Saturday, October 15, 2016

What Do I Do With The Lemonade?

I don't normally mix my personal and professional lives with my writing. First, it isn't fair to you innocent people to listen to me whine. Second, whining doesn't do any good period. However, I have to vent some of this out, before I explode.

Recent things have brought about many changes in my life, some happy some frightening. Mostly I have been on a voyage of personal discovery, looking at what I dislike about myself, strengthening my relationship with me, stuff like that. Although I find this a needed project, it's been hard both internally and externally.

There are stages to change, just as there are with death. Perhaps because change is a form of death, a good-bye to the habits we need to dismiss. I've been angry, sad, I've laughed, I've cried and mostly I've tried to bargain with the universe. Let me tell you, it really is true that if you want to hear God laugh tell him your plans.

Earlier this year, I decided to adopt Proverbs 3:5 as my life verse: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding." It perfectly summed up where I was at and what I needed most to work on - getting out of God's way and letting him work on and through me.

Once I began to get out of the way, great things began to happen, and for months live moved as it should. Then in July we had another life changing event. Unfortunately that positive event has spawned other negative behaviors. (See Verse Above.) Am I mad? A little. Am I disappointed? Immensely. But sometimes the lesson to be learned isn't mine. Sometimes the lesson is someone elses' and I'm only caught up in the backwash. Doesn't make it right, doesn't make it hurt less, but it does allow me to take a deep breath, smile, and get out of God's way to let Him do His thing.

When we are younger, the need to protect or best our enemies is strong. We are raising families, building family units, establishing ourselves in the corporate dance. As we grow older, we realize we worried about the wrong things. Our kids grew up fine, even if they did drink water from the garden hose, or use sunscreen with low SPF. The world didn't stop turning, and no one was left with some horrible disease from sucking on honeysuckle blooms.

These days it is getting harder and harder to maintain inner peace. The world seems especially bent toward the destruction of all that many of us grew up to respect: our military, our way of live, our political process. I could go on for hours, but everyone knows what I mean. I am proud of our political system. I am not proud of the circus we are being fed. It feels man-made, thrown us to detract us from the real questions. And I got too old for the circus a long time ago. 

There are many changes due for me this upcoming week, and if you think about it, throw some positive karma out into the universe on my behalf. Trust me, it will come back around to you increased.

One side not - I will be participating in a Halloween Blog Hop 10/24 through 10/31. More details to come.

Another note - Welcome to the Family has a release date of November 9, 2016. Be prepared to meet the Family!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Authors Boosting Authors

Haunting Halloween Hop

October 24-31

Come join us for a spook-tacular book hop!


More details as we get closer to the event

Friday, September 16, 2016

To Everything There is a Season

My life right now is going in about 360 different directions. Everything is in an upheaval and all I really want to do is run away and change my identity. Of course that isn't possible, so I guess I'll try to power through, with help from the heavens and my family and friends.

In seventh grade, long long ago when teacher still made you learn cursive writing and recess was an hour of kick ball and jumping rope, we were made to learn a poem; Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken". Even now it stirs of feelings of where did I make the wrong turn, whose council did I miss?

As we fly rapidly through these last days of summer, think not of things ending, but of things returning. For everything is a circle, there is a time to every purpose.  Enjoy my friends.

The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Have a safe weekend everyone. See you in the fall!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Life Happened...

I looked at my blog to see what my last post was about and realized, I've let the whole summer go by without keeping up. That happens sometimes. I have a habit of letting life interrupt my writing. I wish I were as prolific as some of my friends. They can turn out a book a month, while my current pace is one a year.

I wish I didn't judge myself against other writers, but I think that is human nature. We start looking at others to inspire ourselves, and then allow their accomplishments to sink our own ambitions instead of driving us to work harder.

Summer is almost gone, and I've written very little since May. Sure I've edited a couple of books for friends, and we've had three family members pass away, but nothing new on paper for several weeks. In short, I feel empty.

The people are still in my head, the stories are still percolating but opening the file never seems to happen. Even now, as I complain about me I'm watching the Olympics and surfing You Tube. The icon for my word processor mocks me every time I stare at the screen.

Am I being too hard on myself? After all it's hard to write in the summer, what with the longer days making everyone miserable. Or am I letting dissatisfaction in other areas of my life to take control. Maybe my mid-life crisis is starting now, since people are living longer it's a thought.

One I thing I do know is I cannot force myself to write. The children do not like to be forced. The last time that happened, I killed off one of my favorite characters. I buried that chapter and promised everyone I'd never fail them again. But here I go, failing.

Everyone has a pity party once in a while, and this appears to be mine. I promise not to let it last too long. There's the promo to gear up for my next release - "Welcome to the Family", and sequels to write and new characters to explore.

I just think I'll wait until the temps drop below 80.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Things My Father Taught Me

My father passed away when I was only 29. My son has few memories of him, and my daughter has none but I tell them his stories every chance I get. My father was a unique individual, and I miss him more every thing I thing about how long he has been gone.

Walter was born in Allentown, New Jersey in August 1923. He grew up on our family's farm until going away to college in St. Louis at the age of 16. After receiving his degree in Aeronautic Engineering he joined the Army Air Corp, forerunner of the Air Force.

My dad was a man of many talents. He was a math genius who shook his head at my inability to grasp the concept of word problems. None of us inherited our parent's math talents, much to his never ending amusement. His voice was beautiful, a pure baritone and he taught me how to sing harmony before melody, a skill which I have treasured throughout the years.

He sang with a Barbershop Quartet, and loved to act on stage. That's how he met my mother, through a play production. They met in April and married in July. It was 1944, and they married on the army base in Lubbock Texas in a heat wave that waiver daily over 100 degrees. My mother and grandmother walked from the front gate to the chapel (about one mile) in heels and a linen suit. Their wedding dinner was an all you can eat spaghetti dinner at the hotel in town.

After the war he went to work for Capital Air Lines. In those heady first days of aviation, at the smaller markets where he started, Daddy would write your ticket, check in your luggage, direct the plane to the gate, push up the stairs, unseal the door, help people deplane, unload the luggage on the arriving plane, load the departing luggage, check you in at the gate, assist with boarding, seal the door, remove the steps and help push the plane from the gate. Those were the days.

Though he walked away from the farming life our family lived since they came to America in 1600s, he never stopped putting his hands in the dirt. He always planted a garden and working outside in our family was not optional. From when I was small and picked up sticks and pine cones until I left home at 18 for college, if it was Saturday morning, we were in the yard. I even graduated to using the lawn mower when I was 14. Yay.

He contracted a staph infection in his blood in 1982 and spent 9 months in intensive care in a coma. He came home a changed man, and the next nine years were a mixture of thankfulness for the time we were given, and grief for the strong protector I knew as my father. His body failed him on a daily basis but his mind never ceased its keen wit or treasure-trove of trivia.  He still did crossword puzzles, but in large print. He watched cooking show after cooking show, especially when on a feeding tube, so he would know what he wanted my mother to cook.

He watched from the window in his room as my sister married in the waiting room of ICU, and sat in his wheelchair in our living room four years later when I married my hubby. He held all of his grandchildren save my youngest, who I think he sent to me as a gift. She's so much like him.

On this Father's Day I miss his strength. I miss his laughter. I miss his humor and the million small things we used to laugh over in those wee small hours of the morning when we would both arrive home from work. I miss our political discussions and often wonder what he would think about the state of things today.

I miss him everyday, and wish I could discuss things like we used to But as long as I remember, and pass that along to the new generations, he's still with us.

Happy Father's day everyone.

Monday, May 16, 2016

POETRY MONDAY - A New Way to Start the Week!

Good Monday everyone!

Have you ever awoken with a song or piece of literature running through your mind, even though you may not understand why?
That's how I felt this morning when T. S. Eliot's poem, "The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock" spinning circle in my head. I haven't read this poem since high school (maybe college) and I cannot at this moment figure why it is here.
But until I do, I designate this as Poetry Monday, and here is my first offering:

The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock"
by T. S. Eliot

Let us go then, you and I, 
When the evening is spread out against the sky 
Like a patient etherized upon a table; 
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, 
The muttering retreats 
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels 
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells: 
Streets that follow like a tedious argument 
Of insidious intent 
To lead you to an overwhelming question ... 
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?” 
Let us go and make our visit. 

In the room the women come and go 
Talking of Michelangelo. 

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes, 
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes, 
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening, 
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains, 
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys, 
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap, 
And seeing that it was a soft October night, 
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep. 

And indeed there will be time 
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street, 
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes; 
There will be time, there will be time 
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet; 
There will be time to murder and create, 
And time for all the works and days of hands 
That lift and drop a question on your plate; 
Time for you and time for me, 
And time yet for a hundred indecisions, 
And for a hundred visions and revisions, 
Before the taking of a toast and tea. 

In the room the women come and go 
Talking of Michelangelo. 

And indeed there will be time 
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?” 
Time to turn back and descend the stair, 
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair — 
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”) 
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin, 
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin — 
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”) 
Do I dare 
Disturb the universe? 
In a minute there is time 
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. 

For I have known them all already, known them all: 
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, 
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons; 
I know the voices dying with a dying fall 
Beneath the music from a farther room. 
               So how should I presume? 

And I have known the eyes already, known them all— 
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase, 
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin, 
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall, 
Then how should I begin 
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways? 
               And how should I presume? 

And I have known the arms already, known them all— 
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare 
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!) 
Is it perfume from a dress 
That makes me so digress? 
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl. 
               And should I then presume? 
               And how should I begin? 

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets 
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes 
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? ... 

I should have been a pair of ragged claws 
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas. 

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully! 
Smoothed by long fingers, 
Asleep ... tired ... or it malingers, 
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me. 
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices, 
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis? 
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed, 
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter, 
I am no prophet — and here’s no great matter; 
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker, 
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, 
And in short, I was afraid. 

And would it have been worth it, after all, 
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea, 
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me, 
Would it have been worth while, 
To have bitten off the matter with a smile, 
To have squeezed the universe into a ball 
To roll it towards some overwhelming question, 
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead, 
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”— 
If one, settling a pillow by her head 
               Should say: “That is not what I meant at all; 
               That is not it, at all.” 

And would it have been worth it, after all, 
Would it have been worth while, 
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets, 
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor— 
And this, and so much more?— 
It is impossible to say just what I mean! 
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen: 
Would it have been worth while 
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl, 
And turning toward the window, should say: 
               “That is not it at all, 
               That is not what I meant, at all.” 

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be; 
Am an attendant lord, one that will do 
To swell a progress, start a scene or two, 
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool, 
Deferential, glad to be of use, 
Politic, cautious, and meticulous; 
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse; 
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous— 
Almost, at times, the Fool. 

I grow old ... I grow old ... 
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. 

Shall I part my hair behind?   Do I dare to eat a peach? 
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. 

I do not think that they will sing to me. 

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves 
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back 
When the wind blows the water white and black. 
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea 
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown 
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

Enjoy the rest of your week, and I will have a new poem for next Monday. Until then, Wear the bottoms of your trousers rolled!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Cover Reveal - Welcome to the Family

I'm very proud to present the cover of my newest book
Published by the Wild Rose Press

Available Soon!

Raised in a dysfunctional family, Cassandra Devlyn Ferguson has tried to leave the past behind and carve out a new life with her husband, former Black Ops specialist, Sean Ferguson. Her family’s shady business dealings never involved her, and she intends to keep it that way.Sean wants nothing more than to be a devoted, loving husband. But his new job sends him to the frontlines at some of the world’s most dangerous spots. For years he’s blamed his Irish wanderlust for the risks, but the truth is – he enjoys the rush of adrenaline danger brings. When the Devlyn family’s mistakes come looking for Cassie, it’s up to Sean to bring her home safely. The one positive? Cassie knows all about her family’s true nature and is willing to walk away from everything to stay with him. The negative? Someone wants them dead and will stop at nothing to keep all the skeletons in the closet