Showing posts from August, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

This is a celebratory week for our family of fur kids. Yesterday, marked one year since Kensi moved into our house. She was so tiny then. She’s still small, but that’s okay. With her high-energy antics, if she were any bigger, she’d wreck our house. Camping is torture for her. The camper is too small to contain her. No place to run. So she spends her time either watching wildlife outside the window or digging in the litter box. Not necessarily USING the litter box. Just digging in it. Then digging at the throw rugs. And digging at my shoes. We get up in the morning to find my slipper in her water bowl and the rugs in crumpled heaps. Busy, busy, busy. Here’s a camping shot of her as she contemplates my manuscript. Everyone’s a critic. On top of Kensi’s one-year anniversary with us, TODAY marks four years since Skye became part of our family. She’s such a love bug. And she’s very much MY cat. Kensi is Daddy’s girl. Skye will let Hubby rub her ears or scratch her chin for a moment

Working Stiffs Wednesday

I'm taking a day off from my regular rotation at Working Stiffs. In my place is an interview with my friend, Kathleen George. Check it out . Then run out and buy her new book. She's one of my favorite authors as well as one of my favorite people.


I've been tearing apart and reconstructing my first three chapters for more than a month now and I'm feeling dizzy. At some point a writer loses focus. I'm there. I don't know if I'm improving the darned thing or just babbling different words and making it all sound like crap. Excuse my French. So this morning, I packed it up and sent it off to my favorite critique partner, Donnell Bell , whose debut novel The Past Came Hunting will be released in less than a month. (I've read it. It's fabulous. Put it on your must buy list.) Anyhow, Donnell will be able to tell me where I've gone astray. While I'm waiting to hear back from her, I've been thinking about how blessed I am. My life is full of wonderful, supportive friends who also happen to be published (or soon-to-be-published) authors. Nancy Martin , for one. She led that awesome boot camp I recently completed. And she continues to email me, nagging and heckling me to get to work. (I will

Patient for a Day

Yes, I’m still up to my eyeballs in revisions, which explains my absence. However, I crawled out of my cave yesterday for some “research.” Sort of. I received an email a few weeks ago, sent to all members of the Pittsburgh Citizen’s Police Academy , seeking volunteers to help out in the first responder training for the new police recruits. I’ve many times taken part in these kinds of things from the other side. When I was in EMT training, we had to practice on pretend patients. And while I worked on the ambulance service we’d have mock disasters and training drills to hone our skills. So this seemed like a chance to give back. I arrived at the police training academy with thoughts of being covered in fake blood, having practiced my agonized moaning and shrieks of pain. Instead, I was assigned the role of a woman with a history of congestive heart failure presenting with shortness of breath. So much for the blood and the screams. Rich, the EMSI observer, gave me a script of sorts. The m

Working Stiffs Wednesday

I'm at Working Stiffs today after wrapping up our critique boot camp. Bruised, but not bloodied.

West Virginia Derby Day

Last weekend was a big one for me. Sunday, we held our final boot camp critique meeting. You can read about it tomorrow at Working Stiffs. But Saturday was West Virginia Derby Day at Mountaineer. Let me just say, if you’re a writer and you don’t like research, you’re writing the wrong stuff. Because researching the world of Thoroughbred racing is a blast. And it helps to have a good friend like Jessi Pizzurro to hang out with and show you the ropes. I have to be honest, though. It was hot. I mean fry-an-egg-on-the-pavement hot. In past years, we’ve spent Derby Day at the edge of the track, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the other horse racing enthusiasts. Then we’d dash back to the paddock between races to watch the horses parade and be saddled. This year we huddled in the grandstand where it was only 85 degrees instead of 95. (I don’t really know how hot it was. No thermometer. It FELT like 105, but I’ve become an AC addict, so anything over 78 degrees is sweltering to me.)

Boot Camp Home Stretch

I’m conflicted. Okay, any writer worth their salt includes a lot of conflict in their work. But my conflict right now is ABOUT my work. We’re in the home stretch of our critique boot camp. It’s been an incredible experience. I know it’s raised the level of my writing. It’s also completely worn me out. Part of me can’t wait for it to be over. The other part dreads seeing it come to an end. Like I said, I’ve learned a lot. My fellow boot campers have provided such insightful commentary on my first four chapters I hate to think of going it alone for the rest of the rewrite. Sigh. I’m working on our final assignment: the dreaded synopsis. After many long hours, I’ve completed (sort of) my outline. Okay, so there are some holes that still need to be plugged. But essentially, it’s done. Now I have to distill it down to a few pages. This is the part I really hate. But that’s okay. Because my fellow boot campers are in this same boat with me. And when we meet on Sunday, we’ll all wor