Currently Browsing: At Home

Witch Stones!

Since I was a child, I’ve had a bit of an obsession with rocks. I think this mainly had to do with growing up in an area with some spectacular rocks to collect. My favorites were what we called sparkly rocks which you mainly find around creeks. Most of mine I found around Viburnum, Missouri, an area with large lead deposits. But in addition to sparkly rocks and fossils (which I also loved), I always kept my eye out (and still do) for witch stones. Witch stones, also known as fairy stones and hagstones, are rocks with a naturally occurring hole in them. As you can probably guess, the best hunting grounds for these rocks is also near streams since water is what washes away parts of the stone to form the hole. Holly Black made witch stones (she called them fairy stones) somewhat famous with her use of them in the Spiderwick Chronicles.  In her stories you used the stones to see the fairy world, but they are probably better known as a way to ward off evil. According to this article, people used to hang them over doorways (especially of stables) or wore them around their necks and some even used them as a spout through which the poured milk to keep it from curdling. I’m not sure as a child anyone ever told me what they were supposed to do, but I’ve always thought of them as witch stones and known they carry with them some kind of magic that I want to possess. Any of you own witch stones? How do you use...

My office…my life…me

My office is featured over at Lisa Renee Jones’ blog today. I have to say you can tell a lot about me by looking at my wall and that isn’t really a coincidence. When I was young I read a book where a girl made a collage over her bed that was formed in a spiral. Each item said something about who she was in kind of a time line. I don’t know why, but that idea really struck a chord with me and stuck with me. I’ve also always believed in energy—that people put it off and that places and things can hold that energy. That’s been a big part of my attraction to antiques, and the reason I will probably never go back to Gettysburg Pennsylvania…but that is another story. Anyway, stop by Lisa’s if you want a peek. And while you are here, tell me…do you have a wall like this? Are there any objects that make you feel grounded? Because that is what the banjo and chain on my wall do for me, along with a few other items in my space. Oh, and anyone else read the book I mentioned? She had just moved to this big old Victorian and I think it MIGHT have been Rosemary and Thyme or something like...

Dump, dump, dump, dump…

You probably don’t know it, but a dump is a great thing if you are an author. It means you got one of those special little cardboard display things just for you in some store (hopefully many stores). Well, guess what? Harlequin did one for the two Nocturne anthologies out right now…one of which is Midnight Cravings mass market release. Here is the picture compliments of Michele...

Chasing Life down the street

Anyone else feel like they are chasing life down the street? That it’s moving ahead of you a bit more every day? I didn’t used to feel this way. I think it’s the kids…who knew they came with such increased chaos? Anyway, this week I could maybe should be at the RWA National Conference in D.C., but I chose to stay home…second year in a row staying home. And, I have to say, I don’t regret it, because this darn life of mine is hard enough to keep under control without me trying to chomp out five days (plus shopping) for a conference. What am I doing/done? (warning it doesn’t sound like that much…) Edits on February 2010 Nocturne x 7 because it’s an every day thing this week Housework…not much because I’m trying to be honest here… Took kid #1 to Doctor (three hour visit) Took kids to county fair Blogging…here Emailed and twittered (following RWA National…hmm, maybe this has something to do with out-of-control life…) Updated web site…And it is still seriously not up-to-date Entered receipts/paid bills…another seriously waited-too-long task Fish shopping…TWICE because first one died same day! Interview with and conversing with Husky Rescue people about adopting a new dog… Preparing kids for next week’s camp AND house in general for potential new dog Driving five hours to see potential new dog…and back… Jogging, but not enough…it could be worse, I could be at National sucking down daiquiris… 5,000 other little things I have now forgotten So, there’s my list…do I deserve to feel out of control? Probably not…sigh. p.s. Here’s a picture of the dog we are thinking of adopting… How freaking cute is he? (and yeah, one of his eyes is half brown and half...

Animals and books…

I did a panel a few months back about animals in fiction…or something like that. It was a surprisingly full room with surprisingly lively interaction between panel and attendees. But then again, maybe it wasn’t surprising. We humans as a rule are quite geeky about our animals. And animals are a very popular theme in books. It starts when we are kids…classics like Black Beauty, The Call of the Wild and Misty to more modern tales like Hoot, The Tale of Despereaux and the Geronimo Stilton series. But animals aren’t just in kids’ fiction. We adults love them too. Look at the success of Marley and Me. How about Lillian Jackson Braun’s Cat Who series? Or even the George R.R. Martin books with his dire wolves? Let’s face it we love animals, especially animals the characters in the book love, and frequently are willing to risk a lot to save. Why is it? On the panel I argued it was the love we feel and have felt for our own animals that attracts us to these books. We understand the emotions the characters feel, the desperation they go through when the animal is threatened. It’s primal and universal. We get it. We also frequently see animals we have loved and lost in these fictional creatures. I for one ADORE Susan Conant’s malamute mystery series, because I owned and adored my own malamute. Reading her stories reminds me of him, takes me back to the time I had him. What more can I ask for? What about you? Do you love books with animals? What are some of your favorites? Why do you think they speak to...

When I was little…

Over the past five or so years I’ve found myself saying this…anyone else? I feel all dirty and cliche when I do, but seriously, it is darn funny how we (humans) can find something to complain about no matter how NOT bad things are. So, when my kids whine “I’m hot.” “I’m bored.” “I’m…whatever.” I can’t help but roll my eyes and become my father. “I’m hot.” This is usually in context of getting into a car. Okay, we live in Wisconsin. Yes, it gets hot here. It has been VERY hot here this week, but people, I grew up in Southern Missouri. We had no air conditioning–not in our house or our car. And we had (in the car) vinyl seats. You remember those? You remember trying to slide across them in shorts? EEk! Lost some skin doing that. So, when my daughter moans. “It’s SO hot.” My sympathy level just isn’t what it could be. “I’m bored.” Alright, I pulled this one on my parents as well. And I’d hear the stories of how my dad had no T.V. In fact, he remembered when electricity came to his part of the Ozarks–that’s right electricity. They had a pump for water and tar paper walls too. But I digress…. My dad had the outdoors, a wagon (I know he had a wagon because I’ve seen the pictures.) and a few other toys, but something like T.V.? Cartoons on a weekly basis? Craziness. At the time I was pretty much like, “how sad for you.” But now when my kids pull it, I stare around at their toy store worth of toys, the FIVE TVs in our house all with satellite, four DVD players, the computers and think REALLY? And yes, the stories of how I had ONE TV that was BTW black and white, showed at most TWO...

« Older Entries