I'm Toothless

Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Okay, fine, I confess. I still have all my teeth...except one.

It started back in April. Or May. Whatever. I blame my Parents as Teachers lady.

Our school district offers this program, you see. Where a representative will come into your house about once a month if you have a child under the age of three, and test your toddler, give the parents helpful advice, and provide her with little games to play as a way to make sure she's progressing okay and will be ready to start school when the time comes.

Well, one of the topics our Parents as Teachers lady discussed with us was making sure our children had healthy teeth. If their teeth grow in wrong, then it can affect their speech, which in turn will affect their education, and so forth. She recommended getting our child to a dentist as early as possible.

It had been awhile--okay, years--since I'd actually gone to a dentist myself. When my childhood dentist retired, I just never got around to making an appointment with the new dentist all my records had been sent to. But if I needed to take my kid to get her teeth checked out, then I figured I better get myself established somewhere.

So I made an appointment. Surprisingly enough, I only had four cavities. In fact, I was actually complimented for how well I took care of my teeth and kept them clean (yeah, take that hubby who insists I don't brush long enough).

They set me up with a July date to get fillings put in the four cavity-infected teeth. Except...in early June, one of the loose fillings they planned to get re-filled fell out while I was chewing gum (evil stuff, that gum).

I called the dentist to let them know. So the the next three times they called to get me into an earlier spot, the time was already filled by the time I contacted them back. Therefore, yep, I had to wait over a month with a hole in my tooth, in which time it started to ache and throb and hurt like you wouldn't believe.

By the day my July appointment rolled around, I was soooo ready for my new filling, I almost bawled. But even after I got it filled, that stupid tooth still ached and throbbed and hurt like you wouldn't believe. As one who hates to pester people, I dragged my feet a week before I called the dentist again. They said sometimes they get the fillings too high, or some such dentist jargon I really don't understand, so they got me in that day to take a look. Sure enough, they had to shave the filling down a bit, and told me, "There, that should make you feel lots better."

After a couple days, it actually did begin to feel better, but this little bump had started to bulge out of my gums directly above "that" tooth. Maybe I should mention sometime in here that this is a baby tooth we're talking about. It never fell out and a new tooth never came in. Yes, I'm almost thirty-two years old and still have a couple baby teeth in there.

I waited, dragged my feet some more, and gave the bulge time to deflate. It didn't. In fact, it just grew bigger. At this point, the husband demanded, "CALL THE DENTIST." Ugh. So less than three weeks after my bump appeared, I called the dentist.

They, of course, wanted to look at my bump. That was on this Monday ago. I got a 3pm appointment and took off work early to show it to them. Turns out, my baby tooth "rejected" its new filling, as they termed it, and I got an abscess in my tooth.

I know, eww.

So, the doctor numbed me up, drained the abscess, and "slipped" my tooth out of there. Right then and there...he pulled my beloved baby tooth out.

Oh, the horror.

It's way in the back, so you can't see it. But when I look at in the mirror, it looks as if half my freaking teeth are gone. I'm quite traumatized (well, I am a little). I feel way too young to be toothless.

I guess the next step is to figure out what I want done with that big gaping hole: bridge it, leave it be, or whatever. I know I want something filling the space, but I'm not sure yet what it'll be.

To say the least, I haven't gotten a lot of writing done this week.

Hope everyone is having a good hump day.

Can't Win for Losing

Monday, August 29, 2011
I hope everyone on the east coast is doing okay today and survived last week. I've heard lots are without power, some people have flooded homes, and many more sustained wind damage. Doesn't seem to matter where you live these days, some natural force is out to get you: Earthquake, hurricane, tornado, avalanche, blizzard, flood, drought. I swear, the grasshopper plague had descended on my house.

Can't win for losing, huh?

Ergo, I don't recommend moving to some region of the world to get away from one natural disaster, because you'll probably just move right smack into the middle of another.


So last week, I decided to wash my car. Spent eight bucks at the drive through so I wouldn't have to leave the kid inside by herself. After getting it all shiny and spotless clean, I started home. When I reached my gravel road, I slowed way down, making sure not to kick up any dust and ruin my nice, clean car. I have to drive only half a mile on gravel to make it to my drive way. It was the longest half mile I ever drove. Despite my creeping, crawling speed, when I got home, a thick layer of dust covered the entire, freaking automobile.

Just can't win for losing.

Next time, I think I'll drive as fast as I can down the gravel road so no dust had time to catch up with my car!


So, I submitted this story I wrote a couple months back. Worried it wasn't explicit enough for this publishing house, I heated up the bedroom scenes. And it sold within twenty-hour hours, which is frankly a record for me. But once I got halfway through edits, I learned it was too graphic. Now I'm busy toning down the bedroom scenes. Sigh.

Honestly, you just can't win for losing.


Curious to know exactly what "can't win for losing," meant, since it has become my life lately, I looked the phrase up this week. And I found an answer on Yahoo Answers that I just love. Someone said it means, "When you put yourself out there and settle for less, you still don't get ahead."

I am currently of the opinion that everyone should, as Dr. Seuss says, "Be who you are because those who mind don't matter and those who matter won't mind."

Hope you all have a good week.

Friday Forwards - #31

Friday, August 26, 2011
***(There's a new, young blogger out there named Courtney. She's celebrating her two-month bloggoversary at http://courtneysbooknook.blogspot.com/ and wants twenty followers if anyone is interested. I met her on Goodreads. She likes young adult books and is a total sweetheart.)***

And now for my Friday Forwards!



I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, "Mom! That lady isn't wearing a seat belt!"


On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, "The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents."


A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. "Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle."


A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women's locker room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, "What's the matter, haven't you ever seen a little boy before?"

5) POLICE # 1

While taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary school, I was interrupted by a little girl about 6 years old. Looking up and down at my uniform, she asked, "Are you a cop?" Yes," I answered and continued writing the report. "My mother said if I ever needed help I should ask the police. Is that right? "Yes, that's right," I told her. "Well, then, "she said as she extended her foot toward me, "would you please tie my shoe?"

6) POLICE # 2

It was the end of the day when I parked my police van in front of the station. As I gathered my equipment, my K-9 partner, Jake, was barking, and I saw a little boy staring in at me "Is that a dog you got back there?" he asked. "It sure is," I replied. Puzzled, the boy looked at me and then towards the back of the van. Finally he said," What'd he do?"


While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my 4-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. She was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, "The tooth fairy will never believe this!"


A little girl was watching her parents dress for a party When she saw her dad donning his tuxedo, she warned, "Daddy, you shouldn't wear that suit." "And why not, darling?" "You know that it always gives you a headache the next morning. "


While walking along the sidewalk in front of his church, our minister heard the intoning of a prayer that nearly made his collar wilt. Apparently, his 5-year-old son and his playmates had found a dead robin. Feeling that proper burial should be performed, they had secured a small box and cotton batting, then dug a hole and made ready for the disposal of the deceased. The minister's son was chosen to say the appropriate prayers and with sonorous dignity intoned his version of what he thought his father always said: "Glory be unto the Faaaather, and unto the Sonnn, and into the hole he gooooes." ......aka(unto the Holy Ghost:)


A little girl had just finished her first week of school. "I'm just wasting my time," she said to her mother. "I can't read, I can't write and they won't let me talk!"


A little boy opened the big family Bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages "Mama,
look what I found," the boy called out. "What have you got there, dear?" With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered, "I think it's Adam's underwear."

Lots of Hugs from Linda!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011
It's crazy how one little sick eighteen-month-old can put a mom's entire life on hold. This morning, my baby was diagnosed with tonsillitis. She's had to get two shots already and now has a prescription of medicine to take after her supper for the next six days, though we haven't been able to get her to eat breakfast or lunch, much less supper for the past forty-eight hours (except Oreo cookies).

She's been quite the mama's girl, always needing held and hugged. So I've been dishing out hugs like they're going out a style.

Her fever has finally dropped to below one hundred, thus I thought I'd pop in to my blog and say hi (HI!) since it's my day to guest post on THE WRITER'S VINEYARD. And being that I'm already handing out hugs, I thought I'd title it, Hug a Cover Artist Today! Feel free to read it if you have nothing better to do.

Hope you have a good Wednesday.

It's Here!! KISS IT BETTER is available today.

Friday, August 19, 2011
(new addition: Amber Skyze is hosting me on her blog today.)

I'm floating on air (well, I would be if that were possible!). A story I started working on nearly ten years ago is finally available to the world!

I know it's not possible for a reader to experience everything a writer does when she goes through the whole creation process. They can't know all the ups and downs, the frustrating writer's block or those beautiful "ah-ha, that's exactly what I want to say" moments. But it still feels very satisfying to get this far and actually stare at your story for sale on Amazon and say, "Wow, it's here. It's really here." You can only hope someone out there gives it a try and returns with, "wow, you know, that wasn't half bad."

So, here is my "wow, it's really here!" moment. Now I guess it's up to everyone else to decide if it was worth ten years of headache or not!!!!

Kiss It Better by Linda Kage
Whispers Publishing
Sensual contemporary romance
60,666 words


A PAST TO PLAGUE HIM: When his sister is attacked, memories of his miserable childhood assault Reed Walker and interfere with his perfectly structured life. To add to the chaos, just when dating becomes the last thing on Reed’s mind, Sophia Eschell, the very woman he’s been dreaming about for the past three years, noses her way into his life.

AND A WOMAN TO HEAL HIM: After hooking up with too many troubled men, Sophia is determined to find a normal, average guy sans baggage. She turns her attention to Reed, only to discover he has more issues than anyone. But if he can learn to open up to her, can she honestly reject him or will she kiss it all better?


Mentally counting to ten, she blew out a breath and bent again. The fabric of her skirt stretched once more, but she ignored it for the moment and wormed her fingers into the dark cranny, feeling for bits of paper. After her grasp slipped twice and she only came away with a one inch by one inch scrap of document, she growled. “That’s it, buster. You’re going down.”

She had no idea how she was going to take down a six-hundred-pound copying machine. But with the mood she was in, she knew she could manage it somehow.

“Who’s going down?”

Yelping when the voice came from behind her, Sophie jerked upright, smacking her head on the back of an infeed tray. She whirled around to find Reed standing in the doorway, a thick pile of papers in hand. He’d been looking down, most likely at her rear, but he zipped his gaze up guiltily as she glared at him.

She was tempted to snap, “You are,” for turning her down last night and then ogling her now. But then she reminded herself he had every right to say no to her offer. And he was merely being a normal, red-blooded, heterosexual male for checking her out. She had to admit she liked that he found her attractive. But still. It stung that he wasn’t interested in her personality.

Tears sprang to her eyes and she lifted her hand to the back of her noggin, thankful it still hurt from smacking into the copying machine’s tray. At least she could blame her wet eyes on physical pain.

“This thing,” she muttered, motioning to the machine.

“Are you okay?” he asked, coming forward and setting his papers-to-be-copied on a nearby table so he could reach for her. “Let me see.” His voice was soft and concerned.

Sophia only wanted to bawl harder because he had to be so freaking nice, a quality that was the exact opposite of every loser she’d dated lately.

“It’s nothing,” she mumbled, but she let him let him sink his hands into her hair and under her messy bun to feel the back of her head. Lips parting as he smoothed his fingers along her scalp, she lifted her face and looked up at him.

When he reached a tender spot, she sucked in a breath and unconsciously grabbed his wrist. He winced and met her gaze. “You have a bump.”

“Oh.” She had nothing else left in her vocabulary to add, so she merely stared into his light grey eyes that looked more silver under these fluorescent lights.

His touch slowed to a stop but he continued to leave his hand buried deep in her hair. Their faces remained less than a foot apart. He licked his lips, and her tummy went all fluttery. She could read the desire in his silver depths. He wanted to kiss her.

She wanted it too. Her chin seemed to tilt up on its own accord, aligning their mouths perfectly. All he needed to do was close the eight inches separating them and seal his lips to hers. When he swayed forward a breath, she swallowed, anticipating his touch, his flavor....


At Fictionwise:


At Mobipocket:

At Whispers Store:

At All Romance E-Books:

Writers' Retreats Rule!

Monday, August 15, 2011
I just spent the entire weekend in a lake house with nine other authors, having the time of my life. My ribs still hurt from laughing so much. Here are just a couple reason why I recommend every writer attend a writing retreat:

10. Rejuvenation. No one knows how to pump you up and get you eager to write like another author, or in this case, nine other authors. But it seems to work in every area of your life as well, not just in fiction land. I feel completely refreshed, inside and out, after a vacation like this.

9. Food. OMG, I don't think I'll have to eat again for another month!

8. Support. In open critique time, not only do you get lots of advice and great ideas to help you improve your own WIP, but hearing other stories and the responses for their chapters also helps you on your own WIP.

7. Prizes. Holy guacomole, I never came away from anything with so much wonderful loot. I swear, I went home with ten new books, a totally awesome tote, cups, and so much more. My favorite was the ceramic coaster that reads, "Not Now. My muse is kicking ass."

6. Camaraderie. You can't truly get to know your co-writing group members until you've spent enough days and nights together to discover Vagisil also helps soothe itchiness under the armpits.

5. The ideas. From tarot-card readings to intense brainstorming sessions, you learn just how much help your friends can be when you need their ideas with problems in your story.

4. TBR List. I now have an overflowing pile of stories on my must-read list. And most of them are my group members' amazing tales. Honestly, if they don't finish their WIPs soon so I can read the rest of their story, I may go postal. Just saying.

3. Rest. Wait, That one's wrong. By two or four in the morning, the motto is more along the lines of "Sleep. We don't need no freaking sleep." Though it helps when someone actually knows how to work the coffee maker!

2. The stories. And some are true stories at that. Seriously though, where else can you go to hear how lighting farts can lead to never having to landscape certain areas of your anatomy again, though it'll also land you in the emergency room.

1. Love. For someone who's in love with romance and happily ever afters, I have to say getting to know Candy, Alfie, De Ann, Gwen, Paula, Kim, Erin, and Sunny as well as I did in two days is what made the retreat as special as it was. I so love you guys, thanks for your kindness, your help, and most of all your friendship.

And now that I'm all weepy and ready for next year's retreat, I think I'll go work on that story I'm pumped to finish.

What is your favorite part of getting together with other authors?

Friday Forwards - #30

Friday, August 12, 2011

At an Optometrist’s office:
“If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.”

In a Restaurant window:
“Don’t stand there hungry. Come on in and get fed up.”

In a Podiatrist’s office:
“Time wounds all heels.”

On a Plumber’s Shop:
“We repair what your husband fixed.”

On another Plumbing Shop:
“Don’t sleep with a drip. Call us.”

Pizza Shop Slogan:
“7 days without pizza makes one weak.”

At a Tire Shop:
“Invite us to your next blowout.”

On a Plastic Surgeon’s Office:
“Hello. Can we pick your nose?”

At a Towing company:
“We don’t charge an arm and a leg. We want tows.”

On an Electrician’s truck:
“Let us remove your shorts.”

In a Nonsmoking Area:
“If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and put you out.”

On a Septic Tank Truck sign:
“We’re #1 in the #2 business.”

On a Fence:
“Salesmen welcome! Dog food is expensive.”

At a Car Dealership:
“The best way to get back on your feet — miss a car payment.”

Outside a Muffler Shop:
“No appointment necessary. We hear you coming.”

At the Electric Company:
“We would be delighted if you send in your payment. However, if you don’t, you will be de-Lighted.”

In the front yard of a Funeral Home:
“Please drive carefully. We’ll wait.”

Sign over a Gynecologist's Office:
"Dr. Jones, at your cervix."

On another Septic Tank Truck:
"Yesterday's Meals on Wheels"

At a Proctologist's door:
"To expedite your visit please back in."

On a Church's Billboard:
"7 days without God makes one weak."

On a Maternity Room door:
"Push. Push. Push."

At an Optometrist's Office :
"If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place."

On a Taxidermist's window:
"We really know our stuff."

On a Fence:
"Salesmen welcome! Dog food is expensive!"

At a Car Dealership:
"The best way to get back on your feet - miss a car payment."

Outside a Muffler Shop:
"No appointment necessary We hear you coming."

In a Veterinarian's waiting room:
"Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!"

At the Electric Company:
"We would be delighted if you sent in your payment.
However, if you don't, you will be."

In a Restaurant window:
"Don't stand there and be hungry. Come on in and get fed up."

At a Propane Filling Station :
"Thank heaven for little grills."

On a Radiator Shop:
"Best place in town to take a leak"

Kiss it Better Trailer

Monday, August 8, 2011
As promised, here is the trailer for KISS IT BETTER, which is coming August 19th from Whispers Publishing.

Edits and Dreams

Friday, August 5, 2011
I’ve been swamped with editing stories lately. Seems like as soon as I finish one and send it back to an editor, another editor emails me, “Here are the first edits to so-and-so. The story releases in two weeks.”

Say what?!

So I’d just received my third ‘here’s your edits to do’ email in one week and was starting to panic when the kid runs up to me, holding a ball and says, “Ball,” in her sweet little girl voice. The hubby and I thought she’d never start to talk. We’ve been trying to force words out of her, holding her ball up out of her reach and instructing, “if you want the ball, you have to say ball,” which only made her scream, and stomp her feet and throw herself on the floor. And here, she walks up to me, pretty as you please, and volunteers the word. Crazy kid.

Speaking of the crazy kid, I’ve been trying to train her to put herself to sleep, setting her in her crib, then kissing her and tucking the blankets around her, and smiling before walking out of the room. But I’ve decided, screw that. I don’t care if this makes me a weak mom, I just can’t handle listening to her cry herself to sleep. What if she thinks I’ve left her forever? What if it gives her nightmares? What if she grows up with these awful abandonment issues?

Thus, I’ve decided, I don’t care if I have to spend forty-five minutes every night until she’s sixteen, walking and rocking her to sleep, and she turns out to be a major mama’s girl with no independent skills, I’m not listening to her cry herself to sleep one more night.

I don’t know if it was the guilt of listening to her last night, or if it’s because I finally read about Casey Anthony on Wikipedia, or because the hubby had to work a night shift (which always makes me have disturbing dreams), but I dreamt about my baby being in some car that had been wrecked and people informing me she hadn’t made it. Don’t ask what she was doing in a car without me, or why it had been wrecked, I have no clue. My dreams never make much sense. But it totally freaked me out.

When she woke up at five ‘til five this morning, I wasn’t upset about getting up that early. I popped right up and went to her so we could snuggle. After changing her diaper and grabbing her tippy cup of milk from the fridge, I brought her back to bed with me (another big parent no-no I don’t care that I broke). It didn’t even bother me that she crawled up on my neck, like she likes to do, and went back to sleep there. I was just glad she was okay. When my alarm went off and I had to get up and ready for work, life was good. Both my hubby, who’d made it home from work only a few hours earlier, and baby were safe and sound, snuggled up on the bed snoozing next to each other.

Okay, fine, by the time I got out of the shower, I heard Hubby growling, “Quit kicking me in the back,” but that only made me happier, letting me know everything was back to normal.

And that’s what I’ve been up to lately. I’m down to one and a half edits to finish, and my family is wonderfully okay. Oh, and my next story KISS IT BETTER will be out in TWO WEEKS from today (August 19th)!!! I think I’ll have a video for you to watch about it next week.

Happy Friday.

Diane Estrella's Microfiction Muse Day

Wednesday, August 3, 2011
So last week, my daughter's picture was on Diane Estrella's blog for her MicroFiction Muse Wednesday. This week, I've joined the game.

Here are the rules: Come up with a micro story (140 characters or less) for the picture of the day and post both picture and story on your blog.

Well, here's the picture of the day:

And here's my story:

I swear it, Grandpa, two legs were sticking out from under the house. RIGHT HERE! And they wore ruby red slippers.

Maybe they’re under this grass. Dig, Grandpa, dig!


To read other MicroFiction Muse stories, you can go to Diane's That's What I'm Here For blog for all the connecting links!