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Hotel for Dogs-No Vacancy 1

Morning has broken here in Central California and for once it is a gorgeous day! The fog has given way to a clear blue sky and the sun is shining brightly. It will be a beautiful day to take a walk or do some yard work or just get out and enjoy a California winter as only we can do it. I have my bags packed for yet another weekend away. The hubby apparently had requested the Monday after the Super Bowl off about two months ago. Of course, he didn’t bother to tell ME to put in for the day off so now I will have to call off, which doesn’t make me happy but it will be ok. I booked us a room at a little run-down motel right at State Line in Lake Tahoe and we are going to find a bar or something to watch the Big Game and have some fun! He wants to actually gamble on the game. We usually participate in a pool at work but this year he wants to do it bigger where you can actually bet real money. Not sure how I feel about that–I’m not a gambler at heart in any way–but he’s excited to try and if he wins I’m all for it!!

We are farming dogs out while we are gone. Is it sad when you take four dogs away and you still have seven dogs left at the house? It is? Yeah I need to move to a ranch…

We gained another dog–don’t shoot me!–3 weeks ago. I’m not sure why, but I seem to attract all the best dogs that are homeless or lost! This one was tied up downtown near my bus bay and another driver got my attention and pointed her out She was scared and apparently had been the middle of a huge controversy amongst several of the passengers and loiterers. She had been running loose all around the area, dragging a leash that had been tied around her neck, and almost got hit several times as she darted in and out of traffic. Someone finally caught her in the Taco Bell drive thru and a man snatched the leash and claimed her as his. The dog was fighting him and other people stepped up and said it wasn’t his dog and our police officer finally came over to see what the commotion was about. Seeing the officer the guy got scared, tied the dog to a bench, mumbled something about getting some food, and took off.

When I got there the little dog was at the end of her leash, scared and snarling at anyone who came near her. the officer was on the phone calling animal control , and I just squatted down next to her and tried to pet her. She bit me several times, but since I was wearing leather driving gloves I didn’t let it phase me and kept pushing in on her until she submitted to my touch. The officer was watching me the entire time, and when I untied her and picked her up and said I’d take her he told AC to never mind. The bus driver that had alerted me told the cop I was the Dog Whisperer and I could do miracles with dogs. I laughed at that but took the dog over to my car where I took a couple of pictures of her and posted them to a page on Facebook where the network of local rescues and regular folks go when they find a lost dog or cat or lose their pet.

The little dog was very scared and I went out and checked on her when I had my breaks. The first break she was still curling her lip at me when I touched her, but by my last break she crawled into my lap and pressed herself against me and shook. Poor baby! I was concerned about bringing her home because I was afraid she would bite Adrielle and that was when the miracle happened. This snapping, snarling little dog that bit the bejeebers out of me took one look at my baby girl and was beside herself with joy! She licked and kissed her and that little tail went a hundred miles an hour as DriDri squealed with delight and hugged her! I melted right there. I posted a found ad to Craigslist–does anyone even use the newspaper any more?–and waited the prescribed 14 days before I claimed the little dog as mine.

So when I farm dogs out this weekend Cash and Jazz will be going to the ranch to hang out with Cash’s brother/Jazz’s nephew Rope. Jazz will enjoy the peace and quiet of the ranch–she loves her Aunt Candy’s big soft quilts for naps! Cash and Rope will play outside in the backyard for hours and her new pup Pendleton will have two buddies to play with and harass! Jackie and the new little girl will go with us because they fit in one kennel together and are the same age and weight and love each other.  Cash won’t be going out-of-town until he is chipped, by the way. No more repeats of the trip to Reno for me! Jackie is chipped and the new girl will be shortly.

We named her Tallulah Belle, Tula for short. She has claimed me as her person and most days can be found sitting on the window sill next to me as I am on the computer or sitting in the chair behind me. My husband is totally in love with her because he says she reminds him of our little Chula, a Chihuahua mix we lost a few years back to seizures. He loved that little dog and he was the one who said we should call this one Tula. (Long story short–when we got Chula’s ashes back they had written her name on the receipt as “Tula”. We had to laugh–not sure where they got that from–and have joked about it off and on since then.)

Tula in car seatTula sleeping on my lap

So here is out new little girl. She is just a pup–about 6 months old–and has already found her place in our hearts. After her I’m not getting ANY MORE DOGS!!! Really, I’m not! I swear!!  :)

1 COMMENT | Categories,Uncategorized | Tags, , , , , , , ,

Sick Days = Homework Days. 4

Unfortunately.

Son caught a virus Sunday afternoon and has since spent his days chilling at the house with me, going from equal parts laid out on the couch with fever to wired up as kids of his age tend to be. You know, that age where they’re just short of being something indescribable that causes destruction in his wake.

But now it’s starting to pass. He’s school bound tomorrow and I got in touch with his teachers to fetch homework for the days he missed. One word people, one word: YUCK.

We powered through it this morning. Today should bring another batch and then back into our routine. It’s now 11:40 and I’m just now getting to the computer. Almost there…almost there.

Good with the bad, goes up comes down and whatever. You miss school and have fun, you then get the suck parts later.

Anyone played hookie lately? After tending to him the last few days, I’m tempted to take a movie day tomorrow, but then I’m already behind as is it.

 

PS: if you entered my contest for advanced copies of Cupcakes And Crushes, winners are going out in just a moment!
4 COMMENTS | Categories,Keri Ford | Tags, , , ,

Snowed In Book Giveaway! 4

Are you snowed in? Or…maybe you’re just stuck at work. Either way, enter for you chance to win an early copy of Cupcakes And Crushes! Or maybe you’re none of those things.

Enter to help me figure out how to use Rafflecopter for the first time! It’s all a win no matter where you look!

CC wina Rafflecopter giveaway

4 COMMENTS | Categories,Keri Ford | Tags, , , ,

The movie or the book? 11

 

You know the eye exam when the doctor says, which is clearer, the left side or the right side? Now which is brighter, Slide A or Slide B? When I watch a movie or read a book I often compare the two by saying, which is better?
Who can argue the appeal of Sleepless in Seattle or Pretty Woman? My favorite romance movie of all time was Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell in Overboard. I felt Goldie Hawn did an amazing job of showing her versatility as a comedic actress as well as revealing her striking beauty in this film. Still, I never had to compare any of those now-classics to a book.OVERBOARD_jpg_300x1000_q85

What about Jane Austin, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, The Count of Monte Cristo? Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Grove series, staring Andie MacDowell?  Lisa Kleypas and her Friday Harbor series?

Any of John Grisham’s books or Nicholas Sparks’ books (which I will not read and after the Notebook –forget about it) which almost always transition into the silver screen?
No doubt about it, movies give us visuals. But there’s something about us using our imagination, curling up with a book and letting the story take shape and the characters become our own.
So what’s clearer, the right side or the left side, the movie or the book? Or are the separate entities unto themselves and there’s no comparison?
Full of questions today, aren’t I? Happy Monday.

11 COMMENTS | Categories,Donnell Ann Bell | Tags, , , , , ,

Change It Is A-Coming–Or Is It? 4

I will be the first to admit that I don’t do change easily. I have learned to roll with the punches over the years but it was definitely a learned behavior and not one that came to me naturally. I can remember being extremely disappointed both as a small child and a young adult when plans were changed suddenly and I was forced to adjust my expectations. Now as an adult I realize that stuff happens and even the best of intentions can fall awry when confronted by circumstances beyond anyone’s control, but back then it could cause quite an upset of emotion and I would be surly for days.

I’m thinking about change because tomorrow I have to go bid for my new schedule for the next three months at work. As a transit bus operator we bid four times a year for our schedules.  After almost 18 years on the job I am now number 10 in seniority so I have a fairly decent selection of schedules that I would be willing to drive. But here’s the catch–I don’t like to change. I drove the commuter route to the Bay Area for 13 years because 1) I felt guilty if I let someone with less experience drive it 2) I thought I liked the drive over the hill every day vs dealing with passengers and bus stops in the wee hours of the morning and 3) I just hate change.

Each schedule consists of something we call paddles. A paddle is the schedule of routes that we do each given day, with breaks written in, etc. Some schedules drive the same paddle every day. For instance, the schedule I drive now starts off with the driver shuttle, a service we insisted on for the early and late drivers to take them either from the transit center to the bus yard in the morning or the bus yard to the transit center in the evening, depending on where they start or end and where their cars are parked.  After I finish the shuttle I hop on a bus and do two rounds of a route. Then I take a break and come back and drive two more routes and go home at 145 PM. It’s a sweet, sweet schedule and I really like it.

However, the schedule actually “belongs” to a driver with more seniority than I who gave it up for the winter months so he could take a late in because he has t take his kids to school in the bad weather. So I know my time is limited on this schedule and I’m kind of bummed. I have no idea what he is going to bid for so that means I have to actually go to the bid instead of sending my proxy like I have been doing.  Sigh.

But here is my dilemma. I really, really like the schedule I am on now. IF the driver above me doesn’t take it that means it will be available to me, which sounds great, right? I get the schedule I like and I’m use to and life goes on for the next 3 months like the bid never happened. My issue is the fact that I really should take a four/ten schedule. Right now I do a five/eight, which means I work five days a week, eight hours a day give or take. But because of this I have to work every Saturday to try to earn that extra money I need to fix my truck. This six days a week is starting to get to me and I dread climbing out of bed on Saturday mornings, knowing I only have a short amount of time before I have to leave and go to work for the entire day. My Saturdays are always a late in/late out so I don’t get home until after 730 PM. This means I have to spend my Sunday trying to catch up on laundry, house work, etc. And then Monday I go right back to work.

If I took a four/ten I would only work four days a week, ten hours a day with three days off. I could then work that fifth day ostensibly and have two days off in a row and still earn that extra money I need. I really should do this and there is actually a schedule that goes in early and gets off fairly early and I don’t mind what it drives every day. But the temptation of the schedule I’m driving now hangs there in front of me and I know I will want to cave in and take it if it’s still there when I go in tomorrow because  I HATE CHANGE! Even when its good for me I find myself choosing to stay with the known and comfortable rather than moving on to the better choice.

I have to get dressed and head to work now. I really, really hate working so many days  in a row and I have to keep that in mind when I go to the bid tomorrow. Plus, and here is where it gets sticky, the thought is in my head that I could work TWO extra days a week and make that money WAY faster and get my truck up and running in HALF the time!!!  I hate being in my own head sometimes!

So how do you deal with change? Do you embrace it as a good thing or run from it as if the Devil himself is trying to drag you into the pit of hell? And how do you make decisions? Do you do the grown-up thing and do what is best for you or do you stick to what you know and hope it turns out for the best? I’m kind of hoping JR takes that schedule back because then the decision will be so much easier to make! Is that a bad thing to wish for?! Help a girl out here!

4 COMMENTS | Categories,Uncategorized | Tags, , , , , ,

My Personal Technology Addiction Roller Coaster 8

IMG_20150121_193604612This is Remington. The thing in my day-to-day life that I really cannot live without. And almost had to.

I had an iPod Photo, originally. Over a decade ago! I discovered Podcasts then. Pottercast (Harry Potter), Can’t Stop the Signal (Firefly/Serenity). Lord of the Rings. Stuff I was passionate about and needed more of. I listened to audiobooks on it, too. When the battery died a second time, I upgraded to the iPod Classic. When that was stolen from the bottom of my bag in my Marriott hotel room in NYC a few years ago, the night of the RITA/Golden Heart awards…well, what followed was the hardest five months of my life.

Radio really sucks in central PA.

I got an iPod Touch for my birthday that December, and won’t rhapsodize about all the ways I use it. The one feature that keeps me sane is the podcasts. Primarily PFW in Progress, which is a talk show about the New England Patriots. (I know. Football and geek TV/movies. Quite a combination!) I listen on my commute to/from work, and while doing housework, and while exercising. When football season is over, I usually listen to the Harry Potter books all over again. I did it like 7 years in a row, only skipping last year. I plan to do it again this year, after the Patriots win the Super Bowl.

A couple of years ago, the iPod charging cable got caught and yanked the iPod out of my hand. It hit the gearshift and shattered the screen. I had to replace it with a refurbished model, which has been a bit glitchy but was manageable. Until a few weeks ago, when the earbud cable got stuck (sensing a theme here?) and the iPod shot out of my hand and landed in the cat’s water fountain.

Yeah.

So now the power button doesn’t work and the up volume button is dead, but otherwise it’s fine. I was a little frustrated because my Pocket app started crashing, and I can’t restart (turn it off and on) to reset it because the power button doesn’t work. I tried running it down to zero battery (it restarts itself once you plug in), but that didn’t work. This morning, it wouldn’t connect to wifi. Any wifi.

I can’t update the podcasts if I can’t connect to wifi!

So I went to the settings and reset it. Except that shut it off. And it wouldn’t come back on. Because, you know, the power button doesn’t work.

Nooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I could go get a replacement again, if they’re still offering the gen 4 model for $99. But I’d have to go to an Apple store almost two hours away, and it would cost me $99, which I can’t budget until next month. Four weeks with no podcasts?! During Super Bowl week?!!!???

I’d rather be shut in an insane asylum.

I was sitting at work wondering why I had this heavy pit of anxiety in my gut, and then remembered the iPod. *sob*

When I got home, I connected it to the USB cable at my computer, and OMGwouldyoubelieveit, it started up!

And all was right with the world again. As a plus, some of the glitchy stuff improved a bit. The home button works after only 5 attempts now, instead of taking 22 (and three on/off cycles of Voice Control). Pocket still keeps crashing though. But that’s okay.

What is your technology crack?

8 COMMENTS | Categories,Natalie J. Damschroder | Tags

Give Me a Sign 6

IMG_1394[1]

 

We were lucky enough to spend last week on the big island of Hawaii, a first time trip for our whole group. Of course, this being us, it couldn’t be as simple as just packing up the kid and going. Nope. We took my mother-in-law along. Then my brother-in-law decided he’d like to come, too. Which was awesome since my husband doesn’t get to see them much, but slightly more complicated with Roger coming from Texas, us from Montana and Darlene from South Dakota. My job was to make sure Darlene left the continental United States on the same plane as us. Roger was on his own.

We arrived at nine o’clock at night, pitch dark, to an airport in Kona that is basically a bunch of tiki huts with a whole lot of confused people wandering around in the open air between them. We followed the general flow of traffic to locate baggage claim as there was no sign we could see pointing us in that direction. Then another kind soul guided us to the area where we should wait for our rental car shuttle because, again, no sign.

Then we got in the car and quickly realized that blatant signage seems to be considered unnecessary in Hawaii, despite the fact that a high percentage of the folks wandering around are not from there, and an equally high percentage of that percentage are people who are, shall we say, slightly beyond their prime. The combination means you really shouldn’t plan to get anywhere in a hurry.

Consider the beaches. Yes, they are marked. Nice, generic signs that say ‘Shoreline Access’. Which shoreline? Well, if you must find a specific beach, say the one where you’re supposed to meet your surf instructor, you have to pull into the parking lot before you’ll find some obscure sign the declares, nope, this ain’t it.

But of course we all have smartphones with GPS and navigation assistance, so no problem, right? Right. Except Hawaiian words are damn near impossible to spell, and did you ever try to talk Hawaiian to Siri?

Me: “Directions to Hapuna Beach”. Siri: “I am unable to find a location called ‘Hop on it’.”

Me: “Directions to Pu’uhoanua National Park.” Siri: “Who pooped on what?”

So we defaulted to an actual paper map, only to discover that the powers that be didn’t see fit to include certain details. Like mileage between landmarks or towns. The alternate route of Highway 200. And the access road the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station.

Apparently they figure there’s only so many places to go on an island, so how lost can you get? Eventually you’ll circle back around to where you started. And they must have a point because somehow we managed to arrive at all the right places, mostly at the right times, and with all of our crew in tow.

We didn’t even leave Roger in Hawaii, no matter how much he begged.

Kari Lynn Dell

LongRideHome-The72web

He came searching for his missing horse….and lost his heart. 

Available February 3, 2015 from Samhain Publishing. Visit KariLynnDell.com to pre-order your copy now. 

6 COMMENTS | Categories,Kari Lynn Dell, Uncategorized | Tags, ,
What’s your limit?

What’s your limit? 17

Page count. Does it determine whether you buy a book or not?

Does one that is over 500 pages long put you off? Under 100 pages – no way, Jose?

Did you know that page count can be determined by whether a book is single or double spaced. Whether it’s printed as a trade paperback or mass market paperback. It can also depend upon what base font is used. How many excerpts there are, and how long they are. There are all sorts of variables.

NAFC_large_webWhat authors and editors go by  when a manuscript is submitted is word count, which I WISH Amazon and the other book vendors would include in their book descriptions.   For reference, my last full length book, No Accounting for Cowboys, is 103,000 words. Amazon lists it as 250 pages. Yet my Personal Protection, which is around 80,000 words is listed on Amazon as being 256 pages long.  Which begs me to ask just how accurate are those page listings on Amazon anyway?

The average full-length romance is between 80,000 – 100,000 words. Same with most sci-fi/fantasies though they can go a bit over. Forget George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones sagas. He’s the exception rather than the norm.  (If you’re really interested, you can read more about publishers’ guidelines re wordcount here.)

Yes, the average word count/page limits are usually set by the publisher and the author agrees to them in their contract. Publishers have a formula that figures out exactly how many words they can fit on a page, so they know how much paper the printer will use for each book. They need to know this because they need to keep their costs down. Shops need to know how big a book is and need to limit how many “big books” they order because they need to keep lots of books on their shelves. There are all sorts of practical but non-literary related reasons for those set word counts. Shipping costs. Shelving costs. Ink! (Because we all know it’s cheaper to buy a new printer than it is to buy a refill for the damned thing these days.) That’s not to say the author can’t go over their word count in their final manuscript, but the editor’s going to be looking for a tautly written story, and may demand cuts to keep it within the limits. And frankly, ultimately, so will the reader–it’s easier for a long story to sag in the middle.

Besides, does a story really NEED to take 80,000-100,000 words to be good? To tell a whole story? To build a complete world and in-depth layered characters?

No. Make that HELL NO!

writer-smoking-pipeC.S. Lewis’ THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE is only 36,363 words long. OLD YELLER by Fred Gipson was only 35,968 words. Joseph Conrad told his HEART OF DARKNESS in just  38,206 words, while Ray Bradbury’s FAHRENHEIT 451 is 46,118 long.  F. Scott Fitzgerald’s THE GREAT GATSBY checks it at 47,094, and Kurt Vonnegut used only 49,459 words to write SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE.

Did you know the original story behind BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN was a short story? As was Stephen King’s SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION? And one of my favorite stories, THE GIFT OF THE MAGI? O. Henry used only 2,163 words.

Want to go by pages?

THE CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens. 80 pages.

ETHAN FROME by Edith Wharton. 96 pages.

HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES by Arthur Conan Doyle, 128 pages.

THE TURN OF THE SCREW by Henry James, 96 pages.

With the advent of ebooks, authors and publishers have realized that a story isn’t bound to a set number of pages. You don’t have to pad a story with a subplot so you reach the threshold set by your publisher if your romance comes in a bit short. You can tell the story about a couple falling in love as it needs to be told. And so we ended up with wonderful novella length stories filled with amazing characters.

One of my favorite novellas, ALPHA AND OMEGA by Patricia Briggs—the start of her Alpha and Omega series. Then there’s HERE THERE BE MONSTERS by Meljean Brooks, A DREAM OF STONE AND SHADOW by Marjorie Liu, Courtney Milan’s THE GOVERNESS AFFAIR, or her UNLOCKED (which hit the NY Times Bestsellers list – which also proves some people ARE buying novellas.)  Maya Banks’ SONGBIRD reduced me to ugly crying when I first read it. Still tear up on re-reads. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention NY Times bestselling author Vivian Arend started her career with her novella WOLF SIGNS. (which happens to be free at the time I posted this.)

Private Property page countYet I’ve heard quite a few readers tell me that they refuse to buy a book because Amazon says it’s under 100 pages.  That thunk you heard was hundreds of authors, including me, hitting their head on their desk.

Remember the page count vs word count difference between NO ACCOUNTING FOR COWBOYS vs PERSONAL PROTECTION? Maybe for my future novellas, if I have a book that at 1.5 spacing comes in at 86 pages I should change the formatting to double spacing so it nudges up over 102 so those who have set that 100 page threshold will look at it twice. Heck, if I change the font from Times New Roman to Cambria, not even changing the font size, it jumps to 108 pages and hell yeah, I can definitely count them in.

Huh, guess what I’ll be doing before I sent my latest novella out to my formatter this weekend…

 

17 COMMENTS | Categories,Leah Braemel | Tags, , , , , , ,

Ups & Downs for 2014 9

Because of the New Year, January is commonly a month of resolution and change.  Most often those changes last only a few weeks or months at best. January is also a month of reflection and comparison, as well as hopes and planning. We look at what’s happened to us or maybe how we’ve changed within the last year. Then we also plan or set goals for the coming year. This last year was quite the roller coaster for me in many aspects and it has most certainly impacted how I’ll navigate 2015.

On March 4th, my first published book Lost Betrayal was released by Solstice Publishing in Kindle format on Amazon. My editor with Solstice, Tell Cotten, hustled for me and got the book out in paperback on March 9th.

The original story idea was born ten years prior and I had spent the last couple of years actually finishing the book by getting up at 4am. When the book was released it was a monumental dream come to life.

The night of March 7th, my husband was having chest pains so I spent that evening in the ER. They admitted him for observation and a few tests. Fortunately the tests were fine so he was released home. I immediately commenced with the promo posts on social media trying to get the word out about the pending second release of Lost Betrayal in paperback.

Just a few hours later on March 8th, my stepdaughter who was stationed in Hawaii at the time, was in an accident. She received an anoxic traumatic brain injury from carbon monoxide poisoning that damaged between 50-60% of her brain according to the initial MRI. She was fully unconscious for close to two weeks, and on life support for not quite a month. She didn’t progress to the minimally conscious state until late summer, which is where she is classified today.

At the time we had nine horses, six cats, and four dogs. The dogs and cats don’t require specialized handling however the horses most definitely do. While they’re well mannered for the most part, the horses can get pretty aggressive with each other at the gate when it’s time to come in. Not to mention the fact their digestive systems are more fragile than most animals and they can get sick and die very easily if fed the wrong thing.

Good friends Joel and Nancy Sherlin who shoe and train horses for a living, immediately stepped in to feed and take care of the animals while I was gone to Hawaii for two weeks. It was an answered prayer to have the animals taken care of, but it was an even bigger relief to know they were in the most capable hands they could have been in.

My husband and stepdaughter stayed in Hawaii for a month until she was transferred to a poly trauma unit in Florida.My husband stayed another two weeks and then came home. After that he commenced with flying to Florida every two weeks.

After things had settled down a little bit, I had wanted to go to a few small local barrel races. Unfortunately, that was not going to happen. My barrel horse injured his leg and was lame. Then immediately after that, I had problems with his feet and keeping him sound. If he was moving fine, he’d pull a shoe the next day. I had three rides in three months and that was it.

When I finally did get him sound with shoes that stayed on, I legged him back up and we hauled to the first barrel race in months. I wound up running the fastest time I’ve run the whole three years I’ve had him!

This year has been a rollercoaster ride for me with monumental ups and life-changing devastating downs. I’m not sure what 2015 has in store. Quite frankly, based on 2014 I’m very hesitant to hope or plan even though I like to have a plan and there’s things I’d love to do

While my stepdaughter has made some big strides from where she was and there’s a tentative discharge plan in place for her, there are still no guarantees. Things can change at a moment’s notice and there’s nothing I can do.

For the things that I can control, I have managed to get my next book, The Searching Place, half-way finished. I think I may have finally figured out the magic mix for my barrel horse. But even with those things in place, I hesitate to move forward. I think this year, there’s not going to be any resolutions, hard planning or even goal setting. I think instead, I’ll just take a day at time, keep low expectations, and just see where it leads.

How was your 2014? What were your ups and downs and how has it impacted your plans for this year?

 

9 COMMENTS | Categories,FJ Thomas | Tags, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Blank Page…

It’s Saturday morning, and as usual I have my required mug of hot coffee sitting on the desk as I gaze out the living room window and ponder what my blog will be about today.  For once all the little dogs are still in bed instead of curled up in my lap or under my feet. The weather here in California is dreary, cold, and foggy and even they don’t want to get out of my nice warm bed! So I am starting my day alone with just my coffee and my thoughts for company.

As I went through my morning ritual of choosing which coffee I would like to enjoy I realized I had absolutely no idea what I was going to write about. Usually I have some inkling, some spark in the back of my mind of a topic that you all might find interesting, but today I was completely blank. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. But I continued getting my coffee ready, hoping that once the caffeine hit my system it would stimulate my creative juices as well as clear out the cobwebs that were leftover from a decent night’s sleep. At least one could always hope, right?

Of course, now that I have actually sat down my little cat Sapphire has decided that she MUST have attention RIGHT NOW! I am sure that any of you that have house cats can relate to the difficulty of trying to type with an overly affectionate kitty in your lap/on the desk//walking on the keyboard… Also difficult to see the monitor while she is up here so hoping I am not making too many errors!

Anyway. Where was I? Oh yeah, inspiration for my blog. A blank page both on the screen as well as in my head. As a writer I don’t think there is one thing more exhilarating nor more terrifying as that first blank page of any story we are seeking to tell.  We’ve thought about the characters for a while now. We have done our research. We’ve written an outline or maybe have just roughed out some of the major plot lines and we are ready to finally start telling their story. We sit down at our computer with our coffee or favorite beverage of choice, our notes sitting in a neat pile ready to be referred to as needed, and we place our fingers on the keyboard expecting to create magic and….  Nothing.  Our muse apparently didn’t get the message that TODAY IS THE DAY and she failed to show up for the party. So what do we do? We turn on some music, we shuffle our notes and re-read some of the more salient points, walk around the room, and try again. Still nothing.

Now what? How do you deal with that blank page?  Do you panic? Walk away and try again tomorrow? Or do you just start writing, hoping that whatever you write isn’t total garbage and something can be salvaged from it?  What do you do?! Please share how you conquer The Blank Page!

Apparently the coffee and kitty love inspired me this morning! Now I am off to drive a bus in circles on this cold and dreary day. Oh joy. Hoping you enjoy your Saturday much more than I will be!

 

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