The final entry in this year's blog challenge focuses on the prompt "my wedding disaster." Have I got a comedy of errors for you!
Anyone who's married can probably empathize with the hectic rushing about that happens as the wedding ceremony approaches. Mine was no different.
Mom hired a salon to fix my hair and that of my five bridesmaids. The stylist did the bridesmaids first. Of course, she ran late, which caused her to rush through my appointment and make me late.
Hastening to the church--all nicely perspiring on that 102 degree F day--I changed into my wedding gown, a frothy white taffeta confection complete with hoopskirt underneath. Nerves and sudden awareness of this momentous change in my life contributed to teary eyes and running mascara. The wedding Mass itself went off without a hitch. Afterward as we gathered the unity candle and other paraphernalia, my new husband dropped one of the crystal candle holders my mother loaned us for the ceremony. It shattered on the church's hard tile. Mom gave us the other one to remember that by.
We adjourned to a local park for photographs and then to the reception. The 3-tiered wedding cake was topped by a crystal figurine of doves. The hotel's air conditioning failed to cope with the day's sweltering heat. The cake collapsed. The doves shattered.
Off to the honeymoon. David and I saw that his brothers had decorated his black Ford Escort with white shoe polish. His nephew (who served as our ring bearer) couldn't reach very high, so he painted what he could reach: the trim and tires. No matter. We headed out. Upon arriving at the hotel where we'd spend our wedding night, we heard a hiss. Lucky for us, the dollar dance at the reception generated enough income to cover replacing a punctured tire.
The next day we checked into the cabin reserved for our honeymoon, thinking we had a week of romantic togetherness to enjoy. But a canoe excursion resulted in my fair-skinned husband burning to a crisp. He couldn't bear to be touched. I hopped on the bandwagon and endured a sunburn, too. Solidarity, you know. By the time our hides healed sufficiently to resume the romance, we were on our last day of the honeymoon.
That morning as we indulged in amorous behavior the locksmith--who'd been traveling from cabin to cabin replacing door handles and latches--walked right into our cabin. Yeah, that put a damper on things.
It's probably fortunate that neither my husband nor I am superstitious, because the running disaster of our wedding and honeymoon would otherwise have sent us running for the hills. As it is, we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary in June 2018.
The couple who can laugh together and at themselves stay together.
It's Christmas Eve and my last "personal" blog post of the year. (The #MFRWAuthor 52-week blog challenge post will appear as scheduled on Friday.) I'm headed on vacation for much-needed down time. The computer will be turned off. I won't answer email messages. You'll be lucky if I answer the telephone.
Quite simply, I'm burned-out.
I took the weekend off (mostly) and read a few books, although didn't finish a couple of them. I detest when authors construct such poor stories that they utterly fail to suspend disbelief. One of those books was a Regency romance. The author threw everything but the proverbial kitchen sink into the plot and then wrapped it up with a disgustingly TSTL heroine. I am convinced that TSTL has two meanings: 1) too stupid to live and 2) too stubborn to live. Both apply to that heroine.
That book sparked my competitive spirit: I can do better than that. Surely, I have a better command of Regency conventions and British titles than that author. Surely, I can think of a better solution for a young woman to pull her family from destitution than that author. Surely, I can keep a plot on track, unlike that author. Surely, I can do better. So, I started a new manuscript. It may never go anywhere, but for now I've got yet one more project to occupy my tired brain.
In the wee hours this morning, another idea struck my fevered imagination. It's ... odd. I'm not sure how it will play out, but it will eventually make its way from my brain onto virtual paper.
Then there's the current work-in-progress. My imagination turns over scenario after scenario, conversation after conversation, trying to fit the pieces together like some sort of mental jigsaw puzzle. This one's tough.
And I've got a few other story ideas swimming in my subconscious, which may or may not be included in the western anthology I'm working on with fellow author Russ Towne. Who knows? I'm already three stories in. A couple more and my contribution to the collection will be ready to send to the editor. Russ, by the way, deserves kudos and a bottle of top shelf whiskey for his insightful comments in his review of those rough drafts.
Regardless, my mind feels overwhelmed with ideas and story options hitting it from all sides. That's where the reference to Fezzik comes in. If you've been fortunate enough to have read William Goldman's The Princess Bride, then you'll remember the description of the wrestler Fezzik, who fought competitively against groups of opponents. My brain is Fezzik, coping with hits from a barrage of ideas and story options.
(By the way, I read The Princess Bride long before Hollywood turned it into a movie. It remains a favorite.)
In the meantime, I'm signing off for the week. I'm unplugging, taking myself away from the computers as I head south to visit family, read books printed on paper (glorious!), and take leisurely walks in the sunshine.
Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!
"To life! and thou, peace; and thy house, peace; and all that thou hast -- peace!" (1 Samuel 25:6, Young's Literal Translation)
I'm sure my use of Andrew Marvell's words from his poem "To His Coy Mistress" makes the poor man spin in his grave, but I find them appropriate to this week's blog prompt: "my fantasy vacation." I initially considered spoofing the old TV series Fantasy Island, but reconsidered. I couldn't make "De plane! De plane!" work.
Enough of my warped humor.
Everyone dreams of an extended, exotic vacation, right? Strangely enough, I dislike traveling and still yearn to visit lands far, far away. History buff that I am, I want to sail to Europe.
My husband and I fully intend to take that trip when he retires. (He'll never retire, so that's a moot point.) We joke about taking a food tour of Italy, eating our way down one coast and up the other, not leaving until we've each gained 50 lbs. Since my father's family emigrated from Calabria, I'd like to spend a little extra time there to soak up the ambiance and history of the region.
My mother's family is Bohemian and German, so I'd like to spent time in the Czech Republic and Germany, too. I have no problems doing the "tourist thing" and touring Mad Ludvig's fantastic castles and sampling beer. The fairy tale landscapes of northern and central Europe call to me in a way that the sun-drenched landscape of Italy doesn't. It's as though Italy's almost too perfect; the green forests and misty dells of the northern countries hint at mystery and danger.
I'd also like to splurge on an extended visit to the United Kingdom and Ireland. An equestrian friend and I speak of a shared dream to take an "equitour" of Ireland, riding horses across the country. Of course, we wouldn't leave our husbands at home. They'd go ahead of us and enjoy gossiping about their crazy, unreasonable wives and bureaucratic idiocy of their former jobs while enjoying a few pints at our day's destination.
Because I'm the kind of person who prefers to plan her spontaneity, I fantasize about the luxury of traveling when and where whimsy takes me, a freedom in which detours and tangents don't matter. Until that happens though, I content myself with watching Rick Steves, Rudy Maxa, and Joseph Rosendo and traveling in spirit with them.
#HollyBargo #SpringfieldOHBookFair #Winter #Books #Authors #HenHousePublishing
4 Star Review!
Miranda inhaled the faint, fresh scent of bleach and rubbed her cheek against the smooth linen beneath her cheek. Awareness seeped in slowly, bringing with it a certain knowledge that she wasn’t supposed to be in bed. She inhaled and realized the room didn’t smell like her hotel room, which had a faint odor of used cat litter. She’d decided that morning she’d never again stay at that particular hotel.
Thus far, Las Vegas hadn’t impressed her. It was crowded, tawdry, and artificial. She longed for the quiet of her back yard where flowers bloomed, birds chirped, and occasionally the donkey down the road brayed.
No, she wasn’t in her hotel room. And the air didn’t have that antiseptic-and-vomit smell of a hospital.
Memory returned with a gasp of horror. She bolted upright, eyes wide open with terror. She launched herself toward the open door and never made it. A steely arm hooked around her middle and drew her against a newly familiar body.
“Let me go!” Miranda shouted.
“Shhh,” Sindre soothed and wrapped his other arm around her as she thrashed against his hold. She could not overpower his size and strength, yet he took care not to harm her.
“Shhh,” he repeated.
“Don’t shush me! Let me go!”
“I can’t,” he said.
“You mean you won’t,” she retorted in a bitter tone as her struggles subsided. She felt him move behind her, felt the press of his lips against her mussed hair.
“I can’t,” he reiterated. “You’re mine and I am yours.”
“Possibly,” he acknowledged in a mild tone. “If I release you, will you bolt?”
Miranda wanted to answer honestly, but wasn’t that stupid. She wanted to lie, but knew he wouldn’t believe her. Hell, she wouldn’t believe herself either. So, she pressed her lips together in a thin, firm line and said nothing.
“I suppose that wasn’t a very smart question,” he admitted with a small chuckle. “Now I know how Atlas felt when he saw his Chloe.”
“Who?” she blurted.
“And old acquaintance,” Sindre dismissed the question. “Of course you’ll run.”
He shifted his hold on her and scooped her up in his arms. She yelped and started struggling again with as little effect as before.
“Stop thrashing about or I won’t be responsible for how I subdue you,” he warned. She immediately went limp, though he felt the heat of her enraged glare. “Good girl.”
“This is illegal,” she snarled.
“What? Carrying you? You’re my wife. Tens, if not hundreds, of millions of people watched our wedding this morning.” He carried her from the bedroom to the sofa in the small suite.
“You coerced me.”
“A little.” He sat down and positioned his bride more comfortably on his lap, anchoring her against his body with the light, immovable pressure of one big hand. He reached over and plucked her glasses from a small table adjacent to the chair and held them in front of her. With a mutinous expression, she accepted the offering and settled her spectacles in place. Somehow it was better to see clearly, even when the vision offended her.
“A little?” she shrieked. He winced at the shrill tone piercing his ear drums. “I want an annulment now!”
#HollyBargo #SpringfieldOHBookFair #Winter #Books #Authors #HenHousePublishing
I restricted event participation this year to local events, which proved to be a smart decision on my part. Of the four events I attended, the latest was on December 15 in my hometown, Springfield. To be perfectly candid, it didn't go well. Most of the 16 participating authors sold nothing.
I have no complaints with regard to the venue: that was satisfactory as far as accommodations go. Event planners can't control the weather, so the day's cold, dreary drizzle likely put the kibosh on any desire people may have had to attend. Higher Ground Books & Media were well-organized, so no gripes on that score. The timing--two weekends before Christmas--was good and should have inspired attendance, so I can't chew on sour grapes for a scheduling conflict.
Therefore, what do I have to complain about?
Truly, I have no complaints, just confirmation of my opinion that it's best to hold an event such as this where people already like to gather. A conference room tucked away in a hotel ain't that.
If you read this blog, then you'll know we're already gearing up for the Winter Book Fair in February. We have five registrations remaining, due to one cancellation. (She's moving to Florida in early February.) The Winter Book Fair has some pros and cons for participating vendors to consider:
I think the pros outweigh the cons, especially considering the value authors get for their registration fees.
Maybe we'll grow to the size where the brewery can no longer accommodate us. If that happens, we'll need to make a decision as to which is in participating authors' best interest and, perhaps, consider piggybacking on the crowd-drawing attraction of another event. I know of two organizations that already do that: Basement Health Association holds an annual membership meeting and workshop in conjunction with the World of Concrete in Las Vegas, NV, and the North American Power Sweepers Association holds their annual convention in conjunction with the National Pavement Expo. It works well for them.
Higher Grounds Books & Media is considering holding their third annual author fair in conjunction with another group, perhaps at a craft fair or some such type of event: preferably at a venue that draws a good crowd. I'll wait to see the promotional material before deciding whether to give it another try.
FYI to those who regularly read this blog: I will be on vacation--and unplugged--from December 22 through January 1. Go ahead and send me an email message or post a comment, just don't expect a response until after New Year's Day.
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Hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, and sunny side up: eggs are the musings of Holly Bargo, the pseudonym for the author.
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