Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Writing Prompt Wednesday

Today's prompt idea comes from a writer friend, Michael Jensen. His blog is Miked Up and you can find him on Twitter at @mmj5170.

Instead of writing this past weekend, he went fishing. GASP! Can you believe that?

Today's writing prompt: She reeled in. . .

Have fun with this and share what you come up with. No matter how little or how much as long as you write it's all good.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

And the winner is. . .

Scott Romanski!

Scott is the winner of our Boston Red Sox water bottle filled with M&Ms and a copy of my latest techno-romantic thriller, CONNECT THE DOTS.

There were some wonderful guesses to our Spring has Sprung giveaway, but Scott's guess of 757 came closest to the 934 actual M&Ms that filled the Boston Red Sox water bottle.

HOWEVER, any of you who have played games with me or participated in giveaways in the past know that I always like to do better. So, for all of the others who joined in the fun, you still have an opportunity to receive a copy of CONNECT THE DOTS.

Here's the catch . . .

You have to either come back here and tell everyone how much you loved the story, because of course you will. Just ask April of Cafe of Dreams, she'll tell you. OR, you have to blog about CONNECT THE DOTS on your own blog.

That's it! See how fun this is. Now all you have to do is email me your address/contact information along with who you would like the book signed to and I will send everything out this weekend.

April - I certainly don't want you to do without so how about a book for another giveaway or for a friend or your local library. Just email me.

Monday, March 29, 2010

How many people can say they've played a cow bell?

What does a writer do on a Saturday night?

This writer went out with some friends. . .notice the picture. Don't be frightened by the scary looking guy sitting on my left. That's David, the owner of Big Easy Bagel in Manchester and on my right is his wife and partner, Lori. She is obviously the brains and the beauty behind Big Easy, but shhh! Don't tell David.

Saturday morning, I went for my bagel sandwich and while chatting with Lori, she invited me to hang out with them at Whippersnappers to listen and watch a band called Mama Kicks.

Picture below is lead singer Lisa and in background is drummer David.

If you ever need inspiration for a story, go watch Mama Kicks. Not only was the music fantastic, but they were great entertainers. Every had a terrific time and yours truly got to people watch and take mental notes.

Seriously, someone tell the guy wearing the Boston Bruins hockey jersey that he is so NOT hot. Go put a real shirt on.

The older guy who wore a red t-shirt and a sweat jacket that was way too small should get a grip.

The woman who wore this ugly black lace top that showed basically everything, not to mention the way she danced pretty much gave you the impression that she did everything. . .should maybe get a room some place.

Then there was Nana Nancy. I call her Nana because she was by far the oldest person in the place. Let me tell you this woman had fun. She shook her polyester clad booty along with her gray hair. Go Nancy!

As for me, I sat at my front row table drinking and grinning like a fool, tapping my toes all night long while I mentally catalogued the events and the people of the evening.

Until the end that is. Then when I had just returned from the ladies' room and found myself being summoned on stage by David the guy playing. He was a blast to watch, but yeah, no, I did not want to get up on stage. Are you kidding me?

Like I had any say.

To my complete embarassment I got up on stage and was handed a cow bell and a drum stick. A cow bell? Seriously?

Now, I've had voice lessons, even worked with a musician to write a song, but no, I have never played an instrument. No laughing!

Luckily, Lisa, the lead singer of Mama Kicks coaxed Lori up on stage to play the tambourine. The Pink Boxes as Lisa so named Lori and I, played back up to the group on the last song of the night.

Do we look hot or what?

Okay, maybe not hot as in sexy, but hot as in those lights are bright.

We had a blast and we will be back to Whippersnappers to see Mama Kicks on April 10, 2010. Mark your calendars and join the fun!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring has sprung so let's have some fun!!

Here's your chance to take a trip down memory lane, celebrate spring and baseball, and possibly win a free copy of CONNECT THE DOTS.

When you were a kid and in school, do you remember a game your teacher would play with the whole class where you had to guess the number of jelly beans that were in a jar and the person closest to the actual number won the jar of jelly beans?

First, let me digress for a second. Didn't you ever wonder who in their right mind would actually sit there and count the jelly beans one by one?

Now you know. Some crazy author who wants to have some fun. Only, just so you know, I know why someone would volunteer to count the jelly beans that fit in a jar. The answer is simple. One for the jar, POP, one for me. One jelly bean for the jar, two jelly beans for me.

On with the fun!

Let's play jelly beans in a jar...or in this case, M&Ms in a water jug. Not just any water jug, but a Boston Red Sox water bottle. Wanna see your jar and your prize?

Here you go.

Here's how to play:

Post a comment here with your guess as to the number of M&Ms you think are in the Red Sox bottle.

Whoever comes closest to the actual count will win the jug and a copy of my latest novel, CONNECT THE DOTS.

You have until Thursday to place your guess.

The winner will be announced on Friday.

Monday, March 22, 2010

What word or words best describe you?

When I was a kid, one word best described me – SHY. Here is where most people who know me now give a choked laugh. Yes, I was one of those kids who wouldn’t shake the preacher’s hand after church, who wouldn’t pay for her own apple pie at McDonald’s, and who would rather squeeze her legs shut and pray that she could hold the gallon of water she just drank than ask a salesperson where the ladies’ room was located.

Today, the last word anyone would ever use to describe me is shy, even though I really am.

One word that has always stuck with me, even from childhood is INDEPENDENT. My parents taught me that if I wanted something or needed something done to not wait around for others, do it yourself. Here I am at the wise age of never you mind, and I am still independent. Perfect example is that while I could have hired someone to paint the interior of my house and it would have been done a lot sooner, I am just as capable and could get the satisfaction of saying, “I did it.” Every day I wake up and see my Caliente Red dining room walls and I smile because I painted those four coats, painted the bright white baseboards, arches, and crown molding, and even caulked afterwards.

Starting a few years back, I heard the words ENIGMA, PARADOX, RENAISSANCE WOMAN as the prevalent descriptors for my personality and me. I’ll be honest, I looked at these people with my brows furrowed in complete disbelief and thought, “Are you kidding me?” These are people I know well and they think I’m a mystery, a contradiction, and a woman with a wide-ranging intellect. It’s funny, but I hear these three words even more often today.

While I still believe “what you see is what you get” when it comes to me, I can see where some of these words may apply. Here’s this little blonde woman who by day manages a team of software engineers and is considered kickass at work then she goes home at night to write fiction curled up in her favorite jeans either sitting on her deck listening to the roller coaster or sitting in front of her fireplace. Then on the weekends, she tucks her mass of blonde hair underneath a Boston Sox cap, throws on the ugliest shorts or trashiest jeans she owns just to go outside and get her hands dirty by playing in the garden or attempting to do things in the house that many people either would leave be or would hire someone.

To this end, I tell you that I am all of the above and am the better for it because I have reached a balance…or almost. Sometimes the scale tips one way more than another, but it also always tips back.

So – what words best describe you? Why?

Friday, March 12, 2010

What’s your sign?

I’m a Virgo, but that wasn’t necessarily the sign I was talking about. Every day we see signs, on the street corner, on buildings, hanging on a door or wall. Then there are those signs that aren’t posted for the world to see and notice, but for the individual. If he or she is open to seeing them or even hearing them.

Perhaps the sign is a symbol to you. Something that whenever you see it makes you smile or lets you know that something is going to occur, or that you need to call someone.

There are and have been several of them in my life. They change just as I do, but they are there if I pay attention. Not all of them have been good, but more times than not they are positive.

A simple example is seeing a truck with a name of a business on it drive by me every day for a week. I kept seeing the truck and it drove me nuts because it always reminded me of a person I hadn’t talked with for months. Then bam! I heard from him. The truck was a sign.

Three years ago, I was in Kentucky on a business trip and told everyone that I was going to buy a house that weekend when I returned to New Hampshire. The people I worked with thought I was nuts. Little did they know.

The night I returned home, I sent my real estate agent 3 places I wanted to see. I had very little to go on but pictures, but I chose 3 that looked the most like what I was looking for. My real estate agent emailed me back and asked me if I could have everything in a house what would it be. I told her I wanted an open floor plan, wood floors, granite countertops, a yard (this was most important to me), and on a whim I said I wanted an apple tree and a rock wall. I have no clue where that thought came from but I threw it out there.

The first house we saw Saturday morning was my house. I knew it the moment I crossed the threshold, but my fate was sealed when I walked out onto the back deck. The first thing I heard was the rattle of the old, wooden roller coaster at the amusement park behind the tall trees followed by the screams of happy people as they zipped down the ride. While standing on the deck, I saw this big old tree so I asked what kind it was. An apple tree! The whole area had been an apple orchard about 50 years before. My heart did a little trip in my chest. Then I looked to the right of the house and what did I see? You guessed it, a rock wall. The moment my real estate agent and I walked out of the house, I told her I didn’t need to look any further. I’d found my house. Apparently, even the builders knew I was the one. The piece de resistance was when my friend who had been overseas calls me and tells me that he was back in the states and I told him I was buying a house. The next day he was here and was the first person to see my new home.

What about the signs we don’t see, the ones that while doing the most inane, day-to-day task strikes you and you know. Some might call it intuition, premonition, or déjà vu (if you’ve seen it before).

About six years ago, I was doing the spring-cleaning thing, standing in the spare bedroom folding clothes to give away when out of nowhere came a thought about my sister. I picked up the phone, called my sister, and without preamble told her, “You’re going to have a girl.”

My sister laughed and said, “What?”

Just so you know, in my family we do not have boys and girls. We have all boys or all girls. My sister already had two sons so everyone assumed the third would be a boy. It’s how my family works. But for some reason on this day, my mind said different.

We both laughed, but she told me she would know in two weeks. Two weeks later, my premonition was confirmed. Now I have a little niece who is the spitting image of my sister, right down to the button nose sprinkled with freckles.

This type of sign actually happens quite often with me. A little over a year ago, I was hanging out on my hammock drinking a beer or two waiting for a friend of mine to show up. While lazing on the hammock, swinging back and forth, I had this odd thought cross in my mind and it stayed. As soon as Rick walked over to where I was, I looked up and said, "You're moving."

Thank goodness the move was only temporary, but I knew without him saying a word. He hadn't even mentioned it as a possibility.

Almost seven years ago, I was unemployed like many others when the economy took a nosedive. I decided that there had to be more to life than technology and that I wanted something more. At first, I was depressed and all I did was read, look for a job, and clean the house. I practically ate books. I couldn’t read enough. The more I read, the more I started looking into the new things that I read about.

I tried glassblowing, cake decorating, and even chocolate making. The chocolate making stuck, but at the same time, something else happened – I started writing my own book, my first book. I became a writer and six years later, I became an author. The book was and is a huge symbol for me. It symbolizes balance in my life. The balance between left and right brain, the logical and the creative.

What signs do you see or hear? Do you pay attention?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Writing Prompt Wednesday

Yes, it's that time again. Time for a little creative writing push. This is your chance to free write whatever pops into your head, let your mind go and your fingers travel across the keyboard.

Today's prompt is wishful thinking on my part.

Writing Prompt: TGIF. . .

Have fun! Write as little or as much as your fingers allow and share what you come up with.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cars, Hero, and Personalities

What does the car your man, boyfriend, or hero drive say about his personality?

Every once and a while I look out my car window, okay, more than once and a while, but the point is I look out the window and notice the driver inside a car next to me. Or when I'm out and about I meet someone and notice what they drive. Yeah, admit it, you’re checking out the car they drive as much as the guy’s ass in the faded jeans. If you’re a man maybe you’re checking out the woman’s assets.

What does that car tell you about that person? How does that relates to your hero/heroine in your story?

It depends on what they drive. Now, this is not a scientific survey, but something that swishes around in my mind. In fact, this started when I was younger when a girlfriend (older friend as I was not driving or dating at the time) of mine used to only date guys who drove "hot" cars. Seriously. She firmly believed the car told her a lot about the guy. Now at age ...oh never mind that...I would have to say that I somewhat agree.

For example, if a man drives a white Oldsmobile Cutlass what does this say about him and does it make good hero status? Here’s my example of how this guy fits or doesn’t fit the hero mold.

My thought on this granny mobile driver is that he doesn’t have a set of you know…balls, gonads, cojones. One of the engineers I work with shot back, “Or they’re hanging too low to the ground they get kicked.” This is the type of guy who would ask you out. Wait! He wouldn’t actually ask you out himself, he would have one of the waitresses at the little local restaurant you visit ask you out on his behalf.

How about a man who drives a Hummer? Not the baby Hummers they came out with, but the original behemoth. What does this say to you?

First, if the guy has to jump out of the Hummer instead of gliding his feet to the ground after opening the car door then he is too damn short to be driving the Hummer. Is your hero an accountant who wears a suit every day to the office, but drives a Hummer?

Then honey, what the heck is he overcompensating for and do you really want to find out?

Let’s say you run into this gorgeous hunk of a man at the gas station, he introduces himself and asks you out on a date. Odd scenario, but it could happen. When you watch him walk away, cuz of course you do, you see that he hops into and drive off in a mini-van. What is the first thing that runs into our heroine’s mind?

The dude is married! He has a wife and 3.2 children at home along with a dog and a mortgage he can’t afford. His “real” car is a ten-year old Chevrolet sedan. You know what this says? This tells you that the dude probably has minimal education and has a job that pays him too little.

Oh! Here’s a good one. You’re standing on the street waiting for the street light to change and a little red sports car zooms by and zips over to the curve. Tipping your sunglasses down on your nose, you take a closer look at the little red Honda S2000 two-door sports car?

Sports car? This is not a real sports car! This is a wanna-be sports car. It makes all the right VROOM VROOM noises, but under the hood does not beat the heart of a Corvette or Porsche. The man who drives this toy is a guy who wants to be perceived as a player when in reality he drives the Honda because it’s safe and cost-effective. This is a guy who takes no risks and is all flash with no action.

What about a truck driver? Hm…this depends on the truck. Are we talking about a Ford Ranger or Nissan Frontier or are we talking about a F-150? How to put this nicely…If a man is tooling around in a 4-cylinder truck, he is not a man, he’s a boy trying to mirror his father only his nuts haven’t dropped yet so he has to wait before he can get a big boy’s toy.

Now, if the man is driving a F-150 and you see a gun rack hanging on the back window and a Confederate flag hanging from his pole…no not that kind of pole, the antenna pole on the truck then darlin’ you better not run for the hills because that is where this hillbilly is heading. And he’ll be hanging out with his cousin, his other cousin, and his cousin’s cousin…it’s a very close family – if you know what I mean.

Note: Beware of the man who drives a truck with a cab on the back…he may be a serial killer in disguise of a local fisherman.

SUVs are for people looking for adventure or maybe they drive off-road, backroad, or any kind of dirt, bumpy road in the boonies. Okay, the living in the boonies can be a scary thing but in the end if you want some quiet time alone with your hero a little bumpy ride to the sticks will get you there. Besides, the man who drives a Jeep Wrangler not the Jeep Liberty sissy mobile (come one, chicks drive that SUV) is likely to go surfing, snowboarding, or off-roading in the mountains for a picnic by a stream.

Whew! This is just a small list of automobiles and the personalities that they portray about the driver, but you get the idea. My girlfriend from long ago was right. Only date guys with the right kind of car.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Make a Pillowcase, Make a Difference

In my family my mother is the artistic talent. Since I was a child she sewed everything from doll clothes, our clothes, curtains, placemats, wall hangings, and the list goes on and on. In the past few years, she has made countless quilts. Thank goodness for her talent, otherwise my walls would be quite bare and I wouldn't have any cozy quilts to snuggle up in during the New England winters.

Now, mom is part of the One Million Pillowcase Challenge making pillowcases to make a difference.

Bernina and other vendors have partnered with American Patchwork & Quilting to sponsor the One Million Pillowcase Challenge a year-long national challenge to create and donate one million pillowcases to local charities.

Every pillowcase can help someone in your community. A pillowcase can provide comfort for a cancer patient, hope for a foster child, encouragement for a battered woman, or beauty for a nursing home resident.

Check out some of the pictures of mom's pretty pillowcases.
This one is full of sunshine.

I'm a scuba diver and I found this material a while back, fell in love with it, and picked it up for mom. Now she's made it into something that will have a kid dreaming of scuba diving.

Or how about these for a wanna-be firefighter.

To find out more about this year-long event and how you can help, visit this link

To find a participating Bernina dealer follow this link.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

What are you afraid of?

This little blog post stemmed from something that happened Saturday morning at breakfast.

Everyone has a fear of something. Maybe it's a fear of spiders or public speaking, of drowning, or technology. Not everyone let's a fear become a phobia. What exactly is a phobia?

A phobia is defined as:

A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous.

A strong fear, dislike, or aversion.

I fear and hate spiders, but I don't run and hide or have panic attacks when I see one. Instead, I find the biggest shoe I can and while screaming, "Die! Die! Die!" I squish it like a bug. Then I wait a few hours before I clean it up cuz I really do not want to see it. And even when I clean up the now dead bug, I am making faces, holding it as far away from my body as possible, and gagging.

What seems innocuous to some may be debilitating to others. Some fears can cause a series of adverse reactions from increased heart rate and sweating, inability to speak, to full-blown, crippling panic attacks.

What are you afraid of? Is it a phobia?

Me, I'm afraid of beards. No laughing. This is real fear/phobia called Pogonophobia and I have it. As evidenced by an event that took place Saturday morning.

I was at my favorite bagel shop, Big Easy Bagel in Manchester for my usual Saturday breakfast and in walks a friend who almost always joins in the early morning gathering. It had been two weeks since I saw him and in he walks with a full beard. Not only could I not speak, but my heart took off in a speed race, and I broke out in hives.

I quickly gathered myself together, but by that time everyone had seen my ridiculous and irrational behavior, and I had made my friend uncomfortable.

What's worse is that I had just seen this friend a few weeks back and he had barely a whisper of a beard and I had no reaction to it at all. A mustache and goti beard do not affect me. In fact, I have a couple of friends who have beards. How odd sounding is that? If the beard gets too long though, I freak out.

I do not go out of my way to avoid people with beards as I used to when I was a child. When I was little I had an uncle who had a beard and whenever he visited, I would run upstairs and hide. Kind of like my cats do when a stranger comes into the house. Never to be seen again until that person has left the building.

One day my uncle decided he couldn't take me being afraid of him so he shaved off his beard and has never grown it back. For which I am most grateful. I love him very much.

I have never even sat on Santa Claus's lap. I have no proof, but I would bet this irrational fear stems from the whole sitting on Santa Claus's lap thing.

Now that you know my fear/phobia, what are you afraid of?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Funny thing happened on the way to work...

I stopped at the gas station. Okay, that's not the interesting part, but what happened to me at the gas station put a smile on my face.

While standing at the pump in my funny lime green hat with pink and brown flowers on it trying to keep warm while the pump did its thing, a guy I had seen at the gas station before walked over to me, introduced himself, and gave me his business card. We shook hands as I introduced myself and he told me that if I ever needed any plumbing or heating to give him a call then he moved off to finish up at the pump.

I didn't have a business card handy, but let's not forget that I am a writer so what do you think I gave this man with the nice smile?

When I finished with the gas, I reached into the trunk of my car and pulled out a copy of Connect the Dots then walked over and handed him the book. The wide-eyed expression on his face made a little spurt of laughter bubble up inside my chest. I love seeing that surprised look on people's faces.

Then this tall, smiling man asked me if I was single and if I would have dinner with him sometime. Now who was grinning ear-to-ear?

That's right, me. I walked away from our brief encounter with a kick in my step and a smile on my face that warmed me more than any hat or jacket could.

All this this took place before 6:30 in the morning and set the tone for a very nice day.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New dictionary entry

Under the terms Girl and Woman in the dictionary, part of the definition should read:

I want what I want when I want it.

This is what I tell the engineers who work with me whenever they claim I am nagging them or that I have no patience.

Who am I to disagree. [GRIN]

Writing Prompt Wednesday

Need a little writing inspiration, a little spark to get the creative juices flowing? That's why we have writing prompts.

You don't have to write a lot, but write as much as what flows out of you when you read the beginning of the sentence.

Prompt: She flicked the ...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Size Doesn't Matter

I wrote this story in my children's writing class for my neighbor's granddaughter who was frustrated with her petite size. Hope you enjoy!

Size Doesn’t Matter

In class at Wildewood Elementary, Cara laid on a large piece of drawing paper. Her friend, Mary, traced the outline of Cara’s body with a black marker.

Then it was Cara’s turn to trace Mary. Cara had to tape together two pieces of paper in order to outline all of Mary.

When all the kids were done, the teacher, Ms. Kopera, tacked everyone’s paper body to the wall so they could finish coloring them in.

“Bet I can guess whose short body that picture belongs to,” Billy said aloud, pointing and laughing. Then others laughed too.

“Billy, you apologize this instant. It’s not nice to tease,” scolded Ms. Kopera.

Embarrassed, Cara felt her face flush hot. She groaned, and ran for the girls’ bathroom. Cara was in one of the stalls crying when she heard Ms. Kopera.

“Cara, don’t cry. Believe me when I tell you being big isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”

Cara sniffed. “Easy for you to say. You’re big.”

“Believe me. There will come a day when you’ll be happy to be petite.”

Petite, Cara scoffed. That is just a polite way to say small. But she knew Ms. Kopera was trying to make her feel better so she wiped her eyes and nose, and opened the stall door.

Saturday, Cara went shopping with her mother to get some new clothes. Cara was excited about the new clothes, loved hanging out with her mom, but she dreaded the effort it took to find clothes that fit.

In the dressing room trying on the eighth pair of jeans her mother had picked out, the first seven pair were all too long. Cara snapped the top snap, and then looked at herself in the mirror. The jeans had flowers embroidered on the bottom of the pant legs.

“I really like these jeans, Mom. They’re sooo cute.”

“Are you going to let me see them on you?” her mother asked.

Cara opened the dressing room door to show her mom. When she twirled around the pants slid down past her hips.

Cara moaned, turned to go back into the dressing room, and tripped over the jeans. She managed to get to her feet, pull the pants up, and lock herself in the dressing room before she started crying.

“Cara, honey, don’t be upset.”

Cara sniffled. “Everyone saw my bright pink underwear with the purple flowers.” Then she cried even harder.

“Honey, no one saw. They were all too busy doing their own thing. Besides, you were too fast.”

“You know,” said a voice unfamiliar to Cara, “she could try our children’s section. You might have better luck there.”

“See, someone did see.” Cara cried even harder.

“Um, thanks,” her mother told the strange lady.

“I really liked those pants,” Cara said from behind the closed door.

“Then we’ll get them and alter them in the waist and the length.”

Her mom always had to sew on her clothes before she could wear them.

“Come on, Cara, let’s get some ice cream.”

Lip quivering, Cara came out of the dressing room with her own clothes back on. “Trying to fatten me up so the jeans fit?”

Her mom laughed. “Nope, but ice cream always makes me feel better when I’m upset.”

A smile tugged at the corners of Cara’s lips. Her mom was the greatest.

Monday morning came and Cara arrived at school dressed in the new jeans her mom had altered, and other new clothes, including a special pair of shoes. She looked good and she felt good. She felt tall, not small, or petite.

“Hey, Cara! You look great. Something different?” asked Mary.

“New clothes,” Cara told her, smiling.

“You look different,” said Jane.

“New clothes.”

“Cara, did you get a haircut? It looks fantastic,” said Steve.

Cara smiled to herself. The whole day was like that. Cara felt like she was walking on cloud nine. All day everyone had said she looked good, like there was something different.

When the final bell rang indicating the end of the school day everyone ran for the buses.

That’s when Cara’s fabulous day ended. Running like everyone else to catch the bus home, Cara tripped over her shoes and fell. One of the shoes slipped off her foot and Billy picked it up.

“Whoa! Get a look at her shoes,” Billy yelled. “Cara’s wearing platforms.”

While Billy bent over in a hysterical fit of laughter, Cara snatched her shoe from his hand and took off.

Tears running down her cheeks, Cara ran home instead of taking the bus, unable to face her classmates and friends.

When Tuesday dawned, Cara dreaded going to school, afraid of her next humiliation. Would she never get big?

Knowing she had gym on Tuesday, Cara did not wear her special platform shoes, she wore regular, old sneakers.

At eleven, her chin lifted high, Cara prepared herself to be teased one more time as she walked to gym class.

“Today, class,” said Mrs. Perigny, “we’re going to move on to the next phase of gymnastics and teamwork.”

“What’re we going to do?” asked several of the students.

“We’re going to build a pyramid. I have the mats all set up, and elbow and kneepads for everyone to wear. Put them on and split up into two groups.”

As usual, Cara was chosen last for a team.

Mrs. Perigny told the class how to build a human pyramid, showed them how they had to get on their hands and knees, put themselves should-to-shoulder, and then the next level did the same until one person was at the top.

“Ouch!” Mary whined.

“You’re too heavy!” yelled Jimmy.

“You’re too big to be on top of me!” complained Billy.

All the kids grumbled. Then Mrs. Perigny spoke. “This is why it takes teamwork, and thinking,” said Mrs. Perigny, pointing a finger at her temple.

After a few more minutes of painful protests, the class finally got it together. Cara’s team watched the other team build their human pyramid. The last person started to climb up, got between the second and third level, and then the whole pyramid crashed to the floor. Everyone whined and blamed each other.

“Okay, team two, you’re turn,” said Mrs. Perigny.

“Come on guys, let’s show them how to do it,” said Billy.

Cara stepped forward. “I’ll go last.”


Throwing her fists on her hips, Cara leveled a tough stare at Billy. “Listen, Billy the Bully, I’m the smallest person here, and it makes sense that I got last. The lightest should go on top. Otherwise, we’ll end up squished under each other just like the other team.”

“Yeah,” exclaimed her teammates. “Cara’s right.”

“Fine,” Billy grumbled. “Let’s do this.”

Everyone got in place. The human pyramid was ready for its top. Cara started to climb. She got past the first level and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Once she made it to the second, the other team cheered.

“Go, Cara! Go, Cara!”

She went to the third, and her own pyramid teammates quietly cheered Cara on. “You can do it, Cara. Keep going.”

On the fourth level, the pyramid started to wobble, but held steady.

“Come on, Cara! You can do it! Only one more level!” everyone shouted.

She made it to the top, and sat on Mary’s and Sarah’s shoulders and hips.

“Yea!” Cara’s classmates cheered. “Way to go!”

When the pyramid finally collapsed, Billy walked up to Cara. Ready for his teasing, Cara tilted her chin up.

“Good job, Cara. I guess there are times where it pays to be small.” Billy offered her a hand to shake.

“Just like there are times when it pays to be big.” Cara took Billy’s offered hand and shook. “But I prefer the term, petite, not small.”

Billy laughed, hugged her, and said, “Yes, ma’am. Petite.”

Cara walked away smiling, knowing that from this day on, she would not feel bad about her size. Big or small, um, petite, Cara realized size doesn’t matter

~ I can totally relate to Cara's situation. When I was kid none of the clothes were small enough to fit me. Thankfully or not, I don't have that issue today. :-)

Monday, March 1, 2010

I lose power and get a great review of Connect the Dots

One bad turn deserves a good one.

The day New England is hit by a powerful rain and wind storm and half of New Hampshire loses power, including me, I find out that April of Cafe of Dreams posts a terrific review of Connect the Dots. Of course, I don't find this out until I'm sitting at Panera Sunday morning because while I have power back, I still have no Internet access. What a terrific surprise!

April starts the review with "The queen of techno thrillers, Denise Robbins, once again graces readers with her clever talent in Connect the Dots." How's that for cool title? "Queen of techno thrillers." [HUGE GRIN]

Please stop by April's blog to see the review, leave a comment, and enter to win a signed copy of Connect the Dots. Cafe of Dreams

Keep your fingers crossed that my Internet access is returned on Friday. In the meantime, I will try to check in while I am at the office or make more stops at Panera.

April - If you see this post, I hope you know I wish I had had access to see your review sooner, but it was a much needed pleasant surprise. Thank you!

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