POV- What’s Your Pleasure?


Welcome to Week 6 of the MFRW 52-week Blog Challenge. This week’s topic is Point of View: Choices and Preferences.

Wow, is it really week 6 already?

My preference for writing is third person omniscient, from the narrator, or another character’s perspective.  This for me is easier as an observer of the story that plays out in my head like a movie. Most of the time.

Roxy Sings the Blues was written primarily from a first-person perspective, because it came to me as if I were sitting in a bar, interviewing Roxanne Winters.

One thing I absolutely do NOT like is head hopping. For my personal taste in reading and writing,  I understand the need to shift perspectives at times to get an idea of the other character(s) and their perspectives, their inner thoughts, and turmoil. The best way to handle this is at the beginning of chapters, or at least designated by headings.

I remember doing an edit for an author who had written their story from four different character’s perspectives.  It was confusing and I said as much.  The reader would have to be two pages into the chapter before they realized, oh,  this is from Joe’s perspective.

The author did not like my calls and chose to ignore it,  but then when they started getting bad reviews, they went back in and revised the story by adding headers at the beginning with just the character’s names.  It was enough to at least understand that it was someone else speaking.

I am not complaining about the author not taking my advice,  as the author it’s your choice to take edit calls OR NOT. I’ve disagreed with my editor at times on choice of word, a phrase, or expression, and even the POV.

The trick in fiction writing is to convince a reader this is real life. In real life, we only have one viewpoint—our own. We can’t step outside of ourselves and look at things from someone else’s perspective.

Well, I suppose you could,  if you were constantly trying to guess what they are thinking as you talk with them but I don’t think you would establish many relations, and I think you would drive yourself insane by doing such!

For that reason, to step out of viewpoint in fiction can shatter the illusion that the author is weaving. A reader instinctively realizes something is odd. He or she may not immediately pinpoint what it is, but a good editor will. As a reader, it just feels jarring or confusing.

Most successful short fiction is written in a single viewpoint. It can be first person, which automatically eliminates head-hopping but can be confining, or it may be third person, the form most often seen. In longer fiction,  like novel-length fiction, multiple or shifting POV is frequently used. But even then, a good writer only shifts POV when they also shift scenes or chapters.

One benefit to writing in first person,  it can help the reader to be in the scene,  to experience the world you have created and vicariously experience the emotional rollercoaster you are taking them on safely in their comfy chair. Third person can make the reader feel like an outsider or observer, at a distance.

To get the most emotional punch, I would suggest first person. If you are interested in that emotional roller coaster, I suggest you read Roxy Sings the Blues! Have tissues handy!

If you prefer third person narrative, try Red Wine & Roses for a steamy rendezvous!

A this is part of a blog hop, go check out what the other authors are saying HERE.

What POV do you prefer to read? What POV do you prefer to write?

FYI, I’m getting ready to drop my first newsletter with the latest scoop, dirt, recipes, and freebies.  If you are interested in getting my newsletter, go to:

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Life is good,  the results from the pathology stated that the pots they found were benign!  I am so relieved and happy. I may just do a happy dance!

Write on my friends, write on!

 

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Time Traveling Author


Hello everyone! Today is the first of a long series. I am going to try my best to participate in the MFRW 52 Week Challenge. Each week they have a prompt on the subject that is predefined, so there is an automatic topic. Not every one of them is something I would have chosen to divulge or share,  but I didn’t make the list. When we get to those, I’ll have to see how I feel about the prompt that week.

I missed the first prompt last week as I was just recovering from the flu or cold crud or whatever the heck it was that had me down. Instead, I’m jumping in on Week 2: Childhood Memories: A Walk Back in Time.

Silhouette, group of happy children playing on meadow, sunset, summertime

Step into the time machine with me as Sherman operates the controls. *wavy lines as we travel back through time*.

Memories of my childhood . . . wow, that’s a big can of worms to unleash.

Let’s start with my earliest memory. Now I know a lot of people say that you can’t remember things until you are 3 or 4,  but I distinctly remember playing on a blanket as my mother hung our clothes on the clothesline and the neighbor girls were sitting with me, playing patty cake.  I had a bottle and was wearing a diaper and couldn’t quite walk. I could stand up, wobble then plop down, to which they would applaud me wildly, prompting me to do it again.  What does that have to do with anything? It was a happy memory and the earliest memory.

I grew up in a rural area south of St. Louis, Missouri. Life was simpler back then. Middle-class America, small town where everyone knew everyone else and neighbor’s watched out for each other. We didn’t have cell phones, we didn’t have handheld games unless you consider slingshots and BB guns.  I could hit a crabapple from twenty yards away with one rock. We had our imaginations, the outdoors, and real-life friends to hang out with.

The movie the Sand Lot is a good idea of the neighborhood ballgame we used to play. We gathered on a vacant lot next door to one of my friend’s house.  I brought a bat, others brought gloves and balls. We rode our bike to and from the lot. I was usually early and would sit on the ground with my friend Eddie until others arrived. I don’t ever remember getting into any kind of fight with Eddie, not even through high school. Since then we’ve lost touch but I often wonder what he’s up to.

We spent every minute we could outdoors. Because if you were indoors, then Mom could tell you to do additional chores.  Who wanted that? We caught lightning bugs and made glow in the dark jewelry by pinching off their butts. I know,  it sounds gross now and cruel but we didn’t think about that as kids. We rode our bikes throughout the day without the aid of Fitbits. Who knew how many miles we racked up and who cared! We would go as fast as we could, taking the corners at an angle, just to see who could do it the lowest.

We had three spots where we gathered: the empty lot for softball, the corner at the upper street next to Mr. Aubuchon’s farm, and the entry to the quarry at the top of the hill, both of which were stopping points for riding our bikes.

None of us had water bottles. Occasionally, we’d stop at someone’s house and often take drinks from the hose.

We didn’t have to worry about stranger danger, everyone knew who was from around there and who wasn’t.

There were no known incidents of child abductions. There were a few kids who ran away from home into the woods behind our small community but were later returned home. I ran away a couple of times myself.  The first time I ran away up to my Aunt and Uncle’s house that lived on the street above ours.  When it was time for dinner and I didn’t come home, my mother called my aunt and she said yes I was in the backyard with my cousins playing ghosts in the graveyard. They were never worried.

Another time I had read a book from the Scholastic book fair,  about a boy who lived on the other side of the mountain and lived on acorns.  I packed a backpack, stuffed some ritz crackers and a jar of peanut butter in my pack, a couple of shirts, a couple of apples, and a paper lunch sack full of my mom’s oatmeal cookies. I made it as far as the remains of a log cabin that had burned down many years before. There was a stone fireplace, a few rotted logs, and some wrought iron sticking out of the ground. It was getting near dusk and I heard coyotes. My little legs moved as fast as they could back home. Washing in the sink in the typical bird bath style when told to wash up before dinner.

When asked where I’d been all day, I said exploring. I told them about the rocks I found in the creek. I shared about the bunnies and the snake I came across. I told my dad all about the “ancient” cabin ruins, asking him to take me back there because we might find some archaeological discovery that we would need to send to the museum.

My mother was a girl scout leader and had taken her troop to the St. Louis art museum a few weeks before and I was fascinated.

My mother asked after regaling my father with my explorations if I had taken some of her cookies. I jumped down, got the bag or what was left of the bag from my backpack and brought them to her simply saying “explorers need snacks.”

Nowadays, an 8-year-old girl wandering the woods alone would be cause for alarm. Where are her parents? Why is she in the woods alone? She’s in danger! The only time I felt in danger back then was when I heard the coyotes and realized I didn’t have any place to be safe overnight.

Life was simpler. We had to use our imaginations,  something I feel that today’s kids are handicapped by not using.

What are some of your favorite childhood memories? How do you feel about the times when you grew up as opposed to today’s youth?  Be sure to check out the other authors participating in this blog tour!

Write on my friends, write on!

Be sure to check out my books!

Romance 101


Welcome readers to Week 19 of the MFRW Blog hop.

Week 19: My Most Romantic Memory

Do you have any idea how difficult it is for a guy to romance a romance author? Hmmm?  Seriously,  how does any man ever compete against our book boyfriends?

OK, so I’m not really a mushy, gushy type of gal with frilly lace around my house with romantic decor, the rooms filled with soft mood inducing elements.  In fact, I’m a bit of a slob if truth be told.  As I look around at the moment,  I need to do some serious houseleaning.  But that’s another story.
Plus,  this isn’t my first rodeo. We’ve been married for almost 33 years.
I could list so many things in that amount of time, not to mention the 6 years we dated before tying the knot!
I remember our first kiss like it was yesterday,  but I have to say it pales in comparison with the deep passionate kisses now.
I remember our first time, . . . well, you know.  We were young, clumsy, neither of us knew what we were doing. But now, bow chicka wow wow!
But, passion is not the same as romance.

Romance is so much more than a hot date that ends with sex! Romance is being pursued.  It’s connecting, caring deeply in such a way that he makes me know that I am his heart! 

How can I pick just one thing?
My husband is an engineer.  He overthinks most things. He’s not Mr. Romance. BUT, he’s got such a wonderful heart and he gets me.  He loves me despite my bad habits,  my insecurities, and struggles. It’s so hard to pick just one thing or event.
I think the most romantic thing he has ever done for me is forgiving me.  We were very near divorced a few years back. I was done, fed up, hurt.  He never cheated on me – I want to make that clear.  It was other things.  We weren’t connecting,  we weren’t being considerate of each other, and in my hurt I was angry.  So very angry.
I wasn’t nice to him at all. Yet,  he was willing to go to marriage counseling,  bare his soul in front of someone else in order to work things out. We both had some changes to make  and my husband was better at it than me.  I was all for talking about the actions but when the counselor wanted to address underlying issues. . .  it took a long while before I opened up.
At the time I had shut him out but he wooed me back.
I Know it may not seem romantic to some people,  but changing a lifetime of habits is difficult. We had to change some elemental behaviors, both of us. The fact that he was willing to change for me when there was nothing really wrong with him, to begin with, . . . well to know that someone loves you so much they are willing to sacrifice everything else,  that’s LOVE.
Fictional characters never stink up the bathroom, they don’t leave their clothes on the floor, or their plates on the table.  They don’t have bad breath or get sick.  They don’t say the wrong thing at the wrong time and fictional characters don’t share our physical space.   BTW,  it’s not just the men that are guilty of these things. I’m sure the men could add a few more things to that list.
In real life, I found my Prince. Real life love trumps any fictional romance every time. We’ve been together for  39 years between dating and marriage –  I think we may have figured out a thing or two.

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This is us!
I am blessed to have him in my life! He’s my best friend!
You can check out what the other authors are saying HERE.
Write on my friends, write on!

Who’s Who In Mackworld


Welcome readers to Week 18 of the MFRW Blog hop.

Week 18: How I work up Character/Setting Profiles.

 

How do I “do” characters and setting?

You really want to get into this? Surely there are better things to discuss, like plot points, the beach, coffee. 

*waits for MFRW to change their minds* 

NO?  OK, well this isn’t going to be pretty.  You might want to grab a rain poncho or something.

Characters:

My characters come to my mind, as if they had popped into the office and made a request. Imagine that you are the receptionist for a small company and a woman comes in.

“Good afternoon, how may I help you?” My fingers move from the keyboard to grab the pen and notepad.

She looks around nervously. “I have an appointment with Mr. McDaniels for ten.”

“Please fill out these forms.”

I pass the clipboard across the counter to the woman as I open a new client screen. When she returns the clipboard,  I enter her name, address, the reason for visit, and any other pertinent information. I begin to process what I’ve entered and then it gets weird. It’s like I trade places with the “boss” whether he’s a private eye, a counselor, or a physician. The character then tells me the details of her visit.

As she tells me what’s going on and what her concerns are,  I begin to learn who she is.

Now, in reality, I may be working at the day job.  I may be doing housework or I might be driving in the car. All of this goes on inside my brain until I can get to a point where I can sit down and start jotting thoughts down. A friend gave me a character development worksheet that I fill out, but to be honest it’s only partially filled out before the story fully develops.

I’ve said before that I am a plotter –  I have been using the W method that the wonderful Karen Docter taught me. This gives me a basic outline that I can fill in the important scenes in between the 9 major plot points. This still allows the freedom to “pants it” while I am making my first draft.

Usually as I am learning my character,  the details on setting come out from their first “visit”.

I have had some characters come to me fully developed and practically begging me to write their story, and then others seem a little shy and I have to play twenty questions to dig the information out of them.

Bran, the brother in Kiss of the Dragon came to me fully developed, showing up in my “office” stark naked, fully muscled, demanding my full attention RIGHT NOW.   Unfortunately,  I was really green when I did the draft of that one during nano and it needs major revisions, which is why it’s still in the files.

Julia from Red Wine & Roses was the shy one.  She was hesitant to talk about herself.  I had to pry the information from her while Derek wanted to talk inside my head for hours. Great dude,  shut up while I find out about Julia!

Settings: As I learn the character and their story,  the setting becomes clearer. Whether it’s the town they are in, the state, or a small little convenient mart, it’s part of them, part of their story.

I know it would make more sense to make up characters by sitting down and deciding OK, this one will be a male,  dark hair, beard no wait a goattee,  blue eyes, a scar above his brow, thin lips, tats on his arms and chest, a scar on his thigh. Let’s say he got the scars from a car accident. Let’s call him Joe.  It doesn’t always work that way. By the way,  this is the description of a character for a piece that I’ve been working on in the background, kind of a pshycho-thriller. If you are judging by appearances you might think he’s the antagonist but he isn’t. He’s sort of an antihero. but I don’t have my W worked out, or what his goal is, or his end game. We just met a few weeks ago, so I don’t even know his name yet.

Nathan’s story unfolded quickly. It was like I was a fly on the wall watching his story unfold like a movie behind my eyes if that makes sense.

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to Preorder your copy of Tempting Fate: Charity Anthology today!

You can go to the blog hop and check out what other authors have to say about this by clicking on MFRW BLOG HOP.

Write on my friends, write on!

Love In Its Many Splendid Forms


Welcome readers to Week 17 of the MFRW Blog hop.

This weeks prompt is: Favorite Romance Genre to Read or Write.

I started five times to do last week’s prompt and walked away with it unposted. Last Friday was my anniversary date for diagnosis and I was an emotional wreck.

Sorry guys,  I tried but just couldn’t seem to string together cohesive thoughts.

However, today is a new day and this week – I got this! I can sum this whole blog post up in one sentence:

My Favorite Romance Genre to Read or Write is a satisfying romance with a happy ending.

What do you mean that isn’t a genre? Yes, it is.

AHEM> It seems management is not happy with my answer so let me expound. (Like you didn’t think I would?  Is this your first time here????)

Favorite Romance Genre to Read:

I have read everything from Steeple Hill Christian romance to Triple X erotica and everything in between.  I have read Historical Romance and some I greatly enjoy like Lynn Kurland – I love her world and how her characters all link together. Ms. Kurland’s books often involve time travel to a previous century. She also has some about ghosts. Outlander is an Historical Romance as well as time travel. If you have not read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series – from start to finish at least once,  then how can you call yourself a romance fan???

I know that most everyone expects Nora Roberts to be at the top of a romance fan’s list, but I have to be honest. Meh!  I like some of her older stuff. The Reef had me turning pages! Key of Knowledge, Key of Valor – I liked those. Rising Tides and that series was awesome. The series – sorry I can’t remember the titles – about the Irish brothers and sister, those were phenomenal. But, in my humble opinion, her stories just got too formulaic for me. No, I have not read her work as JD Robb.

I can’t talk about romance without my favorites – Katie McAlister always has number one position. It doesn’t matter which book, I love her sense of humor whether it’s a contemporary or paranormal. Trust me, I’ve read them all.  One day I will have an autographed book from her.

My second favorite is Karen Marie Moning’s  Highlander series. Love those Scots! Then, of course, we get into The Black Dagger Brotherhood, Christine Feehan and of course we can’t leave off Charlaine Harris. I mean after all, who doesn’t love a southern vamp?

I’ve read many Indy authors as well as mainstream. I am a diehard Jane Austen fan since high school. Sherrilyn Kenyon, Catherine Coulter, Karen Docter, and Gena Showalter’s Darkest series all have high marks from me.

I prefer traditional male-female romances. I tend to reread authors I liked, hence the list above.  Many times I’ve perused the shelves and had three or four in my hand,  then selected two out of those for purchase – one from an author I’ve read before and a new author. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many Harlequin romances I read. Some were good some were meh and some were really bad.

To me, the most satisfying romance story is one that meets the happily ever after ending.

Ironically, Katie McAlister’s Aisling Grey series aren’t HEA, but I adore them.

I have to mention here another favorite, Louise Rennison. When my daughters were in their early teens,  we picked up the first of her books –  Angus Thongs and Full-frontal Snogging.

I About Died from laughing so hard!

Ms. Rennison’s books are teen romances, full of angst, melodrama, and hilarious hijinks. If you haven’t read them  – DO IT! Everyone needs a good laugh! The only other book that I laughed as hard was Katie McAlister’s Corset Diaries.

As to writing, so far I’ve written contemporary romance but this next one that I am working on, which is actually written and now in revisions, is a paranormal romance.

I don’t think I could write a historical romance,  you have to be such a stickler for details.  I greatly enjoy reading them,  but I don’t get all hung up on whether they have twenty-six buttons down the back or a tie string on their pantaloons,  and oh wait, they didn’t wear pantaloons beneath their dressed at that time. I’m more interested in the interactions between the hero and heroine, and what happens between them whether it ends with a first kiss or full disclosure details that you feel like you need a smoke afterward;  and I don’t smoke!

All of my books have an element of romance,  although romance isn’t the main focus of this next one. The basic desire in each of us for companionship, passion, desires, and to have someone who loves us unconditionally, I believe is a very real driver for the vast majority of us. Fans of romance get that when they read our books.

We can experience vicariously the rollercoaster ride of falling in love, heartbreak, restoration, danger, mayhem, terror, and satisfaction without leaving the safety of our living room. Isn’t that the root of all successful books?

What subgenres in romance do you like to read?

Mine, right???  RIGHT??? 

Well, if you haven’t read mine yet,  here’s a little bargain for you to try them! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can go to the blog hop and check out what other authors have to say about this by clicking on MFRW BLOG HOP.

Write on my friends, write on!

Time to Celebrate!


Welcome to week 15 of the MFRW blog hop.

This week’s prompt: How I celebrate completing my manuscript.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How appropriate since I just completed Break Line!

I have different levels of celebration for completion. For instance,  I finished Faere Warrior: Passion’s Price and celebrated by doing an online giveaway party, going out to lunch with author friends, and of course the happy dance at home. Faere Warrior was accepted by a small house publisher along with Faere Guardian, Faere Mage, and Realm Wars with the stipulation that I do a prequal. I’m still working on the prequal –Rift, but the series has developed a lot more since that manuscript and I’ve learned a great deal since then.  I didn’t meet the deadline for submitting Rift, so the offer was withdrawn. My own fault there.

Releasing Book One for Realm Wars series, Rift is written in my planner –  in ink! I’m hoping to finish revisions on Faere Warrior by the end of the year as well.

I completed Break Line and am going today to celebrate with a luncheon with a fellow author,  the instigator of the anthology as a matter of fact! AND, to celebrate:

With Red Wine & Roses,  I didn’t celebrate until I received my box of books from Createspace. I made a steak dinner and Red Wine Chocolate Cake for dessert.

After completing Roxy Sings the Blues, I rewarded myself with a mani-pedi, and a fresh haircut to tame the short growth into a manageable coif! This one was a huge accomplishment for me after going through cancer treatment. I needed the pampering!

I will have Valkyrie’s Curse: The Awakening completed in May. What do you think I should do to celebrate? I’m trying to get away from food as a reward, although . . . I cook at home most of the time and we rarely go out to restaurants. Maybe something in addition to a night out?

 

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

Write on my friends, write on!

Win, Lose, or Draw


Welcome to week 12 of the MFRW blog hop.

This week’s prompt: My contest experience: Win Lose or draw!

 

How far back do you want to go? Hmmm . . .

In Junior High, there were essay contests.  I won 2nd place in our 8th-grade competition out of 120 students. I think I won a gift certificate to Spinning Wheels for a season pass. Disco Skating was all the rage and the roller rink was where the in-crowd hung out.  It was an essay about exploring, modern-day Tom Sawyer girl scout entrepreneurial adventure! I reread that about a year ago as I was clearing out some of the junk, and tossed it.  It would make you shudder to see the poor grammar. In a way, it brought a smile to my face as I was obviously very naive, had an idealistic view of the world, with childish expectations. Remind me again, why were we in such a hurry to grow up???

In my high school days, I took the obligatory English Composition but then took 2 creative writing classes. I loved those classes. The teacher,  a 5-foot tall lady named Mrs. White, who was married to the girls’ basketball coach – obviously Mr. White who was 6′ 6″. They were quite a pair! Anyway, Mrs. White encouraged me to submit a couple of my short essays to competitions in the region.  I got an honorable mention in a competition hosted at Lindenwood College.  It was a humorous piece, but I don’t have a copy of it anymore.

My passion for writing continued to a degree, I wrote several more short essays between 1000 and 5000 words. Most of which didn’t even get honorable mentions. During my college years,  who has time to write for fun??? I wrote term papers, assigned reports, and other miscellaneous papers that were required for my classes.  I usually got A’s on my term papers.

One mention here,  I wrote a report on the Battle of Antietam for a US History class.  I got an A on the paper,  but the instructor wrote a note on the side that it wasn’t necessary to be quite so graphically descriptive in my report, that it nearly made him sick reading my descriptives.  The Battle of Antietam was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. It isn’t my fault that he assigned that one to me. I wasn’t about to copy verbatim the research I read before writing my version.  It isn’t my fault that the weaponry of the day didn’t kill a man with one shot.  At least it wasn’t a medieval battle with broadswords and hatchets. The fact that he could connect to the horrors of battle as described in my paper means that I nailed that scene,  right?

Then the years went by while working for the defense department,  working in the corporate world,  raising my children and there wasn’t any time for writing or pursuing my writing dreams. Once my kids were in school,  I had a little more time that I could put my thoughts down and started entering contests again.   I sent in a few submissions to Writer’s Digest contests and other contests. I had a few responses but few wins.  Then I entered a competition for the opinion column and won. It was a rotating position with 3 others and mine got a LOT of feedback. That was really the turning point when I started putting more efforts into my writing whether it’s fiction or humor.

It’s been a long bumpy road for me from those early efforts to now. If I had it to do over I may make some changes but since I don’t,  these are life lessons along my highway. Live, Learn, do better!

 

 

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

Write on my friends, write on!

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!

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!