Tag Archive | spring

“Cove Soup”


It’s a new year. Spring is on its way…though the weather here in Georgia has been…erratic. My daughter and I have been sick with upper respiratory since Thanksgiving. I was even pretty close to deaf for a month and a half.

But now we’re well-er.

It’s time to get back to work. It’s so hard to put your all into your work when you feel like you just want to stay in bed. Add that to this being Courtney’s last semester of college and all that goes with that, and her last magazine and all that goes with that, I’ve been in the car a LOT.

So, again, it’s time to get back to work.

As writers, we get to play creator. We build our characters, their lives, their worlds, and of course, something of ourselves–or someone we know–seeps into their personalities. But their worlds are a little more difficult.

We can sit still and look out our window and create from that, or travel a bit and set it somewhere we find interesting. But what happens if what we see isn’t what’s in our imagination. Unless we’re writing Fantasy or SciFy, or we’ve “seen” our character’s world in some tv show, movie, etc. making up the world can be a bit less than realistic.

This is what I’ve run into while trying to build Moonlight Cove, the mountain village where I’ve set my new contemporary series, Happily Ever After. I could see the village. I kind of knew where it would need to be–I knew I’d even seen bits of pieces of it before, but I had no idea where it was.

So, I began making soup.

Have you ever made soup on a cold, wet and blustery day? I’m not talking about opening a can of Campbell’s or adding meat to Soup Starter, but real soup–the kind where you start grabbing things out of the fridge and pantry and putting together a hearty, rich, bubbly pot of soup. The kind you eat with crusty bread and homemade parmesan crisps and drink Southern iced tea so sweet it makes your hair curl.

Well, that’s how Moonlight Cove was born. I took photos and film snippets that I’d taken on day trips around North Georgia and spliced them all together to create my “Cove Soup.”

Moonlight Cove is a make believe village nestled in North Georgia. The town limits run along a five mile stretch of divided highway, split by a white water stretch of river. A couple bridges cross the river to connect the two halves of the town built at the bases and up the sides of two mountains, Us Mountain and Them Mountain.

The people of the Cove live together as family, and like most families, they have squabbles, and friendships, and secrets, love each other and will fight fiercely for each other. Moonlight Cove is a strong and protective member of this family.

SOMETHING BORROWED,  book one of the HEA series comes out from Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. and Amazon.com on March 12, 2016. I hope you find yourselves deliciously lost in the Cove like I’ve been while writing.

Join us and be part of the soup…

 

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Author Interview fourth question


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.

KatesHouseCoverArt72dpi      IllusionsCoverArt72dpi    Kate’s House and Illusions now available at Amazon.com

Epic blogging failure?


Happy Easter…

Remember back in January I said I’d be blogging every week? Remember I said my daughter made all those wonderful little blogging topics? I’ll bet you’re wondering right now whether it surprises you most that I am blogging tonight, just after midnight on April 20, 2014, or that it’s not December 31, 2014. I’ll bet further, that this all looks like one of my typical blogging epic failures.

Not….

Just after I posted my blogging orders from Courtney, I received a lovely surprise—a three book deal from Blush. So, I spent the next five weeks rewriting the first book, the second five weeks finishing and editing the third book, and the next three weeks redoing portions and editing the second book. Since then, I’ve been sleeping. ;-D

The first book, SECRET INGREDIENT will be released on May 29, 2014. I’m thrilled and hope you will be pleased as well.

Easter. Spring. New beginnings. It’s taken me a long time to get back to work, but I’m ready now.

When will my next blog entry be? Hmm…well, Courtney’s semester ends around the first week in May. I should be able to squeeze one in between now and then. You know, after Easter and before painting the living room and my bedroom. (Mark chose the colors…we’ll call it wine for the bedroom and something called mushroom for our bath. Shall we take bets on how long it’ll be before he wakes up screaming that he’s sleeping in a hot pink room and discovers that mushroom is what the paint industry named the color to confuse poor men into thinking it’s not pink?)

Until then, have a wonderful Spring, dear readers!

 

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.

Happy New Year…


What a lovely week I’ve had…busy beyond belief, but simply wonderful. The end of November all the way through most of December up to Christmas day, I existed. I breathed, I ate, didn’t sleep much, operated on auto pilot. Then my son announced he’d changed his mind about the ARMY. He’s got other plans and while he may jump off buildings, flip over cars, learn to race cars, I think I’ll survive those. We’ve worked on pre-spring semester cleaning and the house shines. I’ve finished the first draft of my book.

Now it’s New Year’s Eve. I have my husband home. He brought home dinner so I didn’t have to cook. You’ve got to love a man like that. My daughter is home, relaxed and watching her favorite old show. My son and his beautiful girlfriend are here. We’re all well, and actually looking forward to the new year.

2014…So what will be different? We’ll still have bills. We’ll still have work and things we don’t much like doing. Things in this world will continue to get better and worse. But right now, tonight, the coming year looks and feels new. Sparkly. Clean.

We make resolutions we’ll never keep. I resolve to eat less potato chips, and for about a month maybe, I’ll keep the resolution, then I’ll remember I like potato chips and get a little bag… and the resolution dies a fiery death.

It seems, though, that I have task masters. I have Neva and Junie who cheer me on. I have Charly and Pam to make sure I don’t stop writing until I reach the end. And I have Courtney, my daughter, who informed me today, that now that I’ve started blogging, I’m not to stop. In fact, I have to write a blog once a week. Excuse me? Has she met me? The fact that I’ve managed 4, count them, 4 blogs in the  month of December, notwithstanding, my blogs are usually a year apart. But she has informed me she’s not going to give me a chance to fail. She will be creating 52 individual slips of folded paper, each with a word or phrase that will inspire me to blog. I dont’ have to blog solely about that topic, but must incorporate the topic into the blog. Now, I must warn you, these topics could be odd…she does like to challenge her mother, and I do like to rise to those challenges.

So, I have my husband who makes sure I am prepared and have everything I need, in working order, to succeed, my daughter who challenges me, my son who keeps me breathing, my cheerleaders, my urgers…my task masters, how can I fail? So my 2014 resolution? Not to let any of them down.

I wish each and every one of you enough of everything you need in the coming bleached white new year, most of all, safety, love, happiness and good health.

Happy New Year!