Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

I know, it’s been a while. I’ve not been around on this page much lately for a number of reasons that I’ll get into in a minute, but first, I need to say that this page is still evolving. And now, as I get serious about my second career, I’m poring over ideas for making it work for my writing. Which means things will continue to be out of focus for a while longer. Which brings me to where I’ve been…

Five years ago, I was approached by a client who read one of my stories on Literotica and liked it very much. I didn’t even know that that was a thing that could happen, and was quite shocked that he wanted me to write romances for him as a result of reading me there. I wrote him three biker stories and a three-story paranormal series before he threw me over for someone I introduced him to who wrote better biker stories than I did, and didn’t mind making bad guys into heroes. That wasn’t my schtick, and I was sufficiently in charge of my fledgling writer’s persona not to try and do something that just went against the grain for me.

Since then, I’ve discovered Upwork, a freelancer’s website which allows you to set up a page and advertise yourself to prospective clients who might wish to engage your services for the skills that you list in your profile. I have been a freelance romance ghostwriter on Upwork since 2015,  and have had nine clients, four of whom worked with me for multiple projects, and three of whom I still currently work for.  As a ghostwriter, I give up my right to the copyright and any proceeds from sales of the stories once I receive a check for the story in question.

I’ve written stories in a number of sub-genres…paranormal, biker (though I resist doing those unless I can make the biker someone other than the kind that is too often found in stories of that genre), billionaire, inter-racial, gay (M/M, to be specific), sheikh, step-brother, clean contemporary (no sex) aka sweet romance, mail order bride, Regency (both clean and erotic). I’ve written short stories (10-15K words), novellas (30-35K words), and novels (50-70K words). Ghostwriting has been my on-the-job training for my own writing, which I have finally begun to work on this year.

Which brings me to the final bit of news. The last fourteen months have been especially stressful for me. In December 2016, for five days before, during and after Christmas, I was hospitalized with an illness that had my white blood cell count so high they were testing me for cancer, and my potassium so low I had to have it administered to me intravenously for the entire five-day period. And when I was finally discharged, I was given more to take home. I was also pumped intravenously with every high-powered antibiotic they could find to combat an illness they could not diagnose, and when I was discharged, they still didn’t know what was wrong with me. I recovered completely from the mystery illness after another week of medication at home, and thought all was well.

And then last month I began to feel ill and thought it was just a very bad case of gas. After five days of no success with home treatments, I gave in and went to the ER, only to be told that the CT scan showed I had a cyst on my liver that had grown so large that it was pushing against the liver and displacing all the other organs in my abdomen. I needed immediate surgery and was admitted and seen to in less than two days. The cyst was benign, thank heaven, and I am now recuperating from an almost five-hour surgical procedure.

And while all this has been happening, my parents, both in their 90’s, have been having their own physical and emotional challenges, and as I am the child living closest to them, I bear the brunt of the responsibility for dealing with them. And with a senior in high school — thankfully my last child — I often feel overwhelmed.

So, I’ve had a lot to deal with, and blogging has had to take a back seat to life’s more pressing concerns. I’m having to practice patience and to read my body to make sure I’m not overdoing it after the surgery because I feel fine until I do something I shouldn’t just yet. I can write, though, and I’m getting back into the groove slowly but surely.

Well, that’s all folks! Until next time, take care of yourselves, and don’t ignore your body. It’s the only one you have, you know? Treat it well.


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I love to read. I live to read. I read to live. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.

When I was a youngster, reading was how I escaped from the sadness of being me, the kid who lived in the glass house, the kid who hated the way she looked, the kid who felt less than her peers. Being a preacher’s daughter on the bigger, taller, bustier side was not a role I wanted to play. But just like family, you can’t choose who you start out being in the world. I didn’t know how to counteract my sadness, and in fact, truth be told, I didn’t understand all the reasons why I was sad, or that it was about more than being the fat girl, or the foreigner, or the ‘pahsen pickney’ (preacher’s kid).

All I understood was the palliative, restorative, healing power of the word. And I gobbled up my medicine hungrily, whenever I could, wherever I could.

I read everything except horror…it is a genre I still do not read. Science fiction, fantasy, romance, westerns, spy thrillers, detective stories, war stories…nothing was outside the scope of my desire and my need. And all that in addition to reading everything in school…my history textbooks contained the kinds of stories that made the historical novels I enjoyed that much more meaningful. My science textbooks were the source of mystery and wonder to me. Mathematics was the secret garden I couldn’t enter because I didn’t know all the codes. Its language and symbols fascinated me though, and somewhere in my less-than-confident soul, I knew that if someone were to spend the time helping me to figure out how not to be afraid of the symbols and what they meant, I could be passing fair at math, too. The languages I studied all gave me words I could use to speak my truth, not only for oral examinations but also for communicating with people whose language I wanted to master. And English…English was the joy of my life. Nothing was too hard in English.

All these subjects had one thing in common…words. Words that people put in books. Big, ridiculously heavy books, small paperbacks, and everything in between. I loved books. I loved how they smelled, what they looked like when they were new, how they aged. I read voraciously without spending a dime until I was at university. Thank God for the school library. I gobbled up every free book that the school or public library gave away. And by the time I had exhausted their offerings, I was a freshman at university, with that whole library at my disposal, and money that I could spend either on books or on food. I still wonder why I never lost weight in all my undergraduate years given how much money I spent on books instead of food.

Which brings me, at last, to the point of this post. Today, for the first time in a long time, I held a book again. An honest-to-God, in-the-paperback, real-life print book! The memories overwhelmed me. It was a new book, a slender paperback M/M romance, and as I read, I was careful not to bend the covers, and I worked so hard not to dog-ear the pages or wrinkle them. It all came back to me…this was how it used to be way back when. I treated the books like I treat my friends, with care and concern, with love. My books were always pristine, whether old or new, even when I wrote in them. (A pen in hand while reading was something I learned as a child and have never let go of. But that’s another story.) And I was very leery of lending them to others because I knew no one else would take care of my treasures the way I did.

Wow! I was such a nerd!  I still am!

Thank God for Kindles and Nooks. I don’t have to worry about my treasures being bent or broken or torn. I don’t have to worry about not getting them back if I lend them to others. I don’t have to worry about losing them — what an epic disaster that would be!

Still, as I finish up the book I’m reading now, I realize how much I miss the physical book. It’s part of a past I can’t escape…the part that helped me make it to where I am today. I’ll have to find a way to keep my e-readers and still get my hands back on books.

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Autumn-themed Books

Searching through Goodreads to find ideas for this post, I noticed a trend.  There were horror stories, and then there was everything else.  Par for the course, I suppose, since this is the season of Halloween, with all its attendant ghouls, ghosts, and ghastly stories.  I was hard pressed to decide what to write about, or how, and finally, in an inspired moment, I decided that nine was a good, round, witchly (yes, I made that word up just this second!) number of books to share with you, in a mixture of horror and other, and in typical fashion, to make some kind of poem of them.  It’ll be silly, even stupid, at times…rhyming invariably brings out the wacko in me.  And my ideas of what constitutes “horror” are decidedly skewed, as you’ll see.  Wish me luck…and see if you can match the descriptions in the poem to the nine novels listed below.


September brings much more, you know,
than cooling Autumn breezes.
There’s Labor Day, and barbecues,
and final summer sneezes.

To keep your mind on other things
than the approaching Winter,
mayhap you should distract it with
light reading — get your printer!

A young boy learned to wield his wand,
two others saved their city;
an ancient vampire sought fresh blood;
a Creature’s not made pretty.

A woman loved a priest who left her
with a darling infant.
A vain young man did sell his soul
to keep old age well distant.

Ambition drove a warrior
to murder and deception.
A great physician “played with fire” —
it changed his whole reception.

There’s just one more — and different,
in quality and content –
A brighter color might have made
her stay, and give consent.


Copyright 2015

1.  Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
2.  The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
3.  Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
4.  The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
5.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
6.  The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
7.  Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
8.  Macbeth by William Shakespeare
9.  Dracula by Bram Stoker

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