Tag Archives: humor

Embarking on a New Adventure

Sensational Saturdays

a blog where I write, whatever!

For those of you just joining my blog I started the year stepping onto the board of life. Spinning the wheel and seeing where my little car would take me I drove straight into a class by Angi Morgan, author of Hill Country Hold Up (if you love suspense, you’ll love Angi’s books!) where I learned that first time authors have a world of things to do and no time to do them. Angi described her first year as an author as a roller coaster ride, thrilling, but scary.

Angi’s advice was to jump on the roller coaster now! What would you be doing if you were published? And she told us what she’d needed to do. Not only come through with edits for the accepted book, but whip out a synopis and a second book in record time. And the roller coaster continued with websites and promotion and all the things she’d never thought of doing before being published.

And that’s how I find myself in the predicament I am now, amazingly, astonishingly, awesomely busy. I love everything I do and dropping something is difficult. I am very active in my local RWA chapter CRW. I’m working hard on our OctoberFalling into Romance Tea. I am still juggling reservationist, but have a wonderful person to take it on after today. So that will leave me PRO liason and AOE co-ordinator.

Phew! Along with balancing two websites (if you haven’t checked out Paranormal Freebies, please do so HERE), my crazy self-imposed goals for writing, oh yeah, the dog and the family, I have loaded a lot on my plate. But I’m winnowing it down.

And then I came across the Third Writing Campaign! Seems easy, right?

Just check out the 25+ blogs in my group, and accept the three challenges.

Well I couldn’t leave it there? Could I?

I have added in Kerri Cuevas Choose Your Own Adventure to my plate. But how could I resist? I loved those books as a kid. It was like writing your own story. You would start the story, and it would be about you. Something terrible would happen and at the end of the chapter would be those magical words: If you  choose to stay and fight, go to page five. If you choose to run out the door, go to page twenty-two.

Well, what would you do?

Read them over and over and over, till you had the entire thing memorized. I still see them sometimes in used bookstores. Well read, but still chugging along. So I had to jump on Kerri’s train and I’m thrilled to announce that we’re about to start working on our very own choose your own adventure!

You can check out the list of nineteen intrepid bloggers and authors who will be writing this adventure with me HERE, and I hope when the time comes you will all be adventurous yourselves on October 23, 20011 and go to Kerri’s blog and see what happens when the reader gets to choose!

Did you read these as a child? Share with me if you did and if you didn’t what fabulous books held your attention when you were young?

And don’t forget to check back Monday for Moonday Madness with guest blog by Summer Mahan!


Filed under channeling success, Optimisim, Sensational Saturday's, Third Writers Platform Building Campaign, writing organization

My Husband Does the Laundry: A Modern Gothic Horror

Sensational Saturdays

a blog where I write whatever I feel like!

I started off Sensational Saturdays with the tale of the two dryer balls (cllick HERE for complete understanding of why Everyone Needs an Extra Pair of Balls), and in that story I told you I would tell the tale of my husband doing the laundry. That day is here.

We are not an extravagant family. In fact we are famous for being, as we like to call it, frugal. That’s why when I purchased the cashmere sweater, it was a big deal. I don’t own cashmere, I drool over it. I love the Mary Tyler Moore look. The idea that if I put it on and add a string of something that looks like pearls, I can elevate myself two levels in the pecking order at the PTA.

And cashmere is not inexpensive, despite foreign workers working their fingers to the bone for pennies, these sweaters still cost more than my usual cotton pullover. Still, I reminded myself, it is an investment. Cashmere is the power suit of the dressy casual woman. Wear it with denim and it says, “I have enough money to wear this and still fingerpaint”. Wear it with a tight A-line skirt and pumps and it says, “I’m sexy, but you’ll have to work for it”.

And it was on sale.

And I had an extra discount coupon.

The luscious shade of deep purple wool was mine.

And I was careful with it. I told you were are frugal, well, I never go to the dry  cleaner unless the item has sequins or is made of vintage silk. In other words, I haven’t been for at least ten years. So all my sweaters are hand wash. Now I’m a busy woman. I learned long ago that I could put my delicates into mesh bags and use the washing machine, then dry them flat and with a light bit of ironing almost everything looks fantastic. Even cashmere.

So the first few times I wore the sweater, washing was a breeze. I carefully zipped it into it’s little bag and lovingly reshaped it on my wooden drying rack back into the shape of a fifties movie star. And I power walked through the halls of the schools. Sexy, rich and unattainable in my on sale, hand washed, only one I own sweater.

And then I got a job.

And life got crazy.

Like all working women I had too much to balance. When I hadn’t been working I’d volunteered for too many things and now I didn’t feel like I could really let them all go. I had kids, dog, cat, volunteer stuff, writing, and oh yeah, my husband. He too demanded a piece of me. Something had to break.

Laundry was piling up in the basement and one day my wonderful husband said, “Why don’t I take over the laundry, you work on Saturdays and I’ll get it all done then.”

How could I turn that down?

I would go to work and while I was away all my piles of dirty laundry would disappear. I came home to paired socks and fresh undies. What sane woman would say no?

There were a few mishaps. I instructed my husband on how to wash bras, and other sundry items. How to read labels for the all important clues as to what went into the mesh bags, what needed hot and what needed cold. And he, being a man, listened with one ear and proceeded to do it his way.

He tried. He did. But there were so many things that needed special attention, and he shrank a few shirts that he really loved on me, so he tried harder. But then winter came. And out came the sweaters.

Now, to understand how the disaster happened you have to understand how a man’s brain works. And I don’t. But I can see the thought process ticking away.

Sweaters. Sweaters are big and bulky and have lots of cable knit. Jessica says sweaters need cold water and a bag and need to be laid flat. Okay. This is a sweater. But this small, delicate, fuzzy thing that is hiding under the other stuff is not.

I actually was home for the discovery.

My husband came upstairs, from the depths of the basement where our machines lurk, and he was holding something.It  was purple. And fuzzy.

“Why is there a football in the dryer?”

If you are a knitter you may understand what happens when you put a piece of wool and soap into the washing machine. It is a process called “felting” and fabric artists do it for a reason. It forms a near impenetrable surface. Water proof and warm. It turned my Mary Tyler Moore sweater into a Nerf Football.

No more slinking around the school corridors feeling superior.

In one day my husband had pulled the ladder of success out from under me and I was dumped out of the realm of the rich into the realm of reality.

After many losses and lessons we now have a system for delicates. Anything that doesn’t go in the dryer goes into the special laundry basket and then it goes directly into a mesh bag. It never touches the regular laundry pile. Ever. Anything in a mesh bag gets either hung up or dried flat.

And my husband still does the bulk of the laundry. I’m not crazy. You think I’d give up on a sweet deal like that just to wear a sweater like Mary Tyler Moore?

Tell me your laundry fiascos, I know you’ve got ’em!






Filed under Sensational Saturday's

Flying Past the Lure of Cleaning the Toilet

Moonday Mania


This is the second in a four part series about how organization has saved me. Click HERE for part one, Goal Setting Survival.


There are many pitfalls in staying home and trying to work. Resisting the insistent ring of my parent’s cell phones, the list of to-do’s that my husband thinks I can do since I’m home, and the lure of my unread books from Rom Con. But the most insidious is the lure of that evil siren, housework.

I am a clean person. At least I used to be, before falling in love with writing. When writing was just a hobby and I was thrilled to get 500 words on the page, my house was clean. People would ask me, how I did it. How did I get so much done and have my house look great every time they dropped by. The secret was simple.

I really did little else.

Now I am jealous about the time spent on my keyboard. If I don’t want to leave my computer to spend time with my family, why would I want to leave the keyboard to scrub toilets?

The answer is I am an amazingly complex person and I desire both. I desire a clean house so I can write. Something that I don’t have to worry about and doesn’t call to me when I’m sitting down to my keyboard. Something that doesn’t shout: “You lazy bum! You should be able to do it all!”

So you would think I would have been jumping for joy when my sister in law kept telling me I should try the Fly Lady. But I didn’t. I felt I didn’t need anyone helping me with silly strategies for housecleaning. I’d always kept my house up, I knew how to do it and I had my methods and I was sticking to ’em!

But that was before. Before I found that I want to write full time. And I mean spend 24/7 writing, reading about writing and schmoozing about writing. Leaving no time for running errands, clean underwear or stocking food in the refrigerator.

That was when our then CRW President Tiffany James (read about Tiffany’s upcoming book HERE) wrote a column about the Fly Lady. And I gave in and checked it out. If Tiffany, superwoman extrodinaire could admit she looked at the Fly Lady site, then so could I. So I peeked.

I started with keeping my kitchen sink clean and moved on through the swish and swipe.

I became a Fly Lady Fan! View picture of Fly Lady Here that I was afraid to Paste due to copyright!

I’m imperfect. Sometimes the Fly Lady’s schedule doesn’t fit mine, but she’d be the first to say that I should do what works for me. And mostly, flying and being a flybaby works for me. By spending small amounts of time on the house and rotating areas on a regular basis I’m able to keep the house on an even keel.

Bathrooms clean, floors vacuumed and sometimes even with food in the refrigerator. And I can spend my days at home focusing on the writing, and not what I haven’t done. Because I did my flying for the day, got it out of the way and that is all I need to do for now. Fly Lady has freed me for guilt free writing!

With the Fly Lady everything is broken down into small jobs that are spread out over time. What strategies do you use to balance your need to write or work at home and the needs that call you to stray into time wasting other activities? Do you Fly?

Find out more about simplifying your life with the Fly Lady at http://flylady.net/


Filed under Goal Setting, Moonday mania, writing organization

Why Everyone Needs an Extra Pair of Balls

Hi and welcome to Sensational Saturday’s!

I’ve found that there are all kinds of weird topics I want to blog about that aren’t writer/craft oriented, and they sure aren’t paranormal. Nope, they’re regular everyday stuff. Like dryer balls.

What? You heard me: dryer balls.

Every time I do the laundry I think “Who came up with these things and why are they blue?”

Yep, I have a pair of blue balls in my dryer. With spikes.

I gave up fabric softener a few months ago. I hate the cost and I want to put less chemicals into the environment. So I started adding vinegar and baking soda to the wash. (WARNING: Unless you want a Mentos explosion in your washing machine: Don’t put them in at the same time! I have a front loader with several small compartments for additives. I put the baking soda in with the laundry soap and the vinegar in the bleach compartment so they never mix.)

Supposedly baking soda softens your clothes and the vinegar takes care of the static cling. Well it doesn’t. I soon had crackling loads of laundry that knocked me on my butt every time I pulled apart a pair of socks. And don’t even get me started on the hair! I have very fine, long hair that actually stands twelve inches in the air when properly charged. Not very Mary Tyler Moore when folding clothes.

So I went looking for another solution, and found the balls. Several years ago they were on those infomercials. You could buy a pair for $19.99 (I’m guessing) and get a second pair free or maybe a third. Everyone needs three pairs of balls (you’ll find out why in a minute).

I hadn’t seen a commercial for them in a long time, so I headed out to the store. And there they were. In the laundry section. Pairs of sky blue balls that looked like soft plastic hedgehogs in clear wrappers. I blanched.

Do you mean I have to put these in the cart, next to my coffee filters and feminine hygiene products? Actually place my plastic wrapped balls on the counter where someone (usually a teenage male) will pick them up and make me pay for them? No way!

So I stood in the laundry section. Looking at two rows of packaged poky balls trying to decide if saving money on my fabric softener was worth it. In the end, I placed them in the cart and bought my very first pair of blue balls. Then I took them home and presented them to my husband.

You see in my house, ninety percent of the time, my husband does the laundry. (We’ll cover that another day.) So I needed to instruct him in the proper use of the balls. He picked them up and rolled them around.

“What are these for again?”

“To cut out the static cling, we’re still adding baking soda for softening.”

“Why do they have the spikes?”

“I have no idea.”

“And why are they blue?” Okay, we had a long discussion, that you can have with your own laundry partner, about why the manufacturing company chose blue. Suffice to say that now we use the balls.

Now my husband endevours to do the laundry utilizing the latest craziness introduced by his wife. Have I mentioned how tolerant he is of my idiosyncrasies? And one day he comes to me and says “I’ve lost one of my balls.”

Say what?

It seems the dryer balls like to hide. Inside the pockets of fitted sheets. Inside coat pockets. Inside of the net thingie that lines men’s swimming trunks. You get the picture. We still haven’t found that first ball. I think its lurking in a drawer somewhere waiting to jump out and scare the living &*@! out of us. So again I went to the store, and faced the clerk. This time I purchased two pairs and I’m grateful every time I do the laundry because inevitably I have my head stuck in the dryer looking for that third ball.

We’re down to three.

I don’t know what happened to the rest. I suspect it’s like socks.

Thanks for joining me on my meanderings. If you use dryer balls, leave a comment. Even if you don’t, leave a comment anyway!


Filed under Sensational Saturday's