Creepy Dolls R Us

Doll

 

I love old dolls. I really do. As long as they don’t smell like throw-up and have a long crack running from their glassy eye down to their toothy grin.

One day as I was sorting through an old box in the attic, I found a dollhouse family  that I had played with many years ago. Time hadn’t been gentle, and now the long-ago cherished dolls sported slightly tattered clothes and resembled tiny zombies.

And thus a story was born….

TINY DOLLS

Ol’ Rustbucket Bites…

…the dust. Yep, my mini-van celebrated its fourteenth birthday by dropping a few pounds from its undercarriage. A screw here, a plastic bit there…. It was easy to know where my van had been by following the debris in the road. And I couldn’t outrun anyone since the transmission was acting its age, balking when I tried to coax it from one gear into the next. It bellied up to the gas pumps and guzzled fuel, then backfired a few times as, satiated, it rumbled down the road.

The last time I was at the car service center, my old friend, John (yes, we’re on a first name basis and exchange recipes), came out to the waiting area, shaking his head, looking sadly down at the clipboard in his hands, like a surgeon with bad news. My heart felt like it stopped and my stomach lurched. My hand flew up to my mouth and tears welled in my eyes. A hush took over the room as I sensed all eyes on me, everyone glad it wasn’t them John was solemnly standing in front of.

“Well,” he said. And paused.

“It’s not good, is it,” I said, hoping he’d yell, “April Fools!” Problem was, it was almost June.

“Well.” (Boy, he was sure stretching this one out.) “Looks like we have several issues here and, uh, your van is fourteen years old….” He cleared his throat and proceeded to list an encyclopedia of car jargon that I numbly nodded my head to, not knowing what in the heck he was talking about. Except for the word “thousands.”

I put my hand up to stop him, shakily rose to my feet, and took a very deep, long breath. “I’m headed over next door to the sales department. I’m buying a new car.” There. I said it. My days sitting next to the wilted plant in a room filled with other morose customers, waiting for the dreaded pronouncements on the condition of their cars, was now going to be a thing of the past.

Well, at least for a few months anyway.

My Main Character Cooks !

Stormy Deane, from my latest book, Looney Dunes,  doesn’t like getting herself dirty, either with dirt or food. In fact, she’s always on the lookout for the perfect apron that would cover her from neck to toes. She also loves meals that contain no preservatives and are made from scratch. It has to be easy, too, since she’s dealing with a house full of boarders, ranging from the quirky Whatts sisters to the cute guy, Carl, who just might capture her heart. This tomato sauce fits the bill.

Go here for the easiest, most delicious tomato sauce ever!

NOT Made in the USA

For several years, I have purchased sandals and moccasins whose brand name is a city in America that is Native American in origin. They are comfortable and unique, many sporting a Thunderbird design and/or colorful beading. Every time I wore the sandals, someone would tell me how pretty they were. And I proudly told them the brand name, feeling like I was also promoting goods that were made in the United States.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. One day I happened to look closely at the tiny wording that is inside the moccasins. It read, “Made in the Dominican Republic.” In amazement, I dropped the shoe. I peered closely at the hard-to-read stamp inside the sandals. This one read, “Made in China.” I emailed the company. This is the answer I received:

“All of our in-stock styles are manufactured in our factory in the Dominican Republic and have been for over 40 years. We do special make ups for some of our larger chain stores that are made in China. All of our sandals are made in China.

Thank you for your inquiry.”

In all fairness, whenever you see their product online, they never say “Made in America.” Instead they side-step it by talking about the quality of their materials or the craftsmanship.

I have bought (and still buy) products that are made outside the United States. But for a company whose brand name and styles reflect an American city and a Native American culture, this is sad. And it is the last time I will be purchasing their product, until they are truly “Made in the USA.”

*I’m a freelance writer with many short stories, essays, and poems, published in magazines and anthologies. My latest book, Looney Dunes, is published through a company in the United States.

Fun At The Supermarket

Image

CDO–that’s an acronym for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder for those of us who
need complete order in our lives. For instance, take food shopping. Something I
do every Tuesday morning at nine sharp. The first thing I do–the very first
thing before touching a shopping cart–is pull out the hand sanitizer from my
pocket. I scrub the entire cart with it, leaving the wheels alone. The people
lining up behind me sigh in relief as I maneuver through the sliding doors.

And then the real fun starts!

Click here to read

A Different Kind of Selfie

This isn’t a photo selfie. So if you were expecting a pic of me sporting duck lips, fuggedaboutit. This is an interview selfie. And it was a lot of fun conversing with myself.

Me:  What inspires you to get out of bed each day?                                                                                                                                                                        Me2:  The rain on my face if I’ve left the window open next to my bed.

Me:    When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
Me2:  Watching other people. The human race is fascinating!
Me:    Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Me2:  Oh yeah. It was a doozy. I was six, and tried incorporating jokes into my story. I called it ”The Joke Story.” Thankfully I have come a long way since then.
Me:      What is your writing process?
Me2:     First, coffee. Strong. Then a quick look-see around the Internet. Open emails from my several accounts. More coffee. Then I’ll settle in to work on any one of my WIPs (works-in-progress). I usually have a light verse, short story or two, essay, and novel, all going at the same time. I multi-think beautifully.
Me:    What’s the story behind your latest book?
Me2:    Looney Dunes came about when I reflected on my quirks, and that of others. I created characters from composites. My main character, Stormy, even belongs to a group who call themselves the PNSers, or the Phobie Non-Socies. Decidedly, it’s a small group, or they wouldn’t be able to meet in the same room.  Stormy also has trouble with relationships, yet she inherits a boarding house complete with strangers renting the rooms, and a cute guy who has the most adorable dimples.
See? A selfie that’s not a photo of me, but my own interview. You can read more on Smashwords, here.

Stormy Deane Speaks!

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Many times characters in the books we are writing, speak so loudly (or as in my main character’s instance, over and over again), we have to listen. Thus my novel, Looney Dunes, came to be. Go here to see how my publisher was able to distract my main character, Stormy Deane, from perseverating over her immediate problems, and discuss her story.