Friday, April 14, 2006

THE JOYS OF READING

I'm trying to come up with a PDF of some printable bookmarks to put on my website. I didn't want to just be a publicity tramp and put my upcoming books on them so I'm looking for good quote about books. I've found some great ones, quotes that remind me how very much I love books and reading. How fortunate I have been because I developed a love of reading at a very early age (I'm not very crafty but I stitched a sampler for my mom a few years back with an old saying: More blessed than me you will never be, for I had a mother who read to me.

Anyway, I found this quote today when I was looking for book quotes. It's a little long for a bookmark so I'll post it here. I'll let you know when I finish the bookmark project and post it to my website ...

There are books so alive that you're always afraid that while you weren't reading, the book has gone and changed, has shifted like a river; while you went on living, it went on living too, and like a river moved on and moved away. No one has stepped twice into the same river. But did anyone ever step twice into the same book?
* Marina Tsvetaeva

I would love to hear your favorite quotes about reading or books.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

My baby turns three today!

I'm having a tough time believing he's that old. Seems like only yesterday, he was a plump little thing wearing sunglasses and lying under the bilirubin lights at the hospital. Now he's a plump little thing galloping around the house in his new Bob the Builder T-shirt!

It amazes me how one little man seems to infuse so much energy and joy into a family. The four of us were a pretty happy unit before he came along but this one just seems to have finished the circle.

I know people who don't have any children and claim they have no desire for them. If that is their choice, fine, but I'm sad for them. I wouldn't trade one single day spent as my kids' mother. Even on the days when my 15 yo wants to argue about everything from whether 4 ounces of milk is enough for breakfast to whether her homework is technically done if she only has one more algebra problem to do (it's not!). Even on the days when I'm heartsore and weary after the 8 year old is having a bad night and not sleeping well and I can't figure out what's wrong. Even when the 3 year old dumps the flour container and the sugar container and three boxes of cereal all over the floor.

Sure, it makes my writing life a challenge. Most days I don't have a second to write until after the younger two are in bed. Unlike my husband, night has never been my most productive time but I've had to learn to adapt. When I have a deadline, I don't have a choice. If that's the only time I've got, that's the time I have to use! But it's certainly not easy. Until I had kids, I never realized it was literally possible to fall asleep at my computer, my fingers still moving convulsively on the keyboard.

Still, they're worth all the sacrifice and the late hours and the lack of sleep. My 3yo ran to me first thing this morning, threw his arms around me and asked if I wanted a birthday hug or a birthday kiss. I chose both. Wouldn't you?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

DEATH AND TAXES ...

It's tax time and I've spent the last two days going through receipts. I have an odd reaction to tax time. I dread it passionately, mostly because I find nothing sucks away my creativity like spending hours focusing on numbers and expenses. I also hate it because it feels like such a crap shoot. I never really know if I'm going to get a refund or end up getting stuck for a huge tax bill until my tax preparer flips her computer monitor around and shows me whether I've got a smiley face or a frowny face on the form! I always go with this huge ball of dread in my stomach. There's nothing worse than having to pay someone 400 bucks to tell me I owe the IRS a whole bunch more.

So dreading taxes is not the odd reaction I was talking about. I don't think there's anything abnormal about that -- most people do. While I loathe the process as much as the next person, at the same time I find myself enjoying going through my old checks and expenses and remembering. It's the one time I can look back at the year and relive some of those experiences. The special birthday dinner at a favorite restaurant. The campsite we always stay at in Island Park, where I took my 2 year old innertubing down the Buffalo River. The keyboard drawer I bought for myself on eBay that has made my writing time so much more ergonomically comfortable.

Still, I'll be glad to have it over Wednesday when we meet with our tax preparer. Maybe I'll even take my husband to dinner somewhere afterward, so I can look at the receipt for it next year when I'm doing taxes!

Monday, April 03, 2006

My free online read goes live today! Starstruck is the novella I wrote for the eHarlequin website and I had so much fun with it. This story features two characters who appear very briefly in the various books of THE COWBOYS OF COLD CREEK. The hero, Justin Hartford, is a former Hollywood hunk who just wants a quiet life on his Idaho ranch. The heroine, Ashley Barnes, is his daughter's kindergarten teacher. Justin used to be her girlhood crush. Now she thinks he's just a self-absorbed jerk -- until she gets to know him.

You can read the story here ...

http://www.eharlequin.com/cms/onlinereads/readsToc.jhtml

And talk about it here ...

http://community.eharlequin.com/webx?50@419.p8SyaeXaOFP.2435744@.4a83a2b9/3