Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Putting the FUN back into dysfunctional

Monkey typewriter Years ago, when I was an unhappy, unpublished writer there was one thing I truly enjoyed doing:  writing.

I kept gathering rejection slips by the hundreds, but I knew I had it in me to be published and I kept trying (and crying).  I'm nothing if not stubborn.

Mad_scientist The great thing about being unpublished was that I could experiment.  When my Jeff Resnick series was gathering dust on the shelves I decided to try writing cozy mysteries.  While they were gathering dust on the shelves, I decided to try short stories.  They sold!  (I've still got a copy of the first check hanging on the wall over my computer.  $20 for a short story I called Valentine's Day.  It's now called Are You Lonely Tonight and it's available on Kindle, Nook, etc.)  I tried my hand at women's fiction (not very successful -- 14 chapters in, I decided to abandon it.  Why?  It kept trying to be a cozy mystery).  But the thing was, all this experimentation was FUN.

Then I sold.  Yea!  Bells rang, champagne corks popped, and confetti fell.  And suddenly I had deadlines.  And even worse, I had to spend a LOT of time promoting the books.  Promotion seemed to consume my entire life. And it never stopped, because I was building a brand.  Well, three brands:  Lorna Barrett, L.L. Bartlett and Lorraine Bartlett.  Let me tell you, it became absolutely EXHAUSTING.

Now that Sentenced to Death is out, I've got an entire seven months without promotion.  What an opportunity.  I suddenly have time on my hands to do something else.  And what I've chosen to do is WRITE.  I'm currently juggling four writing projects (with two more on the back burner).  I've got ideas for two more cozy mystery series (should I ever have time to write them).  Without the constant pressure of promotion hanging over my head for a period of time, I've got time to sit down and get back to something I love to do.  Write for myself not just a deadline.


Woman_juggling I feel like a juggler.  Here's one day's schedule:  Get up read/answer email.  Fix breakfast for husband and hungry cats.  Work on short story until 10 a.m. At 10, I switch over to the laptop and work on the special project until noon.  Eat lunch.  At 12:30 I switch over to the 3rd Victoria square Mystery.  Yesterday I exceeded all my expectations by making my 1250 word "minimum" requirement on two of the three projects.  (And I did 1121 words on the other.)

I can't keep that pace up.  For one thing, real life rears its ugly head.  I have errands to do today, and tomorrow Mr. L needs my help on an all-day project. It's a holiday weekend and I intend to paint my office during that time.  (Have been putting that off for months.)  So look out Monday, because I'm jumping back into writing . . . which has suddenly become fun and exciting once again.  (And as a writer, I don't feel so dysfunctional because I've recaptured the love of writing once again.)

All I can say is "Yee-ha!"

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Counter Grazing

Back in February, I bought a seed packet of cilantro.  It's one of my favorite herbs--so pungent on Indian or Mexican foods.  Yum-yum!

Well, apparently I'm not the only one in the house who likes cilantro, which I'm trying to grow on my kitchen window sill.


And who do you suppose jumped on the counter to get at it?


Monday, June 27, 2011

Not what I expected to see ... so soon It was bound to happen one day.

My book.  On offer at a garage sale.

And the worst insult -- they were only asking 10¢ for it.

The title?

Chapter & Hearse.

Not only that, but there were cozies sitting there from two of my author pals.  (One of them I had blurbed.)

I asked the woman running the sale if she'd enjoyed the book, which looked a little worse for wear with dogged ears and a savagely split spine.  She said, "I never read it.  It either belongs to my mother or daughter."

Not any more.  It's MINE now.  And the next time I meet up with an old pal who asks me what I'm doing these days, I'm going to give it away.

What would you think if something that took you six months to make was on sale for 10¢?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Long And Short Of It

by guest blogger Jeff Cohen

Tom_Cruise News came last week that Tom Cruise may (or may not) have optioned one of Lee Child's Jack Reacher books and may (or may not) be planning on playing the ex-military cop and bedder of many (temporarily) uniformed women in a movie. And as with most such news (as when Katherine Heigl was cast as Stephanie Plum), the immediate reaction from fans of the book--who have been casting the movie in their heads for years--was negative. Not Cruise! they blogged, tweeted, posted and probably carved into cave walls. Anybody but Cruise!

Now personally, I don't really care who plays Jack Reacher in a movie. I've read many of Lee Child's books, and think he is remarkably good at what he does. I also think Lee is a very nice man and a mensch, and he should take as much of Tom Cruise's money as he can get and buy himself another great sports car (at least) and a season box at Yankee Stadium, or another house, or something. He deserves every dime.

And I can understand how fans of a book series can get themselves into a snit when someone is cast in the film of said book series who doesn't fit their concept of the character. If I am ever lucky enough to have a film production company option (or better, buy!) one of my novels for a film, I will have a more personal stake in the casting, but if I cash the (hopefully large) check, I'll have absolutely no say in the matter, as any author short of J.K. Rowling can tell you. I get it: fans read the books, they picture the character--in whom they are sometimes VERY emotionally invested--a certain way, and they are disappointed when the actor(s) involved aren't in that mode. It's upsetting.

But the sticking point here, from what I've read online, is not centered on whether Mr. Cruise can handle the role from an acting standpoint. He's actually a very good actor with a lot of range (See A Few Good Men and then Risky Business and then Rain Man). Sure, his public persona is sort of nuts, but find me a centered, normal actor whose name ISN'T Tom Hanks. Yeah, that's what I mean. They're all nuts.

No, the problem here isn't Cruise's acting. It's not even his nuttiness, as far as I can tell. The problem here is that Tom Cruise is short.

Short people Before you start tuning up, yes, I'm aware that Jack Reacher is described as very tall and powerfully built in the books. Guess what? Bernie Rhodenbarr isn't described as looking much like Whoopi Goldberg in Lawrence Block's books, either. Moses? Not a thing like Charlton Heston. Benjamin Braddock couldn't be described as looking less like Dustin Hoffman if he were described as looking like Whoopi Goldberg. Movies adapt books; they don't simply transcribe them. And actors, bless  'em, are supposed to be able to make a role their own.

But I don't think that's what the problem is here. I think the problem is that people don't like short leading men. In fact, people are not comfortable generally with short men. I can tell you this because, at five-foot-five, I have had a decent amount of experience with how people treat short men. They think we're adorable and have about as much respect for us as they do for fat people and cricket players. Short, fat, cricket players? You don't want to know.

Because it is no longer politically correct to make fun of people based on race, religion or gender (and it shouldn't be, just to be clear), there are few groups left that everyone can agree to mock. Overweight people? Clearly they have no self control and deserve our scorn. Short men? Never grew up, did they? Not to be taken seriously. Members of Congress? Okay. You've got me there.

I can't stand New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and I live in his state, so you can take my word for it. But I will NEVER make a fat joke about Christie. That moves us off the point--he should be mocked for his terrible policies, not his weight.

Tom Cruise? Maybe he'd make a horrendous Jack Reacher. It's entirely possible. But don't tell me it's because he's short.
Uninvited-ghost Jeff Cohen writes mysteries about people who, come to think of it, are often below average height.  Jeff's very good friend E.J. Copperman has a new book out, the 2nd Haunted Guesthouse Mystery AN UNINVITED GHOST

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My cover artist

I love the covers I get for the Booktown Mysteries.  They're done by an artist named Teresa Fasolino and they're wonderful.  I can't decide which one I like the best.  So far it's between Bookplate Special and Sentenced to Death.  I just love the detail she puts into her work.

So I shouldn't have been surprised to find out that she does paintings for stamps, too.
Aren't they pretty?

So, which of the Booktown covers is your favorite and why?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Katie who? I'm currently working on two Katie Bonner projects.  The first of which is the third book in my three-book contract with Berkley Prime Crime.  I won't know until at least February if they will review the series.  These days, with so many authors going independent, if they DON'T offer me a new contract, and I still feel that I have more Katie stories in me, I can always write them to keep my readers happy.  (So what once was a horrible circumstance isn't as tragic as it once was, thanks to e books.)

So what's the second project?

IStock_000002252576XSmall Well, for now it's a (psssssst!) secret.  But the beauty of it is I get to explore Katie's backstory/background like I haven't been able to do in a novel.  (Backstory is a real no-no.)

Not that I haven't done this kind of thing in the past.  I have a whole notebook of stories chronicling Jeff Resnick's life.  The problem is that they aren't mysteries or psychological suspense.  So they are destined to never be made available to readers. Unless there's a TREMENDOUS demand, and let's face it, so few readers have found the series that that's never likely to happen.

So what's the difference?

The new Katie project is likely to expand readership for the Berkley series, or at least for those with e readers, because that's the only sensible way to offer the book, and it's so far been a LOT of fun to write.

It's a lot more fun than ditch digging.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Not that you asked . . .

Romanic homes cover I love Romantic Homes magazine.  And one of my favorite features is the "At Home With . . . " column at the back of the issue.  Here they ask different guest designers the same questions every month.  So, what if I interviewed myself with the same questions (you can try it, too!)?  Or should I have Lorna ask Lorraine these questions?  It doesn't matter.  Here they are:

The last thing you worked on?
A short story when I should have been working on Victoria Square #3.

Your current inspiration?
The events going on in my life.

First place you'll go tomorrow?
To my mother's house.

The color you most often use?  (See, I told you these questions were for designers.)
Purple.  I guess I never outgrew it.  (As a child I asked my parents to paint my bedroom a deep lilac.  I love purple pens and my husband indulges me at Christmas (in my stocking) and Easter (in my basket). That said, blue is my favorite color. (But pink is creeping up there.)

SigstuffedCrust Your best trick when entertaining?
Order pizza.

Favorite collectible?
Now that's a tough one--I collect SOOO many things.  Made-in-Japan (1950s-60s) Christmas figurines.  Hand-painted plates, lambs (I have a whole flock), royal family memorabilia (mostly china cups and mugs), greeting cards from the 1950s.  The list goes on and on.

Santa-Elves Most valued possession?
The carved Santas my father made for me.

The last thing you bought for the home?
Lace curtains.

What's left on your wish list?"
For my Jeff Resnick books to find the same kind of success that my Booktown Mysteries have found.

So . . . what's on YOUR wish list?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My new favorite number!

Champagne cork pops Well, there was certainly a lot to celebrate yesterday.

First I got an email from my editor saying that according to Bookscan, Sentenced to Death was the #1 bestselling mystery mass market paperback for the week (that would be last week).  Weeee!

I must admit, it was hard to focus on my work (I'm writing the third Victoria Square mystery) after that.  But I made my minimum word count, which was worth celebrating in itself.

Of course, what I was REALLY waiting for was the phone to ring.  And it did.  And it WAS my editor.  And (drum roll) Sentenced To Death was #17 on the New York Times bestsellers list for mass market paperbacks.

17 Woo-hoo!

That's two steps up from Chapter & Hearse.

Ahhh, seventeen.  My new favorite number.

Of course, while I'm celebrating for Tricia, I'm also hoping that with this book getting so much attention, my other characters/books (under other names) just might get some attention, too.  We're talking Katie in A Crafty Killing (Victoria Square #1) and all the Jeff Resnick books and short stories.  (Hey, they're like my kids.  I love them and want them all to do well.)

As it happens, the next Booktown Mystery (Murder on The Half Shelf) is already written.  (As is the 2nd Victoria Square Mystery.)  When I finish this current book (in September), I'll jump right back into Tricia's world.  And boy have I got a lot planned for the denizens of the little village of Stoneham, New Hampshire.  (Mwa-ha-ha!)

In the meantime . . . if you've never read the Booktown Mysteries, I hope you'll give them a try.  They start with Murder is Binding.

Monkey typewriter Okay, back to work!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Where's Alexander Graham Bell When I Need Him?

Wall phone One Christmas -- at least (mumble, mumble) years ago, my brother (the one who always buys me small kitchen appliances) bought me a wall phone.  It's a great phone ... but it's fallen off the wall a few times, and there's a big chunk of plastic missing from the receiver, and the 47th replacement cord has a short in it.  (It's long.  I like to walk around the kitchen when I talk.)  It's time for a replacement.

I will probably be the last woman on the planet with a landline.  Why?  Because I loath cell phones and handheld wireless phones.  You can't rest them on your shoulder when you're in for a marathon call.  Your arm gets tired after a while and all the blood drains from your fingers.

I like that when the power goes off, the landline is still there.  I have a cell phone and it takes about five minutes from the time I turn it on until it finds a signal.  In an emergency, it's the pits.

The problem now is finding a phone that I can put on my shoulder.  Ain't no such animal.  Wireless only.  Sure they're great if you want to walk around the house, but not much else.  (The shelf life for those phones seems to be about three years.  We keep having to replace them because the batteries go dead and it's more expensive to replace them than buy a new phone.)

Tricia's phone In the Booktown Mystery series, Tricia has an old black Art Deco phone on her cash desk.  We had one of those when I was a kid.  It was an "illegal" extension phone.  The bell was disconnected so the phone company wouldn't know.  Now -- who cares how many phones are scattered around the house.  (We have five.)

I want that old fashioned phone.  (I've seen a few at "antique" stores, but they want too much.)  And I want one I can rest on my shoulder like the one pictured above.
I've searched the internet to no avail.

Am I the only one left who wants a REAL phone?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Changing that old sofa . . .

Our cottage has an old couch.  It's actually in pretty good shape because, let's face it--nobody's sitting on it for seven months of the year.  However, it does have one tiny flaw.  The sun bleached one of the arms and the material split.

Since I didn't pick out the couch, I'm not a real fan of the upholstery.  I've wanted to do something about it for years.  Since the living room is only 10 x 13 we decided we'd go off in search of a loveseat.  Then we might actually get some breathing room.

Saddle bag love seat Since there aren't a lot of furniture stores out in the stix, we visited the only one within a 30-mile range (with free delivery).  This is a HUGE place with gigantic room after room of furniture.  And every single chair and couch had saddle bag arms.  No kidding.  Hundreds of them.  In all kinds of fabrics and colors of leather.  But there wasn't one thing that didn't look like the next.


And the prices!  There wasn't a loveseat under $1000.  Suddenly our old couch (which is EXTREMELY comfortable I might add) starting looking pretty good--icky pineapple upholstery and all.

Couch before
Okay, I take that last part back.  It's still icky upholstery.  And that's where Sure-FIt slipcovers come in.
The installation wasn't nearly as easy as the online video said, and we struggled for about 15 minutes, but finally we got the thing looking pretty good.

Could with cover

What do you think?  (Needs more pillows, huh?)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Great product. Now if I could just use it . . .

Kindle3G Okay, so Mr. L gave me a Kindle for my birthday last year.  And I love reading on it.  It's great.

And aside from opening a book, I really have no clue how to use it.

It came with a very small "instruction manuel" which basically tells you how to turn it on and BUY BOOKS.  Other than that, you're supposed to use the USER GUIDE on the Kindle itself.

Well, that would be swell...if I could GET TO IT.  I have three pages of books and book samples on my Menu (if that's the correct term), only I don't know how to page back through the list of books and samples to GET to my User Guide.

Kindle_User_Guide My friend Dru-Ann Love was going to give me a step-by-step lesson in how to use the thing while we were at the Malice Domestic conference in Arlington back in April, but we were both busy visiting and making new friends, and when we were together, we forgot all about it.

My sister-in-law is coming to visit next week.  She's got a Kindle.  I'm gonna sit that girl down and have a little chat on Kindle 101.  Then maybe I'll gift her with one of my books.  (I think that's the only way I might actually get her to read one of them.  She's not a mystery fan, moresthepity.)

Until then, Mr. Kindle is going to gather dust.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Talk about a Pet Peeve

by Guest Blogger Janet Bolin

Oriole_pecking_and_CHIRPing 7  AM: CHIRP. Awww, how cute! A male Baltimore Oriole is perched on the outside door handle, tilting his head and peeking into the kitchen. His black beady eye seems to stare at me like he’s begging for more oranges. Bang! Oh, no, birdie, don’t peck the glass. You might hurt yourself. More oranges on the way. Maybe he’s used to humans and wants to be a sort of outdoor wild pet?

9 AM: How cute! He’s still pecking at the glass and chirping loudly. He has more oranges, what else can he want?

10 AM: He’s still at it. Apparently, he thinks his reflection is another male Baltimore Oriole and he wants it to go away.

11 AM: Peck, peck, peck. CHIRP! Now he’s tap dancing on the ledge at the bottom of the door, beating his wings on the glass and pecking at his reflection. Very cute, but he’s going to hurt himself. Phew! He flew back to the oranges.

Oriole_tapdancing 11:01AM: Peck! CHIRP! He’s back. Okay, a respite. He’s flown off for more oranges.

11:02:  Peck, peck! CHIRP! Seriously, if he keeps this up, he’s going to do himself a serious injury. What if I hang a beach towel on the outside of the glass door so he can’t see his reflection? Oh. He attacks windows.

6 PM: Peck, peck, peck. He’s been pecking at the door and windows for eleven hours now, except for frequent, very short, trips for another beak full of oranges. He must need a lot of oranges to stay this active. You’d think he’d get tired. I am.

9 PM: Finally, the Baltimore Oriole has gone to bed for the night.

6 AM: Peck, peck, peck! What is that racket awakening me from a deep sleep? CHIRP! Oh. It’s that Baltimore Oriole.

Noon: Yes, you’re cute, peeking in like that, but really, all day yesterday, and all morning today. Shouldn’t you be building a nest or something?

6 PM: What’s in those oranges? That bird must be exhausted. I am.

9 PM: Phew. He’s gone to bed. Not that he has bothered to build a nest, yet. He’s been too busy attacking the door and the windows . . .

6 AM: Peck, peck! CHIRP! Peck, peck, peck, peck, peck! I DON’T get up at 6. Certainly not every morning! I think I have a pet—a pet peeve. Okay, hang on, birdie, I’ll get you some more oranges.
Janet Bolin’s short stories have been published in trade magazines and literary journals. Her humorous essays have been read aloud on national radio programs on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) and published in the anthology DEAR SAD GOAT. Janet’s first novel, DIRE THREADS, the first in the Threadville Mystery series, is in stores now.

“With a winning cast of characters, Bolin should be able to stitch together quite a series for Willow and her fellow shopkeepers. Certain to appeal to Lorna Barrett's 'Booktown Mystery' readers.”
– Library Journal

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Too big for his bed

In prep for the new book's launch (yesterday--with a book signing tonight), I've done a bunch of guest blogs and interviews.

But today it isn't me being highlighted, it's my tiny son Fred.  He's the guest today on the Conscious Cat Blog.

Too_big_for_his_bed In case you want to read about him, you can find him at the Conscious Cat.

Here's the picture that didn't make it into the piece.  (Fred spilling out of his bed.  Gotta love it!)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rush out and buy these books -- RIGHT NOW!

I love the first Tuesday of the month, because that's when my publisher releases a bunch of new books.  (And, oh, look who's leading the pack!) I hope you'll rush to the store (or to your favorite online bookseller) and buy these wonderful books. SENTENCED TO DEATH
By Lorna Barrett (Hey, that's me!)
It’s Founder’s Day in Stoneham and the whole village has turned out to celebrate in the square, including Tricia’s friend and festivities organizer Deborah Black. As everyone watches Deborah give the opening speech, a small aircraft crashes into the village gazebo, killing both Deborah and the pilot. While the Sheriff’s Department is convinced that it was an accident, Tricia has a feeling that there’s more to the story. And when she reads between the lines of the case, what she finds is worse than the most sinister whodunit…

Available From:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kindle ~ Nook

Independent Booksellers

by Julie Hyzy
On the grounds of Marshfield Manor, Civil War re-enactors have set up camp. And what a dedicated troupe! One of them has really been killed...

Available From:

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Kindle ~ Nook

Independent Booksellers

Dire_threads_b&n DIRE THREADS
By Janet Bolin
Willow Vanderling's quaint new embroidery shop is not a hit with the local zoning commissioner. When he's murdered, the evidence is stacked against Willow.

Available From:

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Kindle ~ Nook

Independent Booksellers

by Maggie Sefton
Spring is in the air of Fort Connor, Colorado-a time of new beginnings for the House of Lambspun knitters. But for fellow knitter Jennifer's new real estate client, it is his end. He's been murdered and Kelly Flynn is left unraveling a tangle of clues. This may prove to be her most challenging project yet.

Available From:

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Kindle ~ Nook

Independent Booksellers

by Wendy Lyn Watson
When Tally's cousin Bree spots her deadbeat ex-husband strolling the Lantana County Fair with a fat wallet and a vixen on his arm, she immediately files for back child support. But when his lawyer is found dead, things get a little sticky. Did Bree serve up a dish of cold, sweet revenge? Or is she another hapless victim of a parfait crime?
Available From:

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Kindle ~ Nook

Independent Booksellers

Finger lickin dead FINGER LICKIN' DEAD
By Riley Adams
When an anonymous food critic blasts several local restaurants- including Aunt Pat's-Lulu Taylor and her customers are biting mad, especially when they learn that Eppie Currian is the pen name of their friend Evelyn's cheating boyfriend. When "Eppie" gets his own fatal review, the list of suspects is longer than the list of specials at the best BBQ place in Memphis.

Available from:

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Kindle ~ Nook

Independent Booksellers

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tear-Out Time

For years I have saved nearly all the decorating magazines I've received.  I'm literally drowning in them.  It's time to lighten the load.

I thought it would be hard to part with them, but as it turns out--it's not.  I'm going through the stacks and tearing out the pages that interest me, and tossing the rest.

Victroria Of course there are still some magazines that I simply won't toss out.  One of them is Victoria Magazine.  I have most of the issues from it's first incarnation and all of them from its second (and duplicates on most of those, too, which I keep at the family cottage). 

Also, I won't get rid of Teatime magazine.  The photography is just gorgeous, and they highlight lots of different china patterns with their recipes.  Nope, no negotiation on these two.

But now I have to start sorting all those pages I'm tearing out.

What magazines do you subscribe to that you won't toss out?

Lorna-Lorraine sig

Friday, June 3, 2011

A funny cookbook?

I may not be the best cook in the world, but I am an absolute SUCKER for cookbooks.  Especially cookbooks with gorgeous photography.

But the last cookbook I bought didn't have a single picture.  In fact, it doesn't even have paper pages--it's a cookbook that's only available as an E book for my Kindle.

It's Deb Baker's COOKING CAN BE MURDER, which is a Gertie Johnson Backwoods story.

Have you ever read Deb's Gertie Johnson stories?  Well, they're funny and I think you'd enjoy them.  (Hey, I did!)  They are:  Murder Passes The Buck, Murder Grins and Bears It, and Murder Talks Turkey.  They're all available as E books and the first two (and I'm sure the 3rd will soon be) available as trade paperbacks. (They all have wonderful new covers, too!)

Gertie cookbook nook COOKING CAN BE MURDER is written from Gertie's point of view, and Gertie has a lot to say--about food, cooking, and life in the UP (Upper Peninsula of Michigan).  I found it delightful.

So, if you've got an e-reader, and if you like simple, easy recipes (I'm going to try a few of them), get yourself a copy of Cooking Can Be Murder -- and be prepared laugh.

It's available for Kindle ~ Nook ~ Sony E Reader ~ Diesel - Smashwords

P.S.  Deb is a friend of mine, but she had no idea I bought the book or that I would talk about it on the blog.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What am I doing in the kitchen when I'm not ready to cook?

Tonya Thomas by Guest Blogger Tonya Thomas

I don't know about you, but I'm either losing my mind or I just don't pay attention to the things going on in my life.

More than once a day I'll head into my kitchen from some other part of my house and stand there and look around wondering what the heck I'm doing there.

Okay, I'll admit it. I have a lot on my mind.  In this day and age--wouldn't you?  Worrying about gasoline prices, encroaching inflation and where the heck am I going to get my next idea for my current story ... why wouldn't I be preoccupied by something or other.

In general, writers are just plain weird. I mean, think of it. We live in fantasy worlds and get paid for it. (Nice, when it actually happens, I might add. And it doesn't happen nearly often enough.) I primarily write short stories about women in complicated relationships. I have better things to think about than does the washer need fabric softener or should I use fat-free or lite salad dressing on my salad?

But these lapses of memory do concern me.  Am I really losing it or am I really just wrapped up in other things?  I don't know -- and until I try to drive to the grocery store and end up three counties over ... maybe I'll pretend to be like Scarlett O'Hara and worry about it . . . tomorrow.

So tell me, do you experience these same lapses and what do you think (or do) about them?

------------------------------------- Tonya Thomas is an award-winning author who currently writes women's fiction.  You can find her stories available for Kindle, Nook, Smashwords and other e readers.  Her box set, THE EDGE AND I, contains five stories for the price of three.  You can find her at her website/blog, on Facebook, and Twitter (@TonyaThomas1), or visit her Amazon store.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sprucing anyone?

Shopping bags Monday I went on a shopping spree.  Now, if you knew me at all you'd know that shopping and me just doesn't happen much.  But I was determined.  I had a list and I stuck to it.

My goal:  stuff for the family cottage.

We have two little windows on the east side of the living room (we're talking 28 x 24 inches) and ever since we've owned the place, they have never had any kind of window treatment.  The fact that they're surrounded by a brick wall (first there was a fireplace, now a wood stove) might have something to do with that.  So I was determined to get some kind of sheers to cover them.  Why?  Our neighbor's upstairs windows look right into them.  Sometimes you don't want to be the show they're watching.

KitchenTimer Could I find ANY kind of sheers I liked?  But I did get a couple of spring rods.  (More on the sheers later.)

I bought a new garbage pail (with a foot control!), a new shower curtain, a kitchen timer (because who knows how to use the built-in one on the microwave?  Not me--and I read the directions, too).  I broke the traverse rod on my "office" window, so I hit JCPenny to get a new one.

Blue rug I'm also in the market for a new area rug for the living room (ideally I'd like something in a blue oriental--but haven't found anything like that locally and within my budget), and slipcovers for the couch (and some new throw pillows).

About those sheers . . . I couldn't find ANYTHING I liked.  Time to hit the Internet.  After looking at countless sites I asked myself, what is it I really wanted?  Victorian lace curtains.  Bingo!  I also discovered they come in what are called "tiers."  Found the perfect ones, very pretty and the exact size of the windows.  Win-win!

The next few times I'm down there, I'm going to be busy, busy, busy.  (Did I mention I need to do some painting, too?)

Okay, I admit it.  I've been watching Sarah's Summer House on HGTV and I was inspired.  Of course, I don't have Sarah's budget, and we're not doing a renovation, just a little redecoration.  But by the end of the summer (if not well before), I'm hoping the place looks spruced up.

Is there any sprucing up in your future?