Monday, March 16, 2015

Put that money roll back in your pocket, this here fiction is free

Looks like the kindle version of The Time Seekers is free today, so if you haven't downloaded it yet and want to but can't because your index finger is broken, or because you don't have a computer (and if so, how are you reading this??), then I suggest you find a friend with a useable unit and head on over to Amazon and get a copy, or not, it's up to you, but if I were you I'd go ahead and do it because good karma and stuff like that, and no, you don't have to tell me you like it or hate it or anything, but if you do end up downloading the sucker, Sarah McLachlan will save a puppy, and that's just being a good human being.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Is It Summer Yet?

We are this much closer to Spring Break and (can you believe it?) summer. On the last day of school, 2014, I took the the kids for a country drive while singing a rebellious Alice Cooper anthem. They were happy, and I was happy . . . anyway, who needs to wake up early and go to bed early and pack lunches and join the car brigade and do all that homework? Not us. Not me. After arriving home, we set up a backyard picnic and donned our bathing suits for a cool swim. The next thing you know it's fall, and all that brash singing is only a echo on drought-tinged Kansas dust particles. Life moves way too fast.

The good times, when summer was all fresh and sparkly.

Now we've somehow gotten ourselves through another winter and again summer looms. I can barely wait because, even though I love having my free time, you know how much I adore having the kids at home. The truth is, a hole grows in my heart and grow and grows, and I miss them and miss them even though I try like crazy to deny it. I actually ache when they are gone. Okay, maybe I love my kids too much. They don't complete me, but damn near.

This year has seen its considerable hardships, including long homework sessions where I was forced to learn fractions and all that stuff so I could become a better teacher. Julia has had a lot of trouble staying focused, and throw in some difficult fourth-grade homework, and we're talking major frustration. Hate to say it, but Common Core is the worst. I know it's supposed to be more effective in the long run, but dang, can't a kid just do one math sheet without 'regroup' instead of 'borrow' and word problems that defy human logic, such as: If Paul has a dog, and that dog eats one bowl of kibble every morning, how many times does Paul wash his socks? 

It's a joke, but not really.

The point is, I am ready for a break and so are the kids. We can go back to pranking each other and playing Minecraft and taking little day trips. It fills my heart with joy. And dread. The kid next door tries my last nerve. The problem with having my kids at home, is having everyone else's kids at home as well. He knocks, he rings, he bangs on the door. If the door's not locked, he walks in and takes food and then walks out and starts the whole process in five minutes. Yes, I have made it clear that his behavior is unacceptable, but still it goes on. I know some folks believe in free-range parenting, but holy hell, why do they always have to next door to me?

But first we must get through these last remaining days of winter, which doesn't look to be that difficult seeing how it's 70 and awesome outside. Now, this is the kind of winter I like! My apologies to any of you out there still dealing with those yucky 'real' winter conditions. That must be awful.

Some pictures from my exciting life . . .

Coco, the royal queen of all cats (according to Julia). Notice she's sitting on one of Julia's math sheets. Good kitty.

More Coco. Because she's cute.

And fluffy.

A very blurry cardinal.

And my beautiful daughter, who is growing up way too fast.



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Update

Working on edits. Not working on edits. Slacking. Being a lazy jerk. Pretending. Okay, working. Finding song to help me work. Good song. Song ends. Finding another song. Bathroom break. Play with my dog because he looks bored. Eating something bad. Cleaning counter. High kick in the air. What's on TV? Finding my way back to edits. Day's over. Gotta pick the kids up from school.

How's your day?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

City of Love


By David Monniaux (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.0 fr (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

I'm getting excited about the coming edits for The Love Seekers. Now let's admit it, edits are never fun, but I miss this book so much. Not sure if it's the characters, or the places Emma goes that I miss, but I am totally ready to jump back into action. Ask me in three weeks, and I might have a different story to tell.

When I began the first draft it wasn't a concrete idea to have Emma go to Paris, but then it is the city of love after all. I spent a lot of time on the internet watching videos and looking up maps and locations before writing that whole section. It did overwhelm me, to be honest. I thought, there's no way in hell I can effectively carry this off—I've never been to Paris! I've never even left the country! But something compelled me. There is French lineage in my family and I guess it's gonna come out, regardless of where a person grows up.

And now . . . I want to visit Paris. Things are in a state of unrest at the moment for them, and I have no money (what's new!), but someday it will happen. I've always loved Montmartre and all the characters who lived there. I want to kick it like La Goulue and Jane Avril in front of the Moulin Rouge, hehe. And I have some long legs, so watch out! Anyway, I'll keep dreaming and someday I'll get there.

For now, I get to do it through writing and editing. I get to be Emma and live in a small apartment in Montmartre. I get to buy 'shit art' and meet a young French man who'll compare me to the Statue of Liberty. It's a nice way to pass the time . . .

Hope all my friends here are safe and warm today. Thanks for reading!

Peace & Love to you!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Let's be honest

I'm going to be honest and admit that it has been painful to see The Time Seekers not get off the ground the way I'd want it to. But . . . I also understand why it didn't, and feel no animosity about the whole deal. Just a slight depression and guilt. It was a hard book to write and maybe it's a hard book to read. My mother loved it, haha. Though she's a tough critic and I do actually take her opinion with high regard. If she liked it and said it was good, then I believe her. Here's what I think happened: the publishing industry is inundated with a gazillion books, and most of them are super high concept, or they have that nice addictive quality that hits a person's 'sweet spot.' The Time Seekers is a quiet, secretive story about a marriage that isn't working, and a friendship that ended too fast, and Time. That kind of stuff doesn't compete well in a fast-paced world. The other explanation is that it sucks. But you know what's funny? I write what I like to read, and I've always loved really obscure books about relationships—the kind of books shoved in the back of a library with dust all over the cover. I can't stand best sellers. They irk me. Maybe I should take a drug for this condition? So. . . there you go.

But I am extremely happy to work on the third book and see it move toward publication. Maybe I can find a little bit of victory here . . . redeem myself. Lordy, lordy, lordy, let's hope it's possible.

So, we had a few awesome days here in Kansas and now it's awful again. I'm listening to Paul Simon and just trying not to be a huge asshole. What are you guys up to?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Winter Sucks

Well, I've been everywhere when it comes to blogging, but unfortunately I haven't been here. I guess I don't have much to say about myself, or anything in general. I'm a total bore! Maybe it's the time-of-year—it forces one to go into a hibernation mode, just waiting, waiting for March to arrive.

Last week I heard that my edits for The Love Seekers will start up, so that's good news. Maybe working on something again will get me out of this funk. Out of the three, it was probably the most fun to write. I really let Emma do whatever the heck she wanted. So, yeah, you can't beat that. It's every writer's dream to take a character and say, "What am I going to do to you today . . .?" What I love about Emma is, she changes with every affront to her situation. She hurts, she gets mad, she reacts. There's some things in this third book that made me feel so close to her as a fellow woman. She is forced to make some big decisions, and she does face them, and I think she'll surprise readers with the way she evolves throughout the book. Another thing, I had the ultimate experience of writing out what it would be like to be on an 80s 'rock' tour. Pretty crazy! She also goes to Paris, New York, and beautiful Aspen, Colorado. That whole part of the book was like magic to me. I can't even describe it. Hopefully whatever I felt as the writer comes through to the reader, fingers crossed. It was quite something, and I'll never forget the experience. There are times as a writer when you say, can I really pull this off, is this possible, will people believe this? And then there's time you you don't even think, you just create, and that's when the magi happens. It's real, because it's real to you. And that's all that counts.

As always, I thank you fine people for reading my little blog here. Are you sick of winter yet? Have you begun to plan out the garden, or maybe even a delicious beach-side adventure?

Take care and Peace.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Love and lost love in telephone ghosts

Way back when I worked for a famous catalog company that rhymes with H.P. Henny, the days following Thanksgiving were nothing short of hell. If you had taken yourself a happy little vacation to visit the family and eat dead poultry, you had to cart your ass back in time for the barrage of folks who just couldn't wait to get Timmy or Betsy or Susanna or Jim the best new toy, the best new pair of shoes, the best new lingerie—and for daddy—the best new tie. Unfortunately, early shoppers had beaten the pack and it was my job to tell the newbies they were crap outta luck, try another item, and another, and another. But first . . . upon arriving at the telephone center it was customary to stand against the wall and wait for an extra station to open up. Why? Because the staffers had over-scheduled their employees like Santa's elves munching on candy canes dipped in crack. They didn't care if you stood there for an hour, nobody was going to miss this fantastic event of mass consumerism via electrical wires of telephone trading. If and when you found that open station, and the bedraggled worker whose back end had been permanently molded to the shape of a lightly padded office chair passed by with a salute and a muttered, "Is the sun still shining?" you plopped down to a long day broken only by bathroom treks and forays to the cafeteria where husky-voiced women compared ass fat and whose husband had left who that week. It was a good job, and it paid well. I spent most of my time droning out the voices that came across America's over-bloated pocketbook, thinking about a man I'd been dating, and the failure, and the sadness, but the rebirth that comes from failure. The voices helped erase my own less-confident musings. You're no good. "And your next item is . . ." You're not pretty enough. "Repeat that number, please . . ." Would anyone ever love me again? Would I be lonely my entire life? Or would this go on and on and on?

I spent most of my breaks reading and hanging out with the black women who sat by themselves in a far corner of the cafeteria so the white women couldn't hear. I loved their camaraderie, their laughter, their warmth and shared sorrows. They accepted, but cautiously allowed me into their conversations. Then it was back to work. I doodled a lot, faux-shopped a lot. After work I'd light up upon closing the door of my el crappo Chevy. Taking frantic puffs of a Marlboro, I'd ask the angels to guide me. Was I heading in the right direction? Who the fuck was I anyway? Who the fuck was I?

Eventually I got over that man who didn't love me. Christmas came and a new year started. Sometimes it still feels like I'm in that vortex of voices, of sorrow and constant indecision. But this is a new Christmas, a new year and a new time. The questions will never stop, but that's how life is. It's when they go silent, that you should really start to wonder, that you really start to feel old. Ah . . . but I was older then, I'm younger than that now . . .