Showing posts from September, 2010

Guest Blogging

Instead of Working Stiffs, I'm guest blogging over at the Sisters in Crime blog about our local chapter.

Goal, Motivation, and Conflict in Pittsburgh

This past Saturday, I brought Debra Dixon to Pittsburgh for a day-long Pennwriters workshop at the airport Crowne Plaza Hotel. Debra authored one of the writing books that I consider required reading. GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict is one of the few books I will not loan out. I can’t be parted from it that long. If a scene or a chapter in my WIP isn’t going well, I know that I need a refresher course. The workshop was a smashing success if the response I’ve been hearing is any indication. It’s always nice to hear positive feedback after spending a year organizing an event like this. I recently composed a short article for a Chapter Guidelines booklet for Sisters in Crime about how to put on a workshop. With my experience coordinating the 2009 Pennwriters Conference as well as working on the committees for the three previous conferences and our local SinC chapter writers’ retreat (also known as the Great Flood and Writers’ Retreat ), I guess I qualify to write such a piece.

Photo Friday: Fort Necessity

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to visit Fort Necessity, and I captured this shot of the small but famous fort, framed in autumn's goldenrod.

Working and Waiting

After five months of having Hubby underfoot (AKA unemployed), I am finally enjoying a taste of having my life back. He’s been accepted as a substitute maintenance/janitorial worker for a local school district, and they’ve put him work for this entire week. Bless them. On the downside (for him), it’s a week of midnight shift, which he hates. I can sympathize. I would be a zombie if I had to stay up all night. He used to work all three shifts, but it’s been years. Decades. But at least it’s not heavy, back-breaking labor. From my point of view, it’s great. I have to be quiet all day so he can sleep. Now, what on earth could I find to do all day that’s quiet? HA! I spent all day yesterday writing. It was bliss. I’m doing it again today. Double bliss. I could get used to this. Unfortunately, as a substitute, he only gets called in when needed. Guess I’ll take what I can get. The other thing that has lifted my spirits is an upcoming Citizens’ Police Academy held by the Pennsylvania St

Kensi and Skye Update

Skye has yet to embrace the idea of having a little sister, but at least she tolerates Kensi's presence. "Tolerates" is definitely as good as it gets. Meanwhile, Kensi loves being the center of attention and fancies herself a fashion model. Break out the camera and she strikes a pose. At least Bernard the Polar Bear doesn't mind snuggling with her.

Working Stiffs Wednesday

Today on Working Stiffs , I share a bit of self discovery. We're doing a little psycho-analysis, so come on over and join the discussion.

Report on my Mental Health Week

My much anticipated Mental Health Week is over. Hubby has returned from the wilds of northern Pennsylvania and I once again seem to have “Complaint Department” stamped across my forehead. I admit it was kind of fun ignoring the emails and phone calls demanding I fix this or help with that for a few days. The downside, of course, is that I’ve had to face them all this morning. I didn’t succeed in all I had hoped to do—and not do. At least not to the extent I’d planned. Then again, “planning” was one of the things I was trying to avoid. I DID practice yoga without interruption, but only once. I DID take a relaxing walk on a beautiful early autumn day. But only once. I did put in a full day of writing. But only once. Do you catch the ongoing theme here? I didn’t nap, but I did read an entire novel. And I played with the cats a LOT. Another happy diversion that I hadn’t originally planned on was a trip to Oakmont to meet the legendary Sara Paretsky , author of the V.I. Warshawski ser

Photo Friday: A Day in the Life

If you're looking for peace and quiet, do not bring a kitten into the household. However, if you're looking to up the entertainment value of your home, go for it. Skye continues to have no appreciation for Kensi's cute quotient. But at least the two of them can now share a room without too much hissing and growling. THAT is reserved for when Kensi either A.) wants to invade Skye's personal space or B.) thinks Skye is a large interactive cat toy. Anyhow, here are a selection of photos taken one day this week. Kensi meets the vacuum cleaner for the first time. Or as she thinks of it--that big noisy monster that sucks dirt off the floor. Here, Kensi is winding up to pounce...on Skye, of course. Kensi and Skye make good use of my Avon delivery by play hide-and-seek in my office. Skye offers a big yawn to show Kensi what she really thinks of her shenanigans. Cute, ornery, sweet, and devilish, all rolled into one Miss Kensi.

Better Than a Vacation

Last week over at Working Stiffs, I announced my intention to take a Mental Health Week. In honesty, it won’t be an entire week, but beginning this evening, I’m unavailable. Seriously. I’ve learned to say NO. Or at least I’ve learned to put things off until NEXT week. Then I will no doubt pay for my downtime. But I’ll worry about that on Monday. Here’s the plan. I will not solve any problems, divert any disasters, or do any favors. Don’t ask me. I may not even answer the phone. Leave a message. I’ll get back to you. What I WILL do is write and read with intervals of walking and napping and playing with the cats. Personally, I think this Mental Health Week thing is way better than a vacation. No packing. No traffic. So I’m putting up the Do Not Disturb sign. See you later!

Sibling Rivalry

I’m not sure exactly what I expected when I brought the new kitten into the house, but what I got was one very stressed out Skye kitty. Kensi the kitten was fine. Happy-go-lucky. Fearless. But Skye, the previously only child, was intimidated by the newbie. She’d growl and hiss and slink away. She spent most of one day hiding in the bedroom. Okay, I adore Kensi, but not to the detriment of poor Skye. And the more Skye tried to avoid the kitten, the more the kitten seemed determined to make Skye love her by lurking as close to her as possible. By Friday, Skye was doing better. At least she tolerated Kensi being in the same room with her, but she still seemed terrified of the little thing. So any idea I had of taking Kensi with us camping this weekend was scrubbed. I arranged a kittensitter (thanks, Sara!) and left Kensi home while Skye went with us for a grownups-only trip to the camp in Confluence. Immediately, my sweet-tempered Skye kitty returned. She relaxed and enjoyed watching t

Photo Friday on Saturday: Peace

When there's a kitten in the house, this is the only time there is peace and quiet. They're so cute when they're asleep.

Working Stiffs Wednesday

It's my day to blog at Working Stiffs. Today I'm making plans to refill the well.