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The Sitcome Lifestyle

Do you ever have those days. You know which ones I mean, where you're trying really hard,'s just not going to work out the way it should. Or at least not the way you think it should.

I call those "Sitcom Moments" and, according to some of my friends, I seem to have more than my fair share of them.

They happen so frequently that I don't give them too much thought anymore. Except this week. This week they keep happening. Seriously. It's crazy.

A few nights ago I got home from work to find myself locked out of the house. Not because I'd forgotten my keys or anything like that, but because the lock just didn't work anymore. Like it suddenly decided it had had enough of the back and forth thing that locks do and it was done. Kaput. With me on the wrong side of the door.
So, there I am, in heels and a skirt, scoping out ways to break into my own home. I shoved the dog house over so it was under the bedroom window and climbed up. I was so sure that would work. I got the screen off (I won't mention how proud I was of that accomplishment) and started trying to get the [locked] window open. Now, I don't know how I actually would have managed to boost myself up and into the window if I had gotten it open (have I mentioned that I'm only 5' tall and the window was still well above my head, even standing on the doghouse), but it never got to that point. One of the neighbors had their adult children visiting and they started becoming very interested in my attempted break in. 

I was no longer worried about my rear in the air while I tried to shimmy through the window, I was afraid that someone was going to call the cops on me. And how would I EVER explain that to my husband? He'd never let me live it down. So, I wound up waiting in my car for the hubby and children to return from wherever they'd been and then he broke into the house with minimal effort.

Then the following night the dog popped a board out of the fence to sneak into the neighbor's yard. Only I didn't know that he was sneaking into the neighbor's yard...I thought he'd managed to escape. So, I did what any responsible pet owner would do. I freaked out and ran down the road screaming for him to come back. (I'm sure anyone who heard me/saw me figured they knew why he'd taken off.)
While I was out chasing him down he crawled back through the fence to return home...bringing his treasure of the neighbor kid's soccer ball (now deflated) home with him. But, because I'd gone sprinting from the house I'd left my phone behind. And, because of that, Hubs had to go looking for me. 

I think I owe Hubby some chocolate for all my "Sitcom Moments". I've never realized how often he has to come bail me out...

Anyway, after the dog was home, and I was home, and everyone was safe and sound the cat decided she'd been neglected far too long. 
My 6 year old had been painting pictures while I was out casing the neighborhood. So, you guessed it, Natasha decided to paint to. First, she walked across the beautiful blue ocean he'd painted, and then she proceeded to try to wipe herself clean on the carpet. (This is the same dynamic duo that I caught playing 'fetch' with the green apples. The cat would toss them off the counter for the dog to retrieve.)

Seriously, I hadn't even caught my breath from my yearly spurt of running when this started happening. And, as such, I couldn't quite formulate the words to get anyone to do anything about it.
My ten year old finally realized what my flailing was all about and took matters into his own hands by addressing the issue with his brother.

That, my friends, was ONE NIGHT in my house. 

I won't even tell you about my office move last week. One word can sum up the whole experience:

Do you have regular "Sitcom Moments" in your life? 


Project: Being Beautiful

I had a thought this weekend (terrifying I know), about beauty. I'd made a hair appointment for myself because I was turning into Rapunzel over here and was plum sick of living in pony tails because that was the only thing that would keep the hair out of my face. Toss in the fact that I've been asked to think about a promotion at the day job...a promotion that people in the area don't typically reach until they are 1)male [not happening] or 2) in their fifties [not there yet], I've got to pull myself together.
So, I walk into the salon and meet with the new stylist doing my hair (my regular stylist went out on maternity leave...two years ago, so I've been bouncing around ever since). She's in her early twenties and has the whole beat-nick style working for her. I tell her what I want and she's running her hands through my hair only to look me dead in the eye in the mirror and say, "You've got, like, one grey hair. Is that standard?"

Have I mentioned I have two sons? And that I'm NOT in my early twenties anymore? Yes, the random grey pops up. And, yeah, it's pretty standard because if I can't make it to the salon to get my hair cut, how in Hades am I going to be able to get there to get it colored every few weeks?

But, it got me looking around at everyone in there. Women, desperately trying to look younger. (I know this because a couple of them were talking while under the hair dryers and I heard them shouting that they were hoping the new hair color would make them look younger.) A few men (brave souls) asking about products to 1) keep their hair from falling out or 2) regrow the hair that fell out or 3) skin care. 
I'm all about being the best you possible, in every way you can be. I just couldn't help be astounded at the amount of money (not to mention time) some of the patrons were dumping into the salon on the promise of recapturing-something. 
I know this is coming off as preachy and holier than thou. That's not what I meant by it. It's fascinating the lengths people will go to in order to capture or try to retain physical beauty, while ignoring the fact that they are glaring at the woman who dared bring her infant into the salon and he was getting fussy. Or giving the lumber-jack looking guy wide berth as they walk around him to get to their next service. Thankfully those people were far outnumbered by the people who were happy to be in the salon, having someone dote on them and really make them feel good.

We need things that make us feel good about ourselves on the surface level. But I think we need to remind ourselves that it is just the surface and not get so caught up in that part that we lose track of the things that don't fade with time. The things that really make us wonderful and, really, beautiful.

My Writing Process

First off, I need to thank Angel Nicholas for inviting me to participate in this blog tour. You can read all about Angel's process here.

So, to keep in line with the parameters of the blog tour, I'm to answer four questions. I'll probably go off on some tangents. It seems to be what I do.

1)     What am I working on?
Currently I'm working on the first book of my Skyhawk Security series. I've finished the first draft and am currently working on editing the draft and threading a secondary story line in.  It's my first full length novel and as such it offers challenges that smaller pieces haven't presented before. It's also the first time I'm going into a story knowing that it will be the start of a series. I'm building a world that needs to be sustained through at least another two books, if not longer. Hopefully much longer.

Lily Myers is determined to enjoy every second of her life. Lord knows she's sacrificed enough. She firmly believes she can have-and do-it all. So when she's attacked and her family insists she hire a body guard, she does so grudgingly.
Clint Sloane is tying up loose ends. One of those loose ends happens to be Lily. She's smart, sexy and has the power to break him. The men after her won't stand a chance, because he's going to take care of things first.

2)     How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My work skates the line between dark romantic suspense and more humorous, contemporary romance. I take the approach that we're just seeing a snippet of the character's lives. Their entire life can't be a suspense novel, so there are elements of the mundane, day-to-day tossed in. Not enough to make it drag on and be boring, but enough to really connect with the characters and feel like you know them. They have dreams and regrets. They don't always to the right thing and they make mistakes.
I suppose that's not necessarily different from others of it's genre, but the way I talk about it seems to be a little different.

3)     Why do I write what I do?
Back when I graduated from college I remember being thrilled at the thought of reading a book just because I wanted to. No more trying to figure out what an author meant when they said the curtains were blue (I'm still convinced that 90% of the authors simply meant that the curtains were a lovely shade of indigo rather than whatever it was the professor decided it meant) or reading books that I simply didn't connect with. As a result I read everything I could get my hands on. I fell in love with historical romances and devoured everything I got my hands on. Along the way, as an avid reader, I met some authors. Some really wonderful women who opened up the world of romance to me, beyond the ballrooms and period dress. Suspense and mysteries that have happy endings. Two of my very favorite things all rolled into one! How could I resist?
There were a few characters (not my own) that would haunt me. I simply needed to have more of them, so I would up writing a few short stories staring these characters. And I started writing. And talking to more authors who encouraged me to keep writing. To listen to my own characters and put them on the page.  The lure was too great to resist, so I started to dabble. A little bit here, a little bit there. I'd ask my husband about plot points and character details and generally drove him crazy. He encouraged me to join RWA and started me on this amazing journey.

4)     How does your writing process work?
My process has been a work in progress to figure out what works for me. It seems as though I'm surrounded by writers that don't have to do an exhaustive plot outline and edit as they go. To say I'm not one of them is an understatement.  It's taken me a couple of years, but I finally seem to realize that I must have an outline. I don't necessarily have to follow it, but I have to have it so I know where I'm trying to go. Otherwise my romantic suspense might wind up being an apocalyptic fantasy.
So, I start with an outline. A huge poster board covered in sticky notes outlining the characters and plot.  From there I do a fast draft where I write. No editing. No going back and fixing that part that just didn't quite work out. Just write.
Then I edit. I delete half of what I wrote before and re-write it. It's bitterly painful, but oh so rewarding because this is when the story starts to really shine. It had a shape before, but now it comes alive. 
In terms of day-to-day writing, I get up at 5 AM nearly every day to write. It's the only time my house is silent, with the critters (both two and four legged) are otherwise occupied (aka asleep) so I can get a string of at least two thoughts to piece together.
Most of all, I've learned I have to laugh at myself. So many people take themselves so seriously, that they seem to lose the joy in doing something so amazing. And, really. Writing is amazing.

Short and sweet

The kids are about to issue a beat down on one another, so I need to go moderate. I'll leave you with a couple thoughts this morning.

Sports and Romance

As I was jumping up and down, screaming, watching the big game yesterday I started wondering about those guys on the field. My twitter feed was blowing up about how good looking some of the players are.
And I agree. Some of the players are very good looking. Some of them, however, look like they've met a brick wall with their face a few too many times.
But, I appear to be one of those rare female sports fans that actually loves the game. I can spot penalties and call the down before the refs make their decision--which is fun during live's something of a party trick depending on who is around me.
Then I started wondering why some of these women were watching the game if they were obviously not enjoying it. Is it just for the commercials? (I so so disappointed in the commercials this year.) Is it because it's the socially acceptable thing to do?
And why do these same women (I assume) not hesitate to pick up a romance novel that contains a sports hero? What is it about these guys that make them romantic figures? There are books that cover pretty much any sport at every heat level a reader could desire.

Except, basketball. Maybe there are some hidden titles out there that I couldn't find, but where's the basketball love??  That's sort of a rhetorical question, because out of all the sports I love...I just don't get basket ball. I blame the fact that I'm only 5 feet tall for that. Scrappy doesn't work in that game of giants.

So, what do you think? What's the appeal for the sports stories that fly off the shelves? 
And did you watch the game? Are you pleased with the outcome?