Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Uplifting TV Program

Actually, I'm wondering why they don't call this program, Dancing with Boobs. That would cover all the bases...the ample display of breasts, and the boobs with two left feet who shouldn't even be on the show. :)

Is it my imagination, or did Susan Lucci have implants? I don't remember her being quite so chesty. Actually, I don't recall her having much a chest at all, but lately on All My Children, she's hefted those puppies up under her chin. Her wardrobe has suddenly become very revealing. Like we're not supposed to notice those and the fact that her forehead no longer moves from all the Botox. I have to admit, her face does look good, but check out that turkey-skin neck. You just can't hide your age no matter what you do. Money can't buy everything.

Last night, there was a definite contest between the ladies and it wasn't who could dance the best. I'm just jealous because I can't parade around in something scanty and revealing. Well, I could, but I think they have laws against it in Tennessee.

Monday, September 29, 2008

What a Time to Lose My Memory

Okay, I admit it. I have on occasion written to Dr. Phil via his website. I can recall a couple of times, but I can't remember what or when I wrote. Just my luck. No one wants to feel like a certifiable pest or the world's biggest idiot. But, that's how I feel right now.

What were the chances...whatever I wrote about last time found some interest. Today I received an email from one of Dr. Phil's producers, telling me they were interested in perhaps having me on the show to discuss my ordeal. Imagine my excitement, then immediate shock when I realized I had no idea what ordeal they referred to.

I was sent a questionnaire to complete and return ASAP, describing how this has affected my life, what I want to ask Dr. Phil, and what I hope to achieve. If only I knew. I don't think I ever expected they would want me on the show, and I can't believe I'd even entertain the thought because I'm always astonished at how people go on and air their dirty laundry or stupidity. BUT my ordeals were never anything that actually exposed my inner soul or portrayed me as trailer trash...at least I'm pretty sure. Hard to say since I can't recall what harrowing ordeal I wrote about. :)

I emailed the gentleman back and asked for a hint. I admitted that although I'm not a frequent 'form filling' flake, I have no idea what I would be addressing. I'm sure he'll hit the trash button and chalk me up to a nutcase, but isn't it a great thought to think that someone thought I was that interesting...of course someone I told expressed the thought that Dr. Phil must be running low on topics. *rofl*

Ah...old age. It's not enough that we have to cope with the shock of how we look, we also have to constantly forget things. With any luck, I'll forget how many wrinkles I have remember what the heck was so important I wrote to Dr. Phil. I can't even look in my 'sent' box for a hint because I used his website. Shoot! My moment of fame down the drain.

Life is a Dilemma

I've finally reached the stage in life where I feel like I'm disjointed. My head goes one way, my heart another, and my feet... they lead me in places that make me wonder, why???

A few weeks ago, I felt like I needed something more in my life. Remember, I posted about volunteering at the hospital? It seems like I accomplished more writing when I worked full time, so filling empty hours with something productive seemed like a great idea. Then somehow I got the notion to sign up to be a substitute teacher. I've never subbed before, and the closest I've come to hoards of children is driving a school bus many years ago. It was one of the most challenging jobs of my life, so what am I thinking? I finally get Spencer to the point where he's in school most of the day and now I'm signing on to spend my spare time with probably 35 more kids. Go figure. Hmmm, I find it very interesting that the hospital was more cautious about hiring than the school district. I, at least, had to have a TB test to become a 'pink' lady.

On top of everything else, hubby and I have decided it's time to fly away to our own place. We've been with my son, his wife and Spencer for over two years now and somehow my daughter-in-law and I have managed not to kill one another. That's quite an accomplishment because you know how territorial woman are.

The biggest problem has been intimacy. I write romance and that's basically where it ended--writing about it. It's not easy to be spontaneous in a room that has three doors leading into it from all over the house. We're in the flight path for the garage, the kitchen, and outside. Incoming!!! Birthdays come once a year but it seems my husband believes our romantic moments should occur with a little more frequency. How insensitive of him. *lol*

We found a nice house not far from here and we'll be moving on the 15th of October. So...let me recap:

1. Moving AGAIN. I said the next time I moved it would be on a slab to the nearest mortuary, but I'm happy to report that was a lie.

2. Beginning my volunteer work at the hospital this week.

3. Waiting for a call to substitute teach which I anticipate might be any moment.

4. Calling for an appointment to have my head examined. What was I thinking???

Now you know why I haven't been blogging. I've been in a state of lunacy. All this and I haven't written more than one scene in any of my works-in-progress. This doesn't seem to be working in my favor. :)

Monday, September 22, 2008


I have such a dilemma. There is so much to worry about and I'm not sure which topic is more important. I think I should be terribly concerned that my car's fuel gauge is in the 'red' zone, hovering right above empty, and there is not ONE station in town that has any GAS. I took Spencer to school this morning, now I'm wondering if I have enough left in the tank to pick him up.

Of course, on the radio along the way, the announcer seemed much more distressed over something else...something he made sound earth-shattering. I felt guilty for fretting over small things like no fuel, and immediately turned my attention to the scary fact that someone hacked into Sarah Palin's personal email account!!!

I'm not sure how that affects me, but the FBI is involved so it must be of great urgency. I'm sure the government wouldn't waste more money when we've just incurred another eighty-five million dollar debt. I've heard of lots of hacking instances but this is the first time it seems to have garnered such world-wide interest. Quite frankly...unless she has the combination to world peace, the one diet that really works or Colonel Sander's secret recipe to Kentucky Fried Chicken, I could give a flying flip! If by chance she's using Yahoo for government business, then I don't think she should be too surprised that security is a little lax.

Where the hell is the gasoline!!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dining In with Ginger

So many other people are offering recipes on their blogs, I thought it only fitting that I share a few of my favorites.

Fried Chicken

This is one of my husband's favorites and probably one of the messiest meals to make... grease all over the stove from the popping hot oil, flour dotting the cupboards. Regardless, I love him enough to make the sacrifice. Here's how I satisfy his craving for good ol' fried chicken:

1. Exit kitchen with car keys in hand.
2. Start car and drive 8.5 miles to KFC.
3. Place order and wait
4. Receive order, drive 8.5 miles back home.
5. Enter Kitchen, toss a few paper plates on the table, some real spoons for the mashed potatoes, gravy and vegie.
6. Yell, "Dinner's Ready."


Tacos are probably hubby's second favorite meal. Those crunchy tortillas, fresh lettuce, sometimes a little sour cream, and tomatoes. A little picante sauce is good for a topping. I have a fail-proof way to serve the best and clean-up is minimal:

1. Exit kitchen with car keys in hand.
2. Drive 8.6 miles to Taco Bell.
3. Place order and wait.
4. Receive order and drive 8.6 miles back home.
5. Enter kitchen, toss a few paper plates on the table, some extra napkins, sour cream and a bottle of hot sauce.
6. Yell, "Dinner's ready."

I know I have your stomach rumbling with hunger and you're probably dying for more of my 'kick-ass' recipes. I don't want to give you too much at once, so I promise I'll share more another day. Until then, Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Wish I'd Known

Contagious Obesity?

According to Reader's Digest, "it seems you can catch obesity that way you do a cold." I never knew that. Scientific facts show that exposure to the adenovirus-36, the same germ that causes pinkeye, diarrhea or a stuffy nose, can actually cause you to gain weight even if you don't overeat. I always knew there was a reason behind this fat. If only I'd known I would have worn a mask to prevent carrying these hips around. Ha, and everyone tried to say it had something to do with Big Macs and Fries. I've had pinkeye, diarrhea and a stuffy nose, that proves it. I'm fat because I have a virus.

Luckily, Dr. Richard Atkinson, Director of the Obertech Obesity Research Center is working to find something to combat the virus.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Drum Roll Please...

I'm very happy to announce the winner of our Blog Train Excursion Book giveaway (boy, that's a mouthful)...Cindi Hoppes.

I put everyone's name into a hat and had Spencer draw a first and second name for me. Cindi will receive copies of all the books donated by the awesome authors who participated in the Blog Train.

Shirley Dale Jones was the second name drawn and will receive a PDF copy of Embezzled Love. I'll be sending these books out sometime later today since I've got to jet off this morning to take Spencer to school and to attend my new volunteer orientation. Good news for those of you who tried, but didn't win this month...we'll be doing it again next month, with some of the same and some different authors, but another diverse display of talent and books.

I truly want to thank each of you who played, visited, and supported the authors in this fun event. I hope you'll come back next month and do it over again.

By the way...the winning quotation...and everyone who entered had it correct was:

"It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations." Winston Churchill

Again, mega thanks and congratulations to our winners.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I'm Official

After visiting my mother who claims to be bored all the time, I suggested she volunteer somewhere. When I got home, I realized I needed to follow my own advice. I spend most of my days at this keyboard, and my butt keeps getting wider and wider. Other than an occasional comment here, and emails from my author friends, I have no 'adult' contact outside the house. The adult contact inside is limited to grumbling, mumbling and complaining, and quite frankly, I doubt that sick people would be much worse. So I asked myself...How much talent does it require to hand out flowers, pass out trays or direct people to the correct wings and rooms?

I trekked down to our local hospital and signed up. I was interviewed and surprised. Gads...Did you know you have to have a background investigation to volunteer? I wasn't worried since the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has my fingerprints from when I worked at the jail, but it took forever. My nephew was hired at an Air Force Base to head the aircraft fuel division in a lot less time, and I doubt he had to get a TB test.

I felt like I'd signed up with the CIA. But, when I went to have my 'arm' read for the TB results, I was directed to Human Resources for my 'official' volunteer badge. I wish I had known...I would have combed my hair or put on some makeup, but at least I can say this is a current and true photo of the real me.

Monday, I report for a half-day orientation. I wonder what it entails Holding the flowers upright so the water doesn't spill? Not sticking your finger in the pudding and licking it off when delivering lunch? Not sneaking any of my books onto the reading cart? I'm sure there's much more to it, but since I've never done this, I can't imagine how much 'orienting' one would need. You can be sure I'll let you know, though. :)

I can say with great relief...I don't have to wear the historical pink pinafore. Instead, I understand a dark blue polo shirt with logo, a blazer and tan slacks are in order. Crap, tan makes my butt look bigger, but then who am I going to impress. I dare say I might be the youngest volunteer they have as one of the interviewers referred to me as a 'whippersnapper.'

I look forward to the experience, and it makes me feel like I'm doing something for the community. I can volunteer as many or few hours as fits into my schedule, so I think I'll start with two mornings a week and see how it goes. I definitely realize I'm a senior citizen. I have a bruise where the nurse injected the TB serum. It's depressing. I used to have to do something to earn a bruise. :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Blog Train Chugging to a Stop

Remember, the Blog Train Excursion ends tomorrow night. You must have your entries to me by midnight to be entered into the drawing for sixteen fantastic books.

If you're looking for directions, scroll down and you'll find the first link on the Blog Train. Don't pass up the opportunity, because you have a great chance of winning.

My thanks to all of you who have played along and visited the sites of my fellow authors/friends. This has been such fun, I'll be doing another one soon.

Slow Learner on Board

Yesterday was a nightmare. I've been dealing with a sick grandson all week, and I took a moment and sat down at the computer to relax. Someone had sent a link to a video on youtube, which I found interesting. Actually, I was touched by it, so I forwarded it to my 'shared email' list.

BIG MISTAKE. People really get sensitive when you forward something they believe doesn't endorse their candidate in a positive light. I really didn't intend for the post to be a reflection of my own political choice, rather something of interest to share. I don't debate politics with anyone...it's a personal choice and trying to change a die-hard Democrat or Republican's mind is like spitting in the wind. I believe if you found a dog turd and nominated it for president, party lines would support or reject it because you label it with a political affiliation, but then that's just my viewpoint.

Anyhow, before I knew it, responder one had sent back an email, letting me know she objected to my post. I wrote back and apologized that it wasn't my intention, but not before responder 2 jumped into the mix and added two more cents worth to responder one, and responder three decided to have an opinion. I received several responses of support, but luckily they didn't 'reply to all.' Somewhere in this mess, I believe I lost a friend, and for WHAT??

I opened a can of worms without intending to. I never in a million years expected that passing along a link would cause such a stir. Just goes to show, you should never assume that how you view something is how others will see it. Forward with care people...forward with care!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I Was Reminded Of A Story...

If you want to read the first part, you'll need to scoot over to Cheryl St. John's Blog where I'm guest blogging today, then c'mon back for this installment.

To my chagrin, back when I lived in California, Clint Eastwood's dentist shared a duplex building with my dentist. I avoided going for dental work like the plague because I'm the world's biggest coward. I have to be doped up to dial for an appointment, and then I get sick to my stomach and look for any excuse not to keep it.

On one particular day, I had taken enough Valium to sustain me and went for a root canal. There I was, in the chair, mouth agape, rubber dam in place, and my pulse at 200. All of a sudden, someone peaks around the corner and points over her shoulder, and EVERYONE leaves the room. I loosened my white knuckles from the chair arm's long enough to ease the cramp in my arm, and after ten minutes, and suffering from claustrophobia from that damn dam, I wandered out into hallway.

I must have been a lovely site. If you've ever had the rubber dam experience, you know you can't close your mouth, and the only tooth exposed is the one to be worked on. I can only imagine I looked like something from a horror film, but there I stood, in a empty hallway, ready to yank the offending thing out of my mouth. If you're claustrophobic, then you totally understand anything that interferes with your ability to breathe, must go.

I wandered up and down the hallway, praying for help, trying to control the rising panic. "I can't breathe, I can't breathe," my mind kept chanting, and luckily, the receptionist caught sight of me.

"What's wrong," she asked.

Like I can answer!

"Let's get you back to your room."

"Uh Uh!" I point to my mouth and blink my eyes.

She smiles.

I want to kill her!

When I'm back in the white-knuckler, the dentist and crew wander back in, all smiles and giggles. He adjusts his mask and looks down at me. "Clint Eastwood is next door, and we all get so excited when he comes."

Well, I'd already met Clint Eastwood and I wasn't impressed, but I do know why dentist wear masks. It cost me $1500 for that horrid experience. What a crook!

P.S. I'm only kidding...if you're a dentist, know a dentist, love your dentist...I know they aren't crooks. It's my attempt to be funny...no need to send me a snarky comment. *lol* I actually have a new dentist here in Tennessee that I love. He does sedation dentistry with DRUGS...lovely, relaxing drugs!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Why Am I Wasting My Time?

According to 46 offers in my SPAM box, the country is in dire need of CSI agents. As unbelievable as it seems, I could be solving crimes, collecting DNA and matching bullets in the same style as Gil Grissom in a very short time. Well, not really the same style...he's an actor, but he's leaving the CSI show. Maybe I could take his spot. Oh, but the offer was only to be a CSI agent. Shoot.

Maybe I should take Kaplan University up on any of their thirty odd invites to get a degree. Nah, I've already been in an educational setting for more years than I care to admit. It's totally over-rated. What would I do with a higher degree at this stage of my life. Become a brain-surgeon? Nope...I hate blood.

Hmmm, maybe I could respond to one of the fifty-three offers to try Pedi-paws. Who knew it would be so easy to clip a dog's nails. But then, I don't have a dog, so that's out.

Perhaps I should ditch my husband and try one of the 200 offers to join the Black Dating, Christian Dating or Sexy Singles sites. Maybe I could find someone with money this time around. *lol* No...it's taken me thirteen years to train him...I think I'll keep him, money or not.

I could always click on one of those offers to make money with Ebay or Craigslist, but I don't have anything to sell. I already tried listing one of my books and didn't get a single bid. That's pretty embarrassing. They say you can sell anything on ebay. Evidently not!

Okay, so I got a little carried away, but at least I've stopped harping on all the offers to cleanse my colon. I just never realized so many people were interested in my butt. Now I just have to figure out how to make them ALL go away. I had 653 SPAM messages in two days. Oy Vey!!!!

I guess since I stopped paying my bills through the mail and have gone ebills on most of the debts I owe...all those people who used to add those tons of annoying little flyers along with my invoices have to find some way to get back at me. Spam must be it.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Blog Train Extravaganza

The train departed the station but may stall along the line. Don't fret...you have until the 13th at midnight to collect all the words and submit them to me. I did a test run this morning and found that a few authors haven't yet posted, so please be patient. There may also be some link problems...as with any train travel, you can expect bridge washouts, track blockages, and a slower freight train ahead. I did find two link problems but fixed one...for the other if you type the link in as shown, it will take you to the next stop. I've notified the author, but not all of us have instant access to fix things. Ah...in a perfect world.

Please have fun and take time to read about the authors who are so generously offering their time and books to this fun promotional tour. I appreciate you for joining us, and please feel free to leave comments along the line. If you see something you think needs improving on sites, I'm sure the author's would love the feedback. After all is said and done, I would like your thoughts about the experience.

Your secret word for the whole thing is P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E. Just kidding. It really isn't a secret as much as a request. :)


Good Morning:

Today is the start of the Blog Train Excursion, a scavenger hunt that will lead you to the sixteen exciting web or blog sites where you will search for a hidden word. You MUST collect each word in order to assemble them into the right quotation which is the answer to the contest and entitles you to be eligible to win SIXTEEN (count 'em) sixteen wonderful books. All entrants sending following the instructions and submitted the correct quote will be entered into the drawing. There may be only one, and it could be you! I'll also be drawing a runner-up name for a copy of Embezzled Love.

So...copy of this message as your 'itinerary' and get started:

1. After you've read the instructions here, your first link is Rhobins Rambles where you'll find the first word. I repeat...they are NOT in order, so you'll have to collect them all and figure out the quotation, complete with the name of the famous person who spoke it. Instructions for what to do with your answer are on the last link of the Blog Train.

I can give you an idea of how the links will work:

Me to Rhobin
Rhobin to Brenda Weaver
Brenda to Rhonda Lee
Rhonda to Tabitha Shay
Tabitha to Rayka Mennen
Rayka to Anna K. Lanier
Anna K to Kat Duarte
Kat to Kim Richards
Kim R to Maryann Miller
Maryann to Skhye Moncrief
Skhye to Clare London
Clare to Elaine Cantrell
Elaine to Kim McDougall
Kim Mc to Jannine Corti Petska
Jannine to Phyllis Campbell
Phyllis to Ciara
Ciara links you to where to submit your answer

Go, play, read...have fun! I'd love to know your thoughts about the Blog Train Excursion. I have several authors ready to sign up for another one. It's a lot of work for me and a time and prize investment for the authors. Do you think it's worth it? I appreciate the input.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Released today...Forever Faith. Available now at http://www.eternalpress.ca

Here's a teaser:

Faith Oliver rolled over and opened sleepy eyes to the light filtering through her floral bedroom draperies. She caressed areas of her throat where the sensation of warm kisses still lingered, watching dust motes dance in the sunbeams. As her sleepy haze cleared, she chided herself for believing anyone would kiss her neck.

“Get real, Faith. It was only a dream.”

Mornings were a severe disappointment. Tossing aside the sunflower comforter, she struggled to lift her corpulent self to the edge of the bed; her breathing grew rapid from the mere exertion. People kindly referred to women of her size as “full-figured”, but she preferred to see herself as a thin, sexy vixen trapped in layers of fat–unfair, ugly fat that she didn’t deserve. Someday she’d find a way to lose weight, and be the person she’d always dreamed of.

Faith, nee Faith Marie Oliver, had been heavy for as long as she could remember. She still bemoaned the fact that she’d always been the last picked for teams in grammar school, felt out of place in junior high, and absolutely hated high school because she didn’t get invited to dances or school functions.

She stared down at the chubby feet and ankles protruding from the hem of her nightgown. Boys hadn’t wanted anything to do with a fat girl, and even the other girls had shied away from her. Now, twenty-eight and a working woman with lots of female friends, she’d still never been on a real date. It wasn’t just high school boys who didn’t find overweight women desirable; it was men in general.

Her idea to surround herself with other heavyweights in an effort to make herself feel better had failed. She’d outgrown all of them except Nila, her best bud who lived down the hall. They were neck and neck in the weight department—teetering around the two hundred-fifty pound mark.

As an only child, Faith never knew her father. He died when she was an infant. She wondered about him often. Would he have accepted and loved her despite her weight? She’d had a great relationship with her mother, even though they’d struggled to get by on what little money Faith’s father had left behind. The two had shared some wonderful times; among them far too many rich, fattening meals.

Just thoughts of food stirred her hunger and gave her an idea. Nila’s probably awake, getting ready for work. I’ll call her.

Faith dialed her number. “Hullo,” a groggy voice answered.

“Nil, it’s me. What are you doing tonight?”

“God, how do I know? That’s hours away and I’m just barely awake. Why?”

“I just thought you and I might grab a bite after work. I get so tired of eating alone. Besides, it’s been a long time since we’ve done anything fun.”

“I might be persuaded. What’s on the menu?” Nila’s voice piqued with interest.

Faith’s mind flashed to the dinner her mom had always prepared when Faith did something to warrant a reward. “I’d love chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy, but I’ll settle for a salad.”

The imaginary aroma of her favorite meal hung heavy in the air, sending loving memories washing over her. She longed to recapture those moments shared with her mother, but a brain aneurysm had cruelly taken Faith’s only remaining parent two years ago. Except for distant cousins, she was alone.

When Nila agreed to dinner, Faith wished her a good day and hung up the phone. With difficulty, she spread up her bed, wondering why food was her comfort. Eating eased her grief. Any trauma sent her into a feeding frenzy, and she didn’t understand why. Her only other coping tool was laughter. Mostly phony, of course. She tended to hide behind humor to mask her pain. She’d always felt that if she was the first to make fun of her weight, then there was no need for anyone else to mention it. Her sense of humor was a front for depression. Lately, she’d found it hard to find laughter enough to stifle the pain of having no special man in her life…except when she slept and he came to her.

The Final FIVE

Queen of Hearts by Phyllis Campbell

Play It Again Sam by Maryann Miller

Sparks Fly by Clare London

Dragon Lord of the Kells by Brenda Weaver

Change by Rhobin Lee Courtright

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Four More To Add To The Basket

Sacrificial Hearts by Skhye Moncrief

Rise of The Wolf by Kat Duarte

Purple Heart by Elaine Cantrell

Operation Heartstrings By Rayka Mennen

Friday, September 5, 2008

Four More Winning Novels

Here are another four books being offered in the virtual prize basket for the Blog Train Excursion:

Death Masks by Kim Richards

Angel Venom by Kim McDougall

Knight's Desire by Jannine Corti Petska

Witch's Brew by Tabitha Shay

Turn in tomorrow for another four!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Get Your Ticket for the Blog Train Excursion

Get Your Ticket for the Blog Train Excursion
Want to win a 'virtual' basket of books? Who wouldn't want SIXTEEN of the best ebooks available. All you need to do is stay tuned for the start of the Blog Train Excursion on Monday, September 8th.

The contest will actually be a blog scavenger hunt. You'll link from site to site and find hidden words to put together and form a famous quote. Make sure to mark your calendar and come join in the fun. If this turns out well, I'll do it again next month as I already have a list of authors wanting to participate.

The first four covers to be offered to the winner are:

Julia's Golden Eagle by Ciara Gold
The Duchess by Rhonda Lee
The Priceless Gift by Anna K. Lanier
Embezzled Love by Ginger Simpson (This one will be a separate drawing)

Tune in tomorrow for the next four.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Message from Cheryl St. John

Imagine, Cheryl sent me a message thanking me for letting her spend a day on my blog. Can you believe it? I'm was absolutely honored to host her. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about her and following the comments. I can tell from all the remarks, that I'm not the only one who is glad she came.

Cheryl asked to announce the winner of the drawing for her book... so
JANNINE CORTI PETSKA, you're the lucky gal!

If you'll contact me, I'll let you know how to get your copy of Cheryl's latest release, The Magic of Christmas.

My thanks again to Cheryl St. John for bringing some light and laughter to my 'house' and to those of you who visited and made the day even more special.

Welcome Cheryl St. John

When asked what she’d like from me in the way of a blog for today, Ginger didn’t ask for much. Only that she’d like the readers to get to know me from my perspective and that she’d like me to tell about me, my family, what inspires me, what I hate, love, and how being an author has impacted my life/outlook. Oh, and what adventures I’ve experienced because of being an author -- and last but not least how much I admire, love and envy her and how I can’t understand why some major publisher hasn’t snapped her up. What, no world peace, Ging? The only thing she didn’t ask for was my secret for the world’s best muffins, so get it here: Ideas Come From Brownies

My perspective about me is that I’m a pretty ordinary person. Not everyone would agree, but from where I sit, I don’t look too exciting most of the time. I wish I could tell you that I skydive and go on archaeological digs…well, okay I could tell you that, so I guess what I wish is that I actually did some exciting things. If I did, I’d likely get too hot and might even break a fingernail, so I’m better off doing what I do. Or not doing what I don’t do, however you want to look at it. Do you know me now?

And really, my family has never held any sense of awe where my career was concerned. I’m still just mom, the one who whips up the goodies for their birthdays, makes a mean pot of chili and sometimes puts on a rockin’ brunch. I have seriously great kids and their kids are the apples of my eye, beautiful and brilliant each of them.

Emotional movies inspire me to write great books. I have a stack of favorites I dig out when I need to be in the “zone.” What the movie has to do to inspire me is make me feel deeply. Crying is good for the muse. I love to cry over movies. It’s so…well, not my life. So I guess to really know me, you need to know what makes me laugh and cry.

The cry list:
Pay It Forward - I can do an entire workshop on this movie. It is ingeniously and perfectly plotted for conflict and motivation.
Winter People - When Kelly McGillis comes back to her Daddy’s cabin without her baby, I sob buckets.
Return to Me, Hope Floats, Bounce, Phenomenon, While You Were Sleeping, The Con to name a few.

In 28 Days when Gwen’s sister comes to talk to her by the lake, and Gwen says, “I’m sorry I make it so hard for you to love me,” well, I lose it every time. Talk about character growth and motivating factors. We are the sum of our whole, not just who you see this moment, and story people need to be three-dimensional. This movie shows that excellently. I am moved by characters, not by plot, so every movie I love is character-driven, even one as action-packed as Face Off. Can you tell I like to analyze movies?

What makes me laugh? The things kids say. Children are priceless and genuine and not jaded. Which movies make me laugh? Overboard, When Harry Met Sally, Music and Lyrics, Liar Liar, Sense and Sensibility, Mannequin, Blind Date, French Kiss and Miss Congeniality. I laugh at snappy dialogue, but a good old spoof just tickles my funny bone: Soap Dish and Galaxy Quest are favorites.

I love my husband, chocolate (I thought long and hard about the order and he won), freshly painted rooms and shelves with lots of stuff, comfy sofas, quilts, snuggling babies, dolls, shoes and purses, decorating books, jewelry, a cup of tea in a pretty cup, taking great photographs, butterflies in my garden, a road trip with friends, playing boards games in the winter, all the great stuff my hubby makes for me, antique malls, vintage linens, email and so much more that I could fill pages.

I hate conflict (except in stories). I hate confrontation. I’m a peacemaker by nature and by calling, so people butting heads makes me want to run the other way. Why can’t we all just be friends?

As I thought about how being an author has impacted my life, what stood out to me was: People. Since devoting myself to the pursuit of publishing, I have met the greatest people. Many of the friends I made when I first joined RWA are still my best friends. And new friends are added through my local chapter all the time. I love brainstorming with a group. There’s something electric about shooting ideas back and forth like sparks until enough of them ignite into a story.

Every so often I meet a new writer whose drive and ability is so impressive that I’m eager to mentor and watch them develop. The majority of authors I meet are not only the most generous, but also the smartest people in any walk of life. I was published back in the day when we had no Internet :::gasp::: and no yahoogroups. Yeah, really. Some days I was reinventing the wheel, but I didn’t know anyone who had done this before. I called authors I’d met at conferences, and they were kind and generous enough to give me advice. I’ve never forgotten that. So I make it a point to be as helpful as I can when I have useful knowledge. I believe that what goes around comes around.

I have readers who have become good friends over the years. Last Christmas someone I originally met at a signing dropped by my home to leave me a gift! On the flip side, I have friends who have become readers as well. My critique group has become like a family unit, and my fellow Heartland Writers Group members are dear friends.

I thoroughly enjoy interacting with my blogger friends, in fact one might say I’m blog crazy. I keep a personal blog at Cheryl's Blog with fresh daily content, and I blog on a rotating schedule with the other fantastic Fillies at Petticoats & Pistols I even have a recipe blog (do try the muffins), a family blog and a blog that follows the progress of a remodel.

I don’t know if you got to know me through my words today, but I gave it my best shot. And of course I can’t end this without mentioning how much I admire, love and envy Ginger. You know I can’t understand why some major publisher hasn’t snapped her up!

And hey, if you Twitter, follow me: Twitter

If you have any questions or comments for me today, I’d love to chat with you! I’ll take all the names of those who comment, put them into my cowboy hat and draw a name. I’ll send the winner an autographed copy of my October release – not in stores yet! – The Magic of Christmas.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

I was supposed to post this yesterday. Oy Vey! It's not to late...

Today starts our week long birthday party at Eternal Press. Head over to
the blog all week for fun or free stuff. Today starts off with a short
trivia contest.
Eternal Press Blog

All Dusted and Ready

Whew, I'm pooped. I'm ready for my special guest tomorrow, Cheryl St. John. I hope she appreciates how spiffy the place looks. :) I'm thrilled to say she's my friend, and it has nothing to do with the fact that she has achieved what I aspire to, but rather she's someone with whom I connected immediately. I think if we had an opportunity, we would be best friends...but I'm thankful for the Internet that brings us all together no matter how near or far.

Besides getting ready for Cheryl's visit, I'm organizing a Blog Train Extravaganza. The express will leave this station on September 8th, and you'll have until September 13th at midnight to find all the hidden words, assemble a phrase and submit it to me. The day of, my blog will contain all the instructions you need. The prize? SIXTEEN of the greatest ebooks you'll ever read. The following authors and their blogs will be spotlighted during this contest/scavenger hunt and are donating their books to the virtual gift basket. I will feature the covers on my blog as soon as I have all of them.

Tabitha Shay
Clare London
Kim Richards
Rayka Mennen
Phyllis Campbell
Jannine Corti Petska
Anna K. Lanier
Ciara Gold
Maryann Miller
Rhobin Courtright
Skhye Moncrief
Kat Duarte
Rhonda Lee
Kim McDougall
Brenda Weaver
Elaine Cantrell

I'll also be giving away a copy of Embezzled Love to a lucky entrant drawn from the hat.

So, put on your sleuthing hat and get ready for a fun journey, traveling to the blogs and searching for hidden words to put together. You just might be the winner!

Romance Reviews

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