Scribbles and thoughts ...

These are ramblings from J L Wilson, published author of romantic suspense, mystery, and paranormal -time travel fiction....

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Would you trade this for that?

(First of all: an update: we came out okay on taxes. A nice return to us since I've lost money on writing. So yes -- lemons=lemonade).

As you may remember, I was ghastly ill a few weeks ago with food poisoning or stomach flu (you choose). It laid me out for a few days, but hey, I lost weight, so it's not all terrible.

My spouse is now wrestling with a cold, his third one this winter. When he gets a cold, it knocks him out -- exhaustion, chills, miserable sniffling, and all over achy. At first I thought it was a guy thing (you know: husband lies on couch moaning about pain while wife continues doing all the work even as she sniffles and coughs).

After years of this, though, I've come to the conclusion that most of his moaning is really justified. A 'cold' just zaps him out. I get a cold, I take a pill, and I get on with my life. The only annoyance is that I have to carry tissues with me. He gets a cold, he's on the couch for a week.

So which would you rather have: the occasional (maybe once every 5 years) bout of stomach flu (food poisoning) or a cold three times a year that zaps you out?

While I don't enjoy lying on the bathroom floor, I'm starting to think it's preferable to losing a week of my life lying on the couch....

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

When life hands you lemons ...

I was supposed to go in to have taxes done on Thursday, but we're due for more snow and I didn't want to hassle rush hour traffic after-taxes in a snowstorm, so ... I will meet my tax guy in one hour! Yikes!

Needless to say, I'm rushing around a bit. I had already put things together ... somewhat so now I sorted things out and hopefully I have all I need. I doubt that is true, though -- it seems like every year I forget one vital piece of info that I have to call in. Then I need to go in, pick up the forms, we sign them, I take them back.

But the lemonade part of it, you ask?

His office is near the best bakery in town, home of yummy homemade quiche, delectable desserts, and excellent bread.

Oh, sigh. I need to go the accountant's office again. Well, I may as well swing by the bakery on my way ....

Keep your fingers crossed that we come out okay!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Did I speak too soon?

Yep, it snowed. Just enough to make the roads slippery -- and to cover all the yucky gray snow with a fresh coating of powder. But now the sun is out and everything looks so clean and fresh.

Fresh starts -- I've made a fresh start, too, on the Oz book. I was picking away at it, not focusing on it much, but in the last day or two it's really started to come together for me. The hardest part of writing for me is letting the characters in my head, letting them take over my life. Once I do that, the book goes fast, but letting them in -- that takes time.

So now I'm off and running in Oz. I'm having fun again!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Looking ahead to ...

... growing season!

Yep, I placed my order with Seeds of Change. Oh, that catalog ... I always go through it in January, when the snow is deep and the temperatures are so bitterly cold. Then I let it sit for a month. I've learned not to order anything in January. My eyes are too big for my stomach, so to speak.

I pulled out the catalog last Sunday, sat in front of the fireplace, and daydreamed of bobbing sunflowers, drowsing in the sun ... freckled violets in the shade near Jack in the Pulpits ... gourds climbing over my fence and drying in the hot September sun ... French breakfast radishes, so crisp and sweet in a sandwich ... blue borage (the only blue in the garden, really) poking up among my hydrangea ...

Oh, I love online ordering! I sent off my credit card number and started clearing a space in the laundry room. I already have the grow lights out because I was trying to force some tulips to grow. The little poops faded out on me so I will unpot them and use the pots for my gourds and radishes. Everything else can wait until the soil warms and they go right into the garden. Okay, I may get antsy and plant a few more inside ....

Yep. There is light at the end of the tunnel. We'll have a few more snowstorms, and some more bone-chilling cold. But my laundry room will be a little bit of spring come early!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Conference Report

Love is Murder was held last weekend and a good time was had by all. This conference was particularly interesting because another conference was at the hotel at the same time, and it was “Re-Enactor Fest.” So we had a few hundred people sharing the hotel with us who were dressed as: soldiers (Roman soldiers, WWII soldiers, British soldiers — you name it, we had it), Southern belles (complete with hoop skirts), Henry VIII, pioneers, Native American Indian scouts, movie stars ...

The variety was endless, and I got SO many plot ideas! I also had a chance to inspect muskets, blunderbusses and swords up close (so useful for my time travel books) as well as see just how hot and not-nice some of the clothing of the period was. The consensus of the enactors was that the shoes were the hardest to create accurately and comfortably.

So all in all -- a good time! I garnered a few new fans, sat on two panels that went well, and got a lot of ideas for upcoming books.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Off to Chicago!

I'll check back in on Tuesday. I'm off to a crime conference to plot murder and mayhem.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ah, winter ....

I live in Minnesota, and it feels like we've had winter just about forever. This is the first winter in a few years that has been a Real Winter -- lots of snow, lots of cold, and only one real 'thaw', where the temps got above freezing for a day or two.

I've found as I've gotten older that winter seems to last longer. When I was a kid, spring came with Easter and summer came when the swimming pool opened. But now I count spring as starting on March 21 (even if it snows that day) and summer begins on the first day I can wear shorts and be comfortable. It's my way of stretching out the seasons, I guess.

A thing I do at this time of year is take a sunny day and go to the nearby conservatory (link below) or to the Mall of America for the day (it's not far from my house). The MOA has a lot of great interior landscaping, and it's fun to wander around inside in the warmth and shed my winter coat for a while. And the conservatory reminds me of what is just around the
corner -- warmth, humidity, and that delightful smell of damp earth, waiting to be turned.

It won't be long now!

Here's some sights to get us through these bleak later winter days ....