Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New Workshop?

So, since I'm not really writing much this week (planned that way), I started thinking of a new workshop I could teach.  Actually, I've been thinking about it on and off since I put together my other ones back in January.  But this one would involve making things like powerpoints, book covers or book trailers.  And it would involve fire.  And a shredder.

What do you think?  Is this a class you'd be interested in taking? 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hold The Phone!!

In my mailbox today I got a beautiful letter from an editor who requested a full manuscript!  I'm off to print it, prep it and mail it back to her tomorrow!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wanna Join Me?

Contests: The Basics
Dates: July 5, 2011--July 29, 2011
Registration Deadline: July 4, 2011
Fee: $10/HHRW members, $20/others
FMI: Hearts Through History

Class Description:
With so many writing contests out there and so many details to consider, it's easy for a writer to be overwhelmed! Contests: The Basics will take students through the contest process, step-by-step---from choosing a contest, to preparing the entry, from dealing with the emotional aspects of "contesting" to deciphering the results. Students will leave class with a better understanding of the process and with a list of resources for making the most out of their contest experiences.


Killer Openings
Dates:  August 1, 2011--August 31, 2011
Registration Deadline:  July 27, 2011 
Fee:  $20/OIRW members, $25/others

Class Description: 
Many people browse through a bookstore, pull a book off the shelf and read the first page. They decide right then, based on the 1st line, 1st paragraphs and 1st page, whether or not they’ll buy the book. Killer Openings dissects those all-important elements. Students study good and bad openings and discuss why they do or don’t work.  They also submit their own opening lines/paragraphs/pages and receive critiques from the class. 

AND for laughs, here's my "official" bio:

Alexa Bourne is a teacher by day and a romantic suspense writer by nights, weekends and all school holidays. When not traveling around the world or crafting thrilling romantic suspense stories, she spends her time reading, watching brainless TV and thinking about exercising. She has a Bachelor's in English Literature and a Master's in Education. She has finaled in or won 21 RWA contests with 7 manuscripts.  To learn more about her, visit

Friday, June 24, 2011

Already Back

Okay, so not blogging until August isn't likely.  I miss it too much!  So, I've decided to blog once or twice a week for now, or whenever I get the itch to blog.

Today I'm sharing one of my all-time favorite poems with you.  I was going to post the words, but it's so much more powerful to listen to it. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Six Month Future Outlook

The other day I shared with you my comments about life since quitting my job.  Today, I’m going to share with you my plans for my future.  Well, at least for the next six months.

First, I decide every day to be thankful for what I do have and focus on the future.  Is this easy?  Of course not.  I still have bouts of doubt and “bad” days, but ultimately wallowing will get me nowhere.  So, here's THE PLAN:

*  Continue applying (at least 2-4 hours a day) for teaching jobs and any other jobs I can do.
*  Search for a roommate.
*  At least 1/2 an hour-2 hours of exercise EVERY SINGLE DAY.  
*  Continue making my list of "Things to do When I Get a Real Job", like a HUGE grocery shopping, paying the money I "collected" for swearing during Lent, buying some plants and flowers for my patio, clothes shopping, new blinds/curtains for my bedrooms etc.
*  Reduce my cable!  Admittedly I spend WAY too much time on the couch watching idiot shows (and some good ones).
*  Only spend 2 hours AT MOST per day online playing, emailing, researching.  (This does not include the time I will spend online when teaching my online classes.)
*  Blog hiatus from now until August at the earliest.  I've been spending WAY too much time lately on my blog posts and pictures.  HOWEVER, ANY IMPORTANT INFORMATION WILL BE SHARED!
*  Hiatus from commenting on others' blogs.  It's so easy to waste so much time blog hopping.
*  Prep Lies to mail when I get a response from my queries. 
*  Research in July and August a new writing direction (a new sub-genre).  (Which will basically consist of reading current books in that sub-genre.)
*  Rewrite and revise an old manuscript for that new direction and submit it to a slush pile by the end of August.
*  In September, draft the next romantic suspense manuscript, one I'm already brainstorming, I Dare You.
*  In October, turn 40, recharge the batteries, read, brainstorm next manuscript for the new sub-genre and prep for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November.
*  In November, NaNoWriMo, enter the Golden Heart (if I haven't sold by then).
*  In December, relax, read, plan for 2012.

So, there you have it.  Some more minor changes to make the most of my situation.  I realize most of the bullet points on this plan have to do with writing, but if I want to be a published writer, then I have to write.  I know.  It sounds simple.  But lately too much is encroaching on my writing time, which I think is partly why I get down sometimes, and so I'm going to put it back in the front seat.  I will continue to update my  word counts for I Dare You and the story I'll be working on this summer and as soon as I have something good to share with you, I'll post here.  As soon as I decide to come out of my writing cave, I'll post here and to facebook and then I'll visit all of you too!  Take care and please stay in touch with me if you have any news and shoot me an email.  Alexa (at) alexabourne (dot) com.  (I like good news!)  I promise I'll email you back!   

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

One Year Later

Those of you who have followed me for a while know that I quit my teaching job last June.  There were several reasons for my decision, but I truly believed leaving was the right decision for me at the time.  While it hasn’t been easy, it has been an amazing learning experience.  So now I’m sharing with you what I’ve learned in the last year:

*  I miss having a salary.
*  As a substitute teacher, I realize how much I miss having a classroom of my own.
*  I also miss belonging to one specific community where I can make a difference.
*  I’ve had a lot more time to write.
*  I haven’t written as many manuscript pages as I’d expected I would. 
*  I’ve spent more time on promo for friends, prepping for online classes, searching for “a real job.”
*  I had WAY more confidence in myself than the rest of the world did.
*  I wish I’d planned better. 
*  I now teach online writing classes on the side and I LOVE it.
*  I studied for and received my EC-6 Generalist teaching certification, which means I’m now able to teach elementary school as well as middle school English & ESL.
*  I’m not able to take the vacations I want- I haven’t seen some of my family and friends for almost 2 years, which is a long time for me, I can’t go to RWA Nationals and I can’t even plan anything for my 40th birthday in the fall.
*  I’ve reevaluated my writing goals and found another avenue I can take for my writing.
*  I’ve learned how “rich” I was when I didn’t even know it and I’m well aware of my spending habits now.
*  Despite the sometimes financial burden, I am calmer, happier and a lot less stressed.

Was quitting my job last June worth it?  Absolutely.
Do I regret it?   ONLY from the financial standpoint.

Join me Friday for a peek into my goals and plans for my future.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'm a Guest!

Today I'm being interviewed by a woman who took my first ever online class, Killer Openings!  Please click here to learn more!  Thanks to Micole Black for finding me interesting enough to interview.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Meddling Winner!

Thanks to those of you who visited the blog during my release party for Cat.  I appreciate your support! And thanks to Cat for stopping by as well.
As for the Meddling with a Millionaire Prize Pack winner, says......

MICHELLE MUSE!  Congratulations, Michelle!  Please send me an email at alexa (at) alexabourne (dot) com and we'll work out the details to get you your prize!  I've been reading Cat's book this weekend and I can tell you that you WON'T be disappointed!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Final Word....

I applied for a scholarship to attend RWA National this year.  I didn't receive the scholarship, but I want to share with you one section of my letter to the committee:
"The most important reason I want to go to the 2011 RWA National Conference is my critique partner, a woman I’ve been friends with since 2007, will be wearing her 1st sale ribbon and signing her 1st book at the literacy signing.  We met when we finaled together in a contest in the same category.  We congratulated each other, kept in touch and encouraged each other.  As the years went by, we began brainstorming and critiquing together.  We finally met in person almost two years ago when we roomed together for Nationals in DC.  Last year, I got to celebrate with her when she finaled in and won the Golden Heart and I finaled in the Daphne.  This woman has been one of my biggest supporters, especially since I left my job, encouraging me to spend the time I envisioned on my writing.  I can’t imagine my writing journey without her.  

"When I left my job last June, I honestly thought I’d have a regular job by this point, one that gave me a steady income and so much more time to spend on my craft.  In making the decision to leave my job, I knew I’d have to make several sacrifices and I was ready to accept each one.  However, I never dreamed missing my friend’s 1st book launch would be a price to pay for my choice.  My heart aches every time I think about not being there to celebrate with her."

I may not be there in person, but I'll DEFINITELY be there in spirit.  Congratulations, my friend.  I wish you much success and joy with your first book hitting the bookstore shelves and may it be the beginning of a long and satisfying journey.

Remember, today is your last day to enter the contest for the Meddling With a Millionaire prize pack, which includes a copy of Cat's debut novel!  Make sure you've left at least one comment, or have become a follower here, or have left a few comments this week.  The contest ends at midnight tonight and I'll be choosing a winner tomorrow!

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Glimpse Into Cat Schield's Writing!

Today, I'm bringing you two treats!  First up is an excerpt from Cat's  FREE novella she wrote and released before her book came out.  The hero in this story, Cody, is the brother of the heroine in her Desire novel Meddling With A Millionaire.   

Her Secret Millionaire
Chapter One
      The scent of hay, horses and hot-blooded male filled the sparsely furnished studio apartment above the barn.  Jaime dug her toes into rough wood planks as Cody came up behind her.  “I really can’t stay.”
        His fingers grazed her shoulder as he slipped her hair aside and nuzzled the sensitive skin below her ear.  He dislodged her bra strap with an expert flick of one finger and fanned his hand over her stomach.  Gentle pressure coaxed her backward until her shoulders met his bare chest.  Her hormones buzzed at the contact.
       “Baby, it’s just a party.”
       “But I’ve promised I’ll be there.”
       At the rate things were going, it wouldn’t require a whole lot to convince her to skip the event.  Already her muscles were yielding to the notion of spending the evening wrapped in Cody’s arms.
“You’ll be bored to tears.”
       He had that right.
       A long gown of olive silk hung from the closet door.  The last thing she wanted to do was zip herself into the designer original her mother had found on her last trip to New York City.
       “This afternoon was great,” she murmured.
       A low hum vibrated against her neck, almost a purr.  “And the evening will be even better.”
       “I can’t imagine how.”
       Her fingers skimmed along steely forearms and tugged at the hands gliding over her torso.  The wispy caresses tantalized and teased, increasing her body’s sensual thrumming.  The man sure knew how to wreak havoc on her willpower.  The longer she let this go on, the less likely she was going to leave.
       “Give me a chance and I’ll show you.”
       Desire simmered beneath her skin.  Cody’s words stoked it into a rapid boil.
       “What if I come back later?”
       “I need you now.”
       His urgent tone thrilled her.  Knowing she disturbed him was the biggest turn on.  It gave her a sense of power lacking in her personal life.  Cody made her feel beautiful and adored.  Heady stuff for a girl who’d barely known her father, been ignored by her stepfather, and bullied by her mother.
       “What are you doing to me?” she mused out loud.
       “Let’s get you out of these,” he suggested, tracing the edge of her panties.  “And see if we can figure it out.”

The rest of this FREE novella can be found on Cat's website-

And now I bring you an excerpt from her debut novel.

Meddling with a Millionaire
by Cat Schield

"Sighting his quarry at last, Nathan Case dodged a waiter carrying a tray of champagne and navigated around a chocolate fountain. Twenty feet ahead, Emma Montgomery slipped through the cream of Dallas society gathered to celebrate New Year's Eve. Ever since arriving at her father's home an hour ago, Nathan had been searching for Emma, contemplating exactly what he intended to do when he tracked her down.

His options ranged from kissing her to throttling her.

He had yet to decide which way to go.

As if sensing the intensity of his thoughts, she glanced over her shoulder. A strand of hair caught on her lush lips as she scanned the party guests. Delicate fingers brushed long sable bangs back from her forehead, exposing the frown that pulled her brows together. She looked like a wild creature caught out in the open, unsure of where to flee. Then, her chocolate eyes locked on him.

Quick as a rabbit, she ducked around a potted palm and disappeared.

His heartbeat surged as he picked up his pace. He'd had women play hard to get before. The game sweetened their ultimate surrender. But Emma had taken the maneuver to a whole new level. If he didn't know better, he would think she was avoiding him.

Ridiculous, given what he'd learned today.

He passed the library where a rollicking sing-along was taking place, with two dozen people crowded around the grand piano to belt out Sinatra tunes.

He caught sight of Emma just before she ducked into the room and followed, glad to leave behind the throng drinking Silas Montgomery's booze and gawking at the mansion the oil tycoon had built as a testament to his wealth and power.

The two-story library with its cherry paneling and wall of bookshelves was more intimate than the colossal great hall they'd left behind, but not quiet enough for Nathan. He intended to have Emma to himself by midnight. He had no intention of letting anyone but him kiss her incredible mouth.

She stopped dead as he cut off her escape route. The noise level was too high for conversation, but Emma had little trouble communicating her impatience as he herded her toward the piano and nudged her into a narrow space between a blonde in a red halter dress and a short balding man whose attention was riveted on the woman's cleavage.

Nathan surveyed the blonde without interest. Although he appreciated a half-naked woman as much as the next guy, he wasn't a fan of augmented breasts. He preferred curves that jiggled. Emma's in particular.

His lips hovered just above her ear as he softly sang the lyrics that accompanied the romantic tune. He put his hands on the gleaming black instrument, trapping Emma between his arms. She stepped closer to the piano to avoid contact with his body.

With her luscious frame calling to him, Nathan locked his elbows to prevent himself from pressing his lower half against her round rear end. He almost groaned at the memory of cupping those sexy curves in his palms. Desire roared in his ears, drowning out the music. He lowered his head and inhaled her perfume. The scent wrapped around his libido, causing momentary amnesia. Why was he angry with her?

Then he remembered."

To read more of this one, head over to the eharlequin website or anywhere fabulous books are sold!

Be sure to leave a comment to let us know what you thought of the excerpts.  And plus, leaving a comment puts you in the running for winning the Meddling With a Millionaire prize pack!  (The more you comment or if you sign up to be a follower of this blog, the more entries you have in the contest!)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Interview With A New Desire Author!- Part 2

Hello Again!  I'm glad you've decided to join us again today for the 2nd half of Cat Schield's interview:

Lexi:  Describe your perfect writing day.

Cat:  My perfect day I grab a cup of coffee and get on the computer.  After rereading a couple pages that I wrote the day before to get back in the swing of the story, I'm ready to tackle my word count.  Hopefully I get enough done by noon so I can take a break and go catch a movie with my daughter.  Then I get another hour or two of writing done before I knock off for the evening. 

Lexi:  Ah, that does sound perfect!  What's your favorite movie and why?

Cat:  GiGi.  It's a wonderful period piece with fabulous costumes, wonderful characters, delightful songs and a classic romance. 

Lexi:  If you could be any fictional character who would you be and why?

Cat:  Fiona from Burn Notice.  She's hot.  Gets to live in Miami.  Can handle herself in dangerous situations and gets to work with super spy Michael Weston. 

Lexi:  Oh, yeah.  I hadn't thought of Fiona, but you are right!  Any advice for unpublished writers? 

Cat:  Set yourself a deadline and make sure you keep it.  It's good practice for when you sell and have to deliver a book within a limited time frame.

Lexi:  And finally, what's next for you?

Cat:  I just sold my third book to Desire and contracted for book four so I'm going to be working on that story.  

Whoohoo on the 2-book contract!  Congratulations!  I can't wait for them!  Thanks, Cat, for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit with us.

Folks, join us tomorrow when we'll have excerpts from Cat's work!  And remember, if you want a chance at winning the Meddling With a Millionaire prize pack, be sure to leave a comment between now and Saturday night and let us know you want to be in the running!  For every comment, you'll have one more entry in the drawing!  (And if you become a follower of this blog, you'll get ANOTHER entry in the drawing!)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Interview With A New Desire Author!- Part 1

Good Morning!  Today is Day 2 of my Release Party for my friend and critique partner, Cat Schield!  Today I'm sharing Cat's answers to some of the questions I asked.

Lexi:  Tell us about your debut novel, a brand new Harlequin Desire released yesterday. 

Cat:  Meddling With A Millionaire is about a woman whose father meddles in her love life and arranges for her to marry the man she had a teenage crush on.  She wants to marry for love. Her intended groom isn’t convinced love and marriage go together.  

Lexi:  Oooh, what a great story!  I can't wait to read it.  What do you wish you'd known before getting "The Call"?

Cat:  That promotion was going to take up a lot of time and energy.   That just because you sold a book that doesn't mean the anxiety goes away or the waiting gets any easier.

Lexi:  How has life changed for you since "The Call"?

Cat:  Believe it or not, I write less.  I'd written two books targeted at Desire while I waited to sell Meddling With A Millionaire.  I revised those and sold both.  I'm really glad I had the first drafts done because it took a lot of pressure off.

Lexi:  What's been the most surprising thing since "The Call"?

Cat:  How much input I had with my first cover.  The art department did a fabulous job incorporating elements of the book.  The roses, the strawberries, and the diamond.  It was really cool to see those highlighted so beautifully on the cover.

Lexi:  What inspired you to write and especially contemporaries?

Cat:  I've written since I was in middle school.  I started writing short contemporary in high school.  It's mostly what I was reading at the time.  I love the alpha males and the spunky heroines that drive them crazy.

Okay, folks!  Tune in tomorrow for the rest of Cat's interview with me!  If you have comments or questions, leave those too and I'm sure I can get Cat to swing by for a bit for us.  Remember, every comment or question you leave will put you in a drawing for the Meddling With a Millionaire prize pack, which includes a copy of Cat's debut novel!  (And if you're one of my blog followers, you'll have an extra entry in the drawing.)  The contest is open until midnight Saturday and the winner will be announced Sunday!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Release Party For Cat Schield!

Welcome, welcome!  Today is the official release date of my friend and critique partner Cat Schield's debut novel, Meddling With a Millionaire!  I'll be hosting my own party for her all this week so please visit as often as you can and learn more about Cat and her work!
Here's the lowdown on the week's festivities:
Today-Introduction (or the history of how we became friends)
Tomorrow- Part I of Cat's interview
Thursday- Part II of Cat's interview
Friday- Excerpts of Cat's work
Saturday- Something else...shhhhh, it's a surprise!

Now, all week you'll also be able to enter a contest for the Meddling With a Millionaire prize pack, which includes a copy of Cat's debut Desire novel.  How can you win?  All you have to do is leave a comment on any of the posts between now and Saturday.  (For example, if you read the excerpts on Friday and comment that you CAN'T WAIT to read all her work, you'll be entered into the drawing!)  It's THAT easy!  Also, if you are a follower of my blog already, or join as a follower this week, you'll get an extra entry into the contest.  SO, the more you comment, the more entries you have into the contest.

Cat and I "met" when we both finaled together in a contest.  I'm pretty sure it was in 2007, but Cat can correct me if I'm wrong.  We wished each other well, emailed during the waiting time between finaling and when the winners were announced, and we decided to keep in touch.  Through the next couple of years, we emailed more and commiserated over rejections and stories not working right.  We began brainstorming together unofficially and, as time went by and we became better friends, that led to us finally becoming official critique partners.

In 2009, we decided to room together for the RWA National Conference in DC.  This was the first time we ever met in person.  I can tell you I was a bit worried at first because I thought, "What if we don't get along?  What if we can't stand each other by the time the conference is over?"  I mean, being friends online is one thing, but making that friendship work in person is COMPLETELY different.  Luckily, I had nothing to worry about.  We hit it off and during that conference we became better friends.

In 2010, Cat finaled in the Golden Heart competition and we again roomed together in Orlando.  We had a FABULOUS time!  And Cat won the Golden Heart!

It wasn't too long after Nationals that Cat sold her first book, Meddling With a Millionaire to Harlequin Desire.  No one was happier for Cat than I was (except maybe for Cat herself!).  

Since selling that first book, she's sold 2 more and contracted for a 4th.  She shares details with me of life after "THE CALL" and we still critique and brainstorm together.

 As I said before, her first book, Meddling With a Millionaire, is out today.  Her next book, A Win-Win Proposition, is due out in October 2011.  To learn more about Cat, you can visit her website-  You can also find her on the group blog- Get Lost in a Story. And tune in here tomorrow for my Q & A session with Cat!

Monday, June 6, 2011

In Between Parties

Hello, Monday!  Camryn Rhys's Release Party was a lot of fun this weekend.

Today I'm pushing to get my synopsis done for Lies so I can play with my brainstorming for I Dare You.
Tomorrow starts a BIG event here!  I will be having a release party for my friend and CP Cat Schield from Tuesday through Saturday.  There will be posts every day, Cat visiting and a contest!  So be sure to stop by EVERY DAY for a treat!  And tell your friends too!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Last Day of Camryn's Release Party!

Hurry up for your chance to win fabulous prizes and learn about Camryn's book, The Barn Dance.  The story has a hot chef for a hero.  Hhhmm, I wonder if any scenes in the book are like this picture?  To find out, we have to read the book.  But for now, head on over to Camryn's blog to join the party!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Camryn's Release Party Continues!

I'm still hanging out over on Camryn Rhys's blog for her release party!  You should definitely join us!  Today she's talking about hangover cures.  And she's still putting up pictures kinda like these:

And she's still looking for comments so she can give away her prizes!  So get over there and join the fun!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Release Party!!!!

My good friend Camryn Rhys is having a Release Day Party on her blog!  Her book, The Barn Dance, is available today from Breathless Press.  CONGRATULATIONS, CAMRYN!!!!!  Some of you may have seen this book when it was part of the Mills & Boon New Voices contest last fall.  After reading the excerpt she posted there, I knew it would only be a matter of time before someone offered her a contract for this fabulous story!

To learn more about Camryn, the book and the prizes of her Release Day Party, visit her blog here.  And if that isn't enough incentive for you, there are some really smokin' hot guys on there!  As for me?  I'm heading back over there now!

Tami Dee's Mists of Time Book 4

If you like time-travel, honorable men and the kick-butt women who love them, don't miss Tami Dee's Mists of Time series. The author has done a wonderful job with the fourth and final book of her Mists of Time series. I thoroughly enjoyed the sweet romance of Eva and Ofeig. It was great also to see the other couples from the previous 3 books and how their lives have changed "through the years." The challenges Eva and Ofeig face and overcome make me believe in love again. I look forward to reading more books by this great author!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I'm A Winner!

I happened to be surfing through my blog buddies and found that Sarah Hoss awarded me the "Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award!"

The Rules of this award are pretty simple:

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.

2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.

3. Pass the Award on to 10 deserving blog buddies.

4. Contact those buddies and let them know.

So, here are my random facts:

•I am addicted to watching soccer!

•I've been to 11 countries.

•My favorite breakfast is a Coke and cold pizza.

•My first celebrity crush was Rick Springfield.

•I've just started manuscript number 11.

•I LOVE clam cakes- but I take out the clam pieces.

•My first car was a mustang that needed oil every 2 weeks.

Thanks so much to Sarah for this!  Now, I know the directions clearly state I need to pass the award on to 10 buddies, but most of the ones I'd send to have already been awarded this.  So, if you are reading this, consider yourself special enough in my world to be awarded this.  If you choose to post your own 7 random facts & the award, please link back here and let me know so I can read more about you!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


My Lies query is done!  It's as good as I can make it and I'm pretty happy with it.  I've already sent it on its first foray into the cyber world.  Wish us luck! 

Next up is revising the synopsis to reflect the final version of the book.  Hopefully I'll have that done within the week. 

And of course, the brainstorming continues for my newest couple in I Dare You.  Um, I love all my heroes, and the one from Lies is pretty awesome, but this new guy is H-O-T!

I'm a little more than halfway through Tami Dee's 4th Viking book, Through a Viking Mist, and I don't want to put it down!  Hopefully I'll be able to finish it in the next couple of days.

I've got my reading schedule in my head.  Wanna hear?  After Tami's, I'm going to read Laura Griffin's Unforgivable, which just finaled in the Daphne du Maurier Contest!  Then I'm going to read my friend and CP Cat Schield's first Desire book, Meddling With a Millionaire.  Then I'm going to read Laura Scott's latest Love Inspired Suspense,  Lawman-in-Charge.  THEN I'm going to read the last 2 Harry Potter books so I can watch the movies and get ready for the final movie in July.  (I know, I must be the only Potter fan on the planet who hasn't finished reading the series!  Bad, bad Lexi!!)

Still looking for a "real job", still trying to clean my house, still making plans.  Always making plans.