Getting My Roar On

>> Monday, May 28, 2012

I find this quite profound. Probably because writing is my purpose—the main one—and challenges me to be my best.

Or at least give it my best shot.

Writing is like a wild roller coaster ride: The anticipation of the first hill, tipping over the top, and then the death drop. Hills and curves, with an occasional upside down moment. Relief when it’s over…and the yearn to go again.

While sometimes there's a smack-down between my muse and distraction, I love it when the pieces of a story come together and I can practically feel them locking into place like a jigsaw puzzle.

Yeah, it’s my passion.

Not one to do anything simple, my purpose is multi-faceted, combining several areas that make up the total package:

“Roar of a Lioness” will celebrate its one year anniversary in August and will soon have 5,000 hits. I'm fine-tuning to add a little more structure and am excited about the new format.

I have over 230 Twitter followers. I don’t spend much time on Twitter, but did start interacting  with an author after I read one of his books and was dying for the next installment. I popped him a Tweet and we emailed back and forth several times. We talked about my novel and he read the synopsis…and liked it. (Check out Eric Stoffle's "Eleventh Hour.")

I do short bulletin blurbs for my church, which I love, because it’s a way to use the gift God has given me in service for him.

Revisions of “Photo Finish” are perking along, albeit slowly. (You can’t rush greatness…)

There’s an idea pinging through my brain for another novel that I’d like to start sketching out. And I have an exciting “hands-on” research opportunity coming up as well.

Building my writer’s platform is an on-going challenge. Sometimes it feels like a waste of time, but I do understand the importance—especially increasing my presence on the Internet. One way I’ve found to gauge the success of my efforts is to set up Google alerts.

Google sends you an email whenever relevant results appear from searches made that match the parameters you select. (Name, web site, etc.) It's a great way to track progress and kind of a fun to see what other things pop up.
Except the other day when I found out that a gal with the same name as mine is the chairperson of the People United for Medical Marijuana. She is collecting signatures in hopes of getting legalization of the drug on the ballot in Florida’s next election.

DISCLAIMER: It isn’t me.


Farewell My BFF (Best Furry Friend)

>> Monday, May 21, 2012

MAJOR Cattitude!
I’ve been sitting outside under a tree for almost an hour. Procrastinating. It’s a beautiful Saturday morning and I ought to be writing.

Don’t really want to.

My laptop is nearby, yet I’ve found every reason to not pick it up: The book I’m reading is more interesting, need another cup of coffee, and there’s other things I'd rather be doing.

Enough. Here goes…

I lost my best friend this week. And before some of you roll your eyes and think, “It’s only a cat,” humor me.

Patches was a very special kitty. My Best Furry Friend. (BFF)
Hangin'out in the kitty kup
She showed up at my mother’s during a blizzard some eleven years ago. I already had two cats and a dog. Didn’t need another pet.

Didn’t matter.

Fearful and hiding, I kept pulling her from under the bed in order to gently cuddle her into trusting me. Soon she would seek me out and lay claim to my lap. Been that way ever since.

Her favorite place in the world was propped on my chest, wedged in front of my laptop. Or sleeping with her head on my hand so that it bobbed up and down while I typed.

Chilling out with Liberty
That was always good for a giggle.

As time wore on, she became super rotund. Watching her waddle from behind reminded me of a calico basketball weaving back and forth. More chuckles.

About a year and a half ago, she became ill. A trip to the vet revealed either cancer or irritable bowel syndrome. Since the treatment was the same, we just moved on and she thrived. Until recently.

She quit eating and lost weight. Then she needed surgical intervention for bad teeth, but never quite recovered.
"Quit hogging the chair!"

Her last few days were spent outside, soaking up some rays, and doing her favorite thing: rolling in the dirt. We snuggled in a lawn chair, making the most of our time.

And even though I practically have to refinance my house to pay the vet bill (also have another cat that is in failing health, as well as a geriatric, deaf dog) there is nothing I would do any different.

Sure, they’re just pets. But they’re also my confidants, comedy relief, and the best listeners ever. They have no expectations beyond basic maintenance and show unconditional love no matter what kind of day I’m having.

My next door neighbor (aka “Handy Guy”) was wonderful and buried Patches in his back yard. Even put up a cross with her name on it. The vet gave me her paw print and sent a sympathy card. Kindness helps ease the pain. 

Farewell, my darling. Enjoy the sunshine in heaven, cuddle up with God, and roll around in the dirt. 

I miss you...
You care for people and animals alike.
                                                                              Ps. 36.6     NLT


Blog Buddy Bytes with Jan

>> Monday, May 14, 2012

Heaven forbid my readers get tired of me!

So in an effort to mix it up a bit, occasionally I'll have "Blog Buddy Bytes" to feature some of my writer pals.

This week, I'm honored to have my editor, Jan Ackerson, share from her blog, One Hundred Words. Be sure to check it out.

A few words from Jan about "One Hundred Words"...
Ernest Hemingway once said that his best novel was this six-word treasure: For Sale — baby shoes, never used. I’m no Hemingway, but I’ve always been intrigued by the power of just a few well-chosen words. I’m going to give myself one hundred words per entry—not a single word more nor less—and I plan to write a variety of character studies, observations, and slices of life. If you meet a character here who intrigues you, feel free to drop her into your own writing project. If you want to know what happens next—you’ll have to write it yourself.

 Job Shadowing
Five minutes late. There’s a teenager at my desk, probably job shadowing. I don’t see his Careers coach, but I don’t mind schooling him.
“In the business world, it’s impolite to look at someone else’s computer.”
He looks up. “In the business world, is it okay to be late?”
Staredown. “Go call your mom to bring you a tie, and learn some manners, kid. Scoot.
He scoots.
Later, I see him wearing a tie, talking with the vice president of sales. He looks like ohgoodlord the new boss starts today.

 As they walk past, he turns to grin at me.


Endless Afternoon

>> Monday, May 7, 2012

Mowing grass is like shaving your legs: once you start, you have to keep on doing it.

Every spring I put it off as long as possible (mowing---not shaving) but last week when it got knee-high, I knew the time had come.

About the last thing I wanted to do on a beautiful Sunday afternoon was mow, but the weather forecast left little hope for the rest of the week: I was out of options. Even turned down a dinner invitation just to stay home and act like a responsible adult.

I’m very fortunate to have a built-in helper next door (Handy Guy) that is more than willing to take cash in exchange for repairs, maintaining my mowers, and plowing the driveway in the winter.

He had gotten the rider all serviced and ready to go so I expected that I could just hop on and zip through my small lawn in the usual forty-five minutes.


Handy Guy had warned me that the battery wasn’t holding a charge. I poo-pooed him and under his skeptical gaze, turned the key.


He charged it for an hour. Still dead.

So off to Wal-Mart I went, slithering in a side door so no one would see me in my yard attire. Soon I was home where Handy Guy installed and in no time, I was off, all cylinders ablaze...

Or so I thought.

After just a few rounds, the mower coughed, let out a sputter, and eventually died. Intervention by Handy Guy left him muttering about the air filter, blockage, and dirt in the carburetor.

My patience was wearing thin as the normally small task had dragged on for several hours and the lawn still looked like a farmer’s field.

Handy Guy said he could work his mechanical magic, but not until the following weekend. I could practically hear the grass growing and began to formulate a viable excuse for the Neighborhood Services Manager (better known as the Yard Police.)

Unable to come up with anything believable, I grabbed the push mower in hopes of tidying the front yard and diverting attention from the back.

I was just getting started when Handy Guy came sweeping into my yard on his rider that’s the same size as my car.

My hero on a John Deere!

He made quick work of the foot-tall grass, apparently feeling sorry for me. Or my ranting had frightened him (he wouldn’t even take any money…just nodded and zoomed away…)

Lessons learned:
Being a clueless female has its advantages.
There are nice people in the world that will lend a hand.
And most important: NEVER turn down a dinner invitation.


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