Monday, October 5, 2015

I Do Love A Man In A Suit!

You know how they say a suit is to women what lingerie to is men?

You won’t get an argument out of me!
After all, my husband walks out our door in one every work day morning. After twenty-five years, it still works for me.

And then there's the tv show, Suits. Which I love!

Mr. Darcy. Obviously. 

Random guy in field with dog.

If I were to caption this? Good job, boy. I think we've found the dump site.

What about you? What about your favorite hero? What would he leave the house in: Three Piece Suit, Head to Toe Leather, Uniform all the Way, or Cape and Spandex, Baby?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Writer Fuel - Savory Chili

Well, the weather is beginning to cool, and I'm up to my underoos in alligators with writing.  What's a girl to do?  Make chili.  It's quick.  It's easy.  And there are always leftovers, which saves me from having to cook another night.  Or when I'm deep in the trenches, I can tell Hubs to forage and he'll heat some leftovers for himself.

Now, my chili isn't spicy.  It's savory.  And oh, so good.  But that's my opinion.  Here's the recipe.  If you try it, let me know.

Savory Chili

1 lb 90% lean ground beef
1 can pinto beans
1 can dark read kidney beans
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can tomato soup
1/3 packet chili seasoning (McCormicks or Walmart or whatever)
1 beef bouillon cube
2 T dried onion flakes
onion powder, salt, pepper, chili powder to taste.

Brown ground beef (using a little salt and pepper to make the burger yummy).  While it's browning, get out the crock pot.  Open all the cans and dump them into the crock pot.  Turn the crock pot on high and stir.  Add in the chili seasoning packet stuff. Stir.  When the beef is done, dump it into the crock pot.  Stir.  Add in the bouillon cube and the onion flakes.  Stir.  Add other seasonings to your taste.  Stir.  Put the lid on and forget about it for a while - stirring when you happen to think about it.  Taste it once it gets hot and add more seasonings if you like. Should take about 4 hours. Serve hot with crackers or corn chips or cheese.  Refrigerate or freeze the leftovers.  I usually have enough for two meals for two, or a dinner and a couple lunches.  =o)


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Don’t be afraid to be a fan

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I emailed a writer I’d seen speak at a writing conference to tell her how much I’d enjoyed her presentation. Thankfully that writer wrote back, we met at a local diner, and an amazing friendship was born.

Why am I sharing this?

Because without her, there would be no Hitwoman books.

She was the person who, while we sat in a cafe, cared enough to tell  me I should write using “that voice” (my snarky one) instead of writing the dark stuff I was working on at the time.

That one sentence changed the path of my writing, even my life, and I’ll be forever indebted to her for caring enough to utter a truth I may not have even wanted to hear.

And to think, if I hadn’t reached out to her after the conference, we never would have met.

I learned this lesson about not being afraid to tell someone you like their work about twenty years ago, from someone who is now one of my best friends.

We were both taking a Creative Writing class for adults at a high school. She ran after me across a dark parking lot (we still joke about the fact she’s lucky I didn’t do her physical harm in the name of protecting myself) to tell me how much she’d enjoyed the sample of my work I’d read aloud.

Now that I know her, I love her dearly, but back then I wouldn’t have spoken to her if she hadn’t approached me first. She’s a beautiful, open, gregarious, charming Southern woman. Basically my complete opposite, lol, and yet we became the best of friends. In some ways, we’re even more unlike each other twenty years later (she doesn't even write anymore!) but our friendship remains.

I became friends with a playwright because I admired his work.  We both got different things out of our friendship and I firmly believe that it was through him that I learned how to write "funny". We've since drifted apart, but I'm so glad that I told him what a fan I was. The rewards were amazing.

When I think about it, I don’t have a heck of a lot in common with most of my closest friends.  We don’t live the same kinds of backgrounds or lives. We don’t share many interests or belief systems.  What we do share is a common “fandom”. We think there’s something amazing about each other.

That’s why, when I see or meet someone I think is exceptional, I try to tell them so. Sure I probably come across as a wee bit stalker-ish, but I know that the best way to connect with someone special is to start the conversation.

Tell me Killer Friends: Do you have any friends that you were once a fan of?

In case you missed it, MUST LOVE PETS 2, which contains A WOOF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING is now available. 
7 stories for 99 cents...perfect for gifting to someone who could use a pick-me-up.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Where Has September Gone

So far September has been a month of settling back into routine. I've been making the rounds talking about my newest romantic suspense EXPOSED. It means long pants and new boots. Never miss a reason to buy new footwear! 

There are leaves to be raked. It means less grilling and stocking the freezer with chili and cabbage rolls and soup. I love making soup. My mom is coming over Friday to supervise the making of the cabbage rolls...

It means the return to a regular writing schedule. To that end, my writing group has began a month long writing challenge. We post goals, inspiration, and results on our private Facebook page. Everyday the one in charge has been posting Pixar's Rules of Storytelling. 

The characters of BETRAYED are taking shape. The plot is advancing. I'm thinking goals, motivations, conflicts. 

Sneak Peek:
          “Is there somewhere we can sit and talk?” Hillary Alton Davenport, cut throat criminal lawyer, asked with a tone that implied he’d managed to disappoint her yet again.
Mike glanced at Elizabeth, who was barely recognizable. Her softness replaced with blood red lipstick and a dress that had corporate office woven into the fabric. Gone were the dangling earrings and loose skirts. Gone was the girl both brothers had fallen in love with in high school, the woman he’d sacrificed everything for.
His stomach rolled.
“Sit. Please.” He escorted them to the couch and secreted a deep breath. Then he adopted the pretence of waiting. There was no rushing her. She’d let them all stew until she was ready. It amused her. The power she welded.
So he gave her a moment, and took one for himself.

What does September mean for you?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Death Row

A couple days ago, I watched a show detailing the last 24 hours of a death row inmate. (Not any specific one. Just in general.)  I found it fascinating.  Naturally.

Did you know that the viewing rooms aren't like on TV?  They're not a gallery with theater seating. There's no seating at all. Everyone stands.

There really are phones inside the execution chamber, though.  Two of them, in fact.  One is a line to the governor's office.  The other is a line to the attorney general.  Either one can halt the execution.  Sometimes, though, it might only be halted for an hour or a day.  To me, that would be kind of cruel.  Waiting is bad enough.  Waiting to find out when you'll die?

Last meals are an interesting thing.  Typically, the condemned is allowed to request one last meal of his or her choice.  They went through a short list of who ate what, but I don't remember it now.  One famous serial killer asked for and received two tubs of mint-chocolate chip ice cream.  One - Ted Bundy, I think - had eggs and hashbrowns and coffee.  One wanted cheeseburgers and fries.  Another one asked for 4 BLT sandwiches.  That last one tried to circumvent the process of execution by taking his own life the night before.  He took a bunch of tranquilizers he'd 'tongued' (hidden under his tongue and then spit out after the guards left and hoarded).  They pumped his stomach and his execution was rescheduled.  The chef ate his BLTs.

Texas has ceased to give their death row inmates a choice of what to eat as their final meal.  They get whatever the general populace is eating that day.  That makes sense.  The victims didn't get a fancy dinner and a whole lot of hoopla before they were executed.  :shrug:  

I think if it was me, and I had a choice of how I was executed - and I guess some of them do get to choose - I'd pick death by guillotine.  It's quick and it's certain.  One executioner they interviewed said he'd prefer the electric chair because it's quicker than lethal injection. 

If I had a choice of last meals, I don't know what I'd eat.  Scallops maybe.  In the end, it doesn't really matter, does it?

What would you chose as a last meal?  What about manner of execution?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How much money do YOU make?

Personally, I've never asked anyone that.

I don't ask my doctor, or my garbage collector, or my best friend.

I may have wondered, heck, I may have even tried to look up a ballpark figure, but I've never ASKED anyone that question.

As a writer, I get asked that ALL THE TIME. I've been asked it twice already this month.

And I know I'm not alone in the experience because other writers complain about it bitterly too.

I won't speak for others, but on my personal list of IRRITATING THINGS WRITERS HEAR it falls at number 3, behind: "I have an idea for a book, but I just don't have the time to write it" AND "Are you published?"

I did an informal survey about it on Facebook this weekend. (If you're not a FB friend, you should consider becoming one...I'm right here)  I was surprised to learn that some people in other fields have had to deal with same question, but almost all writers had.

Is it a secret?

Is it anybody's business?
Hell no.

I did however like someone's suggestion of just saying, "not enough".
Or maybe I should just bore them to death with the WHOLE answer which includes really boring stuff like production costs, self-employment taxes, being self-insured, and significant work hours.

Tell me Killer Friends: Have you asked that question? Have you been asked? How do you feel about it?

Monday, September 21, 2015

When Reading Gives You The Shivers

The first day of fall is right around the corner. The center of things is shifting. Change is in the air. I love fall, with its pumpkin everything, cozy clothes, and cooler evening walks. Canada geese are honking their way south. My crockpot is dusted off and in use. A new television season is about to start. Hello, Blacklist! I've missed you.

There's a chill in the air. And you know what pairs nicely with this new season. Books about things or someones that go bump in the night. There's nothing like the advent of autumn to remind a person of those possible monsters under the bed or chainsaw wielding madmen. It's the perfect time to read something that makes you shiver.

Get your scare on!

I'll never forget reading The Shining as a teenager. I was a wreck for days. Good times, baby. Or the time, again as a teenager - only this time recently moved away from home and living by myself, when a group of us watched a long ago version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It took sleeping with the lights on and binge reading a Harlequin romance to get me through that night.

The week I read Carrie? Blocked.

These days I save my chills and thrills for romantic suspense, suspense, thrillers - psychological or otherwise, and mysteries.

You can find mention of all those types of books here. Written by present and past bloggers of The Killer Chicks.

What type of stories get your heart racing?