Tuesday, February 22, 2011


It's taken me a while, but I'm just recovering from the wild Daytona 500. Trevor Bayne stunned the NASCAR world by having the best car and the smoothest, coolest temperament on the track. Victory Lane was such a joyous place, no one could object to the Wood Brothers being there with their very very rookie driver.

What is truly wonderful is how clear Trevor is in his faith, and how unafraid he is to say he prays. With his crew. Before every race. And he talks about it. What a nice change. Not that there aren't nice, even devout, drivers lining up on the track. Yet Trevor is refreshingly open and honest, not to mention grateful, for God's direction in his life.

We hope and pray he never loses sight of his relationship with his Lord.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

More Daytona...

So I managed to stay awake long enough to see Michael Waltrip win the truck race on the 10th anniversary of his Daytona 500 win as a driver for Dale Earnhardt Inc. The tears were flowing, both in Victory Lane and in the Speed announcer's booth as Darrell Waltrip was remembering ten years ago along with everyone watching. What a race - Michael pulled out from behind Sadler with about a hundred yards to go and just beat Sadler to the line. I imagine Sadler didn't complain too much - the history of the moment trumped everything else.

Now for the NW race! Oh my, if this is half as good as the truck race, it's going to be a lulu.

Must make veggie soup so it can "work" while the race is on. I'll post the recipe, a family fav, when I get a chance.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Oh my, the engines are roaring on the Daytona track, and I'm so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. With temperatures in the seventies, I got a ton of errands run and chores knocked off my list. All of which were much more pleasant in such lovely weather, but sheesh. . . I'm ready for bed and it's not yet nine!

Staying put in front of the computer can be just as exhausting, but in a different way. I need a nice long walk with the doglet to work out those kinks and clear my mind of the aftershocks of living in a make-believe world for hours.

Must stay awake. Need to stay awake. Oh, to heck with it. I'll be perkier for the NW race tomorrow afternoon.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Does any writer ever feel a book is completely finished? Or it simply that deadlines must be met and the book turned in, whether or not you're happy with it?

In rereading some older books, books I thought were pretty danged good, I'm seized with an almost irrepressible urge to rewrite them, sentence by sentence. I've rationalized this scary feeling by telling myself that I'm a better writer now, that I never cease learning with each new book, and it's okay, take a deep breath, and move on. But it's not that easy.

Self-doubt about one's artistic ability seems to be inherent in the creative process. You don't improve if you think you're God's literary gift to the world. But I've countered that paralyzing demon so far by knowing that my talent isn't "mine," in other words, a personal possession. I can never explain where my ideas originate or how I express them, because I know they come from a source other than my pea-picking teeny brain. I can, and do, work on my craft. I study other writers and their techniques. I work to make the story clear and fun to read. But those are just mechanics.

As a creative person, I'm a work in progress and I don't intend to stop learning for one second how to be better at what I do.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spoiled Brat Brian Vickers

I'm on a tear. Tear, as in "rip it up," not "tear," as in weeping. Well, maybe a bit of both. Just read the Maxim article about Brian Vickers, one of my fav drivers.

At 27 yo, he's too young to be this dissipated. Despite a scare with blood clots that almost left him dead, he's a hard-drinking partier who doesn't seem to realize the full import of the second chance he's been given. Sure, he's back in the 83 car after his docs cleared him to drive. But what did he learn when he wasn't able to get behind the wheel for ten months? Sounds like he learned he'd better drink his vodka faster and harder to make up for lost time.

How does a red-headed, munchkin-looking guy from a small town in North Carolina turn into a Manhatten club-hopper on a steady binge? Sounds to me as if his mama needs to grab him by the ear and drag him home for a good talking-to. And his daddy might use a switch behind the woodshed on his backside, for good measure.

People with talent, money, and millions of people in their corners don't need to waste their lives the way it sounds like Vickers is. If he has a death wish, he's on the right road. And it's too *$(@ bad.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Fun Times

I'm having a blast re-reading some of my older books. Books that were probably too far out there for their time, or books that just didn't fit into the regular publishing mold, have languished long enough on my hard drive. I'm reworking some of them to put them on Amazon, and if I have half as much fun as I did with THE LAST CAMPAIGN, I'm a very happy woman.

Despite this extra work, SIGNS is progressing. It needs a new title but I'm not inclined to stop the wordsmithing at this point to think of one. Titles, at this stage, tend to be utilitarian. Someday I'll relate the story about my first western, THE LAY OF THE LAND, and what my first editor had to say about its, um, other meaning. I was clueless.

Today, while most of the country hunkers by the fire and makes cocoa, we have warm winds, birds going chirp-happy, and buds on the forsythia. Yeah! I'm taking today as as omen that Spring and racing aren't too far behind.