Monday, April 30, 2012

A Tribute to my Father John L. Wright

Saturday, April 28th, we lost our beloved father to a battle with Dementia. A horrible disease that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I was so grateful though that he didn't suffer in the end and the Lord took him in his sleep.

On Friday, the day before, the nurses at Garden Terrace nursing home, reported to us that he was organizing their carts and doing wheelies on his wheel chair, the usual, but on Saturday he fell into a sleep and died Saturday evening. It is what we all prayed for, that he would be taken quickly. It was bad enough that such a wonderful man had to live through such a debilitating and awful disease.

He was born on July 7th 1930, during the start of the great depression. He would tell us stories of that time and I wish I would have been smart enough to write them down because the stories were wonderful! He grew up in Independence, Missouri, and his father owned a bar and grill. The family had a secret chili recipe that has been handed down through the generations and we had always enjoyed it when Dad would make up a big pot. Dad would tell us about the characters that would frequent the bar and how at the age of twelve, he worked there washing dishes. He would have me on the floor laughing when he would describe some of these people!

During those times, Dad told me they had no paper money, only coin and for a quarter he could go to the movies, buy a coca-cola and a snack. He also worked as a soda-jerk and he delivered ice to local businesses in the area. He swears that's why he ended up having to have his hips replaced. It was because the ice used to run down his back when he would carry it in. That caused his arthritis.

When he became a young adult, he joined the service. He was in the Coast Guard during Korea and was stationed in Hawaii for three years, transporting goods to the ships that were heading to the waters surrounding the war zoned areas. After his military service, he decided to travel and raise money for college. He worked in a mine in Idaho, sold women's clothing on the road and then finally got a job in a department store. He went to college and received a business degree.

Eventually he moved to Lexington, Kentucky and worked for McAlpins, which was a sister store to Joslins dept. store. He worked in men's suits. He met his best friend there, Ted Green, who was an ex-pro football player. Ted took him to games and introduced him to a lot of the greats, the players and coaches boys would dream about meeting. He also had two of his nephews come live with him in Lexington for a short time, Mike and Gary. They had lost their father and needed support.

He met my mother through Ted and eventually they married on Oct.31st 1969 in my grandfather's office at the church. Both of my grandfather's were ministers. Three years later, he adopted my sister and I, and we took his name. He was an awesome dad! Always full of energy, humor, and love. He became my best friend and was always fair, but not very patient. I was a pain in the arse though!!

I wanted to share with you a couple of the funny stories I can remember about my dad. First, I remember when I was 15 my uncle Bill had died and we needed to go to Kansas City. My father and I drove together to be there for Bill's family and on the way my father was smoking like a freight train. Yes, he smoked, but quit when I was 19 yrs old. He said, once cigarettes became a dollar a pack, he was quitting, and he did. Well, I was smoking by then and I was jonesing for a smoke, watching him. Finally, I got up the nerve to ask if I could have one and he looked at me with almost if death could kill eyes, and then turned back to the road and said, "Well, I guess if you have too, but we will discuss this when we get home." So, he and I together smoked our brains out there and back. The first time he asked me to sit down and smoke in front of him, he told me to light up and said, "Do you realize how stupid you look?" And I answered, "What, you look beautiful when you smoke?" That was the end of that. Afterwards I smoked openly. I have to say, he was fair.

Another funny story was when my sister met her now husband at the ripe old age of 17 yrs old. She had known Scotte in Jr. High, but he didn't notice her until she bloomed! They finally met at a friend's record store and he offered to give her a ride home on his motorcycle. He had hair longer than my sister, his bass guitar strapped to the sissy bar and he pulled up, dropped her off and Dad was standing at the door. His look was priceless--every father's dream man for his daughter. Scotte immediately walked over to my dad and offered his hand and called him Mr. Wright. My Dad hesitantly shook it and Scotte asked to date my sister. He was shocked and probably instantly numb but nodded and agreed. Well, long story short, they have been married for 29yrs and still going strong!

He used to grab our hands and we would dance in the kitchen, or we all became clowns (literally) and worked Jerry Lewis Telethons and at the Yum Yum Tree standing out front making animal balloons. He taught my sister how to Jitterbug but had to keep reminding her not to lead. He would make silly faces all the time and he loved impersonations like Groucho Marx and Red Skelton, Humpfrey Bogart and of course, Woody Woodpecker. He was actually still doing this up until the day before he died.

After we grew up, and I use that term loosely, he loved to come over and visit and tell stories about his childhood and have me peeing my pants in laughter! He also loved his grand kids very much! He took the kids on trips or to ball games, or Eliches. We would go over and he would take us all swimming and then afterwards he would grill us up some delicious steaks or ribs. Family was everything to him. He cherished his time with all of us and was very proud and supportive.

My dad lost his mother when he was twelve, and the family was split up between grandparents, and aunts and uncles and his father raised my dad and his oldest brother, Bill. There were 7 kids, 5 boys and 2 girls. But even with the split up, the family remained close. As luck would have it, they all remained in the same city. Those were hard times, but as my father used to say, the best of times because they all came together and helped each other. He used to tell me a story about a man that used to come to the back door of  his grandmother's kitchen and she would give him a sandwich every day.

I am so grateful to have had him in my life. To have become one of his daughters and to have him as the grandfather to my children, and great grandfather to my grandchildren.. He touched a lot of peoples lives, and was a person that you could never forget. I wanted to share with you my good fortune in having such a wonderful father and friend and I will miss him every day of my life.

Thank you for listening and being there for me. I love you Dad!!!

Love, Lisa

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Finding The Time

I know, I know, we all say it, and we all live it...there's just not enough time. I have often thought, how did I have time to get anything done when I had a full time job? Yes, we attempt the scheduling of our lives, but that still doesn't help. We don't leave ourselves enough downtime, so we push our lists onto different days, trying to balance the need for work, with the need for play. How in the world should we set our schedule?

One of the best presents I ever received was a desk calendar from my sister, and now I am addicted to them. I try to write everything down and look at it each day, but I get caught up with everything else going on, and forget. I blame it on the fact that I am blonde, but the truth is, I am busy. So, what do we do instead? Well, if your like me, you take an extra day off from work to get things done. But, the only problem with that is, I don't get paid for that day, so something else has to give.


There is nobody better at organizing life than my mother. She has her calendar at home and one for her purse. If she writes down something on her purse calendar that she needs to do, she will go home and write it on her other calendar, too. She also sets aside time to organize her house, her files, and has no problem saying that she can't be somewhere or do something on a certain day. My mother can say "NO". And maybe that's the problem, being able to say no. No, I can't on that day, I have a schedule.

But, again, now I'm not flexible. So, what to do next? Priorities, man, priorities! I have decided what my most important priorities are. Now, I can plan accordingly. My family, my book, my job, my friends. Yes, my book has priority #2. My book is my baby and needs lots of attention.

Of course, along with my book, comes my social media platform. You know, blogging, twitter, Facebook ect...It never ends. But, I do have to say I love it. I wouldn't have it any other way. I am grateful that I have the time to get things done. I know several writers who work full time and still have to find space to write.

I know now there is no magic way to keep up with life, so instead of stressing, I am learning the art of living life one day at a time. Setting my priorities, and writing in my expected list in my calendar is about all I can do. I would love to know from all of you what you do to try and keep up with the day to day expected to do list. Leave me a comment and if you have a great idea, let me know. I am always open to figuring out a better way to have extra time.

Love ya, Lisa

Monday, April 23, 2012

Who is Designing the Covers?

One of my pet-peeves lately has been a lot of the covers on books. This is one of the reasons I decided to self-publish so I can have my own design. Of course, the big name publishers have nice covers, but the smaller, independent ones must have kids straight out of design school or maybe they are all out of romance novel design school. But what ever the case, they all look like romance novel covers. I think if it's not a romance novel, it doesn't need to have pictures or drawings of people on there. Let me give you an example. If the book is a fantasy novel, such as mine, I don't want to see a woman standing on a hill with a sword in her hand. I personally think it's tacky. I will give you another example, the first book in Game of Thrones. It has a drawing of a guy on a horse with a wolf that looks as though an armature drew it. When the cover was re-done to just a crown, it looks so much better. It almost commands you to read it.

One of the first things that draws a person to a book, is the cover, next, the blurb on the back. If I see a book with a face in the background, such as superimposed, or a sexy man with a beautiful woman, I think romance. I don't think murder mystery, or historical fiction. If I see a drawing of a chair on the beach, I think it's a woman's literature book, not a thriller. I found this short video that I would love to share with you. Take a little time to watch it and let me know what you think. I would love to hear your opinions on the matter. I don't want my book cheapened by a bad cover, but most writers don't have a choice, unless they do it themselves.



This is Chip Kidd- Designing books is no laughing matter. Enjoy, and don't forget to leave a comment. I love to hear your thoughts!

Love ya, Lisa

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Two Books To Review

I know, I am behind in the times, but there are two books I have recently read, that probably most of you have too, that I would like to comment on. The first one is The Help, written by Kathryn Stockett, and a motion picture, and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, written by Stieg Larsson, also a motion picture.

First The Help. What a great book! I enjoyed every page. I am from the south myself, and it really brought me back to those days in the sixties and seventies when I would witness the way white people interacted with black people. A heart retching, cringing, but happy ending book, that made me so glad that they got the book published and Hilly got her 'just desserts'! I loved it, and if you haven't read it, you should. It also amazed me that this is Ms. Stockett's first book and it made it to a major motion picture, but I have to say, well deserved. This book moved me and brought me to tears, and then joy.

The next book, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Another really good book, but I have had a hard time reading it since I have learned about POV (point of view) and show, don't tell, and other technical writing issues. I wish who ever decided to print these books after the passing of the author, would have at least had it edited. I love the story and that is why I have continued to read it, but sometimes it is really hard for me to do so. I believe it was in it's rough draft stage, it had to have been. But if you can look past that, you will read a great book that keeps you moving forward and wanting to turn the page. The characters are very intriguing, and are night and day of each other. Especially Salander, she doesn't fit with most people, but she has guts, and her own unique style. I do think that if you haven't read this book, you should. I am considering buying the next two in the series, but my daughter is on me to read the Hunger Games. Tough decision! What do you think?

Anyway, that's my take on these two books. I didn't want to say too much and give away information just in case you hadn't read them. My next blog post is going to be about book covers, and my hate of them lately! I found a great video that I will share with you on the subject. Until next week! Have a great weekend and don't forget to  leave me a comment, I love to hear from you!

Love, Lisa

Monday, April 16, 2012

Inspiration

There are always those moments where you feel inspired, when something or someone grabs you by the shoulders and pulls you forward. Maybe it's a movie, or a book, maybe it's a person in your life, but a sudden need to express yourself unfolds. You know, those Ah ha...moments, and they send you on a frenzy, and the next thing you know, you are off to change the world, or at least your little corner of it.

There is also those times when you catch yourself realizing you have always dreamed of this, to open your own unique business, or write a book, or maybe even buy a place where you could live off the land. Whatever it is, it's time to act. So, you set off, you know like the book from Dr. Suess, "Oh The Places You will Go", and at some point, something happens, and you lose steam...

Don't let this happen to you. Pick yourself up and dust yourself off, take a breath, and then move ahead. A lot of dreams take time to unfold, and you need to be patient, and you need to be ever vigilant. Take the bull by the horns, so to speak. It is amazing what can happen if you continue to move onward, you will find that you are moving upward!

There are questions you can ask yourself that may help you to continue, and to keep your sights open, such as, am I willing to be in this for the long haul, and if the answer is Yes, then focus and continue on the same pace, or maybe even rev it up a little. But, I believe the most important thing to keep you focused is support. There is nothing wrong with asking for it.

I am sure there are people in your life that are always willing to encourage you, to cheer you on. Just remember to appreciate those individuals and to thank them for their effort in helping you see the future. Time moves very rapidly, and before you know it, your dream has been fulfilled!

I have several 'cheerleaders' in my life and they keep me motivated. Thank God for them, because I probably would have given up on writing my book a long time ago. When I was younger, I never used to finish what I started and once I realized this about myself, I have worked hard to change that negative part. I am so ecstatic that my book is now closer than ever to becoming published, but I still have to push myself forward, since it is a series.

What are your dreams? What will it take for you to realize your goals and who are the people in your life that will help you move toward them?

I would love to here from you, drop me a comment. And, if it's support you need, let me know, I am more than willing to cheer you on, or help with ideas.

Thanks for all that you do, Lisa

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Time For A New Teaser

With everything that has been going on in my life the last month, I realized that it has been several weeks since my last teaser. Although I would love to have a new guest blog, this just hasn't panned out lately. Maybe a new look into my book, The Hidden Shield, is what was the doctor ordered, or at least what the Djen Den ordered.

I am very excited about the fact that I am very close to finishing the first serious round of revisions. Yes, there will be a new round, but my book is now getting closer than ever to sending it to a professional editor. I hope to be published by the fall, (as long as the editor doesn't take to long) and I pray that all of you enjoy my first book in the series of the Djen. This has been a very long road, filled with hopes, doubts, painstaking realizations, confirmations, and finally resolve. But there has never been a lack of support, which I am grateful for. All of you who have taken the time to join my blog-I appreciate you! All that have left comments, thank you so much, and please continue, I love your insights. And, those of you that have been my cheerleaders and proofreaders, and not to mention critique partners, I love you! Thanks for continuing on this path with me, you are all in my heart.

Well, on to the teaser. A little set up-This is one of Stevie's visions. She has began her training and now has more insight to why and what is happening in her life. I don't want to give away too much, that's why it is a teaser, in the hope that you will want to read the whole book!

“Relax…” the word flowed soft as silk in her ear. Then the touch, light but strong; he rubbed her shoulders, her body tingled. Despite his closeness and her unbidden surge of desire, she found herself nevertheless beginning to relax: Her heart beat slowed, thoughts stilled. She did not notice Colton had returned to a seated position in front of her until he took her hands in his. In less than a breath, she fell into a familiar dream.
She ran through the woods, Colton at her side—he pulled her out of the path of an arrow, causing it to impale a tree rather than her. They raced across an expansive field flush with summer growth, vaulted into the adjacent Sitka spruces and Douglas Furs, and without pause, continued—tree to tree—until a sheer drop abruptly halted their progress. Forced to a slower pace, they balanced their way along the edge of the cliff, coming at last upon a cave.
In the dim light of the cavern, Colton stopped and pulled her about. “We need to get back, now…”
She blinked, startled. Vertigo washed over her as she attempted to bring her focus back to the present.
“What did you see…?” asked Colton, her hands still enfolded by his.
Stevie described all she remembered.
“Have you experienced this dream before?”
“Yes…for several months, but this time it had way more detail.” The question that had haunted her, burst out of nowhere. “Who is Shylae…?” 

I hope you enjoy it and please don't forget to leave a comment. Critiques are welcome and your thoughts too!

Love, Lisa

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Has Sprung

Finally, Spring! I look forward to this time of year, and I'm sure most of you do too. Everything smells fresh and new, and the colors from the flowers that bloom, brighten up the neighborhoods and beckon me out the door for hikes and even walks in Golden.

My husband and I took our dog and walked Lyon's park, Sunday. It felt so wonderful to be outside and get some exercise. We have planned to do our first little hike Saturday morning and I am looking forward to getting in the mountains. Our usual spot for starting out the new hike year, is Lair of the Bear. Although I have never seen a bear there, it is a lovely park. There is a beaver dam, which seems to get bigger every year, and beautiful creek that runs through the area, and plenty of paths that aren't exposed to the sun so the heat doesn't overwhelm you in the summer.

After we get used to doing hikes, we graduate to the more moderate paths and the newest one is in Golden Gate canyon. It is a tougher hike, in fact there are a few spots where you are actually climbing to the top for about 30-50 yards...maybe more. What I really love about this path is there aren't too many people there and you can relax and enjoy the scenery.

There are about 10 different places along the front range that we frequently hike and I love them all. Between seeing deer and elk, and other wildlife, the flowing creeks rushing down the rocks, and the mountains surrounding us, what more could we ask for? Plus, not the mention the time together that my husband and I so look forward too!

One day we plan to live in the mountains, that's our goal, but until then we will keep hiking any chance we can get. Our love for the mountains call us there any chance we get, and to be outdoors and enjoy God's country is really all the church I need!

What are your plans for the spring? What do you enjoy the most about this time of year? Drop me a comment and fill me in on your dreams of spring.

Love, Lisa

Thursday, April 5, 2012

How Do You Pick The Right Editor?

Recently, it has come to my attention that there is almost no right way or wrong way to edit a manuscript. I'm not talking about the basics, such as commas, and colons, or even dotting the I's or crossing the T's, I am talking about indentations, POV's (points of view) and even head hopping.

This new revelation of self-publishing has brought out a lot more people for hire for editing, and a lot more books that are published with quite a few mistakes. I do agree that is is very important to have your book edited before you put it out there to the public, but when you do not have a publishing house, there tends to be more books out there that have "big" mistakes.

Yes, I have read novels recently that have mistakes that are through a publishing houses also, and I wonder if this is not a priority anymore?!

I am reading a very popular book right now, that is also a movie, and the mistakes are so distracting that I am having a hard time reading it. I wonder how it got as far as it did, but I guess when you are a writer you pick up on the mistakes, and believe me, this one has plenty! I know that the story is supposed to be fantastic, and that is why I am sticking to reading it, but it is difficult. There is head hopping, bringing in author intrusion, and throwing in paragraphs right in the middle of another scene that shouldn't be there. Like I said, distracting.

I know there are also people that have self-published that didn't have the right 'voice' for a character and it threw the book into left field some where. For example, writing about a teen using adult terminology. So what to do?

I plan on self-publishing myself and I know that it isn't cheep to find a good editor. I have recently been looking into editors and I am actually afraid I won't pick the right one. I feel it should be a person who has edited sci-fi/fantasy before and maybe even has references and has been doing it for years. I also have teen characters and want to make sure I have their voice properly. I also can't afford to pay a huge fee to have this done, so I am faced with a dilemma.

I would love any suggestions you may have, or even if you know a good editor that won't charge me an arm and a leg, and won't take a year to edit my book. I know that it isn't cheep, but some editors are over the top! I know I should be the one giving the answers to this question, but I am at a loss on this one.

If you have any ideas, leave me a note in the comment section. I would love to hear your advice!

Love, Lisa

Monday, April 2, 2012

One More Thing

What could I possibly add to an already full schedule that will have me looking for more time in the day? As if I need the added stress, right?! Well, it is that time of year, and I do need to get off my duff and lose some weight. Yes, you heard right, a diet and exercise daily routine.

Now, there are some issues, no, I didn't say excuses, issues that I have to deal with when it comes to losing weight. One, is I am older and it's tougher to take it off, and two, I do have a few physical problems that tend to slow me down but no matter, I am going to lose this 40 lbs one way or another.

My plan is to stretch in the morning, now that I have some room to do so, and then do some floor exercises. Afterward, start a walking routine. My husband and I love to hike and walk in our area, and do so when we can. Now that most of the painting is finished and we have moved upstairs, we will have more time to do so.

Next, eat more fruits and veggies, and less sugar. Of course, add the bonus of drinking 3 liters of water a day. On top of that, I write down what I eat and keep track of the amount of fiber and fat in my diet. Now, you would think that would do it, but last year I tried just that and nothing happened. I became very frustrated and gave up.

What I need from all of you is a lot of encouragement. I am looking for all the support I can get, and don't forget the hints. If you think of something that will help me or know of a way for me to get it off, feel free to tell me in the comment section.

One thing I do need to add, I am not a gym person, not anymore. My shoulders are not flexible from years of fibromyalgia and I hate waiting for a machine to do my workout. Plus, there is nothing worse than to feel fat and go into a gym with all the body builders and cute,sexy people. I really don't have the flexibility I once had when I was young and a gymnast, and it adds to my frustration, so for now, the gym is out.  But, if you know of other things I can do, drop me a comment and let me in on your secret. I am also taking a fiber supplement in case that is one of your hints.

If there are some of you that are facing the inevitable diet too, we can support each other, let me know. I would love to have someone I can talk to about this and is willing to work together. Living in Golden does help with all the hills and paths around, plus going up to the mountains to hike, so if you are interested in doing that with me, and live near by, we can do that together too. I hope that some of you at least, take a little time from your busy week and drop me a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

Let's get healthy together! Love, Lisa