Tag Archives: survey

Survey Saturday: More Sunshine

sunshineAnother Sunshine Award for me?

Deborah from It’s All About Me Fitness nominated me, and her questions are so much fun that I decided I might as well give ’em a whirl. As busy as I’ve been, it’s likely to be my only post this week.

I did just ship the manuscript for my second book, BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYER (due out in March 2014), off to my editor Friday afternoon before work. And my birthday is Monday, so I’m going to a Foreigner concert in Camp Verde tonight as an early celebration. There’s also a book festival in Sedona today. If I get my words written early enough in the day, I’ll head down before the concert.

Next year, I might be able to set up shop there as an author … Wouldn’t that be something?

Anyway, let’s get on with Deborah’s questions:

What is your favorite vacation spot?

From the balcony at the Hyatt Escala ...
From the balcony at the Hyatt Escala …

Park City, Utah, was pretty sweet last May — and it gave me a chance to see my brother and his family in Salt Lake City. I also loved the RWA conference in Anaheim in 2012, and my overnight trip to Tucson a couple of weeks ago.

I’m not picky. My favorite vacation spot seems to be anywhere I can go and be job-free.

Coffee or Tea?

You ask the tough ones all right. A couple of years ago, I’d have said tea without hesitation. But coffee grows on  me more every year. Lately, I’ve even taken to drinking iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts, which has a much stronger coffee flavor than lattes from Starbucks..

What is one place within the United States that you want to visit?

Seattle. I wish I’d have had the money and time to go to FitBloggin’.

What is your favorite type of blog posts to write?

The ones where I get to report I’ve lost weight — few and far between these days. *Big sigh* I’m back to where I started 2013. I’ll be writing the annual “It’s my birthday, time to reflect” post soon.

But seriously … I like those lifecasting types of posts with lots of pictures that shout “look at the fun I had.” Like this Sedona hike or one of my Blend Retreat recaps. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of fun to report on. Most of my free time is spent at Starbucks (writing, editing, drinking and — too often — eating), work (working — duh!) and home (blogging, more writing and — not enough — sleeping).

If you could become an animal for a day, what would you be and why?

Enjoy this gratuitous picture of my cats, in a rare moment of togetherness.
Enjoy this gratuitous picture of my cats, in a rare moment of togetherness.

A cat. They live a good life — lounging around all day, sleeping as much as they want and getting attention.

Describe your perfect weather day?

Maple grove in Oak Creek Canyon
Maple grove in Oak Creek Canyon

Early fall. Temperature in the low to mid-60s, sunny and not too windy. Bonus points for being in a place with vibrant autumn colors.

Do you prefer sweet or savory dishes?

Depends. Lately I’ve been craving salty, savory carbs — a sure sign I need to cut back on said carbs. I’m considering going back to Atkins again.

Linking seasons with color, what is your favorite season and your favorite color that best represents it?

I love autumn, with its riot of fall colors. Can I pick two colors? Red and orange.

If you could create a signature ice cream/fro-yo flavor, what would it be called?

Something with chocolate and coconut, maybe? Coffee? I can’t make up my mind. Moonlight & Mocha Madness?

What is the one piece of advice you give to newbie bloggers?

Have fun. Blog because you love it and are excited about what you’re saying, not because you feel obligated. Readers can tell the difference.

Again, I’m going to bow out of nominating my own recipients — I think pretty much everyone I’d pick has already been tapped. Thanks for the award, Deborah! Hope we can see each other again at Blend 2014.

Sunshine Sunday

What happens when I get behind on blog reading? I miss out on this: My Sunshine Award nomination from Katie at Blonde Ambition.

Even though I’m chiming in a little late — like, um, a month too late — I’m here to play along. Thanks, Katie, for nominating me. Sorry I dropped the ball. In my defense, I’m now halfway through drafting a new 50,000-word novel. 😀

sunshine Here goes …

The Rules:

  1. Include award logo in a post or on your blog.
  2. Link to the person who nominated you.
  3. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
  4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award.

Katie’s 10 questions:

What 3 items are must-haves in your grocery cart every week?

Depends on the diet du jour. Currently:

  1. Unsweetened almond, coconut or almond-coconut milk.
  2. A variety of veggies
  3. Something chocolate

If you could live in any city, no questions asked, which one would you choose?

That’s a tough question. When I was in middle school, in the throes of “Gone with the Wind” mania (the book, not the movie), I wanted to live in a renovated Georgia plantation house with my three cats, Rhett, Scarlett and Ashley.

In high school, any big city would have done. I was so OVER living in a one-stoplight town where cow-tipping counted as major excitement. I wanted big-city entertainment — and cable TV. We lived in the sticks, and couldn’t get cable. After I went off to college, my mom got a satellite (the precursor to Dish and DirecTV, probably), but even then, we only got a few channels … and NO MTV. Oh, the horror.

Nowadays, I’m pretty pleased with Flagstaff.

SunsetGreat scenery, beautiful spring and fall temperatures, summers that don’t get hot as hell, like the rest of Arizona. Winter leaves something to be desired, though. So ideally, I’d live in Flagstaff from April through November, then high-tail it to the Valley for the winter.

Do you spend more money on food or clothes?

Pants not tight anymore!Food. Definitely. I’m not a fashionable person. Most days, you can find me in sweats (or wearing the Boyfriend’s clothes). This outfit from Kohl’s is one of my dressier ones.

Have you ever broken any bones?

Not yet. (Knock on wood.) But as klutzy as I am, it’s only a matter of time.

Fad diets: yay or nay?

Depends on what you call a fad. I still firmly believe Atkins is a great option for many people, myself included. Yet others scorn it as a fad.

Knowing what you know now, what is one piece of advice you’d give to 18-year old you?

Exercise can be fun. Start now.

What is your dream career? (Props if you currently have it :-P )

Ideally, I’d quit the day job to become a full-time author. I’m working on it. Maybe once I have three or four books out there, I’ll be making enough to pay the bills.

If you could choose one type of cuisine for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Only one? Yikes. I’ve been craving pasta lately — perhaps because I’ve been reading about Carly’s adventures in Italy — so I have to go with Italian. Ask me next week and the answer might be Mexican.

What is your favorite part of your body?

Does my brain count? 😉 Probably not. My feet. I have gigantic size 9 or 10 feet (depending on the shoes). I used to wish for smaller ones, but at 5-foot-10, I’d look pretty ridiculous trying to get around on tiny size 6 feet.

What is the “signature dish” that you cook best?

Last-Minute Lasagna
Last-Minute Lasagna

I make a mean lasagna (and associated pasta-less versions of said dish). It was one of the first dinners I learned to make, in eighth-grade home ec.

The lasagna in this photo is Last-Minute Lasagna, a recipe I read about over at Carrots N Cake. It layers frozen ravioli with meat, sauce and cheese.

My nominees: Thanks, but I’m going to pass on nominating folks, since the moment is long gone.

Survey Saturday: Old School Blogging Edition

Survey SaturdayGuys, it’s back! Welcome to another fun-filled edition of Survey Saturday.

When I saw that Christine had filled out this survey over at Love Life Surf, I was immediately smitten. What’s more fun on a leisurely weekend morning than an ABC survey?

Not that my morning’s going to be all that leisurely … I have to get up early to head down to Camp Verde for our NARWA plot group and then a board meeting. It’ll be a full day, with lunch at Denny’s.

Lucky for me, I have a PointsPlus guide to Denny’s menu. That’ll make ordering easier (I hope).

A. Attached or Single? Attached. Been with the Boyfriend since 2005. We were off and on a couple of times that first year, but on ever since.

Look at me — collarbones without even trying! That makes me happy.
Look at me — collarbones without even trying! That makes me happy.

B. Best Friend? Sad to say, I don’t have just one best friend. Or maybe that’s a good thing. I have several great writing friends, who I love to talk and write with. Then there’s my roommate, whom I’ve known since college, and my best friend since kindergarten, who I don’t talk to as often as I should.

C. Cake or pie? Cake. I’m partial to red velvet … or carrot cake … or a light white cake. Oh, who am I kidding? Any flavor will do.

D. Day of choice? Do I have to pick just one? Saturday, if I don’t have to work. Or maybe Sunday, because it’s softball day.

E. Essential Item? My laptop. Or phone. Preferably both. Can I have two?

F. Favorite color? Purple.

G. Gummy bears or worms? Neither. I hate gummy everything.

H. Home town? Albion, Indiana

I. Favorite Indulgence? Something sweet.

J. January or July? Let’s see … they both come with a paid holiday. I think I have to agree with Christine, who said July because it’s warmer. I’m not a fan of cold air. Cold in my freezer, yes. Cold outside? No thank you.

K. Kids? A niece and nephew, plus three fur babies (2 cats, 1 dog).

Writing TimeL. Life isn’t complete without? My daily trip to Starbucks. It’s where I get my writing done.

M. Marriage date? ?? We don’t have one — yet.

N. Number of brothers/sisters? 1 younger brother. As a matter of fact, his birthday’s today.

O. Oranges or Apples? Apples. Give me a good Honeycrisp any day. But better than either of those fruits is a juicy, sun-ripened peach.

P. Phobias? Elevators … unless it’s a glass elevator. I don’t like feeling closed in. But I wouldn’t call it claustrophobia. It’s more a mild aversion to getting stuck. Now, if I could get stuck in an elevator with Channing Tatum, Bradley Cooper or Gerard Butler, I might be singing a different tune …

Q. Quotes? I’m still loving this one from Theodora. It’s true for me, as I imagine it is for many other folks out there.


R. Reasons to smile? I’m alive and about to start living my dream. Self-publishing is still a scary new frontier, but it’s also growing in popularity every day. I have stories to tell, and I’m going to gamble on readers liking them as much as I do.

S. Season of choice? Autumn, because the temperatures aren’t too hot or too cold … and there’s so much color. Living in Flagstaff, I’ve missed seeing a lot of red and orange leaves — until last fall. I finally explored a maple grove in  in Oak Creek Canyon, and it was glorious.

T. Tag 5 People. I hate tagging people, so write your own post if you want, then tell me about it in the comments.

U. Unknown fact about me? Good question. I share a lot — some might say too much. Umm … How’s this? In high school, my friend Janet and I had fake arguments about which one of us Hamlet would take to the prom.

V. Vegetable? Zucchini … or maybe roasted Brussels sprouts.

W. Worst habit? iPhone games like Candy Crush and Words with Friends. Or maybe sleeping through my alarm and then using it as an excuse not to get up and work out.

X. Xray or Ultrasound? Neither. Both entail a visit to the doctor or hospital, and I don’t want to go there.

Y. Your favorite food? Burgers — preferably with fries.

Z. Zodiac sign? Libra. That whole balance thing? It’s no myth. There’s a reason I don’t like conflict and confrontation, and have to fight myself every step of the way to pump up the conflicts in my stories.

Your turn. Tell me more about you by answering one — or more …