Somewhere in this blog post I’ll be writing something I’ve never written before. Bear with me—I’ll get there.
In the meantime, I’ve been busy packing and organizing. Sounds easier than it really is. Yeah, either still or again. I’m all set now. Hard to believe I did all this while being sick. Sick in a weird way because there were/are times when I can go about working for a couple hours. Both of these facts are beginning to sound like old news. Still sick. Still packing. Life goes on.
Of course, you all know I published a book through all this, too. I pat myself on the back for that. This book has been a challenge in many ways. Publishing it showed me no mercy, either, because it was a day I didn’t feel well.
So many memories were found and old wounds opened. Some of the bad ones went into the shredder. Trust me, it’s possible. Some of the good memories will remain with me physically and in spirit forever. One thing that stood out and nearly brought tears to my eyes…okay, it did—was a poem I wrote to my “first love” and it covered every decade since we had met. This decade didn’t make it into the poem.
Heartwarming memories came upon finding lots of greeting cards from special people. I saved so many cards from my kids. I’ve packed them all in a box. I even stuck some photos of them as kids in there, and some photos of myself. I’m not vain, but after all, when they go through this, I won’t be around. My boys had this picture taken before my oldest son moved to CA. I keep the picture of them as youngsters with it now. They are in reverse order in the small image.
My two boys are one reason I started having photos taken of myself. At one time I didn’t. Do you? Once, I read an article about a wife/mother who never had her picture taken; therefore there were no photo memories for her family. This article was written by her husband. Maybe it was “Dear Abby.” So, I’m taking care of that. I even added some of when I was a kid. Some cards were from when they were born. Apparently, I’m a saver, and I have dragged them along with me through various moves. LOL Admittedly, I didn’t save all of them.
When I get moved, I might go through some of the items and “organize” again. It’s easier to stack empty storage tubs. I’ll have a big storage/laundry room in my apartment, so there is room. It will get small real fast once moving these items into said storage room takes place.
Who will move me? I talked with two popular moving companies, but my son said he had planned on moving my stuff for me. My oldest son offered to travel from California to help. Looks like I’m set there too. Now, it’s a matter of waiting for the move-in date. Jeez, this is a lot of rambling about moving. Hope I didn’t lose anyone.
How do I put this without sounding like I’m tooting my own horn, but in reality, I am tooting my own horn. Remember, I said how challenging my current book was to write and publish? It was all worth it, for yesterday when I went to one of my book pages to tweet it, I saw this on the middle of the page. See that cute little red sign beneath Of the Cowboy’s Own Accord? That says Best Seller. For two days I hung out at #2 and hoped for the #1 spot, but didn’t think it would happen. Sorry, my phone camera sucks. I should have used my iPad.
In a rush, I tried to get my fingers to work and go to my book page then to the category page to see for myself. It has also been #1 in Hot New Releases in the same category.
It still said #2, but changed almost immediately to #1 Best Seller. I was so happy I literally cried. Literally! Sure, it’s Amazon Best Seller in Contemporary Western Fiction, but all I see is #1 Best Seller and it was/is a big deal to me.
Number #1 Best Seller is something I’ve never written before. All of my books have ranked in this category, and most are still there but to see this book in the number #1 spot warmed my heart more than I can even describe. Today it was still there, but now is knocked down to number #3. I’ve noticed it varies throughout the day as the page gets updated maybe hourly. I have a couple big promos coming up, so I can only hope to get back there. Either way, I am going to proudly say that Of the Cowboy’s Own Accord is a #1 Amazon Best Seller in Contemporary Western Fiction.
Thanks for reading.
I’m a writer. Yes, we all know that, and most of you know I’m into photography, too. This is something I do for fun, not money. My heroine in the Bull Rider Series is a photographer. Not just by coincidence. Her view finder is filled with a cowboy. Wish mine was. But, I digress.
My best camera is a DSLR Canon Rebel T3i. (Digital Single Lens Reflex) This is not my dream camera, but a camera I’m happy with for now. Prior to this I used a 35mm Canon Rebel film camera. I loved that camera so much. I have many lenses and filters, and other accessories. Thankfully, it all transferred over to my new Canon—my reason for purchasing the same kind of camera.
Of course, the problem today is if you don’t use a digital camera, you’re stuck in the dark ages. You know that place—the place that existed when everyone put their pictures in real book albums, and not the Internet. Even when I used film, I kept a small digital with me.
On my last trip to California—my small digital quit working. It worked on the plane.
I took pictures out the window. Okay, I’m one of those people. I discovered this in the airport in San Francisco while waiting for a hopper to go farther north to where my son lives. Here I was on vacation and going to a beautiful place without a camera! Fortunately, my son had an extra one that was better than mine. Yay!
When I returned home I went back to an old digital with hardly any special features, but at least I had a camera along with two memory cards, extra batteries, and a case.
I have another new Canon now, a point and shoot. It has lots of options and is small enough to drop into my purse—a gift from my oldest son.
Being a creative person, I love creative photography—not only to snap a picture because it’s something to take a picture of—but to look for something different in an everyday occurrence. My advice to capture creative photos is to start looking at things in a different way.
In an old life, I’d I walk along a river trail with my camera. There’s always something to see and so often I’d hit the shutter button. See an old fallen tree? Look close. I found one once… The way it had fallen against another tree, it looked like tree “A” was holding tree “B” in its limbs. (arms) See, that darn romance writer muse slips out all the time. Trees embracing! Kinky.
Capture the Moment:
A few years ago I took a photography class called “Capture the Moment.” It was one of the best classes I ever had! Field trips with this class was all kinds of fun and a great learning experience. The instructor taught us how to take pictures creatively. My instructor had an expensive DSLR—my dream camera—my goal.
Along with creative photography, I like nature photography. That’s why the river trail was so awesome. Things along the river are always changing—trees fall, water rises, or goes down, and colors change. It can be dry and brown or pretty Kelly green. Yes, in this climate, there is also snow and ice. The river trail used to be my favorite place to take pictures at that time in my life. Then this happened. I’ve since moved. ↓
When I had a place in the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania, I loved taking pictures of sunsets dropping below the mountains, the Allegheny River, or the path in the forest with crispy brown and/or yellow and red leaves, animal tracks, boulders that seemed to come out of nowhere, and blue sky through the canopy of trees.
Even the black bear that visited the cabin against my wishes would have made a great photo. If only I had my camera the day I came across a big black bear while walking all alone. I wished to be able to document my death as his claws raked over me. Oh, back to the story—no attack. Whew, that was scary though. By the way, the Enchantment Series books take place there. (Out of Print)
There’s nothing like looking back at photos and reliving the memories. At times I do take people pictures, and my main purpose for that is for memories or gifts. Especially photos of my kids who changed as fast as a heartbeat.
Most of my photos are in my computer now, on flash drives and an external hard drive. On occasion, I will look through my photo albums. Yes, the ones you have to flip through page by page. Some are weathered and worn, but I’d never trade them. Sometimes, I’m quite proud of my photos. Other times, like when I just snap a picture without planning–well, I’m not so proud, but I still have the memory. I went through a lighthouse phase and photographed nearly all of the lights in my state. It was a blast.
In the Blood:
My picture taking started as a child. Maybe it was because my dad always took lots of pictures. He gave me my first camera when I was very young. I don’t know what the reason is for my love of photography, but I’m glad for it. Both of my boys are excellent photographers. I guess it must be in their blood.
If you have a hobby that you love, find time to have fun with it, too. Nowadays, I need to practice what I preach, for my DSLR hasn’t been used for way too long.
Throughout the next couple decades I got to do a lot while the Tigers played at Tiger Stadium and then Comerica Park. All these memories bring me pleasure and cause me to remember some other special happenings going on in my life at the time. These events aren’t in any particular order. There are two previous posts to go with this one.
These last three blog posts were inspired by Tiger Stadium in Detroit, turning 100. Then I posted it on my Facebook page and a comment got me to thinking about some of the special events I had attended between Tiger Stadium and Comerica Park so when I sat down to lay out a blog on the subject, it ended up being too long for one post.
Now, how about those Detroit Red Wing memories? I have some,and a signed jersey to prove it. Not one signature, but the whole front and some of the back is covered. Ah, memories…
Note: Since I’m only human, if you find an error, please let me know. Thanks.
Remember Red Prompt from Write on Edge. This week is PERSONIFICATION. The dictionary defines personification as “the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form.”
This week, tell a piece of your story from the point of view of an object who bore witness– 400 words or less. For your own prompt and link up visit: Write on Edge, Remember Red.
Here I sit in the cold again. I’ve seen it all –cold, heat, sun, rain, and snow. But I don’t even care. You see, I’m just an old yard pump now. Oh, in my day they depended on me for water. Really, I’m that old. After the grandma sold the farm I went with her family to the next house and they only used me for my looks. The middle son, Ernie, took care of me after awhile because his mother thought I would look nice in his flower bed. She was right, for I looked grand. Ernie painted me blue. Nice! When he pained me yellow, I felt like a ray of sunshine all year long. I sat in his flower bed for a lot of years in two different homes. The family reminisced about grandma and the farm house when they sat in the lawn chairs looking at me standing there like a yard guard.
Then came grandsons. They played with my handle, up and down till I thought that part of me would break. Boys will be boys. Ernie would toss small fireworks in my direction at least once a year. Being a hard piece of metal I guess they thought I could take it. Wrong!
After awhile I didn’t see Ernie much. His kids were grown and the grandkids didn’t play with my handle anymore. One day a big black car pulled into his driveway and I never saw him again. His daughter, Mary, pulled me out of the ground and I landed in her yard right beside the garage. Often she’d sit on her porch and look at me. She cried sometimes. Without warning a few years later, I didn’t see her anymore, and I was pulled out of the ground and laid on my side for a long time. One day she appeared again and took me on a long ride. Lo and behold I was stuck in another yard. Mary had a gigantic dog at that house. Whew, I’m glad it was a female! Then Mary disappeared and something bad must have happened in the house because everything got moved out. What would become of me? Almost a year later she came back for me. Happy! I’m with Mary and somehow I know she is a part of Ernie, and I know that Ernie is a part of Grandma who started it all.
Thanks for stopping by to read this. This is not the same writing I started out with. My first one was not the correct prompt for the correct day. If you notice some of the comments don’t match this topic, that’s why. Hope it’s not too confusing. The title is for the other piece I wrote, but it sort of fits. And yes, the photo is the same pump now painted white. I feel like it’s a part of me.
UPDATE on this reblog. Yes, the old hand pump is still in my backyard and I see it from where I’m sitting right now. It’s surrounded with snow and kind of blends in, but I know it’s there and why.
First five minute brain dump of the year.
My oldest son is always on time for everything, but this year he was way behind in buying Christmas presents for his brother and I. Not that we cared, but he sure did. Keep in mind they have to be shipped from California so he’s always early. This year, he fell short of time. He’s been running half marathons and training in his running for a full marathon. But, guess what? When the package did get here, he went overboard for his mommy. He sent my first Kindle Fire. (Now, I have two and an iPad.)
I fell in love with it before bedtime and I still didn’t know much about it. It’s an amazing device. Everyone needs a tablet. The Kindle Fire is a tablet, whereas the other Kindles are readers. I can read, buy movies, music, apps, and surf the web, plus more. The 7 inch screen is just the right size for reading. Today I read while walking on the treadmill. Perfect distraction! I’m still learning things I can do with this thing. I love, love, love it.
It’s so much fun to play with when you don’t want to turn on the laptop. Now I can save my laptop for my writing and add apps to the Fire. Thank you, Chris!
This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
1. Grab the button
(it’s over in the sidebar)
2. Write your post.
3. Link up here. All Things Fadra
When I was a child, my dad never allowed me to say “can’t” or to believe I couldn’t do something. If I said, “I can’t do it” he would remind me I can do anything I choose to do. I guess he was right, but it made me angry. I’m not even sure what it means. Maybe it means “can’t” is a burden and carries a heavy load.
My first book was dedicated to him. He never got to see it published, but he knew I had written a complete novel. As a kid, every summer when I was out of school, he made me write daily. It didn’t matter what it was, but I had to sit down and write something. (My brother too.) It didn’t stop at writing though, for he also made me do math problems. Yuck. I don’t like math to this day. Could it be my dad had a small glimpse into the future, knowing one day I’d be a writer? Did he somehow know that I’d always write through the summer, and now when I’m out of work, I write novels instead of short little writings?
My dad didn’t like when I thought I couldn’t do something and he spent a lot of time trying to make me realize I could. In fact, he must have said it so much that I caught myself saying it to a student when I worked. I sure got a strange look from him. I explained to the student that he could do anything he chose to do. Dad would be proud!
Little things through life bring back different memories of Dad. Some weren’t good. Of course, we butted heads in my teen years. I know dad wanted me to do more, and had expected more from me instead of running out with my boyfriend, or getting behind the wheel of my first car and drive, drive, drive. One day he took a part out of my car before he went to work so it wouldn’t start. It was a punishment. When he came home from work I asked him to put the rotor back in my car. He was surprised I knew what part he had removed. He hid a smile. But again, he’s the one who had taught me to figure things out and believe I could do whatever I chose to do. Well, that day I chose to find out what part he had removed. He put it back . . . a week later.
Maybe it was his teaching that gave me the attitude that I can be strong when I have to be, and I can do what I think I can’t do. My strength has been proven over and over. When dad got sick I never thought I could take care of him the way I did. My brother helped, I’m not trying to cut him out of this. He was strong through it too. I never thought I could load a syringe with medicine and inject it into him per Hospice directions. I never thought I could sit on the floor beside his bed as his breathing came to an end. And in the very end, I never thought I could lay my head on his chest and listen to his last heart beat. Thanks to him and his preaching to me when I was a child, I’ve been able to do a lot more than I ever thought I would. I’ve learned not to give up on things I believe in, and not to say can’t, because “can’t” breaks wagons down.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I miss you.
Wednesday, December 29th 2010. Three days from now it will be a new year. Where did 2010 go? Can you think of a special moment in 2010? Something you will never forget? I hope it isn’t something sad. If it is, I’m sorry for causing you to think of sadness. Sometimes it seems like a year flies by and other times it feels like it was the longest year ever. Has your year gone by quickly, or has it dragged on forever?
I have mixed emotions about this past year. Big changes happened in my two-thousand ten. For one, my job changed. I’m in the same job but the job description is different. I like it much better. My stress level changed for the worse in the past 52 weeks. There were times I thought I would crack. The previous change brought on another change. I moved away from the stress related factors. Life is better now. Some parts of it anyway.
A lot of other changes went on, both good and bad. Did I reach any of my goals for this year? Since I didn’t make a list of them, I have no way of knowing. I did write two more books. I didn’t finish the one I wanted to finish though. Seems there are pros and cons for most of my year. Maybe that’s normal for everyone; after all it’s 365 days, we’re bound to have pros and cons. Did you reach any of your goals or resolutions?
I’ll be back in 2011 to talk about goals and resolutions. But, for now it’s still this year. Honestly, with those mixed emotions I have one thing to say to you, year 2010– We’ll never meet again . . .
Graphics from Glitter Graphics