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Monday, November 14, 2016

It's taken me a while to come back down to earth

This post is long overdue, but quite frankly I have to admit that I am still stunned by the news that my very first published novelette, Whiskey Angel, will be brought to life on screen. Ray Normandin, of Etched by Fire Entertainment, approached me a few weeks ago to let me know that he was interested in directing and producing the film. For more information on Mr. Normandin’s accomplishments, please see his IMBd page

There is no greater compliment that I could have received as a writer.

Well, that’s what I thought until Ray called me a week later to let me know that Michael Gier has taken an interest in the project and has agreed to the play the male lead, Jon Green. That bit of news sent me right over the moon! It’s taken a bit of time for me to come back to earth so that I could even put together a coherent sentence on the topic.

Mr. Gier is no stranger to the stage, big screen, or small screen for that matter. He is a television and film actor, as well as a director, producer and acting coach.  Please see his IMBd page or visit his website at

I’ve learned a little about this phenomenal man that I wanted to share with you all, though I hope he doesn’t get upset with me about it. I’ve learned that Mr. Gier has a benevolent heart. His film projects include some pretty poignant topics that address painful issues such as PTSD, drug addiction, and adolescent depression. The excellent work that he produces is available, at no cost (as in free) online to schools, non-profits, and the general public. Any donated proceeds are given back by funding future films and donating to the causes related to the subject matter of the film. Please see for more information about Mr. Gier’s projects.

I am both honored and humbled to be working with such fine individuals.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Joys of being both a Paralegal and a Writer

So I’m just getting to work and I call my husband. He’s on the road also (like he always is). Today he has a ride-along trainee with him.

He gets cut off or something and yells “Idiot!” to the other driver. It's very loud and it makes me jump a little (I'm sensitive to that sort of thing).

The ride along guy asks if he was calling me an idiot.

My husband responds, “Naw, dude. I like waking up alive and in one piece.”

And he knows.

Because I’m a Paralegal and a Writer. That means I can orchestrate a really creative scenario and also come up with a plausible alibi.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Strange Dreams

I had a seriously strange dream last night, or maybe it was this morning. Once I dreamt it, I couldn't go back to sleep. It's been seriously hounding me all day.

I was in a parking lot, walking towards some type of large store, like a Walmart, when this fellow parked his vehicle in my path and exited his car leading a large wild boar, or warthog, or something like that by a leash, like the kind dog walkers use. The animal was large, seething and surly. His tusks were long, thick and pointed, his hair dark and coarse. 

I stood in front of the two of them, my feet frozen to the ground, engulfed in fear. All of a sudden, the animal broke free from the leash and charged right for me.

My first instinct was to just jump out of his way. The beast was so fast, like a blur, and I barely cleared his attack. I could feel the rough coarse hair brush the bottoms of my feet. He charged a second and third time. All three times I was able to get out of his way.

I woke a little shaky, not nearly as bad as when I was younger and woke from similar dreams.

It's been years since I've had an animal dream. I would dream of large bears, or lions chasing me as I ran through fog so thick it felt like I was running through water. It made me feel slow, sluggish. Anything could have caught me. I would fail to outrun the animal. He would catch me, claw at my flesh and maul me.

I would awake a screaming, trembling, sobbing wreck. It felt so real. I felt so helpless. It would take me a moment or two to realize it for what it was, a horrible nightmare.

I can only surmise that I may be getting better. It may be that I am better able to cope with my out-of-control past.

No longer a victim but a survivor.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Spanish Rice

My cousin, Kelly, in Martinsville, Indiana asked me if I remembered how to make Grandma's Spanish rice. I really had to think about this, because I only remember having it once, so it took a while to remember exactly what went into it.

But, yay! I figured it out and through trial-and-error, here it is!

Grandma's Spanish Rice

2 T. Butter or EVOO
1 small onion, diced
1 c. rice (I like Mahatma) rinsed and dried as much as possible
1 8 oz. can of tomato puree or sauce
1 7 oz can of Green Giant ® Mexicorn, drained
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. chicken bouillon
1 1/2 c. hot water

Melt butter or heat EVOO in a skillet over medium heat.
Add diced onion and sautee for 2 minutes
Add rice to onion and oil and continue to sautee. Rice should cook until slightly browned.
Add the tomatoes and corn and stir. Simmer while you prepare fluid.
Heat water to boiling then add bouillon and chili powder and dissolve stirring constantly.
Add liquid to rice mixture and increase heat to boiling.
Cover and simmer (about 15 minutes) or until water is absorbed.

Makes about 4 servings.

You can add more or less of the chili powder depending on how much heat you want.

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Rift

Writing "The Rift" was a challenge. All said and done, I was glad for the experience. It is a different genre than I've been writing this past year. But someone dared me to do something different. To leave what was normal and write something I wouldn't typically write.

To write from the heart.

I wrote from a perspective that we all become estranged at one point or another in our lives with or from the people that love us, or are supposed to love us unconditionally. But there always has to be hope that we can find our way back; that we can find our way home again.

It was so difficult. It felt impossible. I cried so much. I tear up just thinking about a couple of the scenes.

My father passed away when I was four years old. I remember a few things about him. Just snippets of memories. I can't help but feel that if he were alive years ago some of the terrible things that happened to me wouldn't have happened.

I had very little to draw on in the way of father-daughter relationships.

Over the years, there have been "uncles" and "daddies", in my mother's sorry attempt to find someone to fill my father's shoes. Most of them were idiots. Most of them tolerated me at best. I didn't have their love and they didn't have mine. I was an angry, rebellious train wreck, soon to be snared and broken in a fourteen-year nightmare.

"The Rift" is dedicated to Butch Capps, the person who challenged me to write something different. I met him twenty-four years ago, but it seems I've known him my whole life. He stepped in and stepped up to be the dad I needed, whose company I enjoy and whose counsel and wisdom I revere.

For you, Pop.

Link to Amazon

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Writing "do no harm" was gruesome (but it was fun)

Who would have thought that I would have had so much fun writing something so macabre?

Both of my sons have spent some time in the hospital lately, and I started kicking around a "what if" scenario for a novelette.

This latest offering came to me when I exited an elevator (a real E-Ticket ride, for those of you familiar with that term), to a vacant hospital hallway with the florescent lights flickering, quite possibly due to a faulty ballast. I could smell a bit of ozone.

It was creepy. It was all I needed.

I photographed the image and kicked it around a bit with Photoshop.

What I ended up with had me doing a double-take. It would be the perfect book cover. I showed the photo to my family. It freaked them out.

Mission accomplished.

I bounced the story around a bit, and what I ended up with was morbid and dark. It's the type of story that would likely be told around a campfire, on Halloween night while sipping some sort of libation to control the shaking in your hands.

Here's the finished product:

Free on 9/19/2016 through 9/21/2016.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Well ... I never thought I'd see the day

This time last year, I was thinking about writing a novel. I was kind of on the fence about it. I knew that I would be writing pure pain, and all that good stuff from the heart - and it petrified me. The characters were screaming at each other. Day and night. 2-4-7; 3-6-5. Weekends and holidays.

Never thought I'd see the day, though.

Just for grins, I outlined it. First in my head, then in a little red notebook I carry everywhere, then started typing it out. The outline grew into several outlines, which turned into chapters, which evolved into 76,000 words (approximately); and a second novel.

Funny thing is, my first work is not the one that ended up getting published. The novelette was fun to do though, and it was something that I needed to prove to myself. Just wanted to see if I could do it.

I've left my comfort zone a lot lately.

It felt a lot like sitting in the back of my Aunt's '61 Bonneville. I used to get so car sick in that car. I'd love all the places that I got to go, but the trip there was pure hell. My Aunt did everything that she could think of to keep me from getting sick. From soda crackers and 7Up, to starving me, to drugging me. Still got sick. Never got sick in any other car, just hers. It wasn't until years later that we figured out why.

I couldn't see out the windows. I couldn't see where I was going. That backseat sat so low, all I could manage to see was the tops of trees whirling by.

We found this out quite by accident. I'd been begging my Aunt to let me ride up front. Of course, she didn't want a little girl puking all over her (understandable). But she was one to give in to me (after copious amounts of whining on my part).

So she put me in the front seat, on a towel, with a bucket because I always traveled that way, and away we went.

I sat and looked out the window, with the wind in my face. I saw other cars. I saw people walking in the crosswalk. I saw stores and gas stations and everything else that everybody else saw.

I never got sick in her car again.

All the stuff I've been doing lately has me feeling just like that queasy little girl I once was. Not able to see where I was going.

Some things never change.

Hope I don't throw up, because I sure can't see where any of this is going.