Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
And yes, this was a huge honking storm. Trees down and all that. My DH got stuck and his car couldn’t make it up the hill coming home last night. Thankfully he was in front of the town’s fire house and a bunch of young guys came out and pushed his car up the hill.
It’s so good to have help when you need it.
These pics were taken at night.
Then later when walking Jack late in the evening he saw a huge tree had fallen around the corner. Of course I had to go out and see. Down right on the power lines.
On our walk suddenly the big guns were out, this huge tractor. The driver was so funny. He pulled up beside us and said, “Did you call a cab?” Yep, Good to have help when you need it.
Speaking of help when you need it... Laura from Shore(house) Chic blog is doing a Help for Haiti auction over at her blog. Because they still need so much help and will for a long time to come. Laura has some wonderful handmade pieces to go to the highest bidder. Go here to check it out.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Of course I now want the baby Mia for my DD. I’m sure she and her teen skin will love it too. But she may have to wait a bit because it be pricy and I thought about mine a loooong time.
I will keep you updated on my Clarisonic progress.
And here are a couple of videos for your enjoyment. Cheers to self care!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Thank you all so much for your support on my Keeping It Real post yesterday. I’m not sure where it will lead but I do appreciate it. Today I’d like to do an update on an old post Visualization where I talked about wanting to add a writing desk to my already tight bedroom. Well, while the Twins were in Paris last week and I had the DH home I decided to move a bit of furniture around. Too bad it was when the DH was trying to take a much longed for nap that I came up with this plan (shrug).
Oh well after much nudging, we moved his chest of drawers over and took the TV off the, could be antique, sewing table that was its stand (yes there is a real sewing machine in here). Then I made the sewing table my desk. Sure it’s itty bitty but works for now until I find another I like. And I quickly put up my little inspiration board. Next up a nice tall skinny shelf for the pile of books and papers to the left that you can't see.
But now to deal with this pesky problem of writer’s block that I’m having. More on that later…
Have a fantastic day!
Monday, February 22, 2010
But all this is not the focus on today’s post. Today I’d like to discuss something I’ve been grappling with a while. The idea of keeping it real and how real can real be on ye old blog. You see something has not been quite sitting right with me.
There are plenty of days when I write a perfectly fine blog post but I glaze over a subject when I’d like to go deeper, be a little sharper, maybe more snarky, not so darn happy and let more of my neurotic self come though. But then that neurotic self takes over and I get to fretting. I start to compare myself to those shiny happy pretty blogs and worry that if I get too real and show my true self or give my real opinions you all won’t come back or you’ll stop reading.
Silly I know. To get to 40 and still worry what others think. What a shame. What waste or time, energy and so precious words.
Besides when I look back on past posts where I am more real and let my feelings show you all have responded so beautifully and shown more of yourselves to me. For that I am grateful.
So what I guess what I’m saying here is it’s time for ye old blog to grow up a bit. Get more real and show more of who I really am. Lord knows when I look in the mirror I see plenty of changes, I might as well express them here too.
Every day is not sunny and every day it does not rain.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
The first was the Over The Top award from Christine from over at The Happily Ever After.
The Over The Top Award is given to blogging friends whose blogs you consider over the top, in a complimentary way, of course. As in, they are "far more than usual or expected; extraordinary."
Now receiving this award tell me I need to go even further to be a little more Over The Top. Look out world I’m coming for ya! Thanks so much Christine. You can visit Christine here.
Before passing this award on I have to complete this little survey. Okay. I’m game.
Your cell phone? Blackberry Storm
Now I’m supposed to pass the award to 5 other Over The Top Bloggers. Okay Dokey!
Kate at Babbling about Books
Jax’s Artistic Journey
Now the fun doesn’t stop there I received yet another award. Man, you’d think I starred in Precious or at least Avatar and was painted blue with all the awards.
I received a Beautiful Blogger award from Tia at Stoic which is a super cool blog that you really need to check out. Beautiful? Wow. Look at me blushing.
Now of course all things come with a little catch and you have to pay in order to play so here are the rules behind the award:
1. Thank & link to the person that gave you the award
Thanks so much Tia. You really are the fairest of them all. Link here.
2. Pass this award onto 15 bloggers you’ve recently discovered & think are fantastic.
15? I agree with Tia. These folks are not playing around but ok. Check out these cool peeps. Some may be a bit older than the rest but you won’t be sorry. Click away:
3. Contact said Blogs & let them know they've won
Uh, don’t they have Google alerts for that? Sigh ok.
4. State 7 things about yourself
Come on. You people must be bored with me by now. Sorry if I repeat myself:
1. I can’t walk in heels. My feet instantly hurt. I wish I could though.
2. I usually have at least one twin pissed at me. Ugh. Parenting sucks.
3. I really love shrimp. Wish I had some right now.
4. I adore a good bath. I’d like a nice hot bath at having a nice plate of shrimp.
5. Throw some pasta with those shrimp and I’d be extra happy
6. Put it all in Italy and make my day. I really want to go there one day.
7. Maybe on a book trip?
Friday, February 19, 2010
So that's the reason for the Toulouse-Lautrec artwork today (still keeping with the Paris feel). I'm feeling like a bit of a sad clown out there for all the world to see even though I'd rather hide. Oh and the fact that I'm giving up sugar for Lent (again) does not help my Sad Clown mood or attitude. Speaking of attitude I sure like hers. Love the pants. This was painted over 100 years ago and still they look great. So stylish.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Yeah, I know, it’s the Teen Twins (but Jack is close). They returned home last night tired and happy to see us (Jack the most). Paris was a love, love, love even in the winter (they had a bit of snow). I'm so happy they are back safe and sound. What a joy for us to send them on this trip and to have them return to us.
I will report more soon. Enjoy your day.
Painting of Paris in the Winter by Antoine Blanchard
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
In honor of the twins coming home I leave you with this trailer and clip from Gigi with Leslie Caron one of my all time favorite movies that pays homage to gay Paris!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
I hope you had a nice Valentine's day. Mine was lovely spent with the DH and seeing him sing in the male choir for Men's day. Here's a pic of my pretty roses that he gave me. What a sweetheart.
In honor of the Dear Twins I'm keeping up with the French theme this week with this pic of our President and First lady on their past visit to France for President's day today.
So far I hear the twins are having a wonderful time, visiting Versailles yesterday one of the most beautiful places on earth in my opinion. They even got to go into more private rooms like the opera house which is not for pubic view and sit. Lucky kids. I'm so glad they are having this experience. Their teachers blog for the parents every night and send us pics to tell about the trip. It looks like a blast. Yesterday there was even a sweet Valentine message video from Versailles.
Happy Presidents day to you. Enjoy!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Hey, maybe they'll be like these kids here, rocking it along the Seine.
You'll be glad to hear I fought hard and won the battle of the tears when the bus was pulling away from the school (I didn't want to embarrass them too much).
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Yesterday the family headed out to brave the snow and do some shoveling and cleaning of the cars.
Jack wasn’t all that thrilled with the idea and had to seriously consider stepping off the porch.
Once he did he got into the swing of things for a bit, that is until the DH opened the car door for a moment and like a shot Jack was gone.
Into the sanctuary of the warm car. Leaving us outside to clean up on our own. Smart dog.
P.S. There is still time to enter the Cara Elliot Sin with a Scoundrel giveaway from yesterday's post below.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Lucky me! The mail gods and ARC gods have been smiling and in a recent book shipment I received a copy of To Sin With A Scoundrel by Cara Elliot, the first book in the Circle of Sin series. Now once again I was duped buy the old author name change switcharoo. I was like, “where have I heard that name before.” You all know me. Between the Teen Twins and Jack I can’t remember two days ago and surely not when a friend goes and writes under a pseudonym. Foul!
Cara got me with this on twitter too. I was like, “who is this Cara all over the place.” Turns out it’s my friend and bestselling author, Andrea. Duh! I really gotta get it together. Maybe ginkgo biloba, but I do vaguely remember hearing about a study saying that that doesn’t even work. Sigh. Oh well, back to today’s joy…
I got To Sin With A Scoundrel, read it, totally enjoyed it and then saw the lovely Cara/Andrea at Lady Jane’s Salon recently and she ever so kindly agreed to do a short interview with me (even though I’m a ninny that can’t remember her very famous pseudonym).
Now onto the interview:
Hello Cara thanks so much for taking some time out of your busy schedule to pop over her for a bit at Kwana Writes!
First off can you tell us a little about your background? Have you always wanted to be a romance writer or is this something that you happened on later? Do you have some fab story of “overnight success”?
Getting published was a serendipitous quirk of fate. A friend introduced me to an agent and I pitched him a contemporary thriller I had written. (It’s still in a desk drawer for good reason.) He nodded politely throughout the interview and said he would take a look at it. Then, as we got up, I mentioned as an afterthought,” Oh, I also have a Regency romance, but that probably doesn’t interest you.” Well, at that his eyes lit up, and he said,” Oh, the people at the Signet Regency line are good friends. Let me show it to them.” Three days later I got the call that they had bought my book!
What’s your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a pantser? What’s a typical writing day like for you?
I’m also a slow writer. On my writing days, I get up early and pretty much keep at it for 10 or12 hours (Okay, okay, with bathroom and chocolate breaks. Chocolate is an essential item on a writer’s desk. One never knows when The Muse might need a little bribe!) If I end up with 8 or 10 pages, that’s a very good day. The good news is, they are pretty clean pages. I’m not someone who writes three or four drafts.
Now I know your schedule is extremely busy since you are currently teaching a class at Yale (yes folks, that Yale) called “Reading the Historical Romance Novel” along with New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willing. Can you tell me a little on how this came about?
Lauren and I are both Yale grads, and one evening at Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC we started talking about how romance should be treated as a serious genre of literature, and how we would structure a class. Laughing, we both said, “Oh, wouldn’t it be fun to teach a seminar at Yale on the subject.” But the laughter quickly died away as a simultaneous spark lit in our eyes . . and so we decided to submit a proposal. After months of drafting a detailed syllabus, complete with critical readings, and being interviewed by a committee of students and professors in New Haven, our idea was accepted! We started teaching in January, and are really enjoying the experience.
It’s actually great to see that we are part of a growing movement to focus attention on the fact that great authors are writing great stories in the romance genre. Now, we readers have always known that, but it’s heartening to see the rest of the literary world, as well as the academic community, start to sit up and take notice!
Now onto To Sin With A Scoundrel which as I said I thoroughly enjoyed. Lady Ciara Sheffield is not your typical Regency heroine. She’s been married and has a child and is an intellectual. What made you decide on this type of heroine and the Circle of Sin as an idea for a series?
I’ve always liked creating unconventional heroines . . . maybe because I’ve always been a little quirky myself. So I tend to write stories with characters who dare to be different and who challenge the rules of their Society. It allows me to explore an emotional complexity, which I feel allows me to add depth and texture.
The Circle of Sin is a group of brilliant, beautiful female scholars who meet each week to share their knowledge and their friendship. They are all scientists—now, don’t ask me why! I was absolutely hopeless in math or science in school. (But hey, that’s part of the fun of fiction, and I did do my homework studying up on the basics so as not to make a fool of myself.) That said, I really enjoyed playing with the “chemistry” of pairing each of the three brainy heroines with heroes who were, on the surface, their opposites. Lady Ciara Sheffield, who stars in the first book of the new trilogy, is wary of men, however she has no choice but to accept help from a rakish rogue in order to save herself from scandal . . . and they both learn some unexpected lessons on love.
What was your inspiration for the dashing and sexy Lord Hadley?
Oh, I have a real soft spot for Lucas, who is one of my favorite heroes. He’s a charming rake who cheerfully admits to having no interest in anything but sybaritic pleasure. But at heart, he’s far more sensitive than he cares to admit, and as his best friend Jack says, he simply needs a challenge to bring out his better nature. As for inspiration, well, don’t we all dream of turning our scoundrels into noble heroes!
I can’t wait for the next book To Surrender A Rogue and Alessandra and Jack’s story. The sparks fly with these two from page one. Tell us a bit about them.
So in To Surrender To A Rogue, when they find themselves working at the same archeological excavation of Roman ruins in Bath, they are none too happy about it. But when fellow member of the expedition threatens to dig up a dark secret from Alessandra’s past, she finds herself in desperate need of a hero . . . I hope you enjoy their story! (Oh, and then there’s free-spirited Kate, the botany expert, whose story will be told in To Tempt A Rake.)
Thanks so much for being here today. I can’t wait to see you at the next Lady Jane’s.
Folks you can check out Cara’s website here
And if you are in New York on Monday March 1st don’t miss Lady Jane’s Salon where Cara will be reading from To Sin With A Scoundrel. Check out the site here.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
How was your weekend? Did you watch the Superbowl on Sunday? I watched quite a bit, that is until the last installment of Emma came on PBS at 9 then I was off. Though I know the story it was much more exciting than the Superbowl for me.
Did you watch? If you didn’t you can watch it online here.
Or at least take the: Bachelors of Highbury Quiz. I scored with Mr. Knightley. My Mr. Knightly!
Friday, February 5, 2010
Should I have my fingers crossed for a win so Kim can get a ring? So sad. Give the girl a ring Reggie win or not!
If anything I'll only be watching for the commercials if at all. In a preview I came across this too funny one that finaled in a Doritos contest. Now I know it may promote bad behavior in kids but it cracked me up. You can vote on it here.
Now as per the DH's request I've got some Chili to make.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
So, I'm sure many of you have heard the saying, "everything taste better with bacon." Well, one of my knitting buddies, T went and proved it yesterday when she brought this for the group to sample. that's right bacon flavored chocolate. To it's credit she didn't tell us the secret ingredient and the bacon wasn't overpowering so we were all guessing for quite a while. I got very close when I said something smoked. It combined sweet and salty perfectly. Have you ever?
Sadly, I have. You should have seen the faces when I fessed up to having potato chips with my chocolate ice cream. Yum.
Tell me what odd treats do you like to have on the sly?
If you'd like to try the bacon flavored chocolate you can get it from Vosges here.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Happy Wednesday! For more Wordless Wednesday posts go to 5 Minutes for Mom.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Some days you just want to throw your hands up and not in a joyful way, but in a way of frustration, in an act of defeat. The day can be going along smoothly and all it takes is one thing, a rock in the road to trip you up and take you off course, causing you to take your eyes off the horizon and your ultimate joy and you want to surrender. To give up, to say fine I’m done, have at it world, take all I’ve got.
But then you realize that there are some things you can’t do that with. Some instances where you can’t surrender or your stubborn mother’s heart just won’t let you. Because when it comes to your children is there really ever any surrender? Not as long as there is hope, love, fight and breath.
So you grit your teeth and hang in for the fight. Throwing up your hands and clinching them into fists at the rest of the world if you have to because the only act of Surrender when it comes to your children, in your heart and mind, is the Surrendering to the will of God. Nothing less will do.