Monday, July 29, 2019

Just A Taste - Ginger Simpson

Classic Monday from  Ginger Simpson
Joy Garrett is preparing to marry the man of her dreams and needs her birth certificate in
order to get a passport for her honeymoon. For some reason her mother wants to avoid the issue
and urges her to enjoy the good ol' USA. While pilfering in her mother's things in the attic, Joy
comes across a birth certificate, and although the date, hospital and doctor are a match with her,

the paper certifies someone else's birth... What secret is her mother keeping?

Fresh from her shower, Joy Garrett stood naked in front of the mirror and fingered the inch-long
scar just below her navel. Surgery performed on her at ten months had left the jagged line.
She’d forgotten the reason her mother gave for the operation, but the obvious results, although
small, marred Joy’s otherwise flawless torso and irked her. Anyone who wanted to keep Scott
Porter on a short leash had to look their best.

Wrapped in terrycloth, she went into the bedroom. Her heart pounded with anticipation of
the evening ahead—her first cocktail party and introduction to Scott’s co-workers. She planned
to make this an evening he’d never forget.

She slipped into her matching black bra and thong and then removed her dress from the
hanger on the closet door. Thankfully, those dreadful panty hose of old and annoying slips were
passé these days. “The less the better,” Joy murmured.

The plastic bag, with the retail store’s name emblazoned across it, crackled as she slipped it
off of her slinky dress. Annoying static plastered it to her hand. She peeled the cloying
cellophane away, wadded it, and flung it into the trash. Visions of her luscious date ran through
her mind: dark hair, eyes bluer than the sky, tall…and those shoulders—broad enough to make
other guys envious.

“Scott Porter.” His name dripped from her tongue like water from melting ice as she
shimmied into her dress. Even though they’d been seeing one another for the past six months,
thoughts of him still turned her stomach fluttery. She hoped to marry him one day. Of course, her
dreams hinged on him asking.

She had one year left to complete her master’s degree and still lived at home. A part-time
job didn’t offer the luxury of an apartment. Sharing the rent with a roommate was an option, but
she was holding out for something better. She scanned her room, noting the floral drapes and
frilly bedspread, and then wondered what style Scott would prefer in the bedroom they’d share.
Yep, someday she’d be Joy Ann Porter if she had her way. She warmed at the thought of waking
up in Scott’s arms.

This and my other short stories are available at a discounted price in various downloadable formats at Muse It Up Publishing

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Sunday Poodle Talk #2

My little Chanel came down with an upper respiratory infection this week.  
She had a fever, cough, and diarrhea  so I called her vet and he took her right in.

He was concerned.  I was concerned.  Chanel is taking 10 days of antibiotics (she received an injection before she left the clinic), cough medication, tummy medication, and has a special diet for the next 2 weeks.

She's improving, though she sneezes when I take her outside to take care of her business (it's 100+ here in SoCal).  She's napping throughout and is becoming more like her usual 'poodle' self.

We worry about all of our loved ones (family, friends, co-workers) but fur-babies  seem to worry us because they become ill so quickly--or are ill and we aren't aware there's even a problem.

My little girl is a re-homed poodle-mix. 8 lbs and a couple of wiggles, I like to say.

I belong to several poodle groups on Facebook, and follow Adopt-a-Pet for fosters in our area.

Please share your poodle/poodle-mix stories in the comment section :-).

Birthday Parties, fashion accessories, and poodle quirks are always fun to share.

Image result for cute poodle gifs

Have a wonderful week,

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Writing Around You Day Job by Connie Vines

It’s a 5:00 world, at least that is what the popular “Vogues” song from yesteryear (1965) tells us.  In 2003, the song was reborn via the movie, “Big Fish”.

Up every morning just to keep a job
I gotta fight my way through the hustling mob
Sounds of the city pounding in my brain
While another day goes down the drain
(Yeah, yeah, yeah) but it's a five o'clock world when the whistle blows
No-one owns a piece of my time

As most writers know, writing hours are made after you complete your day job.  You time is also doled out in little snippets while watching your child’s water polo practice, Harp recital, or while boiling pasta for the evening meal.

For those of us who may find writing until 1:00 AM and having the alarm set for 5:00 AM a bit fatiguing.  It seems we are keeping good company.

Some of these stories you may be familiar with, others may come as a surprise.
He may be a renowned author of over 50 novels, but Stephen King wasn't always a full-time writer — his time as a high school janitor helped inspire the novel Carrie. King originally threw the first draft of the story in the trash, but his wife Tabitha fished it out and told him to keep going because she wanted to know how it ended.

Before she wrote To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee worked as an airline reservations clerk in New York. She eventually quit when her friends helped support her financially so she could finally write full time.

He's a well-known author now, but before Nicholas Sparks wrote The Notebook, he worked odd jobs, including selling dental products over the phone.

She was a talented science-fiction writer and awarded the MacArthur Fellowship — but before her success as a writer, Octavia Butler worked as a potato chip inspector. She also worked as a dishwasher and a telemarketer, using these day jobs to support her writing. And they really were day jobs, because Butler would get up at 2 a.m. to do her writing before going in to work! Amazing.

She's known as a mystery novelist; Agatha Christie was once an assistant apothecary. She reportedly knew a lot about poisons, which was no doubt helpful as she created the characters of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Just goes to show that you never know what knowledge will come in handy later.

Bram Stoker wrote Dracula while working as the manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London, imagining Henry Irving, a famous actor and owner of the theater, playing the vampire himself.

So how about you?  What is/was your day job(s)?

Does your day job get your creative ideas flowing?

I work in the field of education, students, staff, and events give me ideas—or at least creative thoughts.

Sometimes, after a long day. It will take me five minutes to write a sentence.
Five minutes of staring into space until the idea of writing an opening line about how long it took me to think of an opening line popped into my head.

In the grand scheme of things, five minutes isn't all that long. But for a writer, five minutes for nine words can add up.

Writing takes time. A whole lot of time.

I always imagined I'd write my first book in a vacation hideaway overlooking the beach or cabin in the Grand Tetons.   Unfortunately, most first-time authors won't get to live out this literary fantasy.
In fact, circumstances will most likely be the opposite: writing during off-hours, scribbling notes in public, enjoying less sleep than you'd like and slowly losing your mind while trying to maintain personal relationships a full-time job and run a household.

Say you've finally found a quiet hour to yourself. You know you should write, but you're tired from work and are only on season four of “Game of Thrones.” What were once simple choices become tormenting tests of will power and resolution.

As George Orwell famously stated, “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness.”

In his book “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft,” Stephen King shared a similar though more concise sentiment: “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”

So how do I stay on track to reach my deadline?
I’ve learned to say “no.”

I also participate online instead of driving to Orange County Romance Writers or L.A.R.A. monthly meetings; I sign-up for online classes.  I miss interacting with other writers, and my plotting group, but talking isn’t going to write my novel.

This doesn't mean you have to say no to everything, but writing is always going to require compromise.

A large part of writing for me is preparing my environment. I like to have a cup of coffee by my side, music playing. I prefer to write from 8:00 to 11:30 PM every other day. On Fridays I write until 2:00 AM, Saturdays after the gym and running errands.  I’ll write for a few hours, then spend time on other tasks, until about 8:00 PM I will write until 10 or 11:00. (though is writing until 2:00 this morning). 

Sunday, unless I have a blog post due/or am on a deadline, I do not write.  I may edit my week's work in the evening but that is the extent of my writing.  This is family time for me.

Remember: If you keep waiting for the perfect moment, the perfect time, you’ll never get anything done.

Pencil in you time to write on your calendar, or task journal.  Honor that time like you do all of your other commitments.

You may find your day job fits in quite nicely into your novel.  After all, if you have life experience, no research in needed.

Happy Reading and Writing,

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Sunday Poodle Talk

🐩  Poodles have a tendency to be extremely affectionate animals (my Chanel is a little love bug). Most of them like to cuddle and give kisses and in most cases, they don’t usually mind being hugged.  Chanel crawls into my lap each morning, and before going to bed, to give me a hug and kiss my ear.

🐩 If you are looking for a dog that you can bring into the family that will allow everyone to hug on it and pet it, a poodle is always a good option. Remember, every dog is different so getting a poodle doesn’t guarantee that you will get all of these things.

My little poodle (all 8 lbs. + a couple of wiggles) is brave.  She will stand guard next to me.  She seldom barks, unless I don't remove a package from the front porch quickly enough (yes, she's probably thinking it is her dog food delivery).

🐩 They respond to your voice

Some of the smartest dogs understand enough words that they have a vocabulary similar to a toddler. As a result, they can understand a lot of phrases like good girl, stop, leave it, and come, among others. Even when your dog doesn’t understand what you are saying, she knows your voice and will respond to that sound again and again. Your poodle also knows how you are feeling based on the inflection in your voice. As a result, she can tell when you are happy, sad or angry, as well as when you are excited about something. That is why she will often come up to you automatically and attempt to cuddle when you are angry or feeling blue.

🐩 They’re comical

Anybody that owns a poodle will tell you that they’re funny. These dogs just seem to have a penchant for knowing how to make you laugh and they do it on a routine basis. You might argue that they are merely showing off their natural personalities. Some people that have poodles will undoubtedly argue that they are trying to make you laugh on purpose. Either way, they are a lot of fun to be around and they can take an otherwise mediocre day and have you rolling in the floor in no time.

Chanel always knows when my day has been trying.  After a welcome home 'poodle dance', I take her into the back yard so she can run her laps.  She will bark, bounce, and involve me in her playtime.  Back inside we go.  She knows the ritual.  I change my clothes, remove my earrings (ear-kisses, remember).  Then back to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee.  

Chanel will remind me (do a figure-eight quick-step) then herd me in direction hallway if I try to start a pot of coffee before changing.  I'm not allowed to explain.  Chanel will have none of that.  She will argue with me (verbally).  Scolding, I suppose is a better description.

I will laugh and all is well in Chanel's world.  

🐩 And all is well in my world, too.

Happy Sunday,  🐩   


"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." ~ Matthew 11:28-30

Saturday, July 20, 2019

WIP and Future Book Ideas by Connie Vines #Round Robin 74

What book (or type of book) are you currently working on? Do you have ideas for future books?

At the moment, I’m working on revisions for my anthology, “Gumbo Ya Ya” for women who like romance Cajun.
The anthology is comprised of 5 stories with the common element being the setting (New Orleans, LA) with one of the main characters of each story being a Cajun.

From Wikipedia:

The Cajuns (/ˈkeɪdʒən/; Louisiana French: les Cadiens), also known as Acadians (Louisiana French: les Acadiens),are an ethnic group mainly living in the U.S. state of Louisiana, and in the Canadian maritimes provinces as well as Québec consisting in part of the descendants of the original Acadian exiles—French-speakers from Acadia (L'Acadie) in what are now the Maritimes of Eastern Canada. In Louisiana, Acadian and Cajun are often used as broad cultural terms without reference to actual descent from the deported Acadians. Today, the Cajuns make up a significant portion of south Louisiana's population and have exerted an enormous impact on the state's culture.

While Lower Louisiana had been settled by French colonists since the late 17th century, the Cajuns trace their roots to the influx of Acadian settlers after the Great Expulsion from their homeland during the French and British hostilities prior to the Seven Years' War (1756 to 1763). The Acadia region to which modern Cajuns trace their origin consisted largely of what are now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island plus parts of eastern Quebec and northern Maine. Since their establishment in Louisiana, the Cajuns have developed their own dialect, Cajun French, and developed a vibrant culture including folkways, music, and cuisine. The Acadiana region is heavily associated with them.

Since I write cross-genre fiction, my stories will each be a romance, however, each story will reflect a different type of romance. Sweet Romantic Comedy, Sensual Romance, Romantic Suspense, Time-Travel, and Paranormal—all of which reflect Cajun culture and New Orleans, LA elements.

Since I always immerse myself in the WIP, I’m brewing chicory coffee, making gumbo and jambalaya.  Since my husband is from Louisiana, he’s loving it!

Ideas for future books?  Of course.  Always.

I’m plotting books 2 and 3 of my Sassy and Fun Fantasy Series.  I’m also working on a contemporary romance novel, too …well, you will just need to wait and see (I’m keeping this one under wraps for the moment).

Happy Reading,

Remember to stop by and see what these wonderful authors have to share with out:

Rhobin L Courtright

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