26 September 2013

Ode To Autumntime

I dropped my kids off at their bus in the usual flurry of rush and reminders and good-bye hugs, then I took myself for a walk.

The mountaintops had been snow-dusted with icing sugar during the storm last night.  The candy sprinkles came courtesy of the changing leaves, and were just visible under the the new white coats.  It was still just warm enough to expose my calves and forearms to the pumpkin-spiced elements, but my fingers insisted on hiding inside knit gloves because the chill in the air tried to bite them.

I breathed in the scents of long-lasting dew and occasionally decaying fruit from trees no one had harvested.  It makes me a little sad to see fruit rotting on the ground under a tree.  Sad, neglected fruit.  Didn't anyone want to take you home?

This time of year, its beauty and melancholy, makes me think of spiced apple cider and pumpkin pie; sitting beside a crackling fire under a blanket while through the open window blows a breeze to nip at exposed skin.  It's soccer season (for girls) and trick or treating.

This is my favorite time of year.  After the furnace of summer has begun to cool and before the gray of winter sets in.  It's perfect.

I only wish it could last longer.

23 September 2013


As the title might suggest, I have made a mathematical error.  I've never been very good at math.

The book signing, I'll be participating in will be October 5.  It still starts at 6:00 PM and is still at the Orem Barnes & Noble.  

Come and see me then.  I won't be there otherwise.

21 September 2013

Find A Happy Place

For those of you (and I know there are a lot of you) mourning the lost opportunities of seeing me at a book signing, I will ease your minds.

Barnes & Noble is having a Romance-apalooza book signing at their Orem, Utah location.  It starts at 6:00 PM.  Lots of great authors will be there.  Come and see me.  I'll be the one wishing I were sitting in the darkest corner.

16 September 2013

Voyeuristic Owls

For the last two years, we've had a transparent shower curtain.  When I bought the thing, I was thinking, "Oh, it will make our small bathroom seem bigger."  It was also the cheapest.  This is why I'm not an interior designer.

We have had countless meltdowns outside the bathroom door in the last two years because a small person needed to use the toilet, while someone else was taking a shower and neither person wanted to see the other doing their business.

So, when my mother told me a store she frequents, which I will not name on account of its ghetto propensities (hints: it has senior citizen discount days and rhymes with chopko),  was having a 50% discount sale on all its shower curtains, I loaded the kids in the car and headed over.  I had to act quickly because the sun was going down and I didn't want to risk being in the parking lot when the hoodlums emerged after dark to snatch my purse and rob me of my dignity. (Yes, I'm exaggerating.  When writers do it, it's called creative license.)

We found the aisle we wanted and I debated with my kids over which one would look the best in our smallish bathroom.  My daughter has great taste in all things ensemble, so I took her advice and bought the curtain with the cute little owls perched on black trees with leaves in the background.

We got it home, hung it, and were pardonably pleased with the effect.  No more crying outside the bathroom door because we now had a partition between toilet and shower.  No more business watching on either side.  And it looked good.

There's just one problem.

These owls have big, surprised eyes.  Interested eyes, if you know what I mean.  And they're the kind of eyes that follow you, no matter where you are.  If you can see them, they're watching you.  So, every time I go in the bathroom, I have 16 pairs of eyes staring at me.  One owl is just peeking over the bottom hem, like it knows it shouldn't be watching, but it just can't help itself.

It's a little creepy.

If I weren't so cheap, I'd buy a new one.  But then, I'd probably have those big, interested eyes filling my dreams with their accusations.

13 September 2013

Asian Cinema

My brilliant, amazing, scholarly husband did a radio interview a couple of weeks ago for BYU radio.  It's available to listen to here, if you're interested.  Which, I have to admit, I am.  Listening to my husband converse makes me feel smarter.  You will too.

10 September 2013

Perfect Pete

My neighbor came over to fetch her girls home, and as usually happens, we got to chatting. (Every time I use the word chatting, I hear my children's voices saying, "Mum!  Stop chatting!")  My neighbor sat on the couch that tries to eat whoever puts their bottoms on it and said, "I just finished reading your book."

Any time I hear those words, I tense up.  I've never had anyone tell me to my face they hated the book, but I'd almost prefer it to the false compliments I've had served up to me since it came out.  If you don't like my story, tell me straight.  Or don't talk to me about it at all.  If you thought it was mediocre, keep you mouth shut.  But if you sincerely liked it, then you may proceed with compliments.

My neighbor took me off guard by not saying anything I was expecting.  "So, did you know that Pete is basically my husband?"

Considering I didn't even know my neighbors until the book was under contract, I think it's safe to say I had no idea.

She continued.  "If I'd let him get away with not talking for years at a time, he totally would.  He's the kind that will just do things he thinks you want him to do.  He works hard.  He's patient.  He's Pete."

"That's great!" I said.  "Because I've had one or two readers say they'd like me to give them Pete's number.  I'll give them yours."

She laughed.  I wasn't kidding.

02 September 2013

A Little Brekky

Walking home from church yesterday, my daughter said to me, "Mum, are you planning to wake up early tomorrow?"

"Um... no.  Why?"

"We were told in church to do something nice for someone else, and I thought I would do something for you and Dad."

I thought it was very sweet, then forgot all about it.

This morning, I heard the kids walk down the hall to the kitchen. One of them closed our bedroom door as they passed. I could tell they were trying to be quiet, they kept sushing each other.  The sounds of pans being used and the scraping of silverware tiptoed under our door and into the room.  I nudged my husband awake and we shared a smile.

Several minutes later, the door opened and three pajama-ed kids entered baring plates.  My husband got a bottled smoothie, sliced pear, and eggs, sunny side up.  I also got eggs (not so sunny sided), sliced pear,  and a bowl of tossed salad.  They handed us the things they'd prepared and stood back to watch us eat their creations.  They were pleased as pie with themselves.  As they should have been.

So, it turned out, my Labor day, began with a Labor-free morning.