Saturday, April 29, 2006

Gardening Woes

It's a wreck. And it takes hours of backbreaking work to make it pretty again. Last year's weedy and overgrown garden looks like an orphan with long, stringy and matted hair.


The flower beds in the front have all bloomed and have been weeded and fertilized. New topsoil has been added and anyone driving down the street would think we know what we're doing. Ha!

Don't venture in the back yard. Other than the peony bush, which is beautiful, and the petunias that have reseeded themselves from the previous five years ... we need to spend a few weeks weeding and planting. But - never fear ... Michael is getting his farmer tan as we speak. He's plowed through half of the garden, pulled the worst of the weeds, worked the soil, and planted tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers and bell peppers. And radishes, let's not forget radishes.

The shed needs work, the flower bed all down the fence line needs a little TLC, and the deck needs painted, but other than that - it's still April (for two more days.) We'll get there.

We've always planted green beans (pole beans) by the deck. They wind up the side of the railings and it's beautiful, giving us pots of delicious beans for the supper table. Except last year, our little dog, Ariel, decided she liked snacking on green bean leafs. She ate off the tops of our deck beans, and that was that. Who knew ... our pooch likes salad.

So, you have my sympathy if you're buzzing the local greenhouses, nurserys, and Lowes this spring. Trying to fit in outside work with inside work. As much as I hate cold weather and winter, it does give you a rest from working in the yard. But then, as much as I bitch about it, I absolutely love it when it's all green, producing, and manicured.

Time to get out in the yard and pull and few weeds, plant a flower or two, and pull a few muscles.

Blessings to you and yours.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Is That You, Dad?

All of a sudden, my dad has turned into someone I don't know. I think I've been romanticizing him for quite a while now ... possibly I was wrong to do that, I'm not sure. I've been writing all these great things about him. A few to be published for Father's Day in a local WV newspaper. And now ... I'm wondering, who is this man I call, "daddy?" He is a special person. Or at least, I thought he was.

My siblings and I received a very weird and out of the ordinary letter from him last week. A letter to all of us, addressing the fact that since he worked 6 and 7 days a week "all shifts" that it entitles him to more of our attention. That mother "applied herself more than need be ... " so why aren't we calling?

I'm not sure where this is all coming from. What started it? He wants (is demanding) more of our attention, even naming some of the older grandchildren along with his ranting.

I can tell you ... this unfounded complaining baffles me. I spent hours with him last year and this year ... on the phone ... researching my stories, talking about our family's history, looking up things on the internet, sharing information and we visited them in Florida (where they live) twice last year. It's hard for me and for all of my siblings to just pick up and spend time states away ... anyone would understand that. They spent over a month, maybe two, with my sister in Ohio recently.

We do call. And I know for a fact, my siblings have NEVER ignored them. My siblings, probably even more than me, call them and see them. Maybe not every week, but I doubt there's ever a week or two that goes by but what mom and dad hear from one of us, or one of their grandchildren. Frankly, truth be told, they NEVER call us. Or if they do ... they never leave a message.

That all aside ... I'm concerned. I'm a baby boomer with aging parents. Should I be concerned for my dad's health at this point? He still drives ... maybe we should start becoming more alarmed than we are. This behavior is out of character for my father. At first, it frankly pissed us off, then when the reality of it hit, we were all hurt. Especially the grandchildren. Did he really think he could pull us in closer by alienating us? By throwing one of his famous temper-tantrums? That may have worked with our mother all these years, but it won't work with his grown children. How do we tell him that? Geeez.

He's an intelligent, warm and interesting man, my dad. I hate to see those attributes dribble away.

I think he's still special, but something's amiss. I feel his childlike behavior, his entitlement, his expectations need to be addressed. I wonder if all grown children of elderly parents experience these types of problems? Do we love them through it, or do we "discipline" him for his childish comments and pouting?

My siblings I have lots to talk about in the coming weeks ... where did our dad go, and can we get him back again. It's a family crisis I believe everyone goes through to one degree or another.

Blessings to you and your parents.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Can We Learn Too Much?

Just as a writer can "over-write" a story, there comes a point one can "over-learn." With the mammoth amount of information regarding the craft of writing on the Internet, the books in print from "professionals" in the industry, and the plethora of writing conferences available ... I think it's time to say ... Enough!

There comes a moment when you just have to put the books down ... and write.

As wonderful as it is to have it all at our fingertips, it's also a roadblock. I know writers who spend their entire day, or at least half of it, scouring the net instead of writing. Then when they begin to write, their creative instinct is in the toilet. They're constantly referring to the last piece on grammar they just read, or whether their verbs are right, or their mind wanders to the blog by some snarky agent that's had it with crappy query letters ... and it literally zaps all thoughts of character, plot, and conflict right out of a writer's head.

We never stop learning ... but the best way is by doing ... not sitting on the sidelines watching everybody else. Sure, it's competitive, and you're going to make mistakes. There's no doubt, we writers must crawl before we walk and walk before we run. There's nothing wrong with learning as much as you can about the craft, take classes, and by all means - go to writing conferences.

But - there comes a time when you have to put all the good advise, all the book learning, all the well-said words from coaches, teachers, and other writers -- put them all into your brain funnel and see what comes out the other end. You can work on your marketing plan when you're close to finishing your novel. You can think about publicity when there's something to publicize. You can read all the blogs and web sites by other writers and how "they did it" when you've allowed yourself the spare time to digest it. (That includes mine!)

I would rather see writers find their voice, write their ideas, rewrite the stories they stuck in the back of the file cabinet last year, than to think they're not good enough to write because "how can we remember all this STUFF!"

Sometimes, when I'm listening to music, there's just one note ... one chord or piece of the song that moves me. I may write pages and pages of crap, and there's one little paragraph that outshines them all. One sentence that usable. One word that just pops out and becomes part of the finished story. My point is - the two best ways to learn how to write are these. 1) Read, by this I mean read other finished books, and number 2) Write.

Simple, isn't it. Doesn't it take all the guesswork out? Sure, we'll get rejections, and it might take longer ... but we'll find our own unique voice, and the work will become publishable. To the point one might even break out.

So, don't worry about how much you don't know. Don't dwell on the success of writers around you and the fact that you feel so far down the ladder. When it's time to find an editor to help you with your final submission ... you will. When you need to find a critique group ... they're out there waiting for new members all the time. After you've written your book and think you need to learn how to write a query letter, the information is as close as a google or your next Writer's Digest.

In the meantime ... find time to write your heart out. That's all you need to know, for now.

Blessings to you and yours.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

New York City and Southern Fried Women

What a combo.

My trip to the Big Apple was filled with dinners in the city and talking about my book. Friday night was dinner with an agent and editor couple, as well as Saturday with another agent - all three people have become great friends of mine ... and professionals I've learned so much from. It was pure pleasure to place a copy of my first book into their hands. The rainy weekend prohibited sight-seeing, but I've done plenty of touring in New York, I needed the rest in between drives through the Lincoln tunnel and into the city.

The International Women's Writing Guild on Sunday proved to be my best performance yet. A panel of twelve authors, all of us speaking about our own publishing process. Everyone has their story and many of them struck a chord in my heart. It's a rocky road, and not always a sweet one. But the authors all had something important to say -- about their work -- about publishing. The audience could take a word or two home from each of us.

I spoke regarding my own experiences through this crazy maze of publishing. I must have resonated with many, because the positive responses fed my readiness to finish my novel. The next piece in the puzzle. A interesting thing happened, though. A woman in audience came up to me later, grabbed my hand and said to me ... "you must publish that book!" It wasn't so much what she said as how she said it, the look in her eyes ... haunting.

So ... Televenge is the next work to be done. Southern Fried Women was the precursor to it ... it's done now. I'm going to be speaking all around the South and reading from the SFW - but in the back of my mind ... Televenge is calling to me for completion. I went to New York City to introduce my collection of short stories to the world, and I came away with a clear path as to what I'm supposed to do next.

Blessings to you and yours.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Starbucks and Minton Sparks

The Writers' Group of the Triad hosted Poetry, Jazz and Java, along with the GSO Library last evening. An open mic at Starbucks and a room full of poetry lovers. In honor of National Poetry Month, I had to go to at least one PJ&J ... as I do love to hear author's read their work ... poetry or otherwise. But this time ... I decided to honor my favorite poet, Minton Sparks.

Good ole' Minton ... when I read her poetry, I see her carrying an old suitcase full of clothes down a railroad track in her best house dress. I can smell the sawdust and imagine the look on her face as she sneaks in the back of a revival tent to rest. I can hear the cicada and feel the heat of the day picturing her as she drinks sweet tea on the front porch with all of her "criminal cousins." I love that gal. Nobody "sings" poetry better than Minton Sparks.

I read four or five poems by Minton ... my favorite being John 3:16, Guest Preacher at Prayer Meeting. The room was packed, lots of younger students, one of which asked me if 1) I would be reading at my book launch and 2) could she could bring her class. "Of course!" I said.

The poetry inspiring, some of these people read their work and I had to wonder, why weren't they already famous? I don't write poetry, but I love to listen to it and recognize good poetry when I hear it. Good job, Greensboro poets!

But this was a great opportunity for me to read again in front of a group, practice delivery of lines, and invite another flock to my launch. Gregory Alan, Professional Jazz Guitarist, played and sang. I've seen Gregory perform at various book launches, at many of the events for National Poetry Month ... and I realized last night (or Michael did) that we had to have him play at our launch! Talented, extremely talented man.

Leaving this afternoon ... to pick up my books in Baltimore, then on to New York City and the Big Apple Conference where I'll be speaking on Sunday. Butterflies in my tummy - galore.

Stay tuned.

Blessings to you and yours.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Writers' Night Out

Last night was open mic ... Writers' Night Out ... only this time it was with the Winston-Salem Writers! Wow! An enthusiastic crowd of about 30 and talk about talent! Poetry and prose, all mixed in together - I LOVED IT. Extremely friendly folks and you could tell ... they really wanted to be there.

Some writing groups I belong to (which shall remain nameless) are tired, old, and worn out. The people could care less about each other and especially about supporting the group as a whole. There's no comradery, plenty of bitching, old-fashioned thinking, and it's just plain awful to be a part of it anymore. The only thing they agree on is that they disagree ... on just about everything. I don't have time for that anymore.

It really becomes apparant when you visit a group like the Winston-Salem Writers. Because I not only want to go back ... I plan to join them!

Maybe it's because they're a young group, but it became obvious to me after the room filled to capacity, this was the highlight of their day. The writers range in age from 30 to 80 ... corporate executives to the unemployed ... and the applause for each reader was genuine. I couldn't get over the enthusiasm for each and every reader.

I met some of the coolest people ... folks that had something to say ... and it didn't matter to them if they ever published a word, they liked the fact that this group gave them the opportunity to share their work. No-one felt bigger and better than anybody else and the crowd at the coffee house thought nothing of staying until the last one read. Over two hours of writers reading their work.


I read. Of course. Two pages of a story from my new book, SOUTHERN FRIED WOMEN. I read from VERNELL PASKINS, MOBILE HOME QUEEN. I thought it was well received ... and I invited the group to my book launch ...

Warm, warm folks. I'm still basking in the sunshine of it all.

Blessings to you and yours.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Crazy Week

I keep trying to get back to all those questions I've been asked about writing. But they take time to answer thoughfully ... and God knows I've not had time to answer thoughtfully lately ... this week is no better. So bear with me ... keep reading ... I'll get back to the list soon. If you've followed my Journey, you know I skip around ... but I get to it, eventually. I don't apologize for my A.D.D. anymore ... what's the point? Now that I know what it is, I realize I'm not making excuses for my scatter-brain ... it's who I am. That's why I have Michael ... he holds it all together for me. :-)

We're off to New York City this week, so the craziness begins. We're picking up the first copies of SOUTHERN FRIED WOMEN in Baltimore on the way, can you feel my excitement through this email? It's like walking through water ... I'm almost there.

The to-do lists are long, but the air is charged ... I've written my speech for Sunday and now I'm off to a Southern woman's favorite hot-spot for last minute shopping.


Blessings to you and yours.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

I Yam what I Yam

Popeye was one of my favorite comics as a kid. I don’t know why, but I always had a soft spot for good ole’ Popeye. He was a little ignorant and took a lot of abuse from Brutus. Popeye would take Brutus's crap only so long, then he'd snap. His pipe acted as a blowtorch or a cool can opener, and WaLa, another can of spinach ready for consumption. Popeye would then gulp it down, his muscles would grow, then he'd beat the snot out of his adversary.

Of course, Olive Oyl was no prize, but Popeye always won in the end.

The point is--Popeye didn’t put on airs. He let everybody know, “I yam what I yam.” What you see is what you get … like it or lump it.

I feel kind of like that today. I’ve been taking my lumps from Brutus lately and I’m looking for my blowtorch pipe—I need to beat the snot out of a few problems. Sick of the way things are in some areas of my life. I’ve got to make changes. Michael and I have worked hard, I’m tired of crap … extra stuff in my life I don’t need. I feel the need to streamline my life in all areas. I feel like I can’t throw another punch … it’s time to stop and smell the roses … win my prize … even if it’s Olive Oyl.

I yam what I yam.

Where’s my damn spinach?

Friday, April 14, 2006

What's Hot, What's Not

I've been reading online (so what else is new) several blogs, articles, and otherwise of well-known authors, agents, and publishing houses telling us what the market is looking for these days. The "hot" picks. The ones that go snap, crackle, and pop in the eyes of those doing the buying and bidding.

Young Adult is hot for some, not for others ... Chick-lit is all but dead ... Erotica is on the rise ... Hmmm. It seems to me no one really agrees with all this. There's so many opinions on the matter of what is selling and what just lingers backstage, that authors have to ignore it ... for the most part. By the time you write and sell something for what's hot in the market, it'll be lukewarm if not down the drain.

Of course, if you write erotica now, then you have to be a bit excited to see the sales bubble for your genre getting attention. I think the internet has a great deal to do with the increase in sales of erotic books. People go online and read reviews, see what's available, then buy the book without leaving the comforts of home. Like buying those magazines that come delivered in plain brown wrappers. Or do they do that anymore?

I think TV has something to do with it, as well. Prime time TV is coated with sexually explicit shows, comments, scripts, lines, words, themes, plots ... you nor your kids can get away from it. My suggestion ... if you want to keep little Johnny sheltered, better turn off the TV after 7 pm or keep it on the Disney channel.

I suppose the evangelicals could hop right on here and claim it's this kind of stuff that has American going to hell in a handbasket, and that we shouldn't buy it, watch it, read it, sell it, or keep it under our beds. Don't start with me on this ... I know some of the biggest users of ponography are evangelicals.

I suppose all this talk about what's hot in the book market has got me thinking as to why it's hot. Erotica, if dispensed in small doses ... most people can handle it. It sells, obviously. Advertisers have always known that. I think it's here to stay a while.

I write Southern fiction ... (giggle) I wonder where I can fit it in to my work? Oh ... the movie Deliverence comes to mind ... how do you write trash that's really not? Guess I better get busy reading Erotica.

Maybe the next writer's conference I attend will give a class ... How To Write Sexually Explicit Material in Six Easy Steps. Or How To Write Material Your Mother Would Never Read.

Somehow, I doubt the Bible Belt would stand for it.

Blessings to you and yours.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


The orange light sifts through the trees in my front yard, it makes the world soft and care free. I love sunset. The shadows are long and smooth, like a fine wine - drawn out, lingering on the roof of my mouth. The air is warm still ... but a slight breeze pushes the chill of night closer. I rock back and forth on my worn wicker that creaks with old age ... like me. I know the sun's rays are reflecting in my eyes.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Blessings to you and yours.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Help Wanted

What if there weren't enough writers for publishers? What if they had to solicit in the Help Wanted pages?

Seeking Talented Authors - any genre that can make us lots of money - creativity a plus, able to write a complete sentence, cut and paste, use spell check, and format properly - must start work at 5 am laboring until midnight, 7 days a week (occasional Sundays off), work with editors named Jennifer and Katie that like you only to your face, and agents that never return your calls. No benefit package. Must possess M.F.A. or have great life experience, and thousands of people who know you and are willing to buy your book. Travel and promote your book on your dime with the slight chance of breaking out -- Starting salary - Nothing until we see your query, synopsis, first three chapters, and maybe ... just maybe, ask you for a partial ... you'll have to wait six months ... then we may decide to make you an offer ... toss it around some more ... edit the hell out of it ... you'll get a third of your advance upon signing, a third at delivery of a perfect manuscript, a third at publication ... could be anywhere from 2k to 10k for your first book - slave wages ... Must work two jobs or keep your old job until you write your fifth or six book. Come join our creative team, you'll love every minute of it!

Oh yeah, oh yeah ... can't you see us standing in line for that job?

But here I sit ... waiting my turn in line.


Blessings to you and yours.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Born To Be Wild

I grew up in time when Mick Jagger, Steely Dan, and Three Dog Night ruled the airways. Along with Paul McCartney and Wings and the Bee Gees. I was also a huge fan of Linda Ronstadt and anything Mowtown. It replaced the world of Peter, Paul and Mary, Jan and Dean, and Elvis and certainly Sinatra, Martin, and the Rat Pack. At least for most under the age of 30.

The class of 1972 was born to be wild ... we swooned over films like The Graduate, Love Story, and The Godfather. Every skirt was way too short, our burgers way too unhealthly, our values and ideals ... way over the top. We were like the landscape. We thought life would go on forever.

I was there, on the outskirts of town ... when the Kent State shootings took place. I saw the smoke. Little did I know history was being made. I was in high school ... we heard students were protesting the war at the university up the road. A couple of us skipped class and went to take a look. Can you imagine? How could we know that years later, Four Dead In Ohio would be a hit song? But we were young, wild, carefree, and yearning for excitement.

Most of the girls in my class were married before the 80's reared it's ugly head. Most of us had our first child in the 70's ... leaving them with babysitters as we were still in our early 20s learning to disco at the nearest club. Saturday Night Fever caused most of us to stray off the beaten path of motherhood a little for a night out on the dance floor ... forgetting, if only for a moment, about our ready-made families at home.

Of course for me, it was all done in hush-hush. I was a church girl. We didn't dance. It was forbidden. Ha. Little did they know, this wild woman could let her hair down when nobody was looking. No Pentecostal woman in her right mind would be caught dead in a disco. She could shake and shimmy in church, but only to Look What The Lord Has Done, NOT to Disco Inferno.

Amazing ... but then the world thought nothing about screaming and acting a fool at football games ... but when it came to the emotional world of Pentecost - "shoutin' in church" - that was foolish.

Hypocrisy on both sides, if you ask me.

When the Oak Ridge Boys sang Gospel, I was a groupie. If only in my mind. They represented both sides of the coin to me. They had long hair, a cool beat, and sang about God. They were rebels, the beginnings of contemporary Christian music. And I still loved Elvis ... I don't think my square peg ever fit into anyone's round hole of normalcy.

Either way ... both worlds had me born on the wrong side of the tracks. I questioned everything and rebelled against anything or anybody that attempted to put me in my place. Told me how I should act, or look, or be. And though my rebellion didn't always show outwardly, my wildness brewed inside and showed itself, usually at the wrong time ... getting me into trouble.

Women like me, who rubbed against the grain, were considered annoying. I never broke any laws, never carried a sign in protest, never participated in a sit-in, never burned my bra. What I did do was refuse to swallow every religious word shoved down my throat, quit jobs that paid me far less than a man doing the same or lesser job, opened my heart to any human different than me regardless of color, race, or religion. I told my daughter to never depend on a man to take care of her, instead of the opposite thoughts of generations before me. I refused to believe that working 9 to 5 was a way to make a living.

My dad has documentation of a great, great (how many greats-I'm not sure) but the woman was my grandmother from down the line, and a Cherokee. She escaped the trail of tears and settled in West Virginia, marrying one of my great grandfathers. Sometimes I think about her, wondering if that long stream of DNA rebellious blood had somehow found its way to me.

Even through years of feeling trapped and held-back, I was wild enough to carve out my own path. I think about Jesus, and how wild and crazy he seemed to the Jews and the Romans of that day. Wildly charasmatic, handsome, and full of life like those people had never experienced. He was wild, wasn't He? You see, I've never lost my faith, I just wouldn't let it be defined by any man in the pulpit.

I've "kicked against a few pricks," in my day. My subtle wildness is the best kind. And the most dangerous.

Blessings to you and yours.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Bad Boys, Bad Boys

What a sight to see! You know when you finally get fed up with a constant barking dog and those noisy neighbors, and you stomp to the phone to call the police department, but it somehow falls between the cracks of Barney Miller's desk?

Well, not today, baby.

Last week I sent a polite little email off to our local police department complaining about the loud speeding cars that race by my house every day. I swear, one of these days, some poor soul is going to end up hurt or worse. My road is a straight mile and a half of "country" road. Houses are relatively close, although there is a large cow pasture across the street. Still, we're close enough to the "city," we get a fair amount of traffic. My office faces the street ... and several times a day I hear the zooooom of fast cars racing by, knowingly going way over the posted speed limit.

So, like any concerned citizen for the safety of people living on this road, I emailed the police.

And today ... a fast moving motorcycle went racing by ... and then the sound of a police siren and flashing lights go flying after him. Then moments later, another speeder got popped.

Music to my ears.

How long it will last and will it stop the tazmanian devils on my street is anybody's guess. I just have to remember to watch my own speed when I'm in a hurry to get to Novel group.

Kudos to the A.P.D. COPS. When you deliver the facts, and nothing but the facts ... justice will be served to the bad boys, bad boys, what 'cha gonna do when they come for you?

Blessings to you and yours.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Elizabeth Berg

Yes, yet another in my collection of "Famous Author's I Have Met ..."

Yesterday was the Spring luncheon of the High Point Literary League. My friend, Dena, ( joined me for my annual trek to the High Point Country Club, lots of Southern ladies, a pretty lunch, and a famous author.

Dena had not had the experience of walking into this lavish place until yesterday ... "Almost like walking into a scene from Gone With The Wind?" I asked.

"This is some place," she said. My trendy, cool, hip and relocated Yankee writer friend who has already established her successful career ... still has moments of culture shock living in Dixie. Even though she's married to a Southerner, has a gorgeous home, and writing credentials from here to the nearest Biscuitville ... I think she has fun when thrown into a vat of "Southern culture." And I'm sure these ladies (or the majority of them) have no idea how "Gone With The Wind" they can seem to Northern women.

But the food, as always, was delightful to the eye and the palate, and the program was entertaining ... you want to hear the cool thing?

I was given permission by the Board of Directors to place on every seat ... AN INVITATION TO MY BOOK LAUNCH! That's over 300 seats! In addition, I was able to leave a stack on the Barnes & Noble table.

Dena took a stack of invitations, I took the other half, and we raced around the room ... I can't tell you how thrilling it was to see women pick up the invitation and read it! Hopefully, with my contribution of 50% of the proceeds from the launch going to their Scholarship Fund, it just might draw a few. Maybe a handful of these ladies will turn out for the launch party. It's a win/win for everyone ... and they get to go home with a good book!

Lyn Foscue, President, announced my book launch just before Elizabeth Berg was introduced. I wondered if Elizabeth remembered feeling so small and thrilled with her first book?

This woman has a dozen or more books published to critical acclaim ... she was an Oprah pick, for goodness sake. A few have been optioned for film ... and as she read bits and pieces from her many books, it was easy to see why. Just as our food was easy on the eye and the tongue, her words fell soft on my ears ... quite soothing to my writer soul, actually. I've read two of her books ... What We Keep and Open House. Yesterday I bought her new book, We Are All Welcome Here. Beautifully told stories that melt your heart.

I think Dena got a taste of the 'old South' yesterday, I love the networking opportunity at these meetings ... who knows, maybe someday they'll ask one of their own to speak ... Now wouldn't that be something?

Elizabeth Berg is one to aspire to ... we met briefly, she admired my invitation as the book cover was on the front, we chatted, she signed my books, another brief moment in time with a bestselling author who has "made it." I wonder if that kind of karma rubs off when you're around somebody like Elizabeth Berg?

Blessings to you and yours.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Time Ain’t On My Side

I feel like I’m tripping all over myself, apologizing to everyone for lack of attention to “things” due to being immersed in completing my book.

I watched a clip on 60 Minutes last night. These thirty-somethings were high into their careers, up at 4 am, on their hand-held computers, lap tops--sending emails--answering instant messages--using two cell phones at once--then off to their jobs where they work like dogs until 6 pm, drive home (all while flipping back and forth between two cell phones) and then work until 9 pm at night. I think they fit an hour or two in to eat, sleep, and spend time with their six-month-old baby. (When did they have time to make a baby ... and ... why?)

No thanks.

Are we all crazy? Has technology done this to us? Made us into corporate zombies ... enabling us to be able to work our lives away? I want to spend time on the front porch watching the sun go down, listening to the cows in the pasture, feeling ocean breezes on my face, telling stories about the "good ole' days" around the table. I want to slow ... time ... down.

And yet, I'm trying to slow my own life down a peg. Being a writer who also is into marketing and publicity means little time for anything else and many long hours! Sometimes I’m pecking away until way after midnight. I’m also pulled in two directions. Promotion is important, but my first love, of course, is writing. As much fun as it can be to brainstorm and implement new marketing ideas, what I find most satisfying is the creation and polishing of my stories. Right now I’m torn because all I want to do is perfect and tweak my novel.

And yet, more short stories are calling my name! But I also hear the call of this blog every morning, and know I need to keep the promotion wheels moving. What a dilemma! Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to sleep.

Time ain't on anybody's side, when you think about it. I think we're all in a fight for time. Whether we fight to squeeze as much in a day as we can, or force it to slow down by kicking back on our porches and refusing to budge!

Blessings to you and yours.