Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Today was not one of my better days. More 'Stupid Blond Tricks'. I would tell you about it, but I might look a little too pathetic.

Tomorrow I get to begin moving to the new place. Hopefully pictures will follow but I've been on a real roll lately with screw ups, so who knows. Regardless, the new place is exciting. Did I mention that I will not miss condo living? Especially when the neighbor is smoking a cigar on his deck and the wind in blowing right onto mine. YUCK!

Someone did tell me today how to access Pandora Radio. Pretty cool way to enjoy some free music. Here's what I found on Pandora.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Today is Catch Fire Day for Alex J.Cavanaugh (be patient,I'll give you the link as soon as I'm finished talking). If you look to the right, you'll see the book cover badge. In a perfect world, with a perfect blogger...well, you know that story and it ain't never gonna happen here. 

Anyway... The reason for  Catch Fire Day, is it's the release day for Alex's new book CASSAFIRE. I could give you the book blurb here, but I won't. I will tell you that it is a sequel to CASSASTAR, which I read and enjoyed. If I were a 'super blogger' I could even capture the book trailer for CASSAFIRE and post it here but, well, you know me.(I'm having a difficult enough time with all these color changes.)

What I will tell you is that Alex is a super blogger, a very good author of Sci-Fi, and an all around 'GOOD GUY'. I read and enjoyed CASSASTAR and I am not a big fan of Sci-Fi, but I do appreciate an in-depth character study and good writing.

Alex will be on 'Blog Tour' from 27 February thru 9 March. See what some of the other bloggers are saying about him and CASSAFIRE. Go to his site and enter the contest to win a super prize package, including copies of CASSASTAR and CASSAFIRE. 

Check all of this out at  ENJOY!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Your Gonna Love This Bit of Silliness

Your gonna love this bit of 'dumb blond' silliness. I could just about scream. can be the judge.

I don't watch TV. I mean, I REALLY don't watch TV. I have one and a DVD player and a whole collection of DVD's plus a Netflix subscription. When we first rented this condo they said the cable was included. During Hurricane Season the Weather Channel was convenient, but that is the only time the TV was ever on. I have wanted to cancel the cable for months, but Rick wanted it. It's been a constant battle. 

There are two things I generally watch one is the Super Bowl, but this year I hardly paid attention. To make matters even less interesting during the Super Bowl, it was broadcast on a network that comes from Puerto Rico. They preempted the fancy Super Bowl commercial for local Puerto Rican commercials in Spanish, so I didn't even get to see those.

I was informed last week that the cable was turned off. The bills are not sent to me. The Property Management Company that handles my condo doesn't want to take them out of the owners name, so they are supposed to get them to me each month and I go a pay them. Last month the manager lost my electric bill and who knows what she did with the cable bill. So, nothing got paid on time and my cable was turned off. I was going to just let it go, because I'm moving this weekend, but then I remembered the Academy Awards. Knowing I would get no break from the Property Manager on the cable bill I paid last months bill, this months bill and a $22 reconnect fee for a total of $62 to see the Academy Awards (actually Rick paid it, cause he's the one who wants the cable anyway. All I wanted to see was the Oscars!).

So, last night I'm trying to stay awake, knowing that I have to get up at 5:30AM if I want the car on Monday. Just when we get to the 'good stuff' like the Best Actor, Actress, and Movie guess what - are you ready for this - wait for it --the cable goes out. Gone -  completely gone to fuzz. Are you kidding me?

By now, I do know who won, but it's not the same as seeing and hearing the acceptance speeches and the tears and all the other stuff. I was really bummed.

I'm left wondering if I will ever learn. Probably not. But, my new place will not have cable. There are a lot of things that have gotten left behind in my move to the Caribbean, finally the possibility of Network TV will be one of them.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Michael

I posted that Leon Russell song earlier today because I really didn't want to talk. I woke up this morning with a screaming headache -I hate that. Came upstairs to get a Coke and some Ibuprofen, turned on the computer to see who I had offended over the weekend. Only one person, I must be getting better. Why does it always have to be someone special to you, that you offend? Maybe that's just me. Anyway...I posted Leon, but couldn't get the idea out of my head that there was something special about today. Other than my day to offend someone special (actually I offended two someone specials this weekend, but one called to let me have it). Anyway...

It's 4:00PM here and I finally realized what was special about today. It should be Michael's birthday. Unfortunately, Michael was killed a few years back. A little too painful for me to want to get into that here, but I do want to say 'I miss you Michael and I will always love you.' I wish there had been more time for you to grow into the man you should have been.

That's me and Michael.

Michael's dad sent me this picture for another purpose. I was pretty sure I would never post it here, but then, well, you know me or maybe you don't, but no matter.

Least any of you get the wrong idea. ( I am not seventeen,twenty or even thirty. I was once, but not anymore) Michael was a Chicago Policeman, killed in the line of duty. This is an old picture. He was my Godson.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Twice this past week, my INTEGRITY was called into question. The first time I deserved it, and I hope I corrected the problem, as painful as it was. The second time I wanted to scream at someone "You do NOT know me." I didn't. I went back and 'made nice', showing a complete lack of integrity, but good manners. Then my good manners got a slap in the face. That will teach me.

Anyway...I was going to publish a post about integrity, but right now that would probably be throwing gasoline on the fire. Best if I shut it. Besides, I just got it off my shoulders.

It's been one of those days...already.

Here, listen to Bob, instead of me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ups and Downs

Everything we do or experience in life has its ups and downs.Of course,most of us would rather ride on the ups and forget about the downs. It doesn't work that way.

I've been thinking for a while now that I needed a new place to live. I wrote a blog post a few weeks back about some of the economic changes that are taking place on the island where I live. The large oil refinery that is the major industry here announced that they are closing down. Thousands will be out of work directly due to this, and there isn't a person on the island it won't affect in some way. Many people, especially those highly paid professionals tied to the oil industry have already bailed -heading back to the States.

Because of this I have been able to rent a three bedroom/ three bath villa with it's own swimming pool. Moving up from a two bedroom/ two bath condo with a nice large shared pool. There is no comparison. The villa is decorated to the max. It's private and luxurious. A year ago I couldn't not have imagined being able to afford something like this. Today I'm definitely moving up. I will post some pictures as soon as I actually move (around 5 March). This is an incredible UP side in my life.

Early this morning on my way into town I ran into a friend, Clayton. Clayton works at the condo complex. He is one of the landscapers. He's hardworking,friendly and has looked out for me since the day I moved in here. A few months back he was telling me about some trouble in his family. One of his older daughters (he has 9 children and they are all still at home. He works hard, with his wife, to support them.) was in a fight at school where she was knifed. Her injuries weren't serious but she was in trouble with the school and the law. Clayton was concerned and lamented about the younger generation.

This morning he was here at the condo office with his official doctor's notice excusing him from work for ten days. He just got out of the hospital. What I didn't know about Clayton was that in order to take care of his family he works another job at night. He is security at one of the fancy resorts where they also have a high end marina. This past weekend at his security job Clayton came upon a trespasser who was stealing ARE YOU READY FOR THIS coconuts. He told this guy that he had to leave and leave his coconuts behind. They guy refused, so Clayton turned his back on him to return to the guard shack and call his boss, to send the police over. The guy attacked him from behind knocking him to the ground and attacked him with a machete. He has a vicious slice down one third of his face. How he wasn't killed, I don't know. This was over COCONUTS. Definitely a down side.

I suppose as things get worse for the people of the VI, things like this will be more commonplace. That's what goes on in my neighborhood. They call it paradise.

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Origins - Mostly

Today is the Origins Blogfest. In a perfect world with a perfect blogger you should be able to click on that image above an get to the link that explains this blogfest and gives you the list of participants so you can go and read far more interesting Origin Stories than mine. But this ain't a perfect world and I am not, well, let's not even go where no man has gone before, and discuss my blogging abilities. If you want the dope on this particular blogfest go here Even here DON'T click on the Origins image in the blogpost, BUT go over to the right and click on it there. (After you read Don's awesome Origins Story, of course.) Got that!

Anyway, I wrote my Origins Blog Post about ten days ago and it was all ready to go, all I had to do was hit the publish button. But, then I got cold feet. Now those of you who follow me know that I'm more than willing to take my clothes off in public and tell you what a goof I've been over some stupid thing, but I decided I was not ready to be that NAKED in front of you and tell you all about my life.  

How many of you can tell me the exact moment you grew up, well, maybe grew up is too broad a term, but the exact moment you knew things were never going to be the same for you on most levels.(This is without having anything to do with sex. Please!) I can, but I'm not ready to do that yet. So instead I'll give you part of my origins story. The most recent part. Sorry if it's not too exciting, maybe some day I'll be adult enough to tell you the rest, just not today. 

Since that moment in my life when I knew nothing would ever be the same, I started writing. Journals and notes mostly. I never showed it to anyone. A lot of it I did not reread, but I did want to record it. Record myself and my feeling, emotions the things I had witnessed. You know, it's easy to retell a story, it ain't so easy to recapture the essence of the story, the time, exactly how you felt all of the emotions involved. Anyway...I had all these thoughts and notebooks full of just that.

When I moved to the Caribbean - on to the next adventure - I decided I needed  to do something different. I decided I wanted to write. I read voraciously. I read everything; junk fiction,(this would include newspapers and news magazines) good fiction, classics, non-fiction, how-to, heck when I run out of reading material I turn to the Internet or even the back of cereal boxes. I also read the Scriptures. Surprised? That's probably an entirely different blog post.

Anyway, I started thinking I could probably write better than a lot of what I read. So I went back to college. I'm always going back to college. I probably have enough credits for three degrees, but I don't have enough in any particular discipline to qualify. Anyway, this time it was writing. You will note I didn't bother with any grammar courses, particularly punctuation.

Currently I have written three full length novels. I'm not sure what to do with them.I've written some 'shorts' for contests where mostly I was quashed pretty badly.(Maybe,not as bad as it felt, but I like that word- quashed.)

Recently,I entered a short story contest,1000 words or less (not exactly my forte) with a deadline of 1/30/2012. The topic was cities. Capture the metropolitan experience. I dug out my old notes and wrote a piece from my experience. From my emotion. From my heart.It may have been my best work yet. Could this be where writing wants me to go? I don't believe in coincidence.

I don't write for money,(HA, ha, ha) I would take it but, I write for me. Me, I would like to make an impact with what I write. Not just an impact on your wallet but on your mind. This particular short story and something else I read recently, got me to thinking. Is it possible that writing fiction based on history, my personal history, would encourage people to do research? To check my facts.To look into the past with a hope of making the future better. Noble thought, this. 

Isn't that what writing, good writing, should be -- Noble thoughts put down on paper, naked for the scrutiny of the people. Maybe that's a whole new Origins Post for next year.We'll see.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I've had a rough six or seven weeks. On Christmas Eve someone dropped a bomb shell in my lap that had a serious affect on my Christmas. It had been coming for a year, but I had no idea. January brought it's usual blahs. I was still not recovered from the Christmas thing and having some serious trouble writing. Recently, I was asked to do something hard - I hate that. Then I tried to buy a car. Thought I had a deal all set and the seller comes back to me and tries to 'shake me down' for another $500. Had to tell them I was stretched at the agreed upon price and 'good luck with that'. In the end, I know it was not my car, but I'm still bummed. NOW, if this paragraph had an old pick up, a train and a dog in it somewhere, it would make the perfect country song. A real downer of a country song.

I hate excuses. Don't like to make 'em. So, I just better get over myself.

Anyway...In these past six or seven weeks I've been reading a lot of advice on how to be a successful blogger. Holy carp! (Oh yeah, I'm a little dyslexic too.) I think I do just about the opposite of all that good advice.

This brings me to something else I've done in the past six or seven weeks that makes me think I'm more of a jerk, than a 'good blogger'. Several of you have given me awards and I never even went by and picked them up. Back in November when JP gave me the 'Lovely Blog Award' (see it, it's right over there to the right - on the mantle just like an Oscar) I was really flattered and pretty excited. Lately, I've felt more embarrassed. (I'm hoping that does not make me the creepiest of creeps, but...) Let me explain. (No excuses, I promise. I think.)

I am seriously not a head hunter. I'm grateful for the 116 people who follow me. Maybe there are even more, some people follow anonymously  and with the relationship blogger and I have, who knows how many people they refuse to tell me about. I hope you're following me because I've said something that made you laugh, touched you in a sentimental way, made you feel good about yourself, or maybe even made you feel good about me. You might even follow me because of my pictures or all that water (what's not to love about the Caribbean).

I started this blog to promote my writing. I intended to remain calm and professional in this space, but then well, you know me. I reside in the lunatic fringe and I seem to like it there. Sometimes the craziest things happen to me and I just have to tell you. (Tonight at dinner is a prime example but I'll save that for another time. I'll try not to hijack my own post.)

Anyway...back to the point. I apologize about the awards. I hope I didn't hurt any body's feelings. I'm just not good with all that linking back and forth and telling you stuff about me (OK, I know I'm full of TMI, but not like the ??? some of these awards ask) Bottom line is...I'm not a good candidate for an award. I would much rather you just stop by and say 'hey'.

I think I'm learning that I'm not a blogger, I'm a writer. I thought like 'being on stage, is being on stage'; it would be the same with writing. It's not.

I blog for my own personal release. I'm sure it's dangerous, but I don't worry about the punctuation, the pronunciation, or the presentation. Here, I'm my slovenly self. I spew all over the place and manage to tell you very little. Hey, it's cheaper than therapy.

Dear potential agents or publishers, please don't judge my 'real' writing by my time 'on the couch'.

Dear followers, please don't judge my friendship as insincere, by my need to write 'real'.

I am a fortunate blogger. I've met some wonderful people who make me laugh, feel and even let me hijack their comment blocks. I've even said and done some things in your comments blocks that should be embarrassing, but then, well, you know me.

I even met my muse through this blog. The muse is tough on me sometimes, sometimes I even cry, but they have helped me write better. The muse also tells me to 'stop apologizing', so I'm not going to do that here. Just wanted to explain.

So, now that you know, don't think I'm going away, at least not yet. You see I have all these words. Where on earth would I put them?

Now something serious...Can someone tell me why blogger doesn't have spell check in the comment block (if someone tells me there is one, I'll be genuinely embarrassed. Naw, probably not.)? I mean come on, I've already admitted I'm somewhat dyslexic. Secretly, I think blogger uses some of my spelling errors for their 'word verification' deals. I wonder if I could charge them?

Thursday, February 2, 2012


A thousand thank yous to the ISW Group for putting up with my wacky melt down yesterday. You guys are great. today I'm better. Well, at least, as better as I get.

Anyway...I've been working on a few Short Stories for contest entries and writing my entry for the 'Origins' Blogfest. The 'Origins' post is written, I'm just not sure I have the nerve to publish it. All of this has me reflecting on people, places and incidents throughout my life. I want to tell you about one:

When I was in college I had this boyfriend. Boyfriend is kind of a loose term. We went to a University that was basically a commuter school. U of I at Chicago. He never took me home to meet the folks. I was quite literally from the 'wrong side of the tracks'. His family would have been appalled at who I was, what my Daddy did for a living and where I came from. The boyfriend was too concerned about being 'cut off' to look his parents in the eye. I was too young and stupid to care. That's not really the point, because what this guy lacked in his willingness to stand up to his parents, he had mountains of in his willingness to stand up to the world. Maybe he loved them too much. It took me along time to realize that was exactly how he felt about me.

He took me to some really nice places. Once we were in a fancy restaurant. I'm sure I was whining about something (of course I really don't have a clear picture of that part) and he stands up and starts singing out loud the love song of the day to me. 

Let me take a little break in the story to tell you, we were theater majors. In the 'student union' this type of behavior was not only common often it was a class assignment. My first reaction was to laugh and listen intently smiling and thinking about what little bit of improv I was going to come up with to 'get him back'. The goal being to make the other person 'break character'.

After the first few seconds of this serenade I'm reminded  where we are. It's plain all other activity in the restaurant has ceased. Everyone, the waiters, the patrons, maitre'd, and busboys  are staring at us. Some of them with their mouths hanging open. I'm starting to get a little worried. Worry progresses to embarrassment and slides right into home, with pure mortification.The boyfriend, he just keeps singing his heart out. Thank goodness he has a nice voice and can carry a turn. (Most people in the the theater department can sign and dance a little. You know, being on stage is being on stage.)

When he finishes there are those few seconds where you have that feeling of being under water. Everything is happening in slow motion. If you're mortified, like me, it feels like those seconds will never end. If you're enjoying the moment, like boyfriend, those seconds flash before your eyes. At the end of those few seconds the sound in the room is deafening. Everyone is clapping. People are standing up and clapping (are you kidding me? a standing ovation). Some of them come over and congratulate him with a clap on the back. More than one old lady told me "honey, don't let that one get away". Needless to say, my mortification is starting to wane and is rapidly replaced with total and complete admiration and yeah, love.

This is a true story. The good ones always are. There is a POINT.

Setting all the mortification of my Y & S self aside, I am eternally grateful for that experience. Can most of you tell me you would not love to have that experience? Have someone put them self out there on a limb, like that, for you. We all know I'm a whack job, but I gotta believe that almost all of the ladies would love it and probably most of the guys. Now, I admit the guys are probably thinking; yeah, but would it have to be someone like 'Eyes', that woman is certifiable. No, it doesn't have to someone who is as certifiable as me, it just has to be someone who cares enough.

My point today IS: Go out there and sing a love song to someone. sing it out loud where others can hear you. Crawl out on that limb. I know writers are introverts and this is scary, but tough - step outside your comfort zone, expand your horizons. It will make you a better writer, and a better person. I bet you get a standing ovation.

I know some of you are thinking; 'that guy, the boyfriend was no fool, this was probably an excellent ploy to get her into bed. Nope, nada, it wasn't even as issue, at least, not that night and it never did happen. Actually, the story has a tragic ending, but that's for another time.

OK, there's my ISW post a day late and a dollar short as usual. Don't think too hard about life , live it instead.

Here's a little poem.
    My candle burns at both ends.
      It will not last the night,.
    But ah, my foes, and
      oh, my friends --
    It give a lovely light.
                Edna St. Vincent Millay

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I'm definitely lost in the ozone. It's February 1, already, another Insecure Writer's Support Group. For more info click on that little badge over there to the right. It will tell you all about it and send you to some other sites, where you can probably get some good advice about overcoming your insecurities. Unfortunately, that ain't gonna happen here today.

I've spent the last week trying not to become 'whale puke'. That's a reference from The Book, if you don't get it right off, don't ask. I am totally insecure about everything right now. Well, everything to do with myself and my wee little life. BUT, I have every confidence in you, Dear Writers. So, I'm gonna spend this day visiting your sites, all of your sites, looking for comfort and confidence. while I try to figure out just how long I can tread water.

Here's the good thing about this post. It will get you guys off that prison track. Words seem to be my enemy. 

      I never been to prison,
            but, I been to Oklahoma.
                               (NOT words from a song, but it could be.)

      What are words, if you really don't mean them
            when you say them.
                               (THESE are words from a song - 'What are Words')