Friday, January 30, 2015

FRIDAY STIR FRY - I'm Back - Sort Of

So, in case you missed me last Friday, I'm back.
I was sicker than a dog on his last leg. Not with the flu but a really bad chest gunk. (yes, that's a medical term. Google it)
I actually stayed home from work two days. I'm never sick. I have tons of sick leave built up. Which is good, I guess, in times like these.

I live alone and have no family in the area and being a single person, the cupboards are pretty bare. Too sick to venture out, I envisioned myself eating stuff not meant for human consumption. (let your imagination run wild) Thankfully, some angel friends brought me supplies: soup, tea, Gatorade, etc. Bless their souls.

All that time at home and I didn't write a lick. Just couldn't wrap my brain around anything except coughing, blowing my nose and daytime TV. I did discover something that might come in handy for a future book. People who stay home apparently need lawyers. They seem to have numerous car accidents and need to fight the insurance companies for the compensation they deserve. They also need lawyers to fight for their social security disability. They have all kinds of diseases that require a lawyer to sue the pants off whomever made them sick. Poor people. I hope they find the help they so desperately need.

I, on the other hand, am back at work. If I could find out who gave this gunk to me, I might look up one of those lawyers.

Friday, January 16, 2015

FRIDAY STIR FRY - January Thaw


We are in the midst of a January thaw or what we Ozarkers like to call 'Mother Nature's little joke'. "Ha, ha you mere mortals, winter is not over, the worst is yet to come."

I'm going to ignore her taunting cackle, because it is going to be a nice, warm weekend. One that I really need to spend writing, which unfortunately requires time inside.
Ah the sacrifices we writers make.
I'm doing a NaNo, JaNo, no no. I'm reading my WIP from the beginning and editing as I go. I've come to the conclusion that is the only way I'm going to get a handle on this story and finish it. So I have a pitiful 250 new words so far. But, that's okay. I keep telling myself I'm making progress. Sort of.
I hope.

There's been a lot of talk among my writer friends concerning self-publishing vs traditional. Publishing has changed so much in the last few years. It is more difficult to get a contract with a large company and easier to publish it yourself. Which is the best way to go? My book is with a small press and they did a great job with the editing and cover art. Things I didn't want to handle. They have a good promotional department also. But, do I want to continue on that path or try my hand at doing it on my own?
I'm getting ahead of myself. Need to finish the damn book first.

Last week I hosted my author friend Lisa Medley and her new book. I tweeted the heck out of it and I had the most page views ever. Thanks to everyone who came by. I don't know if it was the tweets, the Google keywords or Lisa's fan base, but something definitely worked. I hope everybody keeps coming back.

I'll quit rambling (at least until next week).


Friday, January 9, 2015

FRIDAY STIR FRY - Author Spotlight

I'm pleased to highlight my good writer friend Lisa Medley. Her new offering, Haunt My Heart is now available.  Don't you just love the cover! This is on my 'to be read list' and I can't wait. I love a good ghost story and Lisa is a very talented author.  Enjoy this excerpt and be sure and visit her links.
eISBN-13:  978-0-9908856-0-3

A Civil War soldier dies to save his men. Can he find true love to live again?
Sarah Knight has a job she’s good at, a quirky BFF, and a boyfriend who’s bad for her. When Sarah unearths a Civil War artifact on a ghost hunt at Chatham Manor, she brings home more than a souvenir
Lieutenant James “Tanner” Dawson fought for the Union, working as a supernatural liaison for his Major General in a secret Masonic offset called the Brothers of Peril. When he’s hexed by a witch, he learns the only way to save his men is to die himself. But death is not the end. Awakening 150 years later, he knows if he wants to be corporeal again, he has to find true love to break the hex—a task no easier in 21st century than it was in the 19th.
Excerpt from Chapter One:
 “Hurry up, Sarah. We’re going to miss the ghost!”
Sarah Knight rolled her eyes in the cold December darkness, but trotted after Ellie’s bouncing flashlight beam. Sarah’s heels crunched through the frozen topsoil as she crossed the lawn, and she worried about the damage being done to her only pair of sensible work shoes. Ellie had failed to mention this would be on an outdoor excursion.
Ellie had been dragging her out on girls’ nights against her better judgment since they graduated from college. Last month, they’d gone to a mixed martial arts fight, complete with blood, screaming and more than one missing tooth. And that had been the spectators.
Ellie had a strange idea of fun. It was only in the car on the way over that Sarah had learned tonight’s adventure would be a ghost hunt.
Sarah and Ellie caught up to the tour group as the leader, a tall dark-haired man in his mid-forties, wrapped up his ghost-hunting protocol explanation. She’d missed the rules. Ellie wouldn’t care about missing that part. She hated following the rules, but Sarah was a little miffed. If she was going ghost hunting, she wanted to know exactly what the boundaries were.
“Great,” Sarah whispered. “We missed the rules.”
“At least we didn’t miss the ghost,” Ellie pointed out. “And they haven’t doled out the equipment yet.” Ellie’s mouth split into a mischievous smile, and she angled up closer to the group leader.
“Again, my name is Allen if you have any questions during the tour. Since we have such a large group tonight, we’ll split into two teams. Carla will take this half.” Allen sliced an imaginary line through the group of twenty or so ghost-hunters. “And the rest of you will go with me.”
Relieved she and Ellie were on the same side of the line, Sarah snuggled up closer to her friend and surveyed the rest of their team. A middle-aged couple, a grandmotherly woman, and a group of ten sorority girls—exactly the type of girls she’d avoided in college—made up Team Allen. The girls sported matching Greek-lettered sweatshirts, scarves and mittens and tittered incessantly. Sarah was fairly sure their chance of seeing a ghost with this group was nil. Fine with her. Ellie was the one who went for the paranormal stuff.
“We’ll walk the path where the Lady in White has typically been spotted. Carla’s team will cover the grounds around the house,” Allen said. He nodded to Carla, and she gave him a little salute, then led her team around to the side of the building. Allen’s group stayed put in the doorway.
“First, I’ll need a couple of volunteers,” Allen announced.
Ellie’s hand shot up before Sarah could register what was happening. “We’ll do it.”
Classic Ellie, leaping before she looked. She didn’t even know what she was volunteering for. It could be anything. If Allen wanted virgins to sacrifice, however, he was out of luck.
Allen pulled two little handheld meter devices out of his messenger bag. His brows lowered a bit as he studied Ellie, cast his eyes around the group, then settled back to her. Ellie’s enthusiasm won out and Allen handed one device to her and the other to Sarah.
“This is the Anomaly Detector,” Allen said with all the reverence of presenting the sword Excalibur. “It measures EMP and temperature. If these lights change, it’s your job to let us know. I’ll be taking photos and interacting with the ghost, trying to draw her out. I can’t keep my eyes on all of the devices at once. Can you manage this?”
“Absolutely,” Ellie squealed.
Sarah resisted rolling her eyes again. She accepted the detector and did her best to reduce her scowl.
“It’s okay to be skeptical,” Allen said. “It makes it all the more exciting when we convert you to a believer.” His smile warmed and Sarah realized he was actually handsome. Old, but handsome. What an otherwise normal and attractive man—who was way old enough to know better—was doing leading a bunch of ghost hunters, she had no idea. People were strange. She supposed she’d have to include herself in that judgment, considering she now held a ghost detector.
 Lisa Medley writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance about monsters in love, because monsters need love too. Look for Reap& Repent (Bk 1) and Reap & Redeem (Bk 2) of The Reaping Series, available now. A lover of beasties of all sorts, she has a farm full of them in her SW MO home including:  one child, one husband, two dogs, two cats, a dozen hens, thousands of Italian bees and a guinea pig. Not so in love with the guinea pig. She can do ten pushups IN A ROW and may or may not have a complete zombie apocalypse bug-out bag in her trunk at all times. Just. In. Case.

Friday, January 2, 2015


A local writing group I belong to does a thing called Jano. It's based on National Novel Writing Month, but we do it in January. Get it? Anyway, the idea came to pass because one of our members thought November was just too busy. And January has 31 days. It's small peas compared to Nano, but it is a very supportive and motivated bunch. It's not too late to join. Check it out here.

I'm attempting AGAIN to finish Coming Home, my second book. I don't know why I keep trying to finish it. Well, never mind, I do know why. It's about a woman who comes back home to bury her mother after she dies in a nursing home. I had to place my mother in a nursing home. It was the most agonizing decision of my life. And for the two years she lived there, I hated myself. I questioned if I could have done more for her. Every time she would ask me to take her home. And every time, I left with tears in my eyes because I couldn't. I felt like that boat - adrift and lonely.

My mother died eight years ago and I still feel the pain of my decision. If I don't finish this story, I may never find peace. Here is an excerpt drawn directly from my experience. Maybe you will see why I have to finish this.

As they made their way down the hallway, the woman tried drawing Jennifer into small talk.  It fell mainly on deaf ears as Jennifer took in the all too familiar surroundings. She realized this would be the last time she would see the picture of Jesus with the art light illuminating him from above as if he just descended from his heavenly throne. Or, the fish tank with all the colorful inhabitants immune to the sickness and distress around them, the filter bubbling fresh air into their environment. A "Footsteps in The Sand” poem in a gilded frame hung above the fake mahogany table with a silk flower arrangement, the wheelchairs barely missing it as they paraded down the hall three times a day on their way to the dining room.
 Then there were the sounds, the crying and the moaning. The calls for help that the staff learned to tune out but Jennifer never did. The flushing of toilets and the loud radio and television sets all tuned to different stations creating a kaleidoscope of noise. The smell of defeat permeated the air creeping into every fiber of her body.