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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thought I’d write a small Thanksgiving post about mindfulness and gratitude. After all, I live in California, home to the Hollywood lifestyle. A place where not too many people take things seriously anymore. I look around at the way people dress for work or even church and it’s obvious this is the land of casual living. We also know that Hollywood is the land of Max Factor cosmetics, face-lifts and plastic surgery central.
I feel sorry for those movie stars because even though they look slim, all they want to do is portray regular humans like us. And we rock!! Yes us--the regular people with lives filled with real drama. Real lives that have tension and excitement. Lives that are impossible to duplicate. Let them try. We are originals. One of a kind.

First off, we have less troubles Probably less taxes. Under those fancy clothes and all that makeup are zits and skin imperfections. Even famous actors and actresses suffer from bunions, STDs and hemorrhoids. They are imperfect humans. In fact, you—most likely—have less imperfections.
Make Every Day An Imaginary Movie
Turn on the radio. Try a classical channel. That’s the soundtrack to your wonderful life. When you look out the window that is your movie set. Your family is your cast and you are the director. How will you approach this beautiful day? As the camera pans the neighborhood and the sound technician picks up the barking sounds of the neighbor’s annoying pooch, how will you respond to the cues? Will a telephone call pull you into a melodramatic scene or will you attempt to keep things neutral until the final moments of the day?

We all get the sad texts or the shocking emails about plans changing. We all have those sinking moments that create pain in our heart. Like commercials that blare into the middle of a great show, they are expected. They are akin to the twists and turns of a harrowing plot created by screenwriters and fiction authors. Except your pain is real. What you feel inside your heart is the hardest thing to describe. It’s your special emotion. Your salty tears, your real blood and your family. Hopefully, the pain will pass quickly.
I can be watching an exciting movie and all of a sudden, they break for a long string of annoying ads. I am jerked from the make-believe into the here and now.  Do I have time to run and grab a bottle of water? Go to the bathroom? Make some popcorn? Not usually—hurry up. Our film is back and we feel relieved.

Tonight, you might want to set the stage for a lovely evening. The sun is setting earlier now. I love those sparkly ‘faux’ candles that use batteries and can’t burn down the house. We have solar lights lining a pathway by the garden and twinkling lights throughout our home. A pot of soup simmers on the stove, filling the air with a wonderful aroma. It’s also cooler and we might have cocoa with marshmallows for dessert. Next week is Thanksgiving. A time that can be filled with family angst. Except this time:

The camera pans over the valley and zooms into the kitchen where you're helping with the holiday dishes. Make it sweet. Warm and cozy. It can be nice. Closeup on your smile. Remember, you're the star. Breathe.

Whether life is a romantic Hallmark movie, ending with a kiss, or a comedy where everyone falls asleep on the couch. Keep in mind, you are in charge. Make it a blockbuster, a bestseller. Make every day the best movie ever!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Meet Bentley

Bentley is a fluffy canine character in my latest novel, Penniless Souls. Usually a playful pup wanting to fetch a ball, until he bares his teeth and acts wild, as if he wants to kill the bad guys. In other words, he's a great little dog. The following snippet is when I introduce him in Chapter Four, which is written from Lani's point of view. Lani is Penny's daughter and she has allergies.   
So cute, huh?
My model's actual name is Bambi.
 He's exactly like Bentley.

From Chapter Four of Penniless Souls

“What?” Aunt Bess shrieked over Bentley’s continuous barking, accompanied by Lani’s sneezes. “Bentley,” be quiet she shouted in a kind-hearted way. Aunt Bess didn’t scold her dog. She treated the dusty mop looking dog like a member of the family.
     “We’ll see you on Tuesday,” Penny repeated, reaching towards Bess and giving her a hug.
     The dog ran around and around the dining room table like Secretariat at the Kentucky Derby. A tiny pink tongue hung from his lips and drool flew in the breezes he created. Aunt Bess gave Lani a quick hug and went back to clapping and yelling at her dog. On Tuesday, Lani would begin a new chapter in her life--a life that included a very rambunctious dog and two cats that might kill her. Her boat capsized on a deserted island. She felt like a hostage, held against her will, a caged captive, in a strange place filled with unusual wildlife.

Hope this short piece about Bentley makes you want to read more! Have a great day! 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Eve Sightings! Opportunities to Meet

October 10th-Anniversary dinner at Tresino’s Restaurant—26 years!!Whoops, sorry that was yesterday, but you might have seen us walking along busy Catt Road on our way to deliciousness. I wore navy blue lace and he had on a Quicksilver Hawaiian shirt and golf shorts. You'd think we were married in Hawaii! 😂

October 20th I’ll be at the Diamond Valley Arts Council Festival of the Arts from 10 until 4pm on Harvard Street in Hemet. As far as I know, I'm handing out brochures at the Diamond Valley Author’s table. Stop by and say hello!

October 27th Is our regularly scheduled Diamond Valley Writer’s Guild Meeting from 9 am to 12 noon. It's held at the Hemet Library on Latham. It’s our last meeting of the year!

November 6th at the Vail Ranch Farmer's Market in Temecula
I'll be there from 1 to 4pm 
That’s all for now. I’ll keep you updated. Will I be lucky enough to meet you?  

Sunday, September 23, 2018

The Impossible Dream of Julian Pie

This week, we took a short day-trip over to San Diego County to visit the town of Julian. We haven’t been there in ages and wanted to see if anything had changed. The last time we came, over ten years ago, we stayed to watch a wonderful theater production of The Man of La Mancha.

Other than a few price increases, the California historical landmark has stayed the same. It’s an old west town known for picking apples. They also sell apple juice, hard cider and the secret reason for our trip—yes—delicious pies.
Downtown Julian
 There are antique shops, crafts and specialty foods for sale on Main street and plenty of hiking opportunities for the entire family.
I think that's the fire-station

 We passed a few campsites on the way, noticed some wineries and after we parked the car, we took a stroll in the old Pioneer cemetery. 
Resting under a lovely oak

From what I understand, there used to be a gold mine around there, and it’s still open to visitors.
This place had some unusual antiques.
I knew if I went in there it would take hours to get me out.

 We were lucky to be able to go during the week, as I imagine it gets busy on the weekends.
My chivalrous knight in front of the pie place.

 All in all, we had a wonderful day and recommend it as a short getaway from the noise, stress and general hullabaloo of the city.

Have you been to Julian?

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Bakery Rebellion

Are you on the Ketogenic diet?
The gluten free diet?
Going Vegan?
Vegetarian not Vegan. (Learn the difference or you will be embarrassed.)
Low Carb?
Low fat?
High Protein?
Raw Food?
South Beach?
Grapefruit diet?
Cabbage Soup?
Carnivore diet?
Eggs and wine diet?
Apple Cider Vinegar diet?
Cake cleanse?
Smoothie detox?
No, and no.
Eating is harder to figure out then gender identity. But my new trans-
ition lenses help me see things clearer.
With over one hundred newly recognized genders this year, there will be people celebrating.
Hooray! They will probably have cake!
I made this delicious walnut cake last week.
Walnuts are very good for you. 😋
 Maybe I'll post a recipe soon.
Anyway, dieting is something I’m supposed to be doing. (Seriously, I replaced white bread with croissants.)😍
The more I read about the dangerous, long term consequences of dieting, the more I rebel.  
"Let me eat cake," is up there with Russian Roulette and cliff diving in Mazatlan. These are perilous times folks. I'm saying folks to be inclusive to everyone.

Husband can cut out one soda and lose twenty pounds! Just like that! Poof! He misses one meal and looks like a haggard, homeless man. 
Men. Yeah, it’s a gender thing and I’m not too keen on the way they can brag about having great metabolisms.  
Meanwhile, I’m swimming my heart out and walking our lazy pooches all over the place. Apparently, I'd have to walk to the moon and back to burn all my calories.

They should have the Exhausted but I Can't Give Up Cake Diet. It could consist of three hundred calories of anything delicious three times a day. Maybe three generous slices of chocolate cake and a few carrot sticks to equal things out? Hmm.
I didn't think so. 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Butterfly Shadows

I stopped under a moving shadow of a Monarch butterfly.
She fluttered around a tree and flit above a house.
My eyes darted left and right hoping to catch a glimpse of orange.
Her fire
a smudged blur in my memory.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Take a Gamble on My New Romantic Adventure!

It’s finally here!! My second book about Penny, and though it’s a standalone sequel, Penniless Souls is the second half of a two-part journey called the Lost Compass Love Series. Follow Penny and John through the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas, Nevada where old dreams and dark nightmares intertwine, colliding with the bitter truth. Is Penny up to the challenge? Is she willing to bet her last cent? 
Here’s a snippet from Chapter One:

 “Can you trust me?”
Quietly, she nodded and placed her head back on his shoulder.  “I
have so far,” she mumbled without conviction.
It felt like a white flag of surrender.  The type of submission that reminded her of submissive
women in advertising campaigns of the fifties.  Without a job or money,
she had only one thing left.  Fortunately, it was something valuable, some-
thing called love. 

 Buy it by clicking here and don't forget to write a short review!