Tuesday, December 06, 2016

With Today's Traffic Levels, All Left Hand Turns Should Have a Turning Arrow

No matter where you live or work today, traffic is a problem. A big problem.

And one of the biggest problems with traffic is trying to make a left hand turn. There's nothing more frustrating than sitting at a light and watching all the traffic go by while the light goes from green to yellow to red, and you didn't move.

There's a simple solution, and frankly, I can't believe that city traffic managers and mayors haven't already realized this: Every light where there is a left hand turn should have a turning arrow.

Ironically, left hand turning arrows are not as common as you might think. If every city made them standard procedure for every left turn, then traffic would flow more smoothly and stress levels among people everywhere would be reduced.

This is not a joke. I am not kidding. In the town where I work, it's a chronic problem. I hope that all city traffic managers are listening and will do something about this annoying situation.

Thank you.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

"A Woman of Substance" is a Book of Substance: A Great Read

A Woman of Substance is the best book I have read in years and I highly recommend it to any woman who loves a great love story. Barbara Taylor Bradford's epic tome kept me on the edge of my seat for all 868 pages.

For the first few chapters, I will admit I was a little bored. But the quote on the front cover kept drawing me back: "A might saga. Little has been so riveting since Gone with the Wind." Eventually, my curiosity got the better of me and I was glad it did. 

A Woman of Substance is the story of Emma Harte, a poor maid in 1904 England who rises up above her station to become one of the wealthiest women in Great Britain. Her determination and perseverance are intoxicating, as are the men in her life. 

Barbara Taylor Bradford is masterful at love scenes, and as a Brit herself, she certainly knows her British history. I loved the accents and smiled at the sweet endearments such as when Blackie said "mavourneen" or Frankie said "our Em". 

One thing that makes a good book is when it leaves you wanting more. I found myself questioning throughout, what if she had married so and so? Her life would have been so different. 

In addition to love, heartache, determination, success, pain, romance, etc., the book has a strong element of revenge in it, and I happen to love revenge stories!

I don't want to give away any of the best parts so I'll leave it there. But please make A Woman of Substance your next book today. Trust me, you won't want to put it down.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Hail Mary: It's Nice Having a Woman to Pray to Sometimes

Catholics pray to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Not all Christians do. I'm Methodist now and Mary is nowhere to be found in the Methodist church except in the Bible. 

But growing up, I liked having a woman to pray to in addition to God. Sometimes there were things that I felt a woman would be more compassionate about. Sometimes I just felt she understood.

I remember when I first learned how to say the prayer, Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of my death, Amen. 

My mother taught me the Hail Mary when I was six or seven years old. It was evening, and she was down on her hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor. I don't know why she didn't just use a mop, but my mother was a perfectionist when it came to cleanliness. 

So here I was standing in the doorway between the dining room and the kitchen. I wasn't allowed to step on the kitchen floor. So as she crawled around with wet rag in hand, she would recite a line, and I would repeat, and we did this over and over until I got the whole prayer down. 

To this day, every time I recite the Hail Mary, or even think about it, I think about my mom down on her knees scrubbing the kitchen floor and me trying to be careful not to cross over the line and step on her wet floor. I can picture it clear as day, as if it was yesterday.

Since my mom is gone now, I cherish memories like these. And since Mary is a mom too, I know she understands my sense of loss. Sometimes, it's just nice to have a woman to pray to.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Bravo to Vanderbilt University for Taking a Big Step and a Big Risk

Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN is removing an inscription on one of its residence halls, according to Nashville.com. The inscription, "Confederate Hall," was a name given in 1933 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

All these years, Vanderbilt has wanted to remove the name but the UDC wouldn't let them. After having their day in Tennessee Appeals Court, it was determined that they had to repay the gift given them in 1933 at today's value, which equals $1.2 million.

Vanderbilt stuck to their integrity and came up with the money. So, the name will be coming down. Bravo to the students of Vanderbilt for continually applying pressure and to the administrators and board of directors at Vanderbilt for making it happen.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Friday, June 24, 2016

We Need to Stop Using the Word ‘Hate’

How did we get here? We use the word hate like it’s a candy we pop into our mouth every 30 seconds.

“I hate the color green.”

“I hate when public garbage cans are filled to the brim and you can’t squeeze another thing in it, or when you try to and some other garbage falls over and spills onto the ground.”

“I hate when you reach for your phone and you say ‘hello?’ ‘hello?’ and you miss the call by a split second.”

Perhaps hate is a little strong for the way I feel about small things like these. All week, I’ve been trying to train myself to substitute words like ‘dislike’ and ‘annoyed by’.

Amazingly, it’s a habit that is hard, though not impossible, to break.

If I hate the taste of tequila, particularly Yegermeister, does that make me a hater? I hope not.

It makes me wonder tho, if we’re willing to toss around this 4-letter word for average everyday things that annoy us, how can we expect to change real hate and get people who really are haters to become more understanding and thoughtful and to get along with each other? The end goal seems so far away.

So, let’s try this: “Don’t you just dislike it when … [fill in the blank.]

“I sometimes get annoyed when … [fill in the blank.]

Hmmm, I feel calmer already.

And what if we actually took the H word out of the dictionary altogether. Would the real hate stop if there was nothing to call it? Would people downgrade how they feel because they can’t explain their feelings, and be less angry or upset, sometimes for no reason?

I’d like to think yes, but I’m probably being too na├»ve. In reality, they would probably just choose another word and toss it around like a ragdoll.

But not this gal. This gal is quitting the H word. From now on, the color green only mildly annoys me, and full garbage cans? Well, they make me feel ‘Rrrgggghhh’.

That’s it. I’m not longer using the you-know-what word. The … what word was that? Hmmm, I forgot already! Good. Gone.

Now you try it.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Revelation! I Just Found the Real Highway 65!

I was just Mapquest surfing in the Nashville area and guess what I found -- Highway 65!

Turns out Highway 65 is the freeway that takes you into Nashville. I know it's hard to see in this graphic but it's the one on the left with the little blue badge down near the bottom.

For those of you who don't watch "Nashville" the ABC TV show, Highway 65 is the name of the record label run by famous (on the show) country singer Reina James.

I had never given any thought to how she came by that name. Even this last Wednesday, when Layla was doing her 3-song showcase for the radio attendees, she was standing in front of a label. Although it was white and not blue and red, I never even picked up that it was the same shape as this badge.

I feel like a Nashville insider. Like anybody who's anybody in Nashville knows this. Well, now "I" know where Reina's Highway 65 reference comes from! Yey!

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Follow Your Passion ... Now. Don't Wait!

When I was 17 years old, my family took a vacation camping on one of the islands on Lake George (NY). After we pulled up all the coolers from the boat and set up all the tents, I finally had some free time. I grabbed the book I had brought with me -- The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon -- and I walked around a bit until I found a nice flat rock in the sun to sit on.

In my denim daisy dukes (the first time they came around) and my t-shirt, I began to read. By the time I finished the third chapter, I was enlightened. I had had what would be the most major revelation of my life.

I thought, Sidney Sheldon writes the way I think, the way I would write. This is it! This is what I want to do with my life. I want to be a novelist!

Well, I started to write poetry and short stories, but didn't begin my first novel until about 30 years later. The first draft took me a year. I had a job that wasn't difficult, and I got to go home on time every night, without putting in any overtime. That would never happen today!

After changing my clothes I would head over to my office, where I would write a couple of hours a night. A year later, I had my first draft. A friend got me in to see an agent, and she suggested that I hire a professional book editor to edit my book. She recommended a woman with 20 years experience working for one (or several) of the major publishing houses in New York City.

I took her advice and hired the editor. She wasn't cheap. I shelled out $1,000. But I feel she was worth every penny. She had my manuscript for four months. Then one day, we had a 2-hour phone meeting where she walked me through her suggestions.

I ended up spending three years re-writing and editing my book. But it wasn't the 'next' three years. Oh no. I let 14 years pass me by before I picked that book back up. I had planned to do it so many times and I just kept saying, 'there's always tomorrow'. Then one day I thought, 'you're running out of tomorrows!' And I motivated myself to finish.

Then something wonderful happened. By the time I finished the book, self-publishing through print-on-demand had been born. After all the rejections from agents and publishing houses, I decided I would no longer wait. I didn't need to wait. I would publish the book myself through Amazon.

The nice thing about Amazon is you don't pay for manufacturing -- it's print-on-demand. When someone orders a book, they print it. There's no warehousing. So they take the cost of printing out, then they take their cut, then I get my cut.

For me, it's not about how much money I make. It's about how many people believe in me and in my writing.

My advice to everyone out there is don't wait. If you have a dream, go after it now. You might have plenty of tomorrows, but they won't wait for you. They keep going. So whatever your passion is, get out and do it, today!

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Introducing … In Fashion’s Web – My First Novel!

I am proud to announce that I have self-published my first novel on Amazon.com!

In Fashion’s Web is the story of 3 very strong, independent women. Tracey is the owner of a fashion design business. It has taken her whole life to become successful and she is finally at a point where she is being recognized for her talents. Tracey’s success is taking her to exotic places like Paris, Milan and Tokyo to build her brand. And with success comes the love she has waited so long to find.

Kara comes to Tracey Lynn Designs by way of the school of hard knocks. Once homeless, with no college education, she starts at the bottom and claws her way to the top. Meanwhile, Tracey’s niece, Allison, seems to get everything handed to her without having to put the time and effort in that makes the success so rewarding. Kara and Allison are bitter rivals.

While working hard to build her business, Tracey meets Frederico and falls deeply in love. But things are not always what they seem in business or in love. When Tracey gets caught in a struggle between her lover and a New York City crime boss, everything Tracey worked for starts to unravel. As a result, Kara and Allison are forced to work together. Can they put aside their differences to save the company from ruin? Find out when you read In Fashion’s Web.

Click here to view sample pages online at Amazon.com. In Fashion's Web is available in both print and Kindle versions. 

Happy reading!

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.