Thank you all for your many votes for my cover for Kate’s House in Author Shouts’ Cover Wars. I’m thrilled you love it as much as I do, and Carol Fiorillo deserves so much praise for her talent. (She’s a sweetheart, too.) Please go to authorshout.com and click the Cover Wars tab at the top and keep voting. Four more days. One vote per day. Thank you again and sending big hugs.
Fourth question for Author, Sheryl Hames Torres: Do you work any reality from your own life into your novels? If so, do you change it to make it more or less dramatic? How and why?
I’ve never heard that Peter Benchley ever out-swam big sharks, or William Peter Blatty had a family member whose hobby was spinning her head around, or for that matter that Michael Crichton grew dinosaurs in his backyard. However, like actors draw on events in his/her life to reflect emotion in a script, so does an author have to be able to connect with something in their lives to make his/her stories real.
In most of my stories you’ll find children because I believe they are the extensions of love, of growth and survival. I know what it’s like to love a child with the very essence of my cells, be terrified while praying like a manic priest the kid lands on his feet with his ankles still intact when he’s done taking flying flips off buildings.If there’s an argument between a married or dating couple I know just how to make him stubborn, and how far she can grind her teeth before she decides to thump him in the forehead. LOL I know what spring air/rain tastes like, what fall smells like. I know from spending July in Georgia what the backdoor of hell feels like, and I know claustrophobia from being stuck indoors for a couple of days when 3 feet of that horrible white stuff falls even though it’s not supposed to blanket Georgia backyards. So I put as much of that as I can in my stories.
(or…The Countdown to a MUCH Better Summer…)
It’s eleven-forty-five on the first Saturday morning in almost four months that my family has been able to sleep in, and up until about fifteen minutes ago, my house has been so quiet. Everyone (including the fur balls and except Dusty) are just now waking up. It’s the next to the last official weekend of summer, and I stand and wave it off as thrilled to see it go as houseguests who’ve overstayed their welcome.
I thought it’d never leave!
I have to say, after Spring Semester…yes, in our house we tend to count time passage in terms of semesters…which will forever be thought of as the Semester From Hell, I had such high hopes for the summer. Best laid plans and all that. Since mid-May my husband has had a total of seven days off. Seven. SEVEN days out of the last one hundred ten to sixteen hour a day, the majority of which were at least twelve hours long. He comes home, smiles at me and says, “I remember you. You’re that girl who I see when I turn over in the middle of the night.” To say he’s exhausted would earn me the lifelong title, The Queen of the Understatement.
The beginning of summer involved bouts of near pneumonia for my daughter and I, then right into weeks of redecorating, followed by an exhausting but wonderful Fourth of July celebration with my family here at the house—one of Mark’s seven days off. I came out of that hectic pace oddly energized and ready to work, only to be informed that my publisher was restructuring their lines and was pulling two of the three book contracts I’d been recieved at the beginning of the year.
So instead of spending the latter half of the summer kicking butt editing those two books, I was thrown into a state of hardly wanting to turn on my computer. I got a lot of Words With Friends and Farmville 2 done. I guess that’s something.
Now, we are back into the school schedule. My daughter is overjoyed with her schedule and her classes. My son is back in college—Thank You, Jesus!—and loving it!—thank You again. My husband’s work schedule is winding down to some semblance of a normal human’s work schedule, and we can all say goodbye and good riddance to a very long, very dull summer. We have gone nowhere, done nothing since the Fourth, except an occasional spur-of-the-moment lunch out and one movie where the lead actress spent the entire film time staring at Tom Cruise with slack-jawed expressions that had she realized they made her so very closely resemble a camel, she would certainly have rethought the entire thing.
My husband and daughter have this weekend off. My son works all night tonight and until midnight tomorrow night, so the next two days will be spent catching up on sleep—and listening to Courtney hum while she cheerfully diagrams 50+ word sentences. (No, I didn’t drop her on her head as a baby, but I am wondering if it is a genetic condition for which there is funding or a study.) Next weekend, however, we have a three-day weekend. I will be turning off all cell phones, cross my fingers that Dusty can get Monday off, and we will head to the Smokies for a day of some much needed inspiration and rejuvenation. Miracles have always happened for us up in those mountains. Maybe when we get back, I’ll have found my missing motivation to write again. Who knows?
What I do know is I’m so ready for Fall Soup.
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!