Welcome. This blog was started three years ago by four aspiring writers who are now three published authors of novels and short stories (Barbara Elsborg, Dawn Jackson, Arlene Webb) and one multiple award-winning writer (Laurie Green). We blog to keep readers updated on our new releases or other random topics. We hope you enjoy your stay. :] Coffee?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The day after Christmas

It's a bit like a hangover on your pocketbook. It's painful and you don't remember where all your money went. You just have these flashbacks...

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. I sat around and ate, and read, and ate some more. Christmas was a day of doing absolutely nothing and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Mr. Santa was good to me. Got me everything a girl could want. A heavy bag and fingerless sparring gloves. Ah the romance. I'm so excited. I've been nagging him since I opened them to hang the bag so I can kick it and punch it. He said he'd do it tonight. Gawd, I love that man.

It's back to work. Argh... Year end tax reporting and all. Have a feeling I'm going to need that heavy bag tonight. Time to stop being lazy and get back to picking away at the re-write I stalled out on too. Sigh.

Have a great day and Happy Day After.

Monday, December 24, 2007

One of My Favorite Christmas Songs

Colorado Snow

Looking out the window of this hollywood hotel,
You’d never know that it was christmas eve.
The billboards and the neon took the place of silver bells,
And the temperature is 84 degrees.

I can hear the traffic on the crowded strip below
As the palm trees poke their heads above the scene
There’s not a single reindeer and it hardly ever snows,
And santa drives a Rolls Royce limosine.

But all along the Rockies
You can feel it in the air

From Telluride to Boulder down below
The closest thing to heaven on this planet anywhere
Is a quiet christmas morning
in the Colorado snow


I remember christmases when I was just a boy
In the morning I would run to see the tree.
And the carolers on the hillside sang their songs of christmas joy
Well, I always thought they sang them just for me.

Now the sun is setting in the california sky
And I cant find the spirit anywhere
So I think it’s time for me to tell Los Angeles goodbye
I’m going back home to look for Christmas there

But all along the Rockies
You can feel it in the air

From Telluride to Boulder down below
The closest thing to heaven on this planet anywhere
Is a quiet Christmas morning
In the Colorado snow


--Nitty Gritty Dirt Band



New Mexico Snowfall
January 2005
Rising Star Ranch

Happy Holidays.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Some thoughts...

Some sad news came to me last night. My husband's Uncle Tim, who is in his mid-forties was just diagnosed with liver cancer. It's pretty bad, five tumors. He's at the hospital right now and they are treating him for the pain. Of all my husband's family, and there are a lot of them, from his mother to his father including the grandparents, Tim is the one that made me feel most welcome when I first married my husband 17 years ago. At every family party and get together we chat. He's also the only one that has asked about my writing, what I've done, how it's coming along. An encouraging friend. Someone I care a great deal for.

When my Mother-in law told me last night, I had flashbacks to three years ago and my father's cancer. I got a call at three in the morning, the kind you all hope you never get, from my mother. They were rushing my father up to Denver, not sure he'd make it through the night. I live on the East coast and the trip was an 8 hour flight. Believe me, I've flown it many times and never has it been that long... I didn't know what was wrong with him at the time, just that he was sick and I might not make it in time.

In a time when family needs to be strong, mine fell apart. My sister who is bi-polar started having issues with her health and came close to going in the hospital several times during this time. My brother became instant a**hole, and wouldn't go to the hospital and refused to help. Staying home to work. I know it was his way of dealing with it, but it just lumped more on my shoulders.
My mother. The minute she heard it was cancer, she dropped to the floor and began to cry. She curled up in his chair for three days, a zombie and cried till her eyes swelled shut. Everything was left up to me, in a time when I'd like to have curled into a ball and cried myself.

They took my father into that hospital on a stretcher, the cancer was wrapped around his spine, causing the lower body organs to shut down. He had lost all ability to use his legs. What was killing him wasn't the cancer, but the poisoning of his own waste.

To make a long story short, a year after the ordeal, my father was on the reservoir in Pueblo water skiing. A testimony to all that you can beat it.

There are things that happen in our lives that define who we are. There are times we have to reach down and grab everything we have and fight. My father fought for his life. I fought to get him treated. You see, three weeks before he became sick, he was laid off from the construction company he'd worked for. Without insurance, living on Ramen noodles and beans, things were tight for my parents. My mother was mowing lawns to pay the bills, just to keep their heads above water.

Once the hospital treated him for the immediate threat, the toxins from the waste backup, they were going to release him. They knew he had cancer and needed treatment, but my parents didn't have insurance. We turned to the V.A. My father is an Air Force Veteran. It wasn't a war related illness, so they intially refused. A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into the process of getting him help. There were times when I didn't think I was going to be able to get him the help. I had door after door, slammed in my face. At the end of ten days of not getting anywhere, and my father on the cusp of being released, I collapsed in the sitting area in the V.A. and cried.

If it wasn't for a kind man, a staff member who pushed paper and processed medical bills, my father would never have received the treatment he needed. He got an application of hardship pushed through, and my father was transfered instead of released.
The doctors at the VA treated my father for cancer, but one staff member, a man who pushed paper, saved my father's life.

This holiday season, be thankful to the Doctors and those that treat us when we are sick, the soldiers who serve in the armed forces and the men and women in uniform that keep us safe at home. But also... be thankful for the little guys, they may not get the glory, but many are unsung heros.

Tim is in the same situtation and can't afford the treatments he needs. I'm going to the hospital today, to see if we can get Tim the help he needs. This time, I know my way around the system.
Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Eternal Embrace


Found in Italy, this couple has been in an embrace for 5-6 thousand years. Little is known of them. What was the manner of death? Were they a doomed Romeo and Juliet, so in love one couldn't live without the other? Why were they buried like this? Many ask what inspires me. It is things like this... Life inspires me.
This my friends, is a love story.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Some Monday morning thoughts.

Here on the East coast we were pounded by a big Nor'easter this weekend. I spent Sunday afternoon, shoveling out of two feet of snow, painting, and doing some critiques of several friend's Manuscripts.

The issue of word count came up in a discussion with one of the writers. She's marketing her first novel at 125k. Through our conversations, she mentioned that the plot is woven so tightly, cutting it will be almost impossible. We discussed chopping it in two and going with a series. It is a series already, and book two is well on its way to being as large as number one.
The writer explained that by breaking it in two, the ending would feel unfinished, leaving the reader hanging. Not good. So again, that was out of the question.

Then I mentioned the first novel of Diana Gabaldon. Diana lightly touches on this very issue in the acknowledgments of her first novel "Outlander." It has 850 pages and is over twice the size of a first time novel. Instead of cutting, chopping and destroying text, she rolled with it and found someone that was willing to work with her. That someone, has sold many more novels for her, all just as sizable and Diana, she's a New York Times Bestseller.

So, for you Epic writers, don't lose heart. A larger Manuscript may be harder to sell, but in the end the sell boils down to a couple of things.

1. How good is your writing?
2. How bad do you want your novel published?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Technical Difficulties

Our header seems to be a bit askew. Not sure how that happened, but I see Blogger has tweaked things a bit. I'll see if I can fix it, or find a new one. Probably time to redecorate anyhow. :)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Let's Say Thanks

I received this in an email at work and wanted to pass it on. The link below carries a selection of cards designed by children throughout the U.S. Choose a card, select a greeting, and hit send. The card will be delivered to a member of our armed forces serving overseas. It's quick, it's easy and it might mean a lot to someone to know their service is valued.

http://www.letssaythanks.com/Home1280.html

I'd like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the many men and women in our military who are away from home, family and friends this holiday season serving their country.

I'd also like to acknowledge our "at home heroes"--our law enforcement officers--and the service they provide to their communities and their country. They, too, often must be away from family during the holidays, because their jobs can never be put on hold.

Thanks to all the heroes at Christmas and always.

Hi Ya, Lee.

Thanks to Lee for popping by and saying hello. Come by and visit any time. I have to say I enjoyed your book a great deal. Lot's of good stuff in there. I was looking for a well rounded book on police investigation, and you certainly delivered.

For all those Peeps and Diggers out there, looking for something that will clarify some of the finer points in police investigations, that you just can't seem to dig up in your research, this book is a great little research tool. I even caught my teenage son looking through it. Curiosity, I'm sure. I don't think he's up to no good. **Crosses fingers**

Uh, rambling again. As I was saying, lots of good stuff in there. Little details make the difference. A perfect example, is that he even gives you the brand names of the bone saws often used in autopsies. How sweet is that?
For those of you that missed it, the book is called "Police Procedure & Investigation" by Lee Lofland. One to add to your research pile...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy Holidays

From Take it to the Stars

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Let me take a minute.

Let me take just a mushy minute to say how thankful I am to have such great peers.
No, really. In the past year, I have met some aspiring, some published, some established and some just great writers. We all have one thing in common. Our love of writing and telling stories. From Vampires to Starship Captains, I've seen imagination stretched to its limits, and beyond.

Getting to know you has been a blast, and I hope it continues to be, in this journey of creativity.

In this last year, a couple of my peers have stuck with me through meltdown, burnout, bad writing and getting a WIP on its feet. As Laurie once said, "I heart my Peers,.." and I do.
Talk about Karma, great things are coming back to you ladies threefold... Hang on, it's going to be one hell of a ride.

That being said, I'm going back to my rewrites...
Have a fantastic weekend.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Bah, humbug!

Christmas. Presents. Nightmare. I just popped out to buy awkward child a present he can take all the way to LA so he has something to open on Christmas Day at his girlfriend's parents' house. I had to forgo the usual rubbish I buy that makes us all laugh and get something respectable. A shirt. So exciting. But I made a HUGE mistake. I took my husband shopping. Well, he decided he'd come too when he saw me pick up the car keys. What should have been a quick trip took an hour because everything I picked up he objected to. I wouldn't mind so much but husband is no great shakes in the present buying department. Supermarket vouchers are par for the course. One year I got a set of dusters. Another year an electric drill. Well, you can guess who that was for. What usually happens is that every large purchase made after September, he says is for Christmas. New toaster. That's your Christmas present. New rug. Happy Christmas. I'd just love a real surprise one year. Never going to happen.
This year, I've bought him a night vision scope thingy. That's so he can watch the alligator in the lake at the back of our Florida home and not so he can spy on the neighbours. I bet he takes it back. (Particularly if he can't spy on the neighbours) It so hard to think of things he might like, but I somehow manage it. It's his birthday next week too, so I have double the problem. What do you get the man who has everything, including a wonderful wife?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Uh, George Clooney

Just had to give it one more shot. The Google alert does work. Susan comes by to visit anytime you mention her name. Kind of like a Fairy Godmother. And I didn't ask, but I have to wonder if Linnea's got the Google alert too.
So here goes. Three times and I click my Nike sneakers together... Only cause I don't know the "Bippty do" song from Cinderella, so work with me here. Okay?

George Clooney, George Clooney, George Clooney.

Uh and here's a couple more, just in case... Gerard Butler and Rufus Sewell.