Saturday, September 18, 2010

I Think We're in Kansas, Toto

When storms come rumbling, we pay attention in Kansas, meaning it's time to turn on the weather radio for watches and warnings, switch on the TV to see the radar, and tune the radio to one of the local stations to hear the weather spotters.  That's what we were doing Wednesday when storms crossed through the area.  When all was said and done, nine tornadoes had flirted with the area, and possibly the largest hailstone on record (7.75") had fallen.

My oldest granddaughter was here after school with my youngest daughter and myself, waiting for her mom (my oldest) to finish her visit to the YMCA after work.  We were all keeping an eye on the sky as reports came in that baseball-sized hail was being reported to the northwest of us and was headed our way.  We had hail, mostly pea-sized, for a while, then it stopped and rained.  And rained.  Then the hail picked up again, a little bigger this time.  Suddenly, we heard the announcement on the radios that we were under a tornado warning and should take cover.  At the same time, my oldest daughter called and said to get to her house.  She was on her way there and would meet us.

The tornado sirens blared around us as I drove the three of us the three blocks to my daughter's house, while nickel-sized hail pounded the car.  I prayed the very cracked windshield (compliments of my oldest grandson, a metal toy car, and a rock) would hold up against the onslaught.  If it wasn't for the fact that I don't have a basement, but my daughter does, we'd have stayed home.  For the next twenty minutes, we watched the hail from inside her house, as it went from marble and nickel size to golf ball size, and finally to billiard ball size.  The first photo above was taken after being rained on for ten minutes, while we debated who would go out to retrieve some to keep.  The photo above and to the right is what had earlier hit the airport, where my daughter's husband works.  It was a bit bigger!

We're all thankful that damage from the storms wasn't severe, but the insurance companies will be busy assessing dimpled cars and broken car windows, along with battered roofs.  Ah, yes, it's Kansas in spring autumn!

Friday, September 17, 2010

All About Baby

Wait a minute! Those of you who know me will realize I don’t have a baby. And, trust me, this blog post is not to let you in on any surprises along those lines. ;-)

For a writer, waiting for a book to come out is similar to going through a pregnancy. Once the manuscript is done, the production process takes about nine months. Then, when the baby makes its appearance, the proud parents want everyone to admire their beautiful offspring. And of course, they want to see their child do its best.

In my case, the “baby” in the title refers to my next Harlequin American Romance, FAMILY MATTERS, which will be making its way into the world—also known as appearing on your bookstore shelves—exactly three weeks from today!


Okay. I’ll calm down now. (Might as well, since I’ve used up my allotment of exclamation points for this month. )

In case you can’t tell, I’m very excited about welcoming Number Three. And since that seems to be my lucky number with this book, I’m again celebrating in three ways:

~ sharing a sneak preview on my web site

~ embarking on a virtual book tour—details on my blog

~ answering questions for a brief interview and giving away a copy of one of my backlist books to one lucky reader who leaves a comment at the interview site. Click here to visit “Quick Six.”

Hope you’ll check out everything above and stop back here next month, when I’ll be looking for some advice on babies—and not the manuscript kind. ;-)

All my best to you,



Barbara White Daille

Thursday, September 16, 2010


It seems like I go from good to bad to worse with hairdressers. I yearn for the days when I was young and wore my hair all one length and halfway down my back. The "usual" cut was two inches off the ends and I was good to go.

Now that I'm older and can't get away with wearing my hair like a sixteen-year-old and finding a hairdresser who "gets" my hair is next to impossible. I've got a ton of hair—yeah, it's great that I'll never have to worry about being a bald granny some day, but my hair is slightly wavy and coarse. (I compare it to a horse's mane) This means if I want to wear the sleek look I have to spend way too much time with a round brush and a blower dryer to tame it. If I put curl gel in my hair and let it air dry it's not quite the "cute" curly look I'm trying to achieve so I'm forced to use a curling iron. I really envy women who have hairstyles that wash and wear without a lot of fuss. And the older I get the less time I want to spend fussing over hair and makeup in front of the mirror.

A few months ago I bit the bullet and tried a new stylist recommended by a friend. Afraid of being butchered, I said "nothing drastic, just a trim please." She looked at my hair, ran her fingers through it and said "whoever cut your layers last time did it all wrong. It will take two haircuts to get your hair where it should be." Oh, boy did that make me nervous. But she reassured me she wouldn’t cut too much hair off and she didn't.

Two days ago I went back for the second cut and the stylist announced that my hair was now "fixed". And she was right. The curl held better and it was it looked better. Then she announced her husband was getting a new job and they'd be moving out of the area. Just great.
She recommended one of the other women in the salon to me and brought her over to the chair to explain to the lady how she cut my hair. I appreciated that but I kept thinking—I'm back to square one. Oh, well, in eight weeks I'll return to the salon, give the new stylist a try and see what happens.

Anyone else struggle to find a hairdresser who understands their hair?
Dexter: Honorable Cowboy (July 2010)
RT Top Pick

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Courthouses and Gargoyles

Get your attention? Writing for Harlequin American is all about small town USA. Having recently moved to Waxahachie Texas, I thought this month I’d give you a tour of my town. It’s all about Gingerbread architecture. Streets of beautiful old homes.

A town square lined with antique stores and quaint little restaurants.

But being the county seat of Ellis County, it also has one of the coolest courthouses around. This isn’t your everyday stone and brick courthouse. It’s beautiful. But when you walk around it you see these interesting carved faces. I couldn’t get a picture to come out, so I’m inserting a link.

There seem to be various stories about the architect who designed it and the story behind the gargoyles. Being a romance author, I tend to like the theory that the architect fell in love with a local girl. His land lady’s daughter to be precise. Evidently the girl did not return his affection and as the relationship deteriorated, the female faces went from happy to angry and evil. Now isn’t that a cool story!

Any similar romantic fables about your town?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Month, New Me!!

Winnie Griggs, Margaret Daley and an exhausted, barefooted me
after dancing all night at this year's fabulous Harlequin Party!!

What a difference a month makes!!

Hard to believe last month I was grousing on and on about how miserable and sad I would be with my kiddos off to college. Considering they are only across town at the University of Tulsa, I'm not exactly going through the same level of stress as some of my friends who've shipped their babies across state lines, but still, it took a couple of days to adjust. And now? Don't tell my kids, but the peace is wonderful!!!

I never realized how much daily angst teens generate until not being caught up in the middle of it!! He said/she said/I love this boy/I hate this boy--ARGH!!! Now, I wake to calm. No chasing to help find lost bows or books or homework, but sipping hot tea and leisurely checking on my Facebook friends. Seriously, life without teens is quite civilized!!

That said, I'm still caught in my usual deadline mayhem and haven't quite managed to get my ample behind back to the gym, but at least now when I buy the family-sized pack of Drumsticks (the ice cream cone kind), I don't have to share!! I'm pretty sure that last sentence didn't even make sense, but that's okay, too.

Mellow is the new me, and I'm liking her a whole bunch!!