Monday, May 31, 2010


It's Memorial Day so I wanted to blog about the men and women everywhere who, are now or have in the past, serve our country with their lives. I may get a little negative feedback on this post, but it is something close to my heart, so I will say it anyways.

We all work but how many of us literally risk out lives on a daily basis in our job for the sake of a nation? I don't. I've heard people criticize those soldiers in wars over the years. Why? Because they volunteered to protect us, and the government sent those people on a job that wasn't what we 'approve' of. Look at many of us at our own day job, we all have responsibility to our positions and are sometimes asked to do jobs we may not like or agree with, but we do it just the same. Do others criticize us for doing something they might consider unethical because 'the boss said to'? We get defensive and try to justify cheating clients/customers or whomever because 'I was just doing my job. Don't shoot the messenger'.
Guess what? That's the same thing our brave soldiers are doing in whatever God Forsaken country they are in. We must remember not to 'shoot the messengers' of our government. God knows the enemies are doing enough of that for us, (just look around you while at the cemetery this weekend if you need a visual) we don't need to help them. This is a time to remember those who have lost their lives fighting for the freedoms we take for granted each day. I wonder how many of those men/women sit around their camps wondering if we think about them? Do they wonder if they are being judged by the same people who told them they love them and trust their decisions? One big difference in our jobs and theirs (besides the obvious) is that we can choose to quit ours. They can't.

I realize it is getting more and more difficult to take what we have for granted anymore, but if we do, be thankful we have that right and try to remember a soldier today for the life he/she puts around us like an armor shield that protects us. Whether they want to, or not.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

When blood becomes tears


What a week this is turning out to be. A month ago I was writing a story that I had entered in the Donnell Epperson Soon To Be Published contest. For the record, I didn't win, or even final in it, but it was a wonderful experience-and an honor to be a first time contestant in the contest newly renamed for our lost sister author Donnell. I don't mind not placing because I was after the breakthrough of entering my first ever contest and I accomplished what I had set out to do, to take that step and put my writing out there to be judged. That story was also going to be the one I pitch to Silhouette editor, Charles Griemsman and Lucienne Diver-Knight Agengy next month at the Summer Heat Mini Conference on June 5th here in OKC. (BTW-if you're interested in attending that conference we still have appointments available, if you go to the OKRWA website to register now!)

You notice I said I
was going to pitch the contest entry. Change of plans was necessary when my other two beloved characters began harping at me for their chance to be heard first. Healing Whispers is a completed ms in which I threw at my lovely critique group mid stream last month. Have I mentioned how much I truly appreciate you Twinkies? Thank you!
Those wonderful head-bashers jumped in without missing a step and took on Tobi and Tanner with gusto; internal issues and all. I lost my momentum a few weeks ago (I know, I only switched to their story a few weeks ago... I'm not proud) and made my cps wait for three weeks between ch 5 and ch 6 before I was able to focus again.
Yesterday was a totally focused day though, as I pushed through the final five chapter edits in one day! It can be done. So, now I wait for them to catch up...while I muddle through some sort of synopsis...

That's what I get for rushing through those first round edits. Yay! You see, just because I have finished my story- I'm far from finished
with the story. Now, I have the pleasurable task of celebrating the composing of a synopsis, and I still need to finish my pitch blurb, query letter and then...second round edits begin! Hooray!!!

But, I really love writing which makes all the work enjoyable even when I feel like pulling my hair (or someone else's) out by the roots. I can't describe the feeling of accomplishment when I type those last words: The End, after so long and so many hours of pouring my blood all over the keyboard! It is an amazing feeling, really. It's what keeps me going through all the work; that determination to finally be able to say 'It's Done'.

Now I can say I'm ready to take on the pitch, and get this couple ready to fly into the world.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Spring Has Sprung in Oklahoma


I love spring. I love the color of flowers and the green of blooming trees everywhere, new life of the animals all around. I live in the country and its so nice to open my windows in the morning and hear birds chirping and whistling so loud their voices echo as I write. At night it's the coyotes singing and night birds that make me smile. Life is good at these times.

Last week my youngest daughter turned another year older. As if most of us needs anything to help us remember some of those landmark dates; she will never forget her 21st birthday. It was the day Oklahoma got hit by 37 tornadoes in about 4 hours. One was just a little over a mile from where she was working at the store she and her husband had just purchased in March! I feel it was fortunate that it happened at rush hour on a week day. Why, you may ask, is that so good? Well, it's my opinion, but it was daylight-you can't see tornadoes at night- and though people were congregated in areas and most were able to find shelter quickly, most had also left their jobs/schools, but were not yet home.
My niece's Vo-Tech was hit by a small tornado while a few people/students were there getting ready for their graduation. The building Pam was to graduate in the following night, where the people were that night, was hit hard. Two horses were hurt, not seriously, and most of the barns and out buildings for the barns had some or total destruction. Pam had just finished her second year of Equine Production; the barns were her classroom, the horses her studies.

Another school, elementary, was hit, but it was around 5 pm, so no kids/people were there. People weren't all home yet being stuck with rush hour and after-work errands. Lots of homes were wiped completely away and they were mostly empty because, everyone was stuck in the rush hour traffic trying to get to their homes after a long Monday. One woman my daughter told me about (her friend's mother) was on her way home from work to an area that had heavy damage/destruction (her home was not). Her car radio on, she heard warnings to get out of vehicles and take cover. She stopped at a Love's gas station/truck stop and ran inside where she was immediately pushed to the floor by someone, while others hid inside big coolers for shelter. Just seconds later, the most damaging of the tornadoes nearly leveled the station, but no one was seriously hurt or killed. On the news there were semi trucks with trailers everywhere that had been tossed and moved around like a child's toys. I heard a story yesterday of a young man who had been at the lake swimming, and dove under water after watching his pickup roll across the parking area and then take flight. I wonder if he knows one tornado reportedly formed over that lake?

During the storm, from where I live it visually seemed like nothing more than a typical brief, harsh storm; dark clouds and wind blown rain. I looked out my western windows and saw bright sunshine. To the east was the dark clouds and a big fat rainbow.
Did it occur to me to take pictures? No. For, even though we weren't in the path of the rage, I was as terrified as so many others were. Not for myself. Two of my daughters and their families lived under that beautiful rainbow; both in the path of the second tornado and I couldn't get either of them on the phone for much too long! I finally got hold of the oldest traveling from work, and because she passes by the younger one's store on her way home, she was able to check on her sister and then call me. And, even though I personally wasn't in the storm (I'm just 25 miles from either of those daughters) I stood to lose as much as the people who had lost everything material. My daughters/granddaughters and husband are my life, what I live for. I thank God I didn't lose anyone and prayerfully cry for the one's who did.

Wide paths of destruction and days of no electric for many, my daughter's included in the power loss, followed the two biggest tornadoes with five lives reported lost. It was a scary day. A sad day. It was in many ways-and unfortunately, too often- a fairly typical spring day in Oklahoma, USA. We were blessed on May 10, 2010 that homes and belongings, material stuff that can be replaced or done without, were the main, though by no means the greatest, losses this time.

Two hours later the sky was clear, and other than the devastation and continued news reports carrying over the air ways, it was hard to tell what had been going on here that day from where I live. But, even though the birds were singing after the storm the same as they had before it, I didn't hear them.

And then life goes on. No more news reports. No more burning up the Internet with horror stories. But, it's still all around us.

Things are not 'back to normal', though life went on as it always does after one of these storms. As I travel and speak to others , the devastation is still very apparent, sometimes by nothing more than a large highway sign twisted in another direction as though a huge truck had hit it. It's twisted in the wrong direction, and you just know. You feel the sadness even in that seemingly insignificant symbol.

We don't forget; we move past. We have to.

Dodadagohvi~ Thank God