Saturday, May 31, 2008

All will be revealed

So who do you think is the final Cylon?
I don't think they've actually given it away yet, I think they just want us to think they have because Cylons are sneaky that way.
I figure it has to be a female though. They've got seven men and only four women.
Do you think it's who I'm thinking it is? Or is that too obvious?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Nuff said

Don't ask me why, but Friday's wear me out. I'm always thrilled when the day is over and I can crash.
I'll try to be a better blogger next week. Promise.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Available today in Print!

If you're looking for something hot check out Sand, Sun and Sex now available from Samhain in print! The perfect summer read to drop into your beach bag and take along while you sizzle on the sand. Look HERE for more info on where to buy your copy!

A Midsummer Night’s Steam Anthology

Marielle’s Marshal by Beth Williamson

An outspoken school teacher and a hard-nosed lawman are forced to rely on each other to survive in the wilderness. On the trek through the barren landscape, they discover desire hotter than the desert sand.

La Mirage by Jennifer Colgan

Stranded by engine trouble in the middle of the desert, Savanna and Ben stumble upon a mysteriously beautiful resort. Is this place—and their newfound passion—real? Or only a trick of the summer heat?

Fijian Fling by Sami Lee

Sophie has come to her favorite island to re-evaluate her life. There she meets enigmatic and lethally sexy Nick. Their fling could turn into something more, but the secrets he keeps could be a deal-breaker.

Beyond The Tears by Michelle Cary

Cassie, a widower, is in Key West for a week to escape her lingering grief, not to bed hop. But her private session of self-pleasuring in a Jacuzzi had a witness—Chase, the hottest stud at the hotel.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Happy Holiday Weekend

For those of you enjoying the Memorial Day weekend, have a great one! I'll be around sporadically and trying to blog when I can.

The kids have five days off [the school board, who refused to give them snowdays in the winter when they needed them] tacked on the extra days to this weekend, so they have Friday and Tuesday off as well.

Yesterday much of my day was spent in the car - a 15-minute ride to the dentist with DD, and a 90-minute ride home [seriously] thanks to mid-day, holiday weekend, lunch-time traffic. Later we piled into DHs CRV and went off to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls. I'm a long time fan of both crystal skulls and Indiana Jones. It was a nice diversion, though the movie wasn't an ethereal experience. We had dinner out and then stopped off at Borders so I could look again at the Sony eReader they have on display there. I think I'm going to get one - though I'm going to look for a deal. Sorry Kindle, you're just too expensive.

Today I need to brave the crowds at Shop Rite, then hunker down with a LOT of editing and reading. Ursula has two projects to work on. Bernadette is kicking around an idea to turn a novella into a full length novel and I've got some excellent feedback on Hunk from my agent and need to do some quick edits so she can start sending the ms out next week.

Not to mention the cat pan needs a good cleaning and I'm waaay behind on the laundry .

Did someone say holiday? Or weekend? Couldn't have been me. LOL.

Have fun!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's a worse omen when...

it turns out it wasn't actually a fire at the restaurant. I guess I imagined the smoke. It must have been fog since it was cold and rainy.

What really happened was they found a body in a parked car in the parking lot. Somebody had been shot.

We don't get many homicides around here, so it's big news.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Is it a bad omen when...

...the restaurant you pick to go to dinner at is on fire when you get there?

This happens at an alarming rate in my family. Twice in Florida, once down the shore and now in the next town over. DD arranged dinner out with my parents last night and we decided to meet at the local Bennigan's because it's 2.5 minutes away. When we got there the parking lot was packed with police cars and fire engines and a faint haze of smoke.

So through open car windows, and the rain, we conferred and decided it might be a good idea to eat someplace else.

The outside walls of the local diner are made of that shiny metal stuff, so we figured that might be a safer bet since it's probably less flammable.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Stick a fork in it's done!

I finished my gargoyle themed single-title paranormal at 11:46 on Sunday night. At my agent's adamant request, I sent her the full draft with fingers crossed. I don't like to send things to be read by anyone else until I've done at least one full read-through and there are some scenes at the end that have only been looked at once, but as I said on RD this morning, what agent wants, agent gets.

Now let's hope an editor wants too.

I know I should probably schedule a serious day off loafing as a reward for finishing, but that's hard to do. You know me. I'm just now taking the master class in relaxation and learning how not to obsess every minute of every day.

In honor of my accomplishment, I'm taking tomorrow as a fun day. Jen Elbaum and I are going out to lunch to toast our projects. [She's finishing revisions on her suspense novel]. Later on I told DH I want a ride to AC Moore so I can spend my Mother's Day Gift Card on something frivolous and fun.

Today, I'm cleaning the bathrooms.

[shrug] Hey, at least I've scheduled the fun day. Next I work on having fun without scheduling it. That will be a tough one.

What's on deck now that I'm done with my WIP?

* Editing, editing, editing

* Polishing up the revisions to my upcoming Samhain release Strange New World

* Revamping the story that was the original plot for 'Going Deep' my current EC submission. I was halfway through this when I got the 'better idea' and wrote GD. Now I have half a story leftover that needs a new title and some reworking and may end up being another EC submission if I can flesh out the second half of the plot.

* Diving into my next Forbidden World story for Amber Quill

* Revising Matchmakers based on notes from a CP

* Deciding what my next Single Title will be. Witches? Vampires? Leprechauns? or MIBs? Too many ideas floating around, not enough hours in the day.

Off to scrub tiles and scour sinks.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Make me an offer

No, that's not directed at my publishers or future publishers. [Well, not really.]

That was the theme of today's garage sale. I spent the day lounging in the driveway amid tables of junk hoping people would give me money and then haul it away.

Amazingly we had to drag a lot of stuff back to the basement at the end of the day. Even some brand new, never played with toys didn't get any interest, but we sold old stuffed animals by the bag full, Barbie's in desperate need of a day at the spa, children's books my son's old bike and an old curio cabinet.

We walked away with enough to go out to dinner [at the diner]. The kids were happy. They got the equivalent of a couple weeks' allowance out of the deal and I got them to clean out their closets of the stuff they never play with.

What's up for tomorrow? Absolutely nothing. And I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, May 16, 2008

And yes...ARF

What is the deal with rain on Friday?? And why would the Middle School schedule a field trip to the Bronx Zoo on a day that is destined to rain?

Yesterday's afternoon Middle School Announcement: [Source DD]: Attention all Seventh Grade students attending tomorrow's field trip. The Field Trip will be Tomorrow.

Collective response from students: Duh!

My tax dollars, hard at work.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My week is up

I think my experiment worked.

I spent a week purposely not rushing around, over-cramming my daily agenda with more stuff than I could possibly get done in a day, and not dwelling on all the things I wasn’t doing rather than the things I was doing.

The world didn’t end.

What did happen? addition to the usual chores of cooking, moderate cleaning and keeping everyone else on their schedules...

* I did the food shopping
* Rearranged two dentist appointments
* Did some editing
* Signed a new contract with Samhain
* Prepared and priced a mountain of old junk for my garage sale
* Finished preparing two boxes of promo bookmarks for NJRW
* Wrote several thousand words on my WIP
* Did some laundry
* Re-caulked the bathroom
* Read two books
* Changed the carpeting in the foyer
* Enjoyed Mother’s Day

I can’t be sure I would have gotten more or less done the old way, but to be honest I’d say it came out about even – well, I doubt I would have done the caulking. I’ve been putting that off for a long time.

What have I learned? Things get done whether I worry about getting them done or not. I still function even when I’m not stressed.

I still manage to feel guilty about not being stressed or not worrying about things, though. There’s always that nagging doubt that if I don’t worry about things, over-schedule myself, do two or three things at once and obsess about not being able to do five or ten things at once, that somehow I’m not striving to meet my full potential.

I know that’s sick, but it took 40 years to develop that mind set. I doubt I can erase it in a week. Much like my diet, which continues despite my overwhelming desire to eat several forms of chocolate every day, I plan to continue this ‘experiment’ and see just how long I can go without mentally beating myself up over not maximizing every millisecond of my existence.

I’m concerned it might become too easy to relax instead of running my butt off, though. What if all this lack of self-imposed stress leads to laziness? What if my ambition dries up completely and I begin to aspire to spending long stretches of time doing absolutely nothing, and liking it?
I guess I still have a long way to go. But I’m going to keep trying.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Lure of Bounty Hunters

Let me start by wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day! I hope you have a good one.
In addition to playing with my Mother’s Day present [the Endless Ocean game for the Wii] I’ll be hopping around cyberspace talking about my newest release from Amber Heat which is available today!

For a spicy excerpt of Thieves in Paradise drop in on my post at Amber Allure/Amber Heat Authors Blog today!

Thieves In Paradise by Bernadette Gardner
ISBN-13: 978-1-60272-270-5 (Electronic)

In the meant time I'll leave you with my other Mother's Day present - a drawing of my favorite Pokemon - Oddish.
Who could ask for more? A new release, an endless ocean to explore and an animated raddish?
Have a great one!

Friday, May 09, 2008

ARF - Another Rainy Friday

What is it about Fridays? It always seems to rain.

I know a lot of things can cause rain - for instance, leaving the car window open is a sure fire way to get it to rain. Especially at night, because there's nothing the universe likes more than to have you wake up to a sopping wet driver's seat when you have to be at work in 45 minutes.

Picnics cause rain. Especially holiday picnics. Outdoor weddings also, but for some reason any event that includes a tent will have less effect on the weather than an event that does not include a tent.

Garage sales to a lesser extent cause rain, but since there are soooo many of them, the law of averages can often work in your favor. It can't rain on every garage sale, so yours might be spared.

Roofing projects cause rain. Having the entire second story of your house open to the elements has been known to cause monsoons.

And having the house painted also causes rain. I don't see why meteorologists need all kinds of computers to predict weather when the signs are so obvious. Friday + having house painted = rain. Who needs satellites?

Speaking of having the house painted:

Remember hillside green?

Well it looks more like pea green in the sunlight.

So we’re going to have ‘the weird color house’ on the block.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The way the universe works

I’ve learned a lot about the way the universe works this week and by paying some attention to the universe, received a small gift in return.

I got my fridge fixed.

You might say, wasn’t she ranting about that damn fridge weeks ago? Didn’t it take two MONTHS for the repair service to locate the correct parts? Haven’t four different technicians been to her house, tossed up their hands and shook their heads at what was shaping up to become a ‘situation with no resolution?’

Yes. That was me. So how can I consider having my fridge finally repaired to be a gift?
Easy. After I said I didn’t want it, I got it anyway.

Here’s what happened. Once we received the third new door insert and discovered that six of the three dozen end caps we’d received actually fit into the six holes of the door, DH called the repair service and told them we needed someone on our doorstep PRONTO. They told us they could come on Tuesday morning between 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM.

Good enough. At 8:00 AM on Tuesday the repairman called to say we were the 11th stop on his list and he couldn’t possibly get to us before late afternoon.

Natch. Why should anything go right? I appreciated the call, though. At least I wasn’t holding my breath between 8 and 12. At 4:30 however, I was. The kids were ravenous at this hour – Tuesdays we eat early since DH isn’t home and for some reason they’re ready to eat their own sneakers as soon as homework is done. I felt like getting out of the house, so I told them we’d go out to eat.

Problem: still waiting for Fridge Guy. So I called the repair service and asked what his ETA might be. They of course had no idea, so I cancelled the service call and rescheduled for Thursday morning – emphasizing that I wanted him here between 8 and 12 – not some amorphous time in the PM. They agreed and as always, cheerily thanked me for using their service – as if I had a choice.

Off we went to eat. We were gone a little over an hour and as we pulled back into the driveway, a van pulls up across the street. Lo and behold, it’s Fridge Guy!! [He’d received the cancellation notice, but thought he’d come by just to take a chance.] What could I say but ‘Come on in!’ He fixed the fridge. I have shelves. The universe gave me a pat on the head. Life is good.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Writing in an ever-expanding universe

I'm over at Star-Crossed Romance today talking about the width and depth and breadth of our imaginary worlds. Drop by and say hello!

PS: I HAVE SHELVES ON MY REFRIGERATOR DOOR AGAIN!!! Will wonders never cease? News at 11:00.

Time Travel - Day 2

I'm working on 48 hours of calm here.
I seem to be getting the hang of not rushing myself. It's not so much about doing things more slowly, as not worrying about what I'm NOT doing.
The day seemed to stretch out a little longer today, like I had more time, because I wasn't sitting here thinking about how many loads of laundry I could get done or trying to put off things until the 'best' time to do them in order to maximize every moment of the day.
I just went with the flow. I finished a 3,000 word expansion of my short sci-fi adventure for Samhain. Now that has to sit for a while before I go back and edit it.
I do feel like I've accomplished something for the day, and I'm now allowing myself to dwell on what still needs to be done. That's what tomorrow is for.
So far so good. Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

An Experiment in Time

Okay, time for another epihany. Time. Get it? Time...LOL.

Attempt at humor: Failed. Oh well.

On with the experiment. This week I've been reading a book called How Did I Get So Busy by Valorie Burton. Non-Fiction. It's a 28-Day plan to 'free your time, reclaim your schedule, and reconnect with what matters most.'

Since I don't have 28 days to anything, much less fix my schedule, I'm speeding up the plan a bit. The book is full of a lot of 'duh' type advice about cutting things out of your schedule that you don't really need to do and learning to say 'no' to extra projects, etc. And I will say a lot of it is geared toward single people who already make a lot of money and have realized that while they have all the material things they want, their lives are pretty empty. I'm of the belief that it's easier for someone who lives alone and makes $100K a year to have a 'let me slow down' epiphany than it is for someone who has a family and is just scraping by, but I do buy into the idea of visualizing the kind of life you want to lead and then making that life happen.

Since I was single, I have been visualizing the life of a successful novelist, ie, having enough money to live at a slower pace and enjoy raising my children while working at a job I love. Of course that's easier said than done, let's face it. But I am working at it. I've come a long way in the past few years and I know I still have father to go.

On that note, I've decided to work a little harder at not stressing myself out. [A paradox you say?] Hmm. Yep. Probably. But just because something is a paradox doesn't mean it can't be done.

I've decided to try an experiment for the next week. Hold on to your hats, it's a doozy.

I'm going to SLOW DOWN.

What? How can I even think such blasphemy? After all, I live in the NY/NJ Metropolitan area. Everything and everyone here moves at Warp 10 all the time. The drive to succeed, to make money, to keep up with the Jones's is overwhelming. Everything must be done yesterday, or better yet last week, and if you slow down you get run over.

But I'm going to give it a shot anyway. She says while frantically typing on her computer. I'm going to slow my pace down from the 'frantic-soccer-mom [okay, Winter Guard mom], running in three directions at once, gotta do it all and do it all now' gear I've been in and dial back my motor to 'take it easy, there's time for everything.'

She's nuts, you say. She'll be road kill inside two days.

Mmm. Maybe. But I've been road kill before and bounced back. Hence the 'experimental nature' of this experiment.

So, once again, in a nutshell, here's my plan: I'm going to move slower, think slower, do everything slower and not worry about getting every single thing in my life done ahead of time so that I can rush onto the next project and be ahead of the game. Therein, I think, lies my stress problem. I'm ALWAYS trying to get 'ahead of the game.' I always feel like if I can just do a little bit extra, stock up on projects, utilize every spare minute of every day, I will somehow reach that magical moment in time when everything is finished and I can relax.

Well, in all seriousness, I've been striving toward that moment for last 17 years and it ain't happened yet. There's never been a moment that I can remember that my laundry was all done, my house was all clean, my stories were all written, my chores were all finished. It's never happened, and guess what I figured out? It's probably never going to. So what am I striving toward?

What would happen if I spent a week just striving toward finishing one thing at a time, instead of trying to figure out how I can do three things at once? What would that be like?

I plan to find out. Wish me luck. And if I get run over by the traffic of life, would you do me a favor and scrape my remains toward the side of the road? Thanks.

Friday, May 02, 2008

I don't know how to...

...take a day off.

Today I need the day off. I think allergies are catching up to me. I've had one of those low-grade, annoying headaches all week, with pressure behind my eyes. I'm tired. I've decided not to go into the office - and it's a very hard decision to make.

Why? I wish I knew. Other people have no problem taking a day off. DH for instance never feels guilty about his days off, which are spent [I grudingly admit] as one should spend a day off. He lounges in front of the TV and relaxes.

On my 'days off' I do a few extra loads of laundry. I clean closets. I make ambitious plans to reorganize the entire house and parts of the Northern Hemisphere.

I can't relax.

I really wish I knew why. I have this constant, driving need to be doing something contructive at all times until my head explodes. I really hate it. I mean, I like to get things done. I like to be busy actually, and on the rare occasion I really don't have anything to do, I usually start some new project, but sheesh, I just can't shut it off.

Today should be spent lounging on the couch, watching my Torchwood DVDs or reading for pleasure. A nice breakfast, a leisurely lunch, a phone call to a friend. Meanwhile I'm sitting here frantically blogging, and planning which room I will tackle first and thinking how nice it will be to get a jump on the laundry. I already have a craft project swimming around in my head and my mind is spinning with revisions for short story I just sold to Samhain [more on that later].

Why can't I just take a sick day like the rest of world and curl up with a blankie and a cupa tea?

Don't know. Can't do it. Help!