Buying Time

Do you remember that commercial where people pulled up to order at the drive through, but instead of fast food they were ordering more time? I would love to buy a week today. I don’t know how to prioritize when everything is at fire level. And poor Bo keeps bringing me his squeaky toys wanting to play fetch. Well, maybe there’s time for one...

Things I’m Thankful For

With Thanksgiving just past it’s a welcome relief to think of things that I am thankful for, especially after the recent election and barrage of negative ads. I’m thankful the election is over and President Barack Obama has four more years to continue moving this country in the right direction. I’ve worked in cubicles, I’ve worked in offices, I’ve done data entry, I’ve piped frosting on Easter eggs, I’ve colored maps, and I’ve clean rooms at Knight’s Inn. I’m thankful that now I write, illustrate, and design children’s books and apps. Can I just say—I love my job. I love my job. I love my job. And, in case you weren’t sure, I love my job. I’m thankful I have Bo who makes me laugh everyday. A day without laughter is a very long day. I’m thankful for good books, good movies, and good TV that lets me escape into my imagination. I’m thankful for good friends. I’m thankful for technology that lets me do in minutes what used to take me hours. I’m thankful I’m a better editor now that I don’t have to type my manuscripts on a typewriter with carbon paper. I’m thankful for many wonderful memories of new experiences, and of times shared with family and friends. I’m thankful for things that make me think—that kick me out of my complacency and shake up my world. I’m thankful for sunsets. What are you thankful for?...

Bathroom Book

I just finished my current bathroom book Libromancer, which was fabulous. Nowadays I seem to do most of my reading that way. I picked up the next book from the library stack I usually have available. I ordered Year Zero based on a review I had read. I’m a sucker for humorous science fiction and as there isn’t much out there, I was looking forward to seeing if this lived up to the review. The first line is “Aliens suck at music.” If you can make me laugh with the first line, you’ve got me hooked. I have a feeling I’m going to be spending a fair amount of time in the bathroom. I may even have a bout of diarrhea coming...

10 Favorite Opening Lines

Beginnings are important. How often have you heard that? It’s probably up there with show don’t tell. But it’s true, and in today’s publishing world, even more vital if you want to hook your reader before they are distracted by another app, or text message, or phone call. I thought it would be fun to look at how 10 authors made me want to read further. 1) The Last Knight by Hilari Bell:  To say it was a dark and stormy night would be a gross understatement. I love the play on the cliché. It made me laugh and that made me want to read more. 2) Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich: My mother and grandmother raised me to be a good girl, and I have no problem with the girl part. This tells me so much about her character. I can’t wait to see what she gets up to. 3) Libromancer by Jim C. Hines: Some people would say it’s a bad idea to bring a fire-spider into a public library. Again, it made me laugh. In addition to it being an interesting creature, I love the idea combining a fire-spider with books. How could that possibly be the lesser of two evils? 4) Kissing Shakespeare by Pam Mingle: I was all alone backstage. I find back stage exotic and a bit fearful. There are all the props and costumes and a Phantom of the Opera atmosphere. I’m halfway expecting something or someone to jump out at her. 5) Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon: Between her toes the damp earth felt cool, but already sweat crept between the...

Lunch

I was really looking forward to lunch. I’d been thinking about making a grilled cheese and scrambled egg sandwich all morning. It’s one of my favorite sandwiches and I don’t often indulge myself with it. I decided to use the excuse that I’ve been sick with a cough for weeks and I needed a treat to pick me up. There’s a ritual to cooking that is soothing. Getting the ingredients and pans out, beating the eggs, melting the I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter in the pan for the eggs. Confession here: I use real butter for the grilled cheese part. The fake stuff just makes the bread wet, not toasty. I had two pans going. One with the eggs and one where I was toasting one side of the bread. I don’t like just putting the bread in the toaster as that would toast both sides. I only want it toasted on the outside. I mentioned ritual, remember. The scrambled eggs were perfect when I dropped the slice of cheese on top. I put a lid on the pan so the cheese would melt quickly and the eggs wouldn’t overcook. When the cheese was melted beautifully over the fluffy eggs, I scooped them up and laid them on the bread, then topped it all with the other slice of bread. My mouth could almost taste it. Then I cut the sandwich and realized I hadn’t pulled the divider sheet of paper off of the cheese slice. It was between the perfectly melted cheese and the eggs. I scraped as much of the cheese off of the paper I...