A picture’s supposed to be worth a thousand words (and I tend to run on when I’m talking baseball), but these pictures say it all for me. 

2008 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies
2008 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies


Tug, we believe!
Yes, Tug, we believe!

Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words, but these pictures are Priceless.  Thank you, Phillies, for giving this to Philadelphia and all us fans.  Can’t wait to see the 3 new banners at Citizens Bank Park next season, and the Phestival and Baseball 101 when we can all check out your new hardware!!

Geez, how many days ’til Spring Training?  🙂



There are days when you fully grasp the realization that you’re blessed beyond measure, and this weekend, I lived that for three whole days.  On Friday night I won 2nd place in NJRW’s writing contest, Put Your Heart in a Book.  Even more fun than that was when my name was announced and all my Valley Forge Romance Writers sisters in attendance cheered loud enough to shake the chandeliers.  I had no idea they’d been planning on doing that, and I’m relieved they weren’t asked to leave for unruly behavior.  🙂  When I placed second, they cheered again.  I can’t begin to describe how special that was.  I couldn’t cry because I was so stunned to begin with.  Thank you!

The whole conference was just awesome.  Robin sold out of “Romeo, Romeo” at the book fair, Judi was given a plaque in recognition of her first (and triple) sale, and the workshops and speakers were phenomenal.  Virginia Kantra’s “Roman Women” story is going to turn my entire life around!  JR Ward impressed the beep out of me.  I learned something from every workshop I attended, and if I could’ve attended all of them, imagine how much better a writer I’d be!  After the riotous party, Laura and I managed (just barely) to stay awake on Saturday night/Sunday morning to watch Game 3 when the Phillies gave up a 4-1 lead to come back and win, 5-4, in the bottom of the 9th at about 1:37 a.m.  We still managed to lie there BSing for another half hour ’til we were both practically unconscious, but man, did we have a great time.  There’s NOTHING like Girl Talk. 

On Sunday we slept in (a little; is it “sleeping in” if you wake up at 8:30?) and joined “The Robins” at Starbucks for coffee, breakfast and plotting.  I think Robin K’s got a great start on book 3, Robin L’s story sounds hysterical and steamy at the same time, and I can’t wait to see what Laura can do with “Must Love Dogs”.  I didn’t have anything to contribute this time; I’m still editing Worlds Apart.  Just sitting there with three brilliant writers, ideas started popping into my head like popcorn.  As Laura said, “The mojo’s back!”

We had such a wonderful time, laughing and picking each other’s brains and learning, learning, learning.  We all brought something different to that little table at Starbucks, and the combination is just amazing.  I was thinking on the drive home that sometimes we’re born into families where we share DNA, and sometimes we find ourselves in families where we share something deeper.  Thank you Robin, Robin, and Laura for making me believe in all I can be.  I just hope I can keep up with you.  🙂

And Laura, HAPPY BIRTHDAY tomorrow!!!  You’re the funnest roommate (and co-enabler) ever!!!  I am crazy in love with the awesome tote bag you made me, and I love ya, lady!! 

Thank You, God, for the gift of this weekend.  How I earned it, I’ll never know, but Thank You.

Where Would We Be Without Friends?

I am SO excited!  My friend Adele DuBois linked my blog to hers in celebration of the Phillies victory in Game 1 last night (a hard-fought 3-2 Phillies victory; Brad Lidge was “Lights Out” once again!), and I think it’s the coolest thing I’ve seen since the Phillies won the NL Pennant.  🙂  Please take a look and share in the joy of watching Our Boys in the Fall Classic!!  Adele DuBois

And don’t forget that Adele’s “Desert Heat” releases November 5th, the same day we close on our house!  For both our sakes, I hope that’s not the same day as the Victory Parade (not to jinx it; I’m just saying) because I’ll really have a hard time deciding which to go to.  The closing or the parade…?  Hmmm.  Right now it’s a toss-up.  On the other hand, if they win in 4, I’ll gladly take time off next week to be there on Broad Street!


Oh, and BTW, this is my 100th post!  How cool is that?  😉

The Big Dance

Folks at my office are all decked out in their Phillies red today, and it’s wicked cool.  Everybody’s excited beyond words for tonight’s game.  Being a born-and-raised Yankees fan but an adopted Phillies fan, I’m used to late October baseball but nothing like this.  There’s an energy in the air I can’t begin to describe.  All I can think is that this must be what it’s like when you’re going to the Prom. 

At the same time, I’m starting to get excited because the NJ Romance Writers conference starts on Friday and “Release Point” is a finalist in their Put Your Heart in a Book contest.  I’m told that they read excerpts from the finalist entries for the entire crowd (200+, I’m estimating) to hear.  My fingers, toes, eyes and intestines are all crossed that there will be editors in the audience who hear “Release Point” and fall madly in love.  I have a pitch session with an editor on Saturday afternoon.  Laura and I are getting to NJ early so we can raid…uh, browse AC Moore.  We’re staying late on Sunday to have a plotting session with Robin Kaye and Robin Lanier.  Instead of just a few hours with the girls, I’m getting 3 whole days to talk writing and publishing with my favorite people (that I’m not biologically or maritally connected to).  I’ve already laid out what I plan to wear.  And beneath it all, I’m scared spitless because I’m one of 3 finalists in the PYHIAB contest, and I have a 1 in 3 chance of winning, which would mean going up on that stage and accepting a plaque and saying “Thank You” in front of the entire room.  It means being told I’m the best at something.  (And doesn’t that concept scramble my neurons!)

I find it an interesting parallel that the Phillies are going to the Series and I’m up for a writing award at pretty much the same time.  In both cases, it’s a dream that started WAY long ago, to be recognized to be among the best in one’s field.  In both cases, just getting the pennant (or being a finalist) is a huge honor.  In both cases, we’re up against highly qualified opponents.  In both cases, should a win occur, there will be voluminous celebrations going on.  (In my case, if I lose, there’ll be even more drinking going on.)  I wonder if the Phillies are as nervous as I am.  At the same time, I’m not sure who I’m more nervous for, the Phillies or me.  🙂

I’m leaving early on Friday and I doubt, between the Series tonight and my nerves tomorrow, that I’ll be coherent enough to post anything between now and the awards ceremony, so please, wish us both luck.  If I don’t win, I think I’ll be fine with that, so long as the Phillies come home with the World Series trophy.  It’s been a long, wonderful, exciting ride for all of us, and be it my finaling or their NL Pennant, that’s an honor that nothing can ever erase.

Did we just have a fight?

First, the good news.  The negotiations are over and the house sale is back on.  I don’t remember if I mentioned that we had some issues with the appraisal coming in $14K lower than the sale price, but the seller agreed to lower the price by half the difference, we agreed to waive the seller’s assist to get the final repairs done, and we have a deal.  After all we’ve put her through, Kim, our realtor, must feel like Howie Mandel.  🙂 

Last night as we were going to bed (after watching the Rays win the AL pennant and become the Phillies’ opponent for the 2008 World Series), John and I seem to have hit on a point of disagreement, because when we went to bed, he curled up in a ball on the far side of the bed and didn’t say a word.  (I think I responded to a comment of his in a less-than-sympathetic manner.  I’m leaving out the details for the sake of the innocent, mostly because I’m not sure I understand them, myself.)  He didn’t even turn on the TV to watch the late news, as we usually do. 

I laid there for a while wondering if I’d said something to piss him off, but rather than dwell on it, thinking myself a failure, I spent the time telling myself that I’m stronger than that, that communication is the foundation of any good relationship, and reminding myself of all the stuff I’ve been through that’s made me who I am now.  It was a really neat change of pace, considering it’s not how I usually see things.  It also took some adjusting to.  Normally I’d beat myself up over having done something wrong.  This time, I didn’t think for a second (well, okay, maybe 2 seconds) that I’d said or done the wrong thing.  Once, way back when, John and I had an argument when I said something that bothered him, but rather than talk it out, he said, “Never mind.  It’s just something I’m going to have to deal with.”  I obsessed over that for a long while, wishing we could hash it out so I could know what I did wrong and learn never to do it again.  As if the fault was entirely mine, rather than just something I did that took an uncomfortable trip through his personal filters. 

Fortunately this morning all seems to be okay because he’s talking to me again.  Not as much or as freely as usual, which makes me think maybe I have offended him, but if he doesn’t want to bring it up at some point, I’m letting it go.  Unless he thinks there’s a problem, there isn’t one.  Two can play that game too.


Congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies and all us Phillies fans!  Was that an awesome NLCS series or what?  No matter what else happens next–and I won’t make any predictions, because the Sox and the Rays are both worthy adversaries–the Phillies are the National League Champions for 2008, and NOTHING can take that away! 


And thank you to the Los Angeles Dodgers for an exciting NLCS.  They were nothing if not challenging.  Please don’t sign Pat Burrell away from us next year!  🙂

Today’s not going to be a high-functioning day.  The boys’ bathroom toilet sprung a leak in the 4th inning and the plumber got there and fixed it in time for the three of us to stand in the living room watching the bottom of the 9th.  (Also very reasonably priced for a late night call; I can highly recommend Patrick McCloskey Plumbing in Conshohocken.)  Between the game and the toilet, the excitement didn’t wane very quickly, and the alarm clock rang again way too soon.  But I came in to work in my Utley jersey, wearing it with intense pride in knowing the Fightin’s are going to the Series!  Maybe someone will throw it over my shoulders after I doze off at my desk…

Too good not to share…except I can’t (yet)

I wanted to share this just because I’m SO excited for Judi.  My friend and chapter prez, Judi Fennell, just got the cover for her first book, “In Over Her Head”, to be released next June, and I really have to say, while they did a fantastic job on Robin Kaye’s cover for “Romeo, Romeo” (due out November 2009), Sourcebooks outdid themselves with this cover. 

Only problem is, I got a little too excited and posted the cover before Judi and Sourcebooks had a chance to officially release it, so I’m afraid I have to take it down for now.  Believe me, when I can, I’ll post it again because they did a really spectacular job. 

The nice thing is that it got me excited to think about what my first cover will look like.  (Yes, I said “will” not “might”.)  I can already see it in my mind.  Maybe the backdrop is the scoreboard at Citizens Bank Park.  Rich, emerald-green grass to one side.  A broad-shouldered Paul stands with his baseball jersey half unbuttoned, a bat on one shoulder and Grace on the other.  I don’t even see faces, even though I used Josh Holloway and Kelly Clarkson as my character models.  All I know is, it’s perfect as it is.  Right here in my imagination.

But Judi’s cover isn’t in her imagination, and it’s awesome, in my opinion.  Awesome!  They picked a wonderful cover to go with a fantastic book!  Way to go, Judi and Sourcebooks!

Multiple Choice

Where to begin?  There’s so much going on.  I have a head cold, thanks to my brother, who brought a germ with him from New Mexico.  It reminds me of when we first moved to PA from NY and the boys were sick every other week because their immune systems were used to NY germs, not PA germs.  Every little bug that passed through town saw them as a clean slate to take advantage of.  I wasn’t happy because I worked as a temp and every day away from work was a day I didn’t get paid, and yet every day the boys didn’t go to day care was a day I still had to pay for.  Is it any surprise I spent the settlement from the sale of our house in NY on paying off my Visa bill? 

I would’ve been home with the boys today anyway, since school is closed.  For my next trick, I’ll try to keep them from killing each other for 24 hours.  I can’t wait to get into Our House and put them in separate rooms.  Since the Bakugan tournament this past weekend, though, they’ve been “training” each other in “battle”.  I haven’t seen them play together like this since Sesame Street was a staple in our house.

I have to make a phone call at some point this morning.  It’s rather important so I can’t give details, but I’m not sure what to expect at the outcome.  (And no, as far as I know, I didn’t sell yet.  Write that one off the “Is that why…?” list.  For now, anyway.) 

The cable guy is coming to fix the boys’ TV.  If he can plow through the debris. 

I should be packing but I only have 1 box.  On the other hand, I should be packing the boys’ clothes, and I can pack that in trash bags.  They have more t-shirts than Walmart, most of which don’t fit anymore.  Am I enthusiastic about the idea?  Not really.  My head feels like a block of wood.  (see above for why)  If I bend over to pick something up, I may topple over. 

I didn’t sleep much last night.  I kept waking up with my mouth open and my tongue feeling like…we won’t discuss that. 

Sorry for rambling.  Just wait ’til November and NaBloWriMo.  I want to sign up, but we’re going to be moving in November and I can’t guarantee I’ll get to blog every single day.  As it is, I wanted to sign on for NaNoWriMo but again, I can’t promise it’ll happen.  Besides, I have “Worlds Apart” to finish; does it count as having written a novel in a month if I’m really editing to completion one that I’ve already written?  And how crazy would I be if I had 3 completed manuscripts sitting here on my hard drive, all unsold?  I keep thinking of the main character in Stephen King’s “Bag of Bones”.  He was a writer but with other things keeping him busy (like a haunted house and mourning his wife), when his editor asked for something new, the character just reached into the vault (was that literal or figurative?) and sent something he’d written years ago and stocked away for a rainy day.  I wonder if, when I finally sell–notice I said “when”, not “if”–will I be able to do the same thing?

I hope so.  🙂


For those who don’t know the definition of an oxymoron (emphasis on the “oxy”, not the “moron”), think of the terms jumbo shrimp or government intelligence.  It’s two words that don’t really go together because they have opposite meanings.

I’ve had a brush with one.  Yesterday I got a wonderful rejection.  Most of my friends now refer to them as R’s, so as to avoid the pain of admitting we’ve been rejected again.  Come on, ladies, grow up.  Let’s face it.  We’ve been turned down.  We also use the term D instead of deadline.  Personally I’d kill for a deadline.  And maybe a D.  But I digress.

Each of my rejections has gotten progressively better, and last night’s bordered on the “oooh, we’re { } this close to selling!” but didn’t quite close the deal.  I’ve heard some wonderful things about my writing in these rejections, things I dare believe I already knew and a couple things I didn’t, like my characterization is really good.  I thought that was one of my weak points, so I worked on it a lot but I didn’t have confidence to believe I’d succeeded in not writing cardboard characters.  If it weren’t for the “I don’t think this would work for us” part, I’d be tempted to frame this rejection. 

Needless to say, it sent me into an emotional spiral.  I polished off an entire bottle of Catawba by myself and spent 90 minutes IMing a critique buddy, whining and wining.  Halfway through the bottle I started thinking, “Maybe this just isn’t for me.  Maybe I’m always going to be { } this close and yet {    } this far.  Maybe it’s time to hang up the keyboard.”  And really, it would be easy to do.  Just tell the voices in my head to go pester someone else.  Ignore the stories that roll through my subconscious and go back to knitting and watching lousy sitcoms on Monday nights.  I could possibly make myself that brainless that I could exist my entire life like an automaton, not giving deeper consideration to the possibilities of what this song means, how that sunset looks, why just a few misplaced words can make me feel ecstatic or miserable.  Or both. 

I can’t do it.  As much as it feels like continual, interminal self-flagellation, I can’t give up my dream of being published, of being heard.  If I gave up, I wouldn’t have anything left to dream.  I’ve achieved so many of my dreams already; I’ve fallen in love, I’ve gotten married (twice), I’ve been pregnant and given birth, I’ve written a book (three in the last 2 years, more before that but they’re horrible), I’ve created things that will survive me.  It’s all what I wanted in my life, but this, this dream?  This is personal.  This is something that comes from deep inside my soul, screaming to get out.  I can’t quiet that voice, even when I want to. 

I can’t not dream.

UFOs part 2

Believe it or not, I’m actually getting anxious to start packing.  It might have something to do with calling the cable company.  The boys’ cable hasn’t worked in about 3 weeks–they’ve been watching their numerous DVDs to pass the time–and since Alex is home sick today, I figured I had the time to call Comcast and get it fixed so he’d have something to keep him occupied.  They couldn’t fix the problem over the phone so they’re sending a techie out (on Thursday) to look at the wires.  (Which makes no sense to me; our cable works fine, it’s just the one in the boys’ room that’s on the blink.)  When I thought of having a technician in the boys’ room, possibly having a cardiac event at the sight of that mess, I decided I’m ready to start boxing things up. 

Today I want to box up my craft books.  It’s possible I won’t get past that job because a) I need WAY more boxes, and b) I’ll be having too much fun looking at this and that project.  But if I can get past that, I’ll think about boxing up my yarn, cleaning out the corner of the bedroom (to store the boxed up stuff) and maybe stacking up my books.  I don’t know what came over me but at this minute, it almost sounds like…FUN?!