All blogs are property of authors and copying is not permitted.

Click image to one-click your copy of Soldiers of Fortune

CLICK BELOW & SUBSCRIBE TO THE RB4U NEWSLETTER

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Seeking Comfort In All Its Forms

 Life is filled with those moments when comfort is the only medicine needed. Most people think of comfort food, perhaps something that your mother cooked for you or that place where you stopped off to pick up your favorite treat or meal. 


Yet, comforts in life can be found in different areas besides food. Such as comfort television or movies and books. For me, I have my comfort television shows, movies, and of course, books.  Those films and shows I’ve watched so many times that it borders on embarrassment and obsessiveness still feel like a warm blanket that cocoons me from the outside world and lets me escape. As for the books, well, I’ve had to purchase numerous copies since the binding fell apart and pages fluttered away.


Those comforts for me are The Big Bang Theory, Hot Fuzz, Galaxy Quest, Wicked by Jill Barnett as well as Dreaming by the same author. I also cannot forget Julie Garwood’s historical romances.  For me, these items are like a safe haven when life needs to be escaped from. Now, that the world seems to be opening up again, I think we can all use some comfort. Why? 

Because it can feel overwhelming, anxious, and for some downright scary. 


For me, this past year has been easy. Luckily, no one in my family caught Covid-19 but I know people who succumb to the virus. Yet, while people complained about not being about to go out and socialize, I loved it. Yes, I’m an introvert but also I’m chronically ill so for the past year, I found some understanding and for those that don’t I can tell them that my life was like the lockdown. I have to prepare to go out and set up for my return when I come home spent for being out. 


I’m not the only one who feels this way. Life became harder for all. And those without pre-existing conditions or disabilities, now have a way of explaining parts of our lives to others. That in itself is a comfort. So, while the world opens up and people return to their lives, I will be here with my comforts and hoping you all have a good and safe time. 


What are your comforts? Share them with me. 

Friday, June 18, 2021

Get A Hobby. But What?

 



With the world lockdown in their homes and with nothing to do, most people found new ways to occupy their time and discovered new hobbies. Some made bread. Others knitted. There were those who pour over books and some started to write. Those were just a few activities that occupied people’s long stretch of time. But what do you do when your favorites hobbies (reading and writing) are also how you make a living?

 

I had no clue and that was my problem. 



Many advice given to people to destress and find something fun to do is get a hobby. I decided to take that advice and find one that I enjoy and nothing to do with my two favorite ones. I can’t knit because I have arthritis though I had taken it up years ago and found a calm with it. It also helped that I pictured myself as a young Miss Marple but without the murders. I certainly won’t make bread. Cooking isn’t fun for me at all. It turns out searching for a hobby was stressing me out. 


Plaster all over social media were these people posting pictures of their freshly baked bread, sharing recipes, or doing other activities that I couldn’t even begin to understand why was enjoyable. But hey, to each is own. 


So, if you're like me, searching for a hobby and feeling like you were missing out on an experience or lacking perhaps an understanding of this, I’m with you. I felt left out, standing on the outskirts of the group, looking in and wanting to be part of it. 


Then I shifted the way I thought. I have my own group of people who don’t have a hobby and can’t see any enjoyment in the traditional ones and just rather watch Bridgerton or the historical documentaries that I love. So, if you can’t join in with these cool kids toiling away with their hobbies, I want you to remember that follow that beat of your drum, it is much more melodious and enjoyable. 



Do you have hobbies that aren’t cool? Tell me. Tell me. I want to know and maybe, I’ll find a hobby. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Just Another Day of The Year


A time existed when a day was nothing more than a Monday, Thursday, Sunday, or the others in between. People either Thank God, it's Friday or had the Monday Morning Blues Then there are the holidays. Christmas, New Year’s, Mother’s Day, or Valentine’s Day. Look at the calendar and it will pronounce that it is May 18th.


Just another Tuesday, right? 

Wrong.

Today is the National Day of…well, a few events. 

It is the:

National HIV Vaccine Awareness Day

National Visit Your Relatives Day (Don’t do this unless vaccinated, please)

National No Dirty Dishes Day

National Cheese Soufflé Day 

I Love Resses Day (the candy and I do love Resse’s Peanut Butter Cups) 

Mother Whistler Day

International Museum Day

Send an Electronic Greeting Card Day

All that in one day. Whew! 

Who are the people who decide this? Is it businesses and corporations? Is there a secret ballot? Someone tweeted the idea? I have no clue about those questions. I don’t care. These days are just a little fun with the days. We can use something to make us laugh, expose us to something new or just share a silly tidbit with a loved one. For me, it is my monthly blog-date here at RB4US and maybe, it’s just Tuesday for you or you wish to celebrate this with one of the National days. 

Just one more question:

Isn’t every day no dirty dishes day? 

 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

I Don't Know How She Does It


 I am a spinster (unmarried and childless) but I am an aunt and a grand-aunt. Yesterday, my seven-year-old grand-nephew and two-year-old grand-niece stayed the night with me. I love spending time with them, hearing about their lives, interests, jokes, and seeing their personalities. It brings much joy to my life. 

But by the next day, my mind is numb and my body feels like nothing more than melted butter. I always wonder how my niece does it every day. 

The sibling bickering (I remember them from growing up with an older brother), the frantic play, and the noise. That doesn't include helping with school, bathing, feeding and doing all the other stuff mothers do. 

I must confess that I have always been in awe of mothers. From my own to others who make magic happen during difficult times, who work full-time then come home to be a mom. I am in awe of the mothers who become pregnant and lose the child they yearn to hold. The mothers who birth a child that never takes a breath or the mothers who lose a child after hours, days, weeks, months, and years of loving and only to have their hearts shredded and their souls diminished. 

Motherhood is a fearful yet brave act that the world treats as a normal occurrence but is truly a miracle. And not just because of the life that is carried. To give your life to the betterment of another. To sacrifice, to have moments of great worry, great happiness, and everything that happens in between those moments. I am not that brave. But to all the mothers out there, I don't know how you do it. But as a daughter who loves her mother more than anything, I am glad you do it and thankful that you do. 

So, be kinder to yourselves. And give yourself a pat on the back and take a moment to care for yourself. You deserve it. 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

The Eight-Act Story Structure by Janice Seagraves



Exposition: Setting the scene. As in the world of the story and its characters are established.

Inciting incident: Where something happens that spurs your hero/heroine on to step out of their comfort zone (contemporary) or they’re quite literally thrust out into a new world (think sci-fi or fantasy). When the event sets the main character or characters on the journey which will occupy them throughout the narrative. Typically, this incident will upset the balance within the main character’s world.

Meet cute (If you’re writing romance. It can also be in with the incident incident): When the two people who will form a future romantic couple meet for the first time, typically under unusual, humorous, or cute circumstances. This type of scene is a staple of romantic stories.

Dilemma:  The struggle occurring within the mind of a character. Therefore, it gives readers an insight into characters’ lives. There may be a single or multiple dilemmas in a story. However, the purpose is to create a tension and complexity in a narrative by adding confusing and conflicting ideas.

Rising action or Progressive Complications: Building the tension. Will they, or won’t they? Why not? Where a series of relevant incidents that create suspense, interest, and tension in a narrative. In literary works, a rising action includes all decisions, characters' flaws, and background circumstances that together create turns and twists leading to a climax.

Climax: The exciting bit, were everything happens at once. Highest point of tension. When the hero/heroine resolves the main conflict of the story and is the moment the main character(s) reaches—or fails to reach—their goal.

Falling action: Tidying up loose ends. The opposite of rising action is falling action, the phase of a story following the climax in which the main conflict is de-escalated, and tension is further dispelled.

Resolution: Ending the story. Also known as Denouement: When the final part of the story ties up the loose ends of the plot, or at least some of them. 

 

 

Year of the Cat is still free on Kindle unlimited

 

20504257_10203143660469208_231507552_n(1)

Blurb:

Morgan isn’t expecting romance when she accompanies her friend for a week of skiing, but when she meets Jared all bets are off.
Haunted by the loss of his parents, werecat Jared Catterick earns his keep working for the Catclaw Clan. Jared has secrets that he doesn’t mind sharing with a special lady, and he hopes Morgan is that special someone. When his past and present collide it’s worse than he imagined, and he’s forced to fight for his life.

Excerpt:

Auntie walked into the middle of the hollow. “We the Catcall Clan are gathered here together to witness a challenge. Called by Munch son of Tiger, who challenges Jared Catterick son of nobody.”

“I am the son of somebody,” Jared yelled. The sudden flow of anger had his heart pounding hard against his ribs.

“Who? What are their names?” Auntie crossed her arm and leaned on one hip and tapped a toe.

“I donna remember. I was too young when they killed them and took me away,” Jared muttered. “And she knows that.”

“Is Catterick your real last name?” Killer asked him in the canine speech.

“Aye. I donna remember much about me old life, but I never forgot me name.”

“Just tell her Mr. and Mrs. Catterick,” Killer said.

“Me parents were Mr. and Mrs. Catterick,” Jared said in a loud clear voice.

A few people around the hollow snickered.

Auntie gave a quick nod. “Jared son of Mr. and Mrs. Catterick. Munch challenges you for the death of his da, Tiger.”

Munch marched to Auntie’s side. He was every bit as big as his father. Well-muscled and not just tall but wide. Where Tiger’s hair was gray and white, Munch was blond and black. Another man accompanied him, his second, a tall, lanky male named Boyd. Jared knew him well, even though he was younger.

“Och. Here we go,” Jared told Killer and walked out into the middle of the hollow.

“He’s big,” Killer said in the canine speech.

“And ugly. I wouldna want to ride him into battle.”

Killer stayed at his side. “Psst.”

“Eh?”

“You can fight, right?” Killer asked.

“Aye.”

“Good to know.”

Auntie looked at both males. “Jared, as the challenged, you may decide on weapons and forms.”

“Human and no weapons,” Jared said.

“Very well,” Auntie said. “You may use your feet, hands, elbows and knees. Even your head if you feel the need.”

“What aboot sticks and stones?” Munch asked, his voice youthful.

“Will break my bones,” Jared said under his breath.

Killer snickered.

“No weapons,” Auntie shook a finger at Munch. “That includes sticks and stones.”

“Well,” Munch crossed his arms, “since I canna change into cat form, I think I should be able to use whatever I find in the hollow.”

“This isn’t a free-for-all, Munch. There is discipline to a challenge. You must remain in your human form and fight like a human. With this match, we’ll have a square go.”

“Not very cat-like.” Munch sniffed.

Auntie fisted her hands and leaned toward Munch. “You’re not a cat. You are a shifter. You shift between three forms. Now stay with one for the duration of the fight.”

“Doesn’t he understand?” Killer asked.

“A bit daft that one,” Jared muttered back. Munch doesn’t seem have a lot of self-control. Unlike Tiger who would have done exactly what Auntie said to the letter.

“Seconds, to the side.” Auntie pointed. “You may view the fight only. Do not interfere unless your partner is hurt or someone breaks the rules.”

Both Boyd and Killer trotted to edge of the clearing.

Jared stood facing Munch. Several feet separated them. Jared shook out his arms, moved his head from side to side, and loosened his muscles.

Auntie raised her hand and did a karate chop between them. “Now fight.”

“I swear on me da’s grave, I will end you!” Munch roared and the skin on his face boiled. His hands burst out of his gloves and feet from his boots. The shift made Munch bigger, tearing his clothes. He stopped in the in-between state, like movie werewolves of old, but in this case half-cat and half-human. The only thing that remained of his clothes was his black overall snow pants and even that stretched taunt across him. Extending his claws, he snarled and reached for Jared. “I want to see you bleedin’.”

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Share buttons