Breakout Novel Workshop

Monday, January 28, 2008

On Saturday I attended Donald Maas's all-day workshop on Writing the Breakout Novel put on by the Southwest Florida Romance Writers. Wow. What a lot to absorb. Mr. Maas puts on a thought-provoking and challenging workshop.

I was tired as I drove over with a friend that morning [on the road at 6 a.m. and didn't get back until 8 p.m.], but I kept fueled with caffeine.

Maddie had me up bright and early Sunday morning, and I hit the keyboard at a dead writing run. Some day I hope to take one of Mr. Maas's more intensive workshops that occur over a several day period.

For now I'll content myself by enjoying the lightbulbs that went off over the course of Saturday. :) Carol

Florida Atlantic University

Thursday, January 24, 2008

FAU's really been shining this past year. First their college football team, the Owls, winning their bowl game and now the debate tonight. No matter what one's politics are, having the debate on the Boca Raton college campus was a great way to rev up their students' interest. According to the local news coverage, everyone has been hard at work for the past year putting this event together. Kudo's to FAU, you rock! :) Carol

Crawling out of my hole...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

To say 'hi'. Long ago, friends tag me with the nickname 'Road Warrior' because of the amount of driving I do in my attorney day job. Well, I've been on the road quite a bit over the past several days. Endless round of depositions, mediations and the conclusion of a trial that saw me working over the entire weekend.

However, I had critique on Sunday with Linda Anderson and Marcia King Gamble. I always marvel at them. Linda's simply a gorgeous writer and Marcia is so hip that her writing snaps, crackles and pops.

MIA was Linda Conrad because she was in a horrible car accident. Thank God she's not seriously hurt, but let me tell you as a car accident survivor myself, being bruised can be just as painful as a broken bone. {{{Hugs}}} to her for a speedy recovery. Her career is phenomenal and she's working on yet another fantastic series for Silhouette Romantic Suspense.

Now for coach potato time watching AI. :) Carol

About the dogs...and the cats!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

At work I received the following in an email that is apparently making the rouunds. Source/author unknown, but it is a riot. Whoever came up with it, my hat is off to you. It brought me such a smile, and I figure it is a great way to start off the weekend. :) Carol

To be posted VERY LOW on the refrigerator door - at nose height [depending on the size of your pet]..

Dear Dogs and Cats,

The dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate of food does not stake a claim for it, becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.
I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years -- canine or feline attendance is not required.

The proper order is kiss me... then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough!

To pacify you, my dear pets, I have posted the following message on our front door:
To All Non-Pet Owners Who Visit & Like to Complain About Our Pets:
1. They live here. You don't.
2. If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That's why they call it "fur"niture.
3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
4. To you, it's an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn't speak clearly.

Remember: In many ways, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:
1. Eat less
2. Don't ask for money all the time
3 Are easier to train
4. Normally come when called
5. Never ask to drive the car
6. Don't hang out with drug-using friends
7. Don't smoke or drink
8. Don't have to buy the latest fashions
9. Don't want to wear your clothes
10. Don't need a "gazillion" dollars for college

And finally, 11. If they get pregnant, you can sell their children!


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Happiness is American Idol has returned. Normally, I do other projects while I watch TV. However, last night I treated myself to simply sitting and watching the show. I have to admit, I love the auditions, and apparently I'm not alone in the guilty pleasure of watching people make absolute fools of themselves. My local Fox netword ran a poll as to whether viewers prefer the auditons or actual competition, and 65% voted for auditions.

I just hope the nuts don't flood the voting for someone pathetic. And shame on the one former contestant who went on to a recording contract [he was the screeching rocker who placed 4th and whose name I immediately put in my mental trash bag as I would never, ever listen to him let alone buy a CD]. He dished the current season; talk about biting the hand that feeds you. He performed for years in obscurity and probably would have continued in same condition for years more but for his AI appearance. Ungrateful bore. Oh well.

So far the women singers going through to Hollywood appear to be better than the men, but since AI never shows all the auditions of those who get the gold ticket, there could be some male sleepers we won't see/hear until the Hollywood shows.

Color me a happy camper. :) Carol

On Droughts

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Today begins Phase III water restrictions for South unprecedented event. We did not get enough rain during the rainy season. Lake Okeechobee is still far below normal levels. Phase III means lawns can only be watered once a week so if you visit our area, you're not going to see green lush tropical lawns/gardens that Florida is renown for. Instead, you'll see a sea of patchy brown grass.

Since there was a point where some towns were going to have to ration water for human use last year, I'd rather that the government impose the tight restrictions now. However, the gardening stores are going to suffer. I know I'm not going to do any replacement planting. Everything in my yard is going to be on the stark side although I will check out the low water usage plants that many nurseries are starting to stock.

I spent Saturday afternoon, with help from my neighbor, checking out sprinklers, capping those outlets I didn't really need and repairing others. If I can only run the system once a week, I want optimal coverage. :) Carol

The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Monday, January 14, 2008

I have to admit, so far so good with the new Fox show 'The Sarah Connor Chronicles.' Pretty nifty special effects. They must be carrying quite a budget for the show. I've never seen any of the actors before but the one playing Sarah Connor is solid. It's been years since I've seen the Terminator movies, but I may have to add them to my NetFlix line-up. This show and American Idol will help ease the pain until the writing strike is over. May the production companies come to their senses soon and negotiate a better deal for the writers. I would think last night's debacle of a Golden Globes show would hasten everyone to the negotiation table.

Of course, I'm one of those gluttons-for-punishment who watch the entire Oscar broadcast. I think the only one I've ever missed since I started watching Oscar as a teenager was when I went to school in England. Otherwise, I watch it religiously despite the fact I rarely agree with the winners. When you love action/adventure like I do, you become resigned to the fact that the Academy rarely votes for the genre. Peter Jackson's Oscar for the final Lord of the Rings was the exception. Man, did I savor that win. :) Carol

Neil Sedaka

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A friend and I attended a Neil Sedaka concert this past Sunday night. Man, I had forgotten how many hits he either wrote and/or performed himself. Two of my fav Connie Francis tunes [Stupid Cupid and Where the Boys Are] were penned by Sedaka. Naturally, my all time fav is "Oh, Carol".

He began as a classic pianist but by ~ age 16 was colloborating on hit songs. His catalog of music would be a good American Idol show given the varierty and range.

I enjoyed the concert but I felt the years creeping upon me, and given how gingerly Neil moved about the stage, he's feeling a bit on the older side himself. But he still has a great smile.

Here's the link to his official site for tour schedule and bio:

:) Carol

Reuben on Wry!

Monday, January 7, 2008

My friend Sandy Madden has been helping her husband Dave Madden to write his memoirs, and at long last the book is out!!! Most of you may remember him as the band manager Reuben Kincaid in "The Partridge Family" [hence the title "Reuben on Wry." Those like me with a tiny bit older memory know him as a regular on "Laugh In". This comic was in of the two definitive TV pop culture shows and has a load of stories to tell.

My friend and web designer Roxann Delaney did a fabulous job designing Dave's web site that launched in conjunction with the book's release, and the videos are hysterical. Take a look and enjoy!

:) Carol

Cats and Dogs

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

You'll never convince me that animals don't have their own form of communication. Case in point: recently, the neighbor's cat started to trail them on the nightly walks with their dog. She follows them for several blocks.

Almost at the exact same time, Little Darling began following Maddie and me on our walk after I get home from work. She goes to the end of the block and then waits for us to circle back. It worries me that the cat is getting close to traffic, but short of keeping her locked up in the house, she seems bound and determined to go on the walk. I've gotten more than a few double-takes from people passing by. :) Carol

Happy New Year!!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

I hope everyone has had a safe and Happy New Year! I rang in 2008 with friends at a party held at a nearby restaurant's banquet hall. The restaurant put on quite a spread of cocktail food followed by a sitdown dinner. A singer friend performed all night, and we all had a blast.

I haven't made any resolutions, but I rarely do. What I usually do is recap the year in a journal entry [the only time I ever journal], but that will have to wait now for the weekend.

Today I was sorely tempted to go see 'National Treasures II' again, but I ended up reams of paper deep in research for a book in progress. I'm playing with several different possibilities for plot points so I've been needing to hit the Internet trail. I promised myself to spend the month of January churning out a new proposal so I treated myself to working only on the research over the past weekend as well. Good way to see the new year in as far as I'm concerned.

:) Carol