Catie Rhodes & Texas, the Rich Setting of Forever Road

It’s Scarlet Thread Sunday, when I share a thread of something I’ve learned in the labyrinth of life. Today, however, I used my thread to tug Catie Rhodes over to the blog to tell us about her paranormal mystery, FOREVER ROAD.

First, here’s the book blurb:

Seeing ghosts is rough, but owing a ghost a favor flat out sucks.

Forever Road Cover My name’s Peri Jean Mace, and I’ve seen ghosts ever since I can remember. Don’t get too excited. Seeing across the veil branded me as a loony during my growing up years, and I learned to keep my yap shut about it. 

Now I’m not sure I can anymore. 

 See, my cousin up and got herself killed the very same day I promised her a favor.  Now she’s back in spirit form and determined to make me pay. If I don’t solve her murder, she’s going to haunt me forever. Talk about the debt collector from hell. 

That’s not my only problem. An obnoxiously hot cop wants to arrest my best friend for the murder.  My bigmouthed archenemy holds a clue to the killer’s identity. And there’s this mean—and ugly—woman who wants to beat me up. 

None of this can turn out good. 

Buy now at Amazon.com

Catie and I became friends online, but eventually discovered that we don’t live terribly far from one another. Thus, Catie has become a face-to-face friend as well. When I received an advanced copy of her book, I confess that I really wanted it to be good. (What do you do if a good friend writes a book and you don’t like it?)

I needn’t have worried. FOREVER ROAD is well-worth your time! An awesome debut novel. One thing stood out to me as I read–how Catie’s description of the East Texas setting and its people added depth to the novel. So I asked Catie to chat with us about her love of the Lone Star State.

***

Thanks for having me, Julie. I’ve been looking forward to joining you for some greasy deep-fried food stimulating conversation for quite some time. Thanks for inviting me to talk about one of my pet subjects—Texas.

Before I get into my version of a Travel Tex commercial, let me explain why we’re talking about Texas. When I sat down to write FOREVER ROAD, I created a fictional East Texas town called Gaslight City. I spent hours figuring out the geography of this town. By the time I wrote about it, the place seemed real to me. That’s why Julie invited me to explain why I set my book in Texas.

I am fond of saying Texas is in my blood, in my bones…and it is.

My family has been in Texas a very long time.  One of my many-greats-grandfather’s name appears on musters from the Texas Revolution. He was John C. Gallion (listed on the musters of the Northeast Beat as J.C. Galion). My father’s side of the family is descended from John C. Gallion’s daughter Ellen.

My Thornton ancestors, on my mothers side of the family, came to Texas by covered wagon in the 1850s. James D. Thornton and his wife Princess Clarky Ann Tullos (a Native American) settled in Trinity County, Texas. Their descendants still live on the land James and Clarky settled all those years ago.

The people from whom I am descended came to Texas for opportunity, to secure a better future. They survived obstacles unimaginable to a generation who is lost without high speed internet. Texas was a frontier when my ancestors came here. It was either sink or swim. Whatever happened, help was not coming. In spite of adversity, wars, and poverty, my ancestors survived well enough that I’m here telling y’all where I came from.

To me, that’s what Texas is all about. It’s about working hard and taking chances to achieve dreams. It’s about independence and individuality. It’s about never giving up in the face of adversity.

There is one famous Texan who best expressed this sentiment. Surrounded by the Mexican Army at the Alamo, William B. Travis wrote

“I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna—I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man—The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken—I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls—I shall never surrender or retreat…”

Travis’s resolve never fails to inspire me. His words encourage me to keep going through adversity, doubt, and fear. There is no way I can be more afraid than he must have been as he faced the last days of his life.  But even facing certain death, Travis reacted with dignity and faith. And defiance.

I like to think we all have our place in the world, and Texas is mine. To repeat myself: this land is in my blood, in my bones…and even in the sweat of my effort. That’s why I write about Texas.

I hope some of you will check out FOREVER ROAD.  It is a mystery featuring ghosts, but it is ultimately about surviving life’s curveballs and having the inner strength to keep going anyway…in small town East Texas.

Catie Rhodes PhotoCatie Rhodes decided to turn her love of lying into writing fiction after she got fired for telling her boss the President was on the phone. It didn’t take Catie long to figure out what she wanted to do when she grew up. Drawing on her East Texas roots, her love of true crime, and her love of the paranormal, she writes the kind of stories she wishes the book stores sold. With her faithful Pomeranian, Cosmo, at her side, Catie relishes being that kid your mother warned you about, the one who cusses and never washes her hands after petting the dog.

Find Catie Online:

Long Roads and Dark Ends Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

***

Thanks to Catie for coming by! You can also see my review of FOREVER ROAD on Amazon or Goodreads.

Buy FOREVER ROAD now at Amazon.com

Feel free to ask Catie or me any questions about FOREVER ROAD, Texas, ghosts, whatever in the comments.

ROW80 goals met: Wrote 9430 words on YA mystery; finished Margie Lawson’s course on Writing Body Language; exercised twice this week.

I Know Whodunnit

Maybe my dream is finally coming true, and I’m turning into Nancy Drew!

I’m here on Deep-Fried Friday once again, talking about story.

One of the drawbacks of reading a lot of mysteries is that you start being able to guess the killer. With surprising accuracy at times.

I was recently watching a season one episode of Bones (catching up with Netflix) and halfway through I said to myself, “That guy did it.” The next twenty minutes were filled with FBI Special Agent Booth and Forensic Anthropologist Brennen searching down other leads until they finally came around to my way of thinking and arrested the right guy. It was the third episode in a row where I had guessed the killer before the main characters figured it out.

I’d fault the writers of Bones, except that it happens with books and other shows too. I no longer fall for the red herrings like I used to. I can pull out relevant facts and ignore the irrelevant ones. I make relationship connections early on the story that inform me on motive and opportunity. I notice details.

Does this happen to you too?

Presumably, one of the worst things an author can do is write a predictable story. Twists and turns are considered a good thing. Rabbit trails are good fodder for the tale. Unexpected discoveries and surprise endings should keep us turning the pages.

However, the author simply cannot account for the reader’s part in all of this. What if your reader has consumed 200 romance novels and is now reading yours? Do you think she’ll foretell how the two will get together? No matter how well you’ve written your story, she might.

And if there is no way she possibly could predict, you might be hiding information from your reader that would help them connect to the story better. I don’t like being completely in the dark, like the author is being all cagey about releasing information just in case I might get ahead of him. Just tell me already. If I figure it out, I figure it out.

Suspecting how it will turn out, however, doesn’t stop me from reading. I watched the rest of the Bones episode not because I had no idea who the killer was. I knew whodunnit. I wanted to watch the characters interact and put the puzzle together. I enjoyed seeing them solve the mystery.

Indeed, every fairy tale and romance novel has a happily ever after (HEA), and heroes consistently defeat villains. What the reader wants to know is how the characters will get there. Did you doubt that:

  • The Rebels would defeat the Empire and the good side of the Force would prevail?
  • Frodo would get the ring all the way to Mordor?
  • Sleeping Beauty would awaken with a kiss from her prince?
  • Hercule Poirot would use his little grey cells to uncover the culprit?
  • Batman would thwart the evil plans of Catwoman, the Joker, the Riddler, Mr. Freeze, or whichever villain-of-the-week was around?
  • Bella and Edward would find a way to be together forever?

Of course not. So is a predictable ending always a bad thing? No.

In fact, while I remember sitting in the theater watching The Empire Strikes Back and being wowed by Darth Vader’s revelation, my kids already knew about all of that. I knew the overall ending, but they knew the whole story and still wanted to watch every minute of the Star Wars trilogy.

It’s okay for a reader or viewer here and there to know whodunnit. But in that case, you have to give them another reason to read or watch.

Why do I continue? Because I care about the characters. This is why superhero movies continue to be made and remade and we continue to watch them. Why the boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back plot never gets old. Why we read or watch police procedural dramas, knowing that they will solve the case. We want to know how these particular characters resolve the conflict.

Perhaps we’re less interested in whodunnit than howdunnit.

I have to admit that seeing Psycho without knowing the ending will make you gasp (see Tiffany A. White and Catie Rhodes for reviews of that creepy film). The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is one of my favorite mysteries because Agatha Christie stunned me with the conclusion. And the last episode of Newhart was the most brilliant surprise ending for a TV series ever.

However, not knowing what will happen isn’t necessary to keep me turning pages or tuned in. Give me relatable characters that I can follow as they uncover the twists and turns of their lives, even if they end up where I suspected they would.

What about you? Do you enjoy surprise endings? Are you disappointed if you figure out the conclusion? Do you care more about whodunnit or howdunnit?

Jr High All Over Again?: #ROW80

An actual picture from my junior high

Here’s a status update I recently posted to my personal Facebook page, which received quite a lot of here-here’s:

I thought we left catty girl fights back in junior high. Now this week, I learned about Ann Romney (does she work? doesn’t she?) and Ashley Judd (no, not puffy pace!). I hereby announce that I don’t care whether you’re a working mom, a SAHM, a size 2, a size 16, a Democrat, a Republican, a hunter, a vegetarian, a cover model, or a puffer-fish. A woman’s role can be challenging, and hats off to you if you’re doing it well.

For that matter, a man’s role can be challenging. Life is challenging. As I age and grow, I learn more and more the importance of being a cheerleader to those around me. Life’s too short to judge others on the small stuff.

In the writing world, it looks like this: Work full-time, work part-time, or stay at home with your kids or your beloved hamsters. Take three years to write your first novel or churn out four books in a year. Write mystery, romance, or young adult dystopian horror sci-fi fantasy. Publish traditionally, small press, or independently. Those things aren’t the most important. Traits like character, compassion, and courage count. (And the ability to use alliteration when it seems appropriate.) That’s what makes you a worthwhile human being.

*steps off soap box*

Speaking of cheerleading, that’s one of the best things about ROW80! I love knowing that my ROW80 group is cheering me on. Specifically, I want to thank the #row80 and #teamsprinty writers for some great word sprints this week. Here’s how my week looked:

  • Log 5,000 words per week on young adult novel, SHARING HUNTER. This should result in a completed first draft. I wrote 4,966 words on SHARING HUNTER (oh so close). However, I did have a spark of a notion for a short story and wrote 758 words on it. That brings my writing total to 5,724. Still, I would rather have gotten my 5k in with the YA novel.
  • If first draft is finished, edit once through SHARING HUNTER.
  • Work on pitch and synopsis for DFW Writers’ Conference (taking place May 20-22). Not yet.
  • If I get all of that done, edit through THE YEAR OF FIRSTS, my middle grade novel which is in second draft form and has been gathering dust for a few months. Hopefully, I will be able to take a fresh perspective of what I wrote there and turn it into a beautiful book.
  • Read one writing craft book: Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers. I made no progress on reading this craft book this week. Something about this one seems daunting — its size? its title? its labyrinth on the front? I need to suck it up and start reading.
  • Read through March/April issue of The Writer’s Digest. Reading articles here and there.
  • Take course from Tiffany Inman Lawson on 77 Secrets to Writing YA Fiction that Sells from the Margie Lawson Writers Academy. Happening in May!
  • Read 10 books keeping to my At-Least-3 Reading Challenge for 2012. Reading THE KILLER INSIDE ME by Jim Thompson. This is one of those not-my-usual-genre books — a crime suspense novel recommended by Catie Rhodes. It’s from the point of view of the murderer, so yeah . . . creepy.
  • Post ROW80 updates on Sundays. (Yes, I know that we are supposed to report twice weekly, but I have found that to be difficult. Moreover, that ends up giving me three posts from Wednesday-Friday, which is a bit much for my readers, I think. So I’m sticking to Sundays. Hope that’s okay with the Powers That Be.) I like this once a week schedule.
  • Exercise three times a week — length of time to be determined. I went to Zumba exactly once this week. The next time I could have gone, I had a dentist appointment instead. Want to know what I think of going to the dentist? Dental Discomfort. Room for improvement here!

So how has your week shaped up? And if you want to cheer on others, be sure to check out my fellow ROWers HERE.

Are You a Believer or a Skeptic?

Skeptic: 1. a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual. 2. a person who maintains a doubting attitude, as toward values, plans, statements, or the character of others.
from www.dictionary.com, based on Random House Dictionary

I have several author friends who have written compellingly about ghosts and hauntings. Stacy Green, Catie Rhodes, and Debora Dale all recently covered fascinating tales of paranormal activity.

Yet, I don’t believe in ghosts.

I’m not a naysayer, but a true skeptic. I question the validity or authenticity of certain claims and maintain a doubting attitude. However, highly intelligent, reasonable people have drawn conclusions that are different from mine. In other words, I don’t say that there are no ghosts, but I remain skeptical that there are.

In fact, I’m a skeptic about many legends and stories. For Deep-Fried Friday, let’s take a look at six main ones, and I’ll share my perspective. At the end of the post, I hope you’ll share your views as well.


Ghosts. Ghost hunting is popular these days with shows and websites gathering evidence of hauntings. I have never seen a full episode of Ghost Hunters – only clips. However, I have researched the claims for ghosts. The evidence seems to include temperature, EMF fluctuations, photographic anomalies, and audio recordings with unusual sounds or vocalization. I wonder why we have attached these factors to ghosts. There are plenty of physical phenomena that we were unable to explain in the past that we can explain now. These unusual events may simply fall into that category. To be convinced by this evidence that ghosts exist, you must first accept the premise that EMF readings are evidence of a ghost and not merely some yet unexplained natural occurrence.

That said, I have seen odd things which I cannot account for. For instance, in Debora Dale’s final post on The Ghosts of Gettysburg, the last video shows two shadows crossing without anything casting the shadow. Can I explain it? No. Does it make me believe that those are ghosts? Not yet. I am open to the possibility. And if I am ever personally haunted, I will eat all of these words – deep-fried and with a side of humble pie. But I remain skeptical.

My conclusion: I have yet to see a sufficient body of evidence that convinces me of the presence of non-living beings or paranormal energy in our midst.

Roswell UFO. In 1947, a pilot saw what he described as a flying object “moving like a saucer would if you skipped it across the water.” The United States Army soon after recovered debris which it claimed was a weather balloon. Rumors, however, abounded that what had landed was an alien spacecraft and the government was covering up. Top secret documents from the 1940s were declassified in the 1990s, and the Air Force studied the evidence and issued The Roswell Report: Fact Versus Fiction in the New Mexico Desert.” Indeed, the debris was not a weather balloon; it was most likely the remains of a top secret research program called Project MOGUL. The project’s purpose “was to try to develop a way to monitor possible Soviet nuclear detonations with the use of low-frequency acoustic microphones placed at high altitudes.” Sounds plausible to me.

My conclusion: The UFO debris recovered at Roswell was the remains of a government research program device. The flying object has now been identified.

Area 51 Aliens. According to believers, a secretive military base in Nevada is the site where the U.S. Government has stored extraterrestials and alien spacecraft. For decades, the government would not discuss the base with the public, thus fueling suspicion about its purpose and contents. Recently, however, the CIA has declassified top secret programs conducted at the base. During the years when UFOs were sighted in the area, the U.S. was developing and test-flying spy planes – which would appear as flashes of light in the sky.

My conclusion: The sightings at Area 51 were of top secret spy planes which the government refused to acknowledge at the time due to security reasons.

“Many a man has been hanged on
less evidence than there is for
the loch ness monster.”
G.K. Chesterton

Loch Ness Monster. The Scottish lake, Loch Ness, is home to the legend of a sea monster affectionately called Nessie. Of all the legends I’ve looked into, this is the one I am most inclined to believe. There have been thousands of eyewitness accounts – and not merely from enthusiasts inclined to believe, but from people of all walks of life. The reports of a large 15-20 foot animal rolling and rising out of the lake go back for centuries. Guesses as to what Nessie actually is include a plesiosaur, an elephant, an eel, and more.

We lack conclusive evidence, though. Sonar scans have indicated the presence of something, but several expeditions have failed to find bones or the Loch Ness Monster itself. Of course, if a single monster still exists, there must have been a breeding population, so we should see evidence of aquatic beasts in the lake. Then again, the lake feeds into the Atlantic Ocean through an adjoining river. Could the creatures swim in and out? Perhaps. Also, there are caverns within the lake where a creature could hide. Still, I have to wonder why there aren’t any bones.

My conclusion: There may have been a strange sea creature in the lake at one time, but probably not now.

Bigfoot, or Sasquatch. Bigfoot is a creature that is something between ape and man and roams the cold climate, wilderness areas of North America. Tracks, scat, hairs, and brief sightings comprise the primary body of evidence. Photographic evidence has been demonstrated to be suspect, if not an outright hoax.

Is it possible, however, that Bigfoot exists and we simply haven’t found him? Maybe. New species are discovered and classified every year. Then again, I have a feeling that if Jeff Corwin wanted to find Bigfoot, he could. So I wonder why all the Bigfoot enthusiasts haven’t tracked him down yet.

My conclusion: The sightings may be a variation of ape or other primate, but not likely a beast-man as we picture Bigfoot.

El Chupacabra. El Chupacabra has mostly been seen in Central and South America, although some sightings have been reported in the Southern United States. It is described as an animal with strange eyes, fangs, and claws which can travel on two or four feet. It attacks livestock and drains the animals of their blood. The word “chupacabra” means “goat sucker.” Sightings have been rare, photographic evidence is nonexistent, and when someone has caught a chupacabra, it turns out to be a sick or deformed animal instead. I don’t buy into this vampire tale. However, El Chupacabra is an interesting legend.

My conclusion: El Chupacabra sightings are likely due to mistaking predatory animals as vampiric creatures instead.

So what do you think? Are you a believer or a skeptic? Which legends are real and which are fake? What is your supporting evidence for what you believe? Have you had a personal experience with any of these?

Sources: UFOs? Aliens? Area 51 Revealed, ABC News; How Chupacabras Work, How Stuff Works; Nessie of Loch Ness, The Museum of Unnatural Mystery; Roswell – The Final Declassification, Rense.com; Roswell: Anatomy of a Myth, Roswell Files; The Roswell Incident and Project Mogul, The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry; Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization; International Institute for Species Exploration; The Shady Science of Ghost Hunting, Live Science; The Legend of Loch Ness, Nova; Rogue Nessie, StrangeMag.com.

Tag, You’re IT!

In elementary school, I hated being IT. I was puny, an awkward runner, and not particularly interested in slapping people to make them freeze or become the new IT kid. But in the blogosphere, it’s fun!

So my thanks to author friend Tiffany A. White for hunting me down on the virtual playground and tagging me for the Writer’s Platform Building Campaign hosted by Rachael Harrie.

Here are the three simple rules:

You get tagged by someone;

You list 10 random facts about yourself; and

You tag 4 more people.

As if I didn’t already feel adequately esteemed, Tia Bach at Depression Cookies passed on the Kreativ Blogger Award to me! Given my love of grammar, it was a little hard for me to type that creative spelling. Just joking! I can totally relax and enjoy this award. Thanks so much to Tia! (You gotta love the title Depression Cookies, right? And she’s as much fun as you’d expect!)

For the Kreativ Blogger Award, I have:

The privilege of thanking the person who passed on the award;

The duty of writing seven things about yourself;

The honor of passing the award to 7 blogs.

So here it goes for both:

Rule#2:

1.  The only two theater movies I’ve ever walked out of were The Fly(1986) and District 9 (2009). I wish I had left Pet Sematary (1989) – which disturbed my dreams for weeks – but I was on a date and too shy to demand we get out of there. Obviously, I hate gore.

2.  I have narrow feet. It’s hard to find shoes! If not for online shopping at Easy Spirit, Naturalizer, and Zappos, I would have to hire a cobbler to craft shoes to fit my skinny feet.

3.  I am adamant that the toilet paper should unfurl over not under. If you try to pull the T.P. from underneath, it can start a tissue avalanche and you end up with a heap on the floor. Wasted toilet paper. A shame!

4.  I collect matchboxes. It’s a little sad because I don’t get to add to it much. The collection began with my grandmother and was carried on by my sister and me. However, this was when smoking in public areas was common, and restaurants and businesses gave out matchbooks. It’s rare now. But I still like looking at the boxes and remembering places I’ve been.

5.  I hate coffee. When I drive through Starbucks, I order a peppermint hot chocolate with whipped cream. It’s absolutely delicious!

6.  I’m determined to reintroduce the word “kench” back into the English language. It’s an obsolete term that means to laugh loudly. Isn’t it great? Y’all can help by throwing it into conversation anytime you see an opportunity.

7.  I have a scar on my forehead from an injury when I was 5 years old. I was jumping on the bed (against my parents’ rule) and slammed into the door’s corner. Blood gushed all over my Mom’s white shirt as she picked me up, and I got several stitches in my head. No more monkeys jumping on the bed!

8.  I took a year of Italian in college, and the best thing about it is that I can pronounce everything on the Olive Garden menu with no problem. Ciao!

9.  I love roller coasters. My heart broke when Astroworld in Houston closed. Still, I haven’t ridden the Boardwalk Bullet – which is only 30 minutes away. It’s on my list.

Boardwalk Bullet, Kemah, Texas

10.  I live in Ron Paul’s congressional district. Make of that what you will.

Rule#3

It’s my turn to slap tap 4 blogger friends in this Writer’s Campaign game of tag and to deliver 7 bloggers the Kreativ Blogger Award.

Double Whammy Winners – Tagged for Writer’s Platform Building Campaign AND Kreativ Blogger Award:

Erin Brambilla – I adore reading Erin’s blog and seeing the way she expertly juggles mommyhood and authorship. She’s terrific at both!

Jolyse Barnett – Jolyse’s posts make me appreciate the beauty and joys of life. I can imagine Jimmy Buffet songs playing in the background. After all, it’s entitled Margarita Moments & Other Escapes.

Catie Rhodes – Another favorite blogger who tells true crime and paranomal like no other! Catie also throws in fun posts about movies and more. Check out her Full-Tilt Backwoods Boogie blog.

Julia King – Her Writing Jewels blog has a perfect balance of writing, reading, and Julia herself. Check out this young adult author.

Kreativ Blogger Winners – Tagged for a Kreativ Blogger Award:

Jennifer McCoy – Young adult author and fabulously stylish attendee at the #TambernyParty. Check out her blog with a book of the month and a movie of the week.

Amanda Bozeman – Romantic suspense author who writes about this and that on her Danger and Dancing blog.

Anne-Mhairi Simpson – Young adult fantasy author who blogs about health, books, and interviews.

Tamberny Awards Virtual After Party

Amber & Tiffany

In case you missed it, you haven’t really missed it! Amber West and Tiffany A. White hosted a Tamberny Awards show with their picks for the Emmys. I am hosting the Virtual After Party for this event. See more details at my post: I’m Throwing an After Party! You’re welcome to continue posting anything Emmy or Tamberny related on Twitter with the hashtag #Tambernyparty.

By the way, I had not seen most of the televisions shows nominated for Emmys. However, I was doing a happy dance when Downton Abbey received awards because that show was wonderful! You can watch season one on Netflix.

What did you enjoy most about the Emmys?

Monday Musings: Writing is Like . . .

On Friday, the brilliant Tracey Hansen tagged me in a “new bloggy project exercise thingy” called Writing Is Not Like a Box of Chocolates: A Meme.

THE RULES:  Take the phrase “Writing is like . . .” and finish it. Post it on your blog. Tag three others to do the same. That is all.

Can it really be that easy?  Yes, it can.  So here I go:

Writing is like . . . that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indiana and Marion are stuck in the tomb, and she walks into a corridor where cobwebbed skeletons reach out for her from all sides.  (1000-year-old skeletons = fictional characters that won’t leave you alone.)

Okay, maybe I didn’t put enough effort into that.

Actually, after telling people that I write books, some have responded, “So I guess it’s easy for you to write.”  I want to respond, “No, it’s REALLY HARD trying to squeeze words out of your head and your fingers and type them onto a page in an orderly fashion that conveys the story that you want to tell.”  But it is also wonderful!  Time disappears when I am writing.

So what is writing like?  Maybe because I have lived much of my life on the Texas Gulf Coast, I think I will compare it to an ocean.

Writing is like wading into the sea, watching the waves break against the shore and tumble into the sand.  You stride out confidently, ready to leap across the waves and feel the tide and foam splash against your skin.  It’s a thing of rhythm – making sure you bounce at the right time and the right height.  You feel like you’re in control as you gracefully ride the waves.  And then, the waves grow larger and unwieldy, and you realize that they will have their say as well.  But as tempted as you might be to sink your toes down into the ocean’s bottom, you throw yourself forward and allow the salty rush of water to sweep you in with the tide.  When the wave passes and you look back to the shore, you see that you have drifted. You are still in the same ocean, still the same swimmer, but the sea has moved you.

And now (drumroll, please), my three tags:

Tiffany A. White: Tiffany is a fabulous Twitter and wordmongering friend and a great blogger with loads of information on the TV scene.  Follow her now.

Catie Rhodes: Catie has a knack for quirky and curious stories – like the curse of James Dean’s car.  Check out her blog.

Amy Thomas:  Young Adult author and organizer of the YASB Facebook group and Twitter hashtag. She also recently won the Backwards Contest on Figment.com.

I wish to also add that Memorial Day is a day to honor those who have served and sacrificed. God bless them and their families.