Thank God for Grace in Editing!


badge-blog-challenge-updated

This is an unofficial blog hop challenge makeup post for #MFRW. 

This is officially the Week 2 assignment – Sorry Editor! My Common Writing Mistakes.

For my first book – Red Wine & Roses,  my editor had just graduated from Oxford and was between jobs. Since then she has landed a prestigious position with Elsevier and has been dealing with some major health issues between herself and her boyfriend.

Enter GRACE! My editor is Grace Augustine, author of the Acorn Hills Series.  Do any of you believe in divine connections? The day I met Grace seemed to be one of those connections. We were attending Romance Rendezvous in Cedar Falls Iowa. I gambled on being able to arrive in plenty of time by driving there and not staying over. It was close,  but we arrived in time. It was very close! Since then, we’ve become good friends.

Friends aside, Grace is a tough editor. I would expect nothing less! I wonder how much it would cost to have some muffins delivered to her each morning . . . . it might soften the task. If you find yourself in need of an editor, aside from myself because I do have slots available to edit next month and through the summer, I can strongly recommend Grace over at edits with a touch of grace.

Anyway, moving on to my mistakes. There are times when I really hate these prompts and this is one of them. Why is it necessary to air my dirty laundry???  Seriously, this is why we have editors because we all have common mistakes. *SIGH*

Misspelled words: Please let me clarify,  I know how to spell, but my fingers have a different plan when I’m typing.

  • Becasue =because
  • friend=freind
  • teh=the
  • nad=and

The use of semicolons –   it’s like someone spilled a bucket full of them all over my computer files.

Switching tense – one of my pet peeves as an author and as an editor. Yet, I do it myself.

Sentence fragments. We don’t think in complete sentences,  but when writing, we have to at least know the rules before breaking them. If the author is adding a bit for emphasis, sometimes it’s acceptable to use a sentence fragment but not when you are in the middle of a descriptive narrative. Recently, I sent the first part of Roxy to Grace,  she commented: this sentence makes no sense!  NO, it didn’t because I  didn’t complete it. I left off the subject of the sentence.

Recently, I sent the first part of Roxy to Grace,  she commented: this sentence makes no sense!  NO, it didn’t because I  didn’t complete it. I left off the subject of the sentence. I do this a lot, which is one of many reasons why I need an editor! Don’t laugh, you’ll need one too.

I remember getting so upset when my then social media coach read my completed manuscript for Faere Warrior: Passion’s Price and gave it back to me with a few comments. “Well, it doesn’t suck.  Where is the rest of the story? The reader doesn’t know the world you have inside your head. You need to write it down, showing them   everything else that is going on.”

I have loads of details inside my head of my characters, their worlds, the settings, their backstory, their pet peeves, quirks – but I sometimes am so anxious to get them down that I forget to write parts.

Sorry Grace, you’ve really got your work cut out for you! What issues do you have when writing your drafts?

You can catch the previous posts from this series here:

  1. Raindrops on Roses
  2. They’ll Survive – I Guess
  3. Binge Watching #MFRWauthor

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

 

 

Binge Watching #MFRWauthor


badge-blog-challenge-updated

This is an unofficial blog hop challenge makeup post. 

Week 3 – TV Shows I Binge

Netflix is an amazing tool. It is also easy to misuse.

My last binge was Mach 21, as I sat on the sofa wrapped in a quilt, sipping on Seven up, getting up only when I had to race down the hall to the bathroom. I can’t guarantee I even remember every episode that I watched because I think my brain made up a few.

To begin with, let’s cover the movies that I have binge watched repeatedly that are a series.

  • Pirates of the Caribbean:  – and I’m looking forward to Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Fast and Furious series – I’ve seen all but the last two.
  • Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit
  • Narnia
  • Ip Man
  • John Wayne Movies
  • Bruce Willis Movies

Technically that’s not what the post is supposed to be about, it specifically stated TV shows. How can you exclude the movie marathons though?  Here is my list of TV shows:

  • Supernatural
  • How to Get Away With Murder
  • Criminal Minds
  • Hawaii 5-O
  • Burn Notice
  • Walking Dead
  • IZombie
  • Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Stranger Things
  • 13 Reasons Why
  • NON-Netflix binge – HGTV – whether it’s Property Brothers or Chip and Joanna Gaines if my husband is working and I get the tv remote –  it stays on HGTV all day long while I work on other things!

Yeah, that takes up enough of my time. The funny thing is,  the only regular TV things I watch are the news and well, the news.  I’d like to watch Master chef Jr but we have a class on Thursday nights. I’d like to watch the amazing race but we have a thing then.  I’d like to – this is why NetFlix is so awesome. I can watch when I can watch and our lives don’t stop just for a TV show. I don’t want to get too deep into that statement because if you think about it, it does but it does on MY timetable.

What shows do you binge watch? Was there such a thing as binge watching before NetFlix?

You can find my other posts for this challenge here:

  1. Raindrops on Roses
  2. They’ll Survive – I Guess

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

 

HI!#AtoZChallenge


 

My A to Z challenge theme is writing terms. I was working on this post when I received a phone call with a bad report from the doctor’s office. Please excuse me for being derailed from posting. Sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes you get news that you find so upsetting you can’t think straight. I’m hoping that it will turn out to be nothing, but  forcing my mind to stay off the worst case scenario, researching on WebMD, and consulting other WEB medical sites has required my full attention.

Monday’s letter was H.

 

Haiku: A three-line, seventeen syllable poem, usually about nature. I’ve tried my hand at Haiku a couple of times and only managed a few meager poems. Some of these are beautiful. Some of the haikus, not my haikus. Mine were more like misguided limericks.

Hardcover: Book bound with hard cardboard cover, then covered with a paper dust jacket. There are very few books that I will spend the money on for a hardcover book anymore. However, having said that I will throw down some jack for a select few first edition hardcovers! 

HEA: The Happily Ever After ending.  This used to be standard fare for romance novels. It used to be standard fare for several genres in fact. Louis Lamour’s westerns typically had the HEA with the hero riding off into the sunset at the end after beating the bad guy, getting the girl, saving the current town from ruin, and getting Timmy out of the well! The fictional world of HEA is a far better place than the current trend of noir, harsh reality within fiction. Seriously, who wants to read the same terrible tragedies that we lie?

HEMINGWAY CODE: Hemingway’s protagonists are usually “Hemingway Code Heroes,” i.e., figures who try to follow a hyper-masculine moral code and make sense of the world through those beliefs. Hemingway himself defined the Code Hero as “a man who lives correctly, following the ideals of honor, courage, and endurance in a world that is sometimes chaotic, often stressful, and always painful.”  This code typically involves several traits for the Code Hero:

(1) Measuring himself against the difficulties life throws in his way, realizing that we will all lose ultimately because we are mortals, but playing the game honestly and passionately in spite of that knowledge

(2) Facing death with dignity, enduring physical and emotional pain in silence

(3) Never showing emotions

(4) Maintaining free-will and individualism, never weakly allowing commitment to a single woman or social convention to prevent adventure, travel, and acts of bravery

(5) Being completely honest, keeping one’s word or promise

(6) Being courageous and brave, daring to travel and have “beautiful adventures,” as Hemingway would phrase it

(7) Admitting the truth of Nada (Spanish, “nothing”), i.e., that no external source outside of oneself can provide meaning or purpose. This existential awareness also involves facing death without hope of an afterlife, which the Hemingway Code Hero considers more brave than “cowering” behind false religious hopes.

The Hemingway Code Hero typically has some sort of physical or psychological wound symbolizing his tragic flaw or the weaknesses of his character, which must be overcome before he can prove his manhood (or re-prove it, since the struggle to be honest and brave is a continual one). Also, many Hemingway Code Heroes suffer from a fear of the dark, which represents the transience or meaninglessness of life in the face of eventual and permanent death.

Hook:  A narrative trick in the lead paragraph of a work that grabs the attention of the readers and keeps them reading.

HOMILY: A sermon, or a short, exhortatory work to be read before a group of listeners in order to instruct them spiritually or morally. Examples include Saint Augustine’s sermons during the patristic period of literature. Chaucer himself took two Latin tracts on penitence, translated them, and turned them into a single sermon by placing the text in the mouth of the Parson in “The Parson’s Tale” in The Canterbury Tales. In the Renaissance, the content of English sermons was governed by law after King Henry VIII, becoming an avenue for monarchist propaganda. I find this term is often misused by many authors. I don’t know what they are referring to when they use it but it isn’t this. 

Homonyms: Words that are spelled and pronounced alike but have different meanings. For example – pool (of water) and pool (the game).

Tuesday’s (Today) letter is I.

(See, I knew you’d get the HI eventually!)

ICEBERG – THEORY: Hemingway’s idea that good writing should consist of simple, direct sentences and plain description on the surface, but beneath that simplicity should be hints of psychological tension or symbolic depth suggested by what is visible above. He told an interviewer, ” I always try to write on the principle of the iceberg. There is seven-eights of it under water for every part that shows.” What remains unspoken or unwritten may be as important as what appears in the text.

Imprint: Division within a publishing house that deals with a specific category of books.For example, Harlequin has several imprints. Mira,  Silhouette Desire, Nocturne, Historical Undone, Romance Suspense, Harlequin Teen, Steeple Hill are just some of the imprints from Harlequin.

Irony: When a person, situation, statement, or circumstance is not what it seems to be, but the exact opposite. 

IDEAL READER: The imaginary audience who would, ideally, understand every phrase, word, and allusion in a literary work, and who would completely understand the literary experience an author presents and then responds emotionally as the writer wished. Something my social media coach taught me,  make a wanted poster for my target audience – the group of ideal readers.

IMPLIED AUDIENCE: The “you” a writer or poet refers to or implies when creating a dramatic monolog. This implied audience might be (but is not necessarily) the reader of the poem, or it might be the vague outline or suggestion of an extra character who is not described or detailed explicitly in the text itself. Instead, the reader gradually learns who the speaker addresses by garnering clues from the words of the speaker. 

INFIXATION: Also called epenthesis, infixation is placing an infix (a new syllable, a word, or similar phonetic addition) in the middle of a larger word. Some languages regularly use infixation as a part of their standard grammar. In English, infixation is often used in colloquialisms or for poetic effect. Shakespeare might write, “A visitating spirit came last night” to highlight the unnatural status of the visit. More prosaically, Ned Flanders from The Simpsons might say, “Gosh-diddly-darn-it, Homer.”

INTERNAL AUDIENCE: An imaginary listener(s) or audience to whom a character speaks in a poem or story. For example, the duke speaking in Browning’s “My Last Duchess” appears to be addressing the reader as if the reader were an individual walking with him through his estate admiring a piece of art. There are suggestions that this listener, whom the duke addresses, might be an ambassador or diplomat sent to arrange a marriage between the widower duke and a young girl of noble birth. This term is often used interchangeably with implied audience.

Boy oh boy, let me tell you if that didn’t play havoc with spell check!

Write on my friends, write on!

Till next time,

Ellie

They’ll Survive – I Guess #MFRWauthor


badge-blog-challenge-updated

This is an unofficial blog hop challenge makeup post for #MFRW. 

This is officially the Week 2 assignment – How My Family Survives My Writing

IN 2014 I attended Penned Con. They had panels where some of the authors shared ‘how they write’.  A single mother shared how her mother keeps her kids sometimes overnight so she can crank out her books. She had more than three kids, I don’t remember if it was four or five, but there was no spouse in the picture. I can’t do what she does for a couple of reasons. 1. My parents are dead. When they were alive I would not have asked them to watch my children so that I can write, because neither of them believed that writing was a worthwhile endeavor.

Another author stated that she locks herself in her office and her husband takes care of their kids, he fixes the meals and did all of the housework. That would never fly here either. My husband works a full-time job. I don’t have an office in which I could shut them out if I wanted to. I do all the cooking here. My husband could easily heat up a frozen pizza, or cook some eggs,  or fry a burger but for other meals, it would never work. I watched him make macaroni and cheese one time. He actually read the directions on the box! I cook our meals from scratch. We don’t use prepackaged, convenient foods. Well, hardly ever anyway. I do occasionally opt for cans of soup, the frozen pizza, pizza rolls, and chicken tenders. Since my husband works full-time and I work part-time,  I don’t expect him to handle everything.

Another author shared that she writes during her lunch hour at work, and when her kids are tucked in bed at night. That is about the closest to my schedule that I could compare. I write in the mornings after my husband leaves for work and before my kids are up for school and or work. (Keep in mind my children are now college-aged adults.) I write in the afternoons when my day job is completed and before my husband returns home from work. He’s gone ten to twelve hours a day, so I keep my writing restricted to when he’s not here.

When I was on a deadline to get my edits back to my former publisher, it was extremely stressful. I was trying to complete edits while both of my daughters were trying to talk to me, while the husband is asking what’s for dinner, where is this or that, and I about lost it on all of them. My blood pressure was elevated, my stress level was through the roof, and my stomach was in knots. Never again. My family comes first!

They will survive my writing because I try my best to keep it from interfering with family life. It does present problems though, when he’s home for the weekend and I am suddenly struck with an idea for the next scene, or story, or whatever it is that takes over my brain. I tend to keep a spiral notebook handy to write down those inspirations, and then on Monday morning, I can translate them into a file with my Dragon Recognition Software. I love using Dragon in this fashion. I’ve discovered that If I hand write my scene, then dictate it into Dragon, it’s like a second draft because as I read it aloud, I catch things that sounded good on paper but not when read. Another benefit is when Dragon doesn’t translate the words I speak and I am able to go back into my notes and see what it was supposed to say.

I decided after the last round of fighting with my Dragon, that I was going to keep a log of misinterpreted words and compile them into a post. Some of these. . . . wow, they will leave you rolling on the floor holding your side from laughing so hard.

My Family will survive because we work together. We value family time.

In other words, I have a life outside of my laptop!

This is week 2 of this series. You can catch the first post here:

  1. Raindrops on Roses

Write on my friends, write on!

 

 

 

Raindrops on Roses


badge-blog-challenge-updated

This is an unofficial blog hop challenge makeup post. Gee, guess which one?

Going back to the first week which I missed –  1. A few of my favorite things!

*hums song from Sound of Music*  Admit it,  you sang the title of my blog, didn’t you?

Favorites hmmm. Let’s do this in a simple but unorthodox format.

Favorite foods: 

  • fried chicken
  • Bordeaux cherry chocolate ice cream
  • crab legs
  • watermelon
  • vegetable lo mein

Favorite movies:

  • The Fifth Element
  • Excalibur
  • Fool’s Gold
  • RobRoy
  • Lord of the Rings movies

Favorite books:

  • Outlander series (Diana Gabaldon)
  • Highlander series (Karen Marie Moning)
  • Inca Gold – OK, I cheat here. I love nearly all of Clive Cussler’s books but decided that I would name the one that first ignited my interest in his books.
  • Timeline – Michael Crichton

Favorite possessions:

  • my bullet journal
  • my laptop
  • the pearl necklace and earring set that my husband bought me for our 30th anniversary. Absolutely gorgeous!

Favorite places to go:

  • Panama City Beach, Florida
  • Rich’s Frozen Custard
  • Laumeier Sculpture Park
  • Missouri Botanical Gardens
  • Any place new!

Favorite fast food items: 

  • Hardee’s mushroom swiss burger
  • Subway sweet onion teriyaki chicken
  • Panera’s bear claws *drools*
  • Lee’s fried chicken tenders ( don’t get these very often as we don’t have  a Lee’s around us)
  • Panda Express Orange chicken with broccoli and rice

Favorite articles of clothing:

  • a pair of Lee Rider jeans that fit perfectly!
  • my black leather jacket
  • red camp style shirt
  • Bohemian style ecru crochet sweater ( not much of a sweater as it’s more of an overshirt type of thing, but I love it!)
  • New Balance tennis shoes. If only all shoes could fit like these, I may actually wear shoes throughout the day.

Favorite flavors:

  • cherry
  • chocolate

Not that anyone asked,  but there you have it. Now I can mark that one off of my list and you now know more about me than you ever cared to.

Honestly, I’ve been so far in the headspace of Detective Devon Miller that I am suspecting my own family of covert operations. This calls for further investigation and a large supply of chocolate.

Write on my friends, write on!

 

 

 

Life Isn’t Fair


Since I didn’t share my snippet piece yesterday, I thought I’d fudge a bit and share today.

Wow! This story has really gone through the mill. Roxy Sings the Blues originally started as the serial post erotica that I shared on Storytime Tryst. Don’t bother trying to find it, I no longer have the time to manage Storytime and nothing has been posted since forever ago.

All rights reserved to original artist. Quotidiandose does not own rights to this image.

All rights reserved to original artist. Quotidiandose does not own rights to this image.

The only recognizable part of that original story is the characters, although they are more fully developed now as well. When I compiled all of my serial posts, I added bits and pieces here and there to  help it congeal. Yeah, it wasn’t really working for me. First of all,  the original story was erotica. It wasn’t even my best effort in erotica either. Something about this story just wouldn’t let me go. Although I wasn’t happy with it,  I knew there was something in it that screamed to be told. Maybe I had wax in my ears, maybe my internal editor was cringing so much she wouldn’t listen to the voice crying to be heard.  When the fecal matter hit the rotary blades with the previous small publishing house I was associated with, I fell into a pit of discouragement and shelved Valkyrie’s Curse, which was 90% complete.

When the fecal matter hit the rotary blades with the previous small publishing house I was associated with, I fell into a pit of discouragement and shelved Valkyrie’s Curse, which was 90% complete.

Valkyrie’s was ready to be sent out to my beta readers, but after some critical comments, I tucked it away, as I wasn’t ready to push ahead with doing it on my own just yet. I haven’t given up on it, but it was set aside before Penned Con 2016 with a bitter taste left in my mouth. Time heals all wounds, however, and I feel I can go that last 10% soon. In the meantime, I heard Roxy’s wails of sorrow crying to be heard.  I dusted off those files, cringing at points, but also seeing that she had a story worth being told. Not the story I had first written, but a much deeper, more encompassing story. I was giving a superficial glossing to her story, focusing on certain gritty aspects of her life. She deserved more.

I’m keeping a small portion of what I had written, but most of it has ended up in the recycle bin. The revision has turned into a complete rewrite. Sordid details of her bad mistakes really didn’t need to be aired as yesterday’s dirty laundry. I have to admit, it needed a rewrite desperately.

The original plot of transformation was heart wrenching, motivational, kitschy, and focused too much on the back story. Ironic since another shelved project I’ve talked about before, my Fae series – anyone remember me sharing about Faere Warrior? – was shelved because I needed to share more of the back story. I haven’t given up on that one either. Basically, I got myself into a state of being overwhelmed with numerous projects that are unfinished for one reason or another.

Just a quick note here, most of my projects are so very close, yet every one of them needs just a little more. This is where I kick myself with disgust. If I focused on just those in my unfinished files I will be writing until I am 60! Scary thing is, that isn’t that far away!

So anyway, back to Roxy. . . the deeper story. I think you’re going to like it.  Last time I shared a snippet from the intro. Let’s dive right into the thick of it, shall we?

Here’s a brief snippet from Chapter 1 to let you know where Roxy is starting from:

Two hours and twenty-four minutes later, I pulled up into a visitor’s spot by the main entrance. I barreled through the doors, racing down the hall to the oncology floor, running past the nurse’s station towards the room number Tara had texted me.

I stopped short just outside the door. This was it. This was reality. I did not want to face losing my mom. I gave myself a quick talk as I took several deep breaths. One step. Two steps. Three steps and I was at the side of mom’s bed. Tara was on the other side, her head down on the edge of the bed, holding mom’s hand.

My eyes welled with tears. “NO” My body racked with sobs as I lifted my mother’s cold lifeless hand to my cheek. Tara lifted her head slowly, looking up at me in such a forlorn and lost expression it broke my heart even more.  I ran to her, lifting her from her chair as we sobbed together.

It wasn’t fair. Even knowing it was coming someday, we were not prepared for this reality. Some day was not supposed to be this day or any day in the near future. At twenty-three and twenty we were not supposed to lose our mother. Before either of us were married, before either of us had children, before either of us had even had a chance to truly live, cancer took her from us. It. Wasn’t. Fair.

As I held my younger sister in my arms, my eyes clenched tightly to shut out the vision of the corpse that lay in the bed that was supposed to be my mother. My breath caught in my throat, feeling panicky and lost, so very lost. I turned quickly to the side, hitting the vase of flowers on the stand next to the bed rails. The vase that held a beautiful flower arrangement shattered into pieces as it made contact with the linoleum floor.

Shattered. Just like our lives were now.

Just like Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers, Roxy’s shattered life can be rebuilt. Slowly, piece by piece, and she will come out stronger than she began. Isn’t that kind of the point of a transformation plot? I guess I kind of gave that away, didn’t I? All I can say is don’t write her off just yet. Fate isn’t done jerking her around. 

Did you get the feels? Do you feel compassion for Roxy and her sister?

How have you dealt with the death of a close loved one?

When my father passed away, my world was suddenly shattered. When my mother passed away, I was only slightly more prepared having been her caregiver for the last year and a half of her life. I didn’t have to face it in my twenties, though, which I am grateful to have had them in my life as long as I did.  It took me a long time to find the good in life after both losses, but eventually, I did and I hope you have as well.

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

 

 

Cover Reveal: ROOK by Miranda Lynn


I know I promised a teaser today, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. Today I have the privilege of sharing a cover reveal for an author I met at Kentuckiana Book Blitz! This woman helped me calm my newbie nerves.  Kentuckiana was my very first author event and I was a nervous wreck.

Without further ado, I am honored to share with you the cover reveal for my friend Miranda Lynn’s newest book:

ROOK

Black Mountain Pack

Book 2

Coming April 2017

rook

Come join us as the story of the Black Mountain Pack continues. Follow Rook as he takes on the challenge of helping Mack and Casey repair the South American Pride.

Rook heads to South America and finds his hands full with bringing the Pride out of the dark ages that Tomas had kept it in for years under his malicious ruling. He reunites with a few old friends and discovers a dark and twisted world he never knew existed behind the closed doors of the Alpha’s house. With the help of old military buddy Jonah he guides the Pride onto the path of a happy and fruitful living.

Fate has other plans when Rook is blindsided with the fact that his true mate had been kept in the clutches of the former Alpha. Locked behind doors and used as an object to be shared rather than respected and revered as all female shifters should be.

Will he be able to cull the evil from the Pride and make it safe enough for Casey to lead without fear? Will he be able to help his mate heal from the hell she has been put through and coax her cat to come out and play?

Find out this coming April!

 

About the Author

miranda-lynn

Time Travel and Paranormal Romance author. Her Destiny series takes you on a roller coaster ride through time with sexy Highlanders and sassy female heroines. If shifters are your kryptonite, then check out her Black Mountain Pack series which throws a twist on the traditional shifter lore. Miranda is a mother to two teenage boys who are sure they know it all, a 75lb lap dog, a 15lb foot warmer, and a cat that most days plans her demise. She is thankful her husband doesn’t mind the extra voices in her head. Miranda is an only child who grew up on a dairy farm in Illinois which left her plenty of time to make up stories in her head for entertainment. She currently resides in Tennessee where she wonders if Mother Nature will ever stop with the hormonal mood swings. She fuels herself with coffee, chocolate, and wine.

Make sure to follow Miranda Lynn to keep up to date on Rook and all the other players in the Black Mountain Pack.

FB: https://www.facebook.com/MirandaLynnBks/

Join her readers group for sneak peaks and exclusive giveaways: https://www.facebook.com/groups/367841766921211/

Website: www.mirandalynn.com

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2ldOuDe

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MirandaLynnBks

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Time Travel and Paranormal Romance author. Her Destiny series takes you on a roller coaster ride through time with sexy Highlanders and sassy female heroines. If shifters are your kryptonite then check out her Black Mountain Pack series which throws a twist on the traditional shifter lore. Miranda is a mother to two teenage boys who are sure they know it all, a 75lb lapdog, a 15lb foot warmer, and a cat that most days plans her demise. She is thankful her husband doesn’t mind the extra voices in her head. Miranda is an only child who grew up on a dairy farm in Illinois which left her plenty of time to make up stories in her head for entertainment. She currently resides in Tennessee where she wonder if Mother Nature will ever stop with the hormonal mood swings. She fuels herself with coffee, chocolate, and wine.

Make sure to follow Miranda Lynn to keep up to date on Rook and all the other players in the Black Mountain Pack.

FB: https://www.facebook.com/MirandaLynnBks/

Join her readers group for sneak peaks and exclusive giveaways: https://www.facebook.com/groups/367841766921211/

Website: www.mirandalynn.com

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2ldOuDe

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MirandaLynnBks

One Phone Call


I have spent the last two days on the phone trying to find out information on the exact requirements that I will need to fulfill for my job. I don’t know about you but waiting on hold is one of those time-wasters that I could do without. It’s that feeling of helplessness, this is out of your control, and you are at the mercy of the person on the other end.

If everything could be straight forward, the instant response then things would go much smoother. But, alas it isn’t to be. The forces that be have decided that it is a requirement to be put on hold for an untold specified amount of time. Please tell me that I”m not the only one who is impatient with these things!

In the meantime, while I continue my quest for answers, I thought I might share a teaser from Roxy Sings the Blues. Since phone calls seem to be first on my mind,  I thought I’d share this brief opener.

~~~~~~~~

One phone call can change your life forever.

I’ve heard it said many times and I get it. If you are a ball player waiting for that call to the majors, if you are waiting for the call that you got that job that you were hoping for. I always thought however, that most people are just being overly dramatic and using that as a cliché’ statement.

What if you didn’t get this job, but instead got a call from a different company that ended up being a better job? What if, as a ball player you didn’t ever get called to the majors but stayed in the minor leagues and ended up being a top-notch coach? What if that call was the worst thing that could happen?

It’s always been my view that there are multiple paths that our lives could take. There are multiple opportunities presented to us and that one phone call bit was a bunch of hogwash.

Until today.

Until I received the phone call that without a doubt, changed my life forever.

DO you want to read more? 

I”ll share a bit more soon . Until then I have to get back to my search.

Write on my friends, write on.

Ellie

 

Break the Mold


“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

118196

The army of plastics.

It is frustrating to see  your work crumpled up into the trash bin however, it would be far worse to not understand that it wasn’t right.

I’ve been working frantically over the past couple of weeks to salvage/improve my WIP. For those of you who read Oral Dilemma on Storytime Trysts,  it is nothing like that anymore.  For those who have read the snippets of what is tentatively titled Roxy Sings the Blues,  it’s not like that either.

‘Roxanne Winters, student, MMA fighter. A woman barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild her. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first bionic blues singer. Roxanne Winters will be that woman. Better than she was before. Better, stronger, smarter.’  Don’t deny it –  you heard that in Oscar Goldman’s voice from the Six Million Dollar Man. OK, well I did even if you didn’t.

OK, don’t panic – breath.  That is self-talk for me, not the readers. 

I’m so close, yet so far away. There is always a giant obstacle before the goal is achieved, right? Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know but there always seems to be a few kinks to work out even when I have my  basic plot and outline. I don’t know the exact story yet, I haven’t written it! As it unfolds, I’m going to touch base on something that has been asked more than a few times.

Is Julia Mathers in Red Wine & Roses based on you? I see a lot of similarities in her personality and yours. 

NO! She is not me and I am not her.  As to similarities, I have been wracking my brain to figure out what similarities that these readers see.  We both have dark brown hair, brown eyes, but so do many men and women. When you think of a fashion model, what is the first image that comes to mind? Short, stocky, dark-haired beauty or tall thin blonde? (I have nothing against blondes, my sister is a blond and I love her dearly!)

Yea, me too. So, in essence, Julia is the antithesis of a fashion model.  Before Tyra there was Christie. The symbol of beauty in the 80’s, every man wanted Christie, every woman wanted to look like Christie.

I can only speak from my experience, but I know thousands of women can relate, so here goes.  From a very young age, I was expected to act a certain way, be a certain way, look a certain way.  My mother was very strict. Even though I was a tomboy at home, barefoot more often than not, outside until after the cows came home (we lived in the country), unhindered by the dirt smeared across my face, arms, or legs, when it was time to go anywhere I had to clean up.

I remember so many times being assaulted roughly with a washcloth as she frantically worked to clean me up to a presentable child that could be seen in public. Maybe that’s part of my obsession with being presentable before leaving the house now. Freud would be happy with the mental connection! You might laugh at my choice of wordage there –  being assaulted – but to a ten-year-old child that was more interested in playing ball  or bike riding with the neighborhood kids, when I was called home to change clothes and clean up, it was akin to me asking my own kids to do their chores or bloodletting which are apparently the same in their eyes. (I had chores, they were done first thing in the morning before I was allowed to go play. I would need much more coffee and time to share about mental scars from gathering eggs. You know back in my day . . .)

This seems so insignificant, yet,  it made a mark.  It contributed to the greater idea that I was expected to be something I was not.  I was not the shy little girl who would sit quietly on the church pew.   I got spankings because of my fidgeting. I was not the pretty girl in the party dress.  I was the one who still spills stuff on my clothes, still do! I was not the cool kid with the stylish new designer clothes. I got loads of hand me downs, it was a thrill to get brand new clothes in bright unfaded material! I was not the popular girl in high school. (Really, I knew practically everyone in my high school because it was a small school in a small town but knowing everyone isn’t what constituted popularity.) I was not the cheerleader, the pompom girl, or the beauty queen. There were so many things I was not.  It always seemed to be about what I wasn’t, that we were expected to fit into the societal molds put on us and assimilate to the plastic army.

We were supposed to look like Christie Brinkley. We were supposed to be nurses, secretaries, or school teachers. We were supposed to  . . . .. ugh.  The list goes on and on and on until one day you either give in to depression and booze and think that you don’t measure up or you wise up and realize that you aren’t part of the plasticine dream mold and decide to live as who you really are.  Are you following me?

I’m still working on accepting my own value.  I am very well acquainted with the things I am not.  What I am working on is finding value in who I AM.

In that regard,  my life experience lends itself to my character Julia.  She learns to value herself for who she is and overcomes her feelings of inferiority.  I’d like to say that I was inspired by overcoming my own sense of inferiority but I haven’t.  Perhaps I’m writing it prophetically. Yeah, instead of Chuck the prophet I am Ellie the Prophetess. Doesn’t quite have that ring, does it?  Maybe Sam and Dean will show up to correct me. Shhh, don’t break the fantasy.

My inspiration for Julia is the average woman: Every woman who has ever felt inferior. Every woman who has felt less beautiful than the fashion industry standards. Every woman who has sold themselves short for the attention of a man who disrespected them. Every woman who struggles with their sense of self-worth. Which I believe includes every single woman on the face of the earth over the age of twelve.  Did you know that even Christie Brinkley sees faults in herself? I don’t know what they are, but I know human nature.  Trust me – she sees them.

I am still learning how to be me. I know that sounds weird, but it’s  true. There has always been these expectations put on us by our parents, society, our peers and by ourselves. As life plays out, we discover who we truly are and who we aren’t.  I was never cut out to be a nurse, I accepted that early on. Trust me it’s best for all of us.  I was never cut out to be an Olympic gymnast, my rendition would look more like a Carol Burnett rerun.

One thing I have always been gifted with is a vivid imagination. It got me into trouble – often. That same imagination fuels my mind with story ideas. Well, with the addition of coffee.  Coffee is my catalyst. I think maybe today I’ll have a little Irish coffee.

Do you struggle with aspects of your self-image? Do dudes struggle with self-image or inferiority? How dull would it be if everyone conformed to the Stepford plan? Variety is the spice of life and some of us are a little spicier than others.

So why do I go back and rehash over my first book when I am in the trenches with Roxy And Devon?

Because my lovelies, I’m running a special deal over at Amazon.

For the next two days, you can get your copy at 60% off! What are you waiting for? Go get yours now while I get back to wrecking Roxy’s world. Errr,  I mean,  helping her discover who she is. Yeah, that’s it.

Go HERE to get your copy now! 

Write on my friends, and be yourself!

Till next time –  Ellie

 

New Day


It’s a brand new day! It’s a new month – yay! This is the point when we get a do-over for good intentions. For instance with the blogging. Even the best-laid plans sometimes fail.

Nothing can be done for the days lost in January, it’s now a fresh month. In the past, I have taken all of my unfinished plans from the previous month and started there before tackling the items I had designated for the current month. That is a fast track to being overwhelmed and giving up before you even begin. Trust me, I’ve done it numerous times.

For instance, with my bullet journal, I had an entry on January 22, then nothing. The next day I felt nearly human again after several days of illness is January 30. Last year, I would have felt guilty. I would have made entries for each day in between, trying to squeeze something from the brain to fill in for those days, but this time I didn’t. NOPE. I simply wrote ‘And then . . . ‘ in large bold letters, with a brief journal entry about what was going on, namely, I felt miserable until my daughter took me to urgent care.

Then I made an entry for Monday with the header Moving Forward. That, my friends, in a nutshell, is my entire philosophy for the year.

Moving Forward

I have five large projects on my plate for this month:

  1. An editing job that has a firm deadline. ( I love editing for others. It gives me a chance to read their work, help with something that I am good at and also stimulates my creative brain at the same time. I am always energized to write on my own work after I do some editing for someone else and I have been anxious to  work on this one!)
  2. Rewrites on Roxy Sings the Blues, now that I have a  workable plot. (This is where my 30 index cards will be put to use!)
  3. Passing the 20-hour course for regaining my MLO license. This one has to be completed by February 28th. This is not an arbitrary deadline that I picked,  my job is contingent upon passing this course and getting licensed. I’ve done it before, I can do it again! (This is a tough class. Dry material, legal schtuff, technical mortgage  blah blah blah,  a whole lot of laws and acts and this will require inordinate amounts of caffeine in order to get through the volumes of materials I must relearn. Yes, I am regretting letting my license lapse this past year. Infuriatingly regretting it, to the point of mentally beating myself up over this decision.)
  4. Make progress in my fitness and weight loss plan. (My goal for January was to lose 8 pounds, I only lost 3. I did, however, get my behind out to the track and started back walking at least.  We’ve had mostly mild winter days. I have used a workout video that a friend referred me to during days that are cold, wet,  or the roads are bad. I’m ready to add another lap this week, and  by the end of the month I plan to double the length of that walk.)
  5. Decluttering and updating our house so we can move closer to my husband’s  work. (He has a very long commute now. )

So, of course, this is the perfect time to add something else to the mix, right? Of course, it is!

An author friend has been encouraging me to join this blog hop thing, 52-week thing. I’m already behind the curve, but I can make those up, no problemo! You’ll see the first installment for this on Friday. What’s one more thing, right?

Following the categories that I have already used for blogging,  I will on occasion – I’m not even going to say I will post every Monday because you know as well as I do that I may or may not manage every Monday. Seriously, take a look at my list above! BUT, I guarantee you that at some point throughout this month, I will give updates.

I had already agreed to share tidbits of the WIP, which will cover item number two. I will share a couple of things throughout the month on editing. This is something that I’ve thought about many times,  making editorial posts to address common mistakes that we all make and are things that you can fix yourself.

BUT, I was wondering does anyone even care about my weight loss and fitness journey? Does anyone really care about my home improvements? Renovations? Updates?

IDK –  I had thought about sharing that month’s projects with pictures of before and after, but does anyone really care?  Honestly, I am not doing major renovations like tearing out walls or adding on to the existing floorplan. We are on a tight budget here and most of these changes are simply going to update and make our house saleable.

I’m still undecided on those two points, but if you have an opinion feel free to comment or message me.

I’m heading to my editor’s desk to dive back into this book.

Write on my friends, write on!