From the bottom of my heart… I Love You

ocean

 

I have come to learn over the last decade of being a husband there are things that change and things which do not. Bills change, friends change, people change, but change has always been known as a sign of growth in natural law. It can be said everything which does not change is unnatural. When a child has an issue with growing it is thought to be a bit illogical and thus that child is sent to experts to determine the issue which is usurping the natural order. The process of growing is the process of changing. The purpose for a child to grow is so he/she may become an adult. Growth is the vehicle for the change we all need in our lives.

 

In ten years, I have laughed hard and cried harder. I have run forward with reckless abandon, and I have moved backward tip-toeing on eggshells the entire way. I have triumphed and I have made mistakes, in all I have done regardless of whether or not my personal character has been consistent, I have grown. I have seen my marriage stand on the verge of failure to the pinnacles of success, and everything in between. It was not by my own hand which my marriage was saved, but by the same principles left to us by our creator through natural law.

natural law

I have found out relationships need also to obey natural laws, all relationships must grow to survive. The growth of two people into a whole functioning unit is a wonderful metamorphosis. It takes us from being individuals who have the ability to create whatever we desire and build our future with our own hands into becoming an entity which will have the strength to stand no matter the circumstances because we are no longer standing alone, but tied together with the same goals, the same dreams, driven by the desire to see the success of one another. Relationships are poetic in this manner, revealing depth and complexity line by line until the goal of motivation is recognized or achieved.

 

Love is more than just a combination of words and a summary of romantic actions, love is a commitment to change.

 

A commitment to ever-evolving with the best interest of one another in mind well before ourselves. It is the choice we make to render our own lives less important than the life with our beloved. It is a commitment to each other’s goals, hopes, and aspirations to memory. A commitment to remove our insecurities from one another and to build a stability which can dawn a new era in our lives and empower us to achieve more than we had ever dared to before. It is a commitment of crushing our own belief systems and forcing ourselves to achieve the impossible, and all of this is never motivated by emotions, our emotions are fleeting at best.

 

These commitments all have one thing in common, the constant of change was chosen. The promise of fulfilling the natural order of law to be upheld, the choice of remaining at each other’s side no matter what the cost is how to say from the bottom of our hearts…. I love you.

from the bottom of my heart

A Writer’s Best Friend

If you are like me and think a chair is just a chair, hold on to your seat. I just might be your fairy godmother sprinkling magic dust that will make you go: Huh. Never thought of that.

Ready?

Our desk and chair are part of our writer tool kit.  Yet our chair – or should I say the proper chair can be a writer’s best friend.

Such is the power of some recent in-store assistance I received at Office Depot. I was on a mission to buy a hole punch and scrounge left over school supplies. One can never have too many spiral notebooks. Oh, and pick up a chair. Which is exactly how I met John in the chair department. The irony, I know.

Since chairs were on sale and I was there, it only seemed right to do some test sitting. My criteria were limited: comfortable, sturdy (I hate those easy lean backs that make me think I’m falling), cheap, with a bonus of a wheeled base and triple bonus if semi-cat proof. They had a broad spectrum of chairs including a Serta line. However, I’ve never had back issues or needed anything fancy. A chair is for sitting… that was until John started talking about ergonomics.

The more he talked, the more I realized how I sit. I don’t sit with my feet flat on the floor, my legs bent at 90 degree angles. (One leg is always tucked and my feet are rarely on the floor.) I lean forward. My arm rests don’t match the height of my desk. Per John, arms rests are never to go under a desk and I keep mine low to do just that. A chair is to have upper and lower back support. Mine offers, um, none. My chair is awesome but alas, is too short for proper support.

I realized too that I tested each chair by sitting in my most comfortable position – one leg tucked under the other. Armed with all my wonderful new knowledge from John I found out of the six chairs that previously worked, only one offered the appropriate support and comfort when sitting properly. Seems mastering the perfect chair can be equivalent to finding the perfect sleep pillow.

Writers already spend what feels like eternity chained to a chair. Even if you take breaks to stretch, or walk around, sitting improperly can causes neck, back, hip and knee pain/tension, and carpel tunnel syndrome. Alleviating pain or the potential for it can be as simple as adjusting the knobs on your chair and/or buying a foot rest. We use our desk and chair every day. It make sense to have a chair that will support us along our writing journey.

Author/ Contributor: Teresa Little

Book Review: The Prince of Tides

It isn’t often that the two halves of my soul (the reader and the writer) agree on a book’s worth and find something different to admire in the process. Yet this is exactly what Pat Conroy accomplished with The Prince of Tides.

I’ve seen the movie, it’s old, and it is one that has always stuck with me. To date I think it is one of the best performances I’ve ever seen by Nick Nolte. His chemistry with Barbara Streisand “Lowenstein” by the end, just gets ya.

So here is what I loved as a reader:

  1. Conroy pulled me in immediately. Tom Wingo is cranky, gruff, and jumped from the page fully formed with Nolte’s voice in my head.
  2. The writing is rich and his details are at times so alive I could smell the pungent waters Tom Wingo grows up on.
  3. He didn’t dummy down his words. (Helps that the book was published in 1986 long before Twitter changed how we read.)
  4. The characters are exceedingly well formed and the bonds between the family are exquisite in their heartbreak and their love.

The story does deal with dark themes and social issues on multiple fronts and while some things may not be politically correct by today’s standards, the landscape of the story benefits from the reality of its time. One word of warning, it could trigger someone with a history of abuse, but even these scenes are done with relative care.

As a writer:

  1. The lyrical flow of the novel moves with the same tides as the island’s the story revolves around. In certain chapters I could feel the ebb and in others, the incoming tide by his writing’s rhythm. Whether this was conscious on Conroy’s part or not, it added an additional depth to the novel.
  2. His ability to tackle multiple social issues and allowing the reader to examine the issue and form their own opinions.

I can’t say that there are many downsides to The Prince of Tides. Like all literary books, it can get weighed down by prose, but the changes from past to present POVs keeps this at a minimum. I would have liked to understood Savannah better, the book has her demons happening at an earlier age than the movie does, but the trade off was that Luke felt more fleshed out in the book. The book ends the same as the movie, yet I felt cheated only because the written ending does not have the same visual pause and poignancy the movie carries off.

All in all, I’ll be reading more of Pat Conroy’s novels. I hope they can compare to this one. Five Stars

Contributor/Author: Teresa Little

 

 

Review of Abby’s Promise

AbbyPromise

Purchase here

I LOVED this book! It was sweet with a splash of sexy and a hint of comedy all mixed into one. Sounds like the best kind of drink if you ask me! There were moments that made me laugh, some where I wanted to cry, and others that I just wanted to beat the snot out of someone. Like I said, it was a GREAT story. But let me not get ahead of myself.

If you’ve been following me on here, then you know how this works. Synopsis, spoiler warning, followed by full review and my final rating at the end. With that said, I now have my own website where I will be posting more reviews. So check me out here.

Now that we’re all caught up, let’s get this road on the show.

Ring Synopsis

Abby and Joey parted ways eight years ago when he joined the Marines. They had maintained some contact, but it dwindled over time until they stopped speaking all together. Now back in town, Joey wants to reconnect, but Abby isn’t all that interested. Or is she? Even if she is, there are several people who want nothing more than to keep them apart. Can they get past all the drama and find their way to one another?

Now that you know the premise, this is your one and only warning that there are SPOILERS AHEAD. Continue reading at your own risk.

my-review

The story starts off with a text between Abby and Joey. Something he’s recalling from eight years earlier. It took me a second with this because Abby apparently gave him the nickname “Jo-Jo.” I couldn’t quite get used to that. Mostly because I couldn’t imagine a guy being nicknamed “Jo-Jo.” Though, now that I think about it, I could absolutely see a feminine woman calling her best guy friend named Joseph, “Jo-Jo.” Anyway, so Joseph is on his first day of college and he’s thinking about Abby. They haven’t yet crossed paths, but we all know it has to happen soon. Then we find out Abby went to college to teach. I was absolutely giddy at this point because I knew what would happen.

Abby would turn out to be Joseph’s professor. That alone spelled trouble! Though I certainly didn’t imagine everything else that would be going on. Kidnapping, fights, jail, asshole parents … okay, maybe that’s a bit strong … self-righteous would be more appropriate. Maybe even indignant. But I get to that later.AbbyPromise1

Within the first few chapters, we learn rather quickly that both Joseph and Abby have been through some things. Joseph fought in the war and that certainly left a mark on him. Then there’s his family, his father mostly. I have never wanted to punch the shit out of a character more than I did Joey’s father! The guy was an absolute tool! Dickhead! Scoundrel. Asshole! I could go on forever about what I think of Joey’s father, except it’s NOT his story. So, moving on.

As for Abby, she isn’t just the mother of a two-year-old, but she’s also a widow. Another mark left by war and this is one of the reasons she initially pushes Joey away. As the story goes on, we discover more about what happened to Abby’s late husband. This made me feel for her. Yes, she had her daughter and her family, but sometimes that isn’t enough. And while Joey had been her first love, she isn’t quite ready to take another leap, at least not without some encouragement and a LOT of patience.

It took a minute for these two to get it together. While they did, we got some sweet romance, a few hot scenes, and it was sprinkled with a bit of comedy.

This was one of the best roller-coaster rides I’ve been on. And I absolutely want to tell you more, but I don’t want to give too much away. So, if you want to read my full review, check it out on my new blog.

I promise, I’m not going to leave you empty handed. Here a few more of my favorite lines.

  1. “‘Oh, I don’t think you need that.’ I motioned to the white shirt in his hands. ‘Or pants, for that matter.’” (Can I seriously borrow this line?)
  2. “‘For once your life, Abby, will you stop being so damn stubborn? I want to know. I want you to break. Break, for me, and let me put you back together. Let me be the one to carry some of your burden. Don’t do it alone anymore—for Zoey’s sake.’” (Yes, yes, I know this isn’t ONE line, but it was soooooo beautiful and heart-breaking!)
  3. “‘I swear to Christ, Joey, if the next words out of your mouth are: ‘will you keep it’ I will punch you in the throat. While holding a baby. Because I’m that badass.’” (I want to be that badass!!)

If you really, really want to see some more, check out my full review on my new blog.

With that said, I give it …

5-Star

Contributor: Brigit Rosé

When do you hit delete?

I used to play chicken with words. See if they could outlast cat feet on the keyboard and endless software updates. You might not think it possible, but I’ve killed off numerous words in this ambivalent game of word roulette. Why do this after working hard to put them on a page. Truth? I didn’t think they were good enough but I couldn’t hit delete.

Stephen King has two catch phrases, Kill Your Darlings and I’m paraphrasing here – Sometimes what you think is shit is actually good writing. Darlings I find in editing. I have a graveyard filled with what I think are awesome lines. I troll it every once in awhile, recycle a word or two, but mostly laugh and wonder what was I thinking?

As to shit writing. Everything looks that way at 2 am when your eyes are bugging out of your head. It’s okay to walk away, hit save, return in a few days. The words are hardly ever shit. On occasion they are. I won’t lie. But I will tell you that even then I still find some key story thread waiting to be picked up and hammered into shape.

Yet neither of these instances are the delete button worthy question I am referring to in the title. No, that is reserved for the crazy out of nowhere lines that pop past the brain/finger barrier. You know, the ones that magically appear on the page and must stay there.

I had a set recently: Clouds touch more than sky. Five words and I couldn’t delete them no matter how hard I tried. They had no meaning to the story. They don’t even fit together except I think strung that way they sound cool. Hardly a reason to keep them.

Yet a month later I had gleaned where in the story they belonged. I knew Sky was a character name (happy coincidence) and that for my Protag, it had great significance. Otherwise I was stuck. Two months in, jumping around, trying to tie things together the dam finally burst. Clouds touch more than sky became symbolic, and a real turning point. That proverbial ah-hah moment for the Protag and me.

I was so pleased that I shared this with a writer friend then asked if she too ever had those types of words. Now I ask you. When, if ever do you hit delete?

Author/Contributor: Teresa Little

 

 

100 on Cold

It runs in your veins creating ice trails through that splintered heart. I didn’t see the crystal shards embedded in your blue blooded, pale hand or the deep-freeze under ninety degrees that never thaws. It lingers in your voice, the cold, detached goodbye, the frosted turned cheek, and the dismissal with your eyes. How I wish we never got involved. I’m tired of the hardened heart, the chill of this empty bed, the heat misplaced and displaced. How simple things roll off your banks and careen down mountainsides laden with snow. Caught in the avalanche and buried in your cold.

Author/Contributor: Teresa Little

Review of Size Matters

sizemattersI loved, loved, LOVED this book! Even if it wasn’t a romance story about a curvaceous, plus-sized woman getting together with a hunky, muscular man, I STILL would’ve enjoyed this book. It was witty, charming, and hilarious. Yes, there were moments where I laughed my ass off. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Let me back up for a second.

If you’ve read my reviews before, you know how it works. So let’s get on with it. 😉

Leah runs a successful bakery, but it’s not really enough for her overly-critical mother. Her mother thinks if she lost weight, then she could find a man. Enter Sam Cooper, who defends Leah’s date-ability to her mother by introducing himself as her fiancée. Ring SynopsisCan they keep up the ruse and remain friends all while Sam is trying to make Leah’s family hate him so she is forced to call off the wedding? And what happens when he decides he wants to make it real?

Now on to the FUN stuff! Before we go on, as always, continue reading at your risk. There will be SPOILERS ahead.

my-review

From the first chapter, I was enthralled. I quickly found Leah had a way with words and some of them reflected poorly on her self-esteem. Within the first few pages, she thought, “Thank God they lived in Texas instead of Alaska or an Eskimo might’ve mistaken her for a seal and tried to skin her.” I really felt for her. It wasn’t hard to tell someone had really done a number on her self-esteem and this is something that the author developed well throughout the book. Especially the way it came together in the end. After all, we can count on one of two things in a romance book—HEA or HFN. I was ecstatic is turned out to be an HEA that included Leah finding some balls of her own.

Size-Matters-Quote-1I also loved the relationship her and her best friend, Val, had. It reminds me of a few of my own friendships. You know the kind. The type of friendship where you can read your friend’s face and you know what’s going on. That kind! These two bounced off of each other like a soccer ball. Val asks Leah about the type of guy she wants. When Leah comes back with, “A pulse,” Val responds by saying, “No vampires. Check. What else?” I’ll admit it, I giggled. Great Twilight reference. At least in my mind.

Of course, there was also the way Leah described her best friend, Val: “She had expressive blue eyes, wavy platinum blond hair, and looked more like a cutesy toy poodle any guy would give their right testicle to take for a walk.” Page one! I’m just saying. I absolutely laughed at this. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who describes their friend(s) by breed, let alone say it aloud. Which Leah does while dancing with Sam. Though I thoroughly enjoyed his response, “A poodle—that’s it! I had her pegged more as Chihuahua, but I think you nailed it. All she needs is a large, obnoxious pink bow in her hair.”

By this point, I.WAS.SOLD. And I hadn’t even made it through the first chapter yet. It only got better as I went along. Several more zingers throughout the novel between Sam and Leah. And the two of them trying to figure the other out, while trying to cut through the sexual tension at the same time was a total riot. Not to mention it was fun watching Leah misconstrue about 75% of what Sam said and Sam desperately try to find his attraction to Leah. I simply could not put Size Matters down.SizeMatters-Quote02

Now, I could sit here and gush about all my favorite parts and/or lines in the book. Instead, I’ll share a couple and then you can go check it out for yourself.

  • Max said he [Sam] has a small penis.
  • So let me get this straight. You need to deliver your ex-boyfriend’s wedding cake, topped with plants, and filled with something that sounds like a venereal disease…and people are actually going to eat it?
  • Sure, buddy. We’ll see how lucky I am when you walk away and Leah rips my head off my shoulders and shoves it up my ass.
  • God. His penis really must be small if he thinks pie is better than sex.
  • I thought the same thing until I found out the bars of soap were leftover from the guests’ rooms. The thought of touching something that probably ran up some old man’s ass crack was enough to make me gag.

I could go on all night! But, I believe I have given you enough from this book. Check it out here and judge for yourself.

In the end, I was left with two questions. Is there a place where I can find Leah’s dessert recipes? And where can I find my own Sam Cooper?

With all that said, I give it  FIVE-STARS

Author/Contributor: Brigit Rosé

On a side note, I’ll be setting up my own website soon and hopping on the Twitter train so you can read more of my reviews.