I was terrified.  My instructor had asked me to give my report orally.  Was she insane?  She must be.  Anyone that knew me knew I was terrified of public speaking.  I had battled my fear since I was seven when my mother made me get up in front of the family at a reunion and sing “Mary Had A Little Lamb.”

I stood there in the pink, ruffled dress that I loathed while dozens of eyes pierced my own.  I was shaking as I corralled the tears behind my eyelids. Then my mother said those devastating words:

“Come on, Lisa.  Everyone is looking at you! “

I opened my mouth, but the words “Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb!” did not fall from my nervous lips.


All over my shoes, my pretty pink socks.

“Lisa?” The instructor’s hoarse voice snapped me back from my nightmare.

“Huh?” I retorted in a daze.

“Lisa, your report.  Please.”

I shifted in my seat as I chanted positive affirmations in my head like “you can do this!” and “boo yah!” and “don’t puke dumbass!”

I stood slowly and looked around.  There they were; those nasty eyes like a giant thirty four-eyed lizard slithering its forked tongue at me. They belonged to my seventeen classmates.  I wanted to hiss at them as I curled up in the corner.

At the podium, I adjusted the microphone awkwardly.  Surely my innate microphone positioning would send my speaking over the top!

I panned the classroom.  But no one was looking back at me.  There were no faces!  I was looking at seventeen people without faces.

“What?” I heard myself whisper in the hushed room.

“Lisa,” my instructors voice again.

Wait, I thought. If they can’t see me, then they can’t hear me!

I did a virtual happy dance as I cleared my throat.

“Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb! Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow!  Everywhere that Mary went, that lamb was sure to follow!”

I beamed.  I did it!

After a brief silence, the class erupted.

“What the hell was that?” one man scoffed.

“Where’s your white dress, Mary?” another girl mocked.

They heard me! Oh no!

I squeezed my eyes shut and covered my ears.  “Shut up!  Shut up!”

The air fell silent.  My eyes creaked open to see the faceless class.  The instructor stood in the back, faceless as well.

I gave my report, clapped for myself and sat down.


ROWnd and ROWnd

For some reason the song “Round and Round” by Ratt popped in my head when I started this ROW80 post.   Hmm.. A potential 80’s blog post perhaps?

Anyway… this post comes very shortly after me signing up for this round of ROW 80.  Out of my goals, I have written my goal post for ROW 80 and I did read and comment on a lot of blogs!  😀

I have written about 200 words on my WIP. I am home tonight, so after a much-needed shower, I am going to sit down and aim for about 1,500 – 2,000 words on my WIP.

This weekend I’d like to take a trip down to the South Street area of Philadelphia.  South Street is one of the locations in my novel and I feel it would do me pounds of goodness to go there and really bask in the element of what South Street is like today.  I am not sure if on site research is par for the course for novel-writing.  However, I want to get the ambiance of what is like there now.  Not to mention I haven’t been down there in almost ten years and I’d love to see the new stores.  I am pretty sure the classic spot Zipperhead is gone. 😦

This weeks goals are simple:

  • 50-100 words a day on WIP.
  • read/comment blogs.
  • read a few chapters in Megan’s Way (which I have started – it is gripping!).
  • Write on chapter in the memoir piece.
  • Saturday I am going down to South Street!  I just decided.  🙂  I asked my daughter to go with me… so far, I got a big no.

Happy ROWing everyone!  See you all in a few days.

Let’s Try This ROW 80 Diddlybop Again

After reading Barbara McDowell’s blog I realized I have been slacking… I also noticed that when I set goals, I set them too high.  I don’t meet them, sulk, pout and then say, “what is the point?”  Self-sabotage maybe?

So after reading Barbara’s blog, I was stoked.  She broke her goals down in a simple way that seemed easier than tracing ABC’s.

I am going to take another stab at this ROW jaun.

October 3 – November 15

  • Writing

Write 50 words a day on WIP. If I go over, yay!  50 is attainable.

  • Blogging

Write 1 blog entry weekly on main blog.    Write 1 entry a week on 80’s blog.  Continue to update Blogspot blog each Sunday.

  • Reading

Read 7-10 blogs a week.  Comment on each blog.  Read my darn Kindle!

  • The Craft

I picked up a great book on memoir writing.  Read a chapter a week in this book.  Do the exercises.

  • Health

I have been slacking in this area.   Start walking each day.  20 minute minimum.  Get my butt to the gym 3x a week.

No more McDonald’s!  I think I have enough colorful Coke glasses at this point.

  • Sobriety

One AA meeting a week.  Talk to my sponsor if any life occurrences come up.

  • Me!

For the love of marshmallows, do something fun once a week.  A favorite movie, troll a used book store, walk in the park.  I am getting a new camera in a few weeks, so I’ll be adding photography to my list of hobbies..

Happy ROWing everyone!!

Awarded the Versatile Blogger Award… Yes!

Ok, I have resumed breathing at a normal pace.  When I saw this I was shocked and honored. 🙂 Thank you April Denton!

The Rules:

1.  Thank the person who shared the award with you by linking back to them in your post. 

2.  Pass this award to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know that you included them in your blog post.

3.  List 7 things about yourself.

1) I have a strange obsession with pens.. I love to buy them and if I see a really nice one that doesn’t belong to me, I have a hard time not stealing it!

2) I think I have a connection with animals, although the animals seem to feel differently (c’mon guys!  let’s get on the same page!)

3) I threw up in my phonics book in second grade in front of the entire class.

4) Once, I accidentally on purpose set a full trashcan on fire (outside).  I scared the poop out of myself and ran like hell.

5) I associate everything with music.

6) My first published piece was a poem (called “Reality & Fantasy”) in a local newspaper at the age of 25.

7) I rescue spiders.

Ok!  Now for the fun part.  My 15 nominations.

Jeremy C Shipp

Breeana Puttroff

Tiffany A White

Anglea M Thomas

Matthew Merrick

Catie Rhodes

Lani Wendt Young

Ashley Elizabeth


David Green

Melissa Foster

R A Evans

Sonia G Medeiros

Kristen Lamb

Jody Hedlund

wow.. that was slightly difficult.. 🙂  But loads of fun.. yes?

That’s all for now!

The Gratitude List

I just read a tweet from a fellow tweeter.  I got the impression she was down in the dumps… she said she felt, “out of sorts.”  I have felt like that many times in my life (I’m sure most people have).   I replied to her tweet and told her to make a gratitude list.

Then I thought, “Darlene!  You’re a genius!  You should make one.”  So I am.  Right here, right now.

I am grateful for:

  • my sobriety
  • my children
  • the ability to use all five of my senses
  • music
  • the gift of writing
  • nature
  • green lights
  • coffee
  • my cats
  • my genes
  • a sunny day
  • a Sunday morning
  • making some one smile
  • a brand new notebook
  • that I was born exactly when I was born
  • Tyler State Park
  • other people’s opinions
  • tolerance….

These are just some of the things I am grateful for.  But, I want to hear from you.  What are you grateful for?  What makes you say thank you.  What helps you through your day?

I Need One Of Those Thingies – Ya Know… That Doo Dad Thingamajig

It has come to my attention (through running around like a mad woman and having twenty-nine pieces of paper in my purse) that I need one of those planner thingies.

I currently have a little notepad, blank index cards, post-it notes and pieces of ripped paper.   This method is not working!

“I know I wrote that down,” I say as I rummage through my larger than necessary purse, filled with lots of stuff I do not need.

These items include:

  • Kindle
  • wallet
  • cup of gum
  • hair band
  • hair spray (I never use it – why is it in there!)
  • notepad
  • 2 tubes of hand lotion
  • keys
  • 27 pieces of paper (I threw 2 away)
  • 3 highlighters
  • 7 multi-colored sharpies (those great pen ones)
  • my other much bigger wallet
  • the wonderful letter my daughter Sarah wrote me when she was about 17 years old
  • 2 tubes of lip gloss
  • change purse
  • bottle of fast release Tylenol
  • hand sanitizer (which I never use – and I rarely get sick)
  • dental floss
  • loose change
  • 4 lighters
  • 11 dollars in cash
  • 3 post-it notes
  • a pack of matches

Ok, I think that is it!  I need one of those little day planner thingies.. but not so much a calendar, but one to write other stuff down.  Maybe it has pockets or something for my little papers.

I also think I need to trade in my large (very pretty) Maize colored purse for a much smaller some other color purse.

What do you carry around with you?

Blogs I Am Enjoying (I Think You Will Too)

Russell Blake – Russell Blake Suspense Writer A lot of good advice.  Funny.  A wee bit sarcastic.  Love it.

Regected Riter – If I want to laugh, I visit this blog.  You should too.

Sonia G. Medeiros continues to wow me.  I notice the more she writes the better she gets.  I love reading her Flash Fiction.

You want quotes with your daily zombie fix?  Look no further than here: Poetry & Zombies.

Haley Whitehall has some great flash fiction on her blog.  I didn’t much read historical fiction until I came upon Haley’s Blog.

These are just a few of my favorite blogs.  Check ’em out, let me know what you think… These blogs help me forget my struggles as a writer and sometimes they give me a new spark.

Thanks guys!