Blogmas, Day 13: Not What It Used to Be (#blogmas)

Honestly? I’m struggling with Blogmas. My blogging habit is not what it used to be. When I first started blogging in 2005, I think it was, I had so much to say. So much of my true self had been repressed. So many things needed to be said. That I needed to say. That other people weren’t saying. And didn’t want me to say.

By the time social media hit big, I felt like I’d said it all and if I hadn’t, other people were saying it. And now maybe we have too much being said on social media.

Then I realized I still have things to say. I’m just expressing myself in a different way. I’m telling my stories through art, which in my case, is books, music, poetry.

And that’s pretty much what you can expect throughout the rest of Blogmas. The rest of my publicity tour for Deja Vu… Excerpts. Poems. Music.

Artists sharing our hearts. Mining our lives for our art.

Are you doing Blogmas? How’s it going for you?

Blogmas, Day 12: Previously… (#blogmas #wip)

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m working on a rom com novel I’m calling “She’s Not That Good.” I shared the blurb yesterday and here’s a bit of an excerpt on today’s post, giving a bit of back story before the story actually begins for real, which will probably get cut.

She’s Not That Good
Excerpt (wip)

Previously…

I love my job. The commute is short, well, relatively short for the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s in the South Bay, which is convenient for where I live in Fremont, just across the Bay. It’s in one of those low-rise two-story buildings surrounded by trees and grass and sidewalks, perfect for taking power walk breaks or just to stroll. There’s an amazing onsite cafeteria, well, actually three cafeterias if you count all the buildings on the campus. There’s even a piano bar next to the onsite Starbucks. And did I tell you I work with one of my good friends? Not exactly my BFF but a friend I used to work with at another company. It’s perfect. Well almost.

Oh, the less than perfect part isn’t about the job itself. I love that. I’m in book and web production of the marketing arm. It’s part creative, part technical. I love that because that describes me pretty well. Creative. Technical. Partly. Is that a thing? Well, I can say this: I’m not one of those nerdy types that has to have all the latest technology gadgets, but I do love the ones I love. And they might not be the ones you might think of. Not the social ones. I’m not that social. Okay, so maybe I am a bit nerdy not in the ‘PC’ kind of way, but in the introvert kind of way.

The one shortcoming of my job? I’m not in a committed relationship. I’m a gun for hire. What they call a “contractor.” No paid vacation, holidays, or even a promise of tomorrow. Okay, that’s true for a lot of people, especially in California, the “for hire” clause, which can be terminated at a moment’s notice. But most employers won’t just dump you. No, they’ll build a case against you.

As a contractor, I have none of that. For example, I was contracting at one of the biggest internet companies of its time, doing two different jobs, reporting to one manager, but working for the other in a diplomatic position. You see, manager one didn’t like the response time of manager two’s group, so manager one put me in the awkward position of trying to please both groups. And when I bonded with group two, deciding to spend most of my time there, manager one sent HR after me, firing me on the spot and escorting me to the door. I can’t tell you how horrific that felt like I was some kind of criminal. All they had to do was say, “You’re not that good,” and I would have gone gladly.

So back to this near-perfect job. I’d gotten wind of the fact that they were trying to get rid of the full-time employee that worked with my friend, and my friend, Georgi, let’s call her, hinted that when that happened, the job would be mine. And when I hinted that I wanted to take a few days off to see my sick grandmother in Southern California, she encouraged me, as if they would take that time to fire said person, and when I got back, the job would be mine. Sounds too good to be true, right?

Did you see this coming? I didn’t. But this is how it went down. I take off Friday night to visit my grandmother, and by the time I return the following Thursday morning, the undesirable employee is gone but, now get this, the person sitting in his chair is Darla, another friend of Georgi’s. Her excuse? Darla was there, ready to start, and I wasn’t. Unbelievable, right? My job satisfaction dropped from a nine to a zero. I felt so betrayed. I immediately began looking for another job and, well, that brings you up-to-date, and you can read about that fiasco in the next chapter.

 Except that I’ll add that you should have seen their antics when I told them I was leaving. Suddenly, I was so desirable. They really laid it on thick, and part of me wanted to believe them. Because I never heard anybody there whisper, “She’s not that good,” not even when they tried to explain why they hired Darla in my absence. They made me feel like I was a valuable member of the team. Except when I wasn’t invited to meetings, meetings where, behind closed doors, I heard whoops of laughter like they were having the time of their lives. No, I began to hate contracting and that lack of commitment. Except when they hired somebody else while I was gone, gone on a trip they encouraged me to take.

Oh yes, they were underhanded, backbiting, all the while smiling and praising me to my face. I think I almost prefer the upfront telling me I’m not that good or even the whispers among themselves, whispers I can still hear. “She’s not that good.”

Blogmas, Day 8: Red Rock to Blue Diamond (#blogmas #lasvegas)

One of my favorite drives here in the Las Vegas Valley is the Red Rock Canyon to Blue Diamond Loop. No wonder the Blue Diamond Saloon lured me into including it in my psychological suspense novel,  Déjà Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon, on tour for the month of December. Check back here for a link to the next featured appearance.

On a recent drive, we encountered snow flurries, which only added to the desert beauty. The Red Rock Canyon sign is probably almost as popular as the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign on Las Vegas Blvd. Tourists line up to take selfies at both locations.

The next time you’re in Las Vegas, check out the Red Rock area, and then make your way to Blue Diamond. You might want to pick up a copy of Déjà Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon as your guide.

Blogmas, Day 4: Interview on The Writer’s Life (#blogmas)

“Everything in Vegas looks better at night.” – Nikki Durrance, Déjà Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon

If you’re keeping up with the December blog tour for Déjà Vu…, you’ll want to to check out my interview over on The Writer’s Life.

Note: In addition to Kindle, it is also now available in Paperback.

The Imperfections of a Narcissist (#poetry #introtopoetry)

Day 6 prompt is “imperfect” – limerick for bonus points.

“Imperfect” and “Narcissist” cannot be in existence
In an ode so short or very long sentence
By definition a narcissist cannot be imperfect
If you call them out, they will enrage or deflect
No matter how you may wish or provide concrete evidence

The Journey Home (#poetry #introtopoetry)

Day 4 writing prompt is “journey.” Use of simile for bonus points. I’ve been under the weather so I’m not sure how much effort I can put into this.

Searching for that “one wise man”
My journey took me from California to Florida three times back I ran
Like a fish out of water, the Prodigal daughter, I came home again

No father waiting with open arms
His love and attention for me I was starved
Denying the power and lack that brings harm

Embracing me and what I can bring
Writing and music and listening to Thee
Is the greatest gift beyond all belief

 

New Cover for “Real Women Sing the Blues” for New Release of Paperback Version

I’m excited to announce the paperback release of Real Women Sing the Blues, book 2 in the Real Women Wear Red series. With that comes a brand new cover, which I’m really proud of.

Now that Amazon’s Kindle program has widened the publishing options to paperback, I’m releasing new paperbacks for my Kindle books. Because Real Women Wear Red was published before this option was available, I’m looking at republishing it in paperback on Amazon. That will make the pricing much more attractive to readers.

REAL WOMEN SING THE BLUES

RWSB_new_cover_125“In that moment, I knew I could no longer be a Wall Street monkey, and somewhere out there Blue Hawaii was calling my name.” – Robin from Real Women Sing the Blues

When the women of Real Women Wear Red return from their Caribbean cruise, each woman must deal with the consequences of secrets shared onboard ship.

Millie’s secret sends Robin reeling all the way to Blue Hawaii, and she finds herself chasing Moondoggie and singing the Blues. This sets off the “Millie Domino Effect.”

Millie chases after Robin and Monterey Jack chases after Millie.

Cyn joins Robin and Millie on the cruise when her “Cary Grant” gets too serious too fast. And Sandy runs to Cyn for motherly comfort when her shipboard romance blows up.

Four women, four islands, and a seven-night cruise to Paradise. Is there life after they go Hawaiian or will they end up singing the Blues?

AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon.com for Kindle and Paperback.

A Veteran’s Face (#poetry #introtopoetry #VeteransDay)

Intro to Poetry (Day Two) suggests writing a poem about a face of any kind. Alliteration for bonus points.

It came out of nowhere yesterday
Hitting me in the heart
Numbing my identity
As if I were a nameless nobody
Belting me with a break so sharp
A photo of a Navy Veteran’s face
His memory I cannot erase
Questions asked after so many years
A child staring at the bump on her ear
Wondering “who am I” and “why do I fear?’
Looking in the looking glass
I see the answer staring me in the face
Knowledge I no longer need to chase
A photo is a reminder of our resemblance
So I honor the Veterans as a daughter’s remembrance

Wings of an Eagle (#poem #lyrics)

My head silently screams through the night
When the long-awaited answer is nearly in sight
Wings of an eagle flap, ready to take flight

Nowhere to go, I must now stay
Running was the thing of another day
Understanding when absent, intuition leads the way

I must not fear, sleeping under God’s wings
The storyteller prays as the choir now sings
Artists and monks the truth must bring

Wings of an eagle carry the message
Laser-focused eyes encompass the ledge
Save me from falling teetering on the edge

 

Adventure on the High Seas (#poem)

Working on my third novel set aboard a cruise ship, and after tuning into last night’s CruiseTipsTV Live last night, I decided to write a poem about the call of the adventure on the high seas.

Dreaming of cruising on a luxury ship
Running for miles to reduce the hips
Preparing for months with low fat calories
Longing for adventure on the high seas

Shopping for swimsuits, bags, and nice dresses
Romantic strolls on decks, kisses and caresses
Tips, tricks, and vlogging the trip
Reading a novel about a girl who strips

Cocktails, Coppertone, and boys in cabanas
Lovers and places once forbidden like Havana
Snorkeling, parasailing, and boats like bananas
Lift me from despair to cries of Hosanna