Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Crossfire Cover

It's here! I know this book isn't scheduled to come out until January, but one of the wonderful editors at my publisher (Covenant) sent me the cover image for Crossfire today and I thought I would share.
This is the third book in my Saint Squad series, although I will admit that I keep getting confused which book is which. The first two are easy enough to keep straight, but I was doing the final proofs for Crossfire at the same time I was doing the first bit of editing for the next book, Backlash. That and the fact that the timelines for the two books overlap a bit have definitely forced me to stay on my toes.
With Crossfire ready for print and Backlash ready for editing, I've turned my attention to the fifth book in the series I have been diligently working on it since school started two weeks ago. Unfortunately, I managed to write the first fifty pages only to decide that I didn't like it at all. I figure that if I'm not excited to get up in the morning to write it, no one is going to find themselves staying up all night to read it. So I went back to page one, literally. And I'm glad I did. I only have the first fourteen pages written, but already I like the way it's going. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will keep on moving!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Twenty years ago today...

Twenty years ago today I drove through the front gates of CIA Headquarters. It was the first time I did so as an employee of the Central Intelligence Agency. It was a strange feeling, being stopped by the guards, having them find my name on the list of new employees, and being directed through the multipe layers of security to ultimately find my destination: new employee orientation.

At the time, I thought the CIA was going to be a lifelong career. It definitely could have been, but after six years, three months, and two children, I ultimately decided to shift my priorities. Still, I enjoyed the work at CIA, both the challenges and the feeling that I was living history as it was being made. I also loved the atmosphere in those halls and the way the employees seemed to connect so well with one another. Perhaps it was because we had all been so carefully screened to get there, or because we all knew that when we passed through those gates each night we could no longer speak of what we had seen or what we had done that day. Whatever it was, many friendships were formed and many confidences were shared.

As I look back on the years I worked at the CIA, I find myself a bit nostalgic. I miss the energy of those halls, the feeling of unity of the employees, and the shared ambition to keep this country safe. Mostly, I miss the people.

So I have spent today remembering my early days with the Agency and the wonder of being a new employee. And when the school busses dropped my children off in staggering intervals, I was reminded of what was important enough to make me want to give up that part of my life.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kids in school! All of them!

That's right. For the first time in my life, all four of my children are in school at the same time. Four kids. Four different schools. But they're all at school all day. That's right. All day. Of course, I'm already amazed at how short "all day" is.

Starting time for the schools here in Virginia are staggered so that they can use the same buses for the different age groups. This basically means that I start shuffling kids out the door at 6AM (for early morning seminary) and don't actually get the last one out the door until almost 9AM (the kindergartener.) Then the first one arrives home at 2:30.

Theoretically, this means that I should have 5 1/2 hours to myself. If only it weren't for those pesky dishes and laundry that seem to breed every time I turn my back on them!

The good news is that I have started a new book. Or at least I'm trying to start a new book. Beginnings are always tough for me. Okay, the first fifty to a hundred pages are tough on me, but who's counting? In three days, I'm only up to page 20, but I'm trying to be optimistic. After all, that's 20 pages I didn't have last week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that next week I'll get past the 50 page mark and I'll figure out what this book is actually about. :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Okay, so I know I have been terrible this summer about keeping up with my blog, but this morning really showed me how crazy things have been and I thought I would share. About 7:30 this morning, my five-year-old son came in determined to wake me up. I had been up late last night gathering and organizing school supplies so I was hoping to sleep in. No such luck.

I was barely even coherent when my son asked me what day it was today. I rolled over, tried to open one eye and mumbled, "Thursday." To this he responded, "No, I mean what DAY is it today?"

I managed to open both eyes, which was quite an accompishment since I was still half-asleep, and I told him again, "It's Thursday."

He just shook his head and said, "But what do we have to do today?"

Yeah, we haven't had a lot of sit at home and do nothing days this summer. Today's answer was going to meet his kindergarten teacher at open house, watching a friend's child for an hour or so, and getting one of my older daughters to soccer practice. All of this has to be done without a car, mind you, because my oldest daughter picked up an extra shift at work and will be in Fredericksburg all day with my car and my husband won't be home until everything is over.

As my week was beginning, I counted everything up that I had to do including the three open houses, two trips to the airport, four soccer practices, a piano lesson, a coaches' meeting, various dentist and doctor appointments, etc. And of course, with only two cars right now, my oldest has my car more than I do since she's trying to squeeze in as much work as possible before she leaves for college this weekend.

So the real question is, what am I going to do with myself NEXT week when everyone is at school? Hey! Maybe I'll write a book!