January 31, 2006

The White Lady

Filed under: Uncategorized — chapterhouse @ 10:59 am

I found out something interesting yesterday while I was having my manicure-pedicure. I’ve been going to this one salon for about a year now. The owners and employees are Vietnamese. They told me that they call me “The White Lady” because of my skin, because it’s “so white” (I’m fair-skinned.) They said that’s very desirable in their country.

If you Google “The White Lady,” you’ll run across the urban legends about her. You know, probably every state and/or city has one. In Dallas, it’s The White Lady of White Rock Lake. Here’s one from Utah.

Then there are various Castles of The White Lady. Here’s The White Lady’s Castle in the Czech Republic.

My favorite “White Lady” is, of course, Tolkien’s Galadriel.

I could not, however, find The White Lady of The Nail Salon. Probably just an oversight.


January 30, 2006

Happy Birthday To Me

Filed under: Uncategorized — chapterhouse @ 7:46 am

Come on in, grab a party hat, and help yourself to some birthday cake!

We have lots of carrot cakes (my favorite) and chocolate cakes (Tomcat’s favorite)
If you look around, I’m sure you’ll find the beverage of your choice, too.

Whoa – look at all the candles on that carrot cake! What a coincidence – somebody else must be having a birthday today, too … somebody who also loves carrot cake …

January 29, 2006


Filed under: Uncategorized — chapterhouse @ 6:59 pm

Got this one over at Dawn-Marie’s Dreamscape:
(I’m guessing it’s called the “Four Things” meme.)

Four jobs you’ve had in your life
Interviewing customers at the new-fangled “fast-food” restaurant, McDonald’s
Legal secretary
Domestic goddess (current job)

Four movies you could watch over and over (and I have)
Princess Bride
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Four places you’ve lived
Ft. Hood, TX
Ft. Worth, TX
Dallas, TX

Four tv shows you love to watch
Book of Daniel (until the wimps at NBC cancel it)
Boston Legal
West Wing (until the wimps at NCB cancel it)

Four places you’ve been on vacation
Corpus Christi, TX
Ixtapa, Mexico
North Carolina

Four blogs you visit daily
Oh dear. I’m afraid I don’t always visit
any blog on my blogroll daily. I’ll do
better, I promise!

Four of your favorite foods
Bacon, eggs, and toast
Shrimp scampi
Blue Bell vanilla ice cream
Coffee (well, it comes from beans, doesn’t it?)

Four places you’d rather be
(All together now:)

Four authors you can’t live without
Frank Herbert
Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson
Diana Gabaldon
Ann Rule

Four vehicles you’ve owned
Can I change this one? Thanks.

Four people I most admire
Bishop Gene Robinson
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. Stephen Hawking

Haven’t been tagged with this one yet?
You’re It!

January 28, 2006

Made it!

Filed under: Uncategorized — chapterhouse @ 10:57 am

The NILTOY goal for January (due today) is 10,000 words. I’m up to 10,867!
The timetable is 2,500 words a week (10,000 per month.) So, you’ll have the first draft of a 100-000 word novel in October.

I wasn’t sure at first if this would actually work for me, but it has. It’s a good thing. Thanks to Pooks for finding it!


In other news, someone made an offer on Maxwell House. They had until 5PM today to respond to our counter-offer. This morning they want a little more time. Of course they did. Sigh.

January 25, 2006


Filed under: Uncategorized — chapterhouse @ 10:16 pm

What a productive day! I got 3,105 words written today on my mystery novel, and I’ve sketched out 17 more scenes on my improvised storyboard. I’m using a Moleskine notebook and sticky notes, an idea borrowed from my friend Pooks, a screenwriter, which I’ve adapted for novel writing.

This system is working extremely well for me. Because they’re written on sticky notes, I can rearrange scenes within chapters, or put them in different chapters, or change whole chapters around. Then, I can flip through the pages and see what’s happening where and when.

Another idea from a book that Pooks uses called Save the Cat, is to put the conflict, indicated by this: >NILTOY target for January is 10,000 words. So far I’m at 8,177. The NILTOY weeks end on Saturdays — they had to pick a day for consistent weekly reporting, so that means to meet my target, I’ll need to get to 10,000 words by this Saturday! I think I’ll make it…


January 24, 2006


Filed under: Uncategorized — chapterhouse @ 8:10 am

There I was again, looking cool at the Barnes & Noble cafe, sipping a latte and working on my mystery novel, when this tall, elegant redhead and entourage came in and sat at the table right next to mine. They’re yapping away, and I think oh great, I won’t be able to hear myself think, let alone try to write.

Then I glance over, and the beautiful woman is autographing her book. Of course, I ask to see a copy. It’s the newly-released paperback edition of The Glass Castle, and I see by the cover that it’s a New York Times bestseller by Jeannette Walls. I ask her what it’s about, and she tells me it is a memoir about her childhood with an abusive, alcoholic father and a spaced-out, neglectful mother.

We talked a little while about our “exciting” childhoods and the fact that when we were growing up, we thought we were having normal lives because no one talked about child abuse back then. We also kept it secret throughout our early adulthood. It is only now that we’re older that we can talk about it. She said she’s amazed by the number of people who have told her that they had similar backgrounds.

I asked her if writing it all down was cathartic, and she said definitely! The more she wrote, the more she remembered and was able to process. I told her my therapist had recommended that I keep a journal for the same reason.

Naturally, I bought a copy of the book, and she wrote in it: “To Candace, a kindred spirit.”

Well, I didn’t want to monopolize her time, so I went back to what I was doing and she went back to autographing books and chatting with her publicist and the Barnes & Nobel representative. (Notice I say “chatting” now, not “yapping.”)

Jeannette is a warm, upbeat person. And the book is riveting!

Just look at this review by the Chicago Tribune:

“On the eighth day, when God was handing out whining privileges, he came upon Jeannette Walls and said, ‘For you, an unlimited lifetime supply.’ Apparently, Walls declined His kind offer.”

And this, by Dominick Dunne:

“Just read the first pages of The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, and I defy you not to go on. It’s funny and sad and quirky and loving. I was incredibly touched by it.”

In case you’re wondering, no, I was not crass enough to say, oh, I’m working on my own book, would you like to read it? I can just imagine how many times the woman must have run up against that!

But I did give her my blogspot address. 🙂

Have a great day, bloggers!

January 23, 2006

Too Cute!

Filed under: Uncategorized — chapterhouse @ 10:22 am

Image hosting by Photobucket

This is from Cute Overload, which I’ve added to my Links.  There’s a wildlife preserve in Texas near Glen Rose called Fossil Rim.  Tomcat and I have been down there a couple of times.  My favorite part is seeing the giraffes.  They come right up to the car.  You just haven’t lived until you’ve experienced this REALLY TALL animal swooping its head down, down, down, right into your car window to eat out of your hand!  They have the LONGEST eyelashes.  And their babies are so adorable! 

January 21, 2006


Filed under: Uncategorized — chapterhouse @ 3:00 pm

That Tomcat is so smart!

Here I was going to Barnes & Noble and paying $ to hook up to their wireless service, Freedom Link. He downloaded it to our laptops for TWO BUCKS A MONTH! So we went to the B&N for a test drive, and sure enough, we could both log on at the same time while having brunch and looking cool!

Now he’s off looking at books, and I’ve ordered my second latte.

Very cool.

Except … the other places where we could log on besides B&N?
McDonald’s and UPS stores. UPS stores??? Not so cool.
But for two bucks a month, way cool.

January 20, 2006

Mystery Solved

Filed under: Uncategorized — chapterhouse @ 8:31 am

Okay, so I was up to Chapter 5 of Paradise Parkway. The body was discovered and the police came to question Gino Gibaldi in their initial canvass of the neighborhood. Then what? I had no idea.

What was I thinking? I’d never written a mystery! So yesterday it was off to the bookstore. I returned with “Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel (how to knock ’em DEAD with style)” by Hallie Ephron. I got halfway through it and now I know what I’m doing and why. This book is an amazing guide.

First, you decide what kind of mystery you want to do. Did you know there are at least ten subgenres in mystery fiction? I didn’t! This one’s going to be a “cozy” or “cosy” because it’s humorous, the setting is a small community, the protagonist is an amateur sleuth, and the violence is off stage.

Then, it has worksheets to help you build your characters, their world, define the killer’s motive(s), set up the innocent suspects and their secrets and lies, and plot your story. By the end of the book, if you’ve done all the worksheets, you’ll be ready to start writing.

Of course, it leaves room for those wonderful creative moments when characters have better ideas than you did when you started out. That happened while I was doing the worksheets, and the identity of the killer changed. I’m keeping it a secret, so don’t ask!


Remember, everyone: Book of Daniel is on tonight!

January 18, 2006

I Don’t Get It

Filed under: Uncategorized — chapterhouse @ 10:49 am

Dawn Marie commented on my last post that she doesn’t get 24 or why it’s called that. (Each season, there are 24 episodes. Each episode is one hour of a 24-hour period. This means that every season, Jack Baur has a really bad day.)

Here are some things I don’t get:

Jazz. I’ve never understood why people like it so much. One piece sounds pretty much the same as another, at least to my ear. I guess I’m just totally uncool.

Poetry. What can’t they just say it? Just spit it out? Why do we have to guess what they mean?

Why we’re not in North Carolina yet.

Anyone else have something they just don’t get?

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