I love to read emotionally charged stories, with characters who are shredded, then put back together. But I also love to laugh, so over time my own writing has become a blend of these two elements…just like in real life.
On the Personal Transformation site, the blog post author discusses the importance of having a happy emotional payoff. If you’re interested, check out the post. It’s short. I’ll wait…
Oh good, you’re back.
On Monday, my sister and I took our mom to the knee doctor, and Mom is now on the list for knee surgery. For two years now, we’ve been trying to get her on that list. The good news is, she’s finally on the list. The bad news is, she’s finally on the list.
Mom wants the operation, badly. She’s super active, and the knee not only causes her pain, it slows her down. And truthfully, the slowing down part is probably harder on her than the pain.
I want to be a good daughter. In fact, I get a huge emotional payoff when I’ve done something that makes Mom happy. But a very large part of me is afraid for this 98 pound, 85 year old woman. She’s feistier than I am, may even be physically stronger than me (although I think her strength is driven by the sheer determination to win at all costs), and the operation will allow her to be independent far longer than she would be if she didn’t get it.
But to me, she’s weak and old and frail and precious, and I struggle between being the good daughter (supporting her decision to have the operation) or being the bad daughter (convincing her the operation is a baaaaaddddd idea, especially at her age).
Hmmm, now where’s the humor in all this?
Well, you have to know my mom. She is one of the most determined, hard-headed women I know. Which means that once the operation is over, she’ll be pushing to get back to her “normal” self.
But her shoes are atrocious. She inherited them from my dad or her sister or anyone else who has said, “Dora, do you have a use for these? I’m throwing them out…” We can’t get her to wear proper footwear. So I’ve told her that while she’s in the hospital, I’m sending in reinforcements to collect and throw out all of her shoes. She doesn’t believe me, but in July, I’m fully expecting to be shunted to the bad daughter doghouse.
Then there’s the vegetable garden. I’ve warned her that if she plants before she goes into the hospital, it’ll be gone when she gets out, because no way can she resist the urge to play in her garden (and by play, I mean work). Again, she doesn’t believe me, but I’ve decided that part of the emotional payoff of being a good daughter is protecting my mom from her own stubbornness, and protecting her will give me a hugely happy emotional payoff.
And seriously, I’m not really afraid of the bad daughter doghouse. After all, I’m her daughter. Isn’t there a rule that she has to love me, no matter what?
So what are your favorite emotional payoffs in real life or in fiction?
Last year at this time, I offered Wedding Fever for FREE, and the reader response was so wonderful, I decided to do so again.
So for the next three days—January 23, 24, & 25—you can download this very special novella for FREE from Amazon. And this year, the ebook includes the bonus short story, Baby Fever, a prequel to Wedding Fever.
This novella is humorous romantic women’s fiction. It’s approximately 18,000 words, which means it’ll be a quick, one night read. There’s no sex, so you can share it with you daughters, your mothers, and your grandmothers. You can even read it out loud on the subway, if you want. 🙂
Baby cribs and baby swings and a winking, blinking doll. Oh my! When Gwen Parker decides it’s time for a grandchild, nothing is going to get in her way.
Liz Templeton is about to have her life turned upside down.
When her ex-husband, Mitch Parker, returns to town to hunt for the legendary Lost Lake treasure, her mother and former mother-in-law are determined to reunite the estranged couple. While Liz dodges their attempts, she must also deal with the ghost of her teenage daughter who is obsessed with discovering whether or not Mitch is her father.
Liz has one chance to stop her family from driving her insane…and falling head over heels in love with her ex isn’t part of the plan.
So head on over to Amazon and take advantage of this special 3 day offer. It’s only on till Saturday, so hurry. Fortunately, supplies won’t run out. 🙂
For the last two weeks, I’ve been in holiday prep mode, decorating the house and baking my family’s favorite holiday treats. Let’s face it, the rest of the 364 days of the year, the only thing they get is banana loaf, so at this time of year, I tend to go a wee bit overboard.
My mother, like many of my heroines’ mothers, has stepped in to ensure the holiday feast is a success. Two weeks ago, she deemed my holiday turkey wasn’t big enough or fresh enough (okay, I confess, mine has been in the bottom of the freezer since last spring, so she’s probably right). Last week, she appeared at the door with a lovely 20 pound turkey that right this minute is roasting in the oven. (Thanks, Mom…on Boxing Day, I’ll drop off the turkey bones so you can make your delicious turkey soup!)
The family will arrive in a few hours. By then, we’ll have the table set and the rest of the food prepared. And in far less time than it takes to prepare the meal, we’ll all be stuffed and ready for a nap. 🙂
I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your support this year. Whether you invested your precious time to read one (or all!) of my books, left a much coveted review on Amazon, Goodreads, or one of the other online retailers, or joined me for a special event like the recent Naughty & Nice Blog Hop, your support means everything.
Whenever I’m faced with a stubborn character or plot, I think of you, my dear readers. Your comments and emails mean so much to me, so please keep them coming.
From my house to yours, I wish each of you a happy and safe holiday season. May 2014 bring you good health and joy.
Coming February 2014, The Marriage Pact, a Cranberry Cove romantic comedy.
Are you naughty or nice? Does it matter? No! Because multiple prizes will be given out randomly each day. Just follow these steps:
1. Subscribe to my Newsletter and be eligible to win 1 of 5 free copies of my books (winner’s choice).
2. There are four ways you can get extra entries into the grand prize giveaway, a Kindle Fire HDX 7″ loaded with ebooks:
a) leave a comment (as per the Comment Example below) and tell me whether you like your reading material Naughty or Nice;
b) follow my blog (email and RSS feed links are in the top righthand sidebar);
c) follow my Facebook page;
d) follow me on Twitter.
So to be eligible for the grand prize giveaway, make sure you leave a comment with the following info:
Comment Example: Name: Carey Abbott
Email: Comment: Great Post
Country You Live In: United States
NOTE: If you do all of these things, you will get four entries into the grand prize draw, however please note that you are not required to do any of them. After the hop, reader info will be collected from each site and those entries with the correct info (see Comment Example above) will be entered into the grand prize draw. For prizes that need to be shipped, winners must live in the US or Canada. However, to win one of the many ebooks, you can live anywhere in the world.
3. Finally, to keep hopping, follow the link below.
And now, whether you’re naughty or nice, I’d like to share my family’s favorite Christmas treat with you.
Sheila’s Poppycock Recipe
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup whole un-blanched almonds
8 cups popped popcorn
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup margarine
1/2 cup golden corn syrup
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. vanilla
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Spread pecans and almonds on an ungreased cookie sheet and toast lightly. In a very large unbuttered bowl, mix nuts and popcorn together.
In a small heavy saucepan, combine the brown sugar, margarine, corn syrup and cream of tartar. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture forms a soft ball when dropped into cold water, approximately four minutes. Note: if you like your poppycock less chewy, then cook until the mixture forms a hard ball when dropped into cold water, approximately five minutes.
Remove from stove and stir in the soda and vanilla. Be careful because the addition of the soda makes the mixture foam up.
Pour over the popcorn and nut mix. With a wooden spoon, stir until evenly coated. Leave in bowl until the poppycock is partially cooled but make sure you stir it once in a while to keep the mixture from forming into one hard ball.
When the popcorn and nuts have cooled some, dump it on to the countertop or on large cookie sheets and continue to stir occasionally until fully cooled. I usually leave it out overnight and every time I walk by, I stir it to break it apart. Someone will no doubt sneak a piece or two but that’s okay because it’s easy to make a second batch.
This makes a wonderful Christmas gift. I like to put it into jars and tins to give to family and friends. Enjoy and happy holidays!
For anyone familiar with winter on the Canadian prairies, you know that once the snow arrives, the cold white flakes stick around till the following spring…which if we’re lucky occurs in late March. And if we’re not so fortunate, it might stick around till late May or early June.
Anyway, back to last week…
First snowfall of 2013
For two days, the snow melted and it felt like spring. And let me tell you, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—better than being able to walk outside without a toque, mitts, heavy winter coat, and boots.
I spent those two days with a snow shovel in my hands, chipping the ice off the driveway, and enjoying the warmth of the sun on my head. And then the clouds moved back in and it began to snow again.
Now we have another foot or more of the white stuff.
Sure, it’s pretty, especially with the glow of Christmas lights shining through a dusting of newly fallen snow. Or on a frosty, sunny morning when we wake to trees covered in hoar frost and the entire landscape glitters.
But today, as I’m digging out from the latest snowfall, the temperature is dropping, the wind is blowing, and my back is sore. And it somehow feels more like a life sentence than it does a beautiful wonder of nature.
In my next life, I’m putting in a request for Hawaiian parents.
Before I go, I’d like to wish everyone an early happy Thanksgiving. I’ll be on a little vacation, someplace where there is no snow or snow shovels or toques or mitts. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!
Do you get snow in your part of the world? What’s your favorite thing about the winter season? And for those of you who have never experienced the beauty of a winter wonderland, if you were to wake up to a fresh snowfall, what’s the first thing you would do?