Memory Written Stands Longer, Stronger

I don’t need any convincing right now that I’ll not overly desire being in this condition again anytime soon. However, I do know in the future I will observe others in similar situations and perhaps longing will sweep over me.

Therefore, I do this for my future self and seek to get the lighting of this present day grass as accurate as possible so not to be skewed by being seen from the other side of the fence.

Rewind to the first weeks when it was a guessing and counting game, taking tests and wondering if the negative would stick or if it was just too soon. Finally, the awaited answer and new questions begin. How long before the new arrival gets here? Can we confirm general health yet?

The first few months involved terrible tasting experiences. Gulping or sipping, either way, I could not quench my thirst with plain water. I turned to juices and carbonated water, always over heavy ice. Avoided heated beverages for the upheaval they caused. Once, I desperately hit the walking path to keep from nausea taking the worst turn. Green veggies turned excessively bitter. Some spices seemed to lose my appreciation forever, and my sweet tooth seemed the only saving device.

As I rounded that hump of diet shifts, I finally received more than what sound radar could detect, and it was wonderful. I lay there, semi-reclined, watching the real-life version of Beauty and The Beast, and in a relaxed state by one of its many songs, a part of me sought inwardly, body awareness at half attention. Flutter, flutter. This wasn’t digestion framing my abdomen, but directly in the center, a new life breaking from my own and making itself known. Water welled in my eyes with the delighted laugh escaping my lips. Yes, it was real, true. My little miracle indeed exist and was growing inside me.

The second trimester moved on gratifyingly well, and eventually rounded the corner into the third. A month or so in, I could definitely admit I felt pregnant. The bulkiness had finally begun to hinder movements, made some motions cumbersome. I even waddle at times. Pizza had become a four-letter word but food commercials accompanying football games continued to make it look delicious, especially with my knowing how forbidden it was. Because in order to consume some, I must sacrifice an evening’s sleep to wrenching, burbling heartburn. My toddler would happily address the other ingesting woes as any good lover of gas jokes might.

Others might see my hand at my belly, stroking its roundness and think I’m marveling my condition. If I’m settled in that mindset, it can be true. Presently, I am verifying location of his head in the continued breech position as I ponder the experience and after-effects of the ECV for which I have scheduled later in the week.

Pillows multiply on my bed as the midsection weight requires more support. Otherwise my back muscles belt out complaints halfway through the night. Throughout the day, pressure and nerve jolts rattle involuntary gasps from me as I am prodded from the inside.

Seeing live images on ultrasound restore my knowledge of the tiny human beyond the unbelievably hard to identify bulges and curves that sometimes press out from under my skin and thinned abdominal muscles. He is the baby I know him to be.

Positive light to pushing through involves more than holding him in my arms. I wonder what color his eyes will be, and his hair, how tall–long–will he be? Will he settle against me peacefully or squirm about? Because each life is unique and has their own way of accepting the world.

This may be only one small moment in his life, and it shrinks each day, but to me this day is also my whole life, for a second can absorb all of one’s senses, intellect, and emotions, especially when one is excessively focused on it. Looking backward and forward allows expanded perspective and could help me stay grounded. As in, stop freaking out, Mom! There’s more hills and possibly mountains to come beyond this next little hump you’re about to climb. Know that but glance over your shoulder once and a while as you always keep one eye on your feet.

 

 

 

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Mechanics Run On Breakfast Burritos

Back in Colorado, I learned the best way to smooth ruffled feathers over a late arrival is to dole out breakfast burritos to your fellow automotive technicians.

In celebration of Release Day for my romantic suspense, A Running Heart, I’m going to step back for a moment from writing the second book in the series, Rocky Mountain High Heels, and share our tried and true burrito recipe, the one to which my main character, Amanda Hudson, refers on more than one occasion. Plus, an eight-month pregnant woman should be allowed her occasional distraction by thoughts, or fantasies, of food. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
  • 16 oz. green chile sauce* (Most mechanics I’ve known request medium or spicy beyond my capacity to ingest.)
  • 1 lb bacon or ground sausage such as chorizo
  • 18 eggs
  • 1 c. milk
  • 12 extra-large tortillas
  • Aluminum foil

*If you are unfamiliar with green chile, please click here for an example of the sauce we’ve most recently used and explore their website for a better idea of green chile peppers.

 Directions:

Thoroughly cook sausage or bacon in your preferred method. Once cooled, crumble into small pieces.

Beat eggs and milk together in a bowl. Pour into large skillet over medium heat and allow to cook until egg batter begins to set.  Sprinkle the meat into the eggs and scramble until done.

Pour chile sauce into a small saucepan and heat over a low setting. This is essential for a creamy sauce inside your burrito.

Warm tortillas either on a griddle (preferred method) or by microwaving briefly.

Tear off sheets of foil about the size of a tortilla, one for each burrito. Place a still warm tortilla on a sheet then add egg and meat mixture (figure 1 1/2 eggs per burrito), sprinkle cheese, and spoon over the hot green chile.

Fold one long side of the tortilla over, bring up the bottom flap, then the top flap, and then fold over the other long side. Bring to one corner of the foil sheet and roll the foil, tucking in the ends once you reach the other corner.

Stack the completed burritos together so they’re ‘spooning’ (I couldn’t resist, being a romance author and all 😉 ). This aids in melting the cheese into the sauce.

Distribute to your favorite mechanics for best results.

 

 

Ode To Jeep, Revisited

48788E79-AC94-4B6B-9928-0525C1A4D16CI couldn’t have related unless I lived it, and from this perch, the trade-off was well worth it. Another few years, give or take a few more, we’ll be rock-climbing. 😉 He’s given me fresh eyes. And I’m still writing.

 

Riding with your top off,

Climbing Colorado’s mountains;

We even drove through

That windy Wyoming.

You were bruised

Leaving Montana,

But were repaired

All the same.

Winter,

You must have favored.

When else

Had we spent such time together?

You powered all four wheels

With muscle to spare.

Up the trail, over the boulders,

Angles could not make you sway

Proved master of the curb;

No median forced our way.

Perhaps we’ll pass

On the road somewhere.

Maybe at first

It won’t seem fair,

But look in the backseat;

Meet him

And you’ll see

That there’s more to this

Than just you and me.

When he’s fifteen,

You two would make the pair,

But he’s a little guy

Growing inside.

Soon to burst forth,

An infant no less,

Who needs gentle warmth

Protection’s caress.

It’s not only to you

We say, “Good-Bye,”

But, through him,

It’s an exchange of Life.

‘Tis a new treasure;

A fresh climb that awaits

Taking patience

And a soft grace.

We will trade you,

Rock-Crawler,

To prepare for

A floor-crawler.

After he walks,

After he hikes,

Maybe we can meet again

To take on new heights.

FinalImage

Romantic Suspense Cover Reveal

I have been notified my work will be published in the very near future and am thrilled to share this new angle of my writing. After my contemporary romance, Sara’s Last Resort, which will be available in print also in upcoming months, my next story approaches automotive from a darker perspective, specifically psychological obsession. There are a few crashes, a couple abductions, and, of course, some intimate moments between a particular pair. More of my main characters will continue their story, and pursuit of passion, in a sequel.

Yes, I have been busy and here’s the proof.

A RUNNING HEART_1800x2700

That is just the writing side of my life whereas another grows within me. Our family is excited in our expectation for our second son on the second month of next year. Finishing the composition of the next in this series will help me maintain footing amid the nursing, dirty diapers, and intermittent sleep,. A new adventure awaits for me and my readers. Thank you for your support, and interest.

Lucky To Wait

Thank you to all my followers. I’m glad I haven’t felt the need to continuously pepper your e-mail boxes with updates about new posts. However, I realize I haven’t given much reason of late for you to acknowledge my existence. 🙂

Indeed, I am waiting for the return of an edited manuscript. I can’t seem to reach for the muscle needed to move the grindstone until I’ve received feedback on this work. In the end, it is not wholly a bad thing because I have had other distractions in my life at this current time. I should not beg for more to be added to the pile.

Once the ball is in my court, I will have to act fast, as I’ve learned from past experiences I feel fortunate to have gained from Soul Mate Publishing. Their main editor recently informed their writers that all works published through them will eventually be headed to print. Yes! My book will escape the e-universe and can be physically held instead of flinging one’s mental body through the obstacle course of online downloading through apps, accounts, and devices whatnot. Now, back to my ms (manuscript) currently being reviewed, the demands of revision will have a strict deadline and I’ll have nothing else to expect in my mail until I’ve sent it back.

I like having the subconscious knowledge of waiting on something in the mail. If there isn’t something pending in the mail, even if it’s an expected rejection letter, I feel fairly inactive in my life and rush to rectify the matter. Yes, I am aware if I’m not writing now, I will have nothing to submit later, but I am composing the next book in the series to the first on which I await response. Of course, I have other titles needing a few read-overs and complete revisions since they’re in first draft stage, but I can’t move past the point of waiting. I gobble up books during the interim. But, perhaps, getting my fingers flying here in an address to you, will encourage them to make their move on other works.

Occasionally, I do delve into where the second story’s plot currently stalls and I’ve developed new twists which thrilled me at the time of their discovery. Who knows what other things I might contrive during this time of waiting. I do not write down most of these ideas because they are still shifting, trans-morphing, and once pen is put to paper, it seems to put a permanent sting to things whereas in my mind, ideas will hit no boundaries. I may lose some of the finer detail from my conscious self but fresh things surface once I finally commence the writing process. The nagging continues inside–I must start writing again soon. I’ll take this day to review those new plot lines I’ve devised and see if I feel more comfortable with where things will head should I take this route.

Will the characters have enough story left or too much after these series of events? Does this scene seem a bit extreme or daring? I still have to get these other characters into the limelight soon. I can’t believe I’ve already gotten this many words down for this manuscript and there is still so much to develop. It simply means I have plenty to hone down for the smoothest read in the end.

And so I wait, contemplate, and keep my presence. I’m still out here!

My romantic suspense with automotive emphasis is hot on my figurative high heels because I’ve gotta slip them on somewhere in here. They’ll be getting their share of the attention soon.

 

Opening excerpt of my WIP RomSusp

Told her no good could come from wearing high heels, Amanda thought in regards to her cousin. She had nothing else to think about while awaiting the executioner. Maybe a bit dark but some other person had their hands inside her baby right now. Yeah, so her Wrangler’s her baby and it still makes messes. Unfortunately, this was one she couldn’t clean up on her own, especially in the middle of nowhere, Wyoming. The place had a name, sure, but Amanda was too busy thinking about other things.

Things had to cool off and maybe she had some internal exploring to do, but she’d rather keep pressing the gas pedal instead.

Walking squares into the patch of grass outside the waiting area as she sipped at tepid, black coffee, she glared under hooded eyes against the midday sun. Dry, late summer heat rasped against her bare arms. She had on a generic auto parts t-shirt, two sizes too big, tucked into a ragged pair of jeans over tan hiking boots with slip-resistant soles. If she didn’t find a job soon, she’d have to change her footwear attire. No need to worry about oil slicks when one wasn’t in a shop.

Clicking high heels never used to grate on her last nerve until the night she’d heard them take her mother. Amanda hadn’t even hit puberty yet and her mom had figured she’d given her daughter enough of her time and life. The words came through her closed bedroom door the night her mom said she had bigger opportunities she couldn’t refuse.

See? It all went back to high heels, time and again. Custody lawyer who said Mom didn’t want any. Child psychiatrist who said things would get better if Amanda showed the world a smile. Nice ruse–Amanda used it on a daily basis.

“Miss Hudson?”

Speaking of which, she turned and flashed her teeth briefly at the man. The service adviser’s tag read Gerry. She supposed he had a face to go with it but didn’t feel like taking a look as she gulped her coffee, letting him talk.

Call Me Idiot of The Moment

If you’re going to upgrade and all you want is a new phone with your carrier plan, please read this first.

I imagine establishments like the one I visited expect the I-feel-stupid revelation to keep their clients from announcing their experiences to the public. Indeed, I felt embarrassed, ashamed because if you read through this, it will seem downright obvious in post-perspective.

However, I am motivated by knowledge of the other mom who visited that store and the me whose brain was frantically nagging her throughout the day, discouraging rest as my toddler napped. I am thankful it wasn’t satisfied and yet again still wasn’t satisfied until I found all unnecessary charges.

Now, I’m getting long-winded, I can tell, probably leaning toward philosophical so I should dive into specifics though I don’t know if I can use the phone carrier’s name so I’ll omit that because it may run true for all carriers in any case.

I’m at the library waiting for story hour and I take out my phone to check the time. My smartphone states “No SIM card.” That can’t be good, I think. This problem persists throughout my library visit and I elect to visit my nearest carrier store. I am unable to text, make calls, or search the internet. I guess an archaic word for SIM card is antenna.

I go to the store, sign a new two-year agreement, collect phone and other items attached to the transaction. Afterward, something about cost, items I possessed, and what I really wanted didn’t balance in my mental equation.

I want to return to the store in hopes of getting the transaction described again. I hesitate and wonder if they’re a trustworthy source and, instead, choose a more direct reference–I call my phone carrier directly. After explaining everything thoroughly, the carrier representative is the first to use the word accessory. As in, I am under no obligation to purchase an accessory package if I want to upgrade my phone. Funny, because the package I purchased never had that word attached to it. The store I visited called it “Device Payment Package.” I had prompted the salesperson during the initial visit and this said person allowed me to say there was an activation fee and the package was the upgrade fee. I even asked her why the carrier did it that way and received a shrug near-to indifference.

Finally, during my talk with the carrier, I establish the store I visited was not a corporate branch. (The best way to know for sure is to have the carrier tell you which store is, I advise not to ask the local establishment, because this one had the carrier’s name in big, loud letters stretched across its storefront and their independent name in tiny, quiet print beneath.) The representative states my option is to return the items I can for a refund. The case and shield are already installed on the phone. However, I come in hot-faced enough that they take the “used” shield back and give me a full refund as well as I negotiate the price down on the case based on internet pricing. After all, I still want the case and would seek the same one out in the future and this one is already installed. I do not, however, foresee myself in the near future using the Bluetooth speakers, headphones, or battery pack. Yeah, it is a great package deal, but not why I had gone there in the first place.

Additionally, they are surprised that I did not receive their receipt via e-mail itemizing my purchases. (I had received my carrier’s  new plan agreement.) The store sends their receipt “again” and I see how everything boils down. This is where I later find number nuances.

So, after negotiating returns and receiving a refund, I leave the store and there is still a mental nagging. I look at the fresh invoice, wondering about numbers. Maybe that is where the issue rests. During my second call with the carrier, I make sure sales tax calculates correctly. Yep, that all looks, sounds, legit. I clear that up but it isn’t enough. Nag, nag, nag goes the brain. Sure enough, I see the SIM card charge and make a final call to my carrier.

I am informed that if I had gone to a corporate branch store, they would have installed/included the card at no cost. This time, I don’t visit the store, I call first. After all, I’m lugging around a toddler. He deserves better than endless car rides. They acknowledge the charge and congenially okay it with the store manager to issue me a credit.

After all this, I felt enraged, disappointed in myself, ready to sweep it under a rug and let no one know my blunder, but I believe they did a real good job of convincing me of what was necessary and laying the blame at other’s feet. As in, I asked them why my carrier issues these package fees and their I don’t know response allows me to think my carrier is the evil one. (I wouldn’t have seen it that way except for the other reviews I saw when filling out my own for the business.) And so, I want to share this in case others are briefly blinded by misleading words i.e. upgrade fee, activation fee, accessory package, device payment package.

In the future, for my case at least, I will do my phone-plan transactions through an authorized dealer/store as their locale information is provided by my carrier. Then I just have to worry about what data upgrades they’ll convince me I’ll need in the future as opposed to physical objects.