me some good ideas on how to punch it up a bit.

Today those ideas gelled - it was like the man on a flaming pie appeared to me. And now all I want to do is write MY book - NOT work on the revised Nursing Policy and Procedure book - MY book.

Elizabeth Montgomery Peacock is sitting on my shoulder telling me to write her story - or at least the first book of her story. FBI agents, shady dead husband, alien carjackers (real aliens - not Hispanics illegals) and all.


Jonathan Maberry!

Thanks, Jonathan for the wonderful critique of my query letter. If I get an agent to bite, it will be because you helped.

I need an Agent...

No - not this type of agent...
I need a literary-type agent. I spent part of last night going through and found more than 100 agents that could possibly want to read my manuscript.
I made a list of 30 to start. This weekend (when I get back from Gettysburg - yes, going again), I'll start writing the queries, collecting the amount of the book each agent requires (anywhere from 5 to 50 pages), gather envelopes and treak to the post office.
Writing's hard work - but that's just the start of it.

One Red Rose - August 24, 2007

image: www.
For Richard Patrick on what would have been his
60th birthday

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Where's Mitzi?




Friday, August 17, 2007

A forehead slap to me

Okay - so I'm a bit depressed.
Can you say rollercoaster of a summer?
Long work days.
Daughter with melanoma.
Abbreviated "celebritory" cruise.
Summer heat.
Feeling tired.

Driving to the Poconos for work, I couldn't even get interested in a Cat Who audiobook - something was very wrong with me.
When things get bad, writers....uh....WRITE, you dummy.
I pulled into one of those ubiquitous food mart/gas stations, got a bottle of water, took out my constant companion - a notebook - and wrote.
Result: I started back on the road in a better frame of mind, enjoying Qwill, KoKo, YumYum and various disasters in Moose County, four hundred miles north of everywhere.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"They told you your dreams were crazy...

...but that didn't stop you." So says Dennis Hopper (or words to that effect) on an Ameriprise Commercial.

Well, they told me my dreams were crazy and that did stop me.
I was a good girl and did what my parents wanted me to do - move away and go to nursing school and now I'm stuck.

Stuck in a job I don't enjoy - a job where I make too much money to quit and have too little education to do something else.

Cap - $10
White shoes - $40
White uniform - $50
No pension, no 401K for the first 30+ years, lumbar stenosis with a slipped disc and cleaning up other people's excrement and bodily fluids for 40 years - f**n' priceless.

Can you tell I'm having a bad day?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


So Karl Rove is leaving government service to spend more time with his family and to gradually return to Texas.

I have a question that no one seems to have asked: How can he do this financially?

I know government employees don't get paid a lot (not enough to bankroll several years of gradual return).
Will he get a huge advance for a book that's still a gleam in his beady eye?
Did he get money from supporters?
Will he go on the conservative speakers circuit?
Did he invest well?
And how about health insurance for him and his family? Will the US taxpayer continue to pay that or will he have enough income to cover a private plan.

Can I resign from my job so I can write and still have money to support myself? No.
Can I resign from my job and still have health insurance? Only for 18 months and I'm paying for that.

How can Karl Rove do it while Mitzi Flyte cannot?
I've worked as an RN for almost 40 years - doing some things that would be sure to roil Mr. Rove's stomach. I've cared for the psychotic, the elderly, the badly burned, the greatly disfigured. And yet, his work and time seem to be valued more highly than mine.

What a system we have - what a double standard.
And yes - I was financially able to go to Alaska - I certainly earned the trip and I paid for it with money I earned through hard, honest work.
Like I said - double standard.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

And our ship...

...the Norwegian Star.
The ship was beautiful and the food great.
But the crew, especially on the day we had to leave half-way through the cruise, were the best - professional, calm and comforting.
I would use Norwegian Cruise Lines again and again and again. Maybe even next year.

Whale Fluke ?

I took two pictures of this natural rock design.

Tracy Arm (Fjord) from the Ship

Glaciers from the ship

In the first picture you see a glacier that has receded, the distance can be determined from the different colors on the rocks.

The second glacier is still visible but as also been calving (ice flows breaking off) more quickly and therefore getting smaller.

Mendenhall Glacier

No words can describe - you have to see it for yourself.

Tongas National Park

Alaska's rainforest may now be the biggest one in the world because of the decimation of the Amazon rainforest through logging.

The Glacier Gardens

The Glacier Gardens is a private site developed by a landscaper after a huge landslide. The trees with flowers on the top are dead cyprus trees that have been "planted" upside down in the ground with the roots up. Moss is then placed among the roots and flowers planted in the moss. The result is beautiful.

This area in the southeast portion of Alaska is very temperate, with temperatures not going much lower than freezing and higher than 75. It was in the mid sixties during our visit.

Pictures from Alaska

The Space Needle from the ship - Norwegian Star

Ketchikan harbor

Bear claw scratches - high up on a tree. Big boy.

A New Barnabas


As a teen, one of my very favorite TV shows was Dark Shadows; evidently it was one of Johnny Depp's, too. He dreamed of playing Barnabas and will now get the chance. I have one thing to say: WoooHoo! I can't wait.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Stephen, Harry and Reading


Stephen King's take on Pottermania and the joy of reading - at any age.
And once again, he's right.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

My New Home ?

If only it had running water - and not just when it rains, either.

Musher Camp


More Dogs:

Even more dogs:

And the most important person at Musher Camp:

Joe Gaines and the Ididarod

This young man raises and races sled dogs. This will be his first year racing in the Ididerod. It costs these racers more than $1000 to enter and about $3000 for supplies that are dropped at check points prior to the race.

I asked him if he had a website so people could help finance his race. He didn't. So I gave him $20 that I would have spent on something foolish anyway. I wish it could have been more. I know my name won't be blazen on the side of the sled or even on the side of one of the dogs, but I feel as if I have a stake in a racer and his team.

I will definitely be following his progress.

An Unwanted Alaska Adventure

Last Wednesday Heather and I flew from Skagway (tiny town with no land way out except for miles through Canada) to Juneau in one of these:

Then we took a "real" plane from Juneau to Seattle. We had a car service waiting for us at SEA-TAC to take us to Everett. By 2 AM Heather was in the Providence Hospital Colby Campus emergency ward. We thought she had an abscess at the site where her lymph nodes had been removed. That was why we "high-tailed" it off the ship in the middle of the cruise.

Luckily it was only (?) a collection of lymphatic fluid and she was in the hospital overnight on IV antibiotics. She went back to work yesterday and I flew home.

We still saw a lot of Alaska including the glacier pictured in the previous post. However, Heather enjoyed the ride in the single-engine, six-seater best while Momma was just praying that it wouldn't crash and we wouldn't all become bear poop.

Alaska is beautiful - even from the air, clutching the sides of the seat.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Going through Tracy Arm to see two glaciers ("arm" is another term for fjord), I understand the native myths: Fog Woman who brought the Salmon and Raven who brought the Sun.

Cliffs towering over the ship, dwarfing it and us. Crevasses running deep, dividing slopes of rock carved by millions of glacier years - the gray crags broken only by patches of lichen and copse of tall spruce.

Dense white fog swirls around the summits - waterfalls of melting snow tumble into the arm's green water.

Ice flows of different shapes ("That one looks like a dragon!" Heather says as she snaps another picture - one of hundreds)float by. Every so often, if you listen closely, you can hear the effervescent fizz of ancient air escaping from ancient ice.

Heather and I stand on the deck; it's almost 9 PM and light is beginning to fade. I know she'll keep taking pictures until it's dark.

"This is the only religion you need," she sighs.

I nod. Fog Woman, Raven, Goddess and Jesus - all are here.
And the BEST part - so are we.