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I write novels, eat dark chocolate, raise three children, love my husband, scrub toilets, ignore the laundry, and love a good story, but hardly ever in that order.



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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mutual of Omaha

Remember Chuckles?

Well, he has a cousin.

Don't be impressed with the cute, imploring look. Here's a side view that betrays his RAT origins:

Seriously, people. I am NOT running a wildlife refuge here. A possum! (I believe the correct term is "opossum," but does anyone actually say that? Maybe British people?) It comes and goes at will, during the day, from its cozy home under our deck. First, aren't they supposed to be nocturnal? And second, does anyone have a trap? Or a gun? (Sorry, Aunt Rachel, our family's Defender of Animals.)

Thea watched me prance around, moaning and saying things like, "Eeeewww! Gross!" She now calls our vermin "Da Poss," as in, "Mom, Da Poss is cweepy."

I couldn't agree more.

The Animal Control people (an interesting lot) assured me I would rather have a possum than a raccoon or a woodchuck. Um, is this a multiple choice test? If so, I choose BUNNY. Or KITTY. Or LADYBUG. They also said I could sprinkle fox urine around the perimeter of the deck. Mmmm. That will smell awesome just as spring breaks! Tulips and fox urine! My favorite springtime aromas!

What do I do, dear readers? Do I wait and hope Da Poss heads to greener decks when the weather warms? Do I trap it (eeewwww)? Do we scare it off with loud singing and harmonica playing?

The Animal Control man said these creatures will play dead ("play possum," he said with a weighted pause) for hours. HOURS. But just to remind you, Da Poss is very much alive. Here's an action shot to prove it.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Holy catfish, do we get excited about a new book! When I say "we" in reference to my nuclear family, I mean Marc and I. The kids are completely over the entire publishing business and would prefer that we watch a movie. Mitch said to me today, "Mom, that Operation Bonnet book has been out FOREVER." Well, one week. But close enough.

The grand book launch was so much fun, I'm still sleeping it off. We were hoping for a good crowd, but honestly, I was cautious in my optimism. Iowa winters can weary a person and the high Monday was somewhere near Depressing and Deathly with a Side of Frostbite. Instead of duct taping themselves to space heaters, however, my dear, beloved, loyal readers came out in full force and we filled the room! I heard the final count was 150, which is insane for a literary event. Thank you, thank you, thank you for coming out to support me. I could cry the Cat Cry right now, if I thought about it too much.

One of the sweetest moments for me was when my grandma came through the line for a signed copy. She waited in line to the very last, and she's a sassy 88 years old. She purchased the final copy, which is dear, since blood relation are entitled to complimentary literature.

I have a horrible feeling I'll be nothing but cuss words and age spots when I'm 88, but my grandma radiates joy, love for Jesus, and a readiness to bungy jump. I adore her and am so grateful she made the long trip from Oklahoma to celebrate with us.

I got my very first manicure. Go red or go home.

And then there were the cupcakes.

My friend, Catherine Drummond, is the Cupcake Queen and she brought along amazing desserts for all. I did hear happy, audible sighing from her corner of the room. Many have asked, so here is her contact info: thecakegirl2010@gmail.com. Della Dulce Bakery also has a Facebook page. You'll probably want to contact them and order a dozen cupcakes today. Thanks again, dear Cat and Leah, the Della Dulce team.

Thanks for a great night, everybody. Can I call you again next time?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Release Day

Operation Bonnet releases today.

I'm very excited, pretty tired, but mostly grateful. Who gets to have this job?! I make up pretend people and then write about them and you all read them and say kind things to me.

I am typically a chatty person. Ahem. But today I'm nearly speechless. Not totally speechless, for who, then, would boss around all these people in my house? But from my spot in my favorite chair, I'm watching the snow fall and the wind blow and I feel gratitude. I'm reminded of King David when he was getting ready to build the temple. He blessed God in full view of the entire congregation (curious, since God functions quite fine without our blessing Him, and yet He seems to love His people loving Him back).

This is what David says: "But me---who am I, and who are my peeps (paraphrase), that we should presume to be giving something to you? Everything comes from you; all we're doing is giving back what we've been given from your generous hand."

Exactly. So take my paltry words, God. Do what You want, please, and make my heart malleable in Your hands.

Thanks for giving me such a great job.


p.s. In case I don't stop by here again beforehand, please stop by the Launch Par-Tay at the downtown Des Moines Central Library, Monday evening, February 7, from 6:30 to 8ish. There will be cupcakes and fantabulous coffee from Natural Thirst. We will laugh. This will NOT, I repeat, NOT be a stuffy literary event. I mean, you should probably leave your dog collar and house music at home, but we will still have a good time. Hope to see you there.