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Writing with Modesty

I often think…how do some actresses get in front of the camera and take all their clothes off? I have trouble getting undressed in my closet, let alone for the free world to see. Albeit, if I looked like some of those women, I might…no, I still wouldn’t. I mean, don’t they have parents that is going to see that movie? Isn’t there a shaw-wearing grandma somewhere on their family tree that they will never be able to sit across the dinner table and not feel like she just saw me doing naughty things with a guy? Does this mean I won’t get her passed-down pasta recipe now?

Enter my thoughts on writing… My mother, God bless her soul, reads every one of my books. For that, I’m truly appreciative. After all, I feel I get my imagination from her. BUT it makes me feel weird when I write certain subject matter. I am in no way a steamy writer, so that’s not a biggie. I was the girl in gym class changing in the bathroom stall until the 10th grade. After that, I just wore two layers of clothes so I didn’t look like a freak going into the back corner. What makes us modest? I’m not sure. It can’t be genetic. My two sisters can walk out in the street naked, if needed. I’m the one shrouded in button-up sweaters and two tee shirts underneath that. My daughter, coincidentally is the same way as me. LOL That’s why I got a tickle out of someone promoting my books as steamy. What a scream! They obviously didn’t read it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Still, this last release was my most edgy. I think I wrote the word breast at least a handful of times. he-he ย But then there was the bad word. Nothing to do with physical modesty, but it was out of my comfort zone to write it. Sure, I’ve said it aloud a few times. That’s when whoever around me knows I mean serious business. And so I typed it with rapid strokes, mid-story. I was in the character’s head and it felt so right. So necessary. Is vulgarity ever necessary? I asked myself. I even pondered it with my son. I’ve watched so many movies where if only they’d left out a scene, my kids could’ve watched it. Or if the writer had refrained from the unnecessary language, all of us could’ve enjoyed it. So did my book require that word? My book didn’t, but my character did. And so I kept it. You have to be careful…too many of these and you lose readership of those you gained for not writing like that in the first place. Hopefully not too much thought was wasted on it, and it was brushed over quite quickly. Just as it was written.

Back to modesty, how modest are you? Does it play into what you read? What you write? I don’t mind reading racy. In fact, sometimes I like it. Depending on the book. Writing women’s fiction, racy doesn’t usually get a lot of play. Perhaps that’s why I like writing it!

Have a grand day, everyone!

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Time for a New Release!

NYE-1936It’s that time again! Book 2 of my Sarah series is hitting the internet waves. I couldn’t be more happy. All the readers who searched for the next page (at the end of the book 1) is finally vindicated. This one takes place five years later and Sarah is finally reaching some normalcy in her life. Time to take time for herself. After all her daughter is getting older, having more play dates than Sarah, and beginning to worry about her mother’s happiness. And just like that! Guys begin coming out of the woodwork…guys that make no sense, guys she shouldn’t have feelings for, and Sam! ย  ย  I hope everyone who continues Sarah’s journey, likes it!

I’ve been doubling down on wearing my whites this week….it being Labor day very soon, and all. But isn’t that rule sort of changing? I’ve seen white being worn after September. What are they thinking?! ๐Ÿ™‚

For those following my adoption journey, it’s going well. Slow and full of paperwork, but well. One thing for sure, everyone in my family has had a physical! I can’t tell you the last time I had a hearing test. Elementary school? And child proof locks? Yeah, after years of not worrying about that, we’ve got ’em. I’ve caught my hand on them a couple hundred times so far. I feel like Homer Simpson everyone time I pull on it and it catches. “Doh!”

My kids are back in school. I don’t love the early mornings, but I love the fact they’re being productive. How many hours can one play Minecraft and not get a paralyzed tush?

Well I’m off to piddle. I’ve got so much to do, but sometimes when you’ve got too much on your plate, all you can do is piddle in it all. If I piddle enough, maybe I’ll achieve something big!

Have a great one! And thanks for your support. ๐Ÿ™‚

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It’s that time again!

Yes, that’s right! It’s Christmas in July. I can’t explain it…maybe it’s the Hallmark movie marathon withdrawal finally catching up to me, but this month I strangely watch Christmas movies. My kids think I’m crazy. We just watched Elf, and Hitched for the Holidays during dinner! LOL And the weather was a pleasant 97 degrees. Hehe.

I made baked cornflake chicken for dinner. It’s a fav around here. I let the chicken tenders soak in buttermilk, salt, pepper, and paprika for a few hours. Then I press crunched up cornflakes, onion powder, and garlic powder on them, bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, and viola! Happy campers. And they’re healthier than fried. Which is what we usually do. They don’t call my husband fry-daddy for nothing. Last night we ate fried green beans. They were yuuuummmmmy. He makes a beer batter and lathers them up in sesame seeds. Gracious, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

I somehow irritated my back last night while typing in bed. Today has been a challenge bending over for things. Am I that unable to sit crooked for an hour without downing Advil the next day and walking with a limp? Yikes. Call AARP for me, someone! No offense, Mom if you’re reading this. However, I feel about 18 years old in my head. Okay, maybe 30. I’ve had some kids escape these loins. That accounts for a couple years. Speaking of kids…I’m thinking of adopting. I’ve always wanted to. Why not now? If anyone has anything to weigh in on this, please let me know. I never shy away from hearing and learning from someone else’s experiences. My first reaction to really finding out more in depth what’s involved is the price. Holy schnikes! If those poor children only knew how many people couldn’t adopt based on that fact alone, it would depress the whole lot. Why should we make a profit for locating a forever home for children? I say yes, there has to be a home study, and yes, there has to be a fee for paperwork, but really? Thousands? These people need to consider how much money goes into raising a child.

Okay, slight turn in conversation. I wasn’t finished with my meal talk. I made a coconut cream cake for dessert tonight. Super duper easy. It was a poke cake. So I made a white cake, baked it for 30 minutes, got it out and poked it to death. Then I mixed coconut milk and sweet condensed milk and poured it on top. Oh, did I mention, I added coconut extract to white cake before baking–you know, to give it that taste. ๐Ÿ™‚ Then I refrigerated said poked cake, with concoction soaking into it, and whipped some fresh cream. I only let the cake cool for a couple hours. You’re supposed to overnight…as if. Don’t they know I don’t read instructions until I get the cake batter poured in the pan, with this being the only thing for dessert…TONIGHT! Then I spread the whipped cream and sprinkled a little of the flakes on top. I must say, it was tasty. My youngest, handing me his empty plate, said “you know I don’t like coconut.” Funny boy. His empty plate. Okay.

I’m off now to continue writing my Sarah series. This is the last book, you know. Something pretty spectacular better come out of my brain tonight. After much deliberation, I’ve decided on my next male character….Drumroll please…

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This guy shouldn’t be too difficult to write. It was either him or Richard Gere. I wanted a bit of flavor in the third book, so I chose Javier. He’s just moved to the small town of Calvert, where Sarah lives. Little does he know, life in a fish bowl is much more interesting than New York City!

Off to my imaginary world, folks! Have a great one. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Limbo sounds about right

I joined a month long writing gig last week. You begin by stating your goal. Mine was 40,000 words. That means I’m to write half my book, first draft of course, by the 31st. How am I doing, you ask? Not. One. Word. Yep. I’m in limbo. It’s supposed to be my third Sarah book, but I’m feeling a bit in a funk over Sarah. I do this. I was like this with Amy. The first book was out and the reviews were coming in…”Amy is naive”, “Amy drives me crazy”, or “Someone buy Amy a clue.” Okay, okay. But she turned out great. If I must say myself, “Finding Amy” is probably my favorite book. It came together so well for me. Maybe that’s what will happen with Sarah. Everyone seems to like Sarah well enough, they just want to poke me with stick pins for the ending. I get it, and I apologize. My husband likes to compare it to taking the reader to the cliff and then pressing the gas pedal as hard as I could. I assure you, I didn’t intend to. I just got carried away with the continuation…where to do it, how to do it. You know…

This fourth of July we did very little. As we always ever do. Actually I didn’t feel wonderful. I think it was a sandwich I had for lunch. My stomach is the worst for acting up over any little morsel. Butter, oil, you name it, it always sees these things entering it as the enemy. Then I get sick and it isn’t pretty. Anyway, I managed to go down to my local grocery parking lot and score what last boxes of explosives they had for sale. They were noisy, pretty, and shot almost 7 feet in the air. My kids loved all ten minutes of it. That included sparkler time, when half of them were freaked out for holding fire in their hand. I assured them they would not explode if a sparkler strayed and pinged off their arm. Then we watched a movie. It was a cool day all in all.

We’re making our hallway closet into a pantry. We took my husband’s closet and halved it to sacrifice for our food items. (His part is on the other side of the wall in back). The kitchen is getting a new look as well. This is the pantry. I picked a sort of putty color for the shelves. Sometimes it has a pink hue, sometimes a peach. It’s very beguiling, especially when you’re painting it and staring at it for long periods of time. There are shelves on all sides, but alas, my camera does not perform miracles in showing them off. It’s also missing some doors and drawers, but you get the picture. I’m going to actually nail those tins and frame some quilt squares I sewed of canned veggies. I’ll post later if they turn out! ๐Ÿ™‚


ย Then I made a cherry pie. Okay, so not the crust, but I pitted the cherries, added the other stuff and baked it for about an hour. It was all right. I’m not a big pie lover, as we all know. I much more enjoy a good slice of cake. But my peeps like the pie. And it’s all gone, so that’s good. I’m going to try my hand at some homemade ice cream this weekend. I’ve made it before and was rather pleased, so we’ll see!

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Bedtime Ritual

Okay, so I looked up a picture of something cute about bedtime and this is what popped up. I kind of laughed because it’s so true. Not what I wanted initially, but I’ll keep it.

Tonight I finished my second Sarah book. It’s funny…I remember writing the first paragraph of each of my books, wondering how the heck is this going to turn into 300 pages? Then it does. And I’m always amazed.

Arthur is on television. I like this movie. Dudley Moore is hilarious. If only I couldn’t care about things like he didn’t in this movie. Minus the problems he had which made him not care. Life would be more enjoyable. I’m too uptight sometimes. Life is short. I need to channel Dudley more. Get it? It’s a pun. ๐Ÿ˜‰

There are seasons to everything. And so is my point to this post. There was a time when I’d watch M*A*S*H each night before going to bed. It was a complete ritual. Then I went through a period where I watched the British comedy, “Are You Being Served”. Very dry, but I enjoyed the ritual of watching it. Then I had a spell of “The Golden Girls”. It had funny one-liners, and was easy to fall asleep to, because I didn’t become invested. There was also the “Frasier” time. I liked it until Niles and Daphne hooked up. Who likes a show once the angst is gone?

Now I write every night, barely watching television. This is a season, too. I can’t wait to see what the next one brings.

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Girl Talk

I’m going to the doctor tomorrow…I go about three times a year, and you would think that would be enough to shame me into getting into shape. He’s decent enough. Not that I would date him, but I don’t want him to look on me with pity. “Poor girl, she’s really given up.” I mean I know I’m going–I’ve known it for months in advance, for Pete’s sake. And I remember full well the last time I was there, trying to hide my naked body underneath that piece of paper dress, that I would not, not,not, be that fat, that flabby-armed, that toned-challenged the next time I hopped up on the table. I could see it now…his expression when he looked at me and back at the screen on his little iPad. “Wow, you look so different!” Yeah, not tomorrow, buddy. He has no worry to be shocked. He’ll recognize me without problem. I’m packing up my flab and bringing it on down to the shop. But I’m shooting for next time to be ravishing, though. ย ๐Ÿ™‚

Boobs…really? My back is killing me lately. I walk by storefronts, see my reflection, and I look as if my neck is being dragged by a fifty pound chain. My spine has given up the fight of ever being able to stand up straight for any length of time. After you’ve dated, owned a push-up bra, snagged your guy, fed a child or two, what are they good for? I’m not a Debbie Downer, but really. The only purpose they have after your forties is avoiding catching cancer in them and finding a bra that doesn’t bite down to your shoulder bone. They’re heavy. And in the way. Really. Who can jog normally with this type of vibration and carrying on? (not that I jog and would know this, anyway) The other day a wire worked its way out of the fabric and I felt I’d gone undercover with a microphone snaking its way out of my shirt. (*tap, tap* “is this mic on?”) That was after I jumped at seeing something raise out of my shirt. Of course what if boobs naturally fell off after you were secure with a relationship, fed a child, and whatever. Then something went crazy and you needed them again? You can’t just grow another set.

And leg hair. Really? In what society is leg hair on women considered attractive? Tell me. I can’t tell you how many times I go to wear a skirt and realize I didn’t prune my lower half the night before. Don’t get me started on arm pits. I’ve seen the opposing thought to clean-shaven. It’s not pretty. But boy is it convenient, I bet. How do you like it when you don’t have enough soap lathered and your razor bumps down it like a four wheeler on rough terrain? Then you do it again because you’re certain nothing got cut off?

Enough of that. I’ve got a busy day tomorrow to get rested up for. So much flab…so many ways to reassure myself the next time it will be gone!! Peace out, everyone. ย ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

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Reason to Celebrate!!

My sixth book releases today! Who knew? I actually had six of them stored up in this head of mine. Actually a few more, but six spilled out to an editor, where she worked her magic, then it got translated into a picture by another professional, formatted, bound, and viola…there you have book 6, “Searching For Sarah”. I’m quite excited. And a bit nervous…as usual. Good thing I’ve got a tough skin. No telling what the kind people of the world is going to think of it…and then there’s the not-so-kind. And I suppose they have a say, too. (I’ll just discreetly, and with all my might, try to put their opinions out of mind) ๐Ÿ™‚

So, what about Sarah?ย She’s a pretty girl, right? Then why is she a dud magnet for men? I mean really…the last guy she dated stole her U-Haul filled with all her stuff. Right there on the street in Charleston. While she went into that cute coffee shop after driving 8 hours straight, to go to the bathroom. That’s the first push into the path that takes her to this guy:

Sam. So what about Sam?ย He’s cute, right? He just works a little too much. Therefore, unable to do the all the things a single dad has to do–pick up daughter from preschool, cook a well-balanced meal, (not spaghetti o’, scrambled eggs, and a cup of milk, because that’s all he knows how to cook), and attend an occasional tea party with a few stuffed friends…Mind you, he does get home to read the goodnight book and tuck a sleepy-eyed girl in, but as for the rest, he needs some help. And since Sarah is seeking some temporary housing until an apartment comes through, why not get her to do some of the nanny stuff? Win-win for both of them!

Then the story begins to unfold.So, maybe not that intriguing! But I had one reviewer to say she stayed up till after midnight to finish it. That’s good, huh? Well, I sort of smiled when I read it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Either way…it’s my genuine hope…wish…desire…beg (LOL) that readers take a chance to get to know Sarah and Sam. Reminder: this is a 3 part book. At the end, there will be sort of the thing that happens on Friday soap operas…Monday will be the second book–where Friday’s shock gets settled after a weekend wait. Don’t throw tomatoes when you get there. But I promise, Monday is coming very quickly. I’m saving that hype until the release of Friday’s book installment–Searching For Sarah, part 1! Please spread the word, my dearest followers. Cake for everyone!!!! Celebrate. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Full Circle

Well I did it! I made it through my son’s first year at college. ๐Ÿ™‚ I feel like I was just here…plucking away at this computer, moaning and groaning about what I was going to do without him. And next week he’ll be back. Never more to be a freshman. I pointed this fact out to him this weekend, and he’s sort of bummed about it. Yes, he’s quite a sensitive chap. Things like never being a single digit again (turning 10 was big for him), or his last year home as a “kid”, were milestones. But I think he’s ready to return. I’m ready for him to return. It’s not terrible when he’s away for a long time. I get used to it. But when he comes back for say a week, it’s hard to get used to him being gone again.

Anyway, onto other things. I have a book releasing this week! Woo-hoo. Can’t wait. Jumping up and down on the inside. You just can’t see it. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s amazing to think I’m beginning another series, but I am. As usual, I’m a bit nervous how everyone will perceive Sarah. I’m resolved to know there will be some who don’t get her, some who think I’m writing their own story, and a few that stop reading after page 10. I get it. I’m that person, too. Everyone is. Reading is so subjective. For instance, I’m judging a writing competition this month, and there was one submission that I couldn’t read. I had to turn it back in and request someone else judge it. It wouldn’t be fair for me to do it. It’s just not my cup of tea. Heck, it wasn’t even tea, in my world. It’s not that it was poorly written, it just wasn’t something I could endure any longer. Past page four. But it amazes me how someone can read something I’ve written, not reach page 10 and plaster it with a one star on Amazon and Goodreads. I was raised that if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything. Oh well, not all were raised with the same theory, I suppose.

Onto depressing. Because doesn’t everyone need a bit of gloom in their day? Not really, but I had to mention it. Erin Moran died. Joanie Cunningham, as I’ll always remember her. What a sad life she turned out to have. I mean you have Ritchie, the now-director of blockbuster films, then you have his kid sister. Living without money, in a very depressed fashion of a life. What happened, Joanie? It in no way resembled her character on Happy Days. I think some people, no matter what cards they’re dealt, will have to struggle. And it’s sad. 56 years old. Rest in peace.

I hope everyone has a great week. I’ve got 3 birthdays to celebrate this week. My daughter’s is one of them. All of my kids get to choose their dinner and their dessert on their day. She has chosen spaghetti (in which I like the least…okay, I hate spaghetti), and white cake and white icing. Is she even my kid? No chocolate? I’m going to have to serve chocolate ice cream on the side or something. I hope I can make it without wincing. White on white?

Until next time!

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Where Has All the Happiness Gone?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter holiday. Mine was great. I cooked for everyone–as is the new tradition. I give my mother a much needed break from the muss and fuss. My turkey turned out like crap. And I even woke at the bloody crack of daylight to put it on–sautรฉing carrots, celery, and onion…gently thrusting some garlic and broth in for good measure. Thrusting? Really? All for it to taste like the rear end of something killed on the side of the road, after cooking for almost 7 hours. (not that I would know literally what that would taste like.) But there was a ham to fall back on. Thanks for bringing it, Barbie!

And then there was the panic of the dessert. The pound cake, upon reading the recipe the morning of, was discovered not to be the one I envisioned. Not really sure what the original vision was… So off to the store I went. And bought items for chocolate cream pies. Nope, never made one in my life. I’m just not a pie person. Luckily they turned out well. Made everyone forget about the lousy turkey!

Then there was the egg hunt. Ah, the traditional go-and-find-the-golden-egg hunt. Has anyone met my youngest son? The one who is certain the entire world is against him? Well needless to say, he wasn’t the one who found the golden egg. Instead it was the 13 year old cousin. In which he desperately hates now. And hates the inventor of said traditional egg hunt. And eggs…and easter baskets, and for all I know the air in which we breathe. My mother, of course, told him to come over to her, and she tucked a golden egg inside his hand. Just to inform anyone who isn’t at my home during the annual egg hunt–the golden egg has a $20 bill inside. And now my youngest is happy. Still not liking the cousin, because well, she cheated finding that egg, but he can go on and never spend that money now. That’s right…he finds a million things to want, but letting go of the dough is a whole other story.

So on to the title of my post. I was just visiting Facebook. Don’t do it, it’s a trap. You can get sucked in quite quickly. The next thing you know, it’s past your bedtime and now you know what everyone’s doing, done, or going to save as a recipe and never make in their life. But you know, they’re sharing it so it saves on their feed. Ok. Anyway, tonight I got so much more than that. I got a play-by-play of an elderly man getting gunned down on Easter day, a video of one of the innocent children dying from the chemical bomb Syria suffered a few weeks ago, and a baby girl left in a locked van while police knocked out a window to get to her. Ahhhhh……. where is all the happy? I’ll gladly take pictures of what Aunt Noreen’s dinner plate looked like tonight. No matter how disgusting that cabbage looked. And cousin Rita’s feet as she takes a crooked picture of her pool water. Enough with the reality. It’s too depressing. I had to scroll faster than ever tonight, just to get the images out of my mind.

Find your happy place, people! Stop polluting the airways with the horrors of reality. Show a shimmer of kindness. Show some little furry animal getting rescued, a baby trying peas for the first time, a flower growing from an abandoned old pot. Whatever. Just please stop posting the bad and ugly signs of our times. That was a bit unlike me, wasn’t it? So demanding. Maybe I’m just tired. Or my wrist is absolutely killing me. I think I have a pinched nerve. Yeah, blame my plea for happiness on the pinched nerve. What’s come over me with all my ranting?

Well, happy thoughts for now. I’m going to ice a wrist. Have a great week!

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Cover Reveal for “Searching For Sarah”

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As many of you may know…or not…I’ve started writing a new series–The Sarah Series. Sarah is in the beginning years of her thirties, wants to settle down, and then figure out the rest. But it’s the settling down part that’s been giving her trouble. The guys she dates either she likes and they don’t want to settle, or she doesn’t and they do. Sort of like life, huh?

Sarah Keller is a career student. It goes hand-in-hand with her indecisiveness about her future.ย Her foundation growing up was based solely on a single dad who lamented almost daily for his deceased wife–Sarah’s mom. She never got to know her, Sarah’s mom passed away in childbirth.

Becoming a nanny was the last thing Sarah intended to be. But life sometimes throws you a curve ball. And sometimes it’s guised as Sam Turner, and his cutie pie daughter, Sophie.

Sam is about 15 years Sarah’s senior, and fresh out of a relationship. He’s the last thing Sarah is looking to get involved with…but you know what they say about last things??

And so here is the cover! Please let me know if you like it. After all, covers are what we judge a book by, you know! ๐Ÿ™‚ ย  Have a great week, everyone! (And if you had even an inkling of interest, it’s 2.99 pre-order price on Amazon) Release date is April 27, 2017. If you sign up for my newsletter, you have a chance in winning the paperback copy, a whole month before it releases!! Cheers. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

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