I love YouTube. I learn all kinds of things on there – like where that little metal pole thingy under my hood goes after I finish checking the oil. I tell you – it was a super fun day in the scorching sun trying to put that sucker back in the right place.
There I stood holding that hot metal hood up as I tried putting that pole where it was supposed to go. I gave up, came inside and looked on YouTube. Problem solved.
Last week, I learned a new term when I was watching YouTube: ethnically ambiguous. The term has probably been around for years, but that was the first time I’d heard it.
Lizzie Chandler, the psychic matchmaker in my books, is ethnically ambiguous. When I got the idea to write the series, I wanted a female lead that did not belong to any particular racial group. Some of Lizzie’s friends are white, and some are black – just like with my own friends.
I’m going to make a huge confession here. I can be a little bit of a Pollyanna type at times. I want to see a world where everyone loves one another and all races get along. I’m not totally delusional. I know that racial harmony thing will not happen in the real world. However, it will happen in my books.
It can be a little tricky creating that kind of thing, especially when you’re still pretty new at writing. I don’t want just Caucasian and African American characters. That wouldn’t be very Pollyana-ish of me. But I haven’t spent any real time around other races. And if you don’t know other races well, there’s a good possibility that you can end up unintentionally offending people. I certainly don’t want to do that.
This post is about to end abruptly. I’m not sure how much I want to get into the whole ethnic ambiguity thing right now. But at least I’ve given fair warning to any readers who expect characters to look and act a certain way. You won’t find that in my books.
I have changed the name of this blog many times. I can’t decide where I want to go with it. Besides providing info on new or soon to be released e-books, this site is supposed to be an entertaining way of sharing my somewhat ridiculous thoughts about everything under the sun.
And yes, I realize that no one really cares about my thoughts. Still, other bloggers don’t let that stop them, so I won’t either. I want a fun blog with lots of readers, and I will have one.
I also want a great writing career, and I’m determined to have that, too. After all, that’s the whole point of calling the blog Living the Dream!
But the writing thing is not going so well at the moment.
I’ve been at this off and on for ten years. I’ve started and given up numerous times, which is why my e-books are never released when I say they will be. But all that is about to change. I have release dates in mind for the two e-books I’m working on, and I’m determined to stick with them (this time).
There’s a bit of a problem with that plan. I seem to have my first real case of writer’s block. I have drafts of both books finished, but they need some serious polishing. So every day, I fire up the old laptop, ready to do some serious writing.
And I get nowhere.
I can see that there are things that need to be fixed, but for the life of me, I’m coming up empty on how to do it. I have to say, it’s not a whole lotta fun sitting in front of a computer screen for extended periods of time and not making much progress.
All that’s going to change though. I’m going to release two new awesome e-books in the spring of 2019. They are going to receive great reviews and sell very, very well.
And then I truly will be living the dream!
A few weeks ago, I came across a file that contained partially written short stories that I started years ago. Since things aren’t going real well with the e-book I’m working on, I set it aside.
I decided to finish the short stories and put them online for Halloween as an e-book titled Undead of Night. The book contains three stories, including a young man battling the monster under his bed, a woman alone in the country facing a werewolf, and a girl forced to confront her fears and help a ghost.
Hope you enjoy it.
Part-time matchmaker Lizzie Chandler likes helping people find love, but she draws the line at working with murderers. 74-year-old Ben Turner insists that he didn’t kill his three wives and that they died because of a curse. Lizzie isn’t buying that story.
She and her private investigator boss, Josh Alexander, are determined to uncover the truth about the dead wives. But the more they learn about Ben’s past, the more it looks like he might really be cursed.
Throw in one cartoon-watching Yorkie, two pint-sized senior citizens who can’t stay out of trouble, and a matchmaking client that doesn’t want to find her Mr. Right, and Lizzie’s in for an unplanned adventure…which concludes with a late night trip to the graveyard to remove a curse that she’s not sure exists.
When I first started writing, I was quite clueless. (I still am, to be honest!) With Doesn’t Take a Crystal Ball, I just wrote and wrote. It ended up being a really long book. I had to figure out where to cut some scenes.
I decided to cut out the calls Lizzie received from potential clients. I’m going to post those calls – as well as some new ones – on this blog.
Here is one deleted call:
“Hi. Is this Lizzie?”
“Yes, it is.”
“My name is Torie. You left a flyer on my windshield.”
This was great. Another potential client. Things were looking up. “Hi, Torie. I’m glad you called.”
“If I understand your flyer correctly, you’re a psychic. Am I right?”
“I do have the ability to sense certain things when it comes to love.”
“My situation might be a little different from your usual cases,” Torie said.
Lizzie braced herself for what was likely going to be a strange request. “Different can be good,” she told Torie in a cheerful tone. “It adds variety and keeps business from getting boring.”
“I want you to help me find a lost love.”
“You mean like a missing person?”
Torie’s love was sort of missing. That definitely could be considered different. “Have you contacted the police?” Lizzie asked.
“No. I doubt they can help me in a case like this.”
“I work for a private investigation agency. Maybe my boss could help.”
“I doubt that, too.”
“Torie, maybe you should tell me more about your lost love.”
“Allen’s a wonderful guy. Handsome, kind, smart. I love him,” Torie gushed.
“Well, why did he leave you?”
“He didn’t have a choice.”
“He’s not in prison, is he? There’s nothing Lizzie’s Love Connections can do in a situation like that.”
“Of course not. Allen is not a criminal.”
This was really strange. “Torie, since you know so much, how is it you don’t know where Allen is?”
“Oh, I know where he is. I just can’t contact him.”
“Where exactly is Allen?” Lizzie asked a bit cautiously.
“You can find him at the corner of Dargan and Belton.”
That location was vaguely familiar. Lizzie thought about it for a few seconds. “Isn’t the corner of Dargan and Belton…”
“A cemetery? Yes, it is.” Torie said helpfully.
“I told you this was not going to be your usual case.”
“Is Allen an undertaker or grave digger?” Lizzie really hoped that he was.
“No. Allen’s dead. I need you to conduct a séance so I can talk to him.”
“I’m sorry, Torie. I don’t do séances.”
“Please. I’m willing to pay extra.”
“It’s not that I don’t want to help you.” Actually, that was part of it. Talking to dead people. Was Torie insane? “Contacting the dead is not within the scope of my abilities.” Lizzie was very grateful for that fact.
“Do you know anyone that does have that ability? One of your psychic friends maybe?”
What did Torie think? That there was this big group of psychics living in Ravenside? Or maybe that Lizzie had a string of psychics on speed dial?
“I don’t know anyone who can help you with your situation, Torie. I wish you luck though.”
“Thanks anyway,” Torie said and ended the call.
Lizzie lowered the phone and stared at the screen in disbelief. When she’d conceived the idea of her business, she never considered the possibility that she’d be asked to hook someone up with the nonliving. Maybe she should’ve done some research.
Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net