The shoes didn't fit. It was an omen.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Mirrors and An Upcoming Blogfest

Within the last couple of weeks, I read some where that opening your scene with your MC in front of a mirror reeks of amateur writing. The article stated it was a bad technique to describe what your MC looks like.

But what if the mirror is used to show the misery the MC is going through and not necessarily what they look like?

The opening chapter to Secondhand Shoes is a mirror scene. To me it clearly shows a miserable girl who hates her wedding day, fears her mother, and doubts herself. Its not about what she looks like on the outside. Its about what her feelings are reflecting.

Here’s a diddy from that first scene:

Except for the hiccups, I stood, softly crying, staring at my reflection in the full length mirror. Black mascara streaked my cheeks. I poked a couple fingers under the high lacey neckline and scratched.

Gram appeared behind me, wearing the lavender chiffon dress she wore in her casket six months ago, not one of her white hairs out of place. It looked like she maintained her weekly shampoo and set. “I’ve seen wrong in my life but this takes the cake,” she said. “Forcing an eighteen-year-old girl to marry any twenty-seven year old, much less a scallywag. Your mother’s crazy.” A frown sagged her jowls.

The tops of my arms itched, too, and I rubbed them, not responding to Gram’s comment, letting the lace do the scratching. My reflection squirmed in the white A-line dress. Its bodice and skirt were taffeta, the sleeves and fabric above the bustline to neck was lace. I hated the dress.

“It’s looking cheap up close but pretty from a distance. More your mother’s taste.” She stepped beside me, standing a foot shorter than me, fingering the lace on my sleeve and tisking. “What did they make this out of? Synthetic? It must itch like crazy.” She looked around the room. “Well, we’ll have to take care of this.”

“How?” I asked.

“The best thing you could do is take off that darned thing and run, child,” she said. “Pay no mind to your mother’s pooh either.”

One More Thing…

Before I go, I ask that you all hop over to Siv’s blog, Been There, Done That. She’s been promoting a very cool blog and bookfest coming on Labor Day, Meylinda’s Labor Day Blogfest and Bookfest. They’re looking for bloggers to help promote this. There will also be drawings for participants to win FREE books.

Click Here for more information.

And Secondhand Shoes is still in the proofreading phase before it goes to formatting.

Hugs and chocolate,


Monday, August 13, 2012

Unforgettable Blogfest



Click this to visit Siv

Today, Siv from Been There, Done That is holding this special blogfest in celebration. Click the above link to find out what she’s celebrating.

For the Unforgettable Blogfest we are supposed to write about a strange and unusual place or person that we’ve visited. One that left a lasting impression and we’ll never forget 

Oh that won’t be hard. Mine have to do with school. But there are several impressionable moments.

1. Miss Bailey was my kindergarten teacher. She realized that I had some learning issues. One of the things all kindergarteners had to master was writing their name. Mastering it was rather difficult for me so one day for the entire afternoon, Ms. Baily had me say my name, sound out each letter while I drew them out across the chalk board over and over.

2. I went to slow class in second grade. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to read like the other kids. So they sent me to a class with the mentally challenged and one girl with cerebral palsy.

My first day had me wondering why. When I got home that day, I went straight to the bathroom to stare at myself in the mirror. I couldn’t figure out why I was in the class with those kids. I didn’t look or talk  like any of them.

Yes, I’m dyslexic. I confused letters with numbers and vise versa. Letters also danced around, ‘saw’ could be ‘was’. I also had an issue with hearing ‘b’ as ‘d’ and ‘e’ as ‘a’, so forth and so on.

I also had a strange talent for writing words and sentences backwards. To this day when I’m tired or stressed, I will do just that. Write backwards.

3. In the eighth grade, I had the scariest teacher ever but handsome. My class and I watched him slap  wooden tables in two on several occasions.

One day, he threw a whole apple across the room. It splatted across the quietest kid’s forehead. He also took the tallest and muscular eighth grader outside and made him fist fight him. Scary right?

4. I hated high school. I was one of the kids who was bullied. When I walked through the halls, I was saluted with the kids pushing back their noses, snorting at me. They’d chant Miss Piggy. They did other things to me,too, but we won’t go there. But I remember their names and faces.

5. When I was in college, I had the best algebra professor. Professor Papi. He was from India and absolutely hilarious.

When the class talked over him, he would clap his hands and jump around in front of the chalk board and say, “Listen to the board. Let it talk to you. In my class, there is no talking or singing. Only the board is allowed to talk.” I can still hear his thick accent in my head.

Also, toward the end of my final exam, which by the way was like 5 hours long, he came by to take it. I had ten problems left and I was already in tears for fear of failing.

Professor Papi said, “You’re the only one who stuck it out and almost finished. No one else did. You did a good job. Don’t worry.”

I made an ‘A’ in that class and I’ll forever remember Professor Papi.

6. Last but not least, I had the biggest crush on my law professor. Professor Blau. He was sixty back then but he had a beautiful way with words. Everything that came out of his mouth made me melt.

I remember one day going up the escalator, somewhere behind me, he said, “In a another life, Miss So&So. In another life it will be you and me.” The guy gave me goose bumps but I made sure I was never alone with him.

This wraps up my unforgettable places and people.

Secondhand Shoes is still being proofread.

Hugs and chocolate,


Friday, August 10, 2012

Back in the Day

Today, I wanted to post car and truck pictures that are mentioned and featured in my novel. But it scares the kaka out me that I could be sued after what happened to one of our fellow bloggy-buddies.

The featured cars and vehicles in the novel are a 1975 Impala, a Bug, and a monster truck. Back in the eighties kids were buying these.They would re-paint them. Put in the baddest speaker systems known to man back then. And hike up their vehicles with  tractor tires. Well…that’s what we did in Manatee County, Florida, a/k/a po-dunkville, which brings me to another topic.

Today’s kids expect their parents to flip the bill for such pleasantries. They expect us to keep giving and to give nothing in return. And they see nothing wrong with it,

The other night, King of the Hill was on for like a split second and the funniest comment was made by the MC, “Are kids so lazy today that they can’t wear out their own jeans?”

You know, back in the day kids worked for their clothes, cars, and stereos. They went to their own wallets for their fun money, not their parents.

If we couldn’t find regular jobs we babysat, mowed lawns, painted fences, washed cars, and cleaned our neighbors’ houses. We didn’t complain that we couldn’t find a job. We found one some how. It was expected of us.

I know the economy sucks but our kids can work even if its keeping their own house clean and their yard mowed for their parents. They need to earn their keep in the world. They need purpose. There’s always volunteer work, of course.

Over the last two years, I’ve had young people sit in my salon chair with no direction. No life. They have no job and no clue what they’re doing. When you ask them how their day is, they give this reply, “I just got out of bed.” I will usually look at my watch seeing that its one o’clock in the afternoon. Then I’ll ask,”So what’re you going to do after your haircut?” They either shrug or say, “Go back to bed.” My inquisitive mind doesn’t stop there.

Me: Do you have a job?

Kid: No.

Me: In college?

Kid: No.

Me: So what are you going to be when you grow up?

I usually get a shrug. And then I’ll ask their age. Can you believe some are thirty still living with mommy and daddy. Oh my…

Where did the eighties go? Where kids UNDERSTOOD what was expected of them. And they didn't have to fill out job applications on-line. How impersonal is that? And what kind of question is, ‘do you ever feel like killing anyone?’ What does this have to do with being employable. Well….okay I get the drift but still…the kids applying for jobs want to work. I doubt they want to kill anyone.

When I was a kid, we filled out paper applications, turned them in on the same day, and got an interview, too. Most times, we were hired right on the spot.

Where did we ever go wrong?

Novel update: It’s still in proofreading.

Hugs and chocolate,