Tuesday, December 30, 2008

In all fairness,I've put on a dunce cap and sent myself to the corner.

I never expected to hear from someone who actually suffers from PSAS, the disorder I poked fun at in yesterday's blog. So, I learned something. This really is a horrid condition that plagues mostly women at menopausal age. It's not laughing matter, and I'm never afraid to apologize when I've offended someone.

I invite you to visit:
Johanna Vante's website and become informed. If the text comes up in a foreign language, look for the "English" button on the left-hand side and click there. Thank you, Johanna for sharing the link with me.

Monday, December 29, 2008

My New Cover....again

Some of you who have followed me for a while know that I've seriously promoted Sparta Rose in the past...and all for naught. I'm excited to announce that this time I think it's really going to be released. Coming in February 2009, I hope, is my historical western set in Sparta, TN. I'm sure you'll love my heroine and hero...at least I hope you do. IF the book actually makes a debut. *lol* Here's a little blurb:

Ellie Fountain has a dilemma--Tyler Bishop, the handsome ranch foreman who's won favor with her Pa. Ellie's determined to prove to them she can do anything a man can, even if it means buying a gun and learning to shoot.

Her father's ranch, Fountainhead, is her legacy and she aims to protect it from the Bryants, the trio next door who are using bullying tactics to purchase all the land in the area. When she accepts Ty's 'forced' invitation to a local dance, she never expects to find herself kidnapped and held hostage in an old drafty shack hidden somewhere in the snowy Tennessee Mountains. She shouldn't have left the dance in such a huff without telling someone.

This book has had more 'covers' than my bed in the dead of winter. I really liked each of them, and you wouldn't believe the problems I went through with people making threats if I dared try to use the same I-stock photo as used in the original. You'd think it was a Van Gogh for heaven sakes.

A second publisher offered a contract, and before the ink was dry, she had received a 'nice' email from the first publisher warning her away from using the same photo to design my new cover. Even though I really wanted to use the model as the basis, I played nice and agreed to something else. I liked the second outcome, but unfortunately, after much promotion, that publisher fell ill and put everything on hold. Rather than play a wait and see game, I moved on again, but not without a warning about using the second cover. I have sad news for these people who think the $3.00 they paid to purchase a license to use a photo grants them sole use. Look around...you'll find out you're wrong. :) I believe in my blog archives somewhere, I showed examples of the same basic photo used more than one time for different books. You'll probably find my old covers promoted somewhere back in the dusty pages, too.

Anyhow...A third publisher, Eternal Press, contracted Sparta Rose and once again, I have a great cover. This one I really, really like. Cover Artist, Shirley Burnett has captured the essence of my story in her design. Love it, love it, love it!

So you know if three different houses have contracted this story, it has to have some merit. I can't wait to get my hot little hands on an actual copy, but in the meantime let's just forget how long it took me to get to this point and celebrate Shirley's talent and my upcoming release. Some memories are best forgotten. :)


Just in from Fox News...Really!!!

Restless Legs, Overactive Bladder May Trigger Orgasms in Women
...A study recently published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine said restless legs and an overactive bladder could prompt orgasms in women suffering from persistent sexual arousal syndrome, the Indo-Asian News Service reported.

Okay, okay, I don't want to minimize the severity of the condition and anger people who suffer, but I can't help but be curious... who went to the doctor and complained, and is there really an ongoing study?

As someone who can't laugh without peeing, I sympathize, but really...first the medication for "RLS" has a side affect that causes gambling, and now this? This just might be a condition we can all benefit from. You can sit at the blackjack table and enjoy the benefits of casual sex without ever leaving the casino. Okay...that was bad! But, it's just amazing what you read in the news these days. I blame my sister. I was quite happy being uninformed until she came along and decided I needed to be more enlightened. Thanks to her, I'm writing letters to the editor of a newspaper in a town where I don't even live...and under an assumed name. I've pissed off half the population, but thank God, they don't know where I live.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Realistic Love Scene

Yesterday I queried HQ on a short, historical story that is supposed to be 'spicy.' I thought I WAS writing spicy by using a few 'buzz' words here and there, and it made me sweat, trying to come up with something creative. BUT...I shared it with my friend, Marie, who IS the Queen of Steam, and although she loved the story, she said it wouldn't fly. I know why!

It's hard to be inventive. I realize that there is a lot of ME in each of my stories, and I don't feel the least bit sexy...for reasons described in my previous blog. If I truly wrote what my mind sees when I think about sex scenes, it is highly doubtful that anyone would be swept away to anything but hysteria. Here's an example.

Moonlight filtered through the venetian blinds and highlighted him as he disrobed. He pulled his shirt over his head, then shimmied out of his pants. Her breath hitched. When had his stomach gotten so huge? *rofl*


His breath warmed her neck as his lips trailed upward. He nibbled at her earlobe then raised up and gazed upon her face. His mouth, a few inches from hers, he licked his lips and drew closer.

She recoiled and rolled away. "Geez, I told you not to have onions on that burger. You reek."

He entered her with a quick thrust. She gasped, feeling a sensation all too familiar. "God, get off me. Quick! I have a Charlie Horse in my leg!"

OR...last but not least....
Tonight was the night he'd waited for. They hadn't made love for a month and he was determined to sample her wares. Maybe more romance was needed. He hadn't been all that passionate or attentive of late. The moment was right. Everyone else was gone, nothing but the flickering TV lit the room. He slithered off the couch and crawled toward her chair. She appeared deep in thought,lost in the movie she watched. He inched closer and reaching her side, took her hand.

She jumped, then smiled. "What are you doing down there?"

"Come on." He raised to one knee. "Come to bed with me. I want to show you how much I love you."

She unfurled one leg from beneath her and nibbled her bottom lip. Tears glistened in her eyes. She offered her hand.

He took it and attempted to stand. A popping noise sliced the momentary silence between commercials. "Ow...my back!" He managed to get to his feet, but remained bent at the waist. With pain etched on his face, he hobbled to the couch and collapsed.

"I guess we'll have to wait."

She blotted her tears. "That's okay. My leg's asleep and I can't get up anyhow."

I think I'll stick to what I know I can do and leave the erotic and steamy writing to those who can handle it without laughing. *lol*

Aging Not So Gracefully

My sister and I were talking about growing old, and we both explained our feelings in the same way. We both woke up one morning and realized we were old. I'm not just talking wrinkles...although that's a big concern...I mean aches, pains, eye problems, teeth problems. If you're over fifty, you're probably in the beginning stages. I hate to tell you, it doesn't get any better. I'd like to meet those people who said, "Life Begins at Forty." They forgot to mention it comes to a screeching halt after ten more years. *lol*

Cataracts is a term I've heard, but until I was diagnosed with them, I considered they only affected senior citizens. I made that comment out loud, then realized, I AM A SENIOR CITIZEN. No amount of waxing, plucking, or whining is going to change that. My friend keeps telling me to be thankful for every day I'm on THIS side of the grass, and although I am truly grateful for each and every day...I'm finding it hard to deal with looking in the mirror.

It's like your body takes on a mind separate from your own. Everything shifts at will, elongates, expands, thins, disappears or freezes up on you. As evidence I offer whatever held up my "neck skin." Clearly what ever it was has left me! And did I mention PAIN. Getting up and down is now a chore.

No one told me that blood pressure medicine causes something akin to 'male pattern baldness.' I suppose I could elect to have a heart attack with a full head of hair or hang around a while and try to cover up this bald spot smack dab in the front of my head. I stopped my hormone replacement therapy to remedy the mustache and sprouting stray hair dilemma, what next?

I've been married to my second husband for twelve years. The first picture was taken at my wedding shower, the second, recently at a Starbucks. I went to meet a new galfriend I met on the internet and thought I looked pretty good. Imagine my surprise when an old hag showed up in MY picture. I'd like to say someone photoshopped it, but I think they probably would have used someone else entirely...or at least airbrushed the face a tad.

What happened in those twelve years? Egads. In my fifties, people always told me I didn't look my age. Up until a few years ago, they even told me that. Guess what...no one is saying it anymore. I worried that since I married someone ten years younger, I would eventually really look much older than he, but I devised a plan to nag him at a rate that caused advanced aging. I checked him out today and it appears to be working. I might feel sorry for him if I wasn't so lost in my own self pity. *lol* I realize I was never a super model, but it doesn't matter how little or great the sacrifice... you either know what I mean or you will soon enough.

Oh, I know there are those of you who exercise, eat right, don't smoke, and will want to preach that you're over fifty and feeling fit and frisky, but that accounts for maybe one in fifty people. May I say...I don't like you much. *kidding.* I quit smoking in 1979, but I think the effects of the years I smoked just remained dormant until now. Those pleated lips I stopped to avoid still happened. It hardly seems fair when I didn't have an ample set of lips to begin with.

Honestly, I actually think God should have reversed the process. I don't mean to tell him what to do, but now that I'm experiencing the other end of life's spectrum, it just seems it would be easier to chalk up diminishing bladder capacity, poor eyesight, thinning hair, and holes in one's smile to being a baby. It's bad enough to watch old movies and realize that every one who starred in them is now dead, but every day, we face our own mortality. Wouldn't it be wonderful, when you lose teeth and have fat rolls around your knees, to have someone come up and chuck your cheek and say how cute you look? Ain't happnin! I'm just saying that preparing for the end of your lifetime would be a lot less painful if you grew cuter and cuddlier every day.

Okay...that's my rant and pity potty for the day. I'll try to be more upbeat tomorrow.

Friday, December 26, 2008

I Wonder....

Is there no end to the line of products Billy Mays won't endorse? An even bigger question...WHY do people hire this man to hawk their wares by annoying consumers with his high-pitched yelling? Does he have a normal speaking voice or is he just hearing impaired? Quite frankly, I elect to mute the TV. Like fingernails on a chalk board... He's annoying! Just my humble opinion.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

To All of You

For those of you who celebrate Christmas, I hope you'll pause a moment and think about the real reason for this joyous day. We all tend to get caught up in the commercialism of gift giving and getting that we forget the special meaning of the star atop the tree. Me included!

I hope you'll spend the day with loving family and friends, snug, warm and happy. Hugz to you all, and thanks for hanging with me another year. You're the best!


New at Eternal Press & on Fictionwise...

This blurb was taken from the Fictionwise newsletter. Anytime I see my name in print, I get excited. :)

Ginger Simpson Romance Novelet
Amazing Grace
by Ginger Simpson

Blurb: Grace Arbon can't seem to find a man who satisfies the stringent requirements of her father, the mighty Wallace Arbon. But at her best friend's wedding, Grace realizes the man of her dreams should live up to her standards and not those of her father. When Blake Hastings invites her to take a turn on the dance floor and then out on a date, she discards daddy's white-collar standards and makes a check list of her own. Blake is everything thing Grace ever dreamed of, but will she break her father's heart in an attempt to fulfill her own?

Eternal Press

This story is Book Three in the Stages of Love Series. Coming soon...Hope Springs Eternal.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Can They Dance or What???

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

I'm sure Brett and Adam wish you all a happy holiday (my son and nephew)

My New Year Resolution is...


It's downright depressing if not insulting to my intelligence. First I was duped into believing that John McCain believed he had a viable running mate in Sarah Palin, only to have him now say that he wouldn't support her as a candidate for president in 2012. Why did he promote her as a candidate he felt more than able to step into the presidency should he croak, and then sell her out like that? I'm glad the bum didn't win.

This morning I watched, in horror, as people were rescued from cars in Bethesda, MD. The reason...a broken water main that turned River Road into a an actual river. It's not that the water main broke that surprises me, its that after four hours the news media is still announcing that the water department has still not figured out how to turn off the flow. Are you kidding me? Shouldn't there be some sort of contingency plan for this. Mark the levers? Have a code? Now Maryland will probably have to ask for bailout money to help with their water shortage.

The good news...and ridiculous, was Biden's announcement that he will be a different vice president. Of course he will, he isn't Dick Cheney! But, I'm wondering how different he can be when he can't seem to escape the 20-year allegations that he continues to plagiarize bits and pieces of other people's speeches. The internet is loaded with factual evidence of his guilt, so tell me again how we can trust him to be second in charge of this nation. Don't believe me...I copied, not plagiarized, the following from http://www.slate.com as actual proof...and believe me. There's more from his college days.

Slate Contents

1) Kinnock: "Why am I the first Kinnock in a thousand generations to be able to get into university? Why is Glenys the first woman in her family in a thousand generations to be able to get into university? Was it because all our predecessors were thick? Did they lack talent? Those people who could sing and play and recite and write poetry? The people who could make wonderful, beautiful things with their hands? Those people who could dream dreams, see visions? Why didn't they get it? Was it because they were weak? Those people who could work eight hours underground and then come up and play football? Weak? Does anybody really think that they didn't get what we had because they didn't have the talent or the strength or the endurance or the commitment? Of course not. It was because there was no platform upon which they could stand."

Biden: "I started thinking as I was coming over here, why is it that Joe Biden is the first in his family ever to go to a university? Why is it that my wife who is sitting out there in the audience is the first in her family to ever go to college? Is it because our fathers and mothers were not bright? Is it because I'm the first Biden in a thousand generations to get a college and a graduate degree that I was smarter than the rest? Those same people who read poetry and wrote poetry and taught me how to sing verse? Is it because they didn't work hard? My ancestors, who worked in the coal mines of Northeast Pennsylvania and would come up after 12 hours and play football for four hours? No, it's not because they weren't as smart. It's not because they didn't work as hard. It's because they didn't have a platform upon which to stand."

Source: Maureen Dowd, "Biden's Debate Finale: An Echo From Abroad," New York Times, Sept. 12, 1987.

2) Robert Kennedy: "The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry, or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our devotion to our country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile, and it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans."

Biden: "We cannot measure the health of our children, the quality of their education, the joy of their play. It doesn't measure the beauty of our poetry, the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate, the integrity of our public officials. It counts neither our wit nor our wisdom, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country. That bottom line can tell us everything about our lives except that which makes life worthwhile, and it can tell us everything about America except that which makes us proud to be Americans."

Source: Maureen Dowd, "Biden Is Facing Growing Debate on His Speeches," New York Times, Sept. 16, 1987.

3) Kennedy: "Few will have the greatness to bend history itself. But each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation."

Biden: "Well, few of us have the greatness to bend history itself. But each of us can act to affect a small portion of events, and in the totality of these acts will be written the history of this generation."

Source: Maureen Dowd, "Biden Is Facing Growing Debate on His Speeches," New York Times, Sept. 16, 1987.

I ask again...how can we trust this guy? I urge you to visit Slate.Com and read the whole story. Biden didn't only plagiarize Kinnock's speech...he plagiarized his personal history. Shame on you, BoJoe. *Note...BoJoe is his new nickname in this household. Check out that botox forehead and you'll understand. :)

Lastly, and what prompted me to blog today is the issue of college coeds selling their 'eggs' to earn extra cash...sometimes up to $30,000 depending upon the desperation of an infertile couple. The question my sister raised as we watched..."Why is it legal to sell your eggs, sperm, and the use of your womb, but you can't sell you own snatch." I see her point. You can't sell a kidney either. You can donate a loved one's organs if they haven't made that decision prior to death, but you can't profit from them. You can't make money off a dying person by selling them a much-needed heart, but you can make tons of money to create more children in a world already full of ones looking for a family. What's wrong with this picture. Nothing stirs up the old frustration like a good dose of daily news. I plan to live a while longer and if I don't give up watching media coverage, I'll either kill myself or have a heart attack. I'm going back to writing fiction. At least it makes sense.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Is It Ridiculous?

I usually try to steer clear of anything political, but this blog is called "Dishin' It Out," and I feel inclined to express my OWN opinion on the recent announcement by President Bush.

I'm not opposed to saving any failing business, but how much are the tax payers expected to bear? I imagine it's a pretty hard pill to swallow for those who have already lost their jobs in other industries. What makes UAW represented positions more important than others?

BUT... my main question is this: Why isn't the government forcing the banks we bailed out to LOAN money to the Big Three? Didn't we save AIG for this very purpose? It makes more sense that a financial institution put up the cash to "stimulate the economy."

What galls me more than anything is the audacity of the auto industries...putting out their hand, asking for help, yet having Ron Gettelfinger announce that the UAW refuses to alter any of their practices. Isn't this like putting a band-aid on a hemorrhage? If nothing changes and they continue 'business as usual, a plan that clearly isn't working, then we can fully expect that the CEOs and Mr. Butterfinger...oops, Gettelfinger, will be back with their hand out again before very long. Shouldn't we be dealing with the CFOs and CEOs of the company instead of the union? Am I the only one who sees this? Where are the financial wizards employed by the government? I can barely balance my own checkbook, but this seems readily apparent to me.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Season's Greetings from Lady Jan

Author, Janice Seagraves' daughter likes to dress up her cat, and take a picture. Janice used this one for their Christmas cards this year and sends a copy to each of you.

You can check out more on Janice at Jan's Web or Lady Jan's Library on blogspot.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

He Sort of Fell????

Blogging has earned a reward I didn't expect. Even my youngest son, who I might add has never cracked one of my books open, has started reading "Dishin' It Out." I'm humbled, awed, but mostly shocked. *love you Brett.*

To say he has been a challenge, is an understatement. If you read "Life is a Bowl of Toilets and I Clean Them," then you already know how much I detest Lincoln Logs. DON'T buy them if you have small children. I can't reiterate that enough...although part of the problem was his father who didn't recognize an injury if it slapped him in the face. *lol* I'm not sure what I expected from a man who thought it was normal for his son to gasp for breath. I came home one day after leaving Brett in his care to hear my sweetie wheezing like crazy. "How long has he sounded like that?" I asked in a panic.

"Oh, ever since he choked on that carrot at lunchtime."

"CHOKED ON A CARROT?" My eyes widened, I'm sure.

"Yeah, but he's fine now." Hubby went back to doing whatever it was he was doing at the time.

"He's not fine! Listen to him? Does that sound fine to you?" I ranted.

"He'll be okay." His famous words. But...that was the carrot incident... this message is about Lincoln Logs.

I was working in the snack bar, fulfilling my obligations as a team mother and left my two children in their father's care. I came home to find Brett sprawled on the floor in front of the TV, his eyes glazed and a washrag stuck in his mouth. I immediately knelt and massaged his brow and cast a questioning glance at my older son, then about nine or ten. "What happened to your brother?" I eyed the piece of terrycloth pressed between my baby's lips.

"Oh, he was running and fell, but Dad took care of it."

"Took care of what?" I demanded. "How did your brother fall... what happened."

Scott, the big brother, lowered his gaze and shrugged. "I think he sort of fell on a lincoln log."

"WHAT?" I gently pried open Brett's mouth and removed the cloth. Even in the dim light, I was horrifed at the amount of blood. Brett couldn't talk, and clearly had cried every tear he had.

I marched into the bedroom where my then husband (notice the THEN) was getting ready for work. "What in the world happened?"

"Oh, Brett and Scott were horsing around and Brett took a tumble."

"TOOK A TUMBLE?" I screamed, having the annoying habit of repeating everything he said because it stunned me into stupidity. "Did it ever occur to you to take him to the ER? He looks like he's in shock."

"He'll be fine." If he hadn't been buttoning his shirt, I think he would have patted me on the head.

I raced back to the den, scooped Brett up and made a beeline for the hospital. I knew the way well...we had our own express lane especially for Brett and all his traumas...let's see there was the horseshoe magnet to the lip in nursery school, the carrot incident, braces through lip...oh God, it's too painful to recall them all.

I'm happy to say he's grown, but his unfortunate legacy of boo boos continues. ...Staple gunned his boot to his shin, had a huge garage door fall on him, has cut himself and bled enough to supply a blood bank...I can't do this...it makes me woozy. God is really his co-pilot!

Although Brett survived that horrible incident, but not without a lot of pain. The LOG pushed the roof of his mouth to the back of his throat and tore that little 'hangy' thing in the the back, the Uvula. A lot of love, Popsicles, and an IV got him through it. I eventually got the whole story. Brett had a penchant for putting everything in his mouth, and on that fateful evening, he had a lincoln log between his lips and was running down the hallway when his brother tripped him! Sort of fell, my foot!

I can hear you groaning from here, so take heed...I still can't look at a container of Lincoln Logs in a toy store without shuddering. :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tagged! Holiday Short Story

I was tagged for a holiday short story by Lea Schizas

The rules of this is to tag four more writers to write a short holiday story. My choices are below:

1- Anna K. Lanier
2- Phyllis Campbell
3- Chris Redding
4- Yvonne Walus

Santa the Tooth Fairy

Little Kayla sat near the Christmas tree and wiggled her lose tooth. She stopped and turned her attention from the crackling fire beyond the hearth. “Mommy, if I pull my tooth, do you think Santa will leave me a dollar.”

Her mother laughed. “I think you have things mixed up, honey. It’s the tooth fairy who leaves money.”

Kayla cocked her head and flashed that familiar look of independence. “I know that, Mommy! But if my tooth falls out at tonight, maybe Santa will reward me, too. I’m not sure if the Tooth Fairy works on Christmas Eve.”

Although only four, the child had a penchant for being creative. Margaret Tanner put her knitting aside and walked past her daughter to the fireplace. She poked at the logs and sent flaming fingers stretching up the chimney. “I don’t think Santa will have time to look under your pillow. You know, he’s very busy this time of year.” She walked back to her chair.

The front door opened, and a blast of cold air flickered the fire. “Daddy, daddy,” Kayla called, rushing over and grabbing him around the knees.

He ruffled her hair with his gloved hand. “Hi, Sweetheart. Let me get out of my coat and I’ll give you a hug. It’s cold outside.” He shrugged off his outerwear, sending snow flaking to the marbled entry hall floor, and after hanging his coat in a nearby closet, he scooped Kayla into his arms and nuzzled her neck until she giggled. Stopping, he leaned his head back. “Have you been a good girl today?”

“Oh yes, Daddy, and I’ve decided you can pull my loose tooth.”

He flashed a puzzled look at his wife.

She smiled. “We’ve already discussed the tooth fairy, but Kayla seems to think Santa should play a part.”

He placed Kayla on the ground, took her hand, and walked to his plaid recliner. Sitting, with her perched on his knee, he scratched his brow. “Why don’t we just wait until that tooth falls out on its own? There’s no rush.”

“But, I want you to pull it.” Her eyes clouded with tears and her little bow lips pulled into a pout.

“Then, let me see.” He took hold of the loose tooth and wiggled it. “You’re right. I think it could come out.” Russell Tanner ruffled her hair again.

“Then pull it, Daddy.” She scrunched her eyes closed and hunched her shoulders.

“I already did.” He held up a tiny, white enamel pearl.

Her eyes widened. She smacked her lips, then made a face. A wee bit of blood dotted her bottom lip.

“Come on, Kayla, let’s rinse out your mouth and get you ready for bed. Santa comes tonight and if you aren’t asleep, he’ll just pass us by.”

Kayla slid off her father’s knee and flashed a smile. She looked adorable with a space where her tooth was just minutes ago. “Thank you, Daddy. I wanted to see if Santa will leave me a dollar so I can put it in the offering plate at church tomorrow. It’s Jesus’ birthday and I want to leave him a gift.”


By the way, my story is dedicated to the memory of my father who always could pull a tooth without my knowing it. I can't believe how many times I fell for, Just let me feel how loose it is." I miss you, Daddy. I wish you could hear you say those familiar Christmas words..."Let's open JUST one."

Happy Holidays from Ireland

Grace Tierney is a freelance writer, survey-fieldworker, and mum living in rural Ireland. Her work in fiction and non-fiction has been published internationally in magazines, anthologies, online media, newspapers, and coffee tins. She believes in looking on the bright side and has published “Positive Thoughts for Writers” and "The Writing Contest Expert's Guide to Fiction Contests" available at Lulu.

She is currently writing her second chicklit/humour novel. For more information about Grace’s work see Grace's Web Site.

She submits the following photos from her home in Meath, Ireland with a description of each:

Tree – always has to be a real one (it’s wood-chipped in the New Year) and always stays up until the 6th of January to observe the twelve days of Christmas. This year it was decorated by my husband and Eleanor (3) and Daniel (5) so some branches are overladen with ornaments and others are bare. It’s topped with a homemade peg angel and a wooden star I painted myself.

Tree detail – everytime I have travelled anywhere with my husband of eight years we have bought a Christmas tree decoration so as we dress the tree we recall our travels. In this section of the tree you can see Maltese glass grapes, Italian glass vial, Santa climbing the Eiffel tower, a shell from Mauritius, a globe from Scotland, a jumper from a friend, and a silver sleigh from Ireland. I hope to travel enough to merit a larger tree someday!

Bookcase – I love these dangly leg characters but unfortunately my kids thing they are soft-toys, hence the high location

Crib – I’ve put all the pieces in for this photo but usually we fill the crib on the right days as each character in the story arrives in Bethlehem (the three kings/magi arrive quite late for example). Jesus is placed in the crib on Christmas morning by the youngest household member. The straw is taken from last year’s church crib to bring good fortune to our own family home for the coming year.

Entrance – The elves have taken over

Hearth – we hope Santa can avoid our collection of pine cones and driftwood when coming to fill our stockings. Perhaps sleepy Rudolph will help him?

Kind regards and Happy Christmas!

Grace Tierney

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Two At Once

It's always nice to be recognized for my blog, and I was...TWICE on one day. I'm touched that two people I admire find my daily drivel worthy. Rather than try to meet the 'award' requirements twice, I'm combining them. I'd like to thank Lea Schizas and Kim Smith for double nominating me on the same day. :)

Please visit their sites at:
Lea's Writing Jungle
Kim's Writing Space

I've received this award, but it doesn't come without obligation. Here's the guidelines as I received them:

1. List 10 honest things about yourself (make it interesting, even if you have to dig deep!)

2. Pass the award on to 7 bloggers (I hope I don't pass it to someone who already has it!)
Ten Truths About Me:
1. I have cataracts. I try not to drive at night because I can't see past the oncoming lights.
2. My feelings get hurt very easily. I've always been a softie.
3. I miss having girlfriends to spend time with. All my life I've worked with other women I admired and enjoyed, and I really miss the times we spent together laughing and having fun.
4. I'm still puzzled about what I did that pissed my sister off. All I did was make a phone call and now we aren't related anymore. Go figure. *I'm digging deep here*
5. I'm afraid of dying. I have been my whole life. I remember at 18, fearing I wouldn't live long enough to get married and have children. Now I can't decide if I want to be buried or cremated. I have claustrophobia and hate small, cramped spaces.
6.I lied about my age when I first met my husband. I was forty-nine, about to turn fifty, but I shaved off a year. Actually, it wasn't so much a lie as it was the starting of my dementia.
7. All the women in my immediate family (mother and sisters...okay I still have one sister left) wear a size ten shoe.
8. I don't look forward to sex anymore. Despite loving my husband very much, making love just doesn't appeal to me. Instead of euphoric feelings, it means leg cramps and backaches.
9. I'm totally disorganized as an author. I have so many characters floating around in my head that all of a sudden I can't seem to finish one project.
10. I'm determined to make 2009 the year I find an agent to help me get published by mainstream. Of course...that means I'll have to finish something first.

Okay... now that I've revealed my deepest secrets to show I deserve the Scrap of Honesty award, I nominate the following people (hopefully not in duplication) because I admire each and everyone of them:

1. Diane Wylie - http://dianewylie.com/

2. Anna K. Lanier - http://annakathrynlanier.blogspot.com/

3. Kim Richards - http://kim-richards.livejournal.com/

4. Chris Redding - http://chrisredddingauthor.blogspot.com/

5. Sloane Taylor - http://www.sloanetaylor.com/blog/

6. Tabitha Shay - http://www.tabithashay.com

7. Clare London - http://www.darkpearldiva.com/

Someone must have cloned me when I wasn't looking. I'm everywhere today. :) (Disclaimer: This isn't me in the photo...wishful thinking.)

Check out my blog posts at:

Authors and Books
Sloane Taylor's Blog


My nephew, Dimes McDropperson, (alias of course) insists that his picture win. I can't recall that this was a contest, but I have to agree that his 'entry' is touching. I'm sure you feel the same. So many of our loved ones are away from home at a time when we should be sharing love, food, and the reason for the season. "Dimes" is working for a private contractor abroad, but that doesn't lessen the miles between him and his family. He's sharing the same accommodations as the military men, and if you don't believe me, I can send you a picture of the metal container he lives in. :)

These greetings come to you from Iraq via Adam. I hope you'll all visit his blog (The Ballad of Dimes McDropperson) and wish him a happy holiday season. He's too far from home and his mother this Christmas, and we all miss him. Well...maybe not all of us, but the important ones. *winking at Adam*

Adam's Blog

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Christmas Gift for You

Make a Joyful Noise

Anne Collins curled up in her over-stuffed easy chair and glanced at the daily newspaper. The glass of wine on the end table reflected the crackling fire beyond the hearth. Her workday had prompted her to fill a much larger goblet than normal. If one more person mentioned having a ‘Merry Christmas’, she thought for certain she’d lose control. This year, the yuletide held no reason to celebrate. Her husband, Daniel, lay in the hospital, hanging by a thread. Being festive rated last on her ‘to do’ list.

Warmth spread throughout the room as the logs on the grate crackled and popped, chasing away the chill brought on by frigid temperatures and two feet of snow outside. Anne grew comfortable and tossed the paper aside. She picked up her white zinfandel and sipped it while reflecting on past holidays.

She always considered her life was full and blessed…until the diagnosis. Daniel never smoked a day in his life. How did he end up with throat cancer? Surely there were plenty of murderers or child molesters God could punish. Why her husband? He was the epitome of everything good.

Tears trickled down her cheeks, and she took a tissue from a nearby box and blotted her face. Hell couldn’t be any worse than watching Daniel waste away, suffering with every breath. The radiation and chemotherapy burned his throat and made it impossible for him to speak. Seemed an eternity had passed since he flashed that smile she loved so much.

This was the first time in their married life she’d picked out and put up a Christmas tree without him. The anger festering inside made her want to rip it down, burn the gifts, and rant at the Lord for the unfairness, but…

A blast of cold air blew into the room as the door opened. “Hey, Mom, sorry, I’m late, but I stayed after school to finish up a science project.”

A smaller version of her mother, fourteen-year-old Casey slugged inside, stamping her feet on the rug in the foyer to clear the flakes from her boots. Peeling off her coat, she tackled the layer of sweaters beneath. “Boy, it is freezing out there.”

She opened the hall closet and hung everything inside, then turned to her mother with an arched brow. “Do you realize it’s the second week of December and we’re the only house on the block without outside decorations?”

Anne took a sip of wine to hide a grimace. “I know, dear. I just haven’t been in the mood this year.” She looked at her daughter and sighed. Casey was the only reason Anne hadn’t cracked under the stress.

Casey crossed the room and perched on the chair’s arm. “I can help put up the lights, Mom. All we need is a ladder. Dad left the little hooks up from last year.”

Anne shook her head. “We’ll do just fine without lights, Casey. Besides…” She stared into her lap, her eyes blurred with unbidden tears.

“Dad’s going to get better and come home, so why are you acting like he’s gone?” Casey stood and pulled her lips into pout. “You know how much he enjoys the holidays.” Her chocolate eyes glistened in the firelight, her tone demanded an answer.

Anne rose, walked to the mantle and picked up a filigreed picture frame. Looking upon Daniel’s smiling face sent pain stabbing at her heart. The photograph had been taken the year they went to Maui. Now thin and gaunt, he barely resembled the man she saw. It’d been weeks since he’d even acknowledged her presence in the hospital room.

She put the photo back and turned to her daughter. “Casey, I just can’t muster up any Christmas spirit. Your dad isn’t doing very well and I don’t feel very festive.” She returned to her chair and downed the rest of her wine, hoping it would numb her worried mind.

Casey peered down at her. “I know if Dad was standing here, he’d be disappointed that you’ve lost faith. Why have we gone to church all these years if you can’t trust God to take care of things?” She spun and stomped out of the room.

Anne pondered the question. Why couldn’t she trust God? The answer was easy. He’d allowed Dan to get sick in the first place. She stood and wandered into the kitchen, her wine glass in hand. After pouring a re-fill, she gazed out the window over the sink at the drifts of snow in the backyard. The old tire swing Casey used to love still hung from a giant branch now devoid of leaves. The setting sun was lost behind a gray wintry haze, and everything looked frozen. While her mind questioned God’s motives, Anne watched until the last trace of daylight disappeared and darkness fell.

She picked up her goblet and started to turn from the window, but a flash of light caught her eye. Too bright at first, it soon softened, and Anne blinked in disbelief.

The shimmering outline of an angel, dressed all in white, appeared just outside the glass. A glowing halo shone brightly above her head, and the assuring smile on her face sent a peaceful feeling coursing through Anne’s body.

The entity raised her arms, and as if by magic, an orb of light floated from her hands and rose into the heavens. Anne’s gaze followed the star’s trail as it climbed higher, illuminating the yard, the trees, the swing, and the old storage shed in the corner where Dan kept the gardening tools. Anne thought to call her daughter to witness the scene, but couldn’t find the voice to do it. She stood rooted to the spot, her eyes fixed on the wonder outside.

The heavenly creature floated a few feet above the ground and gestured toward the sky. The gray haze was gone and a canopy of stars twinkled above. One stood out above the rest, sending a blaze of light flashing to the ground. In the snowdrift just beyond the trees, Anne beheld another wonder. Unveiled one letter at a time, an invisible hand seemed to etch the glowing word ‘believe’ into the blanket of white. Anne gasped, trying to call out for Casey, but the image, along with the angel, vanished as quickly as they’d appeared. The stars still twinkled brightly overhead, but the yard turned dark again. Her mouth agape, Anne marveled at lightness in her heart.


Casey sat at the desk in her room. Christmas music played softly on her radio, and she struggled to concentrate on her homework. How could she possibly focus on school when things at home were so depressing? She couldn’t bear to think of life without her dad, and it hurt that her mother had all but given up on his getting better.

With a sigh, Casey stood and walked to the bookshelf across the room. She searched the shelves until she found her Bible. She thumbed through the index, looking for verses pertaining to hope and found Proverbs 3:3-4. Turning to the passage, she read:

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

She’d barely finished when she heard a strange noise coming from downstairs—a heavy thumping sound. Her put her Bible back in its place and tilted her ear to listen. She heard it again. Casey opened her door and the sound became louder. “Mom, what is that,” she called out.

When she received no answer, Casey went to investigate. The noise had stopped but she couldn’t find her mom. She walked through the entire house only to find it empty. A half-filled wine glass sat near the easy chair, but no sight of her mother.

The thumping began again—close and right outside. The porch light cast a strange-looking shadow on the front window. Casey grasped the knob and opened the door just a crack. She saw a ladder and a pair of legs from the knees down. She recognized the fur-lined boots.

“Mom, what are you doing up there?” Casey walked to the edge of the porch and peered up.

Bundled against the weather, her mother hammered at the wooden eave. “I’m putting up Christmas lights. Some of the hooks are loose and I’m tightening them. How about if you get a coat on and check the bulbs in the next strand while I finish hanging these.”

“But… I thought…” Forgetting the cold, Casey picked up a coiled cord and began unraveling it.

“I know, I know. I lost faith for a while,” her mother glanced down and nodded,” but for some strange reason, I’ve found it again. I have a strong feeling that Dad is coming home and we need to be ready.”

Casey smiled up at her mother. “Let me get my coat and I’ll be right back. Tomorrow we can put up the manger scene in the yard.”

“Good idea.” Her mother went back to pounding.

Casey paused for a moment and looked to heaven. Her mind wandered to her last week's Sunday School lesson. Make A Joyful Noise Unto the Lord - Psalm 100. "Who would've thought hammering could qualify?" she muttered, then smiled. Humming “Silent Night,” she headed for the coat closet. For the first time in weeks, she enjoyed feeling a sense of peace that magnified the joy of the holiday. Faith would bind their family together; love would sustain them.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Taking a Stroll

About the best thing about not having a life is tripping down Memory Lane. My sis and I do a lot of that lately, and today we were laughing about the worst jobs we ever held. I had to share my memory with you.

After moving to Northern California and relocating to Dixon, there was a time during my first marriage that I actually stayed home and was wife and mother. A couple of friends and I became bored and decided that a "seasonal" job that led to unemployment befits the remainder of the year wouldn't be such a bad gig. So...we trouped down to the tomato processing plant and applied. Surprise, we all got hired.

The first thing employees did when they entered, which should have been a negative sign, was don a yellow plastic outfit, a hairnet, rubber boots and headphones. If you're into beauty...this isn't the look you'd want.

I was assigned to the highest rung of the 'catwalk', the unloading table. This was the first stop for the tomatoes coming directly from the field by truck. My mission, should I choose to accept it, was stripping the tomatoes from any vines still attached, weeding out any rubble...which I soon found included snakes, dead rabbits, and other assorted pests. I didn't last long at the task because my screams kept interrupting the flow and I couldn't master the wrist fling that freed the fruit. Instead, I continually pelted those around me with maters. I got moved when, suffering from human contact and humor, I started displaying obscene tomatoes to my neighboring workers.

From there I went to the sorting table, two rungs down. This table held only the roundest, plumpest tomatoes, headed for the steamer. My job was to make sure there were no rotten spots, stems, or other problems. I would have probably been awesome at the task had I not immediately been hit with motion sickness. I felt as though I was moving and the table stood still. My pasty pallor and drunken swagger attested to my nausea and I was relegated to the steam table at the bottom. I'm sure you can see where my career is headed.

You might have heard that steam is good for the complexion. Wrong...especially when it opens your pores to tomato juice splashing from the table onto your skin. I thought I'd finally found my niche, but soon looked forward to a break in the monotony and heat.

Some ten minutes that was. From the top, it took eight and a half to climb down the metal scaffolding, wash off, and find a place to sit. By the time I did that, it was time to get back to work. This is definitely not a career for someone who needs a break from standing.

I finished off the day there, but went home with the worst case of hives ever. I woke up the next morning with a severe head cold, called in sick, and got fired for poor attendance.

As if that wasn't enough...I lost my gold nugget necklace somewhere in the fray. Somebody, some place found a nice reward in their ketchup, soup, or sauce. Believe me, that piece of jewelry was a real prize compared to the other strange things that end up in those products. I couldn't eat anything made from a tomato for over a year. There is no way you can get ever 'dead' thing off that conveyer belt...trust me. So...that was my worst, and shortest job ever. There are just some things I'm not cut out for and that was one of them. :)

And I didn't even know she could skateboard...

I received this from my longtime friend, Leta. This is her, her son, and his sons. Merry Christmas back to Leta and her family and good wishes for a wonderful New Year.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pouting and Tantrums

Why, I ask, was so much time spent debating the bailout and deciding against it, if the President can just step in and meet the demands of the pouting and tantrum throwing union?

Who are we bailing out...the auto industry or the union who has driven them to ruin? I had to get up and leave the room before I burst an artery watching anymore of the ongoing debacle. Even with the TARP money, there is no guarantee that the same practices, same wages, and lack of profits will make any future difference. It's a band-aid on a scratch, and this statement says it all:

"Even as Detroit's Big Three teeter on collapse, United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger said Saturday that workers will not make any more concessions and that getting the automakers back on their feet means figuring out a way to turn around the slumping economy."

If you are asking someone to save your ass, shouldn't you at least be willing to make concessions? Clearly past leadership, spending and high wages demanded by the union are not working.

Not very long ago, I watched a special on FORD's most automated plant, now operating in South America. Rather than allow the technology to be affected in the United States and put a few people out of jobs, the UAW declined, so FORD closed their entire plant, put everyone out of jobs and went overseas. There are a lot of happy employees abroad, but what good did the union do here? They are the reason that many of our business have bailed on operations at home. The economy is hemorrhaging, and continuing to salvage businesses without any sort of oversight is ridiculous.

Private citizens have no 'bail out' avenues in place. If you face financial woes, you are forced to file bankruptcy, have a trustee assigned, an must restructure your spending habits. A repayment plan is put in place, and you have to follow it. Why can't businesses do the same thing? It isn't 'throwing in the towel' on operations, just facing the fact that what they've been doing in the past clearly isn't working in today's economy. I'm certainly not a financial wizard, but I'm wondering why those who are aren't saying the same thing.

I'm quickly losing faith in our government and wondering why we have parties. It seems we do so that Democrats and Republicans can engage in continuous finger pointing and blame. Shouldn't we all be ONE and work together? All I can say is President-Elect Obama may be wishing he had his old senate seat back. He seems to be facing an insurmountable task.

Oh...I think my next blog might be on why we don't have term limits for certain elected officials.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Welcome Baby Gracelyn

Congratulations to my good friend and fellow author, Phyllis Cambell, on becoming a grandmother again.

Phyllis had this to say:

Baby Gracelyn was born at 7:10pm Wednesday Dec. 10, weighing 6 pounds 3 ounces, and 19 1/2 inches long. She a cutie! Blonde hair. Ahhhh.... Mother and baby are now home (my home of course) and they're doing great.

Ah...if they could only stay small just a little longer, but they grow up so darn fast. I can't believe Spencer is already six. Time flies..that must be why I can't remember most of it.

Congratulations, Phyllis and family. What a nice Christmas gift.

Visit Me Today at...

Yankee Romance Reviewers.

Although I want to hold you captive here, I was invited to blog today at Yankee Romance. Please visit and leave a comment. I'm giving away a free download of Embezzled Love to one lucky supporter. :) Yes...it's my normal ranting. I watched the news again. Someone stop me!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Eating Bon Bons and Sending Emails! NOT!

People, at least most I live with, don't realize how much goes into being a e-published author. My family thinks the time I spend in front of the computer is mostly a waste of time and effort, but little do they know that I'm really trying to further my career and keep my name in the limelight. I've compiled some of the 'marketing efforts' essential to doing this, and as you can see, it requires countless group memberships and communication efforts.

Ginger's Marketing Tips

If you want someone to know you have a product to sell, getting your name and work out in public is key to sales. I’ve been published since 2003 and there aren’t too many things I haven’t tried to make or keep myself visible and promote my work in as many ways as possible. Money of course, if the key-factor in doing more, but I continue to look for inexpensive tools and ideas. I also utilize very opportunity to network with my peers. Sharing information is most helpful in finding new avenues to market oneself. There are a number of ways to do this effectively, and I’m listing those to which I already subscribe and included my plans to make myself even more visible now that I have new releases. Check marks (or whatever symbol bloggers changes it to) indicate the steps I’ve already taken:

 Establish and maintain a current website with buy links, excerpts and information about myself.

 Establish and maintain a personal blog, offering subscription option to those interested in receiving it daily. This allows you to become real and human rather than just a website and name.

 Besides maintaining your OWN personal blog, join group blogs to double your promotional efforts. Publisher's blogs are a must.
 Inspired Author
 MySpace
 Communati
 Word Press
 Eternal Press
 Novel Sisterhood
 BooksWeLove
 Synoptic Storm

 Maintain memberships and personal pages on promotional sites such as:
 MySpace
 Bebo
 Bookplace
 Facebook
 Good Reads
 Shelfari
 BooksWeLove
 Manic Readers
 The Book Attic
 ING (many many lists included here)

 Participate in interviews and guest blogging days.

 Network with others authors and readers through group and forum memberships:
 FAR Chatters
 The Romance Studio
 Romance Junkies Chatters
 ManicReaders
 Novelsisterhood
 Gingersgroup
 Cata Network Readers
 CoffeeTimeRomance
 Night Owl Romance
 Brenda Williamson Romance Party
 Chatting with Joyfully Reviewed
 Love Romance CafĂ©
 The Readers Station
 The Romance Room
 World Romance Readers
 Eternal Press Readers/Authors

* Contact local news media with press release information

* Arrange to participate in local events

* Arrange local book signings (although information I’m reading now indicates that holding a writing class or workshop is much more effective.)

* Participate in any event that will provide a ‘buzz’ about me and my work.

The *’d items are things I plan to do now that I have new releases to promote. I’ve done only press releases in a former city but have not had the opportunity to do signings other than one at the Romantic Times Convention. The stores here seem more small-publisher friendly and I’m anxious to take advantage of meeting possible new readers. I’ve been very pleased with the following I’ve already garnered through the efforts mentioned above. I think the biggest secret is to be a team player and share promotional opportunities with your peers. What benefits one, usually benefits all. I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to work with a publisher who makes their authors a priority. That’s always a good feelings.

This is not a comprehensive list of everything in which I'm involved but it gives you a good feeling for the time I spend. Just coming up with interesting ideas for my own blog is wear-and-tear on my old brain. For this reason, you may see them shared in more than one place. Hey...brain cells fade everyday and I don't have that many left. :) NOTE: If you don't think promotions and blog posting help get your name out, you'll appreciate that when I was looking for this image to portray dying brain cells...I found my own picture and a link to a previous blog. I must say, seeing my face under dying brains cells didn't do much to pick up my spirits. :)


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

When Perfect Isn't Enough

I borrowed these photos from an email from a friend because it gave me hope. I realized that I DON'T need to lose weight. I just need to be photo-shopped. It's a shame that we can never find perfection in anyone. Even the stars aren't immune.

I'm ashamed to say I know even know who Jessica Alba is, but in my opinion, she looked pretty darn good to start with. Notice how her curves have been minimized, she's taller and thinner. Guess you can't please everyone. They didn't even like the background.

Again, a great photo, but someone thought she needed thinner legs, to not be so hippy, and for heaven sake's, they didn't even like her knee. Add in a little more collar bone, raise the boobs, and add a little tan and you're good to go. I wonder what they could do with me. It sure would be a lot less painful than plastic surgery.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Christmas Pick-me-up

Virginia's Miracle by Ginger Simpson
Buy Link
Womens Fiction

Virginia Collins fears her life is almost over. The one thing that still brings her joy is spending time with her young grandson, Davey. It's Christmas, and despite trying to view the holiday through a child's anxious eyes, Virginia still feels empty, alone and can't find her spirit. So many loved ones have passed, the yuletide is forever changed...until she receives a special Christmas Eve message.

Tiredness pulled Virginia's mouth into a huge yawn. Tomorrow would be hectic with everyone there, dinner to prepare-a time to give thanks. It would be a good time to let go of her anger at God, if only she could. She had to restore her faith. for Davey's sake. Somehow!

With her palms pressed together beneath her chin, Virginia repeated the same prayer she chanted nightly since her mother's death.

"Dear Lord, please help me to find forgiveness in my heart and help me understand why things happen the way they do. do. I know you have a plan for everything, and I ask you to watch over my little grandson especially. Keep him safe, and please, please help me to teach him right from wrong. Amen."

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Catching Monkeys

Borrowed from an email I received today. Had to share.

Once upon a time a man appeared in a village and announced to the villagers
that he would buy monkeys for $10 each.

The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them.

The man bought thousands at $10 and, as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort. He next announced that he would now buy monkeys at $20 each. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again.

Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms. The offer increased to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so scarce it was an effort to even find a monkey, let alone catch it!

The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50 each! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would buy on his behalf. In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers: "Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has already collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each."

The villagers rounded up all their savings and bought all the monkeys for 700 billion dollars.

They never saw the man or his assistant again, only lots and lots of monkeys!

Now you have a better understanding of how the WALL STREET BAILOUT PLAN will work!!!!

It doesn't get much clearer than this................

Friday, December 5, 2008

Warm Wishes & Cold Noses

Kim McDougall submitted this delightful photo. Christmas is definitely going to the dogs and this proves it. Even pets deserve to celebrate.

Kim is probably one of the most active authors I know, and also the most generous when it comes to helping her peers promote themselves. Besides writing her own creative and entertaining stories, she's started a wonderful site to feature book trailers. She also creates some pretty amazing ones for people who are looking to purchase one. Make sure to check out her sites. I'm listing all three because they are not to be missed.

Blazing Trailers Book Previews
Between The Cracks
Children and YA Fiction

Thanks for the picture, Kim, and Happy Holidays. You've been a great source of inspiration for me.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Memories

I wish I had a photo of a favorite Christmas to place here, but my family was never big on photographs...in fact, they weren't big on anything except just being a family. It saddens me that as I grow older, my childhood memories become dimmer and dimmer. When I try to share them with my younger sister, we have distinctly different recollections. She was nine when I married and moved away. Her childhood is vastly different than mine.

My favorite Christmas song has always been, "Ill be Home For Christmas." I cry whenever I hear it because it brings back memories of all the GOOD years I still cling to. Unfortunately, Christmas has changed. My grandparents and father are gone, people have their own children and new family rituals, and rifts in the family have caused discourse among some of us...and I must say I scratch my head over what happened, but it doesn't change the fact that going home to share a Christmas with everyone will never happen again. In a time when spirits should soar, I find myself strangely sad and my special Christmas song really prompts tears for all that is lost.

Gladly, I have Spencer in my life. He'll be the reason that I continue to create new and happy memories so hopefully when reaches adulthood he can look back and remember his "Nee Nee" as someone who holds a part of his heart forever, the way my grandmother is always with me. I'll always remember my father, and how he prompted the opening of the first gift on Christmas eve. "Just one," he always said, and we ended up in a flurry of wrapping paper and boxes until every gift was revealed. There wasn't a lot, but we never felt deprived. If I could have one wish, it would be to capture moments like those again just once. Since I can't, I'll just cherish what memories this song conjures up.

Season's Greetings from Laura Herbertson

Imagine walking up to this beautiful sight. Laura and her family did last year, and although she admits to cropping her pajama clad, wild-haired self out of the photo, I can still imagine her diving for the packages with her name on them. Thanks for Sharing, Laura, and I hope everyone will drop by Laura's Blog and wish her a Merry Christmas, too.

While you're there, check out the fascinating cover of her new release, Suburban Demon. You might recognize her as the former Laura Elliott, author of The Draconis and the Stallion.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Gloves Are Coming Off

AND I QUOTE from my Nephew's blog: The Ballad of Dimes McDropperson
Rather than comment on his blog, I decided to bring this to where people other than family actually visit.

When Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespuccio brought spices to the new world from the West Indies, they left strict instructions to not give any to Ginger. This would explain the 45 years of supplying endless, bland, carboard-like meals.

This coming from someone whose odometer miles mainly register the distance between home, McDonald's, Wendy's and Subway. I'm sure compared to the mega salted fries and foot long offerings, my meals do seem a little bland. Although I'm not sure what a CARboard meal tastes like. Cardboard perhaps. *lol* AND...unlike Bingo the Dog, Amerigo VESPUCCI did not end with an O. Still, we are very proud of your GED and the fact that you furthered your education with that online degree from Pig Trot U.

Your presence was sorely missed at Thanksgiving. We all commented on how nice it was to actually have LEFTOVERS. Rather than watch your incessant gnawing on the ham bone, I was able to bring it home and make a pot of beans. Of course, when we enjoyed them, we all joked at how, if you were home, we wouldn't be able to stay in the room with you once your gaseous 'crop dusting' started. I never thought I would miss your farts and belching, but it's just way to quiet here without you.

For those who don't know, Adam is in Iraq, working for KBR. Where else can you earn an exorbitant wage for stapling, sorting and filing. Who knew that Pig Trot degree would prove so valuable. All kidding aside...I admire him for what he does. It takes a rare person to brave venturing into dangerous territory to seek employment...and desperate women. *sorry, couldn't resist*. What we do miss most about Ad is his sense of humor and fun spirit. I hope you'll all visit his blog and leave a comment. Don't mind the obscene finger waving behind his smiling face

Now I'm off to try to find something to send him for Christmas. What can you send someone who has 22 pairs of $l00 jeans, 95 humorous tee shirts, and more underwear than the whole KBR unit can wear in a month? I'm just not sure I can send a blow-up doll to an APO. *ba boom* Okay..that was my last parting shot. Love you Adam!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Happy Holiday from Jan McDaniel

These pictures come from Jan McDaniel, another Tennessee author. Jan lives in Memphis, but these were taken in Port Huron, Michigan. She's been busy visiting friends for the past week, and now she's hurrying to catch up on her emails. I'm so happy she took time to wish us a Happy Holiday.

Make sure to visit Jan's blog on her MySpace page, and become her friend. She has a wonderful release from Eternal Press, When We Were Strangers. I highly recommend it.
Find out more here.

The Beauty of Lights

Linore Rose shares another of her beautiful tree, this one with the lights lit. Doesn't it make you want to sing a Christmas Carol?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Came Early...

I got an early gift in the form of a congratulatory email telling me that Embezzled Love was selected as a finalist in the 2009 EPPIEs. I'm sure you thought you were feeling an earthquake, but it was only me doing a happy dance.

Some of you might ask, what is an EPPIE? To me, it's like being nominated for an EMMY or an OSCAR. My work was judged with that of my peers, and by entry number rather than name. Embezzled Love stood on its own merit and someone recognized my efforts by making me one of three finalists in the Single Story - Mainstream category. The notification came at a time when I was questioning my writing abilities, and now I feel renewed and ready to push on to see my final goal achieved--mainstream publishing. This might just be the information I need to include in my query letters that may make a difference. Win or lose, I'm feeling pretty blessed at the moment.

The winners will be announced in March at the Las Vegas EPICON. Between now and then you can bet that I'm going to be trying to amass the money to get there. I want to be there and feel the electricity in the air and share the excitement of all the other finalists. All I can say is, "WOW." Thank you EPPIE judges for making my day, week, month and year.

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