dry counties are from the devil

As most of my rabid fans loyal readers know, I flew to Pittsburgh, PA on Thursday. I was picked up and transported to Steubenville, OH so that I could drive a recently wrecked and repaired car home to Little Rock.

It’s a long drive, but one I did gladly. Mainly because it gave me loads of time to think and plot and it must’ve worked because I came home and wrote 17 pages yesterday. Yes I put the AWE in Awesome.

Where was I? Oh yes, driving. Endlessly, driving. I was determined to get to Louisville, but about 30 miles before I arrived at my destination, I hit a wall. (figuratively. I did not literally hit a wall. Promise.)

So I see an exit for Ballardsville, KY which is actually only about 15 miles from Louisville. It’s a decent little area with some nice hotels and grocery stores. I see a Wal-mart right across from a fairly new Holiday Inn Express. I am exhausted and I want nothing more than to have a beer and go to bed. I go to Wal-Mart first so I can buy myself a six-pack, only to find out I stopped in a dry county.

WTF? WHY do we still have dry counties today? Why? I am an adult. If I choose to have a beverage adult in nature that’s my choice, not yours. Out of respect for all travelers, they should just do away with dry counties and no Sunday Sales. Seriously. Or at least post a ‘dry county’ warning on each exit sign.

Get this…where I stopped was actually considered a “moist” county because you could buy beer at a restaurant. Again, this makes no sense to me. I can go out to eat, get liquored up and drive back to the house, but I can’t go to a store, buy a six-pack, and take it home to drink myself silly. Whatever.

The desire to have a beverage superseded my exhaustion. I hopped back into the Saturn, and headed toward Louisville. I decided to drive about 10 minutes on the other side of the city, so that I would miss morning traffic the next day. I found a town, stopped at a gas station, bought myself a 6 of Guinness, stayed in a comfortable Fairfield Inn…drove to Nashville and had lunch with one of my Romance Divas (Hi Lauren!) and made it home Friday night around 6:30. (I slept a little late on Friday morning.)

All in all, it was an easy, uneventful trip. But I’m glad to be home.

happy nose-pierce-iversary!

That’s right, 1 year ago today, I had my nose pierced.
And I can’t imagine my life without that little gem. Seriously, it’s like I’ve always had it.

So happy nose-pierce-iversary to me!

I got my navel pierced for my 35th birthday. My nose done to celebrate my first book sale…and this year’s milestone…a tattoo.

I was supposed to get my first one in SF this year at the RWA Conference with the same group of Divas who kidnapped me and took me to get my nose done last year. But that wasn’t meant to be. First of all, I had to cancel my trip. Too expensive under the circumstances. If my book was going to hit the shelves this year, I would’ve figured out a way to afford the trip, but it’s not, and there really is no reason for me to go. Secondly, Fishdog has designed my tattoo but it needs a little tweaking. The tattoo isn’t going to happen until the design is ready.

But it will happen sometime before March. It’s my turning 40 celebration.

Do you do anything special to celebrate your milestones?


Do you hear the echo on my blog? When I woke up this morning, I thought Hmmm, I should blog and when a tumbleweed rolled by, I realized it really was starting to look like a ghost town around here.

I’m trying (and obviously failing) to get into a blog routine again. I haven’t felt the mojo lately. I’m sure it’s because I’ve been blowing and going since before Thanksgiving. Moving is stressful enough, but to move during the holidays and while working on your first set of revisions? As my favorite Angry Beaver would say, That’s just NUTS!

Fishdog is in Oxford this week, so dudes, call him tonight if y’all wanna go out for a bevvy. He’d appreciate it. Especially since he came home to discover the heat had gone out. Oh yeah, nothing like trying to get cozy in a 53 degree empty house (well, there is a bed). Brrrr. Just add ‘fix heater’ to our long list of things to do. (Thanks, Dino for putting him up for the night!)

Christmas shopping is done except for the stocking stuffers. I have to mail out 4 gifts today…one of them is my Romance Diva Secret Santa gift. I hope the person I picked loves it! I’m also mailing my CPs their gifts and my niece in North Carolina hers.

We still don’t have a tree. Fishdog has been kinda Grinchy lately. Can you believe he actually suggested we CANCEL CHRISTMAS? hello!!! Are you kidding me? I’ve been living with my mother for 4 months. I deserve Christmas. And so do the boys. So, we’re getting a tree today. I don’t care if it’s a Charlie Brown tree…it’s still a tree. Fishdog says he’s bringing me my decorations from Oxford. I won’t over do the decorating–Christmas is only a week away. But I do want to hang the stockings and a wreath.

Okay, I’m hitting my revisions now. They’re due Friday and maybe a Christmas miracle will happen and I’ll get them finished! 🙂 It’ll be down to the wire, that’s for sure. What’s been going on with y’all? You done shopping? You started shopping? Wrapping? Did you overspend this year or is that just status quo?

more pics…

Okay, I’m off to my 20 year high school reunion tomorrow…so I leave you with more pics from last week’s conference.

Mel and Nic
Naughty Kate
Jax (Cassidy Kent) and Mel

Maria and Naughty Kate
Kristen Painter and Mel (Hmmm. that must’ve been a really good secret…)

My fabulous CPs. Louisa, Maria, and Mel

Some of the most Divalicous Divas ever!

My new BFF Kalen Hughes and Mel. (this chick is cool. buy her book: Lord Sin) Go on, do it now…I’ll wait.
Jen and Mel. We have no more secrets…
Maria and Michael HagueHauge
Maria’s his biggest fan; or at least she was…
Now I’m his biggest fan!

Good night everyone! Have a great weekend and I’ll see you Monday!

conference wrap up…

Nic and Maria

First of all, thanks so much to Jude over at Blogging National who did a fantastic job of posting blogs as they were being updated. You rock, girly!

As always, the conference was a big blur. The literacy signing seemed ultra crowded this year. The RWA Online party was low key but very fun. Lots of great food and emcee entertainment by Jenna “What’s your secret?” Mayson. Lots of fun with feather boas, badges and cowboy hats. And of course, the highlight of my night…meeting and chatting with Smart Bitch Sarah over a plate of guacamole (okay, my serving was more like a wheelbarrow of guac, but nobody was watching, right?) Unfortunately, I was not thinking and didn’t get photographic evidence of our meeting. But I promise it happened.

Friday was filled with a couple of dud workshops and a nap. Seriously, I felt a little old, but I couldn’t go on after 2:00. I guess it was left over exhaustion from Drag Queen Karaoke. So totally worth being exhausted over, though.

Then Saturday I went to the 2 greatest workshops ever. Michael Hague Hauge is a fantastic teacher. When you get your conference CDs listen to his workshops. You won’t be sorry.

The Golden Heart/Rita awards were fun. We got to get all dressed up and pretend to be girly-girls and root for our nominated friends. I’d like to give a major shout out to my pal Barb (Caridad Ferrer) who won the Rita for Best Contemporary Romance. You go, my friend! It’s a great book and the win is well deserved! (and to all you haters out there, shut it!)

Then after the awards, we met at the bar for our final round of liver training. We had quite a large crowd–a good mix of Romance Divas and RWA Onliners. While sitting there with my peeps, Louisa and Maria noticed that Michael Hague Hauge was sitting across the atrium all alone–just him and his cheesecake. They told me, nay, they DARED me to go ask him to join us. I’m not sure what they thought his reaction was going to be…but apparently Louisa thought it might end badly.


Never doubt the power of Mel and her feather boa.

Michael joined us and we were like putty in his hands as he talked about movies and actors and storytelling. Of course, he and Maria have TERRIBLE taste in movies aside from a few. But I forgave him that because he was so damn nice.

My feather boa paid off because he offered a ride to anyone who would be leaving for DFW in the morning at 10:45…so guess who got to ride in the Towncar with Michael Hague Hauge the next day?

That’s right! Moi!

Sooooo much better than the supershuttle.

I returned home to a house in need of packing. I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with having to work and trying to ready a house to go on the market this weekend. Sorry I’ve neglected my blogging duties. I’ll have more pics soon, just be patient.

Finally, I want to give one last shout out to our regular waiter Chris/Alejandra (long story). He did his best given the circumstances and I never once had any trouble getting him to wait on me. I’m guessing it wasn’t so much the cleavage as some like to believe, it was the fact that I took the time on Monday to learn his name, I tipped him well and with a smile every time he waited on me. For the record gang, Cleavage might get you preferential service the first time, but if you’re all tits and no smile or all tits and no tip, you’ll never get served again. Being friendly can get you anywhere. It also ensures that you are never lonely or without a beverage.

And Killer, I do plan on another round of “Who’s tits are these?” So try not to worry.

more, more, more…

First of all, I promise more cleavage in the future posts. Thanks to Fishdog and Killer for the requests.

Secondly, no the piercing really didn’t hurt. It was over Quick, Fast, and In-A-Hurry. Timmy the wonder Piercer said, “Close your eyes.” and I did. And then he poked me. I held my breath and my right eye watered, but honestly, it felt sharp, like when you have an under the skin zit that you just won’t let go. The guys at Taboo Tattoo were fantastic. They were friendly and gracious and now I have a little crush on Tim. I can see how people can get addicted to this. There is a definite rush. I felt the same after I had my navel done. But I didn’t find myself crushing on my navel guy. LOL

That’s my guy in the center. Timmy, we love you. You were great. By the way, I love my piercing. It looks like it has always been there and I had a couple of people comment yesterday that for some reason they thought I’d always had it. Awesome.
This is the group of Divas who kidnapped me and forced me to puncture my nose. What a great group of ladies!

Now on to the conference.

Last night was a blast. A group of us did more liver training in the bar. We had great service (well, it was mediocre service but great compared to what others were getting) our waiter Chris was way busy and trying so hard, but he did manage to pay us a lot of attention. I have a feeling it had a lot to do with the abundance of cleavage in our area…

Not mine….but still, great cleavage.

Of course, it might not be the cleavage, Chris could’ve just been coming by for the show:
okay, so I’m off to the gym. More pics and stories to come!