Thursday, December 6, 2007

Filling the Emotional Cup

That's a link to an article on Happy
It talks about the benefits of eating dinner at least three times a week with your kids.

I recently went to a parenting workshop and a police officer there said that if you don't fill their emotional cup at home they will go elsewhere to fill it.
That makes perfect sense. I knew it, I just didn't think about it in those terms.
I love my kids and they are at ages that they are fun and they still like me.

I'm not their friend, but we do play together. We laugh in stores. We play Wii games together. We connect at the dinner table. Sometimes I need to feed the kids first, but I am always in the room and mostly at the table while they are eating.
How else will I know what is going on in their lives? Nothing worse than getting to the parent-teaher conference and being blindsided because you had no idea your kid was failing. Can't imagine that.

I know we're all busy. All of us, but we need to connect with our kids. Stay in their lives. I thought they needed me so much when they were in diapers, but now they need me for bigger things. And not just money. Compassion, support, guidance, discipline. It's a big bad world out there and our kids need a place where they know what will happen.
I know because I didn't grow up in a house where I knew what would happen. So I've worked hard on being consistent and making their home a safe place. Physically and emotionally.

So the next time you can sit down with your kid.
Do it.

Parents are truly the anti-drug.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Talk about the long arm of the law

This Deputy in Virginia is the tallest man in America.
You wonder if his height makes the bad guys be more compliant.

There's a guy in the town next to mine who is a cop and he's like a wall with legs. He's huge, but he's got nothing on this guy.
Good thing this deputy didn't want to me a jockey or work in the sewers.
Whew. He's more than twice my height.
Hoo wee.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


"Happiness is different from pleasure. Happiness has something to do with struggling and enduring and accomplishing."
– George Sheehan

This is from the website
I go there once a month to realize that there really is good news in the world.
Anyway the statement struck me as very true.
I am happiest on the days I have written. Not necessarily when I'm writing, but when the struggling, enduring and accomplishing are done. whew.
This week I have kids home three days, but I am vowing to write before they get up.
It doens bring me some pleasure, but it really brings me a happiness.
What brings you pleasure and what brings you happiness?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Big Fat Not Greek Hairdo

Why I set my stories in New Jersey

I have good hair. I’m sorry. I don’t have to do much to it to get compliments. Sorry, really.
But that’s not the point of this article.
I’ve set all but two of my books in New Jersey. What does that have to do with my hair? Well, NJ is humid. Yes, even in the winter we can have 30 percent humidity. That’s why my hair does what it does. It has body. I can style however I want. It just behaves well here.
Which doesn’t mean much until you go to the desert.
I’ve recently been to Las Vegas and if you don’t know, it is in the Mojave Desert. The definition of a desert is that it receives, on average, 10 inches of rain a year. Maybe 10 percent humidity.
Wow, I need a drink of water just to finish this article.
And I didn’t have great hair when I was there. And I wouldn’t have known that if I’d never stepped foot off that plane. I couldn’t do anything with my hair. It stayed in a pony tail my whole trip.
My point is that I know New Jersey. I know the roads. I know the attitude. If I put my turn signal on anywhere else in America, someone will slow down and let me in to the lane. Not in NJ. Driving is a competition.
I know what kind of hero and heroine grow up in New Jersey.
I know what forces shape them.
You can do all the research you want, and I did lots before we left for the desert, but nothing can beat going there.
For instance, it was 80 degrees one day. Now that temperature in New Jersey is shorts weather. Not so in Nevada. I was quite comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt. No humidity. When I stepped into the shade it was actually cooler than in the sun. And the plant life is completely different. I have honeysuckle in my back yard. It has a great smell. I can use that in a story set in New Jersey. And, except for some poison ivy, I’ve never been attacked by a plant in this state. But in Nevada, a park ranger had to pull a cactus spine out of my hand.
All of these things can shape the atmosphere of my story.
Since I live in New Jersey, I set my stories here.
Because I can add the local color and flavor that the story needs to be authentic.
I can make others think they’ve been to the Garden State.
There are writers who can write about distant locations. I admire them. Maybe they even travel to those places. Boy, are they lucky. I don’t have that kind of freedom.
So that’s why I set my stories in NJ.
I write what I know.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Put Your Heart in a Book Conference

That was this weekend.
I had a blast and learned tons.
We had enthusiastic editors and agents attending and taking apointments.
HQN is looking for women's fiction that book clubs want to read. That seemed to be the hot topic.
I'm going to promise to blog more.
conference time is too nutty to think.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Back to school

One of the coolest things about back to school is that I get to write again.
I find it hard to do that when the kids are home.
And I found an old manuscript I hand wrote that was lost when we changed computers. About three computers ago.
Now besides, revising and writing, I'm typing in the manuscript. POV changing aside, it is actually a good story. I hope to get it done before my conference and pitch that to agents.
Corpse Whisperer is availabe on
Go buy it!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Germs and public toilets

I'm the antithesis of a germophobe. I think that my immune system deserves to work out just like I do.
Besides, I was involved in Emergency Services for six years. Once you've had perfect strangers bleed or toss chunks on you, you get past the germ thing.
And then there was the pigsty house I grew up in. The dust bunnies had pet dust bunnies.
Not that I don't diligently wash my hands, all the time, I just don't worry about what's out in public.
So I went to Wegman's today and lo and behold in the stall was a toilet seat sanitizer. You put a little on the toilet paper and wipe down the seat. Now this makes way more sense to me than putting toilet paper down on the seat. I never understood that. Do you really think that thin tissue will protect you from Ebola? Yes, the latest report from the Hazardous Materials Response Team is that they are throwing out their expensive suits and instead wrapping themselves in toilet paper.
Now I understand we all have quirks that are hard-wired into us. I eat one food off my plate at a time. Meat, veggy, starch depending on what taste I want to end with in my mouth. See, even I can be nutty.
Just not about germs.
So here is some etiquette. If you have to hover over the toilet because you are sure the last person who sat there had some strange wasting disease, then put the seat up. Nothing worse than sitting down to take care of business and having your thighs be wet.
And if you're going to wipe off the cart in the supermarket, remember to wipe off all the cans you touch. The freezer doors. The knobs on the bathroom stall, because we've all touched those things and left germs.
And remember that if you live in too sterile and environment you will not be immune to anything.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

First Blog

This is my first blog post
Here I'll be writing about writing, exercising and the wild life!
stay tuned.