Category Archives: Alicia Stuff

The Fourth, Siblings, and The Searcher

Good morning!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful, safe Fourth of July. I didn’t celebrate the holiday, I seldom do. But, I did go see my sweet momma in the nursing home. She has been ill and had to have IV antibiotics. I hated seeing her like that, so weak and feeling unwell. She was still precious and happy to see me, though. I love her so much, and I’m so grateful she’s still living. I feel bad, though, because I know her quality of life is not great. She often says she just wishes she’d pass so she could be in Heaven with my dad. Then, she says, “But I worry, what if he’s up there with his first wife, Anne?” 🙂 I assure her that Anne is with the husband she was married to for 4o something years and Mom will be with Dad, who she was married to for 40 years. 

I then had dinner with my BFF, Paige. We’ve been friends for more than 40 years, and I’m so blessed to still have her in my life. Her daughters, who are 13 and 14, are spending a few weeks in California with their aunt, so Paige is a little lost, but I encouraged her to enjoy the peace and ‘me’ time. As a single mom, she doesn’t get much of that. What about you? When your kids were away, were you lost and bereft? Relieved and at peace? A little of all of those?

 

This weekend, my siblings and I are all going to Checotah, Oklahoma, near Lake Eufaula, and renting an AirBnB so we can visit my brother, who’s battling cancer. He lives in the area and can’t travel, so we’re going to him. There are seven of us (and two of my brothers-in-law will be there as well, so we’ll have eight in the house we’re renting…should be interesting! :)). My eldest brother, my half-brother, is coming from Arkansas. I’m sad, yet excited, about the weekend. It’s horrible to watch Brett struggle with this awful disease, but I’m glad that our family will be spending time together. The seven of us were together a few months ago at a music benefit for Brett. Before that, I believe our last time to be together was after Dad passed in 1994. 

(If anyone is interested, we are holding a few different fundraisers for Brett’s medical bills. You can purchase Tupperware, my books, a wrist band, or just donate. Brett Robertson Cancer Fundraiser)

Top Row: L to R: Eddie, Me, Sheri, Christi (the baby). Bottom Row: Ruth, Brett, Janis

What I’m reading/listening to:

I seldom actually read a book. I’m so busy that having down time to sit and relax and read is a rare luxury. So, I’m a member of Amazon Audible, and I do most of my pleasure ‘reading’ via audio books in the car. Even if I’m on a 15 minute drive, I listen to audio books. I’m very picky, though. Suspense/Thriller is my favorite genre, but it’s difficult to find a good, solid suspense. I give up early in quite a few of them. My very favorite are police procedurals. If you have any good recommendations, I’d love to know. (Not really ‘romantic’ suspense. I have plenty of good ones I haven’t read yet) The one I’m listening to now is ‘Their Lost Daughters.’ The plot and writing are pretty good, but the characters are not all that memorable or interesting. The protagonist is a good ‘copper’ whose team are good coppers, they just aren’t at all unique and didn’t really come alive for me. I do love that it’s British. I love listening to British narrators, and I enjoy the idioms. For example, ‘Duty Solicitor’ instead of Public Defender and ‘Dust Up’ instead of argument or disagreement. 🙂 Overall, it’s definitely worth reading. The fact that I’m almost finished with it is a testimony to its enjoy-ability. 🙂

 

What I’m writing:

I’m working on my Martini Club 4 story, Paralyzed. It’s been slow going, but it’s starting to pick up and I am determined to finish soon. We had our critique meeting on Monday night, and I actually had a scene submitted by the time we met. We all did, as a matter of fact. I was quite pleased. I told the group a few days before the meeting that, in order to provide some incentive, we should make it a rule that, unless all 4 of us have submitted, we will not meet. They balked at the idea (well, they shot it down altogether, LOL), BUT, even the threat of it apparently encouraged us all to submit. 🙂 My thought is, we’re in this for the writing. We need to get a little more serious. If we can’t even finish a scene in two weeks, we’re not taking it seriously enough, am I right? Of course, once we finish a project, we’ll be in revisions for a while, then we’ll need to brainstorm and plot our next project. So, at that time, we shouldn’t be expected to submit during that time. This is a ‘mock’ cover for my MC4 story. Hopefully, looking at it will inspire me to keep plugging along!

Elvis:

I’m excited about this new documentary about Elvis. When Krysta Scott and I were in Memphis in March, we stayed at The Guest House at Graceland and met some ladies who mentioned the show and that they were there at the hotel when the film crew was there filming part of the documentary. Can’t wait to see it!

https://www.hbo.com/content/hboweb/en/documentaries/elvis-presley-the-searcher/about.html

 

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Retreat, Zoodles and Serialized Novels

Good morning!!

Our weekend retreat was even better than I expected! You can read about it here if you’d like: Facebook Post 

The place we stayed was perfect, our host could not have been more gracious and accommodating. And, I was fairly productive, although now that I’m back in the ‘real world’, I’m afraid I’ve once again let my writing slide. I’m working on a daily habit, though. Wish me luck!

 

I’ve done a very poor job of staying on Weight Watchers, but like my writing, I’m determined to be more committed. I made cauliflower rice and was NOT a fan, but then, I don’t like cauliflower. I’m going to try zucchini rice, since I love zucchini. Here is a video showing different ways to make them and another with a few recipes:

Would you like to share any healthy tips/recipes you’ve run across?

 

I’m meeting a friend this evening to help her with a book she’d like to self-publish in a serialized format. She’ll release each section, which will be approximately 15 to 20,000 words, every two weeks for 99 cents each and let readers know it is ‘to be continued.’ I plan to do the same, one of these days, with a story idea I have. As a reader, I very much dislike when authors leave me on a cliffhanger. However, if I know going in that it’s ‘to be continued’, it wouldn’t bother me. How about you? Would you be okay with a continuation if you knew it going in?

 

And, just because…

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Maestro, Eggs, and Nina No More

Good morning!!

I’m so excited about this weekend. My critique partners and I are getting away for a mini writing retreat. We will be staying at an Air BnB called “The Maestro” which is owned by the son of band leader Al Good. It looks like a cool place to hang out. And, I definitely need the push and focus for my writing. I’ve been neglecting it terribly lately, feeling very inadequate, but yesterday, I received a really nice compliment from an author I respect a great deal plus, I’ve been listening to Donald Maass’ The Emotional Craft of Fiction via my Kindle. Wow, such great insight about how to tap into reader emotions. It also helped tap into my emotion for my story, which has made me like it a little more, and that’s important. If you don’t like your story, how can you expect readers to? Suddenly, I’m re-inspired and I feel I might actually have the ability to write…and finish something!

 

I’ve been attempting weight watchers and some days I do well, others, not so much. I have found that if I meal prep, I’m much more likely to stick to it. Also, if I use my Tupperware Breakfast Maker, I eat healthier breakfasts. Without this, I often stop for fast food breakfasts…yuck! I keep eggs, spinach, cheese, milk and Canadian bacon at work. (Did you know Canadian bacon is only 2 smart points for 5 slices!!! – I only use 2 in my breakfast, so that’s very low in points.) Admittedly, the cheese jacks up the points, but without cheese, what’s the point of anything, right? What tips do you have for eating healthy? (Please don’t suggest cauliflower rice, been there done that, didn’t like it. I also tried that two-ingredient pizza crust with flour and greek yogurt….blech!!!)

 

Ugh, I’ve been working on my 1940s Martini Club story for a while now, (way too long), and I haven’t gotten nearly far enough. But, I have realized some things about the story that has made it more interesting to me, so now, I am more enthused and I am determined to finish it, this month, maybe during our retreat weekend. One thing I unhappily realized is, my heroine’s name, Nina, was used by me for a heroine in a short story. So, I had to come up with a new name for her. I researched girl names for babies born in 1925 and the list was not all that appealing. I did find a few gems and ran them by my critique partners, who I met for dinner last night, and they came up with some suggestions as well. However, after thinking about it further, I decided not to use the ones we discussed, and now, my heroine is Sylvia. It will feel weird for a while to call her that, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it soon. Hope she does too! 😀 Have you ever done that, repeated hero/heroine names for your stories? Once you have a name for a character, does it bother you to change it? Side note, this is Jessica De Gouw, the actress who is the model for Nina Sylvia— 

And, just because…

 

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