Monday, August 31, 2009
Then I noticed the fine print on the commercial.
“This film is not yet rated.”
Damn. Hollywood got me on that one.
Yep, it’s all subliminal advertising for a movie that’s coming out. ( http://www.whowillsurvive2012.com/ ) & (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1441959/institute_for_human_continuity_ihc.html?cat=3 )
But that’s all right. The website still provides fodder for my imagination and lets me know I’m on the right track with how I’m thinking the world will end in a new series I’m working on & in my continuing Si’Ludo books. And it’s provided some interesting tidbits on where my characters will come from.
And, yes, Hollywood achieved its goal of piquing my interest for the movie.
Bah, Baaaaa, bah
But even without the IHC I’d go see it. ;)
Sunday, August 30, 2009
7:30 AM-Wake up to find that you’ve fallen asleep at the keyboard the night before. And I mean you literally crashed with you face resting on the laptop. After you get paper towels to clean up the puddle of drool between the “E” and “R” keys, you make some coffee to wake up. You’re still dressed in the same ratty sweatpants and t-shirt from the day before, but you don’t have any clean clothes to change into so you leave them on
8:00 AM-The cat is screaming to be fed so you dig around for cat food. Since you haven’t cleaned in a week, the place looks like a candidate for “Clean House”. You finally find the Friskies under a pile of dirty clothes. You are so tired you giggle at the name “Friskies” for five minutes.
10:00 AM-After two hours of writing, you reward yourself by Googling your name. You find your books at two new pirate sites, a lukewarm review for your last release and a dismaying news article. Someone who kind of has a name like yours was arrested for exposing themselves to farm animals. As you think about how this will ruin your image, you wonder if that kind of crime is a misdemeanor or a felony.
12:00 PM-Time for lunch! Since the kids are home, you throw pizza money at the teenager and make yourself a Lean Cuisine. Okay, who are we kidding here? You actually just grab a bag of chips and dip and polish it off between chapters.
1:45 PM-You are forced to take a break when you realize your daughter is outside and she’s dressed in an old ballet costume and cowboy boots. Not that you mind the outfit so much since the neighbors already know you’re loony, but it is raining outside. The last thing you need is to have to take time off from writing because you have to mop up muddy boot prints off the floor.
4:30 PM-Your mother calls to complain that you never have time for her anymore and you don’t care about anyone but writing. At least you think that’s what she says. You’re too busy typing on the laptop to really hear what she’s saying.
5:00 PM-You take time off to watch Penguins of Madagascar with your daughter. Because that show rocks!
6:00 PM-The husband was kind enough to make dinner. He throws you a plate of food and you eat, still typing like a mad woman. At this point you could be eating liver and onions and not realize it. All that matters is getting more words written. You are three thousand short of your daily goal and the day is already more than half over.
8:00 PM- You begin to despair at ever making your goal. The questions start. Why do I do this to myself? Why did I ever think I could be a writer? Will everyone think this book is absolute crap? Are there any Cheetos left?
10:00 PM-You’ve calmed down some. Fresh coffee is on, the bag of Cheetos are now just a memory. Only fifteen hundred words left to go, but you can feel the weariness hitting you.
12:00 AM-You run through the house rambling bits of dialog from your book. “I am a vampire and you are my lifemate! Let us make sweet, undead love!” The husband gets out of bed and leads you back to the keyboard.
3:00 AM-You’ve done it! 5,000 words in one day! You do a happy dance and celebrate until you realize you’re going to have to do it all again tomorrow. In your despair, you collapse onto the keyboard of the laptop and fall asleep.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I spend half my life in Los Angeles, which has the dubious distinction of being the tagging capital of the universe. The other half I spend in Hawaii, where tagging - or graffiti vandalism - has actually become a problem to some sacred sites, causing them to be removed from tour guides.
Whether it is locals or tourists causing this damage is a whole 'nother topic...
However, the problem in California is rampant. The constant, incessant damage cause by tagging is so severe that the city's attorney Carmen Trutanich is seeking to have new laws passed that will make it illegal for taggers to simply hang out together. They don't even have to be caught in the act. Known taggers simply need to be caught hanging out having a Slurpee outside 7/11 and they will wind up in the pokey.
Make no mistake. I loathe and detest tagging. The problem in my city is very bad and Trutanich is right when he says the damage, especially to freeway signs and overpasses is so extensive, it 'requires an extraordinary police presence.'
I applaud the idea of limiting the sales of spray paint to anyone under 21.
Taggers moved into my neighborhood, Studio City and started spray painting their crap on our walls and even the building's awning.
The little bastards didn't stop there. As punishment I guess, when we all pitched in replaced the awnings, they came in the middle of the night and ETCHED their work into our glass front doors. These cannot be removed and it burns me up to see the graffiti each and every day. The awnings were replaced yet again after another attack, the stonework out front had to be sandblasted several times, but these taggers continue to wreck the neighborhood.
And we, the homeowners pay for it.
We're not talking art. We're talking unintelligible gibberish, which, I am told marks gang turf in some neighborhoods and signals the 'ownership' of them to other tagging crews.
I believe taggers should be fully prosecuted as the criminals they are and I applaud Trutanich's moves to make their parents financially responsible for the damage they cause.
But making it illegal for them to hang out together? That's taking things too far and certainly seems unconstitutional.
Taggers are not nice people. They're young and stupid and feel entitled to destroy other people's property. They don't tag their own buildings. I know this, because I happen to know a tagger and he was shocked at the suggestion.
"My mom would kill me," he told me.
In separate incidents last year in California, taggers shot and killed two women who came out of their homes and begged them to stop.
I applaud any and all creative measures to prevent graffiti crimes. My friend, boxing trainer Joe Goossen had a particularly novel idea when a tagger who went by the name L'il Daffy spray painted his nice, newly painted gym.
Joe put the word out on the streets of Van Nuys that he wanted L'il Daffy brought to him. He was dragged in a few hours later by a local guy who knew L'il Daffy.
Joe made him scrub his walls out front, then he said, "You think you're tough? Put these gloves on and get into the ring."
Well, I met L'il Daffy and I watched him spar, I even watched him fight. I think he's a better tagger than a fighter, but you can bet it was a lesson HE will never forget.
I thought it ironic that he posted the Ten Commandments to the wall inside the Ten Goose gym but still went about under the cover of darkness at night, leaving his wife and kid at home to tag buildings across the valley.
He's older now and his wife is a little bossier, but L'il Daffy likes to talk about how he felt he owned the city when he prowled the streets late at night with his spray cans and a screwdriver for protection.
Trutanich's injunctions seek to include the San Fernando Valley - where I live, South Los Angeles and the Harbor Gateway areas.
I frankly like the fact Trutanich is actually doing something about it, as opposed to his predecessor Rocky Delgadillo. I am just not sure being arrested for friendship is the way we should go.
At a news conference yesterday, Trutanich said, “I’m going to put together an end-of-days scenario for these guys. If you want to tag, be prepared to go to jail. And I don’t have to catch you tagging. I can just catch you . . . with your homeboys.”
It's been pointed out by some pundits in California that tagging and hard-core gang life are not far removed and the idea of limiting public association is signing kids' death warrants in some neighborhoods.
Not associating with a gang gives you no protection in some places...and I wonder, is this a good or bad move?
How about you? What is your opinion? Or do you think Tagging is...art?
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Sigh. Sure I had back issues last week but those are dissipating and life is getting back on a more even keel. What isn’t is the constant tug on my time. I know, I know.
I am just like my fellow bloggers here, too committed with too little time. Here was my calendar for just today:
Wednesday, August 26
- Write Blog
- Senior Pictures (17 yo)
- Answer emails
- Contest Coordinating and Judging
- Pick up DH at airport
Geez. Any one of those items can take a couple of hours and there are just so many in a day.
And then I remember a discussion I had with a NYC best-selling author, I can’t remember just who but it was at an RWA National Conference, years ago. She told me each of us have the same amount of time every day. No one gets more, no one gets less. Each of us has exactly the same framework in which to work our magic. Some of us excel, some of us fade. But all of us have to fit in what we want every day. The problem is just how we do it.
For me, I get days like today where I feel like a chicken with my head cut off because there are so many things pulling at me. The key here is actually take a big, deep cleansing breath and put things into perspective. There are things I can slide a little, there are things I can’t and there are other items which are dependent upon other people. Those I have to wait for.
So I made my list but didn’t follow the order today and that got me screwed up from the get go. I plan well but sometimes get off task and run around like a chicken. But all it took was writing this blog to bring it all back into focus. This is important to me. Writing is important to me. Life will always come at me and I’ll met each challenge head-on and work within my parameters.
What challenges do each of you have to meet within your lives to get your writing time in? Your family time? Your personal time? Give me your answer and get entered into the August giveaway for a huge basket of goodies which includes an iPod. Yeah!
I am also extending my book giveaway. If you purchase a copy of Giselle’s Elf before September 15, I will give you a FREE ebook copy of any my other elf books. Just send me a copy of your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll email you for your preference.
And, one last exciting thing: today is the day I’m giving away a copy of AutoCrit, the program for writers! The winner is....drum roll please....the Chicks of Characterization. Come on down and claim your prize!!!
You all have a great week and I’ll see you next Wednesday with the winner of the August giveaway and another great blog!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Ok so i totally forgot about blogging today. But i have a great excuse, i have been working hard on editing my September 1st release, Treasure of Flowers. I will finish that up today and then hopefully celebrate. So for my blog today I will tell you about this coming release. It is actually the second book I ever wrote, although Lover's Stone came out first it was written a few stories after this one.
Treasure of Flowers is a historical romance about a woman who is forced to choose between the financial safety of her family and a treasure that is her matriarchal legacy. She embarks on an adventure to find this treasure with the help of a gorgeous Captain and finds she wants more than just his aid in the hunt.
When I sat down to write this story I had an image of what I wanted that first scene to be and no real idea of where I would go from there. With the advice of my dear friend Cadey I was able to create this whole wonderful story starting from that one simple idea.
To see the book trailer I made for this story go to my website www.courtneybreazile.com
This will be released on September 1st from Devine Destinies and I am holding a contest for it on my blog www.courtneybreazile.com/blog.
Sorry about the short post and the lateness of it :)
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Sorry for the rotten pic, but I have a tiny digital camera and it was the best I could do at short notice and well...I did have to share.
I was walking my dog early this morning and I came across two huge paintings stacked against somebody's garbage bins. I was stunned at how lovely these pictures were. They are of bamboo and the colors were rich, intense and they just made me smile. We were halfway on our mile-and-a-half loop and I made a decision.
If they were still there on my return, I'd grab my car and take the paintings.
Why, I wondered somebody toss out these works of art?
Sure enough, to my surprise the paintings were still there so I went home, grabbed the car and was high-fiving myself that the pictures were still waiting for the garbage truck.
I got 'em home and they belong here. They are awesome. My dog and my cats think they're pretty groovy. Right now, they're sitting against the wall as I figure out where to put them.
Between my treasured Gary Reed pieces, my Eric Caldwells, the painting of Goddess Pele my friend Kate McKinney did for me and my vintage Hawaiian art...there isn't much room and I have huge place - with Cathedral ceilings!
My friend Cat came by for coffee and to view the new treasures. She asked me if perhaps I wasn't mistaken, that maybe the pieces weren't meant to be dumped.
But they were. They were out with the garbage...and here's the point of my blog today.
I have found unbelievable treasures on the street. over the years, I have brought home a staggering array of beautiful things. I found an incredible wooden frame that perfectly fits a painting I have of Princess Kaiulani.
When I took it to Aaron Brothers to have glass cut to size for it, the guy told me it was Balinese wood and very valuable. Then he offered me $10 for it.
I was in Malibu surfing when I saw a guy chucking out stuff, among them, a huge frame made of driftwood. He let me have it after some haggling. He'd planned to use it for a bonfire.
It now proudly sits on my wall, framing a picture of Duke Kahanamoku.
I have a fantastic love seat, occasional tables, a few books, an album of Arthur Lyman's called Taboo (I swear, the universe sends me little gifts like this knowing I will treasure them) and I also have a collection of sea glass balls some idiot threw out not knowing you can get about a hundred bucks for each one on ebay.
I don't go looking for stuff, I truly don't, but since I am out so often walking my dog, I do find things. And once I find a home for my beautiful new art, I'll be on the lookout for the next trashed treasure. So I am wondering, am I the only one who finds and appreciates these gifts? Or have you found amazing things too?
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
As I slid to the side of the bed and try to sit up, all I could think is 'What the heck did I do?' I just looked at him and replied, “It would seem that way, wouldn’t it?” One good thing I found was the more I moved, the better it felt. So I have two days to go through before my regularly scheduled chiropractic appointment and my therapeutic massage. Right.
For years, people thought I was crazy because I am religious about those appointments. I was religious about them before they became a fad and the reason why is because they keep one healthy and moving and pain free. Matter of fact, this is the first time in about five years I’ve even had back problems at all and if my memory serves me correctly, it is basically the same thing except on the opposite side.
At that time, I slept wrong. Somehow I scrunched myself up in such a manner that I had the whole left side of my back spasming. This time, I know it is a combination of sleeping on a crappy bed at my Dad’s house , traveling in the car for long hours and more than likely, little to no exercise because my butt has been planted in this chair since I got home as I’m on an editing and writing jag not to mention deadlines.
And I know better. I thought I’d have time and I wouldn’t get nailed until the day before my appointment. But I was wrong as I felt this back ache slowly come on during this past week. If I’d have taken all those little aches and pains I’d felt earlier in the week seriously, I would have realized I need to do more walking, stretch every day and get another chiropractic appointment in this week. Dummy me. This is almost the same things as last time as I waited until it was too late and then had to have a series of appointments before I was fixed.
I’ve learned my lesson, or should have as I just dialed my doctor hoping to get in today. LOL!
This whole thing brings up the thought of manuscript health. In May, when I knew I was going on vacation, I realized I wouldn’t be close to my critique partners or anyone who’d really be able to give me good feedback on my work, I went out to look for something that could. And just like expected I was pretty internet deprived. I even blogged about it at the time as I had found the fantastic AutoCrit program. Since then, I have grown to love the program because it is so much like my crit partners and a few of my editors. I am really pleased with the program and while it will never replace the real people in my life, it will give them the occasional run for their money.
Imagine my surprise when I get home I find an email from the owner of the company, Nina Davies, in my inbox. She wrote me about what I had said in this blog at the end of May. She was so pleased and grateful for my blog that as a result, today I am giving away a free Platinum Membership to one lucky author. This is a $77 value and is good for a full year of services. If you have never seen this program in action, go check out the free trial as it will be well worth your time.
So far, I have run about 200,000 of my written words through the process. One such book is the very first book I ever wrote. I want it to see the light of day BUT realize Midnight Run needs work. Lots of work. LOL!. The first round is a chapter by chapter edit. Next time I run the 72K book through, it will be the whole thing and believe me when I say, the program will look at the pacing, redundancies and more. I wholeheartedly support this program as it has helped me to become a better writer overall.
My August giveaway is still underway. One lucky winner will be chosen at the end of the month to receive a basket full of goodies including an iPod. And this prize just keeps getting better and better. The basket I purchased is a handmade version I picked up at the Idaho Falls Farmer’s Market. It is deep and the colors matched what I saw as the perfect giveaway. This person will be so happy with this I just can’t wait to give it away!
As always, all you need to do is to comment here and be entered for my drawings. The winner of the copy of AutoCrit will be announced here next week as I want to give everyone the chance to be in the drawing which means I’ll pick a winner at 12:01 am next Wednesday. At the same time, you will be entered in the August End-of-Summer giveaway.
Hope you all have a great week. Until next time...
Monday, August 17, 2009
Psychics, aliens, vampires - oh, my! ~ The SiLudo Prophesy books
In light of my release Into Eternity, the third book in the Si’Ludo Prophesy series, I have been met with a challenge to sell at least 150 copies in sixty days and I need your help in meeting and exceeding that goal. And, to show my gratitude for your assistance, I am offering a number of prizes, one of which includes a backpack full of goodies (print books, gift certificates & surprises from other authors), for a lucky winner should I reach and exceed the 150 goal amount.
For details on how to enter this contest and the prizes, please visit: http://www.home.earthlink.net/~cr_moss/id41.html (Contest page on website)
Contest runs 08/15/09 to 10/15/09
Into Eternity is available!
The 3rd book in my Si’Ludo Prophesy series is now available at Devine Destinies!
About this series ~ the Si’Ludo books…
When I first started writing Postponing Eternity, the novel was going to be a full-on vampire story but it wasn’t flowing the way I really wanted it to. So I put it to the side and continued to work on a story line about triplet sisters who were wiccans. When Lynn mentioned extasy books was looking for manuscripts I wrote the sisters’ books with PE in mind and that’s when the whole idea morphed into what it is now ~ beings from another world who escaped from war and destruction where the good guys have special powers and psychic vampire abilities and the bad guys are more like your blood sucking vampires.
Si’Ludo is short for a man’s name. In my research for a viable alien world I came across a person who thought he found a planet near two stars in the Big Dipper. ~ Back in 1722, a German mathematics professor, J.G. Liebknecht, was examining Mizar with a crude telescope and chanced upon a faint star between Mizar and Alcor. He believed that he had discovered a new planet and named it "Sidus Ludoviciana" or "Ludwig's Star" after his sovereign, the Landgrave Ludwig of Hessen-Darmstadt. His hopes were to flatter his local sovereign in hopes of being granted money. But the reaction from other astronomers was universally unfavorable, as they noted that the "planet" was merely a telescopic star. The object never moved again, and Liebknecht disappeared in a hail of ridicule. Nonetheless, to this day, the star still retains the name that was bestowed upon it by Liebknecht when - for a few months anyway - it was thought to be a planet. Taken from: http://www.space.com/spacewatch/050610_big_dipper.html ~
The books with the sisters show the people’s sexual natures (and are erotic) check out info here: http://www.home.earthlink.net/~cr_moss/id16.html The Prophesy books deal more with the why they came to earth, the battle between the separated Si’Ludoians and allude to their future. Of course there’s romance thrown in between the main characters as they deal with their alienness and humanity.
Postponing Eternity ~ Book 1 ~ Facing one’s past, present and future along with discovering the use of supernatural powers can be challenging ~
Info can be found at: http://www.home.earthlink.net/~cr_moss/id22.html
“The imagination and detail put into Postponing Eternity alone makes it well worth reading.” For the full review please visit, http://www.paranormalromance.org/reviews/review.php?id=31315
Prelude to Eternity ~ Book 2 ~ Only she knows what the past means for the future. ~
Info can be found at: http://www.home.earthlink.net/~cr_moss/id23.html
Into Eternity ~ Book 3 ~ If she fails, it will be the death of her love and maybe of them all.
Info can be found at: http://www.home.earthlink.net/~cr_moss/id24.html
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I've been trying to figure out what it means. I'm not normally such a evil person. Usually I'm cheery, upbeat and always on the go. Not lately. Lately the tv lures me in, the pillows whisper my name and chocloate, well let's not discuss the lurid things chocolate says to me to get me to indulge (G).
Part of me wonders if it isn't the dreaded disease "over-volunteeritis". I get that one alot. You know, the malady where you can't keep your arm from popping up when someone asks for help. You try to tug your hand back to your side, but it doesn't work. It's a struggle to the death fighting the urge to holler "Me, me, I'll do it."
In about a month I am going to be turning our local Romance Romance Writers of America Greater Detroit RWA chapter board over to three very capable women. They will be voted into their respective positions this coming Tuesday at our chapter meeting. I have no doubt they have fantastic ideas, and great plans for the future of GDRWA. I have told them to feel free to come to me (and the previous board) with questions. We will not abandon them. But I truly believe they know exactly what to do and will do it.
It still feels weird though. After being a member of my local chapter for 14 yrs now and on the board for 11 of those 14, stepping down is a foreign entity to me (G). I still have my volunteering hand firmly planted in the Booksellers Best Award Contest for this year, along with co-chair Michelle Celmer. This contest is for published authors and is judged by librarians and booksellers across the country. It is a fabulous contest. (Shameless begging here) If you haven't already checked it out, please click here www.gdrwa.org/bba_entryform2010.html
Yet I know that stepping down will enable me to focus more fully on my writing. And that's a good thing as Martha Stewart says. I've had success with GDRWA and success with my writing and I look forward to a shared association with both for many years to come.
So, in closing, I hope you all are writing feverishly to finish that next book, playing hard and enjoying life to the fullest. Happy Sunday everyone!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
I started out with the cruise control set at the speed limit, 60 mph and about an hour into it, I was comfortably cruising at 70 mph. Funny how that happens, huh? I maintain my speed while other cars are passing me and honking their horns, as though I’m at a crawl. Idiots. Don’t they know how dangerous it is to speed? I ignore their reprimand and continue on my way finally crossing the Texas/Louisiana State line…3 hours later. I stop at the Welcome Center and examine the map. I notice that from where I started to where I am, only looks like two inches of travel time. Louisiana sure is big, very big, but I persevere and keep to the speed limit. Another 2 inches on the map and 3 hours of travel time later, I’m pulling into Alexandria, Louisiana.
Now, the little voices in my head start whispering to me, adding up each 2 inch section left on 49 and each 2 inch section on, I-10 and multiplying them by 3 (hours of travel time), and I’m not liking the answer. By my calculations, it’ll take me 3 days to get out of Louisiana.
I decide to make up some time and hit the road again. Only this time, I’m a little more understanding about the idiots passing me and join their caravan. I’m making up time and I’m happy until some driver, which insist on doing the speed limit cuts in front of me and won’t move.
Have you ever noticed that when you’re not in a hurry, the people passing you are idiots, but when you are in a hurry the people doing the speed limit are assholes?
I finally made it into Pensacola and got a couple of hours sleep. The following morning, I got up early, had breakfast and hit the road. Why? Because this idiot wanted an early start before the assholes woke up.
To be continued…
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Just when I think we're all hunkering down, forced by world circumstances to learn to appreciate the small details in life, counting our blessings and blah blah blah...I read these horrible stories of sickening animal abuse that blow me away.
Just this week, the one out of Newfoundland, CA, about three boys beating a moose calf with sticks is just unfathomable.
They beat the poor, crying calf so badly its screams were heard for miles. He had to be euthanized...and this is not an isolated incident.
When did we become such a cruel race?
Last week, I read about a couple who went to Brazil and posted photos on Facebook of their delicious meal...they'd trapped, killed and barbecued an endangered iguana.
All of these people face fines and possible prison terms, but the damage and the deaths...they can never be undone.
I have a friend whose husband hunts and it's one of the things I find hard to accept in him. He says he is a Christian and is fond of telling me the bible says man has dominion over the animals. I think the interpretation of that means we have a duty to treat them with dignity - not torture, beat and kill them and then show it all on Youtube.
Youtube may be a blessing in disguise, really, with this week's offerings of a wildlife official slapping a live dogfish and hurtling into the sea. Oh yeah, there's also a so-called conservationist posting his illegal duck-hunting tape on there.
What about the cat torture tape last year?
Yes, people post cruel acts against other people (bum beatings, the weird girl fights from last year) but animals have no voice. Except to cry, unheeded when they're in pain.
A man witnessing three mid-teen boys stomping a two-day old fawn to death in Dorset, England, last week, described the horror of what he saw.
The police officer who arrived on scene said in 23 years he had never seen anything as barbaric or as horrendous as this crime.
"We're talking about three boys who took a defenseless, two-day old wild animal and kicked it to death. Frankly, putting them through the court system and fining them is of no benefit. They need serious, long-term professional help.
"What worries me is what will they go on to do next?"
What worries ME is the moose calf case in Canada. Despite adults witnessing the event and telling the police what happened, some have recanted their stories!
Do they think the media scrutiny will change their behavior?
I hope they realize these kids probably will not stop. What's next? A small child? An old lady?
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I started out by going to Idaho Falls to visit with my Dad for about a week before going to Canada. I had a wonderful time in British Columbia with my friend Tina for eight glorious fun-filled days.
I was really sad to leave but knew I had to get on with my journey. So back to Dad’s I went with the intent of going from there to Wisconsin and my next friend, Debbie. Then came the dreaded phone call – the dear husband was going to Washington D.C. to get his passport.
What does this mean you might ask? For me, it meant the end of my journey for this year as he had to go to Vienna, Austria for a UN CTBT summit. Have I made your head spin with all those acronyms? LOL! UN = United Nations and CTBT = Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Yeah, my DH is one of a handful of special people in the world that does treaty negotiations and with the election of President Obama, those negotiations have started up again. Good for him as he’s going to be hopping all over the world for large chunks of time. Bad for me as I don’t get to go with him yet as our youngest is a senior in high school. :-(
So in lieu of going on with my trip I had planned four months for, I had to totally rethink my plan. There was no way I wanted to go back to the hot, hot, hot – did I say hot? – southwest. With my Dad’s 75th birthday just a week away, I decided to celebrate the day with him before going home to get the youngest ready for school, a task the DH was supposed to do this year.
We had a wonderful prime rib dinner the Sunday before my Dad’s birthday with as much family as could be there. On the very day, we had a roasted chicken dinner at my brother’s house. It was all fantastic and made my Dad very happy.
As I packed up my stuff, I knew I would miss the surrounding farm land which reminded me so much of where I lived until I was eleven. Giving my Dad a big hug and kiss, I was on my way with four new tires purchased just the day before. I had to get gas and went to the Costco in Pocatello because it was twelve cents a gallon cheaper. My cheap Scottish husband had finally gotten to me over the years. Fill up the tank, hop back in the car and turn the switch.
Nothing. Da Nada. Absolutely nothing. I couldn’t even open the back to get my jumper cables because the whole darn car is electric and there is no lever to open the darn thing up. Sigh. This was bad. A kind soul took pity on me and with his wife and toddler looking on, charged me up and vroooommm – off I go.
In hindsight, I should have gone to the nearest car shop and had the darn thing replaced right then. But I was suddenly anxious to go home since my older son had called to say ‘Hi, Grandma’ which meant they were finally pregnant after trying for so long. Besides, most batteries have one more trip in them and I knew it wasn’t the alternator.
Well, not mine. Just thirty-five miles outside Pocatello, my car lights up like a firecracker with wipers going and all alarms blasting – I kid you not – going all haywire as it dies doing 75 miles per hour. I half expected all the windows to go down as I watched all my crap blow around the freeway. Not a pretty thought. It’s hot, it’s miserable and I can’t even roll down the damn window because it is so dead. Crap, crap, crap. I am so screwed.
Thank goodness for AAA and the hundreds of people in Verizon – can you hear me now? – behind me. I got a call out to AAA who arranged a tow with a very honest guy known as Solly from Solomon’s service in a little town called Inkom. Next call to the DH to make sure I have money all the way around because this just might be expensive. After a short thirty minute wait, I’m in the service garage.
We had a discussion and determined it could be one of three things: battery ($150), alternator ($200-500) or the car’s brain ($1200-1500). My stomach clenched on options 2 and 3. I anxiously sit waiting for the verdict. Yippee! It’s option #1. Still, it takes another hour to go to Pocatello and get the battery, bring it back, put it in and get me on my way.
Whew! I am just tired writing it all down again! LOL! And yeah, there’s a story here somewhere, I just know it: here I was stranded on a main highway, taken to a service station across from a restaurant called ‘The Red Pony’ and all of it happening in the pouring rain. Don’t think I didn’t take notes...LOL! Yup – quite a story – and if it hadn’t happened to me, I would not have believed it for one moment.
So, now, why don’t you all tell me your worst breakdown nightmare? And believe me, this wasn’t even my worst, just one of many. LOL!
Don’t forget the August giveaway of a basket full of goodies including an iPod nano. Next week, I have a giveaway for all the authors out there...it’s a surprise!
Until next week...see you all then!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I have a pretty to share today! I love covers, but waiting for your cover can be nerve racking! Of course my friend had me spoiled! lol She does very nice covers and she is fast! But this cover...this cover was WORTH the wait. My story, Semper Fi: Magnus, is my first full length. I'm very proud of it and happy to unveil my cover here!
Don't you just want to lick him? lol
Next wait...the release date!!! I can't wait until I can share it too!
Monday, August 10, 2009
~ Coenzyme Q10 ~ The Wrinkle Cure ~
Air pollutants, toxins, cigarette smoke, cell metabolism, exposure to the sun, and other environmental factors initiate free radicals, which can cause dangerous reactions that destroy cells and damage DNA, proteins, and fats. Free radicals also interfere with collagen production and integrity, resulting in loss of elasticity and, ultimately, aging skin. Although this is a natural and unavoidable by-product of metabolism, an overabundance of free radical damage can cause premature aging and wrinkles. Fortunately, there's a nutritional way to fight the elements.
Coenzyme Q10, also called CoQ10 and ubiquinone, is a fat soluble, vitamin-like nutrient present in virtually all cells and considered the spark plug of the body, helping to produce and regulate energy as well as fighting free radicals as an antioxidant.
CoQ10 levels are highest during the first 20 years of life and decline with time, so much so that at age 80, CoQ10 levels may be lower than at birth. Yet the body's demand for CoQ10 increases with age. Furthermore, statin (cholesterol-lowering) medications can further deplete the body of CoQ10.
The recommended daily CoQ10 dose is 30 mg, in combination with alpha lipoic acid and vitamins A, C, E, and selenium. Foods highest in CoQ10 include sardines, beef, peanuts, spinach, and albacore tuna. However, it would take a pound of sardines, two pounds of beef, or two-and-a-half pounds of peanuts to provide 30 mg, and cooking foods at high temperatures degrades the enzyme. Consequently, CoQ10 supplementation is likely necessary to achieve therapeutic effects.
CoQ10 can also benefit topically, as it's a small molecule that can easily penetrate the skin. When CoQ10 is combined with vitamins C and E in creams or lotions, the synergistic effect can neutralize free radicals, thus reducing wrinkles.
Supplementing with CoQ10 is not only a good anti-aging strategy for the skin, it can also enhance energy, cognition, heart health, stroke prevention, and immune support.
Article from Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals newsletter.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Just yesterday I was plugging away working on my synopsis for a current work in progress when I decided to pop a cd into the computer. I love country music, so that is usually my first choice when it comes to listening pleasure as well.
A few minutes later, I stopped typing and started listening to the words of the song. Whoa, they were very poignant and alsmost made me cry. When the songstress sang this at the Country Music Awards a few years ago she broke down crying during the song. It's about how her mother left their family and how the singer wanted to let her know that was doing just fine without her in her life. Ok, so I shedding a tear or two, or lots (G).
It really hit home as my mother gave me up when I was three months old. Granted she gave me to family members (my great grandparents) but it still hurts nonetheless. I will always wonder what if things would have been different. But they weren't. My father was killed in a car crash at the young age of 19, my mother was then barely 18, a widow with a baby. Life was not going the way she had planned by any stretch of the imagination.
So, long story short, when I hear something like that on the radio I always find myself wondering what kind of book it would make. Would anyone care about my life even if was fictionalized, and romanticized?
Who knows, but regardless of that I ALWAYS jot down ideas and have scraps of paper all over my office, my purse, my nightstand, my house with scribbles and snippets of ideas for future books. Will I ever write them, again who knows. But I certainly have a stockpile of ideas to chose from.
What about you? Do you write down the ideas so time doesn't take them away from you? Where do you get your inspiration from? Share with me please.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
I have blogged before about my extreme dental phobia. My problem has been so extreme that a friend of a friend, let's call her Sandy, called me a few days ago and asked if she could use me as a guinea pig for her dental exam.
"I hear you have bad teeth," were her opening words.
Not exactly a way to win friends and influence people.
I was happy to report that she was misinformed. I told her with some pride that I now have my runaway cavities, crowns and a deep cleaning firmly behind me. I now have a great dentist and in spite of a horrible incident last week during sedation dentistry - I woke up in the middle of it - and a big ol' bruise on my arm from the injection site, I am no longer a man with a bad mouth.
I love my sparkling teeth!
Sandy was not pleased and virtually hung up on me.
Her mom called me next and said Sandy was devastated. She thought I'd be the perfect guinea pig to help her pass her oral exam.
Why me, Lord? Why?
Long story short, I got drafted into helping her find a new victim. She thought I was such a shoo-in she hadn't bothered finding a backup. And the exam was scheduled for this morning.
Big shumuck that I am, I did look for bad teeth and found her the owner of the worst ones I've ever seen in my life.
I found him at the gym.
He was a beaut. He's a broke boxer and he was willing to be her guinea pig in exchange for free dental work.
Except he's a bigger dental phobe than I am.
Sandy's family enlisted an impressive roster of babysitters to keep the guy busy and his mind off this morning's procedure.
I was drafted into babysitting him last night - the exam was 9am this morning. Why I said I would help I'll never know, but from 6.30pm to 11pm last night, I kept him with me and he kept looking at my arm.
"What happened to you?" he asked.
I knew if I said, "Dental surgery" he would run all the way to Tijuana.
He was nice enough to sit through a meeting I had to attend for work. He even put up with me thundering away on my laptop as he watched TV.
We argued only when he wanted to watch bull fights.
He settled for a UFC match.
He ate fast food and I kept checking he wasn't sneaking out the door when I went to the bathroom.
The only time he grumbled, really, was when I forced him to walk the dog with me at 11pm because I didn't trust him not to run away.
I handed him off to Sandy's boyfriend at 11pm. He in turn, handed him over to Sandy who was swatting for her exam and she arrived bright and early with her guinea pig this morning.
I just learned that poor Sandy was disqualified because the guinea pig's dental problems were so severe the instructors felt she could never complete them in the allotted time.
So it's all my fault. From now on I shall keep my phobias to myself.
Hush my mouth and smack my grandma if I ever blog about my teeth again!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Book 4.5 in the Santa’s Elves Series
Ronan swung her up into his arms, then strode through the penthouse toward her bedroom. “Only I get to see you as you are now.” He sat her on the edge of her king bed, pushed her down gently. His mouth took in her other nipple, tweaking the first before going even lower to continue its assault down her stomach while his hands sustained their exquisite torture of her breasts. He hovered over her crotch, breath hot as his rough bearded chin rubbed the soft skin right above her underwear. “I want this gone as well.” His thumbs hooked under the edge of lace.
She was surprised by his actions as his husky voice made her shiver. “Ronan, it’s been a long time. I’ve never…” her voice came in short gasps.
“You’ll like it.”
She placed her hands on his larger ones, stopped him and closed her eyes. “I’m—I’m sure I will. Give me a moment to take it all in.”
He stopped moving his hands on her body and looked up at her from his position on the floor. “You don’t want this?”
Giselle lifted the corners of her mouth. “No, that’s not it. I want to make sure you want this.”
He was still for a few moments, his breathing raspy. “I want this.”
His statement was solid, brooked no argument. He wanted her. And finally, she could yield to a searing desire that had been growing since he rescued her from harm on a night long ago. He was all she wanted, had ever wanted. Why was she just now seeing it?
Maybe because I’d never seen him before my rescue.
“Relax. This will be wonderful.”
She gave a low, hallow chuckle, trying to break the tension, thinking she would return the favor the first moment she got. For now, she was lost in sensation. She closed her eyes. He touched her most intimate places. His tongue circled her belly button, followed by tiny nip-kisses, going down further still to caress her hip. Then he pulled the lace away, exposing the tip of her shaved crotch.
“Smooth. Interesting. Do all human women do this?”
She was brought out of her sensual thoughts. “What?”
He looked up at her face, a wry smile on his. “Shave.”
She shook her head to get her bearings. “Sometimes. They did it in the hospital when they were afraid my hip bones were cracked and I’ve kept it up.” She shuddered then, trying hard not to think of that night.
“I’ll make you forget what happened to you.”
Ronan pulled her underwear down her legs and tossed them in the corner. Spreading her legs, his hot breath rained down on her crotch for a moment before he replaced it with his tongue. His tongue licked her first top to bottom, then his mouth suckled her labia, opening those lips with that same fiery tongue. His fingers ran smoothly over her clit, downward, then back up again, causing her to quiver in pleasure.
Help me celebrate my new novel, Giselle’s Elf and get me on the best seller list for August. From now until August 31, purchase Giselle’s Elf and receive your choice of another book in Santa’s Elves series. Just present me with a proof of purchase to email@example.com and I will personally send you the book of your choice with a personal thank you!
I know you’ll love this series as much as I love writing it! Enjoy Christmas in August!
And don’t forget my summer giveaway at the end of August. Just comment on this blog and be entered in the drawing which includes an iPod. Hope to see you here!
See you next week!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Some stories have different answers. A song made you think of something, a movie you might have watched gave you that surge you needed to write. OR it was the right place, the right time and the cosmos aligned. lol
I'm talking about inspiration because recently, I had a story that had to be told. It sucked ME in. Last week on my publisher's group, eXtasy, they asked if any authors wanted to contribute to their Fantasy Garden line. They are short stories, 5k to 8k long, that use the meanings of rose. I thought about giving it a try. I have other projects I'm working on so I let them know I was interested, but wasn't sure when I would be able to write one. As I looked at the different meanings, I got an email from my husband that his grandmother was dying. It was only a matter of hours. It was so sudden, I was shocked! The meaning page was still up and right in front of me was the meaning of a black rose. Black Roses – Death, Farewell, Loss. The promise that soon you will know something you did not know before. Some see it as a bad omen. Signifies rejuvenation on the horizon. Sometimes a beautiful deep red rose will bloom from a blackened bud. I had to write this story. I also incorporated the white rose. White Roses —I am worthy of you, I miss you, Innocence, New beginnings, Purity, Reverence, Spiritual love, Truth.
I couldn't stop writing and ended up with a 5k short in one day. It's a story of the loss and rebirth of love. It's an m/m short called Heart Song and it's tentative release day is 9/1/2009 from eXtasy.
It's odd how things come to us. Who would have thought that an m/m story would be born from the death of a woman I didn't know well enough.
Monday, August 3, 2009
~ Here Comes the Sun ~ Updated UV Index Shines Light on Rays
A crucial warning system has been recently updated for your skin's protection. In compliance with the World Health Organization, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Weather Service revamped the UV Index, a system created to alert people about the level of harmful ultraviolet (UV) light rays from the sun. Overexposure to UV rays can cause wrinkles and premature aging, skin cancer, cataracts, and immune system suppression.
Many factors influence the strength of UV rays: UV light is stronger in the summer, at higher altitudes, and in areas closer to the equator. It's also stronger at midday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the sun is directly overhead.
The new UV index ranges from 0-11 with guidelines as follows:
0-2: low. Minimal exposure for the average person, but watch for reflected UV from snow and water.
3-5: moderate. Stay in the shade during midday. Cover-up outside.
6-7: high. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and a sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15. Avoid midday sun.
8-10: very high. Take extra precautions, and avoid midday sun. Wear protective clothing.
11: extreme. Take all precautions, seek shade, and avoid midday sun. If possible, stay indoors.
As part of its daily forecast, the National Weather Service publishes the UV index for each area of the country. Go to www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html and enter your zip code to find your UV index for the day. The Weather Channel, as well as most local TV stations, include the UV index in their weather forecast. It can also be found at www.weather.com. For a detailed description of the UV index, or for more information on sun protection, visit www.epa.gov/sunwise.
Article from Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals newsletter.
& if you’re out in the sun and heat, make sure to drink plenty of water.
Water: Did you know that if a person is feeling thirsty, fatigued, headachy, hungry, or is cramping, they are most likely dehydrated? Did you know that your body produces about one cup of water a day in the process of converting food to energy but loses about ten cups through respiration, excretion, and sweating and combined with drinking sugary and/or caffeinated beverages and not enough plain water most people are dehydrated and don’t even know it? Did you know that athletes, physically active people and those living in hot, dry climates are even more susceptible to dehydration? A good rule of thumb when it comes to drinking water: drink half your body weight in ounces of water a day. So if you’re 150 lbs then you should be drinking at least 75 oz of water a day.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Too often I find that people outside of the industry think that we do this just as a hobby and that it’s not a real job. Let’s face it, not everyone brings home the bucks like Nora and Janet. So when the rest of us struggling writers put in a ton of hours with very little return, our family and friends often ask why we do it. They shake their heads in confusion as they see us battling deadlines, crying over reviews and fighting edits.
I don’t think anyone but another author can truly understand why we do what we do. How we get a story in our head and we just have to tell it or die trying. How it feels to make characters come alive. How the satisfaction of completing a manuscript can feel like the best high ever.
I think writers are a special breed all of their own and that the only ones who can ever hope to understand them is other writers. That is why I think it’s vital for all writers to join organizations or attend workshops. They don’t have to be RWA either. Just a place where you can find likeminded people so you know you’re not alone in this crazy world.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Here's one of my favorites:
1 ripe banana (cut up in small chunks)
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup ripe strawberrries
100 gr plain yoghurt (these are the small containers)
1/2 cup orange juice
Add the ingredients one by one in the order listed above. Blend until smooth. Use a spoon to check for desired thickness. Add more orange juice or some skim milk if too thick.
Normally fills 4 - 5 glasses. Enjoy and keep cool folks!