Here’s To Never Growing Up!

I was on Facebook tonight, and I watched a video by Mike Rowe.  Mike read a letter from his mom about their latest trip to Walmart.  She wrote him this letter because she said he didn’t call enough so she would write to him. I listened to him read the letter and couldn’t help but laugh about her losing her purse and her husband going to Walmart with her to find the big blue purse, which she had left on her shopping cart by mistake.

The problem with the entire scenario was when I thought about it; that could be me one day.  As we get older, we tend to forget things and wonder where we put the remote we just had, looking everywhere only to find it on the TV stand where it belonged.  How could we have missed it the first time?  Car keys for some are the worse enemy.

My daughter takes the time to get in a few digs about me getting older and putting me in a home one day.  I laugh because I plan on outliving her and if not I think I should move in with her because I took care of her all those years right?  Isn’t that the way it works these days?  We take care of them until they are 30 years old and move out, then we can move in with them.  Leave our dishes on the counter, not putting them in the dishwasher. Or put our laundry in front of the washer to give them a hint the laundry needs to be done, you know the things we encountered over the years.  Wait, the classic:  When is dinner? LOL

Bless the older people with their trips to the grocery and at times I pray I have the stamina some of the older people have.  I met up with an older couple the other day at Walmart.  I seem to run into them in every aisle.  LOL There were a few times I literally just missed running into them.  I heard him say “Yes, honey” several times as she told him what they needed and he kept pushing the cart behind her.  She moved through the grocery section quickly, and she had her grocery list at all times, moving from aisle to aisle.  The poor gentleman looked as if he would rather be anywhere, but grocery shopping.

Getting older sucks as many of us have said over and over to our friends.  The back doesn’t work the way it used to; we hurt in places we never thought existed, and we are not as quick to add up the grocery totals for the items in our cart.  We can still add faster than the kids using Common Core math though lol.  With that being said getting older means a lot of people can get away with things the younger generation can not.  Letting loose a fart, loud as can be while walking through a restaurant, being loud with your friends because your hearing aid is not turned up enough, or racing around Walmart on the motorized carts as your wives shop for groceries.  Bless our children’s hearts as we get older and realize we don’t have any self-control and can do whatever we want, when we want. There is nothing wrong with going to a movie and smuggling in the tiny bottles of wine and chocolate candy or hanging our granny panties on the clothesline for all the neighbors to see.  Okay, that might be something we have to go to Walmart and buy just to embarrass our kids. I guess if we hung a pair of thongs, from Victoria’s Secret, on the clothes line would be just as good lol.

One day I was driving with my grandson and the song “Here’s to Never Growing Up” by Avril Lavigne came on the radio, I started to sing along.  LOL poor boy.  He looked at me when I turned up the music in the truck.  “Grandma!” Is what I heard.  Of course, I came back with a questioning look, “What?”  He looked at me and said, “You are my grandma.”  LOL, I smiled as the lyrics came on at the perfect time “Here’s to Never Growing Up.”  His mother heard all about it, and she laughed.   Every once in a while when he is in the truck with me, I will sing along to a song, and he just shakes his head.

Here’s to Never Growing Up!

Using a Pseudonym on a Book

When writing a book, there are so many variables you have to think about.  Do you want to publish it as a paperback or hardcover? What size do you want to make the book? Four inches by 6 inches, 5.5 inches by 8 inches? If it is a children’s book do you want to go bigger to make the illustrations larger for the children to see and easier for them to hold the book?  What do you want the cover to look like? Are you looking for a theme or do you have it digitally created? If you are doing a children’s book, who do you want to use as an illustrator? Do you want to go with watercolor illustrations or digitally mastered? What do you want to use for your name as an author? So many decisions are made when working on a book.

The Silver Heart was written back in the 1990’s on an old computer that only gave you the option to save your work on a floppy disk. The screen was green, and there was no such thing as Microsoft Word to create the book on. You typed and printed the book on your dot matrix printer.  Nothing special, but it got the job done. The Silver Heart was printed and sent to several publishers, and it came back the same each time… make the book into a sequel with two stories. I put the book and all the floppy disks away and refused to change the storyline just to get it published. I believed in the book and was going to stand firm on those beliefs.

You see I had given the book to several friends, and each one of them gave me the same response. They loved it. Now with that being said they also told me they either loved the way I wrote the story, they hated me, or they cried. This may sound odd for the author, but when I was working on the revisions I even teared up, and I knew the story and the ending.  LOL

Last fall I pulled the manuscript out of the archives when I found the copy I had mailed to myself back in the 90’s. Mailing a copy to yourself was called the poor man’s copyright back then, and most people were doing that, me included. I sat down on the chair in my office and just looked at the envelope. The same feelings I had about the book came back to me, and I went searching for the hard copies and floppy disks. I had printed it several times and put the copies in three-ring notebooks. The box of floppy disks was pretty much useless because who has a computer that will read them anymore and they were not in Microsoft Word so not sure how the computer would react to the content. I gave a copy to my friend Kelly and asked her if she was interested in reading it and letting me know what she thought. Kel told me she thought I should go for it; the book was good.

As I sat in my office with my assistant at the time, Aubrey Williams, I looked at the three-ring notebook in the bookcase. I talked to Aubrey about it, and the decision was made she would retype the entire book into Microsoft Word, updating to 2014. Once the book was rewritten, I went through the book and made changes in the story, only a few. I added more details to the story, to bring the reader more clarity of the situation or feel the room they were standing in with the character. The characters were strong and established, you knew who they were and where they belonged in the story, so I left that alone.

I sent the book to Ann Westlake, my editor in Canada. I asked her opinion on the book. After a few phone calls back and forth the decision was made to edit the book. The next decision to be made was if I wanted the book edited as a short romance novel, one you would purchase off the box store shelf, or did I want to put the time into this and make it a novel that could be the best. That was an easy answer. I don’t like to do anything second best. If I am going to take on a project like this, I am going to do it right. My new assistant, Jessica Wells, was given the changes from my editor, and we both worked on the book, making all the changes Ann found. Each time we sent it back, Ann called me, and we would talk about the direction of the book and how I wanted to handle a storyline and did I want to change it or expand upon it.

My publisher, James Paul Publishing, asked me how I wanted the front cover designed. I knew how the cover needed to look. I contacted a graphic designer and sent her a picture of my daughter and the horse in the story.  I filled her in on the background I was looking for, the font I wanted to be used and what I wanted for the front and back cover. The Silver Heart was written to include people who were in my life at the time, animals included. Just their names were used, not their actual stories. After I had put the last period in the manuscript, I joked with my daughter about putting her on the front cover. We laughed about it, but I didn’t forget that conversation. So she was put on the front cover as the main character.

The final decision on the book was the author title. Many years ago, when I was writing this book, Perry Luhn and I worked together. We talked about the book and my pseudonym as an author. Several names were thrown out, and Samantha Sheridan became my pseudonym. Why use a pseudonym? There are several reasons an author uses another name. One being they have books published in different genres and second to keep some privacy to their normal life. I also had two reasons.  I used a pseudonym on The Silver Heart because of the publication of my children’s book which is a different genre and second because of my affiliation with the entertainment and marketing business. I wanted to keep the two businesses as separate as I could.

When I wrote The Silver Heart, it wasn’t written with the intention of being a big time author or seeking out fame. I wrote the book with all the love I had for the story and the characters.  I never did an outline for the manuscript; I just started to type one word at a time.  I had no idea where the story was going to go or how it would end. There are just stories that are meant to be written and loved by their readers.  I hope this is one of those books, one that is timeless and captures the hearts of the readers.

Samantha Sheridan

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A Day and Time Not Forgotten

On September 11 each year, everyone in the nation takes a moment to stop and remember that day when the Twin Towers came down, the Pentagon was attacked, and courageous people took over a plane above the heartlands of Pennsylvania.  So many people lost their lives for no reason at all.  Why?

If you have a Facebook account and were on your Facebook on September 11, you found many posts about where people were when they heard the news or what they were doing that day.  Will they every forget?  I don’t think so.  It has been fifteen years, and people still remember exactly what they were doing and how they felt as they saw the first plane hit the tower.

I remember that day so clearly.  It was the first day of my vacation, and I was supposed to fly to Florida but decided to stay home.  I was still in bed, and my friend Sharon called me, telling me to turn on the TV right now.  I asked her why and she told me we were under attack.  My heart skipped a beat, and I just could not believe what I was seeing.  The second plane had not hit the other tower yet.  I grabbed a cup of coffee and sat on the bed watching the live newscast.  I don’t remember making my bed that day or doing much else.  When the third plane hit the Pentagon, I called work to see what they were doing.  Because our office was in Lima, they closed the office.  With the Lima tank plant located there and the refinery they were getting everyone home with their families.  The schools were closed, and everyone went home to sit by their televisions to watch what was happening. Wright Patterson Air Force base was put on lockdown and the world was changing in front of our eyes. Across the bottom of the screen were the listings of all the schools and businesses closing.  No longer did we live in rural Ohio where we lived an idyllic life and felt free to leave our front doors unlocked at night and the windows open.

That was a time the United States came together as one.  It didn’t matter the color of your skin or where you came from each person was helped out of the towers and helped to safety.  We united together.  No taking a knee during the National Anthem or rioting the streets.  It was a nation united, united together.   Some have said we need to forget this date and forgive those who took it upon themselves to attack our country, killing so many.  Why?  This was not them knocking an ice cream cone out of our hand and onto the ground.  People died, families will never have that lifetime of memories with their loved ones, and fire and police departments will have their memorial walls in their stations to remind them how precious each day is to them.

The next time you hear someone talk about 9/11 remind them how important our country is, and the way of life here in the United States.  Teach your children and grandchildren what happened that day so they can learn to respect the American flag and what it stands for.  A nation came together for those lost in those terrible attacks and those left behind to pick up the pieces.  We, as a nation, are strong and we have to become united once again.  God Bless the U.S.A.

Firefighters Raise A U.S. Flag At The Site Of The World Trade Center
NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 11: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY – NO COMMERCIAL SALES) Firefighters raise a U.S. flag at the site of the World Trade Center after two hijacked commercial airliners were flown into the buildings September 11, 2001 in New York. (Photo by 2001 The Record (Bergen Co. NJ)/Getty Images)