Archive for February, 2008

A Friday Funny

Posted in Funnies on 02/22/2008 by Susan Shay

maxine-on-health.jpg

Yesterday I went to the doctor for my yearly physical.

My blood pressure was high, my cholesterol was high,

I’d gained some weight, and I didn’t feel so hot.

  My doctor said eating right doesn’t have to

 be complicated and it would solve my physical

 problems. He said just think in colors…

Fill your plate with bright colors… greens,

 Yellows, reds, etc.

I went right home and ate an

 entire bowl of :

maxines-answer-to-good-health.jpg

Works for me! <g>

My thanks to BF Meg Reid and her beautiful daughter, Amy, for today’s funny. Oh, and thanks to whomever writes Maxine. You’ve given me countless hours of laughter . . . which is, after all, the best medicine.

MY SIX WORD MEMOIR

Posted in writing on 02/21/2008 by Susan Shay

1- Christian

2- happy

3- insatiable

4- curious

5- outgoing

6-tenacious

Okay, that’s the 6 good words about me, and surprisingly, this is kind of fun!

Borrowing, with permission from bookbabie, the following fabulous idea:

What would you say if you had to summarize your life in only six words?

Bookbabie got the idea from a book written by Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser, Not Quite What I was Expecting: Six Word Memoirs by Famous and Obscure. It is a compilation based on the story that Hemingway once bet ten dollars that he could sum up his life in six words. His words were- For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Here are the rules:

1. Write your own six word memoir

2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like

3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original postif possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere

4. Tag five more blogs with links

5. And don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

 Suzanne Francis tagged me for this game. Check out her blog. http://suzannefrancis.wordpress.com/ 

She’s a writer in New Zealand. Cool, huh?

I’m going to tag Marilyn,  Jaci, Dr. Tom, Kate,  and Jackie.

Suzanne says she’s going to use the 6 word memoir the next time she teaches a writing class. Not a bad idea! Since I don’t teach other people how to write (I’m still working on that for myself) I probably won’t rip off that idea. 😉 

Sparkle and shine.

Posted in This and that, writing with tags , , , on 02/20/2008 by Susan Shay

Any idea how hard it is to decide what’s appropriate to wear to a wedding? Especially an evening wedding?

DH and I ran to Tulsa because I “need” something new to wear to my niece’s wedding this weekend. Talk about a tough job!

I had the same problem last summer when I was going to another niece’s wedding reception. What am I supposed to wear?

I know the answers I’d get here at home if I was silly enough to ask: 1- It doesn’t matter. 2- Everyone will be looking at the bride, not at you. 3- It doesn’t matter. 4- They want you there because they love you, not your clothes. Oh, and 5- It doesn’t matter.

But it matters to me!

I don’t want to over dress. I felt as if I had done that when I went to one of my BF son’s wedding. BF was gorgeous and dressed to the nines (whatever that means) as was the bridal party, but the rest of the people looked as if they were going to church, while I wore sparkles. <G> One of the other guests wore white, so I didn’t feel too bad.

I looked at several stores, but found n-o-t-h-i-n-g. Dresses in the stores right now are spring dresses. That means they have either no straps, spaghetti straps or a halter. Not the kind of thing I’m comfortable in (because of what has to go under the dress–ick). Besides, it’s still February. I’d turn blue in a sundress. *shiver*

Soooooo I’m back to what I wore last summer. But the last time I dressed up, I wore that. And everyone who saw me then will see me Saturday.

(Yes, to answer your question, I have a very limited social life. What’s your point?)

When we got to Dillard’s, I pulled two top sets off the rack and went to the dressing room. One was beige/black with sparkles and a matching scoop neck tank. I put it on and stepped out to show DH.

“What do you think?” I asked, pirouetting in front of the three-way mirror.

He put on a pleasant face. And nodded.

I went back to the dressing room and put on the black with silver sparkles V-neck tank and zip front top. When I stepped out, DH straightened in his chair and grinned.

I went to the three-way and checked to see how it looked. I zipped it. I unzipped it. I adjusted the V so too much of my decolletage wouldn’t show. “Well, which one do you like?”

“That one.” DH didn’t even take a breath before answering.

“Really?” Adjusting the stand up collar, I viewed the back again. “Better than the other one?”

“Oh, yeah. It’s a much better color on you.” DH sounded as if he’d been listening to me all these years. “And the shape is very slenderizing.”

  So I bought the black (gulp) sparkly top. And while I have great shoes (they’re just too cha-cha for words, to quote Steel Magnolias) I don’t have the right bag.

Don’t laugh.

After that stressfulness, we went to find my husband a trowel, which turned out to be almost as hard to do as finding my wedding ensem.

Here’s why: There’s an unwritten rule that you can’t ask questions in a home improvement store. Not if you’re a real man, that is.

I think it’s in the same rule book as the one about asking for directions.

Anyway, we looked in the paints. Nothing but scrapers. Next we looked in tools. Didn’t even have scraper there, much less trowels. After that we mosied around until we stumbled onto the dry cement in bags, and low and behold, we found something that looked just like a trowel but was called a float. (I think.)

After he tried on several, I told DH I thought he should get the one with rounded corners. It looked better on him. He opted for the same one with squared off corners. (I’m sure there was a reason for it, but he didn’t explain.) Then we went to the front of the store where we found the trowels.

Honestly, in the the farthest corner (once an online friend called it ‘down past BFE’ and I didn’t know what she meant. Another friend gently explained it to me.)

Did you know a float and a trowel look exactly the same, except a trowel is uber shiny and costs about half of what a float does? It probably weighs less, too, but I didn’t get to touch the float. DH put it back before we checked out.

After getting some dinner, we decided to give ourselves a real treat. We went to the bookstore. That’s the best kind of shopping. I have several fav authors I check on each trip, just in case a book I haven’t read is on the shelf. And guess what? I found two!

Trouble is, they’re both hard covers, so they cost more than I like to pay. But I couldn’t resist. Now I’m reading BLOOD DREAMS by Kay Hooper, and it’s so good! I’ll tell you about it when I finish. 

We stopped for Starbuck’s Cinnamon Dolche Lattes on the way home, so I was able to read about half the book before I fell asleep. 

    It’s great. 😉

Happy Birthday, Cindy

Posted in writing on 02/17/2008 by Susan Shay

Hey, Cindy! Happy, happy!

Cindy is another of my sisters. There are five of us girls in Carol Spess’s family, and one boy. Lucky guy. <G>

Sister Cindy was always the quiet one of the bunch. When she was upset, she didn’t yell or fight like the rest of us. She just very quietly cried. . . which usually got her what she wanted.

When she was little, she had a friend named Molly (who’s still a ton of fun to be with) who used to get Cindy into trouble. Of course, sweet Cindy was never at fault. 

Once when Molly and her mother were out our house, the mothers decided to have coffee while the girls played. The mothers thought they’d play with dolls or some of the other toys that filled our home. Instead, they decided to visit Mom and Dad’s room.

We have pictures of Cindy and Molly that day, covered with talcum powder–and nothing else.  

For her 16th birthday, Mom and Dad bought her a car, but Dad told her she couldn’t drive it to school until they got insurance on it. #4–who’s 16 months younger than Cindy,  threw a fit for her. “No! That’s not fair. How can you give her a new car, then tell her she has to leave it at home?”

Sister Cindy didn’t say anything. She just sat down and very quietly cried.

I have a feeling #4 would tell me Dad’s wrath that day wasn’t a fun thing to experience. (As if I’ve never had that “pleasure”.) He told #4, “If I’d bought the car for you, I’d take it back for the way you’re acting. But Cindy, if you promise to be careful, you can drive it to school tomorrow.”

Of course, that meant #4 got to ride. <g>

Later, after Cindy was married and going to TU while her husband went to school in Joplin, she and Brother Jeff roomed together in an apartment. Funny thing is, Brother Jeff somehow mixed up Mom and Sister Cindy and expected her to clean up after him, the way Mom always had.

He’d go into the kitchen and fix something to eat, then wander off, leaving the kitchen looking as if a twister had hit. He experienced the wrath of Cindy. She might have had a soft touch with our parents, but she lost it when it came to siblings.

Cindy was still in school at TU when I had my first son. She went to the Lamaze classes with me, since my DH was working twenty-four hour call as a logging and perforating engineer at that time. She wasn’t there for the delivery (classes, I think) but she was with me that night.

I’d had a spinal, which left me numb and paralized from the waist down for eight hours or so. DH had left for a little while (he was there for the delivery, thank heaven!) and Cindy was keeping me company when an alarm went off.

“What is that?” I asked, pushing the button on the bed so my head was higher.

“Fire alarm,” Cindy answered, springing out of her chair to touch the door.

“What do we do?” My baby was in the nursery, which I wouldn’t have known how to find right then even if I could have walked. There wasn’t a wheelchair anywhere around.

“I’ll go see if it’s for real.” Cindy started out the door, then looked back. “If it is, I’ll get the baby and you can get yourself out.”

I was totally unable to move–or feel– anything from my belly button to my toes. I had no idea how I could get myself out. I’d started envisioning dragging myself to the stairs and rolling down seven flights when Cindy returned. “It’s okay.”

“False alarm?” I asked.

“No. Kitchen fire. They put it out.”

I was in the hospital for a few days. I wanted to breast feed my baby. But when the nurses brought him to me, he’d turn up his nose. I was heart broken and spent a lot of time crying, until Cindy informed me the nurses were giving him sugar water in the nursery, which kept him from being hungry when I had him. Finally they stopped feeding him, and after a visit from an older volunteer, I learned how to make it all work–more or less. It was still a struggle for a few days after I went home.

I made Cindy promise never to let a new breast feeding mom go home without making sure she could actually feed the baby without too much trouble.

Today Cindy is a lactation consultant at the same hospital where my son was born. I’m thrilled that she took my words to heart. And the fact that she breast fed all five of her children doesn’t hurt. 🙂   

Following our parents’ tradition, Cindy has four girls and a boy. And a husband, of course. They live here in our hometown, so I get to see her every now and then, for which I’m extremely grateful.

Her girls are all just as beautiful as she is, and, of course, her son and husband are lucky guys.  

cindy-just-before-kendal.jpgThis is Cindy, just a few hours before her second daughter was born.

  

Blogging

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , on 02/16/2008 by Susan Shay

Have you noticed how much fun blogging is? Not only do I get to yak about whatever I want, I get to peek into other people’s lives while doing it. (Yes, inquisitiveness runs rampant in my family.) 

I started out reading friends’ blogs. Marilyn Pappano, Rachel Butler, Jackie King, Jackie Kramer, Jaci Burton. All people I know and get to be around occasionally. I absolutely love seeing a part of their lives that wasn’t available to me as a merely member of the same RWA Chapter.

Now I’m reading other people’s blogs. People I wouldn’t know if they walked up and smacked me. But if they started talking, and they’re true to their voices, I’d probably be able to pick them out. 

That’s because, whether we want to or not, we all have a “voice”. Voice is a really in-depth study that I’m not qualified to give, but it’s basically what it sounds like. The way we talk–or write.

Dr. Phil, for example, has a really down-home Texas voice. He has a lot of sayings he uses when dealing with his guests. “That dog won’t hunt,” is his way of saying something wasn’t truthful without calling the person a bold faced liar. “Happier than a pig in slop,” means someone who’s completely satisfied with the status quo.

Sometimes his voice reminds me of Andy Taylor, the main character in the Andy Griffith Show set in Mayberry.

Dr. Tom Bibey has a similar voice in his comments on Blue Grass, medicine and life. It’s a kind of easy going comfort, not unlike homemade fudge on a bad day. Just the kind of doctor everyone would like to have but very few can find.

Then there’s Marilyn Pappano, who gives us little insights into her life. We get to be in the know when she writes and when she doesn’t. She tells us about her son, daughter-in-law and grandson. Her husband. Her friends. Her dogs. We’ve gone along for the ride while she cut up dead falls with her chain saw–something I wouldn’t dream of doing. It’s like being a close friend with one of your favorite authors. Who wouldn’t love that?

Jaci Burton, on the other hand, has a fast clipped, down-to-business style. She tells about different aspects of writing as well as blogging on many sites. We do get to hear about trips she takes on her motorcycle with her husband, who she calls Biker Dude. In addition, she runs contests and gives away her books via her blog. I was lucky enough to win this last time. The book’s called RIDING WILD, and I’m thrilled. Thanks, Jaci!

So what’s my voice? To be truthful, I’m not sure I’ve found it yet. Critique partners tell me I’ve found it when they read parts of my werewolf book, Make Me Howl. I tell them I’m just releasing the wolf within. 😉  

Dr. Tom says I have insight into the middle aged lug. <G> I’d like to believe that I had some kind of insight into something. Trouble is, I’m not sure I’ve ever met a lug.

Mostly, I try to just tell the truth. Here’s why. A long time ago, I discovered Louis Lamour. (I even kept one of his books with me all through labor and delivery of my 3rd son, BB.)

The good guys in all Louie’s books had one belief in common–If you aren’t as good as your word, you’re good for nothing. I agree. I never met Louie, never got a book autographed by him, but I love his work.

I try to take the best parts of what I read to heart. So does that mean the more I read, the more my voice changes?  

I hope so.

 add to del.icio.us  Add to Blinkslist add to furl Digg it add to ma.gnolia Stumble It! add to simpy seed the vine  TailRank post to facebook
    

Confessing Love

Posted in writing with tags , , , on 02/14/2008 by Susan Shay

It’s Valentines Day, and as a romance writer, I’m duty bound to write about it.

Actually, I’m not all that wild about the day. (I started to write VD but one of my friends out there would probably answer me with a big, “Duh!”) I tend to think of it as a Hallmark holiday. A day invented to sell cards.

But since my DH is one of those sweeties who never forgets Val Day, I get into the spirit.

I took off work early yesterday and DH and I went shopping. And it didn’t take us long to find what we wanted. He bought me a beautiful pair of earrings. (After I open them, I’ll try to post a picture for you.) I bought him a new watch. This watch is gold, and it has tiny diamonds instead of numbers on the face. I love it! I just hope he enjoys it.

Then we picked up Chinese food at a place we’ve both frequented since before we knew each other.  

I think there’s a confession there.

A confession, for those of you who don’t write romance, is a short story published in a magazine such as True Confessions, True Love or True Romance. It’s an “easy” way to get published when learning the craft. 

I sold a pile of confessions before I sold my first full length book. My favorite (and my first) was called, “Pistol Packin’ Soccer Mom”. 🙂 It was about a woman who got really mad at a soccer game because the refs were cheating her kid’s team. So she pulled out her gun and blew away the ball.

In case you’re wondering, she went to jail. <G>

I’ve always told people that to write a confession, you had to make the characters whine. It worked for me, but it’s not the only way. 

A friend of mine, Peggy Fielding, who is a shirttail relative by way of my DIL, wrote a book about it called, “Confessing for Money. Writing and Selling to the Secret Short Story Market.” Peggy is the last word in confessions, and an absolute delight to know. Check out her website: www.peggyfielding.com

If you’re looking for a way to get some publishing under you belt and make a little $$ to supplement your writing habit, it’s a great way to go. You’ll learn to add emotion in your work, which isn’t easy for some of us.

Back to Val Day.  For dinner tonight, I’m fixing T-bones, baked potatoes and salad. Yummers! And I might buy strawberries and do something with them to knock us completely off our diets–like strawberry shortcake or chocolate dipped strawberries.

So how do you celebrate the holiday? Gifts? Weekend vacations? Fly to Paris for a day or two? 

Come on. Confess. I’d really like to know.

    

Blonde Joke

Posted in Funnies on 02/13/2008 by Susan Shay

Why did the blonde put condoms on her ears?

She didn’t want to get hearing aides.

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