"Bethie's Place"

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Archive for the category “My Writings”

And the novel begins…..

Okay everyone, I know you’ve been waiting to read what I’ve accomplished today, which was more than what I had anticipated (yeah me! — lol) but I decided to hold back a lot of it, in hopes that you’ll want to read more. So what I’m sharing is the opening sentence, a tenative title, and a setting. So without further ado:

First Sentence:
Nothing was the way she remembered.  When her eyes  adjusted to the dark, what she saw made her shiver.

The “working title” is Bethie’s Place. I’m thinking either diner,  restaurant, or boarding house in the Old West as the setting.

Please let me know your inital impressions. 😀

I’m off to write for a couple hours — time to do the dreaded outline!

Love to write. Making a plan/outline? Not so much!!

MasterClass

Dear friends, on 5/21/15 I signed up for an online course called MasterClass. It is a course in novel writing, taught via video by best-selling author James Patterson. As you can imagine, I’m excited, and part of my first assignment is to share on social media my commitment to writing 500 words per day, and to ask friends to hold me accountable and if you should desire to further help me along this endeavor, to provide feedback as my project progresses.

For those of you who read my Friday Feature: “Let’s Talk Books”, I will be shifting its focus to sharing what I’ve written each week and asking for your feedback, criticism, and ideas to make the book better along the way.  It’s because of you, that I’ve decided to take this leap of faith and I hope you’ll join me.

Blessings, “Bethie”

Unexpected Surprise (The Reveal) — Mother’s Day 2015

Since I wanted my mom to be surprised, I enlisted the help of my neighbor, dearest and most special friend, and my sister from another mother. LOL!

I made arrangements for the package to be delivered to her house, and she was going to keep it for me until Mother’s Day. Because my health prevented me from doing my shopping for all items related to wrapping said gift myself, she went above beyond what I could have ever dreamed possible to help me pull off this surprise. She works in a party planning store, and before she clocked into work over several days, she walked around the store taking pictures on her cellphone of wrapping paper, bows, and ribbon. All I had to do, was pick what I wanted, and she handled the rest. Tried to pay her over and over, for all the time she put in helping me, but she wouldn’t take a dime. I love that girl! 😀

First, she sneaked over while my  mom was busy with me, while Dad waited for her in the garage to bring over the big box. Then on Saturday, the eve of Mother’s Day, she brought over the wrapping items while Dad waited for her in the garage.  Sneaky aren’t we? Twenty-four hours until Mother’s Day…..

Mother’s Day morning, Mom and Dad headed to the grocery store, and I wrapped the smaller of two gifts — one of those retractable lawn watering hoses. Didn’t come in a box, and it was really awkward to wrap to say the least. Why did I buy her a watering hose for the yard? Well, the backyard was remodeled earlier this year, taking away the grass, large tree, and replacing it with drought tolerant plants, trees, and shrubs with rock garden in between. It’s very pretty, but harder for her to water because the individual plants, etc., have to be watered by hand. Hence, the gift of the retractable hose.

After their return from the store, and groceries were put away, Dad retired to the garage to wrap the BIG GIFT.

The dinner prepared and cooked by Dad, was cashew chicken, white rice, and Italian squash.

With the table cleared, it was time….Mom opened her card that I designed for her on the computer and opened the first of her two gifts. Getting the hose made her laugh, and she appreciated it.

I told Dad that there was a second gift in the garage that he would have to retrieve. He played dumb really well. LOL!  Mom didn’t have a clue. My plan has worked like clockwork. It wasn’t until she opened the box that she realized what I had done and what she now owned. Mission accomplished! I relayed the story of speaking to the artist on the phone when I placed the order and I think that surprised her even more than the gift itself. As a side note, their anniversary is next week (55 years), and I plan to pay for the framing of the artwork.

All in all, Mother’s Day 2015, was a complete success, and I believe it will probably go down as the most memorable one we’ve shared together.

My Birthday, Books, and Movies!!!

Since last we met, I celebrated my birthday with family and very close friends that I also consider family.  My mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday dinner, and I replied, “Rubios”. I love Mexican food, and their food is as close to authentic Mexican food on this side of the border. So, our dinner consisted of three burritios — machaca (for dad), chicken (for mom), and pollo asado for the birthday girl.   Let me tell you, these burritos are enormous.  I think they put a half a chicken in each one,  so for every one burrito,  Mom and I get two meals out of each. Dad is the only one to finish his in one setting.

After dinner, I opened my gift — three jigsaw puzzles. I did mention that I love jigsaw puzzles, didn’t I? I’ve been putting them together since I was very young, and I find the challenge very relaxing. Do you  like jigsaw puzzles? What size? What kinds of designs?

Around 7 o’clock, a knock at the door, and it was my “extended family” from next door. A beautiful bouquet of sunflowers in the eldest daughter’s hand. Also in tow, were her two younger siblings (all three between 18-23). Oh and I mustn’t forget the eldest daughter’s boyfriend, who I had been anxious to meet. What a special young man he is, and a perfect match for my special “sister/daughter”. We laughed, we talked, and before I knew it, it was nearly 9 o’clock, and time for me to call it a day.

Friday, May 1st, would have been my Nana’s 99th birthday. I miss her. Birthdays and Christmas being the hardest days for me even though it will be 10 years this December since she’s been gone.

I’m nearly halfway through reading “The Girl On The Train”. Have you read it? It’s an odd book, and I can’t say for certain whether I “like” it or not yet, but I am intrigued, and will more than likely finish it in the next day or so. Also 3/4 of the way through “Edge of Eternity” by Ken Follett (3rd book in the Century Trilogy).  I’ve been reading it for several months and it will probably take me a month or more to finish it. So far, the third book isn’t nearly as exciting as the first two, but I guess that’s because it begins in the 60s and ends just before the 21st century begins, and the historic events are things I’ve already lived through.

Rounding out my time since last we met, I watched two dvds that I got from Netflix that I highly recommend. First, was “The Imitation Game” depicting the life of British born Alan Turing. The second, “The Theory of Everything” depicting the life of Stephen Hawking. If you’ve seen either of these films, I would love to chat about them with you. The acting in both films was extraordinary, and I can see why both of these actors were nominated for Academy Awards, both of which could have easily shared the award for Best Actor.

It’s nearly 12:40 AM, Tuesday, and I’m still wide awake (which I shouldn’t be) but before I call it a night/morning and put me and the computer to bed, I want to once again thank you for following my blog, and especially participating in my “Thank You Gift To My Readers” post. Your participation has helped me to renew my passion for writing again, and with you as my audience, I will strive to continue to write posts that inform, inspire, and enlighten, and entertain you.

Love and Blessings to you all, “Bethie”

My Thank You Gift To My Readers

Dear Readers, Followers, and Friends —

On this day of my 54th birthday, I celebrate by thanking you for reading my blog, your comments, and the friendships that I have made since I decided to join the world of blogging on December 20th, 2014. When I shared this idea with you I said that I would write a short story with the sentences and ideas that you sent my way.

As I wrote tonight, I realized that what I have written is not a short story (yes, it’s approximately 250 words), but it grew to have a life of its own, and just might turn itself into a much longer work. Dare I say, that these opening paragraphs are the beginning of that journey I spoke of, of actually writing my first novel? Tell me what you think so far…..don’t be shy! I want feedback. No, scratch that, I NEED feedback! Just so you know, it has no title as of yet. Need to see where I’m headed….So…..are you ready?  Here it comes!

________________________

He had agonized over by which direction to leave the courtyard of the town square, circling away from the bonfire again. He couldn’t bear to catch her eye because if he did, all the courage he had mustered to leave would be gone. He was leaving his lady love knowing full well that without even the slightest of an explanation, he had broken her heart. He only hoped that she would never discover why he had left. The further he walked, his cowboy boots felt like two cement blocks, and the less he could smell the burning bonfire mixed with the sweet smell of her intoxicating perfume. The faintest of its fragrance still on the palm of his hand where he had gently touched her cheek wet with her tears. His pace slowed, remembering her last words to him.

He remembered her looking at him lovingly. “Surprise me,” she said.

He had told her he’d return one day and that when he did they would never be apart again.

I glance at Sharon, who is sitting to my left, and who hasn’t said a word. Surely she knows I’m upset. Has he sworn her to secrecy? I’m stunned that she, the woman I have trusted since we were children with my deepest secrets, hasn’t even made an effort to comfort me.

The bonfire has been doused, so all that is left is return to her cabin and pray that her beloved cowboy would return to her side as he had promised.

Friday Feature: “Let’s Talk Books” – A Fun Little Exercise (Part 2)

Hello to all my friends and followers! Tonight I want to especially welcome new followers to my little corner of cyberspace. Last week, I invited my readers to turn to page 168 in the book they were reading, and copy a complete sentence from the 9th line. No need to mention the book or the author. This week, I’m adding a few additional pieces – a character’s name, gender, and something unique that makes that character stand out to you.

As a writer, I’m always on the lookout for story starters. By the way, the more sentences and characters I receive, the better, so everyone please participate, share, and tell your friends about my blog.

Now, with whatever sentences and characters I receive by next Friday 4/24/15, @ midnight, I’ll work them into a short story (over the weekend) as my gift to you for following my blog which I will post on April 30th, my birthday.

Note: No real people or characters that may be recognizable like Frodo Baggins (Lord of the Rings trilogy) or one of my favorites, Harry Potter.

First and foremost, have FUN! 😀  I anxiously await the pieces of the puzzle that you will give me to work with.

“Bethie”

 

An Unexpected Surprise

Mother’s Day is nearly three weeks away, and as usual I’m struggling to decide what gift to buy my mom. If you’ve read “The Broken Energizer Bunny” or read “About Me” and how she’s taken care of me my entire life, and especially over these months since my illness and recovery, you know how important she is to me and how close we are. This year I had to come up with something that she would never ever think that I would buy her and what I bought for her this year, is going to knock her socks off.

Mom loves art — all types from the Masters to the abstract and obscure. She also loves movies — the old ones from the 1940s and 1950s. The gift I have for her this year is a perfect blend of both. Her favorite artist is Gary Saderup who creates beautiful portraits in charcoal of celebrities from all walks of life — movie stars. musicians, and athletes. If you’re not familiar with the name, google it, and you’ll be amazed at the life-like quality of the portraits.

After receiving a catalog via email, I found the perfect portrait, and today I called to place the order. A man answered the phone, and we chatted about my mom’s love for the artist’s work (she’s had a portrait of Charlie Chaplin that she absolutely loves, since the late 70s, which I found out today was his first portrait he’d created). The man took all the necessary information to place my order, guaranteeing that it would be here by the middle of next week. As I was ready to end the call, I remembered some advice that my dad had given me, “Always get the name of the person you’re talking to. It’s good business, and it will help if you need to contact them again”.

So I asked the man’s name, and he replied, “Gary”. My heart began to beat a bit faster.

I asked, “Sir, am I speaking to the artist Gary Saderup?”

He replied, “Yes dear lady, you are!”

I’d definitely call that an unexpected surprise, wouldn’t you?

Can hardly wait until May 10th to be able to relay today’s events to my mom. I’m sure she’ll be just as surprised as I.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, MOM! 😀

 

Writing 101 — Day 5: Today’s Prompt: You stumble upon a random letter on the path.You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry”…. “But I am”. These were the only words written in beautiful longhand on the outside of a small manila envelope, crumpled and stuffed in the chain link fence outside of what appeared to be a house that had not been lived in, in many years. Was this the home of the recipient? Where had he or she gone? Whoever the author of this brief but urgent message was, obviously had loved this particular individual very much and wanted to apologize, but for what?

Writing 101 (Day 4) : Today’s Prompt: Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.

Today’s post is part one of a three-part series. The next two parts will be written in the coming days.

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry”…. “But I am”. These were the only words written in beautiful longhand on the outside of a small manila envelope, crumpled and stuffed in the chain link fence outside of what appeared to be a house that had not been lived in, in many years. Was this the home of the recipient? Where had he or she gone? Whoever the author of this brief but urgent message was, obviously had loved this particular individual very much and wanted to apologize, but for what?

What Music Means To Me — Day 3: Writing 101

I love music. I love singing; I love playing music; and I love listening to music. There are so many important songs that reflect different important moments in my life that it’s nearly impossible to narrow it down to three, but I’ll try.

If you’ve read my post “The Tender Troubadour”, you’ll notice that my love for music began at a very young age. A child of the ‘60s, my first music influences came from folk songs.

In the late sixties, I spent many days, sometime months in the hospital, and the nurses’ station always had a radio, and when songs of the Fifth Dimension, the Archies, and many others, (that I can’t recall at the moment) came on the radio, I can remember asking the nurses to turn up the radio, and I would sing at the top of my lungs. It helped get me through the pain.

And I guess that’s what music does for me, it heals the pain, and I’m not just speaking of physical pain, but the pain of loss —  lost opportunities, disappointments, lost loves, and lost loved ones.

As many of you may already know, I was born with a physical disability, but if that physical disability had rendered me either hearing or visually impaired, I would not have the joy and blessing of experiencing music in life.

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