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!

Summer Fun

The Sun

Take Two!   Apparently WordPress objected to my first blog today as all it showed was the SEMO logo.  So let’s try the remix.

Summer time and the livin’ ain’t easy!  Making family time a priority is more challenging than you’d think.

Last Friday we spent the day in Cape Girardeau, at Southeast Missouri State University for a scholars luncheon. I’m going to brag on my daughter here, it’s a mother’s right.  She took the ACT and scored a 28, which qualifies her for a Regent’s Scholarship.  She retook the ACT a few weeks ago – we are waiting for score – and if she can get a 30, she will qualify for additional scholarships such as the Bright Flight program.  After 18 months of unemployment, we need to explore every option for scholarships!

The campus has changed dramatically since I was there.  My friend Ben teased me about how shocked I was at the changes.  Cape Girardeau, Missouri is not exactly a metropolis of population explosion!  I expected it to grow, but wow!  The population of Cape Girardeau is around 40,000; it swells to over 100,000 during the day.  Not exactly London!  It has more than doubled in size since I was there. Yeah, we could use the ‘way back’ machine to go way, way back to my college days, but we’ll bypass that.

SEMO had a beautiful campus when I attended.  Today it’s a gorgeous campus!  The Recplex is like a resort area!  the River Campus Center for the arts is astounding, and the new dormitories are amazing.

The presentation for the scholars luncheon was informative, the lunch was very nice, and the tours were greatly appreciated.  Halfway through the tour of the recplex, my younger daughter announced that she wants to attend my alma mater as well.  Can’t say that I blame her.  I joked with my older daughter that maybe I’d go back and take some graduate classes and we could be roommates.  Her expression was priceless.  I suppose I really shouldn’t tease her like that, as her expression held  enough fear that she thought I might actually do it.

My daughter was invited to another luncheon at the School of business at SEMO.  She’s excited to attend that one as well.

I’m excited for her, for this stage of her life.  As most parents will attest it arrived more rapidly than I had anticipated.  Which is part of the reason I want to do fun things over the summer with them, so they have good memories of home.  One less thing to add to the therapists bills down the road.

My girls are spending the day at Six Flags with friends.  In the past we’ve gone as a family, but it’s important to have friend time as well.  I’ve got a large work load over the weekend so it works out well.  On Sunday however, we will have some family time.  We are going to have a good old-fashioned back yard barbecue.  We’ll set up the volleyball net, chill the watermelon, and have a blast while the pork steaks, baked beans and corn on the cob are cooking.  Later we’ll relax and enjoy the fresh peach cobbler and homemade ice cream.  Live – love -laugh!

If you happen to be in the neighborhood stop on by. Good food is always best when shared with good company!

Write On my friends, and enjoy life!


Family Values

It’s June already, how did this happen?  Is  anyone else overwhelmed with how fast this year is going?

I’m changing things up for summer. There will be guest posts, featured authors, and shorter condensed posts. As part of the TTC Virtual Blog tour, you will be introduced to writers and authors like my first guest, Joe McCoubrey.  Most of my posts are going to be shorter, similar to my former column.  I had to condense my thoughts into a 500 word article, and I think that a shorter format over the summer would be best.  Plus, y’all got other things to do than read tomes on the internet!

I’m amazed at how fast my kids are growing, and  I’m certain all you moms out there can relate.  It seems like just a short time ago they were babies, and now my oldest is going to be a senior in high school.  Only one more year to teach, impart life skills, and spend quality time with before she’s off to college.  My youngest will be a sophomore, so there’s only three more years there.  How did this happen?

I would do anything for my kids.  The old adage ‘hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn’ is multiplied when that woman becomes a mother.  Actually,  I think it’s more like exponentially multiplied as in the case of the young man who treated my beautiful daughter poorly, and broke her heart.  (I know who you are Trevor, and there’s no place on this earth you can hide!)  Some people do NOT get second chances!

Family is very important to me.  I mentioned before the boot camp plan for our summer.  We’ve all gotten a little soft over the winter, and it’s going to be beneficial for our health and fitness. It also allows us time together.  On the flip side of that, my ‘Party Princess’ side demands FUN.  We are going to do fun stuff over the summer as well.  I want to build good memories, so they don’t remember me as some horrible task master.  (Trust me, I can be.) I have many day trips planned over the next 90 days.  It won’t be every week, but at least three a month. In that light, I will highlight some of the areas where we are going to visit. Which also allows you to see some potential attractions to the area if you decide to travel to the St. Louis area. (Missouri tourist board should be giving me a cut of the revenue, don’t you think?)

Today, June 1st I am taking my girls to the St. Louis Zoo. St. Louis Zoo is one of the few in the nation that is still free. Don’t for a minute think the day is free just because there is no entrance fee!  There are certain family traditions that have to be honored.  The purchase of frozen cokes is mandatory.  This is like a coke slushy, and they are the bomb! (Coca Cola, not the other kind!)


Pictures in front of the main lake are mandatory!  I have many, from when my girls were in a double stroller, spanning the years.  We haven’t been in two years, so this one is crucial!  My daughter has a collection of zoo maps for every visit.  It’s interesting to see how they’ve changed over the years.  There’s also the mandatory picture by the bronzed statue of Phil the Gorilla.  Google it!  He’s legendary!  When I was a child, Phil was a main attraction at the St. Louis Zoo!  I was terrified of the silver back that threw his poo, and YES he did!  There were open bar cages then, it wasn’t pretty.

So, here are a few fun facts about the zoo. Do something fun for yourself and/or your family over the summer.  Care to share what you consider fun?

Zoo Fun Facts

  • The City of St. Louis purchased the 1904 World’s Fair Flight Cage for $3,500.
  • In 1917, 299,100 people visited the Zoo. In 2009, the Zoo broke an all-time record with 3,101,830 visitors.
  • Phil the gorilla’s fame was such that he was once featured in Life magazine as “an up and coming gorilla”.
  • School children donated their pennies to purchase Miss Jim the elephant in 1916.
  • Marlin Perkins, host of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom television show, was director of the Saint Louis Zoo from 1962-1970.
  • Siegfried the walrus was one of the Zoo’s most popular animals in the 1960s, particularly because he would let visitors tickle his chin.
  • Raja was the first elephant born at the Zoo in 1992. (By the way Raja just became a father.)

See more fun facts in the new book Animals Always – 100 Years at the Saint Louis Zoo.

The 90 Day Challenge begins today! (OK, I’ve gotten a bit of jump on it myself.)

Write On my friends, write On!