Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Walking in Circles

Last week my Red Hat ladies and I went on another field trip. We attended a workshop about labyrinths at the county Mental Health Center . Some folks confuse them with mazes, which spring up in corn fields all over the country this time of year. A maze has a separate entrance and exit. A labyrinth, if you'll note from the illustration above, has a single entrance and exit.

From their website:
The Labyrinth, located adjacent to the Mental Health Center to the north, is a circuitous path that leads to the center and out again. Its various twists and turns provide a metaphor for life and its challenges. Labyrinths are designed to help us find our way. There is no right or wrong way to use a labyrinth, but most believe the labyrinth provides the opportunity to clear ones mind, find peace, manage stress, and make decisions. Some believe that the labyrinth can also help a person heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

The Labyrinth of the Mental Health Center is available to the public during daylight hours, 7 days a week including weekends. It's use is free of charge but donations are accepted.
We learned some of the history behind labyrinths, going all the way back to the island of Crete and the myth of the Minotaur. It has been used in numerous cultures for about five thousand years and is present in modern-day Christianity. According to the speaker, many churches house labyrinths, the most famous being the one in the Chartres Cathedral in France.

The Mental Health Center's labyrinth is patterned after the one in Chartres, which is illustrated above. The eleven circuits are a half mile long and depending on your pace, it can take from fifteen to forty-five minutes to walk. Constructed of grass with stones outlining each circuit, it's best experienced by walking it barefooted. And the instructor noted there is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth or no right or wrong reason for walking it. After you've reached the center with its six petals (which represent the six days of creation), it's customary to spend some time there. Some folks carry in a pebble to represent a burden and then leave it in the center so they can shed the burden. Some folks walk accompanied by music from an iPod. Some blow bubbles even. The labyrinths in churches will often have candles or holy water in the center.

In 2010, the local Labyrinth Keepers are planning to have someone walk the local labyrinth every single day and they're currently looking for volunteers for not only that project, but others such as upkeep and public relations as well.

Labyrinths are often used in grief therapy and the instructor said they use the one here with children who have ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome.

As I listened to her presentation, I came to the conclusion that the labyrinth might have some applications for writing. I can't count how many times I've been unable to focus on the task at hand and could use something to help me gather my thoughts and center myself. Or what about being stuck on a plot point and needing time to sort it out? Walking a labyrinth could be helpful (and a lot cheaper than retail therapy).

For labyrinth enthusiasts who want to find them wherever they travel (and there was a woman attending the workshop who'd walked labyrinths all over the United States) the Labyrinth Society has a locator feature on their website at .

Have you ever walked a labyrinth? If so, tell us about it. If not, would you try it if there was one near you? Check the locator on the website posted above and tell us if there's a labyrinth near you.

P.S. Our very own Problem Child is guest blogging today at I Heart Presents. Please hop over and tell her hello.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cool Books for Writers

I was asked recently to name some books I'd recommend for (aspiring) writers to read and keep on their bookshelves. As you know, I'm usually happy to provide advice to anyone who asks (and even those who don't), but this kinda threw me.

Other than a good dictionary, a style manual, and the Rodale Synonym finder, I don't think there are any books a writer HAS to have, and there's such a wide range of books out there I don't know if there is a definitive book about anything.

But I came up with a list of what I have -- books I find useful -- to share, and I figured I'd share them here as well. Your mileage may vary, of course, but here's a list of books I find (or have found) helpful.

1) The Miram-Webster Dictionary, A Writer's Reference, and Rodale Synonym finder. Seriously. I can't stress the importance.

2) Flip Dictionary: billed as "for when you know what you want to say but can't think of the word," the Flip Dictionary lets you look up the definition and gives you a word. In some ways, it is like a thesaurus, but you can also look up phrases like "sew loosely with large running stitches" and it gives you the choice of "baste" and "tack." You can also look up a general term like "cheese" and gives you a list of about forty types of cheese. You may need to then look up exactly what "Quargel" cheese is, but at least you have something more specific than "cheese."

3) Writing A Romance Novel for Dummies. Leslie Wainger is one smart lady. Read and learn.

4. ) Goal, Motivation and Conflict by Debra Dixon. If for no other reason than you're going to hear people talk about it and you'll need to know what GMC refers to. For beginning writers, I think motivation and conflict can be a hard subject to get hold of, so this is worth a read.

5) Character Naming Sourcebook by Sherrilyn Kenyon and any other baby name book. Names are important.

6) A Dictionary of Word Origins (there are several). Very important for historical writers to know if that word was around in 10th century England.

7) An Incomplete Education. Wonderfully arranged and easy to read, it gives you a great overview of a topic. Say your heroine is an Art Historian. The section on art will give you a place to begin.

Yes, I know most (all) of this information is on the internet. But sometimes Google returns far too many links on a subject (and those pages could have been written by anyone. Dog only knows if they actually know what they're talking about). I often start from a book to get an overview -- like for a heroine with an Art History degree, and once I have a better grasp of what I'm after then I go to Google.

Okay. Argue with my choices. (Yes, I know most of you would rather use an on-line dictionary, but I'm a little old-fashioned there. We'll just have to agree to disagree.) Make your own recommendations too.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Rushing To The Finish Line

Most of September has been a series of deadlines I’ve had to meet. First, the flu with my daughter. Then the Disney trip. Then coordinating a workshop for our local RWA chapter. Fortunately, I get a lot accomplished when the pressure is on. Unfortunately, I’m not the type to have grace under pressure. I’m more likely to panic, but I still press on and get the work done. The Playfriends just get to hear a lot of whining.

Many times, I feel like this is what is lacking in my writing life – that pressure to perform by a certain deadline. Without it, I can meander aimlessly and no one cares. Except me, when I get to the end of the month and have damn little to show for my time. I try to set up deadlines with accountability partners and the like, but ultimately feel like I should be responsible for my own output.

It isn’t like I’m ignoring my writing to be lazy. I let life’s priorities, those things that are screaming at me to get done, with an actual deadline instead of a fictional one, go first. Maybe I just need to learn to juggle. Sigh… it is a conundrum that will probably never be solved. One I’ll continue to struggle with until I’m finally faced with an editor’s deadline. Heaven help me.

What about y’all? Are self-imposed deadlines easy for you to create and stick to, or do they lose their weight in the face of life’s constant pressures?


Next week is the beginning of something new on the blog! Check out our first of the month surprises starting on Monday.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tuesday's winner

Totally forgot to post this...

traveler! You're my winner from Tuesday. Send me your snail maid addy to claim your prize... (

Friday, September 25, 2009

Just Talking to Hear Myself Speak

Our weeklong trek to Disney was a lot of fun considering it was my first real foray into parenthood. I had Little Sister, who is six, for a solid week with no parental interference. All me. If she ate, bathed, or got punished, it was me. No pressure. I think I did pretty well. LS had been properly threatened and was on her best behavior most the trip. I also had the other Playfriends for back up, including my roomie, PC. PC is a great wife and we worked well together. Darling Geek is very lucky, as I'd snap her up for myself if we could both date other men.

To amuse myself as the days went on, I started keeping track of the best phrases of the week spoken by the grown ups. Some were the most used, some were just too amusing to forget as I managed to run into some odd conversations with the kids. Many of them were said repeatedly because no one would listen to us. I swear, Disney makes kids hard of hearing. Here we go...

10. "Go to the mouse."
This was one of the first phrases as we went to dinner at Chef Mickey's the first night, complete with character interactions. The characters move quickly. They want to sign those autograph books, take the pictures, and move onto the other 150 tables they haven't been to yet. For some reason, the kids required coaxing to get up from their seats and go to get their photos done, hence the command "go to the mouse!" (Variations include bear, dog, duck, princess, etc.)

9. "That is not one of your grown-ups."
The general rule was that the kids always had to be within sight or grasp of one of their grown-ups. It could be any of us, but you had to be near at least one. Very often, the kids would zone out and start to walk away with, stand too close to, or start tugging on someone not in our group. At this point we would have to yell "That is not one of your grown-ups" or one of the variations "Stay with your grown-ups," "Grab one of your grown-ups hands, please," or "That is a lovely woman, I'm sure, but she is not one of your grown-ups."

8. "Get your ______ out of your mouth."
Apparently this is an epidemic. One kid starts out putting their fingers or other items in their mouth and the next thing you know, you're constantly saying it to all of them. LS took to putting her lanyard in her mouth. I have no idea why. Aside from simply being unhygenic in a place where millions touch every single surface, we were battling off the threat of swine flu and constantly on the hand gel and wipes. I think this was one of the most used phrases of the week. I probably say it in my sleep now.

7. "Do we need to go back to the hotel?"
A much used threat followed closely by the variation "maybe we should just stay at the hotel today" if we hadn't managed to leave before the threatening began. Whatever crying or whining or pain or suffering they were going through, it was never bad enough to go back to the hotel. They'd usually straighten up then. Or start crying harder, then straighten up.

6. "You don't need that."
Apply this phrase to every multicolored, plastic, fuzzy and character themed item in every park. The Disney folks know just how to place the most tempting things at kiddie eye level. The kids each had their own money to spend, but I admit I steered LS away from silly things I would have to carry and more toward nicer (and smaller) keepsakes that wouldn't be such a burden. As it was, she got a bracelet, picture frame, sunglasses, mouse ears, a Tinkerbell t-shirt, candy for her friends and classmates, tattoos and her face painted. I think that's adequate without adding a gigantic stuffed Minnie Mouse.

5. "We are at Disney World. Disney World! Stop asking me about the _____."
Fill in the blank mostly with swimming pool or bathtub - at least in our room. Our resort had large spa tubs and a big pool with a waterslide, which is very cool, but we can swim and bathe in Alabama. We cannot meet the Fairy Godmother and ride Splash Mountain in Alabama. It took quite a bit to drill that into the kid's heads.

4. "You are dressed like a lady, please act like one."
All the girls had fluffy princess makeovers with costumes on Tuesday. There were extensive discussions about how one acts in a ball gown. Twirling with a full skirt is acceptable. Princess waves and nods are encouraged when addressed by your subjects. (All cast members referred to the girls as "Princess" and Little Man as "Prince" as we went through the parks.) Fence climbing and lizard catching are frowned upon. Sweet Pea argued with me that she was in pants because she was dressed as Jasmine and Jasmine was, in fact, the kind of princess that would catch lizards. I had a hard time arguing that one.

3. "Please just stop touching one another."
Followed closely by "Do I need to separate you two?" Put kids together in a car for 12 hours and they will pester each other. Put them in the car for 12 hours after spending the most part of the last week together and its war. They cheat at Go Fish. They don't follow the rules. They bicker about who gets to be what character in whatever pretend game they're playing. They look at each other wrong. They just need time apart. And so do the adults. :) All and all they did well, it could've been much worse.

2. "Do you want chicken nuggets or a cheeseburger?"
Sadly, this is mostly a reflection of the kids dining plan at WDW than anything. Some places would offer the occasional spaghetti or mac and cheese, but 9 times out of 10, the kids would get to choose between a chicken nugget meal, a cheeseburger meal, or maybe a cheese pizza paired with fries, grapes and a chocolate chip cookie. Most the kids didn't mind except Amazing Child and her expansive palate, but even I got tired of it and I wasn't the one eating it. LS was happy as a clam.

1. "This is the happiest place on Earth - act like it!"
This one got thrown around a lot. Its amazing how in a place with so many things to make kids happy, it is so easy for them to get cranky. Start with humid 90 degree heat and long days on our feet. Add scratchy costumes, standing in lines and minor tragedies like lost items and you've got a recipe for child meltdown. The 7 Dwarfs should really be renamed to Whiny, Grouchy, Picky, Hungry, Weepy, Sassy and Nauseas.

What are some of your favorite phrases for traveling with kids?


Thursday, September 24, 2009

The 'I Suck' Section

Every book has it. It usually hits me around chapter 7 and holds on until chapter 9 or 10. It's the 'I suck' section. That place in the middle where I think I'll never get this book, these characters or the plot right. It's where I think I've dropped so many threads someone could knit a sweater. It's where I think I'll never make it to the black moment because right now I can't even remember what that's supposed to be. I HATE the 'I suck' section. And yet, I go through it every single time.

You'd think I'd be prepared for it...but each and every time I hit it I'm surprised. Maybe I think this time it won't happen because I'm better, I've learned more, I understand this story better. More likely it's just a part of my process that I'll have to learn to live with.

What I wonder about is whether this is a direct result of my panster status. Do I hit this wall every time because I don't really know what's going to happen next? I mean, sure, I have a synopsis but I hardly ever follow it to the letter. Maybe that's my problem. It's right about this section that I find the characters have veered me off into a new direction and I can no longer follow the road map that I had written out. I always find that the new direction is the right direction...I just no longer know where I'm heading.

Eventually I get through this. I always do. I take a few days to enjoy the headlong rush into the ending which is always so much easier to write. And then I often find that when I work back through the book the middle wasn't as terrible as I thought. Sure, it needs work - everything I write does. I am not perfect. But it isn't the load of stinky cheese that I first thought it was.

Are you a panster or a plotter? Do you hit the 'I suck' section? How do you handle it if you do? If you're a reader, do you ever struggle with doubts about your ability to do something?


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Throw it Out!

In case you're sensing a theme in the photo, this is my Red Hat group -- the Red Hat Rovers. And two weeks ago we roved to Merrimack Hall here in town and attended a program by Gail Blanke called Throw Out Fifty Things.

Based on her book Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life, the program sought to empower attendees by encouraging us to literally throw out fifty things in our homes and unclutter our lives both physically and emotionally.

Gail is a motivational speaker, columnist and life coach in addition to her role as an author, and she shared with the audience her "6 1/2 Steps to Owning Your Power." * Conquer these, she says, and you'll be on the road to a truly exceptional life.

First, you tap into the power of a vision. When he was planning the Disney World property in Florida, Walt Disney told his crew, "Build the castle first" because that's where the magic is. We all need to determine what our "castle" is and build it first. Then once we've discovered the magic inside us, we can do anything.

Second, let go. Get rid of the garbage, the junk, the negative, the doubts and fears. She said, "If it makes you feel bad, get rid of it!" And this doesn't just apply to things. Remove yourself from negative relationships and toxic friends, too. This is where her book title comes into play. To get in the "letting go" mode, her book lays out a plan to go through your home room by room and declutter. And you are supposed to keep a list of the things you get rid of to give yourself a true idea of the "stuff" you've allowed to accumulate.

Third, make a list of defining moments in your life. These may be as simple as changing from first period biology to fifth and finding a teacher who lit a fire under you about science or as bold as a moment when your back was to the wall and you made the toughest decision of your life and your life took a 180 degree turn. When you string these defining moments together you'll see a pattern of tenacity and determination that will see you through anything.

Fourth, adopt an entrepreneruial spirit. Be open to new ideas. Be receptive to change. Be willing to let go of the past. As the old saying goes, "a rolling stone gathers no moss." In today's quickly changing world, you don't want to be caught with any moss hanging on you.

Fifth, develop your brand. Learn who you are, who you are not and what you stand for. A song lyric goes, "You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything." Find out what that "something" is and take your stand. Gail said, "The world belongs not to the one who fits in, but to the one who stands out." And lest you worry that this might cost you friends, she also said that if enough people love you, the ones who don't, don't matter.

Sixth, learn the difference between fact and interpretation. Too many times we live our lives based on negative interpretations. Instead, take on a positive outlook and re-think how you react to events. Instead of calling things "problems," call them "challenges." Stop saying, "Don't forget to..." and replace it with "Remember to..."

And sixth and a half, find a song that becomes your "power song" and sing it. Pick a song that makes you feel good about yourself, one that emboldens you and reminds you that you're special and unforgettable and truly extraordinary.

So... I came home and I started my spring cleaning a little bit late. Okay, a lot late. Last week a local veterans' group hauled away about one hundred things I'd cleaned out of closets, cupboards and cabinets. A few days later I donated two boxes of children's books. And I still have to go through my attic.

I'm still trying to decide what my brand is. Gail gave us this sentence to complete: "I'm _______ and I'm the one who _________." Obviously my name goes in the first blank but I'm still working on the second.

The part I've enjoyed the most is trying to come up with my power song. She told of one client whose song was the Triumphal March from the opera Aida. Okay. Whatever cranks your tractor. Another client had a call-back interview with MTV and desperately wanted the job, so all the way to the interview she sang Elton John's "The B*tch is Back." And she nailed the job! I have a list of possibilities and they include Helen Reddy's "I am Woman," Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive," Mariah Carey's "Hero," "Sisters are Doing it for Themselves" by the Eurythmics and Aretha Franklin and, believe it or not, Miley Cyrus's "The Climb." I may just have a "power playlist" because each of those songs speaks to a certain part of my life. Who says it has to be just one song?

You assignment (did you honestly think I'd give you a lesson about life and not hand out an assignment?) is to come up with your power song. Post a link to YouTube or some other site where we can all listen to it. And while you're thinking about what the song might be, throw something out!

P.S. Gail thinks Huntsville, Alabama rocks!

*Full credit for this information goes to Gail Blanke who empowered me that night. You can learn more by logging onto

Photo is property of Huntsville Hospital's Laugh & Learn program.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Brit Chick Lit Contest

I'm blogging over at the Pink Heart Society today, so you'll need to click over for your Tuesday dose of the Problem Child.

In honour of the Pink Heart Society (because they're mostly from the UK), I'm running a Brit Lit contest here.

Four books and a small jar of real clotted cream is the prize!

Three of the books are true modern Brit Chick Lit -- written and published in the UK (and purchased for me to read on the very long train ride from North Scotland to London, so there might be some minor creasing on the spine).

Valentine by Rebecca Farnworth

This Charming Man by Marian Keyes

50 Ways to Find a Lover by Lucy-Anne Holmes

I'll also include Duchess By Night by Eloisa James -- an American author (who happens to be a Shakespeare scholar), but a lavish English historical.

Leave a comment to enter!


(And speaking of prizes, scroll down for the list of winners from the Keep Marilyn Company week!)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Keep Marilyn Company Winners!

Sorry it has taken us a while to get our winners posted. As you can see from my rambling post below, we're all a little tired at the moment. :) But a big thanks to everyone who posted this past week! I really enjoyed reading the comments, even though I didn't always have a chance to comment myself. Those receiving Disney gifties are:

Monday: Jane, email Angel at
Tuesday: Gigi, email Problem Child at
Wednesday: Minna, email Playground Monitor at
Thursday: Virginia, email Instigator at
Friday: Laurie, email Smarty Pants at

Please send your snail mail addresses, so we can get your gifties mailed to you. Any prizes not claimed within 7 days will be regifted to someone else, so don't delay!


The Aftermath

Drain Bramage… I mean, Brain Damage. That’s what I feel like I have after a trip. Be it nationals, a vacation, or a retreat, I come home feeling tired and out-of-sorts. It takes me several days to get back into my normal routine and I have to have naps for a few days. (Actually, my husband and I slept on and off most of the weekend. We were pretty wiped out.) I don’t answer emails or make phone calls. I become a hermit.

I think part of it is being an introvert. No matter why I’m away from home, no matter how enjoyable the trip, the energy gets sucked out of me by having to be “on” all the time. At home, I get periods of “me” time in between dealing with people. Plus, I’m reengergized by being in my own space. When away from home, I have neither. So by the time I get home, I crash. This time, I crashed in a big way. The only thing I managed over the weekend was to get laundry started and most of the luggage unpacked, but that was through necessity. We hadn’t been home more than 30 minutes before it looked like our luggage had exploded over every possible surface in the house.

How do you manage when home from a trip? Are you one of those super-organized people who unpacks right away? Do you still have stuff in the suitcase the next time you take a trip? Do you crash or jump right back into life?


P.S. Since we all came home at different times and PM was out of town too, we haven't managed to organize our winners' list. But I'll work on that today and get it posted. We appreciate your patience with our drain bramage... :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mateys, It's That Time Again...

I know you're expecting a Disney post, but I've got something new in store for you. In case you've forgotten (and I'm pretty sure you have) tomorrow is one of my (and Honorary Playfriend Kathy's) favorite holidays...

National Talk Like A Pirate Day

Since its tomorrow, we won't do any pirate chatter here today, but feel free to come back tomorrow and holler "shiver me timbers" if you feel the need. This year, for educational purposes, I thought I'd share a bit of the story behind the holiday and how two guys with an idea can gain notoriety with the right promotional push. According to the website ( it was founded by Mark Summers (not the Food Network guy) and John Baur in 1995. Apparently during a rowdy game of racketball, one of them yelled "arrgh" and from there they slipped into pirate speak as they taunted each other. They decided to make it an annual event and eventually got Dave Barry to write about it in his nationally syndicated column. It took off and the rest is history.

Their site is amusing and I encourage you to check it out. It even has pirate vocabulary to help you expand your pirate speak, pirate lingo for kids, and suggestions on how to speak pirate in the workplace. But I have to say my favorite part is the Top 10 Pirate Pick Up Lines © ...

10 . Avast, me proud beauty! Wanna know why my Roger is so Jolly?
9. Have ya ever met a man with a real yardarm?
8. Come on up and see me urchins.
7. Yes, that is a hornpipe in my pocket and I am happy to see you.
6. I'd love to drop anchor in your lagoon.
5. Pardon me, but would ya mind if fired me cannon through your porthole?
4. How'd you like to scrape the barnacles off of me rudder?
3. Ya know, darlin’, I’m 97 percent chum free.
2. Well blow me down?

And the number one pickup line for use on International Talk Like a Pirate Day is...

1. Prepare to be boarded!

So, got any good pirate pick up lines? There's a "booty" joke just waiting to be had out there. Will you be celebrating the holiday at all? Even just a little bit? Did you know you could set your language in Facebook to "pirate?" Give it a try and let us know how it goes. :)


PS. Don't forget to keep PM company this week! One commenter from today's thread will win a book and a goodie I buy in Disney World. Perhaps a pirate themed gift to go with today's post... hmm...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hollywood Studios

Today the Playfriend family invasion of Disney hits Hollywood Studios. Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, Rock N' Roller Coaster, Indiana Jones, Star Tours, The Little Mermaid... My frenzy is already starting and all I've done is name the rides.

By this point in the trip we'll have been to every park...some twice. But I expect this should be an interesting day for us. While there are quite a few things I think the kids will love there are also a few things that might just bore them to tears - I'm just not sure of the reaction we're going to get. I mean, Magic Kingdom? That's wide eyed wonder as they take in the castle, rides and all the magic. Epcot should be interesting, fun and interactive. Animal Kingdom will probably be my girls' favorite. HS? I'm just not sure. I've always enjoyed it but then the park opened while I was a teenager.

But we have the whole day to spend exploring. And if the park is an entire flop there's always the pool back at the resort. I wouldn't mind an early afternoon and some cool water. I'm sure after the last few days we'll probably need it.

The trip is coming to an end and even thinking about it makes me a little sad. I probably set myself up for a day or two of depression when we get home. I mean, PC wasn't kidding when she said SP and I attacked this trip commando style. We spent months - and way more hours than we probably should have - planning for this trip. What will take over that obsession when it's over? I know! Another Disney trip. Just don't tell Zilla. ;-D

Have you ever spent a ton of time planning something only to be depressed when all the fun was over? What have you hyper-planned?


P.S. Remember our Keep Playground Monitor company contest! Just post today and I'll pick 1 winner when we get home to get a copy of Afterburn and a special Disney surprise.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Airing Dirty Laundry

Hey gang, while the other Playfriends are enjoying Disney World, I'm airing my dirty laundry today at the Bare Ass Cottage blog.

I'm not REALLY airing dirty laundry, but I'm blogging about writing for the confessions magazines. Come on over and join the fun. I'll be giving away a prize over there.

And all next month I'm teaching a class on how to write for the confessions magazines over at Writers Online Classes. I'd love to see you sitting on the front row.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Just a bystander. Honestly.

I didn’t plan to go to Disney World this year. I certainly didn’t mean to. After all, I did the Disney thing last year. I’m still trying to erase the memory of “It’s a Small World” from my mind.

But a couple of months ago, I was calming eating my grits at the monthly Playfriend breakfast, and the next thing I knew, I was swept up into the Disney plan.

The upside is that I’ve had to do nothing to plan this trip other than write SP a couple of checks and pack a bag. Insti and SP are travel agents on speed with an agenda and a plan and a timetable. Do not stand in their way. Smile and nod. Write a check. Do not question the vision.

I’m blown away with their attention to detail and their plan to squeeze every drop of coolness out of Disney possible. They’ve planned an amazing trip that the Playkids are going to be talking about for years to come.

(DG is a bit disappointed he can’t go – after all, when we went last year, he was recuperating from the flu and survived on toast and blue PowerAde. We’ll miss him, that’s for sure.)

The Control Freak has been out-Freaked this time. My clipboard and color-coding hang their heads in shame when stared down by the spreadsheets and matching t-shirts. But AC is going to think I’m the bestest mom EVAH for taking her on such an amazing trip – for which I will happily take credit, even if I didn’t plan a single thing.

Because I didn’t mean to go to Disney this year. Honestly, it just happened.


Amuse Marilyn with your stories of being swept up into something without meaning to be and her favorite story will get a PC Disney prize pack!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Playfriend Family Invasion Is On!!!

We’ve gone and done it! Saturday all the Playfriends except the Playground Monitor hit the Magic Kingdom for the Playfriend Family Invasion. Drama Queen has been waiting for Little Man to get old enough for us to go to Disney World and now the time if finally here. I just hope this trip lives up to expectations. How could it not? 6 kids, 6 adults, 9 costumes for the Magic Kingdom Halloween party (some of us refused to dress up), and matching t-shirts. What more could we ask for?

My own experience with Disney World involves my only trip there at 15. Other than a few rides in the Magic Kingdom, most of my memories revolve around Epcot. I loved all the different countries there! As a matter of fact, tonight the Playfriends plan to leave the kiddios with the 2 hubbies that accompanied us and “drink around the world.” I’d tell you all about it, but I’m not sure if I’ll remember. :)

For the most part, though, I’m enjoying the break from home. I found out how precious this was last fall when we went as a family to the mountains during fall break. That was the first real vacation we’d had since having children. There is nothing better than running away from the overload at home. Getting away from the house, the pressure to cook, clean, and keep up. All that stuff can be exhausting. In the middle of it all, we forget how truly wonderful our families really are. How hysterical my hubby’s sarcastic sense of humor is. How much of a young woman my daughter is becoming. How beautiful my son’s big grin is. These are the things I hope to reconnect with in the Magic Kingdom – the magic of my family. (Hopefully I'll remember the magic during that 12 hour drive home on Saturday. Yikes!)

Where do you like to get away from it all (for just a few hours or a couple of days)?


Remember, we’re running a “Keep Marilyn Company” giveaway this week. Commenters will be selected from each day to win prizes we bring back from Disney and books. A complete list will be posted on Saturday!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Are We There Yet?

Today is the day. Once school gets out, every Playfriend but PM (who will be holding down the swingset) will be loading up children and hitting the road for Florida. The plan is to breakup the 11 - 12 hour drive by going half-way today and the rest tomorrow. This is for the mental stability of the Playfriends and the physical well-being of the Playkids.

We're going in three cars (it was decided that although we had the room, 8 people in the Playmobile would be asking for trouble) and loading ourselves down with all the necessities - portable DVD players with headphones, hand-held gaming devices, coloring books, stuffed animals and if need be, cough syrup. Just kidding. Well, maybe.

I might be delusional, but I'm hoping that our later departure and split group will encourage the kids to sleep some. All together its impossible, but like I said, its a hope. Little Sister and Amazing Child will be suited in their PJs and hopefully will conk out sometime after Montgomery. Don't laugh. A girl can dream, but I know when my mom took me to Disneyland when I was 6, we stayed up ALL NIGHT in the car. We were so excited we thought our brains would explode. Mom was not pleased.

But sleep or no, tomorrow will be a fairly easy day on our schedule. Depending on when we get in, we might take our first tour of the Magic Kingdom and meet up with Mickey, Goofy and Donald at Chef Mickey's. Maybe catch some fireworks or scope out the pool. It will be chaos from there on out, so hopefully we'll sleep well that night, if nothing else. That is, of course, if one of us doesn't commit homicide on the way there. Keep us in your thoughts. :)

Have you tackled a massive road trip with small children before? Any tips or tricks we should know about before we go?


PS. Don't forget that next week, we're running our Keep Marilyn Company contest! We'll be giving out nifty prizes from Disney each day to one commenter, so be sure to pop in next week and keep PM from getting too lonely.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Snake in the...Office?

We had some excitement at my office the other day. You'll remember we recently moved to a new location. An out of the way location. A location surrounded by vacant fields of amber waving grain (okay, it's just hay but...). This is nothing new for me as I'm always surrounded by green fields. I encounter critters on a fairly common basis and have simply learned to live with them. They stay in their space, I'll stay in mine and we'll both live happily ever after.

Someone forgot to tell the snake. I walked into the office recently, plopped my stuff on my desk, turned around and noticed one of the glue traps our pest control guy had left was moved. And it appeared to have a big caterpillar in it... OMG! That it wasn't a caterpillar. It was a snake, head stuck in glue, body wrapped tight around the little box and tail curled around the sides.

According to my boss (and I have to take his word for it because I don't recall) I crept back to his office and whispered, "Is that a snake in the front of the office?" as if the thing might hear me and give chase. He was completely flabbergasted by what I was saying and promptly followed me back to my area (Oh yes, it was in MY area) to have a look. Sure enough, snake.

Here might be a good place to pause and explain that thanks to a traumatic childhood incident involving my little sister and some Benadryl I have a humongous fear of snakes. But it was tiny and stuck so I called the pest control guys, informed our neighbors so they'd be aware of our little problem, and several of us stared at the thing for no less than an hour. It did not move. It was pronounced dead. Until everyone went back to their respective corners to attempt to work some more. I called Smart Pants - who had called me earlier to heckle the 'snake killer' - and was spending a few minutes coming down off my snake high.

Then the thing moved. And I screamed in her ear. And apparently (again taking their word for it) repeated over and over, "It's moving. It's moving!" in a high pitched, squealing voice. My boss came running with a pair of pliers, grabbed up the glue box and stuck it outside...while I held open the door.

Zilla stopped by, because he is my resident animal expert and when encountered by something I don't like I immediately call him. That is what wonderful husbands are for. They kill spiders and vamoose snakes. He agreed that to try and get it off of the glue trap would kill it. We decided to wait until the pest control guy arrived.

Forty-five minutes later, he shows up. Looks at the thing and then tells us that he'll take it over to the field and try to get it off of the glue...with frosting. My first thought was that was a waste of good frosting. Apparently, oil or Crisco would have worked but he didn't have any of those and frosting usually contains Crisco.

I have no idea whether the snake was released successfully or long as he stays on his side of the office door from now on I really don't care.

The moral of this story? No matter what happens on the Playground, it will always come back to buttercream.

Any encounters with wildlife you'd like to share? Do you have a fear that you've been forced to face head on?


P.S. As an update to this blog...yesterday we found another baby snake stuck in a glue trap AT MY FEET. I think I'm officially boycotting the office until the snakes are gone. I do not like the fact that they only seem to infiltrate my area. This is 2 snakes in 2 weeks. That is 2 too many!!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Proud-as-Punch Moments

I often joke about being the matriarch of the Playground group and rightfully so. I could have given birth to all the Playfriends, and I have a child older than the youngest Playfriend. But I like to think I'm young at heart because after all, age is just a number.

Last weekend I visited #2 son at Western Carolina University where he's enrolled in graduate school. It's my alma mater too. He ran track in high school and college, setting quite a few records along the way. Last Friday, though, I saw him in an entirely different light. He wasn't the kid who could run fast. He was Coach Puett. From the sidelines I watched as he instructed the runners about their pre-race warm up, directed a few helpers to set out cones to mark the course and greeted one of his students (he teaches health and physical education courses too) who'd come out to help and get extra credit.

The women's teams ran first and his team finished first. Then came the men's race, one like I've watched since he started running at age four. One of his runners went out strong and owned the race all the way to the finish line.

As I stood watching all the teams congratulating each other and engaging in the post-race dissection of their performances, one of the other parents came up to me and asked if I had a child on the team. I told her my son was one of the graduate assistant coaches, and when I told her his name, she just beamed. "My son is so excited to be working with Coach Puett. He's a phys ed major and told me he wants to be just like Coach after he graduates."

Talk about proud!

That made me doubly glad I didn't sell him to the gypsies when he misbehaved as a child. I don't know about the rest of you parents, but for me, parenthood was the most difficult job I've had. I had no training, save for a little babysitting. It was learn-as-you-go and the hospital didn't issue me an instructional manual or give me a card with a toll-free customer support line when they discharged us from the hospital. I really felt I was on a strict pass/fail system. Well, folks, I think I passed.

After he'd finished with his coaching duties, we had the weekend to ourselves. Since he is a real outdoorsman (must be a genetic fluke or something), I suggested we go to the Blue Ridge Parkway for an easy hike and a picnic. Here's proof I did actually hike.

And here we are at the top of the bald where we ate our lunch.

And if you look very closely, you can see a group of people on the next bald. That's our return route to the parking area.

The particular spot where we hiked is called Black Balsam Knob, named for the groves of balsam trees, which appear black from a distance. Sadly, these trees are being decimated by the balsam woolly adelgid, creating large areas of "ghost" forests. I was playing with my camera and only took a black-and-white version of this shot, but it shows a lone dead balsam tree.

Here's a grove of black balsams. You can see how they look black on the mountain in the distance.

And this is what it looks like when you hike into the grove. I felt like Gretl in the fairy tale and had this strange urge to leave a trail of bread crumbs.

At the end of the hike, we were rewarded with this -- blackberries. We also found wild blueberry bushes and picked those too but my picture was blurry. The berries were awesome, and as Bear Grylls would say, "filled with vitamins and minerals." Speaking of Bear, there's a MOAN-day topic for you.

Have you had a proud-as-punch moment with your kids? Tell us about it. We won't think it's bragging, just that you're a proud parent. And we'll pat you on the back too.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Bad Manners (but Good News!)

Since I’m Southern and I was raised to believe it’s very bad manners to brag on yourself and blow your own horn, I should be ashamed of this post. (Look Away, Mom! Look Away!)

But I can’t help it. I’m just giddy and busting at the seams with news. I’ll try to get it out of my system in one post today.

My sailboat book, Magnate’s Mistress…Accidentally Pregnant! is out in the UK this month! I (heart) this book in so many ways… in no small reason because it was one of those books that just seemed to write itself as fast as I could make my fingers move across the keyboard. I’m totally in love with the hero (and we’ll all tell the Darling Geek that Chris is totally modeled on him), and I adore Ally. I got to mix sailboats and Greek mythology and Caribbean islands and steamy sex and I had a blast doing it. I even love the cover!

(Magnate’s Mistress…Accidentally Pregnant! will be out in the US in February.)

Of course, I’m counting down to the US release The Millionaire’s Misbehaving Mistress (which, if you’re just on the edge of your seat and can’t wait for it to hit the bookstore, is available on the eHarlequin site now). I love the alliteration of the title, and when you find out the heroine is an etiquette expert nicknamed "Miss Behavior," the title becomes that much better! And this cover captures Will and Gwen perfectly, I think.

If you look in the sidebar, you’ll see we’re planning a party in October to celebrate its arrival in the bookstores. If all goes well, I’ll have a special announcement to make that day too!

And if that's not enough...

The Secret Mistress Arrangement just keeps on going! I love the fact I get three English-language releases – US, UK, and Aus/NZ – on all the books, but there’s a whole different excitement in having a book translated and released to a different country.

First it was France:

Loosely translated, that’s The Perfume of Temptation. (And yes, I’m out with Day Leclaire!)

Now it’s in Italy in a 2-in-1 with Robyn Grady (who is just fab):

The title of the duet is Seductive Agreement, and TSMA is rechristened Seven Days of Desire.

See why I’m giddy?

Be giddy with me. Share some good news. We’ll all squee together!


**Oh, and I'm guest blogging over at Lynn Raye Harris' blog today and tomorrow about writing for Modern Heat.

Monday, September 07, 2009

MOANday-Guess Who?

Today’s MOANday is courtesy of a much appreciated email from Playground Monitor:

Look closely and see if you can figure out who this is.

Have a good look! Still not sure?


Have another look.

Again! Look closer!

Still don’t know?


Neither do I, but who really cares?!?!

Have a smokin’ Labor Day!!!!


Saturday, September 05, 2009

September 2009 News

Check out what’s new on the Writing Playground Website for September:

Our new contest kicks off this month! Smarty Pants is in charge and she's planned a Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Contest, in honor of the Playfriend Family Invasion of Disney World mid-month. Great prizes to be had! Remember, we start over with each contest to give everyone a shot at the prize, so you'll need to enter this one, even if you've entered before! More on what's happening on the blog while we're gone in a moment.

Diane O'Brien Kelly takes over School with the first in a series of tax articles for writers. This month, she walks us through "Commonly Missed Deductions."

Desire author Kathie DeNosky joins PM in the Sandbox for a chat.

Instigator will review THE MILLIONAIRE'S MISBEHAVING MISTRESS by KimberlyLang.

Don’t forget! During the week of September 14-18, we'll be doing a "Keep Marilyn Company" contest on the blog while the rest of the Playfriends invade Disney World. (I can't blame her for not wanting to go.) We'll be bringing home fun stuff from Disney, so post comments to keep Marilyn entertained in our absence and you'll be eligible to win!

The Blog has also been nominated again for a DivineCaroline "Love! This Site" Award. Click on the spiffy picture in the blog sidebar and show us some love with your vote!

As the Playground closes in on its 4th birthday, we have some big projects underway to make the Playground even more fabulous and fun. The first of these changes will be launched on the Blog in October, so stay tuned!

Check out our appearances!!!

Instigator and Problem Child will be presenting workshops at the Heart of Dixie Writers' Workshop on September 26th in Huntsville.

Playground Monitor takes over with her famous "Airing Dirty Laundry" class on writing for the Confessions market. The class runs Oct 1-30. Registration is open.

Remember, if you'd like to keep up to date with the happenings on The Writing Playground Website, sign up for our Yahoo newsletter!

Y’all have a wonderful and relaxing Labor Day!

Friday, September 04, 2009

It Gets Better Every Time

I'm a big movie fan. You'd think I would like romances, but in fact, a hazard of being a romance writer is never being satisfied with chick flicks. There are a few exceptions - You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, While You Were Sleeping - but for the most part, I stick with funny movies. The dumber the better, although my uncle insists its a more sophisticated level of stupid. I'm not too big on physical comedy or bathroom humor, so Jim Carey movies are out. Ben Stiller makes me nervous. There has to be more to it, a reflection of my own weird sense of humor.

I have a decent sized collection of DVDs, but I'm pretty particular about movies I buy. It has to be something I will watch over and over. Something worth memorizing. Something worth reciting at inappropriate times. (One day I will share the unfortunate Castle Anthrax Incident of '97.) Of course, Monty Python and Rocky Horror are in my collection, along with the romances above, movies by Mel Brooks, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Carribbean, etc. I have a similar rule about CDs - it has to have at least 3 songs I like before I can buy it. I guess iTunes has made my life easier there.

The funny thing, though, is that usually once I've bought it, I don't watch it again. I have several that still have the wrapper on them. Maybe its because they're dedicated to memory and I don't have to watch them anymore, but I must possess them. At the same time, there are movies that aren't necessarily in my top ten, but that I have a compulsion to watch over and over, no matter what I'm doing when I see they're on. Even if I've just watched it. Some channels play movies a couple times in a day and I've been known to watch them twice. Even back to back. Its a sickness. I just can't turn them off.

This weekend, perusing the guide on the tv, I ran across a few of my favorites. Don't get me wrong - I'm not talking Academy Award winners here. They're probably ones most people would skip right by. But for some silly reason, they are movies I watch every time I see them.

Among the ones that get me every time are: Empire Records, Down Periscope, Ocean's 11, Hot Shots, and Miss Congeniality. Like I said, mostly stupid although they all have details in them I love or turns of dialogue I wish I'd written. Some of my favorite quotes come from these movies. I've wasted quite a bit of time watching them again and again.

Do you have any movies you can watch a million times and never get tired of seeing them?


Thursday, September 03, 2009

Mommy the Drug Dealer - UPDATED

For a very long time we've expected to find a note from the teacher in Sweet Pea or Baby Girl's backpacks with a question concerning 'Daddy and his drugs'*. I find it somewhat ironic that it turns out I'm the drug pusher in our family.

Baby Girl has recently been struggling with a nasty cough. Nothing else, just a cough. Not enough to keep her home or skip any scheduled events. The same weekend this cough began she started a new Sunday school program. On top of the stress of starting a new school recently, she was a little overwhelmed and high strung. So I wasn't entirely surprised on Monday morning when she came to me crying and out of sorts. I gave her some medicine thinking that her cough was probably contributing to her overall feeling of blah. When I handed it to her my exactly words were, "This should make you feel better."

This is where the miscommunication occurs. The funny thing is, I had no clue what-so-ever that it had happened.

Each morning for the rest of the week she asked for her medicine and since she still had the cough I gave her some. I figured it couldn't hurt and might make her school day more pleasant. She wasn't bad enough to be taking it around the clock...just in the morning before school. Well, yesterday morning she looked up at me with that angelic smile on her face and said, "Time for my medicine, mommy." My reply was, "I don't think you need it anymore, sweetheart."

She promptly dissolved into tears. Crocodile tears. Huge drops that ran down her face and splashed onto the kitchen floor tears. (Note the immediate 180 degree turn in her emotions. If this girl doesn't end up on the stage somewhere her talents are completely wasted). Needless to say, I was shocked. It took me several minutes to drill down to the realization that this whole time she'd thought this medicine was her own version of a happy pill. I have no earthly idea where she came up with this idea. All I can figure is that I had made a comment about her out of sorts attitude the first morning before mentioning that I'd give her medicine. I'd also mentioned her cough though so...

We had a nice discussion about what the medicine was for and how we were in charge of making our own happiness. How if we look at things with a positive attitude we'll often find the good in a situation. It was a nice time for what I like to call Life Lessons. But those are kinda hard to impart when you're struggling to keep a straight face. She was very concerned that she was going to spend the rest of the day sad and upset because I wouldn't give her Triaminic.

The crocodile tears dried up and I gave her the medicine one last time as all the crying had made her start coughing again. Everything was right with the world once more. Although, I still have a problem with the idea that I'm the family drug dealer.

What miscommunications have taken you by surprise? How have they complicated your life? Do you have a drama queen in your life?


*Zilla is a pharmaceutical chemist and to simplify things we've always told the girls that daddy makes drugs.

P.S. Jane is the winner of Kylie's book from yesterday's blog. Please contact Playground Monitor with your snail mail info and full name to claim your prize.

P.P.S. Deidre Durance is the winner of Anna DeStefano's signed copy of Dark Legacy. Natalie Anderson wins the beautiful pendant. Please contact Instigator with your snail mail info and full name to claim your prize. As always, prizes not claimed within seven days will be re-awarded.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Guest blogger: Kylie Brant

Hi everyone! Thanks for allowing me back on the playground! I guess that means I must have played nice the last time I was here. Or at the very least, Playground Monitor never caught me when I was kicking sand around :-). I’m sure she’ll have her eye on me this time, though!

Remember when you were a kid, and you waited forever for Christmas? I’d start moaning about June regarding how far off it was and my mom would start moaning for a very different reason—it was only six months away. Hah! A lot adults knew. Six months was a lifetime!

Well, that’s sort of how I’ve felt waiting for my dark romantic thriller trilogy to be released from Berkley. I signed the contract in 2007, almost exactly two years ago. My editor wanted to release the books back to back as quickly as possible. The problem was, I was still under contract to Silhouette and owed them two more books. That meant I had four books to write as quickly as possible. There was also the little matter of my teaching job to tend to, as well :-).

So excuse me while I squee and happy dance a bit because my first release date is here! Waking Nightmare hit the shelves at bookstores yesterday. And I’m happy to say reviewers have said nice things about it (so far :-) ).

The book is the first release in The Mindhunter series coming out Sept-Oct-Nov this fall. The name is a nickname for a private forensics firm headed by the legendary former FBI profiler Adam Raiker. It’s staffed with some of the best criminologists in the country, and each book features a specialist who’s called in to consult with law enforcement on particularly puzzling or high profile crimes.

Waking Nightmare pairs criminal profiler Abbie Phillips and Savannah detective Ryne Robel as they trail a sadistic serial rapist. He’s initially skeptical about what she can add to his task force. But skepticism turns to respect when Abbie discovers that the seeming random acts of torture are actually calculated to match each victim’s darkest fears. And the stakes are rising. While they study the devious psychopath, he’s watching them—the next objects of his terrifying obsession.

I’ve been doing lots of blogs and interviews recently and once I describe the books I’m invariably asked how an elementary teacher ended up writing about forensics, serial rapists, defleshing bones, and extracting DNA from skeletal remains.

The answer is simply that I’m fascinated by people. What they do and their motivation for doing it. How some attempt to justify actions that seem unjustifiable to most of us. And the resiliency of the human spirit, that enables people to endure tragedy and trauma and come out it stronger.

Whether writing shorter books for Silhouette or longer mass-market books, ultimately I’m writing about the characters, back-dropped against some larger than life suspense. Engaging the readers in their stories, rooting for their happy endings, and bringing down a few bad guys along the way.

You can read more at my website: or check out the excerpts posted for each story at

Do you like your romance with suspense? How dark is too dark? Are there limits to what you want to see the protagonists suffer on the way to their HEA? How much romance do you want to see in a romantic suspense / thriller book?

I’m giving away a signed copy of WAKING NIGHTMARE to one lucky commenter today!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

You want to be my Friend? Really?

Social Networking is very cool, and I really like Facebook (much easier for me to use than MySpace). It’s kind of addictive and can be a total time-suck, but it’s a great way to stay in touch with readers and other writers.

I have two Facebook profiles – one is the private me, and my “Friends” are mostly family, folks from high school, and other people I know in real life. I have to *know* you – as in you are in the bloodline or were on my Christmas card list at some point in my life in order for me to approve the request. I try to keep that account as far removed from my public account as possible – to the extent that you can’t be riends with both of me. I can get quite Nazi-ish about it. Even my mom had to create a whole new profile if she wanted to see both. (Of course, this also led to me hurt Rhonda Nelson's feelings once... sigh.)

My public Kimberly Lang profile – the one where I use a book cover instead of a picture of myself -- is very public. I don’t put anything on that page that I don’t mind total strangers seeing. (No pictures of AC there.) Anyone can be my friend. I know some folks are just friending me for the sake of friending me, but that’s okay. I don’t mind in the least.

Usually when I get a friend request, Facebook tells me how many friends I have in common with this person. It tends to be a lot – over 100 on average – because if someone has become friends with one author, they’ll usually friend other authors as well. (And other authors friend everyone too, so we always have tons of people in common.) Facebook searches your friends’ friends and makes helpful suggestions about “People You May Know.” So if you’re friends with one of my friends, eventually you’ll see me pop up as a suggestion.

Last week, I got a friend request, and when I went to approve it, I noticed something very strange: we had no friends in common. None. Nada. Zip. I had to go investigate. I figured this person must be new to Facebook and hadn’t had a chance to friend all the Presents authors. Maybe I could suggest a few. Be friendly, you know.

My new friend had one of those names with lots of consonants that Southerners just can’t get their tongues around. We’ll just call him “Z.” Z is in his mid-twenties and lives in Albania. He likes soccer and models and is obviously bi-lingual based on his few wall posts. He has well over 100 friends already – most of whom seem to be from that part of the world (based solely on networks and surnames). So why did he friend me? How did he even find me? I had to look up Albania on a map. (It’s above Greece on the Adriatic Sea, FYI.)

(Remember, my profile is open. He could see who I was before he sent the friend request. I don’t think he could mistake me for another Kimberly Lang. Unless there’s another one writing for Presents…)

So, Z and I are now friends. I’m mystified about why, but we are. A few days later, I get a friend request from another consonant-laden name. We have one mutual friend. I clicked through, and sure enough, our mutual friend was Z. My new friend, we’ll call him “Q,” is also a 20-something male Albanian who likes soccer and models *and* cars (I think. It could be anything since I can’t read Albanian.) So now I’m friends with Q, too, and learning a lot more about Albania.

I got another request two days ago. We have two friends in common. You can figure out the rest.

I’m happy to have FaceBook friends from all around the world. The more the merrier. I’m not complaining. I’m just confused how I ended up on the radar of three 20-something Albanian males who don’t seem to have an interest in romance novels. Can you even get my books in Albania? They don’t seem to be aspiring writers, either.

Of course, then I start getting paranoid. The reasons three 20-something Albanian males would Friend me on Facebook can only be nefarious…

Or not.

They could be fans, you know. Maybe they’re part of a Book Club and my book was the chosen selection and now they’re big fans.

Or not.

They read the blog? Hmmm.

(Guys, if you’re reading this, let me know. I’m curious.)

Are you on Facebook? Who’s the most surprising Friend request you’ve gotten? (On my personal page, a guy I hated in high school – and who hated me – sent a Friend request. No, I’m not over it yet. I carry grudges for a long time.) If you’re not on Facebook, why?

I hope all you Honorary Playfriends will friend me on Facebook!


Kylie Brant joins us tomorrow on the Playground!