Thursday, April 15, 2010

Speaking Of Worrying...

I have always been a worrier. I probably worried about the other babies in the nursery shortly after I was born.There's nothing I haven't worried about. My family and friends. Co-workers. Neighbors.  Patients and their families at my work. Celebrities. Politicians. Foreign governments. Global Warming.
Rain forests. Animals on the endangered species lists. Missing Children.

I worry about my own health and everyone else's. The Deficit. Our troops. The American Economy. Crime. The unemployed. Will there be Social Security when I'm old enough to retire? Violence in schools and bullies. Sex offenders. My Landlord. The guy who is installing the new windows in my complex. The girl who recently got evicted. The list goes on and on.

Sometimes I worry that I'm not worried enough. Or that I haven't worried about something I should have been worried about. It bothers me when I see other people who don't seem to be worried at all. I worry that their lack of worrying will cause future catastrophes. 

I wonder if I believe that worrying will prevent bad things from happening, or lessen the degree. Sort of like a Catholic's Purgatory. If you say enough prayers while you're living, you won't have to spend as much time in Purgatory after you die.

I worry that my anxieties might be a... problem. I suppose I could seek counciling or go on medication. But then I'd have to worry about making appointments, getting there and the adverse effects of anti-anxiety agents on my body.

Somebody has to do the worrying. Don't worry. I got your back!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Face Book

I've only been an avid participant on Face Book for a little over a year now, but I can hardly remember life without it. In some ways, Face Book has deepened my present relationships and revived old ones. In just a few minutes, I can see what every single friend is up to, hoping to do and already done. There are pictures of them and their families. I can see what kind of movies, music and recipes they enjoy. I'm right there when they get any kind of news, good or bad, and can offer words of encouragement, praise, prayers and congratulations.
I can't help but wonder if all this knowledge is... unhealthy. I now worry about more things and people than I ever did before. Are John and Cathy drinking too much? Will Kathy's mother be alright living by herself in Florida? What if she really starts a fire next time? Is Donna making a mistake moving to Tennessee? It's great that Lisa K is traveling so much, but is she safe? Maybe Mina shouldn't have taken that BF back again. I'm not the only one who thinks that... there were many comments when she broke off with him. What if Nicole can't sell her house? When will Sara's next book be out? Will her sister become a star now that she moved to LA? Jackie works too much. Will someone give Walt a ride home from the dentist after he gets his wisdom teeth extracted? I hope Rose does well in school. Jude is going to miss her grandson so much. Rupal will make such a good mother someday. Her brother-in-law IS a PIA. Sharon's still in pain after her surgery. Bonnie is having strange dreams. Are Brad's teeth really whiter in that un-retouched photo? Jeanette's mother doesn't like what she's wearing in one of her videos. Jen graduated and got a new job. We'll miss her. Theresa got married? Let me see what he looks like... Amy's baby is adorable. Cathy and Ray are going to Disneyworld. Deneen's pregnant!  Joe K got fired for being in a coma! Lisa V wants someone to adopt a cat. Denna's so tired. Shirley sure plays a lot of games. Awww! My son and his wife are writing little love notes to each other. OMG! If my daughter leaves that picture of herself up there, I'll have to kill her.
The hours creep by. I'm still reading. Face Book is addicting.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Vote For Me!

I recently entered the 'This Old House' contest. I submitted several pictures of the absolutely amazing renovation of my friend Ray's house, several years ago. 

When I met Ray, his house was practically falling down. His lawn was an over-grown jungle, hiding it from view (which many neighbors were thankful for). The porch was sagging. The mail had to be delivered to a box resting on the bottom step, as any attempt to climb the steps might cause it to collapse. The cedar-shake shingles were cracked and covered with ivy. Most of the windows didn't open. The master bathroom was covered in mold. There was no closet in the master bedroom.

Fearing for my safety while I was living there, my kids encouraged us to renovate the property. Luckily, my son, Joe Vance, Jr. ran his own home remodeling company. It took us nearly a year, but the results were amazing!

Ray's house was across the street from a park. As the renovations progressed, many joggers yelled words of encouragement. When it was finished, some even stopped and applauded!

Take a moment to view the before and after pictures. If you think our project is a winner, please vote for us. One vote per Internet address per day. The contest is over at the end of May. Rate us a "100", then hit the 'Submit' button. Thanks!

Fantastic, eh? Please vote!

Vance Home Remodeling

Friday, April 2, 2010

Guest Interview: Denyse Bridger

I am so excited to have a very talented and successful writer as my Guest today. Please welcome Denyse Bridger! Feel free to ask a question or leave a comment.

1) With over 400 stories and books to your credit, you are quite an accomplished writer. Do you have a favorite? What made it so memorable for you?
I have several favourites among my many books, but weirdly enough they're not the ones that sell best! Which clearly means I'm not the one to judge it in any respect. My best-seller is one I'm not overly wild about, but my personal favourites sell very little - even though I think they're better written. Among my personal choices are my Historical Fantasy, AS FATE DECREES. (I'm doing an all-day event at Bitten By Books on April 19th related to this novel, by the way). FATE is available everywhere in book stores and online stores, so it's my "biggest" novel to date. In the ebooks, I think two of my best are the Victorian era mysteries that I wrote called THE DEVANE FILES. I seem to do popular vampires, as well!! FATE is memorable for all the obvious reasons, first major release, first real book launch party at a bookstore, nominated for a major fantasy award six months after release, all of those things are unforgettable. DEVANE is memorable because I got to marry a lot of interests in those books, give them a sensually erotic touch, and a hero who is flawed but so appealing. He's a clairvoyant police inspector who is addicted to opium, and haunted by the Jack the Ripper murders. Makes him something very special in many ways.

2) I see that you are a Gemini, too. Do you think astrological signs have anything to do with writing ability or luck in the publishing business?
I'm not really much of a believer in astrology. I think all people possess some element of the Divine in their personalities, and I do believe each of us is born with a "gift" - be it writing, painting, singing, whatever art is your passion. Luck is just Fate or Destiny, isn't it? At least that's my belief. I think we are, each of us, where we are meant to be, when we're meant to be there - you can choose your path, but whatever choices you make, you end up where you were Fated to be.

3) Do you ever base your characters on real-life people?
Sometimes, yes, but always with their permission. The heroes of two of my upcoming stories are real men that I know. One is a soldier, and there's a book trailer done for his story, called "Viper's Nest" - you can see it on my YouTube channel:  -- My first release with Moongypsy Press in May is called "Games of Seduction" and the trailer for that is also done - watch for an image of the real hero in that one, too. Viper is based on a real soldier, and he's supplied the images in the video. I usually allow my heroines to have one single trait that is based on me, be it a hair colour, or a mannerism - I find this grounds the character and makes them real to me, so.... it helps write them.

4) I noticed that you have many different publishers. Why? Would you advise new authors to do the same?
I like to experiment with many genres, and not every publisher wants a dozen different types of stories by the same author. Also, some publishers love short stories, others hate them, so there are times when I create a short piece that I don't want to expand, and I need a publisher who likes to put the shorter tales out there, as well as the
novel length ones. I think every author needs to explore publishers and see where they will fit best. The thing is, be honest with yourself, until you have some kind of track record or reputation, you cannot pick and choose overmuch. You need to find a publisher who will take a chance on you, then work from there. Many new authors forget, this is a business first and foremost, and you are not gifting a publishing house with your work, they are doing you the service of taking a chance on your ability to better their business. Work with your editors with the understanding that this is for your benefit, not theirs - if you think otherwise, they have a thousand other authors all too eager to take your place and be easier to work with while they do it.

5) Who were your favorite and least favorite characters? Why?
Michael Devane was one of my favourite characters, and Amarantha from my fantasy novel. Or are we talking other authors' characters? If we're talking other authors, my favourite fictional character of all time is Sherlock Holmes, and one of my favourite female characters is Scarlett O'Hara. One is brilliant, and the other is the wonderful mixture of beauty, brains, and sheer determination of will that we all wish ourselves to possess. I dislike any character that is deliberately stupid, but otherwise I rarely dislike anyone or anything intensely.

6) When you write a particularly moving scene, does it bring you to tears?
Only once, and that was more of a self-catharsis than anything else. I cried my heart out while I wrote it, and I've never been able to read it since then. Otherwise, since I don't read my own work and never have, I can't say that I know I've written anything particularly moving, you'd
have to ask someone who's read my books to get an honest answer to that question, Lisa! 

Thanks so much for having me today as your guest. If anyone has any questions, ask away - and visit my website and look around - lots of cool stuff there.... book trailers, freebies, postcards to send, a guestbook to sign, link to my newsletter... and books - of all types! I'll grab a name at the end of the day and if there's a title that looks good to you, mention it in your comment, and include your email - you might find a surprise in your mailbox tomorrow morning!!
Talk to you throughout the day!!

Hugs to all,


Denysé Bridger
Romantic Moments (Free Reads):
Sensual Treats Magazine:
Facebook Fan Page:

Thanks so much, Denyse! I wish you continuing success!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Less-er Me

The road to a healthier lifestyle starts with one small step. I cleaned out my kitchen cabinets and threw away everything that wasn't healthy. By the time I finished, there was nothing left. I decided that I had to go food shopping. That's a task I only engage in once or twice a year. McDonald's is right behind my condo, and I usually eat in the hospital cafeteria.

By the amount of people in Shop Rite I have to assume that many people still cook and use real food.  I know I shouldn't have gone food shopping when I was hungry. But what choice did I have? All of my cupboards were bare. Think healthy, I told myself. Temptation was everywhere. Grapes, juicy peaches, plums and bananas in the fruit section. Ice cream in with the frozen foods. Lucky Charms in the cereal aisle. Ready Whipped Cream and tapioca pudding in the dairy section. They even had chocolate chip mousse behind the counter with the lunch meats in the Deli.

The hardest part was walking through the Bakery Section. I bet they have a bakery in heaven. There is nothing on earth like the smell of cinnamon. I saw blueberry muffins with sugar crumb topping. Strawberry Short Cakes. Cherry Danish.  Chocolate layer cake with butter cream icing.  The temptations were almost too much to bear.  Actually they WERE too much. If I didn't have a scheduled meeting at work today, I'd still be there. Only a SWAT Team and a sharp shooter would have been capable of taking me out. Shoppers would have grabbed their children and run to the exit doors, fearing for their very lives. The store manager would have begged me over the intercom not to rip open any more packages of sticky buns. Newscasters would have interviewed my neighbors on live TV.  "She seemed like such a quiet woman.... We're totally shocked."  The surveillance cameras would have shown me clutching a Jewish Apple Cake to my chest. Eyes wild and glazed. Melted chocolate and powdered sugar all over my face.  "Come any closer and I'll eat another one!  I mean it!" 

I can do this. I am the master of my own destiny.The skinny woman inside of me is screaming to get out. Sigh! I am going to untie her and remove her gag.