Galloping Gooses, and I Don’t Mean the Bikers

My daughter and son-in-law are doing a sales circuit in the Northern states, and seeing some beautiful country in the process. Rachel called from Idaho so excited over seeing her first bald eagle in the wild. Deer so different from those in Mississippi while she was in New York. Other fauna and flora exclusive to whichever state they’re in. She even experienced snow in half-dollar sized, feathery flakes. Her latest communication came this morning from Indianapolis, a little bit gripe-y.

When they left here it was supposed to be summer. Being from Michigan myself, I did warn her the term ‘summer’ is relative to each area. She considers 40’s a hard freeze requiring long johns and multiple layers, but after months of 12 to 20 degrees, to some folks 40’s can seem downright balmy. Unless you’re from the South.

The short of this explanation? She’d packed no outer wear for this trip. Needless to say, she had to go jacket shopping. The department store hadn’t opened yet when she drove into town, so she decided to eat breakfast somewhere while she waited.

She settled on a local establishment called The Original Pancake House that advertised crepes. She entertained the wait staff with her enthusiasm for her breakfast, and sent me a shot of her plate, saying she hadn’t had crepes that good since she was a kid and I made them for her from scratch. But the picture of her crepes served a dual purpose.

To prove to me it was worth what she braved to gain the interior of the restaurant.

When she pulled in there were a few Canadian Geese wandering the lot. Never having seen them in the wild, she was as thrilled over them as the bald eagles. She’d never realized just how large they are and clicked a pic or two through the windshield with her phone. When she got out of her car, a few started walking back and forth along the store front as if they owned it. She thought they were adorable, “marching like little soldiers on patrol”. She admitted this new activity made her a little nervous, but since there were people clearly visible through the windows, and they’d braved these same geese to get in there, how bad could it be?

She stepped out of her vehicle, and though they showed a marked–and collective– interest in her activities, they couldn’t be called aggressive. Feeling reasonably confident, she moved to the sidewalk in front of the car. Things went well up right up to the point she hit the button on her keys to set her car alarm.

Her exact words?

“Mama, all I can figure is that high-pitched, double mweep-mweep is ‘f**k you’ in goose! All I know is one second things were fine, and then the next they charged me! All honking and hissing and moving their necks like snakes, chests poked out with their wings flapping and big orange feet slapping the pavement. Mama, those things were chest high on me! Geese ran at me from all directions, and I had no idea where they even came from! It was like they materialized from thin air. I wanted to get back in my car and leave but there were too many of them between me and my door. Then I realized the restaurant door was closer.  Mama, I didn’t care what anybody thought. I ran, screeching for them to get away the whole way!”

Her descriptions had me laughing so hard I was crying. “But those crepes were so worth it, Mama! I’m going to bring Will back there with me for more.” She hesitated the tiniest fraction of time before adding, “But I’m going to make him get out first! If those geese are busy chasing him down, I can get inside un-accosted.”

She made it back to her car after her meal.

She was wise enough to use the key itself to quietly unlock the door. But she is her mother’s daughter, and the alarm was too much to resist completely. Call it an experiment in objectivity.

I can picture that little black sports Mercedes shooting out of the parking lot to disappear down the highway, chased by an angry flock of Canadian Geese flying tight on its tail.

Seems ‘mweep-mweep‘ does mean ‘eff you’ in goose!

Until next time,

~Runere~

PS: Don’t forget tomorrow is our GCCRWA meeting. We welcome visitors, and Patrick is presenting a techie program for us! I’m planning to learn everything I can from him. Hope to see some new faces there. ~R~

Visit at http://www.RunereMcLain.com   Friend her on FB @RunereMcLain   Follow her on Twitter@RunereMcLain

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Performing His and Hers Toilettes

Wow. Another week gone already? Silken Sands Writers Conference is coming up fast! March 16-18 will be here before you know it. So just in case you haven’t registered, here’s the link again: http://www.gccrwa.com/silkensands .

It’s been an adventurous week here in Runere Land. (That moniker was granted by Jeff Salter, a blog buddy, who has his first book—“The Overnighter’s Secrets”— coming out in April from Astraea Press. Go, Jeff!) Hubby and I have been getting things together for my conference workshop, while having a herd of the grandchildren over. And I use the term ‘herd’ politely. It’s fun, but when they head home I’m left feeling trampled! lol

For starters, instead of echo location, the four year old has candy location radar. Seems I’d dropped a few little wisps of foil while peeling Hershey’s Kisses in my office. And I do mean wisps, because when she said “There’s all kind of candy wrappers over there” (which with her New Orleans accent sounded like “Theah’s awl kinda cyandy wrappahs ovah deah”, and yes, it was so cute I made her repeat it), I looked. Carefully. Nothing. She promptly laid three minute foil flakes in the palm of her hand and shoved them under my nose. Well, huh. They did come from candy wrappers. And I hid the rest of the bag.

Meal time rolled around and I fixed them all plates so they could eat in the living room. Radar Girl looked it over, fixed me with a cool stare, and asked, “What’s for dessert?” I told her, and she immediately pointed to everything on her plate in quick succession, saying, “That’s nasty. That’s nasty. That’s nasty. And that’s nasty. I can’t eat it. Can I have my dessert now?” We butted heads for a few seconds there, me lecturing that dessert does not qualify as a nutritious meal, and she had to empty her plate before she could have any. Tried the ‘you hurt Mawmaw’s feelings’ routine, but got nowhere with it. Finally told her point blank that Mawmaw does not cook nasty food. Had her look around at the others plowing their way through their heaped plates. The only thing that ended our prolonged standoff was her brother trying to stab and steal the pork roast on her plate. I learned defensiveness must improve the flavor of food, because she cleaned her plate!

We shared stories too. Mine was about a friend who’s a rocket scientist. Literally. He and his wife had come for a visit one afternoon, and he went to the bathroom. It wasn’t the length of time he spent in there that was odd; it was the muffled bursts of laughter at twenty second intervals that got to me. He finally poked his head out the door, grinning.

“Hey, it started out I was just trying to be polite,” he began, “but when I nudged the seat down, it drifted down in slow motion. I’ve never seen a toilet seat with a braking system before!” He raised it, and started it on its downward trip, avidly following its turtle mode progress to ‘female usage position’, another burst of hysterical laughter rolling out of him. I was forced to explain we have grandsons in the majority, and when a little guy stumbles in half asleep and forgets to keep a grip on the seat to hold it up, I end up shuddering through a blood-curdling screech an instant after being woken by a loud bang. I’ll admit I’ve gotten pretty good at handing off ice packs one handed, the other covering my eyes so the poor little guy can maintain the illusion of privacy as he ices his whacked weenie. Dignity went out the window with his hopping around howling with ‘things’ in a two-handed hold. (I keep telling those boys to retain full possession of the thing and don’t drape it over the porcelain edge, but do they listen? Nooo.)

Anyway, after one too many icepacks, I went in search of something safer for them and found it in Tylertown at a bath specialty shop. It’s better for me too. All my consideration when I don’t turn on a light so I won’t disturb anyone is for naught; particularly if I’m half asleep. There’s that millisecond of time that extends forever in the sleep-fuzzed brain. You know the one. It’s that twinkling instant between knowing you should have landed, realizing you haven’t, and falling in. But physics rule, gravity is all-powerful, and there’s nothing you can do to stop the splash landing.

I end up yelling loud enough from the pure shock of ending folded in half in cold porcelain and icy water to drown out almost everything else, but I’m pretty sure it’s the older boys who booby trapped the thing. There’s way too much muffled hooting and snorting into pillows, and laughing shouts of “Hey, Poppa, does Maw know how to swim?” Or “Quick! Somebody find the shoehorn!” Or “Should we fish her out now? She sounds pretty mad; maybe we should just leave her there to cool off  ‘til we need her to cook breakfast.”

Yes, I had a lengthy, invigorating 3AM bath to remedy the aftermath. Didn’t even try to be quiet about it. But it wasn’t all bad. Since I was already awake, I did get some writing in!

Good writing! I’ll be looking for you at the beach! Pensacola style!
~Runere~

Visit at www.RunereMcLain.com  Friend her on FB@RunereMcLain  Follow her on Twitter@RunereMcLain

Silken Sands Self-Published Star Contest Finalists!

I’m currently sitting here pondering which manuscript to pitch at Silken Sands Writers Conference. It’s coming up very soon and I (*dither, dither, dither*) need to make up my mind.
And I’m throwing it out there that there are still some respectable places on the pitch roster available. Not many, but a few. So if you feel your project is ready (or can be readied!) to present to an acquiring editor or agent by March 16-18th, I urge you to hurry and register to save your spot! http://gccrwa.com/silkensands

I still need a little help deciding. I love the Paranormal venue. It’s my deepest love. I have more MSS with Paranormal aspects. But I also write contemporary. Those come so easily they scare me. Anything that quick and easy has to be wrong, right? But then maybe they flow due to the articles I’ve written as a magazine staff writer. I loved taking a current event and throwing a fun or funny spin on it. Contemporary seems to be an extension of that, so maybe I’m just more at home with it. Frustrated sigh. *kicks rocks*

So what am I going to do? I’m going to . . .
. . . take this opportunity to tell you about a few authors who don’t presently have that dilemma!

Glad to say the finalists in the Silken Sands Self-Published Star Contest have been announced. Congratulations to eighteen great ladies in six categories of Romance! I mention them here because I’m so proud of every one of them.  Read more about the contest and the entry and judging procedure here:  http://gccrwa.com/starcontest

 

 

2012 Silken Sands Self-Published Star Contest Finalists

Short Story:
Gaea’s Chosen: The Mayday Directive by Cara Michaels
New Money & Old Trouble by Jane Carver
Dragon In The Mist by Nancy Lee Badger

Novella:
All’s Fair In Love & Seduction by Beverley Kendall
Loving or Nothing by Cara Marsi
Deceive Her With Desire by Nina Pierce

Single Title Contemporary:
Wife by Wednesday by Catherine Bybee
For the Love of a Woman by Christina James
Hardball by V.K. Sykes

Single Title Paranormal:
Bayou Legend by Janet Breakfield
Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead by Christiana Miller
Love by Accident by Michelle Beattie

Single Title Historical:
This Heart For Hire by Elysa Hendricks
Another Chance by Michelle Beattie
Her Secondhand Groom by Rose Gordon

Young Adult:
Pride’s Run by Catherine Verge
Freaks of Greenfield High by Maree Anderson
The Boyfriend Thief by Shanna Norris

Winners will be announced at the Silken Sands Writers’ Conference in Pensacola, Florida, on March 17, 2012.

My Sizzler Sisters and I will be presenting these authors a bit more in depth, and providing web site and buy links for their entries. So be sure to check in often, and look for more fun ahead!

My final suggestion for today is one made by another member of our writing chapter, Jamie, and it’s a good one indeed.

If you’ve never read a Romance eBook, this list of authors is a great place to start!

Good writing, everyone! See you at the beach at Silken Sands!
~Runere~

Visit Runere at http://www.RunereMcLain.com    Friend her on FB @ Runere McLain    Follow her on Twitter@RunereMcLain

And We’re Still Outnumbered . . .

Sorry this didn’t go up first thing this morning. Things have been so hectic and run together around here that I had a brain spasm and forgot what day it was.

Part of the tension — enjoyable for a change, but tension never the less– was waiting to hear the results of the ultrasound to learn the gender of my first great-grandchild. Oh, don’t worry. The grandchildren haven’t stopped coming either. Was informed last week that grandchild number fifteen is on the way. The children at our family reunions will be as confused as my generation was. My mother and I ended up pregnant at the same time. After I’d had my first child. So my baby sister has a niece older than she is. My baby sister and children grew up close, and they played that breezy “Oh. My aunt is here to check me out of class” scheme to the hilt in high school.

Anyway, we were hoping to even the imbalance of girl/boy ratio but got no cooperation. The first great-grandchild is another boy. With only four girls out of fifteen grandchildren, people often remark the girls probably have to band together against the boys. It’s a little embarrassing to hide behind your hand and mumble, “No, it’s usually the boys forced to fight back to back, defending against one of the girls.”  In fact the last birthday party we attended one of the neighbor kids pushed a smaller child down. Waded in to stop a granddaughter from ‘taking up’ for the little one. She had two older, larger boys on the ground and was working on the third by the time I got over there to break it up.  But, damn, she had good form! Kept her fists up to protect herself and good footwork for smooth stick-and-retreat action. Jab,jab, cross. Dance out. Dance in and jab, jab, uppercut. Side step and apply an elbow to the side of the head. Feint, recover and jamb a knee to the . . .  Okay, okay! I may have taken my time getting over there, but there was cake on the picnic table. And since the hulking teen bullies picked on an eight-year-old they deserved to get whipped by a girl!

Think the painted nails, and meticulous make-up on an already gorgeous face had the aggressors dismissing her as ‘just a girl’ when she tried initially to adress them verbally. They should have known they were in deep poop when she had the foresight to save her new heels by kicking them off prior to addressing the situation by hand.

People often ask how I can write such believable fight scenes. Sigh. Please re-read preceding paragraph. Probably because I’ve refereed so many testosterone spikes? Or stopping lone females from dampening testosterone spikes with the efficiency of a ten-pound hammer to a thumb tack? Or because Hubby contributed his genetic disposition since he (before his back injury) was the type to water ski up and down the New Orleans canals in January– because the fish weren’t biting and they had to do something since they dragged the boat out there. Or took trophies during Poker Runs for being youngest rider in  the motorcycle club?  Or his father before him was into racing automobiles, boats and motorcycles? Or because one of my boys was bouncing for a club on Bourbon Street when he was only 17? During Mardi Gras?

My own insatiable love of weapons and the outdoors probably didn’t contribute much calm either, I’m sure.

I’m convinced that Dare-the-Devil gene is well ensconced in the pool, splashing around just waiting for a chance to co-join to create another human who will grin while shoving a handful of genetic water at you.

So I guess we have to run high on males. The females just end up being too damn mean!

Keep writing folks! We have a conference coming up and you want to have your best ready to pitch to the agents and editors!

~Runere~

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Silken Sands Writers Conference! See You at the Beach!

Writers conferences. A matter of hot debate, the question asked most frequently “Is a conference worth the time and money you spend to attend one?”

IF you’ve done your research, IMHO, yes, they are worth it! You can find sources in writer’s publications, local writers groups, and on line. One quick warning; there are as many types of conferences as there are genres, so research until you find one benefitting your genre, level of experience, and budget. You can find single subject conferences (characters, dialogue, marketing, etc.) that last a few hours or a single day. Weekend conferences with pitch sessions, meet and greet, and craft workshops. There are week-long retreats as well. Conferences have sprung up not for writers, but for readers. Many of your favorite authors have conferences to meet their fans, held in cities or on sea cruises. But for this blog, we’re dealing with writers!

First, choose a conference in your genre. If you write Mystery, don’t attend a Paranormal conference. Seems ridiculous to mention that, but one Romance conference I attended had a lone male there. Talked to him a bit and it turned out he was looking for help with Westerns. He was one lost puppy. But we put our heads together over the workshops, and craft is craft, so it wasn’t a total bust for him. Pointed out if he’d substitute ‘six gun’ for ‘stilettos’ in certain aspects, he’d do fine. Plus he loved the attention he got from all those ladies when word of his dilemma got around. Made me feel good he went away smiling.

I write paranormal romance. I’m attending Silken Sands Writers Conference in Pensacola, Florida this March 16-18 because of the sheer diversity of romance genres represented there. (If you need info, click here: www.gccrwa.com/silkensands .) Barbara Vey from Publishers Weekly is the Kickoff Speaker, a mighty presence with her personal blog there. Yet I’ve never met a more unpretentious woman. She has one of those smiles that has you opening up to her without being aware you’ve done so. Knowing she’s with us . . . Please excuse the strange woman doing the disjointed wiggle dance in the corner; I’m trying to stay to the shadows, but I’m super excited! And multi-published Historical Romance author Beverly Kendall is our Keynote Speaker. Can’t wait to hear what she has to say!

Speakers provide more than group entertainment. They’re head cheerleaders for every one there. The Keynote speaker is the individual held up as a success story, proof the dream can be accomplished. I’ve heard Keynote Speakers who tore at your heart with what they endured to achieve that dream. Sherrilyn Kenyon is one. She’d just started using her MacGregor moniker for a series, and we chatted about ancestors. She didn’t know me from Adam, yet was interested enough in the subject to ask how far back I’d tracked mine. I responded with a rousing “Clan MacClaine o’ Loch Buie, Scotland”, complete with hacked consonants and swallowed vowels. She started laughing. “How do you do that?” she wanted to know. “I still can’t get it right!” (Helps if you have family who never lost their accent. Imitation comes naturally to a child, and I guess I’ve never grown up.)

At another conference Romantic Suspense author Karen Rose talked about her writing journey, then brought home how ordinary individuals comprise writers’ ranks. Turns out she’s terrified of snakes. I’ll never forget her pot and spoon story, holding up the very items she bangs away on to scare off serpents every time she walks her dog. Even after a family member told her snakes have no ears, she refuses to budge off her stance her system works. After all, she’s never encountered a snake!

How many? And why? I try to attend three conferences a year. Why? Because there’s no better place to stay abreast of changes in the field. And with the financial crash of major publishing houses that left their long-term authors unpaid, the mass charge to ePub and Indie Pub, the change in royalty percentages and house expenses charged to the author, they’re changing often and quickly. Attending every four months or so to put your finger on the pulse is not unreasonable; in fact it’s good business. But even one a year will recharge you. Every conference has panels of experts, those knowledgeable of current facts, not just rumor and hearsay circulating the Twitterverse, loops, and email. They also have the most current list of author loops and organizations to choose from. Unfortunately there are scam artists out there. It’s comforting you can rest assured everyone at an RWA conference has been vetted by the chapter putting it on.

Throw in the opportunity to pitch a project one-on-one, directly to an acquiring editor or agent, and they become an unbeatable prospect. Being able to write “Requested Material” on an envelope or in a subject line lifts you out of the slush pile of thousands.

What Can You Expect At Conference?
Initially, a bad case of nerves. But then you look around and see quite a few others in the same condition. Nerves turn to excitement. Only another writer can truly understand a writer, and it’s a giddy moment when you realize you’re in an entire herd of them. Speaking with others at every level of the field gives you a good sense of what you’ll need to do to accomplish your goals.

Workshops at conference are varied, and set up to appeal to writers at almost every level. What do you need help most with? POV problems? Dialogue? World building questions? Where to start your book? Perfecting your pitch to that editor or agent? Organizing your space or writing to be your most productive? Finding that cotton pickin’ Muse who heartlessly abandons you when you finally have an hour to write? By going over the workshop descriptions, you can pick the best ones that specifically help you improve your craft.

But it’s the friendships you form, the networks you enlarge that stand out the most. The encouragement you get from someone who has been where you are. The inner glow you feel when you help someone who’s where you’ve been.

So come join me at Silken Sands. I need a few more friends who write. We’ll learn. We’ll teach. We’ll commiserate. We’ll cheer. We’ll laugh. We’ll stay up too late. We’ll share.

And at least once, we’ll take time to walk to the water’s edge and play in the waves and push our toes into the sand.

I promise!

See you on the beach!
~Runere~
Visit her at http://www.RunereMcLain.com      Friend her on Facebook @ Runere McLain     Follow her on Twitter@RunereMcLain

Air Horns, the New Spring Accessory! No, Really.

It looks like Spring around here with rich purples and luscious pinks of Japanese Magnolias blossoming. Brilliant yellow daffodils bobbing atop stiff green stems. Birds dip and flutter as they busily gather materials for nest building. All is color, and fragrance, and light, each the budding promise of new life.

But there’s another side of Spring. A pervasive dark side that gets down and dirty. Think about it. All that new life has to come from somewhere. Or should I say ‘some how’? And sometimes it reaches out and taps you right on the shoulder. Or pecks the crap out of you.

Nature procreates on a schedule, no doubt. But subtle nuances can skew that schedule. Food supply, for one. And a gated community surrounding a private lake can be a bonanza in the world of water fowl. All those oblivious individuals luring majestic Canadian Geese by feeding them from their docks. Children tossing bread crumbs to families of Mallard ducks along reed-laced banks. And for most of the year it’s a lovely shared experience.

But when the horny bug bites . . . .

One g-son is a fishing fool. He’d rather buy lures or tackle than eat. (But he hits my door and heads straight for the kitchen, so he’s in no danger of starving.) He gets up before dawn to fish from his favorite pier on the lake. An older retired gentleman usually launches his small flatboat around the same time, and they’ve struck up a fishing friendship.

Excuse this bit of back story for edification. Canadian geese stand three feet tall, and are typically 12 to 14 pound birds. Please keep in mind these birds have been fed a steady diet of the finest commercial feed available, guaranteed to encourage maximum growth. Result? These beasts in this tale are probably around 20 pounds apiece. They’re very territorial, too.

Mr. R, out in his boat, let it drift where the wind would push it, enjoying the way the sun glittered off the spoon on his lure when he cast it. He drifted close to a reed bed. A few Canadian geese swan toward his boat. Not wanting to disturb them, he started his almost soundless electric trolling motor and moved to the middle of the lake. The geese floated back to their reedy hideout. The same thing happened the next day, only the geese were a little more aggressive. Once near the boat they beat their wings, rising partly from the water, and hissing. Mr. R hummed back to the center of the lake.

But last week everything changed. Tyler, standing on the end of the pier, saw it all. Said he couldn’t decide if it was more like a horror movie or a comedy. Those geese didn’t even wait for Mr. R to get close. As soon as he drifted toward the reed bed, they converged on his low sided boat en mass.

“Dang, Maw!” g-son exclaimed. “I didn’t know geese could climb! Two of them were in the boat before Mr. R knew what was happening! He had his hat off flailing away, but those geese were all over him. They’d get hold of a piece of skin in their beaks, and I could see it stretching from the bank!” He tried really hard not to laugh in the re-telling. “He’d grab a goose and throw it out of the boat, and two more would take its place. He got the motor started and was trying to get away, but Maw, you know trolling motors aren’t fast. The whole time he was headed to shore he was under attack. One minute he was hunched down, hand on the throttle and headed in, the next he was chucking geese into the lake. He was slam-dunking them, too, Maw! Ever see a goose cannon ball?” Tyler started laughing in earnest then. “Once the boat was going in circles because Mr. R had a goose around the neck with both hands, shaking hell out of him, and it was still biting him! Some of the others took to the air, circling the boat and kamikaze-ing him every chance they got. I felt bad for the man, but there was nothing I could do.”

Mr. R finally made it to the pier, harried and hatless, where Tyler caught the rope he tossed him. “Maw.” Tyler cocked his chin to his chest, fingers dancing over his face. “He had huge purple welts all over him. His cheeks, his nose, his chin, his neck. One eyebrow was even lumped up. Everywhere a goose grabbed hold and twisted that snake-like neck it’d raised a blood blister on him.”

Seems Mr. R went out the next morning with a tennis racket. I got the low down he still had to tuck tail and run, humming in under full attack at the whopping speed of half-a-mile-an-hour.

Tyler believed himself safe since he was on the dock. Surprise. The Mallards decided to nest under the pier. He’d walked to the end of it before daylight, so they weren’t up yet. As soon as they started swimming around, Tyler was on the receiving end of their aerial attack. “They hit you and peck you, and try to land on your head,” he complained indignantly. “Thought the one that hooked his toenails in the back of my shirt and kept beating me in the head with his wings was going to knock me into the water!” That’s when he remembered something in his fishing kit.

He spends time year round in their hunting club. When nothing’s in season, they fish there or use it for four-wheeling. There are some impressive bogs, and occasionally someone gets stuck while playing. It’s such a large property they needed a way to signal for help. Problem is, being a hunting club, the usual signal of firing a gun doesn’t garner much attention. Their solution?

Air horns. The even developed a code to signal a situation’s degree of severity. Out of gas. Stuck and need a tow. Stuck and need another four-wheeler with a wench. Or damn-I-sunk-it- somebody-head-out-here-with-a-pick-up-to-snatch-me-out! They even have an emergency signal in case someone gets hurt or lost.

Anyway, Tyler said he wound up belly-crawling across the dock, watching Mr. R run toward him, tennis racket in hand, as ducks repeatedly dive-bombed him. Finally managed to grope in his pack. Rolled over and blasted the air horn in the face of the duck zooming in on him. Scared the hell out of the duck. Said the back-wash from his wings as he back pedaled to get away threw feathers everywhere and blew Tyler’s hat off. Turned out sounding the air horn every time they dove repelled them. Mr. R gave him a grin and a thumbs up.

Fishing has returned to the solitary enjoyment it once was.

Not so sure how the neighbors feel about daylight breaking now. Must be a tad difficult to sleep through the blare of air horns sounding off, on and around the lake. But I bet they’re sure glad mating season doesn’t last forever! Honk! Honk!

Good writing, folks!
~Runere~

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Phantasy Friday: Camouflage, Dancers and Cornish Hens . . . and Conference!

A quick reminder: It’s not too late to register for Silken Sands Writers Conference in Pensacola Beach, Florida, March 16-18. We have beaches, authors, workshops for every level of writer, editor and agent pitch appointments. (They’re here to listen to you tell them why your book is the one they want; you don’t even have to travel to New York! Take advantage of this local opportunity!) Even a costume dessert on Friday night! I can’t wait for that. It’s bound to be fun with Vampires, Historical ladies, Steampunk, Contemporary and too many others to list. Come in costume of your favorite genre or character and make it even more special. Don’t miss the book signing either. It will be open to the public.

And keep an eye out here at Southern Sizzle! Finalists for the Silken Sands Self-Published Star Contest will be highlighted here! Winners will have info and buy links on their personalized days, courtesy of the Sizzlers! Finalists announced February 15th, and winners announced at the conference! Everything you need to register can be found here: http://www.gccrwa.com/silkensands

Now on with the regular post!

I get an email every now and then from someone saying they love to read about my family. Of course they do! They don’t have to live with them! Little do they know writing about them is my personal form of therapy. *snort*

So we’ll start with the Saints loss last Saturday. The fourteen year old g-son wanted to bake Cornish hens for the game. Cornish hens? What ever happened to chips and dip? But he does an excellent job of them, so he got his way. Too bad the Saints lost. When the 49’er’s man ran the ball in for that last touchdown my living room erupted into chaos. Don’t know how I didn’t lose a ceiling fan blade; they jumped up off the couches as if hit with cattle prods. High enough to get tangled as they screamed at the runner through the television screen, shouting tackling instructions to Saints members the whole way.

When it didn’t work ball caps were thrown on the floor and stomped. I mean jumped up and down on. Repeatedly. Squinted my eyes to watch and they reminded me of little monkeys trying to put out a fire. The air turned blue from the language. Even the g-son got in on the act, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him to watch his mouth. He’d been through a traumatizing disappointment, so I put my ear filters in for about ninety seconds. Add the poor dogs going crazy from all the yelling and stomping and arm flaiing going on . . . I’m sure you get the picture. Absolute bedlam. I finally slunk off and hid in my office. Got an apology from the g-son for the cursing later, so he’s a good kid.

He’s a good kid, but is heavily into the Country Boy image at the moment. He hunts and fishes. Haunts four-wheeler trails to sling mud. Has ‘Porkchop’ embroidered on the back of his ball cap. He has camouflage for everything. I have two sets: Mossy Oak break-up for heavy woods, and Real Tree with green for hunting in pines or areas of high concentrations of evergreens. He has deer hunting camouflage — high and low country, turkey hunting camouflage and vest, bird hunting camouflage, and hog hunting camouflage. I have a headache. He called before we picked him up to ask if we were going anywhere nice where he might need a dress shirt. A nice change, I pounced on it. Told him to pack one.

My office did double duty, again. Had to hide there to stifle hysterical laughter. Tender feelings would have been bruised had I not. He’d packed –wait for it — a buttondown camouflage.

He has also discovered girls. He and his Popa love motorcycles, and are hooked on a special called “Full Throttle Saloon” about a bar that opens for the ten days of the Sturgis run. I admit to liking it too. But to get to the girl-liking part. The saloon owner’s girlfriend was a professional cheerleader. When she left the NFL, she and a group of other cheerleaders formed a dance squad called “Flaunt”. I’ve always said if you’ve got it, flaunt it. They do. He’s particularly enamoured of said saloon owner’s girlfriend, Angie. I’m sure I wasn’t supposed to overhear this, but I did.

“Pop,” he declared, all testosterone filled sincerity as he watched Angie dance on stage, “if I was 32, I’d go get that.” I nearly choked. Hubby, who doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to teasing the kids, asked him, “Why 32? What’s wrong with going to get that now?” The kid stuttered, spluttered and turned beet red. It’ll probably be a while before the g-son makes man-talk with his Popa again. Yep. Good ol’ Popa. He believes in men being men. (Probably why my baby boy — son in this instance — called three days before his seventeenth birthday to tell me he was moving in with a 30 yr old stripper. In New Orleans. It was summer vacation. Tried to be philosophical about it, but I don’t know if it helped.)

G-son won’t be here this weekend, but will the following one. I can’t wait to see what he does next. Or what his Popa eggs him on with.

I’ll see y’all next Friday. Need to make sure I have a clear path to the office. In case I have to hide in there to laugh.

Good writing!

~Runere~

Visit at www.RunereMcLain.com  Friend her on Facebook: Runere McLain  Follow her on Twitter@RunereMcLain

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