Friday, July 31, 2009

Labor Day...Wedding Day...Egads, What's a Gal to Do?

My son is getting married on September 5th. Guess where? In our yard! We talked about having it in the back yard and then later changed it to the front yard. Now, at this point, I'm thinking we might have around 40 people. In order to pull this off, all the guests will be standing in our yard. One thing I've refused to do is spend money to rent chairs for a 10 minute service (especially since this is a third marriage for both of them). Here are the problems I foresee:

Birds--I love them, but what if a bird drops something unwanted onto a guest?

Squirrels--They're cute. Hubby hates them. What if they drop something unwanted, like a prize nut, on a guest?

Cats--Yes, known as the crazy cat lady, we have thirteen semi-feral cats to care for. They like to know what's happening. And, worse, they like to use our flower beds for their litter box. What if one drops something "stinky" just before the wedding?

Spiders--I see the webs along the bricks lining the flower garden. Creepy, I tell ya. I do not do spiders. What if one decides to pop out suddenly and I scream during a crucial part of the wedding?

Rain--What do we do in case of rain? My house does not have a room big enough to house a wedding with 40 guests.

Oh, I could go on and on, but I do have to go to work.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Two Satchels Full!!

One thing you get plenty of at RWA Nationals is free books. I brought home two big satchels full! I sorted them between the subgenres I don't read and those I do. The biggest portion will go to my chapter. What is the problem you ask?

Um, with all this great reading material, how do I put down the books and put my hands on the keyboard to write my own?

I love to read. I always have. I love getting close to the ending and just wanting to hurry and find out what happens, and not really wanting the book to end because it was so engrossing.

How about you? Are you a reader? How do you feel about coming to "the end?"

By the way, have you checked out my contest on my website for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to Amazon? Time's running out! It doesn't cost a thing to enter.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Doom, Despair, and Agony on Me...

Deep dark depression, excessive misery...

I remember those words from a skit on the Hee Haw television show. A rather funny segment where they sat on a porch and sang funny lines about the tragedies in their lives. There are a lot of people who live their lives this way. They talk about all the bad things that happen to them, worry excessively about the bad things that will happen tomorrow and the next day. And no matter what suggestions you give, they are shot down with reasons that won't work. How easy to get caught up in that negativity and become depressed yourself!

Last night I picked up a booklet I received from Guideposts. The title is "Expect a Miracle--Make a Miracle Happen". I realized how true this is. Miracles occur every day. They may not be as spectacular as the Red Sea parting, but they exist! We just have to open our eyes to see them.

Expect a miracle--make a miracle happen. What a wonderful motto to live by.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 24, 2009

WPCR Port Clinton Radio Interviews Carol Ann Erhardt

I forgot to tell my blog readers about my radio interview at 10am today with Joan Bryden at Port Clinton Radio. You can go to the website to listen live at 10AM or check the Archives and find the link for Food for Thought for today sometime after 2PM EST. I'll be reading excerpts from three of my books, talking about writing, my upcoming book signing and lots more!

Link to live streaming and archives by clicking here!

The Sky Has Fallen!!

I'm sitting her looking through my window and I can barely see the house across the street. This is the thickest fog that ever settled in my neighborhood. I've driven through heavy fog, but never walked in it. So, I'm looking forward to something new this morning.

What I'd like to do is stay home and write. There's something so mysterious about fog. Things beyond your eyesight that could conjure up frightening scenarios. This to me is reminiscent of Stephen King's "The Mist." I could write about something happy. A woman hurrying to catch a bus runs into a handsome stranger and it's love at first sight. Or I could write a children's story about a little kitten who gets separated from her mommy and goes on an adventure with other animals to find her way back home. There are so many possiblities!

Too bad I have to go to the dreaded day job and sit in a windowless office which stifles my creativity.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Having a Fat Day...

I must start listening to my hypnotherapy CD. I've slipped and now I crave Mexican food, burgers, sweets, and...I love food. I love food, but I let it control me instead of the other way around. Promising myself that I will get back on track. Writing it down helps to seal it into my mental to do list.

Not looking forward to sitting in a five hour meeting with senior managers today. The room we meet in is long and narrow, with an 18 foot oval table, 16 high back leather chairs, and hot! Imagine all that male testosterone sinking into the leather. The smell is atrocious. Not a good combination and me with a sinus headache to boot.

I just can't wait until the day I can walk away from the dreaded day job. Hey! That will help with my food fetish, too. We won't be able to go out to eat very often if I'm not bringing in the extra paycheck. Now if I can only convince hubby of that...

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I've Loved You Longer...

Last night I called my brother to wish him a happy birthday, um, anniversary. He's been having anniversaries of his birthday since he turned 39!

Our conversations usually go something like this:

My brother: "No matter how old I get, you'll always be older."

Me: "Maybe, but I have more hair than you."

"Yeah, but you're older than me."

"I might be older, but I don't have as many wrinkles."

"That's because you don't laugh as much as me."

"You're stepping on my last nerve."

"Then I must be doing something right."

"I have to go. Just wanted to wish you a happy anniversary of your birthday. I love you."

"I've loved you longer. I've loved you my whole life."

"I loved you when you were cooking in the oven."

"I loved you back then and couldn't wait to get out and kiss my older sister. So, I've always loved you longer and I'll never be as OLD as you."

**sigh** Why do I even try?

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sometimes I Scare Myself...

Driving alone back home from Nationals, I didn't turn on the radio or play any CDs. Just me, the hum of the tires on the road, and characters and scenes playing through my mind. Kind of scary, huh?

Not for a writer. In fact, I plotted an entire book from opening scene to end. What an experience!

Interviewers often ask if I need certain music or sounds to "set the mood" when I write. Actually, I brainstorm best in complete silence. Well, no interruptions anyway. I need some "white noise" to keep the ordinary sounds from intruding. Usually I play a Creative Minds cd at home, but that's when I'm actually writing. I find I do my best brainstorming when I'm in the car. for instance, the story I wrote for Cup of Comfort came to me when I was driving on my lunch hour.

I guess the next time I get "stuck," I'll have to get in my car and drive around.

Thursday, I'll be interviewing with Joan Bryden with Port Clinton Radio host for "Food for Thought". August 1st, I'll be attending a booksigning at The Book Exchange in Port Clinton, and the authors are being promoted by the local radio station. The interview will air on Friday. I'm very nervous! The book I'll be signing is JOSHUA'S HOPE, so if you are in the area, stop by and see me! I'll be giving away hand crocheted cross bookmarks with each book purchase. HOpe to see some familiar faces there. It should be fun as there is a car and truck show benefit for cancer going on at the same time.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Goodbye D.C.!

Thursday, July 16

I started out the morning by running into friends from my local RWA chapter in line to get a bite to eat and coffee prior to the Keynote Speaker opening session. Suddenly, I didn't feel alone! You can't imagine being in the midst of a huge hotel (which was previously three hotels) with over 2,000 romance writers and seeing no familiar faces! I love people watching, but come one!

Janet Evanovich gave the opening speech. After the RWA President introduced her, she hobbled onto the stage with a (in her words) Herman Munster boot. Her explanation: She fell stepping off a stage at a booksigning event and broke her ankle. Then, to top it off, two days prior to the speech, she lost her glasses! Her speech wasn't really a speech, but a question and answer session. The mc handed her a stack of questions and somehow she managed to read them, without her glasses. Her answers were witty, humorous, heart-tugging, and inspirational. Talk about a family business! Her husband is her business manager, her daughter is her web mistress, and her son is also involved. She writes until 3pm and then stops. Many nights her daugher and son in law come over and they have dinner together to talk business. I love my kids, but I don't think I would want to live that way.

After the opening session, I went to the "goody" room where I gathered up several books for the chapter. The crowd was pretty huge so even though I heard the room was filled with different and new material each day, I didn't go back again.

I came back to the room for a brief time and dropped off the books and then headed back to the ballroom for the luncheon with Linda Howard giving an inspirational talk. The food was pretty good and the staff very quick to serve thousands of people. We sat eight to a table and one waiter for each table. Our meal consisted of a greek salad, chicken parmesan and a sinfully delicious chocolate dessert. Linda Howard was hilarious. She should have been a comedian. Honest! She began by telling us about all the nuts in her family and describing them in such a way that everyone doubled over with laughter. If you ever see her, ask her to tell about her uncle, her aunt, and the tractor, wheelchair and bunge cord. I'm not going to spoil it by telling you here. You have to hear her do it in person! I left full and very relaxed after all the laughing.

I spent the afternoon workshops. The first one was "What Not to Write." I didn't get much craft wise that I didn't already know, but Eloisa James gave a humorous approach. The next workshop was by my all time favorite romantic suspense author, Brenda Novak. She gave fantastic examples of the way to invoke emotion into the sotry. The title of the workshop was "Emotion: the Heart of the Novel." She used examples from her novels, one of which will be released next month, but the publisher had released some early copies (with a cover which will be revised). Of course, I had to leave the workshop and head to the bookstore on site to get my copy! Then I went back to my room for a regroup. I changed into comfortable slacks and met some friends at a restaurant in the hotel for dinner. Decided to treat myself to a New York Strip steak! Yummy!

The rest is history. I came to the room, spent 45 minutes talking to hubby and mom and then collapsed in bed. I was asleep before ten.

Friday, July 17

Slept in and didn't get up until 7:00. Headed down to the deli for a ham, cheese and egg croussant and orange juice. I decided to skip workshops and opted to go to the Harlequin and Pocket book signings instead. The publishers invite some of their authors to sign books to give away to the RWA participants! Wow!! I filled up my bag and headed back to the room with all the Harlequin books and then went back and did the same for the Pocket books. I introduced myself to Roxanne St. Claire, who is going to be our keynote speaker at our COFW conference in September. Went back to room and dumped books! I have no idea how I'm going to get all these books out of my room and into my trunk! Guess I'll have to tip the bell boy a big bunch!

I ran into some friends and chatted for a while and then headed off to an 11am workshop: "Under Their Skin and Straight to the Heart:Creating Emotion with Significant Detail." Interesting and helped to show how to use details properly. The workshop very well followed what the description said. I enjoyed it and picked up a few tips. That, for me, is always a measure of a good use of time.

Next stop was lunch with Marcia James and writers who had attended a workshop I copresented with Marcia. It was fun to put faces to names. One lady brought her husband with her so that was fun, too! Our lunch speaker was Eloisa James. She shared a lot of inspiration about how to use examples from our real lives in our books to truly capture the emotions we have gone through. Lunch was delicious, but I was getting a bit tired of eating chicken.

After lunch, I headed off for more workshops. The first was "Face Off: The Many Faces of Suspense." I really thought it would be a better workshop, with each presenter giving a short speech, but instead the coordinator asked questions of a four person panel. I did gather a bit of information, but I sure was getting sleepy. Could have been the ibuprofen or too much chicken!

Next workshop, I ran into Laurie Kingery, my friend who I'd had dessert with on Tuesday night. The workshop was titled "The Threaded Synopsis." I really need help with writing a synopsis. I wasn't sure what to expect. The presenter provided a unique tool, which can be created easily in Excel, to track your chapters and the actions in the scenes. By continuing to fill in the information as you go along and make changes, it gives a great tool for writing the synopsis when you are finished. Also, it gives a snapshot to make it easy to do edits. Great workshop. I began to wake up a little.

One more workshop to go. I chose"What Came First, the Plot or the Character? The Yn and Yang of Creating Great Characters within Great Plots." This workshop was pretty good at cementing plot and characterization. I'd always thought characters were the most important part of the story, but these two authors showed how one drives the other and how important it is to weave them together. Though I was getting sleepy again, I enjoyed it and gathered a few tips to help.

I left the workshop with a sense of relief. It was over for me. I stopped and purchased a roast beef sandwich and tomato basil soup and brought it to my room. After eating, I felt a bit revived and decided to do some writing.

Saturday, July 18

Today, many of my friends will be enjoying workshops, sight-seeing, and later enjoying getting dressed in evening gowns for the gala awards banquet. Me...I'll be driving back to Columbus, Ohio. Goodbye, D.C.!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Checking in from D.C.

For those who are following my D.C. RWA Conference journey, I promise to post later tonight.

Yesterday was an intensely full day and I was too pooped to blog. Heading out for Day Four now.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Books and People Everywhere!!!

What fun! My day started at 5:30 am today. I spent time writing before getting ready to head down to the Leadership Retreat. The attendees of the retreat received a very nice manicure and grooming set and a thumb drive with Harlequin books to read! When I reached for my free gift I noticed it had a maroon dot on it, so I thought maybe it was for something special...namely not me. So I took the one next to it without the dot. Geesh, smack me upside the head with a big sausage! The person who had that gift won a Sony e-Reader!!!! Not a good way to start my day. : (

The retreat was a day filled with governance information, how to's, IRS regulations, and a nice lunch with a presentation by Heart of Dixie Romance Writers. I actually got to see Linda Howard up close and personal!

The literacy booksigning at 5:30 was beyond description. Five hundred authors and a bazillion more readers all crammed into one room! Luckily the authors were lined up alphabetically, making it easier to get to the ones I wanted to see. I really wish I hadn't been too tired to stand in Debbie Macomber's long line.

After leaving the literacy booksigning with three new purchased books, I met with fellow COFW member, Kris Branch, for dinner. We ran into Rhonda Penders, co-owner of The Wild Rose Press coming off the escalator. She recommended a little pub across the street from the hotel for good food at reasonable prices. Great recommendation!

Now I'm back in my room, tired, and wishing I had the energy to type up all the stuff I gleaned from the meeting today.

Tomorrow's events begin at 9am! So, it's off to bed for me.

Looking forward to posting pictures of the literacy booksigning. It's so interesting to see a sea of heads. LOL!

Thanks for stopping by!

Hello D.C.!!

I drove to Washington D.C. yesterday for the RWA National Convention. What a beautiful drive! I love the trees and hills of West Virginia. The entire trip gave me fabulous scenery to enjoy. I'm grateful for purchasing the Garmin GPS, which brought me all the way without my having to watch for routes. Love it! The only weird thing is Garmin told me to turn left on Woodley NW, take the next first left and I had arrived at destination. Not true! I found my little Camry dwarfed by huge apartmen buildings on each side. That's when my heart started pounding. How in the world would I find my hotel? I must have put in the wrong address! I don't know how I wound up back on Woodley NW again, but headed in the opposite direction. I went across Connecticut Avenue to the opposite side and there was the hotel! The good Lord watched out for me.

First adventure was to wait for the concierge to help me load my luggage on a rack and turn my car over to Valet attendant. The concierge then stood holding my receipt until I handed him a tip. I knew it was coming, but he was so obvious! How much do you tip for a 50 foot walk into the hotel? I handed him a $5 and he gave me my red receipt.

I went to the registration desk where the clerk happily entered my name and took my ID and credit card. Then she told me the hotel had overbooked for that night and they would happily put me into another hotel and pay for the room. I could come back the next day and check in at the Marriott. She must have seen the total panic in my expression as I shook my head and said, "No, no." She smiled and said she did have a room with one queen bed that was ready. I accepted. "The room is available for your entire stay with us." Well, that was nice. I didn't want to change rooms or hotels! I couldn't believe it when I was assigned a first floor room. With 2,000 romance writers, getting an elevator would have been a nightmare!

The bellhop brought me to my room along with all the luggage, including a case of water which I'd purchased back in Columbus. Imagine my surprise to see a refrigerator in the room! Yay! Cold water for me.

After letting hubby know I'd arrived safely, I ventured out and checked out the huge hotel! Had a sandwich and came back to get my camera. The grounds surrounding the hotel are beautiful. I forgot to bring my camera usb cord so I can't post pictures until I return home. Anyway, I took some pictures of the landscaping and headed back to my room. I ran into a fellow author, Laurie Kingery, who writes for Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historicals. We had a nice chat over some food and I retired to my room for the night.

Hooked up my laptop and logged on. I found a google alert and when I followed the link I found that Sarita Leone had posted an interview with me. I thought it was scheduled for the 21st, so I was surprised. Anyway, if you check it out and leave a comment, you might be the winner of a free ebook copy of my latest release, JOSHUA'S HOPE.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Washington D.C., Here I come!

I'm leaving in 45 minutes for RWA National in Washington, D.C. It is my first experience with the Nationals. Looking forward to seeing writing friends and making new ones! The hotel is huge and gorgeous. I'm looking forward to not having the responsibilities of my day job, but I'll miss my family.

The next few days this blog will contain my experiences, so I hopw you will take the journey with me.

Since I'll be driving, I'm going to soak up all the beautiful scenery. I love the trees and hills in West Virginia and Maryland. But not looking forward to battling any of the semis along the Turnpike.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 10, 2009

What If It Isn't A Bad Hair Day...But Just Bad Hair?

If I were a man, I could shave my head and not worry. People would adore my shiny skull. Hey, it would go well with my hoop earrings, and maybe I could get one of those nose rings, too! Of course, it would mean having to shave every day. That would be a downfall. What if I cut my head in the process? They should make bandaids with bling. I mean, a bright, shiny gem would hide the blood and also show that I am a female.

But, since I don't have the guts to shave my head, I must deal with what God gave me. Hair. Hair that doesn't know what I want it to do. I've tried curly perms, loose perms, straight, color, short locks, medium locks, and long locks. Doesn't matter. It all looks the same...boring!!

For the past couple of days, I've used a large brush to blow dry. Result: hair that looks like it has never seen a conditioner...ever! Straw!!

Before, I used a smaller brush. Takes a long time and hair may not look like straw, but it looks as if it's never been styled. A mess of nothing.

I've tried letting it dry au naturale and it looks like I just got out of bed and forgot to comb it.

What's a gal to do?

I'm heading (pun intended) to a new hairdresser on Saturday. I don't know what to tell her to do with my hair. I want a style. A style that's me! What if me is nothing but a boring mess of (gasp) straw!

Maybe I should color my hair. When I did, it sure was easier to style. It had body and shine. Since I've let it go natural, it is so baby fine and uncontrollable that I can't do a thing with it. (Yeah, cliche intended).

I'm going to spend the day stressing over what to tell the hairdresser. Short? or Trim? I'm frightened. Very frightened...

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

What I Learned From My Mother... the last 30 days. Warning - Not recommended for hypochondriacs! Please read with a sense of humor!

1. Never lift a sofa while your husband works on the sofa legs. Causes total destruction of leg muscles--FOREVER!

2. Never take an antibiotic. Causes your system to split in half. One half will be healthy, the other will have serious defects--FOREVER!!

3. Never use a piece of exercise equipment that has moving bars for the arms. Causes a severe outbreak of Shingles! -- ALWAYS!!

4. Never take an osteoporosis medication. Causes your bones to turn black--FOREVER!!!

5. Never take a generic antacid tablet. Causes your bowels to become defective--FOREVER!!!!

This is how my mother has reached the age of 85 with all these conditions. I haven't yet learned what caused her heart valve to malfunction. When I do, I will add it to the list of warnings.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Doctors, Self-Diagnosis, and When Not to Listen

For the past week I've had pain in my jaw from where I had the shots from the dentist. This is not common. Usually in a day or two the pain recedes. The pain has been intermittent, worse in the morning. Yesterday my ear on that side began to ache. I had a headache and pains shooting up the side of my skull above the ear. At times it felt as if I were on an airplane and my ears needed to pop. Afraid to go out of town and get sick, I gave up when hubby insisted I see the doctor. Not wanting to miss work I went to an Urgent Care facility.

My experience with the doctor: He looked in both ears and said he saw no infection. Without looking further or asking any other questions, he said the problem was most likely caused by allergies. He said he would give me two prescriptions, Biaxin as an antibiotic and a steroid pack. That's it. He left, sent the nurse back in with the prescriptions and I was dismissed.

Do you see a problem with this? I sure do!

I know I have allergies and I could feel my sinuses clogged, but no infection seemed to be plaguing me. Just the weird pain.

I know I have a problem with TMJ. The left side of my jaw pops when I open wide. So, I came home and forced my mouth to open wide. It hurt. I continued until I heard it pop. I moved my jaw a bit open and closed and from side to side. Before going to bed I took ibuprofen.

This morning my jaw hurt really bad again. I did the same thing with my jaw and now the pain has lessened. I still have aching in my jaw/ear but I believe ibuprofen will help. I've researched TMJ and I'm sure that's the real problem. TMJ can cause headache and stomach upset. I've had both recently.

I am not going to fill the prescriptions given by the doctor. I will take Mucinex for the congestion and allergies and ibuprofen for the pain in my ear. Then I'll call the dentist and have them look at my mouth. After all, the pain started after that brutal session.

Bottom line, it pays to do self diagnosis and do it BEFORE going to see the doctor. With the insurance companies and their policies, doctors are running people in and out of their offices in a constant stream, and writing prescriptions without doing any diagnosis. Please be cautious. After all, it is your body...and your money.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Write the Ending...

I've heard other writers suggest writing the ending before you actually reach that point. That troubles me. Since I am a "seat of the pants" writer, I have no idea how the story is going to actually end! I want to be surprised...I think. But, I have gotten stuck in manuscripts with no idea of who the villain is or how to conclude the story. So, what does that tell me? Should I write the ending?

When I begin writing a new story, I always have an idea of who my characters are, the main plot, conflict and how I believe the story will end. How I get there is the surprising part. My characters lead me into new situations and exciting adventures along the way.

I suppose writing the ending wouldn't be a problem. But I just can't do it. Why? Because as I venture along in the story, I get to know my characters much better. I feel their emotions and it becomes easier to show them in action, building always to the climax. So, even if that elusive villain doesn't show himself or herself until the final pages, the stakes will be so high that the climax will explode with emotions and action. Writing the climax is when I'm embedded so deeply into the story that I can't be torn from the keyboard.

I suppose I do write the my head. But I could never capture it on paper until I reach...The End.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Happy Fourth of July to My Friends in USA

Enjoy the long weekend! I have to work today, but I'm off on Monday. So looking forward to a nice long weekend.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

In the Dentist's Chair...

On Tuesday, I had to go to the dentist because my tooth broke while I was eating salad. I didn't bite the fork...just a mouth full of lettuce and dressing when suddenly, I felt something hard. Grossed me out when I saw part of a tooth, until I realized it was mine!

Okay, so I go to the dentist knowing that I will need to have a crown. That means lots of sitting and waiting, so I took along my "Fire in Fiction" by Donald Maass so I could spend the time learning how to fire up my manuscript. The doctor came in and looked at the tooth while her assistant prepped the torture instruments.

Next, she applied the nasty tasting pre-numbing solution. I saw her lean closer to read the cover of my book. She asked, "Oh, you are a writer?"

"Yes," said I. (Wondering if I will get something good out of this visit to include in my writing)

"That's interesting." Then she lifted the needle large enough to put a bull elephant to sleep in less than 3 seconds. She rammed it into my mouth and I tried not to jump. Since I was so good, she decided to twist it upward and try again. I did jump a little, hoping she would be satisfied and take the needle away. But, noooo, she jabbed it into my lower gum next. I hate needles!

Then, blessedly, she was finished. Whew. She raised my chair so I could read my book and told me she'd be back in a few minutes to see how I was progressing. Okay, I guess that means to see if I was getting numb. So, I proceeded to read and try to forget what would be coming next. (shudder)

About five minutes later the dentist appeared again with a smile bordering on that of Garfield about to squash Odie. All teeth. You know what I mean? She asked how I was doing. I told her I could feel tingling along my chin now. Wrong answer.

"I'm just going to give you a little bit more, baby girl." (Baby girl??? Now, I'm starting to get scared. Really scared.) So she gets a needle, which has grown in size, and shoots me up a little more.

A little more time reading and the walking smile returns.

Then, the drilling began. Oh, how I hate that sound! The dentist proceeded to stretch my mouth to an unnatural width, and her assistant stuck a fire hose into the opposite side of my mouth to siphen out the overflow (or to hide the blood?). I hear them chatting happily, while I'm verging on a migraine headache. Pain throbbing in my temples, while the drilling continues. I'm praying they finish soon. Not going to happen.

Next, they put a rubber thing between my teeth and tell me to bite down. That is supposed to keep my mouth just right for the drilling to continue. But, the doctor is having a problem getting to one side of my tooth. So, they change sides! Now the dentist is on my left and with a happy grin, says, "Ah, this is much better!"

They talk about how great I'm doing. How do they know? They have no idea I'd like to club both of them and shove the drill down their throats! Now I can smell something burning. And taste burnt residue in my mouth. Oh, please, I pray, haven't they reached my stomach yet?

Finally, they finish. Both are happily praising the wonderful job they did. The rubber thing is removed from my mouth and two Garfield faces look at me. "You're such a good patient."

I try to smile, know I'm smiling lopsided, and say, "Actually, I'm just preparing my fists to slug both of you."

Laughter. They think I'm kidding.

"Our patient is a writer," says the dentist. "Maybe we'll wind up in her next book."

I reply, "Oh, don't worry. You will. Both of you. I will kill you both. It's legal you know!"

More laughter.

Then they squirt a ton of mushy cold clay down my throat and tell me to bite down.

Have you ever heard a dentist rave about making a wonderful impression? Have you ever seen what those impressions look like? I have. My dentist showed me. She was so happy with the way it turned out. She explained everything, like "See this? This is where your gum is...and this is...oh, this is just so beautiful!" It looks like blue and orange brass knuckles to me.

After one more impression, the assistant finally seats the temporary crown and I'm free to go...after I pay $300 for the first half of the expense of having a permanent crown made. much pain for so much money.

Then I have to go back to work. My throat is numb, my bottom lip is numb, my tongue is numb, the whole left side of my face is numb. I looked at myself and tried to smile. Nearly screamed. What a scary thing to behold! So, I stopped and bought myself a chocolate Frosty for lunch. I mean, what else could I eat? I closed my office door because I didn't want anyone to see how much trouble I had trying to slurp that ice cream off the spoon seated in the right side of my mouth. Then I looked down and saw a nice chocolate drip on my blouse. Thank goodness for Tide to Go. I cleaned that spot and then proceeded to eat again. Looked down and found another drip on my blouse. Cleaned that. Grabbed my little mirror and looked at myself. A big blog of chocolate was sitting on my chin. And I didn't even feel it!

A couple of hours later, I could speak with some clarity. Boss called me in. We chatted about a report and when I got up to leave he said, "Do you have any idea how you sound when you talk?" Then, this high faluting president said, "blubba, blub, blub, blubba!" My face must have shown my shock. Then he said, "Just kidding."

Oh, not funny. He will also be killed off in my novel.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

I Need Help...I Am A Perfectionist!

I admit that I am a perfectionist. I don't know if I can ever be cured.

Being a perfectionist keeps me from sleeping. Problems crawl around in my head like little parasites and won't leave me alone.

What am I to do?

I took the test on Discovery Health on Perfectionism. Click here to take the test:

Their description of Perfectionism is below, followed by my score and what it means.

About Perfectionism
Perfectionism can be a healthy quality that drives a person to try his/her best and to make the effort to excel. Some people, however, take the strive for perfection too far...and there is a price to pay. Extreme perfectionists are forever dissatisfied; they can never fulfill their own expectations so, in their own eyes, they are always failures. Chronic perfectionism is driven by deep-seated feelings of inferiority and self-hate, and by nature it reinforces a negative self-image. Performing tasks or fulfilling goals becomes intimidating and unpleasant, since the perfectionist knows deep down that the finished product will never meet his/her expectations. So the perfectionist might have problems with procrastination. Perfectionism, then, can become a double-edged sword - the perfectionist is driven by a desire to succeed, as well as a fear of failure which leaves him/her paralyzed.

In all realms, striving for excellence can be beneficial and lead to a fulfilling professional and personal life. Accepting nothing less than excellence, on the other hand, can be emotionally scarring.

Results of Your Perfectionism Test


Your score = 63

What does your score mean?
According to this test, you have some perfectionist tendencies that may be making you unnecessarily unhappy. You sometimes set high standards that are difficult to meet; either you impose those expectations on yourself, others, or a combination of the two. You may even think that others expect you to be perfect. While a desire to do your very best and strive to reach your full potential can bring you personal fulfillment, you have to learn when good is 'good enough'. It's important that you strengthen your ability to distinguish between reasonable aspirations and unrealistic demands. When you set unattainable objectives, you are being cruel to yourself and denying yourself the rewards and self-acceptance that you deserve.