Monday, March 23, 2015

We Can All Relate To Nick Wilford's: A Change of Mind

When our boys were growing up, I often struggled with following through on threats and punishments that I made in the heat of the moment. Many of our "discussions" revolved around making even the slightest changes. Changing from considering everything finger food to eating with utensils, changing their dirty clothes, and constantly changing their rotating bedtimes were only a few on the list.  As hard as I tried to invoke strict bedtime rules, they would usually charm their way into staying up later, and they learned early on how easy it was to get me to change my mind.

Though they're all grown up now, I've noticed that some things never change, but maybe this will help:

Congratulations to Nick on his latest release!

Title: A Change of Mind and Other Stories
Author: Nick Wilford
Genre: Contemporary speculative fiction
Cover Design:  Rebekah Romani
Release Date: May 25th 2015

A Change of Mind and Other Stories consists of a novella, four short stories and one flash fiction piece. This collection puts the extremes of human behaviour under the microscope with the help of lashings of dark humour, and includes four pieces previously published in Writer’s Muse magazine.

In A Change of Mind, Reuben is an office worker so meek and mild he puts up with daily bullying from his boorish male colleagues as if it’s just a normal part of his day. But when a stranger points him in the direction of a surgeon offering a revolutionary new procedure, he can’t pass up the chance to turn his life around.

But this isn’t your average surgeon. For a start, he operates alone in a small room above a mechanic’s. And he promises to alter his patients’ personality so they can be anything they want to be…

In Marissa, a man who is determined to find evidence of his girlfriend’s infidelity ends up wondering if he should have left well alone.

The Dog God finds a chink in the armour of a man with a megalomaniacal desire to take over the world.

In The Insomniac, a man who leads an obsessively regimented lifestyle on one hour’s sleep a night finds a disruption to his routine doesn’t work for him.

Hole In One sees a dedicated golfer achieving a lifelong ambition.

The Loner ends the collection on a note of hope as two family members try to rebuild their lives after they are torn apart by jealousy.


Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those rare times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction, with a little freelance editing and formatting thrown in. When not working, he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. Nick is also the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew. You can find him hanging out on his blog or on  Goodreads or Twitter.

Preorder Links: Amazon USAmazon UK

Add it on Goodreads

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Pair To Remember


Flap, flap, flap,
Driving to the store.
Where's my grocery list?
I'll be back for more.

Flap, flap, flap,
I've lost my phone again.
I thought I left it upstairs,
Better check the den.

Flap, flap, flap 
Hurrying to the gym
Wait, I don't belong here.
Look at the shape I'm in.

Flap, flap, flap,
What's that actor's name?
He was in that silly movie,
This is driving me insane.

Flap, flap, flap,
"Do you hear that flapping, Ma?"
"Well, I wasn't gonna say anything,
But you forgot to wear a bra."

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

When A to Z and IWSG Collide


It's time for another edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group Be sure to visit this encouraging group of bloggers. This year the first Wednesday in April coincides with the letter "A" in the A to Z Challenge.

Though I didn't participate in the festivities last year, the first Wednesday in April 2014 corresponded with the letter "B" of the challenge. Since I still haven't begun writing my twenty six posts for April, I thought I'd take you through the best or worst of "B"s.


In 2011, I wrote about Battling Bulges. As writers, we often need to trim the fat from our stories, before we become overstuffed on adjectives, and run-on sentences.

The following year was all about the Brutality of Bra ShoppingMany readers are in search of an uplifting experience, and it's our job to provide it for them. Though sometimes it's difficult to find the perfect fit, especially when our audience outgrows our material. Somehow that didn't happen in our YA days.

In 2013, my "B" topic was on Beauty Shop Bullies. This subject provides three options for the IWSG.  Bloggers have their choice of beauty shops, bullies, or both. Though I can't imagine anyone else has encountered an eighty something year old bully at their mother's beauty shop. There are bullies who do try to discourage us from writing, and there are plenty of writers who are insecure about their hair. Although we can all agree that Alex  and  Arlee are a cut above the rest.

Please keep in mind that the  IWSG meets on the first day of the  A to Z Challenge, so put your "A" game on. I look forward to participating, and cheering on the wonderful A to Z blogging community. I'll never forget my very first challenge in 2011. It was shortly after I started blogging, and I had no idea what to expect. When I told my mom I was going to be extremely busy that April, she replied without missing a beat, "I'll try not to die this month." Thankfully, she kept her promise.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bringing Movies To A Urinal By You

As a frequent moviegoer, my closest friend couldn't wait to tell me about an app that signals the best time to take a bathroom break during a film. The RunPee app enables you to catch up on what you've missed in the comfort of your own public stall or urinal. I needed to learn more.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Choo-Choo Jumped The Track: A Terminal Online Dating Drama


My dear divorced friend decided to heed my advice by joining an online dating service after her recent breakup. Thus far, she has had less than satisfactory results.

My friend got off to a great start with a man who seemed easy to talk to. Soon they exchanged phone numbers, so they could schedule a time to meet. He sent her a text saying he would get back to her after he went to a family friend's funeral. She expressed how sorry she was, and mentioned how nice it was that he had shared so many memories with his childhood friend's father. He thanked her, and forwarded photos of the threesome during happier times.

Next, they tried to set up a place to meet, and the conversation changed directions. "You seem to have it all together and look good. Most intelligent/successful ladies enjoy all except the physical requirements..." Then he started in about steering away from separated women, as he had been "burned" by them in the past. In the midst of this discombobulated diatribe, he sent her a photo of his granddaughter. He concluded by texting, " Sweet dreams Anna."*

My friend simply replied, "My name is not Anna." Suddenly it hit him, "UGH...Audrey. Sweet dreams, Audrey."

Later, my friend tried to clear up the separation issue. "I think you must be thinking about another woman you are talking with. My profile says I'm divorced. Please get your profiles straight. I have no time for this." Keep in mind that my friend used no exclamation points in her texts, indicating she was very calm and cool throughout.

This sent him off into a tailspin. "When I become as organized as you and mistake free, I will consider myself perfect. Yes, I had a long emotional day and thank you for slamming my mistakes in my face from one day of Internet chatting!!! I hate making an error; however when someone so ruthlessly perfect and dictates my screw up over and over again is the sign of a self-centered person I choose not to have anything to do with! You make me feel as I cheated on you from one day of chatting!!!! I'm not into childish games or drama. So I totally screwed  (word substitution) up and you won! However lost a chance at the best guy there is. Bye Miss Perfect and again thanks for making me fell like a total...."*

I guess we're allowed to fill in the blank of our choosing. He either stormed off or passed out mid-sentence. We can safely assume that whatever he wanted to say would end in at least three exclamation points. Personally, I don't like to exceed two in any given conversation.

For his grand finale, he sent her a selfie of his naked backside. My friend couldn't help but notice he had no tan lines. Maybe he had fallen asleep once too often in the tanning bed.

The next day he sent her an apology. She responded, "I appreciate the sentiment. Take care of your grieving friend, and all the best."

Then he said, "Wish we could start over."

He tried again five hours later, "What do you think?"

After no response, he sent another message six hours later, "Is that a no?"

*These paragraphs have been unedited for my amusement. Regrettably, I assume full responsibility for all other errors.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What's Sexy After 50


Note: With Valentine's Day approaching, I thought it only fitting to revisit this post from November of 2012. Though we currently subscribe to People Magazine, mysteriously the Sexiest Man Alive issue of 2014 never appeared in our mailbox. It must have run off with the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. Regardless of the fact that they're published several months apart, Christian and Anastasia have their games, and we have ours.  

As I was perusing People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive issue, I thought about how my definition of sexy has changed over the years. Though Channing Tatum looks great with his shirt off and is an amazing dancer, I don't know if he has what it takes to top my list. Sure he would be delicious arm candy, but would he ever stop doing push-ups long enough to give me what I really need?

While most of the buff men in the issue pump iron, I get steamy watching my husband iron his shirts. Instead of texting naughty messages like many celebrities do, my husband prefers a more personal approach. He lets me have a front row seat while he's cursing at bad drivers. 

Lately, I've found that simple sayings are music to my ears. Some of my favorites include:

  • No that doesn't make you look fat.
  • You were right, Julie.
  • Cancel the service guy. I'll install it right now.
And my all time favorite is when he's telling our boys:

  • Listen to your mother.   

Men who cook are incredibly sexy. My husband is master of the grill, and even our friends delight in watching him barbecue. Whether he's adding marinade, inserting timers, or slicing with the precision of a Samurai Warrior, it's always a treat to see him in action. My dad was known for his special London broil, and my husband has continued the tradition. Our sons are currently in training. 

Some of our neighbors could also be in the running for Sexiest Man Alive. There's Devin who's either outside mowing the lawn, raking the leaves, or shoveling the snow. He's always quick to smile and wave no matter how inclement the weather.  Stan drives carpool, and even packs his kids' lunches. Good neighbor Ted leads a dog walking group with other moms. He also volunteers at the local school, while his boys are off at college. I've never seen any of these men without their shirts on, and I prefer it that way.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

IWSG: Writing Your Way Out Of Groundhog Day

It's time for the February edition of  The Insecure Writer's Support Group. Now that our favorite groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow; declaring a longer wait for spring, we're sure to spend more time agonizing indoors about our insecurities. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh, and the rest of the IWSG, we won't have to go into hibernation.

Since Phil has predicted six additional weeks of winter, there has been more press lately about the wonderful 1993 movie, Groundhog Day. Bill Murray stars as a weatherman who is forced to live the same day over and over again. This made me think about how I sometimes feel like I'm in a Groundhog Day rut.

I usually eat the same breakfast, gravitate toward the same clothing, watch the same TV shows, and find the same things funny. This often spills over into my writing. I usually write about the same topics, and the same characters, though I try to throw in occasional newsworthy pieces with a twist.

The pivotal point in Groundhog Day began when Bill Murray's character decided to make the best of the situation, and made each day slightly better. He became more of a people person, and had the ultimate do-over. Fortunately, as writers we can accomplish this through the magic of editing.

Instead of just going through the motions, my character could decide to walk to work every morning, eat smaller portions, and celebrate by buying herself some new form-fitting clothes. Then her daughter could invite her quiet, and unassuming grandmother over to see her transformation. "Grandma, don't you think Mom looks pretty buff?"

Grandma looks all around the room in search of her daughter. When her granddaughter points at her mom beside her, the elder woman replies, "Is that your mother? I thought you were with Punxsutawney Phil's sister, Patti. I guess when you've seen one rodent, you've seen them all; though that is a nice shade of lipstick you're wearing. Honey, hand Grandma her purse. I'm sure I have a tweezers, or a weed wacker in there somewhere."

This still sounds vaguely familiar. Maybe I should just start small by eating breakfast for dinner, and watching Groundhog Day all over again.