Tag Archives: weirdness

Romance Weekly: Research


Let’s get down to it, shall we? This week’s questions are courtesy of Dani Jace.

1. What is the most unusual thing you’ve ever done in the name of research for a book?

I’ve gone to a museum dedicated to Victorian-era prostitution in the Old West. Talk about a niche market, there. 

Actually, the museum was fascinating, though I will admit that some things shouldn’t be seen, and once seen, can’t be unseen, but whatever. It is only unfortunate that I was the only sober person in there (Hubs had the kids at the ice cream parlor). That was actually the awkward part.

2. Name a nonfiction book you’ve read for research that you wouldn’t have read otherwise.  Not including writing craft books.

I just finished Scotland: The Story of a Nation by Magnus Magnusson. It was pretty good. My non-fiction reading is usually reserved for the day job, so this was refreshing.

3. If you could travel anywhere to do research for a book, including back in time, where would you go?

I’d love to go back in time to Scotland. I mean, it probably smelled bad, and lord knows I wouldn’t be able to eat any of the food with my allergies (I’m a huge fan of Amazon Pantry, just because they have almost anything a girl could want. Somehow, I doubt 12th century Scotland carries gluten-free flour and other specialty products. It would be all, “Here. Have a steak, some eggs, and a piece of bread. Would you like a side of Death with that?”). With this in mind, I suspect 12th century Scotland would go something like this:

Me: Hey Scotland.

Scotland: Yo.

Me: What’s that smell?

Scotland: Hey, don’t hate. I haven’t a bath since last summer.

Me: Gross. Is that lice?

Scotland: Yes. Here, have a staph infection. Don’t forget, no antibiotics yet, so good  luck with that.

Me: Um, no thanks. I think I’m going home now.

And then I’d return to my century and spend all my time in the library, reading about centuries I can never visit because, well, I’ll die. Small things, right?

Also, I’m not sure why, in my head, Scotland sounds like a 20-year-old college boy, but it does. Some things are unexplainable.

Let’s go see what Mishka Jenkins had to say on the topic. I’m pretty certain her answers weren’t as ridiculous as mine. 🙂

Here’s another link, because I’m cool like that: https://awriterslifeformeblog.wordpress.com/


A Strategy for Dealing with Difficult People

Now, we’ve all had it: the meeting with someone who is difficult. That meeting you just don’t want to go to, whether it’s a confrontation with your boss, or with a difficult customer/client, or, if you’re a teacher, like me, a difficult parent. (Or, if you’re a parent, a difficult teacher)

Yesterday, I saw a picture that said something along the lines of “I put on my big girl panties, my bitch bra, my shit kicker boots…” and I thought, yes! I do that.

But that’s not the only thing I put on. No, seriously, I have a whole, “You’re a pain in the ass, so I’m going to put on my don’t mess with me wardrobe.”

A long time ago, I read some article that said that red is a very powerful color. Dominant. So, if I want to feel dominant, I wear red. Inevitably.

Red sweater, black pants, and really tall boots. I’m tall anyway, but I have one pair of boots that make me over six feet tall. My friends can spot a difficult meeting when the Amazon in red–with the bright red lipstick (not dark red, bright red) walks in. They know it’s really difficult if they see me reapply said red lips.

The other day, I walked in to work. An out of state gentleman from a private firm was supposed to be observing one of my classrooms. Being honest, I felt totally relaxed about it–after all, as speech, not very many people know what I actually do, and he wasn’t looking at me. Sure, I was there doing therapy, but I didn’t feel like I was the one under scrutiny.

But subconsciously, I must have felt it.

Because it wasn’t until I was escorting him down the hall that I realized, A) I’m really freakishly tall and B) Ohhhh, I’m wearing my power colors. And the power shoes. Which put me a good two inches taller than he was.

Sure, I sacrifice the comfort of my feet, but it works.

What about you? What do you do to feel confident? (Or, are you drawn that way? If so, lucky you!)

Fun With Search Engines

Some days, when I look at what drives traffic to this blog (hi, Mom!), I am pleasantly surprised. For instance, yesterday my top search terms were Meggan Connors and Meggan Connors author.

Hey, I resemble those search terms! Yay!

Then today: el mariachi hair.

Um, beg pardon?

It’s kind of like the search term: Do I look good in leather pants?

Oh honey, if you’ve come to this blog looking for an answer to that, I’m afraid the answer is probably no. (Also, unless your name is Kate Beckinsale or [a much younger] Antonio Banderas, no one looks good in leather pants. No, no. Seriously. No one.)

Happy New Year, everyone. May you be blessed with health and happiness in the new year. And no, you still probably can’t wear leather pants.

The Cardiologist Only Rings…

So I managed to land my happy ass in the hospital last night, so I’m posting this from my phone. (Shhh, I’m pretty sure my cell phone usage is breaking hospital policy. They’re cutting me slack because of my child care issues)

Of course this happened while husband is out of town.

I’m relying on two different friends to watch my children/get them to school. I’ve texted/called work and let them know. I honestly have the best friends a girl could hope for. Seriously.

One friend came to get me and took me to the hospital. Another friend came over later and watched the kids, and the one who took me to the hospital came back and sat with me in the ER until after midnight.

I’m lucky to have my friends.

When I came in, I told the ER doc (who was pretty hot, as an aside) I was relatively certain I was having an esophageal spasm, with my usual nausea. Lord knows I have enough GI problems that this would not have shocked me. I even said, “And I’m pretty certain that led to a panic attack. I’m certain it’s not a big deal, but…”

So they ran some tests, and all was well. We agreed I could go home at midnight if all remained well.

Two hours later, I’m chatting it up with my friend and feeling much better, when they came back in to tell me that, in my latest round of tests, all was not well.

Dammit, I had them fully talked into not admitting me, so I could go home to my children. But, given the family history, once those tests came back not entirely normal (me, not entirely normal? Shocking!), they basically told me I didn’t have much of a choice.

Crap on toast.

So here I am post stress test, waiting.

I think my stress test was relatively normal. So that then begs the following questions:

Do I get to go home?

Do I have to stay here?

What’s the dealio, yo?

On the upside, I was offered a speech path job at the hospital by the cute hospitalist. I suppose if the school district drives me over the edge, I’ll have my fall back position. (They pay better, too! Private industry always does)