USA Today Best of 2012

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Watcha Readin' Wednesday - Galleys!

Just looked over my very final, very real, very exciting galleys (galleys, to those not in the publishing industry, means something like a last draft, where the file is formatted so all the pages appear exactly like they'll be on genuine PAPER pages!!) of All Fore Revenge.

Oh yes, I am in Pumpedville today, friends and neighbors.

February 2, 2009 is the release date for All Fore Revenge IN PRINT.

Pardon me while I happy-dance away now.

Piper
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

'Tube Tuesday

I stumbled across this girl (Hotforwords.com?) while looking for Tube vids about New Years Resolutions. Poor thing seems to have a somewhat noble idea by teaching people the etymology of words, but I fear the male segment only thinks about one word while she's delivering her lesson: boobs.

Nevertheless, the thinking is sound. Breaking down "resolution" into its precise meaning does make accomplishing your goals more do-able.

Check her out. Her delivery is somewhat silly, but she has a point...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4keG1oT_2g

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Things that Don't Suck - not a lot, not a little, not even at all

When I was small (I mean when I was a kid, not when I was 10 years younger and 40 lbs lighter) I had a cute little board book called Happinesss is a Warm Puppy. It had pictures of all the Peanuts gang and what made them happy. The point of the book was that there are lots of wonderful things, but what makes us happy varies from one person to the next. And that's okay.

I wish I still had that little book. There were some real gems inside. Like the warm puppy, Linus' blanket, Schroder's piano...

Today I'm going to deviate from my normal Monday whine (hey, it's the last Monday of '08, I'm over their awfulness for now) and list some things I think most everyone loves. In no particular order:

  • A warm puppy. Or how about a grown dog, who loves you so much he/she sits on your feet and stares up at you with that adoring look?
  • When your cat snuggles up with you and purrs his little heart out
  • Holding a sleeping baby
  • Hot cocoa
  • Those fuzzy chenille slipper socks (yes, you're seeing a pattern with warmth here. Well, it IS winter, ya know)
  • That very old, slightly outdated, but incredibly comfy sweater you've had for decades.
  • A box of chocolates
  • Indiana Jones (if you disagree, you're wrong. Get over it. )
  • Bacon
  • Gift cards
  • Checking the bank account balance and NOT being alarmed
  • Watching kids sled
  • Looking at sleeping kids
  • Little boys who tell their mommies they are pretty. And not fat.
  • Bubble baths
  • Foot massages
  • The movies 10 Things I Hate About You and The Wedding Singer. Some things, in the words of Young Cornfuscius, "Just never get old."

Those are a few of my "favorite things". Oprah's list might be fancier, but mine is "priceless". LOL Anything you'd like added to the list?

Autumn

Got romance?

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Day After...

Happy Friday to ya! Don't have a real Friday funny, and I'm lucky to get online at all.

There's a blizzard outside (at least I think we could call it that. It's impossible to tell how much snow is coming down and how much is blowing UP) and my net access keeps fizzling when snow coats the satellite dish, which means I have to go tromping outside where I sink to my thighs and get my boots all full of snow (dh tells me there's a miracle known as Gatorz and I'm going to get some...) in order to sweep/scrape/chisel the snow and ice off. And then restart the router so I can do it all over again when Ma Nature gets the best of us.

Neato. Just think, we could be inside some nice toasty mall, elbow to elbow with throngs of cranky returners, providing the roads are plowed and we can even get to a mall...

In any case, Santa bought me a bright shiny new electronic toy with his Christmas bonus! I'm still learning all about it. Will try to get it figured out by Monday and post some info.

Okay, I'll give you a hint: Starts with "S" and ends with "ony Reader".

Stay warm, y'all.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

To everybody out there, have a great holiday.

My your gifts be all you wanted, and your guests be amicable!

And in case anybody's not being nice now that St. Nick's flight is another 364 days away, here's a song you can sing them:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzXKWKaxt3c

Sorry for that, but it is a classic. And nobody did it like Seuss.
Merry Christmas!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Watcha Readin' Wednesday

This week's review selection is Unexpected, by Lori Foster. It was published by Kensington back in 2003. I bought it a Friends of the Library book sale after reading Jude's Law (bought it at B&N) and Jamie (borrowed from library). Since I do love libraries and can't afford to buy everything I read, I like to support my local branch when they have a used book sale.

Unexpected is a fast, fun read. (I finished it in under a week, even with all the extra holiday busy-ness.) Rich-guy-with-an-Average Joe-past Eli hires mercenary tough-chick Ray to help him rescue his younger brother from Central American guerilla kidnappers. The attraction between Eli and Ray is instant, all-consuming, distracting to the point it hampers her performance as a mercenary, and most of all - since she hates rich guys - unexpected. It's one of those attractions the characters deal with on every page, much the way we find ourselves utterly occupied when we're first infatuated.

If you like a kick-ass heroine who isn't afraid to speak her mind (and I do, which is part of why I had a hell of a time selling Lone Star Trouble), then you'll love Ray. If you like a hero who knows what he wants and will stop at nothing to get it - or her - then you'll fall for Eli.

I'd rate Unexpected a Nice Bang for Your Entertainment Buck. Well worth your time and money. When you're done, pass it on to someone who’ll enjoy it and keep the author on your radar.

Autumn
Got romance?

On the nightstand: Good Grief, by Lolly Winston. Loving it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

'Tube Tuesday

Because it's Christmas and I'm feeling sappy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X23MoTtVplE&feature=related

Merry Christmas!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Peekers, Confess!

This is not a sucky Monday because I don't have to work (no Things That Suck today). So I'll turn my attention to holiday matters.

First up: Car commercials, urging people to give the gift of a luxury auto this Christmas, you know, to top those marvelous childhood memories of The Very Best Christmas Ever. yeah right. As if! I'm thinking the people who can afford to give a freaking Lexus this Christmas (especially this year!) probably aren't sitting at home on their LaZboy watching Bones or CSI. I'd think they'd have high-end charity functions to attend or they'd need to comb their toupee and practice saying, "You're fired".

Next up: For the first time ever, I've purchased and wrapped the kids Christmas gifts ahead of time. Which means on Christmas Eve after we return from the MIL's (a bit tipsy from selfmedicating with wine) I won't have to stay up late wrapping presents!!! big yayy! But while wrapping and listening to Jack Johnson yesterday, I got to thinking about kids peeking at their gifts.

Confession time: I'd like to hear some stories about people who've peeked inside the giftwrap, or snooped in the closet (or browsed through the bank account online) to see what they're getting. Or maybe even spied on Santa. Poor Mr. Cornfuscius snuck out and hid behind the couch when he was young, and was absolutely devastated when he caught "Santa". In fact, I think he's still destroyed over it!

So here's your chance to fess up. Don't worry - Mom and Dad don't read this, so they'll never know.

Merry Monday!

Piper
Romance is sexy!

PS.We'll be reviewing Lori Foster's Unexpected this Wednesday - that was a fast read!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Kid Funny

Ahh, the glory of that last-day-before-Christmas-break feeling! The teacher gifts are all prepped and packed (giving the gift of gambling this year - scratch tickets, baby), we've got a pile of snow for sledding, and the kids are stoked.

Me? I'm planning to use those early mornings after Mister heads off to work (while the kidlets are still snoozing) to write. I've got a story to finish, and it better be soon. January's looking like a very busy month for me work-wise. I'm already booked for almost all of it.

And speaking of work, that's where I got this week's funny. Last year I subbed in a first-grade class right before Christmas break. We read some story about Santa (helping the parents with their subterfuge...) and had stopped to discuss something about being good. One little boy raised his hand and said, "Yeah, or you'll get COLESLAW." Took me quite a bit of head-scratching, but I finally made the connection. Coal/coleslaw in the stocking. Heh. Poor lil dude has probably never seen real life coal, and really, for a 6 year old, getting a pile of shredded cabbage is every bit as offensive as a prehistoric rock!

Merry Friday!
May the Christmas spirit guide you to a pausing place beneath the mistletoe with someone hunky.

Autumn
Got romance?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fables, Fiction...Subterfuge?

Who knew a dude in a red fur coat could cause so much extra work?

Yes, I'm talking about Santa. When your kids are toddlers, it's so much fun telling them the fairy tale. And so darn easy to keep up the ruse. They dictate a letter to you and wander off to play, no questions.

When they get a little older, they're still foolable, though you've got to come up with an evidenciery facade, such as footprints, letters of reply, explanations about the mall Santa and why he smelled like beer, special wrapping paper from Santa.

The plot thickens.

Then your kids can spell and you and dh can no longer spell out certain ideas - you've got to make up a secret code language. You now need special gift tags for the gifts with special paper, wrapped away and secretly stowed in the attic, not to be put under the tree until Christmas Eve. Scraps of the special paper must be disposed of discreetly, the remainder of the roll hidden away. Christmas morning, there'd better be reindeer teeth marks on those remaining stubs of carrots you left for Santa and Rudolph. And the handwriting on Santa's gift tags had better not be the same as Mom's or Dad's. Oh, and those letters to Santa? Signed and sealed in secret - and they watch you slide them into the mailbox at the post office.

Oh, the trickery, the spy games (ever try to steam open an envelope that has that sticky type seal instead of the old glue kind, huh?), the bald-faced lies. And bringing in the older kids to help? It certainly smacks of conspiracy.

Well, no matter. I'm 99% sure my youngest knows what's going on. She's masterminded a plan to sneak out to the couch and sleep - wait for Santa. Daddy did the same when he was a bit younger than her, and reports it broke his heart. I imagine she'll feel the same way.

Now I wonder - will next Christmas be easier without all this sneaking around, or will it just seem empty?

Autumn
Got romance?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Watcha Readin' Wednesday

This week I'm reading....

...A contract! For my contemporary romance, Lone Star Trouble (formerly known as Blame It On Texans).

I'm very excited. Naturally the contract is confidential so I can't actually review it here, but Lyrical Press seems to really be professional and ambitious. I'm confident and pleased to be along for the ride on this rising star in the publishing industry.

On Cloud Nine,

Autumn
Got romance?

On the nightstand: Unexpected, by Lori Foster

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

'Tube Tuesday

A must-see for anybody who's ever read or written a romance novel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vD0z1hSXTJM

Love it.

Autumn
Got romance?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Things that suck more than Mondays

A few more...(you don't seriously think I'll ever run out of stuff to whine about, do ya?)
  • Oversleeping
  • Sleeping later than you intended on the weekend and waking up with that damn-I-just-wasted-a-bunch-of-my-day-off feeling
  • Self-editing
  • Not knowing what to buy that "special someone" for Christmas
  • Knowing precisely what you want to buy that "special someone" but not finding it
  • Knowing precisely what you'd like to buy that "special someone" but being too poor
  • Getting a gift from someone on your not-sure-if-we'll-exchange-gifts-this-year-list. When you didn't get them anything!
  • People who whine too much about Christmas angst...

Merry Monday!

Piper Denna

Romance is sexy!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Merry Friday!

Today I'm spotlighting Stephen King - yet again. Stumbled across this video on youtube, where he appears to be guest speaker, possibly at a university somewhere.

As usual, his advice is spot-on when he tells aspiring writers they should write a lot, but also read a lot. I knew this teacher in California who kept telling me she wanted to write, but she hadn't read a book in years. (The fact that that this person is a strong influence on 20+ kids every school year - who we're supposed to encourage to read - is another issue entirely.) It seems she didn't have time! Uh, what? You think if you don't have time to read, you're going to somehow make time to write? Here's the link (just a one-minute clip)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqp7A0B7abc

I love what he says there at the end about reading something and thinking you can do better. Too funny, as usual.

TGIF!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

p.m. post

My sincere apologies for today's tardy post.

I was only supposed to work in the afternoon today - had planned on a quiet morning blogging and editing one of my manuscripts which is heading off for copy edits soon.

Instead, I was on the way to school with my kids and got a call asking me if I could cover the entire day for this teacher instead. So I delivered the kidlets and rushed home lickety-split, fixed hair and makeup, dressed, scarfed Instant Grits, packed a lunch, and cruised again.

And let me tell ya, the rest of the day has been every bit as hectic, from overlyenergetic 5th graders to waiting thru the line at Walmart pharmacy not just once but three times! while they got dh's prescription charges in the system. Did I mention we returned items, too? Oh yeah, it was THAT kind of day - the one-person-at-service-desk-with-10-people-in-line kind of day.

Good news is, tomorrow we have no school. Which means the kidlets and I are going nowhere.

yayyy!

All I want for Christmas is time to write.

Autumn
Got romance?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Watcha Readin' Wednesday

This week's review selection: Seduce Me At Sunrise, by Lisa Kleypas, 2008 St. Martin's Press.



FYI - any fellow authors out there, I bought this book the same day I watched the trailer on youtube:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDHsMMd-nS8



In case you're wondering, YES, trailers do sell books.

I'm notorious for starting book series in the middle and this is no exception; it's the second book about this particular family. I will find Mine Till Midnight soon, so I'll be prepared when #3 comes out early next year. But I digress. About this book:

It's 1848. Win is one of four daughters of a wealthy family. A bout of scarlet fever a couple years previous has left her with a weak heart and lungs - generally frail. However, she goes to France for an extended stay with a doctor who nurses her strength back with a healthy diet and exercise. Now she wants nothing more than to return home to Kev, who she's loved since the first time she saw him.

Kev is the orphaned gypsy boy a wealthy family took in and raised as one of their own. He's uncertain of his place in the world and determined to earn his keep with Win's family, though they'd never require him to. He's bitter most of the time, forever an outsider. Only one peson warms his heart, and she has since the first day he met her.

This book was virtually unputdownable for me. Even in my hectic world. I loved Kleypas' contemporary work, and her historicals haven't let me down. She gives us conflicted characters we can relate to. Their problems become our problems. The sexual tension is hot. Fantastic. Her descriptions are just enough to set the mood, without all the tedious details about what each layer of clothing consisted of and how long it took to don. I realize many historical readers love all the description, but I'm just not that reader. I loved reading this book because the story keeps moving.

I rate this book a Nice Bang for Your Entertainment Buck. I'll happily share it with a pal and certainly watch for Kleypas' next debut. I found just one flaw: a particular line of dialogue where the characters are discussing London society. "Gossip travels at full throttle." Unfortunately, it really stopped me. I even did searches on the net, hoping I was mistaken, but alas, the term "full throttle" is used only in regards to liquid fuel engines - none of which were available in 1851, at the time of this conversation. It was the equivalent of a wall-banger for me, but really, why the heck would I bother to throw the book across the room if I'd rather keep reading toward the fabulous happily ever after?

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!



Get Your Own Copy! A book you love so much, no way are you loaning it out. Worthy of high praise and frequent recommendations – but trust us, if you let someone borrow this one, they’ll “forget” to return it. Don’t miss the next title by this author.

Keeper. You won’t regret either time or money spent with this book. It has a permanent spot on your shelf. Recommend it freely and lend it carefully to that trustworthy “inner circle” of reader friends. Put the author on your To Be Read list.

Nice Bang for Your Entertainment Buck. Well worth your time and money, but not necessarily worth a re-read. Pass it on to someone who’ll enjoy it and keep the author on your radar.

Borrow It. An okay read, but try to borrow it from a friend or library. This author will likely improve with experience, so remember him/her.

Don’t Bother. We won’t sink into varying degrees of badness – one size fits all in our “not worthy” category. Do remember, this is just one opinion, so take us with a grain of salt.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tube Tuesday

Why remain snowbound in some remote cabin, when you can build your own snowshoes and walk out?

From BBC to Youtube to you... so long as you've got nylon twine, binding material, and ulimited access to small flexible sticks, you're set!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ROh_mAaPt8

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Special report

We interrupt today's regularly scheduled "Things That Suck" for an especially sucky math lesson by Mrs. Cornfuscius.

(3 little girls) + (1 slumber party) + (exhaustion after big night-swimming trip to the hot springs) = spats + (hurt feelings X tears) + (1 little girl going home at 1 a.m.)

I think moms should get overtime pay for days like these!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday 'Fuscius

With sick kids, two days spent subbing in 2nd grade, and now dear daughter's 11th birthday, it's been something of a wild week. Please excuse the uber-short blog for today.

Mrs. Cornfuscius says: You know life is too hectic when you put on your makeup and rush off to work, only to discover halfway through the day that you forgot one key element: mascara! (in case you're wondering, Mrs. 'Fuscius' eyelashes are about the length of microsuede fibers, so yes, it IS a big deal to be without mascara.)

Autumn
Got romance?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Do we still believe in fairy tales?

In case you missed this month's issue of The Lyriodical, John B. Rosenman wrote a thought-provoking article (from a man's point of view) on why women's fiction (and especially romance) always must end happily.



He and I had a fun discussion about the subject, but what it boiled down to is: Because it's women's fiction. Naturally we want a happy ending. Men like to finish a book or movie on high alert, forecasting evil on the horizon a la every episode of Batman, Spiderman, Hulk... yuck. Need I go on? Whereas we chicks have an innate desire to believe happily ever after is attainable. We're in a romance for the warm, fuzzy, awwwwsome ending! Clearly we do not read a contemporary romance for reality's sake. If we did, there'd be epilogues like this:



TWO YEARS LATER


At eighteen months old, Romeo Junior is the apple of mommy and daddy's eyes. Too bad daddy doesn't get to see him much - he's working extra hours, as mommy is expecting Baby #2 soon. She got demoted from her demanding fashion job for missing so much work when Junior had all those ear infections. Then her cute classic car broke down for good and it made more financial sense for her to stay home in the suburbs and babysit full-time for the family next door, than to assume the burden of a payment for a new car. Juliette's got a closet full of cute outfits from the old days, but none of them fit, even before the second pregnancy. Now she spends her days in stretch denim and hoodies, some without stains. Lunch means Kraft Mac-n-Cheese with preschoolers instead of Chili's with her pals from work. The hot body Romeo worshipped isn't likely to make an encore, but he swears he doesn't mind. Well, he has to work out extra hard these days to fight the beer belly, too. And those buff, buff shoulders and pecs have gone the way of Juliette's perky bosom, since they left the city and their gym membership. It's all good, though. He's up for a promotion. If things go well and he gets a good enough raise, they'll be able to afford their dream car - a new Honda minivan! Let their old single friends laugh at them through MySpace. They've got their parenting group pals and neighbors. And each other. Which was all they really needed, right?

Reality in novels? No, thanks.

Happy Thursday!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Watcha Readin' Wednesday

At long last, I've finished Duma Key, by Stephen King. And yes, I did finally have to "get my own copy".



After middle-aged construction baron/millionaire Edgar Freemantle is struck by a construction crane, he loses an arm, much of his vocabulary, his wife, and frequently, his temper. But what he gains from the accident - a connection to something, dark, evil, and ancient - is the focus of his story.



Edgar's voice is authentic, your average midwestern guy. (I imagined Jack Nicholson.) The other characters are vivid, the story - at least to me - realistic. For the most part, I didn't find this novel quite as creepy as most of King's work, but that's okay. Edgar's not alone in his fight against evil. He gets help from his friends Wireman and Jack, and also from a little old lady who well knows the power he's up against.

I'd rate this book a

Keeper. See ratings system below.

Autumn
Got romance?

Get Your Own Copy! A book you love so much, no way are you loaning it out. Worthy of high praise and frequent recommendations – but trust us, if you let someone borrow this one, they’ll “forget” to return it. Don’t miss the next title by this author.

Keeper. You won’t regret either time or money spent with this book. It has a permanent spot on your shelf. Recommend it freely and lend it carefully to that trustworthy “inner circle” of reader friends. Put the author on your To Be Read list.

Nice Bang for Your Entertainment Buck. Well worth your time and money, but not necessarily worth a re-read. Pass it on to someone who’ll enjoy it and keep the author on your radar.

Borrow It. An okay read, but try to borrow it from a friend or library. This author will likely improve with experience, so remember him/her.

Don’t Bother. We won’t sink into varying degrees of badness – one size fits all in our “not worthy” category. Do remember, this is just one opinion, so take us with a grain of salt.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Guest blogging

Today I'm the guest blogger on the Lyrical Press blog.

Bounce on over there and take a gander, will ya?

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Things that suck more than Mondays

And still more...

  • Foundation smeared on the white sweater you want to wear today.
  • Scraping ice from car windows
  • Losing your purse pen
  • ALL the night time talk shows, except for Leno and Letterman
  • When your bookmark falls out of your book
  • Growing out of your shoes during pregnancy and never fitting back into them

Happy first-o'-the-holiday-season Monday to all!

Autumn

Got romance?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday 'Fuscius

Mr. Cornfuscius Himself had this freshwater pearl to share. It's a deep philosophical question:

If tomatoes are a fruit, why aren't they ever served with ice cream?

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. May your leftovers dissappear unusually fast this year!

Autumn
Got romance?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Special thanks

Probably not exactly an "original" notion, but time out today to be thankful...

  • For preteens with a sense of humor, bosses with a sense of justice, and husbands with a sense of direction
  • To Lyrical Press, who provides awesome opportunities for writers and editors
  • For job security in times of uncertainty
  • For a cozy fire on cold winter nights
  • For internet access
  • For lower gas prices
  • For Jack Johnson's music
  • For a paid-off truck that actually still runs
  • For iPods, laptops, and ebooks
  • For daughters who think Mom can "unstain" any garment, and sons who think Mom is pretty and NOT fat
  • For contact lenses, alpha-hydroxy, and Miracle Bras
  • For microsuede, fleece, and stretchy denim
  • For Enrique Iglesias, Orlando Bloom, and Hugh Laurie
  • To wonderful critique pals: Maya, you always make time to help out whenever asked. Jasmine, you have a knack for seeing what the rest of us miss. Sutton, so happy to have you as a "star" partner in crime - thanks for always being there! Kim, all bow to you as Trivia Queen Extraordinaire. Mary, when it comes to deep critiques, nobody does it better. And dear Felicity, kind friend, understanding and able to see the big picture. You certainly aren't afraid to roll up your sleeves and work hard on your writing, or anybody else's. We all appreciate you, very much.
  • To feline friends, who give us a reality check whenever we start thinking humans are the top of the food chain.
  • For girlfriends - in no particular order and by no means a complete list: Amanda, Doreen, Vanessa, and Lisa brighten the "real" world. Daily doses of Kate, Mary, and Twyla via the net make life livable.

Now, a quick laugh, courtesy of MadTV:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80bcDhLfh50

Happy Turkey day to all in the U.S.

Kate and Rose - have a magnificent Thursday!

Autumn and Piper

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Copy editing for frauds?

Okay, I'll confess: Even with the paperback version in my hot little hands, I'm STILL not finished with Duma Key, but I'm getting darn close.

So instead of a book review today - a funny instead.

I got this email - Abu from Dubai, who has more money than God, and wants to share it with me now because he's got cancer. Cancer that, in his own words, "has defiled every type of medicine".


Kinda reminds me of a keychain I saw today. It said, "Everybody's entitled to be stupid, but you're abusing the privilege."

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Weird But True 'tube Tuesday

I'd like to know who in the heck decided toilet cleaner should smell like wintergreen? Is it truly necessary to make me think of Certs while scrubbing the bowl?

Which made me wonder...

Yep. Youtube has a plethora of videos about toilet cleaning. 2270, to be exact.

Here's one I can say I've never tried, not even at my cleanest:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96UlWKADpe4

Nope. I am NOT freaking kidding you.

Autumn
Got romance?

Monday, November 24, 2008

These all suck more than Mondays

  • Pulling a loose thread, only to create a gaping hole in the armpit of your shirt
  • Toothaches
  • Wisdom teeth
  • Dentist fees (seeing a pattern?)
  • A burned out lightbulb wayyyy up high
  • Oversensitive smoke detectors
  • Last, but not least: Losing touch with old friends

Have a suck-free Monday!

Piper Denna

Romance is sexy!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday 'Fuscius

Another freshwater pearl of wisdom from our resident wiseacre farmer, Cornfuscius.

This from young Cornfuscius, wise old farmer in the making:

Karma is like a tetherball - it comes back to you, and if you don't watch out, it might even hit you in the face.

Eyup. He nailed that one.

Autumn
Got romance?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Scary Hair

A few deep thoughts on aging:

Whiskers and unibrows and belly hair, oh my! And for what reason?

Autumn Piper aka The Happy Tweezer
Got romance?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Watcha Readin' Wednesday

Still working on Stephen King's Duma Key.

It's awesome; life just keeps taking away my reading time.

Here's the trailer that inspired me to read it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JC7WGD8PaP4

Sufficiently creepy unto itself.

Autumn
Got romance?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tube Tuesday

I've got a new way to bait my muse:

Play her some Bonnie Tyler. Especially Total Eclipse of the Heart

I'm not talking about soft music in the background. I go all out - headphones, volume jacked up, repeating, until I'm virtually drowning in all that heavy duty emotion, singing at the top of my lungs (sometimes the back-up parts "Turn around...turn around..." and other times doing Bonnie herself, parading round the living room with my arms out like I'm ready to swan dive from the top of a steeple somewhere) and totally feeling the angst, baby!

Did I mention it's best to do this when the two pre-teens are not present?

Going back to my iPod now.

Autumn
Got romance?

Monday, November 17, 2008

More Things That Suck More Than Mondays

And here we are again...
  • When the new toilet paper roll is all screwed up and won't tear off right
  • A cracked Billy Idol CD (and no, I'm not over it yet!)
  • When you simply cannot find that old photo you're looking for
  • Bad breath
  • Growing out of jeans
  • Stretch marks

See? Mondays are totally doable.

Autumn Piper

Got Romance?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Freakout Friday

So my mom and I were talking about the "old days" when I was a kid - my brother and I used to sled with our older cousins down this big hill by our house. And by "sled" I mean, try out any conceivable object or material, large or small, to see if it would slide on snow.

We had this homemade trailer on skis made to pull behind a snowmobile - the thing probably weighed 200 lbs - we'd all climb in and fly down the hill in. Was it ever a bitch to pull back up the hill! Not all that safe either, I might add. We tried out black garbage bags, inner tubes, pieces of plastic cut from a big roll, of course the store-bought discs, an old Radio Flyer toboggan my dad refurbished for us one year - did I mention the old car hood? Oh yes, it's true. They slide like mad. But like the snowmobile sled, they're quite heavy.

So eventually we got to the part of the conversation where I, as the make-my-kids-wear-a-helmet-or-life-vest mom, realized how scary and dangerous some of those things were! I mean, how hard would it be for the corner of an old car hood to slash open a squishy little kiddie? Or that other welded-up death trap? What if had overturned on us? Oh my God.

Winter is well on its way here and we now live in the hills where we've got potential for a lot of snowfall. My kids will be sledding...

Maybe I should go out and clear a safe path for them. Maybe we'll skip the old fashioned wood-n-metal sleds. And what about those brittle plastic discs - suppose one of those snapped in half and became little more than a slippery stabbing waiting to happen? I like my kids' faces the way they are!

I don't want to ruin all their fun by being overprotective, though. I wonder if they'd settle for riding down the hill on a pool noodle? My mom (who perhaps was poking a small amount of fun at my expense) suggested I provide them with bubble wrap... do you think she meant for them to sit on it or for me to wrap them in it?

Overprotective and proud of it,

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Zone

There's nothing quite like that state of mind known as "the zone". It's where creative types lose themselves in their work, possessed by the Muse and generally oblivious to the world. Slipping into the zone is just as great a getaway as any substance-induced high. Kinda makes me wonder whether anybody has done brain studies on artsy types to see if our brains' pleasure zones are activated during frenzied creativity.

And is there a relationship between these inspired highs and the high number of depressed writers?

Food for thought.
(is that a brain snack?)

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Watcha Readin Wednesday

This week I'm thrilled to spotlight Sutton Fox's newest release, Book 2 of the Traveling Circus series: Center Ring.

The teaser:

Can missing family ties replace murder as a common bond?
Bereft of family as a child, Julia Cameron finally has everything she's ever wanted. Her billion dollar racing empire and FASPRO team in line for their first championship seems the trophy in the center ring. But, her enviable life came at the price of her adopted parent's lives, and now Julia has also inherited the responsibility of her teenage twin brothers.
Roane Jameson, the new head of FASPRO security, is determined to solve the Cameron case, and fast. Desperate to keep this job to pay his child support, he needs to create a glowing reputation to conceal his shadowy past. He's willing to do whatever it takes. How hard can it be when he's only got one suspect?

Center Ring is a fast-paced, suspenseful, steamy read. Julia and Roane are totally at odds; she's peeved to have him around as her "security" and he's out to prove she had her parents killed in order to inherit their empire. As her predicament gets deeper and he becomes more conflicted over his job, their inconvenient attraction will make you root for their happily ever after.

Thank goodness this book is part of a series - can't wait to see more of Julia and Roane.
My rating?

Get your own copy! A book you love so much, no way are you loaning it out. Worthy of high praise and frequent recommendations – but trust us, if you let someone borrow this one, they’ll “forget” to return it. Don’t miss the next title by this author.

Buy it here.



Autumn Piper
Got romance?

On the nightstand: Duma Key by Stephen King. Yes, I'm still reading it and yes I'm loving it. Found the paperback edition in Wal-mart today so now I can tote it around with me!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

'Tube n Trailers Tuesday - Jasmine Black

Check out this trailer for my pal Jasmine Black's upcoming new release, All For An Angel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjLg5m-DqZY

Happy tubing!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Things That Suck More Than Mondays

By no means a complete list - we'll be adding to this weekly

  • Pantyhose
  • When your favorite show gets cancelled
  • Dialing the wrong number
  • Computer trouble
  • Water splashed on your freshly-cleaned mirror
  • Receiving mail marked RETURN TO SENDER
  • Pelvic exams

If you've got none of these going on today, then happy Monday to ya!

Autumn

Got romance?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday Funny

Time for a bit of friendly advice from our resident wiseacre farmer, Cornfuscius. From time to time, he shares freshwater pearls (not to be cornfused with gems) of wisdom.

Today's tidbit:

Cornfuscius says, "If you're going to step over an electric fence, you should make sure it's unplugged from power."
(This public service announcement brought to you by Experience.)

Autumn
Got romance?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

You Know Your Kids Are Getting Big When

You know they're growing up on you when they can rearrange their rooms all by themselves.

Growing pains are for moms.

Autumn
Got romance?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Time out for life

Big apology to my faithful followers. Due to life having me by the, er, vital parts, Watcha readin' Wednesday will recommence next week with a review of Sutton Fox's Center Ring.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Awwwwsome Heath flick for Tubesday

My daughter and I just spent our “morning off” re-watching 10 Things I Hate About You, with Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles.

It’s one we own, and well worth the investment. Many laugh-out-loud moments, fab music (I’m looking to buy the soundtrack) and a wonderful story. As long as I live, my heart will race and swell with romance every time I watch Patrick dancing and serenading Kat through the school PA system. Be still my throbbing heart.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6XGUhzfutc

Yum.
We miss ya, Heath. We really do.

Second-favorite scene? Kat purposely bashing her vintage Mustang into the side of Popular Jerk’s shiny new muscle car because he’d double-parked her in. I positively adore a kick-ass heroine. Add an erotica-writing principal, pot-and-Cheetos “confiscating” detention teacher, and an overprotective obstetrician dad, for chuckles all around. If you haven’t seen it, you should. Don’t we all enjoy a great high-school romance movie?


Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's official - I'm chopped liver.

My fifth grade daughter, who only 2 weeks ago would beg to join me for lunch when I subbed at her school, has taken to shooing me away when I approach. Good lord. In only a fortnight, I’ve gone from Sought-after Company to The Uncool Plague.

No wonder moms need romances to keep believing in everlasting love!

The Uncool Plague
Got romance?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Funny

This from one of those real-life cop footage shows:

Cop to possible DUI offender roadside: Sir, without moving your head, please follow the path of my flashlight with your eyes.

DUI dude: Well, I’ll try.

Cop: Whaddaya mean you’ll try? You got two good eyes, right?

Dude: No.

Cop: You got a glass eye or something?

Dude: No. I’ve got two glass eyes.


Happy Halloween, everybody!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Book renewal - Failure or resolve?

My copy of Duma Key is due back at the library tomorrow and I’m not yet halfway through it! What is it about renewing a book that makes me feel like I’ve failed? I’m certainly enjoying the book, reading every chance I get. And of course there wouldn’t even BE the option to renew, if others didn’t need it. I could list my excuses, such as the book is so big and heavy, I don’t tote it around with me like I would something smaller, plus I’m writing again (at long last!) in my free time. Still, I can’t help feeling I haven’t quite done what I set out to do, the last three weeks…

Does anybody else feel guilty, inadequate, or otherwise less-than-literate if you don’t finish a book during the original loan time, or am I just nuts?

Autumn
Got romance?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Watcha Readin' Wednesday

This week's review selection: Fearless by Diana Palmer. Harlequin, 2008

This hard back book was on the New Selections shelf of my library. I liked the title and the blurb sounded interesting, so I took a chance. Even though I’ve never read anything by this author who has apparently published around 100 titles.

On the positive side, Fearless was a fast read. No mechanical issues or misspellings to interrupt. And kudos to Palmer for giving us a less than perfect physically heroine who uses a cane.

As someone who writes and edits others’ work, however, I had a hard time staying involved with the story. Point of view shifted constantly, often mid-paragraph. The hero, Rodrigo — rich-boy-gone-DEA special operative undercover as a farm manager — believes he’s far better than the heroine, Gloryanne, who is an Assistant DA undercover as his farm cook. Neither knows the other’s true profession – a nice premise. Even though Rodrigo finds himself falling for Gloryanne, he repeatedly tells those around him what a lowlife she is. Unlike the tried and true romance plot where a heroine overhears a hero and misconstrues what he’s said, in this case Rodrigo really does think Gloryanne is unworthy of being his wife. Only after he learns she’s successful and connected to one of Texas’ wealthiest families does he have an about-face and suddenly love her. In today’s politically correct climate, Rodrigo’s attitude is backward, perhaps even reprehensible, and definitely uncool. I’m not sure most readers will forgive him, and really, how could Gloryanne?

Sadly, I’d give this read a Don’t Bother.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!


Our rating system:

Get Your Own Copy! A book you love so much, no way are you loaning it out. Worthy of high praise and frequent recommendations – but trust us, if you let someone borrow this one, they’ll “forget” to return it. Don’t miss the next title by this author.

Keeper. You won’t regret either time or money spent with this book. It has a permanent spot on your shelf. Recommend it freely and lend it carefully to that trustworthy “inner circle” of reader friends. Put the author on your To Be Read list.

Nice Bang for Your Entertainment Buck. Well worth your time and money, but not necessarily worth a re-read. Pass it on to someone who’ll enjoy it and keep the author on your radar.

Borrow It. An okay read, but try to borrow it from a friend or library. This author will likely improve with experience, so remember him/her.

Don’t Bother. We won’t sink into varying degrees of badness – one size fits all in our “not worthy” category. Do remember, this is just one opinion, so take us with a grain of salt.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Time out for Tubesday

I just love this guy, Dylan Moran.

This little clip is on his thoughts about Americans in general, and Ahnold as governor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlLpCh-lE54&feature=related

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Love Marilyn

And no, I don’t mean “Norma Jean.” I mean Marilyn vos Savant, the genius (I am NOT being facetious) who writes a weekly column for Parade Magazine. People write in with their toughest questions or puzzles and she answers them. Sometimes she has word games or trivia questions. I subscribe to the paper just for Parade, and she’s my favorite part. (Second place goes to all the snippets about celebs in the “PersonalityParade” section, but only because they often feature Hugh Laurie…)

Marilyn featured this word a couple of weeks ago. I just love it. It’s schemozzle, which means “a totally confused state of affairs”. Now that’s a fun word.
www.parade.com/marilyn

Whose household hasn’t been in a schemozzle the first day of school, or on Christmas Eve? How about the last hour of loading up for a road trip or the first week after a move? Or hey, maybe about half hour before dark on Halloween, when your kids are trying to costume up and those early bird trick-or-treaters keep showing up at the door, even though you’ve got the lights out (do you know how hard it is to paint “lips like wine” on Snow White in the dark?) because you forgot to buy candy, have handed out all the loot your kids scored at their school parties that day, plus the Easter bunny’s leftover stash from atop the fridge, and your hubby (who absolutely refuses to ignore the doorbell and play not-at-home) is now handing out cans of soda, VHS tapes, and packs of AA batteries. Yeah, that’s a schemozzle, all right. Good times, though. And it only happens once. After that, you learn to be one of those early bird families.


Autumn
Got romance?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mommy out of the loop

Sad news yesterday. I was substituting at my son’s school and a girl from his class told me he and his girlfriend (his first one!) had broken up. “Like a month ago.” Well, my first reaction was to try and remember if he’d had a particularly blue or moody day recently. My poor little boy and his first love – over. And then I couldn’t believe he hadn’t told me. Mind you, I’m not deluded enough to believe he tells me everything. But… this is a biggie!

It’s not like I expected – or even wanted – them to be a forever item. But she was a really sweet, quiet kid. Friendly and respectful, you know? No hoochie vibes whatsoever. And how could I not know this vital thing? I used to know everything that happened to him all day long!

The newsbearer seemed rather pleased about the breakup. Rather like she’s interested, herself. And I’m not sure how I feel about that. Maybe I need some time to heal, first. Maybe I’d rather have him just be my boy again for a couple years.


Autumn
Got romance?





Thursday, October 23, 2008

Funny for ya!

Found this one in Parade Magazine.
http://cartoons.parade.com/main.php?g2_itemId=257

Autumn
Got romance?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Watcha Readin' Wednesday

Our version of a book review. Ratings are as follows:

Get Your Own Copy! A book you love so much, no way are you loaning it out. Worthy of high praise and frequent recommendations – but trust us, if you let someone borrow this one, they’ll “forget” to return it. Don’t miss the next title by this author.

Keeper. You won’t regret either time or money spent with this book. It has a permanent spot on your shelf. Recommend it freely and lend it carefully to that trustworthy “inner circle” of reader friends. Put the author on your To Be Read list.

Nice Bang for Your Entertainment Buck. Well worth your time and money, but not necessarily worth a re-read. Pass it on to someone who’ll enjoy it and keep the author on your radar.

Borrow It. An okay read, but try to borrow it from a friend or library. This author will likely improve with experience, so remember him/her.

Don’t Bother. We won’t sink into varying degrees of badness – one size fits all in our “not worthy” category. Do remember, this is just one opinion, so take us with a grain of salt.

First selection for review: This Charming Man, by Marian Keyes, Harper Collins 2008.

A main theme of this book – revenge – is one of our favorites.

Four very different women. One very debonair politician who changes each of their lives. Humor, mystery, romance, alcoholism, second chances, violence…this book truly has it all. Women’s fiction from Ireland just seems to be the bomb.

Keyes sheds new light on alcoholism and the tumbled thought processes of victims on both sides of the bottle. Likewise domestic violence. It’s so easy to be the outsider condemning “those stupid women” who put up with it. An inside look is both enlightening and terrifying.

The women are so real, I found myself relating to all of them, pulling my hair at their demise, and rooting for one incredibly "heroic" heroine, who has the most to lose and risks it all to help the others.

The dry wit made me laugh out loud, often. I was shocked to the point of exclaiming out loud (EOL?) and cheered like crazy at the climactic revenge. And yes, thanks to both a new romance and one meant-to-be relationship repair, I got my awwwwwsome ending.

Rating? Absolutely, positively, without a doubt Get your own copy!
I’ve now got a request at the library for Keyes’ backlist.

On the nightstand: Stephen King’s Duma Key. It’s no disappointment so far, I tell you. King sinks us right into the hero’s poor, addled brain.

Autumn
Got romance?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Time out for Tubesday

Hereafter, we are dubbing this second day of the dreaded workweek as "Tubesday" - a day to click a link, sit back, and savor a trailer or silly video from YouTube.

Today's selection?

The trailer for Sutton Fox's Lion Tamers.

Enjoy!

Autumn
Got romance?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Accent on sexy

Since it's Monday and it hurts to think about serious stuff...

We're looking for input on what accent is sexiest?

Irish?
English?
Finnish? (heh)
Or perhaps, Jamaican, man?

Leave us a comment!

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Music and Lyrics

Fabulous Friday and I just had to share – my pal Felicity Kates recommended this movie, and it’s great.

Here's the Amazon link for it if you'd like to read the blurb...

Of course, I’m a big Hugh Grant fan, but back to the movie.

Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. Hugh plays the perfect 80’s has been pop star (his butt shaking reminded me of dear George Michaels every time) and Drew plays a wonderful, average, insecure wannabe writer. They are hilarious together. A laugh a minute, and a very “ohmantic” ending. (couple of cute songs, too)

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pardon me during a brief rant

Sometimes when people get busy, they forget common etiquette (i.e. professional behavior). To wit:
In May, I queried An Agent Who Will Remain Unnamed. By email. Just a letter, mind you, but every well-aimed query is built on plenty of research (what the agent is looking for, who she has sold in the past, how to reach her, what she wants to see included in a submission).
It’s now October, and frankly after five months I’d figured this would be one of those unreplied-to queries. But, no. Yesterday I got a reply! (Fantastic; now I can put a definitive answer in the Reply column of the Big Ass Spreadsheet.)

The reply said – and I quote – “Sorry, not for me.” Followed by a clever contraction of her first and last name. No introduction, greeting, nothing.

Really?

We’ve all heard other writers complain about getting the “form” rejection letter, but hey, at least a form letter is courteous! I’m not asking for a full critique or even a reason for the rejection. Seriously though, would it kill this person to set up a signature in her email program, name it Kiss Off, Fledgling Writer! or Too Damn Busy to Do More, and type in a professional sentence or two? Then all she’d have to do is copy the author’s name from the email below, paste it, and then insert the signature. What would that take, ten minutes, tops?

I realize signing a new author is a risk for an agent. Unless he sells this writer’s work to a very BIG publisher, he’s looking at earning 15% of a pittance, until the author grows a readership. Lots of work for little return. And of course, he has nothing at all to gain from a writer he rejects.

Except maybe down the road, that writer nourishes her fan base, improves her craft, promos her butt off, and starts to really move books. She’ll probably stop to think, “Hey. If Agent Unnamed wasn’t Miss Manners with me, perhaps she’s not a friendly pro with editors, either. Do I want her representing me with potential publishers?” Er, no.

Autumn

Got romance?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happiness is a good book.

After many failed attempts, I scored this weekend at the library. Their copy of Stephen King's Duma Key was in. woohooo! Needless to say, it is now checked out....

Ever since I saw the trailer for that book, I've wanted to read it. And have really just been too darn poor to afford a hard cover copy of my own.

Still finishing up This Charming Man by Marian Keyes, which I found on the New Rack at our library. I'm totally loving it and wishing could spend the day curled up reading the end.

Next to public schools, libraries may be the best public instution in America.


Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Keep warm this fall

Check out this hot short story by my friend Jasmine Black, Marital Affair.

It's available now from Mystic Moon Press.

Autumn

Got romance?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Chance for free money

Who couldn't use a little extra money and some free entertainment these days?

My pal, Author Sutton Fox, is hosting a contest on her web site where you can win lots of great prizes.

Check it out!

SuttonFox.com

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happiness

It's a good day when you find a box of clothes you forgot you had. And inside are one of your favorite winter things EVER - sheepskin slippers!

Very happy today.

Autumn
Got romance?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

"True" Love

Today I’m thinking about baby love. Not a childhood crush, and not that sudden urge many of us feel to have a baby. This is the deep, binding, instant love between a new parent and infant. The kind of love that feels about 10,000 times stronger than any romantic love.

My friend Amanda just became a new mommy (and I’d like to add, she’ll probably be the world’s best at it!). When I saw the first photos of her and her beautiful little girl, I recognized that true love. There’s nothing in the world to send your heart soaring like having a new baby. This isn’t “thank God above I lived through labor” happy, or “I can probably fit my feet into my shoes again” happy. It’s “Oh my God. I am in love like I’ve never been before” happy. The very best part? When your baby looks at you, you can see that she loves you right back. And she’ll keep on loving you, no matter what.

What an awesome feeling. I remember days when my son was tiny, some days all I did was feed him, change him, and snuggle. While he was awake, we’d stare into one another’s eyes. While he slept, I’d stare at him until I fell asleep, too. Just couldn’t get enough of his amazingness.

Seeing that look on my friend’s face, along with her words yesterday, “I’m so glad she’s mine”, gives me warm goosebumps. And a few happy tears.

The new daddy looks like he’s in love, too. Just like he should be.

Autumn
Got romance?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Paper or cloth?

What’s your preferred type of book?

Are you a paperback person, loving the compact, lightweight, cheap version of the printed word?

Or do you prefer a good, solid hard cover edition for its feeling of permanence and general worthiness?

I’m a paperbacker. I love the way a well-loved paperback wears, love feeling free to dog-ear pages as I like (I’d never, ever, dog-ear in a hard cover), love shoving one in my purse for reading in a waiting room or a long line.

Not that I won’t snap up hard cover editions of my friend’s books when they come out, then happily pay for their heft when I mail them off for autographs! And those spines will probably stay forever in tact. Can’t wait.



Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

On Napping

Watching the “submarine races” is for teenagers. “Listening to the pillows” is for Moms.

Confuscius say: He who try to nap during neighbor’s target practice not get much rest.

Note to self: Gun control might be a cause complementary to The Nationwide Siesta Measure.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Read more on Piper's Siesta Measure, see Decisive Issues

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tiny Retraction

On reading my remaining RWRs, I did find a really fabulous reason for being an RWA member: Reading the Contest Winners segment and seeing a friend’s names up in lights. (see former blog post )

Congratulations, Mary Murray for taking 1st place in the Windy City 4 Seasons contest in the Historical category! Remember is a fabulous story. Can’t wait til the day I get to blog about your contract for it…

You rock, baby.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Friday, October 3, 2008

I know the real reason guys have a higher metabolism

…and it’s not because fate is fickle, genes are a gyp, or because we women are doomed to bear heavier crosses (or derrieres).

The real reason is simple: Men burn more calories per hour because they are genetically unable to sit still!

Even enthralled by The History Channel, my husband must beat a tattoo on an end table with the remote, flip his phone open and shut, or thrum his fingers on something. Endlessly. Just when I get him to stop one, he starts up with another.

Maybe the Need to Twitch is an evolutionary holdover – he’s got to keep adrenaline flowing in case of attack by a neighboring clan and he needs to protect his territory (brother-in-law showing up to borrow a tool) or some type of prey stumbles into his path (the batch of cookies coming out of the oven? Hey, with two adolescents around, he’d better be able to pounce fast!).

So, if I start Twitching, too, will I drop pounds or just get carpal tunnel syndrome?

Autumn

Thursday, October 2, 2008

8 Degrees of Broke

This post is dedicated to everyone who’s ever opened the mailbox to find the dreaded “thin” envelope from their bank. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just close this window and be on your merry way. You won’t understand any of this.

Good, now that the one financially solvent person I know has left the room…

I’ve devised a Busted-ometer, a scale by which I can measure just how poor I am at any given time.

You’re a .... IF
$20 bill – You’re Broke But Not Overdrawn. Funds are low in the ole checking account, but things should be fine till payday.

$10 bill – You’ve avoided checking your balance online. Ignorance is bliss, right? Still, you hold your breath while waiting for the debit transaction approval at the grocery checkout.

$5 bill – You borrow money from your kids (with or without asking) to get by till payday. Because hey, chances are they got their money from you anyhow. Danny’s Song, by Anne Murray, says it all. Love can surely solve any financial woes.

$1 bill – By transferring that last $6.47 from savings to checking, you just may have saved your ass from the NSF Ogre. Heave a sigh of relief. Relish it, cause here come your kids. They need money for a yearbook/school pictures/field trip. Today.

Half dollar coin – No poorhouse for you, baby! You turn in your recycling and come away with a nifty sum. Kudos to you, my thrifty green friend. And just in the nick of time - you’ve run out of shampoo. Now instead of using the bottle of crappy stuff you pilfered from your last hotel stay, you can afford to buy yourself a trial size bottle of a drugstore brand!

Quarter – In a sudden moment of genius, you rifle through old purses and coat pockets. And come away newly, if temporarily, flush. You play Danny’s Song on purpose. In the words of Anne, “Everything’s gonna be alright.”

Dime – It’s your lucky day! The $2 rebate check from Procter & Gamble has finally arrived!

Nickel – Some wealthy person in your family forgot to empty their pockets before undressing. Which means a windfall for you, the launderer. They’ll never miss that buck and a quarter, will they?

Penny – This is a low day. You’ve scrounged just enough change to buy toilet paper. And hey, who cares if it’s generic? It beats swiping a roll from the gas station restroom. Even if the teenage cashier did roll her eyes at you when the last buck fifty was green pennies with odd bits of stuff stuck to them. Unfortunately, you return home to find you’re totally out of ketchup/sandwich bread/any other staple your family positively cannot be without. Thank the lord above for that crumpled scratch ticket worth $3 under the floormat of your car.

Chuck E. Cheese token – You’ve been out of mascara for 4 days. But remember that thing you’ve gotta return to Wal-Mart? Cash in hand, baby! Cover Girl Aisle, here ya come. Too bad you’ve got to save those bucks so you can put one more gallon of fuel in your car, which will just get you to the bank with your paycheck tomorrow. Why’d the DJ have to play Danny’s Song now?

This, too, shall pass.
Broke is temporary condition.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!