Girls Write Out
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
FROM DENISE:

We sit at the curb of a traditional-looking church in Seattle inside our rental car watching members enter the building.

"There's someone in jeans," our middle son says.

"That's just a little kid," our teenager says.

No we're not stalking Sunday worshippers, we're scoping out a vacation church. You know, that opportunity to drop in on a congregation and experience . . . well, you never know exactly what.

I did a little research online. Only problem is, their "casual" and our "casual" don't quite match up.

"There's a lady in a dress," someone says.

I look down at my jeans and T-shirt. "She's probably the misfit of the church. Everyone talks about her and wonders why she doesn't get with the program and slip on a pair of jeans." My fiction-geared mind has not gone on vacation. I muse out loud about this woman's plight until my family begs me to stop.

"I'll bet they have a piano," our teenager pouts.

"And an organ." This from my youngest who probably doesn't even remember when we attended a church with an organ.

"The website said 'contemorary music'," I insist.

"The website also said 'casual dress'," my husband reminds me, watching another suit go by.

The clock is ticking. "Should we go in?" I ask.

"Let's do it." My husband bravely reaches for the door handle.

Grumbles arise from behind me as everyone exits the car, and I can hear my teenager mumbling, "I don't wanna die, I don't wanna die".

Inside, the first thing we see is a baby grand piano displayed in the foyer.

"What did I tell you?" Someone whispers.

I have a rare moment of optimism. "That's the piano they removed from the sanctuary to make room for the band."

As we enter the santuary, we discover my optimism is justified. A talented worship team plays a familiar song as we slip into our seats. Friendly people greet us and, as it turns out, we are not the only ones in jeans.

The music is worshipful, the pastor's message is relevant and Bible-based. We have survived--and even enjoyed--another vacation church experience.


* Girls Write Out does not necessarily endorse the church style views of this blogger.
Colleen Coble  
posted at 8:45 AM  
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Love Stinks...Remember that song?

I'm at the coffee shop this morning, and I have a perfect view of a young woman on the patio. She's frantically checking her phone. Keeps picking it up, looking at it, opening it, checking her watch. Sort of like what we did in high school when we picked it up to hear the tone, just to make sure he could get a hold of us if he tried. Yeah, he didn't try, but whatever.

So the girl is an Indian college student, plain-looking by most standards (coffee shop is across from a college) and as she picks the phone up, checking her watch at the same time (an awkward stance to be sure), he comes. HE is a gorgeous, young Asian guy (I would guess Korean if I had to.) He's buff with the kind of muscles that bulge out of his T-shirt. And when he arrives, our sweet little Indian gal, with the stack of books, slams them shut. She only has eyes for our hero. She instantly becomes animated and chatty and leans forward to speak. He's kind back, but I can't tell if he's interested. She has yet to quit talking. She seems overly thrilled that he's showed up, and it's way obvious. Girls, you can't be obvious. Guys read this as desperation.

Then, a plot twist. Approaching the table is an average-looking Indian guy. Everyone greets each other, but our heroine hasn't taken her eyes off the Asian hottie and she's only given our arriving friend a sideways glance. I'm feeling so badly for the Indian guy, and this is why I'm telling you their races -- the poor Indian guy never notices that she's into the other guy. As far as he's concerned, he's Indian, she's Indian and he's interested in her. Don't bother him with the truth like details, he wants her. Of course she wants him.


The Korean represents no threat to the second guy, but watching them interact, he might as well be her brother. He acts like the other guy is the third wheel and is friendly, never noticing our heroine hasn't taken her eyes off the other guy. Men, this is your clue.

Actually, the Asian guy acts like he's happy to see the Indian guy, so he's probably not into our heroine and is happy for the respite -- the chaperone who will prevent anything from happening. There you have it...he loves her, but she loves him...and he loves somebody else, you just can't win. And so it goes until the day you die, this thing they call love's gonna make you cry...J. Geils Band

The point? Besides that I should mind my own business? 90% of communication is silent and it's that ten percent that really defines things, isn't it?

--
www.kristinbillerbeck.com
Kristin  
posted at 12:05 AM  
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Friday, July 27, 2007

Denise is in the land of no Internet today, so I thought I'd pose a question. When is it okay to give unsolicited advice to strangers? You know, your tag is showing, you have lipstick on your teeth...

Case in point, I'm in Target's Pharmacy the other day and there's an older woman whose doctor has told her to get "Titanium Oxide" sunscreen. She's got a handful of $5 products asking which of them have this ingredient. Now, being a frequent Spa Girl, I want to tell her, honey, you're not getting that for less than $35, and you need to find a spa or a doctor's office.

But I sit there and listen to the twenty year old assistant pharmacist offer up useless advice. About how some brands have zinc oxide, look in the cosmetic aisle.

I opened my mouth a few times, but you know, I was eavesdropping, so unsolicited advice was probably not warranted, but have you ever had that happen? Did you say something?
Kristin  
posted at 11:00 AM  
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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Last week we went out of town. We stayed at the French Lick Resort and half a mile down the road at the West Baden Springs Hotel. These hotels are in the middle of a remote Indiana county and yet they are absolutely beautiful! It seems back in their day (early 1900s) people came to these hotels to experience drinking and bathing in the mineral waters from their springs. Supposedly the water had some sort of healing power.

Anyway, the protagonist in my next book owns a chocolate spa (you’re surprised, right?) in a fictional town near this place and that’s why we visited. I wanted to get a feeling for their spas—the very thing this town has been known for. Yes, I wished it had been located in Hawaii, but what can I say, Indiana just has way too much to offer.

So what helps you decide what setting you will choose for a book you write, and as a reader does setting matter all that much to you?

Diann

P.S. One more thing I have to tell you, this just cracked me up! They have several stores in the hotel. Even a Harley store! There were bikers everywhere. So this sweet little lady who looked to be 75 pounds of skin and sinew walked up to us, looked at us through coke bottle lenses and said, “Could you point me to the Harley store?” Now there’s one for the books.
Diann Hunt  
posted at 8:44 AM  
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Monday, July 23, 2007


When life hands you lemons, where do you go for comfort? What's your place of rest in this world that helps your forget life sucks at this very moment? I'm struggling with my MS at the moment; my body is numb, my eyes are funky and all I want to do is curl up like a cat and sleep. Have I mentioned I have four kids?

So I go into coping mode. That's something different to all of us, but to me, it means doing something really low-key that my kids can do with me while I revive. Saturday, we watched "Pillow Talk". Is there anything so uplifting as a Rock Hudson/Doris Day movie? My kids laughed at Rock Hudson's lies and said, "Mom, he's a player!"

Friday night we went to see "Hairspray" -- which we all loved, but there was a commercial for "Becoming Jane" about Jane Austen and Elle (6) got all giddy and whispered, "Dad, that's about Mr. Darcy!" Then, she giggled, like a precious schoolgirl with a crush. All I could think was, "Train them up in the way they should go! My work is done here." LOL

So when life sucks, here's the movies that make me grin no matter what. The ones I can watch again and again and feel that schoolgirl thrill:

Bridget Jones's Diary 1 & 2 (love the fight scene in two!)
Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth version)
Notorious
Pillow Talk
So I Married an Axe Murderer
Moonstruck
As Good as it Gets
Romancing the Stone

What about you? What cheers you up when life looks gray? And ps., I'm feeling better. Laughter is the best medicine.




--
www.kristinbillerbeck.com
Kristin  
posted at 12:09 PM  
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Sunday, July 22, 2007

WORDS
Words are super important to a writer. On Saturday I realized just how much I delight in them. I went to the Midwest Geobash. This is supposed to be the largest mega-event for geocaching in the WORLD. And it's right here in little ole Indiana. It was a fabulous day! I met Donna and Gary Scrambling. Gary is the president of MIGO, the Michigan Geocaching group. They did a ton of work putting together a geocaching series in Michigan that everyone has been raving about. Super fun people!

Anyway, on to the words thing. Geocachers have a language all their own, and I was just fascinated. Dave and I have gone geocaching a few times but always by ourselves. This was our first time being around experts. It was like attending a Star Trek convention only the language was all about caching. We heard things like muggle, (a non geocacher--taken from the Harry Potter books) travel bug, (an item that has a destination and people help by taking it to another cache closer to the destination) FTF, (First to find, something to be desired because you get first pick of the items in the cache) and reviewer (but not of books. LOL Of caches before they're logged on the site.) I'd heard of some of these words but never heard them in real conversation before Saturday.

But my favorite word this weekend was SWAG. It was the first time I'd heard the word. It refers to all the things in the cache that can be taken and something else left in its place. Where did it come from? No one seemed to know. But I liked the word a lot. It was mysterious and interesting. Curtain tie-backs? LOL Nothing like that at all.

The cachers came from all walks of life from middle class folks like me and Dave to doctors, lawyers and other professional people. And they were all mingling and sharing stories. And wearing this year's "bird" emblem, a duck. Some wore duck hats and decorated their tents with ducks. Lots were wearing beads (I never figured out this mysterious phenomena but I got a lanyard made of beads from a sweet lady that I later found out was a professor. And here she was happily stringing beads together. Everyone was swapping geocoins, and I got a coveted lackey coin from one of the Groundspeak folks. Everyone was jealous! I gave all four of the Groundspeak lackeys a copy of Abomination. Some of them had already heard of it. And everyone I talked to was thrilled there was a book out with a geocaching theme. And I got interviewed by podcacher.com! Sonnie and Sandy were really fun! So it was a very fun day.

I loved it! And came away with some great ideas for more books. LOL As well as fabulous words to roll off my tongue. So what's the best new word you've heard recently?
Colleen Coble  
posted at 9:31 AM  
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Friday, July 20, 2007
SEVEN RANDOM THINGS:

It's Di's turn to blog but she's traveling so I'll fill in unti she can post later today or tomorrow. I was recently tagged by my buddy Robin Lee Hatcher to share seven random things most people may not know about me. So here goes:

1. I was a color consultant in one of my previous career incarnations. That meant I "draped" people to determine which colors look best on them. To say I'm somewhat obsessive about color is putting it mildly. LOL

2. My favorite candy is Brach's Chocolate Cover Almonds (that's when DeBrand truffles are unavailable.)

3. I'm hopeless at fashion. I'm trying to learn about it though.

4. I've slept on a waterbed for 33 years. The old, full-wave kind.

5. I make potato salad just like my mother and her mother before her--out of mashed potatotes. Yum!

6. My favorite book of all time is The Stand by Stephen King. I've read it at leasat 30 times!

7. I'm a long time migraine sufferer. I think I've found a cure though. Visit my website for more details about that.

How about you? What random things do you want to share?
Colleen Coble  
posted at 2:33 PM  
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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ah...Nature

What is the deal with people treating their pets better than their kids? I know that we're cracked here in California anyway, but I'm reading about doggy spas, and doggy bakeries with freshly-made muffins...yesterday I read in Rachel Ray's magazine that a woman makes her dog a fruit smoothie each morning because the yogurt is good for his digestive system. Honey, if you have time to make your dog a fruit smoothie, you need a job. And a life. Dogs are going to love you no matter what, at least that was my experience growing up when my brother put clothespins on our black lab's ears. Yep, still loved us. (And don't write me, I am not advocating dog torture!) Yes, even if you're trying to feed your dog a foul, yogurt smoothie for breakfast instead of meat, they're still going to love you. Your carpet may not fare so well, but that's another story.


So the animal thing is another of San Francisco's "pet" projects. I have to admit, it's so entertaining when people with causes find them clashing. Right now, San Francisco has a coyote problem. Coyotes are the mangiest things. I just saw one on my walk, not ten feet from me and dang, they're scruffy and pointy looking and blech! Anyhoo, coyotes eat small pets. So if you're an animal lover AND a pet lover, what are you to do about coyotes in San Francisco? You can't harm the environment by thinning out the coyotes, but what about when Sruffy has to go? Is Scruffy safe? See, the thing SF doesn't seem to get, is there is a food chain, say it with me now, FOOD CHAIN and weeding out excess coyotes is why God gave Adam rule over the animals. Relocating them (they would never kill them) is SO politically incorrect, but it's smart land management. Ditto for mountain lions who need 100 square miles of territory. Beautiful animals...but they don't belong in the city.

Contrary to what many Californians think, we people DO have the right to exist. Speaking of which, someone did the math on what might happen if humans DID cease to exist and the earth wouldn't be taken over by cockroaches and rats like previously thought. They actually need us humans. Go figure. Fish don't fair well either. But birds, they take over! Alfred Hitchcock had it right, apparently. Really, if it's a confusing issue, I think we should assign that all San Franciscans watch "The Lion King" and see what happens when the hyenas take over. Just a suggestion.

Sorry, I'm in a sarcastic mood, and I know my rash of info is highly boring, but I'm saving the good stuff for Trophy Wives II. LOL. My mood ring is black. I got cut off today at the car wash by a perfectly clean Prius. I wanted to ask her if she knew the carbon footprint of rewashing a clean car, but I refrained.
Kristin  
posted at 11:06 AM  
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Wednesday, July 18, 2007


THE BIRTH OF TWINS!
I know they look nothing alike. They're not identical twins, but fraternal. This is the first time I've had two books come out about the same time. Abomination is my first hardcover, and the buzz about it has been phenomenal! Let me know if you see it show up in a bookstore near you. And Lonestar Sanctuary is available only through Crossings for the next year. You can join and get it and three other books for .99! Go here if you want to get it. http://www.crossings.com/doc/crs/ms/ms_1009.html?src_type=befree&bfsourceid=0036779347qIqiQQDgKTYTAjE1U-rs

Commercial is over. Now on to the blog. This is a totally frivolous post but I need some advice. I have enough discarded lipstick in the drawers to start a cosmetic counter of my own, and I hate making that kind of mistake. Any of you use the Cover Girl Outlast lipstick that stays on through eating? I want to try it. Deb Raney is always touting it but color SO hard to figure out for lipstick. Sometimes it changes color when you put it on. I want something that has a cool undertone but isn't too harsh. A light pink would totally wash me out. So what are your recommendations for me, a Winter, who looks best in deep purple, red, black, navy, pure white, hunter green, burgundy, etc? Remember, I'm older and I'm getting some, um, LITTLE lines around my mouth. So what's a good Outlast color for me?
Colleen Coble  
posted at 9:39 AM  
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The longer I live the more I realize people are basically divided into two groups. Behind-the-Scene People and Stage People. I'm behind the scenes, but occaisionally I peek outside the big velvet curtain. Playing drums for instance is a huge step onto the stage even if I do hide behind my kit and wear fade-into-the-background black when I play.

I'm the person who volunteers to make name tags and paint the scenery for the play. It's okay--that's just who I am. I do love watching the Stage People, though. I love hearing what they say and seeing how they act. What I do not like is that Stagers seem impervious to the fact that we Sceners are quite happy where we are--hiding behind the nearest potted plant. Hey, I look good in geraniums.

If you're a Behind-the-Scener married to, or friends with, a Stager, you've experienced this phenomenon. Likely, you have been dragged kicking and screaming into the spotlight. Many times. These Stagers do not know how we Sceners feel. They plan get-acquainted games that have us looking for the nearest exit, they ask us to give an impromptu speech (ACK!) as if it's no big thing. Note to Stagers: IT IS A VERY BIG THING.

What's not a very big thing (even for a Scener like me) is posting a little comment. Even on the public internet stage, this is okay, because we're hiding behind a computer, right? The next best thing to a potted geranium. So, I hearby declare today Lurker Day! If you're a Behind-the-Scener--otherwise known as a lurker--will you take five seconds and post a comment? Just say "hi"? (non-lurkers welcome too)
It's okay to peek outside the curtain. We won't bite. Promise. And now, on with the show . . .
Denise Hunter  
posted at 8:45 AM  
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Friday, July 13, 2007

I don't want another dog. I don't want another dog. I don't want . . . .

We have a dog. A shi tzu who is 14 years old, deaf and blind. We love her, but once she's gone, our plans are to gut the house and start over.

Our granddaughters are about to ruin everything.

Every time they come over, they want me to take them to the pet store near their house. So we go visit the cute little—you guessed it—dogs. My cold heart is thawing, and hear me now, I don’t want it to thaw!!!

Okay, so yesterday, I see this Toy Chihuahua. I don’t like Chihuahuas. But Maggie had one—Crusher—in my first book with WestBow, Hot Flashes & Cold Cream, remember? You do remember, right? You read the book?

Anyway, I feel a certain bond with that dog. And “Crusher” was giving me the look. You know the one. Where the eyebrows lift in forlorn wonder, eyes droop and the face says, “I would never in a million years think of doing anything on your carpet. Take me home. I’ll prove it.”

But hello? I'm no Paris Hilton, and my purse is too small to tote around even a tiny dog. I must resist! But how? Maybe I should get one of those fake dogs that merely sleeps in a bed and breathes. They sell them at Cracker Barrel.

Help! I need suggestions.


Diann Hunt  
posted at 7:47 AM  
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Wednesday, July 11, 2007
ICRS UPDATE
What a whirlwind week. Here's a peek at my last seven days:

July 4: Took Jen and her little girl Jordie out for lunch then did the grandma thing and got Jordie a litte MP3 player. She was thrilled! and so were we with the picture she drew us!

AMES and the baby! Ami McConnell is amazing. Four little kids, three under four, and she's just as calm and focused as always. I've missed her SO much! She's back at work now, 2 days a week in the office. But just seeing her name flash into my email makes my day.

July 5: We stopped at Nelson to visit with my family there. I got to hug Natalie Hanemman and Lisa Young who I only get to see maybe once a year. And of course my other buddies Amanda Bostic, Jennifer Deshler and superman Allen Arnold. It's always the highlight of my year to stop by my publishing house! Those who are coming to the ACFW conference will get to meet Jen and Allen in person and absorb their passion for fiction.

July 6: Donald Maass of Writing the Breakout fame. What a day. My head felt like it literally could not hold another piece of information. The best piece of info I came away with was to have a little synopsis for every main character as if THEY were the main focus. And have their goals in conflict with my protagonist.

July 7: Allen Arnold, fiction publisher at Nelson, brought me my first copy of Abomination. He gave it to me at our table at the Christys. Friends, I made a complete fool of myself blubbering like a baby. It was amazing to hold my first hardcover in my hands. And it's just so gorgeous! I can die happy now! LOL Lauren Winner did a great job with her speech and I was so inspired I reread Bret Lott's speech from last year and that doubly inspired me to work harder and harder on telling a story with meat.

July 8: Nelson fiction dinner! Whoohoo! I got to hobnob with my Nelson family which is always so fun. And this year Dave and I were seated across from Mike and Gail Hyatt. Mike is so smart and fun to talk to and he totally turned around Nelson when he came onboard. It was like night and day. And Gail is the sweetest lady, so pretty and smart. They make a great couple. Ted Dekker got up and said all the things I was about to say about Allen. LOL How his passion and belief in us all has changed our lives. I'm so blessed to be part of the Nelson family!

July 10: Did you know I've finally found a personality? Yep. It's a shock I know. But for the first time, I got to sign at the personality party. And I had a LINE, people! One that never stopped until they shut it down. I was so happy! And Jen topped it off with a sweet thank you card from Jordie.

July 11: Homeward bound. We'd planned an uneventful day of travel but I got a call that morning about 12 that my mom had been taken to the hospital again. She has to quit doing this when I'm out of town. You hear me, Mother? No more! LOL Luckily she's okay but it was a scary day with not being able to do anything. Okay, even if I was there I couldn't DO anything but being stuck in the car I lost all semblance of control. LOL

July 12: I write about murder and mayhem all the time but it was a sobering day to come home to the funeral of a local state policeman. Master Trooper Det. David Rich was helping a motorist and was shot and killed. I've never seen so many police cars in my life. They came from all over the country. We were expecting 4000 in attendance. I cried as I watched them drive slowly by my house. These brave men and women do so much for us with so little thanks. Rich left behind 4-year old sons and a 7-year-old daughter as well as his wife. It was so sad. So I salute our police and firemen who go in harm's way every day. I'm praying for David's family.

Oh and the black socks? Kristin was whining about me making her open her suitcase in public but I had to put them on in public! But I got a great pair of socks out of the deal! Oh and the mall attached to our hotel had CARIBOU COFFEE!!! I was in heaven!

Things weren't the same without our Di with us though. We prayed for her on Sunday, all holding hands. She's got to ditch that mask and get life back to normal! We want all the "girls" together again soon!
Colleen Coble  
posted at 6:43 PM  
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I have a confession to make. And hey, why not do it where anyone with a computer can see? It all began in my childhood, at least that's what I tell myself.

My mom forced me to eat vegetables.

Yeah, I know that's pretty typical, or it was back in the--well, a long time ago. But I contend that my mom was extra stringent about the greens. They were put on my plate and expected to be gone by the end of the meal. And they were. I found very creative ways to make green beans disappear. I was known to hide them inside coloring books, inside play-do canisters . . . it was lucky I sat right in front of the hutch which afforded many hiding places. I would do anything to avoid the vegetable du jour.

As I stared at each distasteful pile of green, I was told I would love it when I grew up. And this is where the confession comes in. There is not a single green food I like. Not green beans, not broccoli, not spinach, not asparagus. (And just so you know, I'm discounting mint chocolate chip ice cream)

No, my taste buds never grew up. When everyone else is having grilled chicken salad, there I am with a burger and fries. Holidays offer a chance at a free-for--all of the foods I was denied. Chocolate covered marshmallow santas at Christmas, Peeps at Easter, Boo Berry at Halloween. Yeah, sad I know. And I'm not happy about it either. Maintaining health and weight would be a lot easier if I enjoyed vegetables. As it is, I guess I'll have to keep taking my Flinstones.
Denise Hunter  
posted at 3:01 AM  
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Monday, July 09, 2007
Hi again from Atlanta! Things are going well here and very fun. It's always so great to be with other authors!! I switched hotels last night, and in the new one have a great view of the pool, but I'll probably feel lonely here tonight without Denise. She went home. : ( Many signings on the floor today. Amy Wallace had one, Robin Jones Gunn, Claudia Mair Burney, Randy Singer, I'll think of more. Oh, and Nancy Moser walked around dressed as Jane Austen to promote her new book. If any of you know Nancy, she looks like a movie star anyway, so seeing her in the empire waist was jealously inducing.

Karen Kingsbury is here with her two oldest kids, who are both as gorgeous as she is -- inside and out. Harry Kraus had a signing, but we couldn't find it -- we had to read a map. James Scott Bell got a new author photo and has a new book out -- looks so good!

Avon Inspire had a book booth with HarperOne and they had their new titles by Linda Windsor and Tracey Bateman. They are publishing my new one, "The Trophy Wives Club" in September. Oh and Steeple Hill's covers this session are awe-inspiring. V.V. Beautiful!! Catherine Palmer's new historical looks fabulous and if I was judging on covers alone, I'd bring it home, but I love Catherine's writing anyhoo. Angie Hunt's The Elevator looks very creepy too! (It's supposed to!) .

I'm going out to dinner with my editor from Integrity (Angela DePriest) and I'll keep you informed if anything good happens. Colleen had a TV interview with Lori Wick and a local shopping network, so she went off looking pretty and wearing my black socks. Just thought I'd throw that in to embarrass her, as I did have to open my polka dot suitcase in the mall and humiliate myself to do it. LOL Blessings to all from Atlanta! Scarlett...I mean, Kristin
Kristin  
posted at 3:39 PM  
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Sunday, July 08, 2007
So I've found my speaking soulmate. His name is Justin Lookadoo (hope I'm spelling that right) and he speaks to kids about growing up fun and decent. Anyway, he does what I need to do. He apologizes BEFORE he speaks for what he'll say that will offend someone. That's totally what I need to do.

So life here in Atlanta is fun. It's raining. Who the heck heard of rain in the summer? Oh on my floor are people from Los Gatos, CA -- where I get my coffee, how weird is that?

Anyway, my agent took me to lunch on the 72nd floor. She neglected to tell me where we were going until I was trapped in the glass elevator. That was smart, I suppose.

Here are the books I'm most excited about that I've seen here so far: Colleen Coble's Abomination, Julie Barnhill's "One Tough Mother" (non fiction -- wow, can she speak!) The Restorer by Sharon Hinck (mom lit/fantasy that is FUN so far!) Oh and "The House that Cleans Itself" by Mindy Starns Clark of Smart Chick Mystery fame. If you've ever been embarrassed by your home, I'd venture to say this book is life-changing!

Called my kids (at my mom's) and my mother overheard the following conversation, 12 year old (son): "I'm going to get some dye and be a blonde when mom comes home." 9 year old (son): "Oh you don't want to start that, or you'll have to go every month like Mom does. : ) Kristin
Kristin  
posted at 4:35 PM  
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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

We're all heading to Atlanta for the week for the annual book get-together for Christian publishing. I loved traveling when I lived in the country, but now, I'm really not motivated at all. I live in the best place in the world, and you can all slap me, but I'm so serious!!! First off, I cannot offend people here. I can let my mouth blurt whatever, and usually, people just laugh. If they're engineers, I get the blank stare, but whatever, they're not offended. Not so in the country. In the country, I am beyond obnoxious, here I'm just one of the gang. And now, I'm heading to the south, where I have to be extra careful -- southern hospitality and all that. Pray for me.

So this week, I saw some very Ashley Stockingdale things, and I'm sort of inspired. First off, I saw a guy at the church BBQ walking with two women -- then he sees his single guy friends, and there's one free chair, so he pulls it out and sits down, leaving the women sort of dazed. The women look around, a little confused and then shrug and find chairs across the grass. I'm thinking, how completely rude. Then, one of the single guys pipes up and says to him, "Dude, you just abandoned your wife for us? What's wrong with you?" That's right, his wife. So see, whatever I do by comparison is small potatoes. THAT is rude.

Then, I did something totally Ashley this week. I'm at VBS and there is this gorgeous Indian guy working. He's all buff and tall, just the "type" my former nanny likes and I was wondering if he was the one she once pointed out, so I say, "Hi, did you go to Stanford?" He replies, "No, I went to Davis." Here's what will never play in the South, I say, "Oh okay, so you don't have seven brothers and sisters back in India then? Because my former nanny has seven brothers and sisters, too and I was going to set you two up." He backed away. Even *I* was mortified by that one. It was like I was saying, you know, I have an Asian friend, and YOU are Asian too -- that makes you perfect! UGH! But I thought if I went into the whole, you're a totally buff, tall Indian and she likes that type, it would have been worse. So I just shut up -- but chances are, he will avoid me for life.

Ashley lives. And she's going to Atlanta. Say it with me now, "Bless her heart!"

Picture: My oldest in Monterey -- yes, we go there a lot. My daughter says she's going to live there when she grows up.
Kristin  
posted at 12:38 AM  
  Comments (19)
 
 
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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I have to renew my driver's license. Again. If I had kept all my licenses, they'd stack up like a full deck of cards by now.

And to think I can still remember my driver's ed class. Probably because my young life flashed before my eyes in that class.

A student was driving (not me) and we were on a bridge and he got so close to the car in the opposite lane that we all took a collective breath and blew it out at the same time at the other end of the bridge. I still have nightmares about being in a car that runs off the road and into a river.

Another driving memory comes to mind.


My husband decided to teach me to drive a clutch. After numerous hours of private tutoring (he wore a neck brace the entire time), hubby finally set me free. We lived in a town that had hills and one particularly unhappy afternoon, I found myself stuck halfway up the hill when a train decided to pass. Life was good until the train left and the cars started moving. Try as I might, I could not slip that sucker into gear, so my car started rolling.

Back.

Down.

The hill.

Did I mention the trail of cars behind me? That were now backing up to get away from me? A few even had the nerve to honk their horns. I would have honked right back, thank you, if I could have figured out how to shift, work the clutch, the brakes and the horn all at the same time.

Thankfully, those days are over. We’re automatic and we live in the flatlands. So I’ll boldly trudge my way to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles like everyone else. Maybe if they see me wearing my mask with lips (yes, I’m still quarantined), they’ll have mercy on me. Come to think of it, that might make a decent picture.

So how about it, any good driver’s ed or learning to drive stories out there?
Diann Hunt  
posted at 10:00 AM  
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Monday, July 02, 2007
ENVY IS A SIN
My name is Colleen Coble and I'm a sinner. Envy has been a familiar companion with the launch of the iPhone. I can't remember when I've so wanted to buy something. This little baby has it all--sleek design, small and lightweight, and totally sexy.

So go buy it, you say? You can afford it. Well, yes I can. So what's the problem? Simple. I live in Wabash, population 12,000. There are exactly three cell phone companies here: Centennial Wireless, U.S. Cellular and Nextel. No matter how many times I put my zipcode in the AT&T/Cingular site to check for plans, it spits it out. The coax to check back soon because they are constantly expanding their coverage is a cruel tease. I've been checking back for six months, ever since I first laid eyes on the video for iPhone, and nada, nothing. I'm still an outcast.

I'm going to Atlanta for ICRS this week. You'd better keep watching the news. There may be a clip about a crazed woman in Atlanta who went postal and stole an iPhone from one of her author friends. I'd like to say I love my friends too much, but the first time I hold one of those babies, I just might lose my head.

So tell me, any of you buy one yet? No wait, don't tell me. You might make my sin worse!
Colleen Coble  
posted at 9:07 AM  
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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

www.KristinBillerbeck.com

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

www.ColleenCoble.com

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

www.DeniseHunterBooks.com

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

www.DiannHunt.com

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

www.HannahAlexander.com

 
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