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

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things

Last week, I figured I'd join this Friday blog hop. Celebrations are a good thing. Especially when you can do it with others. Celebrate the Small Things is hosted by By VikLit at Scribblings of an Aspiring Author.

Today, I'll celebrate my clean house. But as I write this post, I have yet to dust the upstairs, clean up my laundry room, and the guest bath. Several months ago I challenged myself to clean one room a day instead of doing all my housework in one or two days. So far, its worked out pretty good. Sometimes though, my Salon schedule gets in the way since its one of those flexible ones-its never the same week to week.

My second celebration is my practice with Power Point in making my own book covers. It gets easier and easier every time. And the best part is, I'm having fun doing it even tough its not yet perfected.

Thirdly, I want to celebrate Roland Yeoman's recovery from face surgery he had done last week. He's over at Writing in the Crosshairs . Drop in and say 'hi'. He has a wonderful blog.

Fourthly, I want to celebrate another blogger's recovery from eye surgery. Michael Di Gesu His blog is just as wonderful. The way he writes will swoon and sweep you off your feet, ladies.

And last but not least, I wish to celebrate the rewrites I've accomplished on Killer Stilettos. Currently, I'm stuck on chapter thirty-one.

Here's a diddy:

The one red speck flitting in her eye multiplied into two more, and a low guttural growl escaped her. Mom slapped her gloved-hand over her surgical mask. Her eyes darted from me to Cynthia. “Excuse me. Must’ve been the bean burritos I ate for lunch.”
Cynthia shot me a quick a glance and pulled her brows together.
Strange noises rumbled from mom’s stomach, and her eyes went glossy. “I’m not feeling so good.” At any moment I figured she would definitely spew green chunks my way and her head would spin.
“Maybe you should go home, Miss Babs.” Cynthia set her Bible on the bedside table. “You wouldn’t want Lila to catch what you might have.”

Mom flinched. 

That's all for now. Gotta get to The Salon. But I'll be on my iPhone checking out others' posts throughout the weekend.

Hugs and chocolate,

Sunday, February 23, 2014

How to Make a Basic Ebook Cover with Power Point 2010

Being an Indie author means a lot of money comes out of our pockets. We're responsible for whatever the cost may be to make our books. And well ... it ain't cheap.

So I thought I'd do my best to show everyone how to make a very basic ebookcover. 

Here goes:

First, you must open your Power Point program.

Second, go to home.

Third, go to New Slide.

Fourth, pick which look you want. I usually pick Blank. 

Fifth, go to Design. Choose Page Setup.
Make your width at 6 and your height at 8. Click Okay.

Sixth, go to Insert.

Seventh, click on Picture. I chose one of my dogs, Sir Poops. You can also save a pic from the web.

A box will pop up like this:

Now you're ready to add your name and title. Go to Insert.

Then go to Text Box. Click on it. After, an arrow will appear. Move it to wear you want your name and title.

You can play with the text size, color, and font shape from the Home bar.

Now it's time to save my cover. Go to File.

Click on it. Then click on Save & Send.

After, click on Change File Type.

Then click on JPEG File Interchange Format.

Click Save when another box pops up.

Another box will pop up. Choose Current Slide Only.

Then, go to where ever you saved the file and open with Paint.

After, click on Resize.

Click on Pixels. Then, make your Horizontal at 600 and your Vertical at 800.

After, make sure you Save it. 

I hope this helped even though its a no frills kind of cover. It takes me a while to get comfortable with strange and unknown territory. 

Also, if you want to play around with your font, Lorelei Bell had a fabulous post on it. GO HERE TO READ

I hope everyone has a lovely Monday and week. I'll be at The Salon for the biggest part. Florida season is in full swing with snow birds and people wanting to look their best. They kind of slack about their appearance in the summer months though. It might have to do with sweat ... like a lot of it.

So I'll be around via the iPhone which by the way is a great topic for a blog all by itself ... that and Feedly.

Bye for now!

Hugs and chocolate,

Sunday, February 16, 2014

26 Days of Crazy Coming Your Way

Hey! Guess what's coming to town in April again? Twenty-six days of  crazy blogging A to Z, skipping weekends. Arlee Bird is the creator.You pick the topic and theme. But I suggest you keep your posts short and turn off your captchas-those are the rudest things anyone ever made.

Go here if you want to sign up for the fun.

As for me, I haven't decided to join in or not. If  I do, my plan is to post one word per the alphabet with a picture. They will be clues to what you will find in my next novel, Killer Stilettos, the second book in Lila's Journey.

I'm still tweaking the dickens out of it.

A couple of Mondays ago I sent the first 300 words over to Mainewords for a critique, which by the way was truly helpful. So I'll be writing my 34th draft of chapter one soon. She's always looking for first chapters to critique and post on her blog. If interested click on the link above.

Also, I'm still playing with making my own covers. Here's one:
But its still not right. Practice makes better though. I'm hoping to prepare a post for next Monday on how to make a basic ebook cover. I'm not a wiz yet. I've already forgotten how to make my own Clip Art, and have to re-figure it out.

Before I go, here's a diddy from Killer Stilettos:

Cynthia’s green eyes flinted to the chair Vinny sat in. “There’s no way in hell that I’m going to pray his soul out of purgatory. Ever.”

Vinny chuckled and plucked petals from the rose. “She loves me. She loves me not.”

Hope you enjoyed. I'll be at the Salon most of this week so I'll be lurking the blog world from my iPhone.
Hugs and chocolate, all!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Valentine's Tribute: The Other Woman

I had a childhood friend. We were eleven.  Her name was Pam, and she had a boyfriend. Timmy. And boy did I covet him.

But I knew where to draw the line. It was okay to wish but not touch or take. I valued Pam as my friend. 

Whenever he came around, I took off. I figured it was the most respectful thing to do. The guy gave me every kind of fluttery stomach critter. Not to mention, my cheeks went fiery hot. So I'm pretty sure my face was red whenever he came around. And never in my entire life did I want to break my friend's heart or our friendship. Some how I had to shake whatever feelings I may've had for this kid. Besides, his mom was a little creepy. Saddle shoes, a bouffant, and peddle pushers were her signatures. It was 1976. Who dressed like that then?

The summer before seventh grade as I made my escape on my bike, Timmy got on his and followed me.

"Hey!" he says. "I want a kiss."

And I tried my best to ignore him by peddling as fast as I could. "Go away."

"You know you love me." He gained on me.

My heart throbbed in my ears, I couldn't believe he knew. I never told him. So I  pedaled faster and faster. "Leave me alone." At eleven, I didn't want to be known as a home wrecker.

Before I could race down a one lane alley, Timmy had passed me, spun in front of me, and smacked my front tire.

I went crashing down to the pebbly-dirt drive. There, Timmy leaned down and took advantage of the moment. He squished his slimy lips on mine.

"What are you doing?" I heard Pam say.

I gasped and glanced over my shoulder, swiping away the slobbery evidence. And my first ever kiss from a boy.

"I'm breaking up with you," Timmy says, straightening. "I've got a new girl."

Pam's eyes went from him to me. 

I shook my head. "I didn't do anything. I swear." Friendship meant more than having what I thought I wanted. After that day, I never spoke to him. But before summer ended, he moved away with his family. So that made that easy.

Pam and I stayed friends all through high school. Sadly, after she married and I did the same, we lost contact.

I hope you all are enjoying my romantic stories.

Hug and chocolate, all!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Another Tribute to Valentine's Day: Clean Feet

Today, I'll take you all back to my second grade year. Think 1972-73. 

Charlie was his name. 

The love bug bit him hard. But I couldn't say the same for me.

The kid bombarded me daily with flowery weeds and a ton of love notes. They usually read: I love you. Do you love me? Yes or No. Or, will you be my girlfriend? Yes or No.  He even drew me a picture of his idea of a dream house for us and what our children would look like. 

He lived in the trailer park I lived in. Everyday after school and on weekends, he would ride his bike over to my house and pop a few wheelies. "You sure look purdy today," he would say, giving me a toothless smile. I wonder to this day if he grew his teeth in.

The poor kid was clumsy-looking and always barefoot, except when he was in school. Dirty feet grossed me out back then. And they still do today.  

No matter what Charlie did, I wasn't impressed. The poor kid didn't get it. For a whole year he tried. He even carried my books home from the bus stop. EVERYDAY!

A year later, tragedy struck his family. Rumor had it, he ended up in foster care. Poor Charlie. I never saw him again after that. I felt horrible because I never said thank you for carrying my books.

Charlie, I'm thanking you now. And hope that you're happily married, in your dream house with your three kids and a nice set of teeth. Hope you're keeping your feet clean, too.

Hugs and chocolate, all!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tribute Post for Valentine's Day: Darren

At the age of six I found myself falling in love with the most cutest boy in my first grade class. My heart would sputter and my hands would get clammy. When he stood next to me, I'd get choked up. 

His name was Darren. I'll  keep this on a first name basis. Don't want to embarrass anyone.

Anyway, during class I could hardly pay attention because it was on him. He wore a lot of green and he had the coolest black-rimmed glasses. I've ways liked smart-looking boys. And I like them even better if they are intelligent.

At recess, I always made sure I'd be on the swing next to him or down the slide right after him. I did what ever I could to get him to notice me.

Oh he noticed me all right. One day he got off his swing next to me.  He literally pushed me off mine into the mud, and said, "Stop following me, fatty!"

I hope everyone had a lovely Thursday. I'll be at The Salon today.

Hugs and chocolate!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Nothing Can Break a 62 Year Romance

"Well doll, gotta get going," my papa said , gathering up his bladder tube and bag. "I need to make it back to the house before Kathy gets there."

"Already?" Tears filled my GaGa's eyes, and she looks at the clock on the wall in front of her bed. It's one minute past five in the evening. Once again, loneliness would accompany her throughout the evening. A nursing aide would be in to give her dinner, her meds, and eventually help her to bed. She dreaded every waking minute without him. Her and my grandfather have been together for sixty-two years.

"Oh doll. Don't cry. I love you forever." He hobbles over to her and grabs her hands. There, he helps pull her to her feet. "You know you're my girl." Leaving her in the nursing home was the worst thing he ever had to do. He could barely eat and sleep without her.  An aching fear of losing her forever haunted him. What if I come back tomorrow and she's gone? The thought ate at him.

"Yes," she said, leaning forward to kiss his cheek. "Put you coat on it's cold outside. And don't forget your hat."

"I won't." Papa hung onto her while he reached for his jacket on a near-by hook. After, he shrugged his right shoulder into while still holding onto her hand. If he could, he'd never let her go. She was his one and only forever. Time and sickness would never keep their hearts apart.

"I wish I could go home with you," she said, now clinging onto his arm. A fall, a bleeding ulcer, MERSA, and two hear attacks brought her to the nursing home a month ago. And the patient advocate and the powers that be didn't find it in her best interest to return home. Sadly, my grandfather hasn't been one to call 911. In his mind, he's the only one who can give her the best care. He has always taken care of her.

"Two more days, doll. And we'll be together." PaPa finally agreed to assisted living. "God bless you, doll. You're the love of my life." They met at twenty-one after GaGa locked herself out of her apartment one day. It was his chance to meet the red hair beauty who lived below him. And it was love at first sight.

"I know, love." She blinks away some tears before she winks at him. "I miss you so."

"I miss you, too." He turns and limps to the door to her room. "Watch me from the window. I'll wave."

"I will." Gum-drop sized tears washed over her cheeks.

"It'll be okay, doll. Two more days," PaPa said before he tottered out of the door and down the hallway.

GaGa then balanced herself holding onto the bed rail, she then moved cautiously toward a wing back chair. After, she reaches for the wall. Every step a chore as she keeps her left palm against it. The window was a good five paces away. But she'd make it just to see his face one more time. No one knows what  tomorrow would bring.

Once there, she held onto the sill and pulled apart the blinds. A few paces away, she watched my grandfather make his way to their Kia.

They wave and blow kisses at each other. 

Before PaPa drives away, he stops momentarily to blow her more kisses.

She blows some more back and then watches him drive away.

Nothing will ever break the love they hold in their hearts for each other. Not sickness or separation.

Hope you enjoyed this. This is story one in celebration to Valentine's Day.

I've got to get ready for work now. I'll be reading other blogs during down times at The Salon today.

Hugs and chocolate, all!