Friday Sinema: Eighties Style

Instead of Throwback Thursday, it’s Retroactive Eightites Sinema! Because it’s Friday and for reasons, I watched this video of Gloria Estavan and the Miami Sound Machine’s original MTV-style video from 1985. All I can say is: LOOKIT! All the big hair! And shoulder pads! Yes, I wore both. And I can hold my head high! Now go dance a conga line. 😉

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Thursday Thoughts: Finding the Way

I’m well aware of what happened on this day 23 years ago. I was there. Twenty-three years. Wow. That’s a lifetime for some people. For me, it’s 1/3 of my life ago. Yet it seems like yesterday. This is always a hard day. PTSD is a royal witch and add it to a dose of depression and yeah… So.

I got to thinking about my dad the other day. He taught me how to read–and to read whatever caught my fancy. I grew up on Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys, on Tom Swift and the Black Stallion books. Zane Grey, Louis L’Amour, Andre Norton, Isaac Asimov, Mary Stewart, and Ian Fleming. I was weirdly shy for an extrovert and back then we called it “being down” or “feeling blue.” Now we know it as depression and yes, kids get it too. Still, I managed to struggle through on my own, for the most part. I had my dad. He understood my crazy imagination and the lives I led in my head when no one else did. I still miss him every single day.

I found my way, just as the Universe intimates in today’s message. By hook or by crook. By sheer stubborness. By cringing under the covers living in the world of books until I could face my world.

Silver, haven’t you always found your way?

Hasn’t there always been a light in the darkness? Haven’t you always gotten back up? Haven’t there always been serendipitous surprises, unexpected twists, and triumphant comebacks? And haven’t you always had someone to love?

Coincidences? Or maybe, do you think, you, too, have always been loved?

The Universe
© ®

And Silver, what of all your dreams that have already come true?

This is why I write romance. This is why I want my characters–no matter how tortured their lives are, how many conflicts, how many bad things happen, and how the black moment leaves them so empty they don’t even have tears left. I want them to find love–to be loved and to give love and to live their Happily Ever After. Because that’s what sees us through, ya know? Love. And that’s how dreams come true. And how we find our way.

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Wednesday Words: Hard Work

So…the HARD-working servers at the IRS blew a sprocket or something so the government gave all those who file late an extension until today. And since we are all about work hard, play hard around here, today’s #1lineWed theme is a fitting one: **WORK**. This snippet is from the current RDR#9 WIP, which is Cooper’s story. As a setup, there’s a gala fund raiser for the OU Meteorology Department, where our intrepid heroine, Britt Owens, is a storm chaser. She met our hero, Cooper Tate, down in south Texas after a hurricane and they…connected. 😉 So, now its a couple of months later and they’re about to bump into each other. *bwahahaha*
Mrs. Tate’s lips twitched but her rather stern expression didn’t change. “So you chase tornadoes for a living. Must be thrilling.”

“It can be. Thrilling. Yes. Mostly just boring though.” Britt reeled off the statistical probabilities of a tornado forming in any given thunderstorm. Mrs. Tate nodded and looked moderately interested until Britt stopped babbling. “I mostly do it for research. I’m working on my Ph.D, you see.”

“Fascinating,” Mrs. Tate said as she looked Britt over from the top of her head to the freshly pedicured and red-painted toes peeking out from beneath her royal blue gown.

Britt swallowed hard, again, unsure just what it was the woman found fascinating—Britt’s work or her as a person. Most people thought storm chasing was glamorous and exciting so surely that’s what Mrs. Tate was referring to. Why did this woman terrify her far more than all the massive tornadoes she’d encountered?
Pushing to her feet, Britt locked her wobbly knees. “So nice to see you again, Mrs. Tate. I should be getting back to my party.”

“Of course, dear. I hope to see you again soon.”

What did Mrs. Tate mean by that? There was something funny in her tone when she said that. Britt pulled open the door and glanced back over her shoulder, trying to figure out what Mrs. Tate was implying. She continued walking, all the while leaning to watch through the slowly closing door. Britt turned around just in time to plow into a hard body. Her forehead bounced off the muscled chest as her nose was buried in a tux shirt. Her instinctive inhale filled her lungs with the aromas of cardamon, bergomot and… She sniffed again. Was that lavender? What an intriguing mix of scents.

Strong hands gripped her biceps to keep her upright and she remembered she’d just plowed into someone. Someone of the male persuasion. She raised her head, tilting it to look up. Straight into the amused face of the last man on earth she ever wanted to see.

“Cooper Tate!”

Coop turned his head to face the man who’d yelled his name and didn’t have time to duck the fist swinging at his face.

“You got my baby sister pregnant.”
Writers, what’s working in your WIP? Readers, where do you think this story is going? 😉

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Tuesday Treats: Chocolate Mint Cookie Cheesecake

I am a sucker for mint and chocolate ANYTHING! A chocolate mint cheesecake? Get out of my way! I am soooo there. I totally jumped on this recipe the minute I saw it.

Prep Time: 30 min.
Total Time: 6 hr. 30 min.
Servings: 16 servings

Combine stellar flavors in a Chocolate Mint Cookie Cheesecake. The cookie crust of our Chocolate Mint Cookie Cheesecake gives this recipe a great crunch.

What You Need
32 chocolate-covered mint cookies, divided
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
7 oz. Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate, divided
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 tsp. peppermint extract
4 eggs

Make It
Heat oven to 325°F.

Reserve 1 cookie for garnish. Finely crush remaining cookies; mix with butter until blended. Press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.

Melt 6 oz. chocolate as directed on package. Beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and peppermint extract with mixer until blended. Add melted chocolate; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.

Bake 55 min. to 1 hour or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate cheesecake 4 hours.

Melt remaining chocolate; drizzle over cake. Garnish with reserved cookie.

Want the full nutritional details? CLICK HERE to check it out at Kraft Recipes. I’ll share a secret with you. When I’m picking out a character who would make the Tuesday Treat I’m sharing, it’s not always easy. The moment I saw this recipe, Sade was jumping up and down demanding a taste. No way would she make it, but she’d find someone to make it for her! Sade Marquis might be a hotshot FBI agent and have no trouble dealing with the supernatural things that go bump in the night but put her in a kitchen? She’s been known to burn water. Seriously! Still, this treat is right up her alley. Caleb, her werewolf partner, has mentioned that she’s been known to buy out the entire supply of Thin Mints Girl Scout cookies. If you’d like to read more of the Urban Fantasy adventures of Sade and her gang, you can start with THAT OL’ BLACK MAGIC, the first book in the Penumbra Papers, which happens to be on sale at ALL on-line retailers for 99 cents! Just click on the cover for more information.

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A Late Monday

So I vegged yesterday. Sometimes you just need a day of…nothing. And that included forming enough thoughts to create a coherent blog. 😉

Quick rundown and then on my day because it’s going to be a busy one.

Stuff: The first hummingbird of the season–at least the first one I’ve seen–arrived Saturday at the feeder. Of course the weather crashed shortly thereafter. Hard freezes in mid-April? Seriously?!?!?! As a result, no tulips and the very few wisteria sprays I had are pffft. I’m hoping the honeysuckle still bloom. That said, I seem to have a bumper crop of squirrels. Go figure.

Sports: My Cards are coming back. This is good and makes me have a happy. On the college level, I watched OU baseball beat Texas and OSU softball beat Baylor. OSU baseball and OU softball also won, they just weren’t televised. Lawyer Guy and I watched NHL Stanley Cup playoff hockey last night. It’s been awhile.

Reading: I’ve fallen into the Kristen Ashley Zone. The local library has quite a few of her books on audio so I’m doing a listen of her Colorado Mountain books that I first read in 2015. These things have a way of sucking you in. She does have a way of foreshadowing and laying in elements in the over-all plot arc that I’m studying. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Writing: And the reason for that is that I’m figuring out an over-all arc for the rest of Red Dirt books. LG and I did some brainstorming last night during an every-man-for-himself dinner (meaning we each fixed our own) after late naps and general laziness. I think I’ve fond someone to replace Cyrus Barron as the bad guy and a way to tie this person into each of the books to come, that arc culminating in the last book of the series. We’ll see if I can sell the idea to my editor. That said, I did not finish the synopsis and send off Cooper’s book because I needed to work out the full arc. There’s a little groundwork in Tucker’s book, but I need to bring it out more in Cooper’s. So…today, I’ll get that done.

And that’s it for me. It’s Monday. I slept hard, for a change. The problem with that is I’ll need another couple cups of coffee to jumpstart the brain. And since I hid from the computer yesterda, I don’t even want to think about the stack of emails in my inbox. Ugh. Okay. More coffee then work. How was your weekend?

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Friday Free-For-All: Wacky, Weird, and Wordy Edition

Sometimes, I just can’t let it go. And it’s Friday the 13th so…why the heck not?

First, the really cool stuff. How fun are these memes about the love/hate relationships between dogs and mailmen. Click through to see them: DOG AND MAILMAN MEMES

This art project adds the very best of urban fantasy to the cityscape. SURREAL PAINTINGS OF KIDS AND WILD ANIMALS
Surreal paintings of urban fantasy

One more link of truly spectacular animal street art. BEAUTIFUL CREATURES.

In the Can’t Make This $h!+ Up Section:

Pennsylvania school superintendent puts buckets of river rocks in classrooms as a defense against school shooters. I protest! Beyond the stupidity, I protest on the grounds that he is introducing a religion into the classroom. Islam and Judeo-Christian traditions both include stoning as punishment–usually against women, and how many witches were stoned to death down through history?!? Where are the feminists? Where are the atheists? Where’s a safe space for Wiccans? From a USA Today article, “David Helsel, superintendent of Blue Mountain School District in Orwigsburg, said social media posts misrepresenting the district’s overall plans for dealing with school shootings put his schools at risk.” Ya think? #sarcasm

Two days after attending a local protest against guns, the alleged brother of Al Sharpton (one of the biggest hypocrites on the left) was charged with accessory to murder after he drove his buddy around hunting the young woman who supposedly stole the friend’s car. They drove up next to her, the guy fired, striking her in the head and killing her. Hrmmm The whole story is HERE.

So, two black women are censored on Facebook because they are “unsafe for the community.” And the reason they are unsafe? Because they are two CONSERVATIVE black women who happen to support the president. Then the CEO of Twitter flaunts some article about how all the Democrats should declare a civil war. Uhm. Okay. Kinda hard to do that with no guns, no food, and no energy because guess what? All of deplorables out here in middle America? We have all the goodies, including DIAMOND AND SILK make me smile every time I watch them.

And the mayor of London now wants to ban knives because while they have some the strictest gun laws around, London has the highest murder rate. And they’ve had 50 murders committed with knives. Plus, they prosecuted a 78 year-old-man who defended himself IN HIS OWN HOME from the man who broke in with the intent to rob the old guy. I just…this —>

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Thursday Thoughts: Universal Wake-Up Call

When walking through the valley of a creative desert–which happens to writers far more than we like to admit, it takes a wake up call sometimes. I’ve been that particular trek for the past month. Words come hard, and they sound brittle like taffy boiled too long so that they crack and shatter when they splatter on the page. Well, the screen. Some days, I think I should drag out a yellow legal pad and a pen so I can scribble the words, rip out the page, wad it up, and toss it into an overflowing trashcan.

Sometimes, it’s hard to be creative when it’s a job. I know a lot of authors who manage it very well. I have lots of ideas, so many characters clamoring for attention that I’ve made them form a line, so it’s not a lack of creativity. Not necessarily. It’s a matter of not having creativity on the current project that is a big part of my job. And therein lies the problem. Job = Loss of creativity. *sigh* I know. It’s all in my head. Which is why I really needed this wake-up call from the Universe.

Wake up, Silver! Remember what excites you! Think of these things, those friends, and the adventures that can be yours! Focus. Care. Fantasize. Imagine. It’s all so near. Speak as if you’re ready. Paste new pictures in your scrapbook, on your vision board, and around your home and office. Physically prepare for the changes that you wish to experience in your life. You’ve done this before. You know it works. You’re due for an encore. It’s time to amaze. That’s why you’re there.

And it’s why I’m here,
The Universe
© ®

Wake up, Silver! Remember! Do what you know to do! It’s all so near!

See what I mean? The Big U has a tendancy to pop in with the right message at the right time. This is what I need to do. The question becomes, will I do it? Yes. Because it makes sense. Because this is how I write. Because it’s my job. So…another cup of coffee then it’s time to walk away from the water cooler, head into the office, put my butt in the chair, my hands on the keyboard, and reconnect brain, imagination, and fingers so that the words flow like they should.

What do you do when it with writer’s block? If you aren’t a writer, how do you get around the work-day blues?

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