The great Groupon debate

August 9, 2011

I just had the strangest morning. I blame Groupon.

About 500 years ago, there was this daily offer in my inbox for house cleaning. It was a great deal. And my fantasy – to have someone else clean up after my crazy family for once. But could I really invite strangers in to see the kind of dust we kick up? I’d click on the Groupon. Then I’d close it. Then I’d click on it. This went on all day.

Finally, I got up my nerve and I bought that fricking thing at about 11:00 p.m., right before the offer expired. So then I had this Groupon, but it seemed so indulgent. And it was kind of outside my comfort zone. And shouldn’t I be doing my own cleaning anyway? So I buried it in my organizer to use, “when I really need it.”

God, I’m such a dork.

Anyway, when we were on vacation last week, I started thinking of that Erma Bombeck essay that she wrote late in life about how she wished she would have relaxed more, and not put off so much and how she wishes she would have burned the candles that were too good to light but instead got put away in the closet to gather dust. That was my coupon. Oh I’d put it away, but I hadn’t forgotten about it.

So I pulled out my little Groupon and scheduled the cleaners.

I wish I’d have been suave from that moment on, but baby steps, right? I cleaned the house last night, just to be ready for the maid service. We don’t want them to see a crummy stove, right? Or dust on the window sills? Or…?

Gah. They arrived, bright and cheery this morning and I tried to write and I tried to think of other things, but all I could think about was how wild it was to have them here. And that I wanted to see them scrub that front entry way, even though I didn’t want them to see me seeing them scrub the front entryway. Finally, I spared all of us and left to run errands.

In the end, the house looks great. Better than I could have made it. And I hope I’ve grown a little bit. Maybe. Stepped outside the old comfort zone? At least I finally used the Groupon.

I belong to a wonderful writing organization called RWA. Through RWA, writers can take online courses on everything from income taxes (ho, hum), to novel writing, to pirates. Guess which one I picked?

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Let’s face it – pirates are way cooler than income taxes or novel writing. And while I’ve read a few things in National Geographic and am a proud owner of Pirates of the Caribbean on DVD, I really would like to learn more. In the mean time, I’ve found a kindred soul.

After the class introductions, our teacher asked us to name our favorite pirate. Answers included Jean Lafitte, Calico Jack, Anne Bonny, Cheng I Sao.

My answer? Johnny Depp. Mainly because he’s toe-curling, fall down, close-your-mouth-now-Angie sexy. Besides, I don’t know who those other pirates are.

And that’s when my classmate, Lynn, sent me this footage of her meeting, yes, meeting Johnny Depp. Well, he greeted her, which counts in my book. That’s her with the wicked cool accent. Take a look and you can be jealous too.

[Okay. I know the link isn’t working. It’ll be up in a sec. I’m a writer, not a webmaster dang it.]

Confession Time

March 10, 2008

I read ahead for the love scenes. Not all the time, mind you. But some books are so compelling that I just have to know how the main characters end up coming together. Like in Grimspace, my new favorite book. It’s a fast-paced, touching futuristic that surprised me in so many ways.

It’s written by Ann Aguirre and what I love about her work is that she’s not afraid to surprise us, throw in some twists and make us wonder just how she’s going to pull things together in the end. Remember what I said on the Book Ends blog about pushing your story to the next level? Ann Aguirre makes it look easy.

So, yes, at 1:30 a.m., when I was half-way through the book and my poor husband had been sleeping with the bedroom light on since 10:30 p.m. (The guy really does deserve an award for living with a book-obsessed wife.). I did it. I paged ahead and read the big naughty, sexy, happy part. And it was so worth it.

So tell us. What books have you discovered that you just couldn’t read fast enough? And do you ever skip ahead when you read?

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