Sunday, February 27, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday 2-27-11

 Happy Anniversary to Six Sentence Sunday! What a fun site!

This week, we'll take six sentences from my first paranormal romance 'Passing Whispers'. It's been a year since Kate lost her husband during a robbery. Not only has he come back from the grave to say goodbye, he's trying to help her find a new love. He encourages Kate to go on a date with a co-worker, and promises that he'll stay home and watch a movie on TV.

"Which movie? Let me guess…Ghost, Sixth Sense or Beetlejuice?”
No, he said, putting his hands on his hips defiantly. City Of Angels, actually.
“Why? Does that movie portray the world of spirits in a way that’s closer to the truth than the others?”
No, because Meg Ryan looks really hot in scrubs.
She laughed and threw a towel at him. Then she went into her closet and slipped on a pair of high heels.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

An Apology To My Stuff

Dear Stuff:
I don't know how to break this to you... but we're moving again. I know. I know. How many times can one person move? You're right. How many times have I promised that it was the last time? All I can say is that I'm sorry.

Some of you have been with me since I was a teenager. Let's not try to calculate exactly how long that is. Some of you have stuck with me through 28 years of marriage, the birth of three children and three grand-children. I will reward your senority with extra bubble-wrap. I know you're old. And tired. I am, too.

I know some of you carry the scars of sharing a life with me. Cracks, chips, wrinkles, fading and yellowing. I share your pain. Children have written on you with crayons and magic marker. Dropped you and used you for lowly tasks un-befitting of your value to me. I swear, I swooped you up every time I saw the kids using you as a kitty dish or ashtray. 

And I haven't forgotten the brave stuff that didn't make it through the moves. I shudder when I recall the roughness of the past moving men. The poor items left behind in the old places or the moving vans. My heart still aches for the stuff I lost to my ex-husband in the divorce. If I ever start dating a burglar, I assure you, I'll have him rob the ex's place and get you all back where you really belong.

Please try to have positive thoughts. Every time we move, you all get a good cleaning. I find new places to show you off. I reminisce of the day I got you. What could be better than that? And, as with every move, there will be new stuff. They may be shinier and brighter, but they will never replace you.

Please... forgive me. I will watch over the young bucks helping me tomorrow, and scream at each and every one of them to be careful, every five minutes. I already have extra tubes of glue in case of emergencies.

Stick with me, guys. We're a team. I can't promise this will be the last move... but at least I'm not old enough to be in a nursing home. Yet.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday 2-20-11

Hello again! I'm so excited to be part of Six Sentence Sunday! It's been a lot of fun so far! This excerpt is from 'LeeAnn Vaughn: A Way With Murder' again. 

Last week, we met Arnold Longfield, a despicable, callous husband who's planning to murder his wife. This week, he's just injected her with succinylcholine. He already called 911 and carried her to the bathroom while waiting for them to respond. He plans to tell them she's suffering from an asthma attack.

He knelt down beside Lenore and looked directly into her eyes. “What’s that, dear? You can’t breathe?” He chuckled as he placed his fingers under her chin and tilted her face up towards his. “Don’t worry. An ambulance is on the way. You hang in there a little longer, okay?”

Six Sentence Sunday is the lovely idea of Sara Brookes, and it’s a chance for novelists to post on their blogs six sentences from a current work-in-progress, finished novel making the agent-editor rounds, or published masterpiece. A central website, appropriately entitled Six Sentence Sunday, then hosts a set of links, enabling anyone interested to check ‘em out.
Interested writers are encouraged to join the fun. Read the instructions here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Little Frustrations

Maybe it's because I'm getting old and crotchety, but it doesn't take a lot to set me off now adays (including the fact that my spell checker firmly believes that 'now adays' is NOT a word. It IS! Isn't it?). However, there must be a certain amount of satisfaction derived from complaining. I work as a nursing supervisor and everyone complains to me. I can only assume it's because it makes them feel better. So, today I want to rant about 'Word Verification'.

I enjoy reading many Blogs, and sometimes I leave a comment. Or, I TRY to leave a comment. I get it just right (one that will make everyone think I'm funny, clever and oh, so entertaining) and then that 'Word Verification' box comes up. Your comment will not be posted unless you type in the word that is written in the box. They claim it's to protect the Blog Writer from Spam generated by computers. That only a human is able to read the 'Word Verification'.

This rubs me in all the wrong places (and usually causes me to suffer additional hot flashes I might not have had) for several reasons.
1) I write  a Blog. I would gladly erase spam comments from my Blog if it made it easier for Readers to comment. I want my Readers to enjoy themselves while they're here, not suffer even one teensy speck of extra frustration. I personally know many of my Readers and believe me when I say they don't need any more frustration in their lives.
2) Does someone actually think that HUMANS don't write spam messages?
3) I'm middle-aged with LOTS of company. We Baby Boomers will soon be in the majority. (Yea Us!) Most of the time I can't READ the 'Word Verification'. They write what they think is a cleverly disguised word for us to re-type. The word is usually twisted. Sometimes the letters are typed so close together, it's hard to distinguish one from another. Often, I'm not sure if the letter is a lower case 'L' or an upper case 'I'. 

I never get it on the first attempt. Occasionally, my initial frustration is exasperated by the entire comment being erased. The one that I so cleverly wrote, but can't remember now. 

WHY DO THEY DO THIS? Why can't we just write a damn comment, and then let the Blog writer decide whether to post it or not? Why does every little thing have to be so hard? 

Where's my Xanax?

Leave me a comment. If you can!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Well, here I was, all ready to post a blog about the sickeningly sweet displays of Valentine's Day that will abound today. I was going to grumble about all the money wasted on greetings cards, chocolate, flowers and expensive dinners couples would be buying for each other to 'prove their love'.

I was planning to accuse Hallmark of deliberately inventing such a day, just to increase their profits. I envisioned myself smirking at all the weddings and marriage proposals taking place today. I even thought about recalling my elementary school days, where a shy and lonely little girl may have perceived her entire worth as a person from the amount of Valentine's Day cards she did or didn't get from her classmates.

Being divorced myself, and not having a date for the past two years made me kind of jaded, I guess. Not to mention the menopausal witch who lives inside of me, ever waiting to jump out and rear her ugly head. 

Yep, I was gonna do it up big time. Just about ruin the day for all the happy couples I could find. 

But then, just like in the story 'The Grinch Who Stole Christmas' my teeny little heart warmed and grew. I met a guy on-line and met him for dinner on Saturday night. He was very nice and we talked for three and a half hours. Better yet, we've planned a second date. And although it's very new and may not even go anywhere, I've been reminded what it's like to be a "we". The pleasure of an intimate conversation with a person who wants to know you, not because he's related to you, or works with you, but because he wants to. The warm glow and distant flicker of excitement to think that maybe, just maybe, he may even desire me as a woman. For so long now I have thought of myself only as a mom, a grandmom and a nursing supervisor. The role of woman was rapidly becoming a faded memory.

And even if it doesn't work out, I felt honored to be considered, relieved I still had it in me to get out there and try and blessed to be reminded of what romance is all about.

Relationships are hard. Should we have a day set aside to celebrate love, however much we're lucky to have? You betcha!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday 2-13-11

I'm almost finished my next novel 'LeeAnn Vaughn: A Way With Murder'.  LeeAnn's a middle-aged nursing supervisor at a small hospital in South Jersey. With a divorce behind her, an exasperatingly unfocused daughter with a young son to worry about, a philandering, unemployed boyfriend, a father with Alzheimer's in a nursing home to care for and the daily struggle of fighting menopause, she leads a pretty normal life.

But when a woman is brought into the emergency room and dies after an asthma attack, LeeAnn suspects... murder. No one takes her suspicions seriously, so she sets out to prove it on her own. Using only the skills she learned watching forensic television shows, a wild imagination and a caring heart of a nurse, she puts herself and her family in danger. Here's an excerpt:

Lenore was snoring and a bit of drool oozed out the corner of her mouth. She had taken off her shoes during the flight and he now imagined that he could smell her feet. Any other time, Longfield would be disgusted, but this time, he smiled. He knew the years of suffering with his wife’s numerous personality flaws were almost over.  In three more days… she‘ll be dead.
“We’re getting ready to land, sweetheart,” he whispered into Lenore’s ear. “See? I told you there was nothing to worry about.”

Six Sentence Sunday is the lovely idea of Sara Brookes, and it’s a chance for novelists to post on their blogs six sentences from a current work-in-progress, finished novel making the agent-editor rounds, or published masterpiece. A central website, appropriately entitled Six Sentence Sunday, then hosts a set of links, enabling anyone interested to check ‘em out.
Interested writers are encouraged to join the fun. Read the instructions here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday 1-23-11

It had been almost a year since her husband was murdered. Kate couldn’t remember much of the funeral or the months that followed. The State had handled the details, knowing police funerals always attracted both the media and large crowds.
Endel’s friends dropped by frequently, especially Joe and his wife, Bonnie, but Kate spent most of her time alone. She still lived in the same house and worked at the Center, but nothing meant much to her anymore. She went through the day on autopilot, almost unaware of everything and everyone around her.

That was an excerpt from my paranormal romance novel 'Passing Whispers'. To purchase the E-book go to Amazon.

Six Sentence Sunday is the lovely idea of Sara Brookes, and it’s a chance for novelists to post on their blogs six sentences from a current work-in-progress, finished novel making the agent-editor rounds, or published masterpiece. A central website, appropriately entitled Six Sentence Sunday, then hosts a set of links, enabling anyone interested to check ‘em out.
Interested writers are encouraged to join the fun. Read the instructions here.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Can You See My Glow From Outer Space?

It's a shame that menopausal hot flashes have no real purpose. I'm not talking about the once-in-a-while, mild, rather uncomfortable feeling of warmth that some lucky women describe. I mean the all-encompassing, "yes, my entire body has been thrust into a pizza oven and I am about to burst into flames" kind of hot flash. I suffer with them numerous times a day, violently distracted from whatever I'm doing in an intense, often frenzied attempt to make it bearable. In between hot flashes, I'm dreading the next one. Many of my menopausal friends have been suffering with them for over 20 years! If no relief is in sight, can we make them WORTHWHILE? I have a few suggestions, if Mother Nature is listening:
1) Hot Flashes could be used to burn off one's sins. Thus, a woman who suffers with a great number of them, or ones of high intensity, could pretty much be assured a place in heaven when her time comes. 
2) If a woman has led a good life, and really doesn't have that many sins to burn off, her hot flashes could be used to burn off the sins of a loved one, or a favorite, but naughty friend.
3) With so many baby boomers suffering with hot flashes, it's a shame no one can figure out a way to capture all that heat and use it to a homeowner's advantage. We could lower our energy bills in the winter, heat pools in the summer and save the environment at the same time.
4) If the intense heat from a hot flash could be channeled and then shot out through the eyes or tips of fingers, menopausal women could sterilize a grandchild's dropped pacifier, dry clean her family's clothes, and steam clean carpets and drapes with a single glance. I'd even be willing to iron wrinkles out the clothes of strangers I met on the street. We could defrost dinner in a matter of seconds and melt chocolate for strawberry dipping or S'more preparation.
5) At the VERY LEAST, we should be able to conjure one up when we need one. Like walking out to the car on a frosty morning. Wouldn't it be nice to enjoy the instant warmth for a change? Eskimo women could keep the igloo toasty. Farmer's wives could hatch little chicks by the dozens. Moms could warm up their children after playing in the snow with just one hug. Aging nurses could warm blood and IV fluids right at the bedside. Sterilize instruments as the surgeon uses them.

I'm sure there must be dozens of uses for hot flashes. Can we find a silver lining to this dark and disturbing cloud? I can't see any danger in pursuing it. I doubt that legions of unbalanced women would get together and plot to destroy the world with a simultaneous hot flash of epic proportion. Besides... the benefits would certainly outweigh the risks.

Alas, I am not a genius or a doctor. My only hope is that maybe some scientist will read this and get inspired. A Nobel Peace Prize may be at stake!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Another Sad Day

My heart is heavy for Congresswoman Giffords and the other people who were shot in Arizona on Saturday. Six were killed. Fourteen wounded. What a senseless tragedy.

Gabe Zimmerman - 30 year old event organizer. Engaged to be married.

Dorwan Stoddard - 76 year old retiree. Active in his church and married to his high school sweetheart.

Christina Taylor Green - 9 years old. She had just been elected to the student council at her school and wanted to meet the Congresswoman in person.

US District Judge John Roll. Survived by his wife, three sons and five grandchildren.

Phyllis Schneck - 79 year old NJ grandmother who had retired in Arizona.

Dorothy Morris - 76 year old retiree. Her husband, George remains in critical condition.

Six lives lost. 14 wounded. Not to mention the devastation Jared Loughner, the 22 year old shooter, brought on his own family.

And it could have been worse. Loughner was attempting to re-load another  magazine when four bystanders wrestled him to the ground. One of those heroes was Patricia Maisch, a 61 year old grandmother. She bravely grabbed the magazine out of the gunman's hands. It was then that three other people were able to tackle him and hold him until police arrived.

We'll probably never know why Loughner committed such an act. Not that it would matter. No reason could ever justify what he did. All we can do is pray.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Excuse me!

Here it is January 7th and I haven't made any progress on my New Year's resolutions.

Some may call them excuses, but I prefer to think of them as reasons.

Knowing I wouldn't want to drag out the exercise equipment every morning, I decided to set up the living room as a little gym and leave the stuff out until I'm slender and toned. I imagined myself jumping out of bed every morning and after a glass of iced tea getting right to work on the stepper. Good plan. But first, I had to take down all my Christmas decorations. The boxes are now stacked and ready to be stored in the basement (it took much longer than I anticipated). However the snow is preventing me from dragging those boxes outside, around the corner and down into my storage closet. Until I can clear out the living room, I can't exercise. That's a reason, not an excuse.

I'm still smoking. I did start back on the Chantix. I can feel it working, and within the next few days, I'm sure I'll stop. A frequent quitter, I can tell you it's much easier to stop when you don't have the urge to smoke.  Once I do, I swear to God, I will NOT start again. This is a reason, not an excuse.

The Diet. Well... I don't have a reason here. I do have an excuse. No sense in dieting when I can't exercise, right? But I will. No rush. I'm sure I'll still be fat tomorrow.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Wandering Mind

Ever since I entered the Wonderful World of Menopause, I now have the attention span of a gnat.
Most of my days start out with good intentions. "I'm going to take down the Christmas tree today." Okay. I need a box. While looking for the box, I come across a few rolls of wrapping paper, which need to be put away in the closet. Where I find the heating pad I've been looking for. "I should put that beside the bed while I'm thinking of it." I notice my pill bottle on the night table. "Did I take my thyroid med today?" I open the bottle and realize that I only have a few tablets left. "I better order them on-line before I run out." So I sign on and see that a few friends have commented on my FaceBook posts. Kate shared one of my links. Before I can thank her, my attention is drawn to her interesting video about polar bears. When the bear cracks open the spy camera, it reminds me that I never put away the carton of eggs this morning after breakfast. For some reason, when I open the door to the fridge I begin to wonder if I ever paid my electric bill this month. I better check. Back on-line. Oh! Sara shared a link to buy my novel 'Passing Whispers'! Let me click on her and see what she's up to today. Before I do, I notice Lori must have had someone cut in line ahead of her at Wallmart. She's asking everyone what they would do. I should go to Wallmart today. I think I'm out of laundry detergent. Laundry. I better get a load on before I leave. While walking to the hamper  I pass by the Christmas tree. Oh! I never looked to see if I had a box...