In a very few days, my newest novel, Reunion at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, will be available on Amazon in both paperback and in kindle and kindle unlimited formats. We’re hoping the book will go live on Monday, but the long weekend might slow things down. I’ll keep you posted. I’ll squeal first, then I’ll write about it.
Reunion is the third book in the Happy Valley series. It’s set fifteen months after the first book, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, and the main character, Paula Arnett, is ready to make some big changes in her life, but she’ll need to survive her high school reunion in order to move forward.
Studly Doright and I don’t go out much other than to dinner on the weekend. Occasionally his golf course offers some entertainment on Friday or Saturday night and if he isn’t too worn out from his work week we’ll head out there for a good time because he knows I crave live music. I only suggest stuff that I think we both will enjoy.
So, when I saw that comedian Rob Schneider was coming to Tallahassee for a one-night comedy show, I thought that could be fun. Studly agreed and I purchased tickets for Saturday night’s show.
Now I have seen Schneider in the Duece Bigelow movies, and Adam Sandler often has a role for Rob. He’s funny in those parts—and while no one’s ever going to consider him for an Oscar, he makes Studly laugh. And Studly’s laugh is THE best. I was really looking forward to hearing that laugh.
Unfortunately, Mr. Schneider used the stage as a pulpit to rage against liberals. I’m a big girl. I can laugh at good-natured ribbing about politics. I know the Democrats aren’t perfect and there’s a lot of humor to be had making fun of us. But Schneider just never let up. Or maybe he finally did—we left about 45 minutes in.
He’s an anti-vaxxer. He has a problem with masks. Okay, so did a lot of people. I get it. He voted for Trump because, something to the effect of, I know the guy, oh and his opponent was a murderer…
It was at that point Studly asked if I wanted to leave. “Not yet,” I said. “I paid good money for these seats.”
So we stayed, watching as others began “going to the restroom and never returning.” When Schneider announced that we can’t say “woman” in America anymore and the WOMAN beside me clapped and cheered and said something nasty about liberals, I turned to Studly and said, “Now we can go.”
Schneider’s running joke for the evening was “I don’t want to get “Chris Rocked” or “Dave Chappelled” tonight. My thoughts as I was strolling out the door: “Honey, you’re not in their league, and I’m not spending a night in jail over the likes of you.”
The worst part is, I didn’t get to hear Studly’s laugh. Sure wish I’d done my research on Mr. Schneider.
TikTok is the newish marketing tool for authors. I’m a little late to the game. And maybe a little too old for it, but it amuses me.
This morning I decided to recycle my first TikTok video, adding captions to a post in which I read a scene from Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort aloud.
Adding captions is as easy as clicking on a button that says captions. But there’s a catch—if you don’t spend a little time editing the captions you might give your readers/viewers an unexpected giggle.
So I’ve found a new way to amuse myself. This could be dangerous.
The title is a bit lofty, isn’t it? It should read, “Rules I must abide by 90% of the time just for the hell of it.” But that’s just too long.
You see, since I discovered Wordle I have made it a habit to solve it first thing in the morning—before I get out of bed. And then I learned about quordle. It’s four wordle puzzles in one. A little harder, but usually solvable—again before rising.
But, then Octordle came along. It’s like wordle on steroids—eight wordle puzzles. Lots of fun! But I must solve it first thing in the morning, as well.
The same goes for Wordle 2, a six-letter version of the original Wordle game. It’s my favorite of the bunch.
Now this may sound daunting, but usually I can solve all the puzzles within a 20-minute time span.
And then I play Framed. It’s not about words at all.
Would you believe me if I said all these puzzles help with the writing process? No, I’m not buying it either.
When you’re writing a reunion scene using the names of two people you dearly loved, two people who are no longer walking this earth, and without warning the tears began to run down your cheeks it’s probably time to hit “save” and go home.
Reunion at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort is in the hands of my editor. Well, to be more precise, it’s bouncing back and forth between my editor and me.
Edits for the first two thirds of the book went fairly smoothly, and then we hit a snag. I’m the snag. Now I’m involved in the delicate act of restructuring. Also known as “fixing all the stuff I did wrong.”
I did a LOT of stuff wrong. All I can say is, thank goodness for word processing programs.
Oh, if you haven’t read the first two books in the Happy Valley series, now would be a great time to do that. I’m hoping Reunion will be ready to publish by the first of June.
There was a time, children, when phones did not come equipped with cameras. I should know; I lived through those dark days, and even for me it’s now a concept that is difficult to grasp.
Back in the olden days if someone, a man for example, wanted to take a photograph of his daughter holding his first born grandchild, he would likely have to wrestle a roll of film into a boxy camera, maybe a Brownie, carefully aligning the slots of the undeveloped film onto a cylinder-shaped sprocket-type mechanism. He’d have to shut the case and advance the film until some vague sign from the gods told him to stop.
There might have been much fumbling and cursing as he went about this task. I wouldn’t know—I was only two and a half months old.
The man would then carefully consider the lighting and the background. He would try his best to capture a moment worth saving. You see, there were no editing options on the side of the camera. No cropping capabilities without actual scissors. Oh, and weeks might elapse between the day the image was snapped and the day it could be fetched from the drugstore, and even then one might receive only unfocused double exposures or even pictures of nothingness.
For the man, photography wasn’t a hobby. He just needed a visual reminder of how his daughter looked as she held her own daughter on an ordinary day. A moment in time that would pass and never come again in exactly the same way. A memory that his granddaughter would one day, 65 some odd years later, take a picture of with her cellphone to post on Mothers Day.
He succeeded, and I am grateful.
Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful mother. I miss you every day.
Is it okay to blame everything on menopause? My anxiety? My lack of focus? My inability to allow an event to unfold without my interference? My flailing about? No, it’s really not. I tried to kick it back to “the change,” but that would be a cop out.
You see, I’m a flailer. And, it’s okay when my flailing affects only me, but sometimes it spills over into the larger world and then I feel like dog poo. Like right now.
I had an issue with booking a room in Vegas for a conference in November. I’d used the conference link to make the reservation, but when I called the hotel to alter the reservation, they had no record of it having been made. I spoke with multiple customer service reps, giving them my confirmation number as it appeared on the email the hotel sent me, but received the same answer each time: “We’re sorry, but we don’t have a reservation for you.”
So, what did this anxiety-ridden old woman do? She posted an account of her issue on the conference attendees’ Facebook page. Surely if I had this issue others might have it, too.
Long story short, no, they did not have a problem. It was just me. But I managed to spark a panic. In my flailing, I bumped up against people I don’t even know, and likely caused a lot of unnecessary work for customer service at the hotel. I know I probably gave the conference organizer a pounding headache as he intervened for me.
I’m not sure what my punishment should be, but maybe, just maybe I learned a lesson: Flail if you must; but keep it to yourself.