Memories in the Corners of My Mind #MFRW


This is week 21 -A Childhood Memory

 

I don’t know if any of the others participating in this blog hop have this problem, but with every prompt comes a flood of questions. It takes me a good while to go through the questions and decide if they are valid or not. This is a process that started with me way back, . . . yeah back to my childhood days just shortly after the stone age.

How far back? What topic? I mean, a scary memory? fun memory? life lesson learned? funny memory? sentimental? How can I narrow it down? Should it tie in with last weeks post about movies?  Does it tie in with writing somehow? What does this have to do with writing? What if . . . . and then I have to tell my brain to SHUT UP! This pattern emerges somewhere before kindergarten.

I learned fairly quickly to keep them to myself as I often got in trouble for asking too many questions. That is a whole other post and that’s not the memory I decided to share. That will go under the category of my mother, learning to deal with ADD, and a creative mind. Maybe I should do that.

Anyway, the memory I decided on is one I will never forget.

I grew up in a small town south of the St. Louis metropolitan area. It’s a rural area just outside of a small town. In the midwest , e get hot summers, sudden thunderstorms and are always ALWAYS aware of the possibility of tornadoes.

The morning started out as any summer morning. It was my job to go out and pick strawberries. My parents had June bearers, which means they put on fruit for about three weeks heavily then are done for the season. School had just let out the week prior and it was my parent’s method to make sure I knew that I wasn’t going to be a slacker. Chores had to be done before my fun started. Most of the time, picking strawberries was an easy task as I love strawberries and I would wash about a pint for myself and eat them. Cost of labor, right? Plus it was a nutritious breakfast. Trust me, I wasn’t thinking about nutrition at that age, I was thinking strawerries – yummmm!

While picking the berries, about three forths of the way down the row – the row was about twenty feet long and three feet wide – I reached for a big juicy berry when movement caught my eye inches from the berry. A snake! Not some little five inch snake, NOOOOOOO! It was a full grown three to four footer. I know now that it was a king snake, not harmful but tell that to my ten-year-old self. OH heck no! He could have the rest of the berries. I grabbed my buckets that I had filled and ran to the house. I set the berries on the counter and realized there was one more bucket out there. Out there where the snake was. I had to go get it. It was going to rain and I needed to get them. Berries don’t keep well once they are picked.

Anyone watching would have thought that the entire garden was infested with cobras. It may as well have been. I knew from experience of where we lived, snakes could move fast. We had a few blue racers around the yard, we had the occasional copperhead show up, and black snakes were common. It could have been anywhere.

Two steps, then looking all around. A couple more steps, watching the vines and foliage around the beans, the cucumbers, the tomato plants. There weren’t any vegetables on them, but there was foliage where a clever snake could hide. I could see the bucket ahead about ten feet away. The closer I got, the slower I moved. My heart was in my throat, pounding out a tattoo of terror. I was bending, reaching for the bucket when I saw it less than three feet away, slithering from the strawberries towards the neighbor’s yard through the fence.

AAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHHHHH!

I grabbed that bucket and ran like my clothes were on fire.

Three gallon-sized buckets of berries sat on the counter. I wouldn’t eat any. Dad wouldn’t know that I didn’t finish. I would offer to mow the lawn, wash the car, clean the garage, anything that didn’t involve the garden area or snakes.

I finished my other chores then hopped on my biketo meett up with my neighborhood friends and do the all important stuff of summer vacation. (Which roughly translated to riding our bikes till exhaustion, stealing grapes from Mr. Winslade’s vines that poked through the fence, swiping apples from Mr. Eaves tree that hung over his fence, more bike riding, finding a shady place to stop and talk about what else we would do over the summer, more bike riding until our parents were home, and what we’d do the next day.)

I couldn’t tell you what time of day it was other than at noon Mike’s mom would call him for lunch. That was our cue that it was lunch time. I’d cycle back home, grab a tuna sandwich or peanut butter, drink a gallon of tea then vacuum mom’s big rug in the front room, wash the dishes then run back out the door. When Brooke’s dad pulled into the driveway it was time to head home. My dad would be pulling into the drive shortly after his. That meant it was time to clean up and start on dinner. I offered to cook dinner in order to get more allowance. I liked to cook and every kid needed money to get pop and candy at the local gas station.

Dad asked about the strawberries. I said yes, I had picked them. “Was that all of them?”

“Was that all of them?”

“Ummmmmm.”  I’m a terrible liar.

“Well,  I picked all the way down to the telephone pole.”

“Why didn’t you finish?” He showed no emotion, no anger, just a simple question.

“Dad! There was a snake. I could have been bitten. He was huge!” My heart began to race.

“Well, I’m sure he’s long gone so go out there and finish up.” As a parent, I can appreciate this now but at the time, I would have sworn my father was sending me to my death sentence.

“But, I started cooking dinner. Mom will be home at six.”

“You’ve got time. Just go finish up. It shouldn’t take more than twenty minutes.”

I knew there was no reasoning with him. I knew he was right, I had seen the snake leaving. But what if he came back? What if he was waiting for me? What if he wantto curlurl around me and constrict me then eat me whole like Kaa?

I grabbed an empty bucket and walked, head down, towards the strawberry patch. My steps weren’t cautious like before, what did it matter if the snake shot out like an arrow and latched onto my leg. If I were going to die,  then it was going to get me one way or the other.  I knew exactly where I had left off.  The telephone poll was about a foot behind the place I stopped. Plus for anyone who has ever picked berries, it’s easy to see there are red berries here but not there.

I knelt down, picking the berries as quicly as I could. I wasn’t as careful as I should have been, seeing a few green bottoms when I dropped them into the bucket. I knew dad would have something to say about that, reminding me that they needed to ripen. I stood, one foot on either side of the patch, so that I could move quicker down the row. There was only about four feet of row remaining and if I managed to get to the end of the row without being bit by a snake, or the imagined tangle of multiple of snakes that I knew were just waiting to strike. My heart pounded as I filled the bucket.

The end was in sight. There was only about ten inches of row left. I could do this. I might survive after all and not end up with the epitaph on my tombstone: Done in by strawberries and the snake that resideth therein.

A particularly large berry, at least four inches wide, red and luscious. My mouth watered remembering that I hadn’t eaten any that morning. Maybe dad would like some strawberry shortcake for dessert. I reached for it. Confident that I was about to cross the finish line unharmed and return to the house victorious.

Then the brown stick that was laying at the end of the row curled up and moved.  I had been bent over, knees slightly bent, one foot on either side of the row  as I worked my way towards the end. I shot up arrow straight, eyes wide, shaking like a leaf. This was not a king snake nor a black snake. It was a copperhead. Copperhead’s are poisonous.  I didn’t dare move. Any movement might make it strike.

I was frozen. Well, aside from the shaking bit. My jaw clenched tightly as I  stared at the snake. I couldn’t let it out of my sight. I couldn’t turn and run. I couldn’t move.

“Stay still, don’t move.” Dad’s voice behind me was both comforting and disconcerting as I detected a note of seriousness in his voice that wasn’t usually there. Slowly, he walked down the path between the strawberries and beans. One step at a time, stalking his prey. When he was just about even with me, he raised the hoe overhead and held it there for a minute before bringing it down with every bit of strength he had. In one move he had chopped it’s head off, picked up the tail end and tossed it behind the neighbor’s garage, then picked up the head with the hoe and flung it in the same direction.

“How about we have some ice cream with our shortcake tonight?” He nodded towards me as he used his hoe to cut a few weeds from the beans. ” Don’t forget that last berry, that’s a beaut!”

I let out a deep breath as I plucked that last berry, grabbed my bucket and walked as quickly as I could towards the house.

My father’s two joys were gardening and fishing. I am grateful that he  taught me about gardening even though I didn’t listen half as much as I should have. I’ve had to learn some of his wisdom through my own trial and error. I am glad that I was his “fishing buddy” for many years. He didn’t often talk, but occasionally. . . occasionally  he would offer pearls.

We had our differences at times, but my dad was always my hero. I miss him terribly.

That night after dinner we enjoyed our strawberry shortcake, and dad made sure I got the biggest berry. When I sat down on the sofa reading a book, I overheard him telling mom that he was proud of me.  That I finished the job even though he could tell I was scared. He had followed me out, going to his garage/ work shop. He watched me out the window for a few minutes and he knew the minute I saw that snake.

My wild imagination often got me in trouble as a kid. Asking a million questions also got me into trouble.  My father was far more patient than my mother. His method of dealing with my questions was to answer them to the best of his ability until he could find something else to distract me.

At some point in our lives, all we have left of our parents are our memories. We sift the bad and keep the good, choosing to hold onto the moments that shape our lives.

Father’s Day is coming up soon, if your father is still with you do something to honor him. Take time to visit him. Share a memory that means a lot to you with him.

Ironically, this wasn’t the memory that I was originally going to share, but it’s the one that came up. Perhaps another time I’ll have the opprtunity to share about the tornado.

Until then, go check out what the other’s are sharing on this blog hop!

 

Leave a comment below  then visit the other authors. Write on my friends, write on!

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

My Favorite Movie Inspired by a Book #MFRW


Greetings everyone! It’s a been a while since my last post and even longer since I made an MFRW post.  Life has been – different. I’ll address all of that later, but for now . . . . on to the fun stuff!

The topic for this week –  week 20 – is My Favorite Movie Inspired by a Book.

I realize that many of my constituents (aka other bloggers participating in this blog hop not to be confused with political opponents vying for same geographic region) will probably reference some of the most recent book/movies such as Divergent, The Hunger Games, 50 Shades. Not me.

The subject is MY favorites.

There are many movies made from books, then made into screenplays. There are movies based on books.  Quite often I find that I greatly prefer the book to the movie. There are a few that have translated well to the big screen.

The Polar Express

It’s amazing what they can do with animation these days, isn’t it? Well, the book made me cry when I first read it to my kids, and that same emotion hit me when I watched it the first time. No, it’s not a sad movie. It’s a wonderful story. They were tears of joy, heartfelt compassion. Yeah, I’m a softie. I cry at commercials sometimes as well.

The Princess Bride

Inconceivable how anyone could not like this movie! This is one of the rare instances that I prefer the movie to the book. If you haven’t seen it, why not? GO – get it now. Download it on Netflix or Amazon and watch it. I’m serious!

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

Based on: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by Wang Dulu

Year published: Between 1938–1942

The novel is actually the fourth book in the Chinese author’s five-part Crane-Iron Series. This martial arts extravaganza is well-written, with a wonderful plot, great characters, action, drama plus it has Donnie Yen, Jet Li,  and Michelle Yeoh! Maybe you aren’t a martial arts fan, but this movie is worth your time. I never read the book for this one either but I saw an interview with Jet Li where he stated about reading the book and he was excited that it was going to be made into a movie. I’ll warn you though, most Asain movies don’t have a happily ever after. Often they are tragic. This book/movie – and the movie followed the book fairly closely – has a dynamic plot that engages the reader/viewer, keeping you on the edge of your seat.

It’s not just another cheap Martial arts movie – this one is worth your time!

Probably not what you would have expected, but there you go! I could list twenty others that I liked but these three are at the top of my list.

What’s your favorite book adapted to the big screen?

Leave a comment below and let me know. Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

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