Monday, December 27, 2004

The Peaceful Aftermath

Christmas is over now, the presents opened, wrappings discarded, items with "some assembly required" have been laboriously assembled, batteries inserted, food consumed, and eyes are now glazed. Now is the time to sit back and relax and be thankful for how lucky we are, and to remember there are many who are less fortunate.

So, how was your Christmas? Did you spend it with family or with friends? What did you have for dinner? Any special presents given or received? Or, do you celebrate another holiday this time of year, or nothing at all?

I'm trying to get back into the swing of work before the next holiday weekend comes, New Year's. I can't say I put as much effort into that one as I do into Christmas, but I do stay up till midnight, watch the big ball come down in Times Square, and blow my little noisemaker horn, thus terrifying the dog and offending the cat, while saying "rabbit!" shortly before and after midnight, to have good luck the whole year through. Hey, it's a tradition, right? ;-)

What kind of holiday traditions do you and your family or friends observe? I'd love to hear about them!


Thursday, December 23, 2004

Almost Christmas!

Here we are, just two days away from Christmas. And today is the thirty-fourth anniversary of my husband's and my first date. Wow! Of course, we were practically in the cradle when we started dating. ;-)

So, what's all this politically correct Happy Holiday stuff, anyway? If people don't celebrate Christmas, then they don't need to use the word if they don't wish. But to try to change the name of the holiday is silly. Would people of other religions be willing to change the names of their special holidays (which, after all, means holy days) to a generic form? Happy Holiday instead of Happy Hanukkah, or Have A Nice Day instead of Have a Blessed Ramadan?

Of course not, and no one would expect them to. Nor would we change St. Patrick's Day to, say, We Love Green Day, or Presidents' Day to Famous Person Day.

For those who don't celebrate a particular holiday, what's wrong with leaving those alone who do? We're not trying to proselytize--we're just celebrating joyously. As they say in the song, What the World Needs Now is Love. So, let us enjoy our holidays in peace and love, and we'll gladly extend the same courtesy to you.

Okay, that's my soapbox for today. Let me know how you feel about this issue!

In case I don't have time to write again before Christmas--have a Merry Christmas and may your New Year be bright!


Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Meteors and Other Celestial Events

On Tuesday night, around midnight, my husband and I drove several miles out into the rural countryside--technically known as "the middle of nowhere"--to view the Geminids Meteor Shower.

Unfortunately, Tuesday night was also the coldest night here in Kansas since last February--a low of twelve degrees! But at least there was little wind, so no wind chill to add insult to injury. We bundled up as well as we could, though I was still stamping my feet to stay warm, feeling like a horse. :-)

But it was worth it. We saw lots of meteors--quick shooting stars, and longer meteors with colors and leaving trails behind them. It's awesome to witness something like that--meteor showers, eclipses, comets, viewing the moon through a telescope--things that make us realize the universe is a big and beautiful place.

How many of you went outside to view the Geminids? Do you watch for other events in the sky? Which ones are your favorites?

Keep looking up!


Saturday, December 04, 2004

Tarot Cards and New Links

The two subjects are related today, because I added two new links to Tarot sites that I love perusing. The first, Aeclectic Tarot, has lots of fun stuff, but I especially enjoy their list of Tarot decks. They have hundreds listed, with a brief description of the deck and pictures of six cards from it. As anyone who's bought Tarot cards knows, they're sold in sealed packages, so you can't see what the cards look like, except the one or two illustrated on the box. And as anyone who's used Tarot cards know, you need a real affinity for a deck in order for it to work for you.

I have about twenty different Tarot decks--I collect them. Where else can you get 78 individual works of art for the price of a deck of cards? But there are a few standard decks I refer to again and again. If you want to check out my favorites, go to the Aeclectic site and view the cards from these decks:

Robin Wood Tarot
Nigel Jackson Tarot
Universal Waite Tarot

and I have lots more on my wish list! :-)

The other Tarot site listed in the links is Joan Bunning's superb online Tarot course, "Learning the Tarot." You can take the course online, or download it and work on it offline. She has a book out by the same name that's an invaluable resource, and I highly recommend it as a Christmas present to all the Tarot enthusiasts on your list. Nothing but years of practice can make you feel like an expert in Tarot, but if there's one course that will get you off to a great start, it's Joan's. Check it out!

I've developed the art of "one-card Tarot readings" in my alter-ego as Madame Liz. If you want to see what all the fuss is about, come to my next Madame Liz chat at 9 p.m. ET on Dec. 16 at NovelTalk ( Hope to see you there!


Friday, December 03, 2004

Are You Ready For Christmas?

"Are you ready for Christmas?"

That's the question I dread most at this time of year. Although I'm not a Christmas Eve shopper, I've never been one of those super-efficient people who get all their shopping done the day after Thanksgiving, either. I'm usually resting in a semi-comatose state the day after Thanksgiving, recovering from all the cooking (and eating).

So, my usual answer to that question is, "Hah."

This year is no exception. I do have a few gifts already stashed away, but most of my shopping is left to be done. I don't even know what I'm going to get for most family members and friends, let alone already have it purchased. And this year will require some extra shopping as not only do I have a new grandson, but I've also run out of my lifetime supply of Christmas wrapping paper, bows, tags, and other assorted things.

So, if you hear a hideous groan coming from the direction of western Kansas over the next two weeks, you'll know it's me!

In the meantime, if YOU are looking for that perfect gift for someone on your list, may I suggest a copy of ENCHANTED HOLIDAYS? It has six holiday-themed romance novellas with just a touch of magic, perfect for the festive holiday spirit. You can find it at Hard Shell Word Factory ( in paperback, or Fictionwise ( in e-book format.

Another suggestion: visit my shop at Cafe Press ( or the ENCHANTED HOLIDAYS shop at Cafe Press ( for perfect gift items for everyone on your list: t-shirts, sweatshirts, baby gifts, mousepads, Christmas ornaments, journals, messenger bags, flying disks, clocks, mugs, coasters, teddy bears, baseball caps, totebags, greeting cards...see? I told you they have everything!

Well, time for me to start thinking about my OWN Christmas list. I'd love to hear more about your shopping methods...when do you shop? Do you make gifts or buy them? Do you give actual items or gift certificates or money? What was your most successful gift ever, and what was the best gift you ever received?

Happy shopping!


Monday, November 22, 2004


Imagine a racecar zooming past you at 125 miles per hour. That's what I'm doing kilobyte version! Finally I have a cable internet connection, instead of dialup. Since we live so far outside of town, the dialup could only achieve a speed of 28.8 at the best. Now we have 256K and it's wonderful! I can't wait to visit all my favorite websites and NOT have to wait forever for them to load.

So, how many of you have cable, or DSL, or wireless? Do you like it? What are the pros and cons?

I have a new book out: ENCHANTED HOLIDAYS, an anthology of paranormal romance. There are six novellas in it, two based on Christmas, two on New Year's, and two on Valentine's Day. The six authors involved are me (of course!) plus Kim Cox, Chris Grover, Elaine Hopper, Maureem McMahon, and Sheryl Hames Torres. You can check out the cover art, read an excerpt and the reviews, and order your own copy in trade paper or e-book format by going to my website: . It makes a great holiday gift! ;-)


Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Back From the Depths of Illness

The antibiotics have done their job, at least mostly, and I'm back online again. There's nothing like being sick to make you appreciate good health!

It's very windy here tonight, 28 mph with gusts up to 38, 39 degrees and wind chill currently 27. Spitting rain, and possibly a snowflake here or there. I guess fall is definitely here, with winter crowding hard on its heels. I like the change of seasons, but it's always tough to get used to the cold. Especially with our money-saving thermostat setting of 65 degrees! And the electric and gas bills are still awfully high...

We really need to develop alternative forms of energy. Get rid of the gas-guzzling cars and go with electric power, or something cheap and plentiful. Same for heating and cooling our homes and water. I fear the prices will only go up, up, up.

So, what kind of energy-saving devices would you like to see on the market in the next few years? Light bulbs that never burn out? Cars that run on batteries without needing any other energy source? Solar heating for your house? Batteries for all your handheld gizmos that last a year--or ten? Now, just get out there and invent them! ;-)


Thursday, November 04, 2004

A Fiendish Plot?

A frightening election result. Nine hours babysitting two whirling dervish toddler and infant grandchildren. Getting sick and needing massive doses of multiple drugs. Getting sick two days before leaving town on vacation. Guess which of these things have happened to me this week?

Try ALL.

So I say, it's gotta be some kind of nefarious plot designed to drive me stark raving mad. Either that, or I'm on some horrific hidden-camera reality show. Boy, I just hope the prize for this one is really good. :-)

Tell me the stories of some of YOUR worst days...or weeks. How did you make it through? I'm not talking major disasters here--that's a whole different category. But sometimes there just seems to be one little mini-catastrophe after another. How do you get through those times? Chocolate? Bubble bath? Take the phone off the hook? Buy something outrageous? Read? Get a massage?

Hope your week is running smoothly!


Sunday, October 31, 2004

Happy Halloween to All!

Today is Halloween, and I'm looking forward to seeing my granddaughter in her witch costume tonight. I beat her to the punch with costumes, though. Last night, my husband and I went to a costume party. First time I've worn a costume since I was twelve! I was "Madame Liz," the psychic gypsy, of course, complete with Tarot cards. Dan went as Zorro--and he certainly made a dashing one. I was going to try to attach a picture, but I'm unable to do so as I get an error message on the page where you're supposed to download the software to do so. Sheesh.

So, what are you doing to celebrate Halloween? Taking your little ones out trick-or-treating? Having a party? Do you decorate the house? Do you dress up?

However you celebrate, hope you have a fun and spooky day!


Friday, October 29, 2004

Unexpected Events and How They Shape Life

I keep waiting for the day I have an entirely normal day. You know, the kind of day where everything goes right, you feel great, you get a lot done, you have a relaxing evening with your significant other and get a great night's sleep. All is right with the world. Based on the law of averages, though, a "normal" day is pretty abnormal.

Today is no exception. Was planning an out-of-town trip today, but when the phone rang at 6 a.m. and I could hear my 8 month old grandson screaming before I heard his mom (my daughter) say hello, I knew "normal" was going out the window. Poor little kid is sick and so the daycare won't take him, but my daughter has to work. So, "Nana" cancelled her out-of-town plans to stay home and play nursemaid, chauffeur, and of course Nana. He's got a throat infection, we discovered after a first-thing doctor visit. Now, fortified with formula, antibiotics, and ibuprofen, he's napping. For a nice long time, I hope! If I'm going to be home, I might as well get some work done. ;-)

So, what's a "normal" day like for YOU? Or do you ever get one?

Liz, signing off from the world of abbie-normal...

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Fog and Contests and Tea and Stuff

Got up today to find the world blanketed with a thick layer of fog. While this might not be a strange occurrence in the coastal areas of the country, in western Kansas, it's pretty odd. I like it, though. Makes it seem as if I'm living on a little island, just my house and yard, and nothing beyond that. Cool. Reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode...

Contests: I'm judging again this year in the EPPIEs. I've judged in numerous contests over the years. Each one has different scoring systems, different ways of giving feedback to entrants (or some have no feedback), etc. If you're a writer, have you entered contests? If so, why, and what did you get out of them? If not, why not? Readers, does a line on a book or website stating the book won a contest mean anything to you when you choose what to read?

I always look forward to my cup of tea every afternoon. Not herbal, not green: black tea. Usually a flavored variety--I'm partial to French Vanilla right now. I think it's the English in me, from my maternal grandmother. I've always known that tea was soothing and calming. But more and more it seems, the medical world is discovering tea has wonderful healthy qualities--antioxidants, and what's that other fancy big name--bioflavonoids? And tea is a good source of fluoride! Anyway, the latest discovery: drinking tea (green OR black) may stave off the symptoms of Alzheimers. (Sorry, coffee-drinkers--coffee doesn't have the same effect.) So I'll continue drinking my tea and thank my ancestors for being smart enough to get tea-drinking into my genes. :-)

For more info on tea's healthy benefits, check out these websites:

Happy tea drinking!


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Day Four, Big Bad Wolf

Day Four of blogwatch finds me running all over town, trying to find a CD with "Little Red Riding Hood" by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. It's a quirky little song that I've always loved, and finally I decided to hunt down a copy. Not as easy as it sounds, though. Fortunately, we have a nice little independent record store here in town where they'll move heaven and earth to get what you want. I'm now the proud possessor of a "Silly Songs" CD that includes "Little Red Riding Hood." Not seems to be a later remake by the original artists...but close enough for now. It also includes "Tiptoe Through the Tulips With Me" by Tiny Tim. I used to think it was funny when I was a kid, but now it's kinda creepy. I guess I'll just listen to Sam the Sham. :-)

Do you have favorite "silly" songs? Or maybe favorites from your childhood--did you sing around the fireplace with your parents, in the car on long trips, when you went away to camp? What part did music play in your early life?

Also picked up a havahart mouse trap. The plowing for winter wheat that occurred a few weeks ago drove field mice to try to find other suitable habitations. Unfortunately, they decided our garage was just such a spot. My husband put out traps, but I wasn't prepared for the guilt and sorrow of seeing those tiny little furry, cute, innocent-looking things in the traps. Hence the havahart trap. At least now we can trap them alive and release them in the woods, hopefully far enough away from our house to discourage their return.

Back to work now! Hope you're all having a lovely day.


Monday, October 25, 2004

Day Three, Still Getting the Details Right

I've fooled around with the settings of this blog a bit more. I feel pretty proud that I managed to add a LINKS section, over on the right. It only lists my own website right now...but it's a start! I've also been advised it's not wise to let "anyone" post, so I've changed the settings. Hope that doesn't keep anyone from posting though as I'm anxious to hear your comments!

Today is Monday, a "back to work" day for most. I know Mondays can be depressing...but they aren't for me, because I like what I do. In fact, sometimes I look forward to Monday and having the place to myself again so I can get some work done, after a weekend full of children and grandchildren and the dog barking and cat hissing and endless chaos. ;-)

What's YOUR favorite day of the week? Is it Friday, because it's the last day of work? Saturday, because you can sleep in? Tell me about YOU.


Sunday, October 24, 2004

Day Two New Blog

A new day has dawned for Liz's blog! Or something like that. So I'm going on blog-watch again, to see how long it takes before someone responds. Last time I finally got a response around day nine...and then, just when people were starting to respond, my dang computer lost everything (thanks to faulty tech support advice). long last, I'm starting over.

It's a lovely fall day today. Leaves turning (though we don't get scarlet like in New England, and I miss that) and about 58 degrees. I love this kind of weather, and now I can enjoy it fully because I don't have to associate "fall" with "going back to school." I work on my writing, teaching and editing at home, so I'm free to enjoy the beauties of each season for their own sake.

What about you? What's your favorite season and why? Do you have a least favorite season? Do you associate seasons with holidays, with events (like back to school), with weather patterns, or something else?


Saturday, October 23, 2004

I think I'm set!

Okay, two posts from me in one day. I've spent ALL DAY trying to get this set up--about two hours for this "easy" one. But I think it's set. So now you all can start making comments (nice ones, I hope!) and we can chat again.

Question for today: how much time do you have to spend tinkering around with trying to get something on your computer before it takes more time than it's worth? :-0

Hope to "blog" with you soon!


Trying Once Again to Blog!

Okay, I'm trying again with a blog. The info for my original one was lost when I had a massive hard drive crash/erase/reformat. Naturally, this happened without the opportunity to back up! I tried to get the tech support for the old blog to send me my info, but have had no response in almost a month. So I've given up and am trying something new! We'll see if it works. The first one I tried was WAY too complicated and I couldn't even get it set up. This one was easier...hope I did it right!

So, please do join me in this blogging adventure. Second time's the charm, right? ;-)