Sunday, March 30, 2008

Another Wonderful Week in Havasu!

Been quite a week. Sunday was a laid back day, then a very hectic week started. Had breakfast at Denny's with a half dozen writers as we said farewell to Do. She headed back to Spain on Tuesday. I enjoy her visits very much. Her writing has depth and occasionally she can be quite funny.

On Thursday, I met with Dave again. I feel bad. He is really struggling with my chick lit. I hope it's just him and that 'Lita' isn't really as boring as it seems to him. I struggle with the direction of his 'Drift', but then again maybe it is good for both of us. I'm already starting to worry about how I'm going to handle Lita's death. Hopefully, she'll help me.

Then it was off to Hastings. A small, but good crowd. I think some of the best writing among the writers group was shared aloud. Each story held our rapt attention. Attending were Vivien (it was her birthday), Gina, Jilma, Rob, Ann, Margaret, Cindi, Lois, Dave and me. After the readings, we sat around and gabbed until ten p.m. Of course, since I was in a books/music store, I had to buys some CDs. Got some good buys of 'Best of ...' songs of CCR, Terry Clark, Sammy Kershaw and the Oak Ridge Boys. All have been listened to and all were good!

And through it all, I moved 'Lita' forward. The wagon train is again on its way to Jackson Hole after a winter stay in Grand Junction and the addition of a new baby. I do enjoy the Farrells.

On the non-writing aspect of my week, got my taxes done. Have to pay! Had my A/C and coolers opened up for the summer and my furnace checked out after its busy, cold winter.

Tues., Nancy and I headed over to Laughlin to see country singer Mark Chestnut. Made a day of it and stopped at Target, Kohl's, the Panda Express and several factory stores. Then we say the movie 'No Country for Old Men.' Wow! I don't normally like allegories, but this is one that gives the reader the chills and I'll be thinking about its ending for a long time. We had dinner with Ellen at Serrano's Mexican Restaurant. I have never seen the restaurant or the casino so busy. People everywhere. Folks say is the snowbirds last hurrah before they head home. for the summer. The show was great. Nancy was front row (I mean elbow on the stage) center. It was their first night, so they did a lot of impromptu stuff which made for a lot of fun.

Had my hair cut on Wednesday. Always great to talk with Liz. Her son is home from the army. It's a relief to her. He wasn't in Iraq, but did do prison guard duty in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Had our Pioneer Bunco yesterday. Turned out a lot better than I'd thought what with the streets all tore up for the sewers. Al and I switched playing so we could be roll a set. Betty did all the calling. She was great. Then it was out to dinner at El Mariachis with the the H's, the Z's and the B's. Lots of fun and laughter. I needed some stressless, fun time, so I took the boat across to the casino. Came home four hundred dollars richer! Yahoo. I do love keno.

Planning on another 'free' day tomorrow! We'll see how that goes! Until then, Slán go fóill! (Did you know that's Gaelic for 'goodbye for now'?)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Saxman

Where does time go??? I can't believe it's Saturday already. I remember when Saturday was a big deal, now it's just another day. But, I must say, a glorious, sunny, Arizona day!

Last Saturday's writer's meeting was good, as always. Most folks enjoyed my excerpt from 'Lita' that I submitted last time. Several commented on the authenticity of the dialog between the two men. One lady, who is new to the group couldn't believe that a woman had written it. That was music to my ears. One fellow questioned the use of the word 'maudlin' as used by men in the 1880s, but another writer who has studied old diaries said it is exactly the type of work that would have been used in that era. Also, my friend from England questions the use of the word 'wad' as a brother said, 'I'd bet my wad that ...' I meant it as money, but she said it had a sexual suggestion. I'll have to think on that. Then it was off to Denny's. We didn't break up until 5:oo. That has to be a new record. Lots of good conversation!

Then it was off to Laughlin to see Wayne Newton with my sister. What fun. I thought the sax player was good looking, so after the show, we went up to the stage. My sister said she wanted to call out to the sax player. I told her we were just looking, but the man in front of us heard the conversation. He yelled, "Hey, Saxman!" The saxman grinned and waved. I hit the man who had called out. He laughed and said, "You hit me!" I told him it was not out of meanness, just passion. He put his arm around my shoulder and said, "Well, in that case, let's ditch my wife." She was evidently a character, too. She just laughed and said, "I know what you mean. I was playing the slots and this change man was so darn cute that I told him if I was 40 years younger, his night wouldn't be his own." We all laughed. My sister said she is going to call my daughter and tell her that I'm a crazy person at concerts! All in all, despite the fact that Newton can't sing anymore, it was a good show and a lot of exiting-the-theatre fun!

As for the rest of the week, I worked on 'Lita' a lot. An episode concerning brother Joe developed. It seemed almost as if Joe was whispering in my ear to tell his tale. It was fun. I hope it works.

I sent a flash story, 'Taping In', out to Flasher's-Dozen. Got interesting crits from too much info, to lack of character development, to got it-liked it and a dislike of the title. Good feedback all. I'm lucky to be involved with such a good group. The character remark really surprised me. That's usually my forte. Ah, the learning process marches forward!

The local junior college, MCC, is going to have a writer's forum in April. I've been invited to participate. Sounds interesting. We'll have tables to display our work, but we can't sell any. We are invited to give a 20 minute lecture to the attendees and we are asked to donate a book or two for drawings. Sounds interesting. I'll give it a shot.

Finally finished repainting my desk that I bought at the garage sale. Again, I proved that I'm not any good with my hands! But, I kind of like it, so will keep it and use it.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Just dropped by to update my story of the month. Hope someone drops by and enjoys it. Can't stay tonight, have too much to do. Saturday was the local writer's meeting and, as usual, it was good and the meeting at Denny's lasted until almost five. Then off to Laughlin. Came home yesterday and believe it or not, I got a lot done on 'Lita'. I really like where it's going. Then today (Happy Saint Patrick's Day!) Nancy, Dave and I went to an Irish program at the college, then tonight it was out for corned beef and cabbage dinner with the Hollies. Tonight it was prep time for the Pioneers meeting tomorrow. Phew, I'm out of breath. Will drop by tomorrow and give details on Saturday's meeting and some info on Wayne Newton.

Friday, March 14, 2008


As expected, yesterday was a perfect day. Started off with the morning exercise class being cancelled, so more time to work on writing/reading. Yahoo!

Moved Lita along and now have them in Santa Fe. Not sure what kind of trouble they'll get into there, but the Farrells will let me know.

Went over to Dave's. We discussed the problem he's having bringing 'Drift' to a close. He has a scenario he wants to try, but I think it would make the book too long and take away from the dual troubled nature of his main character. He enjoyed my last episode of 'Lita' with the hint of an abduction. I wonder what he'll think when it turns out to be Danny they kidnap, not Sarah. I hope it works for him.

Then it was off to Denny's for my meeting with Lois, JOan and Cindi. Lots of interesting talk and some really good feedback. With mine we got to talking about POV again. Knowing what everyone is doing/saying/thinking works for me. I'm not writing mysteries. We all pretty much agreed that POV shifts don't bother us.

Then today was a total don't-have-to-go-anywhere day. So, spent it cleaning up a short story I'm going to submit to the LHCWG on Saturday and reading all the sub from the group, then critting them. Big batch this time, 15 of them! Some had poetry. Beautiful, but not my thing.

The sad thing is that I didn't get anything submitted to an editor/publisher. Boohoo! And, it don't look good for tomorrow either what with the LHCWG meeting, then Laughlin for Wayne Newton, then Sunday with my brother and his wife go to a buffet lunch to celebrate her birthday.

My daughter called this a.m. We talked for almost an hour. It was wonderful. She is such a strong, capable, smart woman. I hope I live to see the day, she has her epiphany that brings her to realize how dynamic she is. It's hard when you're struggling day in and day out taking care of a family. It is so sad that most of us women don't get our epiphany about our worth until we're in our fifties. How the hell, did I manage to make such a great kid???

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dogs - Cats - Expectations

Went to the Writer's Forum at our junior college Monday night with several other authors. The speaker was going to talk about how to write about animals. Well, the woman will certainly be sainted when she reaches the pearly gates. Her presentation turned into an 'I' session of all the wonderful things she does with animals - rescues them from the dog pound, takes them to schools, hospitals and senior centers. But, there wasn't much said or offered about writing, except how lucky she'd been to get the job writing a weekly column for our local newspaper. Like I said, she was nice, but it was the general consensus that it was a waste of the writer's time.

Well, I watched 'Old Yeller'. What a good movie. Sad, but good. How refreshing it was with no added animation. Just good characters, good acting (even by the dogs) and beautiful scenery. Not to mention, a good story.

Moved 'Lita' along today. Got a problem solved, so now need to create a new one as I move the Farrells along to Wyoming.

Wrote a short story to one of FlashXer prompts today on wire taping. I thought it came together pretty good, but I may be wrong. Have only had one crit so far and this person thought I was going for a possessed telephone rather than a szcho college student off his meds, that results in a killing. Hummmm, not too much fiction in that premise these days. The critter said it was full of superfluous info and needed shortening and he felt the ending was flat. I think I'll wait until I get a few more crits.

Tomorrow will be a full writing day. First I must work with Lita and get the new pages ready to give to Dave. Then, I have to finish my crits on Dave's 'Drift' and let him know how I think it's going. Then, finish my crits for my Thurs. night Denny's meeting, plus get a new sub ready for them. Oh, 'twill be a LOVELY day.

Some unwriting news - got a call from my sister Donna. She has tickets to see Wayne Newton this Saturday and she has a room for me at the casino. All free of charge. Yahoo!!! I've seen Newton before and he puts on a good show.

It's after eleven and my taped episodes of Law & Order await, so adios!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Dragged/Drug - Pleaded/Pled - Hey, its the story that counts!

Another fun day of reading and writing. Managed to move 'Lita' along on Fri., Sat. and today. Still not sure where it's going, but I'm getting it down. Also, got a good prompt on FlashXer on the word 'nudge', so wrote a story about a schzo girl, a gun and an old boyfriend. Fun write. No feedback yet.

Had some feedback on my use of the word 'drug'. I wrote, 'Ritzy was drug down the stairs.' Feedback says it should be dragged. So, I did some checking. According to a couple of dictionary sources, drug is acceptable in some dialects. Another word I have trouble with is plead. I use pled for past tense. And, like drug, it is an acceptable usage in the U.S., Scottish and some dialects. As for me, I'll have to think about it. I prefer drug and pled. It's kind of like awhile vs a while and alright vs all right. Geez, the story is what's important, isn't it???

Also, read four articles in some San Jose, Calif. newspapers that my 'niece' Tiffany wrote. She is quite good with words. Her reporter skills are complete as to all the 'w' questions. I have a feeling she's going to make it big with news reporting. It doesn't hurt that in addition to being very nice and professional, she a beautiful girl, inside and out!

Went last night to the Riverside Casio to see 'The Riders in the Sky' singers. They put on a great act with old western songs and lots of comedy. It was a fun night with Betty, Jerry and Patti.

Oh, had the book review meeting yesterday on Howard Fast. The old boy has found some new readers. Everyone loved him! Some of us didn't like his plots or insinuations, but his character building is so good that you can't help but want to move through the pages with him.

Went to help some friends with a garage sale on Friday, but they didn't need my help. They had big crowds at 7 a.m., but I could get there until 8:45 and they were nearly sold out by then. I stopped on the way home at another garage sale and found a VCR tape of 'Old Yeller'. Haven't seen it in years. My best friend Sharon and I were in a drug store/soda shop in Pacoima, Calif. during our teen years. We were having a soda and Tommy Kirk was sitting at the counter. We were whispering and trying to convine ourselves that it was indeed Tommy Kirk, when he got up and stopped by our table. He confirmed that he was indeed, Tommy Kirk. He smiled and went on his way. He seemed very nice. Turns out he's gay. Anyway, I'm dying to see the movie, so will sign off now

Consider that I have pled off and an being drug, by my desire to see the movie, into the living room. :-) See ya!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Write-Edit-Submit - A Really Good Day

Great feedback on my two stories. In fact, I received suggestions on where to submit them and have already done so. Now, I just sit back and hope. One is even a paying market. Yahoo!

Moved 'Lita' along today. Still have no idea where the story is going, but I guess as long as I put one word after another, I can weave a story somewhere in the jumble.

I finally sent my books back to Xlibris today. They are a disgrace. I hope they refund me or send me some new books. these were printed so badly that I feel bad about charging folks for them.

Had a great day. No commitments. Stayed home all day and wrote, edited and submitted. A perfect day. Oh, and even got to watch an old Law & Order show. Always good!

Also, watched 'Celebrity Apprentice'. Trace Adkins is still on. They got rid of that horrible lady Amarosa, now if they would just get rid of that Piers fellow. Tonight he came in and kissed Trace on the cheek. I thought Trace was going to smack him. I'm shocked that the country boy is still on the show. I think he's handsome, smart and very talented, but I figured they'd do the 'country boy' in very quickly. They are down to five celebs now and Trace is one of them. Go. Go. Go, Trace.

Need some beauty sleep. More tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Faceless Friends

An old friend had disappeared from my writing groups. He always had interesting submissions that made you think and his crits were thought provoking and definitely helped me to learn more and more about this writing thing. I sent him an email a month or so ago and yesterday, I heard from him. He had some family issues, but thinks he'll get back into the group. I'm so glad. I missed him.

Now how do you miss someone you've never met? It is an interesting comment on life these days of computerese. My friend lives in Canada. I have another dear friend who lives in India. They could be sitting in the next booth down at my local Denny's Restaurant and I wouldn't even recognize them, yet I consider them good friends. There isn't a day goes by that I don't thank the universe that I was born in this day and age, in this country and live where I live. I am indeed one lucky person.

As to my writing, moved Lita along. I'm having some trouble about accomplishing a reader friendly ending. My purpose in writing the story is to show how Lita died before my sequel, Deborah's Story, (it is already written)begins. Folks who've read the sequel are disturbed to have lost Lita and want to know what happened to her. But will readers want to read a book that ends with someone dying? I'll have to think about it. The Farrells have always been good to me, so perhaps they'll give me a good way to make it work.

Went to a Republican Women's meeting last night. The speaker was an investigator who worked at bringing down Warren Jeffs, a prophet in the Fundamentalist Later Day Saints religious sect in Colorado City, AZ. It is horrible that men take on thirteen year old girls as second, third and fourth wives. But, I was struck that it was a bit like religious persecution to stop the polygamy. Anyone who reads the bible knows that it has been acceptable for eons. I think that the state should require that the women must be at least eighteen and that they go through a counseling program, alone, so they can speak their minds without the future husband knowing. Then, if they still want to do it. Let it be legal so their children don't qualify for welfare. It's not for me and I think it's wrong, but I don't think I have the right to tell those folks how to worship their God and abide by His laws as stated in their beliefs.

It's late, so will close. Lots to think about tonight. Slan leat!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Lots of Writing - Yahoo!

I'm going to ignore the fact that it has been two weeks since I last blogged and just get to writing!

Busy couple of weeks. Finished sprucing up 'Abby' and have it ready to send out. It is damn good and I only hope some editor agrees with me.

Moving 'Lita' along nicely. Poor Dave is having a time of it trying to crit it. He does alright with murder and mayhem, but let a woman have a baby and mention blood and he's queasy. We are so good for each other's writing. I'm getting a taste of realism and he's having to deal with feelings. I think it makes both of our stories better.

Some really good news. My friend Gloria sent a copy of my book 'After the War, Before the Peace' to her daughter in LA who is the hairdresser for a famous actor. I don't want to mention his name here, but he has a TV series on the air these days. Anyway, she gave him the book for his birthday when they quit filming last spring. Her daughter told her the other day, that the actor is reading my book now and doesn't want to discuss it until he finishes it. I am so jazzed. I try to keep it in perspective though by remembering what a published author who taught at our college once told me. A famous editor asked to read his book. The writer just knew it was his big break and told everyone. When he got the call to come get his feedback, the editor's wife answered the door. She gave the writer a sad smile and said, 'Oh, and we did so want to like it.'

Managed to get some crits done for all four writer's groups and even wrote a couple new short stories to submit. I do love the wonderful world of imagination.

I took my blind writer friend over to our local book store last week. She has a new book out and wanted to have a couple available for sale. She is amazing. I feel so bad for her bad luck in going blind. She is upset and angry about it and I can't say as I blame her. Her book is titled 'Vestal Vixen'. I'm only into it about 30 pages, but it is interesting. Not a page turner, but interesting.

Had our local writer's group meet on Saturday. They all felt my 'A Lucky Guy' was a powerful, timely story. But, the feedback was skimpy. One fellow didn't like my choppy sentences. I have mixed emotions about them, too, so will have to think about what he had to say. Then it was our gathering at Denny's. Lots of good talk! Oh, two of the folks who attended my Spring Frenzy workshops showed up at the meeting. And, they both joined the group. Already read a story by one of them and she's definitely going to be an asset to the group.

I finished my Howard Fast book 'The Confession of Joe Cullen'. I hated the premise of the story, but I loved the characters and the way Fast put the story together. We will be discussing him at our meeting on Mar. 8th and so far all I've heard is good things!

On a sad note, last week-end, I went over to Simi Valley to visit my friend Yvonne and to spend some time with her son Joe who is dying of cancer. Only 48 years old. Very sad. She cries a lot, but seems to be holding up. Now, that's three of my old friends that have lost children. Jesus, I don't think I could handle it if anything happened to Rob or Kim. I MUST go first.

Lita is calling, well it's actually Dan, so I must go jot down some lines for him. I will be back! Nite, nite