Friday, April 21, 2017

Flashback Friday: Making Friends and Heartache

April 1987:
This month began with a letter from my AF officer, who announced he was being discharged for disorderly conduct, and busted down to Sergeant.  He would contact me when he was back home.

In the meantime, friend Carole introduced me to her friend Laura, who was 21, and we decided to go to a local nightclub one evening.  We had a few drinks and danced, then two boys joined us, and bought us a round.  One of the guys and I hit it off, though L didn't seem interested in his friend.  Bob and I danced more, then I ended up going back to his place with him.  Two weeks later, L and I went to another bar, where a guy bought us each a beer..."Ladies, if nothing else, you have a round on me."  I don't drink beer, so it was pretty much wasted on me, lol!  But at one point, I felt someone was standing behind me, so I turned around and there was Bob!

"Took you long enough to realize I was here..." he teased.

He and I spent some time outside necking, then had a misunderstanding about what was going to happen next.  We ended up separated, and I realized my ID was missing.  Without it, I couldn't get back in the dorm, and ended up waking up my grumpy roommate downstairs to let me in.  The next day, I walked home with a girl in my morning class, since she lived next door to Bob and his housemates, and while he was waking up, ended up playing my first game of darts with one of his housemates.  When Bob came out, he handed me his ID and told me he'd woken up with it under his pillow.  Could we go for a walk?  I said sure.

He confessed to having a girlfriend at IU, and was sorry for leading me on.  I told him not to worry, and told him about my AF officer.  I wasn't looking for anything more than just a good time.  Still, I never saw him again afterward.

In the meantime, S sent me a letter and asked me to come down the last weekend in April.  It happened to coincide with the VU Spring Formal, and I'd been asked to attend by friend D (remember him from Halloween '86?  Yeah....all was forgiven....).  Another girl I'd known from VU was also attending BSU, and when I mentioned I was heading south, she asked if I would take her.  So we found a ride to my house, where I'd already arranged to borrow the car for the weekend.

M and I began to clash about halfway to VU.  I was a firm believer at the time of 'driver picks the music', but she was a born-again Christian and wanted to only play Amy Grant tunes.  Since I also love Amy, we jammed to her tunes the rest of the way, even though I was inwardly fuming, since I wanted to listen to MY mix tape.

Anyway, we arrived; I dropped her off at her friends' house, then discovered I couldn't stay with S, since his grandfather was now living with his mother.  No problem; I stayed in my old dorm room.  When it came time for the dance, however, S still hadn't called, so I dressed and prepared for a night with my dance partner.  However, just as I was about to leave, S called and I did something REALLY stupid:  I went to the lobby, took pics of me and D in our finery, then went back to the room, changed, and went to be with S.

For. One. Hour.

I was pissed.

Here I'd missed a magical night of dancing in order to babysit a drunken ex-AF man in the throes of a huge pity party.

The next day, I went back to find a much happier S, but I still had to go home.  M and I left, she rejoicing about her fun weekend and me keeping my misery to myself.  I thought Dad might let me drive the car back to BSU, but he said no.  He drove us back, and it was an uncomfortable drive back to Muncie.


Next Month:  Fun with my Dad!

**********
Present Day:
The body is trying to catch something, and my voice is sliding into the bass octave.  Don't think there will be any karaoke this weekend.

We've been working diligently in the yard, as the temps have been in the upper 70s, and making progress:)

Friday, April 7, 2017

Flashback Friday: Fun With Family:)

April 1977: 
One sunny but chilly Saturday, my dad and his friend Don Campbell decided to rent a canoe and paddle down Sugar Creek.  Along with Don's wife Cathy, we dropped them off at the canoe rental place, then drove to Turkey Run.  My sister and I played on the playground, hiked some trails, and ate lunch until it was time to meet the men at the red covered bridge.

While we waited for them to arrive, we waded in the water, skipped stones, and wandered across the bridge.  After they arrived, Dad took each one of us for a brief paddle around the area, and we laughed when it was my sister's turn:  She was so light, her end of the canoe was completely out of the water!

This was the Easter year with the hula-hoops.  I remember taking my blue hoop out to the street and rolling it around, all the while trying not to trip in my long lavender dress.  My sister went out into the grass and tried to hula with it....Mom came out to take our pictures and was non to pleased to discover we both had grass stains on our new white shoes, and in my case, around the hem of my dress!

Later that month, my 5th grade class went to the Barnum and Bailey Circus in Indianapolis, which meant getting up early on a Saturday to catch the bus at school.  I don't remember much, other than enjoying myself, but I wasn't sitting with any of my friends, and couldn't get the barker's attention when I wanted a cracker jack.

I realized I left out a Very Important Aspect of 5th grade:  The Sex-Ed talk, which took place sometime during the 2nd semester.

We were separated into two groups, boys and girls.  We girls were shown 'the movie' which talked about menstruation, changes which were about to occur in our bodies, and of course, sex and pregnancy.  I THINK we were even shown a baby being born, which grossed me out, and I swore I would NEVER have kids.

Next Month:  Breaking The Rules

*************
Present Day:
I've been spending this past week with my parents, and Mom and I have cleared bookshelves, put away the remaining Christmas decorations and pulled out the Easter ones.  Had Arni's on Sunday; lamb chops Mon; O'Charley's on Tues; pork chops Wed, and teriyaki pork tenderloin on Thursday.  I go home sometime tomorrow, for Holy Hell Week (LOL!)


Seriously, the choir sings at Palm Sunday service; that same day I have Chrism Mass practice in Evansville, where I'm also picking up copies of Crossroads.  Chrism Mass on Tuesday, then choir singing Holy Thursday, Easter Vigil, and 7:30am Easter morning.  I predict I'll be taking a nap sometime on Easter.

Have a wonderful and blessed Palm Sunday!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

April Reading Lost

How well did I do in March?  
-Buy copies of Hotel, Orion, and Kira (check!)
-Do well at Eagles Craft Fair  Bleh....sold 0.  Hardly anyone showed up.
-Finish Ghost Story  Not yet....
-Buy copies of Crossroads Antho (releasing March 15th!) Not arriving until April 3rd now.
-Start gathering promo for April signing  Check:)
-Lose 5 pounds  No, but haven't gained any either (whew!)
-Finish formatting previously released books (already did 1-4 of AU:)  AU 5-7, check:)  KM's Chosen, check:); WAH, check:)
-Pay cover artist(s)  Nope...
-Watch King's Speech and Le Mis, plus classic TV DVDs  Nope...

April Goals:
-Buy copies of Crossroads Check:)
-Add words to Ghost Story (finished it!  Total WC:  7989!) and Heart Song
-Do well at Vendor Fair on the 15th  Bleh....it was a bust.
-Do well at Author's Fair on the 29th
-Make another payment to cover artist(s)
-Lose 5 lbs
-Finish cleaning up yard
-Start clearing out junk in green house
-Hang pictures/pretties
-Have a good Easter  Check:)

April Reading List:
Print:
History Lessons-Dana Lindaman and Kyle Ward
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Tomb of the Moon-NE Riggs
Friends Forever-Danielle Steele  Good and heartbreaking at the same time.

E-Book:
After Ten-Michele Shriver  DRR!  Wonderful story!!!!
Sliding Home-Amber Skyze  Good:)
Unknown-Lexy Timms  Excellent!  Wanted to smack her mom and sister....
The Promise-J.M. Daviess
The Boss-LT
The Boss Too-LT
Who's The Boss Now-LT
Love Life-LT
Unwilling-K.D. Wood

Karaoke Song List:
Thurs:
Weekend In New England-Barry Manilow Bleh....too low!
Harlem Shuffle-Rolling Stones  Got through it, but (shivers)
We're Not Gonna Take It-Twisted Sister  Best one of the night; a Marine was in attendance, so very fitting, considering we'd just bombed ISIS.

Welcome To The Black Parade-My Chemical Romance
I'll Fall In Love Again-Sammy  Hagar
West End Girls-Pet Shop Boys


We've Only Just Begun-Carpenters
It's Your Call-Reba
What About Love-Heart


Sat:
Mama I'm Coming Home-Ozzy Osbourne Ugh...
Mama Mia-Abba Nailed it!
Man in the Mirror-Michael Jackson  Ugh...too low, and there was a fight going on, so thankfully no one noticed!
Man I Feel Like A Woman-Shania Twain Bleh.
Mandolin Rain-Bruce Hornsby  Good:)  Now to get this and the next two on video.....
Maneater-Hall and Oates  Good:)
Maniac-Michael Sembello  Good:)
Manic Monday-Bangals  Nailed it!
Mary Jane's Last Dance-Tom Petty Slightly low, but nailed it:)
Material Girl-Madonna Again, nailed it!


Me and Bobby McGee-Janis Joplin
Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard-Paul Simon
Meet Me Halfway-Kenny Loggins
Memory-Elaine Page

Metal Health-Quiet Riot
Method of Modern Love-Hall and Oates
Mickey-Toni Basil
Midnight Blue-Lou Graham

Thursday, March 30, 2017

"Who Is This Person?"

Have you ever googled yourself?

Authors do it frequently, in order to see what pops up when a new release occurs.  We're also known to put a Google Alert on our name and title.

When I first picked the pen name 'Molly Daniels', the only time I used the internet was to read and send email, or go to certain websites.  I didn't know how to 'search' for anything; I simply typed in the website provided.

My 1st book was published Dec 31, 2002, and it was maybe six months later I learned anther 'Molly Daniels' was making headlines because she helped her husband fake his own death.  She was based in either Seattle or Texas, and I'm in Indiana, so people who had read about her would jokingly ask me if I was her.  I'd explain my pen name.



ReputationManagement.com reached out to me, in order to pose the above question as a part of their initiative to raise awareness around online presence, so I googled myself for the first time in several months. Remember that if you ever come across a situation that seems like too much to handle alone, there are  crisis management services that can help.  Here are the following results:

1)  I am NOT the Molly Daniels who helped her husband fake his own death.  I live in Indiana, not Texas. (Items 1-3 and 6)  My husband's name is Daniel, not Clay.

2)  I am NOT the actress Molly Daniels  (Item #8) My acting career ended at the 8th grade, lol!

3)  I am NOT Molly Daniels on Twitter (Item #4)  I'm only on Twitter as my alter-ego, Kenzie Michaels

4)  I AM the Molly Daniels on Items #5, 7, and when you click the facebook link, I'm at the top.  I also frequently get confused with Molly S. Daniels, since we are 'friends' and have several friends in common.


When I google Kenzie's name, items #1-2, 5, 9-12 are me.  Not the others.

I stopped putting an alert on 'Kenzie' when the blog hops/review tours ceased.  I was suddenly getting notices for every athlete with that name.

Now I tell newbie writers to google themselves or potential pen names to make sure no one is confused:)  

If you want to see the blog post I did about googling titles, click The Great Title Search of 2014.

Now, my assignment for you is, Google yourself.  Which items are actually YOU?



Friday, March 24, 2017

Flashback Friday: Officially Online!

March 2007:
Remember back in Aug 2006, when I'd worked up the nerve to join the local writer's group, met TD, but two months later had to move?  In late Feb/early March, after things settled down, we had DSL internet installed.  It was wonderful!  After only knowing dial-up, and AOL being my homepage, it was interesting to get used to Yahoo and Google.  One slight hitch:  When my older son set up the email, he put it in 'my' name, but because his dad's name was on the account, I was suddenly getting emails in D's name....unless people already knew it was me!

I still kept my AOL mail, and one day an email from TD popped up, inviting me to join the Indiana Writer's Connection, a chat loop.  I admit, I was leery at first, since I'd seen my 1st chat loop back in 1993, and wondered how people could keep up with the conversation!  But I agreed to give it a try....and suddenly I discovered a whole new world out there.....a world where writers could connect with one another and share information, commiserate, or simply be supportive.  

One of the most valuable pieces of information was how to make a website.  We'd just gotten our tax money, so on the advice of none other than Ms Kelly Kirch, I paid for an entire year's subscription for mollydaniels.citymax.com, and started building my website.

I chatted with published authors, writers who were trying to be published, and writers who simply liked to write, but had no desire to publish.  Once in a while we'd have 'word wars', where we'd all write for an hour, then report back on our progress.

I was in heaven, since no one around here at the time cared about my desire to put words on a page.  I was also thrilled that the pace was slower than what I'd seen in 1993!  Being so small in numbers, you could chat at your own pace.

Next Month:  WriteStuffWrite Conference and Reconnecting!

**********
Present Day:
Update on NCAA 2017:
The 1st and 2nd rounds were kind to me!
Round 1:  Called 13/16 and 15/16
Round 2:  Called 5/8 and 6/8.
Purdue and Butler both advanced, but Villanova (defending champs) were knocked off.  There's still hope for Gonzaga:)

I finally finished the new short story for 'Family Secrets'!  I added another 1400 words and successfully wrapped it up in a believable manner, and everyone who's read it has FINALLY been satisfied.  One of my beta readers is still not happy with certain details left out, but she's over-ruled by two others and myself, who believe it's unnecessary, since those characters are not the focus of the story.  I got it written twelve hours under deadline, and I was so thrilled, I took off Wednesday to simply relax and READ!

Ant Invasion:
We've been invaded by a small army of unwelcome guests.  At first, it was simply a stray ant here or there, when someone would spill Kool Aid or sugar.  But now they're running all over the counter top more frequently, and I'm finding them on the table, in the dogs' food bowls, and yesterday I had 3 floating in my coffee cup (eeeuuuuu!).  Time to get rid of them and mix up a little something to take back to their queen, so they will permanently leave us alone.  *rubs hands in glee*

Spring Break:
My youngest has had a relaxing Break, sleeping in until 10am and playing video games with his cousins.  He's also spent time at the Pet Port, and wants to start walking dogs or playing with the cats.  The only problem is, since he's only 13, a parent has to accompany him.  I was too busy working on Secrets, and his dad didn't feel well, so he's been a little frustrated the past few days.

A and J are here for the next week also; they had 2 weeks off for Break.  A spends most of her time on the phone, and J has been playing video games with W.  It's been pretty peaceful:)

The spouse's 63rd birthday was Monday, and the older kids bought him a new gas grill.  We grilled pork chops and enjoyed the warmer weather.  On Tuesday, we spent the afternoon working on the front yard, and raking up leaves and pine needles.  I went into 'destruct-mode' and tore off most of the vines on the brown house's porch.  It was cold on Wednesday, but finished up yesterday.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Flashback Friday: Signing The Papers!

March 1997:
The weather improved; our application for a new home had been approved, so we met with N American Housing to sign the papers and make the down payment on our new home.  Mom and Dad loaned us $5K, and even came down to watch the kids while we did this.  To celebrate, we all went out to dinner.

There was one slight hitch:  After we sat through the the long, boring explanation of EVERYTHING (I was ready to scream; surely a child could even understand all the terms?), and D haggling over the issue of dirt being trucked in (as an operator, he knew there would be enough dirt in the hole dug for the foundation to spread around and back-fill; none would be needed to be trucked in!), we reached the final page when Carol realized she'd used the wrong form.  In front of us, she ripped up all but the final page, where we'd signed, and told us she'd redo it, and there was no need for us to return to initial/sign all over again.  We naively believed her.

Fast-forward several months when our contract arrived; the order for three trucks of dirt was back in the contract, and there was nothing we could do about it.

Next Month:  Another Fight

**********
Present Day:
NCAA Basketball is in full swing!

I'll also be at the Eagles Craft Show tomorrow, and have already sold two of Kenzie's new book! Plus, my submissions for the Crossroads Antho have been approved, so one less thing to stress over.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Flashback Friday: 806 Woody Hall

March 1987:
I moved into my new dorm room on the BSU campus, and was slightly dismayed at the news I'd have to take the elevator to the 6th floor of Woody/Shales, then walk up two more flights of stairs.  Fortunately, since I was moving in, I could use the service elevator to move my belongings.

My new room was painted in rainbow colors, with lacy pink curtains at the window.  I was to have the bed by the door, and my new roomie had gone home for the weekend.  I later learned her previous roommate had committed suicide over the break between quarters, by overdosing on pain medication while in the bathtub.  Most of the students had already departed; she simply swallowed her meds, took a bath, and went to sleep.  I don't know if she eventually drowned, or if the tub was even full of water.  All I know is a maintenance worker found her the next day.

When Valerie Martin walked in, we instantly clicked.  We were both quiet, and shared a love of the same TV shows.  She already had a television, so I'd sent mine back with my parents.  My friend Carole was living down the road at the Baptist House, and invited me to join the choir.  I also met Shawna, Shawn, and I'm blanking on Shawna's roommate's name.  She had been Homecoming Queen at her HS.  Anyway, I'd gone to the Back To School Dance with them, and when slow dances began, the four of us sat down.  Instantly, four boys came over and snapped the others up, with the fourth one approaching me, but made a detour at the last minute, the expression on his face clearly saying, "Whoa, I don't know you!" 

I didn't take offense; I simply enjoyed being around others and dancing again.

Classes began, and I enjoyed all of them.

Next Month:  Meeting Bob....

******
Present Day:
Mom's had back pain this entire week, and finally went to the doctor on Wednesday.  We've gone through the two chests and weeded out what she wanted to get rid of, plus went through two stacks of papers.  Hopefully today, I'll be making a trip to the post office to mail some packages for her:)  I'll be heading home tomorrow, arriving in time to sing at church, and go to karaoke tomorrow night.

Writing-wise, I've spent this entire week working on a new submission to the Crossroads Antho, as well as cleaning up a previously-unfinished one, to be titled Family Secrets, and replace the other one which was deemed 'too dark and disturbing' a week ago.  Who knew I'd write a story in which a person *might* need a security blanket before reading it?  Sigh.......guess they'd better never read Koontz, King, Andrews, or even Irving!

Spring Forward begins this weekend, so on Monday, I'll be sleep-deprived again.  Fun, fun.  Plus, Mother Nature continues her bi-polarism....the weather's been in the 60s all week, but today it drops into the 30s, with snow expected in my town and southward tomorrow.  Boo....hiss!

Have a great weekend and stay warm!