Go England!

Mr Kate went off to Hong Kong yesterday so I had the opportunity to have my breakfast in bed and watch the first half of England’s World Cup game against Ecuador all by myself. Mr Kate is a very fit man who goes to the gym voluntarily three times a week. But he’s not a great armchair sports fan. He prefers to do rather than to watch.

Now, obviously I’m the complete opposite. I love to sit and yell at the T.V-because I am a certified arm-chair critic. I know ‘everything’ about football-(not the American kind)-or at least I think I do. In the UK, they make you play everything at school even if you are really bad at it-hence I feel entitled to have an opinion!

I grew up in a family of 6 girls with two parents who loved sports. My mum was as avid a fan as my rugby playing dad. Rugby was ‘the’ sport but we weren’t proud, we watched everything and had an opinion on everything too. I shout, I scream, I leap off the couch. Most unlike myself really. My kids think I’m nuts, Mr Kate keeps out of my way but that’s okay. I enjoy myself.

A fine example of my dad’s love of rugby. My eldest sister insisted on getting married on the day Wales were playing the deciding match in the five nations rugby championship. When he stood up to give his speech at the reception, my dad looked at his watch and said, “Thanks for coming. The match starts in ten minutes. anyone who wants to watch it follow me back to my house”

So England-my team were playing Ecuador today. I almost can’t bear to watch them at the moment. so much talent and so so…blah. Where’s the passion? Where’s the energy?
But they won-thanks to Beckham who pulled off a spectacular free kick.

So a few days to calm down before I have to go through the agony again. I’m thinking of going down to the British pub in the next town to share the experience with my peeps as no one around me seems to get it. Okay-I am a sad person but I believe.

Oops-I forgot this blog is supposed to be about writing! I’ve got my lovely banner ad made by The Romance Studio up on my website-I’m looking forward to Planet Mail coming out on July 5th and will be running a contest. I also had the thrill of correcting my first set of paper page prints for my short story in the Virgin Sex and Shopping anthology. The cover is nice for that too. I can’t wait to see what they come up with for my cowboy book!

Restoration

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I’d like to introduce a friend of mine to you.  Restoration is the first published book from my buddy Caron Kamps Widden. She describes the book as women’s literary fiction which I think sums it up very well. It’s a very moving story about a man struggling to rebuild his life and restore his house while dealing with everyday kind of problems with teenagers and family that we all face.

I first met Caron at a writer’s class held in our local community center. I always remember her because she was the only person who had the nerve to ask the tough question-“well what if my writing really does suck-how will I know and when should I give up?”
I admired her honesty and her wacky sense of humor and always enjoyed the snippets of her work she shared with us along the way. Caron’s book was published on June 1st and is available from Hilliard and Harris Publishing  www.Hilliardand Harris.com
Caron’s website is at www.caronkampswidden.com if you want to pop over there and find out more.
Congratulations, Caron-obviously you can now rest assured that your writing definitely doesn’t suck!

Schools out this week

I’m never sure whether to be delighted when school is out or horrified. I no longer have to drag three unwilling teenagers out of bed and into the car complete with all their belongings, so that’s a definite plus. But then they are just ‘there’ at home, either sleeping or complaining there is not enough food in the house. (Off on a tangent here but isn’t it weird? Teenage girls start getting super picky about what they eat, teenage boys eat anything that moves and then some.)

My little routine gets disrupted for a while until they settle down with each other or decide to make long visits to their friends which again is fine by me. Apparently our house is boring and other people’s parents are far more exciting and spontaneous. I tell them it’s hard to be spontaneous when you have four kids between the ages of 4 and 17. Finding something they all want to do together is virtually impossible.

I’m thinking a cruise might be worth trying soon. They are all captive on the ship but you don’t have to know what they are doing. Sounds ideal.

Mr Kate and I have a big wedding anniversary coming up in August (20 years)-and yes, I was twelve when I walked down the aisle. We’re hoping to do something exciting and interesting and romantic-(I’ve already vetoed the trip to the Ferrari factory in Italy which ain’t my idea of romantic.) We’re waiting on various ducks to fall into place before we can decide exactly what to do (have I mixed my metaphors here?)

Of course, my idea of romance isn’t quite the same as Mr Kate’s. Once when I was pregnant, he took me to London to see a show. Now I love musicals-love them. Instead we had second row seats for “Misery”-it was a great show but when Sharon Gless sawed off the author’s leg and dumped it in a bucket two foot from my nose-I almost threw up. But it’s the thought that counts right? and Mr K is very thoughtful.

Actually, it’s amazing he is still talking to me after the last two weekends when I’ve taken him on a wild goose chase to get tickets to see my all time favorite band Steely Dan-twice to the wrong concert venue…How was I to know that there were two stupid pavilion ampitheaters in my area? Okay so I jumped to a conclusion and didn’t actually read the instructions-but I tried. he should know by now to double check everything in my life that actually deals with reality.

Hope everyone is enjoying the new format for the website. I’m really pleased with it. I’m starting some promotion for my upcoming book release Planet Mail on July 5th-that’s July 5th people-the day after that big celebration you insist on holding! (I’ll pretend all those fireworks are for me!)

I have a couple of friends to promote bookwise, so those posts will be coming up during the week -when I work out how to downsize the covers! (Technophobia rules!)

Fantasykids.com

Mr Kate and I had one of those trying conversations with our 17 yr old son over the weekend. We thought he had decided what he wanted to do at college but a couple of months ago he started making these vague snuffling noises which indicated that things might be changing. And they have. So after preparing ourselves to pay up the big bucks for college, he’s now thinking he might go to community college and take it more slowly.

I love my kids but I can’t say I understand them. After this particular conversation, Mr Kate and I started fantasizing about what it would be like to choose our children rather than just be given them-(and yes I know it’s our DNA causing the problems here but so what).

We ended up creating what can only be described as a potential gold mine. Our new online contest -FantasyKids.com. If you can have fantasy football, baseball and PBR why not take it a step further?

Here’s how it works. Each parent gets to pick a child. The child has to be a) of an age to actually be your child so for example Mr Kate and I can’t pick Brad Pitt or Sigourney Weaver-too old to be ours unfortunately.
b)The child has to be a real living person.

For example. Mr Kate decided our new eldest son would be the 20 year old Formula One driver Nico Rosberg. Why you might ask? Because he seems like a nice presentable young man, he’s already earning enough money to keep us in luxury for the rest of our lives and-well this is a fantasy right?
I decided I’d pick Emily Hughes the Olympic figure skater who seems like such a nice girl.

Anyway to accumulate points in the game, your fantasy child is rated in a number of key areas: talent, earning potential, press, looks, gifts given to family etc etc-(obviously we are still working the details out here). Points will be given for wins, big checks, good public appearance. Points will be removed for appearances in the bad tabloids, excessive bling or tackiness, eloping etc
As the proud parent, you can track your new child’s achievments and glory in them and then track their lows and feel grateful that you don’t have to deal with them in real life.

So who would you pick and why?