Vehicularly Challenged

I think I’ve worked out why I’ve got two tickets this year and none in the preceeding fouteen years. It’s my car’s fault.

Up until just under a year ago I drove great big vehicles filled with my kids, their friends, their bags and anything else I could squeeze in there. Did I ever get stopped by the police? No, because I was too busy driving the monster things. But now after a mini rebellion, I have this beeyootiful BMW which truly wants me to drive faster.

And the police seem to like it too. After my second ticket this one was for not doing a full 3 second stop at a stop line (I did a 1 second stop apparently)I realized that I’m going to have to drive completely by the book for the next 18 months to avoid Mr Kate’s wrath about the insurance rates. That depressed me because I have this gorgeous car and I might as well have a pushbike.

What is the point of having said sexy car if I’m worried about being tempted to break that 3-second stop rule again? I told Mr Kate that if I do get stopped again, I’m not, (stopping that is)-I’m going to make sure I do something worthy of a ticket like speeding down the freeway the wrong way. Or I might leap out of the car and try and strangle the police officer at which point he will either shoot me or send me to jail. Mr Kate says that there is something very wrong with my value system if I’m willing to go that far just to prove a point but I think he’s just worried about being left with the kids.

So I think I’ll go back to driving the big 8 seater and leave the BMW for Mr K-which was probably part of his evil plan anyway.

Other news-We were thinking about getting a home help type of person who could take the boys to school, do a bit of housework and generally make our lives run smoother. The other day I passed Mr Kate a page of adverts for Nanny/homehelp type people. A little while later I found him and eldest son looking up aupairs on the computer.Both of them seemed very keen on the idea. I had to have a ‘little chat’ withthem both to straighten them out. Cheeky.

I’ve signed the contract for Antonia’s Bargain for EC. No idea when it will come out yet but I’ll let you all know as soon as I do.
I also sold a very sweet story to The Wild Rose Press a new internet publisher. It doesn’t even have a kiss in it! Can you believe it? Finally something my mother can read…

And a final piece of shameless self-promotion-if you have time, go and check out the Avon Fan Lit chapter contest. Mine is called “The Spy who left me” write a snarky comment, give me a star or 5 and I’ll be a happy girl!

Plane Journeys with a 4 year old

My advice? Don’t do it. Or find some legal way of drugging the little darling.
My daughter is a sweetie but I seriously wanted to murder her about 6 hours into our return journey from the UK. She was bored sitting in her tiny space, she wanted to jump up and down and jiggle her hair and scream-and so did I but for slightly different reasons. I felt so bad for the very nice guy who had to sit next to us.

I was deeply grateful for the large activity and sticker book I picked up for her in the Early Learning Center. We colored and stickered for hours. At least she didn’t throw up on the return journey altho she had great fun pretending to do so-just to keep me on my toes of course!

I didn’t get to read a page of my book either way. I must confess I did stick my ipod on for about 40 minutes so I couldn’t hear her too well-but I swear I still continued to crayon and smile brightly.

The wedding was lovely. The reception was held in a very old posting house (inn) called The Angel on Guildford High Street. Apparently Jane Austen and the Duke of Wellington stayed there-not sure if that was at the same time but it certainly was historic. Our room was up in the eaves of the house through several winding corridors, fire doors and dead ends which made me worry that I’d need to leave a trail of breadcrumbs behind me to ever find it again.

My daughter couldn’t quite believe how many aunties, uncles and cousins she had and spent quite a while hiding behind me until she realized that everyone was delighted to see her and that she could run around from group to group. Everyone seemed to have a great time although we had to go to bed just after nine because of the jet lag. My daughter fell asleep on the couch so I arranged her pillows and covers over her and left her be.

I managed to get in a little shopping. Mainly for sweets, crisps and biscuits which all my boys back home, including Mr Kate were eagerly anticipating. Actually,they all complained that I should’ve brought more. But I was a bit worried how I would explain a suitcase full of tea bags and Haribo at customs.

I even went to the old sweet shop in Bishops Stortford (my old home town) where they still measure the sweets out of a big jar just to get my favorite toffee bon-bons. This shop smells just like the one I used to go to as a child to buy my dad’s favorite request-‘half oz of golden virginia and a packet of green papers’ Never occurred to me that I was aiding his smoking habit.

It’s good to be back. After eight years in the USA I don’t really feel like I quite belong in England any more-although I don’t feel I quite belong in California either (but who does?)Emotionally I’m somewhere in between as half my family are in the UK and my own family, Mr Kate and the kids, are in the US. My kids don’t really remember England at all so all their memories are here.

Writing news-I came back to find that Harlequin Mills and Boon had rejected my Regency set historical “Dishonor and Desire” but said some very nice things about my writing.
Ellora’s Cave have bought the follow-up to ‘Eden’s Pleasure’ which is called
“Antonia’s Bargain” and concentrates on the other twin, Gideon Harcourt.I’m very pleased with this one.
Romantic Times only gave me 2 stars for EP ouch-I think my subject matter was a little out there for the reviewer although she did say I showed promise.
As Mr Kate said-all publicity is good publicity!

I’m trying to write a shortish story to get me back in the writing groove so I’d better get on!