Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Win a Free Book!

This week only there are 2 chances to win a free copy of my e-book, The Witch and the Wolf. It's very simple. All you need to do is drop by one or both of these websites and leave a comment. Don't be shy, just pop in to say 'hi', it'll count!
Happily Ever After Reviews Giveaway
Naughty Novelists Interview

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Chance to Win!

I'm being interviewed at the Naughty Novelists and I'll be checking in all week to chat. Leave a comment for a chance to win a free e-book copy of my novella, The Witch and the Wolf. Just in time for Halloween!! :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

All about Halloween Memories

Today's my day at The Wild Rose Press's Black Rose blog! This month's topic is sharing your favorite Halloween memories. Please stop by and join the conversation, I love to hear stories about Halloween! See you there! :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Listening In

Here I am, back from the emergency room. My agonizing knee pain remains unresolved, something my non-existent family doctor needs to take care of by ordering MRI's and physical therapy. Some people might consider the 3 hours spent at the ER a waste of time, but I'm a writer. I'm a nosy writer. I'm the wallflower that sits or stands invisible on the sidelines while observing those surrounding me. And for a writer sitting silently, what an interesting collection of individuals can be found at your local ER.

Not only the patients and their motley complaints and ailments are fascinating, but also the nurses and doctors. They roam the stark white corridors talking freely while patients sit in exam rooms with the doors wide open with nothing to do but eavesdrop on the conversations taking place. That date the dark haired nurse had last night did not end well. It's the last time she's letting mom set her up with the neighbor's son. The doctor's son got an A on his chemistry quiz. He's a chip off the ol' block.

Okay, so not all the conversations overheard are extremely fascinating, but as a writer, you can use creative license to redo the scenario in your head. It makes me wonder what happened on the nurse's date. Where did he take her? What did they talk about? And how did the date 'not end well'? Did she find out he stilled lived with mom and dad or did she discover he was unemployed and expected her to pay for dinner? Maybe his ex-girlfriend arrived and in a fit of rage told the nurse exactly what she thought of him.

I admit, it's the patients that are the most intriguing. During the last ER visit we had with my 2 year-old son, who said he swallowed either a sharp and pointy screw or a piece of paper (turned out to be the paper), we were bunked with a charming individual who smelled like a broken ashtray shattered on the floor of a bar room who came in complaining of pain in his hand. He told the nurse he tripped and fell down the stairs at his home.
(In my mind I interpreted his slurred speech indicated instead that he swung and struck his neighbor on his way home from sleeping the night in his pick up truck. After waking up and not remembering how he got there, he found his way home only to see the neighbor talking to his wife. Now his hand hurt.)

He went on to graciously confess, as if he were doing the nurse a favor, that he had only one can of beer for breakfast. 

(Meaning one case.)

Half-way through the exam, he mentioned a slight pain on the side of his head  

(where his neighbor struck back)

and also mentioned he couldn't understand a word the nurse was saying  

(meaning he was still so drunk as to not know where he was, yet again.)

I don't know how closely my interpretations came to the mark, but it was obvious even to the poor misunderstood nurse that there was more to his story than what he was admitting. I probably wasn't too far off and even if I was, it doesn't matter because from this bit of overheard conversation, I now have a character for a story. A stinky inebriated one, but a character nonetheless.

Remember, you don't have to endure the emergency room to observe those around you. Take a walk through the mall, grab a bench and listen in. The local mall has just as many interesting people. Or keep your ears open while you're in line at the grocery store. Even sitting in your car at a red light can give you great snippets of conversation. Even if you don't hear them, imagine what they might be saying while they gesture with their hands. This might stir up story ideas you might not have otherwise imagined.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My New Arrival

It's been a little over two weeks since I came home from the hospital with my beautiful baby girl. She was born September 15 at 7:53am. 8lbs 5oz and 18 3/4 inches long. She's got my mother's cheeks and my grandmother's chin, and my blue eyes and blondish-reddish hair. Her hair was a matter of contention while I was pregnant and it remains so. My grandmother was so curious about the baby's hair color. We have every shade imaginable in my family, so she could have ended up with anything from midnight black to white blonde. As it is, she really looks like she has three different colors blending on her perfectly shaped head. White blonde around her temples (just like her older brother), a darker blonde at the top (just like her eldest brother as well as her father), and the reddish blonde in the back (from me). Probably by the time she's a year old, it'll look completely different yet again.

Sleeping with a newborn is an adjustment. I've gone through this twice before and with each child, its a whole new game. Each one behaved differently, so I have to adapt to her schedule and try to work the rest of my life around her. Feeding, sleeping and diapering consists of most of her day, where mine is full of taking care of her brothers, her father and our house. Not to mention struggling with my career as a published author.

With all three pregnancies, my mind takes a baby vacation. All I could focus on was the baby and preparing for her arrival. Forget plotting, or character development, editing or even imagining a new story in my head. My talent was completely stripped away. It must be some hormonal thing.

Now that she's here, my muse has returned from her exile and I've been creating new characters and new situations during the baby's nighttime/early early morning feedings during which I stare bleary-eyed at the closet door. The only problem now is trying to find the time to write it all down. Though I'm still not doing much around the house besides recovering from a c-section, I still have two toddlers to entertain in between trying to snatch a few minutes of sleep while they're engrossed in the newest Disney movie I've slapped into the DVD. I know, I know...TV is the devil, but for a mom who is awake every two hours at night and has no one to help watch the kids during the day, I count it as a temporary blessing. Weekends work well and I greatly look forward to them. My husband is home to take over while I catch up on some much needed sleep. He's also here so I can scratch that insufferable writing itch. Like now. Ahhh! I feel better already! Now, I think I'll take that nap.