Friday, October 29, 2010

Better than Glee!

Sorry, Ing, I couldn't resist. :) This video has gone viral in SF. The cleverness of people on YouTube never ceases to amaze me. For those you wondering what my son's costume for Halloween is all about this video will give you an idea.

My mom found a picture of me as wonder woman so be on the look out for picture soon. :)

UPDATED: as promised here it is! I think I'm about 11, and that's my sister and brother with me. Hilarious, isn't it?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Trick or Treat!

Well I wanted to do this blog with plenty of "show and tell," but my Mom has been out of town and hasn't had a chance to go through the old pictures for me. So you'll just have to use your imagination . . .

With Halloween just around the corner, my kids are putting the final details on all their costumes. My daughter is going to be a Highland Dancer and my son is going to be Brian Wilson from the NLCS Champion Giants. If you guys don't know who he is, he's the guy with the black Bluto beard. :)

Since we're going to a Halloween party on Saturday night, I'm going to have to find something to dress up as, too. A couple years ago I dressed up as a "Scottish Soccer Hooligan." If you've ever seen the old SNL Mike Meyers skit, you know what I'm talking about.

When I was young, there were a few "standby" costumes that aren't so PC anymore. Anyone else remember dressing up as a Gypsy or a Hobo? Don't hear those much anymore, do you?

But I think my top three all time favorite Monica Halloween costumes are: Princess Leia when I was about 11, Wonder Woman when I was year or two older, and a Raiderette as a young teen. NOW don't you wish I had those pictures? LOL.

How about you...what were your favorite Halloween costumes when you were young?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

So Whatcha Reading?

I finally decided to get with the rest of the world and read THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO when I was in Scotland. The traveling slowed me down for a while, but by time I hit around page 150 or so, I zoomed to the end. Really enjoyed it. I had a chance to watch the movie (foreign version) and it was great. Highly recommend, although be warned that there are some difficult parts to watch. If you've read the book, you know what I'm talking about. I'd be interested to hear what you guys thought, if you've read it.

I also just finished reading a book I picked up at conference that I really enjoyed: Margaret Mallory's KNIGHT OF DESIRE. I love a good medieval and this one certainly qualifies. I've heard great things about the rest of the "All the King's Men" series as well and look forward to reading the other two.

I just read the first few pages of Maya Bank's latest, THE DARKEST HOUR, and it's already sucked me in. That's on the agenda for tonight. Might have to go to be early :)

Other than that I've been dabbling in this and that. What about you guys? Anything you've loved lately? Anything you're really looking forward to? (Other than a certain book in December, of course!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Not Hero Material

I've been glued to the internet today, as I'm sure many of you have been, watching the amazing drama unfolding in Chile with the rescue of the 33 miners. Seeing that first guy emerge from the pod brought tears to my eyes. I can't imagine what an ordeal these men must have gone through.

But I also fixated on another part of the story--the six (thanks for the correct number B.E.) rescuers who agreed to go DOWN in the tunnel to help prepare the miners for their journey to the surface. My reaction was immediate and visceral--no way would I do that!

It made me think again about what sets heroes like firefighters, police officers, and soldiers apart. They do those things that the rest of us can't imagine doing. I can't think of many things more terrifying than descending thousands of feet into a mine shaft. Have I ever mentioned my biggest primal fear? You guessed it: being buried alive.

I guess that means I'm not hero material, LOL. What about you . . . would you go down in that tube?

Monday, October 04, 2010

I'm back!

And except for a bad case of jet lag and the inevitable cold (why do I ALWAYS get sick when I travel?), I had an absolutely fabulous time.

It's hard to explain how exciting it is to see some of the places that I feel like I've come to know in my novels. Walking on the same ground as Bruce and his men did over seven hundred years ago and knowing that it hasn't changed much is pretty powerful and at times very moving. The above picture is a good example of this. That's me and Veronica at the Bruce stone which overlooks the battle site of Glen Trool (which you read about in THE HAWK). It was one of the two rain days that we had, but the weather only seemed to add to the experience--note those fingers of mist on the hill behind us. Pretty evocative. Here's a photo detailing the inscription on the stone.

I'm so fortunate to have found the world's greatest traveling companion. Being able to share these moments with someone who totally gets it makes it even more special. A large part of our itinerary was devoted to the Bruce sites and places that I will be writing about in my novels, but we also visited some extreme coastlines and Aberdeen which focus in Veronica's upcoming YA Vampire series and her Clan MacAlpin Scottish historical series. We joke that she's the Isaac to my Julie MacCoy, because I love all the planning and she just goes with the flow.

When she mentioned that she wanted to see some dramatic coastlines I knew exactly where we had to go: Northern Scotland. Not only did we visit Dunnet Head (the most northerly point of the mainland), but we also visited Cape Wrath--the northwestern tip of the mainland and undoubtedly one of the most remote places you can travel in Britain. We were one of 2,500 people a year who take the ferry ride and then a 30 minute (at time terrifying) minibus drive over some of the most desolate countryside you will ever see to reach the lighthouse and cliffs of Cape Wrath. Surprisingly "wrath" doesn't refer to the fury of the wind and waves that strike the coastline, but is an old Viking word for turning point. The area is used by the British SAS (special forces) to train and is often closed to the public--for good reason as they drop bombs in the area! That's Veronica, our travel guide Fiona, and me on the cliffside.

It's hard to capture the beauty of the place--or the danger--but this picture of some absolutely crazy (aka stupid) young tourist gives you an idea. I seriously thought the girl was going to fall off the cliff. If I'd been her mother I would have wrung her neck.

Anyway, I'll be posting many more pics from the trip over the next couple months on my website and flckr pages so be on the look out! Hope you all had a nice couple of weeks. Once I recover, it will be time for me to hit the keyboard again. Good news: three more Highland Guard novels will be on the way!