Tuesday, July 29, 2008
10 Things I Got in the Carribean
1. A sunburn. Hint: Don't kayak in the ocean without sunscreen. Ouch.
2. Great photos. No doubt about it, the ocean doesn't look any prettier than it does in the Carribean.
3. Spoiled. Where's my room steward? My buffet? My waiter? WAHHHHH!
4. A great appreciation for the good old USA. Beautiful as the scenery is, I would never want to live anywhere else.
5. Sore muscles. Kayaking, snorkling, hiking, we did it all and I found muscles I forgot I had.
6. Alone time with Kevin. The kids had clubs on the ship and they made new friends and had activities of their own in the evenings.
7. A great new perfume called CK Summer. I'm a strange woman--I hate perfume, that strong flowery sweet smell makes me want to gag. But I found this citrus one I love while we were shopping for my son on St. Kitts.
8. Rest. I didn't have to drive anyone anywhere, cook anything, wash anything, clean anything, or do anything else I didn't want to do. We spent some time just chilling at the beach and in our cabin so we didn't go home from vacation needing another one--been there, done that.
9. Great memories with the kids. So many good times and funny happenings we'll always remember.
10. Lots of dirty laundry. The fun's over and now it's time to pay for all that time off.
Things I didn't get in the Carribean
1. Seasick. Thank you, Dramamine!
2. Extra tonage. After gaining 6 pounds on my last cruise--yes, 6 pounds in a week--I gained no weight at all on this one. Though I did have to say no to some yummy food.
posted at 8:15 AM
Monday, July 28, 2008
Once upon a time I liked cars. Really. I had a dream of owning a Porche 911. I loved my Chrysler New Yorker. Now THAT was a car! Dave had a 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner when we met. I could hear that engine coming down the country road to our farm from a mile away. There's never been a more beautiful car than that Roadrunner.
Dave and I decided we were going to buy a new car with my dad's GM employee discount. Excitement was high as we got to the Chevy dealer and breathed in that new car smell. I was about to hyperventilate. LOL. Our excitement soon waned when we soon found out the employee discount wasn't what it used to be--it's not even 10% anymore on the biggest Chevy, the Impala. And forget about a trade in this market--they offered us $2000 for our van! Discouraged at the deal--or lack thereof!--we left with our tails between our legs.
We drove to dinner at Dave's favorite place (Mancino's) and I scanned the cars on the road and the ones in the parking lot. They all look the same. Blah and boring. There wasn't one that actually made me think, "now I'd like to have that!." Even my old favorite, the Taurus, is this rounded little ugly thing that has no style and no decent backseat anymore. Chrysler still has the most style of any vehicle, but the only one I really like, the Pacifica, is built in such a way that my tall hubby can't see out very well. Many of the cars we sort of liked had the steering wheel resting on Dave's knees. I do like the looks of some SUVs but the gas mileage is terrible.
So we're going to keep our Chrysler Town and Country van for a while. It needs a little mechanical work and maybe we'll even get it repainted, but the leather interior is still in fabulous shape and at least I like the style. Even if we'd hoped for something with better gas mileage, I can't justify paying that much money for something, that's well, just plain ugly. I don't understand how we've gotten to this place where all the cars look alike. What has happened to the car industry? Where did the style go?
posted at 8:02 AM
Thursday, July 24, 2008
You have to get right back on the horse…
You may recall I fell and got a concussion at Santana Row a few weeks ago. Not to be deterred from great shopping by a simple head injury, my BFF Beth and I ventured there for dinner & a movie last night. Oh my goodness, Yankee Pier has this frozen strawberry lemonade for $4 a pop with no alcohol, but easily as addictive. I could have swilled a few of those, but I refrained (I was holding off on the calorie count for Sour Patch Kids and Diet Coke at the movies).
So we saw Mamma Mia, which was incredible -- the right kind of cheese! So much fun. Colin Firth in scary plaid and um, paisley. I know Colin, you’re trying to counter your Mr. Darcy effect. You took that role to say to us obsessive fans that you will not be typecast – and I have to admit, you looked really bad in Lilly Pulitzer-type paisley. Which tells one how cheesy the movie is, because a gay man would never dress so abhorrently, but whatever. Not helped by BFF whispering in movie, “Your boyfriend is wearing paisley.” Still a GREAT time, in singing/laughter-infused estrogen-fest and Colin, you will always be Mr. Darcy to us. It brought us such immense joy in our lives, it cannot be swayed by a fun role in bad beachwear. We…we will always remember the white fluffy shirt…the pond…the brooding, how ardently you loved and admired Miss Elizabeth Bennet. We withstood “Circle of Friends” and we can overcome this as well.
Onto something more serious. I currently am sporting a very bad, self-inflicted mullet. My hairdresser only had time for a color OR a cut. Well, go ahead, color me, I can cut it myself. Only I can’t. And I have a really scary business-in-the-front, party-in-the-back mullet of devastating proportions. And I’m too embarrassed to get a cut now because my hairdresser will have a fit. And none of this would have been that devastating, since I’ve been wearing my sunglasses on my head, but my DH arranged an appt early this morning, and my bedhead mullet, awoke to a gorgeous, young fireman at my doorstep at 8:00 a.m. Now I’m not so deluded as to believe said gorgeous fireman cares, but I don’t know, if you’re going to have a bad morning mullet, I’m thinking I want the guy at the door to be missing a few teeth. Is that too much to ask? DH had warm words of encouragement, “Well, you’re the one who cut your hair.” Sigh. The gulf between man and woman widens.
Update: Stardate 7/25 See attached photo, they fixed the mullet, but said it would take two haircuts to grow out. She said one side was actually one and a half inches longer than the other in the back. Pretty.
Labels: Colin Firth, Mamma Mia, Santana Row
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
We all have our assets, you know what I mean? That thing we do, that skill we have, that little something extra God gave us just because. The problem is, we were born with them and after we have them a while, we don’t even notice them anymore.
Take my oldest son. We’re on a cruise this week and the food is, of course, fabulous. However, of the five of us, he’s the only one who can eat anything he wants and not gain an ounce. The rest of us are so jealous as we pick and choose, knowing we’ll pay for any gluttony later.
Kevin and my other two sons turned dark golden brown in the sun. They rarely burn and spend the summer looking like California beach boys. Me and my oldest son? Think lobster red. Think gobs of sunscreen. Think pale white and lots of freckles.
Yep, we all have our assets. Some of us can memorize at the drop of a hat, some of us have a keen sense of direction, and some of us always know just the right thing to say (not me!)
So what’s yours? What little knack, little gift, little asset do you have that you often overlook?
posted at 8:01 AM
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
"Greetings from Sunny Florida!" Each time I saw a post from Kristy Dykes, that's what I remember her saying. Her positive attitude came shining through--ALWAYS. Something tells me even if she had lived in Indiana, she would have been positive.
Though our loss is certainly Heaven's gain, my heart aches with the passing of our sister in Christ and fellow writer. Kristy and I shared the same birthday and each year made a point to wish each other a happy day. It's only a couple of weeks away now. I will miss her note this year. But something tells me she'll be having her best party yet!
Her positive spirit was contagious and her love for the written word was inspiring. If you didn't know her, you missed out, and if you did know her--even if only a little--I'm sure she affected your life in some way, too.
Let's remember to pray for Kristy's family during these difficult days and the days ahead.
Kristy, we will never forget you!
posted at 12:49 PM
Monday, July 21, 2008
It's always exciting when I get a new cover. We've been tweaking my "brand" look, softening it a bit and making sure the title is great. This is the cover for a new Rock Harbor book called Cry in the Night. (Duh) What do you think?
posted at 11:14 AM
Friday, July 18, 2008
There's only one thing worse than having a stomach virus: Having a stomach virus away from home.
That was me last Friday. The very night I arrived for a writer's retreat, I was up all night munching rolaids like a woman desperate to avoid an encounter with the great white throne. Good news, it worked. Bad news, I was still down for 24 hours, face-down on a sterile pillow on a hard bed with nothing familiar but my toothbrush.
Mama Colleen was in the hotel though and checked on me, and my roomie Kristin kept me up-to-date on the goings on that I was missing. I worried the entire time about infecting Kristin before she had a chance to be honored for being a Christy finalist, but alas, she stayed healthy and I was feeling good in time to see her honored. Above, we're at the Christy's celebrating her acheivement.
posted at 8:53 AM
Thursday, July 17, 2008
More photos from my random week!
My agent Jeana Ledbetter, me and my editor, Karen Watson.
Jane from Barnes & Noble & Me
posted at 6:17 PM
Orlando...Life is so random! And so is this post.
Well, when I got there I still had my concussion, so I really didn't "wake up" until Saturday, when Mel Hodde (part of Hannah Alexander's writing team with his wife Cheryl) used his osteopath skills and snapped my head back in order.
Unfortunately for me, but moreso for the audience, I spoke on Friday morning. At least I think I did. I remember having a conversation about how Dyson vacuums are the bomb, and that's about it.
Orlando has no coffee, which is something like hades to me -- then you add in the sweat factor and let's just say I'm on the right (left) coast. I had a stimulating conversation with an Israeli software programmer, told him I wrote a book on how they were geeks and he laughed. It's very hard to offend people here. I need that.
Stephanie Whitson made me the most GORGEOUS pillow case out of a darling handbag material, with my trademark lime green as lining. I adore it!
Dave Coble schlepped his wife's stuff up to the room, and then he schlepped my stuff because he just doesn't look right without carrying something. : ) I had the best meal with them and the Hodde's at this great restaurant called Bogard's. We shared deep fried dill pickles in wasabi. YUM!
My agent knew I'd be tired after my signing and got me a key to her room to rest. That was cool! I was sitting with my new editor from Tyndale at the Peabody Hotel and this Disney voice says, "Ladies and Gentleman, please direct your attention to..." And these six little ducks come waddling in a line and jump in the fountain for the day.
I saw Fireworks from my room at Sea World. Oh and I didn't bring my DVD player because my Mac Air is lighter without it. Normally, I watch Bridget Jones's Diary on the way out to a conference, and the way back. People on the plane don't know I've seen it 8 bajillion times. Since I didn't bring it, I worked and when I got to the hotel, "Bridget Jones's Edge of Reason" was on, and I saw it from the beginning. The night before my signing, the BBC (Colin Firth) version of "Pride & Prejudice" was showing. It was serendipity!
After my signing, before my agent's big party, I saw a soccer shop and wanted to get my sons a jersey (one of them to match the dog!) So I take a cab to this not so great part of town, buy the shirts, and I have no way to get back. So I walk to the nearest hotel (can you say sweat like a pig?) and talk about random, there is this mini-golf place with all these baby alligators outside next to the sidewalk in a pen. How cool is that?
Oh, and the Christy's were fun this year! It was really neat to hear all the highlights of moving the CBA and fiction forward happened. I remembered them all, but it was nice to be reminded of God's providence in the matter. I was glad I didn't win since I had no speech whatsoever, and everyone had gotten up there and unfurled these papers. I would have been like, "You like me! You really like me!" LOL
When I checked into my hotel for the signing, I signed up for a massage to get my muscles back in order after my fall. This is hilarious! I wanted to save time because Denise and I were eating out, so I wore my suit to the spa, got my massage and took a shower in the spa to save time. Except I forget to shed my undies, so I had to go back upstairs and change anyway. I'm pleading concussion on that one.
Denise Hunter put up with me again this year (Felix & Oscar together again!) The signing was fun. I love to connect with readers. The English/South Africans/Aussies get my humor. I think it's all the Jane Austen I read. I got home at 2 a.m. on Monday morning, so not a great way to start the week and I've been doing laundry since I came home. I feel human again. I was with writers and I LOVE learning from them and just drinking in their energy.
I'm really blessed to do this for a living, and I'm grateful to no end. I came home to a new air conditioning system and a brand new water heater. Life just doesn't get much better than that.
Alligators on the sidewalk
Diann Mills & Me
2008 Writer's Retreat -- Weirdos Unite!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
10 Things You Probably Didn't Really Want to Know About Authors Kristin was up for a Christy in this picture and though she didn't win, she should have! She started the craze here in the States and she is the best! We just spent four days with a bunch of authors and I thought you might not know these important facts:
1. We are perpetually insecure. One single bad review throws us into a tizzy even when we have ten that are glowing.
2. Nearly every writer I know has gone through rough times. I think it's God giving us the material we need to torture our characters.
3. Authors love to be around other authors who are just as twisted. It's the only way we can assure ourselves we're normal.
4. Don't mess with an author and her coffee. We are the biggest coffee drinkers I know. Nearly every author had a cup of coffee in their hands every morning. And we all complained about the coffee at our hotel even though the hotel itself and the service was fabulous. Quite a few of us even braved the heat and humidity in Orlando to find decent coffee.
5. Some authors are really good "baby whisperers" as Cara Putman put it about Karen Ball. I got some practice being a grandma myself and was pretty darn good at getting Rebecca to go to sleep.
6. Authors are extraordinarily giving people. I saw many people going out of their way to listen, to pray, to be kind to one another.
7. Writers talk when they get together. A lot. There is a dull roar going on all the time. I think it's from all that alone time. We hang out in the lobby and never seem to want to go to bed.
8. Writers are not afraid of making fools of themselves. One night we acted out the covers of our books. You should have seen some of the dumb things we did. But my lips are sealed. Denise's The Convenient Groom and Diann's For Better or For Worse brought some particularly hilarious pictures. For chocolate, I might be bribed to share some of those.
9. Not all writers are introverts. We divided up by introvert/extrovert for our fun night and we were pretty evenly divided.
10. Macs are making more and more of an inroad among us. I'm one of the evangelists for them. LOL
And I'll warn you: DON'T RIDE THE I-TROLLEY IN ORLANDO!!! Dave and I had no idea how to do it. We got on with Kristin to go get coffee. We had no idea you had to pull a cord for a stop. I assumed they'd stop at every bus stop. Um, no. We went flying by the Starbucks stop and ended up having to ride the thing all the way to the end. Coming back, we were in the back and CRAMMED full of people and the thing's air conditioning wasn't working well. We arrived to our hotel dripping and exhausted. It takes someone younger than me to want to ride it again. LOL
posted at 5:43 AM
Monday, July 14, 2008
Kristin, Denise and Colleen all went to a writer's retreat this past weekend and are, no doubt, on their way home today. Hubby had knee surgery and couldn't travel so I stayed home to pamper him. *g* We are now on vacation (two hours from home), and relaxing. Of course, I am writing toward a September 15 deadline, so I'll be working some this week, but I love to write and in a beautiful setting, all the more, so it works out.
You would be so proud of me, I actually went to the exercise room last night and worked out. I do believe that's a first for me. In the past, when I've been on vacation, I hung up my gym shoes (which I've had for five years and still look brand new--wonder what that means?) till vacation was over. Okay, the truth is, I don't even bring my gym shoes. All right, all right. I don't own any gym shoes--or at least I didn't, until I got serious about this exercise thing. Hey, two miles--would you believe one?--every other day IS serious for me!
I bare my soul to you and I think it's only fair that you do the same. *g* How about it, when you're on vacation, do you continue with your disciplines (yeah, I didn't know what that word meant either, but I heard an athlete use it and decided to toss it around) of exercise and all that or when you go on vacation, do you plunk your rump down in a comfy seat, eat chips and chocolate till you want to barf, then go home, feeling as though you've had a good time?
Be honest. I mean, it's just between us. :-)
(By the way, those are NOT my feet in the picture, just so you know.)
posted at 9:39 AM
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Writing can be dangerous.
On the heels of Colleen's dieting post, I will admit to you all that I'm trying to get more active. I've purchased a pedometer and I'm tracking my steps. They say to lose weight you need to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. When I started tracking, I was walking--or should I say slogging--around 2,000. And I'm pretty sure those were from walking to the refrigerator.
That's the danger of being a writer. You sit. All. Day. So now that I have this annoying little pedometer (I call it Ped) nagging me, I get up off the couch and walk. I try to walk a couple of miles on the treadmill and by doing that and being aware of my steps throughout the day, I can usually hit around 8 to 10,000.
But it's not easy. I realize I've become rather accustomed to, um, sitting. But now that I've recovered from surgery and breathing better, I'm ready to get active. I'm forcing myself to get active. I park my car away from store doors, so I have to walk. I try to take stairs when possible. I walk in step while watching TV sometimes. I pace when I'm on the phone. Sounds crazy, I know, but Ped is relentless.
Without the activity, you see, there's no chocolate. :-)
So, what do you do to stay active?
P.S. Thank you for your encouragement over the situation with my dog. As you will see on my earlier post (July 2?), we took her to the vet yesterday and said goodbye.
posted at 7:52 AM
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Are you more Scarlett or Melanie? We had a heated discussion on Scarlett and "Gone With the Wind" on my writers' loop. I'm convinced the men who hate Scarlett are the ones who can't handle her, but what can I say, I'm more Scarlett. And come on girls, how many men PICK Melanie by choice? Why is that? The Bible says that beauty fades and charm is deceiving, but we see who's surrounded at the BBQ at Twelve Oaks. What's a little innocent clutch with a married man if you get that gorgeous red dress at the party? Okay, I'm kidding, I'm kidding. But I do love that dress. It's my favorite in the movie, and I have the Barbie to prove it.
I love Scarlett. She's a survivor. When everyone up and dies on her, who's the one who keeps Tara? When her sister can't seal the deal with Mr. Kennedy, who's the one who gets gussied up, and does what has to be done to pay the taxes on Tara? Granted, she breaks all the commandments doing so, but you do have to admire her spark. There's something admirable about a woman who overcomes.
I think I'm more Prissy. Today I went to Santana Row (Disneyland-looking shopping center with ritzy stores, etc -- oh where I met Donald Pliner!) It's really hot here and my MS makes me dizzy when it's like that, and I tripped over this curb, and landed on my knee, my elbow, my head and ended up on my back like an upside-down ladybug trying to figure out which way was up. The good news is that I hurt too much to be embarrassed. The bad news is I hurt too much to find it terribly funny.
I had to pull it together when my editor called, and my brain was not functioning yet. So while I'd like to be Scarlett, I see my hands up around my face screaming hysterically, "Miss Scarlett, I don't know nuthin' bout birthin no babies!"
Picture: Big Sur -- Pray for our beautiful California and its firefighters!! Leaving for Florida tomorrow, wooohooo!! Mama's going on Vacation!
Monday, July 07, 2008
SUSPENSE, ROMANCE--OR SOMETHING ELSE?
The life of an author is so glamorous. No really, it is. Like this weekend. I spent three days painting handrails and spindles on our old Victorian. I wore a pair of capris that are so worn, you can practically see through them. Not a stitch of makeup and a T-shirt that was big enough that Dave and I could both fit in it. At one point on Saturday, Dave and I were out attaching the handrails back to the porch and a neighbor came out to watch. Dave said it was because she wanted to see if it really was the author out there doing physical work. LOL I think she just heard the pounding and wondered what on earth we were doing, but I live in a small town and most folks know me. So he might be right. LOL If so. she found out authors are just like any other person. We just make our living dreaming in our heads and pecking on a computer. Which is why it's an exciting time when authors get together because we're around other weird people.
I'm packing right now for two days in Nashville before going to Orlando for an author's retreat. The two days in Nashville will be spent with my publishing team and agent. We're brainstorming new ideas (a first for them but I asked and Ami was delighted) and talking about brand strategy. So if you read my books, I'd LOVE some advice. What makes you pick up my books? The suspense? The romance? The dog? LOL What's your favorite book and why? What do you see as the Colleen Coble brand? Be gentle. LOL
posted at 7:15 AM
Friday, July 04, 2008
Happy Fourth of July!
I'm home working today (how patriotic!) Leaving for a BBQ soon, and back for the fireworks tonight. (Not that California isn't on fire as it is! We have a great view of the city's fireworks here.)
But I wanted to just pop in and say that I've had a love of nautical wear since I was a kid. I LOVE it LOVE it! So yesterday, I dressed in a great striped (navy & white) top, with a little bow at the front, jeans and red shoes. I went:
Drove my son to summer school
To my church coffee house to write.
Met up with a friend who took my daughter for a playdate.
Helped my husband unpack the garage.
Went to get tires on my car.
The grocery store.
Got a visit from a friend selling Cutco.
NO ONE told me that my cute little patriotic shirt was on inside-out, with the tag a flailing in the wind. I went an entire day!! Happy 4th!
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Today's post is a hard one. I apologize if it's too much of a downer, but I need your advice.
You've heard me talk about our deaf and blind shih tzu before. She'll be 16 this year and she's not doing well at all. She's had a couple of strokes in the last year that's left her "altered". Her manners are a thing of the past, she can't see, she can't hear, she's frail and not eating much. About all she has going for her is a sense of smell. Occasionally, she will whine when trying to get comfortable at night, but for the most part, she doesn't act as though she's in pain.
I talked with the vet's office about our options. It's such a hard decision. Have any of you ever made the decision to put your animal to sleep? How did you come to that decision? I certainly don't want Nocchi to suffer, but I don't want to put her down too early, either. The vet said we all want our animals to die naturally, but the truth is 99% of us have to put them to sleep.
Any words of wisdom that you can give me before we make our decision would be greatly appreciated. By the way, the dog in the picture is not our dog. I couldn't bring myself to put her picture up there.
posted at 11:54 PM
A NEW DIET
Oh no, you groan. Colleen is NOT on another diet. Um yes. And I'm having great luck with it. I stumbled across some talk about leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone and since I have all kinds of other hormonal issues, I was intrigued.No matter what I've done, it's been hard to lose weight. I can exercise till the cows come home. Nada, not a pound lost. I can starve myself to no avail.
The interesting thing about this whole leptin resistance is that inflammation in your body makes it impossible to lose weight. And fat puts off inflammation so isn't that interesting? I already knew my inflammatory factor is high so I was intrigued at the idea of how to turn that around. Both my parents have had heart attacks in spite of low cholesterol (cholesterol doesn't mean a THING about heart disease, it's all about the inflammation) so I wanted to figure out a way to get that down. This diet lowers inflammation and turns leptin resistance on its head.
But Denise, our resident vegetable hater, isn't going to like it. It's all about the fruit and vegetables and getting the right kinds of fats and protein. Lots of fish, 9 servings a day of veggies and fruit. Low fat yogurt. The only eggs that are allowed are boiled or poached, cooked somehow with the yoke unbroken or else egg whites only. Cutting out as much saturated fat as possible with red meat eaten only once a week and then marinated in pomegranate juice. Blueberries, pomegranates and cherries are key to reducing inflammation too so I'm eating blueberries every day.
And tada! I'm down 6 pounds this first week! I know it won't continue that fast, but I feel great and it's about time something worked! I'm happy to be proactive about the inflammation thing mostly. I'm hoping you won't recognize me soon! Here's more information about the diet: http://www.bottomlinesecrets.com/blpnet/article.html?article_id=38237
posted at 7:44 AM
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Disregard for Truth?
We don't live in Utopia. I'm good with that because I get to live in Utopia later, but I'm concerned about how the world is trying to make this heaven, with utter disregard for truth. It's so much easier to be politically correct, isn't it? The reason comics are funny is that they take truth and throw it in our faces. We have the same experience, but of course, we don't want to say it out loud.
Then, there are those who will call people names for saying the truth. Because the truth isn't pretty. So if you notice it, you're worse than evil. Personally, I think this is a way Satan works today. He uses Christians sometimes to chastise you for truth. Calling truth, hatred. When you notice something you shouldn't notice. Or something they tell you that you shouldn't notice.
Examples? Today the Supreme Court ruled that all jail cells need to be integrated. Meaning, racially "together". So a KKK member should be in with a black man, etc. Gosh, if we lived in heaven, great! But we don't. Prisons are hot beds for gangs, and guess what? There are Mexican gangs, Black gangs, Vietnamese gangs, KKK gangs -- and here's the ugly truth. People united in hate? They don't like other people united in hate. So while the Supreme Court tries to make are jails racially integrated, the prisons AND its inhabitants know it will never work. Because this isn't truth. The court in trying to do good here, has ignored the truth an Satan wins this one.
And no one wants to say there's an issue with one culture -- even if the truth might help them to overcome some really hard times. We'll sweep it under the rug and pretend. Scary. Utopia, human-style, is scary!