The Countdown Begins......

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The countdown is on...for our Kristin's return. Whooooo Hoooooo. If my math is correct (and let's hope it is!) Kristin will be home in about a week. I am so anxious to hear all about her trip. See all the pictures. Learn if that one tiny little carry on suitcase really did hold everything she needed for a month. (I still have my doubts!!) But before I leave, I owe you Fireflies a HUGE thank you. I guess now it would be okay to admit I was TERRIFIED about stepping in to fill Kristin's blogging shoes. I should have known better. You Fireflies are THE BEST. You have made me feel so welcome and I know Kristin is going to enjoy reading your posts as much as I have. So thank you, thank you. I could not have gotten through this blogging month without you. But before I leave and hand the reins back over to our true Queen Firefly, I think we need to have one last bit of fun. :)

I know Kristin plans to post about her trip, but I am impatient. I have a couple of burning questions I am dying to ask her. First, I want to know if she saw a herd of mama and baby elephants. Out of all the animals in Africa, I would love to see that. Years ago, I watched a nature program on elephants. About how all the female elephants band together--the moms, aunties, sisters--and raise the babies. One big, close knit group of women, sticking together and taking care of everyone. To me, there is something utterly beautiful in that. Plus, any female (animal mammal or not) who carries a baby for nearly TWO YEARS has my vote. Hands down!!

Second, I really want to know what the living conditions are like on a safari. From what Kristin told me before she left, it actually sounded amazingly luxurious. But now that she's experienced it first hand...

So, Fireflies. For our last post before Kristin gets home, is there a question or two you would really like to ask about her trip to Africa? Come on, don't be shy. :)



NEWS FROM AFRICA and I missed it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Dear Fellow Fireflies, as I said in my last blog post, I have failed you. Kristin called this morning AND I MISSED IT. In fairness, I think it only fair that you strip me of my temporary queen firefly title. BUT I could tell by the sound of her voice she's having a wonderful time. I don't know about the rest of you, but when I think of Africa, my thoughts turn to movies like:

Out of Africa. Sad, very sad.

I Dreamed of Africa. Sad, very sad.

The Ghost and the Darkness.
Gruesome. Very gruesome.

Not a happy ending in the bunch. But then when you see the cute and cuddly pictures of those dear little lion cubs, well who wouldn't want to see them up close and personal? Then again, Mama Lion would be near...

When Kristin first told me where she was going, I'd never been so happy she was a runner. Run Hard and Run Fast were the only words of advice I could offer. But now, after hearing her voice on my answering machine, I know all is well. :)

Did anyone else happen to catch Samantha Who? tonight? Very funny. Samantha decides she wants to go to Africa but after one visit to the doctor's office and learning about all the shots and pills she must take, she fakes the trip and then runs off to somewhere warm and tropical with her girlfriends. Sounds exactly like something I would do. :)




Saturday, October 18, 2008

First off Fireflies, please keep the introductions coming. Not only do we all love meeting fellow Fireflies, but I know Kristin is going to so enjoy reading each and every one of your posts when she returns. BUT I have to get something off my chest: I am a dinosaur in the texting world. And I like it. I embrace my refusal to upgrade my phone, type with my thumbs, learn thousands of shorthand phrases I know I will never remember. But I have two problems. One I was willing to ignore; the second one I just cannot. First issue (something I think most of us mothers face). Somehow, someway, at some point it became uncool for kids to actually TALK on their cell phones. My kids' motto: Text Not Talk. Though with them, I held firm to my non-texting ways. Stood my ground and all that. If mom calls, they have to pick up. Only fair, I believe, since mom and dad foot the bill. Then came along problem #2. One I cannot ignore. The only way I have to contact Kristin while she is in Africa is through text messages. Yes, Kristin texts. Kristin. The one person I thought would stay in the texting dark ages with me forever has gone to the other side. For nearly two weeks I have not talked to her. Now I know most people would probably enjoy a break from their boss, but I am going through serious Kristin withdrawals. Not only do I miss her, but I am dying to hear how her trip is going. While my kids have not been able to drag me into the world of texting, Kristin just might. No, not might, will. This weekend I am going to have to borrow a phone and have my kids teach me how to send a message. I know reception is spotty at best in Africa, but when and if I hear back from her, you Fireflies will be the first to know. But I have to know: Am I the only person who isn't texting?

Getting to Know Youuuuuuuuu

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you
Getting to like you, getting to hope you like me...

The minute April suggested the great idea of a "Getting to Know You" post, who didn't immediately think of the song from the King and I? (Or am I the only one who has watched that movie a million times and still gets swept away each and every time?)

So, Fireflies, no being bashful, no lurking. Let's all post a little bit about ourselves so when Kristin comes home she knows all of us a little better. I'll start. And I just might have to drop a few tidbits about Kristin as you Fireflies start telling us about yourself.......

As many of you know, I have the best job in the world: I'm Kristin's assistant. Best job. Best boss. Hands down. I have three wonderful kids who keep my husband and I running from dawn till dusk, too many darn animals, a treadmill I really, really try to use, a house that is never clean enough, a garden that needs weeding, and I am always anxiously seeking that next amazing book that makes me forget everything else. And this year my dream of selling my first novel came true. It still feels surreal. Though I'm sure that feeling will disappear once I receive the critique from my editor. :)

Okay, next Firefly..........


Start Falling...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

My beloved summer has ended and fall has officially begun. Not that I need a calendar to tell me this. As you know, I live in the Pacific Northwest, so I can pinpoint the start of Autumn by the rainfall. It started yesterday and hasn't stopped yet. In fact, I don't expect it will stop until just after the first week of July. Okay, I know I'm being a bit sarcastic, but only a bit.

I love this time of year, actually. Don't you? It's the season of colored leaves, carved pumpkins, football games, and family. Family most of all. After all, from here on out, it's pretty much one Hallmark moment after another. Halloween...Thanksgiving...Christmas and Hanukkah, New Year's Eve, and then the start of a new year. And October is perhaps the best month of all, because you have all that to look forward to, but none of the shopping or cooking or cleaning has begun. I hope that wherever you are, you enjoy this beautiful month.

And now, on to my latest obsession. As you know, I'm a tv girl. There's a long list of shows that are on my tivo must-record list, but right now (LOST hasn't started) my number one show is Prison Break. I'm definitely a fan as a viewer, but that's only the very start of it. the truth is, I'm even more of a fan as a writer. For those of you out there who are writing fiction--especially genre fiction of any kind--I heartily recommend watching this show. I have never seen a show that better exemplifies the idea of escalating conflict. For four seasons (I think it's four), these writers/producers have managed to change and deepen the conflict every fifteen minutes or so. That's truly astounding. I mean, here's a show about guys breaking out of prison; it should have lasted a season or two at most. Originally I laughed about the idea of guys breaking out...and out..and out...of high security prisons. It seemed like a one trick idea, but in these writers' capable hands, this has evolved into a story about love, loyalty, forgiveness, redemption, betrayal, life or death decisions, and high stakes action. More than that, it's just a lot of fun. Check it out, but I warn you, you'd better start from the beginning if you want the full impact.

Thanks to all of you who gave me suggestions for the website update for the release of True Colors. I tried to use as many of them as possible. Check out the new look and let me know what you think.

And now...drumroll, please...the day for the start of my once in a lifetime vacation has begun. Everything is planned, housesitters and animal sitters are in place, and I'm off to Africa! Just saying it seems impossible. Weird, wonderful, frightening, exhilirating, life-changing. I appreciate all of your many suggestions. As usual, my fireflies really came through for me. Because of you, I'm bringing all kinds of things I would never have thought of. Most importantly, I bought a killer camera and I'm learning to use it so that I can come home and share my journey with you. I don't know what I'll find in the way of communications down there--not much on safari, I expect :)--and I'm not bringing a laptop, so obviously my blogging is going to slow down for a while, but Kim is stepping in to help out. And I promise to look for internet cafes wherever I can and let you all know how it's going. So check in regularly. I hope you'll all be here when I get back. I'll be looking forward to you inspirational, entertaining stories and can't wait to hear what you read/watched while I was gone.

FYI, here are the books I'm taking with me. Angels of Destruction, Michael Connelly's The Brass Verdict, Gildead, The Gathering, Susan Phillips' What I did for love (not really, that's just wishful thinking), and Heartsick by Chelsea Cain. Any other recommendations? I'm itching for a big, juicy, emotionally powerful love story/family drama.

So, thanks again for being a part of the firefly blog. I'll honestly miss you all while I'm gone and look forward to sharing this incredibly journey with you all...

Aloha and wish me luck!

ps: the photo is of a gardenia blooming in my yard in Hawaii...