Sunday, May 30, 2010
I have to be honest. Once I finished, I considered titling this post, "It's been nice to know you," but I'm going to try to force myself to limit my sitting time and add in some activities, even if it's walking around my condo complex. You might decide to make some changes, too.
In an attempt to meet deadlines, keep up with my blog, attend chats, etc, I often skimp on good meals and go for the easy snacks that I can stuff myself with at my desk. I know that habit is not good for me OR my computer. Potato chip crumbs make keys stick, and when you spill a glass of sweet tea on your keyboard, that's a nightmare. Can you say "sticky?" It's so much easier to grab something bad than to prepare something good, but as with all bad habits, there are consequences.
If you find you can't, then add some stretching exercises to your daily routine and limber up a bit.
The next time you are naked, stand in front of a mirror (oh yuk), circle your waist with a tape measure (I don't own one so I tried the one in my husband's tool chest...don't do it, it won't work and it hurts when it flings back into the case). Move the tape down until the bottom rests at the top of your hip bones (I can't find mine). Don't hold your breath or cinch the tape too tight. Write down the number. For men, a measurement of 40 and up is considered high risk. For women, 32 is the danger threshold and 35 is high-risk. Oh me!!!
The goods news, if you can find any in this topic, is visceral fat is more metabolically active than fat elsewhere on your body so exercise and plenty of produce, grains, fish and mono-saturated fat from olive oil and nuts will help rid you of the inner tube around your middle.
I'm skipping their two-second depression quiz, because all of the above sent me spiraling into the depths. Sorry if I've ruined your day, too, but these are all things we need to know or be reminded of. I thank Reader's Digest for stimulating me to consider I need to make some changes if I want to hang around and see my Spencer grow up.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Yep, there are even records for the person who has the longest nose hair, ear hair, and even the ugliest person. I'm going to spare you pictures of those. :) Just think of all the energy these people put into gaining a world record. Why would you want a long hair hanging from you nose to prove your worth? Excuse me, but I don't get it. Do you?
Friday, May 28, 2010
www.whiskeycreekpress.com, at www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Crystal Bowersox blew Lee Dewyze out of the water every single week. The girl can sing, and she's unique. Maybe it's that "uniqueness" that made her unsuitable to be a representative for American Idol. There are images to be maintained, after all.
Okay, in all fairness, Lee is okay, but he sounds like so many other artists already out there, there was nothing distinct about him. He may be somebody's idol but I think he's better suited for selling paint. Crystal is my choice and I think America got it wrong.
Does the title really matter? She got the exposure she needed to get a record deal. And look at Taylor what's his name...that gray-haired goon who won a few seasons back. He never went very far, did he? Those who don't finish on top often seem to fare better than those who do...except of course Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler. Jennifer Hudson hasn't done bad for herself, and she didn't win. What happened to Ruben Studdard and the girl with the name like a cereal, I cant recall? It's all rigged anyhow.
And why do we need celebrity judges who confuse the hell out of the contestants? Make it your own! You took on a song too big for you! You were a little pitchy! Dog! Randy Jackson really needs to grow up. No one I know wants to be called "Dog." How can you learn anything from four people who generally don't agree and issue conflicting advice? Why not just have a big dartboard where the celebs sit and have Ryan Seacrest throw a projectile at it and go from there. Speaking of Ryan...has he gotten a little too cocky?
Of course, I have no right to complain because I didn't vote. I cheered from my living room. Does that count? But last night, I turned off the TV, stormed into my office and typed something similar on Facebook. Too bad I forgot about the time difference and blew the surprise for those on the West coast who read my post. I apologize. I took it down as soon as I realized I'd given away the ending.
Maybe it was payback for the previous night when hubby and I were watching Celebrity Apprentice. Sitting on the edge of chairs, waiting for the Donald Trump to make his big announcement, the broadcast cut to a commercial. Okay, so you expect advertisements, but not one that said, "be sure and join Jay Leno tonight when the new Celebrity Apprentice, Bret Michaels, is his guest."
I think my days of watching Idol are over, although I do believe Ellen was a breath of fresh air...unlike the other females on the panel who turn "cougarish" the moment a good looking youngster steps up to sing. Give me a good episode of Survivor any day.
Monday, May 24, 2010
This morning, I watched the episode of Miami Medical that I'd recorded, and WOW, whoever wrote that script knew how to pack an hour with things you never saw coming. Here's a small summary:
In the hospital, a doctor finds two tickets to the Black Eyed Peas taped to her locker. People begin jockeying for the second ticket.
Next, the three others attempt to rescue him by beating on the reptile with their golf clubs. In the fray, one guy hits the guy next to him in the head, and the girl slips and hits her head on a rock. The scene ends with them staring a calm waters...all have horrified looks on their faces.
Next scene - hospital: They managed to pull the young man from the water and get him to the ER/Trauma room. They all look a little worse for the wear they've been through and are advised to see the ER staff to help with their cuts and bruises. Enter the footless man's wife, who evidently has a past with one of the other fellas. The alligator is captured and killed and delivered to the hospital, where the attending physician fishes around in the gator's guts until he finds the foot. Yeah, I believe that.
Meanwhile in the waiting room, one of the young men appears to have fallen asleep, but won't wake. The doctor calls for a gurney, rushes him to surgery, and he dies.
Actually, I thought there was just a tad too much in this one episode. How in the world can they top it?
Sunday, May 23, 2010
I think I just filled out the most difficult piece of paper I've ever had to complete--an advance directive.
I've been asked so many times at the doctor if I have one on file, and I've had the forms for over a year, but never could bring myself to fill one out. Today I did, and I filled out one for my husband, too. Now I have to find two people to witness our signatures or pay a notary. I have such mixed feelings about my answers.
Funny, when your in your thirties and forties, you don't think about things like this, but as you realize that most of your favorite TV re-runs feature people who are dead, you get a big slap of reality. I'm about to become an official senior citizen and despite how young I pretend to be, I'm not a spring chicken anymore.
I don't want to put my children in the position of having to make life or death decisions for me, but then I had a horrible time making them for myself.
How do you know how you'll feel when the time comes that you need life-saving measures? I had to decide if I want doctors to help me maintain an acceptable quality of life even though I might be permanently unconscious, suffer confusion to the point where I am unable to remember, understand or make decisions, or worse... if I become dependent on someone else for all activities associated with my daily living.
Do I want CPR to restart my heart if it stops. This usually involved electric shock and I've been shocked before and didn't like it at all. Do I want to be on a breathing machine, or a guinea pig for new treatments? Do I really want tubes to deliver my food and water? Right now, I think not, but I value my life so much, it's hard to make a conscious decision that whatever happens, I don't want anyone to save me.
As if those decisions aren't hard enough, I also need to leave instructions about burial arrangements, hospice, etc. I'm in a quandary. I have claustrophobia, so the idea of being in a box six feet under makes it hard for me to breathe just thinking about it. The idea of being charred doesn't appeal to me either, but those are my choices. I choose cremation, but only if they make sure I'm really dead.
Then the last part is organ donation. I'm hoping I live long enough to wear out my organs, and I've never liked anyone seeing me naked, so that affected my decision there. I'm giving my corneas. They should be okay because I'm having my cataracts removed in December. I know this sounds like I'm not taking this serious, but if I don't crack a joke here and there, I think I might cry. This is tough. I just keep telling myself that I'm sparing my kids the hard decisions, but dang...I don't want to make them either.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
White Heart, Lakota Spirit was a delightful break from my normal contemporary reading. While at times I felt the story was a little slow on the plot it picked itself up fairly quickly.
So...what classifies a fictional book as historical? Facts pertinent and true to the period that are included in the story to help the reader visualize and move into scenes that are not modern day, and to do it with ease. Transitions shouldn't be obvious or draw the reader out of the story. It's not an easy chore, but the secret is peppering enough of these tidbits into the story to make the novel interesting and real without overloading the reader with a history lesson.
Do these added facts slow the pace? Sometimes. Readers who enjoy contemporary novels may consider the the facts unnecessary, but in order to meet genre requirements, period information is essential to the story. I imagine a story based on the old west would be pretty boring without a little knowledge of the history of that era. I'm going to pick some tidbits from my latest release, White Heart, Lakota Spirit, and demonstrate.
Of course, Grace could just ask the question, but I want the reader to picture the women in the middle of the prairie, traveling in a wagon.
This was probably the truest example of adding historical facts that honestly don't propel the story, yet gives the reader an idea of the Lakota Traditions governing death of a tribal member. Does it slow the pace a bit. Sure it does, but without these facts, the story would be just another romance novel set in the old west.
Green eyes understood the custom of cutting one's hair or sacrificing adornment as an expression of grief, but not body mutilation. To show her own sorrow, she had chosen only to cut the fringe from her dress. She hoped her shorn doeskin showed respect enough for the dead.
Okay, I think you get the picture of why these facts make a historical story an historical novel.
White Heart, Lakota Spirit is available at Moongypsy Press. It's soon to be at Amazon, but last check, it isn't appearing yet. Here's the video:
Friday, May 14, 2010
First of all I’d like to thank Ginger for having me on her blog today, and for giving me the opportunity to talk about my new book. In Out of the Darkness, ex-FBI Profiler, Alex Michaels, is forced into hiding by the serial killer who murdered her twin sister and left her with a career ending injury. Meeting up with an ex-pro football player who is also facing an uncertain future, Alex makes Royce McIntire an offer he can’t refuse. Settling into her new life, Alex has no idea the killer is hot on her tracks along with the team of FBI agents who failed to protect her before. When they all catch up to her, not only is her peaceful life shattered, but once again her life is in jeopardy.
Here’s an excerpt:
The house was dark as Alex Michaels drove onto the lawn. She slammed the gearshift into park, pulled her gun from its holster, and jumped from the car. She swiped frantically at the tears as she stepped cautiously to the front door and grasped the knob. Please God…Please don’t let me be too late. Her grip tightened on the 9mm as beads of perspiration formed on her forehead. Inside the entryway, she reached out with her left hand to flick the light switch.
The knife came out of nowhere.
A sharp pain, followed by a burning sensation, seared up her right forearm. Her fingers went numb and the gun clattered to the floor. She jabbed with her left arm, her clenched fist coming in contact with the jaw hidden behind a black ski mask.
The intruder retaliated with a punch to her right cheek that slammed her body back against the door. The room swirled, her knees grew weak. She struggled to stand on solid ground. With a fistful of hair, her head was jerked back as the attacker’s knee rammed her rib cage, forcing a gush of air from her lungs.
She cried out as her knees buckled and she dropped to the floor. Another blow to her rib cage knocked her back onto the floor. Her left arm pinned beneath her, she raised a bloody right arm toward the intruder and stared in horror at her hand dangling lifelessly.
With the full weight of his body pinning her, she writhed beneath him trying to free her left arm.
“Fight me, Alex. Show me you’re not as weak as the rest.”
“I swear I’m going to kill you.” Using her feet as leverage, she rolled against him but she was no match for his strength.
He laughed. “Come on, Alex. Your sister put up a better fight than this.”
A sob escaped her lips. She could still hear Cassie’s cries for help and her bloodcurdling screams of terror.
“Sorry you didn’t make it in time to say goodbye. But you’ll be with her soon enough.”
Out of the Darkness, a ‘Sweet’ Romantic Suspense, releases this month from Champagne Books. To learn more about me and my other releases, please visit my blog or my website.
Thanks again, Ginger for having on your blog!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
"Hill of Beans" Author, Columnist,
Staff Writer Cynic Online Magazine has kindly allowed me to share his email to me:
I'd like to thank Jim for allowing me to use his offering today as it fit so nicely with my topic. As promised, I said I'd share with you another "ghostly" experience:
My grandmother passed away and I traveled to Southern California for the funeral. My granny had shared a home with my mom and on the night of the funeral, Mom and I were trying to recoup from such a traumatic and emotional day with a little television. My grandmother loved "Ben Gay" for her aches and pains. I'd almost say it had become her fragrance of choice. Mom's TV was upstairs in the loft, and I decided to go downstairs for some ice cream. Halfway down, I passed through a aromatic fog of Ben Gay that burned my eyes.
"What are you putting Ben Gay on," I called back up to mom.
"What are you talking about?" she responded.
The cloud dissipated as quickly as it had formed, and I suddenly knew that Granny was checking in to make sure we were okay. I slept in her bed that night, between the sheets that she always sprinkled with talcum powder, and I knew there was no place I'd rather be.
I offer my thanks to Dave Donelson for his creative genius, and ask that he forgive my "borrowing" of his appropriate artwork. :)
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I sat spellbound most of the evening, although I really couldn't personally identify with the amazing things happening right before my eyes. I realized that in order to accurately judge the validity of claims being made, I needed to involve myself in a healing.
When my time came, I moved to the center chair between two members of AS, one being the facilitator and the other offering her body as a means of communication for the dearly departed. My co-worker and friend assumed this role and I'm glad because she offered the greatest proof that I wasn't involved in a sham.
Let me preface the end result by stating that for years, I 'd suffered a neck ache that came on at the strangest of times, and apparently for no medical reason. The pain was often unbearable. As I sat on the couch, waiting for others to finish their turns, I felt that familiar ache starting. My friend delved into the depths of relaxation, allowing the spirit who adhered to me to speak through her. I have to say that the voice was totally different than the one I was used to hearing, and the mannerisms were nothing like my subdued friend.
The spirit who communicated with the facilitator and myself claimed to have known me in a past life...one when I was a man and we worked together laying stones on castle turrets. That life ended when I fell to my death, and the spirit assumed responsibility for not catching me when I lost my balance. Through guilt, this person failed to cross over, instead clinging to my energy because of friendship and familiarity. Once the facilitator asked him to search for the light and he saw it, my neck ache disappeared and to this day, I've no longer been bothered with that same discomfort. Some may say it's all coincidence, but I say it's real.
The first healing made me want to know more, so I agreed to do another, but...of course, in keeping with my "hook" to bring you back, I'll share that tomorrow, so be here or miss out. *lol* I'm loving how everyone is sharing tales of their own. There are spirits among us, and I have a few more tales to convince you.
In the meantime, have a look at my friend's website. Margaret has her own spiritual gifts to share. I hope she doesn't mind that I borrowed the above picture from her site. :)
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Years ago, I worked as a clerk in a nursery/landscaping company, and my co-worker was an awesome woman. She and her sister, a local school teacher, belonged to a group called Astro-Soul. Listening to my friend talk about the training sessions and their goals for assisting lost spirits fascinated me--so much so that I agreed to attend a "healing."
I'm not sure what I expected, but I did know that both Pat and her sister were upstanding members of the community and I trusted them. I'd worked with Pat for over a year and knew her quite well...her speech, her mannerisms. I think because of my exposure to scary TV shows, I believed I would walk into a dark room with a crystal ball and get immediate goosebumps. The opposite was what I found. The "healing" was held in a friend's house--in a light and cheery living room where a card table and four chairs sat in the middle. In the center of the table was a simple crystal bowl filled with water.
Before I relay my experience further, let me tell you that Astro-Soul is still a viable organization. My interaction happened over thirty years ago, and it wasn't until a gifted friend shared her website with me, that I remembered my "healing" as though it were yesterday. As proof that the good work still goes on, I found this on their Internet site, listed as their goals:
|Understand the relevance of Past Lifetimes to this Lifetime|
|Unfold a deeper working relationship with your Spirit Guides|
|Develop your metaphysical sensitivity|
|Participate in in-depth healing sessions|
My understanding is the members undergo training sessions that allow them to relax into a trance state, thus inviting a spirit to use their body for communication purposes. Okay...so I was skeptical. First, I couldn't image inviting a spirit to share my body, and I wasn't even sure I believed in "ghosts." But that wasn't my function at this meeting. Through the process I was to determine just how many "people" actually came to the meeting in my car although I declared I came alone. *smile*
At the beginning of the session, our hostess explained that though we may not see or hear the spirits that cling to us for various reasons, they are drawn to us because we represent someone familiar and provide comfort. We all consist of "energy" and this is what a spirit represents--an energetic field that can drain our own. That made sense. I walk around feeling drained all the time, so by that theory alone, I must have a bunch of "clinger-oners."
I watched a few healings take place, where a guest sat at the table with two trained Astro-Soul members. The guest was asked to place their hands over the water while one of the members served as interpreter and the other, a receptor. (These are my terms...not the organizations...in my attempt to explain what I perceived.) I was engrossed in what I witnessed, but it was hard to make a connection without being a participant and relating the results to my own experiences. So, I paid the nominal fee. (Yes, they do charge because the money goes back into the organization to continue the ability to enlighten others.)
What happened was amazing and made me a believer. Of course, you're going to have to wait until tomorrow because this blog is running way too long to keep a reader's interest, and if I've learned anything about being an author, it's always leave a hook.
I invite you back tomorrow when I share what I found out about my past lives.