Archive for the 'Real Life' Category
Tuesday, July 9th, 2019
Authors love to put a character through trial and tribulations and push their limits. Delilah’s really good at it, isn’t she? It’s fun reading about people forced to grow and change. But doing it ourselves can be pretty painful, unless we find the right challenge to encourage the proper kind of growth. I found the right one for me—I auditioned for my local community theater, the Hamilton Players production of Disaster! A 70s Disaster Movie… Musical!
I sing regularly in my church choir, but I haven’t acted or danced since my community college days in the early 80’s, and I wasn’t particularly great then. When I heard about this particular musical, I thought it was the perfect vehicle to push a few of my limits. The music is familiar—it’s all 70’s hits—and I wasn’t trying for a lead role, just a position in the ensemble.
The audition itself was rather nerve-wracking. The singing was no problem, and the light improvisation wasn’t too bad, but the dancing? Yikes. Just the few steps we learned that night were really hard for me. I’m physically fit for my age, but I’m pretty klutzy, and hip swings and pelvic thrusts aren’t part of my normal workout routine! So, I did my best and laughed off my flubs. When they asked us for our best 70’s free dance, I decided to dance like I just didn’t care and went full-on Saturday Night Fever. Pretty sure I looked ridiculous, but hey, at least I gave it my best shot.
The cast list went up just two days later and to my great shock, I was on it as part of the ensemble. We started rehearsals the next week, getting scripts and doing a full read-through. During the read-through, I was assigned the part of Victim 1—by all the suns, I have lines!—and eventually, I ended up in a ‘named’ part as The Blind Woman. We started on choreography that week as well. Initially, I was disappointed to not be in all of the ensemble pieces, but it wasn’t long before I was grateful. Dancing is a huge challenge for me, especially synchronized dancing.
Not only was I working hard at every rehearsal—four nights a week plus Sunday afternoons—but doing extra dance practices and an hour or so at home most days. Learning even the simplest steps was hard and every muscle surrounding my hips was screaming at me for a couple of weeks. But I persevered and while I’ll never be a natural or great dancer, I got good enough to not totally disgrace our lovely choreographers, Michelle Post and Natalie Naidl.
The singing, speaking and blocking (how you move on the stage while speaking) was easy in comparison. Our director, Denise Rose, and musical director, Emily Athman, handed out critiques, praise and a few blunt expressions of disappointment, pushing all of us to our best performances. I learned a lot from both of them and really enjoyed the whole process, even when it was slightly painful for me personally.
After our final week of dress rehearsals, I was too tired to be terribly nervous before the first performance. Once the performances started, I had so much fun! Sure, there were a few blunders, forgotten lines and missed entrances, but overall, it was smooth and over too quickly. By the second week, we were firmly in the groove, a tight-knit team. We had a great time on stage and off. Those of us with minor roles had a backstage ‘dance party’ during one of the big solo numbers on stage. One of the lead players wrote a lip-synching script for all of us to a medley of ABBA songs which she filmed before performances. Many nights the cast went out after the performance too. I was thrilled, excited and happy to be a part of the amazing whole.
After nine performances, we took our final bows with standing ovations and calls for extending the run. After our final show, we broke down the set and had a cast party. It was definitely a bittersweet day. I’m happy to have all the time back, but I’m really sad I won’t be hanging out with all these fantastic people every day.
Overall, it was a great way to push my limits a little and force a little growth. I highly recommend community theater to anyone. If you’re not into performing, there are many ways to contribute: on house staff, fund-raising, set building and technical crew are just a few. Check out your local theater!
I’ll definitely try out for another show, but probably not for a while—I have another book to write! And speaking of, I’ve just released my fifth in the Folding Space Series, Lightwave: Circini Search. If you like adventure and battles in space with a little romance, like Firefly or Star Wars, I think you’ll like my books.
If you sign up for my newsletter on amscottwrites.com, you’ll get a free novella, Lightwave: Nexus Station. Check it out! Have a wonderful summer and check back with the talented and generous Delilah Devlin daily!
Sunday, June 23rd, 2019
June’s calendar, when I first laid it out, was a work of art. All my big goals had been chopped up into bite-sized pieces. I was determined that, this month, I’d have some “me” time to float in the pool or play with beads.
Ha! Can I say that again? Ha! Ha! Ha!
Okay, so it’s nearly ten at night and my ass is sore from sitting so long today. I’m trying to catch up on my goals that floated down the toilet from nearly Day One. The issues?
- A terrible case of Don’t-Wanna-Do-it. Can you blame me? The sun’s out. The pool’s finally lost it’s green tinge. All I wanna do is have some fun (I’m channeling Sheryl Crow now).
- My body’s rhythm feels off. Okay, I know that sounds like woo-woo horse shit. And it is. If I don’t get it done in the morning, or at least started in the morning, I give up for the rest of the day because I’m ready for a nap by two. I think it’s because school is out, and I’m not up with the kids at O-dark-thirty anymore.
- My dd suddenly had to leave town this week to go help a relative who needs some help, which leaves Guess Who in charge of the lovely little ones (who really are little demons with angels’ faces!)? Yup, me. The one with sucker written all over her face.
It’s my own damn fault. I let things slide, and now I have to power down to get my highest priority things out the door. Don’t cry for me… (And now I have Evita on the brain…)
That’s what I need—a soundtrack that kicks ass. Any suggestions for what tunes should be on it?
Saturday, June 15th, 2019
UPDATE: The winner is…Tamara!
I had a lightbulb moment tonight as I turned to face my lovely bed and began to pull away some of the pillows to make room for myself. I never pull away all the pillows. In fact, I leave the heaviest ones lined up beside me. I only take up 1/3 of my queen-size mattress, so why bother? I realized that other than the fact I’m too lazy to clear all the pillows before I climb under the covers, I also save a lot of energy remaking the bed in the morning, because…the heavier pillows hold down the coverlet, saving me from having to climb over the bed to complete pulling everything straight.
So, that’s my lazy housekeeping hack. For a chance to win a free short story, let me know yours!
BTW—that’s not my bed, although I LOVE the wood!
Monday, June 10th, 2019
When I’m stressed out, the family knows exactly what helps me find a little sanity—a treasure hunt!
Yes, my dd took me to the thrift store again. I’ve been working on two sets of edits that are both due tomorrow. My eyeballs are bloodshot, and I tend to stare into space when I’m in the middle of conversations. Those two clues gave away my sorry state. My dd dragged me out the door. Really, she had to.
Which means, I also can’t spare the brain matter to think of a lively topic for today’s blog, so I told my dd to snap a pic of my finds…
My daughter looked dubious when I had her try to arrange them all into something presentable. She doesn’t get it. Maybe you will.
Let’s move in a circular pattern, clockwise from the upper left corner. The orange box is a treasure trove of out-of-date road maps! She shook her head. “Who needs maps, mom? We have apps.” Huh. I know that. However, maps are very useful in mixed media art. I can make paper beads, decoupage, use them for collaging, etc. She had the nerve to roll her eyes after I finished my defense of the map box.
See that thing in the background that reads “pony beads”? Well, it’s a large plastic bag crammed with art supplies, from foam glue sticks to paint sticks, to sequins, pom-poms, pony beads, ribbon, and on and on. I bugged my eyeballs at her. “You have kids underfoot all summer. Don’t you think some arts and craft activities will be helpful? Now, you don’t have to raid my stash!”
Two sewing patterns. Yes, I know. I can only sew straight lines. The patterns aren’t to help me sew a dang thing. I want them for some mixed media art and collaging. No boos and hisses from all you sewing-persons out there.
The packs of scrapbook papers and paper doilies? Self-explanatory, I think. Mixed media and Gelli prints. Duh.
The blue doily? My mom loves doilies, and I’m just not that wonderful a daughter to want to crochet one for her…
Lastly, the To Do pad. Because I had to have it. It’s paper. It says “To Do”. Nuff said.
Sunday, June 9th, 2019
My dd and I flew down to New Orleans for a couple of days. Why? Because we needed our NOLA fix! It’s a 7-hour drive, but we did it in two days anyway. It’s all the window of time we had. We took the 15-year-old and the 5-year-old with us. Both are great travelers, and we had a blast!
We stayed in the Bourbon Orleans Hotel—in Room 644—which is haunted! The 15-year-old had an “experience”, but that’s her story to tell. She’s always been surrounded by weirdness like that. Usually, she never notices, but we see it around her—this time… Well, she was a little freaked out…
This is a pic inside our room. My hair!!!! My dd set the rules. No makeup. No hair products. This is what a few hours of intense humidity does to my hair! Had to “dress it up” with Snap Chat!
Scary, right?! 🙂
Most of the trip was about doing our favorite things—eating, shopping, hitting the voodoo stores—get readings in Jackson Square. Here’s the 15-year-old getting her very first.
She also got to roam Bourbon with her mom at night! She loved it! Says she wants to live there someday. She’s soooo my grandaughter!
And did I mention shopping? That was the 5-year-old’s greatest joy. She loved her “mud-bug” beaded necklace, and we had to get her a mask!
Had to say no to the hat, but boy did she look cute!
Now, back to our haunted room…
If you Google Room 644, you’ll find plenty of mentions. James Franco stayed there. Paranormal investigators, too. The hotel was a orphanage run by nuns in its past, and one of the nuns jumped out of this dormer window…
I woke up middle of the night and took some shots with my “ghost camera”. I usually get tons of human shadows and ghostly orbs, and I got some orbs in this room, but he strangest thing was this red pinpoint of glowing light that kept moving across my viewfinder. I can see it when I blow it up on my screen, but trying to show it to you on my grainy blog is another thing. Maybe you can make it out midway down the window here, on the left side panel between the 6th and 7th slats…
It looks like just a tiny spot here, but I stood in the same place and took photos of the window, not moving the camera, and that glowing spot moved left to right. Best I could do, folks. 🙁 The pics aren’t as cool as the ones I’ve taken in the Crescent in Eureka Springs. If you want to check out my ghost photos from there, click on these links: Road Trip — Haunting at the Crescent Inn Hotel, Ghostly Orbs in the Crescent.
Friday, May 31st, 2019
Can you believe the month is gone? It’s a little scary how quickly time marches by.
May wasn’t wonderfully productive for me, word-wise. I was very busy with editing projects, very busy with kids’ end of school activities, getting the pool ready for summer (priorities!), and tons of babysitting for my dd while she was busy doing what she does (she’s that mom who always has tons of kids over for sleepovers/special movie nights/trips to the zoo, etc.). So, yeah, I let myself be a bit distracted from THE WORK.
I spent the first part of the month promoting Stranded: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology. Then I edited and re-released, Gilded Cage.
So, if you haven’t picked up your copies, keep this in mind: For now, both are in Kindle Unlimited, where you can pick them up for FREE!
As for what’s happening in June…
I’m wrapping up a story that will release around the 11th, New Orleans Nights, which is part of the SEALs in Paradise series, which you can check out! The authors in the series are releasing a book every two weeks, so be sure to head over to find out what’s out already! And yes, my story’s going to be HAWT!
Wish I had it on pre-order, but as soon as it’s live, I’ll let you know! Mmmm, I just love that cover.
And before I wrap up the story, my dd and I are headed to New Orleans to soak up some atmosphere. We’re speeding down for a two-day trip. That’s all we can manage with the kids out of school. Her policeman hubby will have his hands full, and she knows the longer she’s away, the more chance there will be of some disaster happening. This week we had to deal with gray water pipes backing up. Ugh. Her hubby’s still dealing with couplings and digging up and burying pipes. My dd set a chair in the back yard next to the ditch he excavated so she could “supervise” and admire his, um, hard work. 🙂
As for the rest of June? I’m hoping to keep my head down and write. And swim. Lots of swimming. We put up tiki torches so we can extend our pool hours. Yeah, I’m a Cancer. Love that water. Which reminds me I have a birthday coming up…
I hope you’re enjoying the start of the season. Get outside! Get in the water. Take a trip—even if it’s only for a couple of days. Read somewhere recently that traveling extends your life. Don’t know about that, but it’s sure fun.
So tell me, do you have any big or small summer plans?
Thursday, May 30th, 2019
Be warned! This is probably going to be a bit of a ramble. It’s what happens when I get only four hours of sleep and I have to face my computer the next morning.
If you haven’t noticed. Sometimes, I kind of go off on strange tangents with my blogs. I can get bored doing the same-ole thing every day. So, sometimes, I let the first thing that pops into my mind lead the ramble…
This morning, as I was turning on the Keurig, I saw a bloated clear plastic bag on my art table and paused. The bag contained my latest thrift store purchases. And faced with coming to my desk to open up my computer or exploring what I’d purchased inside a stapled plastic “grab bag”, I chose to rip the bag open and dump the contents on my table.
I took the picture without giving it any thought to how it looks…
When my dd takes a picture of my treasure hauls,
it looks like this…
This is what happens when I take the picture…
Ack! Ignore the jumble-box of leftover beads in the upper left corner and the flower pot of pens in the upper right. Those belong there. But look at the horrid mess of junk I purchased, mostly sight unseen for $4.
The stash includes a McCall’s wedding dress pattern (it’s underneath the crap, lower left). Lots of really ugly and dated trim (which I just know will be something I can use in a mixed media journal, uh-huh), ugly fabric scraps, embroidery threat (I didn’t misspell that—I keep promising myself to begin a friendship bracelet, but the thread is too intimidating), a really ugly old-fashioned frog closure/sewing embellishment, a yard of red beaded/bugled trim underneath everything where you can’t see it (that I could use to frame something, maybe), a grody old index card box, a bag of cheap, acrylic loops and a plastic crochet hook to go along with TWO plastic potholder looms…
And its the looms that catch my eye. I remember those! I had one when I was a kid, and I made some really ugly potholders. So, of course, I have to go check Pinterest for “potholder weaving” and OMG. New obsession! After watching my third “How To” video, I went back to my stash, stuffed the crap back into the plastic bag, but left out the two looms and the acrylic loops and realized I can’t start a project because I don’t have the bloody-goddamn metal hooky-thing that you use to drag the loops.
So… I find a company that sells modern potholder looms—lovely metal looms instead of the cheap plastic, but still, the same damn things—and they sell the metal hooky things! I bought one. And then, I noticed they sell COTTON loops, so I purchased two bags of cotton loops in colors my dd will love (so she doesn’t yell at me for buying yet more project junk to add to my craft hoard).
And that’s my blog. Sad, isn’t it? But I did manage to write some words and my fingers are limber. Now, I can start the REAL work. 🙂