Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hope, Love, and Treats

Happy Halloween! Since it's Halloween, I thought I'd advertise my story, HOPE, LOVE, AND TREATS again. And what a delight this morning to check my email and see that it has been reviewed on Ciar Cullen's BLOG.

My mother died (of cancer) 15 years ago 5 days before Halloween. I was 15 years old, and everything changed for me. It was eerie. What once was a fun holiday now seemed spooky. Skeletons, monsters, ghosts...you name it, it freaked me out. I coudn't watch scary movies anymore. What was worse is that the funeral home is on the most popular street for trick-or-treating. Of course, at 15 years of age, I didn't trick-or-treat anymore, but there are other fun things for teenagers to do that I didn't want to.

I'm over that now. ghosts don't bother me anymore (unless they're real, LOL), but I used those memories in this story. If you read it, I hope you'll enjoy it. And if you're looking for something sweet tonight after a SCARY adventure, download a copy.

Have a treatful, spooktacular and delightful Halloween!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Favorite References

Do you tend to overuse words? I do, but I try to tune my editor’s radar to pick up on them. Glance, glimpse, grip. Pull, push. Look, long, make, got, grew. My favorite reference book is Bartlett’s Roget’s Thesaurus. It’s the best! If you don’t have it, it’s worth every penny. If you have a work in your head but don’t want to use it, look it up in the “index” and it takes you to a zillion places with other similar words. I have other thesauruses and dictionaries, but this is my favorite.

The Internet, of course, is a good reference tool, but I like the feel of flipping the pages. And I think or at least hope that seeing all the other words will make me smarter. LOL.

If you’re a writer, do you have a favorite reference tool? What words do you generally overuse?

Friday, October 27, 2006


I have some writing to do, some groceries to buy and some family to visit. Oh, I should clean my house but that probably isn't going to happen this week. I did wash a load of clothes. Maybe I'll fold them in a few weeks. LOL.

It's the weekend before Halloween. What's your plan for the next few days? I hope to relax some while I wait to see if my Christmas story is accepted. Isn't it crazy that it's already that time of year? Have you done any Christmas shopping? My niece's birthday is next weekend but we're holding off a week for her party. Thank God, because I haven't bought her anything yet. Of course, at 5 years of age, she has everything. I don't know what to buy her.

I always wanted those motorized cars and never got one, so I would like to get that for her, but with money tight this year I'll have to see about that one. I usually don't wait this long...

When she was first born, I bought a million books because I just love books and I think reading to children is very important. I just ordered the Polar Express book from online (hope she doesn't already have it, haha). I should make an inventory of her books so I don't buy her something she already has.

I talk about my niece because I have no children. Aw, the luxury of enjoying a child and then letting them go home with Mom and Dad. :))

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

In Memory of a Loved One

Though she wasn’t related to me by blood, she was family to me. Cheryl was my sister’s mother-in-law, but she made an impact on me the first time I met her. My sister had been pregnant and we drove into the hospital together, which was almost two hours away. We stood together as my niece, her grandbaby, was born almost five years ago. She held me in my arms and we cried together at the beauty of a new life.

Every time I saw her, she was smiling, even if she didn’t feel like it. I hope that I can remember to be like that to others, to always make them feel special, important and welcome.

Today we celebrated Cheryl’s life as we mourn her death. Only 58 years old, she died of a brain hemorrhage. Though we all know death is going to happen one day, it hurts when it does, especially so unexpectedly. I lost another friend unexpectedly only three months ago, and these events make you realize how short life is and how important family is.

So please, don’t take your family for granted. Whether you will be remembering them or they will be remembering you, make each moment memorable. When you say good-bye for the day, say it with love. Don’t leave each other in anger. It could be your last moment together.

I know, I know, we all know this and we don’t need the lectures, but still. I know I take my loved ones for granted, thinking I’ll see them again. Thinking I can right the wrongs later. Not everyone can get along all the time, but minor problems and disagreements don’t matter when life ends.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Interview with Wesley Webb

Hi, I’m Monica Dunn with News 9 and I was able to catch up with Wesley Webb before Sunday’s race to ask him a few questions. Wesley was edgy when I talked to him, and not too keen on being interviewed.

Monica: Wesley, how do you feel about today’s race?

Wesley: Ready.

Monica: Ready?

Wesley nods. He’s focused on his car and on everything but me. If I were to bet, I’d bet he wins today. He’s not being a smartass when he says he’s ready. He’s not being overconfident. He shakes his shoulders and one of his crewmen thumps him on the shoulder. It's almost time for him to get in his cocoon. I ask him about that.

Wesley: It's hard to stay in there hours on end, but it's the best meditation you could ask for.

I’ve never seen Wesley open up to anyone, and I have to practically pull his words out of him, unless he's talking about his car.

Monica: How did it feel to be beaten by Peppy John last year?

Wesley laughs: It sucked. I play to win.

Well, that about sums it up. He isn’t very talkative. I have the feeling he’s ready for me to leave. I don’t.

Monica: Who had made the greatest impact on your racing career?

Wesley: My uncle, Tim.

Monica: What do your parents think?

I feel like I’ve just smacked into a wall the way his eyes close and he moves away, ever so slightly as to barely be noticeable.

Wesley: They’re fine with it.

Why do I feel like he’s lying? Well, I’m lucky enough that he took the time to talk to me, so I don’t press the subject.

Monica: Do you have a favorite sport besides racing?

Wesley: Oh sure. I love to watch football or shoot hoops if I have time.

Monica: I’m sure it’s hard to find time to do a lot of things in your busy schedule. Any activities you enjoy?

Wesley: Cars are my hobby. Working on my house, being outdoors. Swimming.

He reaches inside his car, turns to talk to one of his crew members, and I feel like he’s trying to shut me out. He doesn’t like to get personal, and I want to know why.

Monica: Any lessons you’ve learned that you’re going to bring with you this year?

Wesley: Yeah. Don’t get behind.

Monica: Any lessons you’ve learned about yourself?

Wesley: That I can’t control everything.

I take a deep breath. I’m losing him. He doesn’t like my questions. I shimmer towards him, wondering if womanly wiles work on him.

Monica: How do you plan on beating Peppy this year?

Wesley: If I told you that, then Peppy would know my moves.

He finally stops to look at me. His eyes are magnetizing. They crinkle in the corner as he smiles, as if he knows exactly what I’m trying to do. I can see why women fall for him. I feel like I’m the only woman on the planet when he looks at me, but I sense his disdain for me. My feet stumble backwards.

Ah, that’s Wesley for you. Ladies, he’s single, but he’s a hard catch.

Hope, Love and Treats

Available soon from the Wild Rose Press, my short Halloween story. I'm not used to writing short and sweet contemporary stories, but I've always wanted to try. So I did, and it was accepted!

This is the kind of story you can read to your children, creating a love of romance in them like my mom did for me.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Game of 42

Are you familiar with the dominoe game, 42? It's one of my favorite games and my family and I play it when we get together. That's what I did this weekend. Visited family, had a nice dinner with them, and stayed up past midnight playing 42. It was a nice reprieve from what I've been doing on the weekends-writing.

AND I got to be treated like a famous author, LOL. Ok, not really, but I talked to some family that didn't know yet and they asked me all kinds of questions. I got to hand out my business cards and gave my first autograph. LOL

So did you have a good weekend? Next Saturday, Oct. 14, I'll be at Brenda Williamson's Romance Party giving away prizes and excerpts from 3-5PM CST.

Friday, October 06, 2006


I've been so busy! We are short-handed at work by three people, and rumor has it some people are "looking to leave". My job is stressful...

Besides working, I've been working on my passion...writing. Promoting. Getting my name out there. (Okay, the last two are not my passion, LOL). When I get my mind on something, I get into a zone, and it's hard to concentrate on anything else. Right now, I'm thinking and looking into starting my own newsletter or group. And I want to learn html! But I had a talk with myself yesterday. Some of these thing are taking up too much of my time, and leaving me little time to write. So I must stop worrying about it so much!

What are your plans this weekend? My family is having their own "Octoberfest". First one, but it's a good excuse to get together and eat. I'm looking forward to seeing family I don't see often and to get away from this computer for awhile.

Have you ever thought about all the information out there? It's information overload! Where does it all go? Can you imagine what cyberspace looks like? ;)

By the way, the Wild Rose Press authors will be at Coffee Time Romance today! I'm scheduled to be there at 5 PM CST (6PM EST), and I have things I want to give away. So stop by if you can.