Monday, January 31, 2011

I’m Back

Well, I’ve decided to definitely blog two to three times a week. It will be sporadic since my work schedule is such. The boss makes a schedule that isn’t body clock friendly. One day you work the morning shift. One day you work the late one. Most times I feel like a zombie. Oh, the woes of a wanne-be novelist.

Anyway, I’ve got two more chapters left in a book I’m reading for a review. That will be tomorrow’s post along with an author interview.

Also, I wrote a blog for the main character, Lila, in Secondhand Shoes and posted it to

Brittany-Murphy-116Britney Murphy would’ve been great as Lila but she’s crossed over now.  When I created Lila, my thoughts were on her.

Anyway, go check out Lila’s character blog and let me know what ya’ll think.

Also, who could ya’ll see Lila as?

Happy blogging, reading, and writing!!!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Taking a Break

Yup. Got too much to do. I’ve got to finish reading a book to do a review and interview. I’ve got the famous Robblogger’s little book to read, review, and do his interview.

Plus, I need to pump out some words and edit more stuff all around my crazy work schedule. So I’ll be taking a break from blogging probably until Monday, next week.

It’s possible that I’ll be posting two or three times a week for a while after that. I didn’t realize how addicting this blogging stuff could be. Wow! Did I mention how exhausted I am. Schwoo! Working on one’s writing is a full time endeavor.

Anyway, I will be reading others’ blogs and making comments everyday. I really enjoy them. There’s a lot to learn from each other.

That’s all for now folks!

Happy blogging, writing, and reading!!!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I’m a Frag Queen

Yup. That’s what I am. A Frag Queen. Not a ‘Drag Queen’, silly. Frag. Queen.

Can’t you tell. It’s my favorite way to express myself. Choppy sentences that sometimes has no ending. Sometimes no real beginning. Sometimes one word will do it. Love it.

Yup. Frags can be a good thing when you need to make a point. Besides, most of us talk in frags. Think in frags. Journal in frags. See what I mean. Aren’t frags great. I think so.

What do ya’ll think?

Happy blogging, reading,and writing!!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Five Things I Hate About My Writing

Boy,I’m just a gloomy girl lately. Would hate to see what would happen to me if I didn’t live in the Sunshine State. Right now, I’m sitting at my kitchen table, still in my jammies but wearing my winter coat. I’m freezing my arse off. Yup. Florida’s got freezing temps again.

But that’s not the point of this blog. Let’s move on as Robblogger would say. I think my saying will be ‘Flying Monkeys’ or ‘Oh, no Toto’. Wait a minute…how about ‘Let’s fly monkeys’? We’ll see which one fits best.

Okay. Let’s fly monkeys….(What do ya’ll think?)

Today I wanted to share what bugs the crap out me about my writing. There are five things that top my list. Those five things I can’t seem to let go of no matter what I try or, read or, practice. They’re nasty ole habits like smoking and eating Lay’s potato chips, two things I refuse to do. Too bad they’re not two bad writing habits that I’ve learned to curb. It would be nice to say that I’ve overcome them. But….(palms up, I’m shrugging).

1. Still can’t get that rule of when to capitalize mom and dad. In my world they’re important. They should be capitalized no matter what some dumb rule says.

2. Why can’t garbage cans climb through windows? Because dangling participles are not acceptable. My stuff is littered with silliness like this.

3. Trying to describe things that are virtually impossible. You know, like trying to describe ten drunk naked people on the Twister Mat. Think about it. I’m told constantly to keep it simple. Yeah. Right.

4. Why can’t animals be referred to as ‘she’ and ‘he’ even if they have no name. They’re still people. Furry ones. Besides, I don’t know all the people in the world by name.

5. Why can’t we tell our stories a little bit? An insy-winsy-tiny-bit? A microscopic-insy-wincy-tiny-bit?

These are the five things that drive me crazy. Teeth gritting, foot stomping crazy.

What drives you crazy about your writing?

Happy blogging, reading, and writing!!


P.S. Ya’ll hang in there.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Idea World and Futuristic Slavery

Sundays used to be the day people went to church or slept in. Big dinners were served and grandma and grandpa, even aunts, uncles, and cousins were important. It used to be a day where everything shut down except ones self. It used to be a day of rest and a time to reflect. Not anymore.

In my idea world, I’d be sleeping right now, maybe til nine am. I ‘d wake up and curl into my hubby’s warm body and we’d make love taking our time knowing we’d have no where to rush to. After, we’d lay there for a few minutes, maybe doze off for a little while longer.

Breakfast would happen in the middle of the day. Some eggs over easy with bagels. Maybe even some cream cheese and lox.

The rest of the day would be spent piddling around, self reflecting and journaling. Or, spending some time in one of our near-by parks walking or biking. Maybe I’d go see my sister, my dad, my brother, and some of my grown daughters.

This is my idea day off but it doesn’t exist, not even on my day off. Every Sunday I rush to get to work like a million other Americans. This my friend is what progress has brought us to. Futuristic slavery. No rest and little time to pursue your personal dreams.

Yup. Shelly is feeling the stress, the body aches, and the exhaustion that comes with pursuing a dream. My life is being strangled by a corporate schedule bending me to be flexible for them, not me. But my dream lives on and my fingers continue to peck at the keyboards. My brain never stops. I refuse to be anybody’s slave. Some how, some way, I’ll break free from the corporate chains that bind me.

One day, I’ll have my day to putz around and rest. One day my world will evolve around me. Not me, around it. It’s coming one word and one chapter at a time.

Okay, enough of that blah..blah…blah.

What’s your idea Sunday or day off? How do you see progress in the 21st century? How are you guys dealing with American slavery and following your dream?

Happy blogging, reading,and writing!!!


P.S. I’d rather be working on my writing today.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Jesus and the Crack Pipe

When I got home last night from work, I made myself my favorite cup of tea and plopped down on my favorite spot on the sofa, next to my hubby. I caught the last twenty minutes of Fringe. At about the time the Asian girl started to gasp for air, No-No came trouncing down the stairs.

“Mom,” she said, “Granny B. contacted me on Facebook.” This caught my attention. She’s someone we all kept about hundred arms length away from. “She told me J.’s in the hospital. His lungs are filling up with fluid and being heavily sedated.” Her voice sounded quivery. “He’s going to die. Should I feel bad?” Of course, she should feel bad. I feel bad even though I can’t stand the man. It’s her father.

“Of course you should,” I said.

She cleared her throat and swallowed back her tears before she said, “But he deserves it. He never did anything with his life. He was never there for me or my sisters.” True, he spent his life sucking on a crack pipe and living for Jesus. Her memories of him aren’t happy ones.

I nodded.

“I want to cry, mom.” I wanted to cry, too. A small bolt of guilt ran through me. Maybe if I would’ve stayed his life might have been different.

At eighteen I married the creep. That’s what my mom wanted.Weird, I know. My gut told me to run but I had to make my mom happy. As the saying goes, if Mom’s not happy, no one’s happy. She’s another story.

For nine years, I spent my life running back and forth to him. Was there abuse? Yes. But there were also his drugs and his drug dealings. There were numerous times I paid off dealers at gunpoint, bought stuff back from pawn shops, drove him to detox and rehabs trying to help this man. Can’t tell you how many times he became friends with Jesus.

Did I love him? Not at all. For years, I felt sorry for the idiot. Eventually, I ended up hating his guts. He stole from us, me and his girls. He robbed their bank accounts. Our Christmas monies. Wrote bad checks when he got a hold of the checkbook. He even emptied out our house one day selling everything we owned to pay off a crack dealer. This included the Tupperware my mother loaded us down with, my daughters’ bedroom furniture and TOYS, their clothes, even our wedding album. Yup. I came home to an empty house after work. We’d been cleaned out by my husband and their father. These are our memories.

This man wasted his life. Sometime after our divorce, he remarried two more times and made two more babies. He almost killed the last wife. Not long after, he disappeared. The scoop, he’d taken to the streets. We didn’t hear from him until one day about four years ago.

“I’m clean. I’ve got Jesus,” he said over the phone. “I’m living in the Salvation Army. They’re going to make me a counselor.” Heard that one a thousand times. Once he’d get comfortable with that position, he’d find the crack pipe all over again. “I want to see the girls.” D-Dell was already gone. No-No was seventeen and E-wee fifteen.

He visited his girls. Those few visits severed their ties. Yup. He found crack again.

Right now, I wonder what he might be thinking? Is he sorry? Is he going back in time in his head, thinking about what he could’ve done differently? Wonder if he’ll find Jesus again before he leaves this world? Or, will he find someone to give him a few hits off a crack pipe before he passes?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Blonde, Blue-Eyed American-Laotian Babies and Vampire Divorce

This morning I found it difficult to pull myself out of bed. It’s raining outside and work kicked my arse last night (from one to nine pm), I did twenty-six heads of hair.

When I got home from work, No-No went into a rant over one of her body parts not feeling well. I think it was about a muscle in her leg, wasn’t really listening. For the past ten days she’s been on a real hypochondriac roll. Next week we’ll be burying her at the rate she’s going. Guess I’ve lost my editor-in-chief and my techi-chic. Oh, grief! Hope I’m using proper grammar and sentence structure.

But that’s not the point of this blog. What was the point? Oh, yeah….

Today I’ll defend why I’m a Twi-freak ( read the books in one month and saw all the movies, thus far). I’ll try to sum it all up in one sentence but probably won’t.

The story took me back to my teen age years when I first fell in love. Phanmaly  Khoumphanpakdy. Yup. That’s his name. Try to pronounce that baby. I used to practice it. Thought I’d become Mrs. Khoumphanphakdy. Imagined what our babies would look like. Blonde, slanted blue-eyed American-Laotian babies with yellow skin. Kind of freaky when you think about it.

Anyway, he preferred to be called Lee. And Lee was perfect in everyway. No body, face, or soul imperfections like Edward. He could do no wrong in my eyes. He made my heart sing and my body….well, use your imagination here. I mean, if you’ve seen the Twilight movies, you’d understand what I mean. Bella looks ravenous when she looks at Edward and more so when they’re about to kiss. I’m surprised that they didn’t gobble each other up. And, I mean literally devour each other from head to toe when they finally kissed ( fanning myself right now ).

There were times I wanted to gobble up Lee and he probably me. But that didn’t happen. My life’s not a fantasy and there isn’t always a happy ending. We broke up eight months later. Found out he wasn’t so perfect, after all. That sucked. Good thing we didn’t get married and have children together. Oh-oh!

I'm thinking what if Bella decides Edward’s not perfect. Then what? Oh, no! She’s got a baby, you know. Resnesme ( something like that ). Anyway, when she finds out Edward’s not perfect what is she going to do? She gave up her humanity to be a vampire forever. She’s bonded to him for eternity unless… she chops off his head and burns his body. Oh my! That’s a problem.

Glad I’m not Bella or Edward for that matter. Vampire divorce is worse than human divorce. One would have to die in order for the other to survive in peace---think a lot of humans feel the same way---it would be cheaper in the long run, though. Glad my kids are grown---won’t have to watch my back, I think.

So what do you guys think about vampire divorce?

Just thinking that’s all ( palms up in air and shrugs).

Happy blogging, reading, and writing!


P.S. I know you’re going to read this Sweetman.  Just wanted you to know I love you with all my heart. You make me hot and I just want to pinch your dimpled-cheekies. And, I’ll never want to chop off your head and burn your body. Promise.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Sir Poops-A-Lot flooded our upstairs bathroom before we arrived home last night from work. Yellow ran everywhere through the cracks of our white tile. That’s what I get for leaving him at home unboxed with No-No. She’s dying you know, and is unable to leash the dogs, let alone take them out to do their business. The good news though, her va-hoo-ha is bacterial free and is in good PH standing for yet a another day. Guess her girl part has properly digested the popsicle stick if it actually existed.This is exciting news in my house. Something she shouted from the top of the stairs last night before we all went to bed.

Let’s move on…(I know, I stole that from Rob). Last night this guy left me sleepless. Yes, Robblogger, you are on my mind ( bald is beautiful ). His blogs is the last thing I read before going night-night. They weaken my bladder.

At midnight, I woke up to the words ‘let’s move on’. At two AM, the same, and at three and four AM. OMG, Rob! You’re driving me crazy. If anyone’s interested in reading his hilarious rants, go to:              

But that’s not the point of this blog. Let’s move on ( I like that ).

Hi, I’m Shelly and I’ve got a disturbing problem. I write on everything. Grocery receipts. Post-It Notes. Restaurant napkins. The backs of business cards. Envelopes ( not peoples’ addresses either). Old bills. Sometimes new bills. Junk mail. Anything paper. I’ll even write on my hand.

I’d prefer tablets but my hubby’s hidden them from me. I wonder if he’s flushed them down the toilet. I’m surprised he hasn’t banned me from Office Depot and Staples or, any store that’ll supply me with paper. It’s pretty easy to get paper and PENS, you know.

Pens are good. They flow nicely onto anything. Pretty colors, too. Red. Blue. Purple. Black. Glittery ones. Gel ones.

My favorite pencil is the Papermate Sharpwriter No.: 2. It twists the lead out with ease. It writes nice, too. My mouth is watering right now and  goose bumps are traveling up my arms.

Yes, I’m driving my hubby crazy. My daughter, too. The dogs don’t seem to mind, though. They’re content to lay at my feet while I write stuff, even type stuff.

Good thing there’s help out there for people like me. I’ve sought them out for my problem and they encourage me to write more and more. They encourage me to do better. They encourage me to have as many tablets and pens around me as possible. Yes, I’m a full fledged addict now.

I wonder if there’s a support group for families of writers out there. It’s hard to be around us writers you know. Our heads are some place else.

Writing has taken over my life. I get the jitters when I don’t get to write. Grumpy, too.

How about any of you? Addicted, yet? Or, how long have you been addicted to this writing stuff?

Happy blogging, reading, and writing!!!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Just a Peek

Since I have to go in this morning to work, this post will be but a few words. I’ve been working on a separate blog for my characters in ‘Secondhand Shoes’. Found the perfect picture for it and posted it. Attempted to write a blurb three times. It didn’t save ( shrug my shoulders…somehow I’ll figure it out). Maybe someone out it cyber-world can tell me if the picture I’ve posted is too big. I’m handi-capped technologically, and No-No is now obsessing over a lump she found in her breast. So asking her is totally out of the question.

Anywho…. click onto the link below:

Let me know what ya’ll think.

Happy blogging, reading, and writing!!!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Missing Tampon

Last Tuesday or Wednesday, can’t remember which day but definitely last week, I received several phone calls. At the time though I’d turn my phone to silent so I could write without interruptions. Didn’t realize anyone called and went on about my day after my pen adventure.

Around two o’clock I checked my phone, the message for voicemail blinked at me. No-No called me at least seven times and her work called once. Plenty of panicked messages were left by my daughter and one calm message from her store manager. Something about anxiety, a panic attack, and a possible heart attack, she’s only twenty-one, go figure.

Breathe in. Breath out. Roll my eyes. Here we go again. My daughter has tendencies toward hypochondria.

No-No had been taken to the ER.

I called her cell phone to actually speak with her. The conversation went something like this:

“Mom,” she said. I believe a gush of wind blew out of her mouth. “While I was at work, I started shaking. My heart pounded. Could hear it in my ears. Felt like I was going to throw up. Had this horrible chest pain and my neck hurts.”

“Uh-huh,” I said. Over exaggerating everything is something she does. At the age of two she discovered excuses not to pick up her toys, “my head hurts” or “my stomach hurts”. This followed her all through school, too. She got out of a lot of assignments by acting sick. The teachers felt sorry for her. I’m amazed she graduated.

“They say I’m dehydrated and have put an I.V. in me.” True. The girl doesn’t eat or drink enough. She believes she’s fat at one hundred twenty-two pounds.

“What else?”

“My neck hurts but they won’t look at it. And I can’t remember if I put a Tampon in this morning. I thought I felt a string when they had me pee in a cup. I think I might’ve have lost it up my va-hoo-ha. I don’t know. Are you coming?” How does one forget they’ve got a stuffing-stick up their vagina? I use the pads. My experience with the stuffing-stick hurt like a be-otch. Don’t use them. Won’t use them if they’re the last thing on earth to use when Mother Nature visits.

“When you’re finished, call me.” I know, I sounded like a mean heartless mother but it’s typical for her to go overboard with every thing. She sneezes one little sneeze and she’s got an automatic cold or some disease I’ve never heard of. One time she thought a mosquito bite had turned into a spot of flesh eating bacteria.

“But mom,I’m having a panic attack.” This is common for her when she believes she’s dying.

I hung up the phone before she could complain about something else.

Against my better judgment, I picked her up from the ER. She drove me nuts with her catatonic babble all the way home about her symptoms.

“My neck,” she said, and gagged, cupping her hand over her mouth. “I feel like I’m going to throw up.” Heard that about a thousand times before I pulled into the drive.

Once I stepped into the house, I said, “Call the chiropractor.”

She did.

The next day she went and found out one of her ribs had popped out of place. Costochondritis. All of her symptoms were conducive to what she’d been feeling. So that problem’s been solved. Though she played it to the hilt to keep from picking up after herself for about six to seven days. She laid in bed a lot. Moaned a lot. Found out she should’ve been moving around a little per the chiropractor.

As of this morning, the missing Tampon is still a mystery. Toxic shock syndrome hasn’t happened yet, although her palms itch when she thinks about it and has been taking her temperature a lot.

How does one forget about something like that? Wouldn’t you feel it?

That’s all for now folks.

Happy blogging, reading, and writing!!!


P.S. Like my hubby says “It’s all fodder for your novels.”

Monday, January 17, 2011

Today’s Schedule

Oh.My.God. Today is my day off. Yup. Monday is my Saturday, and Saturday is my Monday. Weird. I know but it’s a hairdresser’s schedule. Sometimes I wish I could change it but Saturday is the busiest day for hair. Everybody wants to be beautiful for Saturday night partying and Sunday morning pew sitting.

Occasionally, I’ll ask for a Saturday or a Sunday off to attend writing seminars but that’s it. There’s nothing leisure about my weekends so I hold my breath and go with the flow. Really, I’d rather be writing. Editing Secondhand Shoes. Writing and plotting The Boy Next Door. Working on my blog or, creating another one. Trying to finish an article on the economy for a magazine. Need to write my brother’s will. Need to write a resume for a friend that I didn’t even agree to do-she just handed me this envelope on Friday. “Here you go,” she said, “Since you write, you can write my husband’s resume".

Really? Yup. Really. Like I don’t have enough to do.

Today on my day off, the schedule looks like this:

Get out of bed at five A.M. but didn’t. It’s raining outside so I got up at seven.

Walk the dogs in the rain so Sir Poops-A-Lot doesn’t leave warm and wet welcomes upstairs.

Make myself a cup of tea, toast, and some cantaloupe.

Check blog comments, Facebook, Yahoo, Hotmail, Community Writer’s Digest, and Florida Writer’s Network.

Steal a few minutes in my potty room to read a zombie anthology from “Hungry For Your Love”.

Snag a kiss from my hubby before he walks out the door for the day.

Write my blog. Doing that now at eight thirty-seven A.M. Boy! I’m already behind.

Do my twenty minute workout with Jillian Michaels via DVD.

Get my shower. Probably scrub it while I’m in there.

Get dressed.

Eat something.

Work on chapter fourteen to “The Boy Next Door”.

Scrub down my kitchen.

Edit someone else's chapter.

Scrub the downstairs bathroom.

Take my daughter to the doctor at four today.

Put together a questionnaire for my brother about his will.

Make dinner.

Clean up.

Write some more.

In between all this ‘To Do Stuff’ take Sir Poops-A-Lot out as many times as I can.

Overwhelmed yet? I am. What do your schedule’s look like? Are you overwhelmed with your “To Do List”?

Happy blogging, reading, and writing!!!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

E-Publishing Workshop

Yesterday, I attended a workshop on e-publishing, presented by Jim Swain.


He recently e-published four of his books.


The seminar left me filled with excitement. I could hardly wait to go home and tell my hubby all about it. It’s one of those prove-you-wrong-moments. Yup. My hubby wants to sleep with a famous author, preferably me. Men are depraved souls.

Over a dinner at Chili’s he actually paid attention when I told him that many NYC best selling authors, not just Jim Swain, have left the old world of publishing for many reasons. But I made sure I highlighted the areas where I knew his pockets would listen. Thank God for the experts. Needed this seminar to prove my point. It worked.

Mr. Swain explained that publishers are now paying three to five thousand dollars in advances. Not to mention, after the book is published and put up for sale, you the author will be making only fifteen percent off royalties. That sucks.

With digital publishing, you get to keep your rights as long as you don’t sign a contract with a publisher. Amazon and Barnes –n-Nobles pay sixty-five to seventy-five percent. What a deal!

There’s more to this seminar but I won’t divulge the rest, the ins and outs, and the how to’s of e-publishing. What you’ll learn is invaluable and worth the small cost. It’s the best money I’ve spent all year. So, get yourselves to this seminar. It’ll save you from a lot of headaches and scams. Yup. Scams. He covers those, too.

Jim Swain will be giving seminars at the following:

West Broward Regional Library, in Broward County, Saturday, January 29th, from 1:00 –4:00. To make reservations, call Tara Zimmerman @ 954-357-7386. The cost: $125.00 per person.

Murder on the Beach, in Delray, Florida, Saturday, February 19th, from 1:00 – 4:00. To make reservations call the store @ 561-279-7790. The cost: $125.00 per person.

Before I finish, I wanted to make note of two writers’ blog sites I follow, Norma Bishir and William Kendall. These two know what they’re doing when it comes to marketing their novels. My favorite pages are their character blogs. Great idea!

You can follow Norma @…

And you can follow William @

These two are my heroes on how to market yourself.

That’s all for now folks.

Happy blogging, reading, and writing!!!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Fictional Children Thinking The Plot Evolves Around Them

After I sent off, “Secondhand Shoes”, I plotted another story. Did my outline. Made character sheets of their personality with a little bit of their past and current history. I even made up their facial features, hair, and eye color.

Frankie and Luis are the two main characters in my next novel project. They are both eight years old now.

Originally, Frankie was supposed to be around fifteen but Luis insisted that she be his age because he didn’t trust anyone older than himself. You see, abuse entered his life at an early age by the hands of his mother’s boyfriend. This same guy killed his mother leaving him in the hands of Child Welfare Services. Poor thing went from foster home to foster home and bonded with no one, especially adults.

Needless to say, this little boy pitched a royal fit with me. Okay. So Frankie is now eight with her own set of problems.

Into chapter thirteen or so (they were beautiful chapters, too), Luis changed some things around on me. He invited four angels into the story along with four demons. According to him, there’s a fight going on for his soul on the ghost plane. That’s why he befriended Frankie. He needed to bond with a human and help them before God allows him into heaven.

And the little monkey bugged me about it while washing dishes one afternoon. Why do children pester adults when they’re busy? OMG.

Not only did this happen, but Frankie and Luis engaged in a fit over who was going to be the main character. OMG. To time out they both went for two days. I refused to look at them until I came up with a fair solution. They are both main characters now. They each have complex issues, and the story evolves around them each. Amazing. Sounds like real life children. The world evolves around them in real life so they think. Didn’t know I’d have the same problems with fictional children. Thought I’d be in the control seat here. Guess not.

Do any of your stories get knocked off track by any of your characters? Do you take their advice? Or do fight against their wishes?

Happy reading, blogging, and writing!!


Friday, January 14, 2011

Be a Better Blogger: A Tongue Twister

Thought I’d have fun and make up a tongue twister for ya’ll.

Blog to be a better blogger

Blog everyday to be a better blogger

If you don’t blog everyday to be a better blogger

You’ll be a bad blogger

Repeat this three times standing on your head, hold your tongue, and see what happens. Let me know, okay.

Happy reading, blogging, and writing!!!!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Potty Room

My favorite place in the house sits about three feet from where I do my writing in the morning room. My hubby refers to it as the kitchen(the morning room that is). I suppose we could call it that but the kitchen is separated from this room by a wall. But whatever. If it makes him happy to call it the kitchen, okay then, we’ll call it the kitchen.

But this blog is not about my kitchen. It’s about my bathroom. My downstairs potty room fully equipped with a toilet a/k/a white throne, a sink (one of those fancy deep bowl ones), and a mirror.

Tranquil colors of blue and beige adorn the walls and floor. Seashell d├ęcor hangs above and to the side of the toity. There’s even a vanilla scented candle on the back of the tank.

It’s wonderful when I close the door and take my place on the throne. It’s the perfect get-a-way. I’ve got to go pee is the perfect excuse to hide from everyone.

I read. I write. I edit. Sometimes for hours.

“Honey. You okay in there?”

I make sure I flush before I say, “Yeah. Just have a stomach ache.” Not really, I lied. This is my place of peace in the whole house when I need to focus on a project when No-No and my hubby are home.

Thank God for my potty room. It’s the best little place in town.

Do any of you have a place in your house that you like to retreat to?

Excuse me please. I need to go pee now.

Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Challenge Day 15: Life’s Lessons

Wow! It’s day fifteen of my challenge to write a blog everyday in fifteen minutes. It wasn’t as hard as I thought. The hard part was paring it down to fifty words. I’m a wordy person even in conversation.

But, that’s not the point of this blog. Hopefully, this one won’t be lengthy I’ve got other writing to attend to and a phone conference with my editor some time today. It’s one of those be ready when she calls deals, drop-what-you’re-doing-at-that moment-kind-of-thing.

Okay. Enough of that.

This morning I woke up at eight A.M. Its not like me to sleep this late, I’m usually up by five A.M. But it’s freezing in the Sunshine State today. Tomorrow could be a different story. Even Sir-Poops-A-Lot stayed in bed all night. No warm welcomes from him, thank the potty-gods.

About the time I meandered down the stairs to the kitchen, my phone rang. Right away I’m thinking its work calling me to come in on my day off (happens a lot since I’m a shift manager). But no, its Tinkerbelle slash Esmeralda, daughter number four. She’s got two personalities. I swear. Good and Evil.

“Mom,”  she said, after mumbles something. She’s known for this. Ghetto language. I know, I raised her to speak proper.

“Yeah, what’s up?” I ask.

“Do you think you can slip me a twenty every week?” she asks loud and clear. No mumbling here. “You know, dad won’t.” Yup. That’s true dad won’t because she’s used us like a yo-yo ever since she turned thirteen, shuffling from my house to his, looking to do things her way. He’s fet-up and makes no bones about it.

I hold my breath for a few seconds, rolled my eyes, and said, “You need to get a job.”  You see, she left her dad’s house about three weeks ago and left mine this past summer. She’s not one to follow the rules, only hers, no other. In February, she’ll be eighteen. Thank God and the Universe. Party, party everywhere. There’s no way this mom will be suffering from empty-nest syndrome.

“How am I going to do that and finish high school and beauty school? I’m in school from 8 am to 6 pm.” Yup. This is true. She made the decision to do things the adult way without having her ducks in a row. No driver’s license. No car. No job. Living like a gypsy from friend’s house to friend’s house. What a life. Huh?

“Find a place that will hire you for the weekends,” I said.

The phone goes silent at her end for about thirty seconds. She catches her breath, and mutters something. Who knows what she’s saying. Sometimes I think I need a dictionary to figure out the incoherent babbles of this child. Seriously, the child didn’t pick up good diction or articulation from me. Annoying.

“Mom,” she said, articulating the name I will sometimes answer to. “Do you think you can throw me a twenty. The people I’m staying with are having money problems.” The people she stays with can afford the luxury of smoking and drinking. Hmmm. Wonder what else they put their monies toward. Maybe they should stop smoking and drinking.

“Seriously, get a job,” I said.

“Mom!” Wow. She said that word with no problem. She articulates ‘MOM’ well.

“What?” I ask, hoping she’ll terminate the call.

“Will you?”

“Look. Let’s say this. I won’t let you starve to death. Okay.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Her tone heated up.

“Just that. I’ll send you a gift card to Publix.”

“Mom.” She rambles a string of something my ears can’t pick up and then….


Another lesson to be learned in the life of a young adult. Life’s a BE-OTCH. Get used to it. And God, help them learn what they need to learn.

Yup. Another drama filled-day in the life of Shelly Arkon, a novice writer. Like my hubby says, “It’s all fodder for your upcoming novels.”

Happy reading, writing, and blogging!!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Challenge Day 14: A Post-It Note Diddy

One upon a time, too many times

So many happy beginnings

Always a sad ending

In 1998, I wrote this when hubby number two left me for Ms. Big-Boobs. Wrote it on a Post-It note and stuck it in an old journal. Found it this morning rummaging through stuff to toss.

Happy reading, blogging, and writing!!!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Challenge Day 13: A Ghost Story

Sir Poops-A-Lot did it again, another warm greeting in the middle of the night (the hubby found it).The temps in Florida dropped again(like I’ve got control over that). The poor pooch honestly believes I control the weather. Poor thing. But, my hubby didn’t fall for his plight and went ballistic in the middle of the night. A lot of stomping went on and few f-bombs dropped out of my little sweetman’s mouth.

As I write this at six twenty-three am, Sir Poops-A-Lot is hunkered down head first at the back of his house. His blankies are all snugged around him and he hasn’t even acknowledged my presence. He’s definitely in the dog house.

But, that’s not the point of this blog. It’s about the ghost I used to live with.

In 2000, my daughter’s and I were charmed by a man to relocate to a whole different city. He wanted me to marry him. That was not my plan. Instead, I bought a house with him and we lived in sin.

This guy searched and searched for us a house. None of the ones he chose impressed me. They were houses in foreclosure. I preferred the nice new ones but not him. He pushed for the foreclosures and won.

One of the foreclosed homes won the heart of my pocketbook.

Before we bought it, we did the walk through. From the beginning, I sensed another presence. A shadow lingered in the living and dining room area. That part of the house made your hair stand on end and chilled your bones. At the corners of each window, sat a taped Catholic Saint. Don’t know which saint but definitely Catholic. Well, I peeled them off.

My No-No felt it, too. “Mom, its creepy here.”

After we moved in, strange things happened. The phone would ring a lot. When any of us answered it, static filled the line. Our television would turn off and on through out the day by itself. My one cat acted like she’d be carrying on one of her cat-conversations with someone no one else saw. Sometimes cold chills would pass through me and a shadow would appear.

At night, one could hear wall tapping and closet doors open and close.

Some time after these first few events, my daughter No-No saw several transparent figures. Twins and an old man. They’d visit her often. They visited my dreams. We’d have picnics together. Not only did they visit my dreams but some how they spoke to my insides. Weird. Very Weird.

During all of this, I’d discovered that I ended up with a Mr. Wrong. Work was a foreign word to him and he helped himself to my checking and savings(almost lost everything because of him). Not to mention, he bullied my daughters while I was at work.

Things that belonged to him came up missing a lot. Not really. more like lost or moved to other places. The ghost didn’t like him.

Some where in the middle of all this house and jerk drama, I visited a psychic. I learned that the ghost in my house was an old man who died there(confirmed through court papers and real estate agent) and that he really enjoyed the girls being there. The twins were from the turn of the century and enjoyed my daughters as well. But the old man was in charge of everything. He still owned the house in his mind and he didn’t like the jerk. He wanted him out of his house.

One night, I believe it was a Monday night, we were all sitting around the dining room table having a family meeting. Well, the jerk could never get through one of these meetings without slamming his hand down on the table(it wasn’t long after that, I kicked him out). Family meetings were always peaceful before he happened along.

Anyway, the last night jerk slammed his hand down onto the table, a bunch of candlesticks flew off my wall and pummeled his head. Every one went quiet for a moment,and then gasps came out of each girls. All their eyes went saucer big. Me, I giggled.

“Who did this?” Jerk yelled. “Which one of you did this?”

The girls didn’t respond but I did. “Grandpa-ghost.”

“What are you talking about?”

“The old man that died in this house doesn’t care for how you treat us. He doesn’t like you and neither do I. He and I would like you to leave,” I said.

Not long after, the jerk left for good. Grandpa-ghost did everything he knew to make sure of that.

Anybody else have a ghost story to tell?

Happy reading, blogging, and writing!!!


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Challenge Day 12: Dreams: Problem Solving and Psychic

Often, I use dreams in my writing. I believe our dreams have something to say to us. Whether it’s a tool our mind uses to help us solve tough issues in our lives or whether its angels whispering to us in our sleep about something that’s going to happen, to be careful. I’ve had both.

Lately, I’ve been dreaming about flesh-eating zombies. Either I’m with a group of people trying to build a protective passage to the outside while these monsters try to get at us, or I’m in an unprotected house with strangers, and the windows keep falling out while zombies come out to play their usual game, find humans and eat them.

In the later dream, I’m trying to sleep but an unexpected breeze blows on me because a window falls out of its structure. I’ll get up and peek out a sheet covered hole to find zombies crowding around the house. I hold my breath hoping they won’t hear me, and I run to the next room but not before I notice the front door to the house. It’s one big see-through window for these things to stare inside at me.

When I run into the next room, its full of normal people, sleeping. Yup. Sleeping. The sheet covered windows have fallen out, wind is blowing, zombies are right at the windows, and I freak out.

I yell, “Zombies!”

And the fat guy in the only bed in the room... yup… big juicy, fat guy says, “Don’t worry. Go back to bed.”

At this point, I wake up thank goodness. That dream is probably a problem I’m trying to work out.

Okay. On to psychic dreams. Yes. I have those, too.

One night I dreamt, I was standing in a social service office. No-No stood in front of me in front of a desk.

“Mom, I know a secret,” she said.

“You do,” I said.

“Yeah.” She stepped away from the desk.

My oldest daughter, D-Dell, stood leaning against the desk. A pregnant belly protruded out from her, and the rest of her looked malnourished, skin and bones.

That woke me up fast. My nineteen year old was pregnant and all four of her sisters were keeping it a secret. It’s been seven years since that dream along with all the problems that surrounded my unwed and pregnant daughter. Schwoo…glad that’s over.

I dream in color, too. Can’t wait for Hi-Def-dream-vision. Bet the zombies will look real cool in my sleeping world then.

Anyway, enough of that. I’ll leave you with some questions to ponder.

Dreams affect my writing. They give me ideas and I often use dreams I’ve dreamt in my stories. Do any of you use your dreams in your writing? Do you remember your dreams and write them down? Do any of you have psychic dreams?

That’s all for now folks.

Happy reading, blogging, and writing!!!


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Challenge Day 12: Who’s Lila in Secondhand Shoes

When I got up this morning, I ran to my computer first thing. Plugged it in and popped on the on button. A black screen. Nothing for a half hour. Panic set inside me. My whole morning routine went out the window.

But that’s not the point of this blog.

People ask me who is Lila in your real life? Usually, I’ll just grin.

The main character in, “Secondhand Shoes”, is me. The other me. The girl who figured out what to do in seven days after she married a creep. It didn’t take her three kids and nine years later to figure it out. For Lila, it took a stop at the diner when her mother and a crowd of people weren’t around to cloud her intuition any longer.

She learned early on to listen to her gut so to speak. She didn’t need a shrink to tell her ‘trust yourself’. Unfortunately, she had to go through struggles, obstacles, and battles to accomplish what she wanted. We all do.

For some of us it takes a lifetime to figure it out. For others its automatic. I see this in my younger clientele. Some know right away what they are going to do after high school and others float around not knowing.

At forty-five, I’ve learned to listen to my gut, pay attention to my dreams, and listen to my inner voice. Psychic? Possibly. That could be another blog. Do I see dead people?…Nah….wouldn’t want to.  Have I experienced ghosts? Yup. That could be another blog as well.

Signing out for now.

Happy reading, blogging, and writing!


Friday, January 7, 2011

Challenge Day 11: A Void Brain

Have you ever woke up in the morning and your mind is a total blank? That’s me this morning. My mind is void. Oh, no!!!! I don’t even remember what I dreamed last night. This is impossible. I always dream. That’s my best writing prompt. A void mind is a writer’s worst nightmare.

Maybe it’s information overload. There’s too much stuff that needs to be waded through. Garbage. Worries. Emotional baggage. Work. Kids.Dr. Wakefield’s a fraud (maybe…could be a conspiracy).Heard that last night on Anderson Cooper. Cute little birds falling out of the sky, dead. Bloated fish surfacing on top the waters(what’s the military experimenting with?). Remember the mini-series, “Flash Forward”? Are we all going to go into a deep sleep and wake-up with psychic abilities to see the future?

Maybe it’s the bowl of organic skim milk and Grape Nuts I ate before bed last night. It’s constipated my brains and loosened my bowels(like you all needed to know that one). Maybe I’m in the mood to ramble useless babble this morning. I’m on a roll now but the dogs will be waking soon wanting to go for their morning walk. That’s why I need a mini-recorder. Need to put that on my list next to the pen holder, bread machine, turkey carving knife.…

Or maybe it’s the six chem trails outside my kitchen window this morning interfering with my brain waves. They say it can make you sluggish. OMG. This is miserable.

How’s everybody else doing? Is your brain a void this morning? This afternoon? This evening?


P.S. I’m in total distress, guys.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Challenge Day 10: Posting the Trilogy Contest

Yup. Up early again. Won’t state the time. Dreaming again when the alarm and thunder-boomers woke me. Not zombies, but about a fashion show and a dead tennis player. Weird. I know. Maybe the cantelope I ate before bed didn’t digest right.

Anyway, I reposted Tess’s, Marie’s, and Rachel’s contest-thingie. This was the easiest post idea to come up with so far. Five more days to go, and I’ve learned it’s not a hard thing to do. You know, they say it takes twenty-one days to make something a habit.

Okay. Enough of that. The point of this blog is below.


Something is here… Trilogy contest!

January 4th, 2011

2010 was quite the year for us…

We started blogging

We made character sketches

We attended WriteOnCon (*waves to other attendees*)

We outlined (or not)

We found each other as critique partners

We met a whole lot of awesome people (*waves to you*)

We wrote and wrote and wrote

We ripped our WIPs to shreds and glued them back together

We blogged more
And we wrote

And we plotted!

You’ve all seen our teasers, the something that’s coming from far away to shake up the blogosphere. Now, at long last, something is here. Something x 3.

We’re happy, excited, and thrilled to announce our Trilogy Contest. Your chance to win one of a gigantic stack of amazingly awesome prizes.

And here they are*:

3 x query or synopsis (max. 2 pages) critiques (winner’s choice)
3 x first 300 words critiques
3 x first 3 pages critiques
3 x first 30 pages critiques

*For the picture book writers, Rach will convert any of the above prizes into a picture book critique! And if you win a 30 page critique, she’ll critique 3 of your picture book WIPs instead!!!

Rather have a book? We’ve thought about that too! If more than 50 people enter the Trilogy Contest, we’ll share some of our favorites/dying to reads.

So Rach will give away a copy of… Across The Universe
Tessa will give away a copy of… Unearthly
And I will give away a copy of… The Mockingbirds

To enter, you need to be a follower of each of Rach, Tessa’s, and my blogs via Google Friend Connect (or Networked Blogs). You’ll also need to fill out this form.

The Trilogy Contest will end on January 31 and winners will be randomly drawn and announced the following week (only one prize per person).

We’ll be giving extra entries to those who blog, tweet, or otherwise spread the word about the Contest. Just copy your links into the original form up above. (Of course, you can pop back anytime and fill out this bonus form to add extra points for additional blogs/tweets etc. But only after you filled in the original form, just so our heads won’t ‘splode with all the extra maths ;) )

‘Cause you guys rock, there’ll be an additional +10 entries for everyone who’s a follower of all our blogs before January 11, so get in quick and follow along if you haven’t already. And spread the word so your friends can have a chance as well.

Bet you thought we were finished. Well, we’re not!!! We’re throwing in a special bonus. For each of us that gets to 300 followers, we’ll donate a $30 Amazon gift card to a random contest entrant who is also a follower of our blog.

Is that fantastic or what! You may have noticed a little Trilogy theme here, more on that later…

For now, let the fun begin!!

Tags: something is coming, trilogy, would you like some tea?

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 at 10:19 am and is filed under something is coming, trilogy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Challenge Day 10: Inspiration Through Fiction Characters

Hooray! Hooray! I’m off today. Slept in, too, until six forty-five am. Something I don’t normally do. Most times, I ‘m like the Ever Ready Bunny. I keep going and going. The constant character babble never shuts up and my dreams are vividly wild. Zombies. And, I don’t even read or write about them. But, I did promise Stacey Graham I’d read her book “Hungry for Your Love”, a zombie romance, and write a review on it.

Okay. Enough of that. The point of this blog has nothing to do with the above paragraph.

Yesterday, I was thinking…oh-oh…Shelly’s thinking. And thinking deep, too. Showers do that to me, get me thinking in a philosophical and spiritual way.

In “Secondhand Shoes”, Lila is surrounded by three older women. Her mother, her mother-in-law, and her Gram.

Lila’s mother is controlling and down right abusive, concerned with how the outside world perceives her. She’s also what church people call a fence sitter. Holidays and Sundays are only for God in her world.Cussing isn’t beneath her and anyone that believes anything outside her realm is crazy. In her world, cosmic anything doesn’t exist.

Her mother-in-law appears over zealous in her beliefs. At least, that’s what she wants everyone to believe. She prays in public and speaks in tongues. Blurts out “Praise the Lord” and “Sweet Jesus”. But, behind all those mutterings lies something dark and sinister. She’s not the devout Christian lady she leads everyone to believe. She and her son, Max, have a secret family business and wants to welcome Lila into it or else.

On the other hand, there’s her Gram. She’s herself and doesn’t care what anyone thinks, dead or alive. In her living life, she practiced tea leaf reading, Tarot, and believed in God. Throughout the novel, she tells Lila to pay attention to her dreams, her own intuition, and to pray often.

Even though Gram is a ghost, she’s solid enough for Lila to draw strength and insight from throughout her seven day nightmare-journey to save and find herself.

And in writing “Secondhand Shoes”, my hope is for every young woman to think for themselves and to follow their hearts. Today, I see so many that don’t, including some of my own daughters.

So, I pose this question. When you create your characters, what do wish your readers to draw from them?

Happy reading, blogging, and writing!!!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Challenge Day 9: Five Reasons That Keep Me Writing

Today I thought I’d write about what keeps me writing. There’s really really more than five but I’ll keep it short and sweet. There are millions of projects sitting on burners to get to this morning, of course. Plus, I need to putz around this morning and write chapter twelve to “The Boy Next Door”. The characters have called another conference and I need to show up.

Ready or not, here are those five reasons, and not necessarily in the correct order. It’s five am.

1. I ‘m addicted to storytelling. Always have been. Ate lots of soap when I was a kid. An overactive imagination didn’t cut it with mom. Writing is a way of keeping myself from becoming a pathological liar. Good thing I opted for the pen and not the political world. Writing keeps me honest.

2. I ‘m also addicted to books, pens, papers, keyboards, English and Grammar classes, book clubs, libraries, and book stores. It’s pheromonic(did I make up my own word?) when their scents reach my nose. The lust and desire to write is uncontrollable. It burns my soul.

3. The voices in my head refuse to shut up. There’s so many of them that want their stories told. Maybe I’m delusional with Multiple Personality Disorder  with a little schizophrenia. Hmmm. Anything is possible.

4. I get bored easy. The television. The radio. Housework. It’s boring. I have to write to entertain myself. The drama in my characters’ lives is more exciting and the best part is I get to control it without hurting anybody. Well, sometimes without hurting anybody. Sometimes I have to kill someone off. Oops.

5. Not only do I get to entertain myself,  but I get to entertain others without being on center stage.

Now that I’ve shared my reasons, what are yours?

Happy blogging, writing, and reading ya’ll!!!


Okay. Being nudged by the sixth reason(told you guys there were more). One day I’ll excuse myself politely from the corporate world to write all day in my jammies. Can’t wait!!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Challenge Day 8: Me

This will be short, short blog today. Right now it’s twelve minutes after five in the morning. My favorite time to write but I have to be to work by eight. Have to open the salon. How dare the corporate hounds intrude on my time of writing and putzing? They usually do, and I should be used to it by now.

Okay. Enough of that. On with the point of my blog today which is about me rather what I look like.

Twenty years ago people said I resembled the person below:


The above picture is Olivia Newton-John not Shelly Arkon.

About two years ago old men would follow me around the grocery store, bump their carts into me or get my attention by dropping cans to tell me that I looked like the person below.


Sarah Palin. Wow! That’s a big jump from Olivia.

Today, I’m still told I look like Mrs. Palin. Well, I do have five children and a husband to feed. Okay. I exaggerated that line. Currently, I have one daughter at home. My husband owns his business, and I have Sir-Poops-A-Lot and Honey Bear to feed.But, I’m not prone to political lies although I’m known to make a fool out of myself. So that would make me an honest fool. Honesty is the best policy. Something no politician holds true to.

Okay. Enough of that.

My husband says I look more like the picture below and best describes who I am.


Yup. A cross between Mrs. Palin and Wonder Woman. I work forty hour weeks, cook, clean, run errands, blog, workout, and write. And yes, I discuss politics. Think it’s all a bunch of BS, and believe the aliens sent Mrs. Palin to distract old men,  and even the young ones. If you think about it, she did come out of nowhere. It’s a shame that I’m being used as one of her decoys. Sneaky damn aliens.

Anyway, this ends my blog for today.

Happy writing!!!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Challenge Day 7: My Hubby’s Pet Fluffy


My hubby bugged me about writing a post about him. Seriously, he did. Mentioning him in some of my posts isn’t enough for him. He wants a whole blog dedicated to him. Wish I had a picture of him to post(still need to figure out that digital camera).

Since I don’t have a picture. I borrowed the one below from the web. It describes him best.


Isn’t he cute.

Okay. Enough of that. I wanted to write about his pet, Fluffy.

Fluffy is round and harry. Soft and spoiled, too. This animal loves to be rubbed and eat. It’s got the appetite of locust going through a corn field.

His pet is one of the biggest snackers I know. In fact, my hubby stores a cupboard full of food items that Fluffy will only eat(not for No-No snacks). Twizzlers. Pretzels. Sweet Kettle Popcorn. Chips. Chinese rice crackers. Kit Kat Bars.

There’s even a special place in the freezer for his pet’s food. Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. Haagan Das Chocolate ice cream. Ice cream sandwiches. Hope I didn’t forget anything.

Where ever my hubby goes, Fluffy goes. They’re inseparable. They go to work together. They watch T.V. together. They eat together. And, it’s the only animal in the house that’s allowed in bed with us even though it growls sometimes through out the night. My hubby says its better than having Honey Bear or Sir-Poops-A-Lot a/k/a Baby in bed because his pet doesn’t squirm and itch himself all night. Whatever.

I borrowed another picture from the web that best describes what his pet looks like.


Yup. That’s my hubby’s pet, Fluffy.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Challenge Day Six: The Survivor


My husband and I relaxed for the most part. Today we went to Panera. I ate a bowl of bean soup. He ate a bowl of potato soup. We did some window shopping for kitchen rugs. Ross, Marshall’s, and Target. And yes, I did go home with a kitchen rug because my hubby didn’t like my make-shift-towel rug where I stand to do the dishes. Maybe I should cut holes in some of my clothes and parade them in public.

Before we finished our outing we went to visit my hubby’s mom. She stays in a nursing home. Neither of us like going. Not because its out of our way but because it’s a possible reflection of our future.

It also hurts to see his mom live the rest of her days helpless.

Today we found her lying on her bed in fetal position. She reminded me of a newborn baby. When my hubby grabbed her blue, twisted fingers, she responded with a small tug. The stare in her brown eyes showed dead-pan. Nothing indicated she remembered my hubby.

Ten years ago she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Today she’s ninety-three and we don’t know why she keeps on ticking. My husband says somewhere inside is the will to live. She’s been like that all her life.

You see, she’s a Holocaust survivor. Born to Polish-Jews in 1918. She lost her parents and four of her siblings in the camps, and carried that pain with her through life.


My husband tells me she did whatever she could to survive those camps. Her only way of escape was to marry an older German man. The ticket to meeting her true love, my hubby’s dad. A man from the Mossad in Israel.

Eventually, she divorced the German and married my father-in-law. They lived in Israel until my husband turned seven years old.

In America, she owned her own antique business, kept her house, cooked, did laundry, and mothered her two children.

That’s about all I know. My hubby doesn’t remember everything.  But, he remembers her feistiness and how she loved her family. Wished I could have met her before Alzheimer’s took over. Her whole story would have been an honor to write.