THE WRITER’S WIDOWER

Being a writer is a stressful profession not only for the author, but for family members too, so here’s a little tribute to the men in our lives.

THE WRITER’S WIDOWER

Quickly repeat these words ten times. Writer’s widower…writer’s widower…writer’s widower… Okay, now, that the fun is over, what in the heck am I talking about?

My definition of writer’s widower: A husband whose wife is a writer. The word “husband” can be substituted with spouse or significant other, or the phrase could read ‘A wife whose husband is a writer’, but since the majority of romance writers are female, this article is about women authors and their men.

Most men don’t marry a woman expecting her to warp into a romance writer. They marry for things like steady sex, family, and companionship, but when their wives become writers, those things fly out the window for long periods of time.

When writing, authors tend to block out every interruption. We tape skull and crossbones, or enter at your own risk notices on our doors, or hang do not disturb signs on the handles. We ignore the blare of the TV, kids arguing with one another, a plate crashing to the floor—unless they’re happening in our characters’ lives.

We stock our writing area with essentials like chocolate, coffee, and wine so we don’t have to get out of our chairs except to run, and I mean run, to the bathroom. We stare at the wall, the ceiling, and the blinking cursor on a blank page as minutes tick by. Time does not exist. Nor does sleep, nourishment, or fashion.

We’re not in our world—we’re in the world of our characters—in their time and place, their home, job, and family. We mimic our characters’ feelings and emotions. We cease being ourselves and become missing in action, and our husbands become widowers.

I thank God every day for my husband. During my writer’s trance, he dons the hat of housekeeper, laundress, cook, and bottle washer. And when I feel he’s reached his limit of no companionship, I give him a little sex.

I don’t want him to totally be a writer’s widower!

How does your husband support your writing or deal with being a writer’s widower?

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Older Brothers

There are four children in my family. Tim is the oldest, then me, Debbie, and my younger brother, Terry.

Tim and I are twenty-three months apart and as kids, we constantly fought. Now, we’re best friends – probably because we live in different parts of the country! I call him every Friday night and we talk for hours about politics, religion, the stock market, and everything in between. We usually end up reminiscing about our childhood.

“Why did we fight so much when we were younger?” I asked Tim last Friday.

“Cause you wanted to follow me around and do whatever I did. Like the time you climbed into the tree house after me, even though I said you couldn’t.” He grunted. “You’ve always been stubborn.”

“Even back then, you should’ve known not to tell me I can’t do something. Besides, as soon as I sat on the planks, you pushed me out. It’s a good thing I fell into the sand box below.”

“Yeah, and Mom gave me the whipping of my life.”

The next day, Dad built sides on the tree house.


Do you have a sibling story of your own? Please tell us in the comment area.

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Connie Taxdal

Romance Writers of America, 2014 Golden Heart® Finalist

 

 

Welcome to alternative how to!

Yourlovelymuse is following my blog, and when I visited their blog, I liked this article, so I’m passing it on. Hope you enjoy it.

the alternative how to

If you’ve stumbled across this blog, chances are you’re what people call “the creative type.” Perhaps you travel across the country on trains, or you’re busy creating sculptures out of your neighbors recycling bin. Maybe you draw pornographic anime on old vhs tapes, or make your own wine out of grape juice and yeast packets. Maybe you’re a writer, an expert on surrealism, a fashion designer, a musician, or just a working stiff with a wild side. You might live in a busy city, a quiet beach, a suburb, in a house, a loft, an rv, or even a park. Regardless, you’ve just come across this blog because you are different. You have the insatiable desire to leave a mark on the world in your own unique way, the need to live differently and be inspiring. Welcome, readers, to alternative how to. A guide for anything and everything related to…

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Woe! It’s Wednesday: More than an Emotion

Though today is not Wednesday, this message is true any day of the week.

Live Vi-Carrie-ous!

I heard someone say recently that our emotions do not define us.

You can be angry without being an angry person.

You can be brave without thinking of yourself as courageous.

You can find peace in the rocky places of life.

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You I can be kind to someone without forgiving them.

The point is that we are more than the sum of our emotions and actions.

Grief or feeling betrayed or hurt or angry is a fleeting thing. What matters is how we respond in the long run.

I’m trying to choose peace and kindness. Some days are better than others.

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Get The Most Out Of Life

If you want to get the most out of life, answer these questions.

Do you put your own needs on the back burner? – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others; but not at the expense of yourself. Do something that matters to you, follow your passion.
Do you hold onto the past? – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one. Take decisive action. Making progress involves risk, but no one makes it to second base with their foot on first.
Do you procrastinate? – Putting off or ignoring a problem usually creates more trouble. Nobody likes to deal with unpleasant situations because it forces us beyond our comfort zones. romantic couple 15
Do you overlook the beauty of small moments? – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
Do you follow the path of least resistance? – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.
Do you act like everything is fine when it isn’t? – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there’s no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
Do you worry too much? – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time? Three years? Five years?” If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
Do you focus on what you don’t want to happen? – Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.

Following these suggestions will help you get the most out of life.

Please leave a comment if you have problems that hinder your enjoyment of living.

Thank you for visiting my website. Please click the “Follow” button on the sidebar for updates.

Connie Taxdal

Golden Heart® Finalist

2014 Golden Heart® Finalist

Wednesday morning my husband burst into our bedroom. “You’ve got a phone call.”

“Who is it?” I was groggy. I’d been up till three AM writing on my next novel.

“She said something about your book and a golden heart.”

I’m dreaming…or so I thought until he picked up my hand and slapped the phone into my palm. I transferred the damn thing to my other hand and rubbed my smarting palm on the edge of the bed. “Hello?”

“Congratulations. You’re a finalist in the Golden Heart contest,” said the woman on the other end of the line.

She continued, but I couldn’t comprehend her words over the buzzing in my ears. My body shook. I pounded my chest to make my lungs suck in air before I passed out. I must have responded appropriately, because she congratulated me again and hung up. I ran from the room screaming and crying.

My husband hugged me and endured my strange behavior for a few minutes. “This is unbelievable. I so proud of you, honey.”

I nodded. Totally unbelievable.

Oh. My. God.

What if they made a mistake? Called the wrong person? I rushed to my computer and signed on to the Romance Writers of America’s website.

This is what I read. I’ve highlighted the most important part.

Romance Writers of America (RWA), the trade association for aspiring romance fiction authors, announces the finalists for the Golden Heart® Awards. The Golden Heart recognizes excellence in unpublished romance manuscripts with finalists in seven categories chosen from more than 1,200 manuscript entries each year.

Finalists in the category of Romantic Suspense

“Chasing Damn” by Denny S. Brycegoldenheart

“Dangerous Dreams” by Abbie Roads

“Fatal Fragrances” by Connie Taxdal

“In a Sea of Change” by Deborah Wilding

“Secrets That Kill” by Sarah Andre

“See Her No More” by Sharon Wray

Did you hear me scream again?

Thank you for visiting my website and congratulations to the other five 2014 Golden Heart finalists!

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Connie Taxdal

Life’s Don’ts

When you stop chasing these Life’s Don’ts, you give the right things in life a chance.

Don’t run from your problems.
There’s no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. Face your problems head on. Learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.

Don’t lie to yourself.
You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. The most difficult chance we take is to be honest with ourselves.

Don’t be scared to make a mistake.
Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every failure leads towards success. You’ll end up regretting the things you did NOT do, more than the things you did.

gorillaDon’t berate yourself for old mistakes. 
Mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. You have the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.

Don’t try to be someone you’re not.
One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.

Don’t complain and feel sorry for yourself.
Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. Reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday.

Don’t try to make things perfect.
The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists; it rewards people who get things done.

Don’t be ungrateful.
Wake up each day thankful for your life. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

Don’t try to buy happiness.
The things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter, and working on our passions.

Don’t blame others for your troubles.
The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you give them power over that part of your life.

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Thanks for reading Life’s Don’ts,

Connie Taxdal

The Definition of Love

Definition of Love according to the dictionaryhand heart

1. A feeling of strong attachment induced by that which delights or commands admiration; preeminent kindness or devotion to another; affection; tenderness; as, the love of brothers and sisters.

2. Especially, devoted attachment to, or tender or passionate affection for, one of the opposite sex.

3. Courtship; — chiefly in the phrase to make love, i. e., to court, to woo, to solicit union in marriage.

4. Affection; kind feeling; friendship; strong liking or desire; fondness; good will; — opposed to hate; often with of and an object.

5. Due gratitude and reverence to God.

6. The object of affection; — often employed in endearing address.

7. Cupid, the god of love; sometimes, Venus.

8. A thin silk stuff.

9. A climbing species of Clematis (C. Vitalba).

10. Nothing; no points scored on one side; — used in counting score at tennis, etc.

11. To have a feeling of love for; to regard with affection or good will; as, to love one’s children and friends; to love one’s country; to love one’s God.

12. To regard with passionate and devoted affection, as that of one sex for the other.

13. To take delight or pleasure in; to have a strong liking or desire for, or interest in; to be pleased with; to like; as, to love books; to love adventures.

14. To have the feeling of love; to be in love.

Please leave a comment on how you define love.

Connie Taxdal

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Love is a Flickering Flame.

cats getting marriedLove is a flickering flame.
Marriage is a flickering TV.

It doesn’t take years of marriage to discover that boredom has set in. For many, that indescribable thrill a person initially felt can vanish within even the first year of tying the knot. Life with their mate has become dull or boring with no pizzazz or spark.

In the words of B.B. King’s song—the “thrill is gone.” But, it does not have to be “gone away for good” as the Hawkins and Darnell song lyrics suggest. The thrill can be sustained, and even improved upon, if you recognize the key component is flirtation.

First, get your head in the right frame of mind—where it once was during the courting stage of your relationship. If couples went the extra mile to treat their spouses with the same “I-will-work-to-make-you-mine,” mentality, he or she would keep the ennui from creeping into the relationship.

Be clever and creative in order keep the flirtation wheel turning, which ultimately keeps the flame burning. The following are some suggestions Try one or all of the following tips:

1. Leave a small flirty note. Communicate a fun, romantic or sexy message to your spouse via text, e-mail, voice message or, if you’re “old school,” put a sticky note on the fridge, on his/her side of the bathroom vanity, or the dashboard of the car. The message can be simple and to the point like, “Hey, what are you doing later?”

2. Give the special look. The next time you’re in a crowded room sitting around the dinner table with friends and family, don’t say a word. At the right moment, make eye contact with your spouse and give him/her that special look, that cheeky smile or a mischievous wink. He or she will get your drift.

3. Give the subtle touch. Reach out and touch your spouse in a very gentle way at a time when they least expects it. It can be a soft touch or a flirtatious one. Putting your hand over theirs during a parent-teacher conference, gently stroking the back of your partner’s neck while watching a movie, or slipping off your shoe momentarily under a restaurant booth and running your toes against your spouse’s ankle is a great way to set off a spark.

4. Offer the unexpected comment. Say the most flirtatious and out-of-the-blue thing at the most unlikely time. Instead of “I’m glad I married you” over dinner on your anniversary, try “Will you marry me, again?” while you’re heading down the grocery or hardware store aisle. It is those unexpected comments at the most unusual times and places that can be so pleasantly provocative.

5. Let lose the devil in your voice. Summon up that special tone of voice you used when you were first dating your spouse. For instance, instead of saying, “Where do you want to go on vacation this year?” in a matter-of-fact tone, try to attach another attitude to that same question, the one you used to use—the one that had a little devilish subtext beneath it.

6. Resurrect the pet names. Don’t forget that pet name you once called your spouse. In the early stages of your relationship you no doubt had a special way of addressing your spouse. It may have stuck with you for a time and then you may have forgotten to use it. Bring it back.

7. Deliver the unexpected gesture. Surprise your mate with your romantic actions which might include sending a greeting card for no apparent reason whatsoever, summoning your spouse into the master bath after the kids are fast asleep where you have a waiting candlelight bubble bath for the two of you; or carving you and your spouse’s initials into your favorite backyard tree or a newly poured slab of concrete like my husband did this year.

8. Go ahead, be the flirty stranger. Next time you’re with a crowd of others in an elevator sneak a quick kiss or, better yet, come on to your spouse with a quick one-liner like you’re just meeting them for the first time. You’ll please the onlookers, or even if it’s just the two of you, it is a great way to flirt. Such a “role-playing” moment might portend of what is to follow later.

9. Arrive home with intention. When you come home from work, bolt through the door with force and head right for your spouse. Grab him or her and begin to shower your spouse with hugs and kisses like it’s been weeks since you saw him/her. Seize that moment by saying all the things you used to say when you two first began to date. Talk about turning up the heat!

10. Give ’em your best line. Do a little homework and make a list of fun come-on lines that you can spew at your spouse at the most unexpected moments or when you sense he/she is getting bored with you. If you get stuck, watch some really well done romantic comedies and jot down a few classic lines like, “You had me at hello,” (Jerry McGuire), “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” (Casablanca), or “Do you love me because I’m beautiful or am I beautiful because you love me?” (Cinderella). A wonderful homework task is to research some ideal movie lines that resonate with you.

11. Pour on the humor. Use humor in communicating with your spouse whenever you can. There is something both charming and endearing about plying humor on your spouse. Many say that there is something uniquely sexy about the tie-in between romance and humor.

If you’re like many married couples, you may have been out of the flirting game for some time and are not sure your attempts are working. The best way to measure your success is by your spouse’s reactions to your efforts. If he or she blushes or giggles at your attempts, you know you have hit the mark!

Connie Taxdal

A Day in a Donkey’s life

Farmer's DonkeyThere are several versions of this story going around. Here’s my donkey tale.

One day a farmer’s donkey fell into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided to share his problem with his neighbors.

They all gathered around the well and stared at the poor, braying  donkey. One-by-one, the neighbors offered solutions –  some good, some bad –  for getting the animal out. The farmer listened to their ideas, and then choose the one he thought would work the best.

He and his friends formed a water bucket brigade. With each bucket of water they poured into the well, the donkey floated upward until he was able to step out.

The farmer thanked his neighbors and they left with a feeling of good cheer that they had helped save the animal.

MORAL:

Sometimes our troubles seem so deeply buried in a well that we can’t see a solution, but help is within our reach if we just ask.

  • Don’t hide your problems and let them go from bad to worse.
  • Seek help from those around you.
  • Listen to their ideas with an open mind.
  • Decide what’s best for your situation, and then work diligently on the  solution.
  • Let others feel good for offering their advice.

What do you do when life dumps you in a hole? Please leave a comment.

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Thank you,

Connie Taxdal