Tuesday, September 29, 2009


The good news: Beth went back to work Saturday at her grooming shop which, as you may remember, burned down on Thanksgiving Day last year.

The bad news: With Beth gone during the day, not only will Elijah consume all of my time and energy, but he also has to Left Alone for several hours during the day.

OK, it's not like I didn't see this day coming. I could've prepared him a bit better by leaving him in his crate during the day on a regular basis, if only for, say, a single hour. He sleeps in his crate during the day and I do occasionally leave while he's asleep--but this is a whole new ball of dog fur.

Last time I left him for more than 15 min or so was when 's uncle passed away and we went to the wake. We were gone, oh, maybe 2 hours. Eli freaked while we were gone, ripped up his bedding, and halfway disassembled his metal crate. He's had extreme separation anxiety from day one. I attribute this to the fact that he was probably (from the smell of him) kept in a garbage can until his previous owners so thoughtfully took him out for a fun ride one day and then threw his butt into the snow at the side of the road before speeding off. Yeah, I'd have issues, too.

There will be a 2.5 hour span in which no one will be home, from the time I leave for work till Beth gets home. Today is the FIRST DAY we will have to do this. I swear he senses this already.

Beth:  Mom, dog do not have ESP.

Me: Yes they do.

Beth: No they don't *launches into explanation about dogs observing and recognizing the habits of humans, etc. *

Me (firmly, as Eli gives me his I know perfectly well what you're gonna do to me today look): ESP.

I can't even leave a comforting fuzzy/snuggly toy with him. Fuzzy toys immediately become fuzzy/snuggly snack. Nothing but rubber for this dude. As for the bed, well, he already ate the zipper so I guess there's not much else he can do ...except eat through the cover and gobble down the stuffing. I have it wrapped in a heavy blanket. He may eat that too.

I swear I was never this nervous about leaving my kids alone. The worst they could do was burn down the house. The worse Eli can do is eat his entire crate and then I'll be stuck paying for a doggie colostomy.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I've been interviewed by Carrie over at the amazing MOONLIGHT LACE AND MAYHEM so please stop by and say hi if you get a chance!









I don't mean the usual eye exam. I don't mean answering a few road safety questions (uh, like not straddling two lanes? not driving 15 mph in a 35 mile zone?). I mean someone in authority needs to sit his butt in the front seat with that driver, take 'em out on a main road during rush hour, and see what happens. This should be MANDATORY!

Also mandatory:

The ability to see over the steering wheel. Geriatric booster seats or whatever.

The abililty to HEAR me blasting my horn at them.

The ability to distinguish colors.

The ability to remember that for the past several decades it's perfectly legal to turn right on red. Even on green.

The ability to steer in a straight line.

Depth perception. I'm really not six feet ahead of you. More like six inches.

Maybe some ecological awareness? Because my dinky 32 mpg Saturn (10 yrs old, 157k) won't stand a chance against your big honking, gas-sucking (16 mpg) yacht-sized Lincoln Continental if you hit your accelerator instead of the brake.

Oh, yeah. And a brain with the ability to send--in a split second--the correct messages to your feet.

Disclaimer: As I'm slowly creeping in that direction myself, I feel perfectly justified in complaining about this. Someone needs to take the initiative to get these menaces OFF my THE ROAD! If someday I have to join them, then so be it. I only pray one of my kids has enough sense (and guts) to say "Mom, I wuv you--but your driving sucks. You're old. You're dangerous!" and take my keys away forever. Independence be damned. I don't want to kill someone.

I know people may argue that young drivers are just as bad. But if given the choice of sharing the road with a teenager with his temporary permit, and a 90-year-old guy on Aricept with his nose on the wheel, who would you pick?

So...Mandatory Yearly Road Tests for drivers over age 70? Bi-yearly for >75? Daily test drives for anyone >80?

C'mon, young'uns. Who's with me?

____ Yay

____ Nay

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Viva la Vida" Lawsuit

So how do you suppose they "settled" this lawsuit?


Puppy Love

I just love my dog! <3

Please remind of this later...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I clicked on my horoscope this morning and it said: "Welcome to the new Tarot.com, Nadine!"

Um, who's Nadine? I know a Nadine. But I am not her, uh, she, uh, whatever.

"But don't think that you can reach your goals now; it's better to wait until the squall passes and your life calms down."

Whose goals? Whose squall? Mine or Nadine's? If it's my squall, and I wait for it to "pass" before reaching my goals, I'll be hunting-and-pecking away in some squalid Medicaid nursing home, tied to a 30-year-old wheelchair without any foot rests.

I'm confused.

I went to Borders yesterday and worked from 5 p.m. till they kicked me out at closing. They have free Wi-Fi now which is not a good thing. Luckily, the connection there sucks. After getting bumped off 2 or 3 times I remembered the real reason I was there: to "reach my goals."

Or Nadine's goals.

One of ours, anyway.


Nadine Jen

Monday, September 21, 2009


I never work on more than one project at a time.


First, I s-e-r-i-o-u-s-l-y have to get LMB finished. Enough is enough. Yet I'm also chomping on the bit to make a few changes to Rinn before sending her off. And now, God forbid, the (*gasp*) "S" word has hit me.

No, not synopsis, haha.

And nothing to do with bodily functions for once.

You ready?

It's not carved in stone, mind you. And considering I have a several hard drives cluttered with unfinished manuscripts, I can't even say if it's a realistic possibility.

But you know how that ~ONE~BRILLIANT~IDEA~ sticks with you and it's all you can think about day and night? Well, unless you're sleeping because then you'd be awake and thinking about it anyway and wondering why you can't stop thinking about it so you can get some sleep.

How you have no idea what someone just said to you and they get all miffed and attitudey, like, "Hello, did you hear a single word I just said?!?"

And the answer to them is NO because you're way too busy thinking about the "S" word:


There. I said it.

OMG. I said it!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


My summer TBR list is ALMOST down to zero. This amazing feat was accomplished only because I broke my own rule about not reading in the same genre while working on something of my own. Then again, I was "revising"--not actually "writing" (or so I like to tell myself).

Lee Bantle: DAVID INSIDE OUT A coming-of-age/coming-out story that resonated with me in more ways than one.

Carrie Jones (2) carriejones: GIRL HERO --a delightful and very touching MG story --a nd NEED which changed my mind about pixies (and werevolves! ahhh!) the way Maggie Stiefvater's LAMENT changed my mind about faeries. Carrie, honestly--those pointed  teeth did me in.

Sarah Littlman  [info]saraclaradara  (2) : CONFESSIONS OF A CLOSET CATHOLIC -Jewish Justine is torn between her loyalty to her Bubbe and her desire to be Catholic -- and PURGE, a bulimic girl's chilling struggle to understand her own potentially fatal behavior.

Margaret McMullan: CASHAY An inner-city teen learns that her own life doesn't end with the shooting death of her beloved sister.

Carrie Ryan: THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH When the Unconsecrated (zombies) surround and eventually consume her isolated village, Mary risks her life to discover what's on the other side of the dreaded Forest.

Elizabeth Scott (2) : PERFECT YOU Though she's convinced the guy's only out for a good time, Kate, saddled with a rapidly imploding family life, regularly makes out with him at the mall (where she's forced to work with her very embarrassing father) -- Initially I almost dismissed this one as typical teen chicklit (which I generally don't read) but it was SO much more; wait till you meet Kate's grandmother! -- and BLOOM, where perfect Lauren realizes she is NOT the girl for her perfect (and very religious) boyfriend, especially when her long-lost stepbrother rolls into town.

Susan Vaught : MY BIG FAT MANIFESTO Jamie's fat--FAT! Don't insult her by calling her "heavy" or "plus-sized"--and wants the world to know who she is. But how comfortable can she be with herself when the hunky and hefty guy she loves decides to have bariatric surgery?

Carol Lynch Williams: THE CHOSEN ONE A young girl trapped in a religious cult tries to figure out a way not to marry her elderly uncle.

Michelle Zink: PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS In this gothic thriller, twin girls--one the Guardian, one the Gate--are pitted against each other by demonic forces.

Only 2 left!:



Let me just say that there isn't a single one on this list that I didn't like. :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


1952-2009 LINK

Though no one will ever forget that pottery scene with Demi Moore in Ghost--undoubtedly one of the most sensual love scenes to hit the screen since Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr rolled around in the sand in From Here to Eternity--I first fell in love with Patrick Swayze when he starred in the 1980 mini-series NORTH AND SOUTH:


This mini-series is right up there with Thorn Birds. So if you ever have a few hours and you want to lose yourself in a historical romance, check out the DVD--you will not be disappointed!

Miss you already, Patrick.

Monday, September 14, 2009


If Serena Williams was my PATIENT she'd get a couple jabs in the hip and a time-out in locked seclusion.

Just to put things in perspective.


1. Today is the day to sign up for JoNoWriMo: "It's a bit like NaNoWriMo, only you get an extra 1.5 months AND you don't have to write an entire novel. Basically, it's a time each year that a bunch of writers get together to support and encourage one another to meet a writing goal and/or finish a project." So get over there, dudes, and commit yourselves. Jo rocks. You'll love it!

2. It's official: I'll be signing books at the Buckeye Book Fair in Wooster, Ohio on November 7. Anyone in the area, stop in (if not, road trip!) It's an awesome book fair, so much fun. More on this later.

3. Thanks for all your support in regard to Saturday's Blogger-Reviewer Rant. Isn't there a website where you can post the worst-friggin-review you ever received? I think so. Anyone know where it is?

4. Beth and I visited Grandma and Miss R. yesterday. Party in the dining room, with a band that played polkas and Big Band music and the old standards you expect to hear in a nursing home. Grandma sang along, clapped her hand and wiggled her feet--and then got up and danced with her walker! I swear she hasn't danced in half a century (and this is the woman who could barely walk a year ago). Twice she paused in front of an elderly man, took his hands, and swung them in time to the music as if they were dancing in place. The old man beamed with pleasure, and all I could think was: so what alien from which planet kidnapped that infinitely crabby woman who drove me straight up a wall for years and years, and replaced her with Miss Congeniality, the queen of the ballroom?!?

5. Kanye West previously made an A-double-S out of himself by proudly displaying his lack of literary genius, among his numerous other antics that made the news. Now he's out-Kanyed himself with his horrendously disrespectful treatment of Taylor Swift at last night's MTV Music Awards.

Stun gun, anyone?

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Yes, I'm talking to you: the person who tromped into Borders tonight after marinating for hours (maybe days) in some grotesque-smelling cologne that instantly triggered a migraine.

On the bright side, I've halfway through the rewrite of LMB. I guess four days in a row, 8 hrs a day, certainly pays off. At least till you start breathing solely through your nose, and retching, and rocking back and forth in pain.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


The reviewer known as NOT ACTING MY AGE does it again. He trashed my first book. Now he's trashing Shawna. This is one of the "nicer" things he said:

"The fact that the book is inevitably hurtling towards a happy(-ish) conclusion is about the only thing that kept me going through this masochistic love fest."

Note to Mr. Goldschmidt:

I honestly don't care whether or not you like my books. The only reason I saw your review is because, like most self-centered authors, I use Google alerts. Trust me, my starred review from Booklist, and the fact that STW has been nominated as a YALSA BBYA, mean much more to me than your sadistic bash fest. Not only is your venomous post riddled with spelling errors like "reconciliattion" and "incessent", you also fail to get the details right, e.g. Shawna's mother dies from a stroke, not from cancer (in case you don't know this, people generally don't drop over dead from cancer).

However, carry on--and thanks for the laugh. Also, you're more than welcome for the publicity this post will bring to your very unprofessionally-written (and aptly titled) blog. xox

Friday, September 11, 2009


I'm back in the Zone.

Trust me, it wasn't easy. Particularly when, after I unexpectedly get the day off, I rush to Borders at 4:00, buy my coffee, open my lap top, plug in my flash drive, flex my fingers, and--

Ditzy chick at the next table says (LOUDLY) into her cell phone: "Well, yanno, I guess I'm just not ready for a committment...but I mean, yanno, how long does it take for you to, yanno, knooowww?"

--Annoyed, but hey, at least she's speaking English. It might be interesting, future fodder or whatever--

"I  mean, I haven't really mad a decision yet, but we're, like, soooo compatible--" (insert you know what and leave little to the imagination) "--omigod, I mean, yanno, blah, blah, blah..."

--Any initial sliver of amusement vanishes. Still, I don't own the place (yet). Plus her back is to me so it's not like I can GLARE or FEIGN ENOUGH MORBID INTEREST to compel her to lower her voice--

"Blah blah blaaaaaaaaah bad omigod, like, yanno blah blah blah..."

--OK. You can shut up now--

"Blahhhh blahblahblahhh..."

--I get up and walk around the store. "Eclipse" is in paperback, $12.99. Mmm, maybe some Jelly Bellies--

Back at the table: "Blah, blah, yanno, I mean, like totally blah, blah, and BLAH BLAH BLAH!"

--I stare at the screen, hating this girl. And hating, in general, people who talk on the cell phones in public places only because they tend to speak much louder than usual, the way folks in the olden days used to shout into those crank telephones. Personally, if I need to make a call at Borders, I take it outside--

"Omigod, I'm-blathering-about-crap-that-nobody-cares-about-and-it's-personal-as-all-hell-and-I'm sharing-it-with-the-whole-cafe-and-driving-people-nuts-and-I-don't-care-because-I'm-a-rude-self-centered-twit-who-rules-the-universe-and-all-these-totally-inane-details-about-my-crappy-lovelife-undoubtedly-fascinate-everyone-around-me-blahblah..."

--I stand up, pick up my lap top, and crash it down hard over her head.

Heh. Kidding.

After 30 minutes--THIRTY FREAKIN' MINUTES--Ditzy Chick snaps her cell shut and breezes out of the cafe.

Remember pea shooters?

Anyway, after that I got back into the groove and revised (re-WROTE) till 9 p.m.

Things are looking up. :)


8 years ago I remember:


Hearing the news.

Staring, transfixed, at the horrific images on TV.

That incredible sense of disbelief that sucked my heart out of my chest.


Being really afraid.

Wanting to keep my family close to me for a long time after.

Fearing for my children's future.

Thinking how I'll never feel "normal" again.

Asking myself how?


Most of all--



Monday, September 7, 2009


"Indestructible" dog toys don't exist.

I don't care who makes it. I don't what what they're "made" of. I don't care about the promises all over the labels. I don't care how many pitbulls they tried these toys out on, how many tanks rolled over it, how many alligator-infested swamps they experimeted with. I don't care if these toys survived the Chernobyl disaster.

I've tried them all, and Elijah eats them. He'd eat every shred if I didn't catch him in time and pry the soggy pieces out of his slavering jaws.

The only things he hasn't totally shredded yet are those rubber squeaky toys. And the reason he hasn't?

He won't play with them. He just gives me this "WTF" look. Then he prances over to chow down on my vaccuum cleaner hose.

I'm thinking of hauling in a hub cap. Or possibly a tire iron. Fetch!

Thursday, September 3, 2009





Couple Parted by Death After 81 Years


I especially loved this, from a related link:

"When they celebrated their 81st wedding anniversary in May, the Milfords credited daily disagreements for keeping their marriage strong. 'Not big rows, just the odd cross word,' Anita Milford told The Times of London. 'As far as I am concerned, it’s healthy.'"

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


ROBIN of TV AND BOOK ADDICT fame. Congratulations, Robin!

Congratulations also to Sherwood Smith who won a signed copy of STW in Melody Shore's contest.

And speeeeeeaaaking of Melody--check out her INTERVIEW with the psycho psych nurse passing herself off as an author (namely me, of course). Melodye's interviews are always fun and this one is no exception! :)


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

TUESDAY BLATHER (because I'm too lazy to post a Teaser)

1. Tomorrow I'll post the winner of the STW/Amazon review contest. There's still time to get a review in. Also tomorrow, check out Melodye Shore's blog--she interviewed me! :)

2. Now that my paranormal is (essentially) finished and off to beta readers, I'm back to Linnea, who has been shelved all year. This is not a revision; like Rinn, it's a total rewrite. But now I face the dilemma of changing my MC's name.


Yep, one's gotta go.

3. What happened to My Life?

4. Merricat_84 enjoyed "Coraline." This book is also stuck somewhere in the middle of my TBR pile. Sigh. It's never-ending, isn't it?

5. Dog puke. There, I said it again: PUKE. PUKE. PUKE. W-t-h is with this mutt? Aside from the fact that he considers everything within reach of his jowls perfectly edible, and that includes grass clippings. Yeah, I know he looks like a cow, but does he have to eat like one? Or, more accurately, a billygoat. Taking him for a walk is yet one more experiment in terror: "NO! LEAVE IT!" (I wrestle with his jaws, froth and grass and god-knows-what spewing) "Spit it out, you freakin' moron!" (grr, grrrr!)

6. Sookie06 on LJ reminded me that this is usually the time I do a Grapemo. Oops.

7. Isn't grinding your teeth a sign of extreme neurosis?
(me in 5 years)