In the Meanwhile… Look at these darn kittens!

Well, I am back from the New England territories. I would love to tell you I have locked myself in my study and am relentlessly pounding out intriguing tales but…

Just look at these kittens! Who can think straight [much less dark and mysterious] when surrounded by all this adorable fuzzy cuteness.

So, in the meanwhile… look at these darn kittens!

If you have read Cloud Wrangler (Book 4 in the Clan Destiny series) Frieda may come to mind — if not I won’t spoil the ending for you. 😉

Love Is… So Many Things

My initial plan was to post a Wordless Wednesday “Love Is” … with a photo of the hubby painting my toenails . That is pretty darn special but it was the least he could do after making fun of my feet back when, Ha!

 

 

 

But I could not stay quiet.

Love is…  So many things.

I love that my baby girl and I will be in Massachusetts Thursday. YEEE.  [I do not care that she is 30+ years old — she’s baby girl.]  We will be in the Boston area, Salem and Magog Canada for a day. Unless we get drunk in Boston or hung by our necks until dead or burned at the stake in Salem…

Oh poo, they never recognized a real witch anyway. So, drunk is the only thing we will be concerned about.

Of course hubby wants to know the reason for this trip.

Well, I am getting too fat to run the beaches half naked AND it is Nurses Week and Mother’s day is Sunday so…

Happy Nurses Week and Mother’s Day to us!! You gotta love that!

These adventures are stories in the making folks.

At some point I’ll even settle down and start creating tales again — right now I am living them…. Just living out loud and flinging cake against the wall.

By the way if you don’t hear from me in the near future look for me at Halloween I’ll be the bitch witch seeking revenge. 😉

Don’t Quit (Misery Loves Company & Asshats)

NaNoWriMo has barley started and you’re giving up? If you quit at the starting line how the heck are you going to reach the finish line?

Okay. I understand the pressure and the frustration and the fear and the time crunch you have to contend with [really, I do] but don’t quit. Take a deep breath. Let your shoulders drop (it is okay if the world has to float on it’s own for a minute or two) and remind yourself why you took the challenge to begin with.

The above was my partial response to an aspiring author I sometimes guide (guide sounds less hoity-toity than mentor). She continually strives to improve her skill and decided to challenge herself this year with NaNoWriMo. I was so excited for her.

When she said she was throwing in the towel one week into the 30 day challenge my heart sank.

I had to remind myself of two things: #1 this is HER journey. #2 despondency is common among authors, young and old, aspiring and established alike.

The exchange ended with us both feeling more optimistic. For now.

Another handful of emails followed (not participants in WriMo) mostly venting about criticisms which they said too often feels like bullying.

I read some of the criticisms. Honestly, I considered most of the comments as constructive – a little blunt and crude but valid observations. Constructive criticism is valuable.

There were a few however that did have a malicious feel about them. Asshats!

It is not always easy doing what you love… what you feel driven to do… following your passion. Self-doubt is relentless and Asshats… don’t get me started?!!

Insecurity fluctuates; it lessens with experience as the skin thickens but don’t expect Asshats to turn into compassionate humanoids.  Why? Because misery loves company.

Misery loves company

I cannot count the number of times I have heard/felt, “I’m too old”, “I’m afraid”, “I am not good enough” or “I’ve been ridiculed/rejected”. Self-doubt

Nor can I count the times I have heard of/read/experienced pointless insults that serve no purpose other than to humiliate a person. Asshats

So it seems Asshats and uncertainty will always be a part of life; a thing we all have to contend with. “But how?” some ask. Don’t quit.

You can’t lie down and quit. I guess you could but then you would be in a coma. Being comatose is not the answer.

You can’t throat-punch or cuss everyone who hates on you. Well, you can but the fines start racking up and…

Before I confess digress I think I’ll just send you to a more inspiring, graceful article.

Oops, a quick tip: Embrace your feelings (pain, anger, fear, etc.) and use them in your writing. Assign your feelings of defeat and grief to a character and then show the character how to overcome. It can be very healing.

Write on!!

Now check out the post by Joan Hall over at Story Empire and be sure to read the comments.

If you are not already following Story Empire  you should.

Why?

Because they offer countless resources for writers (especially new writers) and they are a great group of people. They don’t allow Asshats and trolls to hang out there.

Celebrating More than His Music

As you all know Tom Petty died Monday.

I was going through my playlist and realized his music was more than just music for me. (Hang on while I get a tissue)

Snort.  Honk.  Sigh.

I sat up late last night burning through my hard-drive and YouTube videos– singing along and remembering…

So many memories were made with Tom Petty doing his thing in the background.

The song that strums my heart strings even this morning and makes me have to blow my nose [again] is Built to Last. It is not in the top ranks of his repertoire but… sniff, sniff.. 

I can’t tell you how many times the husband and I have drank to it, danced [our own dance] by the water and watched the sun go down to the beat of that tune.

sunset on the water (4)

Each time the song subtly reminded me that I … that we are in this for the long run… that we are built to last.

So here’s to you honey: animated-gifs-drinks-068 You don’t have to say anything — I know you’re there.

Here’s to us: animated-gifs-drinks-061    and to sunsets and Tom Petty – all things I love more than I knew.

Into the softness of the night (1024x683)

 

From Port Lavaca to Rockport-Fulton & Back

Four weeks into the aftermath of Hateful Harvey – – the hurricane from hell.

If you have ever visited/lived in the Texas Coastal Bend you know how charming it was… how charming it will be again!

Yes, Harvey wreaked havoc, destroyed homes, businesses and even lives but he did not break the spirit!

harvey landfall august 25 017
There was so much more to photograph. There were weary folks still digging through the ruble, swatting at mosquitoes and pausing to cry. The locals and volunteers shared kinship and friendship and displayed such gratitude for the simplistic things; basic items like trash bags, bug spray, and gloves – things we tend to take for granted on an average day.

Humbling.

Sorry, I did not have the heart to pick up a camera in those seconds of pained expressions amidst devastation – the ones that make for cover worthy photos. I simply lived in the moment and tried not to infringe upon their privacy or their grief.

Depending on Your Perspective

Saturday I posted a photo of an approaching storm with a caption ending in “y’all forgive me but I love a good storm” and it was a very good storm… or a very bad one depending on your perspective.

After posting that photo we journeyed to my son’s home in adjacent Van Zandt county for a fish-fry and enjoyed the show from the safety of his garage. As lightening danced and crackled over the oak trees we cracked jokes, reminisced and watched crispy fillets float to the surface in vats of boiling oil. We didn’t even mind the loss of electricity; it did not affect us — we were cooking with propane.

Little did we know only miles away lives and livelihoods were being destroyed. As we were laughing ourselves to tears, others wept in fear and sorrow.

We made our way back home [to a dark but undisturbed house] as the radio blasted warnings and tales of catastrophe; declaring several tornadoes had passed through the area(s). It turns out there were seven. Seven tornadoes.

I did not perceive the impact until power was restored several days later and I could get a visual.

It definitely causes one to reflect.

These photos were taken yesterday from [almost] the same position of the one Saturday. The same southern tree line is just above this view.

I still love a good storm but lord my heart does break for all those suffering a loss. I would appreciate it if you all would take a few seconds and send a positive thought or prayer their way.

The People of Puerto Vallarta

A couple of weeks ago (see Crazy Conversations) I mentioned going to Mexico with my daughter. I failed to mention my daughter’s friend was accompanying us, but I am so glad she did. She is a cute little thing and full of surprises. You should have seen the baggage handler’s face when she jumped out of the suitcase.

Priceless!
Sadly, she had to pay for the return flight.

Unrestricted buffet, endless alcoholic beverages and cup after cup [after cup] of elot’e made it impossible for her to fit back into the luggage. I am not even going to mention the ice-cream! I suppose all of those extra pounds calories put her over the edge.

That’s the only rationale I have to explain her picking a fight with a mild-mannered radio host at KISS FM, Big Al. It was a terrible sight! Her screaming and punching and cursing at him– she called him everything but Al!

All of that drama just because he sat down beside her. Brooke (800x552)

She is usually so sweet and passive.

As I said, she is full of surprises.
I could only watch in shock.

Thank goodness, the airline had not seated us together.

I glanced across the aisle at my daughter with one of those inquisitive mother looks. You mom’s know what I mean.

She responded by denying that she knew the poor girl and told the stranger sitting beside her, “she should be locked away.” When the polite stranger agreed, she went on to say,

“I had to have my mother put away.”

Of course, that piqued the stranger’s curiosity and she went on to ask why.

“She just lost her mind. Waking up at all hours of the night, clinking cups and banging doors, talking to herself… making up stories and laughing for no apparent reason… I couldn’t get a moments rest.”Jessica (800x532)

Hmm. See why I love this kid?!

Almost as much as I love the people of Puerto Vallarta.