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Mel's Procrastination Palace
Saturday, August 26, 2006

This photo was of the back "yard" of a Veterans of Foreign Wars lodge. At least 5 trees in the back and 2 in the front were uprooted. They took out the utility poles and power lines, but missed the structure. (Last picture is also of this area)

This tree was uprooted (hard to see due to the van) but caught by another tree. Sadly, 48 hrs after the storm, the tree that caught it broke and the tree crashed into the back of the white house on the left of the picture. (This was about 2 blocks from our house)Posted by Picasa

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 7:18 PM :: 0 comments

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The aftermath......

The following pictures were taken less than 100 yards from the lakefront. It's a park area with picnic areas, etc. One of the hardest hit areas.

 Posted by Picasa

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 7:11 PM :: 0 comments

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Friday, August 25, 2006 Miss me?

Holy moses, that was bad.

Wednesday night I heard thunder. Commented on it while chatting with the bitches in IM, but didn't really think much of it. Storms are pretty common and I'm not one to panic and turn everything off at the first sign of rain.

However.... After about 4 peals of thunder, the storm/tornado sirens went off. The local siren is at the school which is only a block from my house. Loud. While it wasn't even getting dark, warning of the storm, I advised my IM friends I was gonna switch to laptop so I could go wireless and battery op. I logged off, hit power button for laptop and went to answer the phone.
Mother in law calling to warn of the realllllllly bad storm heading straight for the city. Told her sirens were going off, promised to be safe (husband was at school, so I was home alone) and hung up.

I opened the front door, which faces east and couldn't believe it. It went from calm to hurricane force winds in a matter of seconds. Faster than I've ever seen a storm come in before. Ever. Visibility disappeared like someone pulled down a screen. After that, it was like watching TV through my front window. Trees bent over, branches and sticks flew through the air like toothpicks, bouncing along the yards with amazing momentum. I watched a six foot branch get tossed around and incredibly, go right between the garage and my truck. Phew!

Leaves, and pieces of leaves shredded by the force of the wind fell like rain. I was in shock watching. Felt like I'd been dropped in the making of Twister or something.

Then it started hailing. It was nearly 85* when the storm started, so the hail melted quickly. I wasn't even immediately sure it was hailing. I could hear it--pelting the side of the house so hard I kept running to that window (yeah, I know....) and looking out to see if it was rocks or stick or other debris hitting the north side of the house. It was about then my fascination turned to fear. I'm a pretty brave person, rarely phased by a thunderstorm, but the intensity of this storm--the noise, the incessant beating of hail against the siding that I didn't think would ever stop had me wondering if I was gonna make it through.

Well, of course it did, but when it was over, the yard was littered with leaves and branches and piles of hail. The tree behind the garage was split and down. I could see wires lying on the ground. Our power was out and the wind had stopped, leaving on the sound of sirens in the stillness.

Eventually the rain stopped and I ventured outside. Down the street I could see a tree in the road. A tree was also on the roof the school across the street. Probably the most shocking was the level of water about two blocks down. It looked like a lake!

We did go out later--the level of damage was astounding. I've got pictures. I'll share them tomorrow, along with what I discovered after spending two days in the dark.

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 9:20 PM :: 2 comments

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Sunday, August 20, 2006 Unlikely research site

A couple of my friends have libraries of research material. I'm envious, because I could totally get lost in interesting historical fact finding. But so far, other than little bits of information I've been able to look up online or "ask around" to learn, I haven't needed a full out research session for anything I've written.

But today we went to a local car show--one of the largest in the area and one we attend every year because of the expansive swap meet and gorgeous show cars. My husband and I are still rebuilding the 71 Chevelle (when he can pry my fingers of the keyboard) so today we went searching boxes and bins for specific pieces of interior and exterior that was in good shape--and the right price. It wasn't anything special until we finished "shopping" and got to drool over the pristine show cars.

Walking amongst the Shoebox Chevys ('55, '56, '57) my husband reminded me that two years ago, my mission was to get a very clear idea of what the interior of a '55 Chevy looked like because I was researching a sex scene in Hot Rod Heaven. I remember I'd gone to the car show that year with both my husband AND my father-in-law, who found it absolutely hilarious I was checking out the backseats (visually only) for book research. Then he reminded me he'd owned several '55 Chevys through the years and he could have easily answered my questions.
(He didn't directly imply he "knew" but I didn't EVEN wanna go there--no one wants to cross that line and learn that stuff about their parents or in-laws, right?)

Someday I'm gonna write a story with a 71 Chevelle in it. I just gotta get it done so I can work on the research aspect. Books? ha. Who wants to read about it when you can try it out for yourself?

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 6:37 PM :: 0 comments

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Thursday, August 17, 2006 clickety clack

How the heck is my life so busy, yet I never have anything (that I think is) exciting to blog about?

Jaci got a new website and blog, it kicks major ass. Makes me wanna do a ton of work to my own. But I either need to loosen the grip on some cash or figure out how to do all that stuff myself. Ah well, I'll get there eventually. Go check hers out though--both the site and the great line up of books.

Shan has a posted some of the new Talons covers from Samhain Publishing. Now tell me those aren't some of the hottest covers you've seen in a long time. I can't wait to get all of them.

Tonight I took the Goose to her High School for orientation. She starts next week. Then we went shopping for a birthday present for a two year old boy. Talk about lost. Everything was too old or too young for him. We settled on a giant tonka truck. One can't go wrong with that, eh?

Big car show this weekend. We're still working on our Chevelle when we can (sooo much green stuff needed, gah!). We were hoping it'd be running this fall, but it looks like we need new dashboard gauges, so it may be a bit yet. It'll be sooooo nice to see that poor car back in one piece. Nothing like having a grill and fenders taking up room in the laundry room....

As for writing, since that's what I do, I'm working on a story I call Adrenaline. Racer girl, by-the-book cop--lots of fireworks. Hope to tell you more about it soon!

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 9:26 PM :: 0 comments

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006 Passin' Thru...

The most exciting thing I have to blog about is that I've been reading... and yeah, some writing. But the reading really helped to give me a break and recharge my batteries. Especially since I chose books outside the romance genre.

I read Cross Bones, by Kathy Reichs. As a one time med student who was seriously thinking of going to work in forensics, these books are favorites of mine. This book is one of those with a zillion threads somehow all woven around one another. One level of me--the reader--was almost afraid to put it down less I forget who's who, who's with who and who's good, who's bad. (And which bones were which...) I stuck with it, finishing it in two days and with a solid understanding (I think)... from a writers POV, I was in slack-jawed awe at the way she wrapped everything up without losing track. And trust me, there were a lot of tracks to follow. I do have to say, the book was exhausting too, so I can't read them one after another.

Which means I picked up my birthday present, Janet Evanovich's Twelve Sharp. I know there are people who aren't Janet lovers, but with the level of "reality" in my life, I sooooo need a dose of over the top with Stephanie Plum. I lmao at it, predicted what would happen and cringed when I was supposed to. I've decided my favorites are no longer wondering what car Steph's gonna blow up next (thank God the Mini came thru semi-unscathed) but to witness the constant play off between Stephanie and her two men. I'm still on the fence about those two... but I'll take the one Stephanie doesn't pick, how's that?

Oh, also watched a movie last night. Bawled my eyes out. Eight Below. It's not stellar in acting or plot, really, but anyone with a soft spot for animals will have their heart torn out at the story of the dogs in this movie. I even caught my husband (who laughs when I cry at movies) clearing his throat and sniffling at one very emotional point.

So, now back to working for me. I've got a semi-solid deadline for a proposal and am only about 3K into it. I'm calling it "Adrenaline" for now, but I'm sure a better title will emerge. Hopefully with the book/movie distractions out of the way, I'll be a better blogger.

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 6:31 PM :: 2 comments

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006 hmmm, that time already?

Shan posts her horrorscope (for writers) every month on her blog. I don't pay attention to them much, but with lots of plans for subs and stories, it was interesting to read my own and my pals. If you're a writer and wanna know what this month will bring, read it here.

On a good note for me, I finished the last sentence of Chapter Three of my current story. Now I'm gonna let it stew, fester, ferment and all those wonderful things for about a week or so, then reread it, ask myself what drugs I was on when I wrote it, edit it and hopefully ship it off. While writing three chapters isn't that difficult, this I think I was over-thinking this. (I had to accuse Mandy of doing it before I realized I was). So I backed up, deleted some stilted writing and then let it go.

I was gonna blog more about over-thinking and writing outside comfort zone, but I'm not sure I'm experience enough on the subject. In a nutshell, if you've written x many books for xyz publisher and want to move "up" to an agent or another publisher, you don't need to panic or try harder or overthink it. Chances are someone on that next level is gonna pick up your current work anyway, so stay true to yourself and write the best story from the heart. There, how was that?

It's nearly time to take the kid school shopping. She's got eclectic taste, so we've been hitting Salvation Army and Goodwill stores lately for "pieces" she can add to her wardrobe (sometimes with modifications), but she still needs jeans, shoes, underclothes. Sigh. My kid is starting high school. Never mind me while I have a nervous breakdown, k?

Off to the day job. Hope everyone in blogland is staying cool and healthy and happy.

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 8:21 AM :: 0 comments

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