Friday Sinema: Drinking Alone

I’ve been a Carrie Underwood fan since she won American Idol. I mean, c’mon. She’s a Checotah girl! And can sing. This is the video of her new song. And I am going to write this book. Holy hotness, am I going to write this book! Don’t know when, but by featuring it here, I can find it again, watch for inspiration, and write. By the way, does the man in the leather jacket remind you of anyone?

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Thursday Thoughts: Universal Spark

It’s that time of year. I know not everyone celebrates Christmas but we do so bear with me. When I was a kid, I always dreamed big leading up to Christmas. I didn’t want a pony, I wanted a horse. I also dreamed about what I would be when I grew up, where I would go, what I would do, who I would be. Those days are long ago and far away, since I’m older than dirt now. And trust me, it sucks to be old. 🙄 But I still have dreams, even though I’m living one of them–being a writer. I can’t imagine not writing. I look back on all the people living in my head–those whose stories I told and those who have yet to live on the page. See, those characters have dreams too. And the same things that make my dreams come true are the things that make their dreams come true.

There are only 3 things that can make your dreams come true, Silver: your thoughts, your words, and your actions.

Be the spark,
The Universe
© ®

They’re all you have, Silver, and they’re all you need.

The Universe is right–and write. It takes 3 things: thoughts (dreaming up the story), words (telling the story), and action (getting the story into the hands of readers). It’s that simple and that difficult. But it’s all I have and all I need and while there’s been a drought this year, I hope to have a bountiful harvest next year. I’m going to be that spark and make not only my dreams come true but all those of all my characters as well.

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Wednesday Words: Black Hats

Did everyone survive BLACK Friday? Have you met Loki, my BLACK cat? Or my BLACK Ops soldiers? Or read THAT OL’ BLACK MAGIC? You’ve guessed it, the THEME for Twitter’s #1lineWed is **BLACK**. While this snippet isn’t the BLACK moment of the story, it does introduce one of my new favorite characters. Jack gets his own book in 2021. And he might wear a BLACK hat, but he’s definitely not a BLACK knight. 😉
The man he’d confronted about the girl threw a punch in Pops’s direction, missed, and went down. Both he and the deputy pounced on the guy, holding the asshole down until he was cuffed.

“Drunk and disorderly for sure,” the deputy said.

“And he offered to let the kid use his phone if she gave him a blow job.” Pops ground out the words, watching as the deputy jerked back.

“No shit?”

“No shit.” That’s when Pops realized the girl was fighting to free herself from the DFPS woman while Elena shouted.

“Let me go,” the girl screamed. She jerked and flailed. “Let me go. I can’t go back to them. I can’t!”

Pops understood two things—the girl was beyond panicked at the thought of returning to whatever people she had in San Antonio, yet at the same time, she was trying very hard not to hurt the woman latched onto her. Odd.

“It’s okay, chiquita,” Elena soothed. “I’ve got this. I’ll take care of you.”

“This isn’t your case, Ms. Rodriguez.”

Que? They’d worked together three years and Pamela was getting all proper? Two could play that game, Elena decided.
“She’s not yours either, Ms. Byrd, so let her go.”

“I will do nothing of the sort. She’ll just run again and I do not feel like chasing down the little bi—”

“Yeah, you will, ma’am.”

The females froze at the sound of the gravelly voice. Three pairs of eyes tracked to the man who stepped up beside
Pops. Tall and lanky, his jeans were worn, his boots scuffed, his plaid shirt faded from hundreds of washings, and his black Stetson was a bit dusty. “I’m Jack Riggs. Y’all wanna explain what’s goin’ on here?”

“This is none of your business. Just mosey on down the road, cowboy.” The DFPS woman made a shooing motion with her free hand, while her other continued to grip the girl’s arm.

Pops snorted out a laugh and stared down at his boots. Granted, more than a few women had mistaken Jack for a Hollywood star who made a lot of western movies, and the man could sit a horse with the best of them, but he was most definitely not a cowboy.

Jack whipped out his badge and held it at eye level so the woman could read it. “Let me amend that, ma’am. I’m a Texas Ranger and yeah, I do believe whatever’s goin’ on here is my business.”

The DFPS lady paled a bit but she swallowed, lifted her chin, and launched into a loud explanation. She got maybe a sentence out before Ranger Riggs interrupted. “I do believe I told you to release the girl, ma’am.” There was no coaxing in his voice. Only a complete idiot would fail to recognize the order.

Even so, that Byrd woman was slow and very reluctant to remove her hand. When she did, the girl immediately rubbed at the spot. Yeah, Pops decided, the kid would probably have bruises in the morning and that pissed him right the hell off. The deputy had the male on his feet and after a hurried explanation to his boss, made in a low voice, he hustled the guy away. Pamela Byrd continued to jabber, the girl continued to look freaked out, but she was also moving closer to Elena. That was good. Pops always had a good sense of people and Elena was good people.

“There’s an easy way to settle all this, Jack,” Pops interjected when the Bryd woman paused for a breath.
The ranger nodded. “Yup, I think we’re on the same page, Pops.”

He smiled. Jack Riggs was nobody’s fool. He might come across as a good ol’ boy, but more than one city slicker who’d made that assumption discovered that doing so often bit them in the ass.
Hope you enjoyed it. Ignore typos and weird stuff because this is still first draft territory. It’ll be all cleaned up and ready to go by February 2020. What about y’all? Writers, any black words to share? Readers, what book has a black moment that stuck with you long after finishing the book?

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Tuesday Treats: Four-Cheese Chicken Alfredo Casserole

Looking for something tasty, ready in under an hour, and festive? This recipe hits all the buttons.

Total Time: 45 Min.
Prep Time: 15 Min.
Cook Time: 30 Min.

Combine creamy Alfredo sauce and grated Parmesan to make a terrific baked chicken alfredo casserole. It only takes 15 minutes to put together Four-Cheese Chicken Alfredo Casserole.

What You Need
1-1/4 cups milk
1 cup CLASSICO Four Cheese Alfredo Pasta Sauce
2 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 pkg. (9 oz.) refrigerated fettuccine, uncooked
5 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (1-1/4 lb.)
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Let’s Make It
1 – Heat oven to 400°F.
2 – Bring milk and Alfredo sauce just to boil in large saucepan on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, mix Parmesan, parsley and garlic powder until blended.
3 – Separate fettuccine noodles. Add to sauce; stir to evenly coat. Transfer to 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with chicken, Parmesan mixture and mozzarella.
4 – Bake 30 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF).

Kitchen Tips
Tip 1 – Serving Suggestion: Serve with a crisp green vegetable, such as broccoli, and cold glass of fat-free milk.
Tip 2 – Special Extra: Add 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen peas or chopped broccoli, thawed, with the noodles.
Tip 3 – Substitute: Substitute water for the milk.
Tip 4 – From me: If you can’t find refrigerated fettuccine, fix the dry variety and just add about 15 minutes extra prep/cook time. Also, if you cover the pot you’re boiling water in, it boils faster. Who knew?!?!

CLICK HERE for all the nutritional details. I asked around and discovered that Dr. Liz Graham-Lightfoot makes this for her “boys”–her mate, Michael Lightfoot, and their son, Micah. “Hey,” she told me. “Even a scientist who gets lost in the lab can make this.” You can read how Lightfoot and Liz got together in BAD MOON, or grab the whole story of the beginnings of the Moonstruck Wolves in MOONSTRUCK: SECRETS, which contains BLOOD MOON, BAD MOON, and a special only-published-in-this-version connecting novella “Moon Madness,” even if they aren’t listed separately. Trust me, it’s all there. Just click on any of the titles or the cover for buy links. Or you can read either BLOOD MOON or BAD MOON for free with Kindle Unlimited, but you wouldn’t get the story of Mac and Hannah and her pregnancy.

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23 Shopping Days Until Christmas Monday

How the freak can it already be December?!?!?! 🤯

Okay, not thinking about this. Nope. So, last week was Thanksgiving. And crazy. Wonderful family gathering on Thursday at the in-laws. There was a family emergency going on so Baseball Boy and Only were scrambling. We ended up with Stormaggedon for a couple of days and nights. We also had Dozier, the Kids’ ADHD German Shepherd. He finally settled but Boone and Jake were more than happy to see him go home and Loki came out of hiding for the first time in 2 days. Speaking of furry kids, Jake is doing wonderfully in his service dog training. We hit Wallyworld the day before Thanksgiving for a middling-sized grocery run. I had to stock up so I didn’t have to enter a store until today. That whole Black Friday nonsense? Yeah, not having any of that $#!+. Anyway, lots of people and he ignored them mostly. There was one fellow that he insisted on leaning toward as the man and his wife passed us in the aisle. He stopped and asked if he could pet. Jake leaned in and gave the doggy equivalent of a hug by pressing against his let, nose up for pets. Turns out he’d just had his first chemo treatment for cancer. Tell me that dog isn’t intuitive! They communed for awhile and then his wife moved him along. Jake also got praise from the crew of OCFD Engine 24. He wagged his tail at the “Good boy” praise. He IS a good boy!

In other news, the real OSU lost to OU, but that’s okay. The Pokes weren’t totally embarrassed and this helps OU move up in the college bowl rankings. There’s a chance the Sooners could make the top 4. Outside, but a chance. There were some crazy upsets over the weekend so rankings should be interesting.

Writing occurred last week. In fact, it occurred the whole month of November! Yay for #NaNoWriMo. Even with the T-giving and emergency babysitting stuffs, I still managed to crank out 50,242 words–enough for a “win” even though I didn’t finish FIGHTING FOR ELENA. I should have it done in the next few days. I’ll admit I took yesterday off. I don’t think it will stop my momentum but my brain was fried Sunday afternoon by the time the Kids arrived to pick up Stormy. I do have to go back in and sex it up a bit but that’s okay. More words! I’m shooting for 40K and I’m a little over 34K at the moment. It’s fun to touch base with Mac, Nate, and Sean/Boomer, plus there’s a new character who will get his own book in 2021 in Susan’s world, FTW!

I started in on Lani Lynn Vale’s Freebirds series. I’d already listened to the first two when they first became available in audio. The others finally hit so I started at the beginning. I started LAST DAY OF MY LIFE yesterday, which is #4. I also read a short story by Dennis Danvers that was a free read on that can be bought for .99, “All the Snake Handlers I Know Are Dead.” It’s magic realism at its most lyrical and intriguing. I flat out loved it and will check out the author’s other works.

Let’s see, what else happened…well, not much. Writing. Listening ot audio books. Grandson time. Family time with good food. Errands. Didn’t leave much time for TV, except whatever was on as I fell into exhausted sleep. 😂 I need to catch up on LIVE PD again. And whatever else the DVR captured.

Hope all is well in your worlds. Anything of import happening?

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Friday Sinema: Why Turkey?

Okay. I’m warped. I freely admit it. I’ll also admit that I splorted so much coffee out my nose I had to change my shirt. Did you ever wonder why turkey became the traditional Thanksgiving main course? Here’s Red Bull’s answer to that pressing question. Happy Leftovers Day! And if you’re out doing the Black Friday shopping thing, more power to you! Have a great weekend!

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Thursday Thoughts: Thanksgiving

Thank you for being friends who became readers. Thank you for readers who became friends. I’m thankful for family. I’m thankful for creativity. I’m especially thankful for furry critters who make me smile. And coffee. Seriously, lots of coffee. Most of all, I’m thankful when I wake up each day. Totally beats the alternative. Have a wonderful day if you celebrate. If not, it never hurts to be thankful every day.

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