Archive for June, 2008


Posted in writing on 06/30/2008 by Susan Shay

I have to tell you about this great little girl named Brenna. She my minister’s daughter, and one of a kind!

She’s the same age as my niece and they’re great buds. Week before last–on Five Bat Day–Brenna came to the office with my niece. And while she was there, naturally, we found a bat (or two).

I was cleaning windows in the front office and moved a chair to get to the glass and yikes! There was the little critter, shoved back in the corner.

I yelped, “A bat!” and backed up.

My niece squealed along with me, but Brenna came running. “I wanna see!”

“Stay back,” I warned. 

But Brenna was excited. Apparently this was her first up-close-and-personal bat. “Can I touch it?”  

“No! They can bite and they carry rabies.”

I must have convinced her that I wasn’t going to let her get as close as she wanted, so she went into the entry and peeked through the glass to get a “really good look”. (Yes, I had to clean it again, but I really didn’t mind.)

Here’s the deal–Not long after her family moved here, she was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. After a really long time at St. Jude’s, and more surgeries than I’ve had in my entire life, they got rid of the tumor.

That was a year or two ago, and so far she’s cancer free, but she’s having seizures. The docs tried to control it with meds, but weren’t able to. So she’s back at St. J’s.

They did surgery last week to put leads in her brain so they could tell exactly where the seizures were coming from.  

This is a picture of her from her family’s blog. The red ponytail is that sticky ace bandage stuff wrapped around all those wires coming from her brain. Wow, my heart hurts just thinking of it. I can only imagine what her parents are going through.

BUT (yes, it’s a big one) you should go to their blog and read about it for yourself. You’ll never read a more inspiring blog in your life. And you’ll get a better idea about what a special kid this is.

This morning at 7:00 they were doing surgery to take out the wires and “fix” her brain so the seizures will stop.  

Needless to say, we’re keeping Brenna, her family and docs deep in our prayers today.

Join with me. Please?


Funny Puns

Posted in Funnies on 06/25/2008 by Susan Shay

I laughed out loud at some of these–

Thanks Ann for sending them to me today. I knew you’d enjoy them, too–ss

Here are the 10 first place winners in the International Pun Contest:
1. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons.  The flight attendant looks at him and says, ‘I’m sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.’
2. Two fish swim into a concrete wall.  The one turns to the other and says ‘Dam!’
3. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft.  Not surprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it too.
4. Two hydrogen atoms meet.  One says ‘I’ve lost my electron.’  The other says ‘Are you sure?’  The first replies ‘Yes, I’m positive.’
5. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal?  His goal: transcend dental medication.
6. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories.  After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse.  ‘But why?’ they asked, as they moved off.  ‘Because,’ he said,’ I can’t stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer.’
7. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption.  One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named ‘Ahmal’.  The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him ‘Juan.’  Years later, Juan sends a picture of him self to his birth mother.  Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal.  Her husband responds, ‘They’re twins!  If you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Ahmal.’  
8. A group of friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds.  Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair.  He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not.  He went back and begged the friars to close.  They ignored him.  So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to ‘persuade’ them to close.  Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he’d be back if they didn’t close up shop.  Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.  
9. Mahatma G Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet.  He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and, with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath.  This made him (Oh, man, this is so bad, it’s good) a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.
10. And finally, there was the person who sent ten different puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

Close Encounters

Posted in writing on 06/25/2008 by Susan Shay

Yesterday was our biggest bat day yet. We had five inside, and one standing guard next to the front door.

Before I got to work the crew had found two bats taking a dip in a bucket of rainwater. One was treading water and the other was doing the dead-man float. (Floating face down.) But both bats were alive and well. The floating one was tricking us.

We had one next to the file cabinet of our only pregnant worker. She tends to freak out when bats are present. Even more than me. I had to stand guard over one once and promise to knock it down if it rose up to attack her when she was making a potty trip and a hideout was found.

Back to yesterday–I was trying to straighten a big rug we have in the front office so our field hands can come in. Anyway, I couldn’t get the rug flat because one of the love seats was on a corner. I was about to pick up the love seat when I remembered bil finding a critter lounging on the other one a day or two before.

Naturally, I smacked the the armrest several times. The silly thing started clicking at me. “BAT!” I squealed. BDG (Bat Disposal Guy) came to the rescue when he heard yelping, and picked up the cloth on the armrest.

There was a bat on his back, wings spread, red mouth wide open white teeth gleaming, hissing and clicking for all he was worth. At least I think he was clicking and hissing. I couldn’t really hear him for all the screaming going on in the room.

When BDG stopped shrieking 😉 he threw the cloth back over the bat and went for paper towels. (His disposal tool of choice.) He was back fairly quickly, but when he picked up the cloth, he had a surprise. “He’s not here, Susan.”

“He’s in your hand with that fabric.” I knew short and furry couldn’t have gotten away  with me standing guard.

“Where?” BDG demanded, then turned the fabric up and started to open his hand. “There!” he yelled as the thing started trying to get away. He carried the big guy out, although I’m of the mind we should start flushing them.

I decided to take my nieces to see the one just outside the front door, hiding beneath a window ledge. One at a time I called them to the door, opened it and said, “Can you do the Batusi?” I did a little dance, then said,  “Look!” When they saw the furry rat with wings, they squealed and did a dance of their own.

Sad to say, we only saw one bat today. And that was after his demise. MS was sent to the fridge to get Sister Amy a pop. I heard him say, “oooh!” It wasn’t a good noise.

“What happened?” I jumped up from my desk and dashed to the kitchen.

“I was getting Amy a pop and felt something soft under my foot. Look.”

He pointed. I looked. Dead bat.

“Do  you think it was already dead?” he asked, feeling guilty although it really wasn’t his fault. (After all, who expects to have a bat trying to crowd you out on a trip to the fridge?)

“No, I think you probably killed him.” I kept a straight face. “But he was most likely the one who chased you down the hall that time, come back to carry you away. Don’t worry about it.”

Good news: the roof guy came by today.  (Can’t get rid of the bats until we fix the roof, and we can’t fix the roof until the rain stops, so we’ve been waiting. AND WAITING.) Anyway the roof guy asked MS and me to move our vehicles so he could unload stuff up on the roof (not unlike Santa) so I said, “You bet. The sooner the better. Maybe we can get rid of the bats.”

“Bats?” he asked, his face serious. “I’ll have to call the EPA if there are bats. They leave guano, which causes a build up of ammonia, and the heat we use could make it all blow up.”

“I’ll hurt you bad if you start that.” And I was serious. All I want is to be able to go to work and not worry if I move something that I’m going to have ugly company. And I want to be able to stop wearing my steel-toed boots to keep the bats from nibbling on my toes.

Okay, I haven’t bought the steel-toed boots yet. But if anyone else has a close encounter with the winged rodents (yeah, yeah, I know they’re mammals) I’m buying a pair and charging it to the company.

Harry and Me–again.

Posted in writing with tags on 06/21/2008 by Susan Shay

All right, I confess. I’m reading Harry Potter–FOR THE FIRST TIME.

Most of the other writers I know snatched up Harry from the time Sorcerer’s Stone hit the presses. I heard all the talk and even figured out what they meant when they referred to “He whose name must not be spoken”, but wasn’t ready to join the throng.

I did go see the movies when they came out.  But I didn’t read the books.


I’m a terrible follower. If everyone else is doing it, I usually won’t be. For example, while almost everyone I know has multiple piercings in ears, nose, eyebrows and/or other body parts, I still have only one hole in each ear. Normal sized.

Then all the really cool people started getting tattoos. And yes! Some are imaginative and clever. I love the low-on-her-back tats that make a woman look slightly tarty. (AKA “Tramp Stamp”.)

BB’s girlfriend has one on her foot that says, “Let it Be” a reference to the Beatles’ song. There are whale tails, Chinese letters, flowering vines and all sorts of pretty body art, but my skin remains unadorned. And I can almost assure you it always will. 

I haven’t gone out and bought a car that runs on electricity or alcohol or french fry grease either–although with the price of gas these days, I am considering it. 😉

I’m reading Harry Potter now. And they’re very good! JK Rowling did a fantastic job of outside-the-box thinking, which is why I think so many writers enjoy her books.

I’m into The Chamber of Secrets, and again, it’s wonderful. I’d love to chat with JK and learn how she thought of using a diary that could not only answer the journal-er, but lead one astray the way she did in this book. Or how she thought to create a house elf, and the rules he had to live by.

I doubt I’ll ever get the chance to know her or even hear her speak, but I think she’d be fascinating. Imagine believing in yourself and your books enough to live on welfare while you wrote them.

I love imagining the thrill a child experiences when they find these books for the first time. What an adventure!

 “It’s not our abilities that show who we truly are. It is our choices.”

 Ain’t it the truth?

Have you read the books? When they first came out or later? And if you haven’t, want to share why not?  


Posted in writing with tags , on 06/20/2008 by Susan Shay

No, I’m not continuing about bats. Now I’m talking about a Utube video that you’re going to love. Especially if you know anything at all about romance writers.

Romance Writers of America has an award called the RITA, which is the equivalent to the OSCAR for movies. It’s a great big deal just to be a finalist for a RITA. To win one is a HUGE deal.

For those of you who don’t know about it, here’s the scoop:

Like with most awards, the winners are usually very humble. After all, most of them are women. (There are a few men who’ve won them, I think, but few enough to count on one hand. Or maybe one finger.)

I have yet to hear of one who said, “I won it in spite of my husband, who fought my writing from the get go. He did his best to keep me from reaching my goal, and now he’s fighting me all the way to the bank.”

 But then, I don’t go to many National Conferences, which is where they they make the awards. 

Most winners are sooooo sweet when they win. They’re extremely surprised to win because of all the talent the other women have who finalled in their category, and they’ll tell you all about it!

Now maybe you’ll understand why this video is laugh-out-loud funny.

Check it out!



Bat Man’s Visit

Posted in writing with tags on 06/19/2008 by Susan Shay

Okay, not really Batman. It’s really the guy who’s going to help us get rid of the bats.

I told you last summer about the bat chasing my middle son down the hall at work. Well since the rains started here in Oklahoma (we’ve had 35 inches this year), our hallway at the office has turned into a sieve. Which means the ceiling tiles hit the floor with regularity, leaving the office open to the attic.

And the bats love the offices. I don’t know why. We don’t have bugs for them to eat, but every day we carry out two or three bats. Usually they’re hiding under something–a trash can or rug or box–and give us a real jolt when they’re suddenly just there.

Along with that jolt, I usually give a little squeal. (Okay, it’s not such a little squeal.)

This summer, we have 4 or 5 kids most days at work. (One of the joys of a family business.) We have had so many bats lately, I’ve been worried one might bite a kid. Or an employee–which would send them to the ER. They’d have to get rabies shots, which I’m told are uber painful, and the rest of us would lose our $1 an hour safety bonus. (Yes. Greed is alive and well in Oklahoma.)

Sister Amy’s husband came in today to go to lunch with us. While he waited for all of us to get ready, he poured himself a cup of coffee and sat on the couch. Without thinking much about it, he straightened the cloth covering the arm of the couch and came up with a bat hanging off his finger.

He said, “I looked at it and wondered, ‘What the heck is that?’ Then I realized what it was and shook it off.”

It fell onto the carpet and crawled under the couch. *shudder*

I’m sorry, I like bats just fine when they’re flying in the night sky, catching bugs and mesquitoes, but when I meet them face to face, it’s just too much!

So I ran for the phone and called Bat Man.

He returned my call right away, and came to check things out by five o’clock. I showed him the way into a little hallway that opens to the roof. When I reached to turn on the light, there were not one but two bats lying in wait.


Bat Man carried them out for me–after he got his thick leather gloves on to protect his fingers. (I don’t blame the man a bit.)

He has a plan for getting rid of the little flying rats humanely–after we get the roof fixed. I can’t wait!

In the mean time, I think I’ll stop wearing sandals to work and start wearing steel-toed boots.  



Posted in writing with tags on 06/18/2008 by Susan Shay

Our RWI (romance writers chapter) was Saturday, and I have to say it was one of the best yet. I know. I think the same thing every month. <G>

But it was great. Our speaker was Sandy Blair, who spoke on PLOTTING ON THE FLY, plotting for pantsters. Talk about a wonderful workshop. She did more than just talk about plotting, she talked about ever aspect of writing a manuscript.

And get this. She’s from Boston–so listening to her was an adventure for these Okie ears.

At one point she said she hadn’t learned much in school except how to sew a seam and peahcheggs. I had to ask her to repeat–and finally learned that last word was actually two. Poach eggs. LOL!

She was a great sport and didn’t mind repeating anything at all.

I took a lot of notes, so I can share them with you here. . . when my Dana  charges up for me.

And the winners of MORE THAN MAGIC were announced!

Here they are–

Grand Prize winner: Atlantis Rising by Alyssa Day



1stWild, Wicked & Wanton by Jaci Burton

2ndBlood Red by Sharon Page

3rdSkin by Karin Tabke

HM:   Trouble by Sasha White

First Book:

1st:  The Education of Mrs. Brimley by Donna MacMeans

2nd:  The Man for Maggie by Lee McKenzie

3rd:  Dark Rider by Kathrynn Dennis

HM:  A Wish in Time by Laurel Bradley

HM:  To School A Cowboy by Susan Shay


1st:  The Accidental Mistress by Tracy Anne Warren

2nd:  One Real Cowboy by Janette Kenny

3rd:  His Captive by Diana Cosby

HM: His Favorite Mistress by Tracy Anne Warren


1st:   The Spinster, the Pig & the Orphan in Foxy Statehood Hens and Murder Most Fowl by Jacqueline King 

2nd:   Secret Santa in Christmas Presence by Lisa Childs

3rd:   Dark Awakening in Shards of Crimson by Patti O’Shea


1st:    Atlantis Rising by Alyssa Day

2ndAtlantis Awakening by Alyssa Day

3rd:   Betrayed by Jamie Leigh Hansen

HM:  Lady of Light and Shadows by C. L. Wilson

Romantic Comedy:

1st:    Over Hexed by Vicki Lewis Thompson

2nd:   Borrowing Alex by Cindy Procter-King

3rd:   The Quest for the Holy Veil by Kimberly Llewellyn

Romantic Suspense:

1st:  Love, Lies, and a Double Shot of Deception by Lois Winston

2nd:  The Perfect Stranger by Jenna Mills

3rd:  Scorched by Rachel Butler

HM:  Salvation, Texas by Anna Jeffrey

Sensual Contemporary:

1st:   Déjà You by Lynda Sandoval

2nd:  The Other Sister by Lynda Sandoval

3rd:  The Rancher Needs a Wife by Terry McLaughlin

HM:One Stormy Night by Marilyn Pappano

Single Title:

1st:  Sweet Return by Anna Jeffrey

2nd:  Really Something by Shirley Jump

3rd:  Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky

Sweet Contemporary:

1st:   Remembered by Tamera Alexander

2nd:  The Doctor’s Pregnancy Bombshell by Janice Lynn

3rd:  The Man for Maggie by Lee McKenzie


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