Sunday, April 27, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Hi! Little Miss Bella Wigglebottom here. Also known as "The Skitten." Why? Because I'm a skittish kitten. (I know. But the humans think they're clever so let's just go along with it, shall we?) Since yesterday was Mr. A's birthday, Mrs. A is allowing me to fill in for her on the Thursday 13. I thought I'd show you why a Skitten is an invaluable member of the Ardito household. Maybe you'll consider getting one of your own!
4. I help Mrs. A find those pesky items that go missing on her desk: paper clips, pens, staples, etc. Occasionally, I'll knock an earring to the floor and then it's playtime for me as I bat it everywhere.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
1. Nora Roberts: No one walks away from her without a smile. She, truly, is the Queen of our business. Open, honest, often blunt, but never mean-spirited.
2. Bertrice Small: If Nora's the queen, Bertrice is Empress. Even before I was fortunate enough to call her "friend" I was a recipient of her encouragement, her enthusiasm, and her warmth.
3. Allison Brennan: Still a fairly new writer, Allison has shown support, knowledge, and grace to anyone lucky enough to spend an hour or two with her.
4. Shirley Jump: Another lady who is constantly cheerful, encouraging, and eager to help others.
5. Sylvia Day: Savvy, fun, and all-around terrific lady who shares her knowledge and sense of humor with anyone who asks.
So...let's hear it for the romance ladies who embody all that is good about our business! Feel free to add your own personal heroines (but not to promote a book for a friend or CP, please!) Share your experiences with me. Who's made a major impact (positively) on your writing life?
Thursday, April 17, 2008
1. Pets--Why can't I deduct Kismet, Miss Savannah, and Little Miss Bella Wigglebottom as dependents? They cost a fortune to feed and care for. The dog graduated obedience school, which makes her a student. The cats were adopted from a homeless shelter. And they're all members of the family, too! So why not give me a little bit off my income for having a heart? And along those lines...
2. Vet bills--If I have to take my dog for physical therapy three times a week, why can't I deduct that as a viable medical expense? Do you have any idea how much money I've spent on my dog's torn ACL? Especially with gas creeping close to 4 bucks a gallon? And while we're still on the subject of dependents, how 'bout...
3. My kids' friends--You know that house in the neighborhood all the teenagers flock to 'cuz it's full of "good crap to eat"? Yeah, well, it's my house. The same day I go food shopping they invade like Huns, tearing through my cupboards in search of Oreos, Jif, and ooh, look! The last box of Girl Scout Thin Mints! Note to my kids' friends' parents: So what if it has a high fat content? Buy a box of Twinkies, for God's sake! Cut my grocery bill in half.
4. Coffee--I don't know about you, but my coffee's as vital as blood plasma to my daily life. Without my coffee, I can't get out of bed. If I don't get out of bed, I don't go to work. If I don't go to work, I don't make a salary and therefore the U.S. government doesn't get to take a sizable portion of that income in taxes. So letting me write off my caffeine addiction is an economically sound plan, in my humble opinion.
5. Razzaritas (Raspberry Margaritas)--Used for medicinal purposes. 'Nuff said.
6. My daughter's hair fees--Call it a scientific experiment, but that girl of mine has a different hair color, length, and style every few weeks. The most recent experience, she went blond. Too blond. So now we have to take her back to the salon to have a brown added so she doesn't so closely resemble Storm from the X-Men.
7. Kids' sports equipment--Baseball, lacrosse, football, basketball. Every sport requires different sneakers, different mouthpieces, different helmets. I'm going broke at Sports Authority whenever the seasons change. Since I'm hoping the boy will get a sports scholarship to help pay for college, this should fall under the guidelines of an investment portfolio and should only be taxable if it pays a dividend (i.e., if he actually gets drafted by the Carolina Panthers like he dreams).
8. I-tunes--Since I use my music for inspiration to write, this should be considered a legitimate business expense. And hell, yes, I can prove listening to The Archies sing Sugar, Sugar gets my creative juices flowing.
9. Jujyfruits--Yes, they're horrible for my teeth. But they also keep me from killing the dh when he starts getting on my nerves. (I buy a big box every Friday to survive the weekend.) So they're really a crime deterrent.
10. AA batteries--Let's just call it "research" and move on, shall we?
11. Gifts for weddings, communions, birthdays, etc.--We all get invited to those shindigs for people we barely know or can't stand. Shouldn't the gifts we're forced to bring to those occasions fall under the category of "charitable donations"? And while we're on the subject, how about those...
12. School fundraisers--Who in their right mind spends twelve bucks on ten feet of wrapping paper? No one. Except when your son or daughter comes home with the big envelope (generally sometime during the second week of school). After the wrapping paper, it's some kind of bakery item, or food product, or restaurant coupons. You know you wouldn't buy any of this crap if a stranger tried to sell it to you. But we pry open the checkbook because our kids want a two dollar pen with a fuzzy head that lights up when you write with it. Now, that's charity!
13. Anything I have to buy because it's the law--kids' bike helmets, baby car seats, car insurance, etc. If the government insists I have to have it "for protection", why not cut me some slack on the cost?
How about you? What would you like to write off?
Sunday, April 13, 2008
1. You're feeling: relaxed, but anxious.
2. To your left: The big screen TV (currently playing Little Miss Sunshine), a hallway, and an exercise ball dh uses for PT.
3. On your mind: Promo ideas for the release of A Little Slice of Heaven--JUNE 27, kids! And squeezing in time to work on revisions to my historical, Kismet's Revenge.
4. Last meal included: Coffee, Multi-Grain Cheerios with skim milk and half a banana.
5. You sometimes find it hard to: keep my big mouth shut. Hence, I have a tendency to volunteer too often and to get involved in heated debates.
6. The weather: Sunny, a little breeze. 60's right now.
7. Something you have a collection of: Books (naturally!) No matter how often I weed through them and donate boxes worth to my local hospital or charity, they still overflow my bookshelves and spill into shelves in the garage.
8. A smell that cheers you up: Anything in the oven. Apple pie, brownies, pumpkin, even a roasting chicken.
9. A smell that can ruin your mood: Burnt coffee. (Oh, the humanity!)
10. How long since you last shaved?: Last night.
11. The current state of your hair: It's 9 am on a Sunday. I'm still in my jammies. So the hair is what you'd call, "rumpled bedhead."
12. The largest item on your desk/workspace (not computer): A book called, "The Secret Universe of Names."
13. Your skill with chopsticks: Doesn't matter if it's the song or the utensils. I'm useless at both.
14. Which section do you head for first in a bookstore?: Generally, I have a book or two in mind when I go to the bookstore, so I head straight for that section. After that, if I'm not already there, you'll find me in Romance (natch!)
15. Something you're craving: Right now? A day with no one home so I can write, write, write with no interruptions!
16. Your general thoughts on the Presidential race: This is one time I think I'll keep my big mouth shut.
17. How many times have you been hospitalized this year: None. Please don't jinx me.
18. Favorite place to go for a quiet moment: Get in the car and drive! Doesn't matter if I wind up at a park or at Starbucks.
19. You've always secretly thought you'd be a good: teacher.
20. Something that freaks you out a little: Gory movies
21. Something you've eaten too much of lately: Pizza
22. You have never been to Paris (but want to go!)
23. You never want to allow my kids to lose faith in me.
24. The four people I'm tagging: For kicks, I'm going to tag the RWU blog for the week of April 27. Let all the fabulous members there post their responses. I hope you'll pop over and read them! Don't worry. I'll send a reminder.
Thanks, Kaige. Luv ya, cupcake!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
a. Setting up cones
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Writers know what that means: time to order bookmarks, set up signings and talks, and begin the big promotional push. For readers, it means free goodies (maybe even a contest or two) and reviewers will begin seeing copies of my book in their inboxes for their perusal.
Stay tuned for all the fun, kids.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
2. Undaunting support: Whether or not I'm around to hear them take my side, they always TAKE MY SIDE. They don't throw me under a bus or publicly humiliate me. Men, beware! Don't take complaints about your wife's quirks to us. We'll just toss back your own...ahem!...shortcomings for you to consider!
3. Understanding my serious moments: You know that old song, Laugh, Clown, Laugh? Yeah, well, even someone who finds humor in everything goes through gray days or experiences hurt feelings every once in a while. My friends never tell me I'm full of crap or I deserve to be slapped down. They offer hugs...and raspberry margaritas. Unlimited and unconditionally.