That's the journey of a writer, long and winding. Ups and downs, rejections, joys, acceptance, laughter, tears, community, and yet a sense of loneliness. The road is bumpy, often full of potholes, and yet it's one we gladly follow, for we are writers and writing is a part of our soul. Join me on my journey.
Regis who? My
response for a while, since I only really noticed him on the odd days that mom
was home from work. It wasn’t until mom
retired that I really started watching the show with her, and then still
periodically (confession, I couldn’t stand Kathy Lee). When I started taking care of mom it became a
morning staple. Besides, Kelly Ripa had
joined by then and I found myself really enjoying the show. So a morning routine was established. Mom would get up, I’d make breakfast, we’d
sit at the table until time for Regis and Kelly then move on into the den. They became a part of our lives. In fact, that’s how we found out about Sept.
11 … I had turned on the TV for the show and well, we know what. But anyway,
back to Regis, because it really is all about Regis. Mom had a bit of a crush on him, and as her
dementia deepened he remained a steady part of our lives. People’s names might disappear from her mind,
but never Regis.
I’d get mom up in the morning, help her get dressed.
She’d say “guess who came by last night?”
No, mom, who?
“Regis and Joy” (his wife for those that don’t know).
Oh they did?
“Yes” a giggle and a secret smile.
I’d say something like “why didn’t he mow the lawn while he
Yes, Regis and Joy made many night time visits to my mom’s
room … and she was ecstatic about it, until the sister-in-law stepped in. Yeah, my sister-law Bev helped to take care
of mom. At some point mom started
calling her “riffraff” and acted kinda cold towards her.
“I don’t want that lady here” she’d say.
Mom would look at me and say “You know”.
“No mom, I don’t”
“She’s trying to take away my boyfriend.”
Always Regis …
So you see, saying goodbye to Regis is almost like saying
goodbye to mom again. I’ll be right in
front of the TV, and I’ll probably cry a little. No, I’ll probably cry a lot … so long Regis
Philbin, I wish you the best at whatever you go on to do. And I know that a lady up in Heaven will be
watching you too.
You're probably thinking ... where are those funny posts? Well, there are times when funny just has to wait. Monday a good friend of mine lost her husband ... suddenly. On Sunday she mentioned that he'd had severe heartburn for a few days and they would be going to the doctor on Monday. Monday morning we wake up to the news that he'd had a severe heart attack during the night, had coded in the ambulance where they almost lost him and that he had a 50/50 chance. That night I came home from work to the news that he was gone. 51. Yes, he was 51. One day he was there, the next he's gone and my friend Dorah is a widow. Of course, when I first heard of the heartburn, I thought of the heart but didn't say anything. Would it have helped - no. One artery was 100% blocked and they said they couldn't do anything about that at the moment; the other was 99% and did get a stint. But it was too late .. the damage was too severe. The DNR was signed and Eric was gone. I'm assuming that he had coded again. So at first I felt guilty because I hadn't said "go to the emergency room now" but then came the realization that those few hours wouldn't have made a big difference. Or so I've been told so don't tell me otherwise.
But this is a reminder that death can come at any moment. That we never know when we may lose a loved one. We need to tell the people we love that they matter to us .. every single day, for we never know when that day will be the last.
And so it begins, my own personal week from hell. Every year is different, every year I approach it from far differing emotional spectrums. But this year has been hard.
I've known it was coming, aware of its significance for a few months. Five years since mom died, 11 for dad. As I was closer to mom it's that particular anniversary that is haunting me more. As I sat in a room full of writers Saturday night, my mind kept jumping "5 years from tomorrow mom went into hospice". Five years ago today .. I called Bebo in panic, I don't remember exactly why now, but something mother did while laying in her bedroom scared me. I didn't want to be alone when she died. Bebo left work and spent the week with me.
But that's today ... and Friday ..... and .. tomorrow is about dad. Yes, 11 years ago he was in hospice too, had been forever it seemed. And therein lies the contrast ... the house was filled with family, food came from church and family members. I was never alone. With mom .. it was Bebo and myself. No food to help us through this time, no real support. Don't get me wrong .. Cathie was in a nursing home and David was in Missouri. But still, the difference was so .. stark.
But finally, after a couple of weeks, dad passed late in the evening of October 11. I'll never forget my cousin Theresa's face as she listened through her stethoscope. After days of waiting for the pacemaker to give out, it had happened. I can still see the funeral parlor's hearse in the driveway, a dark silhouette against the street lights. Bebo, Theresa and I stood outside for a while and watched a falling star, a fitting end to a long life. I knew my dad was happy, free from the body that had failed him, had kept him virtually a prisoner in his own home.
A snarky Faery princess, a
Scottish knight with a gambling problem, and a murderous earl all add up to one
thing: Trouble. Maggie’s medieval education never prepared her for life in the
I haven’t had the opportunity to read this book, but I had
the privilege of seeing portions while it was being written – enough to have developed a love for it. I found the characters engaging, the
storyline interesting and sprinkled with humor (a must in order to be on my
“must read” list). So I was delighted
when Michelle Miles agreed to join us again today to talk about her recent
So Michelle, tell us a bit about One Knight Only.
Maggie is a modern day woman who is thrust back in time to
the mid-1300s into the bed of a very hot Scotsman, Sir Finian. She’s tasked
with keeping Finn alive at a jousting tournament by a snotty Faery princess in
order to get back to her time. Only, things never really go as planned once
she’s back in the Middle Ages. There’s jousting, chivalry, knights in shining
armor, faeries, medieval swearing, gambling, magic, romance, and an evil earl.
How did you come up with this plotline?
It was a long time coming. I actually started the book in
2005 as a straight historical romance. I knew I wanted to set it during the
Middle Ages at a jousting tournament but the storyline never quite jelled. I
stopped writing. A few years later, I picked it back up again, rewrote the
beginning and decided it was a time travel and there were faeries involved and
eventually the story came together. Once I figured out the story, I wrote it in
a couple of months and sold it in a week. That was a great feeling.
What compelled you to pick it back up?
I love jousts and the Middle Ages. There is something
romantic about it for me. I really wanted to finish the story, especially since
it is set during a jousting tournament. Even though I hadn’t been working on
it, it had always been on the back-burner as a project I really wanted to
finish. I picked it up again in 2008 and that’s when I changed it from straight
historical to paranormal. I added the time travel element and the Faery
princess. But it would still be two more years before the first draft was
Will there be a sequel?
Yes! The second book will be Elyne’s and Derron’s (the two
Fae characters) story. At the end of the first book, Elyne is in some pretty
hot water with her mother, the Queen of Faery. She’s used magic in the human
realm which is against Fae Law and now she has to answer for her crimes.
What’s your favorite scene?
There are so many! I think one of my favorite parts is when
Maggie actually jousts for Finn. You’ll have to read the book to see how she
gets into that predicament. ;) But there are a lot of other scenes that I love.
Here is one of my favorites:
“Show off,” Elyne
“You know him?” Maggie
nodded in Sir Derron’s direction.
“Oh aye. I know him
Glancing at her,
Maggie could see the angry lines creasing her forehead. Angry lines? Or concerned
lines? Maggie couldn’t decide which. Sir Derron caught her gaze then, flashed a
bright smile and dismounted the horse, surrendering it to his young squire.
“I see you decided to
make an appearance,” he greeted, bowing with a flourish to Elyne. “I’m truly
honored by your presence.” Dimples framed his mouth as he gave her a crooked
“You endanger yourself
here and you know it.”
“Ah, but what other
time can I practice my skills than at tourney?”
“You don’t need to
practice any skills. You should be—” She paused, giving Maggie a sidelong
glance. “You know where you should be.”
“Court is so boring.”
Derron yawned to prove his point. “Why should I waste my time lounging around
there with those hangers-on who want nothing but to serve, serve, serve. It
makes me weary. And don’t get me started on all the bores in the rest of the
“It’s your duty.” Fire
flashed in Elyne’s eyes as she bit out her curt words.
Maggie watched the
verbal volley between the two, trying to deduce exactly who Derron Chevalier
was to Elyne. Clearly, he was a Fae of some importance. And Maggie knew Elyne
was a princess. Was he related to her somehow? They argued as if they’d been
together a long while.
“Humans are much more
Was Derron Chevalier a
Fae royal? Could it be possible? Maggie had lived nearly twenty-six years not
believing in faeries and yet in a fortnight she’d met two.
Derron turned to
Maggie then, upping the charm. “Mine eyes hath seen nothing as bonny as you,
fair maiden, so pray forgive my rudeness.” He bowed low. “May I ask your name?”
“Lady Margaret.” Elyne
answered before Maggie could. Her gaze clawed him like talons. “And she’s none
of your concern.”
Clearly unflustered by
the irate princess, Derron took Maggie’s hand, kissed it with warm lips soft as
velvet. His touch sent a wave of desire right through her, shaking her to her
soul. “The pleasure is mine, Lady Margaret.”
Oh, she had a thousand
and one questions to ask the man. She had to know everything about him. She
wanted to know how he managed to win so many tournaments without so much as an
injury. Was it because he was a Fae he cheated death? How many hours did he
practice? What made him so good? If he was Fae, did he have magic like Elyne?
Did he use it to make him a god in the lists?
“I’m delighted to make
your acquaintance, Sir Derron.”
Still holding her hand
in his, he chuckled. It was a deep sound, rumbling around in a broad chest.
“Shouldn’t you be
getting ready for the banquet?” Elyne ripped out her words impatiently.
“All in good time,
dear Elyne. First I intend to get to know Lady Margaret.” He tucked her hand in
Standing so close to
him, Maggie sensed something very ancient and otherworldly about him. It had to
be the Fae in him. Even so, her knees nearly buckled at the thought of spending
time, alone, with her idol. What could she learn? How she wished she had a mini
Still ignoring Elyne,
he said, “Will you be attending banquet tonight, Lady Margaret?”
She blushed, lowering
her gaze to the ground as a delicious shudder tingled her spine. “I will, sir
“Then yes, I should
make my way posthaste to my tent and begin preparing to meet you again.”
“Stop using your Fae
charms on her,” Elyne demanded.
He blinked, feigning
innocence, and Maggie suddenly realized that’s why she felt so weak and
lightheaded. He was doing something to her, on purpose.
The big booming voice
sounded through the practice field, turning heads. Derron kept his grasp firm
on Maggie’s arm, meeting Finn’s feral gaze as he charged across the field,
sword in his hand gleaming in the afternoon light.
“Uh oh,” Maggie
“You’re not kidding,”
Finn stopped, pointed
the sword a mere inch from Derron’s face. “Release her.”
“I don’t think she
really wants to be released.” Derron offered Maggie an arresting smile, pulling
her closer. His ancient, spicy scent pressed into her, making her head spin.
“I said, let the lass
“And then what? You’ll
take her under your protective wing?” Derron laughed. “Much like you did Lady
“Oh, here we go.”
Elyne rolled her eyes.
Maggie gasped. The
last person she’d want to make angry was Finn. He was the only one who could
keep her safe in this wretched place after all. She tried to pull free.
“Really, I should probably go—”
“Now, why would you do
that, Lady Margaret, when we’re just getting to know each other so well? You
don’t want to go with this brute of a man, do you?” Derron wasn’t even bothered
by the sword point in his face.
Oh, love it!
Will One Knight Only
be available in print at some point?
The publisher decides what books go to print, but I’m told
it meets length requirements so hopefully it will. You’ll be the first to know.
Aww the arrival of fall .. how wonderful these last couple
of days have been.I didn’t have to turn
on the a/c on Friday or today .. just had the windows open all day.My regular readers know that I hate summer ..
actually, if summer had an average high of 72, I’d love it.So let’s just say that I hate heat.I really have mood fluctuations depending
upon the time of the year, but it’s not the normal SAD that everyone is familiar
with.SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder
is normally referred to as the winter-time blues.It’s said that the body needs a certain
amount of sunlight in order to function properly.But there is a lesser known side of SAD –
those who become depressed during the summer months.Yes, me.In fact, I’ve read some recent literature indicating a relationship
between bipolar and SAD, which is interesting to me since I am bipolar.In the summer, my windows are closed up
tight, blinds closed, heavy curtains drawn.My rooms are dark, or as dark as I can get them.But in the cooler months, I love to have the
windows, blinds and curtains wide open.F
So what about you?Are you a Spring/Summer person or a Fall/Winter?
So it's groaner Friday instead .. these are a few email funnies that I've been holding onto for just such a day. What day? The "I don't have anything else to post" day, that's what.
When asked by a young patrol officer "Do You know you were speeding?" This 83-year-old woman gave the young officer an ear to ear smile and stated: "Yes , but .... I had to get there before I forgot where I was going." The officer put his ticket book away and bid her good day. Makes perfectly good sense to me.
And finally .....
MURDER AT WHOLE FOODS Tired of constantly being broke & stuck in an
unhappy marriage, a young husband decided to solve both problems by taking out
a large insurance policy on his wife with himself as the beneficiary, and then
arranging to have her killed.
A 'friend of a friend' put him in touch with a
nefarious dark-side underworld figure who went by the name of 'Artie.' Artie
explained to the husband that his going price for
snuffing out a spouse was $5,000. The husband said he was willing to pay that amount,
but that he wouldn't have any cash on hand until he could collect his wife's
insurance money. Artie insisted on being paid at least something up front, so
the man opened his wallet, displaying the single dollar bill that
rested inside.Artie sighed, rolled his eyes, & reluctantly agreed
to accept the dollar as down payment for the dirty deed.
A few days later, Artie followed the man's wife to
the local Whole Foods Supermarket store. There, he surprised her in the produce
department & proceeded to strangle her with his gloved hands. As the poor
unsuspecting woman drew her last breath & slumped to the floor, the manager
of the produce department stumbled unexpectedly onto the murder scene.
Unwilling to leave any living witnesses behind, ol' Artie had no choice but to
strangle the produce manager as well.
However, unknown to Artie, the entire proceedings
were captured by the hidden security cameras & observed by the store's
security guard, who immediately called the police. Artie was caught and arrested
before he could even leave the store.Under intense questioning at the police
station, Artie revealed the whole sordid plan, including his unusual financial
arrangements with the hapless husband who was also quickly arrested. The next day in the newspaper, the headline
I figured out what my problem is with this book.My characters.When Jo Davis was at chapter the other day,
we talked about how her books are character driven as opposed to plot, and I
agreed saying so were mine.We both
agreed that if you know your characters well enough, then the book practically
writes itself as you know how your characters will react in any given
situation.Think about it.Think about the person that you know best in
your life.Then say this person is in a
traffic accident, the other person approaches the car with a menacing look on
their face .. how would this person react?How about if someone told you that they were planning a surprise party
for this person – how would they react to that?If you know someone well enough, you can pretty much figure out how they
will react to anything.And that’s the
problem. I don’t know my characters that well.Normally when I write a book, I have the characters “picked out” (i.e.
magazine photos, etc.), their names and all of that chit.This one hit me without all of that and I
just started typing.Do you know that
I’m really not sure what Casey, my heroine, even looks like?I think she’s a blue-eyed blond, but I’m not
sure.Nick, my hero, is Hugh Jackman ..
that’s a given.
The only other character
I’m sure about is a secondary character named Jit, who is portrayed by Michael
Recently I decided on my H/H for
the next book – Deacon and Halley – and I know that he’s Josh Holloway.
But that’s pretty much it.
I need to sit down and sketch them out.I need to find Casey.I need to .. yeah, I got work to do.
This week marks the end of All My Children (possible reincarnation on web aside). While I haven’t watched the show in years, I do mourn its passing. Or maybe I mourn the passing of a genre. After One Life to Live leaves, there will only be 4 soups on television. Four? I remember when they ruled the daytime airwaves. And now they are almost all gone. I don’t like it .. I don’t like the replacement of actors with hosts any more than I like the replacement of checkers with those grocery store self check-out lines. A lot more people lose their jobs when a soap leaves than are given jobs with the creation of a talk show. Just saying. I love Anderson Cooper, but I have no intention of watching his show, or The Chew (what a name?), merely on quiet protest, not like they’ll notice.
But back to the point. All My Children. Once upon the time I watched ABC soaps religiously .. started with Ryan’s Hope and ended the day with Edge of Night. I laughed at Delia, rooted for Joe/Mary; loved Greg/Jenny; went through the ringer with Karen; was appalled and then fell in love with a man named Luke. (sorry Edge of Night, only remember Lori Loughlin was on it.) Soaps were .. in a strange way … romances novels. Or more like love stories – because they weren’t happily ever after, which is why I quit watching them, but that’s another blog. All My Children gave us Kim Delaney, Josh Duhamel, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Lauren Holly, Eva LaRue, Jesse McCartney, Kelly Ripa, Laura San Giacomo and Christian Slater, among others.
All My Children meant more than Greg and Jenny, it was Erica and her many husbands, the endearing love of Joe and Ruth Martin (whose portrayer, Mary Fickett, passed away a few days ago), Tad the Cad. It was the first soap that took on abortion, birth control and lesbian relationships, among others. Agnes Nixon opened the door to many previously taboo subjects and made AMC one of the hits of an era, an era I’m sorry to say is ending. Some blame OJ (audiences never did pick up after this trial knocked soaps off for weeks), some blame boredom – regurgitated stories or storylines that went too far over the edge. I quit because I was tired of rooting for the hero/heroine to only have they ripped apart sometimes the day after the much rooted for “kiss” “wedding” “reunion” – you name it.
This week is All My Children’s last week. I wish I wasn’t working; I would love to watch it. I understand that each day will be a tribute to something – like the weddings through the years – Wednesday will be a tribute to Mary Fickett’s Ruth Martin. I’ll be watching on Friday though .. to say my goodbye to a once loved show.
Thanks Susan. Arthritis kept me from blogging for Wednesday .. cold front came through Wednesday night and I woke up Thursday morning sneezing my head off, nose dripping, head has the wooley feeling ... cheekbones a bit achy. So I'm sitting down with some chicken noodle soup and then probably a nap. But I couldn't let Funny Friday go by without something to giggle at. Have a great weekend everyone!!
I know this is Me Monday, but bear with me because at the end you’ll see that this is about me. I have a special guest today who is here to talk about a wonderful project. Michelle Miles is not only a chapter mate, but she is one of the authors in a new anthology out today called Entangled. Please welcome Michelle to the road.
Hi and welcome to the road, watch out there are some wild drivers out here. I want to start out by you telling us what Entangled is about and what makes it special.
Thanks for having me! I’m really happy to be here to talk about this amazing anthology. I’m so honored to be in such great company.
Entangled is a paranormal anthology by Authors4theCure, eleven authors banding together that include award-winning, USA Today and New York Times bestselling authors, as well as two breast cancer survivors. We are donating proceeds from the sale of the anthology to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).
BCRF-funded research has helped save lives and improved the quality of care and rate of survival for tens of thousands of breast cancer patients in the past decade. Their research has revealed that the "cure" is a mosaic made up of as many approaches to diagnosing, treating, preventing and surviving as there are different types of breast cancer. The anthology is also a mosaic made up of many stories donated for this worthwhile cause.
The anthology includes me, Lori Brighton, Michelle Diener, Cynthia Eden, Jennifer Estep, Misty Evans, Nancy Haddock, Liz Kreger, Dale Mayer, and Edie Ramer, plus a novella by Allison Brennan. Stacia Kane contributed the foreword and the book’s formatting and cover art were also donated to the project.
How did you get involved with this book?
My very good friend and awesome writer, Misty Evans, invited me to participate in the anthology. When she described it to me and what the proceeds would benefit, I knew it was something I wanted to be involved in. Cancer has affected my family personally. If there’s a way to stop this ugly disease from affecting lives and devastating families, I want to help fight it. This is a great way to do that.
Was there a certain criteria for the stories? Like, did they have to have a connecting theme?
Yes, all of them were to be under 10,000 words and have a paranormal/Halloween theme. I think you’ll find there’s something for everyone in this anthology.
What is the name of your story and how did you come up with the idea?
My story is Sinfully Sweet and it’s about a witch on the run and a sexy half-demon/half-witch come to warn her that she’s in danger. I’ve never done a witch story before so I thought this would be a lot of fun. As for the idea, I’d been brewing (no pun) an idea for a magic bakery and kicked around some ideas for it with Misty. Chloe’s Sugar Mamma’s Bakery was born.
Here’s the blurb:
When Chloe bakes a little magic into her pastries, she attracts the attention of Edward, the sexy half-demon, half-witch, who’s come to warn her that those who murdered her sister are now after her.
Thank you for coming by today, Michelle. Now get back to writing my book.
LOL You’re welcome! And, again I say, you’re such a slave driver! :)
About me? I want you to buy this book. If you can’t buy it, I want you to promote the hell out of it. Why? This book is for me. This book is for my mother’s sisters Alice and Golda who won. This book is for her niece Martha who won. This book is for my dad’s sister Ruth who won. It’s for his niece Sharon who won.
This book is for my father’s sister Evelyn …. who lost. And most importantly, for mom’s niece Beth who is fighting it as we speak.
This book is for me …. It is to help prevent any more breast cancer in my family.
We do not know each other, but you are the only person I sent this letter with hope to get a positive and sincere response, in order to go into a deal that would bring life fortune to both of us. (you want sincere from me?)
I am Barrister Richard Thomas Group of advocates, a solicitor. (you can say that again) I was the personal attorney to late Engr. Overtrump, who was a Contractor and has spent most of his life in my country (London & Spain). (London and Spain is one country now? Wow!!) On the 20th of August 2008, Overtrump, his wife Maria, and their only son Pedro, were involved in a plane crash by which the all occupants of the plane unfortunately perished. (Why isn’t there ever a fortunate perishing?) (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/madrid ). Since then I have made several enquiries in the France Embassy (Is France the new capital of London/Spain? And is the country called Lain? Spondon?) to locate any of my clients extended relatives (I’m way beyond extended) but all efforts was unsuccessful. After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to contact you (‘cuz Lord knows I’m not successful) and solicit for your assistance as a foreigner (Hey! Who you calling a foreigner, you foreigner) to execute the claim of his cash deposits with Natwest Bank London.
I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the assets and Capital valued at US$20.5million left behind by my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable (I hate being unserviceable) by the bank in London where these huge deposits was lodged. The said bank has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have the account confiscated within the next two months.
Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 2 years now, I seek the consent to present you as the Next of kin to the deceased (You mean, commit fraud?) since you share a common last name, (You don’t know my last name, you don’t even know my gender .. so there) so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to you. The request of a foreigner as the next of kin in this transaction is occasioned by the fact that my client was a foreigner (Yeah, he was from Splondon) and the money cannot be paid into a local bank here, so it will be better for you to stand as the next of kin to my client. (I’d rather sit, thank you) Therefore, on receipt of your positive response, we shall then discuss the sharing ratio and modalities for transfer. I have all necessary information and legal documents needed to back you up for claim.
All I require from you is your honest cooperation (Me? Oh yeah, someone has to be the honest one) to enable us see this transaction through. I guarantee that this will be executed (executed is right) under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Please reply via e-mail; (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call +447024098461
Barr. Richard Thomas
Dear Richard Thomas,
How are the rest of the Waltons? I sure do miss your wonderful good nights.
I’m sorry, but because of relations with past foreign relations, I can not relate to you. This has been made mandatory by the officials (Bud and Ernie) of Mymindland. Mymindland does not, nor ever will have relations, foreign or domestic, with the country of Splondon. We find you insipid. And your grammar is bad too. But then I’m one to talk about that. Anyway, thank you so much for thinking about me, you have no idea how that made me feel.
Good luck with the next sucker, er, person on your foreign list. I’m sure that you will be able to locate someone soon. Have you tried California?
Eleven authors have banded together to support breast cancer research with their writing. Authors4theCure, which includes award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors, as well as two breast cancer survivors, is donating proceeds from the sale of their paranormal anthology, Entangled, to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).
Entangled includes ten suspense-filled paranormal stories from authors Lori Brighton, Michelle Diener, Cynthia Eden, Jennifer Estep, Misty Evans, Nancy Haddock, Liz Kreger, Dale Mayer, Michelle Miles, and Edie Ramer, plus a novella by Allison Brennan. Stacia Kane contributed the foreword and the book’s formatting and cover art were also donated to the project.
There are wildfires all over N. Texas, another 2 lives were lost over the weekend because of them. A customer's dog ran into her back yard and broke its leg (don't know if male/female) when it fell into a crack that had opened up over night - from the lack of rain. Tropical Storm Lee missed us, bringing us cooler weather (but still dry) but no rain. In fact, according to the weatherornotman, T.S. Lee took the moisture we were going to have. A tropical storm stole our rain? Figures.
But .. it is cooler. For that I'm quite happy, thank you!
So this is Monday Me … yeehaw! I haven’t been doing much, bugging folks on Twitter while I tried to take my mind off of Irene. I have friends who have been affected by this storm; one in SC that I still haven’t heard from. I worry, and when I worry I don’t focus very well. Even with the medication it’s hard to keep the bipolar under control when I’m like this. So I flit from thing to thing like a hummingbird, except I’m bigger. But I have discovered a couple of things:
1. There is no great site on the internet to watch streams of storm coverage except the Weather Channel, and that has lousy audio. No, really. Tried to watch it at work on Saturday and could barely hear it even with the volume at max. Slightly better at home with my exterior speakers, but still not fantastic. They need to fix that.
2. And I forget what number two was ….
I blame that entirely on the heat. 106 today (at DFW airport, 107 according to weatherbug), I think I saw Brendan Frasier and a camel walk by …. The weatherornotguys keep saying it’ll be better in September. Well let me tell you … Thursday is September and it’ll still be triple digits. I’m not impressed ….
Oh wait, I remember what number 2 was .. oh wait, no, that wasn’t it.
And then, my chapter newsletter was eaten by my computer. Had everything but 2 pages done, just cut and paste stuff. Went to open it tonight to slip it in and … it wasn’t there. Not even in my recent documents. *knocks head on desk*
Full circle now, I’m thankful that my friends are safe (I just now heard from the one in SC), that even though there are 20 dead – I’m thankful it wasn’t more, it had that potential. Property can be replaced. I’m thankful that shelters learned a lesson from Katrina and allowed pets. That’s why a lot of people died back then; they wouldn’t leave their pets behind. I wouldn’t have. With every tragedy there are lessons learned. I’ve already heard people complaining about the “hype” when the storm fizzled out at NYC – and your point is? At the time there wasn’t anything else they could do. Should they have waited until it hit land, went through NC then hit Virginia before deciding whether or not people should evacuate? Doesn’t work that way. Sorry. One little turn, a few more mph on the gusts and things would have been different. I’m glad that NYC and others landed on the side of caution, it was the prudent thing to do. These same gripers would have been screaming their heads off if this stuff hadn’t been done and the storm hit as predicted. You can never please everyone.
Have a great week everyone! Hug your loved ones, shoot – hug your enemies, it’ll piss them off.
For those who don’t know it, I work in a bookstore. Its hard work, shelving, alphabetizing, up and down on step-ladders, etc. But every once in a while, okay almost every day, someone on the other side of the counter/phone will make it both worthwhile and frustrating. Hence, things my customers tell me.
Up and coming authors (if you can’t figure out who they are, check the bottom of the post – and yes, some are repeats, I’m not digging out old posts to see what I’ve done already):
Linda Lying Miller
The Murdering Doves
The Angry Grapes
The Little ‘Ol Men See
The Stookie Stackedhouse books
Words we don’t want to hear again:
And now, the customers:
“Paperbacks Plus in Mesquite, may I help you?”
“Is this Paperbacks Plus?”
(Is there an echo?)
“Yes, may I help you?
“Do you have the phone number for Half Price?”
(Do you have a short pier you can walk off of?)
“I’m looking for a book”
(been there, done that, have the straight jacket to prove it) “And the book is?”
“I don’t remember the name of the book, but the author is that lady who wrote that other book that was made into a movie …”
(Oh her, we don’t carry her books, she’s a snob)
“Can we rent the magazines”
(Yes, for a $40 deposit)
“Paperbacks Plus in Mesquite, may I help you?”
“Do you carry that paper for the computer that has the border on it?”
“No, we’re a used bookstore.”
“What’s the plus for?”
“DVD’s, hardbacks, magazines, CD’s”
“Well that’s a stupid name”
(and your mom dresses you funny)
“I’m looking for a book …”
(OMG not you again!!)
Linda Lael Miller
To Kill A Mockingbird
The Grapes of Wrath
The Old Man and the Sea
Did you know that 3 billion devices run Java*? Yeah, didn’t think so .. I’m just a load of information. Trouble is none of it applies to blog posts. And least of all this blog post. I have blog block.. from now on referred to as BB. There’s really no cure for BB except to type. Does it have to make sense? Only if you want anyone to read beyond the Java line. (psssst, am I still making sense?) Wednesday’s post is supposed to be about the craft of writing. I did do some writing on Monday – almost 2k worth. But it was a struggle. This is one area that I didn’t think about cigarettes and their role in my life. I’ve come up with some of my most creative pieces of writing while puffing on a cig. Whenever I can’t think of what comes next, I’d pull one out of a pack, take a few puffs & think. Couldn’t do that on Monday. I had nothing to use as my creative, well “crutch” for lack of a better word. Tried M&M’s, but, while satisfying in many ways, it’s hard to put a piece of candy in my mouth and contemplate while it slowly melts, the way I could while watching a stream of smoke whiff through the air. Ohh, maybe I should try Skittles and watch the rainbow? On second thought, that would distract me too much. Hey look! A blog post!!!
My question to you writers out there … when you need to stop and think, what do you do while thinking?
*actual words that popped up while loading update of Java ... Bailey's mind isn't that sharp ....
Who me? Um, around. Okay, I’ve been on Facebook. Sue me. For the last couple of years I’ve been hiding in Yoville, Farmtown, Farmville, Petville, Mallworld and whatever other app I could get into. Hiding. Instead of writing about a better world, I’ve been living in la la land on Facebook. Much easier that way. No really. The last couple of years I’ve been decorating homes when I can’t afford to in real life. I’ve been buying mansions too. I even own a cave somewhere. Oh, and not just me either. My other me. And my cats. Yes, my cats are on Facebook, they have more friends than I do and their friends talk to them.. a lot. How’s that for pathetic? My cats are more popular than I am. You may have seen some of their friends; they show up in my comments from time to time. Not to talk to me of course, they’re looking for my cats. And no, you can’t be their friends .. you’ll be talking to them more than me.
This week begins the second stage of the comeback of Bailey Stewart. I start writing. Why now? I belong to this loop – the Write-Now loop – and it’s starting up again on Monday. We get a certain number of words to meet or pages to revise – a day. So, I go back to writing. I think it’ll be revising on Monday though because I have to go back over the ol’ WIP – Casey at Bat. I don’t remember a lot about it. Probably need to do some sort of outline too. But anyway, this isn’t the writing post, so enough of that.
And lastly, I’ve been quitting smoking. This Thursday will be 4 weeks since I took a drag off of the e-cigarette, almost 6 weeks since my last cancer stick. It’s been so easy that it’s almost scary. Sort of waiting for that shoe to drop. When I got lost on my last drive to writers group, I didn’t take a drag off of the e-cig at all .. and it was right there in front of me.
So that’s where I’ve been since this blog was active. No where interesting .. now, where have you been??
Like many, I am of the opinion that you can’t teach “voice”. You either have it or you don’t. What I do believe, however, is that you can teach a person how to 1) find their voice; and 2) how to enhance it.
Voice, as I’ve said before, is that part of your writing that separates you from other writers. The turn of a phrase, choice of words or witty schizophrenic story twists that are uniquely your own. It’s the part of your writing that identifies you to the reader. I struggled for the longest time with my voice. First, I wanted to write John Jakes/Roberta Gellis multigenerational family sagas. Yeah, I wanted Betsy Sue to marry the grandson of Bobby Joe, you know, the hero from the first book? But alas, that wasn’t me. So who was I? What voice was mine? I love action adventure type books and movies. I’d pick “Transformers” over “While You Were Sleeping” just about any day. So of course – I’ll write romantic suspense. Simple really, don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. Ergo, I launched my second career as the author of romantic suspense novels … NOT! Put on the brakes, hold back those horses, we ain’t going no where on this one. I’m not a romantic suspense writer. But I have stories to tell! The voices in my head tell me this nearly every day. But what? I have a voice (yes, other than the ones in my head), but I didn’t know what it was, and I didn’t have a clue as to how to find it. So I wrote blogs. I commented on blogs. And slowly, something began to emerge, something that was quite unexpected to me. No, not that … but rather that I’m a comedian. I write romantic comedies. I have a voice and it’s funny, just ask me. Writing this blog helped me discover what my voice is, and your feedback through these years, dear readers, has helped it to evolve. Whenever I couldn’t think of a topic to blog about, when I would just go off on some weird tangent, you were there with me. And you laughed.
So it’s simple. To discover what your voice is, write. Even if it’s little doodle type writing, or mindless scribbling. You’ll discover as time goes on that a certain style will begin to emerge …. that is your voice. Not the one in your head .. which we’ll discuss at some other time.
Speaking of that .. Friday is humor day so you get to pick. Bud and Ernie (for new comers, they are the voices in my head); things my customers say or Spam. Top vote gets it.
I've come to the decision that everything in my life is connected in one way or another. Now don't just sit there and say .. "well duh". Let me explain. But then again, short of leaving this page how can you stop me from explaining ..?? When mom died a lot of things inside me began to shut down. It wasn't an immediate reaction, but more like the beginning of a dam with the water slowly trickling to nothing. A couple of years later, I'd virtually stopped reading. Writing was sporadic but I still kept up appearances. Bailey Stewart was everywhere ... but inside, Bailey Stewart was running. Then I cut off the last of the .. connections. What am I talking about? The things that keep a writer going, the stuff that feeds the imagination. Reading, writing, blogging, talking to other authors. Those were the things that fed me ... and they were the things I had stopped doing.
So what to do about it? I'm slowly mending those connections. I'm reading again. I'm talking/participating/networking or whatever term you want to give it. And I'm here, talking to you. It's all about connections, keeping those intact so that the muses can play.
You are a fundamental connection .. and I've missed you.
ATTENTION: Friend (guess that's better than sir/madam)
I am BRIGADIER GENERAL NANA TENNYSON of the Presidential Special Initiative. (Any relationship to the IMF?) I am mailing you in respect, of the present development going on here in my country GHANA. (ohhh, got thrown out of Nigeria huh?)
I decided to contact you, after much investigation which was carried out by the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) and the Ghana Police Service, to make sure our country is free of these fraudulent activities, which is going on here in Africa and for our country to bear a good name. (ooooo you like commas too! Commas are my friend)
The Airport Authority detected some trunk boxes after been scanned the authorities detected that the boxes contains funds on your name and email that has been tempered on, they were been smuggled into the country by foreign Personnel who were on transit from London. (My email was tampered on?? That sounds kinda kinky)
These men were trying to enter the country with the trunk boxes, when the airport authority detected that these boxes contains, some huge amount of United State Dollars. After much investigation we found out that these men were among those men, spoiling the good name of Africa. (These men were among those men, but not among the other men?)
They opened up to us that, they actually work with a Lotto company before their dismissal and used the opportunity to perpetuate their crimes, they told us that the funds inside the boxes was won by you, but now they planned to turn back on you and decided to take the money all to themselves out of the country. We later found out on the investigation that was carried that, these men are truly members of a well established organization to act on their criminal activities. (They were going to turn back on me?? Ohhhh, they really were among those men ...)
As I write you this mail now, the three(3) men that were caught are now in the custody of the Ghana Police Service over here in our country Ghana, (where else would the Ghana Police Service be?) while we are trying to track the others left, because hey have proved to us that they belong to one organization. (Hey!) That is why we have to reach you by your mail address and name that was tagged the boxes, so we can make the arrangement on the transfer of the funds to your designation. (So, the boxes were addressed to me with the address of my email??? Some mail service you have there, we're lucky if things are sent to us with the actual mail address.)
Your urgent response will be very much appreciated as soon as you have received this email.Thank you for your kind attention, for us to make sure our beloved country Ghana, bears a good name. (Try Gentle Ben, he was a good bear)
Please in your reply include your A: FULL NAMES (I only have one) B: ADDRESS (Don't need it, your postal service can send me stuff through my email address) C: DIRECT CONTACT PHONE NUMBER (I'll get my secretary on that) D: SCANNED COPY OF YOUR INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT OR ANY RELEVANT IDENTIFICATION PASSPORT. (Oh no! I can't use my scanner!!!!! Dang it!)
As this information will be required, by the authorities in Ghana to draft the new change of ownership in your name as the rightful owner of the funds in our custody and also to verify the information given to us because the documentations covering the boxes have been tampered on. (Tampered on ... is that like tinkled on 'cuz if it is then I don't want it .. thank you)
Regards, BRIGADIER GENERAL NANA TENNYSON (So I guess your army doesn't have anything better to do than to contact folks that have been tampered on ....)
I know, I know ... where have I been? Um, busy? No, that's not right. Absentmindness land? Yeah, that's more like it. I'd think about posting while I was doing something else, but then I'd forget after I was done ... complete into-my-head-out-my-ear-syndrome. I'm just not into the routine yet ... but hey, I'm here now aren't I? Sort of. I'm actually getting ready for work, which means I don't have a lot of time to create some witty, exceptionally profound blog ... only this lame excuse for filling space, or making you read something. Sorry - you're going to get to the end of this and wonder .. what???? Gotcha! Ever watch Seinfeld? Okay, so I haven't either, but I often heard it described as a show about nothing. Well, you've just been "Seinfelded" ... a blog about nothing. Except rambling. My style.
So, on Monday I meant to leave you some Valentine's Day (eye)Candy ... maybe we'll just make it Hump Day Love instead. Enjoy. And don't drool on your keyboard, it'll be messy.
Super Bowl ads that is ... I'm sorry, with very few exceptions, this years group didn't impress me much. Some retreads of past commercials, same themes but with little twists; others that fell flat; big stars in abysmal commercials. Where are those great ads of yesteryear?? So, forget about the majority of last nights snoozefests .... here are some great ones. Thank you YouTube, for the memories .....
For anyone new to my blog (anyone?), I work in a bookstore and these are the things that really happen there.
Two gentlemen come into the store. My co-worker and I are busy, so I just keep an ear out in case they need help.
"so how do you find anything?" "oh look, it says alphabetical by author, so let's start here"
To co-worker "You'd better go check them out, they're in the psychology/self-help section"
Overhearing co-worker "Who are you looking for"
Yeah, we keep him in psychology ... Doesn't everyone?
"How are the books shelved" the customer asks me. "Alphabetical by author within their genre". "By first or last name?" For today only, we have put them by the author's first name. You'll find Michael Connolly, Michael Palmer and Michael Crichton all together; same with John Connelly, John Grisham, John Sandford .........
Saturday, July 3 ..... Customer enters store where I and two co-workers, along with a smattering of customers are gathered in the front. She walks up to one co-worker at the front counter. "Are you open today?" No comment from the peanut gallery ... except for the fact that she was blonde and was looking for a book on how to increase your brain power. Honest ....
Young girl barely out of tweens, texting the entire time while with mother. Up at the counter as mom checks out ... looks up suddenly as if she's just noticed where she was. "We have to pay for these?" Look below ...
"Can we just borrow the magazines?"
No, we don't charge. In fact, the payroll fairy hands us money from our non-sales.
"What do you mean we have to pay something? Doesn't our credit cover the entire bill?" Yeah, the phone company/electric company loves it when we pay our bills in books .....
"I'm looking for a book." Oh oh, I've heard this one before. "yes?" "I can't remember the author" Yeah, she/he writes a lot of books. "Do you remember the title of the book?" "No, but it's a romance" Uh uh, done this, been there ... got the headache to prove it.
"Where do you keep your historical romances?" "In the romance section." Blank stare "All of our romances are shelved together ... we don't seperate the contemporary romances from the historical ones" Another blank stare ..... yeah, I was lying, we do .. and in the mysteries, we divide them by courtroom dramas, medical mysteries, coroner's, police, animals who solve mysteries ........
As I'm recovering from the flu, once again Bebo has saved Friday Funnies. Enjoy. Oh, and I'm feeling better, mind is still a bit fuzzy and I tire easily.
ONLY A MAN WOULD ATTEMPT THIS
Just try reading this without laughing till you cry!!!
Pocket Tazer Stun Gun, a great gift for the wife... A guy who purchased his lovely wife a pocket Tazer for their anniversary submitted this:
Last weekend I saw something at Larry's Pistol & Pawn Shop that sparked my interest...
The occasion was our 15th anniversary and I was looking for a little something extra for my wife Julie. What I came across was a 100,000-volt, pocket/purse- sized tazer stun gun.
The effects of the tazer were supposed to be short lived, with no long-term adverse affect on your assailant, allowing her adequate time to retreat to safety....??
WAY TOO COOL! Long story short, I bought the device and brought it home.
loaded two AAA batteries in the darn thing and pushed the button. Nothing! I was disappointed. I learned, however, that if I pushed the button and pressed it against a metal surface at the same time, I'd get the blue arc of electricity darting back and forth between the prongs.
Unfortunately, I have yet to explain to Julie what that burn spot is on the face of her microwave. Okay, so I was home alone with this new toy, thinking to myself that it couldn't be all that bad with only two AAA batteries, right?
There I sat in my recliner, my cat Gracie looking on intently (trusting little soul)while I was reading the directions and thinking that I really needed to try this thing out on a flesh & blood moving target.
I must admit I thought about zapping Gracie (for a fraction of a second) and then thought better of it. She is such a sweet cat. But, if I was going to give this thing to my wife to protect herself against a mugger, I did want some assurance that it would work as advertised. Am I wrong?
So, there I sat in a pair of shorts and a tank top with my reading glasses perched delicately on the bridge of my nose, directions in one hand, and tazer in another.
The directions said that a one-second burst would shock and disorient your assailant; a two-second burst was supposed to cause muscle spasms and a major loss of bodily control; and a three-second burst would purportedly make your assailant flop on the ground like a fish out of water. Any burst longer than three seconds would be wasting the batteries.
All the while I'm looking at this little device measuring about 5" long, less than 3/4 inch in circumference (loaded with two itsy, bitsy AAA batteries); pretty cute really, and thinking to myself, 'no possible way!'
What happened next is almost beyond description, but I'll do my best ....
I'm sitting there alone, Gracie looking on with her head cocked to one side so as to say, 'Don't do it stupid,' reasoning that a one second burst from such a tiny lil ole thing couldn't hurt all that bad. I decided to give myself a one second burst just for heck of it. I touched the prongs to my naked thigh, pushed the button, and ...
HOLY MOTHER OF.. . WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION . . . WHAT THE .....!!!
I'm pretty sure Hulk Hogan ran in through the side door, picked me up in the recliner, then body slammed us both on the carpet, over and over and over again. I vaguely recall waking up on my side in the fetal position, with tears in my eyes, body soaking wet, both nipples on fire, testicles nowhere to be found, with my left arm tucked under my body in the oddest position, and tingling in my legs!
The cat was making meowing sounds I had never heard before, clinging to a picture frame hanging above the fireplace, obviously in an attempt to avoid getting slammed by my body flopping all over the living room.
Note: If you ever feel compelled to 'mug' yourself with a tazer, one note of caution: there is NO such thing as a one second burst when you zap yourself! You will not let go of that thing until it is dislodged from your hand by a violent thrashing about on the floor! A three second burst would be considered conservative!
A minute or so later (I can't be sure, as time was a relative thing at that point), I collected my wits (what little I had left), sat up and surveyed the landscape.
My bent reading glasses were on the mantel of the fireplace. The recliner was upside down and about 8 feet or so from where it originally was. My triceps, right thigh and both nipples were still twitching. My face felt like it had been shot up with Novocain, and my bottom lip weighed 88 lbs.. I had no control over the drooling. Apparently I had crapped in my shorts, but was too numb to know for sure, and my sense of smell was gone. I saw a faint smoke cloud above my head, which I believe came from my hair. I'm still looking for my testicles and I'm offering a significant reward for their safe return!
P.s... My wife can't stop laughing about my experience, loved the gift and now regularly threatens me with it!