Thursday, September 16, 2010

Enjoying The Waves Won A Lovely Blog Award

Sooo Cooool. Enjoying The Waves won an award!
And I love awards. Renee Miller at Dangling on The Edge of (In)Sanity has awarded me this beautiful award. Thank you Renee. I love roses. Renee has a beautiful blog too and always has some great, interesting and witty posts. Very entertaining. You must check it out.

Now, it's up to me to pay it forward. There are several blogs I follow who deserve of this award.
Some have already been choosen by Renee or others but I still know of a few more.
If you're one of these blogs, follow the instructions below and pay it forward.


1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers that you have newly discovered or have followed for a while. I'm a fairly new blogger and still making friends out here, so I'm sure that it's okay if there are less than 15. It's quality that counts, right?

3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they've been chosen.

So, here are my picks for some very lovely blogs:

Legendary Lighthouses
My Little Space on the Internet
Kate Quinn
True Tales of a Slightly Crazed Mama
Slow Down You Move Too Fast
Glynis Smy (Nissi Peters)
Beacon Street Books
Sunny Lockwood
Hobbs Mission Catalina

I found nine beautiful blogs and they are all worth checking out. I'm sure there are a ton of beautiful blogs out there, go and pay it forward.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

That Reminds Me Of A Story

Wow, this blog has been lonely for the past week.

"Sorry blog."

Now how many people talk to their blogs? Well, let's face it, sometimes there's nobody else around willing to listen. And besides, my blog never talks back.

"Stop whining."

Um. Okay. Who said that?

Enough of the silly stuff.

I've been bogged down lately with editing my MS and a few wedding related activities. My son is getting married in December and my friend's son is getting married in October.

Last weekend my friend and I tagged along with our husbands to her son's bachelor party in Reno. Had a great time, by the way. No, we did not attend the actual bachelor party. That might have been a bit disturbing.

Anyway, as I pushed the "Draw" button on the video poker game I was playing, I remembered this short humorous story (or macabre, depending on your point of view) I wrote a while back for an amoral and controversial themed project that got scratched due to lack of submissions. I submitted seven, this was one of the milder ones.

Here's the story. Hope you enjoy it.

Lady Luck


Susan Griscom

With the kids asleep in their beds and their father snoring beside me, I stared at the ceiling. I tried to ignore the urge of the phantom voice calling to me. I waited five minutes, then ten. A feeble attempt. I tiptoed from the room. The next couple of hours belonged to me. My private time to zone out. To escape the demands of car pools, PTA meetings, soccer game practices, and homework.

The pressure, too much to endure, my competitive drive besieged me, but my instincts outrivaled most.

Scott didn't appreciate my talent. He worried about the money and begged me to stop. I didn't understand why he had a problem with it. I wasn't sitting in some smoke filled casino night-after-night drinking. He said he'd take the computer away if I didn't quit. I had my doubts about that. The kids needed it for school.

Bills piled up. We needed more money. We always needed more. I don't know where it all went.

The receptionist from the orthodontist had called today, threatening to send the account to collections and informed me that Matthew couldn't come back unless I paid the bill. Bitch. Well, Matt had his braces. He could wait. It wouldn't be too long, I felt lucky tonight.

The virtual room glared on the screen, lighting up the entire office. The green table set with nine hands. Texas Holdem. A game of guts and acuity. My heart pounded with the anticipation of the rush of everyone pitting their skills against mine. A surge of adrenaline tingled through my veins as I thought of holding the winning hand. Tonight I was queen.

I fingered the keyboard. The tip of my forefinger itched to push the up arrow. I looked at my hand. Two red ladies stared back at me. I doubled the bet. In the middle of the table, the first card drawn is a seven-of-hearts. A good sign. Seven being my lucky number and the heart showed promise of a straight if my queens didn't pan out.

The next card came up a king-of-hearts. Oh yeah, things were looking rosy.

The third card down, a four-of-hearts. Mine pounded in my chest. One had to bet big to win big and I knew how to work the table. So I went all in. I tapped the key, pushing the rest of my chips to the center. Five other players folded. I couldn't believe my luck.

The fourth card popped up. Three-of-spades. No worries, I still had one more to go. Two more players folded. Just the two of us now.

"Come on baby. Give it to me."

My legs shook. I thought of the celebration. I could see it now, Scott and the kids, so proud and thankful. The five of us dancing around the living room, discussing our dream vacation. Oh yeah, baby.

The computer flashed the last card up. A five-of-diamonds. "Damn."

In my mind, my opponent's eyes squinted.

Well, I still had my two queens. I couldn't lose.

The other player revealed his cards.

Two kings.

My stomach pitched and I wanted to die.

All my dreams and hopes shattered. I clenched my fists and shoved the keyboard away. Rubbing my face with my hands, I slumped to the bathroom and glared back at the loser I knew I was.

After returning to bed I gazed at the ceiling again, feeling dejected. A drain on my family. More worthless than a tit on a bull. No better than the clowns sitting in the casinos. I hated the fool within my soul.

A breeze blew in through the open window, and with it, a revelation came to me.

Tomorrow I'll be luckier. If Scott doesn't kill me first.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

GUEST BLOGGER PAM RIPLING: What Will They Say When You're Gone?

Over the weekend, I had the good fortune to see a film called "Get Low" starring Robert Duvall, Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek. The promo said it was about a man who has a dark past, and decides one day to hold his own funeral and invite anyone who's ever known him to eulogize or tell a story about him. All before he is actually dead, you see. First, let me say this was a wonderful film well-acted by the entire cast. An almost gentle film, with no vulgarity, sex and only one scene with a brief act of violence.

As I came away from the theater and many times thereafter, I thought about the story, eventually coming to the question: what would it be like to attend your own funeral, to hear what others had to say about you? The wondering continues to, what would I want them to say? Have I lived my life in such a manner that the mourners would have all good comments?

Whimsical, I began with: "She was an awesome writer." Ha! Why not? The standards follow, like "good wife and mother" "devoted daughter" "loving sister," etc.

"Charitable", "kind", "trustworthy", "hard working" all come to mind. But what of those niggling regrets? The "wish I hadn't"s and the "I'd just as soon forget I ever"s. Would I look around and see faces of people I'd hurt? Hear comments about injustices I'd committed? That driver I cut off on the 405 freeway that time?

How about the guy I didn't let into my apartment after he'd paid for dinner and a movie? He wasn't too happy about that. The employer who got angry when I left him for a better job. The 7th grade gym teacher who heard me making fun of her in the girls' locker room? (Cringing.)

We've all made mistakes, have regrets and wished for "do-overs" in our lives. It's those experiences that some of us, as writers, use to create the characters we love and hate. Jordan Kent, for example, has all kinds of regrets in CAPE SEDUCTION. He condemns his own weaknesses and lives with doubts and misgivings throughout his life. Rebecca Burke can't believe what she's done, the lengths she's gone to in order to gain access to the derelict Dragon Rock Lighthouse. But these very human missteps are what make characters vivid and believable.

What would your eulogy be like? Have you ever thought of writing your own?

Pam Ripling, who also writes as Anne Carter, is a self-proclaimed Lighthouse Nut and author of Beacon Street Mysteries CAPE SEDUCTION and POINT SURRENDER, in paperback or for your Kindle; also for your nook, iPhone, Sony eReader and other formats at Omnilit. Visit Pam/Anne at Beacon Street Books.

Tomorrow, I’m at Beth Fish Reads, but you can view my entire itinerary at Beacon Street Books