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Dates…

Today is 12.12.12.   A repetitive date  that won’t happen again for another hundred years. 

calendar

Well, that is, unless the world ends on the 21st, in 9 days. In that case, we’ve seen our last repetitive anything.  🙂  But I’m not going there, because my daughter is scheduled to travel to NYC that evening, and while I don’t believe the Mayans, I do believe in crackpots wanting to use our fear against us and do crazy things.

mayan-calendar_bigger

 

But I digress…  🙂

I really wanted to talk about my craziness of remembering dates.  Dates I don’t really care to remember!   Not the important ones!   Oddball times of my life stick with me, and raise up and wave every year.  It’s the goofiest thing.  I can’t remember people’s birthdays to save my life… but I can remember the day I started dating a major guy in high school…Sep 18th…when I broke up with him…Oct 16th.    I remember a very crucial kick-me-in-the-gut party one year on Aug 8th,  when I met my ex on Dec 7th, and something I will not name on July 24th. 🙂

Why?

Probably because when I was younger I tracked everything.  Everything was important, and vital, drama-filled, and life-altering, so of course I transferred data from journal to calendar to calendar for years.    In my older years, I’m doing good to remember what is important from week to week.  I have a list on my fridge of all my family and extended family’s birthdays and anniversaries.  And then I forget to look at it and miss them.  *head slap*

My anniversary is July 15th.  I make sure I know that one. 🙂

Enjoy 12.12.12!!

 

Back To School…

This is a big year in our house.  The last of our little birds has started her senior year.   That pic up there is her first day of Kindergarten, and her first day of 12th grade. 

We went through this with my son five years ago, but this one is hitting me a little more nostalgically.  I think because the first time around I knew we still had one coming up through the ranks.  Now, everything is the “last time”.  🙂

We had the last start up pep rally last week.  This is her last marching season in the band for the football games.  She made the theater production troupe this year, so this will be the last of all that.

I remember graduating and thinking that those friends would be forever, so when she and her friends talk about the hook ups they will make on college breaks and when my daughter gets leave (she’s going into the Navy), I get a little sad.  I’ve seen some of these kids since Kindergarten, and I know how they will drift apart once they aren’t together every day.

This picture below was from her first grade class, where she made a new best friend, Kenzie.  My daughter is the one looking like she’s eating her purple Scooby Doo backpack.  Kenzie is on the left looking shy and sweet.

This is them a few weeks ago, as I took them on our annual girls day school clothes shopping spree for the very last time!

They are young women now.  About to go off into the big world after this last crazy year.  That’s amazing to me.

I think it’s going to be a roller coaster of a year!!

What are your back to school experiences like?

 

Stealth mission needed…

I have to ‘fess up.  I love dogs and like cats, and am basically an animal lover in general.  Rarely will I pass up a chance to pet something furry, and baby-anythings just do me in completely. 

My old lady dog, Ruby…proof of my love…

However…

I’ll refrain from posting a picture of what has become the bain of my existence lately.  🙂

Something…some sweet little something…is leaving presents on my front porch.  Every day.  Every single solitary day, I get a new smelly pile, not in the yard–not on the sidewalk–RIGHT smack in front of my front door.

People not thinking to look down as they leave by way of the front door, step right in it.  Even better, they step in it as they are walking IN, unaware of what just transpired.  I’m thinking, why on earth do these people smell so bad? 

My happiness runneth over.

And the thing is, I can’t figure it out!  I never hear it outside my door, I’m never there to catch it.  Old Lady Dog, Ruby, doesn’t hear or smell much anymore, so unless it’s the mailman invading the house by sliding paper things through the slot in the wall, thereby sending her into a viscious frenzy, she isn’t aware of it. 

My neighborhood does lend itself to strays, but this is a repeat offender.  This is no passing happenstance of a free-faring Fido.  My porch has a kind of railing around it, you have to walk around to enter it, and it dead ends there.  You have to then turn around to walk out.  Something is making the conscious choice to make the effort.

Why?  Because the large lush green front yard it has to stroll through to get to the hot hard concrete porch isn’t tweaking its little urges?

It’s taunting me.   I’ll keep you updated.  🙂

Ommmm… Ommmm…

 

Distractions…or…My Typical Morning…

Tick…tick…tick…

I hear that sound too much lately, mostly in my own head.  The sound of time sliding by one tick at a time, while anxiety and too many shinies take precedence.

It’s early morning…early early morning.  I have 45 minutes before I have to get ready for work, so I want to be productive and start the day with some wordage.  I pull up my current manuscript in progress, and stare at the last sentence.  Yanno…that same one I stared at the night before.  It didn’t change.  Gremlins didn’t park themselves all cozy on my couch, pull the blanket up that the old lady dog pulled down, and work magic on my story overnight.  They also, by the way, did not clean the bathroom, wipe down the kitchen, or run a load of laundry, but I think they might have had a frat party in my daughter’s room.  Damn lazy gremlins.

So anyway, that sentence is still there, and the cursor is blinking at me, waiting for brilliant inspiration.  Inspiration that clearly hasn’t awakened yet, so I take a swallow of coffee and click over to Twitter for a minute.  Just a minute.  Just to see what the other coffee-swilling-half-awake people are doing.  I see that my agent was up at 3:30 in the morning, spouting brilliance and retweeting important information.  I marvel that anyone thinks that clearly at that time of–um–day.  Oh, and there’s a friend of mine who debuted a few months before me, linking to her perfectly organized blog and those of fifty of her closest friends, before she sits down to write all day and knock out ten books this year.  Okay, maybe that’s a bit over the top.  But she’s awesome and my hero, seriously.  I want to be her. So I click over to her website and check out her latest updates, notice a great idea that I want to incorporate on my site.  Actually, I saw this same idea done on another author’s site the other day, so I go there as well.  Yep, there it is.  I like how she’s done it a little better, so I make a note of it, and then go to my own website. 

My first reaction is the familiar one of disgust, as there are so many things I need to update.  It’s Wednesday and I didn’t get a chance to pre-write and post anything the night before, because I was taking my daughter to get the oil changed in her car and then stopping to get greasy fried chicken for dinner to comfort myself over the speeding ticket I got on the way home from work…but that’s yesterday’s drama, so I get back to my website.  I check the clock, and grimace that twenty minutes have passed, and I really don’t have time to deal with the updates right now.  I’ll do that tonight, when I get home, after I’ve cooked something–which is a good question–what am I cooking tonight?  My daughter has an appointment, and–   Anyway.  I’ll write the post when I get to work, and post it from my phone.  Yeah–there will be time for that.

So I click back over to the manuscript.  There is a good scene going, so why can’t I see what’s next?  Why am I stuck with these two people talking at a table, it should be funny, it should flow.  Why aren’t they working with me?  Maybe I’ll go back and read a little.  Or work on the first pass pages from my November release, that my publisher sent me.  No, that’s a long-term duty, and I only have–I look at the clock on the side table–fifteen more minutes.

I click back over to Twitter, and see someone’s link to their Facebook page, which I click on, knowing in the back of my mind I shouldn’t.  It’s another author friend, talking about getting ready for RWA National Conference, which is in a week, and I’m going too.  I read about her preparation, and think about my own scarce wardrobe and what I’m bringing for my signing table, and wonder if it is enough.  I wonder if I should hook up with other authors and do something fun for the Literacy Signing.  I wonder if I should do a newsletter drawing.  I wonder if my crazy local airport will keep from screwing up my luggage.  I think about the promo items in my closet and wonder how I’m going to get all that packed in with my clothes so it isn’t a nightmare at the airport.  I make a mental note to add some things to my ever growing RWA list of things to do, and then remember that I really wanted to have a certain word count done on this manuscript before having breakfast with my editor at the conference next Friday. 

Deep sigh.  I click back over to my manuscript.  I type in a sentence, then backspace it away.  I type in a different sentence, and hit Save.  Because I’ve looked at the clock again, and I have three minutes left. 

Time to get ready for the day job.  I’ll go pour another cup of coffee.  It will be better tonight.  After whatever I cook and laundry and pulling out those promo items.  The words will be there tonight.

Story Magic

It happens when you least expect it, usually days or weeks or months after you need it. Whether I’m reading a book or writing one, there’s a moment when the magic of the story hits me and I’m swept up into the lives of the people on the page.

While I was writing my upcoming indie release WEDDING FEVER, I experienced this marvelous phenonmenon. I started the story with a bang, but by the time I reached chapter four, I was mired in the boredom of my own story.

So I stopped.

I stared at the computer screen for a while, folded some laundry, vacuumed the house, then went web surfing. Meanwhile, our own Sharla Lovelace announced her—then upcoming—book THE REASON IS YOU.

So I read the blurb.

The Reason Is You by Sharla Lovelace

The Reason Is You by Sharla Lovelace

In the small river town of Bethany, Dani Shane never fit in. Being different pushed her to the fringes of society, and even leaving town for two decades didn’t stop the talk. Now, with her sixteen year-old daughter Riley in tow, Dani is back in Bethany looking for a fresh start. Too bad her plans for staying under the radar are about to be thrown out the window.

Mischievous and sexy, Dani’s old friend Alex still has the power to rock her world, but there’s a big obstacle standing in their way–Alex has been dead for forty years. With a ghost popping up at inopportune moments and sparking conversations with her teenage daughter, Dani scrambles to find solid ground and get a grip–both on her sanity and her heart.

Somewhere between “With a ghost popping up at inopportune moments…” and “…sparking conversations with her teenage daughter…”, a new character, fully formed, popped into my thoughts. One who brought my story alive. One who caused my heroine both happiness and grief. One who would ultimately reveal the secrets of the past and help my heroine find true love again.

(In case you’re wondering, my character is very different from Sharla’s Alex, except for the ghost part and the snarky part. :))

From that moment on, WEDDING FEVER wrote itself. I laughed, I cried, and when I typed the end, I knew I had found my story magic.

But then I finished the book and started a new one. And now I’m looking for some new magic.

Where will I find it? Under the fridge? Within the pages of a magazine? Or perhaps one day I’ll stumble across two phrases that when put together, work their wonderful and mysterious magic on my brain.

If you’re looking to kill a few minutes on the internet this Sunday, join me for the Bandit Creek release party for WEDDING FEVER. The link will be on my blog Sunday morning. I’ll be giving away three (3) copies of the ebook. Hope to see you there!

If you’re a writer, where do you find your story magic lurking? And if you’re a reader, what makes a story magical for you?

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