Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I can't believe I'm admitting this

But I've been watching Dancing With The Stars. There, I said it. My secret shame is secret no more. I probably won't watch more than another few shows, but for now it's kind of interesting to me. (Mostly because of the sparkly dresses.) And it occurred to me as I watched Kate Gosselin stutter across the floor last night that the contestants on this show are a lot like writers.

There are the Buzz Aldrin types who grew up with the old school romances and while they might try to write the more modern stuff, can't seem to loosen up enough to really get into it.

There are the Kate Gosselin types who overthink it and are so technical, the story never has any flow or fluidity, and while you admire them for trying, ultimately, you know they're not going to get very far until they learn to let go.

Then there are the Pamela Anderson writers - they're bigger than life and in your face and don't care what anyone thinks. They may not write the best story technically, but they still engage you and keep you interested.

Once in awhile, you have a few Evan Lysacek's - those who succeeded in other areas of life and have decided to try their hand at writing. Sometimes their success in writing is contingent on those around them (ghost writer) and sometimes they figure it out on their own through genuine hard work and talent.

Lastly, there are the Nicole Sherzinger types who seem born to write. They have the perfect storm of great technique and captivating story telling. Usually they have some background in the craft already be it an English degree or a past job as a journalist.

Which kind are you?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Enough is enough

I weighed myself this morning and let's just say the last few weeks of parents visiting, a trip to New Orleans and *snacks* have caught up with me.

It's time to get serious, get back on the good eating wagon and *insert wretched cry here* work out again. And by working out, I don't mean five minutes of vacuuming. (Amazing what we can justify, isn't it?)

Since it's raining, that means no power walk, but thankfully we have an elliptical and some free weights, which I am moments away from using. I'm also seriously thinking about joining the mega-gym down the street and hiring a personal trainer for a month or two.

Wish me luck. It hurts already.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Finn could no longer contain his inner vampire.

Friday, March 26, 2010

How cool is this?

It's called YikeBike and it's a marvel of engineering. Check out the site and see what you think. Would you want one? I kinda do. It's just so cool!

Also, a big shout out to those who finaled in the RITAs and Golden Heart yesterday and a big hug to those that didn't.

Lastly, have a great weekend and get some writing done! I know that's my goal.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What's for dinner?

When my folks were here about two weeks ago, I made bolognese and served it over one of my all time favorite pastas, bucatini. Bucatini is like really fat spaghetti with a hole in the center, like a pasta straw. It's perfect for a really thick, rich sauce like bolognese. Here's my recipe:

1 pound each ground beef, turkey and pork
2 lg white onions, chopped small
5-6 carrots, chopped small
2-3 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 lg cans peeled plum tomatoes, chopped
1 can tomato paste
1/2 bottle white wine
1-2 cups chicken stock (beef would be fine too)
2 cups milk
olive oil and/or pancetta fat
nutmeg, salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary, basil and thyme

In a large stock pan, add some olive oil and some pancetta fat (I always save the fat from pancetta because it has a great flavor - if you don't have that, you could render down some fat back.) Add the onions, garlic and carrots and saute on med until they start to soften. Turn up the heat and add all the meat and a little wine and stock. Stir to break up the meat while it cooks. Then add both cans of tomatoes, the can of paste and more wine. Add your seasonings to taste. *Note - the nutmeg may seem like an odd seasoning, but don't be shy with it. It really makes this dish. Stir often as it cooks down (I sometimes cook mine for as long as 4 hours or more), periodically adding the milk and wine until it's all in.

Serve over your favorite pasta with good grated Parmesan. Remind your family how hard you worked. You can add bread and salad too. This is a very rich meal and the leftover sauce freezes nicely, which is why I make so much at once.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Best video evah

I just posted it at Fictionistas. Check it out! Seriously, if it doesn't put a smile on your face, you might need to check your pulse.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dude, it's like, totally Monday.

Monday just sneaks up on person sometimes. It's wrong, I tell you, wrong. Instead of working like you're supposed to, here are some things to help you avoid Monday altogether:

Blink wildly and then close your eyes really tight for an interesting light show
(Amusement Potential: 1-5 minutes)
See a variety of blobs, stars and flashes. Try to make out shapes and see if your subconscious is trying to send you a message (perhaps that funny shape is saying, 'send all your best ideas to kristenpainter.com'?)

See how long you can hold a note
(Amusement Potential: 4-20 minutes)
Not that much fun, but it sure passes the time. Play with a friend, or try to beat your own personal best. Inhale deeply and then try and make a noise for as long as you can. Earn extra points for making your partner laugh or ending on an amusing note.

Try to not think about penguins
(Amusement Potential: 1-5 minutes)
This is especially hard, because by trying too much, you remember what you were trying to avoid thinking of. If you try too little, you end up thinking about penguins anyway.

Use your secret mind power
(Amusement Potential: 5-10 minutes)
Pick a passing by and try to use your mind power to command them do something, like drop their bag or knock into someone. The law of averages dictates that sooner or later one of your mind commands will come true, so you can convince yourself that you really have super human powers and waste even more time trying them out.

Pretend you're a robot
(Amusement Potential: 1-3 minutes)
Walk down the street with mechanical movements, adding 'zzzzzt' sounds with each motion. Pretending to have a motor broken in, say, your left hand can add at least 30 seconds more entertainment.

Scratch yourself
(Amusement Potential: 1-3 minutes)
Go ahead, scratch yourself now. Even if nothing itches, go ahead. Doesn't that feel pretty good?

Rate passers by
(Amusement Potential: 10-15 minutes)
Secretly award passers by marks out of ten as you go along, offering (unsaid) expert criticism over their clothing, hairstyle and footwear choices.

Repeat the same word over and over until it loses its meaning
(Amusement Potential: 1-3 minutes)
Pick a random word out of a magazine and say it aloud to yourself until it becomes a meaningless set of noises.

Pretend to be a car
(Amusement Potential: 5-10 minutes)
Make appropriate revving noises in your head as you walk along and add a racing commentary as you pass strangers in the street. Use blinking eyes as indicators for extra authenticity.

Make Star Trek door noises
(Amusement Potential: 1-2 minutes)
Stand by an electric door to a bank or something and make that silly "Scccccccchwop" sound heard whenever people popped on to the bridge to hang with Captain Kirk.

Look at something for awhile, shut eyes, study after image
(Amusement Potential: 2-5 minutes)
Another great time waster. It takes about 30 seconds of staring to create an after image, and the image is then viewable for about the same length of time. Fun to combine this one with pushing on your eyes.

Invent a weird twitch
(Amusement Potential: 5-10 minutes)
Adopt a bizarre twitch (e.g. flicking your head irregularly, twitching with eye or busting out sporadic cough noises) and try it out when you go shopping.

Make a low buzzing noise
(Amusement Potential: 15-30 minutes)
Hours of fun in libraries! Keeping a totally straight face and looking nonchalant, make a low pitch humming/buzzing noise and see who reacts.

Happy Monday. You're welcome.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Cats: Defining comfy since creation.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Naughty Shoe Love

I'm fully aware that these shoes are kind of ridiculous. Which explains why I am madly in love with them. Practicality isn't always my strong suit. But really, aren't they amazing? Like candy. For your feet.


I got it bad for these shoes.

What do you think? Should I? Or am I crazy?

PS. They also come in pink.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I'm finally reading again. I know that's not exactly front page news, but it's been a long dry spell for me reading-wise lately. Want to know what started it?

I got an ARC of SUGAR CREEK by Toni Blake (as seen with top spokescat Jack) and decided to just read the first page. One page led into two, two became a chapter and the next thing you know, I'm half way through.

It's great to be reading again. Reading is, after all, fundamental.

What pages have you been turning lately?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What's your personal shark?

I'm over at Fictionistas today talking about shark jumping. Come chat!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Weekly Goals

Monday always brings to mind my goals for the week. As you know, I believe goals are super important and ultimately, the keys to success. I tend to keep a floating list of them near my computer for quick reference. Unaccomplished goals from last week get transferred to the new list and new goals get added.

So far for this week I have:

1. Write 30 pages minimum
2. Start newsletter article
3. Organize thoughts on using social media as an unpubbed and pubbed author

Then there are all the non-writing things, like laundry, cleaning, groceries, etc. My favorite part of my goals list is crossing them off.

What's on your list of weekly goals?

Saturday, March 13, 2010


re·laxed - adjective
1. being free of or relieved from tension or anxiety: in a relaxed mood.

Or this:

Friday, March 12, 2010

What the... Really?

Color contacts are one thing but permanently changing the color of your eyes? Through surgery? Um, I'm going to pass. Also, instead of inventing crap like that, why not devote some time to curing cancer. I know, I'm such a dreamer.

*insert eye roll here*

Take a look at that site - why would anyone opt for that? The irises look plastic in all the after pictures. It's a little freaky.

Happy Friday, for what it's worth.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sooper Sekrit

I'm working on a secret project and yesterday I had a pretty good breakthrough. I'm finally excited about this project in a way that makes me think I can really do it. If/when I finish Project X, it will mean I've broken into two new "areas" of writing. For that reason alone I really want to make it happen.

Are you working on anything secret? Have you done anything like that in the past?

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The cog in the machine

I'm over at Fictionistas today talking steampunk. Come chat!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Monday Question

Have you ever watched that show Hoarders? It's riveting in the way a bad car wreck is riveting. You can't look away and you feel bad for those involved.

It's also a great way to motivate yourself to clean. Just saying.

I don't happen to be even close to a hoarder, in fact, Hotrod thinks I lack sentimentality because I never hang on to stuff like Christmas cards. I just don't need a lot of things to hold on to the memories attached to them. He, on the other hand, has some borderline hoarder tendencies that I have to really keep an eye on. Mostly by throwing crap away when he's gone. Seriously, it works wonders.

What about you? Do you hoard stuff? Are you a pack rat? Or do you keep things neat and tidy regardless of sentimentality? Tell the truth!

Saturday, March 06, 2010


This is my serious face.
Because you seriously need to stop playing on the internet and get some writing done.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Hot AND Steamy!

On the Steamy Side by Louisa Edwards hit the bookstores on Tuesday, so if you haven't got your copy yet, get out there and snag one before they're all gone!

She’s Never Met A Man So Mouth-Watering

When Lilah Jane Tunkle fled her dull life in Virginia for the bright lights of New York City, she didn’t expect to wind up a nanny to a gorgeous celebrity chef’s ten-year-old son. Working for the delectable Devon Sparks is a sure-fire recipe for disaster, especially after Lilah gets a tantalizing taste of his perfectly seasoned kisses . . .

And He Can’t Resist Her Down-Home Spice

Devon’s not sure he can handle one more surprise ingredient in his life—he left his popular TV show, his culinary reputation is on the line, and now the son he barely knows is back for seconds. Lilah’s Southern sass is supposed to keep the boy in line, but soon enough she’s teaching Devon a thing or two about homespun food . . . and turning up the heat.

This is the second Recipe for Love novel, and it's packed with just as much delicious food, restaurant drama, and hot chefs as my debut culinary romance, Can't Stand the Heat!
Here's a little taste to get your mouth watering for more.

Now available at Amazon, Borders, B&N, BooksAMillion, Indiebound, and Target!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I won't tell you how old my mother is, but I will tell you she looks awesome and totally doesn't act her age. She pretty much rocks. And I love her madly - she's the best mother/friend/supporter a girl could ask for.

Have a great day, mom!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Down time

Today I'm over at the Fictionistas talking about down time and how to spend it. Come share!

Monday, March 01, 2010

This week

Blogging will be scarce this week. My folks just arrived and between them visiting and the writing I need to do, time is at a premium. If something interesting comes up, I'll share, otherwise, have a great week and get some writing done!