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!
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Get On With It


It’s been a little over a year since my diagnosis, and a year yesterday for surgery. Wow, what a whirlwind ride this has been.

I’m thankful to still be here. I’m thankful to have hair, even though it’s white now.

I promise I am not going to dwell on this forever, but since I’ve been riddled with anxiety for the past week over just about everything, this is part of my healing process.  I have to process these thoughts, learn to manage the emotions and the overwhelm.

What has changed?  Everything.

OH, on the surface onlookers may think I’m the same old same old. but I’m not. I am learning to make myself a priority –  still learning, still trying to use that word NO, and still doing the self-talk to tell myself I’m worth it. Because you know what?  I am!

We all are.  Each one of us deserves a fulfilling life and to achieve our own happiness.  Each of us is a unique one of a kind original. It’s hard to keep that in mind at times when the lemming tendencies of our society scream that we need to fit in and do what everyone else is doing.

How are we ever going to stand out from the crowd if we are doing the same thing, looking the same, wearing the same hairstyle?  There is nothing wrong with being ourselves.  There is nothing wrong with being who you are, regardless of that mean bitch from school says.

Screw her! OH wait,  most of the guys already have!

That was a joke, sort of.

We need to stop being influenced by those mean girls and the pretty people. They are a minority and we outnumber them into the millions. Why do we ever care what they think?

For me,  I’ve always had this element of people pleasing. It’s a lifelong habit that I’m working on breaking.  It’s part of exercising that word NO.

What do you think?  What do you want to do? I”m not saying that you do whatever you want even if it’s illegal or immoral. I’m talking about pursuing your dreams, setting goals for yourself and learning to get our thoughts in line with drawing what we truly want out of life.

There are times when the overwhelm is just too much for me. This was never an issue before cancer. I’ve been thinking about why that is.  Part of it, as listed in the side effects of the chemo meds I have to take is increased anxiety. OH, joy! But I take the meds because I want to live cancer free.

Part of it, I’ve deduced is because I’ve spent a lifetime stress eating and putting myself into a food stupor when I was overwhelmed so that I could numb myself from the pain and anxiety.  Do you think overweight people simply eat too much?  It’s so much more than that.

OK, you take someone who has put on twenty pounds because they’ve been hitting the pizza and beer too often and no biggie,  they cut down on their consumption and within a short time have taken the weight off. But a fat person?  I mean someone who has been overweight for a long time, maybe their whole life, it’s a psychological issue as much as it is about overeating.  Hence the yo-yo up and down the scale.

Anyway,  this isn’t about being fat or me being frustrated that the weight isn’t coming off faster. This is ultimately about change and learning to control the thoughts and emotions.

Some things change quickly –  surgery – I had cancer, they removed the tumors.

Some things take time –  it took many treatments for the radiation to be effective.

Some things take even longer – learning to eat differently, learning new habits, learning new limitations.

Ultimately though, aren’t we all learning? Whether we are adjusting to dietary limitations, or physical limitations or emotional,  we have to overcome, adapt, and learn what our best is each and every day.  Maybe today it’s learning that “I’m OK. Tomorrow it may be “I can’t do that but I can tackle this.”

Early in the week, I was a whirlwind of energy and productivity. Yesterday I fell into a pit of overwhelm and could barely function.  I was a mess of tears, snotting and snorting and nearly hyperventilating. My friend Misty talked me down. She walked me through the sensory steps,  reminded me of the four agreements, and then my husband called around lunchtime and told me to throw away my list.

 NO, not my list! The LIST is like, THE PIRATE CODE.

Cue increased panic.

He reminded me that nothing on my list was mandatory. (But,  it’s my list.  I don’t list unnecessary things to do.) Nothing is mandatory and has to be done today.  The only mandatory things on the list were my day job, getting my blog post up (because it was a personal goal) and making sure I did my physical therapy.

As I glanced over my precious list of twenty-seven items, I realized he was right. As much as I wanted to get those other things accomplished and checked off the list –  only list makers will get that – the world was not going to end if I waited for another day to try to tackle them.

One of those items was a social situation with someone that causes me continued stress. At the end of the day, I realized that it was in my own best interest to say NO, and bow out. The second part of that is allowing myself to not fret over the decision and accept that I need to take care of myself.

Why does it have to be so hard to say no? What is it that I was so afraid of? That they would be mad at me? They don’t like me anyway. Hard to imagine, but they don’t.

I refer to Agreement Number 2: Don’t take anything Personal. Nothing others do is because of you. What others do or say is a product of their own reality, their own dreams and actions. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of suffering.

Breathe.

Inhala . . . exhala . . . and now I can get on with it.

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!

Three’s a Charm


I did it! Three days of posting in a row! Yes, this is an accomplishment for me. It’s been a while since I have done more than a once a week post. Ironically a fellow blogger and Romance author commented about my regular blogging and then suddenly,  I couldn’t seem to manage more than once a week if that.

Before I start in on my celebration dance, I suppose we should get to the 3rd and final quote for this challenge. I’ve been nominated to participate in a 3 Day Quote Challenge by Misty Harvey at her blog Misty Harvey. This is the third day of the quote challenge.

Let’s not waste any time dilly-dallying around.

There is tremendous joy in accomplishment. As an author,  I can definitely say that there haven’t been too many “thrills” as satisfying as completing my books.  The combined effort of the creative process that culminates in a completed book – priceless.

Last year,  I wasn’t able to work on my writing at all while going through treatments.  After completing it, I was determined to get myself back on track.  The satisfaction of completing Roxy Sings the Blues, after going through cancer treatment was in my mind,  a great accomplishment that made me uber happy!

Now I come to that part of the challenge to nominate another 3 people to carry the torch.

As for the way this challenge works I  nominate 3 new blogs to carry the torch. I have picked 3 people that have inspired me in various ways and I think will really bring great things to this challenge.

  1. Dana Ellington
  2. BrokeBella
  3. joyful2beeblogs

Thank you for joining me for the 3 Day quote challenge. What quote is meaningful to you? Do you display them in your home? On the walls? As framed art?

Write on my friends, write on!

 

A Whole Lotta Love


Happy Sunday!

I’ve been nominated to participate in a 3 Day Quote Challenge by Misty Harvey at her blog Misty Harvey. This is the second day of the quote challenge.

 

Today’s choice isn’t nearly as deep as yesterday.

 

This became all too real to me this past year.  Isn’t it amazing how we take things for granted? I’ll do that this weekend.  I’ll tackle that tomorrow.  I’ll get to that someday.

I still waste time but not nearly as much as I used to.

Make the most of every day because none of us are guaranteed tomorrow.

How often do we take for granted our spouse’s affection? I know I did. A few years back,  we were fighting more than we were getting along. We agreed that we needed help and sought the help of a marriage counselor.

Isn’t it ironic that a romance author has relationship issues? Let me correct that. HAD – we HAD issues. OH, we’re still two separate people with strong opinions,  but we don’t take each other for granted or make assumptions.  We are conscious of our actions towards each other, and make a daily effort to do something for the other person.

I think one of the appeals of a romance novel is that it’s the start of a relationship when everything is new and fresh – like Spring. Us old married folk have to wade through a long history together and remember to clean out the files regularly to not recall prior offenses. None of us are perfect by a long shot.

During the past year,  I had the perfect example of sacrificial love from my husband.  I couldn’t have gotten through the treatments without him. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that he loves me. It was through that knowledge that I was able to go to the next treatment,  then the next. He was already sacrificing so much for me, and all I had to do was my best in getting to the treatments and let it work on my body. It gave me the courage to continue even when I had second-degree burns from radiation but still had ten more sessions to go. Trust me,  I did NOT want to go and get burned more.

It has long since healed,  but the scars are still there – both physically and emotionally. There is no greater joy in life than LOVE.   The beginning romance novel type of love is good and all but when you get to that place of deep love,  knowing that your partner would move heaven and earth on your behalf,  . . .

how can you do anything but your best, even if your best is simply get in a car and ride to an appointment, endure the treatment and come back home to sleep? That was the extent of my abilities for awhile and my husband never complained once! God, I love that man!

Do you have a favorite meaningful quote? Share it in the comments below.

Write on my friends, write on!

3Day Quote Challenge


Hello to all my readers!

I’ve been given a great honor! I’ve been nominated to participate in a 3 Day Quote Challenge. I was nominated by Misty Harvey at her blog Misty Harvey. For the next three days,  I will share with you quotes that have personal meaning to me.

I find these to be a lot of fun! Hope you do as well! Here goes. . .

This became all too real to me this past year.  Isn’t it amazing how we take things for granted? I’ll do that this weekend.  I’ll tackle that tomorrow.  I’ll get to that someday.

I still waste time but not nearly as much as I used to.

Make the most of every day because none of us are guaranteed tomorrow.

Do you have a favorite quote? Share it in the comments below.

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!

What’s Going on In Your Neck of the Woods?


Forgive me, readers, it’s been weeks since my last confession. I mean blog post. Well, sometimes they are about the same thing.

At the beginning of each year, I make plans.  Often, big plans! One of those plans was to get back to regularly posting. If I could figure out how to get onto my blog from my tablet, it would speed things up tremendously. Sometimes I am technically inept. I’ll figure it out eventually.

My husband is an IT guy. A code monkey. Name the electronics, he masters it. He writes in SQL all day at work. I was lost back in the day when I had to use Fortran and Cobol. Yes, I’m showing my age but oh well.

Until I have the time, (*cackles hysterically* time,  as in extra time – a delusional thought that most authors fantasize about) I’ll keep coming back to the laptop to enter my posts. Now that I’ve met my deadline for the anthology, I can return to a more manageable writing schedule.  Well, more manageable for me anyway.

My friend Vicki Locey is like a writing machine. She doesn’t use any dictation aids,  she just plugs away every day at her writing while managing a small farm. I don’t know how she does it. Other author friends have to juggle their home life, some with jobs whether part time or full time outside the home and still manage to crank out the books.

OK, a year ago I would have been stressed to the max over that,  but not anymore.  It is what it is and if nothing else, I’ve learned over the past year that I have to put blinders on to what “Other authors” do and DO what I can do. PERIOD! So, let’s do a little catch-up, shall we? Since I’ve been in absentia, maybe one or two of you have wondered where I disappeared. You did, right? Right?

January I had big plans! Some, I realize are on the dream level because if you never aim for the stars, you won’t ever clear the trees. I was super focused on decluttering our home and preparing to move closer to my husband’s work. We did great on that,  taking several carloads full of plunder to Goodwill. The estimated dollar value for all of the stuff we removed from our home –  $3500. Yes,  you read that right. Between clothing, (mostly mine in larger sizes that I am proud to say no longer fit!) furniture, small appliances, children’s toys that somehow got stored in a corner of the basement, and a plethora of knick-knacks. I should mention that our kids are adults now. I was shocked to find that we still had toys from their grade school years.

Just a word of advice –  if you are planning to make donations to a charity,   if you limit the donation amount to under $500, you are less likely to be audited.  We wrote off most of the stuff because I doubt that we are going to be able to itemize anyway.

The house was looking better,  after each purge we let the dust settle,  literally. Had to give a day or two between sessions because the dust aggravated the sinuses. Then we found the shop vac –  and began to be more proactive.

One shocking bit of purge –  books.  I know, I know,  y’all are shocked. I got rid of over 100 books. A few of those were my books from college, my husband’s books from college, reference books, and many old novels. I kept my first edition copies, despite the hubs protests.

February – decluttering continued but I was more focused on writing.  Value of things hauled out of our home to Goodwill or set on the curb with a sign  – FREE estimated at $2600.  (Not that I’m bragging if anything it’s embarrassing to admit how much stuff I didn’t need that I purchased with retail therapy over the years.) I had two anthology submissions to have in by the beginning of April.  The doctor appointments,  weekly therapy for lymphedema and aquasize classes kept me more than busy and by the time I got home from the aquacise classes and the therapy, I was drained.  My stamina is greatly improved since radiation treatments,  but I’m still not there yet.Fatigue is a very real issue.

I spent the majority of the month writing The Blood Key for the 12 Realms Fantasy Anthology while I worked out a plot line for my short novella for the Cancer Research anthology. Then I went gangbusters on that one. More about this in a bit.

March – this is where the train comes to a screeching halt while our lives are derailed. Things were going well.  We were making progress on the house. We could start renovations mid-March if we kept going at the same pace.

March 12 – 16, our oldest daughter was home for Spring Break. She didn’t get to go to Ft. Lauderdale or anywhere cool because she had doctors appointments, dentist appointments, and had to get her regular scheduled auto work done. While home she told us her big plans for the following school year, which were quite frankly ridiculous.  Her plans were to move back in with us and commute every day. Now, that may not sound like a problem except that the commute would be an hour and forty minute drive one way, every day, to and from.  That’s three hours on the road on a highway that semis use regularly. Sometimes she works late hours.

Being a mom,  I was terrified!  What if the semis push her little car around and she has an accident? What if she is so tired that she falls asleep driving?  What if she starts skipping classes because she’s tired of driving????? 

The following week I spent a day researching available apartments in Cape.  I set up appointments for the next day when she would be available to go see them.  We viewed 14  apartments in about four hours. They ranged from roach motel to the Bates Motel, to meh, to College Life Resort center. Obviously, we didn’t want her to be in the roach motel, and we couldn’t swing the Resort.

So, our plans for renovations are on hold for a while so that we can help her finish to get her degree. Our plans to move closer to his work are on hold because, . . .  well,  moving costs money. There are closing costs, moving expenses and we have decided that our daughter’s safety is more important.

This put a big kink in the writing for a few days, so then I was back at it like gangbusters when I got news that the 12 Realms Fantasy anthology was canceled. SIGH

I’ll take The Blood Key and work on it some more,  develop it more. 15,000 words were limiting, I was just getting warmed up at 10,000! Now I can put in some of those scenes I had in my mind. It will have to be worked into the schedule for writing though as it’s been pushed from top priority to about fifth down the pipeline.

Now the good news! Break Line is complete! Cover Reveal for the anthology, next week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I thought things were getting back on track and then . . .  hospital. People need to stop getting sick and hurting themselves! I’ve been to the hospital more times than I can count over the past few weeks.

Life always throws you a curve ball when things are going smooth, and sometimes the ball machine goes haywire and throws out multiple balls when you’re already under the gun!

For now, things are calm and I’m back to writing or rather revisions. Valkyrie’s Curse has been on my desk for a while, a couple of years. In 2016, I did revisions on it and realized that it wasn’t a complete story. Back to the drawing board. Valkyrie’s Curse: The Awakening is in revisions again. This time I’m checking my grammar before sending it off to my alpha. The release date for this one will be in a couple months,  I’ll have more of a set date next week.

So, now you know what I’ve been up to. There was a funeral,  sickness,  and dealing with anxiety all thrown in the mix as well. More about the anxiety at a later post but for now,  I need to get a couple more chapters done for today.

What’s going on in your neck of the woods?

Thanks for stopping by! Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

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!

 

 

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Write on my friends, write on!