Saturday, March 26, 2011

Writing With Cats

I am sitting at my computer, pecking at the keys with one hand, because the other hand is balancing a Siamese cat on my shoulder. His name is Yulie. I'm getting good at this one-handed thing. I'm also getting good at talking on the telephone over a purring, talkative Siamese, who has much to say and no intention of not saying it. Draped over and completely covering the 30-day calendar on my desk, is my 2nd cat, Ellie. I'm not so good at pushing her belly out of the way to write down upcoming social events, or work deadlines on the calendar. She doesn't like to be disturbed. Elle, 1/2 Egyptian Mau and 1/2 Sealpoint Siamese, maintains that there is no need for me to have any obligations, anyway, other than rubbing her belly or tossing one of her toys. We're at a stalemate over this but Ellie has the upper paw.
My husband says I spoil them. I have no idea where he gets that idea from.
What's that Yulie, time for a treat? Coming right up. Don't move, son. I'll bring it right to you. Where's that itch, Ellie? Let mommy get her backscratcher. Time to be brushed or have your nails clipped? I'll drop what I'm doing and get right on it.
Now, where was I? Oh, yes. My husband thinks I spoil them. Honestly. Men.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

An Energy Consumer

The horrible catastrophes in Japan are playing out like a bad Sci Fi movie of the week. If any writer had said to me, I’m writing a story about a major earthquake, followed by a lethal tsunami, followed by several nuclear plants having meltdowns, my reply would probably have been, chose one, maybe two, but you can’t have all three. It’s just way over the top.
And yet, here we are, with these very real horrors. As I watch what is happening, a visual and virtual partner via my TV and the internet, I feel almost a part of it.
In one way I am, but not in a way I’m comfortable with. After all, I can't control Mother Nature but I can control how energy is provided, can't I?
When I was having a self-righteous moment and condemning nuclear plants, my husband pointed out that I like my life just the way it is and would be unwilling to give it up. And the piper must be paid, he said. Nuclear energy is the piper.
I thought about it. My usual day consists of getting up in the morning, making coffee and breakfast on my stove in my all-electric kitchen, sitting down to my computer in my heated or cooled office depending on the weather, washing and drying clothes, vacuuming, getting into my car to go shopping for food, watching TV, listening to the radio, CD, or whatever, and so forth. A typical day.
I am a consumer. I am consuming vast amounts of energy just to maintain a very ordinary, humdrum life. Whether it’s oil, coal, or nuclear power that is converted into electricity, there is an ultimate price, far more than dollars and cents. We are seeing just a small part of it in Japan, a country that is the foremost leader and expert in nuclear energy, touted as the cleanest form of energy.
Solar and wind energies are but promises. Water energy is limited. Fossil fuels burn cleaner but do not burn clean, no matter what my beloved president says. We are dependent on oil from countries that sometimes love us, sometimes hate us, but always charge us top dollar for our gluttonous ways. And nothing much has changed or seems to change. Certainly not in the decades I’ve been around this planet.
Would I be willing to go back to beating clothes on a rock, reading by candlelight and living in a cave? No, for certain. But is there a compromise? And if there is, how much would I give up to ensure a brighter future for the generations to come?
Sticking to smaller cars, for sure. Using low energy light bulbs and turning them off when I leave the room, of course. Not running tap water unnecessarily. But they all seem like paltry contributions in the scheme of things, when I have a momentary overview.
So I see, in our not too bright future, nuclear energy. I don’t like it, but that’s what I see. It’s just too in your face and we are too unwilling to change our ways drastically enough to avoid it.
We will all watch this problem play out in Japan. But it’s not just their problem, it’s everyone’s problem. As a nuclear scientist said on CNN about reactors - and I’m paraphrasing but not my much - ‘When they are good, they are very, very good. But when they are bad, they go really bad and really fast.’
Whatever happens, let’s hope we learn something from this one.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Stranger on the Shore by Roseanne Dowell

Please join me in welcoming Roseanne Dowell, as she writes about her exciting new story!

Stranger on the Shore started out as part of a 1000 word assignment for a writing course I took. Needless to say, Jordan wasn’t happy with that and over the years, I’ve expanded it.
After numerous revisions and expansions, it turned into an almost 7000 word story.
I first got the idea for this story when we went to a cottage along Lake Erie. Not isolated like Jordan’s but we drove past many like that. As we walked along the shore, I wondered what it would be like to live there during a storm. Lake Erie, being a shallow lake is notorious for sudden, treacherous storms. When the weather turns cold it produces Lake Effect snow.
Being no stranger to lake effect snow, away from the lake, I can only imagine what it’s like on the shoreline.
So as usual, my imagination took over and Stranger on the Shore was born.

Author, Jordan Blake rescues a handsome stranger from her shore and more than a storm rages inside and out. To make matters worse the sexy stranger has amnesia. Against her better judgment, Jordan finds herself strangely attracted to the man. Heck for all she knows he could be a serial killer. It’d be just her luck to be stranded in a storm with someone like that. To avoid her attraction and the stranger, who can’t tell her anything about himself, Jordan locks herself in her office. Not that she can work. Thoughts of the stranger interfere with her writing. Besides she can hear him moving around and whistling in her living room. What will happen when he recovers his identity.

Stranger on the Shore will be available March 1st from Muse It Up Publishing,
If you’d like to know more about my books, visit my website, or my blog, Or join me on twitter,

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Please help me welcome Ginger Simpson

Pleae help me welcome the prolific and amazing writer, Ginger Simpson. Ginger is also the author of the award winning blogsite, Dishin' It Out. This talented lady can do things like nobody else, and all with a sense of humor! She writes now about her wonderful book,

Sarah's Journey

Months ago, I queried HQ on a short, historical story that is supposed to be 'spicy.' I thought I WAS writing spicy by using a few 'buzz' words here and there, and it made me sweat, trying to come up with something creative. BUT...I shared it with my friend who IS the Queen of Steam, and although she loved the story, she said it wouldn't fly. I know why!

It's hard to be inventive. I realize there is a lot of ME in each of my stories, and I don't feel the least bit sexy...for reasons I've described numerous times on my own blog. If I truly wrote what my mind sees when I think about sex scenes, it is highly doubtful that anyone would be swept away to anything but hysteria. Here's an example.

Moonlight filtered through the venetian blinds and highlighted him as he disrobed. He pulled his shirt over his head, then shimmied out of his pants. Her breath hitched. When had his stomach gotten so huge? *rofl*


His breath warmed her neck as his lips trailed upward. He nibbled at her earlobe then raised up and gazed upon her face. His mouth, a few inches from hers, he licked his lips and drew closer.

She recoiled and rolled away. "Geez, I told you not to have onions on that burger. You reek."

He entered her with a quick thrust. She gasped, feeling a sensation all too familiar. "God, get off me. Quick! I have a Charlie Horse in my leg!"

OR...last but not least....
Tonight was the night he'd waited for. They hadn't made love for a month and he was determined to sample her wares. Maybe more romance was needed. He hadn't been all that passionate or attentive of late. The moment was right. Everyone else was gone, nothing but the flickering TV lit the room. He slithered off the couch and crawled toward her chair. She appeared deep in thought, lost in the movie she watched. He inched closer and reaching her side, took her hand.

She jumped, then smiled. "What are you doing down there?"

"Come on." He raised to one knee. "Come to bed with me. I want to show you how much I love you."

She unfurled one leg from beneath her and nibbled her bottom lip. Tears glistened in her eyes. She offered her hand.

He took it and attempted to stand. A popping noise sliced the momentary silence between commercials. " back!" He managed to get to his feet, but remained bent at the waist. With pain etched on his face, he hobbled to the couch and collapsed.

"I guess we'll have to wait."

She blotted her tears. "That's okay. My leg's asleep and I can't get up anyhow."

I think I'll stick to what I know I can do and leave the erotic and steamy writing to those who can handle it without laughing. A great example of sexual attraction but no action can be found in Sarah's Journey. This book received great reviews and is my favorite of all I've written. Here's a teaser, but let me set the scene. Wolf and Sarah are traveling together toward Independence, and both are fighting the attraction they feel for one another. They've already been through a lot at this point. The reality is a white woman and a half-breed would never be accepted by society and they are all too aware of that fact.

Sarah stilled her fear and walked along the creek bank a short distance until it forked, winding off through tall reeds. The grassy thatch would be an ideal place for someone to hide, but if there was a war party, wouldn’t she have heard something? She pushed aside and weaved through the towering shafts, following the flow and still hoping to see Wolf’s face.

She stopped and listened, cupping her ear against the gurgling water and the rustling breeze. Something splashed up ahead. Treading softly, Sarah pushed onward, trudging through the annoying foliage and praying it wasn’t an animal she heard. The hair on the back of her neck bristled.

Sarah peeked out from the swaying corridor and saw him. He wore only his breechclout and stood with his back to her. For the first time she viewed his hair unbraided. Dripping wet locks hung well past his broad shoulders and glistened in the sunlight. When he swept the ebony mass to the side to braid it, Sarah’s hand flew to her mouth, silencing a gasp. Wolf’s entire back was a mass of welts and bruises. Some spots had scabbed over creating a zigzag of dark lines across his normally unblemished skin. No wonder he’d stiffened when she hugged him. She exhaled against her palm, shaking her head in disbelief.

As if sensing her presence, Wolf turned. His eye widened and he tried to shield himself with his buckskins. She knew it wasn’t out of modesty.

“Oh my God, what happened to you?” It was a dumb question. His black and swollen eye provided the answer.

“Nothing to fret over.” He casually finished plaiting his hair. “I’m actually feeling much better after my little soak.”

She approached him, rage heating her blood. “How could they… why… I’m so mad I.…”

Wolf met her half way and pressed a finger against her lips. “Shhh. I’m fine. I’ve survived worse, believe it or not.”

She studied his face through a blur of tears. “But it’s not right. They had no reason to beat you like this.” Her finger gently traced a welt on his upper arm. “Is there anything remaining from your mother’s collection of herbs that might help?”

“Really, I’m fine.” He pulled his shirt over his head.

Sarah walked around him, holding up the buckskin and surveying his back. “No, you’re not. I can’t believe you rode so many days to return to St. Mary’s, and now, traveling again… you’ve not said a word.”

He faced her, his eyes solemn. “Sarah, it’s over and done. Let it go. There’s no changing what happened. In a few days, you’ll barely be able to see the marks.”

She was speechless. How could he accept such horrid treatment? True, the lines might fade, but acts like that scarred a person’s heart. Hers ached for him—for all he’d been through in his life simply because of being a mixed breed. It wasn’t his fault. He hadn’t asked to be born. She touched his arm softly. “I’m so sorry you’ve suffered at the hands of ignorant people. I wish there was something I could do to make up for it.”

“There is.” His features softened and he gathered her into his arms. Before she had a chance to speak, his lips claimed hers, sending shivers of delight coursing through her body. Her mind screamed to pull away, but her heart’s plea convinced her to stay in his arms. She parted her lips, allowing his seeking tongue entrance to her mouth, his kiss quenching a desire too long denied. Twining her arms around his neck, she sagged against him, unable… unwilling to stop.

Wolf suddenly held her at arm’s length, jarring her back to reality. “Sarah, I’m so sorry. I don’t know what…”

She lowered her gaze, words failing her. Sarah’s cheeks burned with the impropriety of her actions. But hadn’t she dreamed of this moment? The sun beat down on her, increasing her discomfort in the awkward silence.

“That was a mistake.” His words cut like a knife. “I hope you aren’t mad at me. It won’t happen again, I promise.” He bent to pick up the items he discarded on the ground before his bath.

Did her face show the disappointment and hurt stabbing at her? If she apologized for allowing his kiss, it’d be a lie. She struggled to find her voice. “It’s all right. I think we’re both overwrought and tired. Let’s just forget it happened.”

As if she could