Happy Thanksgiving

Does your Thanksgiving table look like this?

I think this is a little Regency-esque, don’t you? Not Thanksgiving at all, then. But sometimes a Thanksgiving table can feel like this, a crowd of people all talking at once.

Let us be thankful for all those friends and family seated at our table this year, noisy as they may be!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Birthday, Dear Daughter

Today is my daughter’s birthday, the anniversary of the happiest day of my life.

I’ve told my daughter her this her whole life (she’s an adult now) and have explained to my son that his birth was the second happiest, only because I’d already experienced it once before. (My wedding day comes in third, I’m afraid. I was too overwhelmed for it to ever be number one)
I may have written a bunch of books, had a great career before that, but my greatest achievements were my children. I am intensely proud of the people they’ve become.

So, Happy Birthday, my darling daughter. We’ll celebrate my happiest day, just like we do every year. You deserve it!

Air and Space

Last weekend we visited the Air and Space museum (aka the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center) in Dulles, Virginia , right near Dulles Airport. I’m not particularly enthralled by airplanes, their being much past “my” time period, the Regency, but it is hard not to be impressed by this huge hanger holding the whole history of flight.

From the early efforts:

To the Space Shuttle Discovery:

And everything in between:

We even saw where they restore the old airplanes, even though no one was working on the weekend:

I tell you, what is not to love about living in the shadow of Washington, D.C.?

Don’t forget to check out Harlequin’s $1.99 special on 10,000 series ebooks, including all of mine! At your favorite ebook vendor!

Beautiful Virginia

About a month ago the dh and I took a road trip south on Rt. 81 which runs through rural Virginia. When we drive this route, it always strikes me what a beautiful state Virginia is. I thought I’d share it with you.

Downland, Letcombe Bassett, Oxfordshire

I just love this countryside with its rolling hills. I think it looks like the English countryside.

Once a long time ago the dh considered a job in another state, but he changed his mind. When we drove to our home in Virginia, I was so glad!

Where is the place you think is most beautiful?

Put Your Heart In A Book 2015

New Jersey Romance Writers call their conference Put Your Heart In A Book, which is what we all try to do when we write romance. I attended the conference for the third year in a row and it just gets better each time. I love New Jersey anyway, ever since I went to graduate school there years ago. So it is always nice to be back.

A favorite part of the conference is the Friday afternoon panels for the published authors, mostly because they provide my favorite thing to do–just sit and talk with others who love what I love. Writing Romance novels. We talked about social media and about new trends, among other things writing related.

IMG_0234Friday evening was the Awards Ceremony where the winners of the Golden Leaf (published author) contest and the Put Your Heart In A Book (unpublished author) contest are announced. A Lady of Notoriety did not win in the Historical Category, but a friend, Cara Elliot, did win for Sinfully Yours, so that was not so bad.

IMG_0241Saturday was filled with workshops. I attended Diana Cosby’s workshop on researching Historicals. And Julia Quinn‘s workshop on writing dialogue–very comprehensive and helpful. It was lovely seeing Julia again. I first met her ages ago–I’m pretty sure it was 15 years ago, but Julia thought it was 10. Our paths have crossed at Romance events every few years since.

I also attended Nancy Herkness and Miriam Allenson‘s workshop on Critique Groups in which they described their very successful critique group that was, ironically, run almost opposite of my long standing critique groups, especially the one with Darlene Gardner and Lisa Dyson. This merely goes to show that the successful critique group is the one that works for you.

Nancy and Sally
Nancy and Sally

Nancy didn’t hold it against me, though, for saying we did everything differently than they did. She invited me (and several others, including Sally MacKenzie and Alexa Egan) out to dinner at a fabulous Italian restaurant.

Then it was back home on Sunday….too short, but always sweet!

Assisted Living Cat

I’ve written before about the-cat-who-lives-on-the-kitchen-table. Her status has changed. She now lives on my living room couch.

IMG_0223My old girl is now 20 years old and her health is definitely failing. About 10 years ago the vet discovered she had diabetes, which we decided not to treat, because it meant giving her two shots a day, at the same time, every day. We decided to make her comfortable and when she declined, to put her to sleep. Instead,  the diabetes disappeared with no special treatment or diet or anything. Since then we’ve had three or four instances of her becoming ill and then rallying.

So she stayed on the kitchen table and we no longer ate there. Eventually she moved to a chair in the TV room and now she has parked herself on my living room couch.

Kitten on left; sick kitty on right

But now she is blind. She must be able to see lights, because she stares at lamps, but she bumps into things that unexpectedly get in her way–like one of the kittens. Luckily the other cats leave her alone. Devil Cat and Brooklyn Cat (my daughter’s black cat who is staying with us for awhile) are not fighting with her anymore, probably because she no longer can “eyeball” them. She just stares blankly.

steps to climb up onto the couch

I have to carry her to the litter box and bring her food and water. She can walk back from the box and find her way, but she makes no effort to get there on her own. She needs pet steps to climb back on the couch, because she can’t jump anymore. She doesn’t get down to go to the food dishes. Still, she does not seem to be in any discomfort.

The thing is, how long can this go on? I feel we are one toileting accident waiting to happen and that would be one too many for me. Is it fair to her to wait until she suffers? Is it selfish of me to want my living room couch back? I think it would be traumatic to move her to a different location.

I’m very attached to her. My whole family is. She’s been with us 20 years!

I really do not know what to do. Any advice?

Coming to New Jersey

2015 NJRWA Book FairDiane will be signing and giving away books at the New Jersey Romance Writers Conference multi-author booksigning! October 17, 4:00 to 5:30, Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel, Iselin, NJ.

James River

Two weekends ago, the dh and I house and pet-sat for my son so they could go to the beach with his in-laws for a weekend. They needed someone to take care of the dog and feed the cats so it was easy enough for us to do. Of course, that meant that the OTHER grandma got to be with the-cutest-grandson-ever and we got the dog.

It turned out to be a nice weekend, a little mini-vacation for us. We spent the Saturday with my sister-in-law and her husband. They took us to the James River, where Richmond, VA, area folks like to go on warm, beautiful weather days.

And it was beautiful! Take a look!
I don’t know if you can see, but when the water is this low, people can wade out to the rocks to sit or sunbathe or even have a picnic. We didn’t go out on the rocks, but we did walk along the river for a couple of miles.
IMG_0207 (1)
Look at the reflection in the water!
Here’s one more.
A dreamy, peaceful scene.

We’ve been to Richmond many times over the years and driving over the bridges we’ve seen people on the river, tubing or kayaking or canoeing, but this was the first time we actually went down to the river.  It made for a wonderful day.

This coming weekend we were going to go to the Americans in Wartime Museum (what we call the Tank Farm), but with the hurricane forecasted, it was cancelled.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Finishing Up

Step 3 in the writing of a book is doing editor’s revisions and that’s what I’ve been doing this week. I look like this….

Well, maybe not precisely like that. I’ll be back again next week!