Category - Musings

Have You Seen My Rings?
Have You Seen My Glasses?
What’s Your Favorite Disney Fairy Tale?
Disney Dishes
Happily Ever After
Romance Readers Are Passionate
Buy-A-Winning-Lottery-Ticket Day


valentine1I won the lottery when I met my husband. Seriously. The man could have walked straight out of the pages of a romance novel.

Paul is a physician who saves lives—mine included. (Flashback to the day my son was born, and the resident anesthesiologist overdosed me, sending my blood pressure to 60 over zero. My husband’s quick orders brought me back off the ceiling and into my body so I could hold my son that night.)  Paul’s smart—bring up any topic and he can spout back facts. (Okay, sometimes this is annoying. Especially when it might be my area of expertise and when I research further, he is usually right.) And from the day we met, he has been a romantic. (When we were dating in college, sitting among friends at a local bar, he would pass me notes written on paper napkins with words like “I love you madly” and little drawings. (Did I mention he is a great artist too?) He’d sing to me when we’d take long driving trips and never complain once when I’d join in off key. (Yes, he sings too. In college, he played Jesus in Godspell and was offered a position with the National Opera Company after graduation.) The man never fails to amaze me. His support is the reason I now have a career in romance writing. He convinced me to publish my first novel and pushed me to release the second one.

Last year, just before Valentine’s Day, I was struggling with revisions of The Ex Lottery. Now, you need to understand that my husband doesn’t read fiction. Seriously, no fiction. (Does this mean he has an actual flaw?) We’ve been inseparable for thirty-seven years, and during that time, even my kids joke that their dad is still trying to finish the one novel he began when they were very young. Turns out that so-called novel he brings on every vacation isn’t even fiction—it’s a nonfiction account of a man’s sailing adventures. My husband would rather read a book on building a computer from scratch than read fiction. But he knows I love fiction. When we met, I was lying by our apartment swimming pool in a white bikini reading a romance novel. He and his roommate were doing fancy dives to impress me. I was too absorbed in my book to notice. Apparently, they had been playing out this routine for weeks. Finally, he walked up and asked, “Don’t you ever look up from your book?” I looked up and smiled, and he invited me to a party. We got married a year later—a week before he started medical school.

valentinesday2So, last February, Paul asked when I was going to publish The Ex Lottery. I’d been revising and rewriting for almost a year. I probably would still be rewriting if not for Paul. I was getting great feedback from editors and beta readers, but I was insecure. I was nervous because the book was pure romantic fiction without the mystery element that ran through my previous novel. I told him I was worried it wasn’t good enough. He said he’d read it and let me know. I was incredulous. He didn’t read fiction. I was not sure I wanted his opinion, but he took the manuscript and headed off to his study. He read the entire manuscript over the weekend, came downstairs on a Sunday night and said, “It’s great. Publish it. It should be a movie.”

Valentine’s Day fell during the following week. I came home to a pile of candy and a card that read on the front: “Sweetie, I know I’ll never win the lottery.” And on the inside, it read, “I used up all my luck finding a wife like you. Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you.”

So over the next few months, I tweaked The Ex Lottery, a book about a woman who uses the numbers her ex-boyfriends’ dumped her to buy a winning lottery ticket. I formatted it and released the book—and the reviews from editors, Kirkus Reviews, Writer’s Digest, and readers from several countries have been even better than my last book. Sometimes I like it when my husband is right. But he should know, I’m the one who won the lottery the day I met him.


My neighborhood has a wonderful tradition. On Fridays, if we are in town, we walk to our sidewalk restaurant and enjoy a cup of coffee and abutt morning chat. But there is something missing—statutes of naked men.


When I visited Florence, Italy, I had my morning cappuccino in the piazza with a beautiful view—men with abs of stone and rock hard buns. What a way to start a day. We have amazing artists in our neighborhood. I bet with the right models, they could create some wonderful statutes for our sidewalk café. I’ll volunteer to be on the model selection committee.


Have You Seen My Rings?

I decided to make this the week of lost things. I’ll confess—my reading glasses are not the only things I lose. I have lost my wedding rings. No, not once—many times. Luckily, I’ve always found them.

I know. A wedding ring is supposed to be a sign of commitment and love. Some women never remove their rings. But I’ve never liked wearing rings. It’s uncomfortable to wear a piece of metal around a finger. So I tend to take them off when I get home. The trouble is I never seem to remember where I put them.

This bad habit dates back to my first year of marriage. I’d take off my rings when I got home, and the next day I was yelling “Marco?” but never hearing the responding “Polo.” It would often take me a couple of days to remember where I had left the rings, and I’d hope my husband didn’t notice. But apparently he did.

One month, I looked for weeks and couldn’t find the rings. I searched all the normal spots—the fireplace mantel, the bedside table, the kitchen windowsill, the mug with all my pens/pencils. No luck. So I finally confessed to my husband.


Paul, I don’t know how to tell you this, but I’ve lost my wedding rings?”


   “Two weeks ago. I’ve looked everywhere.”


He went over to his dresser, opened the top drawer, and reached under some papers, then held out my rings.

   “These rings?”

   “You’ve had them all along?”

   “I wanted to see how long it would take you to admit you lost them.”


But this little experiment may have backfired. Now, every time I lose my rings or my glasses, I accuse him of hiding them and I don’t stop nagging until he helps me search the house. After all, two searching is better than one.

Have You Seen My Glasses?

glasses2I really miss my 20-20 vision. The days when I could pick up a book and just start reading, when I could type a note without searching the house for my reading glasses, or when I could pull a frozen meal out of the refrigerator and read the directions.

I’m convinced that I would be ten times more productive if I didn’t need reading glasses. I’ve filled my house with cheap reading glasses that I buy in bulk. I try and leave them in every room in the house. But they disappear.

I often find a pile of glasses in a corner, mocking me. I suspect my husband stacks them there, thinking I’ve left them around the house by accident. The worst irony is I have only one pair that works for writing. I have a stigmatism and only the prescription glasses prevent a headache when I settle in for a long day of writing. Of course, that pair really loves to play hide and seek. Okay, it’s time to write again, so I’m off to find the prescription glasses… “Marco?”

What’s Your Favorite Disney Fairy Tale?

My favorite Disney fairy tale is Beauty and the Beast. The perfect fairy tale, wouldn’t you agree? I mean, the main character is Belle, a bookwormdisney4 who loves romantic fiction. And the hairy hero—a Beast of a prince who gives her an entire library. Dreamy sigh.

The tiny plastic figures on my writing desk are left over from a birthday party I organized for my daughter when she was a tiny reader who also loved Disney. The dancing bookworm and her broad-shouldered prince served as the cake topper, but I couldn’t throw them away. So now they encourage me to keep writing Happily Ever After.


Disney Dishes

Do you have objects around your house that paint a story in your head? I ran across these old bowls in my house—bowls with a story.


disneydishesMy husband and I met as undergrads in North Carolina. We decided to go to Disney for our first spring break together. Now, Paul had been telling me since the first week we met that I would marry him if he asked, but he wasn’t going to ask. I always told him I’d say no—arrogant, good-looking fella.


Off we go to Disney about nine months after we met and what do we do—we pick out dishes together and buy them because we both love them. While in the Wonderful World of Disney, I’m still saying I won’t marry him and he’s still saying I would if he asked but he’s not asking. So why did we buy dishes together? Well, we both thought they were perfect and maybe, one day, we might end up together and it’d be a shame not to have these perfect dishes. We married thirteen months after we first met, and we’ve been married thirty-six years.

Happily Ever After

deskportrait2aWelcome to my writing corner. I just added a new sign for inspiration. Actually, I bought this sign to use as decoration for my daughter’s wedding. It was a hit and now it is the perfect decoration for my writer’s corner. I’m hoping she doesn’t read this and swipe it off my wall for her own home décor.


As I write my romance stories, I often look out the open window in front of my desk. Now when I glance up to rest my eyes, this sign reminds me why I write. Everyone deserves a Happily Ever After. It also pushes me forward when I get stuck in the middle. I think most authors get stuck in the middle. So I’ll read this sign to remind myself what is waiting for my characters if I’ll just pull them out of the middle muck. I’m seriously considering buying a second sign just like this one to hang on my porch—my other office.

Romance Readers Are Passionate

I follow several romance writers on Facebook author pages who take time out of their busy writing days to say hi to the readers or answer a quickNoraRoberts question. If you have any doubt that romance novel readers love the stories and characters, you should read the recent back-and-forth passionate comments readers posted on the JD Robb (one of Nora Roberts’ pseudonyms) Facebook page when one reader suggested Nora give her characters Eve and Roarke a baby. (See some commentary at Nora has not given this fictitious couple a baby because… quite frankly, it doesn’t matter why. It’s her story. Her writing. And it is a great story or the readers wouldn’t be so involved in the characters’ life decisions.

To me, Nora is the best romance writer in the business. Her books are my go-to choice. And there are plenty of her characters that have babies if that’s what you want to read. Nora’s books make me happy. Had a bad day, read a Nora. Head spinning with worries, read a Nora. Work week from hell, read a Nora and add a glass of wine. There is a Nora for every mood, and I am always amazed at her unending flow of stories and characters and happily-ever-afters. Don’t misunderstand me, I read lots of books by many authors. But Nora remains my favorite.

This amazingly prolific writer has so many readers, she doesn’t need to promote her books or take time to answer questions. The books advertise themselves. All the book needs is her name on the cover and I’ll buy it. I often buy the paperback and the ebook. I, for one, am happy she takes the time to address readers’ concerns, but I’m glad the majority of her time is spent creating new worlds so I can escape my next bad day.

Let me add that Nora Roberts is as kind to writers as to readers. I met her at a Romance Writers’ convention, and in our twenty-second encounter, she congratulated me on my novel, wished me well, and signed a book for my daughter.

Buy-A-Winning-Lottery-Ticket Day

lotteryblogI’m declaring today national Buy-A-Winning-Lottery Ticket day. I’m gonna use the lucky numbers from The Ex Lottery. Who knows what I’ll win.

I only buy lottery tickets when numbers grow so large that statistically someone should win. Of course, I usually win zero dollars, but occasionally I win enough to buy another lottery ticket. But I am okay donating a dollar to the education system from time to time.

I’d like to think that if I used Tory’s lottery’s numbers, I might win. So today, I’ll give it a go. After all, her winning lottery ticket brought her much more than money.


“Two, fourteen. Three, seventeen. Four, twenty-one.”

Tory’s eyes popped open. The rough voice was just above a whisper, and the sound was like a caress across her bare neck. Her heart pounded against her chest.

She’d forgotten about the man sitting across the aisle. Okay, if she were perfectly honest, she’d been trying to forget about the man across the aisle. To forget that his shoulders were so broad that they pressed against the edges of his first-class seat. That his black bangs were just a bit too long, and the curls dipped down to catch on incredibly long eyelashes, making her think of Cal.

When she’d walked on the plane, her eyes had locked with his, and she’d almost tumbled into her first Southern swoon. He’d noticed. A grin had crinkled the corners of his eyes, and she’d slipped into her seat and avoided eye contact. Now, he was settled in the vacant seat next to her, repeating her lottery numbers.”

—“The Ex Lottery” by Kim Sanders

So go ahead, donate a dollar to the education system and maybe you will buy the winning lottery ticket and an adventure.

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