Thursday, May 26, 2011

A 20.5 Carat Rambling

St. John's Hospital, Joplin, MO before tornado

It's Thursday and I eagerly await Friday and the beginning of the long weekend.  I may have to work at the law firm sometime during these 3-days off, but won't know until it happens. I have no plans except to write like the wind, so I'll be ready to get the call to go into the office at a moment's notice. We're working on an important deal, so it's to be expected.  It's part of the job and I'm happy to do it.  Really, I am. I'm not just saying that.  The folks at my day job are very nice to me and I love being there and the work I do.  I've been with the firm 5 years in June and look forward to more years in my cluttered office.

This has been a bad week for me as you might have guessed from my earlier post. It's better but still not great. It will be a while before it's back on track. This sometimes happens. Life has its ups and down. If it's going along hunky-dory and always on an even keel - you know, rainbows and puppies, all the time - then you're on sedatives.  Maybe I need sedatives. I was offered them once by a doctor, but turned them down because of the fear they would interfere with my writing. And I really don't want to be thinking about rainbows and puppies 24/7.  Life comes with dark clouds and the occasional bogey men.

St. John's after tornado
 There's a lot going on in the world right now. People in the midwest and parts of the south are having their lives torn asunder by monstrous weather.  Others are being flooded out of their homes. People are dying and have lost loved ones.  Anderson Cooper has become my eyes and ears on site. I have friends in some of these areas and feel powerless to help them, except to keep them in my thoughts and stay in touch, letting them know they are loved.

In other parts of the world, wars, rebellions and uprisings rule the day.  Again, a powerless feeling engulfs me as I keep abreast of the news. So much pain in the world.  Maybe that's why there's so much pain during childbirth. We hear our mother's cries and it plants an inkling of what's to come. A heads up, so to speak.

I read yesterday that Kim Kardashian got engaged and received a 20.5 carat engagement ring that cost 2 million dollars.  I'm sure the folks in Joplin, MO read that with excitement, too.  And that the folks along the Mississippi River were jumping with joy. I'm not saying the girl shouldn't have reason to be happy, but really People Magazine, did you have to use that as your cover story? Now, with thousands homeless and missing. With people hit hard by the economy and losing their homes, their jobs, their will to live.  Really? Was throwing extreme excess and shallow celebrity status in our faces the order of the day when you sat around a conference table deciding on a lead story?  Shame on you!

Something tells me Anderson Cooper won't be covering Kim's engagement and nuptials. He's a bit busy right now.

Where am I going with this?  I have no idea. It's 5:30 am and I'm rambling about life - my life, the life outside my apartment door, the lives of those plastered on the news.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thin Heart



Watching from the shore of my exile.

I’m told I’m loving.


People say they love me.

Easy words when you have enough.

I starve while others feast.

My body grows fat while my heart grows thin.

I turn my eyes to the void.

It holds out its arms in welcome.

Offering no pretty words of placation.

It understands.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Truth - Can You Handle the Truth?

This week on Criminal Minds, our task was to post 5 truths and 5 lies about ourselves.  Today's my day and it looks like the supposed Rapture isn't gonna save me.  Hop on over to Criminal Minds and see if you can tell which 5 are true and which 5 are false.

Win a book!  The commenter on the Criminal Minds blog today that gets the most right will win a copy of which ever book of mine they choose, including the upcoming Baited Blood or Gem of a Ghost. In case of a tie or ties, the winner will be picked at random from those with the most correct answers.  Posts must be made by 9pm PT.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Hunger To Read and Learn

As I do most Sundays, I went to breakfast today. Sometimes I meet a friend, but often I go alone, armed with the book I’m currently reading. I like to go early, between 8 and 9, before the crowds hit, which is one of the reasons I usually go alone. Most of my friends like to sleep in on Sunday.

I have my favorite restaurants and my destination is usually chosen depending on what type of food I’m craving or what the weather is like. My usual haunts are:

Nickel Diner in Downtown Los Angeles for biscuits and gravy, though many other items look scrumptious and they are famous for their donuts.

Overland Café for crab cake benedict and great omelets, and I can walk there from my apartment.

Spitfire Grill across from the Santa Monica airport because they have a comfy patio and good omelets.

Grub in Hollywood for many items, including their "frigging amazing French toast" (yes, that's what it's called) and to die for "Ooh La La egg sandwich" which must have a gajillion calories. They also have a tiny and adorable patio.

Today I chose The Nickel Diner. The book by my side was The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, a book that has been on my TBR list for a very long time.  I had started the book the night before but only read a couple of pages before I dropped off to sleep. My niece is reading this along with me, which is a real treat, so I wanted to catch up.

While waiting for my breakfast, I sipped my coffee and read. The book grabbed me from the beginning and wouldn’t let go. When the waitress set breakfast in front of me, I barely looked up. I ate on autopilot as I turned the pages, totally lost in the dark, painful world of Katniss Everdeen.

The ending of the first chapter didn’t surprise me, but it certainly affected me greatly. I kept eating, broken only by sips of delicious coffee and nods to the attentive wait staff that kept my mug full. The second chapter also didn’t surprise me, but by page 24 I was unable to keep eating. I shoved what was left of my breakfast aside and kept reading. The waitress came over to see if I wanted anything else. She looked at me oddly and asked if I was okay. You see, I was crying, silently sobbing. I said I was fine and pointed at the book as if that explained everything.

For another 30 minutes I read and drank coffee, until I dragged myself out of the booth. I could have sat there all day but they had a line for tables and I had errands to run.

I’m a bit worried about The Hunger Games. I’m only on the 3rd chapter, but I thought about it on the drive home and while I did my grocery shopping. If I can’t shake it now, what is it going to be like a few more chapters in? OMG! I'm gonna be a real mess.

One thing I know for sure, reading The Hunger Games is making me a better writer.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What's With All The Questions

I've been kind of lazy about keeping up Babble 'n Blog.  It's not that I have nothing to say (I'm sure right now a lot of you are shaking your head thinking "Yeah, that'll be the day.") It's just that most of my thoughts these days are being posted on Facebook or tweeted into the universe.  I'll be better about blogging, I promise, realizing a  lot of my blog followers don't necessarily use Facebook or Twitter. 

For now though, I'm going to punt this blog posting over to Terri Bischoff, my editor at Midnight Ink.  Terri has started her own blog, Under Cover of Midnight, and has a feature called 5 Questions.  This week she fired off those question in my direction.

You can read the questions and my answers here, while I get ready to conduct a 4 hr workshop for Sisters In Crime/Los Angeles on how to find and approach agents. And feel free to ask your own questions or leave comments. I will be checking back to Terri's blog to read and respond.