Ready for Summer?

SM Meet the Author

SM Meet the Author

Last day of May! And what a wet one for Texas! We finally have a dry day and it looks like it will be that way for a whole week!

As an author, trying to get writing time in a busy schedule can be challenging, that’s for sure. I try to make time almost every day, but life comes along and shoots all plans down the drain.

A good example occurred this week where I had warned my family…Leave me alone! I retreated into my writing cave and wrote for hours. However, when I went to bed that very night, my subconscious, or should I say, my characters spoke to me and complained they didn’t like the direction of the plot. I woke up at three in the morning and agreed with them.

The next morning, I ended up rewriting everything to correct the plot. This is supposed to be a comical book about life and love and what I had written appeared too maudlin. I didn’t want to go in that direction. I’m taking today off to clear my head (so I say now). Who knows while I’m catching up on my outdoor planting if one of my characters starts speaking to me again. In that case it’s back to the writing cave.

Weather in Texas Can Get Kind of Scary

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Released on 4/22! Don’t forget to check it out!!

This has been a crazy week in Dallas as far as the weather is concerned. We’ve had so many severe storms these last two weeks, it’s been crazy!

I grew up in the Midwest in Springfield, Il which I call tornado alley. I was used to going into the basement plenty of times the minute we heard of an upcoming storm on the transistor radio because we had lost power.

When we lived in Sinking Spring, PA, tornados were not that common and I loved watching the storms advance. We lived on a higher elevation of a mountain and would stand on our deck and watch the storms without any fear of being hit. Once, are a/c unit was struck by lightning but that was about it.

Fast forward to Texas, the land of no basements and fast and furious storms. We have a closet underneath our staircase where we hang out when there is a tornado approaching. That’s it.  The realtor called it a ‘fraidy hole’. (For those of you who have read my first book, When the Runway West South, it is a fairly true story!)

Our first year down here, we witnessed a tornado touch down on the ranch behind our house. The ranch has two resident donkeys; George and Penelope. At first, we couldn’t understand why they were running around like crazy until we saw the tornado touch down briefly not far away from them. We ran into our closet and waited. We felt the house shake like crazy and wondered what was happening outside. We heard the rain pound on our windows and prayed they didn’t shatter. Minutes later, it was over. We came out of the closet (no pun intended) and saw the damage. Our fence was down, our patio furniture and our landscaping was in the pool and felt we had really bad luck.

It was only when we ventured out where we saw the funnel had touched down only yards away from a daycare, uprooting a tree, missing the daycare by mere feet, we then knew we were lucky. This was in 2009.

In 2011, another stormy spring season. This time it was hail. I’d never seen anything like it. It didn’t rain, it hailed. Golf ball sized hail for a good ten minutes. When we ventured out, our roof had been pummeled, our patio furniture shredded, our screens on our windows shredded and out a/c unit demolished. I am now petrified of storms. This is so not me who loves adventure but honest to God, I’ve been scared!

In 2012, my husband’s car was pummeled by hail. He works in another city in the Dallas area and his office is in a one story building, like a warehouse. They have no place to go when bad weather comes along, so they’ve made a deal with a nearby hotel. They still have to park in the open, but the employees can go to an inside meeting room to provide shelter. Everyone’s car was totaled, except ours. (It’s an old car and we wanted it to be declared totaled. They repaired it and it looked brand new.) One of his coworkers, who has three young children rides around in her SUV with bicycle helmets for her three children as well as one for herself in case of hail!

Then, for the last couple of years, we’ve been in a drought. I tell you, not any more! I’ve prepared my ‘fraidy hole for this upcoming season with fresh water, a battery operated radio and a flashlight. I remind you, this is a closet which can barely fit three people comfortably. The last time we used it, we started to drag other things in with us. Laptops, autographed pictures, collections of various items; it became a tight squeeze!

So when you hear about severe weather in the Dallas area, you know where you’ll find me…and then another plot is born based upon a true story!

A New Adventure Begins!

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I did it! I finally finished and submitted Intercepted! My New Year’s resolution is never to take that long to finish a book again!

I’ve already started my next and am working feverishly on the research. It’s funny. You think you know a subject being exposed to it for years on end, but then you sit down to write a story around it and come to a complete halt. Thank goodness for experts to talk to and of course, Google!

I have a Facebook account, a Twitter account and a Goodreads account. Well, this week, I met the nicest person on Goodreads who has been following my Twitter through mutual authors. Thanks, Lorena!

The sun finally came back to Texas on Thursday. We had a stretch of ten days without sunshine and it can really affect your outlook on life. Now, after work, I can take a long walk through the neighborhoods and clear my mind and lessen my stress. I feel so energized; ready to tackle the world. And drive my husband crazy with; “Why don’t we do this? Tackle that?”

Do you see where I am? On my laptop. Nothing is getting tackled. lol.

New Book Release and Snow!

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Heard from my editor this week! For the Love of Par is going to be released on 11/23/2014!! Look for it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble! As soon as I get the cover art, I will share it with you.

Also, guess what? We are to have a chance of snow today. For those of you who know me, I detest snow. With a passion. No, it isn’t pretty to me at all. I was born in MA, lived in New York, Illinois, PA and when asked if I would mind moving to Dallas, I said yes, in a heartbeat. My husband neglected to tell me, there is an chance of snow here but it melts right away because the temps go up quickly during the day. Need I remind you of the Super Bowl a couple of years ago when the roads were impassable for almost four days? Or how about last year on 12/6, we had an ice storm which left the roads in terrible condition for four days? I am not liking this….

Also, my husband didn’t mention how people do not know how to drive in the snow down here and your best bet is just to stay inside until it melts. I really like living here but I wish the city of Dallas and its surrounding communities would get their act together on how to handle the winter!

Not a Good Patient

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I am not a patient person when it comes to not feeling well. That’s why I try to eat the right foods and exercise for more than an hour a day, six days a week. I do take Sundays off. I run, do weights and swim. What can be more devastating than a sinus infection? My head feels twice it’s size and my face just throbs with pain in addition to my ears being stuffed up.

I haven’t had one in a long time; I’d say maybe eight years ago? It started before the week we were to go on vacation. I weathered it out because I didn’t want to be taking antibiotics while traveling. I survived the plane ride in addition to the numerous roller coaster rides. I thought it more or less had disappeared.

Nope! This Monday, it started all over again when we had a cold front move through bringing much needed rain. The pain, not throbs, in my sinus cavity was unbearable. I finally broke down and called the doctor and he saw me on Friday. He confirmed my diagnosis and prescribed an antibiotic for me. I know the drug companies come out with many every year and I couldn’t remember back eight years ago, what antibiotic I had taken. He wasn’t my doctor back then, so he prescribed Ciproloxacin. Okay. He’s the doctor and I respect him.

I’m allergic to aspirin, codeine and penicillin, in addition to having SVT, so it’s safer to put me on a sulfur-based antibiotic which Cipro is. I read the instructions provided by CVS and it mostly focused on being careful to avoid calcium and dairy products. They provided a time schedule to take the pill two hours before consuming dairy products or six hours after. I took the first pill at five, two hours before dinner.

Then, I started to itch. What was that about? I reread the CVS warnings; didn’t see anything. Then I read the side effects provided by the drug company. I was in trouble. This medication might cause rashes, severe cramping, changes in your heart rate, seizures, yeast infections and the list went on. I immediately called the pharmacist who advised me to discontinue the medication and call my doctor first thing Monday morning. In the mean time, eat cheese to diminish the effect of the medication.

I love cheese so not a problem. I continued the night and began to itch like crazy. I couldn’t even sleep. Then came the irregular heart rate which I took a double dose of my beta blockers to get back into rhythm.

When I got out of bed at six the next morning, I thought I had this medication out of my system. Nope! I had the most severe leg cramps I’ve ever experienced, to the point I was in tears. I drank lots of water hoping to flush it out of my system. The rest of the day, I just spent sitting in my chair reading a book. I was so exhausted from the last twenty four hours I went to bed at eight pm.

You know? Maybe the sinus pain isn’t as bad as I thought. I can do without the antibiotic!

Happy Easter

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Nature has really greened up the grass, trees and lawns! Our rose bushes are starting to bloom; such a pretty time of the year!

I love to take walks outside and try to walk at least an hour a day. It’s helps me with my writer’s block and my emotional well being as well as my health.

I love where we live because the city has provided wide, winding sidewalks with plenty of crepe myrtle trees. It’s not too hot at this time of year either.

The only complaint I have, (don’t laugh), is that they have opened up a Dairy Queen restaurant only four blocks from my house. It opened in February and I have done my best to avoid walking in that direction. I don’t carry money with me on my walks, no reason to stop. Right?

Yesterday, my daughter wanted to walk with me and I warned her, it’s going to be an hour. I don’t want it to be ‘take a step; drag Alexis’ kind of a walk. Wouldn’t you know on the way back, she started to complain how thirsty she had become. I told her to man up! We are only 6 blocks away from home.

She had money in her pocket and the next thing I knew, there we were at the Dairy Queen where she ordered a cherry Arctic Blast. Do you know how tough it was to be there with the smell of ice cream and shakes hovering in the air?

I was good. I only had a sip of her drink and didn’t order a thing. No chocolate dipped cones, no ice cream sandwiches, no shakes, no Dilly Bars. Can you tell my mouth is watering? I’ve worked too hard to lose weight to slip up.

Monday, while she’s at work, I’ll walk the other way…as far away from Dairy Queen as I can!

I forgot to mention the Godiva Solid Dark Chocolate Easter Bunny sitting on my counter. Groan!