Squirrel Mania

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What’s up with squirrels in the fall? What’s going on in their little minds? I swear they have a death wish. They dart out in front of a car at a moment’s notice.

I could write a story about them. It couldn’t be a  cute little children’s book because there might be a lot of blood and gore like a horror story. Spy novel? Mystery story? Possession? There are endless possibilities. These squirrels aren’t for the fainthearted.  They are little daredevils.

My husband thinks the squirrels are doing performance moves, like in the Olympics. They get scored on how well they did. He’s positive there’s a row of judging squirrels set up along the side of the road holding up scorecards.

The strange thing is that squirrels only do this in the fall. They also sit in the middle of the road and when they see a car coming, they don’t budge. They’re like deer in the headlights. Then, suddenly they dart to the edge of the street as if they figured it out. But wait, they turn on a dime and are right back in front of you. Some enjoy the “go, left, no go right, oh, I mean left again” routine. I feel they’re taunting you to hit them. Sometimes they sprint out from the side of the road at the last minute. That move I call the death wish.

In reality, there is an explanation. I just read an article in the paper about this phenomenon. Squirrels travel farther from home in autumn, looking for acorns and water supplies. They are not familiar with their surroundings. When they reach pavement or asphalt they become disoriented. So there’s the truth.

Still, I’d like to think there’s something more going on. When fall arrives, a brain cell ignites, giving the squirrel the ability to harass the humans of the world. They play with your mind, teasing you to hit them and feel guilty for the rest of your life. Maybe they’re hoping for a squirrel sanctuary to be built in their honor. Who knows what goes on in their little minds?

Whatever you think of the squirrel phenomenon, please keep your eye out for the little critters. And maybe next time you see a squirrel in the road,  you’ll want to create your own story, your own explanation of Why the Squirrel Crossed the Road.

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Teamwork

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In a few weeks a new anthology will be released by my publisher. She put out a call for short story romances taking place in the season of winter. The book will be called Frozen.

Ten authors, beside myself, have written sweet to sensual love stories for this book. We now are putting our collaborative heads together to work on promo. What does that include? We’ve come up with a Facebook party, blog tour, press release and a giveaway.

Authors have to learn the art of promotion. It’s hard, to say the least, but has to be done. Some author friends have become experts, while others still are sifting through the challenges of Facebook and Twitter. I am learning and still have a long way to go.

Even though writing is a solitary business, promoting your book isn’t. Constant work is needed. The authors I know are a sharing bunch and willing to help. We have worked hard on the promotion. I will be featuring our book at a later date. But I didn’t want you to miss out on the giveaway.

I wanted to include you in the fun part of promotion. Winning! Readers love to win free things. Our rafflecopter giveaway has great prizes. $65 gift cards and copies of the book, Frozen. Just click on the link.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for reading.

Talk to Each Other

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No Wifi
Talk to each other!
Call your mom!
Pretend it’s 1993!
Live.

What a great sentiment. Much has changed in such a short time. I like that this coffee shop wanted to remind people that it wasn’t so long ago, this is how we lived.

I have one minor adjustment to the sign. I would add “Read a book” to the list.

And if the sign was true, picture walking by that coffee shop and looking in the window. In a small booth, a solitary figure has a book in one hand, coffee mug in the other. He’s immersed in the story, stylish glasses sliding slightly down his nose.

A group of four young women are at the table across from him. They are chatting, heads close together. A sound of laughter erupts from the circle and they reach for their cups, pausing from the easy camaraderie to take a sip. Once in awhile one of the girls glances over her shoulder at the man holding the book, checking him out. No one stops to look down at a phone or send a message.

At another table, two businessmen are having their morning coffee as they jot down notes for a meeting. They make eye contact, converse and nod, smiling as they are distracted by light sound of giggling as it travels across the room.

The place is alive with energy, not filled with silent pods of people—together or alone. No one is distracted by a text or call. They don’t have to stop midsentence in their story or ask someone to hang on for just one minute. The business meeting flows smoothly with no interruptions. The young man marks his place in his book as he slams it shut, ready to head for class. He gives a slow nod and an appreciative smile to the girls as he slides from the booth. The girls pretend not to notice, but the giggles begins anew.

You are still an observer, watching from the window. Suddenly you’re overwhelmed with a feeling. You just have to go in there, buy a cup of coffee and live like it’s 1993.

 

 

Shop Till You Drop

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Amazon has gotten into the phone business. They have created something called the Fire Phone. The greatest thing about it? You can shop from your phone!

I hope you saw the sarcasm in that answer. When I read the article about another new phone and what it has to offer, I cringed a little. How about some new advancements in technology?  Not another way to spend money. Plus you can already shop from your phone. But…wait! You can do it in less steps. Scan an item and you’re whisked away to guess where? Amazon!

Basically, to my understanding, this is how it works. A feature on the phone (called Firefly) uses your phone’s camera to recognize things like books, food, video games and household products. Then the screen takes you to Amazon with barely any time for buyer’s remorse.

I view this phone as another way to isolate ourselves. We can be in our own little world all the more. We won’t have to interact with salespeople. Oh, wait. If this keeps up, their jobs will be gone.

In the article I read, I found out the phone has been called “the magic wand for shopaholics.” Instant gratification has been taken to a new level.  I know you can already buy on-line and make purchases that maybe you shouldn’t or can’t afford, but this will make it even easier. And guess who profits? Amazon!

The days of “mom and pop” stores have slowly faded away. Maybe if they changed their name to Amazon, it might help their business. It’s sad how shopping habits have changed. Are we just too busy to get in a car and make our way to a store?

Also, how boring for writers! I see my next book with the main character glued to her phone. “Wait! I’ll check directions on my phone.” “I can Google that.” “Need a new pair of jeans? Let my app scan the ones you like.” “We don’t have to go out. We can watch it on my phone.” “Travel? Forget about it. It’s all here in living color.”

Thank goodness, books can be purchased on Amazon. But let’s make sure it’s not the only way to escape reality. Get off the couch and go out. There’s a whole big world out there…if you just look past that screen on your phone.