Running Wild – the movie

This 1998 movie, Running Wild, was one I picked up from the library and I wasn’t sure I wanted to watch it. It seemed too intense from the blurb. Ha. The joke was on me.

Cheesiest romance, totally kid powered, with hapless villains that meet their end in random explosions and by going over the falls. The scenery and music are amazing and up the entertainment value.

Ahh, just what I needed.  Recommend. The only disappointment was the crocs were only props.

It could be your last…

The holiday season has always begun for me with Halloween. There was that party when I was dressed as a gypsy and the house was full of kids in costume. The game was to bite an apple hung from a string and I was short with my new front teeth barely breaking through my gums. I didn’t win the prize but years later my high school friends showed up in a variety of costumes and rated my haunted house creation as the best.

Thanksgiving traditions were all about the food and football. I loved it. This year football was not my focus but the game played after our food feast was called, “apples to apples” and it triggered many fond memories for me as well as setting the stage for new traditions in our future family celebrations.

During the preparation stage, of our potluck Thanksgiving dinner this year, I mentioned my intent at holiday activities was to approach them as the potential of being the last one. This isn’t with a morbid fascination but an awareness that life experiences can change. Like when a move from Ohio to New Jersey in 1982 meant the last time I participated in the annual family celebrations was the year before. During the 1980’s I would often contemplate my lack of awareness that the family Thanksgiving tradition I expected to flavor my life was a past experience now, never to be repeated. Every annual ritual is different from the one before.

Again, in 1997 we were planning a family move from New Jersey to Oregon, and the death of a grandmother took us back to Ohio, the holiday celebrations that year took on a new flavor for me. I knew these were the last time we would do these activities in this home, this state. Change was happening for my family. So everything was more vibrant as I savored ever color and aroma.

It’s not easy to travel through a flux of time. This is when the traditions of the past are in conflict with the potentials of the future. I will not blow smoke and say it is easy. But having done it, I can say it is worth it. Consider your experiences of today may be the last time you can celebrate being thankful for what is – as it may become – what was.

Johnny Depp, and his movie director Bruce Robinson, burst into hysterical at the concept that they were going to die.

I’ve often laughed at being alive. It’s fun. Because I’m not dead. There are stories yet to tell…

Holiday Prep

Thanksgiving Day is the favorite holiday in our house as it’s all about the food and football. There are other traditions we include, like being thankful adventurers came to America over the past few centuries and now we can roast a turkey in apricot glaze. This includes appreciation for innovation that brings us electricity and aluminum foil. We also like being able to watch the Macy’s parade in NYC on our TV in Oregon.

Today is the food preparation day for me. I’m not doing the turkey but am making some sides, treats, and the traditional sausage stuffing. The variation this year is I am making the sausage with turkey and personal control over the ingredients. I am thankful I do not have any dietary issues and am fascinated to learn modifications to old recipes so they can be enjoyed by all. No one will miss the lack of pork fat with our fowl.

Happy Thanksgiving – Be Grateful Daily!

Year of the Rabbit

2011 is the Year of The Rabbit and there has been a lot of hopping around in my life this year. In my Feng Shui book the description of the energetic quality of the Year of the Rabbit states:

A respite from the past year and a breather before the next, rest is indicated here.

Respite and rest have not flavored my year except recently as I reaquainted myself to that marvelous place called the library. With this rediscovery was the reminder that, as a writer of books, I need to read books. Ahh, I’m currently reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog and savoring the utter beauty of words on the page.

This is a time for negotiations and settlements, but not for new ventures.

I can see this flavor in retrospect though often I’ve felt like – aren’t we done with this yet? – why haven’t we got this going yet? (I’ve often been accused of wanting things yesterday.)

Women’s and family concerns are considered important.

Two daughters moved, another married. It was delightful to be absorbed in all those bridal and decorating activities. I also spent a lot of time with women exploring their passions in crafts of quilting, knitting, ceramics, baking and writing.

Add to all this bunny bouncing this year, the 2011 Rabbit also had the flavor of negatively charged metal.

Metal can be a beautiful and precious commodity, or the blade of a weapon. It represents solidity and the ability to contain objects. It is also a conductor. Negatively, it can suggest destruction, danger and sadness.

Ed and I both had to take our vehicles in for collision repair this year, my car was hit in March, his truck had a loading incident in October. The only other car accident we’ve had was in 2002, and the car was totaled so no repair. That was Year of the Horse, with a positive water element.

January 23rd, 2012 begins the Year of the Dragon:

The time for new business ventures and projects. Euphoric and unpredictable, this is the year for outlandish schemes and taking risks. Dragon babies are considered lucky.

The element for the year is water, with a positive charge. It will be interesting to review next year how all this played out in my life. It sounds like fun times and only three more months of hopping around before I practice belching fire.

novel writing month

Thousands are pounding keyboards this NaNoWriMo month in an attempt to reach a word count. I’m working on a new process to create a novel instead and have a 12 page How-To reference outline.  It’s utterly dreary but no characters were screaming in my head to have their story written before it fades. My goal is to have a solid synopsis to go over with my critique partners this weekend.

To find my romantic hero and heroine I picked two real life characters as templates and now have a Cancer Moon Maiden matched with an Intellectual Water Bearer. Their moons are aligned and they have fiery identities to protect their inner child wounds. They were faceless and nameless for a week but the more I worked with their issues and interests the more solid they became.

As I imagined these characters in scenes, a setting began to form with terra firma under their feet and scenery around them. Scents, textures and colors emerged as my characters began to move and speak to confirm it’s not a dark and creepy story but bright and challenging. Yeah! My favorite type to read so it will be happy writing.

Romance novel checklist: Hero, heroine, setting, back story, wounds, mentor, sidekick. All good and I’ve added careers, conflicts, and themes to my outline. Their names and mannerisms were revealed as I fleshed out more scenes then specific issues and secrets appeared. Yeah, going well!

On Saturday, I attended Delilah Marvelle’s workshop on Writing Sex Scenes which Jenna has recapped. The focus of this workshop was the importance of the writer being in the mood in order to accomplish valid story goals by putting the characters in the mood. It was a great workshop and now I’m looking at my outline regarding the sexual arc of my characters. I write more intimate-sensation than hot-n-steamy.

I could be using the November novel month focus to polish a novel to submit to the publisher of my choice. Instead I am developing a process that aligns the books already written, that are as yet unpublished, to the books I have yet to begin. I’m not going to be a one-book-wonder to disappear into obscurity. This is part of my journey.  What I learn from my new process and story I will then apply to this novel that is almost ready to submit.

Every author has to find their own process and get there on their own journey.

It happened on 11/11/11

It was a fun day for me! First, my Christmas Cactus bloomed.

Christmas Cactus

This is an event because the blossoms are awesome, vibrant, and it always blooms in early November.

I had some fun with numbers on the clock today as I only looked at the time when something caught my attention.  Then I had to laugh because my attention was caught on something that compelled me to check the time… that began at 1:11 am, 11:55am, 2:55pm, 3:11pm and finally 11:11pm.

We attended our grandson’s birthday celebration this evening and it was a great party.

Devon 9th Birthday 055

You’ll notice this picture is # 55. :D

It was time to open presents and the kids gathered, while the adults watched. There had already been games played – Toss Across, Bingo – and a paper airplane competition.

The under 21 crowd

The over 21 crowd

Musical chairs were played by black-light and my camera flashes were like a strobe. First the kids played then the adults had a round…

Now, you’ve seen pictures taken from my camera.  If you follow my blog you know I believe laughter and fun times will attract orbs, whatever they are. No need to travel to specific points on the globe – or sacred caves. Just have a fun party and a boxing match…

Devon 9th Birthday 074

Devon 9th Birthday 077

Some of them orbs are bit frisky as they were on one daughters boob and another daughters belt buckle.

Them frisky orbs were in lots of pictures because that’s what I was asked to do, take lots of pictures so my eldest, who was hosting the party, would have a record of the event.

11×3

Have a great triple eleven day, especially when there will be five at 11:11 on 11/11/11.  There’s a fun pyramid of these numbers at synchrosecrets.

It is also Veteran’s Day in the USA and while I want to see the war machine put into museums or out to pasture, I totally honor the individual warriors involved for the cause of honor and freedom through history.

On Monday night, 11/14 the first story of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will air on TV and I’ll be watching because I agree with her mother who said, “I think Gabby’s got a message now that exceeds the political one. … Gabby is a warrior.”

I’ve posted about numbers a few times and there are numerous websites and books about numbers and numerology. My advice is read them or not. The only truth about numbers is they are one language that translates easily at the global level regarding music, money, and all measurements from cooking, to building, to aging.

Whether you mark the date for the triple elevens,  or the six ones, regardless what the skeptics say a lot of people see the day as cause for celebration and anything that creates a surge of happy energy is an awesome thing.

sports widow vs romance widower

Yesterday was a fun mother/daughter day. First, we got new jeans for me that my daughter had to approve as not being “mom jeans.” Then we went downtown for the Body, Mind and Spirit Expo because I met a woman named Yvonne at the writer conference last weekend and she was an exhibitor there, this weekend. Yvonne’s Dream Interpretation tent and team were our favorite spot in the whole expo. So while my daughter chose to sit with a team of three inside the dream tent to discuss recent nightmares, I chatted with Yvonne’s husband in the aisle.

Romance novels have been compared to sports because in many ways it’s the same appeal. Sport followers like to watch teams battle balls across specific tracts of land according officiated rules. Romance readers like to watch the battle of the sexes across specific time frames in history and on other planets. Yvonne’s husband is still adjusting to his new role as a romance writer widower, except the difference is it’s not just a game to watch for the romance writer. She’s the owner and coach in this sport.

His first question to me was to explain the difference between erotica romance and porn. Delilah Marvelle explained this to me, so I shared what I understand. Porn is the physical act of tab A into slot B no matter what other enhancements may be involved. Erotica is (when done well) how the characters exploring the physical tabs, slots, and enhancements, are able to take an emotional journey to self love and then learn intimacy within a physical partnership. I personally don’t read erotic romance but will always promote the emotional journey a character takes to a happy ending that promotes intimacy.  In some cultures the physical sex act is also spiritual.

The sport analogy between football and erotic romance is silly but it works because there are many who understand being passionate for a sport even as an observer. I don’t promote the observer mentality but it is a good place to begin a new journey. Humans are emotional beings so wherever emotions are part of the journey is a good thing.

This evening, Ed sat on his corner of the couch watching Sunday night football, and I sat on my corner of the couch with my research books and tools to explore characters for a new romance novel. There was nothing erotic about our evening but it could be considered an intimate happily-ever-after. :D

the Cherry challenge

Cherry Adair is an amazing woman who’s also written a few books. I’m finally reading one. This is the conundrum of a writer, we’re so involved in the world of books, and have authors as friends, we seldom stop to read the NYT best-sellers even when we get to chat with them often.

Cherry’s got hair like mine and we chatted about how she had just gotten hers done and I was due for my next enhancement. 

Cherry always poses the “Finish the damn book challenge” at the ECRW conference and this year I decided to take it. I know I’ll be at the conference next year as I’ll be one of the workshop presenters with C. Morgan Kennedy and our still to be embellished Author Marketing 101 workshop and potential book. We’ll be working on it this winter…

Today I actually read the rules of Cherry’s “Finish the damn book challenge” and realized that it has to be a NEW story begun and polished within the year. I hadn’t considered NEW. I have two novels to polish and this third one of … Then, there are those books in the storage box that need to be shredded but not until I give them a look through because they were not half bad, they are really bad, but there are gems of ideas worth a look since they claimed my attention for a whole year each…

New. Not started before 10/28/2011 and will be completed by September 15, 2012. Which is three months before Doomsday so I can’t count on that as an excuse.

What to write about? Begin a NEW story? This is a serious issue! Shit. I’ve got so much in process, so many files… But the new concept resonated with me. The new me. The new story plan. I’ve got a business plan, a marketing plan, a writing plan, a career plan. This “Finish the damn book challenge” makes me feel a new story plan is connected to a new life plan.

Cherry Adair is an amazing woman and I’m totally impressed by the tiny bits of information I know about her. It’s funny that I know more about her process to write her books than anything about her books since I am only now reading one. I’m even doing my damn-dest to read it like a reader instead of dissecting it as a writer.

There’s no way to know how I will succeed on any of these levels, that’s why it’s called a challenge.

learning to love

As you know, I was just at a romance writers conference and it was probably one of the best ones I’ve ever attended for a variety of personal and professional reasons. Like a good novel, the events are scheduled to progress with keynote speakers. The last one of the weekend was Sarah Wendell, better known as “Smart Bitch Sarah” of SmartBitchesTrashyBooks.com. She’s one of the co-authors of Beyond Heaving Bosoms and the author of a new jewel,  Everything I know about love I learned from romance novels.

I’ve watched the evolution of Sarah’s career as an author and have been a follower of the rollicking website. It’s a fun story full of controversy, drama, romance books, and advice that romance authors remember to wear their big girl panties. I was thrilled to have a copy of her latest book on the seat of my chair for the final conference event. I’d forgotten she was the keynote speaker for the Sunday luncheon.

I squealed in delight as I held the book. The cover is smooth and firm, the pages are crisp and the size of the book is just sooo right. I felt like I was holding quality in my hands. I’ve read “Bosoms” more than once and it is a forever keeper on my bookshelf. Now that I’ve read this one, it will also be one.

I’ve learned about love in many more places than within the pages of romance novels, but I’ve been blessed. What this book contains is the stories of how romance novels have touched the hearts and mind of readers. I’ve heard tons of these stories over the years and have my own to tell. Her name was Candy Hall, she was a southern belle and a temporary neighbor of mine in New Jersey. Candy handed me paper grocery bags neatly stacked with every type of romance novel. Some of them were barely an hours read, many were god-awful.

Romance novels only promise two things, an emotional journey as a relationship is created – and a happy ending.

As I read through grocery bags of these books in the mid 1980’s I remember feeling connected to a bigger world where there were a multitude of choices available from soup to shoes. Men and women came in all sizes, shapes and colors, with a plethora of passions, and – they all were looking for a happy together future.

I remember feeling so grateful that there were hundreds of authors on this planet, and a variety of publishing venues, willing to devote their time and business budgets to producing what was known as Trashy Books. They were cheaply made, and easy to buy anywhere.

But the words within the pages had the power to transform. They created a connection, for me, to a greater community of women through trashy fiction. We have evolved, ladies, from accepting a ripped bodice to being in control of our personal destiny. There are young woman around the world who will need the stories we have yet to tell.

Love is an ever evolving construct of the human condition and we can never explore all the nuances in one place. But we’ve got to start somewhere and if a romance novel is the first spark, say Amen and Hallelujah! Then put on your big girl panties and strive forth.

I thank you, Sarah. You are a voice in the wilderness for all the young women looking for love in all the wrong places.

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