Monday, August 30, 2010

Fruit Fly Trap & Giveaway Winner

Using, I've picked a winner from those people commenting on my Beach and Boardwalk Giveaway post whether they commented on my personal blog, on Facebook, or on my eharlequin blog.

And the winner of a copy of Jillian Hart's A McKaslin Homecoming is . . .

Patti Lacy who commented on my personal blog.

Yay! Congrats, Patti.

Thank you everyone who stopped in for a visit.

Today's photo is not for the squeamish. So, if you have a soft stomach, don't look!

Here's the background... When we went to Orlando, I didn't think we left any fruit out in the open. When we got back after a week's absence, I found a soft banana on the counter. Here's the yucky part - the end of the banana had fallen off and little white maggots were having a feast. I promptly threw it out.

However, we now had fruit flies dancing around the room. They were flying out of everywhere! After a few days, I was ready for battle.

I remembered a fly trap which works on the principle that flies can get into things, but if the entrance is 'up', they can't get out.

So, I cut up a canteloupe and placed 2 - 1" pieces in a bowl which I covered with plastic wrap. I then used a pointed object to poke a quarter inch hole in the plastic.

Within the hour, I'd caught my first fruit fly. Three days later I took this photo prior to emptying the bowl. The trap had done it's job and the house was clear of fruit flies.

The blue circle is around the only hole in the plastic. Yay! An unqualified success.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Beach and Boardwalk Giveaway

I'm in my cave this week working on the final edits to Emma's Outlaw. It's going well and I'm getting excited. But today, I had to drive into the city for a slew of appts with the boys and it's too late to get into my manuscript, so I thought I'd post some more photos of my Orlando trip.

I filed these in a Beach and Boardwalk folder since they're all taken looking toward the beach and/or Boardwalk Resort. Behind me would be the Stormaway Bay waterpark but those photos will be in my next Orlando post.

This first photo is an example of my camera lens fogging up when I stepped outside around 7 am. I'd quickly use my shirt or thumb to clear the lens and digital viewing area. Sometimes it cleared quickly, sometimes it didn't. I kind of like the effect in this photo. I'm still waiting for someone to tell me what bird is sitting atop that post.

On the mornings the RWA conference did not provide breakfast, I'd take my muffin and coffee and sit on a bench near the beach. The first morning, I heard what I thought was a lawn mower and saw a cast member dredging the beach. I thought maybe he was cleaning it, but he left 'stuff' behind.

The end result was a very pretty beach. It didn't take long for people ... and ducks ... to leave prints. The sign says, 'No Swimming' as the real swimming occurs in Stormaway Bay. Looks like the ducks are ignoring the sign. Funny thing is, I have pictures of them swimming in the rain in Stormaway Bay, too.

This guy looked so relaxed.

The photo was taken around 8 am.

I don't know if he was sleeping or just tanning, but he didn't move as the ducks walked right past him. I knew exactly when they realized he was there, however because they'd be waddling along and as they passsed him, they picked up speed.

This is the Friendship Launch. It's the water-taxi used to transport people from the Beach and Yacht Club resorts to Epcot, Disney Hollywood Studios, and the Swan and Dolphin Resort. I only used it once, on a terribly hot day and it was stifling inside the launch.

You must be getting used to seeing this lighthouse. It's the central point of the lagoon and this is the view you see as soon as you step out the Yacht Club door. It's also the water-taxi stand. This photo was taken about 8:30 pm under a spectacular sunset. The next evening saw an electrical storm that closed Stormaway Bay and banned the water-taxi from leaving whatever dock it happened to be at.

Most nights, they'd show a movie on the beach. This was taken around 10:30 pm near the end of the movie. The night was warm with a slight breeze. Lights reflected off the water, and the Epcot fireworks shot off to my left. I loved the atmosphere.

I've created jigsaw puzzles for your enjoyment. Have fun!

I have another copy of Jillian Hart's A McKaslin Homecoming to give away to someone who comments on this post on either of my 3 blogs: here, Facebook, eharlequin. Deadline for this giveaway is Sunday midnight, Aug 29th.

And if you're wondering why I have so many copies of this book, I'm an ambassador for Harlequin Enterprises and they sent me a small boxful of copies to give away. :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dolphin Blogpost Winner

Using, I've picked a winner from those people commenting on My Daily Dolphin Walk post whether they commented on my personal blog, on Facebook, or on my eharlequin blog.

And the winner of an autographed copy of Victoria Dahl's Crazy for Love is...


Yay, congrats, Deb!

Thank you everyone who stopped in for a visit.

Today's photo is cropped so you don't see the full effect, but it was taken within minutes of stepping outside outside the Yacht Club at 7 am. The heavy humidty would fog my glasses, as well as my camera lens.

I don't know what type of bird is atop that post, but it was one of the bigger ones I saw in Orlando.

In the background, is the Boardwalk Resort.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Goody Room Pics and Giveaway

Don't forget to leave a comment on My Daily Dolphin Walk post before Sunday midnight to get in on the drawing for the autographed Victoria Dahl book.
I'm blogging about all the free promotional items available in the Goody Room at RWA Orlando today at Prairie Chicks. I have lots of photos to give you ideas of how you can promote yourself and your book.

While I was at the RWA conference, Nelson and JJ were touring the Disney parks.

In this photo, JJ is standing on a San Francisco street at Disney Hollywood Studios. Can you guess where reality ends and fiction starts?


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Daily Dolphin Walk

My post Last Friday contained photos from our vacation at Disney World. For this post, I thought I'd show you my walk from the Dolphin Hotel back to the Yacht Club.

The Swan and Dolphin Resort is where the Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference was held and my main reason for being at Disney World. I showed the Dolphin in my last post, so this time I'm showing it's sister.

The door I usually exited from would have been on the right of this photo, around the edge of the square edge of the pond. A covered walkway lined with palms connects the Swan and Dolphin. In the middle of this pomendade, is a dock where Disney's Friendship Launch collects passengers for the short trip to Disney Hollywood Studios, Boardwalk, Epcot and the Beach and Yacht Club.  In the photo above, on the left, you see the start of the double bridge which connects the Swan to the others.

The entrance to Boardwalk is in the middle of a double bridge that spans the distance from the corner of the Yacht Club Resort to the Swan Hotel. I walked over it one morning and had a bit of a fright... I didn't realize until my head started pounding that I'd forgotten to take my blood pressure pills and although I had them, I didn't have any water or other liquid. Let's just say I spent the rest of the walk in prayer and took my pills at the first opportunity.

But, on my normal walk, if I turn left with Boardwalk across the water on my right, this is what I see... 

The water taxi goes under this bridge to enter the lagoon which is surrounded by the Yacht and Beach Club on the left and Boardwalk on the right. If you look under the bridge, you see the white sandy beach of Stormaway Bay which I'll feature in later posts.

From here, I follow the sidewalk to the left around the final wing of the Dolphin. The walk is pleasant, with tame ducks crossing my path and a wall of palms so high, I couldn't capture them in one shot.

Actually, the base of these tall trees caught my eye as well. They reminded me of a tree that's had earth taken away from it's base so that it sits higher than the surrounding landscape, but in this case, I think it's actually the way it grows.

In this photo, three palm fronds are lying on the ground beneath the tree. I assume this is a natural progression of growth, like most plants, as I often saw them under trees and at the edge of ponds. I even saw a cast member fish one out of a flower bed. 

The sidewalk ends at the road on the other side of the trees which is the official edge of the Dolphin Resort.

It's also the start of the bridge to Boardwalk and the Swan Hotel...

The bike cart in this photo is one of the favourite attractions of Boardwalk. This is a single-seat bike cart which seats four (2 kids in the front), but a double-seated one (also with the capacity for 2 kids in front) is common as well. Each one is fitted with a bell and rope and the families who tour the lagoon on it make good use of the clang, clang to make themselves known. Pedestrians shared in the jovialty of the passengers bringing lots of smiles even though several went through every hour, right until 10 pm. That's Boardwalk in the background of the above photo.

Once I cross the road, I'm back on the Yacht Club Resort property and continue my walk along the lagoon.

The dock to the right which leads to the lighthouse where you catch the water taxis to Epcot, Boardwalk, Disney Hollywood Studios, and back to the Swan and Dolphin Hotel.

And in the background, you see the shipwreck of Stormaway Bay which is the start of the waterslide.

Of course, turning left when I get to the dock is where I'm heading because after that nice walk in 36C/105F plus heat, I'm heading into the air conditioned Yacht Club.

As promised, I'm giving away another book... It's an autographed copy of Victoria Dahl's Crazy for Love, HQN 2010. Please note, this is a secular book. I have no idea of the 'heat' level, but the cover reads, 'A fun, feisty and relentlessly sexy adventure.'

I'll collect names for this draw from all those leaving a comment here, as well as my Facebook and blogs for this and any post up till the deadline of midnight, Sunday August 22nd.

*** Since someone - waving at Patti :) - made the observation that they thought I was showing actual photos of a Dolphin on this post, I've looked through my photo collection and found this...

It's me and Crystal back in Oct 1997 which is the only other time I've been to Orlando. The photo is taken at the Dolphin tank at Sea World. Actually, I have a neat story from there which I'll tell someday. So many stories, so little time.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Winner and Gold Fever

I've collected the names from all those who left a comment on my Disney Vacation post, whether it was posted here, on Facebook, or on my eharlequin blog.

And the winner of Jillian McKaslin's Love Inspired book, A McKaslin HomeComing is...

FakeFrenchie from my eharl blog. Yay!

I'll be posting more photos with another book giveaway tomorrow.

In the meantime, I'm blogging at Inkwell Inspirations today about the time I experienced Gold Fever and went in search of a ghost town called Granite City.

Photo Credit:

Friday, August 13, 2010

Disney Vacation Pics

Here's some pics from our vacation last week...

Each morning, Nelson and JJ would leave for their excursion to one park or another while I attended the RWA conference. Here they are leaving for a day at the Magic Kingdom. Don't they look... excited?

I liked the decor of our Yacht Club room, as it was all done in tasteful, soothing colours...

... and we had our own personal balcony which overlooked the trees...

... unfortunately, it also overlooked the roof air conditioning units. And although I didn't spend much time on the balcony due to the extreme heat, the a/c added to the white noise of the a/c in the room.

Considering that we paid half the normal rates because of the special conference rate, I didn't think we had anything to complain about.

It took me 15-20 mins to walk to the Dolphin Hotel next door.

 In this photo, you see the Dolphin behind the eastern portion of the Yacht Club. I guess they knew I was trying to lose weight, because when we registered, they gave us a room over in the western portion which added another 10 mins to my walk. The Yacht Club is actually twice as wide as the distance you see from where I'm standing to that portion in front of me. Our balcony opened to the south which overlooked the parking lot.

As I walked back to the Yacht Club after that first day of the conference, I heard a boom and saw fireworks. They were part of Epcot's nightly IllumiNations Light Show. I could only see the fireworks, but they were enough.

So, did you like the photos? I have more to show you, too.

Leave a comment before midnight, Sunday night, and I'll enter you in a drawing for a brand new copy of Jillian Hart's A McKaslin Homecoming.

Comments will be accepted on this post only whether it's here on my blog, on my facebook page, or on my blog.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Fascinating Interactive Art Display

While walking through the Minneapolis International Airport last week, I saw a very intriguing sight. A woman wearing a business suit and pulling a small computer bag suddenly hopped up and waved her arm in a wide arc. We were about 20 feet behind her and I saw her face light up in a fantastic grin as she glanced at what looked like a large whiteboard beside her. She then kept walking, barely breaking her stride.

My eyes latched onto the whiteboard and I saw a bunch of leaf-like images pull together into an umbrella shape. Within seconds, I realized it was an interactive art display. Intriguing.

And there wasn't just one, but several of these large whiteboards about ten feet apart.

Here's what happened when I told JJ to wave at it:

I don't know what kind of technology is used in this display, but it sure put smiles on a lot of faces.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fav Authors, RWA Orlando, & a Wet iTouch

I'm over at Inkwell Inspirations today talking about my reading journey and all the favourite authors I've discovered along the way. You're welcome to come and tell us who you love to read.

I'm also at Prairie Chicks Write Romance today with more photos of my Romance Writers of America conference in Orlando, FL.

I've been home now for 3 days and find scents and images superimposing themselves as I'm doing things. Like when I'm working with my photos, organizing and cropping them, I can smell the beach. Or the awful ashes odour that permeated the front store area of the Beach Club Marketplace. Not sure what that was about, but it was there the whole time we were.

The weather here at home is average for here at 22C/76F but it seems cooler after the hot, humid days in Florida. And after days of walking everywhere down there, my body feels sluggish and achey. It's taken a few days to get caught up on my sleep and is a good reminder to ensure I'm well rested before flying to Indy this Sept. Is it only in 6 wks? Yowza!

For today's pic, I thought I'd show you the note I found from Nelson when I returned from a day of conferencing.

Nelson and JJ had wanted to spend a day at the beach re-energizing so they spent it in Stormaway Bay which is the Beach and Yacht Club's swimming area - considered the 3rd waterpark of Disney World. Nelson said later, they'd been in the water several minutes when he realized his iTouch was still in his pocket. Ouch! He immediately brought it back to the room and used my mini to surf the web for instructions. Everything he found said NOT TO TURN IT ON. He didn't. Instead, he left it like this to dry. And now, 5 days later, he still hasn't turned it on as they mentioned leaving it for a week or two to allow internal components to dry out. They warned it'll probably never be as good as it was, though. Oh yuck! Men and their toys, eh.