Friday, January 20, 2017

Flashback Friday: Surprise Announcement, A Broken Arm, and A Shared Anniversary....

Jan 1997:
Brief Recap:   My sister came home from Ota, Japan for Christmas, and I had given her a copy of the movie Better Off Dead. When she unwrapped it, she stated that was Chris's favorite movie, prompting the question, "Who's Chris?"

Turns out she worked with his brother, who had introduced her to him via computer, and they chatted regularly.  Chris decided to fly to Indiana to meet my sister in person.

Chris popped the question to my sister on New Year's Eve, and she accepted!  A few days later, my dad, mom, and sister were due to fly to Florida, when my dad slipped on the ice and broke his arm.  He offered his ticket to Chris, who then flew to St. Pete, Fla with my sister and mom.  On Jan 3rd, the decided to go ahead and get married, but Chris's wallet had been stolen, and he had no ID.  So they used her old Florida address for his; secured him a temporary ID for the marriage license; and on Jan 5th after church, Grandma's pastor married them.

While all this was going on, I was spending the 4th with friend T, as well as introducing friend B to my ex AF officer. On the 5th, we went to my SIL's for Christmas with her family.  When we arrived home later that night, my sister called me to tell me their good news, and could we meet them at the airport the next day?

We did, and it turned out my new BIL shared my sense of humor, and we've gotten along quite well ever since.  They've now been married for 20 years, and we still joke about the 'legality' of their unconventional marriage!

On Tuesday, W appeared on our doorstep with breakfast, announcing she'd just come from the airport where she'd put her new hubby on a plane back to Canada; he would start the process to join her in Japan.  We had another lovely visit with her until it was time to return back to Lafayette and get ready for her return to Ota!

I've never told her about the fact we now share an anniversary; Jan 5th 1997 being my 1st anniversary being reunited with T; her wedding day. 

Present Day:
I've spent this past week in Lafayette, since Carla's funeral was on Sunday.  On Monday, Mom and I went to the Retired Teachers Luncheon, and I was able to reconnect with Mrs. Hart, who taught PE, and Mrs. Norman, who was my 11th grade English teacher.  Tuesday, I took Mom to her hair appointment, then to lunch at Steak-n-Shake.  Wed, I had my hair appointment, plus met friend RRW for lunch at McCallister's.  I also went to Hobby Lobby and to Kirkland's, for a new journal and two small cross stitch projects.  Dad's taking me back home today, so I've preposted this.  I also finished watching SE6 of Game of Thrones.

Have a wonderful weekend!  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Flashback Friday: New Job and Reunion!

Jan 1987:
I spent the first half of the month job-hunting, then finally got a call from Manpower, to go temp at a craft factory.  I enjoyed it; after being trained on the project we would be packing, my brain decided to go 'creative'.  I had taken a notebook with me to leave in the break room, so during the two 15-minute breaks and my half hour lunch time, I would write down the scenes I'd created in my head, and 'Love On The Rocks' began coming together.

The weather at this time was horrible.  Snow, ice, and I had to leave the house at 6 am in order to make it on time.  When JF's birthday rolled around the 4th week, the roads were so bad on Friday, my dad actually forbade me to go.  Fortunately, by noon the next day, the temperature rose, and my parents allowed me to drive down.

I arrived just as he and one of his friends pulled up with a carry out pizza.  I silently laughed as JF tried to get rid of his friend ASAP, nearly shoving him out the door with the pizza after putting his half on a platter!  I'd never seen a guy so anxious to be alone with me reaffirmed we were still going strong!

Finally, after his buddy got the message and drove off, JF pulled me into his arms and kissed me....then got confused.  My shirt had buttons in both front and back, but the back ones only went up to the shoulder!  After a wonderful reunion, and his pizza forgotten, he took me to dinner, then to a local bar, The Railroad Inn, and introduced me to rum and coke.  We then went across the street to The Roundup and danced before going back to his place.

I didn't want to leave the next morning, but knew I had to, since I'd spent most of my money on gassing up the car.  I was only getting paid $4 an hour, and already owed Dad at least $20 for the phone bill.  It felt good to be back in JF's arms again after a 5 week absence; we made plans for me to return at the end of February.

Next Month:  Heartache

Present Day:
2017 is off to a bad start.  Last year, I was reeling from the fact we'd lost both David Bowie and Alan Rickman; this year I've lost fellow classmate Craig Clifton, elementary school principal Mr. Kendall, drama coach Tom Prill, math teacher Mr. Skibinski, and now our #1 Band Mom, Carla Jones.

I've known Carla since I was a teenager.  She and Mom became good friends when Carla's husband Al was hired by JHS, and they chaperoned many band and orchestra trips.  Carla had a wonderful sense of humor, and she and my mom's birthdays were only a week apart, so they would often celebrate together.  Carla's son Andy and I were the same age, but really couldn't stand each other; I got along better with his younger sister Anna.

Carla taught me the basics when I tried out for the Flag Corps, and she picked me up from summer school when I'd have to be back at school two hours later, and my mom was busy.

Everyone loved her VW bus, Wolfgang von Bus aka 'Wolfie'.

I think I irritated her once when I didn't listen to her warnings about a certain classmate.....but I managed to prove her wrong.

She also helped manage my wedding reception nearly 26 years ago.

At any rate, I'm headed up to Lafayette for Carla's funeral, and to lend my mom some support, since this makes the 3rd friend she will have buried this week.


Friday, January 6, 2017

Flashback Friday:

Jan 1977:
Really don't remember much; I THINK this is when my mom was working on her Master's Thesis, so weekends with Dad became a huge part of our lives.  Dad took us out to eat; roller skating; and best of all, to the movies.  I think we might have seen The Pink Panther Strikes Again and The Shaggy D.A.

We were all trying to learn The Bus Stop dance, and rumors were going around about the new film, Saturday Night Fever, and the fact you could see John Travolta naked in it.  Since I loved him as Vinnie Barbarino in Welcome Back Kotter, I wanted to see it, but as it was rated 'R', I knew I'd have to wait until it was broadcast on TV the following year.  Which meant, I wouldn't see him naked after all.

The airwaves began to buzz with the soundtrack to the movie, which my father announced Barry Gibb sounded like a 'skinny black guy holding his nose while singing'.  My sister and I were incensed!

"Barry Gibb is AWESOME!"

I think it was around this same time we found 'Captain Kool and the Kongs' at 11am every Saturday.  We all wanted to SuperChick, and we also acted out Electro Woman and Dyna Girl:)

Next Month:  My BFF's Most Embarrassing Moment!

Present Day:
My laptop has been fixed (again!), and sometime today, MS Word will be reinstalled, after a year's absence!  Turns out daughter knows the guy, and we had a great time talking while he ran scans and showed me how to clean it up every weekend.

Grandkids will be returning home on Sunday; we've actually had a good week with them.  Will also start taking down our Christmas decorations (finally!).

Temps have dropped into the teens, and we finally got snow yesterday morning.  I did NOT go to karaoke last night, opting instead to stay home and watch the 1st two episodes of SE 4 Game of Thrones.

Today, I'm making the final two batches of chocolate chip cookies (finally tally was about 7 doz each of M&M, Choc. Chip, Winter Chip, and Oatmeal Raisin), which should come to about 6-7 dozen.

Sad news for our Class of 1984:  Mr. Skibinski, who taught Math, passed away last week (I had World History with his son Joe, who was a year behind me), and Craig Clifton, whom I last saw at a mini-reunion in 2012, passed away last night.  Apparently, he'd had heart issues the past few years.  Craig was a wonderful guy to be around; full of fun and a great singing voice.  I will always remember him carrying Debbie Fritton's purse at the bar after the reunion, proving that Real Men CAN carry purses!

RIP Craig.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

January Reading Schedule

2017 is already off to a good start; last month the editor of a local magazine was at our monthly writers meeting, and when I found out he was looking for article ideas, I was cheeky enough to pitch an idea.

My 1st attempt (seen here) was deemed 'too self-promotional', so I sucked up my startled, wounded pride and tried again, this time successful.  It went live yesterday, so check it out here:) 

So what are my monthly goals?
-Give B partial payment for print covers (still yet-to-be-made) Check:)
-Send Kira off to editor with payment  Check:)
-Finish cover request and send off with partial payment
-Order more copies of Hotel (currently sold out)
-Finish Ghost Story
-Add at least 5K words to Heart Song
-Find out where the Crossroads antho stands  Check....sort of....?
-Pack away the Christmas decorations  (check!) and begin hanging pictures and shelving units in my new house.
-Send some 'pretties' to my SIL (check!) and photograph others for family members  
-Watch SE4 (Check!) and 5 of Game of Thrones, plus maybe even 6, then start on the Classic TV DVDs I've acquired.

Lose another 5 pounds and weather permitting, get out and walk at least 2-3 times per week.

Reading Schedule:
Guilty As Sin:  Edward Klein  Wonderful!!!!
A Kings Christmas-Jean Joachim
Tomb of the Moon-NE Riggs
The Girl w/o a Name-Sandra Block
Nurturing That Sparkl by Sandra Sookoo
Martian Chronicles-Ray Bradbury
Calmity Jane Goes To College (trying this again)  Finally made it through....bleh.

All That Remains-SM Shade (Book #3)  Finally made it through book #3!  I enjoyed #1 the most.
Betrayal-Aleatha Romig  Wonderful!  Now I need the next one in the series!!!!!
Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus-Lydia Sherrer  Not too bad; I might enjoy the print version better.
Rattled-Jane Charles  Apparently I've already read this, and enjoyed it!
Lost Pleasures Found-Vicki Vaught  Very good!
My King-Mary Martel  DNF
Cameron's Shocking Christmas Revelation-Vicki McCombie  Cute story!  RR
Unwrapped-Amber Skyze  Turns out I'd already read this one, lol!
Tied Up In Tinsel-Amber Skyze  Good
Once More From The Top-Nan Reinhardt
Sex and the Widow Miles-NR
The Summer of Second Chances-NR

Karaoke Songs:
We've Got Tonight-Kenny Rogers/Sheena Easton
Friends and Lovers-Gloria Loring/From This Moment-Shania Twain
We Don't Need Another Hero-Tina Turner

We Don't Talk Anymore-Cliff Richards
From This Moment-Shania Twain
We Got The Beat-Go-Gos

We Just Disagree-Dave Mason
Hard To Say I'm Sorry-Chicago
We May Never Pass This Way Again-Seals and Crofts

We're Not Gonna Take It-Twisted Sister
Hard To Say It's Over-Sheena Easton
We've Only Just Begun-Carpenters

Love Potion #9-The Clovers  Not too bad:)
Love Runs Out-One Republic Attempt #1:  Did well until bridge....
Love Shack-B-52s  Sang this with Mark and did well!
Love Somebody-Rick Springfield  Nailed it, but ran out of room on phone.  Will redo:)
Love Stinks-J. Geils Band
Love Story-Taylor Swift

Love The One You're With-Crosby Stills and Nash
Love The Way You Lie-Rhianna/Eminem
Love Will Keep Us Together-Captain and Tenille
Love Will Never Do Without You-Janet Jackson

Love's A Hard Game To Play-Stevie Nicks
Loverboy-Billy Ocean
Lovergirl-Teena Marie

Hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year, and best wishes for 2017!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

O Magic 8 Ball
Please tell me...
What will 2017
Have in store for me?
(shakes ball)

Greetings!  As an author, I frequently make New Year's Resolutions, and I also set monthly goals for myself.  The past two years, LIFE has kicked my butt, but now that I'm no longer homeschooling my youngest and we've moved to a new home, I'm hoping things will settle down and return to some sort of 'normalcy'.  Yes, I was arrogant enough to think I could both home school a 5th grader AND write three full-length novels at the same time.

Not Quite.

I did mange to write two of them, but one was finished over Christmas Break and the second one during the month of June, finishing it the day before my deadline.  The third has been stalled on Ch. 5 for a year now.

I'll admit, I've only reached four of the nine goals I set for myself last year:
-Finish writing Heart Song  (no; still working on it)
-Publish KiRah and write RiKar's book (not yet)
-Get my youngling through the 5th grade (Yes!)
-Lose and keep off 10 pounds (Only lost 5)
-Buy a banner and more promo (No banner, but did get new business cards!)
-Attend as many signings as I can, including Writers on the River (July) and Book Blast (September) (Yes)
-Attend Weekend in Nashville, including some sight-seeing (Yes!)
-Get out of this house (Yes; moved into new one in November)
-Weekly Karaoke:  Reach the 'M' songs and maybe even more (Not yet; still on 'L' titles)
-Stay with the blogging (No; only blog 5 times a month.)

So What Are My Goals For 2017?
-Finish writing Heart Song
-Publish #4 of my Sci-Fi Rom series and write #5
-Get books #1-6 of my Arbor University Tales (Women's Fiction) series in print
-Successfully help my 6th grader bring up his grades in Math, Social Studies, and Language Arts
-Lose another 5 lbs or more
-Cut back on signings; instead of 14 like last year, only do six which cost money, and a few local ones which are free.
-Organize my basement office
-As for the karaoke songs, well, I'd like to maybe hit the 'P' titles?  I'm beginning the year still on the 'Love' titles.  I'm thinking there may not be many 'N' or 'O' titles.  I could be wrong.

So what does YOUR Magic 8 Ball have in store for you?

"Future is cloudy; try again later."

Happy New Year!!!

PS:  2016 was a HORRIBLE year for celebrity deaths; let's keep the remaining ones safe in 2017?? 

RIP George Michael
       Carrie Fisher
       Debbie Reynolds
       William Christopher (Fr. Mulchahy from M*A*S*H)
       All passed Dec 25th-31st.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: A Look Back....

2016 was a horrible year for celebrity deaths, and since it was an election year, sales were iffy across the board.  But it wasn't for a lack of trying!

Began the year catching up my Youngling in Spelling, then we resumed lessons at home, after a relaxing week at Grandma's.  Set up at the Women's Expo in Indy, but only sold 2.  Was told the publicity for the event just didn't exist, and we were also competing with the Home Show.  Plus, our booth was in a bad place, and the promoters didn't even link us with the NY published keynote speaker.  I also think this was the month I met Billie Brown in Indy for dinner at Texas Roadhouse, since her grandmother was in the hospital.  Granddaughter A began Head Start, to see if she was ready, and after a few weeks, she really enjoyed it.

Think we spent Valentine's Day at I started sending out queries for Kira's Slice of Pizza.

Held a meeting with friend B, who agreed to work on the print versions of the AU covers.  I drove around campus and took pictures of buildings that would coincide with the 6 books.  Also began working on my 1st Fairy story.  House-sat for Mom and Dad while they were in Florida, watched the NCAA Basketball tournament, and attended the Eagles Craft show, selling 4 print copies and 4 of the CDs.  Celebrated W's 12th birthday at Outback

Arranged for Kira to be edited AND for covers created; went to the Madison, IN Author's Fair and only sold 2, plus ran into a problem with my hotel deposit refund, which ended up costing me $98 in overdraft fees, which D promptly paid, but began holding it over my head every time an issue arose.

Celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary at the Schnitzelbank in Jasper with the kids, and Texas Roadhouse by ourselves.  Melissa Bennett and I drove to Nashville, TN and went to the Opryland Hotel to look around before going onto the Weekend With The Authors convention.  Introduced her to several of my friends, and we had an enjoyable afternoon.  Ate dinner at Jack-In-The-Box before meeting up with a few of her friends for a birthday party and eventually driving home!  Ended up taking 2 detours; one in Nashville, when we missed the turn and spent 45 minutes in stop-and-go traffic; the other when we missed the turnoff to 41 and went a mile out of our way to find another turnaround spot.  Also set up at an Author's Fair in Edinburgh, In and didn't sell any, but had a good time with my dad when he drove me to Lafayette.  Met my uncle and cousin at the Indy 500 and enjoyed it.

Set up at the Heaps of Jeeps festival and while I didn't sell any, I did barter one for a CD, and networked with Helping His Hands agency.  A friend informed us of a house he was selling, so we went over and looked at it.  It was just what we wanted!

Filled out the application for the mortgage, and was approved!  I also began working on a needlepoint pillow for my niece, and discovered an interesting fact:  No one bothers me if I'm sewing.  Finished my Fairy story and began a Ghost one.  Celebrated S's 22nd birthday and the 4th of July.  Drove to Peoria for the Writers On The River at the casino, and while I only sold 4, had a good time and lost my complimentary $10 on a slot machine.  Had to stop at 1am to find a hotel so I wouldn't fall asleep.

Set up at the Watermelon Festival and only sold 2. Spent the month packing up the house, taking W to football practice, and back-to-school activities.

Had to meet with W's teachers to update his learning plan, and had to remedicate him.  Also set up at the Wine and Art festival (0). the Bicentennial celebration (11), and the Kentuckiana Book Blitz (2).  My poem for the Bicentennial was an instant hit with everyone.  Signed the papers for our new house:)  Granddaughter A started Head Start and thrived:)

We painted, sanded, and began moving into our new home:)  I went to Imaginarium in Louisville, and only sold 1, but the networking was awesome!

Attended the CHRP retreat, then set up at the Indpls Christmas show, and sold 22:)  Enjoyed staying with my SIL from Wed-Sun, plus seeing my cousin Pam and friend K and her parents.  Thoroughly moved into our home and cleaned out the old one.  Cleared the dining room enough so we could host Thanksgiving with Sara's boyfriend.

Decorated the house for Christmas, plus unpacked and rearranged boxes.  Had a small Christmas morning, but relaxing and enjoyable.

Books Read:  75
Print: 31
DNF: 5

Karaoke titles added: 148
Thurs: 81
Sat: 67

What are my goals for the coming year?  Check back in a few days!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Flashback Friday: All I Want For Christmas Is A Shower....

Dec 2006:
That heading may sound weird to you, but all will be explained shortly! 

After Thanksgiving was over, my spouse had a three-day weekend, so we spent it getting rid of more unwanted furniture and finally moving some of 'our' things in, like the desk and computer, and our couch.

Floor mats were purchased, so we didn't have to stand on a cold basement floor as we showered, and a small space heater helped with the temperature.  K's birthday was spent in Terre Haute at the lazer tag place, and his cousin Josh and a few friends arrived to join in the fun.  W was too young for the game, so he amused himself by playing with the arcade game controls.  Afterward, we went to dinner at either Outback or Longhorn Steakhouse.

My birthday fell on a Wednesday, so I treated my friend Jackie to lunch at Fazolli's and presented her with an early Christmas gift of quilting materials.  To my surprise, my spouse arrived home that night and took us all out to dinner!

Christmas Eve, we packed up our meager presents and went to spend the night at my parents' house.  After attending the Christmas Eve service and waking up with happy kids, I hopped in the shower and enjoyed a private bathroom shower for the first time in two months.

K agreed with me later that it was 'the BEST Christmas present' of 2006!

Next Month:  NFL playoffs!

Present Day:
This has been a horrible week for celebrity deaths.  Carrie Fisher passed away Tuesday, and then her mother, Debbie Reynolds, followed her on Wed.  My old elementary school principal, Mr. Kendall, passed away on Thursday, and one of the Jeff math teachers, Mr. Skibinski, also passed away on Wed.  I'd gone to school with one of his sons, Joe, and we'd shared World History together.

I'm also at my parents' house for the week, after celebrating Christmas with my aunt's family on Monday, then coming up afterward.  I've binge-watched Game of Thrones (SE2 and 3), and now PBS is running Downtown Abbey, which Mom and I are both watching.  Heading home tomorrow, after picking up MDQ and ME, who are off until Jan 10th.  W has to return to school Jan 4th.

Tomorrow will be my annual 'Year in Review', so see you tomorrow!