Tag Archives: Helvetican

Happy Independence Day and Fishing

4 Jul

It’s birthday time in the U.S.! Happy Independence Day! Everyone stay safe, and be extra careful with the fireworks in dry areas.

Mirror Lake, Uinta Mountains

Now then, fishing… I spent yesterday having a day off with the Helvetican and catching fish. We drove up to Mirror Lake in the Uinta mountains, which sits at about 10,000 feet above sea level. Temperatures were perfect, with a great breeze. Such a relief after the high-90s in the valley.

Another view of Mirror Lake, looking north.

My primary fishing love is fly fishing, but given that we were fishing mid-afternoon, I went with spin casting instead. I only hooked four, though given that it was not prime fishing time, I was pretty happy with that.

The water was so clear that with the polarized lenses on my sunglasses, I could watch the fish swimming around. I had a lot of fun watching fish get all territorial and chase my lures, even though they weren’t interested in biting.

A pretty butterfly that landed near the shore where we were fishing.

A good day all around, and hey, a bad day fishing is still better than a good day doing a lot of other things. I feel refreshed and ready to write!

Going fishing, back later…

3 Jul

I’m heading up to Mirror Lake with the Helvetican for a day off and some fishing. I’ll pop back on later, maybe with photos. Take care and stay cool, everyone!

A new month and a holiday

1 Jul

Canada Day Graphics

Happy July to everyone and Happy Canada Day to my friends to the north!

I’ve never had the opportunity to go to Canada, but that’s an item on my bucket list. I want to see as much as possible, from the Pacific to the Atlantic and up into the frozen north. If you’re Canadian or have spent time in Canada, what would you recommend as a must-see stop for that bucket list tour?

My goals for the month of July include:

  • 30k on the paranormal romance novel
  • 15k on the next contemporary in the Heart’s Redemption series
  • Spend lots of time with the Helvetican. We’re going fishing Tuesday, WOOHOO!
  • Nudge the son who has some credits to make up before school starts again
  • Get the electrician in here to do the work needed on the house so we don’t accidentally burn the place to the ground
  • Find the surface of my desk. Seriously. When I can’t find things in my file-by-pile system, you know it is out of control. I really need to upload before and after photos. You’ll be shocked that I can get anything done in this mess. But, on the other hand, you know the old saying…If a messy desk is the sign of a messy mind, what’s an empty desk a sign of?

Need more hours!

27 Jun

There are not enough hours in the day. There used to be. I remember getting so much done and still having hours left over when I was younger. Did someone just mess with time while I wasn’t looking? Did minutes compress so that an hour still looks like an hour but is actually more like 30 minutes?

I need more hours. I’m not getting done nearly what I need to this week, even when I’m cutting into sleep to carve out extra time. I have costumes to finish for two teenagers going on a camp tomorrow (long story about why there’s costumes). I have a nonfiction article deadline on Monday that I need to put some time into. The grocery store and I must have a meeting at some point today. I’ve already told the remaining weeds in the yard that they have won today’s battle because I won’t be coming out to fight. And the Helvetican has the day off and wants to hang out. I miss him, dang it, I want to hang out too.

Anyone have some extra hours on hand that they’ll loan me? Even a few spare minutes here and there will add up.

Alpha & Beta Heroes in The Avengers (aka I’m having a fangirl moment)

5 May

The Helvetican and I went to see The Avengers last night. I frequently have to drag my hero to summer popcorn movies, or have mercy on his soul and take the teens while he’s at work. However, he likes comic book characters and the good movies Marvel has been making with them, so he went willingly.

I LOOOOOOOVED The Avengers! Of course, with Joss Whedon writing and directing, how could it be anything but fantastic? Great script, a ton of fabulous lines, with so much humor to balance out the tension. Effects were beautifully done. I thought it was a perfect start to the summer movie season.

But the very best reason to love it, particularly as a romance writer and reader…the heroes. Heroes everywhere! And not just heroes, but a fantastic heroine: Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow. Now there’s a girl who is very well aware of her strengths and abilities. She can hold her own, kick ass, use all her feminine tools to get the job done as needed, and still be a woman with a vulnerable heart underneath it all. There’s another heroine, too: Agent Maria Hill. She’s a tough girl, a soldier. We didn’t get to know her very well, but I liked her!

But back to the heroes.

  • Tony Stark, Iron Man. Brilliant, witty, snarky, egotistical, self-centered. He is a definite alpha and heroic because he does the right thing no matter what it costs him. I love that he is beautifully matched with a woman who can turn him on his ear and run him in circles when she chooses.
  • Dr. Bruce Banner, The Hulk. Brainy, quiet, caring, thoughtful–but simmering underneath. He is a beta hero with a serious alpha undercurrent. And a shifting issue.
  • Thor…well, hey, it’s hard to look past a god, especially when he looks that good (and this from a woman who’s not big on blonds or beards). He’s an alpha through and through, especially now that this god has grown up and learned about responsibility and protecting others. Extremely powerful, but capable of great love and gentleness.
  • Steve Rogers, Captain America. Serious, strong of character, reserved, decidedly old-fashioned, doing the right thing no matter how hard, because that is what must be done, taking charge because someone needs to rise to the occasion. A very gentlemanly alpha who has beta tendencies.
  • Nick Fury brought The Avengers together, and is doing what needs to be done in the background to keep the world safe, even from his superiors, if necessary. Definitely falls into the alpha designation.
  • Agent Phil Coulson, a supporting character throughout the films leading up to this one. He’s quiet, cool, calm, polite to a fault, genial, but able and willing to do what needs doing. He’s not your usual alpha, and I’m inclined to think on a personal level he’s much more of a beta, so we’ll go with a beta with an alpha streak.

My favorite, though? Surprised the heck out of me. Agent Barton, Hawkeye…OMG, yes, please. He’s definitely an alpha, but what is it about this character that caught my attention, especially when he’s not exactly at his best for a while there? Is it the archery thing? I admit to a serious weakness for a man with a bow. Is it the fact that he is quietly, outrageously efficient, ruthless, with high attention to detail, the best at what he does without being a cocky bastard, and yet is a man with emotions under it all? I haven’t quite figured it out. So, strictly in the interest of research, I’m heading out to see it again with my daughter!

Who is your favorite comic book hero?

The Birthday Blog Hop is Here!

5 Apr

Welcome to the Birthday Blog Hop! 60 authors are celebrating paranormal author Carrie Ann Ryan’s birthday tomorrow by participating in this hop. I’m so glad to have you here and I hope you enjoy yourself for a bit before moving on to the rest of the hop!

My best birthday came when I turned 27. I was divorced and dating a few different guys. One particular guy was introduced to my profile by the woman running the dating service we’d both joined a few months earlier. I had already viewed his profile, really liked him, and given permission for him to contact me. He liked my profile as well and called me one week before my birthday. We talked for an hour on the first call. He asked me out and we met for dinner and a long walk a few days later. By the time he sent flowers to my office the next day, I was hooked. We talked every night on the phone for hours, because we lived in different cities and getting together was tricky.

On my birthday, he had other plans, but he called me late that night, and as we talked, the conversation turned serious. Suddenly, the perfect moment struck, and he asked me to marry him.

I’d known him a week. We’d seen each other one night. I hadn’t even kissed him yet. But I knew. Lightning had struck, and I just knew.

I said yes.

I don’t recommend this approach to finding a mate to anyone else. But for us, it worked. We were married four weeks later and together we’ve raised five children. It’s been an amazing ride with my towering Helvetican Hero, and it all started on my birthday!

Oh, I did finally kiss him when I saw him the next day. A lack of chemistry would have been a deal-breaker, but when his lips touched mine…wow! And after all these years, he can still make me weak in the knees with a kiss.

What’s your favorite or least favorite birthday memory? Leave a comment and your email address for a chance to win your choice of a $20 gift card from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble from me, and to have a shot at one of the Hop’s grand prizes:

  1. A Kindle Touch
  2. A $60 Gift Card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Oh, before you go, here’s the recipe for my current contemporary romance, Mending Fences:

Take one reformed hotshot CEO playing rancher. Add one strong woman, an abuse survivor with a lot of secrets. Toss together for one searing kiss on Halloween, then separate. Fold in a slightly deformed pet bison who creates serendipity by accident. Stir together. Add discoveries, revelations, angst, heartbreak, suspense, and generous helpings of both healing and sexual tension. Layer with family relationships and a secondary love story and simmer to a Happy Ever After.

Opening taste: Curran Shaw treasured his anonymity, but maintaining it required solitude. And the damned solitude was killing him.

Available in paperback and ebook.

Kindle:  http://amzn.to/yJy1Af     Amazon paperback: http://amzn.to/H4ZfLi

Barnes & Noble paperback: http://bit.ly/HPy6w2

Enjoy the rest of the blog hop!

Carrie Ann Ryan http://www.carrieannryan.blogspot.com/
Lia Davis www.authorliadavis.com/
Beth-Ann Mason www.bethannmason.com/blog
Writer,Author,Husband,Dad jamieheppner.blogspot.com/
Natasha Blackthorne http://natashablackthorneblog.blogspot.com/
Romance Book Club blog.romance-book-club.com
Daryl Devore myeroticnotions.blogspot.com
Eliza Gayle elizagayle.net/blog
Realmantic Moments http://realmanticmoments.blogspot.com/
Amber Kallyn amberkallyn.wordpress.com
Harlies Books harliebooks.blogspot.com
Wickedly Erotic by JL Oiler www.joiler.weebly.com
Kacey Hammel http://kaceyhammellkreations.blogspot.com/
I Love Shape-Shifters michelehart.blogspot.com/
Marie Dees mariedees.com
Victoria Adams victoriaadams.blogspot.com/
The World of Heaven Oshey http://theworldofheavenoshey.blogspot.com/
Lucy Francis www.lucyfrancis.net
Vickie Taylor www.vickietaylor.com
Tara Lain taralain.blogspot.com
Birthday Traditions www.steelestories.com
Wendi Zwaduk wendizwaduk.blogspot.com/
Megan Slayer http://theauthormeganslayer.blogspot.com/
Cari Quinn cariquinn.blogspot.com
Stephanie Haefner http://www.stephaniehaefnerthewriter.com/
Angelique Armae http://angeliquearmae.blogspot.com/
Cassandra Carr http://booksbycassandracarr.com/wordpress/
Kharisma Rhayne www.kharismarhayne.com
A Page in the Life http://leeannsontheimermurphywriterauthor.blogspot.com/
Wendy Elys Books www.wendyely.blogspot.com/
Jessica E. Subject jessicasubject.com
K.E. Saxon www.kesaxon.blogspot.com
Stacy Jubas Mysteries, Murder & More stacyjuba.com/blog/blog/
Jessie Kimmel-Freeman http://bellanottethebook.weebly.com/blog.html
Tracy Sumners Romance Site www.tracysumner.com
Shells Book Corner shellsbookcorner.blogspot.com/
Allison Merritt havenovelwilledit.blogspot.com
Suzzana C Ryan http://www.suzzanacryanromanceauthor.blogspt.com/
Lizzie Starr starrwords.blogspot.com
Diana Layne Blog blog.dianalayne.com/
Love is a Many Flavored Thing – DC Juris dcjuris.blogspot.com
Dianne Venetta www.diannevenetta.com
Sharon Gerlach sharongerlach.wordpress.com
Book Lovers Haven taiyouryu.blogspot.com
Romance you Can Sink Your Fangs into http://www.shannanalbright.blogspot.com/
Casey Crow (18+ Over) www.caseycrow.com/blog/
Writing with Kristine Cayne kristinecayne.blogspot.com/
Just a Readers Ramblings http://justareadersramblings.wordpress.com/
Angela Stone www.angelastone.ca/blog-3
Rawiya Erotica rawiyaerotica.wordpress.com
Conversations with Lisa Mondello www.lisamondello.blogspot.com
Passions Recalled and Celebrated christineleovlealand-author.blogspot.co.nz/
Bull Protettore http://bullprotettoremurdermysteries.blogspot.com/
Louisa Bacio – Love Knows No Bounds louisabacio.blogspot.com
Cat Johnson catjohnson.net/2012/04/06/blog-hop/
Cynthia Woolf www.cynthiawoolf.com/blog
Diane Alberts dianealberts.com
Patrica Green Books www.patriciagreenbooks.com
Discovering Nya Rayne http://discoveringnyarayne.blogspot.com/

Remembering to Rejuvenate

14 Mar

Today was my day off. Doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, does it? In my world, it’s huge, because I don’t get days off unless I schedule them.

It’s not just the full-time mom thing that makes work a 24/7/365 aspect of my life, though my Mommy duties are a big part of it. The primary problem is that I work at home, in an office right across the hall from my bedroom. Work is always there, when I go to bed, when I go into the kitchen, or the bathroom, or to get the door. Yes, I can come and go as needed, in order to get all my mom/chauffeur/chef/errand girl/gardener/pet caretaker/laundry specialist/whatever-I-need-to-be-today stuff done. But I find myself in my office chair staring at the computer every spare moment when I’m not checking off something on my To Do list.

When you’re a writer, dealing with words and plots and troublesome characters and fact-checking and editing, etc., can become exhausting. I love what I do, truly. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl, and I’ve been blessed to grow up and make money doing exactly that. I’m lucky! But sometimes, I have to remind myself to shut it off and take a break. Most folks with a full-time job get weekends off, or at least a couple of days somewhere throughout the week. Their reminder to take a breather is built into the job. The change in schedule, in activity, in duties, is good for the soul. It lets you rejuvenate, refill your energy source, and prepare to face work again when the break is over.

The book I’m working on now, Finding Refuge, is a difficult book. It’s angsty, it’s emotional, it deals with some heavy, difficult life issues. I can’t immerse myself in that day in and day out without paying the price of my brain turning to mush and refusing to spit out words and flesh out plots. I hit that point last night. That was my reminder to take a break.

So, I spent the day hanging out with my Helvetican. We lazed around the house for a while after the kids went to school then took a long drive. We hiked around in the West Deserts, where the early spring warmth, the gentle breeze, and the rich scent of junipers overloaded my senses and washed away work for a while. It was glorious. Add in a nap in the car, and I’m right as rain.

Tomorrow, it’s back to work. I’ll be ready for it. But before I open the WIP, I’m going to schedule my next day off in red pen on my desk calendar. What do you do to rejuvenate on your days off?

Update: What am I working on?

8 Mar

It’s been a few days since I last posted…sorry about that. I’ve been consumed by work on new books. We’ll call that Good News!

I’m working on a second contemporary romance, Finding Refuge, that is due to come out in May. I might end up pushing that to June, depending on how the rest of this month goes. It’s a deep, emotional, angsty story and I really want to get it right. Travis and Andri deserve it! I think you’ll love these two characters as much as I do when you get to know them.

To balance out all that angst and heartbreak, I’m also working on a romantic suspense novella. However, I’m thinking that one will likely come out under a different pseudonym, because it is way, WAY hotter than I usually write. Not that the Helvetican objects, LOL.

Finally, a steampunk romance I’ve been toying with for some time has resolved most of its issues whilst sitting ignored in the back corner of my mind. It’s starting to beg for attention. I’ll try to pacify the story with jotting down occasional scenes here and there until after Finding Refuge is up. Because writing three books at once is insane…right?

All of that, plus the usual hectic routine around here, keeps me hopping. What are you working on, with writing, reading, or life right now?

Happy Leap Day! How will you spend it?

29 Feb

So, here we are at Leap Day. Do you remember what you did last time, four long years ago? Even more important: what will you do on THIS Leap Day?

Yes, it does matter. After all Leap Days are incredibly rare. More rare than a blue moon, which occurs every three years or so. In an average lifetime, you’ll only experience 19 or 20 of these days. Shouldn’t Leap Day be spent on something more than the usual mundane tasks of work, or mopping the floor, or picking up the kids from school? Ok, you probably can’t skip out on your job, and leaving the kids at school will lead to all sorts of trouble, but you should definitely skip mopping.

Try spending your spare time today doing something–anything–out of your normal routine. Take a different route home from work and notice the new sights along the way. Turn to a radio station you never listen to and experience new music for a few minutes. If you’re making spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, exchange the spaghetti for rice or mashed potatoes. (Come on, try it before you declare it disgusting!) Pick up a new book that isn’t in your usual genre. Try ice skating. Stop by a rancher’s fence and pet a cow.

I think I’ll work a bit on a new story idea that’s completely out of my normal comfort zone. Then I think I’ll go for a drive. Not to go anywhere, just for fun. My towering Helvetican hero does that a lot and has always wondered why I don’t. I always say I’m too busy to just go wander by myself with no destination. I will impose a time limit on myself, because there are certain things that simply must be done today, but otherwise, I’ll give it a shot. I’ll just drive and see what I see.

Take the challenge. Be creative, get out of your rut, and do something you’ll remember the next time Leap Day rolls around!

Happy Valentine’s Day

14 Feb

I won’t be going out for Valentine’s Day tonight, because my Helvetican works. Instead, we’ll go out to dinner on Thursday, when he’s off. It’ll be more like a Valentine’s Week.

He gave my Valentine’s present to me yesterday, so I could enjoy it a little early.

 

New pajamas! Silky, microfibery, pink and brown mini floral, comfy, perfect-fitting jammies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

And candy, but not your basic box of chocolates. No. He went for the vintage candies that are hard to find now, like Razzles and Fizzies drink tablets.

 

 

 

And, finally, a new vintage metal sign for my office. It’ll keep Rosie the Riveter company on the wall.

 

Now, none of this is classically romantic, but oh, be still my heart. The man knows me. And rather than grab a quick and easy bouquet of roses as he leaves work today, he spent the time to go find me really cool stuff that he knew I’d appreciate.

How will I reciprocate? With something he’d never expect. I’m sending him flowers at work! What gift would your honey give you to show that they really know you?