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I grew up in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, then lived in Denmark and traveled throughout Europe before coming back to Colorado. I have two adult sons, whom I cherish. I started my writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor of two different papers. Along the way, my team and I won numerous state and several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, I was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism. Now I write historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.

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Seductive Musings

Friday, May 07, 2010

Remembering to breathe



Who cares if it's May 7? Last night it snowed. It had melted by the time the sun was high in the sky, but it's still nippy with the possibility of more snow ahead.

Ah, yes, springtime in the Rockies.

Tulips do look pretty in the snow. And so does my lily of the valley, which is just beginning to bloom. Those flowers are so precious and tiny. I have to get down on my knees in the grass to sniff them. I’m sure that makes a lovely sight.

Out in the veggie garden, I have six-inch high broccoli plants, as well as arugula, spinach, romaine lettuce, mixed greens and Swiss chard. When Benjy gets home — and when it actually gets warm — we'll open a second bed and plant tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, peppers and squash.

One zucchini plant only, and even then... At the end of the world, there will be zucchini and cockroaches, as I’ve always said.

I’m taking a moment to breathe. The past two weeks have been a whirlwind. Big papers, special editions, bills in the Senate, hassles in the House, new five-book contract. After we heard that the Department of Corrections was attempting to gut or kill the bill, I found myself getting super stressed out, and that's just not good for me.

We have reached a compromise with them. I'm very reluctant to compromise because I feel that some important aspects of the bill have been removed. Right now it contains about 85 percent of what I originally put into it. But when they start removing phrases like "so as not to cause the inmate additional pain or suffering" you have to wonder WHY. I still don’t understand.

The House Judiciary Hearing is Monday morning. I'm first up to testify. It could be on the House floor as early as that afternoon and could pass the House by Tuesday. Then it will go into conference committee, where the two sponsors and others try to work out a compromise on the two different versions of the bill. Once they do that, both chambers have to approve the changes. And then, finally, it goes to the Governor.

It's been a real education for me to see how things work behind the scenes at the Capitol. I think along the way I've managed to annoy everyone who's been involved with the bill. Me and my temper. Oh, well.

But I'm trying to let go a little bit. I can't write books if I'm stressed out of my gourd and have a migraine. So...

I'm starting Chapter 4 of Breaking Point today. Bad things reach something of a peak for Zach and Natalie in Chapter 4 — and then begin to turn around. Right now, they are just voices in the darkness for each other as they talk through the wall of a place out in the desert where they’re being kept prisoner.

I hope you all have a great weekend. Thanks for your support here and on Facebook regarding the bill. The debate on the House floor will be available via live streaming. I’ll post the URL when the bill is about to come up.

8 comments:

Debbie H said...

Sometimes it takes a temper to get people you have no clue about real life to listen. I'm very proud of you.

I can't wait to read Natalie's story.;)

Take care of yourself and get some rest.

Rachel said...

I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for you! I won't stop worrying until it has completely passed both houses. Also, awwww I'm so happy Natalie and Zach are there for each other at least, here's hoping they get to safety and steaminess soon!

Lori said...

so as not to cause the inmate additional pain or suffering

Inmates on death row are treated better. Here in CA the courts put a moratorium on the death penalty because lethal injection was painful for the convict.

Interesting that inmates on death row are (for the most part) men, and only women give birth.

Note that this isn't a commentary on my position on the death penalty; I won't say what that is. Just a general observation on pain and suffering.

Jane said...

Hope you have a stress free Mother's Day weekend. Thanks for the update on Breaking Point.

Mary G said...

Hi Pamela
It would have been so easy to give up & you didn't. You did your best. Considering that dealing with any level of government is like banging your head against the wall you did great.

Lori - you got it.

It means to me that they can just
drag them around & not take too much care in transporting them.

Need some more excerpts - going through withdrawal here LOL.

Crystal said...

Just wanted to say I won't be around much for the next couple of weeks - moving my daughter out of her dorm for the summer, graduation for my son (when did that get so complicated, time-consuming, and expensive? Are parents suddenly being punished for raising intelligent kids?) . . . but wanted to say I'll be thinking of you and all you have done for so many.


Best of luck with your bill and have a great Mother's Day weekend!

Crystal said...

Ooops - forgot to say how much I love the snow on the tulip picture. And while I don't know (thankfully) anything about cockroaches, I have planted more than one zucchini plant before - way more than one.

That's not the kind of mistake you make more than once.

I started leaving the little green treasures on my neighbors porches while they were at work. :)

Diane W. said...

I still have bags of grated zucchini from last year's garden in my freezer. I want to know how a zucchini goes from "not quite ready to pick" to the size of a nuclear submarine overnight. In Utah, we are famous for "doorbell ditching" bags of zucchini on people's porches. :)

And, yey for the shackling bill!!! I hope it all goes smoothly in committee for you and they don't hack it to pieces. Your legislative journey has had me singing the Schoolhouse Rock song "I'm Just a Bill" all day long. :) Good luck next week. I'll be cheering for you.

And, poor Zach and Natalie!! You've had them tied up (and not to each other) for four chapters? I'm already worried for them. Although the mental picture of Zach chained up with a torso glistening with sweat and a stubbly beard is distracting me somewhat. Ok, wait...what was I saying???

Have a wonderful, relaxing, stress-free weekend!!

Diane :)

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"I am an artist. I am here to live out loud."
—Emile Zola

"I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day."
—James Joyce

"Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery."
—Jane Austen

"Writers are those for whom writing is more difficult that it is for others."
—Ernest Hemingway

"When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth."
—Kurt Vonnegut

"The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar is the test of their power."
—Toni Morrison

"No tears in the author, no tears in the reader."
—Robert Frost.

"I'm a writer. I give the truth scope."
—the character of Chaucer in
A Knight's Tale