Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Lake House

"Even though this is clearly impossible, it's amazing." ~from "The Lake House"

This is a terrifically romantic movie, if you haven't seen it (I watched it last night...for the 3rd time...). Go rent it!

I'm off to my launch party ~ pics here tomorrow!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Who Cares What the Reviewers Say?

"A writer should be joyous, an optimist... Anything that implies rejection of life is wrong for a writer." ~George Gribbin

These are the *real* reviews I like:

"You have amazing characters, gripping plots, a fantastic vocabulary, and fresh comparisons. I just had to drop you a note to let you know. I'm looking forward to your third book." ~ my good friend Jenny, a high school English dept. chair out in Ohio that I worked with years ago in a community college writing center. (Those words coming from a fellow English teacher mean A LOT.)

"I just finished One Night in Boston and found it engrossing and enjoyable." ~ my 81-year old aunt, God bless her.

And guess what? Sneak preview at some exciting news coming this summer...

Marianne and Ceri and I might be doing a Samhain author signing at a library or two in New Hampshire! Actually, I don't care about the signing or selling so much as having the chance to get together with 2 cyber-friends and fellow authors, in the real world. I imagine it will be a gab-fest more than a "meet and greet the fans" event - but that's OK. It's not set in stone yet but will hopefully work out. We'll keep you posted!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

For Your Viewing Pleasure...

"Wine is bottled poetry." ~Robert Louis Stevenson

I have no words of importance today, so it'll be a visual blog post. You like that anyway, right?

The hostas around our pool deck (and yes, there is no pool there - we're getting a new one - hopefully soon!):

And the hostas around the side of our garage ( the middle ones look a little smushed 'cause I took this pic right after a terrific rainstorm yesterday. Those ones, incidentally, the deer will strip to nothing, if they discover them. The variegated ones on either side, the deer will leave alone. Stupid picky creatures...

Our container vegetable garden about a month ago, newly planted:

And as of yesterday, blooming pretty well (you can see the two upside-down tomato growers, hanging off the side - no salmonella for us!):

And finally, how I spent one day after work, earlier this week: touring a winery with my teacher friends (the oldest continually operating winery in the country, by the way, thanks to a need for sacrament wine during Prohibition). Hey, what other job gets you out and drinking wine at 4:00 in the afternoon?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Writers' Wednesday: An Interview with Lanaia Lee

Welcome to Writers' Wednesday! Today I'm happy to be hosting author Lanaia Lee. Settle in and enjoy the interview!

Hi, Lanaia, and thanks for joining me today. Can you tell us a little about your background?

Not much to give for my background in writing. I have only been writing for five years. Divine intervention, I would say. My poetry has won numerous awards and I'm hoping so will my numerous books I will end up writing. I had a stroke at 35, confining me to a wheelchair, so me being a Taurus, my husband calls me Sitting Bull.

Ha - love the nickname! So when did you first begin writing? Was there an event or moment in your life that triggered your desire to write?

Five years ago my husband dared me to write a poem. After writing it being curious, I posted it in several on line poetry forums, and the feed back was so positive, I continued to write. Poetry at first, then short stories and finally novals.

Tell us about your latest writing project or published title.

Right now I am working on a five volume fantasy series called Of Atlantis, book one realeased on May 17th, right now it can be purchased at, book two called Skulls of Salvation, to be released by the end of summer by A' G' Press,, the press will publish my last 4 books. I also have a book of poetry available through A. G. Press, called Within Lanaia's Garden of Darkness, now available every where. Soon Of Atlantis book one will also be available everywhere.

That's great news! Now, how do you go about developing your characters?

My characters from Of Atlantis have been in my imagination since childhood. I was an only child, so some of my characters, I played with as a child. An only child seems to develop quite the imagination. My series is based on a lot of my own personal beliefs, so no problem in developing my characters.

OK, what advice would you give to new writers just starting out?

Any new author, make sure [to be careful] in dealing with anyone, especially from the Internet. There are people out there that will seduce you, by telling you, just what you want to hear, just to take advantage of you. So my advice is to be very careful and be absolutely sure of who you are dealing with.

What kinds of books do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?

I love mysteries and historical romances. My absolute favorite author of all time is Edgar Allan Poe, this man was a literary genius. Having died when he was only forty, I wish he had lived longer, so there would have been more of his work.

Ah, I'm a Poe fan too! What do you find most difficult about writing? What do you find most exciting or rewarding?

Sometimes in writing poetry, after writing over a thousand poems, sometime I get a bout of writer's block, but after a while of thinking, I always come up with a poem. After I write, I will read it aloud to my husband, and my most rewarding thing, is seeing the look on my husband's face. This tells me if he truly enjoyed my work. The most exciting thing is when friends read my work and comment. Remember those closest to you are your biggest critics.

Thanks for sharing your journey with us, Lanaia!

Allie, I would really like to thank you for taking the time to interview me and talk with me...and readers, remember to buy Of Atlantis!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Gardening Woes and Wows

"My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view. " ~H. Fred Ale

I'm not much of a gardener. This will not come as a surprise to anyone who's read my blog for a while, but really, I do not possess a green thumb and have no great desire to develop one. I would much rather spend any free time I have reading or writing (or possibly drinking a good Merlot, but I digress...)

However, I'm happy to say that the vegetables we've started in containers on our front porch are actually growing. This is a feat in itself, as I'm always somewhat surprised to see seeds in dirt turn into green plants above the ground. Yesterday I was weeding (if you can believe it) and hubby came running across the driveway waving something in his hand. Thrilled, he produced two tiny green beans from one of our plants. Hooray! Actually, the lettuce is doing quite well too, and everything else seems to be growing and flowering. I'll take a picture and post it up here sometime.

The poor flowerbeds around the property aren't doing quite as well, though, mostly because it's been beastly hot and dry here, and also because most of the ground beneath us is slate and sand (a neighboring town is actually named "Slate Hill" - need I say more?). But they're doing OK. Except while I was weeding yesterday I found hoofprints in one bed. Yes, actual hoofprints, from the local deer. Yes, they're cute. Yes, I refuse to let hubby hunt them. Yes, I hate to see them hit along the side of the road. But they demolished my impatiens - demolished those and yet left the petunias completely alone.


Oh, well. Some things are still steadily growing, others are struggling, and others are thriving no matter what gets thrown at them (like the hostas...they're enormous...does anyone need any??)

Sort of like people, now that I think about it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Countdown to End of School, and Party Plans, and Release Dates, and...

"We can make this thing into a Party, instead of a Memory." ~Will Rogers

Two weeks left of school...and I'm not sure who's happier, the students or the teachers!

I'll be spending this week (among other things that, you know, have to do with my day job) getting ready for my book launch party this-coming Saturday! I'm excited, if only because I'm holding it at a place that's really small and maxes out at about 50 people - which means if even 10 people come to my party, it will at least look sort of crowded and well-attended :)

And this is a shout-out to my local blog readers: everyone's invited on Saturday! (really) - Click on this link to find out more details.

I had a chance to visit my parents this past weekend, and my mom said to me, "You know, I got a little worried toward the end of Lost in Paradise. I thought maybe it was going to have a sad ending." Aha! So the black moment in the book works :) And see, that's the nice thing about the love stories I write - you can count on the fact that they have happy endings.

Speaking of love stories with happy endings, only three weeks and counting 'til One Night in Memphis releases!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

"He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." ~Clarence Budington Kellard

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

My goal for today is to finish my second round of edits for One Night in Memphis. One thing I like about my Samhain editor, she's very efficient. She always gives me about a week to work on edits, which is nice because, really, it doesn't leave me a lot of time to procrastinate. I got this round last Wednesday, I think, and she wants them back Monday. Of course, being that it's the end of school, life's a little crazy right now, but luckily she only wants a few things fixed.

I can't wait for this story to meet the world - less than a month to go!