Wednesday, July 23, 2008

6 Reasons Why I Should Love My Job

Yesterday was a great day!

It took me the better part of the day to polish the synopsis of my novel so I could enter a writing competion. I did send it off and with 2 days to spare until the deadline.

The only reason I was able to do it was because I took a sick day and didn't have to go in to work. So now I see what I have to do - get sick more often. Just kidding.

On a more serious note it occurred to me that I do a lot of ranting about how much I despise my job.

So being in a good mood today I decided to come up with 10 reasons why I should love my job. Unfortunately I could only think of 6 so here they are:

1. I like to eat. It’s nice to have a roof over my head too.

2. I don’t have to worry about doing a bad job. I’ve been here so long I can do this in my sleep.

3. We have a secure gated parking lot – and it’s free.

4. It’s a construction office so I don’t have to spend a lot of money on clothes. Jeans and sneaks are the norm.

5. Many, many, many eccentric people have come through the doors to Camp Swampy and given me mucho material for a book.

6. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. NOT.
When I go home tonight I'm going to watch Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs - Mike Rowe rocks.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Matron Literature

I thought I was familiar with all genres but “matron literature” was a new one on me. I wasn’t sure I liked the terminology but I decided to check it out anyway.

Turns out it’s an offshoot of chick lit. Sometimes it’s referred to as “hen lit,” “gray lit” or even “hag lit.” Ugh!
The stories focus on older female protagonists. I’ve noticed that heroines in romance novels have been getting older, but I never suspected they now had their own genre. Go figure.

It appears we women of a certain age need characters we can identify with. Now I have never had a problem perceiving myself as the thirty-something heroine or even the twenty-something heroine. I know what it’s like to walk in their shoes and in my fantasies I’d prefer to be rescued by the virile alpha stud rather than a bald, paunchy old relic. It’s supposed to be a fantasy right? We read romantic fiction to escape reality. But okay I thought I’d check it out and see what I’ve been missing.

A search on brought up “The Hot Flash Club,” by Nancy Thayer, which Publishers Weekly calls “chick lit for the AARP crowd.” Also “Loop Group” by Larry McMurtry, and “The Red Hat Club” by Haywood Smith.
At sixty going on thirty, I’m not sure I’m ready for “hag lit” but if I can find large print editions maybe I’ll give them a read.

BTW – Today’s Camp Swampy Roach Count is one sighting.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Yesterday was torturesome. I spent most of it trying to steer clear of the roaches and came home in a foul mood.

JP hid out in his office while I ranted and raved. When I threatened to retire before my time is served he knew I meant business.

This morning he had an industrial size container of bug juice in the car and announced he would play exterminator today.

I thought he was just going to spray my cubicle but he did all of Camp Swampy. My Hero!

To Be Continued...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Munchkins = activators; Camp Swampy = inhibitor

It was a good weekend. I saw the munchkins on Friday night and I was activated to spend most of Saturday writing. I saw them again on Sunday and I came home and wrote some more – except for the hour I spent watching “Big Brother,” which I chalked up to research.

Today I’m breathing the stale air at Camp Swampy and I’m inhibited. I was actually semi-comatose until the guy in the next cubicle yelled “roach,” and I jumped up instantly alert. Now I’m too busy scratching and looking around my desk to write anything.

They say the three most important things in real estate are location, location, location. It’s also true for writing. I am so ready to retire.

And before you chastise me, I’m not wasting taxpayer’s money. I’m still entitled to lunch and 2 breaks and I prefer writing to smoking or playing Solitaire on the computer.

So there’s my rant for today and now for the good news.

I’m excited to tell you the first reviews are in for “A Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers” and there’re all 5 Star plaudits!

“Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers is a delightful anthology…”

“Some made me laugh and some brought a tear to my eye but all of them were very enjoyable.”

“I was in dire need of a "Cup of Comfort" to recharge my affection for my 3 cats and that is just what I got.”

“The fifty stories are a fairly quick read and will leave you wishing for fifty more.”

If you’ve read the book I hope you’ll add your thoughts on

Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers: Stories that celebrate our feline friends (Cup of Comfort)

And if you haven’t there’s still time to enter my contest at and win a free copy. The deadline is July 31.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Life in the big city...

Last night we left Camp Swampy and headed north on the Boulevard. Traffic slowed and came to a complete halt at 9th Street. The inevitable honking started and after a few light changes my patience was wearing thin.

Two policemen walked between the three lines of cars and stopped at the gold vehicle in front of ours. Briefly they spoke to the driver and then started back where they came from.

Suddenly they turned back and ran to another gold car that had pulled up on our left. This time one of the officers pulled his gun and opened the passenger door. The other cop pulled his gun and yanked the driver out of his seat.

In a matter of seconds two young boys lay facedown in the street, hands cuffed behind them and guns pointed at their heads.

A woman stood on the shoulder screaming, "they stole my car from my driveway."

As the boys were led away to one of the many police cars blocking the road all I could think was thank God those boys didn't have firearms. We could have been caught in a shootout, something that happens all too often in the City of Brotherly Love.

Monday, July 7, 2008


I hope you all had a great Fourth of July. I celebrated in the best way possible – with family and friends at a BBQ. Although we expected rain the weather turned out okay and the munchkins got some pool time. They’re really enjoying the water and were so much fun to watch.

Then Sunday night I finished the four book reviews that were due today and sent them in. Now it’s time to get back to the novel. I’ve made some plot changes that I think will add more conflict to the story and my goal is to finish the first draft by the end of August. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Lexophilia is kind of an unofficial word meaning “the love of words.” For those of you who love words and language here’s an interesting site I came across over the weekend.

Improving communication from the Federal Government to the Public.

Being a hardcore lexophile myself I decided to make this link the beginning of a list on the sidebar called - Lexophilia. Enjoy!

BTW, I was very excited to see the first review for “A Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers” on Amazon.

The reader gave it 5 stars and wrote “The fifty stories are a fairly quick read and will leave you wishing for fifty more. If you never had a cat as a pet/friend you only need to sit back and wrap yourself around this lovely little book with the big stories of feline tales to warm ones heart and maybe instill a bit of what being a cat lover is all about. And for the cat lovers reading through the book it will only reinforce what we already know about the power of the purr.”

Read the whole review here:

Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers: Stories that celebrate our feline friends (Cup of Comfort)

There’s still 3 weeks left to enter my contest and win a copy of “A Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers.” Go to my website for more details.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Doing it the WriteWay!

I've been on the fence about writing software, but I finally made my choice. I’ll be using WriteWay.

If you read previous blog posts you’ll know I was using yWriter, free software downloaded from At the same time I tried various other programs both free and costly.

I downloaded the trial version of WriteWay and after using it for two weeks I found I couldn’t give it up. Of all the software I’ve tried WriteWay is by far the best.

The deciding factor for me was the Research Folders. I tend to collect massive amounts of information when I write, notes jotted on scraps of paper, URLs, pictures, etc. My binder fills up, the folders on my PC multiply and I have a mountain of papers on my desk. Needless to say I can never find anything.

In WriteWay, all of this can be organized in the Research Folders. Set up folders, name them and add pages which can contain both text and pictures. Add internet links and find websites with a click.

My second favorite feature is the Notecards. WriteWay's main workspace is split into two sections. On the left is your Outline, and on the right is your composition area with Notecards staggered and tabbed on the bottom. (They can also be used in Storyboard format). You can use the preformatted cards or make up your own templates, such as plot, characters, conflict, setting, dialogue – how you use the cards is up to you.

Other features include Dictionary, Thesaurus, Manuscript Formatting, Word Count Tracking, and more.

Regular price is $39 for Standard Edition and $79 for Professional Edition. I took advantage of the limited time offer of 20% off on either version and went with the Pro mainly because of the Research Folders.

If cost is a factor yWriter is a great program and it’s free. If you want the extra features - Test drive WriteWay by downloading the FREE 30-day demo.