Monday, January 30, 2012

Insight From The Other Side

Hello Fellow Fathomers

Today in The Locker, I use a poem my daughter wrote today. She started writing much more when I increased my own time in Microsoft Word. My beautiful and funny 12 year old Allee, shown here at her birthday party has been the victim of bullying on several occasions.
I don't know about you, but having a creative side makes me...well... a bit weird I suppose. Fortunately, my Allee inherited my weird side, and someday, life will be amazing for her because of it. However, in the present, attending public junior high, some kids are vicious, poisonous terrorists hell bent on hurting anyone who is different than they are, maybe smarter than they are, maybe more athletic than they are, maybe quieter than they are, maybe wear glasses, maybe it's a boy who seems too feminine or a girl who seems too much like a tomboy.
Does it really matter? It happens all the same and kids die at an alarmingly increasing rate, usually by their own hand, when they just can't take it anymore.

Please take a moment and read my Allee's "A View From the Other Side"

i feel joy from your pain

i feel happiness where there is your sorrow

i feel love where is your hate

i feel pain from your joy

i feel sorrow from your happiness

i feel all of this because i am a

I read this and it touched me, not just because I'm her momma, but, because it seems so profound. Should a 12 year old know about all of these emotions? Maybe so, but, in this manner is both scary and sad.

Hug your kiddos and if you don't have your own, I bet you can find a child who needs a hug and a little encouragement to get them through this sometimes cruel and always puzzling existence.

Until next time....

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Love My Grandma Helen

Today in The Locker, I honor my Grandma Helen, who introduced me to so many, many things. Without her influences, I would have missed out on several wonderful experiences.

We bought her a Kindle for her birthday, and she was very excited! (See the necklace around her neck, I know it's not terribly clear, but, that is from her aunt, pretty cool huh?)

The short list for which I owe a thanks to this awesome lady:

1. She encouraged my love of reading by setting the example. She always had shelves and shelves of books and spent hours reading cookbooks to Harlequin to Louis L'amour. I used to try to hide her book of the moment so she would take me fishing or swimming in the pond, and I never got in trouble for it.
2. She taught me how to cook, nothing like homestyle comfort food. Her dumplings, to die for.
3. Making us sausage gravy on a regular basis. It should have it's own food group, it is Amazing.
4. She taught me how to can and bought me my first pressure cooker.
5. She taught me how to garden and tend both vegetables and flowers.
6. She taught me about music- thanks to her, I know all about the Andrews Sisters, Big Band sounds, easy listening classical, Ray Stevens, jazz, and countless other genres.
7. She and I can always bust into a rendition of "Put Another Log on the Fire", for just about any occasion.
8. She and Gpa Donnie took me to San Diego, and I even missed about a week of school, and we visited the beach, the Hotel del Coronado, and Sea World.
9. She took me to Fort Knox and I had my first Big Mac from McDonalds with she and my Gpa Donnie. Yes, even in 4th grade I ate it all.
10. She bought me a Speak and Spell. I used to hide and type out dirty words on it, frantically covering the speaker to muffle the computer voice. "S.H.I.T." She probably heard me anyway...
11. She bought me my first Kitchenaid stand mixer, BOO YA!
12. During high school, I was broke, like most kids. At random times, I would find money stashed in my purse and knew who put it there.
13. She bought me my high school class ring. From all the students who purchased, one received a 100.00 bill back from the representative. They drew my name and I got the Bill. I took it back to Gma as a refund from my ring and she told me to keep it.
14. She makes us all laugh all the time. Like when she tried to entice the dog out from underneath the bed by spraying Lysol under there. She said, "well, it came out of there walking all squirrely!"
15. Accepting me as I am, even if I do write some graphic stuff. She simply told me this weekend, "I don't need to read it, I know how to do it."
16. Raising her kids, grand kids, and great grand kids with love, acceptance, joy, and tolerance.
17. She visited me in Colorado spring break 2003. It began snowing shortly before she arrived and snowed five days straight. We had the best time and I bought us T-shirts advertising the Great Blizzard of 2003 to prove we lived through it.
18. She taught me how to sew and I have yards and yards of fabric from her collection of beautiful pieces. I make quilts too, just not as often as she does. She even made stuffed Rainbow Brite dolls for my sisters when they were little. (All those friggin little pieces on the costume-- by hand.)
19. She bought my stuffed psychedelic turtle I named Wapanucka, after a town in Oklahoma I thought was just the neatest word. He lives in my closet even to this day.
20. I have a pair of kissing angels on my bathroom counter from about age 5 she bought me at the beauty supply. They remind me of the importance of love.

I could write for days on this list and not say enough about this all important woman in my life. She taught us always to do great things for ourselves and encouraged us to be successful, never doubting our abilities. I could never thank her enough for it all.

And she even suggested my cool name to my momma and dad, without it, I would not be Davee Jones or have my own Locker.

Thank you Gma, I love you so very very much.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Friday Flash Fiction

Hello Fellow Fathomers! Welcome to FFF, the Flash Fiction Friday series. Where my friends and I have one photo prompt and write exactly 100 words to describe what we see.  Does this weeks' picture frighten you? Maybe she hides a smile beneath his clamped hand?

He crept in behind her when she carried in a bag of groceries. She left the front door ajar as she took the bag into the kitchen. Unbeknownst to her, he slid snakelike under her baby’s crib and suspended himself by the bottom slats with his hands and feet.
She walked into the nursery to put away diapers. It’s nice to have a few moments to myself before I pick her up from the daycare, even if it’s running errands.
She reached the hallway before sensing someone behind her. She smiled without turning around, “Hi honey!”
“Sorry, not your honey.”
Okay, now I must fall asleep with that story in my mind. But, you can find another interesting interpretation by visiting the blogs of my friends. Some of the other blogs contain explicit content, including images and erotic writings, please visit at your discretion. Thank you for joining us for Friday Flash Fiction!

Lisa Worrall
Bonni Sansom:
Naomi Shaw:
Lee Brazil :
ER Pierce
Cyril J. Michael:
Venus Cahill:
Jean Joachim:
Muffy Wilson:
Sara York :
Yvonne Nicolas:
Gemma Parkes:
Havan Fellows:
Cassandre Dayne:
Luna Ella Aldora:
Kendel Davi:
Katie Harper
Davee Jones:
AuroraRose Andromeda:
Sherri Hayes:

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Excerpt From On Ellicott Street

Please enjoy this snippet from the upcoming eBook release:

They arrived at the shop and Eli held his hand against Cassie’s forearm to signal her to remain seated. He got out of the passenger side and smoothly arrived at the driver’s side door to open it for her. Some feminists might take offense to chivalry, but Cassie’s opinion held fast that gallantry needed reviving. She felt secure and beautiful when Eli followed through on those small courteous nuances.

They ordered chai tea and found a spot at the back of the shop. They sat next to each other on an oversized love seat and began talking once again. Eli and Cassie talked for four more hours. The topics ranged from world politics to Feng Shui to American history. Where one was deficient in knowledge about something, the other explained happily. They also moved closer together as the night blossomed into pre-dawn until they snuggled cozily in the overstuffed loveseat, dozing occasionally.

"I guess I should take you home now, it’s almost six a.m.!" Cassie giggled, astonished at the time.

Eli sheepishly grinned in return. "Yes, I suppose we have almost worn out our welcome here." Once seated safely in Cassie’s car, Eli gave her directions to his home. When they pulled into the driveway, Cassie did not know what to do next. She truly wanted to crawl in bed next to Eli and breathe in his warm, masculine scent until it lulled her to sleep. She wondered if he thought the same thing.

"Look, I don’t want you to leave yet. Is that too forward for me to say?" Eli implored.

Cassie shook her head and softly vocalized her assurance. "No."

"Good, then, it’s settled, I’ll come let you out and welcome you to my humble abode." Eli once again exited the vehicle and came around to open her door. He grabbed Cassie’s hand as they walked up to the front door, stroking the softness of her hand with his thumb. Eli took out his key and unlocked the door with almost a single motion. He opened the door wide, and extended it for Cassie’s entrance.

Eli did not flip on a light immediately. Instead, he drew Cassie near and breathed in the scent from the top of her hair. He pulled her close to him, holding her frame tightly against his. Eli smelled her skin and freshly washed hair, and he inhaled deeply as quickly and often as he could before he moved away from her.

He used his foot to push the front door closed, without moving away from her. "Oh, wow, you smell amazing and you feel even better. Do you know what you have done to me?" Eli whispered against the top of her head.

Cassie’s mind raced rapidly, desperately trying to keep up with her heartbeat. Eli’s arms felt strong and secure. Cassie had not felt this safe since she was a child. However, the heated surges she felt through her loins were nothing childlike. She squeezed Eli even tighter to her as she breathed in the smell of his chest against her face. Cassie could not articulate how she felt at that moment, so she had no idea what to interpret from Eli’s question. Funny how in the midst of the passion, she wondered if he intended her to answer his question. "Is that a rhetorical question?" Her voice was muffled against his shirt.

Stunned by the ridiculousness of Cassie’s comment, they began to laugh. What began as a gentle giggle turned into a full on belly roll, end of the night, punchy laugh-fest. "You are something else, Cassie Stewart, something else indeed."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Man Behind the Story - Ellicott Street

Meet Ellicott Street- The Man Behind the Name
Good Day Fellow Fathomers!
Today in The Locker, I welcome the number one fictional male protagonist in my life (at the current moment), Mr. Ellicott Street. He joins us to answer a few questions about his role in my upcoming book, On Ellicott Street.
Me- Welcome, Ellicott!
E- Please, call me Eli, we don’t have to be so formal in this setting. (He says this with a wink and a smile.)
Me-  Ok, Eli then, thank you for joining our readers today to answer a few questions. I must ask, as I’m sure many other people do, where did you get your interesting, and how you term it “stately” name?
E-  Oh, I do get that question occasionally. However, because I choose to use, “Eli”, most of the time the shorter version does not create the same interest. However, the real answer to your question is quite involved. My parents, who are both college professors, study American History extensively, as a hobby, really, more than anything. They also adore historic towns and markers. One of their favorite destinations is Niagara Falls, as it holds a soft romantic position in their hearts- They honeymooned there and visit each year to reminisce.

Before I was born, my parents searched books and literature for the perfect name for me. They wanted a classy, meaningful choice, which would pair well with our surname, “Street”. During their trip to Niagara Falls the year of my birth, they spent time discovering Buffalo, NY. They learned about Joseph Ellicott, a surveyor from the 1800’s, who designed the city’s unique radial street plans, and has a historical city street named after him, as well as a major office building, the Ellicott Square Building. This office building, constructed in 1896 was the largest office building in the world for about sixteen years. In addition to other notable occupants of the building, the Vitascope Theater , the earliest known dedicated motion picture theater in the world also occupied the Ellicott Square Building.

Also, the ornate Erie Community College building resides at 121 Ellicott Street in the historic former U.S. Post Office. Meaningful to my parents, as they are both college professors.

Me- (feigning wiping my brow)Wow, I would say a very involved answer- and quite descriptive.

E- (laughing) Yes, my parents would not have it any other way. Thank goodness I am not always asked to elaborate.

Me- Do you have siblings and if so, dare I ask their names?

E- Yes, I have a sister, Rose.

Me- Rose is a beautiful name. (cocking my eyebrow)Does it also have a significant meaning?

E- (Blushing), My father enjoys a good stout beer, he found the best he ever tasted in a pub off the famous Rose, Street in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Just because we are a rather intellectual family, does not mean we cannot also enjoy a good time or fail to appreciate a keen sense of humor.

Me- I rather thought you enjoyed a rousing good time, seeing how you happened into Cassie at a piano bar.  Speaking of Cassie, it’s time for me to ask you about her. You are the subjects in my romance novel after all. What is it about her that makes your relationship special?
E- She is brave and determined, yet classy and elegant. She is so beautiful from the inside, she could be nothing but gorgeous outwardly. I can say any topic and she would brave the knowledge to discuss it. She is not afraid to state an opinion, yet maintain her integrity and respect for those around her. She maintains a “live and let live “philosophy, wanting her family and friends to feel love and acceptance from her, regardless of character differences. She explores the unknown and constantly promotes personal growth, for herself and her children, and expects the same from me, as well.
Me- Even if she is several years older?
E- Ah, I knew you would broach that subject eventually. When I first saw Cassie, I saw beauty, intelligence, charisma, and, yes, need-with a hint of vulnerability. We are all vulnerable sometimes. 

 I will not say something as trite as “age is only a number” because, obviously, age sometimes impedes two people from realistically maintaining a viable relationship. Cassie refuses to yield to a chronological number, her willingness to continue evolving makes her lovable- admirable even. Her grace, coupled with her thoughtfulness, all manifested from her life experiences makes her one of a kind and more valuable in my life than I could ever put into words.
Me- Very nice, Eli, thank you for such an eloquent description.  (rubbing my hands together in anticipation) Are you ready for the world to meet you?
E- The word, intimidated, comes to mind. However, it matters not if the world embraces me, because I know that Cassie does. (Huge, genuine smile)
Me-Thank you for allowing us a few moments and sharing a bit of yourself with us.
E- My pleasure.
Ahoy readers, thank you for spending some time today in The Locker. Be sure to read Eli and Cassie’s story, On Ellicott Street, next month, available from Secret Cravings Publishing.
 Until next time, find at least one reason to smile today.
Don’t render anyone, Finless…

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Friday Flash Fiction January 6, 2012

Hello Fellow Fathomers! Welcome to FFF, the Flash Fiction Friday series. Where my friends and I have one photo prompt and write exactly 100 words to describe what we see.  What do you think is behind her deep expression?

I really don’t understand the fuss with me. I didn’t do anything heroic like save a child from a burning building, perform the Heimlich on some helpless little old lady, or donate a kidney.
“Okay, now look a little to your left, I want to get your beautiful profile.”
“How about this?” She turned and looked stately to her left.
“Gorgeous.” The photographer appeared enamored with her.
I’m here today because I refused to be ignored. I staged a sit-in at Fashion Week to represent the majority of women today, demanding a photo shoot.
The fan letters just keep coming.

Now that you have read my interpretation, please visit my fellow bloggers for their interpretations. Please be advised, some of the other pages contain explicit erotic content, in both written and image form-these pages are for mature eyes only.
Katie Harper:
Venus Cahill:
Yvonne Nicolas:
AuroraRose Andromeda:
Cyril J. Michael:
Sharita Lira:
Naomi Shaw:
Lee Brazil:
Cassandre Dayne:
Luna Ella Aldora:
Lani Rhea:
Bonni Sansom:
Benjamin Russell :
Jean Joachim:
Sherri Hayes:
Davee Jones:
Sancre Darling:
Patricia Logan:
Havan Fellows:

Does The Book Title Matter?

Ahoy and welcome to 2012!
Today in The Locker I want to talk about book titles. When I began this writing gig, I had no idea that one of the most difficult concepts would be the title of the book. We pore over the details and the blood, sweat, and tears of getting just the right words to match a scene to transport our readers to our world---in the book. We hope to maintain their attention for a few hours, and want to weave a story free of ambiguity and boredom.  We want a best seller ready to sell thousands of copies.

However, what might really grab our readers’ attention is the book title. It will not matter if we rival Walt Whitman,  Jane Austen, or Stephen King- if we do not have a creative title, we risk our book being passed over in lieu of the one with a title worthy of bumper sticker or movie screen status.
So, I ask you, readers, would a title encourage or discourage you to read a book? Would you even flip to the blip giving you the synopsis if the title was bland? Or is the title just an identification for you, with no real drawing power? I want to know.

Authors, do you fret over the perfect title? How much priority do you give it in regard to the unique story you’ve written?  Do you choose it first and build your framework around it? Or, does your muse slap you upside the head with the perfect title when you least expect it?
In my opinion, there is not a detail too small to be considered when it comes to book publishing.