Monday, April 27, 2009

But do you love the ocean THIS much?

Eternal Cruises is offering you a chance to ride the "voyage to infinity". Perhaps you love the ocean soooo much that you wish you could ride the waves forever. You've thought about having your ashes sprinkled in the Atlantic but there's so much pollution and you'd really rather not ride along with empty water bottles and fish poop. Well, now you can book a cruise with Eternal Cruises. Once you're dead of course.

Your ashes will be placed in a lovingly appointed container and for a one-time fee of $50,000 that container will ride on ships destined to visit various exotic ports around the world. And you won't be alone. You'll visit the ports with nearly a 100,000 other ash bundles.

You may not have had the opportunity to travel much while you were alive but isn't it nice to know your ashes could see the world once you're gone?

This is just one of those little gems I stumbled across while researching death and cremation for a scene I'm writing. Have you heard of any unique locations for the ashes of the dearly departed?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Do You Chew?

You may have heard that gum chewing is the new coffee. That is to say that chewing a piece of gum supposedly makes you more alert. At least that's what the scientists at the Wrigley Science Institute would like you to believe.

Yesterday I performed my own little experiment. I was out of coffee and had no time to stop for a Starbucks but I did have a pack of gum. I crammed a couple pieces in my mouth to help boost my energy during my late afternoon case of the doldrums. My own experiment proved that, yes, chewing/smacking/snapping gum helped keep me alert but only for the time I spent chewing it. After fifteen minutes I was bored of the gum and the minute it was gone I felt tired again.

Conclusion: Two pieces of Extra Gum did not boost my energy as much as my usual triple-tall-no-fat latte.

Are you a chewer? If you are, do you find it gives you a boost?

Monday, April 20, 2009

How Gross is too Gross?

I enjoy a good gross-out. That doesn't mean that every book I read has graphic autopsy scenes or horrific detailed murders but, yes, some do. In addition to the thrillers, mysteries and crime novels I read, I also enjoy a lot of feel good romances.

Sometimes when I write I need someone to point out that I've gone too far. That the scene I've written is perhaps a little too stomach turning for my particular readership. Sure I don't mind the odd ewwwww comment but I don't want readers turning my books away because they're too grossed out. My editor pointed out a scene in Devil May Ride where I needed to scale things back a bit. It didn't change the story so I was fine with it.

I don't often get that shuddering ewwww feeling when I read. Maybe I have a high tolerance for ewwwww. I remember reading Shadow Man by Cody McFadyen and having a major ewwwww moment. It didn't stop me from reading the book. It was a great story and the scene played an important part in the telling of the tale. However, it did make me shudder with revulsion while simultaneously wanting to read more.

How about you? Have you read any books that you had to put down because you were grossed out? Or do you have a high ewwwww tolerance?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hurray for Copy Editors!

As I wade through copy edits of Ghost Dusters Three, DEAD AND KICKING, I am just pleased as punch that I have such a wonderful copy editor to catch all my errors.

Without Becky Vinter my stories would baffle even the most forgiving reader. I'm only half way through the edits and already notice that Becky has saved my poor heroine from much unintended silliness.

For example, without Becky's keen eye Sadie would've been ...
"Standing" on the sofa across from Zack while they talked, instead of just sitting. Um. Sadie is so NOT Tom Cruise...

Becky also prevented Sadie from being called Money Pie instead of Honey Pie. This one cracked me up for ten minutes! I can just imagine some reader going through the story and being stumped by a "money pie" comment and thinking, "What the hell?!"

You might be thinking, "hey don't you read your stuff before you send it to your editor?" Of course I do. I swear. I even read it multiple times! So how the heck does this stuff (and a million other errors) slip through? Well, because I'm not perfect LOL! Of course both my editor and copy editor ARE perfect so I don't need to be :)

Today it's a gorgeous sunny day here. How are things where you are? Are you jumping on the couch with joy?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Hunt and the Hunted

Our normal routine regarding Easter Egg hunting involves a trail of little chocolate eggs from the kids' rooms all over the house. This year because of our little puppy, Bella, we couldn't have chocolate all over the floor so the Easter bunny got creative and the chocolate was higher up. There were even pulleys involved he he.

I thought the kids might be getting too old for this annual hunt for sugar but even my 19 year old nephew (visiting from Winnipeg) was fine with the search. After giving up treats for lent, my kids would probably be willing to scale mountains for the stuff! Admittedly, so was I.

How about you? Do you eat your weight in chocolate in celebration of Easter / Spring?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


I've been a member of the Big Sisters organization for 20 years. My "little sister" is now 28 with a couple kids of her own. Yesterday there was a spring luncheon for Big Sisters and Sam (my little sis) and I were asked to attend. I had no idea that Sam was giving a speech dedicated to me and the positive influence I've had on her life. I was extremely shocked as well as touched.

There were other speakers and the message was clear. We can impact people even in little ways so we should try and make those teachable moments count.

Have you ever had a mentor? Is there someone in your life who is there for you even through the tough times? Or are you the one who is taking others by the hand?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Body Parts

It's not what you think.
I'm not talking about this kind of body part -->

I'm actually talking more about these kind of parts.
The every day parts that we all have. The ones that start showing a little wear and tear after a few decades on this planet.

While my sis was in town our conversations inevitably seemed to end up circling around our bodies and their inevitable demise. We talked about the ways we're trying to turn back that old clock. My sister is big on yoga but I'm not convinced that twisting my body will do more than just cause my joints to ache more LOL. Good ol' sis did tell me that she's been using Olay Illuminating Eye Treatment for those dark circles under her eyes and she claims it works. Yesterday, before sis got on the plane, we went to the store and I emptied my wallet for a small bottle of the stuff. Tried it last night but the circles under my eyes are still there. I've been told it'll take some time so I'll report back on this later.

With things like the Top 10 Lip List sometimes I think we focus a little too much on our body parts. I mean, c'mon if they serve the function for which they were made (your eyes see ... your hands grip) then why are we soooo determined to fight to turn back the signs that our body has been doing what it was intended to do?

Not everyone is fighting the aging fight. Stevie Nicks says she thinks botox makes everyone look like Satan's children so she's given up on that lol. Maybe she has a point. Maybe we need to fight the aging battle a little less so we don't end up looking like we're unable to move our faces into any true emotion.

For now, I'm going to try this new eye cream to see if I can eliminate looking terminally tired. How about you? Are you fighting the hands of time or are you too young and beautiful to care?