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Devices, Devices, Devices!

Today I’m channeling Jan Brady!


The reason? Because I need to whine a little and Jan’s iconic “Marcia, Marcia, Marica!” just resonates so well for that.

The other evening, as I was plugging in my iPod, cell Phone,  laptop and Kindle to charge, my husband was brushing his teeth with his electric toothbrush. When he was finished, he looked at me–struggling to get everything plugged in for the night in one little over loaded  outlet– and then down at his brush and said, “How many extraneous electrical devices do you think we own?”

“Define extraneous?” I said.

“Something we use that we could use something non-electric for. Like our toothbrushes.”

I thought about it for a moment, counting everything I used on a daily basis that needed to be charged or plugged in to work, and then said, “None. Everything we use we need.”

“Really? Do you actually need all that”–he pointed to the overloaded outlet–“all day, every day?”

“Yes.” No hesitation on my part at all.

And I’m being truthful.

“What about all the other things, like the microwave, your hair stuff, your lighted makeup mirror, the fans you keep blowing all day and night? Those aren’t superfluous?”

“No.” I should have known he wouldn’t leave it at that. Dog, meet bone. The definition of my husband.

“Why not?” he asked.

Ticking all the items off on my fingers, I gave my best argument ( debate club alum, remember?).

“When you work late and come home hungry but don’t want a full dinner, the microwave is the perfect thing for either reheating something, or making something small and quick for you. You’re hungry and you want to eat NOW not in 30 minutes after the oven has preheated. I need my blowdryer and all my straightening hair devices and tools because you know I look like I have a bird’s nest on my head if I don’t straighten my hair. There’s no other safe way to do it if I want to avoid the myriad of chemicals needed to attain non-pubic hair-looking status. Since I am in the throes of menopause and we don’t have robots or droids to fan me all day long to keep the heat at bay, I need those fans on or else I am in a perpetual state of sweat. Not attractive. And as for the lighted makeup mirror, I have two words to say on that subject: cataract surgery.”

A little disclaimer here so you get where I’m coming from: When I had cataract surgery it killed my near vision – I have perfect distance, but can’t see anything 5 feet or closer to me. I need, absolutely NEED that lighted, magnified makeup mirror or else I’d never feel confident in what I looked like to go out of the house and not scare children, the elderly, or small pets.

“And your computer, phone, kindle, iPod and Ipad? Those are necessary to your health and well being every single day?”

“Yes on all counts. I need the Ipod when I go to the gym ( 5-6 days a week) or else I’d be bored out of my gourd, and if I’m bored and not distracted enough, I won’t finish my workout, so that would be a waste of time. I need the iPad to watch my tv shows  when we travel. I need the Kindle to, you know, save trees. I read so many books every week. Just think of all those poor trees I’d be killing. It’s actually an act of Christian Kindness and Mercy to use the Kindle. Do I really have to explain the necessity of the phone? And as for my computer, well, my editor is not going to accept a handwritten manuscript.”

I took a breath. “And as for the toothbrushes, the dentist said our teeth are healthier since we started using them. Do you want gum disease? Excess plaque? Halitosis?”

He stood there, staring at me, while I prepared some other reasons why I needed every electrical device known to man to survive on a daily basis. I truly hoped he wouldn’t get me started on the necessity of dishwashers and vacuums. There’s a reason we life in modern times. If I’d been born in the dark ages ( aka the time before electricity when it was, truly, dark!) I wouldn’t have survived. In even older times? I would have been one of the ones eaten for the others to stay alive. And I would have been happy to make the ultimate sacrifice just to get away from the dark and cold and tedious.

There’s a reason I don’t camp, peeps ( aside from the going to the bathroom in the woods – never gonna happen!) All that wilderness living? Yeah, not for me. I’m like the character in Private Benjamin who said she joined the army for the condos and travel vouchers, not the marching and tents.


After a few seconds of staring, my husband shook his head and got into bed without another word on the subject.


When I’m not using every electrical device know to man you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//




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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Dialogue, Editors, Life challenges, Pet Peeves, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Dream a dream…wish a wish….

I receive a GOODREADS email/update almost every day – for which I am thankful. I lovelovelove Goodreads. One thing I’ve noticed in my notifications ( too much alliteration, there?) are the reader updates. A listing of what people I follow or my “friends” are currently reading.  If you have a KINDLE, the device – or I guess Amazon, really, plugs you into Goodreads when you start and finish the book so you can update your progress. I do this too, I list the book I’m into at the moment, and then mark it when I’m done as “read.” I always rate it, sometimes review it.

Yesterday, I received an email update with what 74 of my friends are reading. Goodreads lists the person’s name, along with book title and cover. Of those 74 updates ( and there were 531 books being read or added to my friend’s lists) I didn’t see mine, once. I realized, at that moment, how much it would really mean to me as an author to see my book cover and title plastered onto someone’s Currently Reading or Read column.

Conceited, much??

Nah, just a hopeful author looking for readers who like my work. So, if you’re on Goodreads and you’ve read one of my books……….

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Skater's Waltz, Strong Women, There's No Place Like Home

Procrastination, thy name is Margaret-Mary…

Since menopause hit me with a punch to the gut – and everywhere else – I’ve had trouble focusing on tasks that in the past were literally no brainers for me. I was balancing the checkbook the other day and my mind started drifting to my current WIP and I began running the plot line in my head, trying to figure out some good twists and turns for my characters. Before I knew it, the balance in my checkbook was off by about a million bucks and I’d written the wrong amount on two of the bills I was paying.

After Mass last weekend, a friend asked me how I liked the sermon. I had to fib and say it was great when I had no idea – no frickin’ idea- what it had been about because, yet again, my mind she was a wanderin’. That’s pretty sick. Coming out of Mass and having to tell a fib right away. No exactly the most Christian thing I’ve ever done.

On my days off I try to start writing at about 6 am. If I’m going at a good clip I can get 9-10 hours of it accomplished before I need to start thinking about dinner. Sometimes I’ll take a break to toss in a load of laundry…maybe drop by the market to get some groceries.

But for the past month my mind has had trouble sitting at my desk and creating. I come up with all sorts of excuses to pull me away from the laptop, and I usually fall victim to them. The newest episode of Castle is on, of I need to catch up on Sleepy Hollow. Jill Shalvis has a new book out that I just have to read – now! There’s a new In Death addition waiting for me on my Kindle.

All these things are pulling me away from my writing.

Then, yesterday, it hit me. These things, these distractions, aren’t pulling me away. They’ll all still be there waiting for  me once I’m done writing. No, what’s making me procrastinate so much is me. Not the mundane little things I allow to get to me. Me. Myself. I.

For whatever reason, I’m a little nervous about this new WIP. I think about it all the time, truly, running plot lines in Church, thinking up dialogue when I’m at my paying job. I think about it all the time. And what I’m thinking up is good. Really good, for me. So why can’t I commit to getting it down on paper?

Probably time for some therapy…the question is, retail, or professional?

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Filed under Characters, Dialogue