Saturday, June 27, 2009

Squeeee!!! Recommended Read!!!

So I'm in Detroit visiting my my brother and sister-in-law because they're awesome, and my gorgeous sister-in-law and her Tribe are belly dancing today at a festival and we're going to watch. She's amazing and so is the rest of her Tribe.

In other news, I finished a book last night!!! I sent Handcuffs and Lies to my editor last night and I got an awesome review for From the Ruins from Fallen Angel Reviews - Five Angels and a Recommended Read!!!

Here's what Maija had to say:

I adored From the Ruins! From David's bad chat-up line through to the end, this is a lovely, heart-warming, and sexy read. It remains true to the time period, yet because this is a short story, the detail never overwhelms the romance. I liked the way David's love is explained, and I loved the way Bronwyn Green deals with the reality of a couple brought together and separated by war. The story has a wonderful love scene and two unforgettable characters. From the Ruins is a keeper for me, and a Recommended Read!

So far, it's a fantastic day!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

You Can Always Use a Good Piece of Rope

Last month, I got strong armed into doing something I really hate - public speaking. However, my Step-mother insisted, and I gave in. We were having a retirement party for my Dad, and since I'm the "writer in the family" it was my job to write a tribute and read it to the 200+ guests. Did I mention the part where I hate public speaking?

Anyway, in honor of Father's Day, I thought I'd share it.

Over the years I’ve learned a lot of things from my dad – for instance, if you want to get a malfunctioning boat motor to work better, you swear at it. A lot. For the record, this also works for computers and sewing machines. I can’t tell you how often I’ve cursed out a piece of machinery while fondly remembering childhood fishing trips.

In addition to a really colorful vocabulary, I’ve learned some others things from him along the way. Like most important things in life, those bits of wisdom didn’t come with flashing neon arrows pointing to them and signs that said, “Hey dumbass, this is important. Pay attention.” These bits of wisdom arrived in everyday conversion, and in true to cliché fashion, I didn’t realize I was learning anything until much later.

Every summer, Dad would take me, Tim and Grandma on a week-long fishing trip to Boot Lake in the UP. Inevitably, Tim would cast his line over Grandma’s, trying to fish where she was because she was catching them and he wasn’t. Dad always said the same thing. “Fish can swim.”

At the time, I remember thinking, “Well yeah...they’re fish. That’s kinda what they do,” and completely missing the point. Fishing requires work and patience. A lot of patience, but the end result is usually worth it – much like anything else worth doing. If you give up before you’re finished with something, you never know the satisfaction of having completed it. If you take too many shortcuts, you’re likely to miss out on something important. So yeah – fish can swim – be patient and enjoy the journey while you’re waiting for them to bite. Your time will come.

I was once asked about the most memorable piece of advice I’d ever gotten from my Dad. I didn’t have to think hard or long – it just popped into my head. “You can always use a good piece of rope.” The person looked at me like I was insane – in fact, she said, “what the hell kind of advice is that.”

I can’t tell you how often I heard that phrase growing up – probably because there was always something that needed tying down or fixing. I’m positive that there were plenty of times he would have liked to tie down us kids.

This past winter the lock on my trunk froze and I couldn’t close the stupid thing. I couldn’t drive with it unlatched, because it kept flying up and obscuring my vision. I wished I’d had a good piece of rope. Instead, the only thing I could find was a lousy piece of lavender embroidery floss and let me tell you, even quadrupled, it doesn’t come close to a good piece of rope.

As I stood there in the freezing sleet, I realized several things. A.) Dad was right – you really always can use a good piece of rope. B.) The good piece of rope is just about the perfect metaphor – with the right tools for the job, you can pretty much accomplish anything.

My dad has almost always had the right tools for the job and if he didn’t, he knew who he could barrow them from. Most importantly he always got the job done. Now Dad, it’s your job is to relax and let the fish swim. However, it’s probably a good idea to keep a good piece of rope handy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'm baaaaaa-aaaaccckkk

I'm back and buried under a mountain of work, but it was totally worth it! Matt and I had an absolutely fabulous time together and of course, neither one of us can figure out why we waited so long to do it!

Believe it or not, there was actually a rainbow there to greet us when we checked into our room. Seriously, we walked out on to our balcony and there was a double rainbow in the sky, but the second one was really faint so it didn't show up well on the picture.

We had a relaxing time - exploring gorgeous Victorian homes, antique stores, picking up rocks ('cause I'm a nerd like that) along the Lake Michigan shoreline, eating food that I didn't have to cook ad that wasn't fast food. It was fabulous. I want to go back. Right now.

Friday, June 5, 2009

What a week!

It's been a whirlwind sort of week. Today is the last day of school for my kids for the year. I'm thrilled - I'm tired of getting up at 5am and tired of driving. My boys are just tired of going to school. We're all ready for a break.

Yesterday was my daycare kids last day of school and their last day with me. They're both getting older and they recently moved about half an hour away. We'll still see them, of course, but it's hard. I've had these two since the oldest was 18 months old and the youngest was two weeks old. They're now 14 and 11 and like sisters to my boys. It's going to be weird and a little empty around here without them.

Wednesday was the 5th grade field trip. My son, Corwin and I, along with 74 other fifth graders, their parents and teachers, went to Greenfield Village. It's a park where tons of historic buildings have been moved to preserve them. They have the Wright brothers' family home and bicycle shop there, Thomas Edison's labs and a ton of other buildings. They also have preserved Model T cars that you can tool around the park in as well as a steam engine train, working farms, and working artisans - glass blowers, tin smiths, potters and I think a blacksmith. This is a picture of an old horse drawn hearse with my son and his friend's reflection in the back window - Corwin has the darker hair. I just thought it was a really cool picture.

It's fascinating. I could have easily spent all day there, but we also had the Henry Ford museum on our schedule. It's definitely the place for car and plane lovers. There were all kinds of vintage planes and cars there along with tons of other museum-y type things. The big display this year was Cars and Guitars. The display had guitars and guitars belonging to different rock stars over the years - from Elvis to Metallica. They had a smashed up Pete Townsand guitar along with a drum from Keith Moon's drum kit so I had to get pictures of those as the hubby is a giant Who fan.

Greenfield Village is about three hours from my house. I wanted to ride the bus because I loathe driving in traffic where the median speed is 85 mph and people dart in and out of lanes like toddlers on speed. Unfortunately, my daycare girlie's 8th grade graduation was that evening and there was no way I'd make it be in time, so I had to drive and follow the psychotic bus drivers so Corwin and I could leave early and get to the graduation on time.

Wednesday was also my birthday and my 20th wedding anniversary (yes, I was a child bride) and now, the hubby and I are going to go away for a long weekend and celebrate. This is the first time we've gone away alone togther since we had kids. We're heading up north to a town called Petoskey and I can't wait - it's beautiful up there and we might even head over the Mackinac Bridge to the UP. I'm sure I'll have plenty of pictures to post when I get back. :)