Wha’ Happened?

October 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

October 28, 2013

Thanks for the blanket, Mommy, because in case you hadn't noticed, it's time to turn the furnace on.

Thanks for the blanket, Mommy, because in case you hadn’t noticed, it’s time to turn
the furnace on.

Where did October go? I know that sounds like a Barry Manilow song, but seriously. What the hell happened?

The hummingbirds are gone, the farmer’s market had its last weekend, and retail’s already talking big HOLIDAYS.

On the plus side, I switched out to my fall/winter shoes, I busted out my Halloween playlist for my workouts, and we’re moving Mom into her new place this week. I’m actually pretty excited about Mom’s new place. It has a pool and everything.

And because I brought it up, and the song is in my head, here it is: Barry Manilow singing “When October Goes.”

P.S. I did turn the furnace on.

Reading for the Weekend (October 25)

October 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

October 25, 2013

I was not in the best state of mind when I finished Covet  a couple of weekends ago. I can still say, however, that this book is beautifully written and has compelling characters and I came away from it with two profound lessons: tell your life partner the truth about whatever messed up crap you’re going through; and make the time to get it on.

Covet by Tracey Garvis Graves

Covet by Tracey Garvis Graves

Check out Julie’s lovely review over at Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks.

I’m still enjoying the heck out of Who Asked You?  Here are a couple of  prime examples of McMillan’s talent to give a lot of information about someone in a short space and also make them totally relatable:

“I open the white cabinet, the one with the loose brackets, and pull a straw out of the mayonnaise jar I keep them in.”

That took me back to my childhood, living in the tippy, tiny apartment on the corner.

“I did get a kick out of Pirates of the Caribbean after I downed one of my little bottles of tequila I keep in my purse just for times like this when I wish I was somewhere else but can’t just up and leave.”

I must get me a little purse bottle of tequila.

Who Asked You? by Terry McMillan

Who Asked You? by Terry McMillan

I just started Twelve Years a Slave  because the movie is coming to Albuquerque on November 8th and a whole group of us are supposed to read the book and then go see the movie. After I read this review in the New York Daily News and this review in Rolling Stone, however, I wondered why the hell I am doing this to myself.

Oh, yeah. Because I kind of have to.

Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

What are you reading this weekend?

On the Road Back Again

October 23, 2013 § 1 Comment

Yes, I’m talking about the Hero’s Journey. What else is new?
And jotting down story notes in my planner again. All is right with the world.

October 23, 2013


I am back to the rewrites and they’re going well. Thanks to

  • The middle of the night heart pounding thing happened, like I knew it would. I managed to skip the Vodka shot this time.
  • I went to my monthly LERA (Land of Enchantment Romance Authors) meeting and the guest speaker was UNM screenwriting instructor Matt McDuffie. He. Was. Fabulous.

McDuffie does not believe in plot. (My hero.) He believes in a story about a character who wants something.

What do I want? To get this book published. That means BICHOK, baby. (Butt In Chair, Hands on Keyboard. A little tidbit I learned at the RWA13 conference.)

Towards the end of his talk about breaking down the structure of a story, McDuffie touched on Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, and my heart pit-a-patted a little faster than it already had been.

12 Steps of a Hero's Journey. LERA meeting with guest speaker Matt McDuffie 10-12-13.

12 Steps of a Hero’s Journey. LERA meeting with guest speaker
Matt McDuffie 10-12-13.

12 Steps of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey (aka My Lifeline to Story Plotting)

  1. Ordinary World
  2. Call to Adventure
  3. Refusal of the Call
  4. Meeting with the Mentor
  5. Crossing of the Threshold
  6. Tests, Allies, Enemies
  7. Approach to the Innermost Cave
  8. The Ordeal
  9. The Boon or the Reward
  10. The Road Back
  11. The Resurrection
  12. Return with the Elixir

I could not wait to get back to my novel. I plowed through the ordeal and made it to the end of the shorter road back. Now I am at the new resurrection, a brand new scene that I am excited to have found a use for and am having a lot of fun writing.

“I read something because I want to know what it’s like to be alive.” —Matt McDuffie.

Fall TV Redux

October 21, 2013 § 4 Comments

And by the way, my only bliss this past week  

October 21, 2013

Sunday night TV with Witches of East End

Sunday night TV with Witches of East End

Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile. I got hit with a family crisis—I didn’t even get to go to the art exhibit I’d been planning on for the past three weeks. It looks like everything is getting resolved, though, and for the best. Through all that,  the joy I did get during some troubling hours came from my shows. Yep. The TV.

Sleepy Hollow
Fox, Mondays

It is crazy-ass good times and the right blend of funny and freaky-deaky. Not to mention the two leads are a pleasure to watch together. It’s already been renewed for a second season. The only complaint I have is no new episodes until November 4th.

Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle
PBS, 10/15

Superheroes! It came on at the same time as Agents of S.H.I.E.LD. so thank goodness for DVRs. I sat down for all three hours of this one.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Fox, Tuesdays

Text from Dia:

Have u seen a new show called Brooklyn 99? It is hilarious. . . The chief of police reminds me of you.

This is the second time Dia has said I remind her of a dry, sarcastic, male who is a police officer. And I’m totally okay with that. Besides, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is hilarious. I mean laugh out loud.

ABC, Thursdays

‘Nuff said.

Witches of East End
Lifetime, Sundays

I’ve been longing for a show centered on witches who aren’t getting their broomsticks handed to them by vampires. I got what I “witched” for on this one.

What TV shows have stuck with you so far this fall? Which shows get you through the hard times?

Terry McMillan and Who Asked You?

October 15, 2013 § 2 Comments

October 14, 2013

Terry McMillan came to Albuquerque on October 10, 2013 to read from and sign her latest book Who Asked You? I was so there. Terry’s book Waiting to Exhale rocked my world. My copy is worn and tattered, I’ve re-read it so many times.


Terry McMillan book signing at South Broadway Cultural Center in Albuquerque.
Sponsored by Bookworks and ABC Library.

Terry’s inspiration for her new book: she had noticed that a lot of grandmothers were raising their grandchildren, and that bothered her. She also wondered how they did it.

She wrote alot of the first draft of the book while on vacation in Paris: “I went by myself for my 60th birthday and had a ball.”

Terry McMillan 1

My favorite story that Terry told is the one about going to the supermarket where they hand out samples like they do at Costco. The sample lady offered Terry some fondue, and Terry said she really didn’t want any fondue. The lady asked Terry why she was in such a hurry and Terry said she was doing research for her novel, and was in the middle of reading two books about grandmothers raising their grandkids. The fondue lady said, “I have my meth addict daughter sitting out in the car. I raised her three kids. Two finished college and the third one is about to. Here’s my phone number.” Terry called her.


About kids who are raised by their parent’s parent, kids like Luther in Who Asked You? , Terry said, “it’s like the love they get from their grandparents wipes out the rest. They become who they’re supposed to be.”

My signed copy of Who Asked You?

My signed copy of Who Asked You?

When you read the book synopsis it sounds a little hardship-py and depressing and makes you maybe not want to delve into it so fast. After listening to Terry read aloud some excerpts, however, I had a total change of heart and couldn’t wait to get started. The text sparkled with humor and heart and family dynamics. Last night, I read until I fell asleep.

Reading for the Weekend (October 11)

October 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

October 11, 2013

Reading the sexy times book Vanilla on Top on my Nook at the subway sandwich place during my lunch break seems like a really good idea. It’s a great distraction from work. A great distraction from work. I feel a little naughty, a little risqué, which is fun. And nobody can see what I’m reading. Right?


Until the teenage busboy walks right up next to me to ask if everything is okay. He means my sub sandwich, of course, but my mouth is full with the just-taken bite of said sandwich, and the boy is standing practically over me and now I’m thinking that he can see the words on my eReader after all and now I’m corrupting a minor.

Gotta love those local, friendly, customer-service oriented eating establishments.


I’m almost done with Covet. So close. I need to secure a good hour so I can finish it straight through, no interruptions. Might have to hit up a coffee shop for that one.


One of the next books I’ll be reading is Who Asked You? After hearing  author Terry McMillan read some excerpts at the book signing event last night, I’m hooked. McMillan is back in top form with the character voice and the dialogue and the humor. I’ll post more on the book signing event next week.

What are you reading this weekend?

Melancholy is the Great Motivator

October 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

October 9, 2013

I was reading in Rolling Stone  that Michael J. Fox said, “I’m never going to finish my book about optimism!”

That’s about how I feel right now.

Then, at my day job, I was compiling hire date anniversaries for the calendar and my name popped up for October. I quickly calculated how long I’ve been at the job and almost put my head down on the keyboard and cried.

Nothing like a little Clinique Bonus Time to help with the cheering up.

Nothing like a little Clinique Bonus Time to help with the weepy thing.

Then I was at Macy’s getting my mom her birthday present and I saw this really cute Levi’s jean jacket in smooth dark denim and I felt an overwhelming surge of sadness. I think it was because it reminded me of college and buying my first jean jacket.

Or maybe it was because I’m not in college anymore and have moved on to more workplace appropriate things like trenches and peacoats.

Or maybe it means time goes by and I need to hustle my behind and get back to finishing the rewrites.

Dark moment or no.

Cat sleeping on planner in which I have to write down "Work on scene that is the most horrific scene in the whole book--except for the next scene you have to work on."

Cat lounges on planner in which I have to write down, “Work on scene that is the most horrific scene in the whole book—except for the next scene you have to work on.”

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