Tucker's days of being a care-free teenager are over. He had his little “visit” to the vet, and now is adjusting to the cone they placed on his neck to keep him from getting at the stitches. He knew the vet visit was something more than just shots. They also had to remove his dew claws, and kept him overnight. Yesterday, when we picked him up, the whole staff told me over and over again how everyone had fallen in love with him. Dr. Hoskins said he was the best Doberman he'd ever met. That says a lot from someone who's been in business over 40 years.
Tucker does that to people. He certainly does that to me.
I took pity on him and agreed to let him sleep on my bed. He likes to snuggle, and, cone and all, he attempted to do it last night. I think overall I got about 3-4 hours of sleep, and none of it in long stretches, so my energy level is a little on the slow side today. But he's worth it. After raising 4 kids, I'm still a full time mother, with this new little one, and the previous Dobermans we've had, and of course Blue and Rosa, the ones we have now.
We aren't a red, white and blue family. We're Red, Tan and Blue. Tucker is the tan, Rosa is the rose, and of course Blue is the blue. We like to keep things simple around here.
One of Tucker's favorite things to do is to run “balls to the wall” as my SEALs say (which is now not possible), trying to overtake Blue, who is a 90 pound very strong male. Tucker is now 66 pounds, but he's fast, and he's just been able recently to beat Blue. That's been a source of conflict for the two males. The vet said, as we were leaving, “Just make sure he doesn't run for the next 14 days.”
He came home, and was excited to see Blue and Rosa. The first time he tried to give them a kiss, he (of course) hit them both with the cone. So he got growled at.
It took him a couple of seconds, but he sat down and I could see he was considering his new standing with his pack. Rejected. His friendship refused. Right there, he laid down, sighed and took a nap.
I suppose we'll all get used to the bruises that darned cone leaves on our shins. He hits every cabinet handle in the kitchen when he's passing through. But he's learned how to walk down the stairs, keeping his head high enough so he doesn't choke himself on every step. But 14 days does sure seem like a long time.
Tucker's worth it. I'll bet you mother your pets too. This sound familiar?
Ever had one of those days where no matter what, the day just went sideways? I did. Here's what happened.
We were to receive a cashier's check from someone who owed us a considerable sum of money. It wasn't enough to change my life, but it would have been annoying to lose it. It was supposedly sent overnight mail, except we never received it. I suspect the Post Office placed it in someone else's box, who is perhaps away on a long vacation (or just doesn't go to his box often). It happens.
In this case, the person who sent the check is rather prickly and unpleasant. I received a nasty email from him basically saying I was to pound salt. I discovered I could take a copy of the check to the bank it was written on, and ask for a replacement. So far so good.
When I got there, I filled out the proper paperwork, after being told twice this was impossible to do, and was told I had to obtain a surety bond, which cost me about $100. Still worth it. The paperwork had to be notarized, but their notary was out to lunch. And it had to be paid for by a money order. I trotted next door to Safeway and got my money order, and then went to the nearest notary about 5 miles down the road. I had already burned up about an hour. No problem so far.
My husband had to accompany me, since both our signatures were required. We headed off to the notary, when we got stopped by a huge accident (involving a melted car). An hour and a half later, we were on our way back to the bank with our notarized paperwork. Their notary was back by then. Discovered the notary did the paperwork wrong, but after several calls to the corporate offices, the paperwork was accepted. Okay, now we are into this process about 3 hours.
Eventually the new cashier's check was issued to us. I had started this episode at 10 AM yesterday. I was finally finished at 4:30. I got to my bank just before they closed and was able to do the deposit. End of story.
I could be angry about this, except for the fact that my other choice was to wait weeks for a replacement to come from the sender. Or, wait until April when the uncashed cashier's check would be considered dead.
A lot could happen between now and April. In this case, the $100 was well worth it.
Something like this ever happen to you?
Those of you who follow my newsletter know that my new series will be the Bone Frog Brotherhood.
I decided to show some older men, former SEALs, based on the audience response to my newest full-length novel, Bachelor SEAL. Men of Valor, men in action often choose careers where they can stay on the cutting edge of the action their whole lives, even after they migrate from the Teams. Talk to any sports hero, actor or industry titan just after they've retired, and you will find a little piece of their heart attached to that old personna. In these Bone Frog Brotherhood stories, I hope to explore this, and the life that comes after for these honorable men.
Aging in romance is something new to me as a writer. I know some have been doing it for many years successfully, but this begins a new foray for me. A new mission! I'm also going to explore heroines who are less than perfect.
I got the idea by polling my reader group, and several mentioned they'd love to see other types of heroines other than Barbie Dolls. In real life, many SEALs are handsome, in fact, I would say that most of them are. Physically, they are about as fit as they can be, or they wouldn't be on the teams. They do deal with injuries, and some of these are career-ending ones, which I've written about. My SEAL Zak, in the True Blue series is injured on his very first deployment, an eye injury which ends his life as an elite warrior. But his desire to serve and be part of the brotherhood doesn't diminish.
I remember hearing a conversation between two former SEALs, one older, one younger, and there was expressed emotions, and the obvious questions asked back and forth, “Do you miss it?” The age-old question really is, “What Do I Do With The Rest Of My Life?”
For those of us who are fairly mature, we don't worry about these things, except when they occur to members of our own family or close friends. We have found a meaningful way to live, express ourselves and give back by stumbling around a bit, but ultimately finding the right field of endeavor. But for a younger man, who is still vital and full of passion, perhaps he wonders if he will still have “it”. Could he still compete if all the chips were down? It's a sensitive issue for some. More for others. And some men never stop being grown up kids. They find the Boy Scout in everything they do, regardless of what their families might want or need.
Tucker and Brandy are looking forward to becoming part of your lives, and blending in with the other wonderful characters in the SEAL Brotherhood I've created. Hope you'll join me.
QUICK UPDATE FEBRUARY SIGNING:
Are you going to be in the Sacramento area on February 9th? Come see me at the Love And Fifty Author/Reader event here:
Fifty Shades of Grey #3 is coming! I'll be signing books, and you can preorder books to bring to the event for me to autograph. Preorder here: http://bit.ly/2oito5r
For event info, Go here:http://bit.ly/2CK5T0B
MARK THE DATE AND SIGN UP EARLY FOR VALLEY FORGE IN AUGUST:
??MILITARY AUTHORS & READERS??
Salute with Love Military Romance Author Event 2018
This event will be held at the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, 1601 Valley Forge Road, Phoenixville, PA 19640 (Martha Washington Building next to the Gigantic flag)
Hosted by Authors Renee Lee Fisher and Sharon Hamilton, we have the date set for August 18, 2018!! ?
Readers there are LIMITED V.I.P tickets.. get them now before there GONE!!
AUTHORS WE HAVE LIMITED TABLES AVAILABLE GET YOURS NOW!
?Intrest doc ~ https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSd1_DOBOJ7OLJj1BF…/viewform
?FB group for readers https://www.facebook.com/groups/1175125239241447/
NOTE: once you commit to purchasing you table through Eventbrite it is nonrefundable.
What a great way to visit some Early American history, while we celebrate and enjoy meeting the best military suspense authors on the planet! Don't be missing this one. It's the first time we're doing this, and the only one of its kind. See you there…
We all carry that inner world no one else sees. As writers, we get to explore and press those boundaries a bit. We lace truth of the past, overlayed with fuzzy fiction and hopes for the future, string in various pieces we've experienced elsewhere from others. What we get when we write a book is a mosaic of all these trapppings. A quilt.
I'm often asked where my stories come from, and I sometimes have a hard time explaining this. How does a painter explain why they chose to use the colors or textures they used, or do they try to paint what's in their brain pallet, or do they just use that pallet to inspire the final project? I can't tell you where my inspiration comes from: it comes from everywhere. It comes from the past, the unreality of what could have been, it comes from what makes me laugh and what moves me.
The one thing I can say for certain is that if I create a story worth telling, it has to move me, or I work it until it does. I cut it, dash it, slash and insert until I'm happy with the result. I want to make sure it is a story I'm proud of (not perfect, mind you), but something that's worthy of being called entertainment.
The only dirty word in my writer vocabulary is RULES. I hate that word. I feel like I want to break every one of them, occasionally, don't you? Aren't the best adventures sometimes the ones never planned, when things go seriously off-track and the consequences are not fully understood until it's too late? And isn't reading an adventure? A walk with the writer on a journey of their own creation for a time?
Is there a formula for a good book? A great character? I've studied this in my early writing. To be honest with you, it now confuses me when I look over those old notes. I've just burned about 3 crates of old classwork I did when I first started out to purge my writing area with things I no longer use. I had this temptation to sit down and read those notes. I held my breath, thinking I might find some huge mistake I was making that I might not want to embrace. What did I find?
Nothing! I found confirmation of the journey I'd followed. Looking at those notes is like examining crutches or bandages from an old wound instead of looking at the healed part of the body. They were the things I needed to become whole as a writer. They didn't make me a writer. They were tools. Valuable tools. But no magic, nothing there I wouldn't have gotten on my own.
The journey is the destination. The art of writing is doing what a writer does: process, gather, discard and present. Then recharge, process, gather, discard and re-present again. Over and over again. It's like a garden that never ends. A quilt that just gets bigger and bigger, a heart filled and refreshed with stories of love and Happily Ever After.
“Every human person is inevitably involved with two worlds: the world they carry within them and the world that is out there. All thinking, all writing, all action, all creation and all destruction is about that bridge between the two worlds. All thought is about putting a face on experience… One of the most exciting and energetic forms of thought is the question. I always think that the question is like a lantern. It illuminates new landscapes and new areas as it moves. Therefore, the question always assumes that there are many different dimensions to a thought that you are either blind to or that are not available to you. So a question is really one of the forms in which wonder expresses itself. One of the reasons that we wonder is because we are limited, and that limitation is one of the great gateways to wonder.” –John O'Donohue
Happy New Year!
I'd like to start off this year with some humor. Here are my 10 best reasons why your 2018 will not be your best ever:
I'm sure it will be much better than that. Do you have one you could add?
Hope you have the brightest of New Years. I know it will be your best. I'm counting on it being mine. And with you by my side, it will be!!
Love you all, my beauties!!