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I’m Lucky I Came Up For Air When I Did!

So there I was, keeping my head under the social media radar for the last few weeks, focusing solely on my manuscript, Souled, when what do I find waiting for me when I come up for air?  My WANA sista, Angela Orlowski-Peart, awarded me the Lucky 7 Meme!  Just the thing I needed to lighten up the mood around here.

I’ve always loved Angela’s blog because her topics are diverse, light-hearted, and always fascinating.  I’m positive you’ll love the way her personality shines through each word she puts to page.

So here are the rules to the Lucky 7 Meme:

1.  Go to page 77 of your current MS/WIP
2.  Go to line 7.
3.  Copy down the next 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs, and post them
as they’re written.
4.  Tag 7 authors.
5.  Let them know.

Simple enough.  I decided to go with the seven-ish paragraphs.   So, here is a look at part of my soon-to-be-released manuscript, Souled:

~ ~ ~

Silence yourself.  Feel, rather than think.

I tried for a couple minutes.  I really did.  In fact, my focus was so intense that I think I’d developed a permanent crease between my brows.  The battering kept up, pelting me with shots of emotion, but finally walls began building up around my mind, blocking out one emotion after another, until there was only one feeling left – elation.  I dropped my hands to my sides and my eyes slowly opened, expectant.  Then my gaze tore through the crowd like a predator sensing its prey.  The source was close.  Very close.

Ah, there it was behind me.  At a cash register stood a boy, 12 years old maybe, his face dominated by a toothy smile.  On the other side of the counter, a clerk slapped a receipt onto a brand new Xbox.

The boy’s scrawny arms wrapped around the box and pulled it off the counter.  He sprinted, the box crowding his arms, and headed straight towards me, his mother trailing behind.  I ignored the woman and instead focused on the boy.

My energy tapped into his and sucked it in like a vacuum.  To me, it felt wondrous and exciting; he didn’t feel the same way.  He looked as though he’d smacked into a wall.  He froze, his eyes latched onto mine, his mouth dropped open, and for a moment his head cocked to one side as if he were reading something he didn’t quite understand.

I smiled.

The boy forced his eyes shut, for a minute covering them with his arm as if the darkness alone wasn’t enoughThen grabbing his mother’s sleeve, still struggling with the box, he ran in the opposite direction.

Ha!  That was freakin’ awesome.

~ ~ ~

There you have it.  Look for the release of Souled this spring!

Who’s next on the list to give us a sneak peak at their upcoming work of art?  I hope you take a moment to check out their blogs as well!

1.  Krystal Wade

2.  Dorothy F. Shaw

3.  Karen McFarland

4.  Johanna Pitcairn

5.  Marion Spicher

6.  Naomi Bulger

7.  Barbara McDowell  


Looking For Love In All The Right Places

My childhood was fairly isolated.  I had no social life to speak of and only a couple of friends because my mother was terribly overprotective.  I was even isolated from extended family.  My dad wasn’t fond of my mom’s side of the family, so my brothers and I were effectively cut off from cousins and aunts and uncles.  We’d go years without speaking to them.  It was pretty pathetic.

I grew up, but outside of my wild college days (when I made up for lost time), my life continued to be isolated, especially a few years after getting married.  Not by choice, mind you, but there was work, family, and more work, expectations, and mistakes that took precedence over a social life.

I fell into a rut.  Working at home made the isolation even worse.  I could go days without leaving the house.  I never had a chance to make new friends.

And even though my father wasn’t around to forbid me from calling my cousins, I didn’t try to rekindle those relationships (please forgive me Toria and Maria!).   I figured since they all lived so far from me, how could I develop a relationship over the phone or through email?  It just wasn’t the same as seeing them in person.  I avoided reaching out because, if I wasn’t going to do it right, I wasn’t going to do it at all.

That was before July 2011.  After July 2011?  A totally different story.

So what changed for me?

This week I’m blog-sitting for Elena Aitken (one of my cyber sistas) while she’s on vacay.  I’m headed over to her blog right now to finish this discussion and I’d love for you all to follow me over there because I want to tell you all about how I’ve come to appreciate the beauty of having cyber friends…

Shapeshifting – The Ultimate Social Skill


Women are drawn to them.  Men fear them.  Usually depicted as gorgeous otherworldly men with flowing hair, broad shoulders, rack-abs, and nice….um, fitting jeans, these extraordinary beings can change at will into a wolf or a bird of prey or other creature in order to protect loved ones from enemies of the most vile nature.  In their world, it’s all about survival.

In Christine Feehan’s Dark Series, the race of Carpathian men shift into huge birds, leopards, and even mist riding on the wind, in their struggle to keep their rare breed from dying out.

Jacob and the boys from La Push Indian Reservation shapeshift into werewolves in order to fight the vampires.

In novels, it is usually about life and death.

But what about the rest of us mere mortals?  In our day-to-day life we may not have life or death choices to make, but we still have the need to survive, don’t we?  Some people have beliefs and routines that are engraved so deep, even a train blasting down the tracks at top speed couldn’t make them step aside.  It is a type of survival, to protect what they hold close in the face of what they consider to be a threat to their very soul.  There is no question as to where they stand in any issue.

For the rest of us non-confrontational folk, there is another path, one that is inherent in all of us.

Enter the real-life, modern-day shapeshifter.

Most of us have encountered those people who can move through the day, interacting with just about everyone and befriending them all, regardless of anyone’s position or focus in life.

Those are the people who seem to have so much charm and charisma, that when their attention is focused upon us, we feel like they are speaking our language and can relate with what we are talking about.  We’ve seen it – the nodding of the head at the perfect time, the lighting up of the eyes at something we say, the mirroring of our thoughts.  We may have never met them before that moment, but we feel like we have known them forever.

It is quite possible they are shapeshifters.  That is not to say that they aren’t being sincere, because they are.   They are genuine in their intent to slip inside whatever world we occupy.  They are people who have mastered the art of calling upon a certain attitude and persona in order to serve them in any given situation.  They could be salesmen, politicians, waiters, business owners, good friends, even family members.  The ultimate peacekeepers and socialites – anyone who has a goal in mind or has a desire to keep everything on an even keel.

Shapeshifting is an ability we all have, one that we have used since childhood – knowing when to put on a face of happiness or a look of concern, when to be apologetic even if we don’t believe we are wrong.  If we can call up our energies to adapt to any change, if we can adjust our behavior in order to achieve a particular goal, we are shapeshifters.

This is the magic that takes place not on a physical level, but on a psychological and energetic level.  Anyone can discipline himself or herself to tap into the world of shapeshifting.  Some are just more motivated than others.

So tell me.  Do you ever find yourself putting on a different face or saying just the right words to fit a situation?  Do you ever feel yourself becoming someone else for even a short time?  How many shapeshifters do you know?