Thursday, January 28, 2010

Things I Dread...Or it's 'That' Time Again....

I'm whiney today--as opposed to yesterday when I was surly. Tomorrow? Who knows. It's a safe bet that--unless I wake up to balmy temps above freezing for a change--my mood won't be much improved. It's been a he!! of a winter so far. Ice storms. Snow storms. Blizzards. Record snows. Record cold temps. Record whining.
If the weather wasn't enough to make me want to make like a grizzly and hibernate, tax time for me is also here. My appointment is Saturday.
Which brings me to the subject of my blog: Things I dread.
I figured why waste a perfectly good--and lengthy--list of 'Sucky Things I Have to Deal With'. Why not share the 'joy' with all of you. So, here's the abbreviated list of things I have to do, suckiness notwithstanding. Items included are not listed in order of suckiness.
Things I Have To Do But All Things Considered, I'd Rather Pass

  • Mix oil and gas for my two-stage snowblower
  • Snow throw, shovel snow, walk, drive, be in snow
  • Prepare tax info for my tax guy
  • Take tax info to my tax guy
  • Iron my work shirts and pants (I'm too cheap to take them to the cleaners)
  • Have knee surgery to put my kneecap back where it really belongs
  • Start a regular exercise program (again)
  • Eat less chocolate and consume more veggies
  • Pick up the branches and twigs left over from the recent ice storm and haul them away
  • Prepare for a spring garage sale
  • Begin to renovate my garage office and bathroom
  • Take down wallpaper border (ugh)
  • Paint the living room
  • File FAFSA in triplicate
While I might ultimately reap benefits from accomplishing items on the list above, the process itself is rather tedious. And sucky.
What things appear on your 'Ultimate Suck' list? What chores do you loathe doing? Put off for as long as you can?
~Bullet Hole who is freezing her tail off and dreaming of spring~

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Things That Make Me Smile - The Web Site I Wish I'd Thought Of...

It's bad enough that Goebbels keeps telling dirty knock/knock jokes and Goering won't pass the this!

You know, I always wondered what happened to this guy. Now we know.

How does he light it?

Maybe living in the Midwest with the snow and ice isn't so bad after all...

You have to admit...he looks pretty happy.

May you be motivated today, too!
The Assassin

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire

Are You a Liar? No? Yes?

Do you feel offended just by being asked the question? I do. I mean, lying is bad, morally wrong. So why do I do it? Fine, I’m admitting it. I lie. I’m a big fat liar. And no, I’m not talking about writing fiction. But I’ll admit, the idea of this blog came to me because of my fiction. I mean, my characters, like me, are known to lie on occasion. And it sort of makes for a great story.

Don’t judge me. The truth is that we all lie. Have you ever seen the move, Liar, Liar. It really brings home the fact that, well, lying isn’t all bad. It also brings to light the quote, "The truth? You can't handle the truth!" - Jack Nicholson, "A Few Good Men"

As a kid, I remember being taught to lie at church. Mom would give me a little push, and say, “Go tell Mrs. Campbell that she looks pretty today. It will make her feel happy.” Let me tell you, Mrs. Campbell never looked pretty. Mrs. Campbell kind of looked like Uncle Bob, if Uncle Bob gained a few pounds, put on a dress and had a beard. Deep in my self-conscience, I think the lesson I learned was that lying to make someone feel happy was okay. Not to mention the lesson that I keep a pair a tweezers near my bedside table as I grow old.

Then there are the lies we tell our innocent children. You don’t do that, huh? Well, I knew my parents lied to me. I’m not just talking about the tooth fairy and such. I was not going to believe that the stork brought my baby brother. I had a girlfriend at school that told me how it really happened. Daddy kissed my mom while eating a baby seed and Mom swallowed it whole. At six, it sounded pretty gross to me.

Then there are the put-on-the-spot polite lies. The ones I think we should get away with carte blanche. For example: My neighbor recently asked, “Do you like my new hairstyle?” Of which I boldly lied, “Yeah. It’s really suits you.” But I was really thinking: Hack job. Hack Job. Your ears are not your best feature. I know some people consider those white lies. But what makes them white? And what about the saying, “The truth will set you free?” Does my neighbor need to know her haircut is butt ugly? When I ask my husband if my hair looks okay, I do expect the truth, don’t I? So do we opt to tell the truth to those closest to us, hurting them? I.E. “You’re right, those jeans make your ass look as big as Texas.” While we spare the feelings of those we care less about? Hmm, something seems backwards about that.

Then there are the everyday casual lies that play into 99% of everyone’s day. i.e. “How are you doing?” Which we mostly answer, “Fine. Thanks.” Now seriously, do you think my mail lady really wants to hear that last night’s shrimp didn’t sit well with me? Or that hubby snored extra loud, and the dog passed gas all night, so I didn’t sleep well? If I told her the truth, she’d probably view me as some socially unacceptable being and would ask to change routes. So I guess, what I’m saying is that lying is practically expected of us.

Plus, there are the times that lying protects us. Think of times you tell someone you already have plans, so you can avoid an unpleasant event, like eating at someone’s Aunt Bessie’s who gave you food poison the last time you visited. Or the old “Washing my hair” excuse that saves women from going out with a guy that they think is sort of sleazy. Sure, you could go with the, “I don’t think we have anything in common.” but that bit of vague truth will bring on more questions and perhaps lead to more lies.

When we really get down to the nitty gritty about lying, I think the ethically incorrectness of lying isn’t so much about not telling the truth, it’s about why we lie. Is it for the good of everyone? Or only for the good of oneself? But if we are caught lying for the good of someone, doesn’t that make us less trust worthy?

Below are some interesting facts I found on lying:

12% of adults admit to telling lies "sometimes" or "often". The profession with the highest number of liars is teaching, with 65% admitting to telling lies, and a surprising 18% telling surveyors that they tell lies "routinely". The most dishonest time of day is between 9 and 9:30 in the evening, with the early hours of the morning most likely to reveal the truth. Australians are the most honest people in the world, followed closely by Norwegians, Swedes and Belgians. On the other hand, Wales has by far the highest percentage of liars (93%), and the lowest percentage of people who actually admitted to being economical with the truth (a mere 1%). When asked the question "are you a liar?" nearly 97% of people answer "no". When the remaining 3% (self-confessed liars) are subjected to questions calibrating their real, rather than perceived honesty, they turn out to be, on average, 28 times more honest than the people who claimed they never lied. (((SO BASICALLY LIARS ARE MORE HONEST THAN NON-LIARS. Hmmm?)))The most profligate liar in history was US president Richard Nixon, who researchers found to have lied on record 837 times on a single day.

So, do you strive to tell the truth, even when the truth could hurt someone? I admit, I will often try to find a vague answer that can’t be interrupted to be good or bad, so I will feel better about not lying. But in the end, isn’t that the same thing as lying?

Monday, January 25, 2010

WHO DAT!!!!!

VERY excited to have the New Orleans Saints win a conference championship (first time in franchise history) and go to the Superbowl. The game was a nail-biter that came down to a field goal in overtime. I yelled, the pets stared. It was a very intense couple of hours, but it ended well.


Well, realistically speaking, let's hope it's not Peyton Manning and the Colts. I think they're going to be a HUGE challenge.

In other news, it was a fabulous weekend. DARA was Saturday and our guest speaker was none other than Killer Fiction's Christie Craig who gave a VERY informative workshop and entertained the hell out of everyone with one of her stories about things that could only happen to her. Congrat, Christie - you were a roaring success.

I also got the new cover for SHOWDOWN IN MUDBUG and LOVE IT!!!!!!!! Dorchester has the absolute best cover artists. Check this out and tell me you don't think it's the cutest thing ever.

Deadly DeLeon

Friday, January 22, 2010

Stormy Weather

As some of you may have heard, California has been hit by massive storms this past week. We are a state that is not prepared for storms. Heat waves? No prob. Drought? A yearly thing. Earthquakes? We call it ground surfing here. But this week threw us for a loop. It’s been raining and hailing like crazy up here in Nor. Cal, and they’ve had major flooding down south. Luckily, they drained the lake last week in anticipation of the storm, so the creek behind my house is high, but not overflowing. Our front yard is totally flooded and there are down trees everywhere, but we’re not floating away yet, so I’m taking that as a good sign.

But yesterday, the weather got eve more fun. We got an emergency tornado wanring.
I repeat – a tornado warning! (Um, this is Califnrnia. We don’t do tornadoes.) The notice said we should hide in our basements (this is CA… none of us have basements!!! In fact, outside of TV, I’ve never even seen a basement.) or storm cellars (again… this is CA… we don’t have storms, let alone storm cellars!!!) or under the stairs. Needless to say, I was watching the clouds all afternoon for funnels. I’ve lived in CA my whole life and NEVER heard anything like this. My 9 year old said, “Cool! We’ll be like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. I hope we land on a witch!”

If I see any women on bicycles flying past my window, I’m totally hiding under the stairs.

So, what’s the weather like in your neck of the woods?

~Trigger (and tornado) Happy Halliday

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Skating, anyone?

The above picture pretty much tells you how my day is starting off. Pick a window--any window--and that's the view you'll see from my home this morning. Yesterday, as well. With ice accumulating on power lines and tree limbs, I count myself very lucky to have electricity this morning. (Can you hear me knocking on wood?) Many here in the Heartland are not as fortunate.

Yesterday afternoon I decided I'd better try to see if I could chip away some of the ice out front. I can only hope no one was secretly recording my 'Disney on Ice' (think 'Goofy') performance on my driveway. A very sloping driveway. I put one foot out and I was gone, baby, gone--sliding down the driveway on my backside. Good thing I have sufficient padding in that area--although not nearly enough to insulate it from the bitter cold of a downhill tushie slide.

Then I had to get back on my feet.

More gymnastics.

But when life hands you lemons...

Lemonade, anyone?

Since there is really no rational, sane reason to venture out, I have some extra time to use as I see fit. And that, of course, means I'm going to spend the day on the business of writing! I'm putting together a Young Adult proposal for a three-book series. The first book of the series is finished but needs to be updated and polished before I send it to the requesting editor. Geared for a middle-school readership, I've really enjoyed writing for the younger market. More on this project in the future.

So, instead of writing one synopsis today, I get to write TWO! Oh joy.

Uh, this particular pitcher of lemonade is tasting a wee bit tart...

So. Tell me. If you had an entire day to spend at home--with absolutely nothing you HAD to do, how would you spend that day? What would you do with an unexpected gift of a 'free' day? Would you cuddle up with a good book? Spend a day watching an entire season of a favorite show? Take a nap? Clean your house?

What would you do with your 'snow day'?

All things considered, I'd rather it be spring.

~Bullet Hole~

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's That Time Of Year That Goes Straight To My Thighs...

Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of Girl Scout leaders everywhere, like Girl Scout Cookie time. And nothing warms the cockles of my sugar-clogged arteries either.

My addiction started when I was 6 and opened that first box of Thin Mints. It was all over in seconds as I huffed that first, shiny sleeve.

Do you know there's no place for Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookie junkies to dry out? You'd think Promises in Malibu or maybe something more local...but no. And the Girl Scouts suffer no public relations crisis because there's always a lengthy "cold turkey" period (complete with the shakes and terrible regret) waiting until the next season.

Girl Scouts contribute to the addiction of millions of adults each year. Like me, they begin with, "Oh, I'll just have a couple." And before you know it, they've fallen into a downward spiral of marvelous, minty, chocolate refreshment.

Every year, I order more and more boxes. And yet, every year, I curse myself as I polish off the last box. The agony begins anew as I wait an entire 359 days for Cookie Season to come again.


What's your Girl Scout Cookie addiction?

The Cookie Assassin

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Late Night Calls, Police, & New Phones

Have you ever had it happen? That call that startles you awake in the middle of the night? You hear the ring, and your befuddled mind asks…”What the hell is that?” Time freezes and then you’re awake enough to realize it’s the phone. A split second later, you jackknife up, your heart is in your throat, pounding, because you know, good news doesn’t arrive in the middle of the night. This week, I had the unfortunate opportunity to experience not one, but two of those calls.

On January 15, my phone rang at 12:30 A.M. Of course, I hit the wrong button trying to answer. “Hello?” I finally say when I figure out how to use the phone. My heart is pumping, adrenaline rushes through my veins. My fear is for my nineteen-year-old son in Pennsylvania, attending a four- month school.

“Mom?” My son’s voice fills my ear—panic grips tighter.

“Are you okay?” I struggled to get my tongue unstuck from the roof of my mouth.

What he says next is something you never, ever want to hear your son say.

“Have you ever taken a breathalyzer test? It’s hard.” My mind tries to compute, to digest his words, but for sure, I’m getting mental indigestion.

I don’t answer before he continues, “Did you know I can’t touch my nose with my left hand when I close my eyes?” My indigestion worsens.

He continues and so does my indigestion. Only now, it’s not just mental. “I blame Dad for passing on his lousy balance and inability to walk a straight line. Oh, and tell Dad never to leave his sun tea in my car again. Cop says it looks just like whiskey.”

“Are you in jail?” I swear, I’d just been bragging that somehow hubby and I had convinced my son that he never, ever drink and drive.

He laughs. “It’s another funny Craig story.”

“I don’t think I’m gonna find this one funny,” I say in my maternal not-funny tone.

I was wrong.

You see, Son had agreed to meet one of his fellow students at a local pool hall. A BYOB pool hall. Son, underage and in Pennsylvania, hadn’t brought any beer, but it was being offered left and right. His friend was already pretty soused when son looked at his watch, figured out that he could have one or two beers and would be okay to drive in a few hours. “Mom, I swear I heard that little voice, you know the one you say you are always hearing? Anyway it said, ‘Don’t do it!’ So I didn’t. Not even one beer.” Then, not going to allow his friend to drive, he piled him in his truck and took off back to his apartment. Remember, son is new in town, and not overly familiar with the roads. The flashing blue lights show up a short time later.

The cop comes to the window and tells my son he was driving in the median. Son explains, he thought it was a lane. Son hands over his license and insurance. Drunk friend is passed out. The cop leans in and says, “You been drinking?”

Son answers, “No Sir.”

Suspicious, cop tells him to stay in his truck. He goes back to his car to run a check on son’s license and looks for warrants. Thankfully, my son doesn't have any.

Nevertheless, two other cop cars pull in. One in front of son, and one to his side to prevent him from driving off. “Mom, I swear it was fifteen minutes before he came back to the window. I knew I hadn’t done anything, but crap, I’ve never been in the situation before and I was scared.”

Finally, cop shows back up at the door and tells my son to get out. “Do you want to tell my upfront what you’ve been drinking?” he asked again.

“Nothing, officer.”

He has my son walk a line. God love the boy, he really did inherit his dad’s balance. “I swear officer. I’m just not coordinated. Mom says I get it from my dad.”

Officer gives my son his next instructions. Stand straight, arms to your side, close your eyes, hold your head up, start with right hand and . . .

“Mom,” son tells me. “I’m scared shitless because you know being dyslexic I don’t do well with oral directions.”

During the nose-touching event the kid in the truck wakes up and tries to get out. That creates commotion and the cops get super nervous. Which makes son more nervous.

Son had to be retold nose-touching directions. “I got my nose with my right hand, Mom. Missed by a mile with my left.”

Cop eyes him. “Son, before I give you the breathalyzer test do you want to confess what you’ve been drinking?”

“Seriously Sir, I’m just clumsy like my dad.”

Cop does the breathalyzer twice. He can hardly believe it. “Looks as if you were telling the truth. But what about your friend?”

Son is honest, though I did tell him he could said it differently. Son told the cop, “He’s pretty much shitfaced. Drunk as a skunk. Which is why I’m driving.”

“How old is he?” cops asks.

Son hesitates, knowing it would sound suspicious. “We just met at school. But I think he’s over twenty-one.”

When they open the door, to get friend out, a bottle falls out. A water bottle half-filled with whiskey-colored fluid. “What is this?” the officer asks.

“Don’t know,” says my son. Drunk kid just shrugs.

“Did you know it’s illegal to have an open container of alcohol in your car?” Cop asks.

“I know,” says son, but doesn’t say anything else because he doesn’t know what’s in the bottle.

Officer has them stay by the car while he tests the liquid.

He returns and hands it to my son. “It’s not alcohol.”

Son holds it up the light and sees the tea bag. “Oh, this is my dad’s sun tea he left in my truck.”

Officer discovers son’s friend is over twenty-one. Officer looks at my son and says. “You know, I really thought this was going to turn out differently. It’s rare when we stumble across a polite kid just trying to do the right thing. I’m not even going to write you a warning.”

I told my son I was proud of him.

January 16th, 4 A.M. Phone rings. “Hello,” tongue is on roof of mouth again, heart is pounding.

“You’re not my voice mail,” Person says

I recognize my daughter’s voice. My mind tries to compute, to digest her words, but for sure I’m getting mental indigestion. Wait! Didn’t that just happen last night? “What’s wrong?” Panic builds, real indigestion occurs.

She laughs.

“Don’t tell me? Another funny Craig story, right?

She laughs harder. “I woke up with a bad dream.” Daughter is over thirty. Does she still need me when she has a bad dream?

“I dreamed I left my purse at the restaurant. Then, because I’m a worrywart like you, I thought I had left it at the restaurant. I got up, found my purse, with my new phone in it. I saw I had a message from you. I hit the button to get the voice mail, but I must have accidentally hit redial.”

Two in one week is too much, even if they are both just funny Craig stories. What can I say, but that my kids are for certain just chips off the old blocks.

So, any excitement in your stomping grounds? Are your kids making you lose sleep? How many of you have taken a breathalyzer test? Come on, share a little.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Tired DVR

My DVR is tired. This weekend was full of things to record. I don't "do" live television because it's clogged with commercials for stuff I don't need. Also, it's not efficient. I can watch an entire football game in 45 minutes or less using the remote to fast forward to the actual plays. No commentating, no standing around in the huddle, no waiting for the injured to get off the field.

It was a great football weekend because the Saints DESTROYED the Cardinals. I really hope they can bring a conference championship and maybe, just maybe a Superbowl to Louisiana. It would be a first for both. I like the underdogs, and well, it sorta IS my home state.

I also recorded (but haven't yet watched) a new show called Human Target. It looked kinda fun and the lead actor is the guy from Keen Eddie back several years ago, if any of you watched that. I like him. He's good at funny and the show looks serious/funny, if you know what I mean.

Supercross also started up last weekend, so I had another race to watch this weekend. Go Stewart! House is also finally back and with new episodes.

And the best - AMERICAN IDOL IS BACK!!!!!!

I just LOVE tryout time on AI. Did everyone see the crazy dude with the glasses? He looked like a serial killer. The bad part was, his voice isn't that bad, but he creeps everyone out with that stalker thing he has going. I agreed with Kara who said "I need to bathe" after he left the room. He creeped me out and I was sitting on my couch thousands of miles away and months after their taping. Yuck.

Hear a LOT of really good singers already, so the season is shaping up to be a good one.

So what about you - any of your favorites started up yet?

And I'm going to leave you with a picture of my cousin, a new Jana DeLeon reader:

Have a great week!

Deadly DeLeon

Friday, January 15, 2010

Earthquake Dog

So we’ve been experiencing a run of earthquakes here in northern Cali this week. So far, they’re been super small in my neck of the woods, but a few miles north of us they had a big one. 6.5. For anyone who doesn’t speak earthquake, that’s big enough to make all your kitchen cupboards fly open and introduce your dishes to the floor. No fun.

One of the cool things that came out of this earthquake though is this video of a dog just before the quake hits. Watch what he does:

Did you see that? He totally sensed that the earthquake was coming before anything started shaking. So, what do you think – do animals sense earthquakes before they happen? How? Any theories?

~Trigger Happy (and kinda shaky) Halliday

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Murphy's Law: The Next Chapter

I muffed it. Totally spaced off I was supposed to blog last Thursday. I'm blaming it on the blizzard. We got socked with another winter storm that buried us and after shoveling and snow-throwing for four hours Thursday morning, I simply couldn't summon the fortitude necessary to turn the computer on and post a comment. Besides, chances are anything I posted would not have been tasteful. Or happy. Following the blizzard, our temps did a 'how low can you go' number. Which, of course, added insult to injury. I'm SO through with winter. Unfortunately, it ain't over 'til it's over. Which is in about fifty days--give or take a snowstorm or ten.

In the midst of the Artic Blast, my triplets celebrated their 20th birthday. Several months back when I learned the Broadway performance of The Lion King was coming to our Civic Center, I got tickets for last Saturday's matinee. It was a memorable day.

The Lion King was FABULOUS! A flawless, seamless performance. It was when we went to leave that things went downhill. I'd parked in a parking ramp a short walk from the Civic Center. We jumped in the Jimmy. I started it and turned on the heat. Nothing. Did I mention the temperature was -9 and that was not accounting for wind chill.

I had intended to take my son back to his college following the show, but when frost began to collect on the insides of the windows and icicles were forming on our noses, I nixed that idea and drove home instead. I had to borrow my daughter's car the next morning and drive the son back to school.

Since I had to work Monday and Tuesday, I was forced to drive to work and back without heat two days in a row. And on my way to work Monday, the Jimmy suddenly wouldn't go out of 4 Wheel Drive. The switch wouldn't work. So I had to drive both days using 4 Wheel Drive. Totally the commutes from hell!

I finally took my truck to the shop yesterday. It's still there. This morning I had a doctor's appointment so I had to borrow the daughter's car again. The shop just called. He's still working on the 4WD switch.

Me? I am totally out of chocolate, I've got no wheels to procure any now the daughter has left for classes, and I still need to plot and draft three more scenes to add to my wip.

How do you say 'Murphy's Law: The Next Chapter?'

~Bullet Hole~

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Life Is Like a Bowl of Chocolate Wrappers...

My Dove Dark chocolate wrappers are talking to me again. Or maybe it's my stomach. I did eat about fifty of them. Anyway, you know those sayings on the wrappers? Here's what mine said:

"We're in this together!"
Um, no, we're not. If we were in this together, you'd pay half my bills, clean my house, take me out to dinner once in a while and buy me more Dove Dark chocolates.

"You are never alone because I walk beside you."
Well, that's pretty damned creepy. And if you really are walking beside me, how about a hand with the shovelling? I've got 8 inches of snow and ice here.

"Remember to love and lean on others."
I'm a woman. We don't lean on people. People lean on us. A lot. And that's not necessarily a good thing.

"Strength comes from within."
So does anger, hostility, and the insatiable urge to strangle someone.

"Go for it, girl!"
I did. That's how I ended up eating a hallucinegenic amount of Dove Dark chocolates.

"Believe in yourself!"
Wait...if I don't believe in myself and a tree falls in the forest, do I even exist?

"Always think positive."
Okay...then it's a good thing my kids had Lucky Charms and Diet Coke for dinner. It's a good thing I pretend I don't see the dirty laundry every time I high jump over it to get into bed. It's a good thing I fed the dogs moldy hot dog buns because I realized at 9pm I was out of dog food and I'm too damned lazy to go out. (Psssst - this one may be my favorite!)

"Be strong and your loved ones will share in your energy."
So THAT'S where my energy goes! Damned energy leeches! I always wondered why everytime my loved ones were happy, I felt like I was drained by a starving coven of anemic vampires.

Alright my friends...what bits of inspiration would you put on these damned wrappers?

The Chocolate-Drunk Assassin

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Some News and a Contest

Winner! Winner! Liz Kreger your name was pulled out of the hat. Please email me at christie @ christie( -) Craig (.) com

Thanks everyone!

I’m so excited about Faye Hughes and my new cover for Wild, Wicked & Wanton: 101 Ways to Love Like You Are in a Romance Novel. The book is a humorous, self-help book on relationships. Basically, it’s about what women can learn from romance heroines. And to help celebrate receiving such a great cover, we’re hosting a contest. Tell us what you’ve learned from reading romance novels and one lucky poster will receive a $10 gift certificate. So get clever, and get posting.

Oh…and speaking of contest: Here’s the Winner of the “I Could be A Christie Craig Character”

I had a lot of wonderful entries and I had to have my hubby pick the one he thought was more like a CC character. Congrats to Erin and thank you everyone who entered. You guys are the greatest.

Oh I think I have what it takes to be a character in your books! I definitely have the nutty family part down. My mother has what we call a dyslexic tongue. No matter what she tries to say it always comes out wrong. Just a few weeks ago we went to lunch and she wanted to order a Chicken Caesar salad, she asked the waitress for a Chicken Seamen salad!

My dad is just plain cheap! He cut down a pine tree in our yard one summer and threw it in the woods behind our house. When Christmas came he proudly displayed a tree in our living room that he "paid" $50 for at a tree lot. We decorated it and it looked beautiful. Two days later all of the needles had fallen off of it! Then he finally admitted he had brought the tree in that he had cut down during the summer. I think he is Clark Griswold's long lost twin!

And we also have a big "dirty" secret in our family, my aunt is really my grandma! Yep, that's right. She had my mom when she was a teen and my great-grandma raised her as her own. My mom only just found this out 10 years ago, can you imagine?
I got caught at the grocery store once with the entire shelf of feminine douche in my shopping cart, by my old high school boyfriend. And yes, he looked better than he did in high school! But let me explain why I was stocking up on feminine hygiene items looking the world's biggest skank, my cat had been sprayed by a skunk and I read online that douche got rid of the smell. So I loaded up! (It does work BTW)

I am a lover of all animals! I currently have 6 furry little hamsters that I am looking for homes for. It seems the pet store fibbed when they told me I had 2 males. Either that or the one was a hermaphrodite!

I had a very run of bad luck with men in my early 20's. I caught the one guy I had gone out with a few times with his truck parked at my neighbor's house (a female neighbor) on the nights I was working. Yeah, I dropped him like it was hot! Now I am a mom to 2 little girls and have found my HEA. I think I may be zany enough to be a good character in one of your books. Or maybe just a supporting role, with a future novel a possibility.


Monday, January 11, 2010

The New Year

So it's a new year, and granted things have started off quite well for me with a new book contract. Unfortunately, I once again need to get on the exercise and weight loss train. ugh Do I sound like a broken record? Haven't I said the same thing for 100 years?

So this year (as usual), I am going to try something different. I have a huge problem with exercise b/c I find it boring. Now, I am not lazy. I will do all manner of work or home improvement for hours at a time, but running 20 minutes on a treadmill is barely preferred over death or root canal.

So my friends and family have Wiis and I kept hearing about the Wii Fit and all the exercises, etc., so I took Christmas money and a little royalty money (thanks for the checks, Dorchester!) and bought myself a Wii for a late Christmas present.

For those of you who don't have one and haven't seen one, the Wii is primarily designed for kids, but when Nintendo discovered that adults stay home with kids (shocking, right) they added exercise games. Since it is mostly a (little) kid console, the Wii has these cartoon characters called Miis. You can design your Mii to look sorta like you - hair, eyes, nose, etc. Like an avatar.

So I designed my Mi and plugged in the Wii fit to hook it up. The Wii fit comes with this balancing board to do the exercises. That board also takes your weight and using that along with your age, height, etc. it calculated your BMI and tells you how fat your are. Now, it's bad enough for your gaming console to tell you you're fat, but it also makes your Mii as fat as you are!!!!!! It was totally insulting, but I couldn't stop laughing. Now, I have this little fat Mii that looks like a cabbage patch doll. As I loose weight, it will lose with me. Also, I did a fitness test and the console told me that my balance was horrible and it was a wonder I could walk without tripping.

I paid good money for this, foks.

Deadly (Klutzy and Fat) DeLeon

Friday, January 08, 2010

"Worst Mother of the Year" snub!

On the heels of the Assassin’s nomination and win of "Worst Mother of the Year", let me just say that I am livid at the snub the committee gave me this year. I think I’ve done pretty well. Case in point:

1. I have no patience for homework. None. Especially when it’s those busy work pages that are supposed to make learning fun but actually just make kids hate things like crossword puzzles and coloring. So, the boy was going so slowly doing his homework one day that I finally said, “Geeze, just give it to me.” And, yes, I did it all for him, even going so far as to forge his handwriting. The worst part? It was so easy that I made a deal with him the next day, “I’ll do your math homework if you watch my baby for ten minutes so I can take a shower?”

2. The Boy came home from school one day all jazzed about anew website all his friends were talking about. Hot boobs dot com. “Mom, we HAVE to go there. Jimmy says it’s SO cool!” Oy vey. I knew this was one of those moments where Good Mom would know just what to say.
Clearly, I am not her, as my response was, “What do you think you’ll really see there?”
“Duh, hot boobs!”
“What makes one boob hotter than another.”
“I dunno. That’s hwy I have to look!”
I figured, I might was well let him see the website and get rid of mystique. (Either that or I was really tired that day and hadn’t had enough Starbucks to fight him yet.) So, when we got home, I let him go on my computer.
“Mom, how do you spell ‘boob’s?”
Again – Oy vey.
So I typed it into the browser for him. Yes, I helped my son visit a porn site.
(And still no bad mom nomination? Come on!)
Luckily, once he viewed the site, he did a big shrug and deiced that video games were more interesting. “That was no fun. I mean, they were just regular boobs.”

3. The boy got a video camera for Christmas. I was taping him do a funny dance on it (for later broadcast on youtube). We he was done, we played the video back, and I heard some baby crying in the background the whole time. Low and behold, I look down. Yep. It was my baby. Huh. Totally tuned him out.

Surely this deserves an honorable mention, right?

Maybe 2010 will be better…

~Trigger Happy Halliday

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

And The Award For "Worst Mother of the Year" Goes To...

Hey! Look how my dog fell asleep while I was writing this!

Me??? Ohmygod! I'm so excited! I'd like to thank my children, without whom this honor would not be possible! Do I get a tiara with this? Do I get dental? A one-way, single ticket to a Vegas spa would be nice... I don't have to take the kids do I? I mean, it IS "Worst" Mother. That should count for something.

I know, you want to know my secret! Well, obviously it's my slavish devotion to completing unwanted homework; an eye for when my kids are lying to me about whether or not they are wearing clean underwear; and the GIFT of screaming at decibels that frighten the guinea pigs.

I have to admit, I find the whole nomination process a bit confusing, considering that it only takes the purchase of Pop Tarts or allowing them to stay up ten minutes more that wins me "Best Mother of the Year." Clearly, the awards are subjective.

Oooh! I've been handed the nomination essay that clinched the title for me! It says;

"You are the worst mother ever! Making me do homework is CHILD ABUSE! Do you want to abuse your child? Why do you hate me? It's math! That's against the something-in-war Convention!"

You can't see this part but there are stage directions that say drop to the floor, writhe like you are burning in the fires of eternal damnation, oh yeah, and scream. Loud. Really loud.

Wow. Jack nailed that AND stuck the landing! I wonder if tantrum-throwing shouldn't be an Olympic sport! My nine-year old would win more medals than Michael Phelps after having the lower half of his body switched with a porpoise.

I am so proud of this great honor, I'm going to take a quick break and call Mom!

(insert mumbling on cell phone)

Huh. She laughed hysterically and hung up. And somehow, I feel strangely validated.

Happy New Year!

The Assassin

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

A Late Christmas Letter

You know those TMI (too much information) letters you get at Christmas from people you hardly know and they tell you all about their wows and woes, including info about their great uncle Shelton and his arthritic dog? Yeah, well, I decided to write one of those to all you out there in my blog world. So hang on to your hat, because here it comes.

Dear friend, family, or unfortunate soul who ended up on my card list. Even if you don’t know me, I’m positive you are still going to be delighted to hear my personal news.

A Big Fat Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Craig Household.

2009 has been a crazy year. We lost Aunt Velma. My heart still breaks when I think about it. Luckily, we found her in Wal-Mart. Still don’t know how she got there. The good news is she still had her clothes on. My dad had a few more health problems and his doctors scheduled a colonoscopy. Of course, the worse part of the test is all the prep work you have to do. (Though I hear the test itself isn’t a joy ride.) You know, drinking that yucky stuff, and then living on the pot for a day and half. Sadly, daddy got his test dates wrong and did all the prep work on a different day. However, I’m relieved to tell you that his test results came back great. Doc said he had the cleanest colon he’d ever seen.

My mom recovered from the break of both her ankles, but then she cracked a rib getting the clothes out of the washing machine. I know it’s hard to believe this could happen, but it did. She had one car accident (nothing is broken—but the car) and is considering getting her eyebrows tattooed on . . . again. My son went to Alabama for the month of November, came back home with one of those massaging, Lazy Boy chairs, a gift from his granddad. Over the holidays, son caught the can’t-run-fast-enough explosive stomach bug. Believe me when I say the chair will never be the same.

All our four cats are doing well, hairball count is down for the year and that’s something worth celebrating. Son’s rat, that is now about the size of a small possum, is still alive and kicking. The pet store so lied when they told him the life expectancy. Floppy Skivvies, the rabbit, only slightly larger than the rat, is still with us. He expects an apple and some broccoli daily and enjoys terrorizing the cats.

I accomplished a lot in 2009. Completed three books, lost ten pounds, found ten pounds, and became a grandma. Lily Dale is gorgeous and smart as a whip. She can say Grandma, Santa, Mama, Dada, and No. She also has decided to forego crawling and do what my daughter calls the Western “I’m-shot” Crawl. You know in the old western movies when a cowboy has been shot and manages to drag himself behind a tree so he won’t get shot again. Well, she’s a champion dragger.

With a Jan. 4th deadline on my first Young Adult, and revisions on my June 2010 book hitting smack dab in the middle of trying to get the book done, December was a trying month. I worked sixteen hours a day for a few weeks, forgot there was a holiday, gave up cooking, bathing was optional, housecleaning was out the window. I felt guilty about not cooking. Thank goodness the Big Chief in the sky decided to remove all traces of guilt. He killed my stove top. Hence, I couldn’t cook even if I’d wanted to.

Hubby got what he thought was a good inspiration. You know how his inspirations usually go, right? (Basically whatever he thinks is a clever idea, I think of as a brain fart.) Well, he bought me a new stove top on the 24th, put a big red bow on it and said Merry Christmas. Seriously, he did this!

I told hubby that I honestly thought the Big Chief had axed the stove top as a personal favor to me. And if “someone” didn’t get his bottom back to the Merry Friggin’ Mall and do some more Christmas shopping, the Big Chief and me were gonna have another talk about other things he could ax.

Anyway, you should see the gold and diamond necklace I got for Christmas. I also got socks, sweats, and a frying pan. (Yup, a frying pan!) But I let that one slide because hubby also got my three book covers from my Divorced & Desperate Series framed so I can hang them in my office. Now, that was a thoughtful gift and it makes him a keeper.

My sister-in-law decided to get clever this year, and she gave both hubby and me a snuggie. I have decided that the Surgeon General should be warned about this gift. Or at least, there needs to be warnings on the label.

1) Do not attempt to cook while wearing a snuggie, not even on a new stove top!

2) Do not attempt to have sex while wearing a snuggie—certain positions can lead to strangulation.

3) Do not attempt to walk while wearing a snuggie—hitting face first on wood floors is painful and hazardous to one’s nose—this is especially important for the vertically-challenged snuggie wearer. Hint: One size does not fit all!

Okay, so there you have it. My TMI Christmas letter to all my friends, family and other victims on my email list

How did your Holidays go? Come on, let’s share a bit or even too much.


Monday, January 04, 2010

Many Apologies!

I must apologize - I completely forgot to blog! I would claim a hangover, but I went to bed early for New Year's. lol

So instead, I'll claim first day back to work after the holiday AND I turned in SHOWDOWN IN MUDBUG and my revised proposal to Harlequin. So it was a busy morning of final tweaks, emails and attachments.

Hope everyone had a fabulous holiday season and here's looking to a wonderful 2010!

Deadly (and brain-dead) DeLeon

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Author Elisabeth Naughton

Please join in welcoming back to Killer Fiction the famously fabulous author Elisabeth Naughton. Take it away, Elisabeth...

Happy New Year!

Thanks so much to the ladies here at Killer Fiction for inviting me back. The third book in my Stolen Trilogy released this past Tuesday, and I couldn’t be more thrilled that it’s finally on the shelf. STOLEN SEDUCTION was a lot of fun to write, a book I’m extremely proud of, but one that wasn’t without its trials and tribulations.

Aside from the fact I nearly killed my hero halfway through the book (see this post if you’re interested in reading why), I got myself into some hot water in the research department. You see, to make the plot work, I needed to figure out how I could kill someone and not make it look like murder. I thought long and hard about how I wanted to do the dastardly deed and finally decided on poisoning. Logically, I asked my husband (who works for a pharmaceutical company) how I could poison someone and NOT make it look like murder. Because he knows how my twisted mind works, he rubbed his chin and rattled off various drug interactions that would cause easily explained (legitimate) deaths. Problem: they all took way too long to work. I needed something immediate. So—after lots of grumbling on my part—the hubby finally said, “I know a doctor on the Coast who’s also a medical examiner. We get along well. I’ll ask him.”


Lesson Number One
: When asking questions about how to murder someone, DON’T DO IT VIA EMAIL.

The hubby wrote out a long email explaining what I needed and told the ME it was for my “book”. The medical examiner replied with three words: GET A LAWYER.


So much for that research connection. On I went to a friend whose brother is a Physician’s Assistant. This time *I* contacted him with my question. This “friend” is like a best friend. And she and her mom read ALL my books. They know what I write, they tell everyone about me, so it seemed logical the brother – who also knows what I write – would be a big help.

Lesson Number Two
: Do not assume anything. Especially when it comes to murder.

The PA’s answer? “Please send me your husband’s cell number. I think he needs to know what you’re asking.”


And there went that research connection. My last shot was a county medical examiner who had spoken at a writer’s workshop I’d attended. She KNEW we were all writers and gave us her contact info and told us to get in touch with her if we had any research questions. (In her words: “It’s so cool that you write about this!”) So I did.

Lesson Number Three
: People LIE.

All messages AND emails went unanswered.

And that led me to…

Lesson Number Four (and the most important): If you want to know how to clear a room, ask a group of medical professionals how to commit murder and get away with it. I guarantee you’ll become as popular as the plague.

In the end, I was able to get my questions answered, but it wasn’t easy. And I am absolutely certain someone in the FBI is keeping a close eye on my husband to make sure he doesn’t wind up dead in the near future.

I’ve got one copy of STOLEN FURY, book one in the trilogy, and one copy of STOLEN HEAT, book two in the trilogy, to give away today. To be entered in my drawing, simply tell me about a time you got yourself into hot water.

And in case you haven’t heard, I’m running a big contest in celebration of the release of STOLEN SEDUCTION. Click the widget below for rules and how to enter!

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Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone enjoyed their New Year's Eve last night. (And are sleeping it off today. ;) ) Mine was rather tame this year, as Baby Boy kept me from going out. In fact, it was all I could do to keep my eyes open until 12 to watch the ball drop. But, I did, and toasted 2010 in with a glass of champagne before gratefully heading off to bed.

My favorite thing about the new year (aside from the champagne) is the opportunity to take stock of the year past and make plans for an even better year ahead. 2009 was a year of big change for me. My family expanded two-fold with Mr. Big and Baby Boy. And the new writing opportunities that have come my way are more than I ever hoped. Life has basically been on fast forward ever since last January. All great stuff. But my resolution for this year…

Slow. Down. As fun as the past year has been, and as positive as all the changes have been, a little calm would be a fabulous thing. Yeah, I know. Asking for calm with a new baby around is kind of laughable. But hear me out…

The Big Boy is getting older (I’ve already experienced the dreaded teenager eye-roll) and Baby Boy won’t be a baby very long (it goes by so fast doesn’t it! Especially when you’re still not sleeping much…), so , while my instinct is to guzzle Starbucks, write like a fiend, and try to pack 25 hours worth of stuff into every day, what I really should be doing is slowing down the pace and enjoying this time with my boys while I have it. Not to say that I won’t be writing a lot, because with 4 books to finish this year my keyboard better be smoking on a daily basis, but I’m going to try to approach the stressful situations in my life with a little zen and remember that it’s not the end of the world if I don’t do everything.

So, in the immortal words of George Constanza, my resolution this year is Serenity Now. Finding a little inner calm. Maintaining a spirit of zen in the midst of total life chaos. Should be a piece of cake, right? ;)

Anyone else have resolutions they want to share this year?

~Trigger Happy Halliday