Tag Archive | mama

Update and Review for ILLUSIONS from Desert Breeze Publishing now available at Amazon.com


IllusionsCoverArt72dpiNow up for voting in Cover Wars at http://authorshout.com/cover-wars/  ~~ Please register and vote daily October 11-17!

Seventeen years ago, Lily had the perfect life — loving parents and grandparents, a best friend and a boy she thought loved her. An explosion and a disastrous decision blew it all away.

She endures her estranged husband’s brutality in order to protect her six children and paraplegic grandmother, hiding her bruises and terror as best she can. Her family will be safe, even if it means shrinking their world into a very small space.

Alex has been trying to figure Lily out since he returned to town. His teaching job has not only allowed him to get to know her kids as he floats from school to school teaching them music, it’s given him a reason to reconnect with Lily.

However, the new persona he created is all she sees. In her eyes, the boy he was has ceased to exist. Will Alex’s love save or destroy her family?

Excerpt~~

“I’m sorry, Lily.”

She searched his face, and he didn’t buckle under her scrutiny. There was something about those eyes, something that grabbed her and wouldn’t let go. Something that made her feel safe and weak all at once.

“For what exactly? For my marrying the wrong man or for having the power to make me tell you things I refuse to tell anyone else?”

“Both, I guess.”

“You are a puzzle, Alex Anderson.”

“Not at all. My agenda is clear.”

She shivered. Her breath came in gasps as he leaned closer to her, and her heart beat out of control.

“Aren’t you going to ask me what that agenda is?”

“I’m not sure I want to know,” she whispered.

He surprised her by sitting up straight and offering her a wide smile. “You make very good tea.”

“You think I’m a coward?” She stared at her hands. There were tears in her voice, and she felt ashamed.

“Oh, no, Lily.” He put his glass down on the island, stood, and moved to stand in front of her. Sliding his hands along the side of her face, she felt his warmth flowing into her. Putting pressure on her chin with the pads of his thumbs, he raised her eyes to his. “You’re the bravest woman I’ve ever known.”

She scoffed. “You don’t have a clue what kind of woman I am.”

“You’re wrong.” The sudden pain in his eyes shocked her to her very core, and the need to comfort him was jarring. His voice when he continued was gentle, quiet, and intense. “I know you. I always have.”

With those words, he placed a gentle kiss on her forehead, soft, non-threatening, comforting and strengthening. Her eyes followed him as he picked up his glass, walked to the sink, rinsed it out, then headed to the door. As he opened the door, he slipped the lock on the doorknob.

“Get some rest. I’ll see you Monday.” With that, he closed the door behind him.

Lily remained frozen in her chair despite a devastating urge to run after him and beg him to stay. What was it about this man that made her feel so secure? By all rights and purposes, she’d only really met him this afternoon. He was a virtual stranger.

And why didn’t she send him away? After all, once he found out all the truths in her life, he’d leave anyway.

 

Review~~

Five our of Five Stars: A gut-wrenching, yet delightful read!

By Nancy C. Lepri on July 21, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Lily Cabot is raising six lovable, well-behaved children while keeping Peter, her abusive ex at bay. She fearful of him, and her kids hold him in contempt, also, wanting no part of him.

Living with her wheelchair-bound grandmother and caring for the needs of seven, not to mention herself, Lily is selfless and strong, determined to create a happy family environment.

The young man she once loved, Zandie Anderson is but a memory, though she still has a soft spot for him in her heart. If only, she thinks…but if only never happened, so she deals with the cards she’s been dealt. Not only deals with them, but does an excellent job, too. She encounters many stumbling blocks, though they do not deter her determination for a better life for her young ones.

Zandie, now going by Alex, teaches music for the local school system. His appearance is very different from the Zandie Lily once adored. He offers lessons to her children–drawn to the rowdy, but lovable brood–though more so to the girl he still loves. Attracted to him, Lily perceives something familiar in him, but cannot discern what, for he is not recognizable from the boy she had known. However, a relationship is impossible. She has her young ones and grandmother to care for, and her worry of reprisals from Peter keeps her from enjoying a life of her own.

Can Lily ever escape the bonds that bind her and find the true love she deserves, or will she continue to live in fear?

Ms. Hames Torres pens her novel with flair and wit. Though tackling the difficult subject of domestic violence, her protagonist proves to be a tough, independent woman who is doing an extraordinary job raising her six precocious kids while living with her grandmother, a feisty individual in her own right. Humor mixed with the issue of brutality offers a light-hearted, delightful read plus the anticipation of more in this same tone from this author.

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Everyone should have a family reunion…


I’m a homebody. I don’t really travel. I like to go on day trips. Of course with my husband being on call with his job 24/365, day trips are about all we get…so, I like them. LOL

But staying home has a not-so-great-side. Stay at home and you’re not going to see anyone. You get so complacent that you don’t even realize you’re missing the people you don’t see. You know they’re missing from your life. They do cross your mind and you have nostalgic pangs of I-wonder-what-they’re-doing- right-about-now, and you miss them.

These days, we get so busy we don’t realize that with each day time is being eaten away by…well, passing time. Our jobs, daily chores and errands, stuffed full schedules get in our way, take up every minute in our days from dawn to night and we fail to notice another day has passed. Gone. Never to get back. Even when driving distance between close family members and friends is not so far away as to cost massive time and money, it’s hard to find time to do more than make do with the weekly phone call, or getting together on holidays when we can manage it. Then we realize how many of our loved ones we lose in a year. Five. Ten years. We think, how the hell did that much time pass? You find yourself remembering childhood memories of them because that’s all you’ve given yourself.

That’s just not right.

Last weekend, my mother’s family had a small family reunion. In the last few short years, she’s lost her brother and 2 sister-in-laws and a granddaughter. Her two remaining brothers, her niece and all their kids and grandkids are all the family she has left that she didn’t create herself…and she’s done a very good job of creating a massive family, six kids, sixteen grandkids, more than thirteen great grand children and I think 2 great great grandchildren. She and one of her brothers decided enough was enough and it was time for all of us to get together. Did we ALL make it to the reunion? Of course not. My sister’s daughter lives outside Seattle, one of my brothers lives in Virginia and his children and grandchildren live in North Carolina, and there were other grandchildren who couldn’t make it. Logistics of trying to get everyone off work and across state lines had to have been a nightmare, and yet, her brother managed to get two of his three daughters, and his one son to get time off and travel from Pensicola, Florida to Winder, Georgia. Seriously? We can bearly manage to get my husband, my kids and me all off and ready to go for out little day trips.

While it’s been years, and sorrowfully decades for some, since I’ve seen most of them, while I was looking at my “little” cousins’ children and thinking…why aren’t your mama’s still that size?…time fell away and everything was perfect. One of my cousins smiled and said, “Do you know who I am?” and I smiled back and said, “Do you know who *I* am?” Of course, we did, but that’s still pitiful, isn’t it?

And yet, seeing my mother’s smile as she slipped her arms around her “little” brothers’ waists, seeing this family that’s grown so large over the years, I drove home with a sense of reconnection and happiness, swearing that I wouldn’t get so swallowed up in the everyday goings on that I’d not talk to my sisters, my mother, my brothers only once a week. And yet, the week is over and we’ve all been exactly that, swallowed up in the everyday. My book, ILLUSIONS, was released on June first, and I’ve spent the week doing promotion, cleaning the house that was sorely ignored while I was writing and editing, and getting my daughter back and forth to her college classes, throwing away old copies of manuscripts now done and out into the world. I don’t see any light ahead and classes start back around the first of August. While we can call each other on the phone, trying to find little holes in our schedules to connect is sometimes impossible. Luckily, there is FB and email.

Sad.

Fourth of July cometh…

Thank God.

 

 

The Top Five Things I Discovered In 2014


We’re about to say goodbye to 2014. Each new year comes around and we measure the last with several different yardsticks. Did we accomplish the goals we set this time the year previous? Are we in better health than we were last year—physical and financial? How did our children fare? Our spouses? The rest of our families? Is our house clean? Does our car run, need work?

Are we happy? And if we are, more so or less so than the end of the year before?

Did we learn anything? About the world? About ourselves? Did we pick up any knowledge intensely valuable to no one but ourselves?*

We’re about to enter 2015, so how was my last year?

My family is doing well. Mark could be happier in his job, but he’s extremely good at what he does so even on days he thinks he’s not appreciated, deep down, he knows they’d be sorry if he up and left. There’s extreme satisfaction underneath the general frustration. So that’s good.

Courtney is happy. She has great friends who value her and whom she values. She’s good at what she does, and enjoys it—stress and all. This was the year she learned how to suffer fools—something I had hoped she wouldn’t have to learn for years off. She doesn’t enjoy it and she doesn’t suffer them well or because she wants to, but I won’t allow her to use my food processor to deal with them, so she doesn’t have much choice. I’m considering researching Voodoo doll construction for her.

Dusty has gone back to school, and is happier than he’s been in a long time. Thank you, Jesus. He’s happier and learned more in the first week of his first semester than he did the entire two and a half years at the other college in the other program. Does that mean he’s given up his music? Not at all, and my heart still sings when he plays me his newest composition.

Between my two babies, my home will forever be filled with art and music.

And me? Well, I learned a lot this year, about myself, my kids, and some things that are completely useless to everyone else but me.

Here are my top five:

 

  1. It’s the end of the year and while my house does not look like a murder scene it is by far not spotless. However, my kitchen is clean and my dishes are done, and soup is on. My bathrooms are clean. My laundry is done, mostly thanks to my sweet baby girl. My front room is presentable enough not to horrify people who come to my door. My floors need doing, but I’m not worried about that right now. If someone comes in and says, “Oh my hell, your floors are horrible!” I will hand them the cleaner and a mop, and we’ll have a lovely conversation while they are correcting the problem.
  2. I can rewrite and entire novel, creating an almost completely new storyline and edit it in 5 ½ weeks! But not without my right hand woman and professional ledge-talker-offerer…LOL Thank you, Pam. In addition, I have my very own—I don’t want to say bulldozer…LOL so we’ll just say…earth mover. She will not let me stand still or give up. She will not let me waste time grousing, and will not let me simply take what’s handed me. No, she goes out there and pushes me through the next door in my path, and if there isn’t one, she FINDS one. Thank you, Charly! And one can simply not survive without a cheerleader and I have one of the best. Thank you, Neva! I love you guys more than I can tell you. You are all three invaluable to me.
  3. Few people keep their promises and though we don’t like that they’re not honoring contracts or aren’t paying us like they should be, we can’t let it destroy our health. I’m learning to believe that Sister Karma bites everyone in the ass eventually. Their time is coming. Of course, the Voodoo doll research might come in handy here as well.
  4. I can still do my beloved needlework. I’ve not even tried to do any in almost  three years since I had a mild stroke. I figured if I, lover of words and trivia, have problems remembering names, dates and events, and can’t find certain words when I need them,  how on earth can I expect to remember how to take string and thread and yarn and create anything beautiful…or even not overly homely? In July, I finished a counted cross-stitch Paula Vaughn piece of a front porch swing. It was not only easy, it turned out very well. In October, I started a sweater for my niece–an intricate, heavily cabled, highly stylized jacket and matching hat. It was completely finished by the first of December, turned out just the way I intended, and not only fit her, but she loved it. And by the week before Christmas, I’d crocheted four purses with basinets and baby dolls inside for my great nieces. So, I consider that a major win.

 

*Side note that only knitters will understand or care about:  I started doing needlework when I was nine years old and after—we’ll just say –many decades of learning and teaching and doing, I would have thought I’d pretty much have learned it all, until Brittney’s sweater. I seldom work with knitting grid patterns, but this time necessity called for it. The intricate cable design worked with decreases from bottom to top, but the pattern grid remained the same size, and equal stitch graph from top to bottom. I discovered “ignore stitch” means exactly that when looking at legended stitches beside little blank squares. It’s all based on lace technique of making wrap stitches, or increases and decreases in the row previous. While it completely freaked out my holey, word-obsessed brain, once I “read” what the grid was saying, I was able to see it and had no problem. The key? TRUST the pattern’s author, because what you’re seeing in the grid, ISN’T what’s actually happening. Now that I’ve completely confused all you non-knitters, I’ll just say this was a monumental moment in my re-establishing my needlework capabilities…and we’ll return to subject at hand.

  1. I am a terrible, horrible, ridiculously BAD blogger. I SAY I’m going to blog every week. I promise my daughter that I’ll blog every week. She even goes so far as to write out little strips of paper with topics so all I have to do on weeks my brain’s not working or I can’t think of a topic, or am just to tired of lazy to come up with, I’ll have a topic at my fingertips. And still I am a horrible blogger. We’ve established I don’t particularly like blogging. And you can look at the few I’ve done and know, I am less than sporadic. Courtney just looks at me and shakes her head. She definitely has a better work ethic than I do. Now that said, her class schedule this next semester leaves me with a LOT less sit-in-the-car-and-wait time and a lot more potential writing time. And since I do have all those lovely colored topic papers, I will have less reason not to blog. Will I be able to push myself to blog more? Well, let’s just say, though I didn’t blog a lot last year, I did blog more than the year before.  So, there’s hope. There is hope.

 

Goodbye 2014. Thank you for the ups and downs, the good things and the bad things and the strength we gained from both. Thank you for the balance. God knows you’ve got to be tired and deserve your rest. 2015, I ask that you help us deal with the bad things some of us are carrying over in to the New Year, and the attention to enjoy all the good that comes our way.

I wish all of you readers love, strength, peace, enough happiness to overshadow whatever trials and sorrows you might face, and as always, enough of everything to make your life a fulfilling and satisfying one.

 

Time to get on with the soup…

The Writing Process Blog Hop


Thanks to Elizabeth Delisi (http://elizabethdelisi.com) for tagging me in The Writing Process Blog Hop. Read about Elizabeth Delisi’s writing process here: http://elizabethdelisi.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-writing-process-blog-hop.html .]

At the end I’ll be tagging a few other authors, so please do follow those links to their blogs and interviews.

 

Purchase any of the books below at  (http://www.ellorascave.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=Sheryl+Hames+Torres)

 

SecretIngridient cover              ENCHANTED HOLIDAYS              One Touch cover

 

Now on with the hop!

 

What am I currently working on?

Oh so many things! LOL I never work on just one story at a time–in fact, I’ve got about ten WIP (works in progress) going on right now.  At present, though, I guess you could say I’m spending more time on a new 4-part series called Bridal Divas!

 

What makes my writing distinctive?

I tend to be a little irreverent. I find humor in the ridiculous, the abstract and things normal people find “everyday”. I completely believe in romance and the Happily Ever After, but I can’t stand taking things at face value, so my stories have a little bit of the “prove it” in them.

 

Why do I write what I write?

Ah, that’s an easy one. I live romance every day. I met my husband almost 34 years ago and married him three years later. Eight and ten years later we had our two incredible children, who’ve kept us constantly surprised and guessing ever since. I completely believe in enduring romance, but at the same time, I know that Happily Ever After is a daily thing–“We lived happily ever after yesterday, what’s today going to be like?”  I KNOW what being in love is, what it feels like, how it keeps you sane when you’re going through the worst things you can ever imagine having to survive. It’s strength and laughter, but it’s weakness and tears too, yet it doesn’t break. Being in love with my husband AND my two children, how could I not add romance to whatever I write?

 

How does the writing process work?

I never considered myself OCD in any way until my daughter accused me of being anal. This was a severe shock coming from her–she meticulously folds grocery bags and organizes my kitchen cabinets weekly. Do you hear me complaining? No. Will you? Never. I thrive in clutter. I can easily live in a house with dust…the needs-to-be-brushed-away kind, as well as my son, Dusty–and be happy with a super clean session once a month. I suppose that comes from growing up with a mother who not raised six kids in a house that looked like no one ever lived there. I live by the motto “she who dies with the most unfinished needlework projects, wins.” So, I’m not in the least anal…

…until it comes to my writing. When I begin a new story, I start with a couple of spiral notebooks, a stack of post it notes and a clean desk. That’s the last moment the desk is clean. By the time I type the first word onto the screen, I have a detailed description of all my characters, including casting photos and a history. Then I plot. Loosely on some scenes, more detail with others. I CANNOT write by the seat of my pants. If the plot veers a little bit, that’s fine, but just sitting down and not knowing where the story is going and letting it unfold as I go…mercy! I’d be all over the place. I look at it like this: I wouldn’t get in my car and drive from Georgia to Oregon without a map. If I see something along the way I’d like to see, I’ll stop, but I have to know the route I’m taking so I can get back on the right road to get where I’m going. Same with my stories.

What next?

LOL. I fix dinner. Himself will be home in an hour. Finish the laundry. Finish reading the last book of the Mortal Instruments series before Saturday. And in the moments in between being a wife and a mama, I work on one of my many stories. I lost my contracts on the other two books I had set for release because my publishing company decided to revamp their mainstream romance department and turn it into a place where old, out-of-print titles by well established authors have a place to retire, so next on my list is to look for a new publisher.

And the journey continues…

 

And now I’d like to tag the following authors. Please visit their blogs to read about their writing processes and please check back here as I will be adding authors over the next week or so.

 

 

Sharron Riddle Houdek     http://riddlemeastory.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

So, Let’s Talk About Reality…or…a day in the life of a klutz.


A mom’s reality. A wife’s reality. A writer’s reality. MY current reality…

For any mother who tells herself that if she quits her outside job, she’ll have more time–or when the kids get into school, she’ll have more time–or when they hit high school, she’ll have more time–or college will mean more time—I dedicate this to you.

In my case, it was, “when Courtney’s semester from hell is over, I’ll have more time for promo and plenty of time to get ready for the 4th of July celebration.” Yeah, right. First I spent three weeks down with severe bronchitis. Then we painted. And painted. And PAINTED. That’s done. The rest of the house that wasn’t going to need much cleaning until the rooms being painted threw up were suddenly a disaster. I’m talking no-surprise-if-we-discovered-a-body-under-the-rubble disaster. By the time I’m done at the end of each day, I’m lucky if I make it to the bed before I fall asleep, so promo has been sparse.

So now, we’re three days away. The house is looking great and we’re down to two major jobs which have to be done tomorrow..the den and the furballs’ room that we jokingly refer to as the laundry room. Shopping is done. Meat ordered. General running on Thursday and a quick and general clean Friday morning and we’re ready.  And what do I go and do? Twist my already bum knee.

So, I’m hobbling through the last of the jobs with the help of my amazing children.  It’ll be the first year we don’t have fireworks since I started hosting this family event, and I’ll probably greet the 30+ guests on crutches but I’m determined to enjoy it!

And after I clean up and sleep all the rest of the day on Saturday, I’ll enjoy the short visit of one of my best friends on Sunday, then I’ll have more time to get back to work doing promo on Monday.

I should have one-and-a-half free months before classes start back that I can devote to promo and edits.

Just think…only one hundred seventy six days until Christmas!

Enjoy the soup!

 

First Official Blog of the New Year According to Courtney


Monday is the beginning of a very long school session for my daughter. An over-achiever, she wasn’t satisfied with two associate degrees (English and Art) so she waited for her college to consolidate with another and offer BA programs. Since she doesn’t drive, a fear left over from a severe childhood illness, and Dahlonega–where the “home campus” –the only campus offering an Art BA–is located–is much too far from our home to drive every day, she has opted for a BA in Writing and Publishing. (Her mama is so proud. LOL) This means classes five days a week for Spring semester, and possibly six days a week for summer semester.

This semester she’s taking four literature courses, therefore has about thirty pieces of required reading. With the exception of the plays of Shakespeare, these are all entire novels. Daunted? Not at all. You should have seen the smile on her face, the glee in her voice as we exited the campus bookstore with two large plastic shopping bags filled to the top with her required books. Overjoyed doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Now, she is usually a purist—one who must OWN a book she’s going to read as opposed to a lowly one who borrows a book from a library. Knowing this, I evilly insist that she accompany me to the library every two weeks where she must endure her peasant mother checking out books. I have to have my glee , too. Besides we do spend a good deal of time and money in actual bookstores. It is my living, after all. However, that being said about her, it isn’t that she thinks it’s beneath her to use library books, only that if a book is worth her time reading, she should own it. I love that about her.

So, you can imagine my surprise when she requested I take her to the library at the beginning of her holiday break to check out about a third of the books on her reading list. Despite the fact that she was on the other end of every job I was doing, plus many of her own, during pre-Spring Semester cleaning, not to mention, Christmas and New Years and being sick for over half of the break, she’s managed to read about nine of the works. Today, she started Wuthering Heights and will be finished in a few hours. (I can feel my dear friend, Pam, cringing from here.)

Still, knowing how much reading she still needs to do, and despite knowing classes start back tomorrow—if it doesn’t snow or ice over since we’re expecting a low of 7*. Yes, you read right. 7* in Georgia—she took hours yesterday creating an entire jar of blogging encouragements.

“Mama, you don’t have to blog every day, but you have to blog at least once a week. You’ve done a lousy job of blogging so far. I’ve made these for you to help you come up with ideas. The reds are questions. The white are idea words. And the blue ones are quotes. You’ll blog once a week. No excuses.”

Et tu Brute?

I raised you, you evil child. You’re not too old for me to spank—to which I received an incredulous look then suffered her raucous laughter. She can’t run, nor can I. She felt safe. So, in deference to her hours of hard work, today, I reach into the elephant jar and pull out the first piece of paper. A red one…

“Why do you write?”

Huh. No crickets. This might not be so hard after all.

I’ve always loved words more than pictures, though, I have always adored pictures. My father worked late most nights, came home when we’d either be getting ready to go to bed, or had just gone to bed. Didn’t matter since I’d get up as soon as I heard the door click open. My tiny brothers would have already gone to sleep, silly things, so this was my ten minutes with Daddy before I had to be a good girl and go back to bed. He’d swoop me way up—I remember hating one of our neighbors when I was four because he proved to me, my dad wasn’t the tallest man in the world—and promptly carry me to the medicine cabinet. I’d pick out a bottle, and the name on the label would be my word to learn to spell by his arrival the next day in order to earn my next word. I still know how to spell Merthiolate! Spell it, not like it. I liked Bactine. Bactine didn’t sting. For the very young uneducated, Merthiolate and Mercurochrome were those antiseptic remedies people used in the olden days. They came in little bottles, with amazing little glass tubes magically fixed to the lid and used to paint, yes, paint the wounds with either reddish or orangeish dye, and stung so badly you wanted to amputate whatever appendage was attached to the bleeding cut or scrape, no matter how small the wound might be. Seems the FDA banned the OTC sales of both of these because of a little poisonous ingredient…mercury. I knew it all the time! I kept saying, “Stop! You’re killing me.” Oh, and I still remember how to spell Mercurochrome.

About this time, I learned that I could make up stories as well as the ones that were read to me by my mother, a voracious reader then and still, God love her. When I’d visit my grandfather, a large—his shoulders went from here to there–weathered man—so many hours spent in the sun, it made me question my fair skin and snow white hair when he had to be Native American–a farmer to the core, who was often spare with his smiles and generous with his hugs and had a laugh that could make the most irritated smile— would plop down in his recliner, pull me onto his knee and request a story. I was all too willing to set down a tale or two. I soon realized I could make up a story and keep my younger brothers entertained for a time and as I grew older I adored the story writing assignments in school.

But what I didn’t enjoy were the words…”and they lived happily ever after.” Excuse me. What the heck does that mean? What happened the next day? And the next? What exactly did they do that ensured their happiness for  the “ever after” part? Why in the world would anyone stop a story??? Say it’s none of my business. Say it’s their private stuff. But don’t hint that they had other adventures after the ones they just shared with me and leave me wondering. None of your business, that I can accept, a bit rude, but well, okay, but how do I know they’re not lying to me???

So, I’d devise a not so happily ever after day as punishment for their rudeness.  Most of them were princesses, however, who lived in castles, and no matter how much their babies spit strained carrots and peas at them or how dirty I got their fancy dresses, they just had servants to come along and clean it all up. It wasn’t very satisfying.

By sixth grade, I started making up scenarios that were “better” than the ones in books I read, and I read a lot. I’d even come up with new characters that were “missing” from those stories, and then, of course, as it always happens, they’d start demanding their own stories. I remember my childhood being full of notebooks…I LOVED getting new spiral notebooks or clipboards, pencils and pens. While I liked my Barbies, I had no idea how to actually play with them. I’d learned to knit and crochet in the third grade, so I dressed them. So, “thank you, but I’d really rather have a book, a notebook, or a record might be nice.” (Thus began the marriage between my writing and listening to different music for each story.) Being grounded…I had a mouth on me…was bliss. Imagine being sent to my room where I’d be surrounded by my books, my writing, my music and be actually allowed to close my door and keep all my little brothers and sisters…out.  Silly parents, if you had really wanted to punish me, you’d have made me play Barbies with them. Oh, wait… maybe they weren’t punishing me after all. Maybe they were believing in me. Hmmm.

So, why do I write, my darling daughter? Because all these characters in my head keep demanding stories of their own, and not writing them out of my head will cause either Schizophrenia, or one of the character torturing me with Merthiolate.  Since I want neither, I write.

One blog down, Courtney, my love.

Seasons of Miracles


It’s the day after Christmas, and I’ve not accomplished much. I’ve done the banking. I’ve straightened up some of the house…not much..still looks like a twister hit a murder scene. I’ll clean it from top to bottom tomorrow, but today, I still don’t care one whit. Today, I am still basking in the joy from yesterday.

The day before yesterday, I blogged about how wonderful our day would be despite all the setbacks we’d had over the last year. Well, it was even better. The thought that went into each gift was extraordinary. My nephew gave my baby sister (the coffee fiend) gourmet coffees and a cup with her childrens’ photo on it and the caption, “keep your hands off my coffee!” Another nephew gave my husband a case of drawing pencils, blenders, snudgers and erasers, simply because he overheard that Mark had started drawing again…something he’s not made time for in almost twenty years. My daughter gets her artistic talent from him and his grandfather. My niece gave me the perfect tote bag large enough to carry my laptop, my notebooks, and whatever else I might need, and an area for my regular “purse stuff” as my great nephew calls it. My sister gave my mother a frame large enough for photos of all the great grandchildren. Like I said, everything was thoughtful, appreciated and, well, perfect. And my nephew announced that next year, there would be TWO new babies to join the family.

But our biggest surprise and greatest gift was the last gift opened at our house Christmas morning. It was preempted by a small, sweetly wrapped box, with a note inside from our son. Dusty wrote about how much he loved us, how much he’d appreciated all we’d done for him, how much his sister’s love meant to him. How much our support had meant to him over the years, and made him into the man he is today. And that he had one more gift for us.

He’s not going into the Army…or any other branch of the service…trust me, I asked.  LOL He’s decided his life isn’t bleak or hopeless. He’s got dreams he isn’t ready to turn loose of, people in his life he’s not ready to let go of, and germs of plans he wants to cultivate. I admit, I did the silly mama thing and burst into tears. I know he might get a job someday five thousand miles from home, but while I’ll miss him if he does, I’m okay with that. I know my daredevil son. His feet haven’t been on the ground for an entire day since he learned to jump. He jumps off buildings. He will likely take up bungee jumping, base jumping, sky diving, race car driving. He’s young and as long as I don’t have to know until after he’s safely back on stable ground, I’m good.

So, it’s been almost thirty-three hours since his announcement, and except for a scant seven hours when I was asleep, I’ve had a really hard time being able to pull my lips over my teeth. I am a happy mama. Tonight, I write, try to finish my last chapter in this draft of my novel. Tomorrow, my kids and I will put on some very loud, Kick-ass-clean-up-the-house music and scrub down the house so we’re ready for the next eight months when I won’t be home much. Tomorrow night, I will make a big dinner…holy cow! Everyone will actually be home for dinner. After I will work on the last half of another novel to keep myself from starting on the last edits due to the publisher in March. For the first time in weeks, I FEEL like writing. Imagine, miracles do happen. LOL

Heck, this is the third blog in a month!!! I’m ready to face the new year!