Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Year (or Day!) of Seasons

"Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring....what happens to Aaron?  EVERYTHING!"
This was one of my favorite books as a kid, about Aaron the Alligator and all the problems he had every season:)

I live in Indiana and sometimes we can get all four seasons in the same day, or at least maybe two per day!  What I like about each season is short and sweet.

As a full-time Mom, I had a love/hate relationship with summer.  When the kids were little and we lived in an apartment, the kids and I spent a great deal of time at the pool, or taking them to the park.  As they grew older, though, my summers were spent shuttling them from activity to activity.

Boy was I happy when school began!

My spouse also worked in the summertime, so I was also in single-mom mode most of the time.

School was in session, and I had my 'me' time back.  When we moved to the country, this was the time of year I enjoyed getting outside and working in the back yard, picking up sticks and clearing the brush, since our back yard consisted of 6 acres of woods!

Now, my favorite part is attending the Fall Festivals.

The only good part of winter is Christmas and my birthday.  As I've gotten older, I. HATE. Snow.  Last year, I loved it; we got a dusting.  My ideal winter?  A light snow Christmas Eve or day, then gone by the 26th.

My favorite flowers are tulips, and I was thrilled to discover our new house had them in the flower boxes out in front!

When the spouse was working, I also loved the fact the phone would ring and he would return to work:)

What about you?  What's your favorite season?
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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Winning My Heart #MFRW Authors #37

What Five Things Can A Person Do To Win My Heart?

I'm going to cheat, and answer this two ways.

As An Author:
1)  "Feed Me, Seymore!".  A guy once told me on a date that I was the only girl who'd actually eaten her meal on the 1st date.  Uuuummmm, yeah, this gal likes her food.  I don't buy into the whole notion of not wanting the guy to see what I look like while eating; hell, I think taking a guy to a Greek restaurant is an excellent 1st date!  If he can't handle the way I eat a gyro, then there's no point in pursuing this any further.

2)  Respect My Need For Space.  Every once in a while, I get the urge to write non-stop.  If you're gonna nag me about my computer use, forget it.

3)  Share My Taste In Music or Humor, Or At Least Don't Ridicule Me:  I have quirky tastes, and if I'm in the mood to watch Rocky Horror Picture Show or Spinal Tap, either thrill me by getting the references if I tell you I like my speakers on 11, or ask 'is that an armadillo in your trousers?'  

"You know, dozens of people spontaneously combust every day; it's just not widely talked about."

"That'll do, pig."

"You gotta jump to your left...."

"You murdered my father; preepare to die!" (Yes, I purposefully misspelled 'prepare'.  If you get it, kudos to you!)

*clears throat*  Moving on......

4) Buy me books.  Or Amazon/B&N gift cards.  Build me shelves for my print books.

5)  Offer to clean the kitchen, or at least help with clean up, if I've cooked you a nice meal!  Or even better, cook for me:)  And have a sing-a-long to make the chore go faster.....

As A Mom:
1) Same As #1 Above.  You can never go wrong with food, lol!

2)  Take a GENUINE Interest In My Kids and In Me:   My kids and I come as a package deal.  If you don't like my kids, then take a hike.

3)  Same As #3 Above:   Case in point:  Last night, my husband handed me his cup and asked me to 'ice me, baby.'  My oldest son and I looked at each other and started rapping... "Alright stop.  Collaborate and listen...Ice is back with a brand new ambition..."  Needless to say, he was not exactly amused....

Nor was my dad back in 1983, when my sister and I decided to sing while coming home from somewhere with our parents.  My dad asked us to sing something quieter, like Rock of Ages.  My sis and I looked at each other and started in.  "Rise up, gather round, rock this place to the ground..."

Again, my father was not amused, but Mom laughed!

Have you picked up on my sense of humor yet?

4)  Same as #4 Above:  You can never go wrong with books!

5)  Same as #5 Above.  Or at least be willing to either take me out, order pizza, or bring home Arby's for lunch if I'm deep into my aliens' lives!  If I've been writing all day, the last thing I want to do is cook!

See?  I'm fairly easy to please.  Not high-maintenance at all.  Oh and as a bonus, go with me to a few events and actually act INTERESTED?  Or if you're not after the 1st one, still go with me and go off and do your own thing before picking me up?  We can talk about both events!

To see the way to other authors' hearts, click here.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Time Management, Kenzie-Style #MFRW Authors #36

First of all, what do you think of my shiny new cover?  When Freya's Bower folded last year, I received my rights back.  I was having trouble paying for Kira's edits, Kira's cover art, AND paying my FB cover artist to remove the FB logo, so something had to wait.  Then earlier this summer, I learned that Hydra Publications planned to create a romance spin-off, so I sent off my 2nd official 'baby', after updating it to present day.  I'd written it back in 2007, before Smart Phones and Social Media.  For anyone who's already read the old version, I hope you will consider checking out the minor changes I've made to this wonderful story.  (Old cover can still be seen to the right)

Now, back to the topic at hand:  How do I manage my writing time?

Short answer:  Not very well.

It used to be easy:  Send spouse off to work, wake children and take them to school, check email (took longer to boot up the computer and get online than it did to read my mail!), put on the music, and write.

But now....I've had days when all I've done is bounce back and forth between emails, chat loops, and Facebook!  Not to mention blogging.  That used to eat up a good hour, more if I felt the need to comment on all of them!

Plus, the spouse is now retired, and you're probably tired of hearing about the two abandoned houses we acquired along with our new house.  You get it; I need about six more hours in the day to get everything done.

So when do I write?  In the afternoon, after the chores and errands are complete.  I've actually made a schedule of what days to set aside for working on the houses, and what days I need to stay put.  Of course, the Muse can be fickle; last week I wrote 3K over the course of 2 days.

This may change, once NaNoWriMo gets here, and IF we get a hard winter.  Yup....shut me in the house with several inches of snow and ice outside, and Kenzie becomes a hermit, with her computer and Kindle for entertainment!

Unless the spouse 'insists' we brave the cold and go out to lunch, lol!

What's that?  You want the blurb to Teacher's Pet?  Enjoy:)

 What happens when you discover the man you had mind-blowing sex with three months ago is your son's teacher? Tammy Saunders is horrified when she realizes the man who set her heart racing is her son's favorite teacher. With one bad relationship behind her, will she trust her heart again, or will she continue to deny her feminine side?
And is this particular teacher popular only with his students? Kevin has made some bad choices in his life, but sleeping with not only one, but now two, of his students' mothers, has got to be the worst mistake he ever made. Especially when he realizes he's lost his heart to one of them...

Coming later this month from Erotes Press:)

For better tips on managing time, click here. 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Habitual Offender....#MFRW Authors #35

*checks watch*

How much time do we have for this?  LOL....

Again, I'm not sure if this pertains to writing or life, so I'll do both.

*Looks around*
The one bad habit I'm *allowed* to keep is biting my fingernails.

There.  I said it.

Can I also keep my 1/2 shot of vodka in a cup of Kool-Aid while fixing dinner habit?

The one I'm diligently working on is breaking my carb addiction.  My favorite go-to lunch if we're home is pasta with pesto.  I think this may have contributed to my testiness with my older granddaughter at the beginning of this month.  It's hard to battle your cravings and a headstrong teenager in the same week, lol.

I also have a bad habit of unintentionally 'offending' some of my friends.  This is when our views on FB over Current Events don't exactly match up.  It usually goes like this:

I see post after post which I don't agree with, so I keep scrolling.

Later that evening, I find a mild one which lines up with my personal opinion and share it.  This is usually around midnight, but it could even happen in the middle of the day.  I log off and go about my business.

I log back in an hour or so later to find I've managed to 'offend' the majority of my friends, who then feel it is their obligation to take me to task.  My 'friend count' either drops or the thread is so out of control I feel compelled to delete it.

I then bite my tongue until the 'hot button' issue settles down and my FB feed returns to *normal*.

Sometimes this happens on my blog also, as the Great Christmas Lyric Scandal of 2007 showed me.

Okay, enough about that.

*flexes fingers*

Now, as to my writing.....I used to have the following bad habits:
-Adverbs (before I learned they were a no-no)
-Head Hopping (this before I knew the *rules* had changed....hey, I learned from the best!)
-Using certain words over and over....and then replacing them with more tired ones...(that, which, so, as, now, when...also beginning a sentence with 'And' or 'But'.)

Now my bad habit is procrastination.
-Short, to the point sex scenes (but is that really a bad thing?  LOL!)
-Using the same name over and over (Last check, I had 4 'Brians'....thankfully, one of them told me his name was 'Zachary Brian', so he became 'Zach'.)
-Not using enough description or using too many nicknames.  In one of my latest short story effort, I used complicated names and in some instances, shortened them.  I confused at least two beta readers who don't read that genre.....but the ones who DO read it had no issue!  So????)

If you ask my crit partners, they could probably point out more....

Want to know others' bad habits?  Click here.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Taking Notes....#MFRW Authors #34

 Open or Closed Doors?

I'm an open-door person.  Having been raised in an easy-going household, I like having the doors open on mild days; if there's only family around and I'm in a hurry, I will leave the bathroom door open when I do my, er, business.  I hate to sleep with the bedroom door closed.

The only times my bedroom door is closed is when I'm either getting dressed after a shower or need privacy.

*needle-scratch*  Oh wait, you mean in my books?  The bedroom scenes?

In that case, the bedroom door is wide open, and I'm standing beside the bed, taking notes on what my characters are doing between the sheets, or even on top of them.  (LOL!)

At least, that's how it was when I first began writing sex scenes.  Now, while sometimes every action is described, I will tend to leave some things to the imagination.  For example, once my characters have been to bed, I don't think it's necessary to describe every sexual act unless they try something new, or it's been a while since they've taken their time.

Truthfully, when I first began reading romances, I devoured every bedroom scene.  But now, I tend to skip over them and read more of the plot.  Does that shock you?  Maybe I'm simply burned out on sex scenes, having been pretty much immersed in them the past seven years.

I went through this issue once before, then purchased Anny Cook's Daffodil (currently unavailable, but if you have an old copy or know someone who owns it, I highly recommend it!  Esp her Phantom's Rest!) and read every single word.  Maybe I need to do so again?

To see what others have to say on this topic, click here.  

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Karaoke, Anyone? #MFRW Authors #33

If you're a FB friend, or regular reader of my other blog, you know I have a bi-weekly habit.

I'm a closet-rocker who has been hurting the ears singing karaoke for the past six years.  I get to unleash my inner rock chick and inflict my voice belt out Bon Jovi, Journey, Styx, and the occasional Foreigner songs, as well as going through the song list alphabetically.  On Saturday nights, I'm up to the 'N' titles.  On Thursday nights, well, I'm going backward, so in the past year I've gone from Z-W.  I also see if my Thursday night KJ has songs that my Saturday guy doesn't.  So for fun, here's my songs for the coming week:

No More Tears-Donna Summer/Barbra Streisand
No No No Song-Ringo Starr
No One Is To Blame-Howard Jones
No One Like You-Scorpions

When The Children Cry-White Lion
Leave A Light On-Belinda Carlisle
When The Going Gets Tough-Billy Ocean
Invincible-Pat Benetar (redeeming song)

I also took up needlepoint last year, and find it very relaxing.  I discovered a love of embroidery and cross-stitch when I was ten, as well as spool-knitting (my great-grandmother tried in vain to teach me how to needle-knit!  I did fine at her house, but as soon as I got home, I'd completely mess it up.).  I now have about six or eight yards of spooled yarn that will 'one day' be turned into a rug.  Every once in a while I'll come across that bag and work on it some more.

My kids finally got me interested in this online app, and so far I've binge-watched Star Trek DS9; Frasier, Coach, and am now on Season 7 of Criminal Minds.  I'm also on Season 1 of Friends, when I get tired of all the brutality of CM.

I'll admit, my reading time has greatly suffered in the past seven years.  My granddaughter has discovered the joys of the Kindle, so I have to hide mine when it's not in use.  I do tend to read more when I take various family members for doctor appointments and on the weekends when the granddaughter is at her dad's.  Right now, my 'unwinding' at night consists of NetFlix or my daily Solitaire Challenge.

So what do YOU do to recharge the creative batteries?
Find out more here. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

"Magic 8 Ball, Please Tell Me...." #MFRW Authors #32

*shaking vigorously*

Where do I hope to be in ten years' time?
-Family-wise, my kids will be 35, 33, and 23; granddaughters will be 26 and 15; grandson 25.  My oldest will be teaching at the junior high level and on his way to getting his Masters of Education, if he hasn't already.  He may or may not be married with children of his own.  Daughter will have a steady job and a place of her own; my baby either be in college or working somewhere.  Granddaughter Alex will be in high school; Granddaughter Ariel will be pursuing her Culinary Arts career.  Grandson will most likely be in the Army or Marines.

-Parents will be in their 80s, if still alive.  Spousal unit will be 73.

-House-wise, with having the house finally to ourselves, all my possessions will be out of boxes and the house arranged the way I want it.  The other two houses will have been demolished and a nice yard in their place.

-Both dogs will probably be gone.  Pit Bull Dexter is already 6, and shepherd mix Cheyenne is nearly 8. 

-Career-wise, I want to be at the level where I am PAID to attend conferences, or at least have the means to attend the ones I want.  All current unfinished WIPS will be published.

Of course, if we go to war with NK in the coming months, I hope I'm one of the ones who are killed instantly.  I do not want to suffer any radiation poisoning.  I keep praying that another solution to this threat, as well as the terrorism threat, can be found soon.

I also dearly hope that the health care issue has been resolved, and I'll finally have GOOD medical insurance!

Magic 8 Ball, please tell me
What kind of future do you see?

"Future Cloudy.  Check back later."

What do you see in YOUR future?

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