New Writing Project!

So in my quest to truly be the Queen of Never Finishing Anything, I decided last week to … er … launch into a whole new writing project.

No, Fin and Giselle’s story is not finished. No, I haven’t sent any more queries for Adam and Simone. No, my Orange County blog is not done. …

And YET! I can still, without even batting an eye, start a whole new story with brand new characters and not even look back.

{deep sigh}

(I know — This is probably why I’ll never be published. …)

But here’s what happened: I found out Harlequin was launching a new line called “Historical Undone,” which is a series of tiny little e-books — they’re each only 10,000 to 15,000 words, which is basically a short story. And I thought, wow, how fun! I love reading historical romances, and I love the *concept* of writing them, but they seem daunting to me — all that research, you know? Regency historicals remain the ever-popular favorite, which I know nothing (historically) about. And they’re followed closely in popularity by any other time in English history, followed then by any time in Scottish/Irish history. Continue reading

What Was Happening in 1976. …

So the year was 1976. We were singing songs like “Do the Hustle” and “Kung Fu Fighting” and K.C. and the Sunshine Band’s “Shake, Shake, Shake” in our off-key voices, and we were just becoming aware of Casey Kasem’s countdown. The country was obsessed with the bicentennial, so when we weren’t wearing something prairie-styled or bell-bottomed, we were probably wearing something with the stars and stripes on it — hats, shoes, pins, T-shirts. Ford was president. Our moms all had macrame owls of some kind. And we all carried metal or vinyl lunch boxes with something like “Land of the Lost” or “Donny and Marie” splashed across the front.

And what else were we doing?

Well, in my little corner of the world, Mrs. Cox’s 4th grade class was planning a trip to Sacramento.

Yep, that’s right. In the days long before complicated school-related law suits and permission slips that asked for detailed information in 2-point type, Mrs. Jean Cox decided her class of 23 10-year-olds should fly to Sacramento for the day and zoom around on school buses to see the state capital, the governor’s mansion, Sutter’s Fort, the Nimbus Fish Hatchery, and Folsom Prison. Then fly home. All together. Continue reading

Reunions Are Funny Things. …

Reunions are funny things, aren’t they? Some people love them, some dread them. Some “boycott” them (like Superman did for one of our high-school ones!). Some like reunions of family, but hate reunions of friends. Others like reunions of friends, but hate reunions of college chums where you feel like you should have lived up to something by now. …

I loved a recent post I read from Billy Coffey called Reunion. He was talking about a high-school one, though — his 20th. But his description of the dread and uncertainy is spot-on.

Yet that’s not the one I went to this weekend. In fact, the one I went to this weekend wasn’t even associated with my high school (exactly). And we’ve known each other longer. … And, in full disclosure, this wasn’t even the actual reunion — it was a “mini-one” to start planning for a bigger one.

Hmmm … I’ll let you try to guess which reunion it is (although I don’t think you will!) — want to take a guess?

When you’re done guessing, you can hop on over here, and read about which reunion we were planning.

Role Models and Women

I’ve been thinking a lot about role models lately, specifically when it comes to women. And how it’s good for women to have them.

I remember looking around myself for a perfect role model (for life) when I was about 26 or so.

My own mom — who is a wonderful, smart, funny and positive person — still didn’t work as a role model for me. Why? Well, mostly because her generation had followed a different path than mine — their expectations were different, their definitions of success were different, and their financial obligations were different. 

My generation (and what “my generation” is, is sort of hard to define, because I’m actually on the exact cusp of Gen X and the Baby Boomers. So I’m an “older Gen X” or a “younger Baby Boomer.”) Anyway, my generation had moms who mostly stayed home and took care of us. Or maybe it was just my neighborhood, I don’t know. But most of the kids I knew had stay-home moms. The moms all knew each other, and came to all our school functions, and all taught CCD (catechism) in a rotation around the neighborhood. My mom didn’t even drive — and she wasn’t the only mom who didn’t. Continue reading

A New Artist. …

I’m so proud of my daughter Rene, who had one of her art pieces shown at this year’s “Imagination Celebration” here in Orange County! (Her piece is on the bottom left.)

She’s always loved to draw — she does great pencil sketches, and she even has an easel in the garage where she creates with acrylics in the summertime. (I’ll have to show you some of the cool stuff she has hanging in her room!) But this is the first time she’s ever really had her work “shown.” Her art teacher at school helped the kids learn how to mat their work and send it in for competition, and hers was selected among 6,000. It’s such a great thrill to see your creativity on display — I hope it inspires her to do more.

Here are her brothers — even they were impressed:

And here’s Rene receiving her certificate:

Go girl!

I’m sure it’s the beginning of a long love of art. …

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