Monday, May 31, 2010


I just returned from a wedding in Los Angeles. The groom is Jewish the bride Christian. They had both a minister and a Rabbi officiate for the service, and were wed in a gazebo instead of beneath a chuppa. It was all handled so beautifully. As we passed into the outdoor seating area, a young attendant offered us a bowl of stones. We were instructed to take one and wish upon it, and then prior to the entry of the bride and groom, all stones were collected. They were handed to them in a crystal bowl during the service. I'm certain this must have been a tradition of the bride's family but forgot to ask.

Lovely. I adore tradition.

I especially love the Jewish traditions and the huge extensive family that is part of the faith. Everyone becomes family. I got a bit carried away in the Hora (you know the dance in the circle where everyone holds hands and they dance to the tune of Hava Nagila, which means let us rejoice in Hebrew)and I ran into a short step that led up to the stage where the MC was. I was convinced I'd suffered a sprained ankle. My heels were three inch stilletos and I don't wear heels much these days, and I had felt the foot twist a little. (Oh vanity, they name is stiletto). I sat out most of the other dances with an icepack wrapped in a linen table napkin pressed against the ankle and my foot elevated on a chair. Sigh. I'm such a klutz. Today it has a bruise and only a small swelling, and no pain, and I could drive the two and a half hours home with no problem. Whew! That's good, but just in case I'm still babying it.

As the wedding was on Memorial weekend, the grooms father made mention in his speech of those of our countrymen still in the war zone, and honored all of our fallen soldiers. And he reminded everyone that we live in the greatest country in the world. America. As an immigrant, he knows what this country is all about, and he, like me, is forever grateful for the freedoms we often take so much for granted.

The morning I was to leave for L.A., my dog jumped out of the back of the car and landed heavily on her front right leg on the concrete garage floor. She couldn't put the paw to the ground. I waited an hour but there was no improvement. Remember what happened only two months ago? Anyway, my dog sitter and I took her into the vet (why do these things always happen at weekend?) and I convinced them not to muzzle her as last time they'd tried for x-rays they'd been unsuccessful. She almost has a heart attack when they muzzle her and refuses to go along with their plans. The dog sitter and I held her on the x-ray table then when they were about to shoot the x-ray I'd duck outside. We got some fabulous views and it looks like she has some bone spurs around the scapula joint, where the humerus meets it. Might need an arthroscopy if this doesn't get better on its own (and with the aide of anti-inflammatories and pain killers, but not the stuff she had before that made her bleed) so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'm already out $400 and have nooooo idea the cost of an arthroscopy for a pooch.

I'm thinking positive thoughts, and sending healing vibes Nikki's way. Help me out if you can. ; )

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Puff, puff, puff...

No, I'm not jogging, don't be silly. : ) The puff, puff, is from the little engine that could, because that's how I feel these days. There has been a lot going on in my life, a lot to juggle, but I'm getting there. Wherever "there" is.

I've been up and down to LA several times this month, a workshop, a graduation, a wedding still to come. It's all good but I'm getting rather tired of navigating Interstate 10. The pooch is doing fine and had no setbacks while I was away, but she was extremely happy to see me return. She's such a good companion, and she worries when I'm not here. Heck, she even worries when I walk over to use the swimming pool.

I've been hard at work to complete my latest manuscript (at least the rough draft) and now can let it sit until my critique partner can read the entire thing. We have critiqued each others chapters as we've written, but the entire read through is yet to happen, and that is the most telling part. Will it hold together? Have I lost any threads? Do I need to embellish the theme? Do any of the characters not hold true to form? All good questions, and I'm excited to learn the answers. While I'm thrilled that the story is finished, I know the real work is about to begin. Writing isn't about writing it's about rewriting. Whew! Just typing that makes me tired.

So, the plan is to get the rewriting done before June 6th. Then I'll let it sit until National conference, where I'll pitch the idea to both an editor and an agent. And I'll keep my fingers crossed that either, or both, request to see a partial. I'm very excited about my appointments this year. Then I'll dash home, take another look at the manuscript, and do a final, final polish, and then send that baby on its way to NYC.

In June I'm taking the Discovery class taught by Lani Diane Rich. I'm going to use that six week course to explore writing something bigger, maybe a single title romance, or women's fiction. There will be romance in the story, because it's a woman's journey and for most of the women I know, romance features in some form or other in their life story. An idea has bubbled around in my head for years. In the past I knew I didn't have the chops to write it, but something tells me it's worth giving it my best try.

Thursday, May 06, 2010


With the horrific flooding in Nashville, Tennessee, our RWA annual conference found itself displaced this week. The Opryland Hotel was in an even worse situation with ten feet of water flooding out the hotel conference rooms and restaurants. It was so sad to watch that on the news and to think of the tragedies happening in the state, and of the deaths and injuries and loss of homes. My heart goes out to all of those people who have suffered, and I hope and pray they can restore their city as quickly as possible.

But I do have to be honest, I was personally disappointed. I so wanted to go to Nashville. I'd hoped we could find another venue as I really wanted us as an organization to feed our tourist dollars back into that city, or if not, at least the state. But, it couldn't be done. Three months out is not enough time to book a hotel for a huge conference that accomodates 2,500 people, a black tie dinner, and numerous daytime conference or workshop rooms, plus have the room numbers to accomodate everyone. I know that, I understand that, but in a tiny corner of my heart I'm still sad. Maybe we'll make it to Tennessee in future years.

So we've had our hotel reservation deposits credited, our registration for conference still stands, but now we wrestle with the airlines. Ouch! I don't know if they'll honor my flight changes yet. I've put in a call but now it has to go to the reservations desk and they'll see what they can do. I used American Airlines advantage mileage, so it might just cost me a few more miles.

I worry about friends though. Some bought tickets that are unable to be changed, and they don't have travel insurance. Some from the East Coast intended to drive and now have to include the cost of a flight into their budget. I wonder how this will all play out? It must be an awful time for the organization, trying to hustle around and rearrange everything. A lot of our revenue comes from the annual conference, and I know they are doing the best they can do under these unexpected circumstances.

So, we have to go to hot, sticky, middle of Florida at the end of July, in the middle of summer vacation, to a theme park (you can tell I'm not a theme park goer) where there will be far too many kids. I'm still intending to go. I love this organization, and I'll do whatever I have to do to be loyal and show my support.

Orlando, here I come. Sigh.