Magna Carter

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pssst, Maddie was wrong. I was going to research secondary characters, but I realize I hadn't hit the family tree research in a while. I found a few more geneaology sites with message boards. In turn I discovered quite a bit of chatter about the Billingsley book and some of the ancestors. I don't have the documentation, but apparently a link has been established between John Billingsley as being a descendant of a Magna Carter signer, the Crusader Sayer de Quincy. In fact, other descendants of John Billingsley have successfully applied to the Magna Carter Society. Cool. I haven't calculated how many great, great's John B. is removed, but it does give me a thrill to have the connection. :) Carol

American Immigrants decended from Magna Charta Barons

Those Darn Cats

Monday, July 30, 2007

Maddie here again as Carol's decided to work on secondary characters tonight, whatever that means.

I have a cat problem. Little Darling and I have arrived at an uneasy alliance where we tolerate each other most of the time. Every once and awhile, the dog in me gives in to a bit of barking and tussling. But Stripes is a different matter.

She's been holed up in Carol's writing room since I've arrived. Up until recently, I've rarely gotten a good look at her. Now she's playing a very irritating game. While Carol's getting ready for work in the mornings, Stripes sits on the other side of the closed door to the writing room. I can smell her, but she sits just far enough away that I can't nip at her in the gap. I get so frustrated that I bark and Carol comes and picks me up, removing me from temptation.

But two can play the game. Today I sat far enough from the door so Stripes couldn't see me anymore. The stinker stuck her paw under the door and jiggled it open [I grudgingly have to give her credit for that trick]. The moment the door swung in, I was through it. What fun! I got to chase Stripes all around the room until the coward ran into the closet and backed into a corner. I barked my head off until Carol, still soaking wet from her shower, came running into the room to grab me. What a spoil sport she can be.

However, there's always tomorrow for another round with the cat. A dog can only dream. In the meantime, Carol made me pose with Little Darling. Sigh, Maddie

Bone to pick with my human

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Maddie here.

I have a major bone to pick with Carol. She's been doing this makeover project on the TV room. Now I have a special chair in that room with my own cushion. I lie there for hours, watching over Carol to make sure she's okay.

Well, this weekend, after she finished touching up the ceiling and ceiling trim, she decided the layout of the furniture didn't serve the work she does in the room so she moved things around...including my chair! And horrors of horrors, she said that eventually the chair will have to go because it's too big for the room. I was so mad that I wanted to nip her heel, but instead I put my favorite toy in the chair. I just know she wouldn't do a thing to the chair so long as my toy's there...or would she?

She did reassure me that it will be a while so my chair's safe for now, and I'll have to keep giving her kisses. Maddie

Thumb's up to Nike

Friday, July 27, 2007

Great news. Today Nike announced that it has suspended Michael Vick's contract without pay and will stop selling all Vick-related products at its stores. Something like 165,000 people protested against any continued sponsorship until the trial.

That's another step for animals. Carol

SYTYCD Eliminations

Thursday, July 26, 2007

As Nigel said tonight, one bad performance can cost a dancer elimination. The pairing of poor choreography and partner put the death knell on Jaime. Her extensions and leaps left me in awe.

And I'm not sure how Dominic is still in the competition; his mugging last night drove me nuts. Oh well, there's always next week to look forward to his elimination. :) Carol


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I've so wanted a woman to win this year as the prior two winners were men. While one doesn't know how the popularity vote will go, out of the final ten dancers, I think overall the women are superior to the men. I adore Lacey, but I could be equally thrilled with Sabra, Jaime, or Sara [? I think that's her name] winning. The fifth female dancer hasn't really registered with me before so I don't know her name; however, she has had a good night.

The only bad note tonight was the choreography for the Viennese waltz...Spanish flavor?!? It really hurt the dancers and Jaime in particular. She's been spectacular up to now. Fingers crossed that she survives, but when it's down to so few, one bad dance could mean the end for her. Carol

Thumb's up to NFL Commissioner Goodell

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Thank God, Raven quarterback Vick has been temporarily 'benched'. Thumb's up to the NFL commissioner for taking such action. I just hope it's not an empty gesture to appease the 263,000 people who contacted the NFL, asking for Vick to be suspended.

Only time will tell whether the NFL will support right or the bottom-line $. The US Humane Society has now organized a campaign to email Vick's major sponsor, Nike. I joined in the campaign and sent an email to Nike because every day one hears stories of atheletes overcoming adversity who would beso much worthier role models than a dog murderer.

I was horrified by a local news story of a man arrested yesterday for cruelty to a whole pack of pit bulls he kept chained and starving in his backyard. Since it had been going on for some time before a neighbor finally called the police after hearing a dog screaming, I'm thinking that the Vick story may have had a small impact on people taking a stand and taking action. Unfortunately, a number of the dogs were in such bad shape they had to be destroyed, but others were saved and hopefully can be rehabilitated.


Lisa Childs

Monday, July 23, 2007

I still haven't uploaded all my photos, but here's a shot of my fellow Ditzy Chix, Lisa Childs, signing her newest Nocturne 'Damned' at the HQ/SI author signing at the Dallas convention.
:) Carol

Order of the Phoenix

I gave myself permission to veg this past weekend. I had pushed myself hard on the family room remodeling before I left for the RWA Convention and then got -0- rest while at the convention.

So...first thing Saturday I went to see the latest Harry Potter movie, Order of the Phoenix. I really enjoyed the movie once it switched to the magic world, but I found the inital moments to be disconcerting. The film quality of the scenes of Harry with the Dursleys was coarse. My guess is the director wanted to delineate the two worlds, but instead, I worried the poor film quality was going to continue throughout. Otherwise, I liked the expanded roles given to a few of the seconary charaters.

And yes, although I've never purchased one of the books before, I did buy the final one; it's going to be my bathroom reading book. And yes, I only bought it after I read a few blogs of the speed readers and learned about the ending. I was not going to buy it if JK Rowling killed off Harry. :) Carol

Suspend Michael Vick

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I'm an avid football much so that during the season my friends know better to call me on a Sunday afternoon. While I understand the players come from all walks of life and backgrounds, they are stand as role models for younger players.

That's why the NFL Commissioner Goodell needs to throw the book at the cretin Michael Vick. His crime is heinous and inexcusable. I understand his trial won't be for six months, and of course I understand he's innocent until proven innocent. But he is a suspected murderer; a dog's life is just as precious as any other. Vick needs to be suspended until the trial. To allow him to play would be unconscionable and to condone the charges against him. The Humane Society is running a campaign to urge the cretin's suspension. The link is: ?

Of course, if I were on the jury, my sentence for Vick would be to throw him into a pen of the dogs he's abused and let them have at him.


Carol was a bad girl this past weekend

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Maddie here.

My human Carol was very bad this past weekend. She went off to a convention in Dallas, leaving me alone to protect the house and...get over the two cats. Can you believe it?!?

Yeah, yeah. She did have a pet sitter who came to the house twice a day to feed me and take me on a long walk. In addition, the neighbor came over at night to take me out for one last break, but really. I could have had fun in Dallas riding in the stretch Hummer limo; I love going for rides.

Of course, I forgot my mad the moment Carol walked through the door. Shamelessly, I wagged my whole body and tai to welcome her homel. I also licked off all her makeup for good measure. She knew her place, though. She immediately got the lease and took me for a good long walk. Then life was back to normal Sunday night when I got to sleep next to her.

Here's a picture the pet sitter took of me. Can you tell from the body language how much I wanted the photographer to be my Carol?

Later. Carol has the brush in her hand. Maddie

Hummer Limo

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

This year the Harlequin party was held at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas. The Ditzy Chix true to tradition danced up a storm the entire night and closed the place down. Afterwards, we all piled into a Hummer stretch limo...what a hoot and a half! Posted is a shot of Lisa Childs and myself on the left enjoying the ride; second woman on the right is Kristi Gold. :) Carol

Turning Points and Opening Doors

Monday, July 16, 2007

It was wonderful visiting with all my friends and the Ditzy Chix at the RWA Conference in Dallas. I'll be talking about the great times in future posts; however, I also experienced one of those opening door moments.

I'd been toying with an urban fantasy concept and attended a workshop about world building by a former Florida Romance Writers' member Linnea Sinclair. Linnea's gone on to great things with her writing, including winning a Rita last year. On Sunday when I was walking toward my gate at the airport, I glanced into a restaurant and saw Linnea sitting inside. I was tired so I continued on for two more steps, paused and turned back.

By doing so I hit a personal turning point. After sitting down and chatting a spell, I mentioned the reason I had attended her workshop was that I was working on building a world for a book concept. She asked me about it and then came the lightbulbs a'flashing. All the ideas, information. It was amazing. Before I knew it, it was time for me to catch my plane. I spent the next 2 1/2 hours writing out answers to questions Linnea had posed and asking new questions myself.

I almost walked past a new door in my life. Instead, I have a whole new world of writing opening before check out Linnea's website at

:) Carol

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tonight's going to be crazy for me as I pack for RWA National. I leave tomorrow morning for Dallas. I hope to see all my friends there. If you're in the neighborhood of the Hyatt Regency Dallas on Wednesday, July 11, please attend the literacy signing. Below is a bit more information. Otherwise, I'll catch everyone sometime next week. :) Carol

****Attention Readers in Dallas!Romance Writers of America is proud to host the "Readers for Life" Literacy Autographing at the 27th Annual RWA Conference in Dallas, Texas, on July 11, 2007, from 5:30–7:30 p.m. in the Hyatt Regency Dallas hotel. Over 450 romance fiction authors will be signing books donated by publishers with the proceeds of the sales going to literacy charities. RWA has raised approximately $500,000 for literacy since the inception of the "Readers for Life" Literacy Autographing event Click here for more details. ***

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Walls are finished, thank goodness. It took forever as I had to run a brush along each and every groove of the wood [fake] paneling. The good news was the primer was good enough that I only had to paint one coat of the color. The bad news was that last tonight, I was eager to try the wine color I bought for the trim, cabinets and bookcase. I tried a test patch on the door and the paint streaked. That means I'm going to have get prmier tinted in the merlot shade and first apply it. What a pain. The bookcase is a myriad of nooks and crannies. I figured I'll be at least 3 weekends on this stage of the project. Sigh. I knew this makeover would be long and tiring, which is why I've put it off for several years.

The ceiling and walls do look great, however. But now it's on to cleaning/straightening up the house and packing for Dallas. :) Carol

Saturday, July 7, 2007

I just learned that Kathleen Woodiwissdied yesterday from cancer. Although I never read it, she wrote The Flame & the Flower back inthe 70's, the seminal romance romance novel that fueled the romance genre market. I admire any pioneer; she opened the publishing door for so many of us. Carol

How to Remove a Wall Anchor

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Yippee, I was able to access my blog the regular way tonight. Over the 4th, I chemically sanded and applied a coat of primer on the longest wall in the family room. It took me nearly the entire day. First, I ran to Home Depot [what's a holiday without a Home Depot run?] to buy needle-nose pliers to try to remove all the wall anchors my Dad put in for display shelves, etc.

I managed to remove a few with the pliers when my neighbor came over and gave me an even better tip: use a screw to loosen the fitting and then pull the anchor out. The tip worked...not quite like a dream as some anchors were solid in the paneling, but with a bit of effort I have removed the every single one.

So I have one wall plus the entry way to the family room left to do in terms of sanding, priming and painting. Then it's on to the bookcase, trim and cabinet. I may managed to get the wall completed before heading off to Dallas for the RWA conference, but I need to stop by Sunday. Gotta clean the house since the pet sitter and neighbors will be in the house to take care of Maddie and the cats. Then there's actually packing for the trip.

Memo to self: need 48-hour days. :) Carol