The Quill Sisters had a FANTASTIC evening last weekend! WE DINED WITH JULIA QUINN!!! Don’t believe me? Take a gander at the photo below…Go ahead…See the cute brunette second from the right?? THAT’S HER! Far left is Ava, in the pink is me Kelli and far right is Amylynn.
I admit we were star-struck and pitter-patterish at first, but she is SO nice and funny and we genuinely enjoyed her company. We wanted to leave this at the top of our page for awhile. After all, she is the inspiration behind our love of reading and writing Historical Romance!
I would like to quietly announce to the loyal following of the Quill Sisters that I SOLD A NOVELLA!!!!!!
We here at the Quill camp are feeling like this is going to be a good year. WOOHOOO!!!
More details to come, with bookcovers, links and publishers oh my!!!
For those of you who are young and spoiled by the immediacy of our modern life and the timely comfort of the home pregnancy test, the rabbit is dead is code for I’M PREGNANT!! That’s right, me, Isabella. I told the sisters last week and promised a post, but I have been too busy sleeping and eating.
And as awesome as the whole thing really is, I still have a hard time believing it for myself. My sweet 5 year old daughter was very sad when we first told her, but in a five minute swing of emotions, she was soon crying happy tears. And apparently it is still hard for her to believe as well. She is constantly asking me if I’m sure I’m going to have a baby.
“Mommy, are you positive that there is a tiny baby in your tummy?”
“Yes sweetie. I’m positive.”
“How do you know?” She asked with a snarky grin.
“Well, because I took a test.”
“What kind of test? Were there a lot of questions?”
“No honey, it’s a special kind of test that looks like a plastic stick and I peed on it, and it said I was pregnant.” And after I said it, my crystal ball came into focus and I saw her sharing that with absolutely everyone.
Which she has.
She even told the new cashier at Fry’s yesterday. I knew that the cashier was new as she was wearing a large ribbon thanking me for my patience because she was new. After my sweetie shared the peeing on a stick news with the new cashier, the cashier looked at her with a beaming grin and said…
“I have heard about those kinds of tests! When I was having babies, the doctor would do a test that would kill a rabbit then we would know we were having a baby! Congratulations!”
Ooooh nooo. My daughter, the aspiring animal advocate, the would be rescuer of every nearly-exticnt animal species all over the globe, did not even have a response. She looked at me with her little mouth open in shock. I gave a warning glare to the cashier. She picked up on the daggers shooting from my eyes and looked at my daughter’s disbelief and in a stuttering attempt to fix the horror said…
“Oh honey, I didn’t mean real rabbits. That is just what we called the test back then. Thank you for shopping at Fry’s! You saved $7.46 today!”
Now really. Can’t they just stick to the script?
“Are you finding everything ok? I can help you on aisle 5! Did you find everything today? Would you like to buy some stamps or ice? Is there anything you weren’t able to find? Have a nice day ma’am!”
And when little girls come in and say crazy things, I would like it if they would just nod and smile.
I was close to being in shape once. Yes, once. Precisely once. And sadly, it wasn’t long ago. But bacon was too tempting. Then I started in with the soda. And the cheese! Oh, I curse he who invented cheese! So I am now trying to undo the damage that I have wreaked upon myself in the last 4 months.
I do not make New Year’s resolutions because I lack the unique ability to follow through. But I decided that I should easily be able to get back in the gym and regain my strength and stamina relatively quicky. Right? I mean it has only been 4 months. Prior to that, I was jogging, lifting weights, practicing my beloved Bikram Yoga and attending the occasional spin class.
So yesterday I went to the gym. I was so proud of myself. I smiled at random gym goers, put my keys in a locker, inhaled the energy and went into the special smaller gym (aka a gymette) just for women. (It’s not as weird as it sounds. It’s just quieter, and trust me, I need help focusing.) I plopped down and started what used to be my standard, pre-workout stretch. Holy snap, crackle, pop batman. I used to just stretch for 10 minutes, then I was off, but yesterday, I think 10 minutes had gone by by the time just one hamstring felt at least warmish. I had visualized myself jogging for a bit, doing a few machines to focus on my expanding rear, getting in a great ab workout…you know, being fit. But all I did was stretch. For 45 minutes. How can it be so hard to come back after a 4 month stint as a computer potato (I’m not much into tv, so I can’t really be a couch potato. But give me my laptop and…).
So I left with my primordial tail between my legs. At least I tried.
This morning, I decided to tune in to the much neglected tv channel, Fit TV. No oppressive gym environment. No male grunting, no females babbling on about boob jobs. Only an antsy poodle who won’t stay on his bed. So I did mat pilates first. Well, actually, did is a bit misleading. Attempted. Have you ever tried a tv-based fit class? If you have, you will immediately understand when I say, commercials? Really?
So the instuctor had me into the groove, I had just completed a few standard pilates moves and was ready for more. Then she had me rolling like a ball, another standard pilates move, when she said “Keep doing this and we will be right back!”. And it went to commercial. Ok, no problem. How long could a commercial be? So I was rolling. Back and forth. Breathing. When my poodle decides that I must be stuck and pounces on me.
“MAX! Get on your bed!!” Deep breaths…focus. I gave him the evil eye to reaffirm the command. I was in agony. Did you know they managed to muster a 4 minute commercial? Does the network know that I am stuck in a rolling ball? Where is the humanity?! That nonsense went on for the rest of the half hour. Next time I will record it and forward through the commercials.
I decided to follow the pilates with a bit of yoga to cap off my morning fitness adventure. It took me a few rounds to relax and match the flow of movements to my breath. I remembered the glorious feeling that kept me in Bikram yoga for so long. I felt calmer and more peaceful than I had in a long time. I had a random, floating thought that the yoga would be over soon, surely I had been doing the cat sequence for long enough.
“BARK!!!” The sharp sound made my skin feel electric.
I screamed in surprise. The poodle had decided that I had indeed been doing the cat sequence long enough.
“MAX! Get on your bed!!” My heart was racing. My calm facade was blown. Deep breaths. “Can’t you see I am relaxing here??”
A low growl was his response. Ah. The cat sequence was over. It was on to the hero/warrior sequence. Warm remembrances one again flooded my senses. I was good at advanced warrior once. Listening to the calm, smooth voice, I closed my eyes and let my body takeover. As I moved through warrior one, and confidently into warrior 3 (trust me, you dont need to know the postures to get this story) , I heard a pop. Apparently the pop was my leg. And the poodle must have thought someone shot me. The howling bark shattered the yogic silence I had maintained for 45 seconds. I lost my pathetic near balance and hit the ground. In my own living room.
“MAX! Get on your %$*@ bed!!!! It was my leg!” But he was looking around the house for the shooter, bravely peeking around corners to clear the room before entering. He even started sniffing the carpet to make me think he was on the trail. Good god (the god of ridiculous poodles).
The yoga lady’s irritatingly calm voice was still yammering on. Sun and moon…bla bla. The poodle started barking again. This time, it was at his own reflection in the sliding glass door. Aren’t poodles supposed to be smart? Is that yoga lady still going on about the sun and moon? Wow, my leg hurts.
“MAX!! Get over here this instant!” But he was in full rip-snort mode. Making laps around the downstairs.
Deep breaths. Calming….
Oh hell. I think I’ll have some bacon, cheese and soda for breakfast.
In the afterglow of New Year’s Eve, on this first day of a brand new, shimmering year, after hours of sleepless cursing at the neighbors who left their dog out overnight to bark incessantly at the other neighbors who felt the need to have a party with a DJ in their back yard which nearly drowned out the other neighbors who decided to blow up the street with fireworks until 1am (phew), I feel old.
I’m not sure when it happened. Although I was never one to participate in the New Year’s Eve phenomena anyway, I was at least more tolerant of the revelry pursued by the masses. But those days are gone.
Apparently I need a compound hundreds of acres wide with nary a neighbor in site. My hubbie gleefully reminds me that I chose to live in this house which happens to be 10 feet away from my neighbors on each side and 50 feet away from the neighbor in the back. But a DJ? With speakers taller than the people at the party? I could burp on my back porch and my neighbor could hear it. A DJ? REALLY?
So in my fitful, contemplative state, I came up with a few things that I wish I had known…
1. That the angelic-appearing poodle I picked out to surprise my daughter would end up eating the arm of her new favorite doll. And the head of her favorite toy snake. And the legs off of her mini toy tortoise collection. All of them. And the last piece of the 300 piece puzzle we worked on for 3 days. And some cat poop he found in the front yard. And the back yard. And at the park. Just how many cats are there around here anyway?
2. Nuclear Physics.
3. My neighbors are prone to hiring DJ’s.
4. That my husband could iron.
5. That he could also clean a bathroom, if properly incentivized. Ahem.
6. How much I would miss snow. And lakes, mountains, pine trees, rivers, grass and autumn leaves.
7. That sunbathing covered in baby oil was a bad idea. (You know you tried it too…)
8. Nuclear Physics. (Yes, again)
9. That the elliptical I HAD to have would sit in the corner of my family room, draped with drying laundry, pillows, Slankets/Snuggies, Christmas decorations, and as of last night at 2 am, after listening to a barking dog while the DJ spun Who Let the Dogs Out, a nicely knotted noose.
10. That I should have listened to my hubbie, who strongly recommended that we buy a treadmill instead of an elliptical. I hear poodles are good on treadmills. Here boy!
11. Ernie and Bert.
12. Did I mention that I didn’t sleep well?
13. That in the year 2010 I would be old. It sorta snuck up on me. Maybe it’s better not to know ahead of time.
14. That my husband knew how to use the vacuum.
15. And that he would always like to watch sports. I kinda thought he would grow out of it.
16. Guess not.
17. How to play the guitar. I would have chosen the guitar because it’s easy to bash against things. Like a neighbor.
18. How to play tennis. Or softball. Because then I would have a racquet or a bat handy at all times. Goes along with number 17.
19. How to speak Italian.
20. That I would need a bullhorn and mace.
21. Stick with me. Did I remind you I haven’t had much sleep?
22. How to accurately use a sling shot.
23. How to make Bansai trees. And Oragami. For my serenity room, of course. That happens to overlook the neighbor’s yard.
24. That I should have kept the stilts my Grandpa made for me.
25. I wish I would have listened better to my yoga teacher who tried to teach me how to calm my mind and relax.
26. That I should not have thrown a mini bronze buddha out the window of my serenity room towards a previously mentioned DJ.
27. A bail bondsman.
So I think this list gives me a lot of opportunities for growth in 2010. I’ll let you know how it turns out…
A sucker, that is. And I am the sucker of the minute. So, apparently, the turtle species native to the North Pole is the European Pond turtle. And apparently, Santa does indeed deliver live pets.
I could not figure out a way to look my sweet daughter in the face on Christmas morning and explain that Santa lied about bringing her a real turtle. Or try to explain that even though she is the best kid, and definitely on the “nice” list, that Santa was full of *%&^ when he said because she was so good that he would bring her a real turtle.
Everyone I know tried to help explain to my Bean that Santa could not deliver real pets. Even Bean’s awesome doctor put her best serious doctor face on and explained to her that there wasn’t room on the sleigh for real pets.
But my Bean would look them straight in the eye and say “But he said he would.”
So lo and behold, a Christmas miracle indeed happened in our living room yesterday morning. Santa left a real turtle for my sweet daughter. And she is SO happy. She really didn’t even want any of her other gifts. She must have said a hundred times how this was the best Christmas ever.
I guess that mall Santa may just be a little magic afterall.
To whom it may concern,
I am humbly writing to you, Sir or Madam, to file a formal complaint against Santa Claus. While on His momentous journey across the globe collecting requests from children good and naughty, He stopped at the local mall for a stint (today if that helps with his identification, at all). And unfortunately, so did we.
Believe it or not, we were the only beleagured travellers there to see Him at 1pm today. I was bedazzled with the snow and the elves as we approached on the red carpet, while my sweet, much too smart, five year old daughter (Bean) was busy verbalizing the extreme doubt that nestled in her furrowed brow.
“What is he doing here? He’s looking at me. How did he get here? You aren’t actually taking me over there, are you? Unless you’ve met him before Mom, he’s a stranger. I’m not supposed to talk to strangers. Remember? Can I call grandma?” She said, in the unique way that only a five year girl can constantly chatter without taking a breath.
“It’s Santa sweetie. He got here on an airplane because the reindeer are resting. And I did meet him once when I was a little girl. Remember? You saw the picture. So he’s technically not a stranger. But other strange men in red suits, well any suits, or clothes of any kind sitting on a throne-like chair waving at you are strangers and you shouldn’t talk to them.” I said.
“So if the strange man waving at me isn’t wearing clothes, it’s ok to talk to him?”
“What man isn’t wearing clothes?” I asked as I whipped my head around.
“You said if a strange man is wearing clothes of any kind and waving, not to talk to him.” She said in a heavy whisper while she shielded her mouth with her hand, as if Santa could read lips. “So I was wondering if that meant I could talk to a strange man who wasn’t wearing any…”
“Goodness no! You would NEVER talk to a man who wasn’t wearing clothes!! Oh, nevermind, we will talk about that more later.” I said firmly in a whisper while shielding my mouth from Santa. She giggled.
The elves were all staring at us. So it was time for us to make our move, Sir or Madam. Sorry for the conversational background, but I am sure that it’s relevant. Stay with me.
Bean still doubted that she should approach Santa so she asked for my accompaniment which, of course, I granted. While I stared, starry eyed at the bearded man, the doubt that had pooled in her eyes was dissolving. He smiled at her. I smiled at her. She smiled at me. She smiled at him. Eureka!
“What do you want for Christmas, Bean?” Santa innocently asked her.
She turned and looked at me in astonishment. She put her hand to her mouth again and whispered back at me that he was talking to her. “I know! Answer him sweetie.”
She turned confidently and said “A turtle.” Then she giggled.
“Ho ho ho!” Santa replied with a very genuine belly laugh. “A turtle?” He questioned her, loud enough for me to hear because it was supposed to be a secret. Good strategy on his part.
But Santa must have recently attended a sales conference in which he was taught clarification strategies as well. I ask you Sir or Madam, is it necessary to further qualify what a child means by a turtle?
“What kind of turtle, Bean?” He said with a smug all-knowing Santa smile.
“Actually, a Red-eared slider turtle. A real one, of course.” She enthusiastically replied. She turned to me and pointed to Santa. “He’s still talking to me!” She giggled with happiness.
I admit, I was charmed by her sweetness. Charmed by the ease in which she named a real turtle that inhabits rivers and streams throughout the central USA. And charmed that her doubt had been replaced by unbridled excitement. Up to this point, Sir or Madam, Santa had done very well indeed. But then…
“A real one?” He asked. Again, I ask you, is this kind of question necessary? For the Love of God. She was nodding. “Well, since you have been such a good girl this year, and if you promise to leave me a chocolate chip cookie with chocolate milk, I will bring you a red-eared slider turtle, Bean. Ho Ho Ho!”
Excuse me, what was that?
“A real one?” She asked while trying to stifle happy tears.
“Of course!” Then the bastard in red winked at me. “HO HO HO!” He said heartily.
WTF? Sir or Madam, I am sorry for the outburst. BUT WTF??? Of Course???
Since when does Santa promise to bring real pets? I did NOT get that memo.
We walked away from Santa then. She with a new hero and I in total disgust.
Happiness beamed from her every pore, and as we walked out of the mall, she said “Thank You so much for taking me to Santa Mommy! That was the best!! He talked to me! He’s bringing me a real turtle! Even you won’t let me get a real turtle! He knew my name! You were right, he wasn’t a stranger! I know you said I shouldn’t but I would talk to him even if he wasn’t wearing clothes!”
Oh. My. God.
Sir or Madam, please consider this my first of many complaints. I am sure that over the years this day will serve to ruin me somehow. And on the day after Christmas, while children everywhere bask in the glory of Santa, if in the alley behind Santa’s workshop you find a naked man in a throne-like chair holding a turtle, you will have been warned.
Mom in hell
Yesterday I had a great Thanksgiving. I stayed in my jammies all day. I only cooked for four adults and my little daughter. I kept a fire in the fireplace all day, even if that meant turning on the AC to keep the house from reaching an interior temp of 90 degrees. After all, it’s not actual fireplace weather here in the desert, but I can make it so in my own house.
Last night, after my parents left, my hubbie, daughter and I snuggled in on the couch to watch my daughter’s favorite thing…pretty girls in princess dresses singing. The Celtic Women have a Chistmas show out on PBS. They put on quite a show with a full orchestra and a huge choir. There are four featured singers and one designated violin player that take turns singing and strolling about in gowns.
My daughter was enthralled at Away in a Manger. She was leaning forward, hanging on every sung word from the pretty girl singer wearing a princess dress. It was beautifully sung. It brought tears to my eyes to see how much she was enjoying the show.
Away in a manger, no crib for his bed. The little lord jesus lay down his sweet head…
By the second verse, my sweet daughter looked up at me with her beautiful blue eyes and whispered, as to not interfere with my tearful happiness, “Mama? Why are they singing about cheese sauce?”
Apparently, their nearly indistinguishable accent made the word jesus sound like cheese sauce. You know what? I replayed it at least 3 times and I literally believe that she is singing about cheese sauce.
I love it when happy tears are replaced by hysterical laughter.
AMYLYNN!! You MUST post. You know why. I know you have children hanging off of you and you are probably trying to lock yourself in the bathroom for a moment of silence. BUT BLOG!! Your fans are waiting…And I really have no patience.
I am nearly done with my short story to submit to eHarlequin. However, I have surprised myself yet again. (mom and any children under 18, please stop reading now…)
It appears that no matter how hard I try, I end up writing smut. People often ask me what I write. And though it’s technically romance, I respond ‘Smut, of course.’ Because the gutter is where I always end up.
I called Amylynn to let her know I needed to submit it to two different places. First and foremost, eHarlequin’s Historical Undone ebook line, because it is a historical set in England in the 1800′s. And because that is where I meant for it to go. But as usual, with me, it appears I need to look for a second, alternative ebook publisher as well. Just in case. So, I told Amylynn, I need to do a search for publishers wanting Whore-ish Historical Tarts.
My Lila (the heroine in the story) has a lot of good qualities. Unfortunately, nobody will know about them because almost every scene has her pouty lips somewhere on the duke in question. And he is no better…trust me.
I am ten pages shy of the end and I don’t think they have had a real conversation. But like all good romances, there will be happily ever after. Really.
But it will probably involve Lila’s gown up over her head.