Archive of ‘writing workshop’ category

It All Starts With the First Page.

Four days in to my romance novel writing extravaganza, I have a little over 7,000 words written (not all of them good). Two days into this bit of insanity, I sent my first page off for consideration in the “First Page Challenge,” where So You Think You Can Write editors critiqued a random assortment of entries.

Mine wasn’t chosen. Which is okay, because, well, that’s scary.

But since I was ready to commit it to the public viewing space I decided to post it here. Like it or not, I’m taking you all on this writing adventure with me!

So here we go. The first page of Winner Takes All, by yours truly.

 To read the rest, visit my author’s blog.

Silly Shoes.

I’ve always been a little bit of an, ahem, shoe whore.

I love shoes. Shoes don’t care if you gain ten pounds or lose 35. It doesn’t matter if you’re having a good hair day or a bad muffin top day. Shoes still look the same, fit the same, and make you feel the same.

This summer, I went on a wedge sandal kick – the higher the better.

No matter how steep the platform, I could walk without feeling like I was going to tip over. They made me feel, well, tall (an accomplishment when you’re as short as I am). And like I could kick a little ass. Those wedges, they made my legs look pretty damn good, too.

I intended to keep the trend going with a bunch of high-wedge boot s for the winter.

But you know what they say about the best-laid plans? It’s totally true.

Thanks to this knee of mine, I won’t be wearing heels again any time soon. Or, you know, ever again. This charming leg brace  rules boots out, too.

You know what kind of footwear that left me with? A pair of running shoes and a pair of black flats that stink to high heaven. Literally.

This was not an acceptable state of affairs.

So coupon, crutch, and sleepy preschooler in hand, I headed to the store to buy some new flats.

Have you ever tried to excavate shoes from the lower shelves in Kohl’s when you can’t really bend? It’s a bit of a challenge. That’s where my mini-me shoe lover came in handy.

She brought me every pair of size 8 shoe she could find. She brought me red ballet flats. Powder blue slippers. Hounds-tooth rain shoes. Even some neon yellow kicks.

And then she helped me put them on my feet, easing them over my toes and smacking them on to my heels.

But I found a reason to reject every single pair. One was too tight. One was too big. Still another too small. And the other one was, well, neon.

She started to droop a little, but still she didn’t give up.

And then she found them. The Perfect Pair of Shoes.

They were silver. And purple. They sparkled. And they had, well, see for yourself:

They're silver. They sparkle. And yes, they have cat faces on them.


Those, my friends, are cat faces. Complete with black whiskers and purple sparkly ears.

Tori slid the first one on my foot, sat back and smiled up at me, her grin heartbreaking in its joy.

“Do you like them, Mommy? Because I think they’re beautiful.”

“They’re very pretty.”

“Are you going to buy them?”

“Well…I’m not sure.”

“Oh, Mommy! You have to! You look like a princess.”

I looked at her shining face. Down at the shoes. Back at her. Back at the shoes. And I had to admit, they were  pretty cute. Completely ridiculous, of course. But I’m stuck wearing a big black brace and the same three pairs of leggings over and over and over again.

I deserve a little sparkle in my life.

“Of course I’m going to buy them! Too bad they don’t have them in your size, or I’d get you some, too!”

“Yay!” she said, jumping up and down. Then, very seriously, “We could look on Amazon, They have everything on Amazon. Then the delivery man could bring them to me!”

“Alright, baby, we’ll look,” I said (we probably won’t). “But now let’s go buy these and get home to daddy, okay?”

And that’s why the last thing I bought was a pair of silver sparkly kitty cat shoes.

It’s also why I’ll smile every single time I wear them.

Proudly written as part of Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop.


10 Things That Make Me Mad: The Drought Edition.

It’s no secret that I have a somewhat short temper. I’m the type of person who gets mad – often really mad – for about, oh, 2.5 seconds. Then I get over it.

Usually. But after 500 million billion zillion days of no rain, excessive heat and oppressive humidity, the mad? It surfaces rather more often. And lasts a whole lot longer. Just about anything can spark my temper, but some things do so more reliably than others. Here are ten:

1-5. Pictures like these:

Proof that everywhere else in the known universe is getting rain.

That is today’s weather map. As you can see, there’s a line of storms stretching from Texas to Maine. Want to know how much rain we’ve gotten? None. Not a speck, sprinkle or dribble. It is never going to rain here again.

6. Sad, drooping plants. My gardens are done for the year. Done. And it’s not even August. Plants that normally bloom in September have already given it their best – and failed to make a go of it. And it’s not that I haven’t watered. I have. But plants that normally thrive in the Great Lakes region do not handle sub-Saharan temperatures well.

7. People wandering around downtown without shirts, shoes…and almost no pants. It’s hot. I understand that. But if you’re going to be out and about in a pseudo-urban setting, you owe it to the rest of us to put clothes on. Especially if your body was at its best more than two decades ago. And as for you college co-eds hanging around in your bikini tops? I’m just not talking to you.

8. The calories in ice cream. When it’s this hot, consuming things that are icy and delicious is practically required for survival. It’s not fair that they insist on retaining their usual load of empty, hip-sticking calories.

9. The weeds in my yard. We haven’t had to mow our yard since mid-June. But the weeds that sprout, like cacti, from the middle of the barren tundra? They’re waist high. I hate them.

1o. Hot pools. The only outdoor adventure even worth embarking upon right now is a trip to the pool. But said pools? Are as warm as bath water. The only time I want to dip myself in water of that temperature (outside my bath tub) is if I am in a hot tub. In the Caribbean. Under a sky sparkling with stars. With the sound of the ocean surf pounding in the background. You suck, community pools.

Someday it will rain, I’m sure of it (some day when I am not on vacation at the beach, that is). Until then, I will remain just a little bit grouchy. You are all forewarned.

Mama’s Losin’ It

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