I know, I know, I’ve been missing in action. *sigh* Life in the Pierce house has been a little out of control. This is the first week in the last couple of months I didn’t manage to pre-load my posts. Shame on me.

Anyway, here’s part of what’s been happening. MY DAUGHTER, BEAUTIFUL GIRL, GOT MARRIED! I know, right? *sniff sniff*

Mr. Nina and I were realizing it was just a year ago this month that our future son-in-law, Lover Boy, asked Mr. Nina for our daughter’s hand in marriage. They were on the golf course doing the “guy” thing where it all began.

Fast forward to a year later. My daughter (and her fiance) was a crazy-woman doing all kinds of crafty things for her wedding. They made all of their wedding invitations. She created gorgeous table numbers with baby photos of the two of them. She made all the place cards. She made a “card cake” for the gift table. She made allllll kinds of things. But the day before the wedding (when her mother assumed everything was finished) she hadn’t done the BIG things. Oh, like pick up all the flowers for the wedding. Find her wedding rings … yeah in the craft/laundry/dishes mess that had become her livingroom floor over the past two weeks. Create the soundtrack of music that would be played at her wedding. Pack for the wedding weekend … just to name a few things she hadn’t done THE DAY BEFORE THE WEDDING, ONE HOUR BEFORE REHEARSAL!

So two days before the wedding when her future mother-in-law took several family members and my daughter to a spa for mani’s and pedi’s, we thought it would be relaxing. Only, the nails Beautiful Girl had been nurturing for a month (for the “ring” picture) got cut off by the manicurist! Cut off! Which meant a quick trip to the salon the next morning for nail tips. And THEN I found out everything that still needed to be done.

The laundry list of stories that will be retold in the Pierce house is long. (Because we never do anything easy.) But include:

– Beautiful Girl 30 min late for her own rehearsal
– Sex toy party thrown by her bridesmaids in her wedding suite
– Forgotten wedding veil that required a 40 minute road trip at 1 am
– A light mist that turned into a full blown rain 20 minutes before ceremony
– Makeup person doing funky things on bridesmaids that needed to be remedied
– Beautiful Girl plugging her ears singing “la la la la … I can’t hear you” as they’re doing her hair (because she was done making decisions)
– Moving the wedding indoors and starting 30 min late

All of which ended with a beautiful, heartwrenching ceremony that had everyone in tears. A fun reception. And a couple of kids who couldn’t be happier. Crazy, wonderful times. (And I’m glad we survived. LOL!)


Where it was supposed to be

Where it actually was

The Pierce Family


That’s the sound of a truck backing up. (Can you hear it?) Anyway, this week has been very frustrating. A virus wormed it’s way into my computer and infected EVERYTHING! Tentacles wound themselves so tight around my stuff that the tech guy couldn’t find the heart of the beast.

I was amazingly calm for someone who lives on her computer. I’m not exaggerating. I turn the thing on around 8 am and shut it down as late as 10 or 11 (if I’m writing–even later than that.) Besides my books, my budgets, both business and personal are electronic.

But when I called (yep, that’s a shameless plug for an amazing business out of Pennsylvania) I was very calm as I told them my computer was being held hostage and I wasn’t sure I could get the ransom before … oh, sorry, that’s one of my books. Anyway, things looked very bleak for my dear electronic friend as I handed my very sick computer off to the PCWeb doctor at their ER. Well, I’ve already shared the story. (Scroll down two posts to “It’s Alive”.) Dan (whom I will always secretly love) remotely took over my computer and the news was baaaaaaaad!

But I was not panicked.

I have a handy-dandy flash or jump drive that holds every single one of my books. EVERY one of them. (Even the ones that are merely a page or two and just notes.) My finshed books along with all my author copies are tucked safely into it’s folds.

Plus …

My finished books AND author copies are burned on to CDs. I even have my book trailers and website/blog info stored on both flashdrives and CDs. Overkill? You betcha. But guess what? When Dan said it may wipe out everything. I didn’t shed a tear. Groaned loudly, but truly didn’t panic. All of my gems are right here next to me. I knew my babies were safe.

There are now online ways to backup your files though I’ve never been able to get one set up.

In the end, it didn’t come to that. Everything worked just fine and I didn’t lose even one day’s worth of writing. If you live on your computer and depend on it whether you’re a writer or not … BACK UP! BACK UP! BACK UP! and back up again. Because Dan mentioned this new virus smooth-talked its way around my firewalls and there’s a high probability, now that it has my number, it may very well come back a third time.

So, did I mention you need to be dilegent about backing up your stuff? You never know when some virus will come wandering into your sanctuary and steal away everything near and dear to you.

It’s an awful place to be. Stuck.

I got nothing.

Nothing going down on the blank page. Nothing running through my brain for blogs… I’m out of words. And that is such a bad place to be. It leads to …


Which I am working very hard to push away. Obviously if the words aren’t coming, the stories aren’t unfolding, the work isn’t getting done and the books aren’t heading out the door to be published. Without new books there aren’t new readers finding my writing. It’s such a bad place. I’d like to think it’s the time of year … but it’s been “that time of year” for nearly a year. Of course being in limbo since the spring of 2011, with no place to settle and now no job for Mr. Nina. (Fingers crossed that situation is changing soon.)

I’m floating around to other writer blogs and they’re announcing their new releases… I’m happy for them… or they’re talking about the book they just finished… you go author… or how their book was a huge sell this month… yay… or how another indie-pubbed author just bought a new house … see me enthusiastically celebrating with them… NOT!

Now don’t get me wrong. I truly don’t begrudge them their successes, a part of me is happy for them, but a bigger part of me wonders why I can’t have that? Ideas and words falling onto the page and success just banging down the door.

I’m impatient.

I know this. It’s one of the really bad things in my personality that I work hard on. I see it. I want it. And hell and be damned if I have to wait for it.


But that’s the name of the game in publishing. Patience.

It’s an awful cycle. The block, the panic, the depression. Okay, so I’m not depressed… but the situation makes me mopey. Since it seems to be the topic on several panels, I suspect I’m not the only one in this situation. Little Boy Blue thinks I need some time away from my computer and maybe he’s right (pretty smart for 21). A little time to decompress and regroup. A change of scenery. Perhaps I’ll take the boy’s advice and choose some books from my HUGE TBR pile and just veg in the sun. A good read is always good for the soul.

So how’s you’re September going? This week is the official beginning of autumn … and it’s beginning to feel and look just like that outside my window! Let’s hope the change of seasons brings a change in my mindset!

Question of the day … is your laundry basket overflowing?

To a scientist, being tagged means a little orange clip on one’s ear or a critter-cam on one’s back. Since I didn’t wake up with either of those this morning, I’m going with the child’s version of tag… and I guess now I’m IT! Which now means I have to dig deep into who I am and tell you seven little known facts about me. Okay, I don’t have to dig so deep, but perhaps there’s something new here you didn’t know … 

I’m not going to point fingers at the person who tagged me, but you know who you are. And I know for a fact you giggled maniacally as you added me to your list of victims, errr … taggetts. (Yes, that’s a word, look it up in the official Nina dictionary.) 

The rules are simple:
* List seven things about yourself

* Link to the blog of the person who tagged you (but I’m nice and I’m not going to “out” her).

* Tag seven new unsuspecting victims, um… friends and list their links on your blog. (And once again, I’m not going to tag anyone, but if you’d like to pick up the challenge … consider yourself tagged!)

**** (Oh, and no tag backs… I added that one myself… ’cause I’m clever that way! *g*)

So here goes:
1. I’ve been with my guy for 36 years. Stop laughing, I’m still a young sexy thing… we started dating when I was 2 and married when I was 10!

2. I’ve lived in Maine most of my life with short stints in Rhode Island and New York. And though my heart will always consider Maine home, I’m happy to be living out of its cold winters.

3. I graduated Summa Cum Laude as the valedictorian of my college class with a degree in Marine Biology.

4. I love water. Feel at home swimming in the ocean, canoeing a lake or rafting a mountain stream. Living away from it has been difficult for me and in the next phase of my life I’m going to live very near a body of water.

5. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis about 20 years ago. It’s an icky disease that seems to do what it wants, attack unnanounced and wreak havok on my body. Fortunately for me, though I did have to give up my teaching job, I am still somewhat mobile. And it moved me into the realm of writing… not a bad trade off!

6. I am a sun worshipper. I love all locations warm and sunny. I’ve visited the Virgin Islands and Hawaii as well as Florida of course. I still haven’t made it to the west coast and I do believe it’s God’s odd sense of humor that I lived most of my adult life in the artic north of Maine.

7. I’ve always wanted to be an actress. I was involved in drama when I was in high school and there was nothing more exciting for me than being on stage with all those people watching. (Hence the whole career in teaching… nothing better than 20 people held captive for an hour!) But my singing voice leaves a lot to be desired. I only sing solo… so low no one has to suffer through it! But I envy those children of actors who sort of just move into that profession.

Okay, I’ve beared my soul. How about sharing a couple of things about you too!

This weekend we take time to remember. Families will be placing flowers at the gravestones of loved ones and friends will be gathering to remember and celebrate the unofficial beginning of summer. But this weekend is truly about remembering those soldiers who have lost their lives serving our country.

I don’t have any family members in the military, not past or present. I don’t have anyone to share their stories of service with me. But I am profoundly moved by those families who have loved ones serving in the military, especially in this day and age. No matter how one feels about war on foreign soil, it’s the soldier and his/her family that needs to be respected and honored.

I remember when the war in Iraq began, one of the national news stations listed those soldiers that had died by saying their names and hometowns. But then the number of young men and women who sacrificed their lives were too numerous to logistically name on the evening news. My heart aches for the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, aunts, uncles, cousins who know the names … even if we don’t. The loss of one life rippling out to bring sadness to so many. A person willing to give his/her life defending the freedoms we hold so dear. (Over 4400 soldiers have died in Iraq and just over 3000 in Afghanistan.)


I have friends whose children or spouses are overseas. I marvel at their ability to keep the home fires burning knowing the danger their soldier faces. Still, young men and women volunteer to serve our country every day.

I am honored by their willingness to protect and defend our country. They will never know that one writer in southern New England and her family are praying for their safe return to their families. But I pray for them and peace for the ones who love them none the less.

I hope everyone in the US has a wonderful long weekend enjoying recreational time with their families. But I hope in all the reverie of the weekend you pause to remember those soldiers who are not only separated from their families, but may very well be in harm’s way this weekend. God Bless each and every one of them.


I got nothing here people. Sorry about that. I’ve got all kinds of ideas, but can’t pull any of them together. My personal life is in total chaos. I can’t seem to pull my thoughts together to blog … let alone write. It’s a really crappy place and the really awful thing is that it’s all out of our control at this point. It’s been a year of questions without answers. A rollercoaster ride with plenty of dips and turns, but without the slow climb up to help us catch our breath.

At the end of this week I’m headed to the Maine Writer’s Retreat. I haven’t seen my home girls since last year and I’m in desperate need of a shot in the arm from these ladies. I’m hoping it will be enough to put my feet back on track again. This not writing thing is definitely not working for me!

In happier news I’ve use to choose a winnr from my Mother’s Day Post. Drum roll please …

 Congratulations to VIRGINIA from Florida!
you’ve won a copy of my book “Dangerous Affairs”

Mr. Nina and I went to see The Avengers this weekend. LOVED it! I would highly recommend it. There was a wonderful balance of action and humor … lots of laugh out loud moments. What about you? Seen any good movies recently?

Okay, I seem to be in one of those moods where the world is just making me scratch my head. (I rarely step into personal opinion mode, but I just need to spout today.) First RWA and now the American Humanist Association. If you’re not up for another rant you’ll want to move along now …

Now, in the spirit of full disclosure I want to let you know I’m Catholic. Baptized. Confirmed. And married in the Catholic church. And though I’m not practicing it’s who I am to the very soles of my feet. This information will become significant in a moment.

A few months ago a 16 year old high school student in Cranston, RI decided that the prayer banner hanging in the gymnasium of her high school violated her constitutional rights because it contained the words “Heavenly Father” and “Amen”. You see, she’s an atheist. She was forced to see the banner every time they had mandatory school assemblies in the gymnasium where it was displayed. And I suspect during mandatory gym classes as well.

Now wait … let me finish. She is welcome to her beliefs. This isn’t about that. This is about AHA standing behind this young woman to try to make a point. This young lady sued the school system to have the banner removed. The argument for the banner wasn’t to display the Christian beliefs, but to preserve an historic artifact. The prayer was written by a member of the first graduating class of the high school. Yes, the student body at the time the school was built in the 50’s was no doubt a homogenous group of middle income Christian young men and women. And it is true life has changed and that is no longer the case. But students with other religious beliefs didn’t find the banner offensive. They didn’t bring a lawsuit that cost the town and school system $150,000. (Like a school system in this day and age can afford that amount of money out of their budget. *headdesk*) It was this group standing behind this young lady (and covering her court costs) trying to make a statement.

I get it. There are atheists among us. So? There are also muslims, jews, buddhists, protestants, catholics and agnostics rubbing elbows with us at the mall or sharing a seat with us on the bus. Why do I care if they’re reading a Bible or the Koran next to me? I don’t. Can’t we all respect each other?

Because now it seems like the AHA is emboldened by having the court decide in their favor and now they’re going after a soldier memorial in Providence. The memorial is on city property in front of the town hall and displays a cross.

Seriously folks … why? I can honestly say that if this soldier had been jewish and the monument had a Star of David displayed, I would not be offended as I passed it going into the town hall. The monument is historical. Is this group of activists so intent on making sure nothing religious is displayed in public that they’re willing to erase all historical artifacts from every piece of public property in the United States? I seriously believe they’re going after another Rhode Island landmark because they know the state won’t spend the money pushing the lawsuit up the judicial ladder.

And it just irks me. I understand this group doesn’t want to be bombarded with religious symbols. But it’s a part of who we are. The United States is a melting pot. That means people of all races and religions are living within our borders. For goodness sake stop trying to act as if there is no religious history in our nation.

Am I way off base here? What do you think of all of this? Because you know me … I’m always curious about stuff like this.

I really don’t know what’s wrong with me. But I’ve got nothing for you today. I actually wrote a whole long post about a series I finished recently. But it was really negative and in talking about the books it wasn’t going to teach anything or create a discussion worth having, so I stuck it in the archives until I can figure out what to do with it.

But it did get me thinking about reading and why people read. And what types of books they choose when they’re looking to satisfy whatever need reading brings to them. For me, reading is entertainment. I don’t like reading self-help books. I rarely read non-fiction unless I’m trying to do research and even then … not so much. I usually just skim pertinent information. I want a story to transport me to another place and time where I can forget about the bills that need to be paid or the laundry that needs to be folded.

My family actually started chatting about books at the holiday dinner table last weekend. One family member mentioned they only like to read books that leave them thinking, have some kind of moral message or some lesson to teach. When a couple of us mentioned a book we’d read and enjoyed, neither one of us could come up with a moral lesson. But then, I can’t say that’s why I read. For me it’s just getting lost in the fantasy of the story. But it was really interesting talking about how and why each of us reads.

On the writing front I’m working really hard to stay focused on a rewrite of a story I wrote yeeeeears ago, but was never published. The problem is I have several projects that have been waiting in the wings and I’m finding it hard not to be a little ADHD and work on them all at the same time. With my life in the chaos it’s currently in, I know opening more than one manuscript in a day would mean I’d never get anything done. Hopefully this story will be out to an editor by the beginning of June.

I’m also doing some beta-reading for a friend. I’m so excited for him as he’s been away from his writing for a long time and he’s such a talented writer. I can’t wait for this book to get out into the world.

And last but certainly not least … I spent last weekend with my grandson. He’s growing so fast! I hate having him so far away, but I’m pleased I got some time to spend with him. I hope you’re having a wonderful week.

The truth is, I love reality television. I haven’t missed a season of SURVIVOR or AMAZING RACE. Seriously. Not. One. Season.

I can’t tell you who won each one or where they all happened, but I certainly can give you highlights of the last 11 years. Fortunately I haven’t found other shows that have become “must watch”. Of course in northern Maine, it’s so remote that cable and direct television is very expensive. It wasn’t until I moved to southern New England last year that I found fun stations like Discovery and Brava.

So what’s my newest obsession? Orange County Chopper. I have to say they’ve done a wonderful job pulling women in through the relationships and held the men’s attention with the actually build of the choppers. Well, that’s an over simplification, but you get the idea. Both Mr. Nina and I have become enthralled. So when we went away last week, we planned our route on the way home to stop at the actual OCC store/shop where they actually film the show. We got there too late to meet Paul Sr. who had been there in the morning to help organize a road race for the Wounded Warrior Project. But we were able to see many of the bikes in person that we’d seen constructed on television.

Okay, so I know this has nothing to do with writing, but hey, it was a fun trip and I just had to share. So what about you … any reality shows that are a must watch?

Today my man is going for a job interview. We pawed through his closet putting together the whole shirt/tie/suit jacket/pant ensemble. Did it match? Did it make a statement and if so, was it the right one? He’s a big guy and some clothes pinch around the collar or snug too tight around the arms. I thought if he was going to sit in a 2-3 hour interview he should be comfortable.

But he was much more concerned about the impression his clothes would make than his own comfort.

I know that’s how it’s supposed to be, but I just can’t wrap my head around that. The fact is, he could do the job just as well in a pair of jeans and a T-shirt as he can in a suit jacket and tie.

At home, I sit most of the day at my computer typing away, dressed in nothing more than my pj’s. The cats don’t care as long as I get up once in awhile to play with them and fill their food and water bowls. My editor and publisher don’t care what I wear as long as my writing is solid and tells a good story. And I suspect my readers don’t pick up my books wondering what I have on that day.

Of course I wouldn’t go out in public that way … I’m not that inappropriate. (Though I used to slip on boots and a winter jacket and cap over my pj’s and bed-messed hair to drive my kids to school, but that’s another story.) But I bump around in jeans and a sweater most days.

When I go to conferences I always end up buying new clothes. I want to look “professional”. I don’t do the suits and dresses like so many attendees, but I do wear colored jeans and dress shirts.

I know — always dress for success.

But aren’t I the same person in jeans as I am in slacks? Can’t I still write the same words and weave the same story despite my outer appearance?

Why exactly do the clothes make the person?

When you go to a book signing to meet your favorite author does it matter to you what he/she is wearing? Do you prefer to see a professional woman in a skirt rather than slacks? (As my father-in-law always insisted I wear a dress to an interview.)

As a teacher at an outreach Center I wore jeans every day. My dad came to visit and was appalled that one of the teachers came to the Center dressed in jeans. (Schools often relax the dress code for their teachers on field trips, so this wasn’t surprising to me.) When I questioned why he found it offensive he said the children won’t respect them and be polite. I had no issues with classroom managment and the kids didn’t know me from the tooth fairy … okay, maybe the tooth fairy … but you get my drift. The clothes didn’t make me a good or bad teacher.

Do the clothes, if they’re clean and neat, really make a difference to you? Because you know me, I’m curious about stuff like that.