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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas Is Just Around the Corner.

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When I was a small child, something about Christmas unnerved me.

Last year I wrote a short story called Memories of Christmas Past about a woman who didn't like Christmas. It was cathartic.

When I had small children , I tried to hide my feelings about everyone else's favorite holiday.
(Mine has always been Easter, but that is a story for another day.) We had a tree in the living room, went to late service on Christmas Eve and helped Santa with his chores while he was in the house.

The day after, I took the tree and all the decorations down and replaced them with New Year's paraphernalia.
Now I have grandchildren, and since we go there for Christmas, I don't put up a tree. I do wrap a string of lights around the mimosa tree in the front yard so no one refers to me as the grouchy lady down the street.

To the people I interact with on a regular basis, I send a card.

For years I have wondered why am I so weird about Christmas? Since it was not an acquired dislike, I have to think something happened when I was a child that traumatized me during the Season.

Maybe it was Santa. He was at the grocery store, church, the mall, on TV, standing on a corner ringing a bell and a dozen other places all at the same time.

How could that be? His hair was long, short, curly and straight. He was fat, portly, skinny, smelled wonderful or rank, yet people tried to tell me he was one guy who was going to come down my chimney on Christmas Eve and leave me presents. Really?

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He never disappointed. When my brother and sister and I woke up on Christmas morning, there were toys, candy and every sort of thing to make a child smile.

I might have been a weird child, or something as simple as that. But I am better now so I would like to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, or Festivus, or whatever you celebrate.

I send you the love, and light and hope for peace and prosperity for all.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Idea for the Twisted Mind of Cletus Compton

This summer, for the first time in years, I had a schedule. This put me on a long, dark (more like pitch black), lonely road to my home  several nights a week.
Being a writer, I should be able to describe to you what made the hair on the back of my neck stand up as I drove.
The road goes between one small town in the Ozarks to an even smaller farm community with only one viable business, a convenience store.
About a mile down this road you lose the light from the first town and the light from the quick stop ahead of you is not yet bright enough to be visible. All you have to guide you is your headlights.
There is no shoulder on the road. On one side, the back of fence of several farms flashes in the headlights. The other side is a hill goes up and disappears into the shadows, just past that is the railroad track.
In the last ten years, I have driven this road a thousand times, but this summer it triggered a recurring nightmare.
In my nightmare, I as drive down this road I spot something. I slow down to  take a closer look. I spy a large wooden crate made of sassafras sticks tied together with yellow baling twin.
I turn the car toward the box so the light shines on it and slowly get out. The box is about 20 yards away. Should I go see if anything is in the box or should I stay close in case it is dangerous?
Something moves and I jump, trip over a rock and land on both hands and knees. From that position, I can see there is a small human chained to the crate.
At that point, I wake up.
I had this dream every night. It got so I hated to close my eyes.
One night when I woke up from my scary dream, I jumped up and went to my office where I wrote it down. That was at 2 am. At 6 am I was still writing and I was on chapter 6. That is how the Twisted Mind of Cletus Compton became a novel.
The funny thing is, after that night I never had the nightmare again.
Hum... leave me a comment and tell me what you think. Where did the dream come from? Why did it go away so abruptly?

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Let"s Create

Since I was a small child, I was told we are put on this world to create, or to love one another , or to take care of things and people who cannot take care of themselves.

It depends on what you believe as to which of these things is the most important. In a perfect world, it would all be relevant.

Image result for free images of writersToday I want to talk about creating. Everyday someone says to me, "I could never write a book," how do you do it? Then they look at me in disbelief when I tell them, "I'm not quite sure."

It's true. Most of my ideas come from a snippet of a recurring dream, a piece of a conversation, or a thought I can't get out of my head. Usually, for sanity's sake, I write it down.

The funny thing is, once I write it down, it goes away. I don't have the dream anymore. I can think about other things and I can't always remember the way the conversation, I obsessed about only moments before, actually went.

Now here is the odd part, (if that isn't odd enough). I have absolutely no idea who will be in the book, what the plot is or how it will end. I sit down at my computer with a cup of coffee (decaf, I am hyper enough) and begin to type. To get started, I read the last paragraph I wrote the day before. Then my mind is off  and running. People pop into my imagination and I see them with great detail, even down to the mole on their cheek.

If I stick to it, no one gets sick, the dogs don't have to go outside, the room isn't too hot or cold or a dozen other things to interrupt my train of thought, I spew out a story. Sometimes stories take weeks, others take months and one even took a year.

Enter, my friends and family and even my families friends. I need readers. At this point, I am convinced the reader thinks I am illiterate. My work needs comma's, periods, quotation marks, different paragraph breaks and on and on. I only want to know about the content. Is this a story line you could get into.

I mostly get, "Wow,you're weird!"  "Whose brain  comes up with this stuff.?" 

The Springfield area has several writers groups, Sleuth's, Ink Mystery Writers, Ozark Romance Authors,and The Writer's Guild to name a few. Believe me, these people are as weird as I am. Maybe they are a little more mainstream weird ( yes, it is possible).
Wanda Fittro wrote about an abusive relationship and I swear, you would think you were in the room.
Image result for free images of paintersTierney James writes  (among other things) a series about a housewife turned spy. It is so believable, you wonder what the lady next door did last night. Lisa Medley writes of Space Cowboys, Alien love, and Reapers, (the grim kind). Beth Carter writes romance novels that are raising in the ranks.
VJ Shultz will surprise you every time with her short stories, password journals and coloring books. Shirley McCann will scare the beegeebees out of you. Before you know it you are sitting with your back to the wall so no one can walk up behind you. (I wanted to say McCann can, but thought better of it.)

If you paint, draw, care for the sick or elderly, cook, garden, or a thousand other things , you are a creator.

Stop by and tell me about your passion.          

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Some key words and hints from my new crime novel: The Twisted Mind of Cletus Compton.


The on line launch is Tuesday August 16th from 7 to 8:30 P.M.
Lots of swag to give away.
E book edition is on pre-order now.
Link to launch party: Facebook,com/events/151163698647171

   Hope to see you at the party.

Monday, August 1, 2016


 National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

467,000 children missing per year.

86% Are Runaways
10 % Are family abductions
2% Are lost/ injured or otherwise missing.
1% non Family abduction
1% critical missing young adults
 Most cases solved within 2 hours.


rape down 43%

There is only 1 child abduction in every 10,000 missing children reports.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Facts About the FBI Most Wanted List

Things you didn't know about the FBI MOST WANTED LIST

The First person on the list was Thomas James Holden back in 1951.

17 cases have been solved directly because of the television program America's Most Wanted.

Victor Manuel Gerena has been on the list longer than anyone, since May of 1984.

He stole $7 million from a securities company. There is a million dollar reward for his capture.

On the other hand, Billie Austin Bryant was on the list 2 hours. He robbed a bank and murdered 2 FBI agents.

153 Fugitives have been caught because of tips from the public.

Only 8 women have ever made the FBI Most Wanted List.

The most common crime in murder.

The largest reward ever offered was $25 million. for the capture of Bin Laden.

The largest for a domestic criminal was $2 million for Whitey  Bulger.

The current Most Wanted List includes: Jason Derek Brown : murder and robbery of an armored car.

Simon Mogilevich: Mob boss, swindled investors
out of $150 million.

Eduardo Ravelo: head of a prison gang. Drugs

Robert Wm. Fisher: killed wife and 2 children, then blew up the house.

Of Course, Victor Manuel Gernea who took hostages in a robbery were he stole $7 million dollars.

Joe Luis Saenz: Mexican drug cartel. Committed 4 murders in 10 years.

Glen Steward Jordain, Narcotics

Alexis Flores, Kidnapping and murder.

Eric Justin Tota  Private school teacher. Child porn.

The criminal mind is fascinating!

Once you meet Cletus Compton, you will sleep with the lights on.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Learning in the car

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Writer's are a strange lot. We are in awe of our friends, we cheer their successes and we try to make them feel better if they get down.

Authors love to share information. A friend of mine, told me time and time again, I should listen to the Creative Penn podcasts by Joanna Penn. I told myself I had heard it all before. My time would be best spent creating the next bestseller, working on my blog, website, Facebook page or the fifty other things my publisher listed that would bring me along in the marketing department.

On a recent trip to Tulsa I  intended to listen to my IPod. Thing is, I couldn't find it so I listened to Abraham/Esther Hicks CD's  a friend from church gave me. I learned a lot so I don't feel like I wasted my time.

I learned long ago the value of listening while driving. When I worked for Sears Roebuck and Co. I traveled. Did you know that if you stay in the range of the same radio station, they play the same song in the top twenty every forty-seven minutes?

Anyone who has traveled for their job knows that windshield time is a real downer. Before I transferred here from St. Louis, I listened to all the tapes in the St. Charles County Library system. When I moved here, I listened to every book in the Springfield Library system.

I went through the contemporary novels first, then self- help,  the classics and finally the philosophers. Time in the car flew and I wasn't nearly as tired as I was when I remained bored listening to music. Music is great, but one year I drove 24000 miles for my job.

FYI, I am the person you want on your trivia team. For some reason, odd facts stay with me and odd facts come up in trivia games.

Yes, I have a point. Some of you already do this, for the rest of you, I am going to make a suggestion. Use your driving time to learn. You need not be a writer to expand your horizons. There are many CD's on gardening, knitting, bookkeeping, beekeeping, photography, star gazing and on and on.

In just a trip to the grocery store, you can get in a chapter or two.

For those of you who write, I suggest Hugh Howie's podcast, The Creative Penn or Steven King's writing. Those will send you off chasing other fine offerings by the guests on these venues.

Lastly, listening to successful people in your field keeps you motivated. They are upbeat, entertaining and informative. I bet gardening or photography CD's would do the same thing.

Okay, back to the Twisted Mind of Cletus Compton, my latest novel. I promised myself I would have edited by the end of this week so someone can read it.

(Once you meet Cletus Compton, you will sleep with the lights on!)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Susan's Musings: Should you share your ideas and dreams?

Susan's Musings: Should you share your ideas and dreams?:       Should you share your dreams and ideas ? I say NO. Have you ever met a true dreamer? You know, one of those people who always has a ...

Should you share your ideas and dreams?

Image result for Free dreamer sign      Should you share your dreams and ideas ?

I say NO. Have you ever met a true dreamer? You know, one of those people who always has a great idea for a book or a story. Maybe they have an invention that will make housework easier. I know a guy who had an idea for a steam piston to more a car. The car had a battery. The battery had a water reservoir that dropped water on the piston the piston went down and the next drop of water made the piston rise again.

He had that idea fifty-years ago. It never went anywhere. Now when he comes up with an idea folks say. " Is that anything like the water piston?"
It is not only the ridicule, but the skepticism and resistance that is created when your idea or dream hits the air.

Does that seem silly to you?

Not to me.

I am what is known as a panster writer. In other words, I get an idea. Perhaps it came in a dream or was sparked by something someone said on TV or in a conversation I overheard. It could be as small as a couple of words or a big as proven concept.
When I sit down with that story line, I have NO idea who the characters will be, where the story will go or whether it will be a novel, a novella or a short story. Not all of my ideas become anything. Some of them are nine or ten pages long. They lay in a drawer in my desk until I get back to them.

Some of my friends and colleagues are plotters. They sit down and write down the entire story line. They know the principle characters, the beginning and for the most part, (except for the actual words they will use), they know the middle and the ending.

I know that works because some of these people have ten or more successful books out there.
So do those of us who fly by the seat of our pants.

So what am I getting at?
I'm saying this, telling your dreams, ideas and stories dilutes them. There is always someone out there who doesn't think you can do it, and they don't mind telling you your storyline, invention or dream is unrealistic.

I say "Good." The more fantastic, the more 'out there' the more exciting it is.

There are exceptions to every rule. I have a sister how loves every idea and dream I have ever had.
If I tell her I am stuck, she tells me to let it stew in my brain a few days and it will work out.

Most people aren't like that. Most people don't write, don't take a chance on an invention and still do things the way their parents did and their grandparents before them.

And NO, I am not saying the entire world is not adventurous. I am saying those of us who are, are a minority.

When I go to the Ozarks Romance Authors meeting and listen to the successes and hear the readings of those talented people, I sometimes forget this kind of person is not a majority.

The next Saturday, I join the mystery writers from Sleuth's-Ink. Again, I am flabbergasted at the imaginations and tenacity of those folks.

Here is my point. Yes, I do have one.

Don't spend your time talking about what you want to do. If you have a book or a story in you, write it. If you want to paint a picture, paint it. Don't dilute your dreams by sharing them. Develop them, nurture them. Be the best you can be.

Along the way, drop by Amazon or your local book store and explore these local authors with huge talents. I am sure to leave someone out. I will apologize in advance for any oversight.
Tierney James, Wanda Fittro, Cat London, Shirley McCann, VJ Schlutz, Lisa Medley, Beth Carter, Tina Riffey, Pat Elliott, Sharon Smith, Yvonne Erwin, Cara Bristol, Lisa Wells and Sharon Kizzah- Holmes, and Tattered Wings, by me.

This is only a small sampling of the talent in the area. Branch out, read some new authors.

I invite you to leave your thoughts and comments regarding this post.