Monday, June 19, 2006

Oops! I did it again...

It's an eternal joke among my family that I murder household appliances at an alarming rate. In twenty years of marriage, I've owned (and subsequently killed) six vacuum cleaners, ten coffeemakers, and too many blenders to count. In fact, the joke continues, with my penchant for frozen drinks poolside, I average one senseless-blender-killing by the end of summer every year.

Last year, I managed to get thru Labor Day with my handy Osterizer still intact and felt pretty smug about it. That is, until yesterday. See, the in-laws, Mom and Dad, (you can read more about them here) were over for Father's Day and with 90+ degree temps, it was a perfect occasion for a few Pina Coladas. The first pitcher was so successful, the kids began to ask for their own frozen drinks. So I decided to whip up a few non-alcoholic banana daiquiris for the under-21 crowd.

That's when I heard it: the unmistakable grinding of a blender motor gasping its last. I managed to churn out their daiquiris and even pushed through another pitcher of rum-laced Pinas, but by then, smoke was wafting from the motor and the entire apparatus shook as if it had the DT's.

Well accustomed to the sound and smell, my husband simply shook his head and said, "Killed another one, huh?"

But that's not where the story ends. This morning, I went into the kitchen to set up Mr. Coffee and watched in horror as that elixir of life poured not into the glass carafe, but onto my counter and floor. Oh, the humanity!

Guess I'll be heading to my local store for newer, more exciting models of my late companions. Life goes on...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Cheers, m'dears!

Here's to another fantabulous LIRW Luncheon! I have to admit to feeling a great deal of pride at being involved in such a wonderful event. The guests were genial and filled with compliments for our hospitality, our laughter, and our camaraderie. The LIRW, while a small chapter, is a great one and filled with people I consider more than friends: they're my sisters! This year, we hosted agents and editors from a lot of varied houses. Many were return guests, several were new to our event. All promised to return next year. Mimosas flowed, business cards were exchanged, lots of new contacts were made. We even raffled off several gift baskets, filled with various goodies donated by some of our published authors.

This year's luncheon was a little bittersweet for me. Since I close out my second term as LIRW President and I already served as Luncheon Chairperson a few years ago, yesterday was my last time at the podium. Although--co-committee member Michele Lang mentioned the LIRW should consider making me the official Mistress of Ceremonies for the event. "You put everyone at ease immediately," she said. "And the editors and agents realize that when we say this is a 'relaxed' event, we mean it." Hmmm...I will admit the idea does hold some appeal to me. I actually have fun with the public speaking part. Go know. The shy girl from Copiague High School has an inner love of the spotlight and speaking to crowds.

But the saner side of me realizes that such an idea, while fun to consider, is unfair to those LIRW members who will come after me as President and/or Luncheon Chairperson. It is their turn in the spotlight and, as nervous as the idea might make them, they will benefit from the experience when they're asked to speak at other functions.

Which reminds me that I have my first "library talk" coming up soon. But more about that at a later date. If you saw me at the luncheon, thanks so much for coming! I hope you had as much fun as I did. If not, why not consider attending next year's? You won't be sorry.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Been Out of Touch Lately

With the LIRW's Annual Agent/Editor Luncheon just 5 days away now, I'm busier than a sorority chaperone on "Meet Brad Pitt night." My speech has been written (and rewritten and rewritten...), gift baskets for our raffle are filling up the shelves in my garage, I finally found shoes to go with my dress last night, and my mother in law has graciously agreed to come with me to man the fundraising table. (Thanks, Mom!)

Left to do: pick up favors, set up seating chart for the agents and editors in attendance, choose linen colors and make final installment payment to the Hilton.

I'm grateful that the Luncheon Committee works so well together year after year. Even with the speed bumps that pop up routinely (no matter how hard we try to avoid them) these ladies manage to make this event a success year after year. This year will be our most successful ever, with a bevy of editors and agents in attendance. If you're going to be with us, stop by and say hello.

On that very same day, my daughter will graduate junior high. So Mom and I will be running from her ceremony to the luncheon with nary a minute to spare. I'd better have my Wheaties for breakfast that day. Once June 9 is over, life may settle down to semi-normal until mid-July when I start getting ready for National.

Writing wise, I've been working on a new rom-com. It's fun and sassy, with characters I love discovering as I get deeper into the manuscript. Tentatively titled, "Straight From the Heart," this story features Hayley Jeffords, the secondary character in "A Little Slice of Heaven." Stay tuned: I might give you a sneak peek at Hayley's adventures in a later post.