Sunday, May 31, 2009

Your Lucky Number

One time, when I was a teenager, I mentioned to my grandmother about the number 13 being considered unlucky. She said she didn't believe so because the number held an important place in her life. Her and granddaddy were married on the 13th, their first house number was #13, they had 13 children (yeek!), and so on. Anyway, at that time, I started thinking how the number would only be unlucky if I allowed it to be.

Thank goodness I've felt that way because everytime I turn around, I come across the number 13 in something to do with me. From contest judge numbers to serial numbers to licenses numbers. You get the idea. I wouldn't necessarily count it as a lucky number but I'm not afraid of it.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

Nice To Meet Ya!

Earlier today I was thinking of all the people I've met at conferences. Though I might not remember everyone's name, I do remember many of their faces.


So my thanks for this Friday is that I'm one of those people who rarely meet a stranger. I can be anywhere standing in a line (store, fast food restaurant, amusement park, conference) and strike up a conversation with the person in front or behind me. Considering I'm in sales, this is a handy trait to have and certainly is one of the reasons I love to write. People are so interesting rich, poor, young, old, any nationality, color or sexual preference.

Thank goodness I not shy.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bless His Heart

A couple times lately going home, I've passed a jogger on my street. The road is five miles long with lots of dips and curves and no sidewalks. In fact, in some places it has deep ditches. Twice now I've come around a curve and then POW! he's there. Thankfully I don't go THAT fast (I promise, Diane). What I don't get is that the fellow has to be in his forties or older and still doesn't know he needs to face the traffic. You know, so you can jump off the road if some lunatic comes speeding by. I've thought about stopping and letting him know in a nice, concerned manner, but he has already shown he's nuts and probably wouldn't appreciate my interference.

(I know you like hearing me say this, Diane, and it's a facetious one.) Bless his heart.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Gotta Say It

Yesterday, I received my entry back from a contest. It was too funny. Judges are crazy when they say something like, "You have a strong voice." They actually type those words on the comment section of the score sheet TWO TIMES. Really. And then they score me a 3 out of 5 in answer to the question, "Is the voice strong?" LOL! Gotta love it.

Or one judge said I had an intriguing plot. While the other one said there was big issues with the plot. Considering this contest did not require a synopsis, how did she know?

Oh, oh, and the judge that objected to my steamy chapter and even told me "I was done reading then." I thought of telling the coordinator as the judge should've told the coordinator she didn't like sex in the first chapter and give it over to another to judge. I guess that's why she gave me low scores in areas that didn't make sense and proved she didn't read the whole thing. ::sigh::

I feel sorry for her is all I can say about that.

You know when I read an entry, I don't go by my personal taste. I look at the writing and does it meet the criteria of the contest's score sheet. In the Golden Heart I gave a historical entry with time travel in it a 9 (highest score). Even though I dislike time travels, I thought it was what a book should be, easy to read and actually good.

Contest Diva

Some days I feel like a junkie and Stephie Smith's website page for contests is my drug. I really and truly do not enter THAT many contests in a year. But the few I do, I start at Stephie's page to get the skinny. Of course, as I had blogged before, I'm trying to quit. The two I entered were only to get feedback besides from my critique partners and beta-readers. As usually, one person will love it and the other will hate it. And, boy, do they hate it. [Added later: Two contests, one judge each hated it. My critique partners and beta-readers loved it and I don't pay them anything.] I guess in a way that's a good thing. They say if you can draw out a strong emotion you're doing your job. LOL!

Anyway, they gave me an idea (not divulging for now) and I'm going to try something new and see how it goes. Don't worry. I'll eventually tell you about it. You know that.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Around the Corner

Summer is around the corner and I'm looking forward to it. Not so much because the heat, but because it's less likely to rain. We were in a drought for about two years. Well, we don't have that worry now. It has rained so much this year, we're way ahead our forecast. I'm ready for blue skies.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Indoor Outdoor

I've been asking my hubby to go with me to the Pro Bass Shop near our home. Yeah, strange isn't it? But I had heard even if you're not interested in outdoor sports (hunting, fishing, etc.), the place was amazing to see. My husband's outdoor interests are taking care of our yard (it's beautiful) and NASCAR.

So I was surprised when he asked if I wanted to go today. Of course, I jumped on it. And it was amazing and HUGE. Click here and you can get an idea of the joint.

We didn't buy anything, but it was still cool. Maybe one day when we're rich, we can buy a boat to use on our private lake (whenever we're rich enough to buy a lake).

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hey Loud Mouth!

You know I have to remind myself to keep my mouth shut. I don't talk ugly to people, that 's not what I mean. It's mostly to do with me enjoying talking to people yet forgetting not everyone enjoys hearing what I have to say. LOL!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Time Again

I'm talking about keeping it real but not too much. Check it out at Southern Magic's blog. And, oh, I'm thankful for my writers' group. Writing would be an awfully lonely affair without them.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Is It Just The Money?

Today in the Publishers' Lunch, I read where a person who was self-published dropped the price of their book to $1.99 and sold hundreds a day. I can't help but wonder two things. 1) Is that just advertisement for the Kindle? 2) Is money the real reason a person would self-publish? We know they most rarely break even.

Sure I would like the money, but I rather someone pay me to publish the book, and I would like to see the hard print copy in stores everywhere.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Conference Chicken

I promise my blog isn't turning into funny stories about Carla, but this came to mind and I thought it would be nice to share with the world. LOL!

In 2001, my writing group held a writers' conference and I attended. I had been to only one before about four years earlier, but I was still new to the whole conference thing. I never forget when someone asked me (I think it was you, JoAnn) if I was interested in an editor or agent appointment? I'm sure I had horror written all over my face, because the person quickly said, "You don't have to have one if you rather not." Of course, I said, "No, thank you." I didn' realize until years later how I missed out on a great opportunity, but then again, I wasn't prepared. So it was probably for the best.

Everyone was friendly and smiling. I didn't really know anyone as I rarely attended meetings, what with the full schedule my kids had. But I did enjoy so many of the workshops including the one I shared with Linda Howard. A few months later, her book, OPEN SEASON, came out and inside was the very information we'd learned together in the Drug Enforcement workshop. That was so cool.

Anyway, the luncheon was wonderful. Several published authors spoke including the same Linda Howard. She did a great job and talked about so much I could relate to. Wait! Enough about Linda. I promised a story about the "conference chicken."

Well, as I said, I didn't know anyone so I sat at a table full of strangers. I did notice most if not all the ladies (maybe 8 including me) at the table were slim to downright skinny. Being a well-figured gal myself, I didn't care. It was great being with others like me, dreaming of becoming published. So there I sat, listening to the fast pace talk about things I didn't quite understand like pitches, queries, and submittals. Then the servers came in with our main dish. Half of a chicken breast and veggies. The person sitting on my left was first and the servers continued clockwise away from me. They brought out plate after plate of the biggest chicken breasts you've ever seen, sitting them in front each woman. I knew how those chicken's died. They had fell face first into their big bosoms and suffocated.

I thought, that's such a shame, those skinny ladies would never finish not even half of such huge chunks of meat. I was starving and couldn't wait for my big piece. Then the thought came to me, watch, it will be the smallest, puniest piece of meat you'd ever seen.

As soon as the server sat it in front of me, I laughed. Everyone glanced at me as if I had lost my mind. I ignored them and dug into my...let me say it like Leghorn Foghorn described Miss Prissy, "Gal reminds me of the highway between Ft. Worth and Dallas - no curves."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Just One of Those Years

You know, this has been a rough year for me (and I'm sure for many, many other people out there). I'm trying my best to keep my chin up and eyes on the prize. LOL! There I go with my quaint little clich├ęs again.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Acting

When I watch a movie or television show, I can't help but wonder if the actor has a problem being believed about anything emotional [at home]. They can cry at a drop of a hat, appear angry, or laugh like they're crazy. All part of the act.

Was just wondering.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Star Struck







































I watched the new Star Trek movie today. Good, good, good. When I walked out of the theater I decided I wanted to be a nurse. Why? So I could hang around Bones all day. Or maybe I rather be sick so he can play doctor. ::sigh:: What am I talking about? Well, damn it, Jim, Dr. McCoy of course. LOL! They picked a good one. If Karl Urban appears familiar, it's because he was in Xenia: Warrior Princess, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Return of the King, and The Chronicles of Riddick.

Like they said, this isn't your parents' Star Trek. Well, this isn't your mother's doctor. Oh, yeah.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Shooting The Bull

Thinking yesterday about my family's place at the lake reminded me how we would always stop at the store next to Big Bridge. It always felt like Dad would stay inside forever. There was the water and my body couldn't wait to get in it. When I asked Mom why Dad took so long, she would say, "He's shooting the bull." Oddly, though I envisioned Dad with a rifle shooting a bull, I still knew what she was telling me. He was talking to the storekeeper and getting all the gossip.

Humph! And they say women are gossips. Too funny.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thankful Friday

Like they say down here, the week's gone by faster than a greased pig. Love those pure country (not just Southern) sayings.

Anyway, I've thankful for my childhood. As I've mentioned on my website, my childhood was one long summer. My parents had a place at Smith Lake and we would stay there all summer long. Dad would drive to work in Birmingham and back. And that was before interstate highways. That means he had to drive the whole way on a two lane road. I don't remember a four lane highway anywhere along the way. Of course, the traffic wasn't as bad but still, thank goodness for I-65 and others. Hah! A two-fer for this Friday.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Telling Tales on Yourself

Lately, I've had some really crazy things happen to me and I've never been shy about telling on myself. So here they are...

The other day I was in a hurry to get to my writing group's meeting and pressed the garage button in passing as I walked between the back of my car and the garage door. As the door lifted, a small piece of metal hooked into my sleeve. You can imagine as the door continued to rise and I struggled with the hung material, trying to keep it from tearing my new blouse, I realized the only way to save it was to let it go. Yep. You guessed it. There I stood in my bra and jeans staring at my dangling fuchsia blouse overhead. One thought that flashed through my brain was, at least I'm wearing my prettiest bra. Pretty bra or not, I quickly ran to the side in case my seventy-plus neighbor was sitting in his sun room getting an eyeful and I hit the button for the door to come down. Needless to say, I repaired the metal piece so it won't catch me again and I've been too embarrassed to ask my neighbor if he saw something interesting lately.

The next craziness was a couple nights ago. I was in the bathroom and noticed a bug on the floor. I grabbed the broom and mushed it enough to scoop it in the dustpan and then dumped it in the commode, flushing that sucker down the pipes. Well, after washing up and brushing my teeth, I noticed the water in the toilet was still running. So I jiggled the lever. Nothing. The chain inside the tank had come off. So there was nothing else to do but fix it as my husband was already asleep in bed. No way would I wake him for that. I lifted the top, looking inside and couldn't see the chain. Knowing the chain probably had gotten caught beneath the valve, with dread I stuck my hand inside. Yes, I know the water is clean there, but yuck! I found the chain and pulled up, but when I did, my hand hit the big tube next to the valve, causing a small tube to pop up and water started spraying everywhere. I dropped the chain and then grabbed for the tube, missing it and knocking it completely off. That means the water spraying changed from a straw size stream to a full-steam-ahead type spray that shot up to the ceiling. The pressure was so strong it peeled off the texture of my ceiling down to the drywall. Water was flowing down my walls, soaking my hair and pajamas, and my curtains as a river churned on my tile.

Thankfully I had enough sense to turn off the water beneath the toilet. Goodness, it was a mess. I put towels on the floor and dryed off the walls, and then blow dried by hair. After drying off the window and a framed picture, I gave up and went to bed.

The next morning, my husband goes into the bathroom and comes out to wake me. "What the hell happened in there?" Without opening my eyes, I tell him, "I had a problem with a bug."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Childhood Sweetness

A friend of mine sent me an email and mentioned honeysuckles were blooming and how it reminded her of her childhood. It does me too. I can remember so well in kindergarten I would get in trouble for standing beneath the vines (they were on a four-foot fence) and pull the stems out of the blooms to suck the honey out. The smell always reminded me that summer was beginning and I loved summer.

Here's to sweet memories.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lover Boy

I've been watching movies and TV shows while on my treadmill in attempt to keep my mind occupied during a boring activity. This morning I watched part of DON JUAN DEMARCO. Johnny Depp was so much fun and romantic. The way he described enjoying women...oh, my. Check out a small portion...


Monday, May 11, 2009

1001 Blog Ideas

Why is it everytime I get in the car I think of so many things to blog about but forget them by the time I reach home? Argh!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Synopses - Part II

Still struggling with my synopsis. Keep falling asleep at keyboard. Must get up and walk around and quit typing choppy sentences......snore.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Synopses

Synopses looks like a word for a disease, doesn't it? I still haven't figured out how to make a synopsis exciting to read. Maybe that gives a clue to how poor of a writer I am. At the same time, I can't stand reading other people's synopses. I get blurry eyed as soon as I start.

Maybe it's all in my head. LOL! I crack myself up. Too funny.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Thankful Friday

I'm struggling here folks. I've been slammed dunk by low contest scores and rejections. My resolution to keep my thoughts positive have been truly tested the last seven days. But since I'm determined to finish my current story, I'll quit complaining and get back to work.

What new something can I say I'm thankful for? Hmm. Tick, tock, tick, tock... for automatic drive in cars. I never really got the hang of shifting gears. I know it's a lame thankful, but I want it to be unique. Because I'm always thankful for my family and friends. :-D

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Romantic Suspense Junkie

I did this list a couple years ago on the Romance Magician's blog and was thinking about it today and thought I would share on this one.

The top ten clues that you're a Romantic Suspense Junkie.

10. You suspect every grieving widower of having "a hand" in the death of his wife.

9. You see a report of a wreck on the interstate and shout at the television "the boyfriend did it!"
8. You believe you can solve any crime if your husband was a sexy police detective.

7. You suspect the clean-cut guy in your office of being a potential serial killer because he has "that look."

6. You eye the small sunken area in the backyard and wonder if a body is buried there.

5. You eye the small sunken area in the backyard and wonder if your husband plans to bury you there.

4. You feel a need to explain to the checkout boy that you really use the black plastic bags for leaves.

3. You leave the shower curtains open during a shower.

2. You drive past your house believing the car in the rearview mirror is tailing you.

1. You become worried that your husband is plotting your death because he’s being too nice after watching a marathon of Cold Case.

What clues have you found?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Once Again

Today, I blogged over at Romance Magicians. Be sure to check it out. It'll make you smile.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Something To Think About

Whenever someone has a bad experience with a contest, luncheon or anything to do with a (RWA) chapter, did you know that person will tell at the least ten people about it? But if that same person had a good experience, she would tell one, maybe two tops.

It's certainly something to think about. That's why when I was on my writers' group board and the coordinator for our unpublished contest, I made sure anytime anyone complained I responded and solved the complaint in the quickest manner possible. If a person doesn't have to dwell on the bad things, they're more apt to remember how nice you were in taking care of them and will forgive the group/person faster.

Thus the same reason my bosses at my day job likes me. LOL!

Addition: OH! I almost forgot. I won a book at Christy Reece's blog today. Too cool! She's going to have another contest before long, so check it out at here.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Taking Grammar Lessons

If you've been following my blog, you'll know I study grammar books (even have software for practice - it's the Queen's English but I feel I'm still okay - hey, they win most of the Oscars) and I'm a dictionary.com fanatic. Now all of that doesn't mean I don't mess up, but I received my latest contest sheets and, yes, I have complaints. I understand judges are human too. Goodness, I'm one and I know I've made mistakes. But this is my blog and I can complain and in this case comment and besides I would never send a judge this info in a thank you note. I'm not wanting to shoot myself in my foot, but I feel I'm providing a service to judges and writers alike by pointing the errors out through my blog. You'll notice I never give contest names unless my entry is a finalist and how could I complain about that? LOL! Now for my two cents or more.

Hello, judge, the word accidentally and accidently means essentially the same thing. Both are adverbs and both mean "Occuring unexpectedly, unintentionally, or by chance." Look it up.

Like-minded and high-end (referring to expensive) have hyphens. Look it up.

"Sunrise" helps the reader to visualize the sun rising above the horizon. "First light" could be before the sun makes an appearance as you can see sun rays before you see the ball of fire itself.
"First light" can actually mean many things. You're only trying to change my word choice, not because I made an error, but you preferred "first light."

Saying I need to add the word "thoughts" into a sentence only distances the reader from the story. You're reading her thoughts without having to be told that as you're already subconciously aware of it. If you like to put the word "She thought" whatever, that's your voice and your choice.

If I turned her car "into" a UPS store, she would be driving thru the walls, etc. or the car would magically become a UPS store. You really need to read what you suggest. Actually in this case, I changed my "to" and made it "toward." So in that case it made me aware I could improve my word.

Why would I describe a hotel room anymore than the basics when they all look a like? I doubt many readers haven't been in a regular hotel room.

Okay. Out of forty or more suggestions from three judges, I took maybe five. Many were just their preferences and had nothing to do with improving the entry.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

That Makes Sense

LOL! I crack myself up with my corny sense of humor. But the title of this blog is really about the five senses (sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing). Whenever you're writing a book, the author has to remember all five (six or more if it is a paranormal) and make sure most if not all are shown in each scene.

For myself, I constantly forget smell. My sinuses have always dealt me fits and my sense of smell has been completely gone for a long, long time. Well, last year I had sinus surgery and it has helped so much though being able to smell isn't quite there yet. Occasionally, I get a sniff of coffee or anything strong. It's wonderful. But due to my lack of that sensory, I forget to add it.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

What's In A Name?

No. I'm not about to spout poetry. Today, I attended the Heart of Dixie Romance Readers' Luncheon. Lots of fun. One of the ways the RWA chapter makes money is to sell tickets to win a chance at having your name in a book. What that means, is your name can become a character in an author's book. You don't have rights to the book and the character can be a villian or a good person, author's choice. You can be a secondary character or the main gal. My oldest daughter won one and her name is in Kelley St. John's TO CATCH A CHEAT. I can tell you my daughter was thrilled to no end as she's a big fan of hers.

Well, one sweet lady who attends the HOD luncheon and my local chapter's luncheon (we offer it too) has won numerous times. So if you read a book and someone in the story is named Tewanda Hardy. That's who it is. LOL! We were teasing her on how she was becoming world famous and how all the editors were asking WHO'S TEWANDA HARDY!!! LOL!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Thankful Friday

Okay, I've been trying hard to keep this blog positive. Thus, the Thankful Friday posts. But this year has been rough. No good news to share with the constant slap downs (8 so far). So I guess I'm thankful for my day job. It could always be worse, heh?

Hopefully everything will look up soon.