Posted in Blogging, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Wednesday Whatever!, writing

Wednesday Whatever!

Wednesday

 

 

I was trying to think of something to write today and couldn’t. My mind was blank. Then I saw this blog post come up in my email box (this one)

I like the blog, I subscribed to this blog and I enjoy reading it whenever one of the authors put out a post. You should read it. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Ok, for those of you too lazy to go read it (ha!) Michael Helms, who by the way is a very good writer, asks, ‘when is an author an Author? Then he goes on to explain that he read an e-book that he felt was terrible. It was short, so it wasn’t even technically a novel, it was also badly (if at all) edited. So does this make the person who published it an author? He says, no. And I agree with him. It doesn’t make a person an author if all they publish is a bad short story. That’s not the reason I’m writing about it.

The reason I’m writing about it and pointing the post out is this……..

Am I an author? Or just a wannabe? Or maybe I’m ‘just a writer’.

You see, I’m not against what Michael says in his post. I’m more challenging some of the comments on the post. It’s the age-old debate…..does self-publishing make you an author or someone who just self-published? And if a writer puts out a book that isn’t professionally edited with a professional book cover does this automatically make it a bad book?

As most of you know my books were NOT professionally edited nor do they have professional book covers. Although I must admit I think the kind friend who did my book cover could be a professional at book covers. Anyway, the point being….does not having ‘professionals’ involved in the process make it a bad book? Automatically?

I think what got to me the most about Michael’s post was it hit a nerve with me. It hit my self-doubt button. That sucker is never far from the surface anyway.

 

Writer-

 

Am I an author? Or just a wannabe? Am I a fake because I self-publish?

In my comment to the post, I admitted that I did not have professionals involved in the process of publishing my books. Not because I didn’t want to. Because I’m a poor person. I just don’t have the money to hire professionals. Which brings me to another question. Are you a ‘professional’ just because you get paid to do something? I imagine you must have experience too. The couple of people who helped me edit my books are not paid to edit. But, one is a writer with many books under her belt and one was a teacher for most of his life. Does not THAT make them ‘professionals’?

Besides, I’ve seen traditionally published books with lots of editing mistakes. Does that discount their professionalism?

I’ve been having lots of problems getting my third book going. I have self-doubts as I mentioned. I am tired most of the time…….I could make dozens of excuses as to why I’m not writing. The bottom line is the doubt. Am I a writer? An author? Or a fake?

I know this feeling will pass. At least I hope it will. It’s not Michael’s fault that his article brought up these feelings. Nor the commentators on his post. It’s all mine. I own it.

Do I have to be traditionally published to be taken seriously as a writer? Some would answer that last question with a resounding yes. Why? Because that’s how it’s always been done? Times change folks. I’m old, but not too old to change with the times. Self-publishing is not a bad thing and yes it’s here to stay. Get used to it.

Now all I have to do is get myself in gear again and start writing, whether I’m an author or not. Because I refuse to let my fears or other’s opinions keep me from my dreams.

 

 

What’s your take on this debate?

 

Posted in Blogging, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life, Wednesday Whatever!

Wednesday Whatever!

My friend Mer over at Knocked over by a feather did this 50 list post where she posted 50 little things about herself most people wouldn’t know. I told her I was going to steal the idea. So here I am….stealing. 😉

I’m not sure what I could possibly tell you that might be interesting or that you might want to know. ha! Goodness, most of you that have been here for a while know a lot about me already but I will try to come up with something new.

 

download

 

  1. I never drank coffee until I was in my late twenties. I loved the smell of brewing coffee back then but hated the taste.
  2. I started smoking cigarettes at the age of nine. Stopped on and off throughout the years, finally quit for good in 2007.
  3. I’m allergic to spider webs. Not the spiders themselves. To their webs. They secrete a protein when they make their webs and that’s what I’m allergic to. I get red itchy welts wherever my flesh has touched one.
  4. I almost got fired from my first job because I refused to give to the Salvation Army. I had read an article back then that stated the donations we gave mostly went to pay salaries of their Board of Directors than to actually helping people. So on principle, I refused to give. My supervisor tried to blackmail me into giving as I was the only one in my department that didn’t give. I dared them to fire me. They didn’t.
  5. I kissed a girl. I was young and wanted to know what it was like.
  6. I use sarcasm as a shield so no one knows how shy I really am.
  7. I don’t wear jewelry. Ever.
  8. I’ve never been baptised. My parents didn’t believe in teaching us kids any one particular religion. They told us to explore. So I did. I have been to lots of different churches. Even Jehovah Witness’. I have come to my own way of believing which leans more toward Wicca and Native American.
  9. I once lived with my ex, his girlfriend, and her daughter because I had nowhere else to live. It only lasted a couple of months before they moved out while I was at work. With all my stuff. Except my clothes, bed, one chair and a tv tray.
  10. My favorite vegetable is asparagus. (Mer and I have great taste!)
  11. The vegetable I hate is peas. With lima beans right there with it.
  12. I’m allergic to beets.
  13. I went through menopause in my early 30’s and would lose my temper so badly that all I could see literally was red. It scared me, then depressed me.
  14. I had an affair with a married man.
  15. I had nightmares for a month after seeing the movie ‘The Exorcist’.  Yes, I read the book too. To this day, I don’t watch horror movies. Or read horror books.
  16. I have never broken a bone.
  17. When I was a teenager I developed ulcers because of my mom. We had a tumultuous relationship.
  18. I love lemons.
  19. I taught myself to type. I now type over 60 wpm.
  20. I hate talking on the telephone and will avoid it whenever possible.
  21. My two best friends are ladies I have never met in person but I know I could tell them anything without them judging me. I trust them.
  22. I never wanted kids.
  23. I never wanted to get married.
  24. Both marriages came about because I was ‘pushed’ into them. Otherwise, I would  have been quite content just living with them without the paperwork.
  25. I have never been on a motorcycle.
  26. I am the only one in my immediate family who has attended a college.
  27. I taught myself to paint.
  28. I used to sell my hand painted items in the Dallas Market Center. 
  29. I never tried pot until I was in my late 40’s. Didn’t try it again.
  30. I’m scared of the dark
  31. I haven’t had my hair cut since 2006.
  32. I used to faint at the sight of needles. Now I’m a diabetic. Karma sucks sometimes.
  33. I am a food addict.
  34. I have never seen a Stars Wars film
  35. I have never read a Harry Potter book
  36. I don’t like chick films
  37. I always wished I looked more like my Native American mother than my German father
  38. I still resent my family for not telling me my dad died until months after, nor letting me say good-bye
  39. I love Mexican food and wish someone would smuggle some to me.
  40. I never wear long sleeve shirts
  41. I hate sweaters
  42. I always wanted to own a mastiff dog
  43. or a pet dragon
  44. I lost all my body hair (except on my head and face) more than 20 years ago
  45. I haven’t shaved my legs or armpits since because of it, I haven’t had to as no hair grows there
  46. I’m not afraid of dying, I’m afraid of HOW I will die
  47. Nothing shocks me anymore, lived too much, seen too much
  48. I have never had a birthday party and I’m going to be 61
  49. I don’t mind getting older anymore (I used to!) because now I can say whatever I want and get away with it.
  50. Someone sent me my ex’s Facebook page last week…..yup, I looked

 

Whew!!
Whew!!

 

Some of this might come as a surprise. I hope I have given you some new stuff about me that you didn’t know before. For some of you new people it gives you a chance to know me more than you probably wish. ha!

Maybe some of you feel inspired to do a list of your own. Let me know if you do!

Thanks Mer for the idea! ❤

 

 

Posted in Blogging, Fiction, Humor, postaday, Wednesday Whatever!

Wednesday Whatever!

I’d like to introduce everyone to Aunt Maimie. Now, Aunt Maimie is the relative we all have in our family tree. You know the one. She’s the one that’s a bit…eccentric. A bit weird. A bit loud. A bit outspoken.

The other thing about Aunt Maimie is that you really don’t mind listening to her advice because it’s given with good intentions. Her heart is well-meaning, even if her stories sometimes go off track a bit.

Aunt Maimie is a widowed woman of undetermined age. She could be anywhere from fifty to ninety years old. All I know is she has been around forever and never seems to change much. She wears bright red lipstick. In fact, I have never seen her without her signature red lips and cat-eye shaped glasses.

She loves to tell stories. The stories all have one thing in common. Aunt Maimie. Her life. What she’s learned and is now passing on to you.

So without further ado…I give you…Aunt Maimie!

 

Aunt Maime's

 

Aunt Maimie’s Unsolicited Advice on Life, Love and Other Assorted Things

 

Never hook up with a ‘Mama’s Boy’. Trust me on this one, my pets. Long ago when I was young and naïve I did that very same thing.

Of course, it didn’t last long. It was doomed from the start. He was also thirteen years my senior. Can you imagine? Sure, I was young and looking for adventure. I thought an older man would give me some stories to tell when I got older.

Well, he did that! Just not in  the way he nor I would have wanted. So, I’m warning you. Do NOT hook up with a Mama’s boy!

I’m not going to tell you how I got to know this man. No, no. Some things a lady should keep private. Anyway, it only lasted six months. A tiny amount of time in my life.

He took me far away from my boring life and into his boring life. I have to laugh at that one, my pets. Oh my, yes.

Now his mother was this red-headed witch of a woman. She hated me on sight. I didn’t know he lived with his mother until it was too late. So there I was, ensconced in her home and in her life and in her son’s bed.

In all honesty, she never saw us in bed. I had my own room. He had his and she had hers. As soon as she left in the mornings for work, there he was, sliding into bed with me to have his fun. Ah, I was so young. I soon learned he not only left out the odd bit of him living with his mother, he also left out the bit about him being a jackass.

You see, my pets. He was also divorced with a teenage son. Seems he left out a lot of things about himself. His son was a good kid. I met him a few times during my brief stay. I liked him more than his father. Ha!

Now back to his mother. She was a hateful woman. Full of bitterness and anger at the world. She worked as a waitress in one of the restaurants at the airport. She loved her son….I mean she worshiped the man. It was unhealthy what was between them. What made it much stranger was she had two other children. Both nice people.

This one, though, she treated differently. Gives me the creeps just thinking about it all these many years past. Ok, let’s just skip that.

This woman had the cutest little dog. A Yorkie. Tiny little thing. Never could get friendly with the animal, though. He stayed hidden away most of the time. Unless the wicked witch was home. I quickly learned the reason why. This man was mean to it! I once heard him kick the little fellow clear across the room! That’s when I decided to start making plans to leave. I never could abide a person who was mean to animals.

Over the months I was there the mother grew more and more hateful toward me. I had less and less respect for the man and his mother. We disagreed about a lot of things. The man and I. The mother wouldn’t interfere, she managed to do her damage in other ways.

I do not believe in violence, my pets. I’m a peace-loving soul. This man made me resort to violence. One time only but still….it wasn’t pleasant and I still cannot believe I did it.

You see, he called your Aunt Maimie a nasty name during one of our….um…disagreements! Yes, he did. Well now, I couldn’t stand for that. So I sort of slapped him. Granted it was with a closed hand. I didn’t even know I was going to do it. He called me that vile name and I just turned around and decked him. Didn’t realize I had it in me. The look on his face while he was holding his sore jaw was almost worth it.

But, no, no, no. I do not approve of violence to resolve your difficulties. So take heed, my pets. Don’t do what I did.

I was so bored living there I used to go out for long walks. By myself. I would walk to the stores or just around the neighborhood. Got me some good exercise, I did. One benefit of that is I became quite fit, not that I needed to, mind you. It was just something to do to get out of that house.

Now back to his mama. That woman got to the point where she refused to feed me! Yes, she did. She told her son that I was his responsibility. To either send me back where I came from or feed me himself. Now I tell you, is that any way to treat someone? No, it isn’t. So I would walk to the grocery store every few days and spend what small amount of money I had to buy me a package of bologna and a loaf of bread.

That’s pretty much what I ate for those six months. Bologna and bread! Not a diet I would recommend, my pets. No, no. I was a proud woman and refused to ask for food. I wasn’t working, there were no jobs around and believe me, I looked.

I got my revenge on the mama one day. I still laugh about it all these many years later. Small of me, I’m sure. One rare occasion, she was being pleasant and she showed me a picture of herself when she was my age. Early twenties or so. She was beautiful. I had to admit that as much as it pains me to. She had glorious red hair back then and beautiful blue eyes. I looked at that picture and looked at her sitting across from me with the bitterness showing in her face and the meanness of her soul shining in her eyes and I said……”You used to be beautiful! What happened?”

Yes, I said it out loud! Oh, my. I was so young and naïve. It just burst out of my young mouth. Ah, to be so young and innocent again.

Well, my pets, I’m sure you can guess what happened after that incident. She became my mortal enemy after that day.

As for me, I couldn’t get out of that noxious home fast enough. So with what little money I had left I bought a bus ticket out of there!

No, I didn’t go home. I went and visited a relative in another state and there my pets is a whole different story! My life was just beginning to open up to many more of its lessons.

So do what your Aunt Maimie advises and don’t hook up with a mama’s boy! It will just lead to all sorts of trouble.

 

 

 

Do you have any questions about life, love or other assorted things you want to ask Aunt Maimie? Please do! Aunt Maimie will answer your questions in a later post and of course give you credit! Don’t be shy. She really is harmless….sort of. 

 

 

Posted in Blogging, Mi Vida Loca, My Incomplete List of Small Pleasures, nonfiction, postaday

My Incomplete List of Small Pleasures

Hello, People!

Because so many bloggers do a thankful Thursday post, which I thoroughly enjoy reading, I thought I would do one of my own. I’m calling it ‘My Incomplete List of Small Pleasures’.

I saw this title somewhere one day and wrote it down and I really like the Lemony Snicket type feel to it. Another reason why I like the title is my small pleasures change all the time. It changes daily, hourly, even minutely. One hour I could be having a shit day and the next something small gives me a smile and makes the day better instantly. I love those instances.

It’s also true that when you start listing things that make you happy or gives you pleasure you just can’t help but appreciate them more. One also starts to feel better. I may even make this a weekly series here. What do  you think?

So for today, here is my incomplete list of small pleasures. Please feel free to steal this idea and post your own list! Just let me know so I can read it!

smallpleasureslist

 

  • My dog Sam who makes me smile every day. He’s a character.
  • coffee, the smell, the taste, especially first thing in the morning.
  • writing, putting words together to make a story come alive.
  • friends, they make me smile all the time as they are such giving, wonderful people (you know who you are!)
  • Sunshine, makes these old bones feel good and never fails to make me feel cheery
  • clouds, they make my imagination soar
  • coke zero…..ahhhhhh
  • colors, whether they be on clothes, pencils, crayons, anything really. Bright, bold colors
  • listening to rain on a quiet afternoon
  • books…………any and all, they take me out of my world into another and I couldn’t be happier
  • computers, they make a very big world smaller
  • this blog, I have enjoyed writing on this blog ever so much,

 

That’s just a few things, I’m sure I could come up with more.

 

What are a few things that would be on your list? 

 

Also, a reminder that my book ‘A Case of Deceit’ will be on sale starting tomorrow for FREE! So grab a copy this weekend and please leave a review after you read it. Thank you!

 

 

Posted in Blogging, Humor, nonfiction, postaday

10 Things I Want To Do In My Life Before I’m Too Darn Old to Enjoy Them

In 2012, shortly after I started this blog I wrote ’10 Things I Want to do in Life Before I’m too Darn Old to Enjoy Them’. Today I thought I would join Part-Time Monster’s Throwback Thursday Link up Party and repost this old post.  Why not join us? Come on!

 

 

I thought I might have a little fun and post a few things I want to do before I die. Some of them might actually be doable, some maybe not so much. And a few are just plain silly and will never happen. But hey! Can’t blame a girl for dreaming. 😉

1. Have my novel published and become the next hot author! Now I know there might be a few obstacles on this one. Well when isn’t there. I almost have a novel, that should count for something. So I figure I have as good a shot at this as anyone. I count this one as definitely doable!

2. Ride in a hot air balloon. Now this is something I’ve wanted to do for more years than I can remember! I love plane rides. So I figure a hot air balloon ride should be totally awesome! I do think…

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Posted in Blogging, nonfiction, postaday, Wednesday Whatever!

Wednesday Whatever! ~~ Things I Will Never Do

Wednesday

 

We’ve all seen bucket lists or made our own bucket lists. You know the kind…things we want to do before we die or before we turn 30, 40, 50, etc. I’ve decided to do a different kind of bucket list. Things I will never do while I live or things I will never do again. I try to learn by my mistakes and sometimes doing something once is enough for me.

I always did like being a bit different. So here’s my list…

  1. Never get married….again. Twice is two times too many. I’m getting too damn old to break in another man.
  2. I will never give up coffee. I know plenty people my age that either had to give up coffee or went to caffeine free. Which is giving up coffee, I mean what’s the point of drinking coffee if not for the caffeine? I will likely die with a hot cup of coffee gripped in my cold dead hand.
  3. I will not live with hatred or prejudice in my heart or my home. Period. That is not a way to live. We are all human and we are all brothers and sisters. No matter the color of our skin, the way we love someone, or our beliefs. I won’t force my thoughts on you, you just do the same and we can all live together in peace. Come on people, if we don’t have each other’s back who will? We together are all WE got. So let’s do it in love.
  4. I won’t let go of my dreams. We all have dreams, things we want to accomplish, things we want to create. Once we give those up, we lose ourselves to darkness. No matter how tired I am or how much I hurt, I refuse to give up my dreams.
  5. With number 4 comes this one…I won’t ever stop writing. It’s in my soul, my heart and my very being to write. I’m not saying I will always write good things but I will always write. I could live to be one hundred and I will still write. Of course by then we should be able to write without actually using our hands, technology is awesome. Plus, I need my hands for my coffee. 😉
  6. I will never be ungrateful for the help I receive from family and friends. I will always appreciate my friends for being who they are. 
  7. I will never be rich. Well, unless I win the lottery, which I don’t see happening. And that’s ok. Being rich would bring a whole new set of problems, not to mention, a whole bunch of relatives I didn’t know I had. ha! I might never be rich but I make do with what I have and am just grateful for a roof over my head. There have been a few times in my life when that was pretty doubtful so I’ve come to appreciate where I live, no matter how humble it is.
  8. I won’t give up learning. No matter how old I become I love learning new things, especially new technology things. I’m a nerd. 
  9. I will never stop cussing. An old fashion word for swearing, using curse words, saying things like hell, dammit, shit and f*** (although I rarely use that one). I’m a lady, but a lady with a mouth on her and who isn’t afraid to use it. It’s a part of me.
  10. I won’t jump out of an airplane. Uh, uh, not this girl. No way. 
  11. I won’t ever give up my optimism. Been on the other side before, the dark side. Won’t go there again. They lie you know…..they don’t have cookies!
  12. And for the even dozen….I won’t give up on my friends. They are friends for a reason. I love my friends. You might get depressed, you might hurt, you might even do yourself an injury but I will never give up on you! I will be there with my hand held out to help pull you out of the hole you are in. I will try my best to make you smile and bring a little light and love into your life when you need it. I. Will. Never. Give. You. Up! 

There you have it. Probably a bit cheesy on my end but it’s how I feel today.

by TolmanCotton
by TolmanCotton

 

What about you? What’s one thing you will never do?

Posted in Author Interviews, Blogging, My Books, postaday, writing

Indie author of the day: Jackie Phillips

My interview for the 2016 2K Indie Book Tour! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did doing it. 🙂

Scarborough Mysteries

Jackie 2009We’ve gone through the first week of our indie book blog tour, which I am co-hosting with the talented Kate M Colby, http://katemcolby.com, and haven’t we had fun! Today is a writer who likes a mystery as much as I do, Jackie Phillips. JL Phillips is a dreamer. Now she is a writer of stories. Being a dreamer is nice but it’s not perfect until you put those dreams in writing and let other people see them. Here she introduces her book, A Case of Deceit:

Private investigator DeeDee Watson receives a desperate phone call from an old college roommate. Dee can’t turn down a plea for help from a friend, so, along with Tee, her trusty sidekick, she agrees to help. It doesn’t take long for Dee to find herself in the middle of something sinister. The more clues she finds the more she realizes all is not what…

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Posted in Author Interviews, Blogging, postaday, writing

Author interview: Helen Jones

And another great author from our 2016 2K Indie Book Tour! Look for ME tomorrow!

Scarborough Mysteries

Helen JonesHalf way through my leg of the indie blog tour, before I hand over to my colleague, Kate M Colby, http://katemcolby.com. Today I welcome fantasy writer, Helen Jones. She grew up in Coventry, England, then moved to Canada and Australia before coming back to the UK. She now lives in Hertfordshire and loves to write, dance, study and paint, seeking pathways beyond the everyday. She’s worked many jobs, from martial arts instructor to photography producer, but writing has turned out to be her absolute favourite one of all. She’s written for several publications and blogs in Australia and the UK. Oak and Mist is her debut novel:

‘The end of everything? Great, no pressure then.’
A young girl witnesses a strange event in the woods at her local park. Five years later, in the same place, she is attacked and pushed between two trees… then disappears. She reappears in…

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Posted in Author Interviews, Blogging, postaday, writing

Author interview: Christina Ochs

Another great author on the 2016 2K Indie Book Tour that I am participating in the next couple of weeks! Please join us!

Scarborough Mysteries

Christina2As we continue with our indie book blog tour (co-hosted with Kate M Colby, http://katemcolby.com) today I am very pleased to welcome historical-fantasy writer, Christina Ochs. She writes epic historical fantasy from the passenger seat of a semi truck. At any given time, she, her driver husband and their two cats – Phoenix and Nashville – can be found anywhere in the lower 48. With a bachelor’s degree in History and an MBA, Christina uses her writing to indulge her passion for reading and research. Publishing as an indie author provides an outlet for her entrepreneurial side and she is an avid supporter of fellow authors, both independent and traditionally published.

Rise of the Storm is the first book in the Desolate Empire series, a historical fantasy retelling of the Protestant Reformation and the Thirty Years War. It follows four main characters through the religious and political upheavals triggering…

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Posted in Author Interviews, Blogging, nonfiction, postaday, writing

Author interview: Zach Chopchinski

The second interview in the 2016 2K Indie Book Tour! Enjoy!

Scarborough Mysteries

On the second day of our 2K international indie book blog tour 2016 (hosted by Kate M Colby http://katemcolby.com http://katemcolby.com & me, Kate Evans). I am delighted to welcome our first indie author for interview, Zach Chopchinski.

LLP_5958Zachary is 27 and lives in Florida with his lovely wife, Layla. The two of them share a home with their four fur-children. Zachary has degrees in Criminal Justice and Criminology. He had two short stories and a poem published by Ohio State University. Zachary has always had two passions in his life, criminal justice and writing. After spending nearly 5 years working in security, Zachary decided it was time to give his other passion a chance. Zachary is very much a family man and when he is not deep in writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing video games or contemplating his next story idea.

He introduces his…

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