Archive for September, 2008

Hippy Cocopuff Fun

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , , on 09/30/2008 by Susan Shay

You should have been there–instead of me.

Six a.m. I had to be in Tulsa for my cortisone injection. Ick. That means getting up by 4 and leaving by 5. At least my DH and I got there in plenty of time. Before even the nurses turned on the lights, we were in the parking lot, watching men (mostly) going into a workout center in the same complex.

Finally the lights came on at the surgery center and we went inside. I saw one of my old neighbors, a nurse, go in to work. (In case you’re wondering, no. It wasn’t my fault she moved.8) )

Anyway, they take my bp and temp, then lead me to a chair where they plan to insert the IV that’ll “relax” me. First they use a tiny needle and inject a painkiller so I won’t feel it when they shove the soda-straw-sized tube (okay, it’s a needle) into my vein.

The painkiller left a knot under my skin. “Look. You left a marble.”

The nurse was so sweet, her voice calm and gentle. She explained, “That’s med so it won’t hurt when I put in the IV.”

“Can you wait until I get through fainting?” I asked as the lights slowly dimmed.

Her voice went up an octave. “Are you feeling faint?”

“Well, I’m hot and tingly all over, and the world’s gone black and white,” I answered as I tried to put my head between my knees.

“Don’t do that!” I guess she thought I was getting ready to roll onto the floor. “Let’s get you up on this gurney. Kathy!”

Kathy is my ex-neighbor. She helped the sweet young nurse get me up on the table, then stayed to chat a minute so I wouldn’t freak further. “Ever do this before?”

“Oh, yeah. It’s a family tradition. My dad does it. My bb does it. I do it.” I didn’t name all the times I’d passed out. At age 14, when I got my spacers for my braces, was probably the first time. But I got light headed every time I had a needle shoved in my arm. Maybe I need blinders before they show me the needle. 

I read several chapters in my book before the doctor finally got there. They took me into a really cold room, and I met a new nurse and doc’s assistant. I don’t know what that guy’s title was, but he cleaned my hip with Betadine–that cool orange colored stuff. I told him if he was going to paint me, I wanted to have a happy face. He was glad to give me one.

The doc came in and I saw the assistant putting on an apron. That got a scowl out of me. Were they afraid of spurting blood? Screaming and tears? I’d been promised I’d be out!

“You’ll only get a tiny dose of radiation, but we get it all day every day, so we use these lead aprons,” the doc told me without me having to ask.

Intriguing. “You’re going to xray me?”

“Sure. So we can see exactly where we’re putting the needle.”

I was SO glad I’d been promised I wouldn’t remember a thing. They started the Versed about then. “It’s like Valium, but it’ll make you forget.”

I’m all for forgetting.

“Are you feeling relaxed yet?” the doc asked.

I glanced at the super-sized needle and answered, “NO!”

“Give her another CC.”

I know how much a CC is–very little. But I was hoping that a little would go a long way. It did! The next thing I remember is getting into the car and giving the woman who pushed me out my book, TO SCHOOL A COWBOY. “Can you get this to Sammy?”

“I sure can,” the woman answered.

Then I pulled out a handful of my beautiful bookmarks. “These are for her book club. Tell her to let me know if she needs more.”

Next thing I remember is eating breakfast and drinking tons of coffee.  

My hippy cocopuff was supposed to be better in 3 days. Four at the most. Yesterday was five, and so far it’s worse. 😦 I have until the 6th, then I’m going to tell Dr. Hazard (Dukes) all about it.

BTW: I got my beautiful bookmarks from Ashlynn at Twisted Graphics. Check it out– She designed them especially for me and they’re the best price I’ve found anywhere. If you’re needing anything promo-wise, she’s the girl for you!

And if you’d like one of my bookmarks, or a couple to share with your friends, just email me.

More Author Photo Talk

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , , , on 09/27/2008 by Susan Shay

One of my HFs, (Margaret E. Reid) several years ago, showed me a pic of her dressed all in red. “I’m going to use this as my publicity photo when I sell.”

She had on a hat (I think) and looked really glamorous. She was and is beautiful, but the shot didn’t have  a lot of personality. 

She learned a lot in the mean time. Her best pic, which she should use her publicity stuff, is a racing photo–a hobby she shares with her dh. She has her helmet under her arm and (if I’m remembering correctly) is standing next to her race car.


Race car driver, author, Margaret E. Reid

The pic says tons about not only her personality, but who she really is–unlike the posed “lady in red”.

She also has a humongus love for her children. Here she is in her Blue Bonnets. Below she’s with her daughter in the Blue Bonnets.

Author Margaret E. Reid and daughter Amy in Meg's Texas Blue Bonnets

Author Margaret E. Reid and daughter Amy in Meg

Pictures of Meg are wonderful, but pictures of Meg that show her in her life really rock!

We have another friend I mentioned, Marilyn, who has a deep love for dogs and her grandson. I don’t have pictures to show of them together, but if she had a pic of her and her pack (she’s the head b**** in charge–believe it!) it would be perfect! Or one of her and her beautiful grandson would score!

 I can’t think of a thing that would work for me like that. I don’t race cars or horses. I have no grandchildren.

I knit. I garden. I cook. I take a lot of pictures–but I’m not in any of them. 🙂 I sit behind a desk a lot.  

How about a face half hidden by a computer screen?


Maybe I’ve hit on something.

Or how about this?

Susan's Toes



Talk about great minds! (Or maybe it’s great Susans)  Susan Wiggs is talking about another aspect of author photos on her blog. Check it out.

Author Photos

Posted in writing with tags , , , on 09/24/2008 by Susan Shay

I read in a blog the other day about an author who uses a photo that’s several years old for her “official” authors photo. The blog was pretty humorous because she said no one would recognize her if they saw her face to face.

Which would you prefer? To be able to recognize an author or to see her best side? (Even if that side is a few years old.)

I got an email from one of the members of RWI once about the same thing–in reverse. They’d read a online review of a member’s book, and the magazine that reviewed it had a link you could click on to see the author.

Our member emailed me because she thought they had the wrong person. It wasn’t wrong, it was just an old picture, taken before the author lost a hundred plus pounds.

The picture I use on my website and my bookmarks was taken just about the time my first book came out, 18 months ago. I’ve changed because I stopped straightening my hair, but otherwise, I’m pretty much the same. For now.

But I won’t always be the same. Should I take a new picture fairly often, like Jaci Burton? A few weeks ago she posted new pic on her website, and she looks younger and more beautiful than ever! (I really want some of whatever it is that keeps her improving all the time.) 

Or maybe I should post a picture like Judi McCoy. Her pic is adorable–as are her books!

I know. I’ll make friends with someone who’s really good at PHOTOSHOP so they can doctor my pictures. Not too much, but just enough. A few pounds here, a few wrinkles there.

Then if they can just make me look like the picture, I’ll have it made.

The Difference Between Heaven and Hell

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , on 09/23/2008 by Susan Shay

The finest thing in life is undoubtedly a friend. (At least today it is. <G>) Whether that person is a spouse, a sibling, an offspring, girlfriend or, sometimes, a person you haven’t met face to face.

I’ve noticed a few things about the long-term friends in my life. They’re a lot alike.

* My friends are all really smart. I’m talking high IQ. I’m still trying to figure out why smart people like that are friends with the likes of me, but hey. I’m enjoying it.

*They all know what it is to be a real friend. These people are there for me, no matter what I’ve done or why I’ve done it.

You know that old joke? A friend will visit you when you get thrown in jail. A true friend will be sitting in jail next to you saying, “Wasn’t that a hoot? Let’s do it again.” (BTW: I’ve never been in jail. Yes, I’m that boring. My friends are very glad.)

* No matter how long it’s been since I’ve seen them, we can take up the conversation where we left off. Nothing’s changed. We’re still friends of the heart.

* They cheer me on–just like I do them. My HF (heart friend) Margaret E. Reid was published before me, and I was soooooo excited for her. And another HF–Marilyn Pappano–gets multi contracts in not one but two names, and I couldn’t be happier. They’re both the best! (BTW–If you haven’t read Marilyn Pappano, Margaret E. Reid or Rachel Butler, run to the bookstore and buy their books. They’re wonderful.) Another HF, Cathy Barkley, is a big wig at a college in Colorado. (A VP–a professor–and she gets to live in that beautiful state.) Cathy was named one of the top ten women in America once! Talk about an honor. And she deserves every minute of it–and more.

I’ve known people who don’t have any old friends. Their current friends are the only people in their lives. And after being around them a few months, I understand why they don’t have old friends. Totally. 

Most of them had a lot of ex-friends though. 

And now you know the difference between heaven and hell.

In Heaven you’ll find the people you’ve been friends with for years and years–and some who you’ll want to be friends with for eternity.

In Hell, you won’t find any.


Posted in writing on 09/22/2008 by Susan Shay

So, I had an EKG just so I could have a shot of cortisone in my hippy-hippy-coco-puffs.

Interesting experience, to say the least. I went to a tiny office in a huge  building in Tulsa. Right next to a bookstore, so I had NO trouble find it. (Yeah, I love bookstores. Go figure.)

One little guy was waiting on someone to call, so we chatted about his cane. “My mama found it for $3.00.”

He must have had it for a really long time, because his mama’s probably been in a nursing home for a couple of decades–if she’s still above ground.

Anyway, I went into the tiny room where they do the magic, took off what I was told to take off, rolled up what I was told to roll up, and I laid down on the table and started reading. (I try to never leave home without a book.)

The only woman working in the place came in. “We have to stick these little doo-dads in a bunch of places.” (Technical term–doo-dads. Look it up.)

So she started sticking, then she moved down and around where I couldn’t see and kept sticking.

“Uh, what if it gets lost under there?” I asked.

“We haven’t had that happen yet.” She didn’t even smile. “You know, this part takes longer than to run the test.”

I was willing to bet finding and unsticking the doo-dads took longer than the test, too, but I didn’t mention it.  Instead I said, “I have a friend who used to be a hospice nurse. She said she used to find mushrooms and all kinds of interesting house plants growing under there on little old ladies she took care of.”

That time the woman glanced at me and almost smiled. “That’s a hard job.”

“She’s not a hospice nurse any more.” I gave up joking since she clearly wasn’t the type. “Now she’s a minister. But when she was a nurse, she used to write an article for the Pryor Daily Times about the things that happened. One man she wrote about saw a room full of angels as he was dying.”

She glued a couple of doo-dads on my ankles and told me this story:

“The other woman who used to work here, Kathy, has a grandmother who’s a minister. Kathy’s mom had breast cancer. One day, Kathy and her grandmother were with her Mom, and the minister grandmother said, ‘Do you see the angels, Kathy?’

Kathy looked around and shook her head. ‘No, I don’t see anything, Grandma.’

‘Well, they’re here. They’ve come to take your mama home.’

In about ten minutes, her mother passed away.” 

That shut me up for the rest of the EKG. I think she found all the doo-dads, even though I was tempted to swipe one before she came back just for giggles.

Next I had to have a blood test. I HATE needles. (Yes, I cried the day I got my blood test to get married. What can I say, I’m a big baby.)

Anyway, I waited for about 20 minutes to “get” to get poked. While I waited, I listened to a couple of friend chatting behind me. They were great to listen to. It was all I could do to keep from turning my chair around to join in. 😉

Finally they called my name. I was seated in that ugly little chair/high-school-desk thing and a short woman came in. “Are you Susan?”

“Uh-huh. What’s your name?”


“You in a good mood today, Renee?”

“No, I’m not,” she answered. 

Gulp. “Uh, could I have someone else, please? Someone in a really happy mood?”

Renee laughed at that. “It’s not going to hurt.”

I rolled my eyes. “Please. That’s what they told me when I was having my babies.”

“Oh, honey. They were lying to you. That hurts!”

She was right. The needle didn’t hurt, but that huge rubberband she tied around my arm sure did. (I think she pleated the flab, and that’s painful if you’ve never had it happen.)

Anyway, she took the blood fairly quickly and I was free. As a reward I gave her one of my beautiful new bookmarks.

Non-smiling EKG woman didn’t get one.


Posted in writing with tags , , on 09/19/2008 by Susan Shay

I just had to share this with you. JACKIE KRAMER— a friend, fabulous writer and wonderful plotter, sent it to our writers’ loop along with an email about having sent so many emails, she’d set her cursor on fire.  

It would be the perfect for anyone who wrote a demon series–or a writer who thinks she’s HOT STUFF. (Click here to check it out.)

Come to think of it, if the guy who does the Hellboy comic books has a website, he should use it.

I’m not sure how you’d take it from the website to make it your cursor, but I’ll bet somebody out there could tell me–if I really wanted to know.

I have a feeling there’s $$ involved.

Oh, well. Enjoy!

Doctor’s Hazard

Posted in writing with tags , , , on 09/18/2008 by Susan Shay

I picked up my MRI results (do not lose these because they will cost you $5 per sheet to reprint) and took them to see the surgeon my doctor suggested. His name is Kevin Dukes.

Cool, I thought when Linda, the doctor’s assistant, told me the surgeon’s name. Just like the Dukes of Hazard. Bo and Luke’s third cousin, Kevin. I wonder if he’s seen Daisy lately.

That’s how my mind works. Little jokes and quips each time I thought of going to see Dr. Dukes. (Unlike my babiest sister who started singing, “Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke of York, York, York . . .”)

Yes, I know it’s Duke of Earl, but I wasn’t singing. Babiest Sister was.

Anyway I found my way out to the part of Tulsa where all the bone and joint specialists are congregating these days and limped into the office. “Who are you here to see?” asked one of the women at the desk near the front door. 

“Dr. Hazard.”

Startled, the woman looked at her list, then at me. “Uh, we don’t have a Dr. Hazard.”

“Dukes! Dukes! It’s Dr. Dukes.” 

So about 9 years later, I got to see the doctor.

Trouble is, I still don’t know what we’re going to do about this pain in my hip. We can surge it or shoot (inject) cortizone into it. “How long will that fix it?”

Shrug. “Maybe forever.”

And maybe not.

For now, we’re planning the cortizone route. But if it doesn’t work, guess what I’ll call him next time I see him. 😉

Just kidding! To be honest, he’s a really nice guy. Took his time, explaining all the procedures to me. I’m still not sure what’s the best thing to do.

BUT the girl who assists him saw the book I was reading (Suzanne Brockmann’s Out of Control) and said, “I just love her.”

“Really? Do you read romance?” I asked.

“Oh, yes. I love it,” the smart little blonde answered.

“Then I have a present for you!” I whipped out a bookmark with my books pictured on it and handed it to her with a smile.

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