Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Keeping Marilyn Company

Before the Playfriends left the country, they asked our kind readers to keep me company while they were gone. And you guys have really stepped up to the plate. You've popped in daily to read the travel posts and commented accordingly. A few of you have emailed me offline to say hi.

Lately I've been bemoaning my lack of focus for writing. I have managed to write 13 pages longhand but that's only about 1/3 of what I need for a full story. And that's only the first draft. Then I have to edit and polish and have this ready to submit by July 15. Well, July 9 actually, because I leave for RWA Nationals on July 10. And before then I have to find a dress and figure out which clothes in my closet still actually fit. I need a new pair of comfy black shoes. I did buy some new undies from Victoria's Secret Monday with part of my last check from Dorchester.

So while I've been running around in at least partial chaos, one of our readers took the time to send me this wonderful email with advice on how to deal with some of my problems. Here's what she wrote.

I'm passing this on to you because it definitely works, and we could all use a little more calmness in our lives. By following simple advice heard on the Dr. Phil show, you too can find inner peace. Dr. Phil proclaimed, "The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started and have never finished." (Note from me: Does the man have a clue about how many unfinished stories I have on my hard drive?????)

So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of merlot, a bottle of white zinfandel, a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream, a bottle of Kahlua, a package of Oreos, the remainder of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos, and a box of chocolates. You have no idea how good I feel right now!

Please pass this on to those whom you think might be in need of inner peace.

How many of you are suffering from unfinished-itis? Let's all take Dr. Phil's advice and tie up those loose ends. Hunt down those unfinished things in your house and git 'r done!

I also got an email from another reader and it reminded me why I am so afraid of snakes. Read on.

Garden Grass Snakes also known as Garter Snakes (Thamnophissirtalis)can be dangerous. Yes, grass snakes, not rattlesnakes. Here's why.

A couple in Sweetwater, Texas, had a lot of potted plants. During a recent cold spell, the wife was bringing a lot of them indoors to protect them from a possible freeze. It turned out that a little green garden grass snake was hidden in one of the plants and when it had warmed up, it slithered out and the wife saw it go under the sofa. She let out a very loud scream.

The husband (who was taking a shower) ran out into the living room naked to see what the problem was. She told him there was a snake under the sofa. He got down on the floor on his hands and knees to look for it. About that time the family dog came and cold-nosed him on the behind. He thought the snake had bitten him, so he screamed and fell over on the floor. His wife thought he had a heart attack, so she covered him up, told him to lie still and called an ambulance. The attendants rushed in, wouldn't listen to his protests and loaded him on the stretcher and started carrying him out.

About that time the snake came out from under the sofa and the Emergency Medical Technician saw it and dropped his end of thestretcher. That's when the man broke his leg and why he is still in the hospital. The wife still had the problem of the snake in the house, so she called on a neighbor man. He volunteered to capture the snake. He armed himself with a rolled-up newspaper and began poking under the couch. Soon he decided it was gone and told the woman, who sat down on the sofa in relief. But while relaxing, her hand dangled in between the cushions, where she felt the snake wriggling around. She screamed and fainted, the snake rushed back under the sofa.

The neighbor man, seeing her lying there passed out, tried to use CPR to revive her. The neighbor's wife, who had just returned from shopping at the grocery store, saw her husband's mouth on the woman's mouth and slammed her husband in the back of the head with a bag of canned goods, knocking him out and cutting his scalp to a point where it needed stitches. The noise woke the woman from her dead faint and she saw her neighbor lying on the floor with his wife bending over him, so she assumed that he had been bitten by the snake.

She went to the kitchen and got a small bottle of whiskey, and began pouring it down the man's throat. By now the police had arrived. They saw the unconscious man, smelled the whiskey, and assumed that a drunken fight had occurred. They were about to arrest them all, when the women tried to explain how it all happened over a little green snake. The police called an ambulance, which took away the neighbor and his sobbing wife. The little snake again crawled out from under the sofa.

One of the policemen drew his gun and fired at it. He missed the snake and hit the leg of the end table. The table fell over and the lamp on it shattered and as the bulb broke it started a fire in the drapes. The other policeman tried to beat out the flames, and fell through the window into the yard on top of the family dog who, startled, jumped out and raced into the street, where an oncoming car swerved to avoid it and smashed into the parked police car.

Meanwhile, the burning drapes were seen by the neighbors who calledthe fire department. The firemen had started raising the fire truck ladder when they were halfway down the street. The rising ladder tore out the overhead wires and put out the electricity and disconnected the telephones in a ten-square city block area (but they did get the house fire out).

Time passed! Both men were discharged from the hospital, the house was repaired, the dog came home, the police acquired a new car, and all was right with their world. A while later they were watching TV and the weatherman announced a cold snap for that night. The wife asked her husband if he thought they should bring in their plants for the night.

That's when he shot her.

What's unfinished in your house? (And I don't mean bottles of wine and boxes of chocolate.) And are you afraid of snakes?

P.S. Many thanks to Carol for the "advice" and to Lis for the snake story. As soon as I read them I knew I'd found my blog topic for today. A nifty Writing Playground pen is headed to each of them way.

P.P.S. Late-breaking news! I went back to a store I visited Monday and I found a dress! Whaddya think? The color doesn't show up well in the photo but it's deep, dark purple and is tea length rather than full length. I have black dressy sandals that I can wear and I think it just screams for diamond jewelry, don't you think?

P.P.P.S. I don't like the title of my story. If you remember, it's about a woman who has a double mastectomy and worries that her husband will leave like her father did when her own mother battled breast cancer many years before. I was calling it "More Than Enough Woman" but that just isn't right.


Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
1,625 / 6,000


LadyVampire said...

Great post! I loved the story on the snake. Personally I am not afraid of snakes. I had one as a pet for a while and even go hiking in the wild and will capture them out there for fun as well. I do let them go unharmed of course. I've never once been bitten either.
I love the dress and I think your right, black shoes and diamonds would go great with it.
As far as a title for your story, here are some suggestions:

Keeping the Faith
Love Unscathed
Fear Conjured and Conquered
Fear Unfounded
No Matter What
The Unspoken Bond
Undoubtedly Mine
Reclaiming What's Mine
Forever Perfect
Eye of the Beholder

Hope you like the suggestions.

Stacy S said...

Oh, man I love the snake story!! To funny. Great dress.

Carol said...

I love the snake story, too! I'm not afraid of a Garter Snake but a big snake would have me screaming!

I think diamonds would be perfect for that perfect dress!

I'm not good at titles. How about just More Than Enough.

I have a few things I need to finish around here! lol Thanks again for the Writing Playground pen!

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Hey, PM! Thanks for the laugh. :) Boy, do I have unfinished-itis! I am SO busy right now trying to get things done and caught up before a) inlaws arrive next week and b) flight to Dallas on the 10th. Oh, did I mention I stupidly took a class and have a gazillion things to finish by next Wednesday? The class doesn't end until Friday, but the inlaws arrive on Thursday so that shoots that in the foot. And then there's the cable guy (today), the vet (tomorrow), the mattress delivery (Friday), and gawd only knows what else!

Whew. Love the dress, btw! I still have to find something to wear. I finally made peace with the fact that I will not lose 10lbs by National and will not fit into my dresses, so must buy new clothes. I just don't have time to worry about it. :)

Oh, and I suck at titles. :)

Kathy said...

Great post, PM. The snake story is a perfect example of the domino theory. Every day we make decisions or react in ways that affect those around us. Much to ponder. :-)

Love your dress! Purple will look great on you. Black strappy shoes with some sparkle, a great accessory. Of course, sparkle on the ears, wrist, and add a broche too. You should be all set for the ceremony.

Title possibilities:
The Bosom Chronicles
Bosom Buddies
Nothing to Fear
Rise Above the Storm
Take a Part of Me
I Am More
Love Runs Deep
Will You Still Love Me?
Bent But Not Broken
Courage Under Fire
Who Will Love Me?
The Measure of a Woman
I Can Survive 'Cancer'
Marked For Life
Love In My Darkest Hour
I Was Created... Woman
Breast's R Us
The Cracked Hour Glass

Just a few ideas going on what I know about your story.


Maureen said...

Very funny post. Good luck with the story and the dress looks great. I have to think about the title but there are some great ones up already.

Lis said...

Too many things unfinished here. Three wips in various states of doneness, but not a one complete. Notes for an idea for the brava novella contest. A crit for one of my cps.

Love the dress! :)

My brain's foggy on titles right now. The only one I can suggest is More Than That, though not sure how well that fits

Playground Monitor said...

Great title suggestions! Right now I'm leaning toward "Eye of the Beholder."


Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Marilyn, we must be on the same snake wavelength...this after the mastectomy wavelength. Jeff brought me home reptile books from the library yesterday for some research.

I love your dress and your great post!! I would title the story, "The Beauty of Love" if your story has a happy ending. :D

I love the travel pics I've seen on the blog. I'm a castle gal.

Let me take a minute here to tell your readers that I have a breast lump. My mammogram was fine a few short months ago. These lumps can sneak up on a woman. Keep checking, girls. I see a surgeon tomorrow.

Marilyn is one of the most beautiful people I know!!! I love her writing!!! I keep calling her my LaVyrle. :D

Hugs, JJ aka Blue

robynl said...

Love Knows No Bounds

I am afraid of snakes, hate them, loathe them, despise them!!! Enough said.

Sabe said...

Loved the snake story and no, I'm not afraid of snakes -- but I do respect them and try to steer clear of the poisonous ones.

My title suggestions:
A Life or Breast Decision
or, Less is More

catslady said...

The dress would look lovlier if you were in it!

I hate spiders more than snakes lol.

My housework is never finished.

Kimberly L said...

Shades of Gray
Learning to Love Again
Looking in the Mirror
After all these Years
Just as Long as You're There
Time to Love
Tears, Threats and Commitments

Pat L said...

Hate snakes. Really loved the article.

Love the dress.

As for titles:
Still Me
It's Still Me
Precious Love

Cherie J said...

LOL! Great story! Love the dress. It is so pretty.

For a title for the book how about:

Love Endures
Love's Survivor

jenn m said...

I loved the snake story. I'm not afraid of snakes but as i was reading it i got a really clear picture of my sister and her boyfriend who once got trapped in their house for the whole day because there was a black snake laying on their porch. After 40 frantic phone calls and ten hours later I had to go remove it.

I thought a good title would be
Getting it off her Chest

Nini :) said...

Pretty dress!! Diamonds go great, as do other amethyst and diamonds!

Who needs a reason to buy jewelry?

Love the stories....and yeah, there's lots i need to do to finish up in the house! I have a class for school tomorrow, but i'll be free from Tuesday thru Friday. Denise Linn has a book out called "Soul Coaching" and her first few chapters is about "uncluttering your soul", finishing things and getting rid of things that are just sitting there...Let me tell you, it helps to throw things out that have been laying around not being used; especially when it's DH's stuff.

Nini :)

PS....i like the title "Eye of the Beholder"...but my question would be - Jayne Ann Krentz has that title too...are you allowed to re-use titles?