Friday, July 30, 2010

RWA Photos

Friday at the RWA conferenence in Orlando was an eye opener to me. I joined a long line waiting to get into the Harlequin booksigning. But it wasn't your normal booksigning. No, these books are all free. Once in the room, the line scattered as everyone sought out their favorite authors.

Here's a pic of Janice Lynn and her Harlequin Medical books.

I found my mentor, Margaret Daley and double RITA nominee, Carla Capshaw and snuck in behind them for a photo op.

Next, I wandered into the Pocket Books booksigning for an autographed Debbie Macomber book.

Jayne Ann Krentz aka Amanda Quick gave the luncheon speech.

RWA eHarl PJ Party

I haven't much time to post, but wanted to give you something...

Here's Nora Roberts at the Literacy booksigning. Yesterday she gave the keynote speech on a writer's support group of friends.

Last night I attended the Harlequin pajama party. My flash wasn't working, but all the Steeple Hill Love Inspired authors look great. Thank goodness I lost the 35 lbs or I'd be a blob!

Favorite authors Terri Reed and Dana Corbit.

A special moment was meeting Jayne, head hostie at the site.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Flying to Orlando

It feels so unreal that yesterday morning we were sitting at home in Saskatchewan and today we’re at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. I think the whole experience so far was expressed so eloquently, at least 3 dozen times yesterday, by JJ who kept repeating “Oh, my goodness” at each new step in our journey.

We flew out of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada via Skywest. As soon as we took our seats, JJ thoroughly checked the on-flight safety instructions since this was his first flight. He liked that there was a floatation device under each seat.

Puffy cotton  balls floating above fields of yellow canola, blue flax, green crops and brown summer fallow fields. 

We landed in Minneapolis just before lunch after a short 1.5 hr flight. JJ had problems with the descent as his ears refused to clear regardless of the amount of gum he chewed. Once on the ground, his ears ‘popped’ and he felt much better.

JJ’s eyes were glued to the Delta flight attendant as she demonstrated in-flight safety for the 2.5 hr flight to Orlando.

We cruised at 35,000 feet flying southeast from Minneapolis and then over Nashville, Tennessee.

I love this pic with my disembodied camera floating in the sky.

JJ managed to snooze on this part of the flight and recharge his energy.

We tried looking for Disney World on the descent to Orlando but didn’t see any of the famous icons.

The Orlando airport has huge and busy compared to the one back home.

We arrived in the early evening and caught our first sight of palm trees, or whatever these tropical trees are.

One of the perks of staying at a Disney World resort is the free shuttle service from the airport to the Yacht Club via Disney’s Magical Express which included Disney info and cartoons.

We're excited to see what tomorrow brings.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Flying Out

It's finally here! In a couple hours we're leaving to fly to Orlando where I'll participate in the Romance Writer's of America National Conference while Nelson and JJ visit Disney World. Yay!

I've been busy packing and preparing so I haven't any new news for you.

But as usual, I have a photo. 2010 is the 100th anniversary of the Saskatchewan Roughriders football team. We're seeing their insignia everywhere. I've packed my laptop so I can't show you all the ways we're celebrating, but here's a pic to give you an idea...

Rider pride lives in Riderville! Yay!!!

My next post will be from Florida. (I've always wanted to say that. LOL)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blogging and Packing

I think this is the longest I've gone between posting here, but that's because I've been playing chauffeur to my boys and trying to get everything ready for our trip to Orlando next week. I can't believe it's almost time to leave. Yikes!

I'm blogging about my upcoming trip over at Prairie Chicks Write Romance today. My question for discussion is if you're going to RWA Orlando this year and if you have any hints, tips or stories about other conferences to pass on.

I'm also hosting a guest blogger - Love Inspired Suspense author Stephanie Newton - over at Inkwell Inspirations today. Stephanie lives in Florida and her topic is about learning French and how she managed with the language while on a trip to France. Stephanie's question for discussion is if you've ever had a problem due to miscommunication or lack of it. Steph's giving away a copy of her latest release to one person who comments before Sunday midnight, July 25th.

The following photos were taken last week as I drove my boys to camp. They are all about hogging the road.

As soon as we left the town of Glenavon, we encountered this pump and hose on the road. I wasn't sure if I was allowed to drive over it, but I did. They closed the road a few days later.

About an hour later, we came up behind this farmer pulling his swather. I drove up close behind him and he just stayed at the same speed - in the middle of the road - for about a mile before he turned off. He didn't turn around once, but when I finally passed him, he tilted his head at me as if to say, 'See, that wasn't so bad.'

Now this guy was down-right scary. I looked ahead around the curve and saw this tractor trailer carrying a combine and coming up FAST. There just happened to be a road branching off to the right which I was able to pull into otherwise I would've been side-swiped! That truck was going so fast and he was all over the road. It's hard to see because of the dirty windshield, but the combine is so wide, the wheels hang over about 4 feet on either side of the lowbed.

Then on my way back, I came upon this farmer unloading his hopper into a grain truck and completely blocking the road in the process. I had to sit and wait until it was done. It only took 7 or 8 minutes, but the gall of the guy!

Well, that's prairie roads for you.

So, what's the strangest thing that's blocked your path?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

DVDing in the Rain at the Inkwell

Have you ever seen the movie, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers? It's my favorite movie and I'm talking about it over at Inkwell Inspirations today.

Why don't you come on over and tell me what you think about the legend of the Sabine women.

If you don't have time, that's okay, too. Have a great day and we'll talk to you soon.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Down 33 Pounds

Four months ago, on March 10th, I decided to take control of my body and lose weight. I still haven't gotten into an exercise regime, but based solely on eating healthier, I've lost 33 lbs, and dropped 4 BMI points.

I don't allow myself to let any food develop into a craving and if I want a piece of cake or cookie, I eat it. However, I seem to have trained my brain to look at food and automatically convert it into fat, sugar and calories. My Easter bunny is still sitting there on an extra chair at the table. I see it every day but so far, have to wish to eat it.

I'm using the 'Lose It' application on my iTouch and it's helping me keep an eye on what I eat. Because of this, I'm choosing healthier stuff.

Here's a photo of what my normal lunch looks like. For a dip, I usually have a small bowl of The Source yogurt on the side. I also try to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Swallow Baby Photos & Book Giveaway

I'm hosting Love Inspired Suspense author Stephanie Newton over on the Prairie Chicks blog today, so if you want the chance at winning a free book, head on over to Prairie Chicks Write Romance.

Meanwhile, as promised, I took some photos of the Swallows nest above our garage-turned-rec centre where my office is located.

Here's where they made the nest for the second year in a row.

So far, I've seen 4 babies waiting for momma.

Now don't laugh at me, but I can't figure out if this bird is looking up or down. I can't see her face.

The top part looks like the same beak coloring as the babies, but if it is, why is the bird looking up? I took several shots of the nest like this and that adult bird didn't move.

But, if it's the back end, where are the tail feathers?

The swallows really don't want me going to work and dive-bomb me every chance they get.

And when I finally get inside, they sit right outside the window and watch the door.

This looks like papa, doesn't it?

So, any birds dive-bombing you lately?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Prairie Wildlife Photos

These days, I'm busy working on the final draft of my historical romance, Emma's Outlaw, so I thought I'd give you some photos to check out. They are all of prairie wildlife in my area.

Do you remember the afternoon JJ and I sat in the van on the empty dirt road with the suspicious looking dynamite box and waited for the Mountie? Well, these cowbirds kept us company.

I had this photo in mind and just needed to wait for the cowbird to take flight.

I waited.

And, I waited.

Then, I almost missed it because my arm was getting tired holding the camera in position and the bird decided to take off at the same moment I lowered the camera.

About a quarter mile away on the same road but on a different day, I glanced at this familiar old bridge and saw a mule deer hiding underneath. As soon as my mind understood what I'd seen, I backed up to get a photo. The buck was still there--so still--that I thought it was a wooden silhouette like the ones I saw on hilltops along the highways in Wyoming last Sept. He was real, though, because we saw him move his head a few times.

This photo was taken on Hwy 48 around 8pm at the end of June. I was aiming for the reflection of the steel collar and was fortunate to find a yellow-headed cowbird in the close vicinity. You have to look close, but he's on a cattail on the right side.

The barn swallows are dive-bombing me on the way to my office in our renovated garage and when I look up at the nest, I can see open beaks patiently waiting. I'll try and get a pic of that for you for next time.

Do you have these prairie birds and mule deer where you live?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Book Review: A Tailor-Made Bride

Book Review: A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer, Bethany House, 2010

This refreshing book takes the adage of ‘judging a book by its cover’ to its simplest form. It’s based on the principle that just because you’re born with certain attributes, doesn’t mean you can’t improve upon them. Forget hair dye, make-up or something drastic like plastic surgery. We’re talking about something as basic as clothing.

Hannah Richards is a skilled dressmaker whose original designs enhance a beautiful woman and beautify a plain one. She knows what colors and cuts work with the different shapes and sizes God has endowed upon the female body. And as a female, she knows that a bit of lace and frills can do much to instill confidence.

When Hannah is gifted a building, she believes God is guiding her to open a dressmaker’s shop. She can witness to their soul while working on their attire.

Jericho ‘J.T.’ Tucker doesn’t see it that way. As far as he’s concerned, Hannah’s chosen career has the ability to incite jealousy and practice avarice. He loathes all the showy details which contribute to vanity. Decent women wear plain, practical dresses devoid of pretty frippery.

He believes people should look at inner beauty versus outer beauty, although he admits he’s never looked twice at a plain or thick-waisted woman.

Hannah needs success for her new business. J.T. has experience with vanity and doesn’t want the dress shop to succeed. They are on opposite sides of the street with an unbreechable wall between them. Until J.T.’s sister orders a new dress…

You should read this book for the entertainment value alone… or if you ever wondered what the Bible says about dressing in finery. Either way, you’ll be blessed.

I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of review, however, I was under no obligation to review it favourably. But I did because I liked it.

I'm also featuring this book review over at Inkwell Inspirations today.

I hope you're enjoying your patriotic weekend.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Fireworks and Lightning

For those who expected to see my ACFW blog post here today, it actually went up on Wed (with photos and links) to match the ACFW one (without photos and links).

Patti Lacy, my Inky sister, is posting on the ACFW blog today about conference friends and dreams.

Hope you had a great Canada Day. Nelson brought home a box of fireworks which we set off at 10 pm in the yard. Lightning to the west added to the light show but the electrical storm never materialized. The wind came up to blow the mosquitoes away, though.

The weather is hot and humid on the prairies these days. From one extreme to the other, eh.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day


It's July 1st and Canadians are celebrating the 143rd birthday of our great country.

If you are Canadian, how will you celebrate, today?

If you are one of our American friends, how will you celebrate your country's birthday in 3 days?


Book Winner Dynamite Contest

It's July 1st and as promised, I've drawn a name from all those who commented or played my 'dynamite contest' game over the last week here and on my eHarlequin blog.

And the winner of Jillian Hart's book is...


Congratulations, Christa. Keep an eye out for my email.

Thanks to everyone else for playing along.

Have a great holiday weekend.