Have Computer, Will Travel

Winter2Somewhere in the world, spring has arrived. It’s not here in my part of the world, even though March 20th – officially the first day of spring – has come and gone. Instead, we still have three feet of snow on the ground, with more in the forecast.

I know spring is out there, looming in the not too distant future, and when it arrives it’ll be time to move my office outdoors.

This is one of the big pleasures of working for myself. My office is wherever I happen to set up shop. Right now, it’s in the northeast wing of the house, where the morning sunshine blinds me from mid-April to mid-September. I have to wear sunglasses while I type or close the drapes to keep the sun out.

Have computer, will travel … all the way from the indoor office to the deck or the family room or the kitchen table. And if I’m feeling particularly adventuresome, I pack up my computer and my husband, and head for the mountains.

Winter1I feel a mountain adventure coming on. So while I contemplate packing my suitcase and computer, I’ll leave you with a little teaser for my upcoming novel THE MARRIAGE PACT:

A hotshot divorce lawyer encounters the wedding planner from hell – the gorgeous, sexy woman he met and bedded a month ago who is pregnant with his child.

If you want to find out more about my upcoming release, join my newsletter!

When Thunder Rolls

I’m over at the Women Unplugged blog today, talking about last night’s storm and wondering, what both terrifies you and fascinates you?

Last night, we had a series of thunder storms pass through our area. In the middle of the night, we stood on our roof covered deck while lightning flashed around us and thunder boomed in our ears.

I don’t recall having storms like this when I was a kid. But ever since a tornado swept through our area in 1987, killing 37 people, injuring hundreds more, my awareness of storms has increased.

And I’m fascinated by them. On hot humid days like yesterday, I check the Weather Network because they almost always have a weather warning in place. And then I watch the sky.

Crazy storms like last night’s make my heart pound and my stomach churn. The lightning flashed like those disco strobe lights from the 80’s, blinding if you looked at it, impossible to avoid. It flashed so often and so quick, there was no time to close my eyes or look away. It rained so hard, it pounded on the rooftop like hail, while water filled the gentle curves and valleys on our property.

We stood there for nearly an hour, spellbound by the powerful, dangerous storm. Across the farmer’s field, two power transformers blew. The shockwave from a boom of thunder set off our neighbor’s car alarm, his headlights flashing on and off in the distance, the alarm barely distinguishable over the sound of the storm. A few minutes later, another shockwave turned on the light on our automatic garage door opener which was inside the closed garage.

After the storm blasted through, we climbed back into bed. Lightning flashed in the distance and thunder rumbled through the open bedroom window, bringing with it a cool breeze on my face. It was cozy and peaceful and put me to sleep.

Since ’87, we’ve had numerous tornadoes rip across the Canadian prairies, some with deadly consequences, others with only property damage. But when the threat of one is in the air, am I smart enough to stay indoors or hide in the basement? Apparently not.

How about you? What dangerous thing fascinates you more than it terrifies you?

Originally posted at Women Unplugged.

The Middle of Summer

While Christy faces The End of Summer, up on the Canadian prairies, we’re smack in the middle of our summer season. And it’s been a hot, humid summer with temperatures close to 90 degrees F (30 C).

I know. Some of you are laughing at me right now. But to this Canadian, the 90 degree temperature is as bad as minus 40 in the middle of a winter blizzard.

This year on Seabrook’s pond, there’s no time to dilly-dally and hide from the heat. We decided to spruce up our duck pond by adding a fountain.

Except we discovered the trees we’d planted 19 years ago blocked our view, so we needed to move them. The man with his head in the tree mover is my husband. His self-assigned job was to ensure no branches were lost in the process.

Then we figured we needed a viewing area, somewhere closer to the pond than our back deck, a place we could sit and watch the ducks and their ducklings without frightening them into their hiding spot in the trees. We filled in the tree holes, built a wooden border, and started digging.

The plan had grown from installing the fountain and moving two trees to visions of flowerbeds, benches, and a tiny gardening shed surrounded by cedars and shrubs.

Sometimes in the middle of summer, when the temperature and humidity are soaring, and I’m standing on the top of a ladder sweating my butt off, I really miss winter.

So what do you dislike most about your favorite season that makes you long for the days of your least-liked season?

Originally published at the Women Unplugged blog.

Shiny and New

Have you heard the tale about the curious little girl who, after breakfast one morning, left the house and headed down the block to grandma’s house for supper? (Don’t worry … this isn’t one of those tales where the girl gets eaten by the big bad wolf.)

Well, the story goes something like this.

The little girl spotted her neighbour’s prize roses, stopped to enjoy their irresistible scent, and ended up staying for milk and cookies. By the time she left, it was almost noon.

A little further down the street, she stopped at another neighbour’s yard to check out the goldfish in the new pond, and decided to stay for lunch.

By early afternoon, she was back on the road, determined to make it all the way this time. Except in the next yard, she spied a flock of hummingbirds feasting on some impatiens and before she could control the impulse, she’d joined the neighbour for tea.

When the little girl finally arrived at grandma’s house, it was dark, supper was over, and grandma had gone to bed.

This week, I’m that little girl. Everything around me is shiny and new and so very distracting. And I know exactly why.

I’ve resumed rewrites on my women’s fiction story.

After reading through the opening chapters, I’ve discovered I’ve barely left the house, that there’s a really long journey ahead, for both my characters and for me. I’m sure I’ll occasionally be witty and brilliant, but at this stage of the rewrites, the work still sucks and all I want to do is shove the story back under the bed and find something better to work on.

So how do you keep yourself focused on your job, whatever it might be? Are there moments when your focus splinters and you find yourself ready to tackle the most dangerous stunt, if it will only save you from the dreariness ahead? Or do you put on blinders, refuse to get distracted, and stay the course until the end?

Curious minds what to know.

(Originally posted at Women Unplugged.)

Fun With Santa

20111227-165548.jpgA few years ago, my husband decided it was time to decorate the house, you know, like regular folks do at Christmas, with more than just a Christmas tree. Since I’m not much of a decorator, he went out himself and bought a whole whack of Santa ornaments. When our youngest son came home from work that night and saw the house littered with Santa figures, he said, “Our house puked Santa.”

Since then, it’s been a running household joke. This year, when the boy removed Santa from his bathroom counter and stuck the figure on a shelf where we would be sure to find it, we decided to have a little fun. Every day, the boy would come home and find Santa in a different location.

The first day we tucked Santa into the boy’s bed. When the boy arrived home and found him, not a word was said.

The next day, we went looking for Santa. The boy had hidden him so well, we had to search the whole house. Finally, we found him on the top shelf of a book cabinet. This time, Santa got a note hung from his beard and we put him on the counter next to the fridge, where the boy usually leaves his lunch kit. The note said, “My darling boy, I missed you so much today, I cried while you were away. Your parents won’t play with me. Please take me to work with you tomorrow.”

Again, Santa was not mentioned but it was obvious the boy’s after-work mood was getting a much needed lift.

The next morning, we located Santa in our bathtub. Because this Santa was of Scottish heritage, we left the boy a note that said, “I’m Scottish and I like to go commando. I dare you to look under my skirt.”

And so the countdown to Christmas continued, with the boy hiding Santa every night and us finding fun ways to entertain him… or perhaps we were simply entertaining ourselves. 🙂

Do you have a holiday Grinch in your family and if so, what kind of tricks do you use to beat humor the grinchiness out of him/her?

(Originally posted at Women Unplugged.)
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