Just Because…

Last week, I was watching a DVD episode of the old TV show “Little House on the Prairie.”  It was the episode entitled “Wave of the Future” where a company tries to turn the town restaurant into a franchise.  Needless to say, it doesn’t work, and after a bit of chaos, everything returns to normal.  The end shows Colonel Sanders riding up in his horse and buggy, and suggesting to Mrs. Olson that he would like to turn her restaurant into a one that exclusively sells chicken meals.

As the audience, we are probably supposed to chuckle, and then go on with our lives.  In my case, that didn’t happen.  I immediately thought back to when I was little and the real Colonel Sanders (not the bozo they use now since the real Colonel is dead) was in all his own commercials.  I particularly loved the one where he flew away in a hot air balloon that looked like a big bucket of chicken.  I just knew there was no way possible for Colonel Sanders to be alive, much less entering into the chicken business in the 1880s when that episode of “Little House” took place, and still be alive when I was a kid.  (I know it’s only fiction, but I’ve read before that Michael Landon usually insisted on being historically accurate when possible.)

So I’m finally getting around to the point of my post.  I looked up Colonel Sanders’ birth date, and in doing so, found that not only was I correct that he wasn’t that old, but I found THE COOLEST WEBSITE I’VE EVER SEEN!  (And keep in mind that I don’t even eat chicken!)  If you don’t believe me, just go to http://www.colonelsanders.com/ and let the fun begin.  Be sure to click on every Colonel, and turn your sound on!  Have fun!

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Okay, I lied.  This post is not about yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  Although it kind of really is, because I’m writing this Wednesday night to schedule for Thursday, and it’s about Tuesday and Thursday.  So for me, it’s yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  But for you, the today doesn’t count, because if I hadn’t told you it was pre-scheduled, you wouldn’t have known.  So for you, it’s really more accurately depicted as “Tuesday, Thursday.”

I finally had enough.  Enough of these damn food allergies or intolerances or whatever keeps making me swell, itch, and vomit.  Mostly vomit.  So despite my gross, though not unfounded, disgust for most of the medical profession because of the crappy doctors I’ve seen in the past…. (let me digress here to explain…)

(I actually went to an allergist once who told me I couldn’t possibly be allergic to food because God made it.  Seriously?  Didn’t He make hemlock and rattlesnakes, too?  I walked out of that appointment without another word.  I didn’t let him test me or anything, and I waited five years to try my luck again.  That time, I got an allergist who took one look at me and told me that since I wasn’t skin and bones, there was no possible way I was vomiting as often as I claimed.  {I’ve got a houseful of people who can tell you differently.}  Again, I turned and left without another word.  That was ten years ago.)

(Continued from above…)  So despite my gross, though not unfounded, disgust for most of the medical profession because of the crappy doctors I’ve seen in the past, I took another chance, and found an allergist/immunologist that I so far really like.  She’s from Poland, she speaks Russian, and so far, she’s awesome!

So here’s what I was doing Tuesday:

blood13Yep, all thirteen vials of blood are mine!  The vampire phlebotomist said she’s been taking blood for ten years, and has never taken that much from one person at a time!  I don’t know everything the doctor was testing for, but I know immunodeficiency, h. pylori, and angioedima were discussed.  There were seven things total, but I couldn’t understand some of the medical terms with her thick but lovely accent.  (As a side note, have I ever told you how much I wold LOVE to learn Russian?)

Anyway, today (or tomorrow for me, as I was writing this yesterday), I will be having a lovely barium swallow study!  She’s looking for a hiatal hernia, gastroparesis, and something else that I can’t remember or didn’t understand in the first place.  It’s been 23 years since I last had one of these, and it was not pretty.  I can’t imagine the radioactive chalk they want me to drink tastes any better two decades later.  GAG!  (And, yes, I do know it’s not really radioactive.)

So, friends, I’d appreciate your prayers and good vibes that I won’t embarrass myself this morning.  (I mean, if my body won’t allow me to keep something as good as chocolate ice cream, I can’t imagine I’ll be able to hold down this stuff for more than a few seconds.)  And also some wishes that these tests give me some helpful news would be great, too.  Thank you all!

xoxo  ~R.

The other day, I walked out of work and saw this:

Now what do you think’s going on here?

ups trucks

My imagination went wild, but before I tell you what I thought, I’d like to hear form you.  Go ahead and use your imagination for this writing prompt to give me the best story possible about what was happening.

On Editing

A while back, I posted a call to all writers who wanted to share their editing tips, and my friend, Dena, volunteered.  If you don’t already follow Dena’s blog, you’re missing a real treat.  So without further ado, here’s Dena:

dmsPlease share one to three tips or tricks that you use when editing your work, how specifically you use them, and why they work for you.

My biggest tip is to read your work out loud to yourself or use a program that will read it to you.  I downloaded a free text to speech program (if I was at home I could give you the name) and it helped tremendously despite the computer generated voice.  It’s great for picking up on stilted dialogue or scenes that don’t transition smoothly.

What was your biggest repeated mistake when you first started writing? What is your weakest point of editing and why?

My biggest mistake was info dropping.  I wanted to tell my reader everything and it was difficult to learn how to intersperse tidbits of information throughout the story instead of throwing it all out at once.  My weakest point of editing? No questions about it, grammar structure.  I hate commas! I either use them too often or not enough and they are never in the correct places. Grammar was never a strong subject for me.  I’m better at math, but you don’t find a lot of math in romance novels unless you’re doing an “oops I’m pregnant” storyline and you have to add up the months since well … you know!

Have you used any editing methods previously that just didn’t work for you? If so, what were they and why didn’t they work?

I edit as I go.  Meaning, when I sit down to write each day I look over what I wrote the previous day before moving forward.  Sometimes this does slow down the process, but I’ve tried not looking back and keep pushing forward and it didn’t work.  Because not only am I editing it, it’s also a quick refresher of the place I’m at in the story.

Please tell us something about your current work in progress or your most recent completed work (or both), and tell us where we can purchase your book(s).

My debut novel, Drive Me Sane, released last year.  It’s a second chance romance of a feisty female veteran and an up and coming country music star who find themselves facing their past while trying to deal with problems plaguing their future.  You can find it on Amazon at http://amzn.com/B012E7RHOS

My current work is tentatively titled, When Love Goes South.  I’m actually very close to having this finished. A contemporary romance with characters who are a little older and who have dealt with things in life like death of loved ones, divorce and loss of friendships, I think it’s a story that almost anyone can relate to.  It’s also a little more spicier than I’ve written before with characters who are flirty and fun.

If you have any other news to share with us, please feel free to do so now.

Amazon recently acquired the digital rights to Drive Me Sane, so I’m happy to announce it will be re-releasing  with Amazon’s encore program on August 4th.  It has a slightly different cover and a new price (it’s cheaper and this makes me all kinds of happy!).  Print copies are still available through other online retailers.


Thanks, Dena, for such awesome tips!  Now, who’s up next?  If you’re game, please contact me at: