Tuesday, September 05, 2006

We've been busy getting Mike's new studio space ready. Painted and built a wall yesterday. Mike's working today but I'll go in and see if I remember the basics of taping and bedding the joints.

The space is above an old movie theatre. Every now and then we'll hear music or a loud scream. And it smells like popcorn. Much better than the old studio which was next to a barber shop. Hair would float in through the joint ventilation system and the place smelled like kimchi.

Over the next few weeks I'll be shopping for furnishings . . . after we pilfer usable items from the house. I already lost my beveled-glass sofa table to the dressing room. Since this studio is not a shared space like the last one, we'll be able to hang Mike's framed photos that were taking up closet space at home. A lot of closet space.

And we'll meet with our wedding clients at the studio, not in my kitchen, the only space that isn't covered with photos and portfolios. And though it occurred to me that I might get my dining room table back, I won't hold my breath.

Monday, August 14, 2006

"Writers don't make good cooks. Do you smell something burning?"

I am now the proud owner of a shirt from The Write Snark. It took me a while to choose the quote which most fit me.

Yes, I bake cakes and no, I don't usually burn them. But then I don't attempt to write while baking a wedding cake.

Cooking is another subject altogether. I cook dinner every day. Mostly. And when I'm writing, I tend to neglect to stir a pot or remove things from the oven on time. I've actually had to throw a pot away because burned beans were crusted on the bottom and refused to come out no matter how hard I scrubbed, scraped, or chiseled.

The first wearing of my new shirt was to Starbucks where Dana and I worked on our writing for a couple of hours. Wore it again the next day to Wal-Mart where I ran into two of my neighbors. Since I had never told them about my writing, they asked questions. Now they know.

Take a journey through Rinda's selection of shirt, mugs, bags, hats, etc. You're sure to find something that fits the writer in you.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

It's 12:49. Word count is 101,390. Rough draft is officially finished.


Yes, Dana, I finally made it through the rescue scene. Jaclyn and Brewer have made it safely out of the underground passage, finally. My rough draft sits at 99,442 words and I am one or two chapters short of finishing, which I intend to do today. Then I will begin the editing process.

I'm incorporating a priceless relic from Jaclyn's collection into the scene where a bomb is discovered, left in the tunnel by Jaclyn's evil cousin, now an escaped prisoner, who has held Jaclyn hostage deep within the tunnel. Brewer doesn't have the expertise or the time to difuse the device, and the plan is to keep the wireless detonator from being triggered by the remote device carried by the bad guy, who has managed to elude capture. The relic is a small bronze trunk adorned with gold and semi-precious stones which had once held love letters from a man to his betrothed. (I have to figure out which century the trunk is from, and want to have the man be some historical figure.) They place the satchel containing the explosives inside the trunk, and because it is lined with lead the signal to detonate the bomb will not reach the detonator, thus allowing Brewer to rescue Jaclyn from the tunnel and carry her off to safety. Whew.

Any ideas on who the historical figure could be? A warrior or soldier of some kind was my first inclination. Thank goodness I finally discovered I'm not a plotter. Otherwise I'd have to figure this out before I finish the rough draft.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

August 25 is the date of my next cake. So for the next month I'll be catching up on all the things I've neglected since April, plus beginning a new Monday habit. Dana and I met at Starbucks yesterday where we sat with out laptops. For almost three hours. Had a blast. And Dana treated me to a Caramel Apple Cider. Yummy. (Next week is my treat, Dana.) Yet another reason to look forward to Mondays. It's wonderful to have the time to spend with my friends and actually write again The plotting party we attended at Julia's place near Quartz Mountain inspired me to get this WIP finished so I can begin On A Clear Day, which Betty, Sheila and Dana helped me plot. I knew the basic story, but wasn't sure how to tell it so the reader didn't have too much information too soon. Had a great time. Heard some funneee stories. Can't wait to do this again.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Say a prayer for all our soldiers putting their lives on the line for freedom.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Hope everyone has a happy and safe Fourth of July.

I visited a blog today that reminded me of a birthday party we threw for my grandfather on his 90th birthday and so I thought I would reminisce for a moment.

My grandfather was the most incredible man I've ever known. By the time he died in January of 2001, he could barely walk due to his bad knees and his eyesight was failing, but he was still sharp enough to win a game of forty-two or checkers.

He loved to drive. In the last years of his life I'd get calls from friends who'd seen him driving ten miles an hour in the middle of the road, or going straight from the turning lane when the light was red. When I stopped by his house after work one day, he asked me to get a bottle open. It was super-glue, so the lid was stuck, and it took a pair of pliers to get it open. I asked him what he needed fixed, and he looked at me and said "those are my eye-drops."

His maternal grandparents were Black Irish and his paternal grandparents were French and Cherokee. Even at 90 he had a head full of thick, wavy hair. He used Grecian formula for years, so it was still dark, but not the black that I remember from childhood. He was a big, strong man who worked hard all his life, but his spirit was sweet and gentle. He loved his God and gave bear hugs that could squeeze the air out of your lungs. He would give a stranger the shirt off his back if they needed it.

He grew up poor on a farm in Coolidge, Texas, worked for an ice-plant in his teens and early twenties. Moved to Oklahoma and bought a Conoco gas station which he ran for forty years, hence the bad knees.

His son was murdered in 1982. He lost a daughter to diabetes in 1990 and a granddaughter to the same disease in 1992. My grandmother died in 1998. His faith never failed, his spirit never wavered.

We wanted to do something special for him to celebrate his 90th birthday. We planned the party for months. It turned out to be a family reunion since relatives from several states came for the festivities. California and Oregon, Texas, Colorado, and Arkansas. His birthday was July 1st and my grandmother's had been the 4th, so we obviously went with a patriotic theme, using the flag that he hung from his front porch for the festivities. I had red buttons made for everyone to wear that read "I love Cliff" while his button read "I am Cliff." He got such a kick out of that.

He kept his button on his dresser and once in a while I'd see him wearing it while looking through his picture album from that day. We'd sit on his front porch and he'd tell me the old stories about growing up on the farm. He could still crack open pecans with his bare hand.

By then, I'd quit the job I'd had for seventeen years to take care of him in order to keep him out of the nursing home. Six months later we had no choice. There were a few men who played dominoes, and he looked forward to that, but most of the time he had a look on his face as though he were thinking, "what in the heck am I doing here with all these old people?" Two weeks later he suffered a massive stroke. The first words he spoke? "Where are my pants?"

Wearing the "I Love Cliff" buttons to his funeral seemed like the perfect tribute.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Here are the cakes from last Saturday. We delivered the cakes and set them up, and then turned around and photographed the wedding.