I believe it was Robert Burns who coined the saying about the best-laid plans of mice and men often going awry. John Steinbeck borrowed part of it for his “Of Mice and Men.”

Not that I’m trying to compare myself to these literary greats (yet), but I can definitely say that the best-laid plans for my vacation went way off track.

I had two whole weeks off work. I planned to shop for my GH awards ceremony dress, work on fixing my finalist MS so it’s ready for a judge request and do some plotting (and maybe even write new material) for Dave and Melinda’s story.

Only one of those things got done. I found a dress. That was it — I didn’t even get matching shoes or the proper undergarments. In two weeks of not having to go to the day job, the revising, plotting and writing just didn’t happen.

I spent a lot of quality time with the Boyfriend — and spent even more in the kitchen, whipping up delicious Atkins-approved meals. (I recommitted to a low-carb diet while on vacation.) On days the Boyfriend left to work or play tennis, I spent more time playing online than working.

I did actually sit down to rewrite once or twice, but didn’t spend long enough with the MS to get much accomplished.

As you can tell, I also ignored the blog. My last post was written on May 2. May 2? How am I going to build an audience if I only blog every two weeks?

I promise to start doing better, y’all — both with my writing AND the blogging. I want to write for a living … it shouldn’t be this hard.

Too bad it’s not this easy to win the lottery.

Wait a minute. Did I just say easy? I’d hardly call three shopping trips in search of the perfect awards ceremony dress easy.

On two separate Friday mornings, I hit six stores in Flagstaff. Unfortunately, I didn’t find much — one extremely expensive (and beautiful) gown.  Since I didn’t want to pay $300 for a gown I didn’t completely LOVE, I headed to Phoenix on Saturday.

Bigger city, more places to shop … and better prices, right?

Thank goodness that did, indeed, turn out to be the case. I visited three stores in Phoenix — a store in the mall and two bridal shops.

What is it about bridal shops? At the first one, all the dresses — even the supposedly huge ones — were too small. (The same thing happened on Friday at the bridal shop in Flagstaff. Dresses that, as size 3X, should have fit me … didn’t. I couldn’t even zip the darn things.)

I had better luck at David’s Bridal. I tried on several gorgeous dresses before deciding the one I liked best made my butt look big. It’s big enough already — it doesn’t need help from the dress.

In the end, I headed back to the mall and bought the very first dress I tried on Saturday morning. Keep in mind, this was after a day of driving all over Phoenix, looking for something I liked better. (At least I had a chauffeur. My roommate went with me, and her husband tagged along to go to Lumber Liquidators. He drove.)

GH gown. Obviously, I'll be wearing a different bra — and taking off the chunky black watch. And doing something with my hair.

This beauty was $165 — and I got a discount because some of the beads/sequins are loose and need to be tacked down. I was able to pay for a couple of pairs of shorts for this summer with the savings.

Even better, it matches my blog. I was looking for a purple or red dress in keeping with my blog banner. Success! 😉

The savings didn’t stop there, though. This same store was selling cocktail dresses buy one, get one for $1, so I spent $55 on two short dresses to wear during other conference events. I believe there’s some kind of party one night.

Looking at the photo, I see I need to start toning my arms, though. Shake Weight, here I come! 😉

April 29, 2011


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You read that correctly: I’m proud to be the guest blogger at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood today.

Once you’re done watching the romantic spectacle that is the Royal Wedding, visit me there to debate the qualities of a good hero.

April 16, 2011



I just read — and enjoyed — Christina Dodd’s blog post on her funniest mistakes. My personal favorite from her list:

In INTO THE SHADOW, my heroine stumbles onto the hero sitting in the Japanese garden. He jumps to his feet and says, “Is this your private place? Should I leave?” and she says, “No, it’s okay, my private place is big enough for the both of us.”

I can’t think of any doozies like that in my own writing. Perhaps that’s why I haven’t sold yet — I haven’t caught those big, hilarious mistakes. Maybe there are agents out there, reading something I wrote and laughing their @s$es off.

That’s a little sad, actually, because I get paid — not the big bucks, but a few bucks — to catch errors like that before they make it to print. Yep. You heard correctly: As a copy editor, I get paid to have a dirty mind.

It started in college. When we were putting together our “welcome back” issue of the Crescent, I remember much debate on correct wording for a headline on the new “No Parking” signs on campus.

It was 16 or more years ago, so I don’t recall exactly what we said, but discussion amongst us editors went something like this:

“You can’t say ‘erected.’ That’s dirty.”

“Well, ‘Mounted’ is out, too.”

Eventually, we settled on “posted.” But not before cracking many jokes about erecting and mounting various items. I believe that was the same issue for which our photographer snapped a picture of someone on the groundskeeping crew holding a hose in what appeared to be a compromising position.

Newsrooms actually provide great fodder for the dirty-minded. I’ll never forget a headline that ran in my old paper’s sports section: “Bigger balls don’t slow pros.” (The story had something to do with tennis players. I don’t know if the sports editor thought he was being clever or he just didn’t notice. Back then, I was just a reporter, and not privy to the ins and outs of headline writing.)

A few other funny headlines, intentional or not:

  • I remember thinking ‘Oh my God, it’s huge’ (on a story commemorating the anniversary of a giant tornado)
  • Lady Jacks off to good start (a college newspaper on their women’s basketball team, I believe. That one made Jay Leno’s show, if I remember right.)

If you’re on Facebook, check out “Overheard in the Newsroom.” There are some doozies sure to make you laugh.

Now it’s time to cough it up: Have you ever stumbled on a hilarious headline? Or a funny mistake in your own manuscript?