Friday, February 16, 2007

One Last Love Story

"The best love is the kind that awakens the soul, that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds."

~from "The Notebook"

So with all this talk on my blog this week about romantic movies and love and Valentine’s Day, I can’t believe I forgot to mention The Notebook. This is probably the only story where I actually preferred the movie to Nicholas Sparks’ book.

Talk about true love! If you haven’t seen this one, I definitely recommend it. (It turned me into a huge Ryan Gosling fan, too).

And so here’s a little something for your viewing pleasure. Happy weekend!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Why I Run

"It doesn't matter how slow you go, as long as you do not stop."

Many of you probably know that I’m a runner. The definition of that varies day to day, from “person who jogs a few miles after school to clear her head” to “person who ate too many cookies over the weekend and needs to burn off some calories” to “person who is more than slightly insane to take on the elements on days when no one else is outside.”

This past weekend I fell into the third category. I ran a 5K (that’s 3.1 miles) with about 220 other insane people in temperatures that hovered around 20 but felt more like 5 with the wind chill. And as I headed up the last hill, lungs frozen and breath catching in my throat and legs feeling about one hundred pounds each, that familiar thought popped into my head: Why I am doing this?

Fortunately, that thought shows up quite a bit but never stays around long, because I know the answer.

I run because I always feel better when I finish. Maybe not always physically (though I’d say 80% of the time I do), but mentally and emotionally? Always. I know there’s a physiological explanation for it: the endorphins shoot off inside my brain like little drugs and give me some kind of high. But it still amazes me that the simple act of moving can change my mood 180 degrees.

It amazes me that when I cross the finish line of whatever race I’m running, whether I’m first in my age group or somewhere in the middle of the pack or near the end, I feel such a sense of accomplishment. It amazes me that I feel most beautiful when I am sweaty and flushed, with my hair stuck to my face and a t-shirt stuck to my back.

I wish more people could experience it. I hope, if you’re not a runner, you have something that revs you up, that chases away your blues, that inspires your creative juices, the way running does for me.

It’s so simple: put on a pair of running shoes and step outside. Yet it’s so complex: it changes your body, your mind, your spirit. Because if you can run ______ (fill in the blank here: to the mailbox, down the street, a mile, a 10K, a marathon), imagine what else you might do.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

"You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love; the running across fields into your lover's arms can only come later when you're sure they won't laugh if you trip."
~Jonathan Carroll, "Outside the Dog Museum

Hey, everyone, I'm blogging today at Romancing the Blog...drop by and leave a comment!
Well, it finally arrived: the winter storm that's been blasting the rest of the country, and just in time to deliver a lovely Valentine's Day gift: a snow day from school for hubby and me! Now, if you're an educator (or even if you remember those blissful days from childhood when the radio crackled the school closings while you waited at the breakfast table with crossed fingers), you know the treat that early morning phone call brings.

And on a Wednesday!

And on Valentine's Day!

And two days before a holiday weekend!

Speaking of the world of education, one of my writing friends sent me a hilarious email yesterday, that I have to reprint here. Hope you'll get a kick out of it. I did.

And if you found your way here from RTB today, thanks for stopping by! Make sure to check out my website and sign my guestbook for a chance at the February giveaway (it involves Lindt chocolates... need I say more??)

Finally, have a WONDERFUL Valentine's Day, wherever you are and whatever you're doing. Cheers!!

NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND---The Football Version
1. All teams must make the state playoffs and all MUST win the championship. If a team does not win the championship, they will be on probation until they are the champions, and coaches will be held accountable. If after two years they have not won the championship their footballs and equipment will be taken away UNTIL they do win the championship.
2. All kids will be expected to have the same football skills at the same time even if they do not have the same conditions or opportunities to practice on their own. NO exceptions will be made for lack of interest in football, a desire to perform athletically, or genetic abilities or disabilities of themselves or their parents. ALL KIDS WILL PLAY FOOTBALL AT A PROFICIENT LEVEL!
3. Talented players will be asked to workout on their own, without instruction. This is because the coaches will be using all of their instructional time with the athletes who aren't interested in football, have limited athletic ability or whose parents don't like football.
4. Games will be played year round, but statistics will only be kept in the 4th, 8th, and 11th game. It will create a New Age of Sports where every school is expected to have the same level of talent and all teams will reach the same minimum goals. If no child gets ahead, then no child gets left behind.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Covers and Things

"Two souls and one thought, two hearts and one pulse."

Yesterday I shared 9 “movies about love” that our local paper featured, but I forgot to mention which I’d seen and enjoyed. So here you go:

“Beaches” Saw it and wept. Wouldn’t watch it again.
“Citizen Kane”
“Driving Miss Daisy”
“Field of Dreams” Have seen it multiple times. Definitely a ++ recommendation for anyone who hasn’t seen it (that means you, Judy!)
“Harold and Maude”
“Lost in Translation” Keep meaning to rent this one…
“Mary Poppins” Of course! I knew all the words to all the songs, as a child.
“Pay It Forward” A good one, not a big box office draw but really touching. Sad ending, though,
“Rain Man” Another “of course!” Loved both Cruise and Hoffman in this one.


Yesterday I saw the “first attempt” of my cover for Paradise, USA (my editor’s wording, not mine). So I’m not really sure if that means I get input on it, or not. But let me tell you, it was so weird to see someone else’s conception of what my main characters look like!

Ash is perfect, just the way I imagined her. But Eddie? My dashing, drop dead gorgeous, sexy, to-die-for hero? So different than the guy who’s been inside my head for the last 5 years. Taller, and thinner, and with much longer hair. Long hair! Where did that come from? He’s got a great six-pack, though, and he’s looking at Ash with one hell of a smoldering gaze, so I can’t complain too much.

I did email my editor back with a couple of thoughts, but we’ll see if anything changes. From what I’ve heard, authors don’t get too much say on their novels’ artwork. I don’t really mind; it has the title and my name on the front: a first-time novelist’s dream come true. What more do I need?

Incidentally, do you let the cover art of a book influence your visualization of the characters, once you start reading? If there’s already a picture of the H/H done for you, do you stick to that artist’s conception? Or do you form your own instead?

Monday, February 12, 2007

A Good Weekend

"I get by with a little help from my friends."
~ John Lennon

So this past Saturday, I hopped into my little salt-covered car and drove about an hour to check out the closest RWA chapter. After getting lost twice, I finally arrived…and really enjoyed myself, overall.

I’ve been lucky enough to develop such good working relationships with online writing friends, that the idea of meeting and discussing and critiquing with people *in the flesh* seemed almost odd.

Not to worry. It was nice to be in a room with 8 other people who write romance and are at various stages in the publishing pipeline. Interesting discussion, honest feedback on ms. pages, and an easy camaraderie that comes from having a common element. I’m hoping this will be the beginning of a good year with this group.

In our local paper over the weekend was a list of movies to “warm your heart without romance.” ("Each of these stories is about true love, for sure, just not the cliché kind…")

So tell me: which of these have you seen and enjoyed? Which would you recommend to someone else, and which would you watch again?

“Citizen Kane”
“Driving Miss Daisy”
“Field of Dreams”
“Harold and Maude”
“Lost in Translation”
“Mary Poppins”
“Pay It Forward”

“Rain Man”