Yikes, now it’s almost April

Where does the time go?  Have been busy work­ing on my con­tem­po­rary cow­boy romance.  The edi­tor like the writ­ing, the char­ac­ters (includ­ing the dog!), but it needs some more work on the con­flict.  So have to pump up the con­flict and re-submit.

I’ll have lots of time to work on this next month as my mom has asked me to to with her to Chicago to visit the rel­a­tives we have there.  And since my mom doesn’t have inter­net (I keep try­ing to con­vi­nence her) I know my aunt doesn’t (since they call each other sev­eral times a month).  So I’ll have plenty of time to re-write.  Am mak­ing a list of things to take along with the com­puter, such as a few writ­ting books.

Also will have to load up my kin­dle with read­ing mate­r­ial.  And I’ve got a new new cross stitch project to take.

The weather here in So Cal has been very non-wintery, so am try­ing to get out with the dog.  My hus­band was walk­ing both Smokey and Ban­dit, but Smokey tore his ACL and had to have surgery (talk about a bud­get buster, but what can you do?)  Smokey is cur­rently 3 weeks into his 8 week con­fine­ment only out to pee, poop and eat.  For­tu­nately now that the sur­tures are out, he not longer has to wear the col­lar.  And since he always came to the kitchen when he heard me get ice from the refig­er­a­tor, I now take him an ice cube.  My friend says I’m a good dog mom (whichis another way to say softee).

Got some more pho­tos of the new grand­baby.  She’s so cute, and looks like she might have red hair.  We’ll see it if that stays.IMG_1834 collar

February already

First Sun­day in Feb­ru­ary.  Over­cast this morn­ing, so after break­fast (eggs, pota­toes O’Brien, toast) for us and (kib­ble with a lit­tle yogurt) the dogs, we ajourned to the liv­ing room, where the peo­ple read the news­pa­per and watched peo­ple on the tele­vi­sion going ath­letic things.  The dogs a pic­ture of what to do on a lazy Sun­day morn­ing after breakfast.

Smokey, Sunday morning

Smokey, Sun­day morning

Bandit, Sunday morning

Ban­dit, Sun­day morning







Unfor­tu­nately, we ended up spend­ing the whole day lazy.  It has rained a lit­tle on and off all this week — which is good a we need the rain (dri­est month of Jan­u­ary in years).  I’m blam­ing all the inac­tiv­ity of this week on Smokey the Scotty.  Early this week he came home from his walk with a limp, not putting his right rear foot on the ground.  Couldn’t find any­thing in his foot, and he didn’t react when check­ing all his joints.  So next morn­ing off to the vet where he got an anti-inflammatory shot, and some pain pills and no walk­ing for the rest of the week.  So since we all seem to go with the no walk­ing along with the dog (shame on us — bad human, bad human).

Still work­ing on going over the his­tor­i­cal ms. look­ing for prob­lems, addi­tions and/or sub­trac­tions.  Hope you had a more pro­duc­tive week than we did.


Super Bowl Sunday

Ok, I watched the Super Bowl, but mostly for the com­mer­i­cals, which turned out to be by far and away more enter­tain­ing that the game.

pagliacciThis was a busy week, as stated below, went to the opera on Tuesday.


But the high­t­light of the week was Sat­ur­day when we drove up to LA to see the US Men’s National Soc­cer team play an inter­na­tional friendly against Korea.  The team(s) are get­ting ready for the World Cup in Brazil in June.  Am plot­ting out what ms. to work on between now and June, as I prob­a­bly will be watch­ing a lot of soc­cer in June.  20140201_140859



Andy and TerryOh, speak­ing of soc­cer came across an old Hal­loween pic­ture with my friend Andy as David Beckham.





And of course, today was Ground­hog day.  Sorry for every­one back east fac­ing six more weeks of win­ter.  While we here in SoCal are pray­ing for rain.groundhog day

Project for the week: work on fix­ing for­mat errors and do a pol­ish on a com­pleted his­tor­i­cal romance.



Where did the month go?

Wow, where did the month go?   I ended up spend­ing an unex­pected two weeks away from home on what was going to be a two day trip due to fam­ily emer­gen­cies.   All is well now, but really put me behind.  For­tu­nately, I’d taken my counted cross stitch project, so fin­ished most of it while on ‘vaca­tion’.  Fin­ished it up the other day, so now I’ll have to get it framed.

Since then have been run­ning around doing all the errands and get­ting caught up.

Iona Celtic Cross
Iona Celtic Cross









Went to the opera last night to see Pagli­acci.   At the end of the opera, not to any­ones sur­prise, the three major char­ac­ters are dead.  As we’re leav­ing I heard some­one say, totally tongue in cheek, ‘I love a happy end­ing’.   Cute.  But if you want a happy end­ing, most opera will not pro­vide.   Read a romance book instead — happy end­ings guaranteed.


Happy New Year!

Not much going on here in our house as both my hus­band and I had colds over Christ­mas.  Now, how­ever, we’ve got all our Christ­mas stuff back in the boxes and stored for next year.

If you made a New Year’s res­o­lu­tion, you might want to see  what Sarah resolved in SARAH’S COWBOY, http://tinyurl.com/kfdcejnbook-sarahs-cowboy

The Holidays

Here’s what’s been going on around here for the holidays.

Right after Thanks­giv­ing we went to visit our older son and his wife for our new grandbaby’s bap­tism.  This was some­what of a fam­ily reunion as our younger son and his wife attended.  We spent sev­eral days together all of us tak­ing turns hold­ing the baby.  If you won­der why there are no pho­tographs it’s because our kids have jobs with secu­rity con­cerns, so no pub­lic fam­ily photos.SONY DSC


Back home after few day’s rest, we started get­ting ready for Christ­mas.  Helped hus­band get all the boxes down from the over­head in the garage.

As you can see, the dogs are very excited about the holidays. bandit upside down




Here’s the nativ­ity set my grand­mother bought for me when I was six years old.  I remem­ber going to shop­ping with her.  All the peices were lined up in rows, a row of Marys, a row of sheep, a row of camels.  In fact, one of the camels still has a tag that says J.J. New­ber­rys 15cents.  These are plas­ter of Paris and then air brush painted.  Two or three peices now have chips, but after so many years, who cares.  This set is very spe­cial to me and it’s the first thing I put out at Christmas. nativity





Since I’ve sent my lat­est man­u­script off to the edi­tor, I’m cur­rently doing brain­storm­ing on my next man­u­script.  While I’m think­ing, I’ve started work­ing on a new counted cross stitch project. floss


Hope you’re hav­ing a happy hol­i­day season.

Hard at rest

Last week’s post was ‘hard at work’ so this week’s post is ‘hard at rest’.

Since the chang­ing of the clock (even for an hour) always throws things off, decided to make Sun­day a true day of rest.  Also, with two dogs who don’t know about chang­ing from Day­light Sav­ings Time, they got us up very early.  It will take them about a week to adjust.

efc__1383487815_Mirallas_Dribble_494Since we were up early, watched the EPL soc­cer game (Ever­ton v. Tot­ten­ham), fol­lowed by the local pro foot­ball team’s game.  Not that we’re a big fan of pro foot­ball (my husband’s a big col­lege foot­ball fan), but like to watch the local team.


Since I decided to take the day off (except for doing laun­dry), found a Tom Selleck/Jesse Stone marathaon to take up the after­noon.  Can’t go wrong with Tom Sel­l­eck, good plot­ting and left over Hal­loween chocolate.

Jesse stone

Fin­ished up the evening with an MLS soc­cer play­off game.  So back to work tomorrow.

Hard at Work

I’ve been hard at work on my man­u­script for the last week or so.  Want to get it fin­ished in time to send it to my proof reader before I send it to the edi­tor.  If you’ve read my post, you know that I’m a ter­ri­ble proof reader.  Also not a good speller.  Guys at work used to ask me to spell thing, and I always told them I could get them close enough for spellcheck to fig­ure it out.  The upside was that being a poor speller made me a great thesauras.

So any­way, our corgi, Ban­dit,  likes to keep me com­pany while I’m at the com­puter in my office.  Mostly he likes to lay under the chair, and if you notice in this photo, he’s rest­ing his head on the chair leg.  There­fore I’m stuck here until he decides to move so I can move my chair.  (yeah, who’s go who trained?).

Bandit sleeping on chair

So after I took Bandit’s photo our other dog, a Scot­tish ter­rier named Smokey came in to see what was going on.  He likes to sit up and beg.  (ok, yes, there is a small bowl of treats in my office and they both got a treat).

Smokey in office





And if you hadn’t noticed, the dogs are Smokey and Ban­dit (if you remem­ber the movie).  I’ve always wanted that TransAm.

Now back to the manucript.

Man’s Best Friend

Man’s best friend

Once our son’s grew up and left home, my hus­band and I got pup­pies.  So now we do agility with our dogs, a Scot­tish ter­rier named Smokey and a Pem­broke Welsh corgi named Bandit.

So now I’m think­ing about how to incor­po­rate dogs into my sto­ries.  Since I write (mostly) in the Amer­i­can west, there are plenty of oppor­tu­nity to have a dog as a char­ac­ter.  In one story the cow­boy hero brings his new wife a puppy.  Ranches often had dogs, as they were use­ful in help­ing drive cat­tle.  My husband’s fam­ily had a dog, Buster, that would help his father round up the cat­tle.  Our Welsh corgi would be over the moon if we had some cows so we could tell him to go get and drive them in for milking.Smokey at DogTVBanditJump

Dogs were also served to hunt ver­min, espe­cially ter­rier type dogs.  Cats get mice, but ter­ri­ers can get rats.  And farm­ers always have grain to protect.

And, of course, all dogs are watch dogs, who bark when some­thing out of the ordi­nary hap­pens.  I was always impressed by Buster, as if you drove up to my in-laws’ house in the Okla­homa county side, Buster would bark a warn­ing as you drove up the long dri­ve­way.  If, how­ever, my in-laws were not at home, Buster would just lay on the porch and give you look like ‘nobody home, silly.’  And he was big enough, that if you didn’t know him, you wouldn’t have got­ten out the car while he watched.

I would assume that most dogs in the Amer­i­can west were not the pure­breds we would see today at a dog show.  If a hunt­ing dog had a rep­u­ta­tion of being a good hunter, peo­ple would want pup­pies from them.  Same with herd­ing dogs, or ter­ri­ers based on their ability.

Finally, one of the most com­mon rea­sons for keep­ing a dog was for com­pan­ion­ship the dog pro­vided.  And while our dogs have the run of our house, I’m pretty sure my hero­ine who runs a board­ing house will only allow the dog in the back porch or kitchen.  Our dogs don’t know how good they have it.

I’m cur­rently writ­ing a con­tem­po­rary west­ern where the hero­ine ranch owern and her vet­eri­nar­ian start a shel­ter for dogs when their women own­ers go into a abused woman’s shel­ter.  This is my WIP, so I’ll get back to it now.  See http://www.ahimsahouse.org/ for more information.

Blain’s Smokey of San­tee, CGC, NANAJ

& Blain’s Sun­dance Ban­dit, CGC, NA, NAJ, CTL2-F, CTL2-H

Sarah’s Cowboy — a New Year’s Eve Club Novella

Here’s another excerpt from SARAH’S COWBOY.

NYEC Rules: Respect

In SARAH’S COWBOY, Sarah says: “When our New Year’s Eve Club made our new List and made a pact to find our man by next New Year, all I had planned was to find a lit­tle adven­ture. Tak­ing a job teach­ing on a west­ern film set got me more than I imaged with stunt­man Kit Stew­art. Right away he hit some of the items on the List.  A loca­tion movie set is like a small town, full of gos­sip. We had one date, but not want­ing to be labeled as ‘his girl for this film,’ I backed off. But, Kit demon­strated his RESPECT for my deep set fear of on-set gossip.”

Sarah's cowboy

EXCERPT: Sarah poured him another cup of cof­fee. “It’s the gos­sip I mind. The pos­si­bil­ity of peo­ple point­ing and whis­per­ing behind their hands. It brings back too many mem­o­ries of a really bad time in my life. It might be irra­tional, but I hope you under­stand.” She gave him a smile. “I really did have a great time this weekend.”

He took a sip and didn’t say any­thing for a long moment. Could he talk her out of things end­ing today? It prob­a­bly wouldn’t be too dif­fi­cult to keep things low-key, out of the pub­lic eye for the remain­der of the film shoot.

Okay. I enjoyed the week­end, too, and I’d like to keep see­ing you. But I know how things can be on a set. What if we make it casual?”

Casual,” she repeated. There was a brief war of expres­sions on her face, and then she said, “Does casual mean secret? Think we can man­age that for the next month?”

He grinned. “Sure.”

She gave him a ten­ta­tive smile.  “Okay. But casual means that it’s time for you to leave before every­one gets back and sees your motor­cy­cle here.”

Darn, she was right. But he’d said casual, so casual he could be. “All right.”