Some of you may have heard me talk about how one of the babies wouldn’t settle in the new house. He first hid in a recliner, tearing it up from the inside to dig his way to the center of the chair where we couldn’t get to him. He didn’t come out for weeks until he was thin and sick. We got him out and into the biggest carrier. Put him in there with food and water and a pee pad and had the chair hauled away.

He did okay in the carrier for a few days and then Rott let him out. After that he hid under the futon for weeks. We’re pretty sure he came out once in awhile  to run into the bathroom for food, water and the box. Mopping up after him was a chore because he’d pee and puke from not eating or drinking for days then gorging himself in the night.

In the last ten days Tux has gotten much better. He’s starting to come out regularly. He goes into the bathroom from under the futon (which is near the bathroom door in a corner of the bedroom) all the time. He has no problems with the bathroom although the skylight messed with him in the beginning for probably a week.  In the last week, he’s been coming out to crumb bum when I’m eating and last night he was playing with his brothers. And when Rott came in last night he stood his ground and went to Rott for petting. Just like a normal non-freaked out cat. Rott laughed that it’s only been 3 months that he’s been hiding while his brothers were all okay within a week.

You might wonder what had poor Tux so freaked out. Well, meet his nemesis.

Yep. The ceiling fan. He was completely freaked by it. His brothers all looked at him like he was insane and I’m pretty sure he was for those three weeks. I’m still not convinced he’s a bit on the crazy side. I mean, c’mon. He hid inside a recliner for a month and wouldn’t come out. He’s lucky he isn’t dead.

But he’s out now and doing much better so hopefully, he gets his manners back or relearns them because he’s conveniently forgotten how to use the box every time he needs to go. I know he uses it sometimes but I’m not sure why he doesn’t use it ALL the time. He’s grossing me out and making me angry so his manners need some serious work at the moment. But, as Rott says, at least he didn’t die in that chair.

It’s a busy Monday ahead for me so now that I’ve told you about Tux’s acclimatization, it’s time for a Marcus.

I know he may not spin everyone’s wheels but he sure spins mine. Yum. Yum.

Hey, if you’re local to me, check out the OC Register for an ad from my work about a photo contest we’re having. You could win a $250 Amex card. That’s a lotta moolah! Hope you all have a great Monday!

Go Shopping

I spent Sunday redoing my Cafepress store. I haven’t done anything about the template, but I have added products including a whole Lex Valentine section. This was one of the main thrusts of the store for me. I have people ask me about my cover art all the time. Now, they can go buy themselves a poster of my latest covers. Well, the covers I created anyway. Eventually, I think it would be cool to sell posters of all the covers I’ve done even the ones for other authors. I like the idea of cross promotion in this manner.

The store still has the Socially Dead stuff and a couple of the original Sunlight Sucks shirts and best of all the Sex Toy and Queen of Snark shirts are back!  I love the Queen of Snark graphic. One of my all time favorite creations. And just so you know, I don’t mark up my items like other people do. The biggest markup is a whopping $1.01. Others are fifty one cents and some don’t even have a mark up! *gasp*

I’m not out to make a bunch of money. Just want to keep the shop up and running so that my dream of cross promotion can come to fruition. Like Amazon, I need to spend time slapping tags on things, but as usual, time is my enemy. It’s elusive. I never have enough of it. Eventually, I’ll get it done though because I do want this store to swim not sink. So do me a favor…go shopping! The new store is called Winterheart Design.

The other thing I did this weekend besides spend time with Nikki on Saturday, is finalize the cover for my next print book, Tales of the Darkworld Volume Two. The last two Tales books were just a little short of the word count needed to go to print. So my publisher will combine the two novellas into one print book just as she did with the first two Tales books.

Volume Two features Sunstroked and Breathe Me In. Trying to create a cover for it at first was tough. I wanted a lodge to represent Gargoyle Lodge but every image I found of a lodge that looked like it could be Gargoyle had snow in it. Since Gargoyle Lodge is in California, in the spring, summer and fall there’s no snow. So the photos didn’t work. I ended up with part of the Breathe Me In cover including a very hot photo of cover model Brooks Johnson. The photo is similar to the one in Breathe Me In but not the same. Then I used the Eiffel Tower image. To represent Sunstroked, I found a different image of the man on that cover, but instead of using the tribal wolf I used a wolf photo with piercing eyes. I think the cover is really striking while still representing the original covers of those two books.

Now it’s Monday and it’s back to work. I love my job but man, it’s been demanding lately. Actually, it’s demands seem to have been growing. My phone never stops ringing. When it does, there’s someone at my desk or important email. There’s deadlines every week, meetings, and stuff that comes up out of the blue. I juggle a lot of oranges there. Actually, I juggle apples and oranges and so much of it requires immediate attention. I multi-task well but now everyone knows that so they keep throwing things at me all day long and expect me to just deal. There are days I’m just spread too thin to deal unfortunately even when I work OT.  It’s a good thing I’ve learned to apologize.

So before I head off to the office, here’s my Marcus for this Monday. I need this bit of beauty and sexiness to keep my motor revved when I’m so tired from work. 😉

Geez, he’s gorgeous. On that note, don’t forget to check out the Winterheart Design Cafepress store and don’t forget that I’m at Castles and Guns this coming Sunday. I’ll also have another Six Sentence Sunday on the Lex Valentine blog on Sunday. I’m giving readers another bite of Breath of Heaven one of my Christmas stories for this year.

Have a fantastic Monday!



This Independence Day I’ve come to understand the real meaning of being independent. Rott and I are out from beneath the yoke of being renters. This house is our house and no one can tell us what do with our house or demand entrance. The sense of freedom is amazing. As much as I struggle a bit to pay that loan payment, I derive a huge sense of satisfaction from writing that check and knowing that it pays for the walls around me to belong to me…to us. This is our sanctuary and no one controls what we can and can’t do here. It feels amazing.

Having a landlord feels and is oppressive. We’ve lifted that yoke from our shoulders. When I step out onto my porch with my morning cup of coffee and look at the canyon, I know that the land I’m looking at doesn’t belong to me. Yet, it does in the sense that it is MY view from MY porch. And looking out my windows and not seeing another building which is part of a row of identical buildings is so wonderful it brings tears to my eyes.

I grew up on a street with ranch style houses. Across the street were the pastures of a dairy farm. I lived on that street until I was 26 years old. Being thrust into the apartment and condo environment stifled me and I’ve been living the oppressed renter life way too long. The canyon I drive through now to get home reminds me of the canyons of Laguna Seca near my hometown. It’s like I’ve come full circle without having to go back to my hometown.  What it means to me is something I cannot even put into words, but it is without a doubt, independence.

Another instance of independence in my life is Nikki (aka Motley) who is now 22. She made plans for her 3 week summer break. Plans that didn’t include coming home. Instead, she went to Wisconsin to see a friend from WoW. She made the arrangements with him and his family and didn’t ask me for a dime. She flew there on her own. All I did was drive her to the airport.

Missing her these past 2 weeks has made me aware of her independence and what that means to me as a parent.  Nikki being on her own means that I am alone. Yes, Rott is here and the babies, but that’s different. Nikki is my flesh and blood. The only flesh and blood I am close to. I am not close to my siblings and their children for several reasons and I cannot rely on them to give me a sense of family. However, I do rely on Nikki for that. She is my only child and recognizing her independence means recognizing that one day she could move far away from me. That’s scary. Very, very scary.

I would never ask my child to stay close by because I am afraid to be alone. But the fear is there nonetheless. As independent as I am, I still fear being alone. There are moments I love solitude, but the sense that I am alone in this corner of the world without my only flesh and blood strikes at some deep fears within myself.

I don’t question my independence because of those fears. In some odd way, the fears strengthen my independence. Normally, I don’t think about it except once in awhile. But today is Independence Day so I thought the least I could do is acknowledge my own independence and that of my daughter. I’m so proud of her.  She’s sticking to her guns and working to finish school so she doesn’t have to struggle as I have. Her independence comes from me in many ways and I like to think I’ve not done such a bad job of parenting.

So all you parents of adult children out there, when you’re celebrating Independence Day today, also give yourself a pat on the back for creating and nurturing independence in your kids.  It’s a tough job and part of it is learning to let go and embrace your own sense of being independent.

Before I go, here’s a Marcus to brighten the day for you!

Loving those summer whites! Wishing you all a wonderful American 4th of July Independence Day!

I Am Mom

I spent a good portion of the past weekend putting the finishing touches on my friend David’s new WordPress blog BellaDaddy. David is a Daddy blogger and I think I was more exposed to mommy and daddy bloggers this weekend than I’ve been in the whole 3+ years that I’ve been blogging. As I copied feed links and worked on widgets and badges, it dawned on me that these people are passionate about their children and their lives as parents. And they started to make me feel that I’d missed out on something.

Now, it’s pretty obvious to most people that I just don’t have the personality of a mommy blogger. Still, as I looked at those blogs, I almost wished I were. Not that I could be because my kid is 22 not 2. Whoever heard of a mommy blogger who posts about grown children?

As I finished the site, I realized that even though I could never be a mommy blogger for so many reasons, I am still a mom. I brag about my kid when she does something great. I worry about her when she’s far away as she is right now. I get angry when she does dumb stuff. And I just love her so much that I want everything to go right in her world.

Currently, she’s in Wisconsin enjoying her summer break of three weeks with a friend. If you go to my Facebook page and click on her page (she’s listed in the sidebar as my daughter) you’ll see some amazing photos of a waterfall that she took today. She looks like she’s having a great time despite her inauspicious start of having her second flight canceled due to bad weather, leaving her stranded in the Minneapolis airport.

So I’m not a mommy blogger. Meh. I am Mom and no one can take that away from me regardless of whether I post cute kid photos on my blog or not!

After all these weeks away due to moving and having my desktop computer die, I seriously need a Marcus to cheer me up. I’m missing my kid and finding it hard to regain my sea legs after so much time away. I missed you all, missed posting, missed Marcus…

But I love those bulging muscles! Heh. Boy, am I glad to be back!

Have a great Monday!

For the Puppy Monster

I’m back from moving into my new house and killing off my desktop computer. The new computer is amazing and I didn’t lose any files so all’s well that ends well there.

I’m blogging today instead of Monday for a reason. Today is an anniversary for a blogger friend, but it’s an anniversary no parent should ever have. Please, hug your children today. Mine is flying off to Wisconsin for her school break and believe me, I’ll be giving her extra hugs. And this summer, if your kids are around any bodies of water, please be extra safe and extra vigilant. My heart goes out to those parents who have lost a child and today, it bleeds for Dave, New York City Watch Dog, who lost his puppy monster four years ago.


Sending many hugs to NYCWD today,