Courtney S. Barr

Welcome to My Kingdom!
Join me, the Princess, on my Royal Adventures in the Land of Writing!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Writing Process & A cute dog with elbow patches....

Hey Guys! Wow it is already April, where is this year going? I have been crazy busy lately and it’s a wonderful thing. I am so excited to take the time to participate in the “My Writing Process” Blog Tour. The lovely and fabulous Kim Chance  happened to tag me and well I cannot say no to her! She is a critique partner of mine (though I know she is probably wondering where some recent chapters are from me…ahem *ducks head*) and she is fantastic. You can find her on Twitter here: @_KimChance 
So here we go, are you ready for the crazy?


Question 1: What are you working on?
I am working on the current love of my keyboards’ life. Yes, the love affair between it and my novel is something to be seen…although they have a few differences that cause me to occasionally leave them to their deep discussions, they are of late, getting along swimmingly.

My novel is a YA supernatural, romantic, adventure full of secrets and “buckets of crazy” danger - yes, buckets!!! 

My MC is Andrea. She is a straight-laced senior who lost her parents and is trying to move on with her life, i.e. go to college and leave the small, southern town of Barbours way in the distance. She's on the right track too; great grades, good friends and the good sense that the town she was raised in isn't quite normal. You know how that goes, make plans to move on and what happens to a girl? She meets a boy. Insert snarky banter here - well at least she's pretty snarky in her head, southern etiquette keeps her from losing her cool completely and who would want to be rude to this boy...A boy with silver eyes and he just so happens to have the same voice that has been plaguing her dreams. One car ride and the next thing we know she's facing her past, her present and a very uncertain future. Did I mention a river of deadly caramel & mysterious star tattoos? No? Ah, well you will just have to see...

I am much like my friend Kim, blurbs are quite intimidating and sharing even the tiniest things on a public forum about a WIP/Novel that is quite possibly your lifeblood at the moment is hard. So aside from the above description I will offer y'all this:

 Andrea is eighteen, trying to move on after her parents death, go to college and discover the perfect career. She never dreamed that in less than twenty four hours her whole world would be unhinged. Small towns are weird, but nothing touches Barbours; people come but they rarely leave.It is perfectly Southern on the surface but its what lies within its beginning that will alter the future of the universe. In one afternoon Andrea finds herself facing a mortal enemy and being marked by a mysterious star tattoo that just might be the key to her entire existence. Running from her fate is not an option but what she does with the knowledge of her past and her powers just might help her get beyond the town line to something much greater than she ever imagined.

whew...there is so much I want to edit, to change, to add, to delete...mental craziness begins in 3...2...1

okay, Question #2: How does your work differ from others in its genre?

That might be the most intriguing question on the list.

Okay, I have to agree with the lovely Kim... Voice. My internal dialogue when I'm writing is more creative and confident on its feet. Sometimes I wish I could reply the way my characters do...it'd make my days REALLY fun.

Question 3: Why do you write what you do?

This question I love. I write what I would love to read. I write because these people, these characters live inside my head. I hear their arguments, their troubles, their happy times...They are as real to me as most anyone I speak to, if not to say I don't talk outloud to them in public...well not all the time. ;o) I love reading. I love the thrill of a new book and the sad, disjointed feeling when I know the characters are done. When I write I don't have to let go of them in the same manner...They get to stick with me, watching new characters emerge and being spectators along with me. I still read YA - all subjects within the genre and I think I love it most because it is such an exciting time in our lives. We are discovering so much about our selves during a time where talents are found and choices are made. I also never feel my age and sometimes think I'm still back there...in those years...only thank goodness I didn't face half of what my characters do...

Question 4: How does your writing process work?

Yeah. I'm a pantser. 

I am a 'sits-down-begins-to-type-mad-woman-style-as-others-run-away-when-i-begin-screaming-at-my-characters' writer. I'm trying to be better at forecasting/outlining. But for me, I just love the organic, free flowing, type it all out writing.. I am at a point in the current work where I'm sitting back and trying to foresee a little more. The world I've created is about to cause me to bring out the post its and break out in hives. You see in my every day life I'm a type A, anal, list making, organization freak - so I think the organic writing is perfect for me. It lets me break out a bit from the tight confines I hold myself to in every other area. Now don't get me wrong, I will meet a writing deadline if need be; but as far as the outline every chapter, post it crazy wall board....nope..although check with me in a month...I fear 3M and I may have to meet up and discuss the loveliness of the neon post it collection.

I also write with music on. I have a Writer's Words Playlist on my iPod that gets me motivated and often inspires a great deal of my scene work.

CPs are the best ever! I have a lovely, small collection of women who are cheerleaders and hardnosed critics. I love them for every minute they take to read my work and share their thoughts. Its a true blessing to know these women & share our dreams together.

Writing is hardwork. It takes a lot out of you emotionally, mentally and really tests your creative communication skills. It brings out sides of you that might never have been discovered and it allows me to step into someone else's shoes for a little while and enjoy the moment...

If I could give any advice it would be "Read, write, read, write.. breathe...read, write... repeat every single day". 

Oh and there are hiccups in my process - the daily life and day job that I currently conform to often tries to pull me away from my computer, but you just keep going back to your work....as I type these words the below interference is happening-NO LIE.

He likes to sit on my chest like a cat...His name is Snickers, he wears sweaters with elbow patches and he hates technology.He's definitely a pantser. His big brother Peanut feels that though technology steals his moms attention it also allows her to order the best toys from Amazon...

well that's it! Thank you so much for swinging by and checking out the Royal Writing Process of one Southern Princess. I hope I made you smile and that maybe just maybe helped you feel not so crazy in your own process. 

XOXO

Monday, February 10, 2014

A simple Dance....

He approaches slowly, each step a hesitation of his decision,
Once beside me he leans down, hand palm up in invitation.
I do not rush to accept, looking at his face, his cerulean eyes and strong jawline.
The smile is unexpected, charming and delightfully crooked when I nod.

Hands clasped he leads me to the dance floor,
With every step I cling to each breath, 
I love the softness of his touch, the warmth of his palm against my own,
Heat fills my cheeks as he turns me to face him. 

We stand among strangers but they disappear,
A hush fills my ears,
His eyes shine, soft light, the moon wishes it could glow like he does.

The need to move my feet is great, I want to glide, to sweep the room,
Instead our first movements are jerky and clumsy,
He sighs, arms stretched out with mine...
The position is uncomfortable, stiff,
Yet we continue to move, our bodies following the pattern taught by so many.

His toes crush mine and he grimaces,
I smile.
He sighs.
Boldly I move closer to him, the confidence coming from within some place new.
I grin at his surprise and delight.
Our feet find comfort in the closeness,
Suddenly we are the center, the point of perfection in the room.
For a second he lets me lead, my touch is strong and selective,

I lean into him, my cheek on his shoulder,
He sighs again, this time I do not smile, I merely close my eyes and listen to the sound.
Simple, fleeting, that one breath tells me so much.

Suddenly he leads me again,
This time his arms circle my waist, confidently leading my hips to the rhythm.
I lose myself in his direction, in the sounds of a love song.
His fingers find my hand and I am spinning, out of his arms then back against his chest.

The air in my lungs fill again, releasing on the second spin.
I am laughing, loud and full.
He chuckles, proud of his new talent and my response.

The chorus dies down and the last verse fills the room,
I'm aware of the ending, the upcoming silence once the song dies down.
I've never felt as anxious as I am in this second.
I do not want the music to end yet I cannot wait to hear his voice above the din,
For him to make me laugh, or better yet for me to make him laugh.

He holds me close, we slow down to barely a sway,
Pulling back I look up at him, he down at me.
The air around me softens, I am aware of nothing but his face.
My fingers lay against his shoulders, carefully feeling the threads of his jacket.

Who knew that I was ready?
Who knew that he would be too?

His lips turn up and the crooked smile that brought me onto the dance floor returns,
Without a word he turns us toward the tables.
I grin, stepping forward with him, leaving the other dancers behind us...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Mermaids & Teddy Ruxpin...Gossping with "Dangerous Depths" author Karen Amanda Hooper

Hey Hey Hey Royal Court! We are blessed to have the AMAZING Karen Amanda Hooper joining me in The Royal Courtyard for a sip of sweet tea and some juicy gossiping…us Southerners LOVE a good story…in this case we are gossiping about some people quite close to her heart…the characters of her latest novel Dangerous Depths.  Before we jump into book two in her Sea Monsters trilogy, lets make sure everyone knows our darling guest!

So Karen, welcome, welcome, it is always a pleasure to have a friend stop by for a visit.
Karen Amanda Hooper (KAH): Thanks so much for having me! *sips tea* This is delicious.
The Southern Princess (TSP): I have been extremely blessed to have ‘known’ you around the blogosphere for quite some time now.  Your love of all things Disney has on many previous occasions linked quite well to my own love of the Happiest Place on Earth.  Of all the things we share in common, this one has always been my favorite: people watching at Disney. When I lived in Orlando it was the best location for character research and development. Do you often catch yourself building characters based off of those you encounter in and around the Disney parks?  If so, is there a favorite place in particular in the parks that you enjoy people watching the most?
KAH: Oh, yes. Epcot is my favorite park and there’s a pretty pathway along that water near the back entrance/exit of the World Showcase. It’s awesome for people watching, especially during Food & Wine Festival right after Illuminations when people are leaving the park. You’ll see some real sights after people have been drinking all day. So far I haven’t based any characters off anyone I’ve seen at a Disney park, but it’s bound to happen someday.
Also, my fav spot for relaxing is a hammock on the beach at the Polynesian resort. I can hear many of the sounds from Magic Kingdom as I drift to sleep while swaying in the breeze.
TSP: I mean, honey, if you tell me you saw Treygan wandering near the entrance to the Jungle Cruise, my hubs might not let me go back down there alone…ever.
KAH: *Karen giggles* I did see a guy who resembled Treygan one time on the monorail. I tried to snap a pic with my phone but I wasn’t quick enough. He was fast like Treygan too!
TSP: As for favorite ‘watching’ spots I am pleasantly surprised and thrilled to know that we share the same spot! There at the Gateway to the Worlds (the Boardwalk/Epcot entrance) I also have sat upon benches/low concrete walls that are shaded by the trees in the heat but allow an interesting viewpoint into those traveling between the worlds. You are so right about the drinkers…France and England being right around the bend means wine, champagne and beer…oh how fun it can be! I know those hammocks too, you are right they are lovely.
TSP: I recently was posed a question by my young niece; she asked me “What was your very first book you loved when you were little?” I extend that question to you…
KAH: The first books that I can really remember (and don’t laugh) were my Teddy Ruxpin books. They each came with a cassette tape so Teddy could read me the story, but I preferred the books. The Wooly Whatsit book was one of my favs because of the fobs and Rainbow Falls. *cough* What? Coincidence that I have a rainbow waterfall in my books too?  Yes, total coincidence. ;)  And yes, I still have Teddy stored away in my closet. And some of the books. And my Wooly stuffed animal. And Grubby. *blushes* Next question!
TSP: Lol! I love it…you and my hubs share a love of Teddy Ruxpin (don’t kill me my love)
TSP: Okay before we jump into Dangerous Depths, here is a Random Royal Question from a member of the Royal Court– What character from any movie (any franchise/production company) would best describe your personality & why?
KAH: This is a tough one. Maybe Hannah (Emma Stone) from Crazy, Stupid, Love. We look nothing alike, but her personality in that movie is similar to mine. That awkward but sexy scene between her and Ryan Gosling when she’s no longer bold and confident, but becomes a nervous, rambling mess, that’s so me. Or maybe I just really wish I could make out with Ryan Gosling. ;)
TSP: Ah…yes, that scene is awesome. I always thought he was cute, but that movie did me in – he is hot.
TSP: So, now we are settling in, the cool Southern fall is all around us and we are ready to talk hunky mermen, brooding selkies and the amazing land they all call home.
TSP: There are SO many characters to love in your stories. I really just connected with Yara and everyone she surrounds herself with. Pango is a lot like some of my Southern family. His vernacular, his mannerisms, his demeanor has a pleasant Southern hospitality feeling every time he is in a scene. Is he modeled after anyone in particular?
KAH: I love Pango. And yes, he was inspired by a friend of mine who has a larger-than-life personality. My friend is Cuban and I haven’t seen him in years because we live hundreds of miles apart, but he was such a sweet, warm, bubbly personality that I will never ever forget him.
TSP: In Tangled Tides I really enjoyed the various POVs. Did you find it difficult to add in yet another with Nixie’s POV replacing Treygan’s?
KAH: It wasn’t hard to add Nixie, but it was tough to NOT write Treygan’s POV. Many scenes were itching to be told from his POV, but I knew 4 POVs would be overdoing it.
TSP: This journey that the characters are on is so much more intense than the first (and it was crazy intense in Tangled Tides) for me. I was more on pins and needles with this one. I won’t give anything big away for those who are just now starting this series, but I have to say in Tangled Tides their purpose was a valiant and worthwhile goal – it was perfect, especially for Yara just discovering her lineage. In this story, with the characters more settled in their ‘skin’, they are facing even more tragic and terrifying unknowns, their faith in each other and the bond of love comes into question more than once. How difficult was it to transition into this darker territory where the losses have the possibility of being fewer but might have a greater impact?
KAH: I actually had nightmares! lol. I dream vividly, so while it was fun to write those Harte scenes, it was not fun to experience them in dreams. Especially because one particular nightmare, no one survived. And their deaths were horrific. I actually woke up in tears with my heart racing. It’s much easier for me (and easier on my state of mind) to write the happy, rainbows and butterflies scenes.
TSP: The best theme in the world is love. Here you have it in spades. The love between Treygan and Yara is beautiful.  The yearning Rownan has for Vienna transcends time, but it is the familial bond between Treygan and Rownan; Yara and Nixie; and Lloyd with his two boys and Yara that I loved the most in this one. They are all connected in very different ways and yet they love each other as though there is no difference between them – no selkie vs mer vs siren vs gorgon/human vs Yara’s mottled genetics. It is a pleasurable thing to witness this kind of love.  Is there a relationship from your own personal experience that helped to really tap into this type of connection? If so, would you mind elaborating?
KAH: I think everyone I come in contact with, or even just observe (professional people watcher that I am) has the potential to influence my stories and characters. I’ve had  some really great relationships and some really bad ones, and while I wasn’t consciously using any of my own relationships to write Tangled Tides or Dangerous Depths, I’m sure bits and pieces snuck their way in. To sum it up, I’ll use a quote by Chuck Palahniuk... “Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I've ever known.”
TSP: I am a sucker for quotes! That one is a keeper…
TSP: Okay, here is the reader in me itching to know about what’s yet to come…Are you able to see an ending for this series?  Is it something you already know in your gut? If so, are you happy with what you see? (mind you these Q’s are cryptic in their own way – I in no way want any details, the writer in me knows the sacred vows when it comes to our work, the reader in me is hoping to enjoy this world for as long as possible)
KAH: I’m pretty sure that book 3, Sacred Seas, will be the end of Yara and Treygan’s story. I’ve had a few requests to write a sexy adult spin-off series about the kraken, but I’m not sure where I’d find the time. I have a half dozen other story ideas waiting in line for their turn to be written.
TSP: that is the perfect answer for both versions of me! Lol I love that this will tie up their story but also love that you not only have more offers, but that you have more stories. As a writer there is nothing better than to be flooded with the ideas in our minds and get to explore them. I happily wait for book 3 and the many other exciting things yet to come!
TSP: One last question, if you were Yara, what gift/ability would be your most treasured from her various genetic blessings?
KAH: I can’t choose just one! That’s why I gifted her with so many. lol. I mean, how awesome would it be to be able to breathe and communicate underwater and even see clearly? But then there’s also the awesome ability to fly. And then the whole experiencing other people’s memories as your own? That would be amazing too. I’d treasure all of them.
TSP: I cannot express how fabulous it has been to have you here in the Kingdom!  I am so happy to share in this exciting time for you and cannot wait to read book 3! I hope that you enjoyed this little gossip fest and that you are having a blast visiting everyone’s sites. We are all honored to share in this adventure. It was a pleasure chatting with you. You are welcome in my Southern Kingdom of Gift any time!
KAH: It has been absolutely fabulous being here. Thanks so much for inviting me to the Kingdom. I had a wonderful time. Let’s meet at Epcot soon for people watching! :)
TSP: Yes! We must! It is a small world and as you told me, we might have sat right near one another, watching people unknowing of each other. Hopefully we will get to do it side by side one day and really enjoy the view!

Okay guys, as you can probably tell I LOVE this series. There is not enough to say about the world Karen has created.
My official review:
Dangerous Depths by Karen Amanda Hooper will take you on an adventure that might change your entire view of the world around you. Set within the magical worlds of Rathe, Harte and yes our lovely Earth; Treygan and Yara are thrust into yet another life changing, mind boggling journey. This time they are surrounded by the magical sirens, mer people, gorgons and the scariest villains you may ever encounter between the sheets of paper – these villains hit you where it hurts, they attack without mercy and they take you down in really the worst way possible: from the inside out.
With souls on the line, a love that transcends time, new families, mythology and beautiful scenery Karen carries you beyond the simple sand beach of Eden’s Hammock and directly into Harte, a hell that no one should ever have to encounter. Rownan is determined to bring his wife Vienna back from Harte. It sounds simple, go there, find her and bring her back. But Harte is not your ordinary scary realm. Sure there are monstrous animals, black lakes, no stars, but it is the toll on your soul that makes this journey one that only one other has ever taken & returned. Treygan and Yara could just stay back, let Rownan go, hope for the best and relax enjoying their triumphs, but no. The love exposed in this adventure, the deep bonds of brotherhood, the idea that through faith in one another & hope we can change everything fills each page. Even in their darkest hours, trust me there are dark ones, you hope for them to make it through. This book is worth reading, it will make you laugh, you will chew your fingernails off, have nightmares of Harte, smile at love that is so powerful it can feed the soul and discover whether or not your favorite makes it home or if the whole group stumbles into a darkness where light seems impossible.

Get your hands on this one. Find out if they make it out. Find out if love prevails. Find out what kind of strength can help you conquer your worst fears. Find out if the tide will be your guide...

Okay Royal Court Here are all the important links to make your adventure begin...

Okay, Okay, I know now you are wondering where do you find this book?
Well here are the online links to purchase:


BUT Can I share a Royal secret...? Karen, amazing as always, is GIVING away some copies!!!! You read that right, like as in, you can WIN this fabulous prize package:

~ Signed paperback of Tangled Tides & Dangerous Depths 

~ Two Beautifully Disney nail polishes 
(Ocean Mist--sparkly green, and Diva of the Deep--sparkly purple.)

~ A box of assorted yummy "sprite" treats from Fairy Tale Brownies 
(in honor of the new sprite characters who star in Dangerous Depths.) 


Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Kingdom Reviews "Reality" by Dani Hart

Happy Weekend my Royal friends!

So today is going to be a little different. I have the honor and pleasure to present to you my review of Reality by Dani Hart! But before we get to this new cast of characters, let me share a little bit about Dani:

My passion for writing started at a very young age. It started with a multitude of diaries as soon as I could write well, then poetry, then short stories. I received my BA at USC in Theatre with an unofficial minor in writing. While at USC I wrote my first screenplay and post-graduation I was hired to write another screenplay, which I did successfully. I have since started several books, but have never had the courage or time to finish them. I missed it, but I was discouraged from my years in the industry and I was scared to go back, so I had convinced myself I was too busy and it would be a waste of time. Then I started reading again which reignited my passion for writing. I started writing a story that had been brewing inside of me over the years. The characters were slowly developing and itching to break out onto paper, so in the summer of 2011 I wrote the first two chapters. Life got busy again and my passion was pushed aside, but then I met an amazing person who loved my story and encouraged me to start writing again. With that said, I am in a happier place now. I am fulfilling my inner desire and passion to write while raising a family and living life. Thank you so much for your support! And I hope to keep the stories coming!!!

I am Arie Belle and up until my mother’s unexpected and mysterious death my life had been pretty simple, but then things became dark and, at times, hopeless. Even my uncanny ability to communicate with nature had turned its back on me. My only saving grace is my lifetime friendship with the boy next door, River, whom I had always thought of as my soul mate up until my eighteenth birthday when everything seemed to change. My body tingles with heightened sensations and my emotions veer out of control. They are further tested when Ashe, a beautiful stranger with a powerful draw, enters my life and challenges my heart and soul. Amidst the rush of feelings after years of numbness, my true destiny slowly unravels and my journey to find out what I am, to find my mother’s killer, and stop my own death becomes a frantic rush before the next full moon. 

This powerful story encaptures the true meaning of love and the dark corners of life that can either suck you in or save you.

My thoughts: This book is a cautionary tale of forgiveness, sacrifice, a mother’s love, friendship and heartbreak. Arie isn’t normal… She has always known that there was something different about her, about her mother and about the world that exists around her. Diving into her story is a tricky thing, she knows nothing about who she really is and yet the answers are everywhere around her.  She is captivated by her best friend and love, River. He is handsome, strong, supportive, understanding and most of all loyal to a fault. They are connected in the most intimate of ways while still maintaining their innocence. She loves him deeply but their love is not simple nor is it metaphorically bulletproof.

At first the book opens not slowly but because you are walking in her footsteps you, the reader, have the same aggravating ignorance as to what is going on. Her mother is a beautiful and ethereal presence; loving, happy and at her best when surrounded by nature. Arie is much the same yet tragedies that are beyond her control try desperately to twist her outlook and to bring her into a depressive state. We travel along Arie’s journey of self-discovery and encounter friendships, loyalties, betrayals and a triangle of lust & love that crosses more than just border towns…just wait until you encounter Ashe! For most of the story we are learning and discovering. There is still a large amount of questions to be answered. Her reality is complex and in the nature of its variables we find that Arie has a long road ahead before she will find what she is searching for.

I enjoyed this story, it was definitely unique in many ways. Dani does a great job of making sure the reader is impacted by Arie’s conflicting emotions. There is just enough danger to make it exciting but at its core this is a story of love – all aspects of the word. Every decision made by each character has some basis of love.
If you are looking for steamy hot guys, friendships that would do anything for one another and the journey of a ‘chosen one’ this book is for you! 

Check out these excerpts (these are the tip of the iceberg, by the way - this book is full of emotion):

“I felt like a butterfly with broken wings, and River was trying to mend me back together. But after a butterfly’s wings are broken it was destined to live a life without flight, and fate’s destiny for me was not to fly. I would never soar above the sorrow and be free from the guilt of those surrounding me whom I would drown in pain.” ~Reality

“He brushed his fingers through my damp hair and then unexpectedly pressed his lips on mine. It instantly felt like he was breathing new life into me. As I inhaled his kiss, my lungs burned for more.
I grabbed the back of his neck and forced him on top of me. He responded hungrily. His hands explored my hips and thighs as our intimacy deepened. I was breathing so hard now that I could barely catch a breath. He made my whole body feel alive with every touch. I found the bottom of his shirt and pulled it over his head. He willingly accepted where this moment was taking us. I outlined his perfectly chiseled abs with my fingers and reached down for the button on his jeans. He squeezed my hips in anticipation. He released his lips from mine and followed the contours of my cheekbones to my jawbone and playfully nibbled, which caused me to dig my nails into his sides, immersed in pleasure.” ~Reality

Where to find Dani and her lovely writing…


Purchase this enchanting story here…





Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Character Design & Coffee Flavored Moonshine...

"You can tell its good if you light it and a blue flame comes up; that means its good moonshine and it won't make you go blind."
-Johnny Knoxville
***
 Just a hello, I've been on a few adventures lately & I wanted to pop in...

I've never been a big drinker. I will, on occasion (define: when a client is in town & does not want to drink alone), imbibe on a fruity (preferably frozen) cocktail. It must be sweet enough to hide the liquor, pretty enough to make me smile and at the right temperature where I feel like the Caribbean should be in front of me when I open my eyes after the first sip.

This past weekend I journeyed to Puerto Rico for a girls getaway weekend. Yes, you read that right, a girls getaway. There were 3 of us. We have known each other since before we were born; i.e. our parents were friends way before conception. One of my lovely friends was needing an escape, the other was excited to go somewhere without her two young boys in tow and I, well, I just love to travel. 

We arrived, we definitely experienced, we laughed and we danced. We ordered the island's poison on more than one occasion - in fact I spent most of Saturday lounging beside a pool in a 'bed', reading magazines, talking, eating cotton candy & viewing the beauty of the Caribbean with a grin on my face and pink cheeks. I have not done that in years, possibly never to this extent. I enjoyed every flavor of frozen, exotic concoctions that the swim up bar could serve me. The sugar rush had me on high alert and the characters around me are now committed to memory. I often sat in the refreshing cool water of the pool and watched as people from all walks of this great earth enjoyed their vacation. I looked at bodies - all shapes, sizes, colors, designs. I saw hair - long, wavy, short, frizzy. I listened to accents - Australian, New Jersey, New York, Colombia, Southern. It was a plethora of character options. 

There was a moment when I watched a man, easily in his 70's - but moving like he was in his 40's - dance to every song the DJ blared beside the pool. He lost himself in the sounds of contemporary music. He grinned at young ladies, whistled at a few; he high fived the staff and boogied next to the patrons. In my own dazed state of sugar, rum and sun formulation I found myself in awe of his confidence. He moved to his own rhythm, he laughed at himself when the beat changed too quickly, he smiled the entire time. I love this man. He gave me an idea for a character & I am so pleased that in my slightly drunken state that he was able to leave such an imprint...if I had seen him a short 4 hours later I might not remember him as well.

4 hours after the dancing man I sat in a carillo restaurant named Casa Lola in Condado with a shot glass in my hand, numbness in my lips and a grin on my face - as we 3 girls cheered each other on, toasted to friendship, grinned at the nice waiter and then tipped back some Cafe Luna (coffee flavored moonshine)...it burned but in the moment all I could think about is that sometimes it can be rewarding to step away from everything, try something completely new, re-focus, observe life and the people within and hopefully find a moment to see someone else enjoying how fabulous this life is...oh and of course to pray that the moonshine won't make you blind - it sure would stink to miss out on all these interesting facets of life..... 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Life and Loss...

I'm never sure about life. I guess that's a naive statement. It implies I should be, well sometimes I think we feel that curveballs are to be expected but we do assume we'll be prepared enough to have a glove or bat handy. Unfortunately we aren't often even standing at the plate.

My community lost someone yesterday. A tragic loss that leaves another family member in critical condition, fighting for her life. It was an accident, water + tires + 0 traction and life becomes a blur snapped away all too quickly. 

He was a man who played Santa Claus for young children, a man I've known my whole life, whose children are like extended siblings and in the past year a man who's soulmate moved on to streets of gold and heavenly views. I had wondered how long he would be here - their connection so beautiful that for it to be here while another is in heaven seemed destined to be short...however short is a relative term and this small minute in time between losing one an now the other felt cruel when first learning of his passing.

Today with fresh eyes and aching heart, I realize how he must be smiling down with her. Sending his love, his guidance, his wishes for speedy recovery of a daughter in law he loves. I ache for his children, who in recent months had come to see a father coping, smiling again, enjoying grandchildren and activities again. It is a beautiful sentiment that they were able to see him smile again...to see the beauty in life after loss. 

He remains a shining person in my mind. A man of a generation where love is sacred and shown with a careful hand. He made so many people smile, he fathered fabulous children and he loved a woman - one who saw the good in him, saw the power in his presence and loved him until the very end of her life. What a mark to make...

I'm writing today. My characters have sarcasm and wit, they are experiencing confusion, shock and fear...yet in their darkest moments I hope my fingers are able to show their brightest light...their capacity to care, to love. It is what I want in life, a life where death is merely a memory and life is the moment we exist and yet simultaneously cease to exist. It is in that fragment of time that we have left our imprint. we live beyond the physicality if science, existing in memories, photographs, stories, the curve of a nose, the light in the color of someone's hair....Because though we are destined to leave this earth our imprint here remains - make it bright, make someone smile, make every second count, even in death we treasure that it is a beautiful life...

Saturday, August 3, 2013

My character lost her car keys and ate her pants...

Good Afternoon Blogging World of Writers, Readers and Lovers of Words!

I am writing this entry via the keyboard on my new personal computer. It is not a tablet. It is not an iPad. Nor is it a gargantuan desktop. It is a laptop that I am in love with. The keyboard makes me grin, the feel of the buttons under my fingers makes typing a breeze (keyboards are what sell me on computers - there is a certain feel to the board that I have to acquire in order to purchase one). My old computer(s) (a netbook and a laptop) had become entirely outdated and well to be honest...heavy. The keyboard will get me out the door with my purchase but the weight will move me faster. I like that technology is able to provide us with these amazing machines that can be so lightweight and built for processing my quick mess-ups and happy days.

This particular computer had me at hello. Yet, I did my research. I have computer gurus who are friends/family, I read the blogs, websites and reviews of technological companies. The competition is fierce in our ever expanding techno enhanced world that going in blind would either be silly or extremely adventurous & trusting.

So today I am playing. Learning the latest version of Windows and discovering that I don't hate it. In fact, thanks to my Apple/iPhone for years of apps & my nieces for having Windows based phones; navigating the app style start menu is a breeze and quite frankly...fun! It is a touch screen laptop - no real idea why this is necessary since it does not separate from the keyboard - but I do like freezing the track pad and using my finger to maneuver through some of my favorite apps. Who knew?

Ah well, I promise a more writing centric post soon. I felt the fundamental of my writing process begins with the keys so why not share my excitement of once again loving the feel of them beneath my fingers...and not wanting to throw an electronic device out the window because the keys on the old ones jumped around all willy nilly...yeah my characters occasionally found themselves in 'sorrible hituations' and 'crabbing old of the sindow sill'. no joke. So the novel will hopefully survive and keep on trucking and the characters will quit fussing at me when all I did was hit cntrl and somehow she lost her car keys and ate her pants....true story.

Have a lovely weekend....

Saturday, July 27, 2013

What a Royally Fabulous Blitz it was....

I'm not sure what to say. People were everywhere in the Kingdom yesterday!!!! Like....all over the place! Wow.

 I've been participating in D.L. Hammons Blog Blitz this summer. It is quite possibly one of the coolest things I've ever done. So far I have added to my blog roll some of the coolest blogs and I'm itching to visit the remaining ones. I also had the supreme pleasure of adding his wife Kim as a friend on Facebook when we blitzed her on her last day of treatments. 

Yesterday I had the unbelievable treat of being Blitzed. So far 132 comments are on my last post - a post where I was promoting another of D.L.'s great ideas (Write Club). I cried when I saw them start coming in - my email began truly understanding what Blitzkrieg is all about.

Yes we make a note on another bloggers site; saying hello and happy blitz. However what I had failed to understand by being just a participant is the emotion of seeing all these people who I respect so much saying those hellos and sweet messages as the recipient. It surged through me like a new breath and I found myself crying, smiling and laughing. I guess I thought as a participant it would just be a quick "oh how nice" when it happened to me, boy was I wrong. I have 132 replies to make and goodness almost that many blogs to add to my roll AND I WILL VISIT THEM! Lol

I do need to return to blogging. It is a creative outlet that allows me to keep my juices flowing and it never ceased to make me smile. I am pleased to let all of you know that I have been writing. My novel is coming along well. My CPs are itching for the next chapters and it brings a smile to my face to have so many people to share my love of words with. Please don't be strangers, my little Kingdom welcomes everyone, my Royal Family is quite inviting and loves to entertain....

I again am honored to have you all come into my Kingdom, to meet you all, to share with you all and to D.L. who may never realize how amazing, inspiring and uplifting this little experiment truly is...