Decisions, Delays, Dilemmas

Whee! We finally have our house up for sale.

Once we decided to move to our house in the country, we started cleaning out the clutter.

Then CoVid hit. We came to a screeching halt.

We endlessly discussed whether we actually wanted to do that. Home here felt safe.

We decided to finish projects we'd wanted to do, and then revisit the decision.

After CoVid, it was one thing after another. Nothing to do with the house—just life crap in general. Then came the holidays and a month full of January birthdays.

When February rolled in, we decided that, yes, we wanted to move to the country. So we started packing some of our stuff and moving it to the house in the country. Then the worst winter storm that ever hit Texas came calling.

We were lucky and had no damage unlike so many others in Texas and other states.

After the big freeze, we decided to take action on our decision—which took another 2 months due to my crazy deadline schedule this year. When I finished my April book, we called a realtor and listed the house on April 30.

Photography was done yesterday including aerial photos by drone. Really cool. Today, Thursday, it's late afternoon here, and the real estate listing just went live online.

Tomorrow private showings begin and last through Sunday. We are to stay away during this process. I'm still working on a manuscript which makes staying away really difficult.

Takeaway Truth

Wish me luck in finalizing my manuscript and in selling our house!

P.S. Then I'm taking a vacation.

Dog Rescue Project

I was going to start the day with writing, but I've been out all morning trying to rescue a dog.

He's a large male, black except for white markings on his chest. I saw him yesterday lying in a rain puddle.

He found his way into our gated community and is lost and scared.

He has no collar, but you can tell he's been well cared for. He's a handsome dog. I've posted a photo on Nextdoor to all the surrounding neighborhoods to see if anyone recognizes him, but no one has claimed him yet.

He won't let anyone get near him. I have a container of food I prepared for him, but he won't get near enough to smell it. I heard him howling mournfully during the night, and it breaks my heart.

 If I can "catch" him, an animal rescue group will come pick him up and put him up for adoption if no one claims him.

Takeaway Truth

I can't think of anything else to do, and I also can't focus on writing.

3 Insights About Operation Code Name: Desert Love by Constance Bretes

I'm pleased to have my friend Constance Bretes stop by today.

Connie is going to talk about her exciting new release, Operation Code Name: Desert Love, and share 3 insights about this new adventure romance.

Discover Constance Bretes

Constance started writing contemporary romance and romantic suspense 15 years ago. She was born and raised in Michigan. After working for the State of Michigan for 38 years, she retired. She and her husband moved to Montana and lived in the mountainside of a small town.

There, locked in her office overlooking the mountains, was where this story, Operation Code Name: Desert Love, was written.

After living in Montana for three years, they moved to Alabama with her cat, Sunny, who owns both her and her husband. Her hobbies include basket weaving, reading mafia romance books, diamond painting, and fiddling at the piano.

Get in touch with Connie at her Website or by eMail: cbretes@constancebretes.com.

About  Operation Code Name: Desert Love

Her best hope for survival is the one man she never wants to see again.

Clarissa Maasen is a humanitarian relief worker who’s stationed in Afghanistan. 

When she and two of her coworkers are kidnapped by insurgents and held hostage, she can only hope that her father, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will send his best men to rescue them—more specifically, Len Roberts of the Delta Force.

The last time Len saw Clarissa, it did not end on good terms. But he will risk his life to rescue this woman who is never far from his thoughts.

Can he rescue her in time? And will they be able to control the passion erupting between them?

Pick up a copy of this book with the Universal Buy Link for only 99¢.

You can also go straight to Amazon Kindle for your copy.

1. What inspired you to write this particular story?

 My publisher put out a request for some military romances, and I decided to write one. As I was researching information for the story, I came across how Helen Johnston, a humanitarian worker, was taken hostage and was rescued by the SAS (British forces). 

Her story inspired me to write one about an American humanitarian worker taken hostage and rescued by American Forces, more specifically, Delta Force.

2. What was the biggest obstacle to overcome in writing this story?

There were actually 2 obstacles, i.e., the Military is not supposed to reveal any information about anything and the nformation is all over the place. While researching American arm forces, it was hard to tell which information was accurate, and which was not. I eventually relied on two individuals for the story, Steve Stone and Tarina Deaton.
 
3. Was there a favorite scene you wrote that you'd like to share with the audience?

 Yes, here's the scene.

“Can we take a small tour around the city and enjoy the coolness of the evening?”

“Yeah, we can do that.” Clarissa loved fast speeds, and Len seemed to have remembered that. He sped the Humvee on a few roads in Kabul that were open, with no dense neighborhoods. It felt exhilarating to Clarissa. She stood up a few times, holding on to the top of the windshield, feeling the wind against her face, and her hair going wild. After doing a few rounds, Len pulled up at the US Embassy. Clarissa stood in the vehicle before he came to a stop and yelled, “Woo hoo!” The guys standing outside the building turned and gave them the thumbs-up. “That felt so good.”

Len had a lopsided grin on his face. “Yeah. It did feel good. You still want to do that run?”

“Well, yeah.”

Len chuckled. “I’ll meet you back here in ten minutes.”

“Okay.” Clarissa hurried to her room to change. She pulled her messy hair into a ponytail, slipped into a pair of shorts with tassels around the hem she’d just bought, a lightweight top, and a new pair of running shoes and socks. When she got to the steps outside to meet Len, he was already there in his army shorts, doing warm-ups and talking to a couple of guys.

“Hi,” Clarissa said to the two men in army garb who were talking to Len. One guy nodded, and the other said, “Hey.”

“I’ll see you at the heli-pad at eleven hundred hours,” Len said. The two men saluted Len and sped quickly down the steps.

Clarissa looked at her watch. They had an hour to get a run in.

“Are you wearing draperies?” he asked.

“What?” Clarissa laughed and looked at him.

He was staring intensely at her shorts. “No. I just thought they were cute.”

Len rolled his eyes. “Hmm. Ready?”

Clarissa did a few body stretches. “Ready.”

They started out slowly. When they came to a street corner, he instructed, “Take a right here.” She started to turn slightly. “Len…”

She stepped into his path accidently, tripping him. As he went down he rolled himself in a somersault and came back up, standing. “Jesus, Clare, you trying to do me in?”

“I’m sorry, Len. I was just going to ask you something.” They quickly picked up their pace for a few more blocks. She wanted to know when he would be going back to the states, but she was afraid of his answer, so she decided not to ask.

Takeaway Truth

Thanks for sharing your new book with us, Constance. Readers, grab a copy of Operation Code Name: Desert Love, only 99¢, for your weekend reading. 

Need an Attitude Adjustment? Try These 5 Videos

Okay, if you are "sensitive" to pop culture humor, pass on the first video.

These aren't new. I laughed when I added them to my YouTube Humor playlist.

Sunday afternoon when I was SO tired from 10 hour writing days, I put this on and laughed again.

The music video compilations aren't comical, but they're extraordinary. I marvel at the skill of the film editor and music editor who synced everything so seamlessly.

In no particular order, they are:

1. Tequila ad

2. Heineken ad in German

3. Uptown Funk TV Show Compilation

4. Uptown Funk Old Movie Compilation

5. Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant

Takeaway Truth

Laughter reduces tiredness better than a muscle relaxer.

Wild Woman Thoughts

Once upon a time, not too long ago, women who were "different" from the male traditional expectations were called odd, loose, weird, uppity, unaware of their place, wild, and/or ignorant of the feminine role in society.

Thank You, Gloria Steinem et al

I grew up in the women's lib era when women were told we could do anything we wanted, be anyone we wanted. Since that already fit my world view, I embraced that.

Uh Oh

However, I discovered there were mitigating circumstances to that world view. The only place for women that didn't have a glass ceiling was housewifery and motherhood.

Cold Hard Truth

Want to be a lawyer, doctor, accountant, etc. and have a great career? Better figure out a plan that juggles those other things you want like a husband, children, a home, and leisure time to enjoy it all.

The truth is you can't have it all. No one can, including men, unless you inherited wealth. Men always made their careers the number one priority. For many, that was their idea of taking care of their families.

Unfortunately, that's why so many children of my genreation grew up not really knowing their fathers. He was a distant figure who earned the living but had little interaction in family life. His career was everything.

That may be an explanation of why so many men drop dead within a year or two after retiring. They no longer have a life.Those that don't drop dead are the ones who drive their wives crazy because they have no other interest in life and want to micromanage anything and everything.

Wild Words

I thought about all this when I was packing up my office to move. I have a box full of quotes I tore from calendars, newspapers, and magazines.

The wise words, or wild words if you prefer, are what women knew was the truth about "having it all." These women knew what they were talking about because they lived it.

Do you identify with any of these women? Surprisingly, most of them were born long before me. Back in the day, they were struggling to have more in their lives than the traditional roles for women.

***

"By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class." —Anne Morrow Lindbergh, aviator and author

"Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, She doesn't have what it takes. They will say, Women don't have what it takes." —Clare Boothe Luce, former U.S. Diplomat

"Think bigger! Be a millionaire, don't marry one." —Nell Merlino, cofounder, Take Your Daughter to Work Day

"People call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute." —Rebecca West, British Author

Takeaway Truth

I count my blessings I married a man who has never tried to hold me back. Instead, he cheers me on. I wish all of you women the same kind of good fortune.




Subscribers are the first to know about New Books and Giveaways.
When you confirm your subscription, you'll receive a link for a free ebook.

(Free Book App has been fixed. If it doesn't work, please let me know.)

FOLLOW JOAN ONLINE


Happy Earth Day: Stop Littering

Many years ago there was an anti-litter campaign with a famous commercial known as The Tear, or The Crying Indian.

Watch Iron Eyes Cody anti-litter video.

The commercial starred Iron Eyes Cody, an actor who had appeared in many movies. The iconic image of Iron Eyes Cody crying because of the way people were littering everywhere they went stuck with me.

Unfortunately, every generation seems to need a lesson on keeping the natural world clean.

In the last year, I've noticed more litter on grassy areas next to highways. I've even seen it on city streets.

Upset over this, I did a little research on litter and found it's a growing problem in most countries. Many countries have stiffened the penalties for littering because it creates an atmosphere of neglect and can actually lower property values and affect property leasings in commercial centers. 

Throwing fast food containers, drink cups, even disposable diapers, and other garbage onto the sides of roads and streets is reprehensible.Not only does it spoil the natural beauty of our world but also it creates an economic problem because someone or several someones have to be employed to clean the mess up.

Sadly, the litter can pollute rivers and streams, kill fish, and injure wild life who graze upon the litter they find. In eating the traces of food, animals end up ingesting pieces of styrofoam cartons, plastic lids, and other debris.

When you throw garbage along walking paths or roads, it's the same as throwing it in someone's yard because the Earth belongs to everyone. Would you like someone to throw a bag of garbage on your lawn, by your front door, or on your driveway?

Make 2 Resolutions Today

I call upon you as a citizen of the Earth to change your habits. 

As it says in the famous Iron Eyes Cody video, "People start pollution. People can stop it."

1. Stop littering. There's no excuse for throwing trash wherever you happen to be walking or driving.

Place trash in the receptacles that can be found just about everywhere. If you can't find a trash can, take your trash home and put it in your own garbage can.

2. Teach your children to respect their world. Show them by example.

Takeaway Truth

Everyone talks about saving the planet and cleaning up the enviornment, but they talk about big things like car exhaust and factories that pollute. We can't do anything about that, but we can all do something about litter. 

Obstacles & Writing Tip

Thanks for dropping by. I started this month with a quotation blog post, and I may be sprinkling more of those in before the month is over.

I'm on a tight deadline for my 3rd book this year so I'm writing more hours a day than I'm sleeping or doing anything else for that matter.

Let's talk about obstacles.

You know, those pesky people or situations who stand between you and what you want to achieve. 

Henry Ford once said: "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal."

That's why I have one sentence taped to my monitor. It says, "I'm writing a story about a woman who redeemed herself but doesn't believe it until she accepts love from the man she's always loved."

That sentence keeps my eyes on the goal and inspires me to keep telling the story until it's finished.

Takeaway Truth

This post is also a Writing Tip. If you want to write a book, boil the essence of the story down to 1 sentence and stay focused on that sentence. It will guide you to the end.




Subscribers are the first to know about New Books and Giveaways.
When you confirm your subscription, you'll receive a link for a free ebook.

FOLLOW JOAN ONLINE