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

Monday, March 31, 2014

April A to Z: The Letter A

Welcome to my blog, and my first post for Arlee Bird's April A to Z Blog Challenge.

This year I decided to post picture clues hinting at what is to come in my second book from the Lila's Journey Series, Killer Stilettos. The days that I can't find a clue to match the letter of the day, I will post a video of an eighties band video.

Also, there will be a giveaway at the end of this blog for those who guess the most correct answers. Someone will receive a copy of Secondhand Shoes either a paperback or one for their Kindle.

Hmm..wonder what the following pictures are?

These pictures are from Photobucket.

I hope every has fun with this!

Hugs and chocolate!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things: # 5

I can't believe this is the last Friday in March. Can you?

Oh my goodness! And it's time to Celebrate the Small Things, too, hosted by VikLit, at Scribblings of an Aspiring Author.

Today, I'm going to celebrate this little guy. My grand baby. We had a nice visit this past Tuesday.
Out of the blue before he did a strip tease and fell asleep, he said, "Love you, Hanny-Nanny. God bless you."
I could hardly believe my ears since he mostly speaks jibberish.

Also, daughter #5 and her significant other is expecting their first baby in August. Glowstick will have someone to play with. And I can't believe, it's another boy.

These are what I'm celebrating this week.

Anyone out there have grand babies to brag about and celebrate?

Have a lovely weekend. Happy Shabbats if you practice! See y'll on Monday when I begin my April A to Z Challenge.

Hugs and chocolate!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

How Writing Helped Me Overcome Bitterness

Over the years people have hurt me. There were times I actually thought I had been birthed into the enemy camp. Who needs enemies when you have to live in the same house with them?

Oh and then there were the beloved ex-husbands plus their villainous parents. While I couldn't choose my family, I walked into those nightmares blindfolded.  And not necessarily for love. 

When I finally decided to get serious about my writing, I began with the intent to write my memoir. 

 It was a really bad Monday-night-movie-on-Lifetime- for -Women -Network -kind-of-story. I can't even admit that it awed me any.

My editor at the time mentioned, "Man, you're angry. You need to rewrite a lot of this."

And so I did. But still, it came out angry. 

My editor handed it back to me. "You've got talent, kid. But no one will ever publish something this angry. Re-do it."

So I pitched out the whole memoir idea and made it into a fiction piece. She was right. I needed to let go of all my anger. 

I figured I would approach my fiction piece with humor. It did help. My editor loved it, but it still read somewhat angry. 

"Kid, you've found your voice," she said. "Go back and climb into all your characters' heads and figure out why they are the way they are. No one in life is a hundred percent evil or bad. 
And if they're flawed there's always a reason. Find out why."
So that's what I did. I wrote their back stories. Doing this gave me a new perspective on everyone that ever did something rotten to me. After doing this I was able to forgive and let go of any grudge I held onto.

To forgive is a good thing. 

Has writing helped you overcome something?

Hope everyone has a Happy Monday! I'll be at The Salon today. But I'll be around. Hoping to finish the rest of my A to Z posts tonight. I've been having issues with my internet again. Wish me luck!

Hugs and chocolate!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things:# 4 and A to Z Blogging Theme

This is my 4th Friday to Celebrate the Small Things with VikLit, Scribblings of an Aspiring Author
I know. I know. I'm late to the celebration today. Had to get my quiet time and exercise in before anything else. Two more things I celebrate. Oh and the fever and chills I had yesterday are gone! Hooray! Hooray!

I'm also celebrating that when my focus is off to write my stories, I write chapter summaries. The last couple of days that's how I've been working on Killer Stilettos. Even though I feel like I'm not making progress, I am.

Lipstick is another thing I'm celebrating this week. For several years, I've been wearing Maybelline color 325, known as Cinnamon Stick. Well, they no longer make it. And this is what is left of my favorite color. A nub. That's it!

So I stepped out of the box and tried a color from Rimmel. But it was too orange and bled below my lip. Scary! It reminded me of the color my third grade teacher, Mrs. Bear Claw wore. Most of the time she had a smear of it across her yellow teeth
Then I tried a color from Cover Girl. But it was too red and orange. My lips looked like a neon sign!
The Sweetman came up with a solution. "I'll take you to the MAC store."

If you've followed this blog for a while then you all know I hate going shopping. 

So the Sweetman enticed me to come with a dinner at The Cheesecake Factory.  After, I sucked it up and found a color I liked at the MAC store.

It comes pretty close to my original fav. The color is Fresh Moroccan. It works. Just enough red and orange. This is something to celebrate!

Also, I wish to celebrate A to Z Theme. I'm limiting myself to posting a picture giving everyone a clue as to what is coming at you in Killer Stilettos, my next book from the Lila's Journey Series. I figured it would be the easiest thing for me to do since this is an insanely, crazy time.

That's all for now folks. I've got to get ready for work. I'll be there until 9 tonight. So I will be around reading blogs in between heads of hair.

Have a great weekend and Happy Shabbats if you practice! See you all on Monday.

Hugs and chocolate!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Drunk Irish Leprachaun

The Sweetman decided what I would share for my Monday post. A drunk Irish Leprechaun.

Not really. It's an excerpt from one of my WIPS, White Trash and Pill Heads. The character I'm sharing is Stu McDougle, an Irishman with a heavy drinking habit and his crack-smoking girlfriend, Chicken. These two have issues. Let me tell you...well, let me show you. If you like trashy reality T.V. this may be the novel for you. Its one of three I'm hoping to have finished by the end of this year.

Pixie knitted her brows together. “You ain’t no one’s grandmother!” The bitch has lost her mind thinking any such thing, she thought. “My baby’s already got a grandmother. And she ain’t no crack ho like you!”
Chicken stayed facing the mirror, flipping her brown shoulder length hair behind her. “You’re mother is a high caflooting bitch who left you at thirteen for a better life without you and your sister, Sara.” She fumbled for her purse sitting on a near-by chest.
“You don’t know nothing about my mom!” Pixie’s mother’s actions did confuse her at times but she knew her mother loved her.
“Yeah. I do.” A smile creeped across Chicken’s thin-skinned face, making the woman look like Skeletor. “What kind of mother would only visit her daughters once a month and not pay any child support? Huh?”
Pixie cocked a thinly painted brow. “Well, you left your kids when they was two and one so you could suck on a crack pipe and prostitute yourself out.” She brought her fisted hands to her hips, knowing what she spoke to be the truth. Maybe it’ll make the skanky ho shut-up some, she thought. “Again, my mother ain’t no crack ho like you and has a job! She even worked three to keep a roof over me and my four sisters until she got sick.” She puffed out her chest.
Chicken pulled a small purple bag from her purse, unzipped it, and spun around. “Don’t you be judging me!” She yanked a lip gloss tube from the pouch and waved it in the air like a sword at Pixie, dashing toward her.
Pixie met the stick-like woman in the middle of the living room.
They were within inches of each others’ noses.
Pixie pointed her finger at the woman, pressing it into Chicken’s bony chest.
“Don’t touch me, cunt.” Chicken shoved her.
Pixie pushed her back. “Then don’t judge my mom.” It did bother her though. Her mom leaving her and her sister with their dad, Stu McDougal. It even made her mad at times. Mom could be a bitch, she thought. Shit, she didn’t even invite Sara and me to her and Mr. Moshe’s wedding.

Stu stood in his kitchen and cracked another Bud Light open, listening to his daughter and girlfriend argue. In about forty-five minutes he would have to drive Pixie and Sara to the baby shower his ex-wife put together. The grand event would start at one. He would need some good vodka to get through it. His flask waited for him in his Dodge Ram truck, tucked under his front seat.
He took a few swigs of his beer and sauntered out into the living room where the two women stood, neck and neck, pushing each other. The living room over the years had become the perfect boxing ring. The Manatee County Sheriff’s Department knew them all by name along with the criminal court judges. He couldn’t count how many times he had to fill up holes in the walls or how many windows and doors he had to replace or broken furniture. The Irish were known for their hot tempers. He had one himself.
“Now Pixie,” he said, words slurring. “You should let her go. She’s been more of mom to you than your own mother has.”
His daughter crossed her arms in front of her chest and rested them on top of her small pregnant pooch. “No! The bitch ain’t going!”
Stu grinned and took another swig from the can before he said, “Then I’m not taking you.”

Hope you enjoyed the excerpt. Yeah. I know. They all had potty mouths. But welcome to the dark side of this novel I've been working on. The two bright spots are  Faith and Laurel, two young grandmothers in the story. One a hippy and the other a devout Baptist. They pair to save their grand baby.  That's all I'm saying for now.
Hope you all have a happy Monday and a St. Patty's Day if you celebrate. I'm at The Salon today and will be visiting as many posts as I can  today.
Hugs and chocolate,

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things: #3

Today is another post for VikLit's Bloghop over at Scribblings of an Aspiring Author, Celebrate the Small Things.

I thought this week, I'd do a celebration for everyday of the week. 

Saturday: I celebrate writing the majority of my posts for the week. I even made a list of what I'll be blogging about for the April A to Z. 

Sunday: I got to read a few blogs and comment since it was slow at The Salon. And the sky was amazingly blue and the weather was perfect. No humidity. No freezing cold. It was a perfect 70ish kind of day, which explained why it was so slow at work.

When I got home that day, I didn't have to cook either. The Sweetman brought home Chinese. After, we took the fur-peeps for a walk. Longer days now mean sunshine in the early evenings. 

The cherry on the end of this day was writing for a couple of hours before watching another episode of The Walking  Dead. There are 3 more episodes to this season.

Monday:  I left for work ten minutes late. It saved me from a six car accident. God and one of his guardian angel must've been distracting me. 

The accident was bad enough to make the news. I won't go into detail. While I'm thankful I wasn't involved, I feel terrible for those who were.

Wednesday: I had off. A day off after 8 days straight calls for a big celebration. Plus, I wrote my little heart out.

Thursday: I had an afternoon with my grandbaby.

We played on the playground. Had a milkshake at Burger King. Shopped for animal cookies, Gold Fish crackers, socks, and a Transformer toy at Wal Mart. We had a blast!

That evening I fixed my computer issues. Happy dances and some chocolate, please. I took the evening to research how to fix what was going on. And I did it without crashing my computer. It's back on track!

Friday: Later today, I will be getting ready for Purim. It's a Jewish holiday celebrating Esther. 

Right now, I've got to get to The Salon.

Hope everyone has a happy weekend! Happy Shabbats and Purim to those who are preparing for their day of rest!

Hugs and chocolate!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

How to Prepare Your MS for a Critique with Word 2010 and "How To" Books for Editing Yourself

Last week, I had this beautifully written. Some how cyber-space gobbled it up. So I've re-done it.

To date, I still can't seem to either get connected to Google Chrome with any kind of ease or stay that way once I do. So once again, I'm posting this blog via my iPhone with the Blogger App.

In this post, I wanted to share on how to prepare your MS for others to critique. 

1: Make sure you're not giving your critters your first draft. Like Hemingway said, "The first draft is shit." Make sure you're sending something you've thoughtfully edited. 

A few years back, I recall someone being asked to leave my live critique group because they never, ever turned in a clean-as-possible-draft. The leader felt that one draft sucked up too much of our time. At that time there were 7 of us times 20 pages per person.

2: Do a Find for filter, ly, and passive words. Hunt for was, saw, feel, heard, had, that, just, and then. If your character can see, hear, taste, smell, and feel, you can describe it. 

If you don't know how to do a Find, I'll be glad to show you from Word 2010.

Go to your Home Bar and click on Find.

Go to the left of your screen. Type in whatever word you're going to look for like was in the Navigation blank. 

This will automatically highlight what you're looking for. It should look like this:

3: Next, double space and number your lines. This helps whoever is critiquing you to stay on track if for some reason they can't read your chapter or draft in one sitting.

Also, it helps you to find where you need to make the changes where suggested.

Here's how to double space and add line numbering to your MS with Word 2010:

For double spacing, go to your Home Bar and click Paragraph.

After, a box will pop up. Make sure you have Indents and Spacing. In Alignment pick Left.

Then, go to Special. Pick First Line. Under Special, pick 0.5.

Go to Line Spacing and pick Doiuble. Make sure you click Okay.

One you've finished making your double spaces, you'll need to number your lines. 

Click on Page Layout.

Then, click on Line Numbers.

After you do that, click on Continuous.

If you need some extra help with self-edits, there are a plethora of 'how to' books out there. Here are my three favorites:

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne and Dave King

The Writer's Little Helper, by James V. Smith, Jr.

Write in Style, by Bobbi Christmas

Once you get your MS back from your critters you'll need to organize how you will handle those suggestions. Author Donna K. Weaver wrote a fabulous post on how to do it. CLICK THE LINK

I hope everyone has a lovely Monday and week. I've been on The Salon schedule for 8 days straight now.

If anyone has any other suggestions on preparing your MS for critiques, feel free to give your tips.

So this concludes my Monday post.  See you around the blogosphere and on Friday when I Celebrate the Small Things.

Hugs and chocolate,

Friday, March 7, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things: # 2

I know I'm posting late. This past week I've been challenged by Google Chrome to get and stay on-line. So this morning I'm typing my post after many failed attempts to get on the web via my computer.

As you can see, I don't have the picture or VikLit's link. I haven't figured out how to download such into my posts from my iPhone yet. But I can at least say I'm totally thankful for it. Where would I be right now if I couldn't communicate with my blog followers and the blogging community.

In fact, I really love that I can do all sorts of things on and from my iPhone...other than talk. Besides, I never did enjoy talking over the phone. Still don't.

Also, I love that I can visit other blogs while at work. When I'm not slammed with a ton of haircuts, I read and comment. It's so handy.

The other feature I love is the NotePad app. If I get an idea or a scene in my head, I can type it into my phone and email myself.

So I'm celebrating all the things I can do from my iPhone today. I'd be really upset if I had no way to post my blogs.

Hope everyone has a great Friday! And Happy Shabbats to all who are preparing for God's day of rest!

Hugs and chocolate,

Monday, March 3, 2014

Well, Bleeping, Bleep!

Originally, I had another post prepared ... I thought.

Last night, I spent a couple of hours working on it. When I got up this morning, I had plans to download some pictures of instruction. After opening my page here, everything I had written the night before was gone. Blogger must've erased everything. It saved nothing. Yes. I pushed the Save button ... Several times!


I knew something was wonky last night. When I first turned on my computer, I got an error message. Something about not being able to sign in properly. This happened before even going onto the Internet.


When I tried that, I got another error message.


 I had a Homegroup something, something.


I had never heard of such a thing. But whatever it was, someone was using my internet connection. They even had access to all my files. So I deleted this Homegroup thingie. After and then, I was able to get onto the internet.


By next Monday, I'll try to recapture my thoughts. Sorry, guys.


I sure hope Blogger has their crap together by Friday and the rest of the internet world.

Hugs and chocolate, all!