Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas!

While I'm blanching and steaming and roasting and toasting, here's my wish to all my friends who are celebrating Christmas 2016.

While I'm setting our table, calling the kids to bring those crackers I forgot to buy, deciding between cookies and pies for dessert, here's a song for all my friends who are celebrating Hanukah 2016.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

WEP December Challenge, Utopian Dreams

Our lovely hostesses are Denise Covey and Yolanda Yenee
What to play? Click HERE and find the Linky to other posts.

Utopian Dreams come in all shapes and sizes, but what better one to share with someone than perfect love. If only you'll love me, life will be a dream. 

Brandon didn't hear the faint knock on the door, but Lilly did, and her sharp bark alerted him to the visitor. She waddled to the entry and waited expectantly, dragging her tail across the floor. Brandon opened the door and faced the mirror image of himself.

The slump-shouldered, wispy- haired man, clutched a hat to his chest. He smoothed a few strands of white hair into place and waited until Brandon spoke.

"Bailey?" he had to search for his brother's name, but found it lodged behind some fifty years of trivia and television re-runs.

"It's me, all right." Bailey wiped his feet on the welcome mat and waited, but Brandon didn't invite him in.  Bailey looked away, rolling the brim of his hat then smoothing it again. "I came to tell you Lilly's dead."

Lilly cocked her head at the familiar syllables, and Brandon did a quick glance at her. Dead? And then it came to him. "Oh, yes. Lilly." He'd forgotten Bailey's wife's name was the same as his Spaniel and, for a moment, the reason he'd named all his dogs Lilly. "How'd that happen?"

"Heart. The doc said it sort of shriveled up."

Brandon dredged up the memory of the dark-eyed girl with the swishy pony tail and dove gray eyes. She'd captured the hearts of all the senior boys in the class of '56, but she only had those eyes on him, Brandon DeForest. Now he tried to imagine that young girl's heart wrinkled and contracted. Still.

"Condolences," Brandon said, wanting to be done with this conversation, but not knowing how to end it.

"She said she was sorry. I came to tell you that. She asked me to." When Brandon only nodded in silence, Bailey put his hat on and stepped away from the porch. "I'm sorry, too, if that matters anymore." At the sidewalk,  he turned and waved.

Brandon waited until his brother was out of sight, then he closed the door and leaned his back against it.  Lilly. They'd planned things together. They'd dreamed things together. They were the perfect couple. Once.

He opened the music cabinet and took out a well-worn record, blew across the black disc, then set it on the turntable. Lilly whined to be held, so he gathered her onto his lap and drummed his fingers in time to the song, his and Lily's song. Then, with his eyes closed, he dreamed again until the music stopped.

Life could be a dream, life could be a dream
Do, do, do, do, sh-boom

Life could be a dream (sh-boom)
If I could take you up in paradise up above (sh-boom)
If you would tell me I'm the only one that you love
Life could be a dream, sweetheart

Hello, hello again, sh-boom and hopin' we'll meet again

Monday, December 12, 2016

Late and Later

I'm late this morning with my Monday post for a couple of reasons. One, I stayed up last night to watch a cult movie that was filmed in Santa Cruz, my neighborhood. The Lost Boys was a 1987 vampire tale with Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest. I know the trailer looks grim, but this is one vampire movie you'll laugh through. Hoaky and fun. 

The second reason I'm late is about a little accident. It seems I've done in my right shoulder and to some extent my right hand and those five digits attached. I can only use that whole apparatus for a few hours before I have to stop, ice it, and down some pain killers. Long story. But I'm now in physical therapy and hoping for a quick recovery.  I'll be putting a lot of things on hold for a while, so I'm putting up the "Gone Fishing" sign until after Christmas.

The Princess of Las Pulgas is on sale for .99 for Christmas. Here's the coupon if you'd like to download it or share the sale. AU57U


I will post on Dec. 21 for the DECEMBER WEP, and I will try to get around to say Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and any other holiday you decorate for and celebrate--just a little slower than usual.

Quote of the Week: (tangential to my post!) "Men and women are like right and left hands: it doesn't make sense not to use both." Jeannette Rankin, America's first congresswoman

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

IWSG and How!

Thanks Ninja Alex

The awesome co-hosts for the December 7 posting of the IWSG will be Jennifer Hawes, Jen Chandler, Nick Wilford, Juneta Key, JH Moncrieff, Diane Burton, and MJ Fifield!

Talk about being insecure. Well, this IWSG post is the most insecure one I've ever done, but I wanted to test out something, and what better place than here among friends? That's what I kept telling myself. Anyway, in spite of my good common sense, I'm posting my idea this month. What you'll see is a work in progress with a rough draft of my first Instant Book. If you have some suggestions about how to use this as marketing tool or (Heaven Help Me!) how to create a video, I'd to hear them.

In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?

Actually, in five years I hope to see two of my completed young adult novels published. To that end, last year I knuckled down and found an agent, Italia Gandolfo, then I sent her the two books. Now, of course, I'm waiting. But while I'm waiting, I'm finishing up my Alligators Overhead/Great Time Lock Disaster trilogy. So within that five years, I'd like to see these middle grade novels out as a package. That's the plan. Fingers crossed.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Holiday Kick Off with Lisa Cocca, #InkRipples, and Cookies

Well this is the last Featured Follower of 2016. I can't believe that the year is close to being over, but it will be an exciting end because Lisa Cocca is a good storyteller. I'm so happy to have her here for the month of December. 

Her book is Providence, and I've already read and reviewed it. If you want to find out more about Lisa, here's her WEBSITE. If you want buy her most excellent book, it's available on Amazon. With KindleUnlimited, you can read her story for free.  Email Connect peeps, she's offering a FREE signed paperback. 

Connect with Lisa on Facebook and Twitter 

#InkRipples is a monthly meme created by Kai StrandMary Waibel, and Katie L. Carroll. They post on the first Monday of every month with a new topic. They're all authors, but you don’t have to be to participate.

For about two decades, neighborhood did a spectacular Cookie Bake. I know what you're thinking. Everybody comes bearing a dozen or so special holiday cookies, and then swaps with everyone else--and a good time was had by all. Nope. Not even close.

Everyone came with three cookie recipes and all the ingredients. We started about 4 in the afternoon and wound up the last batches about midnight. In between, we drank wine, nibbled on a pot luck buffet and exchanged Cookie Bake stories. "Remember in '90 when we forgot the sugar cookies in the oven next door and smoke poured out the windows?"

Flour and sugar was involved in every part of the evening. And at the end we produced over 2,000 cookies and at least 30 different kinds. With the graying of the cookie bakers, the kids took over for a while, but then it was time to retire the tireless Cookie Bake. Now we have the memories, and each one is perfect, even the burnt sugar cookie night. 

Here I am ready to roll. It must be early in the evening because I'm not dusted with flour yet.

My neighbor and I are deep into the mixing here, and we're still smiling, so it's not midnight yet!

Quote of the Week: