All Articles by Lori

11 Articles

Mom, I broke the ceiling.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Despite the gloomy rain that has canceled soccer practice, messed up my hair, made it difficult to drive home from the ER late one night and interrupted my dogs’ outside playtime, I am still optimistic. For me this week, there has been a silver lining to every cloud.

The week started out uneventful. I did the normal mom stuff and worked on my writing. Tuesday, my oldest child developed hives. We thought it was due to a new body wash she had been using, so I gave her benadryll and sent her to school. I missed one of my weekly writing groups to stay close to home. Instead, I went to the local library and sat in the quiet room. Those places are amazing, but eerily quiet. I felt guilty just unzipping my computer bag. As I was done, I peaked over my shoulder to confirm that I had not disturbed the dark haired college aged girl behind me or the balding man in kakis and button down shirt several desks down. I have found that these rooms produce a strong need in me to accomplish the task I set out with. No distractions. I now know I enjoy working at the library. 🙂

My daughter seemed to improve until Wednesday morning, when she woke with more hives. This time I gave her medicine and sent her back to bed. I did wake her and took her to school a couple hours later so that she could take a scheduled test. Not long before the school day was over, I got the dreaded call. She had worsened and I needed to go get her. I do have to mention that I was able to meet up with a new writing friend and get a lot accomplished in-between that time. She and I work well together, just the right amount of talk to work ratio. Love you, Harper Kincaid. 🙂 Back to the story, shortly before my youngest two got home, my daughter’s breathing became labored. My husband came home to watch the boys and I rushed her to the ER. Not really sure what we should do, I said we would sit in the parking lot at the hospital and talk if her breathing improved, but I wanted that reassurance of knowing help was close by if needed. Her condition had not improved, so we went in. I tried to stay calm and I thought I was until I noticed the trembling in my hands as I fumbled with my drivers licence under their new checking-in kiosk. Apparently, I do not follow directions well when stressed. I checked myself in instead of her.

One epinephrine shot, an albuterol treatment, tons of pills and five hours later, we were given the choice to admit her or monitor her at home. She had definitely had an allergic reaction. To what we are not quite positive yet, but we will see an allergist. The plus side to this is that we know and will be prepared when she goes for her first few weeks away from home this summer. My husband, daughter and I all know how to use Epi-pens now, so if your child has an allergic reaction at my house, I will know what to do. 🙂

Lastly, this morning while my youngest two boys were finishing breakfast, I walked into the office for a minute. My 9 year-old, who had been hurling a homemade stress ball around all morning, rushed in moments later. “Mom, I broke the ceiling.” I walked back in to notice chunks of dri-wall and drips of water splattered on the floor. Knowing it was an accident, I wasn’t angry. I tried to be the stern parent and hide my amusement by covering my mouth with a hand. Judging by the tentative smirk on my son’s face, I was not successful. Sure, it will be a pain to fix it, but we now know there is a leak somewhere up there. My son just helped us discover it early. 🙂

So, I’m exhausted, have tons of work to do and the rain keeps falling. But overall it’s a good week.

Character flaws and is this little cookie Innocent or Evil?

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I re-discovered this week that I have a major character flaw. A fondness for those cookies that my daughter has sold once a year for nine years. You would think by now I would understand that I cannot be trusted with a box of those things. I keep telling myself they are for a great cause and that’s why I continue to buy them, but am I lying to myself?

If I were in a contemporary romance, I would be the almost overweight heroine that gets snowed in with boxes of the one thing she can’t resist. Oh wait, no maybe that’s reality!

Characters need flaws. They are not interesting if they are perfect. I’m reworking my first book now, one of the reasons is my hero is too perfect. Can you imagine that, the perfect man? Sure my husband comes close to perfection but we are talking books here and the characters have to grow.  They need to have learned something on their journey and changed for the better. My protagonist has plenty of issues, she almost needs a therapist. But somehow it’s taken me longer to learn how to develop the hero’s shortcomings.

As my writing has grown, so have my skills at assigning character flaws. In Highland Deception, my hero’s great flaw is on the first page of the book! My heroine’s is not far behind. Their defects feed off of each other and they must learn to overcome them in order for a Happily Ever After to take place.

Will I ever learn to overcome my current flaw? I think I learned a lesson, but I’ve said that before. Am I doomed to make the same mistake year after year? Those evil little cookies keep calling my name.

What do you think makes the best character flaws in the romances you’ve read? Jealousy, self doubt, greed or a phobia? I would love to hear from you.

Lori

Hi, my name is Lori and I’m a romance writer who does not like Valentine’s Day

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Is there a  recovery group for that? How could I not be in love with what is supposed to be the most romantic day of the year?

I think romance is directly related to either the time or the thought put into the effort. I am sure there are plenty of people that put lots of time and effort into planning a special day. But here is my take on the commercialized version of the holiday.

  • Stopping at the gas station or grocery store to pick up flowers, balloons and chocolate say to me, “Honey, I did not think of you until the last minute.” And, “I did not really think about what would make you happy. I did what society expects me to do.”
  • The giant teddy bear on tv or the chocolate scented one at the grocery store (yes they really do exist) are just plain creepy. Men, do you really want your woman snuggling with a stuffed animal instead of you?
  • Okay, I know most women love flowers. Maybe I’m crazy, but does anyone else have this problem? I can’t see the people on the other side of the table I want to talk to? I’m constantly moving them from location to location to get them out of my way!
  • Chocolate. Yes I do love chocolate, but I also love fitting into my clothes.
  • Wine. Maybe that’s the answer. No complaints there. But if you drink enough, you could probably forget about the lack of emotion behind your “pick up on the way home from work” gift.

One romantic thing my husband did recently was tell me he was going to take the day off from work just to spend it with me. It was not forced upon him by a manufactured holiday. It was genuine and completely unexpected. I look at that as my Valentine’s Day, because who out there with kids gets to spend the day alone with their significant other anyway? And if you are able to make it out, it’s to an overcrowded restaurant with overpriced specials.

And ladies, what do you do for your men? I don’t think the holiday is marketed as much toward pleasing them. I usually make mine his favorite meal (which takes three hours to prepare).

I would love to hear other’s opinions. Please give me your thoughts on Valentine’s Day. I know it must have some redeeming qualities. Please tell me why you love it. 🙂

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