Writing Retreat Envy

Yes, I must admit, as I read the posts from my siblings regarding the writing retreat they attended last week in McCall, the ugly green monster of jealousy reared its' ugly head, because I so wish I could be there.

But, a little thing called a summer job got in the way.

With a daughter heading off to college this fall, I needed to make a little money this summer.

I know I would have loved being there, though. I'm glad my sister-in-law LR was able to attend.

I look forward to hearing all about it.

But, until then, I'll continue to sulk here in Kellogg because I didn't get to go...


Computer Down...Off My Game

It has been a week without my laptop. I feel a little off my game. I took it into the shop, and when the words "replace motherboard" came out of the technician's mouth, I knew it wasn't good.

It seems the power source is the problem, and he tried soldering it back, and that didn't work, so I may need to send it away and get a whole new motherboard. UGH!!

What to do...what to do?

So I'm back on the PC which is okay, but I'm a little off because I don't have everything on this computer.

I'll keep you posted....


The Summer of 1975

We received our sibling assignment from Inland Empire Girl this week. Here is the assignment:

What songs take you back to a summer growing up?

Share the song and the memories that are attached to it.

My mom made a purchase in the Summer of 1975 that had a great impact on my life.

She purchased a radio that gave me the ability to tune into an FM station from Spokane.

The station was KHQ-FM.

Before FM, residence in the Silver Valley were limited on their radio station choices because of the fact we lived in the valley, and the signals could not reach us from Spokane. The local station, KWAL, was okay, but I was longing for a little more variety.

The summer of 1975 was big year. I had just finished sixth grade at Sunnyside Elementary, and I was preparing to enter 7th grade at Kellogg Junior High. I'm sure I was filled with excitement and a bit of apprehension as I prepared to enter that huge building and go to all those different classes.

The one song I remember the most from that summer was Captain And Tennille's "Love Will Keep Us Together". And I seem to remember them playing that song a lot that summer, because it was the number one hit for a while.

I have a particulary vivid memory of me sitting on the front porch at my parents house, with the radio on the front porch, and the sky was getting cloudy, but I sitting outside listening to the radio. Possibly I received better reception outside.

There were others that summer that have stayed with me for over 30 years, such as "The Hustle", Elton John's "Philadelphia Freedom", "Listen to What The Man Said", by Wings, "My Eyes Adored You", by The Four Seasons, "Evil Woman", by The Electric Light Orchestra and Billy Joel's "The Entertainer".

If any of these songs come on the the radio today, I can pretty much sing them word for word, because they have a permanent place in my memory from the summer of 1975.

Writing about this post reminded me of the Steely Dan hit "FM". I invite you to enjoy a little Steely Dan.

High School Friend is Romance Writer

I told my friend Lisa I would put a plug in for her new book, a Harlequin American Romance titled Man of the Year. Below is a promo email I received from her, as well as a picture and write up about her. I am so proud of Lisa. We both graduated the same year from Kellogg High School, and were active in drama, choir and French in high school. Her parents live just down the street from me, and, if you are in for a steamy summer romance book, why don't you check this out.



I am thrilled to announce the publication of my first book, Man of the Year, by Harlequin American Romance. Man of the Year received four stars out of five from Romantic Times and has had other wonderful reviews, as well. Kay James at www.romancereaderatheart.com loved it and gave it her top rating. A couple of my guy-friends--you know who you are--read it and said: "though I don't read that kind of stuff, I liked it." High praise, indeed. I hope you will buy it, read it and love it, too. Then tell all your friends to do the same!

You can purchase the book at your local supermarket in June (if they carry Harlequin Romance) or online at www.eharlequin.com, www.amazon.com, www.borders.com to list a few. Borders also has it on the shelf this month for a limited time. If you see it, turn it face outward so everyone will be tempted to peruse it and buy! Read my author's page. I will also have a website up and running soon at www.lisaruff.net. Keep checking back for further updates there.

My next book, Baby On Board, comes out in January 2009, also published by Harlequin American Romance. I am working on my third book for them right now. I'll let you know when they are available.

Thanks for your support.
Lisa Ruff


Lisa Ruff was born in Montana and grew up in Idaho. The daughter of a forester, she lived in small lumber towns—some nestled so deep in the mountains that sunlight never touched the valley floor from October to April. She attended the University of Idaho and earned a degree in Interior Design. That training led her to Seattle, where she designed restaurants before starting her own interior design business.

Lisa met the man of her dreams in Seattle. She married Kirk promising to love, honor and edit his rough drafts. His pursuit of writing led Lisa to the craft. A long-time reader of romance, she decided to try to create one herself. The first version of Man of the Year took three months to finish, but her business got in the way of polishing the manuscript. She stuffed it in a drawer where it languished for several years.

In pursuit of time to write and freedom to explore the world, Lisa, Kirk and their cat sailed from Seattle on a thirty-seven-foot boat. They spent five years cruising in Central America and the Caribbean. Lisa wrote romance, but it took a backseat to an adventurous life. She was busy writing travel essays, learning to speak Spanish from taxi drivers and handling a small boat in gale-force winds on the ocean.

When she returned to land-life, Lisa started a marine canvas business. Her summers were filled with patterning, cutting and sewing covers and biminis for boats. One winter, she finally revised Man of the Year and sent it to an agent. Within a year, she had a contract from Harlequin American Romance. That same month, Lisa sold her canvas business in order to pursue her dream of writing full time. She and her husband are cruising on a sailboat again—this one 40 feet long—somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. When not setting sail for another port, she is working on her next Harlequin romance book.


I am so proud of Lisa, and can't wait to read this book for myself, and the many more that are in her future!!


Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

This week, I gave the sibling assignment, and I am going to get it done on time!!

My assignment for the week is as follows:

Write about a Silver Valley memory where the central focus deals with one of the four Greek classical elements: fire, earth, air or water.

I have very vivid memories from my childhood that deal with water, or specifically rain.

I must have been three or four year old when I was out with my wagon and my doll, and I was walking around the block, and all of a sudden there was a downpour. BH, who lived on the next block over, took me to her house to find shelter from the storm, along with my doll and wagon. I stayed there until the rain storm was over, and I could get home without getting drenched. I think my mom was a little worried about me, but I think BH's mom called her, and let her know I was okay. That incident must have had a great impact on me, because I remember many vivid details from that event.

I was very scared of thunder and lightning rain storms when I was little. Now I love them, but as a child, they were very frightening.

When I was in fourth or fifth grade, we had a lot of flooding here in Kellogg, kind of like this year. The "Lead Creek" or the South Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River was running very high, and we were out of school because of the flooding. My friend WM called and asked if I could come over. This involved crossing the bridge over the river...the river that was running very high. It didn't really frighten me that much to cross the bridge...but Mom was a bit freaked out.

Rainstorms, Thunder Lightening. Floods. All were a part of growing up in the Silver Valley, and were part of my memories of growing up in this valley in the mountains.

Remembering The Wizard of Oz

"The Wizard of Oz" is one of those shows that was shown annually on television beginning in 1959, except, interestingly enough, the year I was born, 1963.

But I am sure, from the time I could watch tv, I watched it each year it was on, if I could.

I'm not sure what year we had our first color television, but I am sure the impact of the show was even greater when all of sudden Dorothy opened that door, and she was in a world of color.

Dorothy and her story of her journey were the seeds of many skits I wrote and performed over the years.

While in high school, some friends and I were rather obsessed with this particular movie. I'm not sure what fueled this obsession, but, before VCR's and DVD's, my friend JB had his mom tape record the entire movie from the television on a cassette tape. In looking at the Wikipedia site, this would have been the 1981 broadcast on CBS airing Friday, February 27 at 8 p.m.

The following Monday, JB and I, and perhaps LR sat in the Kellogg High School cafeteria in the morning and at lunchtime, listening to this tape recording of "The Wizard of Oz", and saying the dialogue and singing the songs right along with the recording.

My now sister-in-law LR reminds me of this incident every once in a while. She remembers walking through the cafeteria and hearing us singing along to the tape, and I believe she may have even stopped and joined us for a while.

But those are my childhood memories of "The Wizard of Oz". The sibling assignment that Raymond Pert gave us a couple of weeks ago, and that I am now finally getting around to writing was this:

"What do you understand about The Wizard of Oz as an adult that you didn't understand as a child?"

I think I understand more today that often what we want out of life, and don't think we have, we have had all along.

Such as Dorothy. She got mad and wanted to run away from home because she thought no one understood her. But then she realized that home wasn't such a bad place, and that "there's no place like home".

The Scarecrow thought he didn't have a brain, yet he showed his cleverness and smarts all along the yellow brick road as he helped his friends get to the all powerful Wizard of Oz.

The Tinman claimed he didn't have a heart, but he had the most compassion as they traveled the road to the Emerald City.

And the Cowardly Lion, one of my favorite characters in the movie, thought he lacked courage, yet was the bravest of them all.

I think most of us go through a period in our lives when we don't like our home, our family, we want to get away...which part of that is a natural progression of growing up and needing to move away. But then we move away, get some perspective, and realize what a wonderful home we truly have.

And, like the Scarecrow, we often feel pretty stupid. We lack confidence in the things we know, which often keep us from doing things we are able to do, but we think we are too stupid, so we don't even try. But then, we do venture out, our confidence grows, we start realizing the things we are smart at, and we realize we can do some things really well.

Fear often leads us to those times when it seems like we have no heart. We go through a period when we are kind of mean, and we just think about ourselves. But, like the Tinman, we realize we had a heart all along, and that love and compassion for others grows, because we quit focusing on ourself all the time, and start realizing there are people out there who have needs, and need the love of someone else to help them in their lives.

And, like the Cowardly Lion, we think we can't do something because we fear we will fail. But then all of a sudden we are faced with an obstacle, and usually it involves helping someone else we love, and, low and behold, we realize we have

Courage. What makes a King out of a slave? Courage.
What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage.
What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist or the dusky dusk?
What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage.
What makes the Sphinx the 7th Wonder? Courage.
What makes the dawn come up like THUNDER?! Courage.
What makes the Hottentot so hot?
What puts the "ape" in ape-ricot?
Whatta they got that I ain't got?

Dorothy & Friends: Courage!

Cowardly Lion: You can say that again.

But, in the end, the lion was very brave, because he had someone else to look out for besides himself. And that gave him the courage he needed.

As the Wizard so wisely told them all at the end, it was inside of them all of the time.


School's Out For Summer

A-h-h-h-h-h-h. The first week of summer vacation. Well, at least that is what the calendar says. The snow on the hillsides this morning might indicate otherwise.

The last week of school was full of lots of activities for Z2 and Kiki Aru. On Wednesday morning, all of the KMS students got to got to the newly opened indoor water park at Silver Mountain for free. It was really fun.

That afternoon, the annual KMS talent show was held. Kiki Aru was one of the 6th grade contestants, and performed a song called "Pocketful of Sunshine."

Also during the talent show, different awards were presented. The first award was the Frank S. Reasoner Award, presented to a student in each grade level who is the best all around student. Z2 received this award. She was presented with a framed certificate and $100.

On Thursday afternoon, Z2 participated in the 8th grade completion ceremony. Because she is 8th grade class president, she gave the opening address.

Then she received her promotion to 9th grade at Kellogg High School.

That evening, Z2 joined her classmates for the 8th grade class dance.

It was a fun and busy week. I hope this helps explain a little bit about my absence this past week.