Friday, March 28, 2014

Flashback Friday

March 2004:
Being a new mom again after ten years was quite an adjustment.  I'd given everything away, furniture-wise, and all the boy clothing held rotting elastic.  Sara had destroyed the onezies and little drawstring nightgowns with her acid reflux; I was going to need all new baby items.

We had received some early gifts, and the night we arrived home, our neighbor showed up with a truckload of items donated from her church.  A brand new pack-n-play; sleepers; gowns; onezies; socks; bottles; name it.

"Feed the birds..."
Three weeks later, we were due to travel to the MIL's house, to celebrate the spouse's birthday and so Grandma could meet her newest grandchild.  But on Friday, my older two decided to watch Mary Poppins.  All was fine until 'Feed The Birds' song was sung.  Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with tears, and no logical reason.  I shut myself in the bedroom and thought I could get myself back under control.  No.  Every time I'd stop, wash my face, and think I could leave my bedroom, I'd hear 'Feel the birds...tuppence a bag...' and the tears would fall again.

Fifteen minutes later, I decided to enlist the spouse's help and asked him to come in.  I asked him to hold me, and all he could do was ask me why I was crying, and couldn't accept an 'I don't know' answer.  I finally told him I thought it was post-partum depression.  He told me to get in bed and he'd take care of the baby and the older two.  Still sniffing, I got into bed and pulled the covers over my head.

I woke up 12 hours later with boobs so full of milk, I hurt.  Thankfully, W woke up and I nursed him til he was full.  By this time, everyone else was up, but I was still so sore.  I got out the breast pump and pumped another ounce and a half out, then showered, packed, and we left.  All went well that weekend.

I was also secretly pleased; I'd been trying to give up sex for Lent many times, but the spouse refused.  This time, I had an excuse:  W was born in the middle of Lent; I was unable to have sex until after Easter.  Finally, my desired Lenten 'give up' would be realized:)

Next Month:  Christening and Baby Shower

Present Day:
March Madness:
I'm still doing well on my bracket; last weekend I was 25/32 and 10/16.  Last night, I was 3/4:)  Hoping I do as well tonight and this weekend!

No 'Roke This Weekend!
Why?  Because I have to be at church by 7:30 am on Sunday, and I've been late the last two times.

Spring Break Officially Over!
Two weeks ago, I went to Lafayette for 3 days.  This past week, Miss Drama Queen and her brother have been here.  It's been rather nice, having two built-in babysitters for Miss A, but at the same time, stressful.  Laptop is still not recognizing the wifi router, so I've been using the desk top in the morning; at nap time; and in the evening.  Everything else has been checked via Kindle.  Until this issue is fixed, I doubt I'll be blogging much, unless Miss A can be 'corralled' while I blog.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Flashback Friday: Going To The Zoo:)

March 1994:
The weather was warm, so we met Mom and Dad at the Indianapolis Zoo for the day.  K enjoyed seeing the animals and we enjoyed getting out into the sunshine.  Rode the train, ate lunch in the cafe, and Dad even held K upside down so he could touch the water in the pond.

"Can I Have A Drink Grandma?"
Mom had either a Dr. Pepper or Root Beer; K took a sip and spat it out all down the front of her shirt!

My choice of maternity outfit?  Blue stirrup pants, white socks over the stirrups, and a maroon and blue striped sweatshirt which covered my belly.

Next Month:  Easter:)

Present Day:
Miss Drama Queen (age 12) and Mr. Energy (11) are arriving this evening.  It's been a good week; I was in Lafayette M-W; we met with the K-12 Homeschooling teachers yesterday to learn more about the program, and today is 'get-back-on-track' day.

Made it to Karaoke last weekend; sang 'Girl Can't Help It' (Journey); 'If I Die Young' (Band Perry); and 'Get Down Tonight' (KC and Sunshine Band).  Tried to sing 'Give It Up (KC), but Mark couldn't squeeze me in.  I did dance the Cupid Shuffle:)

Hopefully I'll get to go tomorrow night with Mel, and am planning to sing:
Give It Up-KC and Sunshine Band
Give Me One Reason-Tracy Chapman
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun-Cyndi Lauper
Go Rest High On That Mountain-Vince Gill
I might do 'Call Me When You're Sober', if there's time.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Flashback Friday: March Madness:)

Currently Reading:  Loved True Nature!!!  Recommended Read:)  Now getting ready to dive into Marriage Counseling From A Stripper Pole by T. Lee Alexis.

I'm in Madison, In, as I mentioned yesterday.  My home internet went out yesterday afternoon, and tech support couldn't show up until this morning.  Turns out our router went out, but my laptop would not cooperate with it.  My kindle, did, so did a quick FB update and checked my mail before we hit the road:)  Wandered around the Bass Pro Shop in Clarksville before continuing on.  Checked in, then the spouse dropped me off at Ponderosa so I could see Carol Preflatish on one of the panels.  Then the family picked me up again and we ate at the Key West Shrimp House:)

Tomorrow, we'll be at That Book Place from 9-5.  I'm looking forward to it, and yes pictures will be posted next week:)

March 1984:
B and the crew made it through both sectionals and regionals, and I continued to sit with the Pep Band.  I also cut out the articles in the sports page, since B's picture was often there.  Semi-State approached; I had to buy tickets for the game, and sat in the 'nosebleed' section for the 1st game, which we won.  But Mom refused to take me back for the final game, so I watched it on TV and we lost to Lebanon, the same team we'd lost to our sophomore year.

A humorous moment at school:  One of the cheerleaders decorated his cousin's locker, and we teased B about being 'cut' from the team.  Also, another time I was walking down the hall with my friend Karen, and Brian said to me, "Grab my ass; I wanna be turned on before the game tonight."

I laughed, but put my arms around him and hugged him!

No Karaoke Tomorrow!
I probably won't be back in time to go.

Have a great weekend!  Our temps are supposed to be in the 60's tomorrow!!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

One More Day!

Currently Reading:  I am LOVING True Nature  by Neeley Powell:)

I'm off to Madison, IN tomorrow, for the 4th Annual Author's Fair at That Book Place:)  Carol Preflatish, Kayelle Allen, and I had a great time last year, and my hubby fell in love with the area.  This year, we're taking two of our kids and the granddaughter, for a mini-vacation.

Thank God!
The Brain tribe last night finally go rid of Ms Nuclear Engineering.  They actually won immunity last week, but J'Tia chocked on both challenges last night!  I cannot believe Kass and Tasha were actually torn between who to send home.  Spencer busted his butt to try to help win the challenge, and Brawn was trying everything in their power to throw it, but there was only so much they could stall w/o letting Cliff know they were trying to throw it.

Amazing Race:
I was heartbroken when Mark and Mallory were eliminated last week.  Come on; let 'em stay!  And I was sooooo thankful Team YouTube went home this week!

Karaoke Update:
Mel went with me last Saturday, and I did well on a few songs, but the camera ran out of memory on Cher's You Haven't Seen The Last of Me.

Yes, it's true.  Kenzie's aliens were rejected.  I sent it off to Publisher #1, then emailed #3 to ask why.  Turns out my sex scene at the beginning was a bit stale; I used too many semi-colons (imagine that!); and the plot was flat.  So I've some work to do on it.  Plus, I was informed by a beta reader that maybe it's not paranormal, but more sci-fi romance?  Oooookaaaaaayyy....

I'll be back tomorrow with another Flashback, this time from 1984.  I know you're waiting on tenderhooks for what happens in May...

Friday, March 7, 2014

Flashback Friday: 1st Attempt At Book Writing??

March 1974:
You know when you're learning a new word and try to use it as much as possible?  A kid in my class was fixated on 'respect' and over-used it.  I would literally cringe every time he opened his mouth, because I knew that word would eventually be used.

Well, my word was 'embarrassed'.  While I didn't try to insert it often, I wasn't really sure of the definition.  But when my beloved Mrs. H announced we were going to be split up into groups and create different things, I was excited to be assigned to the Book group.  We would try to write a story, and Mr. H would be our group leader.

We sat in a circle at a table and tried to brainstorm ideas for our story.  Characters were decided, and a basic plot.  I found my opening and asked if the main character could be embarrassed, and was finally told what it meant.  I also learned my mind went blank during those verbal brainstorming sessions, I didn't really contribute anything.  I don't even think our story ever got written.

I do remember seeing a short film that one group put on as they created their own Star Trek episode.  And I noticed one of the other girls in my group ended up being in it, but not understanding why.

Present Day:
Weather warmed up to 50s today!  We'll be celebrating the youngling's 10th birthday with his grandparents (last weekend was just simply too icy), and I SHOULD be able to go to karaoke.

Songs will be the same as last week's:
Ghost Riders In the Sky (Outlaws)
You Haven't Seen The Last of Me (Cher) OR Miracle (Jon Bon Jovi)
Girl Can't Help It (Journey)
Genie In a Bottle (Christina Agulara and only if Mel comes)
Girls Just Want To Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

More Answers

I remembered I still hadn't answered all the questions from several months ago:)

Advice on how to start a story? Advice on how to end a story?

"Begin at the beginning...end at the end'.  I think that's from Alice in Wonderland.  Anyway, if you have a lot of words cluttering up your brain, just start writing.  Chances are the correct ones will come out.  When I wrote All She Ever Wanted (Kenzie Michaels), the first thing I heard in my brain was Amber saying, 'Don't get your knickers in a twist, Marc.  I'm only filling in for one night."  And the argument went from there.  I got to the computer as fast as I could, and started with that conversation until I had time to write the back story.  And even when it was finished, my editor suggested a prologue.

As for and ending to that book, my editor didn't like mine and suggested I come up with something else.  I wracked my brain for an hour, coming up with zilch.  So I wrote him a snarky 'and they lived happily ever after', hit 'send', then got up from my desk.  Three steps and I 'heard' Amber say, 'Does this mean we finally get that happily ever after?', spun around and typed up a 'never mind; I've got it.' and sent it off.

The main point?  Listen to your characters.  90% of the time they will tell you where to start and how to end it.

Where is the craziest place you have ever set a sex scene?

I love the hot tub scene in Kenzie's Teacher's Pet:)  And Marc and Amber were caught in the men's locker room at the country club.

If you could choose… which celebrities would you choose to act out a sex scene from one of your books? Which book is it from?

Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling in any of the Teacher's Pet ones, esp that hot tub scene!

What are you afraid of (regarding writing)?

I still second-guess myself anytime I'm giving an opinion on a hot button topic, or one I think will be controversial. I'm non-confrontational, and a little passive-aggressive, so when I dive in KNOWING it's going to be potentially explosive, I either don't promote it or stay away from the article until much later in the day.  That is why last month's RB4U post only had four or six comments.  I was happy I didn't piss anyone off!

In my own books, I was a little worried about book #6 and its subject matter, esp when posted on FB about my views on gay marriage, just to balance the look of my news feed.  And got slammed by it.  I tried to smooth things over by saying I'd written an F/F 'bi-curious' book, but it backfired on me.  So I don't promote it a great deal.  I wrote it; friend BG, whom it is based on, is happy with it; end of subject.

What books have most influenced your life?
It's no secret that Little Women is my all-time favorite book.  I wanted to be a mixture of all the girls, with Amy's name, Beth's musical ability; Jo's writing ability; and Meg's looks.

I fell in love with the way Lavyrle Spencer, Norma Klein, and Judy Blume wove social issues into their stories, and I strove to do the same, even though I began writing my Arbor U books three years before ever picking up a LS book.  I patterned AU after the teen romances I'd loved in junior high, only set them in college with the 'gimmick' of the social/relationship aspect.

My college years were a huge influence in my writing.

I also try to live my life by biblical principles, though I never try to shove my beliefs down anyone's throat.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I credit at least three:  Judy Blume, Danielle Steel, and Anny Cook.  As previously mentioned, I loved the Judy Blume books, and even patterned book #3 after First Love.  I learned my head-hopping habit from Danielle, but Anny is the one who really encouraged me when I first began putting my work online.  I also can't leave out Bronwyn Green, Brynn Paulin, and Kelly Kirch, who also encouraged me back in 2007, and are to blame for my Kenzie persona (lol!).

Monday, March 3, 2014

Feb Recap and March Reading Schedule

Feb Recap:
February was another bi-polar month, weather-wise.  Frigid temps during the week, then warming trends, only to be slapped back into sub-freezing temps.  Plus, a financial snafu occurred, making Valentine's Day a rather somber day around here until Payday on the 19th.  I also spent several days avoiding opening my mouth, since no matter what I said, the spouse found fault with it and snapped at me.

Books Read:  7, with four more I couldn't finish.  Either the characters failed to interest me, or I realized I didn't care about the plot.  Or simply due to the fact it was taking too long between reading intervals and I'd lost interest.  I NEED MY KINDLE BACK!!!!

Karaoke:  Added two songs:  From This Moment and Genie In A Bottle.

Health/Exercise:  Managed to lose another pound!  And have been illness-free, though still congested.

Submission/Writing:  Still waiting to hear whether or not Kenzie's alien-meets-human story has been accepted.  Reached Ch. 2 in the 2nd book and need two titles, plus a name for the series.

March Reading Schedule:
Lone Wolf-Jodi Picoult Wonderful!!!  DRR

Love Letter for a Sinner- Lynne Shura Good story; some mild head-hopping.  Got tired of Layla.
The Princess and the Templar-Hebby Roman  CNF  The 1st half was enough for me; storyline dragged.
True Nature-Neeley Powell LOVED this unusual shifter story!!!  DRR
Marriage Counseling from a Stripper Pole-T. Lee Alexis DNF
Love by Auction-Clarissa Yip Good:)
Alien Adoration- Jessica Subject Wonderful!  RR
Alien Admirer-JS Also excellent!  RR
Slipping on Stardust-Gordon Osmond Not what I was expecting.
Double Threat-Julie Prestsater DNF
The Girls From Tonsil Lake-Liz Flaherty Excellent!!!
Silver Lining-T.R. McClure Wonderful!

Karaoke Songs:
          Ghost Riders in the Sky (Outlaws) Bleh.
          Girl Can't Help It (Journey) Okay
          Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper) Okay
          Get Down Tonight (KC and Sunshine Band) Not bad
          Give it Up (KC) Not bad
          Give Me One Reason (Tracy Chapman) Okay???