Girls Write Out
Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm not getting political. Trust me, you don't want to go there, but I have to vent. When McCain named Sarah Palin as his running mate today, I didn't know anything about her yet. But before I got the chance, I turn on CNN and there is this FEMALE California senator on saying that she doesn't have enough experience and that we can never say that about Barack. Okay, two things. You're in politics, I can say whatever I dang well want to. Welcome to the First Amendment. Second, she's not running for president. She's running for vice president. But that's not what I'm angry about.

That woman has five kids. One with special needs. As a working mother, I know that she accomplished everything while managing a household. I'm sorry, but most men don't have to do that. We're the ones working, cleaning the house, driving the kids to soccer, and managing the schoolwork. No experience??? Oh man, what kind of ignorant woman would say that about a working mother? Are you familiar with the concept?

But then, I saw this picture. Sarah's husband is hot. I think the California senator is just jealous.
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Thursday, August 28, 2008
Since Colleen brought up the whole facial hair thing, let's talk about facials. 

There are the expensive kind that I can only afford once a year. But then there are the home remedy types. Have you ever tried any that actually made your face feel better? Look better? Well, one out of two isn't bad.

I did an oatmeal facial once. Don't try it. I cleaned oats off the floor for a month.

Then there was the time a friend called me and talked me into letting her give me a facial. She told me another friend was coming, too. I figured why not? What could happen? 

Now, if you know me at all, you know that I tend to laugh. A lot. Especially, when I'm not supposed to.

So Friend A who was giving the facial, instructed us to put this goop on, then she made us sit apart from each other, because she didn't trust me. Can you imagine? She said we couldn't laugh because it would crack our facials. 

I tried. I really did. But while waiting the allotted time for the goop to harden, I got bored. My friend was in the same room. I figured I was an adult, and I could handle just a teensy little peek. 

So while Friend A stepped into another room for something, I sneaked a glance at Friend B who was patiently waiting on her facial to harden. The thing was, I hadn't expected her to take a peek at me at the same time.

What followed was some major pain, for you see, the facial had hardened. Have you ever tried to laugh without moving your lips? It doesn't work. When I laughed, it was as though the San Andreas Fault started at my chin line and worked its way up to the edge of my left eyeball. Mortar-like flakes fell from my face and spilled onto the table. If I didn't know better, I'd say that goop was nothing more than Spackle from the local hardware store.

My friend looked as though she was wearing a Halloween mask. You know, the kind where the lips never move? Seeing her laugh, cracked me up. Literally. We heard Friend A's footsteps approaching and we turned back to our appropriate positions and immediately grew quiet. Of course, there was enough Spackle on the floor to drywall a room. She was on to us.

Still, two good things came from it:  1) My face felt silky soft after the facial (keep in mind that was thirty years ago), and 2) I used that experience as a scene in Hot Flashes & Cold Cream. Remember, writers never waste anything.

I need glowing skin for the conference, so, tell me, do you have any good homemade facial recipes--or how about some fun stories to share?
Diann Hunt  
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

When the going gets tough...survivors go home again.

I was so excited for Beth to see her birthday card this year. We buy each other the rudest cards because we grew up together and have the sickest sense of humor. A few years back, she bought me one that made fun of Mardi Gras and it said something like we don't take our shirts off for cheap baubles -- it takes real money. Her mother, who is nearing 90, said, "Are you going to send that to Kristin? What will Bryed (my DH) say?" But here's the great part. I sent her the same card before she could send it to me and her mother rolled her eyes and told her there was something wrong with us girls. Well, we know that! That's why we've been friends for 35 years!

So this year, I was so proud of my card. I couldn't wait for her to open it. It was rude, obnoxious and yet oh, so subtle. And she opens it and says, "Oh I love this card. I bought it for my secretary." I felt cheated. But this is how you know Beth is my soulmate. I bought her these DARLING Italian patent leather flats, with little cow suede on the toes. She's wearing black slides and she says, "Do you want to go to DSW? I have to get black shoes for work." And I totally understood. They're so not the same thing!

So Beth's card had Olivia Newton John from "Grease" on it. And said, "I hope your birthday is great because chang-chang-changity-chang-sha-bop, that's the way it should be." Then she signed it, WAH HOO YEAH! Makes you want to sing doesn't it?

I started showing my kids "Freaks and Geeks" a one season, but FABULOUS show she bought me last year on DVD. It is so our humor, and my boys laughed out loud. Their favorite line? "You can't ask Cindy to the dance. She's a cheerleader. You've seen Star Wars 27 times. Do the math!" Another warped generation coming right up!
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Okay, I have a confession to make: I notice facial hair. Not just any facial hair--a WOMAN'S facial hair. If you've got a bit of fuzz on your upper lip, I'm going to see it. If you've got a dusting a hairs along your jawline, the sun will point it out to me when I stand in the parking lot talking to you. I won't say anything, mind you, but that hair will draw my attention like a spare DeBrand truffle calling my name. I'll WANT to get my eyebrow wax after you, but I'll button my lip and say nothing.

This fetish made it even more painful this week when I realized that I--gasp, yes I-- had some fuzz along my jawline. It's because I'm a bit unbalanced in my hormones and I immediately sent off a panicked email to my hormone doctor and he's adjusting my DHEA or my pregnenolone when he gets my blood work back. But in the meantime, I had this, um, catastrophe to deal with. I immediately put my wax on to heat. I've waxed my eyebrows for years so I thought this would be no big deal. Testing the wax, I thought it was ready. I cut strips of coffee filters (works great, btw) and got out my popsicle stick to smooth it on with. I started back toward my hair. Mistake one. Got some wax in my hair instead of on my face, but I managed to deal with it. I slicked it across that offensive hair, slapped a strip on it then yanked it off.

Mistake one. The wax wasn't hot enough and when I yanked, I left part of the paper behind. I tried to pick it off and succeeded in taking part of my skin. The other side worked better (wax was hotter) but I was left with a red spot. I would be gone by the time I had to speak tonight, I though. Mistake two. The redness got worse not better. I managed to cover it up with makeup, but it still burns and hurts. I fear what it will look like in the morning.

But one thing I know: the hair is gone. LOL And that was the main point. But if there's ever a next time, I plan to get that wax good and hot. Unless you've got something that works better. Just in case. And if it works, I'll buy it by the truckload and had it out to women I meet. LOL
Colleen Coble  
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Monday, August 25, 2008

As the Olympic ceremony closed out these weeks of competition, I couldn't help but look back in wonder at some of the high moments. What I love best about the Olympics is the inspiration from athletes from all over the world who've overcome all sorts of obstacles to be there, to compete, to reach their dreams.

That is also, I think, what I like best about novels. At it's most basic level, a story is about a person, their goal, and trying to overcome some obstacle to that goal. Think about it.

You've Got Mail. An indepent bookstore owner tries to salvage her business when a conglomerate bookstore opens around the corner.

Sleeping with the Enemy. The wife of an abusive husband wants to escape her marriage, but he's determined to keep her.
The Lakehouse. A woman wants to meet the man she's fallen in love with through a series of letters. The obstacle? They're living in different time periods.

We're fascinated with goals and obstacles. Just like protagonists in a story, just like Olympic athletes, we all have goals, and there will always be obstacles. Sometimes internal (fear of failure) and sometimes external (need for a college degree). But one thing I've been realizing lately, sometimes way too late at night, as I've sacrificed sleep to watch the games. I want to have Olympic-sized determination. I want my protagonist to have Olympic-sized determination. I want my kids to have Olympic-sized determination.

So here's to training, to pushing through the wall, to reaching hard and long for those goals that have been sleeping in the shadows. Reach out, grab them, and don't let go.

Denise Hunter  
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Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'm directionally-challenged. Have I ever told you that? I can get lost walking to our mailbox. 

One day I went out to get the mail and came home three days later--with a guide dog. If he hadn't come along, I'd still be wandering around the neighborhood. 

I think the Israelites had the same problem.

My husband just can't understand why the concept of North, South, East and West is so hard for me. He tries to give me that whole sun-rises-from-the-East-and-sets-in-the-West thing. Please. As long as the sun comes up and goes down every day, why should I care which side it's on?

I'm good with a map. But here's the thing. If there's a road detour? I'm sunk. One time I went to see my parents who live two hours from me. I was within 15 minutes of their home and had to follow a detour (I did not grow up in that town, just so you know). Well, somewhere along the line, I missed one of the detour signs. Did I mention my parents lived out in the country? Hello? The fields all look alike out there! And just between you and me, I think they're cloning cows now. I couldn't tell one from the other. That two hour trip ended up taking three and a half hours. I would have stopped at a gas station for direction if I could have found one.

At this rate, by the time I'm 80, if I go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, they'll never find me again.

Is anyone else directionally-challenged? Please tell me I'm not the only one or my mood will plunge, well, south.

Diann Hunt  
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Beauty is fleeting...

I'm a bit disgusted that the world hasn't come a little further in its worship of beauty. Did you see the darling little girl at the opening ceremonies who DID sing the National Anthem? She was beautiful. As was the little girl who sang, but it was a lie. And that's ugly.

America is leading this cause I'm afraid. The last ugly person you saw on television? Even Ugly Betty is beautiful. Not in America, nope, we're busy exporting the false reality that the world should all look like emaciated LA residents. Even Christians expect other Christians to look a certain way, don't we? There's a certain expectation at church. My own personal one is please don't let me see your thong in the back of your jeans and hide your bra straps ladies. So not pretty.

A few years ago, my husband and I built a "dream house". Which never felt like home to me, and I spent most of my time in its perfection wishing I was elsewhere. My parents are in it now, they bought it, and it feels like home with them there. They belong there. They make the house. I'm in an old place that I absolutely LOVE. It was built in 1963. The seller neglected to tell us (because he didn't know) it was on a septic. Guess what our first surprise was? Um, a backed up shower. Welcome home! So our first expense was a sewer system.

We've replaced the heating system, the water heater, put in air conditioning, painted the cabinets, painted the floors, took out the soffitts -- and it still looks aged. There were no appliances in the kitchen, so we've gotten those (we cooked on a heating plate). I had four PERFECT bathtubs in the house we built, I have one motel type here. My point is, it's what on the inside, isn't it? The beauty comes from within. This house is our home. My kids say it's their favorite of our houses (after living in two 4000+ square foot brand new ones!) You know why? Home is a feeling, and when you're so busy working on the outside, there's little time for what's inside. What really matters.

I think about these poor, old Hollywood ladies who can't let it go. They can't face that they're sixty and shouldn't really grace the miniskirt anymore. Beauty is supposed to be fleeting because that's how character is built, don't you think? Even if you can get into a tiger print mini, why would you want to? Because if you're competing in that game, there's always a twenty year old, and trust me, no guy is going to be fooled.

I sure have a different view of beauty than I did a few years ago And not just because I'm older, it's because I finally see what's important. I see beautiful people everyday, climb out of their European SUVs and push their way to the front of a line, and you know what? I feel like their worth is still valued by others and how they look and what a pathetic existance! In the last 4 years, I've lost three grandparents, and you know what? When they died, my parents were given a box. One cardboard box of their items. That's all that's left in the end. That, and the memories they built. I can tell you not one person fought over one thing because we all had what we wanted in our hearts. Their legacies were what was left to us. Some beauty is everlasting. Pictures: Last house -- and HOME!
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I was in a large salon in Phoenix this past week. I can't remember the last time I was in a place like that. There were at least 15 people doing hair and nails. My hairdresser is in a smaller place and she was on her own before that so it was rather alien to me. LOL Anyway, Kara was getting her hair cut and I was people watching. I realized that we all want our hairstyle to say something about us. There was a girl with hair dyed purple and cut in a really stark way. She sported huge tatoos on her arms and body piercings everywhere. Her hair continued to proclaim that she was her own person and would rather shock someone than cause admiration.

Then there was the girl with the super hip cut. I actually admired it and realized she was saying that she was on the cutting edge of fashion. There was the older woman who had her hair cut short. It told me she didn't want to bother with any frou frou stuff if she didn't have to.

I decided my hair was saying I wanted to look a little younger and like I might actually have some style. LOL What do you want your haircut to say?
Colleen Coble  
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Monday, August 18, 2008
Having been a tumbler myself since the time I could walk, I've watched every olympic gymnastics in my lifetime. So it was great eagerness I awaited the 2008 events in Bejing China.

The men's and women's team and all-around competitions have passed and with them, my hopes for a fair and interesting competition.

The first day of women's team, my husband says, "There's no way that girl is 16." That's the minimum age requirement for women's gymnastics. Younger girls are lighter and smaller, giving them an advantage.

The girl in question wears heavy blue eyeshadow that makes her look like she's been playing in mommy's makeup, and there's at least one other Chinese gymnast who doesn't look a day over 14.

Curious, the next day I did some research. Turns out there are 3 girls on the Chinese team whose ages are in question. There have been registries found online with birthdates that put the girls at under 16. But China provided "official passports" that list the girls as 16 and the Olympic Committee accepted them.

Between that and the judging, which seems heavily weighted against the US gymasts, the events haven't been very exciting. Last night when a vaulter landed on her knees and scored higher than the US gymnast who merely took a small hop on the landing of an otherwise beautiful vault, I could only shake my head. I'll stay up late and watch the other events in support of our US gymnasts, but I'm not expecting fairness. That went out the door a long time ago.

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Denise Hunter  
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Sunday, August 17, 2008
I saw a new chiropractor in Goodyear, AZ on Friday. Now I've been to lots of chiropractors, but never one like this. He touched sore spots on my head, then pressed on other areas that were sore that corresponded. He fixed the pain in my ankle by finally putting on a glove and pressing INSIDE my mouth. Voila, the pain was gone. Very different. He also pressed on some spots by my ears, then moved some wedge shaped blocks around at my waist until the pain in my neck went away and I laid on them for several minutes. It was an amazing session! Totally amazing. He also cleared out some lingering pain from my gallbladder that is no longer there.

I'd love to find a doctor like him in Indiana until we move to AZ. Anyone know what this type of chiropractic is called? And if you live in the Phoenix area, GO SEE HIM! His name is Dr. Adam Baumbardner I was totally impressed. I'm taking Dave to see him the next time we go out.
Colleen Coble  
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Friday, August 15, 2008
Diann's off until tomorrow, so I thought I post my alma mater's bad fiction Winners. My personal fave is the runner-up, but what say you? Anyone want to try their hand at it?

Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
2008 Results

Winner:Grand Prize

Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and
like the city their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their
bodies like slick streets exhaling warm, moist, white breath through
manhole covers stamped "Forged by DeLaney Bros., Piscataway, N.J."

Garrison Spik
Washington, D.C.


"Hmm . . ." thought Abigail as she gazed languidly from the veranda
past the bright white patio to the cerulean sea beyond, where dolphins
played and seagulls sang, where splashing surf sounded like the
tintinnabulation of a thousand tiny bells, where great gray whales
bellowed and the sunlight sparkled off the myriad of sequins on the
flyfish's bow ties, "time to get my meds checked."
Andrew Bowers

Winner: Adventure

Leopold looked up at the arrow piercing the skin of the dirigible with
a sort of wondrous dismay -- the wheezy shriek was just the sort of
sound he always imagined a baby moose being beaten with a pair of
accordions might make.
Shannon Wedge
New Hampshire

Winner: Children's Literature

Joanne watched her fellow passengers - a wizened man reading about
alchemy; an oversized bearded man-child; a haunted, bespectacled young
man with a scar; and a gaggle of private school children who chatted
ceaselessly about Latin and flying around the hockey pitch and the
two-faced teacher who they thought was a witch - there was a story
here, she decided.
Tim Ellis
Haslemere, U.K.

Winner: Detective

Mike Hummer had been a private detective so long he could remember
Preparation A, his hair reminded everyone of a rat who'd bitten into
an electrical cord, but he could still run faster than greased owl
snot when he was on a bad guy's trail, and they said his friskings
were a lot like getting a vasectomy at Sears.
Robert B. Robeson
Lincoln, Nebraska

Winner: Fantasy Fiction

"Toads of glory, slugs of joy," sang Groin the dwarf as he trotted
jovially down the path before a great dragon ate him because the
author knew that this story was a train wreck after he typed the first
few words.
Alex Hall
Greeley, CO

Winner: Historical Fiction

As she watched the small form swing backwards and forth from the
crystal chandelier - hands on hips, sniffing the air and squeaking
inaudibly - it suddenly became clear to Madame de Pompomme that she
had done the wrong thing asking Jacques to find and bring back her
long-lost sister: for, whilst her coterie would doubtless be enchanted
for a short while, the novelty of Janine having been raised by bats
since the age of two in caves of the North-west Congo would soon wear
off in seventeenth-century France.
Simon Terry
Broadfield, Crawley, West Sussex, U.K.

Winner: Purple Prose

The mongrel dog began to lick her cheek voraciously with his sopping
wet tongue, so wide and flat and soft, a miniature pink fleshy cape
soaked through and oozing with liquid salivary gratitude; after all,
she had rescued him from the clutches of Bernard, the curmudgeonly
one-eyed dogcatcher, whose own tongue -- she remembered vividly the
tongues of all her lovers -- was coarse and lethargic, like a slug in
a sandpaper trenchcoat.
Christopher Wey
Pittsburgh, PA

Winner: Romance

Bill swore the affair had ended, but Louise knew he was lying, after
discovering Tupperware containers under the seat of his car, which
were not the off-brand containers that she bought to save money, but
authentic, burpable, lidded Tupperware; and she knew he would see that
woman again, because unlike the flimsy, fake containers that should
always be recycled responsibly, real Tupperware must be returned to
its rightful owner.
Jeanne Villa
Novato, CA


Like a mechanic who forgets to wipe his hands on a shop rag and then
goes home, hugs his wife, and gets a grease stain on her favorite
sweater - love touches you, and marks you forever.
Beth Fand Incollingo
Haddon Heights, N.J.

Winner: Science Fiction

Timothy Hanson, Commander of the 43rd Space Regiment in the 52nd
Battalion on board the USAOPAC (United Space Alliance Of Planets
Attack Carrier) and second in command to Admiral L. R. Morris of the
USAOP Space Command, awoke early for breakfast.
Joe Schulman
Cartersville, GA


Lightning flashed from the blue-black sky of this alien world and
shattered the engines of the spaceship, destroying Reninger's last
chance of escaping and reminding him of the time his sister returned
from New York with the tips of her hair dyed blue, except for the part
about the lightning and the spaceship.
Mark Murata
Kirkland, WA

Winner: Spy Fiction

Special agent Mark Park's strong chin and firm mouth showed that he
was a man to be reckoned with, while his twinkling blue eyes revealed
surprising depths of kindness and humor, the scar on his cheek a past
filled with violence and danger, and his left ear a fondness for M and
Ms, but only the red ones.

John R. Cooper
Portland, Oregon

Winner: Vile Puns

Vowing revenge on his English teacher for making him memorize
Wordsworth's "Intimations of Immortality," Warren decided to pour
sugar in her gas tank, but he inadvertently grabbed a sugar substitute
so it was actually Splenda in the gas.
Becky Mushko
Penhook, VA

Winner: Western

Nobody knew just who the steely-eyed stranger was, where he came from,
where he was headed, or what his intentions were while he was in Dodge
City; but he wasn't an hombre you'd want to stick your tongue out at
or flip off, and any man who tried to tickle him would be asking for a
long stay in a pine box, if you know what I mean.
David McKenzie
Federal Way, WA
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This just in: There's a handbag gene!

Okay, this is based on my own research, but I took Elle school shopping at Nordstrom Rack yesterday. Piles and piles of jeans, and she pulls out the pair of $60 Sevens. I'm looking at the handbags, because that's what I do at the Rack, and Elle comes over, puts her cheek on a handbag and says, "Mom feel. Like buttah!

But here. Here is the conclusive evidence that the scientific community looks for: Some of us just appreciate quality and my daughter wears her Italian roots well. (She's 8 FYI) We're in the shoe section. I'm looking on one side, just to see what's there and she keeps going, "Mom, look at these!" Tons and tons of shoes, not very many labels, and my daughter pulls out: Prada, Jimmy Choo and Cole Haans. See, it's not about style, it's about the quality. She sees it, too! It's like we have our very special shopping vision, and it's totally genetic and it must be molded, shaped and given a very good work ethic. I've already taught her investing, and why a stock is a good/bad buy.

I listen to a radio pastor everyday and he says, "Don't be shopping at Nordstrom when it's your Wal Mart season." And that got me to thinking, it's always been my Nordstrom season. I worked, so like Jean Luc Picard, I could "Make it so". I set small goals and work to achieve them. My first job was working at Round Table (under the round table, incidentally, I was 13). My next job was a step up to legal employment at Togo's. My next goal was to find a job that I could leave without smelling like an onion.

So I began doing customer service at a now-defunct check printing company. Defunct because they wouldn't hire English speakers in the plant, and one time an old woman wrote, "Deceased" next to her husband's name, and the plant printed his name with "Deceased" next to it. Um, maybe it's just me, but you might want to pay for an English speaker for typesetting work. Anyway, I took those disgruntled calls and that woman was TICKED! I should have gotten a car for that call! I used the money to put gas in my friend's convertible, a 1965 Ford Mustang, so we could cruise the "El" on Friday nights.

The point is, you make choices in life. I've made a choice to have four kids -- so the car thing is so over. There are only so many options for us, and none of them are cool. I wear a white T-shirt and a pair of jeans every single day so fashion is pretty much gone too. Why bother to think, just get out the stand-bys? But that doesn't mean I'm going to wear "mom" jeans and a geek T sporting some Silicon Valley Nasdaq decliner. Heck no, it's Joe's Jeans and Rebecca Beeson for me. Here's what happen, though and why I eventually have to find new clothes. Companies get bigger, their quality slides so they can keep up with demand, and I won't wear their clothes anymore. Lilly Pulitzer anyone?

My small goal setting now comes in the form of how much can I afford the contractor this month? And what new crappy project do I have to learn how to do myself? But you know what? This is who I am. God made me very aware from a young age. He did this by allowing all the other girls to have jeans and me to wear homemade polyester mini-skirts. Okay, I love you Grandma, but those skirts wounded me. LOL But I can see, Elle needs to learn how to work, and she can get started right now because someone has to do the dishes, am I right?

So here's a list of my current faves, add yours:
Bottega Veneta (see above purse & shoes, note the quality -- no, I cannot afford them or justify them really.)
Joe's Jeans (so soft, and long enough for my legs with a booty fit for those of us with ahem, booty.)
Christian Dior Airflash (Spray-on Foundation -- LOVE it, two seconds and you're out the door!)
Jane Iredale Amazing Base -- been using it for years, still fabulous!
Los Gatos Coffee
Michelle K shoes (bought by Skechers and now, unwearable!)
And my list wouldn't be complete without my true loves:
Clorox Bleach (for all your cleaning needs)
Mr. Clean Magic Sponges (One can never have enough. My mom's friend said it looked like our house had never been lived in. Mr. Clean baby!)
Wal Mart. What can I say? It's my season and no one has better prices on Mr. Clean sponges!
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My name is Colleen Coble and I'm an Internet addict. I know it's a shock to you, but it's true. I should only check email two or three times a day but I have my computer set up to check it every minute. And I'm a master googler. That confession out of the way, I'm going to tell you about two websites I'm especially fond of. The first one is Twitter. Have you heard of this? It's a way to quickly tell people who "follow" you what you're doing. My mother called before I could call her and tell her the realtor was showing our house. I said, "you must have talked to Dave (my brother)." She said, "No, I saw it on the internet." There was a long pause on my side as I tried to remember blogging about it. Surely I didn't. Then I remembered. Twitter. "You follow me on Twitter?" I asked, incredulous at the thought that my MOM was following me. "It's the only way I know what you're doing all the time," she said. I was flabbergasted. LOL Anyway, Twitter is great! I first found it by following Thomas Nelson head Mike Hyatt. Go here if you want to follow me:

The second website is a new one for me since I've been on that leptin resistant diet, and I LOVE it! It's called SparksPeople. Weird name, I know, but you can track your nutrition and exercise. There are forums for hypothyroids like me and other forums. VERY cool. It's got great social networking as well as great tools and information. Here's the site:

So fess up. What's your addiction besides chocolate and coffee? What's your favorite website?
Colleen Coble  
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Thursday, August 07, 2008

It's that time of year again. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and my hair is a 2 foot diameter ball of frizz. One thing you can't escape in a mid-western summer is humidity. It's here and my hair is proof. Gone is smooth and shiney, gone are the controlled curls. I look like a before picture in a shampoo commercial. And please. Spare me the hair products lecture. My hair laughs at those.

And to think that last winter when I was lamenting my dry skin, I kept telling myself, Don't worry, when summer comes, all this dry flakiness? Gone like the wind. It seems I'd forgotten that while summer would bring a skin refresher, my hair would be cause for pointing and laughing. And that's just my kids. Strangers aren't nearly so kind.

Spring and autumn are my best seasons, but since we 0nly get 2 weeks of each here in Indiana, I guess I'll have to hope 80's hair makes a comeback. Big hair? I am so there.
Denise Hunter  
posted at 9:16 AM  
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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I lost my calendar today.

I use an old-fashioned calendar. You know the kind. Made from paper, has pages and numbers in it, all that? I went out to lunch with Colleen and Denise and never found it after that. 

I think I ate it. 

There were commitments written on that calendar. I think I've told you how my memory has been since the surgery.  Those of you who went to the ACFW conference when Karen Ball spoke, remember the goldfish thing? "Oh, look a castle!"  Yep, that's me.

My techie husband tried to get me to switch over to a Palm Pilot (which I have, but use for music and email only, and yes, I'm downright proud to be able to do that!), but I never got the hang of it. I figured I could write things down faster than I could figure out how to get it on a screen. Besides, when I tried it a few times, I forgot to check the date and missed a couple of appointments.

So is there anyone out there who is NOT up on the latest gadget, or do all of you in Internet land use clicks, taps and drag methods for your organizational needs?

I'm beginning to think I'm old and set in my ways. I just had a birthday, after all. Don't ask me which one, I can't remember.

My calendar had nice pictures on it, too, by the way. You don't get that on the Palm Pilot--well, maybe you do, but it would take me too long to figure out how to see it.

Now that I'm on this subject, I have to say I'm going crazy with all this techno stuff!!  I finally managed email and now there's the website, newsletter, blog, Mac programs, Leopard, Scrivener, and who knows what else!!! Whatever happened to the pen and paper?

Okay, I know all these things are good, but I'm just lamenting my calendar, so let me sulk. By the way, if I have an appointment with you tomorrow, I most likely won't make it.

Diann Hunt  
posted at 8:19 PM  
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I started writing a YA (young adult) novel and with epiphany. I am eternally 12 years old. It's not really a big stretch. Oh my eyes and back don't know it, and naturally, I do my best to maintain an adult appearance. Things like driving a minivan, making dinner every night, all these little people calling me, Mom. But really, nothing's changed. I am still an "otter", always looking for the next reason to laugh and play.

Certainly, I have a weird adult side that loves good literature and art house movies, and great espresso, but when I see my son come home from a day at Malibu Grand Prix, where he rode the bumper boats, drove a go-kart, and played mini-golf...the memories come flooding in and I want to go. I remember when it was pristine and new! It was THE hangout. Back when "Frogger" was the game. And the love of my life drove a Ford Fairlane -- and yes, it was laughable back then, too. We snickered that it was no wonder he wanted to get into the Go-Karts, he had to get out of the Fairlane!

My kids have my same warped sense of humor. Which doesn't help matters, as far as me ever growing up. Before we watched "Wipeout", we roared at "MXC" the Japanese version. My son Trey is just like me, he cannot help what rolls off his tongue. He's always in trouble for it, too. Which as a parent should concern me. I should have a very serious talk with him, and I totally would if I didn't punch my hand to the sky and say, "You go, Trey!" Until his father looks at me. Just like my dad used to (as if he wasn't the same way.) He's an "A" student though, much smarter than me, though also like me, he's on a first-name basis with his principal of a 1500 kid school.

So anyway, living in "Hardship: The Musical" has been beyond hard for me! It's been downright torture. Now I know that everyone goes through stuff, and there are ups and downs, blah, blah, blah. I don't care about any of that. I am so done with being an adult!!! My little Fiona (ten pound bundle of love) grabs something as soon as I come out of the garage. She's ready to play, so she'll grab a little toy, look up at me with it in her mouth and I'll chase her all over the backyard in circles. She is so fast! She gets her growl on and we squeal at one another until I'm out of breath and can't do it anymore. Well, the road is about 50 feet or so below the backyard, and there were these two mountain bikers staring at me baby-talking to my doggie like I was crazy. Me! I'm not crazy, I'm 12! And you just wish you were able to be uninhibited like me. And incidentally, seeing grown men in racing bike shorts with matching emblem-wild clinging shirts really isn't any different from when you were twelve. Come on, tell the truth, guys. You don't really need to dress like you're in the Olympic Ironman, am I right?
posted at 2:58 AM  
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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Something happens to a woman when she becomes a mom. She becomes so much more than she ever thought she could be. Now I'm not fond of cooking but my baby girl was coming home on Sunday night so I went on a cooking spree this past week: homemade cherry pie, strawberry pie, fresh corn on the cob to cook. I went grocery shopping and planned to cook all her favorite things. Her fiance, Mark, got sick with the flu on Monday so I was hovering, waiting for him to need something. I worried about whether or not the upstairs rooms were cool enough for them. I've wanted to make sure they're having a good time. I took care of Parker so they could go to their concert, took him for walks and worried about whether or not he would eat without her (he did).

I don't sleep well until they're back in the house at night. I think it's payback for all the times I didn't think about my parents worrying. But friends, she's 33 and our boy is 35! Do we ever let them be and quit worrying? I don't think so. A mom's ears are tuned to her kids' voices, footsteps, needs. What is up with that? You think it ever changes?
Colleen Coble  
posted at 6:47 AM  
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Monday, August 04, 2008

When I was a kid, school shopping was simple. My dad and step-mom took us to the mall, gave each of us $100.00 and said, "Have fun." We might buy a pair of shoes and five bargain outfits or a two pair of Jordasche jeans. The choice was ours, but one thing was certain--if we chose the two jeans, that would be all the clothes we had all year, and we knew it.

Today, things seem less simple. First of all, $100.00 will get you one leg of your favorite name brand jeans. If you have both limbs, you'll need more money. Second of all, there are way too many choices. Not only do we have the big stores, but we now have all the stores that cater to teens. But they're not the same, according to my kids. There are goth stores, preppy stores, skateboarder stores, metro stores, and anyone who's anyone knows which is which. Apparently, I'm not anyone.

One boy is pulling me toward one of those stores--he wants to spend the money there--the other won't set foot in that preppy place, much less put anything from there against his skin.

One kid is hard to fit, one really, really, really wants this brand, and one is happy with anything so long as he doesn't actually have to try on anything. Excuse me, do you know how I would look if I bought my clothes without trying them on? Does anyone do that? Maybe they do. That would explain the droopy drawers I've been seeing for three years. Hey mom, make your kid try on his clothes, will ya? The fact that those babies are staying up is a gravity-defying act.

The very words "School shopping" strike terror in my heart. I know it will take many days, many stores to gear up 3 boys for the school year (Thank God I don't have girls--I don't even want to go there.) Things have gotten so bad that this year I brought in reinforcements. Kevin. Yep, divide and conquer. Yesterday, we ambled into the mall empty handed and walked out armed with enough clothes for, well, 3 boys. All in one afternoon. We are set for a year, and so help me, if anyone gets taller, he'll just have to pray high-waters come back in style.


Denise Hunter  
posted at 10:42 AM  
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Sunday, August 03, 2008
I'm an HGTV DesignStar addict and it just ended. I was SURE Matt would win. He just had that special charisma that would make him a great host and his designs were awesome. I'm sooo bummed! Anyone else watch it?
Colleen Coble  
posted at 10:00 PM  
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Saturday, August 02, 2008

One of us has a birthday today. (Colleen singing Happy Birthday). I'm going to give you some clues, let's see how long it takes for you to guess whose birthday it is. Ready? Here we go!

1. There is a motorbike in her garage.
2. She loves chocolate (Ha! we all so that's a non clue)
3. She's likes brown but shouldn't wear it.
4. She writes funny stories.
5. She drinks abominable coffee.

Figured it out yet? No? It's DIANN!!!! Happy birthday, Friend!
Colleen Coble  
posted at 8:58 AM  
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Friday, August 01, 2008

My house is clean!

I turned in my book on Monday and my kids are at my parents. So yesterday, I cleaned this house from top to bottom. And you know what? It's really nice, but the truth is, it doesn't compare to having my kids around. I miss them something fierce, who would have thought?

My dog is doing her part. Right now, she's walked off with one of my shoes and is trying to gnaw the gel insert out of it. Fiona~! But the truth is, she can't do as much damage as four kids can. They have these little hands that work twice as fast as anything you can accomplish. And don't get me started on Elle changing her clothes five times a day.

So this week, I've read:
The Monster of Venice
Bitter is the New Black

Starting: Bilie Lett's new one.

And I've seen "Brideshead Revisited"

Been to San Francisco for the Faith, Hope & Love part of Romance Writers of America, looked at new cars (can't afford one!) shoe shopped at Nordstrom Rack and now, the dog and I are going for a hike. The truth is, I'd rather have the kids and a crazy writing deadline that all this freedom. Okay, one day, I'll take the freedom, then I want my babies back!

P.S. I found the above photo on my Photo Booth on my computer. The computer they aren't supposed to touch. Yeah, that one.
posted at 11:31 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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