Thursday, October 25, 2018

What Would You Do if You Won Over a Billion Dollars?

Collin and I each got tickets for this one and Powerball, not really expecting to win (which is why we don't waste too much money on lottery tickets). We started out to have fun plotting what we'd do if we had actually won. Funny thing was that the plan we came up with wasn't really funny at all.
1.  Tell no one. That kind of attention never has a good end.  
2.  Plan before collecting the lump sum payment. Get legal/financial advice. Set up a trust so the winnings could be collected anonymously (our state is one of those that allows it). Living trusts are great. They pay the bills and take care of investments, property, payment of inheritances to heirs, etc.
3.  Share. Nobody needs that much money. Our church would be at the top of that list, followed by a number of charities, our closest friends and those individuals and organizations that helped us when we really, really needed it. 
4. Go home. My dad designed a house for me, but never got to build it. I still have the plans.  But instead of building, Collin and I agreed that we would try to buy back the last house Dad built for our family. Collin never lived there--Dad, Mom and I lived there for about six years. I was almost ten when we moved in and we moved out just before my sixteenth birthday. I loved that house. Collin got to see it once, a few years after Dad died. We almost bought it back then. I told him if we offered enough, it just might happen.

But we didn't win, and who knows when we'll get adventurous and play again? I suspect that one day, Collin will get the house, though.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Pick a Path and Stick to It, Already!

Eventually, I'm going to get back into a blogging routine. Eventually, I'm going to choose a direction and stick with it.

Or so I keep telling myself.
Photo: Proactive Coaching
First, Collin and I decided to part ways with our publisher. We were going to self-publishing again. We were going to (finally) do the series. I was going to write a memoir.

Then, we decided An Army of Angels should be the series title. I thought Riding out the Storm should be the new title of the second book in the series. Chasing the Wind, Riding out the Storm--no, all of the books will not have weather-related titles. This just worked for this particular book. The memoir, if I ever finish it, will need a new title.

So far, so good. But yesterday, during church services, I started thinking that maybe we shouldn't republish the old books at all. I only did it to start with because I wanted ebook copies for myself. They're still available in the original paperback format from third-party sellers. Crazy, huh?

I've changed as a person and as a writer in the years since those books were published. A friend, a fellow author, someone I've known for most of my career, commented that Chasing the Wind is very different from my old books. That made me wonder if reissuing my backlist was such a good idea. Would it confuse readers? Would anyone who might like my new books not give them a chance if they didn't like my past novels?

I told Collin what I was thinking. He agreed that it might be best to just move forward. So maybe I'm not nuts after all.

Now to actually write some new stuff! (Yeah, I know....)
Postscript: It's been one of those weekends.  There's dog poop on our patio--but we don't own a dog. I scratched an itch on my leg the other day and our living room ended up looking like a crime scene.It was just a little scratch, for crying out loud! Where did all that blood come from, anyway? (Photos of the bloodbath are on my Facebook page.)


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

I Heart Murphy Brown

Collin describes himself as "center left" and me as "center right." That was a pretty accurate description of us until the last election. Now, we're both firmly anti-Trump. 

And we both love Murphy Brown.

I've been a fan since the original series (1988-1998). We both watch the reruns on Antenna TV. And now, there's the reboot, which premiered last week. Loved the first episode. Can't wait to see what else she has to say about the Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue.

I have a lot in common with Murphy (Candice Bergen), career choice and Betty Ford Clinic aside. We both have short fuses. Our censors have been asleep at the wheel since we could talk (okay, maybe not that far back). We love good pranks and have been known to stage more than a few. We're both single mothers of sons whose fathers...well, maybe it's best not to go there. We've both had issues with certain politicians. We both suck at relationships (it took me a long time to realize I didn't even want to be married--or anything remotely like marriage).

Murphy and I both stand up for what we believe, even when everybody else thinks we're wrong...or nuts. Our censors are almost always asleep at the wheel. We don't play well with idiots. 

Recently, the episode aired in which Murphy discovered she was pregnant and struggled with the decision as to whether or not she would have the baby. She doubted she was cut out for motherhood. I never considered not having Collin, but I did doubt my mothering skills. So did my parents. Mom said women are hit with the maternal instinct at the birth of their baby.

"You must have ducked," she told me. 

I remember once, being out with Mom, running into someone she knew. The woman took one look at my bump and said, "I didn't know you got married."

I feigned dismay. "Crap! I knew I forgot something!"

A friend from high school was also surprised to see me pregnant. "How did that happen?" she wanted to know.

"I know you slept through most of high school, but I thought you at least got through sex ed," I said.

Murphy was nervous when she brought her baby home from the hospital. I can relate. She asked Eldin (Robert Pastorelli) if he thought she'd be a good mother. "No," he said, "but I will."

Murphy had Eldin. I had Mom and Dad.

I recall once, early in the original series' run, being on the phone with a fellow author when she made note of the time, reminding me that Murphy Brown would soon be on. "I love Murphy Brown," I told her.

There was laughter on the other end of the line. "Why am I not surprised?" she asked.