Monthly Archives: July 2012

Too many choices: A quandary of Olympic proportions

I love the Olympics.  All together in one place for two marvelous weeks are my favorite sports–basketball, gymnastics, swimming, diving, track—as well as some I’ve never heard of and never foresaw that I’d watch.   For example,  I’ve watched the finals of women’s ten-meter air rifle.  The first gold medal of the games went to China.  I also watched table tennis because the US had a sixteen-year-old playing. 

The problem?  Because there’s so much on,  I have far too many decisions to make.   On Saturday morning, the first full day of coverage, the US women played basketball.  Fifteen minutes later, the coverage of the US women’s soccer began.    I watched soccer because I can do other stuff when soccer’s on.  Sorry to offend any soccer fans, but they will show the soccer goals over and over whereas basketball goes really fast.

My husband says I would win the gold medal for TiVo-ing if there were one.  I’m saving every minute of every event scheduled.  Last week, to warm-up for the Olympics I erased 100 previously saved programs.  The disk is now  75% empty and only 34 programs are still saved.   They had to be great ones to survive the cut.  

Every morning and evening, I study the upcoming events and decide which ones to record and which not to.  George is unhappy with me because I didn’t save the beach volleyball with Brazil playing.  I figure if he wants to watch gorgeous women in bikinis rolling in the sand, he can save that himself.

Do you watch the Olympics?  If so, what are your favorite events?  Do you record everything? 

Lies I tell myself

First, let me say that lying is not a good thing.  

Second, here’s a list of lies I tell myself:

1)            I’ve aged well and my eyelids don’t look a bit droopy.

2)            This new shirt completely disguises any physicals flaws. 

3)            No one can tell my hair is getting gray.  Those lighter strands  look like blond highlights.

  Okay, your turn.  What lies do you tell yourself?

The woman with two brains


I’m so pleased to have Alison Stone on my blog today.  She writes great romantic suspense.  To learn more about Alison, go to yesterday’s blog. Her bio is there as is a blurb for  her newest book.  So–take it away, please, Alison!

Thanks Jane for having me on your blog.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jane on Twitter. Yes, we live in a brave new world. If you had told me twenty-five years ago that I’d be chatting with people over the Internet, I’d say, “What’s the Internet?” If you told me in 1987, that in 2012 I’d be a published author, I would have tossed my freshman calculus book across a Georgia Tech dorm room and asked you what parallel universe you were living in.

I settled on engineering after I saw an advertisement in a magazine picturing a blue baby booty and a pink baby booty. The caption read (I’m paraphrasing here): which baby will grow up to be an engineer? Then it reported some dismal statistics on how women are far underrepresented in the field of engineer. An idea was born.

Soon, I was enrolled in Georgia Tech‘s engineering program. After I graduated, I worked for various industries—from pharmaceutical to aeronautical to automotive. I always enjoyed the people I worked with, but my heart was never in it. I could never get excited about fin damage on a condenser core. Yawn. So, it came as no surprise when I took a leave of absence after my second child was born. Thirteen years later, I’m a full time author.

Oh wait, back up a step. Soon after my eldest was born, I saw an ad in a magazine. (I never realized until now how many magazines I read back in the day!) The ad was for an institute that taught writing for children. I enrolled in the course. Although I never had any success writing for children, I did have success writing articles for local publications. I soon got up the nerve to try full-length fiction and I was hooked. After a long learning curve filled with craft books, workshops and critique partners, I finally got “the call.”

Writing for a living was not on my radar twenty-five years ago, but life’s unexpected turns are what make life exciting.  Has your life taken any interesting twists over the years?

* * * * * * *

Too Close to Home is Alison’s second romantic suspense with a sweet romance. It will be released August 7th.    What’s the story?   They say you can never go home. If you do, better watch your back.

Amazon Buy Link:

Barnes & Noble Buy Link:

All about Alison Stone

I met Alison Stone on Twitter.  I started tweeting to promote my Butternut Creek series.  I discovered there are many very nice people on Twitter and Alison Stone is one.  THEN I discovered not only is she nice and a terrific writer, she’s an engineer from Georgia Tech.  Oh, my gosh!   An engineer who writes = the woman with two brains.  I bought her first book, Random Acts.  After I read the exciting first chapter, I could’t put it down.

BIO: Alison Stone graduated with a degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech. After working in Corporate America for a number of years, she retired to raise her young family. Soon the writing bug bit. After years of conferences, critique groups and writing, Alison achieved her dream of becoming a published author. She claims it was easier to earn her engineering degree. Too Close to Home is her second novel. To learn more about Alison Stone please visit She’s also chatty on Twitter @Alison_Stone.

Too Close to Home, Alison’s second book will be out in two weeks, on Auguest 7th.    

The story:   Ten years ago, after her father’s gruesome death was ruled a suicide, Kathryn McNabb left her hometown, vowing never to return. And never to let anything—business or personal—break her heart.   

Now an overachieving manufacturing engineer, she thrives on order, control and solitude. But an unexpected inheritance makes her the co-owner of the company her father founded, forcing her to face the ghosts of her past. Including Benjamin Nowak, childhood friend, secret crush, and son of the man who ruined her father.

Benjamin hadn’t planned on returning home either, but with his own father’s death it falls to him to continue the family legacy. When he learns Kathryn plans to sell the plant out from under him, his quest takes on new urgency—Midport Industries is the main source of jobs in town.

Butting heads strike sparks of attraction that entangle business and pleasure into a hopeless knot. And someone is watching. Someone with a darker reason to prevent the deal from going through. Someone desperate enough to kill…

Amazon Buy Link:

Barnes & Noble Buy Link:

Kris Fletcher sold a book

Kris Fletcher and I have been friends from back when she was Chris Fletcher, adopting children from all over the world, and winning every contest for unpublished romance writers.  We were together on a great AOL board for RWA contests.   While we were there, Dorien Kelley sold, Cathy Mann sold, Missy Tippen sold, and I sold but Kris, who is so incredibly clever and talented didn’t.   She did find an agent who believed in her: Hurrah!   She wrote wonderful books that didn’t find homes UNTIL YESTERDAY!!!!   Second Chance Summer sold to Super!!!   I know this book as Never Trust a Man with His Hand in Your Bra.  Kris reminds me the title was Never Trust a Man with Your Bra in His Hand.  Whichever, it’s all good because we finally get to read Kris’ book!

And I’m so happy! Dancing like Charley Brown and Snoopy!

Kris had very few photos of herself around.  I could have chosen a picture of Miss Piggy to represent her (as she has on Facebook) or Queen Elizabeth II because Kris is Canadian.  Instead, I used a maple leaf.

East versus West by Diane Perrine Coon

I’m an Easterner.  Having lived East of the Mississippi my entire life, I am used to many broad rivers laced with hundreds of creeks, lanes that wind along old Indian trails, mountains that prefer ice precipices rather than broad snowfields, broad-leafed oaks and maples and elms that turn vibrant colors in the fall painting a scene against the deep green firs behind them, seacoasts pulling a north wind nipping in the air even in August,  lakes where the frigid cold layer hits the bottom of your feet in July, and houses that date back to 1680 and are so firmly built they will last another two hundred years. The riverbanks in the East are thick with lush vegetation and small wildlife, the fields swarm with game, and the lakes jump with fish unless some industry dumps its wastes into the streams.

However, I have traveled extensively in the West and I am always awestruck by the hugeness of the Western sky. I loved the majestic Rockies at Boulder, the sea otters and kelp at Monterey, the enchanted harbor and hills of San Francisco, the vastness of the Nevada desert, the great cactus gardens of Tucson, bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush of the Texas hill country, the amazing smell of freshness of Mount Shasta.

But of all the contrasts, it was at Bryce Canyon, in southern Utah, that taught me the most about East and West. Tucked high above the rock face of the canyon wall was a tiny tuft of grass serving as a bird’s nest. All around me was dryness and rock. A guide stated that water from the infrequent rainfalls seeped down through the rock taking hundreds of years to reach that little outpost of avian life form.   

Up in Wyoming they told us it took five acres to support the water and feed needs for one cow. 

With that statistic, I envisioned the broad Ohio River with its placid waters over twenty feet deep passing cornfields and hay fields and barns and houses and horses and cows, coons and possums, bear and deer and flooding over into nearby fields in the spring freshet.  

And now I’m worried. The last three winters in Kentucky were extremely warm. Spring in both 2011 and 2012 were unseasonably hot, and the early summer has posted temperatures over 100 degrees for two weeks, I have become very nervous that our water-filled East was becoming like the West. Of course we think we have hundreds of years before we become a desert. Right now it is just steamy. We need snowfall like those wonderful two-foot snows in Connecticut, we need those old March rains in Cincinnati when it was raining when you left for school in the morning, raining when you came home and pouring down rain on the roof all night. We need summer lightning storms that save the corn and soybeans from damaging heat. We need the deep, deep soft snows of Vermont and Maine that start in late November and go through to April. We need to replenish the earth around our enormous cities.

What are your thoughts?  Where do you live?  Do you prefer living in the East, West or in the middle?  Do you worry about the heat and drought of this summer?

Diane is my sister-in-law and a respected historian.   She’s an expert on  the undergound railroad in and around Kentucky and country stores in Kentucky.   She recently appeared as a historian on the Syfy Channel’s Haunted Collection.



A bunch of things I’ve learned about life from our pets

A bunch of  things I’ve learned about life from our pets

1.         From Paco, my blue parakeet:   Leaving the cage is risky but what’s life without risk? 

2.         From Goldie, my cockatiel, very crabby after laying fourteen eggs in a week:   Sometimes being a female sucks.

3.        From all our cats:   Sleeping twenty-three hours a day is an ability much to be admired.

4.         From my peach-faced lovebirds Bone Crusher and Scarface:  Separate cages are often better for a relationship.

5.         From Scooter the Wonder Cat:   When you’re really good looking, you can do anything you want.

6.         From Dream, the black cocker:   When someone is crying,  climb into her lap and lick her face. 

7.         From Dolly Gray, my husband’s cat and no one else’s:  I decide who gets to touch me

8.         From Bridgette, our Irish setter:  If you can reach it, you can eat it.  (I’ve since had to unlearn this.)

9.         From all my pets:  God has a wonderful sense of humor.  I know that  because  God created laughter and joy and cocker spaniels.

Why are these women so happy?

When I was looking for clip art of a woman cleaning a stove for my last blog, I discovered that, by and large, most of the photos which feature women cleaning show really happy smiling women doing a multitude of chores.  Cleaning a toilet has never made me as happy as the woman on the left.  In fact, I can’t think of a time when I beamed at the toilet brush.

Nor have I ever danced and sung with the mop.  

My thought is that I’m not doing housekeeping correctly.   I don’t smile while cleaning.  I have always considered it a chore, one to be approached only when one cannot get through the hallway or the odor threatens to asfixiate all inhabitants.   Although I don’t hate loading the dishwasher and hate washing clothes less than that, I cannot think of a single household chore I like–much less one that makes me smile or dance.  In fact, about the only way I get through them is by having the television on so I don’t have to notice I’m cleaning

Which brings me to this question:  what do you do to make housekeeping fun?   I mean, while sober.   

Thank you.