Thursday, December 7, 2017

My Mr. Holland's Opus Moment

I now have Wednesdays off from work so I can have some time to write during the week. At the moment, I'm still working on Twofold Love Comeback, in spite of feeling like I'm at a standstill with plot development.

Yesterday, I decided to "camp out" at the Chick-fil-a in Bearden, inside their study area.  However, when I got there, I was too wired to concentrate. (No, I had not had any caffeine.) It must have been because I had finally had a chance to write somewhere else other than at home and I had just had an edifying conversation with someone. 

If you know me, I can't write without music.  But nothing I played yesterday morning, from the Guess Who to Foreigner, seemed to work.

Then, I thought of this song:

Whenever I hear this song, the only thing I can think of is when Richard Dreyfuss plays a 45 of it in Mr. Holland's Opus.  I love how he says to his student, "These guys...can't sing...and have no harmonics...they're playing the same chords over and over...and I love it."  Because it's fun.  I have always thought the same way about this song ever since I first heard it.

I have to admit I was getting a little frustrated because I wanted to make good use of my day off, to have a productive, meaningful time to write.  But after I heard this popular song, I was relaxed and in a flow to write, though what I had written, in my humble opinion, didn't have much of that same thing.  But I didn't care.  I could always look at it later and change it.  Right now, I just needed to embrace a wonderful moment to pound on the keys as much as I could....because writing is fun.

What did I end up writing?  An idea for the start of the turning point in Twofold Love Comeback.  Approximately 1800 words later, I was satisfied, gathered up all my stuff, and went on to my other commitments for the afternoon.

Friday, October 20, 2017

I'm Considered His Equal

I've heard it said that after two weeks of something great happening to you, you are to put it behind you and look forward to something even better.  I will apply that principle to an awesome opportunity I had two weeks ago today.

Ever since 2014, I have gone to the Fan Boy Expo comic con, whether to go walk around and do my favorite pastime of people watching, to volunteer, or to sell my books.  It didn't occur to me at first that I could meet celebrities, and even attend their question-and-answer sessions and ask questions about anything about their career.  I recall attending the first one without meeting Sean Astin, one of my favorite actors from my childhood.  When I realized I could do this, I decided one of the reasons for me to attend this convention was to meet the celebrities.  In taking this up, I have met Anthony Michael Hall, Bruce Kulick (KISS, Grand Funk Railroad), Richard White (voice of the Gaston in Beauty and the Beast), Twiggy Ramirez (Marilyn Manson).

Two weeks ago, I met Dee Snider at this fall's Fan Boy Expo.  Those of you who are around my age range will remember him from the '80s, with that one much-controversial hit, "We're Not Gonna Take it Anymore".  Of course, Snider himself has gone on to many other things, not the least of which is publishing a few books and doing an unlimited number of things in the film industry.

Needless to say, I wanted to consider him a proud possessor of his own copy of Wise Turned Foolish.

Image result for dee snider

But I had no idea it would exceed my expectations and...yes...even my dream. (I had had a great one a few weeks before this event.)

The following is the script of my few minutes with Dee Snider:

[Enter: Faye Wilson Walton]

Dee: Do you have something for me to sign?

Me:  No.  I have something for you that I will sign.

Dee:  Cool.  [Points to my Sinful Lilly t-shirt].  I love that t-shirt.

Me:  Thank you.  Sinful Lilly needs to open up for you someday. [Writes in book:  Dee- May you always want to rock!  Faye Wilson Walton October 2017.  Hands book to Dee.]

Dee:  As you may know, I've written some books, myself.  This is awesome what you're doing.  Keep it up.

Me:  Thank you. 

[Exit: Faye Wilson Walton]

I spent the rest of the weekend floating.  Why?  Because Dee, in the fast few minutes I had with him, considered me to be his equal.  

Ever since then, I've only wanted to write more and imagine myself talking with him about the great plans I have for my books.  

I'm sure it will happen...or something similar to that, which would be even better.

Based on the dream I had had prior to this meeting, and the reality being bigger and better than that, I only want to imagine things more.  

However, I will now move forward, considering my meeting Dee Snider as a stepping stone.  Yet it would blow my mind if our paths crossed again.  

All I can say is:  I can dream.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

I Mention Your Hit Song in My Book

A year ago at this time, I was working hard at putting a bow on Wise Turned Foolish.  It had been a year and half of an emotional roller coaster, between the depth of the book and a personal health issue I had at the time.  

For those of you who have yet to read it, I will by no means give away the story in this post. But I will say I mention many classic rock songs by such legends as the Beatles, Van Halen, Foreigner

...and Ratt.

Yes, you guessed it:  "Round & Round."

To have this feature in my books allowed me to enjoy marketing it. I joined all of the Facebook group pages for rock music, especially those that honor a certain band, and included an Amazon link to this hot-off-the-press book. Though I knew I'd reach some fans, I never thought I would meet the founding member of one of the above-mentioned bands.  

This past Thursday, I had a chance to meet and hang out backstage with Stephen Pearcy, the lead singer of Ratt, now of the band that bears his name.  Once I noticed it was he, I stepped away for a few minutes to autograph the part of the book where the title of his biggest hit is in print in my book. 

It dawned on me that though I had given copies of The Long Road Around the Corner of Hope and Crawling to the Light to Michael Sweet, George Lynch, and Sean McNabb, I hadn't given it to one whose title of his biggest hit is in it.

Let me tell you what:  Stephen was so touched by it.  He went on to say he is an avid reader and would support me.  As I'm writing this, I find it so surreal I had an opportunity to personally deliver a copy of this book of mine to someone whom I started a "relationship" with via the airwaves back in 1984, only for me to write a book to let myself know how important that song was as part of an anthology of a soundtrack in my personal development.

In a few weeks, there will another rock star I hope I have the chance to meet.  And I will give him a copy of this book.  Who will it be?  For me to know, and for you to find out.  Please stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Living the Rock Star Life, Author Style

In addition to all of the authors of various genres I have in my network, I also have musicians. I love having them in my corner because they too have the same challenges: writing new material, publishing, producing, marketing, and making the time for work and family obligations. I love talking with them, seeing them when I can, and reading about their victories and challenges in making their break, making a new album, or going on tour.

Image result for rock stars

Over the next few months, I'm going to be at events for many weekends where I will be selling my books, after a week of hard work at my day job.  Some of them will be at night and will involve loading and unloading a plastic box full of books and table decor.  There may even be a preferred way of dressing.  In thinking about all of the places I will be, that ranges from jeans and t-shirt all the way to Sunday best.  For all of them, I have to stay on top of the flow of the crowd, making sure I don't miss a sale.

This past weekend, I was a rock-star author in the best way.  I attended the Knoxville Tattoo Convention.  I was there both Friday and Saturday, at my designated table, for long hours. Of course, I have to also include the time I needed beforehand to make sure I had plenty of books and other necessary resources and to locate the place in more than enough time.

After a long weekend, I slept most of Sunday and Monday afternoon and evening after work. It's now time for me to do more writing and preparing for my next "gig".  That will be next Saturday, September 9th from 9am-1pm at the Union County Library.  I look forward to seeing you there, to rock out with me! 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Decaf Books

A few weeks ago, I had to make an unexpected change to my diet.  I had to quit drinking caffeine due to a mild case of reflux.  Of course, my initial thought was, how am I going to write when I don't drink the liquid stimulant that allows me and many other writers to stay up late at night and think of great ideas?

For three weeks, I weaned myself off it.  During that time, I continued writing.  Guess what happened when I had less caffeine?  I was able to think better.  The ideas for my stories were coming easier to me.  I loved so much what was happening to me, it almost made me regret not having this happen when I was working on The Long Road Around the Corner of Hope or Crawling to the Light.

But then I had to remind myself this is a process.  I can only learn from it and move on and be better at this craft.

Secondly, it means my mind is getting clearer.  I couldn't help thinking of when I started on the second draft of Wise Turned Foolish.  I had just had a major surgery.  Two weeks later, I looked at it and noticed how disjointed everything was.  Though I was happy to write as an outlet for all of the pain I had had from endometriosis, I realized everything was so inconsistent and sometimes even repetitive.  I pretty much rewrote the whole story.

The same applies to my current work on Professional Fans and Twofold Love Comeback (formerly Two Suitors).  I've been busy decaffeinating them, making them clearer and have a better flow to them.

So much clearer I can think now because of not drinking any more caffeine, I can't get ideas on paper fast enough.  So if you need to talk to me, and I'm not available, I'm busy writing even better books.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

How Do I Know I'm a Writer?

Three books into my author career (with a fourth one coming really soon), and I am just now figuring out what renders me as a dedicated writer.

Here they are:

  • I make sure to take my laptop with me every time I go out of town.
  • I have pens of various colors in my purse.
  • I have pads everywhere around my house and even in my purse.
  • Any spare time I have at home, and when my husband is busy with something at home, I write.
  • When I have to try hard to not say the name of one of my characters, who is a portrayal of the person I'm talking to.
  • When I hear autobiographical songs, such as "All Summer Long" by Kid Rock, and want to cry.
  • I bristle every time someone says to me, "That is something to put in your books."
  • Every other thing I talk about is my books.
  • In conversations, I talk about my characters as if they are real people.  I've done this a time or two.
  • I talk about something that had happened...only to find it was something I had written in my book, it didn't happen in real life.
  • When my husband sees a car on a car auction show, it's one that one of my characters drives, and he asks me about it.  I give him the character and what book it is from.
  • I quote things from my books in conversations.
  • I would see someone and maybe even talk with them.  They look the way one of my characters would, and I try not to tell them so, even if those characters were good ones.
  • Last but not least, when I consider my main characters my children.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Why I Should Live in a Hotel Room

I spent this past weekend in a hotel room.  

But it wasn't to get away and write.  While I could do that (and I did), it was for an AmVets conference. Though I knew I would be busy with meetings for two whole days, I took my laptop, journal, and notebook with me anyway, knowing I'd have some time in the mornings and evenings to write.  And I knew inspiration would strike, so I decided to not pack lightly for this.

As soon as I got there, I was reminded of the great things I could do when I only have a bed, a refrigerator, a desk with a swivel chair, and a bathroom.  And I have a housekeeper. Therefore, no dishes to wash, no laundry to do, not even a bed to make.  All I have to say about that is: Bring on more creativity!

What did I spend Friday and Saturday mornings doing?  Working on Professional Fans.  I believe this was the first time I had been able to work on it when out of town.  Having the time and temporary break from any other responsibilities made the difference in my being able to concentrate on it.

I probably don't need to tell you any of this.  You who are writers yourselves already know the benefits of staying in a hotel room just to write.  But sometimes I need to be reminded of small things like that, and when I'm longing for alone time just to write but spend my time sometimes resisting distractions.

I was so involved in the writing, I almost forgot to go to the meetings.  As the first day (Friday) unfolded, I noticed I had about two hours for lunch.  What did I do?  You guessed it. But I did it in style.

I sat on a lounge chair by their indoor pool and continued my writing.  The funny thing is, for a while I had envisioned writing by a body of water, whether it was a pool or the beach.  I knew in doing so, I would be able to think of great ideas.  And they just kept coming!

Needless to say, pretty soon, I had to remind myself why I had to come here in the first place.  Great things were happening, great character development.  I was working hard at making Professional Fans un-disjointed.  These are some examples of how I made it that way.

As can be expected from what became this stupid amount of time to write, I only wanted to do it more.  

It was such that though my hotel was only a half mile from all of the shopping and sightseeing I could possibly do, I did none of that.  

This book, as you can see, has a hold on me.  I cannot wait to release it and have it in your hands.

In an attempt to draw this post to a close, I'm having to watch my time, which is very limited this morning, before I have a full day of work.  Hopefully, I will be able to keep my desire to write more at bay.  If not, I may have to check into another hotel room...maybe for about two weeks.  Oh, if only I could!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Dancing 'Cross the Pages

"Rain, play my song today.
No one wants to know me anyway.
Perfect lover, where are you?
I can't wait much more for you to come true?"

These are a few of the first lines from Heart's melancholy ballad, "Magazine."  I have known that song for thirty years now and have always liked it.  It wasn't until I started writing that I found the reason why not only Heart is my all-time favorite band, but the purpose of this song in my life. (Yes, to me, songs can have purposes.)

It rained this morning.  I was at work.  I couldn't concentrate.  If the last time it rained as hard as it had done today was anything to go by, I'd be able to leave early.  In fact, when this possibility sank in, I sang those words to that familiar classic Heart song.

After the great weekend I had had, at the Perry Stone Regional Conference, I was re-inspired, refreshed, and ready to go.  The only thing I wanted to do was write.  To have to wait until after dinner to do it would have almost been the death of me.  

I am still working very hard on finishing Professional Fans.  I am determined to get the first draft done sometime this month.  I believe this has been the most rewarding project I have ever done.  After reading many parts of it to family and friends, I have received great feedback about it.  They want to read more of it.  

The more I work on this, the less I like being away from it for a long period of time. Even one day would cause a noticeable separation anxiety.

It poured hard today!  What did that mean for me?  I got my wish:  To go home early and get to writing as soon as I could.

But there was a problem:  I couldn't think clearly due to the rain, I wasn't easily motivated. The first song I cued up once I got in front of my laptop...

Hearing that song on a rainy Monday morning never fails to get me in the right mindset to write. Playing this song, and drinking a little bit more of some sweet tea, I got to work.  It's now just after 8. As I put a bow on this post, and this day, I'm glad I can lay my head down on my pillow and know I accomplished a lot of writing today, took advantage of all of this time alone, and I have the passion for having my fingers dance 'cross the pages....of my own books.

Friday, April 7, 2017

I Showed Up Anyway

Believe it or not, I have had lots of times over the past seven years where I didn't feel like writing. This morning was no exception.  

As I was waking up, I continually asked myself, Why bother?  What's the point of doing this?  

I have had a very stressful week.  Something unforeseen came about in the process of selling our house.  I won't give details, except we went from looking forward to a closing day, to having to start back to square one.

In anticipation of a closing day that was to take place at the end of this month, we took all of these necessary steps to make it happen.  Consequently, I have had to put my writing time on the back burner on some days. This is not the first time that my goals are once again put on hold or on the backburner.  I knew that after everything settled down, I would be able to fully focus on writing. That would be my time to go all-out.  

All of these stresses have burned me out, worn me to a frazzle.  It's to where I don't even want to bother writing, knowing it would take a lot of my time, time I could spend doing something else. 

Hadn't I told myself that no matter how busy I will be in the moving process, I will make the time for what is important to me, to not let all of the stresses and pressures of this move control me?  Now was my time to really apply this to my life.

About two years ago, I read a small, random, yet helpful piece of advice someone had published in Writer's magazine:  Keep showing up. Yes, there have been times since then I have looked forward to having those few hours of writing time--only to be so unproductive I would wonder whether I was meant to write or not.  But I get up the next morning and make it better than the day before.  The more I do this, in spite of distractions and conflicts, the more likely something great will happen.

Here it is Friday morning.  Due to some allergy and sinus issues I am still trying to get to overcome, I chose to sleep in and not run this morning.  Though I was happy to take advantage of a later morning, I had a hard time getting up.  It wasn't so much the seasonal illness so much as it was plain utter discouragement.  Would this be another morning where I'd waste my energy resisting distractions and trying to stay focused?  Would I be able to think of anything, making progress on Professional Fans? By the way, I hope to finish the first draft soon.  Please stay tuned.

In spite of getting up later than I wanted to, I ate breakfast and wasted no time in getting to Starbucks. I had work to do.  I wanted to show up, expecting for something great to happen.  

And it happened.

Here is a little teaser from my latest development of Professional Fans:

At one point, I went inside to go to the bathroom.  After I got out, I went to the front.  Out of one of the windows, I saw Gary talking to a few people.  I went outside to see what was going on, what Gary was talking about..

"Hey, Holly!  Come hang out with us," Gary said, waving his hand in the direction of the conversation circle he was in.

I walked over there and introduced myself to the other guys.  Wow!  What a lot of hand shaking, the most I had ever done in my life!

Gary continued talking, the conversation topic was experiences from a few of his previous bands.  I loved listening to him, like I always did.  All of this was a big step for me from the first time I saw Gary.  When that happened, it never crossed my mind I would talk to him and many others before a show.

At least a dozen questions came to my mind.  Would I only listen?  Would anything I say sound foolish?  What if someone in our midst acted like they liked being around me, only to be like Lee and hate me?  As I stood next to Gary, I tried hard to not look nervous and to focus my attention on the rest of Gary’s story.  It reminded me of when I was down in his studio—sharing one story after another.  That conversation could have gone on for hours.  

It now now close to ten.  Between appreciating the atmosphere Starbucks never fails to provide for concentrating and some more great hard rock music (Whitesnake), I have had a great morning of writing.  I hope the week to come is even better than this one.

P. S.  I am now home.  Before heading out of Starbucks, I saw one of the drive-thru cashiers.  Though it has been a number of years ago, he was our neighbor at the house we lived in before the one we're living in now.  I was able to vent my frustrations to him and in so doing, use lots of the creative energy that had been building up inside me. To this day, he still considers me and my husband the best neighbors he has ever had.  Though I could have been in a hurry to get back home, I'm glad I stopped and talked to someone, knowing he would help.  Josh Phillips, if you're reading this, please know that I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation.  It certainly did help me in sorting out all of my stresses.

I am now even more proud to be the creative person God has made me to be!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

An Unusually Later Day

I don't see the need anymore to get up at 3:30am, to leave the house by 4:45 to go to the gym.  I need long workouts.  The only time I could ever do it, and be showered and at my desk at or around 8am,, is at this early morning.  I need to keep in mind that before too long, I will no longer need to be up at this very early time, to be at the gym.

While I've been doing well at getting up at 4 most mornings, I have never been able to get up a half hour earlier than that, though I have told myself it will be for only two days of the week.  As expected, I didn't get up at 3:30...

not even 4:30...

or 6:30...

I woke up at quarter after seven.  

I was feeling fatigued and congested, symptoms I have had with allergies. I wondered how today was going to go, what I was going to write...if I was going to be able to do so.  I had so many ideas rolling around in my head.  The sooner I put them on paper, the better.

They say to write at the same time every day.  My time to do that is in the morning, up until 11 or 12. Given my waking up late and getting into the day much slower than usual, I wondered if I was going to be in a presence of mind today to write.  

It gets even better:  I went for a walk.  Most days of the week, I am either running between 6 and 7 am, or at the gym pumping iron around that time.  In spite of my allergies, I went outside for a walk. 

Every writer needs the outdoors; I am no exception.
It felt great to go outside when it was daylight.  I don't know how long my walk was, but it was refreshing.  

What did I do after I ate lunch?  I sat down to write.  What time was it when I started?  12:30.  Here it is quarter to three, and I am on a roll.

My latest writing idea:  Back stories of all of the main characters in Professional Fans. Both Holly and Natasha have a deep, sincere passion for music, dating back to their high school years.  It's what makes high school memorable.  Scary Harley lead singer Gary Grayson's wouldn't be complete, or even inspiring, without mentioning his love for KISS since day one.  Lighting tech Randy Daniel's describes how he has done many things in his life, including but not limited to playing drums in a high school band, driving a truck, going to seminary and getting a license to counsel, meeting many rock stars in that time and forming lasting relationships.

I think I have my work cut out for me, regardless of what time of day it is, or how I feel.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Feeling Young While Lying Down

Writing some clean contemporary romance never crossed my mind.

Neither did lying down working on it.

Please don't read into this position of rest being synonymous with the romance aspect of the book. Again, this is a clean book I'm writing, not unlike all of the others I've written.

Up until the past few days, I hadn't been able to concentrate fully on Two Suitors.  I know I wanted to work on it.  But I needed to find the time to lie down, because that is the only way I could ever focus on it.

Well, I am going to make the time to do that.  I started doing that late last week.

With pen and paper, and my smart phone cued to Cheap Trick on Pandora, I lay down on my stomach across the bed, and got to work on this book that seems to never let me go.  While in this unconventional position to "work," and hearing tunes such as "I Want You to Want Me" and "Surrender," ideas came like they never had.

I soon realized I was like a teenager writing in her diary listening to her favorite music through a pair of ear buds to try to escape into another reality in her favorite room in the house:  her bedroom.

It helped me to think of my main character in Two Suitors, Mandy Reinhart.  She needs a dose of a renewed youth, herself.  She doesn't realize her life has had one stressful situation after another, until she meets Adam Littleton.  It is with him she feels young again, in spite of being thirty-five and feeling the need to invest desperately in the fountain of youth.  

Adam's passion is his cover band, where he plays covers of classic rock songs.  In the more recent years, Mandy realizes she, too, likes this kind of music.  Their conversations are mostly about that.  

And for the record, there's something about Cheap Trick's music that makes me feel young.

How has this arrangement affected the direction I am going with this book?  Here is an excerpt from Two Suitors:

As we were getting ready to delegate lunch breaks, a guy maybe my age or older, came in.  He had shoulder-length blond hair and was wearing a black t-shirt and a pair of torn-up jeans.  
“Hey, man!  Where have you been hiding?” Bob asked this guy, as they shook hands.
“Hibernating,” he said, laughing. “Actually, I have done what I do every winter, and that is to take time off from shows and do some more writing.”
“Awesome.  I’m sure you have some cool stuff.”
“Yeah.  It’s coming along as good as it can be.  I just figured I’d stop by here and see what’s going on over here.”
“Sure.  Look around.  I’m getting ready to go to lunch,” Bob said.  Before he started to the back, he put on Cheap Trick’s Live in Budohan. That left me alone with this stranger, whom Bob seemed to be well-acquainted with.
He noticed the familiar music coming from the turntable.  He bobbed his head in time to the music, played some air guitar, and sang along with the lyrics, which he seemed familiar with.  I had to assume he himself had this same album.  When he saw me studying him, he stopped, met my gaze, and said, “I don’t know if I’ve seen you before,” he said, pointing his finger in my direction, noticing the new employee.
“No.  I started here a few months ago,” I said casually.
He raised his eyebrows and widened his eyes in fascination.  “Ah!  Cool!  You like it here?”
“Oh!  Yes, I do,” I said, trying to match his surprise and enthusiasm.
He extended his hand and said, “I’m Adam Littleton.”
I took his hand and said, “Nice to meet you, Adam. I’m Mandy.”
One thing I used to hate but now appreciate is when someone starts to sing a few lines from that famous Barry Manilow song...No, I wasn’t named after it.  Adam sang it.  I tried not to make this happen, but my cheeks got red.  Why did I do this once again?  My face even got red when I made an honest mistake.  I have been trying hard to not do that again.
“Is there something I can help you find?”
“Nah,” he said, waving his hand.  “I’m just killing some time, looking at some vinyl.”  
I noticed he was looking at some Beatles records.  Being an efficient saleswoman, I said to him, “We just got a copy of The Blue Album in today.”
His face lit up with delight and surprise. “Really?  I’ve been looking for that, to get a good deal on it, for quite some time.”
Since it was the most recent addition to the three rows of albums, I reached down and pulled it out and handed it to Adam.  His eyes moved up and down as he studied it.  He flipped it over and continued his thorough perusal.  “Will that be the one you buy?”
“It just may.  My band and I cover these songs all the time.”
“What band are you in?”
“The Adam Littleton Band.”
“I take it you formed the band?”
“You’re right.  We’ve been together for a little over five years.  We’ve played at many festivals, the biggest of which is the Fab Four Fest, held every Labor Day weekend.”
I missed it, I thought to myself as I listened in increasing fascination to this regular customer at Donelson’s.  “When is your next show?”
“In a few weeks.  You’re welcome to come anytime...uh...” he paused, pointing his finger to me and said, “I’ve become terrible with names.”
“Oh! Yes!  I’m not in Barry Manilow mode today,” he said and laughed.  He nodded his head toward the vinyl and said, “I’m going to look around for a little while longer and see what other goodies I can drain my bank account of,” he said and laughed.  
What I had to do behind the counter could wait. I loved talking to Adam, and I knew he appreciated the conversation.  I don’t know if I had had this kind of conversation ever in my life.  In just a short few minutes, I already liked Adam.  Though I assumed he was my age or older, I liked how he made me feel young.  Did he have that kind of attitude, as well? After all I had been through, I needed many moments where I needed to feel young again.  As Adam and I talked, I wondered what he went through to make him the man he was today.
He must have spent at least a half hour there, making his way all through the Rock section of vinyl.  If he wasn’t at Z by now, I’d be surprised. He never put down the album I had given him.
“I think I’ll go ahead and take it,” he said, handing it to me.  I made my way back behind the counter and scanned it.
“Anything else for you today, Adam?”
“No, that will be it for now.”
I gave him the total.  He paid with cash and left, giving me a big smile before he turned and left.
I tried really hard to not read in to how Adam smiled at me.  But I got the impression that the next time he came in to the store, we would have a fun conversation.  Since I already learned about one of our regular customers, I made sure he would get any deal he possibly could.

There must have been something about the conversation with Adam that made me want to cue up Beatles songs on YouTube.  I have been known to listen to one or two from time to time.  But not like this.  I couldn’t get over his blond-hair-blue-eye looks.  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I'm Out There!

Since I published The Long Road Around the Corner of Hope and Crawling to the Light in 2014, as well as Wise Turned Foolish this past October, I haven't had a lot of sales.  While I have moments where I wonder if it's even worth it to keep writing, though I don't have as many of those as I used to, I still do it.  Without going into too much detail, I still have lots of personal issues to deal with.  But I am making lots of progress.  In so doing, I have become a better writer, more focused.

Someone recently told me, and many times, that enthusiasm and passion go a much longer way than knowledge and skills.  While I by no means blow off the latter, I have to keep in mind the former.

I know it's all a matter of getting myself out there and finding the right market.  That has been my focus at the moment.  The hard work I'm doing to get to that point is paying off.

I got out there once again this past weekend, at Romancing the Smokies, networked with other authors, all of whom encouraged me to no end, and I did the same in return. 

Soon after checking in Friday evening, I met future paranormal romance author Samantha Nimrod. We easily broke the ice, talking back and forth about family, faith, books, and best of all, writing.  I told her the titles of my books and showed them to her on Amazon.

"I've seen that before," she said when she noticed the front cover of Wise Turned Foolish.

To me, it didn't matter what else she or anyone else said to me the rest of that weekend, although I had lots of awesome and edifying conversations.  That spoke volumes to me.  
Quite honestly, I don't know if I had gotten that much encouragement from any authors in the time I've been writing.

See what happens when you don't give up, or when you think no one is watching or noticing you, but you keep going on anyway?  And when you do, knocking on doors, networking, etc? This word of encouragement is for not only my fellow authors, but for anybody else reading this post who needs just a little bit of encouragement for today.

If you haven't heard yet of Wise Turned Foolish, here is a link to a preview, as well as the one from Amazon.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

So Many Things on My Mind!

I am currently so immersed in the author's life, and in a season in my life where I am enjoying to the fullest the new lease I have gotten.  As a result, I find I have so many ideas and am soon overwhelmed.  Though I try to prioritize everything, break big projects down into small ones, and not let small thing get in the way, I find at the end of the day I wonder if I accomplished anything at all.

In this endless yet exciting flurry of activity, I thought I'd take some time to fill you in on what I have been working on:

(1) In preparing for Wise Turned Foolish on audio, I am practicing for about two hours a few days a week.  I have been working on this since around January.  Details to come as events unfold.  I'm looking to do this around the summer time.  I know by then, I will be very well-rehearsed and ready to go.

(2) Though I'm still working on Professional Fans, I've more or less shelved it.  I'm having one of those moments where I need to take a break from it to allow some related things to happen in my life before I proceed any further with it.  I feel at peace about this, knowing I have done this before.  I did something like this when I worked on Wise Turned Foolish. If I was able to go back to it and make it better than the first time, and I always finish what I start, this is no exception.  I have loved the work I have done on Professional Fans, creating Holly Fowler, Natasha Gold, Gary Grayson, and Randy Daniel, the main characters.   If you would like to read a preview of it, here it is  Any feedback would certainly be appreciated, please.  

(3)  The plot for Stone Solid, a work in progress I have had since around 2014, is clearer now than ever before.  What I had written is "junk" compared to what I have in mind for it now.

(4)  This morning, I started another book, Kill the Locust.  It is about a young single woman, Amy Greeley, who overcomes endometriosis.  During this time, she falls in love with Jeremy Nelson, and they can't wait to get married.  With the threat of this chronic illness, they make a very unusual, unconventional decision about their future.  Those of you who know me, know I once had that and have done very well (if I do say so myself) in overcoming that.  It is now time for me to put it in a book.

(5)  It seems that if I was of a mind to write contemporary romance, I'd have to lie down in order for me to concentrate on it.  That is the only way I could ever do so.  With all of the above-mentioned items, plus others I won't discuss, when do I have the time during the day  to lie down?  Right about now, the only time I do that is when I'm going to sleep, which, due to my super-busy schedule, I do easily.  In any case, I still plan to continue to work on Two Suitors.

In spite of my almost overbooked daily schedule, I'd like to take some time to thank you for everyone for your support.  That, and many other things, is what allows me to "show up" every morning here at my desk--and accomplish all of this and more.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Synopsis and Preview of Professional Fans

Happy Friday, everyone!  I wanted to take some time to fill you in on one of my works in progress. titled Professional Fans.  

Here is my synopsis of it:

Discovering work middle seeing a live rock band?


Holly Fowler and Natasha Gold don't think so. Their careers and personal lives take dramatic turns when they see Lexington, Kentucky, rock band Scary Harley. Lead singer Gary Grayson, and lighting tech Randy Daniel, see talents in these two woman, and encourages both to use them in the music business.

You don't have to wait until I publish it to take a peek inside.  Here is a link to a preview of it I have made.  Please read this. I'd like to hear from you, to let me know what you think of it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Thinking of Jenna

I had a great night last night with my husband celebrating Valentine's Day.  We both got dressed up and went out to Mimi's Cafe in Turkey Creek.  He had been there before for some function a few years ago, I hadn't.  But we both loved the place and plan on going back there soon.

We exchanged cards and "Happy Valentine's Day" greetings all through the day, on the phone, via text, and in person.

As an author, and in light of the books I have already published, I can't help thinking of Jenna in my debut book, The Long Road Around the Corner of Hope.  

Her boyfriend has just broken up with her. Therefore, she does not have a date on Valentine's Day. She feels left out, like she's missing out on something, unimportant, worthless, overlooked.  Even worse, on that day, she has to work at her job at T J Maxx, where men are coming in buying last-minute gifts, and working with Tracy Nave.  Though she is Jenna's favorite co-worker and has encouraged and advised her at times, Jenna can't help feeling jealous of Tracy, because she is beautiful and married.  

For those of you who are single and reading this, and you are feeling down that this was just another Valentine's Day of flying solo, going it alone, I hope this post will bring you comfort, that you're in good company.  Below is an excerpt from Chapter 10 of The Long Road Around the Corner of Hope:

A Sunday morning that Jenna was off, and she had no desire to go to church.  Although she was off two Sundays a month, she slept in, rather than go to church.  The church she had attended placed a lot of emphasis on marriage.  Jenna was one of very few single women who went there.
Since this was the Sunday before Valentine’s Day, Jenna knew it would be all about love today.  If she were to go, everyone else would tell her that God could be her Valentine.  More than any other time, she resented that.  She wanted a very special man to be that; it would make more sense. 
            Jenna woke up to rain on Valentine’s Day.  In defiance, she put on a solid black knit shirt and a pair of black pants.  Her hair was just the way she wanted it-unwashed for two days now, but still presentable.
            She didn’t mean for this to happen, but she walked into work looking like she had been drinking.  Given how she felt, she might as well have been drunk.
            As she expected, Tracy came in dressed as much for success as love, the latter of which Jenna knew she was going to get from Jeff tonight.  Her long, red hair was pulled back tightly with a clip, and she was dressed in a candy apple-red sweater that hung slightly off her shoulders and black slacks that really did justice to her figure.
“Good morning, Jenna.  Happy Valentine’s day.” 
            She couldn’t look Tracy in the eye, let alone stand to be around her all day.  She just slightly nodded her head.
            “Jenna, I know you’re feeling down today.  But I’m sure we’re going to have a busy day with last-minute shoppers you won’t even think about how you’re feeling.” 
            Easy for you to say, Tracy.
            Noticing that her words didn’t make Jenna feel better, she put her arm around her shoulders.  “You might not have any reason to celebrate today, but just remember you’re very special.”          
Nothing but red and pink was all around the store, as if Cupid himself came by the store overnight and spray-painted it.  This was especially in the ladies’ and lingerie departments-negligees, socks, sweaters; there were endless racks and shelves of it.  Worse yet, there were many men buying items from those very places.  One of them asked Jenna if they had a red dress in the store.  He hoped so, and it would be in her size, because she was coming home tonight after being away for a few days on a business trip.  He wanted to surprise her with a red dress she had seen here, that she wanted so bad she could taste it. 
            How romantic was that!  Jenna tried not to resent having to help this man.  Why wasn’t some other man like him doing something similar for her?
            Later that day, Jenna told Tracy, “I have to be honest with you.  It’s hard to get through today.  Knowing that I’m just going to go home after this.”
            “Jenna, have you considered going to church?  That is the best thing you can do right now.”  That was unusual:  talking about church on Valentine’s Day.  Jenna didn’t want to hear any of it.  And if Tracy went on to say something about God being her Valentine, she was going to stalk out the door.
            “But I’m so exhausted from work I don’t want to go anywhere on the Sundays I don’t work.”
            “Jenna, I work the same number of hours you do, and have a husband and three children, and I still go to church.  We make it a priority to go, no matter how busy or tired we are.”
            Jenna looked away from her and looked like she was busy.  She avoided Tracy the rest of the day.  She wished she could do that to everyone and just work somewhere else in the store by herself.
            Jenna heard nothing but love songs on her way home.  Worst of all, one of them was Jenna’s and Larry’s.  Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”  Jenna had wanted a relationship in which they would sing popular duets together.  Up until that point, no one had done that with her.  This song was one of many they sang together, they claimed it as theirs.  Since they talked about marriage a lot, they wanted this song to be the one for their first dance.  It was now painful to hear.  Jenna turned the radio off.
            She thought about going to Boston Market.  However, knowing she would be the only one eating alone, she saved herself that humiliation.  She decided to stay home and fix tomato soup.
            As she sat down on the couch after heating some in the microwave, she hoped the warmth of it would comfort her and assuage her depression.  But she felt weak just putting the spoon in her hand.  After a few moments of trying to eat, she gave up and placed the bowl on the end table. 
That was where she saw a framed picture of her and Larry.  It was taken several months into their relationship, at a time when they were inseparable. They were on the back patio of his parents’ house, arm-in-arm and gazing into each other’s eyes, oblivious to anything else around them.  This was their favorite picture.
            Jenna couldn’t believe it was still there.  She picked it up, pulled it out of the frame, tore it up, and threw it in the trash can. 
She rushed to her bedroom, got the shoebox from the shelf in her closet that had many pictures of them, love letters, cards, ticket stubs, roses, and tossed it into the garbage.  Two years’ worth of stuff really added up, especially when they had a lot of fun together. 
            As she went through everything in her shoebox, her mind drifted back to last Valentine’s Day.  They had both decided, without any hesitation, to go to the Main Street Diner.  Located in downtown Winston-Salem, it was voted the most romantic restaurant in town because many marriage proposals happened there.  When she told Tracy about it, they both got excited about it.  She and Larry had been together for a little over a year, an ideal amount of time in Jenna’s mind to expect a ring on her finger.
Jenna got dressed in her black pleated miniskirt and black sweater that had sequined flowers on it, Larry in his ash gray three-piece suit and his best dress shoes. 
            But he didn’t propose.  In fact, it was worse.  They went Dutch.  Jenna felt like she got the short end of the stick that night. 

On a night that she would love to go out on a date, she had to be reminded of Larry.