Why the Violin?

violinYes, I really did decide to learn how to play the violin recently.  Picking up a new instrument, especially something like the violin, is not something that people typically do at my age.

So why did I do it?

I suppose I could cop out with the easy answers, like Why not? and Because I wanted to, but it’s deeper than that.

I’ve watched violinists since I was a little girl, amazed at the beautiful music they made and how it seemed so magical.  How could someone make sounds as beautiful as that simply by running a bow across some strings? I wanted to do that, but I kept hearing about how difficult it was. I doubted that I’d be able to play well.  So I never tried.

That was a running theme in my life for many years.  If I couldn’t do something well, I wouldn’t even try. As a result, I did everything well. Well, everything that I tried. I avoided failure. I even avoided the chance of failure for a long time. Continue reading Why the Violin?

Beta Readers Wanted

Rookie Season Final (small) copyI’m looking for a few more beta readers for my book, Rookie Season, which is scheduled to be released on January 30, 2015.

Beta readers read the book before it is finalized to catch any errors that were missed through the editing process and to give their opinion on the clarity of the story, believe-ability of the characters, and so on. It’s an important job!

 

If you would like to volunteer to be a beta reader, here’s what you would be agreeing to do:

  1. Read the book, which will be sent to you in PDF format around December 28th, and get your comments to me by Monday, January 5th.  You will probably only have 5-10 days to read. Don’t worry; it’s a fast read!
  2. Be honest with your comments.  If you don’t like it, tell me. If something doesn’t work for you, tell me. The purpose is to help me improve the book as much as possible prior to its final release.

That’s it! I would also appreciate it if you would post a review of the book on Amazon once it is released, but that’s entirely up to you. Continue reading Beta Readers Wanted

A Recommendation for You – Kill the King

23754581I read a delightful short story yesterday, titled Kill the King by Jim Heskett. It’s normally priced 99 cents on Kindle, but you can get it today free  (just click on the title link in the previous sentence).

Here’s the review for Kill the King I posted today on Goodreads:

This is a charming story told from a unique point of view, that of a royal food taster. In the beginning I thought I was reading something written like a fairy tale, but it soon became clear that it was a very modern monarchy. The author’s use of language to create the detail of this one-of-a-kind modern fairy tale kingdom was brilliant! Descriptions of modern security guards, similar to Secret Service agents, blended seamlessly with images reminiscent of childhood fairly tales (the cabbage man, the king’s obsequious entourage, etc.) to form something truly unique.

It didn’t take me long to agree that the power-obsessed, narcissistic king needed to die, for reasons not nearly as noble as those of the royal food taster. I wasn’t prepared, though, for all of the twists and turns. Each was as unexpected as perfectly plausible.

This story is a quick and delightful read. I highly recommend it. The language was so delicious that I read it twice!

At the end of the book is an added bonus of another short story, I Go By Tim. This one was also very well-written with an unexpected twist at the end.

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Rookie Season Final (small) copyDon’t forget! The ebook version of my new book Rookie Season is available for pre-order on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), and Kobo.

 

Do the Unexpected. Be a Running Cow.

rounning cowsSeveral years ago, I was driving home from visiting a client in a rural area and I noticed a cow running through a field, playing with her calves. It was a completely unexpected sight. Seriously, how often do you see fully grown cows running in a field?

I did a little online research on the subject and learned that while cows can run, they usually don’t run unless they are stressed (being chased, etc.). Yet what I saw was definitely not a stressed cow. It was most definitely a happy cow (and yes, this happy cow was a California cow). Here’s a video of cows running for pleasure (well, at least that’s what the folks filming it in the truck say it is – pleasure), so I know it’s not unheard of for cows to run for fun, but I can definitely say that it was an unexpected sight for me. It was such an unexpected sight that I pulled over to watch for a while. Continue reading Do the Unexpected. Be a Running Cow.

My Secret Late Night Pleasure

shhhh photoI have decided that it’s time for me to share my secret late night pleasure with the world. This really has been a secret, but I suspect that my husband might know something about it, even though I haven’t yet shared it with him openly.

Don’t worry. This blog is still rated G (okay, maybe a spicy PG sometimes).

Here it is: Every night, very late at night, when I am in bed and after I am sure my husband is asleep, I privately indulge in one of my greatest pleasures. Keeping the lights turned off and scooching way over to my side of the bed, I pull up the covers and try to stay very still so I don’t wake my husband.

Then I reach over the side of the bed and feel around on the floor until I find what I’m looking for. That’s where I keep it, plugged in at night so it can recharge, and hidden just under the dust ruffle of the bed so no one can see it, although I’m not sure why I do that because I am certainly not ashamed of it nor am I worried that anyone would steal it here in my bedroom late at night. Before I bring it up into bed with me I usually turn one last time to check and make sure that my husband really is asleep. Once I am certain that he is, I get down to business.
Continue reading My Secret Late Night Pleasure

I’m a Literary Outlaw

Annie Oakley

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am, generally speaking, a rule follower and law obeyer.  Yes, I am the one who stops at a red light on a country road at night when there is clearly no one around, waiting patiently for the green light. I do my best (although not perfectly) to adhere to the speed limit. I don’t park in parking spaces designated for the disabled (unless I have my placard with me), and I don’t violate warnings of “No Trespassing.”

In most of my life, knowing the rules and following the rules are the same thing.

But it’s not true with writing.

Oh, I know the rules.  I definitely know all the rules. I just choose not to follow them all the time.  Call it my own personal little rebellion against “the man.”  I’ll defiantly start sentences with conjunctions (like I just did above), or I’ll brazenly end sentences with prepositions. I’m the queen of the run-on sentence and the duchess of the dangling participle.
Continue reading I’m a Literary Outlaw

Evernote – My New Best Friend

evernote imageI’ve been using Evernote, on and off, for a long time, but it has recently become my new best friend.  I use it to:

  • Take notes while I read
  • Write poetry and stories in the middle of the night (well, any time I’m not at my computer)
  • Record my random thoughts
  • Journal about what’s happening in my life
  • Track my To Do items
  • Capture photos and status updates from Facebook I want to keep
  • Keep track of website passwords and logins
  • Store blog topics
  • Keep notes of phone conversations with clients and vendors
  • Dictate quick notes to myself

I’m sure I use it for even more things that I can’t think of right now. They have added new features recently that I haven’t begun to explore yet, but I have no doubt that I’ll love most of them. Continue reading Evernote – My New Best Friend

Facebook Dilemma

A writing group I belong to on Facebook is having a poetry marathon today.  Because I love poetry marathons as a way to shake away any creative cobwebs, I have been keeping up and writing a poem an hour.

The way the maraFB like button and question markthon works is that members write a poem an hour, responding to a prompt (or not), and then post those poems to the group’s Facebook page.  We read each other’s poetry and comment. It’s a small,  nice community, and participating is fun. Continue reading Facebook Dilemma

Poem of the Week – Words – 12/13/14

wordleWords

They wake me from my slumber
Begging, insisting, demanding release from the confines of my mind.
I force them aside;
They push harder.
I try to appease them by giving them time to run free in my thoughts,
But that’s not enough.
They give me no peace until I write them down,
Giving them the respect they inspire.
Only then will they release me to sleep
Or be held captive by other words,
Demanding their place on the page.

Dealing with Rejection

teenage rejectionI fell in love – I mean really in love – for the first time when I was in 8th grade.  All my crushes before then were just kid stuff, but Matt was the real thing.  We were “going together” and everyone knew it (even though we never actually went anywhere because neither of us was allowed to date and we were too young to drive).  We shared several precious kisses – at a church-sponsored dance, at an amusement park, and on my front porch. Then one day, at a dance, he danced with Gina …. to our song (Three Times a Lady by the Commodores)…and then he kissed her.  And I couldn’t breathe.

I was devastated.  It was a pain so intense that it reverberated across the decades.  When I think about it, I can still feel the ache of that betrayal and rejection.

It wasn’t the last time I would experience rejection. Anytime you expose yourself emotionally to others you risk rejection. As a writer, you invest yourself in your work. You are putting your ideas, your skill, and your voice out there for judgement. You are actually putting yourself out there for judgement.
Continue reading Dealing with Rejection

A Writer's Journey