On Tour

I’m not writing a post today. Instead, I’m sending you on tour, a tour of my new house!

I’m busy at the office today but hopefully will be able to take off Tuesday and Wednesday because we have movers scheduled and we HAVE to be out of the condo! Rott’s driving the truck but I’m supervising the mover helpers.  So I’m off to get as much work done as possible so I can have the time off. Before I go, here’s my requisite Marcus for this Monday.

Wish that was my hand on him…LOL

Have a great Monday everyone!

Changing Times

Have you noticed the freakish weather across the US? Seems like weather patterns are changing. And that’s not the only thing changing. They caught Osama Bin Laden and executed him. He’s been a thorn in our side for years and finally, we got him. Changes the face of our war on terror a bit now, doesn’t it? The publishing industry is undergoing shifts as ebooks and epublishing and self-publishing are all on the rise.  A royal prince just married a commoner. (And woot! for that! Must have been his mother’s influence there.) And I bought a house. Haven’t actually managed to move into it yet, but it’s ours. The last time I had two bathrooms of my own was when I lived in my parents’ house.

Life is constantly changing but sometimes the changes are small things that we just don’t notice until one day we wake up and realize we’re very different than we were five years ago. I found a forum thread during a Google search yesterday about a popular male model who just closed down his website and social media, left the city he lived in, severed his modeling agency ties (supposedly)  and just walked away from his life.  Speculation ran wild about his reasons for doing this. My first thought was that maybe that life he’d been living got to be too much for him. Too over the top. Too frenetic. Too unreal. After all, he’s just a Mormon boy from Utah which means he wasn’t raised to live such a party lifestyle.

I’m sure the gay community in Miami has a thousand reasons why Levi Poulter left them. My sense is that times maybe changed too much for him and he needed a return to something simpler. I’ve been in that position before a couple of times. This last time is why we bought a mobile home in the canyon as opposed to in one of the more heavily populated areas. When the world changes so much and so often and so inexorably, having a part of your life be a place where you can go to escape it all becomes necessary in order to find balance and cope. I certainly hope that Levi found it. I’m hoping I have with our new house.

Rott said the place is soooo quiet at night. And really dark. Being at the end of the park, right on the edge of the canyon means there’s no building next to us to lend light to our yard. Rott got some solar powered lamps that you stick in the ground that light up the steps and the area around the deck, but he wants some of the tall tiki style ones too because the depths of the yard are really very dark.

And moving from a place where you have to watch out for the skateboarders and surly neighbors to a place where there are coyotes and rattlesnakes is a big jump. Not that they aren’t all things you have to be aware of constantly and watch out for. Human predators and predators of nature. They can all mess you up if you aren’t careful.

So the changing times are something that I’ve been noticing much more than usual lately. I’m not sure why my senses are more on alert but they are. I can see that everything is on a collision course with change. Tornadoes forced change on the south this past week in a big way. I don’t want to be taken by surprise like that. I want to walk into each day with the sense that something big could change at any moment. I don’t want life to get the drop on me. Rott swears the end of the world is at hand. Maybe he’s right, sort of. The end of the world as we know it is something that changes every single day with each event that occurs. Keep your eyes peeled for it. It’s happening all around you.

Okay, I’m done being philosophical for this Monday. I need me my Marcus despite that uber hot photo of Levi Poulter up there. No one tops my Marcus.

 

Oh, that chest. It never fails to brighten my day. For whatever reasons have you cheering this morning – a sexy Marcus or a dead Bin Laden – I hope you have a wonderful day!

Franklins

Cold hard cash. Yep. That’s what the house buying has come down to. We’ve given them some of the Franklins, but the rest are waiting to be handed over when we sign one last paper. The exchange of cold hard cash for keys should take place today or tomorrow.  For the last three weeks I’ve thought each day might bring the end to the waiting but after backing out of escrow on the house we thought we wanted, we ended up with something newer and more expensive. Now, finally, we seem to be at the end of this process.

Everyone keeps asking me if I’m excited. I suppose I am, somewhere inside me. In truth, I’m mostly stressed. Time is closing in on me and money is always a factor. Those Franklins staring at me so obliquely make me nervous. Do we have enough time and money to get this complete in a week and be in the new place? I have to work. I don’t have time to pack and move. Panic lurks at the edges of my sanity…

I know I’m being a little dramatic here but I seriously have those near panic moments. They are mostly only moments though and not longer, thank God.  The reason for that is because I have work to do at the office and work to do at home. I’ve had a lot of stuff going on at the office and I’ve been swamped. At home, I’ve done a bunch of cover art. (If you want to see it hop on over to winterheart.com.) The Franklins keep coming and that helps part of the panic. Doesn’t help the part where all my stuff is magically boxed up and ready to go.

One good thing is there’s a bunch of stuff we aren’t taking. Nothing like moving to make you decide to jettison a bunch of crap you had in your closet. So I’m getting a cleaning and hauling away crew for the old place. The new place needs a cleaning and repair crew.  The kitchen has some issues that need addressing before we can move in and Rott’s friends offered to paint it all for us. Whether there is time to get the paint and get it all done before the weekend is a whole other thing.

I know Rott feels painting is imperative. The PURPLE paint in the master bath makes him want to hurl. It doesn’t bother me so much.  (Hello, I have a purple website for Lex Valentine.) However, one of the smaller bedrooms has a mustard yellow ceiling and red doors. Makes my stomach churn. And the master bedroom has this dark brown wallpaper that looks like library shelves. Now, I love books. Not so much that I want to sleep with them though. So, yeah. The painting needs to come soon if not before we haul our stuff over there.

But first, it’s the Franklins. The cold hard cash exchange. Cross your fingers that happens no later than tomorrow. I’m tired of waiting. I just want it over and settled. I know the cashier’s check is burning a hole in Rott’s pocket too. We’re impatient to finish after three weeks on the teeter totter.

A post Easter Marcus is what I need now to complete my morning and make me feel better.

Oh, now isn’t that a pretty sight? A man with his legs spread is so inviting, don’t you think? LOL

Hope all you peeps had a hoppy Easter and here’s looking forward to a fantastic (hopefully escrow closing) Monday!

The Power of the Tweet

I’ve been on Twitter a long time. You wouldn’t know it to look at either of my usernames and how many tweets there are attached to them or by checking my Tweet-Karma, but I really have been on Twitter since early 2008.  In the last couple of years, I’d gotten away from it because writing really consumed me and I just didn’t have time for Twitter and Yahoo IM. I rarely turned on either of those things. They were a distraction most of the time. So the number of tweets I have is rather low for someone who’s been on it as long as me.

However, one of the things I re-discovered while at RT was the joy of a tweet or two or ten. I found myself constantly turning on the Seesmic app on my Android phone. If I was waiting for someone, I turned it on and checked it. If I couldn’t sleep, I checked it. Standing in the elevator, I checked it. The RT tweets were a hoot which helped reestablish the whole thing for me. Some very funny stuff happened at that convention.

Used in conjunction with Facebook (my tweets post to my FB account) I managed to gently tease author Desiree Holt. I posted that I was sitting behind her in the lobby court of the hotel, buying her 100th book. And I was. Grinning with every click of the touch pad on my netbook as I made my purchase.  When Desiree saw what I’d posted, she got up and turned around and came over to hug me. The look on her face was priceless. I got such a kick out of using social media in such a way.

The power of the tweet came into play again when I got home from the convention on Sunday. I was sitting in my recliner, glad to be home, and I decided to look at Seesmic. What I found was a tweet from Jane of Dear Author about losing her Kindle and color Nook at RT. By coincidence, the “gang” (aka Z.A. Maxfield, Lynn Lorenz, Belinda McBride, Tara Lain, Stephani Hecht and Cherise Sinclair) and I found a Kindle in a green cover and a color Nook in a gray cover at the table where we sat down in the lobby court. When we turned on the Kindle it said the owner’s name was Jane.  A name like Jane could be anybody and neither ereader gave up any other information to us. Plus, I think we felt kind of bad poking around in them for information on the owner(s). So we called the lobby court manager over and turned in the Kindle and Nook to her.

Seeing Jane’s lamenting tweets about her lost ereaders reminded me that we’d found two and that one had said it belonged to Jane. Seemed like way too much of a coincidence to me, so I tweeted to Jane about our find and where we’d turned in the two ereaders. I was happy to see them find their way back to their owner. Especially since I now know what it’s like to be ereaderless. (I gave Nikki my Nook 3G to use with etextbooks and bought a color Nook, but when we had the chance to buy a mobile home a week later, I returned the color one in order to put the money to better use. Now, I’m without an ereader and I’m so lost!)

So I’ve renewed my acquaintance with Twitter a little and I’m glad that my doing so led to a good deed.  Hopefully, I won’t go back to being a stranger because I’ve got a bunch of new followers and even *gasp* Yasmine Galenorn is following me! (Hi, Yazza!) And I do miss the tweets of my friends Marty, Dave, Karl and Hilly. I need to turn on my original Twitter account and not just the Lex Valentine one.

Not to change the subject, although I am, the house situation is nearing a close literally. The house is being inspected on Tuesday and we expect to close escrow possibly the following day.  So very soon I’ll be changing my address and will no longer have a landlord. Rott and I are both looking forward to that despite how much money (and a Nook!) it has cost us.

Now, it’s time for my Monday Marcus. I can’t believe I’ve been posting this beautiful man for years now. Ah, well. It’s a good thing he’s so good looking or I’d tire of him, wouldn’t I? LOL

Before I go, if you don’t follow me on Twitter, I invite you to in the hopes that you’ll all encourage me to use it more than I have in the past two years. My author Twitter name is lexvalentine and my original account is winterheart. See you there!

Have a great Monday!

Conference Moments

As you all know, I went to the Romantic Times Book Lovers convention this past week. It was my first convention and also my first as a published author. I had a great time mostly because I had very cool people to hang out with. The workshops turned out to not be my thing but a lot of that had to do with the fact that I was on sensory overload and I wouldn’t have remembered a damn thing from a workshop. I went to the lunches and balls and cocktail parties and mixers. And I hung out in the Lobby Court with a lot of very cool authors.

I didn’t have to fly to the conference because it was in L.A. at the Bonaventure Hotel. Rott drove me there and picked me up and I roomed with Cat Grant. Here’s some conference moments that were the highlights for me.

Kate Douglas taking me under her wing

Faye Hughes’ stories of southern ladies over margaritas.

Jesse who manned the goody bag room remembering my name (amongst all those attendees), coming up to me in the Lobby Court and showing me a photo of himself shirtless in the snow.

Z.A. Maxfield and her wardrobe malfunction.

Belinda McBride talking about hot sex and the fire alarm going off.

Cherise Sinclair and her thing for mashed potatoes.

Lynn Lorenz teaching her son to lie.

Stephani Hecht and her ugly, bald pussy(cat.)

The Olvera Street Adventure.

Realizing C.J. Hollenbach’s hair was just as long as Rott’s.

Hugging Jimmy Thomas who really is a big man and seeing Brooks Johnson who isn’t nearly as big as I imagined.

Reassuring Pepper Espinoza that she wasn’t a sloppy drunk at the MLR Press cocktail party.

Sitting with stinky cheese and Tales fan Carol Brown at the ARe cocktail party.

Getting hot coffee tipped down my shirt at the Kensington morning mixer.

Discovering on Twitter that the Kindle and Nook we’d found in the lobby court belonged to Jane of Dear Author.

Amaretto Sours and Creme Brulee Cheesecake with the girls.

Finding more corn than there is in Iowa at the Mr. Romance competition.

Having my boobs poked by wings at the Faery Ball.

Being hugged by Desiree Holt at the EC party.

Finally meeting Dee Carney and her sniffles.

Getting teeth from James Buchanan.

Carnival barker self-published authors.

Taking photos of Jessica Trapp with handsome men.

Finding myself directly across from Kerrilyn Sparks at the book fair signing.

Tessa Dare telling me that she used me and ZAM to pimp out the OCC chapter.

Finding half the restaurants and stores in the hotel closed when we wanted something.

Laura Baumbach’s son the marketing genius.

Learning so much about the industry, the publishers, agents, and being an author from sitting around talking to everyone.

There’s more. Oh so much more but I’m still on overload so you’ll have to forgive me for not listing about a thousand other memories of this conference.

I have a Marcus for you and then I’m off to the office.

Oh,  hello! Aren’t  you lovely? HEH.

Many thanks to all of you who commented on my snapshots from the convention over on Facebook. I’ll try to turn on Twitter a bit more often now to keep all my new followers entertained. Hopefully, I’ll recover quickly from the con and not end up with conference crud either.

Have a great Monday!