Is There An App For That?

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What’s app, y’all? I’m going down the app hole today and it’s not pretty. I’ll start with a confession.

I am a digital hoarder. My poor little iPhone is lugging around nearly 12GB of data and totes seventy-two apps. Is there an app for that? A twelve-step program? Probably not.

This problem boomed with every new phone equipped with more and more memory. And the app store promised a solution to every issue.

 

 

Want a better body? There are apps that will count everything from your heartbeats to the calories you scarf down after a run.

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Want to keep up with current affairs?

Don’t. It’ll make you crazy.

But if you do…There’s an app for that.

 

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Want to socialize? There’s party in every social media app.

I can never be bored with my world in my purse. Social media, books, podcasts, research, horoscopes, photos…an app for everything is just a click away.

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But if there is always a screen to read, a video to watch, or a podcast to hear, when do you find the quiet space for your mind to play?

When our minds play they take us on wonderful adventures of what ifs. That quiet space is where problems are solved, big and small. The lull in life is where ideas speak to us in a whisper of what if. In that white space, our dreams take shape. In the still of our soul, we create.

There is no app for that.

Right now, I’m on a deadline and a digital diet to give my muse a quiet space to create. If I’m in a noisy place during my writing time, I put on my noise-canceling headphones and listen to Rain Rain’s ocean waves. I’m on the beach and my mind is ready and willing to hear the whispers from within.

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Writer Wednesday

Please visit my fellow Writer Wednesday contemporary romance writers Tamra BaumannJamie Wesley Kat CantrellPriscilla Oliveras | Shelly Alexander | Paranormal romance writers Kay HudsonPamela Kopfler |Romantic suspense writers Carol PostSharon Wray | Novels with romantic elements Natalie Meg EvansJean Willett | Faith-based and sweet romance writers K.D. FlemingKristen Ethridge | Historical romance writers Kathleen Bittner-Roth Wendy LaCapra | Young adult romance writers TL Sumner

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My Golden Heart® Call Story 2016

To tell the truth, I’d forgotten all about the date Romance Writers of America® notifies contestants if they are Golden Heart® finalists. You may have noticed on the news floods had tried to wash Louisiana away over the past few weeks.

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I’d been helping my mother prepare to fight a rising river, my stepdad had been in a fight of his own in the hospital, and I’d buried my fourteen-year-old dog. Sounds like a bad country western song, huh?

But it could have been so much worse and it’s all getting better now.

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Generally, I have a very good life, and I’m thankful. But can you see how the date may have slipped my mind?

 
The night before call day, my dear friend Colette Auclair sent me a text. Good luck tomorrow.

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It took me a minute to figure out what kind of good luck I should look for.

Early Friday morning was filled with phone calls but none from RWA®.598px-Hemingway_1953_Kenia

I tried to tell myself it didn’t matter if I made it to the finals or not, but my “Hemingway detector” zapped that lie. (If you don’t know what that is, ask me privately or look up Hemingway’s writing advice.)

At 9:30, my cell phone buzzed and a local number and name flashed on the screen. Farrah Rochon, my SOLA chapter sister. I’m on the board (program director and president-elect), so it’s not unusual to get calls from chapter members.

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“You know why I’m calling, right?” Farrah asked.

I’m thinking, what have I done or what does she want me to do?

“Not really,” I said.

“Sure you do.” Farrah reeled in the bait.

I didn’t bite because I was still trying to figure out what Farrah was talking about when she started reading the official notification. “I’m pleased to inform you…”

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I’m not sure exactly what I said. There’s no doubt I screamed. And I was still trying to figure out why my chapter sister had called me with this big news. She writes contemporary romance. Not my category. Lives in my area. Then it dawned on me. Farrah had recently joined the RWA® board. Duh… Call day challenged brain.

Finally, I thought to ask which manuscript.

She told me BETTER DEAD in the paranormal category. Thrilled, I squealed again, then thanked her and we chatted a while. I learned that she’d been assigned my name completely at random. How wild is that? I thought the conversation was winding down, but she’d have none of it. She dragged it out a bit longer, sweet little devil that she is, and then told me ONE MORE BREATH was a finalist in the inspirational category. Double final! More screaming. A tear or two. And the luckiest day ever.

Congratulations to all the RWA® Rita® and Golden Heart®Finalists!

Southern Fried Diva’s Virgin Post

In a moment of weakness, this blog virgin agreed to join with a group of Golden Heart® finalists and, gulp, blog.

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Pretend you’re at the Ed Sullivan Theater and Dave Letterman is giving his top ten. Hmm. Make that three. Drum roll please.

Search #3 WILL IT KILL ME?

pamela-coffee (1)At the butt crack of dawn, I staggered into the kitchen and pressed my freshly manicured nail to the brew button of my coffee machine. I steamed milk for café au lait and added it to my cup of Community dark roast coffee.

Only partially caffeinated, I shook bran flakes jazzed up with raisins into bowl and added milk. As I swallowed my first vitamin-fortified bite, I noticed an army of tiny black specks swim for the safety to the rim of my cereal bowl. Those were the lucky ones. An untold number had been consumed in my first bite.

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Some of you girly-girls are gagging right now and I understand. I’m pretty darned girly, but it occurred to me those were not the first bugs or the last I’d eat.

IMG_0798I come from a long line of adventurous eaters. When I was about six, Pop brought home a box of chocolate covered ants. He popped a few in his mouth and handed me the box. Tasted like chocolate to me, and what kid passes up chocolate? Another time, we tried fried grasshoppers, which tasted a lot like the crispy tail of a small fried white perch. Food at my house was an adventure…still is. Recently, I visited the Insectarium with the next generation of adventurous eaters. The cricket chocolate chip cookies were darn right tasty.

And there was a time back in my reckless teen years when I loved nothing better than to ride on the back of a motorcycle with my arms wrapped around a bad boy’s waist and the wind whipping through my hair. We’d ride into the setting sun, and if I leaned in to whisper (okay yell) into his ear, my mouth became a likely target for a bug at seventy MPH. Let’s just say, I ate a few bugs during those days and lived to tell it.

Most of you may be thinking you’d never eat a bug.

But you probably have and haven’t eaten your last.

There’s an old story, which I couldn’t verify, that the original reason ketchup had a collar label was to hide the insects that floated to the top of the bottle back in the days before the FDA. See the FDA Defect Level Handbook (Commodities and Defect Action Levels) for acceptable levels today. Believe me. You’ve eaten a bug.

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And according to some, insects may feed the world one day. Check out Daniella Martin, author of Edible: An

Adventure into the World of Eating Insects and the last Great Hope to Save the Planet.

After my World Wide Web rabbit hole search (308,000 results in 0.35 seconds), I discovered I’d consumed a grain beetle.

Totally edible.

Search # 2 TWITTER ETIQUETTE

Being a Southern born girl and new to twitter, I figured I’d need good manners to play in the twitter-sphere. A quick search netted 47,800,000 results in 0.29 seconds. Looks like everyone wants to be polite on Twitter.

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My top pick was Twitter Etiquette for Beginners. If you want to see how I’m doing, follow me on Twitter.

Search # 1 HOW TO WRITE A BLOG POST

537,000,000 results in 0.41 seconds. My top choice was How to Write An Awesome Blog in Five Steps.

How’d I do for my first real blog post? Be gentle…

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Please visit the websites of my Golden Heart® sisters and blogging pros to find out where their last three searches took them in the wilds of the Internet. 

Carol PostKay HudsonJean WillettPriscilla KissingerWendy LaCapra

Kat CantrellKristen EthridgeNatalie Meg EvansSharon Wray

Also this month, we’re celebrating Firebird sister Kristen Ethridge’s release of her new book, The Doctor’s Unexpected Family. Here’s the blurb:

51hf-c0J-HL._SX311_BO1204203200_1Dr. Pete Shipley is on a mission to save lives and he’s ready to move to another corner of the world where his skills are needed. City Councilwoman Angela Ruiz is a single parent fighting to save her hometown after Hurricane Hope tears through Port Provident, leaving destruction across the community she has sworn to serve. Together, they team up to found The Grace Space, a Christian-based community gathering spot in the heart of Angela’s district, where residents can get food, household goods, and basic medical care while Port Provident rebuilds after the storm.When Pete’s appointment to an international medical mission comes, will the doctor follow his lifelong dream and leave Port Provident, The Grace Space, and Angela and her daughter—or will he stay with the family he didn’t expect to love and realize he can change the world without leaving home?Hurricane Hope: One storm changes Port Provident forever…and for good.
Check it out on Amazon. It’s only $2.99!

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Natalie Meg Evan’s second book The Milliner’s Secret is a heart-wrenching love story set in wartime Paris.

London,1937. A talented young woman travels to Paris with a stranger. The promise of an exciting career as a milliner beckons, but she is about to fall in love with the enemy…

Londoner Cora Masson has reinvented herself as Coralie de Lirac, fabricating an aristocratic background to launch herself as a fashionable milliner. When the Nazis invade, the influence of a high-ranking lover, Dietrich, saves her business. But while Coralie retains her position as designer to a style-hungry elite, Paris is approaching its darkest hour.

Faced with the cruel reality of war and love, Coralie must make a difficult choice – protect herself or find the courage to fight for her friends, her freedom and everything she believes in.

COMING SOON

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This diva can never count on men…

…Especially the tall and handsome variety. Looks like Pamela is going to have to finish this site on her own. What should she do first? Blog? What shall she blog about? She’ll get back to you on that…

Meanwhile, she’s getting ready to go to Romance Writers of America’s national conference in Atlanta and hopes to see lots of her writing friends there and meet new ones, too.