Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The countdown begins...

Or it did a while back, but now it's starting to really bug me. :P

Yes. It's almost Christmas. Almost as in "it's really time to panic if you aren't at least halfway done". Which, I am. Ha! (Glance nervously at list...) I think.

Secretly, I'm hoping the time will fly between now and Christmas Eve -- the last shopping day possible. Why??? Because if I have too many more days left, I'll keep buying... stuff. Yeah, stuff that no one really needs, but it's so darn 'cute' or 'cool' or 'um...whatever'.

Stuff. Heaven knows we have enough of that to go around, and then some. But from what I hear, we are actually very frugal Christmas-gift-givers. Fine, that's a nice way of saying "cheap", but I don't really care. In my not-so-humble opinion, gifts don't have to be expensive or come in huge piles to make people happy. Honestly, you do that too often and you wind up missing the point of the holiday entirely.

That's my two cents, take it or leave it. Actually... just leave it on the table. I'm sure I can at least find a red kettle to drop it into. ;)


Friday, November 19, 2010

Get off my butt!

Really, is there anything more annoying than a tailgater? No, not the dudes in the stadium parking-lot, grilling up steaks and downing beer after beer. (Yeah, okay, so they can be annoying on a whole different level.) I'm talking about those wonderful drivers who like to be less than a cars' length from your tail end no matter how fast you're driving.

I. HATE. That.

I get even more irritated when they do this at night with high beams in operation. Or if they happen to be in a truck and I'm in the car, they may as well have the brights on because they're going to blind me either way.

News flash: If you can see the back of my head because your lights are shining through my rear window, chances are you're blinding me. A blind driver is NOT a safe driver. She's also rather cranky. Make that furious if my kids are with me -- they usually are -- and you're endangering their lives, too.

Oh, and by the way, all tailgaters take note: If you're trying to make me drive faster by sticking to my bumper, chances are it won't work. As a matter of fact, I've even been known to slow down when someone tries that little trick.

So... BACK OFF! And please use some common sense.

Rant over.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Here I go again...

"But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!"

*Translation of John Burns' poem: "To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough".

Gotta love those optimistic Scots. ;) But it's true -- therefore often quoted and paraphrased. We make plans with full intent on keeping our deadlines and honoring our promises... only to mess up or become sidetracked somewhere along the way.

Yep, I find myself in that position. Again. Seems it's almost inevitable, to the point that I cringe every time I even think of setting goals. :\ But a little bit of optimism shines through and I get the "I can do it this time" attitude. For a while. Until something happens... or I get stuck in a scene... life interferes... illness knocks me down... self-doubt pummels my already shaky confidence... Yeah, I know all about "best laid plans".

I've been accused of having the fear of succeeding... along with the fear of failure. I'll admit to the latter; the former, not so much. Although it could be true, I'm still not convinced I've ever been afraid of succeeding too much.

Okay, well, I again set a goal. A goal to finish such-and-such by a certain date. Details? Nope. Sorry. Every time I share my goals, I fall flat on my face in a very public arena. I'd rather this round be less in the spotlight.

Wow. Maybe I have some Scot in me, after all? ;)

~~Meg Allison

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

For Veterans ...

Thank you... to each each and everyone who has taken time from their lives to serve our country. For those who have given some; those who have given all; and those who continue to give. Without you, we wouldn't have the freedom we have.

A special thanks to: June Frederick; Mel Frederick; my favorite aunt and uncle, Betty and Aubrey; and my best sistah-bat ever, Tina Larson.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

re: comments

Just an FYI... I had to put this blog on moderation some time back. Seems someone thought it would be funny to post porn links instead of real feedback. I am NOT a fan of porn. >:(

Anyway, if your post doesn't come up immediately, don't fret -- I'm probably just flaking somewhere else. ;) But I will post it eventually ... hopefully sooner rather than later ... IF you post something without nasty links.



Friday, October 29, 2010


Halloween is almost here -- naturally our celebrations are a few days early. We have "trunk or treat" at our church tonight. Basically, if you're unfamiliar, people gather in the parking-lot and hand out treats from the backs of their cars. Many even decorate to add a special bit of fun to the evening. The first year, we decorated the 'trunk' or our minivan to look like a cave -- complete with flying bats and cobwebs. (GGG)

But this is a busy season in our home. Every year, the kids decide what they want to be and the planning begins. My oldest (now 20) long ago took over the costume-making. She loves to sew -- me, not so much. And she's fantastic at DIY'ing old clothes into something fun to wear.

This year we have a hobo; a hippie; the phantom of the opera; and two steampunk gals. What's that? Yeah, it'd be easier to show than explain. But think of Victorian England, add a bit of sci-fi and some funky gadgets. ;)

My costume? I'm going low-key this time around. Note the orange and black striped bat socks. :D

Whatever your plans this weekend -- have fun and stay safe.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Once more, with feeling...

Okay, I'm back. Miss me? Yeah, didn't think so. Anyway, I've decided to try this blogging thing again -- and try to update more regularly. We'll see how long that lasts. ;)

What am I thinking about today? Pet peeves. I have a few -- I think everyone does -- and I've decided to share. Yes, I realize you probably don't care, but you're here, right? Bear with me, then.

This week my pet peeve of choice has to do with catching a cold. It's not really the cold that bugs me -- although it isn't fun. What really irks me is that I have to show my driver's license and sign for cold medicine. Not only that, but I can only purchase a certain amount of the medicine or similar products in a certain space of time. Do you have any idea what a pain that is when you have a family of seven? All of whom love to share germs? One box of thirty or forty tablets, to be taken every 4-6 hours, is NOT going to last long in my house.

Why? Because some moron somewhere figured out how to get high off of one of the few decongestants that actually works well for me. I say 'moron' because I cannot fathom why people insist on getting "high". Is life that hideous? I guess I'm truly blessed, then.

Personally, I hate losing control of my body, my actions. I hate that 'floaty' feeling I can get from antihistamine or a shot of Nyquil on an empty stomach. Good thing I don't drink, right? I'd be a mess otherwise.

The upshot is: It irritates me when someone elses' behavior affects what I can buy and how often. Yes, I know there are reasons for these rules, but it makes my life just that much more difficult.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer stretch

Writer's are similar to athletes... except that we spend the majority of our time sitting on our butts. We have to. Have you ever tried typing while walking, running or working out on a treadmill? Not easy. Actually, it's a good way to get hurt.

The way we're similar, however, comes into play when we work on our craft. An athlete has to stretch their muscles... to push themselves just a little harder and further in order to improve their game. Writers need to do the same thing -- only the muscle we stretch is more cerebral.

If you have a favorite writer, you may notice, from time to time, that their stories sound a little stale. I can't tell you how easy it is to get in a rut. I find myself leaning toward a very specific type of heroine, for example. I've also noticed that there are certain plot devices I tend to favor. That's all well and good -- as long as I don't let my stories get boring. I don't want you to think I simply change the location and character names to create a new book. Who'd want to read it? Not me.

This summer I'm shaking things up a bit. I did this once before when I turned a would-be, somewhat standard romantic suspense into a paranormal romantic suspense. That turned out very well, btw. ;) Now I'm finishing book two, and stretching those writing muscles all the way. This hero is not my typical alpha.

So far, so good, but what I can I possibly do to get a better work-out? How can I stretch my writing muscles just that much more?

I think I've found the answer: Steampunk. No, not because it's all the rage, but because I love the genre... have even before it earned such a special designation. Remember Wild Wild West? Sexy. Funny. And oh-so cool. ;)

So now this new idea is percolating. One featuring a feisty bounty hunter and her shifter prey. Steampunk style, naturally, with funky goggles, gadgets and corsets. Not to mention those steam-powered machines. Yeah, this should be fun. And a challenge, which is the best way to give the gray-matter a work-out.

I take what I know I can write... and add something new to the mix. Another level to the plot. Another element to the story. Something that makes me work for just the right mix. Sometimes it's frustrating. Sometimes I'm overcome by the urge to bang my head on the keyboard or nearest wall. I frequently have to step back; take a breath; ask my resident consultant for some plot ideas; etc. But it's the best way I've found to keep my muse from losing the spark.

Now if I could only come up with a good way to exercise my butt, as well. ;)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Making my day

Writers tend to be a little like actors, I think. We have somewhat fragile egos -- at least I do -- and need a pat on the back now and then. I do, anyway. Can't really confirm that for every other writer. But honestly, who wouldn't smile after hearing: "You're great! I love your work." ;)

This week brought a pleasant suprise in a couple of ways. My favorite beautician was back at work after some big health issues due to injuries she received in a motorcycle accident. I was really glad to see her. I think of her as a friend -- someone with whom I've connected, because we have a lot in common. We're the same age; both have a large family; etc.

Now, we've gone to her beauty shop for about ten years -- almost since the day they opened. It's a small town, family oriented salon. She's watched my children grow up and I've watched hers do the same. When times were hard for us, I knew she knocked a few dollars off the price here and there when I brought more than one kiddo in for a cut. It helped more than she'll ever realize.

When I saw her this week, she proceeded to thank me for copies of my books that I'd given her over the last few years. She commented how much she loves my writing and how she's read SECRETS AND SHADOWS, her favorite, several times. She went on to say how much the stories have helped her in the this down time in her life, which has included numerous surgeries and physical therapy.

All I could say was, "Thank you!" But inside, I was humbled and really uplifted by her praise. Especially knowing that not only did she enjoy my stories, but that they were a comfort to her on some small level.

That's all it takes sometimes to make a person's day -- to just let them know how they've touched your life. How they've made a difference -- no matter how small. So, if you've been uplifted, enriched or otherwise just entertained by some authors' work, I encourage you to let him or her know. You'll make their day. Make someone else's day, and they'll probably pass that happy feeling along. The world could use a bit more happiness.

Hope everyone has a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Another hero to think about ...

I'm struggling just a bit with my current hero. He's handsome, intelligent and quietly self-assured. But he's not quite the alpha-male he may need to be. :\

Or is he? Maybe I need to analyze him just a bit.

Nathan Toshio Quinn, hero of At Second Sight, is an intelligent man. He's a thinker, not a fighter, but he fights when necessary. He's handsome and is aware of his general attractiveness to women. He does have a tiny bit of uncertainty left over from his younger days, but nothing that can't be masked with a joke or a grin.

He's often the comedian in the group. The man with the quick one-liner and even quicker smile. He's a flirt... an extrovert with introverted tendencies. He's a loner who has only recently begun to feel alone. Maybe he's missing something?

He's a man's man -- the type to watch a game or hang out anywhere from the local art gallery to the corner sport's bar. He seems to belong wherever he goes, whether he's sitting quietly in the corner or laughing at the center of attention.

He can also be a ladies man -- note the second glances when he enters a room? But he has eyes only for his heroine. Damn. He's falling hard for this one.

So, what do you think? Is he 'alpha' enough to keep your interest? Tell me about your 'perfect' hero.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The night shift...

I started a new job about four months ago. Recently, I decided to take on a different shift. Midnights. Where I work, it's actually from about 11:30 to 3:45, five nights a week.

Yes, I volunteered. No, I'm not crazy...or should I say no more insane than usual? There were several factors that brought me to this decision -- one of which, of course, was money. Others included the time I'm now home while my family is awake and active. Once I get some sleep, I'm up by noon and ready to do the mom and wife gig. ;)

During all this change, I've discovered something. The night shift is very quiet compared to others I've worked. The muse seems to come to life, as well. So, while I'm waiting between customers, I write. The old fashioned way with a pen on paper -- yellow, legal pad, to be precise.

The next day, I transcribe my writing to the document -- usually doing some tweaking along the way. It's a system I think I'm going to like, and one that will work for me. It may also mean I'll get this book done and ready to sub by the end of April. :)

Inspiration comes from amazing places. Sometimes it's in a song on the radio. A sunset on a cool spring evening. A drive through a ghost-like town at four in the morning, long before most people's alarm clocks have gone off. I've noticed my inspiration is better received in the quiet of the night...during those lulls when there's nothing to do except listen.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Coming full circle...

My oldest son, age 14, pointed something out to me recently. That old 'double standard' -- or at least one form of it -- seems to have come full circle.

He saw a picture posted on-line of several 40-something women holding signs up and screaming like groupies for a certain young actor. For those Twilight fans out there, the young man in question is none other than Taylor Lautner, werewolf buddy turned one fine hunk of man. ;)

A comment posted with the picture stated that if a group of 40-something men staged the same scene for a 17-year-old actress -- the attention given by the public wouldn't be so accepting. No laughs and knowing winks. Those men would branded as disgusting perverts, if not worse.

Wow. A little harsh, but, yes, I have to admit it's probably true. I'm almost ashamed to admit that I'd likely think those exact thoughts. And yet, here I am, a 40-something mom, completely appreciating the very impressive physique and handsome face of a boy young enough to be my own child.

Huh. That revelation made me squirm just a bit.

So, anyone want to hazard a guess how this happened? When did societal values shift so that older women ogling ... even lusting after younger men became okay? But the opposite became a bad joke?

Just to clarify, I don't actually lust after young Taylor. I do admire him from afar. I do find myself wishing certain men my own age still looked half that fit, shall we say? But I do not sit around and daydream about him.

Whatever the reasons have been, the truth is that things have changed. What was once taboo is no longer. And so a whole new sub-genre of the romance novel has been born. I haven't found a favorite older woman/younger man book, yet, but I'll let you know when I do.

I once read the statement that the difference between men and women being with someone much younger is that the woman knows she'll look ridiculous. I'm sure Demi Moore would have a few choice words regarding that observation. ;) But in reality... in the lives of average, everyday, non-movie star people, I think it's likely very true.

Most women I know would never dream of initiating a romance with a man ten or more years their junior, no matter the appeal. If such a young man were to make the first advance, that same woman might wonder what he really wanted... and just how long she'd hold his attention. Yes, we have many issues involving vanity. Perhaps some trust issues, as well.

Women now, as a whole, seem to now feel confident enough to admit they find men... even much-younger men, sexy and desirable. Men, on the other hand, are given nasty looks by many of those same women, if they're found lusting for much-younger girls.

Yes, the tables have turned on this particular double-standard. Makes me wonder what will be next.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Blogging today...

At Beyond the Veil ... please click and read. Comments aren't required. ;)