Posted in Reading, reviews

My Thoughts on 11/22/63

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. We’re in the middle of an ice storm right now. It was supposed to be much worse than it is, and I’m glad it’s not as bad as it was originally predicted. I’m crossing my fingers that we don’t lose power.

I’ve been busy dealing with sick kids after the holidays, so I haven’t had a lot of time for writing or exercising. So, I’ve got to get back on track with both of those goals.

But enough about that. Today, I want talk about what I’ve been reading. I finally finished Stephen King’s 11/23/83. I enjoyed it. The time travel element was a nice spin and I enjoyed the relationship between George and Sadie. Did it answer the burning question, ‘did Oswald work alone?’

 

 

One of the Ten Best Books of The New York Times Book Review
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Now a miniseries from Hulu starring James Franco

ON NOVEMBER 22, 1963, THREE SHOTS RANG OUT IN DALLAS, PRESIDENT KENNEDY DIED, AND THE WORLD CHANGED. WHAT IF YOU COULD CHANGE IT BACK?

In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King—who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer—takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away—a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life—like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963—turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination.

So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.

My Thoughts:

Like I said before, I loved the relationship between George and Sadie. King has a way of creating believable characters. He has a way of showing them as flawed and strong at the same time, but enough about that. Did the story answer the question, ‘did Oswald work alone?’

According to the story, he did and the afterward in the book seems to lean that way as well. I wish there were a more concrete answer to that question, but I think you’ll have to do your own research to find an answer that satisfies you.

The story was told in fresh Stephen King style, and I liked it so much, I picked up another Stephen King book. So, this is what I’m reading now in between writing jaunts, work, and family. 😊

 

 

The Outsider: A Novel by [King, Stephen]

Soon to be an HBO limited series starring Ben Mendelsohn!

Evil has many faces…maybe even yours in this #1 New York Times bestseller from master storyteller Stephen King.

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is discovered in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens—Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon have DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying details begin to emerge, King’s story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.

 

I’m excited about this story. It looks really good and what better time to read than during an ice storm, right?

How about you? What are you reading? Do you have any recommendations for me? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in books

What I’m Reading

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. Here we are the weekend before Christmas. I hope you have your shopping done. I do, but I haven’t wrapped anything yet. 😊

Saving that for Christmas Eve. 😉

But enough about that, I thought I’d share with you what I’ve been reading in between moments of busyness. It’s a very busy time of year, so I haven’t gotten very far into it, but it is very good. It’s so good in fact, it should be a movie. I’ll give you more of a run down when I finish it.

 

 

 

One of the Ten Best Books of The New York Times Book Review
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Now a miniseries from Hulu starring James Franco

ON NOVEMBER 22, 1963, THREE SHOTS RANG OUT IN DALLAS, PRESIDENT KENNEDY DIED, AND THE WORLD CHANGED. WHAT IF YOU COULD CHANGE IT BACK?

In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King—who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer—takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away—a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life—like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963—turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination.

So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.

My Thoughts:

So far, I’m totally into this story. I wish I could take a couple of days and just devour it. It’s that good. If you’re looking for a book to just disappear into, this one is for you.  I’ll write a review on it when I finish it. 🙂

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thanks so much for reading my blog and giving me all the support you’ve given me all year!

 

Posted in Writing

Confessions of a Recovering Pantser

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week at work and I finally finished a scene I’ve been working on. I’m getting closer to the end of my story. It’s been hard trying to balance writing, work, and family, but I’m managing, but enough about that.

Today I want to talk about writing. I haven’t spoken about it in a long time because I’ve been busy trying to get my story down. It’s a huge undertaking to write a novel. You have to get the characters down and then the setting and plot. I used to write by the seat of my pants, but this last story I plotted out, and even though it takes longer by plotting, I do find my story is better, and there is less editing. This story has taken me a couple of years to write. I’ve written it over a couple of times and it’s better each time because practice makes perfect, right?

Photo on VisualHunt

Being a Pantser, affords the writer a lot of freedom. Plotting, I’ve found, makes you rein in that wildness inside yourself and forces you to move in a direction. Sometimes, I miss my pantsing style. It was so free and easy, but when I look at my story after plotting it out and I realize it is the way to go.

So, for me to master the art of plotting, I had to study it first. So, I purchased the craft book, “Story Engineering,” by Larry Brooks. I recommend it to all of you aspiring writers out there. It takes you step by step through the plotting process and makes sense of your story.  I wish I had read this before I started writing, but live and learn, right?

 

 

The vast majority of writers begin the storytelling process with only a partial understanding where to begin. Some labor their entire lives without ever learning that successful stories are as dependent upon good engineering as they are artistry. But the truth is, unless you are master of the form, function and criteria of successful storytelling, sitting down and pounding out a first draft without planning is an ineffective way to begin.

Story Engineering starts with the criteria and the architecture of storytelling, the engineering and design of a story–and uses it as the basis for narrative. The greatest potential of any story is found in the way six specific aspects of storytelling combine and empower each other on the page. When rendered artfully, they become a sum in excess of their parts.

You’ll learn to wrap your head around the big pictures of storytelling at a professional level through a new approach that shows how to combine these six core competencies which include:

• Four elemental competencies of concept, character, theme, and story structure (plot)
• Two executional competencies of scene construction and writing voice

The true magic of storytelling happens when these six core competencies work together in perfect harmony. And the best part? Anyone can do

 

I also purchased Steven King’s book, “On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft.” This book encouraged me to keep writing. You need to write as often as possible. You need to practice, practice, practice.  That’s what I took away from his book. He gives practical advice in his memoir and gives me hope that I may eventually reach that New York Bestselling Author status I’m striving for.

 

Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.

“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.

So, there you have it, two craft books I’d recommend. What craft books have made an impact on your writing? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Health, Writing

Is it Worth it?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after almost two months of non-writing. Today, I finally broke the trend and did some editing of one of my stories. I’m back in the saddle again and it feels good. Whenever, I go through these stages of non-writing, I always read because I love to, and when I’m suffering from a little burn out, reading is always my “go to” activity. There’s nothing more comforting on a cold, rainy day than a good book. Am I right, or am I right?

Photo on Visualhunt.com

But enough about that. When I first started this post, I was going to give you a good list of some of the books I’ve been reading, but then inspiration hit, and I’ve decided to write about something else. I’ll do the book one later. 😉

 

Today, I’d like to talk about sacrifices. I know it’s not really a pleasant subject, but one that I feel has to be addressed. You see, all the great writers, artists, and athletes made sacrifices to get where they are now. They sacrificed time with their families and loved ones to practice and create. That shows grit and initiative and that’s great. I’m sure they don’t regret their success. However, I wonder if they ever ask themselves if it was worth it?

Photo credit: The U.S. Army on Visualhunt.com / CC BY

At first glance, you may think I’m crazy for having such a thought, but it’s out there now, so let’s run with it.

Was their success worth their sacrifice?

It’s a good question and I wish I had someone like Michael Jordan or Stephen King around to ask. I’m sure they would say yes, but it’s something I struggle with. Because we all would love to have that kind of success, but the time away from family is hard to take sometimes. So, every time I sit down to write, I ask myself, can I indulge my passion at this time? Am I neglecting my family’s needs? Because let’s face it, I’m not going to get these moments back. So, there are times when I put the computer away and hang out with my family, watching a silly movie or watch my youngest play tennis. It’s a conscious choice during these moments to put my writing on the back burner and sometimes it’s hard, but it’s worth it.

Photo credit: sdobie on VisualHunt.com /CC BY-NC

So, whenever you’re feeling bad because you’re not putting as much effort into your writing or you just need to take a break. Stop yourself. Because moments with your family can disappear in an instant and you might not ever get them back and my motto is live without regret.

 

So, do I regret not spending time writing the last two months? Well, there are moments when I think I should be further along in my story than what I am, but then I look at the fact that I was sick, so I had to take care of myself. Then I look at the tennis matches I got to watch and see the joy on my youngest’s face when he would see me show up at his tennis game and the sacrifice was worth it. I don’t regret it.

Photo on Visualhunt

Yes, it’ll take me longer to get to that bestseller’s list but that’s okay. I’ll have enjoyed the journey to get there much more because I didn’t miss any important steps along the way.

So, when you see other authors getting an agent or hitting the bestseller’s list and you feel like you’re missing out, just think of it as it’s their time to shine. It’s not yours yet. You’re still working on being a great mom and being there for your kids. You’ll get your moment when it’s your time.

Photo on Visualhunt

So, relax and enjoy your journey. Enjoy all the steps along the way. It’ll make the destination that much sweeter!

Thanks for reading my post today! How do you feel? Are you enjoying your journey? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Posted in Slice of LIfe

A Case of Paronychia: A Slice of Life Post

 

 

slice of life_individual

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you! I’m back with another Slice of Life Post, and today I’m talking about Paronychia. I’ve never heard of this condition until last week, but let me tell you it is not fun.

I’ve been trying to get back into shape this summer, so I’ve been running. I started out running three miles and then adding more each week. I was up to five miles when Paronychia struck.

Image result for pictures of paronychia
This is not my toe, but my toe did look similar to this.

I had just completed an awesome five mile run. I had that runner’s high that you get when you’re done. I could have run another five miles that’s how good I felt. But I didn’t because I didn’t want to overdo it. This summer has been very hot and humid, and it’d be real easy for me to give myself heat stroke or something.

 

IMG_20160820_180358417_TOP.jpg
This is me after my five mile run, doing the Bolt move. I can’t quite pull it off like he was able to. 🙂

After my run,  I came home and cleaned up. When I finally sat down, I noticed the nail on my big toe seemed bent at a weird angle. I got out the clippers and prepared to cut it.That’s when I noticed that it was a little swollen and tender. Something wasn’t right.

I continued clipping my nail and when I was done, I sat back and examined my toe. That’s when I noticed a clear liquid oozing out from under my nail. This threw me for a loop. I kept pressing on the nail until the clear liquid stopped flowing out. Then I went to bed. I figured a good night sleep would cure it.

It didn’t. I woke up with a swollen toe and more oozing. That’s when my hubby got involved. He took a look at it and claimed I had Paronychia, and my toe had to be amputated. When he left the bathroom to get the meat cleaver,  I took the opportunity to jump in the shower.

Photo credit: Ryan Christopher VanWilliams – NYC via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

He returned with the cleaver in hand, I told him I had to get to work so the amputation would have to wait until later that night.  He bought that excuse, put the cleaver down, and went to work. I know he was getting the cleaver out of love…but maybe he didn’t need to love me so much… you know. 🙂

On a side note: I did ask my hubby if Misery was his favorite movie. He’s always saying he’s my Number One Fan. (Bites nails) But it isn’t, so we’re all good. 🙂 He is a Stephen King fan, though…. (chews nails and paces).

Photo credit: AZRainman via Visual Hunt / CC BY

After my shower, I got dressed for work and quickly hid the meat cleaver. There was going to be no amputation because of a little toe infection, and that’s what it was. An infection of the cuticle around my toe.

I’ve never had this before, and my toe swelled up so I couldn’t wear shoes. I had to drain it each day.(I also soaked my toe in hydrogen peroxide) That clear fluid never turned to pus like the hubs said it would, though. This is important because he thinks he’s right about everything. And he usually is, which is an annoying idiosyncrasy. But hey, we’ve all got them, right. 🙂

It took about a week, but the swelling has finally gone down and the oozing has stopped. The nail looks a little bruised, but for the most part it’s fine.

Why am I sharing this with all of you? To let you know if your hubby says you have Paronychia and wants to perform an amputation. It is NOT necessary. You can save your toe. You just have to wait it out, or go to the doctor and get some antibiotics. This has been a PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT. 🙂

So, has your husband ever wanted to perform emergency surgery for you? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Posted in promotion

Ask Away Friday with Mrs. Tee!

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! Today I’m working with Mrs. Tee on Ask Away Friday. 🙂 She sent me these questions to answer and I sent her some questions that I’d like her to answer and we’re posting this information on our respective blogs. So below are her questions with my answers and her’s are available here!

http://mrsteelovelifelaughter.com/

 

You list The Nancy Drew series as one of your first encounters with mysteries. I use to read every one…I know this may be hard but what was your favorite one?

Ohh. Hard question. I would have to say “The Secret of the Old Clock” mainly because that’s the only one that I remember.

 

As an avid reader and lover of books I can’t wait to introduce some of my favorites to my Kiddies. What books have you shared with your children from your own childhood?

I have two boys and they’re nine and seven. So, I’m still working on them, but some of the ones I’ve shared are Hardy Boys, The Boxcar Children, and Encyclopedia Brown. They’re interested in my books though, so when they get a little older I’m sure they’ll be reading the Super Spies.

 

Do you see any signs of your writing skills in your children?

My youngest seems to enjoy creating stories. When he was home sick one day from school, he wrote a thirty two page story about Tornadoes. I was pretty impressed. 🙂

 

When you have a day just for YOU what is your favorite thing to do?

Read!

Pick 3 words to describe yourself that start with these letters: S, P and L.

S is for spontaneous. I love to be spontaneous and just pick up and go sometimes!

P is for perfectionist. I can be a perfectionist in my writing.

L is for Laughter. I love to laugh and have fun, especially with my boys.

 

 

If you could meet any author in the world (living or deceased) who would it be and why?

It would be a toss-up between Harper Lee and Stephen King. Harper Lee because I’d love to find out why she only published one book. And Stephen King because I’d love to find out where he gets his ideas from.

Would you rather …

Receive $10,000 in Cash or Gift Cards?

$10,000 in cash

Would you rather…

Have a rewind or pause button for your life?

Hmmm…good question. Probably pause, so I could push it when I need to slow down and make a major decision.

Thanks for reading my post today! Don’t forget to stop by Mrs. Tee’s and check out her answers to the questions I gave her!

Here’s the link! http://mrsteelovelifelaughter.com/