Thursday, February 21, 2019

ANNOUNCEMENT

Not only is Blogspot sending a message that my blog isn't a secure site, it is in many cases blocking access to it. Readership has fallen drastically. Of course, there doesn't seem to be any contact info so I might ask what's going on, so there will be no more posts at this site--only on my website which you can access HERE.

I won't delete this site for a few weeks so anyone who manages to get here can access the link. Meanwhile. I post regular notices of new blogs on my Facebook Author Page.

Years of blogs will be down the drain, but I've been keeping copies for about four years, so all is not completely lost. 


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The trip that wasn't...and pink polka dot panties


   As I write this, I am supposed to be in my hometown of San Angelo, Texas. Unfortunately, American Airlines had other ideas. But let me start at the beginning…


Monday

   After ferrying the Bun and the Twinks in to the vet where they would be boarding—and the Twinks would be spayed—and enduring the dirtiest of dirty looks from both of them—I drove to Little Rock to spend the night before my flight the next morning.

Tuesday

   To appreciate this story, you must know that I always arrive at the airport practically naked to avoid any hassles at security. No jewelry—not even my wedding ring—no metal grommets in jeans, nothing but undies, jeans, and a tee shirt. All set, right?
   This time—wrong.
   The lovely machine which looks where it has no business looking signaled “alarm” in the parts it shouldn’t have seen to begin with. I was told to step aside to be patted down. I’ve always said someone would end up posting bail for me if any nasty blue gloves went down my pants or up my shirt. If the woman who was going to do the pat-down hadn’t been so darned personable and right-down nice, I might have made good on my predictions. She was professional and fairly quick. Of course, the male agent stood looking on.

   Then she swabbed my hands stating, “We have to be sure you haven’t been making bombs.” It was obvious she was joking, but I said to her, “If I said that word, you’d have me arrested.” Finally, my bag was searched, but when the agent mentioned “keys”, I pointed him to the pocket where I’d stashed my car/house keys. He removed them and said, “I have to be sure all of them are keys.” Okay, whatever.
   Finally, I was free to go. Shoes and sweater on, wedding ring and earrings on, checked to be sure all cash was still where I’d hidden it (isn’t it sad to feel you have to do that?), and proceeded to the gate.
   My question is: if those machines are supposed to be so dependable, why the false alarms? I mean, please—there was nothing “down there” except my pink polka dot panties! What’s the next step in intimate searches?
   Uneventful flight to DFW where my flight to San Angelo was delayed twice. Then the agent announced that a plane was coming “from the hangar” and we would be boarding soon. Eight to ten minutes later, the flight was cancelled, and we were told to proceed back up the concourse where we would be re-booked.  No mention of compensation for hotels and meals—and no, it wasn’t a weather issue as the planes were taking off regularly and to towns in the vicinity of where I was going.
   Well, I didn’t want to wait around until almost five o’clock this afternoon and trust the flight to  go on schedule even then. So I asked to be re-booked back to Little Rock. 
    It was pouring a cold, nasty rain in LR, and my bag didn’t catch up with me until this morning. But I shuttled to the hotel where I always stay. The staff doesn’t have much of a turnover, and I feel like they’re friends. 

Wednesday

   So, here I sit tonight, disappointed but satisfied I made the right decision. I would have lost a day and a half out of my trip which was short enough. I’ll miss the class dinner tomorrow night and all the necks I wanted to hug. These things happen.
   I’m shooting for April—and this time, I think I’ll drive, even though it will take 2 days. I was told I wouldn’t lose the unused miles, but I wouldn’t make book on that. Like TSA, the airlines pretty much do what they want to do, and no one reins them in.
   But life happens, and there are some positives about being home. I’m focusing on those.  




Sunday, February 17, 2019

Psst! Here's a tip!





   Just ran across this most relevant article “50 Self-Care Tips for Writers” by Pauline Wiles. Even if you aren’t a writer, they apply across the board.
   But I’d like to add one more tip:

Don’t take yourself so seriously!

You're NOT king of the hill!
  
 I honestly believe most of our stress in any situation comes from focusing too much on ourselves, and writers are some of the worst offenders. I’d love to find a writers group with room to wiggle, but they’re too crowded with egos for my taste.

   Let me be the first to admit I have some degree of ability to write a story. Notice I didn’t say “talent”, because it’s the ability to stick with the grueling job of getting that story written, edited and finding a publishing venue that overrides any innate writing talent a person might have.

   Also, let me say that there are other writers out there who have much more talent/ability than I do, but I don’t believe writing is a competitive sport. For me it’s something to enjoy doing and take pride in accomplishing. I have a realistic view of my place in the so-called writing world, and it’s not being wined and dined on a sales tour by one of the “big boys/big five” publishers.

   I’m so grateful for the smaller publishers who have taken a chance on me like The Wild Rose Press and more recently Solstice. And, I acknowledge I need to do more in the way of marketing to sell books and get some return for their efforts.

   Some of my books are indie-pubs, and that’s been a learning curve, let me tell you! I’ve been ready to throw up my hands in disgust (and sheer exhaustion) more than once, but after a while I was able to joyfully sing that catchy song from “My Fair Lady”—which says, “She’s got it!”

   Listen, folks, we all put on our pants one leg at time. So wear them with a little humility, and enjoy proclaiming, “I write,” when someone asks what you do. Don’t go into a long diatribe about my novel or my publisher or my editor. No one cares. If they want to know more, they’ll ask. It’s okay to toot your horn a little but not too loudly and not too much.

Not your best foot forward...

   What I take seriously is living every day God gives and enjoying it fully. In the end, that’s all that counts.


Thursday, February 14, 2019

From Ruthann's War...a little love...


Okay, so it’s Valentine Day, the day for lovers everywhere. To mark the occasion, here’s a brief excerpt from Ruthann’s War. Not graphic (I don’t write graphic), not hot, just a warm, fuzzy look at the (unexpected) growing love between Drew and Ruthann.





“I never had a high school sweetheart. Maybe that’s why Jack swept me off my feet.”
“We can be swept off our feet for many reasons. It happened to me, too, but that’s another story. Right now I’d just like to hear you say you’ll stand your ground.”
“I don’t know if I can.”
     “You’ll never know unless you try.”
     She felt the breath go out of her as he lifted her hands to his lips. “I’ve never had to fight for anything, not really. I suppose I just expected I’d have everything I ever wanted just handed to me,” she admitted.
     “Life doesn’t work that way.”
     “I’m finding that out.”
     He took her face between his hands. “It’s been a long time since I looked at a woman. I like looking at you.” Once again his eyes drew her and held her without the promise of escape.
     For a moment she felt as if her breath had been cut off. “Why now?” she heard herself whisper. “Why me?”
     “I don’t know.”
     “You don’t know.”
     “I do know I’d like to kiss you.” When she didn’t reply, he brushed her lips with his, gently at first, then with a depth of passion Ruthann couldn’t ever remember feeling with Jack. “That was very nice,” he murmured. “I’m not sure we can improve on it, but I think we should try.” This time she could feel his heart beating against her, and his lips lingered until she knew she was losing all sense of reason.
     He didn’t kiss her again when he left her at the door of the boarding house, but she couldn’t wash away the taste of those hungry kisses, nor could she forget the reckless emotions they engendered in her.



Don't forget to enter the Amazon give-away for a free copy of Ruthann's War. It ends the 16th, so follow the link to enter by following my Amazon Central Page.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Women's War 1941-45


  

 In Ruthann’s War, I briefly sketch the heroine’s wartime service in a munitions factory while her fiance flew bombing runs over Germany. When she realized he wasn’t coming home, and when her job ended, she had to move on to the profession she’d trained for—teaching school.
She, like so many others, had fought their own war at home. I thought you might enjoy some facts about women in the workforce during World War II.



    By 1945, 37% of the American workforce were women. Six million of them. About 350,000 women were in the U.S. Armed Forces in some capacity. The aircraft industry claimed 310,000 women workers. And the Womens Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS) took over the “mundane” flying chores such as ferrying planes from one place to another in order to free the men for service overseas.
    Many of the women who left home and hearth had husbands serving in the military. They had a vested interest in getting the war over with as soon as possible. Many of them needed the extra income to supplement their husbands’ allotments. (One private reported the sum of $21 deducted from his pay to be sent home to his wife.)
    The women with children needed daycare if family members or friends weren’t available to pitch in. So Congress passed the Lanham Act to fund care for 600,000 children at 3000 centers across the United States.
    With food, gas, and even clothing rationed, women had to figure out how to feed and clothe their families.
    When the war ended, the men came home and expected, in many cases, to return to the jobs they’d left behind. They and others often expected women to just go home. But what about the women whose husbands weren’t coming home? They were on their own now. Some had children to support. And some women just enjoyed working away from home and wanted to continue.


    Ruthann realizes she’s just treading water. She loves the children she teaches, but she always envisioned children of her own. Then she meets Drew Mallory, who just happens to be the superintendent of schools—and also twenty years her senior with a grown daughter.
Do they have a future? Or will inexplicable unseen forces succeed in keeping them apart?




One FREE Kindle copy of Ruthann's War just for liking my Amazon Central Page

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Website Prose and Promo Woes

World War II is over.
Can Ruthann fight one more battle for the man she loves?



   I’ve been busy this week working on my website and decided while I was at it to do a promo for one of my books. Now, why I would try to do two time-consuming, labor-intensive things at once is anybody’s guess. In short, it’s been a killer week.
   At least it’s done—until the next needed update and promotion. The latter is at least a month off, thank goodness, and the website design should be good to go for longer than that. You’ve heard the old saying, “No pain, no gain”. Well, “No promotion, no sales” is also true.
   As I’ve said before, I’m not trying to earn a living by writing. I’m retired. At leisure. Finished with the nine-to-five (or, in my case as a teacher, eight-to-three + after school and working at home).  In my bio I say I’ve been writing since I could hold a #2 pencil, and in retirement it was time to put up or shut up. That’s how I started writing in earnest and submitting for publication—and, of course, dabbling in indie-pub ventures.
   Do pop over to that website I’ve labored on this week where you’ll find this month’s featured book is Ruthann’s War, a vintage romantic suspense published by The Wild Rose Press in 2017. You’ll find a blurb and a trailer on the home page, and a separate page for favorite quotes from the May/December love story. If you’re reading this blog on the website, how easy is it to click on those pages?
   I’ve done two promos, and those of you who write know about the bios, book covers, links, synopses, and interviews involved in getting one of those ready to submit. (Also $$ in the case of paid sites.) It isn’t something you sit down and do in your spare fifteen minutes.
   However, for you readers, it’s as simple as a click of the mouse and a few minutes—so do it! As my father used to say, “My tard (tired) hurts.” Make my pain count, huh?







Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Moved

Please visit The Word Place 
now published on my website.