Friday, July 21, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things

It's Friday, which depending on how things are going, can be a celebration in and of itself. Thank you to our host, Lexa Cain, and her awesome cohosts: L.G. Keltner and Tonja Drecker.

Here's the good things:

1. This was the next to last week of having a few quiet hours for writing. For the month of August, the kids will be home and I'm 

Image: Sheep purple


2. I didn't buy the farm on Monday. I did wreck my bike by hitting a small, but deep pothole, the jolt of which caused me to lose the handlebars. 


KEE-RASH! (With emphasis on the rash--road rash that is.) Most of the damage is to my left side: left leg resembles a cat scratching post, left elbow sore 'cause a huge something (me) landed on it, left palm scratched and scraped, and left side of chin swollen and purple. Note to self: Noses are not good brake pads. I'm celebrating the fact that while I did land in the road, there was no car there at the time to finish me off. Now that's luck! (And, unlike the giphy above, my bike is fine.)

3. New covers. Here's one from C. Lee Mckenzie--free Kindle Edition!

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Scarred. Scared. Alone. Can sixteen-year-old Shawna Stone overcome her inner suffering and transcend the past? 

Shawna has spent the first sixteen years of her life in Las Vegas and learned to handle anything from a Las Vegas hustle to skipping out on the rent. Damaged inside and out, she's survived with a tough, hardened attitude. When her mother abandons her, with only a bus ticket and the name and number of stranger to call, this troubled , desperate teen finds herself on a California horse ranch with Kay Stone, the steely, youngish grandmother she's never known. 

Kay overwhelms Shawna with rules and daily barn chores, and Shawna baffles Kay with her foul-mouthed anger and shrugging indifference to everything--except the maltreated horse on the ranch next door. But it's worse than even Kay suspects: Shawna's driven to cut herself by Monster, that strange voice inside her head. Kay struggles to keep the ranch going and fears that unless she helps this girl, she could lose her last living family member.

As this unlikely pair struggles to co-exist, will they overcome their suffering and transcend the past?



What's the last serious injury you've experienced? Ever update a book cover? 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things

Friday, Friday, Friday! It's here again. Ready to celebrate? Welcome back to the weekly blog hop that calls attention to the positive things going on in your life, big or small. Many thanks to our host, Lexa Cain, and her awesome cohosts: L.G. Keltner and Tonja Drecker.

Last week we did the sort of shopping that hasn't happened in our family since 2001. 

Volvo, in power blue and no, we did not get to keep that red bow.

Pretty snazzy, huh? Cars have changed a lot in the last 16 years and it's going to take some time for me to adjust, especially since I'm a techno dunce. My daughter would probably handle this car better than me even though she's 13 and not tall enough to reach the pedals. So while I'm thrilled to be driving a new car, the technology has me wigging out a bit. Here's why:

1. The radio controls were designed by sadists. 

There's a little rolling knob on the steering wheel that runs through the stations. You press it to let the radio know, "Hey dude, I want another station." Then you roll the knob up or down and the different station numbers scroll along on the dash screen. You press it again once you find a station you like.

I spend waaay too much time watching the screen while changing stations, like entire blocks, because if you roll that little knob down, the numbers on the radio station:

(a) go down

(b) go up

(c) dance the merengue

I know you guessed (c), right? But the answer seems to be (b). I did find a station search button among the fifty or so buttons on the dash, but that only runs through the 10 programmable favorites, I think. As if I'll ever figure out how to program those suckers.

Which one is the eject button again?

2. There's no ignition key, just a rectangular cube of plastic technology five times the size of an actual (old fashioned) car key.

When did this happen and how does this make driving better? If I add this chunk to my current keychain, there's no way all that mess will fit into my pants pocket. (I'm one of those rare females who decided purses were ridiculous and I refuse to carry one, because having wallets, keys, and feminine products spilling out of your pockets looks way cooler.)

3. My car suffers from narcolepsy.

To save gas, the engine shuts off at stoplights or in standstill traffic. As soon as you hit the accelerator, the engine starts right back up. This is great and all, but what happens when the mice in my garage rewire everything? With my luck, the restart feature will probably be the first thing to go on the fritz, on a railroad track. 

It's a beautiful car though, and I'm sure I'll get the hang of things eventually. But don't expect me to deal with opening and closing the moonroof. Nope. I may have a college degree, but there's no way I'm messing with a lever that bends six different ways for six different settings. Recipe for disaster. I'd get it stuck wide open in a hurricane-zombie-apocalypse for sure.

How well do you adjust to new technology? 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

IWSG and Celebrate the Small Things

Happy Fifth of July, Everyone! How was your Fourth? Third? Have you been partying all month? It's time to celebrate our insecurities and lend a virtual ear to our fellow writers. All hail the the chief of our happy tribe, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and his merry band of cohosts:

Tamara Narayan, Pat Hatt, Patricia Lynne, Juneta Key, and Doreen McGettigan!

This month's fantabulous question: What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

You had to put "valuable" in there didn't you? Nuts. Well, here goes: I'm a happier camper when writing or editing the first few drafts and an absolute ogre if I'm tying to query or market. It's been a long time since I went "camping". GrrrrrROAR! (See, I did the roar.)

I have plans to participate in the IWSG Twitter Pitch Party later this month, but I'm still working on ideas for my tweets. Here's the top five in the rejection pile:

5. This book will appeal to every-dang-body--seriously! #IWGpit#AD#F#H#HI#LF#MCT#ME#PB#R#SF

4. There's this girl who likes this guy, but then she meets this other guy and, whoa, it's like a love triangle--SQUEE!!#IWGpit#R

3. This book made my mom cry.#IWGpit

2. Once upon a time a good character met a bad character and stuff happened.#IWGpit

1. A heart-breaking work of staggering genius, a mere 175K in length.#IWGpit

And, back to the drawing board I go.

Congrats to the IWSG for getting into the Writer’s Digest 19th Annual 101 Best Websites for Writers!


Since I'm cohosting IWSG this month, I'm going to post this week's CTST a bit early. This wonderful and versatile hop is hosted by Lexa Cain, and her wonderful cohosts: L.G. Keltner and Tonja Drecker!

Today is a big celebration for my husband and I: our 14th wedding anniversary! Fourteen years ago, we were married in Geneva, NY. Now we live in a suburb of Greece, NY. If you don't mention the state, we sound like a pretty ritzy couple, no?

Last week I went to Rochester's Lamberton Conservatory with my girls and had a ball taking pictures of the flowers, turtles, tiny quail, and even a Lucky duck. Enjoy!

The cactus garden. Sit at your own risk.

Hi! biscus

Koi swimming in clouds

Turtle jenga

Lucky (the) Duck

Quail party

Hanging out with moss, Mick Jagger nowhere to be seen


Are you participating in the IWSG Twitter Pitch? Seen any cool wildlife lately?