Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I'm sitting in a coffee shop, not drinking coffee.

I'm supposed to be working on Ghost Mountain, but I'm a little stuck. How do you get an FBI agent to believe in ghosts? Should my main character's leg be broken after a car crash? Why? Why not?

To make it worse, I know I have revisions at home that I could be doing, but I didn't bring those. And then, I actually wanted to have all 80,000 words for this story done by June 1. Since I'm only at 20,000 (well, 20,374) I don't see that happening. So now I'm upset with myself for my lack of self-discipline.

Found out that the kid was accepted for the open enrollment. She will be attending a public high school about 15 miles from our home (just in the other school district) starting this fall. Now if only I can get the school people to decide what they need to enroll her since they keep changing their minds.

OK, the guilt is getting to me. I'm going back to the novel...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


For the first time in 16 weeks, I actually gained weight. One full pound, even.

Actually, that's pretty much the way my week has gone. It's had it's peeks (Yeah, Oscar!) but the rest has been some pretty low valleys.

Oh well. Back to the water bottle and the gym in the morning!

Monday, April 23, 2007

OK, so I forgot how tiring a new pup can be! And I obviously live life on the edge since the cat was sleeping, too!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Finished Oscar's toy today. It's knit with Red Heart yarn on size 4 dpns. I got the pattern from the Spring/Summer 2006 issue of Kint It Magazine.

Like a typical kid, though, he was pretty happy with the feather that he brought in from outside.

Gotta love it!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Tubby. Buddy. Merlin. Arthur. Lugos. Dylan. Oscar. Magic. These were the names our newest family member had. Most of them for only about 10 minutes or so. Oscar, the name I picked. I *my* puppy. Let me explain. Everyone else has a pet — or two. The kid has two cats and a dog. Hubby has a dog. Special daughter who lives in another state has a cat here. Hmmmm....

So, as only a mean wife can, I got a little jealous. I wanted one of my own. I did some research and decided I wanted an indoor dog. (The cats are indoor, the other dogs are outdoor.) I wanted something small that I could take with me to get more exercise. Something loyal that I could play with. A dog which would easily go geocaching with me since the rest of the family doesn't like the hobby as much as I do.

So my loving hubby and I went to a local pet shop and bought Oscar. He's a 10-week old Cairn Terrier. I wanted to name him after a Celtic god, but those guys had some odd names. Cool goddess names, not so cool god names. (Side note: I've been doing some research on Celtic mythology, some for the book I'm writing and some because it started to interest me. Although, for those wondering, it does explain where "Arthur" and "Merlin" and even "Lugos" and "Dylan" came from!) So I picked Oscar. The name means "deer lover" and in Irish mythology Oscar was said to be a mighty hunter.

Yep. He's a hunter alright!

The one thing I forgot was how much work it can be to housebreak a puppy. That's OK, though. This one is mine! *smile!*

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The news report

Juvenile makes court appearance after lockdown
By Heidi Bell Gease, Journal staff

RAPID CITY -- The Central High School student arrested for lying to officials about seeing a man with a handgun at school has made his initial appearance before a 7th Circuit Court judge.

The 15-year-old boy, whose name is not being released because he is a juvenile, remains in custody, officials said during a Wednesday news conference.

And while the emotional ordeal of Tuesday’s school lockdown has ended for most students, the process has just begun for the boy and his parents.

Harry Brenden, assistant superintendent for elementary and secondary education for the Rapid City School District, said school officials will review the boy’s academic and disciplinary records before deciding what consequences he’ll face there. “The school will take sanctions,” he said. “I just don’t know what they will be.”

The most severe penalty would be one year’s expulsion, Brenden said.

Pennington County Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Kevin Krull said his office will file petitions charging the boy with false reporting and disturbance or disruption of school. The boy and his parents are cooperating with authorities, he said.

For an adult, the charges would be misdemeanors punishable by jail time and/or fines.

For a juvenile, it’s different. If the boy admits to the charges, the juvenile judge n currently Judge Thomas Trimble n will decide what his consequences should be. If the boy denies the allegations, Trimble will hear arguments in a hearing similar to a trial.

Krull said penalties could range from 90 days at the Juvenile Services Center to fines of up to $1,000 to probation to placing the boy with the state Department of Corrections, which could keep him until he turns 21.

Several people have suggested the case might lend itself well to a restorative justice approach. Restorative justice uses trained mediators to bring offenders and victims together to talk about how the offender’s actions affected others. The process lets victims and offenders see each other as individuals, supporters say, and often brings healing and understanding to situations that could otherwise stay mired in anger.

“I think it might have some merit,” said Dex Wittman, who runs the juvenile diversion program for the state’s attorney’s office. “There’s a lot of people who want to ask (him) some questions . . . Some of the kids were really afraid yesterday.”

Phyllis Boernke, director of the Center for Restorative Justice in Rapid City, said volunteer mediators just finished a case where the three juveniles arrested for vandalizing Rapid Valley schools last summer were brought together with school staff and administrators.

“That turned out very well,” she said. It took a long time to prepare for the meeting because they had to determine which victims would be involved. The mediation, which was held in January and took about three hours, eventually involved the three students, their parents, and more than a dozen school employees, including school administrators and custodial staff.

“It was a real turning point midway, when the young people began to share what was emotionally, personally going on with them, not only connected with this incident but personally in their lives,” Boernke said. She said the students talked about “feeling anger and frustration and just wanting to take it out somewhere.”

As a result, she said the adults involved in the mediation began thinking and talking about ways to help other youths in the same situation. “It turned out to be real positive.”

Mediation usually happens farther along in the process, after people’s emotions have leveled out. With juveniles, especially, mediators don’t want people “just dumping out anger” on the child, Boernke said.

“Throwing kids in detention all the time and never bringing any resolution is certainly not the answer,” Boernke said. “I would like to have the opportunity to visit with the child and his parents, to talk about some options, and then to find out how many people in the community might like to take part.”

Rapid City Police Chief Craig Tieszen said at Wednesday’s news conference that surveillance cameras at Central helped police as they began investigating the report of an armed gunman in the school. Detectives began to see inconsistencies in the boy’s story, he said, and by the time the last students were being evacuated from Central High School early Tuesday afternoon, the boy had admitted to making up the story.

The day wasn’t a total loss, Tieszen said. “We did have one huge joint exercise.”

Both he and Brenden said they were pleased with how smoothly things went as law enforcement and the school district implemented their emergency plan. This was the first time the district-wide emergency plan was called into action, Brenden said, adding that it exposed a few glitches administrators will now work to fix.

Tieszen praised the way law enforcement agencies, the fire department, school officials and even the media cooperated Tuesday in responding to the threat.

“I think our cooperative spirit showed itself yesterday,” he said.

Pennington County Chief Deputy Sheriff Dave Bramblee also commended the community at large for the way it reacted Tuesday.

“Today is really kind of a day of relief and celebration,” he said.

Contact Heidi Bell Gease at 394-8419 or
Yesterday was not good.

Shortly after my post yesterday, I heard on the radio that all of our schools were in "lock down" and that a gunman was reported at one of the high schools. I almost started to cry because Thursday the school board will vote on the open enrollment form to allow my daughter to attend one of those schools. My second thought was "what have I done?" My first thought was "God protect those kids."

The tragedy at VA Tech (close to where my kiddo was born, actually) breaks me up. We started homeschooling right after Columbine. And now this. Right when I was starting to be OK with the decision to send her to public school. Talk about questioning your own judgment. (Add to the fact I'm a HUGE pessimist -- quiet, Sis! -- and I was going bonkers yesterday.)

Turns out the entire thing here was a joke. A 15-year-old girl made up the whole thing. She even gave a description of a Native American man walking the halls with a handgun. Not only did she scare the hebe-jebes out of every parent in this half of the state, she did wonders for racism. I hope it was worth it. I also hope they release her name and try her as an adult and force her to repay the cost of having the SWAT team search the school. Frankly, I hope they throw the book at her. Not just because she made me worry (although, I'm human enough to admit that's a part of it!), but because she deserves it for her little stunt.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Another 2.4 pounds down and I've earned the WW 10% reward. That means I've lost ten percent of my starting weight. (Remember, the WW total and the total here on the blog are off a bit. Either way, though, it still means I was TOO heavy to start with!) A few more pounds and I'll be getting myself another angel for my collection. I think I'll do something nice for myself in honor of my 10 percent, too.

Now to decide exactly WHAT to do! *smile*

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I went clothes shopping today. No where fancy, just Shopko, but still. I decided I needed some "business casual" to go to the writer's conference in Omaha next month (Mayhem in the Midlands). When the majority of your life is spent in jeans and T-shirts, business casual requires new clothes.

And I HATE clothes shopping. Don't believe me? Ask my sister. Growing up, the worst part of starting school each year was actually getting the new clothes. Anyway, the kid and I went and she doesn't have my aversion to new clothes. She helped me pick out three new outfits for the conference.

So that's one more thing all ready for the conference. I so want to find an agent there. I completely doubt it will happen, but I *do* expect to find out how to get an agent. I do expect to get re-charged and come home ready to take my novel to the next level.

Man, I can't wait until this conference!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I realized today that I've lost weight every week for 14 weeks. Can you believe that? 14 weeks of losing as least two-tenths of a pound. That's a lot of weeks!

I re-designed my author web site ( and I'm pretty proud of how it looks. I've also spent the week working on my novel. Right now, it's titled Ghost Mountain, which says volumes about the subject matter of the novel.

The baby blanket I'm knitting is more than half finished. For this same mom-to-be, I hope to also knit a stuffed bunny, booties, a sweater and a hat. We'll see what actually gets finished besides the blanket.