Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Obsessing Orlando nominated.

The reveiwers at Romantic Times have nominated Obsessing Orlando for one of the top books for 2005 in the Young Adult category. I am thrilled at the recognition and also excited for my dear friend Mari Mancusi who was also nominated in the same category with her YA book Sk8terBoy.

This is not a contest that writers can enter. It's a great honor to be chosen. The winners will be announced in June.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas

Hit the link for a Christmas Card.

We hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas

Cindy and family

Thursday, December 22, 2005

enjoying life

Even though I'm under a horrible deadline which involves knitting instead of writing I have been taking the time to enjoy the spirit of the season. I had a last minute run to the mall yesterday, hey I had to go, I had coupons and the traffic was horrible. But it also gave me more time to listen to my Amy Grant Christmas CD.

We're having our gift exchange with the family's we hang out with and I did all my prep work yesterday so today won't be so stressed. We know it's probably the last time we'll get to hang out with Gib, who will probably be a professional baseball player come June. We want to enjoy just being with him tonight since we've all been such a part of each others lives since he and Drew were in kindergarten.

It's amazing how many old and lost friends have shown up through the holidays. I guess as the kids grow up they realize who and what was important in their lives. It also makes us grownups realize how old we are getting.

Yet no matter how old we get on the outside(something I'm fighting tooth and nail) the feeling is always the same on the inside.

Now if I could just find a few spare hours to watch my favortie Christmas movie, White Christmas life would be perfect!

But I'll take it as it is. Merry Christmas everyone.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


We lost power from the ice storm last week. The first night it was nice. Watching the fire, knitting by candlelight, snuggling under two extra quilts on the bed.

Not so nice the next morning. I'm one of these people who can't function without a hot shower. I need to shampoo my hair! We managed to get cleaned up enough to go spend the day at the mall with all the other miserable stinky people. The power company said this was our worst outages since Hugo came through several years ago.

It's one thing to look outside to a winterwonderland and not have power. It's something else entrely to have 50 degree weather and not have power. It just doesn't make sense.

Anyway, we came back on the following evening. I was extremely grateful because my birthday was over the weekend and I did not want to spend it in the dark.

It's funny how you take things for granted until they're gone. And yes, I kept flipping on light switches out of habit everytime I walked into a room.

Wishful thinking I guess.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ice Ice Baby

We're having an ice storm in western NC. I woke up this morning at my usual time and was greeted by a half inch of ice covering every thing. The birds are making good use of my feeder this morning.

I'm amazed at how quiet it is. Nothing outside but the sound of the freezing rain hitting surfaces. There are no cars running up and down the street, no dogs barking, no kids out playing.

I've finished my Christmas cards, my wrapping is done, along with most of my shopping. I might do some baking today and will most likely do some writing, which is something I've ignored in the past few weeks since I've had all the holiday preparations going on.

I think it will be a good day for it.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Tis the season to be jolly

Sitting here with a horrible cold that I've had since Friday. However I did not let that ruin my weekend.

On Friday we went to see The Chronicles of Narnia. It was a visually beautiful and breathtaking movie with a wonderful message for eveyone. It had been so long since I read the book that I felt as if I was visiting it all for the first time. The acting was terrific. I especially loved James McAvoy as Mister Tumnus. He has a wonderfully expressive face, inspite of the fake nose he was wearing. The lion was unbelievable. It's hard to imagine that it was entirely animated. The expression on its face was remarkable. And Peter was awesome as the caretaker of his family, and the kingdom.

Saturday I went to two Christmas parties. I forced myself to drive two hours for my writing chapters get together and was so glad I did. Plus alone car time is great for book plotting. Saturday night was our Sunday School class party and laughing as hard as you can for two straight hours is good for the soul. Plus I won a really cool squishy pillow and candy cane antlers in our dirty santa game. I am now officially Cindy Lou Who who is no more than two.

Sinday was church and then I crashed in front of the TV with my knitting and a Harry Potter marathon. Someimtes quiet time is good two.

Back to work today. Shopping counts as work, doesn't it?

Friday, December 09, 2005

Legolas and me

Last night was the release party for Obsessing Orlando. And we had an ice storm! In spite of that we had a great showing and a wonderful time. It was one of my best signings ever at a Barnes&Noble.

Congratulations to Mary Newsome who won the Vera Bradley handbag.

And a big thank you to Brandon Shore who played Legolas.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Christmas Traditions

Since 97, on the first Sunday in December I hold an ornament swap with my girlfriends. It motivates me to get all my decorating done and believe me I need it. I'd be hanging lights on Christmas day without proper motivation. And I hope it gets all my friends into the Christmas spirit.

We eat first, always fun appetizers. This year I made the best sausage balls ever in the history of mankind. And I am famous for my fruit tarts. Then we draw numbers and play dirty Santa.

Some years it even gets violent. One of my friends, who I will refer to as Sportsmom even pushed me down in her haste to snatch an ornament from me. And one year she brought her mom with an ornamant so she could take home two since her mom doesn't put up a tree. She played nice this year. And it's all in fun. You know I love you Sportsmom.

Another friend, Volunteermom swore she was never coming again because she always gets the dud ornament. Some of us do have strange taste. This year she left very happy.

Then there's my friend, Travelagentmom who makes sure the rules are obeyed. Her daughter came this year, anxious to start her own ornament collection. I also think they were conspiring together. We all have been known to do that. We also have to tell where we got the ornament so if you don't get waht you want you can go buy it yourself.

One friend showed up late and ended up staying a couple of hours after eveyone left. We sat on the sofa and talked about our year. Christmas music was playing and the only lights came from the tree and the candles that were on their last bit of light.

This friend, Tennismom, has breast cancer. She had lost all her hair to chemo and it was growing back thick and curly. She found out about the cancer last year right after the party. so much can happen in a year. And as it turns out, she might not have that many more years with us.

Some of us only see each other at this event. Our lives have changed so much since it started. It originally was all the moms from baseball with a few more thrown in. One of the sons died in a tragic accident, one is divorced, one missed it last year because her daughter was in the hospital with a broken pelvis and almost missed it because her son was in the hospital with a collasped lung. A few have moved away.

Yet every year we pick up as if it hasn't been a year. We are always connected. We have the same values, the same joys, the same tragedys. Some bonds can't be broken.

i'm already looking forward to next year. I better get shopping for my ornament.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Rage against the machine

I had to change an airline reservation. So I call the handy little number provided for my convenience and of course get an automated operator.

We go through the press one for English options (don't get me started on that) and press two for reservations.

Then it was time for me to "say" my trip ID number. So I rattle off a ten digit or more number and then get to listen to R2D2 do his version of Manheim Steamrollers Christmas Album. At least I think it was R2D2. Whatever I was listening to was truly bizzare.

So after a few moments my nice little recorded automated operator lady comes back and says.

"I'm sorry. I did not understand you."

"I'm not surprised," I reply.

"im sorry, I did not understand you. Did you say five?"

Now I can get the connection between surprised and five but I am totally aggravated with the process and not in the mood to be nice to a machine.

"I did not say five," I said. "Can I talk to a real person?"

"I'm sorry. I did not understand you. Did you say agent?"

"No, but I do need to talk to my agent. Perhaps if you let me talk to a real person I could get on with my life."

"I'm sorry, I did not understand you. Did you say eight?"

"NO! I said let me talk to a real person."

"Please hang on while I connect you with an operator. There will be a moment of silence followed by a chime."

Yay! A real person. I think I have this figured out. To test my theroy I called the cable company. Instead of pressing in all the numbers I just started punching zero. TaDa! A real person appeared.

I think I'm on to something. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Pride and Prejudice

Just returned from seeing Pride and Prejudice. I really needed the break from the everyday and this fit the ticket perfectly.

I loved this movie. It was sweet, it was moving. Keira Knightly gave an awesome performance. And most importantly, it left me wanting more. I longed for some long desperate kisses between Libby and Mr. Darcy. Which would totally go against the grain of Jane Austen fans.

But it also served its purpose. Don't you love reading a book or seeing a movie and having it stay in your head. I think that's the true test of a good story. You want more when it's over.

I just ordered the soundtrack also. It was beautiful. From the first note I knew immediately that I would have to get it.

I hope it inspires me to write great stories.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The most wonderful time of the year

Went Christmas shopping yesterday. A five hour blitz which is a long time for me. But I kept at it because I knew the crowds would get worse. I also got most everything I was after.

Even found myself humming carols as I shopped.

Today I decided to do paper work and try to get back into the writing. I usually spend my swim time going over my story line. It's really easy to get into the story because swimming is a very solitary exersise. No distractions.

However...today I kept hearing something strange while my head was under the water. So right in the middle of the pool I popped my head up...

And found the entire water arobics class singing Christmas carols while they exersised. Winter Wonderland, Rudolph, Silver Bells, all acoompanied me while I did my laps.

It really put me in the mood.

Falalalala everyone!