Bob, Edits from Bob, Just for Fun

Life would be boring without husbands…

…and so would the third round of editing a book.

Or at least that’s my feelings.

Today, I’ll post the typos and comical thoughts Bob had on His Brother’s Bride when he read it after the second draft to offer a man’s perspective.

But first, I have to go back Jilted. There was a comment he made that was totally hysterical (to me) that I didn’t post because I didn’t want to ruin anything for anyone. It’s been more than two months now so I don’t think I’m in as much danger of spoiling anything for those who follow me here.

At the end of the second chapter, after Amelia has woken up from her drug-induced sleep only to return home and be told by her brother that she’ll have to marry Lord Friar, post haste, my husband left a comment saying, “The moral of this story is: Don’t drink the fruity punch!”

With no further ado, here are his thoughts on my upcoming book:

  • Compost is good for gardening… (Honestly, I don’t understand this one as the word I’d put was compose instead of composed.)
  • At times like this, I think you say ‘at times’ too much.
  • With his mustache? (This was totally off the way, and an inside joke, I’m afraid. We have a friend who has a really thick, bushy mustache that I always refer to as a broom because of all of its bristles. So when I said, “Henry swept her from the top of her head to the hem of her wide skirt…” his mind went to brooms. Strange man.)
  • Oh, the dramatics.
  • This might the a bit much…
  • She didn’t want to go into the house earlier, and now she’s sleeping in his bed? Fickle woman.
  • Why is she questioning this? Didn’t she just watch him make it? (Yes, dear, and if you’d keep reading, you’ll notice he asks her the same question!)
  • She did not!
  • Mrs. Gordon, you’s all sorts of nasty today. (Uh, yeah, when reading the sentence, you’d think he had more delicate sensibilities than Lady O pretends to have. Good grief, we haven’t gotten to the scandalizing parts yet.)
  • This sounds more like a liver disease than a flower to me.
  • Oh, so funny, darling. Only you.
  • Dog poo? (Oops, I had two “do’s” in a sentence. I swear, I’d be a wreck without his good sense and careful eye…)
  • Spotted, huh. Did he have leprosy? (No, actually, acne.)
  • Men don’t lose their breath when they’re excited by what they see, they get a– (That’ll be enough of that, Mr. Gordon!)
  • Funny sentence structure.
  • Isn’t this a little excessive. Demand they marry because they dance more than twice at a ball? (Sadly, no, it was very realistic.)
  • Henry has my sympathy, you’re chilly, too, sometimes. (Thanks, dear.)
  • This is too vague. I think you need to be more descriptive in such a scene. (In case you’re curious, it was an intimate scene. Honestly, I get awkward as it is with those, I couldn’t imagine being more descriptive.)

For as crazy as Bob makes me at times, he never fails to amuse me with what he thinks are important changes to my books. Admittedly, I have taken several of his suggestions over the year (mainly on correcting typos), and I always look forward to his thoughts. I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday!

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I'm the victim of myself, Just for Fun, My own craziness, Randomness

A Day in the Life: The birds and the bees…

[Just a note: this was written originally in December of 2011, my kids are a bit older–and more inquisitive–now.]

I’ve mentioned before that I have two young children—both boys. The oldest just turned six and the younger one is nearing five, both to that prime age of questioning…

On a lazy afternoon in August, I was flipping over a grilled cheese when all of the sudden, my oldest son, Eddie, runs into the kitchen. “Mom, how does the egg get inside the penguin?”

“Huh?”

“On the movie. The penguin has an egg inside of her. How did it get there.”

The grilled cheese that I had been holding on with my spatula—about to flip—falls back into the pan. “Eddie, can we talk about this later?”

“No. I want to know how the egg got there.”

“Right.” I sigh and put that grilled cheese on a plate, then put the next one in the skillet. As if out of nowhere, a thought occurs to me: he’s watching the penguin movie with his dad, why is he in here asking me how the egg got inside the penguin? Resuming one of those 1950s moms stances where the mother puts one hand on her hip and points at the child with whatever kitchen utensil she happens to have in her hand, I point at my son. “Eddie, why didn’t you ask your dad about this?”

“I did. He said to come ask you.”

Of course he did. I turn my attention back to the grilled cheese for a minute and take a deep, calming breath. What’s the big deal? I read and write books that have sex in them. So why is it so hard to speak about it? I glanced over to my son. There’s NO way I’m about to tell him all the details. Granted, I never actually had that particular conversation with my mother, which created an even more awkward situation later, but he’s not even in first grade yet. All the details are unnecessary, aren’t they? I cleared my throat. “Well see, son, it’s like this. The mommy and daddy penguin lie very, very close to each other.”

“Oh!” he said with an excited nod. Then leaves the kitchen.

That was it?!

A wave of relief passes over me and I go about making the rest of the grilled cheeses. All the while, I’m grinning, nodding, and inwardly congratulating myself on being the best mom—ever.

Five minutes later, I walk into the living room just in time to hear “mood music” followed by the penguins…uh…lying very close to one another.

Needless to say, my kids were very fascinated by the next ten minutes of March of the Penguins, then I spent the following 15 minutes answering even more questions.

Fast forward 4 months and arrive at Tuesday.

My boys’ school requires a physical for their new students and through a series of unfortunate events, yesterday was the earliest I could get us in. I’ll spare you one of the conversations we had to have in the office, but the other is relevant.

Up on the wall was a giant poster with several baby-in-womb and birthing diagrams. At first, his obsession was the baby and the rope.

“What’s the rope for?”

“That’s the umbilical chord. It’s how the baby gets it’s nutrients.”

“Nutrients?”

“Food.”

“Oh, so the baby eats the rope?”

“No. Nutrients pass from the mom into the baby.”

“How?”

“Very carefully.”

“Mom, why isn’t the baby wearing any clothes?”

“Because babies aren’t born with clothes.”

“Born. What does—” his eyes look to the right of the poster at another diagram— “What is that?!”

“Uh, why don’t we read a book?”

Shaking his head wildly, he starts pointing to the diagram. “What is that thing?”

“That’s the baby’s head.”

He points about an inch or so higher. “What’s that?”

“I’m not sure, it’s not labeled.” Note, I did NOT lie, there wasn’t a label and arrow.

“How is the baby coming out?”

Where is the doctor?! He really shouldn’t keep his patients waiting like this. “Well, the mom is pushing him out. Kind of like when you have to go to the bathroom.”

“Oh, she’s pooping him out.”

“More or less, sure.”

I'm the victim of myself, Just for Fun, My own craziness, Randomness

Is this just weird or what?

Perhaps this would have been better titled: Am I just weird, or what? LOL

This year, I was actually LOOKING FORWARD to the time change!

Why?

It’s a simple story, really…

Last year we bought a new-to-us car that instead of having a digital clock above the radio, it has an analog clock on the dashboard (strange, I know).

When the time change happened and we “fell back”, my clock suddenly became an hour ahead. Try as I might, I couldn’t fix it.

I touched here and pressed there. I spun this and twisted that. I pushed… I pulled… Nothing.

I got out the USB that contained a PDF of our owner’s manual. I couldn’t find it. I found out how to reset the mileage after the oil was changed and how to unlock the doors (this is a different story for a different day…actually more like 100 stories as I didn’t know how to unlock the car from the inside without opening a door…). I even learned how to turn of the sensor that made the lights “glow” in the dark.

But I couldn’t figure out how to change the clock.

So I went to YouTube.

All sorts of videos on how to change the headlamp or a trick involving the tire jack. But NOTHING about the clock.

For months I had to drive around and remember that I wasn’t running late, the clock was off.

Bob would get in the car and say, “Wow, that was a long movie.” Or “I didn’t realize the pastor had preached that long.” Of course, I’d chuckle–and never tell him how many times I’d done that, or that the clock was fast.

But it was darned annoying and as much as I missed my hour of sleep yesterday morning. I got in my car to take my kids to school today with the peace of mind that I was RIGHT ON TIME.

Does this make me weird or what?

I hope all of you who observe the time change are adjusting well. I know I am. I was finally able to go to sleep last night and sleep well knowing that my clock would be right on time when I went to leave today!

I'm the victim of myself, Just for Fun, My own craziness, Randomness

The Draft File…

Two years and Three weeks ago today I began my life as a ‘published author”. Not merely did I dip my toe into the waters, I climbed all the way up to the top of the proverbial 30-foot high dive platform, walked across and took a flying leap down into a pool that at times has not felt deep enough.

In February 2011, I went from virtually unknown–scratch that, I wasn’t virtually unknown, I was completely unknown, the only people of my acquaintance who knew I’d written anything was my husband and one of his co-workers. That was it. So I went from being just one person in the world, to one more person who had written a story.

Not much of a difference. Except, I then had a job of trying to do the one thing I’d never wanted to do before: draw attention to myself.

I am PAINFULLY shy. If you ever meet me in person, I might surprise you. I’m not the life of the party or fun, I’d rather be like Regina Banks and blend into the wallpaper. That’s where I feel like I belong!

When starting, there are a few things one has to do (other than have a book written lol):

Website

Facebook Page

Blog

The website was easy enough. The Facebook Page made me grumble. But the blog made me want to cower in a corner and breathe into a paper bag. I am terrible at blogging (just ask those who’ve been following me a while). I never have an idea what to say and have often made a real idiot of myself trying to say something interesting.

Well, after two years, I still don’t have any easier of a time when I sit down to write a post (this one for example, I started more than four hours ago), but I do have 96 “drafts” where I’ve started a post, only to give it up.

Today, I thought I’d share a few “starts”:

This was intro to my first visit to the State Fair last October, titled: Strange Confessional

Shamefully, I have only posted like two or three times in the last fortnight, and one of those was to present my latest book as  if you were all sitting on the edge of your seats, biting your fingernails to the quick with anxiety over it.  So now, almost a week later, I do believe it is time to move on and write something else. Unfortunately, I have no real news, nor is there any inspiration striking for writerly advice. 

However, I feel compelled to confess I’d never been to the fair before. Ever. Yes,  I know it is nearly unheard of for anyone to reach adulthood without going to the fair, but I did! And now, I’m about to share my recent adventure that has left me undecided on if not going was the disappointing thing I thought it was or if it was truly a blessing in disguise.

It all started a few weeks ago when out of nowhere I agreed to be the room mom. That’s when I first found out that this year would be the year for me. The year I’d finally get to go see what all the fuss was all about. The only caveat was I’d be going with a gaggle of kids ages four to six. As my heart started to pound just thinking about taking so many children to such a large, crowded place, I put the thought out of my mind, otherwise they might have to scrape me off the floor. As the days got closer, I got a little more comfortable with the idea, but still a little apprehensive.

Then the day arrived…

To sum up the part that I didn’t write here: it was a horrid affair. Filled with a whiney, bratty kid (not mine. Thank God) clinging onto my pant legs until he almost pulled them down, screaming, answering awkward questions about how the baby goat got in the mama goat’s belly, a lego up someone’s nose and a temper tantrum like I’ve never seen before. But the weather was good!

Here’s another.  I wrote this one last August when my kids were about to go back to school, titled: Kids + Outside = Resistance, “no fun”, and a tinge of whining! Why, oh why?

Today is the last day of my kids’ summer break. Thank goodness. For as much as I love them, and I really do, they’ve been driving me nuts!

When I was a kid, we played outside. As soon as it was bright enough to see, we were out riding our bikes, wrestling the neighbors, throwing water balloons, and just being noisy in general until it was almost so dark you couldn’t see in front of you. We even ate lunch outside! Not these days. I never thought I’d be one of those moms who let her kids get addicted to the TV and refuse to go outside. In fact, I only allow them to watch very little, and yet, all summer it was like pulling teeth to get my kids to stay outside. Sure, they’d go out for about then minutes, then suddenly, the sliding glass door would open and the words, “I’m bored” would echo through the house.

My first thought of course was: How can that be? You have all sorts of toys out there. From a swing set with slide to a cozy coupe, they have all sorts of things to keep them entertained…and they’re not.

The concept of boredom when they have so many toys, plus a brother close in age and a dog, is too hard for me to wrap my mind around it.

So if this scenario reminds you of yourself this summer, know that you are not alone. I suffered it, too. As did millions of other 

One more. The title I’d given this one (and I can’t remember where I was going with it because it’s been so long) was Oh. My. Which is perfect because when I read over it a few minutes ago while going through my draft list, that is the FIRST thing that popped into my mind.

[Warning: Please be advised, this post discusses s-e-x. If you swoon at the thought, please delete this from your inbox or close the page immediately.]

As it would happen, I have two children, and this may be a shocker, but neither were conceived while sitting in a church pew. They were, however, conceived with the lights (including the nightlight) off, in the dead of night, while I waited under the covers, wearing a thick, flannel nightgown that stretched from my chin to my ankles. Bob, who was dressed similarly, slipped between the covers and did something–I’m not entirely certain what–while I counted the textured balls along the ceiling by the light of the moon. I don’t know about the rest of you, but for me, this was the way of things.

Because I live the life of a wannabe nun who just so happened to want children, I hire someone to write my sex scenes… And while proofreading over one of my books tonight, I was mortified with what I read. Absolutely MORTIFIED. Who does that stuff?! And who even thinks of it?! Good grief.

As I said, oh my. I have NO idea where I was going with that, which is probably a blessing, and just in case you couldn’t tell, it was intentionally meant to be sarcastic.

I hope you all enjoyed something and I didn’t scandalize anyone too much.

Randomness

Something-New-Sunday~~An Announcement of Sorts

I’ve never made an announcement for another author on my blog such as this, so it IS something new! But, I felt this was important as if there are any of you who might have purchased this book, you’ll know what to expect and if you have not, but if you ever get this sort of email from Amazon for a book you have purchased you’ll understand it and know what to do with it.

The short of it is, and I’ll post her words below, but here it is a nutshell:

An author named Jamie McGuire self-published her book Beautiful Disaster (this is normal, self-publishing on Amazon is what I do, too) and this book was later picked up by a publisher (also possible, not the norm, but possible).

Now that a publisher has bought her rights, and republished the book, Amazon has sent out mass emails to everyone who’d purchased a copy of the self-published version at 3.99 offering them a full refund, plus the difference of what the old copy cost and the price that the publisher is charging: $7.99. But Amazon is not the one paying this, the author is. Just to give you an idea, she is now paying $8 to anyone who requests a refund, even though she only earned $2.75 on each of those sales in the first place. Where is the money coming from? It is being deducted from book sales she’s earning on her other books that she’s self-publishing.

Is it necessary to return the book and get a refund? Absolutely not. Amazon Customer Service has confirmed that if you bought the self-published version it will stay on your device and in your virtual library. It will not go away.

So, the author, and understandably so, is asking that if you bought a copy of her book Beautiful Disaster that you not request a refund/return it. There is nothing wrong with your copy.

Here are her own words in a note she posted to Facebook last night:

I have looked into this as best I can, but being a Saturday, Amazon isn’t responding.

It appears that Amazon has sent a mass email to everyone who’s ever purchased the self-published version of Beautiful Disaster. They are encouraging readers to request a refund. When asked why they are offering this refund, Amazon customer service has given several different reasons, the most common is problems with content. THERE IS NO PROBLEM WITH THE CONTENT OF BEAUTIFUL DISASTER, and it makes no sense for them to encourage a refund for a book that has already been read and enjoyed 6+ months later, but that is the only information I have for now.

Customer service admits that if you do NOT get the refund, your copy of BD will NOT be affected. If you get a refund, they are offering to reimburse the $4+ difference it costs to purchase the $7.99 version, but what they aren’t telling you is that **I** am paying for every refund.

Last week, I sent an email to Amazon asking why the self-published version of my book is still experiencing returns. Returns are only allowed for up to 7 days after purchase. 6 months after the self-published version of Beautiful Disaster went off-sale my account was still seeing negative amounts for returns. I’m not going to assume the reasons behind this mass email, but it appears that Amazon customer service is now encouraging these returns.

I was not notified of this. This email has nothing to do with my publisher Atria books. If you do not get a refund, your copy of BD will not be affected. If you do, the refund will show as a negative amount in my Amazon KDP author account. Because BD is no longer available, this money will be taken out of my Providence sales.

In other words, this is very bad, and I have no idea why this is happening. Please do not return your copy of BD, and please help me spread the word to not return your copy of BD.

I will let you know what else I find out from Amazon. In the meantime, your support has brought me to tears. I love you all. ♥

Could this happen with other books? I guess so. I never thought about it before as I’d never heard of it happening. But it could, so even if you do not have this particular book, and you get some sort of email from Amazon about returns and refunds, please remember this. Also, if you did buy this book, I’d encourage you not to return it and if you know anyone else who might have a copy, let them know what’s going on, too, please.

 

 

 

I'm the victim of myself, Just for Fun, Randomness

My hat is off to two people who don’t even exist!

I have to admit, I am AWFUL when it comes to some of the skills and traits I give my fictional characters. Except maybe Emma, while my husband can fly fish as good or better than Paul and Marcus, I’m about as hopeless at it as poor Emma who tries but heaven help her, she just can’t. But some of the others, well, I’ve graciously given them the skills I wish I had. Two that come to mind right off are Madison and Juliet. For the truth is, I cannot paint worth crapola. And last night only proved it.

About two weeks ago I passed a store while navigating an unchartered part of the city for me. The store was called Pinot’s Palette. Intrigued, when I got home, I googled it and thought. “Oh, that would be fun.”

And don’t get me wrong, it was, but I am NOT an artist, and for your entertaining pleasure, I have included some pictures of my first public attempt at painting…

The object was to paint a schooner–the name of the wagon pioneers used. Here’s how it is supposed to look:

Oklahoma-Pride-large.jpg

First, she said to paint a straight line across the bottom third of the canvas:

Line

Then she gave us very good directions about drawing lines to make the “box” part of the wagon and the scallops along the top. I didn’t think it could even be possible to mess this up, but…

outline

 

It was passable, and actually what I’d consider fair, until I got the to last “scallop” then oops… I think I’d made them too close together, thus resulting in having to make the last one giagantic in order to reach the back edge.

Then we were told to fill in the background red. Which was perfect, I thought, I can cover up and “re-construct” my scallops. So I did…

Sort of fixed

 

The problem is that I had to paint down in order to fix the scallops, and when I did this ingenious maneuver, it shrank the size of the canopy (duh!) and suddenly it was too small in comparison to the wooden bottom, leading me to have to paint lines lower to show the edge of the box. (Later, and I don’t have a good picture of it, trying to paint the canopy in a way that would hide the horizontal red line going through it was a bear!).

Then as you can see, we did the ground.

At this point, I looked at what I had, then turned to my friend, who is so comfortable as she paints that she’s eating a sugar cookie, and said, “This is an awful disaster. I can only imagine what the finished product will be like.”

Sweet friend that she is, she looked at my painting, shrugged and said, “Don’t worry, you’re more a Brooke.”

“A Brooke?” What in the world?

“Yeah, wasn’t it her who claimed to have painted those atrocious paintings in the drawing room?”

Oh my lands. I knew it was looking bad, but not THAT bad!

Next came filling the canopy, which was another disaster because I somehow managed to drag the paint over the top edge of the canopy and onto the red…

Almost done

So I tried to fix it by redefining the red outline…and added the wheels.

Wheels

 

With now such a lovely outline along the top of the schooner, I knew when we did the final touches to the background I’d have to blend that into the rest or I’d never live down such a mess.

finished

 

We were told to mix a bit of black and a lot of red to make “plum” to do the corners of the red and as you can see mine came out black. I guess there were tornadoes in the area that day. Otherwise, I can’t explain it.

Though I cannot paint worth beans, I had a great time and I’d strongly recommend that if any of you have anything like this available to go do where you’re at, go do it. Even if it’s just once, it’s definitely an experience to have. I never knew I wanted a pioneer schooner hanging in my living room, but now I have one, and I must say, I’m starting to like it even if I’ll have to stash it in the closet whenever company comes to visit.

 

Contests, I'm the victim of myself, Just for Fun, My own craziness

Sober Stupidity

After yesterday’s post about donating to the libraries, I’d like to offer all of YOU a chance to win a copy of each of these books from me, too.

As an aside, I am still collecting names/addresses for libraries in need of two very scandal-ridden, juicy historical romances, so feel free to keep them coming.

But now it’s time for a confession…

I am often the victim of myself. I’ll admit it, more often than not, I am my own worst enemy. A wonderful example of this happened last Friday.

I was in a hurry to get dressed and drive my kids to school so I could get home before the ladies who were coming over to clean our house (hey, after you’ve had the flu, you want to take no chances of a lingering germ). So, like most mornings, I threw on my clothes, made my kids breakfast, packed their lunch, then took them to school.

I came back and walked through the house to make sure toys were picked up and all laundry was in the hamper, etc. Then I waited. About nine, two ladies arrived to clean an I showed them around and was walking here and there. Then I sat down and did some writing, got up, walked around, moved this, moved that, tried to be helpful.

About eleven, my husband comes home from school and we go into his office area to chat for a few minutes. Mid-conversation, the rude man has the nerve to ask me if I’d put my pants on backwards. Outraged he’d even suggest such a thing, I tell him no, they’re just pants without pockets. Ladies wear them, you know. He drops the conversation and we go back to talking about whatever, then I turn to leave and my husband who rarely laughs just starts laughing uncontrollably. When I asked what was so funny, between bursts of laughter he says, “Your parents are on backwards and not only that, but your fly is down!”

I reached back there and about died of mortification when I realize he was right! For the last two hours, I’d been walking around in front of people I don’t know with a gaping hole in the back of my pants. (At least I was wearing panties, I did feel better about that, but still…) Now, I tell this story, only because A. I live in fear that any embarrassing thing I do will wind up on the Internet anyway because some people live to make fun of others; and B. it might seem that writers are these fabulously presented, flawless creatures who live the life of glamour and are all around perfect, but we’re not. We’re a bit dingy, too–probably more so than average, even.

All right, I don’t really know exactly how you can comment back to this as my mortification is still present and I had the strangest urge to crawl under my desk as I wrote this; but if you can  manage some sort of comment, and even better yet, if you can top my story–and it doesn’t have to be one where you’re the star–then I’ll enter you into random.org and select three random winners to win signed copies of both books on Friday.