Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Really chasing the dream



How did it come to this? LOL.. OMG! I'm always on this computer and then I feel like I'm not on it enough to accomplish everything I want to do. There are blogs to visit, emails to type up or to respond to, research to do for promoting my book, and visiting webpages that can possibly help me do this. In the past six months, I have joined atleast 5 different groups on yahoo, four groups on cafemom, and then I have my own blogs to keep up with (myspace, freewebs, blogger, facebook). I have signed up for the The Polka Dot Banner just recently. That's a neat little niche to check out some books. But all this, after working a full time job during the week, is like having a part time job! It's work!

Anyway, I think I'm getting carpal tunnel syndrome from the keystrokes! LOL! My poor hubby is very patient with me. He understands what I'm trying to do, which is to get my name/my book out there to the masses. Authorhouse does not promote, although they can do a wire press release for me. Something I still need to pay for out of pocket. I'm getting there.

In the meanwhile, on cafemom, I'm doing a very short run contest for a free book. I have a link posted here. Not sure if you can add your name to the list, but if you respond here with a comment, I'll add you on. I'll draw on July 4th. From the comments so far who have seen the book trailer, they are indeed intrigued! Everything flashing before your eyes is like the book- it takes you at a quick pace through the heart of the action.

Yet for you to believe in it, like I do, you need real feedback. I did submit for book reviews to a couple of writer/reader websites, but am still waiting for results on that. Luckily, I had a couple of friends submit something to freewebs and Barnes & Nobles which I've copied and posted. Do I want more reviews? Well, that would be terrific if you have recieved a book from me or bought one.

I poured my heart into this book. In fact, I became Hostage to This book! LOL.. But the outcome needs personal feedback from more readers. Something real. Something honest. If for nothing else but to let others know it's worth the price that the publishers put it out there for ($16.99 a pop!) I know that's more than the customary paperback that you can probably pick up at a nickel and dime store for a buck. Is it worth the price? I believe so.

So I'll keep plugging away to knock down people's skeptism. It's not your average run of the mill book. It's a terrific story. Get a copy! Tell your friends about it.

Ok, now I can post this. And maybe spend ten minutes in conversation with my husband while I grab a soda and take a potty run. I think he'll be happy to see my face and not the back of my head.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sharing two reviews


HOSTAGE TO HER HEART BOOK REVIEW

Here's a blurb from an author of a new children's book, KobiKobis Island:




Aimee Linde: "Hostage to her Heart is an incredible story about a woman who has to find herself -amidst the sudden role of motherhood that hits her at a young age. Her journey to self discovery keeps you guessing who she falls for: her handsome husband, she married out of convienience; or her best friend from childhood. This is a breath of fresh air compared to other smutty romance novels. This book will keep you involved and guessing, but most of all you love the characters and find yourself in their shoes right along with them.

I recomend this book to everyone. It's an amazing story and you'll be glad you read it!!! TRUST ME!!!

stars...between 1-5.....My score 10 "

Thanks Aimee!!


If you look on Barnes and Nobles, you will find this review for my book:

Customer Reviews
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A reviewer
Kelly, an avid reader of books, 06/18/2008

I really enjoyed this book. One of the first that I have read with a combined family, such as with real life. The book was engaging with many twists and kept me wanting more. I can't wait to see where the next book takes these characters...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sunday, June 8, 2008

My son is a highschool graduate



My son is a highschool graduate now- the Class of 2008- from Temple High School. It's a proud moment in our family and I've shared some pics here. There were about 420 students at the Expo Center getting their diplomas and the day was sunny and windy outside. So when we all gathered outside to take pics, we tried not to get blown away. LOL..

Ok- had to brag a bit. I'm so proud of my son. Now he can look foward to his future. With any luck, if I raised him up right, he will make wonderful choices.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Free style writing

Back when I was in a creative writing class, we learned to write down our first immediate thoughts down onto paper, and then to build our stories from our first instincts. Sort of like jotting down the ingredients of a wonderful cake recipe and then as you bake, you wind up with this wonderful confection. It's really a great way to stir up story ideas, from our experiences and interactions.

recently I joined a social writers group to network on CafeMom. The moderator is terrific in throwing out ideas to nurture the writer in all of us. I'm sharing one of the prompts she gave us and my responses- my immediate reaction to the prompt.


Change:

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered"~~Nelson Mandela

After reading this quote it got me thinking about how I have changed, especially compared to the towns I grew up in. I've become stronger, wiser, more mature, and more knowledgeable of the world around me since leaving those towns. Even when I go back, I sense that I might have been one of the only people/things that changed in one of those places.

So, my question to you is: how have you changed compared to the place(s) and the people where you grew up? Do you fit right in when you go back or do you feel out-of-place? How so?

My response:
Change, they say, is inevitable. Bodies sag, memories either increase or diminish, babies grow older, and the elderly decease. Towns can remain timeless in their setting, but people within them come and go, like the ebb of a tide, washing away the sand particles and changing the landscape. Our lives are like this, for each experience adds wisdom, and each decision forces us into different consequences. Whether the impact of the choices we make enhances us or weakens us is sometimes up to us, but there are many times when I sit alone, in silence, and imagine an omnipresence there, who may influence our lives in ways we never realize. Haven't you ever prayed so hard that things come out for the better? Haven't you ever experienced the situations that Garth Brooks expresses in his song, "Unanswered prayers?" and find that the path of your life took a different turn, and we ended up with an outcome totally unexpected? We can't always predict how change may impact us, but I think it's always worth going forward. To me, the past lives best in our memories and in our hearts. We can't always revisit and find things standing still. Time and change makes an impact there too, whether we remained or ventured forth in an adventure. We can appreciate what took place in our yesterdays, but wisdom makes us understand our fortitude today. I appreciate who I am now and can only look back at that clueless little girl/teenager/young woman that I use to be, and let her live within my heart always. I can look through eyeglasses at a faded photograph and smile at the faces looking back at me. I can appreciate that one day all of my children will leave my house and return in the future and contemplate how such a small place ever made up such a beautiful home. Such is change; such is our memories. Such is the way it has always been, and I can learn to live with that.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Stirring up the creative juices

It's really been awhile since something has stirred up my creative writing juices. On a different social website for writers, someone posted a short story about a lady and her dog. Josie asked for a critique. From the gist of it, it seemed to be about an elderly woman, who was blind, and her dog. Yet, the details seemed lacking, so I played around for an hour with the sentences and then sent it back. She wasn't displeased with the results. I requested that I be allowed to post it on my blogs. Would love feedback if you think I made any improvement.

This is how her story went and feel free to check out her website too that is listed after her version:



The sun came through her white curtains to start the morning. She could feel the heat against her face, telling her the morning had began. She rolled and hid her face in her pillow. Mrs. Flowers three-year-old golden retriever came up to the bed, pushed its black wet nose under the sheets until it lightly collided with her, a wet pink tongue massaged her cheek.

She rolled over and patted his head.

“You are a good dog, Ogle,” she said.

Mrs. Flowers pushed her long slight gray, but mostly brown hair from her face. Her feet moved from the bed to the floor and searched for two blue fuzzy slippers. Once found she slipped them on her feet. She pushed her aching body from the bed, grabbed a bathroom and headed for her kitchen. Her automatic one-cup coffee maker was already brewing a fresh cup of French Roast coffee. Her favorite.

Ogle had already found his bowl and carried it to her feet slightly touching it.

“Don’t worry, Ogle, food is coming.”

Her wrinkled hand touched a table; she felt a dent. She turned slightly and walked to a counter. There her fingers found another dent. She reached up and pulled out a can of dog food and a can opener. Ogle moved the bowl to her feet and touched her with it.

Here it comes she said after she opened the can. She then poured it into his bowl.

Ogle gave a friendly bark and she laughed.

She ran her hand over the counter and stove. She found her cup of coffee and brought it to her mouth, tasting the richness. This brought a smile to her face as she leaned against the counter and listened to the birds outside.

“It must be a pretty day outside,” she said to Ogle. She ran her fingers across the counter and touched the metal top of a sink. Opening the curtains, she felt the heat hit her face. “Ogle go grab the flag,” she said.

The dog ran into living room where he found a brown woven wood basket next to and old green chair. Out of the basket he pulled out a red bag, which he brought to Mrs. Flowers.

She was still facing the mirror when she heard the patter of feet come up to her and stop. She turned and took the bag out of his mouth and patted him on the head.

“Thank you Ogle,” she said

As she ran her hands across the counter, she found two dents. She stopped and opened a brown door that led to her backyard.

“I wanted to lay it on his coffin, but I couldn’t. When I held it, it reminded me of holding my boy. My blessing from God,” she said. Sniffed back some tears. It had been too many years since she last held her boy.

She counted to fourteen and stopped in front of a long metal poll. She opened the red bag and pulled out an American flag.

“Ogl,e did I ever tell you that I made this flag soon after Jimmy died in the war,” she said. She felt him as he brushed her legs.

She ran her hands along the rich fabric feeling its thread and stripes. She followed a star until she found a hole, which she put her ring finger in. With her other hand she reached out and grabbed two strings: one, which is shorter, then the other.

She let go of the longer one and ran her fingers down until she found the clip. She clipped the shorter string to the hole in the flag. She then clipped the longer string to a second hole at the bottom of the flag.

She took a deep breath. In her mind, she could see the red, white and blue flag flap against the bright sunny sky. Johnny would have been so proud.

http://stayathomemomreview.blogspot.com/

Now- my version:
In a one-story house on a quiet suburban street, the morning sun came through white curtains, bright and warm, signaling a new day had begun. Mrs. Flowers could only feel the heat penetrate upon her face and so she rolled over to escape, longing for five more minutes of sleep. However, Ogle, a three-year-old golden retriever, heard her stir, and so he sprang up from a usual place at the foot of the bed. A cold wet nose pushed through the sheets. He let out a wet pink tongue to massage her cheek. At this, she patted his head.“Ok, I’ll get up. You are a good dog, Ogle,” she murmured softly and then rose to sit up against the edge of the bed, pushing away long strands of mixed salt and pepper hair from her face. Her toes searched the floor for two fuzzy slippers. Once found, she slipped them on. With one hand, she grasped her back to press away a nagging ache. An elderly woman who defied old age and its chronic symptoms, she simply reached for a nearby bathrobe. Methodically, the woman shuffled across the room to get to the kitchen. From one corner, the aroma of French Roast coffee penetrated the air, already brewed in a one-cup coffee maker-an absolute favorite blend. Ogle had already found his bowl and carried it to her feet, butting it against both calves slightly to get attention. “Don’t worry, Ogle, food is coming,” Mrs. Flowers smiled, exposing many fine lines on her forehead and eyes. With a wrinkled hand, she ran it along the worn counter top, feeling small dents notched into the wood that helped guide her along the area. At one point, she stopped and reached up into a cupboard, onto the middle shelf, where the canned dog food was always stored. Next, she reached for a can opener in the drawer below. Ogle anticipated his own breakfast and pranced loudly around her feet. He let out a bark to hurry the process along and this made her laugh. After placing the bowl onto the floor, she went over to the coffee maker and poured out a cup of coffee, letting a finger dip into it to feel how close to the rim it filled. She took a sip and sighed out loud, “Ah, rich and strong. Just the way I like it.”Next, she stood by the kitchen window and felt the warm sun rays touch her skin. She opened the curtains wide and pulled up the window. Outside, birds chirped merrily. A light breeze made the curtains flutter. “It must be a pretty day outside,” she said to the dog, “Ogle go fetch the flag.”The dog ran into living room where a brown woven-wood basket sat next to an antique green chair. He sniffed around for a moment, searching out a particular leather bag, which he brought to Mrs. Flowers, again butting it gently against both legs. “Thank you Ogle,” Mrs. Flowers took it from his mouth and patted his head in appreciation. Slowly, her hands ran against the counter top to guide her across the kitchen to get to the backyard. Out through the screen door, down two steps, she stepped upon the lawn. Counting out loud to fourteen, she walked steadily forward, reaching out with one hand until she could touch a long metal pole that stood dead center of the yard. She opened the red bag and pulled out an American flag.“I wanted to lay it on his coffin, but I couldn’t, Ogle,” she explained to the retriever, who perched both ears at the sound of her voice, “Whenever I hold it, I’m reminded of my sweet boy: my blessing from God.”She paused while sniffing back the many tears that fell upon her cheeks freely. This day, like countless others, only allowed lost memories to spring to mind. He had fought for his country with honor and bravery. The last time she heard his voice on the phone, he anticipated coming home from duty for a short leave. Only one mission had to be fulfilled and then he would be sent stateside. One more mission. Then, in the middle of the night, came the dreaded phone call that shattered her world forever. He had been shot in friendly fire. He would be awarded the Purple Heart postmortem. How ironic Jimmy’s fate, when he had always put his life first before his men and now some wayward bullet from a co-enlisted man took him down by mistake. Too many years had gone by since that call. Too many tears shed. When was the last time she held him? When did she last run fingers across his face to ingrain his chiseled features into memory? Now, the flag became a reminder of her most valuable treasure, now riding high on clouds in heaven. “Ogle, I made this flag soon after Jimmy died in the war,” she said as he brushed up against her legs. Her fingers ran against the grain of the rich fabric. She could feel the course threads raise where the stripes were sewn. She could feel the points of the star and traced it down until she found a hole, where she could put a ring finger into it. With her other hand she reached out and grabbed two strings to attach it to; one being shorter than the other. She found the clip to ensure it was secured and she pulled on the ropes to make it rise high for everyone to see. She took a deep breath. Although blind, in her mind she could see the red, white and blue flutter gracefully in the light breeze, with the warmth of a bright sun shining down. Warm like his smile. Her son, Jimmy, would have stood proudly by her side.

Things come in threes

They say that things come in threes. I experienced this:
1) Son received news that he earned all of his credits required and will graduate on Saturday!
2) Husband recieved a promotion at work and will do something new in a position made just for him. How cool is that? He even got a raise!
3) My step-dad got out of the hospital.
So life is good right now, even if the weather is hot in our parts. So come Saturday, my family will be doing some celebrating of sorts, perhaps a cookout on Sunday. Even my eldest daughter is down from Colorado visiting, so all of my kids are together. That's a mom's joy and I'm feeling such a burden and stress lift up from my shoulders from past events of the month. Thank God!