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Onward, to Number Three!

female-writer-typewriterI haven’t written an organic word in what seems forever. Editing and revising doesn’t count. Today I’m beginning the third and final book in the “Amy Series.” I’ve just got word from my loyal Beta readers that they enjoyed the second one. Which made me screech in my tracks. “Oh yeah, I better get started on the next one.”

And so I shall. Of course I have to re-read the last few chapters of the second one in order to put me back in the story, but I took care of that this morning at six. Yes, six. A.M. I knew time was precious today, so I started early. It’s a good sign that I’ll be super exhausted when I get off from work tonight at nine. Whatever. I’m young, right? I can take the exhaustion. Certainly knowing that tomorrow is Saturday will help.

I wanted to post an excerpt from the first one that is releasing February 23. Some type of sample so you can decide if it’s your cup of tea. Seeing as not everyone enjoys the same kind of beverage. “Waking Amy” is a chick read. It deals with the ups and downs of a thirty year old girl who’s dealing with trying to salvage her declining marriage. The guy who’s coaching and helping in the mission is sort of a distraction. Taking her mind a little off the goal. Still, she tries to remain focused. Here is a sample:

My routine was off-kilter the next day. Not only wasn’t I going to work as usual, and Wesley wasn’t home like every day, but my core felt different. I barely slept the night before, replaying the moment that stood out from any other in my life. As if someone had finally found the cord and plugged me in.

Today I felt like a ripped sheet, fluttering in the wind. It was only yesterday that I had a plan. Heck, last week I thought I had a husband and a future. Nothing was a sure thing anymore. Nothing but this feeling of chronic jitters I had adopted that came from kissing Dr. Mark Reilly. Comparable to a dope addict who no longer had a fix or a way to find a fix. I was now ten steps from the direction I had started out. Turned around and still spinning. The roller coaster ride was compliments of Mark, too. I grabbed my journal next to the bed and opened it to a blank sheet. Visual evidence of why I couldn’t think of him and that kiss would have to be realized and written down.

  1. Mark Reilly has probably slept with half of the female population in the greater part of Portland, never having gone on a second date with any of them.
  2. I’m married.
  3. He’s a player. I’m his quest. I’m tomorrow’s trash in his female recycle bin.
  4. I’m married.
  5. I’m married and Wesley will be a different man when I become a different woman. We will be happy.
  6. Forget Mark Reilly. It’s only business.

Waking Amy Cover (1)

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One day down!

DAYIf I were writing a diary, it would go something like this:

Day one of “Waking Amy”–I’ve waited a long time for the progress I’ve made today. I wrote this book as a fun exercise — keeping company with a couple of people whose story got caught in my head. It’s probably the most light-hearted of all the ones I’ve written thus far. Which is probably why I would have to categorize it as chick-lit.

Anyway, today I listed it on Amazon for pre-order. Not that I think I will get any, but I had to in order to link an author page. Plus the fact, I need to have it to submit to book reviewers. Who wants to advertise a book without a link to where it can be purchased?

And so I hit submit and watched as the book appeared like magic, among the millions of other books listed for sale. It was a milestone. Something I finished. (Unlike a few things I have lingering around the house without completion dates).

I looked at the picture I uploaded of myself. I HATE having my picture taken. It’s like, “that’s really how I look? Yuk. Who can take looking at that?” If I could’ve used a generic one, I would have. Like one of those cartoon characters with the sophisticated cheekbones and scarf flying in the wind.

Then came the biography. That was tougher to write than the story itself! If I thought the picture was bad — describing my life in 200 characters was insane. Hmm…five kids, me a writer, vacations because they sound fun, and where I live. Yep, that about does it. Oh, and the dream to visit Italy one day. I hope it didn’t sound boring. Although hum-drum at times, my life is pretty fast-paced.

So that part is finished. Now, I’m going to get the book into some hands of readers for reviews; advertise on various sites, and hope for the best . Did you know that self-doubt can really kill you if you let it.

Tip for the day: I own hope, and I won’t let any of my one million negative thoughts get to it!

marye

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Feeling Sorry for the Underdog

tumblr_l9yc75zSID1qc2cblo1_500As I watched the presidential “thing” in Iowa last night, it was sad to hear the news of some of the candidates dropping out. Of course they would be silly not to with numbers in the single digits, but still….

Isn’t it sad to see someone lose? You consider all the hopes that went into whatever they were trying to achieve, only to be staring down the barrel of rejection. It’s impossible not to take it personal, if you’re in that position, but it’s the way of the world. Regardless of who I want to win, someone has to lose and it’s just sad.

When I’m watching a football game (trust me, it doesn’t happen often), I feel bad for the losers. They had just as much hope as the winners, and now they have to go home having lost.

When a new store opens and fails, I drive by with a frown, shaking my head. Not that I ever needed dried herbs or monkey beads, (that’s why I personally never paid patronage), but it’s someone’s hopes and dreams dashed.

I was raised with the philosophy that emotions were a sign of weakness. That’s probably why, for the most of my life, I was emotionless. Whatever. I didn’t care. I grew a callus over my true thoughts and went on about life. And I guess it shields you from disappointment, but doesn’t that chip away at humanity? If no one cared, what would be the gain?

So, for those that lost last night, I feel for your loss. A hope circled the drain and finally disappeared. For all the failed businesses, at least you tried. Not many can say they did even that.

With my debut book releasing this month, I sure hope I can take the bad reviews. Because let’s face it, they will happen. Books are so subjective. Someone isn’t going to like that I hooked someone up with that guy, or why did I write this way or that? But at least I finished the book and put it out there to take whatever comes. At least I’m that brave! (Wish me luck 🙂

Is it really this month that the book releases? Oh. My. Gosh. Am I really sure about this?

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Snow Threats

026c038beaaf24baa2c5742af07675d3I just got back from the grocery store … again. I’ve been three times in the last three days. No joke. I went Tuesday when the weather man was calling for 5 inches, to begin on Friday. I bought enough groceries to last until Saturday, possibly Sunday with grilled cheese sandwiches and soup for a backup. I figured by then I’d be shoveled out and back to civilization. Yesterday I heard rumors of a foot of snow. I stopped by the store and grabbed one more dinner option and a green pepper I’d forgotten to buy on Tuesday.  Last night I get information that it’s a full-blown blizzard coming, with 40 mile per hour winds, snow drifts of three feet, and possible power outages. VDOT sent a notice we wouldn’t dig out before Wednesday. I got a text from my electric company this morning to buckle down and expect the worst. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

So out I go again. This time, all the cheese and bread are missing from the shelves. Ha-ha, I’d already purchased those things on my previous visits. But, for goodness sakes, I need spaghetti noodles, and hamburger meat, and what if all we can eat is cereal? I got an extra box of that. You never know. Sadly, all that was left on the milk aisle, however, was a fat-free, lactose-free, tasteless, milk-like beverage. Only one! I grabbed it. Hopefully the marshmallows in the cereal will make up for the that large detail.

As I stood in the mile-long line, I was able to spy on what everyone else was there to buy. Why is it when they announce snow, everyone buys toilet paper? There was a display when you walked into the store with toilet paper! It was fantastically on sale, too. Does the condition of white precipitation bring about the insatiable need to poop and pee? (for lack of another descriptive word) Are they all eating bread slices and then single-filing to the bathrooms?

One woman had five frozen pizzas in her cart and two loaves of bread. That’s all. Another mom and her baby stood in line with five canisters of baby formula, diapers, paper towels, sandwich meat, and juice. Another woman and her unruly child stood in line with three six packs of Mountain Dew, four large cans of energy drinks, and fixings to make about ten salads. Hmmm.

And alas, we had the bachelor, holding a magnum beer in one hand and a pack of hotdogs in the other. I suppose he’s not thinking ahead of the toilet paper crisis. Perhaps this beer and dog will see him through it. Who knows?

All I do know is I’m ready for it. I’ve never had so much food in my cabinets and freezer. Now, I’m just hopeful the electric won’t go out. But, I have a plan if it does. My stove is propane, so we’ll cook what we need in skillets and pots, all the while warming our little behinds while it’s being prepared.

There is one thing I failed to buy, now that I’m thinking about it. Toilet paper. I hope I have enough.

 

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So much to do…

busyI can’t remember the last time I was this busy! It’s fun in a way, but overwhelming in another. I’ve had to make up a notebook to store all the things I have to do. (That was the best part! I added stickers to it; I’m such a sticker lover).

A recap if I may: Last year I spent my time writing books and editing them. I also began this blog, got a Twitter account, and an Author Facebook page. Little, baby things to prepare for when everything got released into the big world of readers!

I knew this year was coming…my debut release, my second book in the wings. But, I never knew it would come at warp speed. I have a feeling this year is going to fly by for me. Let’s not forget that I have a son graduating from high school. I’m trying to soak up the normality of life as I’ve known it for the last eighteen years. Everyone at home, everyone in the same car, at the same dinner table. Pretty soon it will all change. *wipes a tear from her eye.

This month is all about change. I’ve recently decided to fly solo on my first book release. I’m delving into the unknown–marking myself as an Indie. I’ve been inundated with information. How to promote, where to promote, who to talk to about this and who not to use for that! I’m realizing how different the business side of being an author is from the writing side. I can see how distracting it can be. I just hope I do it right. Well, at least the majority of it, correctly. We can’t learn unless we make a few mistakes, right?

Currently, I’m in the beginning of it all. Getting the final proof read, sending it off for format/print, finding reviewers, seeking promotion, finding where my child’s socks are. Oh yeah, I’ve got to do laundry, too. And that job I have as a bookkeeper? Sure, I’ll get there tomorrow some time in the morning. Can’t let people wonder where their tax forms have gone. Dinner? No problem, at all. We’ll eat tacos again. That way we get protein, vegetables, fruit (didn’t you know about tomatoes), and some dairy; I love sour cream on mine. For dessert: Twinkie a la mode. Then I’ll make certain to sign all the report cards and make sure the freezer packs are returned to the freezer. Eventually, I will get to bed. Sleeping is another story. I’ll probably lay in bed and remember everything else I forgot to do!

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You’ve Got Mail…On Friday!

You_ve_Got_Mail-575811674-largeWho doesn’t love “You’ve Got Mail”? That’s what is playing and keeping me company on this Friday morning. It’s my first day in forever that I am home alone. Even if it’s only for a few hours before going to work.

This movie is indeed a classic. My copy is so old and used that it wears coffee marks. Yet it continues to play. But come on, dial up connections? And actual brick and mortar bookstores? Both are going to be extinct one day and I fear this movie will be a “black and white” classic to my children. “Didn’t you used to watch that, Mom? Wow look, they have laptops…how old is that?” And I’ll say, “Yes, it was such a good movie. I watched it until the disk wore a hole in it.”

Anyway, this week has been CRAZY!! So many new things have happened to me. Two of which I plan to formally announce in a later post. But I did receive my cover art tease for book two, “A Reason to Stay.” It is fabulous. So cute. So flirty. I love it. I hope everyone else will. I have to come up with a blub line now, to add to it. You know, what will entice someone to actually consider reading it. No pressure there:) I’ll just procrastinate long enough until I grab an egg timer and demand my creative side of the brain to come up with it in the next five minutes, or else. It will happen, I know it. The egg timer scares my brain into fast production!

I’ve been working at my ‘old’ job this week. The one I can’t seem to ever leave and break free of. It depends on me too much. The one thing I do love about it is the people. The first two hours I return from not being there, I get to talk it up with everyone. Then the work comes…DOM, DOM, DOM. It involves paperwork, numbers, reconciliation, and tax forms. Ahh….  It’s all good. I will get to the end of the month and have all of these things completed. I’ll just go in when the place is closed, set the egg timer and get to it!

Well, back to everything I have to do this morning! I look over to my trusty movie…Tom Hanks is still being coy and Meg is still being her cute self. I always wanted her hair-do when she was doing all these movies. “French Kiss”, “When Harry Met Sally”… I’d take a picture of her to the hair stylist at least once a year, at which time I’d leave the establishment disappointed. My hair is simply too thin and too brown to pull it off. I’m slowly coming around to loving this hair that I’ve had all my life–the hair that refuses to look like any celebrity’s hair.

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Cover Reveal for WAKING AMY

weekendIt’s here, it’s here, it’s really here! I have a cover for my first book, WAKING AMY. I’m pleased as punch to introduce you to it. Tell me if you like it:)

Waking Amy Cover 12-3-15 (2)

It’s been a long time coming for sure! A couple years to be exact. It’s amazing…you write and write, re-write, and agonize monthly about plot changes, then you finally see the result everyone else will at first glance. This is Amy! Just to give you a quick snippet of her…

Amy is married to Wesley. They have an okay marriage. Nothing wild, nothing too dull. She spent most of her high school days crushing over this guy. So five years into their marriage, Amy sees he’s been a bit distracted. She’s midway into thinking of ways she can kick it up a notch when she goes home after work and finds a note that he’s leaving her…leaving the marriage. He wishes her the best but he can’t go on living the way they do. Amy is crushed to say the least. But Wesley doesn’t get too far. He wrecks a few miles out of town. The hospital calls and informs her he’s in a coma. And oddly enough Amy sees this as a God-send that she has one more chance to get it right…to channel the girl he won’t leave when he awakes. After all, she she’s the one who always shrugs off dinner with their friends and would rather stay at home watching Hallmark movies in her p.j.’s. And let’s not get into the fact she only wears cardigans and flats; black and gray to be exact.

On the journey of transforming herself, she encounters Dr. Mark Reilly; he’s Wesley’s neurologist. He’s also a complete Casanova and monogamously-challenged—definitely not a guy who wants to snuggle in bed eating Rocky Road and doing crossword puzzles with you. He can’t even remember the name of the girl he went out with last weekend. But with Mark’s help and advice on what it takes to be irresistible, Amy hopes her marriage can be saved. Now if she could only stop staring at the good doctor and imagining he’s the one she’s wearing new skirts and makeup for.

The verdict is still out…who will awaken first? Amy or Wesley?

P.S. This is book one in the Amy Series.

 

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Deadlines and What they do to Me

DEADLINEI officially have deadlines. For so long I’ve written on my own timetable. Edited when I felt like it, developed characters when I took walks, and proofread only on days I had time. Now it seems it’s going to change.

As I look at the 300 page manuscript glaring back at me, I laugh. Not the Joker kind of laugh, but a timid little mouse laugh. Edged with a sense of denial. “Yeah, that thing’s due soon, but whatever … I’ve got time.”          Three weeks later I’m looking at the computer monitor with Scotch-taped open eyes, a huge Mocha Frappuccino, and shaky fingers … the clock chiming, 1:00 a.m.  Why do I do this? It’s seriously something wrong with the wiring in my head. My daughter gets a school assignment for two weeks out, and it’s finished that night before the ink is dry on the instructions.

Maybe I feel like I’m holding the work for later. Letting the idea marinade that it’s something to be done. Maybe I do my best when a gun is cocked to my head. Who knows. As I type this very blog, I glance over to my massive pile of paper and deny it’s there … ticking like a bomb. Whatever, I’ll get to it. Right after I fill the birdfeeders and water my plants. Then I know I’ll be ready:)

On a most happy note, I just signed a contract with a new publisher for another book. It’s due out next summer and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. Having my work in the hands of readers is unlike anything. Of course, if they’re mean in reviews, I’ll hide under a rock. But I’ll cross that denial bridge when I come to it. For now, it’s a dreamy-eyed notion that I’m going to be published again. It’s just the beginning!!!!

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Workshop Anyone?

WORKSHOPSeptember. The month the children go back to school, the month flowers seem as if they can’t go one day more smiling and blooming, and the month I thought I’d participate in a workshop. I’m usually the type that likes to saunter into a strange environment, find the seat at the front, and sharpen my pencil for some really good, mind-blowing note taking. Not this time. This time it was online. Online? How would I get anything out of it, I asked no one not listening. Still I signed up and introduced myself, as best I could, on the internet…wearing my pajamas! No one knew…right?

What can I say? It’s absolutely wonderful. I’m all about learning. You can think you know all there is to know about…say, bird watching. Then sign up for a class on it and learn at least ten new nuggets. Not that I, in any way, know all there is to writing. But for my one particular book I thought I had it figured out. Turns out it’s all wrong. Well maybe not every page, but the beginning sure enough is. This story stays stuck on the forefront of my brain. I loved writing it. It found me one day. Actually one night. I dreamed about the plot and then sat down at my computer for the next three months and bled away. But something is wrong with it. It staggers along, not getting enough oxygen, blabbering in my thoughts, reaching out for help. Lucky for me I believe my workshop is revealing the hiccups. Thank goodness:)

I had my best friend read the first two chapters, as always. She rarely finishes any of my books because I don’t send her more, but she never could get trapped in the pages of this one. Said my writing was different…aloof. Hmm…but it seemed right when I wrote it. So I stepped back for nine months, let it breathe, and am now taking a class for its malady, and I think I’ll have it licked!!! Happy dance for me. I’m so excited to be pushed and to be challenged with the way I thought it was right. Here’s a quick snapshot of my characters:

Meet Claire. She’s from Queens, New York. Raised by a loving mother (her only relative in the world), but never had more than hand-me-downs to wear and a lanky body that grew before she did. She’s just graduated from college, having lost her mother to multiple sclerosis in her last semester, and is now visiting (for the last time) the summer cottage of a family she spent time with growing up.

Claire-Danes-claire-danes-32910440-1920-1200

Now meet Colin. He’s the son of a wealthy entrepreneur. He attended college in London and hasn’t been back to the beach house for five years. Hasn’t seen Claire or the beautiful woman she’s become. This is the last summer before his father burdens him with the responsibility of taking over the family business. It’s also the summer he falls for Claire, the wrong girl for him by all of his father’s accounts. The girl who will challenge his thinking about what he really wants to do with his life.

COLIN

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The Hope to Rebuild Love

A-couple-kiss-at-the-train-station

Dear Wesley,

Why is it so difficult to stop a train wreck from occurring? Is it because the train tracks show no signs of bowing and cracking? Does anyone even take the time to check the foundation, to make sure it’s in tact? Or is the train traveling so quickly that the tracks become a blur and all sense of time becomes fleeting, as well? Does the train, itself, not show signs of malfunction? Sounds, like tiny-spurted screeches that go ripping through the blacked-out tunnels become unnoticed? Are we paying so much attention to other things that we don’t hear the rattling in the background? Of the bolts and screws that were once securely attached, becoming loosened with every wrong movement that’s made. It becomes white noise to our every day routines.

Aren’t there little hints of problems along the way to our destination? A bump, we felt, that perhaps had us reach for something to hold onto, but when the moment passed, we just sat back down and stared aimlessly out the window as if nothing just happened? We just want to make it successfully to our next station without creating a fuss about anything.

Was there a date I could find circled on my calendar that showed when the last time was that you held my hand? Did my hand, by shear rejection, stop waiting for your reach? Could I say for certainty that I was held blameless in not ever calling and checking on you when the second hand on the clock swept by the hour twice and you hadn’t made it home yet? In my defense, the first three occasions my call when unanswered, so went away my concern.

In the end, did my thoughts throughout the day ever stray to imagine your face, smiling and looking back at me? They might have if I could’ve remembered what it felt like to be seen by your eyes. To remember what your smile looked like.

When was the last time you touched me? Reaching for the light switch and grazing my arm doesn’t count. Although the skin on skin contact made me recall older memories of your caresses. Like lying in bed and being folded into your arms as you played with the contour of my arm with your teasing fingertips. The memory makes me smile, now, thinking about it. Something I haven’t done for quite some time.

Funny thing about train wrecks, no one sees them coming.  But, when the smoke settles on the debris that stretches as far as the eye can see, you can suddenly recall every worn track, every bump in the night, every jeer and every silent dinner, you had along the way. A lot of times, it’s only after the wreck that you can see where it got off the tracks. But, as we stand here among the destruction of our train wreck, there’s only one thing I want.

To rebuild it…better…with only you.

Amy

And, this time, we will vow to slow down when we feel a bump and see what it’s all about before we dismiss it and continue on.

Thoughts From: WAKING AMY (Feb 2016)