Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just when I thought I was finished

How did those little gremlins weave themselves into my WIP? Mine has been a work in progress for several years. There are many reasons for that, but now that I am confident that my novel is ready to be pitched I find a few little stinkers that need to be removed. ACK!

I am doing a short synospis of each chapter. And that takes me back to the original story and makes me laugh, shudder, gasp. I'm tired of tweaking, but such is a writer's life.

Writing a book is like parenting, your work is never finished.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Forms of communication

There's a cute You Tube video of two babies having an unintelligible conversation. They seem to have their own language and understand one another. Maybe. It appears to me that one is telling the other he wants his sock back and then they mimic one anothers' babbling. All things are possible, perhaps this is a true language.

The first conversation is between mother and newborn. Infants identify their mother's smell and voice. Mothers can detect their baby's wail out of a dozen other newborns in the nursery.

Communication is two-way, even if it is non-verbal, and can be as simple as a smile, frown, nod, raised or knitted eyebrows, a caress, a posture, a smack. You get the picture.

I try not to overtalk in the classroom. After I state an instruction and repeat it once, I then use non-verbal communication. If I need a distracted child to sit, I will point to the chair, and if I have to say a name, I will. But no more. If I need children to be quiet, I look at the child, dramatically fold my hands and PLOP my hands in my lap, until I get a like response. It works! Children need to read non-verbal cues. It is difficult for children on the autism spectrum to understand non-verbal communication, but I use it just the same, and they eventually respond.

When I was a little girl my parents learned that they couldn't spell in front of me, so they spoke pig latin, that silly 'language' where you move the first letter of a word (or syllable) to the end and add the long "A" sound. My name would sound like Indalay. I caught on and responded fluently to their conversations.

My dad thought he could out-smart me, so he developed Chicken-Latin. Same principle but he added ca-hae-ckle instead of the long A sound. Cat would sound like "at-ca-haekle". I mastered that in a New York minute. Too bad I didn't do as well in French when I was in high school.

So my brother and I, at about age 9-10, developed what we considered our own language and we called it OP. We spelled words and added OP to every consonant and spoke the vowels. My name would be "Lop-I-Nop-Dop-A" We became proficient spellers and drove our parents crazy.

I think the most profound form of communication existed between my late mom and me, and also between me and my late friend. My husband and I have the knack. To be able to speak with our eyes, head movements and grunts and to be understood ... it's incredible when the other person GETS IT!

A nudge in the side or a gentle kick in the shin under the table usually garners the response, "Hey! What'd you do that for?" But not with Mom, Rose or Bill. We understood each another.

I've been out with some people who are brilliant but very literal instead of interpretive and intuitive. If I whisper, "Over there," and shift my eyes in the direction of a suspicious person or just a freak, they will flip their head around and loudly say, "Who? What? Where?" and then I must smile deflated and say, "Huh? Nothing. Nevermind."

I think you either have it or you don't. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What a difference a day makes

Last weekend the tepmperature of 84 degrees broke all records, and then this week we had thundersnow which dumped 4-6 inches of heavy white stuff. We took these photos at Bee Tree Park last week.

Nature knits and purls maroon buds to every branch; the loamy earth awakens .

In a crook of the rippled lake still water cradles debris. Autumn’s discarded foliage clings to spring algae propagating in sunshine

golden as the finch that flew this nest, confused by four inches of unexpected snow.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Button floral bouquet

My granddaughter is considering favors/table decorations for her wedding next year. She mentioned button bouquets. I have no idea what she's talking about, but I did what any good preschool teacher and grandma would do. I rushed to my school closet to sift through recyclable materials and buttons. This is made from pipe cleaners, buttons, address label floral stickers and a liquid laundry detergent lid.

So, what do you think?

I'll tell you what my former vice principal used to think. When Princella would walk into the lunch room where I supervised a school age summer day camp, she'd look around, (she was a dead ringer for Whoopi Goldbergh) and she'd laugh and say, "Girl, you are the white Sanford and Son of this school. You have all kinds of junk!"

Had the best summer camp in the inner city too! Eventually I took my recycled show on the road and did presentations at teacher workshops and for YMCA's.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I know something you don't know!

Old-fashioned, hands-on learning beats pencil and paper or battery-operated anyday! I took a soda bottle and inserted the mouth through a hole cut into the rabbit's mouth and taped the entire bunny to the bottle and glued it to a cardboard circle base so it wouldn't tip. (Cut a hole near the top of the back of the bottle to easily remove the jelly beans when the bottle is full.) I filled a box with jelly beans and gave the students spoons and encouraged them to feed the bunny.

This activity is fun, keeps their interest, encourages cooperation and turn taking. It develops hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. When two or more children are invovled, this activity generates spontaneous conversation, increases vocbulary and enhances language development.

My funny for the week: two little girls, age four were taking turns feeding the bunny.

"I know something about chickens and rabbits."

"So do I."

"Yeah, I bet I know something you don't know!"


"At Easter, chickens poop the eggs out, and rabbits poop the jelly beans."

Friday, March 25, 2011

Book Blurb Friday

I am linking up with Lisa at Writing in the Buff. See if you can write a back of the book blurb in 140 words using this picture as a prompt.

Unleashed Wrath

Mason High was no more or less out of control than any other public school.
When the intruder alarm sounded and the secretary’s voice screeched a high pitched code word, teachers rushed to deadbolt their classroom doors and flip off light switches. Unruly students huddled in corners and speculated in hushed tones. As teachers tried to maintain order, a male voice bombarded the airwaves.

“You are now under my control. Principal Perkins has no authority whatsoever. Do you Perkins? Speak directly into the mic.”

Robert Anderson had always been a bit of a rebel, but usually the administrators could quell his minor disturbances. Robert was on an unstoppable rampage.

“If my demands aren’t met, everyone in this building will choke on their prayers and swears. Listen up!”

As Anderson makes his demands known, Kyle Horstman decides to play hero.
139 words

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Nothing like a trial run.

It happened at this time of the year about fifteen years ago. I remember the Bradford pear trees were flowering; dogwoods and magnolias hung heavy with pink blossoms, and lilac scented the neighborhood.

I called for my routine mammogram appointment and the receptionist asked if I would be willing to visit the mobile mammogrophy unit. She rattled off a list of locations where it would be that month. I chose a date and location.

She said, "Five minutes late and your appointment will be cancelled; so be on time."

I left school after lunch and darted to the location. Hmmm, I couldn't remember exactly what the address was, but I knew it was by Dierberg's, a large chain grocery store.

I questioned myself all the way there. Was it the Dierberg's at 2900 or the one at 4300? I drove like I had a hot date, got off at the nearest location and spied the huge mobile unit, four minutes to expiration of my boob smoosh.

I parked the car, ran up the metal stairs, flung open the door, dug in my purse for my insurance card while the woman waited patiently.

"I'm here for my 12:30 appointment."


"My mammogram!"

"Ma'am, this is the Book Mobile."

I grimaced, groaned, screeched out of the parking lot with Mopsy and Flopsy in full swing and made it across the street to the upper end of Dierberg's parking lot where the girls met their fate, with one minute to spare.

"Hold your breath now, honey."

Hold my breath? I could hardly catch my breath. That mammy was a whammy!

Thereafter, I arranged to be compressed at the hospital.

Schedule yours if you haven't already!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Funny, Furry and Frightful; no not me!

The leprechaun has just about made it back to the Irish glens, and the rabbits and chickens are already fighting over custody of the eggs that will soon be dyed.

Here in St. Louis we have had a delicious taste of spring, temperatures topping 80 degrees, so I know it is a little difficult to get all keyed up about Halloween. It seems so far away, but editorial calendars are set up so that submissions should arrive months in advance.

How many of you have spent a few hours of your lives perusing the greeting card aisles? My girlfriend and I used to spend lots of time reading them aloud and laughing like lunatics. We could clear the aisle with our laughter.

Now, imagine YOUR card on the shelves, your Halloween card, featuring Fido, Frisky- Whiskers or heck, even your gerbil, fish or bird if you can figure out a way to costume the little critters. Hallmark is coming up on deadline, MARCH 27th, so get in gear and get your best photo ready to send off for the Funny, Furry, Frightful and fun for all ages Halloween card contest.
Click HERE Have fun, and I hope to hear from you that your submission made the cut!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Share and share alike

Pete Green, Linda O'Connell, Brad Cook, Photo: Courtesy of Lynn Obermoeller

I recapped my St. Louis Writer's Guild panel presentation in my previous post. I would like to thank everyone who came to hear what Pete Green, Brad Cook and I had to say. I do believe that St. Louis has a huge literary pool, and I also believe that we should be inclusive rather than exclusive, and readily share our knowledge.

A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to my new blog followers!

Peter Green discussed independent presses and "author-subsidized publishing". Self-publishing is not the way to go for everyone, but if you are intent on getting your manuscript published, there are avenues other than traditional publishing. Check out his book, Dad's War With the United Sates Marines on his website and read about his newest, upcoming release.

Brad Cook gave a thorough overview of local conferences and the wealth of knowledge one gains from attending. He has been pumped ever since returning from New York.

The Missouri Writer's Guild Conference is coming up April 8-10. There is still time to register, or if you just want to schmooze and dine and hear keynote speaker, hometown sweetheart, author and former Post-Dispatch columnist, Elaine Viets on 4/9/11, please go to MWG.

Some of St. Louis's literary finest were in the audience. I was proud to see Dianna Graveman, local author who will be presenting at the MWG conference. Becky Haigler, editor of Silver Boomer Anthologies was also in attendance, and Diane Jennings Willis from Washington University.

Please feel free to email me on any topic, and I will help in any way that I can.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Are you a HOT writer?

I was part of a panel discussion at Border's representing St. Louis Writer's Guild.
My presentation was on being a hot writer.

Do you consider yourself a HOT writer? Do you have your feet to the fire? Are you writing and submitting everyday? Maybe your writing is just on the back burner simmering. Are you on a roll? Sizzling with success?

Regardless of how prolific you are, you too can be a HOT writer.

HOT is an acronymn.

If you are hard working, honest, and have a sense of humor, you've earned the H.

If you are optimistic and seek every opportunity to find places to get published, you've earned your O.

If you have talent and try your best, then you have earned your T.

That's what it takes to be a HOT writer! Enthusiasm waxes and wanes like the moon, but no matter which phase of your writing you are in, apply yourself, take risks, and don't let a silly old rejection stop you. Rejections are seldom about YOU; they are about editorial needs. Don't shelve your manuscript, article or essay, resend it.

I made, and still make mistakes. One of my most embarrassing was writing the perfect essay for Sasee, a woman's magazine. The editor had previously purchased my work, so I worked hard to please, I used a flippant tone and titled my essay, Rear View in My Full Length Mirror. I even stood before my mirror and posed, trying to capture the angle and right words for this piece. (Disgusting!) It was about dieting. Actually, if I'm honest, and I must be to be a HOT writer, it was about hiding cookie contraband.

The essay was perfect. I blind copied the article back to myself. I opened the email as soon as it popped up, and reread it. I was confident. It had no mistakes, and I just knew I would sell it. Then, my heart raced. I saw a glaring error. It was not a typo. It was right there in the address line. It hit me in the eye like a big pizza pie! I hadn't sent it to Sasee, I had sent it to THE SMITHSONIAN! I screamed. My hubby came running and asked if I had received an acceptance. I shooed him away, because I was at a loss for words and so embarrassed. A week later I received a nice rejection for Smithsonian, and I finally exhaled.

We all make mistakes. You must have a sense of humor, and laugh at yourself. I'm sure the editor at the Smithsonian couldn't put my essay down; unfortunately they couldn't publish it.

Laugh and the world laughs with you!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Writing on the road to publication

It has been a busy day. I took my students on a field trip to the Dental Health Museum where they learned about good dental health and were able to view a GIANT-sized set of "lowers". There are only two sets of these three foot tall fiberglass teeth in the world. They're inset on a large pink carpet (the tongue). The dental health lady played games and lit up individual teeth and explained their functions. Her friend, Youcan, an animated twenty-four inches tall toucan sat on his perch and interacted with the children. Then, they watched a dental health video about a baby dinsoaur hiding a sucker in her bed and her brother getting tangled up in dental floss. That got lots of laughs. Everyone received a sparkly zippered, pencil packet containing a pencil, a toothbrush, sandttimer, floss toothpaste etc. In a few days they will be posting a video on Facebook of my students singing a song. You need to LIKE Dental Health Theatre. It's not up yet, though.

It was a beautiful sunny, sixty degree day. We had our snack outdoors. We were very blessed.

This evening I have been preparing for tomorrow's presentation, a panel discussion from 7-8 p.m. at Border's in Brentwood titled, On The Road to Publication. Believe me, my road was paved with some embarrassing moments, which I will share with those in attendance. I will also talk about huge mistakes that editors have made too. And I have proof.

I am going to talk about being a HOT writer. HOT is an acronymn for three core skills that good writers possess. Want to take a chance? What do you think that the H, O, and T stand for? Aw come on, take a guess.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Truth or Dare

Okay, it is time to 'fess up. View my last post: five things about me; one's a lie.

My former husband's army sargent, Harvey Llewellen, lived across the river from our town and was driving home from Alaska on leave. He invited us to ride along and share the expenses. As we had a thirty day leave, we thought it the perfect opportunity to go home and show off our new baby girl.

The maniac drove at 80 miles per hour down the winding, partially unpaved Al-Can Highway. A semi truck zipped passed, and the wind velocity or something, caused our driver's window to shatter. Bits of safety glass flew throughout the interior of the car like shrapnel. I protected the baby, begged him to stop at the first restroom (he wanted to keep driving!)and I bathed her. She broke out in hives, probably from the soap and cried for hours. So did I.

Once we reached the interstates, he kept the pedal to the metal 80-100 mph.
It was an ubelievable trip in the back seat of a 1969 fast back Mustang with a new baby in a pumpkin seat on my lap, and no room to stretch. I felt trapped and helpless.

I WAS shot AT at point blank range when I was fourteen. I was awakened during the night by the sound of someone trying to steal my dad's car outside our window. My dad ran out to confront him (we had no phone back then) and I ran after him. The night was dead still, car exhaust fumes permeated the air and neighbors were all asleep when the would-be car thief rolled down the window and pointed a revolver at me and my dad, and fired, CLICK! The gun misfired.

I pulled my dad away and screamed, "He has a gun!" We ran back inside. The man exited the car, staggered up the block and continued firing. One bullet lodged in a tree and the other was fired at random the police report claimed. Hours before, he had unloaded four bullets into the floor of a neighborhood bar.

My dad and I had to go to the police station to view the lineup. It was the longest night of my life and the loudest gun shot I've heard. It still echoes, CLICK!

Years ago, the inner-city school where I worked had originally been a K-8 elementary. They added a gymnasium, multi-purpose room and a very large preschool room. Years later the school was converted to a middle school grades 6-8, but the preschool was still housed there. Much of the student body consisted of 13-16 year old gang members, thugs, street-wise teens, fifteen year old moms who often stopped by to ask if I would take their babies in 'daycare'. The running joke was our school was the last stop before Juvenile Hall or jail. Nearly everyone was out of control, except my students who set good examples for the big kids. Faculty, staff and even administrators often wrung their hands, showed movies, passed time and socially promoted kids to move them on and out.

One disgruntled, expelled student (it was presumed) phoned in bomb threats. Every afternoon we had to evacuate while the bomb-sniffing dogs came through. After awhile they just called a code over the intercom and we exited the building. I think they quit calling the cops and the administrators did a walk through. It became so common place that we told parents/kids that the workers removing asbestos must have pulled the alarm, or the construction people were rewiring the building etc. I couldn't wait to get out of that school! On a side note, my daughter worked at a grocery store that had daily bomb threats. The store managers would do a walk through. Scary, huh?

When I was forty, and forty pounds thinner, I won twenty-five dollars in a hula hoop contest at a bar where one of our friends was the DJ. I kept that hula hoop spinning as I went down on one knee. Lucky my knees bend these days.

I never swam with the dolphins. That's the truth, er lie, um, the honest truth!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Liar-liar pants on fire!

Tag! I'm it. Sioux got me. I am supposed to tell you five things about myself, one that is not true. Can you guess which one is not true? Will you play along and leave your answers in the comments section?

1. Swam with the dolphins/awesome up close experience.
2. Alaska to St. Louis in a red Mustang/ two and a half days with a week old baby.
3. Shot at/point blank range and survived.
4. Bomb threats at school for two weeks/had to evacuate daily, couldn't tell parents.
5. Won money in an adults only hula hoop contest/hula hooping on one knee.

Now I pass it on to Susan at Writing Straight from the Heart.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Book Blurb Friday

In 140 words or less can you look at this picture, write a book title and blurb to make it a best seller? Please join me and others at Lisa at Writing in the Buff

Conjuring the Spirits begins with a familiar journey for fifteen year old Madeline Jergens. Since she was a toddler she’s traipsed these parts. Today she does not have her grandfather’s hand to hold as she steps over a fallen log, peels off her shoes and walks across a babbling brook. She slips two miles deep into the backwoods of the Arkansas hills, intent on discovering her tree.

When she was a child she called it the glisten tree. Back then, nobody believed her when she told them about the gossamer winged entities that filled the tree. Butterflies, millers, dragonflies, the adults told her.

Today she discovers the tree’s secret, heavy hung with long buried truths and questions waiting to be unearthed. A caterwauling voice calls from the woods, “Maddie, come.”

What hovers high in the branches of the glisten tree? (140 words)

Sorry I was late in posting. Last evening my granddaughter, along with other artists and photographers had a reception at an art gallery. Early this morning we received a phone call invitation to come see grandson number three play his last basketball game of the season. Got home intending to post on this blog and grandson number five called inviting us to his last game. Whew!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Can you tell the real ones from the fake ones?

The authentic self is the soul made visible.~ Sarah Ban Breathnach (Simple Abundance)

I have been reading several writers' blogs. These are people I consider my mentors. They have huge followings, are on the speaker's circuit, highly respected and widely- published. They come from all over the country, and they all have something in common. No matter how widely published, how educated, how prominent their names, they all express having felt a tad inadequate and amazed when they were asked to present/mentor to those in higher positions, to those with more credentials, more publishing credits etc. "Moi?" they ask in surprise.

Truth is, one's profession, level of education or position in life does not make one a writer anymore than having taken math classes makes me proficient at numbers. Each of us has something to offer. We should recognize our strengths and honor our God-given talents.

At presentations, during interviews and in person, everyone puts on their best face, shoves their best foot forward and sometimes, we put others off by not being ourselves. Are you amazingly cool while your stomach is quivering and your knees are knocking? Have you mastered the art of wearing the mask of the moment for your performance on the great stage of life? Or do you display your authentic self? Do you allow strangers to see past your bravado and give them a glimpse into our heart?

My late mother left behind few material possessions, but she bequeathed to me a wealth of wisdom. It began when I was a toddler and she sent me to Sunday School where I learned the song, "This Little Light of Mine". She always encouraged me to let my light shine. She told me that regardless of the intitials before or after anyone's name, neither they nor I were better or worse than the other, and respect must be earned. No one is unapproachable because of their title.

When my step-dad injured himself and was disabled for a couple of years, Mom, at nearly age fifty, applied for a job at a factory, having had no work experience. At the interview she was asked how many years she had been in industrial cleaning. She replied, "My husband worked, but I have been cleaning for forty years, and although I only weigh a hundred pounds, I can sling a big mop, and I will do my very best."

Not once did she use the fact that her husband was disabled and she desperately needed the job. The boss told her that she was chosen over several more qualified applicants because he thought she was authentic.

Authentic, sincere, real ... do you really allow your light to shine?

Believe in yourself more than anyone else does. Don't be intimidated by anyone. Each of us has something valauable to offer. Start with a smile!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Fat Tuesday? Why don't they just rename it Fat Linda? I made a batch of mini cupcakes and told myself that four of those quarter-sized babies equal only half a full sized one. I've eaten the equivalent of two full-sized cupcakes. You do the math. I make myself sick, plus I don't do numbers well, especially those three digit liars on my scale.

Then I spied the M&Ms that the gas station attendant convinced me to buy at two for a buck. It seemed like a real bargain after handing her forty-eighty dollars for gasoline. So, during the morning news I alternated between a few pretzel stuffed M&Ms and the peanut variety.

Hubby awoke and I asked if he'd like to split half a bacon, egg, cheese English muffin breakfast sandwich.

"Wow! Half? I'm proud of YOU!" He beamed as my guilty face blended into my double chin.

I poured two cups of orange juice and took the bigger one for myself, a quarter ounce more, but still I had to be a glutton. If this is the day to binge, I've started out right. I understand that binge and purge is not a healthy lifestyle choice. How did those heathens do it?

I vow to eat a salad at lunch. I'll go light on the ranch dressing, boiled egg, two kinds of cheeses and bacon bits. Oh okay, I'll skip lunch and jog around my classroom for half an hour. I'm old enough to know that my body and mind are slipping, so by lunch, I might forget all of this and go to the ice cream shop and cash in my two for one coupon. I have 21 flavors to choose from.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Passing it on, doing unto others

I am amazed at how nice my new blog friends are, truly honored and absolutely stunned that you all chose little old me to grace the pages of your blogs.
I want to thank the famous, Jennifer Brown Banks at
Pen and Prosper for nominating me as a Phenomenal Female Blogger during Women's History Month. You can read one of my previously published essays on her blog. It may give you some insight as to who I am and how I have evolved.

Another shout out goes to Donna B. at
Mystical Journeys who awarded me this blog award. I was instructed to post a picture of myself blogging. Not the most flattering photo, but the most spotless you'll find my work area. Actually, I shoved my pile of papers under the calendar which is flipped back to February. Notice my
monkey on the top right of the screen? His presence is a reminder to quit monkeying around and get writing.

When I was in kindergarten my dad used to tell me he was going to get me a little monkey (I imagined a baby chimpanzee) to carry my books to school in a little satchel. His story telling was a precursor to my writing.

I was instructed to pass this award on to other deserving writers.

Dianna Graveman is one of the hardest working and busiest writers I know.

T'Mara Goodsell's fun blog is a hoot. Be sure to scroll to some of her previous posts and read Sexless in the City.

Cathy C. Hall is a humorist and great writer. Her wit makes my synapses fire.

Claudia is a tea drinking, deep thinking writer/poet.

June Freaking Cleaver at Ratio of Failures is very insightful and wise.

There are so many more of you that I haven't mentioned here. It has nothing to do with preference. I love you all.

Take a moment to stop by and visit these folks and please leave a comment.

Now, I have a question for you. This happened to me today. I walked into a fast food restaurant and the teenager behind the counter had her hand in her mouth!( braces or food trapped?) Then, she walked over to place an order on a tray and took it to the dining room. I had one of two choices, either walk out or address the problem. I decided that my health and that of others was at risk, and so as she came around the counter, I stopped her.

"Excuse me," I said softly, "I don't want to sound rude, but when I came in the door you had your hands in your mouth. Would you please go wash your hands before serving my food?"

Some teens would have sassed, spat at me or ignored me, but she smiled and said, "Oh yeah, sure." Then she be-bopped to the sink.

How would you have handled this situation?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I am counting on YOU

I was the recipient of counting on grace,
a novel by Elizabeth Winthrop at
Clara Gillow Clark.

counting on grace (no caps in title) is a glimpse into an uncomfortable truth about America in the early 1900's. The main character, twelve year old, Grace is based on a real person Addie Card, who like many children worked in the North Pownal Cotton Mill. This novel blends history and fiction. It is an easy read. I feel as if I know Grace, a very stoic, determined, left-handed, bright and active girl.

I visited the North East a few years ago and stood before some of these defunct mills trying to capture the essence of Americana. After reading, counting on grace, I have an entirely new perspective. I would recommend this book.

WILL YOU HELP ME? I am trying to establish a writer's platform, which is an absolute must for anyone hoping to publish a book. Please follow me on Twitter Linda O'Connell, WriterLindaO
and also check out my new post at This link should take you right to it. You do not have to "TIP" to make a comment.

I do appreciate all of my new, regular and ocassional followers. I will be attending a Writer's Guild event this morning about procrastination. Uhm, I have been up since 4:00 a.m, and it is almost 7:00. I have been procrastinating in blogland. This meeting has my name all over it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Book Blurb Friday

I am joining Lisa at Writing in the Buff for her 150 word or less meme BOOK BLURB. Participants are to view a photo and write a blurb that will make this fictious book a best seller. Please visit Lisa's blog and leave a comment for others who are participating.

Peeking Through the Key Hole

By Iwana Seeitall

Fifteen year old Tomasina’s parents own a rambling Victorian boarding house in Vermont where a murder has taken place. The exterior and wrap-around porch hint at a glimpse into the past, a time when folks did not feel the need to lock their front doors. Now, each door has a modern deadbolt positioned ten inches above the original keyholes.

When doors are locked up tight for the night Tomasina removes her shoes and the emerald stud piercings in her eyebrows and flits quietly up and down the halls peering through the holes just below the glass doorknobs. She holds the skeleton key to the secrets that reside behind each door.

While investigators are methodically searching for clues, she discovers who murdered Mr. Mayhew. Nancy Drew has nothing on Peeping Tomasina who is discovered by the murderer with her eye to the keyhole.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Do you have a motto, model that acts as your impetus?

Thanks to all who left comments on my blog yesterday. I do appreciate it. Although it sounded like I was going postal, I actually am well grounded and know that these things happen. I also believe the adage that good/bad things come in 'threes'. Well wouldn't you know, I received my third yesterday.

"I have not received your requested article, yet."

I sent it weeks ago. It must have wings; it's floating in cyberspace.

Life is a roller coaster ride, and now after three plunges I am on the upswing. I have learned that I won at Michael's blog, The Year of Writing Dangerously

I expect two great writer-related things to happen to me in the very near future.

In school I work on A-B-C's and my classroom motto is, Never say, I Can't. Always say, I can try!

In my writing I work on C-B-A's. My model for success is Conceive, Believe, Achieve!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Where's my SASE? Where's my contract?

This is about as savvy as I feel sometimes when it comes to computers. Thanks to my hubby I was able to repost this. I cannot take any credit, the wise one, the techno geek knows all, and all I have to do is shout, "Honey!" and he comes with his wizard magic.

I have been cursing the mailbox lately. I had an article published in an eight page newsletter, and when it arrived, it was in a plastic bag from the postal service with an apology for the shredded condition it was in. Looked worse than a kid with safety scissors trying to make a paper snowflake.

I sent off a timely essay that an editor asked me to edit and resend. I was so hopeful when I saw the return envelope in my mailbox. I couldn't believe that the yellow sticker pasted across the front was also from the US Postal Service stating my mail was undeliverable to the address. I know how Elvis felt, Return to Sender; Address Unknown! UGH!

I check my email several times a day, and I read my blog before and after work and during lunch. You know what they say about a 'watched pot'. Well I am about to boil over, so I think I will not check my email during my work day and see what happens. My bet, when I get home and go on line a mailer daemon will pop up on my computer. I will snap, completely shut down and give it the boot.

WELCOME TO MY NEW FOLLOWERS, please stop by often. I love hearing from you.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Stepping out of your comfort zone

This won First Round Winner at The Verb in 2009. The directions were to rewrite a song without using the lyrics. The judge would then play the original song while reading your submission and see how close you came to the original content. I had fun doing this exercise. Maybe you would like to stretch your writing muscles and give it a try too. Oh come on, rewrite a couple of lyrics to your favorite song. Prove to yourself that you can write out of your comfort zone. If you want me to guess, don't title it, and post it in the comments section.

Can you figure out my favorite song and the artist by reading my submission? It will probably be simple.

My heart has been a lead-heavy weight since we broke up, and drowning my sorrows with scotch on the rocks for the past two weeks isn’t cutting it for me. Thought I’d kissed you off and I was through with you. I decided to find someone else. I had no idea whether it was Monday, Sunday or any day in between when that gal strode into the bar with her spike heels and bleach blonde hair, towered over me, breathed down my neck and offered to make my dreams come true. The well-endowed babe with the German brogue tried to seduce me, did her best to convince me that she had what it takes. But despite her come hither looks and blatant sexual offers, I couldn’t get my mind off of you. There have been numerous femme fatals and I admit I haven’t been true to you. I’ve had my share of big-boobed broads, but this one was nothing compared to you. All I could think about was how you looked the first night we met, your outfit made of amoeba embellished material. I figured your makeup and clothes were a result of youth and naivete`. Girl, your simple magnificence made me do a double take.

Baby, you will forever be in my ticker and spiritual psyche. Your presence is always with me and I can’t get you out of my cerebral cortex. When I’m a geezer on a cane you will be my thrill, my burst of oxygen; I will breathe you in. You have always been my compatible sexual partner, my dearest acquaintance. You will always be in the vital vascular organ located right here in my chest; I can’t get you out of the spiritual part of my being either. My passionate affection for you cannot be quantified and my honor and esteem for you is vast. You are seemingly not growing older, you are eternal, very pleasing to look at. You are like fine, frilly woven string. You are excellent! This is my last declaration, an announcement that I want the entire world to hear. Your presence resides within me, and I can’t live without you, because no one else compares. I’m finished with the booze, the babes and the bars. Baby it will always be you!