My Sweet Baby Girl (GoldenDoodle)–Addi

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So if you didn’t already guess by my blog title,  the Writer Wednesdays image sums up today’s common theme amongst all the Writer Wednesdays blogs– our pets.

 

I have to start by saying I didn’t grow up with animals. As a military family we moved around quite a bit so we never had pets.

 

Flash forward to married life with children. We had two dogs at different times. One was a stray golden retriever, quite old yet loyal, but she died about two years after we found her. Another was a black lab whose owner had started traveling with a new job so we adopted her into our house. Unfortunately five years later she developed liver cancer that was too aggressive and she passed, too.

 

Both of those dogs came to our family already grown. And to be honest, while they were both great dogs and I loved them, as a non-pet owner for most of my life I was sometimes intimidated by their size.

 

Enter my youngest baby girl– the goldendoodle my daughters and I picked out from a litter seven years ago this past summer.

 

You see, Addison—Addi for short—came to me as a baby.

 

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That first night when she was whimpering in her kennel, I’m the one who came downstairs, opened the kennel door, laid her pillow in the opening and slept on the carpeted floor with her to keep her company. I did that for several nights. Then closed the door and slept on the floor close by a couple more nights. Then I moved to the couch, little by little moving farther away until she was used to sleeping alone.

 

I got that idea from a parenting book about solving your child’s sleep issues. The technique had worked for my oldest daughter, why not for my baby girl puppy?

 

Like all kids do, my little puppy grew up fast. Quadrupling or quintupling, heck probably sextupling her size. Her puppy size is about the size of her head now that she’s all grown.

 

And while my girls have all gone off to college and now adult life, Addi’s still at home with me.

Still ready to greet me with excitement and love after a long work day.

 

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Ready to hit the beach with me for a little creative and emotional well refilling.

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Ready to go out for a run as we try to stay in shape.

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Ready for a ride in the car—she thinks she can drive,

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but it’s really seldom that I even let her ride shotgun…

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And of course, she’s always ready to take a nap like the champion nappers we are.

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Overall, this non-pet person has become a pet-lover. I can’t imagine my life without Addi.

 

She’s the last of my little girls. The one who never talks back to me. The one who listens to me most of the time.

 

And when the opportunity to have all my girls together presents itself, like this pic we took last Christmas morning, I count my blessings.

 

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Do you have a pet in your house? The Writer Wednesday authors and I would love to hear about it.

 

And please don’t forget to stop by the other Writer Wednesday author sites to hear what they’re sharing.

Tamra BaumannSharon Wray / Carol J Post

Hope to hear from you!! And we’ll see you back here next month!!

What’s Lurking in My Purse?

 

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This is an interesting topic for the day. A personal topic. A peek into the female way of life. Well, this female’s way of life anyway.

The thing is, my purse is kind of a statement of what’s going on in my life at that time. Meaning, on any given day, I might be carrying: a BIG purse, a small hip/messenger purse for a weekend trip or evening out, or a wristlet pouch for a girls’ night out-no frills evening.

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Or, if I’m coming off a work or writing trip, I probably have a smaller purse shoved inside a larger one because I’ve been using both.

Let’s take a quick look at the wristlet. ‘Cuz that’s all it needs, a quick look.

You see, the wristlet is low maintenance, bare minimum. I’m talking my ID, a credit card, cash, one or two business cards, lipstick, chapstick, and my cell.

 

Moving on to the the BIG purse. Yes, I’ve skipped over the medium-sized purse. Just like the middle child (of which I am one), the medium purse shall be overlooked for a little bit. You’ll see why later.

My BIG purse is what you’d want to have for a game night when you win a prize for being the first person to whip out something random.

You see, my BIG purse is more like a computer or overnight bag. In fact, you’ll probably even find my laptop in it at some point. Along with some printed pages of my latest manuscript I plan to edit. Or the latest RWR (RWA’s monthly journal) or Entertainment Weekly magazine.  Definitely my Panda Planner. You’ll also find a small, zippered Cubs pouch for several lipsticks, powder and other beauty essentials, as well as a zippered Gators pouch hiding feminine articles.

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If you dig around, somewhere on the bottom of this behemoth you’ll discover a foil pack of Eclipse gum; a tin of Altoids mints; a granola bar, usually a Kind bar; a large nail file; travel-sized bottles of hair spray, tropical-smelling hand sanitizer and hand lotion; a pouch of tissues; sunglasses; my keys; various pens and a mechanical pencil; my iPhone and Fitbit chargers; and a small plastic container I picked up ages ago that holds a tube of Neosporin and Bandaids. More than likely I’ll gather most of these loose items and stick ‘em in a zip-lock baggie—not fancy, but does the trick just fine.

In one of the various pockets, you’ll pull out a silver card holder carrying my day job and writing business cards along with a couple random receipts. In another larger pocket I’ve another card holder that’s near and dear to my heart ‘cuz it’s one of the giveaway items from the RITA® Golden Heart® Awards Ceremony in 2015, the last year I finaled in the GH. My RWA card holder is where I keep my ID, credit and bank cards, and an extra business card or two.

 

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And somewhere in all this mix is my cell phone with its Cubs cover. But it’s definitely there. It’s one of the items I don’t leave home without.

 

So now we’re left with the medium purse.

Although it seems like the “forgotten” middle child, I have to say, this one is the most useful and while still being light on the shoulder and neck muscles.

If I’m taking this one for the night or weekend, I’m doing a quick grab of items from my BIG purse. Definitely my RWA card holder, the gum and mints, one lipstick and chapstick, my powder, a couple Bandaids, the hand lotion, a feminine article if needed, my phone charger and, of course, my phone.

And finally, no matter which purse I’m carrying, I guarantee you’ll find some useless receipts and expired coupons I’m saving for no reason. In medium or larger ones there’s probably a piece of mail or a flyer of some sort. A definite sign that I need to clean out that my purse, I’m either going with the essentials or bringing everything but the kitchen sink. You can definitely tell I’m usually on the go.

So what about you? What must-have items are in your purse? I revealed my inner sanctum, how about you?

And for more purse reveals, check out the other Writer Wednesday participants this month:

Contemporary Romance author Tamra Baumann / Paranormal Romance author Kay Hudson / Romantic Suspense author Carol Post / Historical Romance author Wendy LaCapra / Young Adult Romance author TL Sumner

When I Grow Up…

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As soon as I typed the four words of my title, I knew my post was probably going in a different direction than most of the others in the Writer Wednesdays group.

You see, if you’re a musical theatre aficionado like I am,

the title probably brought to mind the song from the Tony-winning production of “Matilda.”

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Well, it did for this theatre buff, anyway. 😀

If you’re not familiar with song and you wanna hear a catchy tune, let me oblige you: “When I Grow Up

I challenge you not to find yourself humming this later today.

If so, drop me a comment below or shoot me a tweet via @prisoliveras to let me know.

The lyrics  offer a cute look at how kids often (mistakenly) think life will be easier when they’re adults.  ‘Cuz, you know, when you’re grown up you’ll get to do fun things like “eat sweets every day, on the way to work”, “go to bed late every night” or “spend all day just lying in the sun” and not burn ‘cause you’ll “be all grown up.”

Even better, as the song says, you’ll “be smart enough to answer all the questions that you need to know the answers to.” And you’ll be “strong enough to carry all the heavy things you have to haul around with you.” Even better, you’ll be “brave enough to fight the creatures, that you have to fight beneath the bed each night to be a grown up.”

If only life and our adult decisions were that simple.

Figuring out what we want to be when we grow up can often be pretty mind boggling. But like the wise man he was, Dr. Seuss put a positive spin on  the idea in one of the childhood books my daughters loved:

Maybe You Should Fly a Jet! Maybe You Should be a Vet!

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Here are two of my favorite, often-remembered pages:

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“Want to be a ticket taker? Want to be a pizza maker?”

Maybe you

How about a wrestler… a writer… or a waiter?”

The rhyming and rhythmic list of jobs Dr. Seuss offers—some silly, some more practical— is a reminder to kids that they can be whatever they want to be, whatever they dream to be.

But the thing is, I think the book offers an important message for all of us no matter what age we are. Because it’s never too late try something different. To stretch our wings. To seek a path we’ve thought about, but never pursued.

Because life doesn’t have to be set in stone.

Like Matilda says at the end of “When I Grow Up” and in another song titled “Naughty“: “Just because I find myself in this story, it doesn’t mean that everything is written for me.”

I see both songs as a call to action.

A reminder that we’re never too old or too young or too little to try a new adventure.

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Like one of the musical’s tag lines says: To change the world it takes a little genius.

And a little gumption, too!  😀

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So, whether life has thrown you a curve and you need to re-evaluate, or if you’re trucking along just fine but wanna try adding something new in your life. It’s never too late to go for it.

What’s something you’d like to try or do “when you grow up”—I’d love to hear some of your ideas!

And don’t forget to check out what the other Writer Wednesday bloggers are sharing about “When They Grow  Up”!

Romantic Suspense author: Carol Post
Paranormal Romance author: Kay Hudson
Contemporary Romance author: Tamra Baumann
YA romance author: TL Sumner

Most Embarrassing Moment

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When I read the topic idea for this month I had mixed reactions.

First, I cringed—goodness, why would I want to relive embarrassing moments?

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Then, I chuckled—having fun remembering all my embarrassing moments.

And if you ask my kids, there are plenty of them.

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Finally, I grew pensive—hmm, which one should I choose?

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After a while I realized, I’m a romance writer with heroines who often find themselves in embarrassing situations.

So, let me share a moment that I probably would have rather written about than experienced.

After a decades-long marriage that ended several years ago, it’s taken me a while to feel “ready” to get back in the dating scene. With my kids off to college, I’m on my own for the first time in ages.

That’s liberating, but also a little nerve-wracking.

I actually had to work up the confidence to do things like go to the movies on my own, or head out to dinner and request a table for one (honestly, I usually take my writing or read a book). But go out to a pub for a drink on my own?

YIKES!!

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So picture this scene:

A young—okay not so young, but go with me here…What about this?

A young-ish newly single woman heads to a local pub to meet up with some friends. She’s coming from a university campus event, dressed in team colors and sportsfan shoes that might be a little over the top for anything but an alumni event.

She’s talking on the phone with a friend as she drives to the pub, and while waiting at a red light, decides to slip off her sportsfan sandals and slip on a pair of simple ones she brought along. You know, tone down her outfit a bit.

The light turns green, the young-ish woman drives away and arrives at the pub.

Her friends text; they’re delayed.

She takes a deep breath, reminding herself that she’s an independent woman and can certainly go in alone. After moment of hesitation, she heads in to order a drink at the bar and wait for a table to open up.

Twenty minutes her nervously scanning the area, but failing to recognize anyone go by. And still, her friends haven’t arrived.

Nearby, a woman accidentally drops her pint glass. It hits the tile floor and shatters. A pub employee rushes over to sweep up the mess.

The young—darn—young-ish woman sticks out her foot to point out a large, jagged piece of glass near her. That’s when she notices the shoe she’s pointing has a puffy blue flower on top of it.

It’s a sportsfan sandal. Just like the one she slipped off at the red…

A quick glance down alerts her to the fact that yes, she did slip off the right shoe and put on a simple white sandal. But her left foot still has the sportsfan sandal with the BIG BLUE GO TEAM FLOWER.

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Cut to the young-ish woman surreptitiously setting down her own pint glass,

and then slinking out the side door to rush back to her car!

Talk about embarrassing moments!

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Thankfully, this fabulously strong young-ish woman quickly changes her sandals. Takes an evaluative deep breath.

Stares at her reflection in her rearview mirror. And laughs.

Then, she freshens up her lipstick, gives herself a little wink, and heads back into the pub.

The fun is just beginning!

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So, now it’s your turn!!!

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If you’d like to keep smiling along with the rest of the  Writer Wednesdays bloggers, checkout the stories they’re posting by clicking on the names below and jumping over to their sites:

Carol PostTamra BaumannSharon Wray

And we hope to see you next month on the second Wednesday for another rendition of Writer Wednesdays!!

My Favorite Writing Spot

 
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This month’s Writer Wednesdays blog is like a round robin game of Show and Tell as the WW authors share their favorite place to write. Personally, I’m excited to get a peek inside the various writing havens to see where my friends tap into their creativity and spend playtime with their muse.

For this Florida girl who spent her childhood summers visiting her Abuela in Puerto Rico, if I’m looking for inspiration or need to refill my creative well or if I #amediting, you’ll find me here…

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or here

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or here

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often with my trusty sidekick, Addi.

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If I #amwriting new pages, a blanket on the beach is a little too cozy, but I do love writing in a spot with a beach view.

For me the open ocean evokes a fulfilling sense that anything and everything is possible. I will  be published. I will  honor my characters by telling their story the best I know how. So if I can write in a place like this…

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or this

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I’m feeling like I #amblessed.

I’ll go back and forth between listening to the sound of the waves and popping in my headphones to let Pandora Radio serenade me with Spanish ballads like Luis Miguel’s “No Se Tu” or “Amarte es Un Placer.” The ocean waves and my favorite Spanish love songs never fail to put me in a romance-writing kind of mood.

Unfortunately, I don’t live right on the beach and my day job doesn’t need me to set up an office in a sandy alcove. I know, bummer. That means my jaunts to the ocean are relegated to the weekends when I can get away.

To appease my yearning for a sunny spot with a little shade, I’ll write in my home office for a while, then treat myself by moving my laptop out to my back yard. There I’ll set up shop on our picnic table underneath an awning.

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If it’s been a long productive day and especially if I’ve met my writing goal, I treat myself even more by taking a nap on our hammock. :-)

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How about you? Where you do go for inspiration—if you’re a writer or for life in general?  I’d love to hear about your productive spot or your getaway place that helps you refill your creative or emotional well.

And if you’d like to see where the rest of the Writer Wednesdays group gets their writing done, hop on over to check out their special places by clicking these links:

Fellow contemporary romance writers: Tamra BaumannShelly Alexander

Romantic suspense writers: Carol J PostSharon Wray

Novels with romantic elements: Jean Willett

Faith-based and sweet romance writers: Kristen Ethridge