That would be me.

Yes, I’m in that brutal stage of figuring out what to do next with my hair, or, The Grow-Out Phase.

Things weren’t going so badly until I decided to cheat on my new hairdresser in mid-November. (I found Candace about a year ago, when she rescued me from a really bad perm, and went on to gloss and cut and beautify my lovely tresses. Why oh why did I cheat on her???)

The only reason I decided to cheat, so to speak, was because the gal who referred me to her in the first place…let’s call her Beth…told me she’d found a different gal who did something to her hair color that kept it from fading so quickly.

As that was the only complaint I had about my new hairdresser, I thought I’d at least try this new gal for color. Since I like the dark plum (ie, Cherry Coke) shades, those do fade quickly–and if there was a way to keep that from happening so quickly, I was all over it. I’d still go to Candace for cuts, of course, but I’d try the color.

Well, the color was a disaster. Instead of Cherry Coke (which was the swatch I’d showed New Gal), I ended up with Nancy Drew copper–not that there’s anything wrong with that color, but I didn’t want it. And the thing that killed me was that this New Gal was supposedly an expert on color, had been in the business for a long time, even sold the products. So when I looked at my hair in shock and said, “This is not the color I wanted!” and I re-showed her the swatch, she “fixed” it.

Which meant to add on the color I wanted on top of the wrong color. Ugh. Yeah.

It changed the color…a little. But not enough. And the cut she gave me….very meh. (I needed my ends cleaned up and she did more than that.)

So I left feeling very unhappy about my hair, and very very remorseful about cheating on Candace.

But it gets worse (which is why I don’t appear in any of the Christmas card pics I sent to family and friends).

About a week later, my youngest daughter got head lice from someone at school. (Those of you who know what a pain in the behind lice is can totally relate.) So of course I had to check everyone’s hair at home, and learned that no one but ScoobyGirl had the little buggers.

And Music Man, who will deny it to his dying day, but is truly quite a bit squeamish, had to check my hair. It was little more than a cursory look and he said, “Yeah, I think you might have it.”

Think and might being the operative words, and of course I freaked out a bit. So in between picking nits out of ScoobyGirl’s hair three times a day, I began to destroy my own hair by using every possible remedy–since I knew Music Man wasn’t going to pick nits. I used Listerine and white vinegar, super super hot water, lots of goop in my hair, anything I could think of to either kill them or keep them from sticking to the hair shaft.

Four days later, after completely stripping everything from my hair–color, health, etc–a friend of mine did a check and said, “You don’t have lice!”

Grrrrr.

Anyway, so since Thanksgiving, I’ve been living with style-less hair. It really bites. Every day my hair looks different, and I’ve taken to covering it with an adorable hat (thank goodness it’s winter) when I go out.

But now it’s getting to the point where I have to do something with it. I go from a Hillary Clinton sort of look (combed back and tucked behind the ears) to a Rod Steward in the ’80s ‘do (straight and shaggy) to a…poofy, “big” look. Hellllp!

I hope that by the time I’m doing booksignings for As Shadows Fade, something will be done with the hair.

Candace has promised to take me back and fix me up…if anyone can, she can. But I have to wait for a few more weeks, because she’s going to be gone. Sigh. Wish me luck.

Speaking of As Shadows Fade, here are a few updates/announcements for those wondering:

1. I have ASF cover flats and want to send them out to anyone who contributed to my Colleen Unleashed fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis. I don’t have addresses for anyone, so if you’d like a signed cover flat, just email me your address and I’ll get them out. Send it to author at colleengleason dot com. Thanks! (Andrea, I know I haven’t sent yours yet. Yours is the first to go!)

2. I don’t have ARCs for As Shadows Fade yet, and I don’t know when/if I’m getting any! It’s making me crazy. But, I will be getting copies of the book probably a week before its release, and when that happens, I will draw the winners from the Colleen Unleashed contest (and will also send the copy for the winner from my webcast last August)….so hang in there!

3. I am scheduling booksignings and events as we speak, so keep an eye on the Appearances section of my website. I will be in St. Louis the weekend of March 21, and expect to have an event there. I also have four or five appearances in Michigan, including one at the Borders Ann Arbor Concept store–which I’m really excited about.

4. And I plan to have a sneak peek or excerpt from ASF on my website by the end of the week…it’s just which one to choose! Any suggestions??? Who do you want in the scene??

Okay. That’s it for now. Happy MLK Day!

I bet the McCain campaign is just thrilled about this Kodak Moment, caught at last week’s debate.

Dang. This is the kind of thing that would happen to me.

I feel a little sorry for Joe the Plumber.

Poor guy. He ventures out of his yard last weekend, from where he’s been playing football with his son, to where his neighbors are clustering around Barack Obama, who’s decided to visit his neighborhood on a campaign trip (!!). And Joe asks a question about his tax plan.

And the conversation catapults him into a media frenzy.

And now his whole life is laid bare. Poor guy. Turns out he’s not actually a licensed plumber. And that he isn’t in the tax bracket of >$250K that he was making a big deal about–and wouldn’t be even if he bought the business (because we’re talking net v. gross here, of course). Oh, and that he owes back taxes.

Oops.

I do feel sorry for the guy. After all, he didn’t ask to be highlighted by John McCain in the debate. Did he?

But…hmmm…he lived in Mesa, Arizona before recently moving to Ohio.

Naw. It was just an unfortunate, unexpected blast of celebrity.

I’m betting Joe wishes he woulda kept tossing the football around with his son instead of accosting Barack Obama.

Let that be a lesson to you: if you see a presidential candidate in your neighborhood, make sure all your ducks are in a row before you venture out, or you might find yourself to be the next Joe the Plumber.

On Book Tours. When driving on one’s own.

1. Check Mapquest and actually read how long it takes to drive from Chicago to Terre Haute.

I.e., when it says “3 hours, 54 minutes” don’t forget about those 54 minutes. It makes the trip much longer than 3 hours. It helps if you notice this before you get ready to leave.

2. Note that when driving from Chicago to Terre Haute that there is a time change from Central Time back to Eastern Time when you cross back into Indiana. Take note that you lose one hour when you do so….which makes that 3 hours, 54 minutes really 4 hours and 54 minutes. Oops.

3. Despite timing snafus, when you manage to make it to the book signing event only twenty minutes late, buy yourself a Lindt Dark Chocolate bar with Caramel to celebrate. And give half of it to Jennifer Rardin, who held the fort down while you tried to get your butt there on time.

4. Take little goodies brought to previous signing by darling Kristin B. (mini bottles of Godiva liqueur and Bailey’s) back to room after signing and relax.

Sorry ya'll. I went AWOL and didn't get a chance to write up a blog post.

Am in DC with the fam on a little vacation between and around my Meet and Greet at B&N on Wed, and my workshop with the Maryland Romance Writers on Thurs.

It's bloody hot here. Horribly, awfully, yucky hot. But other than that, we're having a nice time (except for my 7 yo who doesn't want to go to anymore museums. Heh.).

So anyway, while I'm gone, I thought I would leave you with some topics with which to talk amongst yourselves. So I'll post a few of them and let you have at it. If I can pop in and say hi, I will.

Look below for two or three different posts that will be up for the next few days, open to discussion.

(PS, this was regular commenter KristinB's idea, so yay and thanks to KristinB!)