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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Classic Movies

This week celebrates John Wayne's 100th anniversary, and one of the networks is running 100 hours of marathon John Wayne. Does it date me to admit I remember watching his movies for real and not as re-runs?

Tonight they played the classic Red River. True heroism in every sense of the word . . . oddly enough the real hero of the movie wasn't John Wayne, alias Dunston, but the young boy he'd adopted by the name of Matthew Garth. Great hero name--down to earth with real meaning behind it.

A mature Matthew Garth, hardened by the Civil War, returns to Texas and Dunston, his surrogate father, only to find the ranch he loves and help birth in desperate straights. Why? Carpet-baggers and money-grubbers abound in the state of Texas after the war. The only solution is to drive Dunston's herd of 9,000 + cattle further North to a railroad. During the cattle drive, things go bad, as of course, they must for any western to be a classically good western. Unfortunately, Dunston (Wayne) loses his prospective in this die-or-lose-the-ranch campaign. Who's strong enough to stop Dunston when he crosses the humanity line? Reluctant hero Matthew Garth steps in and stills Dunston's atrocity. I'd say any character who could face down John Wayne is hero material for me. It was a great study of heroism for future characters.

The romance (always my favorite) was a bit corny, but true-to-heart and therefore, perfectly redeemable.

Red River was well worth my invested time. How much TV can we say that about these days?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Moving The Kid Home . . .

I’ll date myself by admitting I have a college-aged kido.

I don’t know how she got that old . . . or how I got this old—Yippes, I really need to figure out time travel or at least how to pay for plastic surgery.

The start of the school year was grueling, and for those who lived the turbulent first weeks with me, THANKS for helping me keep my sanity or, at least, finding it when it went missing. It’s impossible to believe an entire school year has passed and suddenly, it’s time to move the kid home again.

On move-out day, we girded ourselves with gas in the tank (way too expensive gas, but that’s for another blog), bottled water and as much fast food as we could stomach and still get our jeans to zip, then headed for Texas A and M. Our trip down was a little slower than my college-age kido normally makes the trip. Could have been the lumbering gait of my 13-year-old van or the fact I don’t drive with my foot through the gas pedal. Despite our slow progress, we managed to hit campus, find a parking place (something just short of a Divenchy miracle) and still arrive at her dorm only slightly behind schedule. I don’t dwell too much on being on time; it simply demands that I stay on schedule and leave when I’m supposed to. Where’s the fun in that?

Did I mention she hadn’t packed before we arrived? Oh wait, there was a suitcase full of clothes and one bag of who knows what thrown together. I suddenly understood her tremendous desire for our speed. She was waiting for the sucker packers—occasionally known as ‘family’—to arrive.

My child and I have different packing strategies—to put it mildly. She wants everything perfectly organized, bubble-wrapped, labeled, and placed for quick recovery. My answer to her wants: I sent her out to get lunch. My packing may not be organized, but it was done—quickly! Hey, nothing broke in the trip home. Of course, there has been the unloading dilemma. She can’t quite understand why her cans of soups were packed inside her socks. Simple—they didn’t rattle around that way. She didn't get the whole alarm clock, toothbrush and fuzzy slippers in the same bag, either. Hello? Morning stuff! I thought she learned something in college. Maybe learning a packing regiment is for her sophomore year.

Has she found everything yet? Nope. After all, there has to be some parental justice in this world. My goal is to torture my children as often as possible. Did I mention, I’m really good at it?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Poetry anyone?

Want to read my Poetry?

Click on Author's Den

Left-hand column will show a listing of my Poetry entries, available Articles, and an excerpt from HARM’S WAY.

Enjoy the read.


Sunday, May 6, 2007

Climbing Status . . .

This past weekly my editor passed along some rather terrific news.

HARM’S WAY has climbed the ranks and is the #1 Best Seller for the Crimson Rose imprint—that’s the Romantic Suspense line at The Wild Rose Press.

Not possible I thought! It’s a first release, only been out a few weeks. I was sure my editor had spent too long attached to her computer and her eyes had crossed. How could MY book be #1?

I logged into the Crimson Rose page and up popped the CURRENT Best Seller list, and sure-shooting, as we say here in Texas, HARM’S WAY was listed at #1. I’ll admit I did the happy dance around my computer—not a pretty sight, but luckily I don’t have a web cam set up so your sight has been saved.

Then I cruised the Wild Rose Press homepage and there on the right-hand side of the screen HARM’S WAY was listed as #10 on the Best Seller list for all CURRENT books. NOT just for Romantic Suspense, but out of all the books currently released by Wild Rose Press, my book was #10. Okay, happy dance wasn’t sufficient this time. I squealed loud enough to get my kids out of their bedrooms and make the dog bark. This past week I’ve thrilled as HARM’S WAY continued to climb the overall Best Sellers list. Right now, it’s sitting at #6.

Okay, so you’re not a writer, don’t care anything about the publishing industry, what does all that mean?

It means, I say THANK YOU. Humbly and profoundly, to all of you who have been to the Wild Rose Press website and supported my writing efforts, I say thanks. You’ve spent your money to support me. I hope the read was worth your time.

Many of you are my writing buds and to all of you who have too little time and already too much in your TBR stack, I say a huge thank you. As one of my best friends, fellow writer and Golden Heart finalist, LA Mitchell said, ‘Main support—the REAL kind, not just the chocolate-covered words with hollow centers—comes from writing friends.’ Thank you for understanding how hard the work really is, and supporting me through your emails, calls, and book purchases.

Some of you are readers who found the book blurb interesting, the cover art too great to ignore, or simply stumbled across a HARM’S WAY excerpt on the Internet and were intrigued enough to purchase the book. To those who trusted me to deliver a great story, I thank you for your willingness to give a newly released Crimson Rose author a chance.

Some of you have purchased because you’re long-time friends and have graciously listened (no, your eyes didn’t glaze over too often) to me drone on about writing and publishing. To those who purchased simply because you love me as a friend, THANKS for being in my corner and making this publishing ride so thrilling.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

My characters need a time-out . . .

When my kids were small, I employed the ‘time-out’ system. Sometimes it was one of my children (the instigator), at other times, all three ended up in time-out--just for a little mom peace and quiet. Even I occasionally served time-out (when I couldn’t think of a fesible, adult way to handle the latest, drama-queen or drama-king crisis, I pulled a Napoleon and retreated behind closed doors. Quick regroupings can be the only thing that saves a mom's sanity). At my mommy meanest, I’ve even sentenced unsuspecting toys (normally the culprit for whatever was wrong in that moment) to a life-term in the chair.

While, those days are in the past for me, I’m seriously considering a re-instatement of the ‘time-out’ program. My characters, in my WIP, TRICKLE OF LIES, are headed there in a serious way.

Today, they absolutely wouldn’t play nice and not a single word came from their collective mouths that didn’t require intense rework.

It was five pages of mush that had to be body-slammed, I'm talking body-slammed by a Sumo Wrestler, in order to find anything useable. Five pages and multiple hours. Nope, I'm not going to admit how long it took me to make these characters behave. Let's just say, I could have enjoyed a day at the spa for all the time I invested.

Someone told me this writing job was fun. Who was it? Oh yeah, heard it in the news.

Last week--some news story or another--claimed to know the top jobs that made people the happiest:
TOP position: anything in the religious industry (pick a clergy and they were happy)
SECOND position: firefighters (apparently saving people is a real natural high)
THIRD position: physical therapists (okay, I don’t even have to explain this one)
AND, drum roll . . .
FOURTH position: authors (seriously, the interviewer for this news program had to blindside authors in the middle of happy hour.)

So, here’s how I sum it up – twisted, sicko that I am:
If you talk to God, (clergy)
Get to play God, (firefighter)
Enjoy God’s creatures (physical therapist)
As an author, simply get to be God, {remember, it’s authors who can legally kill characters off and no body says a word}. Well, I guess maybe that’s why authors are happy. I sure thought it was the booze.

5 Fort Worth -- TEXAS -- bars Worth The Stop!

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