Saturday, December 30, 2006

No New Resolutions

I'm not going to spend a lot of time making a list of things I know I should do anyway. Same resolutions, another year. Yeah, I'll lose weight, exercise more, practice random acts of kindness. I don't need to write it down. Instead, here's an idea I saw somewhere else that I really like.
It's a list of things that make me happy.

Because you should always be grateful for the little things. Add your own items in the comment section.

TWENTY THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY - in no particular order

1. The complete attention of my son for more than thirty seconds
2. Live orchestral music
3. Driving fast with the top down
4. Starbucks
5. Billy Joel's "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant"
6. Standing just outside the Magic Kingdom when the train pulls up with Mickey to open the park
7. Drinks at the Waldorf with my Prince
8. Towels still warm from the dryer
9. Gel pens in 81 colors
10. The smell of Haslem's Book Store
11. Someone who is not related to me telling me they like my books
12. Shopping for new clothes
13. Dinner with J&J
14. Breakfast with the Girls
15. A new book by Lawrence Block
16. Filling in the squares of the NYTimes Sunday Puzzle
17. US 1 from Homestead to Key West
18. Grouper Sandwiches at the Hurricane
19. Christmas lights
20. YoYo Ma at Carnegie Hall

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Murder by Mat Cutter

How many women does it take to cut a mat? We found out yesterday. There were three of us. Obviously the answer is, "more than three."

My two releases at Loose Id have gorgeous covers, and I've already received the cover for my March release with Cerridwen Press. The next self-indulgent author step was to frame them, right? I have this completely charming young man named Dave who frames my needlework for which I pay him an arm and part of a leg. But since I plan to have fifty, a hundred, five hundred covers over the course of my writing career, I thought I'd save a bundle by learning how to do this myself. Now we know why Dave isn't cheap!

Sandy is an artist - by that I mean, she's painted pictures for which people have given her actual money! - so she had the equipment. Thing was, she didn't know how to use the mat cutter. Okay, maybe you've never seen one, so let me explain. It's a really long wooden board-type thingy with some long metal pieces in three places. You slide the mat under one metal thingy, line up your measurements and Bob's yer Uncle! You've got yourself a mat.

Only it's not that easy. First, there's the math. Yes, I can use a ruler and I can subtract. But when it came to dividing by fractions...well, my friend Jeanette had to leave the room. We finally got that part figured out, drew our nice straight pencil lines, erased the pencil lines from when we measured wrong the first get the picture.

And let me say right here and now - there was absolutely NO alcohol consumed during this procedure! Maybe that would have helped. But I can also say, and this may be harder to believe, there were no injuries either. Jeanette had the band-aid box at the ready, but we didn't need it.

Well, we spent the better part of two hours trying to figure out how to use this stupid thing (because the way we had it lined up, the blade was not deep enough to cut the mat, which was kind of the whole point) but we just couldn't make it happen. Finally, someone said, "See if they have an eight hundred number." To which I replied, "Google it!"

How Google has changed my life is a subject for another day. Finally, I found the website for the company that makes this torture device, looked at some instructive pictures and ... you're probably clever enough to figure this out by now... we were using the thing backwards!

Once we had the device lined up correctly, it was a piece of cake. Almost. All our useless earlier attempts had sufficiently dulled the blade so that we shredded the first mat. Luckily, we had a spare of each. One new blade and one new mat later, we were on our way.

Now we're thinking of starting an internet business - Custom Mats Cut to Order.

Nah, do it yourself. It's a lot more fun that way.

You can see these gorgeous covers (without the attractive mats) at

Click on BOOKS.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Kicking and Screaming

I guess it's time to join the Twenty-First Century. Okay, I have a blog. No, not a fog, a smog or a dog. A blog. It's probably a given for a Writer. We'll do almost anything not to actually write while giving the appearance of writing.

All right, so we have this blog thing. Soon we shall see what happens to it.

Have a wonderful day!