Wednesday, March 29, 2006

And More Lows

One of my two best friends called today and said that her oldest brother died. He was young (depending on your perspective), only 38. He got sick yesterday and died today. My heart is breaking for my friend. Many times she was around when things were rough for me and now miles separate us and I can't give her the support I'd like to. She knows I'd be there if I could and I'll do what I can from so many miles away, but it doesn't seem like enough. I didn't know him other than through my friend's stories, but he meant a lot to her and so he meant a lot to me. I want to cry and then I don't. I think about her family and what they're about to go through and I get chills. I cannot begin to imagine the pain she's feeling and will feel for the rest of her life.

Life is so precious and fleeting, and I'm reminded of just how much I have to be thankful for. So, for me, for my friend, for her lost brother, hug your family, tell the people you care about how you feel and don't waste one minute of your day on things that don't really matter in the end.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Friday's Highs and Lows

I didn't final in the Golden Heart, but I really didn't think I had a chance. Of course, I did allow myself to wallow for the evening. I had an entirely unhealthy meal, followed by a couple of drinks and then I topped it off later with a pint of ice cream. Still, I plan to enter come November. And pretty much every year until I final or sell. Course, then it'll be the Ritas. Talk about a glutton for punishment, huh?

Speaking of the Ritas, I'd like to congratulate 2 of my chaptermates on finaling. Julie Ortolon's Almost Perfect finaled in the Contemporary Single Title category, as did Julia London's Wedded Survivor. Julia London's Highlander in Love finaled in the Short Historical category. I'll be rooting for them in spirit the night of the Ritas.

That's right. I'm not going to Atlanta. I've been throwing it back and forth, trying to decide. A lot of things are factoring into my decision, but I need to skip this year. I'm sad about that, but it's truly for the best. I think the 2007 conference is back in TX so I'll have absolutely no excuse for missing that one.

Other happenings: After another hour or so with tech support, I FINALLY have my printer up and running! YAY!! I'm so excited I keep looking for stuff to print.

People were working on my roof this afternoon. I hope they don't plan on waking me up tomorrow morning at daybreak to continue! I need my beauty sleep.

At work, we're gearing up for our 2nd book fair. I get the pleasure of going in on Sunday to set up. And then I have the pleasure of worrying and running around like a chicken with my head cut off for the following 5 days.

Only 9 weeks of school left.

I decided on a pen name for my contemporaries. I'm now having trouble figuring out how to categorize my current book. I know, I know. I should just write it as it has to be written and then decide where it belongs.

Gotta go report in to my local chapter's 100 words/ 100 days challenge. I think we're on day 68 and I haven't missed a day yet. Although, some days it almost kills me to get my words done. But, through it all I have 150 pages and an AWESOME story! I can feel it in my bones. This one will be a winner. Of course, in my heart, it already is!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Fractured Paradise

Hello out there! I thought for sure I'd posted a blog entry before my spring break, but apparently not. Guess my brain went on vacation early. But here I am, back home and ready to tackle the last 10 weeks of the school year.

For spring break I went to Kauai, Hawaii. It was to be the major event of 2006 for me. I'd saved my money, planned my activities and I'd been looking forward to it for months. Although I had fun and I did get to relax, the trip was disappointing. It rained. Every single day. It was the worst batch of storms they'd had in something like 10 years. Which led to the worst natural disaster on the island for 14 years. It rained. It flooded. People got swept away. Roads closed for two days. Clouds came in. It rained some more. When the sun did finally appear, people were told not to go out into the ocean since the water was too murky and contaminated. And as if all that wasn't bad enough, I was sick as a dog when I arrived.

But all was not lost. I, unlike some people there, have been fortunate enough to have been there before. I've seen this island in all its beauty. Granted that was almost 23 years ago, but still. I had memories. So, I sucked it up and made the most of my time on the island. My cold left me after a couple of days. I managed to get 4 sunny afternoons. I went shopping, saw 3 beautiful sunsets, one incredible sunrise. I ate in some awesome restaurants overlooking beautiful scenery. I managed to go swimming one day and get a few rays of sun. I shopped some more, saw some more beautiful scenery, including a monk seal. I read, wrote, relaxed and wrote some more. I even picked a title that I really love for my Scottish contemporary, Fractured Paradise.

The one thing I truly regret is that I didn't get my helicopter ride over the Na Pali Coast. I've never been in a helicopter and this was going to be my chance. Oh well, I've waited this long. What's a few more years? I'll get my helicopter ride someday!

Now comes the sad part of vacation. Dealing with reality. I go back to work tomorrow to begin the last 10 weeks of the school year. I know I'll be fine when I get there and get back in the groove, but right now I don't even want to think about it. I've spent the last 11 days relaxing and doing exactly what I wanted when I wanted. It's going to be hard to throw myself back into the fire pit. But I am strong. I am invincible. I am woman!

And I need a cup of tea.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

And The Beat Goes On...

So I finally answered a question for someone else on the Kiss of Death loop. I always feel bad because I never seem to know the answers to the questions people pose. This one I did know. Figures. It was a question about shots of tequila.

Got my replacement printer last night. Yay! Decided to wait until this morning to hook it up and start a-printing. Only, they sent me the wrong one. It's nicer and I thought, "Gee, I can install this and keep it." WRONG! I can't possibly install it without the proper reference guide and other assorted information. (I know. I've already tried.) So, now I have TWO printers in my office and NEITHER of them is working! And of course, it's Saturday and the office for real, live human support is closed until Monday.

My current manuscript is going well. Life has finally slowed down enough for me to spend hours reading, which I did last night. I've never read a Kinley MacGregor book before, although I've heard WONDERFUL things about her writing. I like it, enough that I read about 200 pages just yesterday. But it's more of a romance than I usually read. I'm the type of reader who loves action (and danger, most of the time). This type of story is great for me to read every once in a while, because I SOOO love the hero! I just can't see myself reading another Kinley MacGregor right after this. Don't get me wrong, I love her writing and the way she has drawn me in even without the heavy action. I can certainly see why she's so popular and I can definitely learn a thing or two from her.

Okay. I'm off to pick up the house before I dive back into the wonderful world of Aidan and Rachel. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Oh, and it's now less than a week before spring break! Yay!!!

Double oh! I didn't get the summer job in Spain, but they're considering me for a teaching position. Am still applying for a job in Tokyo and a couple more in Europe. Then again, I had a wonderful week at work and seriously started thinking about how I want to run my classes next year. Only time will tell what will be...