Monthly Archives: August 2012

I am SO Using This

A few mornings ago I answered a phone call from one of my dear friends, who also is an owner of one of my puppies.  We chat about pretty much anything so I wasn’t too worried until she said, “I have to tell you this.”  And I felt the bottom drop out of my stomach. Okay, not really though that would be a nifty way to drop some pounds.  But I did hold my breath and remind myself not to worry.  “Drama was bit by a copperhead.”  Okay, time to worry. Until, “She’s okay, but her poor little face is all swollen.”

Time to breathe, and to offer words of encouragement.  Then she went on with describing the visit to the vet, the

Drama Queen

treatment, the medicine she brought home.  Not much about the vet himself until she mentioned “He came out of the back room with her file in his hand and asked: ‘Is her name actually Drama Queen?'”  Then she goes back in the story to tell me he chastised her for saying “Drama Queen, you’re fine,” over and over.  He told her if she’d ever been bit by a snake, she’d be in a lot of pain herself.  Once he realized my friend was using Drama’s name, not mocking her, he felt a bit foolish.

We laughed, and then I thought “That’s EXACTLY the kind of thing Paul would do!”  Anyone who has read Teach Me To Forget would know Paul, Bethany’s commitment phobic veterinary friend who used her as a shield against the divorcees and single women in his practice.  He thought of her as a buddy and never realized she could have been “the” woman for him.  Once Jonathan and Bethany met, Paul became an also-ran.

EXCERPT: Jonathan and Bethany have arrived at Paul’s clinic, and meet a stylish blond woman in the parking lot with her Doberman Pinschers.  Then Paul comes out of the clinic door.

“Gorgeous would be too meager a word to describe the man who emerged. Thick, sun-kissed golden hair framed a face of timeless Nordic beauty. Brilliant green eyes perused the grouping in the parking lot and some emotion, that might have been relief, came over his classic features. Shoving the papers he held into the pocket of his white lab coat, he rushed forward.

“Darling, you got here!”


“Jonathan could only gape, arms still filled with the damned case of wine, while the man bore down on Acton with every indication of being her lover. It would seem she reciprocated the emotions. At least she wasn’t running, screaming, toward the hills. If her response seemed a bit tepid, perhaps she wasn’t as passionate a woman as he’d thought. He wondered, too, at the sense of loss that came over him as the doctor took her in a close embrace, turning his back to the

Teach Me To Forget

rest of the people, shielding his love from the world.

Then Jonathan realized the trendy blond only had a back view. From his own angle, the ardent clasp was sketchy at best, and the doctor’s lips were aiming for an ear rather than the tightly compressed mouth. Nor was there an answering embrace. Her slender hands were clenched as though in protest against a broad chest.”

Then later, while Paul and Bethany are retrieving a bag of dog food for her Irish Setter, Baron:

“Are you sure you don’t want to rest for a while, kiddo?” Paul’s voice was muffled as he reached beyond sacks of dog food.

“You know how I am when I’m traveling. If I stop now, I won’t get my body moving for days. I’ll be fine. Give me that.” She reached for the bag he had dragged forward.

“Not hardly. Every protective masculine instinct I don’t possess has been activated. What’s going on here?”

“Mr. Merritt did not approve of my review.”

“You did accuse him of, ‘Seducing the virgin wilderness and bringing it to screaming fulfillment,’ or something like that, didn’t you?”

“Something very vaguely like that,” she admitted, with a pained frown at his inexact memory. “Still, it was meant to be a complimentary piece of writing. I don’t really know why he has to go high order over it.”

“Beth, I read the article, even if I can’t quote it to your satisfaction. It wasn’t a tepid piece of writing.” Paul sounded unusually solemn. “Now that I’ve met the man who ‘creates images of unsurpassed depth and beauty,’ I wonder if he has some subtle form of revenge in mind.”

“Maybe. He came into town to throw some muscle around then told Neil he would grant an interview, which he never does, if I would provide taxi service to his place in the mountains, and stay there with him. Neil thinks it’s a great idea, of course.”

Paul peered closely at her. No doubt he was comparing her standard casual appearance to Merritt’s unconscious elegance. Bethany had always known Paul appreciated her more for her friendship than her looks. Then her friend smiled, suddenly and rather wickedly.

“What do you think, kiddo?”

“I think he takes real pretty pictures.”


Yep, Paul would definitely chastise someone for calling their Saluki a Drama Queen when that’s actually the dog’s name.  Now is the owner of the Saluki going to be the woman who convinces Paul to give up his casual ways?  Hmmm, a Saluki in one of my books, what a concept!

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We Did Say We Wanted Rain

New Mexico is a land accustomed to drought.  That doesn’t mean we like to go dry for month after month, but it’s not uncommon, and we cope.  If we’re lucky the winter snow pack is deep and melts in the spring instead of evaporating. If we’re really lucky the monsoon starts early and hangs around for a while

Gathering Storm

Gathering Storm

Last Thursday my area of the New Mexico high plains became excessively lucky.  What looked like a small storm flirting in the distance became an ominous dark gray sky up close and way too personal.  Rain fell in mass quantities, filling gutters, overflowing cisterns and picking up every stray stick in the yard to jam against the fence and back up at the gate.  Even when I sloshed out to ease the backup by opening the gate, the rushing water was well above my ankles.


The power went out about 8PM and came back on at 2AM.  In the meantime the storm itself was the show, flinging lightning across the night sky, continuing the onslaught of water.  I’m told just a few miles to the north, at the base of South Mountain, the moisture came down as hail, and decimated people’s yards.  We just had buckets of rain, and my plants haven’t been this happy for months.

Since then we’ve had some more rain, much less intense but no less welcome.  And the high desert is beginning to bloom again.





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Conning myself into writing more

Let’s all be honest here in the world of the blog.  At least speaking for myself, I am intrinsically lazy.  There, I’ve said it.  To add to that admission, I’m also an irritating combination of ADD and OCD.  So I obsess on something until I’m distracted…which happens all too often.  And which does not bode well for writing great numbers of words on a daily basis.

Guaranteed, I sit down to write and I immediately remember the laundry in the washer that needs to go out on the line, and the box of thawing chicken necks that  need to be bagged and stored before they turn green. Yeah, that’s happened, unfortunately more than once.  Dirty dishes on the counter don’t need to be imagined since they’re pretty much right in front of me.  And have the cats been fed?

Okay, that was just a bit too much distraction.  The laundry is now hung on the line and another load is in the  machine.  Cats are fed, chicken bagged and stored (that’s for the dogs, by the way, not for me.)  And I remembered to take my pills.  No excuses now.

So, what’s the great con?  When Susan Elizabeth Phillips visited LERA (Land of Enchantment Romance Authors) on her Great Escape tour, she shared some of her writing history and process.  Part of which is using a digital timer to track her writing.  She sets the timer for two hours, and taps the “off” button every time she answers the phone, checks e-mail, gets a drink, or does anything other than write on her book.  Hmmm.  This same suggestion came from LERA’s own very successful Robin Perini and also in a reply on Kristen Lamb’s fabulous blog  This many very smart women can’t be wrong.  Right?

I picked up a digital timer at the grocery store where I get “purchase credits” against their gas prices.  If nothing else, this would bring me a few cents off my next fill up.  Got the battery loaded right away but then gardening sidetracked me.  And grooming dogs.  And sweeping the floor after a muddy rain.  Enough already, self!  I unearthed that darned timer, figured out how to make it work (having buried the instructions in the masses of  paper around here) and set it to go.  Told myself I MUST WRITE for an hour.

So, I wrote. And wrote some more.  Since I could ONLY write for that hour, the distractions fell back to a murmur, and I kept writing, occasionally glancing at the timer.  As the minutes ticked down from sixty to forty-five, I told myself I had to stay in the chair, fingers on the keys, and ignore that inner editor.  Keep writing.  Down to thirty minutes now and somewhere between thirty and fifteen minutes my mindset went from “only have to write for fifteen more minutes” to “OH NO I only have fifteen more minutes to write!”

And the words kept coming.  1800 plus in an hour, more than I’ve been able to squeeze out in an afternoon’s writing.  Same thing happened the next time I set the timer, and every time since.

Maybe this will end up being the best con I’ve ever pulled on myself.  Which helps since I’m working on a somewhat difficult section of a new to me plot, one with lots of characters in the middle of a community instead of just a few out in the woods.

What’s the greatest con you’ve ever pulled on yourself?



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Unlocking Your Great Future—5 Keys to Writing Success

Unlocking Your Great Future—5 Keys to Writing Success.

Well, Kristen Lamb has done it again…kicked me from my complacency and back to work.  These five keys relate to so much more than writing success. I’d say it’s a good formula for living better!

And while we’re on the subject of living better, I’ve found a wonderful blog site of recipe sharing, and have started to send them some low carb ideas:

Think of it as writers feeding readers and let’s have a fabulous week

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Sheer Indulgence

As so many of us know, a large issue with “diets” is the desire to go back to our old bad habits.  I can remember the taste and texture of so many “bad” yet yummy foods.  Rather than succumb, I’ve been trying to come up with versions of favorite foods I can eat without worry.

It’s zucchini season, and of course my mind goes to deep fried zuke sticks, breaded in bread or cracker crumbs.  Obviously wrong on so many levels.  I searched for a low carb version, and came up with one that started out “drop the

Ready to go in the oven

slices into a beaten egg”  and ended with “fry in oil.” Which did work but the end result wasn’t exactly what I wanted.

But, I asked myself, what if… What if I used the oil to make the coating stick, then stuck it in the small convection oven?  Hmmm, my appetite replied.  That sounds like an awfully yummy dinner.

Wipe off the zukes, cut in strips, toss in olive oil until well coated, then toss in parmesan cheese.  Yep, parmesan cheese.

Trust me.

Bake at 450 Fahrenheit about 20 minutes, until it’s yummy browned.  Our local restaurant, Katrinah’s East Mountain Grill, has a to-die-for green chile ranch salad dressing.  So I add green chile powder to some good ranch dressing (haven’t made my own yet, but this one is low carb) and went to town.

All done and ready to devour

Veggies and cheese for dinner.  How yummy.  How decadent.  Sheer Indulgence.


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