Friday, February 27, 2015

Uptown Funk (Oldtown Cover)

I've been a fan of Alex Boye since the first time I saw him performing in The Civil War, a musical production at my local community theater a few years ago. He came back a year or two later and starred in the production again, and I was hooked.

This video came across my Facebook wall early this morning and it made me want to get up and dance. I thought it was only fair to share it with the rest of you!

Enjoy!


Monday, January 19, 2015

A Song in my Head

Have you ever woken up in the morning with a song in your head? It happens to me every once in a while, and usually the songs make sense -- at least a sort of sense. It might be a song I heard on the radio recently, or a song from my childhood, or even a song from church that's just there on my mental playlist first thing in the morning.

The other day, however, I woke up with a song in my head that makes absolutely no sense to be. It was "Bye, Bye Baby" from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, that old classic movie starring Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe. I caught myself humming along as I wandered from my bedroom to the kitchen. I was still singing it when my daughter left for work and it was still in my head as I sat down to write.

I will admit that the movie is one of my old favorites, but I haven't watched it in quite a while. If I had to choose a favorite song from the movie, it would probably be, "Is There Anyone There for Love" and I'd choose that one only because one of the Olympic athlete character keeps his butt up in the air when everyone else's is down. Makes me giggle every time.

That said, I have no idea why this particular song chose to keep me company, or what it means that it did, but I figure I shouldn't be the only person to experience the joy. So for your listening pleasure, I present Miss Jane Russell and Miss Marilyn Monroe.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Ooma's Legacy

I got some news yesterday that made me very happy. It seems that my oldest granddaughter (the Princess) was looking for something to read the other night. She disappeared upstairs and came back down carrying The Secret of Red Gate Farm, one of my favorite Nancy Drew mysteries.

The book she found is a copy I left at their house when I was visiting during the summer. I came by it when my daughter found several Nancy Drew books in the trash outside the library one day. She'd been conducting Story Time and came across the books during clean-up. Knowing how much I loved Nancy Drew as a girl, my daughter rescued the books and brought them inside to me.

I took the volumes I didn't already have in my own collection and left the duplicates for the grand-girls, hoping that one day they would discover the joys of hanging out with Nancy, Bess, George and Ned and that they would appreciate the experience as much as I had.

This past year, the Princess and I have read several books together in our own private book club. She would pick out a book at her library and I would get the same book from mine. Together, we raced through the entire Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, read a few Judy Moodys a couple of Junie B Joneses, and an Allie Finkle or two. We have a great time talking about the books over the phone or on the computer. I was secretly harboring the hope that we might add Nancy Drew to the mix, but hoping was as far as I'd dared go.

So this was the moment of truth. I wasn't sure how the Princess would react to the book since -- let's face it -- they were written a long time ago and some of the language is a bit dated. This child is only 8 but she's sometimes fascinated by things that other kids wouldn't look at twice, so I figured there was a 50-50 chance she might enjoy the book.

This evening, my daughter let me know that, so far anyway, the book seems to be a success. While reading before dinner, the Princess had gasped audibly twice and was completely ignoring her daddy (who was apparently trying to get her attention with a shoelace.)

I can't explain how happy that piece of news made me, but I don't think I really need to explain. Anyone who read as a child and who nurtures a soft spot for a favorite book or series of books will understand. I'm off to pull my copy from the shelf so she and I can read it together. I wonder if it's too much to hope that the Pixie will love them too...?

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Hot Chocolate (Almost) Any Way You Want It

I'm trying really hard to keep my nose to the grindstone here. Book due and all that, But I just came across this on Pinterest and realized this information is vitally important to share -- and share now. And so, without further ado:




Your hot chocolate cheat sheet!








photo credit: Martin LaBar via photopin cc

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

No Place Like Home




Book #2 in the Fred Vickery series is now available in Kindle format! Click on the title to get your copy of No Place Like Home today.

To an outsider, the peaceful town of Cutler, Colorado seems untouched by the troubles of the modern world. But Cutler is as good as any big city at guarding its secrets. And it takes someone who’s lived there a lifetime to unravel its many mysteries. Someone like Fred Vickery.

Seventy-three years haven’t dampened Fred’s enthusiasm for life or his pride in his children, no matter how foolish they may sometimes act. Take his impetuous son, Douglas, for instance. Since his divorce, Douglas has ignored all of Fred’s sage advice about moving on with his life. Douglas is determined to reconcile with Suzanne, even though she’s not at all interested in getting back together.

Now Douglas is the only suspect in the murder of Suzanne’s new boyfriend. But there’s no way Fred is going to sit back and let his son take the rap for murder—no matter what his daughter, his doctor, and the sheriff say. Desperate to clear Douglas of suspicion, Fred turns to the one source that he knows will eventually reveal the truth—the small-town gossip mill.

The book was originally published in 1996. Also available: No Place for Secrets


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original photo credit: epSos.de via photopin cc

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

I Stand Corrected

Last fall while driving to dinner in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, some good friends and I fell into a discussion about TV shows we liked (or not). It soon became clear that I was the odd woman out. Everyone else seemed to love The Big Bang Theory. I told them that I used to love it, but lost interest when the female characters of Amy Farrah Fowler and Bernadette were added to the show. We talked about a few other shows, I think, but that's the only one I clearly remember. What I remember most was when one friend (whom I dearly love and deeply respect) said that it was clear she and I could never watch TV together.

That comment didn't shatter me emotionally or anything. I thought it was kind of funny, actually. But I didn't forget it, either. It's not as if it weighed heavily on my mind or filled me with guilt or made me regret admitting how I felt. It just came back to me from time to time, usually when I saw an ad for an upcoming episode of  The Big Bang Theory

I've never been one of those people who forms an opinion about something without feeling as if I know what I'm talking about. So when everyone around me decides to boycott a particular show based on what they think it's going to be, I watch a few episodes to find out exactly what it is before I start acting as if my opinion has merit. I try not to mindlessly follow trends, get caught up in the latest fad, or watch a show I think is poorly written, sloppily edited, and/or badly acted just because "everyone else" is watching it. I will confess to being irritated by trailers and ads telling me that "all of America" is talking about or watching something that clearly "all" of America is neither talking about nor watching. (Channeling my inner Sheldon here.) 

Because I'm not much of a joiner, I'm usually the last person I know to see a popular movie or read a bestselling book just because it's popular. I doubt you'll ever find me first in line to get tickets to anything. 

But I digress . . . 

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with my youngest daughter during which she asked if I was caught up on Big Bang. I told her I was anything but caught up and, in fact, had missed several years of episodes. But again, the conversation with my friends loomed up in my memory and I decided that maybe I should try a few episodes to see if I really didn't like the upgraded cast or if I might (gasp!) have been wrong to quit watching so quickly. 

It took me a few episodes to really begin to appreciate the "new" ladies in the group, but I have to admit that after watching a couple of episodes after my writing day is finished, I actually like them quite a bit. I'm really not sure which relationship I like most.  A few days ago I watched an episode in which Amy Farrah Fowler referred to "Boyfriend/Girlfriend singalong night," and I've giggled about that on and off for days.  

I'm sure nobody has lost sleep over my opinion here, but when I'm wrong I like to say I'm wrong. So this is me, admitting that I was wrong. 


photo credit: Funky64 (www.lucarossato.com) via photopin cc

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Adventure Begins!

Okay, so I didn't quite make my goal of getting this book online by October 31 of this year. One thing I've learned about goals is that it's unproductive to spend time on regrets, Wouldas, shouldas and couldas can eat a person alive. 

So yesterday I uploaded my first work of fiction onto Amazon and thus begins the real adventure into self-publishing. Earlier this year, I put up one of my workshops for writers and that's been selling pretty well so far. My next project will be to get another workshop on Amazon. But my first love is writing fiction, so in my head this is where it really starts to count.

Oh, I know I'm a bit late coming to the indie dance, but I'm here now and that's what matters, right? Not only is this the first work of fiction I'm publishing on my own, it is literally my first work of fiction. It's the book that started it all when I got an offer from a publisher back in 1993. No Place for Secrets is the book that launched my publishing career 20 years ago, so it will always have a special place in my heart.

In an effort to figure out the world of independent publishing, I've spent time researching and reading what others who've gone this route have already learned. I've weighed the pros and cons of every choice and then I've tried not to agonize over the choices I've made. I thought about changing up the titles, but after brainstorming new titles for several weeks, I finally decided to stick with the original ones. I found a slew of titles I liked, but none that worked for good old Fred, Doc, Enos, and Margaret.

Over the past few weeks, I read through the manuscript again and made some minor revisions. I thought about updating the story and making it more current, but at the request of readers I opted to leave Fred and his friends in the mid-1990s where they belong. In fact, other than shaving off a few of the rough edges I found in my writing style, I left the story alone.

So it's up there on Amazon and now it's time to step back and let the story do the work. If this series is new to you, I hope you'll give Fred and the good folks of Cutler a try. If you're one of the many readers who considers these characters friends, I hope you'll enjoy going back to visit them as much as I did.