Thursday, December 4, 2008

Swimming in The Shallows

These past few weeks I feel as though I’ve been swimming in shallow water, unable to make the transformation from fish tail to legs so I can climb onto the rocky shore. This last ‘minor’ surgery took a lot out of me. I wish the drs. would stop using the word ‘minor’ in conjunction with me. Simply because it never is. I truly should know better by now.

As I start to gain energy, I am slowly getting back to what I love––writing. The great thing about writing is it forces my brain to focus on something other than the pain. If I am lost in a world of my creation, my mind is happily occupied. An all natural drug induced state, released endorphins, aided by muses.

I’ve also been doing some reading and have to say most of what I’ve read this past month is pretty good.

What I haven’t done much of is holiday shop. Ugh. Since I can’t drive for a while and must have Bear to act as my wheelman, I am limited in when and where I can go. Mostly I go to the drs. for appointments. Anywhere else, I get to sit in the car while he goes in to do whatever we need.

Did I mention the effects of cabin fever? Oh yeah, I got a heavy dose of that right now. But since I know I have to take this slow and easy as I continue the healing process, I guess I’ll behave. Drats. lol. Being a good girl is a major stretch, I’m tellin’ ya. :P

In love, light, and laughter,

Friday, August 8, 2008

10 Things made from CAT Scan "Milk Shakes"

Today I had to go in for testing and the stuff they make you drink is thick and chalky with this artificial “berry blend” flavor.

So here is my top ten list of things I think are made from any left over “berry blend milkshakes”

1. spray paint
2. pastel chalk
3. liquid clay slip
4. blueberry scented baby powder
5. wet carpet cleaner
6. schoolboard chalk
7. overly active yogurt
8. 3 month old blueberry pancake batter
9. papier mache paste
10. liquid concrete

::excuse me while I go toss my cookies–blech!::

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Little Black Candle

When Mercury isn’t retrograde, but everything in your life is topsy-turvy, it’s time for a little candle magick to lighten the load. I’ve always believed that like calls to like, so when the negatives in life start weighing you down, watch out, because they also seem to grow. That’s when I take out of one my black candles and clear out the negative energy.

If you think black candles are used to cast dark spells, you need to take off your black nail polish dear, and get with the program. Black candles draw the negative and burn it away.

Since I make my own candles, I can put anything in them I want. To dispel negative energy, I like to use a little juniper and white sage oil. For added umph, I also burn dragon’s blood resin on a charcoal tablet in my small cauldron. Be careful not to inhale too much of the smoke, though.

When you are ready, light your black candle. Visualize the darkness surrounding you and see it absorbed into the flame of your black candle. Watch it burn and disperse into the wax, sealing it.

I think it’s interesting to watch as it burns, how the wax forms on the surface as it runs down the length of the candle. If it bubbles and hisses and spits wax down the side in heavy globs, you know you’ve been floating in a veritable sea of negative energy.

You can also disperse negative energy by doing a smudging using a wand made from bundled dried herbs, usually white sage and or betony.  Walk into each room including every dark corner and burn the wand. This is also called a smudge stick. You can use a feather fan to direct the smoke. Once again, make sure you don’t inhale too much, so keep the bundle in front of you and the smoke directed away and toward the empty room.

Wishing you a happy and negative-free home!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Animal Totems and Spirit Guides

I’ve always been interested in animal totems and animal spirit guides. Many years ago, I was told by a Native American shaman that while I will have many animal guides in my life, my main animal guide is the manatee.

Since I’ve held a fondness and an affinity for that particular animal since I was a child, I found the shaman’s words very powerful. Of all of Mother Nature’s children, he named the one I’d loved since I first learned of them when I was three.

I collect manatee figurines and other manatee related items. They can be quite hard to find, since it’s not every day you can go into a gift shop and find manatees.

So I was happily surprised and thrilled when I received a box in the mail from good friend and fellow writer T. Sue VerSteeg, and it contained the most lovely carved stone agate manatee.

Being technically-challenged, I can’t get the picture I took of the stone manatee to upload for some reason, but hopefully I’ll plead with hubby, and see if he’ll take pity on me and help me out. LOL.

Anyway, I love manatees and if you love them too, you should know that manatees are still endangered and need our help.

If you want to learn more about manatees and what is being done to help them, and find out how you can help, please click on the link listed HERE.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day...Missing My Dad

While people immediately acknowledge the importance of the father-son relationship, many forget that the father-daughter relationship is equally important.

Daddy is the very first man in our lives, and whether you realize it or not, you will secretly judge and compare every other man in your life to him.

Recently, my sister mentioned how strange it is for us to understand how some men absent themselves from their daughter’s lives, or because their child is a girl, they don’t teach them the same things they would a son.

Our Dad never once thought, “I won’t teach them ‘this or that’ because they are girls. Instead, he encouraged us to try out for “male-dominated” sports as well as the usual ones for girls. He also taught us to think for ourselves, to stand up for what we believe in, speak our minds, and to not take crap from anybody.

My sisters and I learned how to play golf, tennis, baseball, and basketball from my dad. We also learned how to prepare and paint drywall, hammer a nail, fix a clogged sink, catch, gut, and fillet our own fish.

He was this larger than life figure to me. Colorful stories about him running moonshine as a teenager in the back hills of Kentucky were spun at family reunions, which he'd deny, then wink at us and grin.

Dad was part of the greatest generation, having fought in WWII as a ball turret gunner. He raced NASCAR in the 50′s, owned thoroughbred racehorses, played poker (before it became a TV spectator sport) and dressed like a member of the original rat pack. He also sang off-key and liked to hold hands with mum in the moonlight.

Hard for any man to match up after all that. Poor Bear. Dad always called him “Meathead.” ::grins:: I still can recall my guy sitting in Dad’s favorite chair soon after they met the first time, and the house going very silent. LOL.

Sadly, Dad passed away almost a decade ago. And although we all miss him still, we know that the things he taught us helped us to become strong and independent women. To not be afraid to say what is on our minds or in our hearts.

To those who still have your fathers, give them a call today and tell them how much they meant to you. I promise it’s a much better present that a tie.

To those who, like me, have memories of their dad, spend a minute or two today and pick up an old photo album and smile. Because I know this to be true: whatsoever, and whomsoever we loved in life, lives forever.

If you are a father, cherish your daughters as well as your sons and let them know you care. Be their protector, but also show them how to protect themselves, pass on your knowledge and wisdom learned through trial and error, teach them what is important, but let them make their own decisions. Catch them when they fall, because they will from time to time, and most of all, tell them how much you love them, because we never know how long we have to live in this life and most of us don't get second chances.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For

These past few days have been interesting to say the least. My mum decided she needed new carpeting and tile in her little apartment at the senior complex. After a few months of pestering the management, she got her wish. Personally I wonder how they held out so long. The mumenator is seldom denied. That’s why she is the mumenator after all.

The problem with getting your wish is that sometimes we want things and we don’t always think through all of the repercussions our wishes may bring– to ourselves or to others.

For instance, mum never thought past the fact that all her little old lady friends in the senior building got new carpeting and why didn’t she? Dammit, she wasn’t about to be forgotten or left out!

If she had thought a little further, she’d have realized that meant at some point all her furniture would have to be moved out into the hallway. All her clothes boxes and bagged, all the food in the refrigerator boxed in coolers as well. All her pictures taken off the walls (the manager’s office insisted) and all the phones and the TV disconnected and moved also into the hall.

She didn’t think about that. Or the fact that this would disrupt everyone else on her end of the building, since they would be stuck in their apartments unable to access the hallway until all of mum’s stuff was returned to her apartment. Nor did anyone think about the fact that since all her belongings would be in the hallway overnight, then someone would need to stay with her items so nothing got stolen. Also no one gave a thought to where mum would be sleeping since her bed had to be moved into the same hallway.

As luck would have it, she recalled all of these things the day before the people came to install her new carpet and tile.

Oh, and I think I forgot to mention that the smell of the carpet glue is intense. The noxious stuff hangs in the air for like a week, burning your eyes, stealing your breath and making you dizzy.
I tried to impress on mum how much effort and work would be involved in getting her wish, but my comments were dismissed. ::sigh::

As you might expect, it was nothing short of a fiasco. LOL.

Of course, it’s hard to think through any consequences or possible problems when someone is giving you your wish, even one as simple as new carpeting and tile.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Garden Is Calling Me

For what seems like the first day in ages, it is not raining. The sun is shining, the bees are busy buzzing, the birds are making it in mid-air, the squirrels are enjoying the peanuts I left for them, and my plants are blooming.

The scent of roses and hyacinth, sweet melissa and lavender floats on the breeze and in through my writing room window, tempting me to come outside and play. I want to be out there, the sun on my face, the wind gently blowing my hair, my bare feet cushioned by the soft waves of bluegrass.
In some ways, not much has changed since I was a kid in school. Those last few days of class drove me crazy. How could I concentrate on subordinate clauses, Sherman’s march, or algebra when Mother Nature sang to me?

I’ve made good progress on all of my current writing projects. And though I still have a few more thousand words until they’re finished, I deem this worthy of a respite.

I open the back door to make my way outside, and I am greeted by three wasps. Sentinels determined to keep me inside. So I spin back around, shut the door, and close the blinds. I don’t like feeling intimidated by three measly flying insects.  So I grab a smudge bundle I happen to have and light it. I smudge the porch with the sweet, burnt smell of sage. The wasps are now watching me.

“Yeah, and I got more where that came from!”

Just then Bear drives up and sees me alone on the porch.

“Who are you talking to?”

“Those thugs over there” I say, pointing to the wasps, who are by now faking interest in our pink dogwood tree.

“Why did I even ask?” He says and shakes his head.

“Hey, I didn’t start this! They did.”

He goes on inside the house and behind me I can hear the buzz of wasps..and what sounds like snide insect laughter.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Why Keep Writing...?

An online writer friend is going through some truly difficult times and I've been trying to encourage her to keep going and not give up, and she asked me, why?

"Why are you still writing? Why haven't you given up? Aren't you tired? Don't you want to simply stop sending out stories and getting rejected? You've went through the deaths of ten family members in twelve years. You've had sarcoidosis, degenerative bone disease, diabetes, hurtle cell carcinoma, and that's not counting the other personal problems you've had to deal with as well.  Aren't you exhausted? Why are you still trying to still write?

I had to think about it for a while, because I can’t imagine not writing.

I may take a short break due to family issues, or personal illness, but I always come back to writing. The flow of words on paper or across a blank computer screen is akin to a form of magic. And that’s one heady fix my friends.

For a moment in time, I am creator. And my pallet of choice is infinite. I can bring characters to life or snuff them out faster than an exhaled breath on a candle. With so many options, writing can seem daunting at first. But the rewards can be endless.

Real life can be brutal and cruelly unfair. As creator of my own universe of stories, I can see to it the cute guy down the hall asks the chubby girl for a date and they fall in love. The kid with the bad acne the bullies called “pizza face,” grows up to become a handsome lead actor. The cheating husband gets taught a lesson, and murder victims are avenged. Every emotion explored, from humor and passion, to anger and grief. All is possible.

When pain or sadness touches my life, I often use writing as a catharsis. To start the healing process after battling a major illness, or to honor those I’ve lost, and climb from the dark pit of depression.

Cheaper than a shrink and healthier than booze.

I get a sense of accomplishment every time I complete an article or a story, whether it sees publication or not. However, there is no bigger high than to see your byline in a magazine, your latest e-book available online, or to walk through a bookstore and see your name on the spine of a book. The rush is incredible.

Why do I write? I know it's sure not for the money. Many of us make less with our writing in a year than a greeter at Walmart makes in two months.

I write because it’s a part of me…maybe the best part. And I love it.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I see it’s been awhile since I updated and felt like I should at least let ya’ll know I am back. Well, not completely back, more at half-speed, but better than nothing. ::smile::

My surgery was successful, in that I didn’t incur any complications. However, my road has not ended. You see, the surgery was for removal of a very large tumor that used to be my thyroid. Two weeks later, I received the results of the post-surgery biopsy and the news wasn’t what I’d hoped for. Folks, no easy way to say it, but I have cancer.

The good news is that they think they got it all, but I will have to undergo more tests and a special radiation treatment (called RAI 131), followed by a total body scan to determine if the cancer has metastasized.

If you Google the RAI 131 treatment for hurtle cell carcinoma, you’ll note I have to be in isolation for a period of time, since I will be radioactive. Yep. That’s me, Radioactive Girl. I joke that now I will glow in the dark, but in reality, I probably won’t. I hope.

Not sure if I will attain any superpowers with my radioactivity, but should you read of a woman in a glowing cape shooting arcs of light beams from her fingertips…or anywhere else, well, I’m just sayin’. LOL.

Gosh, the writer in me is really itching to pen a story about a woman with cancer who becomes a superhero. Who knows, I just might jot down story notes between radiation treatments. :)

Anyway, this is nothing more than a side path of my journey before I get back on the main road. I plan to rest, read, and write when I can, and when I feel like it. I am even doing edits on some of my upcoming books, taking my time to make the stories the best they can be and enjoying the process.
Hey, I might actually learn something! LOL.

To those that have emailed me with notes of encouragement or get well wishes, I want to say how much I appreciated that. ((hugs))

With much love,

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Figured I better let ya'll know...

As some of you know, I have been undergoing certain health issues lately, and while I am optimistic that all will be fine, I will have to undergo surgery this next week. The kind of major surgery I am having requires me to be admitted to the hospital and once released, full rest and recuperation is a must.

Because of this, I will likely not be online for some time. If anyone wants to contact me, that information is on my contact page on my website.

If possible, I’ll try to have someone check my email for me so I don’t miss anything urgent or time sensitive.

The one good thing about this enforced period of rest is that I might actually catch up on my reading and whittle down that huge TBR pile I have. LOL

I want to thank everyone who has sent e-cards and offered prayers and well wishes. They are much appreciated.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

When Life Hands You A Lemon

My motto has always been when life hands you a lemon, squeeze the hell outta it! Now, I may not have lemonade when I’m done, but I will have the start of a nice citrus punch! :)

Writing is like that, too. No matter how much you plan and plot, sometimes things are better when you let go and squeeze the lemons! :D

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Package Snatcher

My mind spins faster than a top. Sometimes I imagine I can hear the whirling sound of it’s motion in the air. LOL. Must be true of all writers, because I think each of us are born with that inquisitive gene. You know, the one that makes you ask what if.

Stories are born from those what ifs. You can be in line at the bank, the grocery, the movie theater, or in a coffee shop, and see something that suddenly begs for attention and leads our minds in a “Walter Mitty” direction.

The other day, I was at the post office. The line was practically out the door. And this really sweet guy held it for me and even offered to hold my packages. Pretty tame stuff. But it hit me. What if it wasn’t a nice gesture on his part? What if instead of standing there and chatting with me, he’d taken my packages and then ran off with them? What if he was a package snatcher?

Well, if he had, then my latest prize winner wouldn’t eventually get the book I sent. LOL. It’s cool, Kelley, your package got in the mail. :D

But still, it causes you to realize that everything we do in life has an effect, like dominoes. Chain reaction of cause and effect.

When we sit down to plot a skeletal framework for our stories, we have to play by the same rules as life. No matter if our novel is set 100 years into the future, or on another planet, or a contemporary set in the here and now. We all have to think about cause and effect.

If your heroine drinks four margaritas and follows it with three Long Island ice teas, odds are she’s going to be pretty wasted. At the least, she should wake up in the morning with a doozy of a hangover. And that will have an effect on the rest of her day. Side note: If she doesn’t have a hangover after all that booze, then I’m going to hate her. So not fair! LOL.

What I don’t like as a reader is when a book doesn’t follow it’s own rules, or tries to circumvent cause and effect. Or maybe I just agree with the bad guy in the Matrix movie. I dunno.
But I figure I’ll never stop asking what if. It’s too much fun! :D

Monday, January 14, 2008

More Reviews!

I was thrilled to see the most recent review of my ebook The Midnight Effect!
4.5 Blue Ribbons!
“Ms. Curtis did a great job with MIDNIGHT EFFECT.  I found myself sinking into the story and living it as if I were the heroine. Javier is a great example of an alpha, one that many a woman would want for their own. The heat generated between the two once they get together is feverishly hot.” ––ladybirdrobi, Romance Junkies
Plus my ebook Compulsion was recently reviewed!
“While Lindsay’s daydreams are wildly hot, when Jack steps in to make them reality their axis tips making their world unbalanced. Compulsion is an awesome story of two people who admire from afar and come together. I loved Cassandra Curtis’ lava hot story Compulsion, it exuded sex with romance.”    ––Raine, Joyfully Reviewed
So glad my stories are getting some good reviews.