February 25, 2008

Finding Hope

Today was not such a good day. As most of you know, I am writing a novel. And for everyone else, I'm sure you've already guessed as much by the link that is so strategically placed to the right of my website which says Book in Progress/Finding Hope.

I have been working on this book for three years alongside a job and a baby.

The website, dedicated to the book, will be finished in a few months thanks to the help given by my computer savvy husband. And yes, normally book websites are made after the book is published, let alone written. But I have always been one to go full force.

When I started writing the story back in March 2005, I did a search on the internet for the title Finding Hope. I wanted to make sure there was not a novel by the same name.
There were a few self-help books but no fiction. I told myself, “I’m good to go!”

Now I admit, the title Finding Hope could be considered a tad overly dramatic and one can easily assume it to be the title of a Sunday night movie on Lifetime Television. However, my story is far from it. True, it is an inspirational story but the characters would be more in line with a Saturday Night Live episode rather than a Lifetime movie.

Today for some reason, I did a search for the title again. I not only found out that a romance book had been published by the same title but another book called Finding Hope is due out in December. There went my "good to go" feeling.

Another bit of information which I read is that titles of books can’t be copyrighted unless you make it a trademark or part of a business which can be quite expensive. Therefore, I will continue with the title of Finding Hope. And it’s not for a lack of creativity on my part. I can think of titles and story lines in my sleep.

So we’ll see. I’m not averse to changing it if it will increase the possibility of the book being published. As I’m sure someone somewhere would say, “Just get the book written. Everything else comes after that.”

Since the title is more popular than I thought, one day you may very well see me at a book signing telling a reader, “No not that one, no not that one either. It’s the last Finding Hope on the shelf: the one with the bridge on it. "Yeah,” I would say as I pointed to my name on the book, “this one’s mine.”

February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Since January 1, we have been on a steady initiative to eat better, healthier food. Today we decided to go to The Cheesecake Factory for lunch to celebrate St. Valentine's Day. For dessert, we reluctantly ordered a piece of Godiva chocolate cheesecake.

If you have ever been to The Cheesecake Factory, you know what I'm talking about when I say "cheesecake". It's not your run-of-the-mill homemade graham cracker crust in a tin pan with a Jell-O brand whipped cream type cheesecake. It's the grand daddy of the good cheesecakes.

Now this was all to celebrate Valentine's Day of course. Chocolate and Valentine's Day go hand in hand together, right? To have one without the other would be criminal, just plain criminal.

(I know, being overly dramatic is my second nature.)

And yes, we could have easily skipped that beautiful piece of Godiva chocolate cheesecake (if a cheesecake can be called beautiful) to go home and eat an individualized cup of sugar-free Jell-O chocolate pudding but somehow, they just aren't the same.

Here is our conversation:

"Boy, I bet there's a ton of calories in this bite," Stephane said holding up a piece on his fork.

"But it's dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has lots of antioxidants."

"This really blows are diet," he said.

"But," I reminded him, "we are sharing one piece. That's good."

"I guess," he said.

"You’ll go back to work and feel euphoric all day. And isn't that what Valentine's Day is for?"

"This is really good," he said taking another bite.

"Mmm, this is really good," I said.

So in honor of St. Valentine's Day, shun the guilt, go for the gusto and enjoy something rich and chocolaty because we all deserve one day to feel warm, cozy, and euphoric.

February 2, 2008

Lost and Found

Yesterday I called my mother, "We found your teeth!" Enthusiasm erupted. The long saga of the missing partials had been solved.

A month ago, my parents had come up to visit. An hour before they left, my mother started on her missing teeth crusade.

"They were in an apricot jelly jar, inside of an orange newspaper bag. Right there," she said pointing to a shelf in the dining room.

"What was?"

"My teeth!"

"What teeth?" I looked at her mouth.

"I had put my partials right there and they aren't there anymore."

I thought about asking why her teeth were in an apricot jar in the dining room in the first place. I mean, isn't there some lack of etiquette there or something? But I have learned that the less I say to my mother in a disagreement, the better.

For the next hour, we went about the house in a mad flurry all through the two story house, looking for a jar of teeth in a washed-out old jar of apricot preserves.

"Are you sure that's where you put them?"

"Yes, right there," she pointed to the shelf in the dining room.

"Are you sure you didn't leave them somewhere else and you just forgot?"

"Those are $500.”

They had to leave.

"We'll keep looking for them," I told her. (I volunteered my husband as well because I didn't want to be the only one looking for a jar of teeth. I hate looking at weird things: poopy diapers, throw-up and a jelly jar of floating teeth is included in that list.)

"They're in an orange newspaper bag. I left them right there in the dining room on the shelf."

"We'll look for it. I promise."

"Okay," she said with an overwhelming sadness. They left to go back to Indiana, my mother forlorn and my father more than ready to leave.

That night we received the first phone call. We heard the voice message when we got back from the grocery store.

“Debbie, are you there? Have Stephane go through the trash before he puts it out tonight. My partials could be in there. That’s $500 dollars.”

Stephane, my great and helpful husband, grimaced as he untied the trash bag, which was ready to go to the curb, and with latex gloves, sifted around for a plastic newspaper sack that contained a jar of false teeth. Nothing.

And then the looking started. For weeks we looked everywhere. I looked all over the all-purpose guest room/craft room/exercise room/anything that doesn't have a place room.

I looked under the bed where they had slept. I looked in the drawers. I looked in the upstairs bathroom several times. I followed the path from the bedroom where they slept to the bathroom that they used. I looked all over the dining room, behind books, on the ground, up on ledges. I looked in every place where she was and still, no jar of teeth.

Two weeks later and eight urgent phone call reminders from my mother asking if we had found them yet; I receive a letter in the mail - from my mother.

Inside the envelope was a piece of orange plastic newspaper bag with a note stapled to it: This is what the plastic bag looked like that my teeth are in.

A week after that, my husband was cleaning the island in the kitchen and said,”What is this?"

He was holding up an old apricot jar with a pair of partials.

"You found her teeth!" I declared.

You know how she said the teeth were in an orange newspaper bag in the dining room?

They were in a white Hobby Lobby sack in the kitchen.

And even though I’m nowhere near the age to have partials yet, I’ll now forever know they cost $500 dollars.