Monday, June 27, 2005

The Angst of Being a Teen

When I was a teen (some *cough* years ago) I don't recall being so, well, whiny. Or boy crazy. Or needy. Or self occupied.

But then I was a nerd and books were my best friends so perhaps I am not the best example of what an average '80's teen was like.

The girls I was subjected to at the teen conference were, for the most part, all those things and then some. Fortunately, our room had no opening windows or I would have flung them or myself out of one. I'm genuinely surprised my hair hasn't grayed.

I had to explain why walking the halls of the hotel at 1am in the morning wearing pajamas was not advisable for thirteen-year olds. I had to listen to endless whimpered conversations about boys and what girls they'd talked to and how those girls "needed to get somewhere". I had to explain why leaving wet towels on the bed made for uncomfortable sleeping. Getting them to pick up after themselves is another blog in itself.

Like is, like, every other word. I'm mad serious. Or wicked serious, depending on which teen you might be listening to.

Worst of all, they referred to me as an "adult" numerous times. "You're, like, so easy to talk to, for like, an adult." Cringe. When did I get to be an adult? I don't really feel like one. I feel about 19. A really mature 19 with a much older bank account.

I've eaten enough pizza, hamburgers, sloppy joes and hot dogs to last a lifetime. And as for riding on buses, I'm good there, too.

But I survived. Would I do it again? Probably not. I was born with a limited amount of patience and they used up most of it. I have to save a little for when I get rejections. Like today. Sigh. But I'm an adult, so I'm dealing with it.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Off To "Camp"

Why my husband and I signed up to chaperone the teen youth conference trip at my church I'll never know. We don't have kids. Perhaps there isn't enough chaos in our lives?

Anyway, I'll be out of touch until Friday late so your assignment while I'm gone is to stop by and comment on three new blogs you haven't been to before, then come back here and post the three you went to. Think of it as broadening your blog horizons.

Ciao, baby!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

I'm Dying To Know!

I was standing in line at the checkout of the grocery store last week, hoisting the last of my fruits and veggies out of my cart and trying to ignore the Jessica/Lindsey fight all the tabloids were screaming about when I greeted the checkout girl. I try to be as pleasant as possible to people who do jobs I'm glad I'm not doing.

So I'm looking at her in that sort of looking/not looking kind of way. At first glance, there's nothing unusual about her. Mid-twenties, a little plump but cute, dark hair pulled back into a ponytail, a flower pendant made from pink stones hangs around her neck. And then I see it.

From the top of one ear over the crown of her head to the other ear there is a sweeping, slightly heart-shaped line that frames her face about an inch into her hairline. A scar. A really impressive, almost heart-stopping scar.

I stare at the cover of Woman's World and realize the secret to losing 20 pounds by eating ice cream has been discovered. I glance back at the checkout girl, still dutifully scanning my produce.

Now, I'm exceptionally curious by nature (perhaps this is the writer in me or I am part cat, not sure) and I have no problem asking questions. Even questions I shouldn't. I mean, you won't learn anything by keeping your mouth shut, will you?

I try to form the question in my head before I ask it, one of the rare occasions when I think before speaking but this is a special case.

Where do you get a scar like that? How do you survive it? Was it an accident? I think not - too neat. Plastic surgery? I don't think the scar from a brow lift is that big and she's too young anyway. A brain tumor? How long ago did it happen? Don't they usually shave a lot of hair for something like that? Her hair is long enough to go into a ponytail that hangs to the middle of her back.

I'm about to open my mouth when a mother with 2 or 5 children gets in line behind me. The kids are moving too fast to get an accurate count. I shut my mouth. I was raised with enough manners not to ask such a personal question in front of an audience. I know the answer would be different because of it anyway. Drat. I'm dying to know. Someday I'll be alone in her checkout line again. I hope.

All sorts of story ideas whirl through my head on the way home. She's an alien and that's the zipper for her human suit. She's the first ever brain transplant recipient and what's her life like now that the memories from the transplanted brain are her own? She underwent drastic cosmetic surgery to change her looks in an attempt to escape...someone. I haven't worked them all out yet.

What do you think the story behind that scar is?

Friday, June 17, 2005


On our recent trip to FL, DH and I went out to dinner with one of his old high school chums and this guy's girlfriend. High School Chum (HSC from here on out) is a really nice guy. A sweet, single dad of three, doing his best to raise his kids and make a good life for them. Tall, boyishly handsome with a thick head of slightly-in-need-of-a-trim hair. He's a regular beta hero.

His girlfriend, who shall here on out be known as Wench, was a real treat. You know the type: hard-edged blonde, a little thinner than she needs to be, hanging on to her youth with well-manicured claws. Apparently, she was a CFO or CEO of some company but has since retired and as HSC later explained to us in an apologetic email, she isn't dealing with retirement well.

Anyway, we met at her house (no freakin' AC and not a window open - does she not know she lives in Florida?) for drinks (wine or water) and appetizers (crab salad in endive leaves). I complimented her on her house and her apps (they were so-so but I said they were good) but her one dog kept jumping on me and scratching me with his nails so I nicely kept pushing him off me. I don't think she liked it when I told the beast to stop licking my toes, either, but I mean, please! I don't want dog slobber all over my feet when we're about to go out to dinner!

According to HSC, she was also supposed to be an expert in local real estate, since she bought, fixed up and resold properties in the area. DH and I asked her about several different neighborhoods we'd been house-hunting in to get her opinion but anything that wasn't "beachside" she just responded with a very clipped "I don't know" or "Couldn't tell you". Gee, thanks for the help.

We finally got to the restaurant. After ordering drinks and food, HSC and DH started reminiscing about high school days and what people were doing now, stuff like that. So I decided to engage Wench in conversation, eternal optimist that I am. We chatted pleasantly enough and Wench asked me what I did. I responded as I always do. Here's how that went:

KP: "I'm a writer."
W: Her eyes sparkle. "Really? What do you write?"
KP: "Romance." I smile and take a sip of my water.
W: The sparkle fades. "Romance? Is there a big market for that sort of thing?"
KP: Patient smile. "Romance accounts for slightly more than half of the books being sold."
W: Look of mortification. "Really?" Slight sniff. "Isn't that sad?"
KP: Help me Lord. I don't want to hurt this woman in front of so many people. That would definitely ruin the trip. "Actually, I don't think it's sad at all, considering that's what I write and a lot of what I read. After 9/11 people more than ever want a 'happily ever after'. There's just an intrinsic value in reading a book you know will end well. So no, I don't think there's anything sad about it."
W: Deer-in-headlights look.
DH: Tips his head towards me and puffs up his chest. "Her first book just won this big contest."
KP: I squeeze his leg and grin. "I didn't win yet. My first book finaled in the biggest contest there is for unpublished romance writers. It's called the Golden Heart and it's run by the Romance Writers of America."
DH: "Yeah and she's got some big agent looking at her stuff. And she runs this really big website for romance writers with a friend of hers. Romance Divas. They've won awards and stuff."
(Do you see why I love this man?)
KP: "Writer's Digest voted us one of their '101 Best Websites For Writers' and we've won a few other awards."

DH and HSC go back to chatting about a football game or something. The food comes. Moments pass in relative silence. Finally Wench leans forward. "That really is great about your writing. I don't think I could ever write a book. I think I would get bored with it after a while."

I chew my seared tuna and swallow, which gives me time to decide what would be an appropriate response and what wouldn't. I go with "Thanks" and leave it at that.

She got progressively less interested in attempting to look involved as the night wore on and instead spent most of the time whispering in HSC's ear, snuggling against him possessively (who was she marking her territory for? I'm a happily married woman) and staring out into the surrounding tables.

The night didn't end quickly enough for her or I, I can guarantee you that. And as I mentioned above, HSC later sent an email apologizing for her behavior (there was more but I didn't think it was necessary to give you a blow-by-blow).

Fortunately, we will NOT be living in her neighborhood. And the one we are moving into is gated.

And I don't think there's anything sad about that.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Juice Du Jour

Today's juice is Carrot-Apple-Nectarine. It tastes like sunshine in a glass. YUM!

Brace Yourself...

I could kiss my ortho on the mouth. But I won't. At my appointment yesterday, he told me my teeth look beautiful and I am 6 months ahead of schedule!!!! He thinks he can have my braces off by Christmas! Christmas!!!!!!!!!!

If you've never had braces, this probably doesn't mean a whole lot to you but trust me, it's a big deal. Being 35 and having braces is a little odd, even though it's much more commonplace than it used to be. Even so...Christmas!!! That would be the only present I needed.

He did some minor adjustments to move my canines forward a bit and so today my lower jaw is achy but the rest of me is tickled hot pink!

Christmas!!!!!!! Woohoo!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

We Got A House!

We're back from a successful house-hunting trip in Florida. It was exhausting. Looking at houses wears you out. I think it's all the anticipation before you go in then the let down when you actually tour the home and realize that the current owners are madly in love with stenciling and faux-painting. (I'm not intrinsically opposed to either of those but blood red roses stenciled around a pee yellow tray ceiling really creeped me out.)

One house was mint green with teal trim on the outside and *shocker* mint green with teal trim on the inside. With teal carpeting. That was a Dramamine moment, let me tell you. Even a great pool and a view of the lake couldn't redeem that one.

Another, which I have fondly nicknamed the "Persian Drug Lord Starter House" had a predominate color scheme of gold and purple. Until you went into the masterbedroom. Where it was burgundy and bronze. That whole house had a freaky vibe, like vampires or Mary Kay saleswomen hung out there. The family room in that house was mirrored, floor to ceiling, so it probably wasn't vampires.

Yet another hummed with old lady vibes. Ignoring the smell of mothballs wasn't that hard but the overwhelming flowery pinkness was. The walls were pale pink, the carpet was medium pink and the windows all had some sort of flowery fabric draping them. I like pink. I really do. But not on the walls and carpet of every room. Okay, the powder room wasn't pink. It was wallpapered with foil fish. Felt like you were doing your business inside a disco aquarium. The kitchen counters in that house were the color of Barbie's skin. *Involuntary shudder*

Two homes had identical bright blue Corian countertops. Was this a fad I didn't know about?

What's most frightening is that none of these houses were under $700,000. Go back and read that again. Yes, that's correct. I didn't accidentally add a zero. Now, we did look at a few homes that were considerably less that we liked but when we wanted to make an offer on those, they were already under contract. So was another more expensive but perfect house we looked at. The good stuff doesn't last long in that area of Florida, I can tell you that.

Finally, we found two great houses in a fabulous gated community, both brand new and right across the street from one another. One had a pool, one didn't - but had room to put one in. We bought the one with the pool. It has a great view of the $1.9-million-and-up homes across the lake, walk-in his & hers closets, plenty of guest rooms, offices for hubby and myself, a three-car garage, a pool and a hot tub and best of all, no stenciling or fushia floor-coverings.

And it will stay that way. At least until the leopard carpeting gets installed in my office.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Road Trip! (by plane)

DH and I are off on a house hunting trip to sunny FL. Woohoo! I will finally get my house with a pool. I've always had this dream of getting up, putting on my bikini and heading out to write by the pool. Doesn't that sound grand? It does to me. Warm breezes, sunny skies and sparkling blue water -- what's not to love?

Added to my TBR pile today: A Conneticut Fashionista In King Arthur's Court and Beach Blanket Bad Boys (my friend Morgan Leigh has a novella in that anthology). I would have bought Enchanted, Inc. but Barnes & Nobles didn't have it in stock. I'll go to Amazon for that one. I also bought the newest Kelly Clarkson CD and it's awesome! I'll be listening to that on the flight down.

Since I won't get a chance to blog from FL (at least I can't imagine I will), let me leave you with some homework.

Homework: Where's your dream spot to write? Describe it so I can smell it, taste it, hear it and feel it.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


The Romance Divas blog has moved to a new (integrated) location.

We are now at

PLEASE change your links accordingly and come join the fun!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Big News!

No, I'm not announcing a sale. I wish that was the case but it isn't. Someday. Soon. I hope.

What I am announcing is that Romance Divas has launched a blog! We'll be spouting off a variety of dishy divaness, upcoming events at RD (chats, workshop, giveaways, etc.) and Diva Lisa, our Book Review Editor, will be offering up a lovely plate of "Must Reads" on occasion. There will even be guest divas stopping by to add their two cents. It's gonna be tons of fun, so add to your links list A.S.A.P.!

Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Back On The Juice

Yep, you read right. I'm back on the juice. Carrot juice, that is. I've eaten so much junk lately (Memorial Day Weekend saw me stuffing my gullet with M&M's like there'd just been a fire at the factory) I really had no other choice.

So I'm back to juicing and a diet of mostly raw veggies, fruits, grains and legumes. Mind you, this is not a hard diet for me to follow -- unless I leave the house. There are very few restaurants in this neck of Virginny in which you can order a glass of freshly made carrot juice with a side of crudite and hummus. Actually, there are NO restaurants around here where that would be possible.

Anyway, with conference coming up in July and my desire to still fit into my suits at that time, this seemed the most logical thing to do. Plus it's summer and there is no better time to indulge in fresh fruits and veggies. While I am most certainly a carnivore, going without meat for a while doesn't bother me one bit. This diet is really cleansing and, besides the weight loss benefits, does great things for my skin.

I had the juiciest cantelope for breakfast. Tasted like summer sunshine, despite the fact that it's pouring rain outside. Yum!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

How To Be A Happy Hooker

My new article is now posted on the Romance Divas Resources page. Go check it out!

A Little Spring Redecorating

As you can see, I have changed the look of my blog. Tell me what you think?

Much love to Pam at Aspixiated for providing this blog-makeover.