Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Getting Up and Getting Going

I used to be a pretty decent runner. I could do three or four miles without too much trouble. But as life and work and kids happened, somewhere along the way I quit running. It's the only form of exercise that has ever truly worked for me, meaning it's the only thing that truly shaves off the pounds. Another thing that's kept me grounded is my writing career. Writing, editing, marketing and selling books is a time-consuming proposition. I've often thought that if I could only spend a quarter of the time I spend writing on the running trail, I'd be fit enough for my liking. So all these things have gotten in the way and doing something to change that dynamic has been on my mind for some time now.

My husband Dan is a huge runner, although he's on hiatus right now recovering from achilles tendonitis. He told me a while back about a program called Couch to 5K, which takes you from couch potato to 5K runner in eight weeks. It's an interesting concept that involves intervals of running and walking, increasing time and distance over the course of the program. I decided to give it a whirl. Best of all, my kids decided to do it with me. Yay! They are at the ages now (Emily is 14 and Jake is almost 11) where it's difficult to find things we can do together where everyone is having fun. We did the first workout today and it was so fun. There was lots of laughing, especially when Emily was running circles around me. She's such a show off! Jake did really well, and kept right up with us, surging far ahead of me during the running portions. And I heard lots of details about their school days that I might've missed if we hadn't taken that half hour to spend together.

We made a pinky promise to not tell Dan that we'd started the program because he's been a total NUDGE asking when are we going to do it and how are we going to do it and where are we going to do it. He's too needy. The pinky promise lasted until dinner when Emily blew it. And she thought Jake would blab on his way to baseball practice with Dan driving him. NOT! SHE was the weakest link! Now he's going to be all up in our grill wanting to know every detail!

So, we're off and running. I'll let you know how it goes! If you've been looking for a magic bullet, check out the link. Maybe we can all do it together!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Boats, Kids, Books, TV and Sports

How does it get to be two weeks since I last posted? And yet I still have readers loyal enough to nominate my blog for one of the top 100 romance blogs on The Daily Reviewer. Thanks to whomever submitted my blog to these folks! I'm glad you find something worth coming back for despite my spotty posting. I promise to get better this fall. Honestly, I will!!

So what have I been up to? Well, you all know I love nothing more than spending time out on the water on my dad's boat. This month I've been stymied by other commitments that have kept me off the boat! I've been out exactly twice despite the gorgeous September weather--weather I might add that we were denied for most of June and July this year. The first time I went out, the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, I slept most of the time as I was in full-on high school reunion recovery mode. I had stayed out until 2 am, I had drank like I drink a lot normally (I do not), and had partied, literally, like it was 1999. And I paid the next day. Big time. So that boat trip really didn't count. This past Saturday, I scored my second ride of the month, but again, it was an unconventional outing. My son had a 1 p.m. baseball game in another part of the state, about 30 minutes from home. After they got spanked 20-3, we hustled home, grabbed the daughter and the bathing suits, and rushed into Newport to meet my dad. We left the dock at 4:15, about four hours later than normal. Jake and Dan went swimming, the rest of us shivered just watching them, and we put-putted around for a couple of hours. It was great, and just what I needed. Hopefully, we can get a few more such outings in before the boat goes to bed for the winter on Oct. 19. My son Jake is famous for swimming from May to October, so we'll see if his record continues!

I've been doing a lot of reading lately, too. I devoured Lisa Kleypas's new Hathaway book, Tempt Me at Twilight. I didn't love it quite as much as some of the other Hathaway books, but that didn't stop me from reading it in 24 hours. I finally read my chapter mate Loretta Chase's classic, Lord of Scoundrels and LOVED it. I can see why it's so often talked about. Now I am reading Eloisa James' Pleasure for Pleasure. If you are seeing a pattern, you're not mistaken. My historical reading phase continues! I've been actually thinking lately that it would be fun to write one. Or not. I've also been reading my friend Cheryl Brooks' next release, Hero, and enjoying it very much. It's fun to get a sneak peek at her next book and to make all the gals on her blog jealous at the same time! In the midst of all this reading, I'm also tweaking one of my own books, See You Next Time. More to come on that soon, I hope!

TV is back! I loved the season premieres of Grey's Anatomy and Brothers & Sisters. Gasp! Kitty has cancer! Didn't see that coming! Looking forward to Private Practice this week, and must get caught up on the TiVO'd episodes of Glee, the only new show I've taken on lately. Just like every year, the TV season returns just as baseball is winding down. NY clinched the AL East yesterday after sweeping my Red Sox, but luckily the Sox are still leading the American League Wild Card race and look good to make the playoffs. And the Patriots won yesterday after a rough loss last week, so all is well in football land, too. For now anyway.

On top of all this, the kids are BUSY! WHEW!!! Teenager life continues to be an interesting experience with the Divine Ms. Em who is 14. I never knew I was so damned stupid until I had a teenager! Last week the newly minted class president was trying to organize a bake sale for open house at school by calling as many classmates as she could reach. I suggested she hit them all with one Facebook message. "That is a very inefficient way to communicate," she replied. Hmmm, as the communications director for a 15,000-member national organization, I found that humorous to say the least. I mean, seriously, what the hell do I know?

Have a great Monday!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Book Signing Fun and Guiding Light

Thank you to Merry Cutler at Annie's Book Stop in Sharon, Massachusetts for having me back to sign this past Saturday. Emily and I had a great time meeting new readers and old friends, including Janice Gould, who has single-handedly sold about twenty copies of Line of Scrimmage. She finally bought her copy of Love at First Flight at the signing, so now I'm biting my nails waiting to hear what she thinks! Here's a photo with Sherry Prescott, who had planned to buy just L@FF until Janice "convinced" her she HAD to buy LOS, too! With fans like that, who needs marketing?

Did you see the piece on 60 Minutes last night about the end of Guiding Light's 70-year run on CBS? This coming Friday the show will go dark after more than 15,700 episodes and 4,000 more radio shows. It's the longest running show on television and it played a HUGE role in my life as a teenager. What tried and true Guiding Light fan could forget Phillip, Beth, Mindy and Rick going to the prom in 1983? Or that Phillip and Beth's song was "Truly" by Lionel Richie? Who can forget the incredible character of Reva Shane, played by the peerless Kim Zimmer? Reva's love story with Josh Lewis was full of sigh-worthy moments that stayed with me years after I stopped watching the show. I'll never forget the evil Alan Spaulding, the delightful Lillian Raines, the scrappy Harley Cooper, the dependable Frank Cooper, the Bauers, Springfield itself...

My mother didn't want me watching the soaps when I was a young teenager, so I lived for Mondays—the day she bowled and I could gorge on Guiding Light in peace. However, she'd get home like clockwork at 3:50 p.m., meaning I missed the all-important last five minutes! (Good thing she never thought to check the heat coming from the TV!) I had to call a friend to find out what happened. Even watching once a week, I found I could keep up aided by the occasional flip through Soap Opera Digest in the drug store to fill in the missing blanks. In thinking about my mother forbidding me to watch, it occurred to me that I was allowed to watch Dallas and Falcon Crest. How funny is that? They were much worse than Guiding Light! My love of the soap probably played no small role in my later career as a romance writer!

Did you ever watch Guiding Light or any of the soaps? Are there characters you've never forgotten?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Movies I Could Watch Over and Over Again...

It's Labor Day and lots of great movies have been on TV this weekend. I thought it would be fun to list the movies that never grow old for me.

1. Pretty Woman. I don't know why but I still love it after a 100 viewings. I drive my family crazy reciting the lines before they say them. When my daughter came to me the night before her freshman year of high school began and wanted to match boots with shorts, Dan said, "You're the one who let her watch Pretty Woman." I said no to the combo, but I'd say YES to the movie every time.

2. The Sound of Music. It was on last night and I watched enthralled, as if I hadn't seen it 200 times before. I sang the songs and said the lines. I know... total dork, but I'm okay with that. I just LOVE IT. My father calls it "Up on the Mountain." LOL

3. The Parent Trap. Emily and I have Parent Trap movie nights quite regularly. It's on TV right now, and as always we've dropped everything to watch it. Now our love of the movie is tempered with sadness over the loss of Natasha Richardson, who was so wonderful as the mom. The other kid movies I love forever are Toy Story and Toy Story 2. I hear there's a third one coming next year. I'll be there!

4. Sex in the City. I absolutely adored the movie and it's climbed right up on my must-see list. Emily and I watched it in the hotel when we were in DC. Since she's only 14, I had to say LOOK AWAY a few times. ACK! Luckily, she has no desire to see "that stuff" yet! They are now filming Sex in the City 2. Can't wait!

5. Most of Julia Roberts' other movies: Knotting Hill, The Runaway Bride, Ocean's 11, etc. And most of Hugh Grant's movies, including Three Weddings and a Funeral, Knotting Hill, Two Weeks Notice, etc.

What do all of these movies have in common (well, except for Toy Story that is)? ROMANCE!

What are some of your favorites?

Friday, September 4, 2009


Sorry for the long radio silence. This has been on heck of a crazy summer around here!! Between launching Love at First Flight, my daughter performing in a play, both kids going to sailing camp three days a week, the annual cousin invasion, the RWA conference in Washington, my work conference in New Orleans, planning my 25th high school reunion (which is tomorrow) and oh yeah, that pesky thing called a JOB, this summer has been OFF THE CHARTS!

Up here in New England we had craptastic weather for all of June and July so beach season didn't even really get under way until August. We put many fewer hours than usual on the boat this year thanks to the weather and the schedule from hell, but we're hearing September and October will be nice. We think that's the very least of what the weather gods owe us! My crazy children will swim right up until mid-October, long after most sane people have quit. Right on September 1, the day the kids went back to school (and my oldest to high school--sniff sniff) the weather became September-esque. Clear and cool and absolutely lovely. This is my favorite time of year, and I plan to enjoy it.

On the writing front, I wrote THE END last night on a book I wrote this summer, in the midst of mayhem. I hope to be able to tell you more about the book very soon! I'm very excited about this one, and had the time of my life writing it, which was why I was able to fit it in amid all the other goings on this summer. I started it June 1 and finished it yesterday, September 3. When we were in Block Island a couple of weeks ago, I was so into it that I wrote long hand on the beach because I couldn't shut the story off. Those are the most magical writing experiences and something to treasure no matter what becomes of the book.

Well, that's what's up around here. What have you guys been up to?