Friday, December 30, 2005

WTF? Tropical storm ZETA?

Saw this on Yahoo, Tropical Storm Zeta formed in the Atlantic today.

Hurricane season ended over a month ago. WTF???

And our phone is out, so no DSL or dial-up. I'm Internetless until Tuesday when the phone company can repair the problem. The guys digging the fence posts, fixing our neighbor's fence insist they didn't do it....hmmmm...

Welcome to the wonderful world of hurricane repairs.

Anyway, Happy New Year to you and yours... may your New Year be filled with good things, health, success and no more storms.

Please. No More Storms.

Bonnie

Seven things meme

Thanks to Patti O'Shea, who, BTW, was also nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, along with author Jennifer Ashley, I've been tagged for a Seven Things meme. Finally, I got around to doing it.

Seven Things to Do Before I Die:

1. Finish writing and publish my literary fiction book
2. Buy a pair of blue cowboy boots and ride a horse
3. Flash my boobs in public at Times Square on New Year’s Eve, even if they sag down to China
4. Go on a cross-country trip in a red convertible
5. Parasail
6. Visit Egypt
7. Learn to play the guitar


Seven Things I Cannot Do:

1. Become a NY Times best-selling author
2. Whistle for a taxi
3. Eat lima beans without making a face
4. Hug my mom
5. Deliberately inflict cruelity
6. Speak in public comfortably
7. Stop fearing hurricanes


Seven Things That Attracted Me to My Spouse/SO:

1. His oh-so-tight and squeezeable ass
2. His cheeky grin
3. His sense of humor
4. Caring compassion
5. The rose he gave on our first date
6. How well he understood me
7. The chemistry between us. Hot, hot hot!


Seven Things I Say (Or Write) Most Often:

1. You know?
2. You know?
3. You know?
4. Really, you know?
5. You know?
6. You know?
7. You know?


Seven Books or Series That I Love: (since I can’t narrow down romance as there are too many I love, I’ll list fiction and non-fiction)

1. The Bible
2. Fair Bay (child’s book I couldn’t forget)
3. Harry Potter
4. The Farming of Bones
5. Wicked (halfway through this tome and it’s a keeper)
6. Carrie
7. Stephanie Plum (hilarious!)


Seven Movies I Would Watch Over and Over Again:

1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
2. Sound of Music
3. Star Wars
4. How green was my valley
5. Gone with the Wind (sob!)
6. Lord of the Rings
7. A Christmas Story


Seven People I Want to Join In (Be Tagged):

1. Nancy Cohen
2. Mary Stella
3. Cindy Cruciger
4. Jennifer Ashley (though she has no time for this, she has seven? Eight? Twenty? Books coming out next year! She's a multi-talented author.)
5. Stacey Klemstein
6. Toni Andrews
7. Elivra Gulch, a most misunderstood woman. LOL!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

My writing is changing

Looking over the kinky werewolf story I'm writing, and browsing through my next Leisure release, THE PANTHER & THE PYRAMID, I'm left with one unmistakable conclusion.

My writing is definitely changing. For the better? I don't know. Honestly.

The werewolf story is funny, very sexy, kinky and imaginative, but light. Like hot chocolate with marshmellows, with a serving of leather and restraints.

PANTHER is very sexy (they have sex in the first chapter), but very dark and intense. Graham, the hero, is my most tortured, and favorite hero to date. PANTHER is a thick, heavy brew, a pint of Guinness served in a dark Egyptian watering hole by a handsome, brooding bartender with haunted eyes and an air of mystery.

I cried at one point while writing PANTHER. Graham does things that aren't very nice. But out of all my heroes, he deserves, and needs, love the most. I just wanted to hug him and reassure him all would work out well in the end. All the while I was emotionally torturing the poor bastard.

One of my favorite scenes is where he delivers Badra's baby and he looks into the red, squalling face of his new nephew and feels like he too, is being born. It's an intimate connection he cannot break, and he vows to do anything to protect that child.

I'm like Graham right now. I need a new beginning. The New Year. A fresh start, a chance to begin. Shed the old and forge ahead with the new.

I have another Leisure book due in April. That book is pretty much set on its course.

And after that? I don't know what direction my writing will take me.

But trying to restrain my writing would be like roping the wind. Instead, I'll hoist my creative sails and let it take me where it will. Maybe I'll sail to exotic lands and great destinations. Or I'll hit stormy seas and wreck on the shores of an island called REJECTION and have to sit there for a long while, my muse and me.

Wherever I go, it's going to be a grand adventure. I hope so.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

OMG!

Came home for lunch, got the mail. DH got a Christmas card. From his dead aunt. She died yesterday.

Card was mailed Dec. 22. In it is simply written, "I go. Aunt G."

OMG, I'm feeling a little freaked out here...

http://www.bonnievanak.com

Chia couch

We finally moved the moldy, dirty couch in the crushed Florida room out to the swale for garbage disposal. The black mold growing in it convinced me it was time. DH had to literally peel back the door to get the couch through. There were green things growing on it! Our Chia couch. Just add water and watch it grow.

My favorite couch. I'd sit there, in the Florida room, windows wide open to allow in the breeze, gaze out into the garden with the two towering trees and the hammock swinging between them, and happily write.

This must be why I'm struggling so lately with my writing. I think hurricane Wilma caused a trauma in my life I've not truly acknowledged. Instead, I'm listening to EVERYONE who insists I should be grateful it wasn't worse.

Like at the party we attended the other night. A neighbor said, "It could have been much worse. We were lucky."

Uh-huh. Easy to say that when you lost two roof shingles, bud. It's like being in a car accident and one victim, who received a small scratch, says, "You should be glad it wasn't worse!" while you're sporting two broken arms and a busted jaw.

I lost my favorite room to write. I lost my two beloved trees out back, my reading hammock. Our roof is dented and leaks. Our hot tub is broken. And the insurance nightmares have only just begun.

I need to bid farewell to the past, and my comfort zone, and move ahead to the future. Bid good-bye to our Chia couch, and find a new comfort zone. Take each day and its challenges as it comes. And keep writing, despite the obstacles. It's like driving on the interstate. You can slow down, but if you pull off the road and stop, because you're afraid, you may never get back onto the express lane.

Right now I'm riding a bicycle on the writing freeway while others zip past me in their Mercedes and sedans and the sporty little imports.

I'm not getting very far. Others may smirk as they pass me by. But hell, I'm still peddling. And damnit, I'm not going to stop. Even if I can only peddle out one paragraph a day.

Watch me.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Cindy Cruciger & Is 2005 over yet?

Congratulations to Cindy Cruciger! She's been nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award for REVENGE GIFTS! Woo hoo!

In other news, I'm fervently wishing 2005 would just gasp and die. Already. This a.m. my FIL called, very upset. His sister died. His only surviving sister, the one he was closest to.

And we got our first bill for our roof that has yet to be fixed. For the $3,500 deposit. No work has been done, but we got the bill. Happy Freaking New Year.

Release date for THE PANTHER & THE PYRAMID

I'm a Florida wuss.

It's 41 degrees outside this a.m. I'm freezing my tookus off. Well, actually, when I lived in Jersey, I froze it off up there so theoretically, I should have no tookus left. But somehow, I do.

I turn into an ice cube below 50 degrees. How did I ever live in Jersey all those years? The worst I remember was the horrors of ... THE COLD TOILET SEAT. Like sitting on a block of ice.

Yup. Dad always kept the heat at a mind-numbing 68 degrees in the house to save on fuel costs. We'd burrow under mounds of blankets at night. And in the morning, I had the dreaded icy cold toilet seat, since the toilet was conveniently next to the double-paned window, and that bathroom never warmed up...

Yeow! Men have it so easy. Honestly.

In other news, I am now a Diva of Romance, thanks to Lori Soard! Yay! I'm so excited. I always wanted to be a Diva!

And I have a release date for THE PANTHER & THE PYRAMID, my fourth Egyptian book. September 2006. In the meantime, I'm facing an April deadline of turning in THE WHITE FALCON, the story of the Khamsin children. Yoikes. And I'm still trying to finish Marcus' and Alyssa's werewolf story. These two just will not stop having sex. Enough already!!

http://www.bonnievanak.com

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!


















“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:8-11

From our battered house to yours... wishing you and your loved ones and friends all the peace, joy and storm-free blessings of the season. Bonnie

http://www.bonnievanak.com

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Dear Santa


I'VE BEEN A VERY NAUGHTY GIRL THIS YEAR. WILL YOU BRING ME A VERY NAUGHTY BOY AS MY TOY AS A REWARD? MARCUS WILL DO JUST FINE. I PROMISE TO SIT ON YOUR LAP.

LOVE, ALSSYA

p.s. Don't tell Bonnie I escaped from her story. Poor dear, she's trying SO hard to find time to write me, so I just thought I'd slip out for a bit and play.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

O.M.G.!!!

Dear Uncle Ed,

I'm so sorry for the goof. OMG, honestly, I never meant to send you a Christmas letter printed on the back of the erotic romance story I was writing. It was dark in the office, I was tired, and thought I had loaded the printer with fresh, clean paper. Not the scrap paper from one of my current works in progress.

I had NO idea what I had sent you until I just looked now at the back of the Christmas letters and saw this printed on it:

"Because he found himself wanting, very badly, to have sex with her. To restore that sparkling fire in her eyes he'd seen earlier. To hear that throaty laughter turn into deep moans of passion as he thrust slowly into her wet heat..."

Yes, I'm afraid it's true, to answer the question probably spinning about in your mind. Your good little niece who works tirelessly for the poor and went to Sunday School and memorized prayers to the saints writes erotic romance. Yup. Steaming hot sex. My secret is out. I hope you are doing okay and I didn't give you a heart attack. Give my best to everyone.

Love, Bonnie

Son of rum balls

I'm so far behind in everything and tomorrow night have to make rum balls for a party. So I'm cheating and posting last year's rum ball post when I last attempted to be ballsy. Enjoy.

Recipe for balls

First, turn on kitchen overhead lights. Dress in comfy baking clothing. Crank up stereo with tape of "The Messiah" to get self into Christmas baking mode.

Pound vanilla wafers with fist. Feels good to get out frustrations, keep doing it. Mix with crushed nuts and then realize need cocoa mix. Have none. Melt Ghirardelli chocolate chips instead. First shut off all appliances and overhead lights so ancient microwave doesn't trip circuit breaker...AGAIN. Watch chips melt by flashlight. Dog is confused. Take gooey mess of chips, say "Uk" and add a bit of milk to get them to melt better. Nuke again.

Turn back all appliances. Take mess and dump into bowl. Add 1/3 cup Barbancourt rum. Add 1/3 cup corn syrup. Stir. Sip bit of Barbancourt. Add more rum to mix. Stire fastuh. Realize gooey mess will not sthick together. Add powdahed sugah. Add more rhume. Stire more, draink more.

Realize mess will not roll into little balls. Think about the idea of serving little ballz to male coworkers. Laugh. Ha ha! Put mess of rum stuffz in freezea to get to sthick. Drink morea baranb...barn...barban? aw hell, rhum. Eat store bought Christmas cookie with drink. Good. Dog shakes head.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Why?

Rough weekend. Spent yesterday driving two hours to the cemetery to visit mom on the 10-year anniversary of her death. My eyes are still swollen. There's a new addition near the crypt to where mom's ashes are kept. A 19-year-old girl who died last year in a car crash. Her name was Nycole. As heartbreaking as it was for me to lose mom to cancer, I can't imagine that mother's pain of losing her daughter. You're not supposed to bury your children.

I don't understand why these things happen. I guess that's what faith is all about. Trust and acceptance that there is a reason. I know I have to cling to these things. Otherwise, I'd go insane.

Patti O'Shea tagged me for a Seven Things meme. Will post later. Right now all I can think about are the seven things I miss most about my mom. Her laugh. Her understanding. How she helped others. Her strength. Her hugs. Her ability to listen. And her unconditional love. Even if she knew I was writing about werewolves in bondage and sex toys. I can hear her now, "Bonnie? Werewolves? Well, it's up to you. But... I have a question? What exactly is this bondage business?"

Love you, mom.
http://www.bonnievanak.com

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Conversations at Publix

Went to Publix last night to get groceries. Took off yesterday to get the tree stumps ground, and write. The werewolf story is getting kinky. Decided to add a bit of BDSM. I’ve no knowledge of BDSM, so I looked some stuff up on the ‘Net. Fascinating. My mind reeled.

Then I went to Publix… and ran into a friend.

Her: “Hey there! You look a little preoccupied.”
Me: “I’ve been writing.” And thinking about BDSM, you know, handcuffs, whips, chains, stuff like that.
Her:
“So what are you two doing for Christmas?”
Me: “Oh, the usual. Cooking a big turkey dinner, you know.” And maybe convince DH to try some leather restraints while I wear nothing but a frilly white apron? Ho, ho ho?
Her:
How’s the insurance struggle doing?
Me, vaguely: “Not too good. Agent is delaying our claim by research.” Maybe I should try some of that BDSM stuff on him. Put a nice collar on him, some leather, while I get that cute little, what do they call it? Oh yeah, the flogger. Send him crawling through the neighborhood, screaming, “YES MISTRESS, I WILL PAY ALL CLAIMS ON TIME. YES, MISTRESS, I WILL DO AS YOU SAY!”
Her:
“Have to get more shopping done tonight. I have my list of things to get, presents to buy. ”
Me: “Yeah, I know how it is.” Santa Claus, can you bring me some furry handcuffs and a whip for Christmas? I’d like to be naughty, not nice.
Her: “Well, I’ll let you go. Hate to tie you up.”
Me, trying not to smirk : “Well, actually, now that you mention it…”

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Overheard at Starbucks

"And he's a friend of Jimmy Buffet's, so Jimmy Buffet helped with the decorations... it was a FAB holiday party!"

"I ordered her Christmas gift from Scotland and it hasn't come yet..."

"My company bonus is a killer this year. We're going to Aspen and..."

"I drank nothing but decaf low-fat lattes when I was pregnant and yes, the baby is doing fine, she's in the top of her class now at daycare..."

what I would say: "I'm buying this gingerbread latte to clear up my raging sinus headache so I can write werewolf sex. Do you think it's okay to have werewolves into bondage?"

http://www.bonnievanak.com

Monday, December 12, 2005

Does she take the dummy to bed?

And if she does, what's he like? Probably the strong, silent type. LOL!

Sorry, I can't help but wonder. I mean, when you read a story like this, you have to wonder. This poor military wife takes the dummy hubby to dinner, out shopping, because she misses her hubby who is serving in the Navy. She even takes him to Victoria's Secret. But... does she go to bed with him?

The dummy is a silent type, I guess. Not very talkative at dinner, just sits there. You know, like a real man. But at least he can't complain about her running up the charge cards when they shop. Does he give her advice on what kind of lingerie to wear when they shop together at Victoria's Secret? Did she buy him kinky thongs with a little bow-tie in the front?

Come on, US NAVY, give this Navy husband leave! This poor wife... whoa boy. Six weeks. At least! Do you want this guy, who is serving our country, to get a "Dear John, I've left you for a real dummy" letter?

http://www.bonnievanak.com

Dear Larissa

Did you hear me scream all the way up there in Washington?

I'm sure you did. Remember that ungodly shriek you heard on Saturday at 3 p.m.? That wasn't an air siren. But me, down here in sunny south Florida.

I'm writing you this letter on my blog because I know what you have endured with insurance woes, FEMA woes and all the nightmares you have suffered since Hurricane Katrina hit your home. You've been there. Done that. Let me explain that shriek you heard on Saturday.

I had just returned from a wonderful RWA chapter meeting and party and was working on an essay about my mom for a newspaper contest my friend Mary Stella told me about. It's a pretty emotional essay. Usually I keep this "secret writing" to myself, but I wanted others to know what a special and unselfish person Mom was. This weekend it will be ten years since she died.

Editing the essay was very emotional enough. I had to stop because I was crying.

So as I am wiping my face, the doorbell rings. It's the insurance adjustor.

Seems we had so much damage, we have to fill out MORE paperwork. The process starts over again. No signs of a check.

That's when I screamed.

Dear Larissa, did you hear another scream yesterday morning as well?

That's when I opened the paper and saw this story in the Sun Sentinel.

The story about how FEMA reimbursed a vascular surgeon $826 for a generator he bought, a surgeon who lives in a $1.1 million home, while a poor woman who has lupus and diabetes and is on oxygen, and couldn't afford a generator, was told by a FEMA worker to go to the hospital if she runs out of oxgyen. The woman couldn't get reimbursed because she couldn't afford a generator. She told the reporter she tried not to get upset so she wouldn't breathe as much and therefore, conserve her oxygen.

We filed for FEMA. We filed because my husband worried the insurance won't cover all our damages. FEMA told us, sorry, you don't have enough damage. You have insurance, as well.

Insurance told us, sorry you have too much damage. We need to investigate further.

Are you hearing an odd, high pitched scream right now all the way up there in chilly Washington?

Yup, it's me. Screaming again.

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Note to self: Consume less Jell-O shots at Christmas parties next year.

http://www.bonnievanak.com

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Leak fixed, writing again! YAY!!!

DH fixed the roof leak. YAY! He got on the roof IN THE RAIN, found the leak, and patched it. Thank God for my handy hubby!

AND I'm writing again! Slowly, not much, but I am WRITING! I just need to focus, focus, focus and concentrate and not get distracted. I can do it, I can, I WILL!

http://www.bonnievanak.com

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

My roof is leaking, thank you hurricane Wilma!

Well, the dreaded ROOF LEAK is here...

Sitting in the family room and it's raining outside, a gentle rain, mind you... and I hear the drip drip drip... the leak is INSIDE the wall... which means the water will pool on the floor inside, then leak through and ruin the carpet...

DH can't even get on the roof to look at it or try to put a tarp up there because it's supposed to rain all freaking week!!! More damage from Wilma, thank you very much. The leak isn't in the place where the tree went through the roof. I think another branch dented the roof and we didn't catch it...

We need a new roof. Fast. We signed up with The Home Depot. Waiting time for a new roof?

Four months, minimum!!!

Sigh... I'm trying so hard to get into the Christmas spirit. But this year, it's real hard. Real hard.

http://www.bonnievanak.com

BOOK MEME!

Mary Stella and Nancy Cohen tagged me for a book meme.


1) The first romances I read were by Dorothy Eden in the early 1970’s, including Crow Hollow. No sex, just gothic thrills. Hey, I was only 10 years old.

2) I learned part of the Greek alphabet by reading Brave New World, where human beings are produced into different classes of intelligence. Now that there are hurricanes named after the Greek letters, I can’t get the images from that book out of my mind. I picture a Hurricane Alpha as being the biggest, most powerful storm, while Epsilon should be this wimpy, lower life form storm that doesn’t know what direction to take.

3) A book that deeply disturbed me, and to this day, I can’t read, is Lord of the Flies. I know it could be true.

4) The first sexy romance I read was The Flame & the Flower. I asked mom, “What’s a manhood?” No reply.

5) I learned my love of romance from my mom. She was a romance addict and kept the hall linen closet stacked with books. I found her stash when I was cleaning the closet, sat down on the floor and started reading.


6) I read a lot of romance when I travel for the day job because the romance balances the suffering and misery I see in Haiti and other poor countries. Sometimes I’ll take three or four books with me on a trip. The sexy covers don’t embarrass me. One time I read Sandra Hill’s Sweeter, Savage Love with the half-naked John DeSalvo cover… on a bus filled with priests and nuns!

7) I’m on a quest to find books I read and loved as a child. My first book just arrived. It’s Apple Tree Cottage by Virginia F. Voight, a story set in 1842 of a family who travels in their caravan.


8) I love reading Stephen King. I was addicted to his books when I was a teenager because he was such a terrific writer and great storyteller as well as being able to scare the dickens out of me. I recently found a hardcover copy of Thinner, the book he wrote as Richard Bach.


9) In addition to reading very steamy romances, I enjoy reading sweet romances that have great sexual tension. When the love scene arrives, it makes it even more special.

10) My biggest nightmare is an ignorant world without books, like Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

11) I miss the big, thick historicals Avon used to publish by Laurie McBain (you and I have something in common, Mary Stella!), Kathleen Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers.

12) The first fan letter I ever wrote to an author was to Teresa Medeiros after reading Breath of Magic. That book got me through a difficult personal time.


13) I buy myself Harry Potter as a very special treat.

14) There are some books I can read sections at a time and set it down and not pick it up for months. One of these is a fascinating book on Christianity in the Middle East called From the Holy Mountain by William Dalrymple.

15) If a friend recommends a book to me, I’ll go on Amazon, read the reviews just to glom information and buy it even if it has the worst reviews. I never pass on a book because of reviews. I just purchased Wicked because of a recommendation.

What fun this was! Now I’m tagging Cindy Cruciger, Stacey Klemstein and Patti O'Shea.

Charlie Brown tree

Getting into the Christmas spirit. Listening to Handel's MESSIAH on the car radio. The whole thing. It always revives me this time of year. I love the majesty of the oratorio. Heaven must be like that.

In the front yard I planted the half of our pine tree that got blown off during Hurricane Wilma. It's now in the spot where my beloved oak blew down. Looks like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. I had to put something there because that bare patch looks so sad and forlorn.

I've been tagged for a book meme. Will post it later.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Christmas hay ride


Spent yesterday cutting more of the downed trees. Seeing progress. I'm tired of cleaning up after Hurricane Wilma. I need to get into the Christmas spirit. Maybe an old-fashioned hay ride would do it?

http://www.bonnievanak.com

Friday, December 02, 2005

Writing mojo; Haiti missionary kidnapped

My writing mojo is sucked dry. I'm struggling to write. I get so easily sidetracked. The day job, Christmas coming, the wrecked Florida room I shut the blinds against so I don't have to look at it, etc. Plainly put, when I come home from work, I'm exhausted. All I want to do is prepare dinner, eat and watch stupid TV. Not work on my werewolf story.

I'm suspended in writing limbo, a creative inertia. Only instead of remaining in motion, I'm not in motion and I need a very strong force to kick me. I need to focus on what Julie, my CP, said about my WIP. She really liked it and loved Marcus. Very Alpha, very sexy. So why can't I write his story? Why is it when I flip open the laptop and power up the WIP, I stare at the screen and sit there? Maybe it's because the post-hurricane trauma was too much. Maybe it's just trying to establish a regular routine again, even at work. After all we only moved back into our offices this week after Hurricane Wilma flooded them.

Yet there are others who have suffered much worse and THEY write. I admire them so much. Like Larissa. She wrote almost HALF A BOOK for NaNo. Her home was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. She's living in ANOTHER state with her son while her husband still remains in Mississippi. Talk about trauma! And yet, she's writing!

I need a shot of enthusiasms. I'm expected to have certain enthusiams for the job. Just like DeNiro in THE UNTOUCHABLES. Enthusiasms, yeah. (Before he picked up the baseball bat and bashed that guy's head in).

In other news, a missionary and 11 schoolchildren were kidnapped in Haiti yesterday in two separate incidents. They let the kids go. The missionary is still being held for ransom. He was driving along a road outside PAP, probably National Road #1. Sigh... My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family and friends...

I doubt I'll be going to Haiti anytime soon. Nope. No way.

http://www.bonnievanak.com

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Give the whites some food

What a hungry little girl prayed in Haiti when my co-worker asked her to pray:

"Dear Lord, give the whites some food so they can give us food. Amen."

Amen, indeed.

Today's Daily Word is right on the mark. Is Someone trying to give me a message when I feel like I just can't write anymore?

http://www.bonnievanak.com