If Only!

Welcome to week 11 of the MFRW blog hop. This week’s prompt is: If Only I Never Had to Do This One Task again . . .


When I sell enough books on a regular basis to hire a personal assistant,  I will.  Then, I will never have to . . . . Oh wait,  I still would probably have to do those things. Top on my list would be writing the cover blurb. UGH!

I find it ironic that I can write a blurb for a friend or tweak their starting efforts enough that it’s back cover worthy.  When I start to write my own blurb, however . . . *crickets*.

Why is that? Is it because I am too familiar with the story?  I know too much and tend to want to give out details? I know two amazing authors who are fantastic with blurbs.  I can send them a starting point and they will send me back something I can use! This is one of the reasons I have done pro bono work for those friends.

*Will trade editing for blurbs and elevator pitch!*

Blurbs would definitely be at the top of my list,  but then there is also mailing the packages – I have carried packages around in my car for days before actually stopping at the post office.

* hangs head in shame*

On a more personal note,  if I never had to wash another dish in my life, I would be all too happy.  Same goes for rinsing/loading/unloading the dishwasher. There are days when I consider investing in the paper plate industry and buying an industrial-sized case at Costco. That’s right,  I hate doing dishes! If it weren’t for my eco-friendly daughter that has us consistently recycling, nope,  I just can’t see the point of adding to the landfills because I don’t like doing dishes. If it’s just my lunch, I’ve been known to just use a paper towel for a sandwich. Eliminate the need to wash more!

You were probably expecting something deep and earth-shattering, but nope –  just the dishes. I don’t think I could get away with serving a can of peaches in the can, or persuading the hubs to just use a napkin instead of a plate. . .  never going to happen.

Maybe when I have the resources to hire a personal assistant,  then I can hire a maid as well!

Everyone has their dreams,  mine in this area are pretty simple.

Go check out what others are sharing on this topic at: MFRW BLOG HOP. Be sure to leave comments!

Write on my friends, write on!


Memoires from the Quarry Girl

Welome to week 10 of the MFRW blog hop. Yeah, yeah, yeah,  I’ve missed a few but I’ve had mostly good reasons. We’ll get to that in a bit. This week’s prompt is: Things Only my Family would understand.

OH, now y’all are getting personal. You know, there are some things about my personal life that I’d rather not share. I’ve got issues.  My issues have issues. those issues have itty bitty baby issues of their own.

I have to ask myself,  what does this have to do with writing?  What does this matter to anyone besides embarrassing the life out of me????? Whatever, let me grab a cup of joe and we’ll jump in with the top 5 Things Only My Family Would Understand. You might want to take this opportunity to run to the bathroom,  just in case you find these funny and have a laughing fit.

Alright, here we go –

Top 5 Things Only My Family Would Understand

  1. Don’t Move My Table We have a small eat-in kitchen. When my daughters were teens,  they developed this habit of pushing themselves away from the table. As they were nearly adult sized,  they pushed the table about three inches, and suddenly the plate my husband and I were eating from is three inches to the right.We’ve gone round and round about this. It’s a major pet peeve of mine. Sometimes I come in from doing whatever and my table has been moved on purpose, or one end of the table is angled closer to the wall. I’ve been known to bellow from the kitchen down the hall “Who moved my table?” in a not so pleasant voice. They usually just snicker which then ticks me off more.
  2. Radioactive Turkey Everytime Thanksgiving comes around, or Dad is cooking,  I hear the pathetic cries of  “You’re not going to make us eat radioactive turkey again are you?” Long story – when my girls were in 4th and 2nd grades, I went away for a ladies retreat weekend – actually it was like five days of bliss, with a spa day,  and luxury massages, dinner out for the duration that I didn’t have to ook or clean up –  it was heaven!  Yeah, I was glad to get back to my family,  but oh those days of being pampered. . . anyway, I digress.  So, while I was away, the hubs was in charge of feeding our children. They had such luxury foods such as beenie weenies, frozen pizza, burnt scrambled eggs,  ravioli from a can, you get the idea. I do 99% of the cooking in our household. So, on Saturday afternoon, after a busy morning of cooking cleaning and laundry, time got away from him and they were like “We’re hungry” around 2 o’clock. He checked my menu – because I made sure they had three meals and snacks for the time I was away.  Come on, I’m not a horrible mom. So he read the menu – chicken broccoli with rice. He opens the fridge, and there are not Chinese takeout boxes of Chicken broccoli. Hmmm, so he calls and asks –  the chicken breasts are in the freezer,  the veggies –  carrots celery, bok choy, and broccoli are in the vegetable drawer –  just in case they wanted stir fry and not just the broccoli. Then I told him since you didn’t thaw the chicken out this morning,  you’ll have to switch the dinner for lunch and have that later. Too much work,  so he took out this frozen family dinner thing that we had gotten from a monthly food box plan for a while.  I have no idea how long it had been up there because honestly,  it sounded disgusting. Turkey and dressing, frozen in a cardboard box.  When he peeled the top off,  the “Gravy”  was a chartreuse radioactive color. Of course, when I arrived home Sunday afternoon,  the girls clung to my leg. “Dad tried to feed us radioactive turkey!”
  3. Crow sandwiches – I think I’ve shared this tale before,  but here goes again. Back in 2009 when my mother passed away, she left the house to my siblings and myself.  Five of us to have to agree on everything. The chances of the planetary alignment happening again in this century has better odds. I got into a heated discussion with my second sister. They are both older,  but she’s the younger of the two.  Anyway,   after a few hours,  I knew I had to make amends.  I was standing at the kitchen counter, slicing chicken breasts to make filets for sandwiches. My husband called to say he would be a little late, and I told him that I was going to have to eat some crow. My youngest was sitting at the kitchen table coloring. When I served the pan fried chicken breast filets on kaiser rolls,  she cried.  “I don’t want to eat crow.”  I didn’t understand what she was talking about, then through sobs, she told me:  “This morning you told dad he was going to have to go shoot those crows because they kept eating Ginger’s food. Then I heard you tell dad we were going to have to eat crow.” Now keep in mind that my husband was laid off for 18 months and things were unbelievably tight. So since then when I fix chicken filets,  they are crow sandwiches.
  4. Bleeding Out Your Eyeballs When my kids were school aged, specifically junior high and high school they started the wanting to skip shool thing.  “I’m sick.” “I don’t feel good.”  Hey, I knew all the tricks.  back when I was in school,   my parents left the hosue before our bus came. I have to admit,  there were a few days that I took advantage of it.  But,  I had things I really enjoyed at school. For one,  if you missed school the week of a track meet, you couldn’t participate.  You still had to go, but you were benched.  I hated being benched.  Anyway,  so the kids are pleading with me,  their stomach hurts,  they have cramps they feel feverish (always I mean always have the thermometer ready!) So after the assessment,  my standard answer was. take some Pepto, aspirin, Tylenol, eat a piece of toast,  go poop – followed by “You’re not bleeding out your eyeballs so you’re going to school!”  They hated it then and still hate it now.
  5. Quarry Girl This is my husband’s favorite nickname to tease me with. I grew up in a small town smaller than the one I live in now. My parent’s home was in a valley just below a quarry. every Tuesday morning and Friday morning,  they would blast dynamite and the whole house would rattle,  sometimes pictures fell off the wall. The walls were plaster,  so my father was reluctant to even put things on the walls. The quarry was a dangerous place so of course as kids,  we snuck under the gates as often as we could. The mounds of sand and gravel were ideal for sledding, or in the summertime we would run up the ramp that the trucks would dump their loads down and jump as far as we could. Other times we climbed on the rocks or scaled the cliffs.  I can’t laugh at the stupid things kids do today because we did stupid things too. One particularly hot summer,  we were jumping down the face of the sand pile –  you would sink up to your hips at times – and just after my friends and I finished that round of jumps, a big cavity caved in, and snakes and tarantulas poured from this “air pocket”.  I have to say,  it was the last time we did those jumps. I got bit by a copperhead climbing on the rocks in that quarry. I sprained my ankles more than a few times.  We were chased off of the premises more than a few times and were lucky to not have charges pressed against us. But, my husband thought it was hysterical as he grew up on a farm. He teases me about being a redneck quarry girl. *Shrugs* I guess I am.  Not everyone can claim the title, or get it.

So there it is,  a whole lot more about me than you ever wanted to know!  Hope that it offered a few laughs. So, back to the reason I have been AWOL, . . . I shared the other day about the anthology that I have been asked to be a part of,  and I’ve been plotting, drafting and rewriting my short story for this anthology.

I am pleased to say that a few days ago, I typed THE END!!! It’s gone to a couple beta readers and is now in the hands of my wonderful editor. WHEW!  Can’t wait to share the cover reveal – soon!

Go check out what others are sharing on this topic at: MFRW BLOG HOP. Be sure to leave comments!

Write on my friends, write on!

From Leslie’s Pen

Greetings!  It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, and even longer since I’ve done my guest spots. 

Have y’all missed me? As one of my writing buddies has been saying, I’ve been working on a “super secret” project. Only, in my case, I suppose it hasn’t been super secret. I think I shared here that I was invited to be a part of this project for Cancer Research. 

So while I’ve had my nose to the grindstone plugging away on my short story for this,  I thought I’d let Leslie Moise have the platform today. Please give a warm welcome to Leslie!!

Five or six mornings a week, after I eat breakfast and let out my dog, I write.  Most often, I sit down in the comfy chair by my window overlooking the woods and close my eyes.  Then I ask a character in my novel-in-progress what she wants, or what he’s afraid of, or how she feels.  I keep still until the character walks me up to me in my mind and shows me the answer.  Then I open my eyes and write down what she’s done or experienced.

A couple of decades ago, my friend Rita and I attended a writers retreat led by author Louise Hawes.  She taught the participants how to listen to our characters and to write down what they genuinely did and wanted, instead of forcing them to do and feel what we thought they should.  Have you ever read a book and felt the characters didn’t ring true and the action felt forced?  The author must’ve had her own agenda and was making the characters move about in the book like stick puppets.  At that workshop, I learned to keep faith with my characters–and my readers.
For example, years later, I listened to each of my characters while I drafted my historical novel, _Judith_.  There were a number of times when I felt certain what Judith showed me could not be historically accurate.  I’ll change that after I fully research it and revise the manuscript, I thought.  Imagine my shock during research when I saw what Judith had shown me depicted on Assyrian tiles commemorating wars won by the Assyrian army.
But what about those mornings when life gets too disruptive for me to sit down in my armchair, or at my desk?  Like the week my 89-year-old father had stomach flu.  Or the day after I only slept for four very broken hours, and had minor surgery scheduled that afternoon.  Non-writers may imagine those are the times when a writer settles on the sofa with a glass of Merlot and binge watches a favorite series on Netflix.  People who think of writing as a hobby might treat days like these–when the muse is mute or unavailable–as days when the writer shouldn’t even try to write.  Reality is more prosaic and more inventive than that.
I may not produce lots of words on any given day–even a good day–but cumulatively, I produce many pages in a week.  And I average a drafted novel in a year, plus who knows how many poems, the occasional essay, and so on.
On those difficult days, I at least make notes for questions to ask my character/s on a better day, jot ideas about character dynamics (like who tends to see themselves as a victim, who is a bully, and so on).  At the very least, I do some preliminary research about how doors were hinged in 70 B.C.E., or the types of workboats commonly used on the Chesapeake Bay.   And I take at least one action a day to help promote my books already in print, submit a poem to a literary magazine, or contact an agent about my newest manuscript.
If I only get to take an action to promote my work in the morning, I may squeeze in some revision time in the afternoon.  Though I draft the best in the morning, when I’m fresh, revision or editing can work later in the day.
Before my stroke five years ago, I took a Client Attraction Seminar led by Sandie Griffin.  We talked about the importance of taking time off as part of the creative process.  Up until then, I never took a day off from writing, and felt guilty when circumstances meant I couldn’t write on a particular day.  Now, I choose a day or two to take away from writing each week, and if a day happens when I can’t write, I choose that as one of my days off.  But I try not to take many days in a row away from writing.  A day off after several at work refreshes; too much time away from the notepad and pen, or the keyboard, makes it difficult to get back into the flow.
There is a benefit to keeping my writing a priority:
When life happens and I can’t do any drafting for several days in a row
–when I can’t manage more than jotting those questions to ask my characters later, the way I had to when Dad had flu–something inspiring happens.  Decades ago, when I only wrote when the muse struck, this didn’t happen.  But now, if I don’t write for several days in a row, a poem will pop up, often later in the afternoon of the third or fourth day.
My mother died a year and a half ago.  For most of that time, I drafted poems about and for her, but none of them came alive.  Then, several days into Dad’s bout of flu, early one evening I read an article about spark birds, the bird that sparks a birder’s interest in birding–learning about them.  It set me thinking about my own spark bird, and a poem rolled through me about watching birds with my mother.  Neither of us knew or cared which birds we saw, but now I easily identify all the birds that come to my feeders.  I wrote about the Juncos my mother called “milk birds”, my spark bird.  I wrote about my love for birding that grew out of the love I shared with my mother.
It turns out that I’ve shown up for writing so often and so long, now if I don’t show up to write, writing shows up for me.  I am not the only writer I know of who’s had this happen.  A poet friend of mine would have poems force themselves into her daily life if she couldn’t find time to write when life got busy.  She worked at a meat counter in a butcher shop, and if a poem thrust itself on her at work, she jotted many a draft on butcher’s paper between customers.
Writing is like jogging.  If you do a little bit most days, soon you find yourself running longer, faster, farther.  It’s not about how much you accomplish in one day, especially if your life interrupts your writing time that day.  It’s about how much you write in a week, a month, a year–a lifetime.
No matter what life throws at you today, carve out five minutes to write.  Sit down with a notepad in your lap, if nothing else.  Put pen to paper, and write for that five minutes, even if it’s just wondering about your character, jotting down a poem idea, capturing a few ideas for an essay.  Sitting and staring out the window doesn’t count.  Writing does.  By keeping creativity’s door open for little things, you make it more likely big ideas may show up eventually, over time.
P.S.  I drafted a chunk of this blog post after a night of little to no sleep.  If I can do it, so can you.
Thank you Leslie, for sharing this insight. I hope you’ll come back and be my guest again soon! 
Leslie Moise’s historical novel, _Judith_, won a grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, as well as an International Book Award Finalist Medal in 2015.  _Judith_ and Moise’s knitting memoir, _Love is the Thread_, are published by Pearlsong Press, and are available on the Pearlsong site, as well as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Powells.
Her poetry chapbook about her friendship with another woman writer, _Linked by the Joy of Words_, is published by R. C. Linnell Publishing, and is also available on Amazon.
She lives in Louisville, Kentucky, on a bluff overlooking the Ohio River.  She is on Facebook and welcomes discussion with other writers and fans.
Go check out Leslie’s books and follow her!
Trying to get back into my schedule for my blog posts, and now that the end is in sight for this one,  I have a little breathing room.
Write on my friends, write on!

A Drop in the Bucket

Happy Friday! It’s time for the MFRW 52 week blog hop for 2018!

Welcome to week 7: Top5 Things on My Bucket List

Let’s get right to it then, shall we? I never really put much stock into a bucket list until last year, when I thought I had waited too long. All sorts of images from worst case scenario to the ten worst possibilities flooded my mind. I thought that the first thing on my list would never get accomplished, and if I was lucky I might be able to do number 3 and 5.

Prior to my surgery I actually sat down and made a list of the things I wanted to accomplish or experience before I kicked off, or kicked the bucket. As that day seemed rapidly approaching, I spent most of those days in tears not knowing how I would be able to do any of them.

I’ve mentioned it before, but yes I tend to be overly dramatic at times. It’s kind of difficult not to when you get the big C diagnosis. I have been intensely focused on the first one, and this year I plan to make a serious dent in the first one, second one, and the 5th one. (I’m really pulling for all 5,  but hope to complete #2 and #5 this year!)

Ellie’s Top 5 Bucket List Items

  1. Publish 20 of my books. I have a huge file of partially completed and completed stories that I have been clinging to, reluctant to release my babies. Then what did I write them for? Why do I write in the first place?  To entertain others. How is anyone going to enjoy them when they are squirreled away in a locked file?
  2. Decorate my home the way I want!  I spent many years, trying to pease my mother, trying to win the approval of my mother in law.  I spent so long trying to fit in with everyone else,  I didn’t put things on my wall that I like. Currently,  we have very little on the walls. I can’t really use the excuse of we just painted because we painted over 5 years ago. I need to minimize the clutter in my home and organize, and put up minimum decorations in this house, in order to sell.  But when we move, Katy Bar the Door! I’ve got some great ideas saved on Pinterest.
  3. Travel!!! Nova Scotia, Western Caribbean, Hawaii, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Venice, Rome, Australia – not sure I want to go to the outback and experience the wildlife like black mambas – crikey! There are places in the US that I haven’t been to yet, and I want to go. The Badlands, Grand Canyon, and many others!
  4. Be the Keynote Speaker at an Author Event. Someday. I have done public speaking before,  that’s not the challenge.  The challenge is to do it for other writers. It will be so much more fun than speaking of scientific type stuff.
  5. MY OWN OFFICE!!!!  Let me clarify, my own home office. If you’ve read last week’s post about the office you will understand. And here is where we have the hole in the bucket.

What do you think?  Do you think they are attainable? How about you? what are some of the items on your bucket list?

As this is a blog hop, there are many other authors who are participating.  You can check them out HERE: when I scheduled this,  the list wasn’t up yet so hopefully you will be able to go there and get the fresh list.

Write on my friends, write on!


5 Authors I’d Like to Meet

Happy Friday! It’s time for the MFRW 52 week blog hop for 2018!

Welcome to week 6: 5 Authors I’d Like to meet (dead or alive).

Mark Twain –  I was greatly inspired by Mark Twain when I was younger, and after visiting Hannibal, Missouri I was even more motivated. For a man who wrote sagacious wit,  he lived a tragic life. It makes me realize how much we often take for granted and motivates me to do better. I would love to sit down over a cup of coffee or tea with him and ask a million questions and let him regale me with his sardonic humor.

J.R.R. Tolkien – To get inside his head! Oh my, can you just imagine?? Where did he get the ideas for . . . (fill in the blank) What inspired specific characters?  Did he write linear? Did he write chronologically? Who did he feel influenced him?

Anne McCaffrey – The queen of all things dragon! Oh to discuss her dragon world would be amazing!

Katie McAlister – I would LOVE to sit down over lunch and talk shop with this amazing woman. I adore her sense of humor, her writing style and OK, it would probably have to be a full day’s worth because I would fangirl her so hard for the first several hours. SQUEAL!!!!   Seriously though,  I would love to meet her in person.

Chatty Chicks (Cathy Brockman, Vicki Locey, Misty Harvey, Amity Riles, and Emily Joy Grace Thompson! These women have kept me writing when I was so close to throwing in the towel numerous times.  They have shared my ups and downs.  They’ve offered a cyber shoulder to cry on, a cyber party to share our victories, and numerous hours of writing sprints! We would need a supply of coffee and cocoa, maybe some biscuits to snack on and several hours to visit in person. (OK, technically this is more than 5, but there is no way I could pick one of my chatty chick sisters and not the others, it’s a package deal!)

On a similar note, last year at Penned Con I got the chance to meet Angie Fox! I’ve adored her for years. When I found out she was a local St. Louisan, I hoped that some day I could meet her and I DID!!! By the way, she’s just as amazing in person. I hope I didn’t emberass her by fangirling her. I tried to act cool, but you know how it is, right?  I don’t think I could have been any less cool if I had met Jensen Ackles in person. GAH!!!

Go check out what the other authors are saying in this blog hop. You can find their links here:

MFRW 52 Week Challenge

Write on my friend, write on!

Tasty Treats!

In my quest for finding recipes that I can eat and don’t taste like cardboard, or consist of a bowl of kale. . . I’ve come across a few winners.

So, I decided to share a few of those with you here.

My dietary constraints are cancer and diabetes. Sugar-free is an absolute necessity, and with diabetes, low carb count is essential as well.

I have been cooking with whole grains, fresh foods, mostly lean proteins – fish and poultry, and very few processed foods of any sort.

I feel great most of the time. I feel so much healthier than I was at this time last year. Small changes add up to big results.

Here’s a tasty recipe if you want to make just one healthy switch in your diet.

Banana – Blueberry Muffins

  • servings – 12 muffins
  • Prep – 20 minutes, Bake 15 minutes
  • Oven – 400 F


  • 1  cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar ( I use Swerve baking brown sugar substitute)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup mashed ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 400.F Grease 12 muffin cups. set aside.

In a medium bowl stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the center of flour mixture, set aside. IN another bowl, combine banana, milk, butter, egg, and vanilla.

Add banana mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Batter will be lumpy. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. filling each about three-fourths full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cool on wire rack, just five minutes then serve warm.

Nutritional info per muffin: 172 calories,  4 g total fat, (3 g saturated with real butter) 11 mg cholesterol, 135 mg sodium, 25 grams of carbs, 3 g protein.

I gotta be honest,  I used a few more blueberries than the recommended amount. What can I say, I like blueberries!

It’s good to have nutritious tasty foods! Hope you enjoy. Let me know if you try the recipe and what you think! Write on my friends, write on!

Get Your Mojo On!

Monday morning, rise and shine! It’s a new beginning, a fresh start, a day for opportunities to abound! 

Don’t even talk to me before I’ve had my coffee.

Then get your coffee Ms. Crabpatch and get busy. Just take a look at the gorgeous sky.

Do you realize the temperatures are in the single digits? Maybe I’ll just crawl back into bed.

Now is that any way to accomplish your goals? Where’s your resolve for those plans you made? Are you giving up that quickly?


Please tell me I’m not the only one who has those self-talks.  It’s like the angel on one shoulder, demon on the other, each of them whispering into my head, but I have to make the choice.

It’s true –  the week is full of opportunities. Monday is the start of a fresh new week, a chance to have this week count as a success in my planner. Before I started using my bullet journal,  I had plans in my head.  I kept a mental to-do list and rarely got past the first two.

But then I discovered the bullet journal! This amazing tool is priceless to me.  I don’t keep it up every day, and I’m not going to stress over that.  Life has gotten pretty crazy over the past year and I’ve learned to chill out and do what I can and go with the flow when I need to.

One of the ways that I feel that my bullet journal, or bujo for short, has helped me is that I have my daily to-do list. When I first started,  I wrote out my daily wishlist as my todo list. It looked something like this:

  • Housekeeping (sweep, mop, vacuum, clean counter, clean bathrooms, dust, clear clutter out of living room)
  • writing – blog, Point #3, 2 scenes, 2500 words
  • exercise – walking, aquacise, weights
  • appointment if I had one that day
  • MLO job – correspondence with emails, check sop updates, check rates, make calls, upload documents.

Now my daily to-do list looks more like this:

  • MLO job -make calls, correspondence, upload documents, etc ( there really isn’t much I can do to change what needs to be done at a job that someone else is paying me to do a specific job.)
  • HOusekeeping: chore of the day – focused on one room
  • Writing -1000 words minimum,
  • exercise: aquacize 45 minutes
  • Scheduled appointments

At first glance, you may not notice a big difference but it’s there. realistically, I know I am not going to get the entire house clean in one day. I’ve decided to focus on one area per day. Since I’ve been doing it this way, my house is cleaner. It’s not where I want it to be yet, but that’s because of the clutter. Much improved, but still room for more improvement.

I have to do certain tasks for the dayjob, so that doesn’t change other than I don’t stress out about it like I used to. There are days when I only get a couple tasks completed, and that’s OK. Some processes take longer than others.

My daily word count used to be 2500. It will go back up to that but for now, I am trying to hit at least 1000 words daily. To be honest,  on days when I have appointments or therapy, it may not happen. Last Friday I had an appointment, I couldn’t concentrate before the appointment,  then afterwards I crashed! I didn’t realize that I had been so keyed up over that appointment,  but apparently I was. I got a whole whopping 460 words last Friday –  I still count that as a win because I got some words.

My point is, back to the opportunities; by not putting a bunch of constraints on my schedule,  I have the flexibility to adapt to those urgent things that pop up unexpected.  Before, I never allowed ten minutes downtime so if anything happened, anything,  I was stressed and freaking out because I didn’t have the wiggle room. For instance –  being stuck in traffic. I sat in traffic for nearly 2 hours on a drive that should have been thirty-five minutes. It was aggravating,  but I took the opportunity to enjoy the music on the radio.  It was soothing. What could have been a very stressful 2 hours turned out to be calming. I couldn’t do anything about it anyway but in the past I would have been biting my nails, yelling at the moron driver who caused the accident up ahead and probably using some colorful metaphors in my monolog!

We can take the opportunity to take charge of our lives,  how we deal with what life throws at us or we can take the approach that we are helpless victims being tossed about by the wind and waves. The storms are going to happen so be prepared! Some of them can be avoided. Sometimes we get caught out in the rain. Other times, we have plenty of warning.

Seize the day while you can!

By the way, I stayed up, I went to my exercise class, I did the things, and I feel better for it. Regret is a hard task master that I plan to avoid! There is nothing that can beat you down faster than a bad case of the ‘should-haves’.

Is there one thing that you can do today to improve your outlook or  decrease your stress levels?

Write on my friends, write on!

I’ve Been Influenced!

Happy Friday! It’s time for the MFRW 52 week blog hop for 2018!!  YAY!

This week’s prompt: A Book That Has Influenced My Life.

Which one to choose?  That’s the thing about readers, we sometimes read excellent books that impact us! Maybe I should make mine in list form.

  1. The Bible – I was raised in a denominational church that my Grandfather founded, that had my dead relatives names on the stained glass window. I never read the Bible then, it was my parent’s religion. However, when I was in college, I was greatly influenced by an important person in my life that told me I should read it for myself. You want violence? Romance? Betrayal? Heartbreak? Disease? Pestilence? War? Love???? It’s all there. Seriously, go read Song of Solomon sometime – hubba hubba! I read it from Genesis to Revelations.  I read it like a history of mankind book. I cried, I laughed,  I connected. It guides my daily path. I made the decision for Christ just a couple weeks after New Year  in 1985 and have never looked back.
  2. The Four Agreements – I’m not forsaking my faith here, so don’t even go there. I have issues with a lot of things within the Christian community, namely that many are judgmental, discriminating and have lost their love for humanity. They are all about the religious practices,  us four and no more, the bless me club. It’s the very reason why Mother Theresa’s selfless sacrifice was such a tremendous act. These are things that I personally have grievances with. Because, at the end of the day, we need to be kind to each other and love one another. We are instructed as Christians to Love GOd with our whole heart, our whole soul, and our whole mind and to Love our neighbor as ourselves. Many people forget that last part and it is grievous. So anyway, I absolutely agree with the four agreements. No pun intended. I have a page in my journal that is the four agreements to remind myself often. I feel they help me be at peace with myself and keep the compassion towards others.
  3. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Literally changed my view on reading from the forced reading required at school to reading for pleasure!
  4. The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Silmarillion – the epitome of reading pleasure.
  5. Outlander Series – OMG! Have you ever seen these books? They are huge – like War and Peace huge. I read the first one in like 2 days,  then raced back to the library and checked out the rest of the series. This book or series of books, jerked me out of a pity party slump where I was feeling useless as a writer, had had a long string of rejections on books and the only thing selling was magazine articles.
  6. Harlequin romances – I don’t even remember the titles I’ve read so many. The first one I read when I was maybe fourteen. It was OK, but, I didn’t really like it. I read a lot of Stephen King and Ann McCaffrey back then. However, when I was in college,  I found the stack at the college library that held the paperback Harlequin novels. It (reading a romance) was my reward for completing an assignment, doing good on a test, not spending money I didn’t have, . . . I used lots of excuses to go get yet another ‘cheesy romance’ book as my dorm mates would say. Meanwhile, they would spend hours watching daytime soaps that I never got into. (It was many years later while nursing my daughter that I discovered Nathan Fillion was on a soap – then you betcha I watched that one! Something about Buchannon’s??)
  7. The Worst Romance Book I ever read – This may sound strange,  but yes it really did change things for me. I have the book. It’s written by a well-known author, whom I’ve met in person and is a lovely person.  Makeover on the front stoop in the ten minutes she waited. She started off with long blonde hair, crystalline blue eyes, khaki trousers, and a red polo as described in the previous two chapters. Then when the man answered the door, she wore snug straight leg jeans, a soft angora sweater, her Ginger swing bob made a perfect arch as she turned to face him with her green eyes. WHAT?  This book launched me on my writing endeavors. If this crap could get published,  surely I could get published! I finished the book,  but it took me a very long time.

So once again I didn’t exactly follow the rules.  They are more like guidelines anyway, right?


Go check out what the other authors are saying, you can find that list here: MFRW BLOG HOP

Write on my friends, write on!

Version 3.0 – Author #MFRW

Happy Friday! It’s time for the MFRW 52 week blog hop for 2018!!  YAY!

This week’s prompt: What I would do If I couldn’t be a writer.

Who is the evil person who thought up this prompt???  This is the stuff of nightmares! Are they a horror writer? Was it Stephen King? OR  maybe it was a descendent of H.P. Lovecraft.


If I couldn ‘t be a writer,  I would probably have pursued teaching as my second career choice. I worked as a civil servant for the department of defense,  my degree is in cartography. Back in those days,  I was firmly convinced that science was where the money was at,  and only pure genius writers could earn a living actually writing.

Well the years start coming and they don’t stop coming
Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running
Didn’t make sense not to live for fun
Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb
So much to do, so much to see
So what’s wrong with taking the back streets?
You’ll never know if you don’t go
You’ll never shine if you don’t glow

I digress. . . but, All Star seriously sums it up. Getting on the career track, following the ruts, doing the things you think you are supposed to do and then somewhere down the road you run out of gas, and look around and realize this isn’t where you wanted to be.

I was late in the game to allow myself to pursue my dreams of writing. I don’t know,  I guess with my upbringing and the push for success, I didn’t allow myself to chase dreams. I was already labeled a daydreamer, and I resented that my mom said it with an air of disdain.

Yes, I have mother issues. I’m dealing with it!

So, after Ellie version 2.0, stay at home mom left me with time to read, time to do crafts, sew, crochet, . . .did I mention read????  I read voraciously.  I read to my kids.  My eldest daughter’s favorite book was Moo Bah, LALALA. I can recite it from memory.  My youngest daughter’s favorite was Goodnight Moon. I can also tell that one from memory.

When we ran out of books to read before it was time to go back to the library, or we had exhausted our home library I began making up stories to tell them and they liked mine better! It gave me the boost I needed to pursue my writing aspirations.

About that time,  an opening came up at our local paper to write an opinion column.  Trust me, I have an opinion! LOL

When both of my kids were in school, I started substitute teaching at their school. There were certain parts of the substituting that I really enjoyed. So if I couldn’t write, I probably would have pursued teaching science at the junior high level.

I’m sure it would have paid better, and set my husband’s mind at ease. He tries to be supportive,  but the unknown factor of writing is whether or not people will buy your book.

Money isn’t everything, but it sure helps out to pay the bills and buy groceries! Hence I keep the dayjob as mortgage loan officer until my books fly off the shelf!

It could happen!!


Never say never!  It’s the beginning of a new year,  a time to dream and let your hope rise! What would you do if you couldn’t pursue your dreams? Would you vet your creative interests in another direction or shelve them?

So here we are with Ellie version 3.0 – author, editor, mortage loan officer, blogger – doing what I love, trying to manage my time effectively to get the things done!

Go check out what the other authors are saying, you can find that list here: MFRW BLOG HOP

Write on my friends, write on!

Oh Well!

In the past, I would have been quite upset.

In the past, I would have been ten times bent out of shape because my plans were derailed.

In the past, . . . well you get the idea. I make plans,  they get trashed. You’d think I would get used to it by now, but no.

I can’t afford to get upset over this anymore, it’s not worth it. I can choose to go with the flow, adapt, overcome, and change directions on the fly. Well, sort of.

OK, so maybe I don’t adapt on the fly. There are a few kinks and jagged edges before I accept the inevitable. Alright,  in some cases I am downright pouty that my plans were trashed. Like my plans for January – trashed. I haven’t been in the “Oh well” frame of mind.  I’ve been in the ‘toddler kicking and screaming mentally’ stage. Hey, I know my truth and at least I’m honest about it!

Real mature, I know. I need to adapt a more French “C’est le Vie” approach, or  the “que sera sera” or a more Bohemian -“Oh well.” attitude.

Changing your habits and behavior is a difficult thing and sometimes those learned responses that are programmed into the rabbit tracks of our brains,  you know the automatic responses, still show up even when you think you’ve kicked it.  It’s the same type of thing that triggers PTSD, seriously it’s the same brain parts. I know y’all don’t want to talk about the amygdala and the reticular formation so we will move on.

For example, I had laid out a plan for my blog with themed days again. Mojo Monday with my motivational posts to stir myself and others up! Tasty Tuesday where I will share new tasty Cancer friendly meals. I was undecided on Wednesdays and Thursdays, Fridays would be the MFRW posts, and Sunday to get back to the WeWriWa snippets.

Then . . . LIFE HAPPENS. First, it was the flu, even after getting a flu shot. Then the therapy appointments and doctor appointments. Then, family in the hospital, then funerals, then more people in the hospital,  then the big appointments with the oncologist. (We’ll address that at a later time when I’ve processed things fully and can  be calm.)

All of this has left me with little left to give out, feeling exhausted and drained emotionally and physically. Not that y’all aren’t important to me,  because I’ve told y’all before, I get super excited when I get a new follower, or someone leaves a comment. It really is a high point in my day! But there comes a time when there are other life matters that take priority over what I want, over a self-imposed deadline that only really matters to me.

Seeing a loved one in the hospital in pain,  or the nerve-wracking waiting for them to be out of surgery. This is when you have to accept the moment, be in the moment and realize that the most important parts of our lives are the friends and family we love and that love us.

You are only truly blessed when you love and are loved.

I think this is one of the really sad part of our current society, people will spend hours on social media, yet isolate themselves from the people who care about them.

Do yourself a favor.  Put down your phone, get off your tablet and engage with someone. Call your mom, ask her what’s for dinner and tell her how much you appreciate her. Call your sister you haven’t seen or talked to in weeks or months. Go visit your kids and grandkids! Life is too short.

We need to embrace the moments of joy that life offers. Make part of this year’s goals be spending real time with friends and families and living life.

I have a lot more I’d like to say,  but I need to go to the hospital to visit my sister. The “tyranny of the should haves” is really working overtime on me and I don’t want to add to it.

Go! Live! Laugh! Enjoy life.  Have dinner with someone you love! Visit a friend or at least call. That’s what our phones are really for.

Write on my friends, write on!