Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Poll

A fellow writer of mine has been told that her subject matter is too controversial for the CBA and she is trying to get lots of opinions in order to either bow to the gods of the CBA or counter their objection. The following is her info. If you feel inclined, email her, K?

This is a romantic suspense novel, titled Hush, Little Baby. Please keep in mind that this fictional story is woven around actual events on the topic of fetal harvesting (otherwise known as baby body parts trafficking).

If you'd like to know more about fetal harvesting, visit

Description of my manuscript is as follows:

Estranged investigative reporting couple, Evan and Amber Blake, team up to expose a baby body parts trafficking ring. Amber poses as a counselor at an abortion clinic, witnesses some abominable events, and discovers the abortionist's darkest secret. But Amber has a secret of her own. Though she longs to reunite with Evan, revealing the truth would drive them farther apart. To make matters worse, Amber is coerced into dating the doctor, and circumstances surrounding the disappearance of a clinic nurse are questionable. To break the story now would end the charade -- or become the catalyst to something far more sinister.

What makes the characters unique is they are little people (dwarves or people of short stature). I feel they are defined by these labels, and intend to show there are other important aspects to their lives.

The two questions I would like answered in your response are:

1. Would you read a book where the plot is centered around fetal harvesting, or is the concept to ugly?

2. Would you read a book with little people as the main characters, but dwarfism isn't the primary focus?

You don't have to confine your comments to only those two questions. If you want to expand on them, any extras are welcome. If you wouldn't like the subject and characters, you can tell me why. Tell me if you would be offended by any of it. But I'd like you to know that even though this book is "edgy", there is no gratuitous material in it.

If you have the time, I would greatly appreciate if you could forward this poll to all of your contacts. If you have a blog, and you feel it's appropriate, it would be great if you could post it there and have your readership direct their responses to If you belong to any organizations that I am not a member of, and it is allowed, I'd be most grateful if you could post it on their loop, and have them send replies to this address.

Thank you all again. I look forward to your opinions!


I'm not sure I have any yet.

I can tell my frustrating conference experiences without crying now. But that doesn't mean I enjoy it.

When someone asks how my weekend was. I don't immediately get teary.

Does the fact that the publisher I have wanted to pitch to for TWO YEARS asked for my MS make it any better? Well it is salve, but not entirely helpful.

Because when someone sits down, reads three pages and tells you you suck (she tempered her words, but that is what she meant, and you can't tell me otherwise) what do you do with that?

If it were an editor or agent that I was pitching to, sure, that's acceptable. They know what they are looking for, after all.

No, this was a paid critique. I paid her to read and critique 25 pages. She read three and "gave up." She said that until I knew my character, it did me no good to have the commas in the right place. While I sort-of agree, I feel gyped. My confidence was shattered. I couldn't sit across from another editor or agent for the remainder of the conference because I felt like I had nothing to pitch. I cried for hours. Including the 15 minutes at the table with an agent.

I'm sure I made a great impression.

So here's the thing. My first three pages have gotten me in a heck of a lot of doors. Most people read my first three pages and say that I have a great voice. Most editors, who want to reject my subject matter, read the first three pages and tell me to send it in anyway. I have heard for well over a year that my first three pages are great. But this year, I've heard that my first three need to go. That in chapter 2 "baby you zoom!"

So I was ready to hear that the first three needed an overhaul. Incidentally, my first three have been overhauled so much that I think that I've polished the sparkle right out. I know they are trouble. I got that. But to not even try chapter 2?


So no. I still have no perspective. I can't bear to even open the document and try, try again.

Maybe tomorrow.

Currently reading someone else:

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Sorry about the unannounced absence. I tried to get on and say I was leaving for the ACFW conference, but Blogger wouldn't work for me on Wednesday, my laptop crashed, and the stupid hotel charged ridiculous fees to use their internet cafe.

And it was probably better that I not get on anyway. Saturday was a day of angst, purse and simple.

I'm tired. Oh, so tired.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Unexpected Blessings

Today I had the good fortune to be the recipient of a big-for-me God moment. Someone who had no business buying me ANYTHING sent me a "birthday gift" that, the last time I checked was over $400.

The story is better than that and I just blew the climax.

So I got an email on my birthday that asked if I wanted a cake. As I'd already made a cake, I said thanks, but no. I'm tired of telling the kids they've had enough sugar. So a couple hours later I got another email that said she had the privilidge of buying me a birthday present and she hoped it would be delivered this week.

I felt guilty, because her husband is currently unemployed and I figured she did it because I refused the cake.

The next day I got a confirmation about a restaurant gift certificate. I thought that is what she'd bought. I sent her a thanks, you shouldn't have, email. (she had to wonder why I didn't rave a little bit more, but the guilt was talking I was thinking she should have spent the $25 on herself).

Today UPS stopped by with a Bosch Universal and a Whisper Mill. Both of which I have tried to not covet this person for for years.

She did, she really did.

And there is more to the story. In that she attends a home church, so my understanding is that instead of tithing (no building, no paid pastor...) they slate the same money "to be given away." They support children in developing countries, that kind of thing. But she said she prayed about it and really felt that this is what she was supposed to do with the money.

Last year I had a friend tell me that another of her friends said God had told her to pay their mortgage. My friend kept trying to figure out what God would have her do with her spare money of that month, because there had to be a reason that He'd bless her like that. Finally she just came down to "He just loves me."

I know there are starving children in Africa. Orphaned girls in China. Homeless in my own town. All worthy causes. I'm not saying don't give to them. But sometimes I think God just likes to do for us, where we are. And where I was was really wanting this system so that I could make homemade bread, and fast. And it just didn't get prioritized in my budge, because I could make-do with the old school method. But He reached down today, through a person that, in my earthly wisdom, shouldn't have made the sacrifice and told me that He loves me.

I am amazed.

The Redemption

This story had a great plot. Charlisse is running from something and trying to find the father she never knew. And, like any good plot twist, she is shipwrecked on a deserted island. Enter the pirate Edmund, whose behavior, incidentally, is condoned by Britain. And, like any good plot twist, his most hated enemy just happens to be Charlisse's father (who turned to the dark side sometime between his last letter home to her mother, and the present).

Obviously, this is a historical.

I thought this was a great story. Romance, adventure, excitement. Technically, the writing couldn't be faulted. It has it all. But I've decided that, quite possibly, I don't like reading this time period.

I found myself irritated at the haughty, you-are-below-my-station heroine combined with the he's-such-a-cad hero. Get over yourself people, can't you tell you will end up together? I got to the point that I wanted to scream every time I read the words cad, rogue, swagger. And I don't think this is MaryLu Tyndall's fault. I'm sure she is using the most appropriate language for the era. I've just been in a crit group (incidentally, none of them write historical) that has, for years, made fun of books that use the word "cad." And I think it is the modern books using the word that irritate them. I totally blame you for my "cad" snobbishness, Uppies, in case you care.

It isn't like she could have called him a jerk, or creep, or loser. So like I said, I don't fault the author. This was a great book with a great plot. But if you are cad-phobic, you may want to consider yourself warned.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Guy I'm Not Dating

I'm such a flake.

Sometime last month I told you that I got this book in the mail, had started it, it seemed like it was going to be cute, and I'd tell you about it when I finished. And then, apparently, the earth opened up and swallowed it from my memory. I wrote no blog, no review, no nada. Eerie considering that I usually fret until I've written about the book I've read, whatever it may be.

So, without further ado and excuses, Trish Perry's The Guy I'm Not Dating.

This was a really fun story line. Her first chapter just sucked me in. It was one of those chapters where you go, "Well of course she's published." So preferable to the "And why am I getting rejections if this stuff is out there?" I hate those.

Kara has decided after reading (though she never directly says it) I Kissed Dating Goodbye (Harris) and ending a nasty relationship, that she will no longer date. And then she meets Mr. Wonderful.

As usual, I'd say. Anytime I make a commitment, it seems to work out that way for me, too.

So, Kara and Gabe do this really cute "We aren't dating, but gosh we'd like to be" dance. It is a great plot with funny side characters and quite a bit of depth, also.

If I have anything negative to say it is that she tends to wax "teachery." I don't mean preachy, like you-should-totally-do-it-this-way. I mean teachery as in just-in-case-you-are-thinking-about-doing-this-here-is-how-one-might-go-about-it. Since I came off working with a youth group that really encourages courting over dating, I was already very familiar with the concept. Shoot, I have friends who didn't kiss until they were on stage in their wedding garb.

She also kinda gives a lesson in how to lead someone to salvation. Good in some respects, irritating in others. I know I'm shallow, but I wanted to move on with the whole Kara/Gabe plot. And even though Gabe's unsaved sister plays a vital role in that plot...I'm just impatient. Neither of these two things make the book bad. I'd say I had a lovely reading experience. I just feel like I should say that the plot (which I greatly enjoyed when it was progressing) slowed down for the teachable moments.

I still give it a thumbs up.

Sorry about my flakiness. Tomorrow I will write about M.L. Tyndall's The Redemption, another one I flaked about and never said what I thought. What is up with that?

I know, it is the age thing. I boldly entered the wise old age of 31 this weekend.

You know what they say about September babies, don't you?

Friday, September 15, 2006


Are you concerned about what is happening in Sudan? CNN is doing a spot on it tonight. Go here and leave a comment on their blog. Let them know this is a story worth covering!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Have You Seen This?

ABC's Rosie O'Donnell told a nationwide audience this week that "radical Christians" are the same as radical Muslims who piloted hijacked jetliners into New York's Twin Towers, who chop off the heads of individuals and who bomb innocent children in suicide attacks. O'Donnell made her comments as host of ABC's "The View."

"Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have separation of church and state," O'Donnell said. She had been saying that America was attacked "not by a nation." She continued: "And as a result of the attack and the killing of 3,000 innocent people, we invaded two countries and killed innocent people."

Even her liberal co-hosts were shocked by her comments. Co-host Joy Behar protested that Christians are not trying to impose mass murder on America. "This group (radical Muslims) is threatening to kill us."

Replied O'Donnell: "No, but we are bombing innocent people in other countries. True or false?"

O'Donnell was saying there is no difference between the radical Muslims who kill in the name of Allah and Bible-believing Christians who follow the teachings of Jesus.

Neither O'Donnell nor ABC apologized for the comments. Had she made similar comments about minorities or homosexuals, there would have been an apology, and she would have probably been fired.

The message from ABC is that bashing Christians is acceptable, even comparing them with murderers who kill in the name of Allah.

Take Action

Tell ABC that O'Donnell's comments deserve an apology and a reprimand.

Send Your Email to ABC Now!

Jamie here: Okay, I got this email from AFA, a source I trust. And besides my outrage and all that holy stuff, I have a logistical problem with what she is claiming.

Is it just me, or does this not make any sense? Is Rosie O'Donnell, or isn't she, an American citizen? She claims that "radical Christians" are killing innocents. And to prove her point, she talks about the war OUR COUNTRY is waging, right? So, in this "separation of church and state" country, where there are all these senators and representatives, and judges and a president...ALL OF THEM (????!) are radical Christians? (And now would be a nice time to point out all the mosques and temples around and all the head coverings and sensitivity training.) And I take it they were voted in by radical Christians? And did Rosie not vote? And if she didn't, what right does she have to complain? And by blaming the radical Christians for the innocent death that has occurred due to our country's war she isn't one, how? Because you can't have it both ways. Either our country is fighting this war, or the radical Christians are and UMmm...I'm not seeing it.

Last time I checked, this country isn't being run by the "radical Christians." If it were, I can guarantee that abortion would be illegal, and HELLO! Prayer would be legal at graduations and in classrooms, and we wouldn't be even discussing whether "In God We Trust" should be allowed on our coins!

Yes, I'm a little incensed. You can't have it both ways, sister.

Do you get what I'm saying? You don't have to agree, but do you see it? Is she a radical Christian, or is she not an American citizen? Because those seem to be the only two options she presented.

And the Night That Changed Everything

Six years ago today, we awakened with dread. "She changed her mind," I told Hubs.

"We don't know that."

"Of course we do. She changed her mind. We are going home, without a baby, again."

"Not again." That was him being literal. That's because I was over-reacting and stating mis-truths. Though we'd had a couple fall through, we'd never gotten this involved, nor had we ever driven to a pick-up. So we hadn't "gone home" devastated. We'd just sat at home, devastated.

Hubs took our luggage out to the car and stayed absent far too long. When I poked my head out the door he was on the phone and gave me the thumbs up.

Hospital, here we come!

Except it didn't work that smoothly. Because our attorney, who was facilitating the pass, lost our cell phone number. A gazillion hours later we finally connected.

And though a whole heck of a lot transpired, like meeting Eldest's mother (which we weren't supposed to get to do), and a dismissal that was supposed to happen "now" that took two hours, and an extra friend that wasn't supposed to know about the pregnancy nor the fact that Hubs and I are as Caucasian (Euro Mutt) as they come...I was introduced to my son.

In a parking lot. Under a street light. He had ringlets in his hair and he was sucking on his bandaid. And I couldn't cry.

Besides, she now had 14 days to change her mind before I could leave the state or legally claim him as my own.

But he already had my heart.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

And tonight?

Well, we'd driven across four states to hear nothing. We stopped for dinner at a Subway in Boondocks, Nowhere and noticed that their marquee read "It's a Boy!"

We took a photo, just in case it was a message from God. We certainly had no messages from our social worker, nor our attorney.

Two hours later we finally heard our phone ring, and what did he say? "Haven't heard anything. Why don't you get a room on the north side of XXXX and I'll call you when I hear something."

We didn't want a room on the north side of XXXX. We wanted to go peek in a nursery window!

We went to bed exhausted and I slept for the first time in the three weeks since I got "the call."

On what should have been one anxious night, I got pure unadulterated peace.

Regardless of the phone call we didn't receive the next morning.

The Things They Say

Frodo, today as we are walking through the automatic doors at the grocery store:

"Sank You, door."

Not once, but twice. I was rolling!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Six Years Ago Today

I was packing for my trip to the hospital. Four states away. And terrified that a woman I never met and probably would never meet would dash my hopes like so many did before her.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) I will celebrate a birth that I suffered through but wasn't even sure occurred.

A year ago I wrote the last letter that I would ever send to the woman who made me a mother. I offered more if she would just express an interest and she didn't.

I wonder if she hurts tonight?

Wherever you are, I thank you. He is a joy and a treasure. We will never forget what you did for us. You are never far from our thoughts and you gave our family more than you could ever know.

Currently reading:

Monday, September 11, 2006

What I Was Going to Say

I wrote a very stirring piece tonight. And I'm afraid to post it. Is this what we've come to?

I have maybe 5 readers. I don't know. I don't have a site meter and I'm pretty sure I don't want to have one because I'm too concerned with what people think of me even without that kind of knowledge. But for practical purposes I'll estimate 5, on a good day. If that. And most of them have similar political, ethical, and moral beliefs, I assume.

But I'm afraid to post something that I fully believe on the off chance that "someone" will pop in and, what(?), disagree? Harm my family? I don't know. Would anything I say make a difference in anyone's life? A big enough difference that they would even bother with me?

Probably not. But I hesitate nonetheless.

This is the world in which we live. And if we don't fight it, they will continue to stifle us.

Do you ever go to a professional football game, look around the stands at the 30,000 in attendance and wonder if the stadium is the next target? Am I the only one? Big new years party? Long flight? Billy Graham crusade?

Pray for the wisdom of our president and our elect. Pray for America. Pray for peace, yes, but pray.

We must not live like this.

They Want Us Dead

Because I have been encouraged to do so, and because the horror of "The Path to 9/11" is starting to wane in my memory, here is my post that I wrote on 9/11. You'll recognize a few lines, but I'll leave it unedited.

Last week I had dinner with a professing Muslim. An American Muslim. Who, ironically, currently attends a Christian church and seems to finally (after many years of prayer on the parts of people who love him) be at least questioning. I thank God for that. But that isn't what I want to write about.

He said, "They want us dead. They want us all dead. Until we are all dead, they won't stop. That's what people in this country need to understand."

He knows who our enemy is. He isn't talking about his religion in general, he is talking about the enemy America is fighting.

This man is an American. He has American children and grandchildren. He made his money in American capitalism. He loves our country. His and mine.

But he knows and understands our enemy.

You may not support our president. You may be sick of the war. You may think it is over oil, or over politics. You may think it is against Islam in general.

My Muslim friend supports the war. America's side of it. He gets it. And it is time that the rest of us get it, too. They want us dead. And they will not stop until we are. We must stop them.

I'm feeling particularly patriotic tonight. Last night I had nightmares about what life could be. It was an awful night. We have to fight this war. We have to win. We have to stop them.

Pray for our country. Pray for our leaders. Pray for peace, yes, but pray.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Where Were You?

My mom tells the story of the moment she heard that JFK was shot. She laughed. She is still horrified of her response, but she thought it was probably a hunting accident and he got shot in the leg with a BB.

That response runs in our family. Call us Pollyannas, we expect the best of people and, well, we expect people to do stupid things, also.

Five years ago I had two babies under the age of one. I hadn't watched TV in months but regularly tuned in to the local Christian radio station. When the announcer broke in and said someone flew an airplane into the World Trade Center, I laughed. Okay, really it was a snicker.

"Idiot doesn't know how to fly and flew his dinky private prop plane into the towers." I'm thinking the idiot probably died, not much else.

Of course moments later, they were saying it looked like a passenger plane. I curbed my thoughts of the "idiot" and began to feel sorry for the passengers on the plane. The enormity of what had begun still eluded me.

Plane number two hit. The radio guy said, "There are planes all over they sky flying into buildings! Turn off the radio and turn on the TV!" I obeyed.

I watched in horror for a while, but not long. I still didn't get it.

I went to the gym. Typical American. I had a routine, I stuck to it. Baby fat to lose and all. I stood on the treadmill and watched the horror unfold.

And I prayed.

But by then I was getting it. I kept waiting for the next strike. Towers falling. Pentagon in flames. And a downed plane in Pennsylvania. I didn't want to leave the gym in case something else happened in the five minutes it would take me to drive home.

I stayed glued to the TV for days. When my son turned one, we flipped off the tv long enough for him to blow out his candle and then it was back on.

Do you remember how blue the sky was when no planes could fly? Not a cloud in sight.

Just a lone lasso where the last jet turned a 180 and landed.

Where were you?

I know I'll never forget. I remember the color of the chair and exactly where I was within the room. I remember the relief in my sister's voice when I got through to her. I remember the astonishment in my other sisters voice when I called to tell her sister 1 was okay. She hadn't seen a thing. I told her to just trust me and turn on the tv. I may be a pampered American, but I won't forget. And I'll be flying the flag high.

God Bless America.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

What Looks Like A Good Deal

Today, after I dropped my kids off at school, Frodo demanded we go garage sale-ing. I know, what do you do with such a demanding child? Especially when he is demanding your favorite pastime.

He wants a "Thing" toy. You know, the Thing from The Fantastic Four. Which was popular Last Year. He all of a sudden got this Thing thing. It isn't like he's seen the movie lately or anything. He just decided he wanted it.

Not a whole lot of garage sales today. But I found one. And I was very excited to find a never used 300 in 0ne Electronic Project Kit for a dollar. It is one of those boards where you can hook up circuits etc. And I haven't given up the idea of homeschooling someday. And, being that my husband and I are both scientifically minded we would, of course, focus on scientific things once they figure out how to read.

I brought the kit home. I opened it to revel in my great buy. There is no manual. I checked to make sure all the wires were there, but...I should have known. Everything ELSE at the sale was overpriced, of course they wouldn't let a $60 kit go for a buck. So I researched it out. Contacted the company. You know what that puppy costs to replace? $20. Plus shipping.

I'm thinking about buying a whole kit off ebay, asking them to trash the kit and send me the manual.

Any other ideas?

Oh, and VAIL? I hear ya on the drive thing, but frankly, the closest midwife is 45 minutes away and would miss the birth if it went that fast anyway. I say if the baby comes that fast, bring it on!

Hubs delivered calves in his early life. He thinks he can catch this one.

Look at that. I just saved myself $3000. I wonder if the insurance company would pay him?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Rather Slow Adjustment

I think the kids and I are starting to adjust to this new life. I don't think any of us really enjoy it, but I'll take adjusted over the alternative.

I adjusted to a new book today also. I just finished a contemporary UK novel, The Undomestic Goddess, which was good, but for some reason I couldn't cross myself over and get into it. Considering I loved her Can You Keep A Secret, but didn't really care for Shopaholic Gets Married, I'd say I like Ms. Sophie Kinsella but I'll keep letting the library buy her for me. Regardless, I went straight from that to Something Light which was written in 1960. Also a UK novel. Quite cleaner. But it began so....slowly. Although I don't really mean slowly. I mean I just couldn't figure out why my friend recommended it to me. Why my friend reads almost exclusively books written in the 60s.

I know people who read contemporary. I know people who read classics. I know people who read historicals. I read them all. But I have to say that books written in the early to mid 1900s I have a really hard time with. I expect them to be contemporary enough that I don't have to use much gray matter, but they aren't. It is almost like reading a translation of something from the earlier centuries. Who knew that 40 years could make such a difference?

And, I'm not adjusting to pregnancy. I don't know what is up. I don't know why my body is not behaving in predictable ways. I don't know why nothing sounds good to me even though I'm in my second trimester. I don't know why I'm still not gaining weight, but I can't fit my clothes. I'm still mad at my "insurance" and I have no idea who is going to deliver this baby besides myself. I find that pretty hard to adjust to. Right now I am seriously considering a midwife who practices three hours from my home. Tell me I'm insane. I know it is true. But I'm failing to see a better alternative.

Anyway, I'm now wondering how my dear heroine will end up with a happy ending so I'm going off to finish Something Light. Because even if the adjustment has been slow, I've made it.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tonight Princess and Eldest were practicing our address and phone number for school. We were chanting away. And Princess's chant turned into her vowel chant aa, eh, ih, ah, uh. Which became a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, eleven, p ...

This is the same child who, at three, decided she just needed to change the melody of the abc song from Twinkle, twinkle, little star so that she could fit L, M, N, O, P in and now we have this eleven issue.

I think it was a fluke. I laughed out loud, she giggled. We'll see.

They never did get the address or phone number. Why do I live in a city where phone numbers are ten digit affairs? And my address has 7 numbers in it. It is almost cruel to make a couple of five-year-olds memorize that. Heck, I hardly know it.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Fan Mail

I got fan mail! And not just the solicited kind from my family, friends, critique buddies, and bloggers. From a stranger.



(I should tell you how worried I was about this column. Because I tend to say somewhat controversial things and expect people to agree with me...and they usually don't. So this was a pleasant suprise. Though this article was not one of my most controversial. Unless, of course, you are the woman who has four children who belong in car seats without even a seat belt.)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I Never Thought I'd See the Day

Well, it's here. The day that many asked for. It only took fourteen weeks. I got bumped up a spot because we lost one of us, but...

Here you have it, the link to my first newspaper article. I take no credit for the opening sentence run-on. I did NOT have two ands in my version. Just so you know.