Don’t Open Your Sunroof in the Rain and Other Life Lessons

 I’ve been wrapping up one project and plunging right into another, so my head is almost always someplace else.

 The thing I love best about my brain is the way it keeps problem-solving for my characters, even when I’m away from my desk and not entirely conscious of the thoughts that are spinning. The thing that annoys me is that when my brain is working out dialogue or checking for flaws in a new plot twist, the other things I’m attending to in autopilot mode don’t always get the most careful attention.

 I imagine my autopilot as a Jetsons-style robot who has a few bugs in her program. Of course, while I’m busy imagining my autopilot as an embodied entity, I’m probably also squeezing hand lotion onto my toothbrush.

 For example:

 – Driving back from the grocery story the other day, my car was unbearably hot and stuffy. Instead of playing with the air vents to get some fresh air, my hand reached up to open the sun roof. In a torrential downpour. Thankfully, I caught myself just in time.

 – On my way to writing group last week, I walked out to the garage without shoes on and didn’t notice until I actually got in the car and felt the brake pedal with my bare foot. (But I did successfully remember my pages, a plate of peanut butter cookies, and my car keys. I get points for that, right?)

 – While marinating some veggies to grill on Sunday, I somehow managed to pour almost an entire batch of salad dressing onto the kitchen floor.

 – I failed to check the weather when planning to grill and ended up on the back patio wielding metal tongs in the middle of a lightning storm.

 – I didn’t realize there was leftover coffee in the coffee pot and flooded the counter with dark roast when I started this morning’s brew.

 But oh, the characters who have come to life! I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Not even for a kitchen floor that isn’t slippery.

“Can’t stop now, I’ve traveled so far. . .”

Well, the cure for Final Countdown is apparently this (Do not click on it! I’m warning you!). I heard it on the radio yesterday, and now I am prone to randomly belting out the chorus while I make coffee, do the dishes, etc. J is so lucky he doesn’t work from home.


Oh, who are we kidding? I don’t do dishes. I put my coffee mug in the dishwasher, sing a few verses into a spatula, get distracted by something shiny, and then completely forget I haven’t finished the dishes, until I need my afternoon cup of coffee and walk into a kitchen full of messy.

But it’s all okay, because the messiest of kitchens can’t get me down when Library Journal is going around printing things like this about STAY:

“It’s GILMORE GIRLS meets MARLEY & ME in this funny and compelling debut.”

I have tried six times to type an appropriate response to that, but I just can’t. GILMORE GIRLS! Aside from Cicely, Alaska, there’s no fictional town I’d rather live in than Stars Hollow. So, sufficed to say, Mrs. X can suck it!

The LJ review is in the print issue, so I can’t link to it. But I can link to all these other amazing posts that some wonderful, wonderful bloggers posted yesterday, blog tour and otherwise.

And my little sister-in-law got in on the STAY blogging action! By the way, when she says she wouldn’t have been able to lie if she didn’t like the book, she totally means it, so I’m glad she liked it! Phew! :)

And, as a reminder, Chick Lit Central’s STAY giveaway is open until Friday, as is the query letter critique contest.

Also, I love you. Lots. Getting to share my book, and read everybody’s thoughts on it, absolutely means the world to me. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

The contents of my purse

Vera over at Lady and the Blog showed everyone the contents of her purse. I thought I’d join in the fun, even though my purse fillings are far less elegant. Please excuse the flash flare, it was REALLY cloudy here today.

I read a book about organization for people with ADD a few months ago. The book suggested keeping purse items grouped in brightly colored pouches, so they’re easy to find. Nothing in my purse is coordinated, but that’s on purpose.

This system has worked like a charm for me. Prior to that, my purse contents would have been a big mountain of old receipts, crumpled bills, loose change, lip gloss that had lost its cap, and probably a few linty cough drops. But this way, if something is not in its place, it’s obvious, and it’s really easy to clean out what doesn’t belong.

So here’s the list of what I carry around with me.

  • Dog Treats
  • Phone
  • Pill Box (Excedrin Migraine)
  • Moleskine book for story ideas
  • Strawberry Shortcake Pencil case that I’ve had since second grade and still use for pens and pencils
  • My tricked out Japanese Pilot pen with multi-colored Sliccies Gel inserts. I use a fountain pen at home, but this is my purse pen, since I’m fairly sure it won’t leak. (J and I are total pen nerds)
  • Pouch for bandaids and hand sanitizer
  • Latest book club book (The Believers by Zoe Heller)
  • Dog poop bags
  • Teeny tiny umbrella
  • Think Thin bar (because I am a very crabby person when I’m hungry, and since I can’t eat wheat, it’s best to travel prepared)
  • Extra pouch incase I need a pouch for something (yeah, I know)
  • Pad of paper that I can tear sheets out of (because I will not tear pages out of my notebook)
  • Stay postcards with information about my first book signing
  • Pouch for hair clips, lip balm & nail file
  • Wallet
  • Sunglasses (I wear sunglasses even on cloudy days. I’m not trying to look cool, my eyes are super sensitive to light)
  • Receipt from the UPS Store (I spend an inordinate amount of time there)
  • Handkerchief (I’ve had this one since our chamber choir trip to England my freshman year of high school).
  • Felt heart with a section stitched by each of my ladies. I’ve carried it around since The Other 1/4 had us make them in 1997.
What’s in your purse? If you post your list, make sure you add your link to Vera’s post!