Questions I Have Been Asked and the Inevitable Answers . ..  

Posted by Heidi in

Lately I have been getting a lot of new traffic from the wonderful Rechelle at The Country Doctor’s wife (see my blogroll) who is featured on the Pioneer Woman’s blog. (Yeah, I know!) So, I thought this would be a good time to address some questions that have come my way lately.

Q What is the hardest part of writing a blog post every day?

A Coming up with the title.

Q Where do you get your ideas?

A Everywhere. Also, chocolate helps.

Q Why Dunhaven Place? What does it mean?

A The long answer: Dunhaven is Celtic for “heavenly home”, haven meaning just what it sounds like. So “Dun Haven” would be “Heaven/haven Home” whereas “Dun Dubh” would mean “Black Home/House” unless Black were your last name, in which case it would be “Dun Gormach”. (Who knew?) Dunhaven Place has been my eBay user name for many years, the brand name of a clock I received as a wedding gift from some favorite uncles (Bob and Carl for those of you who share uncles with me), was going to be the name of my online antique store (it never got off the cyber-ground), and was the name of a country English manor in a novel I wrote a really long time ago and had completely forgotten about until I pulled it out last month and read it.

The short answer: I really like it.

Q Why don’t people comment on your blog?

A Beats me. Comments are more than welcome. In fact, every person who comments on this post will receive a hand made sachet made of French lavender encased in fabric from an antique Victorian baby dress complete with antique scorch marks. (see pic of dress to the right and, frustratingly, above, which it was not supposed to be but really, it just took on a life of its own) That is, eventually. Send me your address at but only if you post a comment.

Q Do any of your (7) siblings have blogs?

A No, they are very private people.

Q Do they read your blog?

A Of 1 grandparent, 4 parents, 9 sisters and 10 brothers, (this includes in-laws) only 3 or maybe 4 of them read my blog. I do have a number of really swell cousins and nieces who read me, maybe an aunt or two but they aren’t saying.

Q Why is that?

A Like I said, they are very private people. I can only assume they feel that I should be, as well.

Q Why don’t you get a real job?

A This is a four part answer:

1) My first priority is my family. The kids are older now, true, but there are a lot of special needs here. The list of diagnoses and conditions in our household follows in alphabetical order without identifying whom has what in order to protect the guilty as well as the innocent (hi C.!): bipolar disorder, brain injury, chronic anxiety disorder (2, possibly 3 cases of that one) chronic depressive disorder (3 cases of that one), developmental delay, fibromyalgia, hiatal hernia, hypo-thyroidism, learning disabilities, obsessive compulsive disorder, sensory integration disorder, tactile defensiveness, and a really annoying sensitivity to wheat, salt and preservatives.

2) I’m the one who has the thyroid problem as well as fibromyalgia (see link in sidebar if you want to know more) which makes it pretty hard to be employed. Plus, the need to avoid foods with wheat, salt and preservatives makes me cranky and hard to be around. I’m just thinking of potential workmates. I have their needs at heart. That’s the kind of gal I am.

3) I sell on eBay and write at home in an effort to supplement income while being able to stay close to my kids.

4) I don’t want to.

Q Holy cow! How much medicine do y’all take?

A Between the four of us (the Little Guy so far is blessedly healthy) we take 29 prescription and 11 over the counter pills per day. That is an average of 10 pills per person per day (the lion’s share goes to the Big Guy but don’t say I said so) which is a lot when you think about it. I try not to.

Q How do you have time to write with the kids and the garden and the house and the grocery shopping and laundry and the doctor appointments and the waiting in line at the pharmacy ,etc. etc. etc.?

A By not doing other things. That is why the crop tool is my best friend. See below to see what I mean.

Photo of me while napping--the cropped version.

Photo of me napping--the uncropped version. (I think the dog looks disgusted, don't you?)

Granted it doesn’t always look like this. Sometimes it is worse. Sometimes it’s better, too, but don’t hold your breath. Basically, I just prefer to spend my time doing things that will stay done. Cleaning up the mess isn’t one of them. Also, chocolate helps.

Q Why are your kids so weird?

A See above.

Q Do you take the photos on your blog yourself or do you swipe them from somewhere else?

A 99.99% of the photos that appear on my blog and “official author website” (see are taken by myself. I won’t talk about the other ones (shhhhh!)

Q Who the heck did your website? It’s a mess!

A I did. It looks a whole lot better if your computer recognizes the font Monotype Cursiva. If not, things are way out of alignment. And if you are wondering why I just don’t change the font--I don’t want to.

Q Why all the roses on your blog?

A Why not?

Q Did you do the design on your blog yourself, too?

A No that was done by the talented Tristan Chabot at My Daisy Baby Blog Design at (but, like she says in her notes, I really knew what I wanted. I think maybe that's French for “control freak”).

Q I see that you have a slideshow of dollhouse miniatures. Do you make them?

A Heavens no! Who has time for that? I sand, paint, distress, and embellish them with things that I do make such as hand-carved rose garlands, tiny pillows, etc. I have “bashed” a couple of pieces of furniture or furniture kits to make something new and totally unique. Sometime in the next 8 months I will be published in a miniature magazine featuring my best stuff. I had better get busy—my best stuff hasn’t happened yet. At least I hope not.

Q Why Tonner dolls? You have a slideshow of them, too.

A Because they totally rock. (see Tonner link on sidebar) They are Barbie on junk. I highly recommend them. Oh, and because they look way better in clothes than I do.

Q What is your book about?

A About twoo luve (I couldn’t resist—Princess Bride fans will understand). It is about how two people who slightly know one another and don’t really “get” one another, but then get stuck in each other’s company, find out how wrong they have been about each other. Oh!--and fall in love. (Did I give away too much?) Meanwhile, they are in England during the Regency (Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice time period) and so there are balls and beautiful outfits. By the way, it is full of amusing wit and funny circumstances. I don’t know where it all came from, ostensibly my head, but actually what happened is that these people invaded my brain with full personalities and hopes and dreams and talents and challenges and speech patterns, and told me their story. All I did was write it down.

Q When is your book coming out?

A December 24th via Avalon books but you can find it in libraries around the nation sometime in November. Or so I’m told . . . you might want to request it at your library just to be sure.

Q How can I get one?

A Well, if you insist on owning a copy, you can presently pre-order it on (click on the cover of my book in the sidebar for a link to Amazon) or However, it will be available (maybe by October, crossing my fingers) at for quite a bit less, especially if you have a membership. If you don’t, get one, its’ worth it. Lastly, if you are anywhere near the SF Bay area, I will be having a book signing where you can pick one up. Should you actually attend.

Q Are you working on anything new?

A Yes, I have two regencies in the works, one that is funny and a bit madcap (there are a couple of characters in this one that are my all time favorites of those who have knocked on the door of my brain and required admittance) while the other is more gothic, sort of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen or Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Only, not so heavy and with a much happier ending. Of course! One can only read so many books with sad endings.

Q Are you going on the blogamamma road trip?

A Why, yes! Aren't you?

This entry was posted on Sunday, August 24, 2008 at Sunday, August 24, 2008 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

15 wise, witty and wonderful comments

Thanks for the info.

We always wondered why Dunhaven and why so many stinkin' roses.

We feel better now.

August 24, 2008 at 10:31 PM

A book signing you say, when and where will that take place, just curious.

August 25, 2008 at 9:21 AM

I love that even your throw and pillow case are covered with roses. You have certainly done the rose thing up properly. And to reed and barb, you can never have too many stinkin' roses! For heavens sake! Since I am sure it was Reed's comment, Barbie you must take him out and give him a good talking to.

August 25, 2008 at 9:26 AM

yeah, yeah, I know three comments. What can I say the brain is a little disjointed today, but I did want to point out that I have sent mom and dad to your blog on more then one occasion, they link over from mine. They don't leave comments because mom doesn't know how. So you do have an aunt and uncle that read up on the comings and goings of Dunhaven Place.
Roxanne (again)

August 25, 2008 at 9:30 AM

Wow, Roxanne, I am buried in riches, here--and Reed commented, too. Though, we mustn't underestimate the wit of B&R's sons who could have left that comment, as well. But, I'm with you, I think it was Reed. Not that Barb isn't funny, she truly is--that is nice to know that Uncle Dick and Aunt Ivaloo read my blog! Hi! As for the book signing, I really want to make it Feb. 14th or whatever Saturday it is closest to the 14th. I am still working with the bookstore owner on that one . . .Why? You comin'?

August 25, 2008 at 10:06 AM

One more question for your list.

Why is it illegal to have even a lemonade stand in your little home town?

I guess there's no chance of a book stand in February either?

(sorry - that was two questions)

August 25, 2008 at 11:39 AM

I don't know why it is illegal. It might be in a lot of places but it just isn't worth enforcing.

And the other question is very very very funny. I don't think I'm even going to answer that one. No sirree-bob!

August 25, 2008 at 2:11 PM

Oh, and by the way Reed, what are you going to do with two, count em', TWO lavendar sachets?

August 25, 2008 at 2:12 PM

Christmas + Mother's Day = One Lucky Gal

August 25, 2008 at 4:21 PM

All I can say, well, I can't say--I'm laughing too hard. Ain't the internet grand?

August 25, 2008 at 5:37 PM
This comment has been removed by the author.
August 26, 2008 at 6:25 AM

That last "reed" comment made me laugh out loud.

August 26, 2008 at 6:32 AM

Christine! Yay~! So nice to see your comment on my post! You are the winner of one very special sachet. Did you email me your address? Yes, Reed is quite the guy--very funny and witty to boot. We are always blessed when he chooses to comment here.

August 26, 2008 at 7:03 AM

Thanks for the Q&A! I enjoyed reading your blog. Your book looks great, and I have added it to my reading list.

I just wanted to say that I understand the whole pill thing; my family also takes a lot of medicine. We have a lot of health problems. My dad alone takes 15 pills/day (he has a heart condition). The rest of us take anywhere from 2-6 pills/day.

Anyhow, I'm just stopping by on my blog trip. Thanks for making my blog one of your stops.

September 1, 2008 at 10:19 AM

I LOVE lavender!!! I try so hard to grow it but alas. Do you grow your own? Any tips? I've been told that I am overly generous with the water.
I can grow any other herb (and I do).
Just not MY FAVorite Lavender!

October 7, 2008 at 10:54 AM

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