Thursday, June 30, 2005

Owie Ow Ow Ow

Threw out my back on my birthday. Sadly, I don't have a really cool reason for it, like I was lifting a tree off a hapless logger or anything like that. I was...walking. Yup, just plain walking. Turning the corner around the kitchen breakfast bar when I felt something sort of pop and excruciating pain shot down both legs. I cussed like a sailor until I could grope my way to a chair to sit down. Only now, two days later, am I finally able to find a position where I'm not in pain. It only hurts when I turn or bend the wrong way (and boy, then it REALLY hurts).

I have a history of pinched nerves in my lower back/hip area, so it wasn't a big surprise or anything. But really--on my birthday AND during the first full week of vacation I've taken in years?

Not fair.

It's also wreaked havoc on my writing plans for this week, sadly. I did manage to write four new pages today on my WIP, but I'm way behind where I'd planned to be by now. Thank goodness I'm not on any sort of deadline.

Monday, June 27, 2005

On Vacation

I'm officially on vacation until July 5th. I'm not going anywhere (and I have to confess, I've been a lazy, napping slug today), but I'm going to try to get some extra writing done this week to jumpstart my WIP. So posting may be light.

Or not. I'll decide day to day whether or not dragging my lazy butt downstairs to the computer with internet access is worth my time and effort. :)

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Does Anne Marie Lucas Know About This?

PETA not so ethical when it comes to shelter animals.

I am on board for the humane treatment of animals whenever and wherever possible, including food animals and research animals. I have multiple pets, all of whom I adopted or took in as strays. I believe firmly in spaying and neutering, regular vet visits, holding pet owners responsible for their actions and humanity's responsibility to balance our needs and desires against the health and well-being of earth's living creatures.

That said, I find what PETA does largely appalling because their excesses and hypocrisies make it too easy for people to dismiss the legitimate concerns about the treatment of animals. Moreover, their philosophy about animals is often anti-scientific and illogical, and their goals, if met, would mean unmitigated disaster for the environment and the ecological balance of this planet. When one's belief system is based so thoroughly on half-truths and fallacies, even one's reasonable messages are bound to be lost in the barrage of refutations.

Like anything else in this world, moderation is key. I hope that conservationists everywhere become the real face of environmental responsibility and push the extremists on both sides out to the hinterlands where they belong.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Out of Advil

But my last dose provided one more doozy of a dream. I won't go into the details, but let's just say it included a road trip to south Alabama, a hybrid bobcat/domestic cat caught with a fishing hook, me yelling, "Eat it or release it! Eat it or release it! Those are your only options!"--and Senator Richard Durbin wearing a blue sequined evening gown while explaining his remarks on Gitmo to a church I was visiting.

I think I'm going to miss the Advil.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Blame it on the Advil

I've been taking Advil at night, just a regular two pill dose, because I'm starting to feel a bit arthritic these days. (It runs in the family). An interesting side effect of the pills seems to be extremely bizarre dreams. (See the post that precedes this one).

Last night's installment involved three separate but bizarre snippets of dream. In the first part of the dream, my friend Jenn, who lives in a different state, was supposed to come visit me. But when I go to the airport to pick her up, she doesn't show. I'm kind of flummoxed---she's usually really good to be where she says she'll be. I can't seem to track her down the rest of the day, but the next morning, a cab pulls up in front of my house and there she is, dressed to the nines and acting very mysterious. She insists we take a tour of my town immediately--and she's driving. Apparently in that weird dream state where you don't question why a woman who's never been to your town before thinks she can drive around in it, I gave her the keys and off we go.

We then proceed to end up in the seediest part of town, with people shooting at us. Jenn's saying, "Trust me, I know what I'm doing," and I'm saying, "Um, no you don't, now give me the darned keys!" (Only, I'm pretty sure I didn't say darned).

From there, the dream segues, inexplicably, to a really nice condo somewhere in town, where a gay couple, let's call them Mark and Matt, have started their own designer pasta business, making ravioli squares with their designer imprint on it. As dream logic would have it, the designer ravioli squares are all the rage, and they want me to do some graphic design work for them to promote it. But, horrors! A competitor has come out with their own branded ravioli squares, only theirs are a trendy, chic navy blue. Needless to say, Mark and Matt are beside themselves with outrage.

But, alas, I didn't get to find out what happened next, because the dream shifted back to my house, where I walk in to find my mother and my dad there--my dad who died two years ago. Of course, being a dream, I don't really question this, either. But the lovely homey scene isn't enough for my Advil-addled brain. Because Oprah Winfrey is there, bouncing my niece on her lap, talking to my parents. And my dad keeps calling her Okra (which, if you knew my dad, you know he'd totally do, just to show he's not THAT impressed with the richest woman in America).

Then I woke up.

Friday, June 17, 2005

So I Had This Dream...

It involved a panel of "Characters I would have killed off shows I love if I'd been given the chance," a surprise visit from British actor Colin Firth (complete with a gift box of Colin Firth t-shirts and memorabilia), and the subsequent frantic attempt to IM my best friend and fellow Colin fan Jenn to tell her that OMIGOSH, COLIN IS HERE RIGHT NOW!!!!!

Then I woke up.


Monday, June 13, 2005


Abby Z. rejected CRYBABY FALLS. Not a form R, and she had a few nice things to say, but it's still a rejection.

Oh well, I knew it was probably a long shot. I have other options for it.

My Seed's Older than Your Seed

And I thought my freezer seed miracle was something to behold: After 2,000 Years, a Seed From Ancient Judea Sprouts

(May require registration)

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Garden Update

Well, I had a freak-out moment the day after my last post on my attempt to grow plants from seeds my father had stored in our freezer over a decade ago. The next morning, when I checked the two plants that had sprouted, I discovered that both plants had lost their little leaves and were nothing but sad, dead-looking little nubs of stems.

I put them in the shade, figuring maybe the hot sun had been too much for them. Sadly, I was afraid my little seeds just didn't have the stamina to make it after all this time in the cooler.

However, the Atkinson Tomatoes perked back up immediately, and the Tommy Toes are starting to struggle back. Plus, the squash sprouted with a vengeance and is thriving, and the eggplant seeds also sprouted and are doing well. Last I checked, the bellpepper plant had a little sprout that looked as if it was going to finally come up, but as of this morning, it was still mostly under the potting soil. I'm hopeful that it'll be sprouted by the time I get home this afternoon.

So far, so good.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


An agent liked the partial of CRYBABY FALLS I sent her and asked to see the full. (Best of all, this was my preferred agent among the ones I queried--keeping my fingers crossed!)

Memorial Garden Update

In a previous post, I mentioned the seeds I found in the freezer that my father had put there years ago, back when he was gardening regularly. I planted them a few days ago. Since then, it's rained daily and the temperatures have been warm but not scorching. You'd think that would be good for little seeds to sprout, wouldn't you?

But as of this morning, nothing was happening in my little seed cups.

As of this afternoon, however, the Atkinson tomatoes and the Tommy Toes were sprouting. I darned near cried.

The eggplant, green pepper and squash seeds haven't sprouted. They may not. I don't much care one way or the other about them—they were store bought packets my father stored away and don't have any real meaning for me other than their potential as food. :)

The seeds for the tomatoes, however, my father harvested, dried and stored away himself, from his existing plants. They were part of him in a way that the store-bought packets could never be. So when I saw the sprouts this afternoon, it almost felt like a smile from my father.

I hope they make it to maturity!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Vicarious Thrills and the Value of Friends

I think the part of being a writer that appeals most to me is the vicarious thrill of it all. It may even be why I'm drawn to romantic suspense; having lived a life blessedly free of violence yet very aware of the danger and evil lurking all around, I'm constantly exploring the question: how do people survive meeting danger face to face? What inner resources must a person possess to triumph over evil? How does an average person find the strength to conquer a threat?

The other part of the vicarious thrill that appeals to me is exploring new places through the eyes of my characters. In CODE NAME: WILLOW, it was the Gulf Coast and New Orleans, all places I'd been before but didn't know intimately. In CRYBABY FALLS, though most places were fictional, I did a lot of research into the Appalachian Piedmont up around DeKalb County, Alabama, where Little River Canyon and Fort Payne are located. WILD CARD was set in a fictional town in southeastern Georgia, near Savannah. I didn't have to do as much research for that, since most of the action took place in the fictional town, but I did do some research into Savannah, and I expect I'll do more when I get around to writing Shannon's story.

SHOWDOWN, my new WIP, may turn out to be the biggest adventure of all. I'm taking my characters on a hair-raising cross-country road trip to escape some ruthless, well-connected killers. They'll travel from Atlantic City, New Jersey to Townsend, Montana, with stops all along the midwest, from a campground outside Youngstown, Ohio to a high rise apartment in Chicago, to a detour through the South Dakota Badlands. I've been to none of those places, and I won't have a chance to visit any of them before the book is finished. But that's one good thing about being involved in RWA and other writers' communities--I now know lots of people who HAVE been there, even live there now, and are willing to help me work out the details.

So if I ask for help, please take a little pity on a southern girl without the means or the time to take a whirlwind tour of the midwest.