Monday, January 31, 2011

It was a promise I had to keep...

And the winner is...

So the week before last we had a book review and you know what that means.  I give a book away.  I was supposed to announce a winner on Friday and I completely forgot.  I could go on about the changes that I have been dealing with, but that seems less stand-up than just saying it was an oversight on my part, one that I have to correct.

Today I am.

And the winner is...


Do you want to know how I picked a winner?  Do you even care?  Maybe not.  Yeah, I am pretty sure you guys don't care how we picked a winner.  But since this time I wanted to make sure the contest was fair and just, I enlisted-and I haven't done that since the Navy-the help of my wonderful husband, Captain Kid.

For those of you who didn't know, he is an avid gamer.  Has a clan of brothers; the whole deal.  Anyway, last night I put a name for each of the contestants into a cup.  Mainly because we didn't have a hat handy, so we improvised.  The deal was simple.  He would pick a name, play a map and note down his score at the end.  After he had finished six maps we tossed out his high score-sorry Abby-and his low score-sorry Karla-and then put the rest of the names back into the cup and let Charlie pick a winner. 

The winner on that ticket was...

Patty Blount!

Congrats Patty.  I am going to be sending you a copy of Janet Millers' Promises to Keep.  I hope after you have had a chance to read it you will let me know what you thought of it.  Thanks for playing ladies and good luck next time.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Let the Normal Begin

Well it's official.  Today is the first day of my new working life, where I don't have to do anything but get up, walk to my office and work. 

I promise to keep you guys appraised of how it goes, but in the meantime I need to go and catch up on my blog reading.  I have missed a bunch for the past two weeks and I am just ready for my routine back.  It will probably be different now, but I am okay with that.  I just feel a little disconnected and out of the loop right now. 

Some don't like routine, but for me there is comfort in the idea of having a set schedule.  Knowing things are done they way they are supposed to be done, when they are supposed to be done.  So today will be the beginning of the new schedule and we will see how it goes.  

So here's to me and hoping that this new endeavor goes well.  Catch you guys in the blogs.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Times...they are a changing.

For those of you who didn't know I am in the middle of a move.  Not personal, but a business move.  

It has been a little disconcerting and tomorrow will be the first day that I get to spend in my newly outfitted home office.  No more rushing off to move this or get that turned off.  No more driving forty-five minutes across town in rush hour to get to the office by 7:30.  No more eating out at lunchtime, okay, I didn't really do that all that often, but it was nice knowing I could if I wanted to.

Now I have a twenty second commute.  Can I just say there is joy in those words for me.  I don't have to put on make-up, unless I want to.  I can forgo the bra-gasp-if I want to.  I probably won't, because lets face it, the girls just aren't as perky as they used to be, but I like knowing I now have that choice.  Breakfast is something I will actually have time for in the mornings, and I can even have it with the Captain if I choose.  

This change is something I have been dreading, but I decided that I needed to back into it from a different angle.  Instead of dread I am embracing.  I hope that it turns out to be better than I expected, and that I don't go crazy in the interim.  I am not a social butterfly, but I always enjoyed the easy camaraderie I shared with my co-workers.  I still have them, they are just scattered to our Arizona office now.  

So the winds of change have been blowing for me since the beginning of the month, but thankfully the hurricane force winds are just now starting to die down.  I hope this means I have weathered the storm and not just that the eye has moved overhead.  Only time will tell.  

On a brighter note, today is Thursday so that means Karla is up with her next installment of Fun and Games.  Make sure you check it out here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

OMG Becky...Look at her Butt

Since I hate it when I don't have anything for you guys I thought I would share this video with you today.

Last night Gracie Lou was hanging out with one of her kitty friends down the street.  She was telling a joke about two Tom Cats when this big Persian walked by and this was her friends reaction.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Again with the Fun and Games

So you guys got a couple of extra treats in the Fun and Games department.

Karla was on deck yesterday with another snip, so just in case you missed it check it out here.

Okay when we last left off Truman had come to the rescue...lets see what happens next.

Owen held the door open so Grace could climb in, which was no easy feat since the truck seemed to loom two stories above her head.  Once settled, he hurried around and hopped into the cab, starting the truck with a quick twist.  Forcing the gears, he squealed out of the driveway backwards at breakneck speeds even Grace wouldn’t have attempted.

Fastening her seat belt, Grace said, “Owen.  Slow down.”

Chastened, Owen slowed the truck.

After a few minutes, Grace said, “By the way, I don’t think you’re a pussy.”

“What?” Owen’s head swung in her direction.  “What?” he repeated.

“Lucky.  He said you were for letting Truman wail on you,” she said before looking down at her hands, which were worrying the strap of her bag.  “He’s a pretty physical guy, and it didn’t look good.  I mean, I knew you weren’t hurting her.  But, Tru…” she ended on a shrug.  “Anyway, I think with everything that’s happened it was a pretty shitty thing for him to say.  What if it was his sister?”

“Yeah, well if it were my sister…“he trailed off as his voice hitched.  Starting again, “If that had been Rachel, I would have done the same thing.”

  “O, you missed my turn,” Grace said looking over her shoulder as they passed her street.

“Shit,” Owen clipped out, wondering how the conversation with Harper and her big brother was going.  He didn’t want Truman to do anything to upset her.  Harper talked quite a bit about her older sibling, and always with affection, but Truman had never been faced with anything quite like this.  He just wanted to make sure she was okay.

Coming to a stop at the next light, Owen pulled over the side of the road.  Noticing they were closer to Harper’s, house he said, “You think she’s going to tell him the truth?”

Grace snorted before meeting Owen’s eyes across the expanse of the cab.  The green of the dashboard lights gave her an almost comical look as she rolled her eyes and replied, “Hell no, she isn’t gonna tell him.  In fact, when it’s all said and done, he’ll be offering to go and get her some take-out. Probably Chinese, cuz that’s how they work.  Truman tries to play the big brother card, but then she goes and does her Jedi mind trick bullshit, and before he knows it, she’s convinced him nothing was wrong in the first place.” 

Owen’s head bobbed.  “Yeah, Jedi mind trick.  That’s a good way of saying it.  She does that shit to me, too.  I just never knew what to call it before.”

On a sad smile, Grace joked, “The force is strong with that one.”

“Will you tell him what happened?  I mean, you two are dating now, right?”

Grace’s head shot up at the question, and she found herself surprised when no ready denial sprang to her lips.  From the very beginning, the two girls had been tight, not letting anyone or anything come between them.  In the space of a week, all that had changed.  Okay, so she and Truman weren’t a couple, and she didn’t owe him anything.  But if he asked, would she tell him?  She just didn’t know.

Going for casualness she had never felt when it came to the idea of her and Truman as a couple, Grace confided, “Actually, tonight was the first time we had ever gone out.  So no, we are not dating”-dating was marked with air quotes-“we were just getting started when you called anyway.”

“I’m sorry I ruined your date.”

“S’okay.  Harper comes first.  No question.   If Tru and I are supposed to be, we will.”

“Well I know someone who doesn’t want you and Tru to be.” Owen said pointedly, raising his eyebrows.

Leaning back against the neck rest, Grace shook her head and asked, “When did it all get so complicated?”
Pointing a finger Owen’s way and added, “Two weeks ago, I didn’t even know your brother, or you, for that matter.  And now, here I am, finally getting a chance to go out with the one guy I have been crazy about for…  Ever, and there is this other guy that is suddenly in the picture. “

Owen chuckled, “I think Lucky is just as confused as you are.  He has to beat them off with a stick sometimes, so the fact that you didn’t jump at the chance to go out with him, kind of threw him for a loop.”

“Poor Lucky,” Grace sniped sarcastically. 
Leaning his own head back against the neck rest Owen agreed, “Yeah.  Poor  Lucky.”

The silence that descended upon the cab was suddenly shattered when Owen’s attention was snagged by the car that came to a stop beside them.  Owen rolled down the window, and Grace stiffened when she recognized Truman’s voice and the implication of his words.

Owen quickly answered the other young man and turned to Grace apologetically.  “Sorry, Grace.  Can you get yourself home?  I will swing by and pick up the truck after.”  Not waiting for an answer, he joined Truman in his car before the other boy sped off.

Biting her lip, Grace sat immobilized for what seemed like minutes, but was probably closer to seconds.  If asked, she would have compared it to the idea of eight seconds.  The amount a time a bull rider had to stay on the back of a bull.  In the grand scheme, eight seconds really wasn’t all that long.  But when you strapped yourself to a two ton bull and had to stay up there, it probably seemed like an eternity.

After weighing everything, she quickly came to a decision and pulled out her cell phone.  Hitting the speed dial, she waited until the connection was made.  “Meet me out front of your house in two minutes.”

Harper’s voice responded, “Can’t Grace.  Tru is on his way to­-” 
But Grace didn’t let her finish as she maneuvered herself across the gear shift to the driver’s side.  “Mr. Haas’ house.  With Owen.”

A heartbeat later, Harper’s voice cracked and froze all at once.  “What?  Um, what are you?  I don’t… What are you talking about Grace?”

“Owen was taking me home.  Truman caught up.  I don’t know what you told Truman happened, but he is hell bent, and now, so is Owen.”  Grace rushed to get out.  “So get ready, and get your ass outside.  I will be there in two minutes.”

Harper’s voice lost the frost and emotion completely as she replied, “Hurry, Grace.”

“I will,” she promised.  Tossing the phone back into her bag, Grace ground the truck’s gears and winced.
On the U-turn, she whispered, “I will Harper, cause right now, you’re the only who can stop this.” 

Okay tell me what you think and check back on Thursday when we find out what happens next.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Progressive is another word for bi-focal

Recently I noticed that my glasses haven't really been helping. 

I mean, I was using them less and less.  But I wasn't seeing any better.  In fact I was having a hard time seeing smaller print close up while my long distance vision seemed to be improving.  This really sucked for reading.

Finally I bit the bullet and went to the eye doctor this weekend.  I should preface all of this by telling you that I have worn glasses since I was in first grade, when it was discovered I had a lazy eye.  Can I just say that this is the worst name for an eye problem I have ever heard.  The solution was to have me wear a patch over my good eye in the hopes of stregtening my bad one.  

Yeah, that didn't work.  Not because the concept wasn't a good one.  Mainly it didn't work because I removed the patch every morning before I made it to the bus stop and put it back on every afternoon before  walking in to the house.  Yes, I was young, but even then I got that the one-eyed pirate look wasn't going to be very good for me.  Well it might have been, if I had a cool black patch to wear over that eye.  But, atlas, that was not the case.  Nope, they had me wear one of those flesh toned ones that made me look like a refugee from a third world country.

This weekend my doctor, who I have always perceived to be a good one, told me my eyes are completely healthy but my lenses are getting harder.  He also told me I should not be surprised as this is what happens as we age.  Did he just call me old?  Them's fighting words Doc!

His solution.  Progressive lenses.  Now, for all of you young people out there who don't have to wear progressive lenses and have no idea what I am speaking of.  Think your Grandma's bifocals, just updated.  Seriously?  I needed bifocals?  Yeah, I get it.  They slap a new name on it because, okay, they are a better type of lense.  But it still has the same result.  The ability to drive home that I really am getting older.

In the end?  I opted for readers and not the old folks glasses.  My doc, he clearly didn't agree, but then again, he didn't have to pay for them.  Once it was all said and done, my new readers and the eye exam ended up costing just less than my last car.  Of course it wasn't until after I was on my way home that I realized I could have just gotten myself a pair of cheaters at the local Wal-Mart for $7.00 and accomplished the same thing.  I consoled myself with the thought that no one can get seven dollar cheaters that are as stylish as mine.  Nope, your right, it didn't make me feel any better.

On the bright side.  I don't need them to see things at a distance.  The best part.  I can see clearly for computer work and reading.  Two of my very favorite things.  Now I want to know if this has happened to you guys?  Something made you feel less young recently?  

And when you are done over here, don't forget to swing over to Karla's blog today.  She has a bonus clip up of Fun and Games this week.  Check it out.

Friday, January 21, 2011

More fun and games....Bonus!

Today I got a special treat for you.  For those who have been following the whole Grace and Harper Saga, more affectionately know as Fun and Games with K&K, I have another snippet for you this week.

I know what you are thinking right now.  Bonus!  Score!  Right?  Well don't get to used to it.  

So lets check in and see what happens when Truman and Grace crashed Owen and Harper's date after Grace got the call.

Grace directed Truman to Owens’s house, all the while singing a silent mantra, ‘Please let her be alright.’

Watching the headlights sweep across the front of the house, both Truman and Grace could see the outline of two bodies pressed close against each other through the pulled curtains of the front room.   Panic arced through her at the visual.  Oh my god, Harper.  Confusion knitted her brow, and Grace murmured, “O, what are you doing?” 

Hearing the uneasiness in her voice had Truman flinging open the door.  Fear had him tossing over his shoulder, “he wouldn’t hurt her, huh?” before vaulting up the porch steps and steamrolling through the front door, Grace hot on his heels.

Pandemonium broke all at once.  Truman plucking Owen away from Harper with no more energy than one might use to swat a fly.  A little boy and girl, both dressed for bed, pounding down the stairs at the sound of the noise, and Lucky, pushing in from what appeared to be the kitchen, taking in the scene before hurling himself into the fray.  

Grace, jumping on to his back, got a strangle hold on Truman before yelling, “Tru, stop it.  Damn it, I said stop it.”

Lucky tried inserting himself between the two, but Harper’s older brother had a pretty good neck lock on Owen.  “Jesus Christ.  Grace, what is going on?”

Grace, unsettled by Lucky’s sudden appearance, had to clear her throat before she could answer.  “Well as you can see, Owen isn’t high on Truman’s list of favorite people right now.  He thinks O was trying to hurt his little sister.”

“Hurt her?” Confusion laced each word.

Owen’s face quickly turning red had Grace’s alarm meter soaring.  Pivoting her head to get Harper’s attention, she saw her friend had slid to the floor in a boneless heap, head resting against the wall, all the while laughing like a loon.  Disbelief and anger warred in her at that moment.  This was funny?  Seriously?

Sliding from Truman’s back, she let her hand slide down before tugging on his jacket to get his attention, “Truman.  She’s fine.  See.”

Something in Grace’s tone alerted him, and he turned his head to look at his sister.  Seeing his opportunity, Lucky pushed Truman off Owen with more force than necessary, which sent Grace tumbling backward.   With nothing to make purchase of, she flailed before landing, hard on her ass in a very unladylike sprawl across the living room floor.   The sight, which seemed to tickle Harper’s funny bone all the more, had the pixie teen teetering to the side before she tottered over while tears continually streamed down her face.

“Owen!” The little girl wailed.

“Lucky, is O getting beat up?” the little boy demanded.

Truman raced to his sister and dropped to his haunches to make sure she was alright.

Pushing himself up and off the wall, Owen looked over at his twin and said, “Get them upstairs to bed.  Please.”

The brothers looked at each other, communicating in that silent way twins seemed to do so well, 
before Lucky nodded once and turned to herd his brother and sister out of the room and up the stairs.    

Grace levered herself into a sitting position and was taking in the weird tableau that consisted of Truman, Harper and Owen all the while wondering how her evening, which had started so promising had turned to shit so quickly.  

The laughter finally died down, and Truman eased Harper up in order to look at her more clearly.  Shaking her, he demanded, “Are you okay?   Did this ass-hole hurt you?” 

Harper stared at Truman through eyes devoid of emotion, and he felt the rage start to boil again.  “I swear Harps if he did anything to hurt you I will kill him.”

The earnestness, with which those words were uttered, seemingly more like a benediction than a promise, had Grace moving.  On hands and knees, she crawled across the hardwood floor to Harper. 

Truman’s temper was legendary.  Not because it was so common; it wasn’t.  It took a lot to get him to the point of no return, but once there, he was of the mindset to follow through and apologize later.  The last thing they needed was Tru pounding on Owen, especially for something he didn’t do. 
In Graces opinion, if he was going to use his fists to avenge Harper, there was only one person who should be on the receiving end of that, and it wasn’t Owen.

“Who should it be Grace?”  Truman asked in a mild tone underlined by solid steel.

Shaking her head, Grace asked, “what?”

“You just said that if I was going to be wailing on anyone, it shouldn’t be Owen.  Who should it be?”

Grace just stared.  “Did I say that out loud?” she squeaked.  How the devil was she going to backtrack from that?  Glancing over at Harper, she wasn’t surprised to see her friend shell-shocked, obviously overwhelmed by what Grace had just revealed.  Hell, Grace was just as taken aback.

Before Truman could respond, Lucky’s voice whipped across the room from his place at the bottom of the stairs.  “Why don’t you ask you sister that question?”

All eyes turned in his direction, and for once, Grace felt profound relief that someone had jumped to her defense.  The fact that someone was Lucky was not lost on Grace.
Truman pinned Harper with just a look and asked, “Harper?  Who?”

Harper turned and accusingly sought Grace with her eyes. 
The helplessness that rained across her features made everyone aware of her unease.  But Grace had to agree with Lucky on this one.  Harper wanted to handle this herself.  She had been very clear on that, and maybe it was time Grace stopped running to the rescue and listened to what Harper wanted. 

It was the hardest thing she ever did.  Shrugging, Grace lifted herself up and moved to the front door.  “Truman, take Harper home.  This is a conversation you should have in private.”

Frustration marking every word, Truman said, “Grace, what the hell is going on?”  Standing, he planted himself in front of her, prepared to stay that way as long as it took. 
Sighing, she turned away, and her eyes met Owen’s before sliding back to her date for the evening.  “Sorry, Truman.  I can’t tell you.  I wish I could.  Only Harper can.”

Okay, there you go.  You know the drill.  What do you think?

Until next time.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book Hungry: I got a review, I promise

If you have checked out the other Book Hungry club member's blogs, than you know by now that our January pick was Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.  

All I am going to say about this book-no-all I can say about this book is I didn't finish it.  The book did not hold any interest for me.  I have high hopes that, I will, in time finish the book, but as of today it has not happened.  Each time I would go back to it, I would remember other things, more important things that needed to be done.  You know, mowing the grass, painting the house, re-tiling the swimming pool.  Okay, not really, but you get the picture.  (Do I say that alot?)

Instead ladies and gentlemen I am going to talk about a book that I have read and absolutely love.  It's an older book called Promises to Keep by Janet Miller.  

Let me start by saying that this story is set in the future.  Earth as we know it has ceased to exist.  It has a more post apocalyptic feel due to a great war against a former colony called Gaia.  Hardships abound and the idea of love and marriage have been radically changed.  

Dr. Sarah Johnson is miserable.  The war between Gaia and Earth has changed everything including taking the life of one of her dearest friends.  She wants to be able to help people, but she also wants a family of her own.  Answering a planet wide call, she decides to move to the outer colonies where the promise of meeting a man seems more sure.  Unfortunately on their way to the outer colonies their ship is hi-jacked and the women are given a different choice.

Gaia has also suffered loss during the war.  Mainly in the numbers of their women.  Upon their victory, they strike up a bargain to offer Earth women the option to "mate" with a Gaian man.  The thing to understand here is a Gaian male does not reach sexual maturity until he meets his true mate.   It also happens that on this particular vessel is the dreaded General Garran Doranth.  The same evil man who is responsible for destroying the medical vessel Sarah's best friend was on.  Her dislike of him is true and bone deep.

Imagine her surprise when she learns not only is he on this ship but seems to have attached to her.  The decision to become his wife lays solely on her shoulders and isn't as easy a choice to make once certain circumstance are born.  Learning what really happened during the war threatens Sarah's sureness that her hatred is rightly placed but also offers the promise of a lifetime, all she had to do it choose to keep it.

I loved this book and have read it many times.  Ms. Miller has done four in this series and I wish she would do more. 

Of course this books is up for grabs in the book drawing this month.  If you follow my blog and post a comment you are entered.  See how simple that is.  So tell me what you think.  Want to read it?

I will announce a winner next Friday.  Check back then to see if you win a copy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How I use my Powers for Good.

On Monday I blogged about significant others and the role they may or may not play in your writing. 

It led me down another road of discussion with my own hubs.  As I already said, he does not read what I write.  Reading is just not his thing.  But we do discuss daily the topics of conversation that may or may not appear on twitter.  What I blogged about and any comments that may have been made and he will inquire to my word count.  Currently he is continually asking me about the status of Fun and Games.  

For those of you who don't know, that is the weekly round robin project I am currently working on with my twitter bud, Karla Nellenback.  We each take turns posting a weekly snippet about our two characters Harper and Grace.  By the way, her installment is up today, so check it out.  We are currently into week nine and it is going like gangbusters.

No, he is not interested in YA fiction, but he is interested in me.  He likes to keep on top of how many words I have completed and sometimes he even gives me great topic ideas for my blog, like the one from Monday.  

It got me to thinking about other ways he does support and encourage me and not just in my writing.  I am a avid photographer and videographer too.  I read voraciously, I crochet and knit and I love to cook.  Creativity is essential to me.

Two years ago, when our niece Kylie was on the way, my sister-in-law asked that in lieu of cards for her baby shower, books be brought instead.  I had commented to him (the Captain) that I had no idea what kinds of story books you would buy for a new born and he came back and said, why don't you write her a story and make her a book.

It was a great idea and 'Welcome to the World Baby Girl' was born.  I sketched out an idea and used pictures that I photo shopped from the family to tell the story of how Kylie came to be.  It was in a poem format and not overly long.  She came into the world on December 2, 2009 and I was able to use some of the pics from her birth to incorporate into the story too.  On Christmas day of that same year I presented her parents with the book.  Yes, I did self publish.

Now, two years later it still remains one of their favorite gifts.  Kylie also understands the book is about her.  I don't know if its because they point to the pictures and say, "Baby Kylie", after all she is two.  But she recognizes the people in the pictures and that's all that matters.

That's what he has done for me.  Remind me that how I express myself creatively does matter and it can affect the people around me, especially the ones I love when I use my powers for good.  So to all of you out there who think your art doesn't matter, I am here to tell you, yes it does.

Besides writing, how else do you guys use your powers for good?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fun and Games...How is Graces date going?

By the time they reached the restaurant, Truman and Grace were both back to their normal banter.  Only now, their relationship had expanded to include hand holding and kissing both of which Grace was enjoying immensely.

Truman was entertaining her with a story about a professor he found vastly amusing.  “I swear, I think he has word of the day toilet paper or something, because every class, he has a new word that he uses over and over again.  It always amazes me at the ways in which he works them into the lecture.”

“Which one was your favorite?”

Not missing a beat, he responded, “Defenestration.  It was amusing watching how many ways he could put that into a sentence.”  Truman dropped Grace’s hand long enough to usher her through the door before snagging it again as they made their way to the hostess station.

Grace couldn’t have stopped the giddy trail of happiness that streaked down her spine at his casual touch even if she wanted to.   And she most definitely didn’t want to.  Spending time with Truman like this had been a dream of hers for as long as she could remember.

While he asked for a table, Grace took a look around the restaurant and smiled.  They had been to Dante’s together many times, but never alone.  It was the perfect place for them to have their first date.  Dante’s was a loud, bustling pizza/sub joint by day.  But at night, they turned down the lights and piped in some music to give the illusion of a fancier restaurant.   It was working for Grace.

“It sounds like you are really enjoying school.” She said, picking up their topic of conversation as they were led to a circular booth in the back.

“I am.   Have you started applying yet?”

Grace was momentarily nonplussed as Truman slid into the booth right after her, forcing her to scoot over instead of entering from the other side.  It pushed them right up against each other, and sent that giddy rush on another ride.

Sitting there enjoying the sensations that Truman seemed to inspire in all of her girly bits had Grace’s body doing a steady hum.    Happiness spurted through her, like the Old Faithful Geyser at Yellowstone.  It burst forth and while it took her by surprise, still had the ability to make her heart take flight and her blood do a little sizzle in her veins.

At that moment, all she wanted to do was close her eyes and focus on the moment.  That one perfect instant in time, when nothing could dampen her enthusiasm for the evening that lay ahead, and all the possibilities it included.  Breathing deep, she took in the aroma of tomatoes and garlic and basil and knew without a doubt, that she would never smell Italian food again and not remember this evening.

An older women stepped up to the table and introduced herself as Teresa, their waitress.    After explaining the specials, she took their drink order and promised breadsticks with marinara sauce would be brought right out.

Truman leaned forward, and Grace found herself holding her breath, anticipating the next brush of lips.  

But Truman didn’t kiss her.  Instead, he whispered, “Can I tell you a secret?”

Grace, whose brain had turned to mush, croaked an agreement all the while fixated with, the way Truman’s eyes seemed to flare with merriment or maybe he was just enjoying her fluster.  

Before the words could be spoken, Elton John’s ‘Tiny Dancer’ announced an incoming call on Grace’s cell and seemingly popped the bubble that had settled itself over the table, insulating them from the other diners in the restaurant.  Pulling the phone from her bag, Grace looked at the screen with a frown, Owen’s picture was looking back at her.  There could only be one reason he would be calling.  Harper.

Ten minutes later, Grace was still apologizing for cutting their evening short.  Truman was okay with that.  What he wasn’t okay with was that she didn’t want him to go with her, and she didn’t want to tell him what was going on.  Immediately, he had recognized the name Owen as the kid who had picked up his little sister tonight.  

While she conversed in undertones, it didn’t take a genius to figure out something was wrong.  The blood draining from her face would have been clue enough, but then the panic seared through, and Truman knew without a doubt, something had happened to Harper.  No way was he not going. 

Helping Grace into the car he had a momentary pang that the evening was cut short, but knew there would be others.  Now, he needed to know what had happened to his sister and focus on that.  “No matter what you say, I am going.”

Rubbing her eyes on a tired sigh Grace said, “Tru, listen.  I don’t think Harper is going to be too happy that Owen called me, and I know she will be furious if I show up with you.”

“Too bad.  Harper ‘s my sister, and if she’s in trouble, or if this guy Owen has done anything…”

Shaking her head, “No Tru, its nothing like that.  I promise.  Owen would never hurt Harper.  I don’t think he could.”  Seeing his disbelief, she added, “I swear.”

Distress rolled off Grace in waves, more reminiscent to the aftermath of a hurricane than a sunny day spent at the beach.  Hoping to ease her concern, he tucked her hand into his and squeezed, trying to reassure her that everything would be alright.  Shooting a grateful smile in his direction, Grace squeezed back and turned toward the window.

Graced could hear the panic ringing in Owen’s voice as she replayed the call in her head.  “Harper needs you.”  She wasn’t so sure about that, and she had no idea how Harper was going to feel once she realized that Owen had called her to the rescue.  Plus, Truman knew absolutely nothing about what had happened with Mr. Haas, and here he was, escorting her over to Owen’s house right now.

Monday, January 17, 2011

What's love got to do with it?

Does your significant other read what you write?

Is it a big deal if he/she does or does not?

The reason I ask is because after a discussion this weekend I learned that a friend of mine, who also spends her free time writing, has a husband who is not interested in reading her work and this is a big bone of contention between them.  It really bothers her that he won't read her stuff.  When she asked me if the Captain reads my work, and I replied no, she wanted to know if it bothered me.

I didn't even have to think about it.  No, it doesn't.  He is supportive in every other way.  He makes sure my computer works so I have the tools that I need to write.  He ensures that my internet connection is up and running.  When my wireless mouse stopped working I didn't have to ask him twice to go to the store and get me another one.  He will pretty much do anything I ask of him.  

As I have said before, I am a lucky girl.  I have a great husband and if there was any research that needs to done he would be more than happy to help me with it.  He will regularly inquire to my need to research different positions (what a guy).  He is always willing to lend a helping hand or whatever other body part I may have need of.  (His words, not mine.)

But reading is not his thing.  He has struggled with dyslexia since he was a child.  Knowing this, it has never occurred to me to ask him to spend his time doing something I know he struggles with.  And to be honest, even if he didn't have dyslexia I don't know if I would stress about it.

We support each other in our own special styles.  Here is another example.  My hubs is a master gamer.  He plays as often as he can and is pretty awesome at it.  My love of computers stops at the shore of the internet.  I have never had a desire to play computer games and I don't think that will ever change.  And no, it doesn't bother him.  I support his habit by making sure the cable bill is paid on time so he doesn't lose his connection to his clan. 

One of the things I have learned over our many years of marriage is that support comes in different ways.  So as I listened to my friend malign her hubs for his inadequacy of his support, even though he does support, just not in the way in which she would hope, it made me wonder what everyone else thinks.  Do you have similar situation?  Tell me.

Friday, January 14, 2011

When You Can, Pay, er...Send It Forward

Recently a writing pal got the call.  It's pretty much the same thing that minor league ball players feel when they get the call to the big league.  Or at least I imagine it is.  

She finished her book and started the query process and after a-lot of time and effort found the one agent that saw the same thing in her writing that I did.  She's got talent.

My friend has been very vocal on twitter that she had a little help from her friends.  Mainly me.  Now I know what you are thinking, "Come on, Kel, is this another pat on the back blog for you?"  Well of course it could be as this is my blog and I can write about anything I want to.  But in this case, no. 

It just so happens late on a work night I was just in the right place at the right time and was the one that responded to the call that came through via twitter.  She was despondent and down.  She had worked on this manuscript, for what seemed like forever to her, and she was done with it.  Maybe it really was time to hit the delete key and say goodbye to this piece of nothing that she had suddenly convinced herself was no longer any good. 

Now as writers we all hit walls.  The writing, re-writing, editing, weeding-out, tweaking process can be brutal and it was very obvious she hadn't just hit her wall, her wall had hit her back.  So I raised my hand and offered a fresh set of eyes.  I wasn't sure she would embrace that, but she did.  She grabbed onto the offer and sent me the manuscript the same night.  I think for her that was almost like hitting the delete key, just a little bit.  

She could put it out of her mind, even if for one night, secure in the knowledge that someone new was going to take a look.

I wasted no time.  Even thought she sent it to me very late and I had to work the next day I just couldn't help myself.  I really wanted to see this train wreck that she had put to paper and find how just how horrible it was so I could help put her out of her misery.  I am not going to say that I read the whole thing in one sitting but it was pretty close.  But the next night when I got home, I was right back to it.  

I read the story completely through like I would do any book.  Just for the enjoyment of it.  And you know what?  It wasn't a train wreck at all.  It was a story that captivated me completely.  On my second read through I made notes on my impressions of the story on what did or did not work for me and finally sent it back to her.  

I don't know if the notes helped her or not and really that isn't what's important.  What is important is when one of my writer friends fell down I was lucky enough to be there to help her back up.  It wasn't my comments or even that I read her story, it was just enough that I offered.  That I validated for her, that yes, you really are a writer and someone wants to read your story.  

This was quite a few months and a couple of revisions ago and I am so proud to tell you that she has found representation for her story and hopefully soon we will see it on the bookshelves at the local bookstore.  I promise her when that happens I will be there with bells on to buy my copy of it and to take pictures so she can see how her novel looks, sitting on the shelf next to the rest of the Young Adult books she will be company with.

The point of this posting today is social networking has given us a great gift in being able to connect with people who have a common love of something.  So when you see one has hit their wall, don't rubberneck and keep on driving by.  Stop, find out whats wrong and see if you can lend a helping hand, because you never know if you're going to be the next one to hit that wall.  I just promise to keep my fingers crossed that when you hit yours, it doesn't it you back.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gracie Lou and Charlie Too!

Today is Thursday for those of you who may live in a cave or for those of you who may only raise your heads daily to take in my fabulous blog, and that means today is special.  Nope, no shortage of ego here.  Mainly because it is Thursday, which means I do not require myself to really produce awesome product on Thursdays.  Why?  Boy am I glad you asked that.  

As you know, or maybe you didn't.  My buddy Karla Nellenback, AKA the Grammar Nazi, and I have been working on a Round Robin writing project that has really taken off.  Here we are now into our eighth week and it is get-ting good.  Trust me.

I do my postings on Tuesdays and she does hers on Thursdays.  So after you take a peep at the video below which I can honestly say I did everything but act in, head over to her blog to catch up on everything Grace and Harper. 

Today, er, I mean yesterday as I am writing this today, er, last night, are you confused?  Me too.  Anyway, on Wednesday I had to take the baby in to the vet for his de-claw.  That would be Charlie.  Now this may get some of your danders up, especially if you feel it is inhumane to do that to a poor defenseless kitty.  My furniture would disagree, but that is not the reason we have our pets neutered and de-clawed.  We do it because all of our pets are indoor animals and quite honestly I break out if they scratch me.  With one I could probably handle it, but we have four.  You see the problem right?

So I was feeling a little sentimental when I got home last night because he has to stay at the animal hospital until Friday morning.  I miss him.  And he was always happiest to see me when I come home.  I miss seeing him lay on my desk as I type up this post too.  So in honor of the baby, AKA Charlie I edited this little video that I shot last month of him and Gracie Lou.  Gracie gets top billing b/c I was fair and did it in the order of appearance.  Plus she is missing her bud. 

I know...they really are cute.  Pets make you smile, I don't care who you are.