Friday, 23 November 2007

Love At First Sight?

Tonight I sit with a lovely salmon dinner, all by myself. Hubby and oldest daughter are at work, and teenage son has gone to a friend's house, possibly overnight.

I'm watching Men In Trees, and the theme is: How long before it matters? Patrick has lost his memory, and the whole town attempts to trigger a breakthrough by giving him a slide show of his life. His fiancée is concerned that she was only a blip in his radar, and not longer registers on the memory scale.

As romance writers we usually take the instant love approach, but we also take the long road to love. I haven't read Love In The Time of Cholera yet, but my impression is that it takes many years for the lovers to be together. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I remember the day almost twenty-five years ago when I first saw my husband. His eyes first caught my attention -- big, brown and deep set. He wasn't tall, but he was intense and intelligent. A cute geek, really. He was unlike any young man I had dated up until then, and he captured my heart within a few months.

As you can see, love grew. Perhaps it was instant attraction, but it took a while for us to decide that we belonged together. Through 23 years of marriage, and a lot of joy and heartbreak, we had to make new decisions, but we're still together. And he's still a geek who can't fix a faucet to save his life. But I love him anyway.

How long does it take for one to make an impact on another person, and thus be the love of his or her life? An hour? A few days? Years? Tell me about the love of your life.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Speaking of Memories

Kanani tagged me with an "Earliest Memory" meme. It's interesting how early memories can be. My sister swears she remembers lying in a baby carriage and recalls the little pom-poms that lined the hood.

My earliest memory was when I was about three years old. My family was temporarily stationed in Trinidad while my father supervised a construction site. I remember playing in the backyard when my feet started to sting, then burn. I screamed and ran into the house through the kitchen door. Mildred, our housekeeper, scooped me up and practically tossed me into the large kitchen sink, turning on the water full blast. I looked down at my little sandaled feet and saw hundreds of little red ants swirling down the drain. Fire ants. Nasty.

In other news, I received a Google Alert this morning. Apparently, The Space Between was on the top 50 of "Most Gifted Contemporary Romances" on Kind of amazing, considering they've been listing the book as 'out of stock' for the last two weeks. Buy some more, Amazon!

I did a screen capture where it is today, Page 3, Number 53 between a J.D. Robb and a Danielle Steel. Hee hee hee hee! I won't do a link because it probably won't be there tomorrow. Unless you all order one as a gift! Let's get me on, too! (Too many exclamation points, I know...)

Let's see if some of my friends at Romance Writers Unlimited have some Earliest Memories. I tag:


Sunday, 11 November 2007

Blast From the Past

I've been trying to get back into my current writing projects. One of them is The Yearbook, inspired by a year I spent in Spain in 1974. I found the old yearbook and started flipping through it to gain some motivation. On impulse I decided to Google a couple of the teachers. Well, I came up with two hits:

John Pharms had a difficult childhood and obtained a scholarship from West Michigan University due to the assistance of a mentor who believed in him. He spent a couple of years as a student teacher at the American School in Mallorca. I remember him as a big man with a huge smile and a voice that struck fear in us all. He taught us Phys Ed and one of our tasks was to clear a vacant lot of branches and rocks so we could play baseball. That wasn't the fun part; it was even more challenging finding the baseball when it rolled into a patch of prickly pear cactus.

He was thrilled to hear from me and will be happy to help me jog my memory about that incredible year at the American School in Spain. I went to his website and discovered that one of my classmates who was very close to Coach committed suicide shortly after I left. Coach had taken him under his wing and made him manager of the basketball team. He was devastated by his 'little brother's' death and made it his life's work to encourage young people to pursue their dreams. He's a motivational speaker for disadvantaged youth, based in Michigan.

The principal Peter J. Foley once served in the Peace Corps. He is now vice president of an incredible private boarding school in Thailand. He was an unconventional principal in a time and place where discipline didn't seem to exist. He seemed more like one of the students, and everyone treated him like a pal rather than an authority figure. He also sent me an email, and wants to hear more about my books. He says he's been working on a manuscript for the last five years, and needs a kick in the butt to finish it. He could probably fill volumes with his wealth of experiences.

Chatting with these two gentlemen has definitely given me a kick in the butt. The memories are flooding back and I hope I can weave them into this novel with some measure of success. Stay tuned for more developments.

Image: Rear view of The American School circa 1976.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Not Just Tires Anymore

I dropped my daughter off at work this morning. It's her second day at her second job and she's nervous, but that's another story.

I decided to stop on the way home to pick up some window insulation kits for our leaky 50's windows that haven't had storm inserts for a couple of decades. If I don't put the shrink wrap on the inside, we're doomed to icy drafts and foggy windows for the next six months.

I had a choice of stores - Home Depot or Canadian Tire. Of course I chose Canadian Tire because I'm loyal to Canadian-owned retailers. Don't get me started about Wal-Mart, because that's another story, too.

I like Canadian Tire. You get special Canadian Tire Money if you pay by cash, and can exchange it for anything, just like cash. I once had a boyfriend who saved enough to buy a whole bicycle. The bills come in 5, 10, 25, 50 cent, and one and two dollar denominations, each with a picture of Sandy McTire.

As I entered the store, the smell of motor oil hit me. It's not as gross as you think, considering the vinyl smell of Zellers has me running for the hills, due to a three-week stint as a waitress in their restaurant (yet another story).

I purposely chose a hand basket instead of a cart because when I hit a Canadian Tire store, I can't stop shopping. There's so much to see: stainless steel pots and pans, canoes, hockey tape, windshield wiper fluid, camping gear, lighting fixtures, toys, Christmas decorations, televisions, flashlights, hunting rifles, fish batter, doorbells, lawn mowers.... you get the drift.

I found what I needed, plus a furnace filter and a new rubber thingy that goes under the door, then decided to cruise the other aisles in search for a new dish drainer... uh, dish rack? You see, our old Rubbermaid was getting a bit grungy. I could no longer scrub off the calcium deposits, no matter how much vinegar I used. It was pretty gross, really.

I searched and searched. I found fancy stainless steel electric kettles, strainers, toasters, garlic presses, but no dish strainers.

We had a dishwasher once. We had it for twenty years. It was one of those types you roll out of the dining room into the kitchen and hook up to the kitchen sink. Our 50's kitchen doesn't have a built-in dishwasher. After all those years, our dishwasher stopped circulating water in the proper order. It filled, but didn't drain. Our dishes looked worse coming out than they were going in.

After several attempts at repair, we wheeled it to the end of the driveway and I delegated the dish duties to the family. The result is pretty much the same because my kids don't want to do the dishes and they think I'll take away the privilege if they do a lousy job. Ain't gonna work.

I guess Canadian Tire doesn't think anybody does dishes by hand anymore.