My critique partner's daughter got married last summer. I think this is one of the funniest YouTubes out there. It went viral, wound up on America's Funniest Home Videos, the Ellen Degeneris show, and one guy from Africa pirated it and almost won second place in a wedding photo contest.
I do have permission to post this. But after all the attention last year, it was taken off for a bit. Well, now it's back. And I'm thrilled the couple allows us to share this with you. I wish all things on the internet were like this. But yes, I understand the rules.
It isn't a perfect world, is it? I watch this video and I'm reminded of my writing journey. Reminded of my 41 year marriage. Reminded of the ups and downs of raising 4 children. Reminded of all the best things in life, and all the little detours and unexpected paths that give us all that richness and meaning.
I've learned not to react so much. Oh, but I still do now and then. I've learned that I'm human, not perfect, and not going to ever have a day where everything goes 100% the way it should.
I do know that my life is pretty darned good. That most people would trade places with me. That looking across the dining table at my 3 year old granddaughter, who has just spilled her Lucky Stars soup all over my tablecloth and my Persian rug, I know the most important thing about this moment is her beautiful smile. Devilish as it is.
So I guess being unlucky sometimes means I enjoy the lucky things even more. What about you?
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I couldn't understand my historical writer friends who said they would get so caught up in the research, it would put a major crimp in their daily writing. One friend said she spent about three hours in research for every one hour of writing.
Now I get it. It's been happening to me.
We are so lucky to be living in the digital age, where things are available with the click of a button (or two). We get impatient with sites that aren't intuitive, and we leave, because there are ten others we could use as a resource. If a web page doesn't load in three seconds, we're off to the next one that will.
I've been doing lots of research on Navy SEALs for my series. I've subscribed to some loops for families of military, as well as some facebook pages that post information, and great pictures. I've made the mistake of reading some of the comments. And it distresses me a little.
Is it just me, or is everyone going bonkers all of a sudden? Or was it always this way, and I'm just now sensitive because of the election? Regardless of what side of the spectrum we are, there are some really mean, hateful people haunting certain groups or pages. And, like driving past a bad accident, I sometimes have a hard time not reading the comments. There are some seriously disturbed people out there. And the rumors! Yesterday someone commented that the government had killed the entire SEAL Team 6 in a secret helicopter crash. There's a novel in there somewhere…
I guess there will always be conspiracy theorists. Men and women fought and died for our freedom to express ourselves, to live the open and wonderful lifestyle we now have. So I guess we all have to put up with the crazies. God forbid anyone would label me such.
I have no problem turning off the TV or the radio. None whatsoever. For me, the ads are what I cannot handle any longer. I listen to Sirrius Satellite as much as possible.
That's why I like to write fiction, romance in particular. Fantasy. Make believe. Where everything has a happily ever after, and I can clip or trim the dialogue of my characters to my own choosing without causing a stir. The opinions expressed are entirely my own. Heaven help us if I would get to be Queen of the World. Now that is truly a dangerous thought!
What about you? Do you get sucked into doing too much research, or reading too many “other” opinions it interferes with your real life? Your writing life? How do you cut it off?
Some great research books on the Teams below. Amazon spiders must have found me out!
Why isn't everything just perfect all the time? Perfect balance. You either have all the time in the world and no money, or all the money and no time. Walking that tightrope, getting that perfect balance is something that eludes me.
Recently, I've been busy with the success of my new book, Accidental SEAL. I am thrilled with how well it's doing. And it has helped me in writing the second one, just knowing I can sell that one too. I think about all the angst and worry over its acceptance, which I think every author does, and when you press the “enter” key and it's uploaded, there you are, exposed to everyone in cyberspace. Will they like it? Will it take off? Will it slowly grow? Will it pop and then fizzle? Who knows?
I guess what sustains me is I just keep writing. And I write things I love to read, and to write. I keep connecting. I've been reminded very nicely I need to keep my blogging up, and I go hot and cold with this. Hardest to do when I am busy, but when I'm busy, that's when I need to do it.
So then I have to look at all the other things I can cut out. Water the garden? No. Feed the dogs? No. Critique Group? No. Writer's Meetings? No. Office Meetings? No. Client Meetings (I still sell real estate)? No.
Ah!!! I HAVE IT!!!!!
HOUSEWORK? Y E S !!!
My husband and daughter are coming home from China on Thursday. Can't wait to hear the stories. My daughter emailed me this morning and said Don has learned to suck the heads off shrimp just like any good Chinese. He's been daring. He's been a good sport.
I knew he would be.
I didn't get nearly enough done while they were gone. I had great plans. There's tonight and tomorrow for some general straightening.
But like I've said before, we do “Hello” very well.
I did okay on my own. Blew a head gasket on my pickup truck. Had to replace a cracked rim on my sedan, and two new tires. Picked up the car two days ago with a big dent in the trunk from the shop they aren't going to take responsibility for. The well went out on the 4th of July, but I got it fixed. Blue got a foxtail in his left eye and had an emergency Animal Hospital visit.
And then there was the dental implant I had completed on Monday which left me “wavythinking” until today. Drove myself to Walgreens to get my meds and scared off the line of patients with my bloody gauze in the mouth.
Along the way I've learned a few things. Adjustments. Recalculating. That's what life is all about, right?
I was on three blogs this week, plus my own twice, and a two-day six-blog tour the week before. I had a ball!
Got my book cover posters I sent to Jimmy Thomas signed by the man himself!! Yum.
Heavenly Lover made it to the #1 spot for Fantasy Romance on Kindle for 3 days. Over 11,000 downloads taken. Yup. I got a screenshot of that one!
My new book, Accidental SEAL is doing really well, and still climbing the charts after its release on June 18th. The short, SEAL Encounter made it into the teens for part of the promotional giveaway. I made new friends, joined with other authors I'd been reading about for years. Cried on a couple people's shoulders. Got my first really crappy review. My friends directed me to some doozies authors like J.K. Rowling, Tom Clancy, Scott Turow and others have received. My soft little pink bubble is burst, and I'm alive, excited and full of energy!
Life is good. I am surrounded by miracles, when I remember to look for them. When I listen to the stories in my head, and in my heart.
What about you? How has your last week gone? I'd love to hear it. Any of it.
I was getting some photos together for my son's visit from back east, and for my other son's wedding. I have boxes of stored photos in special paper, which turned out to be somewhat of a miracle. The house burned down less than 6 months later, and all these precious photos were miraculously saved. Well, there were the guys in big yellow suits that knew how to cover up antiques and things in chests, but the heat alone could have melted these old photos.
We walked the bridge that day back in 1987 with all 4 of our children. Little did we know that the bridge actually flattened out in the middle. But, by the time we were there, in the middle, no one could move. It took roughly 2 hours to get off at Doyle Drive. Walking through the toll booths was interesting.
I was reminded today about the time our entire family went skydiving in San Diego. All 6 of us in the air at once. And, just like that day in 1987, we threw caution to the wind and risked our entire unwritten family story to thumb our noses at death and soar through the air like the birds we clearly were not.
I wonder about how our lives would have been changed had something very wrong happened. I had trust and faith in the military men who trained us. They did, after all, train some of the best of the elite special forces on a daily basis. In the end, as I stood at the gaping doorway, I just had to jump and trust that my life was not about to end. Even though for just a second, I had to consider the possibility it would.
Looking over all the old photos I'm reminded of choices I made with my life, resulting in the affect it had on those in my whole family. And how one choice added to another, made every day, without really knowing fully what the consequences were, leads to a life well lived. Where there is the possibility of anything happening when we fish the spaces of the future.
And I also thought about how very little of it is of my own control. I truly think that is a good thing.
This post will probably surprise some of you. My husband's family is related to Alexander Hamilton, our country's first Secretary of the Treasury. He was born on Nevis, an island in the Caribbean. The house is now a museum and island treasure.
Hamilton, the illegitimate son of a Scottish Laird, was the assistant to a merchant's agent, and also helped his mother with her general store. John Adams would some day call him, “the bastard brat of a Scottish peddler.” Starting to work when he was only 11 years old, he ran the office for several months while the owner was away in Paris. Hamilton might have done business with British ship captains, and possibly pirates looking to sell their booty! Who knows who he could have met?
My Danish relatives on my father's side had a contingent that settled in the Caribbean around that time as well. Ever since I began writing romance, I wondered if a relative of mine could have fallen in love with a relative of my husband's? Possibly the great man himself?
So, I bought a book on the islands, and oddly enough, found an old letter tucked in the pages, from another relative of Alexander Hamilton, asking for the author's help in locating certain family members they'd lost track of during WWI. Sad to say, I don't recognize the names, but a plot was forming in my writer's brain.
An old book purchased online through Amazon. An old letter. A young man who leaves the islands and becomes embroiled in a revolutionary war that wasn't his country's. Who befriends the first President of the United States. Who dies in a gun duel over the honor of a woman.
And then yesterday, I was emailing other authors on a writer's loop, and had a chance encounter with a lovely writer from Nevis. She's written several romances in the Caribbean, and is somewhat of an expert on Alexander Hamilton. A family member owns property nearby.
I would have never made this connection with her without the writer's loop on the internet. I would have never found this book without Amazon and the online order I placed. What a wonderful time we live in.
So, this 4th of July I'll be thinking about our young country and the many players that sacrificed so much to see to it that we grew into the great nation we are today. There are plenty of other days for politics. We always remember those men and women who serve to protect and have helped us carve this legacy with the blood of their bodies.
But today, I'm thinking about what was, and what could be, and how connected we all are. And what a small world it is, after all. And how exciting to celebrate the birth of a new story.