Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Hidden Hero - a cause worth posting about

So, you know I write romance, right?
Well, do I have an Al Story for you....

Western Washington has had a record snowfall this year. And, when it snows, the weather crew can give the tornado storm reporters a run for their money on drama. We'll start just after the meteorologists allowed regular programming for "wet" streets (not frozen). It's as good a place as any.

The Monday night before last---

Having been stuck in the house for a good five days or so, I had to get out! And, anyone who knows me would be shocked to learn that I'd been stuck in the house for five days or so...:) just saying. But I digress.

I went up to The Ram. None of the regulars were there. Al is playing in a jazz band on Monday
nights, so it was an lull-like night. It's been cold. So, I'm at the Ram and pull out my trusty little notebook and tune everyone out and start wrting. (The difference in environment is good for jump starting on occasion.)

This guy, Jason, he said his name was, was sitting across the bar and on the phone. He starts calling across the bar: "Are you a writer?" He leaps up and comes around to my side and sits two seats over. Starts asking me questions. I put my notebook away and visit. All throughout the conversation there are the "What is your name?" (Kathy) "You are sooooo pretty" (Thanks.) "Are you married?" (Yes, thank God.) "How many books?" (Seventeen) "What is your name?" (Kathy, I just told you that (for the fourth time))"Dialogue is really important." (Yesssss) this is say slowly, because every author knows what's coming next: Have I got a story for you! You should write my story, it's really interesting, we can split the money 50/50. etc..etc...

Anyway, it didn't take long for him to become really annoying. He paid up, went to the bathroom. There was a really young couple sitting close to him. And, I said, "What the hell!"

They asked if I'd like their help in ignoring him. "Yes! Thanks. That would be great." I pull out my trusty little notebook again and start writing, again. He comes back and the bartender: GIVES HIM ANOTHER BEER. I'm a little stunned. But I have turned my back and am keeping to myself. Here's the conversation:

Drunk: blah blah blah blah
Me: silence
A (the girl): Sir, I don't think she wants to talk to you. She's busy working. You should leave her alone.
B (her husband): So, what's this about Buddhism and Christianity? (Yes, he said that, and, it was funny)
Guy2 (sitting across sees what's going on and also chimes in with something to distract the drunkard.)
Drunk starts getting pissed, acting like a scorned boyfriend. Really!? Ugh.
A and B leave after a bit. Guy 2 is still trying to help. I refuse to look at Drunk. Next think I know, his beer is all over the counter and down the left side of me.

I'm furious. The bartender had disappeared. A waitress comes flying over and sees all the beer. I lay into the guy. "What the f#ck is wrong with you? Why did you do that? Who do you think you are?" Did I mention that Drunk said I should run all my "written" dialogue pass him? No? well, apparently he watches a lot of movies and that makes him an expert.

End of Part I where Drunk is cut off and kicked out. Guy 2, and Couple AandB were all heroes in my book. The bartender? Not so much.

One week later, Monday night

I't's Al's jazz combo band night. So, this time when I head up to  my local regular place, The Ram, the bar is packed with everyone I know. I squeeze in. And, apparently, everyone heard what had happened the week before. The only thing they didn't know was exactly who Drunk was. There were several guesses but none of them had the name "Jason."

In the course of the conversation, Mo starts telling me the following:
Mo: I saw your husband here last week.
Me: What? When?
Mo: I don't know. Tried to get attention to come sit down, but he didn't see me and he left.
Me: When was this? (Mo drinks a lot! So he could certainly be mistaken.)
Mo: I don't know. Thursday or Friday night maybe.
Me: We didn't go anywhere Thursday or Friday night. We cooked at home both nights and watched the Thunder game (Yes, I say this. All Pacific Northwesterners hate OKC Thunder. ...if you don't know why that is here's a link: Super Sonics relocate to OKC Apparently, I thrive on confrontation)
Mo: It could've have been during the day. Hell, I don't know, but it was your husband. He was talking to management or something.

Okay, now that's weird!
So, I end up visiting with some other people. Actually, end up getting together with another attorney that he covered "two counties out" hahahah for the next day.

One day later, Tuesday night

The other attorney was going to pay Al so we end up back at the Ram for the third time in less than two weeks. Al and I are sitting at the corner of the bar, me on one corner, him on the turn of the same corner. You know. Like an "L" and just talking.

Now, I know a lot of you don't believe Al and I talk, but yes we do occasionally. So we are talking. The bar is just as crowded Tuesday as it was on Monday. Then, I remembered what Mo said about having seen Al there the week before. Here we go:

Me: Mo said he saw you here last week. Were you here? (I wasn't demanding or anything. I was curious because he really doesn't like it much and won't go unless I insist on it.)
Him: Silence.
Me: blah blah blah... I can't remember what I all I said, but I was cornering him. He hates that.
Him: (hems and haws-then frustration) Yes! Look, I can't worry about you every Monday night when I'm at band practice. I wanted management to make sure they were looking out for you if I wasn't here!
Me: (stunned silent - staring at him)
Him: I thought you'd be mad. But.. but I was really nice to them. I made sure.

The Hero Moment!!!!
If you read romance, then you know what I'm talking about.
I'm done here....

love ya'll.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Silly Things

So, last night we were watching the Oklahoma City Thunder tromp Golden State. How cool was that!!!

Anyway, it was the regulars: Me, Al and Carly. I know she doesn't look it, but truly, she is the happiest of all cats.
Anyway, she was sitting in Al's lap. See? Al's even wearing his Oklahoma City Thunder playoff T-shirt from the last game we went to...
Anyway (again), I laughed and said she doesn't even care about basketball. And, he said. You don't know that! She could be so sophisticated that she knows exactly what basketball is as a (and I quote this) See? "A superior being".

Hmmm. Granted, she is intelligent, demanding, standoffish and, at times, loving. But, a superior being? I know she believes she is superior, but I don't know.... what do you think? Never mind, never mind. I agree. She is superior.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Not a Pretty Moment

Life with Al definitely has it ups and downs. And you must forgive me, because this morning I find myself the point that I should not be blogging. However, I also find I must vent or I will actually implode.

My husband is a bit of a "control freak". He does not think that he is, of course. But then, what control freak can see that in themselves?

Some of you may know that I went on a bit of a road trip. Well, I was gone 19 days. That might account for some of the behavior I am encountering. Now, before you say, "well, she always goes on these jaunt's without her husband..." etc, etc... I want to clarify. I was scheduled for the RT Booklovers Convention in Las Vegas. I was looking at flights and he suggested I drive. The conversation went something like this:

Al: "Why don't you just drive? Gas is cheap right now."
Me: "It's sixteen hours!"
Al: "You could go see Brooke afterwards."
Me: "Oh."

That took care of that! Brooke (my only child) has a baby. He just turned 15 months but she lives in the San Francisco area. A far cry from Oklahoma City, you see. So, I did some research on renting a car which negated the price of gas. So, I told him if we could make sure my car was road-worthy, then I would drive. And, parking at the Rio Hotel in Vegas was free!

Thus, my trip was cemented. I decided to head out a day early to see my MC4 cohort in Santa Fe. Stay my week in Vegas, head to San Fran, then come back through Utah, well, because I'd never been to Utah. I had lunch in Salt Lake City with my cousin's daughter. Then, I decided to see all of my siblings. I have four! It was fabulous. Needless to say, I talked to Al every few days, most especially when the OKC Thunder was playing.

Fast forward to getting home.
I got home on a Thursday afternoon. I fed Carly (our cat) who gladly ate, but refused to speak any further to me. Her actions were a clear message. It took an hour to unload my little 2006 BMW cci30 convertible. (Amazing how much stuff you can stuff in such a small car!)

When Al got home, he seemed genuinely glad to see me. He took me for a nice steak dinner. The next day I went to the store because, I guess all he ate while I was gone was pizza. We were out of milk and bread, blah blah blah. So I decide to cook dinner on dinner and, as I said, I went to the store, but the garlic is gone. A jar of minced garlic that I keep in the fridge. It was brand new. I go to ask Al about it...and now, he's not so happy I'm home because he's practicing guitar and I have questions.

Me: "Where is the garlic?"
Al: ignore, or rather, keeps playing
Al: "What! I don't know. I just started playing."
Me: "That's not my fault, you've had all day. Where is the garlic? It was in the fridge in a jar. It was almost new."
Al: "You were gone a month, Kathy. I had to clean things out. They were old."

I'll leave the rest of that argument. I'm sure you get the picture.

So, back to why I'm so aggravated this morning? I made a piece of toast. There is no butter in the butter dish. That's fine. I'll just put some apricot spread on it. I open the refrigerator. No, jams. No, spreads. Nothing!

Me: "Where is all the jelly?"
Al: "I had to clean things out. You were gone a month. Don't be negative."

This is my bitch. Quit harping on money if you are going to throw things away without checking expiration dates, or conferring with me on my stuff. So, what is my plan of action with this passive-aggressive behavior?

Well, I can hold everything until my head explodes. Or, I can argue until I can't see straight. Or, I could get my own apartment where no one will mess with my stuff. But that would be really expensive. Or, buy my own refrigerator for the garage. One that locks. Or, just write a crappy blog to vent.

That's the cheapest, by far.
I'll take a moment and breathe now. Thanks for listening. That's more that I get at home!

Friday, August 28, 2015

An "Awww" Moment

In case you been under a rock the last couple of days, you probably know I just released the long-awaited, The Price of Scorn - book iv: Cinderella's Evil Stepmother. This is the fourth book (please! Call me "Captain Obvious") of my Cinderella Series. It went live yesterday. Throughout the day, reviews were popping up on Amazon. At one point I read one out loud to Al. I could hardly finish reading it because I kind of started crying, it was so touching. I glanced up and he was looking at me. He was kind of crying too! Then he said, "See? You are a writer."

I almost started crying again.

Here are a few of the reviews:

So in my Life with Al, this was one of the good days.

Read ahead for an excerpt and buy links.
The Price of Scorn - book iv: Cinderella's Evil Stepmother
excerpt: “SO, WE’RE TO HAVE a new papa?” Pricilla stood on her tiptoes, surveying the array of items laid on out Hilda’s vanity. To a curious child it must resemble a market full of sweet meats for the taking.

Her glance moved from a sleeping Esmeralda on a pallet before the hearth to Pricilla. Hilda took a small jeweled box from Pricilla’s hands and set it back on the vanity out of reach.

“Where did on earth did you hear such a thing, ma chère?”

“From Cousin Dirk.” Her tiny fingers clasped a necklace laced with emeralds.

Hilda frowned at Pricilla’s reflection in the mirror. “What exactly did Cousin Dirk say?”

Her nose wrinkled as she studied the clasp. “That if you married him, he would be more a papa than Gustaf ever had been.” She gave up on the necklace, dropping it back on the vanity before latching onto the matching bracelet and slipping it onto her wrist.

“That’s certainly true enough,” Hilda muttered under her breath. Gustaf had been a menace. But instincts warned Dirk would be just as awful, in perhaps a different way. “But as things stand, I plan on marrying no one.”

Pricilla paused and turned large, worried blues eyes on her. “But where shall we live?”

“Here, of course,” Hilda told her. She lifted Pricilla’s wrist and surveyed the gap that would fit an additional wrist or two. “Very nice.”

“But I heard him say if you didn’t marry him, we should have to leave.” Tears shimmered into luminescent pools. “That we should have to live in the woods—in the dark.” Her tears spilled over. “I don’t wish to live in the woods, Maman. I-I don’t like the dark. Maman, you must marry him. S’il vous plaît, you must.”

Each panic-trilled word rose in hysteria, until Pricilla threw her arms about Hilda’s neck, sobs racking her small form.

Hilda squeezed her tightly, furious at Dirk’s nerve in saying such things to a child. Her child. 

Buy Links

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


A couple of weeks ago I was speaking at the Pen & Keyboard writing group, an affiliate chapter of the OWFI, Inc. Their genre is widespread compared to OKRWA who is specific to writing romance.

The group was most gracious. My friend Eva Mahoney and the President of Pen & Keyboard, Vivian, asked me to speak "On Writing Romance". So I did.

Al is very supportive in my writing endeavors. And I hope that someday I can earn my way through my writing.

During my talk Al was busy taking notes that included things like:

You were nervous about halfway through, but it got better.
You talked to fast when you got to sub genres, I couldn't write it all down.
You mentioned heat levels but you didn't explain, I don't know what that means....

Things of that nature. In any event, after all the members had left I asked him what Vivian's last name was. Here is the conversation:

Kathy: Did you get Vivian's last name? I want to send her a note...

Al: Leigh

Kathy (stop): No. No, Vivian Leigh played in Gone With the Wind and Streetcar Named Desire. I don't think her name is Vivan Leigh...

Al (thinks for a second): Zabel. Z - A - B - E  - L

Kathy: right...thanks.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Understanding Social Media

Every 1st Sunday is my day to post on the MartiniClub4 blog. It was a "whoops, I need to get my pot up" and "oh, yeah. I need to write it!"

I just returned from the RWA Nationals Conference (Romance Writers of America). I was in New York City for ten days. It. WAS. FUN!

So today I'm catching up on Facebook, Twitter, emails, know? Stuff.

And I see this:

I'm  not completely making fun (okay, I am). But, hey...most of us know that you just click in the box to open the post...

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Leave a Message Please

This is a new little blog for humorous and sanity purposes. My husband is somewhat (hugely) OCD. On occasion I doubt the "high functionality" of  some of the more mundane aspects of life and and since decided to share them in a new online diary I will lovingly refer to as Life with Al.

July 9
I call Al's cell and, of course he doesn't answer. You know, like most people when they see you've called, if they want to talk to you they will call you back. My husband requires the caller leave a message. I, however, am a busy woman. I am helping out at his Law Office, writing, marketing and networking full time and have 3 books due by the end of 2015.

I didn't leave a message.

Al: I saw that you called but didn't leave a message. I could come in to the office this afternoon. Are you sure my signature has to be notarized? That's unusual. If so, I can't notarized my own signature.

There are several issues I have with this text...

#1 Yes, it's true. I called and did not leave a message.

#2 Good, you should come in to the office. You need to sign these papers before a notary.

#3 Yes. I cannot think of a scenario I would tell you your signature has to be notarized if it didn't. I don't make the rules.

#4 True. You cannot notarize your own signature and as the only notary at home is you, you will need to leave the house.

Of course, on other occasions, when I've left a message this is the conversation:

Al: I saw that you called. What did you want?

Me: I left a message.

Al: I didn't have time to listen to it.

That's all for today's Life with Al.