Talking. To real people. Where to begin? What to say? How to say it? To whom? Sometimes at parties, I feel like The Simple Dog, just wanting my own happy square of linoleum to stare at.
Let's face it, a lot can go wrong when I draw breath to speak. I detest the flavor of my own feet, and spend a lot of time considering my words before I let them out, but still end up with way too much toe-jam in my teeth.
There's what I say. There's what I *thought* I said. Then there's what I actually meant, and how I said it.
There's what you heard. And what you *thought* you heard. And what you thought I meant, and how you interpreted it.
If I squirm because I have to pee, you might see the squirm, think it means I'm not interested in you, turn away. I see you turn away and sink into myself, certain I've bored or hurt or offended you and do the only reasonable thing: hide in the bathroom for the rest of the evening.
I’ve discovered I often write characters who talk too much, sometimes without thinking. I love them for being brave enough to share themselves like this, even if it ends up going so badly wrong, before it ends up right. I feed them a lot of toe-jam before they succeed!
In CINDERELLA’S COWBOY, my shy heroine Cynthia Henley has a nervous stutter to overcome, and two gorgeous stepsisters, Maddie and DeeDee, who have the world by the tail and want to “fix” her. I adored watching Cynthia grow into herself!
And I can’t wait to show you what’s in store for her stepsisters. Maddie’s story, THE CHOCOLATE CURE, comes out in January 2017, with DeeDee’s THE CHOCOLATE COMEBACK releasing April 2017, as part of the Love at the Chocolate Shop series from Tule Publishing. This 12-book multi-author series begins in October and the first two books are available for preorder from iTunes here:
I adore these covers and I think you’re going to love the stories inside as much as I do.
True communication is a never-ending challenge - and such a joy when it happens. I strive for it in Real Life, and in my books.
Who will you connect with today?
Excerpt from CINDERELLA’S COWBOY:
A pair of golden-green eyes stared out from between the bale of straw and the wall of Cynthia's office, then blinked, once.
Doing business out of a barn might not be everyone's cup of tea but the cats were a perk. Especially when they were kittens.
Cynthia hunkered down onto her hands and knees and nudged the china plate across the concrete floor. The scrawny creature swiveled his ears but held his ground. She was definitely making progress.
She gestured to the slice of turkey with her ballpoint pen, then spoke into it, as if it were a microphone.
"Tell me, Mr. Tiny Orange Feline, what makes DMC Solutions the best choice in today's business climate?"
A simple question, right? The kind of thing a media and communications specialist would be perfectly positioned to answer, right?
She pointed the pen at the kitten. In a high, squeaky voice, she answered.
"Cynthia Henley is poised, polished and perfectly presentable. She uses the right words, in the correct order and never ever embarrasses herself or others."
She pointed the pen back at herself.
"Thank you, Tiny Feline. We believe you to be biased by turkey-breast interference and thus unreliable, but we appreciate your kindness."
The kitten stretched out his neck and snatched the turkey, just like the Marietta Weekly journalism intern who posted Cynthia's recent Interview of Shame on YouTube.
The intern was long gone, but the paper's online Business Focus column had never had so much traffic.
If only she hadn't bumped into Chad Anders first. Coming face-to-face with one of her most embarrassing moments had awakened the monster that lay coiled inside her, ready to flick its forked tongue up her throat and spawn new, improved embarrassing moments.
I provide services my clients won't find elsewhere.
She'd meant to sound earnest but nervous hyperventilation made it come out like a spaghetti western madame offering up a room service special.
I'll do anything to muh-muh-meet their needs.
Why didn't someone stop her? Or shoot her?
Ha-ha. I muh-mean, not uh-uh-anything, anything. Ha-ha.
Bray like a donkey. That'll help.
DMC Solutions is uniquely puh-puh-positioned for today's buh-business cuh-cuh-cuh-climax.
Oh, the humanity.