Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bigging it Up

It's been wonderful fun having Annalisa Crawford visit this week - if you haven't read her guest post about what she learned during the publishing of her book, Cat and the Dreamer, then check it out - it's just below this one. Many thanks to all of you who have shown her such a warm welcome with your comments.

I've downloaded Annalisa's book to my Kindle and can't wait to read it!


I really enjoy hosting others here at my blog. It's a great way to hear different voices and make new friends. I know it's hard sometimes to "Big it Up" for yourself, as Annalisa says. (That is definitely my favorite new expression!) So if you need someone to Big it Up for you, or if there is just something you'd like to post about and would like a new venue to share it, please send me an email at It doesn't have to be about a book - it can be about whatever your creative endeavor is, or just something that really interests you!

Have a lovely Wednesday everyone!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Guest Post from Annalisa Crawford, Author of Cat and the Dreamer

Today I’m delighted to host Annalisa Crawford, who just released her first novella in ebook form. I think many of you may know Annalisa already, as she is very active and supportive in Bloggiland. I know that I’ve seen her comments when I’ve visited many of your blogs, so I hope you’ll say Hi to her while she’s visiting over here.

The links to Annalisa's book are listed at the end of the post.
All right then, Annalisa, Take it Away!

First, I'd like to say a big thank you to Melissa for letting me run riot in her wonderful blog!

I'm Annalisa Crawford, and my first novella, Cat and the Dreamer, has just been published by Vagabondage Press.

This is the part of the process - the looking back part - where I thought I'd be able to share all the things I've learnt. I thought I'd be able to give something back to all the wonderful bloggers who've been so helpful to me. But the problem is, it went so smoothly, I don't think I've learnt anything at all! I have a publisher, so a lot of the problems I've read about on other blogs just haven't applied to me, because the 'publishing bit' was out of my remit.

Still, I’m happy to share the few things that I did learn! Here’s my list:

* Learn to be patient. ePublishing is a lot quicker than print publishing, so when you don't hear from your publisher for a month, or longer, don't panic. Things are happening behind the scenes! When my MS was accepted, I was given the release date. And we met it. Granted, I didn't see the front cover until a week before, and I passed the final proofs back four days before... but it didn't matter. Breathe and be patient.

* Listen to the editor, but feel free to disagree with their changes. All my edits were done using 'Track Changes' in Word which was brilliant (no need to know all those strange editing marks that they put at the back of the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook - do they even still do that?) Anyway, I made all the changes she suggested. Then I stopped and thought, 'Actually, I liked that comma there, I wanted a semi-colon and not a full-stop'. So I opened up the file again, and considered each change more carefully. I still made a lot of the changes, but not all.

* Keep on top of your current WIP. I stopped writing when I got the email saying yes! I danced around the room, I kept it a secret for a fortnight or so, and I forgot to carry on writing. Even now, I'm editing and rewriting small parts of a previous project, rather than redrafting my novel.

* Stop saying 'It's just an ebook'. Did you see what I did there? JUST! I'm basically apologizing for the fact you can't buy it in Waterstone's. No, it IS an ebook, there's no just. Learn to big it up, learn to be proud. (Still learning this one, I have to choose my words carefully when I'm talking to people)

* Don't be ill the week of release so you can at least have a celebratory lunch with your hubby/wife/best friend/cat. I haven't celebrated yet. Yes, this week has been great, but it could have been better. I've just remembered a bottle of Champagne that someone bought me for the purpose of celebrating - no fear, it will be opened soon!

You know what? I think that's everything! I did warn you it would be short. I'd love to hear what you've all learnt from the publishing process.... you might have a better list than me.

Thank you Annalisa, for generously sharing your experience and thoughts.  I think your list is actually quite helpful! Personally, I plan to use “Big it Up” as often as possible!

Wishing you wonderful good fortune with your book. By the way, I just down-loaded it to my Kindle and look forward to reading it.

Okay, here are Annalisa's links; I hope you'll check out her book, her blog and her Facebook page:


Friday, February 24, 2012

I love Fridays because so many bloggers do fun things on  Fridays. It's like the bloggiland equivalent of Casual Fridays in the workplace. So I'm just going to send you off to visit a couple of folks who made me smile this morning:

Chatty Crone
Under the Tiki Hut
It's a Mystery

I know there are a lot more fun people out there, so please let me know about your favorite Friday Fun bloggers.

Tomorrow we are meeting friends for breakfast at a new Swiss Bakery/Cafe and then we are going to the Bataaan Museum. It's on our list of 101 things to do before we leave Santa Fe.

On Sunday, it's another trip to the Storage Bunker, as RVPainter likes to call it. We've got to get out the quilts that my cousin-in-law made us just for the RV, so that we can ship them to the RV manufacturer in Indiana. We'll be sending them a bunch of stuff that we'll need when we go to pick up the RV, because we actually have to be able to live in it and then drive it back here to Santa Fe. You know what this means, don't you???? It means we're getting close!!

I'm teaching the 11am Restorative Yoga class, and this is my last hurrah teaching at YogaSource, so boy is this going to be a nice class! I should probably get up out of this chair and go dry my hair!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Stranded at Rocky Mountain RV

Today we have to have a baseplate put on the car so that the RV will be able to haul it behind - when we get the RV, that is. So we have to spend the better part of the day at Rocky Mountain RV in Albuquerque, waiting while they do the work.

That's okay, because we have our laptops and I have my new iphone (I'm getting better at Words with Friends), and they have TV (and you can actually change the channels) and they have People magazine. Not the most recent issue, but still. There are bathrooms, coffee that is not the worst I've ever had and a soda machine. We've got yogurts for lunch but I'm hoping there is a machine somewhere with M&Ms or Doritoes or something for later :-)

I also have STORY by Robert McKee, which I got to help me with the screenplay I'm writing for The Christmas Village. An awful lot of people have said, "I can see this as a movie!" so I'm taking the next step with a screenplay. I mean - who knows, right?? I haven't written one before, but my first drafts are actually a lot like screenplays, I think. And my friends Arthur Wooten and Ann Best have offered to be mentors as I go along.

But best of all, I have all kinds of time to go blog visiting today, which is something I get behind with on work days. So, a-visiting I shall go!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

We had a lot of fun with yesterday's post about "signs!" Glad to know that I'm not the only who

a) talks to people who are not visibly present
b) believes that things that seem like coincidences are actually signs.

Read back through yesterday's comments for some GREAT stories about people who've gotten signs, or better yet, visits from deceased loved ones.

I can't say that I've ever had the experience of thinking that my mom or dad was right there with me, visiting. But my husband and I did live for a while in a lovely old Victorian home in Maine, where we definitely felt the presence of the past owners. I'll tell you those stories another day, because I need to find pictures of the place to add to the story. They were nice visitors, benevolent presences, not scary ones.

I've been bringing to mind Dad's advice to "STOP IT!" every chance I get. Most recently, I used it in conjunction with my ongoing struggle with kicking into handstand. I think I mentioned that I can DO a beautiful handstand once I'm in it, but I have "issues" with kicking up. I'm pretty sure it's a fear of hitting the wall hard and falling over. The reason I think that is because it's actually happened and it scares the heck out of you - and the person next to you! So I guess I'm not afraid of the handstand, I'm afraid of the wall ....

But if I took my handstand baggage to Bob Newhart, psychiatrist, and asked him to analyze my problem and help me overcome my fear of kicking up, you know what he'd say? He's say:


So yesterday, every time I practiced kicking up, I said the words "stop it" to myself. As in, "Stop holding back", and "Stop being a baby." And you know what? Up I'd go. Seriously. I kid you not.

Feel free to use the STOP IT technique to overcome whatever is holding you back - no charge for the therapy!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Watch for the Signs

Do you believe in signs? I do. I'm always asking for signs to give me guidance or help me with decisions. But I'm sure I must annoy the heck out of whomever is answering my requests, because first I say, "Please give me a sign." Then I get the sign and I say, "Okay, I'm pretty sure that was a sign, but would you please give me another sign to confirm that the first thing really was a sign?" Actually, I'm surprised "They" don't drop a rock on my head to shut me up.

Anyway! I've been thinking about my departed family members a great deal lately - yesterday was Dad's birthday - he died in 2009. And March 31st will be the one-year anniversary of my mother's death. I talk to them all the time, and last week I asked them to tell me anything that they would like me to know. Anything.

Late last week, my brother miraculously came across a piece of information in a box of stuff that we had somehow never come across before. He found a food ration card with the address of the house Mom lived in when she was evacuated to Beaumaris, Wales in 1939. I had really wanted to know which house she lived in, and with whom. I think Mom answered my plea by guiding my brother to find the food ration card in the box of old stuff. It's what I had wanted to know, and I think she wanted me to know too. I think she wants us to know her story.

That was pretty cool, so I told Dad, "Okay, Dad, I've heard from Mom. Now you're up!" But nothing seemed to come, so I nagged him about it as I drove to yoga class Saturday morning. (Yes, that was me, talking to myself in the car.) The teacher started class by telling us a story, which included a reference to an episode of the Bob Newhart show. Well, my Dad LOVED Bob Newhart. We had Bob Newhart comedy albums at our house long before he ever had his TV shows. So my ears perked up. In the episode in question, a woman went to Bob (a pyschiatrist) for therapy. Bob told her that he would solve her troubles in five minutes. The woman launched into a speech about her baggage and her troubles. Bob told her that he had two words that could solve ALL her problems. The two words were:


Well, if my father was going to send me a message, he would definitely do it in an amusing way so that he could giggle about it. If he could handpick a messenger, it would surely be Bob Newhart - because that's how I would know the message was from him! As for the message itself, "STOP IT!", I can totally see where that would come from. I worry too much. I fret. I mull. I perseverate. I overthink. And seriously, I need to STOP IT!

So, thanks Dad, for the advice. And thanks, Mom, for the information. I bet you're both feeling pretty pleased with yourselves right now. 

Do you believe in signs? Have you gotten any? Do you think I'm nuts? It's okay - I might be!

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Courage to Poopsy-Do

Yes, I DO know how silly that sounds! And that's the whole point really, because "Poopsy-do" is a silly term coined by the late artist Helen Van Wyck. She died of cancer - I'm not sure when, but some time ago. Her  half-hour art lesson show airs on PBS, and RVPainter likes to watch it on Saturday afternoons. Because it comes on after my favorite show, "This Old House Hour," I often watch it too.

Poopsy-do refers to a blending technique in which you apply oil paint sideways in quick strokes and then smooth it out with vertical strokes. First you "poopsy," then you "do."

So I'm not trying to give you an art lesson here - it's just what was on my mind this morning. I think it takes a tremendous amount of courage to go on TV and give instruction about art and say words like Poopsy Do that everyone is likely to make fun of. It's hard enough being an artist without subjecting yourself to mockery!

Helen had the courage to just be herself, perhaps because she was so good. But which came first - the being good, or the courage to be herself? It's likely that both developed along the way, in a kind of iterative process. As she grew as a painter, she also grew more comfortable in being herself. The more comfortable she was in herself, the better a painter she became.

I think we can all take a lesson from Helen, but I'll speak about it as a writer. To become a better writer, I think you have to be willing to let your true self shine through. The better writer you become, the more you're willing to be yourself, seriousness and silliness and funny secret words and all. There is some equivalent of Poopsy Do for writers - I think it's called revising :-)

How do you Poopsy Do?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Solving a family mystery - Priceless!

Some of you who've followed me for a while will remember my quest to find out where my mother lived - and with whom - when she was evacuated with her boarding school in England, to Beaumaris, Wales, at the start of WWII. At first, we didn't even know what school she was at, but we followed the leads and confirmed that it was the Liverpool Blue Coat School (for orphans and fatherless children). Through the school, I found a woman who was a friend of Mom's. She and I have exchanged letters, and she even sent me the page from her autograph book that my mother had signed - in fact, Mom was the first person to sign this lady's book.

Then, today, my brother was going through a box of old stuff and discovered a food ration card with Mom's name on it ... AND ... her address in Beaumaris! Don't know where that box has been or why my brother has it or why we never knew about it before!

I went straight to Google Earth and was able to hone right in on the front door of the house that my mother lived in. It's just where it should be, based on her description in an essay she wrote in 1940, after she had returned to the U.S. Just as she described, it faces the Menai Strait and the green she spoke of playing on with her friends. I feel like Mom is guiding us toward knowing her story, but she is taking her time about it! Now that we have the address, I've written to the nice people in Beaumaris who helped me before, and asked if there is a way we can find out who lived at that address in 1939 - 1940. That would be the older woman my mother spoke of staying with.

Here is where she lived, second archway from the left in the closer-up picture:

It's amazing what technology can do - I found the address on google earth and then took a picture of my computer screen with my iphone.

I also promised you pictures of dessert from our lunch yesterday, so here they are:

Dick's dessert - chocolate cake with mousse-y stuff and whipped cream

My dessert - an almond crust, chocolate mousee, and inside, strawberries. YUM
 Today I'm teaching the Restorative Yoga class at 11. The yoga teacher who has breast cancer is having her surgery at 12:30, so we'll send out lots of healing oms and prayers to her. You can add yours in too, if you feel so inclined. The more positive energy going her way, the better!

If I haven't visited your blog this week, I plan to catch up this weekend!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thursday Thinkabout

I've met so many lovely Aussies here in Bloggiland and that's what made me "thinkabout" the title for today's post. Kind of like a walkabout, only lazier ...

So Things I'm Thinking About about today:

Why on earth do people agree to go on Judge Judy? Seriously. They must know she's going to annihilate them ...

You do NOT want to get THIS look from Judge Judy!
 Do you think we could put a temporary moratorium on new internet stuff so we can all take a breath and get caught up? (This thought brought on by finding myself totally out of the loop with regard to Pinterest, which I have now joined and have no clue how to use)

Please, just a little time-out?

Is it only in Santa Fe that people ride their bikes to work when it is snowing out?

Apparently not, because this photo was taken somewhere else

Things I'm grateful for today:

Going to Valentine's lunch with my sweetie, even though it's not actually Valentine's Day. But I worked Tuesday so we waited until I was off. We're going to Burro Alley, which used to be Cafe Paris (please pronoune Paree), the first place we discovered in Santa Fe. It's special to us. They have a fabulous French bakery and we are going to have a dessert treat for sure! I'll take a picture of dessert with my new iphone.

I've written two solid first chapters of my next book and sketched out three more. Hope to poke at those over the weekend and end up with at least one more in first-draft-finished state.

Only 48 days until we hit the road!

What's going on with you today and what's on your Thinkabout radar?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

My 25-word Nail Polish Story is up at - you guessed it - Nail Polish Stories, A Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal - HERE. My nail polish color is called "Russian Roullette" - it's not exactly a love story, but it's fun! Read all the February entries (won't take long, they're all only 25 words!), and send in one of your own if the spirit moves you. They publish them once every month.

Ann Best, author of In the Mirror and a well-known and popular blogger, wrote the most wonderful, unexpected, unsolicited review of my book, The Christmas Village. When someone feels everything I hoped they'd feel when reading my book, it makes me just want to jump up and down and clap my hands like a little kid. I'm grateful for Ann's generous spirit in putting this spontaneous review out there.

So, if you've been curious about my book, take a hop over to Ann's blog and read what she has to say - she really captures all that I could hope for any reader to take from it. And while you're there, check out her memoir, In The Mirror, which continues to get rave reviews.

It's Valentine's Day, so here's a shout-out to MY Valentine, RVPainter, aka artist J. Richard Secor. He has been my Valentine for more than 30 years now and I couldn't have been given a better partner with whom to share life. We've gone through good times and some rough ones too, but we've always been a great team and he still makes me laugh. Good thing, 'cause we're gonna be living in pretty tight quarters soon!

Wishing you all a wonderful day, filled with love and hopefully, yummy chocolate bonbons.

Monday, February 13, 2012

First Pictures of our New Home

Very exciting - we just got the first pictures of our new RV under construction - it's pretty far along as you'll see. We are just about 45 days away from going to Indiana to pick it up!

Here we go:

That's our new front door

Nexus logo over the cab

This side slides out to make it roomier inside

Our Dreamcatcher logo will go right there above Phantom

It's a little blurry - but that's your guest room under the bus - bring a blanket!

Kitchen area - nicer than here in the Tiny Little Apartment

The back wall will be the bed headboard. That's Dick's closet space there on the right :0

I'm told I have to take quick showers :(

Storage above the dinette and couch

Sorry we can't really see the living area, but I suspect it's rather a mess. Will post more pictures as they send them to us. Still, Very exciting!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Guest Post from Greg Allen, Author of Chicken Boy: The Amazing Adventures of a Super Hero With Autism

Today, author Greg Allen and I are swapping blogs. Greg is a multi-facted writer who writes in a variety of genres. The themes he covers are diverse, but a common thread, whether he is writing for grown-ups or for kids, is the theme of overcoming adversity through perseverence. Today, he's telling us about the inspiration for his children's book,
Chicken Boy, The Amazing Adventures of a Super Hero with Autism.

Heeeeeeeeere's GREG!

Inspiration in the Eyes of my Godson

As an author, I find inspiration in so many places when I’m writing. A dream. A situation that pops inside my head. A tour guide on a vacation can become a character in a book. Something I’ve lived through in my past and want to work through it in a fictionalized way.

With my children’s book, it was something completely different.

I have a long history of working and writing in children’s theater. The first musical I ever wrote for the stage was a children’s show when I was 14. I went on to write two others in high school. When I moved to NY, I toured in every children’s show imaginable including the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – so performing and writing for children was in my blood.

Last summer, the idea of Chicken Boy: The Amazing Adventures of a Super Hero with Autism came to me while having my weekly dinner with my godson and his sister. She and I were watching him eat his chicken fingers (that he must have every week) and this children’s picture book was born. I submitted it to a few publishers, but then it really took off in the fall when it was entered in the MeeGenius Author Challenge. They are a leading eBook publisher and received 400 manuscripts in the fall. The public was able to vote and we were thrilled when it received over 2,000 votes. Now it is in the final week of the last round where only 13 remain and all have been edited and illustrated. It has been an amazing lesson in gratitude for me.

I knew I wanted to tell a story from the perspective of the child with autism. So many are from a sibling or friend and this was a simple way to say “don’t be fearful of who I am…get to know me.” Naturally, I used my godson as who was in my mind – but I’ve heard from so many people that read the book in round one and said “that is my child!” It has touched me beyond words and now the book is about all the children with autism that are super heroes – each living in their own minds and are wonderful, creative, smart people.

Who knows where my next inspiration will come from, but for now – I’m thankful that Gabe not only inspired me, but that I followed through and we’re hoping this book will see publication soon. (Feel free to click on the link to read it and put in your own vote as well! CLICK HERE TO VOTE

I wish great inspiration on everyone reading this blog. You never know where you’ll find it!

And for a video about my inspiration – well HERE he is.

For more on Gregory G. Allen - visit his website at or see Melissa's guest post on his BLOG

That's Greg, right there!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Tomorrow I'm Swapping Blogs with Greg Allen

Tomorrow I'll be swapping blogs with Greg Allen, author of Chicken Boy, The Amazing Adventures of a Super Hero with Autism. He's guest posting about the inspiration for the book. I hope you'll stop by here to meet him, and make sure you say, "Hi Greg!"

This is Greg:

And this is Greg's book:

In other news:

At YogaSource, we've started having practice sessions where the teachers get together and we share different ways to teach poses. It's a great way to learn variations and new techniques. Anyway, yesterday we did all this cool stuff using the "rope wall" - which isn't really ropes - more like straps. It's amazing for getting really long extention in the spine. I think I'm two inches taller!

Later today I'm teaching the Gentle Yoga class and I have some fun stuff in store for them using chairs to help them do the standing poses.

We've got blue skies and sunshine over Santa Fe this morning. Other than teaching that class, there's nothing I HAVE to do today, and that is a nice feeling!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Thank you everyone, for the supportive words yesterday. It's much appreciated, because otherwise you start to second-guess yourself a bit. Before we leave Santa Fe, we will indeed resume walking in the cemetery, paying our respects and stopping to ponder the lives of people like "Dallas Leroy Brown" and "Walter Blackburn" and the three Esthers who have stones on the same hill, (Esther was my grandma's name) and the "Fourteen Unknowns Soldiers" and "Indian Boy."  I wonder how many people in Santa Fe know those names? Not many, I'll bet. Why? Because, sadly, you never see anyone walking over there!

Anyway, yesterday was a funny day because I woke up thinking that I was just going to let it just be a day of gratitude. I'm always bugging God for stuff, and I had decided to take a day off from that so he could get caught up! My list can get long :-) Then we got embroiled again in the cemetery bruhaha so I got off track.

So a day off from Silly Cemetery Stuff and back to Thankful Thursday.

Today I am grateful for:

Our upcoming road adventure
My next book being underway
Good health
Great Bloggi Friends
A husband who still makes me laugh even after 30 years together
All the other nice cemeteries in the U.S. where they like it if you walk there :-)
So many blessings, I can't count 'em all!

Have a good one, everybody!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Not so fast Mr. Cemetery Director...

This is an update to my post earlier in the day. We had heard from a bureaucrat at the VA and thought perhaps we were at the end of options regarding the whole "you can't walk in the cemetery thing." That's what I wrote about this morning - and thank you all of you who left comments. I have to say that I felt deflated. But then ... I got angry... and it takes a LOT to make me angry.

We have replied to the VA bureaucrat and pushed back. We have some other steps to take - as some of you suggested - letters to the paper and such. There is a local TV guy who is interested in this - we had just wanted to give folks a chance to make the right decisions on their own. That hasn't happened, so we will continue in whatever ways we can, as long as it makes sense to do so. This is wrong, and we aren't going away easily!!

This is what I put up this morning:

So we got an email from the VA today saying that although the regulations covering National Cemeteries CLEARLY allow walking, hiking and casually strolling in the cemeteries, the individual Cemetery Director has the discretion to decide NOT to allow walking there if it appears to HIM that you are walking there primarily for exercise.

So, HE gets to decide what YOUR intent is. We walked there because my husband is a veteran, and because it is a peaceful and spiritual place. We liked to stop and pay our respects along the way. At Christmas, we laid wreaths at the markers for the Unknowns. We were quiet and respectful. Were we getting exercise? Sure, but so what! Every time you put one foot in front of the other, it's exercise! We weren't running or skipping or jogging. RVPainter is almost 72, and I have trouble keeping up with him, but he's not THAT fast :-)

I don't think there's much else we can do with this - RVPainter and I will discuss and decide about that. It feels very wrong, but it appears that the VA is standing behind their dictator man.

If you're not up to speed on this little drama of ours, you can read the original story HERE

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

It's Tuesday and I Don't Have a Clever Title for this Post

It's spitting snow out there. Hubby insists this is because I decided to put my winter coat in storage. Well, the yoga studio will be nice and warm this morning anyway.

We got the sorry news recently that one of our beautiful yoga teachers has breast cancer. She is in her early 50's I think, but like most yoga teachers, looks 30. I am sad that she has to go through this, but thinking good thoughts for her full recovery. Lots of ohms going out for her. xxxooo

I'd taken myself off the yoga teaching schedule when I was finishing writing The Christmas Village, and then stayed off because we will be leaving soon. But I sub for other's classes and I'm doing several this month. It's nice to be able to teach some farewell classes.

Hey did I tell you that a famous actress practices at our studio? She came to my book signing too :-) Think "Love Story."

Today is work until about 2pm,

That's our studio, but I'm not in this picture

then handstand practice,

I CANNOT do THAT. But I'd like to.

then chanting class. I'm always tired by the time we get to chanting at 4:15, but I always feel better - relaxed - afterward. I call it my choir practice.
Okay, off I go! Have a great Tuesday. And take it easy today - there's a full moon and the energy is strong. So that's when you need to back off and have a little rest. Me, I'm always in favor of a little rest.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday Miscellaneari

I am still into creating new words after having so much fun with "bognati" yesterday, hence my new word Miscellaneari. Doesn't it sound more interesting that the usual word? Though I think that simply adding an "i" to the end of most words makes them more interesting (perhaps there is a new game in that!)

 Several people came up with great definitions for bognati yesterday - among them, a bog filled with gnats, and a bog in Cincinnati!

I think that my Nail Polish Story is supposed to go up today, but it's not there yet, so I'll let you know later when it is.

There is, however, a wonderful review for The Christmas Village over at Literary R&R. I'm always delighted when the grown-ups enjoy my book as much as the kids do! I keep saying, "It's not just for kids," but it's nice when someone else says it for me.

Hope Monday treats you well.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bognati (Say what?)

While blog visiting this week, I came across something that was fun - creative in a silly sort of way. So I'm stealing borrowing it. I can't recall whose blog it was, so I hereby acknowedge YOU, without knowing who YOU are, for this fun idea.

What he/she did was take those funky words that we have to input to prove that we are thinking human beings when leaving a comment, and came up with definitions for them.

So here are a few that I came upon over the past few days:

burbons: bonbons made with bourbon

biliki: licking the envelopes for your bills

purbing: curbing your puppy

well, this one got off the leash ...

I also like this one, but I can't for the life of me come up with a definition, so I am putting it out there to you. Please define:


Look forward to your brilliant definitions!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Awoke to Snow

We awoke to about 4 inches of snow on the ground here in Santa Fe. RVPainter attributes this directly to the fact that I decided to pack my winter coat in storage yesterday, saying, "I can get by with my nice sweater coats."

I am delighted with this snowy day, as we have no place that we have to go, and I planned to write anyway. Hopefully RVP will do a painting too. I love it when he's over there at his easel and I'm over here clacking away on the laptop.

RVPainter made a nice sale of a large painting so he is very happy today, even though he is NOT happy about the snow. I said, "Forget the snow, embrace the Snow DAY!"

This is the painting he sold. Hmm.. interesting, he seems to like to paint snow.

Got my iPhone late yesterday and believe it or not, it is operational already! They actually make it quite easy. Today I have to get a new line for my old phone so I can call RVPainter and say things like, "Don't be a Snow Poop!" 

Actually, the sky is already lightening up, and I bet the sun will come out and we'll be all melty by noon. That's how it works in Santa Fe - we get, on average, 300 days of sunshine a year. That makes all the difference. The snow will stay on the mountains and they will look gorgeous! I'll try to remember to take a picture.

Otherwise, I really want to make headway on my book today, as my horoscope said that I'd be going into an unprecedented creative spell starting February 3rd. Must take advantage of that! (Let's hope they are right).

Have a great Friday everyone!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Making it easy and getting stuff (almost) free ...

I've been eligible for a phone upgrade for quite a while now, but I hadn't done it because then I would have had to get a more expensive phone plan and data package that I don't really need. But now that we are going to be on the road, it makes sense for me to have a Smart Phone that can do computer-ish things when we are without wifi. And, RVPainter, who doesn't have a cell phone, will need to have one so that we can call each other if one of us goes off somewhere and needs to get in touch.

So! I am getting an IPhone! And RVPainter will get my old Samsung. With my upgrade and another $50 discount that I'm getting because the folks at Verizon apparently like me a lot, the phone is costing me only $49.99. That's practically FREE! We will have to have a family plan and get the data package, but when all is said and done, it's not too bad at all.

I guess it will look like this :-)

I'm tempted to say "I won't need all those apps," but I think that there will actually be some apps that will be very helpful to us. It's all part of Making Things Easy - I think the IPhone will make things easier for us and of course we do need to have a phone for each of us.

If you IPhone users know of apps that you think would helpful for people who are "on the road" a lot - please let me know. I'm hoping there is an app for finding all of Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives spots on our route!

This diner is in Brunswick, Maine - I've eaten here.

Reds' Eats is in Wiscasset, Maine. It's more of a "dive" because it's not a diner and you can't "drive-in,"
you can only "walk up." When we lived in East Boothbay, Maine, RVPainter did a painting of Red's
 with a scene like this and we had prints made up that sold really well. We had a gallery at our house
 in East Boothbay, I don't know if I mentioned that before. We had a ball with it.
It was called The School Street Gallery, because it was a gallery and it was on School Street.  Clever, huh?