Thursday, January 5, 2017

New Year, No Sis

Ahhh. We made it through the holidays. It was tough without my big sister there. Liver disease took her suddenly at the end of October and it is still all I can think about. Without her or mom (we lost her eight years ago), I even forgot the potato salad for Bull, our stepdad.

I know, I know. Potato salad isn't true Christmas dinner fare, but hey, he loves it and I love him. 'Nuff said. So how could I forget it? Well, you see, Sis and I always got together on the phone and planned our Christmas menu. She always did the green bean casserole and ham. I always did the turkey and dressing. Er, stuffing. Whatever you call it where you live. The rest of the sides we divvied up like the spoils from a poker party.

But this year, no Sis. Just me and the hubs to plan for the kids, grandkids, and remaining parents. Of course Hubs has always been part of the plan when he isn't working (he controls a pipeline via computer so he works shift work and often has to miss part of Christmas and Thanksgiving and everything in between), but even with his input, I still forgot the potato salad. We had--horrors--cream cheese potatoes instead.

Yeah, I heard about it later. Sue me, I thought at the time, because that wasn't the only thing I forgot this holiday . . . I forgot how the memories of childhood Christmases past would crowd into my eyes and push the tears out onto my cheeks at every turn. I forgot how the old carols and the sight of the bare piano stool would cause my heart to seize up and my brain to stop functioning, and yes, I completely forgot how not having any presents glued shut with a glue gun just for fun would break me into a thousand little shards of brittle nostalgia . . . but as I said, we made it. The glue that wasn't there was still as important as the glue that was. Yes. We made it through.

Even though I also forgot the deviled eggs.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Shopping on the Square

Wish we still had stores with storefronts like this. I loved Christmas shopping around the square in my hometown. Didn't look just like this, but the feeling was the same. 

One Christmas Eve when I was around eight years old, my stepdad, Bull, got a wild hair and drove my sister and me to the square to shop. 

"Silver Bells" emanated from outdoor speakers, shiny tinsel was strung across the street, and an evergreen wreath decorated each and every lamp post. All these years later, I can't remember for certain, but if it wasn't snowing, it should have been. 

We'd made it halfway around the square, stopping to admire the flocked window decor in The Model Shop, and a chugging choo choo train in the variety store, when Bull ran into a couple of his old buddies and stopped to swap some lies.

After a few moments and a couple of sips from a silver flask, he seemed to remember we were there. Without missing a beat, he pulled out his wallet and gave the two of us a hundred dollar bill (or maybe it was a twenty and it only seemed like a hundred at the time) and instructed us to go into the nearest business to find a gift for Mom. 

The funny thing was, the nearest store just happened to be a furniture showroom, the only one on the square. But that didn't deter us in the least. After scouring the entire establishment, we happened upon the perfect gift, a three-foot tall, mustard-colored vase decorated with a fierce-looking red and green Chinese dragon. We thought it the most beautiful thing we'd ever seen -- so exotic

When the clerk trundled it to the sidewalk for us, Bull just grinned and went back for the car. Together the three of us wrestled it into the trunk so we could surprise Mom on Christmas morning. 

And surprise her we did. Her grin was almost as wide as Bull's had been. She hugged us and caressed the dragon and swore it was the best gift she'd ever received. Then she displayed it proudly in the darkest corner of the living room for many years to come. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Another Writing Tip

Another writing tip from someone wiser. But I'd finish the quote with one more line
 ... I'll bolt the door and then I'll write.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Easy to Write

Why is it easier to write when I know I have only a few minutes? Is it a form of procrastination? The Freudian flip-side, perhaps?  If I have a whole day to devote to my characters--or they to me, as the case may be--then I find a hundred little things that must be done immediately, in succession, or better yet in tandem, so that no one thing is ever completed . . . but if I have only a few minutes before I have to be out the door, the words flow like water.

So I've developed a faucet solution to a Freudian problem. It's actually very simple: I sit myself down at the computer (knowing I can only stay a moment or three), then I turn on the tap and let the letters flow. After a bit, the faucet goes off and I jump up and sweep the floor, take a walk, shampoo my hair, or a even just load the washing machine. That's when the ideas break over me in waves . . . and then I rush back to the computer and try to capture them in print. Somedays, it's as exhausting as treading water in a storm. But the words do flow. Maybe they aren't the perfect, good china words I long for, but as someone much wiser than I once said,

Friday, November 18, 2016

Only $500 What a Steal!

Just came across a paperback copy of my STEVIE-GIRL AND THE PHANTOM STUDENT on Amazon for only $500. I guess someone will snap that right up. LOL 

Now, I'm interested in readers' opinions on whether it is necessary to have the ebook cover match the paperback/print cover? I've found myself in this position for the first time and I'm wondering if it's good or bad or simply doesn't matter. What say you?